Warlord Wednesdays: Legion Focus – Legio Kulisaetai

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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 Legio Kulisaetai, also known as the Gatekeepers, and they certainly live up to their name. 

Legio Kulisaetai Battlegroup. Credit – @ben_davy1985 (IG)

Who are Legio Kulisaetai?

Legio Kulisaetai had fought nearly to their end during the Age of Strife against the warring factions of their homeworld,  the Forgeworld of Kalibrax. It was this constant war of attrition that would develop their implacable nature and appetite for destruction.

When rediscovered by the Great Crusade, they were resupplied with a gift of numerous Legio Mortis engines and staff – bringing them closer together with Mars. The seniority and experience of the Legio Mortis Princeps would see them quickly rise within the Legio and it was no surprise during the Schism of Mars that they would align with the Fabricator General Kelbor-Hal, going on to face off with Legio Atarus on their Forgeworld of Atar Median.

Legio Kulisaetai Warhounds. Credit – @ben_davy1985 (IG)

Painting Legio Kulisaetai

We asked Ben Davy (@ben_davy1985 on IG) for their method for painting up their gorgeous Kulisaetai battlegroup. 

When Warhammer Community previewed the Crucible of Retribution book and we first saw the Legio Kulisaetai I fell in love with the scheme. I’m not 100% what really drew me in but I was straight onto the local Titanicus chat gushing over them. My fingers were crossed they were going to be Loyalist, as I was just about to finish my thirteenth (for now) Mortis Titan.

Turns out they were Traitor, so the idea went away until the New Year. Struggling to find a Loyalist scheme that grabbed me and sitting on a lot of Christmas models, I figured “sod it, let’s do it!”

Metals

To paint them I start with a Leadbelcher spray (I know shocking right!). After this I basically follow the GW how to paint a warlord video on YouTube. 

  • Nuln Oil wash all over (being careful to not let it pool)
  • Balthasar Gold and Warplock Bronze picking out details (doesn’t matter too much what you pick out, I try to be consistent across the same types of titans but even then it’s really up to you).
  • After that a wash of Agrax Earthshade.
  •  Finally a drybrush of Necron Compound. 

For the armour I painted the white first. Airbrushing on Ulthuan Grey then masking off any panels that will be half and half red and white (normally the middle ones or carapace weapons) and then airbrush on Mephiston Red. 

Once this is done I painted all the gold trim. 

  • base coat on Retributor Armour
  • wash it with Guilliman Flesh but try not to get anything into the recesses between the white or red and the gold. 
  • then highlight Liberator Gold
  • edge highlight Liberator Gold mixed about 50/50 with Vallejo Model Air Chrome 
  • finally a really fine highlight of Vallejo Model Air Chrome

The white 

  • touch up the Ulthuan Grey
  • recess shade Skeleton Horde 
  • line highlight White Scar

The red

  • touch up with Mephiston Red
  • recess shade Skeleton Horde (you might want to add some black contrast to this or do two layers)
  • line highlight Wild Rider Red

The black 

  • paint Army Painter Matt Black (it’s a lovely matt black)
  • highlight Dark Reaper 
  • highlight Dark Reaper roughly 60/40 mix with Vallejo Sky Grey (you may be able to use Ulthuan Grey for this) 

The basing is super simple

  • add a load of cut up cork, sand and anything rock looking to the base. 
  • base coat the whole thing Khorne Red
  • dry brush the cork bits Jokaero Orange
  • cover everything that isn’t cork rocks with Martian Ironearth (super important you covered the Khorne red well at this point) 
  • add Martian Ironcrust where ever you feel you aren’t happy with the Ironearth or want bits to be broken up a little more. 
  • then cover almost all the bases (in particular the rock areas) and the legs of the Titan with Vallejo Dark Red Ochre pigment. This is the last thing I do bar making sure the black rim is tidy and then I matt varnish it to keep the pigment in place and to protect the model. 

Gatekeepers decal hidden in the middle of the Imperial Knights decal sheet

Decals

I have had a few people ask about decals to use for the Gatekeepers, whose symbol is crossed keys. A friend hooked me up with a decal from a now out-of-production 40K Imperial Knights extra decal sheet (at least we think it’s out of production); it’s perfect for a Reaver carapace or I think a Warlord shoulder, though I haven’t tried that one yet. I asked around on a few trading groups on Facebook and I was able to source a couple more – I’m sure there are a few more out there if you ask!

The smaller keys you see on the sides of the Warhounds are from the Horus Heresy Dark Angels decal sheet. I bought one of these as I was planning a pre-heresy Dark Angels army anyway. Again trading pages or even buy one, remove the keys and you could probably get most of your money back selling them on. 

I’m going to use a Mortis Logo for the heraldry shield on my Warlord titan, while it’s not a 100% match for the gates because of the skull I think it will work for heraldry. Unfortunately all the Mortis logos have the skull on them bar one, but that’s on the 40k transfer sheet and is way too big for any Titanicus scale models.

Legio Kulisaetai Battlegroup. Credit – @ben_davy1985 (IG)

Kulisaetai in Adeptus Titanicus

Tactical Overview

Legio Kulisaetai’s Callous nature means that they never suffer penalties to their command checks and cannot be forced to re-roll failed checks. This is a solid, if somewhat niche, ability which will come in real handy when it’s relevant – fighting against another traitor legio with debuffs like Magna’s Wails of the Damned, Mortis’ upgrade Remains of the Fallen, the Legio Tritonis stratagem Stygian Veil, or even just suffering an MIU feedback critical damage to the head. 

The Gatekeepers’ God-Engines can brace themselves with their Steadfast Bastion stratagem, which adds 6” to the short range of all of a Titan’s weapons for 1SP at the cost of being unable to move that round. Standing still is usually ill-advised – it makes your shots easier to avoid and leaves you vulnerable to being outflanked by more nimble forces – but being able to increase the short range of your weapons to get bonuses to hit or avoid long range penalties on weapons like lasers is a fair trade. Try this on a First Firing Reaver with a melta, gatling blaster and carapace mega-bolter to improve your accuracy on the high shot-count weapons and let your melta benefit from its Fusion trait from 18” out.

Bair: Best use for this is either getting Melta into Fusion range easier, getting Laser Blasters into short range to ignore the -1 to hit from further away, or with plasma blastguns on Warhounds to negate the -1 as well at Long range. 

Condit: It also makes gatlings and macro-gatlings even better at picking up finishing blows, giving you 4+ called shots as far as 14” away. Not bad for 1SP.

The Gatekeepers also have access to a pregame move via the Methodical Advance stratagem, which allows you to move all titans of the same chosen scale their base movement in exchange for 2SP, forgoing their strategy activation on the first round and giving first turn to your opponent. This is a very powerful ability for battlegroups with a lot of the same Titan class – think Lupercal or Corsair – effectively giving you the ability to give all those Titans Full Stride orders while still being able to shoot in the combat phase. It’s also worth considering in Arcus, Ruptura, and Perpetua maniples where a majority of the Titans are the same scale, and the ones that won’t benefit from the extra move want to stay further back anyways. 

Legio Kulisaetai can outfit their engines with their unique Accelerated Autoloaders wargear to for 20 points, which allows them to fire Apocalypse Missile Launchers on their Reavers or Warlords twice in the same shooting phase. The second barrage will take a -1 penalty to hit, and immediately after firing the weapon becomes disabled and the wargear can’t be used again. If you’re at long range with a fire support Warlord, this will let you dump 20 dice into a target’s voids round 1, giving you a solid chance of dropping them on almost anything. Keep in mind that the damage control phase rolls around after a First Fire in the movement phase: this allows a Warlord or Reaver to let loose a double serving of missiles, then try for an easy repair roll to bring them back online for a third salvo in the combat phase, all without having to take so much as a single heat. Not bad.

As far as Princeps Seniores traits go, the Gatekeepers’ picks are a mixed bag. Ancient of Death makes the Princeps’ Titan only ever roll a D6 on the Reactor Overload table, which stops it from insta-dying while in the red, . Being in the red reactor track is not something you want to plan around, so likely not something you’ll opt to take except maybe in an Extergimus to really push the limits of the reactor with no instant consequence of death. Infamous Warlord causes a -1 to enemy Titans’ Command checks within 8”, and is best suited on a Titan that wants to get stuck in to force this effect – somewhat contrary to what the rest of your plan is likely to be, but potentially interesting. Lastly, Corrupted seems like it could be interesting – it allows the Princeps to ignore the MIU Feedback and Princeps Wounded Damage effects. However, their trait Callous already allows all of their Titans to ignore the penalty to Command checks, and if a Titan has suffered critical damage to its head 3 times already, it’s probably dead in the next activation anyways. 

Bair: I actually really like the Ancient of Death in a few situations, like the Extergimus just going crazy on its own reactor, but also on a fire support Warlord with twin Belicosas which you don’t often see because it runs so hot. Could be fun. 

Maniple Choice

Methodical Advance is great – 2CP for a free move before the game even starts is really useful, letting you pick up a bit of extra speed without having to take an order or push your reactor, something that’s always nice. But in order to get the most use out of it, you’re going to want to build your list with as many of the same class of Titan as possible. Corsair, Lupercal, and Extergimus maniples are the obvious choices, but they’re not the only options. Consider the Mandatum or the Perpetua for a large selection of Titans that can benefit from the free move at once backed up by a Warlord with Accelerated Autoloaders to open up your chosen target.

With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules Legio Kulisaetai offers, in particular their Accelerated Autoloaders wargear. 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 Kulisaetai Battlegroup – 1485 pts

Perpetua Battleline Maniple – 1485 pts

Reaver Titan – 330 pts 

  • Princeps Senioris – Iron-clad Tyrant 
  • Apocalypse Missile Launcher
    • Accelerated Autoloaders
  • Laser Blaster
  • Volcano Cannon

Reaver Titan – 330 pts 

  • Apocalypse Missile Launcher
    • Accelerated Autoloaders
  • Laser Blaster
  • Volcano Cannon

Reaver Titan – 330 pts 

  • Apocalypse Missile Launcher
    • Accelerated Autoloaders
  • Gatling Blaster
  • Melta Cannon

Warlord Titan – 495 pts 

  • Apocalypse Missile Launchers
    • Accelerated Autoloaders
  • Mori Quake Cannon
  • Belicosa Volcano Cannon

How many times have you been one shot short of dropping voids? This list is packed to the gills with second chances thanks to Accelerated Autoloaders, capable of firing fifty Apocalypse Missiles across 4 Titans in a single combat phase. And with the Perpetua’s bonuses to repair, your AMLs won’t be disabled for long.

With this impressive number of Apocalypse missile shots, you’ll be wanting to make liberal use of Split Fire orders – fire the missiles into voids and everything else on the target you’re focusing down this turn. Remember that Reavers with their 360° carapace can focus on completely different targets.  We’ve opted for the Iron-Clad Tyrant personal trait, as this will allow you to reroll failed command checks to provide some reliability when issuing these orders – pairing nicely with the Callous trait.

Most of the list will deploy further back than most other traitor Legios to pick off targets before they come into range. This means Methodical Advance is going to be used differently than you might expect: rather than moving aggressively to get in your opponent’s face, you’ll want to use it to gain positional advantage by outmaneuvering your opponent’s deployment choices. You won’t want to take it every game, but if you think you’re likely to need some more maneuverability in early rounds, 2CP is a bargain. Once you’re where you want to be, getting the boost to short range from Steadfast Bastion will make your Reavers’ weapons more consistent, while you’ll be able to avoid the penalties to your Warlord by simply stepping an inch or two backwards to open up some additional room.

As for other stratagems, tricks like Scatterable Mines can discourage Warhounds from trying to flank too much and guide them into a killzone. Unlike other battlegroups, staples like Concealment Barrage will just get in the way of the gunline, which means you’ll have plenty of stratagem points left over to spend on other options like Profane Blessings to make your rolls more efficient.

Playing against Kulisaetai 

You’re probably going to need to reignite your void shields on at least one Titan turn 1, so you’ll want to have a plan to either get those voids back up or protect vulnerable targets once they’re exposed. Also expect a load of Reavers or Warhounds to be in your face early as well with Methodical Advance being cheaper than Mortis’ move but only allowing one scale of Titan to move. That barrage of missiles is going to sting early game for sure, but it’s difficult to say what else to look out for in general as the Gatekeepers can be kitted out and built to work a variety of ways. Vox Blackout is an obvious choice early on to help hinder First Fire orders with a maniple full of Accelerated Autoloaders but otherwise take stratagems as you would against any Legio, consider what exactly they’re bringing and choose accordingly. 

Legio Kulisaetai Reaver. Credit – @ben_davy1985 (IG)

Hold The Gate

Legio Kulisaetai has an interesting set of tools that let them take control of the board, then punish their opponents for moving forward. Their playstyle strikes an interesting balance between front-loaded attacks to drop voids and coordinated attacks later in the game to take out key targets at mid range. Take and hold your objectives, then make your opponents pay for trying to take them back.

 

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