Legions Imperialis – Infantry Detachments

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Welcome to Optimal Game State. I’m still super hyped with the upcoming Legions Imperialis release, but I still don’t have models in my hands to build and paint. So, like many of you I’m still stuck looking at preview videos and working out how to build lists. Someone has been putting together a nice little list building tool which I have linked in the description.

So today, we’re going to focus on the infantry profiles we’ve seen so far. Initially I’ll give a quick overview of some of the systems so we can understand what we’re looking at and later into the video I’ll look at each of the detachments individually so we can get an idea how everything will work.

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Here we have a profile for a squad of tactical marines. Top left is the name, top right indicates it’s infantry and gives a number which indicates the scale. Infantry are at 1, a Rhino for example is 2, a Baneblade 3, a Knight is 4, and a Titan is 5.

The basic profile has:
– Move which is the number of inches the unit can move with an Advance order.
– Save is the number you need to roll on a d6 to avoid a hit.
– CAF is Close Assault Factor which you add to your 2d6 roll in close combat.
– Morale is the value you need to roll on a d6 to keep the unit fighting when things start to go bad.
– And W is for wounds which shows the amount of damage you can take before the model is removed.
Not mentioned is Tactical Strength. Infantry are 5, Cavalary and Walkers 3, Vechicles 2, Knights 1, and Titans 0. You count tactical strength when contesting objectives.

At the bottom of the profile we have a weapon. Lets look at Shooting to understand that better.

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To shoot, you first select a weapon and a target within the weapons range. Here we can see the bolters have a range of 8 inches.

You get to roll a number of dice equal to the amount listed under dice. And that will be for each stand you have.

After we roll the dice, we check the To Hit value and any dice that beat that are counted as hits. All basic stuff so far.

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Usually we will have multiple stands in our detachments. So we’ll get to roll multiple dice. So this basic detachment of tactical marines get to roll 4 dice at 8 inches and hit on 5s and 6s.

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For some contrast, here we have the Solar Auxiliaries. These are the basic guardsmen. The have the same move as the Marines, Save is 1 worse at 6+, they have no Close Assault Value unlike the +2 of the marines, and they have Morale of 4+ which is slightly worse than the marines 3+.
Their lasrifles similar to the bolters but have better range at 10 inches. As we’ll see later, the big difference is with the weapon traits and the detachment profile is similar with the Special Rules which we’ll look at later.

So if we take a Squad of Auxilia versus a Squad of Tactical Marines how is that going to play out.

The Auxilia have 4 dice and will hit of 5 or more. So on average they’re going to get 1.3 hits. Sometimes the dice gods will smile upon you, other times you get all ones. We understand how dice claim to work and how they really work.

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For each hit, the defending player will roll a dice and compare against their save value. So for the Marines they are looking for a 5+ and if they get it then they ignore the hit. Any hits that go through do a wound and get removed from the detachment. For most infantry, one hit is going to be a stand. So we are going to see people die a lot.

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Lets say the remaining 3 marines shoot back. The first thing to note here is they have a special trait with the bolters called Assault. That means if the target it within half the weapons range, they get to double the dice. So these 3 marines will get to roll 6 dice and look for 5+. That’ll average out at 2.

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The Auxilia only have a save of 6+, so it’s a bit harder for them to survive. Lets assume here they get lucky and save with 1 so they only take one hit.

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If those Marines instead had Plasma Guns and had two hits, then the Armour Penetration of the weapon would come in. You’d take that 6+ modify it by the -1 which would mean the Auxilia would have to roll a 7 which they cannot do. So they don’t even get to roll, the hits go straight through.

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All pretty straight forward so far. There are lots of other special weapon traits but it all comes down to the attacker rolling a pool of dice and working out hits and the defender those hits and trying to save.

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Close combat is a little different. In shooting one side got a shot then the other side got a shot. In close combat it all gets resolved at once. Bases in melee are paired off with each other and the players go through each pair at a time. Each player rolls 2d6 and adds the Close Assault Factor and the highest number wins doing 1 wound to the defender no save. So it can be pretty brutal. There are additional rules around situations where one side is out numbered and bonuses for charging and things like that, but this is the core of it.

This is all or nothing, so it’s going to feel pretty random at times. Even though the Marines have a +2 bonus it’s still very possible for the Auxilia to out roll the Marines and get a kill.

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A 2d6 does have a nice curve and will tend towards those middle values. So 66% of the time you’re going to get something between 5 and 9 inclusive. Which is to say, you’ll see red when the dice betray you but over enough games it should even out.

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If a detachment takes 50% or more casualties from it’s starting size, then it needs to take a Morale check. If it fails the Morale check then at the end of the turn it will start retreating.

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One additional note to keep in mind, and I think this is going to end up pretty important.

If you move your infantry into terrain, they can garrison a building. Right now we just have the Cititas Imperialis terrain but that does mean enemies get a -2 to hit them with range attacks, they get +2 Close Assault Factor while holding the building, and they get to take advantage of a Cover Save. Cover saves are not modified by armour penetration and can be used instead of your normal armour save. So an Auxilia detachment garrisoned in a building ends up with a better save than the Astartes and get a bonus CAF to equal them.

So I’m expecting to see terrain like this to be pretty important. If you can get your detachments into key buildings before your enemy does they’ll be hard to shift.

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So that’s the overview of the basic profile and the mechanics around those stats. From here we’re going to get stuck into the actual profiles themselves to get a better feel for how each detachment fight.

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The first stand we’re going to look at here is the Legion Command Squad. Currently this is the only HQ option they have. Lets go through it bit by bit.
Move 5 inches is pretty standard. Save of 4+ is one better than the normal troops, so with NO AP they save 50% of the hits. Close Assault Factor is +4 which seems really good. Morale 2+ which is as good as it gets, and wounds of 1.
The weapon is similar to the normal bolter. Assault means within 4 inches they can double the dice and Light means they can only do damage against infantry. Accurate is new, it means they get to reroll any failed attacks.

Looking at the Special rules, Commander is a limitation and means you can only have one per detachment. Inspire means nearby friendlies can use their Morale, which as 2+ is pretty nice. Invulnberable Save means they can always rely on it even if the AP is highter, so in this case a 6 will always save them no matter what. Master Tactician is a fun ability, when this detachment activates it can give a friendly detachment within 6 inches a new order that hasn’t activated, replacing their old one.
Last up they have Medicae which gives all units within 4 inches feel no pain which is a 5+ roll after you take a wound to not take the wound after all.

So a pretty cool unit but only one per detachment so you won’t have a lot of these.

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The Auxilia have similar, in fact they have two versions. This is the more expensive of the two, although compared to the 25 points for the Legion Commander it’s already much cheaper.
Save is pretty low at 6+, CAF is decent at +3, Morale is great.
In this case there are two weapons listed. So there are a couple of ways this can happen. Sometimes you have a choice of weapons, if that were the case it would be detailed on the detachment selection. A second case is where you have a weapon with different options, like a missile launcher with frag and krak. In that case you pick one when you fire it. Then there is this case, where they do actually have multiple weapons. In that case they get to fire all they can! All are light, so infantry only. Accurate means rerolling misses for the Archeotech pistol while the Volkite chargers have Deflagrate is like the reverse of Accurate but in a good way. For wound that gets through after the save roll, you get to roll another attack against the same detachment.

Then we’ve seen all the Special Rules apart from Solar Auxilia HQ 10 inches. The majority of the Axuilia infantry as we’ll see have the Chain of Command rule. This means they can only take the Advance order, so no First Fire, Charge, or March unless they have a HQ near them. So you’ll want to have your Commanders with your troops for the extra options.

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The other option is the Tactical Command which is 6 points cheaper. CAF worse, Morale 1 worse, weapons are the basic lasrifles, and just the basic HQ special rules. Nice to have the option.

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Over to the Tactical Legionaries. As we saw from the Auxilia command, the Save of 5+ is pretty decent. CAF of +2 seems to put them on the table for close combat assault but not as their primary focus. Morale of 3+ is great. These have 3 weapon profiles listed, alas they don’t get all of them. We’ll look at the bolter first which we’ve already seen in the examples. If they can get into that 4 inches for their Assault trait to trigger they’ll get some good kills in. Meanwhile it’s likely their enemies will be trying to position outside of that 8 inches but within the 10 inches of other profiles.

The detachment is special in that while you start with 4 tactical legionaries with bolters, you can add plasma guns, missile launchers, terminators, or assault marines into that same detachment.

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Here we have the Plasma Gun. Better range, 4+ instead of 5+ and with a -1 AP which will work well against the standard auxilia infantry. The Light AT rule is means they can attack Vehicles, Knights, and Titans but the AP doesn’t count. So this is a pretty flexible option.

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The last option is the Missile Launcher which has two options to pick from. Essentially Frag on the top and Krak on the bottom. 20 inches seems like a pretty good range.
Both hit on 4+.
The Frag ignores Cover which I think is great. This does two things, you ignore the to hit penalty for a detachment in terrain and you ignore cover saves. So this will be a great way to deal with detachments garrisoned in buildings.
The krak option has AP 01 and Anti-Tank which means that AP is ignored against infantry but counts against everything else. So this will be a pretty flexible detachment.

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Auxuiliaries like the legionaries have some options, in this case the basic Las Rifle or the Flamer.
Their profile is probably the most basic one. We’ve talked about the Chain of Command rule before when we were looking at the HQ but Line is new and is pretty great. It gives them +2 Tactical Strength, bring them to a chunky 7 when contesting objectives. The last rifiles are pretty plain, but can out range the humble bolter which is nice.

Like the Tactical detachment, the Auxilia can add additional troops from other profiles, this includes Ogryn, Axe wielding Veletarii, and Flamers.

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Flamers are the Auxilia way to clear out infantry from terrain. That Ignore Cover ability will get some good work done. Apart from that, they have a decent to hit with 4+ as long as they can get into that tight 6 inch range.

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Assault Marines are the first infantry unit we’ve seen with a move more than 5. Their CAF is +3 one better than the normal tacticals, which isn’t much but is something. The pistols are a nice plain back up weapon but this unit is really about mobility. The Jump Packs let them ignore models and terrain when moving. It also gives them +1 to CAF when they charge and +1 when they attack garrisoned fighters. It also lets them jump out of aircraft which is pretty cool.
Indepedent is a bit of a weird one. It lets each model get a different order if you want, so you can charge with ones in range and advance with ones outside of charge range. Since you can attach these to tactical squads it lets the assault marines roam up to 6 inches away from the rest which can be useful.

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On the other side we have these killers. It might look lie the Veletarii have Power Axes but they are actually tin openers designed specifically for Astartes. The +1 Close Assault Factor seems pretty low, but that Rend special rule for the Power Axes lets them roll an extra dice in melee. So it’s 3D6 +1. A little random but on average that extra D6 is 3.5 would mean we expect them to perform a little better than the Assault Marines, at least when it comes to dealing out damage.

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Terminators will be a harder nut to crack, although that 4+ save the Terminators have will be ignored in melee. Still with that +4 CAF they’ll be hard to take down. They have the same Combi-bolters as the Commanders which has Accurate and Assault which is pretty awesome. So they’re a nice all rounder.
For special ruels we have a bunch of new ones. First is Bulky limits the transports they can use, so no Rhinos for Terminators. Deep Strike lets them start in reserve and then arrive with a scatter dice in the movement part of turn 2 or later.
Implacable means the detachment don’t have to take a morale check if they lose a combat. That would be where the detachment loses more than their opponent does. We know what an Invul is, no matter the AP they always have at worst a 6+ save. Last is Steadfast which increases the tactical strength by 1, so Terminators count as 6 points when holding terrain. This is a flexible unit that is good at melee and ranged, whatever you need. With the Deep Strike rule you can hold this back in reserve and have it in your back pocket as the game develops as a problem solver.

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We’ve already seen the Charonite Ogryns do some work in some of the battle reports. We can see why now, they’ve got +3 CAF and Rend so they’re rolling 3 dice with that +3 CAF. Furious charge increases the bonus of charging from +1 to +2 so that would be 3D6 +5! And because it’s melee no save. Pretty terrifying.

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We just have two options left that I’m sneaking in with the infantry. The first is the Sentinel which is nice and fast at 7 inches and has an impressive range with it’s missile launcher at 20 and the multilaser at 24 inches. You can fire both, but must choose either Frag of Krak profiles for the missile launcher. Note that the Frag has 2 dice, so if you’re trying to take out some infantry each Sentinel will have 4 dice at 20 range with multi-laser and Frag.
This model also has Forward Deployment which gives it a free move before the first turn starts.

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Then last up we have the Contemptor Dreadnought. Super nice CAF of +5 and looks a bit like a Terminator after that. The Armoured special rule means light weapons AP is ignored and you can reroll failed saves from light weapons. With that 4+ save infantry will find these hard to kill.

You do have to choose between the Assault Cannon and the Twin-Linked Lascannon but do get the twin-linked bolter as well.
The Assault Cannon has the Light AT so the -1 AP only applies against infantry. The Rapid Fire means 6s count as two hits instead of one which is big.
The alternative is the Las Cannon which is 22 inch range, better to hit with 4+ and it’s Anti-Tank to the AP doesn’t work against infantry. Accurate means you reroll misses which is strong.
It looks like options are limited on how to build them from the box but two box of Legionaires should get you 4 with Assault Cannon and 4 with Lascannons letting you special each talon on infantry or vehicle killing.
The twin linked bolter has that great assault rule which will double the dice within 3 inches and it also has Point Defence which has a bunch of options. The first is that you can have the Point Defence weapons in the detachment choose a different target to the other weapons. So you could aim at tanks with the Lascannons and use the Twin Linnker Bolters at some nearby Legionaries. If you have an advance or march order, you can fire them at the start or the end of the movement phase giving up the use of them during the later combat phase. Lastly, you can fire them as Overwatch without the -2 penalty to hit. You can overwatch with a detachment during the movement phase if they have a Advance or First Fire order and they can see an enemy detachment that is activating. They shoot at that enemy detachment, normally with a -2 penalty and give up their token. That means they don’t get to fire later. So Point Defence is giving a ton of flexibility and importantly lets the Dreadnought detachment split targets.

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And that’s it. We’ve gone through every one of the infantry models currently available. There are a few more Dreads and some Batteries which are in the rulebook but the models aren’t out yet.

As you can see, the basics of this game are pretty straight forward but we have tons of special traits for units and weapons that change things slightly. Definitely something where a cheat sheet would be handy when playing.

Hopefully this overview gives you a better idea of what to expect on the table. Right now it’s hard to know exactly how to evaluate each profile. We can see some of the basics like Move is typically 5 inches apart from a few fast units like Assault Marines and Sentinels at 7. Most of the Auxilia have a save of 6+. Legionaries are 5+ and the more elite like the Terminators are 4+. To hits are usually 5+ with the occasional 4+. So with mass fire we are going to see casualties. Close combat is terrifying, the value ranges from +0 to +5 with the Dread but the Rend on the Ogryns and Veletari so they can roll 3d6 is also pretty terrifying.

I do think infantry will be a key part of the game due to how effective they are at taking objectives. I’d imagine much of the metagame will develop around how to clear that infantry out. If you enjoyed this, make sure you subscribe and we’ll look at the Vehicles in an upcoming episode.

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