Warlord Wednesdays: Legion Focus – Legio Laniaskara

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 Laniaskara, an aggressive melee legion that aims to overwhelm their enemies with terrifyingly powerful assaults and devastating charges. Do they have what it takes to bring down their prey? Read on to find out.

Legio Laniaskara Reavesr. Credit – @jarringwharf664 (IG)

Who are Legio Laniaskara – the “Impalers”?

Hailing from the Forge World of Valia-Maximal, Legio Laniaskara was founded sometime before the Age of Strife. Their original task was the extermination of Kaiju who lived in caves under the caustic seas of their homeworld.

Soggy: I suppose we were overdue for Legio: Pacfic Rim, but here it is.

Close quarters combat in the nests of their prey lead to a brutal and intimate approach to battle for the Legio, favouring chainfists and powerclaws more than their peers in the Collegia Titanica. During the initial negotiations with the  Expeditionary Fleets of the Great Crusade, the leaders for Valia-Maximal opted for a show of force, grossly underestimating the might of the Imperium. This error of judgement would lead to a brutal conquest of the Forge World, spearheaded by Legio Astraman of Forge World Graia. It’s then not surprising to see that they would declare for the Warmaster at the outbreak of the Horus Heresy right after Graia pledged their loyalty to the Emperor.

Painting Legio Laniaskara

Legio Laniaskara’s awesome livelry isn’t for the faint of heart with all of the chevrons but worth it in the end. We asked jarringwharf664 (IG @jarringwharf664) to share his latest Legio and the approach to paint them up with us. 

I had a lot of fun painting this Legio, their contrasting colour scheme of turquoise and orange is very striking and they have some great detailing work which I saw as a freehand experiment/challenge. 

The skeleton of the Titan is the standard Leadbelcher, Nuln Oil, Agrax Earthshade, Typhus Corrosion dirty metal mix. 

The orange is Mephiston red, Evil sunz scarlet and Troll slayer orange. 

The turquoise is Vallejo Light turquoise. I painted the pattern with a mix of dark reaper and Abaddon black and then weathered the whole lot with Burnt Umber oil paint. 

Legio Laniaskara Reaver. Credit – @jarringwharf664 (IG)

Laniaskara in Adeptus Titanicus

Tactical Overview

Not ones for subtlety, the Impalers favour Direct Measures – a trait which gives a single Impalers Titan the ability to use its boosted speed without needing to push its reactor. This is a huge bonus for Warhounds, whose fickle machine spirits and measly reactor tracks can often let you down, leaving you orange-lining (or worse!) at the worst possible moment. A finer point to notice here is that you get one free push across your entire battlegroup, so you won’t get additional benefit from this trait by bringing multiple maniples. Still, it’s incredibly good, and you’ll get a ton of use out of it.

Impalers Titans also get to make a Smash Attack in addition to any other attack it makes as part of a charge order thanks to their Bullish trait. Being able to throw twice as many Smash Attacks or follow up a chainfist attack in the Movement phase is nothing to sneeze at and can help secure kills or vital damage on the charge. While certainly not as immediately threatening as Legio Vulpa’s Disruption Emitters, it still enables a Warhound to charge and potentially knock out two different weapon systems to neuter a Titan’s combat phase. It’s important to remember Smash Attacks don’t get bonuses to hit, but there are a few options to improve your WS, including the Blood Thirst stratagem or the Ferrox Maniple’s Knife Fighters trait. This extra smash attack doesn’t get the extra dice from the charge distance but it is still more attacks, for free.

Bair: Knocking weapon systems offline with a charge and forcing them to be repaired before the combat phase is an often overlooked tactic. Melee weapons generally repair on a 2+ so you won’t want to target them, but weapons like Plasma Blastguns requiring a 5+ to bring back online is a great choice. 

Condit: Just be careful with power fists and Warlord power claws – if your Concussive roll results in them being pushed back, you won’t be able to get the extra attacks. Reaver chainfists are the order of the day.

Melee focused Battlegroups can often struggle to pass orders to charge and often have to rely on stratagems like Iron Resolve or Blood Thirst. The Impalers’ stratagem Heedless Charge is the envy of other Melee Legios – for one SP during the strategy phase you can issue a charge order without needing to make a command check. This is incredibly cheap, but can of course be countered immediately with the also cheap Vox Blackout. However, combining this with Blood Thirst means for 2SP total you have 2 very devastating charge turns, not just one!

The Impalers use Mordantised Ceramite to protect their God-Engines as they thunder toward their foes, Titans equipped with this 10pt wargear reduce the strength of weapons with the maximal fire trait by 1 – whether they are using the ability or not. This upgrade allows you to shrug off Plasma Blastgun fire – making crits only occur on a 6 against Reavers or impossible on a Warhound before you take into account flanks or coordinated strikes. If you’ve got the spare points this is a nice list filler, but we wouldn’t be dropping things in favour of it.

Legio Laniaskara Princeps Senioris three different traits to pick from, the first being a familiar face from Legio Vulpa to utterly destroy Knights – Cruel, which adds 2 strength to all attacks against units with a scale of 5 or less. This is nice when playing against a Knight Household or a Maniple which uses Knights like the Ignis and Dominus, but there are better options. 

Titan Killer gives the princeps the ability to reroll armour rolls of 1 against a Titan once per round. Remember that this is effectively giving you the Ordinance trait, so this pairs nicely with high damage multishot weapons like Sunfuries or Laser Destroyers.  Whilst you might not get much mileage out of it on a Melta or Volcano cannon, it can help you out when your dice let you down – rerolls being rather hard to come by.

Soggy: It is interesting how their first two traits are a bit exclusive of each other depending on what you are fighting.

Condit: I agree, having these options available is an interesting way to hedge against the units you anticipate will be most threatening to you.

Failing that, the Princeps can opt for Heedless Rage, which allows them once per turn to attack with a disabled melee weapon after which it suffers a single strength 10 hit to the body. Given how easy melee weapons are to repair, this seems a bit weak with a limited use case.

Legio Laniaskara battlegroups will often look to take stratagems that help them make the charge or once they get in there. It’s no surprise that Warp Displacement is a prime pick, for charging out of nowhere. Blood Thirst is a solid pick, normally taken for it’s +2 on the Charge command check but instead this time for the +2 to hit once you’re in as well as giving a second turn of reliable charges. 

Maniple Choice

The Ferrox is always a good choice, and is even better when for a Legio which wants to focus around Charging but doesn’t have an inherent benefit to hit with Smash attacks. Being able to use the always-better BS value of a Titan instead of the WS value makes them hit more reliably, and covers one of the biggest weaknesses they have in close quarters compared to Vulpa.

Another maniple worth looking at is the Corsair, this time because of the number of chainfists and power fists you can take to just fully lean into the theme of the Legion. Plus, the Reaver’s scale 8 gives it strength 9 Smash attacks, which is a bit more threatening following up on a charge than a Warhound at strength 7.

Taking a Ruptura means that 2 Reavers in the maniple each turn will be able to use boosted movement value between your Maniple trait and Legio trait. Plus, if you can get the kill with a Warbringer, each of your Reavers can make an immediate move and, if they are already on Charge orders, another charge attack followed by a Smash attack. 

For this week’s list, we’ve opted for a Ruptura:

Legio Laniaskara Battlegroup – 1745 pts

Ruptura Maniple – 1745 pts

Reaver Titan – 410 pts 

  • Vulcan Megabolter
  • Chainfist
  • Melta Cannon
  • Wargear: Mordantised Ceramite, Singular Purpose, Unholy Benedictions, Marks of Conquest
  • Mutations: Overwhelming Rage, Organic Protrusions, Aura of Fury

Reaver Titan – 410 pts 

  • Vulcan Megabolter
  • Chainfist
  • Melta Cannon
  • Wargear: Mordantised Ceramite, Singular Purpose, Unholy Benedictions, Marks of Conquest
  • Mutations: Overwhelming Rage, Organic Protrusions, Aura of Fury

Warbringer Nemesis Titan – 445 pts 

  • Mori Quake Cannon
  • Laser Blaster
  • Volcano Cannon
  • Wargear: Mordantised Ceramite, Tracking Gyroscopes, Unholy Benedictions

Warbringer Nemesis Titan – 480 pts 

  • Princeps Seniores- Titan Killer
  • Belicosa Volcano Cannon
  • Laser Blaster
  • Volcano Cannon
  • Wargear: Mordantised Ceramite, Tracking Gyroscopes, Unholy Benedictions

The basics are pretty straightforward here: use your two free pushes to get your Reavers across the board and into charge range, then put both your Reavers on Charge orders, pile chainfist and smash attacks into the body, then clean up with your Warbringers and do it again.

What’s a bit less straightforward is the absolute pile of upgrades and mutations involved here, but trust me, they’re there for good reason. The Reavers get the mutations to be able to boost their melee attacks, especially on the charge. Overwhelming Rage gives all their melee weapons +1 dice all of the time and can be issued Charge orders without the need for a command check. Combined with Organic Protrusions they’ll be making a minimum 4 chain fist attacks plus 4 smash attacks on every single charge. Aura of Fury is just a fun pick to get stuck in and make your opponent’s orders more difficult to get off combined with the Marks of Conquest to give off auras of -1 command check. You’ll be getting your own charge orders every turn and your opponent will have a hard time going on the orders they want.

If you wanted to change things up here, you could bring some different weapons on one or both of the Reavers – laser blasters support more of an “all-in” playstyle, especially if you pair them with Bloodthirst or some other trick to improve your accuracy to get better than 5+ called shots. It also may be worth running the Belicosa Warbringer with gatling and melta on the arms to turn it into a mid-range support unit to help guarantee kills.

The Princeps trait is really up to your personal taste – we’ve slapped Titan Hunter onto a Warbringer to help land those kill shots for the Ruptura trait, but you could also put it on one of the Reavers for improved consistency on the charge. If you expect to run into a lot of Knights, Cruel on a Warbringer is an excellent way to just remove a banner or two per turn and get on with the real game. Iron Clad Tyrant would be a solid pick too on a Legio wanting to get Charge orders off, for when you do fail an order so you can re roll it. And, as always, Dominant Strategist is an incredible choice for a melee legion, as it lets you take the Opus when you need it to guarantee as many attacks as possible without interruption.

Legio Laniaskara Warlord. Credit – Warhammer Community

Playing against Legio Laniaskara 

Two words: Vox Blackout. If you thought Vulpa were reliant on getting a charge off, get a load of these jerks – if you can shut down their ability to charge, you’ll deny them an entire legion trait. Back that up with some tricks to mess with Command checks and you can make them a lot more manageable – a charging Reaver with a chainfist is still going to hurt, but it’s a lot more manageable when it’s not immediately followed up with D3 (or more) attacks at strength 9.

Do your best to deny coordinated charges – Laniaskara best trick is a turn full of auto-issued Charge orders using Heedless Charge, and if you don’t offer a good situation for them to use it you can create some tough decisions for them.

Other than that, treat them like you would anyone else that wants to get in close: keep your distance, use weapons with Quake and target the legs to cut their speed and manoeuvrability, and do what you can to take out enough of them before they can close. Just keep in mind that their inexpensive Mordantised Ceramite upgrade will make them more resilient against your best mid-ranged armour-breaking weapons, so don’t count on coring something out in one round with a Sunfury unless you’ve built around pushing it to ridiculous levels of strength.

Reset the Clock

Laniaskara offers a different approach to melee from the legions that have come before them, and it’s definitely an interesting one. It lends itself better to coordinated charges rather than the more “one-on-one” style of Vulpa or Gryphonicus. However, don’t think they’re not just as aggressive as their traitorous brethren – if you’re not careful, they’ll take you down just like one of the monsters from their homeworld.

Condit: The key question I’ve been going back and forth on personally is how the Impalers stack up against my legion of choice, the Death Stalkers of Legio Vulpa. On balance, I think Vulpa is probably a bit more reliable – Laniaskara’s real trick is their Bullish trait combined with Heedless Rage, and that combo is too easily countered with Vox Blackout. Plus, Vulpa has the upside that, even if you fail the Charge order, disruption emitter-equipped Titans are still terrifying if they can close to within 1″. That being said, a Laniaskara charge is nothing to sneeze at, and the number of times I’ve taken a stray Devastating or Critical hit from plasma on the way in makes Mordantised Ceramite look pretty damn good, especially since it’s priced to move.

All in all, if you’re looking for an aggressive melee legion with a striking paint scheme that’ll really stand out on the tabletop, the Impalers might just be for you.