Welcome to Horus Heresy Tactica, our series that provides a deep dive in a specific mechanic, interaction or aspect of play in Warhammer: the Horus Heresy.
The Siege of Cthonia sourcebook has brought with it new rules for the newest Space Marines to join the Legions – the hastily mustered and quickly trained Inductii. Inductii marines have appeared in a few of the later Horus Heresy novels, representing the desperate and dangerously accelerated drafting of more and more men into the Legions. GW have tried out a very interesting concept here – “what do 40k chapters look like in 30k rules?” – that has some strong narrative potential even if the rules are a little variable. In terms of story driving rules we think it’s an interesting application of the idea, and should please the segments of the Heresy community who are particularly story driven.
Inductii are raw troops pressed into power armour and pumped full of new organs, combat drugs and hypoconditioning and now, they’re headed to your table – not to shake up the game, but to provide a little variation to your base troops. We’re going to dive in legion by legion to discuss how to use these new rules in your heresy force.
The Inductii Template
Inductii squads are essentially new versions of Tactical and Despoiler squads, with slight changes to their rules to mark them out as a distinctly different unit. The rules for Inductii are divided into general – rules that apply to all legions – and specific, that key off the Legiones Astartes (X) rule unique to each legion. The general rules mark Inductii out as new, unsupported, slight outsiders to the general legion structure – you can’t add independent characters or apothecaries, for example. Tactical and despoiler squads are not completely replaced, so you can still take those options, and Inductii are support squads, so no replacing your compulsory troops choices with them. It would be very interesting to waive this rule for late-heresy battles where Inductii far outweigh legion veterans and I’d expect to see that in any late-heresy expansions for a quick and easy narrative list building constraint. The general template also rules out artificer armour on sergeants – at base an improvement to the game that I’m sure at this point we’d all like to see more of.
The specific rules change how Inductii squads are built and can act, often with different weapon options, special rules or unit building options. It often consists of losing Heart (6+ FNP and Stubborn on objectives) or Fury of the Legion (+1 to number of shooting attacks if you didn’t move or run) in favour of different special rules. Whether this is a good bargain is very legion dependent. This means that the specific role they play in your army is going to depend on the Legion you’re using. They don’t replace units – you can still have Tactical/Despoiler squads and Inductii – but act slightly differently on the table, in some cases providing a halfway house between the base Tacticals and Despoilers and more specialist units.
Dark Angel Inductii replace Tactical Squads with an all-volkite close support unit. You lose your Hexagrammaton rules, and Fury of the Legion, but the close-range firepower might well be worth it. In a world where we’re all increasingly excited by militia and 5+ save units are spilling out across tables everywhere, a ten man volkite unit for 100 points – with the option to bulk up to 20, and every other tactical squad building option available, you can use these as a cheap and effective replacement for Tactical Support Squads. At base they’re twice the size for only 15 points more. Volkite is good en masse – and here it most certainly is.
Edit: The initial publication of this article got the Emperor’s Children Inductii rule exactly backwards, see below for a more accurate guide!
Playing in to the prideful duelist aspect of the Emperor’s Children, Despoiler Inductii lose access to Heart of the Legion, but gain the option to buy Charnabal weapons (giving them breaching 5+ at worst) and gain a massive Leadership boost (to 10!) in the shooting phase. These guys are going to get where they’re going – difficult to pin, very hard to force a failed morale check from shooting. But when they get into combat all that pride has a downside and you’re auto-losing draws by one point as your enemy literally wipes the smug smile off your faces. If you can get over this substantial downside, you can load them up with all the trappings of a standard despoiler squad and while the cost of upgrading every weapon to charnabal weapons is high, a tooled up squad will be able to go toe to toe with elite combat units and – occasionally – win.
IW Inductii get a niche bonus that I think could prove to be surprisingly useful. Tactical Squads that are completely immune to pinning and can be loaded up with Shrapnel Bolters and every other standard Tactical upgrade are a powerful objective-threatening force, and the downside that a unit must always fire at the closest target isn’t the crippling restriction that it first appears. Space Marines are fast, so use their mobility to keep them shooting the right way. If your opponent uses this to put units that the bolters can’t hurt (remember your Legion trait gives you that +1S against vehicles and dreadnoughts) well, then they’ve wasted a movement phase against 100 points of tactical marines – time to punish them with Siege Tyrants. It’s probably not what Iron Warriors players hoped for, but when do Perturabo’s sons ever get what they want?
Possibly my favourite of the Inductii rules, the White Scars replace their Despoilers with Marines desperate to prove themselves against mighty foes. They lose Heart of the Legion and a special 5+ damage mitigation save against wounds inflicted by foes with WS5 and above. If you manage to pull this off at some point during your game, you gain a victory point. There’s a good chance to get a bonus vicotry point with a couple of Inductii units being thrown into impossible combats – and while you might not win against Legion Terminators or high quality melee specialists, taking some power swords or axes (or even a load of Heavy Chainswords) in the unit will mean you’ll at least take some down with you.
I found this quite a weird one until I thought about my long-lost 3rd edition Space Wolf army and its horde of cheap blood claws. Inductii replace Despoiler squads and turn them into almost-40k Blood Claws and very definitely a sword and axe Viking throng, losing Heart of the Legion in the process. You can replace all bolt pistols with combat shields for a tasty invulnerable save and add chainaxes for an additional strength boost. They also gain a bonus to charge distances, though charges become disordered. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, but you’re still benefiting from the Legion trait, giving you a unit that can move, run and charge (with an extra 2 inches), getting +1S from their Chainaxes. It’s not a subtle unit, and the disordered charge will massively impact their output, but remember you still have Spite of the Legion so that additional charge distance will help them get into contact with pinned or falling back units – or anything you’ve taken the characters out of – giving you back that +1 attack.
The Fists, predictably, get big guns and good shooting from their Inductii, adding the template onto Tactical Squads to give them the option to take one heavy weapon per ten models. With Heavy Bolter and Autocannon options, you’re adding a crucial bit of bite to your line squads, and still retain the +1 to hit from the Legion trait. Heart of the Legion is replaced by a once in a game bonus to your heavy shooting from the unit, granting pinning to your heavy bolters or autocannons. The tip here is definitely to take the autos – that rending and higher strength really ups the chances of forcing a wound through and the subsequent pinning test. A unit with two autocannons becomes a solid long and middle range threat, albeit at a substantial size. From a modelling perspective, Fist Inductii give an ironclad reason to bring Mark Seven armour back to the Heresy, so get those old bits box tacticals out – you probably already own the models for this squad.
Someone’s been reading their Aaron Dembski-Bowden because the Night Lords have brought their biggest bastards to the Inductii, changing up the way Despoilers fight in challenges to represent the gang-fighting arseholes they become as Nostromo empties it’s prisons out into the Legion. The rule is a little complex but, in summary, it allows you to nominate two additional models to fight on your Sergeant’s side in a challenge. They fight (on a 2+ dice roll) in a challenge at Initiative step 10. If you’ve bulked up the squad to get your +1 to wound in a fight from outnumbering, you’re laughing like the hideous twisted psychopath you are.
This one confuses me a little – Blood Angels inductii hark back to the legion’s origins as the Revenants, blood and flesh-fed horrors, stopping pursuit in order to consume the bodies of fallen enemies. In game, this applies to Legion Despoiler squads, swapping Spite of the Legion for Revenant Legion. Units with this rule need to win assaults and cause enemies to fall back or be destroyed altogether. If they force this, they gain Fear (1) for the rest of the game. Revenant Legion inductii can’t sweep after combat as they pause to eat the dead. I don’t see this one being particularly useful – Fear 1 is fairly useful, but on a single despoiler squad that can’t take advantage of lower leadership in combat to sweep units, it’s a big ask to lose Spite of the Legion to occasionally, maybe, gain fear. This one feels like a miss, and I can’t imagine many Blood Angels players giving up the utility of Spite to gain this bonus.
NotThatHenryC here. With eighteen Legions to cover, we decided to split the review between two of us. What follows are therefore my own takes on the remaining Legions, for which Lenoon should not be blamed.
The 10th Legion fell back to what it knew how to do best, or possibly worst. They used all sorts of augmentations that Ferrus Manus had previously forbidden to replace deficiencies with the organic bits of their Inductii. The in-game effect of this is to make tactical squads Heavy and lose Fury of the Legion but gain the option of a Phosphex Bomb for the Sergeant and add the Forbidden Augmentations rule. Each turn this randomly either increases the unit’s WS and BS to 5, causes them D3 ap – wounds or does nothing.
This is a solid ability for troops deploying via transports, drop pods and so on. You get out and chuck phosphex at something while rapid firing your bolters. Foot slogging infantry would tend to miss Fury more and also struggle to get close enough for the bomb. Being Heavy is generally a good thing for tacticals, who are likely to get targeted by blasts.
This is a very simple one, but no less characterful or fun because of it. World Eater Despoilers lose Heart of the Legion and gain Ravening Madmen. This means that incoming melee attacks lose a point of strength when rolling to wound but that anyone attacking them (not when they themselves attack) counts their WS as 3.
I think this is likely to help, slightly. Against other WS 4 unit’s you’ll be easier to hit but harder to wound (but lose HotL’s occasional 6+ FNP), which will tend to make approximately no difference either way. But against WS 5 opponents who’d have hit your despoilers on a 3+ anyway, having WS3 isn’t a problem and it’s pure upside. Of course, those units are quite likely to beat your despoilers anyway, just as you’ll still beat most WS3 opponents despite them hitting you on 4s. If you’re sad about losing HotL you can always take Angron, who gives all World Eaters 6+ FNP.
Roboute Guilliman started experimenting with the make-up of his tactical squads during the Heresy in ways that would later influence his work on the Codex Astartes. Spoiler Alert If you haven’t read the Codex Astartes or any 40k Space Marine Codex yet. Ultramarine Inductii can’t get any more Legionaries beyond the 10 they start with but two of them can buy a flamer, plasma gun or melta (though not a heavy weapon), which is great. They lose Fury of the Legion but gain Inexorable, which is excellent. Note though that Fear still affects them. Roboute obviously hadn’t written that bit yet.
So you can have a Line unit with a couple of proper guns who are fairly good at not running away. Stick them in a rhino and off you go. Just try to remember that you’re playing 30k, not 40k.
The Inductii who Mortarion spread into garrisons around the galaxy are, perhaps unsurprisingly, tough. Like many others they can have a have a special weapon for every five guys – an alchem flamer in this case. They replace HotL with Barbaran Resilience, which ends up being basically another slightly complicated form of FNP. It does nothing if there are ten or more of them at the start of a phase though and that’s pretty bad. It means you can potentially get wiped out without ever having a chance at a roll. Even so it’s a squad with a couple of fleshbane flamers and they can do good work for you.
Does unleashing “Unattuned Practitioners” of psychic powers on the battlefield sound like fun? Of course it does! And actually this is pretty good. You get a tactical squad without Fury of the Legion but with a psychic power that gives their shots Breaching 6+. If they muck it up they will suffer perils, with an extra wound caused because they don’t really know what they’re doing. Breaching is very good, so risking a few tactical marines might be worth the risk. They aren’t allowed Asphyx bolters though, so you can’t shred your way to more breaching wounds.
Sons of Horus
Despoilers from Horus’ own Legion work hard to prove themselves to their superiors. This manifests with the “Creed of Brutality” rule, which they get instead of the non-awesome Spite of the Legion rule. If they are within 6” of a friendly Son of Horus who has WS5 or better at the start of the assault phase, they get Rampage (1) and Furious Charge (1) for the duration of the phase. They can also pay a little bit to swap their chainswords for chainaxes. That results in units that will be pretty effective in melee for their cost, particularly when their own Legion ability gives the enemy -1S against them. You do have to coordinate being near something with WS5, and you’re not allowed to just attach a character because they’re Inductii but it shouldn’t be all that hard. Justaerin and Reavers have WS5, as do common things like Contemptors. You’ve probably got a fairly big despoiler squad so getting somebody within 6” shouldn’t be tough. You could either have big squads of these foot-slogging or even go for an armoured spearhead and put them in Land Raiders.
Wannabe daemonhosts, these “empty vessels” are despoilers who have a chance to get possessed at the end of every game turn. They’re more likely to if chased down a fleeing enemy unit or if the enemy Warlord is dead. Then they take a little damage and get the Corrupted and Furious Charge rules for the rest of the game. You can just buy Word Bearer units the Corrupted rule if you want but this is free and furious charge is pretty good to have. It isn’t very reliable of course, but this is chaos after all, and it’ll usually have come into effect by the end of turn 2. This will work best on large squads, perhaps with Lorgar on the board so they can use his LD and avoid anything bad happening. If this goes off when they’re falling back then they regroup automatically thanks to Corrupted, but they’ll still have a wasted turn.
These Despoilers have a WS5 Sergeant to represent a veteran leading the new warriors. They are given relics carried by fallen Salamanders, meaning that one in ten (so probably not enough to really matter) can have a dragon’s breath flamer or meltagun instead of their chainsword. They swap Spite of the Legion for the ability to reroll 1s to hit in melee, which seems like a roughly even swap. Spite doesn’t always work but when it does that extra attack is better than rerolling 1s.
In the fluff, the Raven Guard had some very unfortunate outcomes when they tried to recruit at speed, but unfortunately these rules don’t reflect that. Instead you get a tactical squad that loses HotL in echange for “Unchained Conviction”. This rule makes them run directly away 7” from anything that makes them fail a pinning test, without getting pinned. This seems like a great deal, to me. They don’t need HotL so much because they get 6+ shrouded outside of 8”. Running away instead of being pinned is great because they’re still able to walk back to wherever they came from on your turn. Actually getting pinned would stop them scoring, so compared to that it’s not a huge loss even if you get knocked off an objective. Better yet, you might now be too far away for melee units to charge. The major downside is that it’s kind of a passive ability. You don’t decide whether or when you want to use it.
I play Raven Guard and I like to infiltrate several tactical squads into midfield, where they sit on objetives and send Fury of the Legion barrages at people. This is highly effective now I’ve learned not to deploy right in the way of enemy Contemptors and assault troops but does expose them to danger. Immunity to Pinning is a huge help.
Finally, we have the Blood Angels… or wait are these Iron Hands or Imperial Fists? It turns out that the Alpha Legion painted their Inductii in the colours of other Legions, so the could infiltrate them and cause havoc. In-game this means that the enemy can’t shoot you on turn 1, though they can still freely charge. You also lose HotL. To make the most of this I think you ought to take fairly large units of infiltrating bolt guns and have them fire Fury of the Legion into things like enemy heavy weapon squads on turn 1, while they can’t even return fire. Being Alpha Legion, I imagine there might be loads of other shenanigans you can pull too, because if not why are you even playing Alpha Legion?
Thoughts, suggestions, big-brained ideas on how the Blood Angel rules are good, actually? drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.