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 Tritonis, the first Blackshield Legio in Adeptus Titanicus. Unlike the loyalists and traitors, the Dark Tide will pick a fight with anyone in defense of their realm, and to do so they bring one of the most powerful stratagems in the game, the incredible Stygian Veil.
Who are Legio Tritonis?
To talk about Legio Tritonis, we need first to talk about Legio Venator, the “Iron Spiders”.
During the Age of Strife the God-Engines of the Forge World Arachnus protected their people from the native mega-arachnids and invaders from outside the system. When discovered by the Great Crusade, Arachnus insisted that they remain sovereign which saw the start of a bloody compliance action which would see Arachnus losing the majority of it’s small empire and the depletion of the Legio Venators’ Titans.
The Legio Venator elements who took part in the Great Crusade found themselves integrating with the Imperium. However those still on Arachnus resented their conquest, seeking to reinstate their empire made the most of Imperial rule by expanding their sphere of influence throughout the Belt of Iron.
The outbreak of the Horus Heresy would see Arachnus secede from the Imperium. Legio Venator was broken into two elements, those loyal to the Imperium and those to Arachnus. The latter became known as Legio Tritonis, named after the three bodies of Arachnus.
Legio Tritonis fought both Loyalist and Traitor alike during the Heresy, expanding the empire of Arachnus while the galaxy burned.
Painting Legio Tritonis
We asked @badposturepainting (IG) for their method for painting up their gorgeous Tritonis battlegroup.
So when I got into titanicus in like January and saw that no-one had done any tritonis I was confused, shocked and excited to do “what I felt was right”. Also meant I was starting off not painting purple which is a feat in and of itself. I like to imagine them more underwater and grimey because of the trident motif.
The Tan plates : go from a beige to a sandy offwhite. I think I was using one of the vallejo model color beiges, there’s a lot of them , then I used a kinda dead fleshy color (think flayed one flesh mixed with pallyd wych) to do kind of a blend with the armor panels. Realistically the other scheme I was thinking of was rakarth -> pallid and I think that would be good if you don’t have the exact colors. After that , hit it with a dark brown enamel / oil / agrax if ya want. For the first 2 you can really modulate the color to look however you want. Agrax is a lot trickier and will require a little bit more care and thinning. Tada. Next part is worse.
The “Blue” plates : Vallejo Metal colors. If you have these you’re about to get excited because you know how good these are. If you are unfamiliar, they are amazing in an airbrush and super thin with a brush and go on really well. Build up a kind of gradient to make visual interest with those in “iron-ey to silver” colors. I think my exact steps were gunmetal grey -> iron -> silver – > Chrome. This part is kind of “do whatever you want because it is going to mostly get covered up”. Their blue plates look a lot more metallic / have a sheen to them in my mind so I wanted a good metal undercoat. All over with leviadon blue. Get up, go get pluck foam. Hopefully it’s far away because you want the Leviadon blue to dry for a little bit but not to become completely dry. Splotch some of it up leaving neat metal chipping. This part is tricky and weird and produces interesting results. Especially when you are doing it with stripes. I was kind of figuring this out as I went and it came out great, so if I make more I wont be changing the process.
Trim City : Not to be confused with the vallejo metal colors, these are the Vallejo model colors. Vallejo Gunmetal Blue is REALLY pretty. Do your standard metal build up of iron to silver with vallejo gunmetal grey, natural steel, silver but mix in varying amounts of the gunmetal blue into each step, probably none in the silver and only a little bit into the natural steel. This gives the trim a very eerie feel to it but also comes out nice and shiny contrasting amongst the blue plates and the dirty tan. Yes this is a lot of steps yes this is trim and yes you WILL do this on a warmaster one day.
Rust : Varnish your plates with whatever you choose (I would probably do satin but I think I did Matte) and then bust out your favorite enamels / oils from whatever brand it is you choose. I initially did an all over pass with a “rust streaks” product that produces a bit of a darker orangish rust, not quite going to the ancient red rust. After that dries for about an hour or so, use a lighter rust color to do some actual streaking / pooling in the deep parts of plates. The warlord was a labor of love and I think the rust came out wonderfully in it. If you’re going to use a model for inspiration to do Tritonis, use that one.
Basing : basing was a lot of various enamel effects and pigments and water effects and loyalist titans and lichen as corals. Basing is hard and we were trying out a bunch of things at the time and that’s why the warhounds’ bases aren’t done / one is ugly.
The heraldry : My girlfriend redrew the symbols as a vector and we made transfers. EZPZ
Tritonis in Adeptus Titanicus
Soggy: We normally follow the same sequence for these articles, but for this Legio we’re going to make an exception and start off the main attraction.
Stygian Veil is one of the best stratagems in the game. That’s it. That’s the tweet. You can stop reading now, enjoy your day.
If you thought Concealment Barrages were annoying then imagine dropping three bigger ones for the price of two, oh and they also debuff command checks over most of the board.
To be more specific, for 2SP during the stratagem phase pick three points on the table which are 10” apart from each other. Each of these points then block LOS within 3” and give -2 to command to the other players units within 6”.
The amount of control by deciding if nearly half of the table can shoot at each other paired with the ability to debuff command checks, preventing those pesky Warhounds and Knights from running up or stopping a critical Emergency Repair, is phenomenal.
Tide of Iron allows them to replace any mandatory Reavers with Warlords. Being able to bend the rules is always fun and opens up some interesting combinations when assembling your battlegroup which we’ll cover in the Maniple Choice section later.
Soggy: The lore reason for this is that during the Age of Strife they found that Warlord Titans were best at fighting the mega-arachnids that were found on Arachnus. With spiders that big, I would have just called for an Exterminatus honestly.
Bair: Everyone likes more Warlords, this is a fact, and it’s cool to sub them in.
Condit: While Warlords are cool as hell, their high points cost can make fitting what you want in a list difficult. However, some of the substitutions you can make with this trait really improve the effectiveness of your Warlords.
Legio Tritonis battlegroups Revel in Slaughter, getting +1 to all command checks (up to +3) for each enemy Titan they have destroyed. Meaning if you can get a quick kill on a Warhound or two that you will rarely fail your orders or machine spirit checks. Becoming more consistent in the mid to late game is always nice and this helps get off those incredibly important Orders when they really matter.
Bair: I like how this, unlike being a Princeps Seniores, actually helps with quelling the machine spirit, just adding to the late game consistency.
Condit: This is really a “win more” trait, as it just continues to compound your advantage when you’re already winning. It could potentially make the difference in a real slugfest, giving Reavers and Warhounds consistent access to orders they need to carry you through to victory, but in most games this’ll just be gravy to help you seal the deal.
Legio Tritonis can upgrade their Apocalypse Missile Launchers with Radiative Warheads for a flat 25 points, which doubles their hits against voids on a 6+. This is a great upgrade for your fire support Warlords and Reavers with long ranged weapons, but can be expensive to justify on midfield or close range engines, who could just use weapons which natively have the Rapid trait and save the 25 points. That being said, having the opportunity to throw some more effective anti-void hate across the board starting from turn 1 is nice.
The Princeps Senioris of a Legio Tritonis maniple can pick from their specific Legio personal traits.
Tactical Genius is a favourite of ours, which works like a bit of a twist on Dominant Strategist. It allows you to reroll your initiative roll once per round in exchange for your Princeps’ activation during the Strategy Phase. This sets up an interesting dynamic with the availability of Dominant Strategist – while the core game’s trait is guaranteed to get you the first turn when you want it, it’s also once per game, which means that Tactical Genius could result in you snagging the opus more than once per game. Just be sure not to take this on a melee Reaver or something else that’s likely to die early so you can get as much use out of it as possible.
Leader of Arachnus allows the Stygian Veil stratagem to be taken more than once, which is a serious SP investment but will let you control the table for two turns which should be enough for you to earn victory. If you take this trait, you’ll be telegraphing what stratagems you’re taking, but that’s fine – Stygian Veil is incredibly good.
The Lust for Vengeance trait allows your Princeps Senioris once per game to shoot a weapon back at the unit that attacked it, if it suffered a crit. This can be a fun one, but we would probably look at the other two options available.
Legio Tritonis have a decent toolset which works with a wide variety of playstyles and that’s before considering their Tide of Iron trait. Stygian Veil’s flexibility can be used to block line of sight as you close in with fragile Warhounds or fullstriding melee Reavers or it can be placed behind the same for your opponent to deny orders as you belt them from afar with fire support platforms.
Tide of Iron’s ability to substitute a Warlord in place of a Reaver will make battlegroups more expensive, which normally you want to avoid but does allow for a few fun options. The most likely candidates though are between the Corsair for moonwalking or the Ferrox for extra punch up close, which both favour the aggressive Brawler Warlord build.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at a 1500 point list which takes advantage of the unique rules Legio Tritonis offers. 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 Tritonis Battlegroup – 1485 pts
Corsair Batteline Maniple – 1170 pts
Reaver Titan – 310 pts
- Princeps Senioris – Tactical Genius/Leader of Arachnus
- Apocalypse Missile Launcher
- Radiative Warheads
- Volcano Cannon
- Laser Blaster
Reaver Titan – 310 pts
- Apocalypse Missile Launcher
- Radiative Warheads
- Volcano Cannon
- Laser Blaster
Warlord Titan – 500 pts
- Apocalypse Missile Launchers
- Radiative Warheads
- Macro Gatling Blaster
- Sunfury Plasma Annihilator
Reaver Titan – 310 pts
- Vulcan Megabolter
- Melta Cannon
There’s a bit going on with this battlegroup, so let’s have a look.
Tide of Iron has been used to substitute a Warlord into a Corsair maniple so it can benefit from the Fighting Withdrawal trait, helping you keep your targets lined up and at optimum range. The two Reavers in the maniple will deploy in the backline in a fire support role, the Warlord will hold the midfield.
The odd one out appears to be the chainfist Reaver, who could fit inside the maniple. However, leaving it as support is intentional here. As Legio Tritonis are a Blackshield Legio, the Decentralised Command allegiance trait lets you issue orders to the melee Reaver even if you fail orders on one of the engines in the maniple – meaning you should always order this one last. This is particularly helpful as your melee Titan will rely on orders to get across the table and deal damage on the charge, so being able to consistently issue them even if you fail a command check on one of the Titans in the maniple is a nice value-add.
The game plan for this battlegroup is to position yourself to get the most advantage from Stygian Veil. The Veil will allow you to divide up the table and decide who gets to engage who that turn, both by restricting line of sight and by making crucial orders that much harder to issue. Use the stratagem to try to isolate one or two enemy engines, then go to work. The Radiative Warhead-equipped apocalypse launchers will make short work of voids, allowing the plasma, volcano and laser weaponry to find it’s mark. Likewise, the Melee Reaver can aim for targets of opportunity, as a melee counter-punch/distraction carnifex, playing the objectives, or simply clogging up movement lanes to give the rest of your battlegroup some breathing room.
Split Fire orders on your maniple are going to be key, and the maniple trait gives you a little added flexibility to take them with your Warlord and still be able to catch someone in corridor. Use the range on your AMLs to force void saves on targets you think you’ll be able to isolate, then drop Stygian Veil and try to pick up a kill or two. You can afford to extend a bit further than you might otherwise if it’ll get you the kill, as the bonus to Command checks you’ll gain will help you stabilize and bring the game home.
There is a bit of choice on which Princeps trait to take, as this will influence your Stratagem selection. You could opt for Leader of Arachnus to take Stygian Veil multiple times. However, Tactical Genius to get the first turn more often is very handy and allows you to invest in other Stratagems such as Experimental Locomotors or Venerable Machine Spirit on the melee Reaver.
Playing against Tritonis
Be ready for the Veil. What would be a minor overreach against most other legions could result in disaster when your force is suddenly cut off by a bunch of 6” diameter line-of-sight blockers. What’s worse, if they’ve taken Leader of Arachnus, they can drop it again, forcing you to play through two turns almost entirely on their terms.
The flip side of this is that your opponent will almost certainly be taking this stratagem in every game, so you’ll have a pretty good idea of where 2 of their precious SP are going. If you can play around it and weather the storm on the turn it comes down, you’ll be well-positioned to punish them.
Don’t spread your forces out, and be prepared for your orders not to go off in the turn they drop the Veil. Force them to place the tokens in spots that you can move through, denying them the ability to catch you out and gain the upper hand. Once you’ve made it through the storm, go back to your gameplan and force them to play on your terms.
Ride the Wave
The Dark Tide are an interesting Legio with one of the most powerful stratagems in the game. It defines how they play and gives them the ability to have one absolutely terrifying turn that your opponents will have to deal with if they want to survive.