Rawdogger’s Astra Militarum List for Review

Hello all!

Rawdogger here to talk about the latest iteration of my Astra Militarum tournament list.   I’ve been having a lot of fun trying to make the Astra Militarum work for me and fit into my play style and I must say in a game that includes fast moving 2+ re-rollable save Deathstars and 10 wound T9 Gargantuan Creatures with enough firepower to level city blocks, there is something comforting about going into a game with a fixed bayonet on my lasgun and a whispered prayer to the Emperor.  In my last showing at the Celesticon tournament in Fremont, California I had a fairly disappointing 1-2 showing, though I was able to pinpoint some key weaknesses in my army composition.  My list was suffering from most of the things that other Astra Militarum players are currently suffering from which are lack of mobility, weaknesses to psychically strong opponents, and unreliability in taking out Imperial Knights and other heavy armored vehicles.  This coming weekend and the weekend after I will be attending two back to back tournaments in which I will be able to test out the latest version of my Astra Militarum list.  Below is the list of units and descriptions of what they do for my list and what I hope they accomplish during the games.


Company Command Squad – Kurov’s Aquila, Lascannon, Officer of the Fleet

Pretty straightforward here.  I’ve added the Lascannon to the squad since I had the points and who doesn’t want a S9 AP2 48″ gun hitting on 3’s while re-rolling 1’s?  The Preferred Enemy conferred by Kurov’s Aquila means I’ll be pretty much wounding anything I hit with a toughness value and while in the comforting embrace of ‘Belligerence’ I don’t have to worry about them getting doubled out from taking wound from a S6 weapon (womp womp).  I also added the Officer of the Fleet since I am now bringing a Vendetta with a potentially crucial payload and having the ability to come in on a 2 from reserve is worth the points to me.  Now, that all depends on my ability to roll a 7 on two dice but hey it’s better than nothing.

Ministorum Priest

He just do what he do, mainly keeping the infantry blob fearless and hopefully pulling off some clutch prayers if I get into combat with something nasty.  A must take if you are blobbing up your infantry squads and all around good chap to have when things go south (as they usually do).

Platoon Command Squad – Lascannon

Yes there are probably better ways to use the points from the Lascannon but with the Preferred Enemy bubble the normally dismal BS of the PCS is mitigated slightly as well as guaranteeing a wound from anything they actually hit.  I was thinking it may be better to give these guys 4 Grenade Launchers instead.  This unit usually goes in ‘Belligerence’ along with the Company Command Squad.

3x Infantry Squads – 3x Melta Guns, 3x Melta Bombs

Your typical move out and be annoying unit.  While 30 Guardsmen don’t last too long in a word of mass Scatter-Lasers they are fine for pushing up the center of the board and trying to grab objectives there.  Though they do have poor BS 3 Melta Guns is nothing to sneer at and one should never discount massed Lasgun fire.  With 3 Melta Bombs and the ability to re-roll failed to wound rolls a la the Ministorum Priest these guys can pack a punch in combat as well.  Fearless is a nice touch from the Priest but it’s important to watch out for leadership debuffing attacks.

2x Heavy Weapon Squads – 6x Autocannons

This is a unit I would NEVER take if if wasn’t for ol’ Belligerence in which to hide them.  I dropped 3 Autocannon teams from my last list due to point restrictions but having 12 S7 AP4 shots hitting on 4’s and wounding most things on 2’s while re-rolling 1’s for both isn’t necessarily a bad thing to have.  In the days of the Battle Company having the ability to take out 2 transports a turn from these guys really tends to pay off in spades.

Veteran Squad – Lascannon, 3x Plasma Guns

The last of the units to go into the Stormlord, the Veteran Squad fills a very crucial roll for my army in that they are attached to Coteaz, which gives me FANTASTIC anti-Deep Strike protection.  Any Drop Pod or Deep Striking Melta lists will think twice before landing withing 12″ of the Stormlord’s hull.  If they do they will be greeted with 6 Plasma Gun and 1 Lascannon shots which will be re-rolling 1’s.  EACH UNIT.  Not too bad.  Having an additional BS 4 Lascannon to take out more Battle Company transports ain’t to shabby either.

Vendetta – 3 Twin-Linked Lascannons

A new addition to the list.  A pretty dependable way to hurt Imperial Knights or other tough to wound Monstrous Creatures, the Vendetta also plays an important roll in transporting the Culexus Assassin if need be.  Hopefully the Officer of the Fleet mitigates my poor track record of having reserves come in when most needed.

2x Wyverns

These I take individually and will hug the sides of ‘Belligerence’ safely under the blue glow of the Void Shield Generator.  I don’t really need to talk these guys up too much since most people are respectfully wary of who these guys are and what they can do. 4 Twin-Linked small blasts at S4 AP6 with Ignores Cover and Shred.  The perfect way to deal with re-rolleable 3+ jink saving assholes.  It’s the perfect antidote to shenanigans.

Stormlord Super Heavy Tank aka Belligerence

She’s a thick bitch and belligerent as all hell, hence the nickname.  Not the best thing to take in a world of ranged D weapons and drop Grav spam but I love her all the same and the ability to hide ranged firepower in relative protection is where she really comes into her own.  Not that her own firepower is anything to balk at, having a Vulcan Mega Bolter which can spit out 30 S6 AP3 shots per turn (15 at 2 different targets if you wish) 3x twin-linked Heavy Bolters, 2 Lascannons, and 2 Heavy Stubbers.  The downside is her poor BS but this can be improved by having Coteaz chill behind the beast casting Prescience all game (if there are no deep striking threats). Yes, she can blow up and kill all the models inside her and yes, she takes up a LOT of my deployment zone and is extremely vulnerable to ranged D weapons and high strength close combat attacks but I love her and she really brings a lot of flavor to my army.

Void Shield Generator – 2x extra shields

I’ve tried a lot of methods in keeping my backfield units safe from fire the first couple turns and nothing pays off more than the Void Shield Generator.  Some armies will drop the shields in their first salvo and that’s fine as long as I can recognize which armies can do that before deployment.  Generally I will have the Stormlord and the 2 Wyverns under it’s protective glow but as long as my opponent doesn’t have a reliable way of taking out the shields turn 1 I  will probably even have the infantry blob start with some models underneath for the protection.  The added benefit is that Grav weaponry cannot penetrate the shield which is a HUGE threat to ‘Belligerence’.

Coteaz – Cool as Fuck Cyber Eagle

Ah Coteaz, when will you stop being the smooth player you be?  He’s almost an auto-include in every Imperial list I make due to his special ability that stops you from being seized upon, which is super crucial if you have a Super Heavy in your list since your opponent will be seizing on a 5+.  He also offers fairly dependable anti-Deep Strike protection which is one of the biggest threats to the Stormlord which is what the rest of my army is built around.

Inquisitor – 3x Servo Skulls

Pretty basic dude that brings Scout and Infiltrate defense to my list.  With White Scars Battle Companies scouting all over people’s faces this is another auto-include with me when writing Imperial lists.  I might put the wargear item that allows him to Scout with the unit he is attached to (blob) but I’m not sure.  The wargear piece would also give his unit other cool abilities.  The more I type this the more I like the idea of it.  I might do it.   I’m doing it.

Culexus Assassin – DEEZ NUTZ

This is another new addition for me.  I mostly added him to deal with invisible Deathstars and other psychic shenanigans likely to be seen on the tabletop.  I have yet to use the model but am excited to see what it can do this weekend.  He can either Infiltrate on a side of the board I want to keep the psychic Deathstar away from or I can have him ride in the Vendetta which extends his zone of influence.

So there you have it.  I’ll be attending a small 14-24 person tournament with Jeff InCoTrOl Robertson and the French Overlord so I should have some tough competition in which to try out the list.  What do you guys think?  Any glaring weaknesses other than the lack of mobility (which there is no Astra Militarum answer to)?  How can I make this list better?  Let me know if the comments.  I’ll be posting my tournament review next Thursday to let you know how it went.



About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

33 Responses to “Rawdogger’s Astra Militarum List for Review”

  1. Avatar
    Fraktalen September 24, 2015 12:30 am #

    Cool list! I’m not sure you can use Coteaz I’ve been expecting you from inside a vehicle tho. I looked into that before and concluded I couldnt since it requires line of sight. And how do I draw line of sight from inside a vehicle?

    Good luck with it tho!

    • Avatar
      Rawdogger September 24, 2015 7:06 am #

      It’s open topped! I had to check with the guys a long time ago but it appears to be Kosher.

      • Avatar
        bigpig September 24, 2015 5:24 pm #

        Yep, played the same trick with him in a bunker. Good show

  2. Avatar
    iNcontroL September 24, 2015 5:07 am #

    Nice list! I would say with no real delivery for the culexus he doesn’t gel as well. Obviously keeping him close means a lot of those Death Stars get shut down when they get close but by then the powers that got them there like invisibility or shrouding did their job. Culexus would also complicate your own powers under that VS as well.

    Could maybe use those points to level up your inquisitor or add another and give them psych grenades etc.. Just a thought.

    Also my name is Geoff.. Jaysun.

    • Avatar
      Jet September 24, 2015 5:22 am #

      Yours sass is almost at critical mass, abort!

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      Truesight September 24, 2015 6:06 am #

      Is the Vendetta not a good enough delivery method?

      • Avatar
        iNcontroL September 24, 2015 8:12 am #

        Oh I missed that.. That is super rad! Never mind haha I love it

  3. Avatar
    bogalubov September 24, 2015 7:22 am #

    Some of the mobility questions were solved when the Elysian and D99 lists became legal in the itc. Now you can send small squads via deep stride anywhere on the table to grab maelstrom points.,

  4. Avatar
    Hotsauceman1 September 24, 2015 7:28 am #

    I love it, but dont you think you need some more Flyers? Maybe put the Vulture in.

  5. Avatar
    WestRider September 24, 2015 8:53 am #

    All the talk of taking out Battle Company Transports is reminding me of how frustrated I always am that Preferred Enemy doesn’t work on Armour Penetration Rolls as well as To Wound Rolls.

    • Avatar
      Rawdogger September 24, 2015 8:57 am #

      Yeah but still getting to re-roll 1’s to hit is pretty awesome!

      • Avatar
        Hotsauceman1 September 24, 2015 9:04 am #

        I love it. I bet it works great for the stormlord.

        • Avatar
          Rawdogger September 24, 2015 1:59 pm #

          Unfortunately the Aquila only works on models from Codex Astra Militarum.

          • Avatar
            Hotsauceman1 September 24, 2015 3:42 pm

            Really? Imo, and how I always played it, is that models that are bought as part of the faction are.

  6. Avatar
    Twitch September 24, 2015 9:55 am #

    I love my void shield generator. However after every local tournament everybody always starts screaming “ban it!”

  7. Avatar
    Sueppchen September 24, 2015 9:57 am #

    Hmm. I’m not sure whether I like this list. All that stands between the Stormlord and an assault list is one single bubblewrap. And you will have a hard time to deal enough damage against battle companies.
    Most Dark Angels, Demonkin, Eldar and Necrons will just eat it up. You have already noticed that the Stormlord is a big liability. If you have an overpriced unit that needs another 250 points of support from the Inquisition and the Generator, chances are that you are beating a dead horse. Anyway, here are a few comments about the units:
    Command Squad: I would change the wargear a bit. The Officer of the fleet is not worth it for a single unit that will not save the day. Usually, a reserved unit has a 66% chance to arrive at turn two and a 89% chance to arrive at turn two or three. With the officer, this changes to 76% and 94%.
    Kurovs Aquila is another egg in an overfilled Stormlord-basket, but I guess that is the point of the list.
    The Lascannon is not a good idea. I would take something else. The Squad will have to move sooner or later. When the Stormlord is gone or the Squad gets out to give orders, it takes one single wound from a Droppod or Rhino to cause a test. 5 guys with Plasmaguns are much better, especially with the Aquila and the Stormlord. With the Aquila, it might be worth to add an Astropath for a psychic shriek.
    I actually would take a second Command Squad, because Ignores Cover or Tank Hunter/Monster Hunter can be a game changer against Dark Angels or Super Heavies. Yarrick might be a good addition as well.
    Ministorium Priest: I would take a second one, maybe even three, along with a second infantry bubblewrap. The Stormlord has to be protected from close combat units. One blob is not enough for this. It can also be important that you can let the unit die in the first round of combat by killing the priest. If an enemy assault unit charges, you don’t want to be engaged during your own shooting phase and be wiped out in your close combat phase. If you have two or three priests in one unit, Coteaz can also tank with his 2+ reroll. This is useful against many attacks with bad AP and same Initiative. It is an expensive way to shut down units like screamerstars or fleshhounds, but Coteaz will not have a lot to do during mid and late game anyway.
    Platoon command: I’d take 4 Plasmaguns instead of the Lascannon. If you want to take the expensive Aquila, you should use it. With Tank Hunter and the extra movement from the Stormlord, they can do something against Superheavies as well.
    Platoon: I’d take a small squad of Conscripts instead of the 3rd Infantry Squad. Two or maybe even three small tarpits are much better than one. Special Weapons are a viable option for them, but they will usually be in close combat very early, so most of the times they will shoot just one time anyway. I don’t like the Heavy Weapon Squads. With Heavy Weapons, you can do nothing but stand and shoot. This may not be the worst thing for the Stormlord, but it makes 60% of the list a sitting duck. Plasmasquads shoot better, can move if necessary and can serve as last-ditch bubblewrap.
    Vendetta: I am biased here. I just hate it. If you want a good flyer, take a Vulture instead. I will never understand how people complain about overpriced LasPredators and at the same time praise the Vendetta. It will come in at turn two or three, shoot once or twice and then have such a retarded facing that it cannot shoot at any reasonable targets without hovering. Against many lists it will have to shoot at Marines, Scatterbikes or Fleshhounds. The Vendetta was bad ever since it became a flyer, and it became even worse with the point increase. 3 TL cannons look good on paper, but they do too little too late for that pricetag. Even when the opponent has something that is afraid of 2 Lascannon hits, that something will have served its purpose when the Vendetta finally has finished it. An Imperial Knight will be in close combat before the Vendetta can do much. If you need a taxi for the Culexus, simply hide him inside or behind the Stormlord.
    Wyverns: I would even take more than two. There is no need to pay premium points for the Generator if you could get more Wyvern-hullpoints for less. A lot of Wyverns in combination with the Stormlord can also pull off Tankshock-kills once your bubblewraps have been eaten up
    Generator: I don’t see that thing in IG lists. Leman Russ Squadrons could use it. With Wyvern or Guardsmen, you are casting pearls before swine. If you are really afraid of Gravspamm, maybe take an Aegis line for the Stormlord instead. A Comms Relais is also much more efficient than the Officer of the Fleet as well.
    If you are not pleased with the result on the tournament, maybe try an iteration with a lot of Plasma. In the following list, you would swap 6 Lascannons, 6 Autocannons and 3 Meltaguns for 15 more Plasmaguns with Ignores Cover/Tankhunter, 2 Psychic shrieks, 20 Meltabombs, 2 Democharges with Ignores Cover and an additional Bubblewrap. You could move the Stormlord without disadvantages for the passengers if you need to and have more guys inside to block the way to the Stormlord once the infantry is finished:

    2 Command Squads with 4 Plasmaguns, Astropath, one with Aquila.
    2 Priests
    Platoon Command with 4 Plasmaguns
    2 Infantry Squads with Meltabombs
    27 Conscripts
    2 Veteran Squads with 3 Plasmaguns and Demolitions
    2 Wyvern, Stormlord without Sponsons, Assassin, Inquisitor, Servosskulls, Coteaz.

  8. Avatar
    happy_inquisitor September 24, 2015 10:54 am #

    This might be a slightly wordy reply because in a sense I run the same list. Not that I use the same models (only the Culexus and the VSG are common) or even the same codex but the synergies that make it work are the same. Now I only use this for friendly pick-up games at the moment but the synergy in the list is really strong (even with me deliberately using some sub-par units to avoid being That Guy) and it is unbeaten against a variety of opposition.

    One of the key things here is the the balance you strike between the ‘big hitter’ units, the boots on the ground massed troops and the buffing elements like the priest and psykers. If you put too few boots on the grounds you are going to find yourself making a hard choice between
    a. Leaving gaps inside the 12″ Void Shield zone that an opponent can exploit and bypass your defences
    b. Having to deploy on a table edge to cut down on the area of that zone – this hurts your already poor mobility for grabbing Maelstrom points.

    Coteaz is a great defence against some lists getting inside the zone but be aware that there are ways to get there that he cannot defend against. Also be aware that in a game of dice it only takes one annoying guy with a storm shield and hot dice to negate your interceptor shots. Anything that can shunt without going into reserves does not trigger IBEY, similarly anything that can perfect deep-strike just outside his 12″ zone and then run/shoot to get their shots off from inside will not trigger your trap. Yes that means that Eldar (and to an extent GK and DA) can ruin your day if you leave even a tiny space for them to put a toe into that 12″ zone.

    I have found that putting more boots on the ground is well worth the effort. You get table control, redundancy in your bubble-wrap and also sheer volume of shooting to the point where quantity has a quality of its own. AM get some of the cheapest boots on the ground in the game so I would look closely at a conscript blob to deny critical areas of the table to your opponent. The side-benefit is that you can now blob out over multiple objectives (especially with an inquisitor granting a unit Scout) at the start of the game which helps with the whole maelstrom weakness.

    Then something you are probably already doing but I would recommend to anyone thinking of running a list that works this way is practice deploying for correct table position and area denial. You need to be really slick at deploying to deny space to your opponent, leave a way for your big hitters to get moving when they need to and still put yourself in a strong position regarding the objective game. Mobility is an issue, starting in the wrong positions is a huge handicap. Once you really know how you can deploy in different situations you can fine-tune how many meatshield bodies you need and hence how much you can invest in big-hitting units.

    My main concern with a list of this type is time constraints. It can be slow to play especially when for some reason your big blobs do not die early and you need them to get moving late-game for objectives. This is the main reason why I personally would not take my similar list to tournaments.

    • Avatar
      Rawdogger September 24, 2015 1:58 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback! I actually don’t use the blob squad as bubble wrap. I use it to push up the center of the table and generally be annoying and something that needs to be dealt with. Generally if something has gotten close enough to the Stormlord to assault it I have already lost the game due to poor target priority (essentially I’ve played poorly).

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor September 24, 2015 2:33 pm #

        Negating that alpha-strike can really leave an opponent scratching their heads – which is a great reason to do it. I certainly do push up the table but against an aggressive list I am willing to blob up for a turn or two to let them come at me and find how hard it is to kill that many models and how much harder it is to survive that much return fire.

        I really look forward to seeing how you get on with your approach. May the dice gods smile upon you.

        • Avatar
          Sueppchen September 24, 2015 11:22 pm #

          True. If you just run up the Infantry no matter what, your opponent will often get a multiassault in turn 2 or 3 no matter what. Target priority is one thing, but IG-Games are won and lost in the movement phase.
          Each additional shooting phase you can pull off by blocking ways is more important than pointing at things in the right sequence.
          If you have several blocker-units, you can often take objectives midfield and block all avenues of approach to your tank at the same time.

  9. Avatar
    Novastar September 24, 2015 11:15 am #

    Would love to pop the Acheron flamer on that bad boy after the void shields are down, every squad in good ole belligerence takes d6 hit hahah

    • Avatar
      westrider September 24, 2015 1:34 pm #

      Even just a BaleFlamer would be pretty brutal there.

    • Avatar
      Rawdogger September 24, 2015 1:46 pm #

      Actually it only counts as open topped for assault purposes so flame weapons don’t work against the occupants. Pretty cool! The troop bay counts as a giant 360 degree fire point, essentially.

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana September 28, 2015 4:55 am #

        Does it say opened topped for assault purposes only? Because then it wouldn’t be opened topped for shooting.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 24, 2015 3:09 pm #

      It’s not actually open topped, only treated that way for the beneficial purposes, lol.

      • Avatar
        Fraktalen September 24, 2015 11:19 pm #

        Hmm ok. So Coteaz can use I’ve been expecting you while being embarked?

  10. Avatar
    Sueppchen September 24, 2015 1:41 pm #

    @Novastar: The Stormlord is only treated as open vehicle for embarking and disembarking purposes. So the special rule “No Escape” of Template Weapons propably does not apply for the Stormlord.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy September 24, 2015 5:11 pm #

      Correct, it is not an Open-Topped transport. It has a limited number of fire points, for example, which Open-Topped vehicles never do.

      • Avatar
        Rawdogger September 24, 2015 5:36 pm #

        Right, even though it can hold 40 models only 20 may fire from the troop bay. I felt dirty writing that.

  11. Avatar
    Steve September 25, 2015 4:48 am #

    If it is not open topped then Cortez can’t use “I’m expecting you”, right?

    • Avatar
      Rawdogger September 25, 2015 10:49 am #

      You can use it out of fire-points.

  12. Avatar
    Steve September 27, 2015 1:05 pm #

    Thx. Very nice article. I’m interested to see the results.

  13. Avatar
    Kartr_Kana September 28, 2015 5:11 am #

    Why do you say that grav weaponry is a huge threat to Belligerence? She’s a super heavy, ignores Immobilized Results, so it would take 12 (or however many hps) 6s for grav weapons to essentially glance it to death. Assuming it has 12 HPs that’s 72 hits (without amps), 108 grav shots (without TL) to kill it. If it has 9 HP is a little easier, 81 shots without TL or amps, but still incredibly tough. Have you thought about putting an engineseer inside to repair?

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