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 take a look at the Fire Wasps, who were finally added to Adeptus Titanicus in the Crucible of Retribution supplement. Defenders of the Imperial Palace, Legio Ignatum have both the mettle and the means to hold the line, no matter the cost.
Who are Legio Ignatum?
Legio Ignatum was one of the three founding members of the Collegia Titanica, the Triad Ferrum Morgulus. This makes them one of the oldest and most lauded Titan Legios, based on Holy Mars and predating the Imperium. Over the centuries they developed fierce rivalries with their peers in the triad, Legio Mortis and Legio Tempestus.
These rivalries would turn to pure hatred, as the Schism of Mars would see the Fabricator General and the other members of the Triad* repudiate their oaths to the Emperor. Legio Ignatum’s unshaking loyalty would see them entrusted with the defense of the Imperial Palace and facing off against their former kin. During the final hours of the Horus Heresy, Mortis and Ignatum would clash in the Siege of Terra.
* Yes, the Tempestus forces on Holy Mars stayed loyal until they fell, although the majority of the Legio were off-world and declared for the Warmaster.
Painting Legio Ignatum
We asked hobby titan Lee Marshal (twitter @TheForgeofMars @ten_ghosts IG) to share his Ignatum Titans with us this week and how he painted them.
I always use Halfords grey primer on my models first.
Leadbelcher spray base coat
Wash all over with Agrax earthshade.
Repeat the process but with leaving the extreme edges of the plates against the trim where the Agrax has settled.
Because of the differences in trim colour that we’ve had over the years I suggested within the Ignatum group that I run that Silver represents the standard colour from manufacture.
Leadbelcher and drybrush some Iron Breaker
Gold for in the fluff for the old Titan Legions game, it says there that the Emperor actually blessed a whole host of Ignatum engines prior to the great crusade.
Retributor gold, Agrax and retributor drybrush
Black trim for the Oath of Retribution the Princeps has taken against the Legio’s that turned their backs upon the Imperium.
Abaddon black or Black Templar Black
Ignatum in Adeptus Titanicus
Legio Ignatum’s trait, We Loyal Few, enables them to reroll hits of 1 against enemy Titans within 12” during the combat phase. While this rule is likely meant to allow them to hold the line against aggressive foes who try to get in close, this trait strongly encourages you to take the offensive with quicker God-Engines. Rerolls are very rare in Titanicus, and the possibility of triggering this multiple times in one phase – or even a single attack – affords reliability to Ignatum that many other legions will struggle to match. Plus, since it’ll make all weapons more reliable when closer to the enemy, it works well as a deterrent as much as an offensive weapon. Remember also that this means this will always work with melee weapons (including smash attacks!), but won’t function during a Charge order. Definitely nice to have when Blast-toting engines are suddenly swarmed by Knight Banners and smaller Titans, as they’ll be able to hit more consistently and avoid a bad Scatter. Otherwise, it definitely gets the most use on (macro) gatling blasters and vulcan mega bolters, which will often be gaining a +1 bonus to hit from short range.
Soggy: It’s important to remember that this only applies to the Combat phase, so sadly you won’t get rerolls on First Fire or when you use Punish Their Folly.
Bair: I can just picture a Venator of this with loads of vulcan mega-bolters stripping shields on a 2+ re rolling 1’s close up for lots of free shots with the Reaver. Ew.
The Fire Wasps’ first stratagem, Punish Their Folly, gives you the ability to fire overwatch with one of your Titans for only 1SP. When an enemy Titan finishes a charge within 3”, you can fire a ranged weapon at your normal BS in response, before they make any attacks. It’s hard to understate how useful this can be – if a melee Reaver charges you, you could make a called shot to their chainfist and disable it before they get to strike. With a Gatling Blaster you’ll be hitting on 3+ due to the short range modifier and still getting to use your BS (remember that it’s only a -1 penalty when targeting a unit within 2”). And as a bonus, if they’re within 2” you’ll get to ignore their voids and get right to crippling them. Also potentially useful to make a shot with a Quake weapon if a more aimed shot at the melee weapon isn’t possible, for a 1-in-3 chance on hit to simply move the charging Titan back out of Melee range, effectively nullifying the effect of the charge.
Having this stratagem can enable you to play that little bit more aggressively against a melee force without fear of retribution – as long as they aren’t Vulpa equipped with Disruption Emitters because you can’t take away Smash attacks.
Bair: This is so cheap I find it hard to believe you’ll never not be taking it, unless you’re fighting solely against Warlords without claws, or as Condit would call them: cowards.
Condit: To be fair, I call a lot of things cowards.
Legio Ignatum’s other stratagem, Guard the Gates, is more situational, allowing you to issue First Fire orders on the first turn without a command check for 2SP. Not all battlegroups will be able to make the best use of this as they might not have the range or be in position to strike on the first turn. This is a solid ability in a defensive scenario, but a cunning opponent could deploy accordingly and take advantage of your lack of mobility on the first turn – or just play Vox Blackout and completely negate this ability for 1SP. This is also somewhat expensive and we can think of a handful of powerful strats that you would take before this one would even merit consideration. Probably not worth it most of the time.
The Fire Wasps’ unique wargear, Gravitonic Sensor Array, gives a Titan +1 to hit any target that is at least 25% obscured for 15 points. Somewhat similar to Fureans’ Hunting Auspex, this inexpensive upgrade is worth considering whenever you can spare the points. On a board with any reasonable amount of terrain, you’ll usually be making at least one obscured shot per round, so it’s not hard to see the value here. The massive bonus for this weapon over Hunting Auspex is that it works at any range. If you really wanted to, you could make use of this and also play more defensively by putting Reavers in front of Warlords, which will obscure the weapon view but grant a +1 bonus while still keeping your own Warlords harder to hit. This would take careful placement to make sure the weapons can still see, but could definitely work as part of a Fortis mobile castle – at least until you get hit by Quake Shells or a Mori Quake Cannon when the shields have dropped!
Bair: This is both cheaper than Hunting Auspex and I believe it’s actually better since you get to pair it with rerolling 1’s within 12”. Play on an appropriately dense board as you should be, and this will take you places. Those places are Victory and Glory, btw.
Now let’s talk about Personal Traits. Many legios can have rather lacklustre traits to choose from, and we often recommend taking the rulebook traits instead. However, Ignatum offers some very interesting choices that might be worth considering.
First up is Death before Dishonour, allowing them to re-roll failed hits whilst they have suffered critical damage, but they have to repair weapons before any other kind of damage during the repair phase. Generally speaking, if you’ve suffered a critical hit you’re on borrowed time, making the potential window to make the use of this trait limited, although it can be very powerful while it is active. The best use for this would probably be in a Perpetua or a Fortis, the former because it would allow you to roll more repair dice when needed to offset the need to repair weapons first and the latter because an opponent will have a hard time dealing critical damage to a Warlord stood still without taking any extra modifiers from flaking or the damage track, allowing this trait to be very useable and extremely deadly without instantly dying in the same phase.
Alternatively, the Eternal Guardian trait enables them to reroll a single armour roll they have inflicted if they haven’t moved this round. There’s nothing more disappointing than landing a Volcano shot to only have it glance. A solid pick for a fire support Titan, although you may find yourself wanting to pivot to use your carapace weapons. Deploying further away with longer ranged weapons can be extremely useful for this trait, but also consider this on a Warbringer in a Ruptura, making that Mori or Belicosa shot that much more devastating, potentially giving those Reavers that extra move.
Finally, you can take the fight to the enemy with Foe Slayer trait, with which you pick a weapon each combat phase to give +1 to the armour roll, or pick 2 weapons if it’s targeting Legio Mortis or Legio Tempestus. This modifier can make all the difference for high rate of fire weapons trying to pierce armour or between a devastating hit and a critical damage.This also lasts for the entirety of the combat phase as well, so a Reaver in a Venator can pop shots multiple times a turn with this chosen weapon, all that +1 armour roll making those Melta Cannon shots all the more deadly, or allowing Gatling Blasters to finish off partially damaged targets more easily and reliably.
Soggy: I love this trait for the theme it oozes in their hatred for the traitorous members of the Triad Ferrum Morgulus.
The flexibility of the Fire Wasps’ rules let them work well in almost any maniple and most play styles that involve holding the backline or midfield. While thematically it makes more sense to play a mostly static gunline, We Loyal Few really rewards more aggressive play – and Punish their Folly can help bail you out if you let them get too close.
One of the best candidates for this approach is in a Ferrox maniple as the Knife Fighters trait requires you to get close for a +1 on armour rolls. The Princeps Seniores can make use of the Foe Slayer trait to give your armour rolls even more punch. Another solid choice for a skirmishing force is the Corsair maniple, whose Fighting Withdrawal trait can help keep your targets in the sweet spot whilst you remain in Fusion range and pelt them with gatling fire to make use of your rerolls to hit.
Don’t be fooled, though: larger heavier Maniples are just as good with the rules laid out. An Ignatum Fortis is a truly daunting and extremely deadly force to behold, with an Extergimus taking it one step further making the Warlords deadly at range, and even deadlier when the enemy tries to close in to avoid Carapace fire, only to find that the arm weapons hit even harder than they did at range thanks to We Loyal Few.
Otherwise, battle groups that want to hang back with fire support titans can also excel. Guard the Gates will allow you to open with a potent alpha strike to diminish enemy shields and make the first turn’s damage control phase more difficult, forcing the choice between venting heat and raising shields and potentially leaving a target or two exposed in the next round. Gravitonic Sensor Arrays will help your shots land, as most of your targets will be in some form of cover. And if your opponents do manage to get close, you’ve still got the same tools in We Loyal Few and Punish Their Folly to take them down.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules Legio Ignatum offers. We’ve opted for list that takes the middle road, which is solid starting point for a beginning player, but also has plenty of options for a veteran to play around with:
Legio Ignatum Battlegroup – 1500 pts
Precept Batteline Maniple – 1330 pts
Warlord Titan – 480 pts
- Princeps Senioris – Foeslayer
- Wargear – Gravitonic Sensor Array
- Vulcan Megabolter Array
- Macro Gatling Blaster
- Sunfury Plasma Annihilator
Warbringer Nemesis Titan – 410 pts
- Mori Quake Cannon
- Laser Blaster
- Volcano Canon
Warhound Titan – 220 pts
- Vulcan Megabolter
- Plasma Blastgun
Warhound Titan – 220 pts
- Vulcan Megabolter
- Plasma Blastgun
Knight Support 170pts
Cerastus Knight Banner – 170 pts
- Lancers x2
This battlegroup will look to take the fight to the traitors, each unit with their own role to play. The flexibility of the Precept maniple works wonderfully with the Fire Wasps’ inbuilt flexibility, making for a force that poses a threat throughout the entire game.
The Warhounds act as skirmishers, preventing flanks on the Princeps Senioris as they move up the field. They should easily get to within 12” to start making use of We Loyal Few. The Lancers provide a potent counter-charge threat, so try to keep them alive as long as possible for the activation advantage if you can.
The Princeps Senioris should move up into the midfield and look to drop void shields on any targets of opportunity for your fire support Warbringer to capitalize on. We’ve opted for Foeslayer as this can be used to increase the armour roll on either the Macro Gatling Blaster or Megabolter Array in a pinch, but recommend using it on the Macro Gatling Blaster more often than not since the Ordnance trait allows re rolls of 1’s on the armour rolls. Swift Killer is a good alternative trait to swap for if you aren’t as confident with your movement.
The maniple’s Flexible Tactics trait can be used to issue a critical order each turn, depending on the game state. This will be particularly useful for the Warhounds, who often struggle in the Strategy phase.
From a Stratagem perspective, Punish their Folly is an auto-take for the Warlord. Also consider The Long Retreat to help keep your targets at the right distance. Otherwise, the usual staples of Vox Blackout and Concealment Barrage won’t go amiss. Some other options to consider include an MIU Link between the Warbringer and Warlord, allowing the Warbringer’s Lasers to hit more accurately at range when the Warlord is nearer to its target, or Experimental Locomotives on the Warlord to give it the speed to get across the board while reserving its reactor for shields and maximal fire on the Sunfury.
Playing against Ignatum
A fair amount of this will be looking at the specific battlegroup on the day since Ignatum really is a “bring whatever you want, it will work” sort of Legio. If they’ve opted for a long range battlegroup, deploy defensively in terrain in case they use Guard the Gates. Speaking of cover, be sure to remember which engines have upgraded sensors, as these will partially ignore cover, so avoid getting into situations where you’re trading fire between two dug-in forces..
If you’re playing an aggressive battlegroup, remember that they will be rerolling 1s within 12” and that if you charge you will probably be shot at before you strike – try and get a flank where possible, and if not then bully the enemy by charging with more than 1 engine at a time to greatly reduce the stratagem’s effects. Once Punish Their Folly is used, it’s gone for good. Charging with more than one Titan will guarantee that you can get at least one hit in, even if they’re able to strip your melee weapon off the first one.
Vox Blackout is always an obvious choice, but also consider artillery stratagems as well, as you may want to be staying further away anyways to help mitigate the effects of their re-rolls, you’re then less likely to be hit by the very random scatter dice.
Hold the Line
Legio Ignatum are an incredible force to be reckoned with, as well they should be. A Legio that can bring any maniple to a game and make it work in their favour, they pack quite the sting if you’re not prepared for them. Punish your opponents for overplaying their hand, and hold the line against all comers.