The Horus Heresy Previews Roundtable

Last week Games Workshop revealed the true extent of the new edition of Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness and in the time since they’ve been going hard on previews and showing off what’s coming for the game. In this roundtable our resident heresy enthusiasts gather their thoughts and give their perspectives on the previews and the new edition.

Let’s start with overall impressions. After what feels like forever, the wait is finally over. Was it worth it?

Lupe: Absolutely. It’s hard to overstate just what a wall of releases this is. They’re not just doing stuff in plastic, accessible to a whole new audience, that heresy fans wanted, but things they didn’t dare hope would happen. This isn’t just Games Workshop bringing a new edition out, this is a transformative step in how they support and promote the game.

Thundercloud: Well this is the reveal of the worst kept secret of the last year. It’s great. It’s a reasonable-sized army in a box, and should certainly give me (with some special weapons) the 1k Zone Mortalis army I wanted. The beakies look great, the Contemptor looks very like the original Epic plastic one, and I’m looking at the Praetors thinking what legions I could do them as. This is the launch of a new core game for GW, and opens up the possibility of not just new classic marines, but new plastics for other Imperial factions like Mechanicum. 

TheChirurgeon: I’m excited to see the deluge of new plastic kits, at the very least. I’ve always been lukewarm on Heresy overall but I have a pile of unpainted Word Bearers waiting to get some love and I can’t imagine I won’t be adding to it. The new models just look great and I desperately want the new plastic contemptor and sicaran kits they’ve been showing off.

Contemptor Kevin: Yes.  This release takes the coolest stuff – the stuff that drew me into the world of Warhammer to begin with – and makes it easier to collect, assemble, and customize.  

LordTwisted: This is the rebirth of the Heresy. Everyone knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make the releases any less special – we have a full suite of rules, an incredible box to get newcomers into this game, and a complete reboot of the core units in plastic. As the author of our Heresy series, I can’t overstate how important that is – no more having to dance around the price of a Deimos Rhino being more than its points cost!

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

What are you most excited about with these reveals?

Lupe: I have no idea how I’m saying this but the upgrade kits. The special and heavy weapon kits are something I never even considered could happen, and it’s a fantastic move. I suspect 40k players are going to find these an enormously helpful resource too – who doesn’t want a load of weaponry for projects.

Thundercloud: Mark VI marines. RTB01 is what I started the hobby with, and now they’re back baby. The weapon sprues dealt with my questions regarding how they’re doing the special and heavy weapons, and look like a great way of handling them (though it’s going to lead to swapsies because I’m not going to need ten heavy flamers). 

TheChirurgeon: Honestly? The new Rhino. I’ve wanted an updated plastic rhino for a while now to match the one that Sisters of Battle got and the new kit just looks great. I’m going to buy so many of those for both Heresy and 40k. Also the plastic Spartan, but we already knew about that. I’m going to buy the hell out of that boxed set.

Contemptor Kevin: The Contemptor Dreadnought.  As much as I love my multitude of small resin sons, the process of obtaining the weapon options, cleaning the kits, and then assembling it was always kind of annoying.  Furthermore, the original plastic Contemptor had sculpted livery that made it a bit too obviously a loyalist machine.  The new Contemptor is not burdened with those weaknesses, so the customizability is through the roof.  

LordTwisted: The upgrade kits are out of left field, and now that they’ve announced them I am wondering why they didn’t do this sooner. I think this is going to be great for 40k as well. It means we’re going to see a huge variety on the tabletop.

Has there been anything you didn’t care for?

Lupe: I was hoping to glimpse the Leviathan dreadnought that I feel like has to be on the way but, honestly, that’s the mildest most minor quibble. It was a fantastic presentation.

TheChirurgeon: Oh man a plastic Leviathan would be so good. There wasn’t really anything in the previews so far that I haven’t liked. Maybe Mark VI armor, just because it’s not really my jam and it looks like the new models are going to scale creep sit half a head taller than my Mark III/IVs.

Thundercloud: Contemptor looked pretty plain on the front, though I know painting and transfers and sculpting can fix this. 

Contemptor Kevin: Echoes of Eternity’s release date was not announced, as far as I can tell.  

LordTwisted: Look, I’ll put my hand up and say Mark VI would not have been my first choice. The models look amazing, but Mark II would have been more “heresy” to me. I am just a grognard though. 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

What did you think of the new addition to the range – the Kratos?

Lupe: I was not expecting this to be such a pretty tank, or basically as big as a Spartan. It’s a huge model, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. The volkite option is especially cool looking.

Thundercloud: Well we knew another tank was coming, and it’s a nice big beast with lots of different weapons systems that saw it get replaced by Predators (smaller, easier to maintain, need less types of ammunition hauled to them, etc). There’s a lot of tread heads in 40k, and this will make them very happy. 

Contemptor Kevin: The Kratos is sufficiently cool that it is *almost* enough to make me reconsider buying the launch box, so that I can get three of them.  

LordTwisted: Alas, poor Malacodor, I knew it well… this is a great replacement for a “battleline” tank which brings more “heft” than a Predator, while not being as big as a super heavy. I’m intrigued by the variety of weapon types, can’t wait to see it on the field. 

How about that plastic Sicaran?

LordTwisted: I’m buying two.

TheChirurgeon: Same.

Contemptor Kevin: I could go into a long explanation about why this is the best thing for Space Marine players since the Iron Hands Supplement. In fact, I will.

LordTwisted: It’s a great reimagination of a striking, Heresy-specific sculpt which you could only get in resin. It also means we’re more likely to see the alternative variants on the table which is great as they were less used as you had to buy a whole new tank every time you wanted a new turret. I think it will be a firm staple of most armies.

Thundercloud: Plastic Sicarians give marine players a lovely medium tank that they don’t have already, in a material that isn’t a pain to deal with. HH players will likely field squadrons of the things backing up Kratos’s in tankapalooza lists, and they’ll look damn good doing it. I’ll be playing ZM lists so it might be a while before I get one, but if I step outside of grimy corridors then it’s one of the first items on my shopping list.

Contemptor Kevin: The plastic Sicaran Tank is the single best thing for Space Marine fans since every First Founding Chapter got a plastic Primaris special character. The Sicaran is probably the coolest and most striking piece of Horus Heresy armor, but it did have drawbacks being entirely resin. To whit: 1) The gates holding the halves of the main Hull were very, very thick and ugly unless cut precisely with special tools and sanded down. 2) The bottom hull piece was a thin piece of resin that tended to have ever such a slight bend that was hard to see, but noticeable when trying to fully assemble it. 3) Other gates were in slightly weird places that made the thing awkward to fit together. By combining my favorite Space Marine tank kit with plastic, this adds significant Horus Heresy spice that I think the Mark VI kit, on its own, was a bit lacking for everyone but Alpha Legion and Raven Guard.

I’ll be buying two.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

What do you hope will be announced in plastic in the future for Heresy?

Lupe: The Leviathan dreadnought is a must for me. A Mark II marine kit would be amazing, but honestly, I can’t be too greedy with this. A Deimos predator to go with the new rhino would be amazing, and seems more likely.

Thundercloud: My personal hope is MkII Crusade armour. If they’re doing tactical marines as a single frame then MkII seem a lot more feasible, as does MkV Heresy armour.

Contemptor Kevin: The Sabre tank.  Easily the most adorable tank within the Heresy lineup (and arguably the most adorable vehicle currently produced by GW), a bunch of Sabres surrounding the mother Kratos would look *adorable* 

LordTwisted: Plastic Leviathans and Mark II would be the sweet spot. Perhaps an Assault Marine upgrade set? Seems logical given what we’ve seen so far. 

What legion(s) will you be painting the new box as?

Lupe: Alpha Legion for sure. The mk VI will look fantastic in the scheme, and it’s very fluffy. I’m delighted at the 20 marine rebox of the mk IV though so I can keep using them for my veterans and seekers.

Thundercloud: I’ll be starting with a ZM Blood Angels force, and I’ve already got some done. But it’ll be a Praetor, ten Cataphractii, some tacticals and a Contemptor. The Tacticals will pull double duty with my Rogue Trader project, and I’m thinking heavily of a Rangdan Xenocides era First force if they give us plastic MkII. 

Contemptor Kevin: Ultramarines and Sons of Horus/Black Legion.  While I’m not a huge fan of beakies for either Legion, I have spare heads from other Heresy projects that will fit nicely on those marines.  The Contemptor will be joining the Thirteenth Legion, while the Land Raider Spartan will *likely* become the Horusmobile.  

TheChirurgeon: I’ve got a bunch of Gal Vorbak and a Mhara Ghal that have been waiting for me to finally sit down and start painting Word Bearers and it looks like that time has finally arrived.

LordTwisted: Anyone who knows me, knows I am a true follower of the flames. It has to be the Salamanders. 

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

We were told the box price would be under £200 or $300. What do you think of that?

Lupe: I’m honestly shocked. That’s making this shape up to be one of the best value boxes they’ve made for years. It’s a mountain of plastic, and even if it clocks in at £199.99 it’ll be a steal.

Thundercloud: It’s sort of veering towards you have to buy it, followed by if you need to buy more tacticals should you just buy a second box. I think it’s inevitable that the Spartan, Leviathan and Contemptor (with the extra weapons) will be made available in 40k, and possibly the tactical marine entry gets a rejig to add chain bayonets, volkite special weapons, etc.

Contemptor Kevin: It’s a box for $300, and basically has a full 2000 point force for 40K.  I don’t know if there is a better deal Warhammer-wise in a very long time, if ever.  

TheChirurgeon: I’ll reserve my judgment for whether it comes in at $260 or $299. Even at $300 I’ll be picking one up, but that’s a pretty hefty tag for a starter box.

LordTwisted: I think I’ll take two.

Final Thoughts

Thundercloud: Well I’ll need to sweet talk my wife a bit regarding this given it will be coming swift on the heels of two Chaos Knight boxes. But beakies were my first non-Space Crusade marines, so I must buy them. It’s nostalgia. 

Contemptor Kevin: I’m gonna have to skip all the other cool reveals made during Warhammer fest, so that I have the time, space, and money for this box, some heavy weapons, a Deimos Rhino, and a pair of Kratoses.  

LordTwisted: I’d better finish this Mastodon I’ve been sitting on since my wedding day, and clear out the display cabinet. The Heresy is back, baby. I am just slightly concerned at the amount of re-writes I’m going to have to do…

TheChirurgeon: Sure, I’m in. Let’s do this.

Lupe: I’m never going to financially recover from this.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

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