Codex Review: Astra Militarum Part 2

At ease, Guardsman! Reecius here with part 2 of our Astra Militarum Codex Review.

You can read part 1 of this review, here. And as always, check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews and tactics.

Remember too, Frontline sells all of these awesome minis and books at a discount in their web-cart, here. We also offer FREE shipping on orders $99 and up within the continental USA.

In part 1 of this article, we broke down the broad strokes of what the Astra Militarum could do, and then took a closer look at what each Regiment had to offer. In part 2 of this article we’re going to dig in to the meat of the book and look at the units in it. This is not a comprehensive unit breakdown though, those will come in later articles focusing on 1 unit at a time. This is a look at what the AM have to offer in broader strokes with some cool tips and tricks for the units available to them.

HQ

The Astra Militarum have some excellent options available to them in their HQs for force multiplication, points efficiency and surprisingly high damage output. While they don’t compare to say, a Space Marine Captain, they most certainly can pack a punch.

Predominantly your army will feature Officers in some form or another. Officers issue orders to your other troopers and unlock many of the relics available to you. The Company Commander is an excellent and affordable choice, weighing in at only 30pts. His ability to issue two orders is fantastic and his primary purpose. Depending on which Regiment you are playing, where you take him from there is up to you. As my preference is Catachan, I like to give him a Power Fist and Plasma Pistol as he is often going up field and engaging the enemy directly where his strength 4, and potentially extra attacks form units like Straken and a Minustorum Priest can buff him up to a respectable melee profile, which when combined with the Fix Bayonets! order means they’re actually quite punchy. Just remember: they’re fragile. With only 4 wounds and T3 with a 5++, it doesn’t take much to smoke them.

However, for many regiments, keeping him dirt cheap with no upgrades is perfectly acceptable and the most efficient way to run him, or simply with a Plasma Pistol for close quarters engagements. If you plan on using them with Conscripts or sit and shoot Infantry Squads and Heavy Weapons Squads, this is a great way to play them. The Tempestor Prime, the Militarum Tempestus officer, likewise is best kept dirt cheap with the command rod to get a second order, and deep-struck behind some Scions units to give them re-roll 1 orders and increase their damage output.

Regardless, you will typically always have a Company Commander of some sort in your army. As mentioned above, Straken is great as he himself is nearly on par with a Space Marines Captain in stats at T4, 5 wounds, with a 3+/5++, and his +1 attack aura is just fantastic for Catachan armies. With a re-roll wound rule against Monsters in melee, he is actually fearsome when engaging things like Daemon Princes or similar targets as he can easily jump up to 6 attacks that deal 2 damage a pop. At 75pts the question is if you’d rather have 2 standard Commanders or 1 Straken. In my mind, it boils down to your style of play. If you want to dabble in melee with Catachan squads, he’s an easy yes. If you want to lean towards shooting, then you’re better off with the cheaper, generic Commander.

Likewise, if you’re playing Cadia, Creed is a no-brainer choice, IMO. Giving you the Officer rules but an extra order (3 total) at 12″ range and +2 CP if he is your Warlord and the very good Cadian Warlord trait, he’s outstanding for 70pts. Cadians want to typically hold still, and parking Creed among Heavy Weapons Squads, Veterans kitted out for long range shooting or Infantry Squads that blob up is a solid back-field strategy for the Cadian player. As he can potentially “twin link” 2 squads per order, you get a LOT of force multiplication out of him.

Commissars are one of the other staple units in the Astra Militarum HQ slot. Lord Commisars provide quite a bonus to the army, granting Astra militarum units within 6″ their leadership of 9 (which is awesome when combined with other buffs such as the Catachan bonus for being near Officers or a Regimental Standard) which means you often don’t even have to take a morale check but if you do, their Summary Execution rule means you get a re-roll to that check after the Commissar executes a squad member to inspire the rest of the lads. Just bear in mind these guys are massive targets as they’re lynchpin models, so protect them well by keeping them out of LoS if possible. Usually, you will want to give them little to no gear as their job is to stay alive which usually means staying out of sight, but if you did want to kit them up for some fisticuffs, they’re not bad at it. A Powerfist and Plasma Pistol and a nearby Priest means these guys can mix it up a bit and deal out some damage. Typically you will want to take the cheaper Commissar in the elites section but if you need an HQ to unlock a detachment, the Lord Commissar is a great choice for the extra point of Leadership. If you really want to keep your units from running, the Draconian Disciplinarian Warlord Trait means only D3 die on a failed check and they are then considered to have passed.

Commissar Yarrick deserves special mention as he is an exceptional character. Beyond the normal Commissar abilities, he’s also a lot more durable at T4 with a 4++, but also with a special 3+ save against any wound that would kill him. His real force multiplication though, is in the fact that he has a universal re-roll 1 aura for melee and shooting for AM units within 6″ which bumps up to a full re-roll aura if you are facing Orks. He will be seen in many lists to increase efficiency in damage output and as a tough Warlord to take out.

The Primaris Psyker is an excellent HQ choice for the AM. As stated in Part 1 of this article series, the psychic powers available to Astra Militarum are very good. Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud specifically, are all-star powers. Mental Fortitude is also great for keeping units like Conscripts in line by allowing them to ignore morale. And, humorously, the Primaris Psyker is actually not bad in melee as he has 3 attacks at WS 3+, strength 5, AP -1, D3 damage! With a Priest around, he can crack some skulls. In all, this is an HQ I take in every single list, he is simply too good a utility to pass up on. As an HQ, he helps to unlock those juicy detachments to get more Command Points.

Troops

The Astra Militarum are defined by their troops more than anything else. The nameless, faceless billions of soldiers in service of mankind and their emperor may not receive the glory of the Space Marines, but they do far more in regards to actually defending the Imperium. Their stats are not impressive, nor is their gear exotic, but there is a lot of them and they fight with a grim determination!

So far this edition, it’s been all about Conscripts, who are still quite good, but have been reduced to 20-30 man units and now only successfully receive orders on a 4+ which is a significant reduction in efficacy. However, they did get Regimental Doctrines instead which is significant as it boosts them up quite a bit. Catachan especially, making them strength 4 with access to potentially 3 attacks per model means they are no joke in melee. However, the other Regiments have a lot to offer the lowly Conscript, too. Valhallan doctrines keeps more of them around, longer, and you can fire into units that hit the screen but don’t punch through. Vostroyan and Armageddon Conscripts are deadlier at greater range, and with Vostroya, you can shoot into combat with the Conscripts themselves. Cadian Conscripts can become twin linked. Mordian Conscripts overwatch on a 5+. They all have something to offer you and the unit still serves as an excellent screening and scoring unit regardless of doctrines.

Infantry Squads though, are where it is at, in my opinion. With the new Regimental Doctrines they give you a lot, and when combined with the Consolidate Squads stratagem, can quickly function in the same way your Conscripts would if you need them to plus they are much more versatile with weapon options and are more effective generally due to always receiving orders and having better stats. In my Catachan armies, I take units of 10 with a Power Sword and Flamer. For a measly 51pts, I get a unit that is mobile, cheap enough to be expendable if I need them to serve as a screen, but with enough hitting power to actually be a threat. I often combine them into units of 20-30 where a single Burn Them Out! or First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! order can impact the entire unit. They also have higher leadership due to being near an Officer and with Straken and a Priest nearby, the Sarges are getting 4 strength 4, AP-3 attacks, each.

Tallarn Infantry Squads are amazing, too. With a Plasma Gun and Pistol, they can jam around the table moving 6+D6″ inflicting solid damage and grabbing objectives. Again, this unit only costs 52pts! You can easily unlock a brigade or battalion detachment this way and have effective, multi-role units who when backed by some support staff, become quite powerful.

Likewise with the other regiments, you have loads of options with Infantry Squads. They all have something to offer. Cadian and Mordian Infantry Squads are great on defense with increased damage output from heavy weapons, where Vostroyan and Armageddon units can play offense or defense with increased ranges on their weapons or rapid fire thresholds. Vostroyans especially with their Firstborn Pride stratagem and an order like, First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! on a combined squad would put out a fearsome amount of small arms fire at a longer range.

There’s a LOT more to say here, of course, but suffice it to say that the humble Astra Militarum Infantry Squad is extremely flexible, effective and fun to use.

Militarum Tempestus, aka Scions, are an incredibly good troop choice. Any unit with the ability to Deep Strike natively in 8th ed, is worth its weight in gold. In addition to being able to appear where needed on the table-top and being perfectly immune to being alpha struck, Scions also are cost effective and hit hard, too! Yes, their special weapons went up in cost but that was more than fair as they were too cheap, previously. They’re still an amazing unit and with their Regimental Doctrines (which they only get in a Militarum Tempestus detachment) they get exploding 6’s to hit at half range. As stated in part 1 of this article, the typical 5 man/2 special weapon drop units are still great but I love using a unit of 10 with no upgrades and issuing them the Grenadiers order to huck 10 Krak Grenades on people, or for FRF!, SRF! on them to pump out a high volume of AP-2 shots. In all, this is simply a fantastic unit and as if all of the above weren’t enough, they help open up troop heavy detachments to get more Command Points.

Elites

What used to be a bit of a joke in previous versions of the Astra Militarum, the Elites section is now jam packed with fantastic choices! One of the only problems with this codex honestly, is deciding which great unit to take. Jokes aside, it does allow for a tremendous freedom in building a customized army.

Now, to be fair, not every choice is outstanding. For my money, Wyrdvane Psykers for example, are not optimal as while taken in a vacuum, they’re fine, but compared to the Astropath or Primaris Psykers who have the protection of the Character keyword, they pale in comparison a bit. That aside, for the points a unit that can run around dealing mortal wounds for 8pts per model is nothing to sneeze at. The Astropath himself is crazy cheap for a Psyker, and on top of that he also offers you a cover stripping debuff to an enemy unit within 18.” I often take an Astropath to back up my Primaris and cast Psychic Barrier where the Primaris casts Nightshroud but also takes Psychic Barrier in case the Astropath goes down (which he dies to a stiff breeze, lol!).

The other Regimental Advisers: the Officer of the Fleet and Master of Ordnance, are not bad. The Master of Ordnance is the least effective (but still not bad at all) as he has a once per game 100″ range effective battle cannon shot that doesn’t require line of sight, and allows artillery tanks to re-roll 1’s to hit so long as they are firing on targets more than 36″ away. The Officer of the Fleet, however, is pretty dang good. He has a once per game Air Raid Request which deals mortal wounds to a visible unit, but he also allows you to pick an enemy unit within 18″ that does not have the Fly keyword and any Aeronautica Imperialis units re-roll 1’s to hit that unit. This is extremely potent when combined with things like a Vulture Gunship with twin Punisher Cannons.

Additionally, there are more support models available to you in the elites slot such as Harker, who is a great character for a Catachan army as his ubiquitous re-roll 1 aura in the shooting phase is one of the only ways to get this buff. He’s also pretty decent at dealing damage and an awesome model to boot! Similarly, you have access to the Commissar and Platoon Commander who’ve been discussed already. The Platoon Commander though, can be kitted out for melee, humorously and especially in a Catachan force if you wanted to run a for laughs unit of Characters buffed up to punch things. Don’t expect them to set the world on fire or anything, but if you have 5 of the little guys running at the enemy brandishing a Power Sword and packing up to 5 strength 4, AP-3 attacks a piece, it could be quite funny!

The Enginseer is another fun unit who is fairly effective in melee and can repair your vehicles which when combined with the Jury Rigging stratagem means you can heal a tank D3+1 wounds in a turn. Not essential but if you plan on relying on say, a Baneblade chassis vehicle, it can be a great way to keep the big fella in the fight.

You’ve heard me talk about this little guy about a dozen times so far, and for good reason: he’s simply amazing for the points. The Ministorum Priest is a tremendous force multiplier adding +1 attack to nearby Astra Militarum or Adeptus Ministorum infantry units. That alone is worth the cost of admission but on top of this, he comes stock with a 4++ for only 35pts! In a pinch, cast Psychic Barrier on him and send him in to a big nasty like Magnus and he has decent odds with a re-roll stratagem of tanking them! This unit is simply too good not to bring in anything but a fully mechanized Astra Militarum army.

Colour Sergeant Kell is a fairly solid character for a Cadian force. He gives an officer another Order within 6″ and he lets Cadian units within 6″ re-roll failed morale tests which is great. He can also tank wounds for Creed which is quite useful if there are enemy snipers around. In general, not a bad investment at all and helps unlock a Brigade for Cadian players.

The various Command Squads available all perform similar functions: small unit size and a lot of Special Weapons on BS3+ models. Whether Scion or not, this unit is very effective. Scions are fairly point and click: load them up with Melta or Plasma, drop down, profit. The normal Command Squad requires a little more planning to deliver but as they are only 4 strong, you can pack 3 units of them into a Chimera or even better, a Valkyrie. They then go to where they are needed, hop out and unleash hell. The Valkyrie especially does this well as you can use the Grav-chute Insertion special rule to get out after it moves, up to 20″ down the way and really strike into the heart of your opponent’s force. Also, I have experimented with the other upgrades in the Command Squad and found the Regimental Standard to actually be quite good as the +1 leadership–particularly with Catachans–means you rarely need to even take morale, and if so, can use the Fight to the Death stratagem to largely ignore morale on 10 man units. The only real issue with these units is that they have no endurance. Every casualty is punishing as you lose a special weapon and as they hit hard, are high priority targets. I prefer Veteran Squads, myself.

Astra Militarum Veterans are one of my absolute favorite units in the game and always have been. They bring you a cheap BS3+ platform with loads of weapon options. With Catachans my favorite load-out is to run them with 3 Flamers, a Heavy Flamer and a Power Sword on Sarge. With the Burn them Out! order, they wreck infantry. Or, run them with triple Melta, or Plasma and a Plasma Pistol on Sarge. For Vostroyans, give them triple Plasma and a Las Cannon and enjoy the longer range. Armageddon units like triple plasma, too, and double tap out to 18.” Tallarn make great use of any of the special weapons options but especially Melta where their increased speed and lack of penalty for advancing and shooting makes them more likely to get in to melta range and their amazing Ambush stratagem lets them operate without a transport vehicle. This is a unit that honestly requires an article unto itself to really dig in to all of the possibilities (and you can expect one from FLG, soon!) but suffice it to say: this is an all around fantastic unit.

Special Weapons Squads are quite handy, too. They’re cheap and work well with 3 Flamers, or 3 Plasma Weapons and are great for unlocking detachments like the Brigade. They also come with 3 ablative wounds built in and as such can take a punch and shoot again in many instances where the Command Squad often cannot. They work very well with Catachans where the Burn Them Out! order pairs with a Flamer equipped unit quite well.

Ratlings are a great sniper unit for the Astra Militarum player but also are very useful as a screen, too. They have the ability to be deployed after normal deployment, 18″ away form enemy units. This is great for keeping enemy infiltrators and deep-strikers away from you. Their ability to shoot and scoot is not bad either, as it allows them to stay in the fight a bit longer than other snipers.

Crusaders, while certainly cool, are a bit of an anachronism in the Astra Militarum. That aside, they’re a great unit. At 15pts a pop and stock with a Power Sword and Storm Shield, they’re very effective. The obvious use for them is to tie up a big nasties like Mortarion or Magnus as casting Psychic Barrier on them brings them to a 2++. Likewise, they make an excellent screen as in the shooting phase, again, use Psychic Barrier or the Take Cover stratagem to make them extremely durable and when backed by a Commissar, they’re very hard to shift.  Toss in Nightshroud for a -1 to hit them with shooting while you’re at it.

The fact that they also come with Acts of Faith (giving them an out of phase action on a 2+ at the beginning of the turn) and Zealot (re-roll missed hits in melee if they charged, or were charged) and you’ve got yourself an all around great unit. Remember too, they can ride in a Chimera, Taurox or Valkyrie. A fun combo: use their Spirit of the Martyr act of faith and a Medi-pack equipped model to bring as many as 2 of them back to life every turn. I plan on making a unit of Catachans modeled up with riot shields to use as Crusaders in my army not only because they’re a great unit but also because it would be a fun modeling project!

The best for last! I am a long time fan of both Ogryn and Bullgryn, but this is really their edition to shine. Ogryn are a solid unit with 3 strength 5 shots and 3 base strength 5 attacks in melee that are AP-1, but they also gain +1 attack on the charge and a Priest can get them another +1. I have found Ogryn to be best used in 3 man units to run around going for objectives. They tend not to get shot very frequently and are more than capable of overcoming the small objective holding units we frequently see like Scout squads.

Bullgryn though, are in a league of their own. This unit is crazy good, and I absolutely love using mine. This is a unit that also requires an article to really flesh out (which will be coming!) but with the ability to take both the Slabshield and Brute Shield in the same unit, mixing a 2+ save and a 4++ on T5 models with 3 wounds a pop, they are superb screening unit when backed up with the usual suspects: Nightshroud, Psychic Barrier and Take Cover!. You take saves on whichever shield is best for the situation (although must continue to take saves on that model until it is dead, so be careful as a savvy opponent may bait you into taking saves on the less beneficial save, then change up their attacks!), blunting most attacks considerably. Beyond their defense though, they also beat the crap out of things with 3 base attacks that are essentially an Autocannon, each. I run mine with a Priest and a Primaris Psyker and they routinely serve as both a hard as nails screen and brutal assault unit. I absolutely love my Bullgryn and the fact that in the lore they get along famously with Catachans is just icing on the cake!

The Ogryn bodyguard are also quite good, and for a reasonable price point give you a lot to love. They function primarily as Bullgryn do, but with the added benefit of 6 wounds and the character keyword. They can tank wounds for Am characters as well, which with 6 wounds is no big deal and a Medi-pack nearby means you can heal them or with the Deathmask of Ollianius relic, gain a 4++ and additionally heal D3 wounds once per game. In an AM character bomb list, these gents are very good for keeping your little guys alive a lot longer while also packing quite a punch, themselves.

Fast Attack

Fast Attack is another highly valuable slot for Astra Militarum players. The all star here is the Scout Sentinel. This little bad-ass provides the much needed function of creating space between you and your opponent and hunting objectives. Their pre-game movement is the key, with the Scout Vehicle special rule, allowing them to move 9″ before the game starts. This keeps things like infiltrators and deep strikers away from your main forces, which is critical to success in 8th ed. Beyond this, they are also quick little devils and with the Go! Recon! stratagem, can fly across the table to snag objectives, grab line-breaker, etc. The Heavy Flamer is typically going to be the best bet in these guys as they want to stay mobile which sucks with heavy weapons (unless you’re Tallarn, in which case I love the Autocannon or Missile Launcher) and they often get charged. Therefore, the Heavy Flamer rocks and if you are using Catachan to re-roll the number of shots, it’s just icing on the cake. I run 3 individual Scout Sentinels with a Heavy Flamer and every game I am so glad I did. They are more than enough to deal with things like Cultist squads, Scouts, etc. and in pairs are even a threat to many Characters. They are also tough enough to charge in to most targets over and over, eating the overwatch, then annoyingly stoping that unit from shooting.

The Armoured Sentinel is a great value at only 40pts base, but really struggles to find a role. For me, I would only take them in a Tallarn detachment to ignore the penalty for moving and shooting and equip with them a decent gun. But despite a much better profile than the Scout Sentinel, the pre-game move on the Scout version is just tactically superior.

I am a huge fan of Hellhounds and always have been. They’re just a cool unit and are quite effective in 8th ed. Unfortunately, they are a bit overshadowed by the Leman Russ who with Grinding Advance is just amazing. The Hellhound though still has a place in my mind and I use them frequently. The base model is my favorite, as the Inferno Cannon now has 2D6, 1 damage shots, instead of the previous 1D6, 2 damage shots. This makes them much more effective at dealing with light infantry. The 16″ range and 12″ move gives them a big threat radius and they’re reasonably tough with 11 wounds. I send mine up the flank to hunt objectives and infantry often and with Catachan to re-roll one of the D6 on the number of shots, it reliably melts units and stays far enough away to often avoid melee.

The Bane Wolf is another fun tank but plays better in a defensive role due to its short range. If you do manage to bring its Chem Cannon to bear, it melts heavy infantry like nothing. The weapons wounds any non-vehicle model on a 2+ and is AP-3! Ouch. Pair it with a Heavy Flamer and again, Catachan, and it is a very mean tank. It is particularly effective against units like Berzerkers who can be a huge threat to Astra Militarum.

The Devil Dog is another fun tank, especially now that the Melta Cannon is an assault weapon. I prefer to run mine in a Tallarn detachment, but, they are also awesome with Vostroya due to the increased range! Both encourage you to mount a Multi-Melta on the hull as you can move and shoot with no penalty with Tallarn or just hold still and shoot with Vostroya. The other Regiments encourage the hull Heavy Flamer as you can stay mobile and serve as a multi-threat unit. Catachan again (seeing a pattern with this tank?) I think is best all around as re-rolling the number of shots on the Melta Cannon and Heavy Flamer keep it very efficient.

In all, the Hellhound chassis tanks are fun and quick and can be very useful at an entirely reasonable price point. A final mention for Tallarn, who with the Ambush stratagem, can bring on a unit of 3 of them and do some serious damage from reserves.

Heavy Support

Heavy support has traditionally been the mainstay slot for Astra Militarum. While this is still largely true, there is certainly competition in the other slots, now. But, if you rely on the age old “Loads of Infantry and Tanks” strategy, you won’t be disappointed.

Heavy Weapons Squads have been covered quite a bit in other sections but suffice it to say: they’re still quite good while remaining fairly vulnerable to return fire. This is offset by their low cost, but they can be challenging to use which is why we’ve seen so many Mortar Teams as they do not require line of sight and can hide, staying safe. Regimental Doctrines bring a lot to the table though, and especially Cadia can make simply amazing use of them with their native ability to re-roll 1’s to hit and their modified Take Aim! order which twin-links them and Warlord trait allowing two units to be effected on a 4+. Further, this load out really benefits from the Overlapping Fields of Fire stratagem, to hammer an enemy unit with heavy weapons fire. They more than any others want to take loads of Heavy Weapons Squads in my mind as they can force multiply the hell out of them, getting the most bang for your buck. Mordia also does well with them as they overwatch on a 5+ as does Vostroya who increases their range.

These units are also great for simply taking up space in your backfield to deny areas for your opponent to come in with things like outflankers, and for cheaply opening up detachments like the Brigade for those sweet, sweet Command Points!

I lump all of the artillery tanks together because they all serve essentially the same function: blast things far away that you cannot see. They’re all quite good and they serve a solid function in your list. With the rise of -1 to hit armies though, and the bonus to saves for being in cover, they just don’t have enough oomph in a general sense to be relied on as the primary damage dealing unit IMO. I know a lot of folks disagree but if you find yourself playing Ravenguard, Stygies, Alpha Legion, etc. hitting on 5’s and fighting through a 3+ or 2+ save can be a real struggle. That said, I still always take at least one artillery tank to harass enemy units, hit objective holders out of LoS, etc., I just don’t rely entirely on them.

The Deathstrike is fun, funny and potentially devastating with the Vortex Missile stratagem, but is simply not reliable enough to count on it in a competitive strategy. If you took 3+ I could see it maybe working, but it’s more of a fun unit, IMO.

Personally, I like a mix of tanks as they all have strengths and weaknesses. The Wyvern rocks for smoking light infantry, where the Manticore can pack the biggest hit and the Basilisk is all around just great and very efficient (and now, AP-3!). Hyper-focusing on just one of them leaves you potentially weak to a counter. However, if you really just want 1, I think the Bassilisk is generally the most efficient, but ultimately the rest of your list will dictate what you need most from your artillery.

Special mention here goes to Catachans as their ability to re-roll 1D6 for a random number of shots and Harker for a cheap re-roll aura. They make a great artillery detachment which is actually supported in the lore of the game as in their backstory, Catachans relied heavily on artillery as tanks didn’t do to well in the jungle environments they often fought in.

The Hydra is just too pricey for an unreliable unit for me. We don’t see them often and I don’t think that will change without a significant price reduction.

The Mighty Leman Russ! This unit is vastly improved and quite a formidable unit, now. I, like most long time Astra militarum players have loads of them! And now, more than ever before, they are a great unit. With Grinding Advance, they become genuinely scary, able to shoot their turret weapon twice.

Like Veterans, this is a unit that requires an entire article to explain the multitude ways to play it. With the combination of tank orders, Regimental Doctrines, weapon load-outs, etc. there is just dozens of ways to effectively employ this unit. Here are a few of my favorites, though. With Catachan, I like to run them with a single Heavy Flamer on the hull, and a powerful Turret Weapon such as the Executioner Plasma Cannon, Punisher Cannon, Battle Cannon or Demolisher Cannon. Cheap, mobile, with a nice assault deterrent and a powerful main weapon that re-rolls the number of shots. Alternatively, load them up with 3 Heavy Flamers and play aggressively, going straight forward.

With Vostroya, I like loading it up with massed Plasma and using the Firstborn Pride stratagem for a 42″ ranged +1 to hit plasma tank of doom! The nice thing is with the +1 to hit, you cannot overheat without other modifiers. Cadia employs massed firepower Russes well as they re-roll 1’s to hit naturally if they don’t move, so Heavy Bolters, Plasma Cannons, Las Cannons, etc. are a great choice. And, obviously, Pask is a one tough SoB. He issues 2 tank orders and is BS2…re-rolling 1’s if he doesn’t move…lol. Such a boss, if you are playing Cadia and not using him you are missing a massive opportunity as he also leverages their special tank order, Pound Them to Dust! very well. I like loading him up with Plasma and a Las Cannon to get maximum mileage out of his high BS but he is honestly good with any load-out and I’ve had great success with the Punisher Cannon, too as 40 shots hitting on 2’s, re-rolling 1’s is not bad…lol. As he can issue two orders, running him with another Russ is a great call and he can keep them re-rolling 1’s even on the move.

Tallarn though, is where things really get interesting. The ability to ignore the penalty for moving and shooting, their unique tank order, Get Around behind Them! and their Ambush stratagem opens up a lot of possibilities. A Tallarn Tank Commanders could outflank, issue itself the Get Around Behind Them! order and either move into say, Heavy Flamer or Melta range to deal heavy damage, or shoot and then move behind cover or out of range! Alternatively, you could simply issue re-roll 1’s on itself while hitting on a 3+ with things like Mult-meltas and Demolisher cannons is brutal. Or, shoot and then pop smoke with the Strike and Shroud! order for a -1 to hit. This is a crazy good combination of abilities and one I think will become quite popular as it is not only very powerful but also keeps these expensive tanks safe from being alpha struck.

There’s a LOT more to say on this awesome vehicle but it will have to wait for a more in-depth breakdown.

Dedicated Transports

Astra Militarum have solid transport options available to them as well. The ubiquitous Chimera has been returned to a state of usefulness and especially in Catachan regiments equipped with two Heavy Flamers, it is downright deadly. But, Tallarn is a solid choice as well due to being able to move and shoot to better effect. Two Heavy Bolters is a great choice here. Otherwise, double Heavy Flamer is typically your best bet as the Chimera will be getting close to the enemy typically.

As stated above, these tanks are great for transporting multiple command squads, Veterans or Special Weapons Squads. What I love about them most though, is the ability to carry a squad and 2 support characters but counting as a single drop for gaining the +1 to go first. This gives you a lot of deployment flexibility and also protection from the alpha strike or from snipers whom Astra Militarum characters are particularly vulnerable to.

The humble Taurox is much improved with a points reduction. For a crazy low price, you can now put a 10 wound, T6, 3+ save vehicle on the table. For all of the reasons listed above, this is solid, and when paired with Tallarn for the ability to run and gun, or Cadia to re-roll 1’s to hit and bunkers to stow your characters in during deployment (or just hide them behind) that is not bad! This is a very solid, affordable transport vehicle that puts out respectable firepower.

The Taurox Prime has been extremely popular in 8th ed, and it got a fair points bump. However, this is largely offset by the fact that it also got a great boost with the Storm Troopers doctrine which gives it exploding 6’s to hit in shooting at half range in a Militarum Tempestus detachment. The dakka version has been quite popular but my preference is for the Missile Launcher/Autocannon load out which will now generate extra shots at 24″ range! I often run them with Yarrick nearby to re-roll 1’s to hit and have a lot of success with them.

Flyers

The Valkyrie is an interesting unit as its main function is to deliver hard hitting units into a good position on the battlefield, which it does quite well, but it is a bit pricey for that role alone. As it can transport 12 models, you have a lot of options and the kicker is the fact that you can move it first, then disembark your models. This opens up a host of tactical options, not the least of which is the very good and very obnoxious character bomb delivery system wherein you can deposit 12 Smite slangers right in your opponent’s face. But do that at the expense of keeping gaming friends, lol.

The vehicle itself has middling damage output, even if you drop into Hove Jet to take advantage of Roving Gunship for +1 to hit at the expense of the -1 to hit from the Hard to Hit rule. This does give it some flexibility, and with the Officer of the Fleet can be effective firepower. To really use this model to maximum effect, you need a game-plan. Think about what units you’d like to deliver, where on the battlefield, etc. Then, if the Valk lives, drop it into a good firing position and cut loose. It’s a unit you can’t really just toss in your list and hope for the best, though.

Lords of War

The Astra Militarum have a host of Lords of War from which to choose. The Baneblade chassis vehicles have largely improved across the board with points adjustments, more consistent damage output, etc. They’re all very good choices and like the Leman Russ, require an in-depth look to explore all of the options fully. it is important to note that the Baneblades do not gain Regimental Doctrines in the Super Heavy Aux detachment, you have to take them in a Super Heavy Detachment or a Supreme Command Detachment to gain those benefits. They also gained the Steel Behemoth rule which allows them to ignore the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons, can fall back from melee and still shoot, and can still fire if in melee, and it’s twin Heavy Bolters and Heavy Flamers can shoot units it is within 1″ of. These are massive improvements for the big boys.

Generally speaking though, you get two categories here: damage dealers and damage dealers+transport.

The damage dealers want to do one thing: blow things to pieces. You want to gear them up for this task in your list and position them to do so. Typically they are going to hang back and just shoot and you want to protect them by keeping units away from them. The damage dealers+transports however, are often going to be advancing on the enemy and carrying powerful units. They can also sit back and let units shoot out of them, too, which works especially well with Cadian and Vostroyan armies as Cadian units self-buffs from within (and the tank would benefit from this as well if it had the doctrines) and Vostoyan units have a greater range as would the tank. Special mention here to Vostroya as their Firstborn Pride stratagem is amazing on a Lord of War, and bumps it up to hitting on 3’s which can be further bumped with a Salamander Command Vehicle to a 2+ to hit….wow. Valhalla is also great for a sit and shoot super heavy tank as doubling the number of wounds remaining for determining which stat line you use is clearly quite good. Regardless of Regiment, you typically want to give these bad boys Heavy Bolters (or no sponsons and keep them cheap) and put them in a good firing position where they can reign down death on the enemy.

The more aggressive tanks with transport capacity that will be delivering units like Veterans or Command Squads with Melta guns, or Bullgryn (or both!) will want to take either no upgrades to keep cost down, or Heavy Flamers. Catachan is great here for obvious reasons as is Tallarn who allow them to advance and still fire Heavy Weapons. A super heavy tank played this way wants to be aggressive, and will make heavy use of the Crush Them! stratagem where it becomes scary in melee, hitting like an Imperial Knight.

Now, there are a few options here: go all in with support and maxed out firepower, or keep them relatively cheap and lightly supported or unsupported. Both strategies have their merits and it really just depends on your play-style. If you go all in, you want a Salamander Command Vehicle, possibly Yarrick or Harker for re-rolls, an Enginseer to repair it, a Primaris Psyker/Astropath or two for Nightshroud and Psychic Barrier, infantry to screen it, command points for the Take Cover stratagem, etc. Played this way, you are all in on the big boy (or big boys) and your games will be won or lost on the super heavy tank(s)’s performance. This can be fun, but it is a lot of eggs in a single basket. The thing to remember with these tanks is that they do die, and pretty easily at that. If you find yourself facing a Roboute gunline (or similar army) and you are going second, even with the Take Cover stratagem, you are likely to lose your big boy on turn 1. They’re tough tanks but are not invincible by any stretch of the imagination.

Run cheaply, you have a smaller risk on the line if you go bust on your investment and can rely on weapons like Heavy Flamers, or just the main gun to get the job done. The Shadowsword is an excellent example of a tank that works great run this way as you can keep it low cost and it will put the fear of the Emperor in your opponent! Either way works, it really just comes down to your preference.

For my money, the Banehammer is the best all around tank. It is affordably priced, can be run as a sit and shoot tank or an aggressive tank, fully tooled up or bare bones, has a transport capacity and the best all around gun (IMO) in the Tremor Cannon. If it hits its target, that unit halves it’s move characteristic and cannot advance in the next turn. This is crazy good as if you find yourself facing off against a Magnus or Mortarion or similar fast, durable, hard hitting unit, all you have to do is hit it, and it slows to a crawl. That is just as good as hurting it, better in many cases. Where the Shadowsord (or similar tank) is all or nothing: you destroy your target or you do not, the Banehammer is a really safe bet in that even just hitting your target really screws it up. A horde of Stormboyz, or Genestealers, etc. may survive a direct hit from the big cannons, but being slowed down is a death sentence for them and can really jam your opponent’s plans up.

If you do find yourself facing off against an army that doesn’t care so much about movement, then the gun itself is still quite powerful with 3D6 shots at strength 8, AP -2, 3 damage.

There is loads more to say, but this article is beefy, so let’s wrap it up! Suffice it to say, the Astra Militarum have a tremendous codex. Tons of flavor, tons of options, tons of play-styles. Your imagination is the limit to what you can do with this book and it is sure to reveal new and exciting combos for years to come.

What type of Astra Militarum army would you like to play?

 

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!

121 Responses to “Codex Review: Astra Militarum Part 2”

  1. TheThievingMick October 2, 2017 7:54 pm #

    Great review! This is super helpful for someone who’s just getting into the game. I’m really digging the change to Hellhounds, in particular–the Assault rule for the Melta Cannon is awesome, as is the change to the Inferno Cannon.

    Are Bolters still on the ranged weapon list for AM? And why the hell aren’t Lasguns on that same list? Do NCOs forget how to use longarms in the future?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 4:42 pm #

      Glad you liked it and yes, you can still take Bolters on certain models. The Devil Dog is quite good, I very much enjoy using it.

  2. Wes October 2, 2017 10:06 pm #

    Thanks for the write up, Reece! Glad Tank Commanders can order each other now. Really opens up possibilities.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:03 pm #

      It indeed does and you are very welcome =)

  3. Riddip October 3, 2017 1:01 am #

    I always liked the crusader models, but i did not own an army that could take them.

    But now, of all the armies in the 40k world, it is my genestealer cult that allows me to take them by adding a AM detachment, lol! 😀

    • Loofa4 October 3, 2017 2:10 pm #

      Is this a mistake about crusaders? I thought they didn’t have the astra militarum keyword, and thus could not be targeted by psychic barrier. Also, why would they have acts of faith in the astra militarum codex when they don’t have it in the sisters of battle index?

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:03 pm #

        They have the Astra Militarum keyword =)

        • Loofa4 October 6, 2017 7:07 am #

          That’s amazing, but do they really have acts of faith?

          • Loofa4 October 6, 2017 7:23 am
            #

            It just seems so odd to have it outside of the ministorum book. Like a unit having reanimation protocols outside of the Necron book.

    • Beau October 3, 2017 3:55 pm #

      I had not known about those crusader units, they seem pretty cool to me. I may have to convert some for my Nurgle Traitor Guard (They can use Acts of Filth).

  4. Blightstar October 3, 2017 2:04 am #

    Note on Bullgryns/Bodyguard: their Slabshields actually give +2 to their saves. This means that with Celestines 6++ aura, psyker casting +1 to saves and +1 to saves stratagem, they would sport 2++ against shooting and 3++ in melee! Insane unit.

    Also giving Deathmask of Ollanius to Bodyguard (they were characters, right?) with Slabshield would bump his save to 2++.

    Good thing Mortal Wounds are a mechanic since against IG, you would need them.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:05 pm #

      I do not believe it is meant to work that way. It is meant to modify the Sv characteristic.

  5. Broxus October 3, 2017 2:05 am #

    Reecius, honestly I am concerned about this codex like none before it. We have been trying out a few games using these new rules and honestly the codex just destroys any lists we have put in front of it. Even the recently released codexes don’t seem to have much of a chance against the new AM.

    Am I missing something or does GW have something in the works that will balance all of this stuff out? The Cadian/Catachan army wide special rules are just wow!! Not to mention they even work on all the vehicles to include Baneblades. The buffs to units such as hellhounds and basilisks really has me scratching my head. Even in the index almost everyone thought these units were exceptional for their points cost. Was anyone calling for them to get a buff?

    I am not sure how this will impact the ITC tournaments since AM was already the top performer and this seems to make them significantly much better. I am a hardcore AM player play and I am starting to feel dirty about using this codex.

    • AngryPanda October 3, 2017 8:46 am #

      Most balanced edition ever.

      • Cephalobeard October 3, 2017 9:24 am #

        Don’t you worry, everything is good. Just be patient for another year until everyone has a codex, and then prepare for ninth six months afterward! :^)

        • AngryPanda October 3, 2017 10:49 am #

          8th Edition is a journey. GW is trying to teach that the balance was you all along.

        • N.I.B. October 4, 2017 1:11 am #

          Haven’t you heard, everything is awesome.

          Could be a sales strategy from GW – drop OP codex rules, once excited players have stocked up on models, balance through FAQ. Move on to next faction.

          Except Tyranids, they will be bottom-tier on launch day.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:09 pm #

      AM is not the top performer already, Chaos is.

      This book is very good, but it is not broken.

      • Dbiesto October 3, 2017 8:00 pm #

        I agree Chaos is definitely a top army, but the legion traits are infantry, bikes, and hellbrutes specifically, not army wide like AM. Maybe a faq will allow all chaos vehicles to benefit from Legion Traits similar to the current AM? I would love to give all my vehicles -1 to hit to counter the +1 to hit of AM. Unless I am misreading the doctrine traits all things in an AM detachement benefit? That alone gives them a huge advantage.

      • CaptainA October 4, 2017 9:04 am #

        Don’t tell my chaos playing friends that. I have been DESTROYING them with mordians. I have tried out the leaks only, not even the points drops, and it has not even been close. Don’t take my word for it though, I am sure your tournament results will show you soon enough.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 4, 2017 9:30 am #

          Am I am sure will do well in the rankings, as they should. As should every faction: particularly those with a Dex. But the numbers already show Chaos as the top dog. Time will tell if that changes, but I highly doubt that it will be a fraction as bad as people make it out to be.

    • Brakhal October 3, 2017 5:30 pm #

      The codex is full of good ideas and a lot ways to play AM. There’s a lot of new strategies available to play AM, which is great.

      But on the other side it feels really broken, playing with or against it. They excel at firepower, movility, endurance and a lot of ways to survive and counterattack once engaged in combat. A few armies can survive their firepower in the few first rounds, usually the ones with have access to a -1 to hit, but even then the AM will take the whole board with massive and fast units and tough tanks.

      I see a few problems with the codex:
      1- The order “Move! Move! Move!” gives too much movement. The whole army can move 12+2d6″ in one turn, making them even faster than armies of eldars or ‘nids, while still having a greater model count, better toughness x point cost ratio and/or firepower and ways to deal with cc.
      2- No effective ways to deal with them at cc. With the fallback rule, a massive model count and almost inmunity to morale, it’s almost impossible to reach their backlines.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:53 pm #

        I think you make some decent points but exaggerate them. AM are good, great even, but they are not some sort of auto-win army or anything.

        • Brakhal October 4, 2017 4:19 am #

          Not exactly auto-win: if you play them full on defense and stay in your deployment zone to maximise firepower and avoid the tradings you will loose to scenario, but if you focus on expand your troops to control the table, no matter the casualties, you can hide the objetives behind layers and layers of cheap meat walls and win with ease the atrition game.

          I only played a couple of games with AM (index) in 8th, and I felt in control of that games from the beginning to the end, just focusing on gaining ground around the objectives on the first round. On the other side, I played more than a douzen games with my ‘nids against the AM, and they were absolute nightmares. I won the ones were my oponent didn’t leave its side of the table by taking middle ground objectives and avoiding interaction, but I lost every single one which my oponent remembered the moving order exists.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that AM has at last a lot of fun strategies to play efficiently, and they look to have serious issues dealing with some misions (no mercy and the relic in particular), but they get to middle objectives too fast, and being agressive on them is suicidal.

          I think one of the main problems here is with the fallback core rule. You’re punished to engage combat in the form of defensive fire, but falling back doesn’t trigger some sort of backstab attacks, and is too hard to sorround big units in order to keep them engaged.

          The other is the move! order. If it was an extra 6″, or 3+1d3″, it would be fine, but this imperial guards move like damn rockets!

  6. Dakkath October 3, 2017 4:05 am #

    I am still mad that ratlings get to “shoot-n-scoot” but “jump-shoot-jump” was completely removed from the T’au.

    • Blightstar October 3, 2017 4:10 am #

      Dont forget that Tallarn tanks can be ordered to scoot after (or before) shooting!

  7. TotallyNormalHonest October 3, 2017 4:28 am #

    Thanks you the write up. I love that Hellhounds are getting some buffing as they are my favourite thing in all of 40k.

    You mention Catachans and Tallarns a lot but how would you recommend running Mordians? They definitely don’t have the best Doctrines but one of the coolest looks.

    I am torn between advancing up the board with Conscript blobs to force the enemy into assault and take advantage of the better Overwatch or sitting back with individual infantry squads backed up by regimental banners to maximise leadership.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:09 pm #

      I think Mordia is good but the least effective package overall for an entire army.

      But yeah, Hellhounds rock!

  8. Chandler October 3, 2017 6:05 am #

    Just so I’m understanding this correctly. A commissar can still use his ability to kill a single conscript and allow the unit to pass its morale correct?

    • Matt-Shadowlord October 3, 2017 7:01 am #

      That’s almost correct.
      What actually happens is the unit takes its leadership test, and if/when it fails it can only lose one model if a commissar is within range.

      That might sound the same, but it makes a difference in cases like the maelstrom mission where one’s opponent scores for forcing morale failures; commissars do not let you avoid giving up that point.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:10 pm #

        Yeah, the Commissar leadership bubble often prevents even the need to take the check.

  9. TrexPushups October 3, 2017 6:29 am #

    Can we get an article about managing the position of a parking lot & ways to exploit mistakes a vehicle heavy player might make.

    • rawne_bal October 3, 2017 7:29 am #

      I am looking to write up a little article on how I have been negating imperial guard with the use of Raven Guard tactics. I know this would only truly help Raven guard and Alpha legion players but maybe my unit choices and other effects can be expanded.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:10 pm #

        Raven Guard are very, very good against AM.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:11 pm #

      It is only a challenge to do. A savvy player will often use your own tanks to hide and then assault you without getting overwatched and stop you from shooting.

  10. Ghostvalley October 3, 2017 6:29 am #

    Great review, Reece. One thing I am coming across quite a bit on teh interwebs is a lot of complaining and talk that if you are using mordian or another regimental doctrine that you have to use the correct models, because there are official models out there – and that using the standard guard box stuff would be Cadian only.

    Is there not something in this codex regarding home brew regiments just like in the Space Marine codex? If I have the “Cadian” models and they are painted in my own scheme and I say they are from a planet I’ve made up and they use Valhallan regiment rules is this not acceptable? I think it is fine, I’ve just been hearing chatter on a bunch of podcasts where they are salty about this.

    • Matt-Shadowlord October 3, 2017 7:05 am #

      GW themselves show Cadians painted as ‘ice hounds’ and other new and original regiments and PDFs.
      You don’t need permission from an opponent, although it’s probably fair of them to request the modelling is clear if your army uses more than one regiment’s rules.

      • Ghostvalley October 3, 2017 8:17 am #

        Makes total sense. I was assuming that there was a somewhat official example, and people are just missing it or just creating an issue just to talk about it. Thanks.

    • Matt-Shadowlord October 3, 2017 7:05 am #

      GW themselves show Cadians painted as ‘ice hounds’ and other new and original regiments and PDFs.

      You don’t need permission from an opponent, although it’s probably fair of them to request the modelling is clear if your army uses more than one regiment’s rules.

    • Chandler October 3, 2017 7:26 am #

      The main rule of thumb is that your different regiments are distinguishable from others in the same army. So if you have one detachment that is Mordian and another that is Cadian there needs to be some way to distinguish between the two detachments in the army to avoid confusion.

      • Ghostvalley October 3, 2017 8:15 am #

        For sure. I would always use different paint schemes for different regiments, but I am a bit surprised at the resistance to say Vostroyan traits but not Vostroyan models.

        But then again, its easy for the forums and podcasts to make an issue seem bigger than it is.

        • Threllen October 3, 2017 11:46 am #

          Some people always want to find ways to screw their opponents. So they figure if they bitch and moan that you need to buy the expensive, outdated, low-customizability metal models from the non catachan/cadian regiments then they can effectively hide most of the different guard regiments behind “pay walls” of sorts. That way they don’t have to play against them if they don’t like them.

          • GhostValley October 3, 2017 3:19 pm
            #

            Besides the cost, I am also not a big fan of the old sculpts. Nevermind the fact that there wouldn’t even be all the weapons options.

        • AngryPanda October 3, 2017 12:09 pm #

          It’s the same people who think you can’t use special characters in successor chapters every edition. It never works but they always try.

          • GhostValley October 3, 2017 3:20 pm
            #

            As long as know the models rules, I’ve never worried about what colour it was painted. I’m lucky that that kind of stuff isn’t prevelant where I play.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:12 pm #

      Inevitably, people are going to not want to paint 100+ new infantry models. For us, so long as you clearly differentiate which detachment is using which doctrines and your opponent can easily tell visually who is whom, then it is no big deal.

  11. GreaverBlade October 3, 2017 7:31 am #

    Did something change in the new codex with tank commanders? In the index, they cannot be issued to Characters, which means tank commanders cannot order themselves, or other commanders, with the exception of Pask. I like the idea of three Tallarn tank commanders ordering themselves to get in to a better position, but unless the rule has been specifically updated (and not having seen any such update yet), I don’t think it’s actually possible to do.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:12 pm #

      They lost that restriction.

      • Fluger October 3, 2017 6:59 pm #

        Nice! I didn’t like that restriction. So a single tank commander can order himself, yes?

  12. Nick Wenker October 3, 2017 7:40 am #

    Reading this is just reinforces my initial impressions from all the preview videos and the Part I article that the playtesting missed the mark on this codex and that it took a very, very strong Index army and put it totally over the top with huge buffs across the board with the new codex. 30 points for 2 strong auto pass psychic powers a turn was already crazy on the officers, and now you have the amazing new regimental orders. 70 points for what Creed does is nuts. I’m floored that Guardsmen and Conscripts are still so underpriced at 4 and 3 points each, and now they get the regimental bonuses and new orders. Guard now has one of the strongest warlord traits and many of the best relics in the game. And then the amazing psychic powers, very aggressively powerful units for the cost in so many roles like Bullgryns and Russes which can all get even better with wide availability of auras and cheap, very powerful stratagems.

    Just stinks to look at fluffy, balanced codexes like DG and AdMech (even in many ways SM and CSM, though I think those are a tad stronger) and then look at the new Guard codex which seems 3 times better. With the stuff that has yet to come out, either it’s like the non-Guard codexes and it is strong but not as over the top, in which case Guard dominate even more, or a few of the new books are equally over the top which is not healthy for the game either.

    I know I’m beating a dead horse, and we’ll have to see how it plays out, but after playing since 3rd Ed and all the lessons learned since and thinking that now we are supposed to be in 8th Ed of great balance design and playtesting, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around what was done in this codex.

    • ChosenOfKhorne October 3, 2017 8:04 am #

      I will choose to view this as a chance to see if GW’s chance to rebalance any initial imbalances via chapter approved comes to fruition. No one can predict all of the abusive list combos that can be made out there, but once they identify an imbalance, I expect they live up to their promise and attempt to correct the problem with the tool they created in chapter approved.

      • AngryPanda October 3, 2017 8:51 am #

        Yeah, but they could have seen the ones already used and maybe not make them stronger?

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 3, 2017 5:14 pm #

          In order to answer that question, you would have to know when the Codex was finished. If it was many months ago, the current problems were not current, you know?

          • David Hayden October 4, 2017 9:56 am
            #

            What Reece says is true. I work in publishing. A lot of people are thinking GW made this book last month. Not a chance.

            Producing a hardcover book then ordering and the approving proofs, then having the order printed and shipped can take several months. Even if that phase was a one month turnaround, you still have to take in rules design, writing, and editing.

            It wouldn’t surprise me if the writing and rules design for this book was completed before the 8th launch.

          • ChosenOfKhorne October 4, 2017 10:19 am
            #

            I just hope chapter approved wasn’t finished 3 months ago already.

    • Flourescent Alpaca October 3, 2017 9:26 am #

      Note: I’ve played IG since 4th ed and I am super pumped for the new codex, so that’s my bias

      This is definitely a powerful codex, but I feel that GW did a good job of making the army lists that take advantage of the regimental doctrines accurately reflect the fluff of that regiment. I personally experience “kid in candy store” syndrome when thinking about the different options that are now available but you can’t effectively fit certain combinations in 2000 points. I think that “imposing a play style” on the army due to the chosen doctrines will create different ways to beat the army.

      That and conscripts being reduced in size should help as 30 is a pretty kill able unit size.
      I do think that they should not have given conscripts regimental doctrines as that would be more fluffy and balancing

      • Nick Wenker October 3, 2017 10:48 am #

        I would feel a lot better about the codex having so much good stuff if I didn’t also feel that the infantry, conscripts, officers, HQs, and LRBs are now too cheap for what they do and they synergies available to them. I also really dislike that all the best warlord traits and relics are available to any regiment. Not really a trade off. In the CSM codex, you had to make some hard choices about Legions and relics.

        • Fluorescent Alpaca October 3, 2017 12:07 pm #

          I understand that complaint but those are supposed to be the strengths of the army. If there were restrictions on which vehicles could benefit from each regiments doctrine then maybe this wouldn’t be an issue.

          They did not receive a way to escape combat and shoot with their tanks and that will be one strategy to defeat the army.

          I think once more codexes are released and armies gain more creative ways to get into close combat, the army won’t seem as indomitable. Feels like a top 5 codex when its all said and done but we’ll have to wait and see

          • Broxus October 3, 2017 2:39 pm
            #

            As an AM player myself my biggest fear is no longer finding opponents to play. There is already talk of banning AM Cadian/Catachan list and limiting unit selection for other AM player’s lists. Honestly I already had people hating to play against my index list. This codes will likely result in me getting to play 40k rarely.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 3, 2017 5:15 pm
            #

            Wait, what? Lolol, that is a massive overreaction, lol. This codex is not that good, trust me. It is awesome, but not even close to requiring that level of knee jerk.

          • Jural October 3, 2017 4:38 pm
            #

            I had not heard such talk- pretty weak. I’m actually much more worried longterm about the ability of AM to fill in holes in any Imperium (or Tyranid, GSC) list, they do so many things well for cheap.

            On the whole, they look very powerful, I am still betting they are the best Codex by far, but not in a different ballpark from CSM, DG, or SM (but maybe GK is in a league all of their own…)

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 3, 2017 5:17 pm
            #

            CSM is still the more powerful book. AM is great, but CSM is top dog, IMO.

          • Jural October 3, 2017 10:23 pm
            #

            I actually meant “not by far”. But I do suspect that AM will be the best of the first 5 releases. But time will tell, and I like my CSM! More excited for Nifs tho…

          • CaptainA October 4, 2017 9:10 am
            #

            Wait, what? Lolol, that is a massive overreaction, lol. This codex is not that good, trust me. It is awesome, but not even close to requiring that level of knee jerk.

            Considering how fast you nerfed the tau codex, week one of launch, for your events, due to player feedback, I cant help but feel this lack of concern may be motivated in part by bias.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 4, 2017 9:29 am
            #

            Lol, my goodness, still going back to 7th ed, huh? Again, we didn’t nerf anything with Tau in that case as WE WERE CORRECT on every single ruling apart from 1 portion of 1 ruling about the Piranhas. Lol, that was not an overreaction, it was accurate interpretation.

          • CaptainA October 4, 2017 9:50 am
            #

            Im willing to admit I may be wildy wrong (hoepfully), if you are willing to admit should guard start dominating tournaments at excessively high numbers, changes will be made outside GW to correct balance. Again I would love to be wrong, but from test games I have seen and played, after this upcoming tournament in my area I am not going to find games with my guard anymore.

          • CaptainA October 4, 2017 9:51 am
            #

            Also you were wrong about how the ghostkeel’s special shooting defense worked in groups.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:13 pm #

      The army is great, it is not OP, in my opinion. It is on par with the other dexes. It could use some points adjustments here and there, and I’d like to see Conscripts not lose only a single model to failed morale with a Commissar, but nothing screams broken to me.

  13. Beaton October 3, 2017 8:29 am #

    How does Grinding Advance work with Cadian Tanks.

    Since it states that if it moves less than 1/2 speed it fires twice. If it doesn’t move – to gain re-roll 1’s, does it still fire twice?

    • Blightstar October 3, 2017 8:49 am #

      Yes. Not moving at all is still not moving over half of your movement value.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:17 pm #

        Correct.

        • sevrilkestra October 4, 2017 12:17 pm #

          But is it still considered moving for the purposes of the -1 to heavy weapons and Cadian doctrine?

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 4, 2017 12:21 pm
            #

            It didn’t move so it counts as not moving.

          • Jural October 4, 2017 1:25 pm
            #

            Oh- I see your question.

            You can read the Grinding advance two ways-

            1) If you move more than 0 inches, and move not over half your movement, you can fire twice (i.e. you have to meet the requirements of having moved and moving less than half to get the benefit)

            2) If you move not over half of your movement. you can fire twice (i.e. the only requirement is that your move is less than half)

            I think 2) is the right interpretation, there is no requirement to do any sort of move at all.

  14. Jesper77 October 3, 2017 9:06 am #

    Tbh I realy dont know if a think the point increase on Astras BS3 units are justified. Many armies can now get -1 or even -2 to hit fairly easy. Fun playing a game against Alpha legion / Tzeentch armies when the only units who had a small chance, 1/3, to hit now costs extra. The “organised” complaints about the Taurox primes beeing cheap was done when no codexes were around. The Razorback cost even less and are far superior to the Taurox in regards to weapons and armour.

    • Jural October 3, 2017 4:39 pm #

      A point increase was definitely justified, I feel. But I also think they went overboard on the value of the increase

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 3, 2017 5:18 pm #

        The price point is totally fair, IMO and was needed.

        • Mike October 4, 2017 9:14 am #

          If what I’ve seen is accurate the plasmas on BS 3+ cost 13pts now?

          That just goes full circle back to older editions where Guard always paid the same price for special weapons as Marines, but inevitably on shittier BS and wet tissue platforms which made people rely on platoon blobbing or templates. With Command Squads and Veterans you drop the first issue but are still left with the second.

          Mathematically 2 BS4+ plasmas will always outperform 1 BS3+, and with the new ruleset it appears standard infantry are coming back with a vengeance. You’ll find no shortage of BS4+ bodies to put those plasmas on, and have plenty more bodies between you and your opponent before that plasma goes down. This is assuming the standard guardsman still pays 7pts a plasma gun as it is in the index, if this value has gone up as well… oh boy we’re really going full circle, and veterans will be the only ones sporting plasmas and meltas in competitive lists.

          I get that plasma vets have always been fairly good, but with 8th it appears the math doesn’t favour smaller numbers of better-performing models, certainly not as of right now with armies like AM. This is already brutally evident with elite armies simply being drowned by volume of fire, and not being able to put down sufficient volume of fire themselves to remain competitive against even MSU Guard with lots of super cheap and expendable units that all sport a plasma gun at the least. To say nothing of conscripts bubbling wrapping harder hitting units, potentially protecting a smite wall as well. Nothing hits harder than a wall of Primaris Psykers your opponent doesn’t have enough Deny the Witch rolls to hold back. Especially in an edition where Mortal Wound dealing platforms are worth their weight in gold against quality-centric armies. On the other hand you’ll find a hard time paying your points back smiting 3 or 4pt Dudesmen that die almost as easily to Heavy Bolter fire.

          But I digress, in the case of Veterans the 50%/2pt difference doesn’t even improve their survivability, which leaves the issue at whether or not one is willing to pay 50% more for +1 BS and +1 Ld on the same T3 5+ platform. With the way things are now I would argue more platforms for weapons will generally outperform less platforms with the same or greater number of shiny weapons. It’s the antithesis of all your eggs in one basket, when you have 20 baskets and only 1 egg, your opponent is on an easter-egg hunt they can’t hope to win.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 4, 2017 12:28 pm
            #

            Some good points but you don’t have options for BS4+ models to take more than 1 Plasma Gun apart from Special Weapons so the point is a bit moot.

            And I would operate under the assumption that Smite spam is on the radar of GW as an issue in the game. Although, yes, right now that is most assuredly an issue. If you play Imperium MEQs, take a Culexus, if you play Chaos MEQs, well, you probably already have Cultists and Brims.

            Even Necrons can take Scarabs to soak it up, although that is obviously harder to do.

            Veterans still rock, i use them all the time and Scions as well. They still give you the most concentrated firepower in an affordable unit and when used properly, perform the same function they did but now at a more fair price point.

          • Mike October 5, 2017 1:31 am
            #

            Agreed on pretty much everything, but I mentioned the BS4+ platforms as a list philosophy in general, not that infantry squads can load up on 3 plasmas. Obviously Infantry squads cannot take more than 1 special weapon, but a Plasma armed Infantry squad only clocks in at 47pts with everything else barebones. Throwing in a heavy weapon team does little to hike the price up on an otherwise unimpressive unit, but small increases in firepower here and there stopped being bad in an edition where you’re free to split your fire at will. All of this while being expendably cheap. Making the most out of the bargain-bin 5pt mortar, 7pt plasma and 8pt HB is too good to pass up imo, but that’s another issue altogether that I seem to disagree with a lot of people on when it comes to running stuff like autocannons and lascannons, or god help me missile launchers…

            Point being infantry and SWS can be cheaply armed with plasma guns to the point where they’re not incapable by any means (in fact, outperforming the plasma vets most if not all of the time) and cheap enough to not even worry about losing. SWS loading up on 3 plasmas still only clock in at 45pts. Two squads coming in at 90 will handily outperform 10 Vets with 3 plasmas (at the new point values), despite having lower BS and Ld. The cost difference of 2pts per model and 6pts per gun makes even the numerically greater 12 men in the paired SWS still come out to be cheaper. The math doesn’t favour Vets right now. If you fire at max range, a 99pt Veterans squad with 3 plasmas at 13pts each gun will fire 3 shots, and hit with 2 statistically. For 9pts less you get 6 plasma shots resulting in 3 hits statistically, even with things like re-rolling 1s to hit, etc, you get more mileage out of more units, more bodies, and most importantly more cheap guns. And this is before you factor in maximum potential damage output as a factor. 12 BS4+ plasma shots has all the potential to wipe a small unit of elite models with some luck of the dice or convenient modifiers to tip the odds. That ~17% accuracy difference got a lot less meaningful when you can slap on +1 to hit and re-rolling 1s just as easily if not simply for free on your SWS. You will never get more than 6 hits with your plasma vets no matter how many buffs you stack. You could theoretically get 12 with 2 SWS despite having on average a ~17% lower likelihood of hitting a target, at base values. Taking multiple units that double my number of shots for just a marginal reduction in accuracy? I’ll take a dozen.

            Also comes with other hidden benefits. As with 8th the prevalence for Command squads initially showed the potential of piling in special weapons in a Chimera for a sudden firing squad to emerge on demand. The added benefit of the same SWS with 3x plasmas is they still fit in a Chimera. And loading up on Elite slots, or any slots for that matter, is most of the work towards more command points from making new detachments. With how cheap guard HQs are it’s almost a crime not to in many cases to rake in as many CPs as you can.

            Maybe GW doesn’t really believe in math, but 2 SWS that cost LESS while doing statistically better than 10 veterans with 3 plasmas is a little weird from a design perspective. With the arguably contested allocation of Elite slots, maybe there’s the argument that SWS is not an effective use of an Elite slot, but that’s a difficult point to drive home. With Vanguard detachments bringing in an abundance of Elite slots on top of the easily secured 8 from a Brigade, one is not lacking for Elite slots by any means unless spamming Astropaths or something strange and irrational.

            I can afford to spam 4pt dudesmen with 7pt plasma guns and lose them, I can’t afford the same losses in a 6pt veteran with a 13pt plasma gun when the gun costs more than the complete package on the basic guardsman w/ plasma. What that ends up meaning almost 100% of the time is paying a transport tax to ferry the Veterans intact to engage their desired targets, where I could just spend the same points on… another 2 squads of the same plasma-armed guardsmen in SWS, and still have some points to spare. Additionally the same points could be spent on Infantry squads, where the plasma would be more thinly spread out but then far more resilient in ablative wounds and it even comes with the wall of lasgun shots and the potential for a heavy weapon team. Now you have exponentially greater damage output potential on a far greater number of units, this is especially true if given first turn and all of your units get to move so as to ensure being in range to get a heavy salvo of plasma off.

            Even going second, who is going to shoot 4 SWS off the board with ease? Best of scenarios you hit them while they’re all questionably positioned in the open and completely without cover, it’ll still be more difficult for most armies than popping a Chimera and dropping the Veterans that emerge alive. People tend to gear towards higher damage weapons to crack tough nuts, guard are no exception, but weight of fire does come in handy and again most elite-centric armies just can’t do that. You can find lists that bring missile launchers, lascannons, meltas, or much worse, a dime a dozen. You won’t find nearly as many lists that can pop that Chimera on demand just as well as they can drop 20+ guard bodies and still have any semblance of shooting left to do afterwards.

            There has to be a better middle ground where basic guard get plasma at maybe a bit more than 7pts and BS 3+ models don’t go back to paying marine-values for their specials. The former being an issue my friend pointed out in an annoyed tone when he found out how much veterans/command squad vets cost per man and per gun at the moment, saying it was effectively free compared to the price many other armies pay for their guns. But the latter is also an issue as raising the point cost for high BS special weapons (or worse, all of them to the same price point) to the point where we have to pay the same amount MEQ armies do for much less potential in overall performance just screams sub-optimal and forces people to go elsewhere for problem solving units formerly found in deepstriking plasma/melta or packing the same specials into Chimeras and dumping them in your opponent’s face.

            Veterans have and always will be a shock element in an army that otherwise largely relies on “good enough” units to do the job. The only issue is how competitive they are, and whether good-enough units that can do the same job or better for just as much or less are flat out the better option. The way the meta seems to be shaping up right now, even with the new codex changes just around the corner, makes it seem like 4pt Guard will be able to force multiply like no other. This works off the principle where having more bodies, more units, more guns, everything, allows you to keep taking advantage of free stats and benefits from doctrines et al in a way that secures far more net benefits from a game theory perspective than a smaller number of more elite units with the same buffs. You get far more bang for your buck, not to mention survivability, if you have simply greater numbers of worse quality troops, to a extent.

            These keep getting longer than intended, but there’s my two cents.

    • Marius Xerxes October 4, 2017 12:43 am #

      A lot of the stuff with BS 3+ like Scions and Veterans have access to abilities such as deep strike, Tallarn with surprise backdooring or mounted Chimera mobility that Alpha Legion, Raven Guard and Stygies trait bonuses can/are mitigated by, by getting under that 12″ almost at will.

      The updated point costs are more then fair.

      Its no that simple to compare Taurox Primes to Razorbacks. Razorbacks can only engage a single target with their primary weapon. A Taurox Prime with Missile and Autocannon can engage multiple. And while it wound take good dice rolls, a single Prime with those weapons can outright destroy one Razorback and 8 wound cripple a second in a single round of shooting from 48″ away.

      More reasonable, though, is the Prime keeping itself at a distance using said weapons where are the popular Asscan Razor has to keep itself relatively close to do work. Therefore its more vulnerable.

      Again, I feel the points are justified given the respective uses.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 4, 2017 12:28 pm #

        Agreed completely. Besides, AM players (including me) have nothing at all to complain about with their book, lol. It is very good.

        • TheThievingMick October 4, 2017 9:22 pm #

          The hell we don’t! Why aren’t lasguns on the ranged weapon lists? I want my sergeants and officers to be able to use lasguns, dammit.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 5, 2017 8:29 am
            #

            That’s been gone for ages, unfortunately.

  15. Loofa4 October 3, 2017 2:11 pm #

    Is this a mistake about crusaders? I thought they didn’t have the astra militarum keyword, and thus could not be targeted by psychic barrier. Also, why would they have acts of faith in the astra militarum codex when they don’t have it in the sisters of battle index?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:18 pm #

      They have the keyword.

    • Neilasaurus October 4, 2017 7:36 am #

      They have acts of faith in the Index, go look

      • Loofa4 October 6, 2017 7:19 am #

        Hot damn, you’re right! Death cult and acroflagellants don’t, but crusaders do. Seems weird for them to have it outside of a ministorum detachment though…

  16. Tyr October 3, 2017 2:16 pm #

    Has anything actually been done to chimeras to make them more attractive? I mean, the taurox seems to have gone down in points, but they werent in too bad a spot to begin with…

    I mean, they obviously didnt get back command vehicle, that would make the stratagem useless. But did they get back some firing points? Or at least amphibious? Points cut?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 3, 2017 5:18 pm #

      The Chimera with 2 heavy flamers is excellent.

      • Lothar October 4, 2017 3:41 am #

        Maybe for catachans…

        Seriously, dont you have a feeling, that catachan is the best regiment? Superior leman russes, artilery, hellhounds, sentinels, chimeras, close combat units, special flamer squads…also, their bonuses stack with reroll 1 from Yarrick or Harker(also catachan) and they dont have the disadvantage Cadians have…so…better bonus on more units without disadvantage…
        Do you think this is balanced with other regiments? Maybe with Tallarns, but i am not really sure…

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 4, 2017 12:29 pm #

          Catachans are really good. I actually don’t think their russes are best, though. Very good run cheaply but Tallarn and Cadia and even Vostroya have excellent Russes.

          • TheThievingMick October 4, 2017 9:17 pm
            #

            Vostroyan Punisher Russes. Vostroyan Plasma Russes. Vostroyan Demolishers (Less shots, moar range…might get you a shot you wouldn’t normally be able to take–and the Catachan bonus does less for 1d3 weapons than 1d6). Vostroya is great.

            Honestly, all the regimental bonuses are very well balanced against each other and all lend themselves to useful playstyles.

            I think I’m going to base my army on the Lostock 23rd (Gland Warriors), so super buff Catachans will fit them best, rules-wise. But, I could happily build and play an army based on just about any of the regiments.

        • Marius Xerxes October 4, 2017 10:57 pm #

          I think Tallarn is excellent for units like Hellhounds and flamer Russes. Especially in a -1 over 12″ meta that, thus far, three armies can take advantage of.

          Any roaming or camping objective units are under constant potential threat as long as Tallarn reserves are sitting off board.

          Russes can get ordered to scoot and shoot and hellhounds will likely have range when they deploy. HH 2D6 shots and a flamer Russ with 3D6 will put serious hurt on those 10 man Alpha Legion Cultists and 5 man Stygies Ranger/vanguard units camping the backfield or side objectives.

          I’m really digging Tallarn and the semi return of Al’Rahiem reserve abilities. Guard doesn’t have to play smash nose in your face like a lot of the other Regiments do. Tallarn lets them more then happily come from behind, drop to a knee and give your junk a uppercut.

      • Tyr October 4, 2017 5:14 am #

        Which is nice, but they werent too bad before either… does that mean that theyre basically unchanged, apart from regimental doctrines?
        Im mostly interested in the classic ML/HB loadout, since the majority of my chimeras are set up that way…

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 4, 2017 12:30 pm #

          I can only see the “classic” set up working with Tallarn or Vostroya, IMO.

          • Tyr October 4, 2017 2:16 pm
            #

            Welp. Guess Im running my steel legion as Tallarn then. None of the SL-specific stuff so far has really been that attractive so far, and if Tallarn is the only doctrine where my chimeras can be more than immobile pillboxes… :/

    • Blightstar October 3, 2017 8:52 pm #

      Atleast Tallarn chimeras are a bit better. They are most prime candinates for twin-HB turret from Forgeworld.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 4, 2017 12:30 pm #

        Yeah, Tallarn Chimeras are solid, but I would prefer the Taurox for the lower price point.

  17. PrimoFederalist October 3, 2017 6:00 pm #

    FRF!, SRF! should require models to be in proximity like the Mordian doctrine. It’s not even physically possible for a gaggle Guardsmen to fire in “ranks” when they’re not formed up in… ranks.

    Anyway, I’m so happy I can run a true-to-the-fluff combined arms army and have it be effective, however, I hope it doesn’t become a leaf-blower list. Seems we’re entering dangerous and familiar territory with codex creep…

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 4, 2017 12:32 pm #

      I do not see Codex creep, personally. This is just a damn good army, same with Death Guard, same with AdMech, same Chaos, etc.

    • Mike October 4, 2017 11:18 pm #

      I find from a fluff perspective this is something I very strongly agree with. But from a realistic perspective… Something about the way stuff blobs up in 8th just doesn’t sit well with me.

      Removing templates and blasts has been a double edged sword for me, I’ve loved horde armies and played Orks and Guard for a long time, but losing templates and blasts have changed the game so much it I don’t even care if the net result is a benefit to my blobs.

  18. Fluger October 3, 2017 6:50 pm #

    So, Rough Riders are gone I take it?

    • Blightstar October 3, 2017 8:53 pm #

      Yes. You can use the Index versions thou. Not exactly broken since so few new things actually affect them. They arent infantry so many regiment bonuses just skip them.

  19. highwind October 4, 2017 2:39 am #

    Did anybody else notice the paragraph within the doctrin rules where it says, that a regiment without any associated doctrin can choose one of their liking?
    With the way this is worded it technically includes Forgeworlds Elysian Droop Troops aswell as Death Korps of Krieg…

    Now remember, flyers (like the Vulture or the Vendetta) in an Elysian detachment also replace “Imperial Aeronautica” with “Elyisan Drop Troops” and therefore enabling them to benefit from doctrins… Tallarn being the obvoius choice here, effectively improving their BS by one.
    Tallarn doctrin is also great for Elysian infantry when combined with their “Move and Fire!” order… a unit of Elysian Veterans armed with shotguns can move, advance and still fire 20 S4 (shotguns) + 10xD6 S3 (frag grenades) + 10 S6 (krag grenades) on a target within 6″, all hitting on 3+

    With Elysian Command Squads also still not being limited by the number of Officers one can only hope for a quick errata…

    • SideshowLucifer October 4, 2017 6:24 am #

      I think its safe to assume that they are their own regiments and their special rules act like their own regimental abilities.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 4, 2017 12:32 pm #

      You do not get Elysian and another doctrine, Elysia, Krieg, etc. are their own Regiments.

  20. Laurence Elliott October 4, 2017 3:59 am #

    From first reading it’s fairly clear that this codex is edging towards OP, but given the complexity of the 40k ruleset it is near-impossible for gw to release a completely balanced codex now.

    It’s definitely not 7th ed kennel-star/scatpack levels of broken at least.

  21. Neilasaurus October 4, 2017 7:37 am #

    So I guess Vanquisher are still suboptimal? Even more than before for some regiments?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 4, 2017 12:33 pm #

      The FW LM Vanquisher Stygies is the optimal choice there, IMO. Or a Tank Commander with Las Cannon.

      • bogalubov October 4, 2017 9:56 pm #

        The Stygies patern vanquisher cannon is not on the list of weapons that benefit from shooting twice. Hopefully FW updates their list soon.

    • Luke October 6, 2017 1:38 pm #

      Yeah.. There still doesn’t seem to be a realistic reason to ever take a vanquisher or exterminator turret over a battle cannon. I was definitely hoping they’d at least add some flavor abilities to these turrets beyond their stats to give them some situational usefulness.

  22. CaptainA October 4, 2017 9:59 am #

    Oh Lawd! Its getting bad. Now they are blaming Reece for bad guard balance. Reece when did you get put on GW’s payroll you did not tell me you were writing codex for them now!

    https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/210/741164.page

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 4, 2017 11:14 am #

      lolol, no kidding! Oh well.

    • Jural October 4, 2017 1:29 pm #

      Wait, I thought we were blaming Reece for the crappy Tau Codex (sight unseen)? Or is the AM codex some sort of stealth attack on the Tau?

      The concerns run deep.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 4, 2017 2:30 pm #

        Damn, I can only handle one irrational accusation at a time here, guys! =P

        • FLaurence Elliott October 4, 2017 11:09 pm #

          You were behind the Kennedy assassination as well right?

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 5, 2017 8:28 am
            #

            Second gunman on the grassy knoll, right here. You got me!

      • Ty October 4, 2017 5:38 pm #

        I mean, we already know the AM codex is completely broken without reading it. No reason we can’t also assume the Tau codex is unplayable.

  23. m2dub October 6, 2017 7:55 am #

    Hey Reecius, great review and roundup. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the Steel Legion. I’m a long time fan and collector of the minis but I feel like they got caught in a weird spot between Regiments. Their doctrine is almost like a poor man’s Vostroyan doctrine. Yes, the Steel Legion get 3 more inches on their double tap but at the loss of increased range on a whole slew of weapons. Also, even though they’re depicted as the resident experts in mechanized warfare in the fluff it seems like the Tallarns are the far more mobile and flexible of the two regiments. It kind of seems like the Steel Legion are caught between the two doctrines, not quite sure what they want to be and therefore not really excelling at anything. It will be interesting to see how the vehicle aspect of the doctrine plays out. Anyways, despite my grousing I’m thrilled to see the old Guard miniature ranges I’ve always loved finally getting some official love again.

    On a side note I wanted to point out two potential niggles with the actual implementation of the Steel Legion doctrine and order:

    Doctrine: Industrial Efficiency – So the increased range to double tap on lasguns is great, but once they hop into a Chimera, the traditional vehicle for hauling guardsmen, they suddenly lose that ability and the lasgun array mounted on the Chimera fires normally. I was wondering if this was maybe an unintentional oversight as in editions past the lasgun array was literally the guardsmen firing their own lasguns out of the vehicle and would have potentially benefited from the doctrine.

    Order: Mount Up – This order is cool and all but unless I’m missing something it is going to leave the officer who issues it, and potentially was riding with the squad in the first place, stranded outside the transport as he orders his men to hop in and then is unable to embark on his own. Is this some kind of oversight? It seems silly to have the officer order his men to mount up while everyone is close by and then be stuck sitting outside by himself. The only way I potentially see around this is for a officer to already be in the Chimera and necessitates the spending of 1 CP for Mobile Command Vehicle. Seems like the order should pull the officer along with it if it was in the spirit of the theme their regimental orders and strategems seem to be after.

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