PUBLISHER: GAMES WORKSHOP / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Giant robots beating each other up never fails to be a fun sci-fi idea. If you add Warhammer 40,000’s sci-fi Gothic stylings to it, it gets even better; huge ancient war machines, covered in medieval livery, smashing through cathedrals and ruins to unleash rather excessive death-rays at each. This is Adeptus Titanicus, Games Workshop’s game of mech combat.
The original version of the game came out in 1988 before getting folded into a more complicated games-system. A complete redesign was launched in 2018 in a rather elaborate, limited edition ‘Grand Master’ boxed set. It was a huge hit. Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy is the more wallet-friendly game with the 2018 rules-set.
The game is dramatic, accessible and fun to play. It’s not the simplest of wargames out there, this is a game about thinking multiple moves ahead. The designers clearly want to you feel what it’s like to command huge, ponderous death machines the can unleash horrific amounts of destruction on each other. Facing matters. Terrain matters. Movement matters. You will believe that a building sized battle-machine can be ‘stealthy’. And you will learn to respect agility over firepower.
You’ll be issuing commands as your opponent does; it’s alternating actions so you will need to think ahead. Fans of more strategic naval combat games will be on familiar ground here, but Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy is easily cooler than those sort of games.
You get a lovely cardboard command sheet for each machine, and damage will creep up on you over the course of the game. It doesn’t matter how big your guns or how efficient your void shields can be; if you mess up your strategy, smaller titans will take out your big guns. Likewise, leave your Warhounds and Knights exposed and the huge Reavers will cheerfully shred them.
Inside the box we get a lot of plastic, much of which is dedicated to the six giant robot models. We get two reavers, two warhounds. and two knights. Or to put it another way, large, medium. and small giant robots. These are very highly detailed kits and it will take a while to get these assembled, especially if you’re keeping your options open with weapon load-outs. We get templates and battlefield asset models, lots of cardboard but no buildings to use as terrain, though the latter is remedied. There’s a lot in this box and certainly enough to get you started.
Adeptus Titanicus: The Horus Heresy is a solid update to a much beloved ‘80s wargame, and though there’s enough about to seem familiar to those of us nostalgic for the old game, this new version is simply better, more accessible, atmospheric and strategically deep. If you ever wanted to be the Princeps of a Titan, this is the closest you’re going to get.