Thursday, 23 November 2017

ASTRA MILITARUM: 15 HOURS AND COUNTING

The Imperial fucking Guard!
This army has got to be one of my favourites, at least it's the one that is the most relatable.  The characters, while heroic, are portrayed as Joe Everyday, they have flaws, quirks, a history, and often times a sudden realisation they don't have a future.  The characters of the Imperial Guard are quite easily my favourites in the entire 40K universe from "Mad Eye" Larkin, to Commissar Ciaphas Cain.  The stories told of them are amazing, unbelievable, and inspiring and it is these stories that drive the average Joe Everyday guardsman to be more than he can be.
While I don't typically include named characters in my reviews, I would love to talk about a couple in an out of game sense starting with Nork Deddog.  Nork is an Ogryn bodyguard who takes his job VERY seriously.  He has no sense of personal aspiration, no opinions, no ideas, only orders.  Most of which are "Keep this guy alive."  One particular story really got to me, in which his charge was swallowed by a burrowed Mawlock.  Now while this particular commander happened to be a snivelling piece of human waste who caused the needless death of countless souls and spent his men's lives without a second thought, Nork grabbed the Mawlock by the jaws, ripped them open and proceeded to cut his way down the gullet of the beast to grab the commander and drag him out of the literal jaws of death.  The best part is when you actually look at the stats of Nork and a Mawlock, it is actually possible that he could kill it over a couple turns while surviving the ordeal.
The other character I wanted to mention is "Stonetooth" Harker, who has guts for brains.  This isn't to say that he is stupid, but if he has the choice to fight or think his way out of a situation, he reaches for his heavy bolter "Payback".  He is quoted in the codex as having said "Back home, I once fancied me a pair of Catachan Devil boots.  Killed me half a dozen of the great ugly critters but never found a single one that wore any!"  Sure this maybe sounds like ridiculous bravado as the Devils obviously don't wear boots, they are wild creatures of the jungles, but he seems to be just dense enough to think that maybe all those other pairs of boots other guys were wearing were found being worn by Catachan Devils, and not made from their hide.  Of course he is also the type of character who would tell that story to a poor gullible Munitorum staffer and laugh as he watches him try and convince the others of this "true" story.


Now in previous editions of the codex, they would use these characters to give the army character.  If you took Al'Rahem as the leader of a Tallarn army would grant the army special bonuses, giving the actual army theme and character on the table top.  This edition, they got rid of many many characters, but use the Regimental Doctrines in place of them to give the army a particular feel.
First up is Cadia, any unit that remains stationary in the movement phase can re-roll 1's to hit in the shooting phase.  If an infantry unit also receives the "Take Aim" order (more on orders later), they can re-roll all failed hit rolls.  This one is pretty good because we all know how powerful re-rolls are, Guilliman is one of the most popular characters in the game with all the re-rolls he gives.  Just the ability to re-roll ones is great for all those plasma guns you're gonna be taking.  The drawback is that once you start to rely on those re-rolls, you can get into trouble with that lack of mobility so make sure that there are mobile elements in your army to grab and contest objectives.
Now we have all see the models and the Catachan jungle fighters, in every depiction, look like they are smuggling a dozen melons under their shirts.  Muscles on top of muscles, which has never really translated to the table top until now.  All infantry unit get +1S, and if they are within 6" of a Catachan character they get +1Ld.  On top of that, vehicles that shoot a weapon with a random number of shots can re-roll one of the dice.  The extra strength is a pretty big deal, with the way combat works getting the charge off means you can use all that extra muscle before getting hit back.  Getting to re-roll the number of shots you get is REALLY good.  There is nothing worse than rolling a 1 on a heavy flamer or battle cannon when you really need that tank to get some work done. If I read it correctly, this is not limited to a single weapon per tank.  So that scouting Sentinel unit can really make good use of its scout move and not flub those heavy flamer attacks, or that Hellhound can recover a little from rolling a 1,3 for it's 2D6 hits.
The Valhallans are a special kind of crazy and will march headlong into a hail of gunfire unflinching of the carnage.  They halve the number of casualties(rounding up) they take when a morale check is failed.  Now you might already know the nerf to the Commissar, which I will talk about, but this rule really gives some use back to conscripts.  Vehicles that have damage tables use the characteristic level of double their remaining wounds.  So if your tank only has 4 wounds left, it uses the characteristics as if it had 8 wound left.  This is quite powerful as the main setback from the AM army is their rather average BS.
Vostroyan's have really fancy weapons, so they can add 6" to all of their Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons of 24" or more.  This one might seem good, more range is always a good thing right?  Except that unless you are playing against another static fire base army whose weapons have the same range as yours, this will not really benefit you at all.  Most of the good heavy weapons have a big enough range anyway to hit just about anywhere on the table, and with so many units being so much more mobile than they were before, that extra 6" is going to go to waste.  You could make a case of doing a double castle and splitting your army up in opposite corners, this will force combat armies to split their forces or commit to one side.  With this little extra range you could use it to support the other castle while otherwise being out of range, particularly with plasma guns.  I could also see taking a bunch of sniper squads in a Vanguard Detachment, giving them a little extra range to snipe out those army buffing characters.
Armageddon ripped a page out of the Death Guard book allowing them to "double tap" their rapid fire weapons at 18" instead of half the range.  Vehicles treat enemy weapons with an AP of -1 as 0 instead.  This is pretty good as there are quite a few weapons out there that are getting spammed that have an AP of -1.  Heavy flamers, auto cannons, and heavy bolters all losing that little extra punch will keep your Chimera's running that much longer.
The Tallarn doctrine keep with the idea of hit and run allowing Infantry to advance and shoot with non-heavy weapons and ignoring the penalty for advancing and firing assault weapons.  Vehicles ignore the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons which is huge, again due to their mediocre BS, because movement is almost as important as killing stuff.
The neatly ordered rank and file of the Mordian makes for a good defence against charging enemy units.  Gaining a +1Ld and +1 to hit while firing overwatch while in base contact with another model from the same unit.  Vehicles gain the +1 to hit for overwatch when within 3" of another vehicle with this doctrine.  This pairs well with a stratagem that allows vehicles to overwatch on a 5 or 6.  Meaning that a punisher cannon is hitting in overwatch just as often as it is in the shooting phase.
Last, but certainly not least, the Militarum Tempestus gain an extra shot when shooting at a target at half range or less when a hit roll of 6+ is rolled.  This does not specify that it only applies in the shooting phase, so it seems to work in overwatch as well.  It also doesn't specify that it only applies to infantry, so will apply to all those shots from the auto cannon Taurox.

Now there are quite a few units that don't have the Regiment key word such as Orgyn, Ratlings, and Commissars.  While these units will never benefit from the Doctrines of that detachment, they will also not prevent the other units in the detachment from gaining the Doctrine benefits.


Grinding advance is a new rule, and it's real good.  Basically, if your Leman Russ moves at half it's current speed (account for current damage level) or stays still it can shoot it's turret weapon TWICE.  It must shoot it at the same target, but still really good.  Oh, and turret weapons do not suffer the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons.  So yeah, shoot 2 times just cause.


You will notice that instead of the typical army buffs that most characters get, characters in the AM army have an ability called Voice of Command.  The Voice of Command ability is something that characters, with the Officer key word, have and it allows them to give an "order" to an infantry unit at the start of the shooting phase, and these typically last for the that phase.  The Officer must be within 6" of the unit receiving the order, and each unit may only be affected by one order per turn.  Now, there is a slightly complicated way to increase that range, if a unit within 3" of the Officer has a vox-caster, the Officer can issue an order to another unit up to 18" away if that unit also contains a vox-caster.  After having read through multiple rules multiple times, I have come to the conclusion that many of the battle reports may be doing the orders incorrectly.  Time and again I have seen people issue out all their orders at once then apply them through the shooting phase as they shoot with the ordered units.  However, if you look at characters that can issue 2 orders, it specifically states that you should resolve the first order before you move on to the second.  This gives me reason to believe that an order should be resolved before you move on to the next one.  This is actually a benefit to you because you get to see what the result is of your order before issuing the next one.

"So what are these orders you speak of?" you might be asking.  Well, lets take a look...


Take Aim gives a unit re-rolls of 1 to hit.
First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire changes all lasguns and hot-shot lasguns to Rapid Fire 2
Bring it Down gives a unit re-rolls of 1 to wound.
Forwards, for the Emperor allows a unit to shoot even if it advanced.
Get Back in the Fight allows a unit to shoot if it Fell Back.
Move Move Move allows a unit to move again instead of shooting, it must advance but it cannot charge.
Fix Bayonets makes a unit immediately fight as if it was the fight phase.

Those are the generic ones, and they are pretty good.  Take Aim and Bring it Down are probably the winners, but the others definitely have their uses.  A strong strategy used by assault armies is to get as many units in combat as possible, not necessarily to kill them, but to prevent them from shooting.  Not only do they charge multiple units, but they will use the holes opened up by dead models to consolidate into additional units tying them up as well.  In comes Get Back in the Fight, step back and open up, and make way for those Orgryn to charge in.
Got a Platoon commander with a power fist who really needs to get some work done or he is gonna get smoked?  Fix Bayonets will help with that.  We all know how deadly Berserkers are being able to attack twice, well for one turn that Platoon commander turns into a Berserker.
But we are not done with the order yet, because each Regiment has it's own unique order.

Cadians get a Tank Order, we will get a little more into those in a bit, but basically it's an Order that a Tank Commander can give to another tank.  It lets a Leman Russ re-roll the number of shots it makes with it's turret weapon if it has a random number of shots.  For example the battle cannon is D6 shots, you would get to re-roll the result if you wanted, both times if you're using grinding advance.

Catachans can re-roll the random number of hits from flamers and heavy flamers, plus those weapons ignore the bonus for cover.  This is great for a counter hitting unit.  Bury that unit deep in your lines so they can't get to it with all the pile in and consolidation moves then fall back with everything and have at 'er.  This works great with a command squad, 4 flamers and a heavy flamer.

Those crazy Russkie wannabes the Valhallans can shoot into combat, but not if they themselves are in combat.  If you roll a 1 to hit it hits a friendly unit, of your choice, within 1" of the target unit.  Funnily enough, this also works really well with a command squad loaded with flamers.

On the other hand, Vostroyans can fire their weapons when they are within 1" of enemy models.  Now since guardsman fall to a stiff breeze, you likely won't have much left in combat unless some funny pile in and consolidations moves happen.  Guess what?  Works good on a command squad full of flamers.  Combine this with Fix Bayonets and you can fight and shoot in the shooting phase, then fight again in the fight phase.

Ok, this one takes me back to some OLD school Ork speed freaks rules.  Armageddon units can shoot, then immediately embark on a vehicle as long as they are within 3" of it and did not disembark that same turn.  This one works with just about anything and is really pretty damn good.  As I have said, guardsmen are pussies, but if they can shoot you then jump into a vehicle, that not only takes them out of danger, it pulls their lines further away possibly negating a chance of a charge.

The Tallarn also get a tank order which allows a tank to move 6" before or after shooting.  This movement does not affect the grinding advance rule which is pretty huge.  It essentially negates the negative for the grinding advance allowing a tank to move up to 11" and still shoot it's turret weapon twice.  It can also be used to take a play out of the Tau playbook and pull the old jump-shoot-jump.
Yes, Kobe would play Tau.
Militarum Tempestus can re-roll all failed to wound rolls vs monsters and vehicles.  Pretty good with all those hot-shot lasguns and volley guns.  Add their extra shots form their Doctrine and you got a mess of AP-2 wounds coming your way.

Finally Mordians, oh man does this one have some real power in the right circumstance.  When firing rapid fire weapons, the ordered unit can shoot at characters even if they are not the closest unit.  Holy hell does that have some pop to it.  Characters now a days are basically just army buffs, just look at my Death Guard review.  They have a half a dozen elites characters that don't do much of anything but make units close to them better.  Scared of that Blight bombardment buffed by the Biologus Putrifier?  Or how bout all those re-rolled 1's on Disgusting Resilience from the Plague Surgeon?  Or that damn Daemon Prince who somehow manages to hide behind some cultists.  Now it's just 3 little words away from being able to level plasma gun death at them despite their wall of cannon fodder.  Say it with me..."Form Firing Squad!"

There, we have all those fancy rules and such, lets get into the units starting of course with the HQs.



The Company Commander is your bread and butter HQ.  Being able to give 2 orders per turn, he can sit amongst the central hub of your army and toss out buffs like candy.  Don't be surprised if you see multiples of these guys, 30 points is a good deal, and orders are a critical part of your army.  He isn't exactly a slouch in combat either (for a human) and a power fist is only 10 points.

The tank commander is pretty much the same thing, but in a Leman Russ tank.  He can also issue orders, but has a much smaller list of orders.  He can issue a tank to Move Move Move, Take Aim, and to shoot and pop it's smoke launchers.  There are also the couple regiment specific tank orders I mentioned above.  You can't give him a power fist though...probably for the best.  I'll go into more on the Leman Russ when it comes around in the heavy section.

The Lord Commissar, and every Commissar for that fact, have been the centre of a big controversy.  Their original rule, which made them and conscripts a must have, allowed unit within 6" to lot lose more than a single model if they failed a morale check.  Yeah, over the top good.  Now they simply give a mortal wound to the unit and that unit can re-roll it's morale check, and it now only works on the first failed check per Morale phase.  Still pretty good for your run of the mill unit, but not so great to a conscript unit who has lost 15 models.  That's not all he does though cause he also lends out his Ld to nearby units which is good cause 9 is better than 6.

Tempestor Prime is a really cool name, but he is basically the Stormtrooper version of the Commander.  He only gets one order, but he can take a magic wand that lets him give an second, but it costs him a weapon.



Last of the HQs is the Primaris Psyker.  No he is not a 10ft tall super space marine, he is Charles Xavier.  Maybe he isn't in a wheel/hover chair, or bald, but he is just a magic dude.  He can cast and deny one power, and with that, I suppose I'll run quickly through the powers.
Terrifying Visions (WC7) reduces the enemies Ld by 2.  Gaze of the Emperor (WC6) sends a beam 2D6", roll a D6 for each model that is touched by the beam and on a 4+ it's unit suffers a mortal wound.  Psychic Barrier (WC6) adds one to the units saving throw.  Nightshroud (WC6) gives an ally unit a -1 to hit when shooting at it.  Mental Fortitude (WC4) lets a unit auto pass morale checks.  Psychic Maelstrom (WC7) is interesting, pick an enemy unit and on a 2+ it suffers a mortal wound, then on a 3+ is suffers a mortal wound, then a 4+ and so on, you stop rolling once you fail to cause a mortal wound or the unit is destroyed, or you get to 7+ I guess.
So, some of those are pretty good, Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud are both really good defencive powers while Gaze of the Emperor and Maelstrom are pretty reliable for at least a couple mortal wounds.

Looking back at the choices we have, this army is a great candidate for the Supreme Command Detachment considering all the HQ choices are 50 points or under and you can get a LoW added in there.


Call them what you will, bubble wrap, speed bumps, cannon fodder, meat shield.  They basically serve the same purpose, protect your workhorses and maybe accomplish something themselves.  We are of course taking about the Troops choices.  Infantry squads and Conscripts are both equally good at protecting your flanks and backfield from deep strikers, and your front line from the charging Berserkers.  While Conscripts are simply meat for the grinder of war, the Infantry squad can get some work done with the availability of weapon upgrades and orders and such.  There is nothing fancy about them, there are no tricks to be pulled.  Issue them orders and hope they live.  Its your fault if they don't, and Stevens was just 2 weeks from retirement.  He has kids you know, and you threw him into that Carnifex like he was some sort of toy for your amusement.  You sick bastard!

The Scions of course are that premium bubble wrap.  Bigger tougher bubbles that are fewer in number, but are far more satisfying to pop.  These guys are meaner and will get loads more accomplished, on the first turn they arrive.  Then they will get torn apart like a restless homeless man's cardboard box on a rainy night.

The Astra Militarum Elites section is like the junk drawer of every house.  There is tons of shit in there, you don't know what most of it does, where you got it, or when you need it.  But there will come a time when you have a situation when you'll need a left handed hole punch that punches hole in the shape of a star, and on that day you will be glad you hung onto that thing.

I'm not going to spend a lot of time on some of these guys, but it's the who's who of mediocre characters.  The Master of Ordinance brings his own one shot barrage, and gives the artillery tanks re-rolls of 1 to hit when they are within 6" of him and the target is more than 36" away, so not often.  The Platoon Commander is a dude who can issue one order.  The Ministorum Priest gives nearby infantry units +1A, great for putting him next to Catachan, Bullgryns, or Ogryns.  Tech-Priest Enginseers fix stuff.  Commissar stops dudes from running away, he's not bad but unless you're going for massed infantry and need that Ld boost spread out, a Lord Commissar is probably the way to go.  Officer of the Fleet can try to hand out mortal wounds once per game and helps fliers shoot at a thing.  Astropaths are psykers that can cast and deny one power, can only use 1D6 when casting Smite, and has an ability that removes the cover bonus from an enemy unit.  They are really pretty darn good for 15 points, you can almost take 3 for the price of a Primaris.  The last character is the Ogryn bodyguard, his main purpose is to stand within 3" of another character, and when that character loses a wound it can be ignored on a 3+ and the Ogryn will suffer a mortal wound.  I'm not really sure if this guys is worth taking unless you happen to be playing someone with a bunch of snipers or ways of picking out characters.  The fact that you can take almost 3 Platoon commanders for the cost of one body guard, you must have a very critical character you need to keep alive to take a bodyguard.

That was the characters in the Elites section, now for the units.
The Command squad can be kitted out with an load of special weapons, but probably more importantly, it can take a medic who restores wounds or 1W models on a 4+, a standard that gives a +1Ld buff to nearby units, and a Vox caster.  The medic is awesome for restoring that damn plasma gunner who killed himself earlier.  Now on page 132 there is a note that states that you can take one Command squad for each Officer of the same Regiment.  Thank goodness there are quite a few officers.  Now there are only 4 models in this unit but it's pretty good for a small little special weapon squad as each model can choose a special weapon.  I kind of like the idea of taking a few of them, giving them all sniper rifles, and let them hunt enemy characters.  Or you could take a single heavy weapon crew to make user of that 3+BS
The Militarum Tempestus have a version of this as well with all the same options plus the Scion fancy weapons.

The discount special weapon squad is the...special weapon squad.  A unit of 6 models and 3 of them can take special weapons.  I guess the other guys have to carry their ammo or something?  Dirt cheap, can take orders, perfect for flooding the field with plasma gun fire for next to no points.  And if the plasma gunners all kill themselves then the rest can pull speed bump duty.

Veterans are similar to the command squad except they have 10 models and only 3 of them can take special weapons.  They all have options of taking shotguns and 2 of them can form a heavy weapons team.  Mainly it's the 3+BS you're after.  Be aware that plasma guns for models with a BS of 3+, or better, are more expensive than models with a worse BS.

Crusaders are in this book too, although I'm not entirely sure why.  I guess to accompany the Priest, but they have long been part of the Ordo Hereticus.  They are here, and you can take them in units of 2-10.  They have power swords and storm shields, but are otherwise a Vet.Sarge.  They have some fancy abilities like Acts of Faith and re-rolling hits in their first round of combat.  I could see some use if you want a deterrent to getting assaulted.  Back them up with a Priest and they will be getting 3 attacks each.

Servitors...I just don't know.  I saw no use for them in the AdMech book, and they are even less useful in this one.  Everything else in this book can do everything better than servitors.  If they boosted the Tech-Priest's Master of Machines ability, they might have a use, but only barely because it would be better to just get another Tech-Priest.

Wyrdvane psykers...another unit I'm not sure about.  Perhaps I'm missing something, perhaps I'm naive or clueless or just not good at this game.  Lets break down their uselessness.  A unit costs 24 points, there is 3 models in the unit, they cast and deny powers on 1D6+1(if there are 3 in the unit), they have W1 each for a total of 3 wounds.  Compare this to an Astropath who is a character, so can be more easily protected, has W3, casts powers on 2D6 (except smite), has an ability that removes cover from an enemy unit, and costs 15 points, and is only a single model for transport reasons.  I just don't see why you would take them over an Astropath or Primaris.


What can I say about Ogryn?  Well, they have always kind of sucked in the past, and not much has changed.  They are so close to being good.  They are kind of a combo shooting combat unit.  High rate of fire weapon, lots of attacks, high strength.  But their AP isn't great, and the range of their weapon is only 12".  If their gun was 24", or D2, it would make them worth their 30 points but they just don't do enough damage to offset their poor armour save.

Bullgryns on the other hand, are both dangerous and durable.  You won't often see them with a ranged weapon because their maul is S+2, AP-1, D2 and they have 4A when they charge.  Lots of damage potential and with their shields that add 2 to their save rolls(4+) or give a 4++, which you can mix and match.  Add to this cover, and/or Psychic Barrier and you can have a 3++ or a 2+save with 2 extra points to ignore AP.  This makes them a very durable unit that is very scary if you want to get up close and personal.

So I have noticed that Warhammer 40K is slowly becoming more hero-centric.  Adding new characters that buff units making them, sometimes, the lynch pin of an army.  This is where Ratlings come in.  35 points for 5 sniper rifles that can be placed ANYWHERE on the table more than 18" from the enemy.  They can target characters, hit on a 3+, and cause mortal wounds on 6+ to wound.  This is a great and inexpensive way to force saves on a key character and force your opponent to react to your actions.  Anytime you can do that you are one step closer to winning.

FAST ATTACK!
The first of the quick moving units are the Hellhound/Devil Dog/Bane Wolf combo tank.  It really doesn't need the 3 names, it just takes different guns, each of which are designed to kill a specific thing.  The Chem cannon is designed to kill monsters, D6 shots that auto-hit, wounding non-vehicles on 2+, AP-3.  The Inferno cannon is for crowd control with 2D6 shots that auto-hit, S6 AP-1.  The Melta cannon, well we know what this is for.  D3 shots, that are assault so it can move and shoot without penalty, and the rest of the typical Melta rules with 24" range.  It also comes with a heavy bolter, but there is no reason why you would not upgrade it to a heavy flamer.  You will be moving quickly with this thing so the auto-hits are nearly a must.  These are great at filling any kind of weakness that your army has.  Not enough anti tank, Melta cannon.  Not enough infantry killing, Inferno cannon.  Having trouble with tough nuts, Chem cannon.  It's the Swiss army knife, and with a movement of 12" and most of it's weapons being auto-hit or assault, it's 4+ to hit is not that big of a detriment.

The biggest problem with sentinels are that they are supposed to be a swift moving scouting unit, but all of it's weapons are heavy weapons.  They should have either made a weapon specifically for it, or given it the option of taking multiple infantry sized weapons to make user of it's decent speed and scouting ability.    With that being said, the most valid option that I have seen being utilised is to take scout sentinels with heavy flamers, use their scout vehicle rule to move them up, then move again and flame the ever living shit out of something.  Of course this only works if you have the first turn and if your opponent deploys something close enough.  As a fast moving gun platform they kind of suck.

And that's all she wrote for fast units.  Kind of disappointing right?  I guess Sentinels do have a place, they are pretty damn cheap and you can take 3 of them if you want a battalion and the 9CP it brings with it.

Time for the big boys
Here we get to the meat of the army, the heavy support choices, and lets the heavy weapons squad out of the way.  It's a squad of 3 heavy weapons teams.  Done, I'm sure you can figure out how to use them.

The next set of tanks I'm going to quickly brush over because they all pretty much work the same way.  The Basilisk, Wyvern, Manticore, and Deathstrike are all T7 W11 tanks that you hide as best you can and bomb the shit out of the appropriate target, which is just about anything.  The Wyvern is really limited to weaker infantry, or at least targets with a poor save.  The Basilisk and Manticore both have similar weapons with similar purposes.  High S, decent AP, good damage, decent # of shots.  The Deathstrike is an oddball as it does a ton of damage, once, and there is a pretty good chance it will die before it can deliver it's payload.  All of them suffer from the same thing, a poor BS, which requires them of have some sort of assistance in order to make any difference in the game whether it's a stratagem or a Master of Ordinance.

The Hydra has found it's niche position as it's pretty damn effective at taking out targets with the Fly keyword.  Now you must not forget that that will apply to things like Landspeeders, Jump Pack units, Bloat Drones, Heldrakes, and Wave Serpents among others.  It gets a +1 to hit those units, and you can use other stratagems and rules to make them even more accurate.  A heavy 8 auto cannon with 72" range isn't anything to ignore either, it can do some real damage.  If you're opponent has some critical fly units, keep this guy safe cause he will be a threat.

Finally, the moment we have all been waiting for, the Leman Russ.  Much has changed since 7th, it's T8, W12, and a Sv3+, and all versions have the same stat line with the turret weapon, sponsons, and hull weapons are simply swapped out as needed.  While the Hellhound variants are the Swiss army knife, the Leman Russ is the multi-purpose trench tool.



So far I have been pretty numbers light in this post, and I usually love to throw around some math to show awesome or terrible something is, so lets do that as we take a closer look at what the Leman Russ can do.  For each comparison, I'll assume that the tank is making use of the Grinding advance and the Kill on Sight tank order that lets him re-roll 1's.  Remember, these are averages, using math, not actual results using dice.  The math has a hard time creating in game achievable results with random shots and random wounds when the BS is so low that, as an average, a fraction of a hit is the result.  So it is actually likely, in some cases, that you will either get better than the below results, or nothing.

This chart represents math happening

Loaded out with the Punisher cannon and 3 heavy bolters you can put 11 wounds on Marines, or 23 wounds to Guardsmen, 5 wounds to terminators/marines in cover, but 6 wounds on an average vehicle/monster.  So clearly, the perfect load out for taking out light armour infantry, but we knew that.  The punisher cannon itself does 5, 10, 3, and 3 wounds to the targets in the respective order above.  That 2+ save really hurts its effectiveness, so lets look at what we can do about that.
Moving over to some heavier guns, the Executioner plasma(supercharged), with plasma cannon(supercharged) sponsons, and a hull mounted lascannon will see 5 of just about any T4 or lower infantry off the table, but it will put 9 wounds on a monster/vehicle.  The executioner plasma killing 3 infantry but doing 5 damage to monsters/vehicles on it's own.  Yes, you will take a couple wounds over the course of the game, but as long as you keep those orders up it will totally be worth it.
Those are probably the 2 most effective load outs for their respective roles, but we can't leave it at that, so lets look at some of the other turret weapons versus marines, guardsmen, and T7 3+Sv monsters/vehicles.  The battle cannon will only kill 2-3 infantry while putting 4 wounds on a big target.  The Vanquisher cannon is worse killing only 1 infantry dude while doing 3 wounds to a big thing.  The Eradicator nova cannon, while sounding really cool, is really only as good as the battle cannon at killing infantry, edging it out by a little if the target is in cover, but suffers against bigger things obviously.
Now, those last few numbers look really bad, remember that all those turret weapons are shooting TWICE.  Well, that would be because of their terrible BS.  If you were to take the above weapons on a tank commander, you can just about increase every result by 33%.


Transports, there are 3 of them, and you will likely only see 2 of them.  The Chimera is a decent, durable, reliable tank that has a transport capacity of 12 and some mediocre options for weapons that can take care of light infantry at range or up close.  The Armageddon regiment has some neat tricks it can pull off with the use of these guys so you will see a handful there, and a few less in other lists.  They are great at adding mobility to your army while bringing along an additional unit that can help claim objectives.  You can throw in 2 special weapons units, or some vets with a character for that re-roll goodness.  Either way you got a hard shell full of soft chewy death centre.

The Taurox is not as durable, can't carry as many models, doesn't have smoke launchers, and has more weapon options.  It is a little faster, and the guns it have are a little better when it comes to ranged fire fights.  I see it more as a fast moving unit that skirts the edges of the battle field taking potshots, yet the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons takes some of the wind out of it's two auto cannons.  A similar issue that the Sentinels have.

The Taurox Prime is another story all together.  Able to equip itself with a ridiculous about of weaponry and starting with a BS3+, it can put down a punishing amount of fire power for 145 points. Now this sounds like a lot of points of a transport, but we are not using it as a transport.  It can only be used as a transport for Tempestus and the like, and since they will likely be deep striking in you can start with them on the table and put the rest of your army in reserve.  This is a specific army play style that is very NOT Astra Militarum and feels very much like drop pod marines except everything is way more fragile.  I've seen a couple battles where this army has dropped in a completely decimated the opponent's army only to fold like a cheap hooker getting backhanded by her pimp.

Valkyries are basically flying Chimeras.  Mediocre everything but movement.  The Grav-chute insertion rule is pretty damn cool and, if it has to, it can go into hover mode and still maintain a movement of 20" while picking up a +1 to hit.  I don't see many of them making the cut but maybe a couple for dropping off suicide squads.   Since you still have to maintain that 9" buffer from the enemy its smarter just to take a Tempestus squad and save a shit load of points.

I am going to gloss over the Lords of War.  This post has gone on long enough and I still have stratagems, warlord traits, and relics to do yet.  Besides there are 8 of those damn big tanks, all of which were named using a random name generator limited to using Bane, Hammer, Sword, and Storm.  These things are like the Leman Russ but bigger.  They all have the same stat line and same sponson options, it's the main gun that really differs from tank to tank, and that some of them can transport models.  They also all come with the Steel Behemoth rule that allows them to shoot while within 1" of enemy models, fall back and still shoot and charge, and they ignore the penalty for moving and shooting heavy weapons.  It can only target units within an inch with it's heavy bolters or heavy flamers, so take a couple heavy flamers.  However you justify taking one, remember, they come with the same drawback that everything else in the army does and that's BS4, and you can't give these things orders so unless you have Yarrick or some magic dice, you can only rely on them for a 50% return on investment.



So, how do we outwit our opponents?  There are a couple goodies in here that I particularly like.
So, do you have a Command squad that you dropped in via Tempestus deep strike, or grav chute from a Valkrie?  Is it surrounded by the enemy?  Is it about to get assaulted by 4-5 characters so your opponent can laugh as he completely overkills your unit?  Get the last laugh as you call in Fire on my Position.  As the last model dies, use this stratagem for 3CP and roll a D6 for each enemy unit within 3" of the last model removed, on a 4+ that unit takes D3 mortal wounds.  Oh, the dying unit must also have a Vox caster.
Now I know that we never like to see our tanks get into combat, and except for the LoWs they have no combat prowess and even then they only hit on 5+.  But with a single CP your big ass tank can hit on a 2+ with those 9 S9 AP-2 DD3 attacks, and then it can still shoot.  With it's combat alone it will likely do 6 damage to a monster/vehicle.  Or if there happens to be that last cultist on an objective after you've already shot everything, change that chimera into him and hope for the best.
Aerial Spotter is perhaps overpriced at 2CP, but it lets a basilisk or wyvern re-roll all failed hit rolls.
Lost your Enginseer?  Maybe you didn't take one but are regretting it cause you really need to heal one point of damage so that Leman Russ can fire at it's full BS.  Just Jury Rig something up for a single CP and repair 1 wound.  You can't move charge or pile in, do you think you can handle that?
Consolidate squads, take 2 squads, and make them one squad, only 1CP.  This used to be a thing that was free and happened at the start of the game, but it got abused with 50 man units and a shit load of characters making a huge mob of unkillable unfun.  So we got this instead.  Still useful as you can use orders to essentially affect multiple units.  Remember, once you join them you can't split them up again.
Mobile command vehicle lets your characters issue order from within a chimera, and counts as being near a vox-caster.  This also used to be a free thing that Chimeras came with, but it's good to have that option if you need to move your commander quickly.  Only 1CP.
So you finish deploying you're army, all those units you're pretty used to going second by now, but you're opponent is still deploying.  A dozen characters, MSU, light vehicles up the wazoo, nothing in a transport.  Time for the Preliminary Bombardment.  Before the first battle round begins spend 2CP and roll a D6 for each enemy unit on the table causing a mortal wound on a 6.  You can only use this once per battle, but it could score you a couple mortal wounds on those ever present pesky buff characters.
Defencive gunners is pretty good for 1CP, pair it with the Mordian doctrine and your tank becomes just as good at overwatch as it is in the shooting phase.
Hey, do you guys remember going to ground?  Well for 1CP you can do that again with none of the drawback of being pinned.
So you may know, I am a Death Guard player at heart, and I love the grenade trick.  Grenadiers allows a unit to throw up to 10 grenades for shooting or overwatch, for 1CP.  I like when I roll a bunch of dice and my opponent thinks I'm rolling to hit, then I tell him that the number of shots I get.
Again, primarily as a chaos player, I'm not too fond of the Vengeance for Cadia, for 1CP a unit can re-roll all failed hit and wound rolls if the target has the Chaos keyword.
The Mordian specific stratagem gives an additional shot of every hit roll of a 6+.  Great when paired with first rank fire second rank fire.  Only 1CP
Cadian's have Overlapping Fire, which means when they inflict an unsaved wound on something, everything else can fire at that same target with +1 to their hit rolls for the rest of the shooting phase.  It's 2CP, but if you can get a wound on something with some mediocre firepower, you can unload all your bigger guns on the target with a bonus to hit.
For 2CP the Valhallan's can recycle an infantry unit previously destroyed.  No characters and no combined units.  This unit must set up wholly in your deployment zone, 6" from the table edge, and 9" from the enemy.  This DOES cost reinforcement points, which I'm not entirely sure I agree with.  You are already paying command points, which are not exactly flowing like champagne at Paris Hilton's birthday.


Vostroyan get a +1 added to hit rolls in the shooting phase.  Any unit, 1CP.  Easy, effective, simple.
Ok, we all remember Coteaz, right?  That Inquisitor that was in every army for 2 reason, he let you re-roll seize the initiative, AND if you deep struck near him the unit he was in could shoot at you.  Well, for 1CP that's what any Militarum Tempestus Infantry unit can do.  Show up within 12" and your unit may immediately shoot at them, with a -1 to their hit rolls.  That kinda sucks, especially if you want to use plasma.
The Tallarn take a page from the Alpha Legion and for 3CP can put up to 3 units in ambush.  At the end of any of you're turns you can deploy them 7" from any table edge and more than 9" from an enemy.  Now, if you take a unit of multiple tanks, that counts as a single unit, so that's pretty damn awesome.  I'm thinking a bunch of Hellhounds with some infantry backup.
Those tread heads in the Armageddon regiment can re-roll 1's to hit if they disembarked from a transport the previous movement phase.  Great if you need to jump forward out of range of your Commander.
Finally, those tricksy Catachan devils.  Rambo wannabes set up booby traps, when wholly within a piece of terrain, which cause units that successfully charge them to take D3 mortal wounds on a 4+.  Situational, but useful if you are charged by a character and can't overwatch, or combined with overwatch.

Lets open up that toolbox and take a look at the relics available to the Astra Militarum.  I'm not going to go over them all, because frankly some of them suck.
The Laurels of Command are not one of those.  When the wearer issues an order, roll a D6 and on a 4+ he can issue that same unit a second different order and this one does not count toward his limit of orders.  This works each time is issues a command.  Really powerful for combo-ing orders like First Rank Fire Second Rank Fire and Take Aim or Bring it Down for some serious damage.
I'm going to make mention of 2 swords, the Blade of Conquest and the Mamorph Tuskblade.  The latter being specific to Catachan, but both should really be used solely for Catachan with their bonuses to S and A with Straken around.  Both have S+2 and good AP and multiple D, so really pretty deadly in the hand of a Catachan character.
The Relic of Lost Cadia I'm not sure about.  It seems way too good to make sense.  So, basically you reveal this relic at the start of the turn, and for the rest of the turn you can re-roll 1's to hit and wound for units within 12" of the bearer.  This is not limited to the shooting phase and if the enemy unit is Chaos then it's re-rolling all failed hits and wounds.  It can only be taken by and affect Cadian units.  Now I know that seems really really good, but looking at Cadians, they already re-roll 1's if they stay still, so this only really helps there if they move.  The wounding re-rolls can also be done with orders, so a little less good again.  Really, this relic is best used if you don't have many Commanders in your army and have very few orders.
So, you dislike the nerf GW put on the Commissar.  Well, play Valhallans and take this fancy pistol that employs the same rule the commissar used to have, except any Valhallan character can take this.  Rejoice in your conscript meat shield once again.
You know what I hate, when my character dies to small arms fire, especially when IG players can spam sniper rifles and pick off your character from anywhere.  The Vostroyans have an answer of that.  It's their version of Artificer armour, it gives the wearer a 2+Sv and T4.


Holy god this feels like it's taking forever!  We are almost done, but we have the Warlord traits left.  I will be brief.
First, you essentially get a free re-roll once per battle, plus you can get back spent CPs on a 5+.  Next, pick an enemy unit, your units that are within 6" of your warlord can re-roll failed wound rolls on that unit.  Third, your warlord and one unit within 3" of him auto advance 6".  Units within 6" can re-roll failed morale checks.  Add 3" to aura abilities on his data sheet.  Last generic one is gain Voice of Command or give one additional order.
Cadians can affect an additional unit on a 4+ with the same type as the original unit (Infantry or Leman Russ).  Catachan can Heroic Intervention 6", plus on the first turn they are in combat they can re-roll failed hit rolls.  I like this one because of the combat prowess the Catachan have, they can benefit the most from this with the relic weapons, and with their +1Ld when within 6" of a character.  Valhallans get a 5+FNP.  Vostroyans re-roll failed hits and wounds in the fight phase.  Armageddon gets +1A and +1 to hit rolls in the fight phase.  Tallarn units within 6" can charge if they Fell Back.  Tempestus dudes can deny the witch once.  And Mordian's roll a die for each model that is lost in the morale phase, on a 4+ they are saved and don't run.


So, what are my overall thoughts?  I like this book.  It has some serious depth to it, even though the fast attack choices are seriously limited and I do not see Roughriders ANYWHERE!  I guess you can still take them from the Index...for now.  The real enemy of this army is trying to hit anything.  Being able to re-roll misses, increase your hit rolls, and increasing your fire output are all things that you will want to focus on.  Another thing to remember is that you will likely have quite a few bodies, DON'T GET BOTTLE NECKED.  Leave some room to fall back out of combat and manoeuvre your units to protect your important ones.  Remember, you only need 12"(18" for Armageddon) to rapid fire, you don't have to get right up close to them.  This will also spread out your force giving you some table control, but make sure you still have range for fire support on the flanks and to your objective grabbing units.
The Cadian's have some serious punch to them, being able to re-roll 1's if they stay still they can spend their orders on other things like FRFSRF and Bring it Down.  Add in the relic and warlord trait that adds extra orders and you can decrease the number of characters you need to take which adds points to take stuff that kills stuff.  They will shoot and shoot and shoot until you are dead, a
Catachan are actually pretty damn good in combat and in close.  Orders that re-roll the number of hits for flamers, re-rolling the number of hits from vehicles and random hit weapons, and extra attacks from Straken make them really strong inside of 8".  Even assaulting them can be dangerous with all the flamers they should have.  Hellhounds are absolutely deadly, and chimeras with heavy flamers full of vets with flamers and Straken will put the hurt on any kind of infantry unit just through sheer weight of dice you'll be throwing at them.
The Valhallans' can drown you in bodies with that relic pistol I mentioned and with Send in the Next Wave.  At that point it's ideally used for a unit of conscripts, they are cheap and plentiful.  And this would mainly be to fortify your back field after having run that unit right into the teeth of the enemy to clog up their front lines.  Plus you can shoot into combat keeping your firing options open, and your vehicles remain effective longer which is a godsend with BS4+.
The Vostroyans are a tricky one to figure out.  All of their weapons have a longer range, so you can deploy deeper giving you more time to shoot, but that likely puts you further away from objectives.  You can split your forces and have 2 "castles" forcing your opponent to either split his forces or choose which nut to crack, all the while his ranged weapons will be out of range to one of your groups while your whole army can focus fire.  Also, being able to fire while in combat is pretty good, and then you still get to make you're combat attacks.
Armageddon love to play tricks with their tanks.  Jumping out and shooting, or shooting then jumping in, either way you will want quite a few chimera on the table.  Plus they have increased range of the "double tap" and their vehicles are more durable.  All those things are good and play well for taking loads of infantry mounted up in vehicles.
The Tallarn are all about movement.  They take fewer penalties for moving and shooting, then can fall back and still charge, they can pop up on the back table edge with 3 units.  Being able to fall back and charge is deceivingly awesome.  You might think that because you are guard you don't want to begin combat at all, and you're probably right, but its still going to happen whether you like it or not.  Being able to back up, have the rest of your army shoot, then charge back in and fight first is really good, and you don't have to charge the unit you just fell back from allowing you to move your units away from a scary one and into a safer position.  Board control and fast movement are their strengths and I can seem them actually being effective in game terms.
I've talked about the Tempestus, deep striking death that dies too quickly.  I can see taking a couple units for some of that back line sniping of support units and to force your opponent to deploy to keep your guys from doing that.  The good thing is you can take a brigade of another Regiment, and still probably fit in a battalion of these guys giving you 15 command points and they can keep their doctrine.
So, if you want to secure home base from guys assaulting you, the Mordian's are where it's at.  They're no better at fighting than the average guardsmen, but they are almost as good at firing overwatch as they are shooting normally.

So there we have it.  I really appreciate you taking the time to read this whole thing.  It was a pained labour of love but I finally got through it.  As always feel free to leave a comment, and if there is something you want me to go into more depth on by all means let me know.  I'm thinking of doing a general tactics article showing a couple tricks that can be pulled by pretty much any army that can get you out of a tight spot.  If you think that might be something you would like to see let me know.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

As always, this post was brought to you by the number 3, 5, the words sacrificial deep strike, and...

853 Cavalier Dr, Winnipeg MB
Maxx Collectibles is a great store full of Warhammer goodness.  He also does other games like Malifaux and Infinity.  What are those you ask?  I have no idea, but people tell me that they are fun miniatures games.
Lately the big hit at the shop as been the painting seminars.  The last one looked like this


That there is the future gamers of the next generation.
Those paint seminars have become so popular that December will see 2 of them on the 9th and 30th.  Stop by and paint some of the things you got for Christmas!

Finally, The Brandon gaming league will be having their annual Gingerbread Apocalypse game Dec 9th.  Entry fees are small, and include one piece of terrain build from gingerbread.  Lists are limited to 2500 points with 1 Lord of War maxing out at 750 points.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

TWIN EAGLES TOURNAMENT REPORT: TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE


Last weekend was the Twin Eagles doubles tournament, held for the 4th(?) year at Comic-Con.  Armies are made up of two armies of 1000 points for a total of 2000pts.  There is no ally matrix, so your team mates army is considered "friendly".  With key words being so prevalent in warlord traits, special abilities, and psychic powers, this didn't really cause any problems and would actually benefit teams that took armies with themes and similar keywords.

The venue was the RBC Convention Centre and we were located in one of the side rooms.  While not very big, there were only 10 tables for the 20 teams and we had tons of room with only one place where I bumped butts with the guys on the table behind me.  They even had space to set up a live feed rig where they broadcast on Facebook Live and you can check out the footage here:  https://www.facebook.com/40belowgaming

The tournament itself is not a "hyper competitive" event.  It doesn't use the ITC system or format for anything and every table has it's own themed mission, so every one is playing a different mission throughout the tournament.  The missions we played were super fun, but I could see how they could become very lopsided if you happen to have taken the wrong army and I'll show you how when I get into the missions.  Before each game you could choose your warlord trait, psychic powers, and relics.  Each player was required to have a warlord, but each team could only have 1 relic unless extras were bought with the appropriate stratagem.  They also had a new concept of the re-roll die that so many tournaments offer.  Instead of a re-roll, you would take your "Destiny Die" and roll it before the game starts, at any point during the game, you could swap out a result with the result of your "Destiny Die".  You could not do this for weapon damage rolls, but everything else was fair game.  They also created an additional detachment called the Twin Eagles detachment which is the old generic detachment of 1HQ and 2Troops minimum for +2CP.  Games comprised of a primary mission, secondary mission, and the tertiary missions of First Strike(kill something first battle round, both teams could score this), Slay the Warlord(each team had a warlord so this could earn 2 points), and Linebreaker(you could earn 2 points if both players had this)

My team mate was Homer from Brandon Wargaming League infamy.  Our lists looked like this:
Death Guard (Me)
Lord of Contagion
Malignant Plague Caster
Biologus Putrifier
20 Poxwalkers
10 Cultists, heavy stubber
10 Plague Marines, 2 axes, 2 blight launchers
2 Bloat Probes with the lawnmower attachment.
Cultists not shown
I didn't have time to finish paining it, but I got the minimum 3 colours completed with some shading and conversions done.  The blight launchers are heavy bolters form the Battle for Calth box, the axes are from some AOS Khorne guys.  The Drone on the left has the scourge from the helbrute kit as a face and the arms of the Maulerfiend magma-cutters with heldrake talons.  The drone on the right has Maulerfiend lasher tendrils and the helbrute faceplate.

Alpha Legion (Homer)
Chaos Lord on Juggernaught
2 x 10 Cultists
10 Bezerkers, 9 chainaxes, 9 chainswords, power fist
3 Oblits, MOSlaanesh
Relic Predator, plasma destroyer, 2 las cannons (Forgeworld)
Diemos laser destroyer vindicator (Forgeworld)

Ignore the cultists in the back right
For those of you unaware of the Forgeworld stuff, let me run it down real quick.  The plasma destroyer is 2D3 shots at S7 AP-3 and 2D.  The laser tank has 1 gun with 2 firing modes.  Heavy 4, S10, AP-5, 3D OR Heavy 2, S10, AP-5, 6D but will inflict a mortal wound on the tank it rolls a 1 to hit.  Yeah, straight up 6 damage, and it has 2 shots.  Meaning it's not unreasonable for this thing to delete a tank straight up.
Our general strategy was to "Alpha Infiltrate" the Bezerkers as either a turn 1 hitter or a distraction while my army slowly makes it's way up the table.  With DR and some good defencive spells (I took Miasma of Pestilence and Putrescent Vitality every game) I was going to be a tough nut to crack.  We also used all those cultists to flood our back field so no one can drop in and ruin our day.  My Warlord took the trait that DG units within 7" can re-roll failed wound rolls when using plague weapons and Homer took a 6" re-roll 1's to wound aura.  We stuck with those traits all tournament.

Game 1:  For this game's missions, we had to choose our primary and secondary from a set of 5 cards and keep them secret form the opponent.  We chose Big Game Hunter(kill monsters and vehicles) and Kill Points.  I can't remember what our opponents chose, I think Big Game Hunter and hold table quarters.  This one was a little weird because you could potentially have 4 different missions in play at the same time, and all 4 could be achieved.  For example, say that instead of Big Game Hunter, our opponents chose hold objectives(there were 4 objectives).  That means we could have killed more units and vehicles/monsters, but our opponents could have held the quarters and the objectives meaning we each successfully complete all of our missions.  That didn't happen, but it could have.

Our opponent's, Chris and Andrew, list looks something like this:
Necrons
Lord
2 x 10 Warriors
Ghost Arch
3 wraiths
2 pylon things of death
2 destroyers

Iron Warriors
Warpsmith
Sorcerer with jump pack
2 x 10 cultists
Helbrute with lascannon and missile launcher
3 predators with all lascannons.


Deployment looked like that.  Homer's stuff is a little to the right off camera but who cares about that?  We get the first turn and Homer put the Bezerks right in front of the Dread and 2 Preds.  I advance everything and watched homer shoot.  His laser destroyer super charges it's shot and blows a Predator away easy peasy.  He then charges the Predator with the berserkers and tears it down to 1 wound through both his rounds of attacks.  The oblits came down and chewed up the pred to our far right a bit.

They hit back as best they could but with my Bloat Drone making 7 5+ saves in a row and not taking a single wound, they only managed to wipe the berserkers and put a couple wounds on the oblits and the Relic predator.



Turn 2 was another good one for us as Homer was able to eliminate the Dread and a second Predator. I was able to get the Drones into combat and do not enough damage.

Their turn was, again plagued with bad luck as while they did take out the Oblits, that was about all they killed.  The necron player was having some real bad luck when his 3 wraiths charged my 10 cultists and they did 2 wounds to each other while his pylon needed help from the Ghost Arch and Warriors to bring down one Drone.  The cultist/wraith combat lasted for 3 more rounds before the wraiths finally killed the last cultist on the last turn.


The game ended with Homer and I achieving our 2 Objectives and them achieving none for an 11-2 win.

Game 2:  This game's missions were maelstrom objective as a primary and kill enemy characters as a secondary.  Now do you remember how I was saying how missions could be lopsided?  With so many of the new codex's getting cool new elite slot characters there was a real potential for teams to have only 2-3 characters while others could have 5-6.  Homer only had 1 character, so it was a good thing that I decided to take 3 so that we ended up having the same number of characters as our opponents, Matt and Mark.  This happened to be their first tournament but they came to win and had a pretty good list.  Each team also got a free Vindicare assassin, and he had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the game.

Ultramarines
Lt. with jump pack
3 x 5 assault marines each with 2 flamers
Thunderfire cannon
Stormhawk
Leviathan dread, grad flux, storm cannon

Raven Guard
Shrike
Lt with jump pack
9 Vanguard with jump packs
10 stern guard
2 x 5 scouts
venerable dread, twin lascannon, missile launcher
Devestator squad 2 lascannons

Deployment was the pointy hammer and anvil one.  I lined the front line with Poxwalkers followed up by the Plague Marines and characters.  The Drones go on each flank and Homer's tanks go on the left side and he infiltrates those Berserkers into a building on the right side near their deployment zone and the oblits go into reserve.  Then we flooded out backfield with cultists so they couldn't drop in and surprise us.
They deployed most of their stuff in reserve, of course, but put their heavies on the table near the back of their deployment zone.  Their big shooting has a range of 48" while our super killer tank only has a range of 36".
They won the roll off for first turn but didn't drop in any of their units.  They focused all their fire into the berserkers and left 2 or 3 alive.  They may have done some other damage elsewhere but it wasn't significant.

The horde slowly advances
Our first turn was pretty good, and did a lot to stop them from killing us quickly as Homer put his laser tank of bullshit into the Leviathan and dropped 12 wounds off of it, and then stripped a couple wounds off the ven dread.  We dropped the Oblits into the building where the Berserkers were and shot up the Stormhawk, didn't kill it, so shot it up again with a shoot again stratagem which brought it down.  That last Berserker manages to punch a couple devastators to death before getting punched himself.

Turn 2 is when the reinforcements arrived and they dropped EVERYTHING in to take out the obliterators.

This turns out to be their undoing.  Despite their speed, dropping in everything all in the same location will really hamper their ability to score maelstrom points.  In fact, all it takes is Shrike to make the charge and wipe the Oblits out.

I manage to move my horde of infantry to the right and pen in the jump unit that push up right into the quagmire of bodies and get stuck in, slowly drowning.  The turning point of the game is when we draw a maelstrom card that says something to the effect of: draw another card, if your warlord accomplishes the task on the card you gain the points on the card +3.  Well the card we drew was kill a unit...and there just happened to be a half unit of scouts right in front of him.  Armed with the Blade of the Hydra he made short work of those scouts.  That pretty much solidified us winning the primary mission for a final score 7-4.

Game 3:  This was another of those wonky missions that, as it turns out, was skewed way to far to our favour, to the disappointment to Cory and Ronnie.  The deployment was Vanguard, and in no man's land was a Baneblade superheavy and 5 Leman Russ tanks.  The primary objective was to do the most number of wounds to the tanks.  While you think about that, I'll run down their army.

Orks
Big Mek, big choppa, KFF
Warboss, kustom shoota, power klaw
29 boys, 3 big shootas, Nob, power klaw
29 boys, 3 rokkits, Nob, big choppa
Painboy, killsaw
10 lootas, 2 meks, 2 kustom mega blastas
trukk, big shoota

Sisters of Battle
Celestine with 1 Geminae
5 Dominions, combi-melta, power sword, 4x meltagun
5 Dominions, combi-melta, power sword, 4x meltagun
5 Dominions, 5x stormbolter
7 Seraphim, power sword, 2x inferno pistols
3x Repressors, 4x heavy flamers, 4x stormbolters


I didn't get a pic of the deployment, but this was taken after their turn, and after we moved.  They had moved up and put a bunch of firepower into the tanks with some success.  They killed one Leman Russ, put 3 wounds on another, and put 7 wounds on the Baneblade.  They did some damage to the Berserkers who are off to the right just out of frame, but they focused most of their firepower on the tanks.  Now it's our turn.

I moved up as far as possible, but didn't advance.  I was able to get all of the Plague Marines to within 6" of the Baneblade and decided to unleash the Blight Bombardment.  Now I talked of this in my Death Guard review, and combined with Veterans of the Long War I was able to put 16 wounds on to the Baneblade, and this was actually a rather dismal result.  Out of 10 marines tossing grenades I only managed to generate 21 shots.  Had I gotten 35(average for 10D6) I would have caused around 20 wounds.  Homer did his fair share and killed 2 Leman Russ, and I managed a couple more wounds on the Baneblade in the assault phase.  All in all we did 47 wounds on the first turn clinching the primary objective for us as there are only a total of 86 wounds.

The rest of the game is a meat grinder as they try to achieve the secondary which is 4 objectives, one in each quarter.  The orks push hard but get stuck on the Death Guard and Celestine leaps over the press of bodies to get at all the characters and hopefully grab both warlords.


She could do it too, if it wasn't for Homer charging in "The Beast".  With the Hydra Blade, re-rolling 1's to hit and to wound, he is getting 6-8 attacks and generating more on 6's to hit, -2AP and 2D so he pulps her the first time. When she regenerates, they decided to drop her right back into the fray and have another go.  Again it doesn't turn out well and "The Beast" kills her again.  Then with a final round of humiliation Homer makes 5 6+ saves to keep his Cultists holding onto the one objective they could take from us to win us the game 9-4.

So with 3 wins Homer and I were feeling pretty darn good.  We had a bit of a hodge dodge army and I didn't really expect to do as well as we did.  Admittedly, we got some lucky draws, lucky missions, and some lucky dice when it really counted.


As you can see, we came in 5th overall.  Other than our first, we didn't have big wins, my army wasn't completed in the painting department but that didn't seem to hurt because we came in 4th in the painting rubric and 2nd in player's choice.  However, it turns out that Homer and I are assholes because we came in 14th in sportsmanship.  I guess it doesn't help that in the first game, on the first turn, Homer and I got into an argument and I called the judge on him.  I was right by the way.

There we go, another report in the bag, and while Homer and I didn't place, I won something.


Some laser cut terrain, from Northern Lights Terrain and Gamin Supplies, and a couple rollers and tentacle maker from Green Stuff World.  I highly recommend checking out Norther Lights Terrain.  They have all kinds of terrain for all genres of games as well as paint stations and shelves.  Check it out.

Until next time, keep them dice rollin.

Friday, 20 October 2017

ADEPTUS MECHANICUS: LET'S LOOK UNDER THE HOOD

DISCLAIMER: I do not play this army, I have never played this army.  However, I will, at some point have to play against this army.  This will likely be the point of view I will take on many areas, how do I defeat this army.  Those of you who play this army can use that as ways to shore up your defences or strengthen you offence.  If I have overlooked something please leave me a message on whatever social media you find me on.  Thank You.

All the robots
I've got a lovely Bunch of robots, there they are standing in a row.  Big ones, small ones, some as big as a hab-block...
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...
Canticles of the Omnissiah is a table that gives you 2 options, at the start of every battle round you can choose the result or you can roll for the result, but GW did something I LOVE!  If you decide to choose your result, you can not choose the same option twice per game, however, if you roll, you get what you get even if you have chosen or rolled it earlier in the game.  Now there are some shenanigans that exist that can help you with the rolling, which we will get to later.  There are 6 results on the table which are:
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

dogma ignore the penalty for firing assault weapons after advancing, and treat rapid fire weapons as assault weapons after advancing.  This is pretty good, and helps with the mobility of most of the lighter infantry units, but most of the bigger more dangerous things all have heavy weapons.  A good dogma if you like heavy infantry armies and need the mobility.
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.
The Onager Dunecrawler is basically a vehicle, that 2 Skitarii are plugged into, shoved inside of, and drive.  The Vanguard steers and is slowly digested, the Ranger shoots and doesn't care that his buddy is slowly being eaten by the machine they are riding in.  Fuck'n weird.
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...
...they are not invincible only having a 3+Sv and a 5++ that only works vs shooting.  You will likely see them with 2 guns, but don't think you can get in close with them and tie them up, not only can they just walk away OVER enemy INFANTRY, it can shoot and charge after it falls back, plus it can make 12 attacks at S8 AP-2 Dd3 with it's feet.  Yeah, fuck hands, who needs that shit?  He's gonna tap dance all over your ass like an old French grandmother stomps grapes for wine.
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?
Wargear, you'd think it would be something that the AdMech would have in abundance, and good shit to right?  Well you'd be surprised at how many close combat weapons they have in here instead of guns.  Close combat is not this armies strength, and specially not with it's characters.  There are a couple gems in here though that can stack with some other rules to make some really nasty combos.  Like the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land, where do they get these names from?  This lets you re-roll the result for fixin shit.  Roll a 1 to fix that Dunecrawler when you really need a 2 to get it back up the next damage tier?  This'll help.  Combine this with Tech Adept strat, so you can fix it twice, and your Warlord trait Necromechanic and you're getting +1 to the result.  This means your warlord can fix a model for 4-8 damage.  Per turn.  PLUS he regains a wound at the start of each turn.
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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Until next time, keep them dice rollin.