iNcontroL’s AdMech List and Tactics

Hey everyone, Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson here to discuss what I think is going to be one of my favorite Adeptus Mechanicus lists that I will be running right out of the gates! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!


First a few words on the codex. I think this is a superb set of rules we can be excited about. As a competitive player I find a lot of really fun and cool possibilities. If you are more into fielding fun lists and having a good time with your mates this codex doesn’t really have any one unit that you would be upset with. Surely some are more optimal than others (looking at you Ruststalkers) but you COULD play a game with them and be moderately happy with how they run around and wiggle their arms at people.

With that said lets take a look at the list:

Battallion: Mars
HQ: Cawl 250
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer 52 (Ax, Servo Arm)
Troops: 3×5 Rangers 120
Heavy: 5x Kastelans (Shooty) 550
Heavy: 2×1 Onager Dunecrawler (Icarus) 260
1,232

Battallion: Stygies VII
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer 52 (Ax, Servo Arm)
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer 52 (Ax, Servo Arm)
Troops: 3×5 Rangers (4 arquebuses, 3x Omnispex) 241
Fast: 6x Sydonian Dragoons (Taser Lance) 408
753

Total: 1985

The Gist of this list:
Durability. In 8th edition we often find ourselves in a situation where if we aren’t going first, they have clear line of sight to us or are just alpha heavy we go down hard. Ad Mech introduces some amazing mechanics that mitigate this and make that a more risky endeavor. With MARS and Cawl you get 2 rolls on the canticle chart and the +1/-1 allows for you to have over a 75% chance of getting shroudpsalm (with a CP reroll) that can mean your entire army count as being in cover…WOW! But as a reminder, you roll 1 die for the army wide canticle, another for the second one that only impacts Mars units. Most of your army already has decent saves / toughness so this only strengthens that. The Kastelans START in Aegis protocol which brings them to a 2+/4++ on their own but a 1+ with the canticle. The other half of the list has -1 to hit with Stygies OR -2 to hit with the Sydonian Dragoons…woah! Basically you leave your opponent troop choices (in most cases) to fire at and they have a 3+ or also a -1 to hit. If you keep them out of LoS you are talking about a list that is about as unattractive as it gets for a shooting army.


Additionally, this list hits HARD. Kastelans can drop anything in the game with their “Wrath of Mars” strategem pumping out a tremendous amount of mortal wounds and getting to reroll shots with Cawl. Dunecrawlers are less accurate vs ground targets with Icarus array but Cawl helps mitigate that as well. If they have flyers (which the meta is heavy with) they will drop most flyers together in 1 round of shooting… hitting on 2’s with a reroll from Cawl or a canticle and doing -1 or -3 AP with high damage/strength.. yikes. Rounding out the list is the secret sauce.. Arquebuses are the real deal. High strength, damage and AP means they are a threat to ANYTHING but a menace to characters like a Commissar, Warlord or anything else really. Suddenly our troops have TEETH! I like the snipers to be in Stygies so again it is harder to kill them and they survive that tad bit more. Finally, the Sydonian Dragoons. 6 of these beasts can kill ANYTHING in the game (that they can charge). Three attacks each at strength 8, -1 and 2 damage isn’t super amazing by itself but when you consider that on a 6 to hit they do 3 hits instead of 1 you start to get warmer.. but what if I told you for 1 CP you can make them hit on 2+ and have exploding 4’s? Suddenly 18 attacks on the unit can very realistically become 42+ hits… good luck getting through that. Outside of that they are also decently survivable outside of 12 in particular with a -2 to hit.

The Weaknesses:
As always I think a big weakness with Ad Mech is lack of mobility. I love the Lucius combo of deep striking a unit of priests to get around this but that won’t fit in this list.. perhaps another one! I think my minor way of getting around this is the speed and ability to infiltrate the Sydonian Dragoons. That said if something mulches them which they certainly can be.. I am slogging it around fairly slowly.

Another sore spot would be the lack of a screen. Now conventional thought is add in some conscripts or whatever. I personally don’t like that route. I am a competitive player and I definitely have ran a libby conclave in the past with my War Con but this time around I am running a poor dex for me. That being said my list has 20 rangers I don’t really care about and I can use them to buy space and time. Nobody is calling them brimstones but you can be smart here and make them work.


Lastly, this army is a finesse army. I’ve already lost a few games because I was too urgent to drop anchor with my Kastelans and shoot twice.. it’s something I will have to learn over time with practice! I nuked Mortarion vs Frankie but then lost the unit not too long after. I’ve also allowed for chain charges and had moments where my key units were exposed unnecessarily. Typical mistakes but with this army my damage output is mostly congested in 3 units so losing any 1 of them is devastating. I think a final nod towards how command point heavy this army is, you can go through all your points pretty fast. This army only has 9 to start which is OK but ideally you make a list with more.

That’s it for now! I am excited to practice and get games in while I eagerly await for my next big army release: Tyranids. Can’t wait to see what that codex will bring as well! Let me know what you guys think about this list and other potential lists. I love that no one list will be the best in my opinion! We will see a lot of variety!

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26 Responses to “iNcontroL’s AdMech List and Tactics”

  1. Dakkath September 24, 2017 5:52 am #

    Have you considered swapping some of the rangers for vanguard to get your screen units?

    • iNcontroL September 25, 2017 9:18 am #

      Why? Rangers are actually 1 point cheaper. Vanguard are cool though.. I may at some point run a few units of them. My current list has 15 extra points and the vanguard -1 toughness / more shots per gun is kinda nice!

      • mrmattywoodz September 25, 2017 1:55 pm #

        But you have the extra points to do it, so it might be worth it. Changing the Mars detachment screening units to Vanguard might be totally worth it, it gives them extra shots to fire in overwatch when they take charges, and then if they survive they can fall back and give the -1 toughness to whatever charged them while you blast them with the other units. I understand if you need to save the points for something, but you have the exact points to spare.

      • N.I.B. October 2, 2017 6:12 am #

        Hey Geoff, would be interesting to hear your thoughts about index Tyranids, where they’re at and about the major tournament you took them to.
        Haven’t seen anything niddy from you on your youtube or Twitter for the past month.

  2. The Traitor September 24, 2017 6:35 am #

    In this kind of list I would try to fit a unit of kataphron destroyers, in case you really need to kill something you can burn a CP to activate the stratagem that gives them +1 to wound and the kastellans too, saw Mortarion die because of that the other day.

    • rvd1ofakind September 24, 2017 9:39 am #

      +1 to hit

  3. Kriddi September 24, 2017 8:20 am #

    Ive been wondering one thing with new new codex, how does the mars Dogma work with other non mars detatchments. Do you roll one dice that both detatchments get, then roll one aditional for the mars detatchment?

    • rvd1ofakind September 24, 2017 9:40 am #

      Yeah, this rule really needs some FAQing. Really bad wording on it.

      • Jasonwolfe September 24, 2017 11:42 am #

        I think page 95 has a pretty clear explanation. “All
        units with this dogma receive the benefit of both results, instead of just the result of the first dice (if a duplicate is rolled, no additional Canticle is canted this turn)”. Roll a first dice and keep it separate. Then roll a second dice. All admech models get the effect of the first dice, only Mars get the effect of the second dice.

        The place where the codex needs a FAQ is the strategems that affect a VEHICLE. But admech has units of vehicleS. So when you use RAGE OF THE MACHINES, does it only affect 1 robot in a unit of 6 robots?

        • rvd1ofakind September 24, 2017 6:50 pm #

          There are things that need clearing up (maybe not for me, but for people who will argue otherwise):
          1) Do you roll both dice or one after another.
          2) Do you get to apply Cawl’s +/-1 when you see both dice or immediatly after the first one

          • Jasonwolfe September 24, 2017 8:15 pm
            #

            It is for sure one after the other. The codex specifically mentions a `first` dice. Cawl’s +1/-1 doesn’t have a specific timing. If you play the more powerful interpretation of rolling a first and second dice in sequence quickly, and then picking +1/-1 for both at the same time I don’t think anyone is going to challenge that.

            Example sequence:

            top of battle round
            roll dice 1
            wait one second
            roll dice 2 several inches away
            do the +1/-1 on both dice at the same time

          • rvd1ofakind September 24, 2017 9:07 pm
            #

            1) is for people who argue you roll both and pick
            2) is actually confusing

    • Spera September 24, 2017 3:36 pm #

      You roll first one for both, and then second one as bonus for mars.

  4. akorndr2 September 24, 2017 2:16 pm #

    ive got a mind using a imperial knight lancer backing up infiltrators

    • iNcontroL September 25, 2017 9:16 am #

      Yeah that would be pretty sweet. Not sure you can run the FW Knights and gain the benefit that the AdMech codexes offer but that knight is mean anyways and the infiltrators put out a lot of dakka.

  5. TheHoff September 24, 2017 9:14 pm #

    But how do you change the kastellanprotocolls, without a datasmith?
    Or are you just fine with the aegisprotocols?

    • rvd1ofakind September 24, 2017 10:58 pm #

      Stratagem to instachange.

    • iNcontroL September 25, 2017 8:56 am #

      It’s not ideal. The CP to change is a hard / forever change but aegis is really good and them dropping anchor later in the game is probably correct use for them 99% of the time anyways.

  6. rvd1ofakind September 25, 2017 1:27 am #

    Can you use a Lucius stratagem on an Auxilary detachment? Since they are excluded in the rules

    • abusepuppy September 25, 2017 5:44 am #

      You gain access to all of the stratagems as long as you have at least one detachment of Adeptus Mechanicus in your army (regardless of which forge world or worlds they are affiliated with), so long as it isn’t an Auxiliary Support. Once you have access to the stratagems, they can be used on any unit that meets their keyword requirements, regardless of which detachment it is a part of.

  7. Graspian September 25, 2017 7:32 am #

    What is the advantage of taking 2 Techpriest Enginseers instead of 1 Enginseer and 1 Datasmith?

    • Matt September 25, 2017 8:26 am #

      Datasmiths are an elite choice – he needs the Enginseers for the Battalion HQ tax

      • Graspian September 25, 2017 9:40 am #

        Got it. I haven’t played since 5th edition so I’m not quite caught up yet. Thanks!

  8. nerdcore7863 September 25, 2017 4:48 pm #

    Can you make a move after using the Clandestine Infiltration stratagem?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 25, 2017 5:06 pm #

      Yeah, it is a pre-game deployment. You act as normal on turn 1.

      • nerdcore7863 September 25, 2017 6:03 pm #

        Excellent thanks.

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