MathHammer: Astra Militarum Overview

Is the New Astra Militarum Codex, just too juicy for you to swallow? Welcome to my take on the most efficient units in the new Codex! Onwards for the Emperor! Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

Hey guys, BigVik here with my take on the most efficient units in the Astra Militarum Codex. First I’ll be looking at how I measure efficiency of firepower and toughness for speed bumps to keep those guns firing!

Fire Efficacy (points per wound under ideal circumstances):

I measure my points per wound and total average wounds against 2 primary targets, MEQ (T4, 3+ save), and Knight Equivalent (T8, 3+/5++ save)

This gives anti-personnel weapons a good measure of points efficiency against MEQ, and knight defensive stats because there are a growing number of 8 vehicles, and thus I want to look at the “worst case” for how efficient the wounds will be.

A weakness I feel is inherent in the system is that it lowers the value of STR 8 weaponry, though I don’t have straight data on this. As a presenter of my research into this subject matter I want make sure that people are aware of this possible weakness in the ensuing data

Toughness against shooting (points per wound inflicted upon the unit):

I use an efficiency coefficient of a speed bump units using (points per wound inflicted)/ (points per wound in unit). I measure this against 3 weapons, a bolter from a tactical space marine, a devastator with a grav-cannon with grav amp, or a lascannon from a devastator marine. This is mostly because my Meta seems to mostly be space marine players.

So let’s get down to the numbers.

We’ll be looking at things on a per slot basis, and will be concentrating on codex entries as opposed to Forge World units as well, due to the much larger data set I would have otherwise needed to follow, of course I did the math on Earthshaker batteries, because yes.


Company Commander/Platoon Commander/Militarum Tempestor Prime/Creed/Straken- These guys hand out orders, AM’s unique mechanic. The cheapest per order, not including Regiment bonuses, those start coming out tomorrow, is the Company Commander at 15 points per order, good rolling will get Creed to be better at a max value of 11.7 points per order (this has a 12.5% chance of occurring each round)

Straken is the odd duck, he’s a melee beater, who buffs the attacks characteristic of Catachans around him, if you want to have the scariest conscripts in the imperium, take this guy and a couple priests to put the fear of the Emperor into some lawnmower units.

Combined with the unique orders these guys can really ramp your damage output, and utility for your units, take a bunch

Lord Commissar/Yarrick/Commissar- Commissars make your conscript units not evaporate after that bad turn of taking wounds, and Yarrick is the hardest to kill single in faction character including his character protection, along with a very powerful re-roll all 1’s to hit while within 6’ of him, he’s great

Sergeant Harker- The Catachan re-roll 1’s, if your taking Catachans, take Harker… period.

Ministorum Priest- These guys give an additional attack within 6’, making them a great support choice for Bullgryns and Catachan Conscripts

Astropath- These guys cast the support powers for Astra Militarum like psychic barrier, or Nightshroud to increase your speedbumps’ ability to survive, or even the other powers which are all useful in certain circumstances. His only ‘weakness’ is that he casts smite on 1d6, meaning he truly is just used to be a tool box. Did I mention these guys are cheaper than Malefic Lords? Oh yea, they also remove cover from closer in enemy units. Eat your heart out Forge World!

Tech Priest Enginseer- These guys repair your tanks, very handy for Super Heavies

Speed Bumps

Ratlings- these guys are the most points efficient sniper rifles in the game, why are they speed bumps? Because WE FREAKING NEED’EM. They create the first layer of the onion to chew through, across the board from your lines. Oh you went first accidentally? Cool they remove your opponents commissar quite will with around 15 of them shooting, that’s how many you took for a screen? What a coincidence!

Scout Sentinels- These guys are the second layer of “Don’t deep strike me, bro!” They have a scout move which will ensure just about the entire board is covered in bubbles of no deep strike for the first turn or two, and they can take heavy flamers, anti-flyer anyone?

Bullgryns- Now we get to the math, perhaps the toughest per point models to kill. These guys will be taking the Slab Shield to get +2 to their saves, an astropath will cast psychic barrier, and against shooting, if the weapons have AP, you will be using the stratagem to make them ‘Take Cover!’ for a grand total of a 0+/2++ save, keeping in mind that 0+ still fails on a 1. Where is the invul coming from? Why Celestine is in your list, isn’t she?

Points per wound in unit=14

Bolter=13.5 marines per wound-> bolter wound efficiency=12.5

Lascannon=3.8 marines per wound-> Lascannon wound efficiency=10.3

Grav cannon=2.25 marines per wound-> Gravcannon wound efficiency=6.6


The cheapest wounds in the codex, we’ll be assuming Celestine is in the army with +2 save from the psychic power and Take Cover!

Points per wound in unit= 3

Bolter wound efficiency- 3.4 marines per wound-> bolter wound efficiency=14.7

Lascannon=3.6 marines per wound-> no… just don’t do it, man!

Grav cannon=1.1 marines per wound-> Gravcannon wound efficiency= 15

Crusaders- These guys are the easiest to use, they have a free storm shield, at 15 points per model, they can have Nightshroud cast on them for -1 to hit, then Take Cover! Stratagem against shooting.

Points per wound in unit=15

Bolter wound efficiency- 9 marines per wound-> bolter wound efficiency=7.8

Lascannon=3.6 marines per wound-> still don’t do it, man!

Grav cannon=1.1 marines per wound-> Gravcannon wound efficiency= .95

So for the purposes of soaking wounds, conscripts with Celestine and an astropath seems to be your best bet due to the nature of multi damage weapons in this edition, though keep in mind that conscripts do almost zero work, and will be mulched by berzerkers, while bullgryns can hold down just about anything for a turn or two, and have those SWEET maces that hit like a ton of bricks with good support.


Tank Commander/Knight Commander Path- these guys are supped up leman Russes, and are straight more efficient than regular Leman Russes on a per wound basis, but will be using the same load outs. Something to keep in mind is that Tank Orders can really add to your survivability depending on what you need

Primaris Psyker- the next best thing to Malefic Lords, these guys can have an inventory of support powers, but will most likely largely be casting smite, due to the Astropath’s weakness for casting said spam power. I love these guys, because once your opponent closes to your lines, these guys can smack pretty hard for their points at 3 3+ to hit star 5 d3 damage hits! Oh you have a priest and Yarrick around? Sweet!


Militarum Tempestus Scions- these guys are not particularly math efficient, though they are a troops unit that can grave shoot in and claim objectives, they also can carry volley guns, sit in a ruin and throw pot shots out


Master of Ordnance- Do you NEED that one vehicle to die? AM has got you! This guy calls in a onetime use mini earthshaker shot, with 4+ to hit outside of line of sight, this guy can have his uses!

Math- MEQ- 0.97 wounds, 30.8 points per wound

KEQ- 1.2 wounds, 25.7 points per wound

Special Weapons Squad- these guys are a strange choice, they really just abuse the fact that flamers are 7 points and always hit, sounds good to me, put two squads in a Valkyrie and drop on objectives, or get those last couple wounds on something

Math- MEQ- 1.74 wounds, 18.9 points per wound

KEQ- 1.17 wounds, 28.3 points per wound

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad- these guys have changed, since they now only have points efficiency when using volley guns, let’s see how well those work.

Math- MEQ- 3.56 wounds, 20.2 points per wound

KEQ- 1.2 wounds, 60.7 points per wound

Heavy Support

Leman Russ (Anti-tank build)- these guys will be going battle cannon (THEY WORK AGAIN!!), hull mounted lascannon, and 2 plasma cannons, and with the change to the plasma vents, OVER CHARGE EVERY TURN, BABY!

Math- MEQ- 4.0 wounds, 49.3 points per wound

KEQ- 6.1 wounds, 32.3 points per wound

Leman Russ (Anti-personnel build) – These guys are not QUITE the most points efficient anti-personnel in the codex, but they’re tough, cheap, and have objective secured, so let’s look at this bad boy

Math- MEQ- 6.2 wounds, 26.9 points per wound

KEQ- 4.1 wounds, 41.0 points per wound

Basilisk batteries- Are these guys the most points efficient anti-tank in the game right now? Let’s see…

Math- MEQ- 2.0 wounds, 40.8 points per wound

KEQ- 2.8 wounds, 28.3 points per wound

This look scary? Look at the ShadowSword below!

Dedicated Transport

Taurox Prime- these guys… down in point… yea one point, the tank went up 5, and the 2 volley guns went down 3 each, oh and they have exploding 6’s to hit at half range now… yep, they’re still here, I still own 4…

Math- MEQ- 4.3 wounds, 22.6 points per wound

KEQ- 1.9 wounds, 50.8 points per wound

Lord of War

ShadowSword- The king is dead, all hail the king! This guy can ALMOST kill a knight a turn! Oh, they also went DOWN 40 points, and the main cannon became MORE reliable at the cost on average a shot a turn, I’ll take it every time!

Math- MEQ- 8.9 wounds, 59.3 points per wound

KEQ- 22.1 wounds, 23.9 points per wound

Keep in mind the numbers against knights includes the +1 to hit against targets with the titanic keyword.

Well this is my take on the points efficiency for Guard, tune in next time for my first in a series of articles to show off builds that take advantage of each regimental trait to make interesting (read as broken) list combinations and how I think they’ll end up playing!

And as always, Frontline Gaming sells gaming goodies at a discount, every day!

Frontline Gaming will buy your used models for cash or store credit!




About BigVik

A gaming magpie, BigVik currently maintains perpetual noob status, playing Menoth and Khador in Warmachine, and Imperial Guard in 40k. He works as a professional coach and process consultant in his professional life, and loves bringing this into his gaming and writing.

17 Responses to “MathHammer: Astra Militarum Overview”

  1. Dakkath October 16, 2017 10:01 am #

    I feel like you should have included plasma SWS in your analysis. 7 points per gun is crazy efficient. 2 squads of those plopping out of a valkyrie will put some hurt on just about anything.

  2. BigVik October 16, 2017 3:12 pm #

    I agree, that was probably an oversight on my part from a tool perspective, I was mostly grabbing units from my metric sheet with the best numbers, and talking about them!

    Though my Mordian list will definitely have 2 special weapon squads in a Valkyrie for eating characters!

  3. Leth October 17, 2017 5:05 am #

    Since hordes is a thing I kinda would rather see how they do against guardsman level durability rather than MEQ since MEQ is not much of a thing most of the time.

    • Tomguycot October 17, 2017 7:52 am #

      This. How many MEQs are there really compared to cultists, conscripts, horrors, scouts, etc?

      • cayesq October 17, 2017 12:53 pm #

        To be fair, if a thing is good against MEQ it’s probably also good against hordes…

        • abusepuppy October 17, 2017 11:00 pm #

          Well, anti-infantry is anti-infantry, yes. But some guns that are very good against 5+ or 6+ save models (like a Scatter Laser) fare much less well against a 3+ save model, especially when compared to weapons with a better AP value.

          I think that the reality is closer to there being four profiles in the game that you need to be ready to deal with- GEQ (T3/5+), MEQ (T4/3+), vehicle (T7/3+ multiwound), and heavy (T8/3+/5++ multiwound), with GEQ and vehicle being the most relevant currently. You’re more likely to see an artillery tank or Rhino than a Knight at top tables, and you’re more likely to see hordes of light infantry than heavy infantry.

    • BigVik October 17, 2017 12:29 pm #

      The nice thing about Astra Militarum shot boats, as in the Punisher Leman Russ and Dakka Taurox Prime, don’t have more than a -2 AP, so non of the AP is wasted, and thus you gust get proportionally more bodies picked up. If you want numbers, my dakka Leman Russ build GEQ wounds per turn: 16 for 164 points, dakka Taurox Prime GEQ wounds per turn: 10 for 97 points.

      • Graspian October 17, 2017 1:54 pm #

        I’m excited to see your second article with some example builds utilitizing the units listed here! 🙂

        • BigVik October 17, 2017 5:36 pm #

          Thanks! I hope you like them I’ll be shotgunning list builds out in the near future!

          • Graspian October 19, 2017 8:50 am

            Any idea when we will be able to see your next article? Don’t mean to nag, just excited about the possibility of seeing what someone else thinks and finding a new angle of approach.

            Most of the lists I’ve built so far have been some variation on a screen of conscripts and core of infantry backed up by leman russes and earthshaker batteries.

          • BigVik October 23, 2017 4:24 pm

            I feel ya man, I’m finishing up the series right now, once everything is gone over for errors, they’ll be out.

            I have to admit, that some of the lists were written pre-errata, so take them with a grain of salt, but I think the lists are still quite solid, if not quite maximized for the top tables of the event, as I tried to keep to the theme of the regiment being explored.

  4. C. Ash October 17, 2017 3:14 pm #

    I am curious why you believe M. Scions w/th plasma are not efficient anymore due to points increase. They certainly aren’t elysian drop plasma good (even before the codex they were not) but appear to still do more damage on point basis against armor than anything else. (strictly the codex). Assuming they are under rapid fire, reroll 1, supercharge gun mode. The problem being they are usually one and done, but that was true pre codex. But still feel in important job (Deep strike) and they still look attractive to me, efficiency wise.

    • BigVik October 17, 2017 5:36 pm #

      I agree that they definitely still have a place, but the fact that they only really get to shoot once, and the fact that their guns are almost twice as expensive has them being less efficient than the volley gun which is cheaper and does a fair amount of damage to MEQ’s and GEQ’s means that in a strictly metric driven article, the volley gun gets talked about
      (TLDR: I have a word limit)

      • C. Ash October 17, 2017 7:30 pm #

        So (2*(1+1/6)) shots * (2/3*1/6+2/3) hit/shot * (1/2) saves/hit * 2/3 unsaved / saves * 2 wounds/unsaved is 1.2098 wounds on average on Knight.
        The price of that damage now is 9+13+40/8=27 points (1 tempostor for two four man squads. So efficiency is 1.2098 / 27 = 0.04481 wounds/ point invested or 22.316 points spent/ wound dealt using your way of reporting efficiency numbers. An extremely high efficiency, not as good as the previous 20.25 point spent/ wound from index or the sheer stupidity of elysian plasma squads, but still very very attractive. Coming from Deep strike and hitting with sledgehammer to the balls means melta or plasma not volleyguns. Sitting on an objective with volleygun is something can be done better by a mortar team.

      • abusepuppy October 17, 2017 10:56 pm #

        “Doubling the price” for their gun is a bit deceptive, though, since the actual points increase was rather modest, especially on basic Scion squads (+12pts for the unit.)

  5. Rhinoceraids October 17, 2017 8:29 pm #

    Cyclops demo vehicles and powerlifter sentinels still rock!

    • BigVik October 23, 2017 4:26 pm #

      Hell yea they do!!

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