I have played every version of Titanicus and Epic that Games Workshop has published. This weekend’s launch of Legions Imperialis has been the longest of gaps.

Finally the wait is over though and I have the latest iteration in my hands. So what do I think of the big battle systems return to its roots in the Horus Heresy, the starter set and brand new plastic kits?

In short, overwhelmingly impressed, especially with the new plastics. The sepia artwork style of the boxes and the rulebook is very much in keeping with the much loved Horus Heresy ‘Black Books’ from Forgeworld. It does not look out of place alongside the Horus Heresy and Titanicus campaign books, which also sport the same black scheme and hopefully a style they will keep going across all three games. The books do look great together (even despite a few design layout consistency issues, which I really wish they would pay more attention to. Details matter to an old geek like me).

Horus Heresy books on shelf

Wibbly wobbly books spines aside, the rulebook looks great, that same Forgeworld and black books heresy aesthetic flowing throughout the contents. The rulebook is nicely laid out with everything easy to locate and has enough formations and detachments for the Legions Astartes and Solar Auxilia to provide some nice core army building choices.

Force selection follows a similar approach to the original Space Marine game and is based on ‘core’ and ‘support’ detachments which make up overall formations selected from one of the primary army lists; Astartes or Solar Auxilia. Similar to second edition, you can include allies totalling up to 30% of the overall force cost. Hence at least 70% must be made up from your primary faction. These allies can be selected from another list, for example including Solar Auxilia as allies alongside an Astartes formation, or visa versa. They can also be selected from the allied Knight households and Titan Legios.

I like this approach, it takes me right back to my childhood when I first played “Space Marine” and even second edition when you could build your army using a set of physical core and detachment cards.

*The cards shown are originals from the 90’s when you could buy expansion boxes. Each expansion introduced two new factions and contained the rulebooks and detachment cards in a single box. No models, just the rules and card stock along with any new tokens being introduced. I had endless fun mapping out aspirational future lists using the cards, which I would then use to determine which models I needed. Full spectrum hobby!

New cards new miniatures

At the time of writing I don’t have any of the new army cards in hand, the first run sold out quickly, but I’m sure Games Workshop will do a second print run at some stage and other decks will follow for future expansion waves or campaign books. At least I hope so. So what did I actually spend the weekend working on?

Solely the new starter set box for now. My goal is to assemble and paint an initial 1000 points of Blood Angels for gaming and learning the Legions Imperialis rules. So far I’ve assembled some of the tanks in the starter set, the Sicarans, Predators and some Leman Russ. I cannot express just how good these kits are, both in design and the crispness and density of detailing. I know it has become a bit of a cliche saying “these are the best kits I have assembled from Games Workshop” whenever a new kit is released, but in all honesty, these really are! The Leman Russ warrants a special mention as it practically assembles itself, the parts are so well designed and tolerances so precise.

The Predators come with duplicate turrets, so you can field both options. No magnets are necessary, the turrets sitting in the hulls with a lovely snug fit. That being said, I still magnetised the turret side only purely because I plan to transport the army in a magnetic carry case. That means I can take all the options with me just sat on the magnetic plate ready to be swapped out. The Russ I haven’t magnetised as you need to make a choice between the battle cannon and vanquisher cannon during assembly. I guess the weapon options could be magnetised also, but for me it’s not worth it at this scale, given I will almost certainly be getting more anyway.

Oh, yes I did drill the tops of the Deimos chassis exhaust stacks. No, I don’t recommend doing it in retrospect, but I’m committed now.

Magnet sizes

For the infantry and walker bases I’m using 5mm x 1mm disc magnets. I’ve tested these on both a steel baking sheet and the magnetic trays in my carry cases and found them pretty much perfect. They contact secure enough to hold in pace and not move around, but peel away without much resistance, so the model isn’t put under any undue stress. I will probably use these on the tank bases also if/when I decide to base the tanks for storage and transportation. I’m probably 90% decided I’ll base my tanks. Not just for safe storage and transportation, but also because the barrels, sponsons especially I can see being fragile. I don’t think it would be long before these start breaking due to rough handling or catching when lifting in and out of foam trays.


The Sicarans come with the seating for 6mm x 1mm disk magnets already pre-built into the turret collar and hull ring. They are not at all required by any means as the turrets fit securely just under compression. However, I like the fact the designer has provided the option for modellers like me who both like the snap a magnet makes when dropping turrets in, and secondly for the same storage reasons I mentioned earlier with the Predators. The Sicarans, like their Predator cousin come with both turret options fully available in the kit, so you can swap between the Battle Tank and Sicaran Omega at will. Another much appreciated detail in the new kit.

Next up

With the hobby time I have during the week I plan to get the remaining Leman Russ frame built and start prepping the core infantry detachments. I’d like to get the Sicarans primed and ready for painting over the weekend so I can get some idea what the formation will look like on the tabletop. Off table, I need to start digesting the rules and planning out the force selection.

As Legions Imperialis first weekend goes, I am blown away with the content so far. I cannot wait to get some games in and see where this takes me.

And I haven’t even started thinking about terrain and the new ruin kits yet. So much to look forward to in the coming weeks and months. Follow the blog and my social media for updates as I build out new forces and the painted collection to date. The Blood Angels is literally just the speartip for what’s to come.

Have a great week!