It’s a war on an epic new scale – literally. Legions Imperialis takes the Titans and aircraft from Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis and adds infantry and tanks to the mix. In this review, we unbox the Legions Imperialis launch box, take a closer look at the sprues and rules, and address the question of the new Epic scale once and for all.

Legions Imperialis unboxing & review
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The new Legions Imperialis launch box will be available for preorder starting Saturday, November 17, 2023. It will be released alongside a multitude of unit boxes and accessories, and go on sale not one but two weeks after (which means a preorder window of two weeks).

Included in the box are:

  • 61 individual models
  • The Legion Imperialis rulebook
  • a reference sheet and sheet with tokens
  • templates, measuring sticks, and dice
  • a small transfer sheet (with icons for 8 Solar Auxilia regiments, Sons of Horus, Imperial Fists, Death Guard, and Iron Hands, as well as generic Warhound titan iconography)
Legions Imperialis launch box contents review
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission

Legions Imperialis models review

The Legions Imperialis launch box includes 223 individual figures distributed across 61 bases and tanks. Except for the two Warhound Scout Titans, all models are new. The casting quality is consistently high, but with the tiny models, even the faintest mould line is noticeable. As the infantry models are all cast in one piece, despite dynamic poses, certain angles reveal clearly visible undercuts.

The tank kits are surprisingly complex and match the detail and complexity of the Adeptus Titanicus Titan kits. Turrets and side weapons are rotatable and positionable, and there are optional manned hatches. A significant leap from the one-piece Rhinos or three-piece Land Raiders from the Epic (40,000) era! Plan enough time and patience for assembling these.

However, the “star” of the box, in my opinion, are the new Epic bases. The standard diameter for infantry is 25mm, but the bases are only half as deep as regular 25mm round bases, with a height of just 2mm. The surface features an Imperial city, matching the separately available Civitas Imperialis City Road Tiles. I believe that the sculpted bases significantly enhance the presentation of the models and the game.

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Now remains the question of scale. It is said that the old Epic models had a scale of 6mm, corresponding to the height of a classic Space Marine. In the new Epic Scale, the Legionaries have a height of approximately 9mm. For a detailed insight into the scale of the new models, refer to my comparison video above.

The sprues

For the Legiones Astartes we have:

  • 2 sprues of Space Marine infantry (each containing 1 Command Squad base, 3 Tactical Squad bases, 1 Tactical Support Base with plasma guns, 1 Assault Squad base, 1 Heavy Support base with missile launchers, 1 Cataphractii Terminator base, 2 Contemptor Dreadnoughts with a Kheres assault cannon and a twin-linked lascannon)
  • 1 sprue with 3 Predator tanks (with the choice of lascannon or Predator cannon turret for each, plus lascannon or heavy bolter sponsons)
  • 1 sprue with 2 Sicaran battle tanks (with the choice of Accelerator Autocannon or Omega plasma array for each)

The Solar Auxilia have the following:

  • 2 sprues of Solar Auxilia infantry (each containing 1 Tactical Command base, 3 infantry bases, 1 infantry base with flamers, 1 base of veteran Veletarii, 2 bases of Charonite Ogryns, and 2 bases of Aethon Heavy Sentinels)
  • 1 sprue with 2 Malcador tanks (with the choice of either a battlecanon, lascannon, or vanquisher turret weapon for each, and autocannon, lascannon, or heavy bolter sponsons)
  • 1 sprue with 4 Leman Russ tanks (with the choice of either a battlecannon or Vanquisher battlecannon turret for each)

These are joined by:

  • a set of two Warhound Scout Titans (carried over from the Adeptus Titanicus game, can each have a volkite eradicator, Incisor pattern melta lance, Natrix shock lance, Ursus Claw, and/or missile pods)

Legion Imperialis rules and accessories

Here on Tale of Painters, we prefer to focus on the model-building aspect of the hobby. Therefore, we leave the analysis of the game design to the websites and channels that have more expertise in playing. However, it’s worth noting that Legions Imperialis is the spiritual successor to the original Space Marine/Epic game system, not to Epic 40.000 or Epic Armageddon.

Legions Imperialis Rulebook review

The hardcover rulebook spans over 240 pages and maintains the high production quality expected from Games Workshop. The artwork mostly adheres to the familar Forge World photorealistic style, and a lot of pieces are lifted from various previous Horus Heresy publications. The rules take up about 100 pages (inc. missions), and the presentation is classic and somewhat oldschool, meaning: plenty of dense text. Here, I would have preferred a more graphic style similar to the core rules of the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40,000. Unfortunately, there is no tutorial or intro campaign. You can download a dedicated mission for the models in the box from Warhammer Community. I can’t understand why they didn’t include it in the box.

However, what really leaves a bitter taste is that the army list in the book does not include all the units that will receive models. From the October issue of White Dwarf, we know that the rules for, among others, Scimitar Jetbikes and Drop Pods will be found in the first expansion, The Great Slaughter. This feels like DLCization and increases the burden of carrying and buying books. This is unacceptable, especially for such a niche system, and is actually something Games Workshop had promised to improve upon.

The accessories

On a positive note, the box includes a cheat sheet with the basic rules and game phases. This should be standard in every Games Workshop game but unfortunately often isn’t. Otherwise, the dice, measuring sticks, and weapon templates meet the usual quality standard. The token sheet, however, is disappointing as it is made of thin paper instead of cardboard.

Value

I feel the RRP of £120 / 155 € / $200 aligns with the content included, even though there have been similarly priced boxes from Games Workshop that were thicker and contained more plastic. Paradoxically, it still feels like you’re getting a lot for your money. Sure, most of the box are tiny models on small 25mm bases, but then the scale of the models is significantly larger compared to their Epic predecessors, and the models also exhibit a high level of detail.

You can find the new Legion Imperialis releases at our 🇬🇧/🇪🇺 partner stores Wayland GamesElement Games, and Firestorm Games, at 🇩🇪 Taschengelddieb and PK-Pro, and at 🇺🇸 Noble Knight Games with a welcome discount of up to 20% over RRP. Using our links helps to support Tale of Painters at no additional cost to you, so thank you very much for using them!

I hope you found this review helpful, feel free to leave a reaction or comment below, or post your questions here or discuss on our Discord channel.

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7.5
Score

Pros

  • Models are faithful recreations of their 28mm counterparts
  • Tanks have a surprising amount of detail and weapon options
  • Sculpted bases add a lot to the presentation of the game

Cons

  • No tutorial or intro campaign included
  • Rulebook doesn't have the complete army lists (requires future expansions)
  • Some of the infantry models have visible undercuts

Final Verdict

Writing a conclusion is challenging. Due to the long delay, my enthusiasm for Legions Imperialis has cooled a bit, and it bothers me that the army list is incomplete without future expansion books. I myself got into the Warhammer hobby during the Epic 40.000 era and miss the races of the 41st millennium. But I also understand why they chose the Age of Darkness as the setting. The game is a visual spectacle, and the models (and bases!) are brilliant. Fans of the Horus Heresy and the original Epic rules will definitely find enjoyment in the new system.