[Ask Uncle Von] How’d the Iron Warriors do in Traitor Legions?

Words to that effect, anyway. I hadn’t planned on looking too deeply into the Iron Warriors, but Veth asked and I didn’t have anything better to do after work, so here goes nothing.

Special Rules

Here’s the deal. No Marks, but you can still take Daemon Princes (because they don’t have Marks, and the rules all but spell this out by including a clarification about psychic powers on Daemon Princes). No special characters. Free Veterans of the Long War for everyone who can have it.

Veterans of the Long War also unlocks a Blood Feud with the Imperial Fists (largely irrelevant, I’ve never actually seen an Imperial Fists army on the table) and Feel No Pain (6+) for everyone. (I wouldn’t make a big deal out of this though: while it’s good, the Death Guard do it better, and the Emperor’s Children do it even better if they bring Icons, and they also have better guns than you.) The other thing your Veterans of the Long War does is give absolutely everyone rerolls on failed armour penetration rolls and extra damage against buildings.

Obliterators and Mutilators are Troops choices in your Combined Arms Detachments. Obliterators, Mutilators and Havocs have the Tank Hunters special rule.

Warlord Traits

I wouldn’t usually concern myself with these, but the Iron Warriors ones are so specific that it’s worth thinking about them as a factor in army building. You have one which exclusively affects vehicles (they gain It Will Not Die while your Warlord’s within 6″), one which exclusively affects Obliterators (they can choose to fire the same weapon in consecutive shooting phases) and one which hands out Counter-Attack and Split Fire to the Warlord and his unit, which kind of lends itself to Obliterators again (or Havocs, maybe, for imitating the Long Fangs?).

This is important because you have a few formations which put a Warpsmith in command of either a bunch of vehicles (the Fist of the Gods and Helforged Warpack) or a lot of Obliterators (the Cult of Destruction). Considering that you can re-roll on this table if your Warlord’s part of an Iron Warriors Grand Company, you might want to think about nominating a Warpsmith as your Warlord and chancing a really useful roll for his Formation. (In particular, consider the Warpbreacher Artefact on a Warpsmith in a Fist of the Gods; he rides around in the Land Raider, hands out Possession to nearby vehicles, and maybe It Will Not Die too if you’re lucky on the Warlord Traits table).

Alternatively, you might want to build an army which is built on solid, reliable, not-random-table-related foundations and ignore the Iron Warriors table altogether, which… well, given that you may get a result which applies to units you’re not using, I can’t rule that out as a valid option either. Are you feeling lucky?

Chaos Artefacts (a Relic by any other name…)

I’ve already done the Warpbreacher: slap it on a Warpsmith in the Fist of the Gods if you’re using it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother. The other Warpsmith-specific one, the Nest of Mechaserpents, has a modest chance of giving all but two of your Warpsmith’s attacks Instant Death. It’s fun, but it’s 20 points of not all that.

You’ve a souped up power axe with Armourbane and Master-Crafted at ten points over the norm, which… well, if you’d be buying someone a power axe anyway, I’d think about it. Your other weapon is a chudding great power maul: +2 S, AP4, master-crafted, or you can trade all your normal attacks in for a single S10 AP1 (still master-crafted). Again, it’s ten points up on a normal power mace and since you’ll end up in challenges anyway, you might as well take the giggle option of one hit to end them all.

The other two are a thirty point thing which radiates a single Haywire hit on enemy vehicles in a random radius (blech, do not want, you have access to Heretech powers for this sort of thing now) and the Fleshmetal Exoskeleton. 2+ save and It Will Not Die. Slap it on a Daemon Prince of Tzeentch and enjoy your 2+/5++ rerolling 1s tankface… thing.

Tactical Objectives

The main thing I notice about these is that there will be times when they’re meaningless. What if you don’t have Obliterators or Mutilators? What if the other geeze doesn’t have Fortifications? What if the other geeze doesn’t have vehicles? I’m not overly impressed by these; they’re a bit too contingent on exactly what you’re facing and in what context.

The Grand Company

Your unique Detachment has the standard-issue “reroll on your Legion’s Warlord Traits table” perk. It also allows you to reroll the scatter die when firing Barrage or Ordnance weapons within this Detachment, which means you have slightly more incentive to take Defilers or Vindicators than anyone else. If I’ve worked it out right you can take a Vindicator Squadron in a Fist of the Gods Formation (since it demands Vindicator units and the Squadron thing is part of the unit entry for Vindicators now), so you could apply this reroll to the 10″ blast your Vindicator Squadron chucks out. Just a thought.

Oh, and your infantry also have Stubborn, upgraded to Fearless if they’re in a Fortification. You have have have to take a Chaos Warband as the core Formation here, which gives you a bunch of infantry units with Objective Secured; you also have access to 1-3 Fortifications as an Auxiliary Formation. I think the core of the Grand Company builds itself, all things considered.

If you’re not interested in spending your points and pounds on buildings, though, I’d write off the Grand Company and take a Combined Arms Detachment instead. The bonuses to Ordnance accuracy are worth building into if you’re going to be taking the Grand Company anyway, but I wouldn’t take a Grand Company just for those.

Putting it all together

I’ll be honest: I don’t know buggery ding-dong shit about Fortifications, which makes me rather less than qualified to put together an example list for the Grand Company. I’m not hugely taken with the monstrously pro-Imperial range, though, nor with the thought of spending good honest country points on CONCREET BAWKSES that don’t even move. If I were to do it, I’d be looking at something like this:

  • Chaos Warband (Core): Lord on a bike with one of the funky Iron Warriors weapon options, Sorcerer if the points are going, one squad of teleporting Terminators, two smallish Marine squads, a Biker squad for haring out and taking enemy objectives, and all three Havoc squads, ’cause that’s where the money is with Iron Warriors. Not sure what guns I’d give them: the usual reflex is to say ‘autocannons’  but I can see an argument for missile launchers or plasma guns. I’d favour them over Chosen for spamming special weapons simply for the Tank Hunters bonus. Why not take it if it’s there?
  • Fortifications (Auxiliary): I dunno, but something that all the Havocs can fit in. Maybe something with a Skyfire gun – you’ll have enough Warpsmiths running around to have a spare BS5 model behind it.
  • Lord of the Legion (Auxiliary): the Fleshmetal Daemon Prince, for tanking and  spanking and troubleshooting. Consider making him a psyker with Heretech if you’re taking the Fist of the Gods – it’ll be useful to have roving vehicle buffs without making your Warpsmith jump out of his ride.
  • Cult of Destruction (Auxiliary): you have so much stuff keyed to Obliterators that you’d be a damn fool not to. One Warpsmith mans your Skyfire gun and makes the Obliterators next to him shoot twice. Maybe some others chill with other Obliterator units for more of the same (in three different Fortifications, making three strongpoints – a Havoc squad with Objective Secured, an Obliterator squad and a Warpsmith to buff the Obliterators and lead defensive melee work), or maybe you take two solo Obliterators to Deep Strike in and do what they do.
  • Fist of the Gods (Auxiliary): if you’d rather go on the offensive, take a chance by passing up the Cult and taking this. Land Raider for the Warpsmith to ride in, Vindicator Squadron for the gigantic blast potential and accurate Demolisher fire, solo Predator to round out the Formation.

My instincts are telling me that a Combined Arms Detachment is probably the best bet, though, because who wants to spend points on buildings? I’d be tempted by the Fleshmetal Prince plus a Terminator-armoured Sorcerer running the Geomortis powers to disrupt enemy movement and improve your line of sight prospects, only Terminators from Elites, only scoring Mutilators and Obliterators from Troops. Everything has a 2+/5++ save, and everything can Deep Strike so you can choose the best bits to slap into Reserve. If you’re worried about being outnumbered then maybe load up on a Lost and Damned Formation: your Cultists aren’t there to score in this list, they’re there to bubble wrap your Obliterators and tie up anything you lack the weight of attacks to handle.

It should be noted, though, that I’m a filthy slumlord who doesn’t get enough sunshine, and all this plodding around wrangling buildings isn’t really my scene. Nevertheless, I hope it’s helped. Iron Warriors didn’t win the book or anything but they have some fun options. Iron Within, Iron Without, Rust on the Gunwales and whatever else you Olympians are into. Maybe I’ll do another, cooler Legion later? ;)


2 thoughts on “[Ask Uncle Von] How’d the Iron Warriors do in Traitor Legions?

Add yours

  1. It’s good that the IW get fluffy rules, albeit fairly specific ones. Counterattack and Split-fire sounds like it’ll work well with plasma/melta havocs in that they can wreck face on 2 vehicles in one go. Defilers might benefit if they can get those buffs. Always thought the IW were where the heavy weapons were at, regardless of platform and delivery method (free gift wrap on all krak missiles?! Score!).

    It’ll be interesting to see how the God-specific legions got out of this (besides Tzeentch).

    Also I…kinda relapsed into 40k due to people buying stuff I’m flogging at ‘buy it now’ prices. Turns out WHFB chaos, including old-school warriors make a mint. An AdMech battleforce has been sourced through a discounter, so that’s 50% off retail there, and I’m curious about 8th edition. Let it be known that I blame you and the Xenos for this and that it is in no way a failing on my part cuz robots/guncrabs/flechette weapons are friggin’ awesome.

    1. I think the Counter-Attack and Split Fire one is the first argument I’ve seen for taking a unit of Chosen with four special weapons and a heavy weapon. The heavy weapon dude cracks the shell, the plasmas or flamers crack the nuts inside.

      Agreed that IW definitely have more reason to take Defilers than anyone else does. They’re a weird platform, are Defilers, but I can see a power scourge/twin lascannon build for them being worth a punt, or the classic Reaper/havoc launcher.

      The God-specific Legions came out pretty well, all told. Cult troops are pretty niche now, mostly appealing for their wargear options since regular CSM from their Legions receive most of their USRs. I… could review those, maybe next week?

      Good to have you back. Adeptus Mechanicus look boss and if I were to surrender to the False Emperor they’d be where I’d hang my hat.

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