Thursday 24 March 2016

Horus Heresy Review: Emperor's Children - Legion specific rules and Rites of War

How do,

Today I am going to run through the Legion specific rules for the Emperor's Children in 30k. Much like my Alpha Legion review I will cover all different aspects of their rules in 30k, including unique wargear and unit options as well as all special characters before ending with their Primarch Fulgrim. So today will look at legion specific rules as well as legion specific rites of war. I am taking these rules from the crusade compendium red book and the Istavaan book, so I apologise if the rules have been altered in other books or an FAQ I have missed! Please correct me! Onward!

Legion Specific Rules

These are basically the chapter tactics of the Horus heresy, but whizzing around the room pumped full of cocaine and caffeine. These rules really do give you a great feel for how the legions operate in distinct and different styles. This is the flavour which is really drawing people into to 30k I think when coupled with the beautiful models and relatively balanced and communicative design teams.

Legiones Astartes - This is the basic space marines rule in 30k much like ATSKNF except they do now fear! But they can always regroup as normal regardless of casualties, so no waiting for that double 1 to show up.

Exemplars of War - This rule highlights the fact that the Emperor's children pursue the perfection of war as an art form with all the grace and speed they can muster. All Astartes with the Emperor's Children rule gain Crusader and also +1 initiative on the charge. Additionally characters gain +1 initiative in a challenge.

This is an absolutely devastating special rule for a legion that has some absolutely fantastic combat options, as you will see in the unique units and wargear post. I run a Baal Strike force in 40k because despite losing objective secured, striking at initiative before regular marines is pivotal in breaking that marine vs marine deadlock. This is even more apparent in 30k when space marine are the dominant faction, even more so than 40k.

Additionally, unlike in 40k, space marines can be swept an destroyed if they break in combat. This rule counts towards your sweeping advance so you have a better chance of running down your opponent if you break them in combat! As you will see going through the Emperor's Children, this concept of winning combat as a mechanism, is pivotal to using this legion successfully.

Martial Pride - Characters, much like chaos champions (foreboding!), must issue and accept challenges. Losing in the combat that a challenge is part of causes an additional -1 Ld debuff on top of negative modifiers for more wounds lost.

This is the single biggest reason for bothering to really kit out any characters you have to have that edge in challenges, as well as being far more careful in picking and choosing your fights. Remember, you can get run down from a lost combat too!

Rite of War: 

As before I'll just quickly run over what a Rite of War is for those that don't know. A Rite of War is basically akin to codex specific detachments in 40k such as the real space raiders detachment, the champions of fenris and the Baal Strike Force etc. Its NOT like a formation. You can only take a rite of war if you have a Master of the Legion in your army. This will either be a Praetor (read chapter master), a Delegatus (a special type of captain) or a named special character including the Primarchs.

In the main 30k rulebook you are presented with several rites of war that your Master of the Legioon can take. An example of this is Pride of the Legion. Pride of the Legion allows you to take terminators and veterans as troop choice and you HAVE to use them to fulfil your compulsory slots. However this comes with restrictions, you are not allowed an allied detachment and if all your veterans and terminators die you grant the enemy an additional victory point. 

The rites are supposed to allow you to play your legion with awesome fluffy rules but also represent the flaws that a legions particular style of engagement exposes, either physically or mentally.

The Maru Skara

This rite of war is excellent if you are a player that enjoys a fast paced attack and doesn't rely on heavy immobile gun lines to play. And since you are running the Emperor's Children I will assume that this is the case! The Maru Skara is entirely geared to getting you up close and personal as soon as possible with the enemy. That said it also offers you an olive branch to make your Emperor's Children the surgical scalpel to an allied anvil as I will mention below in their special rules:

Open Blade - Emperor's Children gain +1 to move run and charge distances in the first turn giving you a maximum threat range of 27 inches instead of the usual 24.

Hidden Blade - Select 1-3 elite units and these units can outflank (including any attached independent characters) in THE TURN YOU CHOOSE, But you need to select and write this down before the game starts. These units don't count to your reserve limit either.

Wow. This is fantastic for getting right up in your opponents face in a way that is absolutely reliable and can really mess with your opponent. You can do some disgusting things when you take all upgrade options like dedicated transport land raiders into account, but really I feel this is designed to encourage the use of properly fast units with jump packs or bike for example. They can zoom on and lay down some serious fire power but with other Emperor's Children shenanigans (such as excellent sergeant wargear) you can still bite the turn after.

I will come back to this Rite of War when I cover the unique units and wargear and give you some possible builds that are mostly fluffy but should also pack a whallop. This Rite of War works better at higher points values where the ability to reserve more stuff than normal becomes very helpful whilst not leaving you with two few bodies on the table. If you are playing at 1750 points plus it should be fine but any lower I wouldn't recommend.


- Must take a Legion Champion as a compulsory second HQ - Not really a massive deal unless you're in lower points games in which case I wouldn't recommend you take this Rite anyway.

- No Space marine Allies for you or even fortifications. HOWEVER you now become fellow warriors with the Mechanicus and the Solar Auxilia. This allows you to take a very minimal force which takes full advantage of your outflanking units and use them in a hammer vs anvil situation. This will push you're enemy in between the guns of your allies and the blade you reveal.

- Immobile, heavy and slow and purposeful units are disallowed for you in this Rite.

- If you fail to slay the enemy Warlord then your enemy is awarded 1 VP. I really like this rule as it forces you play the aggressive style that you would expect from the Emperor's Children.

The 3rd Company Elite

This is a nice little additional Rite that basically plays on the fact that we love noise marines! And in 30k these are called Kakophonie Marines and I will cover them in the next post.

Essentially this Rite of War does a couple of important things:

-Kakophonie Marines become troops and gain relentless - this is awesome both for the models and the rules but also smaller minimum squads if you want to max out other areas of your army or collection without needing 20 marines at least!

-Your independent characters can take sonic shriekers - grants -1 WS to opponents models that are in base to base contact. Brilliant for challenges and making you more survivable.

Other than that it comes with a few limitations:

-No allied space marines or fortifications.

-All other Allies count as 1 ally rank lower

-Can only take traitor allies - important in terms of other special characters in imperial army and mechanicum.

This is a very simple Rite of War and I think its a great way to build your Emperor's Children force to begin with. If you haven't seen the Kakophonie models then here's a link. They are beautiful!

That's all for now but expect more of the Emperor's Children and more Legion Reviews in general :)

Peace out,



  1. You're a wonderful man, I've always said so! Definitely my favourite of the traitor legions and I could certainly see myself enjoying these tactics and this approach. More!

    1. hahaha remember that when judging at HfaD ;)

  2. Really enjoying these review articles. I just hope they don't tempt me into starting another army.....

    1. Oh don't pretend like you are even close to done collecting MOAR Mike ;)

  3. Thanks for the review, I look forward to crushing these guys with my 30K Dark Angels ( day).

    1. I plan on going over the new Dark Angel Rites later next month if you haven't seen them already :)