Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 2: Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon and Infantry Company


Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk Astra Militarum tactics! This time: the Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon and Emperor’s Shield Infantry Company. As always, check the Tactics Corner for tons of great articles!

Read part 1 of this series, here: The Cadian Battle Group Overview

The Cadian regiments march to victory and glory for the glory of the Emperor! Sounds great, right? Well, the part they don’t tell you is that glory and victory usually comes at the cost of countless lives. Those lives come in the form of the soldiers of Cadia. The Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon and Company formations give you some interesting rules for playing these brave men and women who face the horrors of the grim dark with nothing more than a Las Gun and faith in the soldier next to them.



This Platoon formation is really meant to be run as a part of the larger Emperor’s Shield Infantry Company where the various benefits of the Cadian Battle Group really start to shine. On its own, you give up ObSec, which is a lot to lose, but you gain some interesting bonuses in both.



1 Infantry Platoon which must contain 5 Infantry Squads and may not take any dedicated transports.

1-3 units of Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels


1 Company Command Squad

3 Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoons

Special Rules:


Forward Recon: Units from the formation within 9″ of any Sentinels gain Move Trhough Cover.

Marching Drill: The Platoon Commander gains the Fire and Advance! order which allows a unit that moved to fire as if they had remained stationary. The nice thing is he gets this as a bonus order, and can still issue another of his normal orders.


Punishing Fusillade: The Company Commander can issue a single First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire order to any number of units in the Formation at the same time. They take a single leadership check using the highest leadership of any of the units and if passed, all units gain the benefit but must shoot at the same target.




This formation one its own is a bit feeble, honestly. With a requirement for 55 infantry models and a Sentinel, but no ObSec, you will be hard pressed to find a reason to take it over a standard troops choice in a CAD or Allied Detachment. It is really meant to be taken as a part of the larger Cadian Battle Group as stated above. That said, if you do want to go this route, running the infantry units as a power blob (a big blob of all 50 with Power Axes and Melta Bombs in addition to assault weapons such as Flamers) with character support is not a bad option as with MtC, the unit is less likely to get stuck in terrain if near the Sentinel, which with a unit that big is easy to accomplish.

The PCS can issue an order to increase their run speed, or First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire on them, and still issue Marching Drill on itself to move around with a heavy weapon and still be able to fire. A White Scars character for example, would give them Hit and Run, ATSKNF, and some more punch. You’d be surprised at how good a power blob can be in melee.

As they aren’t ObSec you can focus on pure offense with them. And, as you wouldn’t need an HQ choice, you save a few points in grabbing a blob this way over an Allied Detachment or CAD. Not much when you factor in the Sentinel, but hey, we’re looking for the silver lining here!

Alternatively, you can run the infantry as a shooty blob, with loads of heavy weapons and have them move around the field, issuing the order to fire as if they were stationary but benefitting all of the weapons teams. The same could be done with a Heavy Weapons Squad in the platoon as well.

Again, not an ideal choice, but certainly not terrible.



The Company starts to show the strength of these formations. With the combination of 3 of the Platoons and the benefits of a CCS with Ignores Cover and Monster/Tank Hunter orders you can really dish out some pain. You’ll be starved for orders though, unless you are taking this formation as a part of the Cadian Battle Group (which you should be if you’re going to be playing a formation of 173+ models!) as you then also gain the benefit of taking Orders checks on 3d6, dropping the lowest, and rerolling 1’s with your Las Guns.

Combine that with the Punishing Fusillade order and you could potentially be firing 450+ Las Guns shots on a single target, rerolling 1’s to hit! Lol, besides taking the better part of an afternoon to resolve that attack, if it can be hurt by the Emperor’s Flash Lights, it will die.

The CCS’ taken as a part of the command choice in the detachment can issue up to 3 orders each out to a range of 24.” Grab a two of them and you have an absolutely massive amount of orders that are extremely likely to pass, the ability to move and shoot heavy weapons, Ignore Cover all over the place, and dumb buckets of accurate Las fire all over the place and you have a surprisingly powerful army (and yes, it will take up most of your army!).

Mix in a good amount of shooting and assault oriented guard squads, some blobbed, some running solo. Sprinkle in some character support such as a Librarius Conclave to give key units ATSKNF and psychic buffs, or a Commissar Lord if you want to stick with Astra Militarum, and you have yourself a stew!

The main problem is the amount of models, and time it would take to play. However, some readers have been writing in saying they’ve tried it and that it actually plays faster than you’d think. Either way, on paper–despite losing ObSec–this is a very hard hitting army due to the huge number of bodies, special and heavy weapons and the crazy versatility Orders provide you.

What do you all think about the Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon and Company? And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day. We’ve actually got a sale going on the New Year, New Army starter bundles right now, at 25% off their already discounted prices! That sale runs through the end of today, Friday the 8th.

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About Reecius

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

30 Responses to “Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 2: Emperor’s Shield Infantry Platoon and Infantry Company”

  1. Avatar
    Duz_ January 8, 2016 3:44 am #

    So the question is with these 50+ guardsmen formations are you allowed to include commissars and priests?
    Although the formation doesn’t specifically say yes the codex which the supplement is based on says ANY AM detachment may take 0-3 priests (and psykers) and 1 commissar per ccs/pcs.
    So can you include these or will you be forced to take another smaller detachment to ensure your 50 man blob squad isn’t wiped out in a sweeping advance after first round?

    • Avatar
      Loyce January 8, 2016 9:33 am #

      You can take commissars because they can be taken based on the number of CCS or PCS in your army. Priests and primaris psykers can only be added in an AM detachment. This is a cadian detachment and as such can’t be taken.

      • Avatar
        Allornone January 8, 2016 9:51 am #

        AM is a faction and a Cadian detachment is still a AM detachment.

      • Avatar
        Duz_ January 8, 2016 3:13 pm #

        Yes but if you have read the cadian supplement it says its based entirely off the AM codex with the exception of non cadian special characters.

  2. Avatar
    Happy_inquisitor January 8, 2016 4:26 am #

    In a time-limited tournament setting I think it will always be a struggle with high body count armies. That is a shame because they can be fluffy, fun to play against and surprisingly effective. The nature of tournaments is that I don’t see a solution, elite armies just fit the format better.

    Take away the time constraint – and assuming you have that many models – I think you could build a list that would be really challenging to beat.

    • Avatar
      ntdars January 8, 2016 10:04 am #

      Even if you had enough time, just the fatigue of moving 175 models + CONSTANTLY over an 8-10 hour tournament (along with moving them between games, keeping inventory) just sounds awful.

      • Avatar
        Bogalubov January 8, 2016 11:06 am #

        One or two of the blobs would probably be staying put and just shooting heavy weapons and hanging out, so it’s not so bad. However, if someone pulls off an early charge then there’s no way to finish the game in a reasonable amount of time.

      • Avatar
        westrider January 8, 2016 7:09 pm #

        Especially for someone like me, whose IG are all old metal models. I’d probably have my back tweaked out before lunch.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 8, 2016 12:08 pm #

      Yeah, you said it. It makes for a great army but a fairly impractical one.

      • Avatar
        happy_inquisitor January 8, 2016 12:44 pm #

        I just submitted my list for my first ITC tournament and with a heavy heart I had to take out stuff I love to get my model count back below 100. I had to do that rather than risk being that guy who never gets past turn 3 or 4 and gets a bad sportsmanship mark as a result.

        When we talk about whether something is tournament worthy I think we just need to bear in mind that we are looking at a very narrow context of certain points levels within a given time constraint. The Cadians do not fit well in that but that does not mean they are bad – if for example a tournament came along with 4 games of 2000 points in a weekend with longer individual games this could be the basis of a list that some of the usual suspects would really struggle against. I mostly like the consistency we get with a format like ITC that has caught on so well but there is a downside to it and part of that is the narrow interpretation of what is “good”.

        • Reecius
          Reecius January 8, 2016 1:21 pm #

          Yeah, very good point. That could actually be a quite fun format! There’s always room for variety, too.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy January 8, 2016 4:09 pm #

          It’s quite possible to play with 100+ models and still finish games on time; I played Tervigon lists that regularly saw 100+ models on the board (and sometimes 200+) and finished games in good order most of the time. It certainly takes practice, a willingness to play quickly, and a strong understanding of your army’s rules (so that you aren’t wasting time looking stuff up or bickering over how things work), but it’s doable.

          However, even throwing that concern out the window I don’t think that the Cadian Battle Group is all that impressive. It does have some good stuff in it- however, you are also giving up some VERY important stuff, like Objective Secured, and I don’t think what you get in return is enough to measure up. It’s not that the ITC format is incidentally subverting the Battle Group- it’s that the formation just isn’t that great in the first place. It’s thematic, and has some cool stuff in it, sure, but it does not measure up to the big players in the tournament scene these days for a variety of reasons.

          • Avatar
            Duz_ January 8, 2016 4:51 pm

            Who needs obsec when you’ve swamped an objective with <50 guardsmen the opponent will never get within 3" 😉

            But I jest losing obsec seems a bit absurd especially when compared to the battle companies. You also lose ideal mission commander which means if you role on the cadian WL table you could be stuck with always issuing challenges (well in all likelihood just once right before your commander is slain in in said combat.)

          • Avatar
            happy_inquisitor January 9, 2016 1:35 am

            You are probably right – for you. I tried a test game with a maximum kroot Allies Advance Cadre (the only way it makes sense is to max out the kroot) and the shooting and overwatch phases are just slow with that many dice. I never got the theoretically possible 240 shots from my formation but even falling short of that it was pretty time consuming.

            Without time constraints that is the list I would have taken. It may be fragile but it has surprising firepower and table control. The Cadian formation seems to me to have the same fundamental strengths and weaknesses.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy January 9, 2016 9:44 pm

            Sure, fair enough- it’s a skill and it takes practice and a lot of time spent gaining that mastery, so I can hardly fault you for not wanting to do that extra work. However, it _is_ an option for those that really want to play such an army.

    • Avatar
      W January 8, 2016 3:27 pm #

      Having played the Renegade Unending Tide with over 180 re-spawning models at tournaments, it goes quicker than you would think once you are used to playing with a horde army. Deployment is usually the longest stage, but thats a good time for your opponent to grab a drink.
      FAT-mats really make a world of difference though, it goes really fast when you can easily slide your horde across a smooth surface. Playing on GW’s plastic board full of hills and cracks is torture.

      • Reecius
        Reecius January 8, 2016 5:28 pm #

        Yeah, it sucks when models get caught on stuff or tip over on hills, etc.

  3. Avatar
    Talon of Anathrax January 8, 2016 12:54 pm #

    For fluff games or any non-timed games, this formation can be absolutely great!
    But the real reason I love Imperial guard power blobs isn’t for their insane destructive potential when an ICs or two are added (Azrael and White Scar librarians spring to mind, but Sanguinary Priests and Loth are also awesome aditions) – I love fighting them! They make for fantastic opponents, throwing out bucketloads of dice and perfectly portraying the Imperial “drown the in bodies” approach.
    Charging them with a Chaos HQ with the Black Mace is absolutely hilarious! There’s nothing like some slaughter to teach the foolish servants of the Corpse-Emperor the error of their ways!

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 8, 2016 1:21 pm #

      Yes, they certainly are extremely cinematic!

  4. Avatar
    Panzer1944 January 8, 2016 7:50 pm #

    I really believe this was made for Apoc games. I feel that it gets stronger the higher point value the game is and right now tournaments are to low point cost to make it work. On the bright side it makes me happy that I think I could run two of these at once if I had the chance.

    • Avatar
      Ryan N January 8, 2016 10:19 pm #

      I agree. There are many Formations and Detachments that look to be designed for higher point games, and players use them in tournaments as a watered-down version.

      • Avatar
        Roland Durendal January 9, 2016 1:22 pm #

        This and several other points bring up a thought I’ve been stewing over and would love Reece and crew’s feedback. 5th Ed tourney size was 2k and in 6th we dropped down initially to 1999 because of the extra detachment rule at 2k and then later dropped to 1850. This carried over to 7th. Point being now that multiple detachments are the norm for 40k (as opposed to 6th Ed when the points limit dropped) and the length of time per game during tournaments hasnt changed (still 2.5hrs a game) why don’t we as a community go back to the old 2000pt tourney limit? I feel there’s really no reason not to anymore and it won’t drastically change the amount of time required to play a tourney game (i.e. 2.5 hours)

        • Avatar
          westrider January 9, 2016 4:44 pm #

          The game also dropped down to 1850 in part because things like Overwatch and the new system for Pile-In Moves and all kinds of stuff being able to take Snap Shots when before it just couldn’t shoot end up adding a non-negligible amount of time to the game.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy January 9, 2016 9:47 pm

            Snap shots was a big one, but the other big one is step-by-step shooting. It takes WAY longer to fire one gun, resolve it, fire another gun, resolve it, etc, etc, than it does to roll everything as a batch and pull casualties all at once. Doing cover model-by-model and pulling from the front (with all of the decisions and judgements and measuring that can entail, not to mention LOS! and other rules) is likewise worlds slower than just pulling the models you want, or that failed their saves.

          • Avatar
            westrider January 9, 2016 10:05 pm

            I knew I was forgetting some. Been kinda out of it today.

  5. Avatar
    Hotsauceman1 January 9, 2016 10:45 am #

    TBH the worst is the required sentinels. they are horrible to the nth degree.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy January 9, 2016 10:54 am #

      A 40pt Autocannon platform that can outflank isn’t THAT bad. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s no stone around your neck.

      • Avatar
        westrider January 9, 2016 4:46 pm #

        Yeah. I don’t go out of my way to take them, but when I have put them on the table, they’ve pulled their weight. Being able to grant MtC to some of your Units isn’t bad, either, especially with how unwieldy Blobs can get.

  6. Avatar
    Ming January 9, 2016 7:22 pm #

    Hey, who said a player can only be one person? Bring the full army as TWO full emperor’s infantry companies to the LVO and hire two hookers to move your army around each game as you direct them! Depending on the girls gaming demeanor, it might do wonders for sportsmanship scores!

  7. Avatar
    Rob January 14, 2016 6:11 am #

    What’s frontlines stance on adding primaris/ priests?

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