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.
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!
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.
- Militarum Tempesuts units
- Tech-Priest Enginseer
- Ministorum Priest
- Aeronautica Imperialis units
- Militarum Auxilia units.
- Officio Prefectus units.
- Scholastica Psykana units.
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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 Stratagem: Overlapping 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.
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 Order: Burn 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.
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 Trait: Tenacious: 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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Relic: Order 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?
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