Thursday, 7 May 2015

Starting a Horus Heresy Army: HQ and Troops

Hi guys, I will give a brief overview of some of the units that you can take when starting a Horus Heresy army. Only HQ and troops will be covered here, so if you want me to create a more in-depth analysis of a specific unit please let me know in the comments.

A thing to note is that 30k plays differently to you normal 40k space marine armies. Minimum squad sizes are large and units can cost a lot of points, so 30k usually suits larger games where you can bring along awesome things like primarchs and superheavies.

Depending on what your personal preferences are, and what your gaming group is like, it is perfectly acceptable to use plastic 40k marines and play with the 30k rulebooks. This is especially prudent when you want to test out new units before investing in Forge World resin.

On a side note, 30k has some awesome models, so if you want an army of tanks with no infantry or start your force with a bunch of Contemptors you can, but you will need to play an unbound list.

To start, getting both the Horus Heresy Crusade Army List and the Isstvan Campaign Legions books gives you both the generic horus heresy units and rules, but also the legion specific units such as special characters and primarchs. Buying both books will come to £50 if bought together (£30 each if bought separately), and will save you having to buy the larger and more expensive rulebooks that include background and story.

If you want to play with a standard 'bound' army list, we need to cover the main compulsory HQ and troop choices:


For a commander, the legion Praetor is the most common HQ choice. The Praetor set from Forge World is great as you get two commanders in the set if you want to change from normal power armour to terminator armour. It is perhaps one of the most cost effective ways to have a commander in your army, and you can convert them to have a variety of weapon options.

Consuls are secondary HQ choices that have a wide variety of options. You have your basic centurion that acts like a captain in a normal space marine list, then you have upgrades such as a librarian and a Master of Signals, who has an orbital bombardment.

Forge World have a number of sets to represent some of the council options, but there is huge potential to convert your commanders. Using a techmarine model as a siege master, or giving a model a massive powersword to be a champion. The conversion opportunities are endless.

Deciding on a consul option depends on your play style. A master of signals is great for a gun-line as he can stand there and give unit buffs and fire his orbital bombardment. A champion is good for a close combat oriented army as he gives you an edge in combat, and normal centurion is good if you want your HQ to be cheap.


For troops, tactical marines need to be taken in minimum squads of 10, so getting 20 tactical marines is a must so you can fill the minimum 2 troop slots.

If you want to fill out those tactical marine squads for a slight discount, getting a bundle from Forge World might help. A strike force as pictured below contains 20 marines and a commander for a slight discount on buying them separately (around a 10% saving) and is a quick and cheap option to fill in the minimum requirements for a heresy force. You can even mix in 40k marine bits to expand your force cheaply while maintaining the heresy feel and image.

If you take your commander as a Praetor and give him the 'Pride of the legion' rite of war, you can take an option to make terminators or veteran squads as troops. With this, you can get yourself 2 sets of 5 terminators to fulfill minimum requirements, or if you are going for a minimalist approach, you only need 10 marines as each veteran squad has a minimum of 5 men.

If you want your minimum troops to consist of tactical marines, it may be worth mixing 30k tactical marine sets with 40k marine sets so you have a 30k feel but which costs less money.

These aren't your only troop choices. Assault marines are troops but come in minimum squads of 10 and are very expensive points wise. Breacher marines are similar to assault marines in troop requirements and cost, but come with massive shields.

Once you have a HQ unit and 2 troops units, you can start expanding your force.

Thank you very much for reading!

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