Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Astra Militarum in 8th Edition - Part 1 Review

I have spent the last few years focused on the Horus Heresy and kept gaming with 40k by just transferring my codex over, well that was until 8th came along. I tried using the fandex which is brilliant work, but it just wasn't the same.

So it was time for me to unpack my Astra Militarum (still getting used to calling them that) and take a look through the 8th edition rules properly and the AM Codex. Suffice to say I am loving them!

I've been looking through the codex, listening to podcasts (Forge The Narrative), and scanning through various blogs to look for consistent great units. With a tournament in mind next year and a desire to get a half decent sense of what makes a good army in mind I am embarking upon a review of what I think works well in the codex for me and fits with the models I have already (although I'm not ruling out the odd addition here and there).

These are my early thoughts and research. I'll rank my top 1-3 units in each section:

1. Primaris Psyker - I can see three reasons for this being a great choice; a) its fairly cheap at 40pts, b) Smite is a fantastic weapon with the mortal wounds, c) there are some great defensive powers (nightshroud, psychic barrier and mental fortitude). I've heard the phrase Smite Spam a lot too - I could well see having a few of these guys being appealing.
2. Company commander - this guy is cheap again at 30pts and gives you two orders per turn. And in 8th you don't need to roll to see if the orders are passed!
3. Tank Commander or Pass - I've not worked out the math on whether Pask is worth it, but the orders these two pass on to tank units are pretty damn good.

1. Infantry Squad - its cheap and you can throw a Lascannon or Mortar in there. I would be using these guys to bubble wrap a firebase, in which case, they might as well do a little shooting whilst they are waiting for an enemy to charge them. You can also use a Command Point (CP) to join two units together to give you much larger squads, add a little mental fortitude and/or an order from the Company Commander and you have an awesome shield for an artillery base/fire base.

I haven't really worked out the other options - I'm instinctively against conscripts after them being useless 5thE - 7thE but I know a lot of folks are liking them in big squads and with orders. The Scions look interesting too, but when included within an AM list they lose their regimental skills which is a shame. I need to look into these both more.

I've really not got into these in a game yet, but there are a few that jump out at me.
1. Veterans - i've not used them yet, but they can take 3 special weapons, are cheap, BS3 and look like they could run around wrecking life for your opponent.
2. Special weapon squads - super cheap, you can take 3 special weapons and they can help unlock some of the command point generating detachments. Tempted to try sticking a couple in a Valkyrie and Grav-chuting them the heart of my enemy for a 6 melta/plasma salute! Im gonna experiment with these guys.
3. Wyrdvane Psykers - the upsides are that they are 24 points for a Smite generating unit, the downside is that they aren't characters so can be targeted. I'm gonna battle test them to see whether they can offer a cheap alternative to Primaris.

1. Hellhound with Chem Cannon - again, Ive not played with this yet, but looks epic. D6 auto-hits, wounds on a 2+ with -3 armour modifier. Good for small squads.
2. Scout Sentinels - I am still hung up on these from the past but a lot of folks seem to be using them for the Scout move at the start of the game which will allow an Alpha strike. Ill be keeping an eye on these.

Heavy Support
1. Leman Russ Punisher/Executioner - for the first time in my playing life the Leman Russ is a viable option! More than that, it actually seems like a decent choice. Now its position may change over time for me as I've not played nearly enough to try out the other options but at 152 points for the Punisher and Executioner they are leaping out the page at me. What makes these awesome is the Grinding Advance rule which allows them to shoot the main gun twice if you move at half speed! The Executioner Cannon then puts out 2D6 shots per turn (average of 7 but could be average of 10 if you used the Catachan regiment), if you supercharge this (and why wouldn't you with he cushion of a command point re-roll) that's 6-10 -3 damage per turn, pretty much squad wiping each turn).
Then we have the Punisher, with Grinding advance it will put out 49 shots per turn! Against marines you are looking at 5-7 dead marines per turn.
With the spearhead detachment, your heavy units are 'objective secured' too!

2. Manticore - I've not actually used this yet, but on paper it compares well against the Wyvern which lots of folks are talking about. The tank can be hidden out of sight and doesn't need to see its enemy to bomb it back to the stone-age! The shots are 2D6 Strength 10! And damage is a healthy -2 and D3. I think like in the past what impresses me is just the high probability of it wrecking face - I used to use this on enemy armour and then on high value infantry - I can see it doing a fine job again and as a Cadian unit it will be benefitting from the re-rolls on 1s as it aint gonna be moving much.

3. Heavy Weapons Squad - I just like these for the triple las-cannon you can lay down, but I suspect in time I will stop using these to max-out on either Russ', Manticores or something else I decide is awesome. I've used Lascannon teams to good effect thus far, at 72points they are pretty cheap and with the orders (if Cadian) you can get them twin-linked. With their high strength and high damage they are pretty reliable in terms of damage out put, but in time I suspect I'll start to use them as part of  infantry squads, freeing up the heavy slots for other stuff.

Thats it for now, next article will look at the Regimental Rules, Orders, Regimental orders, combo's and what I am thinking about Command Points.


fourdadsoftheapocalypse.blogspot.co.uk – A blog about Warhammer 40k and the Horus Heresy by four Dads

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