Product Review - Legions Imperials - The Great Slaughter

Product Review – Legions Imperialis The Great Slaughter

Featured Legions Imperialis Reviews

After a small hiatus in posts, I’ve put together a review on the recently released Legions Imperialis supplement The Great Slaughter.

Legions Imperials The Great Slaughter SupplementLast week my copy of The Great Slaughter arrived in the post, I’d heard rumour that this might have been hard to get hold of so ended up ordering direct from Games Workshop which meant paying full price and the book not arriving until Monday because GW use 48 hour delivery and don’t ship until Friday evening (I’ve not a clue why they’ve taken to doing that again either if I’m honest).  Some of you will know my views on the new website and I’ll be honest and say it’s not really changed.  I had to enable third-party cookies on my browser in order to log in which added another unnecessary black mark.  However despite missing out on the cards (as stock was added to the website at 9:50 am rather than 10:00 am), I got my order placed for the book without too many other complications.

The Beta Garmon SystemComing in at 128 pages, The Great Slaughter isn’t the biggest of books going from a page count perspective –  it’s equivalent to the earlier Necromunda “House Of” books.  A full half of the book goes over the events within the Beta-Garmon system, focusing on Beta-Garmon II / III and the battle for Nyrcon City.  It’s a brutal part of the late Heresy where both traitors and loyalists were forced into a meat grinder campaign to basically stop the other having an advantage and set the stage for the biggest Titan conflicts ever seen.  This breaks or wipes out many Titan Legios which is the reasoning behind why we see less Titans appearing in later time periods.

Reading through this part of the book, I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading one of the Heresy Black Books and it provides some fantastic inspiration for creating themed forces and set a great background to the entire Garmon campaign.  Part of me almost wished this was available in a faux-leather bound version to fully seal that Black Book vibe.

Next up we have a number of different campaign systems which will be familiar to anyone who’s played Necromunda with campaign cycles and earning points.  One campaign system follows this fairly simply and the second is a map and territory based version which sounds like a great way to add a bit of interest to your games as territories can alter the army composition rules for you or provide other small but influential bonuses.

We then have the new game mode in the form of “Titan Death” which I know caused a little bit of a stir when it was initially announced.  In simple terms you and your opponent field an army of 6000 points each, consisting entirely of Titans and Knights.  On the surface it sounds like Adeptus Titanicus, but in reality is very different.  Using a slightly modified version of the Titan rules within Legions Imperialis, the new game mode is intended for you to field a huge number of titans which wouldn’t really be feasible using the Adeptus Titanicus rules without spending days playing.  Think of it as a great way to put down your entire Titan collection at once and game with them rather than replacing the Adeptus Titanicus game.

Dreadnought Drop Pods for Legions ImperialsLastly you have a handful of new formations and unit profiles covering things like Jetbikes, Drop Pods, Land Raiders and Spartans for Astartes and lots of artillery for Solar Auxilia such as Cyclops Batteries, Medusas and Basilisks – around 20 pages in all at the end of the book.

In Summary

I’ve mixed feelings on this book.  Having units and formations being spread across multiple books is one of the biggest bugbears of gamers and hobbyists the world over.  In this case, not only does it feels like you’re being strong-armed into buying this, but it makes gaming awkward for absolutely no practical reason.  Knowing there are more tanks to come out (Felblade, Arquitus, Shadowsword etc) also doesn’t help as it’ll mean even more books in the future.  Now I’m sure we’ll end up with a “Red Book” equivalent in time where all of the rules for a specific force will be collected under one roof, but that time isn’t now.

The amount of lore in The Great Slaughter is amazing, although I do worry that it’s the same campaign covered within Adeptus Titanicus Titan Death expansion and the upcoming Age of Darkness Battle for Beta-Garmon expansion which potentially risks duplication.  That said, the lore within this book has kept me entertained for some time and certainly gave me ideas for things I could include within my growing World Eaters force.

One thing I do find a little weird is the units and formations within The Great Slaughter are just regular units we’ve not rules for yet like Land Raiders and Basilisks.  The book doesn’t give us any way to represent the World Eaters Rip Tide or Solar Auxilia Turncoats which both feature heavily in the lore section of the book.

Depending upon why you’re buying this supplement is going to determine if you think it’s good value for money or not.  If you’re just after one section of rules – be it the new units or even Titan Death, then you’re going to be a little disappointed as you’re only using a relatively small portion of the book.  If you’re interested in the lore and background then you’re going to get a huge amount more out of it and even more so if you want to run a Legions Imperialis campaign.

My own feeling is I’d have preferred seeing this supplement be solely a narrative focused one.  Give me everything I need to fight a Beta-Garmon campaign with bespoke formations and move those generic units and formations into a download that could be printed out and added to the existing rulebook.  I think this would have given a much clearer direction to the book, which started off really well and sort of tailed off at the end.  I also think that the Titan Death ruleset should have included a standalone striped down set of rules.  Enough that Adeptus Titanicus players would only need to pick up the supplement without needing the Legions Imperials rulebook to play big games with their collection.

I do still have worries about the release cycle for Legions Imperialis.  When this release dropped, we had the supplement and one unit from the book for each side (plus the missing Support units from the rulebook).  It and the miniatures available sold out in next to no time and at the time of writing we still have the majority of the range out of stock.  Worryingly, this supplement increases the number of miniatures that are yet to be released that only serves to encourage players down the 3d printing route.  As I’ve said previously once people start 3d printing miniatures then they’re likely going to continue doing that.

With that, I shall bring my review to a close.  Overall I’ve enjoyed the book, but I feel the way unit rules are being drip fed is only going to frustrate hobbyists.

1 thought on “Product Review – Legions Imperialis The Great Slaughter

  1. Thanks for doing this review; it was helpful, and I agree with the worries on the release cycle.

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