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Horus Heresy: Legion Centurion

Greetings one and all

In the last article in the Horus Heresy series, we covered the HQ choice available to the Space Marine Legions. However, I left the Legion Centurion out due to the sheer number of Legiones Consularis options there are. So in this article, I aim to cover the different kinds of Centurions and the different Legiones Consularis available, starting by going over each of the Legiones Consularis and their types, what Consularis they can take and finally, if their worth taking on that Centurion.

Legion Librarian - A Centurion with this upgrade gains the Psyker-Subtype and may select a single Core Psychic Discipline (Biomacy, Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis, Telepathy, or Thaumaturgy) from any Legion-Specific Discipline available.

On top of this, a Librarian may replace his Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol or Combi Bolter with a Force Weapon at no cost and can even be given a Psychic Hood at +15 points. A solid Consularis, most of the Psychic disciplines are good, or at least useful (though Pyromancy and Thaumaturgy aren’t great). I wouldn’t suggest a Psychic Hood unless you're facing a Thousand Sons army though as it’s not entirely worth the points, unless you can guarantee there’ll be psykers to affect.

Legion Master of Signals - This guy's Special Ability Strategic Comms grants this Consul the ability to allow any friendly units to use Master of Signals Leadership for Pinning or Morale Checks once per turn. It also allows the controlling player to re-roll all Reserves rolls, as long as the Master of Signals isn’t in Reserve himself.

The Master of Signals also comes with a selection of wargear; a Cognis-Signum, Vox Disruptor Array, Augury Scanner and Nuncio-Vox. All of these are great bits of kit and now, the Vox Disruptor Array is even better with the latest FAQ, which means you can turn it on or off at the start of the game turn.

Overall I think this is a great Support HQ choice, with a whole host of useful abilities they can give to your army.

Legion Esoterist - A very interesting choice and at the moment, one that is difficult/impossible to write much about as it relies on a book and army list that hasn't come out yet.

Broken down simply, the Esoterist gains access to the Aetheric Lighting and the Anathemata Psychic Disciplines, which are centred around the summoning and banishment of Daemons. Depending on your Legion's loyalties will dictate which path in this discipline you gain access to.

I’ll update this Consularis when more information becomes available.

Legion Champion - This guy is a Combat beast who gains a Weapon Skill of 6. They also get the “Never Back Down” rule, which basically means they must either issue a Challenge or accept one if possible in Combat and while they are engaged in a Challenge, all friendly models in the same Combat gain the Fearless special rule. Add to this the fact that the Champion gets a Paragon Blade for free, and this is a very powerful Melee HQ choice.

I strongly suggest taking this Consularis on the normal Centurion or the Tartaros Centurion.

Legion Delegatus - If for some reason you didn’t have the points spare for a Legion Praetor but really wanted the Master of the Legion special rule, take this guy. He also has the special rule “Rally the Legion”. Once per game you may use this ability, make a Leadership test. If you pass, all friendly units in Line of Sight that are Pinned or Falling Back immediately Rally, so are therefore no longer Pinned or Falling Back and so can act normally this turn.

Overall, this is a handy HQ to have. The Rally the Legion special rule is really good, but I still feel the Praetor is a better option.

Legion Chaplain - So I feel this guy exists to turn Close Combat squads into unstoppable murder balls. With a boosted Leadership (Ld 10) and granting units he joins both Stubborn and Hatred (everything), you throw this guy into a 20-man Assault Squad and just watch them become an unstoppable force.

Legion Vigilator - All Legionaries are expert Marksmen, but the Vigilators skill borders on the supernatural. Gaining the “Marked for Death” special rule, you can pick a unit type at the start of the game and you then get to reroll To Wound rolls of a 1. Furthermore, the “Master Sniper” rule grants Shooting attacks made with Weapons that have the Sniper special rule Rending (2+) and Shell shock (1). He also gains a Master Craft Nemesis Bolter and Melta Bombs at no extra cost.

If you are not shouting ‘Boom, Headshot!’ every Shooting Phase, you’re doing something wrong. I suggest targeting Characters, Apothecarys and the like.

Legion Pathfinder - I’m honestly at a loss as to why you’d take this guy, unless you're building a fluffy list. Sure you get “Scout”, “Infiltrate”, “Move Through Cover” and “Pathfinder” special rules, which increase your Movement to 8 inches and gain the “Skirmish” Sub-type, but honestly the trade-off seems way too steep.

So, what’s this trade-off? You lose your Artificer Armour and get a suit of Scout Armour (or to put it in terms of numbers, you lose a 2+ Save and get a 4+ instead) and get a Master-Crafted Astartes shotgun, both of these for no extra cost. How generous…

Legion Herald - Okay, I won’t lie, I like this guy a lot. He’s “Fearless” (which he gives to the unit he joins), causes “Fear” (1) and has a “Legion Standard”.

So, let's break this down; Fearless is great, say hello to automatically passing Pinning, Moral and Regroup tests; Fear (1) reduces enemy units' Leadership by 1 and so they’re more likely to break and run; then lastly, the Legion Standard makes them a Line unit, which means they become a Scoring unit. Furthermore, this is all given to any unit they join, so those really tough Elite units now become even more flexible.

I strongly advise you DO NOT give this Consularis to a Cataphractii Centurion though, without a really good reason: Fear (1) makes it more likely an enemy unit will Break in Combat and you can’t Sweeping Advance in this Armour type.

Legion Forge Lord - In case Space Marines weren’t enough for you, the Forge Lord allows you to bring Mechanicum Thallax Cohorts. The Forge Lord also gains “Battlesmith” (4+), “Master of Automata” and “Legiones Thallaxes” special rules. Battlesmith (4+) will allow the Forge Lord to repair his Thallax charges, while Master of Automata allows him to join a unit that includes one or more model with the Automata unit type. Finally, Legiones Thallaxes allows you to take 3 Thallax Cohorts with you, as found in Liber Machanicum Pg 35.

These are fairly nice units, which are tougher than Legionaries and carry some serious firepower, but I’m not sure how they synergise with the rest of a Legionary army.

Legion Primus Medicae - Ever wanted to give your Terminator Squads an Apothecary? Well, with this guy you can. Seriously, giving an already ridiculously tanky unit “Feel No Pain” (5+) is a great idea. Oh, and Primus Medicae also gets the “Sacred Trust” special rule which allows for a re-roll on failed “it will not die” rolls, but this isn’t a particularly useful ability I feel. It really only applies to Dreadnoughts or vehicles.

Legion Siege Breaker - Do you like Phosphex? Then this might be the guy for you, but we’ll get on to that in a minute. The Siege Breaker gains “Sunder” (for what it’s worth), but it’s with his Art of Destruction special rule that things get interesting, because he grants other units within 6 inches the Sunder rule as well (okay, that's much better).

The Siege Breaker also gains a Nuncio-Vox and three Phosphex bombs at no additional cost. But, he also allows you to buy Phosphex shells for Legion Rapier Carriers armed with Quad Launchers at +20 points per model, and the same for Arquitor squadrons armed with Modbus Bombards, again for +20 points per model.

Legion Armistos - It might seem that the Master-Crafted Heavy Weapon is the main selling point of this Consularis, but it’s not. The Cognis-Signum is. This item allows the model equipped with it to forgo their own Shooting Actions and grant all other models in the unit +1 to their Ballistic Skill. Oh, and it grants them the “Night Vision” special rule. So give the Armistos the Heavy Bolter and stick him in a Heavy Support Squad, or maybe a Tactical Support Squad, and let him give them +1 BS and watch them tear things apart.

Legion Moritat - Storytime! This was the first model from the Horus Heresy game I ever bought, so it goes without saying I really like the idea of this Consularis. Now, is it any good? Well… Yeah.

With this Consularis you gain the “Scout”, “Counter-Attack”, “Bitter Duty” and “Chain Fire” special rules, which are all quite nice. In fact, Chain Fire is one of the longest and most complex rules in the game, but in essence it allows you to make 6 attacks with each Pistol Weapon the model is armed with. There are some nuances that I’m skipping, but I’m sure you can all read and work it out yourself in Liber Astartes or Liber Hereticas pg 113.

The Moritat comes equipped with Rad Grenades and a second Bolt Pistol which can be swapped out for any of the Pistol options from those available to the Centurion, and I think if you’re wanting the most bang for your buck, two Volkite Serpentas seems to be the way to go. Or… You can go really dumb and give him one or even two Disintegrator Pistols. Sure he’s gonna die really fast, but the idea of this guy with a Jump Pack, Jumping about with a full squad of Destroyers committing war crimes everywhere and dying in a blaze of glory just sounds so cool to me.

Legion Mortificator - Did you ever want to field a Techmarine with a pet Dreadnought? Well, now you can. No, seriously, this allows you to field another Contemptor Dreadnought and a Mortificator.

The Mortificator gains the “Keeper of the Dead”, “Ancient Devotion” and “Battlesmith” (6+) special rules. So let's break down these rules; Keeper of the Dead allows you to gain a Contemptor Dreadnought within the same HQ slot as the Mortificator, allowing the Mortificator to join the Contemptor Dreadnought as a single unit; Ancient Devotion gives the Dreadnought in the unit the It Will Not Die (5+) special rule; and then there’s Battlesmith, which allows you to repair the Dreadnought in your unit.

Basically, this is all about keeping that Dreadnought alive and wrecking face. And considering how OP Contemptor Dreadnoughts are, it’s incredible that with this, you get one for 115 points! It seems ridiculous.

Legion Praevian - Much like the Forge Lord, this model allows you to take units from the Liber Machanicum book. The Pravian gains the “Master of Automata” and “Legiones Cybernetica” special rules, the first of which allows him to join units that have at least one model with the Automata unit type, while the second allows you to take one Castellax Battle-Automata Maniple or one Vorax Battle-Automata Maniple into battle. These units though share the same organisation slot as the Pravian.

I don't really think this is a very good Consularis though, I think the Forge Lord is much better in my opinion.

With the various Consularis now covered, it's time to look at the Legion Centurion and its variants to better understand which Consularis best suits which Centurion type.

Legion Centurion - The ‘basic’ Centurion, this guy comes with a suit of Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Chain Sword and a Refractor Shield. His stats are nothing to sneeze at as you can see.

The Centurion also has access to a large number of Weapons, but not a Paragon Blade which is a bit of a shame, but still, many Legions have Legion-Specific Weapons that are really good and if your Legion doesn’t, might be worth giving him a Power Weapon, Thunder Hammer or Power Fist if you intend on getting into Close Combat. But really you don't take Centurions for the base model, you take them for the Legiones Consularis and given the flexibility of the Centurion, he really is a good pick for any of them and the basic Centurion can take any of them.

Though that said, if you want your Consul to be a bit more sturdy, maybe go with one of the following Terminator variants.

Legion Cataphractii Centurion - For those of you that read my last HQ overview, you’ll know I’m not a great fan of the Cataphractii Terminator Armour if you’re going to be getting into Close Combat. That said, it is the only Centurion that gets a 4+ Invulnerable Save and an extra Wound, so it’s 100% the most survivable Centurion option.

The Legion Cataphractii Centurion get access to the following Legiones Consularis: Legion Librarian, Legion Esoterist, Legion Champion, Legion Forge Lord, Legion Primus Medicae, Legion Siege Breaker, Legion Chaplain, Legion Delegatus, Legion Herald, and Legion Mortificator.

Bear in mind though, you can’t Sweeping Advance in this Armour, so I think Consul choices like Champion, Herald and Chaplain are a waste on this version of the Centurion. Primus Medicae isn’t a bad shout though if you want a really tanky unit of Cataphractii Terminators to be bumped up to ungodly levels of hard to kill.

Legion Tartaros Centurion - This Centurion hits a nice sweet spot I feel. If you want a Terminator Armoured Centurion then this is the one you want, especially if your planning on going Melee Heavy.

The Legion Tartaros Centurion get access to the following Legiones Consularis: Legion Librarian, Legion Esoterist, Legion Champion, Legion Forge Lord, Legion Primus Medicae, Legion Siege Breaker, Legion Chaplain, Legion Delegatus, Legion Herald, and Legion Mortificator.

As the Tartaros Terminator Armour is capable of performing Sweeping Advances, it’s perfect for Champions, Heralds, Chaplains, and all Consuls that have a high likelihood of needing to perform such a manoeuvre.

So, I hope that this has answered all your questions about Legion Centurions and the Legiones Consularis. As always, there are some great chances to create some unique characters, so get out there and do it. Whether you make fluffy lists or super competitive ones, there's a way to make these Heroes of the Legion work for you.

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