Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk tactics with the new Astra Militarum detachment: the Cadian Battle Group from the Mont’Ka campaign book!
Cadia is a martial planet. Positioned by chance near the Eye of Terror, Cadians were destined (or doomed, depending on your perspective) to either stand up and fight or be crushed. They chose to fight. With a record of accolades dating back millennia, the regiments of Cadia are regarded as some of the greatest warriors the Imperium has to call upon.
As a looong time Imperial Guard er, Astra Militarum player, I was so excited to see them get new material! The Cadian Battle Group gives you tools to represent these bold warriors in your games of Warhammer 40k!
The Cadian Battle Group is a “Decurion Detachment” in that it is a detachment comprised of component formations and auxiliary units, all of which benefit from an overall set of Command Benefits. We’ve been seeing these popping up everywhere and in general terms, I am a huge fan of them! They bring a unique play-style that is often quite good and true to the fluff, which is awesome. The Cadian Battle Group is no exception to this although it does have one, glaring issue: the Core Formations are really expensive and in the case of the Emperor’s Shield Infantry Company, require a TON of models to field.
This detachment is comprised of the following:
- Battle Group Command
- 1 Company Command Squad: May include Creed and Kell
- or, 1 Tank Commander: May include Knight Commander Pask
- 0-1 Lord Commissar
Core: 0-3 per Command
- Emperor’s Shield Infantry Company
- Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company
Auxiliary: 0-3 per Core
- Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon
- Infantry Platoon
- Super-Heavy Support Element
- Emperor’s Blade Assault Company
- Emperor’s Spear Aerial Company
- Ogryn Auxilia
- Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company
- Emperor’s Talon Recon Company
- Psykana Division
- Militarum Tempestus Platoon
So for starters, a lot of people mistakenly thought you did not have to take any Core formations to take this Detachment, which is true, but you do have to take 1 to take any Auxiliary choices. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad apart from the fact that the Cadian Battle Group core choices are VERY expensive. They don’t leave much room for anything of the very appealing Auxiliary choices.
Interestingly, there appears to be no limit on the number of Command choices you can take though, which means a humorous (and potentially very powerful) army you could play would be made of nothing but Company Command Squads (CCS). That would be a min/maxers dream come true! Almost every model in your army would be packing a special weapon, lol. As funny as it sounds, a mechanized army of CCSs would be quite powerful as each squad comes with the ability to grant itself and another nearby unit (in case a unit fails it’s Order check) any number of useful abilities such as Ignores Cover, Split Fire, shoot and then run, recovering from morale issues, etc. Alternatively, you could take these with the Flesh Tearers Strike Force (aka, the Motor Pool) to grab each CCS their very own Drop Pod and have quite a devastating force.
This also means you could take a detachment consisting of nothing but Tank Commander units, which would give you the ability to plop a few Russes (possibly with Pask) into your army, easy peasy.
You could take a lord Commissar per above choice to increase morale or provide a light melee buff.
Joking aside, this does present some really interesting choices for both army composition and ally options.
The real issue with this Detachment is that the Core choices are mega expensive. The cheaper option is the Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company, which consists of a Tank Commander unit (minimum 2 Leman Russ tanks), 3 Leman Russ Squadrons, and 1-3 Enginseers. We’ll go into further depth on that formation in due time, but let’s just say that even running them cheap, you’re looking at an investment of around 800 points. Add to that the mandatory command choice, you’re looking at roughly 1,000pts just to get the basics covered. It doesn’t leave you a ton of options for the tastey Auxiliary choices.
However, it does mean you can run an all Leman Russ army! Not the most competitive choice, but, fun! For fluff first gamers, this could be a rad choice. I wish the formation required just 1 Tank Commander and 1 Leman Russ squadron with the Enginseer, that’d be perfect. 3 Russes I have found is the upper limit for a list that actually wants to win more games than not. There’s just too many things that obliterate Russes in the game at present to invest in 5+ of them as a core choice.
The alternative choice is the Emperor’s Shield Infantry Company which is actually quite good (and we’ll get into the details on this formation in due time), but it also has one, huge issue: who the hell wants to buy, build and paint a minimum of 175 Guardsmen?!?! Oh, and 3 Sentinels too, for good measure, lol. Now again, with all of the various perks you get, this would be a really good army but the logistics of it! Moving that many models around the table? Just deploying that many? No thanks. Some may relish it, but for me that just sounds like not a ton of fun. Plus, it means you’re investing a minimum of 1,000pts BEFORE the Command choice. With upgrades, that Core choice+Command will be your entire army. It simply leaves no room for much else.
On the flip side, it does let you field a good infantry army which is quite true to the fluff of Cadia, but I doubt we’ll be seeing this one very often.
- High Command: Company Commanders that are a part of the Battle Group Command choice can issue up to three orders each turn, out to 24″.
- Battle Group Vox-net: When an officer from this detachment issues an order to a unit in this Detachment, roll 3d6 and take the two lowest dice.
- Sharpshooters: Models from this Detachment can re-roll To Hit rolls of 1 when firing lasguns or hot shot lasguns.
As you can see, this Detachment is geared towards buffing the hell out of your squads with all kinds of awesome order benefits. If you build your army correctly, you can essentially have an entire army of Guardsmen that ignore cover, or run and shoot, or split fire, fire their lasguns with an extra shot, etc. It really force multiplies the hell out of your army, plus, some of the Auxiliary formations in your Detachment can benefit from the orders, such as the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company.
In all, these are solid Command Benefits….IF you plan on using the Detachment as it was designed with loads of Infantry.
- Master Orator: Warlord has Zealot. Meh?
- Dead-eye Shot: Warlord gains +2 BS, and +1 BS for his unit. Awesome for a CCS with special weapons, or a Tank Commander.
- Artillery Veteran: Warlord can use Artillery Bombardment as if he were a Master of Ordnance. Meh.
- Unflappable Stoicism: Warlord gains Voice of Command, and units within 12″ ignore 25% casualty morale checks. Awesome!
- Above the Thundering Guns: Warlord gains Voice of Command, can issue an extra order if the warlord already has Voice of Command. Pretty good.
- Staunch Traditionalist: Cadian characters have to issue and accept challenges, re-roll failed to hit and wound rolls in a challenge. Booo!
Herilooms of Cadia
- Celeritas: 10pts. A Master-crafted, strength as user, ap 1 melee weapon grants a 4++ in a challenge, and for each successful save, can make a free attack with the Rending special rule. Yeah, this item ONLY makes sense if you are playing the campaign in the book and facing Tau. An Astra Militarum with a saber in a challenge is typically a dead man!
- Kabe’s Herald: 20pts, A Tank Commander’s orders effect his unit and and another unit of Russes within 12″. Solid!
- The Iron Left: 25pts, a +2 Strength, AP3, melee weapon. Well, it’s good, not bad on a Company Commander who has 3 wounds and a 5++ standard, but for 25pts? Nah.
- Standard of the Lost 113th: 30pts, Standard that you plant. Once plated, the unit with it can’t move, run, or charge. All friendly Cadian units within 18″ are Fearless. This would be great if you use the wave of Infantry in the Detachment.
- Volkov’s Cane: 10pts, a super Pimp Cane that is strength as user, AP4, Concussive melee weapon that also means orders issued by the bearer are only failed on box cars. Not bad! The Orders part is the better part, but when you do have to unleash the Pimp Cane, it can be a lot of fun!
- Wrath of Cadia: 5pts, a total awesome las pistol! Yeah, that wasn’t a typo. It always wounds on a 4+ and armor saves are always failed on a 1-3. I mean, lol, but so cool when you cap a Riptide or Wraithknight with it!
So there you have it! We’ll go into more depth on the component formations as we go, but that is the Detachment in broad strokes. As always, share your thoughts in the comments section, and don’t forget about our 25% off pre-order special going right now for the new GW Starter Armies! Send your order to: Orders@FrontlineGaming.org