1850 Astra Militarum Army Review – Rolling Thunder

Phat J here to talk about a fast moving and hard hitting Astra Militarum list that will kick your dick off!

I am a long time Astra Militarum player (or Imperial Guard if you are over 3 years old) and am always looking for ways to make the poor humans work on the 40k tabletop.  One of the biggest issues the Astra Militarum face is how slow they are on the battlefield. Recently, I saw a picture of a gorgeous Astra Militarum list from a tournament featuring a gang of Death Riders of Krieg and a couple of tanks and it got my imagination going. Other than being an obscenely expensive way to make an army, it seemed like a great way to combine the speed of the Death Riders with the durability and firepower of the Astra Militarum tanks into an army of fire and charging steel.   While perhaps not the most competitive army in the world there are aspects of the list that will catch many seasoned players unawares and has a lot of the tools necessary to help you get to the top tables. As for the actual cost of the army itself, yes the Death Rider models are expensive, around $80 for 5.  Just the Death Riders alone will set you back close to $600.  There are some alternatives out there that you can look into and you can try and be creative with the models as well (or use Space Marine bikes with human riders).  Well, let’s get onto the list!

Krieg Death Rider Squadron- Battle-Forged Detachment
Death Rider Company Command Squadron(100) Melta Bombs (5) 105
Death Rider Squadron (85)+5 (75) Melta Bombs (5) 165
Death Rider Squadron (85)+5 (75) Melta Bombs (5) 165
Death Rider Squadron (85)+5 (75) Melta Bombs (5) 165
Emperor’s Fist Armoured Company
Tank Commander (30) Leman Russ Punisher (140) Multi Meltas (20) 190
Leman Russ Punisher (140) Multi Meltas (20) 160
Leman Russ Punisher (140) Multi Meltas (20) 160
Leman Russ Vanquisher (135) Las Cannon (10) 145
Leman Russ Vanquisher (135) Las Cannon (10) 145
Tech-Priest Enginseer (40) 40
Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company
Company Command Squad (60) Autocannon (10) 70
Tech-Priest Enginseer (40) 40
Wyvern (65) 65
Wyvern (65) 65
Manticore (170) 170

Let’s look at some of the special rules. The Death Riders themselves are cavalry that come with 2 wounds, a 4+ save, and a 6+ Feel No Pain.  They come with Death Rider Hunting Lances which has an attack profile of S5 AP3 the first turn they charge and let’s them go at I5.  This means a unit of 10 will have 30 S5 attacks at WS 4 the first time they charge which will completely devastate anything they hit. While not super fantastic against high armor targets they do have melta bombs and one of the detachment bonuses is they all have objective secured, which for a fast moving cavalry unit is huge.


The Emperor’s Wrath Armoured Company essentially moves forward with the Punishers taking out any hard armored targets with their BS4 Multi-Meltas and annihilate light infantry and vehicles with their Punisher Cannons. The two Leman Russ Vanquishers sit back with the Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company and hit heavy targets like Knights with their armor piercing shells and Lascannons. Speaking of the Artillery Company, the Wyverns and the Manticore sit back and fire into the enemy while the tanks and horsemen push forward into their lines.

So what do you think? Other than being obscenely expensive do you think this has a place on the 40k battlefield?   Any changes you would make to the list? Let me know in the comments section!


About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

19 Responses to “1850 Astra Militarum Army Review – Rolling Thunder”

  1. Alex R October 20, 2016 12:29 am #

    I like it just how do you think it will do against battle company

    • Jason October 20, 2016 5:17 am #

      Battle Company won’t have the firepower to take out the heavy armor so will try and sit on objectives and outlast you so you will want to work on taking out as many transports at once that you can and then multi-charging with the Death Riders. If you pull a Kill Point game against a Battle Company, a winner is you!

      • Rasmus Olesen October 20, 2016 1:13 pm #

        Grav spam battle Company eats The Leman russes

    • Angron October 20, 2016 10:43 pm #

      The guy who uses this army is a friend of mine and he’s no slouch.
      If you’re playing maelstrom it’s going to be hard to deal with because of the number of units and speed it’s formidable against anything.
      Initiative 5 ap3 is enough to take out most marine armies and this list has just enough fire power to do some real damage.
      I can tell you it’s frustrating but fun to play against and it’s impossible not to make horsey noises when playing with or against this list.

  2. Alex R October 20, 2016 1:00 am #

    also it has a ww1 feel to it and there for love it

  3. Cowboy October 20, 2016 3:34 am #

    the only issue I see is one that most tank heavy guard lists have, not enough models to block out a charge… anything that can close the distance and charge will easily clean up the tanks. Drop Pod or scouting Rhino marines, or invisible/Grim Khorne dogs eat this up. I favor this list in a gun fight against most conventional lists though. I think IG tanks can work, but need a big fearless blob in front of them to keep them in the fight against assault things that shooting cannot reliably deal with. (Invis., DA Ravenwing cover saves, or the game balance destroying reroll saves psychic powers)

    • Jason October 20, 2016 5:16 am #

      Yeah, if you go against a true tournament army like a Cabal or any other Psychic Deathstar you are going to really struggle but most people do anyways. There are enough Death Riders to bubble wrap the tanks for a turn or two against Skyhammer or the like and against Grav the Death Riders don’t mind all that much.

    • Parky67 October 21, 2016 7:57 am #

      I’ve played against this list, it spreads out across the whole table leaving no room for drop pods to come down by the vehicles turn 1. It’s very difficult to play against.

  4. Reecius October 20, 2016 8:14 am #

    Take a look at the Leman Russ Conqueror in this book. There’s a lot to like about it, it’s fast!

  5. PeteyPab October 20, 2016 10:12 am #

    This army gets destroyed by a marine alpha strike.

    • Jason October 20, 2016 10:41 am #

      Pablo gets destroyed by round house kicks

  6. dasbeets October 20, 2016 10:41 am #

    I would really like to see a review of that Death Rider heavy list that took 11th at the Michigan GT. Everyone likes to see the lower tier armies do well.

    • Reecius October 20, 2016 4:08 pm #

      Yeah, I;d be curious about that as well.

  7. WestRider October 20, 2016 11:10 am #

    Hear the screams
    Feel the bite
    We ride with death

  8. Duh_Ruckus October 20, 2016 11:35 am #

    There is only one Thunder Calvary, and that’s wolves. Great article with a interesting idea, a lot of people have forgotten just how tough Av14 can be

  9. Samchezsam2 October 20, 2016 11:57 am #

    I have a sizable krieg force but this is an expensive list. Then again I only have 10krieg death riders and 1 commissar rider.

    The problem I see past the above issues are the lack of vox for the artillery twinlinked rule the lack of a chimera for the ccs squad to issue orders or be mobile.and 20 death riders won’t last long as bubble wrap. There are less expensive both $ and points ways to build a similar list. However I’m still holding out hope GW will do the guard codex and rough riders justice soon.

  10. Korspman28 October 20, 2016 11:05 pm #

    “Ours not to reason why, ours but to do and die”

    Quite simply, you need more horses and less tanks. I would drop that artillery formation for more horses.

  11. Michael S October 21, 2016 8:23 am #

    I like the list idea overall. In which Imperial Amour are the Death Rider rules found?

    However, your current Artillery company is missing the chimera or Taurox that is a requirement for the Command Squad to take. So you will have to find a way to trim 50-65 points of the list to make it legal.

  12. grimD October 21, 2016 10:05 pm #

    I’m afraid it’s not legal as the command squad needs a chimera in the artillery company. But apart from that I like it.

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