Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules Revealed by Games Workshop

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Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules Revealed by Games Workshop

The first Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules are here, as GW revealed the composition of a turn ahead of the pre-orders.

Warhammer: The Horus Heresy – Legions Imperialis is the new strategic tabletop game set in the Warhammer 40K universe, but a few thousand years before the current events. Games Workshop’s newest title is aiming to give players deeper insight to the Horus Heresy – just in time, as the book series is nearing its end.

It is also the resurrection of classic games such as Epic 40k and Adeptus Titanicus, which aimed to bring giant battlefields to the tabletop, with Imperial Titan models as big as medium size miniatures in 40k or Age of Sigmar. Legions Imperialis will also be an epic scale game, with some minis being smaller than your fingernails – but the scale of the battle will be a sight to behold, as Detachments and Formations will include dozens of Astartes or Auxilia warriors, surrounded by war machines.

Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules

While Games Workshop has been a bit quiet on the game – even though it goes up for pre-order this Saturday – they finally revealed some of the rules for Legions Imperialis. Here's a breakdown of the game's rules and phases:

Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules

Mustering an Army

Players start by selecting their allegiance (Loyalist or Traitor) and choosing a primary army list, such as the Legiones Astartes or Solar Auxilia (who are the predecessors of the Imperial Guard). Armies consist of Detachments, akin to units in other games, organized into Formations. Each army requires at least one Formation for every 1,500 points of its total cost​​, but so far, GW didn’t reveal how many points will make up an army.

The Phases of the Game

The Orders Phase: This unique phase involves players issuing secret Orders to each Detachment, which dictate their actions like shooting or charging into combat. These Orders are revealed simultaneously, adding an element of surprise and strategy​​. This is the most unique part of Legions Imperialis, and the added layer of tactical decisions will be hard to master, but hopefully easy to get into.

The Initiative Phase: Similarly to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar players roll for initiative in each turn – but they don’t to their turn while their opponent waits. Legions Imperialis is a game of alternating activations, where players take turns moving or fighting with individual Detachments. Initiative is determined by a roll-off, with the winner choosing who goes first​​, but the player who comes second doesn’t have to wait that long until they can play.

The Movement Phase: Players activate their Detachments based on the Orders given, with options like advancing, charging, or marching – which is similar to the Advance/Run mechanic of 40k and AoS, except the Detacment doubles (or in some cases, triples!) their movement. This phase is crucial for positioning and engaging the enemy​​, and also to act on the Orders received in the Orders Phase.

Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules

The Combat Phase: In this phase, ranged and melee combats occur alternately between players. Detachments that received the Fire First Order can shoot before other Detachments move, which can be devastating for those that chose to move in hopes that they can get into close-quarters combat. After the Fire First squadrons, melee fights happen, then all the Detachments that Advanced can fire as well. Morale checks also happen at the end of each activation, forcing some Detachments to Fall Back, and the Detachments that suffer losses that cause them to go under Half Strength will become Broken – which makes it much harder to fight.

The End Phase: Units with a Fall Back Order attempt to retreat, potentially taking further damage if they must move through enemy Detachments – and they also need to take more Morale checks.

Victory Points are tallied in missions using them, signalling the end of a round and the start of a new one​​.

Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules

And this is not everything according to Games Workshop, as they were just scratching the surface of Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis rules. Legions Imperialis looks like an incredibly fun and fresh game in the GW range, with some beautiful miniatures and scenarios that couldn’t happen in any other 30k or 40k match (outside of 15000 point bouts).

The newest game of the biggest wargame company in the world goes up for preorder this Saturday – on the day of the Warhammer World Championships Reveals, so don’t miss out on either of them!

The pictures are property of Games Workshop

Warhammer The Horus Heresy Legions Imperialis Rules Revealed by Games Workshop
Bence Loksa
Bence "Atreus" Loksa is a freelance journalist and League of Legends shoutcaster, covering all things esports and gaming, also yelling loudly at big plays happening on the Summoner's Rift. While his main focus is Riot Games' hit MOBA, he also dabbles in Call of Duty, VALORANT, and as of recent, the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40,000 - where he looks to make some grudges with his Leagues of Votann army.