Prepare to revisit the Age of Darkness with the brand-new Legiones Astartes Battle Group box. This colossal set is bursting with the might of thirty redesigned MK III Tactical Space Marines, a formidable Deredeo Dreadnought, and the iconic Land Raider Proteus. In this review, we’ll delve into the contents of this massive box set that promises to bring the might of Legiones Astartes to new heights.
The new Legiones Astartes Battle Group box will be available for preorder starting Saturday, October 14, 2023, and go on sale not one but two weeks after (which means a preorder window of two weeks). The box will only receive a single print run and is therefore only available while stocks last.
Included in the box are:
- the new Deredeo Dreadnought (in Anvilus Configuration)
- 30 new Space Marines in redesigned MkIII power armour (with three infantry accessories sprues)
- half a set of Legiones Astartes Special Weapon Upgrades (5 flamers, 5 plasma guns, 5 meltaguns, 5 rotor cannons, 5 volkite chargers, and 5 volkite calivers)
- a Land Raider Proteus
- vehicle and infantry transfer sheets with Sons of Horus and Imperial Fist markings
The Deredeo Dreadnought and the MkIII Legionaries will be available separately at the same time as the box set.
Deredeo Dreadnought (Anvilus Configuration) review
The centerpiece of the box is the new Deredeo Dreadnought, completing the triumvirate of Heresy era Dreadnoughts in plastic. The faithful adaption of the resin model includes four medium-sized sprues and an 80mm base. In addition to the weapon options, there are also a variety of cosmetic choices, significantly more than the resin predecessor offered. Included are:
- The Deredeo chassis
- Two Anvilus autocannon battery arms and two Hellfire plasma cannonade arms
- An Aiolus missile launcher
- a pair of chest-mounted heavy bolters or heavy flamers
- Two different head options (a bare head and one with a scroll decoration)
- Three different chest armours (one bare, one with a serrated relief, and one with an Imperial Aquila and a banner)
- Three different loin armours (one bare, one with the Eye of Horus, one with a laurel wreath relief)
- Four different knee armours (two bare, one with the Eye of Horus, one with a heraldic shield)
The articulation of the legs, knee joints, hips, and arm joints is very similar to the construction of the plastic Contemptor Dreadnought. However, due to the bulk of the model, the posing options are somewhat limited.
The kit is split in two sprues for the chassis, and two sprues for the weapon systems. Just like with the Leviathan Dreadnought, it’s safe to assume that a second box will be available soon, covering the remaining weapon options for this imposing war machine.
Legiones Astartes: MKIII Tactical Squad review
Surprisingly for many, Games Workshop has decided to revamp the existing MkIII Marines. Even though other units like Assault Marines, Breachers, and Despoilers are in greater need, I must say that I find the new MkIII design excellent. The proportions match the new MkVI Marines, which means they are somewhat taller with longer legs and smaller helmets. The subtle changes, such as the slightly tapering leg armor, squarer knee pads, and the new spike-adorned helmets, appear much more sophisticated to me compared to the rather simplistic old models.
The Legiones Astartes Battle Group contains 30 new Legionaries. Like the MkVI Marines from the Age of Darkness Box we reviewed here, there are five models on 32mm bases per sprue. Thus, six sprues are included. The poses and especially the arm positions closely resemble those of the MkVI Marines, making the kit compatible with the Special and Heavy Weapon Upgrade Sets. Each sprue includes:
- 5 MkIII power armor bodies
- 5 spiked helmets plus 1 helmet with a connector for the plume from the accessory sprue
- 2 bald heads (one completely bald, one bald with a half-mask)
- 10 identical shoulder pads
- 5 identical backpack modules
- 5 pairs of arms with 5 Umbra pattern bolters, and a pair of arms for the melee weapons from the accessory sprue
- 10 additional MkIII vambraces
What is missing in comparison to the MkVI Marines are the chain bayonets. Instead, there are 10 vambrace pieces that you can glue onto the generic arms from the Heavy Weapon Upgrade Sets or the arms from the resin Despoiler Upgrade Set to match them to MkIII, which I think is a nice touch. Oddly, the designers decided to add those decorative trims to the elbow guards during the redesign of the MkIII design. These trims will be missing on the generic arms, of course.
Regarding the spiked helmets: On four of the five helmets, the spikes can be easily cut off. And on the helmet for the sergeant, you can simply remove the connector for the plume. This way, for each sprue, you can equip all five models with helmets without spikes. Only one helmet has the decorative fittings flared and not smooth, which means there would be an unsightly flat area when you would cut off the spike.
In addition to the 6 infantry sprues, there are also 3 of the accessory sprues included, which are identical to those of the MkVI Marines. This was a bit disappointing for me, as I would have preferred melee weapons, vexillas, and vox gear in a standalone MkIII design (and bolt pistols!).
Land Raider Proteus & Special Weapon Upgrade set review
The Legiones Astartes Battle Group Box also includes a complete Land Raider Proteus kit as well as the contents of half a Special Weapons Upgrade Set. So 5 flamers, 5 plasma guns, 5 meltaguns, 5 rotor cannons, 5 volkite chargers, and 5 volkite calivers. You can find a detailed review of the Land Raider Proteus here, and the review of the Special Weapon Upgrade Set here.
For the number of models and plastic sprues offered, the RRP of £125 / 160 € / $210 of the Legiones Astartes Battle Group Box is quite attractive. For some reason, the price-to-value ratio for plastic models in the Horus Heresy range seems to be better than in other game systems. Even the individual prices for the Deredeo Dreadnought and the MkIII Marines are reasonable compared to other centrepiece models and infantry boxes. When you add up the prices of all the models in the box, the total value comes to £186.50, so you’re saving about 33% compared to buying them individually, which is a pretty good deal when it comes to boxes like these.
Unfortunately, the box will only be available as long as supplies last. In recent times, limited army and launch boxes have often sold out very quickly, and I don’t have information on the box’s production quantity. So, if you’re eager to get one, it’s advisable not to wait too long. You can check if the box is still available here:
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