IG are BACK!

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to relate our play-testing with the new Astra Militarum.

IG or AM or whatever the hell we’re calling them now, are back. Some of the things in the book are disappointing. Units we all like that are no longer there (R.I.P. Marbo), some units that were really weak staying weak or actually getting slightly worse (Rough Riders, Scout Sentinels). Seemingly arbitrary nerfs (Hydras), etc. are definitely annoying.

But, looking at what we DO have, there’s a lot to be happy about. In fact, IG are so powerful now, that they don’t even need allies to be a top tier book. Like Eldar, they can go toe-to-toe with any other army in the game with a reasonable expectation of victory. All things considered, this is what every codex should feel like.

I am a looooong time IG player. I started at them at the dawn of second ed. and have loved them ever since. I even played them in tournaments in 4th ed when they were the absolute worst book out there, only matched in sucktitude at the time by Orks! I just love the idea of normal humans fighting against super-human enemies and winning through sheer willpower, courage and tactics. My Tartarus 151st is a huge army and one that I am very excited to be playing again.

So, that said, what is it that makes IG so good? Very simple: support units and cheap, devastating firepower.

40K is a game about minimizing risk. You do that by reducing or eliminating variables. Units that can ignore cover, reroll dice, etc. are all VERY good at this. The more variables you eliminate or reduce, the more consistent your results will be. Meaning, you are more likely to get the results you expect from your units. That is one of the reasons why Deathstars are so prevalent in competitive 40K right now.

AM can do this in spades, and for not many points. With access to a boatload of Divination, Morale buffs, awesome special abilities and Orders that are crazy, crazy good applied to already very points efficient shooting units you get an army that is ultra efficient.

Chief among these units are the Officers with their orders, Primaris Psykers, and Priests. For a criminally low price point, you get access to amazing buffs. Officers can make a unit split fire, ignore cover, gain Monster or Tank Hunter, Precision Strike. etc. Prmaris Psykers raise a unit’s LD, and get Divination powers which we all know to be incredibly good. Priests though, are mind-mindbogglingly cheap for what they do. They grant a unit Fearless, Hatred, and War Hymns which can allow rerolls of saves, to wound or give the Priest Smash. That is seriously absurd for the points cost, and makes units the Priest joins so, so much more reliable.
AM also get devastating firepower, cheap. Leman Russ tanks in our games, backed with Divination, are brutal. Plasmacutioners, Punishers, etc. all went way down in points and just smash the enemy. A lot of lists struggle with AV14 at range, and this is a benefit to the AM player.
Chimeras are still great (they needed to go up in points, they were under-costed before) and IMO, are still the superior transport to the Taurox. AV11 is just so much easier to take down than AV12. Not saying the Taurox is bad, at all. I am experimenting with them now and have had mixed results.
The new Wyvern is brutal, too. What an infantry lawn mower that thing is. The reason it is so damn good, is because it needs no support. It is already twin-linked, ignores cover and rerolls to wound. It is fully buffed, all the time and ultra-efficient.
But for me, it is the infantry that really carry the AM, now. Blob squads backed with crazy buffs that get better the more models they impact, morale buffs, and lots of options mean that these are amazing troops. You can make them mobile objective grabbers, fearless objective campers, bubble wrappers, shooting units, assault units, deathstars, you name it. They are so flexible. Veterans, Platoon Squads and Conscripts back with a Priest so far have been absolutely fantastic.
If you don’t play with Forge World, the new AM can struggle a tad with flyer heavy armies. The Hydra is a bet of a wet towel, but with masses of twin linked weapons, you can get it done. A twin linked Punisher, for example, works great for smoking FMCs. With Forge World, AM have all the tools they need to make a true TAC list, which is the style of play I prefer! Sabres and a Vulture are really all you need for most lists. I take an Icarus or Quad Gun too, just to be sure I can handle AA.
So far, AM have not lost a match in our tests, and have blown through some top tier lists including a Skyblight list that went first. AM are a top tier army and I am happy for that. They will make a big splash in the tournament scene and mix things up. And if you don’t play AM, you should start blowing the dust off of your Melta Guns because I assure you all, that the AM will be on the march at a tournament near you!


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

53 Responses to “IG are BACK!”

  1. Avatar
    Kyle New April 16, 2014 12:45 pm #

    My HYDRA 37th is very happy about the changes. Im still waiting for my dex but I’ve seen some of the details. My first game will be 3punishers with pask and creed as my warlord so I can chance getting the outflanking. Lol

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 12:47 pm #

      Nice, sounds like fun! I know I am pumped for this book, too. I have been having fun with them.

      • Avatar
        Kyle New April 16, 2014 12:50 pm #

        Also. The anti flyer problem without forgeworld, dont vendettas do well against flyers if you go second? Maybe even load with techpriest and engiseers with meltas to drop in their backfield? Lol

    • Avatar
      Commyjosh April 16, 2014 12:55 pm #

      If you keep pask as your warlord your punishers will have preferred enemy.

      • Avatar
        Kyle New April 16, 2014 12:56 pm #

        I guess I’d get 1/3 chance for the trait I want too. As opposed to 1/6 then a 1/5. I gotta do some testing!

  2. Avatar
    Dankrobber April 16, 2014 1:01 pm #

    I am excited to get my IG going now … although my SM and CSM armies will be jealous of losing space in my hobby area to squishy humans , lol

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 1:27 pm #

      You won’t regret, I promise!

      • Avatar
        Dankrobber April 16, 2014 4:06 pm #

        I am now thinking my Fire Hawks/Blood Angels drop pod and jump pack list may do well against the new IG. Lots of mobile melta and flamer shots!

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 17, 2014 8:11 pm #

          Pods and IG make for a really good combo, I do that myself sometimes and like it quite a bit!

  3. Avatar
    TableTopJosh April 16, 2014 1:04 pm #

    Hey Reece, thanks for the info. I look forward to more IG battle reports! You and Franky should throw down, its been awhile since we’ve seen you dude forge a narrative on camera haha.

    Also as you do think IG will shift the meta, what armies do you think have the best tools against IG? I was thinking that maybe if the meta does shift away from its current state, Pod Wolves might come back strong. I’m not sure how the matchup would go, but I do know Logan and a unit of MM Long Fangs would be salivating over a Pask Leman Russ squad.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 1:30 pm #

      Drop Pod armies will do well, for sure. IG will shake the meta because they can smoke Wave Serpents, and their infantry and have good odds vs. the Seer Council, too.

      Vs. AM, Marines will do very well if played well.

      • Avatar
        Vortex April 17, 2014 6:34 am #

        Eh if the drop pods are coming from reserves they might not ever get in due to Officer of the Fleet spam. (apparently the -1 stacks)

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 17, 2014 8:12 pm #

          True, but they have to pass a leadership test to get it off and you have to take 2 CCS, which I don’t think that many players will do. Yarrick is such a chief.

  4. Avatar
    Frenchy April 16, 2014 1:16 pm #

    NOOOOO! I want my new skyblight to do work on my buddy’s Astrum! Dang it!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 1:28 pm #

      It will! It is a very close game, not a blowout at all.

  5. Avatar
    That Other David April 16, 2014 2:03 pm #

    Woohoo! I’m looking forward to the videos with the new IG! I’m still scouring the internet for deals on cheap Russes to finish my army, but the book is so rad. I’m more excited for playing 40k that I have been in a while!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 2:38 pm #

      Nice, that is awesome! We also sell the group IG deals (which are at a discount) at our 20% off, so they end up being a really good deal. You might want to check them out on GW’s site!

      • Avatar
        That Other David April 16, 2014 2:52 pm #

        I’ve considered it…not sure what I’d do with all those Hellhounds, though, haha.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 16, 2014 3:23 pm #

          Fair play! I like Hellhounds a lot, personally, but if you don’t use them then yeah, that may not be the optimal choice.

          You could always sell them!

  6. Avatar
    Graf April 16, 2014 2:42 pm #

    In addition to what you’ve said, the IG now has plenty of tools to snipe out enemy character models: e.g. orders for precision shot, the Wyvern, Tank Commanders that give precision shots to tanks, cheap snipers and so on. The Demon’s Grimoire-holder never felt so much fear before.

    • Avatar
      That Other David April 16, 2014 2:52 pm #

      36 points for a scoring unit with 3 snipers sounds so sweet, too.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 3:25 pm #

      Yeah, the Grim bearer is a dead man!

    • Adam
      Adam April 16, 2014 4:00 pm #

      And don’t forget that all the shots from the ordered squad are Precision Shots, not just 6’s. Finally an answer to 2++ stars? We’ll see!

      • Avatar
        Japatoes April 16, 2014 11:59 pm #

        How do you see it that way?

        I have the digital codex and right after the take aim roll it list the rule Percision shot and explains that on a 6 you can allocate the wounds.

        • Adam
          Adam April 17, 2014 6:25 am #

          The order says, “The ordered unit must make a shooting attack. When resolving this shooting attack, all models in the ordered unit have the Precision Shot special rule.”

          So nothing about that says 6’s to hit. The digital book defines precision shots as, “PRECISION SHOTS
          Wounds from Precision Shots are allocated against a model (or models) of your choice in the target unit, as long as it is in range and line of sight of the firing model, rather than following the normal rules for Wound allocation. This means that Precision Shots can be allocated against enemies with specialist weaponry, or even characters!

          A character that has a Precision Shot Wound allocated to it can still make a Look Out, Sir roll.

          Note that Snap Shots and shots from weapons that scatter, or do not roll To Hit, can never be Precision Shots.”

          Nothing in any of that requires 6’s. Furthermore, if you read the 40k rule book carefully, under precision shots in the characters section, it says that 6’s to hit are precision shots, not that precision shots can only be activated in some way by 6’s to hit. Similarly, the sniper rule and advanced targeting system in the tau book all specifically require a 6 to hit. To take it one step further, the Emperor’s Benediction pistol has the precision shots rule as well, which would be totally redundant if it only worked on a 6, since relics can only be taken by characters.

          • Avatar
            Japatoes April 17, 2014 8:11 am

            Still disagree. Look at the eldar codex and see sharpshot, which states everyshot made is a percision shot. Here they specifically state every single shot is a percision shot and doesn’t include the rules about rolling a 6. Where the take aim order says the unit gains the special rule percision shots, and then follow the entry with the rules about rolling a 6. Pathfinders pay an additional 13 pts for this rule on top of the cost of Illic. If you think an order is supposed to make a bunch of 5 pt guards man as good as snipers then I’m baffled.

          • Adam
            Adam April 17, 2014 8:13 am

            Are you using the iBook version or the ePub? The ePub literally says nothing about the 6 to-hit requirement.

          • Adam
            Adam April 17, 2014 8:16 am

            Also your argument about Eldar seems in line with the order. When Precision Shots is granted as a straight up rule, it doesn’t require 6’s. Just because they charge Eldar 13 points for pathfinders has nothing to do with the wording of the rule in the Astra Militarum.

          • Avatar
            Japatoes April 17, 2014 8:36 am

            I’m using the I book version. Take aim states the guard are granted the Precision shot SPECIAL RULE (sorry can’t underline on here) and the links the rules for rolling 6’s.

            Looks like its already debated here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/30/589721.page

            It’s going to need an FAQ either way and until then I think its best to take the least advantageous approach.

          • Adam
            Adam April 17, 2014 9:15 am

            It seems that Dakka has come mostly to the same consensus that I have. Same thing with the Warseer forums for what that’s worth.

        • Avatar
          Japatoes April 17, 2014 9:40 am #

          Did you read all the responses are just zone in on the ones that agreed with you? I went back through the thread and counted up peoples opinion. 6 people agreed with your view and 11 people agreed with mine.

          It seems the divide line comes down on which digital version you own.

          As I and others stated in that thread both books say take aim graints the PRECISION SHOT SPECIAL RULE (once again sorry but I can’t underline). Now the I book links the section on precision shots and needing a 6. I think the E book doesn’t include this second part.

          Now if you want to argur there is no “precision shot special rule” then RAW the order does nothing. Or you can assume GW meant gets precision shots on 6’s and hence why they included that in the Ibook hot link.

          • Avatar
            Japatoes April 17, 2014 9:43 am

            Simply put the Ibook and the Epub book have different wordings and it’s going to need an FAQ.

          • Adam
            Adam April 17, 2014 10:25 am

            As much as I hate to say it, it comes down to an association fallacy… “John is a con artist. John has black hair. Therefore, all people with black hair are con artists.”

            The first sentence grants the Precision Shots rule to characters that roll a 6 to hit, there is no argument about that. The second sentence onward defines what the effects of a precision shot are… again, there is no argument about that. Every codex (and the sniper special rule) that grants precision shots on a specific roll to hit (typically a 6) specifically defines that. Every other unit that always causes Precision Shots without a dice roll, simply say, that all their shots are Precision Shots (no mention of ignoring the typical roll of a 6 required). So either Illic/Telion/Emperors Benediction require 6’s to hit to activate, or the Precision Shots order, which grants the exact same special rule, also works without needing a specific roll to hit.

            If you want to get extra rules-y, you could make the argument that since the Precision Shots special rule says that they activate specifically when characters roll a 6 to hit, that the order only works on characters… which would already get precision shots on a 6 to hit. Similarly, only characters with sniper rifles could ever get the precision shot, not other snipers. I think we can all agree that isn’t right.

            I made a thread on the forums for this: http://www.frontlinegaming.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=963

  7. Avatar
    Leth April 16, 2014 2:47 pm #

    I am super excited to see the ally combinations that might become available. I am just seeing swarms of guardsmen protecting knights from things like vector strikes(cant vector strike if you cant land) as well as getting those grounding checks for em.

    Or adding armor 14 hulls to a land raider based list.

    Black Templars backed up by vanquishers? Sounds like a fun time.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 3:25 pm #

      Yeah, there are a lot of options available. A priest in a 20 man BT Blob is crazy…

      I like DA for allies, too.

  8. Avatar
    Jim April 16, 2014 5:00 pm #

    I foresee a big guard blob lead by Commisar Yarick, 3 lvl 2 Psykers, and a Priest…and for as many points as that is youd still have plenty of leftover points for all the other toys =D

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 16, 2014 5:11 pm #

      Just have to watch out for Yarrick executing the psykers if they perils!

  9. Avatar
    TableTopJosh April 16, 2014 5:36 pm #

    Not to spam, but what do you guys think about the synergy between Wyverns and pod lists? Also do you think they are so cheap and perfect at filling a role thy will be allied in alot? At 1500 coould bring something like this,
    2x Rune priest
    2x 5 WG, combis, pod
    2x 10x GH, 2x melta, pod
    3x 5x GH flamer, pod

    Cheapest IG Hq
    10x Vets
    3x Wyvern Squad

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 17, 2014 8:13 pm #

      That looks brutal to me!

  10. Avatar
    Jim April 16, 2014 5:53 pm #

    Well only time you have to watch for Yarrick executing a psyker is if the unit fails morale, pinning or fear test.. Perils does not activate the summary execution rule. So as long as you can keep the priest protected giving unit fearless. All is well hehe

    • Avatar
      Chuck April 16, 2014 6:15 pm #

      The Psyker also has a special rule that if he’s in a unit with a Commisar and suffers a perils he gets removed as the officer shoots him for his own good.

  11. Avatar
    jadedknight April 16, 2014 6:05 pm #

    Hmm what is the BAO policy on things like carapace vets? Will I need to be converting AT or SM scouts into these guys? Any hobby suggestions here?

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 17, 2014 8:13 pm #

      Nah, it’s all good. Just let your opponent know and make sure they just look different from the other, non-carapace armored infantry so that it doesn’t get confusing.

  12. Avatar
    Jim April 16, 2014 6:17 pm #

    Missed that rule Chuck.. thanks for pointing that out lol

  13. Avatar
    ligolski April 16, 2014 7:39 pm #

    Im looking forward to creating my adeptus mechanicus themed ig with imperial knights! Should at least be a fun list!

    Cant wait for more batreps.

  14. Avatar
    DennisH April 16, 2014 8:11 pm #

    Had my first game with the new dex today. I lost to a CSM and Deamon combo, but I did a ton of damage before that happened. And, the loss wasn’t all that crazy bad, it was actually pretty darn close game…

    I have to say the shooting that this army can pound out now is absolutely brutal. Downing a Helldrake with a Tank-Hunter ordered Quad gun, in one salvo, is ridiculous.

    I ran one Punisher and 2 Exterminators in a squad and these dudes seriously ripped stuff apart. Funny, the red/grey/black AM (IG) models up in that picture are actually mine hehe. Makes me happy to see the commission you guys did for me in this post 🙂

    The orders overall are amazing, and that I am able to put out so much re-rolls to hit is something I am not used to… almost every unit I shot with today re-rolled to hit…super brutal in conjunction with FRFSRF and ignore cover…hello there jet bikes!!

    Really enjoying this new dex, I am looking forward to getting more used to how it plays and figure out better ways of building a list… truly exciting times ahead indeed!

  15. jy2
    jy2 April 16, 2014 10:43 pm #

    Sounds like I’ve got to get a game in against the new AM, preferably in the PM. BTW, uncharacteristically of me, but I don’t even have the new dex yet!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 17, 2014 8:14 pm #

      It is a top tier book, no question. They don’t even need allies, honestly.

  16. Avatar
    Baal Viper April 17, 2014 11:17 am #

    I worry that GW does not understand the implications of what they are doing. Allowing 6 rolls on the Div Chart for 225 points without taking up an HQ slot (so you can ally those guys in if you are BB’s) is ludicus. Guard are BS3 and point costed accordingly. When you start adding in Div. Powers to large unts and large numbers of shots, things get stupid good. BS 3 with twin-link is 8% better then BS 4. So much for armies who actually pay for their stats.

    Psykic powers applied on this scale skew the points value system very badly. It is super easy to be successful at a dice game when you get to reroll everything, which effectively doubles your dice pool. Against vehicles you will often get to reroll to hit and then to pen. on top of that which effectively doubles, triples, or even quadruples the efficiency on the shots depending on the gun and target being fired at. Not sure GW took that into account when allocating points costs to stuff.

    The Wyvern is basically a twin-linked Thunderfire cannon (Shred S 4 is mathmatically better than S5 and both ignore cover) that can be squadroned and costs 35 points less… How is that logical/ fair?

    AM are going to be really good, and also swing the meta back toward bringing heavy anti-tank weapons, which is a really good thing. Wyverns will cut down on the viability of weak deckchair units (specially Plague Bearers) All these things are great for the meta.

    That being said, it is super frustrating to be playing a Power Armored army that pays lots of points for stats and gear that AM will basically out-perform based simply on the metrics of the volume of dice rolled. GW is handing out rerolls like candy to some armies and not others, not realizing the mathmatical impact of their actions… Run the numbers! buffed guardsman (including the points cost for the prescience/ warpriest) will outshoot and outfight marines by a very convincing margine on a point-for-point basis. Also they are going to be Fearless and in combat reroll to hit and wound.

    What you end up with are super cheap guys that can outfight the most elite warriors in the galaxy both in shooting and combat. Lord forbid that with 6 rolls on Div. you actually get a 4++ on the unit. Now they are also tougher, and unlike marines, actually get some sort of save agaisnt Vector Strikes. No need for an ADL now, you can just completely abandon tactics and walk around in the wide open. Happily getting to reroll everything while laughing as stupid players who don’t have access to this absurdly mathmatically unfair dice rolling advantage try to compete with you.

    Rerolls from orders and psykic powers skew the points system very, very badly, and it only gets worse on large unts. GW has no idea what they have done and yet again screwed armies with quality over quantity style units.

    Why are Eldar so good? Tough tanks and REROLLS basically acros the army. AM are now doing the same thing. The only difference is, they are getting more benefit out of the rerolls becasue their BS and weapon strength is worse.

    If Primaris Psykers took up and HQ slot AM would be reasonable. Atlest you now have to make some choices about if you want that Pask Squadron, Yarrick, or a Psyker. As they are, they completely make no sense from the prespective of a points based gaming system.

    I very seriously hope that GW redoes the psykic powers trees for 7th edition as it would then make guard reasonable and again restore some simblance of value to high statline units.

  17. Avatar
    Baal Viper April 17, 2014 11:26 am #

    By removing the reroll mechanic from the game, GW would make game balance much easier becasue then all units are affected in a linear fashion. Rerolling has an exponintial effect on probability. We all know that the there is a really big difference between 10^2 and 50^2. The value of a reroll is based on the base being squared. A fixed points cost will never fairly balance this.

    I hope GW fixes this or severly limits this by redoing psykic powers in 7th edition, but I doubte they will be that smart.

  18. Avatar
    Baal Viper April 17, 2014 11:34 am #

    Note: the 10^2 vs 50^2 does not accuatly model to hit efficiency of a Tac Squad vs a Blob. I just threw that out as an easily recognizable example. Please don’t troll me on the mathmatical incorrectness of my example as it was never ment to be accurate, just illistrate a point.

  19. Avatar
    Charles April 18, 2014 2:25 pm #

    Take aim

    The ordered unit must make a shooting attack. When resolving this shooting attack, all models in the ordered unit have the precision shot special rule.

    Now read what that rule says in your basic rule book to save me typing time. That’s what you do. Its located under the character section of the brb.

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