Thursday 9 June 2022

Horus Heresy: Imperial Fists Preview

Hi everyone,

I'm continuing on with our Legion reviews today by talking about my favourite legion, the Imperial Fists.

Legion Trait

The legion trait is a little bit different compared to the original legion rules from the previous edition (spoiler alert: there are a lot of little changes ahead!) - the main buff giving a +1 to hit rolls for bolt weapons which is pretty much what we had before (previously it was +1 BS which is a subtle difference but hardly came into play really) but what has come as a surprise is that this now also affects auto weapons so auto cannon heavy squads might see more use in imperial fist lists for instance which will be interesting to see. One thing I am a little sad about is that we appear to have lost our tank hunter buff on heavy support squads, that was a nice way to have discount imitation iron havocs but it's not a deal breaker for me!

Advanced reaction

I really like this advanced reaction - basically a once per game counter charge, I think that will be a handy little deterrent from opportunistic movements and really adds to the more defensive nature of the legion. Makes me think of Legio Ignatum's punish their folly stratagem as that makes people think twice about getting that charge off.

Warlord Traits

The traits are pretty interesting, each grant an additional reaction in a phase but in the case of the loyalist only one its one additional reaction in any one phase but limited to being used on the warlord's unit - very flexible and handy if you have a meaty bodyguard unit for your warlord (particularly as this one also improves the units weapon skill too). The other non-allegiance based traits for the legion are quite interesting too. I look forward to giving them a go, particularly "Architect of Devastation" as that could be particularly powerful with how it interacts with our legion trait.

Rites of War

We appear to have three rites of war now - Hammerfall Strike Force is pretty much what it was before and the Stone Gauntlet is mostly what it was (it now grants re-rollable invun saves on your boarding shields instead of improving toughness and now Phalanx Warders are the compulsory troops choice rather than standard breachers - I might have to get some now). The new rite of war is Templar Assault which is focused around making Templar Brethren your main troops and giving some buffs to them in addition to them becoming scoring - this was a great choice to add as previously templar brethren were always pretty good but were just kind of just there if you wanted to take Sigismund whereas now there is more of an incentive to build an army around them which is really cool!

Armoury and Consul

Our armoury is very much like what is was before - assault cannons, storm shields, solarite power gauntlet, teleporter upgrade for terminators and characters. The thing that interests me here is the Castellan legion consul - a heavy weapon independent character which makes all of our heavy support squads line (and therefore scoring). Yet another awesome fluffy addition to the legion which empathises on bringing more of our heavy weapons teams to bear - I do kind feel this might also be the reason why our heavy support squads don't have tank hunters anymore, having that and them being scoring would make for a pretty brutal objective holder and I am okay with this change, this put more emphasis on taking foot slogging weapon teams than just taking tanks as heavy support.

Rogal Dorn

Rogal doesn't look too different to what he was like before. Now that we have Templar Assault, it was understandable that Rogal now doesn't have the ability to make Templars troops anymore but what he has gained in it's place is pretty cool - whenever anything charges him, it counts as a disordered charge so he denies charge bonuses which is pretty snacky and goes hand in hand with him being the master of defence. Everything else looks pretty much like it was before.

Special units

Phalanx Warders are pretty awesome now - particularly with the additional love they have received in the rite of war department - squads of 10-20, gain +1 WS when receiving a charge like before (more on this later!) and improve their invun saves when bunched up (much like how the +1 toughness buff worked in the old Stone Gauntlet rite of war). They are also movement 7 so they are surprisingly quick for a breacher squad. They are a real solid choice now and I can see these guys appearing more on the battle field - I might need to get some as despite the size of my collection, I actually don't have any yet!

Templar Brethren have gained an additional wound like most other elites seem to have done, other than that they are pretty much identical to what they were before - solid melee monsters that can cut down marine units like they are nothing. Again, they've got some love now through the new Rite of War so we'll see a lot more of these guys too no doubt!


Sigismund is pretty much the same as he was: an absolute monster in duels, gains VPs for killing enemy warlords (and other bonuses) and brings templars in as troops (but notably do not give them line like Templar Assault does which means that it still has value if you decide you want to use it but also want Sigismund as a HQ anyway).

Fafnir has not really changed either from his initial release (not exactly surprising!) so can still do his swapping between both axes and sword/axe at will, defensive hammer of wrath, grants +1 WS to breachers and phalanx warders when they charge (if he's the warlord) etc.

Alexis Polux... wow, ok, some great quality of life changes have been made to this chap. Firstly, now he actually has deep strike so now his Void Commander ability makes sense as he can give a squad he joins deep strike (previously he didn't need to join the unit mind) but now you can re-enact what he did in the Crimson Fist short story! He now has a solarite power gauntlet rather than a power fist so he's gained in the AP department and he has artificer armour so is that little bit more tanky too which is brilliant to see.

Final thoughts

All in all, I am very happy with these new rules - some changes have been made which I originally lamented (the loss of tank hunters was a biggy for me originally before I saw what the Castellan brings to the table combined with our warlord traits) however the Imperial Fists have gained in other areas which more than make up for it. I'm really looking forward to playing these again in the new edition!

Until next time!

Hector Cephas


  1. Honesty, as a long time Imperial Fists player I can't quite agree. The change in Stone Gauntlet makes the rite pretty useless now. Honestly, when have you relied on the save the shield gave you? Neither breachers nor warders make for a good melee unit, but the T5 made them a lot more resilient. The option of T5 terminators is gone as well. As is the option for Dorn to take his personal Thunder-Taxi, which was the only thing that made him stand out from the other primarchs.
    I am looking forward to my first game with the new rules, but this might also take a while, since my local store says that basically they're only allowed to let beginners have small games in the store now. So no place for veteran player or 30K, which I think is a real shame.

    1. Hi there and apologies in advance as I've got a wall of text in-bound!

      I'm totally with you on the change to Stone Gauntlet, that was my go-to RoW - probably guilty of it being more of an auto-take for me - and I didn't overly rely on the invun saves in comparison so with you there too.

      The extra toughness was fantastic against small arms fire etc but towards the end of Heresy 1.0, the meta became about big tank weapons and phosphex (even with the changes made to it) which the extra toughness didn't really do a lot about and you may as well have just had standard tacticals except for the 6+ invun against shooting.

      The reason why I have brought up the invun save here is because now boarding shields are just a flat 5+ invun (so no differentiation between shooting and close combat) which makes a lot more sense and makes standard breachers that little bit more tanky against larger weapons. Phalanx Warders get +1 to their invun save when in base-to-base with other warders so they can now have a 4+ invun save (which can be rerollable with the RoW) and suddenly while, yes, they are not as resilient to small arms fire as they once were, they certainly can take on a lot of harder hitting weapons (75% chance of negating each wound) and +1 WS when being charged (this is a much bigger deal now in Heresy 2.0 - add Fafnir to the mix and you get +1 WS when you charge too... so your Warders are that little bit more tanky and killy on the offensive with him around too).

      I'm keen to see how much of a difference it makes all in all, I certainly am gutted we lost the toughness bonus but the rerollable invuns on warders isn't something to be sniffed at these days, it makes them pretty nails in a lot of situations where the toughness would not have helped nearly as much. Also, it's also potentially an opportunity for me to dust off the rest of my Imperial Fists legion (I reckon I have at least 12k points worth) in the new edition.

      That's a pity about your current gaming situation - I really hope you can get a chance to play soon as I had my first game last night with my drop-pod World Eaters and that was we had a great time - really enjoyed the reactions mechanic!

      I hope this comment helps reassure you about the Stone Gauntlet - its certainly different to what it was and maybe not as powerful in some situations but I think it has gained in others! :)

    2. Oh, and the Thunder-Taxi is back in the legacies of the Age of Darkness PDF:

  2. I always like looking at the helmet markings. It seems odd the two new mk6 markings in the image are the same as older ones but denote different things. Odd they didn't just use something else? Why no an invert of one of the colour schemes.

  3. Ok this might be a stupid question but what is that book shown in picture two and four? That is really cool how it shows all the different symbols. Does this book have all the space marine chapters? Anyway I have looked all over and can not find a book like that so I am really wondering what book it is and where I can purchase it?