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Legions Imperialis Game Play Revealed

Games Workshop today shared some game play details for the upcoming, epic-scale game, Legions Astartes. Let’s take a look at them!

Building Your Army

Recommended points for a Legions battle is 3,000 per side. The game is played on a 5′ x 4′ area.

The first choice is whether you’ll be playing Loyalist or Traitor, and each choice will impose some restrictions. Next you decide what faction will be your Primary. You’ll need to compose your army of no less than 70% Primary faction units. At launch there will be just two factions to choose from, either Legiones Astartes or Solar Auxilia.

Next you build Detachments and Formations. Detachments, at this scale, are basically units; groups of infantry models, tanks, artillery, etc.

Formations are groups of Detachments that must follow specific rules of composition. Also, for every 1,500 points in your army, you are required to select a Formation from your Primary Army List. This means that for an average, 3,000 point game, you would have to choose at least two Formations from your Primary.

Legion Demi-Company formation

You can spend the remaining 30% of your army points on Allied Contingents; things like Knight Households and Titans.

Turn Phases

Turn phases:
1. Orders
2. Initiative
3. Movement
4. Combat
5. End

Orders are assigned to Detachments in secret, using Order Tokens which are placed face-down. Once Orders are chosen, they are revealed simultaneously.

The four main Orders are:

  • First Fire
  • Advance
  • March
  • Charge
  • Fall Back

Next, the players roll for initiative. The winner gets to activate their detachment first. Detachment activation goes back and forth between the players during the turn.

The Advance order allows regular movement and shooting in the same turn. March is extra movement (usually double-movement) but a Marching unit cannot shoot that turn. Charge allows single or double movement as long as the Detachment winds up in base-to-base contact with an enemy Detachment. Detachments with First Fire orders cannot move, but shoot first. Fall Back allows movement only during the End Phase, in which case the Detachment must retreat.

Tanks: a lot!

The Combat Phase itself has three sub-phases:

  • First Fire
  • Engagement
  • Advancing Fire

Detachments with the First Fire order fire during the First Fire sub-phase. Close combat is resolved during the Engagement sub-phase, and then Detachments without First Fire can fire during the Advancing Fire sub-phase.

Detachment stats

In close combat, individual models pair off and essentially fight duels. They make 2D6 rolls and add a Close Assault Factor stat. Charging models get a bonus, and the loser receives a Wound. There are no saving throws for this.

When a Detachment is outnumbered, you begin “pairing off” its models with more than one enemy. The outnumbered models fight the enemies individually, but the other player rolls an additional D6 for each time your model has already fought this turn.

And that’s what we know so far! GW may update this information in the future, in which case we’ll cover it for you.

About the Author
Dve (pronounced "Dave") is a long-time hobby gamer who writes about and plays board games, miniatures games, card games, and tabletop role-playing games. He also works part-time at a Friendly Local Gaming Store in northern Indiana.

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