Imperial Specialist Detachments – Rules Preview

We’re back, this time with a look at the Imperial Specialist Detachments found in Vigilus Defiant. We’ve already introduced how to include Specialist Detachments in your army, and offered some insight into those available to the xenos forces on Vigilus, but before we look at those available to the Imperium, we can reveal another innovative layer to their rules – the Field Commander Stratagem:

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

This enables you to lead your Specialist Detachment with an appropriately thematic Character without sacrificing your usual preference of Warlord (or indeed their associated Warlord Trait) – all for the cost of a single Command Point! For example, you could lead a sweeping right hook with a Kult of Speed ‘field commanded’ by a Deffkilla Wartrike, while your Warboss leads the Boyz down the middle. If you like to forge a narrative with your games, this is a great way to do it!

So, let’s get on with taking a look at the Imperial Specialist Detachments:

If you’re a fan of Primaris Space Marines, then this is the one for you, as it represents the combined armies of Primaris Marines that surged forth from Terra to take the fight to foes of the Imperium alongside its Lord Commander. This is epitomised by the Grey Shield Warlord Trait and Standard of the Ultima Founding, which both offer incredibly useful once-per-battle abilities and represent the combined fighting experience of the different Chapters that fought in Gulliman’s galactic crusade.

However, arguably the coolest part of this Specialist Detachment is the ability to upgrade your Intercessors further with the Veteran Intercessors Stratagem. Not only does it upgrade their Attacks and Leadership characteristics by 1 for the cost of a single Command Point, but it unlocks one of three additional Stratagems according to their wargear. Fed up with those pesky characters bolstering enemy units with their aura abilities? Deal with the problem directly with the Target Sighted Stratagem:

There are also Specialist Detachments for some of the other famous Chapters fighting on Vigilus, such as the Imperial Fists Siegebreaker Cohort, the Crimson Fists Liberator Strike Force, the Black Templars Sword Brethren, the Ravenwing Attack Squadron and the Space Wolves Stalker Pack. However, there is one more for the Adeptus Astartes that deserves a special mention…

If you like the idea of fielding Space Marine Veterans in large quantities, this is the way to do it. Not only do these super-elite Ultramarines have access to two powerful relics in the Standard of Macragge Inviolate and Soldier’s Blade (not to mention a Warlord Trait that adds 1 to wound rolls for nearby Victrix Guard units in the Fight phase), but check out these two Stratagems:

Fight Like Demigods doesn’t just sound awesome, it offers a handy buff too. Strike First, though costly at 3 Command Points, can blunt or destroy an enemy charge before it has even begun. If used in the right situation, it’s a potential game-winner.

Do you like the idea of an army of marching Kastelan Robots? Well, look no further than the Cybernetica Cohort. In addition to the Power Surge Stratagem that adds 3 to a unit’s charge rolls, or the Strafing Fire Run Stratagem that temporarily turns Heavy weapons into Assault weapons, you’ll have access to a great Warlord Trait for keeping your beloved machines of death in the battle:

Adeptus Mechanicus players will also be able to field a Servitor Maniple, which more than caters for all your Kataphron-based killy-death needs.

If you’re one of the Astra Militarum’s finest tread-heads, who favours crushing their foes with unstoppable armoured assaults, then this Specialist Detachment is for you. First up is a nasty Warlord Trait called Unflinching Resolve that enables Emperor’s Fist units within 6″ to re-roll failed hit rolls when firing overwatch – as if charging towards a punisher gatling cannon wasn’t scary enough. There are also two Stratagems that help your glorious Leman Russ to squish enemies on the charge or fire twice, even if they Advanced. Finally, there’s this really cool relic battle cannon – the only Astra Militarum relic designed for use on a tank:

Of course, that’s not all for the Astra Militarum – they can also field Emperor’s Blade Assault Companies, Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Companies and Emperor’s Conclave Infantry Companies for good measure, not to mention Militarum Tempestus Drop Forces.

That’s it for the various Imperial Specialist Detachments in Vigilus Defiant. You can order a Space Marines Primaris Interdiction Force or Imperial Fists Supremacy Force today, and grab some Kastelan Robots or Leman Russ Battle Tanks online or in your nearest stores to get you ready for the war on Vigilus.

But we’re not done yet – check back tomorrow, when we’ll be discussing the sweeping campaign rules in the book and how you can apply them to your own gaming group.

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



About Reecius

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

23 Responses to “Imperial Specialist Detachments – Rules Preview”

  1. Avatar
    Ghostvalley December 6, 2018 8:15 am #

    I am really excited to start working out a Victrix Guard detachment in conjunction with the points changes in Chapter Approved. Also, nothing wrong with a damage 3 battle cannon, especially when combined with Grinding Advance…seems fun. A reason to take some Russes

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 6, 2018 8:38 am #

      Yeah, the real issue with non-Fly vehicles is the fact that they ca be stopped from shooting so easily. If not for that, you’d see them a lot more frequently.

      • Avatar
        Ghostvalley December 6, 2018 9:09 am #

        Defintley very limited options for imperial vehicles to shoot when falling back. And even dreads from ultramarines or vehicles using the DA strat to shoot and fallback can get wrapped so easy.

        I have a list that I play time to time that has a Russ obsec spearhead – so if nothing else it gets better now than what it was – and my pure gaurd list doesent have that much to spend CP on.

      • Avatar
        Lemondish December 6, 2018 8:03 pm #

        You just have to bubble wrap with infantry. The only time it’s super weird is when it’s a transport like a Land Raider.

        • Avatar
          MidnightSun December 7, 2018 7:40 am #

          The trouble with that is that Infantry squads are only 10 guys, and Conscripts are a hard sell – if you have one screen, it can be charged, killed, and they pile into your tank. If you have two screens, your opponent can charge, kill the first screen, pile into the second, spend 3CP for fight twice, and then pile into the tank. Hell, or get close, shoot the front screen, charge the second screen, and then pile into the tank. And all of that is assuming that you’re spacing your guys less than a base width apart, so your opponent can’t charge through your screen and end their charge move 0.9 inches behind the screen, then not pile in, kill the screen, then pile in towards the tank.

          It’s way less obnoxious now that Fly and Harlequins can’t simply charge over screens, but as a Guard player, there are still a bunch of ways you can get around/through screens, assuming that you don’t kill the T3 5+ save infantry earlier in the game.

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 7, 2018 11:24 am #

          Yeah, but not all factions have easy access to screen units.

  2. Avatar
    rvd1ofakind December 6, 2018 8:29 am #

    Fistellans 6″ charge from deepstrike.
    Now if their weapons drop to 0 pts instead of 35 – they will actually be as good as Reece said when the codex came out

    • Reecius
      Reecius December 6, 2018 8:37 am #

      Bro, lol, that is like your favorite thing to talk about, haha.

      And anyway, you can say and think about it whatever you care to, it’s all good. They have done well for me whether you like them or not =)

      • Avatar
        Ujayim December 6, 2018 8:54 am #

        Reece, Anecdotal experience doesn’t define a model.

        Sunshine and smiley faces aren’t the average experience lol

        Numerically, it is undeniable that a weapon costing 0points will make them better.

        Rvd is like, the elder god tier of giga troll on the internet, but he’s not objectively incorrect, he’s just tremendously insufferable.

        It’s entirely fine to admit “Yeah, that would definitely make them better!” instead of roleplaying an Ostrich when people point out bad units, lol

        • Reecius
          Reecius December 6, 2018 11:00 am #

          Again, that’s fine, haha. I have had good results with them, YMMV.

          And I understand fully that anecdotal evidence does not a statistic make but each individual has their reality that’s real for them. I agree with you that statistically they under-perform across the spectrum of gamers out there which is quite telling and worth acting on but that doesn’t mean my personal experience isn’t true to me.

        • Avatar
          Office Waaagh! December 6, 2018 7:02 pm #

          I honestly don’t understand where this kind of attitude comes from. Someone says “this unit is great, I use them all the time and they do really well for me” on a forum or whatever and the reply is “that unit is terrible, just look at the statistics!” I must have missed the paper in the Journal of Wargaming Theory in which 40k was solved and all the units objectively ranked.

          Someone offers an opinion different to some nebulous internet consensus and they’re immediately told they don’t know what they’re talking about. Reece in particular (not that I would presume to defend him because he’s perfectly capable of doing that himself, but I will point to him as an example) gets held up as someone that doesn’t know what he’s doing or has no credibility because he said X unit was good and then they weren’t in top lists. He’s just someone that believes his own skill and experience over the consensus and has no trouble saying so. He’s never claimed to speak from anything except his personal experience playing the game.

          I think we generally need to get away from telling people they’re wrong for having their own ideas and opinions, particularly when they’re basing them on actual experience. There are literally millions of ways of building a list from any one codex, and by adhering rigidly to the “unit X is garbage and shouldn’t be in any list” consensus mentality we potentially miss a powerful combination in which that unit plays a vital role. It is also perfectly fine to say “my experience is different but you do you man”.

          • Avatar
            rvd1ofakind December 6, 2018 8:53 pm

            You have to compare every unit to every similar unit to see if it has a place in the game. Compare Fistellans to Ogryns/Bullgryns or Vertus Praetors and you’ll see how much of a joke they are. AND they cost more.

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 7, 2018 11:24 am

            You are so relentlessly negative, lol.

          • Avatar
            Ujayim December 7, 2018 4:39 am

            Reece runs FLG, and the ITC.

            He’s a big boy and can make his own choices, but your argument is weird.

            People could say their pickle army has the best win record in the game, but that objectively means nothing.

            When you run the most successful Competitive format, run a major tournament circuit, when you work closely with the app that tracks data, when you’re a playtester, I personally expect and hope to see transparency and honesty. Otherwise, the perception is that the playtester genuinely believes the units that are bad in the game are just fine, and don’t need adjustments.

            Reece is a positive guy. That’s fine.

            However, he has a privilege most people do not, in that he has access to GW.

            Im not attacking him, I don’t in the end care what units he likes or not, but when it comes to trusting his voice, putting faith in his business as a product, I want to support him for being honest and direct, and sometimes that includes admitting when things are bad, instead of telling me to wait and see, and that everything is fine.

            I train people for a major corporation how to handle customers, that’s my actual job, and sometimes you need to empathize with them, instead of saying it’s gonna be fine.

            Again, free to do whatever you want, no one is beholden to me, but this is the opinion of his consumer.

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 7, 2018 11:35 am

            I hear you, man.

            I don’t have my head in the sand, I see the game for what it is. Units that need help, need help and I actively work towards doing that in the scope of my ability to do so as a play-tester. However, it’s rarely as bad as internet hyperbole would make them seem and I find enjoyment in trying to find ways to take units that people say are “bad” and win games with them. Seeing as how change for these things doesn’t happen overnight, I feel it is best to try and help people that want to use these units now do so instead of just saying they suck and dismissing them. It’s very rewarding! Lots of people out there use units because they like the model or because they have them painted, it’s not always just about efficiency.

            And I like to be contrarian to a certain extent, too =)

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 7, 2018 11:30 am

            Yeah, it’s just internet chatter. People like being authoritative or “solving” the game so to speak. The only thing you can really prove online regarding 40k (or things like it) is math so that is what people fall back to. You can’t really describe/quantify things like movement, player error, tactical and strategic uses for units, etc. It’s too nebulous. But you can look at points efficiency and lists. So, pundits fall back on that. The reality of the game when it is being played is vastly more complex though, and things like movement are where the master of the game wins the game. In that grey area of imperfect humans playing on a varied table layout with mission objectives and the reality of not always having unit X in the right position or whatever, is where units like these can be used to surprising effect.

            That’s why I don’t bother to really argue it anymore. I don’t need to convince anyone of anything, if it works for me, it does. If someone thinks the unit is bad, they do. Oh well, no skin off of my back, you know? However, if someone out there decides to give the unit a shot when they may not have and ends up having fun with them then that is a win.

          • Avatar
            Ujayim December 7, 2018 12:41 pm

            Well that’s the thing, I *believe* you that you don’t have your head in the sand, otherwise I wouldn’t poke you when you play it safer on the reply.

            If I didn’t believe in you I just wouldn’t be here. =P

          • Reecius
            Reecius December 7, 2018 12:44 pm

            Lol, fair enough =)

  3. Avatar
    GeekmasterK December 6, 2018 11:04 am #

    Reece, I need a question answered. I’ve been really confused about the new stuff in Vigilus Defiant. I thought it was just a campaign book for narrative play only. Some of the previews have been calling that into question for me, though. I can’t tell whether or not the stratagems, specialist detachments, weapons profiles, etc. will be legal in matched play based on the information given. This also leads to the question of the legality in the ITC. Right now, this is ambiguous enough to me that it could go either way. Some clarification on that would be good to have. Thanks!

    • Avatar
      Ghostvalley December 6, 2018 11:19 am #

      I can’t speak for Reece and ITC, but GW have stated on their community site that these are for all forms of play, including matched.

      • Reecius
        Reecius December 6, 2018 4:29 pm #

        Yeah, it has something for all three styles of play.

        • Avatar
          GeekmasterK December 7, 2018 7:21 am #

          Cool, thanks. I haven’t been paying attention, sense I thought it was narrative only. Planned to pick it up eventually if it was good, but wasn’t planning to right away. If this stuff works for the ITC, though, that will change. Any news on that front yet?

  4. Avatar
    Hotsauceman1 December 9, 2018 1:40 pm #

    Do any of these allow me not to die VS a Castellan?

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