Horus Heresy Battle Report (Mechanicum vs Iron Warriors)


Kappa-Rho-47221 settled into an ungainly squat with an angry hiss of hydraulics. It’s armoured ammunition and power feed compartments scissored open to allow the various techpriests and their servitor thralls access to its systems to hasten its rearmament and repairs so it could return to battle. It’s crimson hull clicked and pinged as it cooled after being subjected to a sustained plasma fusillade. The automata’s bellicose machine spirit blurted it’s desire to rejoin the fray in machine cant via the noosphere. Several lesser menials flinched as the aggressive binary coding burned through their synaptic nets. The Red Priests doubled their efforts. Tracked and many-limbed heavy servitors manhandled leaden ammo crates into position along the Thallax’s back. Snaking energy lines linked it to a portable, armoured plasma reactor mounted on a rail macro-conveyer which served as one of twelve resupply points in the developing battle. Kappa-Rho-47221 downloaded terabytes of raw data regarding the unfolding battle. Enemy dispositions, heavy weapon emplacements, kill zones, strongpoints, numbers, ammo expenditure, expected and actual artillery saturation. All near worthless. The IV Legion knew their craft well. Their defence was a shifting, amorphous one that utterly confounded the Mechanicum’s empirical approach to warfare. Units rotated their position frequently, heavy weapons and artillery relocated, strong points were abandoned and used as bait for the Mechanicum to expose themselves in assault only to find themselves under withering enfilading fire and bracketed by preternaturally accurate artillery bombardment. The so-called Iron Warriors were living up to their name and reputation this day. < [March. With Me.]> The noospheric command set Kappa-Rho-47221s tortured synapses aflame with their power, every binary digit laced with sacred command protocols that it couldn’t ignore. The Thanatar raised itself to its towering full height, umbilical auxiliaries and loading gantries falling from its massive frame as it marched at the Archmagos’ command without so much as a seconds hesitation. The earth thundered at it’s cohorts tread. Tracer fire licked out from the refinery, all attempts at camouflage abandoned by Perturabo’s erstwhile sons. The Mechanicum’s major offensive would need the entirety of their firepower to stop them, if stop them they could.

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

Points: 2500pts

Mission: Blood Feud



Iron Warriors: Loyalist
Rite of War: Pride of the LegionKhr Vhalen

Iron Circle
3x Domitar-Ferrum Class Battle Automata
Legion Apothecary

Legion Terminator Squad
2x Chainfust 3x Powerfist, 1x Plasma Blaster

Legion terminator Squad
2x Chainfist, 2x Powerfist, Reaper autocannon

Legion Veteran Squad
x9 Veterans
Veteran Tactic: Marksman
Legion Vexilla
x1 Power Fist

Legion Veteran Squad
x9 Veterans
Veteran Tactic: Marksman
Legion Vexilla
x1 Power Fist

Legion Veteran Squad
x9 Veterans
Veteran Tactic: Marksman
Legion Vexilla
x1 Power Fist

Iron Havoc Support Squad
9x Autocannon, 9x Iron Havoc,

Legion Artillery Tank
x2 Medusas


Legion: Taghmata Omnissiah

Anacharis Scoria

– Xanathite Abeyant

Magos Dominus

Magos Dominus

4 Castellax Class Battle-Automata Maniple

– 4 (Maulter Bolt Cannon, Stock Chargers)

4 Castellax Class Battle-Automata Maniple

– 4 (Enhanced Targetting Array, Darkfire Cannon, Stock Chargers)

3 Vultarax Stratos-Automata Maniple

Thanatar Class Siege-Automata Maniple

– Enhanced Targeting Array

– Hellex Plasma Mortar

– Mauler Pattern Bolt Cannon

Thanatar Class Siege-Automata Maniple

– Enhanced Targeting Array

– Hellex Plasma Mortar

– Mauler Pattern Bolt Cannon



Wow what a sight! Back again at the studio doing what we do best after an epic first No Retreat Horus Heresy event. What better way than to have our second Horus Heresy Battle Report with legend David Braines from The 30k channel. So with both players ready to go and the team setting up this glorious table let’s get a better look at the scenery.


An epic Imperial statue guarding the factory compound (obviously of a member of the Emperors Children in experimental armour ;)), amazing the attention to detail the team has put in for this one. With both players using their No Retreat lists this is bound to be amazing. No night fighting is rolled and deployment will be hammer and anvil creating a great sight as one of the forces will be approaching the factory from beyond the forest and factory fence outskirts.


Great painted GW scenery creating an epic environment for the battle and going very well with the whole factory scenario. Both players roll off to see who grabs first turn…… and it’s Steven who wins the first roll of the game opting to deploy on the factory side and opting to go first. Hold on to your hats this is going to be a good one!


Steven deploys his toughest units first making some good use of the crates in front for some line of sight blocking. These have to be one of the most amazing models in the HH range they look amazing! The two terminator squads deploy on either side of the colossal robots and warlord. Remember no deep-striking terminator rules with the standard units in Horus Heresy making it very tactical for Steven to use. Steven? Tactics? Oh dear! 😉


The Medusa squadron deploys as close to the deployment edge as possible, these babies hit hard with their S10 Ap2 Large blasts but they have a short range so sadly Steven has to risk it and put them out of cover to get some hits on the opening turns.


The Havocs make good use of the tall factory buildings and with the use of their long ranged Autocannons they will be a key unit in the battle.


David starts to deploy, placing his Thanatars in key positions, ready to barrage the enemy. Scoria deploys just in front, as close to the fence as possible and attaches himself to one of the Castellax Maniples. Important Note: Due to the lack of an official Scoria model (*nudge wink nudge* Forgeworld please) David will be using an Archmagos to represent Scoria.


The rest of his army deploys further behind, his second Castellax unit, keeping in mind their Darkfire Cannons 60″ range.


David attempts to seize the initiative, and luckily for Steven, fails to do so with the roll of a 3. Time to get this show on the road!


Turn 1 (Iron Warriors) Steven moves up towards the enemy, taking advantage of the terrain before him for some extra cover. Steven hopes to get as many of these units into combat as soon as possible….especially that Iron Circle.


Turn 1 (Iron Warriors) With all the movement done Steven opts to run these units. As said previously, it is crucial that these units see combat as quickly as possible, trying to play to the Mechanicums weakness.


Turn 1 (Iron Warriors) The Havocs take aim. With a ballistic skill of 5 and two strength 7 shots per marine, this unit is bound to hit hard. They fire at the closest Thanatar, re-rolling ones due to Kyr Vhalens warlord trait. They manage to wound the tough mechanical beast a total of seven times, alas, David starts off strong and passes all of his 2+ saves.


Turn 1 (Iron Warriors) The Medusas are next to take aim. Firing at the Castellax unit in front of them. They manage to hit and wound the unit 3 times.


Turn 1 (Iron Warriors) More impressive rolling from David sees all 3 survive thanks to their 5++.


Turn 1 (Mechanicum) Without as strong a start as Steven might have hoped for, David begins his movement phase. Scoria and the Castellax unit move forth towards the Iron Circle. Scoria and his unit fire upon the Iron Circle and Kyr Vhalen. A combination of high toughness and awesome saving rolls by Steven, makes for an almost untouched unit, unluckily for Steven, a single wound gets through. Iron within! Go Steven!


Scoria and his unit fire upon the Iron Circle and Kyr Vhalen. A combination of high toughness and awesome saving rolls by Steven, makes for an almost untouched unit, unluckily for Steven, a single wound gets through. Iron within! Go Steven!


Turn 1 (Mechanicum) One of the Thanatars fires its Hellex Plasma Mortar in an attempt to melt the Medusa squadron to a puddle. The blast scatters off meaning that only one hit is scored. Managing to penetrate, a low roll results in a crew shaken result. This is still a major impact, as that Medusa will not be able to fire any blasts next turn.


Turn 1 (Mechanicum) Davids second Thanatar fires upon the Iron circle. Scoring a direct hit, David manages to wound all three but thanks to their 4++ re-rollable, thanks to being in base to base, Steven saves them all.


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Turn 1 (Mechanicum) David tries to use Scoria’s Rite of the Dread Castigation and fails. Steven must be feeling lucky here as this would have done some serious damage to the Iron Circle, removing a wound for every point David beats him by in a D6 + leadership roll off.


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) The first of three Veteran squads outflank using the marksman tactics. This is bound to give David a headache. AWESOME SIGHT!


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) The second unit outflanks on the same side, just meters away. For those of you who don’t know what the Marksman upgrade does, it gives the Veteran unit Sniper and Outflank. Love it! This is my favourite veteran tactic. Do you guys prefer any of the others?


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) Hoping for a 6″ charge, Steven positions the Iron Circle as close as he can and even foregoes their shooting in order to increase his chances.


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) The Terminators follow closely behind, also hoping to get to combat this turn, needing a more generous 10″.


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) A misplaced Magos Dominus catches the attention of Stevens Havoc squad. Receiving fire from 10 auto-cannons, it is quickly removed.


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) As planned, Stevens first Veteran unit do their job as David removes his first Thanatar from play. A big hit from the Iron Warriors.


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) The Iron Warriors make the charge! D3 strength 7 Hammer of Wrath hits from each of the Iron Circle models! These things hit hard! Hell yeah! Let’s see what these bad boys can do!


Turn 2 (Iron Warriors) Vyr Vhalen issues a challenge which Scoria gladly accepts. Steven knows the odds are not in his favor but it just had to be done. With his seemingly useless Paragon blade, thanks to Scorias Eternal Warrior, Vyr manages to deal a wound only seeming to anger him as he lashes out back against Vyr with his Vodian Sceptre, inflictin a tremendous D3 automatic wounds for each successful hit. The Iron Circle see its time to strike and manage to squish a Castellax into paste and remove a wound from another.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) After an improved turn from Steven, two of Davids three Vultarax arrive from reserves. Luckily for Steven his Medusas are out of range of their deadly haywire shots. I love the look of these flying bug robot missile hovering beetle thingys!


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) After seeing what Stevens veterans can do, David is forced to dedicate his Castellax unit to take them out. Here is a better view of the two Vultarax that arrived from reserves. One seems to be going for the Veteran squad too.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) The Vultarax opens fire on the Veteran squad in an attempt to seek vengeance. With 12 wounds inflicted, Stevens Veterans shrug it off passing all of them! Not a great start for David.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) The huge Thanatar fires at Stevens Havoc squad which seem to be doing a lot of heavy lifting so far. A crucial unit to take out. As the Havocs were all taking cover in a straight line, the blast scattered slightly and missed them all.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) The Castellax join in on the attempted revenge, hoping to do better than the Vultarax. They take aim with their Darkfire cannons and manage to pierce through the Powerarmour, claiming 7 of the Veterans lives.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) Phew! Steven rejoices once again as David fails to pull off a successful Rite of Castigation. This prevents the combat from being too easy for Scoria as the potential wounds is massive.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) Scoria begins this epic clash! Only one hit, and after the roll of a D3…just a single wound! Stevens Iron Circle, being in base contact with each other get plus one to their invulnerable. Steven rolls and passes his 4++ The Iron Circle strikes back. Two go for Scoria hoping to land a concussive hit. Two hits, both wound, and Scoria fails both invulnerables….however, he passes both Feel No Pains!! Some nice rolls from David. The third member of the Iron Circle takes out the last Castellax which was on two wounds. Steven wins the combat but both units here are fearless.


Turn 2 (Mechanicum) After a successful shooting phase, the Castellax charge in to the Veteran unit hoping to finish them off. In a clash of metal, both striking simultaneously, a Veteran manages to cause a wound but in a wave of robotic fury, the Veterans are wiped out.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) Planning to support the Iron Circle in combat the Terminators ready their close combat weapons as they move in as close as they can.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) A forgotton lone survivor from the other Terminator squad sneaks (as best as a Terminator can) towards the Castellax unit for some more support as he lets out a furious cry.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) Taking aim to the sky, with the intention to save the Medusa squadron from any retaliation the Vultarax may dish out. David does not jink as his 3+ armour is better than the 4+ cover he would get. Six shots hit and a total of five manage to wound. With rounds skimming past and ricocheting off its armour the Vultarax passes all its saves.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) The other Veteran squad keep the vengeance train going and fire at the Castellax that just took out the other Veterans. Without any AP2 rolls, the marksmen still manage to inflict 5 wounds. Alas, their armour proves too tough as David passes all his saves.



Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) With only one able to fire, the remaining crew sends forth a huge shell at the Castellax unit hoping to provide the Veterans with some help. The blast scatters and only hits and wounds one. Davids armour has to fail him sooner or later and it begins now as the wound goes through.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) A birds eye view of the combat that’s about to break out again. It looks like the Terminators are looping around the Castellax hoping to flank them as to leave Scoria alone and unassisted. With the Terminators now having joined the combat, with all three of the Iron Circle still alive, this combat is definitely becoming even more interesting.


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) As the Iron Circle attacks Scoria, they manage to land a total of 8 wounds thanks to some lucky rolling, help from some termiantors and Crushing Blow. Scoria Manages to pass all but one of these wounds…failing the lasts Feel No Pain and becoming concussed. Steven hopes that striking first next turn will give him the upper hand he needs to turn this combat in his favour


Turn 3 (Iron Warriors) Scoria wounds an incredible seven times, making short work of one of the Iron Circle. The Terminators easily take out the remaining Castellax suffering just one loss in return. Will Scoria fall to the Iron Warriors?


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) The remaining Magus Dominus detaches itself from the Castellax and attaches itself to the Thanatar. This time, David makes sure that it is at the back as not to be the first to receive wounds.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) The moment Steven was dreading, he knew it was bound to happen. The pair of Vultarax line up and head towards the Medusa squadron.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) The wounded Castellax unit advance towards one of the Veteran squads ready to take care of another unit.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) They fire up their Arc blasters and unleash their payload


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) …in a flash, a burst of lightning shoots out and utterly fries all the circuitry in the Medusas, rendering them completely useless. Both tanks are wrecked with no chance of survival due to being sat out in the open. So sad but so pretty.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) As mentioned previously, the Castellax unit carry out their task with ease and begin removing Veterans by the handful.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) The Thanatar fires its Hellex plasma mortar at the Havoc squad once again and manages to take out two.


Turn 3 (Mechanicum) As combat heats up once again, Scoria has to sit back and try to come to his senses due to the concussion from last turn. As he does so the Iron Circle and Terminator try to pile on as much damage as possible. We see plenty of hits and wounds from them both but once again Scoria is just too tough. The few wounds that get past the 3++ are nullified by his Feel No Pain. Scorias turn to strike back and he has it out for the Terminators. Only managing to hit once, a roll of a 3 sees him deal two wounds to the Terminators. Passing their invulnerables, nothing happens in the combat this turn. Surprising with all the heavy hitters involved.


Turn 4 (Iron Warriors) Without the need to roll, the last Veteran squad arrive via outflank and luckily for Steven, they arrive just where they are needed for a third time in a row.


Turn 4 (Iron Warriors) The Havocs are fed up of the Thanatar constantly bombarding them every turn. Standing down there on two wounds the Havocs decide his time has come and unleash a cloud of rounds straight at it. Standing strong with bullets flying in every direction the Thanatars armour saves it from death as it remains on one wound.


Turn 4 (Iron Warriors) Scoria strikes first this time as he was not concussed, killing three terminators in an instant. That’s more like it. The Iron Circle crash down with their huge hammers and manage to remove a single wound…meaning that once again, Scoria is concussed


Turn 4 (Iron Warriors) The newly arrived Veterans open fire at the Castellax unit, managing to deal three wounds to the closest one. Clever positioning (or are they in line for the robot toilet?), a high toughness and 3+ save put a halt in Stevens plans as he hoped to at least remove one. Not looking too good on this front.


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) The Castellax make an about turn to deal with the final unit of Veterans. Will they be responsible for the death of all three Veteran squads?


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) The Thanatar sees the Veterans bunched up and decides that the Castellax can’t take all the credit. It unleashes it’s mortar and wipes the unit out.


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) Oh look it’s David Braines! What a guy! Autograph? Ok maybe later… All three Vultarax unleash hell on the Havocs being the only remaining unit that is not stuck in combat.


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) Just a quick close up of the fantastic paint job by our friend Michael Austin Coyne. Thanks dude! Also have a look at those awesome upgrade helmets from Forge World


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) With their initial target now dead, the Castellax fire upon the Havocs leaving them with only three.


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) Before we forget, Scoria regains a wound thanks to It Will Not Die. Could be crucially important…


Turn 4 (Mechanicum) Combat kicks off once again and Scoria manages to shrug off any attempts from the Iron Circle. Striking back, he manages to remove a Domirar-Ferrum Class Battle Automata. Its a sad sight to see these stunning models killed.


Pizza Break! David and Steven take a well earned break. Diet out the window for tonight, Steven was too stressed not to give in the temptations of the pizza gods . Pizza Within!


Turn 5 (Iron Warriors) ….and back to it Thanks to not having to take leadership tests from shooting attacks the remaining Havocs fire at the Thanatar to see if they can finish it. Sadly they fail to deal its last wound to it as things seem to be coming to an end.


Turn 5 (Iron Warriors) Scoria finishes the lengthy combat by striking the last of the Iron Circle down with a flurry of blows dealing out 6 wounds. Here we can see the full wrath off Anacharis Scoria, not only is he tough as nails but also definitely a Primarch killer too. He managed to take down a three man Iron Circle squad, six Terminators and Stevens warlord too….WOW!


Turn 5 (Mechanicum) Hoping to finish off the battle tidily, the Vultarax try to take down the few remaining Havocs who are still up on the ledge.


Turn 5 (Mechanicum) They manage to do so with some help from the Castellax and their Darkfire cannons. This last burst of shooting sees the last Iron Warrior models removed from the board. Victory for the Dark Mechanicum! Steven: 6 David: 14 David Blood Feud: Infantry Steven Blood Feud: Monstrous Creatures















David: 3 squads of outflanking Vets with snipers, 3 iron circle, and a load of auto cannon shots…. This game was going to be tough. Pardo had deployed his Iron Circle right on his line ready to run the unit at me as quick as possible, whilst raining Autocannon fire and AP2 blasts down upon me. Then his vets permitting a good outflank roll would burst from my table edge and sniper my Thanatar’s to death.

In fairness I weathered the IW first turn quite well taking a few wounds on my castellax from the Medusa, my 2 inch spacing certainly helped to mitigate casualties early on. As the game progressed my Castellax with Darkfire were very efficient at silencing the Medusa along with the Vulterax. Scoria and his unit made a beeline for the Iron Circle. The only thing that amazed me was that I couldn’t get a simple Cyberthurgy test off except for healing wounds on my castellax. I had hoped using The Rite of Dread Castigation would destroy the Iron Circle even before they reached my line, but to no avail. In the end Scoria managed to defeat the Pravian, 3 IC and 6 terminators in combat.

That for me was the turning point of the game. I lost a Thanatar to the vets but once they shot my army, my Castellx replied in kind as they were so close to me and I cleared my deployment zone with firepower and a solid charge. It was then left to the Vulterax to clear out models from the buildings due to sheer weight of fire.

This game displayed how resilient Cybernetica Cohort can be. The list I designed is great at destroying the enemy but its weakness is that it has no scoring units and therefore make objective games impossible for me to win, however, I like that. It feels right that the Mechanicum are there to just destroy ‘stuff’ and aren’t bothered with holding ground or buildings. With absolute efficiency and no remorse the ranks of Scoria march on destroying all in their path.

Unfortunately for the IW their days were numbered as soon as Scoria set foot on the battlefield…..



Steven: A sigh escaped as the match ended, that stressed me out! I feel like that match should have turned out very differently. As from turn two when my first Veterans arrived and took out the Thanatar, I felt like things should have gone my way from there, taking out so much fire power and also providing David with a priority unit to take out would distract him enough for the rest of the army to do its thing. Sadly I think the combat is what lost me the game. We both knew what a combat beast Scoria is but nonetheless I wanted to take on the challenge. With so many attacks coming in from not only the Iron Circle but also the Termies, I feel like that should have gone rather differently. David made some incredible saving throws and the ones that he failed were just negated by the FNP.

It was great to have Mechanicum on one of our reports and better still, an absolute pleasure to have David Braines from The 30k channel.

Thanks again to the team for the fantastic game, terrain layout and to all the players who attended our very first No Retreat Horus Heresy.

For those of out who may have missed it, here is the link to our very first Initiative 10 interview with David Braines himself:






  1. I really loved the models in this army, and was shocked at how resilient the Mechanicum could be in close combat. Thank you so much for the battle report


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