Last weeks article covered a standard unit in a phenomenal Codex. The Dominus is a solid buffing character who just feels slightly underpowered and over costed compared to some other characters in the meta currently. A 75 point Succubus, Drazar (even after his 10 points price increase from Chapter Approved), or even some other characters right out of the Adeptus Mechanicus Codex all make the 75 point Dominus seem underwhelming. The good news is some of those better characters are right in the Admech Codex! While the Dominus is a solid buffing character who will make it into many army lists Admech players do not have a lack of options when it comes to their HQ slots.
First we will take a look at the lower ranking Tech Priest Enginseer. Previously this dude sat in the back repairing vehicles, and an Admech player could tell they were having a bad game if they relied on their Enginseer to do anything more then that simple task. The Enginseer retained his ability to repair Vehicles, but also gained an awesome ability on his datasheet in Awaken the Machine. This buff gives one vehicle +1 to hit for ALL attacks until your next Command Phase. This is an excellent buff to hand out for the low cost of 55 points, and fills in a nice gap for a Codex where so many buffs are Core locked. While Skitarri vehicles can recieve +1 BS for one turn of the game using their Doctrinas the Awaken Machine ability will allow one vehicle to shoot hitting on 2’s for the entire game (well, for as long as you keep that Enginseer and vehicle alive).
My favorite combination with this ability is Mars Dunecrawlers armed with the Onager Phospher Blaster. By using the 1CP Stratagem Tech Adept one Enginseer can give 2 Dunecrawlers +1 to hit. That’s 16 S6 AP2 2 damage shots hitting on 2’s, re-rolling 2 missed hits each and 1 missed wound each while using the Benediction of the Omnissiah Canticle.
Also, don’t forget this is ALL attacks, so this effects close combat attacks. Dunecrawlers hitting on 4s isn’t amazing but it can help in a tight situation.
If the Enginseer sat in the back hiding during the 8th Edition Admech days the Tech Priest Manipulus was on the front lines surrounded by the units he was buffing with his amazing aura abilities. Unfortunately, the Manipulus’ aura has been toned down to only work on Galvantic, Arc, and Radium weapons, but the buff from this aura still gives a 6 inch boost to these weapon’s ranges along with an additional AP. Getting an additional AP on some of these weapons with no range restriction is very powerful, and when combined with some of the Stratagems available to Rangers and Vanguard the Manipulus buff comes into its own.
With Galvantic Volley Fire a unit of 20 Rangers could fire 80 times with a Manipulus buff making their rifles AP2. Vanguard have a shorter range with their 18 inch Radium Carbines, and adding 6 inches to them is a huge deal when using Enriched Rounds. Auto wounding on 4+ to hit with a 3 shot gun is stupidly good for 1CP. It’s really stupidly good when those guns turn into Range 24 Assault 3 AP1 (like too good maybe? Idk you can’t use this stratagem on vehicles so we are all good GW move along).
The Technoarcheologist may look familiar, but his data sheet is brand new! This is the Character you are going to take if you are taking lots of Kataphrons. The Machine Focus ability allows Kataphrons to perform actions like an Infantry unit (since they are now keyword Bike) while still allowing the Kataphron actions to succeed even if they shot during the Shooting Phase. While this ability may not seem all that great at first it also effects Core Infantry units. This makes the ability much stronger by allowing those big units of 20 Rangers or Vanguard to Raise Banners or, perform the new action for Retrieve Octarius Data, to score your valuable Secondary points while still putting out the withering fire power the Admech are feared for.
The second ability the Technoarcheologist brings to the table is a 12 inch bubble of deep strike denial. While not the main reason for including this model in an army list this ability can put a real damper on your opponents plans if played correctly. Making charges slightly longer for those enemy reinforcements, denying mid-table objectives, and making sure your own reinforcements can get the jump on your opponent’s army are all worth the 55 points this Character will cost you.
The Adeptus Mechanicus are finally spoiled in their choices for HQ slots, but this is also where the bad news comes in. This is an extremely CP hungry army and taking additional Detachments should be taken after some serious thought about the CP cost. This means the choice of Characters will be a tricky one since they will be limited.
Another thing to keep in mind with your character buffs is many of them now trigger in the Command Phase. This can cause some issues when deep striking units onto the table after the Command Phase is complete. Realizing those 20 Rangers have no way to get the cool buffs from your shiny new Characters after they teleported on the table with the Lucius stratagem will feel real bad. This Codex requires serious pre-planning when it comes to handing out character buffs, and I would highly recommend creating a cheat sheet to bring to the table with written reminders of the buffs AND when these buffs need to occur.
Oh, and you may have noticed one Character was suspiciously left out of this article. The Marshal is such an interesting Character he deserves his own article which will come out next week, but as a sneak preview I will say he is amazing. 45 points is pure theft as his points cost, and he can have bonkers good Warlord Traits and Relics.