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The New Black – Imperial Fists in 30k

9 Minute Read
Mar 26 2016

Black Blow Fly is back with some Heresy Style Imperial Fists!

I have always liked Imperial Fists. Often in 40k they have been portrayed as inept and under achievers – here are two examples… Storm of Iron by Graham McNeil was all about the Iron Warriors at the height of the Chaos Space Marine 4.5 codex. Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists are eternal enemies. If you go to Lexicum there are two versions of the history presented for Rogal Dorn, Primarch of the Imperial Fists. One version is told through the eyes of the infernal powers which shows Dorn in a poor light and it is the more popular version. There is also the Imperial version which is probably more accurate and reveals all the things you never knew. The Imperial Fists as presented in Storm of Iron are a slap stick pushover for the Iron Warriors and present no resistance. In truth the Imperial Fists bested the Iron Warriors many times and are more than an equal match. There is also a short story by Dan Abnett about a Tyranid invasion on an Imperial World. Imperial Fists arrive via drop pod assault and are quickly consumed by the Tyranids. These are two prime examples how Imperial Fists are often poorly portrayed.


Yellow is often considered a hard color to paint which steers a lot of people away from playing them as well. Imperial Fists have fairly mediocre chapter tactics as well. A lot of people don’t realize Black Templars are a successor chapter derived from Imperial Fists and Sigusmund was their first Chapter Master and also the original Emperor’s Champion. 30k has the Templar Brethren which were a precursor to Black Templars and can be fielded as troops if you take Sigusmund.


30k presents Imperial Fists in a different light though and they are probably one of the stronger Legions. They have very solid characters in the form of Alex Pollus and Sigusmund. Their terminators are the most flexible with access to assault cannons and storm shields, both of which can be fielded in the same unit. While Dorn is not one of the strongest Primarchs he is probably the least pointed and is still solid for what you get. Imperial Fists are siege masters and properly designed for this role in 30k. I’ve talked about the Stone Gauntlet Rite of War which is kind of a sleeper… Who doesn’t want T5 terminators with BS5 when firing boltguns and I5… Plus the 3++. Breachers and the Phalanx Warders also benefit from these rules as well setting them both well above tactical Marines. Oh and their boarding shields count as having defensive grenades on top of everything else.



As you can probably tell by now I am working on building a new Imperial Fists army for 30k and it’s a lot of fun getting back to modeling again. I’m a bit burnt out on 40k so this is a good project for me. 30k has much better balance and every legion has good rules. The Betrayal at Calth is a great way to get into 30k and I love working with plastic.

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30k or Horus Heresy has been out now for at least five years and is rapidly building up a strong player base. We just had a Zone Mortalis campaign last month that was well attended and there will be another this May re-enacting the infamous Ivstann drop site massacre that was the beginning of the Heresy.

There is a lot to choose from now if you’re thinking about getting into 30k… It’s a great time and is only going to get better. The Horus Heresy has replaced LotR as one of Games Workshop’s three main lines so you can expect to see more plastic models releasing over time. I love the Forge World models, too.


Like I said above my new army will be Imperial Fists and they have some great rules and their own unique units like Templar Brethren and Sigsumund who was the first Emperor’s Champion and later became the Chapter Master of Black Templars.

There are many armies to choose from including Admech, their own brand of Imperial Guard and even Chaos Daemons… So there’s actually a fair amount of choice.

Stone Imperial Fist

This is an Imperial Fists Rite of War known as the Stone Gauntlet.


Rite of War Special Rules

Breacher and Phalanx Warder squads may be taken as troops.

Resolve of Stone
Essentially any Marine with the Imperial Fists Astartes rule that is equipped with a boarding shield or storm shield and within a squad of at least 3 similarly equipped models gains +1T so long as they do not run, charge or perform a sweeping advance in that current player turn.

Shield Charge
Essentially any Marine with the Imperial Fists Astartes rule that is equipped with a boarding shield or storm shield and within a squad of at least 3 similarly equipped models gains the Hammer of Wrath special rule.

– Compulsory troops must be Breacher squads.
– No deep strike.
– You may not take more Elites and Fast Attack choices combined than you have Troops choices.

You must field an HQ with the Master of the Legion special rule (i.e., to take a rite of war) and fill the two minimum troops requirements with Legion Breacher squads.


Here’s an example army list along with the unit profiles and their rules:

All the troops are all +1T and +1WS due to their boarding shields following certain restrictions (see below) and count as having defensive grenades.

+++ Stone Gauntlet • Imperial Fists (2000) +++

++ Legiones Astartes: Crusade Army List (Age of Darkness) (2000) ++


+ HQ (165) +

Alexis Polux (165) [Master of the Legion] [Warlord]

Hammer Blow
Hardened Armour
Legiones Astartes
Master of the Legion
Void Commander

Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Iron Halo: Confers 4++ Invulnerable Save
Vigil Pattern Storm Shield: Confers 3++ Invulnerable Save

+ Troops (770) +

Legion Breacher Siege Squad (385)
14x Legion Breacher Siege Space Marine
3x Graviton Gun – Legion Vexilla

Graviton Pulse
Hardened Armour
Legiones Astartes

Legion Breacher Siege Sergeant
Artificer Armour – Combi-Weapon – Melta Bombs – Breaching Charge – Power Fist

Breacher Charge

Legion Sergeant: Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Legion Space Marine: Unit Type: Infantry


Legion Vexilla:
A unit with a Legion Vexilla may re-roll failed Morale tests.

Breacher Charge:
Range:Special|Strength:8|AP:2|Type: Melee – One Use – Blast – Wrecker|

Graviton Gun:
Range:18″|Strength:*|AP:4|Type: Heavy 1 – Blast – Concussion – Graviton Pulse – Haywire|

Legion Breacher Siege Squad (385)
— See above

+ Elites (45) +

Apothecarion Detachment (45)
Legion Apothecary – Narthecium

Legiones Astartes

Legion Apothecary: Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Legion Quad Launcher Support Battery (225)
3x Legion Rapier
Incendiary Shell – Shatter Shell

Extremely Bulky
Legiones Astartes

Unit Type: Artillery

Space Marine Crew: Unit Type: Infantry

Frag Shell:
Range: 12″ – 60″
|Strength:5|AP:5|Type: Heavy 4 – Barrage – Blast|

Incendiary Shell:
Range: 12″ – 60″
|Strength:4|AP:5|Type: Heavy 4 – Barrage – Blast – Ignores Cover|

Shatter Shell:
Range:36″|Strength:8|AP:4|Type: Heavy 4 – Sunder|

+ Troops (460) +

Phalanx Warder Squad (460)
Legion Vexilla
14x Phalanx Warder
3x Plasma Gun – 4x Power Axe

Hardened Armour
Legiones Astartes
Shield Wall

Veteran Sergeant
Artificer Armour – Melta Bombs – Power Fist

Unit Type: Infantry

Veteran Sergeant: Unit Type: Infantry (Character)

Boarding Shield:
Confers 6++ invulnverable save, increasing to a 5++ in close combat. User is treated as having defensive grenades.

Legion Vexilla:
A unit with a Legion Vexilla may re-roll failed Morale tests.

+ Heavy Support (335) +

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought Talon (335)

Crushing Charge
Move Through Cover
Reinforced Atomantic Shielding

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought
Armoured Ceramite – 2x Leviathan Storm Cannon – Phosphex Discharger – 2x Twin-linked Volkite Caliver

Crawling Fire
Lingering Death

Leviathan Siege Dreadnought:
WS:5|BS:5|S:8|Front:13|Side:13|Rear:12|I:4|A:4|HP:4|Type: Vehicle (Walker)|

Armoured Ceramite:
A vehicle with this wargear is not subject to the additional D6 armour penetration caused by weapons with the Melta special rule.

Leviathan Storm Cannon:
Range: 24″|Strength:7|AP:3|Type: Heavy 6 – Sunder|

Phosphex Discharger:
Range: 6″ – 18″|Strength:5|AP:2|Type: Heavy 3 – One Use – Barrage – Blast – Poison (3+) – Crawling Fire – Lingering Death|

Volkite Caliver:
Range:30″|Strength: 6|AP:5|Type: Heavy 2 – Deflagrate|

+ Legion +

Legion Astartes [Loyalist, VII: Imperial Fists]

++ Selection Rules ++

Breacher Charge:
May be used in assault isntead of the carrying model’s normal attacks or weapons. The model makes a single attack. Place the Blast template anywhere in base contact with the attacking model so it covers the enemy. The template may not cover friendly models. Roll to hit against the majority Weapon Skill of the enemy (buildings, emplacements, and stationary vehicles are hit automatically). On a hit, the template remains where it was placed. On a miss, roll a scatter die and flip the template in the direction indicated (always flips).

Crawling Fire:
After the blast marker is placed for a weapon with this rule, the firer may move the marker up to 2″ in any direction so long as this would cover more models than previously.

Crushing Charge:
When charging, the model inflicts 2 Hammer of Wrath attacks and gains +1 Initiative in the Assault phase of any turn in which it has charged.

After normal attacks by this weapon have been resolved, count the number of unsaved wounds caused on the target unit. Immediately resolve a number of additional automatic hits on the same unit using the weapon’s profile equal to the number of unsaved wounds – these can then be saved normally. Models must still be in range in order for the additional hits to take effect. These additional hits do not themselves cause more hits.

Extremely Bulky

Graviton Pulse:
Instead of rolling to wound normally with this weapon, any model caught in its blast must instead roll equal to or under their Strength on a D6 or suffer a wound (a roll of a 6 always counts as a failure). After the Graviton pulse weapon has been fired, leave the Blast marker in place. This area now counts as both difficult terrain and dangerous terrain for the next turn.

Hammer Blow:
At the start of any Assault Phase, Polux may lower his Attacks characteristic to 1 but ignore the Unwieldy rule for his Power Fist for that phase. He would still have 2 attacks on the charge.

Hardened Armour:
Hardened Armour counts as being Void Hardened. Failed armour saves against template and blast weapons may be re-rolled. Reduces distance rolled for charges, sweeping advances, and run moves by 1″.

Legiones Astartes:
Units with this special rules may always attempt to regroup regardless of casualties.

Lingering Death:
When a blast weapon is used with this rule, leave the blast marker in play for the rest of the game. This area is now treated as dangerous terrain for all models with a Toughness value and open-topped vehicles.

Master of the Legion

Move Through Cover

Reinforced Atomantic Shielding:
A Leviathan Dreadnought has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition, if the Leviathan suffers a Vehicle Explodes damage result, add +D3 Str and +D3″ to the radius of the blast.

Shield Wall:
If unengaged and has at least 5 members remaining, gains +1 WS in any turn in which it has been charged by the enemy. Friendly models joining the squad gain this benefit as long as five models with the special rule survive.

Attacks with this rule may re-roll failed Armour Penetration rolls.

Void Commander:
Polux and any unit he joins may opt to pass or fail any Morale or Pinning checks. In addition, one Infantry type unit with the Legiones Astartes (Imperial Fists) rule in an army with Polux may gain the Deep Strike rule via teleportation.
If you like Space Marines then check it out ! There’s never been a better time to start a new army.

Author: Steve Turner
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