Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 4: Emperor’s Blade Assault Company


Hey there neighbors, we’re back at it with our Cadian Battle Group review, this time with the Emperor’s Blade Assault Company! Check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews.

The Assault Company is tasked with clearing enemy units from key objectives and then seizing them. Comprised of hardened veterans mounted in armored transports backed by vicious Hellhound tanks, this formation means business.


Here’s a formation with some of my favorite models: Astra Militarum Veterans and Hellhounds! I am a big fan of both, and have loads of them in my Astra Militarum army. While Veterans have always been good, Hellhounds have risen and fallen in relevance in the game. Does this formation help?


This formation is comprised of:

  • 1 Company Command Squad
  • 3 Units of Veterans
  • 1-3 units of Hellhound Squadrons
  • The CCS and Veterans must be mounted in a dedicated transport, either a Taurox or Chimera dedicated transport.

Special Rules:

  • Clear the area: Units from this formation have Preferred Enemy against enemy units within 6″ of an Objective Marker.
  • Objective Secured: Infantry in this formation come with the ObSec special rule…which rocks!



So, this is a pretty bad ass formation, in my opinion. Why? It gives you a lot of very cool units, all of whom are good, AND it gives you ObSec. Oh, and for kicks? Preferred Enemy vs. enemy units within a large radius of an Objective. That is solid.

ObSec is a critically important special rule for winning missions as we all know, and cannot be understated.  Having 4 units with it stock in this formation is excellent.

Veterans are a truly solid unit in 40k and always have been. Cheap, BS4, and loads of powerful options makes them a fantastic unit. My preferred load out these days is to run the unit with Shotguns, 2 Melta Guns and a Heavy Flamer in a Taroux. As the Taurox has 2 fire points, this works out quite well. The mix of Heavy Flamer and Melta means you’re a threat to any target, and Shotguns allows you to also assault after shooting if needs be. The Taurox adds some light long range fire support and moves through terrain fairly reliably. In all, it’s a great, well rounded unit. Add in Preferred Enemy and you have a real winner.

Alternatively, you could snag Plasma Guns where Preferred Enemy (assuming your target is near an objective which they often are) really helps to mitigate overheating. Flamers too, become deadly with the bonus and even Grenade Launchers that are that accurate are worth considering for a cheap option.

moto guard 2

A cheap melee weapon such as a Power Weapon is worth considering if you have the points, as again, with preferred enemy a Power Axe on a Vet Sarge with 4 attacks on the charge will do some work. Just be wary of challenges where the poor guy may get smoked before swinging.

I would typically pass on the Heavy Weapon as this formation is built for mobility, but you could load out one of the Veteran units as a long range shooting unit and leave them on a home field objective. A Las Cannon and 3 Plasma Guns is great for this, or an Auto Cannon and 3 Grenade Launchers to save points.

I often give my Veterans the Forward Sentries upgrade as for a mere 10pts, they gain some great benefits. The bonus to cover saves and forcing enemies to make disordered charges can mean the difference between holding an objective and not.

Carapace armor is rarely worth the investment though. There is just too much AP4 in the game to justify the expense (although 15pts is quite reasonable) and typically you can get a cover save fairly easily.

Lastly, Demolitions is fairly expensive but SO good! Having a Melta Bomb on every model in the current meta is fantastic. Imperial Knights, Wraithknights, MCs, etc. will fear these Guardsmen! They really become a big threat to some high value targets. The demolition charge is just icing on the cake, and a seriously fun weapon to use…just be wary of hitting your own unit with it!


The Company Command Squad is another awesome unit. With the same strengths as Veterans (BS4, lots of powerful weapon options, etc) plus the all important orders. As this is a mechanized formation, you will typically be using your orders on yourself, but, with a unit that packs 4 Special Weapons, that is not bad. If you position one of the Veterans to be near the CCS then you can take advantage of both orders but I find that often doesn’t work out.

That said, Ignores Cover, Monster/Tank Hunter, Split Fire, etc. really make this a potent unit. Any target that relies on cover saves will fear your CCS, as will any heavy armor target. As with Veterans, you’ll typically want to load up on 4 of the same special weapon. My favorite is 4 Melta Guns. And, as your CCS wants to issue those orders, a Chimera is the hot choice here as you can do so from within it. If taken as a part of the Cadian Battle Group detachment (which may be a bit hard to do due to running out of points) getting to roll 3, drop the highest for orders checks will help a ton to make them reliable.

Alternatively 4 Plasma Guns works well, too, or a combination of Flamers and Heavy Flamer. But for my money the CCS should pack those Melta Guns. When you have an enemy Knight bearing down on you, 4 Tank Hunting Melta Guns will give it pause!

Kurov’s Aquila is an expensive choice, but if you’re running a lot of Plasma, may be a worthwhile consideration.

Lastly, I often toss a Power Fist on my Company Commander mostly because it just looks cool, but, surprisingly it comes into play all the time to hilarious effect. As he comes stock with 3 wounds and attacks and a 5++, you’d be shocked how often he gets to knock people’s lights out with the fist! Challenge from anyone not sporting strength 6+? Sure, let’s dance! What started out largely as a joke for me ended up becoming commonplace in my lists as the CCS would end up very close to the enemy to use the Melta Guns and then find themselves in melee where the Commander would amuse me to no end, kicking ass against all odds!


As for the Hellhounds, there are a number of ways to consider running them. Hellhounds are a mid tier unit on their own, for me. I want to love them, I have 3 of them, but they often struggle a bit when compared to other options available. That said, they can be quite good and with Preferred Enemy vs. a squishy target on an objective, they’re pure murder. Xenos absolutely fear them, as does anything with a 4+ or worse save. I have had good luck running them with the Heavy Bolter, but the Multi Melta is also a solid choice as it gives them a tool to use when the Inferno Cannon isn’t ultra useful.

The Banewolf is another tank that wants to rock, but can really struggle. Due to its deadly Chem Cannon, it tends to be a high priority and is often destroyed before getting to shoot. However, when it does, it is pretty brutal especially when benefitting from Preferred Enemy. I typically run mine with the Heavy Flamer, but again, a Multi Melta is not a bad choice.

The Devil Dog is a tank you rarely see but with Battle Company and Imperial Knights to popular, is worth considering. A fast vehicle with two potent anti tank weapons is not bad at all.

I personally would run this formation with the CCS in a Chimera, the Veterans in Taurox and a Hellhound to back them up. Meltas and Heavy Flamers all over the place and possibly some Demolitions upgrades, too. Run relatively cheaply, you’re only looking at a 710pt investment for a ton of hard hitting firepower, mobility and 4 ObSec units. That is not bad at all and gives a sort of Astra Militarum army in a box, so to speak. Pair that up with a few of the other Formations available to them, allies, or what have you, and you’ve got a great addition to many armies.

What do you think about the Emperor’s Blade Assault Company! And remember, this is the last day to take advantage of the buy 2 get 1 FREE ITC Cargo Container special offer!



About Reecius

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

26 Responses to “Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 4: Emperor’s Blade Assault Company”

  1. Allornone January 15, 2016 2:18 am #

    Objective secured is not conferred to transports. It is in a CAD because dedicated transports are also troops and all troops unit have it, but here only infantry has it.

    • PrimoFederalist January 15, 2016 5:41 am #

      That doesn’t sound right. Do you have the rule book handy? I’m at work with no access. I thought Object Secured Troops conveyed the rule to their Dedicated Transport; you’re saying the rule makes a Troop unit’s Dedicated Transport a Troop unit also which would therefore get Objective Secured. Again, that doesn’t sound right. Hopefully someone can post the text.

      • Allornone January 15, 2016 5:54 am #

        Objective Secured is never conferred from a unit to another, but different formations or detachment give it to different units.

        The Battle Demi-Company is the only one I can remeber that give it to each unit of the formation.

        Objective Secured: A unit with this special rule controls Objective Markers even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the Objective Marker, unless the enemy unit also has this special rule.

        The CAD gives it only to troop units (and because dedicated trasports have the role of the unit you take them for they also are troop units if taken for troops)

        Objective Secured: All Troops units from this Detachment have the Objective Secured special rule. A unit with this special rule controls objectives even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the objective marker, unless the enemy unit also has this special rule.

        The emperor’s blade instead gives it only to infantry units. So the transports don’t get it.

        Objective Secured:Infantry units from an Assault Company have the Objective Secured special rule. A unit with this special rule controls Objective Markers even if an enemy scoring unit is within range of the Objective Marker, unless the enemy unit also has this special rule.

        • PrimoFederalist January 15, 2016 7:09 am #

          With all due respect, that’s non-sensical. You acknowledge that Deducated Transports are granted Objected Secured by nature of their dedicated unit having Objective Secured. A CAD is one way in which Objective Secured is conveyed. This formation is another way in which Ojective Secured is conveyed, and therefore those transports (if they’re dedicated transports) would also have Objective Secured passed to them from their Objective Secured unit.

          • AngryPanda January 15, 2016 7:47 am

            I’m with Allo on this one. CAD transports have ObSec because they are also bought as troop choices. That is the reason given in the rules. Not because the unit they are bought for has Obsec. Its specificaly because of the category they are bought from, not from what the unit has.

          • Rathstar January 15, 2016 7:54 am

            No, Dedicated transports of troops become objective secured because they count as troop units not because the are the dedicated transport of objective secured units.

            In a CAD you need to be a Troops unit to get objective secured. Dedicated transports of Troops count as Troops.

            In this formation there is nothing to make the transports objective secured.

            This is still a good formation to tag onto another army, as Vets are always good, however I think that’s it the formation is good but not groundbreaking (which is what they should be).


          • PrimoFederalist January 15, 2016 8:25 am

            I’m open to being persuaded. I get the argument now. CAD conveys ObjSec to Troops, Dedicated Transports of Troops are Troops. I just need to double check the language.

          • abusepuppy January 15, 2016 9:22 am

            >You acknowledge that Deducated Transports are granted Objected Secured by nature of their dedicated unit having Objective Secured.

            No, that’s not how it works. In a Combined Arms detachment, all units with the Troop battlefield role have the Objective Secured rule. If a unit takes a dedicated transport, that transport has the same battlefield role as the unit it was taken for.

            The Troops having ObSec does NOT grant it to the transport- the transport being a Troop unit itself is what gives them the rule. (If you embark an ObSec unit onto a transport, dedicated or not, it will be able to score from inside the vehicle and thus in a sense “give” the transport ObSec, but that’s a wholly different case.)

            The Assault Company specifies that only INFANTRY units in the formation have Objective Secured. The Hellhounds and Chimeras do not benefit from the rule, though as noted above while a model is embarked on Chimera the infantry unit’s ObSec will still function.

        • tag8833 January 15, 2016 8:27 am #

          That is my read as well. I think you outlined it correctly.

          It is one of the most mis-understood rules in 40K for some reason despite being relatively simple.

        • PrimoFederalist January 15, 2016 10:12 am #

          *exposes neck* I recognize my failing and will correct myself.

      • Neil McLellan January 15, 2016 6:17 am #

        How about you post somewhere that says dedicated transports get objective secured. You can’t because that rule doesn’t exist, it is a misinterpretation by people who just get rules by hearsay instead of reading the rulebook. Open your rulebook. CAD says “Troops” get objective secured. Elsewhere it says dedicated transports take on the force org type of the unit they are dedicated too. Why do you need someone to post the rule? Look it up yourself and read the actual rules, not what you think you heard on the Internet. Rules come from rulebook a, not from what your friend of a friend told you.

  2. Neil McLellan January 15, 2016 6:26 am #

    Page 82 in mini rulebook (from dark vengeance not sure if same page numbers as hardback”, transports gain battlefield role of unit dedicated too.
    Page 122 of mini rulebook, “Troops” in CAD get objective secured.
    No page ever, “dedicated transports get objective secured if unit dedicated to has it.”

  3. dramagod2 January 15, 2016 8:47 am #

    I’m with Allo even though I don’t like it. The formation would be much better with the transports getting ObSec but there is really nothing in the rules to support them having it. They aren’t infantry units. Plain and simple. They neither have that unit type nor are they counted at any point as being the same unit. And since they don’t get ObSec for being a troop as they do in a CAD, I can’t think of a way in which it would carry over from the infantry units to the transports. Unless, of course, the unit was inside at the time.

  4. Reecius January 15, 2016 9:26 am #

    My mistake on the ObSec point, was going off of memory (which I know better than to do) and was wrong. Corrected it. Sorry for the confusion.

  5. Neil McLellan January 15, 2016 12:03 pm #

    Sorry in retrospect that seems a bit harsh. Well article correct now.

    • Reecius January 15, 2016 1:23 pm #

      All good, dude. I have been blasted WAAAAAAAYYYY harsher than that, lol. It’s funny, you write a solid article, make a single rules error, and that is the only thing people notice, haha. You can’t make any mistakes, it is an unforgiving profession.

      • Allornone January 15, 2016 5:53 pm #

        Look at it this way. If the worst thing that can be said about your article is that you got a single rule wrong it means it’s a very good article.

  6. Mr.MoreTanks January 15, 2016 12:56 pm #

    I really like this formation, I think Reece hits it out of the ball park on all accounts, I really do like plasma though on my CCS. Ignore cover plasma blasting you is just so excellent.

    Hellhounds I think actually can do quite well since they’re often seen as a lower target priority. While not the most flexible of units, I think they should be respected. The other variants have too short of a range to me to really be tempting options.

    Nice article Reece!

    • Reecius January 15, 2016 1:25 pm #

      Thank you, sir!

      I try Plasma quite a bit, but for me, Meltas just get it done more consistently. A good combo for this formation would be Lias Issodon to give them Infiltrate.

  7. AngryPanda January 15, 2016 5:23 pm #

    I realy want to like these formations but even this one is just sooooo much stuff.

    • Reecius January 15, 2016 5:25 pm #

      It’s actually not that expensive, honestly. Kitted out well, it’s still only about 700pts.

  8. Dakkath January 15, 2016 9:45 pm #

    This formation is nearly a perfect mini-army to start from for a friend of mine. I’m gonna have to try to get him a copy of kauyon for this.

    • Reecius January 16, 2016 11:52 am #

      Yeah, it really is a nice little self-contained force.

  9. WestRider January 15, 2016 11:03 pm #

    I’ve got a couple of Tauroxen waiting for when I take a break from my DK. This Formation is definitely how I’m running them. Need to convert up a few Tallarn Heavy Flamers to really rock it.

    I really like HellHounds inherently, the problem is just that they’re one of the Units that’s stayed at basically the same power level while the rest of the Game has moved on. Truth be told, I’d rather see the Game at an overall power level where HellHounds were good.

    Def torn on Melta vs. Plasma in the CCS. I’ve run both in the past and had good results with both. Melta probably does make them a better “troubleshooter” Unit, tho.

    • Reecius January 16, 2016 11:51 am #

      Yeah, the Hellhound needs a little more oomph to really make them scary.

  10. Ming January 20, 2016 9:35 am #

    But, IIRR you cannot give orders to yourself while inside a vehicle? A Chimera is a command vehicle allowing you to give orders to units. An embarked unit cannot take an order…

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