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Introduction to Legions Imperialis


As the Horus Heresy rages across the stars, consuming entire star systems in its wake, it's often hard to picture the true scale of it all. Armies of several tanks and a dozen infantry squads is one thing, but the true scale of the warfare going on is truly…epic.

What is it?

Legions Imperialis is a miniatures game in the Warhammer universe, based during the Horus Heresy. You won’t find any aliens here. It’s a game that is meant to truly encapsulate the scale of battles in the Warhammer universe, especially during the Heresy. These battles feature thousands of infantry, hundreds of tanks and dozens of lumbering battle titans. To fit these in a normal game you’d need a truly massive board, however, this game is played with 6mm scale miniatures (compared to 28-32mm scale which your average miniatures game is in), so they fit on a normal sized board just fine. Despite their size, the miniatures are incredibly detailed, showing how skillful Games Workshop are when it comes to designing and manufacturing miniatures. They should also be easy to paint, given how effective things like contrast paints are. So you’ll have a big force ready for battle in no time.

History of epic

Legion Imperialis is the newest generation of a classic Warhammer game which was known as ‘Epic’. It was first released in 1988 as Adeptus Titanicus (now another separate game), and then expanded to include miniatures in 1989 with the separate game, Space Marine. The 2nd edition came out in 1994, again with two separate games, Space Marine and Titan Legions. This was followed by several supplements. Finally in 1997 the 3rd edition was released as Epic 40,000, this time as a single set of rules. Sadly, this was only supported for 6 months before Games Workshop officially withdrew the game from sale. It just didn’t gain the same popularity as the previous editions.

That said, even after it was no longer officially supported it retained a dedicated fanbase who have kept playing various editions since then. People have played with old official models, proxies and in recent years 3D printed replacements. There have also been popular forums and organisations created to maintain the game in the community, culminating in a 4th edition known as Epic Armageddon. Clearly showing Games Workshop bringing back the game was a good idea.

How to get started

It couldn’t be easier to get started with Legions Imperialis as it has a comprehensive starter set. It contains everything you need to play the game, rulebooks, templates, dice, transfers and of course, the models. It has 223 miniatures inside it, split between Astartes and Solar Auxilia (think proto Imperial Guard), plus a couple of awesome titans. Given the scale of the game, even if you keep the whole box and combine everything in one force, you’ll have plenty of room to grow. But if you want to split it with a friend as you want to focus on a specific force, that works too. You can still play against each other at a lower points bracket.

Otherwise, if you want to get things more steadily, or split the starter box and want to expand your force, there are plenty of boxes of models you can find individually. As well as the rulebook, terrain and other accessories.

Future plans

Games Workshop have already proven they want to support this game. Despite some production delays, we’ve just had the pre-orders go live for the first supplement, The Great Slaughter, and second wave of miniatures. Given how popular it’s proven to be, I don’t doubt that this will continue. Fingers crossed if it’s popular enough they will consider expanding it to encompass 40k as well and get some Xenos forces involved!

If super tiny soldiers and tanks take your fancy, I hope you enjoy Legions Imperialis. Make sure to share your experiences with us on social media, we’d love to hear from you.