Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Cult Mechanicus(7E)

From 1d4chan

Why Play Cult Mechanicus?[edit]

Codex Cult Mechanicus Cover.jpg

Because you want a sweet looking army of cyborgs! Now let's cross fingers so we can use both Mechanicum 30k and these so we can show Mechanicus Science is the best in the Galaxy! (Update: 14/05/16, images from Warhammer Fest show the Thanatar appearing with the title from the latest Imperial Armour book (IA14), Fires of Cyraxus!) Discussion with Alan Bligh at the WH40K open weekend 2016 confirm this: the Thanatar will be featured as an ancient (and feared by the Adeptus Mechanicus) war relic to be reluctantly unleashed upon the Tau to defend the Forge-Fanes.

Special Rules[edit]

Canticles of the Omnissiah[edit]

Like Skitarii, you get a series of one-use army-wide buffs that last a turn, but rather than simplistic WS/BS adjustments, the Cult Mechanicum get significantly different buffs. The flip side is that they are dependent upon the number of units you have in your army at the start of your turn when the canticle comes into effect. If you have more units the buff gets even better. Also, when counting the number of units you discount any squads that are falling back, and the canticle remains at that power level even if units regroup or new ones arrive on the table and bring your total higher:

  • Incantation of the Iron Soul: - Having 1-3 units gives them Stubborn, 4-7 gives them Stubborn and the ability to reroll failed morale, fear & pinning checks. Having 8+ units just goes stuff it and gives them all Fearless.
  • Shroudpsalm: 1-3 = Stealth, 4-7 = Shrouded while having 8+ gives both rules.
    • This, right here, is great, especially with the Battle Congregation and its ability to recycle Canticles. Not only can you give all your Cult units a 4+ cover in the open (2+ if they're in any cover more substantial than razor wire) for up to two turns, thanks to the wording of the Stealth and Shrouded special rules, you can also give that to any non-Cult Battle Brothers your Dominus and/or Engineseer is chilling out with.
  • Chant of the Remorseless Fist: 1-3 units gives re-rolls of one to-hit in close combat, followed by re-rolls of one and two at 4-7, then simply getting to re-roll all fails to hit if you have 8+ units on the tabletop.
    • For your Electro Priests, this is pretty meh, given that thanks to Zealot, they reroll all To Hit rolls in the first round of combat anyway, but the WS3 Kataphron Breachers suddenly got a lot scarier. Combat oriented Kastelans with this and conqueror protocols will be fucking lethal.
  • Benediction of Omniscience: 1-3 units gives re-rolls of one to-hit while shooting, followed by re-rolls of one and two at 4-7, then simply getting to re-roll all fails to hit if you have 8+ units on the tabletop.
    • This is great for the turn that most of the enemy is in range and you have most of your guys still alive, around turn 2 is best time.
  • Invocation of Machine Might: 1-3 = plus one strength, increasing to plus two at 4-7, then plus three at 8+ units.
    • This sounds like one of the least useful ones at first glance, but can be applied well, too. If you do not give your Castelans Power Fists, you can still ramp their strength up to 9 for the one round they need stupid amounts of attacks at high strength. Also works well to reach Instant Death thresholds.
  • Litany of the Electromancer: Your dudes generate electricity; in close combat, for every model you have with the Canticle the enemy takes a S4 AP- hit at Initiative 10 that phase. Increasing to two hits at 4-7 squads, and three hits at 8+.
    • Now you know why the Electro Priests are overcosted. If they costed less, you could just field a hundred of them, send them into close combat and drown the enemy in S4.

Also note that the buffs only apply to friendly models that have the Canticles of the Omnissiah special rule as according to the rulebook, special rule held by independent characters do not confer unto squads unless specifically noted and vice versa, so you can't attach a Dominus to a space marine squad and make them electrical or boost the accuracy of guardsmen. The only ones that apply to allies would be Shroudpsalm and The Incantation of the Iron Soul, which provide USRs that can confer to attached squads. (The warlord trait "Layered Psalm Code" may be an exception, more below.)

Battle Congregation[edit]

The AdMech get a specialized FOC. 1 HQ and 2 troops are mandatory, with 6 additional troops, 4 Elites, and 2 HS slots optional. Yeah, there's no Fast Attack options available here, not that you would have anything to fill the slots with. And yes, you read that right, you get exactly 1 HQ, no optional additional slots (though thankfully like most books you can abuse the shit out of formations to bypass this, allowing you to get up to 3 HQ's in a battle-forged army). You get a mandatory WT re-roll and the ability to re-use one of the Canticles of the Omnissiah.

Grand Convocation (Fall of Cadia)[edit]

FINALLY. IT HIT. Now you have the means to field Knights, Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus units together in a single formation just as they always meant to be! In fact, you must field units from at least two different Factions in this FOC, and the restrictions strongly resemble a doubled Primary Detachment. You get 2-4 HQ units, which can be Belisarius Cawl himself, ordinary Tech-Priests Dominus (that's up to FOUR Domini!) or Enginseers, 4+ Troops, up to 6 Heavy Support, Elites and Fast Attack (all choices from both codexes are listed), and up to three Knights as Lords of War. Command Benefits include IWND for all vehicles (what did you expect? yes, your Knights repair themselves IN ADDITION to being tended to by Tech-Priests), PotMS for all vehicles within 6" of an HQ at the start of a turn, re-roll Warlord traits (any traits), and if you field a full FOC, EVERYTHING gets Canticles of the Omnissiah* . Yes, you now have self-aware undying stealth robots. This is the FOC to use, as it allows you to bypass both the Kataphron tax and the Dominus restriction, as well as giving you excellent anti-air (take a full unit of Dunecrawlers, upgrade one of them with the Icarus Array, and use PotMS with the other two walkers) and a monstrous DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that just won't go away, all without fiddling with other formations.

^^ But only If you play at apocalypse points levels "Canticles of the Omnissiah" is a bonus for fully filling out the FOC {except troops which has no limit} of this detachment even at minimum squad sizes with no upgrades it is simply not possible in 2500 points, in addition it stipulates what units you can take by name. So it removes the ability to take any forgeworld units in this detachment which is a major let down especially with the new imperial armour fires of cyraxus due out soon. Without the army wide Canticles of the Omnissiah the Conclave Acquisitorius which strangely does allow forgeworld knights or the war convocation are better for most games.

  • Army-wide Canticles are just an icing, IWND and PotMS are already significant enough bonuses to take it. How Forgeworld handles their units is irrelevant, they should have adapted to the Decurion system long ago. You cannot take FW Knights in a Conclave since it specifically references Codex: Imperial Knights, so you will have to use a separate Detachment for these. And War Convocation is a WD exclusive, it might not be allowed everywhere and your opponents might refuse to go against it, while with Grand Convocation you can build a relatively normal AdMech army.
  • This can also fill the holes in both Mechanicus Codexes. The Skitarii have great numbers of cheaper troops, but fewer tough units, (unless you count triple Onagers with IWND,) and their phosphor is rare and shorter ranged. (Unless you repurpose Dunecrawlers. The Cult Mechanicus have much tougher units. Kataphrons or Kastellans with Phosphor Blasters can play pseudo-markerlight for Rangers or Vanguard. Admittedly you'll still be hopelessly without transports, but you can still ally in a Land Raider. Heck you could possibly even fit some Infiltrator and Electro-Priests in the same vehicle! (You mad bastard!)

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Reinforced Exoskeleton - Grants the Warlord Eternal Warrior. Exactly the same as its Skitarii counterpart. Much better on the remarkably tough Dominus than on a Skitarii Alpha, though.
  2. Artificer Armament - One of the Warlord's weapons becomes Master-Crafted. Also identical to Skitarii. Since your Dominus has BS5 already, one reroll from Mastercrafted should be all it takes to make sure all your shots hit.
  3. Masterwork Bionics - Reroll failed Feel No Pain rolls. You guessed it, another copypaste from the Skitarii codex. Only this time, it's actually a pretty good trait.
  4. Archaeotech Specialist - If the Warlord discovers a Mysterious Objective, he can choose the result of his roll. Probably combo's with scryer-skulls so you can simply choose the result of any objective on the table, so give your opponent booby traps. Alternately, you can give the "choose to Skyfire" to a big unit of Breachers.
  5. Inside the Mind of the Machine - The Warlord's close combat attacks all gain Haywire. Combine with Anzion's Pseudogenetor for 4+D6 Haywire attacks on the charge. Now your cyber-pope can pop Titans in one round of combat. Other than that, it's sort of redundant though. In all likeliness, your warlord will be a Dominus, and he already has a Dataspike built in, so all of his close combat attacks already have Haywire should you so desire. It does lend itself to fighting Chariots, though, since now your attacks can all be S5 AP2 and Haywire, so scary for both the rider and the pimp chair.
  6. Layered Psalm-code - For the Warlord and his unit, all Canticles of the Omnissiah always count as being used at their highest level of effect regardless of how many units are actually on the board. Obviously most useful in small forces, but it helps your army stay on top of the game even as you lose units. One of the better traits. Whether or not this applies to units without canticles is debatable. Please see the discussion page for more details.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Praise the Machine God
1 VP at the end of the turn if you used Incantation of the Iron Soul or Shroudpsalm. If you haven't used either one of those yet. it's a free VP.
12 - Networked Archaeotech
Roll 2 d6- their numbers correspond to two objective markers. Controlling one by the end of the turn nets you 1 VP, and controlling both is worth d3.
13 - Study the Machines of the Foe
Score 1 VP if you destroy a vehicle during your turn, but not as a result of an Explodes! result or Crash and Burn. Given all the Haywire weapons you can use, it's probably best to just strip hull points off a relatively weak vehicle to get this.
14 - Reclaim Lost Knowledge
1 VP if you control an objective held by the opponent at the start of your turn, which goes up to d3 if you control 3 or more.
15 - The Will of the Omnissiah
Score 1 VP if you used either Invocation of Machine Might, Litany of the Electromancer, or Chant of the Remorseless Fist and completely destroyed an enemy unit in your Assault phase. *cough* assault castellans *cough*
16 - Destroy, Record, Rejoice
Gain 1 VP if you completely destroyed an enemy unit during the shooting phase. If you destroyed both a vehicle and a non-vehicle in the same shooting phase, it's boosted to d3 and goes up to d6 if the unit destroyed was either a Super-heavy Vehicle or a Gargantuan Creature. You might be able to pull off the former with enough Haywire attacks and some luck, but don't bother trying to fight any GCs.


Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Power Axe: Given to the Techpriest Dominus, naturally. S+1 and AP2 is good, but it makes you strike last (Unwieldy), which isn't a problem since the guy is I3 anyway.
  • Power Fist: Stock weapon for the Datasmith and an option for Castelan Robots. Arguably more effective on the former.
  • Dataspike: A CCW with Haywire and the Dataspike rule, which lets it make a bonus attack with it at the Initiative 10 step, regardless of which weapon you make your other attacks with. Remember that, unlike the Ruststalkers' Prehensile Dataspike, this version is not a specialist weapon and thus gives +1 attack.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Arc Rifle: It's a 36" 2 shot Haywire gun with S6. Comes default on Breachers. Use it to pop open any vehicles giving you grief or to reveal the tasty transported center.
  • Cognis Flamer: Sounds redundant, right? After all, template weapons already deliver d3 automatic hits on overwatch, so what's the deal? This gives you 3 instant hits on overwatch, every time. Goodbye, mobs.
  • Macrostubber: S4, but shoots 5 shots even though it's considered a Pistol. Could be fun against hordes. But since their premier user is the Tech Priest Dominus with his BS5, it might even kill a MEQ.
  • Volkite Weaponry: In a huge, blatant nod to Forge World's Horus Heresy line, we can now also use the awesome Volkite weaponry used in the Horus Heresy. And since 40k has (marginally) fewer MEQs running around, this might be their place to shine. They come stock with the Deflagrate rule, which means that for every unsaved wound the gun causes, the unit takes another identical hit. New hits do not themselves cause new hits.
    • Volkite Blaster: It's a S6 AP5 three shots, 24" blunderbuss.
  • Phosphor Weaponry: All Phosphor weapons come stock with the Luminagen rule. This means that, if the gun scored at least one wound/glance/pen, all squads re-roll failed charge distances against the affected unit, and their cover save is also lowered by 1. Just as it was in the Skitarii book, the Luminagen rule doesn't care if your allies are Come The Apocalypse, they can use it, too.
    • Phosphor Serpenta: It's an 18" Assault 1 Heavy Bolter. Honestly, unless you're shooting at Orks outside KFF range, you won't be killing anything with this.
      • Alternate Opinion: The Dominus's Phosphor Serpenta has one advantage, and that is applying Luminagen at a longer range than a Phosphor Blast Pistol. By that, it has some support potential for long-ranged units, like Skitarii Rangers, with which you won't typically be planing to get into pistol range anyway.
    • Phosphor Blaster: As above, but it's now 24" and Rapid Fire.
    • Heavy Phosphor Blaster: Now we're talking. Three shots, Strength 6, AP3 and 36" range. It's an awesome MEQ killer and a unit of Castelans fully loaded with them might even glance transports to death.
  • Plasma Culverin: 24", 2 shot Plasma Cannon. Yes it still Gets Hot and small blasts are usually pretty meh, but when you can have entire units full of these things, they get scary.
    • Plasma O'death: In a normal squad this is 6 plasma blasts! If you aim for an area where the enemy is packed (several units) you can with some luck see the blasts scatter and hit more than the unit you were aiming for. If you use the re-roll canticle you can reroll the bad scatters and hold on to the other ones. Use the phosphorous blaster before for some anti-cover shenaigans. Add in a Haemotrope Reactor and watch vast swathes of the enemy vanish, note the new rules errata states the ability to re-roll 1's to hit allows re-rolls to blast weapons gets hot- use the Benediction of Omniscience to prevent the servitors from suffering wounds.
  • Heavy Grav-Cannon: 30", Salvo 4/6. Just like the Space Marine Grav Cannon, the Salvo part is irrelevant and the gun is pretty much Assault 6 in all but name. Blows holes into MEQs and TEQs and has enough shots to squash any vehicle regardless of AV, but is utterly useless against hordes and Daemons.
  • Gamma Pistol: A nice toy your Datasmiths get to play with, it's a S6 AP2 pistol with Armourbane. In practice, it's better than a Meltagun between 6 and 12" and worse than a Meltagun at lower ranges.
  • Torsion Cannon: The other gun that the Breachers can take. One shot at Strength 8 ap 1 with a unique rule that allows you to take off D3 wounds/Hull points for an unsaved wound or penetrating hit, though not for a glancing hit. However, if you use the Holy Requisitioner formation, they might be useful, since you could deep strike in a way that might allow you to target the side/rear armor values of big things like Imperial Knights and Lords of Skulls. Note all the subjunctives in that sentence, though.
  • Incendine Combustor: Stock gun on the Kastelans and proof that sometimes (only sometimes) GeeDubs does consider what an army needs and then actually gives it to them. Before the Castelans came out, the Mechanicus was in desperate need of flamers. Now you have Torrent Flamers to toss into blobs! It isn't an amazing gun by a long shot, but considering that every single Castelan has one at no additional cost...
  • Eradication Ray: Oh look. It's another bloody reverse variant of the Conversion Beamer! This one is actually pretty good. Between 0 and 12" it's a single shot S8 AP1 haymaker, because fuck those Paladins in particular, and between 12 and 24" it's a S6 AP3 blast, because fuck MEQs in general. The only downside to using it is that you have to pay 15 points and give up the equally cool Volkite Blaster to get it.

Special Issue Wargear & Armour[edit]

  • Artificer Armor: 2+ goodness, just like in any other army.
  • Kastelan Battlehide: 3+ armor save.
  • Kataphron Breacherplate: Also a 3+ armor save.
  • Kataphron Dataplate: 4+ armor save.
  • Conversion Field: 4++ invulnerable save, and makes all units within 6" of the bearer take a Blind test if the save is passed, friendlies may reroll. Take this. Always. It's only 5 points for a much more reliable save that might cripple the enemy right before a charge.
    • Or it cripples you right before the enemy charges. FUN times!
  • Refractor Field: 5++ invulnerable save. Not great, but everything that can have it already does have it, so no looking a gift horse in the mouth.
  • Digital Weapons: Re-roll a single failed To Wound roll in the Assault phase.
  • Infoslave Skull: The bearer gets +1 Ld and Acute Senses, the latter of which is close to useless for Cult Mechanicus.
  • Mechadendrite Harness: Counts as being armed with a Dataspike, and the user can fire all his ranged weapons in a single Shooting phase.
  • Scryerskull: At the start of each turn, identify a single Mysterious Objective.
  • Stasis Field: When Going To Ground, gain a 2++ invulnerable save but lower WS and BS to 0. Sure, you won't be hurting anyone with this, but as long as you Go To Ground you'll be virtually untouchable. Do not give this to a Datasmith! You will just waste 15 pts as units containing Monstrous Creatures can never go to ground.
  • Voltagheist Field: Grants a 5++ invulnerable save, allows HoW attacks at S4, and cancels the Initiative penalty for charging through Difficult Terrain.

Arcana Mechanicum[edit]

  • Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land - It's Arkhan Land's personal pimp cane. If he canes a hoe (or Kataphron, as the case may be) on the ass with it, they repair themselves. What this means is that it grants IWND to the bearer and his unit. It's also pretty expensive at 30 points. Can only be taken by the Techpriest Dominus
  • Anzion's Pseudogenetor - It's a tangle of mecha-tentacles that can vivisect enemies in the midst of battle. That's justification enough to use it. It's also pretty useful, as it allows a model using it to make D6 additional S4 AP5 melee attacks with Shred in addition to its normal melee profile. And it's only 15 points, too! If your Dominus even thinks about getting into combat, slap this on. Hilarity has a pretty good chance of ensuing if you get the Warlord Trait that gives all your close combat attacks Haywire.
  • Raiment of the Technomartyrs - 2+ armor that grants the wearer's unit (so long as they're Cult Mech or Skitarii) Cognis weapons. This makes allying with Skitarii absolutely lovely with cognis-plasma calivers. It's also prohibitively expensive at the price of a Plasma Caliver.
    • Alternate Opinion: Nope. Nooope. You're paying a premium for a very useful special rule and a 2+ armour save together, when everything that can take this already has Artificer Armour. Pretty much the only thing that would make it worth using would be a huge unit of Breachers you want to put on anti-air duty, which can be done cheaper and better by a pair of Icarus Onagers.
      • Another look: Or you could put this in a Cohort Cybernetica with Phosphor blasters and maybe a couple of incendine combustors, and have no one want to charge you ever. Invisibility or flying monstrous creatures getting you down? Well how does 24 str 6 ap 3 shots at BS 2 sound? Did I mention that half of them are twin linked? Expensive though, but worth it for the fact that it's in a super durable unit that can fire at different targets.
        • One final look: If you are fielding Belisarius Cawl then you won't ever be choosing this over Memento-Mortispex. For the same points (30) the Mortispex offers the option of cognis, skyfire, tank hunter or monster hunter on a turn by turn basis. If only the Raiment offered an invulnerable save instead of its redundant armor save.
  • Mask of the Alpha Dominus - Allows Kastelans or Cohort Cybernetica formation within 12" to automatically change their protocol and use it, but you lose access to the protocol you had before using it.
    • Interesting fact: The rule description for the Mask says that you can use this effect at any time. As in, your Kastelans just fired Overwatch twice, now you switch to the CC protocol and make the enemy eat 5 Power Fist attacks per model. Just, make sure not to break the Feel no Pain protocol, m'kay?
    • Another thing to consider: If you give this to a Dominus, you can still change Protocols even if the enemy picked off your Datasmith, which you otherwise wouldn't be able to do. In other words, if you use a unit of Kastelans, strongly consider giving this to your Dominus.
  • The Scryerskull Perspicatus - In addition to acting like a Scryerskull, it can be used on a vehicle to make all friendly units with the Cult Mechanicus or Skitarii faction reroll failed armor penetration rolls and the chance to reroll glancing hits scored against that vehicle for the duration of that turn. Another Arcana that can only be taken by the Dominus.
    • Nowhere does it state that this relic replaces your normal Scryerskull. Meaning, you can either identify two Mysterious Objectives per turn (works especially well with the Archeotech Specialist Warlord trait) or identify one Mysterious Objective and scan a vehicle. Still, quite expensive for what it does.
  • Uncreator Gauntlet - An odd relic that can be used in the Fight sub-phase in lieu of normal close combat attacks. To use it, nominate a vehicle the owner is in contact with (yours or the enemy's) and if the attack hits (or if you chose to use it on a friendly vehicle), roll a d6 and use the table below. If you're lucky, it can take a LR out in one strike or fully repair a vehicle that's about to be wrecked. Just hope you don't roll a 1. Invulnerable saves can be attempted against the HP loss, though each one has to be saved against individually. The fluff says this relic is used to rejuvenate machines back to the prime of their operative lifespan - maybe those cogheads should use it on the golden throne instead of striking shady deals with xenos, or maybe they'd end up with a great big hunk of parts and a manual by IKEA if they punched the Throne with it.
    • 1: Your opponent decides whether the vehicle is repaired for 1 HP or loses one HP. (All other results allow the user to decide whether it repairs or damages a vehicle).
    • 2-3: The vehicle is either repaired for 1 HP or loses 1 HP.
    • 4-5: The vehicle is either repaired for d3 HP or loses d3 HP.
    • 6: The vehicle is either repaired for d6 HP or loses d6 HP (!).
      • Note that you can do this in addition to your Master of Machines rule. In other words, repair your vehicle in the shooting phase, then punch it with the Glove. Worst case, you roll a one, your opponent takes off the HP you just restored. Best case, your Knight that was down to 1HP is fully repaired now.

Fall of Cadia[edit]

The new book is giving us a new set of Arcana, some of which are pretty awesome! You can take items from it in any of the new formations or if you include Belisarius Cawl in your army.

  • Numinasta's Casket of Electromancy — This is basically the Skull of Elder Nikola from the Skitarii list, but for Cult Mechanicus. 30 pts, can be used instead of firing a weapon, automatically hits everything including Flyers and FMCs in range. 2d6", S 3, AP -, Assault 1, Haywire, One Use Only.
  • Quantum AnnihilatorAdMech Shokk Attack Gun. 30 pts, 18", S 2d6, AP 2, Assault D3. Roll for Strength after the target unit has been chosen, if you roll above 10, it wounds/pens automatically with Instant Death. With the blessings of our Lord RNGesus, you can erase any pesky character or Monstrous Creature from existence with a single shot, or roll badly and simply wound some Terminators.
    • It is worth noting that this will usually not be that good- an average roll on this makes it an 18" assault 2 plasma gun for 30pts.
    • In most occasions in which you can access these relics, you can also field Skitarii. This can prove its worth as a good weapon for a Vanguard Alpha.
  • Sacrifactum Autorepulsor — 15 pts, enemies charging the bearer suffer a -2" penalty on their charge move. With most HQs in this Codex, you WANT to be in close combat, though. Situational.
  • Memento-Morispex — The big cheese. Remember all of the Grav, Plasma and Haywire in this army list? Now, for just 30 pts, you can apply Cognis, Skyfire, Tank Hunter or Monster Hunter to any unit by attaching a Dominus to them. Perfect for a large blob of Kataphrons armed with plasma- or grav-cannons, or a shooty Cohort Cybernetica maniple.
  • Omnissiah's Grace — 10 pts for a 6+ Invuln or a +1 to an existing invuln to a max of 3+. Your Dominus can now have a storm shield for 15 pts.
  • Saint Curia's Autopurger — The upgraded Pater Radium. 25 pts, enemy units get no bonus attacks for charging, and all models which are locked in combat with the bearer and their unit must pass a Toughness test at I10 step or suffer 1 saveable Wound for every failed test. Yes, this does stack with Skitarii Vanguards' Toughness penalty, and, if you're really cheap, Ordo Xenos Inquisitor's Rad Grenades. Your answer to being outnumbered by Orks and Tyranids.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Techpriest Dominus: A sweet update of the old metal Imperial Guard model, strangely unlike the Skitarii codex fluff-wise it seems these Techpriests find it better to lead by example than saving their necks from commanding from a ship in orbit. You know he's the big cheese because he has both Pauldrons and a hat. Right off the bat he is a pretty impressive servant of the Machine God, possessing a 2+ Armour Save, a 5+ Invulnerable, 3 Wounds and Feel No Pain. As standard he comes with a Power Axe, the only Volkite weapon in 40k and a Macrostubber. That's a lot of Anti-Infantry shooting, right there. He can then replace the Volkite Blaster with an Eradication Ray, both of which he can fire on the move since he's Relentless. He can also replace the Macrostubber for a Phosphor Serpenta. And with the Mechadendrite Harness, he can shoot all of those in a single shooting phase.
    • He slices! He dices! And he just won't fucking die! He has two decent guns, two decent close combat weapons, a special rule that helps the Mechanicus/allied vehicles and a piece of equipment that gives you a meta-advantage by revealing mysterious objectives. Except for Psykers (who are crapshoots as to their effectiveness), this guy may well be the best generic HQ in the entire goddamn Imperium. Take one now. I don't care if you play Space Marines. Take. One. (And with the dominus maniple you can take one, a squad of vanguard, and the godly firepower of a ONE, JUST ONE DUNECRAWLER.)
    • The standard loadout is mainly anti-infantry shooting and also contains AP2 assault / Haywire assault to deal with troublesome foes. In other words, this build feels right at home with the new Electro Priests.
    • The Dominus also comes with the Master of the Machines special rule which combos out with the Mechadendrite harness to swap out up to one of the model's shooting attacks to use an upgraded version of the usual tech priest ability to repair hull points or a Weapon Destroyed/Immobilized result suffered earlier in battle. Instead of being able to do it on a 5+ he may do it on a 2+ as well as restore wounds the same way as if they were hull points! It is definitely recommended to stick this guy in a squad of Kataphrons because they contain multi-wound models. In fact, you can use this ability to restore his own wounds as a super IWND! However, the Wound restoring function only works on Models from the Skitarii or Cult Mechanicus books - so no fixing up Chapter Master Smashfucker if he takes a hit. But imagine it on a Knight from...oh I dunno, the hella sweet Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation formation (see below).
  • Belisarius Cawl (Fall of Cadia): The big bad Archmagos Dominus. Like Celestine and Greyfax, he can be taken as an HQ in any Combined Arms or Allied detachment for Armies of the Imperium, or replace a Dominus in any Cult Mechanicus formation. Costs 200 points and has a Monstrous Creature statline of S5 T6 W5, with WS/BS 5, but only 3 Attacks at 3 Initiative while not being a Monstrous Creature. However, this matters little, as his equipment and special rules are full of Mars-pattern hard cheddar. For starters, like any Dominus, he has artificer armour, refractor field and Feel no Pain, the last of which is re-rollable if he is the Warlord, basically making him immune to small arms fire and able to easily tank plasma blasts. Bear in mind that he does not have Eternal Warrior and his invulnerable save is only 5+. So a lucky Force hit is all that's needed to drop Cawl. Also like any Dominus, he can regenerate lost wounds, but instead of using Master of Machines, which he does not have, he now just up and regenerates D3 wounds each turn. Out of his pool of five. And he can also be repaired by a Dominus in his unit. This he needs, for his weapons are devastating. First, an Arc Scourge, an S+1 AP 4 Melee, Master-crafted, re-rollable Haywire stick tailor-made to wreck any vehicles he comes in contact with. A Master-crafted Power Axe comes in handy when he needs to kill 2+ armoured enemies, and gives him +1 Attacks for two CCWs. When he is overwhelmed, though, he can use his Mechadendrite Hive to do 2d6 S4 AP- attacks as well as a dataspike poke both at I10 in close combat, a bit like Anzion's Pseudogenetor, to clear out blobs. His ranged weapon, though, is the most powerful one. Solar Atomiser, the Mechanicus' version of a meltagun, is an astonishing 12" S 10 AP 1 Assault D3, Master-crafted, Melta gun that is almost equivalent to a portable melta-vet squad. His army-enhancing special rules are an icing on the cake. He allows access to the new Arcana Mechanicum table for use by other potential relic-bearers. Scryerskull allows him to uncover a single Mysterious Objective in a turn. While he lost Master of Machines, he still has Canticles of the Omnissiah, enhanced by the new Canticles of the Archmagos. These work as usual, scaling in power with more Canticles of the Omnissah units singing along, but they also affect all Imperial vehicles within 12" of him. There are three of them:
    • Harmony of Metallurgy: 1-3 CotO units are granted a single IWND roll, 4-7 are granted two rolls, and 8+ are granted three IWND rolls to recover their Wounds and Hull Points. This more than makes up for the fact that Cawl does not have Master of Machines. Affects himself, too, so he can potentially recover 4 wounds in a single turn. No info as of yet on whether this stacks with existing IWND.
    • Word of Neutralisation: 1-3 CotO units increase their BS by 1, 4-7 increase their BS by 2, and 8+ increase their BS by 3. We herd you liek Doctrinae Imperatives, so we gave you a Doctrine in your Canticle so you can wipe out enemies while you are charging them. Compensates nicely for the generally bad BS of Cult Mechanicus units, allowing you to land a devastating alpha strike, and can severely increase the amount of firepower that IG/AM tanks are pumping out.
    • Warhymnal of Fortitude: 1-3 CotO units now have a 6+ Invuln, which is increased to 5+ for 4 to 7 units and to 4+ to 8+ units. Pretty much the Blessing of Binharic Deliverance by another name, and is equally awesome. (Give a Knight a 4++ on the turn he gets into combat, or give a Knight Warden/Crusader +3 BS for a turn to really kill those units...)


Unlike most armies, your Troops are not cheap. They aren't even cheap compared to the rest of your army. They are only Troops because fluff-wise, they are fielded by the millions and a Dominus pays them no more heed than a Space Marine does the Bolts in his magazine; that is, it's inconvenient when they run out at a critical moment but they're absolutely expendable. What this means is that your Troops have obscenely powerful guns and very high, very defensive stats.

  • Kataphron Destroyers: A Servitor mounted on Tank Treads (which is, as it turns out, a nod to the Skitarii Praetorians which pop up a few times in the fluff) with a big Plasma Gun and a rapid-fire Phosphor gun. With BS/WS3 and S/T5, they're pretty tough. They can't run, but you'd never want to because they can certainly dakka--each model can fire up to two weapons, and they have a rule that can best be described as "Relent-Effectively-None:" Relentless in all but name. They can also exchange their Plasma Culverins for the grav-gun to rule them all. This upgrade in particular is free and pretty much a no-brainer unless you know beforehand that you're facing Daemons. The other upgrade costs 5 points and exchanges the Phosphor gun for a Cognis Flamer. For 55 points each, with unit sizes from 3-12, these things pack a ridiculous amount of firepower and can certainly take the hurt. Except for their 4+ armor, which sucks.
    • When taken with both upgrades, they make for truly excellent Overwatchers that no one sane will charge with anything that's not cannon fodder. 6 shots each make it very likely that you hit something and then on top of that, you have three auto-hits each thanks to the Flamers.
    • The guys are also a great answer to Wraithguard. 30" guns give you a comfortable range advantage against them, your guns hurt them real bad and once the Wraithguard is gone, there will be something else to blow up.
    • While Cult Mechanicus lacks any true anti-air, you can improvise with these guys. Grab three and throw in a Dominus with Raiment of the Technomartyr (If you have Belasarius Cawl in your army take the Memento-Mortispex instead for actual skyfire, or if there are no flyers you always have monster/tank hunter instead). The cognis means you'll average 1HP of damage a turn, with a 1/3 chance of wrecking it thanks to immobilized. Both the Volkite and the Phosphor blasters have a chance of doing damage as well, potentially reducing the jink save. Works even better against FMC. Improve by using the Benediction of Omniscience Canticle (up to 66% increase in output), or including more men. A 6 man squad would down a 3HP flyer 68% of the time, inching past 75% with the blasters. Not bad for sure, but you might want to consider their brothers below instead though.
    • Another good use of these guys is to throw a 6 man unit in an imperial bunker, they can all fire out, their 30" range will mean that their immobility won't be a problem, and they will be protected by an av 14 building, possibly with a void shield.
    • Plasma servitors are actually amazing with the new Haemotrope Reactor. I'm serious, holy shit. For 200pts you can have a squad that pumps out 6 s7 ap2 large blasts a turn. The worse gets hot isn't much of a problem as you have two wounds and the BoO canticle. Or just take a War Convocation and drop 6 large blast plasma shots without giving a shit about losing wounds.
  • Kataphron Breachers: A heavier armoured Servitor mounted on Tank Treads with a big Arc Cannon. Has 3+ compared to 4+ of the Destroyers, but despite the better save and a close combat weapon, do not mistake them for a close combat-unit. They're not. They're vehicle- and fortification-breachers par excellence, though. They have a 2-shot 36" Haywire gun and a Haywire CCW, the latter of which is quite underwhelming. As a free upgrade, they can exchange the gun for a Torsion Cannon. Much more interestingly, they can take a different CCW that can exchange all the Servitor's attacks for one at S10 AP2, which you will always do, since the stupid things only have one attack anyway.
    • Though not as good as their destroyer counterparts these guys are still decent. Their standard load-out seems to be anti-vehicle, with options to lean them toward anti-Monstrous Creature. Thing is, unless you run mono-Cult Mechanicus, you will definitely have better anti-tank, though admittedly, being able to administer Haywire over 36" is quite a skill to have. What other unit can reliably wreck Monoliths and Land Raiders from across the table? And as for anti-MC? Well, the gun doesn't help with cover and invul saves, which all the MCs rely on anyway and the CCW is 1 attack at WS3 each. Anything but a Daemon Prince will not be impressed and those guys will safely fly over them and laugh at them.
    • These guys are even better at anti-air shenanigans. A 3 man squad with cognis, keeping their Heavy Arc Rifles, average 1.66 HP of damage, and up to 2.77 with Benediction of Omniscience. A 6 man squad will cause 3 HP of damage 87% of the time, and the pen chance means total destruction of a 3HP flier over 90% of the time, a very respectable performance. Not as good against FMC though. Fortunately, these anti-air solutions are very non-committal. Get a 4 man group of both Breachers and Destroyers and have the Dominus move between them as needed, and be sure to save your Benediction of Omniscience for when it matters.
    • Does someone have a Land Raider that needs to be gone yesterday? Need 1800-Monolith-Removals? Heavy Arc Rifle paired with The Scryerskull Perspicatus and the BoO at full level is incredible. 75% chance to hit and 97% chance to glance or better? Thats an AVERAGE of 4.5 hull points stripped. For a 3 man Breacher Squad. Even with no re-roll you're averaging 3 HP a turn with only the Scryerskull Persp.


For most armies, the Elites slot is filled with either sledgehammers or surgical tools. Yours lean more in the surgical tool direction. Both units have their jobs. Use them correctly and they are extremely scary. Use them incorrectly and they will be nothing but very expensive cannon fodder.
An Alternate Take - Unless you are allying them with something that can give them a ride or taking them at max unit strength, leave them at home. Any army that can shoot will rip them a new one (5++ isn't very good against anything that can decently overwatch), and it leaves more points for Kataphrons, Techpriest Domini, and Kastelans. Unless, of course, you use one of your allies and requisition their own personal Land Raider.
  • Fulgurite Electro Priests - The Omnissiah demands that you jam! This unit starts at five models and can be reinforced up to twenty. These guys come with the biggest Rave Stick you've ever seen - which is a two-handed Power Maul that deals Instant Death on a To Wound roll of 6. On top of that, these guys have Strength 4 Hammer of Wrath on the charge and can charge though cover with no penalties, though their biggest selling point is that they have a 5+ Invulnerable, which can become a 3+ Invulnerable if they ever wipe a Unit out in combat. Oh, and Zealot and Feel no Pain.
    • The Fulgurites have two things going for them. First, they have a high number of high Strength attacks that can cause Instant Death. This predestinates them for MC hunting and grabbing hold of those multi-wound Infantry units. Nobs and Tyranid Warriors for example happen to be absolutely terrified of the Electroleech Staff. Second, they can buff their Invul Save up to stupid levels by doing what they're best at anyway.
    • Keep in mind that the chance for these guys to actually wipe a unit rises exponentially the larger your unit is. Sure, 20 of them cost 360 points, but a 20 strong block of 3++ Fearless and Feel no Pain is pretty much impossible to bring down, especially since they are still Imperium and can hide all sorts of nasty Independent Characters.
    • Take grey knights if you plan to take a lot of these guys as sanctuary can take the 3++ to a 2++, and hammerhand with invocation of machine might means you get 3 s10 attacks per priest. (aka: hey titan/land raider/ any vehicle! Bye!)
  • Corpuscarii Electro Priests - These Priests swapped their Rave Sticks for Gauntlets that grant +1 Strength in combat and can be used as a 12" Assault 2 Strength 4 Twin-Linked gun. The attacks/shots all come with the same Tesla/Taser/whateveryoucallit rule that a To Hit roll of 6 makes two additional hit (doesn't count with Snap Shots). Basically, they are there for cherry tapping the opponent to death. And just like the Fulgurites, they come stock with the 5++, S4 HoW, pseudo-Frag Grenades, Zealot and Feel no Pain.
    • While these look unimpressive and the fact that they are pretty slow is another hindrance, they are actually pretty amazing. They can throw out so many shots and attacks that anything and everything buckles under the stress. Also, Feel no Pain and 5++ actually makes them way more durable than they appear. Throw in a Tech Priest Dominus to soak up the High Strength terrible AP shots headed their way and they will reach effective range. And when they do, anything not T8 will go down in electric fire.
    • Keep in mind that, in theory a single Corpuscarii in a Numinous Conclave with Canticle of the Electromancer who shoots and then charges can cause a potential twenty-two S4 hits (9 from shooting, 9 from attacking, 1 from Hammer of Wrath, 3 from the Canticle). On average, it's still 11.75 hits.
      • They're also pretty much designed from the ground up to be used with the Electromancer Canticle: ten of these chaps with a Dominus, if taken in an army of three other units (roughly 900pts give or take if you pick one of each) gives you the chance to fire 25 S4 AP- shots and then seriously assault some mugs. Twenty shots are twin-linked (and should generate another six hits), five are BS5 (along with three S6 AP5 Deflagrate shots), activate the Electromancer canticle and your eleven-strong mob of tech-savvy psychos puts out 10 free HOW hits, 30 attacks from the Priests (which statistically should generate another five hits), four S6 AP2 I1 attacks from the Dominus aaaaaaaand another 22 S4 AP- Canticle hits for having 11 models in the combat. That's 32 S4 AP- hits, not attacks; hits, before most other units even get to swing, followed by 30 attacks, followed by 4 AP2 attacks, with decent dakka before that, just to make sure you know. Dem's like Orky numbers o' dice, even if you lose a Tech-Cenobite or two to overwatch.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • It's the 40K Mechanicus, they are not "fast", they're tough-as-hell plodding deathbots. In any event, you're probably also playing Skitarii if you're running Cult Mechanicus, so if your strategy requires speed you have access to Sicarians or Ironstriders. You can take these out of regular FOC as well thanks to formations; either one Infiltrator/three Ruststalker squads or one Ballistarii/two Dragoon units in the case of Ironstriders. Both come with special rules that allow them to synergize well with Cult armies.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Kastelan Robot Maniple: Sweet Omnissiah! A squad of monstrous creatures that come with a Tech-Priest Datasmith. Massively expensive if you want to go for a full squad of six. Each robot has Toughness 7 and three wounds, as well as a pair of power fists and a torrent flamer. You can replace these for heavy phosphor blasters (twin linked if you swap the fists), which do the Luminagen thing of reducing cover and assisting with charge distances. You probably want to swap the fists, since they have S6 AP2 smash as monstrous creatures anyway, and will hit before anybody else's Power Fists. The Datasmith boosts the squad with battle protocols, which give the robots the Feel No Pain rule by default, but can be swapped to either let them fire twice with their shoulder guns if they don't move or double attacks if they don't shoot at all. Remember, though: if you lose the datasmith, you can't change the protocols, meaning they could be stuck in place or without guns for the rest of the game.
    • Remember that this is a unit of Monstrous Creatures so no transports or Independent Characters for you (outside of the TPD joining in one formation, anyway)
    • The datasmiths should not be forgotten, they've got artificer armour, refractor fields, FnP and a near-MEQ (T4, praise the Machine God) profile making them quite resilient on their own, as well packing an Armourbane S6 AP2 pistol, a dataspike and a power fist for popping tanks or high value troopers. You can buy two more of them if you were worried about the squad ever being left uncommanded and unable to change battle protocols. However, keep in mind that shooting attacks are resolved against the toughness of the majority of models in a unit, so if you have more Datasmiths then Kastelans then the entire squad has to use their wimpy T4 instead of the awesome T7.
    • They also have a nasty trick where if they roll a 6 on any saving throw against a shooting attack, the attack hits the firer instead. It doesn't work against Blasts, Templates, or psychic shooting attacks. Still, that means that the guy trying to shoot you with a lascannon might end up blasting himself right in the face by mistake, thus keeping you safe and getting rid of a potential threat at the same time. I mean I have seen a deathmark headshot itself so it's pretty amusing for an army of unfeeling robots.
    • Note that the activation for the protocols is extremely weird. You choose to switch them at the end of your turn, but the changes only take effect from the start of your next turn.
    • Never actually rely on your protocols with these guys. To say they aren't worth it is an understatement. They are, however, excellent for playing mind games with your opponent. Say you activate the shooting protocol. Your opponent now has one turn to decide whether to try to destroy them (while they still have Feel No Pain) or to tie up a unit he otherwise wouldn't have bothered to tie up in melee, which would keep the unit save that he might otherwise have charged.
    • With clever loadout and usage, this unit is pure bullshit. For 290 points you have a unit consisting of datasmith and six T7 wounds with 3+, (5++ against shooting) and FNP if you so desire (to say nothing of bullet-deflecting) that are pretty fucking tough to kill. Whole gunlines ill-equipped for massed high-toughness cannot give them more than 1 or 2 wounds. Tau in particular have literally no answer besides horde of Kroot who wound on 4+ and can snipe the little guy to prevent Protocol changes. As for broadsides, hammerheads and riptides? In a standoff (point for point) there is same chance that you deal a wound to these robots as you do to yourself WITH YOUR OWN WEAPON. The only answer I see is to just tarpit them with truly stupid amount of bodies -- even SS/TH Termies can struggle to kill them. Also anything with force, but you have to wound T7 first... Of course you cannot ignore them as for few pennies they can put out 12 S6 AP3 shots of which 6 are twin-linked. Also 2 attacks per robot at S6 AP2 that strike at I2, so before any heavy melee weapon. Have fun with that.
    • Giving the Datasmith the Robe of the Technomartyr makes these robots pretty decent as an ad hoc anti-air unit, especially against flying monstrous creatures and lighter aircraft.
    • Weaknesses to watch out for:
      • Cost: These fuckers cost a small goddamn mountain of points, and despite their toughness have a very limited pool of wounds. Every attack that gets through hits these guys HARD, and you had best believe they'll be a bullet magnet right from the start. While you certainly can use that to your advantage, drawing fire from more fragile units, it's very difficult to justify using them as a Distraction Carnifex given their obscene price. The Datasmith, who is basically a MEQ with a 2+ and a meltagun, is 50 points all by himself. They cannot just charge in and start soaking hits, because they are by no means bullet-sponges.
      • Cost Again: Only available two at a time with a Datasmith for $70!
      • Poison: The bane of anything with a toughness value that is not gargantuan. Dark Eldar can have some pretty nasty tricks and with their transports they can ignore any shots bounced back by the robots' reflective shield.
      • Instant Death/Force: All it takes is one successful wound to drop a robot. The invulnerable save is only useful against shooting and feel no pain is negated by instant death. Combine psychic shenanigans, toughness 7 will not save robots long from death.
      • Weight of Attacks: While they are relatively hard to kill in terms of fleshy things, they'll still go down if hit enough. Their weapon skill is an OK 3 and can be mitigated by changing doctrines and popping canticles but those are more circumstantial than standard. Granted, with or without cognis, the robots have a pretty mean overwatch, tarpitting is a very real and effective threat. Chances are that the robots will die before the tarpit does.

Lords of War[edit]

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


EDIT: you can now use Cawl to replace any Tech-Priest Dominus in these formations...
  • Cohort Cybernetica - Two Kastelan Maniples join up to form a unit with a Techpriest Dominus, who becomes a super-Datasmith. For each Datasmith/Dominus in the squad, one Kastelan also get to fire at a separate target from the rest of the squad, which sounds pretty cool.
    • If you were going to field these units anyway, always field them like this. Always. This here is the only formation/detachment in which a Dominus who joins a unit explicitly still counts as his own unit for Canticles of the Omnissiah, plus the super-Datasmith buffs can be pretty nasty.
    • With this formation, you should really think seriously about grabbing the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land for your Techpriest Dominus, and/or the Raiment of the Technomartyr for your Datasmith. The first will make your formation all but un-killable with everyone getting IWND. The other will have all your Robots, Datasmiths, and Techpriest Dominus snap firing at BS 2 and your flamers get the cognis flamer rule. For a formation that's going to cost between 685 to 745 points minimum that extra 30 points is going to go a long way.
  • Elimination Maniple - 2-3 Kataphron Destroyer squads are paired with 1-3 Kastelan maniples. If the Kastelan robots fire a Phosphor weapon and score an unsaved wound or a penetrating hit, then all Kataphrons gain Ignores Cover and +1 BS when firing at that unit. HEAVY DAKKA. Tau will weep bitter blueberry tears as you rip off their entire markerlight Schtick.
    • Don't be afraid to take a second Kastelan Maniple and a third Destroyer squad - just take enough other units to protect them and take care of tanks. Vanguards, maybe a squad of Sicarian Infiltrators...
  • Numinous Conclave - 2-3 units of both sorts of Electro-Priests and they're buffing each other to the MAX. They gain Crusader. If a Corpuscarii unit is within 6" of a Fulgurite unit, they gain +1 shot when shooting and a unit struck is "electrified". Then a Fulgurite unit that charges the same target gets to re-roll to-wounds. Only restriction: You have to field as many Corpuscarii units as you do Fulgurites.
    • The obvious use of this is to increase the amount of Instant Death your Fulgurites put out, though the buff to the Corpuscarii may well be better, seeing as it grants even more shots and thus hits to a unit that is all about cherry-tapping enemies to death with absolutely massive amounts of relatively weak hits.
  • Holy Requisitioner - A Dominus joins 2-3 Kataphron Breacher squads and give them the Deep Strike rule, but the Tech-Priest never scatters so long as he arrives within 6" of an objective marker and the Breachers wont scatter if they arrive within 6" of the Tech-Priest. Also, they gain the Zealot and Counter-Attack special rules while within 6" of an objective marker. Keep in mind that they can still Deep Strike where ever and seperate, they just scatter normal. Give them Torsion Cannons and if your opponents riptide doesn't have a toe in cover it's as good as dead.
    • This formation can be easily used to take and hold otherwise difficult-to-secure objectives. For starter, you reroll your reserves check to appear from Deep Strike, so you have a rerollable 3+ for the entire formation to drop down on turn 2. Next, you can give your Dominus a Stasis field for 30 points, giving him a 2++ when he goes to ground. Also gives him WS/BS 0, but surround him with Kataphrons and he won't be charged anyway. Finally, get the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land and give your crew IWND. How's that for a slice of fried gold?
    • Adding Cawl to this formation instead of a Dominus gives him the speed he needs to get near the enemy battle line so that he can use his amazing meltagun. The re-roll on the reserve die also allows you for a pretty reliable turn two show-up. Cawl and the two Breacher units (who will not scatter when placed within 6" of Cawl) will pretty much decimate two to three vehicles with ease on the turn they come on board.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation (White Dwarf) - This here? This is a massive fucking load. You're grouping together a Battle Congregation, a Skitarii Battle Maniple, AND an Oathsworn detachment of Knights. And what do you get for spending about $400 worth of models? Army-wide usage of Canticles of the Omnissiah, a WT re-roll if your Dominus is a Warlord, and every unit gains immunity to Gets Hot. And FREE upgrades for all models.
    • It must be adressed that this formation alone, while expensive in points and cash, was pretty much designed to sweep tournaments. Potentially 700 points of wargear for free? Check. Giving a rule that provides army-wide bonuses and gets stronger the more units you have to units that don't normally get it? Check. Immunity to BOTH reasons that speak against Plasma Calivers? Check. Enjoy your Vanguard with three Plasma Calivers, Omnispex, Arc Maul, Arc Pistol and Pater Radium for the same 100 points you'd normally pay for the stock unit and drink your opponent's tears. Also, remember that just because your Skitarii now have Canticles of the Omnissiah doesn't mean they lose their Doctrina Imperatives.
    • Just remember this is the BATTLE Maniple, not the normal Skitarii Maniple, so you can only have one unit of vanguards and rangers (so no spamming free plasma calivers) that receive these benefits.
    • Little tidbit of info, after playtesting this formation-detatchment is fully capable of fighting and decimating other super-formations such as the Decurion and Craftworld Warhost. It won't be a landslide but trust me Necrons won't seem nearly as immortal when you are wielding the truly epic amount of firepower and even close-combat power this super detachment will give you.
    • Keep in mind that this formation is incredibly expensive points-wise, clocking in at 1240 points barebones (and there is no reason to take this formation barebones). Fortunately, it's made up of a bunch of smaller formations, each of which can be used seperately.
    • Not overkill enough for you ? Take one -or more- pair of Haemotrope reactor and enjoy your 18 plasma blast and 12 (minimum) large blast without frying your tin men every two shots (reactor rules specifies that "any plasma weapons as defined in the BRB may supercharge", the only difference Mechanicus plasma weapons get is the number of shots fired, so it totally work).
  • Cohort Mechanicus (Web Bundle) - Similar to the House Terryn formation, this one is a super-crazy formation that allies together Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus again. You need to grab 1 of every unit, 2 Kastelans, 2 Dunecrawlers, and 3 Dunestriders/Balistarii. Buying all this lets you use BOTH Canticles and Doctrina Imperatives across the entire army (with every model counting towards the Canticles and Doctrina) while your Dominus (if he's the Warlord) gains access to both Skitarii and CultMech WTs (meaning you can get to overwatch on BS4 with goddamn Kataphrons. But the biggest kicker? A Brand-New Canticle AND Imperative! Both of each you can only use once (no recycling effects)
    • Blessing of Binharic Deliverance: 1-3 models get a 6+ invul, 4-7 models give a 5+ Invul, and 8+ models give a 4+ Invul. Pretty much your prime defense against anything that'll wipe out your goons.
    • Executioner Extremis (Primus): Everyone gets +3 BS/WS. WHAT. THE. FUCK. Play this, and you'll have anything you want for that turn. Wanna dodge missiles? DONE! Wanna wipe off a big enemy? It's happening!
    • This formation clocks at 1885 points barebones and 3000 points with reasonable upgrades.
  • Eradication Cohort (Adeptus Mechanicus Battleforce)- Another mixed formation, showing that splitting AdMech into 2 codices was a good idea. Take one Sydonian Dragoon, a Kastelan Maniple, and one unit of Kataphron Destroyers, Fulgurite Electro - Priests and Sicarian Infiltrators. When any unit in this formation scores a glance/pen/wound on a unit during the phase, the rest get Preferred Enemy on that unit until the end of the phase. It's okay, nothing too shiny, PE lasting on one phase is kinda underwhelming because you can't shoot someone with your Kastelans and then charge the sorry sobs with your infiltrators (although combining the firepower of Kastelans and Destroyers on those MEQ will ruin their day, guaranteed). But hey, you got yourself a nice chunk of models on a discount!
  • Conclave Aquisitorius (Fall of Cadia) - Basically the AdMech Decurion. You take Belisarius Cawl, 1-3 Skitarii Battle Maniples (three form a War Cohort instead), 1 Holy Requisitioner, up to five Imperial Knights (3+ form a Baronial Court instead), and optionally a single Cohort Cybernetica and/or a Numinous Conclave. You get Canticles for everything, Master-crafted weapons for every Character, and army-wide Doctrina Imperatives if you somehow manage to fill out all slots. Kind of meh with regards to the number of actually good units, since you are forced to buy Ruststalkers and Kataphron Breachers, but you only have a single squad of both Skitarii Vanguard and Rangers per Battle Maniple, so you are forced to rely on Electro-Priests and Knights to engage the enemy. On the other hand, the Canticle buffs, especially if you use Cawl's, can just make up for that.

Imperial Agents[edit]

  • Enginseer Congregation: 1 Techpriest plus a unit of Servitors. They gain the Canticles of the Omnissiah special rule, and count as the Cult Mechanicus Faction for determining allies. Literally a small formation to take to supplement a larger imperial force like Space Marines. This detachment is also a solid way to boost the number of units for Canticles effect in small point value games as well as being a cheaper option for camping objectives. Haemotrope generator fun to be had as well.
    • On the other hand, think of how good the stealth and shrouded canticle can be with these cheap ICs. Imagine a 1500pt guard army could be with two max conscript squads and platoons, as well as four techpriests with a single servitor each. You have on any given turn, four 50 man squads with 4+ cover in the open. Order them up with the mandatory ccs and pcs and watch the four blob-stars wreck most opponents faces. Season with ministorum priests, adeptus astra telepathica psykers, and tanks to perfection.



  • General Note: As obvious as it may sound, keep in mind that, unlike the Skitarii and the Harlequins, you do have HQ and Troops and thus are actually able to use a Combined Arms Detachment and Allied Detachment to build your army of machine god crusaders. You know, in case you wanted a very small Cult Mechanicus allied detachment and/or Objective Secured on horribly hardy Troops.
  • Skitarii: Come on, what did you expect, it is so obvious that GW put your HQ in their starter set. For extra flavour, more infantry and walkers- and several of your buffs specifically apply to them. Additionally, the mixed formation "Dominus Maniple" is not only the cheapest option for second Dominus in Battle Congregation detachment, but also 3 semi - twin-linked plasma calivers and Onager goodness.
  • Imperial Knights: Don't take them just for the obvious advantages of having an Imperial Knight (probably a Crusader). Take them because, fluffwise, it's a great add to the Machine God's forces, and no self-respecting Magos Militant would leave home without one.
  • Space Marines: Not so good as most of your transports are dedicated, your Kataphrons can still ride into battle in a land raider or Stormraven. Ally in Smashfucker for extra power.
    • Blood Angels: A Flesh Tearers detachment gives you access to a whole bunch of non-dedicated, fast transports
    • Iron Hands Iron hand are not only fluffy to take, but also works with your dominus/ uncreator gauntlet for the ultimate healing ability. Also rhinos, bikers and Smashfucker provide a good amount of fast units. Use breachers as troops and get an entirely 3+ or better army.
      • However, if you just want to get drop pods as cheap as possible then go with Space Wolves
  • Sisters of Battle: Want cheap Heavy Flamers on the field? Want a wall of transports bearing Multi-Meltas? Want the Exorcist, or some Scouting, Cover Ignoring Melta guns? These girls are your...girls. There's a lot of good stuff in the Sisters codex, and they can support most armies pretty handily. Beware, they're not very good in close combat though, so if that's your need, you might want to look elsewhere.
  • Inquisition: Great for getting some cheap tax Rhino/Razorbacks for your infantry (the Electo-priests, probably because Kataphron Destroyers and Breachers are very bulky infantry, so they can't be fitted into Rhino or Razorbacks - use Chimeras instead), a Inquisitor can also be a good buff for many units in this book, especially your troops.
  • Imperial Guard: Tauroxes and Chimeras are the biggest draw for infantry transports IMPORTANT: See Blood Angels. Also, their Primaris Psykers are a very cheap source of Divination which will help out your units immensely, even with the Canticles, re-rolling everything is amazing.

Building your Army[edit]

Let's be honest here: Kastelans are Derpy Baymaxes, and /tg/ is still split on whether we love or hate Kataphrons. For the Kastelans, the obvious solution is to buy the much nicer-looking ((But expensive)) Castellax from Forge World, though this raises the issue of how you're going to get your hands on a Datasmith. Short answer: Ebay. Long answer: make your own, or you can probably sub in a Techmarine with a Power Fist (FW's Astral Claws Master of the Forge and Iron Father both offer excellent opportunities for conversion, and are nice models in their own right). Paint him all red and say he's just a Magos in Power Armour if your opponent raises his eyebrows at you.

Kataphrons, well, if you don't like them, you're pretty much shit out of luck. You'll need to go third-party. Hi-Tech Miniatures' Bio Tech Covenant offers some excellent Tech-Priest themed characters, as well as a set of dudes with tank-tread legs. The only issue is that their weapons don't look all that 40K, but a bit of conversion work should fix that for you. Alternatively some ogre models with necron and general tech-bitz make quite good stand-ins if you don't mind a spot of converting.

Model choices aside, the first thing you need to do is decide whether you want to mainly use the Battle Congregation or the Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) to represent your army. Relying entirely on formations, while possible, is not advisable for this army. Your formations are good, but not amazing. The Battle Congregation adds flexibility to your army. A WT reroll on the Cult Mechanicus chart is pretty nice, since all of them are at least decent and the recycling of a Canticle might win the game. In fact, it not only provides you with a wider range of options, it also provides you with the chance to use a particularly live-saving Canticle twice. It also has a list of choices specifically tailored to your army, with no Fast Attack and four Elites slots. In exchange, you only get 1 HQ and up to two Heavy Support choices. The last one isn't so bad since there are two great formations that use Castelans and if you have the points to spare for three units of them, you'll probably have the points for one of those formations. The 1 HQ, however, stings really hard, considering how obscenely good the Tech Priest Dominus is. The Combined Arms Detachment has three Fast Attack slots you cannot use and "only" three Elite slots, but its benefits speak for themselves. First, you may now take up to two Tech Priests, which means twice as many guys to hold your Relics and twice as many unkillable all-rounders. Much more importantly, the WT reroll isn't bound to the Cult table here and, even more interestingly, your Kataphrons gain Objective Secured in the CAD. They are shooty, so they can just camp on objectives and they are impossible to remove for anything else with Objective Secured.

The second thing you need to decide is whether you run Cult Mechanicus solo and if not, who to ally with. Solo Cult Mechanicus is, frankly, nowhere near as viable as solo Skitarii. You have no Flyer, no serious Anti-Air, nothing even resembling a Tarpit, no Psychic Powers (and a bit of Divination would so help this army out), nothing that moves faster than Infantry and your best anti-Horde option lies with the extremely close-ranged Corpuscarii (Incendine Combustors are only one per Castelan, so far too few to be viable). Luckily, Cult Mechanicus is pretty impressive when combined with something else. Give your Space Marines a big honking extra load of firepower, provide a Fulgurite meatshield to a Grey Knight Librarian for a gigantic blob of teleporting 3++ S7 maniacs, add on a bunch of Guardsmen and Valkyries to solve most of your problems neatly, it's your rodeo. Best of all, combine them with Skitarii for the best Anti-Air of the Imperium, a bunch of Vanguard and a few Sydonian Dragoons with Radium Jezzails because fuck those characters, heavy weapons and MCs. Also, you know, Divination from a Blood Angels or Dark Angels Librarian couldn't hurt. Kataphrons work extremely well with Prescience, Perfect Timing, Foreboding, Forewarning... you get the point. Keep a bunch of Skitarii Vanguard on hand in case the Libby gets Misfortune.


  • Bacchanalia: Very unsubtle, very expensive, but very strong. Take a squad of Fulgurites, as big as you can manage, and add in a Grey Knight Librarian. Use all the little tricks to cheese your way toward as many Sanctic powers as you can. Done correctly, you will have a unit of 2++ S7/(s10 with invocation of machine might) teleporting Zealots waiting to murder the faces off of anything coming too close. Even the normally meh Voltagheist 5++ save can be augmented to 4++ by Sanctuary and as soon as they wipe a unit, which thanks to Hammerhand they will, they have 2++ and FnP and Fearless and more Deny the Witch power than you can shake a stick at.
    • The unit is extremely scary thanks to mountain loads of high Strength, potentially ID, attacks and as soon as they wipe a unit, they will not die anymore. So, they DISTRACTION CARNIFEX at first and if the enemy doesn't manage to bring them down, they will be a very unpleasant Death Star.
    • Thanks to the Canticles, they can also deal with any threat. High AV bullshit? Pop Invocation of Machine Might and watch their strength go up to 10. Tarpits? Litany of the Electromancer and the Libby's Cleansing Flame will deal with those right quick. TEQs and assorted unpleasantness will simply die to weight of attacks.
  • Leafblowers on Treads: A Divination Psyker, as high as you can manage, joins a big unit of Kataphron Destroyers with Grav Guns. Prescience gives you a 75% hit rate, Foreboding givs you some of the scariest Overwatch CC sledgehammers can encounter, Forewarning counters the ease with which the Destroyers' 4+ armour is ignored and Perfect Timing gives Ignores Cover to your long-range rape machine.
  • Cyber Beast One Cohort Cybernetica Formation of Eight Kastelan Robots all armed with Phospher weapons,three Data-Smiths and one Tech-Priest Dominus with Arkan land. Followed by either a Battle Congregation or a Holy Requisitionor Formation. With a block of eight T7 S6 Monstrous Creatures supported by IWND, and 3 Data-Smiths with a Dominus granting four of them split fire, rolling over most forces will be fairly simple. S3 won't even hurt you, and Direct fire Anti-MEQ or ani-Vehicle might just kill the guy hoping to strip a wound off you. Only real susceptibilities are to Instant Death Weapons, D weapons, and Force.
  • Their Touch is Death: take a Dominus Maniple with Vanguard (sub in Cawl), also take an Inquisitorial Representative from the Imperial Agents book containing an Xenos Inquisitor with Rad (& Psychotroke?) Grenades and Saint Curia's Autopurger, (bonus if you also use the acoyles Chimera (Cawl is Very Bulky but can still fit inside a Chimera somehow) to transport the squad up the field). On the turn someone charges, the enemy has -2 toughness, and must take a toughness test at the I10 step or loose a wound for each test failed, as well as any dataspike etc. attacks (with Cawl that is an additional +2D6 S4 attacks). (Bonus for putting the Pater Radium on the Skitarii Alpha as well).Make sure that you have the Litany of the Electromancer canticle activated as well...