Warlord Wednesdays: Adeptus Titanicus Legio Focus: Legio Tempestus “Stormlords”

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Welcome back to Goonhammer’s series for aspiring Titan Principes. We here at Goonhammer’s own Collegia Titanica know that Adeptus Titanicus can seem intimidating to players unfamiliar with its particular quirks, but this series aims to equip you with everything you’ll need to play out epic clashes on the battlefields of the far future with your very own Titan Battlegroup. In this series, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the various Legios of the Collegia Titanica – exploring their origins and how to use them on the tabletop, from maniple selection and their loadouts, through to how to command them on the field of battle to secure ultimate victory.

This week, we’re looking at the other Titan Legion released in the Core Rulebook: Legio Tempestus. The Stormlords offer legion traits that lend themselves to a fast-moving offensive playstyle no matter what Titans you want to bring to bear. Read on as we walk you through what this famously aggressive legion brings to the table.

Legio Tempestus titans advancing on a battlefield

A Legio Tempestus Reaver strides forward. Credit: @artisans_of_vaul (Insta)

Who are the Legio Tempestus?

Hailing from Mars and founded during the Age of Strife, Legio Tempestus was one of the first three Legions of the Collegia Titanica, the Triad Ferrum Morgulus. As a result, they have an illustrious honour roll for their efforts during countless compliance actions during the Great Crusade. 

Tempestus were legendary for their ability to strike like lightning, using orbital drops to get their God-Engines right into the front line of compliance actions, and weathering the worst circumstances that would make others falter, earning them the Low Gothic name of the “Stormlords”.

The outbreak of the Horus Heresy saw the Legio schism, with the majority of elements of the Legio, who were with Horus’ Expeditionary Fleets, side with the Warmaster. They would later be known as Legio Tempestor.

The forces on Holy Mars, however, remained true. Their fate is one of the main threads in the novel Mechanicum by Graham McNeil, which you should check out. They fought gloriously against overwhelming odds in a last stand against Legio Mortis, making them pay a heavy price to take Magma City. 

Some of the loyalists survived the Horus Heresy and have moved to defend a new Forge World, Orestes. They’ve since been involved in various wars, including the Sabbat Worlds Crusade in M.41. 


Painting Legio Tempestus

Yes, that is an Imperator Titan. Credit – @artisans_of_vaul

We asked our friend Neil (@artisans_of_vaul) for his method for painting up his gorgeous Stormlords battlegroup. 

In the background they are described as having a “cobalt blue” armour, which to me meant something slightly metallic/ shiny in appearance. I went for a blended, mottled look which looks different to the urban camouflage style in one of the HH books; this was intentional to set them apart as being Loyalist (though these colours could easily be used to make an urban camo scheme).

First things first, this does require an airbrush for the armour plates, especially for the final layers. If you don’t have an airbrush I can’t emphasise enough how worth your time and money it is to get one. It turns the “tedious” parts of painting into a quick and painless process allowing you to get onto the more fun bits!

WIP shot of the Imperator .Credit – artisans_of_vaul

  1. Basecoat in black.
  2. Airbrush most of the armour using Gungrey Air from Vallejo (71.072) but leave some patches black.  I normally do this in a combination of painting quick wiggly “lines” over the armour plates that cross over one another at random.
  3. At this point you need to start being more selective with the airbrushing to bring out the interesting patterns in the lines you have just created.  Add thinner lines over the middle of some of the Gungrey, I normally focus on where the lines cross as well using spots/mottles of the lighter shades. First Shining Silver from Army Painter and then even thinner lines of Speed Metal from Scale Colour.
  4. Pick out the panel lines and around the trim using Dark Tone from Army Painter.
  5. Finally to add the blue colour mix Talassar Blue contrast paint (GW) mixed with Vallejo Satin Varnish (3:1) and airbrush in thin layers over the armour so that the contrast paint doesn’t pool.  I normally do this over two or three layers.


Tempestus in Adeptus Titanicus

Games Workshop seem to have (mostly) put the Stormlords on the Warmaster’s side – they appear in the core rules along with the loyalist Legio Gryphonicus, and the Traitor Titans of Legend pack includes Mantellum Fulmen, a Legio Tempestus Warhound. However, you could just as easily build your force as a loyalist battlegroup, since about half of the legio stuck with the Emperor after Horus rebelled. Whatever you choose, Tempestus bring a solid set of options that can be useful no matter how you want to build your list.

Tactical Overview

Credit – Games Workshop

Just like Gryphonicus, Legio Tempestus has two maniple traits to play with. Echoing their last stand on Mars, Glory in Death gives each of your Titans a chance to fire one of its weapons just before it makes a Catastrophic Damage roll, assuming it passes a Command check. If it passes by 3 or more, it gets to fire with all of its weapons instead. This trait makes it harder to deny a Legio Tempestus Titan any shooting by killing it, instead merely mitigating the likely damage it’ll deal in that battle round. Keep in mind that its effect is more powerful the better your Command check, but you’ll get more chances to use it with more models on the board. This creates a sort of tension – do you want to take larger, more expensive Titans with better Command values so you’re more likely to get free shots when they die, or go wide with more Titans to have as many chances to roll for it as possible? On balance, we recommend taking more Titans over going all in on some more expensive ones, since building around a trait that requires you to lose your pieces is incredibly risky. However, this trait that will work with any list, so feel free to experiment to find what works for you.

Fury of the Machine comes into play when you roll on the Awakened Machine Spirit table, making you re-roll a result of 1, 2, or 3, though you have to keep the re-roll. What this means on the table is that if your Titan’s machine spirit awakens, it’s got a 75% chance of landing on one of the “attack” options rather than a 50% chance. More firepower is always good, and there’s no feeling worse than when your Warlord takes offense to the power drain of its belicosa volcano cannon and outright refuses to do anything. This trait makes pushing your reactor more likely to result in a result that is, if not ideal, at least manageable, taking some of the risk out of pushing pushing your reactor more aggressively.

Unfortunately, their legion specific stratagem, Combat Drop, is kind of a bust. Deep-striking a Titan would normally be better than something like the generic Outflank stratagem in at least some situations, even taking the potential scatter into account, but we think there’s just too many restrictions on it for it to be generally useful. First, not being able to activate it in the combat phase in the turn it arrives is a huge loss – your Titan shows up, potentially in a spot you didn’t even want it in, and you don’t even get to take a potshot with it until the next round. Even worse, though, is the fact that it might not even arrive when you want it. Without these two restrictions, there could be a case to be made for combat dropping a Warhound in certain games, especially on boards that have large open areas that it could land in with minimal risk. As it stands, however, we recommend just Outflanking if you want a deep-strike equivalent.

Their legion-specific wargear, Chasmata Pattern Laser Destructors, is neat, if somewhat expensive. It gives you 6” of extra range on turbo-laser destructors and laser blasters, letting you hit from further away than your opponents. It also extends the short range by 3”, which lets you pick up some hits without the penalty you might otherwise miss out on. Finally, a few extra inches could be the difference between having a shot with Glory in Death or not, making it harder for your enemies to take your Titans out without facing potential reprisal. If you have the points in your list, it’s useful, but probably isn’t worth building your battlegroup around.

Of their personal traits, Storm-born is the standout. Boosting speed without pushing the reactor is always nice, and the restriction to Titans with the Charge order isn’t as bad as you’d think – a charging Titan doesn’t have to end its move next to an enemy, it just gives up the ability to turn once it starts moving. As long as you plan your turns well so you don’t need fine maneuvering to get where you’re going, this Trait can help you manage your reactor while covering the board quickly. And if you do manage to set this up to get a long charge into an enemy Titan, picking up a few extra dice without having to push your reactor is always nice.

Defiant Warrior is interesting, but probably doesn’t compete with Storm-born or the good choices from the generic list. However, re-rolls are always nice, and it will almost certainly mean that your Princeps gets to re-roll 1s on its Glory in Death attacks. Adamantium Resolve isn’t a good choice. Skip it.

Legio Tempestus Warlord. Credit: @artisans_of_vaul (insta)

Legio Tempestus Warlord. Credit: @artisans_of_vaul (insta)

Maniple Choice

The Stormlords are pretty flexible and don’t force you down one particular avenue of titan chassis or maniple selection. Glory in Death has a chance to trigger each time one of your Titans dies, and Fury of the Machine is more likely to trigger the lower your Command check. These rules favor aggressive play, making pushing your reactor less risky and giving you a chance to shoot when you die, so you’ll want to build your list to take the initiative and close with your opponent’s forces, daring them to strike back. You’ll probably want to focus your build on Reavers and fill out with Warhounds: Reavers bring good weapons without breaking your points budget, and Warhounds are cheap and can bring plasma blastguns, which are great options for your free shot when it dies. They also both have the potential to close quickly with your opponent and threaten them from up close, letting you get the most out of your legion traits.

As a result, we would suggest leaning towards lighter maniples focused around Reavers and Warhounds. Their relatively low point cost means that you can fit two of them in a battlegroup to give you multiple Personal Traits in larger games, as well as allowing you to customize your strategy by taking advantage of multiple maniple traits.

  • Lupercal is a strong complement to any list, allowing you to play for activation advantage in the first turn and then go for the turn 2/3 alpha strike once you are in position. Bringing multiple Warhounds will give you ample chances to roll for Glory in Death, and Fury of the Machine will help you compensate for their poor Command value if you push for defense.
  • The Ferrox maniple is one of our favourites, favouring aggressive play for getting in close with a mix of Reavers and Warhounds. Running a Ferrox will give you plenty of activations and a straightforward yet powerful maniple trait.
  • A Corsair maniple is a strong complement to Storm-born: extra maneuverable Reavers with free boosted charges is nothing to sneer at. 
  • The Venator maniple also has a good mix of Titans, however a clever opponent will attempt to deny your free shots by being out of arc of your Reaver. The Ferrox is easier to use, but this can be a powerful option.

If you want to bring a larger Titan, the new options in Shadow and Iron have some great ways to do that without sacrificing too much in terms of number of Titans on the field.

  • The new Mandatum maniple in Shadow and Iron is an interesting way to sneak a Warlord in. Just keep in mind that the bonus to Command checks for the Warhounds only applies to checks made to issue orders – it will not make you more likely to trigger Glory in Death. Take a “brawler” Warlord and push its reactor aggressively to take advantage of your maniple and legion traits.
  • If you want to try out a Warbringer-Nemesis, consider the Arcus maniple. A Warbringer equipped with laser blasters and Chasmata-Pattern Laser Destructors will be able to fire at targets through buildings from relative safety, while the pack of Warhounds you’ll bring with it run circles around their foes.

In terms of Knight Household support, they can provide a useful role in terms of urgent threat or ranged shield breakers, but they won’t synergize with your trait like they do for Gryphonicus. If you want to take Knights, you should feel free to bring a banner or two, but they’re not an auto-include in the same way as they are for some other legions.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules Legio Tempestus offers. This list is a solid starting point for a beginning player, but also has plenty of options for a veteran to play around with:

Legio Tempestus Battlegroup – 1495 pts

Ferrox Light Maniple – 745 pts

Reaver Titan – 305 pts 

  • Princeps Senioris – Stormborn
  • Vulcan Megabolter
  • Chainfist
  • Laser Blaster

Warhound Titan – 220 pts

  • Plasma Blastgun
  • Vulcan Megabolter

Warhound Titan – 220 pts

  • Plasma Blastgun
  • Vulcan Megabolter

Ferrox Light Maniple – 750 pts

Reaver Titan – 310 pts

  • Princeps Senioris – Dominant Strategist
  • Apocalypse missile launcher
  • Gatling Blaster
  • Melta Cannon

Warhound Titan – 220 pts

  • Plasma Blastgun
  • Vulcan Megabolter

Warhound Titan – 220 pts

  • Plasma Blastgun
  • Vulcan Megabolter

We weren’t kidding when we said the Ferrox is one of our favorite maniples. This incredibly aggressive list comes in at 1495 points, and with 4-6 activations provides plenty of opportunities to trigger Glory in Death

By opting for two maniples, we have two Principes Seniores on the field, and each one gets a personal trait. The chainfist-equipped Reaver runs Storm-born, giving them and the other Titans in their maniple the ability to boost their speed without pushing so long as they successfully issue the Charge order – this can free up some space on your reactor track for Voids to Full or extra maneuvers later on.

The other Reaver may look like it’s suited for a fire-support role, but will be near the front line to capitalize on the maniple’s Knife Fighters trait and the melta cannon’s Fusion rule. They take the Dominant Strategist trait, which will let you steal the Opus once a game, ensuring that you can strike first at a pivotal moment.

The Warhounds will do what they do best: get in close and be pests. The Ferrox Knife Fighters rule stacks nicely with running in a squadron, giving you a +2 to armour rolls when coordinating strikes. If you do choose to squadron up you will end up with 4 activations, which is a bit on the low side, so before deployment you could choose not to if you would rather have more. You’ll want to play this by ear depending on your opponent’s list.

There is a bit of room to make changes to this list if you want. The weaponry on the Reavers could be tweaked to your taste – you could opt to put a Volcano on one and a Melta on the other if you feel like some more high powered blast weaponry. You could also shuffle the personal traits around, such as swapping one for Swift Killer in the core rules – it imposes a hit penalty, but will let you set up shots you wouldn’t otherwise be able to make, and can be used with Glory in Death if your princeps gets taken down without a viable target.

Once you’ve got a few games under your belt, this list will leave you well positioned to try out even more strategies, including what we believe is one of the strongest all-round list structures in the game: a Corsair and a Lupercal. You likely won’t be able to fit it into 1500 points, but at 1750 or higher these two maniples will combine to let you field a devastating force with plenty of opportunities for Glory in Death.

Playing Against Tempestus

Consider prioritizing damage to Tempestus Titans’ head structure track if possible. While the head does tend to be better armored than other areas, the penalties to Command checks will make Glory in Death less likely to go off, potentially denying your opponent a key part of their strategy. Be very mindful of the front arcs of titans you are about to destroy, especially if it’s a Warlord – you don’t want to give them the opportunity to trade out if you can help it.

The Stormlords emblem. Credit – Games Workshop

Ride the Lightning

Legio Tempestus brings some interesting traits that reward you for playing aggressively and daring your opponent to fight back. Stride forward and take the fight to the enemy, and if they take you down, go out in a blaze of glory!


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