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Crucible of Retribution – Adeptus Titanicus Review

The Horus Heresy has consumed the galaxy. Brother battles brother, and a noose is closing around Terra. The Master of Mankind’s favoured son has fallen to the influence of dark gods and now marches to bring doom to his hated father. Not only have the forces of Terra and even the Legions Astartes been torn in two, but the Mechanicum of Mars has split in war with Forge Worlds, Legios and Knight Households declaring themselves for The Emperor or the Warmaster.

Crucible of Retribution, up for pre order today tells the tale of this Mechanicum cataclysm across the Belt of Iron, a bloody conflict that pitted multiple Titan Legions against each other for the fate of these worlds.

In this review we check out the new Crucible of Retribution supplement for Adeptus Titanicus in both video format and written review below! Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a copy to share with you all!

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Crucible of Retribution

Crucible of Retribution kicks off in much the style of the previous Adeptus Titanicus supplements taking us through the lore of the Cataclysm of Iron, the war across the Belt of Iron and the forces and planets involved. In the style of a historical document, much like the Horus Heresy Black Books, we learn about the conflict in detail with not only a full timeline of the events that happened but also details of each of the planets across the belt. These are accompanied by artwork as gorgeous as ever depicting the worlds of the war alongside stunning images of the Titans of the conflict. This quality of art continues throughout the book showing off each of the Legios and Households that took part in the cataclysm with full page spreads detailing the heraldry of the titans which are also handy in working out where the transfers go too!

Speaking of Titans, Crucible of Retribution contains the rules for 8 legios that took a part in the conflict including the much wanted Legio Ignatum, the Fire Wasps!

Legio Astraman (Morning Stars)

The Morning Stars are a nice tanky Legio with the ability to minimise the effects of damage. With their trait they can voluntarily awaken their machine spirit, in the Movement phase. When they do this they advance their reactor but immediately applies the Stalwart result on the Machine Spirit chart allowing them to immediately make a repair roll – this will stack quite nicely with a repair order allowing them to rapidly get the titan ship shape at the cost of reactor heat! They also get stratagems that deny bonuses to armour rolls targeting friendly damaged engines and another allowing any Astraman Titan to merge shields with any other.

Legio Atarus (Firebrands)

The Firebrands get some traits that make them pretty quick and aggressive. If they do not win the roll-off for first turn they can reroll it, making it more likely they can seize the initiative. They also get a couple of cool stratagems, one lets them automatically choose a better version of Impetuous (Moving them D6+2″) rather than any other result on the Awakened Machine Spirit chart. Their other unique stratagem allows a single titan to get the maniple effects of any maniple available to the legio for that round – this is really cool and allows for some rapid adaptability during battle. They also get a nice Personal trait that allows the princeps to carry over an order into the next round without making a command check!

Legio Ignatum (Fire Wasps)

As a Fire Wasps fan I’ve been looking forward to getting rules to play with my Legio, and these are finally available in Crucible of Retribution! Ignatum’s trait allows them to reroll hits of 1 when within 12″ of an enemy titan – so you are going to want to get up close and personal to enemy engines to benefit from this the most, equally the enemy is going to have to be careful about closing on your lines as they will be giving you this reroll! They also get a brilliant stratagem which is essentially overwatch from Warhammer 40k – When an enemy titan charges one of yours you can immediately shoot them with a single weapon! This also uses your base ballistic skill, making charging Ignatum engines a very risky tactic. They also have a stratagem which allows you to automatically issue a fire first order without having to make a command check – from the wording it looks like this is for the entire game too, as you use the stratagem at the start of the first round! We get some really cool wargear in the form of a Gravitonic Sensor Array that gives you +1 to hit a target that is at least 25% obscured, essentially negating the penalty for shooting them! We also get some cool Personal Traits, my favourite giving a single weapon +1 to armour rolls (or +1 to two weapons when fighting Mortis or Tempestus!!)

Legio Venitor (Iron Spiders)

The Iron Spiders have some cool rules that mitigate any Command negatives in that they ignore the Princeps Wounded effect and they get a +1 to command checks while within 6″ of the Princeps Seniores. They also get to split maniples into squadrons until the end of the round. Sadly they cannot merge shields, but get all the other benefits of this. Finally they can swap out any Warlord for a Reaver titan.

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Legio Laniaskara (Impalers)

Another really aggressive close combat focussed Legio here with the Impalers! Their traits are very good, with one allowing them to move at boosted speed without needing to push their reactors, and their second trait lets them attack and smash when they charge! Very tempted to build a close combat force of these and go for the throat of enemy engines. Their Stratagem allows them to be issued charge orders without the need for a command check, and they can take a wargear upgrade that subtracts 1 from Armour roles for weapons with the Maximal Fire trait, even if the enemy titan does not use the trait! My favourite of their Personal Traits lets them increase their Strength by 2 when attacking scale 5 or lower targets! Yes, they are bullies!

Legio Kulisaetai (Gatekeepers)

If you really, really want to pass Command Checks while closing to scorch the earth then the Gatekeepers are for you! Their trait means they never suffer penalties to Command Checks and ignore any effects that cause them to reroll them. They also get a stratagem that gives them an extra 6″ on short range as long as they have not moved, allowing them to edge out that efficiency bubble at short range! The Gatekeepers also get an ace upgrade that let’s them fire a weapon twice in a row at the cost of a -1 hit modifier, however the weapon is disabled after it shoots the second time

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Legio Tritonis (Dark Tide)

Dark Tide are a really interesting legio in that they dont really side with the Loyalists or the Traitors, they just want to kill EVERYONE for the glory of Arachnus! They get to replace Reavers in Maniples with Warlords, and they get a +1 to Command Checks for every slain Titan. They also have a really interesting stratagem that allows them to place 3 markers that block line of sight (And a personal trait that allows them to use this every turn!) These can be really frustrating in their ability to shut down firing lines and control the line of sight on the board.

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Legio Damicium (Unbroken Lords)

The final Legio in the book are the Unbroken Lords, and as their name suggests they are rather resilient! They can choose to ignore Critical Damage and can repair Critical Damage on a 4+ rather than a 5+. They also get to add 1 to command checks if they can see an enemy titan that is at least as big as they are! Fitting with the unbreakable theme, they also have a stratagem that lets them make repair rolls at the start of the Combat phase, making these very tough to shift!

New Maniples

Crucible of Retribution introduces two new maniples, the Ignus Light Maniple and the Precept Battleline Maniple

Ignus Light Maniple is a great maniple if you like setting things on fire, as it offers a massive boost to Firestorm weapons! You must take 3 Warhounds and 1 Cerastus Banner of Acherons, with an optional 2 Warhounds and another 2 Acheron Banners. All units get to add 1 to the dice of Firestorm weapons and reroll armour rolls of 1 with using Firestorm Weapons! Load up on flamers and flame on!

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The Precept is another nice maniple that has a nice mix of all types of Engine! You take a Warlord, Warbringer and a Warhound, with an optional Reaver and additional Warhound. If you issue the same order to all engines in the maniple they get to issue it on a 2+ without having to make a Command Check! Any Titan without that same order will need to take a check as normal.

These are both a nice addition that rounds up the options available to take.

The book also has rules for 4 Knight Households with a more Mechanicum vibe to them such as House Col’Khak, House Moritian, House Gotrith and House Vextrix! We also see what looks to be new Mechanicum Knight models – we don’t know if they will be resin or plastic, but they look amazing!

Missions

As usual for the Adeptus Titanicus supplements, we get a nice collection of new missions for your games – First up is a 4 mission long narrative campaign that follows the storyline of the Cataclysm of Iron, as this is narrative you will find that they are not necessarily “balanced” from the point of view of the forces involved, this is more about re-enacting the story here and is a great excuse to try out this way of playing and seeing how the story folds out in your games.

We also get a really cool selection of 15 new missions across three different environments – these are set on Death Worlds, Forge Worlds or Hive worlds and have a lot of different twists that offer a load of variety in the way you play your games and even suggest terrain types and density! This is a really quick way of rolling up a game and generating a mission to play for a pick up game! I’m really looking forward to the Open Engine War cards that are also up for pre order today to see what other types of additional missions we can create for our games of Adeptus Titanicus!

Summary

So what do I think of Crucible of Retribution? I love these kind of books as much as for the lore as it is for the game content. While you will obviously get more out of the book if you play one of the Titan Legions within, it also has a decent number of missions for those who are not using these Legios too! It’s been great to see how much support the game has had with new books and miniatures, and Crucible of Retribution is a great addition to the range!

So what’s next? Well hopefully we start to approach Terra and will see some possessed Engines in the future with some of the wackier and more out their Daemon Titans that fans of Epic will fondly remember of old!

Crucible of Retribution is up for pre order today

Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews with a copy for review purposes.

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