Space Marine Legion Crusade Army
You need Book I for the main army. It's fairly generic. But, you do need it.
Legiones Astartes: Astartes models can always regroup. Unfortunately, this is not ATSKNF, which means that Astartes models can be Swept, and that they can be affected by Fear. Some people might scoff at how much better 40K Marines are, but, in actual fact, this probably more likely represents the fact that Astartes can Sweep other Astartes, and that the models that actually do cause Fear are Primarchs.
1. Fear. This is good. Because as noted, Astartes do have to make rolls against Fear.
2. Redeploy a unit. Since youíve rolled Warlord Trait before Deployment, you can deliberately mis-deploy a critical unit to sucker your opponent into doing something dumb. But, you will need to know what youíre doing.
3. Pick D3 units in your army. These unitsí Blast and Template weapons gain Shred. This is useful because most Template and Blast arenít going to affect Power Armour saves in the slightest. However, this Trait requires that youíve taken those weapons and that youíve totally randomly rolled this Trait.
4. Warlord gains Fearless and is a Banner.
5. Adamantium Will and one unit in your army gains Deep Strike. Not bad.
6. Re-rolls To Wound. As noted, youíll be fighting Power Armour a lot. This helps.
Rites of War
Affectionately known as 'Legion Tactics'. Book I has fairly generic ones which will be listed here. All the Legion-specific Rites start in Book II. You need a Master of the Legion to choose any Rites of War, but, for simplicity's sake, we'll just call them Praetors.
Orbital Assault: All units must be mounted in Drop Pods or have the Deep Strike rule. Terminators gain Deep Strike. No Fortifications. This FOC is the only reason to give your Praetor Terminator Armour, and, even then, you could just leave him as-is and put him in a unit with a Drop Pod. No Fortifications does hurt, but, itís not like you care since you start the game with nothing on the board.
Armoured Spearhead: All Infantry units must start the game inside a vehicle. Units that can take Rhinos as Dedicated Transports, may instead take Land Raiders. No Fortifications. This FOC will smash your wallet if you want to do Heresy-done-right. Basically, if you want to field Land Raiders, this is how you field even more of them. However, itís really hard to find a reason why youíd need any more than three ĎRaiders in your list, but, if you can, then do it.
Angelís Wrath: Jump Infantry, Skimmers and Jetbikes only. All Infantry units must start the game inside a Flier or Skimmer. Units that may take Rhinos as Dedicated Transports may take Storm Eagles instead. No Tanks. No Fortifications. This FOC hurts. You gain Fliers as Dedicated Transports, but, you canít have any Tanks? At all? Brutal. Even in the Armoured Spearhead you can still take Skimmers/Fliers if you want them. All your Jump Infantry also have Hit & Run, if that matters to you.
Pride of the Legion: Veterans and Terminators are Troops. Yes please. No Allies allowed. Thatís fine. Since in the Legion lists the only Allies you have are more Legion lists (which does allow extra FO Slots though). Basically, you get good units in your Troops slots for little - if any, depending on your style - downside. Also, itís the easiest on your wallet since you donít have to buy a bunch of Drop Pods, Land Raiders or Storm Eagles just to play the army that you want to play. Or, you can just not take a Praetor and play Ďa bit of everythingí like you would actually want to.
Praetor: Basically, this guy is your Ďfluff guyí. You can only have one per thousand points, and you can roll twice on the Warlord Traits table. Thatís...Cool. Also, depending on what you, personally, want to do, he can change up your army selections with Master of the Legion. Charnabal Sabres are cheap, but Paragon Blades are awesome and a unique weapon to Praetors. So, get one. Ignore all other weapons, they just arenít that good. Terminator Armour just isnít worth it, either. Pick up your Invulnerable of choice and roll out. Just remember that Rites of War are optional, you donít need to take them unless you really feel like gimping yourself. However, Book II is really when you start getting the good ones that are Legion specific and actually designed for your Legion instead of totally generic ones. So...Buy that too!
Command Squad: If youíve picked up a Praetor, you have access to a Command Squad if you want it. The squad maxes out at 5 models, which is a pain, and their options arenít even that good. Basically, kit them all with Charnabal Sabres and go for it. However, since every model in the squad is a Character, you can kit them all out with dual-Plasma Pistols and remember the good old days of when people used to do that with Wolf Guard.
ĎThe Other Guyí in a Legion list. You can run him vanilla if you feel like completely missing the point. But, he has the Consul rule for a reason. So itís best that you use it! The only reason not to use the Consul rule is if you need to cheap-out. Typically for groups who are just beginning the Heresy and canít afford to shell out for 1000+ point games off the bat.
Chaplain: Pay 20 Points for the Zealot rule. No thank you. Note, that Chaplains in a Legion list are not locked to a Power Maul.
Master of Signal: Once per game, drop a S8, AP3 Barrage plate on some guyís head. Remember, Barrage is more accurate than Sniper.
Legion Champion: Nope. A Chaplain provides a better buff and comes stock with a Power Weapon.
Vigilator: Fancy word for ĎScout Captainí. Usable. But not great.
Librarian: An ML3 Librarian will cost you 135 Points. With Divination. Why would you not? If youíre stuck for models, Sevrin Loth comes in Mk.IV Artificer Armour, and his Axe is easily replaced with a GK Warding Stave.
Forge Lord: A Techmarine that takes an HQ slot. No thank you.
Primus Medicae: An Apothecary that takes an HQ slot. Youíre paying a lot of points just to give one unit in your army FNP. Pass.
Siege Breaker: Medusas get Phosphex for free. Furthermore, Heavy weapons in this guyís unit gain the Tank Hunters rule. Fluffy and good. However ĎNot a Librarianí syndrome is in full effect.
Moritat: Gunslinger with Rad Grenades. Also Scout. May not be chosen as your first HQ choice (and thus can not be taken in an Allied Detachment). Heís neat, but, can only join Destroyer squads. Heís fluffy, but hardly good.
Veteran Tactical Squad: For five points over the Troop version, you get an extra attack, and well as a special or Heavy weapon for every five models in the squad. Furthermore, at the start of the game (so, you may or may not have seen your opponentís list), you can choose to give them a USR of your choice - no, you donít have to put it on your list which means you can change it every game. Every model in the unit gains Sniper. Thatís fairly hardcore. Did you bring a Divination Librarian? However, Sniper weapons count as S3 vs. Vehicles, so that makes most Heavy weapons pretty sad. Or, if you have got the Rite that makes your Veterans, Troops, donít be afraid to make all of your now-Scoring units Fearless.
Destroyer Squad: I donít understand why these guys exist. Avoid.
Terminator Squad: ...Theyíre Terminators. However, due to Astartes Legions being awesome, Terminators are nearly always Scoring, despite being Elites. However, the problem lies in the fact that you are playing the Heresy, and your opponents know this, and thus nearly every unit that can possibly, will take Plasma, because during the Heresy, any weapon that isnít AP3 or better may as well not be a thing.
Techmarine Covenant: Did you catch the part where Terminators are Scoring?
Apothecarion Detachment: Why would you ever take the HQ Apothecary when you can take 1-3 as an Elites choice for about the same points cost. Pretty good that you can give a bunch of your units FNP, which is always nice. Unfortunately, no. Terminators are not on the list of units that Apothecaries are allowed to join.
Dreadnought Talon: Youíre playing against Astartes. Taking anything other than the Plasma or Flamestorm Cannon is kind of pointless.
Contemptor Dreadnought Talon: You can always pick up a pair of Twin-Linked Lascannons. Or a pair of Plasma Cannons. Or whatever.
Rapier Weapons Battery: Laser Destroyers or Thud Guns. Pick your favourite. Whatever you decide on going just donít keep the default Heavy Bolters. They just wont do anything.
Mortis Dreadnought (II): Makes regular Dreadnoughts look like a joke.
Contemptor-Mortis (II): Ditto.
Dreadnought Drop Pod (II): It has Shrouded on the turn it lands. Itís an Assault Vehicle. It transports Dreadnoughts.
Tarantula Sentry Gun Battery (II): For not that many points, you could have Rapier Weapons Batteries. Theyíre better. Except for the one Tarantula variant that can grap Skyfire, Interceptor Missiles.
Tactical Squad: Boltguns. Absolutely do not under any circumstances trade their Boltguns for Chainswords because youíre missing the point (take Assault Marines for that). Forge World clearly reaslises that Boltguns arenít going to do anything in a meta that is 99% Marines (and that one guy who plays Mechanicum). As such, in any Shooting phase, if the Tactical Squad didnít move, they can fire their Boltguns twice. In Rapid Fire range, youíre shooting four times per model (max size 20). Thatís a lot of Boltguns. If you arenít paying 5 extra points for Veterans, this is exactly where youíre putting your ML3 Librarian. Unleash the Fury of the Legions.
Assault Squad: For every five models in the squad you can pick up a Power Weapon. Theyíre like Blood Claws. Except good.
Breacher Siege Squad: For every five models in the squad, you can pick up a special weapon. Youíre also paying a whole bunch to replace the Tactical Squadís Fury of the Legion for Hardened Armour, which gives you re-rolls to your armour saves vs. Blast and Template weapons. Since only silly people are taking Template and Blast weapons during the Heresy, this squad is kind of a waste of time. inb4: Flamestorm and Plasma Cannons are ignoring your Armour Saves anyway. However, the Breacher Squad can take a Land Raider as a Dedicated Transport without the use of a superfluous Praetor.
Tactical Support Squad: Like Devastators, but with special weapons, and Scoring. All models in the squad must take the same special weapon. In case you havenít been reading up until now, that weapon is Plasma Guns. If youíre using the Rite that gives you access to Drop Pods, then, you can use that and Meltaguns. The only drawback on this squad is that as Support Squads, they can not be used as your mandatory Troops selections. Thatís fine. Two ten-man Bolter squads, and then max out on Support Squads, yes. You can do that.
Reconnaissance Squad: A Marine Squad with Scout, Outflank and Acute Senses. If you really feel like it you can replace their Boltguns with Sniper Rifles (why havenít you got Veterans as Troops with the Sniper rule with Rapid Fire Boltguns?). If you want, you can drop your Power Armour to Scout Armour and then you have Infiltrate. Itís pretty cool if you can get a Dedicated Land Raider. Recon Squads also are support units and canít be used as mandatory squads. They can take Storm Eagles as Dedicated Transports, if youíre into that.
Rhino: Itís a Rhino. It does Rhino-y things.
Drop Pod: Itís a Drop Pod. It does Drop Pod-y things. Unfortunately, without a Praetor with Orbital Assault, the number of units that can take a Drop Pod is zero. And then when you do have Orbital Assault, you need ALL the Drop Pods. Legion Lists are all-or-none. Turns out.
Seeker Squad: Sternguard. Except as Fast Attack. No proper access to Drop Pods. And itís Heresy-era so the one thing that makes Sternguard really good against Marines - Vengeance Rounds - Seekers donít have. Why are they in Fast Attack? I donít know. They are. Deal with it.
Outrider Squad: Bikes with Scout. Bikes are the second-best unit-type in the game and the Heresy doesnít change that, oh, and their special weapons are Twin-Linked. Because 30K.
Attack Bike Squadron: Fast Multi-Meltas. Thatís about it.
Jetbike Sky Hunter Squadron: And the best unit-type in the game is Jetbike. And then you can give some of them Plasma Cannons because why not?
Land Speeder Squadron: Land Speeders. Ew.
Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: Itís an AV12 Flier with a messton of guns that also transports up to 20 models. Itís also cheaper than a Land Raider. For some reason. That I donít know.
Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighter (II): Youíre competing with Storm Eagles, Bikes and Jetbikes. You need to bring more than a Flying Lascannon. Dark Angels learned this the hard way.
Javelin Attack Squadron (II): They Outflank. But theyíre still Land Speeders.
Heavy Support Squad: Guilliman hasnít written his Codex yet, so theyíre not called Devastators at this time. But, thatís what they are. Except you can have up to ten Heavy weapons! Because 30K. They all have to be the same though, so, if you want a few Heavy weapons, go with Plasma Cannons. If you want to cheese out, go with Missile Launchers that are cheaper. Hey, Missile Launchers still shoot S8, AP3 ammo, and when youíve got more than six of themÖ
Predator Strike Armour Squadron: Itís 30K Space Marines. Drop Podding suicide Melta squads arenít really a thing. Predators are actually kind of cool, especially since they can upgrade to the invaluable Plasma Cannon or Flamestorm Cannon. Especially not-terrible because they can come in Squadrons.
Land Raider Phobos, Proteus, Achilles: Use whatever feels right.
0-1 Artillery Tank Squadron:
Basilisk, Medusa or Whirlwinds. Just kidding. There are only Medusas. Medusas are love. Medusas are life.
Vindicator: Does its Vindicator thing. Itís cheaper than a single Medusa. But, if you can upgrade, then do it.
Spartan Assault Tank: Yeah.
Caestus Assault Ram: In 40K, it drops 30 Points and is better. But, weíre in 30K where a Caestus has the potential to ruin games all on its own.
Deathstorm Drop Pod (II): Eh.
Whirlwind Scorpius (II): Get one. Get one now.
Sicaran Battle Tank (II): ...Or one of these.
Lords of War
In the Heresy-era, you have to remember that LoWs can only be taken once every 2000 Points. So...While a lot of them might be good (very good), itís unlikely that youíre going to use them much. Unfortunately, Primarchs also fit into this category. So, you can take a Primarch, or a really big tank. Come on. You're taking a Primarch.
Fellblade Super-Heavy Tank: Imperial Guard? In my Legion!? Well, that explains why its more expensive in 40K. Because Marines stop crewing their tanks with wussies.
Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: Brilliant.
Thunderhawk Gunship: Whoa. Hold up. In 40K, the Thunderhawk is more than two hundred points less. What!? However, the 30K version does have 12HPs instead of nine.
Thunderhawk Transporter: No.
Cereberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: It has its uses. But, Typhon Siege Tanks are simply better with less RNG.
Malcador Assault Tank: For 300 Points in a LoW slot, you need more than a Battle Cannon. You just do.
Glaive Super-heavy Special Weapons Tank (II): Its one of the better Tanks around, however, itís also one of the most expensive. Still, itís a 48Ē Beam that doesnít do nice things to the things it hits.