The Alpha Legion Premature Traitor Legion Ranking
Since the official release of the new Traitor Legion Supplement, I have been sleeping with the book. The Traitor Legion Supplement is a dream come true, a love letter for Chaos Space Marine players. As an old timer it is hard to imagine it was 2002 since we had the legendary, but infamous 3.5 Chaos Space Marine codex. Now as we speed ever closer to 8th edition and maybe Warhammer 40k End Times, let us hope the Traitor Legion Supplement will live on in whatever comes next. The Traitor Legion Supplement is amazing without being broken, better yet hopefully it will do what no other release has done before…bring balance to the game.
The Traitor Legion Supplement starts off on the right foot by quickly dispensing with the fluff, only dedicating two pages to each Traitor Legion and a minimal amount of recycled art and model pictures. Much like the Generals Handbook this release is about the rules and priced just right at $35.00.
Before we begin here is a few pointers for these reviews…
- We will be ranking the Traitor Legion individually, the order will be a countdown from 9 to 1.
- Most important these reviews will assume the reader has a copy of the Traitor Legions Supplement handy.
- Focus will be on the Traitor Legions themselves, not what you can Ally with for instance.
- All Traitor Legions get Veterans of the Long War for free, allowing them a version of Chapter Tactics.
- All Traitor Legions change certain units to Troop choices, only really good for Combined Arms Detachments.
- All Traitor Legions get unique Detachments, Warlord Traits, and Artefacts.
- All the Traitor Legions are good and playable, so don’t think any of them are bad just because I rank them lower than others.
So let us go with number…
The Alpha Legion
The Alpha Legion is by far the biggest surprise from the Traitor Legion supplement. No one foresaw what we would be getting with the Alpha Legion, so when the rules came everyone was pretty awestruck. The Alpha Legion have always been one of the coolest Traitor Legions, with motives and Primarchs shrouded in tons of mystery. Now the Alpha Legion has proper rules, keeping perfectly with the spirit of this enigmatic Traitor Legion.
The Alpha Legion Special Rules
The Alpha Legion start off with an amazing set of special rules, with Forward Operatives being one of the best. Not only do they get a decent unit in Chosen as Troops, but Chaos Space Marines and Cultists get Infiltrate. A large chunk of units with Infiltrate means lots board manipulation a trait the Chaos Space Marines certainly lack. Then we have the real shinning star, Many Heads of the Hydra, this special rule allows you field an almost unlimited number of Warlords. So unless you are tabled you won’t be giving up a victory point, even better you keep on generating Warlord Traits with each new Warlord.
The Alpha Legion Warlord Traits
The Alpha Legion Warlord Traits are a host of great choices with maybe the Alpha Strategist left wanting. You have Forward Agent which is a must if you want to Infiltrate your Warlord with a unit, Faceless Commander though is truly special as you can swap your Warlord in and out of different situations. Cult Leader is great for Furious Charge even if you won’t be taking many Feel No Pain rolls and Expert Timing is great for the early rounds. Getting two rolls on this table almost guarantees something your Alpha Legion army will use.
The Alpha Legion Artefacts
The Alpha Legion Artefacts go from super shitty like the Viper’s Bite to game changing with the Mindveil. The Mindviel is perhaps the best Artefact in the entire Traitor Legion supplement acting as an Hit & Run, but for the movement phase meaning you can bonce from a combat and still shoot and charge the same turn, not to mention you can use it without being in Assault to get extra movement more often than not. The Icon of Insurrection is pretty good especially if you need Zealot bubbles and works great with the Cult Leader Warlord Trait. The rest of the Alpha Legion Artefacts are middling to situational.
The Alpha Legion Insurgency Force Detachment
The Alpha Legion Insurgency Force Command Benefits were probably one of the best in the Traitor Legion supplement just a few days ago, but with the official Warhammer FAQ nerfing Cult Uprising the Legion has taken a hit. Still you can choose between normal Reserving or Outflanking a single Cultist unit, not two units for one. Hidden Deployment is a pretty good Command Benefit too, as surviving the first round of shooting is critical to successfully bringing the Alpha Legion pain. As for the army building the Insurgency Force is all about taking as many basic infantry units as possible and overwhelming your opponent with too many bad choices.
The Insurgency Force Detachment is pretty limited by the obvious choices to take, like the Lost and the Damned Formation. Really only the Chaos Warband, Lost and the Damned, and Raptor Talon are the formations you should be considering. The key with the Alpha Legion is balancing Chosen units for specialized roles and Cultists as your Assault units. You can also use the Lord of the Legion to flesh out your list, but keep in mind they won’t be able to Infiltrate with the rest of your army. You are though really only looking at upgrade characters becoming Warlords when all is said and done, so embrace it.
The Alpha Legion as a Combined Arms Force does lose a little of its punch as you only have six troop slots you can fill and you don’t get Shrouded for turn one. The Alpha Legion lacks Fearless and don’t forget it, that is why it is important to keep your Fearless characters alive or keep none Cultist units small where you will only make one moral test at most. As for Cultists it does hurt you cannot give them any Marks, as Mark of Khorne would be pretty devastating. The Alpha Legion makes a great Ally force as the Mindveil is a nasty plug and play Artefact for any Chaos Space Marine force.
Overall, the Alpha Legion is still pretty damn powerful and can supplement any Chaos army, the FAQ does hurt the overall strength of the Legion, but there is enough to like to make up for it, just don’t expect much variety when it comes to designing lists as all roads seem to lead to the same things for the Alpha Legion.
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