Warhammer 40,000/Tactics(8E)

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This page is meant to index pages for the Warhammer 40,000 tactics dumps, and also acts as a repository for more general 40k tactics.

Contents

Required Reading[edit]

Since you need a goddamn flow chart to figure out which books are needed to play the game anymore, here is a basic primer for new players. You are going to need the following in this order:

  • A copy of the Core Rulebook. That flyer you picked up at a test event or printed off online may have the base rules for the game, but the Core Rulebook will include details on everything else, including mission types, terrain, and stratagem use. So do yourself a favor and grab it.
  • A copy of your army's codex. This will have the majority of what you need to play said army, including unit entries, warlord traits, relics, stratagems, and point costs. Our own tactics pages contain some of that information, but for legal reasons we can't give full statlines and points costs for the units. If your army is one of those unlucky ones that has not gotten a codex yet, you should obtain the relevant index containing their information. As 8th edition ages, the indexes become out of date and less useful. The one exception to this are legacy units and legacy options that don't make it into a next codex.
  • Your army's online errata and FAQ printed off the main Games Workshop website. A version comes out shortly after each codex, and the game designers are not afraid to completely rewrite a unit's rules if they realize they fucked something up. GW also schedules a "Big FAQ" to come out twice a year to address balance issues as they come up and make wider, more sweeping changes they want to get feedback for before they're officially added to the core rules.
  • The most recent Chapter Approved (maybe). A grab bag of new rules, updates, and experimental shit. If your army codex came out in 2017, some of your units already have point costs changes contained within. If you have not received a codex yet, you can find a small consolation prize until they get around to you. If your army received a codex in 2018, skip it unless your group prefers the alternate mission options.

Other Reading

  • The Forge World Indexes, if you don't mind selling a kidney for resin.
  • The rest of the Indexes. As mentioned earlier, there are a handful of units that don't make the cut with each new codex. Sometimes the model itself was discontinued or never officially released. Sometimes the unit gets an updated entry minus an option or two that doesn't exist in a box kit. Every time this happens, someone gets butthurt over this shit, thinking that their favorite unit is getting squatted. They aren't gone and you can still use the Index version, which makes them useful as an archive, if nothing else. (be sure to read the factions FAQ though, as some declare index wargear non useable).

Listbuilding 101[edit]

Money, time, and (a lot of) effort.

Pick an army you like, for whichever reason, and memorize its index/codex. Start with a HQ and two Troops. Troops are the backbone of many armies, although you don't technically need any to play a game if you don't want 'em. They tend to be slow, reliable and good for holding objectives. HQs are almost always characters that either act as tough beatsticks or grant buffs to everyone around them; sometimes they can even do both at once.

Next, decide on a play style. Even within an army this can vary a lot, as Mech Guard is very different from Blob Guard, and Bike Marines are different from Drop Assault Marines.

Note that it's acceptable to go through these two stages in the opposite order. Pick a play style and then an army that fits it. If you want to drown your enemy in cheap bodies then you don't want to play Space Marines, but Orks, Nids or Imperial Guard are good for that. If you're a treadhead then you might find yourself at home in the Guard rather than Dark Eldar, but if you like flyers and fast, paper-thin vehicles they fit the bill (plus their vehicles are *gorgeous*). For the people who love fielding teams of advance battlesuits and a more standard sci-fi force we have the T'au, while if you have a penchant for scratchbuilding stuff out of trash you are at home with the space fungus and their ramshackle vehicles and weapons... and if you like 80s scifi movies and/or have a preference for robots that aren't from anime, go nuts with the metalheads.

Next if you want a chance of winning you need to balance enough anti infantry power (typically high number of shots at mid-low strength and AP with 1-2 damage) to counter hordes (Guard,Orks,Nids) and enough anti-tank power (few shots at high strength, high AP and high damage) to counter a wall of tanks, heavy infantry, and/or monsters (Guard, Space Marines/Chaos Space Marines, Nid-zilla). Most armies fall in between these categories, but it's best to keep the extremes in mind when building your army.

It's also a good idea to look over the codex and tactics for armies other than your own, so you know what kind of forces and strategies other players will bring to the table.

Knowing the ruleset being used is also important: Matched Play is assumed to be the default in our articles, but a lot of alternate options open up when using the Power Level system featured in Narrative Play due to the majority of weapon upgrades being free under those rules. And of course, Open Play is even more of a divergence since it completely ignores the Force Organization Chart, keyword limitations, and any equivalent to points costs: instead, it's just about flooding the board with the most overpowered units you can muster, for better or worse.

A Note on Characters[edit]

It's been pointed out by many a player that quite a few characters, including most if not all current Chapter Masters, aren't quite as powerful as they were in 7th Edition. Dante is one example. In 7th Edition he was pretty awesome and had several very useful traits that allowed him to dominate. The same goes for other characters. Those aspects features less in 8th, as it appears GW have geared squads and characters towards a more realistic rule set. Okay, so Dante is a supremely skilled and capable leader in the fluff, but he's no god. 8th Edition seems to point towards getting players to use an army that has multiple parts that must work well together, much like a real army, in order to get the most out of them. To that end, the big guys, such as Primarchs and Daemons ARE really nasty, but most are over 10 wounds, so you can shoot on sight. In short, 8th Edition is Buff Edition, with only a small handful of exceptions that require specific builds to work properly. Use characters to get the most out of your other squads and vehicles. Azrael, the Dark Angels Chapter Master, is a great example, and works well with Hellblasters, allowing them to fire supercharged plasma shots with a greater chance of survival.

Building a Successful 40k Army[edit]

"Good players build a list to deal with whatever may come their way. Bad players build a list hoping their opponent cannot counter it."

In theory, two people can attempt to build armies to out-tailor and out-counter each others' hard counters, but in practice, it's easier to attempt to strive for something resembling a "Takes-All Comers" (TAC) army; if nothing else, sticking with the same army and gradually making adjustments to it as you learn what works and what doesn't work, will improve your skill as a player, compared to going "Fool, you think your Wraithknight can save you next time. I shall return with 20 lascannons!"

So, what makes a TAC list anyway? What with fliers, and psykers, big tanks and giant robots, what *can* we include to make our army safe and sane? Although these are not fundamentals, in many cases, the following are safe bets:

  • Strength 8+, D6 damage Generally, a good starting point for your army is to include enough models that can deal effectively with Toughness 7/8, 10+ wound enemies. Lascannons, brightlances, meltaguns, battle cannons, thunder hammers. Anything with strength 8 or more and dealing either 3+ or D6 damage is good. Whilst even a lasgun or boltgun can wound a battle tank with some lucky rolls, this is so ineffective that you can't rely on them to finish off a tank save in very large numbers (and if you have that many they should be shooting targets they're more likely to wound anyway). Strength 6 or 7 is not enough to reliably threaten Toughness 7 or 8 and typically only do 1 damage, but they can be used to supplement the above-mentioned weapons if needed.
  • Anti-infantry You will need something to take out massed infantry. Either units with weapons that can pick off infantry at long range of lasguns/shuriken/bolters, weapons with a lot of shots like burst cannons or assault cannons, or good assault units with a lot of attacks like Gaunts, berzerkers or ork mobs. Having AP on it is nice, but anything higher than AP-2 is overkill unless your opponent's troops are all MEQs at minimum.
  • "Plasma"-equivalent weapons Plasma and similar weapons (strength 6-8, 2 or D3 damage) are reasonably effective against both big units (tanks and monsters) and against infantry. However, they are never as effective as dedicated anti-tank weapons against tanks, or anti-infantry weapons against infantry. While plasma has it's place as a multi-functional weapon, it is best used alongside decent anti-infantry and anti-tank weapons as a sort of middle-ground, so it can respond to your opponent's composition. If he has a lot of tanks, it can be used as additional anti-tank firepower and serve quite well. If he has a lot of infantry, it is better at killing infantry than a lascannon (for the points you spend on it). However, its favored targets by far are heavy infantry units with 2+ wounds and high armor saves that are too tough to be reliably taken out by more common anti-infantry weaponry but aren't tough enough to justify the use of anti-vehicle weapons against them in normal circumstances- Terminators of all kinds, Tyranid Warriors, Ork Nobz, and so on.
  • Take only the HQ you need: Many HQs have historically been overcosted while not contributing to your army as a whole. There are many notable exceptions to this rule, but for many armies, an HQ is an expensive tax you build into your army's cost. 8E has made this even more prominent: as compulsory troops do not exist in some of the alternate FOC types, HQs fill the role of compulsory units instead. In general, the two extremes for HQ units are: a pure beatstick, or a pure buff dealer. Most will fall somewhere to one side of the spectrum.
    • When choosing buff-HQ's, you should make the most of their buffs. Look at the buff and see what units benefit the most from this so you can make good combinations. For example: Re-roll 1's to wound, is a nice buff. But it's better on High strength weapons that wound on 3+ or 2+ than it is on weapons that wound on 5+. Pay attention to keywords as well, as something may work only on infantry, and bikers may not be infantry. Also, pay close attention to if the rules mention 'model within 6" ' or 'unit within 6" ' as this can make a major difference in how you need to place the units on the field. For detachments with multiple buffing HQs, try to make their buffs synergize with each other: a good example of this is pairing a Space Marine Ancient (which allows slain infantry units near him to make one last shooting or melee attack when they die) with an Apothecary (which has a chance of bringing the slain infantry back to life again).
  • Command points or, "build an army, not a CP battery": In matched play and narrative play, Command Points give you access to Stratagems. These 'super-powers' for your army can make a big difference in how your army works, especially if you've designed your army with specific stratagems in mind. HOWEVER: having a lot of command points is NO substitute for a good army. Having a lot of command points may seem a good idea, and some armies have options to recover or steal more command points during the game to get even more. But what use are 10 command points if you only need 3 for your super stratagem and the rest are used on some non-critical re-rolls? If you end the battle with command points left over, you've got too many. If you think in turn 4 "I wish I still had command points for a re-roll", ask yourself what parts of your army you would have to give up to get more command points and if that sacrifice will have improved your army.
    • Use your command points wisely. Most command point abilities are very potent and will more often than not make the difference between who wins and who loses. Even two Brigade Detachments likely won't allow you to just waste them. A bad player could use 10 command points or more a turn. The smart thing is to use special abilities for your army as sparingly as you can. Make sure you know what stratagems are good options for your army and save your command points for these. Better to have CPs and not use them than to need them for your 'mega ultra killy combo' but run out the turn before.
    • Following the second Big FAQ, only 1 CP can be gained or refunded per Battle Round unless using specific rules like the Tallyman's Seven-Fold Chant.
  • Know your Point Level: A 2000-point game is *not* a 1000-point game with 1000 points tacked onto it. As your games grow in size, you need to make sure you have a unit to cover every need that might crop up during a game. Support characters with auras suddenly become more viable when they have 5 units within their aura instead of just 1. General point-levels for 40k include:
    • 200-500ish points: Rock-paper-scissors level. At this level you're fielding an HQ and one or 2 units, so making a TAC list is very difficult.
    • 1000 points: Kitchen table level. Common for new players testing a few units out.
    • 1500 points: This is generally considered the smallest point level for tournaments.
    • 1750 points: While generally not the most popular format, it provides players more time to complete their rounds. It is being used in some GW-run tournaments after allegations of some dicks abusing the time limit on rounds.
    • 2000 points: Most popular game size for 8th edition, used in most of the biggest tournaments.
    • 2500 and Beyonddddd: WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Ahem: This point level generally lends itself to an entirely different kind of play. Here you're not worried about composition, so much as sheer firepower. Spamming Titanic units, and units with extreme range will get you much farther here than 6 troop choices all kitted out. Remember that Eldar Rifle that has a range of 160"? Here's where you can actually shoot from one corner to the other of a Double-Lengthwise Table that's the staple of 6000 point games. Chapter Approved 2017 gives more information on how to run these kinds of games, although it strongly suggests that you just use Open Play to do so.

General Advice[edit]

  • Cicadas and you!: Cicadas follow an evolutionary stratagem known as "Predator satiation", other wise known as "The predators can't eat all of us!". I mention this because it's something to keep in mind. While it's true that pure armies like the archetypes listed below take effort to use successfully, there is something to be said in running lots of something, since you know your opponent can't kill them all. It's OK to have a strong theme and have a predominance of one type of unit since you know your opponent can't wipe you out the majority of your army fast enough with the dedicated weapons they have, just don't use it mindlessly and grab nothing but Gaunts or Terminators or something. As ever balance is key, it can be an imbalance, just so long as there is some balance. This balance is mostly in the weapons you yourself can bring. Often specialising on one type of unit severely limits the types of weapons you can bring yourself (see Gaunts). If you can bring enough different Anti-infantry, Anti-tank and long and short-ranged firepower by taking one type of unit, you can make it work. This doesn't work for every unit, as for example terminators can be dealt with effectively by both anti-tank weapons and massed anti-infantry shooting.
  • Build an Army, not a Mob: Remember that your units should support each other. Generally, you want to avoid "Pure" armies, or gravitating towards one extreme of list-building. While running a pure foot horde may look aesthetically appealing, it will suffer against players running mass mechanized vehicles (plus it will be a major chore to paint, and your turns will take forever...). While running a small elite squad may play quicker (and be cheaper), each casualty *hurts*. Notable "Pure" armies that can work with some luck and effort:
    • The Scuttling Swarm: Aka "Horde" Tyranids; Tyranids in theory can drown an opponent in bodies and win (This also works for Guard). Key word is "in theory." Hell, this is even more plausible with 8e letting everything wound on a 6 no matter their toughness. The issue is, most of those attacks will be single damage so will take ages to chip off points from beefy models (but on the bright side, it also makes tarpits into a potential death of a thousand cuts for even dedicated melee units/characters). Also, the aforementioned issue of your turn taking forever. On the other hand, Objective Secured has been replaced with "whoever had the most models on the objective controls it", which means a large enough horde can make an objective nigh impossible for an opponent to take. While Objective Secured is in Chapter Approved and each Codex released has added an equivalent rule to its corresponding army, that won't mean much if the swarm outnumbers the opponent's Troops, or if the opponent is relying on FOCs with few Troops slots. Also, the amount of units with the FLY special rule in some armies (looking at you T'AU) means tarpitting won't work all the time.
    • Aspect armies: Eldar aspect warriors fall into this category, as do primaris marine armies. You have elite units, generally with good saves, but still weak against specific weapons. Each type of unit has its own role to play, and if your opponent takes out the two units that are a threat to him, you may suffer. Coordination and hiding your units behind terrain are key strategies to these armies as they don't always stand up to a straight shoot-out with most armies. When playing these elite armies, it is very important to be aware of what your army is weak against, and prevent your opponent from using his most effective units against you. Plus, with all of your units being so specialized, it only takes the loss of one squad to leave the rest of the force all but unable to handle a given type of opponent.
  • Successful tournament armies generally have a few things in common:
    • Hard-hitting units. Things with high strength and either a large number of attacks/shots or multiple damage per wound (3, D6, or similar). Dark reapers, dreadnoughts, Manticores, death company with thunder hammers, crisis suit commanders with 4 fusion guns, etc.
    • Mobility. Whilst any unit can walk around and still shoot, successful armies have a way of getting a unit where they need it fast. Options include fast units like bikes, jump pack infantry, tanks or 'deep striking' units, whether normally or with some stratagems.
    • Resilience. In 8th edition, you need to be able to survive an opponents first turn with your key units intact. Either by fielding multiple key units, so your enemy can't take them out all at once, or by using transports or reserves/deep strike to keep them out of the way. Other options include penalties to hit for enemies, line of sight blockers or fortifications or characters that grant bonuses to defense.

More detailed specifics will are found in the "Individual Army Tactics" of course.

Small units or big units: Utilizing multiple small units (MSU) has both advantages and disadvantages in 8th.

Advantages:

  • Small units don't suffer as much from morale. Either the unit is dead entirely, or you will have a good chance of passing the morale test.
  • Enemies will score overkill more quickly, wasting firepower because you have no more models to remove. An enemy may score 10 wounds on a 10-man unit, or split fire and score 7 and 3 wounds on 2 five-man units, leaving you with 2 living dudes.
  • You fill detachments faster with smaller units, granting more command points.
  • Its easier to find cover or block line of sight to a small unit.
  • When shooting, it's better to shoot with 2 five-man units than 1 10-man unit, because you can see how the first five do before deciding what to shoot at with the other five, preventing overkill.
  • Sergeants/leaders/etc. A unit often comes with a leader for free, with better stats. By taking multiple small units you get more leader-models for the same price.
  • Small units offer more flexibility in movement and can be used as speed-bumbs more effectively.

Disadvantages:

  • Small units are more prone to dying from overwatch
  • Small units don't fire overwatch as effectively as larger units
  • Big units are more resilient to being charged, as they have a good chance of surviving to strike back.
  • Big units have more attacks in combat so are more likely to cause significant casualties.
  • Stratagems. A lot of stratagems let a unit do something special, like shoot or attack an extra time. However, you can only use each one once a turn so these are much more effective on bigger units. If you have stratagems in mind that you think you might want to use, keep these in mind when deciding how many guys your unit will include.
  • Scoring is done by counting the 'most models within 3" of the objective", so more models give you a better chance of capturing an objective, but not all models need to be a single unit.
  • The player with fewer(!) individual units will have a good chance of getting the first turn.

With the new Chapter Approved released, each unit in the 'Troops-Slot' gains an objective secured special rule, allowing to take an objective even if the enemy has more models in range of the objective marker, as long as those models are not Troops themselves. This makes MSU built of Troops even more playable.

Stratagems 101[edit]

Stratagems are special abilities triggered by expending Command Points (CP). You can use as many Stratagems as you like so long as you have the points to use on them, but you can only use a single Stratagem of a given type in each phase. Stratagems have a wide variety of effects, from buffing your units to weakening enemies to inflicting mortal wounds. In Matched Play each stratagem of a given type can only be used once per turn, so make them count.

The exact mix of Stratagems available to your army depends on your chosen faction, the mission type, and whether you're the attacker or defender in said mission (if there is an attacker/defender). However, the following four Stratagems are available to everyone regardless of the circumstances. Learn them well, as they can save your ass:

  • Command Re-Roll (1 CP): Re-roll any single dice. Simple, but infinitely effective. Whether you're trying to wring out a little extra damage from a lascannon shot that rolled a 1 for damage or trying to re-roll a critical save, you will learn to love this Stratagem.
  • Counter-Defensive (2 CP): After an enemy that has charged fights, choose one of your units and fight with it next.
  • Insane Bravery (2 CP): Automatically pass a Morale test.
  • Prepared Positions (2 CP): This is a beta stratagem available in the 40k FAQ released on September 28 2018, and officially became a rule in the April 29, 2019 FAQ. This stratagem can only be used by the player going second in the first battle round. Use this Stratagem at the start of the first battle round, before the first turn begins. Until the end of the first turn, all units from your army that are wholly within your Deployment Zone receive the benefit of cover, other than Titanic and Aircraft keyword units, or units with the Flyer or Fortification Battlefield role. This applies even while they are not entirely on or in a terrain feature. A unit that is already receiving the benefit of cover gains no additional benefit from this Stratagem.

Detachments for Dummies[edit]

Outside of Open Play where anything goes, your army needs to be Battle-Forged in order to be usable. While in 7e this meant using either the old Combined Arms Detachment of previous editions or one of the faction exclusive FOCs to make your force into a single Detachment, you now can build an army composed of as many detachments as you see fit to use (as long as it remains within the points limit, of course). Many tournaments, and by reflection game stores, do limit lists to three detachments. While some of the detachments are very similar, if not identical to, the CAD, many more are modified to emphasize a specific non-Troops slot.

Each Detachment you take will grant you the use of a certain number of Command Points. Everyone starts with 3 CP, but the total number can vary depending on how many Detachments you take and what types of Detachments those are. Knowing which Detachment types will work best for your army will help you significantly when listbuilding.

Patrol Detachment[edit]

Generally only good for 500 pt games and if you want to bring a small amount of units from a different faction from the one forming most of your army.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 HQ, 1 Troops
    • Optional Units:+1 HQ, , +2 Troops, +2 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: None. Drukhari get 4 CP if they have at least three Patrol Detachments, but in tournaments this is not viable because then you are locking yourself out of having any other Detachments.

Battalion Detachment[edit]

Probably the most common and powerful type of detachment, striking a good balance between a high CP yield and reasonable requirements and options, you will usually see between 1 and 2 in each army unless the army includes a Brigade or is heavily skewed.
  • Mandatory Units: 2 HQ, 3 Troops
    • Optional Units:+1 HQ, +3 Troops, +6 Elites, +3 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +5 CP (originally +3 CP in rulebook, Errata'd to +5.)

Brigade Detachment[edit]

Requires the most units and provides the most CP. Not good for most armies outside of Apocalypse-size games, but armies that have cheap units in every slot (Astra Militarum being the main one) or that play a single sub-faction can use it.
  • Mandatory Units: 3 HQ, 6 Troops, 3 Elites, 3 Fast Attack, 3 Heavy Support
    • Optional Units:+2 HQ, +6 Troops, +5 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +12 CP (originally +9 CP in rulebook, Errata'd to +12.)

Vanguard Detachment[edit]

The Elites-focused detachment, provides very little CP for the investment you put into it, you will be sorely lacking in CP if you only run with Vanguard Detachments and most Elite units work best in conjunction with other units, running just a single Vanguard Detachment or even multiple Vanguard Detachments will usually not be the strongest option, it is more of an option to get extra Elites or to ally with the elites from a different sub-faction.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 HQ, 3 Elites
    • Optional Units:+1 HQ, +3 Troops, +3 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +1 CP.

Spearhead Detachment[edit]

The Heavy Support-focused detachment, provides little CP for the investment you put into it, building an army based entirely around vehicles can make for a hard-hitting and survivable force, but it will usually lack in other areas, such as board control which can be difficult with a smaller number of units and a lack of screening units will hurt you, especially if your Heavy Support units cannot FLY.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 HQ, 3 Heavy Support
    • Optional Units:+1 HQ, +3 Troops, +2 Elites, +2 Fast Attack, +3 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +1 CP. Astra Militarum LEMAN RUSS models in a Spearhead Detachment get Objective Secured.

Outrider Detachment[edit]

The Fast Attack-focused detachment, provides little CP for the investment you put into it but generally less expensive than Vanguard and Spearhead Detachments. Building an army totally devoted to going fast can work depending on the missions you play.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 HQ, 3 Fast Attack
    • Optional Units:+1 HQ, +3 Troops, +2 Elites, +3 Fast Attack, +2 Heavy Support, +2 Flyers, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +1 CP

Supreme Command Detachment[edit]

The HQ-focused detachment, most characters perform a support role, making this the most niche Detachment option. The Lord of War option makes it the cheapest way for armies to give a single Lord of War the benefit of a Chapter Tactic/Regimental Doctrine/etc/etc. It can be powerful if you have HQ units that are worth spamming or if you want to stack a huge amount of different buffs around your army, the Space Marine Smash Captain with Jump Pack, Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield whose job is vehicle hunting instead of inspiring his troops or the Thousand Sons Terminator Sorcerers whose main job is dishing out damage with their psychic powers rather than buffing their dudes are worth spamming for example, in the past Heretic Sorcerer spam and Tau Commander spam were such powerful tactics that one got nerfed to the brink of existence and the other got limited to one per Detachment.
  • Mandatory Units: 3 HQ
    • Optional Units:+2 HQ, +1 Elites, +1 Lord of War, 1 Dedicated Transport per other choice taken
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +1 CP

Super-Heavy Detachment[edit]

The Lords of War spam Detachment. Command benefits are better than the other mono-FOC Detachments, but it will fucking eat up your points like there's no tomorrow. If you field this in a friendly game or a 1000 point game you are probably That Guy.
  • Mandatory Units: 3 Lords of War
    • Optional Units: +2 Lords of War
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +3 CP. Knights get +0 CP if the Detachment only includes Armigers, +3 CP if the Detachment includes 1 non-Armiger and 6 CP if the Detachment includes 3 non-Armigers.

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment[edit]

As most people will almost certainly only have one LoW in their armies at any given time, this is the detachment they'll use to get their Primarch/Knight/Baneblade/Wraithknight onto the field, unfortunately it doesn't give you any CP for your investment and Astra Militarum, Necron and Orks Lords of War don't get the benefit of their Regimental Doctrines, Dynastic Codes or Klan Kulturs from these Detachments.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 Lords of War
  • Restrictions: None
  • Command Benefits: None

Air Wing Detachment[edit]

The Flyer detachment, best suited for factions that want to milk their flyers for all their worth. Also, the only detachment that gives you Command Points without an HQ (or three superheavies). Keep note that the big disadvantage of this Detachment is that Flyers can't contest objectives, and if you only have Flyers on the table you are automatically tabled. Be careful if you plan to sink a lot of points into these Detachments.
  • Mandatory Units: 3 Flyers
    • Optional Units: +2 Flyers
  • Restrictions: All units must be from the same faction.
  • Command Benefits: +1 CP

Fortification Network[edit]

Your buildings, fortresses, and walls. Being able to field large numbers of fortifications was something of an issue in 7th, but this detachment allows you to keep your turtle up to your heart's content (or at least take 6 fortifications if you're in Matched).
  • Mandatory Units: 1 Fortification
    • Optional Units: +2 Fortifications
  • Restrictions: None; most fortifications are Unaligned by default
  • Command Benefits: None

Auxiliary Support Detachment[edit]

Unlike all other Detachments, you lose CP for every Auxiliary Support Detachment you bring. Needless to say, you should avoid taking this type of Detachment at all costs. If you really want a single character like Celestine or an Inquisitor and don't have the points to bring enough cheap units to have the detachment qualify as a Patrol or something, you're stuck with this. It is the only detachment in which you can bring under strength squads to matched play, so there is that.
  • Mandatory Units: 1 HQ or 1 Troops or 1 Elites or 1 Fast Attack or 1 Heavy Support or 1 Flyer or 1 Dedicated Transport
  • Restrictions: Can only consist of a single unit.
  • Command "Benefits": -1 CP

Specialist Detachments[edit]

Not a detachment on their own, Specialist Detachments are an upgrade to regular detachments and the spiritual successors of the 7E formations, but now they function like "premium" Warlord Traits, Stratagems and Relics locked behind a 1CP paywall. More fluffy than OP (usually) and the real meat of Specialist Detachments are the Stratagems (i.e. the Specialist Detachment's benefits only kick in if you're willing to sink a lot of CP into them first), so the fanbase didn't rage that hard this time. Imperium Nihilus - Vigilus Defiant campaign supplement, 2018.

  • A detachment may be so upgraded only once, even if the Specialist Detachment upgrade affects different units in it.

Mix and Match Detachments[edit]

You also get to choose a special ability for each Detachment in your army if all the units in that Detachment share a specific keyword, although sometimes Auxiliary Support Detachments and/or Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachments do not benefit from these abilities, in addition Chaos Space Marines and Space Marines don't get the benefit for these abilities except on Infantry, Bikes, Dreadnoughts and Hellbrutes. These special abilities can play a huge role in how powerful a unit is and how it should be used most effectively, grouping units together so that all units in your army benefit from the most beneficial special ability for that unit can make your army more successful, although it might limit the benefits your characters can give to what units. You can read what special abilities are available to different factions in the faction army tactics pages.

  • Genestealer Cults are a special case in this regard; their Brood Brothers rule allows them to bring an allied Imperial Guard detachment for each GSC detachment taken, even though they do not have a common faction keyword.
  • FAQs have explicitly stated that detachments whose different sub-faction keywords (such as Chapter and Regiment) have the same name do not allow buff sharing, so don't get cheeky by naming your custom IG regiment "Ultramarines" and expect it to do anything beyond making you look like a dick.
    • The first Big FAQ also prohibits "soup" Detachments of units which are from different armies but share broader keywords like IMPERIUM. They can still be taken in the same army, but they'll have to be in separate Detachments.

Looking for advice[edit]

Note the large amount of excess information
I really hope you wouldent do this anon-kun
A much improved version

So you've managed to hamfistedly slap together your first list, its even won you a few games. but is it good? Probably not, so you go to one of TeeGee's list threads, and immediately get yelled at for your poor formatting, lack of experience and general overall clean-shavenness. Here are some do's and dont's in a list:


  • DO:- Post what you want to do with this list (tournament, casual etc)
  • DO:- Post the points limit
  • DO:- Post the total cost of each model (for characters) or unit
  • DO:- List the upgrades a unit has taken
  • DO:- List the dedicated transports a unit has taken
  • DO:- Clearly identify which detachment each unit belongs to
  • DONT:- Post the individual cost break down for each upgrade
  • DONT:- Post the individual stats of a unit
  • DONT:- Copy the list directly from battle scribe (or equivalent)
  • DONT:- List ALL the war gear/special rules a model/unit has
  • DONT:- List all the command benefits a individual detachment has
  • DONT:- bump excessively either, as that will diminish the likelihood anons will respond.
  • DONT:- be a wanker to somebody who gave you negative feedback. they gave it for a reason

Also remember, to get feed back, an anon who either plays or knows your army has to see it. This means you might have to post it a few times, at different times of the day, or included an image in the post. The less played the army the less likely you will get feedback first time: Chaos usually gets feed back first time, but Sisters generally have to repost a few time. Just be patient

Playing the Game[edit]

Movement 101[edit]

Topics covered so far:

  • How movement works.
  • Common rules mistakes.
  • Basic advice regarding movement.
  • Accurate and predictable measuring.
  • Countering enemy movement.

Psychic Phase (AKA: mind bullet time)[edit]

Link to main article: Psychic Phase 101

New as of 7th, the psychic phase is where you use your vast array of mind powers.

Combat 101[edit]

While Shooting and Fighting are separated below, they largely share rules, much like how Movement and Charging are in separate phases, but share many rules and concepts. By and large, any attack you make has 5 values: Attacks (which is rate of fire), Accuracy (typically WS or BS), Strength, AP, and Damage. These values are converted into other values in context (for example, attacks are left alone, but accuracy requires dividing by 6), then those values are multiplied together to determine how many wounds you actually expect to knock off your target. They resolve in this order, in general:

  1. Determine number of Attacks.
  2. Roll to hit, based on accuracy.
  3. Roll to wound, based on strength and toughness.
  4. Target rolls to save, based on its saving throws.
    • While all rolls are subject to re-rolls and modifiers, the most common modifiers in the game apply here, such as AP and Cover.
  5. Roll to damage.
  6. If the target has a "Feel No Pain" type rule, it rolls that against damage, much like a saving throw. Feel No Pain rules cannot stack with each other- only the strongest one is applied.

As will be discussed below, you always re-roll before applying modifiers.

Attacks[edit]

This can be random, such as 1d3, or 1d6, or 2d3. There is a section below on dice averages, but for attacks, you can safely treat a random value as its average for the purposes of working out how much damage a given attack will do to a given target. More often, it will be a constant number- melee weapons generally use the Attacks stat of the user, while ranged weapons will specify the number of attacks they can perform in their profile.

Hitting[edit]

By and large, this will be a WS or BS value. Regardless of the name of the stat, here called "AS" for "Accuracy Skill".

The odds of hitting is: (7-AS-modifier)/6

  • An ability to re-roll will multiply this value by (6+x)/6, where x is the number of facings on a hit roll you can re-roll, so if you re-roll 1s x is 1, re-roll 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s x is 4.
  • Re-rolling all failed hits means x=7-AS, note that modifiers do not change the effect of re-rolling all failed hits, this is only affected by the AS.
  • Abaddon's ability to re-roll hit rolls even if they hit mean x=7-AS-modifier instead.

Wounding[edit]

Instead of requiring a fixed roll like hit rolls most wound rolls (WR) instead require that you compare the Strength of the weapon to the target's Toughness, although some weapons do require a fixed roll.

Your WR is 2+ if S ≥ 2xT, 3+ if S > T, 4+ if S = T, 5+ if S < T, 6+ if 2xS ≤ T

The odds of wounding is: (7-WR-modifier)/6

  • An ability to re-roll will multiply this value by (6+x)/6, where x is the number of facings on a wound roll you can re-roll, so if you re-roll 1s x is 1, re-roll 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s x is 4.
  • Re-rolling all failed wounds means x=7-AS, note that modifiers do not change the effect of re-rolling all failed wounds, this is only affected by the WR.

Penetrating Saves[edit]

Basic saving throws work very intuitively, broadly identical to accuracy a 6+ save works just like 6+ to hit - except that the target assigns which model takes the save in the unit and rolls the saving throw, this changes the looks of the math a little since we will be calculating how likely we are to penetrate our opponent's save rather than how likely we are to save. Many weapons have a negative AP value that increases the dice roll your opponent needs to beat to pass their saves, a cover save now adds a +1 modifier to the Sv of the unit rather than providing an alternate save like an invulnerable save like it did in the past. A saving throw roll of 1 is always a failure, but a roll of 6 is not necessarily a success. Invulnerable saves are unaffected by cover and AP but otherwise works exactly the same way as a normal save.

Your odds of penetrating (oop) is (Sv - modifiers - (AP) - 1) / 6

  • Note that oop cannot be greater than 6/6.
  • Note that since AP is negative (-1/-2...) the outcome of AP is actually positive -(-1)=+1.
  • An ability to re-roll will multiply this value by (36 * oop - x * (7 + Sv + modifiers + AP) ) / 36 * (oop) where x is the number of facings on a saving throw your opponent can re-roll, so if your opponent re-rolls 1s x is 1, re-roll 1s, 2s, 3s and 4s x is 4.
  • Ap increases damage non-linearly, having AP- or AP-1 against a 2+ Sv and a 6+ Sv are very different things, against a 2+ Sv AP- will need 6 wounds to penetrate the save once, while AP-1 will need 3 wounds to penetrate the save once (causing 100% more damage), while against a 6+ Sv AP- will need 1,167 wounds to penetrate the save once, while AP-1 will need 1 wound to penetrate the save once (causing 16,7% more damage).
Cover[edit]

Cover improves the Sv of the unit that is in cover by 1 against Shooting attacks regardless of which phase that Shooting attack is made in or whether the target or firing unit is in combat. A model cannot claim multiple cover saves, it is either in cover and receives the bonus or it is not and it does not benefit. If you have a unit that is partially eligible for cover the whole unit will not benefit, but if you remove all the models from the unit that are not eligible the unit benefits immediately, therefore it can be beneficial to roll your saves one at a time and pick off the ones outside cover first.

  • Certain units and terrain types (in the advanced terrain rules) have special rules which require additional restrictions regarding what units count as in cover or not. The best way to negate this if you want to maximize your output is to spread Anti-Armour units out across the board for as many viewpoints as possible. As for actually using this type of cover yourself, your best bet is to park these units inside a building or in a covered corner of the board where the opponent can't try to maneuver into a better place to shoot.
    • Most TITANIC units require you to have them in cover and be 50% or more obstructed from view from the shooter (and sometimes this simply doesn't apply to some models). This would found as a special rule of the TITANIC unit itself and is not, strictly speaking, a rule for all TITANIC models.
    • Woods require non-INFANTRY units to be in cover and be 50% or more obstructed from view from the shooter.
    • Ruins require non-INFANTRY units to be in cover and be 50% or more obstructed from view from the shooter.
    • Craters only provide cover to INFANTRY.
    • Barricades require INFANTRY units to be within 1" and behind it from view from the shooter. They do not provide cover to non-infantry.
    • Obstacles do not provide cover.
    • Imperial Statuary provides cover to MODELS that are within 3" and 25% obscured from the point of view of the firer.
    • Fuel Pipes require INFANTRY units to be within 1" and behind it from view from the shooter. They do not provide cover to non-infantry.
    • Battlescapes require non-INFANTRY units to be in cover and be 50% or more obstructed from view from the shooter.
    • Hills do not provide cover.
  • A special note that terrain obscuring requirements from the view of the shooter doesn't have to be obscured by the terrain feature itself. A Vehicle could be on a Battlescape terrain feature which did not conceal them, but if another terrain feature or model obscured at attacker's view of them, it would meet the requirement to be obscured from the view of the firer.
  • Many of the terrain types have additional special rules, but not rules related to meeting the requirements for cover saves.

Inflicting Damage[edit]

When a model fails its saving throw it takes a number of damage depending on the Damage characteristic of the weapon used. The model suffers that many wounds and any excess wounds are lost.

Feel No Pain "FNP" style abilities allow models to ignore some of the damage they take on by rolling a dice and beating a number, these rules are exclusive meaning you have to use the best one available but you can use it in addition to your normal saving throw.

Roll a die each time a model with this rule suffers a wound or mortal wound. On a roll of 6, ignore it.

  • Sometimes, the roll is a 5.
  • A 6+ FNP increases the average number of wounds you need to deal to a model to kill it by 6/5 or 20%. The chance that it will completely nullify an unsaved wound is 1/46656‬ for 6 damage, 1/7776 for 5 damage, 1/1296 for 4 damage, 1/216 for 3 damage, 1/36 for 2 damage and 1/6 for 1 damage.
  • A 5+ FNP increases the average number of wounds you need to deal to a model to kill it by 6/4 or 50%. The chance that it will completely nullify an unsaved wound is 1/729 for 6 damage, 1/243 for 5 damage, 1/81 for 4 damage, 1/27 for 3 damage, 1/9 for 2 damage and 1/3 for 1 damage.

Shooting 101[edit]

The basics[edit]

Shooting tactics rule ONE (1): Shoot at something until it is DEAD/destroyed/exploded/gone/**cked/smeared-across-the-floor. Seriously. Anything that is not dead can still hurt you. As the old Tactica Imperialis says: "Concentrate your fire on one target to the exclusion of all else. Once it is gone, choose your next target." Consider heavily before you commit several turns worth of shooting into a big target like a Knight with your lascannons, you might be better off ignoring the Knight and targeting a Leman Russ instead if you cannot kill the Knight in one turn. Shooting tactics rule TWO (2): Shoot for the mission. At the end of the game each game is won based on Victory Points (VP), don't fall for the distraction carnifex. Shooting tactics rule THREE (3): Shoot your weapons with the highest Damage characteristic first, if you deal a wound to a unit of Terminators with your Tactical Squad's bolters leaving one Terminator at one wound and then fire your Overcharged plasma into that squad with Damage two you are wasting 1 damage. If you had shot your plasma first you would get an extra damage for free. The opposite situation exists, if your opponent has a wounded model in a unit it can make sense to try and remove that model with your lower damage weapons in order to get maximum value of your bigger weapons into the next model in the unit. Shooting tactics rule FOUR (4): Shoot with the unit with the fewest targets available first. At the start of your shooting phase, assess what target options each one of your shooty units has, and always have your units who only have a single option fire first. The reason for this is if you've got unit A in a position to shoot anything he likes and unit B which only has one thing to shoot at, you want B to take the shot first. If you shoot B's target with A first instead, you run the risk of destroying it or breaking their morale, and you'll feel like a complete moron for depriving B of anything to shoot at.

Assault (Charging and Fighting 101)[edit]

  • Note that you can charge any number of units, even units you cannot possibly get to with your charge move, as long as they are within 12" they are fair game as far as charge targets go.
  • A charge roll is usually 2d6, which gives you an average roll of 7, a 1/36 chance of rolling 12+, 3/36 chance of rolling 11+, 6/36 chance of rolling 10+, 10/36 chance of rolling 9+, 15/36 chance of rolling 8+, 21/36 chance of rolling 7+, 26/36 chance of rolling 6+, 30/36 chance of rolling 5+, 33/36 chance of rolling 4+, 35/36 chance of rolling 3+ and 36/36 chance of rolling 2+.
  • When you charge all models except the first can be moved in any direction, including backwards, towards an objective, on top of a building or towards an enemy unit you did not charge, the only rule is that the unit has to end the charge move in coherency and more than 1" away from units you did not charge, only the first model must actually engage an enemy unit that the unit declared a charge against. This is effectively free movement you can use for anything, even if you are a shooting unit, this can let you get to where you need to be, just charge a unit with little threat in terms of Overwatch and Melee and you get 2d6" of free Movement. You get an additional 3" of free movement before a unit fights and after it fights, the key different here is that you can end these moves within 1" of a unit you did not charge, use this to your advantage, but those units will fight back, so take care to stay 1" away from melee units.
  • Take care to stay more than 3" away from enemy characters if you don't want to engage them, otherwise they will be able to heroically intervene and move up to 3" and engage you in combat, even if you did not charge them. Many Imperial Knights are characters, meaning they can heroically intervene as well. Some units can heroically intervene 6", Space Wolves and certain Imperial Knights for example. Adeptus Custodes can charge you in your charge phase as well with their jetbikes, so watch out for these things!
  • Players go back and forth each picking one unit at a time to fight with, but the very first charging unit always gets to go very first, nothing your opponent can do about that, so pick your first unit to fight carefully, after this your opponent can use a Stratagem to immediately fight with one of their units, after they do or if they don't the player whose turn it is can pick one unit to fight with one at a time until all their charging units have fought, then they can pick one unit they control that has not charged and fight with that, now the other player can choose a unit to fight and this goes back and forth until all units have fought. If a unit is within 1" of an enemy unit at the end of the fight phase it can fight if it has not already done so, so if your opponent uses a Stratagem to fight again and engage your units that have not yet fought, they now get to fight. If a unit is more than 1" away from enemy units and it did not charge it will not be able to attack, take care not to allow your opponent to remove the models with one unit which another one of your units would have liked to fight against. Generally pick the unit with the fewest models within 1" and fight with that first, your opponent will have a harder time removing the models that are within 1" of your 20 Genestealers than your Hive Tyrant.

Advanced Notes[edit]

  • Sometimes a shooting unit can be as valuable in melee as a dedicated melee unit, most units cannot fall back and shoot. Simply engaging an enemy shooting unit with your transport or shooting unit can hold it up for a turn.
  • As a general rule of thumb, you want to break or destroy your enemy in your opponent's assault phase. That way, your opponent does not have a shooting phase before your assault teams move towards their next target.
  • Generally speaking, Overwatch is more of an annoyance than a true threat, though certain rules, bonuses, etc. (Tau Supporting Fire/Counterfire Defensive Systems, flamers, etc) can take their toll, especially if you're relying on glass cannon units (Harlequins, notably). Some special "Negate Overwatch" powers exist, but there are other ways to mitigate the effects of Overwatch. Unlike 7th, there is no limit to what can fire overwatch or how many shots. Wyverns, for example, fire their regular 4D6 shots. Granted, they hit on 6s, but this can still hurt. During Overwatch, any ability that lets you re-roll all misses is much more effective.
    • Overwatch takes place before you move your charging unit, and is still subject to normal rules for Line of Sight, cover, etc. Moving a Rhino or other vehicle flat-out to block off models from shooting your chargers is always a valid trick.
    • If blocking Line of Sight is not an option, then aim to eat the overwatch. One way to do this is to have a "tanky" unit lead the vanguard. For example, when charging a unit armed with multiple flamers, have a fast monster/walker lead the charge. Heck, throw a Rhino at your enemies before charging with those Assault Terminators.
    • An easy way to ignore Overwatch is to charge a model with FLY from behind LOS-blocking terrain (aka the 1st floor of a ruin if you're using ITC rules) because the model ignores moving through terrain. You do not need LOS to declare a charge, but your opponent always needs LOS to use Overwatch.
  • Remember that pile-ins use the same overall rules for charging, and thus any unit must ultimately maintain coherency. When attacking a large spread-out unit, you can negate a lot of its strength by attacking on opposing flanks.
  • The ability to quit close combats is a very powerful ability, especially if you have Fly. As long as their initial charge doesn't hit too hard, you can kite them all day with Fly.
  • In multiple or extended combats, casualty removals via pile-in are very tactical. By careful removal of casualties you can force enemies to pile-in in the direction YOU want them to.
  • You can charge multiple units with a single model as long as they can get within 1" of all the units. This makes models with a good defense and a big base good for soaking as many overwatching units as possible before sending in your other squads. Transports are perfect for this.

Vehicle Tactics[edit]

Ever since 8e made vehicles nothing more than a keyword which changes how some rules apply to them, vehicles require no special tactics other than what you would apply to other models unless they fly.

Morale 101[edit]

A unit loses additional models in the morale phase, in general, equal to 1d6 + casualties taken this turn - Leadership, but cannot lose more models than it has, of course. This means the smaller a unit, the less it needs to worry about Morale - a 1-model unit never needs to roll for it in the first place, since it can't be alive after taking casualties, for example. It also means the expected "further" casualties from morale start at a plateau of 0 where the unit is immune to casualties, followed by an accelerating curve up, then an accelerating curve down, then a linear curve down once the unit is being wiped out in the morale phase, so it loses one fewer casualty to morale with every additional one it took earlier. For example, a 10-model unit with Leadership 6, taking mounting casualties from 0-10, suffers additional casualties in the Morale phase, on average, as follows: 0, 1/6, 1/2, 1, 1 2/3, 2 1/2, 3, 2 5/6, 2, 1, 0. This corresponds to the unit being the following size (on average) after Morale: 10, 8 5/6, 7 1/2, 6, 4 1/3, 2 1/2, 1, 1/6, 0, 0, 0.

  • The morale phase happens after the psychic, shooting, and assault phases and any casualties from those phases are added together when testing morale.

Dice Roll Math[edit]

  • It is almost always better to re-roll dice than to get +1. For instance, re-rollable 4+ has almost a 10% edge over 3+.
    • The exception is re-rolling 6's, which is 1/36 worse than 5+.
    • Because of how people throw dice, a re-rollable 2+ has a lower chance than math suggests. People tend to use the same rolling motions, which means those dice often end up in the same position ("1" both times). So use a dice tower or roll your dice more thoroughly for a longer period of time in order to increase randomness and adherence to estimated made via mathhammer.
    • The only time you want a +1 To Hit instead of a re-roll is with Overcharged Plasma weapons or effects that proc off of 6+'s.
  • The average roll on a D6 is 3.5
  • The average of 2D6 is 7, 3D6 is 10.5., and 4D6 is 14 (add 3.5 for each die you roll).
  • Picking the highest of two dice adds about 1 (actually .9722....) to the average roll.
  • 4+ re-roll 5+ is the same as 3+.
  • Re-rolling 1s is always equivalent to multiplying your odds of succeeding by 7/6, which means, additively speaking, it's better the higher your original odds are: you'll get an extra success in every 12 dice for a 4+, 9 dice for a 3+, and slightly more than 7 dice for 2+ (actually 7.2).
    • Re-rolling all failures has a larger benefit the lower your original odds; you'll get an extra success every 4 dice for a 4+ base, every 4.5 (i.e. 2 successes every 9) for a 3+, and every 7.2 for a 2+.
  • The odds of getting a 9 or more on 2d6 is 10/36, a little less than a third (27.78%). Re-rollable, it's a bit less than half (47.84%)
  • And, if you're into it, there's MathHammer.
  • GW dice are not mathematically fair! This set of mathematical data presumes you are using perfectly balanced casino dice which are. See following for details. http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/That%27s_How_I_Roll_-_A_Scientific_Analysis_of_Dice

Individual Army Tactics[edit]

Each of these pages contains (or should contain) a section on:

  • "Why Play Them," which briefly summarizes the positive aspects of the army.
  • "Unit Analysis," a brief discussion of the benefits (or lack thereof) and drawbacks of each unit individually.
  • "Building Your Army," suggestions on how to buy, convert, and paint the actual models.
  • "Tactics," suggested viable builds for a complete army.

For those of you who want a tl:dr version of what each army can do, we're in the process of writing summaries for them up here as well. Take a look at them if you haven't picked an army yet.

Imperium[edit]

Adepta Sororitas[edit]

Raised from infancy to adore and worship the Emperor of Mankind, the Sisters of Battle fanatical devotion and unwavering spiritual purity is a bulwark against corruption, heresy and alien attack.
Why Play Adeptus Ministorum[edit]

Because you're a proud fa/tg/uy who can remember the good old days when the models were pewter, the vehicle armor was Papier-mâché, and the universe was populated by manly motherfuckers instead of whiny power armored Mary Sues. And with the sausage-fest that is the Imperium, an entire army composed of badass power-armored women with nothing but a flamer and their faith is like a breath of fresh air. Whats that? Inquisitors? Fuck your shit. Go play Grey Knights. These are blasts from the past, when everything was ecclesiarchal, the force org chart was 50% HQ, and the Canoness had a goddamn laser mace. You're going to win for the same reason you always have. You're the hardest, beardiest, motherfucker around and you've been pushing these kids' shit in since they had Pokemon lunch boxes. Welcome to the new hard mode.

The Adeptus Ministorum AKA Sisters of Battle consists of the armies of the Ecclesiarchy, bringing many colorful characters such as warrior nuns armed with flame throwers, priests wielding chainsaws bigger than themselves, gun-slinging angels, disturbing yet sexy assassins, pipe organ tanks, and berserk killing machines whose pilots are driven mad by the need to redeem themselves. Do you like the idea of playing a mostly-female army of paladins? Do you like the idea of burning literally everything to the ground? Do you like playing an army that gets renamed every edition? If so, this army's for you.

Sisters have a bit of a murky history, their previous codices ranging from mediocre to nearly unplayable. Fortunately, this isn't the case any more. They were reasonably strong in the index, and while their Beta codex have gutted act of faith and hence made the jetpack part of the army much less good, a competitive list of sister will still reliably win against other non-competitive lists, which was not the case in previous editions. However, do not bring them to a tourney and expect to win.

Adeptus Custodes[edit]

The Adeptus Custodes are the Emperor's personal bodyguard. Each warrior is a hero in his own right, surpassing even the Adeptus Astartes in martial prowess and tactical acumen.

Pros

  • Extremely strong units, with basic troops that are more powerful than the elite units of most other factions. Capable of excelling at both melee and shooting.
  • Almost all units have at least a 2+/5++ save and 3 wounds each, making them hard to kill as well.
  • Straightforward play style with wide access to deep striking.

Cons

  • Units cost a lot of points and have some of the lowest model count in the game, making them vulnerable to being outnumbered and causing difficulties when it comes to holding objectives.
  • Most of your units' ranged weapons are short ranged and struggle against enemies with high armor saves.
  • Lack of Psykers to use Deny the Witch makes them vulnerable to psychic power use, especially Smite spamming.

Adeptus Mechanicus[edit]

The Adeptus Mechanicus wield a diverse selection of troops and warmachines that include the cybernetic warriors of the Skitarii Legions, the zealot Electro-Priests, robot maniples from a lost age, and more.

Pros

  • Incredibly durable, with army-wide 6++ at minimum.
  • Potent guns and shooting.
  • Canticles of the Omnissiah offer a variety of powerful buffs.

Cons

  • Limited roster, especially when it comes to Heavy Support and Fast Attack units.
  • No Psykers.
  • Only one transport will force you to footslog most of your units, with all the risks that carries.

Adeptus Titanicus[edit]

The Adeptus Titanicus is the division of the Adeptus Mechanicus that operates and oversees the Titans, the colossal Imperial war machines that are the most powerful non-naval engines of war in the Imperium of Man.

Pros

  • Insanely tough. Your weakest unit has 35 wounds, and Void Shields make a mockery of Mortal Wounds.
  • Excels at taking on other super-heavies and basically everything else.
  • The sheer psychological impact of fielding a giant death machine can keep your opponent from coming up with a good strategy.

Cons

  • Absurdly expensive, both in terms of points and real world money.
  • Needs substantial support to hold objectives.
  • Not suited for most games of 40k.

Astra Militarum[edit]

The Astra Militarum is the implacable military arm of the Imperium, and one of the largest armies in the galaxy.

Pros

  • Versatile and strong vehicles that provide excellent long-range firepower.
  • Hordes of dirt cheap infantry that can be buffed with many different force multipliers, such as Commissars, Astropaths, Priests, and all Commanders.
  • Low points cost for many units allows for easy CP accumulation.

Cons

  • Overall flimsy infantry with low saves, and only a small number of units are effective in assault.
  • Without synergy from supporting characters, units are not very strong.
  • Anti-infantry weapons will destroy your hordes easily, and large unit sizes make them vulnerable to morale issues. Similarly, an all-tank army will be easily dispatched by massed anti-vehicle attacks.

Blood Angels[edit]

Afflicted with an ancient curse, these Space Marines descend to battle as an unstoppable angelic host.

Pros

  • Compared to vanilla Marines, more effective in assault due to the Red Thirst rule granting +1 to wound on the charge. This is further enhanced by widespread access to jump packs that increase mobility and allow for deep strikes, as well as melee beatsticks like the Death Company.
  • Powerful characters that give multiple bonuses, such as re-rolling charges, re-rolling hits, and allowing the Death Company to ignore morale.
  • Many vehicles have superior movement speed and potent multi-shot weapons.

Cons

  • Reliant on quick strikes that deal a lot of damage in a short time; not as effective in battles of attrition due to the need to charge (or be charged) in order to benefit from Red Thirst.
  • Dependence on charges can allow opponents to plan ahead, allowing them to either tie your units up or set up Overwatch attacks to pick them off before they can get into close combat.
  • No real advantage over other Marines when it comes to long-range shooting; the absence of things like Centurions does not help with this.

Dark Angels[edit]

These baleful knights are relentless in their battle against Chaos - and protect a dark secret from their past...

Pros

  • More reliable Overwatch and Stratagems that improve shooting give them a much better ranged game (especially with plasma weapons) without detracting from their effectiveness in assault.
  • Near-immunity to losses from Morale.
  • Supports two major alternate playstyles in addition to the vanilla-equivalent "Greenwing"- the Deathwing focuses on massed Terminators with mix-and-match wargear, while the Ravenwing emphasizes a combination of bikers and flyers, both of which are fast and hard-hitting.

Cons

  • Deathwing/Ravenwing buffs have little to no benefit for Primaris/Greenwing units, meaning your force will have to synergise based on their own merits rather than relying on stackable buffs. This means combining playstyles may be inefficient.
  • Cannot take some units available to vanilla Marines, the most notable of which is an interceptor aircraft.
  • Bonuses against Fallen are thematic but unlikely to be relevant in practice.

Deathwatch[edit]

The Deathwatch are specialized alien hunters, drawn from the elite of the Space Marines and assembled into versatile and deadly Kill Teams and armed with advanced ammunition and tactics.

Pros

  • Mission Tactics allow for greater adaptability in mid-battle, and also grants improved effectiveness against xenos armies.
  • Low model count and basic paint scheme makes armies simple to assemble.
  • Excellent anti-infantry weapon access.


Cons

  • Low model count compared to other MEQ armies isn't compensated for by durability boosts, and the sheer number of weapon loadouts available can cause problems with keeping track of it all.
  • Poor access to long-ranged anti-armor weapons, worsened by only having a few usable vehicles.
  • Mission Tactics take trial and error to use effectively.

Grey Knights[edit]

The Grey Knights are a secret Chapter of Space Marines tasked with combating the dangerous daemonic entities of the Warp and all those who wield the corrupt power of the Chaos Gods.


Pros

  • Almost all units are psykers, and are one of the two factions in the game that can use Smite repeatedly without penalties.
  • Strong in assault and close range shooting. This is further improved by widespread deep striking and Terminators as troops.
  • Multiple bonuses against daemons and enemy psykers.

Cons

  • Limited unit selection, further reduced by high points costs.
  • The codex is extremely limited in terms of unit selection, with minimal options for anti-vehicle weaponry of any kind.
  • Bonuses against psykers and daemons are highly situational and are not likely to grant their benefits in most situations.


Imperial Knights[edit]

Imperial Knights are titanic war machines, bonded through honour, fealty and years of experience. While their numbers are small, few can match their power on the battlefield.
Why Play Imperial Knights[edit]

They are powerful.

Modeling and painting Pros[edit]

  • Cool models. As in "psychologically-intimidating" cool. Putting a Knight on a table will cause your opponent to internally go into "aww shit" mode.
  • Can be magnetised so that you can customise your knight depending of the opponent/meta, although not so much of an option with forge world models. They’re also surprisingly easy to build and paint, painting in particular is made so much easier by the presence of nice large armour panels, the ability to build the knight in separate sub assemblies, and nice sharp details which take highlights very well.
  • Many online stores, including Forge World sell conversion bitz specifically for knights, allowing you to construct them in any flavor you need to.
  • Lots of large prominent areas for freehand painting.

Gameplay Pros[edit]

  • Tough as nails. With 24 wounds, T8/3+/5++ vs shooting, it'll take on average 23 BS3+ lascannon shots to take one down. Waltz it forward at the front of your army and watch it soak up entire turns of shooting. (Just be careful if the Guard player sets down a Shadowsword.)
  • Low unit count will be getting first turn roll bonus almost all the time.
  • They make for an excellent Imperial ally in 2000 point or more games, especially more as it can be more efficient having a couple of slightly weaker knights running around killing stuff than a single warhound Titan.
    • While you would never really put some imperial factions together (sisters of battles and marines for example) there is no imperial faction which does not gain something by the presence of a Knight (although every time this is to perform the role of “a giant fuck off robot with big guns”, but who doesn’t need a giant robot on their side)?
  • Knights have all of the ranged firepower, possessing strength 9 ranged weapons for your name blade chewing needs, high rate of fire strength 6 guns for your GEQ chewing needs and even more heavy firepower in the dominus class.
  • You absolutely destroy most balanced armies because they take a spread of different weapons for taking on different targets, and as your whole army is vehicles you can pretty much ignore large parts of their armies threats. Watch out for Dark Eldar though, they pack anti-tank like no ones business.
  • You are That Guy.

Modeling and painting Cons[edit]

  • Price. Your cheapest models are the Armiger knights at a cool $75 USD. The standard Questorius class knights run at $157 and the Dominus knights are a wallet pounding, non-multikit bearing $170! Prepare your wallet if you go Forge World, which has knights that are eye-watering $285. Perhaps not much more expensive than a regular army considering you only need 3-4 questorius class knights to function properly but it certainly feels more expensive.
  • More of a neutral aspect than anything, but while knights have the capacity for simple paintjobs, they thrive in the design and freehand field. If you paint them flat colors you are sorta missing out on some spectacle for your army. If you revel in this however, this is a pro, and you will have quite a lot of space, especially on the Dominus class knights, to flex on others with your painting skills.

Gameplay Cons[edit]

  • Damage Tables mean that your Knights get slower and less accurate the more worn down they are from combat.
  • Although tougher than they were in the previous edition, they've also gotten a lot pricier; a bare-bones Gallant runs 352 points, while a fully-kitted Crusader weighs in at 535.
  • Knights die surprisingly easily and hit surprisingly weakly. Expect to take a lot of wounds and miss a lot of shots. As mentioned in the Pros section, their best weapon is the sheer intimidation factor of the models. Speaking of intimidation...
  • You won't win the psychological warfare against level-headed opponents. Your Knights might be scary as fuck to noobs but not to those who keep their calm. That's why you are That Guy.
  • A 3+ armour and 5++ invulnerability save is nothing special to write home about, especially as most knights don’t get their invulnerability save against melee attacks. Unless you’re up against “small arms” fire you will take a surprising amount of damage very quickly. Stuff like Tesla guns with +1 or +2 to hit will do an obscene amount of damage despite your saves.
  • They will need help dealing with hordes even if they can't be tarpitted any more.
  • Hammernators will wreck your shit mercilessly and almost look cost-effective doing it. Bjorn will tear one of your knights a new asshole if you let him attack. Even generalist infantry melee blenders (like Khorne Berzerkers) will wear you down quickly through sheer volume of attacks.
  • Dedicated anti-tank guns will bring them down with shocking rapidity. With the changes to ion shields, static gun lines threaten them quite a bit.
  • You have to ally with the Mechanicus to get Engineseers and other Techpriests to repair Knights at a reduced efficiency (1 wound instead of D3, although the right warlord trait can boost that to 2).
  • You're big, but there are even bigger kids on the block, and the firepower and melee capability these beasts can bring to a battle makes your knights look like an Ork trukk by comparison.
  • You are That Guy.
  • Even if you don't want to be That Guy, you end up being That Guy - there is no "friendly" or "beer&pretzel" settings on your army list.

Space Marines[edit]

Genetically Engineered, ruthlessly trained and armed with the finest weapons and wargear in the Imperium, the Space Marines are Humanity's greatest warriors.
Why Play Space Marines[edit]

Space Marines are perhaps the best army for beginners. Their units are fairly expensive points-wise (but not to the same extent as more elite forces like Grey Knights or Deathwatch), so they usually field fewer bodies and vehicles than most other armies. While you can't bog down your foes in waves of men, this makes army construction cheaper and painting faster. Additionally, Space Marines are dead'ard; their basic troops have Toughness 4 and a 3+ armour save, giving them great staying power compared to most basic infantry of other armies. They're also solid in whatever role they're put in; Marines are good shots, and they're not half bad in an assault, either.

Pros

  • Easy for beginners to play, yet rewarding for experts. Can be customized to focus on many specific elements (e.g. Terminators, mass jump pack assaults, etc.) with varying grades of viability.
  • Units can do something of everything, with an answer to every situation.
  • You're GW's favorites, so you'll always be the first to get anything new. See also: Primaris Marines, getting the first full Codex in 8E.
  • Loads of powerful characters to choose from, many of which have potent buffs to surrounding units.
  • You'll almost always have an armor save.
  • Many of your models are simple to paint with their solid colors and easily identified highlight areas---This makes painting your army very beginner friendly.

Cons

  • As the most popular army by a long shot, most people build their armies with at least a few options for killing Space Marines present.
  • Tanks (other than the Forge World ones and the hefty points-priced Land Raider family) are somewhat lacking compared to those of other armies.
  • Unlike with most other armies Chapter Tactics do not apply to vehicles, only infantry, bikes, and dreadnoughts.

Space Wolves[edit]

Fighting like warriors of old, the Space Wolves are a noble Chapter of Space Marines who combine gene-crafted might and advanced technology with ancient tradition and the strange lupine strenght the canis helix...
Why Play Space Wolves[edit]

Just like their legendary progenitor, the Primarch Leman Russ, Space Wolves are fierce and aggressive warriors. Though they are not berserkers or madmen (well, OK, maybe some of them are a little crazy) their headstrong personalities and inherent sense of justice means that the Space Wolves are forever waging a war against the evils of the galaxy, fighting with the cunning of a hunting pack rather than the frenzy of a rabid dog. Space Wolves like red meat, strong ale, bawdy songs and good old-fashioned brawls, but most of all,they like to hunt glory upon the battlefield. They see death in battle as a fitting end for a true warrior, and if they leave a long and exciting saga of heroic deeds as their legacy, so much the better.

The Space Wolves are a truly different and unique Space Marine army built around a core of charismatic champions. Each of the Space Wolves is a hero in his own right, and though this means that Space Wolves armies are typically few in number, their individual prowess more than makes up for it. Space Wolves are master of the ferocious assault and their bombastic leaders are amongst the most feared and respected warriors in the 41st Millennium.

Pros

  • You like any of these things: assault, wolves, Vikings, wolves, runes, wolves, werewolves, wolves, snow, wolves, ice, wolves, honour, wolves, beards, wolves, Nordic names, wolves, repeating words, wolves, and not wearing helmets. Also Wolves.
  • Your troops units reliably pull their weight. Blood Claws hit impressively hard on the charge, and your Grey Hunters can be more mobile and choppy than Tactical Squads.
  • The Space Wolves have access to unique wargear that is generally slightly better than what Codex Astartes Space Marines use.
  • Awesome looking exclusive models. Space Wolves are covered in pelts, teeth, talismans, and runes which gives them a Viking-inspired, savage appearance.
    • Consequently, an added benefit of playing Space Wolves is that you'll piss off PETA
  • Not only are the models awesome looking, but they're cheaper than vanilla marines, depending on which units you buy. Specifically their devastator, tactical and assault squad equivalents all go for 37 US bucks each. And that unique flyer ~6 points down goes for a dollar less than a Storm Raven gunship (really saving up for that Nuln Oil).
  • Powerful HQ characters, both special and standard.
  • The Tempestas discipline is good for helping you survive shooting long enough to get into combat.
  • All the Wolf you could ever wolfy wolf wolf. If you have a thing for Wolves, look no further. We also have legitimate Werewolves in the army now.
  • Unique access to Thunderwolf Cavalry and Wulfen means that few armies come close to being as good at assault as the Space Wolves.
  • Between strong troops and strong HQs, you can take bigger detachments for more command points without feeling like you're being taxed.
  • A unique flyer in the Stormwolf which is essentially a flying Land Raider. Packs a 16 troop capacity and half a dozen heavy weapons to back it up.
  • Between Prospero Burns, Leman Russ: The Great Wolf, and Horus Heresy Inferno, the fluff is being overhauled to make the Wolves both more serious and more likable.
  • Grey Hunters, Blood Claws and Long Fangs can take Wolf Guard who are able to upgrade to Terminator armor. It might not seem like much at first. However an extra heavy or power weapon can't be understated. Cyclone Missile Launchers have strength comparable to a Plasma gun with more range and doesn't have to exchange his Storm Bolter.
  • Confirmed to be getting the next Codex with a handful of new units, as well as the goodies from the vanilla Codex that the Wolves didn't have access to. Can you say "Wulfen Dreadnought"?
  • A certain HQ can be painted as a killer Santa

Cons

  • No ability to Combat Squad. Not necessarily a bad thing but all other Space Marine Chapters can do it.
  • With the elimination of USRs we've lost Counter-Attack, and now that Decurions don't exist anymore we don't have Counter-Charge either. This takes a lot of flavor and versatility away from our army- gone are the days of being able to Rapid Fire into a dedicated melee unit, overwatch them when they charge you, fight like you had gotten the charge, and have one of your nasty CC specialists Counter-Charge them in their assault phase.
  • All the Wolf you could ever wolfy wolf wolf. If you have a thing for cats, or creative names, go away. We also have legitimate Werewolves in the army now.
  • No heavy weapons in Grey Hunter or Blood Claw squads. Blood Angels players will rub it in by mentioning their access to Heavy Flamers.
  • No access to Grav weaponry without allied Space Marines. With the nerf to grav weaponry this isn't as bad as it used to be.
  • You won't be able to play Space Wolves without people constantly reminding you to Wolf your wolf... seriously its fucking ridiculous on /tg/. With Fenris being in the middle of the Great Rift , "Yiff in Hell" jokes now hit pretty hard. A vocal minority consider Wolves Mary Sues worse than the Ultramarines. Thus the hate is widespread.
  • Santa Grimnar jokes will never end. Thanks Games Workshop
  • Grumpy old man Bjorn jokes are funny at first, then become annoying after the first ten minutes.
  • PETA
  • Also helmets seem to be a precious commodity to the space wolves, so be prepared to rage paint bare bearded space marine heads or buy some off the secondary market.
  • While the extra bling looks nice when well painted and can alleviate some of the boredom of painting 30+ troops by focusing on making each one look individual, it also makes things more time-consuming. Consider purchasing a few codex marine kits to mix in to reduce the sheer quantities of wolf bling you have to paint. As an added benefit, this is also your best way to get ahold of meltaguns, flamers, one-handed power axes, and combi-weapons.
  • Wolfing Wolves
  • Getting murdered by a Killer Santa
  • Every problem that plagues Space Marines applies to the Space Wolves. They are a (mostly) melee army in a shooty edition. Bring out the Plasma, Flamers and the big guns because you're going to need it. Remember, Only a noob charges a full strength unit. Primaris Marines and allies act as a temporary patch for said problems.

Imperium[edit]

The Inquisition acts as the secret police force of the Imperium, hunting down any and all of the myriad threats to the stability of the God-Emperor's realm, from the corruption caused by the Forces of Chaos to assaults from vicious alien species.

The Sisters of Silence are an all-female order of Imperial Witch Hunters tasked with hunting down rogue psykers and other psychic threats across the galaxy.

The Rogue Traders lead exploratory fleets into unknown territory to find and colonize planets uninhabited by humans and to bring humans outside the Imperium into the fold.

The Officio Assassinorum is the hidden blade wielded by the High Lords of Terra. They are the slayers of kings and false messiahs, the bane of Traitors and rebels across the stars.
Why Play Imperium[edit]

You're joking, right?

Many of the armies in the game have the IMPERIUM keyword. The units listed here fill Imperial "factions" which don't have full blown army lists of their own but offer relatively cheap ways to fill in some of the holes in your other lists while remaining Battle-Forged.

Need some leadership boosts and a highly customizable force? Pick up an Inquisitor or two. Lacking psychic oomph? Take the Astra Telepathica, a Culexus or the Inquisition. Meta with a lot of character auras? A Vindicare is a solution. PS: The recent Beta Rule, Battle-Brothers, will force you to divide these factions into detachments centering around a keyword other than IMPERIUM keyword, but that shouldn't stop People, and has granted some units to not need an HQ tax. The problem with this though, is that it makes it much more difficult to bring in transports with Authority of the Inquisition. Have you, my friend, always been taking inquisitorial chimeras? Well now they must be taken in a guard detachment.

Many of the units on this page are now of questionable usefulness if they can't use the keyword Imperium. Especially if detachment limits are used as they are at tournaments. If you want 3 silent sister squads you'd have to give up 1 out of 3 detachments and have no CP from it to get them making them virtually useless. If you wanted just 1 or 2 Assassins or sister squads too bad you have to use 3 and lose cp for it. Which kinda seems like GW punching themselves in the face as many of the models on here are comparatively expensive to buy or part of expensive sets like blackstone. Currently you can take an Imperial Guard detachment alongside Space Marines easier and with no negatives but get penalized for a single assassin.

Chaos[edit]

Xenos[edit]

Dark Eldar[edit]

The Drukhari are an ancient race of reavers that dwell outside the material universe, descending upon the galaxy in improvised raiding parties to feast upon the suffering of mortals.

Pros

  • Blisteringly fast army. Infantry moves at least 7" and Vehicles move in excess of 14". Amazing transports can both protect and ferry around your units while still allowing them to shoot from inside.
  • Increasingly powerful as the game goes on because of the Power From Pain ability which all non-vehicle units share and gives progressively more buffs each turn.
  • Kabal units provide massive firepower and especially potent anti-Monster shooting, Wych Cult units have Combat Drugs they can choose before the game to alter their profile and abilities that make it harder for enemies to fall back, Haemonculus Coven units provide tough units for better board control.

Cons

  • Outside of transports Kabalite and Wych Cult units are very fragile and while inside transports your units do not benefit from Aura abilities.
  • The most powerful Dark Eldar Stratagem has been nerfed and the synergy between Craftworld Eldar and Dark Eldar has been vastly decreased with the change of a couple of core Stratagems. Without the aid of their other Aeldari cousins Dark Eldar have no way to interact with the Psychic phase.
  • Poisoned Weapons which are some of the most widely used Dark Eldar weapons are nearly useless against vehicles, even light vehicles which boltguns otherwise deal with quite well. Poisoned weapons also lack AP which makes them weak against units with a 2+ Sv.

Eldar[edit]

The Aeldari of the craftworlds are a proud and ancient race - while their numbers are small their grace, speed and agility is without peer.

Pros

  • Fast overall with one of the best transports in the game and a generally high Movement stats, Flyers with unmatched aerial manoeuvrability.
  • Excellent psychic powers and utility HQs such as Warlocks and Farseers.
  • Eldar Trickery is back! Now you have countless ways to mess with your opponent's plans, be it Deployment, Deepstrike, with the right psychic powers and Stratagems even the lowly Guardians can be made nigh-invulnerable for a crucial moment and hold an objective almost no matter how much your opponent might want to rip it away from you.

Cons

  • Most of your Infantry are vulnerable out in the open, it takes effort whether though Stratagems, Psychic powers, Transports or terrain to keep your Infantry alive.
  • Most of your melee units are underwhelming compared to their shooting counterparts.
  • Only one or two of the Craftworlds are ever used.

Harlequins[edit]

Hailing from the webway, these sinister Aeldari have turned murder into an art - and the galaxy itself is their stage.

Pros

  • Incredibly fast with a default 8" movement plus the ability to Advance and Charge, and everyone ignores terrain and models.
  • Hit like an absolute truck in Assault with 4 attacks base for basic troops, and can also pull off close-ranged Shooting shenanigans with Fusion Pistols and Starweavers. 4+ invulnerable saves on everything means you can shrug off high-calibre shooting more easily than most other factions.
  • Have the AELDARI keyword, meaning you can plug the holes in their capabilities with complementary units from Dark Eldar or Craftworld Eldar.

Cons

  • Even with improved Invulns, you're still fragile, especially against weight of fire. Your Troops are basically dead if they are ever outside of a transport and not in melee. If you can't hit first and hit hard or tie up your opponent's units so they cannot fall back, the clownery stops.
  • No long ranged weaponry. The best you have is 24" on your Shuriken Cannons. Currently, your best option to kill a Leman Russ is a pistol with 6" range. Saddle up Bitchez!
  • Small pool of units to choose from- Two HQs, one Troops, one Fast Attack, two Elites, one Heavy support, and a transport. Most Harlequin armies are going to look very similar each other in terms of units and high pts costs for both wargear and basic models means you won't be fielding lots of those units either.

Corsairs[edit]

Corsairs have forsaken the protection of their Craftworld to live lives on the edge. They rarely enter unfavourable battles instead using speed and guile to outmanoeuvre their foes.

Pros

  • Corsairs have the most flexible weapon loadouts of all the Aeldari factions, allowing you to either specialize against a particular unit type (like GEQ or MEQ), or kit them out to handle a wide range of threats.
  • With the 2017 CA dropping their point costs, most of the Corsair units are actually pretty reasonably priced for what they bring to the table.
  • Like the other Eldar factions Corsairs are very mobile, perhabs more so even than their cousins because of their use of jetpacks.

Cons

  • In the transition from 7th to 8th edition, most Corsair units have been liquidated. For some reason, this also included their HQ choices such as the Corsair Princes, Barons and Void Dreamers. Like Imperial Assassins, Corsairs can currently only be brought as a pure Corsairs detachment without an HQ, forgoing any command benefits for the detachment.
  • Corsairs have all the frailty of the Dark Eldar, meaning that a single stiff wind could very easily wipe out an entire squad of your dudes. While they have access to the Falcon now, with no means to repair or mitigate damage received, it'll suffer all the more for it.
  • For the time being (which will probably be a very long time), Corsairs lack any and all faction traits to shore up their weaknesses. With all the other Aeldari armies having Craftworld Attributes, Drukhari Obsessions and Harlequins Masque Forms, they can all perform more effectively both in defensive and offensive roles compared to the Corsairs. Coupled with your lack of unit choices, this leaves the Corsair faction with very little in-house incentive to pick them compared to what all the other Aeldari factions offer.

Necrons[edit]

The Necrons are deathless androids that once ruled the galaxy. Following a long stasis, they are awakening across the universe, armed with destructive weapons from aeons past.

Pros

  • Between vehicles with an assload of wounds, Living Metal to get those wounds back, and troops that can literally stand back up, it's a durable army that can hit hard and take just as much.
  • The entire army has Leadership 10. While losing the final 5 Warriors in a squad after losing the first fifteen sucks, it's not nearly as bad as losing 4 in melee and then having a 50/50 chance of getting destroyed.
  • Their basic guns the gauss flayer are exactly the same as the Space Marine boltgun, except they have AP-1 instead of AP-, on cheaper models to boot. 10 Immortals armed with tesla carbines and supported by a model with the My Will Be Done ability will do an average of 30 hits S5 AP- at range 24".

Cons

  • For once, accusations that you're a slow army are actually true. Most of your stuff is moving a mere 5". This is compounded by your Gauss weapons relying on their 12" Rapid Fire range to remain points efficient, making it possible for opponents to dramatically lower your damage output by keeping you at arm's length.
  • Tesla fails horribly against things that gives you to hit penalties, hitting stuff like Flyers, vehicles which have popped smoke, Mechanicus and Space Marine units from certain sub-factions while they are 12 or more inches away, Tzeentch Daemons close to the Changeling, Tyranid models close to a Malanthrope and/or a unit of Venomthropes.
  • Overpriced HQs are overpriced, expect your Troops, Fast Attack and Heavy Support to do the heavy lifting.

Orks[edit]

Violent, insane and innumerable, the Orks are a screaming horde of scavengers and barbarians who live only for battle.

Pros

  • "WAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH!!!!!!"
  • Massive numbers of attacks in melee with a Stratagem that allows you to fight twice.
  • Quantity over quality in firepower makes for great Overwatch performance plus we get extra shots thanks to DAKKA! DAKKA! DAKKA!

Cons

  • Requires very large numbers of models to play properly. This can get extremely time-consuming both in hobby time and during games.
  • Few reliable anti-tank options. Most units are generally unreliable and have a large variability based on dice rolls.
  • Orks are extremely CP reliant. That limit some build options as low CP armies are not very viable.

Tau Empire[edit]

Dynamic, enlightened and optimistic, the T'au bring their way of life to the 41st Millenium through diplomacy - or, where that fails, powerful technology, including advanced battlesuits.

Pros

  • You can shoot overwatch with any unit within 6" of the charged unit. Noteworthily, basic overwatch in 8th can be performed multiple times, but using it makes you unable to fire more this turn.
  • Markerlights let you focus down single big targets effectively with your entire army.
  • A plethora of abilities that allow you to transfer wounds from more important targets to less important ones, as well as abilities that allow you to ignore wounds and good Sv characteristics and/or invulnerable saves can make your key units very resilient.

Cons

  • Virtual army wide BS 4+ meaning the so-called "Ranged experts" of the galaxy are only as good as your off the line Imperial grunt.
  • The Kroot which are supposed to be protecting you against melee threats are pretty bad, expect to lose if you get stuck in combat for any large amount of time.
  • You have no psychic powers, no defenses against them and no really cheap Smite screens.

Tyranids[edit]

The Tyranids are a vicious race of extragalactic predators, joined together in a single, horrifying hive mind. Where other factions use technology, Tyranids use adaptive bioforms bred for specific - and deadly - purposes.

Pros

  • Your melee specialist units hit hard as a steam train and move like cheetahs on crystal meth. Your ranged units can be hard to hit if they are close to a unit of Venomthropes or a Malanthrope.
  • Synapse makes your units more or less immune to morale and Instinctive Behavior is more of a nuisance rather than something that can make your Carnifexes decide that eating each other is a good idea. Synapse creatures are psykers so you generally have great anti-psychic abilities.
  • Wide variety of different types of units that can fill almost any role.

Cons

  • If you ever lose all your Synapse units or if you get more than 12" away most of your units have terrible morale.
  • Your melee, while highly damaging, is generally not great against big vehicles and monsters.
  • While 'nids can spam wounds and models like the best of them, there is a general lack of solid armor. 2+ saves are rare making you generally vulnerable to the basic weapons of most factions.

Genestealer Cults[edit]

Insurgent citizens that worship the Tyranids as deities from beyond the stars, the Genestealer Cult seeks to destroy the Imperium from within.

Pros

  • Cult Ambush lets you bring Space Hulk into 40k, and you're the Genestealers. With some amazing melee units you can quickly crush your foe if they are not properly prepared.
  • You can have your pick of Astra Militarum detachments for brainwashed allies to shore up some of the list's inherent weaknesses. You can mix in some Tyranid units into your army as an allied detachment as well
  • Genestealer cults are the latest faction to get a codex, meaning that they are surfing the crest of improving rule design and power creep (+1 strength AND a bonus to charge range makes catachans jealous).

Cons

  • Heavy Support, fliers and Fast Attack choices are extremely limited without using other allied factions, and these allied factions don’t get to share your keywords and other buffs. Alas, the way this works also mean that you can’t take a titan with your pseudo guardsmen, no reverting the forest battle on endor for you.
  • The entire army is extremely squishy and expensive, 8th edition is a cruel place and time to be a GEQ.
  • Your gods will eat you after all's said and done.

Unaligned[edit]

Homebrew Tactics[edit]

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Orks
Tau
Tyranids