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First look at Warhammer 40k Legions Imperialis rules

Just one day after announcing the game, Games Workshop has unveiled core information about Warhammer the Horus Heresy: Legions Imperialis.

Warhammer Legions Imperialis preview - a Warhound Titan, a hunch-backed war robot, with a short ranged heat gun and a harpoon style claw

Games Workshop has revealed what we should expect from the Warhammer Legions Imperialis rules via a Warhammer Community post, released on Monday. As well as using much smaller scale miniatures than Warhammer 40kLegions Imperialis has fundamentally different core rules, including an alternating activation system.

In Legions Imperialis “You move or fire a Detachment, then your opponent does, and so on”, according to the WarCom post. Players issue all their Detachments with orders at the start of each round, which are “initially hidden when issued, meaning you’ll have to predict what your opponent’s plan is and devise your own strategy to counter”.

Warhammer Legions Imperialis - five bases of tiny Space Marine models

The Primary Mission for all games of Legions Imperialis is to capture Objective markers, with scoring at the end of each battle round. “Infantry are the best for capturing Objectives”, but the squishiest of the unit types, competing with tanks, aircraft, and Titans.

WarCom promises that games are extremely destructive, stating: “Titans will annihilate entire squadrons of tanks in a single barrage only to be felled in turn by strafing aircraft”.

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While the models are small scale, their individual weapon loadouts will matter, according to WarCom: “Assault cannons mow down infantry but can’t scratch a Titan, while Lascannons are best used against vehicles”.

Army building will be based around ‘Formations’, each of which is “essentially an entire Horus Heresy – The Age of Darkness army”. WarCom states that there’s enough variety for players to create a Space Marine army “mounted entirely in gunships for an aerial assault” or a “Solar Auxilia super-heavy tank company”, and promises “more to come in the future”.

“A plethora of terrain types have rules” according to WarCom, allowing players to “garrison buildings with infantry, conceal flanking elements behind ruined city sectors, or push your tank squadrons down roads for added speed”.

The article also previews a new small scale terrain piece, an intact and a destroyed building. To our eye this looks like a 3D printer prototype. The design suggests the new kits will be stackable and modular.

The article confirms features that were mentioned in the reveal stream on Sunday. Legions Imperialis is set during the Horus Heresy and as such won’t feature models for any of the Xenos Warhammer 40k factions.

Warhammer Legions Imperialis - pictures of a Thunderhawk Gunship, Xiphon Interceptor fighterc, and Nemesis Titan, a huge robot with back-mounted earthquake cannon

It uses the same miniature scale as Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis, so if you already have a collection of Warhammer Titans or Thunderhawk Gunships you can use them here.

I won’t lie, I’m slavering for this game. I recently binged the Siege of Terra novels to get up to speed on the latest Horus Heresy books, and the ridiculous scale of the battles in the Heresy is perfect fodder for wargames.

Despite my better judgement, hobby backlog, and lack of space, I’m contemplating getting a 3D printer just to run off some of the incredible small-scale terrain from the wargame Full Spectrum Dominance, which has the aesthetic of buildings from a 90s RTS game.