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.
The God-Engines of the Collegia Titanica are walking wonders of arcane technology. Despite being almost homogenous thanks to STC’s, there is a fair amount of variance from a Warhound made on one Forgeworld compared with another. In gameplay terms, aside from Legio specific wargear or customisations there is a common pool of wargear you can choose from, allowing you to customise your Titans to cater to your gameplan or taste. This week, we’re taking a look through the common wargear and seeing how this can complement your Titan battlegroup.
These upgrades are available to all Titans, regardless of allegiance – in other words, even Traitor players can use them. While some of them are available to custom Crusade Legios (available in Defense of Ryza), these are costed higher as their Forge World doesn’t specialise in the particular piece of wargear.
Bair: Also they’re generally more balanced at their higher points costs, so that’s nice.
Possibly one of the most popular and controversial bits of wargear when it was originally released in Defense of Ryza, Tracking Gyroscopes allow weapons with the Carapace trait to fire in the entire front arc of the titan, instead of the usual corridor arc. Available on any Titan Scale 10 or lower, this won’t be helping the Warmaster’s Revelator Missile Launcher, but it does give a massive buff to Warlord and Warbringer carapace weapons. This makes dodging the firing arcs of a Warlord a lot more challenging and in turns makes your Warlord considerably easier to use, whether as a mid-field brawler or a back-field fire support titan. On a Warbringer in an Arcus maniple being able to lob quake and Belicosa shots across the table out of line of sight, Knights are impossible to hide behind cover.
At 25 points it can be expensive to fit this in on top of your weapons, however avoiding missing the shot will justify the expense every time.
Bair: There’s some debate whether the Warbringer carapace weapons in the Loyalist Legio book showing Front Arc is a typo or not, a simple copy/paste error from the Warlord variants of the weapons. We have seen typos for weapons before, so until stated in an FAQ I think choosing to play them as per weapon card (corridor arc) and being able to take tracking gyros as an upgrade is fine.
Condit: 25 points is about the point where taking this too many times can actually have an impact on your list. If you’re running a maniple that only has a single Warlord or Warbringer, this upgrade is a no-brainer, but in something like an Extergimus you may need to pick and choose which engines take it. Prioritize Warlords over Warbringers, and Brawler and Close-Combat Warlords over fire-support engines.
For 15 points, this serves a similar purpose to the Gryphonicus-specific Enhanced Auspex Relays upgrade, allowing the player to pre-measure ranges with weapons after choosing which Titan to activate but before choosing its targets in the Combat phase. Good for newer players and a decent pick if you don’t like not being able to pre-measure, though the costs will add up if you take it across your entire legion. Just keep in mind that you can’t use this in the Movement phase, so the main use-case will be to try for speculative shots that might miss while you’ve got a back-up target that you can hit if your intended one is out of range.
Condit: An interesting use for this is on brawler Warlords – you’ll frequently have multiple targets, and you’ll be allowed to check whether any specific target is within 10″ before you open up and find that you’re unable to fire your carapace weapon.
Find that your weapons are being taken offline way too often? Want to make sure those plasma weapons with a repair value of 5+ stay on a little longer? Hardened Casing is only 5 points per weapon and increases the value needed to disable the weapon by 1. Once the weapon has been disabled and a detonation has occurred though, it no longer has an effect. Being able to make it impossible for smaller arms like gatling cannons/vulcan mega bolters to take weapons offline can be very useful, and making it more difficult to knock a Sunfury or Belicosa offline can be clutch.
Bair: Often after knocking shields off and only having a gatling/vulcan left to fire at the target (especially after melta/laser/plasma missed) the only thing your opponent can actually hope to damage is taking a weapon offline; being able to stop that can be huge.
This upgrade may seem underwhelming at first, but it’s a hidden gem and almost always worth taking if you have the spare points. For a meagre 10 points a Titan gets to use Voids to Full without needing to push the reactor. Useful on larger Titans for an extra set of re-roll 1’s while on a 3+ save, but absolutely amazing on a pair of Warhounds sharing shields considering their very small reactors. This extra durability can give your Titans another turn before they fall, tipping the scales in your favour.
Condit: Having the ability to guarantee that Voids to Full won’t impact your reactor track when you need it most can be crucial. Also keep in mind that this upgrade will allow you to use Voids to Full even if you’re redlining your reactor, which can be huge in the right circumstances.
For a very cheap 5 points, all friendly Knight Banners within 6” can re-roll their check to become Shaken. If you’re running any number of Knight Banners in support of Titans then it’s well worth taking, if only as a cheap insurance policy. There isn’t much worse than a banner being shaken by a stray template, losing their full stride orders – leaving them out of position and throwing your strategy out of the window.
Condit: Targeted attacks against Knight Banners can really cause problems, as when your Lord Scion gets sniped out you lose their +2 to Command checks. This won’t help you issue orders, but it will keep your Banners from losing the ability to take orders in the first place, and considering how reliant Household lists can be on orders, every bit helps.
The Vortex Payload is an upgrade to the previously underwhelming Warp Missile, giving it the trait of the same name. The Vortex trait has been around since the launch of the game, but nothing has been able to use it until now. Was it worth the wait and is it worth spending more points upgrading a one shot weapon?
It’s important to keep in mind the dice can be fickle and as a one shot weapon it might not do anything or it might decide the game in one activation. Spending a further 20 points on top of the Warp Missile, this can feel expensive at first but once you fire it you won’t think so.
When you fire the weapon you place the small blast on your target, roll to hit (scattering as normal for blast weapons if it misses) and then anything under the template suffers D6 S10 hits bypassing voids. It does not cause 2 hits under the hole of the template like a normal blast, it’s always D6 S10 hits no matter how much of the template hits it. But it doesn’t end there, it also then moves in the End phase D6” in a random location (roll scatter) but if the Hit is rolled then remove the template instead, so a ⅓ chance for the template to be removed. Anything the template hits as it moves then suffers D6 S10 hits, still bypassing voids. So usually, as long as you hit your target in the Combat phase and they were not on a Full Stride order, it’s most likely getting hit for a total of 2D6 S10 hits to random locations. Hit the same location twice and that’s a dead titan almost guaranteed.
The initial hit can even nuke Warhounds and Reavers in one-shot pretty easily if it hits Body or Legs. Targeted shots are pretty trivial to make with the Warp Missles +2 to hit at long range if this is an option you go for.
Soggy: Vortex missiles aren’t as broken as Acastus Knights were on release, although they can be rather devastating when used en masse. As part of the unwritten social contract, please don’t be that person who takes a Corsair full of Reavers with Vortex Missiles against an unsuspecting opponent. Don’t feel bad about taking them, but I would suggest keeping these to one per battlegroup or maniple to keep things reasonable.
Condit: If you’re dead-set on bringing a pile of them, give your opponent a heads-up before the game that you’re going to go hard – we tried out one of these and in round 1 of our game, Bair’s vortex missile killed my Reaver in a single shot, and the Reaver promptly exploded and took out a pair of Warhounds. The knock-on effects are Just Titanicus Things, but forcing your opponent to pick up a Reaver before it’s even taken any void damage will almost certainly create a feels-bad moment.
Limited to only one per battlegroup, the Aquila Benedictus has two effects on engines with 6”. First, all friendly loyalist Titans suffer no penalties to command checks – allowing you to counter effects like Legio Magna’s Wails of the Damned. The second aura applies when the Titan with this upgrade dies – all Loyalist Titans within 6” of it roll on the Awakened Machine Spirit table immediately. This can lead to some really amusing chain reactions, sudden repair rolls, or an opportunity to use Legio Atarus’ Impetuous Machine Spirit. It also pairs very nicely with the next upgrade…
Spark of Vengeance
When the Titan’s machine spirit awakens instead of rolling on the table, simply apply the Wrathful result instead. At only 10 points per Titan, this is great to throw on any Titan with a Draining weapon so that when that push awakens the spirit by mistake you’re still firing a gun, at BS4+ but still firing a gun of your choice at a target of your choice. Never bad to take, and when running close to a Titan with Aquila Benedictus, letting all your nearby Titans take a shot whenever that one goes down is awesome.
Not a cheap upgrade at 25 points, but it might just save your Titans if you’re a fan of running hot. Being able to vent heat once per game on a 2+ instead of a 4+ can literally save an engine from nuking itself.
Condit: This is great in an Extergimus, and really shines for Legios who can substitute in smaller Titans to fit more engines in. Swap out a Warlord for a Reaver with this upgrade and you can still do some serious damage using the maniple trait and can make pushing lasers for shieldbane a lot more palatable.
Another reference to Corrupted Titans, this upgrade is long-winded and currently has no effect in game. When Corrupted Titans actually become a thing in the game, we’ll revisit to see if this is actually beneficial at all, but for now this is just future-proofing.
It does finally give us some insight into how Corrupted Titans work, though: this upgrade allows you to choose a Corrupted Titan and switch off an “additional Mutation,” but it doesn’t affect its “Base Mutation.” It also passively imposes a penalty on Command checks made by Corrupted Titans, which could be pretty nasty. We’re interested to see how this plays out.
Upgrading a weapon with Hunter Shells can get expensive rather quickly for a one-use burst, but it will secure a vital Engine Kill. Any weapon with the Ordnance Trait can be upgraded for the cost of 5 points times the number of dice, so 30 points on a gatling/macro gatling or 60 on paired gatling blasters.
In exchange, you can choose to fire the weapon with Hunter Shells once per game, allowing you to make targeted shots without suffering a -2 to hit rolls. Aiming a macro gatling at a damaged location is already a very effective way to get a kill shot, and being able to do that on 3+ all but guarantees the kill, even if that location isn’t completely tracked.
Open the Titanic Armoury
It can be a bad feeling if you’ve got spare points left over in your list, but thanks to the addition of common pools of wargear you’ll rarely find that to be the case anymore. The challenge now will be deciding which ones to bring along. While they aren’t something that you often centre a list around, wargear can dramatically change how your Titans perform and improve your chances of victory.