Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Skitarii

From 1d4chan

Warning! These tactics are for warhammer 7th edition and are completely invalidated with the release of 8th

Now when you take to the tabletop, do so in the name of the Quest for Knowledge.

Why Play Skitarii[edit]

The Adeptus Mechanicus have finally been given a presence in core 40k in the form of the Skitarii (or "Tech Guard" for those of you not in the know) as well as the Cult Mechanicus. This is NOT the same as the Horus Heresy Mechanicum army or units, but you can take some super-heavies as Lords of War (see below.) Also, Forgeworld seems to have plans to incorporate 30k Mechanicum units into 40k Mechanicus in one of the upcoming Imperial Armours.

Every infantry unit has Feel No Pain (6+ for the Troops, 5+ for the Elites), a BS of 4, very good leadership (8 for regulars, 9 for Alphas)with several options for a leadership boost. Vanguard and Infiltrators can debuff enemies by proximity facilitating even better melee for your Skitarii. Their gear choices are among the best and incredibly versatile so that few of your units when equipped properly will feel absolutely useless. Their Dunecrawlers are incredibly strong (if short-ranged), especially when taken in a group of three (can you say 4++ on a VEHICLE?) and even better than those are your warlord traits, with Emotionless Clarity being the bane of horde armies (Can you say BS4 on OVERWATCH?).

However, there are some notable drawbacks; their infantry is only T3 with a 4+, so be ready for more than a few Instant Deaths. For all their good-quality and aggression-based abilities, they have a hard time capitalizing on them due to their lack of flamers and a notable lack of synergy; most of their anti-vehicle abilities are mid-range weapons, which no enemy commander worth their overpriced models would DARE get close enough to your steampunk soldiers to give them that opportunity. Here's hoping those Ruststalkers don't get shot up.

The Skitarii have a decently well-balanced army: There are four kits, making a total of 7 distinct models, including shooty radioactive infantry, shootier not-radioactive infantry, assassin men with knives, assassin men with cattle prods, shooty/stabby gimp-powered scout walkers, shootier gimp-powered scout walkers, and a spider-tank. They work pretty well as a solo army and do better than certain other armies, but they'd suffer from lack of flyers and transport. Even then, for a foot-slogging army they are pretty mobile with an easy to acquire Scout move as well as Crusader USR, all units not needing to worry about movement impeding their shooting and charging abilities, and not to mention that half of the army has Dunestrider. The alternative is to ally them with any other Imperial force for their nasty guns, because seriously, they have some NASTY guns.

Reasons for playing Skitarii[edit]

  • You've wanted Adeptus Mechanicus units in 40K for a long time.
  • Everything is surprisingly mobile. Crusader and Scout USRs, Dunestrider for +3" to all movements for select units, relentless or the equivalent thereof so static gunlines are not a necessity. Not quite the same thing as transports, but it helps.
  • Long robes and paradoxically archaic and futuristic gear and weaponry no one else is allowed to have.
  • Their troops occupy the middle ground between Guardsmen and Astartes in terms of individual power level, on par with the Sisters of Battle or Tempestus Scions, while getting better support.
  • One of the least played (not shit-tier) armies in the game; never feel bad about being mainstream again!
  • Easy access to Precision Shots. Fuck their characters. From 60", no less.
  • An incredible amount of ways to manipulate your ability to shoot and stab. From the flat-out bonuses from Doctrina Imperatives, to the Warlord being able to give BS4 Overwatch alongside the near constant Preferred Enemy USR, your army will be spending most of the time hitting what they see and forgetting that missing is a statistical possibility.
  • The nature of the Mechanicum allows for more lee-way when doing conversion work.

Skitarii Special Rules[edit]

Special Rules[edit]

  • Dunestrider: Units with this rule add 3" to movement in the Movement Phase, charges, and Run moves. Note that this is a flat boost, meaning that units with this rule likely still move through terrain faster than other units move across open ground. It helps ensure the charge by giving you at least a minimum 5" charge guaranteed as well as letting you attempt to charge outside of rapid-fire range.
  • Crawler: Units with this rule are not slowed by Difficult Terrain, and automatically pass all Dangerous Terrain tests, but cannot Run, not that you'd want to. If you ever find yourself in a position where you want to run instead of shoot with your Onager, you already fucked up, or won.

Doctrina Imperatives[edit]

There are a total of 6 Doctrines. At the beginning of each of your (the Skitarii player's) movement phases you may select any one of them (one use only) to increase either the BS or WS of the entire Skitarii army, though this is sometimes at the expense of the other stat. They are split into Conqueror Imperatives (which boost WS at the potential expense of BS) and Protector Imperatives (which boost BS at the potential expense of WS), and three strengths, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, corresponding to +3/-2, +2/-1, and +1/-0 (so a flat +1), respectively.

Doctrina Imperatives
Name Type Strength Effect on BS Effect on WS
Hazard Optimization Protector Gamma +1 0
Mindstate Secutor Conqueror Gamma 0 +1
Gundrill Symbiosis Protector Beta +2 -1
Technomartyr Concords Conqueror Beta -1 +2
Binharic Omniscience Protector Alpha +3 -2
Hyperaction Protocols Conqueror Alpha -2 +3
  • Doctrine Tips
    • Your entire army is BS 4 and mostly WS 3, with WS 4 on Dragoons and Sicarians, but BS 6 and 7 are not substantially more accurate than BS 5 except on Blast weapons, so only ever use Binharic Omniscience when you are certain nothing will charge you, for example on Turn 1; even Tau will be hitting your Skitarii automatically, as the Doctrina Imperatives do not prevent dropping WS to 0, which means you are hit automatically and cannot attack in melee. Binharic Omniscience is typically the only Doctrina Imperative which will drop an attribute to 0 and make it stop behaving like the rest of its respective to-hit table, but pay attention to any debuffs on your unit, as they will stack, and BS 0 stops you from shooting, even when shooting a weapon that does not use BS, such as a template weapon.
      • Similarly, Hyperaction Protocols can change the entire course of melee but at the expense of almost everything but melee (although your entire army is BS 4, so at least you can still shoot unless under a stacking debuff, and snap-shots aren't any less accurate while it is up). Also, remember how sequencing works; on your opponents' turn they will choose the order of debuffs, and so will choose yours last if applying debuffs that have a minimum of 1 to stack, so if they brought a BS debuff to the party, they absolutely can get your BS down to 0, which will turn off Overwatch, whereas on your turn, you can apply yours first, and still operate at BS 1. The same applies to WS, which is often more important on your opponents' turn than on your own.
        • Unless your opponent is dropping your stats already the -2 isn't going to take you down to WS0 or BS0, it's still important to use Imperatives when they're most appropriate though.
      • Each Doctrina Imperative can only be used once during the game. This means that you can use Binharic Omniscience on the first turn, Gundrill Symbiosis on the second, Mindslate Secutor on the third, and so on. Keep that in mind and you can find yourself easily dominating the table as you tear chunks out of your enemy when they are playing the ranged game, then tear chunks out of him when your lines close. Do note that you don't have to use an imperative every turn and you probably won't need to either.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Reinforced Exoskeleton - Grants the Warlord Eternal Warrior. On the one hand, this sounds really useful on an Infiltrator Princeps, but on the other, even with Eternal Warrior, your T3, 2W and 4+ armor Warlord is really fragile.
  2. Artificer Armament - One of the Warlord's weapons becomes Master-Crafted. This can't be applied to Relics. This is mostly superficial since your Warlord will almost certainly have Preferred Enemy as a result of being in a formation.
  3. Masterwork Bionics - Reroll failed Feel No Pain rolls. Sounds great, but remember that a rerollable 6+ save is slightly worse than a 5+ save, so you won't be saving too much more. Is loads more effective on a Sicarian, since it becomes a little better than a 4+. Instant Death will still fuck you, though.
  4. Incense Generatorium - The Warlord and his unit get Shrouded. Probably the best trait, since it keeps you alive for much longer than your standard 4+ armor save alone will. Shame your Infiltrators cannot get this.
  5. Disciple of the Omnissiah - The Warlord and all friendly Skitarii within 12" reroll failed Morale checks, Pinning tests, and Fear tests. This is one of the better traits, since it's a surprisingly large bubble considering that you don't have transports.
  6. Emotionless Clarity - The Warlord and his unit fire Overwatch at BS4. This does not stack with Doctrina Imperatives. Remember, you fire Overwatch at BS4, not snap shots in general, so no Arc Rifleing Flyers to death. Still a decent trait, no one will dare charge you.

It should be noted that only Skitarii Ranger Alphas and Vanguard Alphas get to roll D6 for traits. Sicarians only roll D3. As long as you are in a Maniple detachment or Battle Maniple formation you also get a reroll.

Skitarii Maniple Detachment[edit]

Like many of the new 7E codices, the Skitarii have their own detachment with special rules. In particular, the Maniple, is akin to the Harlequins and their Masque detachment, which also lacks an HQ. Unlike the Masque, however, you're not stuck with a whole bunch of taxes.

  • 2 Compulsory Troops choices are what you need to start with, optional slots are 6 Troops, 2 Fast Attack, 4 Elites, 4 Heavy, & 1 Fortification.
  • The command benefits are pretty sweet: Your warlord gets the customary re-roll on the Skitarii Warlord table, but ALSO gets Preferred Enemy to boot. Did someone say plasma caliver squad?
  • Additionally, all models in the detachment get Crusader and Scout for free, under the condition that you cannot Outflank these scouting models, although if a model could Outflank via other means (like having Infiltrate), then that's acceptable.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

  • 11 - A Victory for Logic: 1 VP if you Deny the Witch. Probably a feat to do by yourself. Good thing, then, that you have the Imperium for allies, meaning Librarians with Hoods! Assassins! Nuns with guns and massive hateboners for psykers!
  • 12 - Survival is Nothing, Data is All: 1 VP if a Skitarii unit either kills or is killed during your turn. Inevitable wins.
  • 13 - The Quest for Knowledge: 1 VP for rolling a Mysterious Objective. Should be easy if you use the rules for them. It can be harder than you expect though. Except when you ally with Cult Mechanicus, because their Scryerskulls do literally just that, once per turn, anywhere on the table.
  • 14 - In Gloriam Mechanicus: 1 VP if you kill a vehicle during your turn. d3 VP if you killed a Superheavy. You have the weapons, you can do this...well, maybe more the vehicle than the superheavy.
  • 15 - Rumours of Revelation: When you get this, roll a d6. You get 1 VP for controlling this objective, and it becomes d3 if your Warlord owns it.
  • 16 - Affronts to the Machine God: 1 VP if you kill a vehicle, same as 14...except now you also gain d3 VP if you killed 3-4 vehicles, and d3+3 VP for killing over 5 vehicles.

Skitarii Wargear[edit]

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Arc Maul -A Haywire power maul. But, you know that unit of men you have marching and shooting that are relentless, well hey guess what? Now for 20 points they can destroy ALL KINDS of vehicles, bonus points if you use it with vanguard against low armor/low toughness opponents. It's too bad Infiltrators can't take this weapon, because it almost seems tailor-made for them.
  • Taser Goad/Lance - A cool tesla-type S+2 melee weapon that causes two extra hits for every 6 you roll to hit. The Lance version has a higher strength of +3 when charging and also doubles the initiative of the user (generally to six). Unfortunately neither version has any AP to speak of, though get enough of them together and you can overwhelm enemies with lots of hits or pulp just about any transport.
  • Power Sword - The same old weapon seen throughout 40k. S: User AP3. Good for taking out MEQ, but your guys are S3. You wound them on 5s. Wrong, your ELITES are strength 4, with the RUSTSTALKERS getting furious charge, doesn't look so bad now, does it? However, this can be offset slightly if you give it to a Vanguard Alpha, which, thanks to the -1 toughness penalty against enemies in Close combat, can give you a better chance at taking out power armored foes. The sword comes as the Infiltrator's basic weapon and are S4.
  • Transonic Razor/Blade The crazy sonic resonance weapons found on Ruststalkers. Both are AP 5 (Blade is +1 S), tying in with the rubbish AP on most Skitarii melee weapons. However, both come with the Transonic rule; To Wound rolls of 6's wound regardless of toughness and are AP2. In all subsequent rounds after the first, all attacks become AP 2 and still auto-wound on 6s To Wound. Awesome.
  • Chord Claw - Also standard on Ruststalkers, this is identical in stats and rules to a Transonic razor, but also has the Molecular Dissonance rule. This means that when a model attacks with a Chord Claw, it rolls a separate attack with Fleshbane. Hertza Haeon! Note that this attack is taken out of your normal pool of attacks, it does not grant you an additional attack.
  • Prehensile Dataspike - An AP5 specialist weapon with Haywire and an additional attack at Initiative 10, which you use regardless of which CCW you use for your default attacks. If you think of this as a weird mash between old school servo-arms and new school servo-arms that traded power for strikes at Int 10 and full Initiative, you wouldn't be wrong. The question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I really need more Haywire on a unit that already has Haywire grenades?" Unless, of course, you decided to take the Transonic Blades, which makes you lose the grenades. It does mean though that your Ruststalker Princeps will get 4 haywire attacks on the charge, along with his dataspike attack, making him better than the rest of his squad combined at wrecking vehicles. Note that you don't gain an attack for the additional CCWs, due to being a specialist weapon. Rulebook FAQ now means only one Haywire Grenade used per unit, so the Dataspike doubles the number of Haywire attacks you're getting, well worth it considering those changes.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Arc Weapons - Haywire weapons; come in pistol or rapid fire format for your pleasure. Also has a nice S6 if you don't want to shoot at vehicles for some reason, though at AP5 you'll need some luck to do anything.
    • Arc Pistol - It's a 12" Haywire pistol.
    • Arc Rifle - Possibly the best-looking gun the Skitarii have. It's 24" Rapid Fire, which means it pairs well with its little brother. The only problem is that it doesn't really jive well with the vanguard and ranger's basic weapons. To be fair though, radium carbines are AP5, so on vanguards, you're trading the possibility for auto-wounds for increased range, more reliable-to-get saveable wounds, and anti-vehicle ability.
      • Take this. Always. As often as you can. Sure, the plasma caliver is great and should be put into a squad (read, ONE squad, you don't need more vanguard kitted out with these), but it's prohibitively expensive and for its price you can give another vanguard squad two of these rifles, which can give them a bit of the ranged damage they so desperately need coupled with something that can reliably put wounds onto MEQs and easily pop a Land Raider from four Haywire shots once you close the distance, or make those pesky E/DE skimmers jink or risk losing two-thirds of their Hull Points from your initial shooting. This is also the only gun that can reliably wreck a vehicle and let your rad-carbines get at the soft targets inside (Plasma Calivers have an infinitely higher chance to EXPLODE a vehicle, but you have to balance this against a statistically 50% chance to lose one of your two plasma calivers if you fire at less than BS6)
  • Stubcarbine - Half range heavy stubber which is also assault rather than heavy. No AP might look bad, but really, all things with Sv5+ or less should have cover or invulnerable saves anyway. It's distinctly not a pistol (duh, it's a carbine), so no extra attack if you take it.
  • Flechette Blaster - Pistol available on the Infiltrators paired with a Taser Goad. It's got piss-poor strength at S2, but 5 (FIVE!) shots with shred means it pack more punch than a rapid-firing bolter against everything but T6/7 (which it cannot wound at all). Also grants that Pistol +1 Attack.
  • Cognis Weapons - A regular Autocannon, Lascannon, or Heavy Stubber, but with the ability to make snapshot attacks at BS2.
  • Galvanic Rifle - the "Basic" Skitarii Ranger weapon is pretty good - pretty much a bolter with Kraken rounds. 30" range rapid fire weapon with S4 AP4 and precision shots. Not bad at all when you compare it to the basic weapon of nearly every other Faction in the game. It also means a gun line of Skitarii COULD destroy a Fire Warrior gun line and laugh at their pulse rifles. Sure, they'll wound on 2+, but you'll have 4+ armor saves, they won't and wounding on 3+ isn't that bad either. Doctrina Imperatives for boosting BS are a pretty good equivalent to markerlights, too.
  • Mindscrambler Grenades - Stock on Ruststalkers, they're AP4 Haywire Grenades that always wound on a 4+ (They become S3 when assaulting vehicles). This specifically isn't Poisoned, so you can screw with Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures with that.
    • These things are the best grenades in the game. If they were also Defensive grenades, they'd have everything. They count as assault grenades, make wounds-on-4+ AP4 blasts and can Haywire vehicles.
  • Phosphor Weapons - Imagine firing a Tracer round from a Heavy Bolter and this is what you'll get. The same strength and AP, but only single shot. Any wounds or hull points caused on a target will light them up like a christmas tree and reduce their cover save for the rest of the turn. Also makes them easier to charge at by letting you re-roll the charge range. Note: The phosphor pistol and serpenta hit harder and pierce armor better than bolters, in addition to lighting targets up. Remind me why the Imperium dropped these again.
    • Important Note: Phosphor Luminagen rule quite explicitly doesn't mention that their effect can only be used by Skitarii, it doesn't even specify that only friendly units can use it. No matter what your Allies-status is, anything can use the effect of your Phosphor weapons. Yes, even the squad of Flayed Ones you sent at the squad your Skitarii shot holes into. Or your enemies.
    • Phosphor Blast Pistol -The Nerf gun from hell. Pistol format phosphor weapon. It's shorter-ranged than the Serpenta, but you can take it in an infantry squad. No actual blasts, sadly.
    • Phosphor Serpenta - 18" Assault 1, essentially your squad's markerlight when you want to follow up the attack with more shooting and probably a charge later.
    • Heavy Phosphor Blaster - A nice toy for the Onager at 15pts. 36" Twin Linked Heavy 3 S6 AP3 for fucking Marines over, and it pseudo-markerlights the unit. Probably the best Luminagen gun.
  • Radium Weapons - Cancer guns for your Vanguards, have a low strength of 3 as basic, but a to-wound of 6 causes two (instead of one) auto-wounds which must be saved separately. Mathammer-wise this means when it fired en masse it deals exactly as much damage as your standard S4 AP5 guns against anything but T6 and T7, against which it's twice as good. "Auto-Wounds" means it can wound even if the enemy's Toughness should be too high, which is nice for piling the saves on big wraith constructs and Iron Arm-protected daemons. Wait a second - Martians using radium firearms? Where have we heard this befo-GODDAMNIT GW!
    • Radium Pistol - It's a pistol. You're better off ponying up the points for the Phospher Blast Pistol instead, unless you *have* to have radium. The PBP costs the same and is more generally useful.
    • Radium Carbine - 18" range and Assault 3, meaning lots of hits at short-mid range with the potential of cascading effect when they start causing additional wounds later. The basic weapon of the Skitarii Vanguard. With 10-man vanguard units, this weapon causes so much wounds that can potentially delete a squad or even a MC.
    • Radium Jezzail - another esoteric jezzail. It's a two shot sniper version as a weapon choice for the Dragoon, in place of its Taser Lance, for free. To Wound of 6's cause two AP2 wounds instead of 1 which, we will remind you, you get to allocate if you also get a 6 on your To Hit. Basically, if you're going to be taking these on Dragoons, you will have to commit to it - as in they're all gonna be sniping. By and by, pretty good for close range heavy infantry/monstrous creature sniping. Could be fun against Riptides with a little luck.
  • Plasma Caliver - An 18" range, 3-shot assault plasma gun. It still gets hot because the Mechanicum haven't figured out plasma like the Tau or Eldar have. (Though, to be fair, this is basically a full-auto plasma gun, so it's likely they use similar tech in pulse rifles, but it can't cool down every shot.)
    • With three shots with Gets Hot, you are looking at a 50% chance of one of your Skitarii feeling the heat. This can be offset in two non-mutually exclusive ways:
      • The Skitarii FOC, as well as two formations, gives your Warlord and his unit Preferred Enemy. Pop your calivers in his squad to all but eradicate the threat of Gets Hot at the cost of painting a larger target on your Warlord's unit.
      • Doctrina Imperatives give you two turns of having BS higher than 5. Thus you can have a relatively safe 3 rounds of shooting before Gets Hot starts taking a significant toll.
  • Transuranic Arquebus - An AP3 ARMORBANE sniper rifle. Keep in mind, Armorbane means you roll an additional D6 to determine penetration. Sniper weapons are S4 against vehicles by default, so a roll of two 5s means you're glancing Baneblades from ANY side. However, this does require a fair bit of luck to achieve, so Arc weapons are more reliable for bringing down Monoliths or Hammerheads. Transports (and whatever's in them), on the other hand, will not be so hard to crack. There is literally no vehicle this anti-tank rifle is incapable of theoretically making go boom pretty much across the board. It has a ludicrous 60" range, so with enough of them you can bust open that METAL BAWKS and force those Mary Sues to foot slog their way through your fire lanes the rest of the game. Not to mention, anything that uses this gun has Relentless, so just walk sideways and get yourself a nice peek at some side armour if you're that worried. Two units of Rangers with 2 each camping both corners of your side should be able to ensure that at least one of them catches sight of side armor. Keep in mind that the average result of 2d6 is 7 (which will glance AV11 and penetrate AV10). So while it is possible to penetrate AV14, you are better off sticking to targeting transports to get the most out of this gun.
    • Works beautifully with a Scryerskull Perspicatus on an allied Tech-Priest Dominus. Light up an enemy vehicle, re-roll armour penetration against it with your Arquebi. If taken in a Dominus Maniple, you can re-roll to-hit as well.
    • While this gun is excellent, it perhaps has the least synergy with your Skitarii. Straight up do not take it on Vanguard. Rangers are better since the non-specialists also have Precision Shots. However, you are better off taking them in minimal squads with two Transuranic Arquebuses. Having 3 in a unit sounds enticing, but keep in mind that requires having 7 Rangers sitting around doing nothing but wasting points. Why sit around with relentless models? Grab 3 rifles and go marine hunting, mate! Big game 'untin' with yer host, tha Omnissiah!
  • Icarus Array - A fucking awesome anti-air platform that goes on your Onager Dunecrawler for 35 points. Everything is Heavy (so you can move), 48" range, and Skyfire. Do note that you can still snap-fire at ground targets if you've shot down all the flyers already. Don't forget Skyfire gives full BS to shots at FMC and Skimmers also. And yes, when this thing fires, it fires all three modes at once. Tears Dark Eldar and Eldar vehicles to little bits of rainbow confetti. Tau vehicles are a little tougher, but they'll go down pretty easily too with this much firepower directed their way. For best results, play the 1812 overture while rolling for this weapon.
    • Daedalus Missile Launcher - S7 AP2 Heavy 1. It's a particularly badass Flakk missile.
    • Gatling Rocket Launcher - S6 AP4 Heavy 5. Ignores Cover to boot - jink this, 3+ Eldar assholes! A machine gun with rockets. Fuck yeah.
    • Twin Icarus Autocannon - S7 AP4 Heavy 2 with Interceptor and Twin-linked.
  • Eradication Beamer - It's an inverse Conversion Beamer, and is the default weapon for the Dunecrawler. S10 AP1 up to 9", S8 AP3 Blast between 9" and 18", S6 AP5 Large Blast between 18" and 36". YOUR ONLY LARGE BLAST. Surprisingly killy, S6 will put even make marines hurt, they can only pass so many 3+ saves.
  • Neutron Laser - The Eradication Beamer without the bullshit. A chunk of change at 25pts (though you get a Cognis Heavy Stubber as well), but 48" S10 AP1 3" Blast, with Concussive. Good-bye, TEQs.. and everything else.

Special Issue Wargear & Armour[edit]

  • Skitarii Warplate - It's shiny multi-functional armor. Not as protective as Power Armor, but has all the cool environment-suit features of it, unlike Carapace Armor. Still a 4+ save, though.
  • Sicarian Battle Armour - 4+/6++ Armour, which is weird considering that the Sicarians are even ganglier than the regular Skitarii. Reverse-engineered Dark Eldar Ghostplate, maybe?
  • Refractor Field - 5+ invulnerable, you've seen these before.
  • Conversion Field - Like the Dark Angels get, a 4+ invulnerable that goes off like a flash grenade when hit. Friendly units can re-roll the blind test. So, it's awesome because it's a 10 point reliable Invuln save, but it's a crapshoot as to who will get the brunt of the blind effect though. Do note that since no one got hit by a weapon with the Blind Special Rule, all units (including friendly) within D6 have to test like they were hit with one. Also note that taken on an infiltrator princeps can be good due to its ability to infiltrate and have a more reliable initiative than rangers and vanguard. Not to mention that, combined with the infiltrator's debuffing aura, a successful blinding is more likely to happen and will take the enemies' WS and BS down to 0.
    • EDIT: By rulebook any stat can't go below 1 due to modifiers, AND in the bonus/malus calc you put before bonus and malus then you set the value, so the AB or AC are 1 after the blind check anyway.
  • Infoslave Skull - +1 Ld and Acute Senses, which goes very well with Infiltrators.
  • Omnispex - Like an Auspex, but made Omni, though it still does the job of reducing cover saves on target units. The owning model does not have to forgo his own ranged attack to get the benefit. It stacks with the Luminagen effect.
  • Enhanced Data Tether - Whenever the unit is affected by Doctrina Imperatives they add +1 Ld, starting next turn. Does not stack with Broad Spectrum Data Tether.
  • Broad Spectrum Data Tether - Whenever a friendly Skitarii unit is within 6" of a model affected by Doctrina Imperatives they add +1 Ld, until next turn. Does not stack with Enhanced Data Tether.
  • Digital Weapons - Re-roll one failed To-Wound in Assault.
  • Kyropatris Field Generator - The Funky Backpacks of the Secutarii, this gives them re-rolls on Armour saves of 1 as long as there are five members with this in the unit, a -1S on ranged attacks against them if there's 10 or more.
  • Secutarii Warplate 4+ Armour for Secutarii, nope nothing special, just a 4+ armour save, just like Skitarii Warplate.

Relics of Mars[edit]

  • Arkhan's Divinator - A meta tool named after the man who invented Land Speeders and Land Raiders, this allows you to re-roll mysterious objectives and mysterious terrain. Um...at least it's cheap.
  • Phase Taser - It's almost the same as a normal Taser Goad, but an unsaved wound against it calls for an Initiative test, which if failed removes the target from play. Well it won't do shit against Chaos Daemons or Eldar, and it's a crapshoot against Spess Mehreens, but maybe against Necrons or Tau , it could be good. If you were already going to give someone a Taser Goad, might as well pay five points more for this. Also Phaser Taser. Phaser Taser Phaser Taser Phaser Taser Phaser *BLAM* =NOTE= Slap this on an Infiltrator Princeps and go monster hunting as Infiltrators REDUCE I within 6".
  • Omniscient Mask - This unit now has Zealot. Take this. Always. Works especially on Sicarian squads.
  • Phosphoenix - The last phosphex weapon in the Imperium, ironically used to execute the techpriest that destroyed the STC for the other ones. It comes with AP2 and Poison (3+) and shoots once, but if successful, causes three hits. Combine with an Omnispex and some Plasma Calivers for cover-ignoring lulz. And only 25 points, too! Every fa/tg/uy was flipping his shit about this thing, until codex leaks showed that it only has a range of 6". Hmmph. Probably best suited to a Infiltrator Princeps due to their close proximity tactics.
  • Pater Radium - If your unit's stuck in combat by Initiative Step 1, the units you're fighting must test Toughness or take d6 AP2 random unsaveable wounds. Now this is NASTY...provided you last that long to use it. Best combined with Vanguards, since they make those T tests more reliable, and it fits their theme.
  • The Skull of Elder Nikola - It's Nikola Tesla's head... That should be reason enough... Actually, what it does is allow the unit carrying it to cause everything within d6 per Turn Number" take S1 AP- Haywire hits. If you use it against a tanky guardsmen/marine army, do find a bucket for the ensuing tears. Keep in mind, you can only use it once, so get this thing in close to a bunch of vehicles near end game, if you can.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

Like the Harlequins, you don't have to take one. Thank the Omnissiah, because to make an effective one you'd wind up dumping several hundred points into wargear.

Fluffwise this is due to Skitarii being directed by Techpriests who have the good sense to send orders remotely from orbit instead of risking their necks on the ground. Interestingly these orders are seen as guidance from the Omnissiah to the Skitarii instead of orders from a superior. And by this we mean they feel compelled to do, instead of follow orders.

Alternate opinion: Alpha Primus/walking arsenal Haldron-44 Stroika begs to differ.

You can now take Belisarius Cawl, Celestine, or Greyfax as a HQ for any Army of the Imperium (thank you fall of cadia) - you could take skitarii in a CAD/Allied Detachment. This also means you can finally take the juicy superheavies from Forge World that these guys get access to.

Troops[edit]

  • Skitarii Rangers - They have similar stat-lines to Tempestus Scions and have Move-Through-Cover, but also with Feel No Pain (6+) and Relentless which seems standard for Skitarii units. So they have comfortable staying power and decent move-and-shoot mobility. Since they all have Galvanic Rifles as standard, expect lots of precision hits over time, so they're excellent at removing troublesome characters or special weapon troopers from enemy units. Their range means that they can be used like more mobile Fire Warriors.
    • This unit can also take up to 2 special weapons (3 if the squad is maxed out); however, the best option is the transuranic arquebus. The arquebus allows your objective campers to contribute to the fight from afar. Exceptional for removing MEQs from the board reliably, and, as mentioned above, has a ridiculously long range and an anti-transport option, but rather expensive. Also, an omnispex to deny cover-campers some of their trolling isn't a bad idea.
  • Skitarii Vanguard - Your "basic" unit. Cheaper than Rangers at 9 points a model for something almost straight out of Fallout. They are similar to Rangers in statline but get a Radium Carbine (and a bad-ass looking 15th century helmet) instead of a Galvanic Rifle, so they trade reliable longer range and sniping ability for more firepower at medium range (and style, don't forget style). Against anything but Sv4+ they bring roughly 50% more hurt for the same points as Rangers, going to 200% against T6 and higher, (given it's within 18" range). Additionally, since they are so saturated with radiation, anyone engaged in melee with them reduces their Toughness by one, making Vanguards not as terrible in CC as you could expect from the shooty stormtrooper-esque squad.
    • Same options for special weapons as above, and they really should take some. Take Plasma Calivers if you want to vaporise MEQs and TEQs, and have balls-loads of points to spare. Is your opponent packing a Land Raider or a Monolith? No problem, Arc rifles will make toast out of them for half the price of a Caliver each. Phosphor blast pistol and Omnispex are a recommended combo for some Tau shenanigans.
    • Alternatively, you can take the Vanguard bare bones. They are pretty cheap for what they do and can generate a gigantic clusterfuck with three shots per model that auto-wound twice on 6s, which you'll be having quite a few of. Especially Chaos Daemons will hate your guts for spamming Vanguard, but even Terminators buckle under the amount of wounds they will need to save. And if faced with a charge, just throw your Vanguard at them, take away their charge bonuses and laugh as your puny tin-men wound the mighty Spess Muhreens on 4+.
    • It looks at first like you can do some really cheesy stuff by stacking rad-induced toughness reduction, but, due to the specific line in the 'Rad Saturation' rule that states the rule can only be used to bring the enemy toughness to a minimum of 1, that won't work. You can reduce enemy toughness to 1, if you stack it up right (Dark Angels, Ordo Xenos Inquisitors, Imperial Knights), but abusing this will mark you as That Guy. Like most cheapness, it's fun to try once, but then hang it up and don't be a dickhat.(Totally worth the 500+ points needed and ability to get 2 units in cc to just get a trick on one unit)
      • No, you can. Rad Saturation has a maximum reduction of reducing to 1, but Rad Grenades on the Inquisitors has no such rule. Barring errata (neither book's errata covers this as of 2-9-2017), you should be able to choose the order the rules resolve in, so Rad Saturation reduces (to a minimum of 1) and then the Rad Grenades reduce to a minimum of 0.
    • These little tin men may very well be some of the nastiest bare-bones troops in the game. At a mere 100 points, and not even taking their Doctrina Imperatives into account, you're looking at a unit that can and will obliterate anything that doesn't have an armor value provided you roll even mildly well. And so long as you take the Skitarii Maniple formation (and who wouldn't? Plasma Calivers in your WL's squad with Preferred Enemy? Yes, please) that measly 18" range on your guns suddenly becomes a 30" threat bubble thanks to Scout and your regular 6" movement to any infantry unlucky enough to be outside of a vehicle. It's also worth noting that, provided the Dice Gods truly bless your rolls and damn your opponent's, they're one of the few troops units that can kill a Bio-Titan in one round of shooting.
    • Actually, 25 bare bones vanguard with a psyker casting misfortune will statistically kill it for just over 300 points in one round of shooting.
    • Unless you really plan on getting into melee with Vanguard and think that extra attack is going to make a difference, you may be best off leaving the radium carbine on the Alpha. One extra attack isn't really worth 1/3 of the shots at 3/4 of your already crummy range. If you are that bothered, take a Phase Taser or Taser Goad for the chance of making more wounds.
    • That said, the dude is still pretty nasty in combat and with just 10 points more you can hand him out a taser goad and a phosphor blast pistol, which will both synergize well IF you intend to charge them. Side effects included: wounding MEQ on 2+, instaggibing T3 and possibly supporting effect from the pistol. If you go this route NEVER, EVER, FOR NO OMNISSIAHDDAMN' REASON take a radium pistol: for the same cost you are choosing between a laspistol with ap5 and a chance to put out 2 wounds or a single shot heavy bolter with a strong supporting effect. Laspistol vs heavy bolter, any objections?
    • Another strong melee option for the vanguard Alpha is going Pater Radium and try to just sneak around the melee. Put one of them in the squad with your Techpriest, have the dude stay out of harm's way until initiative 1 and you got 50% to deal d6 unsavable wounds on T4 or 66% on T3. Plus whatever attack he might had.

Elite[edit]

  • Sicarian Ruststalkers - Fighty little metal men with Transonic Razors, Chordclaws and Mindscrambler Grenades, they benefit from both Dunestrider and Furious Charge, which add to make them a fast attack force. They're also very fragile with T3, even if they have 2 wounds each and Feel no Pain. They can exchange all their weapons for two Transonic Blades for free, which can ensure more of a hurt, but at the cost of utility and the chance for ID, while the Princeps can gain a Prehensile Dataspike for the cost of a melta and/or buy back the Chordclaw he traded away if he has double Transonic Blades.
    • While the Transonic Blades seem tempting, it is better to stay away from them. One attack with Fleshbane and the uber-grenades are vastly superior to +1S on the other attacks, especially since Furious Charge already makes your attacks S5. However when the ap2 kicks in with the transonic rule the furious charge has worn off, this means that one could hit at s6 rending (first turn) and then hit at s5 ap2 (second turn).
    • Worth pointing out that on the charge you'll do more glancing hits against AV10 with razors than with haywire, so use razors on vehicles with AV10 rear armour.
    • Also worth pointing out that Chordclaws and Mindscrambler grenade units are still S5 on the charge meaning you glance that same AV10 on a 5+ with the same amount of attacks while being more effective against high T (fleshbane) and vehicles who have AV11+ rear (haywire grenades). Blades are outclassed in all situations.
    • Surprisingly, this is an excellent anti-tank unit. Your standard 5-man squad with a Dataspike will have 8 haywire attacks (4 from mindscrambler grenades, 4 from dataspike) on the charge. Against a vehicle, you would get a little over 4 glances and 1 pen on average regardless of armor, more than enough to take out just about anything. Comparable HP damage from say, BS4 meltas vs AV 12 would require 9 of them -- though to be fair, you'd get more pens. All while costing as much as melta-equipped sternguard. The only drawback is that they'd get shot off the board immediately afterwards.
      • FAQs have clarified that you can only throw one grenade per phase including assault, so you're limited to just 5 haywire attacks. Hardly bad, but no longer the surefire armour deletion that it was previously.
  • Sicarian Infiltrators - The bastard children of Alpha-5 of the Power Rangers and Pit-droids, if they were built by a bunch of xenophobic men in red robes. Their loadouts are less impressive than the Ruststalkers with Stubcarbines and Power Swords and they're more expensive, but they get better rules: Dunestrider, Infiltrate, and Stealth means that they'll certainly reach reliable cover where they need it. However, they can be equally handy as walls as they make enemies within 6" take -1 WS/BS/I/Ld, which can lock them in for at least a round, and replacing their guns with Flechette Blasters and Taser Goads can make them an absolute nightmare in close combat.
    • In short, while their special rules are better and the fact that they actually have guns that shoot farther than grenades is good, their loadouts are less focused to specific tasks. A ton of Taser attacks are generally more useful than a few AP3 attacks. It turns out that with a little mathhammer, the Infiltrators have a better statistical chance of killing more Terminators than Ruststalkers by their SHEER WEIGHT OF NUMBER OF ATTACKS. Watch your opponent weep when he loses three terminators in one round of combat because he thought your Infiltrators were nothing more than robots with batons! However, unlike the Ruststalkers, the Taser/Flechette Infiltrators can force a lot of saves on (almost) anything, and over varying ranges as well. The Stub Carbine/Power Sword combo might sound great, but keep in mind that the Carbine, though a surprisingly strong gun, is not a pistol, which means that the amount of power sword attacks they can put out is very limited.
    • However, getting an enemy into combat with Infiltrators AND a unit of Vanguard will almost certainly result in bloody murder, especially for the Taser Goad variant, since they suddenly hit most things' Instant Death threshold with -1T on them and S6 on you. Laugh and collect Tau tears as his 700 point Farsight Bomb gets shredded by a mere 300 points of your glorious tinfoil storm troopers.
    • Do note that under Hyperaction Protocols they get WS7, combined with Neurostatic Aura this means for a full game turn Space Marines need 5+ to hit them.
    • I've found while they are great on the charge they work best as a mind-game. No one playing marines or guard will want these things close at all, so they are great for forcing your opponent to turn and get rid of them or move away from the Static Aura. This is more than enough to give you a turn or 2 to get the rest of the vanguard into position to mess up someones day.
    • To add onto the mind games, due to their Dunestrider rule it's a completely viable tactic to start them in the center of your deployment zone (or as close to the center as possible while remaining in cover and ideally out of LOS) at the start of your game. Your opponent won't want to deepstrike near them unless he's sure he can kill them off, being in the center allows for repositioning to either flank if one side starts to cave, and because of their huge threat range you can let them hang back until your opponent has, to their intense misfortune, forgotten about them and moved a key unit just that little bit too close.
    • Before you think you have some juicy Overwatch shenanigans on your hands, look at precedent and understand that the Aura does not reduce an overwatching opponent's BS to 0. Their BS counts as 1 but is not reduced to 1. Doesn't matter anyway because your infiltrators are about to enter melee and the opponent is about to be taking their models off the table.
  • Secutarii Hoplites - Titan honour guard, basically Skitarii before GW reinvented them to be the Martian militia; they're noted as actually being part of the "Adeptus Titanicus" faction, but Skitarii can take them as elites, so it's cool. Hoplites are the Fighty Secutarii, and are pretty much standard Skitarii Rangers without MTC and the Alpha doesn't get the extra wound. They come standard with Kyropatris Field Generators, which allows a squad of at least 5 guys to reroll armor saves of 1, and squads of at least 10 guys to receive shooting attacks at Str -1. For weapons, they get Arc Lances which shoot with the profile of a bolt pistol with Haywire, and have a melee profile of Str+1 AP4 with Concussive and Haywire; essentially, they function as an Arc Pistol and Arc Maul at the same time, but without the extra attack the pistol/maul combo would net you. They also have Mag-inverter shields, which gives 5++ and counts the unit as armed with defensive grenades when charged. As for options, they can take their 10 guys and add up to 10 more, all the standard options for the Alpha, and can take an omnispex (which is practically useless for these guys), and an enhanced data tether (which is nice). With all the haywire and how tough large squads can get, these guys are can make a very powerful anti-vehicle and anti-fort squad, albeit their threat bubble is rather short. For GEQs, their a tough nut to crack; but considering that they get less tough when the casualties start piling up, they have a built-in incentive to take a large squad, but that always comes with the downside in terms of point cost and transporting them where you need them most.
  • Secutarii Peltasts - These are the Shooty Secutarii, they get the Mechanicus version Special Issue Ammunition. Same profile as the guys above, including the Kyropatris Field Generators, but the Peltasts actually capitalize on their higher BS. Their Galvanic Casters have 3 different firing modes (which the whole squad must use); Flechette Burster (AKA Goodbye GEQs!) which is 24" S3 AP- Salvo 2/4 Shred; Ignis Blaze (AKA Goodbye covered GEQs) which is 18" S3 AP5 Heavy 1 Ignores Cover, Blast (3"), Parabolic shot (which allows the Peltasts to ignore LOS, as long as the unit isn't sealed in an enclosed space like a building); and finally Kinetic Hammershot (AKA Goodbye MEQs and TEQs) which is 30" S4 AP3 Heavy 1 Rending. In addition, they have the one-use option of using a Blind Barrage during the shooting phase, which makes them forgo shooting on this turn and gives Shrouded to a friendly within 18", nothing saying that it can't be that same unit of Secutarii, but 2 units of Peltasts must use this on the same thing if you're giving it to a superheavy. As for options, they get the same things as Hoplites: turn a 10-man squad into up-to-20 men, Alpha options, Omnispex (which is much more useful to the peltasts), and Enhanced Data Tether. Without the crazy amounts of Haywire, Peltasts aren't as much of a threat to vehicles, though kinetic hammershot can threaten most monsters and AV10, and some lucky Rending roles can make them a threat up to AV13. They more than make up for in having larger squads still being tougher than Space Marine Scouts, and having either an answer or unmitigated rape to any infantry they come across (see below).
    • Do note that Forgeworld (having probably never playtested them) gave them the basic skitarii profile, including Relentless, effectively making all of their shooting profiles into assault weapons. (That's 24" assault 4, 18" assault 1, and 30" assault 1). This makes the unit absurdly more effective than they look at a glance: a squad can scout 6", move 6", and then pelt the opponent at full range and BS, giving it a 42" menace range from turn 1.
    • A side effect of the above is that the flechette profile is absurdly powerful: up to 80 shots at S3 with shred means the squad can get just shy of it's own cost in point back in Terminator kills on one turn of shooting. A little mathammer proves that it is 3 times more effective than the hammershot, even against MEQ. With Doctrina Imperatives kicking in, they can deal 37 wounds on MEQ and 50 on GEQ, getting up to a whopping 43 on MEQ and 58 on GEQ with a targeting relay or choosing the Alpha as a warlord to give the squad the ability to reroll ones to hit. Really, a squad with impossible firepower (More shots than Orks, at Tau range and with better accuracy than marines) , definitely more resilient than regular skitarii while costing just 1 ppm more than Rangers...I don't know how they will play out but the maths on them show something disgusting.
    • In practice, both squads of Secutarii are best when fighting together, with Hoplites leading the Peltasts in. The enemy will either worry too much for their precious METAL BOXES and kill your Hoplites, or worry too much for their precious MEQs/TEQs/MCs and kill your Peltasts. Either way, the other squad will make it to kill the other critical parts of their army. Allied Imperial Knights also help them move in unaccosted, drawing enemy fire until it's too late...
    • Squads of 10 tend to die really quickly unless hidden in Transports. If you're foot-slogging them, bring them in squads of at least 15, if not 20. This is certainly pricey (190-205 or 250-270 points, respectively), but the -1 Str on incoming attacks helps a lot more than it would seem, and it's pointless to have a buff which goes away as soon as you lose a single T3 model.
    • 20 of these guys with BS5+, re-rolling ones (warlord) coupled with misfortune (to guarantee wounds on 6's) will deal 24 rending wounds on any target T5 or above. This is your best answer to Wraithknights, Primarchs, Riptides or whatever other beasty you may come across.
    • The kyropatris generator's effect of rerolling armour saves of 1 is situational on 4+ armour, but gets ridiculous when paired with a dominus or Cawl. Yes, it works, as only 5 generators have to be in the unit to grant the reroll to all models in the unit. With this, Cawl can never die to non-AP2 wounds, as it takes 64 wounds to get one through. Which he regenerates each round. Downside, majority toughness is still 3, so there will be more wounds inflicted than on solo Cawl. Upside, he gives the squad the resilience and CC punch to act more aggessively.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Sydonian Dragoons - Cross Imperial Guard Sentinels with Bretonnian knights and you get this. They come in squads of 1-6 and they are terrifyingly fast, open topped walkers with a Taser Lance designed for charging at people. It gets the "Dunestrider" rule which adds 3" to any move, run or charge it makes, in addition to having the Crusader special rule. It's also protected by it's cloud of incense, so gains a 5+ cover save while in the open, which benefits them as assaulters. The basic Dragoon has no ranged attack, but can replace its Lance with a Radium Jezzail (the sniper one) if you want them flanking up the side of the battlefield rather than charging things. But if you still want them charging, either version can purchase Phosphor Serpentas on top of their equipment, which can practically guarantee the charge if you manage to score a wound with them not to mention gives them a better chance at not losing the lance when rolling for Weapon Destroyed. Keep in mind the Serpenta is an Assault 1 weapon, so sadly no extra attack in melee for having a pistol.
    • Be advised, that as melee attackers, they each have S8, I3 (I6 off the charge thanks to the Joust special rule), A4 (with the ability to generate 2 extra S8 hits with 6's) on the charge, but with no AP to speak of. They "might" be able to poke apart a Land Raider if you had a full squad of six and were lucky at rolling sixes to penetrate armour. Don't be disheartened though, that's not what Dragoons are for. With that speed they are perfect for flanking attacks and catching enemy light units or stationary artillery in the back-field. Also don't forget to claim a Hammer of Wrath when ending the charge move in BtB with enemy - while "only" S5 with no special rules, they hit automatically, so it's basically like a weaker extra attack on charge. Also they are pretty decent MC hunters, provided you take enough in a unit.
    • As Dragoons are AV11, anything without S5 or krak/haywire grenades cannot do shit against them. Be prepared for those guardsmen or orks you just charged to retreat at the end of your assault phase, leaving you in the open at the mercy of your opponent's anti-tank guns. You may get lucky with a sweeping advance and wipe them out, but it still leaves you vulnerable afterwards. On the other hand daemons and fearless enemies are royally fucked if they cannot pierce AV11.
    • Sydonians are basically the shock cavalry of 40k, they charge in, and get a shit ton of bonuses for doing so, however, if they fail to wipe out what their charging or fail to kill anything with S5+, they WILL feel the pain when the next initiative step kicks in.
    • These guys make great superheavy/gargant hunters. So long as they are able to wipe it out turn one, or else they will get their shiny metal asses handed to them on a plate. I have seen a 135pt squad take down knights and wraithknights with only marginal luck in the dice. Seriously, when facing large, single model units bring these guys, they are a steal at 45pts a model for what they can do.
    • Even if you give your Dragoons the Radium Jezzails, remember that they aren't too shabby at close combat even without the Taser Lance. 4 attacks + HoW at S5 and WS4 is very unpleasant. That's not to say they are amazing in CC without the Lances, but they can really hold their own if they need to.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Ironstrider Ballistarii - If you were thinking about using Dragoons for shooting, you might want to consider this as a superior alternative. They come with Twin-Linked Cognis Autocannons and the Precision Shots rule instead. You may replace the Autocannons with Cognis Lascannons if you want to go tank or TEQ hunting. Ballistarii are still blisteringly fast with Dunestrider and Crusader, but they don't have the incense cloud to protect them, so keep them at arm's length from your opponent, preferably obscured behind their own cover.
    • In a pinch these could be used as fast moving Anti-Aircraft platforms. With Twin-Linked Cognis weapons at BS2, they have a ~55% chance of landing a hit on an enemy flyer, which is better than anything with BS3 & Skyfire, and since you get Lascannons a single hit is far more likely to down a vehicle in one shot than the Autocannons or Flakk Missiles you'll find everywhere else. This also leads to very accurate overwatch, but how the fuck did you let the enemy get that close to you?
    • The ballistarii are the weakest unit you have in terms of survivability (Coming from an army of T3 models). Tall, AV11 all around, no save of any kind, Open-topped, and your opponent WILL want them dead. If you use them, keep them as far back as you can. The Ironstrider Cavaliers formation negates this just a bit by allowing you to shoot through some Dragoons without giving your target cover and allowing your big guns some...but only a 5+ and a bad Outflank roll could leave you in a bad spot. Then again, that bad Outflank roll is very unlikely, since Acute Senses grant a reroll.
    • The Ironstrider Ballistarii is presented as a cheaper alternative to the Onager Dunecrawler, trading survivability and CQC epicness for speed and balls-out firepower. A Ballistarii with a lascannon will run you 75 points, in comparison to a Dunecrawler with Neutron laser, which will cost 115 points; a 4 man squad of lascannon ballistari will be overall cheaper than a squad of 3 Neutron Dunecrawlers and have about the same anti-tank capability at the same range. While lascannons are slightly weaker than neutron lasers, lascannons don't scatter and these are cognis AND twin-linked. It's probably best to take the Ballistari against fast, but weak vehicles (Orks, Space Marines Dark Eldar) and Dunecrawlers against strong vehicles (Tau, Imperial Guard, Eldar). If you're dealing with infantry of any kind, Sydonian Dragoons trump both vehicles.
  • Onager Dunecrawler - The bastard child of a Deff Dread and Defiler, the Onager is a big, ugly, heavy weapons platform above all else. They have a special ability in that they all have a 6++ save, which gets boosted by 1 up to a 4++ for every other Onager within 4" that is in the same unit. It can be kitted out with the following weapons/items:
    • Eradication Beamer - Stock weapon on the Onager and overall, not a bad one. It basically gives you a range of effectiveness and most armies would want to back away their strong, expensive units from your death walker tanks so they don't get hit with S10 AP1 zaps. And if those nasty units are not getting close to your squishy metal humies, your dudes survive longer!
    • Cognis Heavy Stubber - comes as a package deal with the Neutron Laser, as well as being a purchasable upgrade, and makes for a nice albeit milquetoast support gun. Snap-firing at BS2 is nothing to sneeze at, though.
    • Icarus Anti-Air Array - Still decently effective against ground targets for a 125pt anti-air rape machine, you get all three of the guns described in the Icarus array above--aren't you so lucky? Priciest of the options, but fills a much-needed anti-air role otherwise absent from a stand-alone Skitarii list. Taking this means losing the ability to take Smoke Launchers, though, so at least pair up the Icarus Onagers for a 5++ Invul.
    • Neutron Laser - Be wary of spending the 25pts for this upgrade because you're trading away the likelihood of reliable damage with the Eradication Beamer (if your opponent is insane or stupid enough to let it that close) for absolutely murderous damage (and a cognis heavy stubber!). Arguably the deadliest of the Onager's guns because of that straight S10 AP1 48" punch; if you're taking these, you don't need Ballistarii with lascannons, except as makeshift Anti-Air.
    • Phosphor Blaster - Facing a lot of MEQs? This is a great fire support tool for your gunline for a bargain. Additionally, as long as 3 are alive and close together, 3 AV12 walkers stomping towards you should survive well enough for the price. Tau players will hate you for bringing these and melting their little battle suits.
      • Really, leave the Phosphor Blaster at home. 15 points and giving up the Eradication Beamer already stings, but once you see that Cult Mechanicus Castelans do the Phosphor thing way better, the gun looks out of place on an otherwise very cost-effective model.
      • While the above is partly true, the onager is still the best way to use HPB for its support role: with 15pts less than a single Kastelan you get a well rounded supporting machine, sporting the aforementioned HPB, a data tether, a mindscanner probe and a cognis heavy stubber for some lucky potshots. All the while, it has the possibility of going with multiple single model units and shooting fairly better than the Kastelans. Really is a matter of battleplan: you want to have some countercharging scary behemoths that can blast MEQ to kingdom come while nerfing any unit they cannot annihilate? Go Kastelan. Want to have a huge, vesatile, hard as bricks firebase with split fire? Go cohort cybernetica. Want just a way to make charges easier and prepare some camping pussies and jinking pansies for the storm of plasma/lighting arcs/anti-material transuranium rounds (getting the added benefits of +Ld1 and defensive grenades bubble)? Bring in 2-3 cheapish onagers as single units. If you lack the HS slots, just buy a couple more squads of Vanguards, you'll hardly regret it.
      • The Phosphor Blaster seems a weird choice at first but a possibly overlooked part is that it's twin linked and isn't a blast and so does not scatter, Combined with Imperatives it pulls its weight since it's going to struggle to miss its target already and even at lowered ballistic skill will still have a fair chance of hitting the target. It's arguably the most reliable weapon of all the onager guns and has the nice bonus of synergy with your other units (sicarians and dragoons re-roll charges, rangers vanguard and ironstriders worry less about camping carls making their cover saves).
    • Cognis Manipulator - It's like a servo-arm...except it's on giant spidertanks and grants IWND. Sx2 (so S10) and AP1 on a 1 attack model. It is godly, but seems tuned for solo Onagers where not having a 4++ from buddies makes IWND a nice option. Painfully expensive though.
    • Mindscanner Probe - This pretty much covers your lack of krak grenades. If any enemy completes a charge against a friendly unit within 6" of your spidertank, they no longer get bonus attacks on the charge. Useful given how poorly Skitarii fare in Assault phases.
      • While the War Convocation Formation is already godly, what it does to the Onagers is unbelievable. You know the comments about the Cognis Manipulator being way too expensive to justify? Well, now you can get them for free! On a full unit! So not only does your wall of AV12 Walkers have a 4++, they also all have IWND and charge with 6 S10 AP2 Attacks total. You know, just in case whatever you shot with those Neutron Lasers happens to still be alive. Also pairs well with the Conqueror Imperatives, since BS isn't too important for their Blasts and WS6 on these guys looks really terrifying.

Lords of War[edit]

  • Ordinatus-Minoris Macro Engine: A quick look at the forgeworld store page shows these engines of annihilation can be taken as LoW choices for the 40k Admech lists. Comes in two flavours, and If you ever run them against someone, they're probably not your friend. Each Ordinatus comes with three Volkite Culverins, Blessed Autosimulacra, Anabaric Claw, Armored ceremite and a Ordinatus Dispersion shield. Oh and 14/13/13 with 14HP and is a super heavy. But if it explodes anything under will probably die as it utilises it's own destruction chart which every one of the results always has a Destroyer hit. The Dispersion shield is the big thing on this machine. Basically it's a super Flare Shield that loses effectiveness overtime but will always have an affect. Turn one :-3 Strength to shooting attacks and rolls on the D chart, Turn two: -2 Strength to shooting attacks and D Chart and Turn three and subsequent turns -1 Strength to shooting and D charts. Basically don't shoot it with D as you'll never be stripping off those hull points.
    • Ordinatus Sagittar: Because fuck that model (or that unit), it didn't deserve to be on the table, even at that distance. A 180" Strength D weapon with an Apocalyptic Blast that royally fucks over vehicles might seem OP, but that's because it is, though at its extremely expensive cost it will need some protection, though if you fight Marines often, and combined with its dispersion shield, it can easily make its points back by turn 3 so long as you keep its guns pointed where they belong, at the priciest unit within 180".
    • Ordinatus Ulator: The one displayed from FW Open day, This big ass sonic projector will have people kicking you in the nuts every time you shoot it. 72" Range Strength X AP2 Pinning Armourbane Instant Death Ignores Cover Ulator Sonic Wave. Place down a Massive blast template(7") at the edge of the hull. Direct it at an enemy (Has to be enemy first and can hit friendlies) and draw a straight line using the Massive blast template. Anything that gets partially touched by it takes a hit from the following Table. (This also includes Flyers. Yes. Even Flyers.)
      • The Ulator is one of the few things in the game that is effective against everything that isn't a Primarch (or that has Eternal Warrior). You can effectively use it to fill in any hole your army develops, lost Anti-tank? Strength 8-10 with Armourbane at AP2. Hordes got you down? Strength 5 ID Massive Blast template will thin them out. Air defence gone? Just shoot those fliers down. Your opponent brought their Baneblade(s) (or their variants)? You shoot them with Strength D, and on top of all of this, you literally CANNOT miss a single shot you ever fire.

Formations[edit]

  • Battle Maniple - One of every unit ever, except the Dragoons/Ironstriders (which are either/or) which grants you a WT re-roll, anyone within 12" of the Onager gets Ld 10, and all models gain Crusader and Scout, with Outflank being barred.
    • At first, it sounds like this one is not worth it. It's basically the same bonus rules as the normal Maniple detachment, except it settles you with a whole bunch of taxes. But then you remember that morale really is a serious issue for the tin men, which the Ld10 bubble of the Onager remedies very well.
    • Don't, just don't. Your alphas are leadership 9 anyways, meaning with the broad spectrum data teather you are already ld10 if within 6" of a dunecrawler or ironstrider. There's no need to waste points on your elites to take this formation. Just go with the much less restrictive maniple detachment or dominus maniple below.
  • War Cohort - 3 Entire Battle Maniples. That's a lot of tin men. In addition to the rules of each Battle Maniple, you also get the ability to re-use one Doctrina Imperative you used earlier. Meh. Games Workshop's plan to make you broke.
    • While the War Cohort provides you with some nice bonuses, it really isn't worth the trouble. A single War Cohort needs three units EACH of the overcosted Ruststalkers and Infiltrators. Even at minimum sizes, that's over a thousand points that will die to a stiff breeze. While these units are great as surgical tools, in these amounts, they are merely taxes for a rule that will be useful for a single turn at most.
    • Quite funnily, the designer's note on this means if you sell both kidneys, a lung, an arm, a leg, and your first born child, you can field three war convocations together.
  • Ironstrider Cavaliers - 2 Units of Dragoons and 1 unit of Ballistarii (that's up to 18 walkers). Units gain Acute Senses and Outflank. All must come in from reserves and come in together, but you start your roll on your first turn. Also they can trace line of sight and shoot through other units in this formation without giving a cover save for intervening models. Also at the start of the first game turn you nominate an enemy character, models in this Formation get to re-roll To Wound on that character and its unit...for the rest of the game.(pair well with infiltrators being able to infiltrate and also having acute senses so helps get this formation on the table edge where their warlord is and closer to action.)
  • Sicarian Killclade - 3 units of Ruststalkers and 1 unit of Infiltrators. Makes the Infiltrators aura of -1 WS/BS/I/Ld extend 12". Once per game you can run and charge (after the first turn) with the Ruststalkers in the formation. That's at least 18" of movement.
    • If you were going to play that many Sicarians anyway, you can do much worse than to organize them this way. The range boost for the Infiltrators' fuck-you aura is huge, since you went to a 24" circle in which your opponent is pretty helpless (less I and Ld lend themselves to several shenanigans, less BS is gorgeous and less WS, combined with Imperatives, could be enough to get the opponent down to the dreaded hitting-on-5+-threshold) and Run + Charge, even for just one turn, is amazing considering the Ruststalkers' bullshit speed. And that 24" fuck-you circle? That Infiltrates and Scouts.-actually you lose scout when taking this formation, so only infiltrate..
  • Dominus Maniple - The new formation from the Start Collecting! Skitarii box: 1 unit of Vanguard OR Rangers, 1 (and only 1) Onager Dunecrawler, 1 Tech-Priest Dominus. Pick a unit within 18" of the Dominus and within his LoS at the start of the shooting phase, all units from this formation gain twin-linked against that unit for that phase. Note: The wording on the rule is "re-roll failed To Hit rolls", so blast weapons available on the Onager and the Techpriest do not get to re-roll
    • A nice little formation that lets you get a Dominus without having to actually use the Cult Mechanicus formations.

Allies[edit]

Battle Brothers[edit]

  • Forces of the Imperium: Honestly, Skitarii are the sort of army that is being taken as an ally, not taking allies. Make a cheap Skitarii Maniple detachment so you can get some Rangers or Vanguard, make good use of your primary detachment's transports... It's the one thing this army could really use.
    • Five Flavors Of Power Armor:
      • Ally Blood Angels or Space Wolves for METAL BOXES for your METAL men... Things. Ally Guard for even more superior metal boxes and flying metal boxes. Fluff-wise, the Iron Hands make sense, and they can provide you with (regenerating) metal boxes too, though only Storm Ravens and Land Raiders unless you want to go through the trouble of repurposing dedicated transports. (You can't deploy in someone else's dedicated transport, but you can embark turn 1.) But honestly, who doesn't want Storm Ravens?(Now rhinos razorbacks and pods are fast attack so go on and take some rhinos)
      • Let's be honest, here. Until the new Space Marine Codex comes out, the best you can do is add a Flesh Tearers detachment. Cheap Divination-Librarian, a squad of Tacs with double Flamer in a Rhino and an additional fast Rhino for your tin men and you have a playable Flesh Tearers detachment. Season to taste with a Sanguinary Priest, Sternguard and MOAR metal bawkses and you're golden. If anyone asks what this means fluff-wise, just tell them your Iron Hands allies are having a really bad day. Actually, scrap the Rhinos. Just max out on Drop Pods and Arc Rifles/Plasma Calivers and watch your opponent cry trying to save his army from your alpha strike.
      • Of course, if you want the cheapest of the cheap transports, then go for Space Wolves. The Company of the Great Wolf detachment from the Champions of Fenris supplement requires an HQ and 2 Elite choices. What is funny is that servitors are Elite choices in Space Wolves. So for 20 points you get to fill out both elite slots with the fluff of servitors in an Admech army instead of paying 35 points more for a minimum squad size of scouts from Blood Angels. Just get yourself a Divination Rune Priest and 3 drop pods and you're set! Just remember that though this method is cheaper, you do have access to a maximum of 3 drop pods from your fast attack choices.
      • With the new Angels of Death supplement out, taking a Librarius conclave has become even more fluffy and useful. For maximum fluff take a conclave using Iron Hands Chapter Tactics and give them Technomancy. Now you have three-five psykers that can assist you in the otherwise painful psychic phase and buff your machines and troops. With a simple act of technomancy, watch as your unit of Dragoons have AV12 all around.
    • Inquisition: An Inquisition ally would be a really easy way to get a few transports added to the army without compromising on your main Skitarii force, another bonus is that it usually leaves you enough space to take another ally. Also an easy way to get psykers and disposable backfield infantry in the form of both acolytes and servitors (which can be taken as guard for tech priests in cult mechanicus). For style points you could take an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor, give him a conversion beamer and servo skulls, and fluff him as a member of the Ordo Machinum (which is totally a thing look it up). Also, psykers. From inquisitor cotaez and other inquisitors, to the obscenely cheap 10 point ones.
      • Holy cats. Look at your Skitarii Vanguard. Now down. Back up. What's this? It's an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor with Rad Grenades. Blink three times. Your Vanguard Alpha is now equipped with an Arc Maul. Spin around. You're now IDing most troops and HQs in the game with your tin men and wounding Wraithguard and Tyranid MCs on a 3+. Anything is possible when you're Skitarii Vanguard. I'm in an Inquisitorial Land Raider.
    • Militarum Tempestus: The Militarum Tempstus's Scions don't offer much the Skitarii can't do themselves. What they do offer however is the Taurox Prime as a fast attack option. So when you take a CaD of Scions and have them deep strike, this leaves you with up to 3 Taurox Primes to cart around Vanguard(Choose these guys) and Rangers(Not these ones). With it's 10 man capacity you are talking about a lot of dakka potential being moved around, and you can get them to within 18" of their foes that much easier. Or you can use Valkyries, but then you may as well go with the Astra Militarum.
      • actually the Tempestus are alot faster then the Skitarii and can easily jump in to blast, melt or Burn ANY, back field threat you may face. not to mention there good for last minute objective Capture or contention.
    • Imperial Knights: If you feel like having a lovely fluffy alliance you should probably get an Imperial Knight and worry no more about your lack of a LoW. Take the Paladin to get some pie plates from a very long range that can deal with almost anything and before you start worrying about those annoying Riptides remember the destroyer chainsword strapped to the side (or, y'know, just a crapton of plasma calivers at BS7). Might be an idea to miss out the Errant though, you have plenty of haywire that will deal with those pesky land raiders, unless you are really craving anti-TEQ stuff. The new Crusader is a very appealing option, what with the option to take either the battlecannon or big melta alongside an AP3 Marine-mower in addition to yet another great AA gun on top. Seriously. If you have the points (and cash) to spare, there really is no excuse for not using a Crusader.
    • Sisters of Battle: Another thing your Skitarii desperately need is flamers. Flamer templates give you reliable cover-ignoring Anti-Infantry, which you otherwise lack. This is made up somewhat by many walkers having access to BS2 and a number of spammy weapons (Assault 3 BS4 on overwatch is not pleasant to be hit by), but none of these are automatic hits. This suggests Sisters, perhaps - they have flamers and need anti-air, Skitarii have anti-air but need flamers. This all assumes you aren't fielding kataphron destroyers equipped with cognis blowtorches, in that case sisters become redundant.
    • Imperial Guard: What do they give you? Bodies. Cheap, expendable blocks full of bodies holding Rapid Fire guns. And tanks with pie plates or templates. If you want any of this, they are your friends. Also, the bestest Metal Boxes to cart your tin men around.
      • If you are not hell-bent on fielding 100 guardsmen (and why would you? Your infantry is superior in every aspect), Allied Detachment of IG is actually pretty amazing. With Tank Commander you can include up to six tanks in AD, meaning those assholes with stealth will eat Eradicator shells, ordnance will chew through infantry from across the map and your Tin Men will advance while your platoon will hold backfield objectives. And Vendettas!
    • Cult Mechanicus:It doesn't get much fluffier than this, and everything is more durable than your flimsy T3 in this army. Kastelans are a way superior alternative to Phosphor-Onagers and Kataphron Destroyers give you the Anti-Riptide you don't really get. Also, Kastelans have Torrent Flamers as default equipment. See above as to why that's a godsend for you. Combining Sicarians and Electro Priests can also saturate your army with so many scary CC units that your opponent won't have time to bring them all down. And finally, a lot of their buffs are specifically meant to apply to you as well so they can support you more effectively than your other Battle Brothers. However, you're still gonna be badly hurting for transports.
    • Officio Assassinorum: Need some infiltration and mind-fuckery? They got Callidus Assassins. Need some more RIP'N'TEAR? They got Eversor Assassins. Need some long-ranged firepower to take out vehicles and characters? They got Vindicare Assassins. Need to ruin a psyker's day? They got Culexus Assassins. If you don't have anything else to take, you can combine all of the above into one detachment. Assassins do not count as an allied detachment so you can still take whatever you want to go along with your tin men. The best choice though would be a Culexus Assassin since he can completely nullify psychic death stars to allow your tin men to rain death on them. Just make sure you keep him away from your own psykers, if you have any.

Allies of Convenience[edit]

  • Eldar: If you're looking outside the Imperium, Eldar are probably the least troublesome choice. Windriders provide plenty of mobile fire support and objective grabbing (shuriken cannons all around, of course). Of the aspect warriors, Dark Reapers, Shining Spears and Fire Dragons are probably the most useful to you. Wraithguard have stupidly insane destructive power (Hi, Titan! Five destroyer shots! Bye, Titan!) but are slow and expensive, so I wouldn't unless you really need the Big D. Oh, and don't forget Farseers, with their newly buffed Eldritch Storm, or maledictions like Misfortune and Doom that even help out non-BB allies.

Desperate Allies[edit]

  • Tau: You might look at Tau, but outside of a few durable units (Riptides, Hammerheads) or possibly Crisis suits for drop-melta, they don't have a hell of a lot to offer. If you dislike Ironstriders, your Skitarii will have a distinct lack of anti-light vehicle since most of their Anti-Tank is Haywire-based. Tau have such weapons in spades and can also provide you with flamers and a bunch of durable bullshit.
  • Dark Eldar: They don't really have much to offer you. They, too, rely on big guns on frail platforms. Only difference? They have CARDBOARD BAWKSES, teh cowards, teh fewls. But if you sincerely want those, you should just play Dark Eldar instead and forget mucking about with Desperate Allies.
  • Orks: Polar opposite of Skitarii in every way. The differing army dynamics make them about as versatile a combination as you can get, but make it difficult to come up with anything like a specific army strategy. On the plus side, using Precision Shots to deal with combat-based Cs and ICs make killing stuff easier for Boyz when they get into combat, Orks have flamers and T4 tarpits, and Orks could really benefit from some reliable anti-armour shooting every now and again. Theoretically you could have a unit for every role you can imagine, but that would require nuance, and nuanced tactics go out of the window somewhere around turn 2.

Come the Apocalypse[edit]

  • Chaos Space Marines If we're talking this, we're talking Flamer-Chosen, Daemon Princes, Plague Marines, Hell Turkeys and Defilers. Anything else, anything else, Space Wolves do better and they're Battle Brothers to boot.
  • Chaos Daemons: Could be hilarious. They give you mountains of gribblies and some sledgehammers, you give them some more effective Anti-Air and a few guns to counter their almost utter lack of such.
  • Necrons: If you want to try some outside-the-box fluff, consider Necron allies. Flayed Ones, Wraiths and Lychguard give you the durable assault you lack, Destroyers give you the AP3 you only get in small numbers otherwise and if you're feeling gutsy, combining Necron assault with Vanguard could lead to some hilarious rape.
  • Tyranids: Maybe some Magos Biologis let something bio-engineered loose? Anyway, Tyranids are actually a great idea. They have some pretty impressive Flyers, massive tarpits and scary monsters to divert attention away from your impressively shooty but rather frail tin men. Also, you know, an answer or two to all the psychic bullshit flying around.
  • Genestealer Cults: Ranged attacks from hordes of crappy 5+ saves and S3 guns. Sound Familiar? Their only benefit is in their CQC, but you can cover that to some degree. Your battle brothers can do better, probably best to pass.

Tactics[edit]

  • This army is composed entirely of Walkers and Infantry . Good thing they have Move Through Cover. The Rangers are a ranged force, and benefit from advancing behind a wall of Vanguard, in cover. Vanguard will be running quite a bit to get into range, but with 3 plasma calivers, an Omnispex and a Relic Pistol, you have forged a serious amount of rape. Infiltrators seem to quite good at disabling and murdering units. With Dunestrider, Infiltrate, Steath, and that stat reducing skill,they can screw over a unit of your choice in your opponents force. Ruststalkers excel at destroying units in CC, but suffer from AP5 (albeit with quasi-Rending) in the first round of combat, so beware! Will destroy termies if they survive the onslaught, whicch can be difficult. The Onagers appear to be your main source of anti-armor, be that flyers or tanks, what with their nasty weapons and magic "By our powers combined!" invuln save. Make a gunline of them, and pump out the dakka. The Ballistarii can hound light infantry or TEQs depending on your weapon choice and can be decent Anti Air in a pinch. The Dragoons could be a force in melee with their +3S Tesla hits and I6 on the charge, but don't underestimate a full squad of jezzails (made even more potent with the Ironstrider Cavaliers formation).
  • The Battle Maniple has 1 optional Fortification available to it. An Aegis Defense Line with a Comms Relay seems like the best (and cheapest...70pts) choice, especially if you take the Ironstrider Cavaliers formation. An Imperial Bastion is always a nice LoS blocker and a few Transuranic Arquebus from up top/inside could be nasty for enemy transports. If you don't have anything in reserves, a Quad-gun can add to your AA. An ammunition dump can help negate the 3 Plasma Calivers Gets Hot shots. Never underestimate the power of a Void Shield Generator. Just stick it near the middle of the army and laugh as it blunts a few rounds of shooting. Going for the Relay option lets you get 9 void shields, but for a bucket of points.
  • Think Eradication Beamers are underwhelming guns? Use them for mind games instead! Three Onagers with Eradication Beamers can play merry hell with enemy movement. No sane player will risk putting expensive tanks within 9" of your Onager squad, while infantry blobs will love them dearly and get close to them to avoid the big pie plates. Combine that with some Vanguard to shoot down the infantry headed your way and some Cognis Lascannons to hunt down the tanks keeping their distance and you can easily dominate the game. Or combine with some allied Conversion Beamers to trap the opponent in a fuck-you field.
  • Taser Lances can be made useful if you use them right, too. Sure, no AP seems bad, but you don't hear Tyranids complaining about the lack of AP on their Flyrants' Devourers, do you? Taser Lances, especially on large Dragoon blobs, can deal a lot of Glances and Pens to vehicles. Nothing short of a Land Raider / Monolith can comfortably deal with a fuckton of S8. And thanks to Dunestrider, they could be charging on turn 2 if the enemy is too dumb to keep enough distance.
  • Get yourself an allied Space Marine Librarius Conclave, that's three to five Psykers as one formation and they can pool their spells together to get better Warp Charge activation rates, roll everything on Divination. Prescience helps out with the Plasma Calivers' Gets Hot, Foreboding is pretty much your favorite Warlord Trait Emotionless Clarity dialed up to 11, but what you are looking for is Misfortune. Remember why Radium Jezzails are so awesome? Correct. Because Rad Poisoning and Rending stack to Auto-Wound twice with AP2. Use Misfortune, shoot at the afflicted unit with Vanguard and every single Rad Carbine becomes a three-shot version of that. Gigantic clusterfuck turned to gigantic armour-ignoring clusterfuck. Plus, you know, Psychic Hood saturation to the max. Bonus points for slapping Cawl's Memento Morispex on one of the vanguard-joined characters to gain Monster Hunter, and reroll all non-6s to almost double the amount against MCs.
  • For any and all Allies shenanigans that don't involve stuffing the Skitarii into transports, remember that the Scout special rule works if at least one model in a unit has it. Now, you don't have any ICs to give other armies the luxury of Scouts, but it does mean that you can Scout together with any allied ICs.
  • Until an FAQ killed it, the Skitarii Maniple once gave fortifications Scout, which allowed people to abuse 12" forward-deployed Void Shield Generators and Bunkers. However, even without the additional 12" redeploy, "slingshotting" units with bunkers is useful; deploy with a unit embarked in the bunker, set the escape hatch within 12", then disembark your troops at the escape hatch 12" away on top of getting an additional 6" move.
  • Keeping tarpits as allies might help you get away with using Protector Imperatives more. Screening grots are cheap and the midgets let you fire over their heads without giving enemies cover, but they'll run like hell if someone slams a door nearby.
  • Forget everything you think you know about Imperium (or even xenos for that matter) gunline armies that you've played with or against in the past. Skitarii actually take a surprising amount of thought to play competently and stand a chance of coming out on top. You need to play to their biggest strength AND weakness -- the short range of your troops' guns. Vanguard can't afford to sit behind an Aegis, nor do they have the ded 'ardness to march through open terrain. What they DO have is Scout and Crusader thanks to their Skitarii Maniple, which means you can close the distance faster than most realize. That being said, your best bet to keeping your units from being blown away is to keep them behind and in cover as they're moving...the more line of sight blocking terrain the better. Expect to take casualties, but if you can get enough units forward then you can pressure your opponent into a corner. Even Eldar can't do their run and gun cheese when there's no room to maneuver around your soldiers.
    • A risky but doable tactic would be Onagers with Manipulator Arms as walking cover. Or go for allies with Kastelans and Bullgryns, or Holy Requisitioners and Drop Pods
  • TROOPS!!! Your troops are your biggest asset, even more than in other armies. I've found that a 2:1 ratio of Vanguard to Rangers is the best composition for most point limits, though at lower levels you're better off running solely Vanguard for the damage they can inflict.
  • A note on Vanguard/Rangers. Bare bones Vanguard stastically out damage nearly every unit type better than similarly equipped Rangers. Against MEQs, the Radium Carbine kills one more Marine per round of shooting (3.24 vs 2.178, the difference in a Morale check). The only place where the Galvanic rifle is decidedly better than the Radium Carbine is against Fire Warriors and Aspect Warriors, assuming they're not in cover (8.71 unsaved wounds vs. 6.6). If you know you're going against either Tau or Eldar and know your opponent is going to field those units, load up on Rangers. Otherwise maintain the 2:1 ratio as noted above.
  • Get yourself a HQ with terminator armour through allies, this can be a librarian or even an inquisitor, put them in a Secutarii unit and place them at the front side. Now enjoy your 2+ re-roll able saves as long as you got at least 5 or more Secutarii in the unit. Reducing the strength of incoming hits with -1 even migrates the chances of your terminator dude being instant killed by a high strength weapon. Also should your opponent fire an AP2 weapon you can always look-out sir it on your Secutarii. Even better is that Grav weapons have less effect since the majority has a 4+ armour save. Fluff demands you to take a Techpriest Dominus, which is a self-repairing terminator captain on steroids.