Cadian battle Group Tactics part 9: Emperor’s Spear Aerial Company


Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to (finally!) finish up our review of the Cadian Battle Group formations! This time: the Emperor’s Spear Aerial Company.

Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!

Here are the previous articles in this series:



When I read about this formation, I think of the scene from Apocalypse Now where the choppers are coming in over the beach. Love me the smell of some Promethium in the morning! This formation is for rapid insertion tactics and air support for the boys on the ground and is quite good at both.


This formation is comrpised of 3 units of any combination of Valkyries or Vendettas.


Special Rules:

Formation Flight: If one of the birds passes a reserve roll form this formation, you can choose to pass or fail any remaining reserve rolls for the rest of them.

Low Altitude Drop: At the beginning of your movement phase, you can declare that a unit from this formation will enact a low altitude drop. If it does so, it must take a dangerous terrain check for each piece of terrain it passes over that is more than 3″ tall and it cannot jink until your next movement phase. Units that disembark using Grav Chute Insertion do not scatter.


This is a fun formation that serves several purposes. For one, the Fast Attack slot actually gets pretty crowded in Astra Militarum armies as they have so many good options. Also, if you want to go full Airborne (as I like to do at times!) this formation lets you without having to go Elysians. You can take 3 of another flyer in your FA slots (Vultures are my favorite!) and then snag this formation to carry say, 3 units of Astra Militarum Veterans or a Company Command Squad or two plus vets. They ride in the back, come in on a single reserve roll, jump out without scattering and get some Melta Guns all up in someone’s grill! With the Ignores Cover or Split Fire order, of course. Oh, and for lols, give the Veterans the Demolitions upgrade and huck a Demo Charge in someone’s face! That is always good for a laugh. Plus, 10 Veterans with Melta Bombs is no joke, either. Imperial Knights get skittish around them.

You could also start bending the fluff a bit and throw some units in the birds like Space Marine Command Squads, Sternguard, etc. The ability to put models precisely where you want them without scattering is very powerful.


The Birds themselves are quite good, too. I prefer the Vendetta, myself, but the Valkyrie isn’t terrible. It’s relatively cheap and puts out a decent amount of flakk fire. The Vendetta is a bit pricey, but it can put some twin-linked las cannon love nearly anywhere on the board. Certainly not bad!

Some type of reserves manipulation is important with a big ticket formation like this. You really want to ensure that your birds come in when you want them to. My main man is Lias Issodon, but you can also just use something more mundane like an Aegis with a Comms Relay.

The formation is fairly straight forward, honestly. It’s mobile, provides some solid firepower, and can put hard hitting troops right where you want them! Not bad. Be wary of interceptor, obviously, and try to eliminate skyfire units before your flyers come in if at all possible.

I played against this formation at Adepticon and was quite impressed with it. Three Vendettas in your face with 3 units of Special Weapon toting troopers is no joke.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells GW product at up to 25% off, every day!



About Reecius

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

19 Responses to “Cadian battle Group Tactics part 9: Emperor’s Spear Aerial Company”

  1. Avatar
    Nathan Fluger April 22, 2016 8:17 am #

    Is there anything Lias can’t make better? He’s like salt.

    • Avatar
      donthemagnificent April 22, 2016 8:36 am #

      Reece’s charge rolls?

      • Reecius
        Reecius April 22, 2016 9:37 am #

        Lol, if only he could fix that, haha

  2. Avatar
    Dakkath April 22, 2016 8:56 am #

    I think this could be a fun, if expensive, alternative to the drop pod motor pool aka flesh tearers strike force.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 22, 2016 9:37 am #

      True, but these delivery vehicles actually pack a punch!

      • Avatar
        Dakkath April 22, 2016 10:50 pm #

        That’s the point I was trying to make :p

        Skitarii and Sisters both probably appreciate the flying lascannon support.

        • Avatar
          grendal1989 April 25, 2016 10:43 am #

          My sisters certainly appreciate their firepower and mobility when I use them.

  3. Avatar
    grendal1989 April 22, 2016 8:57 am #

    Its important to note that this formation is better than just all coming in on one reserve roll. They each have a chance to come in individually if the previous one failed its reserve roll. So if you took a comms relay you would have to fail 6 reserve rolls in a row to not get any of the formation in, and 4 in a row to not get at least 2. This nuance really make it a much more reliable tool than it looks if you just glance at the rule

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 22, 2016 9:38 am #

      Yeah, I touched on that in the rules section but didn’t explicitly explain it. It is a subtle, but important difference to make, thank you for pointing it out.

      • Avatar
        grendal1989 April 25, 2016 10:41 am #

        I had to explain it to each opponent in a recent RTT, so I figured other people would run into the same thing. Thanks for all the work you and your team do getting all the broad content to us gamers.

  4. Avatar
    Jason Wolfe April 22, 2016 9:25 am #

    Could I put Skitarii squads in these things?

    • Avatar
      Maeglin April 22, 2016 9:28 am #

      You sir just won. Valks painted up in Admech red….

      • Avatar
        Jason Wolfe April 22, 2016 11:52 am #

        I have some spare admech bits from my knight kit. Wouldn’t be hard to spruce it up with some extra skitarii heads for the pilots.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 22, 2016 9:38 am #

      Yup, any Imperial unit that can fit in it, can ride in it.

  5. Avatar
    Adam April 23, 2016 5:17 am #

    I think my next force will be a Death Korps army. Lots of horses and mobile Centaurs. Not competitive but certainly fluffy and a blast to paint. I’m considering bringing in this formation because it wouldn’t be an army for me if it didn’t have model planes in it. Great review!

  6. Avatar
    Nightman April 23, 2016 6:50 am #

    Voidshields should not be an issue with all those lascannons.

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