Fall of Cadia Meta Review


Cadia isn’t the only place which has a gathering storm of chaos and destruction hovering over it. The 40k meta was just given another major shake-up in the form of 3 very powerful independant characters, and two detachments that just redefined what an Army list is capable of becoming. 

With only 17 pages of relevent rules to work with, and only three new dataslates and 2 new detachments Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia had a very limited opportunity to leave an impression on the game of 40k. After reading through the book I now know that, not only will GS:FoC leave an impression, it will prison-yard tattoo its name onto the forehead of the competitive meta. We will forever remember this book not only for the amazing fluff (to be covered in another article), and ushering us into the advancement of a plot we all know and love, but also for the beautiful models and powerful rules they brought with them.

Special Rules

Unique Rules: This book is different than most other supplements. Instead of using one or two factions to base all of the rules in the book off of, it instead combines multiple factions from one super-faction (Armies of the Imperium) into one book and successfully integrates them into one detachment while still maintaining each factions unique identity. What this means for the game of 40k is, basically this book enables you to take multiple factions in one detachment.

All three Independant characters have rules to be fully integrated into your armies of the imperium armies. Bellisarius Cawl is an HQ choice for Cult Mechanicus and replaces a Tech-Priest Dominus in any existing Ad-Mech formation. Inquisitor Greyfax does the same with her respective faction (replacing any inquisitor regardless of ordos). In addition any of these three characters can be taken in an HQ slot for any Combined Arms Detachment or Allied Detachment which features an army from the Armies of the Imperium. Wow.

Finally, the book goes on to mention that the Canticles and Blessings these characters give also apply to other units in your army regardless of faction. Overall GW made it very easy to field these three characters in any Imperium army.


The Characters:

Belisarius Cawl: The grand daddy of all things beep, boop, and bop, Cawl has 5 wounds and a monstrous creature statline (but still not a monstrous creature). He is also extremely durable with the ability to recover d3 wounds every turn and a warlord trait that lets him reroll failed feel no pain tests. Oh, did I mention he had feel no pain? Well, he does. He also has decent damage output with a str 10 pistol that shoots d3 shots, and three different close combat attacks. Lastly, he gives Canticle buffs to armies of the imperium depending on how many friendly units you have starting on the battlefield. Some notable ones include, giving units around him a 4++, +3 strength to models with canticles of the omnissiah, +3 ballistic skill within 12, and boosted IWND rolls. One negative thing to note about Cawl is he is only 200 points, and only has a 5+ Invuln naturally which means he could die to grav very easily in one attack, and he really doesn’t do a lot by himself to justify his points cost.

Celestine: You may want to sit down for this. The Living Saint herself has had a bit of a makeover since her exclusion from the Imperial Agents book. She is largely unchanged from her book version in terms of wargear, however she did gain 2 additional wounds, eternal warrior, a str 8 Assault 1 orbital bombardment, and a pair of 2 wound bodyguards on jet packs who she resurrects at the beginning of the turn. Not only do her two bodyguards have power swords, and jet packs, they also follow Celestine wherever she goes. Very similiar to the way Fenrisian wolves follow Space Wolf characters. She also regenerates one of her slain bodyguards at the start of each of your turns and you have to start allocating wounds to her bodyguards before you start wounding her, effectively giving her 9 wounds. On top of that she gives saintly blessings to units nearby depending on their battlefield role. These buffs include, but are not limited to, relentless, it will not die, zealot, and various close combat and leadership buffs. Overall Celestine is an amazing character and will see tabletop use at all levels of the game, especially now that she fulfills more roles other than being a cheap access to hit and run.

Inquisitor Greyfax: Is a great anti-shenanigans inquisitor and can be paired well with sisters of silence to perform an anti-psyker role/deathstar role. She is also a lv 2 psyker who always denies the witch on at least a 4+. She comes with two weapons that can cause psi-shock tests, generates from the Telepathy discipline, and has a power which stops one enemy unit within 12 inches from running, turbo-boosting, sweeping, until your next turn. You can also supercharge this power for 3 warp dice to target ALL enemy units within 12 inches. This can be really opressive, but honestly isn’t a real game changer since most units you want to slow down are fast enough to stay more than 12 inches away from her. She also stops enemy units from infiltrating within 24 inches of her but honestly at that 150 point price tag I would rather take a Callexus assassin and an inquisitor with servo skulls. Just my personal opinion.



Triumverate of the Imperium: This formation lets you take all 3 independant characters mentioned above and within 12 inches can obtain either stubborn and auto-pass pinning tests, or fearless depending on how many characters from this formation you are near. Also, each character gets the effects of their warlord trait which is pretty cool since they all have good ones. Overall you are not going to see this formation see play a whole lot, since all three independant characters are just so much better by themselves in CADs combined with armies that require their specific skillset.

Conclave Acquisitorius: This formation is kind of like a poor man’s war convocation. It lets you take Cawl, 1-2 battle maniples or 1 war cohort, a holy requisitioner, 0-1 cybernetica cohort, 0-1 numinous conclave, and either 1-2 knights or a baronial court. Each character gets to master-craft one weapon, and if you contain the maximum amount of units (so a baronial court too?) you get the doctrins from Codex: Skitarii as well to apply to the entire formation. Also, each unit gets the Canticles of the Omnissiah for some extra buffing. Overall this formation is just too expensive to field in anything but the biggest games.

Wrathful Crusade: This formation is an interesting one. I don’t think it will see much competitive use, but it does give two armies a solid formation that could only help them see more play at the casual level. The formation gives each unit the Crusader special rule, and requires you to take Greyfax, and Celestine as well. After those two you have 1 Space Marine Captain, 0-1 Sternguard, 2-4 crusade squads, 1-2 assault squads, and 1 Militarum Tempestus platoon to work with. One thing to note is all the space marines in the formation must be drawn from the Black Templars chapter, which is both a bad thing for the overall formation, but a good thing for the black templars. If you maximise the number of units in the formation everyone gets the Zealot special rule, which pairs nicely with the second formation rule which lets all units in the formation reroll failed charges and give you furious charge if you roll 10 or more. Overall this is a much cheaper formation then the Conclave above, and actually has some potential. You can pop the crusader squads and Celestine, and Greyfax in some Land Raiders and cruise around the board deleting anything with a small toughness value. Not bad.


Unique Detachments: Before we go into the detachments I would like to note one thing. They really did a great job with combining multiple factions into one flexible super detachment. This isn’t a formation, but you still have to pay a tax of some sort in the form of minimum 4 troops required. Also both formations in a vacuum are solid, but not overbearingly crazy with their special rules. The real craziness is when you start combining multiple units and characters from different armies of the Imperium to create powerful combinations.

Both detachments are basically souped-up CADs that require you to take 2-4 HQs, 4+ Troops, 0-6 of the three other battlefield roles, and 0-3 lords of war, and allow you to reroll warlord traits.

Grand Convocation: Certainly the more tame of the two, this detachment basically limits you to the forces of mars. Each vehicle in the formation gains the It Will Not Die rule, and Power of the Machine Spiritif they start their turn within 6 of an HQ choice from the detachment. Also, in keeping with the trend GW is putting out with there new detachments/formations, if you max out the units in the Grand Convocation (minus troops of course) everyone gets the Canticles of the Omnissiah to use. I won’t go over all of the options you have for this one, but I can assure you if it can be taken in a war convocation it can be taken in this detachment. One last interesting thing is that in order to use this detachment you must have units from two different factions listed in the detachment. It shouldn’t be too hard to do, but it stops players from just using this detachment to spam Kataphron and Cawl (something no one would do anyways).

Castellans of the Imperium: Oh baby, the grand daddy of all Imperium detachments. If you ever wanted to explain “Imperial Soup” to someone new to the game in just a few short pages, this would be the detachment to do it with. The command benefits are Hatred (Zealot if you max out, lol), the ability to bring back troop choices which have been completely destroyed on a 5+, and objective secured to all non-vehicle units in the detachment….. Wait, oops sorry. That last rule you only get if you take Coteaz from the Imperial Agents book. Yikes. I do like how they list every single possible unit you can take in the detachment, which pretty much includes all armies of the imperium though they do leave out the option to take Forgeworld units with battlefield roles. I was kind of bummed out by this, since GW basically told us “Yeah Forgeworld units can be used and count as a part of the game, except for when we create our own awesome unique rules. In that case you should use our stuff instead because they don’t really count.” Sorry Fire Raptors, Cerastus Knights, Quad-Mortars, and Lucius Drop Pods, I guess you have to wallow in mediocrity a little longer (more sarcasm).


The combinations are endless for this detachment. It really brings out the power in a lot of minor codices and helps out with free virtual points in the form of regenerating troops choices. Here is a list of just a few of the shenanigans I found while running through the detachment.

  • 6 Assassins! Assassins ITC players rejoice! You can take 14 Assassins in a detachment now.
  • This consolidates all the splashable HQ choices into one detachment. For a small 4 troop fee. Which means You can take that Inquisitor w/ Servo skulls, priest, Celestine, and Cataphractii Terminator captain all in one detachment. Deathstars rejoice.
  • Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and Grey Knights apparently got their Imperium card taken away. About time, they were always off doing their own things anyways.
  • Coteaz makes this detachment insane. Here are just a few of things I find that really benefit from having objective secured. Assassins, Dominon Squads, Scout Bikes, Bike Command Squads, Celestine, Ratlings, Thunderfire Cannons. Also, the HQs can make the allied squads they join obsec as well.
  • You can have 9 Servo Skulls. Smarty pants would argue that you can actually take 12 skulls, but i’ve already crossed out the 2-4 HQ slot and replaced it with “1-3 HQs, Inquisitor Coteaz”.
  • Sadly no named characters other than the Black Templar ones can be used from Codex Space Marines.
  • You can spam warp charges in this detachment if you want. With Primaris Psykers and Wyrdvane psykers. For deathstar players in deseperate need of warp dice and regenerating, objective secured troop units.
  • You can run an all tank army across multiple factions! Imagine Pask commanding an army of Land Raiders, Leman Russ’, Vindicators, Rhinos, and Hellhammers?

What are you looking forward to using out of the new book? 


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

45 Responses to “Fall of Cadia Meta Review”

  1. C-Stock January 14, 2017 12:09 pm #

    Tournaments will not be full of Celestine versus Celestine matches all day long. Because why wouldn’t they be?

  2. zyekian January 14, 2017 12:12 pm #

    Celestine and Caul are so far and away better than the alternatives that they’ll be *everywhere*.

    I mourn the loss of list diversity in our game. I really do….

    With this nonsense the ITC should consider changing how Warlord points work. Killing Caul or Celestine will be ridiculously difficult now. Which is another reason we’ll see them everywhere.

    • Michael Corr January 14, 2017 12:36 pm #

      I think Caul is decent for a Mechanicus army, but don’t see him having as much utility for armies as much as Celestine.

      • zyekian January 15, 2017 12:27 pm #

        I agree he has less utility but he still has plenty of it. And he makes for it by being an insanely difficult warlord point to take and generally being indestructible.

        • Michael Corr January 16, 2017 1:02 am #

          Yeah, he is still damn durable. Pretty much a 4+ FNP and recovering D3 wounds is great. His only main vulnerability is instant death weapons or wargear as he doesn’t have Eternal Warrior. No doubling him out that at T6, which is nice.

  3. Michael Corr January 14, 2017 12:40 pm #

    For Caul’s Canticles of the Archmagos, I don’t think it is as powerful as people are suggesting. The rule states that they “work in the same way as Canticles of the Omnissiah, except that they also AFFECT friendly vehicle units”. This means that only units with Canticles of the Omnissiah count for number of units, not ALL friendly units on the board. This is my interpretation at least.

    As such, he will be great for Mechanicus armies, but of more limited utility for other armies. He is extremely durable, but for an infantry model with short ranged haywire attacks, he actually has to get to enemy vehicles to cause damage.

    • Petey Pab January 14, 2017 4:41 pm #

      I agree, Cawl is cool but not broken.

  4. Blight January 14, 2017 1:41 pm #

    Didn’t servo skulls go away as a wargear option with the new Inquisition codex?

    • Petey Pab January 14, 2017 4:40 pm #

      You can use whichever book you want.

      • Alex R January 14, 2017 5:20 pm #

        You sure? Did he say something on it?

        • Petey Pab January 14, 2017 6:52 pm #


    • WestRider January 14, 2017 5:08 pm #

      The book explicitly gives you the option to take your Inquisitors either from Codex: Inquisition or Codex: Imperial Agents.

  5. BT January 14, 2017 8:07 pm #

    Great review Pab! to anyone whos interested in some initial play testing for Black Templar using the castellans detachments for the 5+ recycle, heres how it went(note i made this list before i found out about the coteaz obsec friends thing):

    I didn’t build it optimally at first just for shit and giggles doing a more fluffy Templar list with power weapons(I know, i know). he list was simply one captain with artificer and holy sword. as many min sized squads of crusaders with half of the squads being double power weapon and the other half being grav cannon plasma which Crusader squads can get both a heavy and special weapon at 5 man. that was 4 CC squads in rhinos and 1 in a LRC beefed up. and another 5 grav/plas squad and 3 priests splattered in different squads. again this was just a funsies list against a chaos worldeater list (he obliged me with some CC fun).

    i calculated it out i ended up getting 600 points of crusaders back on the board and had i remember to bring my other landraider he also came back on the 5+. now if i had made those CC squads shooty instead which would actually be cheaper. talking about a mean Templar list. a minor cherry crusader squads don’t have Sargent characters you have to upgrade em, so no free assassinates! but the excitement is probably getting to me for my BT to have potential. more play testing needs to be done whether or not its anygood but battle company obviously a superior choice but this detachment has potential to be just as annoying.

    • Blight January 15, 2017 6:52 pm #

      Those units coming back can be very useful. Just have to think about all the potential troops that could be used.
      The black Templars fought very hard but multiple daemon weapons and some incredible saves saw the World Eaters to a bloody victory. (Most of the world eaters were dead by the end)

      • Michael Corr January 16, 2017 1:04 am #

        What happens if the unit is killed, but their transport is not? Does the transport get to re-spawn with the unit?

        • Blight January 16, 2017 8:23 am #

          The transport is a separate unit so it has to die to possibly respawn.

          • Michael Corr January 16, 2017 2:20 pm

            The rule states that the unit comes back with all upgrades. Would you class a dedicated transport as an upgrade? If so, it might get an extra one. I don’t think it should be ruled that way, but some people may.

          • abusepuppy January 16, 2017 2:52 pm

            The transport is a separate model. It is not part of the squad for the same reason that it doesn’t have to maintain squad coherency with the models from the unit.

  6. Matt Ulmer January 14, 2017 8:42 pm #

    Has anyone else thought about using the Castellans of the Imperium detachment to get respawning Land Raider Crusaders with Black Templars troops?

  7. Dakkath January 14, 2017 10:05 pm #

    Oh great. As if imperial deathstar armies needed any easier ways to be fielded. At least the transports aren’t free and obsec like the battle company.

  8. Jason Wolfe January 14, 2017 10:43 pm #

    What do people think about running Canticles of Omnissiah and Archmagos in the same turn? I know most people will knee-jerk to say that Archmagos are really just another 3 Omnissiah Canticles, but they seem to be under different rule names under RAW. Canticles of the Archmagos are a specific special rule to Cawl. Yes they “work in the same way as Canticles of the Omnissiah, except that they also AFFECT friendly vehicle units”, but that implies that they do work like Omnissiah, and you can run 1 Archmagos a turn, other cantciles be damned. If the Archmagos canticles were really just another 3 canticles to be added onto the Omnissiah list, why doesn’t it say so?

    • Blightstar January 14, 2017 11:04 pm #

      I say since the “work exactly like CoO” then they work in the same way as normal Canticles of Omnissiah so no doubletapping.

      But this also means since they work EXACTLY like them, Cult Mechanicus detachment allows you to use second canticle of Archmagos.

      But this is just how I see it. Might need an FAQ to state the clear meaning.

      • Jason Wolfe January 15, 2017 1:44 am #

        I really hope the GW reps respond on this one. It seems like they are in a Cawl frenzy as it is.

  9. NovaStar January 14, 2017 10:52 pm #

    Nothing prevents the plastic dreads from taking lucious pods in the Mega Imperial detachment as they are a transport options for all types of dreads as per the pods rules

    • Petey Pab January 15, 2017 8:22 am #

      True, I guess I just lumped them into broken things from Forgeworld.

  10. Blightstar January 14, 2017 10:58 pm #

    Hey guys I just figured out something.

    If you play War Convocation and include Cawl in your army, your guys who can take relics (Dominus/Datasmiths/Skitarii squadleaders) can take Cawl’s personal relics too.

    And for free!

    War Convocation’s Might of Adeptus Mechanicus states that you can have free Arcana Mechanicum and Cawl’s relics are Arcana Mechanicum. Also due the wording of relics and how many you can have them from different lists, model can have one from it’s own codex and one from Cawl.

    Nifty. More special rules to forget when playing war convo! 😀

    • Michael Corr January 14, 2017 11:12 pm #

      That’s pretty good, as some of those Relics are awesome.

    • Blight January 14, 2017 11:23 pm #

      A model can not have more than one relic or equivalent as per the main book FAQ.

      • Blightstar January 15, 2017 2:27 am #

        They can if mentioned otherwise. As I understood it, this is one of those cases since both lists say that you can take one from respective list.

        • Sanchezsam2 January 15, 2017 3:45 pm #

          Ya even in similar examples that state you can take one from this list you still can’t have 2 relics. This was asked ad nauseum in the gw facts with every combination possible and every time they said a charsctver can only have 1 relic.

          Im also in the camp that you can’t use both set of canticles on the same turn unless given direct permission like cult mech detachment.

        • Threllen January 15, 2017 9:45 pm #

          I haven’t seen the exact wording, but all of GW’s rulings and FAQs have said you need to be explicitly granted permission to take multiple. So unless the wording very specifically says “you can take one of his relics AND one of the other relics on the same model” I’m in the camp that says you just get one.

    • Jason Wolfe January 15, 2017 1:47 am #

      What you really want is Memento Mortispex on an independent character. It may be worth bringing and inquisitor or a priest for 25 points and actually paying for the relic for the inquisitor. That way you spread out that awesome firepower to other units. Otherwise you have to bring along a Dominus Maniple with Cawl in it so you can give the Dominus in your congregation the Memento Mortispex.

    • Ahkris January 15, 2017 7:03 am #

      Not only that, but with Codex: Imperial Agents you now also have the option of buying servitors in your cult mechanicus elite slots. As they are now part of the War Convocation they not only get Canticles and count for the number of units for those canticles, their plasma cannons are free of charge!

      This book and the Imperial Agents book hugely buffed the War Convocation

  11. loopy January 15, 2017 1:44 pm #


    • Michael Corr January 16, 2017 1:07 am #

      I’ll take this one Alex: “In 2001, what kind of women did Destiny’s Child sing about?”.

      • Vercingatorix January 16, 2017 9:08 am #

        This made my day.

  12. Threllen January 16, 2017 6:42 am #

    I like how you can write a whole paragraph praising Celestine’s durability without even mentioning the fact she can bring herself back to life! Just goes to show you how insanely durable she is.

    However, it’ll be interesting to actually see her on the board. She’s incredibly durable but she isn’t all that potent in combat herself with just a souped-up power sword. But it looks like her utility is going to be pretty amazing.

    I do have a question on the bodyguard rule that says all wounds are resolved against her Gemini. Would that mean pre-saving throws? Since she’s got a 2+ but they are at 3+.

    • abusepuppy January 16, 2017 7:12 am #

      Yeah, I feel like for 200pts she doesn’t actually _do_ a lot. She does have Hit and Run and some reasonable melee combat, at least, but apart from that she’s just a bundle of wounds that won’t go away. I think the only armies that are really gonna want her are the ones that can make her durability work for them (i.e. deathstars) because on her own she just kinda runs around. Also, Cawl is arguably more durable in many ways- 5++ and then 5+ and then 5+ again to save against any wound is actually really good against Grav and the like, and he puts out way more hurt in close combat.

      As far as her bodyguard thing goes, it’s essentially Look Out Sir-er; anytime a wound _would_ be resolved against Celestine, it instead hits one of the Gemini instead. So you would roll the save for the Gemini not for Celestine, and they only are 3+/4++ and no Eternal Warrior. Celestine is tough, but Scatter Lasers and Warp Spiders and Missile Pods and Grav and Thudd Guns and all of the other stuff in the meta right now will still drag her down just as fast as they would a Terminator character.

      • Threllen January 16, 2017 8:19 am #

        With the standard T3 of SoB, S6 weaponry will make short work of her Gemini. I just feel like the initial reaction to her model is simply based on her insane number of wounds. She’s going to be very nice for denying warlord kills, but her character itself isn’t all that potent. She’s just a S5 MEQ killer.

        The Hit and Run does give her really great utility to buff a deathstar and I think it’s that combined with the buffs that will make or break her. Because I don’t see anything on her own statline that screams “this is a 200 point character.”

        • Petey Pab January 17, 2017 11:57 am #

          Yeah, the real kicker is, any Imperium Deathstar hurting for hit and run should just switch to her. She is 5 more points to take than her earlier version. (Celestine + Battle Soster Tax) and unless you are hurting for CAD HQ slots you can fit her easily in your list.

          Not to mention being a durable warlord with chaff wounds. Those Geminae are almost better than dogs in a Deathsrar.

  13. Chaos Reigns January 16, 2017 1:11 pm #

    So Celestine has as many wounds as a Daemon Prince and Cawl? Seems legit.

  14. Coblen January 16, 2017 2:24 pm #

    I for one am most excited about being able to replace my imperial knights chainsword with a generic power sword.

    • abusepuppy January 16, 2017 2:54 pm #

      Give it that S4 pistol that ignores Invulns, and replace your Gattling Cannon with it!

      • Lysere January 31, 2017 11:30 am #

        Doesn’t list that it replaces a weapon from what I saw so free AP2 pistol shot on a knight! Otherwise trade the stubber.

  15. GreaterChickenofTzeentch January 18, 2017 9:14 am #

    Uhh….dude? I think you forgot that Grayfax’s power shuts down Overwatch too. Properly deployed and supported, she’ll make DA and Tau cry. Better than Culexis plus Inq with Skulls? Not sure, but I think you can have both and she’s different enough that they can work together.

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