First Impressions: IA13 Heretics and Renegades

Adam from the Dice Abide brings us his first impressions on the Heretics and Renegades army list in the IA13 book!

Clearly I’m a man of many distractions… Just as I thought I was going to consider playing with my 30 pounds of pewter (a.k.a. Valhallans), Forge World springs this on me. So now my Medusas, Leman Russes and Thudd Guns are going brown instead of olive and joining the forces of my budding Renegades. A while back I converted up a bunch of mutants to use as Orks, and now they’re going to be proper Mutant Rabble (fortunately I have enough bits to finish about 100 of them). Meanwhile, I’ve ordered enough Plague Zombies from Mantic to go a long way (despite me typically having disdain for their products, if I like something, I’ll promote it). But why have I gone so crazy for the renegades? Let me tell you.


At first glance, the Renegades and Heretics army list is a diverse smorgasbord of the sad and pathetic creatures that grow like a cancer in the Imperium. Hordes of mutants, zombies and traitors, all banned together under the gaze of the chaos gods, trying to prove their worth… which isn’t much. An endless sea of corpses to bog down the enemy, while relentlessly pounding them with stolen tanks and artillery. This is what I’ve always wanted to back up my more disciplined Black Legionnaires.

Here’s a brief rundown of what I noticed in the book so far…


A lot in the book rides on your warlord being your Arch-Demagogue, specifically when he’s your warlord, the god he has patronage to opens up more unit options, additionally he can take some upgrades to tell what kind of Arch-Demagogue he is (Mutant Overlord, Heretek Magus, Arch-Heretic Revolutionary, etc.).

They also get access to fairly cheap psykers and commissar-like characters. Nothing jumped out as incredibly powerful, the Headquarters choices seem to do what they should, lead your army.


Surprisingly diverse, far more diverse than Imperial Guard. Aside from the standard traitor squads (much like IG, but can be 10-20 strong with many more special/heavy weapons), they get access to Mutant Rabble, Veterans (WS4/BS3), and with certain options picked by your Arch Demagogue, Chaos Spawn and Plague Zombies.

This army is really all about huge amounts of infantry, for a little over 160 pints, you can get a massive mob of 50 mutants replete with FNP 6+. Similarly, their infantry squads are dirt cheap, cheaper than cultists even, and all of their upgrades seem to affect the whole unit, so the bigger the unit, the more cost effective the upgrades are. None of the infantry are terribly powerful, but they make up for that in sheer quantity.


The only basic choices are Disciples (basically IG veterans) and Ogryns, but again depending on your Arch-Demagogue warlord, you can open up a ton: Marauder Warbands (kinda like Orks with IG weapons), Blood Slaughterers, Blight Drones, extra Psykers, Noise Marines, and Decimators.

The Ogryns are brutal, able to buy 4+ armour and Feel no Pain, or you can go with Tzeentch to get a potential 11 attacks each on the charge! Base they have D6 attacks, but also have Rage for another D3. They’re Fearless, cause Fear and have Hammer of Wrath (because they needed more attacks). Very expensive at 60 points a model though and no delivery. They’ll be fun to use, but probably not the most competitive choice.

Fast Attack

Nothing really exciting here… Hellhounds (and the variants), Sentinels, Salamanders, Arvus Lighters and Valkyries. The only thing I found particularly interesting was that the Sentinels are only 20 points each, come in squads of 3-6, but lack scout, and if you buy them the AV12 front armour upgrade, they remain open-topped. They might be good as a big unit with heavy flamers (so they don’t need to buy BS3), but I’m still very skeptical.

Heavy Support

Now we’re talking, holy crap! Right off the bat they get fairly standard Leman Russ Squads, as well as artillery batteries of Basilisks and Medusas, Bombards, Hydras, but the real kicker is that they get Wyverns at a 10 point discount and in squads of 1-5! Sure they’re BS2 (you can buy BS3 to bring them back to normal points), but they’re already twin-linked with a crap ton of blasts. Sign me up!

On top of the tanks, they also get dirt cheap field artillery, so massive units of Earthshaker cannons with over 20 crew, or discounted Thudd Guns. Everything is cheaper to compensate for being BS2, though most can buy BS3 for a mere 10 points for the unit (tanks are per vehicle though).



Really, the army is one of Troops and Artillery. I think it might actually be very light on real anti-tank outside of mass autocannons, though that can be made up for with Chaos Marine allies (especially thanks to Dreadclaws). I think the army is going to be a little random for most players, but it does a great job of representing the disorganized, undisciplined masses at the forefront of a major Chaos invasion. Sorry Valhallans, back to the basement with you, and I’m stealing your tanks while I’m at it!

Photo credits go to ilikebmxbikes.


About Adam

Cofounder of RUMBL – player finder for Miniatures Wargames. I also run a little blog called TheDiceAbide, check it out.

20 Responses to “First Impressions: IA13 Heretics and Renegades”

  1. Reecius October 22, 2014 2:07 pm #

    I can’t wait to see some of these lists on the table!

    • Adam October 22, 2014 4:19 pm #

      Yeah, me too! The army definitely has no lack of anti-infantry… for 275 points you can plop down 20 S4, twin-linked, barrage, shred, ignores cover blasts. I think the best lists will use CSM allies for anti-tank while the artillery does it’s job.

  2. fluger October 22, 2014 2:28 pm #

    Wow, this looks great. I’ll have to let my buddy Dale check this out as he runs IG, but with a Nurgly infestation. Sounds like a ton of this stuff would be right up his alley!

    • Reecius October 22, 2014 3:16 pm #

      Yeah, I think this will be a VERY popular army.

      • TinBane October 22, 2014 3:23 pm #

        Back in 3.5th edition (3rd with new assault rules), they had the Eye of Terror campaign, with it’s own codex. The four forces in that book were extremely popular, and most of them live on.

        The cadian forces became viable within the next codex.
        The wulfen moved into the space wolves codex, not in their entirety, but the space wolves certainly became more feral and thematic.
        Uthwe Strike Force units were incorporated into the base Eldar codex, allowing you to field those forces.

        So this is really the last of those armies to get a book that can be used in tournaments. They were extremely popular at the time, and I certainly saw a fair amount of guard allied to chaos in 6th as well. Taking a renegade force, and having a small allied detachment of marines, is certainly closer to the modus operandi of the Chaos Marine Legions in the fluff, too.

        • Reecius October 23, 2014 8:13 am #

          Yeah, Lost and the Damned was awesome!

  3. TinBane October 22, 2014 3:05 pm #

    That’s fantastic! I can’t wait to start fielding this.
    Black legion allies, with a squad of chosen in a dreadclaw with 5 x meltaguns.
    A bike squad, and some havocs. Plus a pile of artillery, tanks and cheap as chips infantry. This is going to be epic!

    This certainly salves the frustrations I had at the start of 7th ed!

  4. Welfstar October 22, 2014 7:29 pm #

    I pick up my copy tomorrow morning at the UPS. The most excited I’ve ever been for a codex release. GO FW!!

    Any players at Frontline/Team 0-comp interested in running Renegades in an upcoming Video Bat Rep? That would be awesome.

    • Reecius October 23, 2014 8:13 am #

      I am sure we will have someone who wants to give them a go!

      • Adam October 23, 2014 10:15 am #

        I couldn’t imagine who…

  5. Alan October 22, 2014 8:18 pm #

    Nice review! I’ve only seen reviews/rumors so far because I’m waiting to buy the book, but is it true you can take 50-man zombie units with 4+ FNP? Because that seems absolutely brutal to me, flooding the board with potentially 300 4+ FNP models. The idea of it makes me smile 🙂

    • Adam ( October 22, 2014 9:49 pm #

      You indeed can take a unit of 50 zombies… But only one. 🙂

      • Alan October 23, 2014 8:17 am #

        Gah! Foiled again!

  6. Cavalier October 23, 2014 3:19 am #

    Awesome… so pumped for this. Reece are you gonna run these guys primary or with your Night Lords?

    • Reecius October 23, 2014 8:13 am #

      With my Night Lords…I need a reason to use them! haha

      • Cavalier October 24, 2014 2:54 am #

        Awesome can’t wait to see this in bat-rep form!

  7. anvilward88 October 23, 2014 5:35 am #

    Is it fair to say that you should bring a book or a gameboy when playing against this army? I mean, the rules for them look solid and have the fluff of being a chaos horde, but it will take a long time for them to move that many models, shoot that many guns, and assault that many units.

    • fluger October 23, 2014 7:08 am #

      Do what I do. Have your opponent roll things for you. Speeds everything up.

    • Reecius October 23, 2014 8:14 am #

      Some of the fastest game I have ever played have been against horde Ork players. Often, there is no thinking involved, you just move forward as there is nowhere else to go! haha

  8. Julien October 24, 2014 7:27 am #

    Seems like Chaos Air Force is now a viable thing without it being “HELDRAKES FOR DAYYYYSSSSS!”

    Most of the Chaos players I interact with are pretty happy with the Book.

    A nice thing is the Rapier Battery with the Special Conversion beamer that gets its S10 AP1 Large Blast at 24-48 instead of 48-72! And can be taken at 1-3 per Heavy Support Slot.

    While not everything is stand out amazing (looking at you contemptors and LR Proteus) it still brings a very needed breath of fresh air to chaos as well as giving them R&H as Battle Brothers to widen up the Faction and give players a bigger pool from which to get their units.

    Also, Spartans. With Armored Ceramite (bye bye melta) and Flare Shields (if they’re there) that : -2S to Templates and -1S to shooting in the Front arc. Fill that up with either a Ton of Cultists with appropriate Support IC, Terminators (it has 25 non bulky slots) or Khorne Berserkers with Kharn.

    Another stand out for me, personally, would be the Kharybdis Assault Claw. 20 capacity, Dread Claw with Intertial Guidance and 5 Machine Spirit’d Missile Launcher with Pinning at a melta gun over the cost of a Land Raider Phobos and well, you can make a decent Chaos Drop Assault List with this and the Dread Claws. Not being forced to disembark from them and being assault vehicles is nice.

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