30 Dec 2015

Horus Heresy - The Basics of 30K

My Blade for the Warmaster: My Shield for the Emperor! Greetings fellow hobbyists and welcome to the first article in my Horus Heresy series, a collection of works aimed at helping 40K veterans and beginners alike integrate into this famous period of human civil war. I feel the timing was appropriate given the fresh Betrayal at Calth set offering players a phenomenal value entry into the Heresy that uses both plastic and local stock as further enticements. With that said, read on and (hopefully) enjoy!

The Horus Heresy Game System

I will start off this overview series by stating clearly that games set in the Horus Heresy are fundamentally different to those taking place in the 41st Millenium, and I will do my best to explain why this is the case in detail throughout the rest of the article. For now, I will focus on the basics of how the game works for those completely unfamiliar with Forge Worlds' exclusive rule-set. First up, Horus Heresy games (to be further referred to as 30K games) use the core Warhammer 40,000 rule-set as a frame-work to ease new players into the system, meaning that the explanations for unit profiles, characteristics, special rules and so on are all drawn from the same source as any standard Warhammer 40,000 codex. If you're unfamiliar with Warhammer 40,000 then I urge you - just as Forge World do - to pick up the core 7th Edition rulebook and study it extensively so as to learn the game seeing as it is a requirement for understanding how matches are resolved, whereas veterans of the futuristic sci-fi setting should feel right at home in the Horus Heresy. In essence, the core rules used for games in both 30K and 40K are the same, but where they differ is in the interactions with that global rule-set and the play-style of individual armies, as well as in how army lists are constructed pre-game (I'll touch on these later).

Depending on which Horus Heresy books you have access to, the actual missions you play will also differ; as opposed to the static Eternal War and mutable Maelstrom of War scenarios, you are presented with different methods of play with the numbered 30K books that can provide unique deployment variations or affect how a player can generate victory points, the "resource" with which games are won and lost. These alternate mission types tend to be more fluff-driven and will have rules representing the theater of war covered by the numbered book in question; an example is that Book One (Betrayal) offers players the chance to recreate the Istvaan clashes with their own armies, whether they be the actual Legions who fought in the conflict or Xenos forces from another era. Otherwise, much of what makes 30K so intriguing to play is the interactions with both "classic" armies and the new ones introduced alongside the game-system with the tweaked Force Organization charts (how your model collections are organized into match-ready groups), outright removal of numerous alternate army list creation mechanics and the greater importance of specific game mechanics and rules. One thing that also becomes abundantly clear is that 30K is inherently fluff-driven with regards to rules; the Legions are very balanced against each other with all kinds of builds being entirely possible, while units pay excessively for abilities and wargear that might not seem that useful in a standard 40K game but have greater value in 30K.

The Value of Leadership

In 40K match-ups, the Leadership characteristic tends not to be that important for so many factions in the game; several forces outright ignore the Leadership mechanics, while most of the armies have some way of cheaply relegating the characteristic to foot-note status. Virtually half of the armies in the game - the various Space Marine codices - don't suffer the negative repercussions of most Leadership-based tests, while spreading re-rolls on morale tests or actual higher Leadership values is common-place. Those armies that are vulnerable to Leadership-based attacks tend not to be forced into taking the applicable tests that often or benefit from their play-style not really being ham-strung by those rules. In the Horus Heresy this tends to be the complete opposite with Morale and most notably Fear (widely regarded as the most useless special rule in 40K given that pretty much everything ignores it or doesn't really care about the negative effects) becoming central to determining victors on a regular basis, with at least one specific Legion force being designed around exploiting the latter rule.

The most significant difference comes with the complete removal of And They Shall Know No Fear from the game; nowhere is this special rule present in 30K, and from my experience the game is better off for it. In 40K, having And They Shall Know No Fear rendered units virtually immune to running off the table (eliminating a means of destroying them), and fully resistant to Fear, Sweeping Advances (being caught while fleeing from close combat), the penalties for Regrouping and so on. Having always been a Space Marine exclusive rule, restructuring the Legions around the removal of this rule can make for some very awkward transitions for 40K veterans into the 30K system; your Space Marines are not only vulnerable to Fear, they can be obliterated through Sweeping Advances - with the latter vulnerability being further emphasized by the gargantuan unit sizes and prices of 30K units compared to their 40K brethren. This completely changes how players approach these otherwise seemingly identical units with regards to Leadership mechanics, as it means purchasing upgrades that affect those mechanics are of much greater value, as are characters and special rules that either nullify or reduce their impact on specific units.

One of the most glaring examples of this comes with the titular Horus' bodyguard, the Justaerin Terminators; they are incredibly over-priced compared to other squads of their type in both game systems, but the justification for this is that they have the Stubborn special rule and thus ignore all negative penalties to their Leadership characteristic. Additionally, many Space Marine units have access to a wargear option known as the Legion Vexilla; this allows them to re-roll failed Morale tests, a critical choice given that Legion units are very expensive and prone to being destroyed regardless of their numbers due to a single combat that goes against them. This should display to you that not only do units pay appropriately for being able to circumvent specific Leadership-based tests, but that the value of improving your units' Leadership is a necessary aspect of 30K gaming. Another example would be one of the actual Legions themselves and the rules they gain to represent how they fight in the setting; the Iron Warriors have the Wrack and Ruin special rule that serves as a conglomerate of smaller rule entries, but it is principally known for allowing Iron Warriors to ignore Morale tests for casualties suffered from ranged attacks as well as re-rolling failed Pinning tests.

This is in contrast to other Legions that seemingly have much more "potent" rules given to them, such as the Imperial Fists which focus around strong Bolter Drills - becoming Ballistic Skill 5 when using bolt-type weapons - and Tank Hunting - their Heavy Support squads gaining the titular trait - to represent how the rules place equal importance on Leadership as effective damage output and even durability (in the case of Iron Hands). Having these bonuses and purchasing upgrades such as Legion Vexillas can so often mean the difference between keeping a very expensive and important unit in a combat or watching them be mercilessly cut down by your opponent with nary a counter-blow struck in return. The ability to outright ignore the entire Leadership system through the Fearless special rule is also comically limited compared to 40K with no Legion thus far providing it as an army-wide benefit, and few characters or units actually possessing it themselves. As an extension of all this, it almost goes without saying that the methods of attacking Leadership are individually more potent as a result; Fear can make all the difference in Legionary combat, while Pinning is a serious consideration given the considerably higher proliferation of it. Those cheap Librarians armed with the power of Telepathy are a sight more terrifying in the Horus Heresy than you could imagine, while the Night Lords - a Legion designed around causing Fear - are one of strongest melee-oriented forces in the game as you would expect given the importance of Leadership in 30K.

The Paradigm of War

The two most recent editions of Warhammer 40,000 have alienated a lot of players specifically because of how melee - one of the core methods of attacking an opponent - has seen countless penalties and restrictions applied to it, in direct contrast to shooting which has only grown more and more potent in recent years. This has led to many armies such as Orks and Tyranids, xenos forces classically known for swarming the opponent in close combat, to be reconstituted by their respective collectors' into hybrid ranged armies that place little emphasis on melee. While specific forces can still pull off nasty game-winning assaults, doing so tends to require numerous specific traits that most armies and combat-centric units simply cannot replicate. Enter the Horus Heresy where the importance of this most brutal form of fighting is paramount, making entirely melee-centric Legions and army lists viable by nature of the reduced impact of ranged combat, while also improving the abilities of those forces in the face-to-face aspect of warfare. An example of this is the aforementioned Night Lords; making units vulnerable to Fear not only adds greater emphasis to Leadership mechanics, but it also directly affects that specific Legions' melee capabilities to give them a unique advantage over other Legions. In contrast, the Emperors Children whom are famed for their rapid assaults have numerous ways of gaining bonuses to Initiative or swiftness in close combat to edge a fight in their favor, while also having an easier time of performing a successful Sweeping Advance action. The tools for which a force can actually get into close combat are further expanded upon with the virtually unassailable Spartan Assault Tanks being the prime delivery method for Primarchs or other lesser characters and their retinues, a tactic only made possible by the reworking of both Destroyer and Graviton weaponry in 30K games; these prolific tools of destruction are significantly toned down in the Horus Heresy, granting vehicles and other monstrous models a new lease on life.

Additionally, while certain armies are capable of mass Infiltration to deploy close to the opponent and force their hand in combat, others are instead able to arrive via Drop Pod Assault to strike at the heart of the opposing battle-line in the initial moments of a match. Specific Legions are swifter and capable of closing the gap more easily upon the battlefield, whereas others have incredible resilience to enable them the chance to reach a melee through determination and durability alone. It also helps that the individual characters and units themselves are more potent here than you would expect of their 40K counter-parts, what with the basic Tactical Squad being far more impressive in a melee if they are dedicated to the World Eaters Legion. With Rage, potential Furious Charge, bonus Weapon Skill for characters, unit-wide chain-axes and Sergeants that can add Artificer Armor to their arsenal, your most basic infantry hailing from that most savage of Legions can decimate even the elite forces of Xenos armies without breaking a sweat. Additionally, 2+ armor saves are of far greater importance in 30K where wide-spread access to AP2 weaponry and the reworked Graviton weapons are suitably culled to allow the mighty Terminators their chance to shine, a change that is most relevant to close combat oriented units. What is also apparent is that the tools by which your models can sow death in a melee are increased; the Chapter Master equivalents of the Legion can be equipped with mighty Paragon Blades and turned into living blenders of flesh, cutting down mighty monstrous creatures and swathes of elite infantry alike. Many Legions are designed around dominating in the assault phase in interesting and unique ways, what with the Sons of Horus gaining bonus attacks for outnumbering opponents and the Imperial Fists characters gaining re-rolls on to-hit rolls during challenges.

Of course, the improved potential of melee combat does not mean ranged warfare has been shunned either; what becomes readily apparent in the more competitive games of 30K is that Legion forces can output some incredible damage from afar, albeit with some interesting contrasts to their 40K brethren. Whereas Space Marines in the far future are principally designed around obliterating larger or more elite units in their current iteration due to Graviton weaponry, Legionary forces are better suited to cutting down infantry in their masses; Barrage attacks are surprisingly common, meaning templates and blasts act as an easily accessed counter to the huge unit sizes present in the Horus Heresy. They have some fantastic means of dealing with vehicles as well due to the incredible dual-purpose Thudd Guns, as well as specific counters to the seemingly immortal Spartan Assault Tanks with their own version of Grav weapons possessing the Haywire special rule. What becomes readily apparent is that 30K armies - due to the significant minimum unit sizes and inherently higher cost of taking multiple smaller units as opposed to fewer large units - are not suited for dealing with multiple small units despite how efficiently they can brutalize specific forces. The way in which the army shoots is an interesting contrast to its 40K counterparts; you are reliant on sheer weight of shots from specific units as well as the numerical increase of blast-type weapons, something that you will learn to both appreciate and revile based on which army you face-off against. Horde type armies such as Orks or Tyranids can get utterly eviscerated by a Legion force, but if those armies instead choose to adopt the approach of using massed smaller units then the match-ups change considerably.

I must also mention the power of scoring in the Horus Heresy, one of the other key aspects of determining an armies' competitive worth. Games of 30K are still inherently objective-based like in 40K, but the various changes to how armies attack each other by nature of having fewer but more impressively sized units leads to victory by taking ground as a more rewarding path than it might be in Warhammer 40,000. The key difference here is that battles specifically using the Age of Darkness missions and Force Organization chart completely alter the way you capture objectives; rather than every unit being capable of claiming territory with certain units gaining a means of nullifying an opponents' scoring potential, only Troops choices and units with the aptly named Implacable Advance special rule are capable of both scoring and denying objectives. Not only does this place further emphasis on your Troops choices and forces you to adapt your tactics around keeping them alive, it also provides another metric in which one can determine a given units' competitive potential. Terminators might seem like they are still rather lacking in value for the Horus Heresy despite all the buffs they receive, but granting them the Implacable Advance rule is a good way to make players' reconsider whether they will field them or not. This can also serve to justify various perceived balances deficiencies, one of the more notable of which relates to the Iron Warriors' Siege Tyrants; these incredibly powerful Terminators trade Implacable Advance for incredibly improved ranged damage capabilities, forcing you to approach their usage differently to other Terminator-type squads. What this information should impart is that dominating the Shooting Phase is not the only way to victory in 30K matches as it so often is in far-future conflicts, with armies centered around dominating the movement phase or assault phase being far more common and competitive overall.

Legionary Force

Perhaps the most important determination of whether you leap into the Horus Heresy or not is how you associate yourself with the eighteen different Legions - or indeed the other forces present such as the various Mars-aligned factions or the heresy-era human militia forces - and their unique characters or background. While this can most easily be sussed out via reading the countless Black Library and Forge World stories revolving around this fictional time period, sometimes a bit more familiarity is needed with how each Legion actually functions on the table-top and how well they are represented in terms of matching their narrative background. Given that my favorite Legion - the Thousand Sons - are as yet unavailable to play in the Horus Heresy and I really wanted to jump in with the Betrayal at Calth, I perused all of the varying Legions and read up more on their history, the characterization of their leaders how each operated on the battlefield with respect to tactics and "personality". I eventually settled on the Iron Warriors as I admired their ruthless efficiency and the genius of their Primarch, Perturabo; the Legion performs any task without question - including throwing their lives away to gain mere meters of ground in a theater of war - and operates around an unrelenting hail of bodies and artillery bombardment. I also grew to appreciate Perturabo as a flawed and suitably tragic character, one that was mistreated by the Imperium in a way which only Magnus could possibly sympathize with; in his own words, he had magnificent visions of a peaceful future for humanity and yet all they cared for was that he was the perfect tool for bloody, brutal annihilation.

One of the more ingenious albeit necessary ideas stolen from the 40K rules designers is the Legion Tactic rule which operates on a Legion-by-Legion basis to grant each of the eighteen unique Space Marine conglomerates a set of unique rules to either drastically (in the case of the Alpha Legion particularly) or minimally (more so my precious Iron Warriors) alter how generic Space Marines function. Overall, they tend to be far more interesting than the Chapter Tactics they were obviously adapted from. My favorite example of this is the Iron Hands Legionary force, trading their bonus to vehicle durability and iffy Feel No Pain to instead essentially gain a bonus point of Toughness against all ranged weapons, meaning their basic Tactical Marines are analogous to Plague Marines without actually having to pay for it. However, the trade-off here is that Iron Hands Space Marines have to take Leadership tests to even attempt to Run or make Sweeping Advances, while their access to fast-moving units such as Outriders or Jetbikes is heavily restricted. Unfortunately, you do get some Legion Tactics which may as well be straight rip-offs of the 40K versions and this is no clearer than with the Imperial Fists; they exchange re-rolls of 1s on to-hit rolls for Ballistic Skill 5 when using bolt-type weapons and their Heavy Support Squads (aka Devastators) gain Tank Hunters, though they do get additional bonuses for manning fortifications and fighting in challenges at the cost of allowing their opponent the choice to automatically continue a game on to turn six rather than performing a randomly determined roll-off.

As you would expect, this leads to the various Legions having their own identity on the table-top which also presents an unavoidable issue; how are the various Space Marine factions balanced against one another? For the most part, matches tend to be determined more by tactics and smart use of the actual core Legion list itself rather than making full use of individual Legions given that each one naturally has weaknesses to exploit so as to make up for their varying number of strengths. This is generally because making full use of a Legions' rules tends to lead to more narrow-minded builds that can more easily be prey to hard counters - such as an assault-oriented Night Lords force coming up against the Fear-immune Salamanders that can match them blow-for-blow with their elite squads - with the only real exception being the Alpha Legion, the absolute masters of adaptability due to their incredible Mutable Tactics. For true competitive Horus Heresy gaming, there is a perceived "tier" system of how each individual Legion ranks in terms of overall "power", though this can often be meta dependent and generally isn't seen as much of a drawback to fielding a specific Legion given that many tournament lists feature the exact same make-up of core units. Depending on how your meta has developed it can be very punishing for both the heavy melee or ranged oriented forces and so your experiences on this matter are likely to vary between hobby communities, but generally speaking there is still a bit more favor towards shooting than close combat given the various 40K match-ups and how they can impact on your local area.

The Legion Muster

Having played both game systems' versions of Space Marines, I'm fairly convinced that Chapters and Legions are entirely different beasts on the table-top with regards to play-style and what they are capable of. The first and most obvious dissimilarity is that Legion Space Marines lack And They Shall Know No Fear as discussed earlier, meaning they do not automatically regroup after falling back, they do not ignore the usual penalties that come with regrouping and they are susceptible to Sweeping Advances in close combat. While boosting the Leadership of regular Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 through specific Warlord Traits or purchasing Veteran Sergeants tends not to be necessary due to the incredible bonuses provided by And They Shall Know No Fear to virtually ignore most of the Leadership mechanics, it is instead absolutely paramount to success in the Horus Heresy. Watching a costly unit of twenty Space Marines lose combat by one point and promptly get cut down by a lesser opposing unit is about as disheartening as realizing you forgot to purchase transports for your assault-oriented army. Mistakes in list creation don't get much more painful than skimping out on valuable choices such as Legion Vexillas or even Command Squads that solve the Legions' morale-related weaknesses.

Otherwise, one of the key differences is the more specialized nature of the Legions' many units, with key examples being that aside from the various Elite choices, most squads tends to feature identical equipment throughout their entirety. This means that a Tactical Squad will always be comprised solely of boltgun-wielding Space Marines, whereas a Support Squad must be equipped with the same special weapon type. The more specialized nature of Legion units speaks to the sheer scale of the pre-Heresy forces; ten super-humans all bearing plasma guns as part of a single unit would rarely occur in the 41st Millenium after all! It is both a strength and a weakness; an individual unit will be incredible at its chosen task - such as a Heavy Support Squad armed with lascannons hunting tanks - but it will suffer immensely from being incapable of adapting to different situations, as your basic bolter-armed twenty-man groups obviously won't help out if a Land Raider presents itself and so on. This is offset by the incredible depth of the Legion list itself, boasting a staggering amount of individual units with a total numerical value of over fifty without even counting all the unique squads, vehicles and characters each individual Legion offers. Space Marines in the 30K era most certainly have a tool to handle any possible situation; hordes of 3+ armored elite infantry are the natural prey of a Whirlwind Scorpius, the heaviest of vehicles can be felled by ancient Graviton weaponry, and there is no better answer to opposing Super Heavy Tanks than an Imperial Titan. Speaking of Titans, one of the more well received reworks presented by the Horus Heresy is the restriction on Lords of War; while there are tonnes of options and even a specific detachment that bypasses this, you can only ever use a single Lord of War choice, they only become available in games of two thousand points or more and it cannot take up more than twenty-five percent of your forces' points limit. This stops players from fielding these incredibly powerful models in points limits that don't fit them or against armies that have little chance of destroying them, while it further restricts all but the lowliest of Super Heavy Tanks or Gargantuan Creatures from seeing the field at that two thousand point sweep spot.

Once you decide to try and construct an army list for a Horus Heresy battalion, it will quickly become evident that you cannot use the same list construction tools or wealth of options that would otherwise be normally available, and this is due to a more stream-lined and focused game balance system. Not only are formations absolutely non-existent in the Horus Heresy, but alternate detachments are also incredibly rare and usually don't function similarly to those you would be familiar with. An example of this would be the differences between the 30K-standard Age of Darkness and Onslaught detachments; the first is essentially a "larger" Combined Arms detachment, while the latter modifies that same Force Organization Chart with one less Troop choice restriction, a bonus Heavy Support choice but the incredible penalty of never being able to take the first player turn of a match. Contrasting this against other detachments such as the Necron Decurion is quite the eye opener as you will quickly realize that taking these does not fit into specific power builds, but they are more oriented around offering different ways to build a thematic force - the Onslaught detachment seems tailor made to a heavy tank force, but not so much a speedy assault army. Of course, what you will mostly be working around is the Age of Darkness detachment; honestly, my earlier summary of what it does is fairly accurate. Take a Combined Arms detachment, add one extra optional choice to both the HQ and Elites slots, remove the re-roll Warlord Traits bonus and exchange Objective Secured in 40K games to simply being able to score on your Troops choices in 30K battles. It basically allows a bit more freedom with how you build your list and can allow you to stock up more on generalist units such as Terminators or Veterans while also offering the choice of going more character or unit driven with the army.

If it wasn't for the few alternate detachments offered in the Crusade books, you would probably be correct in assuming that list building for Horus Heresy can get quite boring after a time....that is until you realize that not only is the core Legion force utterly massive in its scope and variability, but Forge World included a tool for modifying the Age of Darkness detachment to suit your needs. These manifest as the Rites of War which can be viewed as the replacement for formations despite not really operating the same way. They function by moderately altering the Force Organization chart utilized by the Age of Darkness detachment and providing a set of advantages and disadvantages to once more reflect a cool thematic build that might be tailored to your model needs. As of the time of writing, there are currently four Rites of War available to all Space Marine Legions and at least one per Legion that is exclusive to them individually; while the Death Guard might be suited to deploying lots of heavy firepower with The Reaping (yeah, they have cool names too!) the Alpha Legion play more with psychology and reserve-manipulation through The Coils of the Hydra. To emphasize how each Rite of War works and what it could mean for a given Legion, I'll take a look at my own Iron Warriors' unique version, The Hammer of Olympia; this provides units with rapid fire weapons the ability to charge after firing them, tanks and walkers gain the Extra Armor upgrade for free and the army can field one additional Heavy Support choice. However, it comes with the following downsides; you need to take a Warsmith or Siege Breaker as a mandatory HQ choice, you cannot take more Fast Attack choices than you have Heavy Support choices, you must take three mandatory Troops choices as opposed to the normal two and you can never ally with other Space Marine Legions. This represents the implacable nature of the Iron Warriors as they throw themselves into battle with grim determination as well as their natural bond with artillery and death from afar, while also providing adequate reasons both to field and not to field it given how the restrictions and increased Troops "tax" balance out the otherwise impressive benefits. The designers made sure to indicate that the Rites of War should be used only by players more fluent with the rules or that are interested in thematic lists only as they do often present a number of rule conflicts or confusing loopholes, and there is an added safe-guard given that you must field a character with the Master of the Legion special rule - most notably a Praetor or Primarch - to unlock the various Rites of War.

With all of that information in mind, you're probably wondering what the proper crunch reflects in terms of how the Legion forces compare to not just their 40K counterparts, but to the various Xenos and Chaos-aligned factions. I find that what really sets apart the two eras is how they handle list construction; 40K is oriented around gaining massive bonuses for fielding specific units in conjunction with one another and offers incredible diversity for list construction via the detachment and formation rules, whereas 30K mostly forgoes these alternate army building methods to instead offer a larger, more cohesive selection of units to choose from with various tweaks to play-style and unit selection being offered in their Rites of War. The relative size of units and the points efficiency of the armies is also somewhat skewed; 30K sees you pay a "tax" on the base price of a unit to discourage fielding them as multiple small units, providing cheaper added models to reflect the larger scale warfare of the period. When you add in the inherently specialized nature of most units in the list, this means that to field a basic army that can cover all of its bases with regards to dealing with both infantry and vehicles you will need a minimum of about 1500 points to have a fairly balanced force. This also leads to objective games naturally seeing 30K armies at a disadvantage given the fewer larger units, while a list such as a Battle Company that comprises an incredible amount of different threats should theoretically overwhelm Legionary forces. On the flip side, both horde and elite style forces generally suffer against the Legion list due to the incredible focused firepower or melee damage output it offers.

If you are interested in playing out the cross-era match-ups then I do recommend a few sets of guidelines to follow, one that is generally applicable in every scenario and the others which represent opposing methods of balancing the equation. The most crucial aspect of these matches is to limit the 40K forces so that the 30K armies have some breathing room, and this is most easily done by completely removing alternate detachments (leaving only Combined Arms and the 30K-specific detachments) and formations as the semi-equivalent Legionary Rites of War are more thematic in nature rather than simply providing incredible boosts to specific unit combinations. Restricting the 40K armies to the same Lords of War and optional Destroyer Weapon rules as can be found in the Horus Heresy books is also ideal given that 30K forces cannot mass them like other armies outside of Imperial Knights or Leviathan Detachments (the latter of which is considered permission-only in 30K games). Afterwards, both sides will need to agree to an equal scoring system and Force Organization chart restrictions; Eternal War missions are a bit more fair to Legion armies given that they simply cannot compete for raw number of scoring units in Maelstrom of War games, while deciding on whether both players should use the Age of Darkness layout or the standard Combined Arms detachment. Deciding what constitutes a scoring unit is also necessary for pre-game set-up; you can either follow the Horus Heresy' system which only allows Troops and units with Implacable Advance to be scoring units, or you can allow all units to be scoring but specify that the 30K forces' Troops and aforementioned squads with Implacable Advance possess Objective Secured much like their 40K counterparts. Once these details have been worked out and a mutual resolution reached, your battles between the two opposing periods should be far more balanced and lead to some fair and challenging matches.

Thanks for reading this long-winded and likely boring article, I hope you enjoyed it! With this introduction to the Horus Heresy completed, I'm keen to explore the more advanced aspects of the Horus Heresy for future content, including a more in depth analysis of each Legion and their associated Rites of War. For now, I look forward to reading your feedback on this initial foray unto the darkest era of human history and whether it assisted you in any way. Thanks again!


  1. Great article. 30k has become very popular at my local club after the release of Calth, so its great to read what it is all about in terms of different gameplay.

  2. It sounds like this plays a lot more like the old 2nd-edition 40K.