"Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto. Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto..."
- – Holy ancient chant from the early predecessors of Legio Cybernetica
The Legio Cybernetica were a part of 40K's first and second editions, before the escalation of grimdark in 3rd Edition made tech-heresy a thing (also, their rules required essentially mapping out their actual programming with logic gates, which was theoretically awesome but practically kind of a pain in the ass). Armies of these thinking war-robots have been fighting alongside the Space Marines and the Imperial Army since the Great Crusade, but without direct command and programming were completely useless.
Some of these robots were rewarded for their service by being made honorary members of the Legions they served with. Incarnadine, a Cybernetica robot, was even called "brother" by fellow Word Bearers and started TO develop glitches in its system that hinted at it evolving a consciousness, which ended up being a Daemon. During the Horus Heresy, Horus swayed Kelbor-Hal, the Fabricator-General of Mars (and therefore the ultimate commander of Mechanicum forces), over to his side, along with nearly the entire Legio Cybernetica. When the Emperor won his Pyrrhic battle against Horus, the surviving traitor Mechanicum forces fled to the Eye of Terror, where they presumably hide to the 'present day' of the 41st millennium. The Black Legion presumably has heaps of them guarding the Vengeful Spirit, as founding member Iskandar Khayon spent centuries after the Heresy hiring his services out for robots. Some cohorts of the Legio Cybernetica remained loyal to the Imperium (as well as Space Marine Legions and Forge World Taghmata, they also served in the auxiliary forces of Titan Legions), but their numbers were minimal, and they were forced to swear binding oaths more terrible than the Space Marines. Yet, as of the 41st Millenium, the Tech-Priests of the Legio have regained their former glory and (most) of the lost trust.
While thrown out the proverbial airlock since 3rd edition, the Legio Cybernetica have made a comeback in Forge World's Horus Heresy series (and in Lords of Mars) and in regular 40k! Seriously, look at their store! It looks like the Legio is finally about to return to the 41st millenium, thanks to Imperial Armour 16. At the November 2016 Weekender the author confirmed Automata, such as the mighty Thanatar, will soon be handing out cortex controlled carnage to the Tau and other enemies of the Imperium.
The Castellan is an assault Robot useful for a wide range of battlefield roles. Its twin power fists and heavy bolter give it a dangerous punch, protected by a power field/synchroniser unit. It can substitute its heavy bolter for a lascannon, melta gun or third power fist, while the standard fists can be replaced with a Siege Hammer, autocannons and flamer.
Castellax Class Battle-AutomataEdit
In Heresy-era 30k and first to get a Forgeworld model, but for some reason called the Castellax, mounting a Mauler-pattern Bolt Cannon on the shoulder which can be replaced with a multi-melta or a Darkfire Cannon (essentially a
somewhat weaker Lascannon Long Range Plasma Rifle with Lance that blinds enemies that it hits) and coming with a choice of hand weapons.
They are the most common and numerous pattern of Castellans and are designed primarily for siege and shock assault operations.
Crunch-wise, the Castellax is a surprisingly cheap Monstrous Creature pretty much made to fuck up the Space Marine Legions (thanks to BS4, T7, W4, and armed with AP3 guns base) unless there's list-tailoring involved (like Plasma vets) it'll hold its own against nearly everything thrown at it and can put out a lot of hurt in both the Shooting (thanks to the aforementioned AP3 guns) and Assault, don't let the two Attacks fool you, charging will boost your attacks up to 4 (if you do this make sure to get the Frag Grenades).
Don't let Reactor Blast make you think it's worse to group them up, it's very unlikely to do any wounds to you at all and if you're in assault it'll almost always work in your favor.
If you want them to be Choppy, then you may also take dual powerblades. At first AP2 rending in melee seems fantastic, but then you remember that this is a monstrous creature; thus it already has AP2 by default via smash. And with S6 its quite likely to be wounding most targets reliably anyway.
Castellax-Achea Class Battle-AutomataEdit
The Nerds have their own Castellan pattern and had 'modified' it to suit their psychic needs. How they avoided pissing off the AdMech before the Heresy is unknown.
Anyways, these Battle-Automata were fitted with a crystalline Psi-control matrix that allowed psychic Space Marines to manipulate them like puppets in a fashion far more seamlessly than standard Legio Cybernetica technology. It is primarily armed with the unique Æther-Flame Cannon.
On tabletop, these
Egyptian Prosperine robots are completely different than the mainstay Castellans. For starters, they add Asphyx Shells everywhere with options for a Ætherflame cannon instead of the Mauler. Then they add the Rage and Fearless special rules alongside a special self-destruct that deals d6 S4 AP- hits, like any other Castellax, only differently written. IWND. And the the crown jewel, Psi-Control Matrix is a piece of hardware that might veer a little too Heretek for some people's liking; it allows anyone with at least ML1 to counter the Mindlock that so-hampers Automate from charging, running and making Sweeping Advances, which is by no means terrible, since you can still move and shoot in any target, not the closest one like Automatas with Cortex.
In addition, friendly psykers can draw Line of Sight from any Psi-Control Matrix Castellax for their Malediction and Witchfire powers, but should the psyker suffer Perils the Castellax must pass an LD test as well or take d6 unsaveable wounds, if this kills them their death-splosion has a maxed radius. Achaeas have I4, It Will Not Die, Shred on the Mauler Cannon and beautiful model, all for merely 30 points over regular Castellax, what's not to like? (Hint: they are equipped with twin Power Claw aka Power fist, making em effectively +1A and S10, and priced exactly the same as a castellax equipped with paired blade and wrecker, if it is not enough they don't have Automatic shielding BUT Refractor field, for a sweet 5++ in melee.) Oh, and after all this cheese you won't need Cortex Controller to bring them to the party.
Kastelan Class Battle-AutomataEdit
In 40k we have the Kastelan which superficially looks similar to the Castellax, being a somewhat rounded, robotic, monstrous creature type with a shoulder mounted weapon and a pair of power fists that can be replaced with twin-linked phosphor blasters, it is also the most common model you'll ever find for 'bots. Though these ones can replace the fists for moar guns. Unlike the 30k version they are less autonomous and operate under "Battle Protocols" which are determined by a specialist tech-priest called Datasmith, but if the priest ever goes missing then the robots just follow the most recent protocol issued to them, which can cause them to stand still and shoot, or to forget they have guns.
Apparently, this was done because after the Heresy the Mechanicus came to the conclusion that the Castellax's machine spirit was too close to Abominable Intelligence to be used again.
In 8th Edition, Kastelans are improved significantly, as they are far more slot-efficient than the Dunecrawler; getting 6 in a unit. (Spamming them is a trap though, since they're extremely vulnerable in the Fight phase; 2-4 is enough.) They still have the same Monstrous Creature statline, and can reflect guns back at their shooter (for a Mortal Wound now), but are now faster and cheaper.
Fully shooty is actually the cheap option now. Go full phosphor and enter protector mode for 18 S6 AP2 shots per robot. Yes, a full unit of 6 will fire 108 bullets... In protector mode becomes twice as good as any unit we have. Beware combat with this option though, as without the Fists, you don't have any AP in close combat. AdMech now has fewer ways of dealing with high Toughness, and Kastelan Fists in Melee will punch holes in virtually anything, so consider fists if you are lacking in Dunecrawlers. It's recommended if you are going shoot, deck them out with 3 Heavy Phosphor Blasters, or if you are going punchy, get Fists and the Incendine Combustor. Don't mix the Combustor and Phosphor options together, they don't synergize well.
A robot prized far beyond the servo-automata from which they were developed, using ancient secrets uncovered during the Great Crusade, the Scyllax acts as both elite shock troops and the bodyguards of Magos overseers. There are some factions within the Adeptus Mechanicus that will have no truck with the Scyllax, claiming sinister provenance in its design, and that the automata gain a subtle and dangerous self-awareness over time.
No larger than an armored man, the Scyllax Guardian-automata demonstrates formidable power in a more compact frame. Their armored carapaces are as durable as carapace armour, and house powerful electro-thermic reactors and banks of lucid cogitator-stacks that process a storm of battlefield analysis engrams and protective tech-incantations, which is so potent that some has proclaimed it as bordering on tech-heresy. They are also radioactive to the point nearby soldiers start dying - be they the enemy's or not.
They also have been adapted with a wide variety of mechadendrites and servo-arms for dissecting living matter, as well as a ranged weapon, such as a bolter. An interesting thing about the Scyllax is that these robots were neither true Battle Automata, due to their lack of a cybernetica-cortex, nor could they be classified as a Servitor, due to having nearly no organic components. They look and slither around like mechanical snakes, essentially the Mechanicum version of a Necron Canoptek Wraith (they are really just GW's take on the killer robots from the Matrix, but they think just because it's been a few years nobody will notice).
Its more civvy cousin is the Servo-Automata.
The closest thing the Legio Cybernetica have to foot soldiers.
This model is popular for its resilience and adaptability. The Cataphract-class robot is a heavily-armoured general-purpose battle robot designed for use in almost all combat environments and situations.
This versatility in a wide range of battlefield roles makes this war engine a highly-deployable and popular machine among the Legio Cybernetica's cohorts. Cataphracts are armed and can mount a variety of weapons for various purposes, the most common being one Lascannon above its chassis and a Bolter mounted on one arm and one Flamer mounted on the other. They and protected by a power field/synchroniser unit. Its versatility makes it popular Robot to deploy, although some commanders regard it as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. It can substitute its weapons for an autocannon, Siege Hammer, Heavy Bolter and power fist.
The name Cataphract came from a form of armored heavy cavalry used in ancient warfare by a number of peoples in Western Eurasia and the Eurasian Steppe. These were the guys in heavy scale or chain armor that covered the horsies in even MOAR scale or chain armor. The Cataphract robots was named due to its relatively quick and versatile combat role that is able to provide a modest amount of heavy firepower on the battlefield whilst supporting its allies.
So far there are no modern rules for any Cataphract robots, which is strange given how common and generic they are, it could be that they were eventually replaced by the equally common Castellans instead. Note that despite the name, these things have zero relation with the Terminator armor.
HULK SMASH!: The Robot. A siege robot given a Siege-hammer for smashing down walls, though it is equally useful squashing opponents. Other armaments include a boltgun mounted on its other arm appendage for use against defending troops. The Siege Hammer can also be used in close combat situations. It also possesses a chassis-mounted Multi-Melta for additional firepower and anti-vehicular damage. Protected by a power field/synchroniser unit, its weaponry can be replaced with autocannons, heavy bolters, and power fists, allowing for a number of combinations.
The Colossus was often employed by the Imperial Army as a cheap alternative to the use of heavy artillery. A few Colossus-class robots are maintained by the Ordo Reductor of the Adeptus Mechanicus, mainly for testing new and experimental siege weaponry.
Domitar-Ferrum Class Battle-AutomataEdit
The Domitar-Ferrum class robots is often called as the spiritual successor of the Colossus whom Perturabo made into personal bodyguards called the Iron Circle. The Domitar-Ferrum is also the larger, more heavily armored brother of the Domitars.
They are often armed with a giant Karceri Battle Shield, a big FUCK OFF Graviton Maul, and Olympia Bolt Cannon. They were formed after Ol'Perty's own personal flagship was boarded by the Imperial Fists during the Battle of Phall. Judging the gross embarrassment in the failures of his own sons, Perturabo decided that robots was just plain better and made the Domitar-Ferrum by combining the existing Domitar and Conqueror robots and building them upon the blueprints and templates of the outdated Colossus robot.
On the tabletop, these guys are nigh-unstoppable freight trains of pure murder. Starting off with a decent statline of WS/BS4, Str/Toughness 7, 4 wounds, I/A 3, Ld8, 3+/5++; they cost 205 points a piece and can be taken in a unit of up to 6. They are armed with a Olympia Pattern Bolt Cannon (pretty much 5-shot Pinning Heavy Bolters) for laying down the suppressive dakka, Graviton Mauls (S10 AP2 Concussive Wrecker non-unwieldy hammers with Crushing Blow: A hit of a 6 causes an additional automatic hit), Karceri Battle Shields (D3 HoW per model, 5++, and when un-engaged in combat all charges against them are disordered)... and a searchlight + frag grenades.
Moving Bulwark allows them to reroll failed armor and invulnerable saves against blast and template weapons, improving their invulnerable save to 4++ when at least two of them from the same unit are in BtB contact, and allows ICs with the Legiones Astartes (IW) rule to join them despite being MCs, getting the benefits of the shields and Moving Bulwark in the process.
An anti-vehicle robot, which specializes in taking down armored vehicles and Dreadnought analogs. Conquerors are protected by heavy armour and a power field/synchorniser unit, as mentioned the Conqueror is particularly adept at taking out armoured vehicles and Dreadnoughts. Standard armament is a heavy bolter, autocannon and power fist, which can be swapped for lascannons, flamers, melta guns and bolter, as well as doubling up on any one. Now also with no less than two FW versions (for some reason called the Domitar and Arlatax respectively), the former has twin gravitational hammers for smashing shit, while the latter is a Robot with a Jump Pack.
Domitar Class Battle-AutomataEdit
The Domitar can be called as a more advanced and larger version of the Castellan, the Domitar was also swifter, designed to cross the open battlefield at blistering speeds. Other than its sheer bulk which is in itself a weapon, the Domitar is armed with gravitational hammers that can crush tanks and dreadnoughts into smaller METAL BAWKSES and a missile launcher if it can't get close enough. It was the last type of war robot to enter Mechanicum production before the Horus Heresy, the Domitar was a variant of the sophisticated ancient Conqueror Class Robot. A variant of the Domitar-Class Robot, the Domitar-Ferrum class, was used by Ol'Pert as his Iron Circle honor guard following the Battle of Phall.
The Domitars are essentially a melee automata geared to taking down Monstrous Creatures (aka other Automata), it can also handle vehicles and buildings in equal measure thanks to four attacks at S10 and its WS4 make it so it'll hit all other automata on 3's (even with HoW it's great since get D3 S7 hammer of wrath hits per model (roll once and multiply by number of models)).
Shooting wise it's pretty shitty for how much it costs, armed with only a missile launcher with Krak and Ignis missiles (the latter S5, 3" blast ignores cover... but AP6) and can purchase flak missiles (only 5 pts but you've got good enough Anti-Air enough anyway). Thankfully it shines even when getting charged thanks to the Graviton Hammers forcing opponents to make disordered charges, and with Crusader you'll be dictating when your charges happen quite often.
Interestingly Frag-nades are purchased at 5 pts per model (essentially mandatory for them), but keep them away from tarpitts (Paragon of metal doesn't help out too much here, and getting hacked apart by a large mob of S6 fearless goons whose entire squad costs probably less than half your model is embarrassing). Don't go thinking that it can take on every monster unit either. Charge a few Castellax with Darkfire Cannons (or even go solo near their Bolt-Cannons) and you'll find that's a 175+ point investment down the drain.
An anti-personnel robot, Crusaders are fast on their feet (servos?) and can easily take down multiple opponents. It's basically the Flash with power swords in place of arms. Scary. It also has a chassis-mounted Lascannon for making new doors so it can slaughter a building's occupants. The latest to get rules from FW (for some reason called the Vorax), with a Lightning Gun in place of the Lascannon and arm mounted Rotor Cannons.
Vorax Class Battle-AutomataEdit
The Vorax is a hunter-killer robot descended from the aforementioned Crusader that, like the Crusader beforehand looks more like an insect more than anything else. Created on pre-Imperial Mars to search and destroy Mutants and rogue machines, their cybernetica cortex engrams are known to be particularly predatory and vicious examples of their kind. Such are the vicious instincts inherent in their programming that they are wired with numerous override cantos to prevent these tireless hunting machines from devolving into renegades.
They fulfill the roles both of search and destroy weapon and exterminator of rogue machines and mutants. Armed with a pair of rotor cannon and a lightning gun for range combat and power blades for CQC. At times they are also dispatched by their masters to conduct a cull of surplus population during famine or plague, their hunts only ending when their master orders. What dicks they are. As such they are held in superstitious dread by the human indentured laborers of the Mechanicum's worlds. Like the Castellax, it was mothballed after the Heresy because its machine spirits were deemed too close to being Abominable Intelligence.
The Vorax is the Legio Cybernetica's fast attack robot and thus, is quicker and lighter (4+ armour and 3W, but I4 and lacking an invulnerable save) than the Castellax whilst getting fleet and scout. They also come standard with a pair of rotor cannons, a lightning gun, and powerblades. (Can swap the lightning for an irrad cleanser) Outflank these sphincters and let their automatic programming take care of the rest. Unfortunately, 4+ armor, 3 wounds at t6 and no invuln makes them far too susceptible to krak grenades to be viable. With programmed behavior meaning they have to charge, keep these sick-looking mantis bots in single units of 1, to use as a distraction unit.
A giant monstrous walking engine of death, the Thanatar is the size of a Tau Riptide, and comes with a twin linked Mauler Bolt Cannon, a massive Hellex Plasma Mortar or Sollex-pattern heavy Lascannon, as well as a Graviton Ram. The Hellex Mortar is a ridiculous weapon that is able to launch dense spheres of blazing plasma on arcing trajectories over defensive barriers and into the heart of enemy fortifications, incinerating anything in their blast radius with a liquid tide of sun-hot fire.
The Thanatar's frame, built to accommodate the huge weapon and its power system, is considerably larger than even the bulking Castellax. Its frame is also heavily reinforced, both to withstand the recoil of firing its weapons and protect it from incoming attacks.
Its armor makes it essentially impervious to small arms attacks no matter how advanced. Due to the enormous power required to power its colossal weapons, the Thanatar was considerably larger than other Battle-Automata. Unlike many of the models produced for the Legio Cybernetica, the origins of the Thanatar pattern robot remain unclear. Save that its Hellex Plasma Mortar is only produced on the Forge World of Ryza. There are two variants of the Thanator.
In the 30k tabletop, the basic Thanatar is 240 a pop, but they're T8,S8 2+. They get the infamous Hellex Plasma Mortars, which are ordnance barrage Str 8 AP 2 plasma blasts which force rerolls on cover saves. Go look up a picture and see how sexy they are.
If you want a moronic looking list, take them in a full-size unit of five. If you are a That Guy, you can take one Thanatar and give him Paragon of Metal. He'll never freaking die. BS5 and -1 to enemy cover from Advanced Targeting will fit well too.
Thanatar-Calix Class Siege-AutomataEdit
The first is the Thanatar-Calix Class. The Calix-Class was a variant of the standard Thanatar design developed during the later part of the Great Crusade. Rumored to have been developed by the Sollex Myrmidon and Omega-Shevar covenants of the Ordo Reductor alongside the Legio Cybernetica, this design combines deadly tech-arcana from all three factions into a single deadly weapon. Calix Class Thanatars are geared towards the vanguard of siege assault warfare, able to sunder the strongest fortifications and conduct targeted strikes to neutralize defensive hardpoints. Its primary weapon was its Sollex Heavy Lascannon, and so precious were these engines that in the rare cases they were deployed many other lesser battle-automata were fielded to protect them.
The Thanatar-Calix's most destructive armament though is the Graviton Ram, a weapon whose origins are lost in the Dark Age of Technology. The ram's crushing waves of gravitational force can pulverise infantry and vehicles alike, and it can be utterly devastating at both range and close quarters.
If you don't already know, the Thanatar-Calix is a god damned monster. This is the guy who puts the "Siege" in "Siege-Automata". the mortar is replaced with an S10 Lascannon (yes, a single, one-shot-per-turn lascannon, unfortunately) but this Thanatar gets an additional Graviton Ram in return, which can be used in shooting as a moderately effective template weapon with Haywire or in melee as an S10 AP 1 armorbane weapon which gets bumped up to str D against buildings(!) However this guy is a whopping 295 points, so make those potential Strength D hits happen or you're not getting those points back. Unsurprisingly, this Thanatar is a death sentence against vehicles. If it can get close enough, a single turn can see it firing a S10 AP2 Lascannon and a haywire template, then charging in with 3 S10 AP1 Armorbane hits in melee.
Also, never, ever let him be assaulted by infantry (and don't be dumb enough to charge infantry with him). The template weapon forces a strength test instead of rolling to wound - in HH most infantry are S4, so you're going to need 5+ to wound and they can still make 3+ saves. However, against weak tarpit units with low strength, it could work quite well - morale checks caused my this template are taken with a Ld -2 modifier, so you can scare off potential tarpits. A S10 AP1 close combat attack is mostly wasted on infantry, being not at all any more effective than the base S8 AP2 that a normal Thanatar would have.
Thanatar-Cynis Class Siege-AutomataEdit
The second is the Thanatar-Cynis Class which was a variant of the standard Thanatar-Calix class designed by the Forge World of Estaban III with an attempt to increase their power and standing within the greater Mechanicum. However due to their competition with Ryza, Estaban III was unable to acquire their plasma technology, resulting in the Cynis pattern of Thanatar being more prone to self-destruction despite its fierce power.
The Vultarax is the only confirmed flying robot within the Legio Cybernatica. You may ask yourself, "Hey wait on the vox for a minute. They look suspiciously familiar... Where have I seen these before?". Well, the answer is that they are essentially the non-daemonifed version of Nurgle's Blight Drones. If you find yourself asking "Why would the Mechanicum copy a daemon engine?" you've got it backwards. These are 30k designs that predate the Horus Heresy, then the Dark Mechanicum nicked the designs to make Blight Drones.
Anyways, the Vultarax was by far the most common Stratos-automata in widespread use by the Mechanicum at the outbreak of the wars of the Horus Heresy. A robust, multi-role war engine, heavily armed and fitted with sophisticated sensory gear and able to operate in diverse and hostile environments, it proved itself a keystone of Mechanicum Explorator Expedition forces both as an armed, high mobility scout and as a hunter-killer and rapid response unit in open battle.
The Vultarax Stratos-automata is a Flying Monstrous Creature armed with a Vultarax arc blaster, a versatile weapon capable of burning out the cogitators and engines of enemy vehicles, and two Setheno pattern havoc launchers, long ranged missile systems designed to wipe out infantry units, even in heavy cover. These armaments, alongside its impressive armour, flare shield, and enhanced targeting array, make the Vultarax Stratos-automata a formidable force on the battlefield.
- http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Legio_Cybernetica - Lexicanum's article on the Legio Cybernetica.
- http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Legio_Cybernetica - The 40K Wikia's article on the Legio Cybernetica.
- http://www.angelfire.com/mech/ironclad/ArapRobots.pdf - rOOOLES
- http://solegends.com/citrt/rt108robots.htm Pictures
- http://mordian7th.blogspot.com/2011/05/adeptus-mechanicus-legio-cybernetica.html Newly painted.
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/221368614/White-Dwarf-104-UK-August-1988 White Dorf 1Oh4 with Squats! Trike! Robots! Weird pictures of treeman!
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/67798052/White-Dwarf-104 Backup
|Forces of the Thousand Sons|
|Leaders:|| Chaos Champion - Chaos Lord - Chaos Sorcerer |
Daemon Prince - Exalted Sorcerers
|Troops:||Chaos Spawn - Rubric Marines - Rubric Terminators|
|Castellax-Achea Class Battle-Automata|
|Vehicles:|| Chaos Dreadnought - Chaos Land Raider |
Helbrute - Predator - Rhino - Vindicator
| Silver Tower of Tzeentch - Forgefiend - The Auruntaur|
Heldrake - Maulerfiend - Defiler - Aether Ray
Fire Lord - Doom Wing - Mirrorfiend
|Daemons:|| Flamers of Tzeentch - Horror - Screamers of Tzeentch |
Mutalith Vortex Beast
|Auxiliaries:|| Cultists - Prospero Spireguard - Thrall Wizards |
Tzaangors - Tzaangor Enlightened - Tzaangor Shaman
|Allies:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines|