The recent release of Forge World”s Crusade Imperialis red book provides a succinct source of rules for using the Solar Auxilia, Imperialis Militia, Cults, and Questoris Knight Crusade armies. In the front of the book is a brief explanation of how to use the Age of Darkness Force Organization chart as well as an overview of the rules modifications used in addition to the 40K rulebook. Furthermore, the back of the book includes a quick reference to the Core Missions. Most of the information is drawn from the Horus Heresy Books 4-Conquest and 5-Tempest. In this post will look at the Solar Auxilia with subsequent posts looking at the Militia & Cults was well as the Questoris Knights.
There are no significant changes to the Solar Auxilia rules provided in Conquest except for an updated points cost to the optional Heavy Support Castellax units. The Solar Auxilia Force Organization chart remains the Age of Darkness Force Organization Chart:
- Primary Detachment (Required)
- Compulsory: 1 HQ, 2 Troops
- Optional: +2 HQ, +4 Troops, +4 Elites, +3 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support
- Fortification Detachment (Optional)
- 1 Choice
- Lords of War Detachment (Optional)
- 1 Choice
- Allied Detachment (Optional)
- Compulsory: 1 HQ, 1 Troops
- Optional: +1 Troops, +1 Elites, +1 Fast Attack, + Heavy Support
Solar Auxilia Special Rules
- Disciplined Fire
- Overwatch at BS2
- Close Formation Fighting
- As long as two friendly models are in base contact then they may fight at +1 WS
- Super-heavy Command Tank
- All allied units within 24″ may re-roll failed Morale Checks
- Disciplined Command
- Rules to dictates who your Warlord is
- Hold the line
- A squad with this rule that is within 12″ of another squad from the same Tercio which is not Falling Back, may re-roll any dice results of 6 against Pinning and Morale tests caused by attacks in the Psychic phase or Shooting Phase
These rules are excellent. They play to the Auxilia’s strengths and improve their deficiencies which are their Close Combat capability and Leadership.
- Uncanny Survivor
- Warlord gains Eternal Warrior
- Shattering Bombardment
- While the Warlord is alive, select a single weapon with the Ordnance special rule within 6″, that weapon is Twin-Linked for the Player turn
- Bitter Blood
- When fighting in a Challenge the Warlord gains the Hatred special rule
- Blind Barage
- At the start of the game all friendly Solar Auxilia gain Shrouded for the duration of the first tun only
- Void Master
- Warlord has Stubborn and any unit they join gain the Move Through Cover special rule
- Siege Master
- At the start of the game, name an enemy piece of terrain (not purchased Fortification) and the Cover save is reduced by -1
Overall these Warlord Traits are reasonable with the Blind Barrage, Siege Master, and Shattering Bombardment being my personal favorites. Being able to start a game with Shrouding is a tremendous advantage for both Troop and Vehicle based armies. Something to consider is that a Lord Marshal has the ability to pick the Warlord Trait of your choice. How awesome is that. Another point the bears mentioning is that an Auxilia Tank Commander meeting the Warlord requirements of Disciplined Command can not have a Warlord Trait.
Allies in the Age of Darkness
- Sworn Brothers: Ultramarines, Sons of Horus, Word Bearers, Salamanders, Alpha Legion
- Fellow Warriors: Dark Angels, Emperor’s Children, Iron Warriors, White Scars, Imperial Fists, Blood Angels, Death Guard, Thousand Sons, Raven Guard, Mechanicum
- Distrusted Allies: Space Wolves, Night Lords, Iron Hands, World Eaters
Importantly, the Auxilia are not “By the Emperor’s Command” allies with any Imperial Army.
- Legate Commander or Lord Marshal
- Lord Marshal Ireton MaSade
- Auxilia Tactical Command Section
- Auxilia Tank Commander
The Lord Marshal upgrade from a Legate Commander is my clear stand out. The Lord Marshal provides several unique rules that make him a force multiplier.
- High Command (Legate Commander & Lord Marshal)
- All friendly units from the same Detachment may use the Legate Commander or Lord Marshal’s Leadership rather than their own when taking Morale checks and Pinning tests
- Household Retinue
- Veletaris Storm Sections can be taken as Elites
- Weapon Skill increased to 4
- Preferred Enemy Infantry while the Lord Marshal is present on the Tabletop and not Falling Back
- Loose the Hold the Line special rule.
- Forged in War
- May choose a Warlord Trait
In addition, the Lord Marshal has sole access to certain wargear such as the Grav-wave Generator (decreases enemy Charge distance by D3″).
Lord Marshal Ireton MaSade does have a nifty special rule “Protector of Agathon” that allows a destroyed unit other than a Unique, Lord of War, or Dedicated Transport in the same Detachment to return and go into Ongoing Reserves on a D6 roll of 5 or 6. However, he is quite expensive for a Solar Auxilia HQ.
The Auxilia Tank Commander can not be taken as a compulsory HQ choice. That being said, they do have the Tank Ace special rule which allows them to Overwatch with any weapons that are eligible. Additionally, they can pick from one of the following special rules:
- Tank Hunters
- It Will Not Die
- Scout and Move Through Cover
- Preferred Enemy (Infantry)
- Monster Hunter
- Precision Shots
This is devastating when taken with a Malcador Infernus equipped with Chemical Ammunition (R Hellstorm Template S3 AP2 Heavy 1, Poisoned 2+, Pinning, Armourbane, Torrent 18″) and the Preferred Enemy Infantry special rule.
- Auxilia Medicae detachment
- Auxilia Rapier Battery
- Auxilia Ogryn Charonite Squad
- Enginseer Auxilia
This section has some good choices that can tailor your army. The Medicae are inexpensive and come in squads of 3 with the option for 3 more. You can then divide them amongst various units (i.e. Tactical Command, Lasrifle Section etc.). The Rapiers are also inexpensive and come equipped with a Quad Multi-laser (R36″ S6 AP6 Heavy 6, Twin-Linked) that when taken in units of three have a considerable amount of fire power. The Ogryn are an excellent choice to provide a Close Combat threat. Their deficiency in Leadership (LD6) is easily overcome with the Legate Commander High Command special rule. Finally the Enginseer opens up the option for Thallax and Castellax as optional Heavy Support units.
- Auxilia Lasrifle Section
- Veletaris Storm Section
- Auxilia Flamer Section
- Aegis Defence Line
One to three of the above infantry units may be taken as part of an Auxilia Infantry Tercio which only uses one Troop slot in the Force Organization Chart. A great way to have a vast number of Scoring units on the tabletop. All three infantry units are inexpensive and distinctly advantageous. The Lasrifle Section only has a Ballistic Skill of 3 but overcomes this with volume of fire from its 20 Auxiliaries. Enhancing the firing capabilities are Collimators that allow their Lasrifles to be fired with the following profile: R36″ S3 AP– Heavy 2. They can also be upgraded with Blast Chargers (R18″ S6 AP6 Heavy 1, Charger Burnout) but skip a full turn of shooting after using them. As long as the Tercio Section has not taken Dedicated Transports, each Section may take an Aegis Defense Line. Thus a Tercio with three Lasrifle Sections can stand behind their respective Aegis Defense Line, use their Lasrifle Collimators and have 2+ Cover save during the first turn thanks to a Lord Marshal’s ability to pick Blind Barage for a Warlord Trait.
The Veletaris Storm Section are also an excellent Troop choice. They come equipped with Volkite Chargers and are BS4. Due to their limited Range they are better served in Dracosan Transports which are tough as nails with their FA13 combined with their Flair Shield/Armoured Ceramite upgrades.
- Tarantula Sentry Gub Battery
- Auxilia Leman Russ Strike Squadron
- Auxilia Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter
- Auxilia Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighter
For those who like to run a tank heavy list, the Leman Russ Strike Squadron being a Fast selection provides some flexibility to do so. The selections include the Battle Tank, Exterminator, Annihilator, and Vanquisher. Providing some durability is the Explorator Adaption (6+ Invulnerable save against Blast & Template weapons, re-roll Dangerous Terrain tests) special rule as well as the option for Armoured Ceramite. However, the clear stand out is the Auxilia Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighter with its ability to fire Kraken Penetrator Heavy Missiles (R36″ S8 AP1 Heavy 1, Missile, Armourbane, One Use).
- Auxilia Leman Russ Assault Squadron
- Auxilia Artillery Tank Battery
- Auxilia Malcador Heavy Tank
- Auxilia Malcador Infernus Special Weapons Tank
- Auxilia Valdor Tank Hunter
- Cyclops Remote Demolitions Unit
- Thallax Cohort (Optional Heavy Support)
- Castellax Class Battle-Automata Maniple (Optional heavy Support)
As expected the Heavy Support slot has a number of Tank options. Those that stand out are the Artillery Tank Batteries and the Malcador Infernus. The Artillery Tank Batteries are heartier versions of those in the Legiones Astartes armies. They have the Explorator Adaption special rule, FA13, and access to Armoured Ceramite. The Malcador Infernus has the same durability with the added benefits of a Super-heavy. In addition, a Malcador Infernus can be upgraded with the Tank Commander special rule making it able to Overwatch with its Chemical Ammunition. This makes the Malcador Infernus simply devastating to Infantry.
Lords of War
- Auxiliary Baneblade Super-heavy Battle Tank
- Auxilia Stormlord Super-heavy Assault Tank
- Auxilia Shadowsword Super-heavy Tank
- Auxilia Stormsword Super-heavy Siege Tank
- Auxilia Stormblade Super-heavy Tank
- Auxilia Stormhammer Super-heavy Assault Tank
Each of the Super-heavies have their niche but the Shadowsword (Volcano cannon R120″ SD AP2 Primary Weapon 1, Large Blast) and the Stormsword (Stormsword Siege Cannon R36″ S10 AP1 Primary Weapon 1, Apocalyptic Blast, Ignores Cover) stand out for their overwhelming fire power.
Overall, Forge World has done a great job with providing the Solar Auxilia with narratively sound rules that provide the army with great cohesion.
Next we’ll look at the Militia and Cults. As Always let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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