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: 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
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.
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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