For Primarch and Primogenitor: Part 1

The most exciting thing about getting into the Horus Heresy game is the option for fielding primarchs. For decades these epic heroes were simply myth and legend, having no tangible presence on the Warhammer 40K tabletop. With the release of the Horus Hersey primarchs are finally able to make a tabletop appearance.

Fist and Foremost

A dedicated Imperial Fists player, I was overjoyed at the prospect of fielding Rogal Dorn. Throughout the breadth of novels and short stories that enrich the Warhammer 40K universe, Dorn is consistently depicted as a dedicated, steadfast servant of the Emperor wholly dedicated to the ideals of the imperial truth and unity of mankind. And while Dorn is not a monster in combat, like his brothers Angron or Russ, I never considered him to be a slouch. I always assumed he was a match for most of his brothers, superior to some, and second to only a few. However, after witnessing his recent tabletop performance, I see how wrong I was.

Warming Up

I’ve played several games of Horus Heresy recently and, more often than not, my opponent also fielded a primarch. My first game was against my friend Don’s Word Bearers. Eager to bring the Emperor’s retribution to his traitorous brother, Dorn met Lorgar head on in center field.

Lorgar, in the fiction, is often depicted as the intellectual brother and sometimes a coward; certainly no match for the stony resolve of Rogal Dorn. Yet I was dumbfounded to see Dorn take a beating bad enough to turned his sons yellow.

Cooling Down

Unfortunately, Dorn’s defeat at the hands of his chaos-worshiping brother was only the first of a long trend. A disheartening fact that took me several games to come to terms with. Maybe Dorn is not as cool as I thought.

Regardless, my resolve is such is that even if he is the worst primarch to field, I will still use him. I’m an Imperial Fist through and through, but I need to learn how to use him effectively. That starts by knowing which of his brothers Dorn can best, and which ones he’d do well to avoid.

The Primarch Challenge

In an effort to gain insight into which of his fellow primarchs Dorn can go the distance with and which ones land a quick TKO, I organized a brotherly brawl. The rules are as follows.

  1. Dorn will fight each of his brother primarchs one on one throughout 10 different combats, as if they were participating in a challenge.
  2. In 5 of those combats Dorn will get the charge bonus. In the other 5 combats, Dorn’s opponent will get the charge bonus.
  3. Each combat will last until one primarch is defeated or until 12 rounds of combat have passed.
  4. To ensure consistency between combats, Dorn wont use his situational abilities like Rampage and Reaping Blow.

Having completed several of the challenges already, I can say it’s not looking good for the Praetorian of Terra. Dorn has a hard time standing steadfast against many of his brothers, but I’ll go more into that next post.

Part 2 will detail how the Dorn faired during the first wave of challenges against Fulgrim, Peturabo, Konrad Curze, and Ferrus Manus. Check back next week to see the results.

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