Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Horus Heresy Vol. 1 - Betrayal

Yesterday I received my copy of Horus Heresy Volume1: Betrayal from Forgeworld.

It's A Book - But Sooo Much More

I’m sure when it was released a number of people baulked at the price of GBP70.00 plus postage (no, it’s not cheap) so here are my initial thoughts on the book.

First of all the production quality of this tome is light years ahead of any GW printed product I have owned. It is a 289 page leatherbond bound book in full colour. It is between A3 and A4 in size, heavy quality paper all edged in silver. Metal protectors are on the corners of the front cover. No chance of this falling apart.
Angron - More Angry Than Bad!
Second, the contents are staggering. For someone who devours Black Library’s Horus Heresy novels this is THE sourcebook that collects all the information contained in the stories and reproduces it in a “historical” reference work. I have only browsed the contents – not even scratched the surface of the information – but already I’ve learned things about the Unification Wars on Terra that were new to me. There is literally hours and hours of reading here on the general background through the Unification Wars, the Crusade, Elevation of the Warmaster right up to the Betrayal. The development of the Legio Astartes is tracked through this timeline. The book then focuses on events at Isstvaan III and the four Legions involved.

Fulgrim's Finest

Each of the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, Dusk Raiders/Death Guard, War Hounds/World Eaters and Emperor’s Children get their own section – comprising 15-18 pages. This includes history, personalities as well as full colour art.

The book then contains a general Heresy era Legion list with modifiers for the four Legions at Isstvaan III. There are also new missions included so that you can play specific events that occurred on that planet. These lists and scenarios are written for Warhammer 6th Edition.

Overall, I’m absolutely blown away by what’s included in the book – and the promise of more to come. For someone who was becoming increasingly bleh about 40k, I can see myself using this book to act as the basis for games going forward. Does it mean I’ll build a Heresy army – perhaps. However as the series develops I can see it being used as the basis for my Traitor Legion armies rather than the recently released Codex:CSM.
It Even Covers Mechanicum

I am totally pumped for the next volume “Massacre” which covers the Dropsite on Isstvaan V – and where we start to see the divergence of the Legions in terms of weaponry, allies and some characteristics.

If you are at all interested in the Heresy then this book should be on your Xmas list.


  1. My book also arrived yesterday after a world tour (it traveled 4/5 continents to get here...).
    It is very impressive just like you mention. There is however one major issue that you will have after reading it.

    Which legion should you collect!

    I find myself wanting to collect space marines after vowing never to touch them 17 years ago...

  2. Im keen to catch up some time soon Pete, would be great to have a look over it. Ultimately I'd love to get involved in some sort of "tale of 4 gamers" type thing where each player did a different pre heresy legion.

  3. Weekend is good.

    I'd be keen to do that. The real hard decision for me would be choosing which Legion......EC, DG, Iron Warriors

    If I was anyway Imperially inclined after reading "Fear to Tread" Blood Angels look interesting....but I'd rather poke my eyes out than be a lackey of the corpse-god