Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Codex: Astra militarum - Stratagems


Next up in the books are the stratagems. This post is a little later than planned, as I've been away on holiday and real life has caught up with me upon our return and as such I haven't had time to sit down and write. However, i hope to get back on track and get the last few review posts out in the next week or so, but right now, here are the stratagems.

There are three different types of stratagem available to the guard now. The first is the three from the BRB and are the ones available to everyone, the next lost, the main ones, are the guard specific stratagems and then finally we come to the regimental specific stratagems, which are determined by which regimental doctrine you have chosen.

Command re-roll - 1cp
The first of the BRB stratagems, and one of the staple stratagems in any army. Re-rolling a dice is always a good thing, the main issue can be which dice to re-roll! Always a stratagem that should be close at hand, as it really can change a battle.

Counter offensive - 2cp
Another of the BRB stratagems and while not as good as the other two, it can be very handy to have in your pocket. At 2cp it's not cheap and can be very situational. It's always worth thinking about using this one after a unit who charged has fought, as it may mean the difference between a unit getting to fight or getting wiped out without the option to reply. The only thing is, if a unit has little chance of doing damage, is there much point in using 2cp to interrupt for no return? A good card but don't overuse it.

Insane bravery - 2cp
A great card, not the cheapest but well worth it. There will be few times when you can really use it properly, but when you really need a unit to hang around, this card can be priceless. Auto passing a morale test is not something to be easily dismissed. Keep this card to one side for those really important times.

Next up are the Astra Militarum specific stratagems.

Vortex Missile - 3cp
A Deathstrike specific stratagem, so if you don't own a deathstrike, you might as well ditch this card. If you do, well, it's worth having around. At 3cp, it's expensive but it is actually quite good. Re-rolling to hit is always useful, especially with a weapon this damaging. The stratagem really comes in to its own when dealing with units within 6 inches. It's a +1 to hit, making it a 3+, meaning your a lot more likely to hit them, and any models that are wounded but not killed, so multi-wound only models, on a dice roll of 6, the unit takes an extra d6 mortal wounds! Ok, so it's not going to happen often but could be devistating when it comes off. If you have a death strike and you manage to get it off early, when there are lots of units around your target, then this is a good stratagem to play. If you dont get it off until turn 5, it's probably not worth keeping CP's for.

Fire on my position - 3cp
Despite being an expensive stratagem, it has the potential to be very devastating. It does rely on a unit getting wiped out, which shouldn't be to uncommon for guard, and also rolling some 4+'s. However, if you do manage to roll well, then any units within the 3 inch bubble are going to take mortal wounds and casualties. This really is intended for close combat, as there are not going to be many situations where units will be within 3 inches in the shooting phase. If you can manouver your unit well and remove models specifically with this stratagem in mind, you might be able to get multiple units within the range, however most of the time it will only be one enemy unit and then your looking at a cost of 1cP per mortal wound at best, provided you can roll the 4+ to start with, and 3cp per mortal wound at worst. Not a great return in my books. Fun if you can get it to work, but over priced and very situational. Not a stratagem i think will be used very often.

Crush Them - 1cp
This on the other hand is something that i think will be used a lot. This stratagem allows a vehicle to charge even after it has advanced, which is great in itself, giving to several valuable extra inches to close the gap to the enemy and reduce your charge range and increase you chances of success. However, the real benefit comes with the 2+ to hit. This means that your likely to hit with all your attacks, which is important when you only have a few of them. LRBT's will benefit from this, as they have only a few attacks but they are strong, meaning that most of the time, hitting is the difficult bit. With this they will hit and have a good chance of wounding. That said, it's superheavies that will really benefit, with lots of strong attacks, this gives them the potential to devastate a unit. A good solid stratagem to keep in your hand when you need to charge with a vehicle.

Aerial spotter - 2cp
This is a better version of the Master of Ordnance, although it only applies to Wyverns and Basilisks. Where as the MoO only allows you to re-roll 1's on targets over 36 inches away, this stratagem allows you to re-roll all your failed hits regardless of range. This is a big boost to both systems, granting more hits on both but is especially useful on the wyvern, which has a significantly greater number of attacks. Combine this with either a command  re-roll or doctrine for the number of attacks and with the wyverns natural re-roll to wound, you have the potential to do a significant amount of damage to a target. I think that at 2cp though, it is a little pricey, however, I can understand why, as it does have a lot of potential. If you have either a wyvern or a basilisk in your army then this is a good stratagem to use, especially on those dangerous, must remove units.

Jury rig - 1cp
This is a nice simple stratagem, that allows you to automatically heal 1 wound on a vehicle. It does mean that the vehicle won't be able to move in any way that turn but can still fire or fight. It is cheap at 1cp but does heal only 1 wound, so not a great return but could be important to keep or return a vehicle at full force. Not something to rely on to keep your vehicles at full fighting force but on occasion it could be useful, so it's worth keeping this one in the deck.

Consolidate squads - 1cp
This is the only way to create blob squads of guardsmen these days, as they days of combining squads for deployment have gone. This happens at the end of your movement, so can occur in your first turn but does limit you to combining just two Infantry Squads. That's the actual Infantry Squads and not just a squad with the infantry keyword, so no combining heavy weapons squads. While i have always combined squads in the past, I'm less sure in 8th, as it leaves you open to moral issues. While i like combined squads, i think that this is a stratagem to use sparingly, combining those squads that are depleted or in need of reinforcements​. The days of forming large infantry try squads and sweeping all before them are gone, along with the moral immune conscript super squads. Definitely keep this stratagem to hand, just don't us it to spam blob squads like the old days.

Imperial Commanders Armoury 1cp/3cp
This is a standard stratagem that can be found in any army book. Pay a couple for an extra relic or 3cp for 2 extra relics. With relics now being free and limited to just one per army, this is a great way of getting extra relics, however, i would caution going all out for 2 extra relics. For 1cp a relic is well prices, but 3cp is a step to far, pushing the price up. It would be easy to take 3 relics, as there are so many good ones in the book, but i think those two extra CP's are better off spent on a different stratagem. Definitely worth looking at this stratagem, but spend wisely.

Officio Perfectus Command Tank - 2cp
This is an odd one if you ask me, as it doesn't tie into anything from previous editions or have an equivalent model either. There has been some forge world versions of the commissar tank, but i believe they were Death Corps only. With this stratagem, at the start of turn 1 you can turn a LRBT in to a commissar tank, giving it a 6 inch Ld9 bubble. This is pretty useful, as it means an increase in the general LD value of all guard units in a very resilient format, without the downsides to a commissar. For many units this will be a great bonus but if you are running a vehicle heavy list, it won't have the same effect. So, if your running a couple of LRBT's with lots of infantry, go for this stratagem and leave the commissars at home.

Mobile command vehicle - 1cp
This stratagem highlights what i was saying in the previous entry, as this, like many of the stratagems, has a direct link to previous editions. This stratagem enables an officer to issues orders while embarked on a chimers, much in the same way that you could previously. It is currently the only way to do so and also has the advantage of counting as being within range of a vox caster. This is really a stratagem for your warlord. Stick him in the back of a chimers and either drive him around to where he's needed or park him at the back but whichever way you play it, he'll be a lot more protected from what ever threats the enemy have, either sniper's or deep striking elements. This is a very useful stratagem and if your running chimers, should be ready to use at all times.

Preliminary bombardment - 2cp
This is one of the few questionable stratagems in the book, as it relies heavily on a good dice roll. Much in the same way as Fire on my Position, you pay for the stratagem and then have to hope for a good dice roll. As you do this at the start of the battle, there will be the maximum number of chances of doing damage, but with only a 1 in 6 chance of "hitting", you'll not be doing much damage overall. It also only causes 1 mortal wound, so it's not even going to cause massive amounts of damage to a unit it does hit. Personally i would bother with this in most games, as 2cp can get a lot more value, the command tank or aerial spotter for example. Fun and fluffy but expensive for what it is.

Inspired tactics - 1cp
This stratagem, while not ground breaking, is a solid stratagem that should be close at hand on all occasions. With this stratagem, you get to issue an extra order with an officer, after all of their other orders have been given. This is great, as I have lost count of the times that I have been in a situation where I have X number of units but am an order short. Trying to choose which units can go without an order is very hard. Now, you can just pay a single command point and get yourself out of a fix. I would not rely on using this card all the time, you should be trying to ensure that you have enough orders for all the troops nearby at all times, but there are times when things don't work out and this is where the stratagem comes in to its own. Keep this card to hand for emergency use, you shouldn't need it much, but it will be invaluable when you do.

Defensive gunners - 1cp
This is one of the great stratagems in the book and used with the right tank could be deadly, as it enables overwatch to hit on both a 5 and  a 6. This stratagem apples to all vehicles, so it has a wide range of applications, but it is going to be certain LRBT's that benefit the most. Bolter boat punisher's will be able to put down a lot of shots with this and so will the likes of the classic LRBT with bolters all round. I'd your taking the Mordian doctrine then it gets even better as you'll be hitting on 4's as well as 5's and 6's. At only 1cp, this will be worth throwing down pretty much every turn that a vehicle gets overwatched, except if it's a hell hound obviously.

Take cover - 1cp
This is the new version of going to ground, as it grants a +1 to your save when your being shot by an enemy unit. As you can use this at any time, whether you in the open or hiding in a ruin, the options are endless. Personally, I'd be looking at using this to either protect a valuable unit in cover, such as a heavy weapons squad or command squad, or to add some protection to a squad out in the open, maybe one on an objective or maybe having been caught out after an assault. At 1cp, this should be at hand most of the time ready to use to boost the survivability of a unit and keep it firing efficiently next turn.

Grenadiers - 1cp
I like the sound of this stratagem, it really appeals to my cinematic eye. I can just imagine a squad of desperate guardsmen, lobbing grenades left, right and centre in a last ditched effort to take down a charging monster or battlesuit. Ok, so most of the time this isn't really going to help you as the grenade is basically the same as a lasgun, but it will get you a few extra shots in most cases, as a grenade will average 3 shots, compared to the lasguns flat 2. At least it will up until 6 inches, over that its all pretty academic, as that's the range of the grenades. This really means that the stratagem will be used in your shooting phase to try and get a few extra shots on a unit your going to charge or in overwatch, to try and get a few extra hits on the charging unit. Its a shame that you cannot equip your regular guardsmen or vets with Krak grenades these days, as this would really boost the stratagem and be useful when a vehicle charged into your lines, as it is the only squad that can take advantage of this, are the Scions, who do come armed with both grenades. Unfortunately, the wording means that you'll not be able to use this to turn your conscript squad in to a grenade machine, as only 10 men can take advantage of this stratagem, This is a stratagem to have close by for those times you want a few extra shots, but don't expect miracles from it.

Fight to the death - 1cp
This is another good stratagem. If you have a couple of squads that need to pass morale but you've used up your Insane Bravery stratagem for the turn, this is your next play. Rolling a D3 instead of a D6 means that you can reduce the chances of a unit failing and in some cases, it will mean that the unit will auto pass anyway. This is great for the price and in many ways is better than the Insane Bravery option. This card will be used on a number of occasions to keep your units fighting. Keep close to hand and consider this before jumping to Insane Bravery.

Go! recon! - 1cp
Used for Scout Sentinels only, so if you don't have any just skip ahead. This stratagem enable you to forgo your shooting and charging, but gain extra inches of movement. Enabling you to move up to an extra 2d6, it means that a sentinel can travel up to 27 inches during your turn. This will be great for claiming those last minute objectives or snatching those maelstrom points. The only issue is that you could end up moving just 12 inches, and not getting what you want. For a cp its not going to break the bank, but if you don't own any scout sentinels, I wouldn't bother going out an buying any based on this stratagem. If you do have some scout sentinels, then keep this to one side and you might use it occasionally.

Vengeance for Cadia! - 1cp
If your facing Chaos units, which I believe covers all flavours of CSM and also Daemons, then this is a very useful stratagem. Enabling you to re-roll both failed hits and wounds, this is going to boost up the amount of damage that your going to do. I would think carefully about which unit to apply it to every turn, as some units will benefit more than others. Its important to remember that it also works in overwatch, meaning that you could do a lot of damage when the enemy isn't expecting you to. Definitely worth playing if your facing any flavour of Chaos, if your not, then its worthless.

After all that we finally get to the Regimental Stratagems, those that are restricted for use to only those detachments with the same regimental doctrine.

Mordian - Volley Fire - 1cp
First up this time are the Mordians, which makes a change. Their stratagem allows them to make an extra shot for every 6+ that they get in there shooting phase. While this is not amazing, most cases it will result in a few extra hits. If you use it on a conscript squad or a combined infantry squad it will result in an even greater number of hits, and with guard, the more hits you can get, the better. If you can give a the unit a +1 to hit, this would be even better, unfortuantly, I don't know of any +1 to hit modifiers in the codex, so you would have to look else where, which isn't really worth it for this one stratagem. Its a good stratagem, but I think there are others where that cp would be better spent.

Cadian - Overlapping fields of fire - 2cp
Ok, so after just saying that I didn't know of any +1 to hit modifiers in the guard codex, here is one. Unfortunately it only applies to Cadians. The good point of this stratagem is that you can play it after the criteria has been met, meaning that you don't have to take a chance and waste it. Once a Cadian unit, that's any Cadian unit, wounds an enemy, you can play this card and of the rest of the phase, all other Cadian units get a +1 to hit against this target. Useful for targeting a monster or similar, to get that +1, before unloading with the supercharged plasma guns. A good stratagem, purely for the fact that you don't have to risk wasting the cp's, and the fact that a +1 is always a good thing.

Valhallan - Send in the next wave - 2cp
Well, there is pretty much only one thing to say about this stratagem, in matched play this is useless. in fact its less than useless,  its completely and utterly pointless. Why? Simple, it costs you reinforcement points. So you will have to save some of your points from the game, putting you at a disadvantage at the start of the game, to enable you to have the option of using a stratagem that you'll also have to pay cp's for. That's if you actually use it, which you will, as you've saved points for it, which will mean that you could very well waste 2cp's in the process. Why you just don't bring an extra unit in the first place, I don't know, because its a much better idea. If your playing a narrative game, then its very fluffy. Anyway, what does it actually do? Well, it enable you to recycle a destroyed infantry unit and deploy them in to your deployment zone. You cant use it on a character or a squad that has been combined, but all other infantry units are eligible. Like I said, if your playing a narrative game, then its fun and fluffy, however, if your playing a matched play game, which I pretty much always play, then its useless.

Vostroyan - First born Pride - 1cp
Here is another stratagem to probe I don't know what I'm on about, as this is the second stratagem to offer a +1 to hit. This time however, it is just a blanket +1 to hit for a specific unit. This means that in the shooting phase, for 1cp you can give any Vostroyan unit from your army a boost to there shooting. Most of the time I can see this being used on a heavy, command or special weapons squad, rather than a line infantry unit. Of course you can use it on vehicles as well, and something like a tank commander would benefit quite a bit, turning it in to a mini Pask for a turn. All in all this is a good stratagem and if your playing a Vostroyan army, I can see this being used pretty much every turn.

Militarum Tempestus - Superior intelligence - 1cp
This is both a good stratagem and a poor one at the same time. The stratagem itself enable you to shoot an enemy unit as it deep strikes within 12 inches of a Militarum Tempestus Infantry unit, although it is at a -1 to hit. This is good as it is really the only form of interceptor that you have access to these days, however, most of the time your infantry units are them selves going to be deep striking the enemy and not going to be hanging around waiting for the enemy to appear. Also the short range of most scion weapons, means that you wont be getting many shots for you cp, as the Hot-shot lasguns are only 18" range, meaning that no matter what, everyone will be deepstriking out of rapid fire range. So, it could be good in the right situation, however, most of the time your not going to be in a situation to actually use it.

Tallarn - Ambush - 3cp
This is probably the best stratagem in the codex, granted it did take a little bit of a hit with the FAQ, but it really is only a minor one. The stratagem enable you to place up to three units in to ambush, reserve to us older players, but only one of these can be a vehicle unit. these units can come on to the board at the beginning of the movement phase from any board edge. The nerf from the FAQ was the stating that only 1 of the  units can be vehicles. So if your using transports, then it means only 1 chimera or taurox, or even a Valkyrie of you wanted I guess, but if your not then it still means that you can take a complete squadron of LRBT's or Sentinels, as these are considered a single unit for deployment. So there is nothing stopping you outflanking 3 LRBT's and two Vet squads for a serious threat to the enemy. The only downside to this is that all units are considered to have moved there maximum, so no Grinding Advance for those LRBT's. There still seems to be some debate about using transports though and as yet I haven't see a definitive answer, if there is one, let me know. The issue resolves around what counts towards the three units. If I choose to deploy a squad of vets and a platoon commander in a chimera in to ambush, does that count as three units or 1? is it three units, as it is three separate units or is it just one, because it forms only one deployment drop? Personally, I think it forms three separate units, as it states 3 units and not 3 deployments, but I can see how it could be played the other way. Either way, this is a very powerful deployment option and well worth the 3cp.

Armageddon - Armoured fist - 1cp
Another good stratagem, this enable an infantry unit that has disembarked in the movement phase to re-roll 1's to hit in the shooting phase. This is a good boost to a unit, combine this with an order and you can have a potentially powerful attack. If your running a proper steel legion army though, the only issue is going to be deciding which unit to use this stratagem on.

Catachan - Vicious traps - 1cp
The Catachans seem to have got the short straw with a lot of there special abilities in this book and as far as I can see this continues with the stratagem, although they are probably the most true to the lore. This stratagem is played after the enemy charges a  unit that is completely in terrain and on a dice roll of 4+ they will suffer D3 mortal wounds. Now, this relies on a unit being completely within or on a terrain feature being charged and on a 50/50 dice roll. At only 1cp, it is worth a go but I really don't like that it is so specific and random. If it goes off, then it will be very powerful, but there is a good chance of it not going off or not doing much damage at all. Not one of the best stratagems but at 1cp it could be worth a go.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Codex: Astra militarum - Orders


This time around we are going to take a look at the orders. While this may be slightly out of order with the book, it feels like a good place to put them, having just gone through the regimental doctrines. As with the last few editions of the guard, there are a number of orders that are available to all regiments and then there are the regimental specific orders, which are listed at the end.

First up are the general Orders

Take aim!
The first order listed in the book is Take Aim! and will probably one of the more commonly issues orders, especially to heavy weapons teams and anything wielding plasma, thus is due to it allowing the ordered unit to re-roll 1's to hit. This means that it will cut down the number of misses from those heavy weapons teams but more importantly it means that overcharged plasma weapons have a lot better chance of not only hitting but more importantly, not exploding! This order won't be the most common used overall, but for plasma and heavy weapons it will be. One other thing to note, if you are playing a Cadian regiment, and you remained stationary, this order means that you will be re-rolling all your misses, not just 1's.

Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire (aka FRFSRF)
Now this is going to be the most commonly used order in the majority of guard armies, regardless of regiment, as it turns all your lasguns in to rapid 2 weapons. That's a lot of shots from even a basic guard squad and tied in with some of the doctrines like the Armageddon or Vostroyan, it will mean that you have a very potent threat. For the majority of cases where you will be issuing orders, this is going to be better than any of the more specific ones and if your not sure what order you should use, use this one. Oh, and lets not forget it also works with hotshot lasgun too.

bring it down
This is the other side of the Take Aim coin and enables you to re-roll 1's to wound. Now in most cases this isn't going to be very effective, unless you shooting g at something very weak or using a powerful gun, your only going to be re-rolling a third of your misses which isn't very much. However, if you are shooting a lascannon against a space marine or even a normal t8 vehicle, then yes, this will be an effective order, provided you actually hit in the first place. I see this order being useful for Cadians more than most, as they already get there re-rolls to hit, but for everyone else, its more important to get hits, than you worry about wounding, afterall if you don't hit in the first place, you can't do any wounds.

Forward for the emperor
The order for when you need a little bit more movement to get in to rapid range or even just in range, as the ordered unit van both advance and shoot. This is one of the orders that is very situational and won't get used a lot. There will be times when it will be required but if you want to shoot, something like FRFSRF would be better and if you need to move, then Move Move Move would be better. An order worth keeping in mind but not one that you'll go to very often.

Get back in the fight
Again, a very situational order, as it enables you to shoot after falling back from combat. Now, most of the time if a unit is falling back, its going to be mangled and not really worth putting an order on to but there will be times when it will, such as with conscripts, who will generally have enough numbers to survive combat, fall back and still be able to do damage in shooting. You may also want tonuse this on a units with special weapons, such as flamers or plasma, even if there are only a few models left, just to get the benefits of the weapons. Overall though, your better off just falling back and ignoring the unit, putting your orders on to other, stronger units.

Move! move! move!
This is another of the good units and if your playing a maelstrom game or entering your last turn of an eternal war mission, can be vital. The unit receiving this order must move and advance instead of shooting. If you already have moved and advanced, this could result in 24 inches of movement, although 18 is more likely. This really increases the movement of a guardsmen, meaning that those objectives rant quite as far away as you thought. It can also cause you opponent a few problems as well when your guardsmen suddenly sprint across the table. While the downside is that you cannot charge, oh wait, not that's not much of a downside is it? So while this won't be one of the first orders you go to, its definatly a very useful order.

Fix bayonets - only if within 1", fight as per fight phase
Another one of the situational orders, as although it can only be order to a unit within 1 inch of the enemy and effectively gives you a free round of combat, most of the time your not going to want to be in combat, unless your sure you can survive until the enemies combat phase. If your in combat and have an excess of orders, you"d be better off falling back and issuing Get Back in the Fight. The only time this order could be useful is when you are locked in combat with a unit you cannot fall back from, such as wytches, then there is little other choice for orders, except if your playing Vostroyan. All in all this is probably going to be the least used order, as there several other better options and orders.

That's all of the general orders, and as always there are some good ones, and some not quite so good, situational ones but they all have there uses and will at some point it another be used.

The next set of orders are tank orders and can only be given by tank commanders and received by Lehman Russ battle tanks.

Full throttle
This order is for when you want to move, in the same vain as the infantry Move, Move, Move, order. This means that instead of shooting you can move as if it was the movement phase but again you must advance. This means that you could potentially have a movement of 32 inches, which is a long movement for a vehicle like the LRBT. This wont be you first choice for the tanks, but can give to a lot of extra movement when you really need it, either to get to an objective, remember LRBT's are objective secured in spearhead detachments, or to get in to cover/out of LOS. Its going to be rare that you are going to want to forgo your shooting phase, but there may be occasions when you need to and in those circumstances, this is the order you'll need.

Gunner, kill on sight
This is going to be the most used order for most tanks, Re-rolling 1's to hit. This will mean that you might get an extra hit or maybe 2, depending upon what your shooting. Weapons like the Vanquisher will not benefit much from this, where as a Punisher will probably benefit a lot.

Strike and shroud - shoot + smoke
This is an unusual order and one that will be situational and also its a one shot job. The order can only be placed on a unit that hasn't used its smoke launchers during the game, an ability I usually forget all about! I think that this order gets forgotten about a lot of the time but is actually a really useful order and can add a lot of survivability to a tank. Being able to use your smoke as well as shooing, means that you can push up your tanks in to areas where they would usually be exposed or to give you extra protection when sitting in cover. This is definitely an order you should keep handy, but be careful not to waste it, as it is a one shot only order.

The next set of orders are regiment specific and as such only available to detachments using the named regimental doctrine

Cadian - Pound them to dust
The Cadian order is a tank order and so can only be issued by tank commanders or by Pask. This order allows you to re-roll the dice for the number of attacks you can make for those turret weapons that use a random number of attacks, such as the battle cannons d6 roll. This means that on most occasions you will end up with 4 or more attacks, which is always better than rolling a 1. Combine this with both the doctrine for re-rolls of 1 to hit and the grinding advance rules and you have a formidable firepower output. granted there are some tanks that are not going to be able to use this order, such as punishers and vanquishers, but you have other orders you can use there. If your running Cadians then I can see this order being used quite a bit to get you some extra shots.

Catachan - Burn them out
The Catachan order again runs very close to the fluff of the unit and also relies on you being very close to the enemy to use it, where that +1 strength will also come in handy! With this order, flamers and heavy flamers get to re-roll the dice for the number of attacks that they make and those attacks also ignore any save bonus' given by cover or terrain. Now, as usual this order only applies to infantry, so no using this on your hell hounds but it can be very useful for upping the number of hits a unit gets. It will work best on things like command squads or vets loaded up with a heavy flamer and 3 flamers. On a standard infantry squad with one flamer, this is going to be wasted, as at that range you'll be a lot better of with FRFSRF, where you'll be generating a lot of extra hits, far more than a flamer could every get. Used wisely, this is a great order, but its very situational and chances are, who every you issue it to will be dead next turn.

Valhallan - fire on my command
Life is cheap and meaningless to a Valhallan, and its shows in there order. With this order a unit can shoot INTO combat, usually something that is a big no no. the only downside is that any to hit rolls of 1 are worked out against the friendly units that are in the combat. While this order is great for being able to help out a unit locked in combat, even with the downside, its situational, as I think most of the time you'll be better of falling the units in combat back and shooting at the enemy units with other orders. However, for those times a unit is locked in combat and cannot leave, then this is going to be very useful. A good order, but you'll need to think carefully about how you use it.

Vostroyan - Repel the enemy
This is the other side of the Valhallans order, as with this one you can shoot while locked in combat. Of the two orders this is by far the better order, as chances are your guard squad are going to be a lot stronger at shooting that they are at combat. Just look at the average guardsman, with 1 S3 attack in combat vs 2 S3 attacks in shooting. If you don't want to fall back out of combat, then this is going to be the order for you, especially for those plasma armed vets.

Armageddon - Mount up
This is another great order and can be very useful, especially for those would be suicide squads. The order allows a unit that is within range of a transport to embark at the end of there shooting, although you cant use it on a unit that disembarked during the movement phase. So no getting out shooting and jumping back in. Still this is a good order, you'll just need to be good with your measurements. Move a unit out in to range and run a transport up behind them, once they've shot, they can jump in and shelter from the return fire in relative safety. Again this is probably best used on your valuable heavy hitting units, like command squads and vets, but is equally useful for infantry squads as well and would be useful for relocating heavy weapon squads mid battle as you would only loose a round of shooting rather than 2.

Tallarn - Get around behind them
The Tallarn order is another tank order. The order allows a tank to move up to 6 inches in the shooting phase, either before or after it fires. However, the main thing is that this extra movement does not count towards you total movement for determining whether you can use the grinding advance rule to fire twice. So, you can still move half distance and then move the extra movement, effectively giving you your full movement value and still being able to fire twice or allowing you to move in to a fire position and then back out of LOS. This is a really good order and one that I think will see a lot of use in a Tallarn based tank army. If I could use this in any tank army, I think I would be using this more than I used all the other orders combined.

Militarum Tempestus - Elimination protocol sanctioned
The scions got a better deal with there order than they did with there doctrine, being granted re-rolls to wound against monsters and vehicles. This order will benefit the two most commonly used scions squads, plasma and melta squads, the former against monsters and the  against vehicles. With the greater BS  skill, re-rolling to wound rather than hit is not a major issue, although its no help with overcharged plasma weapons, something you might want against monsters. This order is a good order to have and will be useful in a lot of cases to conver those hits to wounds, and with plasma and melta up values, there's not a lot that is going to survive being wounded.

Mordian - Form firing squad - target characters with rapid weapons.
Again, the poor old mordians are last on the list but there order is far from being the worst, in many respects its one of the best. With this order the unit can target characters with there rapid fire weapons, regardless of whether they are the closest model or not. Granted its only for rapid fire weapons, so only out to 24 inches in most cases, but it means that you have a chance of taking out those buffing units or there combat monster before they can do there thing. This is really going to be good with  armed with plasma and has the potential to completely mess with the enemies plans. Having characters removed is a big deal in 8th. This is a good , one that will be used a  but only if your enemy is helpful enough to put there characters in  position for you to shoot at.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Codex: Astra militarum - Doctrines


Now that we have covered the various unit data cards from the codex we shall move further through the codex. The first page we cone to after the various units entries is the doctrines page, so that is where we shall continue.

Like most armies, the guard have access to objective secured units, Unlike most armies, its not just the troops that benefit. While all troops within any battle forged detachment gain the Defenders of Humanity rule, aka Objective Secured, but also if you are taking a Spearhead detachment then any Leman Russ Battle Tanks that you take are also Objective Secured. This means that an all armoured list can still compete on the battle field, although it can be swamped by a troop based list. This means that there is no disadvantage to taking a fluffy list, as all armoured regiments are common amongst the imperium, just as much as infantry regiments.

As with all the new codice, there are many different ways to run the new Astra Militarum. Now, in most of the other codices in order to get the benefits of the doctrines you have to have an army formed completely of that faction. However, with the Astra Militarum that is a little bit harder, as there are so many factions within the Departmento Munitorum and more specifically within this book there are the Auxilla units, Officio Perfectus and Scholastica Psykana unit. The solution is that you can include these units and Militarum Tempestus, within your detachment with out any penalty. There is also no limit to the amount you can bring, the only limiting factor is that these units do not benefit from the Regimental Doctrines, that includes the Tempestus units as well.

So what are the various new Doctrines? I covered a few of them in various previous posts, as they were previewed, but I will go through all of them again, now we have all the other information from the codex to hand.

Cadian - Born Soldiers
The Cadian Detachment benefits from re-rolls to hit but only if they stay still in the preceding movement phase. This applies to all infantry and vehicles. The obvious drawback to this is that you can not move if you want to benefit from the doctrine. This there for lends itself to gunline style armies, loaded with heavy weapons and artillery pieces. Once you take in to account that if an infantry unit also receives the order "Take Aim" it will not only re-roll 1's but all misses. This can be huge for those important must hit shots.

As I said, this suits static gunline armies and so for may Maelstron missions it will either mean giving up points or loosing the benefits of the doctrine. If you are running large numbers of heavy weapons squads or lost of artillery, then this is a good Doctrine but not one of the best.


Catachan - Brutal Strength
The Catachan doctrine plays to the fluff of the catachans more than most of the doctrines, with the Catachans gaining +1 strength and also +1 leadership if they are within 6" of an Catachan character. This means that the infantry doctrine is quite situational. Yes, you are going to gain the leadership bonus a lot of the time, as you are going to be close to a character quite a lot of the time for orders. The +1 strength however is less useful. This is because it only applies when in combat and that's not somewhere you really want to be with a guard army, unless your facing another guard army or a Tau infantry based army. Most of the time your going to want to shoot the enemy before you get in to combat but with this doctrine it encourages you to charge rather than be charged, even though it will apply in both circumstances. The reason you want to charge is because you want to get maximum hits in, and if you are charged then you are going to take casualties, therefore damaging your ability to reply. The second part of the doctrine applies to vehicles and enables you to re-roll on of the dice when determining the number of shots for weapons with a random number of shots. This means that you can rely on getting a decent number of shots off every turn. This does benefit some weapons more than others, such a the LRBT battle cannon, which is a heavy d6 and there for your can re-roll all the dice, but for something like a Wyvern, with its 4d6 mortar, means that your only able to re-roll a quarter of the dice. This still means that your going to get to improve the number of shots you get, just not quite as much as with other weapons.

On the whole this is a good doctrine, but is does have some obvious draw backs, namely the fact that you have to get up close and personal with the enemy, not something you really want to do with guard.


Valhallan - Grim Demeanour
When I first looked at this doctrine hen it was previewed, I though that it was not great, as at the time you could deal with moral quite easily with commissars. However, with the changes to commissar's rules, this doctrine has become a lot better. The doctrine itself means that you always half the number of models that flee as a result of a failed moral test. This means that you can sustain a large number of casualties before having to worry about the squad being completely wiped out. With the changes to the commissars, this doctrine may well be very beneficial to large conscript blobs, meaning that they will stick around longer even with the changes. The other half of the doctrine is for vehicles and means that the vehicle double the number of wounds that it has remaining for the purposes of the damage table. This is great for vehicles, as it mean that for many vehicle, it will need to be down to its last couple of wounds before it drops a level. This is great for things like Leman Russ Battle Tanks, who will be able to continue firing at full strength right until the end.

This doctrine has got better with the recent changes, however, I think that this will work best with bigger squads, either those that have be combined or for large conscript blobs. Where this doctrine really shines is with the vehicles. If your taking a vehicle heavy list, then this is definitely one of the strongest doctrines that you could take, as an army of vehicle that don't degrade is a very dangerous thing.


Vostroyan - Heirloom Weapons
The Vostroyan doctrine is simple, any weapon with a range of 24 inches or more can add 6 inches to the total range. this means that things like lasguns and plasma guns become 30 inch weapons with 15 inch rapid fire ranges and weapons such as lascannons become 54 inch weapons. In general, this means that you will be able to out range most other similar weapons from other armies and even puts the guard on a more equal footing with the likes of the tau, although they still lack the strength. This doctrine also applies equally to infantry and vehicles, as its all based on weapons profiles and not on unit types. While this is good for many units, there are some weapons that miss out on the bonus range, the two that spring to mind more than any others are the melta gun and flamers. These have relatively short ranges and are now left even further behind. If the extra range had been across the board then it would have meant that these weapons would have become a lot stronger and very good options for a Vostroyan army. As it stands they have fallen further to the wayside.

Overall this doctrine sits in the middle ground, its a good doctrine but is very limited in its effect, as there are no buff to units or characters, purely the weapons. If your running a gunline army, then this is definitely a good option, in some respects better than the Cadian one as it does allow you to move and still benefit. However, I think that there are better overall options out there, but its still worth serious consideration.


Armagedon - Industrial Efficiency
Now, this is one of the best options, especially for a mobile aggressive infantry army, which basically sums up the Steel Legion. All rapid fire weapons increase the range of rapid fire up to 18 inches, rather than the standard 12 inches. This means that your probably going to be able to get another turn of rapid fire in before the enemy charges or gets within rapid fire range themselves. This really is good, especially when combine with orders, meaning things like FRFSRF are going to do a lot of damage to the enemy. Combined with the other half of the doctrine, that vehicles treat all ap-1 weapons as ap0, means that they will be sticking around quite a bit longer as well. Truly anti-armour weapons are not going to be effected by this but there are lots of ap-1 weapons other there and this will make a difference. This means that you can get up close and personal to the enemy quickly in transports and when the troops get out they can get out further away and still get to shoot at maximum effectiveness while still having a measure of protection from reprisals.

This is one of the best doctrines here, especially if your running something like a MechVets list with lots of chimera's or taurox's and veteran squads. 18 inch rapid fire plasma guns? This doctrine will also work well with an infantry list supported by armoured elements, such as LRBT's or artillery but definitely works best with an armoured infantry list.


Tallarn - Swift as the Wind
This is another great doctrine for an aggressive guard list, both infantry and vehicle based. With infantry being able to advance and fire, except for heavy weapons, and in addition there is no penalty for assault weapons. This encourages you to move, which for things like maelstrom missions is great, although this will mean that your shots are going to be less accurate. In many ways this is an acceptable compromise, as you don't have to advance if you don't need to but when you do you can and not worry about the loss of shooting. The benefits to vehicles is also good, with vehicle being able to move and shoot with out penalty. This means that your transports are free to move around at will and your LRBT's can really become a mobile death machine. One thing that I can see being used a lot in Tallarn detachments are Executioner tanks, with plasma sponsons, as there is no penalty to moving, overcharging the plasma weapons means that its only 1's you need to worry about and not 1's and 2's, and 1's can be taken care of, to a certain extent, with orders. The final part of this is unusual, as it specifies titanic vehicles, something none of the others do. If a Tallarn superheavy advances then all the heavy weapons become assault weapons, meaning that they can shoot after advancing, with the usual penalties though.

This whole doctrine is geared towards moving and being aggressive, and is a great doctrine for armoured lists. The main issue is whether you would take this doctrine or the Valhallan doctrine for an armoured list, as one gives you extra firepower and one gives you extra survivability.


Militarum Tempestus - Storm Troopers
The Scions doctrine is a bit of a let down in many ways, as it only grants an extra shot for every 6+ rolled at half range or less and given the short range of many of the scions weapons, namely the Hotshot lasgun, this is not great. This means that it will not come in to play the turn that you deepstrike in even, as you will always be at more than half range with all but a couple of weapons. I understand why this have been done though, as the scions are very powerful already and to give them a powerful doctrine will tip the scale even more, as such this is a bit of a balancing act and in those terms it works well. The only real downside to this is that they can only take this doctrine, as when they are part of another detachment they do not gain any benefits from the doctrine.

Despite the weakness to the doctrine, I would still recommend taking the scions in there own detachment rather than as part of a bigger detachment, even if that means taking a patrol detachment.



Mordian - Parade Drill
Lastly we come to the Mordians and there Parade Drill. This means that if an infantry unit is in base to base contact with each other then they gain a +1 leadership bonus and also a +1 to hit overwatch bonus, which has been FAQ'd to mean that overwatch still works on a 7. While this may seem like a bad idea, and with the mechanics of previous edition, it would have been suicidal to bunch up like this, in 8th its present no real issues. Placing all of you models in base to base with each other may well be a pain and time consuming but it makes no difference to there ability to move around the battle field, as moving has no effect. This means that you can gain the bonus' from the doctrine and not be stuck forming a gun line. This is where the doctrine pulls ahead of the likes of the Cadian and Vostroyan doctrines. In addition to the infantry bonus, the overwatch bonus also applies to vehicles, although only those within 3 inches of another Mordian vehicle. This can restrictive for many units, such as hell hounds and transports, but on the whole it will come into effect. Things like LRBT's will benefit from this more often than not, as most of the time you'll be running more than one of them and keepingthem together is not going to be much of a problem.

This doctrine may be the last on the page but is by no means the least. It is another strong doctrine, giving good buffs to both infantry and vehicles. If your want a good resilient army then this is definitely a good option.


So there we have it, all of the Regimental Doctrines. These are some really good ones in there, the best of the bunch in my view are the Cadian for gunlines, Vahallan Doctrine for large blob squads and conscripts and also vehicle heavy lists, the Armageddon Doctrine for MechVets, Tallarn Doctrine for tank armies and finally the Mordian Doctrine for mobile infantry armies. The rest are still good in there own way, but less useful, the Militarium Tempestus is only available to Scions and is not the best, Vostroyan is also good for gunline armies and also mobile infantry, but is in my opinion out classed by the other Doctrines, and finally the Catachan is great for a close combat and tank/artillery army, but a close combat guard army is, in general, not really a great idea.

Following on from the Doctrine, I though it was a good idea to jump back through the book a bit and go through the Orders, both the standard and the Regimental orders.


Friday, 3 November 2017

Club Open day 2017

In a short break from the new guard codex, I thought I would report on the club open day we had last weekend. The open day is actually a joint venture between 2 or maybe 3 clubs (not sure if the magic club still exists) and takes place in the local community center, where we also happen to have our weekly meetings as well. Every year we put on a display in the various display cabinets around the center and then on the Saturday have an open door club. Although the place is never what I would call busy, there is usually a steady stream of people coming in and out and usually 1 or 2 people wondering around the hall at anyone time. The main aim of the club is not really to recruit new members but to raise the awareness of table top games and as such the is quite a variety on offer. This year there was a zombie game, a gladiator game, dead zone, flames of war and a Viking game, along side the main game, which this year was a star wars games including both x-wing and a custom ground based game. Oh and a bit of magic going on in the corner. If you do want to see some more shots of the general games, go to my other blog; https://northernlandsgaming.blogspot.co.uk/. You'll find lots of pictures and info, all none 40k related there. Meanwhile, here is the lowdown on the 40k stuff we put on at the open day.

The display cases are usually up for a few weeks before the event but this year for various reasons they only went up a 2 weeks before and while my contribution ended up in a good location, just as you come out the lift and in the main seating area upstairs, I haven't yet made it to the foyer or the display sections of the rotating entry doors.

My two display cases were split up in to the guard in one and marines in the other. I also snuck in my copy of Conquest, if anyone remembers that game? Its a game I quite liked and played a few games at my old club but no-one plays it up here.


The main display level, with some Scions on the left and guard on the right. I also put a priest and psyker in there to add some variety and interest to the scene. And yes, its the 7th ed codex, I needed the new one so want going to stick it in the cabinet where I couldn't access it. You can also just see the Conquest cards in the back ground.



Also in the cabinet were some more guard, a command section with chimera and half squad, also with chimera.


The other cabinet contained the marines and some books and box set for some variety. The books might be out of date but they looked good and the BaC box art is also visually interesting.



This was the first public outing for the Eagle Knights and this display sets my ocd going. I didn't set these guys up and they are all looking in different directions. I would have set them all up facing at 45 to the glass, with them all looking in the same direction, giving the viewer different sides of the model to see, but they were all set up with their bodies in the same direction. Its a minor thing but it annoys me, not enough to actually do something about it but still.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the displays and there positions, how many people actually looked at them i don't know but I hope they were impressed with the painting!

On the actual day I ran both a small skirmish game, very loosely based on the kill team idea, between 7 marines, 5 tactical, a heavy bolter armed devastator and a company champion and a guard infantry squad with autocannon, command squad with plasma and a platoon commander. The forces were about 150 points each, and as it turned out over the couple of games I played, surprisingly well balanced.

Mid game, all the models lying down are dead. The tactical marine in the center is struggling to put down the veteran guardsmen but the champion is slicing through the infantrymen with ease. The marines eventually won this round.

The marines won overall, mostly due to the champion and his power sword cutting down everything he touched. They were pretty fast and brutal games but fun. We kept the rules very simple, dropping a lot of stuff like cover, orders and aura abilities for simplicity.

In addition I had a display of models on the next table, which also happened to be the first table you came to when you walked in the door!

Members of the Hjaltland LI. This is is only the majority of Yellow platoon, with a few stand ins. I was thinking of laying out the whole of the Hjaltland LI, but after laying this lot out, i decided against putting all the models as there wouldn't have been room for anything else!

The rest of the painted Eagle Knights, joined by a few of there Blood Angle brothers, who belonged to a friend. There is more points worth of Knights in this picture than there was of guard in the last picture!

I couldn't let the imperium dominate, so I had asked a friend to lend me some of his Nids for the day, to add a bit of flavor to the display. He lent me this little lot (including the Blood Angles above). Can't remember what the big one in the middle is, but the rest are Steelers, rippers and a tyranid warrior.

The overall main table, you can just see some old 'eavy metal books on the right, a terrain, painting and modeling books.

The last picture, my two flyers, valkyrie on the left, vendetta on the right plus the remainder of my painted scions.

On my part, I think the day was a success, we had a number of people through the door and maybe introduced a few people to the wide variety of table top games. Hopefully ill still be around for next years open day.