Monday, 15 February 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Legio Cybernetica Cohort


Recently I wrote a general overview of the Taghmata Omnissiah forces of the 31st Millennium. This body of mechanised ministrations is every bit as fractured as the Imperium of Man (both on a military and cultural level) and today I want to expound upon one of the two major splinter factions available to play as in 30k. There are further smaller factions within the rules that I will go over in the relevant entry, but for today will be talking about the Legio Cybernetica.

When the mechanicum were initially introduced into 30k they were introduced a three separate forces, the: Legio Cybernetica, Ordos Reductor and the Taghmata Omnissiah. As the rules have developed these have all now come under the umbrella of the Omnissiah with rules presented in the appendix to allow you to specialise in the Legio Cybernetica or Ordos Reductor play styles (which incidentally match my two categories of play style in my previous post quite well as it happen). I'm going to go over the unique restrictions, benefits and units of the Legio Cybernetica now to show you what they are about, and the Ordos Reductor will follow later this week :)

Legio Cybernetica - Special Rules

As the name sort of gives away, this branch of the mechanicum specialises in using lots of cyberneticlly enhanced battle automata. This means lots of Castellax, Thanatars and Vorax in particular. The Legio Cybernetica Cohort is an alternative means of fielding the mechanicum and acts very much as a rite of war does for the Legiones Astartes, in this case the Cohort grants two important special rules:

Legion of Steel - normally (as I will cover in their own post) Castellax cannot be taken as compulsory troops choices and never score. In a Legio Cybernetica Cohort, Castellax MUST be taken as the compulsory troop choices AND each unit must be comprised of at least 2 castellax. This does not appear to effect their ability to score. 

This is a cool rule as it means you can max out on castellax in a way you couldn't previously BUT the necessity to take approximately 500 points worth of non-scoring units for troops in a game where points win prizes does knock the competitive edge from this build.

Enhanced Cyber-control - Normally you are only guaranteed to keep control over your battle automata if they are within 12 inches of a cortex controller (Which your HQ's will have) but this rule extends that too 24 inches! Giving you a 48 inch bubble either side of a cortex controller to make sure your battle automata do what you want them too! Additionally all models with a cyber cortex gain +1 initiative.

This is a BIG rule and is the reason I am going to be taking this Cohort (as well as the obvious cool factor). Ensuring control over your big beasties at range, providing you keep the cortex controllers alive, is a massive boon to your tactical flexibility. This is an especially important point during deployment, as it allows you to extend your threat zones considerably as and when you need to. The initiative boost is nice, but situational, it could make a big difference if hitting at the same initiate step though so I'm not going to sniff at it!

Legio Cybernetica - Unique Units

Archmagos Dominus

In the basic Taghmata you have the option of taking multiple types of Magos ranging from the lowest ranking of these higher castes of machanicum society to the ranks of Archmagos. The archmagos dominus is unique to the Legio Cyberntica and is a bit of a beast, though the points go up appropriately for this! Lets look at his stats and basic equipment first:


WS  BS  S  T  W  I  A  LD  Sv
  4     5    4  5   3   3  2   10   2+


Power weapon, Volkite Serpenta, Cortex controller, Machina protectiva. 

The basic stats of this HQ are good. though they do come at a pretty huge base cost over around 150 points. But you have a character with a good armour save and invulnerable (the machina protectiva grant a 4++), staying power (T5) with a little bit of damage output with his weapons (very limited by the 2 attacks though) and an all important cortex controller to keep your beasts in tow. However it is the upgrade options as well as special rules that make this fellow shine.

Special Rules

Stubborn - does what it says on the tin, but help ensure he won't break with that LD10

Battlesmith - this allows you to work like an enginseer and restore hull points, repair weapons and repair immobilised results on a 5+ instead of shooting.

Cybertheurgy - this is the equivalent of being able to give orders in the Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum). You can nominate any unit of cybernetica and on a successful leadership test you can grant them various boons, such as regain a wound or fire a weapon twice in one phase. I will cover this in depth in a future article.

Feel no pain - does what it says on the tin, adding an additional layer of durability onto an already beefy frame.

Relentless - seems fairly benign but then you will see some of the weapon options available to be taken and this includes several heavy options so you can move and pump out those shots to your hearts content!

Patris Cybernetica - the battle automata are by and large monstrous creatures, which prevents you from joining a unit of them. This rule circumvents that and allows you to join your archmagos to a unit of castellax or thanatars for example! However this prevents him from going to ground AND enemies may elect not to shoot at him even if he is the closest model, to represent the vast size and threat of the automata. Therefore you cannot protect your automata with your Archmagos, you use the automata to protect the Archmagos instead!

Independent character - well what did you expect...

The Archmagos must also be your warlord if taken, and if he and every other model that has a cortex controller is dead at the battle end, then your opponent receives +D3 victory points! So keep them alive!


I won't list all the upgrades here as they are many and varied and they are shared by all of the HQ choices more or less, so I will cover them in depth when I review all the generic HQ choices for the Taghmata. However I will cover a few upgrade options below as they are excellent in combination with this particular choice:

Abeyant - an abeyant can take many forms and serves an essential survival purpose for the Archmagos. This could be as a life support system, or a massive mechanical body impervious to small arms fire, or even a delicate floating platform with a shield around it. 

An abeyant grants +1 wound, it will not die, move through cover, very bulky, and hardened armour (important for zone mortalis games mostly). Wow, a 4 wound, 2+/4++ IWND T5 HQ with move though cover.... Awesome.

Cyber-familiar - wait did I say a 2+/4++ above??? Well strike me down and call me a liar... if you take a cyber familiar it improves your invulnerable by +1 (to a maximum of a 3++). SO now you have a 2+/3++ T5 HQ with IWND!

This gem also allows you to re-roll any characteristic tests that are not LD or Dangerous terrain. So strength and toughness tests really, but mainly this is for getting you that all important 3++.

Machinator array - Wait wait wait, did I say T5?? Well forget that! With a machinator array you get +1 toughness! As well as having an in built flamer and inferno (melta) pistol! You can fire both of these in the shooting phase OR you can fire on of them and another ranged weapon you have. 

Additionally the array also grants an extra TWO attacks in close combat with a +1 strength, shred, armourbane, unwieldy profile. If you take this it is worth having your standard power weapon as a none unwieldy one at AP3 like a power sword. Remember these are two attack IN ADDITION to your normal ones. So on the charge you can make 4 x S4 AP3 attacks at initiative 3 and then 2 AP2 attacks at initiative 1. Makes little odds against marines other than to ensure you get some hits in before a thunder hammer/power fist, but will do wonders against any human opponent. 

Double additionally, the array grants +2 to any battlesmith rolls you make, therefore restoring hull points on a 3+!!

Conversion beamer - this particular upgrade suits an HQ that is going to sit back with a thanatar or unit of long range Darkfire cannon castellax. The long range allows you to use the maximum strength of the conversion beamer and pick on choice targets for destruction. 


The Legio Cybernetica is designed to be brutally elite with lots of big beasty bastards shooting into the enemy. I would recommend still taking either some thallax or some adsecularis covenant for bubble wrapping or jump-shoot-jump flexibility. But really you should be taking as many battle automata as you can!

The Archmagos Dominus reinforces this character with an expensive but potentially incredibly durable HQ that has all sorts of tidbits he can make use of. However you must keep him alive if you have no other cortex controllers around so as not to give away additional VPs. It is worth it in larger games to take an additional basic dominus just to hide away for the purpose of preventing this as well as extending your cortex controller range. 

Hopefully this post will make more sense as time goes by and I review more and more mechanicum units, they are generally a lot to take in if you are just used to the Legiones Astartes!

Peace out,



  1. Great article Rob, appreciate the insight and tactics. When you say the Archmagos Dominus has stats of 2+/4++, what does the second "+" mean? I get the 4+ invunerable, but what does the additional + mean?

    1. Hi David! Glad you found it useful, are you collecting 30k mechanicum?

      The ++ just signifies its an invulnerable save, so that if in a sentence I say "his 4++" you know immediately its an invulnerable without me having to type it, its essentially a lazy way of defining it :)

  2. Thanks. I thought it might have meant something like a 4+ inv save and then a 4+ FNP which would be great!!

    Yes, I have a large Mechanicum army (>13K points) and if FW keep adding more units, it will only get bigger.

  3. Thanks. I thought it might have meant something like a 4+ inv save and then a 4+ FNP which would be great!!

    Yes, I have a large Mechanicum army (>13K points) and if FW keep adding more units, it will only get bigger.

    1. Wow! That's damn incredible. I am having a hard time stopping myself from just picking up a few more units...

  4. This is really helpful! Just starting to collect 30k mechanicum. Will you be doing any of the other units? Thanks!