Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 5: Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company

cadian

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to continue the Cadian Battle Group review! This time, the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company.

When the forces of Cadia need to crush their enemies with the brute force of heavy artillery, they call in this formation. While individual Guardsmen may not be the most intimidating warriors in the galaxy, they are numerous, brave and backed by some big ass guns! Few enemy can withstand sustained, heavy shelling from the Astra Militarum.

To get caught up on the rest of this article series, follow these links.

basilisk

Overview:

This is a formation that really packs a wallop! You’ve got a combination of powerful artillery units with the added benefit of Orders. That equates to a seriously brutal amount of firepower that can take a vicious bite out of most opponents. You just have to be careful to protect your vulnerable units.

Composition:

  • 1 Company Command Squad which must be mounted in a Taurox or Chimera, the obvious choice being the latter.
  • 2 squadrons of any combination of:
    • Basilisk Battery
    • Hydra Battery
    • Wyvern Battery
  • 1 unit of:
    • Manticore or
    • Deathstrike
  • 1-3 Enginseers

Special Rules:

  • Artillery Command: the CCS can issue Smite at Will, Suppressive Fire, or Fire on my Target to the artillery units in the formation which is pretty bad ass. They count as leadership 8 for passing the orders check.
  • Target Sighted: A friendly model with a vox caster can choose an enemy unit within 18″ and LoS granting models from this formation Twin Linked when firing upon it.

manticore

Tactics:

This is a really solid formation. It has a tad bit of fat to it in the form of the Enginseer(s) requirement, but, you will find that in the context of this formation the Enginseer is actually not bad at all!

What we have essentially, is a self contained group of long range firepower units that all work together in concert, which is good fun. The artillery units which put out some solid firepower, get force multiplied through the use of both orders and the Target Sighted special rule. Ignoring Cover is frequently going to be the go to order, but, split fire will come in handy if the Enginseer is unavailable to grant Power of the Machine Spirit to a unit or if you have multiple artillery batteries with more than one vehicle in them.

A Basilisk with Ignores Cover is just brutal, Strength 9, AP3, ordnance and barrage is a juicy combo, one which threatens damn near everything in the game baring 2+ units. MEQs live in fear of this combo as not even hugging cover gives them a reprieve from the onslaught. Combo this with twin linked and you have yourself a stew! I normally advocate NOT taking squadrons of vehicles as in the age of Scat Packs and such, they are too easily destroyed in a single attack, but in the context of this formation, it is worth considering as you can split fire, ignore cover, twin link, etc.

The Wyvern, which at first glance feels a tad bit out of place in this formation, actually benefits from it quite a bit. For one, you have to take 3 units of artillery, so, having the Wyvern there who is largely self-contained (already twin linked and ignoring cover) means you are free to use your formation resources on other units. And, he really benefits from PotMS as he can then fire each of his Stormshard Mortars at a different target. The Hydra is really just a sub-par unit, truth be told. With Ignores Cover it can be very solid in a situation where you know you will be facing some flyers, but otherwise isn’t really a worthwhile choice.

Of the Deathstrike and Manticore, the Manticore is going to be the more consistent choice. These are really solid choices, and in the current meta bring a lot to the table. With Battle Company and Imperial Knights everywhere, Manticores punish them. Firing multiple, possibly twin linked and/or Ignoring Cover strength 10, barrage, ordnance, large blasts shots a turn punishes anything with an armor value, and at AP4 will obliterate lightly armored infantry. Even tougher targets like Destroyers, Thunder Wolves and multi-wound Bikers fear the Manticore as at Strength 10, most of them will get insta gibbed if they fail their save. I am actually surprised we don’t see them more frequently than we do given the plethora of solid targets they have available to them.

deathstrike

The Deathstrike is a fun choice but also not to be underestimated. It is much improved in 7th ed over the previous version. Typically, it fires turn 2 on a 3+, which is no joke, especially if it is twin linked! This thing will take a huge chunk out of an enemy army and nothing is safe from it apart from T6+ multi wound models (this beast really should do multiple wounds, but hey). It will make a mess of a meched up list like Battle Company, or any infantry based list! Plus, this unit is just plain fun to use, lol!

The CCS component of this formation is where the magic lays. It issues orders onto the vehicles to give them the extra boost and obviously should include a Vox Caster in it to use the Target Sighted special rule. You can of course put Voxes on other units, too, but the CCS should be sporting one. As the unit has to be in a transport, go with a Chimera to both protect the unit and so that they can issue orders out of it. If used in the Cadian Battle Group, the roll 3d6, drop the highest for passing orders will be very useful with the middling ld8 the vehicles come with. And, if you’re going all out on the formation and taking more than the minimum of units, Creed may not be a bad call as he gets 3 orders and failed orders are rerolled. Pricey, but could be a fun option. You can alternatively equip this unit with some special weapons and play them aggressively, issuing orders on themselves, but typically you’ll want to keep them alive to issue those awesome orders. A simple heavy weapon is a good choice, the Auto Cannon never disappoints me, or a Las Cannon. Even a humble Mortar can provide some good utility.

wyvern

I’d run this formation with a Basilisk, Wyvern, Manticore, the obligatory Enginseer with 2 Servitors (for fixing stuff up or adding some nice firepower), and a CCS with an Auto Cannon and Vox in a Chimera. Weighing in at around 500pts that is not bad at all for what you’re getting. It also makes a nice addition to another army as a standalone Astra Militarum force to compliment another army. A Void Shield Generator and a back field objective to babysit go with this formation like steak and fries, and certainly justifies the expense.

In all, this is a solid formation and one of the better to be found in the Cadian Battle Force. The real question is why take this over a unit of forge world artillery pieces which are so much more resilient? That’s a tough call, and one you’ll have to make for yourself based on the context of your overall army.

Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles and remember, Frontline Gamging sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day! Our special offer this week is: purchase a Horus Heresy Betrayal at Calth box set and your entire order ships FREE!

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About Reecius

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

26 Responses to “Cadian Battle Group Tactics Part 5: Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company”

  1. Blightstar January 20, 2016 1:14 am #

    There is also the point of Forgeworld.
    Company Commander can be replaced by Myndoras Odon, Cadian commander from new Doom of Mymaera. He’s cheapish alternative for Creed and offers reroll the seize as his warlord trait.
    Manticores can be equipped with S9 ap2 missiles instead of their S10 ap4 which is nice since they are cheaper and work well with Ignores cover.
    Techpriests and their friends can ride in very cheap Trojans. Although they pretty much smaller chimeras with less armour and lacking the turret, they also have special rule that gives one artillery or tank within 6″ Preferred Enemy (Everything). Rerolling those pesky to-wound 1’s is always nice and thanks to 7th edition change how PE spreads, the whole unit gets it from single vehicle.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 9:35 am #

      Great things to mention!

  2. abusepuppy January 20, 2016 3:05 am #

    This is perhaps the one formation on the IG side I feel could actually be quite tournament-worthy; it provides a lot of long-range firepower with good special abilities without a significant tax. (The Enginseer is a small detriment, but as Reece mentions it can actually be useful- remember, though you can’t repair Shaken/Stunned, you can use Power of the Machine Spirit to bypass them, meaning your tanks should almost always get to shoot.)

    The key things to making the formation work are making your Orders go off reliably (because Ld8 really isn’t) and making your firepower worth its point cost. On the first front, the easy solution is Volkov’s Cane from the same supplement- for 10pts, it makes one Order each turn pass on anything but boxcars, ensuring you get off that critical Fire On My Target each turn with a virtual guarantee.

    On the second front, the key is to choose the right tanks. The Manticore is the obvious choice, and due to availability of Ignores Cover I would go with the FW Manticore Missiles- however, if you see a ton of Battle Company and Knights, the Storm Eagle ones aren’t awful, either (though d3 shots is pretty unreliable.) I would say go with Hydras on both of the other two batteries- the idea of a Basilisk unit is cute, but for 125pts it just doesn’t do the job (especially since the Manticore is only marginally more expensive and hits much harder.)

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 3:21 pm #

      You like the Hydras over Wyverns? I am not a fan of them at all, personally. Haven’t seen them ever do much. The old versions of them were incredible, though.

      Manticores are awesome and I actually have had great luck with my Basilisk. It is a lot better than it often gets credit for, IME.

      • abusepuppy January 20, 2016 5:29 pm #

        Ugh, mistyped that. Wyverns every day. I’m not even sure why the Hydra is an option in an artillery formation?

        The Basilisk isn’t awful and hits reasonably hard, it’s just super-fragile for how expensive it is.

        • Reecius
          Reecius January 20, 2016 5:44 pm #

          Yeah, it is very fragile. If you can hide it though, I have had it perform very well. The heavy artillery versions are just flat our better, though, as a toughness based model.

          • Hotsauceman1 January 20, 2016 5:56 pm
            #

            And can have other special rules stacked on them, such as fearless, INV, Other orders and effectively immune to grav because of a low save

  3. dramagod2 January 20, 2016 6:01 am #

    I really like this formation but I have a couple of questions about it. First, in regards to the FW units, are they options for this formation or would they be restricted? Can you just choose between the GW and FW manticores at your own discretion? Also, in regards to the target sighted rule, can it be used from inside a transport since it requires you to draw LOS from the model? If so, a CCS in a chimera wouldn’t be able to trigger the effect meaning you would have to have voxes on the ground in order to use it.

    • abusepuppy January 20, 2016 8:18 am #

      Frontline has ruled the FW Manticore to functionally be an “upgrade” on the normal IG version (it’s in the FAQ under the Imperial Armor section), as they have the same name and faction. I can’t see any reason it wouldn’t be legal to use it- however, unlike in previous books the chassis that were previously available alongside the Basilisk are not their own, separate units and thus can’t be taken in the formation.

      As for using abilities that require LOS out of a fire point, I don’t believe it would work- fire points specifically only work when making shooting attacks or using witchfires, neither of which the ability qualifies for. (However, there is still some disclarity on other, similar abilities.)

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 9:31 am #

      You can use only vehicles and units listed in the formation and you can apply unit upgrades to them that are normally allowed.

      • Hotsauceman1 January 20, 2016 12:04 pm #

        So can you take the FW variant missiles?

  4. PrimoFederalist January 20, 2016 8:18 am #

    Would the CCS from this formation be able to take Cadian heirlooms? If so, you can give the officer Volkov’s Can for 10pts. With the Cane, his orders only fail on double 6s.

    • Hotsauceman1 January 20, 2016 9:10 am #

      I was thinking that, but the problem is the range on the cane is 6 inchs so everyone has to be super bunched up.

      • Reecius
        Reecius January 20, 2016 9:34 am #

        True, but typically they will be all bunched up, anyway.

      • abusepuppy January 20, 2016 5:30 pm #

        Typically you’ll want to be hiding the CCS behind the tanks and/or in a Chimera anyways, so it’s not a huge issue.

  5. Ming January 20, 2016 9:47 am #

    This formation is making me spend some money on an Enginseer and Wyvern(s)…right now I use a single Manticore in every list – just because it kills Khorne Dogs, Tau suits, and other multi-wound T5 opponents out there…they just have to fail a save first…

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 12:05 pm #

      Yeah, I will be picking up an Enginseer, too!

  6. Hotsauceman1 January 20, 2016 11:01 am #

    Reece, you forgot pinning on the wyvern will be fun.
    I cant wait to run this formation, my manyicor and basilisk are gonna be based off old russain ww2 artillery

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 12:06 pm #

      Good point, buddy, pinning is pretty solid!

  7. MasterSlowPoke January 20, 2016 11:58 am #

    The only problem with Target Sighted is there’s no way to draw LOS while embarked on the Chimera. You gotta poke your head out and expose yourself to danger.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 20, 2016 12:04 pm #

      You can draw LoS from a firing point. If not, you’d never be able to shoot out of a vehicle.

      • westrider January 20, 2016 3:04 pm #

        However, you do need to have that CCS within 18″ of the enemy Unit you’re targeting, which isn’t really a place that CCS wants to be.

        • Reecius
          Reecius January 20, 2016 3:23 pm #

          Ah, true at times. But, you can use it then flat out away as I read the rule, too.

      • abusepuppy January 20, 2016 5:32 pm #

        I’m not sure how ITC rules it, but RAW you can only use fire points for shooting out of (or using psychic shooting.) As Target Sighted is not a shooting attack, it won’t work from a fire point.

    • Duz_ January 20, 2016 7:49 pm #

      Yes but its any friendly unit with a vox caster

      So deep striking scions with vox also qualify 😉

  8. westrider January 20, 2016 3:05 pm #

    “Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company. The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherfether in the grid sector, accept no substitutes.”

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