|All the robots|
Ok, it's a work in progress, but here we are with my first non-chaos review in a long time. I'm sure you've read the disclaimer, and I don't particularly care about the back story, so without too much messing around, lets dive right into this sucker.
|I think I've used this pic in an older post...|
1) Re-roll failed morale checks.
2) Roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 1" of a unit with Canticles of the Omnissiah rule, on a 6 that unit takes D3 mortal wounds.
3) Re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the fight phase
4) Count as being in cover
5) +1 S
6) Re-roll hit rolls in the shooting phase.
Clearly the winners are 4 and 6, especially since the strength of this army is it's shooting. While that's where the real punch of this army lies, there is a strong melee presence so the other results on the table have their place, they just aren't as useful as often. The real neat thing about this table is that you can roll on it in the first few turns, then choose the one that you really need to get at the right moment.
Another thing I noticed is that every single unit has, at least, a 6+ invulnerable save from the lowly Skitarii to the Kastellan robot.
Much like the Astartes have chapter tactics, and Chaos Astartes have Legion rules, so to do the AdMech called Forge World Dogmas. These have all the same rules and all of the units in the detachment must have the same dogma in order for that detachment to gain the benefits of the rule.
Detachments from Mars get to roll an additional die on the CotO table and get both results, though if a duplicate is rolled it is not re-rolled and you get only the one result. The way it is worded is that it looks like you would roll one die, which would affect your whole army with CotO rule, then roll a second one that would affect the Mars detachments. This one is clearly the best, and when we get to Belasarius Cawl, who just so happens to be from the Mars Dogma, it gets even better.
Graia grants a pseudo sort of Feel no Pain. Each time a model is either slain or removed due to a failed morale check, roll a D6. On a 6 that model ignores the last wound that killed it or decides not to run away. This is kind of better than most of the other Feel no Pain type rolls where you have too roll for each wound suffered and doesn't do diddly against failing morale.
Units with the
The Lucius dogma lets you ignore the -1AP value of enemy weapons. But only -1AP, it doesn't do anything to -2AP or -3AP. But you can ignore -1AP. This is weird but useful if you opponent happens to have a lot of -1AP weapons.
Agripinaa dogma unit fire overwatch on a 5+, the other standard rules for overwatch stay the same.
Stygies VIII are all shadowy and whatnot, so if you are more than 12" away your opponent has a -1 penalty to hit. Pretty damn good if you're playing against another shooting style army.
Finally we have the Ryza Dogma, allowing units to re-roll 1's to wound in the fight phase. Yeah, we already discussed the combat capabilities of this army. Strong, but not their greatest strength.
For Warlord traits, I'm conflicted. There are several that seem like they are pretty good, but because I have yet to actually use any of them I can only theorise. First up you get one free re-roll once per battle that can only be used on your Warlord, PLUS every time you or your opponent uses a CP roll a D6, on a 6 you gain a CP. Now, this is not for each CP you use, so if you use a stratagem that costs 2CP, I think you still only get one roll. Next up is your warlord can re-roll failed wound rolls against infantry, beasts, and monsters, not bad but your warlord isn't usually a damage dealer. Third puts a -1 to hit for any vehicles targeting your warlord, yet if you have vehicles targeting your warlord, you've done something wrong. Fourth one allows your warlord to repair one extra wound when fixing things that's a pretty good one for obvious reasons. Next up is a re-roll to the first die generated when rolling for Canticles (remember about Mars dogma getting 2 rolls on the table) which is pretty good if you don't have Belasarius Cawl in your army, who we will talk about later. Last of the general ones give a 6" bubble of re-rolling failed hit rolls in the fight phase, stacks nicely with the Ryza Dogma making combat more viable. For the dogma specific ones, the Mars one adds 3" to all aura abilities, pretty good when you got a shit ton of robots you gotta get within 3" of Mr. Fixer-upper. Graia units within 6" of your warlord can shoot assault and rapid fire weapons while locked in combat, but must target the closest enemy unit. Nice, but most of the assault and rapid fire weapons are held by infantry who, generally, you would like to fall back so you can shoot with your good heavy weapons. Now Metalica's warlord trait of allowing units that have fallen back to shoot with a -1 hit penalty is fantastic, not getting hung up on having to fall back is an immense boon to armies that favour shooting, and even the -1 hit penalty is not that imposing. Lucius adds 1 to your warlords invul save. Agripinaa reduces the damage taken by your warlord by 1 to a minimum of 1. Stygies VIII gives a +1 to wound against units that don't have chaos, imperium, or unaligned keywords. And Ryza gives one of their non-relic weapons +1 to S and D. Those last 4 are pretty much shit. If you need your warlord to be more durable, you've fucked up somewhere and are not going to win that battle, chaos and imperium armies make up over half the armies played, and you're warlord is not bad ass enough to deserve a stronger weapon.
Lets move on to units, starting with the stoned caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland...
Well, this is awkward. Seriously though, take a Mars detachment and take him in every list you can for these 2 reasons. If you decide to roll on the Canticles table, and remember the Mars Dogma allows you to roll 2 dice, you may add or subtract 1 to the die roll as long as Beli is on the table. You can also re-roll ALL failed hit rolls in the shooting phase for Mars units within 6", which is actually 9" because he auto comes with the Mars Warlord Trait. Not to mention his stat line, T6, W8, 2+/5++, a gun that's S10 AP-4 Dd3, regains D3 wounds at the start of your turn. He is easily worth his 250 points in his special rules alone.
Tech-Priest Dominus is the next best thing, but at 135 points not worth taking if you also have Cawl. If you are not playing Mars Dogma, he is a solid choice giving a re-roll of hit rolls of 1, also has a 2+/5++, and regains wounds, and can fix stuff. He also gets a handful of pretty cool weapons, most of which, while not being as deadly, have a better range than Cawl's.
The Tech-Priest Engineer is a great second choice for an HQ, at a very discounted 52 points he can fix stuff. That's a good thing.
Skitarii Rangers and Vanguard are the 2 light infantry Troops choices in the book. I really like both, each having a solid place in a list, the rangers being more long ranged, the vanguard being shorter ranged. They can each take at least 2 special weapons, and an additional one if there are 10 in a unit. I could see the ranges being used as a sniper caddie with 2 Trans-am-antic thingys, you know, the sniper rifle things. They are 60", S7, AP-2, and Dd3 that can pick out characters. With some of the upcoming elite slot character becoming super popular I think this is an irreplaceable option even at 25 points a piece. The Vanguard have an 18" Assault 3 S3 gun that, when combined with their ability that reduces the enemies T by 1, the plasma caliver, and the Graia warlord trait that lets them shoot while in combat, that's a nice little combo right there.
The Kataphron Breachers and Destroyers, as seen above, are one of the less human looking augmented humans in the AdMech army. The breachers have combat potential while the destroyers are straight up shoot your ass to death. Destroyers tend to be more popular because people are still stuck with the mindset that shooting is the more powerful than combat. While both units have shooting weapons, the destroyer's are more powerful, but at a cost both points wise and durability. The breachers have a better save and more combat attacks while still having a formidable gun themselves. With all the other shooting that this army has to offer, I think the breachers need another look.
Servitors...I don't get this entry. It's 4 dudes, 2 of them can take guns, the other 2 are stuck with servo arms. You need to take a character to make them not suck ass and their best quality is that you can buy them as cheap as possible, which is still 50ish points for the 4 guys, then if you happen to have a couple die, but not all of them, and you have 1 CP left, you can use it to bring back the rest of the unit. You can't even use them as a speed bump cause they still cost more than 10 pts a dude and there are only 4 of them.
The one and only Elite slot character is the Cybernetica Datasmith, and he is neat, I guess. Not really much different than the Enginseer, and is actually better in many ways. This guys main downfall is that he can repair only the Kastellan Robots, but when you look at the Kastellans you see how good they are he, all of a sudden, becomes good.
Speaking of Kastellan Robots, I'm going to jump around a little and move on to them because of their synergy with the Datasmith. These guys are straight up huge stompy killer robots and I don't quite see how they get past the whole no AI allowed situation, but it probably has something to do with the Datasmith. Anyway, these guys are basically dreadnoughts that can be taken in unit of 2-6. They come with power fists and 12" heavy flamers, but the more popular option is the full compliment of 3 heavy phosphor blasters. This runs about 110 points per, so they are not cheap, but they have some tricks up their sleeve starting with their 5++. If they happen to roll a 6 when making an Invul save, then the unit that caused the wound suffered a mortal wound. They also have 3 battle protocols, first of which, and the one that is active when they are deployed, is the Aegis which gives them a +1 to all armour and invulnerable saving throws. Yeah, that means you're bouncing mortal wounds back on a 5+ when you make an invulnerable save, and have a 2+ normal save. If you happen to get Shroud psalm on the Canticles they are rocking a 1+ armour save. Now of course while all ones fail, this still goes a long way to protect them from better AP weapons. The conqueror protocols remove their ability to shoot, but allows them to attack twice in the fight phase. The protector protocol is the opposite side of that coin as they cannot move or charge, but doubles all the shots from their guns. And that is why they are so popular, being able to pump out 18 S6 AP-2 shots per robot is astounding, even with only BS4+. Stick Cawl next to them and activate the stratagem Elimination Volley and they are racking up the damage. Do not be surprised to see units of 6 of these guys in every army. Dealing with them is pretty simple. Neutralising them will involve assaulting them and trapping them in combat, but unless you have something that hits really hard you will not be killing them any time soon so look to tar pit them. They will likely be armed will all phosphor blasters so staying alive should not be too big a deal, but unless they are switched to the conqueror protocol, they will not be causing a ton of damage with their 3 attacks. While you are at it, try to get the Datasmith wrapped up in that assault as, I think I forgot to mention, he needs to be within 6" of the robots for them to change their protocols.
Lets get back on track with the Sicarian Ruststalkers and Infiltrators. Once again, the AdMech have taken the same basic unit and re-purposed it to do 2 different tasks. Both have 8" move, S4, W2, SV4+/6++ but the Ruststalkers have an extra attacks and close combat weapons that deal mortal wounds on 6+ while the Infiltrators have access to high rate of fire pistols and taser goads (a hit of 6 causes 3 hits), and can deep strike (basically), which makes them the better choice of the 2. While being fairly similar, the Ruststalkers not having the ability to infiltrate really changes their role to being a more counter charge type unit, yet they can be more offensive with their movement of 8" rushing up the field. Both units do only have T3, but they are surprisingly durable due to their W2. The Infiltrators, well, it should be pretty clear how these guys are good. They will absolutely delete any sort of infantry unit with their 5 shot pistol and extra hit causing power maul. Easily worth the 26 points per model.
The Electro-Priests are yet another one of those dual purpose chassis with different upgrades. The Fulgurite rocks a big stick with a better AP and the chance of dealing mortal wounds while the Corpuscarii has magic gloves that shoots and punches, all hits of 6+ causing 3 hits. They are only T3 with a single wound, but they do have a 5++ and a 5+FNP. These guys are super glass cannons and not worth the points, especially when you have other models that are tougher, punch harder, and move faster. See Sicarian above.
The chicken walkers continue the trend of 2 units made from one body giving them a nearly identical stat line, 10" move, WS BS 3+, S5, T6, W6, Sv4+. GW really went all in with the dual purpose kits. The Sydonian Dragoons can be equipped with a taser lance (Melee, S8, AP-1, D2 each hit of 6+ causes 3 hits) or can swap that for a radium jezzail (a S5 sniper rifle). It also has a -1 mod to hit it which increases it's life and helps it get into combat. These guys in themselves have a dual purpose role, character sniping or combat. Since the Rangers have a better gun and are cheaper, I would leave the character hunting to them and keep the taser lance on the Dragoon. The Ironstrider Ballistarii has either a twin cognis autocannon or twin cognis lascannon. The cognis means they can advance and shoot with a -2 to hit, luckily there is a stratagem for that. Not only that, but the Ironstrider is the lightest unit that has access to a lascannon like weapon. The next strongest gun from all the units we've covered so far is probably the plasma culverin on the Kataphron destroyers but still come up shy when compared to the neutron laser. Considering their movement, the stratagem that lets them ignore penalties for moving, and their fairly durable stat line, they are a pretty good buy for under 100 points. Your opponent will have to focus fire on them to bring them down if he wants them down, which takes focus off the rest of your army. They do not degrade as they get damaged so they will always be moving that 10" and will be just as deadly at the end of their life as they were at the start.
So with an army full of robots, we finally get to the entry that looks least like a humanoid, only to discover that it is actually driven by two of previously mentioned humanoids, and it ends up digesting one of them. Is that irony? I'm not super intelligent, I didn't take English literature in university...I didn't go to university, but that feels like irony right there.
Anyways, the Dunecrawler, just so happens to also carry around the the biggest gun in the book, the Neutron Laser at HeavyD3, S10, AP-4, and Dd6. It also has a minimum damage of 3, so if you roll that 1 or 2 it counts as 3. This sounds amazing, but it only increases your average damage from 3.5 per successful wound to 4 per successful wound. Still, this is your big guns, and at only 135 points, its not a bad purchase. It is the first unit that does degrade as it takes damage though, so that 135 is only really worth it until it hits about 50%, then it starts to lose it's value. It has other weapons available to it, but the only one I have really seen used other than the Neutron laser is the Icarus Array, which is an array of weapons that gets +1 to shooting units with the FLY keyword but -1 to shooting everything else.
The last big stompy robots I have to cover are the knight titans. They have 4 listed in the book and despite all being different power levels differ in only their weapon choices. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail with these guys cause they are huge robots with big punchy bits and big shooty bits. We all know and love them and while they can...
|Or this could happen|
That's the last of units, and with that poor woman landing on her face, wind knocked out of her, groaning in agony, we move on to the stratagems. Some of them I already talked about, where they can be used, who to use them with, so I won't go into great depth.
The first two are worth 2CP and affect the Canticles table. Again I'll iterate how valuable Cawl is as both of these become almost useless with his ability to roll 2 dice and move them up or down 1.
Zealous Congregation allows a unit of Electro-Priests to fight a second time. That is pretty cool but it costs 3CP. This has potential if you use the priests as a counter attack unit later in the game, but that's assuming the priests survive, and even then it means you've been saving 3CPs for it.
I've talked about Elimination Volley, it's the best 2CP you will spend. Pick a Kataphron Destroyer and Kastellan Robot unit within 6" of each other. They both get +1 to hit. To put that into perspective, if you have each unit with 5 members, and the Kastelans are on their protector protocol with all the heavy phosphor, and the destroyers have heavy gravcannons, they can kill a knight. Yes, those 2 units will make up around 1000 points, but you just killed a fucking knight in one turn! What more do you want?
We have to talk about Scryer Skull for a minute as it has had some controversy about how it's worded. It costs 1CP and you play this stratagem anytime to do one of the following: reveal d3 hidden set up markers, identify a mysterious objective, or shoot with an AdMech unit from your army without penalties to your hit rolls from the dawn raid, low visibility, cover of darkness mission rules. Some people seem to think that this gives the target unit an extra shooting attack, and while the wording may suggest that, it does not follow the format of any other stratagem that allows additional attacks. Specifically the part where other stratagems say "...may shoot a second time..." or "...may fight a second time...". Hell, we already covered one for the Electro-priests and it cost 3CP. I will state this plainly...IT...DOES...NOT...GIVE...YOU...MORE...SHOOTING! It simply allows you to ignore those mission specific rules hit penalties.
Dataspike is 1CP and lets your character punch a vehicle for D3 mortal wounds. There are 2 Doctrina Imperatives that give bonuses to hit in the shooting phase or fight phase for Skitarii units, each cost 1CP. Pretty good if you have a unit of rangers with 3 sniper guns and you really want to hit that Primaris Lt who's is giving all those wound re-rolls. Even your chicken walkers and dune crawler have the skitarii keyword, as do both Sicarian units. For 1CP one of your characters can use hit MR. Fix-It ability twice, even on the same model. One of the better ones in this list is the ability to let your knight (or dunecrawler) use it's top damage profile, regardless of it actual damage, for 1CP.
Acquisition at any Cost (2CP) gives you a huge boost at that critical time when your opponent is looking to take an objective from you, or you have taken one from them and need to hold it. Pick an infantry unit within 3" of an objective, that units adds 1 to their saving throws and gains +1A until the start of your next turn. You use this stratagem at the end of your turn though, so you can't really use it offensively. Although if your unit is also in cover, or has the shroud psalm canticle going on then your opponent might feel a little offended.
You can turn one of your infantry units into Coteaz and shoot at a unit that arrived from reinforcements within 12" of it with -1 to hit. You can auto-explode one of your AdMech vehicles, so no knights, but I love it.
Another stratagem causing controversy is Fresh Converts. You pick a unit of Destroyers, Breachers, or servitors with the Agripinaa dogma, pay 1-3CP depending on the units power rating. You remove it from the table and set it up, at full starting strength, as reinforcements, in your deployment zone, within 6" of the table edge, and outside of 9" from enemy models. The controversy it's causing is that the FAQ states that this stratagem does not cost any reinforcement points, but people are butt hurt because it's not fair. That's about all I really get from all the bitching.
You can choose to deep strike a unit with the Lucius dogma for 1CP. It doesn't place any restrictions on this so feel free to go buck wild on this one. You can choose to "deep strike" a unit of Stygies VIII before the first turn starts for 1CP, sort of like Alpha Legion... Ryza sure likes plasma, cause for 1CP you can add 1 to the wound rolls and the damage of plasma weapons in the chosen unit. Graia infantry units can deny psychic powers on a 4+ for 1CP. Mars, here we go with Mars again, for 2CP you can give a unit the ability to cause a mortal wound on a wound roll of 6+ in the shooting phase, in addition to other damage. So that big unit of Kastelan robots that are pumping out 108 shots, use it on them. For 1CP each you can give a Knight the use of the canticle generated and give +1 to his invulnerable save.
|Phew, finally done...right?|
That is about it. Sure there are others, but 5 of them are melee weapons, one is an 18" phosphor blaster, 2 are once per game, and 2 others boost your fight potential.
Lets talk serious for a second. I'm sure some of you out there are going to rile against me and tell me I am wrong and say all kinds of mean things about my mother and such and such. It's the internet, I would be disappointed if you all took this calmly.
ADMECH CAN'T FIGHT! I can't understand the amount of abilities and weapons and rules that are in here to try and polish that turd. Don't get me wrong, there are a couple units that can pack a punch like Electro-Priests and Ruststalkers AND THAT'S IT! You can use these guys as counter assault units, but don't take more than 1 or 2 units of them. The more points you put into them the more points you take away from shooting.
The scariest thing in the army is a big unit of Kastelan robots on defender protocol sitting on a midfield objective with Cawl next to them. That is a ball of death that can touch you in places you though were safe. The robots put out 108 shots per turn, so getting them to stop is objective #1. If you can kill them, do that, otherwise assaulting them and tying them up is smart. If they have all the guns, for max shooting damage, they won't have fists so they won't inflict a ton of damage in combat, but it's those couple units I mentioned above counter-assaulting that will clear the robots of debris so kill them ASAP. With that in mind, beware of the unit that has the phosphor blaster arms but keeps the shoulder flamer. Assaulting that unit will hurt.
Other than that, this army is pretty straight forward. I couldn't really find any kind of super combo involving overlapping rules and multiple stratagems but that doesn't mean the army isn't good. It's strong in a very conventional sense, and the few stratagems that are useful make them on that much stronger.
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After you get your models painted, heck even if they aren't all paint yet, head on back to the gaming room and test out your new purchases. There are 2 large tables that are 4x8, and 2 smaller tables suitable for Bloodbowl, Malifaux, Infinity, etc.
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Until next time, keep them dice rollin.