Codex Review: Astra Militarum Part 1

The Astra Militarum are here to deliver the Emperor’s Fury upon the enemies of humanity! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles. There is so much to cover in this book, I had to split it up into two parts! Part 2 to follow shortly.

You can read part 2 of this article, here.

Grab that new Codex here at a discount from FLG!

Reecius here, and I am so pumped to share with you the awesomeness that is the Astra Militarum Codex.

I am a long time Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum player and this book is near and dear to my heart. If I could only play one army in 40k, it would be Astra Militarum. I’ve had not one, but two different Catachan armies since 2nd edition, painted in different camo schemes, lol! My current version have a red and black camo scheme and I call them the Tartarus 151st, based off of the death world they come from and their regiment number. Yes, I am that nerdy!

I always gravitate towards “normal” humans in settings like this as I love the idea of your average Joe lacing up his boots and getting it done in the face of a hostile galaxy filled with terrors.

What this book offers you though, perhaps more than any other codex we’ve seen so far, is the opportunity to build a unique army that reflects your unique play-style and vision for what it means to be an Astra Militarum army. The flexibility is incredible, you really have loads of options available to you ranging from the horde armies we’ve been seeing in 8th ed, to mechanized armies, to tank companies, to elite armies and more. It really is a book that offers not only incredible depth but also breadth.

Before we dig into that customization, let’s cover the common special rules available to all Astra Militarum regiments.

Voice of Command

The signature Astra Militarum special rule gives models with this ability Orders which they can issue to friendly <regiment> infantry units. These go off automatically, have a range of 6″ and can provide one of the various special benefits listed below. All are issued in the shooting phase. Typically these are issued by Company or Platoon Commanders but with Master of Command Warlord Trait, any Character in your army can gain the ability.

It is important to note, and this is a big change, Conscripts in addition to only being able to be taken in units of 30 max, now receive orders on a 4+.

  • Take Aim!: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for the unit.
  • First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!: Changes Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns to Rapid Fire 2.
    • A mainstay order, and very effective. Giving just 10 Guardsmen 40 shots by itself is awesome, not to mention the havoc you can wreak with a large unit of Conscripts. 
  • Bring it Down!: Re-roll wound rolls of 1.
  • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit may shoot even if it advanced.
  • Get Back in the Fight!: Ordered unit may shoot even if it Fell Back.
    • One of the best orders available to you. Taking a charge, then backing up so not only your buddies but your own unit can then blast them is incredibly good!
  • Move! Move! Move!: Instead of shooting, the unit may move+advance but cannot charge.
    • This is an amazing order, and often wins you the game by not only running out to grab objectives but also by surrounding enemy units to prevent them from moving, etc.
  • Fix Bayonets!: The ordered unit may fight as if it were the fight phase.
    • Not a particularly exciting order in most instances but now with things like Catachans getting +1 strength and potentially +2 attacks per model, it becomes rather appealing, rather quickly!

Tank Orders

Not to be outdone, there are also orders for Leman Russ tanks, as well. These are issued by either a Tank Commander or Knight Commander Pask.

  • Full Throttle!: The model can move+advance instead of shooting.
    • If you need to get a Russ out of LoS or onto an objective (especially considering Leman Russes can now get ObSec!).
  • Gunners, Kill on Sight!: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for the unit.
  • Strike and Shroud!: The unit can shoot and then pop smoke.
    • Great order for a turn 1 advance or end game play, especially when combined the incredible Take Cover! stratagem.

Grinding Advance & Defenders of Humanity

That is not all for the mighty Leman Russ, though. They also get the incredible ability to shoot their turret weapon twice if they move half speed or less! This is a massive increase in the venerable tank’s damage output and combined with Defenders of Humanity which grants them ObSec (the Leman Russ holds an objective even if there are more enemy models in range of it unless they have a similar rule) when taken in a Spearhead Detachment and a 10pt drop for matched play, the Leman Russ has never looked so good!

Defenders of Humanity also grants ObSec to your Troops in Astra Militarum detachments.

Militarum Tempestus, Advisors & Auxilia

The Astra Militarum is a massive and diverse fighting force spanning a galaxy of people. It makes sense that there would be a wide variety of fighting men and women in it and these rules allow you take the following units in an Astra Militarum detachment and retain their Regimental Doctrine, although those units do not themselves benefit from the regimental doctrines. Note: Militarum Tempestus units do not gain their Storm Troopers regimental doctrine unless they are in a detachment comprised entirely of Scions.

Stratagems

As 8th edition 40k unfolds, Stratagems will really come to define how an army plays in many ways. They are my absolute favorite addition to the game and give the savvy player tools to overcome what would be impossible situations. Beyond the three basic stratagems common to all armies listed above, Astra Militarum players gain access to generic stratagems available to all regiments. Here are some of my favorite options and those I think will be seen more frequently in matched play.

  • Crush Them!: 1 CP, lets a vehicle advance and still charge and in the fight phase, hits on a 2+.
    • While not exceptionally exciting on most vehicles, when applied to a Baneblade chassis vehicle which at full efficacy has 9 strength 9 attacks that are -2 AP and D3 damage a pop…yeah, that is savage!
  • Aerial Spotter: 2 CP, lets a Basilisk or Wyvern re-roll failed hit rolls in the shooting phase.
    • A bit expensive, but if you really need to take a unit off of an objective, or take out the last few members of a unit for a game winning Kill Point, this will be 2 CP well spent.
  • Jury Rigging: 1 CP, one of your Astra Militarum vehicles heals 1 wound but can not move at all.
    • If you need to bump up a tier on your degrading damage profile to shoot better, or just improve the odds of a vehicle surviving, this will be a life saver.
  • Consolidate Squads: 1 CP, join 2 Infantry Squads (the actual, basic Astra Militarum troop unit, not any infantry unit) together and treat them as 1 unit.
    • Your old “blob squad.” This is actually quite useful as it allows you to join units together to gain additional benefits from Orders, aura buffs, etc. and it means youhave less Kill Points on the table.
  • Imperial Commander’s Armoury: The generic “get more relics” stratagem available to pretty much every army. 1 CP for 1 more relic, 3 CP for 2 more.
    • For some armies, this isn’t really worthwhile but Astra Militarum have access to some tactically useful relics such as the Dagger of Tu’Sakh and Kurov’s Aquila that are situationally awesome but you may not want them every game.
  • Officio Prefectus Command Tank: 2 CP, Makes one of your Astra Militarum Leman Russ tanks a “Commissar Tank” for the rest of the game, giving all units within 6″ LD9.
    • Depending on your army archetype, this can be extremely useful! Combined with a Regimental Standard, you’d have Ld10 Guardsmen.
  • Mobile Command Vehicle: 1 CP, an Officer within a Chimera may issue an order and counts as being within 3″ of a Vox Caster, giving the order an 18″ range.
    • This will come in handy only once in a while, such as when a unit had to advance forward to take an objective and you need to issue them a critical order but are too far away to do so otherwise. However in those circumstances, this can be game winning!
  • Inspired Tactics: 1 CP, allows an Officer to issue another order after issuing one.

  • Defensive Gunners: 1 CP, hit on a 5 or 6 in Overwatch for an Astra Militarum vehicle.
    • Like many of these, this won’t come in handy all the time but when it does it can be absolutely clutch!
  • Take Cover!: 1 CP, grants one of your units +1 to their saving throws. The unit is chosen in your opponent’s shooting phase after they have nominated that unit as a target.
    • My favorite stratagem available to Astra Militarum! This is incredible and makes your units massively more durable, especially when combined with the Psychic Barrior psychic power. And remember, this also impacts invulnerable saves!
  • Grenadiers: 1 CP, allows up to 10 models in an infantry unit to throw grenades.
    • A great stratagem and I find it is best on 10 strong units of Scions who have Krak Grenades, or Bullgryn whose only weapon are Frag Bombs. But, 10d6 strength 4 shots is nothing to sneeze at from a full sized unit! Even Veterans hucking 10D6 strength 3 Frag Grenades at BS 3+ is not bad at all in the right circumstances. 
  • Fight to the Death: 1 CP, used at the start of the morale phase, one of your infantry units takes a morale check on a D3 instead of a D6.
    • If you need a unit alive but don’t have 2 CP left for Insane Bravery or you know the roll of a 3 or lower gives you the morale result you want, this is a great stratagem.

  • Go! Recon!: 1 CP, this stratagem allows a unit of Scout Sentinels to move 2d6″ in the shooting phase but cannot shoot or charge.
    • As with several of those outlined above, this will not always come in handy but when it does it can be game winning by getting you linebreaker, an objective or simply booking your Heavy Flamer equipped Scout Sentinels out of LoS on turn 1 after they Scout moved.
  • Vengeance for Cadia!: 1 CP, grants a unit re-rolls to hit AND wound if they are targeting a Chaos keyword unit.
    • This is obviously, bananas powerful. Especially with how prevalent Chaos is in the competitive meta at present, this is a brutally effective stratagem.

Heirlooms of Conquest

The Astra Militarum also get their generic relic goodies available to all Regiments, and while many may not jump out at you right off of the page, their are a few real gems in here. And as stated in the stratagem section above, you may want to use some of them on occasion with Command Points. Here are the generic Heirlooms of Conquest:

  • The Emperor’s Benediction: Commissar or Lord Commissar only, replaces their bolt pistol. Pistol 3, strength 4, AP -1, 2 damage. May target a character even if that model is not the closest unit.
    • As weapon relics go, this one is not at all bad. Some of the other choices are clearly better, IMO, but if you wanted to have some fun, this on a Commissar Lord could provide quite an unpleasant surprise for an unwary opponent. In certain match-ups, say against character spam, it may be worth spending a CP to take this relic.
  • The Laurels of Command: Officer with the voice of command ability only, this relic allows you to issue a second order to a unit you have already issued an order to on a 4+, this extra order is “free,” not counting towards the total the officer can issue.
    • This is one of my favorite relics and the one I take most frequently. The orders are incredibly good and being able to double down on them on a single unit is fantastic.
  • The Deathmask of Ollanius: Infantry model only, this model gains a 4++ and can once per game heal D3 wounds.
    • Not an all star relic, but can be very fun when used on an Ogyrn Bodyguard who with a Slabshield becomes quite the tank.

  • The Dagger of Tu’Sakh: During deployment, you can set up one Infantry character along with an Infantry unit in reserves and they appear within 6″ a table edge of your choice, within 3″ of one another and more than 9″ away from enemy models.
    • This is an incredibly useful relic and one that will often be taken using the Imperial Commander’s Amoury stratagem. Having a unit of say, Conscripts, or Veterans appear behind the enemy with a support character is fantastic, and saves you points on any type of delivery vehicle in addition to protecting them from alpha strikes.

  • Kurov’s Aquila: Officers only, this relic allows you to gain a Command Point on a 5+ every time your opponent uses a stratagem.
    • This will probably be one of the more common relics. As Astra Militarum can get tons of Command Points quite easily, you can build lists that start with a ton and then gain several every turn, too. An excellent choice.
  • The Blade of Conquest: Replaces a model’s power sword. Strength +2, AP-4, D3 damage.
    • This is actually quite powerful and while most Astra militarum lists won’t want to be going into melee, some are actually decent at it. A Catachan Officer for example, could go up to strength 6, with 5 attacks if buffed by Strakken and a Priest. That is nothing to sneeze at. While not as useful as some of the other relics, it is not bad at all.

Warlord Traits

The generic Warlord Traits available to all Astra Militarum regiments are solid and will be sure to please.

  • Grand Strategist: Your Warlord can re-roll a single hit, wound or save, once per battle. Additionally, for every Command Point you spend, on a 5+ it is refunded.
    • This is, in my mind, clearly the best trait and the one we will see the most frequently. Getting CP back is incredibly good, especially for an army that can farm up so many of them!
  • Old Grudges: After deployment, choose an enemy unit. Friendly Astra Militarum units within 6″ of your warlord can re-roll failed wound rolls when attacking that unit.
    • If you find yourself facing a big nasty like a Knight, or Magnus, etc, this can be VERY good.
  • Implacable Determination: Your warlord and a single friendly units within 3″ automatically advance 6.”
    • Not the best trait, honestly, but can be cool with the Move, Move, Move! Order.
  • Draconian Disciplinarian: Re-roll failed morale tests for friendly AM units within 6.” If taken on a Commissar, he executes D3 models and they are considered to have passed the check.
    • Great for keeping big units of Conscripts in line when used on a Commissar.
  • Bellowing Voice: Add 3″ to the range of aura abilities.
    • Can be very good for a Commissar Warlord. Still, not an optimal choice in most cases. Would be fun to use on a Tank Commander in conjunction with the Officio Prefectus Command Tank stratagem!
  • Master of Command: Warlord gains the Voice of Command ability or Tank Orders if a tank, if they already have that ability, they gain an additional Order.
    • This is my second favorite Warlord Trait as Orders are fantastic. Depending on your army archetype, this can make a single Officer handle all of your order needs, or it can be combo’d with things like the Laurels of Command to really double down on Order efficiency. Baring that, if you want to just run a Commissar and some Conscripts, for example, this let’s you get double mileage out of a single model.

Psykana Discipline

The Astra Militarum have access to an incredible array of psychic powers. You are going to want to bring a psyker along as these are simply superb force multipliers.

  • Terrifying Visions: 18″ range, WC7, -2 leadership to an enemy unit.
    • While very good situationally, you will likely not see this used very frequently. 
  • Gaze of the Emperor: WC6, draw a line 2D6″ in length, each model under the line triggers a mortal wound to their unit on a 4+.
    • Potentially fairly nasty if you can get close enough, but with Smite in your arsenal, there’s not a lot of reason to take this.
  • Psychic Barrier: WC6, a friendly Astra Militarum unit within 12″ gains +1 to their saving throws.
    • Simply outstanding! This is one of the best powers available to AM. As you can cast it on anything, from Conscripts to Baneblades, it is incredibly versatile and powerful. I have been using it on Bullgryn and as it also benefits invulnerable saves, you can get them to a 3++, or a 2++ vs. shooting in combination with the Take Cover! stratagem. Conscripts can go up to a 4+, or a 3+ vs. shooting with the Take Cover! stratagem for extra obnoxiousness.
  • Nightshroud: WC6, a friendly AM unit within 12″ is -1 to hit for ranged weapons.
    • Like Psychic Barrier, this power is simply amazing. Used in conjunction with Psychic Barrier, you can make a unit extremely durable. 5 out of 5 stars on this one.
  • Mental Fortitude: WC4, 12″ range, makes a friendly AM unit automatically pass morale tests.
    • Quite a good power for units out of range of Commissars, etc. Not as good as the above two, but if you have multiple Primaris Psykers, it is worth considering.
  • Psychic Maelstrom: WC7, select an enemy unit within 18″ and they take continuous mortal wounds on a 2+, 3+, etc. until the roll is failed or you destroy the unit.
    • Not a bad power as it does not require line of sight. Still not a top choice, but certainly not bad if you want your psyker dealing damage.

Astra Militarum Regiments

This customization comes in the form of the Regimental Doctrines, and their respective unique Orders, Stratagems, Warlord Traits and Heirlooms of Conquest (relics). Let’s dig in and discuss what these have to offer for each Regiment! These will be broad overviews of each Regiment, in-depth reviews and tactics to come in future articles!

Cadia

Cadia is the quintessential Astra Militarum regiment and they have a lot going for them.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Born Soldiers: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the shooting phase for Cadian units that didn’t move. If infantry recieve the Take Aim! order, they re-roll all misses if they didn’t move.
  • Cadian Order: Pound Them to Dust! This is a Tank Order that lets you re-roll the number of shots when firing a Leman Russ turret weapons, such as a Battle Cannon.
  • Cadian StratagemOverlapping Fields of Fire: 2 CP, after a Cadian unit has wounded an enemy unit, add +1 to hit for any other Cadian units that target that unit this pahse.
  • Cadian Relic: Relic of Lost Cadia: Once per game, re-roll all hit and wound rolls of 1 for Cadian units within 12″ of the bearer. Re-roll all failed hit and wound rolls for Cadian units targeting Chaos units.
  • Cadian Warlord Trait: Superior Tactical Training: After issuing an order, on a 4+, your Warlord can apply the effect to another Cadian unit of the same type within 6.”
  • Cadian Special Characters: Lord Castellan Creed, Knight Commander Pask, Colour Sergeant Kell

Cadia offers you a very cool overarching theme. This is a great Regiment for you if you prefer a sit and shoot style of play for your Astra Militarum army. Your benefits kick in for hunkering down and blasting your opponent to bits. If you have a large number of units and officers to support them, you can issue multiple Take Aim! orders using your Warlord Trait and twin link loads of units, which is very powerful. Combine this with increased efficiency of the Pound Them to Dust! tank order on tanks that are already re-rolling 1’s to hit if they hold still. You’ll be especially good at focusing on a key unit and then twin-linking a unit, wounding it, then burning 2 CP to give +1 to hit to every other unit shooting it, whom will also frequently be twin-linked! You can see the buffs starting to add up.

If you utilize their named characters (which are quite good), Creed and Kell combined give you 4 orders out to 12″ off of Creed (and again, on a 4+ he effects 2 units per order) and re-rolls to failed morale checks, not to mention 2 bonus CP! Combining Infantry Squads will be great here, and Heavy Weapon Teams too, will work very well in a Cadian army. Pask is a monstrously good Leman Russ character and you’d be missing out to not take him. Hitting on a 2+ and issuing 2 orders, he’s both powerful and a force multiplier.

Catachan

My favorite! Not only because they are good, but as stated in the article opening, I am a lifelong Catachan fan boy, lol. Well, if you are like me, you will be stoked as Catachan got some serious love from GW.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Brutal Strength: Catachan infantry gain +1 strength and if they are within 6″ of a Catachan officer, +1 leadership as well. Their vehicles can re-roll a single D6 for any weapons that have a random number of shots. And that is per weapon, not per vehicle. So, if you have 3 Heavy Flamers, you can re-roll the number of shots for any or all of them.
  • Catachan OrderBurn Them Out!: You can re-roll the dice when determining the number of shots the ordered unit can make with Flamers and heavy Flamers and these a unit targetted by these weapons does not receive cover for the rest of the phase.

  • Catachan Stratagem: Vicious Traps: If an enemy unit finishes a charge within 1″ of a Catachan unit fully in or on  aterrain feature, on a 4+ they take D3 mortal wounds.
  • Catachan Relic: Mamorph Tuskblade: +2 Strength, -3 AP, 2 damage power sword.
  • Catachan Warlord Trait: Lead From the Front: 6″ Heroic Intervention and you can re-roll failed hit rolls for your Warlord if they Heroically Intervene, Charge or were Charged.
  • Special Characters: Colonel “Iron Hand” Straken, Sergeant Harker

While some of the Catachan special rules are so-so (Stratagem, Relic, Warlord Trait), their abilities that are good are VERY good. Strength 4 infantry is awesome, especially on big units like Conscripts or combined Infantry Squads as you can easily get them up to 3 attacks a piece by taking a Priest and Straken (who is quite good on his own merits). You now have cheap models that hit harder than Assault Marines! I often throw in a few Power Swords too, as they’re cheap as chips and add some armor killing power.

Beyond that, the leadership buff is actually super useful for normal squads as it boosts them up to 8 and I find that often, you can get by without a Commissar at that stage for 10 man units and a judicial application of the Fight to the Death stratagem. Their order is also fantastic and works great with Veteran squads armed with 3 Flamers and a Heavy Flamer, or Special Weapon Squads. With Catachan you get both solid close range firepower (they are amazing with Heavy Flamers) and good long ranged firepower as well as their artillery and Leman Russes being so efficient. I find running them with tooled up infantry and Bullgryn to move up the field, and artillery combined with either super cheap Leman Russes sporting just a turret weapon and hull Heavy Flamer, or with a powerful turret weapon like a Executioner Plasma Cannon, Demolisher Cannon or Punisher Cannon and 3 Heavy Flamers makes for a powerful combination. Catachans give you an army that wants to stay mobile and get close to inflict maximum damage while retaining very efficient long ranged fire support. They are bound to be quite popular.

Valhalla

The Valhallan Ice Warriors are dour warriors with little regard for human life and their rules reflect this.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Grim Demeanor: Halve the number of models that flee from a failed morale check and vehicles double the number of remaining wounds when determining what their stats are.

  • Valhallan Order: Fire on My Command!: You can shoot enemy units even if they are within 1″ of friendly models. On a 1, you hit your own units, though.

  • Valhallan Stratagem: Send in the Next Wave!: If a Infantry unit is wiped out, you can bring them back in on your deployment zone more than 9″ from enemy unit and 6″ from the table edge.
  • Valhallan Relic: Pietrov’s MK 5: Replaces a Bolt Pistol, 12″, Pistol, Strength 4, AP -1, 2 damage. Turns the bearer into a super “Commissar” limiting friendly Valhallan units to no more than a single lost model due to a failed Morale check within 6.” Great for Conscript screens.
  • Valhallan Warlord TraitTenacious: 5+ “Feel no Pain” save, 6+ if it is on a vehicle.

Valhalla basically screams at you to take lots and lots of infantry! All of their special rules and abilities are geared for this and they do it well. I love their Relic, too, as it lets you double down on an Officer, making him also a Commissar in effect. Loading up on Conscripts, or at least a few units, to screen your army and then fire into the enemy when they get gummed up in them works like a charm. Make sure to issue the re-roll 1’s order also on a unit you command to do this using the Laurels of Command relic. Baring this, Commissar Yarrick fits the theme of this army perfectly and gives you a re-roll 1 Aura to avoid blasting your own guys. And if they get ground down? Send in the next wave! Their doctrine is also great for vehicles, too. Being able get higher efficacy out of yours before they start to degrade is very powerful and keeps you hitting your opponent back harder, longer.

This is an army that grinds down its opponents with attrition. Conscripts up front to screen backed by blobbed infantry units or Veterans to fire into the enemy as they come in and tanks to go for objectives, remaining effective later in to the game.

Vostroyan

The Vostroyan First Born have a history of martial pride and top notch gear. They also play well on the tabletop!

  • Regimental Doctrine: Heirloom Weapons: Add 6″ to the maximum range of Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons if they can normally fire 24″ or more.

  • Vostroyan Order: Repel the Enemy: The ordered unit can fire on enemy units even if they are within 1″ of the firing unit.
  • Vostroyan Stratagem: Firstborn Pride: For 1 CP, you can give a Vostroyan unit +1 to hit.
  • Vostroyan Relic: The Armor of Graf Toschenko: Toughness +1, with a 2+ save.
  • Vostroyan Warlord Trait: Re-roll failed hit and wound rolls in the fight phase for your Warlord.

I really like Vostroyan rules as they may not leap off of the page at you like the Catachan or Cadian suite of rules do, but these are very, very good. Increasing the range of your weapons is massively awesome. As this works on vehicles, too, you can take things like Demolisher Cannons and fire into the enemy deployment zone without having to move, Punisher Cannons, Plasma Cannons, etc. all become so much better. Rapid Fire weapons then double tap at 15″ range, making First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire that much better, not to mention Plasma Guns, etc. Their backstory is of an army with elite units armed with good equipment and this helps reflect that quite a bit. Veterans with 3 Plasma Guns, Leman Russes with longer ranged weapons, etc. are all very useful.

Their stratagem though, is simply outstanding. +1 to hit on demand is amazing. Use this on a Leman Russ with Executioner Plasma Cannon and you can’t overheat if you don’t have any negative modifiers to hit, and you can hit on a 3+ or 2+ if it is a Tank Commander, who can also get re-rolls of 1 to hit! Brutal. And if that seems good, use this with a Stormsword, Baneblade, etc! Having them hit on a 3+ is amazing and if you also take a Salamander Command Vehicle, you can boost that up to a 2+. Absolutely devastating.

Armageddon

The forces of the Armageddon Steel Legion are known for their toughness and application of mechanized infantry to destroy their enemies.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Industrial Efficiency: Infantry may double the number of shots they get with Rapid Fire weapons at 18″ and vehicles ignore AP-1.
  • Armageddon Order: Mount Up!: Ordered unit may shoot and then embark on an Armageddon transport vehicle within 3″ so long as the unit did not disembark this turn.
  • Armageddon Stratagem: Armoured Fist: For 1 CP, you can give an infantry unit re-rolls of 1 to hit if they disembarked from a transport that turn.
  • Armageddon Relic: Skull Mask of Acheron: 3″ -1 LD debuff to enemy units, -2 to Orks.

  • Armageddon Warlord Trait: Ex-Gang Leader: +1 attack and +1 to wound rolls in the fight phase for your Warlord.

Armageddon special rules are all geared towards a mechanized play style and they do it quite well. With infantry able to disembark, re-roll 1’s to hit from a stratagem and then possibly re-rolling 1’s to wound as well from an order at 15″ range with double taps, this is quite versatile. On the next turn, you can shoot and then hop back into a waiting transport. Not bad at all. I honestly don’t think this screams power like some of the other Regiments but it is tricksy and I could see a savvy player keeping their Veterans alive to keep pumping out high power shots using a mixture of Transport vehicles and cheap screen units to keep your Vets out of melee. The much cheaper Taurox in addition to the Chimera are obviously great for this but imagine using a Titanic vehicle like a Stormlord or Banehammer! You could mount up multiple units into the same vehicle which is MUCH more durable. Load up that bad boy with Twin Heavy Flamers, cast Psychic Barrier on it to give it a 2+ and possible the Take Cover! stratagem as well to go to a 1+ and wow, you’ve got a cool, powerful and unique army play-style with infantry jumping in and out of various transports, blasting you to bits!

Tallarn

I have always loved the backstory of the Tallarn Desert Raiders and they have some excellent rules to bring them to life on the tabletop.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Swift as the Wind: Infantry can advance and shoot any weapons normally (apart from heavy weapons), and vehicles can move and shoot Heavy Weapons with no penalty to hit, finally titanic vehicles can advance and shoot heavy weapons as if they were assault weapons.
  • Tallarn Order: Get Around Behind Them!: Tank Order, a Leman Russ may move 6″ before or after it shoots, and this doesn’t impact the Grinding Advance special rule.
  • Tallarn Stratagem: Ambush: 3 CP, place 3 Tallarn units in reserves (one of which may be a vehicle unit), these enter the battlefield within 7″ of any board edge, more than 9″ away from enemy units.
  • Tallarn Relic: Claw of the Desrt Tigers: Power Sword, AP -3, 2 damage, +2 attacks.
  • Tallarn Warlord Trait: Swift Attacker: Your warlord and friendly Tallarn units within 6″ can charge even if they fell back this turn.

I feel Tallarn may be the best regimental package. They have so much awesome stuff going on. The ability to advance and shoot normally means an infantry army of Tallarn is crazy mobile which is just fun unto itself as pretty much everyone is moving 6+D6″ and blasting people. The ability to move and fire heavy weapons on vehicles is incredible, too, as that is one of the biggest things holding many Astra Militarum vehicles back at present. Leman Russ tanks with 3 Heavy Bolters become quite good, or Plasma Cannon Sponsons, even Multi Meltas. Baneblade chassis vehicles being able to advance and fire heavy weapons is awesome, too. Load up say, a Hellhammer with 4 Twin Heavy Flamers and you can fly up the table setting things on fire and then charging and crushing them in melee (still being able to shoot!) with the Crush Them! stratagem. Not bad at all.

The real magic though, is their stratagem. WOW, that is amazingly good. You can put 3 units of Veterans, or how about a unit of Hellhounds, or whatever and keep them safely off of the table and then come in wherever it is most beneficial. This pairs up quite obviously with the Dagger of Tu’Sakh which allows a character to outflank with another infantry unit allowing you to bring in 5 units from a flank! That is absolutely fantastic, particularly in the current meta. I’d run a Brigade of these gents with Infantry Squads with a Plasma Gun and Plasma Pistol, and Veterans loaded with Plasma and Melta, outflanking with an Officer with the Dagger. Sentinels with Autocannons, Leman Russes and Artillery to taste and a super heavy tank with support characters and that is a solid army that would be fast and fun to play.

Militarum Tempestus

The Scions are the elite storm troopers of the Astra Militarum. They are quick, hit hard and have quite a few tricks up their sleeves.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Storm Troopers: At half range, a model with this doctrine can make another shooting attack on a 6+ to hit with shooting weapons.
  • Militarum Tempestus Order: Elimination Protocol Sanctioned: You can re-roll failed wound rolls for models in the ordered unit when firing at Vehicles or Monsters.
  • Militarum Tempestus Stratagem: Superior Intelligence: For 1 CP, after an enemy unit sets up on the battlefield, a Militarum Tempestus infantry unit within 12″ may fire on them with a -1 to hit.
  • Militarum Tempestus Relic: The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius: A model with it may issue another order on a 2+.
  • Militarum Tempestus Warlord Trait: Faithful Servant of the Throne: Your Warlord can Deny the Witch.

Militarum Tempestus were already good…now they’re even better! I am a huge fan of them, in fact, I have en entire army of them! They now offer you quite a bit. It is important to note though, that Plasma Guns did go up in cost for them (and all BS 3+ models) to a more fair price point, but it is still a good buy for them especially with their doctrine, giving them exploding 6’s with shooting attacks. One of the things I really like with them besides the obvious benefit to plasma Guns, is just a unit of 10 of them with no upgrades. At 100pts that unit can jump out of a transport and light something up. it is important to not that they can roll around in any Astra Militarum transport, too, not just the Taurox Prime (which did get a fair points boost, it was too cheap previously). That unit can then pump out 37 Hot-shot lasgun shots, averaging an additional 6 shots with the doctrine, meaning you average 29 hits at strength 3, Ap -2. Toss in a re-roll 1 aura and it gets even better. Perfect for blasting screen units to bits, and surprisingly effectively against many other targets, too. As mentioned above, this unit is also great for the Grenadiers stratagem to huck 10 Krak grenades on a target, which is brutal, with exploding 6’s if yo manage to get within 3″!

It is important to note, their vehicles also benefit from the Storm Troopers doctrine, which is amazing on the Taurox Prime as if you load it out for long ranged shooting, at 24″ 6’s to hit give you another shot which on a Missile Launcher or Autocannon is no joke. As folks were already using Scions, they will continue to be popular with these special rules, even with the slight points bump they got to price them a bit more fairly.

Mordian

Finally we come to the Mordian Iron Guard, stalwart defenders of the Imperium. They provide you a very dffensive tool-set to watch their backstory with some fun tricks.

  • Regimental Doctrine: Parade Drill: +1 Leadership and +1 to hit with overwatch if all models in the unit are in base to base with at least one other model in their unit. Vehicles get +1 to hit with overwatch if they are within 3+ of another Mordian vehicle.

  • Mordian Order: Form Firing Squad!: The ordered unit can target a Character with Rapid Fire weapon, even if the Character is not the closest unit.
  • Mordian Stratagem: Volley Fire: 1 CP, the ordered unit gets another shot with the same weapon on a 6+ to hit.
  • Mordian RelicOrder of the Iron Star of Mordian: 4+ “Feel no Pain” style save.
  • Mordian Warlord Trait: Iron Discipline: Each time a model flees within 6″ of your Warlord, on a 4+ they do not flee.

Mordia offers up some cool abilities, not the least of which is the awesome Firing Squad! order that allows you to snipe characters with your basic dudes. That is very useful in this meta. The increased over-watch essentially across the board, is also very nice and for screen units like Conscripts or combined Infantry Squads, it makes them pretty dang scary to charge. Gnerally speaking, I think this set of rules is not the most powerful, but they do have a few tricks up their sleeve. A unit of Vets with Plasma Guns and an Officer to hunt enemy characters could be quite effective, particularly with the Laurels of Command to potentially let them target an enemy character and re-roll 1’s to hit! Not bad. If it is a Chaos character and you use the Vengeance for Cadia statagem, too….lol. And as many have noted, the Deffensive Gunner stratagem plus their Regimental Doctrine means their vehicles can overwatch on a 4+ which is potentially devastating.

Where there you have it! Part 1 of this massive review is done and part 2 will go through the units in the book. This book has so much to offer it’s crazy. So many ways to play the army, it is such a blast and I feel like I still discover new tricks and combos every time I play.

What is your favorite Regiment and why?

Read part 2 of this article, here.

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

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About Reecius

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

119 Responses to “Codex Review: Astra Militarum Part 1”

  1. Requizen
    Requizen September 30, 2017 12:03 pm
    #

    Not crazy about the Scions stuff, but honestly they were already strong enough that it’s just icing on the cake haha. I didn’t particularly spam too much Plasma so the point change doesn’t worry me that much, and it’ll probably still be just as strong.

    So now I’m torn between splitting my Scions and Vehicles into different Detachments, losing CP but getting different bonuses, or just skipping the MT bonuses and running a full Cadian Brigade to make my Artillery more efficient, since the Doctrine and the Stratagem are both quite good for Basilisks/Wyverns.

  2. Ty September 30, 2017 12:55 pm
    #

    Really like how Cadia looks. Can Pask give himself orders?

  3. Wes September 30, 2017 1:19 pm
    #

    Is ther some reason you can’t have a detachment of MT, that includes models other than scions? I.e., a leman Russ with the Keyword replaced with MT?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 30, 2017 1:20 pm
      #

      If you have anything in it that isn’t MT, you lose their doctrines. But, yes, you can do that. You’d have an Astra Militarum detachment.

    • abusepuppy September 30, 2017 10:44 pm
      #

      “Scions” and/or “Militarum Tempestus” aren’t regimental keywords in the same way that the others are- you can’t pick them for your and thus can’t stay “pure” while taking units other than the basic Scion stuff, as I understand it.

      • Wes September 30, 2017 11:20 pm
        #

        Militarum Tempestus is a regiment keyword now, though. Obviously scions automatically have that keyword. A leman russ, however, can be whatever regiment you choose. So I’m just verifying that there is something in the codex stating that I can’t choose the Militarum Tempestus regiment for a leman russ, Or any unit, I’m just using the LR as an example.

        I guess I’ll find out either way next week.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 1, 2017 7:36 pm
          #

          Militarum Tempestus is not a regiment key word, it is a Faction Keyword. You can only be Militarum Tempestus with the faction keyword and you can only have a MT detachment if all units in the detachment are MT.

  4. Colin September 30, 2017 1:37 pm
    #

    Hey Reece,

    Great article. Thanks for the write up. I’m curious what your feelings are going to be for people not playing with the correct models/paint schemes. Oh my steel legion models? They are catachans.

    Thanks!

    • Gnarlf September 30, 2017 11:33 pm
      #

      I would see no problem with that. As long as it is obvious which model uses which doctrine it should be fine. Remember Reeces Wolflord has a horse.
      You should allways play with the models you like.

    • Nogle October 1, 2017 3:18 am
      #

      I’m more worried about an army of cadian models, but these ones are mordians, these ones are catchan, etc.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:37 pm
      #

      As we’ve been saying, so long as your detachments are clearing identifiable to your opponent, what doctrines you use is up to you.

  5. Nick Wenker September 30, 2017 2:00 pm
    #

    Thanks for the detailed write-up Reece. What’s your response to all the people who are looking at the early reviews and worrying that this codex takes an army that was already a little too good and now makes it overbearing?

    I think a lot of people expected some light buffs for the bad units and nerfs for a lot of other stuff, and instead it looks like pretty light nerfs to the handful of best things + bananas buffs to everything else across the board. The last time people expected a top army to get toned down and instead it got way better was with the last Eldar codex, and we all know how that turned out. I am reading some early comments online and I’m surprised to even see a lot of IG players worrying that all the buffs are too much and that they’ll become the “everyone rolls their eyes when they see the army on the table” army of this edition.

    All the 8th codexes so far seemed fluffy and generally balanced, with both strengths and weaknesses, even if Gullimen / UM is pretty hefty. The new IG codex doesn’t sound like that. I’m surprised conscripts stayed at 3 ppm and guardsmen at 4 ppm, that Russes not only got cheaper but also got possible obsec and also got double shot and also got very powerful stratagems/regimental bonuses, that basilisks got even better with -3 AP, that orders got even more powerful, and that the army with the easiest availability of CPs can now ALSO get them refunded on 5+ AND get bonuses ones from the enemy on a 5+ (DG players with the ~15% chance Tallyman CP refund are weeping).

    • Dbiesto September 30, 2017 2:13 pm
      #

      Its going to be a grueling uphill battle especially with the new edition fall back rules now that orders had already been overriding the penalty. A lot of ppl in my messenger group are a bit salty, including an ork player who is now waiting for an ork codex before he bothers players ng anymore. I am definitely curious how many turns AM will get to have in tournaments with horde spam lists. The one thing that is fixed a lot of them agreed on is now orders are 50/50 on conscripts instead of. automatic.

      • Nick Wenker September 30, 2017 2:22 pm
        #

        I thought it was interesting that shortly after I posted the comments above, I found the MiniWargaming video codex review and their IG player basically said, “Guard was already the strongest army of 8th and I am 28-1 with my list and I’ve won every tournament I’ve entered, and now this codex just buffs everything I was already taking without any real drawbacks.”

        Sigh. I am really wondering if they just shit the bed on this codex because they were overeager to make Guard cool again when they were already great in the Index. I was excited about LVO but am now dreading Guard (and maybe any other army that hits gold with their codex by then) reaming everyone.

        • Dbiesto September 30, 2017 4:42 pm
          #

          The only drawbacks are assaulting them they will outshoot everything’s ng now. The issue is the tanks got so much better, so you kill some bubble wraps, then get wrecked by tanks even if you deep strike in if you are short ranged.

          My current list is probably not going to do as much damage as I was to AM.

          EC

          Vanguard, Supreme Command, Spearhead

          DP
          Sorceror
          3 heralds of slanesh
          7 bikes- combi plasma
          Raptors- 2 mg pp power sword x 2 squads
          4 squads obliterators
          Helldrake

          AM have so many drop troops that even if you manage to assault the units on the board, average player has at least 3 units dropping in with how cheap points cost they are to counter your assaults. They will probably win most maelstrom a lot easier now. I dont really see a point taking ob sec anymore, at least for my list.

          Definitely AM might be the best codex released this edition.

        • steve October 1, 2017 7:12 am
          #

          With respect your friend might not know what he is talking about in regards to no drawbacks. im sure he took scions in his lists, and both the vehicle and plasma units flat out cost more now, that IS a drawback, regardless of minor extra buffs the receive. The suicide command squad goes from what 64 points to 96 points ( i believe) and possibly gain an extra attack or 2 on 6s, to me overall, thats a slight nerf to the uni’s effeciency. You might get 1 extra shot from a 4 man unit for 32 more points, not something i think is a buff.

          But with that being said im super excited about the book, i just like it seems like a variety of units are viable and this will prolly keep me interested for awhile now, i was getting tired of pure scion spam with conscripts i was forced to run to stay competitive.

          • Golly October 2, 2017 5:03 pm
            #

            He’s not talking about his friend, he’s talking about Owen from the MWG video-review of the codex. No idea if he ran Scions or not, but aren’t Elysians just more efficient? They’re cheaper and with an OOTF seem better as well.

            From what I can tell plasma costs more for all BS3 AM GW models – but does that include Forge World units as well? I’m assuming they have to be or Elysians would just be even more overpowered than they already were by comparison.

    • JoeTortillas September 30, 2017 2:18 pm
      #

      Very curious about his opinion too. So far, it gives the impression that the competitive meta will only see MORE astra detachment. I don’t see anything that has been changed that would change the current trend.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 2, 2017 9:52 am
        #

        Astra Militarum isn’t dominating now, and I don’t think they will. Chaos is the big dog in the yard. AM is very popular but I feel that is just as much due to the fact that most long time gamers have an AM army and because they have a Codex.

        • EBA October 2, 2017 7:26 pm
          #

          😛 Chaos, while performing well, has not been the top winning list in tournaments nearly as often as an Astra militarum heavy imperial list has. And while Celestine (almost ubiquitous) and G man (Not as ubiquitous) are very good, they arent shouldering those wins alone while dragging the guard ball and chain.

          Guard is unquestionably the strongest codex right now, I wouldn’t want to see GW release a stronger one, as Guard are TOO strong at the moment.

          Guard heavy imperial lists are gonna stay on the top of the meta only more so now, and chaos, even with ridiculousness of the malefic lord, isn’t going to to be able to outmatch that. Guard are more efficient at trading than cultists, and can make an army trivially able to deal with any and all threats, sitting on a mountain of command points, while defering deployment to keep their most damaging assets safe from the alpha strike.

          Removed from the idea of what army, in the hands of someone like Kopak or Gonyo, is the best, on a purely casual friendly level, guard are pretty much impossible to not be extraordinarily strong, with an ease of tabling opponents through mass fire power from a variety of list archetypes, it will be difficult for players at a local game store level who AREN’T building competitive, to beat guard at a list building level.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:38 pm
      #

      AM are very, very good but not OP. I don’t think they’re OP in the index, honestly, just very good.

      Play against them a few times before judging, they’re fine. Codex 40k is a different animal, it just takes acclimating to it.

      • Nick Wenker October 2, 2017 8:29 am
        #

        Thanks, appreciate your feedback. Everything I’ve seen so far, and the reactions from some early reviewers, suggests that they were a very strong index army that is now totally over the top, but I’ll wait and play a bunch of games against them to see whether the panic is justified.

  6. Neil September 30, 2017 2:29 pm
    #

    The conscript tweak seems very fair whilst keeping the unit viable. Plasma points increase is unnesercary though. The increase for BS3 models on plasma just renders them obsolete. The Command squads FAQ was enough to limit plasma spam sufficiently in lists that have actually been performing well competitively, but still seeing them get table time. Going from 14 points per plasma command dude to 20 is an awful change.

    • abusepuppy September 30, 2017 10:46 pm
      #

      It might have been a bit much, that remains to be seen. But 7pts was absurdly cheap, and it was pretty criminally easy to bring 3-5 Command Squads to the table for virtually no points.

      • Neil October 1, 2017 12:57 am
        #

        But that’s the point of guard. Cheap blokes that die easy. 3/5 command squads are cheap, but they use us 3/5 HQ or further Elite slots to unlock them. Then they drop, kill something and die when someone blinks at them. 80 points is far too much for a unit that does that. 62 points was maybe a shade cheap. Maybe not though.

        • abusepuppy October 1, 2017 8:32 am
          #

          80pts for four Plasmaguns with BS3+ is still a really good deal. And “using up slots” is hardly a disadvantage at all, given how trivial it is to get large numbers of slots- you can get five Elites in a single battalion, or eight in a brigade, or just take a vanguard.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:39 pm
      #

      Plasma increase is totally fair.

      • Golly October 2, 2017 5:06 pm
        #

        Does the plasma increase include FW models as well? I’m assuming it would, or Elysians plasma comm. squads seem even better than they already were, by comparison.

      • Peter de Florio October 4, 2017 7:18 pm
        #

        It will be interesting to see if people actually move to bs 4+ plasma.

  7. TheThievingMick September 30, 2017 2:47 pm
    #

    I’m really digging Catachan– I’m mulling around a Brigade + Spearhead detachment. What do you think of 6ish Infantry Squads with Power Swords backed by Straken and a Priest with some Bullgryns? I know you run a lot of Vet squads, but I’m really curious about how well Catachan runs regular Infantry Squads.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:39 pm
      #

      It works quite well =) I like infantry squads with a Flamer and Power sword and Bullgryn are just amazing!

      • TheThievingMick October 1, 2017 8:10 pm
        #

        That’s about what I was thinking. I’m really torn between Tallarn and Catachan at the moment.

        Both seem really awesome.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 2, 2017 9:50 am
          #

          They indeed are.

  8. NovaStar September 30, 2017 3:10 pm
    #

    Must resist Tallarn style Fremen army

    • Beau September 30, 2017 8:27 pm
      #

      I actually have my cultists for my CSM all painted up in crazy mad max desert theme. Might have to counts as some Tallarn with them but…
      Can I make a decent Tallarn army with 200ish vets, psykers, and a shadowsword?

  9. Alex D September 30, 2017 3:47 pm
    #

    Who here is ready to start bouncing rounds off our hard abs while smoking a cigar, and flamering the enemy?!!!! the while pumping iron with the other hand!?!! I AM!

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:40 pm
      #

      lolol

  10. Dakkath September 30, 2017 4:45 pm
    #

    Cadians: Gunline
    Catachans: load up on the flamers and blast weapons.
    Valhalla: great for other imperials splashing in a few conscript blobs and you can use the relic to save points on needing a commissar.
    Vostroya: 2nd most likely to load up on plasma guns after the tempestus
    Armageddon: get your mechanized infantry here.
    Tallarn: apparently these guys have been learning the ways of making baneblades pop out of nowhere from CREEEEEEEEEED
    Militarum Tempestus: get better with plasmas and hot-shot guns, the stuff you were already taking them for
    Mordian: Bring the combined squads from here, that sniper order will be nasty.

    Btw, thanks a ton for separating stuff out by regiment, makes it so much easier to weigh the benefits of each one at a time.

  11. Ujayim September 30, 2017 5:31 pm
    #

    If anything this gives me hope Brimstones won’t be nerfed into the ground, if already incredibly powerful AM gets almost** nothing but buffs.

    • Blight September 30, 2017 6:52 pm
      #

      We already have the brimstone nerf with the CSM codex. I don’t think they plan to nerf them any further.

  12. Amof September 30, 2017 6:04 pm
    #

    So looking at these buffs is AM turning into Barkstar 2.0?

    Fearless conscripts unchanged
    Artillery buffed
    Scions buffed
    Smite spam ability unchanged(along with huge buffs from power)

    But watch out guys mortar teams went up 2ps.

    GW has put themselves in a bind, leave AM alone and watch them dominate or nerf them in Chapter approved once people have jumped on the band wagon.

  13. Amof September 30, 2017 6:05 pm
    #

    It feels like the designers really under value cheap fearless infantries ability to zone control the board.

  14. Fluger September 30, 2017 6:06 pm
    #

    Tallarn all the way! Super awesome!

    • Beau September 30, 2017 8:30 pm
      #

      I am resisting the urge to buy 2 more super heavies and give them Ninja emblems.

      • Fluger October 1, 2017 8:58 am
        #

        Creed!!!!!

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 1, 2017 7:41 pm
        #

        The ability to outflank Titanic vehicles is almost certainly an oversight, IMO. I would wait a bit before committing to that.

        • mortetvie October 2, 2017 8:59 am
          #

          Plus, I believe you have to be within a certain distance of a board edge with the Tallarn rules (7 inches?) and I think all super heavy vehicles are too big to fit within the restrictions anyway?

          Still, this brings back memories of when I played against my spacewolf friend with my Tallarns and I outflanked a bazillion demo charges…

          • N1njad4ve October 3, 2017 10:58 pm
            #

            All three units must be within 7″ of the edge. This lets a super heavy be touching the 7″ bubble and project its whole length onto the board (not going within 12″ of an enemy)

            I’m not sure if they even made it be units wholly witihin – a unit within 7″ can congaline all the way across the board with one model toe in the 7″ line

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:41 pm
      #

      Tallarn is incredibly good.

      • Fluger October 2, 2017 7:11 pm
        #

        I used Creed and AlRahem back in the day to outrank big blobs. Really helps guard which normally lacks mobility. Getting to do it without fear of clumping up and controlling when and where they come in is gold.

      • N.I.B. October 3, 2017 4:02 am
        #

        ‘Incredibly good’ like index Tyranids supposedly were, or incredibly good for real?

        I’m feeling pretty salty, after the hype you put on nids in the early reviews.
        Played in a major ITC tournament this weekend. Faced index AM with 3 Wyverns, 3 Basilisks, 2 Manticores, 1 Stormsword, 3×30 Conscripts, assorted buffing characters + Celestine. LOS blockers didn’t help against all that artillery. Only reason I walked away with a few points from that game, was that I went first. Yeah anecdotal evidence, but I’m struggling.
        As a Tyranid player I too want to be able to be the worse player and still walk away with the win, not be the better player and fight tooth and nail just to not be tabled.

  15. Blight September 30, 2017 6:59 pm
    #

    All the talk of AM being too strong sounds a lot like wh people were saying about death guard. Does this mean that AM are an even greater boogeyman or that the internet just tends to overreact to new army books? Only time will tell. Also maybe playtesters.
    Oh and Reece send in the next wave costs points right?

    • Dbiesto September 30, 2017 10:04 pm
      #

      From what Im reading its a copy paste from tide of traitors CSM except it is any infantry unit instead of just cultists and it is free just like CSM lol. A dream match would probably be AM vs Alpha Legion cultist battalions with renegade psykers in the finals is what might happen for a few tournaments. -1 to hit vs all around take on everything AM.

      • Blight October 1, 2017 1:06 am
        #

        Definitely not a copy paste. The big difference is that tide of traitors and the ad mech stratagem require the unit to still be alive. Send in the next wave only works to bring back an entirely destroyed unit. Doing that is expressly what reinforcement points are used for.

        • PrimoFederalist October 1, 2017 9:36 am
          #

          I hope they don’t intend it that way, as you have less control over the mechanic and so can’t *plan* to use it like you can “Fresh Converts” and “Tide of Traitors”. It’s dependent on your opponent killing your unit, not on your actions (i.e. summoning in, which is just a Deep Strike mechanic, or Magnus killing a character, which is not very difficult to plan for, etc). As it’s substantively different from reinforcements, I imagine you’ll rarely see it used if they rule the way you are suggesting. Might as well have two units of Conscripts on the table than pay for two and hope your opponent kills one so you can then walk them onto your own board edge…

          • Blight October 1, 2017 10:46 am
            #

            Summoning is similar in that it is only rarely useful. If the unit didn’t have to be entirely within 12″ of a non-moving summoner then it would be fine as a simple deepstrike mechanic. (Chaos marine dex does not have this restriction but deathguard does so I’m assuming it was a typo) The second a daemon dex comes out and it has any kind of native deepstrike ability no one will use summoning.
            As for the guard it would be odd that they have an entire matched play rule that only they ignore.

          • PrimoFederalist October 1, 2017 12:10 pm
            #

            I honesty fail understand why you think a full unit of Kataphron Destroyers with one model with one wound left being returned to the table at full strength is fundamentally different from a unit of Conscripts being wiped out and returning.

          • WestRider October 1, 2017 1:38 pm
            #

            It’s fundamentally different because the Rules say that restoring Models to a reduced Unit does not cost Reinforcement Points, while creating a new one does. Tide of Traitors and Fresh Converts just do the former, and then they also have a redeployment mechanic, but they are not creating a new Unit. It’s functionally no different than using some uber-healing power and then Gating them somewhere.

            Send in the Next Wave, on the other hand, takes a Unit that is not part of the current Game (because it has been *completely* wiped out), and adds it to the Game.

    • EBA October 2, 2017 7:29 pm
      #

      Who said Death guard were too strong?

      They weren’t. They’re not even as good as base chaos if you are looking for ways to build tourny lists, and Mortarian isn’t Magnus.

      Guard, however, are shaping up to be too strong.

  16. Tomguycot September 30, 2017 8:18 pm
    #

    So with Tallarn is their 3 CP stratagem limited to 3 infantry units or is it just “3 units” so say 3 chimeras with guys inside or… 3 stormlords?!

    • Dakkath September 30, 2017 10:24 pm
      #

      Creed would be proud.

    • Blightstar October 1, 2017 1:22 am
      #

      3 units. There is general relic that allows you to do the same with the character and one unit of infantry.

  17. Dbiesto September 30, 2017 10:42 pm
    #

    The hardest thing about a game with this many armies is balance. It could be power creep, but in a game that relies solely on d6 instead of a mix of different types of dice (d4, d8, d10 etc not high randomness.) IG this edition can definitely remain competitive with the new rules on mobility and shooting even with all the other armies even during a power creep release of armies unless deathstars somehow comeback. (Please no). As of right now, it does sound like any unit can outflank bring on our baneblade overlords #ouch GW will probably faq this asap if this is true

  18. Madwilly October 1, 2017 1:15 am
    #

    Reecius, is it hard being such a positive innovator to the game versus just a ‘sit back and let it play out’ type guy? 😀

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:43 pm
      #

      Eh, now that the new stuff isn’t new to me, I have much, much more of a “sit back and watch” attitude. AM are very good, but they’re not broken like people think, just like Death Guard weren’t.

      • Jural October 2, 2017 12:30 pm
        #

        My biggest fear with AM isn’t that the Codex is too good (it seems solid, and maybe it will end up at the high end, certainly better than Grey Knights…) but more that AM is available to so many factions, does a few things extremely well, and collects command points like they are water, all while leaving plenty of points to build the rest of the army.

        So I wonder- will Tau, Orks, etc. be able to compete with “Imperial” or “Tyranid” armies that take advantage? Also, I wonder if we will just see AM everywhere, as the “smart” choice.

        But certainly part of the fun of the this phase of the game is looking at everything as it drips out and imagining what the final product will bring!

        Of the codexes out so far, I would guess AM is the clear best and GK the clear worst, with DG, CSM, and SM really floating around depending upon build/ future releases. But I feel very little will make me think AM is not useable, or GK are top tier.

      • EBA October 2, 2017 7:39 pm
        #

        Who thought death guard were broken? Was this ever a thing? I didn’t see it.

        Like, even in the buildup, no one who looks at competitive lists thought death guard were going to be super powered. They’re aight. Just Aight. From a competitive standpoint. They’re more fun if you’re looking for casual gaming. They don’t even seem to really be able to combo in with a general chaos list that well. Maybe find a way to rock a mortarian pain train, but at that point why wouldn’t you take magnus? Recycleable cultists edge out pox walkers, especially with some of the legion traits

        Malefic lords aren’t astartes anyways.

        Guard, on the other hand, were already strong, being the prime competent of tourny armies. Conscripts got a small nerf, but not a large one (They are still a big unit of 30 dudes you have to actively kill the majority of yourself, gumming up all the works, for cheap), same with plasma. On the other hand, indirect fire weapons all get buffed by being regimental (A lot of this is pretty significant), and leman russes have rocketed, leaped into the meta through a combination of… well… pretty much all the factors, double shooting the biggest, but regiments and orders also pushing them up.

  19. CWDub October 1, 2017 5:49 am
    #

    Man, this book is so good it’s making me want to run my 40+ neophyte genestealer cultists as brood brothers along with the 35+ guard models I just got off eBay. Probably going to get some more Russes, too…

    Reece: is anything in this book TOO good? Or is all the internet rage just happening in a vacuum?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:48 pm
      #

      It is a tremendous codex, truly. So much fun. Too good? There are a few units that need to go up in points a bit, but that is it, IMO.

  20. C. Ash October 1, 2017 6:28 am
    #

    It seems the A team was on IG codex or GW is getting better at making sure that all regiments/chapter tactics are appealing. There were some stinkers in SM and AdMech chapter tactics, but all IG regiments seem to do cool stuff.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:46 pm
      #

      Yeah, agree. All of the Regiments are seriously cool.

      • Jural October 2, 2017 4:07 pm
        #

        It TOTALLY helps that there was already so much fluff and story behind the regiments…

        And they didn’t try and give out any stupid “bonus when assaulting fortifications!” type rules. All solid and useful rules well paired with the fluff of the faction at hand.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 2, 2017 4:35 pm
          #

          Yeah, exactly. I feel like the AM regiment suite of rules are honestly the most fun, flavorful and useful.

  21. Beau October 1, 2017 8:06 am
    #

    Question. With Tallarn stratagem, can I reserve transports that are full of troops? Like could I choose my shadowsword and 2 stormlords that are completely full of veteran troops and reserve them?

    3 super heavies and 80 veterans coming in on my opponents table edge would be pretty fun!

    • Blightstar October 1, 2017 1:11 pm
      #

      Sure. You’d just need equal amounts of units on table to pull it off.

      • Beau October 1, 2017 4:01 pm
        #

        Hmmm 3 wyverns, a conscript blob or 2, and 6 commisars/company commanders

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:47 pm
      #

      Each unit in reserves is a unit in reserves. So a unit in a transport is two units in reserves.

      • Beau October 1, 2017 8:48 pm
        #

        I have been shutdown!

      • tag8833 October 2, 2017 1:44 am
        #

        So have I been playing it wrong?

        If I’ve got a unit and 3 characters embarked on a transport, and I deploy it, does that count as 1 drop or 5? Does it count one way for the deployment process and another for the 50% must start on the table rule?

        • Blightstar October 2, 2017 4:49 am
          #

          Lets take an example:

          Drop Pod with 5 tactical marines and 3 marine characters counts as a single “deployment drop” but that also counts as 5 units in reserve.

          So 3 tallarn stormlords each transporting 3 units of veterans would count as 12 units in reserve.

          • tag8833 October 2, 2017 8:28 am
            #

            So if I’ve got a unit of sisters and 3 characters embarked on a transport that deploys, I could then deep strike 4 units of scions, and still meet the 50% deployed requirement?

          • tag8833 October 2, 2017 8:33 am
            #

            Its just an inverse of your example essentially, but I’ve been playing it based on drops not units, because units embarked in transports aren’t generally considered to be on the table.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 2, 2017 9:49 am
            #

            It is indeed units, not drops.

  22. Raven October 1, 2017 10:13 am
    #

    I can’t believe they buffed artillery!!! What is wrong with GW. The basilisks and Wyverns have the capacity to ruin the game for many armies. Elite armies are getting blown off the board. This is leading us back to 7th when you had to field very specific builds because most were unplayable because of certain rule mechanics. The ability to rain D6 Str 9 -3 D3 shots down on anyone regardless of LOS anywhere on the board is ruining a lot of cool strategies. You are forced to try and alpha strike to destroy the artillery before they wipe you off the board. Unfortunately most armies don’t have the tools to deal with the 120 conscripts and 20 mortar teams that are filling enemy’s deployment zone.

    Also – Why in the heck are Artillery units allowed to overwatch?? I know the game isn’t realistic but come on. — “Commander, a squad of stealty Reivers have broken through and are charging the Basilisks.” “No problem, turn the Earthshaker cannons on them before they can cover the 10 meters or so that they need to reach the tank. Nevermind the fact that shooting these cannons at such close range would probably kill the tanks and us as well.”

    (sorry about being salty but I am an Imperial Fists player)

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:49 pm
      #

      Artillery will continue to decline in power as -1 to hit armies become more prevalent in the meta. Ravenguard, Stygies, Alpha Legion, etc. all largely do not care about artillery and are very popular. I don’t bring too many in my AM lists, FWIW.

    • tag8833 October 2, 2017 1:48 am
      #

      Definitely seems like an issue. GW doesn’t recognize the power of artillery especially in the modern tourney meta where LOS blocking terrain is out of control.

      I don’t think -1 to hit armies are likely to fix that too much. Because -1 to hit impacts direct fire at the same rate as it does artillery, and we’ve already seen that artillery is better than direct fire, so -1 to hit won’t restore the balance.

      What we really need from GW is a change that indirect fire is natively -1 to hit so that artillery that is parked out of LOS isn’t blowing people off the table as effectively.

      • Raven October 2, 2017 6:32 am
        #

        I agree that making them -1 to hit at least when targeting units they can not see would make a huge improvement. You could still set them up where they can see a big part of the battlefield but at least there would be a penalty for hiding them between a number of LOS blocking terrain. Also, valuable units would be able to hide from them and gain a little bit of protection.

  23. Tommo42 October 1, 2017 12:03 pm
    #

    Does the codex say specifically that your army doesn’t need to look like the regiment it represents? I’m sure I’ve seen something saying you can pick any regiment if yours doesn’t fit. Basically the catachan rules perfectly fit my cadian infantry/artillery regiment…

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 1, 2017 7:49 pm
      #

      That is going to inevitably happen. So long as detachments are easily distinguished, it is no big deal, IMO.

  24. JC October 1, 2017 2:30 pm
    #

    I wonder what all this means for Krieg and Elysian armies. The buff to the leman russ will certainly have an impact. Beyond that, do the generic strategems, relics and warlord traits carry across?

    • Blightstar October 2, 2017 4:52 am
      #

      Krieg and Elysians can indeed use those stratagems/relics/WL-traits. And do note that before FW releases FAQ for it, both Krieg and Elysians use their own units. So krieg are stuck with their mars pattern russes.

  25. Harold Black October 1, 2017 4:22 pm
    #

    I’m interested to see if Rough riders will potentially play any more roles than longest running joke of the Astra Militarum.

    • AngryPanda October 1, 2017 8:02 pm
      #

      You are in for a treat.

    • Blight October 1, 2017 8:46 pm
      #

      Oh don’t be mean and just tell him they aren’t in the codex. Can still use them if you have the models and the index though.
      (This is what I have heard from reviews so sorry if wrong)

      • AngryPanda October 3, 2017 8:49 am
        #

        I would but I’d likely be called a liar since everything is awesome and new GW does only perfect things.

  26. Carmethion October 1, 2017 5:25 pm
    #

    If your voice of command target has to share the same regiment keyword as the unit doing the issuing, what does that mean for units without a regiment keyword like commissars that get voice of command through the Master of Command warlord trait?

    • Blightstar October 2, 2017 4:58 am
      #

      Thats a very good question. And an oversight. I guess they can order anybody around. Everybody respects Yarrick and I think if Ogryn is smart enough to order you around with tactical expertise, you wouldnt dare not to follow that “Hit ’em square in the noggins!”-order.

  27. WargamerShawn October 2, 2017 6:22 am
    #

    Thanks for the great review Reece. I was hoping for conscripts not to benifit from orders as (in days of old they were penal legions) they are blokes that were forced to fight and have no training, thus orders should not affect them. I was also hoping for a slight point increase… BUT the 4+ to get orders and the 30man max does help limit their abuse.
    Reece I am curious how do you kit out your BULLGRINS I have been running them but I feel not as effectively as I could be. Thanks for what you do Reece. Cheers

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 2, 2017 9:48 am
      #

      Glad you liked it =)

  28. WrentheFaceless October 2, 2017 9:48 am
    #

    So much for 8th being balanced, this codex is leaps and bounds better than SM/CSM/DG/GK/Ad mech, its not even funny

    This is Eldar levels of imbalance

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 2, 2017 9:49 am
      #

      Lol, no, no it isn’t.

      Play the codex a few times before declaring what it is or is not. I assure you, while it is very good, it is not so crazy as folks make it out to be, especially before having even played it yet, lol.

      • Jural October 2, 2017 4:12 pm
        #

        C’mon… it’s better than the GK codex!

        I feel that AM is the best codex released so far (without having seen it- so obviously some room for error), but I don’t think the gap will be huge. Then it’s DG, CSM, SM, Adeptus…. followed by a big drop off to Gray Knights.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 2, 2017 4:38 pm
          #

          Grey Knights is an AMAZING faction, it is just one that really wants to pair up with something else. They go so well with AM, for example, or Space Marines. Solo though, they can struggle I agree. But in this Chaos heavy meta, they are mega useful. They are one of the best units in the game (if not THE best) for clearing out Brims and Malefic Lords, for example, or for killing Magnus, etc.

          • Jural October 2, 2017 5:36 pm
            #

            They are useful against Chaos, and army wide deep strike (basically) is awesome! They have some winners.

            I just think you pay so much that it cripples a lot of what you are trying to do with the non GK components.

            But we shall see! They do pair great with AM, but I’m not sure you wouldn’t get more mileage from more AM or a vanilla SM faction.

            Let’s see though!

        • Ty October 2, 2017 4:44 pm
          #

          “I feel that AM in the best codex…without having seen it” = Why we can’t have nice things

          • Jural October 2, 2017 5:34 pm
            #

            C’mon, the entire codex and the unit prices are out there already, it’s not that hard to piece together that they look really good.

            And yes, something really weird could be in the codex which changes everything, but… I’m not thinking it’s likely at this point.

          • EBA October 2, 2017 7:46 pm
            #

            A number of youtubers have shown it off and gamed with it too. FLG, Tabletop tactics, miniwargaming have all shown it off (That I have watched).

            And I mean, come on, LUKA won with them. (joking, I like luka, dude gets a weird amount of comment hate).

  29. Tyr October 2, 2017 12:12 pm
    #

    So… when are we getting part two?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 2, 2017 12:25 pm
      #

      Patience grasshopper =) 5,000 word articles do not themselves write. I am trying to get it done today, but we have many other responsibilities to attend to as well. It is high on my priority list, though.

      • TheThievingMick October 2, 2017 2:10 pm
        #

        Woo!

      • Tyr October 2, 2017 4:50 pm
        #

        Awesome to hear that, can’t wait! 🙂

  30. Luke October 2, 2017 2:07 pm
    #

    Does the Jury Rigging strategem happen during the movement or shooting phase?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 2, 2017 3:42 pm
      #

      Start of your turn.

  31. Neilasaurus October 4, 2017 7:32 am
    #

    So it looks like an Ogryn Bodyguard could take the Relic knife and lead a unit of Bullgryns on an outflank?

    • rawne_bal October 10, 2017 3:50 am
      #

      Do ogryns and bullgryns get Regimental keyword?

      • rawne_bal October 10, 2017 3:53 am
        #

        Doesn’t matter just realised it open to everyone. Thought it was the Tallaran relic

  32. Peter de Florio October 4, 2017 7:29 pm
    #

    Steel Legion seems like a miss… It’s the line that says that the embark order can’t be used on units that disembarked this turn. It kills the whole concept.

    So turn 1, I shoot at 18″. Turn two I back up 6″, shoot and embark 3″. I’m basically on my board edge now.

    Now what? I get out 3″, move 6″ and shoot again?

    It’s bizzarre. It’s like an illipa outflank army…

    They should hace not put that rider on the order or done something like “transports that fall back, can still shoot”

    As it is, they don’t really have an increase in fire power and they aren’t much faster than infantry with orders. Plus you have to buy inefficient tank units to run them.

    Miss miss miss

    • Peter de Florio October 4, 2017 7:31 pm
      #

      Oh and what’s up with the ignore -1 ap? It’s so situational!

  33. DerNetteErich October 8, 2017 9:33 am
    #

    Is there information what happens to consolidated infantry squads regarding potential different regimental doctrines and orders?
    At least at the moment (not yet possessing the codex) I’m under the impression that one can consolidate lets say one cadian infantry squad with an vostroyan maybe (but also not sure here as in, can consolidated squads be further consolidated) then with a mordian, tallarn etc or any other combination, when fielding such detachments.
    Were these possibilities considered in the Codex? Does the ruling consider “stacking regimental doctrines” in such cases, rather not, or is it up for a FAQ/Errata (where i would believe they wouldn’t allow such consolidations at all or at least the newly formed squad no longer possesses a regiment keyword, but other solutions could also be one would have to pick one doctrine, or maybe the models retain their corresponding doctrine within the new consolidate squad).
    Furthermore how would regiment specific orders work on such squads if at all?

    Regarding “regimental strategems” i believe there is an applicable answer in the FAQ/Errata Chaos already, stating that once one fields a detachment of a specific faction and with that unlocks their corresponding strategems, these are availible for all eligible units under your command, which in the case of most if not all AM-regimental-strategems seem to be specific for units of their own regiments, Steel Legion maybe being an exception if Reecius didnt just skipped the “… give an Armageddon Steel Legion infantry unit re-roll …” part.

    Other than that, thanks for an interesting review Reecius :]