30K: The Age of Darkness Rulebook Overview

What’s in the Ultimate Horus Heresy Rulebook? Come take a look and find out!

We ordered a copy of the Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Rulebook and it’s everything we were waiting for:

Let’s just get this out of the way – The Horus Heresy Age of Darkness Rulebook is the best version of 7th Edition Warhammer 40,000 ever produced. Why? Because it’s all the things folks liked about 7th and the biggest issues are removed. Which issues were those? We made a list:

  • Invisibility – gone!
  • Formations – gone!
  • Allies Chart – makes sense!
  • There are no fifth-wheel Xenos Scum bolted on to this version of the game – All Righteous (and Traitor) Marines, all the time!

Ok, that last one is a joke, but still – not having to mix in the Xenos armies does make the game feel stable. It’s focused primarily on the Horus Heresy and the factions involved in that specific conflict. Which is sort of the entire point…

The Universal Special Rules also got a good look-at as well. There are many Heresy-era specific USRs that have been added and consolidated. There is even an entire Wargear section that does a fantastic job of laying out all the weapons and families of weapons in the game. This is the most complete and up-to-date version of this ruleset ever printed.

Aside from all the consolidations, refinements, and additions to the 7th Edition ruleset, the book itself is pretty stunning. It’s physically larger than the 7th Edition book with larger pages that are thicker and gilded in silver. It’s using the same “Fancy” format of all the existing Horus Heresy books as well. This book really is a top-notch production.

Fans of the Horus Heresy, this is the book for you. And now, if you want to get folks playing for the first time or if you want to get them to return to the 30k Era, you’ve got a book you can point them at to get started. Here at BoLS we think this book is going to be the new foundation for the Horus Heresy playerbase moving forward. If you love the Horus Heresy and want it to be a “thing” this book is your new rallying point. It’s out now from Forge World – so what are you waiting for!

The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness Rulebook £40

The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness is a tabletop game for two or more players, in which you command an army of Forge World and Citadel miniatures representing either those Loyalist forces who fight in the name of the Emperor or the Traitors who have chosen to side with Warmaster Horus. This 216-page hardback book provides you with all of the core rules and diagrams you will need to recreate and fight the wars of the Horus Heresy.

Core Rules:
This section explains how to fight battles with your army during the civil war that tore apart the fledgling Imperium of Mankind. The core rules cover all of the basic principles of playing a game of The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness, from moving your models across the battlefield and blasting your enemies with a hail of firepower, to slaying your foes in the brutal struggle of melee and obliterating your victims with forbidden and arcane psychic powers, including rules for summoning daemons.

Unit Types:
This section explores all of the different unit types that describe your models. From footslogging Infantry and rampaging Monstrous Creatures to armoured battle tanks and supersonic Flyers, it lists all of the special rules that apply to these models. This section also includes rules to field the largest and most destructive units waging war on the battlefields of the Horus Heresy – Super-heavy Vehicles, Titans and Gargantuan Creatures – as well as detailing how heroic characters can lead your troops to victory.

Battlefield Terrain:
The Battlefield Terrain section describes how to incorporate terrain into your games in order to recreate the battlefields of a war-ravaged galaxy. In addition to the rules describing the different terrain types, such as ruins, buildings and battlefield debris, this section also enables you to use Fortifications – towering edifices whose armoured battlements bristle with heavy weaponry.

Preparing for Battle:
The Preparing for Battle section brings all the rules you have read so far together and takes you through the steps of getting ready for a game, beginning with a guide to forging a battle-ready army from your collection of miniatures. It also explains how to play a mission; from setting up the battlefield and deploying your forces to defining how long the game will last and determining who is the victor at the battle’s end. All of the special rules that are used in games of The Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness are also described in this section, including six different missions which represent the vast scope of the wars that were fought during the Horus Heresy.

The Appendix contains a compendium of special rules, weapon profiles and psychic powers that are frequently referred to throughout this book, as well as in numerous other Forge World publications, such as the Army List books or Campaign books.

The final section of this book contains a wealth of helpful quick reference material, such as a summary of the turn sequence and copies of various tables that can be found throughout this book, as well as a comprehensive index for the book itself. This section enables you to find the rule(s) you need during your games quickly and simply.


It’s time to lay siege to Terra once more…

  • Harri Hokkanen

    Allies Chart – makes sense. When they still put it that Alpha Legion is still fellow warriors for Imperial Army and Imperial Army is Sworn Brothers for Alpha Legion. Totally makes sense

    • Jonathon Runge

      They are loyalists. “For the Emperor!”

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        Hydra Dominatus!

    • Geronimo32509

      Well, it does actually. Just because Faction A sees Faction B in a certain light doesn’t mean that Faction B reciprocates. Think of the Word Bearers and the Ultramarines right before the Battle of Calth for example. Ultramarines clearly saw the Word Bearers as Battle Brothers and that was obviously not how the Word Bearers viewed the Ultramarines.

      Makes even more sense when you are considering a duplicitous faction like the Alpha Legion.

      • Koen Diepen Van

        Makes sense the alpha legion probebly sees the army as tools. While the army looks up to the legions

  • Crablezworth

    So happy they came out with this

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      Me too. A bunch of guys at my club all raring to go with HH. We are starting with Zone Mortalis so we’ll have something to play while we build our armies.

  • Ryan Miller

    And in six months, this all gets 8th’ed.

    • Mitchell

      CNN Fake News

      • MarcoT

        O god one of those

    • Kabal1te

      I would chuckle. That said I don’t think it will happen. I think this is a diverging point where 40k and 30k are diverging from each other rules wise and they will probably have to remain separate from each other from here forward.

      I don’t see heresy fans being willing to have to upgrade their expensive rule books and army books frequently. I think a major rules shift requiring something like 8ths indexes or 3rds similar thin codexes would kill 30k.

  • marxlives

    Sounds good, hope to see some playthrough reviews of this game and maybe even a spike in tournament presence.

  • Kabal1te

    I don’t know how well this will do. I mean I am sure it is more balanced than 40k, but it is easier to balance when everyone is a space marine. (Well almost everyone) That said 30k has never appealed to me for that reason. It is a human civil war story in space and lacks the more outside factions that other human only settings have like the clans of battletech. If there was a rogue third party in the story that was neither for chaos nor the imperium of man I might be more interested.

    • Kabal1te

      On a side note. I understand tau weren’t a thing during the heresy, tyranids hadn’t shown up yet, the necrons were still asleep, and the eldar while they do turn up in a few side stories like them saving Styges 7 during the heresy were a little busy being eaten by a chaos god, but where were the orks during the heresy and what kept them from showing up here and there, or do they and I just haven’t heard about it?

      • The Orks were a huge problem in the 31st millennia. The whole Ullanor Crusade was all about the Emprah’s forces smashing the largest of the greenskin empires and then being celebrated as the moment the Empire “won” (and daddy went home). The Ultramarines and Word Bearers legions were ordered to muster for a massive assault against another one of the largest Ork empires in the galaxy (only to find that it was a ruse that cost everyone dearly). So the Orks were definitely THE problem during the crusade days according to the fluff. It’s just that we don’t hear about them anymore because a)doesn’t fit the simple narrative of ‘brother vs. brother’, and b)the Orks probably couldn’t stand up anymore after those massive defeats. After all, the legions conquered sectors of the galaxy while the Orks watched their empires be swept over, I’m thinking.

        • Kabal1te

          I don’t know I suppose it’s that brother vs brother but not really story focus that I just doesn’t draw me in as much. If the legions themselves split with parts of each legion (especially the traitor legions) breaking and going both ways and there were more changes of heart as the narrative moved forward may be I would be more interested. It almost looks to black and white good vs evil though looking at it. The reasons for the average boots on the ground marine making the choice to go traitor and turn against the emperor never felt solid in anything I have read.

          • Johan Strandh

            There are sub-factions of loyalists among the traitor legions, and even bands of Astartes that are neither loyalist nor traitor (so called Blackshields). Although I do agree that even though there is in fact a pretty good audio drama about it (called Blackshields), it is a thing that could be explored further (a sequel is in the works). But on the other hand I understand why it isn’t a bigger thing.

            The astartes were genetically programmed as well as indoctrinated to follow their primarchs, the Word Bearers even more so. And upon reading the Horus Heresy series from Black Library it comes quite clear why some choose the traitorous side. Reading Fulgrim is an absolute must to understand the fall of a legion. Also the Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns for the fate of the sons of Magnus the Red. And Legion for the motives of the Alpha Legion.

    • Slippy

      I love the Horus Heresy. To me it is the essential, core conflict on which the entire 40k universe is built and 30k let’s you play that. Some people see it as ‘all marines’ and 40k as diverse, but to me 40k feels more like ULTRAMEHREENSSS with some aliens tacked on. 30k might not be more diverse modelwise, but it feels very diverse. What side do you pick in the conflict? It’s such a powerful setting.

      Having said that.. this rulebook is probably great but my head is in 8th edition now. 7th is over. Nobody plays horus heresy here either. Any chance for me to enjoy the heresy here is probably gone. So I see no point in buying it 🙁

  • banana raccoon

    ded game