30K: Force Org Charts of the Age of Darkness

The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Rulebook has 4 Force Org Charts – and they make the game better!

The Age of Darkness Rulebook for the Horus Heresy really cleaned up a ton of the issues we had with 7th Edition 40k. Not only did this book fix Invisibility (by replacing it with a more reasonable power), they also restructured the Force Organization charts and added a much needed tweak. Take a look:

The Crusade Force Org Chart

This is your bread-n-butter Force Org chart. It’s got the classic 1 HQ, 2 Troops minimum as well as all the other slots most players are familiar with in amounts they are used to. If you played a game of 40k from 2000 until 2016, you probably saw this at least once. Heck, you can even take an Allied Detachment if you want.

The Onslaught Force Org Chart

This chart is a the Crusade’s slimmer cousin. It’s got the basics of 1 HQ and 1 Troop, but you also have to take a Heavy Support slot. Pretty straight forward. You can also take 2 Lords of War. More on that later.

The Castellen Force Org Chart

Castle-up with the Castellen Force Org Chart! 1 HQ, 3 Troops and a Fortification – this Chart is for all you defensively inclined folks. You might have to give up some Fast Attack Slots, but you’ll get access to a ton of Fortifications! Is that trade worth it to you? It will be if you want to hold the line!

The Leviathan Force Org Chart

Last up is the Leviathan Force Org Chart – now, this one is funky. It’s got it’s own special rules and Warlord Trait which is neat. Why is this a big deal? Well in 30k, GW added another chart that we really liked:

Lords of War are not supposed to make up more that 25% of your army. The exceptions are the Leviathan Force Org Chart and the mission being played. We here at BoLS really like this rule and like the restriction it places on running Lords of War in games – it keeps it (relatively) balanced. Are there outliers? Sure! But we rather have these limits in place than nothing at all! Besides, it keeps the big toys out of games that they probably shouldn’t be in anyways.

“I’m the Main Event, not the warm-up act.”

What do you think of these Force Org Charts for Age of Darkness games? Would you want to see a 25% Lords of War rule for 8th edition 40k?

  • Jose Luis Camarasa

    THIS. They only need to implement it in 8th edition too

    • ZeeLobby

      I’d kill for those Lord of War limits.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      It would make me very happy.

    • marxlives

      I was thinking the same thing. Horus Heresy seems way more attractive and balanced to me than 8th.

  • SilentPony

    …and? So what? Detachments in 8th are just Force Orgs without the pictures.

    • ZeeLobby

      Well. These at least have restrictions.

      • SilentPony

        So do detachments.

        • Kabal1te

          The nature of 8th ed and the detachments available make the idea of restrictions rather pointless. There are almost no imaginable combination of slots that you can’t cover with 8th ed detachments. At least this means you have to bring troops somewhere except the leviathan, and your allies options are reasonably restricted. Insane soup lists with wacky detachment combinations are a huge part of the 8th ed cheese.

          • Koonitz

            It was also worth pointing out that, originally, Forge World’s Horus Heresy rules had a limitation on ALL but the Crusade detachment of being “with opponent’s permission, only”, so you would rarely, if ever, see people design lists based on any but the core Crusade detachment. I cannot find that clause in the rulebook (yet), but that may be a critical change, here.

            Of course, the only one I can see people using, alternatively, is the Onslaught one, because people hate their troops and love them some heavy support. But, considering how valuable the first turn is, the restriction on the list (never taking first turn excepting on seize the initiative) is a pretty big penalty. Take 1 more troop to give you the chance to go first? Probably worth it.

            The Leviathan one is laughable if you expect people will try to swing that in pick-up games. Most players will just tell you “No, go away.” so that won’t happen.

            The fortification one is neat, but I’ve never seen anyone put stock in buildings and fortifications, so it likely will be relegated to pre-arranged games.

            I don’t see any problems here, to be honest.

            Also, remember, that the Age of Darkness rules permit only TROOPS (and any unit with a specific special rule allowing it) as scoring units (ie: Able to hold an objective). Taking the Onslaught detachment just to have one less troops choice may only mean you get crushed on objectives. Choose wisely.

            These detachments are NOTHING like the complete openness of 8th Ed 40k. These are all quite restrictive, and I honestly wish 8th ed used them (admittedly, this coming from a 3rd-5th Ed veteran).

          • SilentPony

            You are super wrong.
            Anyone here, anyone at all, remember Rites of War? Anyone?
            Anyone remember how they messed with the Org chart, changing units from Elites to Troops, or Fast Attack to Elite?

            Anyone who thinks 30k Org charts are super restrictive and don’t allow for cheese lists have never played a match of an HQ Sicaren, and 10 Predators as Troops. Or a match of 1 Pimarch as HQ and 20 Terminators are Troops.
            Tell me, what’s the difference between a Vangaurd Detachment of required 3 Elites, and a Pride of the Legion list that suddenly makes Termiantors and Veterans, previously elites, into Mandatory Troops?
            Technically wording. Practically, you have Elites as the base of your army without needing tactical squads.

            Play more Horus Heresy and you’ll see. Force Orgs and Detachments are virtually the same.

        • ZeeLobby

          The other replies nailed it. I’m sorry but no. 8th edition detachments give no real restrictions, just bonuses. And with the ability to take multiple detachments in 8th (which I bet you still can’t do in 30K) with no associated tax, you really can just spam whatever you want. There will still be a huge difference between what is basically 40K “unbound” and the 30K restricted system.


    I am impressed they went as far as they did to actually fix the problems from 7th, they could have just left the rules alone but I like that they actually are looking to improve it where they could.

    I am typically in the camp that 7th wasn’t too bad at first it was only the later poor balancing and rules bloat that sunk it. This I can get.

    • Drpx

      Allies, formations and Knights were what was wrong with 7th. Those things could have been curbed without having to Sigmarize a game that wasn’t meant for Sigmar rules.

      • GWELLS

        Well for this they are using the allies restriction of 6th, cutting formations completely and intentionally limiting LOW options in many circumstances. They are even using a little 8th in terms of detachment options (with some giving special abilities or greater LOW options).

        Honestly this is not just a rehash of 7th it is actually more of a hybrid of 6th,7th, a little 8th with some additional touchs sprinkled on (ditching invisibility for instance). This HH edition is actually more unique than people realise on first glance.

    • carlisimo

      More than fixing 7th, what Forge World did was keep what they liked about 6th (in particular, the rule that only Troops score unless they have a special rule). The Horus Heresy game started around the beginning of that edition and only made minor changes to keep up with GW when 7th came out.

      • GWELLS

        Good point from what I can see here this HH ruleset isn’t so much just 7th edition, on closer inspection it is more like a hybrid of 6th, 7th edition rules with a little 8th thrown in in terms of detachment options.

  • defensive

    Bit iffy on the lord of war one, but the others seem quite nice.

    A lot of restraint in this area immediately stops most of the problems 8th has with list building.
    Nice work, FW.

    • Kabal1te

      I assume the crusade chart is going to be your only tournament option and the others will just be for narrative missions. That would make the most sense.

  • Clayton Retallack

    Its exactly the same is it was before the new book.

  • Mitchell

    At the end of the day the rites of war are going to shape your army More than these force orgs.

  • Matt Schrieber

    Who exactly is this article for? The header seems like it is an article for people who play 30k/Horus Heresy. but you aren’t presenting any new information or even insight to anyone who plays 30k.
    You mentioned “they also restructured the Force Organization charts and added a much needed tweak”, but nothing as far as I can tell has changed with these FoC, and The 25% Rules has always been in place. It sounds like you are praising a new rule that you think will help 8th ed, but it has always been there in 30k.

    Lastly, the Age of Darkness FoC is NOT that same FoC that you would have seen “If you played a game of 40k from 2000 until 2016”. It gives you an extra HQ and Elite slot.

    I honestly don’t know why I come to this site anymore. I get so little from it and even when I see something that piques my interest like an article about 30k it is just screen shots from a book and next to zero actual content.