Warlord Wednesdays: Legion Focus – Legio Interfector

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 look at Legio Interfector, who come with a striking paint scheme and what has to be the single most metal Low Gothic name of any legion in the game: the MURDER LORDS. If the idea of an aggressive and unpredictable legion that disrupts and denies its opponent’s orders as its Titans charge headlong into the fray sounds fun, read on.

Legio Interfector Battlegroup. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

Who are Legio Interfector?

It may not surprise you that the MURDER LORDS broke their oaths with the Emperor and sided with the Warmaster. However, this wasn’t due to nominative determinism as they were originally known as the Lords of Valour.
The Lords of Valour were one of the younger members of the Collegia Titanica at the outbreak of the Heresy, being founded during the early Great Crusade on the Forge World of Valeous II. They joined the Expeditionary Fleets and performed admirably across numerous campaigns under the Warmaster.
It was at the betrayal on Istvaan III, where they followed Horus into damnation. Upon the slaughter of their former allies they took a new name: the MURDER LORDS. This began the slow spiral of gibbering dark voices turning the titans and their crews insane.

Legio Interfector Reaver. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

Painting Legio Interfector

We asked @Gonders (twitter) to share his Battlegroup and the approach they used to paint them up.

Of all the Legios in the current rules for Adeptus Titanicus, Interfector are a bit of an outlier when it comes to getting them painted. Painting trim has a tough enough reputation in metallics before we even consider red. They also feature a whole lot of black. Another tough customer. Well, maybe.
I picked them because I wanted to find a way of making that red trim work. It contrasts starkly with the black panels, and they’re pretty featureless other than that. Flicking through the books, I realised the white flames, often only shown on the titan’s legs could become a bigger feature, to take a bit of the contrast out of the red-black combination.
Firstly it’s worth mentioning this Reaver I use as an example is going to be a Princeps Senioris, so this will be a little bit fancier than the battleline titans.

The method

I assembled the titans missing a few armour plates for ease of painting.
Firstly, give the titan a black primer including the loose armour plates.

Next up, give the titan ‘skeleton’ two coats of scale 75 necro gold. I do this with an airbrush but brush applied would be fine. Any deep gold would do.

Follow this with a red shade. I use Army painter’s Red tone for this. The red shade helps tie the metallics into the trim later.

Once the shade is totally dry, dry brush all the metal work with scale 75s heavy metal. This could be any dark silver

Follow the first dry brush with a second lighter dry brush of scale 75 thrash metal. Again, easily switched out for any mid tone silver.

Next it’s time to start the trim. It’s important to do this now before we attack the black, as the red is going to make a mess.

Block in all the red with citadel Mephiston Red. It’s the red that gives the best coverage I’ve found, but 2 coats certainly helps.

Next give the trim a wash of purple. I use Army painter’s purple tone.

Once dry, crack your best drybrush out again and hit all the trim, whislt being careful to dodge your prevoiusly completed metal work, witht a 50-50 mix of Mephiston red and any blood red tone.

Follow this with another light dry brush of citadel evil sunz Scarlett.

Ok, now I know we have a mess of a titan here. Trust me at this point, I’m not as insane as an Interfector princeps quite yet. Time to start the black.

Block in every panel with Citadel abaddon black. Be careful not to get any on your trim. Even with black, you’ll need 2 solid coats.

Once this is done, we’re going to interrupt the black process to get some white details on there. I do this now to allow me to better get an idea of where to highlight the black.

Grab some light grey. Any grey will do, I use scale 75 rainy grey. Thin it down a bunch. Then a bit more. Now carefully start tracing where you want your flames. I use tiny dots to map out where I’m going to go, and dot to dot them afterward. I keep it to 3-4 panels over the whole thing. Keeping them vaguely symmetrical looks best in my opinion. You don’t have to be to neat at this point, we’re going to tidy it all up later.

Keep adding white to your grey until you’re on pure white after about 3 or 4 passes. Keep it thin all the way, you can also add a tad of varnish, which helps combat the chalkiness you often get with white. Cover less and less grey as you highlight up.

Once this is done, tidy the flames up with black. I then use scale 75 rainy grey to highlight the black around the white details.

So at this point I go around add a few more optional free hand numerals and runes in black or white, depending on where you want them and the corresponding panel colour.

Next up, pick eye the eye lenses in pure white to give a base coat. Then pick them out in GW moot green. Finally, wash the eye recesses in a mix of 50-50 moot green and flash gitz yellow to create a glow.

I give mine a desert base to contrast with the dark scheme. An airbrush or dry brush of your favourite cream colour around the ankles for a dusty tint.

Finally a couple of sealer coats of matte varnish and you’re done!

Hopefully this helps out with your Interfector titans going forward. Play around with designs and placement of flames etc. I always mix up a few stripes and checks with any titans for that old school 80s look.

Hit me up on Twitter @Gonders and show me what you come up with!

Legio Interfector Warhounds. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

Interfector in Adeptus Titanicus

Tactical Overview

Legio Interfector’s legion trait, Creeping Madness, is a weird one. During the movement phase, you can choose to either activate it as normal, or surrender to the whims of Chaos and roll a D3 to determine what happens. On a 1, it gains the Charge order and runs toward the closest enemy model. On a 2, it gains the First Fire order and overloads one of its weapons at random (without the melee trait), shooting at +2 strength and +1 dice, but disabling the weapon after it’s used. On a 3, it screams so loud that everyone within 12” forgets what they were doing and loses their orders. This doesn’t affect units that have Shutdown or Emergency Repairs and units that haven’t activated yet don’t suffer their order’s restrictions; the titan also gets to still act normally, you lose nothing (except orders, I guess, but those are for cowards). 
You don’t get to choose what effect you get, but all of them are potentially useful. The random aspect of this holds it back from being truly great, but if your Titan is in a position where you’re fine with any of the results, you don’t have much to lose. Essentially, this trait gives you some flexibility in situations where your opponent does something you wouldn’t expect, but limits how useful that flex can be.

Condit: One build that can work well with this rule is a Reaver with a melta cannon and chainfist – if it can make it to within 12″ of the enemy it’ll likely come out ahead no matter what result you get on the roll.

The MURDER LORDS’ first Legio stratagem Portents of Doom is one of the most useful in the game. For 2 stratagem points, all enemy units within 8” of any of your Interfector titans may not be issued orders this turn. This is almost an asymmetric Vox Blackout and can be used to deny your opponent some key orders whilst not denying your own. This tactic can really ruin a Knight Household player’s day, denying their ability to perform Coordinated Strikes or Charges, and forcing Knights Acastus to shoot at 4+ BS.

Bair: Taking this alongside Vox Blackout could really ruin your opponent’s plans while you get into position to destroy them. However that’s often most or all of your stratagem points for two turns…

Their second Legio-specific stratagem, Tormented Machine Spirit, also costs 2 stratagem points and helps you out when one of your titans would roll on the machine spirit/awakened entity table: instead of rolling, you make an attack with each of your Titan’s weapons at the closest model – friend or foe. While this may not work every game, as long as you’re positioned carefully, this lets you turn what could have been a disastrous loss of an activation into a blaze of glory at the closest target, or unleash a potentially devastating unexpected counter-attack when pushing for Voids to Full. Just don’t play it if you’re not sure on the ranges.

Condit: I normally don’t like effects that trigger on Awakened Machine Spirit, since they require you to fail two separate rolls, making them kind of speculative. However, this might be the best one in the game, and there’s no downside other than possible friendly fire if you misjudged the distances on the board. This is a potent trick that your opponent may feel they have to play around, even if you won’t take it every game.

The standout choice here is their Legio-specific wargear, Static Rounds. For 15 points, a Reaver or Warhound can take this upgrade and make the Rapid trait on their vulcan mega-bolters trigger on hit rolls of a 5 or 6 against a target with voids. This basically doubles the effectiveness of your mega-bolters’ Rapid trait, making what is already one of the best void breaking weapons in the game even better by upgrading it from an average of 5 hits per volley into an average of 6. Take this on a Warhound with two mega-bolters and your opponent will be left wondering whether their Titans’ crews even bothered to turn their shields on in the first place.

Bair: I really wish this could be taken on Warlord carapace mega bolters, just completely obliterate enemies shields.

The MURDER LORDS’ Princeps Seniores have seen better days and aren’t quite all there. This gives them some amusing personal traits. They’re not all great, but they’re extremely flavorful.

A maniple lead by a Dark Fanatic is one that your foe will want to keep as far away as possible from – and you should too! When the Princeps Seniories rolls for catastrophic damage for the first time, they ignore it on a result of 6-9 otherwise they immediately count the result as a Catastrophic Meltdown. If you’re deep in enemy territory and going critical would be as (or more) effective than another round of shooting, you might as well push the big red button and see what happens. Just remember it only applies to the first time you roll for the Princeps: if you survive that roll then the next one will be rolled as normal.

Bair: I love this one, it’s hysterical. Run a Reaver Seniores headlong into the enemy lines, when it dies maybe it doesn’t, and if it does then it goes BOOM.

Condit: Ignoring catastrophic damage is an amazing effect, and if you can’t do that, going out with a bang is the next best thing.

A maniple lead by a Raving Madman allows you, once per round, to automatically count the roll for First Player or for an order to be a 10. Whichever you chose for it to be (First Player or an order) the next time you’d roll a dice for that in game you instead count it as a 1. Being able to almost automatically pick up the First Player roll is amazing, just plan on not being able to pick next turn. Equally if you only have 1 titan that actually needs an order (or only one that needs to roll for an order) and you absolutely need it, then take it and fail the next one. This is very good and if you take it you’ll use it a few times in your game. 

A Princeps Seniores that has been Hollowed Out has completely lost the plot, no longer adding its command check bonus to itself but also ignoring results of critical damage to the head. These effects are some of the most frustrating to deal with but at the same time aren’t as common as crits to the body or legs. The loss to the command roll really isn’t worth how situationally the head actually takes critical damage however.

Bair: If you really wanted to take this one, it’d be best served on a Warlord as the loss to the command benefit is minimal compared to a Reaver or Warhound, but the head is still the least targeted and damaged section of a Titan, so not worth it.

Legio Interfector Warhound. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

Maniple Choice

The MURDER LORDS don’t really do subtlety and as a result most of their abilities require you to get in close. If you’re close enough, any result on Creeping Madness table can be a good one and being within 12” of your opponents with most of your force will allow Portents of Doom to be the most effective. 

Speed and manoeuvrability will also help you play around the downside of Creeping Madness and ensure that you get full coverage on Portents of Doom. Avoiding clumping up will let you hit all of your opponent’s Titans with Portents while minimizing the number of orders you can lose to an unwanted Static Scream if you decide to fish for more damage.

Reasonably close range is also required to make the most out of Static Rounds, which will require a maniple with Warhound and Reaver slots. The presence of these God-Engines should make shield breaking very easy, allowing long range fire support platforms to go for gold with their volcano and quake cannons.

Reavers are an excellent choice for Interfector, as they’re quick enough to close the distance with your opponent, resilient enough to take a hit or two before they go down, and can be kitted out to be able to get use out of any result on the Creeping Madness table if you find yourself in a gambling mood. You can also slap Static Rounds on their carapace megabolter, letting them take advantage of one of the best pieces of legion-specific wargear in the game.

Fire-support Titans aren’t going to be your go-to since they don’t get much out of your rules: Warlords and Warbringers can’t take Static Rounds, and they’re too slow to be able to reliably apply Static Scream or Portents of Doom. However, you should consider bringing one to follow up on the large volume of megabolter fire you’re almost certain to be putting out.

Some of the maniples that stand out to us for an Interfector battlegroup include:

  • Ferrox – Knight Fighters also requires you to get in close and all of the engines are eligible for Static Rounds.
  • Venator – Void shields don’t stand a chance against Static Rounds, giving you free shots early and often, and a melta Reaver is a great vector for Creeping Madness.
  • Corsair – Close- and mid-range Reavers can make great use out of Creeping Madness, and the extra mobility will help you get perfect coverage for Portents of Doom.
  • Arcus – A Warhound hunting pack will make short work of voids while the Warbringer-Nemesis strikes from afar.
  • Mandatum – Similar to the Arcus, the Warhound hunting pack with Static Rounds will remove voids for the Warlord to knock out targets of opportunity, and the bonus to the Warhounds’ Command value will help you make the most of the order advantage on the turn you pop Portents of Doom.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules that the MURDER LORDS offer. 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 Interfector Battlegroup – 1735 pts

Venator Light Maniple – 1055pts

Reaver Titan – 335pts 

  • Princeps Seniores – Dark Fanatic
  • Wargear – Static Rounds, Unholy Benedictions
  • Vulcan Megabolter 
  • Chainfist
  • Melta Cannon

Warhound Titan – 240pts 

  • Wargear – Static Rounds
  • Vulcan Megabolter 
  • Plasma Blastgun

Warhound Titan – 240pts 

  • Wargear – Static Rounds
  • Vulcan Megabolter 
  • Plasma Blastgun

Warhound Titan – 240pts 

  • Wargear – Static Rounds
  • Vulcan Megabolter 
  • Plasma Blastgun

Support Units- 695pts

Warlord Titan –  525pts 

  • Wargear – Tracking Gyroscopes
  • Paired Gatling Blasters
  • Sunfury Plasma Annihilator
  • Volkite Destructor

Cerastus Knight Banner – 170pts

  • 2 Knight Lancers

This is an aggressive list backed up by a mid-ranged brawler Warlord that wants to be almost as close as the Venator does but not quite. 

First up we have the Princeps Seniores, equipped for a close combat role. They will be played even more aggressively than normal due to the Dark Fanatic trait making them a walking timebomb – be sure to keep your distance from them. You want to get this Titan in close to make use of its melta cannon and chainfist anyway, and when it would be destroyed it has a 40% chance of shrugging off that last hit, and a 60% chance of exploding on the spot causing S8 hits to anything nearby while bypassing any voids. 

Soggy: Up the Reaver can use Creeping Madness and always get a useful result out of it. As a result you might want to give them orders last, knowing that if you fail you can always use this option. 

Next up we have the Warhounds, who will play a skirmishing role and strip voids from targets to allow your Reaver to get free shots and your Warlord to strike from afar. The interesting choice to be made here is if you choose to squadron them, which will depend on the battlefield and what you are up against – keeping them separate helps keep your activation advantage up, while a squadron will give you more reliable orders and a little more punch to help put in the finishing blow once you’ve stripped all the voids on the table.

Condit: VMBs with Static Rounds cost the same as plasma blastguns – if you want some more anti-void punch, you could swap out one or both of the blastguns for another megabolter.

The Warlord will take to the mid-field and follow up after the Warhounds do the heavy lifting of removing void shields by laying down some seriously strong firepower with its plasma and kill shots with paired gatling and volkite destructor. This guy is gonna want to be on split fire the majority of the time and tracking gyros helps let him do that effectively. 

The Lancers are a threat that cannot be ignored, so try to keep them completely out of sight before they strike to get the most out of them. Between this melee threat and your Princeps Seniores, your opponent will have plenty to deal with in close.

Assuming that you have 5 stratagem points at your disposal, we would take suggest taking some of the below once you see the terrain and the objective you are playing.

  • Warp Displacement – break the laws of physics to get your melee Princeps into position, or move your brawler Warlord to catch someone who dodged their arc. 
  • Portents of Doom – Prevent your opponents from issuing orders on turn 2 or 3. Great for allowing your Cerastus to charge without the threat of first fire mowing them down.
  • Obscuration Barrage – Hard pressed to find better utility, use this to cover your knights or your princeps as you close in across otherwise open-ground. 
  • War Lust – Helps you close the gap even quicker on your opponent, giving your Dark Fanatic better odds of making it in close.

Playing against Interfector

The MURDER LORDS are aptly named, and their game plan isn’t particularly subtle. They want to get in close and attack with wild abandon. Creeping Madness can allow Titans who missed their order to sneak in a Charge or First Fire when they shouldn’t be able to, and the added strength and dice from the Weapon Overload effect turns any weapon into a legitimate threat. Not only that, but between Static Scream and Portents of Doom, any of your Titans within 12″ of an Interfector Titan is risking not being able to take orders that round.

On the other hand, the Interfector player will be tempted to spread out so they don’t clear their own orders and wind up hurting their battlegroup as much as yours. If they do, take advantage of that and focus down isolated elements of their battlegroup.

Static Rounds are a pain, and you should expect your voids to go down faster than usual. Merging voids against their attacks is an even worse idea than it would usually be. Do what you can to make sure your voids are topped off.

Legio Interfector Reavers. Credit – @Gonders (twitter)

Horus Take the Wheel

Not for the faint of heart, Legio Interfector bring an aggressive game plan that is not only difficult to predict, but also disrupts your opponent’s game by removing their ability to reliably issue orders when they need them. Their Static Rounds upgrade make their Warhounds and Reavers even more effective at stripping voids than they already were, and their legion-specific stratagems offer some nasty tricks that could come in handy when your opponent least expects it.