Warlord Wednesdays: Crucible of Retribution Review

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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.

With little warning, Adeptus Titanicus grows larger with its fifth supplement Crucible of Retribution. With it we see rules for seven new Titan Legions, including the long awaited Fire Wasps, along with several Knight Households, two new maniples and a plethora of narrative scenarios to use in your campaigns or one off games. In this article we explore some of our highlights and what we’re looking forward to.

Credit – Warhammer Community

Legions

As the Heresy progressed loyalties weren’t always black and white, resulting in some Legios caught in the crossfire for their own reasons. Up until now, only Loyalist or Traitor Legios have been in the limelight – Crucible of Iron features the first official Blackshield Legio, giving something for everyone starting a new Legio.

Legio Astraman – “Morning Stars”

First up we have Legio Astraman, the Morning Stars who hail from the Forge World of Graia. They’re legendarily stubborn warriors, whose fierce tenacity gives them a solid selection of defensive traits and abilities. They also have the ability to upgrade any Ordinance weapon with their Maglock Shells wargear, an upgrade that adds +1 to the armour roll. This is a solid upgrade to all of the Gatling weapons, making it easier to finish off those damaged locations, however costing more on weapons with more shots, so can become pricey quickly in a list.

Legio Ignatum. Credit – @TheForgeofMars (twitter) @ten_ghosts (IG)

Legio Ignatum – “Fire Wasps”

It’s been a long time coming, but the final member of the Triad Ferrum Morgulus is here. Defenders of the Imperial Palace, Legio Ignatum have no time for any traitor nonsense and have the tools to back it up. We Loyal Few gives all Ignatum titans the ability to reroll hits of 1 on enemy Titans within 12” – rerolls are pretty rare to see in Titanicus so this is pretty significant for when things come down to the wire. Holding the line to the very end, Punish their Folly is a 1SP stratagem that allows you to fire a ranged weapon at a charging Titan out of sequence that ends up within 3” with your BS.

Soggy: Overwatch has come to Titanicus.

Bair: Those re rolls up close are a real winner for obvious maniples such as Lupercal and Ferrox, but really help push the offensive capabilities of lower shot weapons like Melta Cannons as well hitting at Fusion range. 

Legio Venator –  “Iron Spiders”

Legio Venator confusingly has the same name as a maniple, so from now on we’ll call by their Low Gothic name, the “Iron Spiders”. The Iron Spiders have a handful of strong abilities which we are looking forward to trying out. 

They have the ability to substitute any mandatory Warlords in a maniple with Reavers – allowing for hilariously cheap Extergiums with the Mobile Force trait. We’re looking forward to some of the creative builds that this results in.

They also have the Blind Launchers wargear for 20 points, able to activate at any time during the Combat phase which acts as a mini-blind barrage on itself. Being able to activate first, fire your weapons and pop smoke to give -1 to hit to anyone targeting you is pretty sick.

Bair: Personally I will love to see a Regia using 2 Reavers and 3 Warhounds. Same composition as  Ferrox but playing more defensively with heft amounts of shields to get through. 

Legio Laniaskara – “Impalers”

We’re always happy to see melee focused Titan Legios, and Laniaskara do not disappoint. Two challenges that melee focused forces face are getting into charge range and passing those change orders.

Impalers gain the ability to use their boosted speed without pushing their reactor via their Direct Measures trait. In a Ruptura or another force using Experimental Locomotors, you are going to get in your opponents face much quicker than expected.

Once you get in range, the 1SP Heedless Charge ability will let you issue charge orders without command checks to all of your Titans, ensuring that your multicharges will go off without being let down by the dice.

Soggy: For reference ask Condit how many times he’s failed 2+ charge orders.

Condit: No comment.

Bair: I’ll answer for Condit: a lot.

 

Legio Atarus Warhound. Credit – Peter Martin (IG: @waaagh_uzgub)

Legio Atarus – “Firebrands”

Previously printed in Titan Death, Legio Atarus makes another appearance. We’ve previously done a focus on them, so check them out for our thoughts. We did notice the missiles have changed slightly – building set on fire no longer burn until they’re destroyed; instead, they go out the first time they damage something. If you’re only playing Legio Atarus then this book probably isn’t worth picking up for you unless you’re very keen to use either of the new maniples, otherwise no other reason to pick it up (unless you just like to have books which we understand). 

Legio Kulisaetai – “Gatekeepers”

Next up Legio Kulisaetai strike us as a force that would make for a potent gunline. The 1SP Steadfast Bastion stratagem allows them to extend the short range of all of their ranged weapons by 6” – making it easier to get those +1 modifiers unleash an accurate fusilade or make better use of weapons with the Fusion trait. They also have the Accelerated Autoloaders wargear, which lets you fire an Apocalypse Missile Launcher twice – although the second barrage is at -1 and disables the weapon. If you’re at long range with a fire support warlord this is a nice option to drop voids on nearly anything on the first turn.

Legio Tritonis – “Dark Tide”

Legio Tritonis are the first Blackshield Legion in the game and make quite the introduction. The Dark Tide can deploy the Stygian Veil for SP – this involves placing three tokens 10” away from each other, which block line of sight with 3” and gives -2 to command checks on non-Tritonis units within 6” of them. This has some serious utility – protect a flank, deny charges, obscure multiple fire support units.

Bair: If you’re running a Knight Household List, this Legio could be nice to take a Support Titan with to unlock that stratagem, just remember you hand your opponent 2SP by doing so! 

 The Tactical Genius Princeps Senioris trait allows you to forgo their activation in the strategy phase to reroll the first player die as long as they are still on the battlefield. Dominant Strategist is one of best utility traits in the game, it’s great to see a different take on this ability.

Legio Damicium “Unbroken Lords”

Last but not least is Legio Damicium , who went without for a long time and was jealous of more prosperous Forge Worlds and their well supplied Titan Legios. They specialise in making do with what they’ve got – uparmouring engines with Secondary Plating, allowing them to downgrade their first Critical Hit for 10 points. This upgrade is a bargain to giving your God-Engines a bit more longevity and a great use of those spare points.

Or when things inevitably do go wrong, they make it count with the Princeps Senioris trait Beyond Death – which instead of rolling on the Catastrophic Damage table, you go D6 in the direction of your choice and immediately suffer a Magazine Detonation. 

Soggy: This has some solid potential to generate some memorable chain reactions, which is the main reason we play this game right?

New Maniples

Acheron Knights. Credit – Soggy

Ignus Light Maniple

Another light maniple, this one focused around flame weapons. It adds 1 to the dice for Flamestorm weapons, as well as letting those weapons re-roll 1s against armor, effectively giving them the Ordnance trait. As it stands, inferno guns are somewhat underwhelming, generally being outperformed by everything except laser weapons and suffering from incredibly short range to boot. Adding an extra die and making them more reliable against armor makes them even more threatening against Reavers and Warhounds, but still probably doesn’t push them over the top against more heavily armored targets. 

The maniple also includes 1-3 banners of Cerastus Knights Acheron, and the maniple trait applies to their weapons. As a bonus, if a banner is within 6” of a friendly Titan that receives First Fire or Full Stride orders, they can take the same order for free. Since you’ll want to be moving forward aggressively anyway, this sounds neat until you work out that, as long as the Lord Scion is alive, Cerastus Banners actually have a better Command value than your non-Princeps Warhounds. It does still save you a roll though, which makes it less likely that you’re going to lose your orders step altogether. Also, if you’ve got a trait, strat, or wargear that makes orders more reliable on your Titans, you can use this trait to filter them through to your Knights. 

All in all, this could be an interesting option if you’re a fan of flame templates and close quarters warfare. 

Bair: Legio Infernus might want to make use of this, between extended range flamers and extra hits on secondary targets, it’s a nice combination for them. Oh and 5 points for each turn re rolling location is extremely good with template weapons. 

Precept Battleline Maniple

Indecisive? Want to run one of everything? Have we got the maniple for you. The Precept lets you field a Warlord, a Warbringer, a Reaver, and two Warhounds. This somewhat eclectic mix lets you bring a well-rounded list that can be built in many different directions. The mandatory elements of a Warlord, Warbringer, and Warhound free you up to take a mid-ranged brawer Warlord to run up the board with your Warhound, then pad it out with either a Reaver or another Warhound and some knights. Alternately, a fire-support Warlord together with a Warbringer makes for a devastating long-ranged threat that’s still fairly cost-efficient.

The maniple trait is interesting, particularly given the mix of chassis you’ll be bringing. At the beginning of the Strategy phase, you choose an order for each Precept maniple in your force, and the Titans in that maniple can take that order on a 2+, ignoring modifiers. This is an interesting take on order reliability that remains flexible throughout the game. Take the Iron Clad Tyrant to re roll a failed command check and you almost can’t fail that charge or emergency repair you desperately need. Just expect Vox Blackout to hit when you really don’t need it to. 

Bair: I really like this. It’s an Axiom. But it’s not. It still feels unique and lets you get a Warbringer and a Warlord in the same maniple with some smaller engines to fill points in lists. 

Soggy: I see this being a relatively popular choice for midweight maniples as it lets you bring all of your toys and get a benefit. It’s very rare that I field an Axiom and probably even more so with this option available to me.

Echoes of Glory

Aside from the usual content that we have come to expect from a Titanicus supplement, Crucible of Retribution comes with 15 scenarios which are themed based on where the encounter takes place: Forgeworlds, Death worlds and Hive worlds. These are oozing with flavour and special rules to help make your games even more memorable.

One of our favourites is the scenario which takes place on a frozen wasteland, littered with deadly ice chasms and the biting cold making it easier to manage your plasma reactor’s heat. If your cockpit gets wounded, though, it’s only a matter of time before your Princeps’s fleshy body freezes to death from exposure.

There is some great variety in the missions here and is a breath of fresh air if you want something different from a normal matched play mission or if you want some inspiration for your campaign scenarios.

Legio Atarus Warlord. Credit – Peter Martin (IG: @waaagh_uzgub)

Final Verdict

Crucible of Retribution is a decent addition to Adeptus Titanicus and whilst it won’t be everyone’s first supplement, there are plenty of reasons to pick this up. If you’re interested in starting one of the featured Legios or wanting to spice up your games with new scenarios, it’s a great buy. Otherwise, we’d probably advise waiting.

In addition to what we’ve highlighted, there are a handful of specific narrative missions during the Cataclysm of Iron and a series of new Knight Households to muster along with surrounding lore. We’re excited to try out the new missions and looking forward to seeing some of the creative forces that come out of it. While this isn’t a “must buy” book, there’s enough here to justify picking it up, so long as you know what you’re getting into.

 

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