Warlord Wednesdays: Legion Focus – Legio Honorum “Death Bolts I”

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 taking a closer look at Death Bolts, a legio whose stoic nature gives them an incredibly reliable orders phase. Joining the fray with Defense of Ryza, Legio Honorum are an aggressive legion that does its best work when bearing down on its opponents. However, unlike most legions who want to close the gap, they have several ways to ensure they get that crucial order off right when they want it. If you want to play a battlegroup that can get stuck in and still play a solid, reliable game, look no further.

[Editors’ Note: This article was last updated November 22, 2021, and includes rules from the Loyalist Legios and Traitor Legios supplements, as well as the FAQ that accompanied the Loyalist Legios supplement.]

Legio Honorum Warlord. Credit – Leigh Wolf Phillips

Who are Legio Honorum?

The Death Bolts are a young legio by the standards of the Collegia Titanica, being founded just prior to the Treaty of Olympus. They quickly found purpose in the Exploratory Fleets of the Great Crusade, where their zealous nature earned a reputation.

Legio Vulpa launched surprise attacks on Legio Honorum during the Schism of Mars, inflicting a severe toll. The elements of the Legio who were with the fleets redoubled their zeal in taking the fight to the traitors and the liberation of Holy Mars.

Soggy: This week’s wee bit of trivia is that afterwards the Legio would relocate to the infamous Forgeworld of Stygies VIII – the former home of Legio Vulcanum.

Legio Honorum Warlord. Credit – Leigh Wolf Phillips

Painting Legio Honorum

We asked Leigh Wolf Phillips for his method of painting up his gorgeous Death Bolts battlegroup. 

Prime chaos black

Highlight the bits of the model that will stay black with Mechanicus standard grey then give it a watered down nuln oil wash 

Airbrush leadbelcher on all the metal parts 

Wash all the metal parts in nuln oil

Airbrush mephiston red on all the armour panels masking off where you want the chevrons

Then airbrush evil sunz over the mephiston leaving a bit of the previous red in the recesses

Then I airbrush a satin varnish over the model

Then a pin wash with an enamel brown wash 

Tidy up any wash or red that has gone on to parts it shouldn’t of 

Drybrush the metal parts with chainmail (old gw paint)

Then a lighter edge drybrush with mithril (another old gw paint) 

Paint Balthasar gold onto the armour bands void shields etc and wash with agrax

Layer auric armour gold on top of that then edge highlight with Mithril 

The base is airbrushed with steel legion drab then a heavy dry brushed  Vallejo stone grey and finally a light drybrush of white scar 

The lenses are Calgar blue with Tallasar blue contrast over the top then highlight back with Calgar blue and a dot of white as light reflection 

Finally decorate the base with whatever foliage or tufts you want and then a final all over spray with a satin varnish I use lucky satin varnish from the AK range

Honorum in Adeptus Titanicus

Tactical Overview

Legio Honorum never strayed from their duty, reflected in their Resolute and Unbowed trait. This trait gives any Honorum Titan that has moved more than 4” in the movement phase the ability to shrug off incoming damage in their front arc- any incoming armor rolls to a damaged location with +1 or more decrease the roll by one. 

While it may not matter every game, the ability to outright negate incoming fire from vulcan mega bolters or downgrade a Critical or Devastating hit could be the difference between defeat and victory. Keep your Warhounds moving 4” each turn to stay out of arc, but if the enemy manages to draw a bead on you this might help you stay standing.

Soggy: Amusingly this doesn’t state what direction you have to move, so this could complement the Corsair Fighting Withdrawal trait or The Long Retreat.

Legio Honorum battlegroups favour the traditional maniple traits, but would often adjust the make of the maniple for the situation. This is reflected in their Founding Tenets trait, which is easily the most interesting Titan substitution rule in the game. It allows you to replace up to two Titans from an Axiom, Myrmidon or Fortis maniple – a single Warlord or Reaver can replace one of the mandatory elements, providing it is of equal or larger scale than what it’s replacing, and a single Warbringer Nemesis can replace an optional Reaver or Warlord.

This ability to substitute a Warbringer Nemesis is currently unique and will help Honorum more use out of the chassis. While you might not be able to get the most out of this ability at smaller games, this gives you access to some fun and unique combinations. In particular, being able to shove a Warbringer into an Axiom opens up some interesting strategies that other forces have trouble duplicating.

Legio Honorum’s Crusading Spirit stratagem costs a single stratagem point, allowing you to ignore any penalties to command checks and lets you re-roll a single failed Honorum command check. This stratagem is competing with Iron Resolve, which lets you automatically pass a failed command check when making an order for the same cost. If you’re playing against Magna, a Vulpa Razor Tongue Princeps, or some other list that can reliably impose penalties on command checks, this is worth a look since it lets all your Titans ignore those penalties for a phase. But if you just want to guarantee a single roll when you need it, you’ve got better options out there.

Legio Honorum’s Basilius Throne wargear can only be equipped by a Princeps Senioris for 25 points, lets your Princeps take an order for free, and gives you +1 to rolls to issue that same order to other Titans in their maniple. This wargear rules. There’s little worse than failing a potentially game-changing order when you need it most, and this comes with the added benefit of being able to help subsequent orders – ideally you’ll build your Princeps Senioris with a similar role to at least one other engine in the maniple to get the most value from this point investment.

Legio Honorum Princeps Seniores have one trait available to them which should be the envy of all other Legions – Stubborn. This trait allows the Princeps Senioris to always be issued orders, regardless of any other conditions that would prevent them from doing so such as Vox Blackout or another unit previously failing a command check. Vox Blackout will no longer deny a pivotal Charge order or a vital Emergency Repairs to prevent your reactor overloading and get your voids back online. 

Combined with Basilius Throne, your Princeps will be making orders automatically and otherwise ignoring the gamestate – allowing you to use Vox Blackout to deny everyone on the battlefield orders except yourself, then guaranteeing the order you wanted your Princeps to take. Spicy.

The Ardent Crusader trait allows a battlegroup to purchase the Crusading Spirit multiple times. We’re not really sure how much mileage this will give you beyond picking it up once along with the flexible Iron Resolve. If you’re playing into Legio Magna, maybe it’s worth a look, but otherwise look elsewhere.

Now this is where things get confusing – up until now we’ve been referring to the Iron Resolve Loyalist Stratagem, which is not to be confused with the Honorum-exclusive Iron Resolve Princeps Senioris trait. This trait allows you to use the Resolute and Unbowed trait without the movement requirement – although the attack still needs to come from the front arc. You could shove this on a fire-support Warlord or a Warbringer to allow it to improve its armor even if it takes First Fire orders, but you probably have better things to do with your Princeps trait. However, if you’re playing a large enough game to take two maniples and are concerned about losing a Warbringer, this might help keep it in the fight without having to move every turn.

Legio Honorum Warlord. Credit – Leigh Wolf Phillips

Maniple Choice

Honorum lists will want to stick to the basics: Axiom, Myrmidon, or Fortis. That way, they can use their Founding Tenets trait to shove some heavy firepower in there when it’s least expected. Axioms in particular are worth a look here: Reavers often rely on orders at just the right time to accomplish their objectives, and a First Firing Warbringer is terrifying. Fortis and Myrmidon both offer some interesting builds, but the Basilius Throne wargear just makes chainfist Reavers so tempting, and the Axiom’s maniple trait means you can attempt those charge orders with no downside.

If you wanted to try something a little different, look at a Corsair or Ferrox, then play to set up a Charge with as many Titans at once. Between the free order you’ll get on your Princeps and the bonus to the rest of the maniple (not to mention additional reliability from Crusading Spirit or some other stratagem), with some clever play and a little luck you can set up devastating charges that can win the game for you outright.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules Legio Honorum offers. 

Legio Honorum Battlegroup – 1750 pts

Axiom Battleline Maniple – 1750pts

Warlord Titan – 540pts 

  • Princeps Seniores – Iron Resolve
  • Paired Gatling Blasters
  • Macro Gatling Blaster
  • Sunfury Plasma Annihilator
  • Wargear – Basilius Throne; Tracking Gyroscopes

Warlord Titan – 465pts 

  • Apocalypse Missile Launchers
  • Mori Quake Cannon
  • Mori Quake Cannon
  • Tracking Gyroscopes

Reaver Titan – 315pts

  • Vulcan Mega-Bolter
  • Melta Cannon
  • Reaver Chainfist

Warhound Titan – 220pts

  • Plasma Blastgun
  • Vulcan Mega-Bolter

Warhound Titan – 210pts

  • Turbo Laser Destructor
  • Vulcan Mega-Bolter

Yes, that is an Axiom maniple. Sort of. The Founding Tenets ability gives you access to some really out-there combinations, though this one might be our favourite. At 1750 points with multiple immediate threats in the form of Warhounds, a melee Reaver and a Brawler Warlord, your opponent will be sweating bullets as they scramble to figure out what to focus on first.

The Basilius Throne will give your Princeps the ability to take any order they please without a command check – even if a Vox Blackout is in effect. The throne’s ability will then make it easier to pass orders onto any other Titan wanting to take the same order. If any engine loses voids as they close on their targets, Resolute and Unbowed will help mitigate incoming damage. Just make sure you’re looking at your targets.

With the triple threat in the mid-field, the fire-support Warlord can camp out in the backfield and pick at targets that have lost voids and potentially slow their retreat via the mori quake cannons. With Apocalypse Launchers to help strip shields where needed from a distance paired with the tracking gyros to worry less about facing this Titan will be going on First Fire orders often. 

There are a few upgrade-style stratagems that are worth considering to make Honorum even more reliable. Veteran Princeps can be a great choice in lists that contain a Titan filling a role the others aren’t. For example, in the list above, the Reaver Titan will usually find itself taking different orders from other Titans, notably Full Stride and Charger, so any tricks that let you reliably issue the orders you do want will be of great benefit. Another upgrade could be Experimental Locomotives on a Reaver too, always a useful stratagem to use. The Long Retreat lets you move out of front arc at full speed meaning for one turn in the game your Titans can move away from the enemy and still make use of Resolute and Unbowed to be harder to kill.

Playing against Honorum

Their orders are going to happen. Accept it. Plan for it. If their Princeps is Stubborn, they’ll even happen through Vox Blackout, and your opponent might even use Vox Blackout offensively to charge you when you can’t issue orders in response. 

Avoid shooting fast movers in their front arc once voids are down. Flanking is even more useful here than in other lists – Resolute and Unbowed means that any shot into your enemy’s side or rear arcs are effectively at +2 and +3 respectively, since they won’t be able to impose that penalty to your armor rolls.

Otherwise, Honorum plays a fairly straightforward, if somewhat aggressive, game. Their Princeps will be able to get the orders it wants every turn without having to roll, and their other Titans are more reliable when they’re doing the same thing, so expect coordinated Charges or First Fire orders that will threaten any model you’ve brought. Try to avoid giving them easy targets that they can go in on those alpha strikes, and if you can catch their Princeps out, do what you can to take it down.

Legio Honorum Reaver. Credit – magic_with_plastic (IG)

By The Numbers

The Death Bolts are great for battlegroups that rely on orders, with a stratagem, wargear, and a pair of princeps traits that all combine to help ensure you’ll get the orders you need when you need them. Their unique wargear and useful legion traits combine to make them unusually aggressive for a “canonically” Loyalist legion. Taking advantage of these abilities will let you coordinate fire and charges in ways that other legions find difficult.