Adeptus Mechanicus Codex Review

The 8th ed Adeptus Mechanicus Codex cometh, and the cybernetic legions bring the inspired word of the Machine God in holy binary. They also kick serious butt in the process! Read on to learn more. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

As always, Frontline Gaming sells all of the items described in this article in our web-cart at a discount and we offer FREE shipping within the continental USA for orders $99 are up!

The Adeptus Mechanicus have a lot going for them with their Codex. While their have been points adjustments here and there and minor changes which are great, the real magic of any codex lay in the stratagems, “chapter tactics”, relics and Warlord Traits. As 8th matures and players grow more accustomed to these mechanics, they will begin building lists around leveraging them to maximum effect. Adeptus Mechanicus brings a LOT to the table in these categories.

Canticles of the Omnissiah:

These abilities trigger each turn at the beginning of the turn and effect all models with the rule in an Adeptus Mechanicus detachment. You can either choose one or roll for one. If you choose, you cannot choose the same one again in the battle. If you roll, you can apply the same benefit multiple times if it is rolled.

  1. Incantation of the Iron Soul: reroll failed Morale tests.
  2. Litany of the Electromancer: enemy units within 1″ of any units with this rule take D3 mortal wounds on a roll of a 6.
  3. Chant of the Remorseless Fist: Reroll hit rolls of 1 in the Fight phase.
  4. Shroudpsalm: Affected units count as being in cover.
  5. Invocation of Machine Might: +1 Strength
  6. Benediction of the Omnisiah: Reroll hit rolls of 1 in the shooting phase.

Forge World Dogma:

Let’s cover the “Chapter Tactics”, as this will inform much of what comes next. These are the special rules associated with the <Forge World> you choose for your AdMech detachments.

  • Mars: these gents roll twice on the Canticles table and apply both results which when combined with Cawl’s +/- 1 to the table is quite useful. Due to overlap with other abilities you will already have, some of these aren’t that good but should be pretty easy to avoid with Cawl. Shroudpsalm especially, is amazing.
  • Graia: on the roll of a 6, a wound that would kill a model is ignored or the unit was going to flee due to a failed morale check, they do not. They also cannot fall back from combat unless their is a friendly AdMech character nearby. This is a decent rule and helps to keep your models in the fight.
  • Metallica: units can advance and fire assault weapons without a penalty and treats rapid fire weapons as assault weapons. Not bad at all, as a largely foot based army, this increases your threat radius considerably.
  • Lucius: units treat enemy attacks that are AP-1 as being AP 0. Obviously a very nice defensive buff to keep more of your models above ground. The real treat with Lucious though, is the Legio Teleportarium unique stratagem which allows you to deep strike a unit onto the table for 1 CP. These two elements combined will serve to make this a very popular Forge World choice.
  • Agripinaa: Overwatch on a 5+. Not bad at all. This gives you a decent screen unit if you take a unit of say, 10 Skitarii Vanguard with Radium Carbines which are Assault 3 vs. a turn 1 assault, and rerolls of 1 to hit, you can do some decent damage to a unit as it comes in. Perhaps not optimal, but not bad. Throw in some Plasma Calivers and they will take a bite out of anything that comes after them.
  • Stygies VIII: -1 to hit for your units that are more than 12″ away from enemy units. The “Ravenguard” effect which is VERY good and for my money one of the best, if not the best choices. In a largely infantry based army with not a lot of ways to stay off of the table, this is extremely good. Combined with their unique stratagem, this is sure to be a very popular Forge World choice.
  • Ryza: Reroll wound rolls of 1 in the fight phase. This is REALLY good in a melee centered AdMech army for quite obvious reasons.


  • Belisarius Cawl: is a part of the Mars Forge World and that now means his aura abilities will only work on Mars AdMech units. The reasons why this is important will come in to focus presently, but suffice it to say: he’s still awesome and his Forge World’s collective advantages will be very useful, lest of all his Warlord Trait which grants him a bonus 3″ to his auras. His ability to manipulate the Canticles, reroll hit rolls, repair vehicles and packing a vicious punch himself are just icing on the cake. Mount all of that on a T6, 8 wound, 2+/5++ chassis and you’ve got yourself a stew, baby!
    • Awesome force multiplier with a 9″ reroll all misses aura.
    • Resilient model that will make a great Warlord choice.
    • Packs a punch with his Solar Atomizer and melee weapons.

  • Tech-Priest Dominus: the generic HQ choice in the book and while good, is a bit expensive. As Cawl will not be the default HQ choice any more, we will be seeing more of these models on the table as they provide an important function for all of the other Forge Worlds. They provide a host of benefits including a reroll 1 aura for friendly Forge World units, the ability to self-repair and to repair friendly vehicles with decent melee punch. With 5 wounds and a 2+/5++ and the ability to heal D3 wounds every turn, he’s tough enough to slog forward buffing your units and getting into the thick of the fight.
    • Good force multiplier.
    • Resilient and like Cawl, an excellent choice for Warlord.
    • Solid damage output in shooting and in melee.

  • Tech-Priest Enginseeris a new choice in the HQ slot, and while not exciting in regards to stats provides a much needed cheap HQ choice to help open up detachments and get those all important Command Points. He’s decently resilient with 4 wounds and a 3+/6++ and repairs vehicles. He also isn’t terrible in melee but that certainly is not where you want him to be.
    • Not a force multiplier.
    • Moderately durable, good choice for Warlord only if you plan on keeping him in the rear with the gear.
    • Moderate melee damage output.
    • Cheap!


  • Skitarii Rangers: Are a solid troops choice. With the rising importance of command points, you need to have troops to unlock the really beneficial detachments. For a measly 8 points per model and a minimum unit size of 5, you can get some solid, cheap troops on the table with 30″ range guns that are AP-1 on a 6+ to wound. But the real magic in my mind, is their dual purpose as very effective snipers and objective campers. The Transuranic Arquebus is a no joke weapon. With 60″, Strength 7, Ap-2, D3 damage and the sniper rule allowing it to pick out characters and do a mortal wound on a wound roll of 6+, they are a legitimate threat in this character heavy meta. The stats on their weapon give them a heavy punch and combined with the ability to ignore cover with the Omnispex, that is vicious. Consider the Stygies -1 to hit trait and putting them in cover for a solid back-line unit.
    • Low cast troop for unlocking Command Point rich detachments.
    • Can be very effective sniper units.
    • Best used to hold the backfield. 

  • Skitarii Vanguard: Again, a solid troops choice. Slightly more expensive than Rangers at 9pts per model, these guys are better served for going out and grabbing objectives where the Rangers sit back and shoot. Vanguard come stock with a very solid gun, the Radium Carbine. While only strength 6, it is Assault 3, 18″ range and on a 6+ to wound does 2 damage. That is especially good in a meta with lots of chaff units as 8th has. These guys serve quite well as street sweepers and help to fill out Battalion and Brigade Detachments for only 45pts a unit! Bare bones they are no joke, either. I could easily see taking 6 of these to fill out a Brigade. Now, if you want to beef them up a bit, the Plasma Caliver is a terrific weapons and taking 2 in a 5 man unit to run and gun is great. Combo this with the Metallica trait to increase their threat range and/or the Protector Doctrina Imperative for +1 to hit and avoid death by Overcharging and to just generally ramp up accuracy. On a 10 strong unit with 3 Calivers, that is some serious hurt, particularly with the Plasma Specialists stratagem in a Ryza detachment, boosting the damage output by 1 and adding 1 to wound rolls for these weapons. Once on an objective you can use the Acquisition At Any Cost stratagem to boost them up to a 2+ save in cover with a 5++ and a bonus attack for each model to really try and hang on! Great at end game if you have the CP left.
    • Low cost, flexible troop choice.
    • Great for advancing and grabbing objectives.
    • Can be geared up with wargear and stratagems to deal heavy damage.

  • Kataphron Breachers: This much maligned unit is significantly improved over previous iterations. While perhaps not the most optimal troop choice, it is not bad for the points with support. What you get is a sturdy platform with T5, 3 wounds and a 3+/6++. They come with a decent heavy weapon (and they ignore the penalty for moving and shooting, thankfully as they’re rocking BS4+), and a decent melee weapon in the Arc Claw. The trundle forward being decently tough and aim to take objectives while pumping out decent firepower with their Heavy Arc Rifles which are strength 6 at 36″ and are -2 AP and D3 that are particularly good against vehicles going up to D6 damage vs. them (excellent for popping Rhinos and such) and good for targets like Daemon Princes, too if you can get a bead on them. At 47 pts a pop with their basic load-out they’re not a terrible investment. If you want to make them exceedingly durable, however, take a unit of 6 and choose the Agripinaa Forge World traits. Their unique Stratagem allows you to recycle a unit of Breachers, Destroyers or Servitors at the end of your movement phase, removing them from the battlefield and then redeploying them at full strength in your deployment zone within 6″ of your deployment edge. This presents a strong disincentive for your opponent to actually attack them unless they are confident they can wipe them out as if they do not, the unit comes back at full strength. This allows you to play them VERY aggressively and leave a home objective near a board edge to come back to if they get mauled but not wiped out.
    • Moderately expensive but tough unit.
    • Decent damage output, requires character support for accuracy.
    • Tricky unit when used with the Agripinaa Fresh Converts stratagem.

  • Kataphron Destroyers: Much like Breachers, Destroyers are in an odd class. They’re expensive troops weighing in at 70 points each with basic gear, but can pack quite a punch with support. They have the same stats as the Breachers but with a 4+ save and more firepower. The Plasma Culverin is Heavy D6, 36″, Str 7 Ap -3, 1 damage and can be overcharged per normal Plasma rules. They also have a Phosphor Blaster for more pew pew, which is strength 5, AP -1, 1 damage rapid fire 1, 24″. They also ignore the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons which helps mitigate their mediocre BS 4+. They can opt for a Heavy Grav Cannon instead of the Plasma which is 30″, but packs 5 shots at strength 5, ap -3 and D3 damage vs. targets with a save of 3+ or better, otherwise 1 damage. Not bad at all as that is a lot of dakka. A powerful application of these gents is using them in conjunction with a unit of Kastelan Robots geared up to shoot in a Mars AdMech detachment. They use the Elimination Volley stratagem in conjunction with the bananas Wrath of Mars stratagem on the Robots to jointly gain +1 to hit for both units and the Robots deal mortal wounds on any wound roll of a 6+ which when combined with the huge volume of shots they put out and potentially Cawl’s reroll aura, will obliterate pretty much anything they shoot. The damage output of these units combined is crazy. We’ll dig more in to this powerful combo later, but it is potent indeed. On their own, though, they pair will in a Ryza detachment where the Plasma Specialists stratagem allows them to add 1 to their wound rolls and to the damage of their Plasma weapons by 1. That is some serious damage output.
    • Expensive unit but with considerable firepower.
    • Requires character and/or stratagem support to function effectively. They’re resource hogs.
    • As with Breachers, Destroyers can be very tricky and resilient using the Agripinaa unique stratagem to recycle a unit of them back on to the table.


  • Servitors: The lobotomized cyborg servants of the Imperium of course make an appearance in the Adeptus Mechanicus. This unit is flavorful but not optimal. They come in a unit of 4, have poor stats but each packs powerful Servo-arm attacks. Two of them can take a heavy weapon which considering their bargain basement price, is actually not bad. For 74 points you can get 2 Plasma Cannons in a unit that hit’s on 4’s if a Tech-Priest is nearby (all of your HQs and the Datasmith) who also boost their leadership to 9 and in most cases give them increased accuracy through rerolls of some nature. That is honestly not a bad investment and if you are trying to fill out a Birgade, can give you some decent firepower.
    • Moderately priced unit that requires support to be at all playable.
    • Provides decent punch in range or melee if, again, supported.
    • Helps fill out a Brigade detachment for more Command Points.

  • Cybernetica Datasmith: This guy is a decent little Character weighing in at a reasonable 52 points with his gear. You get passable melee with 2 attacks and a Power Fist. He shoots OK as well, packing an AP-3 pistol that does 2 damage and is reasonably durable considering he’s rocking 4 wounds  and a 2+/5++. His primary function though is to change the Battle Protocols of Kastelan Robots to kick them into uber punchy or shooty mode. However, with the Bihnaric Override stratagem you can get by without him on a unit of shooty Robots as it allows you to permanently turn on one mode and so you can get by without him. Should they get tagged in melee though….lolol. Lastly, this dude repairs Robots as well. I would use him either to cheaply fill Elite slots in a Brigade, or with punchy Robots to run up with them and keep them functioning at full effect!
    • Cheap character in the elite slot to help unlock detachments.
    • Decent offense. Good defense. 
    • Compliments Robots well.

  • Sicarian Reuststalkers: Are a unit in an interesting place. They are fast, fairly frail at T3, with 2 wounds, a 4+/6++ and hit hard with base 3 attacks and weapons that deal mortal wounds in melee. Their real drawback is delivery. However, now with the Lucius and Stygies Forge World Dogmas, you can get them into position to get busy in combat right away. If you want to use them in a different Forge World, I would play them as a free safety unit. What that means is that you hold them back a bit and wait to see the game develop, then send them where needed to press an attack or shore up a faltering line. In that role, for a reasonable cost you get a quick unit to respond to danger that can damage any target.
    • Reasonably priced melee unit that deals mortal wounds.
    • Fairly fast.
    • A bit squishy, lacks solid delivery method without using the Lucius or Stygies Forge World traits.

  • Sicarian InfiltratorsNow here is an all-star unit if ever there was one! They’ve got a lot going for them but the big shinning gold star is their native ability to deep strike. In 8th ed, any unit that can keep itself off of the board without eating up other resources is instantly good. When layered on top of their speed and impressive damage output, you’ve got a winner. The unit’s basic stats are the same as the Rustsalkers above, but the unit packs two weapon load-out options. They come stalk with a Power Sword and Stubcarbine (18″ pistol with 3 strength 4 shots) or a Taser Goad and Flechette Blaster. You can mix and match these weapon sets on a model by model basis as well, which is always awesome. My preference though, is for the Taser/Flechette combo. The reason being is that you get 5 shots per model with the gun and the Taser Goad has exploding 6’s in melee, granting 3 hits for each 6 instead of 1. When combined with the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative stratagem, you get the bonus hits on a 5+ and hit on a 2+. A full unit of 10 then, would average about 30 strength 6 hits! This combos well in melee with Vanguard as with their toughness debuff, the Infiltrators will then be wounding T4 units on 2’s. When lead by 50 strength 3 shots form their guns (which is a also a great candidate for the Wrath of Mars stratagem), this unit is a street-sweeper supreme. They will plow through screens like nothing. As they deep strike naturally, you can look at other Forge World traits for a unit using Infiltrators such as Ryza for native rerolls of 1 to wound. This is an all around great unit and one that makes excellent use of the various stratagems available to you. Their only real downside is low leadership which comes in to play frequently as you want to take a full sized unit of them to maximize the impact of the stratagems, so you will want to find ways to mitigate that or hold some command points in your pocket to keep them in the fight.
    • Reasonably costed unit that excels in clearing out light to medium infantry.
    • Comes with their own delivery mechanism built in.
    • Makes great use of stratagems and work well in a variety of Forge Worlds.

  • Fulgurite Electro-Priests: This is a unit that can be potentially devastatingly powerful, or get mowed down mercilessly before doing a thing! The reason why is that they hit like a truck but are a bit fragile with a T3 profile and a 5++ with a 5+ FnP save. Against single damage attacks, that is slightly better than a 4++ but at 17 points per model is expensive when you start losing them. The other part of this equation is that if they destroy a unit in melee (which they do quite easily!) they power up to a 3++! They rock a brutal melee weapons which makes them strength 5, AP -2, D3 damage that does D3 Mortal Wounds instead on a wound roll of a 6+. So, your opponent has every incentive to nuke these guys at the first opportunity. This means if you use them, you need to have a delivery method or keep them in small units and run them in a counter-assault roll (which they are quite good at). Offensively, the best Forge Worlds for them are Stygies and Lucius to deliver large units of them into melee ASAP. If you run a unit of 20, infiltrate them with the Stygies Clandestine Infiltration stratagem and go first…by the Machine God’s holy cogitators you will deliver a gut punch of epic proportions! Essentially an assured first turn charge from these gents nukes damn near anything and if their target is somehow still standing after one round of combat, burn 3CP to activate Zealous Congregation and have them attack twice! This means you should kill anything you hit and then power up the survivors of the melee into a truly fearsome unit that both hits hard as is incredibly durable. This is a bit of an all or nothing play though, as if you go second it is hard to hide a unit of 20 models on 32mm bases and they will get blasted as target priority #1. Defensively, I like Ryza or Graia for them best as these boost their offense and defense respectively and help them in their counter-assault role.
    • Fragile but affordable melee unit that hits like a truck and can power up to Super Saiyan mode.
    • Requires forethought as to their role in the army and if played offensively, require a delivery mechanism.
    • Played offensively, they are Command Point hogs but potentially devastating.

  • Corpuscarii Electro-PriestsThe “shooty” version of the Electro-Priests but are also quite good in melee. Previously, these gents struggled as bit due to their short range and squishy nature. However, now with Lucius and Stygies (seeing a trend, here? lol) this unit becomes quite good. Very good, actually. Lucius especially is excellent for these gents as the ability to deep strike them means they have perfect defense until they come down and ideally will unload with as many as 60 strength 5 shots at 12″ with exploding 6’s to hit, giving you 3 hits instead of 1. While none of the stratagems benefit these guys in shooting, at their price point of 14 points per model that is no big deal as you get a lot of bang for the buck. In melee, they have the same stats as in shooting but only 2 attacks. They can also benefit from the Zealous Congregation stratagem to pile on the damage. This unit will excel at destroying screens and light infantry and due to the sheer volume of strength 5 dice it throws, can be a threat to medium and heavy vehicles with a 3+ or worse as well. If you can get them in position to take advantage of it, they are also blisteringly powerful with the Wrath of Mars stratagem dealing buckets of mortal wounds, but that is going to be difficult to do against a savvy opponent.
    • Affordably priced dakka unit that throws out buckets of dice.
    • Needs a delivery mechanism to be played aggressively, Lucius Forge World being the best for one giant unit, Stygies next best for MSU play.
    • Relatively cheap and effective unit unit for filling out detachments that do not require much support.

Fast Attack:

  • Sydonian Dragoons: Beyond being awesome due to resembling Muppet knights from the movie Labyrinth, Sydonian Dragoons are truly a fantastic unit in 8th ed 40k. They have a lot going for them: native -1 to hit from shooting (which combos with the Stygies bonuses for a -2 to hit at 12″ and beyond!), a speedy 10″ move, low cost, T6, 6 wounds, a 6++ and a nasty punch in melee with their Taser Lance, which is strength 8, AP-1, 2 damage with exploding 6’s! At 3 attacks per model, that is some serious potential hurt. They become very potent when you apply the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative stratagem for a +2 to hit in melee, causing them to get 3 hits on a 4+. A unit of these guys will shred most things it touches but, you can also run them solo quite well where they run around picking up objectives and hunting support units. They also fill up fast attack slots affordably to unlock that juicy Brigade detachment and as they are vehicles, can be repaired by the numerous Tech-Priest characters in AdMech armies. Lastly, they have a cool +1 leadership buff for nearby friendly AdMech units. An all around solid unit.
    • Affordable and effective melee unit.
    • Fast and with solid natural defense, pairs very well with Stygies and Ryza Forge Worlds.
    • Works great solo to fill up Fast Attack slots, or can be run as a large unit with stratagem support to really bring the pain in melee.

  • Ironstrider Ballistarii: Built on the same basic chassis as the Dragoon without the -1 to hit, but geared for shooting rather than melee. And let me tell you, these boys are good at their job! They rock either a Twin Cognis Las-Cannon or Twin Cognis Autocannon. These are the same as the standard version of the weapon but can advance and still shoot at a -2 to hit. That can be offset with the Protector Doctrina Imperative stratagem which grants them +2 to hit…lol. So, you can haul butt and advance (rolling 2d6 taking the highest with their Dunestrider stratagem if needs be) and then shoot with not a lot of a penalty. Or, you can simply move normally, use the same stratagem and still hit on a 2+. You can remain stationary and shoot at flyers and hit on a 2+, etc. Naturally, giving them rerolls of 1 to hit will make them nearly perfectly accurate. As if that were not enough, they have another stratagem that works great on them, Cognis Overwatch, which allows them to fire overwatch with Cognis weapons at full BS. Yeah, not bad! They pair very well with the Stygies Forge World as they want to hang back at range and shoot and the -1 to hit is great for them. Mars also works well as the Wrath of Mars stratagem on a full unit with Autocannons will be devastatingly potent. You can run these gents solo to fill Fast Attack slots as with Dragoons, or take a big unit and make full use of those awesome stratagems, putting out blistering firepower at a reasonable price one a fairly durable chassis. These are sure to be a very popular unit.
    • Reasonably priced and versatile gunboat.
    • Can be taken solo to fill out detachment slots or in large units to pour on the pain with stratagem support.
    • Works particularly well in a Mars or Stygies force.

Heavy Support:

  • Kastelan Robots: This unit is a powerhouse, potentially delivering utterly devastating firepower with combos available to them but requiring a great deal of support and a large points investment to do so. I am of course, talking about the uber combo of a full unit of 6 Robots with maxed Heavy Phosphor Blasters supported by Cawl and a unit of Destroyers, taking advantage of the Wrath of Mars and Elimination Volley stratagems. What this amounts to is a unit that puts out 108, 36″ range, strength 6 shots that are AP-2, ignore cover, hit on 3’s with rerolls and deal mortal wounds in addition to normal damage on wound rolls of a 6+. That is bonkers damage output, and few things in the game can take that and survive. This is further exacerbated by the fact that each Robot can send his 18 shots downrange at a separate target! Now, thankfully, when the Robots kick in their Protector Protocols it doubles their shots, no longer letting them shoot twice. This is a subtle but important distinction as they are not as efficient as they were. This combo also requires 4CP per turn to use, and costs 1,120pts+ to pull off. That all fits snugly in a patrol detachment, too, but you have to farm up a lot of command points in order to make this work, at least 8-12. You can make it function without the Destroyers  who are pricey (but they go up to BS 3+ as well with the Elimination Volley stratagem and pump out serious firepower themselves) but you drop from 89% accuracy to 75%. If that’s worth saving the 2CP a turn is your call. Also, the Robots cannot go full speed on this until turn 2, and they cannot move if they use it. Without a Datasmith (further increasing the cost) they have to use a CP to activate their protocols and if they do, they can never change which isn’t a big deal unless they get tagged in melee in which case they will be unable to leave. And that is the other side of it: they are very vulnerable to getting shut down in the shooting phase through melee. Lastly, line of sight blocking terrain (which is utterly critical in 8th ed) makes this uber unit less viable as they can’t move when in mega mode.
  • Alternatively, you can run them in smaller units and not worry about all of that! Or, gear them up for melee where they are also very good, and with their Conqueror Protocols engaged, like Berzerkers, they can attack twice which is amazingly useful. With an 8″ move, they’re quick and they are natively tough, at T7, with 6 wounds a 3+ and a 5++ which does mortal wounds to enemy units on a natural roll of a 6. In all, this is a solid all around unit that can be kitted up for maximum carnage or kept relatively bare bones and still very useful. Plus, when they die, you can use the Machine Spirit’s Revenge stratagem to automatically blow up, dealing mortal wounds to your enemies which you can comically counter with the Benevolence of the Omnissiah stratagem to block mortal wounds on a 5+. This also helps combat smite spam, obviously, as well.
    • Pricey unit but effective in either combat or shooting.
    • Can become truly devastatingly powerful but to do so requires a massive investment of points and CPs.
    • Can be be run cheaply if needs be, and they remain an effective unit.

  • Onagaer Dunecrawler: The Onager Dunecrawler is a solid vehicle that gives you a lot to love. It’s base stats of T7, 11 wounds with a 3+ save are excellent, but it also comes with a 5++ and can reroll 1’s on it’s invul save if within 6″ of another Duncrawler. It also ignores the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons at the expense of only being able to advance D3″, but that is more than worth the trade-off. It comes standard with an Eradication Beamer which is 36″ range, heavy D6, strength 8, AP -2, D3 damage and it gets more powerful at close range. Not at all bad and the entire unit comes in at a very reasonable 120pts. For my money, I prefer the Icarus Array for it’s 10 shots of a variety of weapons which all have +1 to hit units with the Fly keywods and -1 to hit other targets (although easily offset by the Protector Doctrina Imperative stratagem giving it +2 to hit), or the Neutron Laser as it hits like a Demolisher Cannon at Strength 10, AP -4, D3 shots, D6 damage (with a minimum of 3) but at a much longer 48″ range. That is solid firepower for a very reasonable price point. As a plus, the unit requires very little support to function efficiently. If they do get beat up, you can use the Machine Spirit Resurgent stratagem to allow them to use their full strength stat line, but typically the Conqueror stratagem for +2 to hit will be better. As they will often be back near a Dominus or Cawl who will not only buff them with rerolls to hit they can also conveniently repair them, too. Lastly, they’re your best choice to cheaply fill out heavy support slots for unlocking detachments.
    • Moderately priced firepower on a tough platform.
    • Variety of weapon options to fill different roles in an army.
    • Pairs well with Stygies for -1 to hit.

Lord of War:

  • Imperial Knight: Yes, the Imperial Knights, or Questor Mechanicus, are in the book and get some very cool buffs. They are not AdMech keyword units per se, but they can be repaired in a limited sense (typically 1 wound) by the Tech-Priest Enginseer. You’ve got all of the traditional load-outs available but as is typical across the board, the shooty Knights are best in 8th ed as their Titanic Feet are usually better than any of the melee weapons. Might as well load up on firepower! They do not benefit from Canticles (usually!) but they do gain some awesome stratagem support. Machine Spirit Resurgent is awesome for these guys as it lets them use their full strength stat line, even if they took a beating from enemy firepower. Benevolence of the Omnissiah is another great one as many armies rely on things like Smite to take out Knights, and the 5++ vs. mortal wounds it gives you a nice defensive boost. They also get Knight of the Cog which grants them the benefits of a Canticle if within 12″ of a friendly AdMech character. Rerolls of 1 to hit, or counting as being in cover are awesome for a Knight! Lastly, Rotate Ion Shields is another stratagem aimed at them which for 1CP gives them +1 to their invul save. As you don’t have to use it until they are targeted by enemy shooting it is a very efficient stratagem and helps to survive first turn alpha strikes. Not bad! In all, Knights have a lot to love being in an AdMech army.
    • Expensive but powerful units.
    • Gain many benefits being in an AdMech army with character and stratagem support. 

Warlord Traits:

There are a LOT of Warlord traits and a comprehensive listing of them isn’t needed as many are largely irrelevant. The ones I like are listed below:

  • Necromechanic: +1 wound repaired when your Warlord repairs something. This is great for AdMech as you often keep your Warlord way in the back and near lots of vehicles! Also, it lets an Enginseer repair a Knight for 2 wounds a pop, which is great.
  • Prime Hermeticon: Friendly Forge World infantry within 6″ of your warlord reroll misses in melee. This could be very good when combined with units like Electro-Priests, Ruststalkers or Infiltrators.
  • Static Psalm-code: The +3″ to auras on your warlord is baller, especially considering it will almost always be Cawl!
  • Emotionless Clarity: Graia Warlords let friendly units fire their Assault and Rapid Fire weapons at models even while within 1″ of them. Solid for units that don’t want to be in melee but you have to survive a round of combat to ever use it, much like pistols. Great when it works!
  • Ordered Efficiency: Metallica Warlords let units within 6″ fall back and still shoot at a -1 penalty. Awesome ability and with all of the ways to boost BS for AdMech, the penalty isn’t super meaningful.
  • Masterwork Bionics: Lucious Warlords can get +1 to their invul saves. Awesome ability to keep your Warlord alive and in a Forge World that will be very popular.
  • Reinforced Exoskeleton: Agripinaa Warlords can reduce damage they take by 1 to a minimum of 1. Having used the Shield Eternal many times, I can attest to how powerful damage reduction abilities are.

Arcana Mechanicum:

Again, there are a lot of Relics in this book, but many of them are not noteworthy. Here are my favorites:

  • Pater Cog-Tooth: A super Omnissian Axe. The reason I list this at all (most characters in this army do not typically want to be in melee) is that if you put it on a Dominus or Enginseer they go up to strength 6, AP-2, 3 Damage. And while neither of them is what I would call a melee powerhouse, the Dominus especially can actually pack a decent punch. If you have 1-2 of them, you may want to gear one of them up for melee and if he assaults a unit with Vanguard who lower enemy toughness by 1, that means you will be wounding T4 models on a 2. Not amazing, but a cool little combo that could catch some folks off guard!
  • Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land: The bearer repairs 1 wound per turn and when attempting AdMech models, you can reroll the roll to determine how much you heal. This is a very likely choice for most armies as your Warlord will often be hanging out in the rear with some shooty vehicles and this makes both him tougher and his ability to heal better. Combined with the Necromechanic Warlord Trait, he can be very efficient at keeping units in the fight.
  • Phosphoenix: A super shooter! Replaces a Phosphor Serpenta with a very impressive Assault 3, 18″, S5, AP-3, 1 damage gun. Not a bad choice for a Dominus that you are playing aggressively.
  • The Omniscient Mask: Reroll failed hit rolls for friendly Skitarii units within 6″ of the bearer in melee. This one can be bad ass if used with Infiltrators or Rust Stalkers, but the issue is putting it on someone that can keep up with them. Best used defensively or with a Forge World such as Lucius of Stygies that can get the bearer into position.
  • The Cerebral Techno-Mitre: Graia characters can take this for +1 CP. Sweet!
  • The Solar Flare: Lucius characters can once per game teleport 30″, staying 9″ away from enemy units. Potentially game winning relic be either seizing an objective or whisking your Warlord to safety. Extremely good and on an already potent Forge World.
  • Weapon XCIX: Replaces a Volkite Blaster, gives you a 24″ Heavy 3 weapon at S7, AP-1, 2 damage. Not bad at all for a Dominus hanging out in the rear or midfield and pumping out some respectable firepower.

And there you have it! There’s load more to say of course as this book, while small, offers loads of play-styles, options and fun combos. In the next article, I will present some AdMech lists and different ways to play them either on their own or as a plug-in to another army.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

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

57 Responses to “Adeptus Mechanicus Codex Review”

  1. Don Tomaso September 16, 2017 10:28 am #

    So much fun in one little codex.

    I am a way to slow painter to ever be able to field one of these. Maybe save up for a paint service but then again that would be like buying a new luxury car cost wise:P

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:36 am #

      I have actually intentionally dumbed down my paint schemes on new armies to speed up, lol

      • Dakkath September 17, 2017 7:31 pm #

        Do it necron style; spray chrome, add some details, done.

  2. rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 10:33 am #

    My review of the Forge World goodies:

    Might as well be called “you get Cawl and a cool stratagem”. The Dogma only is 2 chances to get Shroudpsalm pretty much. All other canticles are pretty much meaningless for a stand and shoot army.
    The Stratagem + instachange = preeeeeeetty good alpha strike.
    OK Warlord trait but nothing to write home about.
    Terrible artifact. Default ones are all better…. wtf why

    Graia :
    Not bad trait. This seems the goto for Skitarii troop spam. Which… with the points drops and this dogma doesn’t seem awful to be honest.
    50/50 to negate powers stratagem. Not bad for denying Magnus if he rolls the 2D6 smite, which can’t be denied any other way.
    Warlord trait isn’t awful either.
    Artifact seems good. Can’t argue with 1 CP
    Worth trying

    Metallica :
    Trait sucks
    Stratagem blows
    Warlord trait is good… if you’re losing.
    OK artifact, but not even close to worth to take this garbage Forge World.

    Lucius :
    Not bad trait, depends on the enemy.
    Best stratagem we have, unlocks so many more list building posibilities and removes our main weaknesses: being slow, durability. Deep striking Corps priests = preeeeeetty good.
    Warlord trait – one of the worst in the game.
    Artifact seems like one of the best. Great utility.

    Good trait if you’re already losing.
    Stratagem feels like a red hering. Just like Necrons, a competant player will kill 1 unit at a time and this stratagem will almost never be used. Especially not to full effect.
    Trash Warlord trait.
    The Artifact is actually situationally really good.

    Stygies VIII:
    God tier trait. Can’t argue with that. Dragoons with -2 to hit(and now with AP1) seem preeeeeetty good. Orks can’t even shoot them lol.
    Stratagem seems good at first glance, but then you realise that if you don’t get turn 1 – you’re kinda screwed…. Kinda. It can help protect against deep strikes… Really hard to judge, but one this is for sure – this is not the way to deep strike Electro Priests. The trait is useless to them as they are 12” or just melee range.
    Warlord trait is trash.
    Artifact seems bad as you don’t really want to stay in melee the entire game with your Warlord.

    Ryza :
    Trait doesn’t help at all. Your dudes are already good at damage, they need mobility and survivability.
    Stratagem seems great on Destroyers. That + the +1 to hit stratagem is amazing damage
    Warlord trait is ok.
    Artifact is nothing to write home about.

    Warlord traits and artifacts:

    So the only good artifacts seem to be:
    Autocaduceus – aka the healing one
    The Solar Flare – the Lucius Teleport one
    The Eye of Xi-Lexum – vs Chaos Vehicles (so not really all that good :p)
    All weapon relics seem really bad.

    And the only good Warlord Traits:
    1 – get more CP
    4 – repair +1
    6 – re-roll to hit in combat (situational)
    Mars – better deployment? Not too big on this one
    Metallica – if you’re already losing

    • rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 10:42 am #

      Yes, I know my review is less “diplomatic”. But after I’ve seen WinterSEO, I think I’m quite happy by comparison 😀

      • Dakkath September 16, 2017 3:27 pm #

        We need more reviews summing up each different chapter/forge world/regiment/legion etc in packages like this.

        • rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 10:55 pm #

          At the end of the day, you’ll most likelly want to run multiple Forge Worlds (if you want an AdMech only army)

      • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:38 am #

        If you think the Agripinaa trait is bad, you may not have played against the similar and stupidly powerful Cultists trati in CSM. It is a game winning start and you don’t have to be losing for it to work, lol. You can set traps and intentionally set it off, etc. Or, just make a unit far less appealing to attack when played on defense.

    • Blight September 16, 2017 11:29 am #

      If the stygia trait is the same as the raven guard and alpha legion then they would get to move on their first turn so wouldn’t it be a great way to deploy them?

      • rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 11:35 am #

        Yeah… if you go first. Which is never something you can expect with the +1 to go first, as you have to declare them as deepstrike before the roll. And if you go second, you just wasted all those CP and you’re at a disadvantage for taking a unit that is suboptimal without a deepstrike. (because you’ll have to deepstrike close to your lines or if you’re lucky, in cover) And they’ll get shot to pieces without their precious 3++

        • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:40 am #

          I agree it is first turn dependent but it is still very good. Just look to the success of Alpha Legion and Ravenguard armies. If you have enough LoS blocking terrain though, you can hide them in a good position after all units have deployed. If not, it is a bit of a waste, which is why we keep hammering on the need for LoS blocking terrain.

          I personally think Stygies is the most appealing Forge World.

  3. rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 11:04 am #

    Also, I’m not sure why you’re so big on HQ weapons and HQ survivability/damage warlord traits, as all the AdMech HQs are the supporting healer type that don’t want to be in the front lines.

    Actually, all the HQ survivability traits seem meaningless because they can just be hidden behind troops. For me to take a trait like that it’d have to be 3++ at least. And even then, I’d rather take a force multiplier trait :/

    • Reecius September 16, 2017 11:23 am #

      Because if you have multiple HQs, and only 1 is your warlord, then why not play the disposable HQs aggressively? I see no point in hiding 2-3 HQs for no reason, haha. Hide your Warlord if your mission gives up Slay the Warlord as a point, sure, but the Dominus can be pretty dang good on offense, too and it can be fun and effective to charge up field.

      • rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 11:33 am #

        Yeah but, AdMech HQs are costed higher because they can heal other stuff and have auras. Thus they will usually be weaker than an equivalent unit.

        Also they repair things in the back. You don’t want your Healer to Tank :p If World of Warcraft tought me anything, it’s that, haha

        • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:43 am #

          Lol, funny reference but I don’t think it is necessarily accurate, here. You don’t tank with them, you have them move up to support and fight. They have good firepower and hit decently hard. Plus, with all of the cool options to beef them up in melee, why not? I run 2 Dominus and an Enginseer in a Brigade, the Enginseer to be the Warlord and hide, fixing Dunecrawlers and the Dominus will go up field duking it out and fixing nearby Chicken Walkers, Robots, etc. IME, they do just fine in this roll. They die most games but so what? They often do a surprisingly large amount of damage.

          • Int September 18, 2017 4:43 pm

            Would have been nice if there was a melee focused warlord trait to go with the various axe upgrades and the loltastic ryza dogma, if the intent is they want a Dominus can fight in melee.

  4. rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 12:04 pm #

    Either way, I can’t wait to try it on monday with 3 Shooty Priest drops….

    And yes, when they attack I shall yell UNLIMITED PAAAAAAAAAAAAWAAAAAAAAAA

  5. GhostValley September 16, 2017 1:39 pm #


    I’ve got a substantial Skitarii army, but my only unit from the old cult mech dex is the tech priest dominus. In your opinio, are there successful Skitarii only (plus hqs) builds, or will I need to expand?

    • rvd1ofakind September 16, 2017 8:21 pm #

      The best AdMech units right now are the Cult Mech, sadly (For you).
      Skitarii has Onagers and bubble wrap. However seeing as you have 1 HQ miniature, you’ll be really hard pressed to make a good list.

      I’d get:
      4 Kastelans
      A bunch of shooty electro-priests
      2-3 Enginseers

      • GhostValley September 17, 2017 8:05 am #

        I’ll probably take a look at the robots, and will need the engineseers, but no cawl as I dont want to play a Mars forgeworld. Looking at stygies or Metalica to benefit all my vanguard and rangers

        • rvd1ofakind September 17, 2017 8:28 am #

          Well Metallica seems the worst by far for the majority of people I’ve talked to. But if you’re not taking Mars, then Kastelans aren’t that good actually

          • GhostValley September 17, 2017 3:19 pm

            Metalica only to try a bit of a ranger rush

        • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:45 am #

          Stygies kicks serious ass. You can totally make it work with Skitarii, don’t mind the naysayers =P

          • GhostValley September 17, 2017 3:15 pm

            I’m excited to try! Especially the dragoons. I also love rust stalkers so it’ll be a good challenge to try and make them work.

          • Reecius September 17, 2017 3:50 pm

            Good luck with it =)

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:44 am #

      You can run straight Skitarii, no problem. Dragoons, Balistarii, Dunecrawlers, etc. are all very good units, IMO. My list has only a few Cult Mechanicus units and that is mostly because I like the models.

      • GhostValley September 17, 2017 3:16 pm #

        I really like the robots but I don’t share your love for electropriests. But their stratagem is savage!

        • Reecius September 17, 2017 3:51 pm #

          Yeah, they just look bad ass, lol. Tremendous damage output potential, though.

  6. Losesalotwithadmech September 16, 2017 2:04 pm #

    Under Agrippna you say over watching rerolling 1s. Don’t all of our rerolls say “in the shooting phase” or have they changed that?

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:46 am #

      I meant rerolls due to a nearby character like a Dominus or something similar.

      • Losesalotwithadmech September 17, 2017 1:31 pm #

        Yeah that’s what I thought. All Admech reroll auras specify in the shooting phase and can’t be used in overwatch unless they have changed in the codex. Thanks for a great article – love the format (and the format of the recent batreps!)

  7. Max Mustermann September 17, 2017 12:10 am #

    With the amount of -1 and -2 to hit making its way into the game I’m beginning to see why you said early on that flamers would find their place. Thanks for these articles, Reece! They do a good job helping me know what to expect from armies I don’t play.

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:46 am #

      Glad you enjoyed it and yes, template weapons are incredibly good as they ignore so many of the variables that lower the efficiency of “normal” weapons.

  8. Michael Corr September 17, 2017 1:46 am #

    Looks like a solid force, looking forward to seeing the across the tabletop at some point in the future.
    I also really like the review format, a lot of useful information, especially the bullet points at the end of each summary.

  9. Loofa4 September 17, 2017 3:07 am #

    This is amazingly fun to read! Please do this for every codex 🙂

  10. rvd1ofakind September 17, 2017 7:36 am #

    Creating admech before codex:
    cawl, Onagers, Kastelans, screen

    Creating admech listsafter codex:

    ps: except kataphrons
    ps2: and servitors
    ps3: and ruststalkers
    ps4: and knights. They pretty much got nothing and all the niches they filled before are now better filled by the newly viable admech stuff

    • rvd1ofakind September 17, 2017 7:37 am #

      The only list where Knights got improved is the 3x(or 4x) Imperial Knights list.

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:51 am #

      Lol, you are being very negative for someone who hasn’t even played the Codex yet.

      Kataphrons are much improved, Frankie actually uses them as his go to troops choice, Breachers and destroyers. I prefer Vanguard and Rangers but don’t think the Kataphrons are bad at all. You get a lot of firepower for the points on a durable chassis.

      Servitors are meh. They’re not awful for filling out a Brigade as you get decent firepower, cheap, but they’re not amazing.

      Ruststalkers are not bad assuming you use Stygies or Lucius. You can also get good utility out of them as a counter-assault unit.

      And how you think the stratagems don’t improve knights is beyond me, lol. But hey, to each their own.

      Anyway, you are free to think what you like, of course but I wouldn’t be so quick to write things off until you’ve got a couple of games under your belt.

      • rvd1ofakind September 17, 2017 7:48 pm #

        I’m very happy with the codex, actually. Like I said, EVERYTHING IS VIABLE(except the PSs). I’ve made more lists with the codex than I’d like to admit

        Destroyers still cost 200+ pts for a T5 3 wound unit with only a 4+/6++. That’s really bad. They don’t even do crazy damage. They fill the same role as Kastelans, Onagers, Balistarii, except are worse because they get shot-off the board so easily and can’t even put out much damage without OC their plasma.

        Breachers, I don’t want to touch with a 20 foot pole

        I swear, I heard you guys say Servitors are the worst unit in the game when you were first talking about 8th. So… why weren’t they improved? At all? Not even 1 point

        Rustalkers will always play second fiddle to Electro Priests. Less damage, less durability(especially potential durability), etc.

        Knights are out of place because they have almost no synergy and cost too much. I don’t have the CP to feed to the Knights, I have to spend then: to deep strike, to change protocols, to mars it up with the Kastelans, etc etc. Using them on the Knight is one of the last things I want. They just don’t synergise with the army. The niches they used to fill (screening, mobility) are now better filled by the now powered up (due to FW traits and stratagems) Dragoons and Deepstriking in general. When I take a Knight I feel like I’m pretty much praying for RNG to roll well, when I can just not take it and win a lot more often through clever use of stratagems.

        Again, I’m really psyked to go drop some priests in someones face. I’m only disappointed in those units. Also “I like those models” and “I think they’re OK” are not arguments I ever use. I mean, I’ve made a huge Mathammer spreadsheet with all the units I have (400+ models). And no, I don’t think Mathammer is verything, not even close, but it is a good jumping on point.

        • Reecius September 18, 2017 8:53 am #

          I still think you’re being too negative for not having played the dex =)

          Servitors are not optimal, but in this book, you can take a shooty unit and they do OK. Not great, barely good. But, they are 2pts a model, there is no room to go anywhere with them, honestly.

          Ruststalkers I think are less optimal than Electro-priests on a points efficiency basis but they situationally can be better as they are faster and more durable on a basic level.

          Again, your opinion is your own but as you said, you need to play these units as points efficiency is great but I cannot tell you how many times my opinion on a unit has changed dramatically after actually playing them vs. just applying theory.

          • rvd1ofakind September 18, 2017 10:26 am

            Servitors: it’s all the fault of the dumb melee weapons they have. They’d be such a fun unit to use if they were any good. :/

          • Reecius September 18, 2017 10:28 am

            True, but a lot of what happens is based on how the models look. So, Servitors just kind of are what they are =/

  11. SideshowLucifer September 17, 2017 11:02 am #

    Looks like a solid Codex with a lot of build variations. This is something I have wanted for AdMech for ages, as I always loved their lore but never thought they made an effective army on the table.
    This really makes me want to invest in AdMech now and play around with them a bit.

    • Reecius September 17, 2017 11:52 am #

      I think they’re great, some of their combos are devastating. A large unit of Ballistarii hitting on 2’s, rerolling 1’s at -1 to to be hit just wrecks things. That is just one of many combos.

      • Don Tomaso September 17, 2017 12:36 pm #

        Hardly anything worse then for example morty+drone/rhino vs non heavy weapon spam armies.

        I am not an advocate for super combos or units but if geedub insists on handing those out then everyone should get something ridiculously powerful for balance issues.

  12. OnboardG1 September 18, 2017 12:16 am #

    The only thing that makes me cagey is that the dex has a real lack of psychic defense, which makes smite spam a bit frightening. I think I’d have to ally Voldus or Greyfax in if I were playing this competitively so that I could keep my dudes safe from psychic nasties.

    • SideshowLucifer September 18, 2017 3:52 am #

      Against a list designed to spam smite, there isn’t much you can do with a single psyker most of the time.

      • OnboardG1 September 18, 2017 4:22 am #

        This occurred to me after I posted. Maybe Primaris Psykers?

        • Threllen September 18, 2017 6:45 am #

          If you’re only looking for psychic defense, I’d go with Greyfax or Primaris psykers. Voldus is pretty expensive and can only deny a single power with no bonuses. So he’s exactly as good as primaris psykers are at denying, just a lot more expensive. Greyfax is about double the cost of primaris psykers but at least she can deny two powers with a +1 on the roll and she gets some bonuses to take them out offensively as well.

          You could pretty easily throw 3 primaris or 2 primaris + greyfax in the HQ detachment and not have to lose any of your sweet AdMech bonuses by making a soup detachment if you’re really worried about enemy psykers.

    • Reecius September 18, 2017 8:49 am #

      Eh, you can work around it. It’s nasty but it’s not the end of the world, honestly. With things like Agripinaa Breachers, you can run up, take it in the face but forcing them to get hit and then recycle them all.

  13. C. Ash September 18, 2017 3:39 pm #

    Good to see that Vanguard/Rangers got points reduction. I am unhappy Vanguard are more expensive than Rangers, they seemed to have gotten hit hard from 7th to 8th with how the battlescape has changed with -1 AP when they are out in the open vs rangers in cover. Good the Knights got some love, I wish the sword knights could hit with both sword and titanic feet so there would be a reason to take a sword. Also glad the Chicken walkers got -1 AP on taser lances plus -2 to hit them with shooting seems like they will be a great cheap utility unit at 60pts in nothing else. Hopefully with the small amount of healing and some of the strategems like +1 inv: my shooty knight can still absorb ridicious amounts of fire while the Onagers & other units shell away completely untroubled by enemy fire. The exploding 6s to mortal wounds strategem could also be quite good with a full 6 unit of chicken walkers with 2 shoot sniper rifles in Cawl bubble. Every six is two mortal wounds to a character. Kill a guard reroll character or if you roll above average number of sixs a SM chapter master/Guillman.

    • rvd1ofakind September 18, 2017 6:58 pm #

      With them costing equal, no one in their right mind would take (non sniper) rangers. Vanguard have the aura and more dakka. The +12 range is almost meaningless when it does 3x less damage

      • C.Ash September 19, 2017 5:30 am #

        I am glad to hear you view vanguard as better, because I love the WW1 look Aholes. But based on my experience the vanguard get so vulnerable at 18 inch range to charges and AP-1 they end up being one and done so ended up not moving them forward into range & so not shooting with them so a hole wouldn’t open up in front my onagers to chargers/deepstrikers when the crack back killed them. The rangers end up getting more rounds of shooting off before they die while maintaining bubblewrap in front of the onager/kastellans. This based on playing with them in June/July with approximate 30 vanguard and the battlescape has really changed since them with the amount of T3 on the table vs T4. I look forward to getting Vanguard out of the boxes

  14. akorndr2 September 22, 2017 2:12 pm #

    so mars will more of a gunline. be curious how it will handle against ultramarines gunline. need close combat support and stuff to kill predators. having more units on the table should help and those knights will help

  15. Tumbleglass October 26, 2018 10:03 am #

    Great review!

    Slight mistake though, on the Kastellans; even though it’s true they have a 5++ save that reflects mortal wounds, it’s a save that only works at range; they have no invulnerable save in melee. Might be good to mention.

Leave a Reply