Choosing a Legion : Iron Warriors with JP from the Age of Darkness


Ok, here we go again, another insight into a fellow Heresy fans mind and which legion flicks their switches.

This time we have JP from the Age of Darkness podcast stepping in to the spotlight, giving us his view on the fourth legion, the ever popular Iron Warriors. In case you’re not familiar with these guys, the AOD ‘cast covers the whole aspect of the heresy, gaming, book reviews, news, modelling, painting, all under one roof with a dark sense of humour. Go check them out!

First up, can you let us know who you are. 

I’m a Heresy fanatic living in the cold white north that is Quebec, and one half of the Age of Darkness Podcast. I’ve been in the hobby since around the time Second Edition 40k was released in the early 90s, and have been fascinated with the Horus Heresy from the very start.

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Would you consider yourself a gamer, painter or more geared toward the book aspect of the heresy? 

I’m definitely more on the painting / fluff side of the hobby spectrum – if I never played another game I’d still model and paint and read these books that I love. That said I do enjoy the game a whole hell of a lot, it’s just not my favourite aspect. Plenty of people have jumped ship to other game systems like Warmachine that supposedly have tighter rules (perhaps not surprisingly since 40k is still based on mechanics that are 30 years old…) but for me, you could have the greatest rules in the world if I don’t like the models and story I don’t care. On an aside I do think that this is the greatest strength of miniature wargaming as a hobby, there are so may different aspects to it.

Which is your chosen legion then? 

The Fourth Legion, Iron Warriors, sons of damned Olympia, masters of the cruel arithmetic of war!


What flicks your switches about them, in a world where there are essentially 20 identikit armies with different coloured armour, why that one legion over another? Did you choose them or did they choose you as you became exposed to them? 

The Iron Warriors are soldiers first, an army that fights like an actual military force, digging trenches and deploying mass artillery. Many (but not by any means all) Legions seem to be crusading knights in space, looking for honourable sword combat and individual combat prowess. I like the idea of an army that cares little for the individual warriors, that sees mass attrition warfare, of bleeding the enemy white, as a legitimate strategy. It underlines the horror of this universe where human (and transhuman) life is essentially meaningless, just grist for the mill of war. After all isn’t that what makes Warhammer 40,000 so different? The tragedy of it, the fact that all the Emperor’s lofty goals were reduced to an eternity of carnage and slaughter and the laughter of thirsting gods?

Can you pinpoint the moment when you though “Yeah, this is the legion for me”? 

When Book One: Betrayal was released, I had assumed that my chosen legion would be Death Guard – I’ve played Nurgle Plague Marine armies since the 90s. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that a Heresy-era Death Guard army would be almost identical to a 40k-era Death Guard army (especially since my Plague Marines are painted in white and green). It was reading Angel Exterminatus by Graham McNeill that sealed the deal for me. I loved the portrayal of the IVth Legion in that book, very well nuanced especially compared to the Emperor’s Children which so often approach cartoon villainy. By the time Perturabo smashes Fulgrim’s face into a clockwork Warhound Titan I was sold on the Iron Warriors!

Breachers in action

JP’s breachers, breaching. Yesterday.

Were you aware of the legion before the Heresy books and games began appearing, or has the passion for your chosen legion sprung from the new wealth of information now available?

I was of course aware of the Iron Warriors before the Heresy began to be developed from a vague foundation myth to a full-fledged historical timeline. Back in the glory days of the “3.5” edition of Codex Chaos Space Marines they were one of the more common armies you’d see on the table. I was however never a big fan of the colour scheme, most what you’d see had WAY too many hazard stripes for example. Heresy-era IVth Legion is way more muted in its use of yellow, and sometimes less is more with things like this. Generally speaking the 30k aesthetic is visually distinct from what we generally see in 40k – far less gaudiness in the army, more muted colours, things look more functional. For example, Heresy power armour is military equipment that is made to be easily replaceable (much like the man inside). In 40k they are holy relics passed down through the generations, hence the bright colours and gaudy trimmings. So it was this more functional look that really appealed to me with the Iron Warriors, as well as the brilliant portrayal in Angel Exterminatus I spoke of above!


Heres the breachers posing for the pre breach photo shoot.

What are your thoughts on the primarch of your chosen legion, are you also a fan of them as the two don’t necessarily have to go hand in hand.

I love Perturabo. Like his Legion, he really encapsulates the tragedy of the era that appeals to me. This is a guy that was given all the hardest tasks to accomplish and succeeded every time, often at horrendous cost. And what did he get for his efforts? He was completely ignored as his more flamboyant brothers had praise heaped upon them. There is an old story in Index Astartes about the Iron Warriors, where the Khan and Leman Russ destroy an Ork empire. Perturabo did most of the hardest fighting, but in the chronicles about the great victory he is mentioned only as a “comrade who calculated the optimum way to bypass” the enemy orbital defences. This tragedy is compounded when he gives his word to support Horus and then begins to see what the Ruinous Powers are doing to his brothers (particularly Fulgrim). But he gave his word, and he will see it though, no matter the cost. That’s what I like about Perturabo.

64th Command (1)

The brutal efficiency of the 4th legion really shows in JP’s paint scheme.

We usually finish every blog post with a music track, can you give us a song that in your mind sums up your legion? 

Well since the Iron Warriors are the Legion which most calls back to the horrors of the Great War, how about I shout out Outaouais thrash metallers Bastardator. This clip, Entrenched, was shot at the War Museum in Ottawa, great stuff!

Iron Within! Iron Without!

1 thought on “Choosing a Legion : Iron Warriors with JP from the Age of Darkness

  1. I never put much thought into these guys until I started reading short stories about them, and now they’re one of my favorite legions. I haven’t made the leap to 30K yet, but if I do it just might be for the Iron Legions. I need to read Angel Exterminatus…

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