40k 8th edition Astra Militarum First Impressions Part 3

Here we go with the final look at Astra Militarum, package assembly and some opnions on final lists, let’s go! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

Hey guys, BigVik here with the last in my series of list building articles for Astra Militarum. We’ll be looking at how to assemble a package, some sample packages that caught my eye, and my final list.

Package Assembly

Packages are a term popularized in WarmaHordes, though I’ve heard the term in other contexts as well. A ‘Package’ is the deliverable (the unit which you want to deliver to your opponent’s face or on top of the objective to keep your opponent away from it) along with support elements dedicated to ensure that job can be done, or elements to ensure that job can be done as well as possible.

Catachan Manticore Package

Sergeant Harker

6x Manticores

This is your primary damage dealers within whatever list you play, granted it’s 7 drops in an of itself, meaning you are probably never going first, but an average of 7 shots, 4+ to hit re-roll 1’s, str 10, ap -2, d3 damage is pretty good, 6 is next level.

Now we can’t assume this package will always be the point efficiency nirvana of anti-tank it is right now as GW has alluded to the idea that they will be tweaking point values with codices. This makes me think that the 133 point Manticore has got its days numbered, but enjoy it while it lasts, right?

Murder Conscript Package

N units of conscripts

(N-1) Commissars

(N-1) Adeptus Ministorum priest

Colonel ‘Iron Hand’ Straken

Commissar Yarrick

This is the package that can indeed be your entire army, and is a boogie man on the internet right now. 200+ conscripts with what amounts to fearless, you need to snipe out 2 characters to make any one of these squads to lose their fearless analogue.

Furthermore, the way I read the priest and Straken abilities, they stack, meaning you can have each conscript rolling 3 attacks, 5+ re-rolling 1’s in assault. Throw in a couple company commanders to spam out FRFSRF (extra shots order), and you can get 2-4 5+ re-roll 1’s shots per conscript followed by a huge blob assault.

Now let’s not forget the double move order, meaning you can really cover the board with these guys first turn.

For my lists, these guys work as a tar-pit to ensure my artillery and Taurox Primes are able to parking lot and shoot for more than 1-2 turns, ensuring I have time to sand-paper their army away.

Catachan Cavalry Package

3-5 units of Rough Riders


Harker and Commissar or Commissar Yarrick

I’m gonna keep saying it, Rough Riders are good this edition, give them an additional attack in melee, re-roll 1’s to hit, and never lose more than 1 guy from morale? We just may be seeing this package on the table this edition!

I have a list that uses these guys as a counter assault element. The conscripts make up the outer layer of the onion, and the Rough Riders sit a few inches back to smash into whatever just hit the conscript layer, I have yet to play it due to lack of owned models, but I definitely look forward to playing this on the table top!

Bullgryn Tarpit Package

N full units of Bullgryn w/ slab shield, Ogryn Maul

N+1 Astropaths


The Commissar is just in case something butchers one of your squads and you want to avoid a full unit scoop. The Astropaths take the power that gives +1 to armor save giving the Bullgryn the mythical 1+! Now a 1 always fails, so all this means is it takes ap -2 before their armor becomes a 3+, making them one of the most resilient units point for point.

Vulture Gunship Package

N Vultures w/ Twin Punisher Cannon, heavy bolter

(N-1, min of 2) Officers of the fleet

This is a pretty simple set up. The Vultures have 43 shots hitting on 4’s if they don’t move, this improves to 3+ if its a ground target. So if they move, and shoot at a ground target they go back to 4+.

The Officer of the Fleet designates a target for all Aeronautica Imperialis units, this could be Vultures, Valkries, Vendettas, whatever. This allows them to re-roll 1’s to hit.

This Means that on first turn, when you hover those vultures, you can blast a fool with 43 3+, re-roll 1’s, str 5 ap – shots, pretty good for shooting most things, since str 5 can wound just about anything pretty well… especially when you have 43 shots. Keep in mind this assumes you don’t get first turn, and that your opponent has advanced into no-man’s land to try to alpha strike you.

Final List Assembly

Spearhead Detachment


Company commander


21 conscripts

22 conscripts


Sergeant Harker


6x Manticore

Vanguard Detachment


Commissar Yarrick



2x Officer of the Fleet

5 Ratlings

5 Ratlings


1 Squadron of 2 Vultures

Dedicated Transports

4x Taurox Prime w/ Storm Bolter, Taurox Gatling Cannon, 2x Hot Shot Volley Gun

My final list is a bit of a mish mash since it is all models I own, with the exception of the Manticores, those will be being purchased shortly, though I’m not sure how full hog I want to go with that, depending on how long I get before the AM codex comes out.

The Manticore Package, and Vulture are in full effect. I’ve got Yarrick to buff the accuracy of the Taurox Primes.

I’m using the Ratlings and Conscripts as tar-pits for my shooty packages. The ratlings infiltrate in to prevent first turn deepstrike assaults on my main line, while the conscripts supply further tar-pit goodness. This should give me 2-3 turns of unadulterated shooting from the parking lot and flyers, allowing me to neuter just about any force I need to.

Well this is my take on Astra Militarum as of right now, tell me what builds you guys have been looking at in the comments down below!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells gaming goodies at a discount, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!



About BigVik

A gaming magpie, BigVik currently maintains perpetual noob status, playing Menoth and Khador in Warmachine, and Imperial Guard in 40k. He works as a professional coach and process consultant in his professional life, and loves bringing this into his gaming and writing.

15 Responses to “40k 8th edition Astra Militarum First Impressions Part 3”

  1. Glocknall July 14, 2017 9:35 am #

    I like your list but I see some holes. Your anti tank dependent on the manticores. If you run into -1 to hit flyers or aura bubbles the efficacy of the manticores drops considerably. You’ll almost certainly go second so your opponent will focus those tanks if possible. While the manticore ignores LOS it does ignore covers and your certain to deploy them near the back of your DZ giving your opponent opportunities for cover and a decent shot of a 4+ save. Flyer wing will give your list trouble but a lot of armies you’ll shoot off the table before your manticores run out of ammo.

    • Ty July 15, 2017 1:12 am #

      Efficiently dealing with heavy armor seems like an interesting problem for Astra Militarum. They’re overflowing with efficient troop removal, but armor is trickier.

      • BigVik July 15, 2017 2:32 pm #

        the problem becomes the number of drops in the army, the most points efficient things are drop inefficient, and vica versa, making building an efficient army extremely tricky from a list building point of view

    • BigVik July 15, 2017 1:35 pm #

      I agree whole heartedly with your opinions on my list, I’ve been trying to figure out how to decrease the drops, but this is the mathematically optimal list for putting out maximum shots, and maximizing the number of inches away for deep strikers, teleporting orks, and flyers first turn.

      But it is indeed a theoretical list, which exists in little more than a vacuum. I’m going to be looking at putting a knight in to decrease the demand on the manticores, and the number of drops, along with trying to grab more conscripts back into the list.

      • dylan July 15, 2017 8:17 pm #

        Keep with the IG love! Put in a Superheavy.

        For my more casual games Ill be using the Preator Assault Launcher!

        You have an awesome all guard list and it would be a shame to just toss a knight in there.

  2. Fluorescent Alpaca July 14, 2017 8:18 pm #

    I agree. This army also has a larger issue, which most IG armies have, in that going out and capturing Progressive and end game objectives will be challenging.

    If you are only running a total of 43 conscripts I think that there are alot of lists that give you problems because they can kill all that infantry. Especially a flier army with lots of hurricane bolters.

    also you may run into space issues trying to fit 6 manticores into yarrack’s aura depending on how terrain is set up, and what type of deployment zone is being used

    Do look forward to hearing how the list plays though, best of luck

  3. Dylan Shott July 14, 2017 8:43 pm #

    I think you over estimate the capabilities of the manticores. the -2 will move to a -1 since many things will be in cover.

    Youll never want to move them.

    If they get charged its a bad time.

    I play guard and right now this is my list Im running with in this weekends tournament:

    Company Commander
    Pask, Multi Metlas, LC Punisher

    Tank commander, Punisher, MM, LC

    34x Conscript

    Scions, 2x Melta and 2x Plasma


    2x Scout Sentinel
    Heavy Flamer

    2x Scout Sentinel
    Power Lifters

    Twin heavy bolter
    2 Lascannon & Twin Heavy Flamer Sponsons
    2x Lascannon, 2x Twin heavy flamer

    Tech-Priest Enginseer

    Elysian Drop Sentinel

    Vulture Gunship
    Heavy bolter, Twin Punisher Gatling Cannons

    Vindicare Assassin
    Vindicare Assassin

    • BigVik July 15, 2017 1:38 pm #

      That does indeed look like a really good list.
      A restriction I placed on myself was to have the faction of the army for ITC to be Catachan AM, so I didn’t want to put assassins or the like in the list

    • Fluorescent Alpaca July 15, 2017 6:56 pm #

      what detachments are you using? only two troop choices seems like a bad place to stop, given that you need 3 for the battalion detachment

      I assume you went all heavy flamers on the shadowsword for overwatching and firing at people in Close combat. That being said I feel like the power lifter sentinels are out of place.

      Consider swapping them + the normal commisar for yarrick? also Heavy bolters wouldn’t hurt in that instance with the re-rolls to hit and the improved range?

      • dylan July 15, 2017 8:13 pm #

        Sorry, two squads of scions. one with plasma. One with melta.

        Power lifters seem out of place. But with the main effort of my army my objective is to give myself time and space. Scout moves of 9″ helps a lot. And in melee the powerlifters are amazing. Mostly they are there to get shot to allow my heavy hitters freedom of movement. At 45pts a model for S10, AP-2, D3 its not a bad go. 9″ scout move. Maybe Ill go first. move another 9. and charge. Get in their face.

        I like yarrick, but I want to have my army somewhat themed and I think having yarrick would upset Pask. A bit fluffy for me.

  4. Travis Ellis July 15, 2017 6:24 am #

    No mention of FW? Elysians have probably one of the best setups going into 8th.

    • dylan shott July 15, 2017 10:45 am #

      The breacher charges were FAQ’d today. Once per battle. No longer as crazy good as they were!

      • Reecius July 15, 2017 11:44 am #

        As they should be =)

        • dylan July 15, 2017 6:32 pm #

          Absolutely. I’m happy with the changes. And Venators look amazing.

  5. JC July 15, 2017 5:12 pm #

    Krieg Death Riders seem superior to rough riders – T4 and FNP against <S4 is icing on the cake. I'd swap them out. Plus they look sweet.

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