Horus Heresy: First Thoughts About Fighting Thirty K

Try saying that three times fast. Greetings fellow internet-ers, first of all let me apologise for the recent drought of hobby goodness on this here blog. It seems that real life has sunk its claws into the warbasterds somewhat. Real life and yet another ‘ZOMG Hobby-fad’ handed down by that dastardly Hobby Magpie.

So what have we been up to you ask? Well real life stuff – Robin has been busy looking after his latest offspring, jobs, wives, girlfriends – you all know how it is right? That aside during this time as I mentioned we’ve all been visited by the Hobby Magpie in some form. The two most noteworthy examples include Forge World’s Horus Heresy expansion and Blood Bowl. Today we’ll deal with the former, and some other time the latter.

So Fighting 30k….

We have all to some extent developed an interest in the Heresy range, some of us to the extent of actively developing an army (such as my Iron Hands, or James’ Death Guard) or some little touches to existing armies (like Dave and his Contemptor or James and his Angry-Ron).

The purpose of this article is to outline my initial impression of the ruleset. So far we’ve played 2 games of Heresy, both have been my Iron Hands vs James’ Death Guard, and well I really like it, even though I lost both times.

Iron Hands Vs Death Guard

So What’s Different?

All kinds of stuff! So the most striking thing for me was that now marines do know fear, and they run like your common garden guardsman. This can be quite the change of pace when you’re used to the tactical withdrawal they enjoy in 40k.

Marines die! Lots of marines die. In the Heresy ruleset you can take tactical squads up to 20 men strong, which I advise because they will all die. Resolving a round of shooting results in you pulling handfuls of marines from the table. Quite the change of pace from a usual game of 40k and quite disconcerting the first time it happens. Needless to say, if you pulled off marines at this rate in 40k, you’d probably just concede the game and hang your head in defeat.

Whats Good?

Well lots of things, but these:
Fury of the Legion – Marines can fire twice if they’re stationary, yeah, thats right twice. Twenty marines can fire twice. Enemy with in 12″? Well that’s 2x rapid fire. You really roll fistfuls of dice when you’re shooting. Quite satisfying.
Contemptors explode! – They have a special rule that increases the blast radius of their explosions, and as we were both running at least 3 each that happened a lot. Big mushroom clouds of what used to be Dreadnoughts killing marines left and right. Loads of fun.
– Thallax – These sneaky little Mechanicum chaps are awesome, S7 guns with Jet Pack infantry make them a real pain for your opponent.

Whats not so cool?

Its marines, fighting marines. Marines all day and night. If your gaming group is anything like ours you already have your fair share of marine on marine battles. That being said, we’re only one book in, when more legion specific rules start showing up I think this will help alleviate the problem. Another thing is our forces are still relatively vanilla in terms of their construction – as our collections grow and we start to add some more esoteric units this should also help change the dynamic.

Wrap Up

So that’s my impression of Horus Heresy after my first few games, its a good set of rules and I am looking forward to playing some more impressive games, involving Titans and Fell Glaives and Primarchs and…


By day a mild mannered Web Designer from Swindon, by night a horder and shaper of bits in his mad kit bash laboratory.