Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Don't worry. None of this blood is mine.

Horus Heresy Research…

IMPERIAL ROBOTS - The greatest band name ever.

Here’s a little look into Horus Heresy research. Recently, I received the wad of pages in the above pic, which is for The First Heretic, among other things. From this picture you’ll note two things: Firstly, that I’m holding lore that was officially released when I was 8 years old, which is pretty mental. (Seriously, it has a dreadnought called “Chuck”. This is wacky jazz.) Secondly, that I really need to shave my head, but am intensely lazy.

Anyway, the reason I have this info is because I asked for it.

I promised you e-whores a look into Horus Heresy emails, and here it is, cut and pasted. This is me, in email form:

—   —   —

Dear Editors and Those Other Guys on the HH Team,

Hi, I’m Aaron Dembski-Bowden. You might remember me from such moments as choking on my own awkward fanboyishness, or that time Alan Merrett looked at me like I was a babbling retard and asked if I knew the difference between Chaos Marines and Possessed Chaos Marines.

Good times. Perhaps the best times.

I’m here today to talk not about the failures of the past, but the glories of the future. In short, I have a question. Or a point to raise. Or… whatever. I have some words that require other words in reply.

I think we vaguely agreed to mention the Legio Cybernetica a little more, and that’s something I really want to do in The First Heretic, after Graham nailed it hardcore in A Thousand Hypocrites. That’s a noble intent, I’m sure you’d agree, but I have a problem with it. See, the last time the Legio Cybernetica was mentioned in published canon, my body was principally composed of sperm, and the fateful night resulting in my genesis was still a mistake yet to come.

More seriously, I’ve seen references here and there over 20 years of slavering fandom (most significantly in Adeptus Titanicus, which I once owned with a fat kid’s pride) but that was all a long time ago. A really long time ago, and I wasn’t revising the stuff with the foreknowledge that I’d need it for my career one day. I just thought robots were cool. I hope you can forgive my naivety, and that we can all still be friends.

In short, where can I get more stuff about the Imperium’s robotic jazz? I remember the old Cataphract (and Crusader, I think) robot models from when I was about 11 years old, but I can’t recall with 100% clarity if they later evolved into Knights or not. They sound like Knight classes to me. Incidentally, I remember the Cataphract robots because that’s when I learned what cataphract meant. That’s today’s Aaron Fact. Please enjoy it at your leisure.

Now let’s all take a moment to thank In Flames and Monster Magnet for being the greatest bands in the history of ever.

tl;dr — Alex, can you send me some photocopies of canonical Legio Cybernetica stuff? As much fun as making things up can be, I don’t want to directly contradict anything out of ignorance. Many thankies.


March 14, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. Ahh… “Chuck”, “Deredeo” and “Furibundus”. Those were the days, stealing pages from my older cousin’s White Dwarves when they still had scenarios for ‘Call of Cthulhu’ in them.

    Comment by Laurie | March 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. Holy shit I just realized you’re not that much older than I am.

    “See, the last time the Legio Cybernetica was mentioned in published canon, my body was principally composed of sperm, and the fateful night resulting in my genesis was still a mistake yet to come.”—that line might possibly be the most ridiculous thing I’ve read yet on your blog.

    Comment by Nick Risley | March 14, 2010 | Reply

  3. Aaron,

    I think it would be wise to acquire Mcneil’s HH ‘Mechanicum’ novel as it delves into a lot of mechanicus & related material which was pretty much a virgin before Mcneil decided to deflower and add more to the fluff.

    This also goes for Abnett’s ‘Titanicus’ novel.

    You might also want to try and acquire the rules/background books of the cult classic Epic 40K wargame ‘Titan Legions’ which as far as I can remember was released after ‘Adeptus Titanicus’ and adds more to the fluff.

    Also, you might also want to check out the several Forgeworld ‘Imperial Armour’ volumes that might contain pieces of info related to the Legio Cybernetica.

    You might also want to dig in the old ‘Citadel Journel’ issues which might offer you something you thought you’d never find.

    Other than that, I wish you luck for your hunt of heretic tomes and arcana 😉

    Comment by Sam Spiteri | March 14, 2010 | Reply

    • It saddens me you think I’d not have read Titanicus and Mechanicum.

      But they’re not rich in lore where the Legio Cybernetica is concerned (largely because there’s not much anywhere). A Thousand Sons has more than either of those, f’rex.

      Ta for the other tips, though. I’ll hit up FW tomorrow.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 15, 2010 | Reply

      • I dug through all of my Imperial Armour books not long ago while pondering how to pin something, and I gotta say…I don’t think Forge World will be a help. I’m only missing a few. Aeronautica Imperialis, IA2,and the IA Apocalypse books and
        I got absolute jackshit from them in regards to the Legio Cybernetica.

        IA4(Anphelion Project) has some stuff about the research projects of the Mechanicus, IA3 has some stuff about the Titan Legions, and the Vraks books have a bit about the more obscure armour pieces that showed up like the Minotaurs and the like.

        Comment by Nick Risley | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  4. You’d be surprised at the things people don’t read despite being busy on related material projects !

    That being said, I’m the type of person that if I’m going to give advice, I’ll do so from A to Z, no questions asked, no comprimise.

    Sometimes its healthy to start from the beginning as you might encounter something you might have originally missed.

    You might also want to check the old rogue trader 40K rulebook.

    Comment by Sam Spiteri | March 15, 2010 | Reply

    • I think FW occupies the muddy realms of “It’s canon, but not canon” like BL, but fuck it. Definitely a tip to follow up.

      Thankies, S.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  5. Look on the bright side, Cybernetica is largely unexplored material which is a good enough excuse for you to refreshen it and make it cannon. (Look what Abnett did with the Alpha Legion)

    All you need to do is kick a few doors down and send a message first hand.

    Signing out,


    Comment by Sam Spiteri | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  6. You have an ADORABLE smirk on your face. 😉 And you pull off the buzz cut look so well!

    Comment by John the Great | March 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Yes, I neglected to comment on robots and instead focused on other things. I seem to be losing points in my Geek factor.

      Comment by John the Great | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  7. ….You’re not really bald? :-O

    Comment by RobAshLionWhite | March 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Sadly, no. The hair keeps coming back.

      Last year I let it grow for almost 4 weeks. It started looking just as shit as it always used to, so off it went once again.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 15, 2010 | Reply

      • I’m the same way. I grow my hair long in the back (and have done so for, oh… about 14 years now. Yeesh.) and tie it off as something vaguely resembling a ponytail. Every couple of years, I decide “Y’know what, fuck it. I’m going to just grow all of my hair out long and make this a proper ponytail and tie it all back.” Then, six months later, my hair is still not long enough for this purpose and looks like complete and utter shit because its natural state is curly/wavy and grows very slowly. So I say ‘okay, fine’ and go ahead and get it trimmed.

        And it’s been thinning on top for the last several years, thus sparing me from looking like I’ve got a mullet if I don’t have the hair tied in the back.

        Comment by MythicFox | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  8. …ah man, jeeeez, you almost had me there…I almost felt sympathy for such a young talent losing his hair at such an early age :P…now I know that isn’t the case, have you ever considered waxing it off? You’d be left with better markings than Erebus that’s for sure.

    Comment by RobAshLionWhite | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  9. I own ImpArm 1-4 and I’ve never seen a hint of Legio Cybernetica… Although, topic aside, Aeronautica Imperialis is “proper cool” – I’ll never play but I’m a fluff whore!

    That said, I’m mildly ashame about where you discovered what a Cataphract was… Jeez man, does Byzantine history mean nothing to people these days?? 😉

    – CJJ

    Comment by Archangel | March 15, 2010 | Reply

    • I’m not on trial here. You can’t handle the truth. Don’t touch me.

      Comment by aarondembskibowden | March 15, 2010 | Reply

      • This is not A Few Good Men… And you kinda’ are on trial: I was planning to dig out my copy of Cadian Blood; which I didn’t realised you had written – which shall be my first venture into your work, instead of the ordered Soul Hunter.

        Comment by Archangel | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  10. In Flames and Monster Magnet are indeed great!

    (Prong too)

    Comment by Whitehorn | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  11. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the best name for a band. Also, didn’t Roddy Bottum have a band called Imperial Teen?

    What was that robot called in Collected Visions? It was one of the ancient Egyptian titles for Horus. Graham McNeil wrote the story, he’ll know. The Dark Mechanicum taught it to kill.

    Remember weird flow charts for robots? The more complicated they were, the more expensive they were:
    “Is there an enemy in weapons range? If yes, stand and shoot. If no, move toward the enemy.” Hey! These are the new Tyranid rules!

    Comment by G | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  12. ah…the Kaban Machine?

    Comment by RobAshLionWhite | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  13. Have you got a copy of The Gothic and the Eldritch: The Collected Sketches of Jes Goodwin? JG did sketches of ‘updated’ imperial robots, which look fantastic. Shame GW haven’t made them really.


    Comment by Ilmarinen | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  14. Just checked my copy of the 40K Compendium and as well as the article on Imperial Robots, the article on Dreadnoughts has a page at the end titled “Robot Classes and Livery” with a bunch of colour schemes. The pastel pink and green Slaanesh robot is nasty.

    Comment by Ilmarinen | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  15. Regardless of how often I look at those words, I still always see “Lego Cybernetica”… Which, quite frankly, sounds like an awesome way to spend an afternoon.

    Comment by Nik | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  16. Best name for a band…. JIZZLOBBER!!

    Comment by Lee B | March 18, 2010 | Reply

  17. Yay for the mention of Funster Fagnet, I mean Monster Magnet. I still remember the summer of 1995, falling asleep with the windows open, listening to Dopes To Infinity. Awesome.

    Comment by Kash | March 23, 2010 | Reply

  18. shit that makes me feel old. i have a conquerer and a crusader in my vault along with the adeptus titanicus and the book suppliment. i feel a repaint coming on. forgeworld could have a field day revisiting the robots, and more mechanicum….

    Comment by karl | September 15, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: