30k Tactics Corner – Emperor’s Children Top Changes

I feel pretty... oh so pretty...

I feel pretty… oh so pretty…

Emperor’s children are bringing sexy back in today’s Tactics Corner.

With the release of the new-and-improved legion rules in the Age of Darkness Legions Red Book, it’s easy to lose sight of those little changes (or big ones) that impact your legion and game experience. Never fear! Captain Morgan from Forge the Narrative is here to guide you through the changes in the new 30k Tactica series. We’re going to highlight the interesting changes and updates to all the legions released in the Age of Darkness Legions (AoD) red book released by Forge World this year. Especially if you’re a long-time heresy gamer, knowing these changes can mean the difference between victory or defeat. Strap into your Stormbirds and get ready for this blast from the (future?) past!

Yes, I painted your face on my loincloth. Why?

Yes, I painted your face on my loincloth. Why do you ask?

Our inaugural installment of this series begin’s with the 3rd Legion: The Emperor’s Children. One of the “Big Four” legions that first went traitor, these guys got Slaanesh all up in their business, and as horrible as that sounds, it looks like the big, bad, gender-ambiguous master of excess decided to give these guys a good mix of overall buffs and minor tweaks to make them turn more heads on the battlefield (or cut them off…)

Poor, poor Ferrus

Poor, poor Ferrus…

If you are doing an Emperor’s Children army, or faced one regularly in your group, you’re going to want to pay attention. Oh, and bring earplugs…

The Purple Thirst

Of the changes that came to the EC, the most sweeping change comes with an additional rule: Flawless Execution. In 40k terms, it acts just like the Red Thirst rule from the current Blood Angels codex in that it gives you a +1 to your initiative when you successfully charge, and just the same as that rule, it’s negated by doing a disordered charge. This is a new Legion Special rule, which means that it influences every single model with the Legiones Astartes (Emperor’s Children) special rule. Considering that they have some additional benefits to initiative unlocked through  other legion rules (such as the +1 initiative in challenges from the Exemplars of War legion special rule), this can be huge in gaining an advantage over other legions in combat.

In a game where most models have initiative 4, having a higher initiative can make or break a combat. Alpha strike armies using drop pods or other deep strike tactics are going to want to play a bit cagey or they might eat the end of a nasty… counter charge. That last thing you want is for Lord Commander Eidolon to shove his master-crafted Thunder Hammer down your throat at initiative 6 on the charge (thanks to his Thunderous Charge Special Rule).

What did you think I was going to say?

What did you think I was going to say?

A New Sound

Another change to the rules for the EC comes in the form of the Sonic Shrieker. Where it used to be the way to get some additional initiative, now it has a different role. Every model with a Sonic Shrieker imposes a -1 penalty to the weapon skill of any enemy models in base to base contact during an assault with it. Enemies immune to fear are also immune to this rule, however, so keep an eye on the special rules of the unit you are engaging so you can get the most out of the benefits of this rule. If you can manage to lower the weapon skill of a unit enough to get most of the models at WS3, then you are hitting on 3’s at your initiative 5 charge. Brutal. They’re probably playing Nickelback out of those things…

Because there's no such thing as -1 Music Skill...

Let me guess, Nickelback fan, THIS MEANS WAR?

All That Glitters is Not Gold… It’s Just Glitter. Lots of glitter…

While those encompass some of the bigger changes, there is a spritz of minor tweaks and clarifications throw out the legion army list that could make some nuanced changes to your army composition or threat analysis of these units.

Phoenix Terminator Squad – While the +1 attack bonus to the Phoenix Champion is nice (making it 3 instead of 2 on a sergeant with WS 5), more important to note is the distinction given to the type of terminator armor they are wearing. Tartarus pattern terminator armor got a big bonus in the Forge World 30k FAQ, allowing models wearing it to perform Sweeping Advances. This also gets rid of the slow and purposeful rule for Cataphractii armor, which means this unit is now usable in the Maru Skara Rite of War (which is unchanged from its original iteration). Fans of this unit that felt unable to use them with the legion RoW now have a more durable, painful unit to bring. Plus with the Implacable Advance special rule, these guys can hold objectives as if they were troops (because remember, scoring in 30k is a little different than 7th Ed 40k).

They are still pricey at 265 points for 5 models, but since their rules let get an additional +1 initiative on the charge (specifically mentioned to be cumulative with the Flawless Execution rule we talked about above), these guys are now swinging at I6 on the charge with S5 AP2 Phoenix Spears (returning to S User AP3 after the charge). In the context of 30k, I think these guys just got a bit more worth their points. Combined with Fulgrim (who remains unchanged), expect them to kill you before you can even swing. Who needs a 4+ invul when no one is alive to swing at you, right?  If you’re fighting against these guys, don’t let them charge you.

And knowing is half the battle...

And knowing is half the battle…

The Four K’s of Khaos – Khorne, Kill, Korrupt, and Kakophoni

Because diamonds are pretty. And Emperor’s Children think they’re pretty. Get it? That pun is almost as stretched as Fulgrim’s mouth..

Seriously, I heard if you keep your face like that it'll get stuck like that forever...

Seriously, I heard if you keep your face like that too long it’ll get stuck forever…

Depending on your point of view, the Kakophoni unit got a bit of a buff. On the one hand, an increase to the number of shots that The Cocophany (yes, that’s spelled right and is different than their holder’s names) guns get, going from Heavy 1 shot to Heavy 2 makes the S6 AP 5 shooting a little bit more tenable. You’ll have a better chance of cracking open light vehicles and causing wounds on a unit, because: more dice. Remember, these are the guns that cause the targeted unit to take a Leadership test with a modifier based on the unsaved wounds suffered by these guns. Failing that leadership test causes D6 AP2 Instant Death Ignores Cover wounds on the targeted unit, so the more saves the enemy takes, the more they fail, and the bigger the chance that you get to melt their brains with more Nickelback music . On the other hand, these guns are still stuck with the Gets Hot special rule, so you now have a higher chance of killing yourself. This was always a high-risk high-reward type of unit to take, but they are a bit more practical if nothing else. The fact that they get more shots for the same points cost is at least a move in the right direction.

Giant Purple People Eaters

You've, uh... got something on your face...

You’ve, uh… got something on your face… faces?

That sums up quite a bit of the major changes to the rules for Emperor’s Children. As long as you have an understanding of what the Legion rules do, you can now better prepare your army for battle either for or against the champions of the Prince(ss?) of Pleasure. Also, if you are looking for some additional 30k content or are just getting into the game, feel free to check out my Primarch School series on www.forgthenarrative.net

As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day. For you Heresy-Curious folks (you know you want to) the Betrayal at Calth deal is way too awesome to pass up.

Which legion or Tactica do you want me to do next? Let me know in the comments!


Captain Morgan


About Chris Morgan

40K philosopher, LVO Judge, Chief Librarian of Forge the Narrative, Blood Angel enthusiast extraordinaire, and slayer of traitors, xenos, and heretics; I'd rather be playing 30k right now or neck-deep in a good book. Follow me on my FB page - Captain Morgan's Librarius

16 Responses to “30k Tactics Corner – Emperor’s Children Top Changes”

  1. Reecius June 6, 2016 1:16 pm #

    Another great review, buddy!

  2. Novastar June 6, 2016 8:20 pm #

    Should have mentioned the rite of war for the Kalaphoni that makes them troops and gives them relentless( could be slow and purposful) makes them super good

    • Chris Morgan June 7, 2016 7:07 am #

      Awesome comment, Novastar. I would definitely like to give the rites of war some attention, but I was thinking that would merit a separate article as this was focusing more on the changes to their rules in the new red book.

      • Novastar June 7, 2016 6:01 pm #

        Gotcha, that makes sense

    • Terry June 8, 2016 6:50 am #


      Making Kakopony with the Cacophony*wink* relentless is priceless IMO.

  3. Varyn June 7, 2016 3:00 am #

    Another good overview. I’m kind of new to 30K and this is pitched just right for me, I like that you also discuss how to deal with the units as well as their strengths.

    Can you please do Sons of Horus next?


    • Chris Morgan June 7, 2016 8:00 am #

      Thanks for the feedback! SoH are definitely getting some love for me in the future because they just got some love from FW for sure haha

      • Novastar June 7, 2016 6:03 pm #

        I love my Soms of Horus, I had 10 Justerean before they were good lol

  4. Paddington June 7, 2016 4:43 am #

    Excellent review! I can’t wait to face some of these guys! Do the Night Lords next!

    • Chris Morgan June 7, 2016 8:01 am #

      Thanks! Night Lords, eh? I do often write these in midnight clad…

  5. Ytook June 7, 2016 11:45 am #

    Really happy with the changes to Emperor’s Children in the new red book, always loved the aesthetic of the legion but their rules were just so dull in comparison to others I just couldn’t be bothered, now I’m going for them (and Salamanders to :D)

    • Chris Morgan June 7, 2016 12:59 pm #

      Yeah it’s nice that they got an update. Being one of the first to be released they got a bit left behind as the game matured. It’s very cool to see continued support for “old” legions in 30k

  6. Horton June 7, 2016 12:14 pm #

    I am very happy to see FW keep the legion rules updated as the game moves forward. 30k is such a great game. I wish I had more time to play it. Great review!

    • Chris Morgan June 7, 2016 1:00 pm #

      Thanks, Horton! I, too, want to play this more than I get a chance to

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