Friday 11 December 2015

Horus Heresy Alpha Legion - 30K rules Review

Good day to all,

Today I am going to run through the Legion specific rules for the Alpha Legion in 30k. I will go over their unique characters and of course their Primarch(s) at some point but today will just focus on their special rules and their unique rite of war. I'll cover what Rite of Wars are below for the 30k uninitiated :). I hope you enjoy this article and look forward to reading about the third most mysterious space marine legion there ever was!

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. 40k appears to be coming a little closer to this with the recent Raven Guard and White Scars rules in the Kauyon campaign which is excellent.

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.

Mutable Tactics - This rule highlights the fact that the Alpha legion are trained to use any and every tactics necessary to get the job done. Mutable tactics allows the Alpha legion player to choose a special rules that applies to every model/unit with the Legiones Astartes (Alpha Legion) special rule. These are chosen just after Warlord Traits are determined (this is important which I will expound upon in further posts). The special rules you can choose are:

- Infiltrate
- Scout
- Tank Hunter
- Counter Attack
- Move Through Cover
- Adamantium Will

This is an absolutely devastating special rule as it allows you to instantly tailor your TAC army to the specific foe you are facing, or if you are facing a hard counter to your list you can mitigate that by choosing the appropriate special rule. A good example would be giving counter attack to deep striking units to offset being charged by the enemy in their turn.

Infiltrate and scout are the big winners here with tank hunters hanging on their coat tails. Infiltrate is necessary in many cases to use the legion specific Rite of War depending on how many tanks you have available (see below). Scout has some very dirty shenanigans available but I will come back to scout in my post where I go through Alpha Legion unique characters.

Martial Hubris - In any game where secondary objectives are used for scoring (so all of them by and large) if the Alpha legion players has more units destroyed than his opponent, his opponent gains an additional victory point.

This is the counter to Mutable Tactics. I don't think its to bad, but it does mean players will probably lean to lower unit counts with a more elite theme, which is actually quite fluffy, in order to decrease the likelihood of giving up that single victory point that could tip the balance.

Rite of War: 

This 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.

Coils of the Hydra

This rite of war is AMAZING and grants several special rules as well as draw backs on top of the normal Alpha Legion rules. If you take this rite of war and can work within its restrictions then you really need to make the most of it and think about the synergy of your choices within the rite of war and your mutable tactics. The special rules are as below:

Subterfuge - The Alpha Legion player may add + 1 to the roll for who goes first OR re-roll to seize the initiative.

Signal Corruption - Enemy reserves are at -1

The Rewards of Treason - THIS is why you run this rite of war. Yes the above special rules are fantastic but Rewards of Treason is disgustingly good. This allows you to field any single unique unit from another legion as an elite choice. This can't be an independent character such as Sigismund from the Imperial Fists, but any unique UNIT you can have.

Grave Warden from Death Guard? Yours.
Phalanx Warders from Imperial Fists? Yours.
Gal Vorbak from Word Bearers? Yours.

You get the idea. You can take the best of the best and they become Alpha Legion regarding their legion specific rule and lose the legion of origins specific rules. So you can then use mutable tactics to augment these units beyond their original brilliance or capability. For example you could infiltrate Grave warden!! Awesome!!


- Required to take an additional troop choice. Not bad but it does limit your free points to spend on the good stuff.

- Limited to one Consul (except for vigilators). Not a massive deal as you will likely want to take one of their named characters to be honest or just a beefed up Praetor.

- No fortifications or allied detachment. No big deal, if you want to play fortifications Alpha Legion are not really for you and who needs allied detachments when you can just steal their best units!?

- Infantry squads must have a dedicated transport, the ability to deep strike or can infiltrate. This is the big limiter. You either need rhinos or jump packs essentially for all your infantry units. OR you can use mutable tactics to give everyone infiltrate.

However this severely limits one of the main benefits of Alpha Legion with their mutable tactics. If you are going to take this Rite of War you need to think very carefully about every single choice you make in all the force organisation slots to achieve maximum synergy of rules.

One of the Alpha Legion special characters can really help with this. This fella is named Autilon Skorr, and I will go into him in a future post.

Thats all for today but I hope you enjoyed this quick run down of the Alpha Legion in 30k :) Comments always welcome!

Peace out,



  1. Great review Rob!
    I'm looking forward to reading how you're going to combine Skorr with everything (I think I see where you're going, but I kinda got obsessed with maximising Dynat's impact myself!).

    1. Thanks Jabber, your Horus Heresy reviews are one of my most visited bookmarks as they are very useful when I want to a quick overview of legion specific units to steal with coils of the hydra!

      Dynat is a fantastic character and I ummed and ahhed over him and Autilon as my HQ for some time. I still plan on purchasing the model though so he will likely see some use :)

  2. Thanks for the review, nice to finally see what this 30k malarkey is all about!

    30k has really got popular at my local club since the release of Betrayal at Calth. I haven't been tempted yet, but we will see.....

    1. I think it will be right up your street Mike (particularly in light of your formations post today), it is just brimming with flavourful rules and interesting missions.

      Dooooooo it!