Horus Heresy the Age of Darkness

Reviewing the new boxed set for Horus Heresy!

Today’s review is for the new Horus Heresy box which is up for pre-order this weekend and due out for release in late June. Firstly, thanks goes to Games Workshop for providing this to review for free. As always, I aim to be honest, impartial and constructively critical. But with that out of the way, let’s get on with the review!

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Box Contents

This box is huge and weighs quite a bit too. Inside you’ll find tons of content from templates, measurement sticks and also all the sprues! Inside you get: 40 Mk6 Space Marines, 10 Cataphractii Terminators, 2 Mk6 Praetors, a Contemptor Dreadnaught and a Spartan, all in plastic! It’s sooo much stuff.

Past all that, you then get a full core rulebook, instructions with some rules in it, bases, transfers, dice and 2 quick reference sheets for both you and your opponent. These sheets are so useful and I’m glad to see them back. They’re super useful and getting 2 is a nice perk as the box contents can be used as either a split between 2 people or just for yourself!


Mk6 Space Marines

As for the Mk6 Space Marines, they’re pretty easy to go together, being neatly placed near each other on the sprue for quick building. You also get pretty much nearly every weapon option for sergeants and the units, leaving out only special and heavy weapons. For size, they’re pretty good although my (favourite) Mk4 Marines are now too short in comparison for my liking. If I was going to build more Mk4, I’d probably just space out the joint with the legs and body to gain some height. Mk3 to Mk6 feels fine though.


Core Rulebook

Inside this massive tome, the core rulebook contains a brief but expansive set of narrative content. It covers all the legions, factions involved in the conflicts as well as the origins of Space Marines and their armour marks. It’s pretty great overall and a good introduction for those new to the Horus Heresy.

For the rules, Horus Heresy uses a refined Warhammer 40,000 7th edition rules set. The main changes this time resolve around reactions. Each player can use 3 per turn and they do add a lot of more nuance to the game. The biggest change is overwatching on full BS, although only 1 unit a turn can do it basically.

Other than that rules mostly remain the same, just refined. Such as with the new weapon skill table and the tweaking of universal special rules.

As for building armies, everyone (currently) has the same force orginisation chart with the listed points limits shown above. 2,000 points is my favourite but I do know lots of people play at 3,000 as well.

As for the missions, you get the 6 tweaked missions which came in the last edition. Table sizes remains the same at 6×4 but with 6 different deployment maps you can use with any mission. It’s interesting to stay at the same table size and not change to the table sizes used in 40k and AoS but I can understand why the table size did not change.


Legion Books

Finally, you can also get these Liber books which cover all the rules for building armies in Horus Heresy. Each book is also a massive tome, with each covering all the universal units you can take for legions as well as rules for each individual legion and their unique units. Liber Hereticus covers all 9 traitor legions and Liber Astartes covers all the loyalist legions. They’re truly massive and cover so much content that I’ll try cover these separately going forwards. You just get so much within that it’s difficult to fit it all in now.


Horus Heresy Overview

Overall, I really like this new update. I was already invested in the Horus Heresy before this (I have about 3,000 points with Alpha Legion) but I really love this new update. It’s just a great refinement of an already good rules set. The only difficulty is learning all the universal special rules but they’re basically all in one place and identical when used over multiple units. The only thing I would have liked is weapon profiles in unit profiles but a lot of units have so many weapon options, so it’s understandable why that wasn’t done. It’s just so refreshing being able to build proper characters again from decked-out sergeants to ornately armed Praetors.

Pros:

  • Uses the same refined 7th edition rules set
  • Balanced and reactive rules
  • Legions feel very different, distinct and unique to each other
  • Overall armies are more balanced with each other as well as weapons with removals of rules and equipment like armoured ceramite etc
  • Can build unique and bespoke characters
  • Plastic update to basically the entire core range

Cons:

  • Takes a while to remember most of the universal special rules and weapon profiles
  • People who don’t like Space Marines may not be interested until other factions get their free PDF updates
  • Books are quite heavy and large to carry around, small format options for books would have been great

So would I recommend getting the Horus Heresy? Yes! I think the new edition is a great starting point and the new plastic range refresh makes jumping in that much easier. It’s also really refreshing to play after playing the recent new editions of Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar. There’s something really cathartic about Space Marines vs Space Marines from both a narrative and competitive standpoint.

You can order your Horus Heresy products directly from Games Workshop or via my affiliate link at Element Games that will net you a 15% to 25% at no additional cost to yourself while helping to support me and my content, so check it out if you can.

That’s pretty much it from me. I’ll be covering Horus Heresy more on the blog as I paint up my Alpha Legion army again so remember, even in the distant past that is somehow the future, even when there are no crits, you can always roll as if you can!

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