Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Adeptus Mechanicus(8E)

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Why Play Adeptus Mechanicus[edit]

Because you like Cyborgs, technosorcery, and some of the scariest guns in the Imperium. Alternatively, because you want to play a bunch of greedy hoarders that make the Blood Ravens seem positively philanthropic in comparison.


  • Finally, Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus combined into a single faction! The Omnissiah has heard our prayers!
  • Some of the best Heavy Support choices in the game, Yup, all three of them.
  • Incredibly durable since...
    • All HQs can repair (even Knights)!
    • Army-wide 6++ or better. Multiple wounds on many models.
    • The Shroudpsalm canticle grants army-wide cover in the open. Even Skitarii!
  • Above average footslogging ability: the ones who don't move 8" (like Kastellans) ignore penalties for moving and shooting (like the Dunecrawlers).
  • Useful HQs that can actually do stuff at range instead of merely standing around (Dominus) or are extremely cheap and useful to three factions (Enginseers).
  • Amazing guns: Cancer carbines, 60" Antitank snipers, Plasma and Grav out of the ass. And that's just the Troops section.
    • Those two things combined mean HQ and Troops aren't a tax, but you actually want to bring them. Brigades and multiple Battalions will have both enough dakka and CP instead of sacrificing one for the other.
  • Strong Forge World Dogmas and flexible Stratagems. An abundance of buffs all in all.
    • Infiltrating/Deepstriking any unit, bots sneakier than the Raven Guard, FNP that protects against Gets Hot unlike the Iron Hands', safe supercharged plasma, sending the second wave like the old Forlorn Hope, we've got it all and more!
    • Doctrinas are back! Every Skitarii can hit on 2+ (even the Anti-Air against ground units), and tasers explode on a 4+.
    • These two points of no tax & good strategy make them one of the best allies for imperial forces, besides the IG and the Inquisition.
  • Our models have gotten cheaper from 7th, and 8th has seen TWO point reductions on commonly used units.
  • MECHANICUM KNIGHTS. We have stratagems and repair possibilities too!
  • Wonderful models, with the arguable exceptions of Corpuscarii Electro-Priests and perhaps Kastelans.
  • We have the cheapest Imperium Battalion at 165 points (2 Enginseers and 3 5-man Ranger squads).
    • Your minimal brigade costs 840pts which is not half bad considering that most of the things in it are actually useful. In comparison, the minimal space marines brigade is 891pts but it's far from a playable formation...
  • A bit meta, but Admech gets at a fair amount of love from GW in terms of new models and rules updates. Perhaps not as much as the boys in blue but we've recieved a new tank and are confirmed for a flyer and two new kits in 2020. While pigeonholed now into specific builds for competitive viability, it's possible that these new releases may push us into real viability.


  • Many armies lost stuff in the transition from 7E to 8E, but AdMech stands out. Some notable parts being...
    • AP4 Galvanic Rifles? Now you need to roll a 6, yet Heavy Bolters and Bolt Rifles have AP-1.
    • Infiltrators crippling enemies with their mere presence? Now it's a 1" -1 Leadership aura. Oh no, not that...
    • No more Dunecrawler squadrons. No squadrons at all in fact. Combined with the rule of 3 and we have a distinct lack of vehicles on the table compared to the likes of Imperial Guard.
    • Haywire wounding mechanical stuff on a 2+? Nope, now it's a chance of dealing more damage, yet Eldar Haywire does Mortal Wounds on a 4+. Bull. Shit.
  • Most of the cool stuff from 30k Mechanicum has yet to get rules, and with Forge World's unpredictable release schedule, there's no telling when we'll ever get them. RIP Cyraxus.
    • You know all those cool cyborg warriors from Visions of Heresy and such? None of them are here, not without a lot of greenstuff and imagination.
  • We have anti-air (Icarus array) but our air support STC is taking longer to decipher than anticipated. Make do with Ballistari.
  • No pyskers and no direct defense against them unless you run the Graia forge world. Ring in the Inquisition...
    • Your mortal wounds are almost all dealt in melee unless you're playing Mars. Combined with your lack of transports means that units with good invulnerable saves need to be kept FAR away.
  • Corpuscarii Electro-Priests look like ass. With cogs. And sausage fingers...
  • Despite the invulns and FnP, etc., your infantry is mortal (T3, 4+/6++ for the most part).
  • Crummy Leadership means you often take minimum squads to prevent losses from Morale tests. You can still reach marine-tier leadership using cheap upgrades and models you were still going to bring, though.
  • A very LIMITED unit roster. For example, we only have two Fast Attack (both from the same box) and three Heavy Support choices. Also notably...
    • If you want to use Cawl (which you do), you HAVE to play Mars. Space Marines have 13+ named characters, we have Cawl and Dadaelosus.
    • In fact, we only have four other HQ: An expensive Captain-equivalent, a cheap repairman/battalion filler, a strange buffer from Killteam, and one named useful guy. They're not defenseless in melee, but you don't really want them there, which is a bit of an issue because a lot of your army (Siccarans, Vanguard, Dragoons, Breachers, Electropriests & melee Kastelan) wants to smash face.
  • Oddly enough, you will struggle with heavy armored lists at medium to long ranges. We've got no practical meltas and no cheap lascannons. Neutron Lasers are good, but how many of them can you field? If your opponent is spamming leman russes and baneblade(s), you have a problem.
    • The solution is to field a knight, but that isn't exactly a cure considering EVERYONE does that and EVERYONE builds lists to deal with it...
    • Ryza Plasma Destroyers in a Servitor Maniple. For 2 CP per shooting phase, they have a slightly lower average damage output than a demolisher cannon...PER MODEL.
  • Kataphron suck big time. Don't be fooled by the "point efficiency" of the shooting or the wounds. They are a fire magnet without the toughness and the invulnerable saves to survive. The enemy will point some medium weapons at them and delete them from the map. A tank commander with a punisher gatling (170pts) will BRRRT a 3 man squad of Destroyers (140pts) in a turn with grinding advance. The Breachers are marginally less fragile but still useless. This means that half of your troop choice is nonviable.
  • ...on the other hand, you have only two fast attack units, which are both good but awkward to fit in any list, and your elites are... questionable? Half are outright useless and half are potentially powerful but are Eldar specific in role. And the useful ones are expensive. This means it's actually not easy to build a functioning brigade. This leaves you with battalions spam to farm CPs. In theory, you can spam three battallions for 15 CPs for 690 points, accounting for the rule of three, which look very good compared to the fabled minimal astra militarum brigade, considering also that your HQs and troops are actually useful. Problem is that you are capped to three detachments for 2000 points game and you will probably need to ally a knight or some other stuff. So you are kinda capped at 10+3CPs total.

In short: the rule(s) of three really hurts the Mechanicus.

These negatives together mean that you have to bring in Imperial allies to stay competitive. Psykers, aircraft, and cheap spammable fire support like lascannons benefit this army a lot.

Faction Keywords[edit]

Did you guess IMPERIUM and ADEPTUS MECHANICUS? The rest are either SKITARII or CULT MECHANICUS. That's right, finally merged into one army. There's also FORGE WORLD, which determines your Forge World Dogma.

Special Rules[edit]

Canticles of the Omnissiah[edit]

Once per turn, you can activate one of the Canticles of the Omnissiah. One use per canticle, or roll a D6 to get a random one (and possibly re-use one). Note a detachment must be 100% Adeptus Mechanicus to make use of these. Putting allies in another detachment is fine, though. What is really good about Canticles now is that you are choosing them at the "start of each battle round", not on your turn. That means you can declare Shroudpsalm on turn 1 even if your opponent is going first.

  1. Incantation of the Iron Soul: Lets you re-roll failed Morale Tests.
    • If you run big blobs of Vanguard, it's not the worst thing out there.
  2. Litany of the Electromancer: Also known as the Zap Rap. It will help you hand out Mortal Wounds, but all things considered, this is one of the least useful Canticles. You get a 1 in 6 chance for each unit that's in melee with you to suffer 1d3 mortal wounds.
    • Most useful against tough to budge MSU units such as Marine Combat Squads and IG Infantry Squads if you can engage enough units (because lots of units to hit) and units that are expensive per wound like deathcult, aspect warriors, terminators, and lychguard (because every wound hurts). Extra effective if it's both, namely characters and elite min squads.
    • The effect is resolved as soon as its chosen and does not apply again during the rest of the round. Its wording may suggest it apply as soon as a unit enters the 1" range during the round, but being w40k a FIFO (First In First Out) and 'read as it is' game, the rule has to be applied as it's written, without supposing its behavior.
  3. Chant of the Remorseless Fist: Re-roll 1s in the fight phase.
    • It's decent, and the only buff to WS that AdMech can get. Use it the turn when your Electro-Priests, Sicarians, and Dragoons make it into combat. It is especially beneficial to the latter two due to their taser weapons. Combine with the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative to more than double damage output on a large alpha strike unit.
    • Rangers go from wounding Guardsmen 16.67% of the time to 19.44%... but +1S increases this chance by 22.22%, so it is generally better to pick Invocation of Machine Might if the unit gets benefits from a strength difference.
  4. Shroudpsalm: Grants Army-wide cover, one of the best canticles.
    • Pick it at the start of Battle Round 1, and then try to roll for it every phase afterward with Cawl's ability. This will allow your Infantry to pretend they are Space Marines and means your Kastelan Robots and Dunecrawlers are some of the very few vehicles in the game that can get a 2+ Save.
    • The 'Prepared Positions' (2CP) stratagem also gives you army-wide cover at the "start of the battle round before the first turn" if you go second (W40k April 2019 update p.7). So, kind of at the same time than Shroudpsalm, meaning you could use it to save CP. Or if you have the CP, you can use Prepared Positions and then Shroudpsalm. After two turns of army-wide cover, your army's bound to be all in actual cover at their destination points. Or in contact with the enemy, where you'll go Machine Might on them.
  5. Invocation of Machine Might: +1 Strength
    • makes the difference between wounding a Marine on a 4 instead of a 5, or Guardsmen on a 3 instead of a 4. The best thing is that you can save it for when your taser bois make contact with the enemy.
  6. Benediction of the Omnissiah: One of the best ones, even if it is a bit redundant. It allows you to re-roll 1s in the shooting phase.
    • While Domini already gives this to you (and Cawl even better), it still helps your far away units, like Ballistarii, deepstrikers or people in the new transports, so it is useful. Kataphrons are so big that they may not fit all units under the Dominus' aura alongside Kastelans and Dunestriders, so there's that too.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Monitor Malevolus: Once per battle, you can re-roll a single hit roll, wound roll, or damage roll made for your warlord. In addition, if your army is battle-forged, roll a d6 each time you or your opponent uses a stratagem. On a 6, you gain a command point, though it's been capped at a single CP regained per battle round.
    • The free reroll is still worth a CP on its own, though.
  2. Magos Biologis: You can re-roll failed wound rolls when attacking enemy infantry, beast, or monster units with your warlord.
    • Good for a Dominus with relics that meets the enemy instead of being support. For dedicated melee, the Primer Hermeticon might serve you better.
  3. Mechadominator: Your opponent must subtract 1 from hit rolls they make for any of their vehicles that target your warlord.
    • A) You have Onagers with Neutron Lasers, why are enemy vehicles still alive? B) Vehicles aren't Snipers (besides Knight Castellans with Oathbreaker Guidance System), nor should your Magos be duking it out against a Dreadnought.
  4. Necromechanic: Each time your warlord uses an ability to repair a friendly model, that model regains 1 additional wound. Doubles your Knight-repair rate, which normally heal only 1 wound instead of the usual D3.
    • Can be combined with the 'Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land' relic if you cannot afford to lose that Onager.
  5. Chorister Technis: Whilst on the battlefield, you can re-roll one die whenever you randomly select which canticle you use. Notably, if the warlord is from Mars, he can only re-roll the first result. And if he isn't, the FAQ states he's only rolling a single dice anyway, the Martian double-dogma being rolled for separately from non-Martian detachments.
    • Giving Cawl an assistant with this does still help him; you'll go from 3/4 Shroudpsalm odds to 7/8, for example.
  6. Prime Hermeticon: Infantry units within 6" can re-roll failed hit rolls in the fight phase.
    • This is the only way you can get anything useful out of Breachers in close combat. If you're using only Skitarii for melee, the Omniscient Mask could help you better.

Soldiers of the Machine God[edit]

It's Objective Secured with a different name.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Will of the Omnissiah
1 VP for choosing to roll for the active Canticle of the Omnissiah. Also known as "a free VP".
12 - The Machine Eternal
1 VP if you restored all the wounds of a damaged VEHICLE.
13 - A Victory For Logic
1 VP if an enemy PSYKER was destroyed, failed a Psychic Test, or had a power denied (through either Deny the Witch or Graia's Stratagem).
14 - Rumors of Revelation
Roll a d6. Score a VP if you control the objective corresponding to the number you roll, which is improved to d3 VP if your Warlord is controlling it.
15 - Destroy and Acquire
1 VP if you destroy at least one vehicle and the vehicle in question did not explode/crash and burn.
16 - A Quest For Knowledge
d3 VP if you control an objective that was controlled by your opponent at the start of the turn, d3+3 if you control 3 such objectives.



  • Gloria Mechanicus (2 CP): Use at the end of any phase. You can change the Canticle to another (either by picking or rolling). You can't pick one you used before (unless you stack it with the stratagem below), but you can benefit from the Mars Dogma.
  • Divine Chorus (2 CP): Use once per battle, at any time you would determine a Canticle; lets you choose the Canticle, even if it's already been used this game.
  • Zealous Congregation (3 CP): At the end of the Fight Phase, select an Electro-Priest unit from your army. They can fight a second time this turn. Great way to make sure your Fulgurites get that 3++ for the game.
  • Elimination Volley (2 CP): Use in the Shooting Phase; if a Kataphron Destroyer unit and a Kastelan Robot unit with the same FORGE WORLD keyword are within 6" of each other, they both add 1 to hit that phase. Makes supercharged Plasma Culverins safe.
  • Binharic Overide (1 CP): Use at the end of any phase to change the Kastelan battle protocols on one of your units. However, they are stuck in the new mode for the rest of the game. Obviously, this also means you can't use this on a given Kastelan unit twice in a single game. If your Fist Kastellans have already reached melee but their Datasmith was killed before changing to Conqueror Protocols, this will let them avenge him.
  • Archaeotech Specialist (1-3 CP): This is the stratagem that lets you take extra relics.
  • Scryerskull (1 CP): Identify d3 hidden set-up markers / Identify a mysterious objective / One of your AM units shoots without the penalties from Dawn Raid (appearing in 3 Narrative Play missions), Low Visibility (used in Battlezone: Night Fight) or Cover of Darkness (used in Maelstrom of War: Cloak and Shadows)
    • Unfortunately, these rules are specifically named, so any new rule in the future with the same or similar effect (reduced accuracy at range and/or due to low-light conditions) will not be covered by this stratagem.
  • Dataspike (1 CP): Use after fighting with a character. Resolve one additional attack against an enemy vehicle within 1". If you hit, the vehicle takes 1d3 mortal wounds.
    • Your Dominus or Datasmith can injure a Dreadnought equivalent(DEQ) but not really finish one since they can't withstand the punch back. Belisarius can use this and his arq scourge to take out a DEQ, but overall merely fluffy.
  • Cognis Overwatch (1 CP): A unit can overwatch with Cognis weapons at full Ballistic Skill. Onagers no longer come in units, but Ballistarii still do, and 4-8-12 autocannon / 2-4-6 lascannon shots at BS3+ are no less scary than the Neutron Dunestrider's six heavy stubber shots.
  • Protector Doctrina Imperative (1 CP): Use before a SKITARII unit attacks in the Shooting Phase. That unit gets a +1 to hit for all rolls in that phase, which is boosted to a +2 if it has either a broad-spectrum data tether or an enhanced data tether. Makes Ballistarii hit at full BS even when advancing, Icarus arrays hit ground units on a 2+, Transuranic Arquebi on a 2+, Vanguard with EDT hit on 2+ even when advancing and makes their supercharged Plasma Calivers safe.
  • Conqueror Doctrina Imperative (1 CP): Use before a SKITARII unit attacks in the Fight Phase. That unit gets a +1 to hit for all rolls in that phase, which is boosted to a +2 if it has either a broad-spectrum data tether or an enhanced data tether. Save this one for your Dragoons and your Infiltrators. Their taser weapons will thank you.
  • Benevolence of the Omnissiah (1 CP): Use when an Adeptus Mechanicus VEHICLE or KNIGHT suffers a mortal wound. The model ignores each mortal wound (and ONLY mortal wounds) on a 5+ for the rest of the phase.
    • Note that the knight codex has a stratagem with the exact same effect. Because these two stratagems have different names, you can use both of them within the same phase, allowing you to protect two knights instead of one if you have them in your army. It makes the synergy between the mechanicum and knights even creamier.
  • Tech-adept (1 CP): You can use this stratagem to allow a character to make two repair rolls a turn, even on the friendly model. Can save severely wounded Vehicles if you've got a tooled-up repair HQ (4 wounds a turn on a Knight / 8 on a Dunestrider), or get a pair of Kastellans back into shape.
    • The exact wording of the stratagem says "The character can immediately attempt to use that ability again, and can even use it to repair the same model", so you can double heal the same model by RAW.
  • Machine Spirit Resurgent (1 CP): Use at the start of your turn. A vehicle can use the top row on its damage chart until the end of the turn.
    • Onagers and Knights are the only thing in codex with damage charts. Useful on the Knight since it will get shot at before your infantry even get close to the enemy, but you have enough tech-priests to keep Onagerson the top-chart.
  • Rage of the Machines (1 CP): Use during shooting. One vehicle model, regardless of models in unit (clarified in the April 2019 FAQ), can ignore the penalty for moving and shooting a Heavy weapon, and advancing and shooting an assault or cognis weapon. Not suffering penalties on their Heavy Cognis weapons, this allows Ballistarii to advance and hit on a 3+ instead of move normally and hit on a 4+.
  • Dunestriders (1 CP): Pick a unit of Ironstriders or Dragoons. Roll two dice and add the result together when determining how far they can advance.
  • Acquisition at Any Cost (2 CP): Use at the end of any of your turns. Select an infantry unit from your army within 3" of an objective marker. Until the start of your next turn, you can add 1 to all saving throws made for that unit and increase the attacks characteristics of all models by 1.
    • If stacked correctly with other buffs, you can make your units INCREDIBLY hard to kill. For example, using it on a squad of Vanguard in cover (or Shroudpsalm) gives your tin-men a 2+/5++ save, turning them into mini-terminators. Or use it on Kastellans / Kataphron Breachers, just to be nasty.
    • Even better, that 10 man squad of Fulgurite Electropriests that just charged, and killed, that enemy unit that was sitting on an objective could gain a 2++/5+++ and 3 attacks apiece, as this stratagem does not specify armour saves...
    • Alternatively if you use this on a squad of Secutarii Hoplites they will have 3 attacks each (4 for the Alpha) and have a 3++ in melee and a 3+/4++ vs shooting. Unless you are going up against Khorne Berzerkers they are gonna be stikcing around (even if they are charged by Berzerkers they'll kill 5 of them with reflect mortal wounds)
  • Infoslave Skull (2 CP): Use after an enemy unit arrives on the battlefield as reinforcements within 12" of one of your infantry units. You can immediately shoot at the enemy as if it were the shooting phase, but you must subtract 1 from all the resulting hit rolls. Coteaz called, he wants his shtick back.
  • Machine Spirit's Revenge (1 CP): Select a Adeptus-Mechanicus vehicle that's lost its last wound; it explodes with no need to roll for it. Apparently, the Mechanicus has no problem stealing a page from the Death Guard playbook as well. A farewell "Fuck you" from your fallen Dragoon. ESPECIALLY useful with the termite drills. You're charging those things into combat after deepstriking anyways, either to soak overwatch for its assaulty passengers, or to punk an enemy vehicle or monster. In most cases if you aren't playing with your head up your ass the drill should bite the dust with enemies near it. When it does HAHA BOOM BUTTERCUP. Unfortunately, due to being only for Adeptus-Mechanicus vehicles it means you cannot charge the Dominus-class Knight into melee and make it explode in the middle of the enemy's army. Fortunately, you have a Drill

Questor Mechanicus-specific[edit]

  • Knight of the Cog (1 CP): Use at the start of any battle round before determining which Canticle of the Omnissiah will be in effect. Select a Questor Mechanicus unit from your army that is within 12" of a friendly ADEPTUS MECHANICUS CHARACTER. That unit gains the Canticles of the Omnissiah special rule until the end of the next turn.
    • One good use of Knight of the Cog is to allow your Knight Castellan to reroll with its Plasma Eradicator(?) to mitigate those mortal wounds. Not as good as giving it a 2+ save in the open but something you may use.
    • Clarified as per April 2019 FAQ to allow the target unit to gain the benefit of the canticle even if no other unit in that units detachment has the Canticles of The Omnissiah rule.
  • Rotate Ion Shields (1 CP/3CP): Use when an enemy targets your Knight - +1 to any invulnerable saves for the rest of the phase (costs 3CP if you use it on a Dominus class knight so make sure it's going to take some hits if you use it there), to a maximum of 4++ with the Spring 2019 FAQ. Indirectly allows you to play more aggressively with your Knight.


Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Arc weapons: Haywire as we knew it is dead. Instead it became 1d3 damage against vehicles...but it has to actually wound them first, not to mention vehicles became more resilient themselves with the adition of an armour save. Thus, think of them as regular weapons with a bit of extra chip damage against vehicles from time to time.
    • Arc Claw: At S+1 with AP-1 it'll have the strength to wound infantry and light vehicles the Breacher manages to catch, and the AP to be a bother.
    • Arc Lance: with S+3 (S6) ap -1 D 1 it'll do well Vs most medium melee infantry but where it really shines is wrecking vehicles where it does D3 damage. 10 Hoplites with re rolls can reliably destroy a DEQ in a single round of combat.
    • Arc Maul: A Power Maul with a nifty rule you'll never use (but priced as such), iconic to Skitarii Alphas. A decent melee weapon for its price with nice Strength and AP.
  • Electroleech Stave: S5 AP-2 makes it behave like a SM power axe with extra damage and chance for mortal wounds. Now you only need to get those Fulgurites into melee.
  • Hydraulic Claw: Essentially a power fist with less armour penetration. The weapon isn't bad, what is bad is the Breacher it is mounted on: what it gains in chance to wound it loses in chance to hit, and its meagre AP doesn't let it capitalise on the D3 damage (which is the actual strength of power fists, not their strength). Barely better than the Arc Claw.
  • Kastelan Fists: Better than power fists, hitting at S10 AP-3 with flat 3 Damage, all without any penalty to hit.
  • Omnissian Axe: Like a Force Axe but with a flat D2 instead of D1d3, for Domini and Enginseers.
  • Omnissian Staff: +2 strength, -1 AP and Damage 2. Exclusive to the Manipulus.
  • Power sword: Available to Infiltrators and Skitarii Alphas. Its better AP means it's of more use than an arc maul for an Alpha against marines and cheaper too...but at only 1 per squad it's more of a fashion statement than a weapon.
  • Servo-arm: It's one power fist attack (including -1 to hit) with 1 worse AP but flat D3. For Enginseers and Servitors; so they're not going to be in melee on purpose, but at the very least it's free now.
  • Taser weapons: Lousy AP but good strength, relies on each hit roll of 6+ causing 3 hits instead of one, meaning they can benefit from Conqueror doctrina to explode on 4+. Rerolls to hit (Remorseless Fist Canticle, Prime Hermeticon WT, Omniscient Mask relic) are common enough.
    • Taser goad: S+2, available to Infiltrators and Skitarii Alphas.
    • Taser lance: S+3 AP-1 D2, now hitting at Str8 whether you charged or not.
    • Electrostatic gauntlets: Not a taser weapon per se, but behaves exactly the same. Being S5 instead of S(User+2) and wielded by Corpuscarii only makes this weapons unable to be boosted by either Conqueror or Machine Might...but they can also be used as 12" Assault 3 taser guns.
  • Transonic weapons: No longer getting better on subsequent combat rounds, these Ruststalker weapons are now CCWs that cause Mortal Wounds on a wounding roll of 6+. Only Ryza rerolls wounds.
    • Chordclaw: Can only be used for one attack each fight (and no longer fleshbane), but does 1d3 damage that becomes 1d3 mortal wounds on a 6+.
    • Transonic Razor: The regular flavor. Fishes for mortal wounds and nothing more.
    • Transonic Blades: Razors with +1Str. Wounds marines easier, and can be combined with Machine Might to ravage guardsmen, but remember mortal wounds don't care about the target's toughness.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Arc weapons: Gone are the days of reliably wrecking Land Raiders from across the table. However, Arc weapons can reliably attack infantry and are actually quite cheap for their stats. S6 AP-1 won't cut it against vehicles, so their 1d3 damage against them should be seen as a novelty extra chip damage instead of a dedicated anti-tank rule. While they wound vehicles on 5+ and lowering their saves to 4+, actual Anti-tank wounds vehicles on 3+ and makes them save on 6+. That's something Bolt Rifles do, and with Bolt Discipline they actually do it better. If you rely on chip damage, then it's not anti-tank.
    • Arc Pistol: Available to Skitarii Alphas, S6 AP-1. All in all a darn good pistol. Shares a 3 point cost with the Phosphor Blast pistol.
    • Arc Rifle: It's no plasma caliver, but it still packs a punch and at only 2pts now it's practically a steal, being able to wound GEQ on 2+ and even chip their tanks.
    • Heavy Arc Rifle: 36" Heavy 2 Breacher signature gun. Behaving like an anti-infantry autocannon, its better AP-2 and base D1d3 make it able to deal with heavier, multiwound infantry like Primaris and even Crisis suits. Actually useful against light vehicles like Land Speeders and Sentinels, tearing out huge D1d6 chunks out of them. And now it costs only 6pts.
  • Cognis Weapons: Heavy weapons that can still be fired after advancing (at a -2 penalty), though only Ballistarii can make something out of an advance.
    • Cognis heavy stubber: The old reliable .50 Browning in space. Available to the Skorpius variants and the Onager as a supplementary weapon for self defense, or to pick off infantry while its main gun is busy elsewhere. Essentially a regular heavy stubber on the Onagers since they only advance D3", so you're better off doing a normal move. A dirt-cheap auto-include at mere 2pts — it will make double its points back whenever it kills just a single Guardsman/Cultist.
    • Twin Cognis heavy stubber: The Skorpius Dunerider has one of these.
    • Twin cognis autocannon: 20 points for 4 autocannon shots, which is cheaper than what other armies get (except Guard) while still allowing Ballistarii to sprint at full speed when needed. And cognis overwatch from a full unit of three is no joke. Nice.
    • Twin cognis lascannon: Again, cheaper than what other armies get, plus cognis shenanigans.
  • Flamer weapons: S4 AP0, 1d6 autohits no matter how many enemies they fight. We've got two flavours, neither of which are the regular or Heavy flamer.
    • Cognis Flamer: Picks the better of two d6 when rolling for attacks on overwatch. Considering it's actually better on overwatch than when shooting normally, and the Destroyer's primary weapon has much longer range, its main job is to be a deterrent. A damn good one. Benefits MASSIVELY from the Techpriest Manipulus boosts, Metalica's and Graia's Warlord traits.
    • Incendine Combustor: A Heavy Flamer with a longer 12" range (so it can be used right out of infiltration/deepstrike), this thing is great for clearing out hordes. Works well on punchy Kastelans.
  • Eradication weaponry: Reverse Conversion weaponry (or Mechanicum Melta), hitting harder the closer they are. Useful against a variety of targets, positioning is paramount.
    • Eradication beamer: Heavy D6 Str8 AP-2 D1d3 allows it to comfortably tackle Primaris, Crisis suits and even terminators from 13"-36", whilst still doing good antitank. This is its main range. At 12" and closer it gains AP-4 and D1d6, but halves its shots to D3. While respectable against vehicles, you don't want your Onager that close to the enemy, and the Neutron Laser is better antitank. Still, it's a cheap, cost effective and versatile weapon.
    • Eradication Ray: A good weapon for your Dominus to close in, this 24" Heavy D3 S6 AP-2 weapon gains AP-4 and D1d3 at a range of 8", just before the charge. So better make it your charge.
  • Flechette Blaster: No more S2 and shred, it's essentially a 5 shot Laspistol now. Have fun wounding Death Guard on 5+.
  • Galvanic Rifle: The Galvanic Rifle got shafted. While it remains a 30" S4 Rapid Fire gun, Precision shots aren't a thing anymore and it's AP0 unless you roll a 6+ to wound, upgrading then to AP-1. It's like Necrons and Primaris Marines stole all our Galvanic Rifles and left us with second-hand crap. And yet, with Chapter Approved's discount to Rangers it is one of the best Imperial SI guns in the game.
  • Gamma Pistol: What Arc weapons wish they were. S6 AP-3 flat D2, rerolling failed wounds against vehicles. Datasmith exclusive.
  • Heavy Grav-Cannon: A very expensive 30" Heavy 5 Str5 AP-3 weapon that causes D1d3 to enemies wearing power armour or better. Won't wound termies on a 2+ like it used to, but now it can take down hordes in addition to the heavy infantry it's originally intended for. It's the most potent Troop weapon, only surpassed by supercharged plasma.
  • Macrostubber: Essentially 5 shot bolt pistol. Good for the melee Dominus, since pistols can't be used with other weapons but can still shoot in combat. Better than a Volkite against hordes of light infantry.
  • Icarus Array: Oh, boy. This is gold now. Despite being an anti-air array (-1 to hit vs non-flyers), 10 reasonably powerful shots on a BS3+/4+ Onager mean it will deal some heavy damage on a lot of things. Especially since half its shots are 2D or better, so it hurts even heavy infantry. And if you look up how many things have the Fly keyword you can't help but rejoice.
  • Magnarail Lance: A new weapon carried by the Tech-Priest Manipulus. 18" Heavy 1 S7 AP-3 weapon that deals d3 damage or a flat 3 damage if the bearer did not move. Can go up to 21" range if you use the Manipulus' bolster weapon rule.
  • Neutron laser: The lascannon that steals other lascannon's girls. Better in both looks and stats, 48" Heavy D3 S10 AP-4 D1d6 (treating 1 & 2 as a 3), this beast can literally punch a hole the size of a Carnifex on a Carnifex. Sure it costs 50pts, aka half the actual Onager's cost, but it's cheaper than two lascannons while way better than them, and it allows an extra Cognis Heavy Stubber to be mounted on the crab tank.
  • Phosphor weapons: The old Luminagen rule no longer helps the rest of your army, but its fire now outright Ignores Cover instead of merely reducing it. Usually S5 AP-1, they remain good anti-infantry weapons on their own right, even more so when dealing with infantry that depends on cover, like Scouts.
    • Phosphor Blast Pistol: The iconic Skitarius Alpha's pistol. While the Arc pistol is better, it's only one pistol; you can afford to look cool.
    • Phosphor Blaster: 24" Rapid Fire 1", making it a pocket Heavy Bolter. Cheaper than a Cognis flamer, a good sidearm for your Destroyers when you have them well protected.
    • Phosphor Serpenta: The carbine of the phosphor line at 18" Assault 1. Luminagen no longer helps with the charge, so it's merely an extra shot for Dragoons, if you can afford it. Not being a pistol, Domini can shoot it alongside their main weapon, unlike the Macrostubber.
    • Heavy phosphor blaster: 36" Heavy 3 S6 AP-2 allows ranged Kastellans to ravage GEQ and MEQ alike, even if they keep to cover. And then it can mount three of them and shoot them twice.
    • Twin heavy phosphor blaster: Two heavy phosphor blasters, it just can't split its fire. It's a fairly good anti-infantry loadout for your Onager, though it's the budget option to shooty Kastelans.
  • Plasma weaponry: These high-risk high-reward weapons now let you choose between two modes both with good AP-3: a Safe mode "good enough" to kill single-wound marines (Str7 only wounds them on 3+ now), and a Supercharge mode that has S8 and D2, making it excellent against terminators, other multiwound infantry and even vehicles. The risk: gets hot now kills you, no matter the wounds and saves the wielder had. Fortunately for you, AdMech has many ways of making supercharges a safe and efficient option. In fact, just Ctrl+F "safe".
    • Plasma Caliver: Now only Assault 2, but waaay cheaper at 11 points, making your Skitarii a cheap and most efficient source of plasma.
    • Plasma Cannon: As meh as the servitor they're available to. If you're looking for cheap plasma, Skitarii wield it better.
    • Plasma Culverin: The old Culverin recieved a massive boost to range at a light expense to its rate of fire. Being 36" Heavy 1d6 it has a bit less power than two plasma cannons while only costing a few points more than one of them (but still more expensive than the identical IG Executioner Plasma Cannon). Kataphron Destroyers are expensive (though they are 20 points cheaper after Chapter Approved 2018 and can now revive with Servitor Maniple), so overcharge responsibly, AKA, when they reroll 1s.
  • Radium Weaponry: The cancer guns still do 2D on a 6+ to wound. Still good, just not as unique since in 8E wounds don't carry over and anything is wounded on a 6+.
    • Radium Pistol: You're giving the Alpha's main gun for a single shot pistol. Their base weapon does in a turn what this pistol does in two or three. If you choose to drop your main gun for a pistol, there are better alternatives...although this one is free.
    • Radium Carbine: 18" Assault 3, allowing Vanguard to cover lots of ground and still hit on 4+. Their high rate of fire is enough to proc double wounding so often that this is statistically the best vehicle killing Standard weapon inside of 18". Their special rule helps them with the big stuff; they will be more difficult to wound, but will be dealt 2D when they. And they have a good rate of fire against the small stuff.
    • Radium Jezzail: More power than other armies' sniper rifles, at S5 Heavy 2. A bit less range at 30" but it can be mounted on a Dragoon for just 4 points, becoming a fast, resilient and annoying sniper.
  • Stubcarbine: S4 pistol 3, with good 18" range for a pistol, it's mostly a sidearm to the Infiltrator's powersword, which is cheaper than alternative Flechette/Taser goad loadout.
  • Torsion Cannon: Basically a slightly cheaper Multi-melta that lacks the melta rule, single shot on a BS4+ Breacher. Unreliable vs vehicles, overcosted vs infantry, the Heavy Arc Rifle will serve you better.
  • Transonic Cannon: AP-1 2D sonic flamer. Only available on the Manipulus.
  • Transuranic Arquebus: The best sniper in the game, albeit with a decent 15pts cost. Str7 AP-2 D1d3, with the usual +1MW on a wound roll of 6. Hitting characters up to 60" away means it can drop that pesky Ancient/Librarian/Commissar with a single shot from the other side of the table, especially when under a boost to hit. Its range and strength allows it to tear chunks out of tanks and hunt other snipers at a safe distance. The catch: you can't shoot and move at all, a complete 180° from 7E. Excellent for Rangers.
  • Volkite Weaponry: Martian death rays from Horus Heresy that do mortal wounds on to-wound rolls of 6+.
    • Twin Volkite Charger: A cheap 8pt upgrade for the Terrax-pattern Termite Assault Drill, 15" Heavy 4 S5 0ap D2 weapon makes it a useful weapon against infantry and lightly armored multi wound characters, unlike other Volkite weapons this one lacks the mortal wounds on to-wound rolls of 6+. Although this may simply have been an oversight on ForgeWorlds part.
    • Volkite Blaster: Cheap, 24" Heavy 3 makes it reliable for the Dominus who keeps to his machines away from the enemy, unlike the more expensive Eradication Ray with random shots. S6 and mortal wounds on to-wound rolls of 6+ makes it a good weapon for its cost.

Special Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Enhanced Data-Tether: Portable wifi hotspot for a squad of skitarii. Re-roll failed Morale tests for units that have an EDT. Units with an EDT (Rangers and Vanguard) increase the bonus from the DOCTRINA IMPERATIVE Stratagems from +1 to +2 to hit, allowing your Vanguard to do stuff like advance and still hit with supercharged plasma calivers on a 2+ with no risk of overheat. At 5pts its dirt-cheap and should be considered even for base-size squad since the Doctrine Strategem is gravy.
    • [This Item had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018]
  • Broad-Spectrum Data Tether: Crawler-mounted cell-tower equivalent that gives nearby friendlies more bars of reception. Friendly units within 3" of the BSDT's user add 1 to their Leadership during the morale phase. It also gives the same boosts as the EDT to the DOCTRINA IMPERATIVE Stratagems. Available to Onagers, Ballistarii and Dragoons, keep near their large bases to get the Ld bonus, which can be combined with the EDT.
  • Omnispex: Enemy units gain no cover bonus from attacks made by a unit with an omnispex. 7 points, and with split fire on everything suddenly your Skitarii's special weapons just got a lot scarier. Solid contender against the EDT, especially in a unit with Arquebii or Calivers. Not as useful anymore since it can't proc better hitting with the strategem. But useful on sniping Rangers to negate characters trying to boost their saves hiding in cover, teh kowardz, TEH FEWLZ


  • Weapons
    • Anzion's Pseudogenetor: It's a tangle of mecha-tentacles that can vivisect enemies in battle. That's justification enough to use it. It gives a model using it D6 S4 AP-1 melee attacks that re-roll to wound against infantry in addition to the model's normal melee profile. Particularly great since it's a supplemental weapon, not a replacement.
    • Pater Cog-Tooth: Replaces an Omnissian Axe, increasing its strength and damage: S+2, AP-2, D3.
    • Phosphoenix: Replaces a Phosphor serpenta with true phosphex, increasing its AP and rate of fire. 18" Assault 3 Str5 AP-3, ignoring cover like regular phosphor does.
    • Uncreator Gauntlet: Replaces a power fist, so can only be taken on a Datasmith. Same stat line as a power fist, but also causes 1 mortal wound whenever you successfully wound a vehicle.
  • Non-Weapons
    • Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land: A returning favorite from the Cult Mechanicus codex, it's Arkhan Land's personal pimp cane. At the start of your turn the bearer heals 1 wound, and can reroll the repair roll if he targets an Adeptus Mechanicus unit. Combine with the Necromechanic Warlord Trait if you want a dedicated repairman that just will not die.
    • Raiment of the Technomartyrs: Yet another old item with a new set of rules. In addition to granting the bearer a 6+ FNP save, if a Forge World model (not unit) within 6" of the bearer (obviously including itself, as always) fires Overwatch and rolls a 6+ to hit, you can make one bonus attack with the same weapon against the charging unit (bonus attacks can't trigger this rule again). Useful for any firebase to hold their ground.
    • Omniscient Mask: Re-roll failed to-hit rolls in the fight phase for friendly Skitarii units within 6" of the character. If only we had a Skitarii Alpha Primus to put this on...
    • The Skull of Elder Nikola: Once per game during the shooting phase, you can pull out the skull and roll a die for each enemy vehicle unit within 2d6". On a roll of 2+, the unit suffers a mortal wound. Probably the worst relic in the codex, but it's listed as a non-weapon because it isn't one; the models taking wounds don't count as having been shot and the Skull wielder doesn't count as having shot after using this, and it can be used at any time during the phase, so you can Skull and then shoot or shoot and then Skull, as you like, in or out of melee.

Specialist Detachments[edit]

Specialist Detachments are a type of Detachment added in the Vigilus Defiant campaign supplement, giving you access to a couple extra stratagems, relics and warlord traits, locked behind a 1CP paygate.

General stratagems[edit]

  • Field Commander (1 CP): This stratagem bears special mention. For one command point, you can designate a character with a Specialist Detachment keyword and they gain the warlord trait associated with that detachment. Can't be used on named characters or to give your warlord a second warlord trait.

Cybernetica Cohort (1 CP)[edit]

The robot detachment, somewhat geared for the melee version. Kastelans and their attending Dominus, Enginseers and Datasmiths gain the Cybernetica cohort keyword.


  • Power Surge (1 CP): Pick a unit of robots within 3 inches of a Datasmith. They get +3 to charge rolls.
    • Deepstrike Lucius Kastelans and give a Datasmith the teleporter relic (so this strat can be used). Your Kastelan drop now has more than 72% chance of making that 9" charge. Activate 'Binharic Override' if you can afford it to double their attacks - it's not like the Datasmith will survive to change their battle protocols anyway.
  • Strafing Run (1 CP): Use at the beginning of the movement phase on a robot unit with Aegis protocols active. Turns heavy weapons into assault. Great for robots with incendine combustors.
    • Use when paired with the Metalica dogma to grant your gun bots around 11~12" of movement while running and gunning at full accuracy. Generally speaking, this is best used to either take and hold an objective without sacrificing shooting or quickly getting away from your opponent if they get too close.

Warlord Trait: Adept of the Legio Cybernetica: Once per battle, your warlord can repair d6 wounds to a unit of robots instead of the standard d3. Combine it with the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land so you don't roll a one.

Artifact: Doctrine Foreas Servo-skull: Robots can attempt to change battle protocol at the start of each movement phase if they are within 9" of the bearer, who DOESN'T need to be a Datasmith, which eases his workload and enables your cheaper Enginseers or durable Dominus to do that job.

Servitor Maniple (1 CP)[edit]

Kataphron Destroyers, Breachers, Servitors and their attending Dominus and Enginseers gain the Servitor Maniple keyword. Of great value to your Destroyers, and when combined with the discounts to Kataphrons their points efficiency skyrockets.


  • Enhanced Bionics (1 CP): Use before the game begins. One unit of Kataphrons or servitors gains a 5++ invulnerable save. Helps to not lose Kataphrons faster than you can bring them back.
    • Doesn't say it's one-use, so you could shield all your Destroyers this way. Lucius Destroyers benefit the most, as they're immune to AP-1 and AP-2 will be wasted on them.
    • A Breacher unit using 'Acquisition At Any Cost' becomes 2+/4++. That's simply very hard to shoot off the board, and lascannons aimed at them are lascannons not fired at your actual vehicles.
  • Noospheric Mind Lock (1 CP): One unit of Kataphrons within 6" of a Dominus gains +1 to hit rolls for all its shooting attacks.
    • Safe plasma. It stacks with 'Elimination Volley' so you get Destroyers hitting on rerollable 2+, but you can also use it as means of getting TWO SIMULTANEOUS SOURCES OF SAFE PLASMA. Ryza has it even easier with their cheaper 'Plasma Specialists' strat, and instead of using 3 simultaneous souces you can combine them to get SAFE 3D PLASMA. Need I tell you that kills Custodes in a single shot?

Warlord Trait: Master of Biosplicing: At the end of the movement phase, heal a Kataphron by sacrificing a servitor. If none are wounded, resurrect a dead model instead. It comes back with one wound. Do note it only says Servitors, not Servitor Maniple Servitors or even Adeptus Mechaniucs Sevitors. Just Servitors, so Adeptus Astartes and Astra Militarum ones are fair game, including special ones like Cenobyte Servitors! In fact, taking Astra Militarum Servitors is an excellent idea, as their heavy weapons come at a steep discount.

  • THIS is the reason you take this detachment, as dead Destroyers cease to be 50pts losses and regular Servitors graduate from filler to valid Elite choices. But you have to make sure your unit has no wounded models so the dead can come back, so bring the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land or make your actual warlord a Necromechanic.
  • EXCELLENT synergy with the Agripinaa dogma, where you can revive a single model from one unit and replace up to 5 dead Kataphrons from a different unit. Or you could bring back a regular Servitor unit for a single CP, if you can afford to turn them into Kataphrons one at a time.

Artifact: The Genecog Corpus It's an Omnissian Axe that causes mortal wounds on a 6+ to wound. Not completely worthless in an army with limited access to mortal wounds, but you're still probably better off with a different relic. It does lend itself to Ryzan use, who is prone to field Plasma Destroyer formations, though.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Tech Priest Dominus: Your bog cog-standard non-Cawl HQ for those times you want to play as those other forgeworlds, no longer an "HQ tax" due to Enginseer changes. Akin to a Captain (aura of reroll 1s to hit), Techmarine (repairs D3 wounds from any AdMech model other than himself, or 1 for Knights) and a bit of Apothecary (his repair isn't restricted to vehicles, plus heals self for D3W each turn) all rolled into one. And at T4 5W 2+/5++ this very tanky support character will require serious firepower to remove. Just watch out for enemy witches. His main concern is to boost and heal your firebase, whatever it might be (Vanguard, Onagers, Kastellan, etc.), but 24" guns allow him to be good at midrange since he doesn't give up shooting (BS2+ rerolling 1s) for repairs. A flexible loadout, it'll be defined by what you want him to do:
    • Shooty: Pick the Volkite blaster and the Phosphoenix relic for good and reliable volume of fire, its range fitting nicely alongside Vanguard. If the Dominus is instead boosting your longer ranged units, the Raiment of the Technomartyr will provide them better overwatch to delay melee a bit more, as well as a measure of protection against snipers trying to shut down those rerolls.
    • Choppy: Go with the Macrostubber and the Eradication Ray, and give him Anzion's Pseudogenetor for an additional D6 S4 AP-1 hits on top of your 3 Omnissian Axe attacks and Pistol 5 Macrostubber attacks, the later which happen at BS2+ rerolling 1s. While Magos Biologis warlords do more damage, remember you're not alone in CC and half your army choices have melee rules; supporting your infantry with Prime Hermeticon can give good results.
    • Repairman: Give him the Necromechanic WT so that he restores an additional wound every time he repairs something (doubling Knight repair rate), and with Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land relic you'll be healing Mechanicum units very reliably. Fun to combine with the Tech-adept Stratagem to repair the same vehicle twice, repairing up to 8 wounds per turn that way, bringing an Onager back to full stats or keeping multiple Kastellans from dying.
  • Tech Priest Enginseer: The Enginseer is now the cheapest HQ available for the army, making him a perfect cost-saving option to an army trying to make a battalion. With T4 W4 3+/6++ he's basically a squishier Techmarine, and has lackluster combat ability but that's ok because his main role is being a cheap repairman and HQ.
    • Repairman: Can't repair Kataphrons and Sicarians like Domini can, but unlike them he can repair D3 from allied IG tanks (allies!). Very cheap, especially for a job that consists of "just stand near the thing". Though more cost-effective than non-Necromechanic Domini for repairing Knights, maybe it's a bit risky for them to be the warlord. That said, they can be the "warlord" while the Dominus is a formation's "Field Commander" wink wink.
    • Relic Caddy: They aren't champions like SM Captains are, but since most of their job is to stand around being available, they could just as well be useful by carrying army-boosting relics AFTER you gave the Dominus/Manipulus theirs.
    • Buying advice: Enginseers are a must-have if you want to spam regiments and farm CPs. And they are pretty damn good at that, at only 30pts per model for a small, tough character that can heal vehicles. The only problem is that they cost $30 a pop, unless you go for the $11.50 metal ones from the webstore. An alternate solution to that starts with looking closely at the chaos cultists in the "dark vengeance" kit. The robed ones look remarkably like Enginseers, right? Hell, one has an axe that looks remarkably like a cog. You can buy them for 20 bucks on eBay and kitbash them with the ton of bits leftover by your Skitarii squads, techpriest Dominii and Onagers. A little work and you have your all the Enginseers you need for less than the cost of one. Another option would be the Forge World titan tech priest! A lot cheaper than the Enginseer, and Forge World quality too!
  • Tech-Priest Manipulus: A new HQ unit being released under the kill team brand. Described as being in between an enginseer and a Dominus in terms of power, the Manipulus carries meh to OK weapons with limited range and an ability of gimmick utility:
    • At the beginning of the movement phase he can boost warriors' movement or weapons' range stats. +1" to movement isn't a lot, mostly covering positioning mistakes. +1" to charge, however, can be useful: get him in place with a Skorpius transport or Solar Flare or whatever, then infiltrate Infiltrators (lmao) or teleport Cybenetica Cohort formation Kastellans near his coordinates and use Power Surge for +4" total to charge range, aka success on a 5+ on 2d6. On the less gimmicky side, +6" to long weapon and +3" to short range weapons can allow nasty stuff like 11" cognis flamer overwatch and enable 42" range Protector Kastellan to reach pretty much anything they can see.
    • Choppy: With Omnissiah Staff (S+2 AP-1 D2) and Mechadentrites (S[U] AP0 +1d6 A) on top of his base WS3+ 3A, this dude isn't biting his nails in CC like the Enginseer does. If you want him on melee on purpose, get him his Transonic AP-1 D2 cannon flamer AND a relic. Perhaps Anzion's Pseudogenetor so he has 3+2d6 attacks, perhaps the Omniscient mask if you're using him with Skitarii Vanguard and Infiltrators. Maybe make him a Prime Hermeticon Warlord if you're using him with Electro-priests instead.
    • Shooty: His charges are the shooty ones, his Magnarail Lance's 18" only grows up to 21" with his bonus. But Heavy 1 S7 AP-3 D1d3 grows to full 3 Dmg when stationary, which is the prerequisite for his Boost Weapons.
  • Daedalosus: A hero and technoarchaeologist from the Blackstone Fortress game, this new, named character is a surprisingly useful addition to the Hq roster. Like the Secutarii, he doesn't have a forge world but doesn't cost you your dogmas if you include him. Unfortunately, since he lacks both a FORGE WORLD and the SECUTARII Keywords, he can't take a transport, restricting him to babysit gunlines. His weaponry is unique for an Hq but nothing special; he carries a (Servo-) Arc Claw and the pistol version of the Eradication Beamer. Instead, his real benefit comes from his special rules. Once per battle, he can use his Archeotech relic to deal 1d3 mortal wounds to an enemy within 3" or heal 1d3 wounds to an Ad Mech model (not just VEHICLES!) with 3", no rolling needed. Nice for when you absolutely need to push a Onager up a Damage Chart level or pick off a CHARACTER that's getting too close. The real reason you take him, however, is for his Omniscanner. At the beginning of the shooting phase, Daedalosus can pick a visible enemy within 24" and all Ad Mech units within 6" of him add 1 to shooting rolls that target that unit. Now THAT is a markerlight. Great against flyers, and for safe overcharging plasma, all without the need to spend CP each round, and affecting multiple units (but only one target). Eat your heart out xeno scum. This WILL affect electro-priests exploding on 5s and 6s when shooting.
    • Always include this guy to your lists if you can get the model/a proxy. He'll dramatically increase the effectiveness of literally anything in your with the bonus to hit. This helps countering -1 to hit buffs such as flyerspam, Tau markerlights, plaguebearers, and psychic powers. Not to mention safe, cost-effective plasma and making lascannons not miss that knight barreling towards your gunline. Did we mention he's 50 points?!


Our army is two 7E armies finally fused together, and here's where it shows. Try to strike a balance between the small Skitarii and the big Kataphrons that works well with the rest of your army, as they complement each other nicely: Kataphrons can clear the ground from afar and hold objectives, Skitarii can go and storm them. And with their new transport, storm them they can. Skitarii can also tie up enemies for Kataphrons to finish, and Breachers can bar access to your Ranger snipers. Try to guesstimate what any unit can endure, lest your lines crumble and leave your expensive heavy guns exposed to the enemy. And with the recent points drop this just got easier.

In 8th edition, table control is paramount to victory, more than it ever was now with non-scattering deepstrikes and double-fights to pile in multiple units. Enter reliable and spammable Skitarii. Unlike your regular Imperial GEQ, their 4+/6++ give these T3 dudes a chance of survival, and they're cheap enough that they can be used to control the field while your other units, like the much heavier and damaging Cult Mechanicus troops, clean up said field. Despite their status as light mortal infantry, they carry enough BS3+ firepower that it matters.
400pts can get you up to 50 Vanguard models. There are two main ways of using them: naked MSUs of 5 for body blocking and filling up battalions, or fully equipped squads of 10. Units of 5 basically ignore morale, but squads of 10 can hide their special weapons behind regular guys, and are a better use of CP as Enhanced Data-tethers not only patch their vulnerability to morale but enable them to pull stunts like advancing with safe supercharging Plasma Calivers or still hit enemies with -1BS on a 2+. An Omnispex can be used instead to ignore cover, a bonus that doesn't require CP and that is ever-present.

  • Skitarii Rangers: Their 30" Galvanic Rifles have enough range to contribute to fights and the S4 needed to be a bother, which makes this squad great at garrisoning backfield objectives and ruins. While they put less volume of fire than Vanguard, their guns' better range, strength, and AP-1 on a 6+ to wound make them more effective against single-wound infantry than Rad carbines. All in all great value from the cheapest unit in your army.
    • Transuranic Arquebuses are THE special weapon this squad should take, as their awesome 60" range doesn't waste Galvanic Rifle range as the other guns do, and with actual stats (S7 AP-1 D1d3) on top of regular sniper rules there will always be targets of opportunity for them to attack. Dealing 2D to vehicles, even flyers, from your deployment zone isn't too hard to do, and is actually pretty comfy coming from a troop unit whose job would usually be to just stand back and bodyblock rear line deepstrikers.
  • Skitarii Vanguard: Vanguard are your Skitarii frontliners. Their 18" Assault 3 Rad Carbines let them advance and still hit on a 4+, and their rate of fire is such that their 2D on a 6+ to wound can proc enough times to be a concern to heavy infantry while still dealing lots of hits to the smaller ones. With their Rad saturation aura (-1T is better than +1S), they can also help as melee support to Sicarians and Electropriests.
    • Statistically speaking they are actually some of your best anti-tank when within 18": A couple of failed 6s is already chunk of a vehicle gone, and is more than what a cheap troop like them has any right to do. Tl;dr they have enough dakka to actually do chip damage to a vehicle, so if there are no better targets it's not necessarily a waste of firepower. S6 AP-1 Arc rifles are good against infantry, VERY cheap and can do extra damage to vehicles, so this is a good squad to bear it to battle, as 24" Rapid Fire gets better when close to the frontline.
      • As someone else said earlier in the article, if you're relying on chip damage, its not anti-tank. the only time you should be dumping mass radium carbines into vehicles is if you either have nothing better to shoot, or need to chip one or two wounds of a vehicle to finish it off. Its solid mass fire, yeah, but against vehicles you're hitting on 3s, wounding on 6s with no AP. So, sure, you'll chip two wounds off whenever a shot goes through, but math says (assuming no re-rolls) a squad of 5, is 10 hits per turn, 1.66 wounds, (assuming all vehicles have at least T6), against most likely a 3+ save, meaning, on average: .55 shots will get through. that means for every TEN vanguards you fire into that rhino ONE shot will reliably make it through. Congratulations on dealing 2 wounds on a 67 point rhino with 80 points of skitarii. There's an argument that 80 points of infantry dealing two wounds to a model worth more than them is worth it, so lets nip that in the bud shall we? there's LITERALLY no vehicle in the game that spends 40 points per wound. Even a Knight Castellan only pays 25 points per wound, and anything expensive enough to invest dozens of Skitarii to chip wounds off of it, will mulch Skitarii in one go. you want anti-tank Skitarii? grab plasma calivers. Don't want to pay for plasma? Get arc rifles. They cost 2 points now and wound on 5s and have some AP. Don't EVER count on radium carbines to chip wounds of anything over T5. especially if it has a decent save. The above is so blatantly bad advice, I plan on deleting it in a couple days unless someone gives me a reason not to.
    • Rangers may be a tiny bit cheaper, but Vanguards lend themselves more for bubblewrap duty: enough ROF to trigger overwatch, and their Rad aura gives you the option to commit Breachers to deal with weakened enemies. Having options is nice.
    • Unlike Rangers, Vanguard find themselves in melee more often. Instead of guns, two squads of five get you two Alphas out of 10 men. It's something, two mauls are better than just one. Pistols are still somewhat of a fashion statement with them, but unlike their cancer carbines, they benefit from their Rad saturation aura by shooting within 1" of -1T enemies. S6 AP-1 Arc pistols when you expect MEQ, S3 Rad pistols for when you want to keep the 2D lottery theme of the squad. Squads of 5 also let you do play with positioning better, which you may want to do when bubblewrapping: two thin lines of 5 can be better than a single squad of ten if they are spaced enough.
      • Most of this is solid advice, but you shouldn't necessarily take melee weapons on your alphas. they cost 4-5 points each, which can add up, and they will rarely if ever do literally anything for you. 99.99% of the time the squad will be wiped out the turn they get charged, usually before they even get to swing, and even if they get to fight, they hit on 4s and NONE of the AdMech re-roll auras work in melee, except Chant of the Remorsless fist (canticles to re-roll ones in melee, but unless you have a melee list, if you choose this canticle, either things are going very badly or you're doing it wrong) now, admittedly, if you deal even 1 wound to literally any infantry in the game the melee weapon makes its cost back, but unless you're charging guard, or charging to try and finish a squad, its not likely to happen. My personal thought, is save the 5 points per squad and just buy another plasma caliver, or some more arc rifles. Pistols are actually surprisingly useful on vanguard squads, since most of their weapons have 18" range anyway, its not that outlandish for them to make it within 12" and get to take an arc pistol shot for 1 point more, but you have to sacrifice an extra radium carbine to do it, so its really your call.

The big guys of the Cult Mechanicus are closer to tankettes than they are to people: their Ogryn-sized T5 frames make them difficult to remove from an objective, and with 3W your HQs can actually repair them. Their long ranged firepower doesn't suffer the penalty for moving; like a Russ tank group, they ARE the gunline wherever the enemy finds them. This comes at the penalty of advancing only d3"...which you don't really care much about: the only manoeuvring they need is usually just to get line of sight to the enemy. GREAT firepower coming from Troop units.

  • Kataphron Destroyers: Dedicated anti-MEQ gunships. As they trade a measure of protection (4+/6++) for amazing firepower, they will be a prime target for your enemy so they have to be defended.
    • Guns: Heavy Grav Cannons are reliable; Heavy 5 AP-3 deletes infantry, and D1d3 against anything with a 3+ save melts heavy infantry and can even dent monsters and tanks. Plasma Culverins are also good. They have better 36" range But are more expensive , and Heavy d6 shots are unreliable. They shine when supercharging, becoming able to deal with anything...but they can also blow up. Now that's balance! Luckily, you can spend CP to get safe plasma: Elimination Volley (needs nearby Kastelans), Noospheric Mindlock (needs to belong to a Servitor Maniple formation) and Plasma Specialists (needs to belong to Ryza). Neither option will really disappoint, but plasma is CP-hungry. A new solution that only costs 50p and no CP would be Daedalosus, who can give +1 to hit but needs to be a bit closer (24") to the front line, and can only designate one target.
    • Sidearms: Their Phoshor Blasters are the budget option to use against targets of opportunity. However, Cognis Flamers give Destroyers protection against melee at mere +1pts. Bubblewrap units are still great, but with flamers their overwatch becomes nasty; their main guns already have enough RoF to proc overwatch hits and the stats for it to matter.
  • A few words of advice on these guys: 1st off: never take the plasma culverins over the grav cannons. Their D6 shots make them too unreliable and absolutely undercut their usefulness over the grav cannons, even with their higher strength. reliable 5 shots per Kataphron is always better than fishing for 6s and risking 1s. Not to say that the Plasma Culverins are overtly bad, but you pay 2 points more per model for them, and risk having shooting phases where you roll all 1s and 2s for numbers of shots. Even on an optimistic scenario, its likely you'll be using a lot of CP re-rolls to change a 1 or 2 to something useful. The reliable 5 shots versus d6 shots is even more potent when you consider my second word of advice: don't let the T5 with 3W and 4+ with shroudpsalm to get a 3+ fool you: these guys are glass cannons and prime targets for anything that mulches heavy infantry. Anything with decent strength or a point or two of AP will turn these guys into spare parts in one go if you don't do something to protect them, even with shroudpsalm. My personal advice is to abuse the [Acquisition at any cost] stratagem to get them to 2+/5++ saves on an objective and hope they can weather the storm with enough guns still intact to do their job, OR (and my personal favorite idea) consider running them as [Lucius], as the immunity to AP1 is absolutely fantastic on them (and its pretty solid overall) and the ability to pay a CP to hide a 6-9 man unit of kataphrons in deep strike is worth its weight in gold, as they have more than enough range to be confident that they can drop in somewhere they can hit their target, and you can even give your dominus the Lucius relic to teleport him to the kataphron gunline without losing his support for the footsloggers turn one, or paying the CP to deep strike him. Also, for 50 points you should never ever not take Daedalosus, especially when you're taking these guys (they're only BS4+ after all), but really just in general on admech lists. I mean, I bet you already had an Enginseer in your list anyway, I'm sure you can find an extra 20 points.
  • Kataphron Breachers: Trades some firepower for 3+ armour but, most importantly, at discount price. Enough to be heavy speedbumps yet disposable, do the comparison: Space marines pay 13pts for T4 3+ save wounds, Breachers pay 10pts. Intercessors pay 85pts for 10W and their guns are restricted to anti-infantry; Breachers bring 9W for 90pts and their Heavy Arc rifles (36" Heavy 2 S6 AP-1 D1d3) are not only basically anti-infantry autocannons, but also tear D1d6 chunks out of vehicles, so they can even help your overworked Onagers. And unlike Destroyers, Breachers aren't defenseless in combat, with three WS4+ attacks using Arc Claws (S6 AP-1 & D1d3 vs vehicles). With those stats, they are a screen by themselves. If you NEED an objective to be positively, absolutely defended, activate Acquisition at Any Cost and they'll be very difficult to remove, with 4A and a 2+/5++ save.
    • Torsion Cannons are hard to defend. S8 AP-4 is nice but they cost a lot, are single-shot and D1d6 is somewhat unreliable. Likewise, Hydraulic Claws are like power fists...but with only AP-1 like Arc claws they will struggle to go through their targets' armour Sv, and Breachers aren't dedicated melee units, could throw one into mabey kill Vehicles and Monsters in melee.
      • The clue is in the name for these guys though; the above chap is absolutely correct in his analysis for the average game, but GW covers bases for more narrative games too: Fortifications & other Immobile units are auto-hit so when you need to breach through some Fortifications you have at least 9 S10 -1AP auto-hitting hydraulic claws vs the S6 of arcs, and that's 9 lots of 3+ rolls instead of iffy 5+.

Dedicated Transports[edit]

  • Skorpius Dunerider: No longer do Infantry have to footslog. Movement 12”, 12 wounds, S&T 6, and a degrading statline like any vehicle. It has 3+, so it has ok survivability. It has two Cognis Heavy Stubbers, one twin Cognis Heavy Stubber, and a Broad-Spectrum Data Tether. It’s the special rule, Hover Platform means that you suffer no penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons unless you advanced. It carries almost any 10 Secutarrii or <forge world> Infantry models. It can't carry Cawl or katerphrons of either type.
  • Terrax-pattern Termite Assault Drill (Forge World): Forge World finally decided to hand over the rules for a transport so now we'll have to begin removing organs just like tech-priests to pay for them. For the time being as it is the only transport the AdMech gets and is pretty much mandatory if trying to run an assault list. For a base 134 points you can have access to a Deep Striking transport that can carry up to 12 Secutarii or Forge World Infantry models, except for Cawl and Kataphrons. It's kitted with weaponry to match its purpose, with a mandatory Melta Cutter (an Assault D3 melta) and a choice of two each of storm bolters, heavy flamers or Heavy 4 15" S5 AP0 D2 volkites missing the standard volkite Mortal Wound rule. The scariest thing this thing can do, however, is following its payload into melee - it's pretty shit with a WS of 4+, but if any of the 6 attacks S14 AP-4 D3 you get with it connects and doesn't kill something, you get to chain roll for extra mortal wounds on the survivors until you fail. Charge it into literally anything and you're guaranteed to have it at least partially reimburse its point cost in kills before it goes up in smoke (which it will, considering it's the only AdMech vehicle that lacks an invulnerable save of any kind Not anymore, since the Skorpius models don't have invul either).
    • Storm Bolters are the default and cheapest option. Volkite chargers are the cheaper anti-horde option. Flamers cost double, but work effectively as a deterrent to anything that tries to charge your mole machine.
    • You can still opt to deploy via Stygies VIII Cladestine Infiltration stratagem instead of deep striking, if you wish. This largely defeats the point of having a Deep Striking transport, as you could just use the stratagem on the actual unit you're having it carry to move the same distance, but would permit you to deliver your guys to midfield and have them somewhat protected inside the Terrax until they unload on the second turn and do whatever nefarious thing you've got planned for them, so decide for yourself if your strategy calls for it.

You do still have access to all Fortification options. While immobile, they do provide an extra layer of defense that AdMech can greatly benefit from. However, the limitation on Fortifications to one unit plus any number of characters limits their usefulness as firebases, since only half the embarked models can fire out.

If you need to, stick some storm bolters on a drop pod and say that the melee weapon is the pod falling on people. the mechanicum should be able to take imperial vehicles from other imperials


  • Fulgurite Electro-Priests: These guys actually look good now. Get them in close combat and they'll dump Mortal Wounds on people. Of course, getting them to close combat is the trick. If you footslog them, they will die. Fulgurites are ideal if you're running either Movement stratagems and transports. Get them in close combat and watch things die. Always field these guys in squads of 10 or bigger. At just 2 attacks per model, they simply do not attack often enough to really take advantage of the mortal wounds you can get off the staves unless you attack with enough models, and you NEED them to kill something in close combat as quickly as possible to get that sweet, sweet 3++ save. Still, the Voltagheist field is nice for some pre-combat mortal wounds if you charged, and with Fanatical Devotion, you ignore any wounds taken on a 5 or 6, which is nice.
    • Despite the desire for large units of these guys, and the steep cost to deep strike many units of them remember, pulling off a deep strike charge is only feasible when you maximize how many attempts you're making. Don't field just one unit and expect it to make that critically important charge roll - field at least three per thing you want charged, so you can get your odds of at least one getting the charge off to above 50% (in this case, 62.33%).
    • What 15-techno-smurfs CAN do however is bubble-wrap units against storm-shield protected deep strikers. Any units that attempt to fight through fifteen electro-priests will take losses. You will too, but you will either kill the attacker and get a 3++ for the rest of the game ("tanks for the storm shields plebs") or they will fall back...and no longer endanger the unit the priests were guarding.
    • Also consider a Bastion or other Fortifications building. You'll have to assault out of your own deployment zone, but you're fairly safe while doing so.
  • Corpuscarii Electro-Priests: 2 points per model cheaper than Fulgurites, and not as killy in close combat (they can only put out mortal wounds with their Voltagheist Field charge, which inflicts a mortal wound on a 6+ for each model in one unit charged). They also can't buff their V-field, which means they'll be stuck with a 6+/5++/5+++. However, their Electrostatic Gauntlets deserve a special mention. They have two profiles, either Melee 2 WS4+ or 12" Assault 3 BS3+, but both are a Flat S5 AP0 D1, (can't be modified by Invocation of Machine Might) with any 6+ roll causing 3 hits instead of 1. Congrats, you have taser goads at 12" range AND melee. Sure, they're ugly models, but that's an awful lot of firepower from 5 little guys.
    • As expensive as it is. A squad of 20 will put out over 60 dice rolls. It would take three Leman Russ Punishers with one upgraded for three Heavy Bolters to exceed it. With that much firepower your likely to kill or heavily wound anything short of a Super Heavy. You're on your own in figuring out how to get them within 12" of the unlucky target.
      • Take a Bastion! Building fortifications make for great places to store any fragile counter-assault unit.
    • Can't benefit from the Lucius dogma or Shroudpsalm at all, so probably best under Stygies, which can protect them on the approach, unless you want to deploy them using Lucius’s Deep Strike stratagem.
    • Graia used to be the best Forge World to help them on the front line. However, the 6+ Refusal to Yield has been FAQ’d as not stacking with their FNP despite being worded like it should, so now only helps them avoid morale losses. What is still relevant is Emotionless Clarity, which makes them nasty enough in melee to avoid getting tarpitted.
    • While not offering additional protection, Metalica allows you to move these guys further and faster without you losing CPs or volume of hits. If your list already has a lot of Vanguard and Ranger squads in it, you might as well take this dogma, as it greatly benefits both Skitarii and Corpuscarii.
    • Put 11 of these motherfuckers from Mars in a Termite Drill with a dominus for rerolls. Deepstrike and pop out, flick the switch on the Wrath of Mars stratagem and watch your target drown in mortal wounds.
  • Cybernetica Datasmith: The herder for your robots. Quite competent as a fighter in his own right, with a Terminator statline, complete with a 2+/5++ and a power fist, as well as a pretty scary pistol that can reliably oneshot Primaris marines - but his main purpose is to change protocols on your Kastelans and cheaply fill an Elite slot for your detachment needs while at it. As such, consider him inseparatable from the bots.
    • Keep in mind that the protocols change take place on the next turn after you've declared and rolled for it. Consider what you're up against and structure your game plan accordingly - since your opponent knows what you're up to a turn in advance, you'll have to play the rest of your army around your Kastelans to get the most use out of them.
      • E.g. make sure your bots are properly screened before you declare a switch to Protector protocols. Otherwise you'll get countered quite easily by getting charged by some chaff and have to miss a critical turn getting rid of it, instead of lighting the place up with double volumes of phospor dakka.
    • The alternative to bringing one along is to use the 1CP stratagem to change the active protocol immediately and lock your robots in them for the rest of the game, but Command Points are generally worth far more than the Datasmith's measly 41 points and leaving you unable to adapt means that your bots might very well end up useless past the turn you pop the override, so thing long and hard before you decide to drop him from your list for another skittle squad.
      • Even if you bring the Datasmith, the stratagem is still there to help you adapt to the current situation on the table, if needs be.
    • You generally don't need more than one in your list even if you go really heavy on robots: having the Datasmith within 6" of any of the 60mm Kastelan robots enables protocol change on the entire unit, giving you a pretty immense footprint.
      • Alternatively, consider that a single 'smith has the same statline and costs barely more than one model of a Space Marine Terminator, while also having more wounds and being a character. You could cheaply fill the Elites slot of a Brigade with them and still get some use by running them as an auxilliary Alpha for your Skitarii Vanguard or something. But do consider Sicarians instead, with the recent points reductions they will give you far more for that 41 point cost.
    • Don't miss the fact that he's got 6" Move to the bots' 8". You can advance quite liberally though, since he doesn't really have much to do outside of maybe popping his pistol on anything in range.
    • Generally speaking, he'll make back his cost in points if you've changed Protocols at least once with him. If you also manage to get him in melee and take some wounds off something, you've already got more than what you paid for.
  • Servitors: Now your cheapest unit after chapter approved 2018. A poor ranged unit equipped with free melee weapons. Costing 40 points for 2 servo arms and 2 heavy bolters, you should always prefer Rangers or Vanguards for those same points when you need some bodies down the field. Servo-Arms are now free, while the servitors are 5; there are worse melee units for the cost.
    • If you would take a Plasma Cannon unit for 52 points, take Plasma Culverin Vanguards for 68 points to do the same job, better.(now 36 and 51 respectably for a single unit with one plasma weapon)
    • If you would take a Heavy Bolter unit for 40 points (probably as a cheap meat shield), take Arc Rifle Rangers for 43 points to do the same job, better.
    • If you would take a Multimelta unit for 64 points (why?), there admittedly isn't a better infantry option in-faction for the same role, but Onagers will do the same job, better.
    • A bare-bones servitor unit is 20 points and this can be useful in the new Vigilus detachments as spare parts for your kataphron destroyers. although a heavy bolter or two might be useful when waiting for them to be needed.
    • Note that you can take the Astra Militarum Servitors if you want - they're the same unit plus the Astra Militarum keyword, with no downsides, so there's no reason not to, but not much of a benefit, either, outside of certain specific allied lists (e.g. if you were allying with Yarrick or Celestine, anyway).
    • (Note: This unit had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018)
      • These guys are now 20 points a squad, before ranged weapon upgrades. 2 Heavy Bolters will run 36 points for a squad; 2 Plasma, 40; 2 Melta, 62. Servo-arms are free now. Still, the guns are not why you should take these guys; being able to get Power Fist attacks for cheap, and to trade them out for Kataphrons when you need to, is a better reason to take such an elite unit.
    • The actual use for Servitors with Heavy Bolters is if you're building a Brigade and you need to fill an elite slot, in which case they can hang out in the backfield, take pot shots at whatever is in range and block deep strikers. Not terrible for 36 points.
  • Sicarian Infiltrators: Almost a must-have due to our low mobility. The Taser variant destroys hordes, and power swords wreck marines. They can now deep strike and start shooting stuff from the safety of cover or attempt 9" charges. Their debuff aura got a punch in the cogs, and is now merely a -1 to Leadership within 3", but they are now 9-11 points cheaper per model than they were in 7th ed, making them much more cost-effective. Just remember to keep them in cover until you're ready to charge them because they still suffer from T3 and only a 4+. GW also recently saw fit to errata them to have one fewer attack per model(when?), but they still retain their pistols and Deep Striking ability, allowing them to throw 15 S4 or 25 S3 shots downfield at whatever enemy unit they appeared just outside of 9" from, while still attempting a charge that turn.
    • Flechette Blasters outperform Stubcarbines against T5 or less and T8 or higher, and while Stubcarbines will absolutely do better against T6 and T7, you're still attempting to scratch paint - against a Rhino, for example, a minimum unit shooting expects to deal 0.93 wounds with the Blasters and 1.11 wounds with the Stubcarbines. As a result, the only case where you should consider the Stubcarbine loadout is for melee, because the Power Sword's increased AP and decreased cost (same cost now) relative to the Taser Goad mean that it will outperform it against the targets you'd expect it to, like T3/4+ or T4/3+ or T5/2+ (the Goad will do better against T5/3+, if you're fighting e.g. Death or Wraith Guard).
    • Combining the Goad with the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative multiplies how many hits connect by 1.5, while the Sword only multiplies by 1.25, causing them to beat out the Swords against T3/4+ and T4/4+.
    • The Sword, as you might expect, gets greater benefit from Invocation of Machine Might than the Goad does against most targets, while they actually get equal benefit from Chant of the Remorseless Fist; basically, the first will always be better any time it matters, and the latter will be better any time the former does not.
    • The reason to take these guys is speed; they're the fastest thing in your army since they can Deep Strike freely, but they're less points efficient than Electro-Priests against everything in the game, particularly very tough targets.
    • (Note: This unit had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018) now only 90 points for 5 models however they are equipped.
  • Sicarian Ruststalkers: They have some utility at dishing out Mortal Wounds, and are faster than Fulgurites, but still not a great choice when compared to your other elite options without support; the primary problem is getting there, as they need a transport or stratagems to reach CC reliably. See below for more, but you're usually better off buying Fulgurites for melee footsloggers that will live longer.
    • Because the Blades cost you the Chordclaw and more points on the grunts, they're only worth it against T8 and T9 with a 4+ save or worse, which does not exist (actually, see Ork Gunwagons/Bonebreakas), and T4 or T5 with a 5+ save or worse, which does - it includes Ogryn, for example - but that's very niche. You should not buy them the Blades.
      • Buying the Princeps the Blades raises its cost by 25%, without improving its mortal wounds at all, but since it's not giving up its Chordclaw for it, at least it doesn't decrease the mortal wounds, like on the grunts. This is only worth it against that same T8 and T9 with a 4+ save or worse, which still does not exist (see above for at least one example that does), and T5 with a 5+ save or worse, which does - that's Ogryn, for example - but it's very, very niche. You should not buy the Blades for your Princeps, either.
    • Assuming you were competent and took the R+C combo all around, each Ruststalker should swing for 4/9 of a mortal wound, the same as a Fulgurite (they effectively have two Chordclaws, for this math - but bear in mind their non-mortal wound output is very significantly better, and they can deal even more mortal wounds on the charge), but for 3 points more, which primarily buys you different defenses (+1W and 4+/6++ instead of 6+/5++/5+++ means that the former will live longer to lasguns but the latter will live longer to overcharged plasma, for example); notably, unlike the Fulgurites, Shroudpsalm will help protect these guys. Leadership is also a point lower, and the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative is less efficient on them than Divine Chorus is on Fulgurites, with the former buying you 3/27 of a mortal wound per CP, and the latter buying you 4/27 of a mortal wound per CP, since Ruststalkers can't take tethers - plus, since the Priests have higher Leadership, they scale better to larger unit sizes, which is important for using Stratagems that target 1 unit at a time efficiently, while the Ruststalkers prefer MSU, to have more Attacks from the Princeps.
      • The tl;dr here is that Fulgurites will outperform the Ruststalkers, per point and per CP, against almost everything in the game (there are some niche exceptions, such as the Fulgurites being charged by Bloodletters/Horrors/Daemonettes), offensively; defensively, it depends on what they're being attacked with, but the Ruststalker advantage evaporates quickly in the face of better AP or Damage on incoming shots. Ruststalkers are 2" faster on the Move, though.
    • If you're taking these, then it's probably for the cool factor of having spindly tin ninjas with sound weapons. From this perspective, the transonic blades are perfectly complementary to their battlefield role. If you're paying for style anyhow...
    • (Note: This unit had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018)
  • Tech-Priest Enginseer: You can take the Astra Militarum Codex entry for this guy; he'll lose Canticles, but he was already a Character, so he'll mind less losing Shroudpsalm. He'll retain his Forge World and Cult Mechanicus, but lose Adeptus Mechanicus, which will cause potential problems for his Detachment. The primary reason to shoehorn him in like that is that he'll be an Astra Militarum model, so can bring you Astra Militarum Warlord Traits and Relics - for example, he can have the Trait Grand Strategist, which boils down to Monitor Malevolus only better, and can carry the Dagger of Tu'Sakh, letting you use a relic slot to deep strike an Infantry unit, regardless of Forge World.
    • With the release of the Astra Militarum Codex, only Characters with the <Regiment> or Officio Prefectus keywords can take Guard warlord traits, meaning that the strategy mentioned above is impossible. Really, this model is just a cheap repairman for your Dunecrawlers and a good way for you to synergize with any IG allies.
  • X-101: The named servitor from Blackstone Fortress. It comes with a Grav-gun, a hydraulic claw, and a 5+ BS and WS. Has the standard Mindlock ability regular servitors have (goes up to WS/BS 4+ and Ld9 while close to a Tech-Priest) and gets a further +1 to Hit if he's targeting a VEHICLE. Unfortunately, since he lacks the CHARACTER Keyword, he's just going to get popped the second he steps out into the open. And since he can't take a transport, you can't even really suicide run him. Even at 22 points, still not worth it.

Titan Guard (Forge World)[edit]

The Titan Guard are basically Super-Skitarii, but with a downside. Their Titanguard special rule means they don't get any benefit from any <Forge World> attributes or stratagems. This doesn't keep the rest of your army from benefiting from the rule if they are Battle-forged, but it does create some unwelcome hurdles for using them. They don't benefit from the auras of Cawl or a Dominus since they both specify a <Forge World> unit. Furthermore, they can't use any of the deployment stratagems since both are locked to Stygies VIII and Lucius. This is because apparently, being assigned to guard Titans means you immediately lose all Forge World specific equipment and training, despite the fact that Titans are both drawn from specific Forge Worlds and the fact that the Codex specifically states that the Titan Guard is drawn from a Forge World's 1st Macroclade.

  • Secutarii Peltasts: Ad-mech Dark Reapers. 5++ makes them slightly sturdier than Vanguard. Note that they start at 10 men, so an enhanced data-tether is more vital here. Their Galvanic Casters have 3 fire modes: A Rapid Fire 2 Strength 3 24" for blending GEQs, an Assault d3 18" Ignores LOS for tactical tomfoolery, and a MEQ killing 30" Heavy 1, s4 ap2. Once per game they can give themselves -1 to hit instead of shooting. Maybe not worth the cost of the models now, but multiple shenanigans ensue. Unlike other Skitarii the Alpha carries the special equipment and can't take both an EDT and a melee weapon.
    • They tend to have a bit of overlap with your Vanguard troops, who have a similar Anti-GEQ role that focuses on volume of fire over pure stopping power. Vanguard also have access to several Special Weapons that let them perform better against MEQ and TEQ targets in a pinch. Additionally, your Vanguard can benefit from <Forge World> perks and stratagems while the Peltasts don't. However, Peltasts as a whole unit are considerably more flexible than Vanguard offensively (factoring all the models, not just the special weapons), especially now that you can choose which firing mode each model is using instead of the entire unit. Against GEQ targets, Peltasts will outperform Vanguard as long as they're consistently within Rapid Fire range, and are able to contribute firepower towards any targets regardless of line of sight. Combined with an Omni-spex, this can make them particularly effective at dealing with enemies that rely heavily on cover and LOS for defense, such as Eldar or Tau infantry. Additionally, Peltasts are slightly more durable than Vanguard are, making them a bit better suited to tank shots compared to Vanguard.
    • Do not give the Alpha a pistol, ever. None of our pistols are worth giving up the FREE Galvanic Caster. Melee is not good for them at all.
    • Alternate opinon: Stay the fuck out of Rapid-Fire range. Their ld is crap and they are automatically FORCED to be a large squad. Considering this basically makes them hybrid Vanguard/Rangers with no special weapons is really crap. If you have them you own an amazing horde blender. If not you really lose nothing.
    • Probably a wording issue, but RAW their Blind Barrage can only be used to protect themselves, not a different unit, as they could in previous editions. It's also shittier than the free Dogma you get from being Stygies VIII, which Peltasts can't use.
      • Generally, Peltasts are best left to fulfill a scouting and objective-sitting role. They perform quite well against most basic infantry targets regardless of their immediate circumstances, and their lack of <Forge World> synergy means that they can be sent out independently without really missing out on any buffs.
  • Secutarii Hoplites: Budget Skitarii with budget TH/SS. Hoplites have a lot of competition from other units, electro-priests, Infiltrators, ruststalkers, that all occupy the same niche. They need to be in rapid fire range/cc to get maximum effectiveness, but have a limited ability to either get stuck in or stay there without melting to enemy fire. However these guys do have one advantage, they can be made substantially harder to kill than Infiltrators or Electro-priests since they have access to shroud-spam and a 5+ invulnerable save (4+ in Close combat). Their only available weapons are arc-lances; they can either fire a single S6 AP-1 shot, or be used in melee for S+3 (S6) AP-1 hits that both do 1 damage each. This changes slightly when used against vehicles, however, doing D3 damage instead. While this is a definite nerf compared to the unholy amount of Haywire damage they used to do, they're still a perfect unit to tie up vehicles and even infantry in melee combat. Anything short of Terminators will fear a charge from Hoplites.
    • While both Secutarii units lack a lot of synergy with most AdMech forces (due to the lack of the <Forge world> keyword), the Hoplites are an ideal target for the Omniscient Mask, which boosts their CC output and ignores the lack of the previously mentioned keyword. In addition, the fact that about half of our Canticles are melee-centric means that these guys can really pack a punch when necessary, and you won't feel like you're wasting a Canticle.
    • S6 Ap1 Dd3 isn't going to scare many t7 vehicles BUT those light vehicles you are good against are usually (land speeders etc) absolute death to Admech troops. The other decent targets are things like Ogryn, Kataphron Destroyers, Grotesques, and the like. This makes hoplites decent because they come with decent durability to start but not as good offense as other choices. Kinda niche, but also much cheaper than our other elites.
    • At only 1 pt more than Vanguard, these guys make for great cheap bodyguards. In addition to a flat 5++, they have a shield that gives them a 4++ against melee and reflects a mortal wound back on the attacking unit on any unmodified saving throw of 6 in CC. Arguably the best meatshields we have, especially against melee-focused infiltrators.
    • Hoplites benefit massively from access to a Termite, and it provides them with the only guaranteed way to get into charge range without getting shot off the table.
    • Put them into combat with vanguard to wound MEQs or lower on a 2+
    • Only bring the Data Tether if you're worried about Morale. Hoplites are WS 3+, so they will rarely need the more powerful variant of Conqueror Doctrina Imperative
    • While they lack a <Forge World> keyword, Hoplites can still benefit from Acquisition at any Cost, making them pretty good at contesting and holding mid-board objectives.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Ironstrider Ballistarii: Our second best dedicated anti-tank option after Kastelans as of the CA 2018 points change. Its primary distinguishing feature, however, is that it's very mobile (but gets -1 to hit after moving), with a 10 inch move, and it has a 48 inch range. The Lascannons are much more efficient than the Autocannons against tanks and transports; there are many better options for anti-elite and anti-horde shooting. Giving them the Stygies VII dogma imposes a -1 to hit against them, which they pretty much will always benefit from, as they can always reposition accordingly.
    • Can be an effective user of the Protector Doctrina Imperative when in larger squads, as it affects the whole unit. Throw in a Dominus, and you also reroll 1s.
    • Used to be unfavorably compared to Neutron Laser Dunecrawlers. However, the Neutron Laser struggles against any target with an invulnerable save or minus to hit. Because Crawlers cannot squadron, they cannot benefit nearly as much to the +2 to hit that the Doctrina confers.
  • Sydonian Dragoons: Solid weapon (2 Damage, 8 Strength, AP-1), good mobility, surprisingly tough (Incense Cloud), cheap cost. Best run as a skirmisher, either alone or in pairs (any larger, and you run into issues piling in). Their large bases and handiness in a fight mean they are ideal for preventing Deep Strikes and turn one charges. As the game progresses, they can be used to grab objectives after you soften them up with your artillery and tie up shooting enemies in CC.
    • A max unit of Dragoons is actually more viable than you might think. All units can fight if they're within 1' of a unit that's engaged - meaning if three dragoons are engaged and three dragoons are standing behind them, all six can fight even if they're physically 6' from the enemy. A unit of 6 dragoons with Conqueror Protocol is rolling 18 attacks, hitting on 2's, dealing 3 hits on 4's - that's 33 strength 8 hits on average. Against a T8 foe that's about 17 wounds and against 3+ saves that's 9 failures, for an average of 18 damage. Add in a Cantacle and the Ryza Forgeworld trait for overkill. For 408 points you can put down an extremely durable, extremely fast, extremely murderous squad of robochickens that can murder a Knight in CQ, almost wipe an entire squad of 40 boyz in a single charge, and butcher marines by the squad.
    • Combine with Stygies VII Shroud Protocols to give your Dragoons a massive -2 subtraction on enemy To Hit rolls, giving them exceptional survivability against shooting.
    • Since Dragoons have built in Broad-spectrum Data Tethers, they benefit greatly from the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative stratagem, essentially giving them 3 attacks on a 4+ rather than a 6+. You can bring a large unit as a battering ram. A unit of 4 will produce an average of 22 S8 AP-1 D2 attacks at 2+ to hit!! Choose Stygies for the protection and ability to infiltrate.
      • For context, point-for-point, a Dragoon now hits T6 and T7 transports harder than a Kastelan with Protector Protocol active.
    • With the way to-hit modifiers stack, your chicken walker's dust cloud makes your opponent's plasma guns more likely to explode.
    • The Radium Jezzail is also hindered by its lack of any AP. Not a bad gun, but it lacks the brute force of the Arquebus and any volume of fire. Basically, you will be fishing for 6s to do just that mortal wound plus another one if you luck out on the opponent's save. Arquebuses will have an easier time penetrating armor and deal enough damage to be threats in their own right, except now it has a -1 AP. Wahey!
      • Alternate take: do you know what can also murder a Knight in CQ? Another knight. Which is similarly priced and infinitely more useful. The dragoons lack any meaningful shooting and need you to spend CPs to stay relevant in cqc. If 8th edition were a melee oriented game, they could still be relevant somewhat. Things being as they are, your overpriced "battering ram" will struggle to recoup his point cost short of charging in a full leman russ formation (which will never happen, because meatshields). The -1 to hit might seem a big deal to survivability, but with T6, 4+/6++ and 6W this things will die when sneezed at too hard by anti-tank weapons while you are paying dangerously close to an Onager for one of them. As a fast, relatively tough unit with cqc capability it might be used as a harasser/distraction with the ability to cap objectives if needed. But it would be far better to ally some scout sentinels with heavy flamers that are far better suited to that role, being cheaper, vastly more threatening and more mobile (deep strike).

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Onager Dunecrawler: Your best bet at dealing with heavy armor, and with plenty of solid options. Sadly, Dunecrawlers lost their 4++ saves, but they now have a standard 5++, and their Emanatus Force Field allows them to reroll 1s on invuln saves if another Dunecrawler is within 6 inches. They can no longer squadron, so taking a few will eat your Heavy Support slots like crazy. Why they don't have a squadron rule like so many other similar units in the game is a mystery (probably to prevent people from spamming them since they're scarily good). (on the upside, the more heavy support slots used the more CP you can get by using multiple detachments).
    • As of the release of the Skorpius Disintegrator, the Onager Dunecrawler is overshadowed from an offensive point of view. While the Ferrumite Cannon, statistically, offers SLIGHTLY LESS damage than a Neutron Laser against any Vehicle or Monster that isn't Toughness 9, the Disruptor Missile Launcher, statistically, in almost all cases, will more than make up for it. Not to mention, the Skorpius Disintegrator has three Cognis Heavy Stubbers to the Onager Dunecrawler's two, has a better movement characteristic, and an additional wound. The main advantage of the Onager is the invulnerable save, but even so, the Skorpius Disintegrator has an additional wound and two weapons. The choice between the two seems more like personal preference, as one is heavier on damage while the other will have more survivability with its 5++.
      • 5++ reroling ones is an hell of a invulnerable save. Expecially on such a cheap unit. There is more to consider that the average damage on mathammer. Consistency and predictability are what you need to strategize. Your enemy likely has a limited number of high strength, high ap, high damage shots. Units with good invulnerable saves not only bounce a percentage of them, but have a chance to bounce more than the average, which means that it will likely happen at some point in the game and it will mess with your enemy strategy both from a practical and psycological point of view. This ability is much more useful than a marginally better point efficiency in shooting and it's what make the Onager way better than the Skorpius.
    • Turret:
      • Neutron Laser: Never leave home without one. Heavy d3 48" S10 AP-4 Dd6 and treats 1's and 2's on damage rolls as 3's. The most expensive weapon option, but two or three Neutron Lasers will cripple or destroy even the strongest vehicles. Do note that the option to take a Neutron Laser is Neutron Laser and Cognis Heavy Stubber, which gives you both weapons (paid for individually points-wise), with the stubber mounted under the laser itself. Note that the way the rules are worded, a Neutron Laser Dunecrawler with a Cognis Heavy Stubber can purchase a second Cognis Heavy Stubber as well, giving you 6 s4 shots to pop off besides your big gun. A worthwhile investment. In a pinch you can use 1 CP for Protector Doctina Imperatives and have this nuke a flyer out of the sky on a 2+ (only if you have the broadspectrum data-tether, but why would you not)?
      • Icarus Array: It slices, it dices, it makes everyone cry. If you field more than one Dunecrawler, always field one of them equipped with an Icarus Array and a Broad-Spectrum Data Tether. 10 shots at BS2 against anything that has the FLY keyword (hint hint: skimmers, jumppack/jetpack infantry, fliers, etc) means it will handily rip and tear anything apart, or take a good chunk out of it. Particularly brutal against Tau and Eldar of all flavors, since most of their vehicles are skimmers. It hits other targets on 4's, however, With the Protector Doctrina Imperative Stratagem, the Icarus Array transforms into a terrifying anti-infantry gun with 5 S7 shots and 5 S6 shots hitting anything on 2's.
        • Alternate Opinion: Unless you have a full brigade you might wanna save your command points. Especially since your vanguards and infiltrators are far better against the conscript/boyz/gaunt-blobs that are so strong in 8th. Your onagers are better used taking out actual fliers or tanks. (It does hit on 4s naturally anyway. No need to get greedy with your Icarus BRRRRRRT Array.)
        • Alternate Alternate Opinion: If you're ever aiming it at conscripts/boyz/gaunts you are doing it wrong. When not aiming at flyers it's best at shredding medium to heavy infantry, light vehicles and "monster" units. Basically anything that falls between T4 to T6 with multiple wounds on it.
        • Another Opinion: Statistically it outperforms the Phosphor Blaster against all kinds of infantry unless they are in cover.
      • Twin Heavy Phosphor Blaster: 6 shots at S6 AP-2 ignoring cover is good for deleting MEQ units, not a bad choice by any means, but it's outshined by the Icarus Array. Not the wrong choice if your meta is filled with MEQ, but vs hordes the Kastellans can pack 3 of these per unit against one Dunecrawler, before doubling their shots.
        • The Icarus array packs a Gatling rocket launcher that is basically the same gun minus one shot with four extra autocannon shots but hits on 4s instead.
        • The Dunecrawler kit also isn't super magnetizing friendly to the Icarus array, so between building this or a I.A; you're probably better off magnetizing the I.A. and placing the little cover on the side instead of the missiles and proxying it.
      • Eradication Beamer: D6 shots is quite random, but on average it will fare decently well against both vehicles and infantry. S8 means it will wound t4 targets on a 2+, and t7 vehicles on a 3+ (Same as the Neutron Laser). The difference is in the AP, which is only -2, and it only does D3 damage per shot unless you're in 12 inch range (Which you never want to be in, anyway). A good deal cheaper than the Neutron Laser, but it will always feel like you're shooting an inferior version of it.
        • Best used against Necrons as their special shielding rule tends to be ineffective on D2/3 damage rolls, and wearing down your opponent is better than having the damage ignored altogether.
    • Emitter:
      • Broad-Spectrum Data Tether is the default choice now if your Onager is carrying an Icarus Array, due to the Protector Doctrina Imperative, which gives Skitarii with a data tether +2 to hit; a Dunecrawler with this hits on a 2+, even if it's an Icarus shooting a non-FLYer or a non-Icarus shooting something with Hard to Hit. The Broad-Spectrum Data Tether is useless on any other weapon, as the Onager already has a BS of 3 so giving it +2 To Hit is quite pointless, as rolls of 1 always fail regardless of modifiers. The tether gives friendly <FORGE WORLD> units within 3" +1 Leadership, which makes most of your troops L8; this makes your bubblewrap less likely to flee.
        • Sadly, you want to take two of these for the Emanatus, but the tethers don't stack (only making the bubble bigger), the stratagem targets a specific unit, and these models can't squadron. Accordingly, if your plan is to rely on the stratagem, you should take two with tethers but different turret guns, giving you a bigger bubble, and when you use the stratagem, you can pick the better gun against the target you care about killing. Since you'll be forcing the chosen Dunecrawler into being accurate regardless of target, the best pair of choices will usually be an Icarus for volume of fire against hordes and a Neutron/Stubber for hitting one target very, very hard.
      • Smoke Launchers gives enemies shooting at your Crawler -1 to hit for one turn, but you have to give up shooting. It's extremely situational and not recommended. Stacks with the Stygies dogma.
    • Cognis Heavy Stubber is a straight-up addition, coming in at 2 points for a 3-shot bolter that can be fired on the Advance at a -2 (though why you would want to Advance the measly 1d3" your Crawler gets is beyond me). This is the one that the Skitarii is firing from out of the hatch, and is separate from the Neutron Laser weapon option (which includes another cognis stubber). Just buy it, at 36" range it will rarely be out of targets, and removing a single wound of literally anything in game earns back its points several times. You're mounting it on a t7 3+/5++ chassis that has easy access to repairs, as well as numerous other defensive buffs, it will last a while to get its shots off.
  • Kastelan Robots: Now even better, and more slot-efficient than the Dunecrawler, as you can get 6 in a unit. (Spamming them is a trap though, since they're extremely vulnerable in the Fight phase; 2-4 is enough.) They still have the same Monstrous Creature statline, and can reflect guns back at their shooter (for a Mortal Wound now), but are now faster and cheaper. Fully shooty is actually the cheap option now. Go full phosphor and enter protector mode for 18 S6 AP2 shots per robot. Yes, a full unit of 6 will fire 108 bullets... In protector mode becomes twice as good as any unit we have. Beware combat with this option though, as without the Fists, you don't have any AP in close combat. AdMech now has fewer ways of dealing with high Toughness, and Kastelan Fists in Melee will punch holes in virtually anything, so consider fists if you are lacking in Dunecrawlers. It's recommended if you are going shoot, deck them out with 3 Heavy Phosphor Blasters, or if you are going punchy, get Fists and the Incendine Combustor. Don't mix the Combustor and Phosphor options together, they don't synergize well.
    • Protector Protocol is great for shooting, but don't underestimate the other modes. Aegis Protocol will make your Robots even more tanky, with 2+ Armor and a 4+ Invul, and Conqueror Protocol lets them attack twice in combat and just fisticuff anything to death. In general, Fist Kastelans will prefer either Aegis or Conquerors, while Shooty ones will want to stay in Protector Protocol as much as possible.
    • It would be great if the reflection worked like in 7th edition (where *any* saving throw of 6 reflected), but now it is only Invulnerables of 6, and the Cover Bonus from Shroudpsalm only increases the armor save. Unfortunately, the Aegis Protocol Trolling of the Index is now gone, so you will only reflect a Mortal Wound on a Invul Save roll of 6, after re-rolls but before modifiers.
    • A critical difference here between LUCIUS and Stygies VII when deep striking is that the former deep strikes in after it's too late to change Protocols outside of Binharic Override (costing a second CP for the unit), so unless you're willing to shell out the CP, you'll be in Aegis Protocol on the turn you arrive.
    • Speaking of Binharic Override, if you are running shooty robots, it may be a good idea to just use ASAP to get your Kastelans doubling their rate of fire on the first turn, rather than having to wait until turn 2.
      • Be certain if you do this that they are where you need them to be for the rest of the battle, as they will no longer be able to move.
    • The amount of overwatch shots and natural 6 STR is probably enough to keep most CC units away, even more if you're screening.
    • They do make incredibly good Distraction Canifex.
    • TL;DR: Still good just not cost-effective, and definitely uber-specialized depending on loadout.
    • (Note: This unit had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018) The combat kastellans with fists & flamers dropped to 105 points per model, whereas the phosphor bots remained the same at 110.
  • Skorpius Disintigrator: If it’s mobile firepower you’re after, you’ll want the Skorpius Disintegrator. It comes baseline with 3 Cognis heavy stubbers and a prow-mounted disruptor missile launcher that packs a highly explosive wallop: 36” Heavy d6 S7 AP-2 Dd3. Random attack numbers and damage make it unpredictable but it is a decent weapon nonetheless. It also comes with a broad spectrum data-tether and canticles, as well as ignoring heavy weapon rules unless it advances. It has the exact same stats as the Skorpius Dunerider, except for an additional point of toughness (T7). Probably the most critical difference when deciding between this and the Dunecrawler, is the invun save, or rather lack thereof on the Disintigrator. So in summary, the Disintigrator has better firepower for the cost than the Dunecrawler but is less durable, which in the current anti-knight global meta (Your local meta may vary), means it can be shot off the board dishearteningly fast.
    • Turret:
      • Ferrumite Cannon 48” H3 S8 AP -3 D3. An excellent option for reliably blasting chunks from enemy vehicles, monsters or elite, multi-Wound infantry, thanks to no randomness in shots or damage. As stated in the Dunecrawler section, this weapon does statistically less damage than the neutron laser against enemies of >T9, but fails to account for the missiles, which can even out this damage loss. If your opponent fields a lot of really tough things pull out the dunecrawlers, but otherwise the disintegrator and its cannon will do fine to kill whatever it is you want, as the points cost is nearly the same (116 vs 117--crawler with two stubbers and laser).
      • Belleros Energy Cannon 36” Heavy 3D3 S6 AP -1 D2 and can hit things out of LOS. A decent amount of shots make it a good contender for medium infantry killing and the LOS capability means you can park behind obstructions and hide from tank killers while still remaining mildly effective.


coming soon. Looks like an inbred child of Leonardo Davinci and a B-52 bomber

Lords of War[edit]

See here for an in-depth discussion of Knights on their own; what matters to you is that Cawl, Domini, and Enginseers can fix Questor Mechanicus Knights, and any of the three or a Datasmith can propagate the Knight of the Cog stratagem onto them (they also have access to a new stratagem from our Codex, Rotate Ion Shields, but they can do that without any assistance from us at all). If you want to maximize the impact of this:

  • Datasmiths are the cheapest of the four options to propagate the Stratagem, but Enginseers are the cheapest that can both propagate and repair. In either case, none of your relics are directly relevant, and neither are your dogmas, but Monitor Malevolus will somewhat reduce the cost of maintaining Knight of the Cog, Chorister Technis will exponentially improve your ability to guarantee the Canticle you want (especially easy, as always, with Cawl on hand), and Necromechanic will greatly improve how reliably and quickly you can repair the Knight, which is one of the big reasons to bother with this combo in the first place.
  • The best Knight to take is the Crusader, since that's the only one not forced to take a melee weapon on one of its arms. <--That's debatable and depends on what you're fighting.
    • By default the Crusader is the best take because of how much firepower and anti-horde it wields. The only reason not to bring it is because the enemy is fielding some really, really tanky units that want to go toe-to-toe in CC, at which point you either want to bring the Atropos for titan-killing or some Armigers to wear your enemy's heavies down before your valuable stuff finishes them off.

Forge Worlds[edit]

The main thing that gives the Adeptus Mechanicus their character and radically alters their playstyles is what Forge world they hail from. Everyone has their own favorite group and way of playstyle, so choose a Forge World and try to find what synergizes best with their traits, relics and stratagems. Also note that Cawl has to use Mars' Warlord trait.


In the grim darkness of the far future, wave after wave will be sent to the meatgrinder.

Thematically, Agripinaa is the defense forgeworld, having resisted chaos sieges for millenia.
Crunchwise they hold their ground with enhanced overwatch and wave after wave of disposable Kataphrons. If you love Kataphrons but the enemy kills and locks them in melee too fast for you to have fun, give this forgeworld a try.
When the Cadian gate breaks open and the enemy comes knocking on your door, let Agripinian steel crush the serpent 'neath their heel.

  • Forge World Dogma - Staunch Defenders: Overwatch on a 5 and 6.
    • Melee is the go-to method to shut down an AdMech gunline, so this dogma will come in handy A LOT, and your units are shooty enough that doubling their overwatch is going to be felt even by big models. Srsly I shot a Keeper of Secrets half to death in overwatch!.
  • Warlord Trait - Reinforced Exoskeleton: All damage suffered by the warlord is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1.
    • Since characters cannot be usually targetted and sniper rifles are usually single damage (the MW is added separately), this trait helps your warlord survive power fists. -1D already cuts multidamage weapons' effectiveness in half.
  • Stratagem - Fresh Converts (1-3 CP): More like "Tide of Loyalists". You can recycle a unit of Servitors (Kataphron Breachers, Destroyers or regular Servitors). Costs 1 CP for a unit with a Power Rating of 5 or less (Servitors), 2 CP for PR 6-10, and 3 CP for a PR of 11-20 and no higher. Also, unlike the Chaos Space Marines, your now full strength unit has to walk on from your side of the battlefield. Revive expensive models that were already hard to kill? Hell yeah.
    • Destroyers can make use of this stratagem since their weapons have long-range and suffer no penalty for moving, but keep in mind a base unit of 3 is already 10PP, and you can not recycle a unit worth more than 20PP. Due to the way, it's worded ("Remove that unit and set it up somewhere else at full strength) this Stratagem would prevent the enemy from scoring First Blood.
      • Breachers are 8PP, which means that you have to spend 2-3 CP whenever replacing a 3-6 bot squad of Kataphron, no matter what type. Considering that the Destroyers have access to both a flamer & two heavy weapon options that generate more shots than what the Breachers can dish out on overwatch, you should always choose Destroyers if you intend to use this rule. Servitors usually wouldn't be a good Converts target, but now that they can be used to return dead Kataphrons, you could use it on them on certain scenarios.
  • Relic: Eye of Xi-Lexum: At the start of each of your shooting phases, pick one enemy vehicle within 18" of the bearer. You can re-roll to wound rolls of 1 for friendly Agripinaa units that target the unit you picked for the rest of the phase, rerolling all failed to wound rolls instead if you picked a Chaos Vehicle.
    • Your Neutron Lasers, Plasma Weapons, & Cognis Lascannons now hit and wound on a 3+ with a reroll or better. Use a CP for that one 2 you roll, and you are virtually guaranteed to automatically hit and wound your enemy's armoured support. Turning your Kataphrons' anti-infantry fire into decent anti-tank also takes off pressure from your Onagers. Great support relic.
  • Tactics: Agripinaa strategy is centered around their Destroyers, so you'll need to field some units of 6 (so they aren't all blasted away in a single turn) and bring at least 2 Battalions, because boosting them eats away your CP, and a single revival is all of your battleforged-CP. The Servitor Maniple can eat up a Battalion's worth of CP before the first turn: -1 for the formation, -1 for the Field Commander, -1 x 3 if you decide to give them Enhanced Bionics. Sure Raiment of the Technomartyr gives you enviable overwatch coverage, but can you afford it after the Eye of Xi Lexum? May need to call the Rusty 17.
    • Kataphron Conga-line: Servitor Maniple formation, boost them with the Eye of Xi-Lexum (so they can kill any target reliably) and place them near units they synergize with, like Dominus, Manipulus, Servitors, Kastellan, Vanguard screens, etc. They'll dish out lots of fire and draw lots in return, so keep reviving them with Biosplicing and Fresh Converts. That's half of your army; the other half should be exploiting the opportunities caused by the enemy being poked by and firing onto the Kataphrons: Ironstrider skirmishers can be useful. Though Cognis flamer Destroyers can take care of themselves, having a few units support them won't hurt.
      • For extra resilience, make the relic the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land. After sacrificing a Servitor to resurrect a downed Kataphron with a single wound remaining, immediately heal him up for 1d3 re-rollable wounds using Master of Machines. With Acquisition at Any Cost for 2 CP, near an objective, either in cover or with Shroudpsalm up, get a nice 2+/4++ save for when your opponent realizes that he needs to remove them right now and watch them soak up an army's worth of firepower. And if they get too hammered, just resurrect them as stated above and watch your opponents horror as he realizes he has to do it all over again. We Necron now, boys.


Graia Skitarii Icon.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, the best planet is made by yourself with the will of Omnissiah.
The more fanatical of the worlds.
They refuse to flee but are hard to kill and don't care about shooting plasma during melee. They can also Have Vanguard fire point-blank.

  • Forge World Dogma: Refusal to Yield: Roll a d6 whenever a model with this dogma is slain or flees. On a 6, that model refuses to yield (gee, who woulda thunk), and either the model survives with 1 wound left, or it doesn't flee. However, <FORGEWORLD> units with this dogma cannot fall back unless a friendly <FORGEWORLD> character is on the field.
    • A decent Dogma, mainly useful on single wound models like massed Vanguard, though it might save a character or vehicle every now and then. Basically returns our troops to their 7th edition version. Does work to save your models from Gets Hot! deaths, unlike the FNP most models get since it blocks being slain, not mortal wounds, so you can go extra plasma happy with these folks.
    • Something to keep in mind: you roll one dice if it was a big damage-dealing shot, i.e Volcano cannon, but if you lose your last wound to 14 bolter shots then thats 14 dice roll's.
  • Warlord Trait: Emotionless Clarity: Models in friendly GRAIA units within 6" of your warlord can shoot with Assault and Rapid Fire weapons as if they were pistols, but better since Rapid Fire weapons still get to shoot twice for being in close range. Friendly fire? Does not compute.
    • This is HUGE for Vanguard, Corpuscarii and Rangers, increasing their damage output by more than 500%, 300% and 376%, owing to them having more shots at higher BS and with special effects on 6s to wound compared to their regular fists. Not to mention you were already bringing Vanguard and Rangers, and they have a reason for being near your Dominus.
    • This isn't saying "go push Rangers into melee", but allows them to kick back even if the enemy ties them up (remember they only shoot in your turn), instead of instantly shutting down. That being said, you DO want Vanguard to shoot in melee since Rad saturation will now affect your guns, which make up most of their damage output: their Arc rifles now wound those T3 Space marines on a 2+, hitting on a 3+. Not to mention they are a support-melee squad with 18" range guns; it's not like melee is something new to them.
    • One nasty trick to keep in mind is making use of the Cybernetica Cohort strategem Strafing Fire Run, which turns all of a Kastelan Robot’s ranged weapons to Assault - allowing them to fire all their awesome guns into close combat like a pistol if the Warlord is nearby. This means that Genestealer unit that just charged them first turn and thinks it has them tied up unable to shoot is in for a nasty 9-shot-per-bot surprise (or a second round of flamer fire). Remember that the robots need to be in Aegis Mode at the start of the Movement Phase to activate this (but the effect stays even if you force them into Protector Mode before the Shooting Phase to double those shots), so if you want to do this you need to keep them in Aegis Mode until you think you’ll no longer need it.
  • Stratagem: Steel Mind, Iron Logic (1 CP): When an enemy psyker uses a power within 24" of a GRAIA unit, roll a d6. On a 4+, the power is nullified. Identical to the Black Templars' Abhor the Witch and World Eaters' Scorn of Sorcery stratagem.
  • Relic: The Cerebral Techno-Mitre: Dominus only, +1 Command point if you have a battle-forged army. For obvious reasons, never take this in combination with the Stratagem for multiple relics. Graia's WT is good, but combined with Monitor Malevolus, this relic on a Brigade yields 15.6 CP + 1/5 of your enemy's.
  • Tactics:
    • Graia's Endlessly Enduring Electro-Priests: Take a full sized unit of Corpuscarii Electro-Priests, move them into close combat within 6" of your warlord. Now your Corpuscarii can unleash an ungodly amount of firepower in both the shooting and fight phases. In addition to this the Graia dogma allows for Electro-Priests to have a 5+ Invulnerable Save, then a 5+ Fanatical Devotion Save - or optionally a 6+ Refusal to Yield roll. The latter used to stack with the FNP but this was FAQ’d. It’s not totally redundant, however - the RFY will perform better against multi-damage hits (just one roll for a 6 damage hit instead of six if you used the FNP), and it also works to prevent morale losses. With this many saves your opponent is going to struggle to remove these guys from the board without expending a ridiculous amount of firepower. Fulgurite Priests also benefit from the Graia Dogma, as although they have no guns to shoot with the dogma combined with Siphoned Vigour makes them far more durable than a Toughness 3 model with a single wound has any right to be.
    • Graia's Vengeful Vanguard Take one or two full sized units of Skitarii Vanguard with Data Theters, make sure they're close to your warlord (with Emotional Clarity), and see them live up to their name. Your opponents face will drop when he realizes that those squishy looking cyborgs are slightly harder to kill than usual thanks to the FNP ability. Next he'll note that his men are feeling queasy being near your radio-active bucket-heads (-1 on toughness). Those making it to the next shooting phase will find themselves staring down the barrel of a triple shot rifle which your unit has no issue shoving down their throat before pulling the trigger. Your Skitarii Vanguard will be able to shoot in close combat, and thanks to their radio-active aura, will wound most troops on a 3 or a 4. Regardless of whether you're outnumbered two to one, your shooting phase will become a devastating affair. Use the Protector Doctrine for a +2 to hit and enjoy the rerolls provided by your Dominus. You can give your warlord the Omniscient Mask and use the Conqueror Doctrine for a second round of pain in the Combat Phase. In addition; you can consider using the Canticle 'Doctrine of Might', giving your Vanguard perhaps that little push to finish the job.



In the grim darkness of the far future, space itself bends to the will of the Machine God.
One of the Durable mobility worlds, Lucius is resistant against anti-GEU weapons and can Teleport in Deathstarts.
Lucius specializes in the durable Infantry side of the Mechanicus, Shrugging of Autocannons, and placing up to a 30 man anywhere on the board.
Suprise Electro-Priests or robots will reck.

  • Forge World Dogma: The Solar Blessing: AP-1 attacks made against a unit with this dogma are treated as if they had AP0 instead.
    • Useful since AP-1 is pretty common: gauss flayers, bolt rifles, rending claws, chainaxes, heavy bolters/flamers, assault/autocannons, etc.
    • You'll probably choose this Forgeworld for their Deep Strike stratagem rather than this trait, though.
  • Warlord Trait: Superior Bionics: +1 to your warlord's invulnerable saves.
  • Stratagem: Legio Teleportarium (1 CP): During deployment, use this Stratagem to set up a LUCIUS unit in reserves instead of deploying; at the end of any of your Movement Phases you can deep strike it anywhere that is more than 9" away from opposing models. This is why you pick Lucius as your Forgeworld. We didn't get many transports, but look on the bright side, every single unit in our entire fucking army now has the ability to deep strike.
  • Relic: The Solar Flare: Once per game, at the end of your movement phase the bearer can teleport instead of moving normally. When they do so, remove them from the battlefield and place them anywhere that is within 30" of their starting position and more than 9" away from any enemy.
    • An immensely useful relic on an already popular forge world, the solar flare can allow a character to teleport away from a dangerous melee unit or next to an objective in the hope of securing it. If you teleport a unit of Kastelan next to the enemy, you can use this relic to send a Dominus or Datasmith to support them (just remember Battle protocols are changed at the beginning of the movement phase).
  • Tactics:
    • Lucius' Reality Rifting Robo-Rampage: Spend 1 CP during deployment to prepare a unit of Kastelan Robots (up to 6 robots!) with Fists to teleport at the end of any of your movement phases (except turn 1). In the battle round you plan to teleport them, pick Chant of the Remorseless Fist Canticles for re-roll 1s during fighting. (Don't pick Invocation of Machine Might. Kastelan Fists are +4S, adding to base 6S. There aren't many cases where S11 will benefit over S10). Once in CC, spend another CP to permanently change the robots to Conqueror Protocol with the Binharic Override strategem. Charge is a separate phase now, soak up overwatch with Aegis protocol first, or survive a round if the charge fails. Once in CC, you get to punch everything twice. The datasmith counts as a separate unit so you can't teleport him with the robots, but on the plus side you can use that stratagem at any phase instead of just at the beginning of the battle round, allowing you to change the protocol right after you charge and rock-em-sock-em robots them to death. Or give the Lucius relic to the datasmith (deep strike at 30" distance) to change protocols later and repair the robots.
      • Also consider using the phosphor blaster instead of the combustor to save 6 points per bot as 21pts for effectively a one use heavy flamer is a bit steep.
      • Post Vigilus robots: take a unit of 4-6 in a Cybernetica Cohort detachment, deep strike 9" away, and then for 1CP gain +3 to charge rolls this turn making a 6" charge. When they reach combat immediately change protocols using the Binharic Override stratagem (again another 1CP) for double attacks. Watch as that knight you charge disappears...
    • Holy Requisitioner 2.0: Spend 2 CP during deployment to put 5x Kastelan Robots and 9x Kataphron Destroyers into reserves. Also be sure to give your Dominus the Solar Flare. This makes the maximum possible amount of your army immune to alpha strikes. On turn two, deploy them and teleport your Dominus. Unleash 9D6 plasma, 9RF phosphor, and 90 heavy phosphor shots at your enemy. Use Neospheric Mindlock and Elimination Volley so your Robots will be hitting on 4s and your Kataphrons on 2s while being safe from overheating.
      • Use Daedalosus if there is a threat that really needs to die.
      • The other half of your army should be used to secure a drop zone and to sprint to objectives once the other half of your army arrives.


In the grim darkness of the far future, only faith in the machine will save us.

Thematically, Mars is the exemplar. The first and holiest forgeworld, the heart of the entire Adeptus Mechanicus.
Crunchwise, while some forgeworlds are defined by the gimmicks that differentiate them from the red planet, Mars itself focuses on what differentiates the Adeptus Mechanicus from other factions: your Canticles and sheer firepower.
Make your enemies kneel before the glory of the Omnissiah with prayer and Martian Might!

  • Forge World Dogma: Glory to the Omnissiah: When rolling for Canticles, roll twice. All units with this dogma receive the benefits of both Canticles that are rolled for, unless a duplicate result is rolled. Cawl's special ability can fix that downside. This reliably gets you the Canticle you want multiple times in addition to an extra free army-wide rule, which is good on itself.
    • If you have multiple detachments on the table from different Forge Worlds, the first roll will affect both detachments, and the Mars detachments will roll a second time for their extra Canticle. As such, whether a Chorister Technis is from Mars or not, he can only reroll 1 dice at best. Still, that's a nice 87.5% chance of getting that Canticle again and again instead of picking it once and praying for it afterwards like non-Cawl plebs do.
  • Warlord Trait: Static Psalm-Code: Add 3" to the range of your Warlord's aura abilities (except Master of Machines). Cawl starts with this trait, and my-oh-my does he benefit from it!
  • Stratagem: Wrath of Mars (2 CP): Use this before a MARS unit in your army attacks in the shooting phase. Each time you roll a 6 to-wound, the target suffers a mortal wound in addition to any other damage. Combo with Protector Imperatives for extra-sharp cheddar.
    • Hilarious with a squad of Vanguard in Cawl/Dominus range. Lets an 80 point troop unit shit out nearly 6 mortal wounds a turn (If you can afford it).
    • Also amazing with Flechette Blasters; A 110 point unit of Sicarian Infiltrators with Flechette Blasters will put out around 8 mortal wounds per shooting phase. (actually 3 and 5 with Cawl re-rolls)
    • Another option is Corpuscarii Electropriests, given their high volume of shots and their taser effect. 20 of them will pump out almost 80 hits with Cawl rerolls, which turns into around 13 mortal wounds.
    • The OBVIOUS choice, is a squad of buzz lightyears(Kastellan robots) with phosphor blasters, just the sheer number of shots you can pull out means you'll get salt from everyone.
  • Relic: The Red Axe: Replaces an Omnissian Axe, vastly increasing it AP. S+1 AP-5 D2. Looks scary, but armour save can only be lowered so much before reaching an invuln or be outright wasted. The Pater Cog-Tooth, with its boost to Str and Dmg, will serve you better.
  • Special Character: Belisarius Cawl: A must have for any list. 9-inch aura of full re-rolls in the shooting phase? (6" +3" from Mars' WT) Yes please. Oh, you're not Mars? You are, you just dress differently *wink*. Another great thing is the control his +/-1 to Canticles of the Omnissiah gives you, increasing your chance for Shroudpsalm to 3/4 and nullifying the risk of a repeated Canticle. He's a beast of a unit still, hard to kill and with huge damage up-close which you won't get to see because you'll want him sitting back supporting your big guns. Unfortunately, no transports can cart him around (damnit). When it comes out, he can be carted around in a Triaros to buff gunlines in the front the backfield. With the new PDFs 20 unit squads of Secutarii are currently one of the best bodyguards for him. Switching between Peltasts and Hoplites were possible. Careful, as Forgeworld can be expensive. Even conversion kits.
    • In terms of weaponry, Cawl is well armed. His ranged weapon is the Solar Atomizer, the great grandmother of all Melta Guns with Assault D3, S10, AP4 and Damage 3. His melee weapons are also good. He has the standard Omnissian Axe, Decent for MEQs but average against everything else. The Arc Scourge hits at S10 AP-1. It wounds more often than his axe but has less AP than it and the average DMG is still 2, and only against vehicles. Unlike the other "Power Fists" style weapons it hits with no penalties. After he fights with either, the Mechadendrite Hive allows him to make 2D6 additional attacks at his normal strength of 5--just mean after four S6/S10 rolls. Self-repair Mechanisms gives Cawl the ability to regain D3 lost wounds at the beginning of your turns. With eight wounds this makes quite tanky. While he can't fight Primarchs for too long, charging without a tarpit or a meatsheild is a bad idea when combined with Solar Atomizer overwatch. They also can't self heal like he can. No one is dumb enough to charge into optimal Melta range. Well, well, almost no one.
    • Remember, Cawl allows you to re-roll ANY hit rolls in the shooting phase, not just misses, giving Cawl the best to-hit shooting buff in the game. Advancing Vanguard, moving Ballistarii, people shooting at Raven Guard at night, anything.
      • Sadly, Cawl no longer has the best shooting buff in the game, now that for 100pts less and two cps space marines can take a chapter master who gives full re-rolls, period. unlike Cawl, chapter master re-rolls work in overwatch and melee, and they still get the "re-roll hit rolls" instead of "missed hit rolls". Cry your eyes out Admech. For some reason Shrike's rule says "failed hit rolls" though, when every other chapter master (even the generic ones) just say "hit roll".
    • Master of Machines grants him the ability to repair any friendly imperium model within 3" by 1 wound, except himself. Without caring even a little bit about its other keywords - he can repair infantry, cavalry, whatever. AdMech units get d3 wounds healed instead, though. I guess 10000 years of min maxing yourself lets you do these things. This means he can shoot, assault, self heal, and repair his tarpit bodyguard indefinitely if your opponent fails to table him.
      • Note: Master of Machines can only repair units, it does not also bring models back like an Apothecary, so if you seek a tarpit use some Kataphrons.
    • (Note: This unit had its points changed in Chapter Approved 2018 to 190 points).
  • Tactics:
    • Cawl's Moving Castle: Basically a continuation of the most viable Index build. Big daddy Cawl and a whole bunch of Kastelans set to Protector mode. You can switch protocols in turn one now, via the Binharic Override Stratagem. Combine it with the Wrath of Mars Stratagem to delete whatever unit is in front of you off the table with 18 re-rollable S6 cover-ignoring AP-2 shots that deal mortal wounds on To-Wound rolls of 6 per model.
      • For overkill, add in a unit of destroyers and the Elimination Volley Stratagem for extra accuracy. Expensive in every sense of the word.
    • Mars' Infiltrator Ambush: This combo relies on a 10-man squad of infiltrators with blasters and the Wrath of Mars Stratagem. Normally, 50 str 3, ap - shots aren't very impressive, but the pseudo-rend effect granted by the stratagem can prove to be a nasty shock for the unprepared. To top it off, most opponents familiar with Ad mech won't be expecting such an alpha strike in a non-Lucius list.


Metalica Skitarii Icon.png
In the grim darkness of the far future, the relentless noise of machinery deafens the weak.

In fluff, Metalica is as close to machines as possible, and that's just how they like it. Their world is scorched clean of life and covered in metal, and the sounds of their industry are deafening.
In the crunch, they are relentless and efficient, not letting something like close combat or assaulting get in the way of them shooting. They are all about movement, whether it's assaulting with rapid fire weapons to get just into range, or using their warlord trait to ensure that your key units aren't tarpitted, you can and will show them the ordered might of the Omnissiah!

  • Forge World Dogma: Relentless March: When a unit with this dogma advances, it treats its Rapid Fire weapons as Assault weapons until the end of the turn. Additionally, it does not suffer the -1 to shoot after advancing with Assault weapons (which stacks).
    • It's not like getting units on point turn one like Lucius and Stygies do, but on the upside, this costs no CP. And the enhanced speed lessens your need for transports and fast dragoons while making life easier for your Corpuscarii. Note Rapid Fire X becomes Assault X, which prevents the extra shot at close range if they advance.
  • Warlord Trait: Ordered Efficiency: If a friendly Metalica unit is within 6" of the Warlord when it falls back, it can still shoot that turn (albeit with a -1 penalty to hit). This will teach anyone foolish enough to charge your Cognis flamer Destroyers to think it better next time.
    • The enemy can no longer prevent Ballistarii from shooting, since now they can still hit on 2+ after Falling Back (Protector Doctrine), in addition to their Cognis Overwatch (3+), Rage of the Machine Advance (3+) and regular Protector Doctrine movement (2+) Stratagems, meaning the enemy can neither outrun it or distract it. All while rerolling 1s for being close to the Dominus. Its ballistic skill doesn't feel moving or running, or melee, and it absolutely will not stop shooting, ever, until you are dead.
    • This will win you games and is a strong reason to go Metallica on its own. Keeps your heavy guns (Onagers, Ironstriders and Kastellans) and shooty infantry (Kataphrons, Vanguard, and Rangers) safe in case they get charged and hey whaddayaknow most of those units can find a way of nullifying the to-hit penalty with Protector Doctrina strategem (or even get BETTER to-hit). Watch your opponent’s face when he realizes the Onager he’d just tied up with his FLY unit steps back and unloads.
      • Speaking from personal experience, this dogma is great at counteracting CC and alpha strike lists. Most opponents who lack the means of killing your units from a distance will attempt to rob your troops and vehicles of their shooting via charging into them and making them fall back. This negates that problem and allows you to keep blasting your opponents dudes with almost reckless abandon.
  • Stratagem: Deafening Assault (1 CP): Use at the start of the Morale phase. Pick one of your METALICA units. All enemy units within 6" must subtract 1 from their leadership until the end of the phase. Good times with Infiltrators.
  • Relic: Adamantine Arm: Essentially a Servo-Arm that does a flat 3 damage and triples the user's Strength instead of doubling it. It's still just one hit, but on the bright side, it'll hit almost as hard as a Dreadnought.
  • Tactics:
    • Metalica's White Tide: Corpuscarii Electro-Priests, Infiltrators and Sydonian Dragoons at the front, followed by Skitarii Vanguard. Corpuscarii make solid frontline soldiers for Metalica, seeing as Relentless March allows you to move them down the field quickly while maintaining their 3+ S5 Assault 3 TASER shooting efficiency. 5++/5+FNP and 6-9 hits per 5 models for Overwatch makes these guys relatively beefy and pretty intimidating for their point cost. Run your Tech-Priest Dominus behind them and take the Prime Hermeticon warlord trait. Now they're hitting on 3+ and rerolling 1s for shooting, as well as rerolling all failed hits in the Fight phase. The sheer number of S5 hits generated by these guys overtime will grind your enemy's forces into dust. Your Dragoons boost the leadership of all your guys by 1, and their Taser Lance is a freakin' S8 AP1 D2 deathstick. Infiltrators generate a ridiculous amount of hits with the Taser Goad when the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative stratagem is in effect, and their Neurostatic Aura, when combined with the Deafening Assault stratagem, will cause your enemy's units to melt before their eyes. Keep some squads of Vanguard armed with Plasma Calivers close by to take down anything too tanky, and watch as your army literally washes your opponent off the board. Did I forget to mention Taser? Because FUCKING TASER. BY THE MACHINE GOD, FUCKING TASER IS HERE.
      • As an alternative solution, you can also give your Dominus the Ordered Effeciancy warlord trait, which allows your dudes to fallback and shoot. Your priests will lose some of their punch, but they'll make it up in Overwatch by forcing your opponent to charge them again. And again. And again.
    • Metalica's Skirmishing Skitarii: Metalica's Forge World trait makes Rangers a little more capable. It turns their guns from Rapid Fire 1 to Assault 1 if they advance, meaning you can play your Rangers more aggressively. With their 30" range you can dash up the board and start making very early shots on your opponent. Keep in mind this rule only takes effect if you advance, meaning that you can advance one turn and get shots in as an Assault weapon, then a later turn if you want to let the opponent get in half range you still get the Rapid Fire Benefit. This is good if you're up against a close-ranged enemy because you can be in a position to shoot them, but they can't shoot you. Combine with Protector Doctrina Imperative strategem and a Data Tether to hit more shots and to turn those 4's into 6's, giving you more AP -1 hits. Arc Rifles are Rapid Fire as well so consider running a squad with them to be your vehicle hunters. Overall a good tactic at lower point games but starts to lose its strength around 1000 points. Probably not worth trying at 1500 and above.
      • Considering that 7pt Rangers, 8pt Vanguard, and 5pt EDTs are now a thing, you can actually field a surprisingly large number of these guys, and expect them to last for a while. Leave room for some Dragoons to boost leadership, some arc rifles for vehicles and some plasma calivers for TEQ, and you can end up with a pretty effective pseudo-space marine horde list.


In the grim darkness of the far future, firepower alone won't be enough.

Thematically, while Ryzans are masters of plasma, their protracted war against the orks has forced them to develop aggressive close combat doctrines.
Crunchwise, where ranged elements already stand out in AdMech armies, Ryza boosts your sometimes overlooked melee infantry. This way they become a balanced offensive force with many options, so that they're not confined to a single gimmick like other forces are.
Bring ruination to your enemy both at range and face to face, until you're drenched Red in Cog and Claw!

  • Forge World Dogma - Red in Cog and Claw: Can re-roll wound rolls of 1 in the fight phase. Yeah the Admech has great firepower, but half your unit choices also have melee rules, and transports have arrived. You can combine increased wounding (especially benefitting Fulgurite & Ruststalkers) with ways to improve hit rate (Omnissian Mask/Prime Hermeticon/Conqueror Doctrina). Infiltrators and Dragoons, and also Ruststalkers and melee Kastelans, have a bit of an easier time reaching the enemy to put this dogma to use.
  • Warlord Trait - First-hand Field Testing: +1S and +1D to a non-relic weapon carried by the warlord. Apparently, they are the only forge world that still innovates and tries to improve their gear.
    • Ryzan Magi have access to relic alternatives for their Omnissian axe, phosphor serpenta, and volkite blaster...but they can only have one relic. This WT can be used to stack on toys without having to pay CP for them.
    • The Eradication Ray is a good target for this trait, turning into a small blast autocannon. Since Ryza also wants to be in close you'll get plenty of use from the 8" upgrade, but then you could put out even more potential damage with a strength 6 ap-3 DAMAGE 3 axe. Omnissian Thunder Hammer, anyone?
    • Also, the macro stubber can wipe a 5-man termie squad in a single lucky round of shooting, or maybe use the shoot twice for 1cp to rape plague marines and rubrics.
  • Stratagem - Plasma Specialists (1 CP): Use during the shooting phase. Pick a Ryza unit and add 1 to the wound rolls and damage for all plasma weapons. Makes plasma behave better than supercharged, safe.
    • Your Ryzan Kataphron Destroyers no longer NEED nearby Kastellans and 2CP to make their plasma safe while still being powerful to remove Terminators. Since +1 to wound is better than mere +1Str, it allows supercharged Str8 plasma to be an effective vehicle killer, wounding even Dreadnoughts on a 2+ for 3 Damage.
    • You can also combine it with the Sector Mechanicus Plasma Feed stratagem to gain a further +1 strength and damage. This will let you wound all but the toughest tanks on a 2+ and deal 4 damage per wound.
  • Relic: Weapon XCIX: Aka Weapon 99 (or "ekseeaieks"), replaces a Volkite Blaster. 24" Heavy 3 Str7 AP-1 D2, with wound rolls of 6+ causing an additional Mortal Wound. While better than the Phosphoenix itself, the combination of Volkite+Phosphoenix does more damage than XCIX+Serpenta, even when it's enhanced by Ryza WT. There are better options.
    • It is still a 24" 3-shot autocannon. There are worse choices.
  • Tactics:
    • Ryza's Plasma Barbecue: Run a full squad of 12 Kataphron Drestroyers with Plasma Culverins and flamers, backed up by 2 Kastelan robots. The Elimination Volley Stratagem gives them both +1 to hit allowing you to overcharge with impunity. Ryza's Plasma Specialists Stratagem, a tech priest dominus and a thorough disregard for your opponents fun gives you 12d6 Str 8 AP -3 D3 shots with +1 to wound and re-rolling ones to hit out to 36". For added horror because Kataphrons are infantry this can be combine it with the Infoslave Skull stratagem to disintegrate units deepstriking within 12", although probably without the overcharge.
      • Consider using Plasma Feed if it is available, for 12d6 S9 AP-3 D4 shots. This is capable of frying almost 8 Leman Russ Battle Tanks on average.
      • Consider combining this with the Vigilus servitor maniple detachment - not only can your kataphrons gain a much needed better invulnerable save but you can further buff their hit rolls for 1CP. yes using Elimination Volley, Plasma Specialists, and Noospheric Mind Lock costs 4CP per turn, but (if overcharging) you will hit on 2+ (re-rolling ones if a Dominus is nearby)with 12D6 shots, wound most things in the game on a 2+ for 3 Damage per shot...
    • Ryza's Plasma Barbecue: Part 2 Electric Boogaloo: Run a full squad of 10 Vanguard, give them an Enhanced Data-tether, and 3 Plasma Calivers. Activate the Protector Doctrina Imperative Stratagem to hit with almost all of your shots, overcharge your Plasma Calivers to S8 D2, then activate Ryza's Plasma Specialists Stratagem to give +1 to To Wound rolls and +1 damage per shot. Assuming you have a Dominus in range, you now have 6 AP2 plasma shots that will almost all hit (2+ rerollable), deal 3 damage per shot, and wound t7 vehicles on 2s and knights on 3s - typically 14.58 damage (12.5 without the Dominus) for the paltry cost of 2 Command Points.
      • Consider using Plasma Feed if it is available, for +1 to Strength and another +1 to damage.

Stygies VIII[edit]

Stygies viii flag.jpg

In the grim darkness of the far future, innovation is the only way forward.
Stygies VIII specializing in both speed and durability.
Vanguarding lets units get a head start and -1 to hits make your shooter durable.
Ideal for your chicken walkers and Walking Tanks.

  • Forge World Dogma: Shroud Protocols: Your opponent must subtract 1 from their to-hit rolls when shooting at units with this dogma if they are more than 12" away.
    • Same as the Alpha Legion and Raven Guard. If you want durable infantry and vehicles this is your Forgeworld, provided you keep your distance. Greatly increases the survivability of your Vanguard and Dragoons much more than Graia's 6+ FnP ever could (unless you are fighting Melee armies), not to mention it makes your enemy's plasma explode easier. It counters ranged armies and it's vulnerable to deepstriking ones, but Infiltrators are a thing. Also unlocks Stygies VIII's Infiltration Stratagem, which immensely helps out with this army's lack of transports. All in all, you can't go wrong with this one.
  • Warlord Trait: Xenarite Studies: Warlord has +1 to any wound rolls made against Xeno armies. If facing Xenos armies, this makes Volkite nasty...
  • Stratagem: Clandestine Infiltration (1 CP): Use the first battle round. A Stygies VIII unit can move 9" but not within 9" of the enemy.
    • Can you say turn 1 charge with punchy burny Kastellans or Electro Priests? Because I can. Best part is, unlike the Lucius Stratagem, this one does not count your models as having moved. Additionally, the placement of units takes place during the first battle round meaning AFTER rolling for first turn and seizing the initiative so you know who's going first before setup, now you know if you can go all-in or need to be more conservative. If you have enough CP go ahead and place up to 50% of your army in the perfect spots.
    • Sadly, this stratagem was confirmed nerfed to its beta iteration in the last ruledump. It instead gives a Stygies VIII unit a free pre-game 9" move on a 1 for 1cp basis. This is better than it seems because, when you account for deployment zones and whatnot, this allows for at worst a 10" first-turn charge (if you do a silly, and march up Servitors), though in most situations, winning the Initiative will net you a better than 3" charge with your best assault units (1" charge with Dragoons or Sicarians, 3" for everything else that isn't a generic Servitor).
  • Relic: The Omnissiah's Hand: Roll a die at the end of each fight phase for each unit within 1" of the bearer. On a 4+, the unit suffers a Mortal Wound, its something?
  • Tactics:
    • Stygies VIII's Electronic Infiltration Boogaloo: Get a full unit of 20 Fulgurite Electro-Priests or two, Infiltrate them near your enemy with the Forgeworld specific Clandestine Infiltration, activate the Chant of the Remorseless Fist canticle to reroll 1's in close combat, then charge the thing you want dead. It will die. Your 20 dudes will now have a permanent 3++ save and will be in your enemy's face. If whatever you faced somehow didn't die because the dice gods hate you, you can always activate the Zealous Congregation Stratagem to have them fight again in the same turn. Costly in terms of Command Points, but whatever you're facing will be deader than dead.
    • Stygies VIII's Invisible Robot Chicken Extravaganza: Sydonian Dragoons really excel with Stygies VIII's dogma, because your enemy's To Hit rolls get -2 subtracted from them when they try to shoot them. Get some units made up of two or three Dragoons, infiltrate at least 3 units if you want a first turn charge (since the Stygies strategem lets your infiltrators move after deploying, you can put all your death-chickens in one giant blob and go nuts; these things already have a 10" move, you'll be able to charge anything in the opponent's army without having to roll), activate the Conqueror Doctrina Imperative Stratagem to give them +2 additional To Wound rolls when they roll a 4+ to hit, at Strength 8 AP-1 and 2 Damage. Excellent diversion units that are a pain to get rid of, but pose a real threat to most vehicles and infantry units. They have no problem popping Rhinos in a single charge.
      • Or a better idea: Bring 6x Dragoons and 6x Lascannon Ballistarii. Use both Doctrinas on these giant units to get WS2+ and BS2+, respectively. Infiltrate the Dragoons to cause mayhem in the backline. Have the Dominus babysit the Ballistarii to rerolls 1s. Bring 3x Icarus Crawlers and a Guard Battalion with Mortars to round out the army's anti-horde.

Starting Your Army[edit]


So you want to start hoarding technology and shooting cancer at people, but where should you start? The Skitarii Start Collecting box is excellent value, getting you a unit of Vanguard/Rangers, your first Onager Dunecrawler, and your Techpriest Dominus. All units are pretty much mandatory when running a strong Adeptus Mechanicus army. The Start Collecting box comes at a decent discount over buying the units separately. Notably, buying a seperate Dunecrawler is almost as expensive as buying the Start Collecting box, so when you feel like you need a second Dunecrawler, just buy another Start Collecting box.

Two Start Collecting boxes will net you 20 vanguard/rangers, 2 Techpriest Dominus, and 2 Dunecrawlers, which is an excellent starting point for your army, as it will be the backbone of whatever else you decide to field. Remember you can field your Vanguard/Rangers in squads of 5, so if need be, you can run four 5 man squads. A solid purchase after you have the basics down would be either Kastelan Robots, or a few close combat specialists like Sicarian Infiltrators, or Electropriests (though they are by far the ugliest models GW has ever produced.

  • You can now get the Fist of the Omnissiah box (No longer in production) for that second Dunecrawler that you need, an Engineseer, Kataphrons, and another set of Vanguard for $170. Or $280 if you're getting fucked down under (Games Workshop = Cunts).

Alternately, Forgebane comes with a Techpriest Dominus, 10 Vanguard/Rangers, and a pair of Knight Armiger Warglaives. If you can find a Necron player to split it with (or have/want a necron army), it'll make for a good supplement as well.

  • No longer in production, you might however find one in a non-GW hobby shop.

Your First Army Composition[edit]

Depending on your preference, you'll either be running a combined arms list, or a Heavy Support list. Adeptus Mechanicus are very Command Point hungry, so running at least one Battalion detachment is always worth it, which means you'll need 2 HQ choices and 3 troop choices. Before you start buying models left and right, consider which Forgeworld you want to run. If you want to run Mars, you will need to purchase Cawl, if you want to run anything else, one Techpriest Dominus and a Techpriest Enginseer will do. Next, you will need to run a minimum of 3 troops. If you want to run Vanguard heavy lists, I suggest you go with either Stygies VIII or Graia. Run three 10 man squads of Vanguard, preferably at least one squad full of Plasma for marine/vehicle hunting. If you want to run any other Forgeworld, I suggest you run 3 minimum squads of Rangers or Vanguard instead, just to comply with the troop tax. You now have your Battalion ready, and you've got 8 Command Points to play with.

Your Battalion Detachment has room for 6 elites, 3 heavy support, and 3 fast attack choices. Rather than using these slots, however, consider starting a Spearhead Detachment for an additional Command Point. Please note that you can give this detachment a different Forgeworld dogma, should you so desire. The sweetest Adeptus Mechanicus units are found in Heavy Support, and you'll want to run lots of them. It will require 1 HQ choice, which you can fill with a cheap, barebones Techpriest Enginseer, and a minimum of 3 heavy support choices. At the very least, you'll want one Onager Dunecrawler armed with an Icarus Array to deal with fliers. The rest is up to you. Want Kastelan beep boops? Go to town. Want more Dunecrawlers? Go crazy. Unless you are planning to run more than 3 units of Infiltrators, Dragoons or Electropriests, just keep them in your Battalion Detachment.

Another option is to simply try and maximize your Command Points by running two full Battalions. It's fairly easy to achieve since Techpriest Enginseers is an HQ choice now, and cheap as can be, clocking in at a measly 30 points. Get two additional Enginseers, and three troop choices (small or big, whatever suits your need, however 5-man ranger squads are now only 35 points), and you'll have all the slots you'll ever need, plenty of troops for objective capping, and 12 Command Points to use. Besides, having 2 additional Enginseers to repair your units isn't a bad deal, to begin with.

Brigade Minimum Requirements[edit]

If you have your heart set on building a Brigade detachment, then it can be accomplished for a minimum of 840 points.

Here are the recommended units:

  • HQ: 3x Enginseer
  • Troops: 6x Ranger
  • Elite: 3x Servitors (or 3 Datasmiths by double the price if you want something slightly more useful)
  • Fast attack: 3x Ironstrider Ballistarii with Autocannons
  • Heavy support: 3x Onager Dunecrawler with Eradication Beamer or Twin Heavy Phosphor Blasters

To customize this list and bringing it up to about 2000 pts swap out an Enginseer for a TPD or Cawl. Take a large unit of 4-6 Dragoons and two lone Ballistarii. Take a large unit of 4-6 Kastelans instead of a Dunecrawler. Change the Dunecrawler guns to Neutron Lasers or Icarus Arrays. Swap a unit or two of Rangers for some Kataphrons for the added firepower or some Vanguard for frontline screening and more small arms fire. Use those 3 Elites slots for something useful like Priests or a Datasmith for your blob of robots.

Modeling Tips[edit]

Kastelan Robots are still derpy Baymaxes. And as mentioned before electro-priests look like ass. You might be screwed on the priests, but we do not need to settle for the derpbot 9000.

  • The cheapest and easiest way to improve their look is to simply rotate the head 180 degrees and lower them further into the torso. That will give you a much cooler domed head with a smaller silhouette, and a more sinister and inhuman appearance.
  • wargameexclusive.com makes alternate resin heads for Kastelans. Or pretty cheap Penitent-Engine-looking alternatives if you wanna go that way. If you like those models, they also make a female Dominus (Domina?) and Kataphrons WITH LEGS. And a pin-up version of the Tech-Priests and some Skitarii for Promotions.
  • Forge World does make the Castellax which looks godly (and a little bit like the Hulkbuster) but is a tad expensive. You can kitbash a Datasmith with a spare TPD (every Admech player should have a ton left over from SC and Forgebane boxes) and some Skitarii/Sicarian bits. Keep in mind when (if) the 30k dataslates drops you will need to do some work to make your Castellax and kit-bash Kastelans stand out from each other.
  • Or if you have some Kataphron bits left over conversions may solve some problems. Flip the head around to the smooth side, leave the thigh armor off and your Kastelans start looking better.
  • Gluing the barrel of the Heavy Grav Gun in place of the Incendine Combustor for a good-looking shoulder gun. If you have any Grav-guns from Space Marines left over (please say you do) glue them to the back of the Power Fists and voila. Even better, use the grav-bit from combi-weapons. Take two, glue onto the back of the fist, then grab the armor off the top of the razorback turret and glue over the grav.
  • Glue the "three sensors" bit from the sensors/comms of the Icarus Dunecrawler kit onto the Katelan's face plate for the Armored Trooper VOTOMS look.
  • There's also a shapeways store for bits that resemble FW Castellax. Link here:https://www.shapeways.com/shops/stahlgeist-eisenfabrik
  • New Years Open Day 2019 at Warhammer World revealed new "Ambot" sculpts for Necromunda, seen here: [1]. A few gun swaps, as these come with wrist bolters and no shoulder cannon, and you'll have suitably bad-ass robots, finally. Just keep in mind the Ambots are significantly shorter than the Kastelan, however each Ambot kit comes with twice the amount of legs required so some converting can make them tall enough.

For the Electro-priests take some Servitors. Grabbing the Extra Arc claws and Hydralic Fists and put those on and you have electric dudes with melee weapons.

  • For the Corpuscarii Priests using the Heavy Bolter Servitor and replacing the barrel with an Arc Rifle might be enough.
  • Mix the Electro-priests kits with some Empire Flagellants for good looking fanatics.
  • If you have any Ranger heads left over from a skitarii troops box, a bit of crafty knife work to flatten the joint can make excellent alternatives for electro-priests.
  • Another option are the Negavolt Cultists from Blackstone Fortress, if you want a more creepy, servitorish look.

Blackstone Fortress comes with UR-025, an Imperial Robot model. Snap off the Assault Cannon barrel and stick some leftover Kataphron guns for Breachers.

General tactics[edit]

  • Grease Monkey HQ: A dominus with the Autocadeus and Necromechanic warlord trait can repair 1d3+1 damage a turn while rerolling the number of wounds healed. Add in the Tech-adept stratagem to repair a model twice for extra benefit. Then, park your Dominus next to a high priority target such as an Onager or a unit of robots and watch your opponents frustrations.
    • This plus a Knight Crusader is almost broken in lower level games. Take some cheap Ranger Squads with Arquebuses (Arquebi?) for character sniping and an Enginseer for +3CP. That buys you three turns of 4++ for the Knight as well as 4W repaired. Or use an IG superheavy like the baneblade, and slap the raiment relic (for repair rerolls) on the priest. A huge firebase, getting repaired by 4-8W per round, and still useful when locked in CC. Unless your opponent brought nothing but Lascannons, they're fucked.
  • Drill Baby Drill: The addition of the Termite opens up a huge list of options for inclusion. A handy group of units to cram in would be two Enginseers and a ten man squad of Secutarii Hoplites or Peltasts. Alternatively, you can cram 2 five-man squads of any of the following; Vanguard with 2 special weapons, Ruststalkers, or Electro-Priests.
    • Two squads of vanguard give you access to four Plasma Calivers. Combine with a Dominus or Benediction of the Omnisiah for added accuracy. Add in the Plasma Specialists stratagem if you want to be mean.
    • take Ruststalkers with transonic blades or Hoplites combined with an Enginseer carrying the Omniscient Mask. Then add in Incantation of Machine Might. Now both units are hitting on 3+, reroll all misses, with the rustalkers packing str 6 and the hoplites packing str 7. If you want to be really mean, give your Rustalkers the Ryza Forgeworld trait and let them reroll wound rolls of 1.
    • You can pull off similar shenanigans as above, but using Fulgurite Electro-priests. You need to substitute the Prime Hermeticon Warlord Trait for the Omniscient Mask, but you end up putting your warlord at greater risk. To compensate, consider swapping to a Dominus and equipping them for melee with either the Pseudogenetor, the Pater Cog, or the Red Axe - or a Manipulus, with the Pseudogenetor on top of his usual D6 tentacles.


Fortunately, AdMech in 8th Edition is overall a pretty solid army, with counters for almost anything. However, if you really want to make your guys as well rounded as possible, you need to address a few things:

1. Psyker Tomfuckery. Unless you're taking Graia, you have absolutely no psychic defense. This makes AdMech vulnerable to anything that messes with morale (which is kind of a problem unless you have specifically built a list against this) and Smite spam.

2. Morale again. This is why we have to take min. squads of everything to avoid burning CPs on Auto-passing Morale Tests. This hurts things like Electro-Priests, which really do benefit from being in large groups.

3. No flying. CC dudes need to footslog their way to their targets (save for Infiltrators and those who can use stratagems to Deepstrike), and we're one of the few armies that has to push through our opponents in order to get past them.

4. Few, inflexible bodies. AdMech's cheapest models cost 7-8 points each and have almost no versatility.

This usually culminates in this army being generally run as a Castle, stationary or otherwise. While this isn't too bad, you may want to consider the following allies in order to give your "Quest for Knowledge" the boosts it needs:

  • Astra Militarum:
    • Built in synergy between these two armies as Enginseers can repair both AdMech & IG vehicles.
    • AdMech also bring fast melee options the Guard lacks - Ryza Sydonian Dragoons are a fine complement to what is otherwise tends. to be a very static army, their mobility making them more attractive than Bullgryns as a beatstick.
    • You wanted transports, right? IG has an enormous motor pool to choose from, and cheap, efficient meatbags to fill them with; consider Chimeras, Valkyries, and - Omnissiah be praised - Stormlords.
    • Guard is incredibly strong in 8E, and they have access to pretty much everything you need.
      • Kurov's Aquila relic and the Grand Strategist WLT allow you to recycle CP.
      • Catachan Guardsmen are a great screen that can hold their own against Nids and Orks when a Ministorum Priest or Straken are around. They also have efficient shooting and the ability to sprint across the board with orders.
      • Lascannon Heavy Weapons Teams are an absurdly efficient anti-tank option.
      • Cadian or Tempestus Basilisks provide great indirect fire support to complement your Kastelans and Crawlers.
  • Blood Angels:
    • Blood Angels offer unparalleled assault and mobility options for the Imperium. They are a bit glassy at times though.
      • Smash Captain, which is a Captain with Jump Pack, Angel's Wing relic, and Death Visions of Sanguinius stratagem is a one-man Knight-killing machine, with (4+1+D3)x2 S8 AP-3 D3 attacks that wound T8 on 3+.
      • Mephiston is a strong complement to Smash Captain. He can Deny twice and support other Blood Angels with Unleash Rage. He's also an amazing beatstick himself, with (4+D3+1)x2 S10 AP-3 DD3 attacks.
      • Veritas Vitae relic allows you to recycle CP.
      • Scouts allow you to drastically expand your zone of control and are a great screening option. Usually, you take Bolters if you want them to camp objectives, but choppy Scouts with Bolt Pistol and Combat Knife can wound Daemon Primarchs on a 4+.
      • Lemartes and 10-15 Death Company with Bolter and Chainsword or Thunder Hammer are an awesome beta strike option.
  • Inquisition:
    • Yes, we hate them too. However, these guys are more useful than you think. In addition to most of them being Psykers themselves, Inquisitors allow models around them to use their leadership for morale tests. Therefore, if you take Greyfax for example, not only are you allowed 2 Deny the Witch tests with +1 to the result, but everyone within 6" uses her Ld 10stat. Plus, inquisitors have access to Psychic powers that can either have a unit automatically pass morale tests at WC 4, or subtract 1 Ld from an enemy squad as well as rob them of their overwatch. As it stands, Greyfax, Coteaz, and Eisenhorn are your best bet, as they have enough of a psychic offensive and defensive capacity to make them worth their 85 and 100 pt. costs.
      • If you want to bring any of these, take them and some acolytes in a Vanguard detachment. At only 30pts extra, the acolytes give your inquisitor some free ablative wounds and nets you a CP rather having you lose out. For a paltry 2 points per model you can equip them with Storm Bolters, making them a good fire support unit for your line infantry.
  • Adeptus Ministorum:
    • Celestine, Seraphim squads, and Dominions in Repressors are the current SOB meta in 8th, and just so happen to perfectly fill in the Fast Attack gap our army currently has. Act of Faith on a small scale is awesome, and these girls even bring their own 6++ and Psychic denial stratagems as well. Also flamers.
      • On a side note, Crusaders make for great bodyguards for AdMech HQs at 15pts a pop, sporting a 3++ and an act of faith that can bring back a fallen model each turn. Not your most offensive unit, but can tarpit like crazy.
  • Questor Imperialis/Mechanicus:
    • No shit, right? But seriously, with the addition of the new Armiger Warglaive, you finally have a means of easily bypassing your opponent. 14" movement alone is nice, but when you take into consideration the fact that its Thermal Spear (read: mini Thermal Cannon) is an Assault weapon, you are generally moving this puppy 17"-18" a turn while still maintaining fire effectiveness. It's only problem is that this thing sucks at dealing with any substantial amount of hordes, so make sure you have the infantry (or anti-infantry weaponry) to allow this thing to seize objectives and kill off big baddies with ease.
      • Alternative opinion: The Armiger is overcosted for what it brings to the battlefield as a single model. An Onager Dunecrawler and Two Sydonian Dragoons bring an equivalent amount of firepower and melee damage while spreading the points between three targets. Not sure if this has been updated, but one Armiger Warglaive (or the Helverin) now costs less than an Onager Dunecrawler and a Sydonian Dragoon (even after Chapter Approved 2018). And it has a better melee profile than the Sydonian Dragoon (sort of).
        • True, but it's mobility that makes it so useful. Nothing in the Admech can move as fast as this thing can each turn, and it can still do some decent anti-armour damage regardless. Think of this as something taken in addition to your regular list rather than replacing something.
          • Alternate Alternate opinion: A dunecrawler with a neutron laser + stubber and a bare dragoon (with a lance) is 187 points, compared to a Armiger with their meltagun at 174. With that in mind you can think of a Armiger knight as a dragoon and a dunecrawer fused together into a single model, sharing some components and losing others. Armiger's can deal with melee units to some degree but a 3 man unit of dragoons (@ 204 points) deals with hoards easier. The shooting damage of a crawler is more consistent with S10 and the minimum 3 damage but like all tanks can't deal with melee, and can't move around to the degree of a Armiger with their assault weaponry and extra six inches of movement. So perhaps a better way to think of Armigers is a quick and tough dragoon with a two-bit neutron laser and a decent melee weapon. Do you want that in your army? Maybe. You're investing slightly less points by doing so but now possess one thing your opponent has to focus on rather than two. However, this doesn't factor in the unit sizes, since you can put three of these puppies into one unit. A max unit pack of Armigers is three targets. Three tanks and three dragoons is 39 points more and six targets. So which is better? Depends on what you need and want. 8th edition Warhammer emphasizes board control and presence on the table more than other editions, so if you can pay the $ the tanks and dragoons will likely help more, not to mention you can change out some weapons on these units to better suit your needs. Then again, a lower point game (say 1000 points) may benefit more from the added flexibility of a armigers weapons and movement than a tank and dragoon present (not to mention shaving off a few precious points). Something to consider...
            • The comparison between these two options is so infuriatingly hard to decide upon that if one doesn't know better, he would think that GW is actually balancing the stuff. At the end of the day, it really depends on what your strategy is. If you are focusing on the knights, you will consider bringing the armigers for the detachment and close-range support, otherwise, you are probably better served by onagers and dragoons.

Keep in mind that these are merely suggestions, and are prone to change based on new rules, stratagems, and units. Feel free to play with this as you will. Remember, these are your cyberpunk dudes.

Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics