40K: Deep Thought – Is A Warlord Titan Worth It?

WarlordTitanicus

The Warlord Titan is an amazing kit – but is it worth taking to the table?

Hey BoLS Readers – I was chatting with another BoLS alum the other day and we had an interesting discussion about the Warlord Titan. First off, I just want to say that it’s an amazing kit – I’d love to own one (I don’t know where I’d store it because it’s the size of a small child but…I wouldn’t turn one away). Forge World has done a bang-up job with all the parts and the casting, I’ve got no complaints about the model. It’s also one of the most expensive models they produce. But you guys know that – and I’m not here to harp on the price, it is what it is. No, my question is simply: Is the Warlord Titan worth fielding?

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We went about it a few different angles. We talked about load outs and how many templates it could throw out and potential damagi and such…we even talked about the new Arioch Power Claw and if that would even be worth taking. You can build this thing in a few different ways and it can pricey at 2750 points + weapons. Now, It can do a lot of damage and it has a ton of Hull Points to go with some of the thickest armor in the game. I’m not questioning it’s intimating battlefield presence either. It’s down right menacing! But all that makes me wonder if it’s worth the 3K points you have to spend to field it…

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In every game I’ve played with smaller Titans, the same thing happens: a Drop Pod of Sternguard comes in and kills the Titan. Sometimes it’s more than one Pod…but it’s still dead. Looking at it points wise it just doesn’t seem super efficient. Now, those Drop Pod heroes go out in a blaze of glory. Every time. So it’s a trade off for sure. But it doesn’t ever seem like the Titan has earned it’s points back.

I know a lot of folks probably read that and thought, “well quit playing with those units/players/games” – and yes, that is a solution. I also know that measuring the effectiveness of a Warlord Titan vs points cost isn’t going to win any fluff-bunny awards, either. But I think that’s just being dismissive and sweeping the issue under the rug. Besides, those moments can be very thematic – but that’s not the point either. It’s a thought experiment –  it lets us play around with the idea of a Warlord Titan without actually having to own one.

Some of the more competitive crowd may have read that paragraph and thought, “well the Titan players weren’t bubble wrapping effectively.” That’s another issue with the Warlord Titan. Not only do you need to spend the 3k on it, you also need another 500-1000 points in stuff to “protect” it from the deepstrike threats. But, if you do manage to nuke the Titan, and it goes BOOM then there is a high likely hood all your bubble wrap will pop, too. I like the Apocalyptic Blast chart as much as the any player!  It’s always awesome to watch one go catastrophic, even when it was on my side. It’s messed-up, but I internally cheer for those damage results to be 6s, but you know what, when Titans go *BOOM* everyone should be watching.

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Now, I wouldn’t suggest using the Warlord Titan for every game. And honestly I’m not even sure at what points level it becomes manageable. 4k? 5k? 10k? 40k? It’s all relative to the type of game you want to play – I’m, personally, never going to take one to a “competitive” 40K event even if they are allowed. But I would be totally fine playing one in a more relaxed format like a “narrative” event or a campaign that involves one. Heck, maybe you’ve got that crazy friend who just wants to try and take it out! Those are all valid reasons to bust out the Warlord Titan. But… I just can’t get over this weird feeling that maybe it’s not worth the hassle. Then again, what if it is…

For me there is nothing like fielding a Big Titan. I’ve gotten to play with & against the Warhound and the Reaver and hopefully I’ll get a game in against a Warlord some day. I know that it’s probably going to die within the first 3 turns. And I know it’s probably not going to get it’s points back. But does that mean it’s not worth taking? That’s the question I pose to you, BoLS Reader: If you could field a Warlord Titan, would you want to? And while we’re at it what size game would you want to play with one if you could?

APOC-previewBack in my day, we just called them Mega-Battles – now you just call it 7th.

So what do you think – Is fielding a Warlord Titan worth it? And hey, if you’ve got any epic war-stories about killing a Titan let us know in the comments below!

  • Bigwebb

    Warlord is worth it every time. Immune to melta check, AV 15 check, invuln save check, and eith the new titan rules you get void shields against any shot at any distance, no deepstriking one turn titan kills. I play with and against them on the regular very tough hard to kill worth it love it.

    • BT

      How is it against Lance weapons? How good is that Invuln?

      • CMAngelos

        5+ after void Shields go down, and it’s immune to a lot of effects but I can’t remember if Lance was one of them (I don’t have my book in front of me.)

        But even so it is a tough thing to even hurt, and the longer it’s alive the lower your abilities to harm it go. In a test run with mine it walked through an equal points count of Eldar as if they were a field of daisies. Granted I haven’t used it against a Revenant or Phantom yet though.

    • Will Frank

      And all of that is before you be ‘that guy’ and bring a Void Relay Network to add 9 Void Shields to it.

      • Won’t work under the new FAQ since you can’t fit the Titan wholly inside the projected shield bubble

        • Me

          Someone was arguing about this the other day. One side took your view, but the other guy was saying that the rule change was talking about multiple figure units. So you could take things like this, have it stand right next to the generator and be good.

          This was just a verbal over modelling, no game, and no consensus was reached.

          • Having a unit wholly within the zone is pretty clear. If it’s a single model unit like a vehicle then that model has to be wholly within the zone. I don’t know how that could be interpreted otherwise.

  • Siph

    Totally worth it, look at it. LOOK AT IT! Sure you can tailor lists to bring it down, but you’ll both have loads of fun doing it. I had a great battle with 1x Reaver and 2x Warhounds vs 7x Imperial Knights with D CCW who should have won… But Titan ranged D had a great equalising effect especially when one shot hit and killed one IK who promptly fell into the next one and killed that too! Ah, such awesome fun…

  • xas

    One thing the author of this article doesnt get is the basic rule makeup of the warlord titan and his role compared to the other imperial titans.

    The warlord has the same number of D-Plates as the reaver and costs about twice as much. Given, two of the D-Plates are bigger but in the end you still basically pay 1400 points for sheer tankability.

    He asks if it is worth it if you dont want to spend even more points on a bubble of boddies against deep strikers.

    What do you think can hurt AV15 (Front and Sides; Back has only 14 but you can park that against a table edge for turn 1) that negates your bonus d6 for melta and is immune to haywire ?
    Basically this means you need either basic strenght 9+ or lances.

    Do you think about fancy deepstrike + charge formations? Unless you are a gargantuan/superheavy you hit on 6 in melee and the titan just walks off in his phase.

    In the end the only things that would end up actually wanting to deepstrike a warlord are DE Blasterborn (cause 18″ assoult lances), CE Wraithguard (D-Weapons) and Tyranid Zoantropes (18″ assoult lances as a spell).

    None of these thingies will drop you turn 1 natively. The only one of these thingies that has the potential to do acceptable damage without takeing so many models that the footprint turns huge (wraithguard) requres to get even nearer.

    So in a nutshell there is one possible unit you would care about if it deepstruk near your titan (and with 30HP it would need 3+ units for you to care…) and those have to deepstrike in a transport they have to get out of to fire (no allied DE taxis thanks to the FAQ). If you are concearned about it and you play with competitive people get coteaz in a squad of Grav centurions (full 6 since the unit WILL get hammered if your oponent plans to go for the deepstrike).

    In the end the warlord is probably the most “fair” titan since it has pretty low firepower for the points invested but also “nopes” all the gimmicky tricks that can make many apocalypse games very one sided.

    In the end you basically fish for 6es with lascannons, 4+ with lances or 5+ with neutron lasers or trow ranged D at him while he tries to make his points back against the rest of your army (thanks to big D blasts he is quite good against any sick deathstars and therefore also makes the game more fun for those who dont like herohammer).

    • Alan Doyle

      Thanks for the well thought out article.

    • Haighus

      To be fair, the big D blasts fired by the Warlord are also more powerful with the D-table +1 modifier. Otherwise, totally agree. I reckon that only the various kinds of Knights (Wraithknights and Knight-Lancers especially) will really cause it too much worry.

  • Deacon Ix

    As a pure arm chair general regarding Titans (I have only fought one game where one was involved) The only query I have is why is it only 250pts+ weapons more than the Phantom? On paper it is a lot more durable and the weapons are of a par.

    • LeroyJenkinss

      because space marines!

    • Haighus

      The Phantom has more secondary weapons (including AA weaponry), and also negates all damage on a 3+ IIRC, due to holofields, so it is pretty durable and more self sufficient. Also more mobile, which admittedly is not usually an issue for titans with the ranges on their weaponry, although the Phantom could get into the Warlords face and into melee very quickly.
      Also worth mentioning that the Warlord rules currently have been designed primarily for 30k Horus Heresy gaming, with FW basically just saying you may as well use these rules in 40k until the next Imperial Armour, so they are not intended to measure up against xenos equipment.
      I do feel the Warlord is better than the Phantom, but the Phantom does measure up pretty well overall.

  • euansmith

    I don’t know about using it as a unit in a game; but I could see it functioning well as a piece of terrain. Set it up in one corner. At the end of each turn, move it 12″ forward across the table. Anything in its path gets squished.

    • jazeroth

      thats a great idea as it won’t be firing its weapons so close to it self anyway. it should be firing them at the other side of the planet tbf

    • LeroyJenkinss

      thats some expensive terrain

  • Damien Coté

    Who is the one casting the spells?

    …damagi 😛

  • Vomkrieg

    its cool to field one, they look cool after all.

    But balancing a model on that scale in a game thats designed to be platoon to company level is never going to work perfectly, so it lends to skew. Some days it will rock and be way more effective than its points cost, other days, sternguard bait as you say

    Honestly, I think the model is a great art piece. But I think Warlords really belong in epic scale where they can smash buildings, blow up companies of troops at a time, and generally be a real warlord.

    • CMAngelos

      Only thing about the “stern guard bait” thing is.. they aren’t going to whittle many if any HP oFf the thing before they get stepped on or blasted.

      • Vomkrieg

        Honestly, I dont know enough about the current apocalypse meta to actually know what combo hes talking about. My point was, if you ever take so much of an army in one model, its always always going to skew one way or the other.

  • doughouseman

    From a narrative point of view in a large (Apoc) game, titans on the table are awesome. Orks with Stompas facing off against Titans and a large artillery park on both sides of the table.

    Sure the game is unwieldy to play, and slow – but the looks you get at a convention are wonderful, and the number of people who take pictures is crazy.

    From a pure battle point of view – win the game – Titans are probably not worth bringing to the table until you have a 10-12,000 point game.

  • polyquaternium7

    “there is no such thing as a obscene amount of firepower”

  • Sean Eversole

    I actually just played a 7k game last Saturday and fielded one, with a reaver, warhound and 4 knight errant titans and it was one of the most fun games I have ever played. Thanks to my friend Paul who put up a heck of a fight. I didn’t D weapon everything out and he brought some wicked toys and let him pick all his powers and apocalypse assets as well and it helped balance everything g and made it fun for both parties. Below is a link to the battle report summary.

    Thanks again Paul it was a great game.

    https://youtu.be/CObJwKYZKxs

  • Wayne Molina

    IMHO Titans have no place in 40k period. They are so far above the scale of the game that is ridiculous and part of the reason why the rules are a mess, because they are meant for smaller-scale games that keep growing and growing and growing. This is why I really hope that when the new epic comes out they keep it so things like Titan super heavy can be in there and not bog down the regular game specific types of games and scenarios I saw it

    • Vomkrieg

      Epic was always my favourite. I’d love it if epic scale was a little bigger in model size this time around. So that a Imperator titan is about the size of a Warmachine Collosal and that a warlord feels like a big chunky model as opposed to what they used to be.

      Say 10-15mm scale instead of 6mm.

      • carlisimo

        The latest rumor says the new titan game will be 8mm – but keep in mind the old titans were significantly underscale in a 6mm game, so the new ones could be twice the size.

        The same rumor said a Warlord would be 6″ tall. That’s the height of a US$140 knight in 40k. Enjoy…

        • Vomkrieg

          Sounds pretty good to me.

      • Alpharius

        I think they said the new epic is 8mm.

      • Stephan McColl

        Yo! Big fan of epic. I wanted to see what a roughly true scale Reaver would be like in rumored 8mm. So I have started building one. Trying to keep it to scale and haven’t finished but here is the link so you can see roughly what the size should be like.

        http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/692406.page

        • Vomkrieg

          Looking good.

    • benn grimm

      Whilst I agree in principle, they exist now and its not the…end of the world or …apocalypse…(see what I did there). Epic is where titans function as titans, 40k is where they come to stand on the edge of the board and look on disappointedly at the silly game people are trying to play with it… 😉

  • Grand_Master_Raziel

    AV15 front and sides, immune to melta, and it has inherent void shields? I couldn’t put enough lascannons on the table to even make a game of it.

  • benn grimm

    It’s not ‘sweeping the issue under the carpet’ as you so clumsily put it to discount this kind of analysis; its a collectors piece, its not supposed to be put to gamer scrutiny and evaluated on a points to cost basis; it exists to be a) an incredibly time and money consuming pet project for 6 months and b) brought out when you have a big enough game of apoc, once or twice a year.

    The fact it even exists is slightly strange, but also slightly awesome. If you’re well endowed enough financially to afford one, I very much doubt you care how the model does in game. Or what colour the sky is for that matter…

  • Shiwan8

    The fact that this is even thought of in the context of 40k is…disturbing. Titans belong to apoc.

  • Mud_Duck

    Titans are like an onion… no that’s not it . Titans are like a fine whiskey, something that you enjoy every some often, lest they become mundane.

  • tinythebig

    I fought one yesterday. It was it’s second game and it was outmatched by roughy five thousand points of straight guard tanks, with only four knights and a reaver on its side.

    Three knights and the reaver died, but the warlord itself lost only 2 void shields, then proceeded to nuke everything off the table.

    Asking questions like this is just silly. Titans of any kind are ALWAYS worth it

  • Simon Chatterley

    I own a Warhound and a Reaver – neither are worth the points in a game but thats not why you own them. You own them because they are Titans and look awesome.

    I played against a Warhound last week at the London GT and took it down with a Maulerfiend. Could have gotten me with its stomps I admit but whilst they are still lockable in combat they are useless if something gets to you.

    The Eldar Titans though….they are something else entirely…..

    • Simon Chatterley

      Of course I am fully aware the new FW rules make the Warlord unlockable but still 2750 + guns…never going to earn it’s points back

      • Haighus

        I get the impression they are not about getting their points back with destruction now, but just being a massive tank- immunity to melta and haywire, AV15 on front and sides, 14 rear, and a 5+ Invulnerable save against HP damage with 30hp is just massively tough except against massed Strength D. They have enough firepower to make them difficult to ignore too. So I feel they gain more utility in being a damage soak for the rest of your army, than in outright destruction (which they are still capable of).

  • Josh Watkins

    nope still not impressed …. its not an Imperator-class.

  • Jeremy Larson

    I have fielded 3 Warlord titans (scratch-built, but not bad looking) twice, both times in 15k Apoc (1st ed) games. I lost 2 in the first game, and only 1 in the second game. Their ability to pay for themselves largely is dependent on the number of super-heavies they’re facing. In 1st ed Apoc, a Warlord with all D-weapons reliably killed a Reaver in one salvo. Or it could kill a Warhound and a Bane Blade in one salvo. One was always fielded with all the plasma-blast guns, and vaporized a Green Tide in a salvo. In the second game, a Tanks-giving event run at a GW Battle Bunker, those 3 Warlords killed 55 total vehicles. Personally I’d never run a Warlord unless it was roughly 50% or less of the points in a game, and I typically wouldn’t run one Warlord unless I could run two 😀

    • Haighus

      They are significantly tougher now too, with a bit more firepower to boot. Have gone up in price a bit also however, so probably still fair.