Saturday, 18 May 2013

Seminar 3: Preview of a Massacre

With Tony Cotteral, Alan Bligh and John French

Book 2 is Written (mostly) by Alan but helped by John, we might even get further than book 2!

What's in the book?
Part two of the first trilogy (Betrayal, Massacre part 1&2) they will be self contained trilogies in terms of rules for legions etc. FYI these 'trilogies' might be sets of two, three or four...

Focussing on the drop site massacre. The book contains the narrative of the loyalist's surprise attack on the 3 traitors, they get repulsed and then are betrayed by their reinforcements. This is set over the course of a day and lots of people, including the primarch Ferrus Manus, die. This is one of the largest battles ever known involving 7 legions, titans and the mechanicum. It's a big battle so needs to have two books. The first of the books covers the early stage of the battle.

New Stuff:
The new legions are Iron Hands, Salamanders, Night Lords and Word Bearers, the other 4 legions from betrayal will make an appearance. The new legions will get a thorough background with details of their Primarchs as well as their early history and some of the things that has made them who/what they are. With the Night Lords and Word Bearers we see the progression from where they started to where they were when they arrived at Istvaan V. Ferrus Manus dies and he not be coming back. Don't let this put you off because they are heavily involved later on. FYI, the new Ferrus Manus model is sweet according to TC.

There are other forces too - mechanicum and titans make a reappearance in the narrative building on from Betrayal. They are starting to delve into the legio cybernetica with background an rules to use them as either an allied contingent or as a main army. In terms of titans, they are looking at the Firebrands who have a bit of a history with the legio Morris from Betrayal. The mechanicum are crucial to the Horus Heresy and they will be looked at in increasingly greater detail. There will be rules for special units, their primarch and additional special characters. It should be noted that the rules are for how the Primarchs are at this stage. We will get characters from people who weren't on Istvaan to allow you to give the armies a presence elsewhere. The older units will also get new specialist units (Kakophany marines). You will start to see legion specific rites of war as of book two. This was planned for Betrayal but they ran out of space...

The book will contain a wealth of scenarios to help you replay the key events and see if you can change history. You can also tie them all together to make a massive campaign with forces arriving from other missions etc.

There is the usual high quality art work for each legion and various units. We were shown an Iron Hands Proteus, Relic Dreadnaught and terminators. Iron Hands artwork has a lot of chainmail which will make an appearance on the actual models. There was a Night Lords Spartan, Relic Dreadnaught and MkIII marines all complete with hanging dead bodies/body parts. Remember they're a legion of serial killers!  Apparently the artist who did the Night Lords spent time looking at dead bodies for inspiration... The Word Bearers had a Demios Rhino, Contemptor, and a before/after Istvaan colour scheme. The filigree writing changes from elegant to more chaotic as they slide into madness - there might even be filigree transfers! The Salamanders (TC's favourite) showed a Thunderhawk, Contemptor and a terminator/MkIII duet, all adorned with magma, flames and dragon scales. AB made a point that there is a huge difference between the Salamanders in 30k and those in 40k. They are more barbaric and the artists have taken inspiration from Polynesian cultures, it reflects the fact that Nocturn is a brutal place and for the Salamanders, finding their Primarch was a good thing! 

What's in Book 3 (Massacre Part 2)?
The last part of the first trilogy. The intention is to do it back to back and their shouldn't be as big a gap between 2&3 as there was between 1&2 - estimated at 6 months. It follows on from the ambush and interestingly contains the battle of Phall involving the Imperial Fists in space. It will contain the Iron Warriors, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists and the Alpha Legion. All of whom are getting the same treatment with units, characters, background etc. There will also be new models/units for the old legions. It was pointed out by AB that you will need Betrayal for the legion default units, the other books allow you to create legion variants but you will need Book 1 for the core stuff.

Post massacre?
The next plan is a trilogy covering Prospero, Calth and Signus Prime!
Prospero: Thousand sons, Space Wolves, Custodes and Sisters of Silence
Calth: Ultramarines, imperial army and renegade imperial army
Signus: Blood Angels and Daemons

Where are the White Scars?
No plans yet, nothing in the pipeline for the Dark Angels either. Be patient.

When will Book 2 be out?
Hopefully on Gamesday but we will wait until it is ready.

Will there be a war on Mars?
Right from the off there was always a book called Mars. We are doing lists by stealth to help us establish them before bringing them into the fold. 

Ate you tempted to do starship battles?
Is going to be impossible to resist as these are really significant events. The will be a big focus on boarding actions in book 3. Unsure whether it will be a separate book.

Any Easter eggs from the new book?
AB had to get permission from TC to tell us this stuff!
Words Bearers get circle of ashes [see last post] and Galval Bek
Night Lords get Night Raptors and Terror Squads 
Iron Hands are getting Gorgon Terminators and Medussan Immortals (cyborg breacher marines) failed Iron Hands who are trying to redeem themselves
Salamanders are getting Firedrake Terminators - "the terminators most made of win you've ever seen." (quote play tester) they get prototype storm shields. They also get Pyroclasts, swathed in dragon skin and carrying very advanced flamer weapons...very burnt weapons.

Can you tell us about special characters?
Wait and see.

Will we be seeing Stormbirds?
There are lots of different variants of these used by different legions and we are going to try and do one or maybe two, it won't be to scale relative to Thunderhawks. It won't be for a while though. However there is a new flyer coming in [iirc from another source I heard this might be a Raven Guard exclusive Storm Eagle].

Will Alan continue to be the author?
Yes but there will be new people helping out to make sure the books get done relatively quickly, if it was just Alan it would take years...Andy Hoare is now on the FW staff.

Do you discuss how the traitors root out their loyalist brethren?
Yes we will be looking into this as its often a big part of their journey.

Will you be covering alien armies to allow them to join in by doing the Great Crusade at some point?
In short, it's probably too big for us and we've got too much to do with the Horus Heresy.

Will you be doing something with Garro?
We'd like to because he's very important but we'll see.

When are we going to see Horus?
I don't think we can leave it too much longer, we haven't started one but he's getting close to the top of the list. He's not too far off. Maybe next year?

With Signus, are you going to make new FW deamons?
New units probably but we'd be mad to not use the citadel ones.


  1. Thanks for these updates today. Between you and Loken I feet like a i was there, even though I am all the way over in Canada. Someday I will actually attend a BL, HH or FW weekender in person...someday...

  2. "It was pointed out by AB that you will need Betrayal for the legion default units, the other books allow you to create legion variants but you will need Book 1 for the core stuff"


    So all I need is book 1 and whichever book covers the Legion of my choice.

    That's what I've wanted to know ever since "Betrayal" was released.

    Thank you.