While Goonhammer’s A-Team struggles to digest an approximately 900 page rulebook, or at least the bullet pointed summaries, we’ve dispatched our B-Team to offer a deeper – but not too deep – look at the models in Indomitus, and their rules. Clearly with a big 40k release like this you want to do the best possible job, so here are, uhh, our AoS lead, the Adeptus Titanicus guy, and the “jokes” writer.
Games Workshop was nice enough to send us a copy of Indomitus, the new not-quite-starter set for 9th edition, packed full of insane sculpts for both the ever-popular Space Marines, and the soon to be cheapest and most-popular Xenos army, the Necrons. Necrons have been a toilet army for the entirety of 8th edition, so pretty much no matter what happens, they’re going to improve. The datasheets in here don’t include points costs, but if you assume the old 20:1 exchange range rate, you can get a solid idea of what these will run you.
First, some general updates to all the Space Marines in the box. They ran out of regular Bolt Pistols, and they’ve all been replaced with Heavy Bolt Pistols, which are 18” range (!) and AP-1. Storm Shields have been changed as well, to offer +1 to regular saves and a 4+ invulnerable save. The 2+/4++ is nice, but losing easy access to a 3++ is a game-changer in a bad way, which means it’s Good, actually, and also that it Owns. Everyone in here that has a power sword has a Master-Crafted one, which is good for an extra point of S and D, along with the same -3 AP as normal. Finally, chainswords, which are still kind of powered swords, in that they’re a chainsaw, are all AP-1 now.
Greg: For a mere 5 PL, you get the same Primaris Captain statline you know and love – 6 Wounds, 5 Attacks, and a 3+/4++. What makes this particular model spicy is his Relic Shield. In order of importance, it gives him a full second skeleton, which is a new Primaris implant we haven’t seen before, which is weird due to it’s mounted to the shield instead of being inside his body, but who are we to judge? Anyway he also gets +1 to armor saves and a 4+ against Mortal Wounds.
Condit: I wonder if the 4+ to mortals is because they hit the skeleton instead? Like, does a sniper look through the scope and just get so distracted by the pristine skeleton mounted on there that they can’t help themselves except to try and put a hole through it? Do psykers find themselves so awe-struck by the tasteful arrangement of grand-dad’s bones together with the bold yet delicate trim work that they find themselves unwilling – or unable – to direct their warp-spawned power at it? Is the skeleton secretly filled with an industrial-strength Cyber-Febreeze Disperser rigged up by Belisarius Cawl to ward off the noxious gasses given off by Mortarion when he takes to the field after a particularly spicy dinner? These questions need answering.
RagnarokAngel: I’m personally going to go with that the shield is absolutely Cool As Fuck™ and they don’t want to play games with someone crazy enough to bring a skeleton onto the field.
Greg: Volkite! Storm shield! Otherwise the same as the other 30+ lieutenants, except this one is BS2+. Which doesn’t sound like much, but that Neo-Volkite pistol is pretty good, at S5 and D2, plus bonus mortal wounds on a 6+ to wound. 10/10 model, 4/4 PL.
RagnarokAngel: I know this has been done to death at this point but how many Primaris Lieutenants are there? They hand these field commendations out in cereal boxes. I think that pistol is debatable, it cant even pierce my kitchen door.
Greg: Literally the same exact Chaplain as before except his Absolver Bolt Pistol is 18” instead of 16”, while still being S5/AP-1/D2. I’m sure there are good reasons, or at least bad reasons, for this, but it might just be an egregious example of Games Workshop power creep. Those two extra inches are a wildly unfair buff to make me buy this model by invalidating the old one that I never actually bought, and I will not stand for it.
Greg: Wait I read it again, it’s the Absolvor Bolt Pistol, and I guess that’s a different pattern of weapon with a slightly longer barrel or whatever.
RagnarokAngel: I wish my work projects were as easy as changing a letter, but if I wanted that I’d be working in the mobile games industry.
Greg: Finally someone wholly new. The Anime Friend has the same basic stat line as a Chaplain, including the random pistol buff, but loses the Rosarius and litanies, and he picks up an extremely cool sword. Using this Final Fantasy looking weapon, Blade Parry gives him a 4+ invulnerable against melee weapons (hilariously, this means if you stay stuck in long enough to fire your pistols, he doesn’t get the invuln, because that thing can only bat away other swords, not bullets, which has me questioning this idiot’s ki levels). The Executioner Relic Blade itself is a S+3, AP-3, 2 damage beatstick that does a Mortal Wound on 6s to wound. The stupid hourglass he’s constantly shoving in everyone’s face like a big dork is called a Tempormortis, and lets him pick an enemy unit within 6” and make it fight last (anyone within 6”, it doesn’t have to be someone he’s fighting).
Condit: The Tempormortis is a nasty trick when used right – if this guy Heroically Intervenes into a charging unit, he could wiggle his hourglass around to bounce them to the back of the line. And since the player whose turn it isn’t gets the first activation in the main part of the Fight phase, with a little luck your Judiciar could blunt a potentially game-changing charge all on his own.
RagnarokAngel: Not gonna mention the bonus against Firstborn huh? Naw I’m just kidding. I’ll be honest when the reveal first came out this guy got my attention big time, easily the coolest looking model of the bunch and the ability to force an Always Go Last is never to be underestimated. I can’t escape the feeling that this guy looks like a rejected stormcast model though, I can’t put my finger on why. Maybe my AOS bias is showing.
Greg: An Ld9 version of the Ancient who carries a skeleton in one hand and a hand in his other hand which, hell yeah. No longer coming in at an extremely nice 69 points, this one is 5 PL, but on top of the normal ancient abilities, the cool skeleton on a stick – either despite or because of looking like an ice cream dessert at a goth renaissance faire – gives nearby Blade Guard +1 to hit.
Condit: This makes your Bladeguard nearly as deadly as their Captain, and lets them take another swing before they check out to boot.
RagnarokAngel: Also love this dude a lot. One of my big complaints about 8th edition was the big move away from the Gothic inspired aesthetic. I felt like normal Primaris looked too much like generic space men that you might find at a dollar store toy aisle. This guy looks like some friar with a weird bone fetish and I am here for it.
Greg: I love these dudes. Storm Shields for a 2+/4++, 3W, 3A (4A on the sergeant), and all of them are wailing on the robot skeletons in the box with a S5/AP-3/2D Master-Crafted Power Sword. They come 3 to a unit, and with their own personal Ancient they’re hitting on 2s in combat. More importantly, they are very cool and I love them, and at 3 models for 5PL, I expect to be running 15 every single game.
Condit: Their shields may lack the cool skeleton that their Captain is dragging into battle with him, but their swords are very nearly as deadly.
RagnarokAngel: Yes, we know reader, you’re very clever for figuring out that Terminators now have a 1+/2++ save. Good job, we’ll see you in 3 weeks on launch day for how that ends up going for you.
Greg: Now that you’ve invoked the “2++” we’re due another six weeks of this. Thanks.
Greg: Literally just Intercessors, but with a chainsword. The sergeant can take a plasma pistol, if you want to be cool or stupid, but other than getting an AP-1 sword, you already know everything about this unit. The only real difference of note is that the plasma pistol only kills you on an unmodified roll of 1 to hit. Shooting at jets becomes safer, shooting while under a Chaplain’s +1 to hit Litany (the Hitany) becomes less safe, and in general Hot Plasma Death becomes a bit more predictable. They come 5-10 models in a squad, for 5-10 PL, and they look fully sick.
Condit: Greg, I legitimately respect the fact that your first thought about changes to plasma rules was “it would be safer to take a potshot with a plasma pistol at a jet.” Never change.
RagnarokAngel: Seems like it would have been easier to just add chainswords to the Primaris Intercessors datasheet rather than clutter it up with even more stuff but who knows. At least these guys are troops instead of fast attack like some people speculated. Whatever I’m done talking about them, they’re boring.
Greg: The best thing about the old bikes was that the back wheel was a separate bit, so you could model them doing sick wheelies, or leave the wheel unglued and pose them mid-game based on how rad they were being. The new ones don’t have that, but the front wheel does, so if you want to join the Ruff Ryders and do stoppies on Moon Base Klaisus while you wait for your Invader ATVs, you can.
Anyway they’re 14” move with a fixed 6” advance, T5/W4/3+, and mount two bolt rifles, which means they’re putting out 4 shots at 30”. In combat, Devastating Charge gives +2A, on top of the +1 from Angels Of Death, the +1 from the chainsword, and the base 2 Note that while Angels of Death will grant an extra attack whether you charge or get charged, Devastating Charge won’t proc unless you make the charge move. In either case, you’re back to 3A after the first round of combat, which sucks, but at 6PL for a three-model unit, that’s still a bargain for what’s basically two regular Space Marine Bikes stuck together.
Condit: 3 AP-1 storm bolters followed by 19 AP-1 attacks on the charge is going to do some serious damage to anything they manage to run into.
RagnarokAngel: Get in loser, we’re fighting heresy.
Greg: We already wrote about them, but the gist is that you can expect to see 3/6/9 of these in every single marine army for the entire edition, depending on how many Necron players you were able to trade with for extra marine halves of this box. They are rude. Much like the Blade Guard, at 5PL for 3, maxing out on these guys is basically an auto-take.
Condit: Don’t listen to Greg. These guys suck. They’re terrible. You should give them to me so I can, uh, dispose of them appropriately. Yeah. That scans.
RagnarokAngel: As someone who plays as Eldar I’m contractually obligated to get really mad at these guys having better melta than I could dream of (At least for the current moment).
I don’t know anything about Necrons! So this is going to be fun. They seem to mostly be robot skeletons, but some of them look like a junkyard Katamari, and the new Angry Car Parts Monsters are pretty cool.
Living Metal and Reanimation Protocols refer back to whatever those are in the Necrons codex, so they work exactly the same as they do now, and we definitely both know what that is, and I won’t explain it. But for sure I know what it does, definitely.
Greg: Normal overlord, so a lot of 5s here. That is, Movement, S, T, W, and PL (down from 6, in that last case). Once a game this bad boy can crack open a 120” cold one at S12 AP-5 for d6 damage, and otherwise they’re limited to chopping heads with a S+3/AP-3/D3d Hyperphase Glaive. My Will Be Done and the Phase Shifter (4++) are still here, and they gain Relentless March (Aura), a 6” bubble of +1” movement, which helps with the pretty universal 5” move on all the non-skittering robots. Basically if it’s skeleton-shaped it’s moving 5”, if it has knife legs or hovers it’s moving 8”.
As an added bonus, his metal shawl thing makes him look like he’s wearing a big gold chain, which are extremely powerful vibes, and we’d love to see more of it.
Condit: I can’t wait for my friend who plays Necrons to open-palm slam his tachyon arrow down on the table and re-roll a 1 into a 1 for damage. I’m going to laugh so hard and I’m not even going to feel bad about it.
RagnarokAngel: Guy seems decently tankie, shame he’ll likely lose his shooting attack on turn 1 and then hoof it with the peasants. For an army that’s traditionally far more shooty than stabby that’s going to put them in an awkward position. At least this box comes with a solution to that problem.
Greg: Like an immortal but even less mortal, with T5 and 4W, plus a Relic Gauss Blaster with 2 damage. At 4PL for one guy, this is basically the equivalent of a Lieutenant, and Adaptive Strategy allows you to pick one unit within 9” and let it shoot/charge after falling back.
Condit: Adaptive Strategy is a neat trick for Necrons, and I always like to see new and interesting aura abilities. The Relic Gauss Blaster also seems pretty cool, adding not only an extra damage but another shot on top of it, letting you unload with 4 S5 AP-2 shots, each of which will remove an Intercessor if it gets through.
RagnarokAngel: Adaptive Strategy, as stated, is extremely good for Necrons since they tend to be a much shootier army. Otherwise nothing too exciting since it’s basically a hero that lets you point at a thing and put bullets (gauss) into it, but Adaptive Strategy alone is worth the cost and sometimes you just wanna shoot stuff.
Greg: Hovering weirdo with semi-smite. Literally a tactical marine statline, end to end, except for a 4+ save. 4PL, I guess he’s some kind of robot wizard? Honestly I can understand why the Imperium is always trying to kill these guys, they seem insufferable to be around.
Condit: If you wanted a fairly fragile Necron unit that pumps out a steady trickle of mortal wounds if your opponent lets it get near them, well, I guess it’s your lucky day. Mortal wounds with no denial are cool.
RagnarokAngel: I know you wrote yourself into a corner by making some races just not able to be Psykers (and ignored your chance at an out with a series CALLED PSYCHIC AWAKENING) but just give them Psyker abilities anyway and stop messing with all this esoteric “totally not psyker” nonsense.
Greg: Brick shithouse. Someone else write this, I’m getting to the end of my rope with these things, they all do the same thing and I have typed the word “Hyperphase” so much that it no longer has any meaning.
Condit: This three-legged crab/scorpion/robot…thing packs an Enmitic Annihilator, which fires 2D3 S6/AP-1/1d shots into a target within 18”. Plus, it’s got the Blast trait, which means if you’re firing at a big enough squad then rolling snake-eyes actually means you rolled a 3. You also get your choice of melee weapons: the Flensing Claw, which offers a 2-for-1 special on S6/AP-1/1d attacks, or the Hyperphase Harvester, dishing out up to 4 S8/AP-4/3d attacks at -1 to hit. On top of all this, it can re-roll its own 1s to hit and has a 6” re-roll 1s to wound aura for DESTROYER CULT models. And at T6 6W 3+ with a 4+ invulnerable, it’ll probably live long enough to at least annoy your opponent a bit.
RagnarokAngel: Rerolling 1s to wound for Skorpelkh and his own hit rolls is terrifying, especially when the lord already hits on a 2+. This guy fills the most obvious role, which is to buff his own niche of units and as far as that goes he certainly fits the bill. Absolutely looks like a bad ass too.
Greg: Knife-legged weirdos, they can take a plasma friend that can, and I quote “inject tainted energy”. After huffing space glue from the plasmacyte’s weird bag, everyone gets +1A and +1S, but you have to roll a d6 and on a 1 someone gets too high and dies. Which is both extremely cool and also probably not worth the risk on a 3-model unit that runs 6 PL (7 with their grody friend that has the inhalants). Then again, they’re 3A each (hitting on 3s re-rolling 1s) and don’t have a gun, so maybe it’s worth juicing them up. Two of them will get 5 swings, as the Hyperphase Threshers give +1A natively, and the third will be hitting at S8 with its Hyperphase Reap-Blade, which is the Good Strength against T4 marines, and oh yeah also that blade is AP-4 3 damage. Yeah, screw it, get honked up on skeleton juice and go apeshit.
Condit: I’m excited to see how these things play on the table. They look cool as hell and have the potential to do a ton of damage. Plus, at T5 3W with a 3+ save, they’ve got a decent defensive statline that should help them get across the board.
RagnarokAngel: Necrons were basically always worse space marines and one of the ways they were worse is lack of versatility. You were either shooting gauss or staying home and these guys chose another way. It fills a roll that was badly needed in a xenos army so I can’t even make fun of it. I want to see more of this.
Greg: Yeah, these boys are utterly terrifying if they make it into combat, which is good because the box comes with Eradicators, ensuring that they absolutely never will.
Greg: We covered these a couple of days ago, they’re adorable and get way better at punching (6A instead of 3, WS/BS3+ instead of 4+) if they’re hanging out near a Cryptek and blocking shots for them.
Condit: The Plasmancer is your Cryptek in this box, and having 4 ablative wounds for your mortal wound factory probably isn’t the worst thing in the world.
RagnarokAngel: They look like factory rejects and so I imagine them as adorable little puppies protecting the hive fleet from outsiders. From the datasheet though I am constantly annoyed by GW thinking that “Does not take up an org slot” is a bonus. Maybe in 9th, with detachments costing CP, it will have a place but maybe I want them to take up a slot. Did you think of that? No, you never think of what I want.
Greg: I’m scared.
RagnarokAngel: Why, because of this H.G. Wells bullshit? I’d like to see them try…oh. Oh dear. That is nasty isn’t it? Obviously the reason you’re bringing it is the +1 to Reanimation Protocols, but 4 S5, AP-2 attacks in melee or a 12” S6 AP -2 ranged weapon is definitely nothing to scoff at if the enemy gets too close. Generally Necrons are trying to stay back so this is at least another deterrent from getting too close to your precious warriors.
Condit: Oh good. Robots standing back up more frequently. At least this thing looks cool as hell.
Canoptek Scarab Swarms
Greg: Literally exactly the same unit as the 8th edition codex, save for an extra wound (giving them 4) and Feeder Mandibles changed slightly – rather than never wounding on worse than a 5+, 6s to hit auto-wound.
Condit: I love these little guys.
RagnarokAngel: They’re adorable. Honestly not much more to say, there was never much to them but they look so cute doing it.
Greg: Exactly the same, just they look better because they don’t squat so hard and also some of the bits have smashed-up faces and stuff, making them even spookier than usual. Only differences are re-roll 1s on reanimation protocols, and you can swap Gauss Flayers for Gauss Reapers, which are S5 AP-2, at the cost of being Rapid Fire 14”. All of this, plus a discount, 5PL for 10, or 10 for 20 (down from 6/12). The unit can swap guns on individual models, so there’s probably a case to be made for mixing them, which I’m going to let someone better at math or tactics explain.
RagnarokAngel: Not squatting is bad for your metal bones, skipping leg day for 10,000 years isn’t going to end well, believe you me.
RagnarokAngel: I don’t play either of these armies, why the hell am I even here? From a detached point of view though I’m more excited about the Necrons than the space marines. Space marines will sell better but a lot of these are “your favorite old units but embiggened”. Necrons are at least filling some new and interesting niches the army did not use to have, so any excuse to give xenos something genuinely new is something I will support GW in without question.
Greg: The marine half of the box – other than the Blade Guard – are pretty cool, but I don’t think it opens up a lot of new tools – yeah, Outriders are better than regular bikes, and there’s a new Chaplain sculpt, but Eradicators are kind of just Good Hellblasters? Whereas the Necron half really gives them things they never had before, namely “good sculpts for Warriors” and “legitimately horrific close-combat power”, with a solid assist from a few MW generating weirdos.
We do want to note that if you tote up all the PL in the box (again, they didn’t give us points), the Space Marines do come out ahead, but there’s still easily two Crusade starter forces in here.