Thursday, 18 July 2013

Last Stand at Istvaan III - 'The Betrayed' - Loyalist Astartes Army List

- HQ -

Legion Praetor - 197pts
- Cataphractii Armour, Volkite Charger, Master Crafted Paragon Blade, Iron Halo, Grenade Harness
Legion Champion - 120pts
- Artificer Armour, Power Sword, Refractor Shield

Master of Signal - 115pts
- Artificer Armour, Volkite Charger, Refractor Shield

- Troops -

Tactical Squad I - 190pts
- Artificer Armour, Combat Blades, Nuncio Vox, Legion Vexilla

Tactical Squad II - 190pts
- Artificer Armour, Combat Blades, Nuncio Vox, Legion Vexilla

Tactical Support Squad I - 132pts
- Artificer Armour, 4 Volkite Calivers, Boltgun

Tactical Support Squad II - 172pts
- Artificer Armour, 4 Meltaguns, Boltgun

- Elites -

Apothecarion Detachment - 120pts
- 2 Apothecaries, Artificer Armour, Augury Scanner

Contemptor Dreadnought - 210pts
- Havoc Launcher, Heavy Flamer, Extra Armour

Terminator Squad - 350pts
- 9 Terminators, 2 Chainfists, 7 Powerfists

Rapier Weapons Battery - 110pts
- 2 Laser Destroyer Arrays

- Fast Attack -

Javelin Assault Speeder - 110pts
- Twin Linked Lascannon, Multimelta, 2 Hunter-Killer Missiles

Sky Hunters Jetbike Squadron - 160pts
- Volkite Culverin, Meltabombs

Seeker Squad - 245pts
- Artificer Armour, Nuncio Vox, Meltabombs, Rhino with Extra Armour and Heavy Bolter

- Heavy Support -

Heavy Support Squad I - 405pts
- Artificer Armour, 10 Multimeltas, Rhino with Extra Armour and Heavy Bolter

Heavy Support Squad II - 275pts
- Artificer Armour, 10 Autocannon
Spartan Assault Tank - 330pts
- Auxiliary Drive, Flare Shield, Heavy Flamers

Total - 3446pts

This army list is not fixed and has in fact been constantly evolving since I first wrote it back in January. Since then it has grown and changed as the idea behind the army has evolved from the concept of loyalist World Eaters to a ragged band of survivors from all four of the Legiones Astartes present on Istvaan III. Not only does this mean that I shouldn’t get bored while painting the entire army in blue and white but I think it fits more with what we know about those last, dark days at the end of the beginning when brother fought brother and the glorious dream that was the Imperium was cast into the flames of civil war.

While they still bear the colours of their former legions their loyalty is now to none save the Emperor and each other, they have banded together to make the Traitors pay in blood for their betrayal. The Astartes of this ‘army’ are under no illusions, they will die in the ashes of the Choral City of Istvaan III but they will die with honour. None care that they will likely not be remembered only that they take as many Traitors with them as they can.

Chances are as Forge World continue to release shiny new toys the list will evolve again, in fact I’ve already got plans to add a Landspeeder or two once they’re available. The list sits at 3251 points just now and I’m aiming to try to take it up to 3500 points next however my main current goal for the army is to get painting as only one unit is finished at the moment!


  1. There are some neat elements of this army:
    1. The Spartan with a Flare Shield is a beast to try to destroy!
    2. Delivering the Praetor and 9 Terminators into the enemy lines should be pretty devastating.

    However, there are a few glaring weaknesses that a canny opponent will savagely exploit:

    1. The primary weakness of this list is that aside from the Devastator squad with Autocannons there is no anti-aircraft fire present, and they aren't spectacular in that role either. Multiple Storm Eagles, or Emperor forbid, Naval Fleet Asset fighter squadrons will have a field day strafing this army to pieces. Expect those Devastators to suffer their wrath first and then the rest of the army to follow suit. Granted you have a lot of boots on the ground, but 7 S6 AP3 Mega Bolter shots per Avenger Strike Fighter will whittle those down pretty quickly.

    I would consider adding/swapping a Devastator unit's armament for Missile Launchers with Skyfire missiles. Lead by the Master of Signals or a Librarian with 'Prescience' they stand a decent chance of gunning down even a mighty 4 HP Storm Eagle in a single round of fire.

    2. Vulnerability to Super Heavy Vehicles, especially Titans. Yes, you DO have some good high strength ranged AT fire (the Rapiers), but your primary AT seems to be your Multi-Melta wielding Devastators. The issue is that without Relentless (darn FAQ removing Cataphractii from granting that to squads!) they're going to have a hard time bringing that fire to bear before they're outranged and outgunned.

    I think the solution to this is in A)Your Special Weapon squads and B) Your Scimitar bikes. Allow me to elaborate. With your Spartan and Tactical Squads unleashing "For The Legion" bolter storms your force has decent anti-infantry. I'm not sure that Volkite weaponry is really necessary to add to that. I would recommend exchanging your Volkite guns for a second Melta gun equipped squad and Rhino transports. Advancing behind the Spartan for cover they can zoom out and roast any heavy armor that threatens the force. Meanwhile, exchanging your Scimitar's Volkite Culverin for a Multi-Melta gives you the chance to exploit their ability to Deep Strike. Should that fail to eradicate the armor then can assault it in subsequent rounds with the Meltabombs you've wisely equipped them with.

    Best of luck fellow Loyalist!

  2. Thanks for your comments Trent, it's always good to hear other Heresy Era players and collectors thoughts.

    With specific regard to the short comings you identified:

    1) You're right,I do have a massive vulnerability to flying units. Mark this one down to a critical oversight in my army planning. Had I not already bought and assembled both Heavy Support Squads as they're armed in the list I would have equipped Missile Launchers. With only 3 Heavy Support slots on the FOC I'm gonna need to add a second detachment to the force to squeeze them in now, which is a distinct possibility.

    2) Again, chalk this one up to an oversight on my part. However I do plan to counter this with the addition of at least one Javelin Assault Speeder with a Multimelta to accompany the Scimitars and attack armour at a distance. The other plan is to add a Super Heavy unit of my own in the form of a Fell Glaive once I've raised the funds for it.

    I also plan to mechanise the Multimelta Squad so that they can move up/relocate in a hurry if necessary. The two Tactical Support Squads are intended to give their parent Tactical Squads a little more punch just in case they need it and the Autocannon are intended to give enemy Terminators something to think about along with shredding light armour.

    To be perfectly honest the army has been designed around 3 core principles (in order of priority):

    1) The rule of cool. If I liked it and the mini's were cool then it's been added to the list.

    2) What could Loyalists realistically bring to bear in the aftermath of the virus bombing and firestorm...? I've tried to consider what would have been deployed to the surface to begin with as well as what would might have survived.

    3) Actual usefulness on the table based on my style of playing with Space Marine armies. Which to be honest is probably not very well since I'm more of a collector and painter than a gamer.

    1. Hey, I understand the collector mentality entirely. My first purchases were a squadron of Scimitars and Cataphractii just because they looked so cool! Much like you, I'm now forced to theme my army around my purchases. (Hahahaha, Drop force it is then!)

      I absolutely appreciate your thematic construction as well. That's really one of the core aspects of Heresy era gaming, otherwise why not just play "regular" 40K? The background is one of the pivotal driving forces of the game.

      I just know that there are a lot of people out there that are really going to home in on the competitive aspect and we should consider ways to prepare for that inevitable encounter. I know I appreciate the tactical challenge of needing to balance an army to not only achieve the usual 40k victory conditions but also to guard against power armoured hordes, super heavy vehicles, powerful flyers, titans AND Primarchs. What a challenge!

      Now my suggestions were just one possible way of shoring up some tactical gaps in your army and it seems like you've already identified another (Fell Glaive, I like your thinking, sir!).

      Since you don't really want to modify your force due to modeling & beginning to paint them already might I suggest another addition for AA role? - A Storm Raven gunship! Seriously, that thing is an absolute beast to face and just one gives me nightmares. With Two TL Lascannon and a Multi-Melta they are great at engaging rival air power. The thing limiting including one in my force is:

      1) The cost - I'm having a hard enough time just getting the basic units and am doing a ton of swaps for plastic Mk. IV heads & torsos from Templar and Blood Angel sprues. I guess I picked the wrong setting to get hooked on, eh? ;)

      2) Assembling a Storm Raven - I've heard and seen the horror stories involved in assembling one of these things. I used to have the patience for that but my grueling work schedule and other hobbies limit the time I have for such an undertaking. Maybe YOU could handle it though?

      I think including a Storm Raven in your force would fit your "rule of cool" too. It evokes images of Garro rushing to evacuate the embattled Loyalists before the Traitors can eradicate them.

      Finally, I really want to commend you on your blog. There are not many 30K sites out there and the content on yours is very nice. I look forward to seeing your army take shape!

  3. Last things first, thanks for your kind words. I was concerned when I started this blog about finding enough to keep it going. Between my Horus Heresy army, Dystopian Wars fleet and numerous other projects I sometime find it hard to decide what to put on it so it doesn't become to scattered. It's great having everything in one place though, certainly makes it easier for me to keep track of everything.

    On the subject of the Storm Eagle it has come up in discussions I've had with folk how effective an air superiority unit it can be as well as how much of a pain in the a*se it is to build. The most limiting factor for me though is cost although to be honest that quite literally is both the price of collecting a Heresy Era force and one I'm more than willing to pay. Rumour has it that there are plans to re-master the kit at some point to mitigate the problems that have been highlighted with it. However if I could afford one I'd grab one now as it defiantly fits all 3 of my selection criteria.

    There aren't many other Heresy Era collectors in my area at the moment so games are likely to be few and far between for a wee while yet however the possibility of facing the foes you've listed is why I've tried to add some serious 'shooty death' to the army. I'd like to think that even one of the vaunted Primach's might struggle to survive some of the firepower this army can dish out if I play it right.