Book Review: Imperial Armor Volume 2, Second Edition

A new book review for the latest Imperial Armor book updated for 6th Edition. John collects Space Marines and is something of a completist like myself, and so having reference to all sorts of new toys for Space Marines is right up his alley. John does a review of his newly acquired book from Forgeworld – if you’re a Space Marine player looking for more new toys, take a look!

I recently acquired a copy of Imperial Armour Vol Two – Second Edition “War Machines of the Adeptus Astartes”. I’ve had a chance to read a large portion of it, and here are my thoughts. The book is organized well, with an introduction section that includes discussion of space marine combat doctrines, usage of armour and significant deployments. The majority of the book covers the various space marine forces, including vanilla Space Marines, Space Wolves, Blood Angels and Dark Angels. Not all options are available to all forces. It then has a section on Grey Knights and Inquisition (though disappointingly it does not cover the recent Inquisition codex, I’m guessing this is a lack of coordination between GW and FW). It also includes a single Sister of Battle vehicle, the Repressor. It also has the very cool ‘profile’ twin pages (showing all of the vehicles to scale).

Each section gives a technical and historical discussion of the assets (not limited to the units contained in this book, there are discussions about the units covered in the Codices as well), and then the stat blocks. The book has a lot of vehicles from the Horus Heresy line in it, and a new mechanic on several (but not all) of these vehicles is the ‘chapter relic’. Each detachment can only include a single relic, unless it also includes a master of relics (which varies based on the Codex chosen from, so for Space Marines it’s a Master of Forge, for Dark Angels it’s Interrogator Chaplain, other codices have different HQ choices to unlock). The sections (and I was surprised by some of the choices) include:

  • Adeptus Astartes Land Raiders – Includes the Land Raider Helios, Proteus, Achilles and Prometheus
  • Adeptus Astartes Battle Tanks – Includes Deimos Predator and Relic Sicaran.
  • Adeptus Astartes Battlefield Support – Includes Whirlwind Hyperios Air Defence Tank and Relic Whirlwind Scorpius.
  • Adeptus Astartes Heavy Tanks – Includes Fellblade, Typhon, Cerberus and Spartan. Interestingly all 3 Super Heavies are labelled “Lord of War” and so can be used in conjunction with Escalation in regular battles.
  • Adeptus Astartes Attack Craft – Includes Thunderhawk Gunship, Thunderhawk Transporter, Storm Eagle Assault Gunship, Storm Eagle Assault Gunship – Roc Pattern (a variant that fires a bunch of krak missile equivalents at the cost of a reduced transport capacity), Fire Raptor Gunship, Caestus Assault Ram, Land Speeder Tempest Squadron, Javelin Attack Speeder, Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod and Deathstorm Drop Pod.
  • Adeptus Astartes Dreadnoughts – Covers Chaplain dreadnought, Siege Dreadnought, Mark V Moris Pattern Dreadnought, Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought and Contemptor-Mortis Pattern Dreadnought.
  • Adeptus Astartes Assault Vehicles – Damocles Command Rhino and Infernum Pattern Razorback (Razorback with multi melta).
  • Adeptus Astartes Support Weapons – Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery and Space Marine Rapier Weaponry Battery.
  • War Machines of the Grey Knights and Inquisition – Vortimer Pattern Land Raider Redeemer (a Land Raider Redeemer with psycannons instead of assault cannons and psyflame ammunition), Vortimer Razorback Armoured Transport (Razorback with Psycannon), Mk IV Doomglave Dreadnought (Dreadnought with a force halberd, can gain a d6 attacks in assaults at the price of striking at Initiative 1, also has a psycannon), Grey Knights Thunderhawk Gunship, Inquisitorial Land Raider Prometheus and Inquisitorial Valkyrie.
  • War Machines of the Adeptus Sororitas – Repressor.
  • Finally, the Appendices. Appendix I has vehicle special rules (things like Armoured Ceramite and Venerable). Appendix II is Legacies of Glory, it covers vehicle upgrades related to previous battles the vehicle fought in (for instance, the vehicle could have been in Istvaan III, and for a point cost would gain Preferred Enemy (Chaos Marines) and Move Through Cover: Ruins). This is one of my favorite sections of the book. The upgrades have point costs for both regular and super heavy vehicles. Appendix III is a vehicle summary. Appendix IV is a Weapons Summary. Appendix V is a summary of Apocalypse Rules.

So, is the book worth it? If you’re a Space Marine player looking for a bunch of new tanks and aircraft? Then yes. One thing with it is a lot of the rules are identical to existing published rules (the Spartan in the latest Imperial Armour Apocalypse is identical to the one in this book), so if you have a limited usage of FW it may not be for you. It is however a nice read, and very well produced so worth reading just for the fluff and the artwork.

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