+ Legio Nikator rules musing +

+ Hitting the concrete +


+ Let's get back to looking at models and painting. Two maniples of Legio Nikator are gearing up to face Lucifer216's Legio Kerberos in a game this weekend – our first for more than a year. +

+ As is traditional, I'm not playing any of the forces I've painted in the interim – Blood Angels, Gatebreakers, Dwarfs... no; I'm working on the Titans that have been lurking semi-painted all year. At the moment I'm gradually pushing through a mound of Titanicus weapons:

+ They're a mix of Games Workshop, Forgeworld and Battle Bling. Given that we're still essentially novices to the game, if I use the non-standard pieces, it'll be simply as 'count-as'. We'll have enough to remember! +

+ At a fairly early stage, this is simply a basic gunmetal coat with Solar Macharius Orange picked out; then washed with my go-to mix of black and brown paint, flow medium and water. +

+ The result, as you can see, can be a bit blotchy; so refining them takes some improvisation. Sometimes I want to get a smooth area, so I cover it over with the base layer (here, more Solar Macharius Orange); but if the effects are interesting, I might lean into it and highlight around particular blotches or marks, developing them into weathering and battle damage. +

+ From there I develop the pieces a bit further, adding highlights and picking out detail. Part of what's taking me so long with this project is the fiddly heraldry. Wonderfully absorbing and enjoyable in the freedom it grants, it also imparts a pleasing sense of scale and rhythm to the piece. +

+ I also keep getting distracted by the fun bits, so I now have half a dozen Warlord heads painted. Since I have no intention of fielding six Warlords any time soon, they're all magnetised to swap in and out as the mood takes me. +

+ This work-in-progress shows the result part-way through. This Titan is pretty much ready to walk, though I'll continue polishing and refining as I go. A couple of indulgent Warlord Maniple pics follow:

+ It's not just Warlords on the bench, but Reavers too. My favourite class of Titan, the Reavers are such wonderful little models; with lovely large clean areas for freehanding. The arch on the carapace here will be joined by flanking figures, and go with the Byzantine-style freehand on Old Spiteful [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ Gaming with The Sons of the Temple +

+ With gaming opening up, I've been turning my thoughts to what rules to use. The recently released Loyalist Legios book contains the Crusade Legion rules, and while I wait for the companion Traitor Legios rules to come out, I took some time to muse over the rules I'll use to represent the Legio Sumer-Nikator. +

+ As with any army – as noted in the Creating an Army of Your Own series [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] of articles, coming up with background is a good way to guide you on the path to rules.  Adeptus Titanicus openly encourages narrative play, and one of the key lessons I've learned to creating colourful characterisation is to concentrate as much on your character's flaws as their strengths. +

+ In applying this idea to the Crusade Legion rules, which mostly give you access to rules that represent your forces been exceptionally good at something, I thought it worth considering where the Legio's weaknesses in comparison to their peers lay to help me decide. For example, I didn't think that the hyper-doctrinal and ritualistic techpriesthood of Sumer-Nikator really warranted something like Elite Magos, as most Magi of my Forgeworld are more concerned with esoterica and star-scrying than the practicalities of battle. In my opinion, Elite Magos would be better suited to a more openly martial Forgeworld, or one whose background suggests a very hands-on approach. +

+ You might explore the approach of emphasising one type of upgrade. If your Forgeworld is very well-connected, or supports lots of Explorators, I think that taking proportionally more experimental wargear and odd tech would suit. If your forces are constantly campaigning and very experienced, then putting more weight into stratagems might suit. Perhaps you want to explore an up-and-coming force, in which case you might try to avoid upgrades on the Titans and crew themselves, and instead go for lots of battlefield assets. +

+ For my part, the priesthood of Sumer-Nikator is largely isolationalist, secretive and cabalistic, owing to their historical wars against the Eldar, and their attempts to out-think that farseeing species. I thought that their Legio would suit being a defensive and reactionary force – but a static gunline doesn't really appeal. Musing some more, I decided that since Eldar are very fast, so hanging around is going to get you outflanked. On that basis, the Sons of the Temple also needed to be mobile and hard-hitting. +


+ Legio Nikator's rules +

+ Based on the thoughts above, here's how I'll be play-testing the Legio; at least until the Traitor Legios book comes out.

+ Legio Traits +

Towering Exemplar  The Princeps Seniores works as a mentor as much as a leader, using their knowledge to help the Titan’s in their Battlegroup; this allows one Titan from the same Legio within 6” of the Princeps Seniores each Strategy Phase to gain +1 to Command Rolls as well as re-roll hit results of 1 for the entirety of the round.

+ The hierarchical nature of the Forgeworld seemed to fit the idea of tyrannical, controlling or darkly charismatic leaders; able to adapt on the fly and lend their experience to the Princeps under their command. +

Masters of Defence  Allows the Titans to move within rear arc at full speed and after being on the receiving end of a Charge order (after attacks are made) can back up a full 3” and take one point of heat. 

+ A surprise for any sneaky Eldar, this will hopefully allow for some surprising moves in the heat of combat; particularly when couple with Locomotive Override below. +

+ Legio Stratagems +

Power Reserves (1)  Before rolling the reactor dice to push the reactor play this stratagem and count the roll as a blank instead, automatically. Allowed to be taken multiple times but restricted to once per engine per phase. 

+ Simple but useful, this reflects the Legio's well-prepared and adaptive (some would argue hesitant and reactionary) way of war. +

Locomotive Override (1)  A Titan of scale 9 or 10 can use this in the combat phase to turn up to 180 degrees and then suffers 1 point of Critical Damage to its legs. Important to note that it’s only a Critical Damage, not a Hit so you don’t advance the track, making this less of a drawback than it could be. 

+ What do you do if a Phantom Titan appears behind you? For most Legios, the answer is 'die'. For the Sons of the Temple, the answer is break your legs to turn around and catch it!


+ As mentioned above, Lucifer216 and I have a game scheduled – we decided to use the Open War pack to help generate it, and got the following results:

+ Keep an eye out for the battle report soon! +


[+ If you've found the blog interesting or useful, you can contribute to a 28mm scale Reaver, if you like, by dropping some credits in the Ko-Fi link at the top. +]


  1. Philip HutchinsonWednesday, May 19, 2021

    Good stuff, an interesting and fun selection of rules there. Pleased to see that you took Locomotive Override, which I suggested on your Bolter & Chainsword thread :-) It's good for Warlords particularly, but also very appropriate for a Legio that has campaigned against Eldar, so that's all good. I hope you get to use it and smack whoever has the impudence to creep up on the Manifest Law with a good blow from its Arioch power claw!

    Not sure how into rules optimisation you are, but I'd see a couple of your choices as benefitting Warhounds (and to an extent Reavers) more than heavier Titans. Towering Exemplar is good for Hounds as it mitigates their poor command value (though this is also helpful for Reavers - a 4+ command isn't amazing, particularly if you *really* need to get that Charge order off...). Power Reserves is amazing for Warhounds though. Rolling the Reactor dice for a Warhound is.....not fun. You can end up straight in the orange, or awakening the machine spirit and doing something stupid like just standing still right in a Warlord's corridor arc... The ability to take this (maybe a couple of times) and get two Hounds on full stride and pushing for movement without risking going into the orange is amazing I think.

    For heavier Titans it's less necessary, I think. Warlords and Warbringers have very good reactors - and so does the Reaver, particularly if you avoid sticking draining weapons on them. Personally I don't really rate the draining weapons as the best choices anyway, particularly not on the Reaver, so that's no great sacrifice in my view.

    Anyway, the fun thing is to try this stuff out! I'll be interested to see how you get on. The Engine War cards are excellent - though so far I've not used the environmental effects, just the missions and deployment. Looking at what you've drawn, Warhounds will be happy - a 50% increase in the effectiveness of their repairs and being obscured from the big guns until they get nice and close is excellent for them. Titans with combat weapons will benefit too, of course.

    What is the composition of your Battlegroup? Have you decided that yet?

    1. First off; thanks for the suggestion to take Locomotive Override. I think it should be characterful – and perhaps just as importantly, fun! I'm not opposed to rules optimisation, but personally prefer to play slightly more loosely. Rolling with the ins and outs of a set of rules helps me to get into the mood of a particular Legio (or chapter, or clan, or craftworld...), and hopefully offers the people I play with something a bit different to tightly-honed and much-discussed (and therefore more common) playstyles.

      I very much appreciate your comments on how the different options affect different Engines. I'm very much a fan of Battle Titans over smaller engines, so I guess I'll have to see how a force made up of Reavers and larger works! The list is going to be an Extergimus Maniple of three Warlords, a Corsair Maniple of three Reavers, and an attached Warbringer.

  2. Philip HutchinsonFriday, May 21, 2021

    Good stuff - glad it was helpful!

    That's a nice Battlegroup - a lot of big engines and a ton of firepower. It will be quite intimidating to face, I think. With three Reavers you should have a fair bit of manoeuvrability, as well, and potentially a good melee threat depending on how you equip them. I think I'd take at least two combat weapons in the Corsair, maybe even three, given that you've got a lot of firepower on your other Titans. Must be a big game you're playing though - around 2,500 points?

    I can't resist one further rules comment - is there any reason your Warbringer is a support titan? The Warbringer is an optional component in an Extergimus, and would benefit a lot from the strength bonus. Park it in a good firing lane and start pumping out strength 11 quake shots. It should be able to vent the heat fairly easily as it's got a good reactor and is likely to be low down the target priority list I would guess - I think that the Reavers and Warlords will be attracting most of your opponent's fire.

    Your Titans look fantastic, of course. Would love to get the chance to face off against them with my Warp Runners or Gore Crows one day!


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