Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Guard(8E)

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This is the current Edition's Imperial Guard tactics. 7th Edition Tactics are here.


Why Play Imperial Guard[edit]

When recruits are inducted into the Imperial Guard, they are given four things: their regulation flashlight (commonly referred to by the troops as "lasguns" for some reason), their regulation cardboard box (which certain regiments have taken to cutting up and wearing into battle, calling it "flak armor"), a large stack of toilet paper (which the recruiters refer to as the "Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer"), and the regulation extra large wheelbarrow that allows them to cart their massive brazen balls into battle.

From a gameplay perspective, the Imperial Guard is a flexible force known for having either hordes of cheap infantry to blast the heretic swine, waves of tanks to flatten the bastards, or both. The army is easy to learn while having a lot of options and tactics being discovered frequently (melta veterans in Chimeras are not the sole option in the Guard army, after all). That's why you play the Imperial Guard.


  • Versatile and strong vehicles.
  • Hordes of infantry that can be buffed with force multipliers such as Commissars and Platoon Commanders.
  • Dirt cheap troops means you can laugh off the loss of a cheap 30-man conscript squad whereas an elite army cannot.
  • The removal of platoons means you can get rid of some minor taxes. A little bit of points go a long way.
  • Laughably easy to amass command points in a brigade detachment due to dirt cheap units
  • Scions, with the help of numerous powerful long range IG options, will easily fill up brigade detachments and will out gun any army at any range. You will rarely see an army with more assault weapons than Scions.
  • The new Strength/Toughness and AP mechanics tend to favor hordes, as does the removal of templates. Your opponent won't get more than 6 hits from a flamer or heavy flamer, you actually get a save against both, and that heavy flamer only wounds your boys on 3s.
  • You have way more opportunities to make your army look distinctive than most other armies do. Space Marines might get to make themselves feel special by slapping different colors of paint on their armor or putting different emblems on their pauldrons, but there are actually entirely different model options for your guardsmen. (Granted, only Cadians and Catachans are available in plastic right now and the others are rare, but hey, they still exist. This is pointed out in the Codex, with Guard/Admech/Genestealer Cult kitbashes now being canon, as well as Chris Peach’s Empire chaps from White Dwarf.)
  • You're the best ally army in the Imperium, bar none. It doesn't matter if you're bringing Space Marines, Sisters, AdMech, or Genestealers: you open more doors for more armies than any other army in the game, whether with long-ranged fire support, cheap bodies, or badass flyers.
  • Let's state the obvious: Guard is by far one of the strongest armies in the game right now. All those Eldar, Tau, and Necron players who cheesed their way through easy victories with Decurion detachments, Wraithknight spam, and markerlights are crying crocodile tears about how tricky Guard is to counter this edition. You're not invincible, but most 40k players kind of suck at concentrating fire, which means good things for you.


  • Overall flimsy infantry. What you have in numbers you do not have in resilience; your most common model statline is toughness 3 with a 5+ save. Still some of the toughest models point-for-point, but it practically forces you to buy in bulk.
  • Comparatively weak in assault. S3 with 1 attack each is not doing you any favors. Avoid close combat like the plague, unless you can mob a single enemy squad with models, buff your dudes to the point of competence, or you're using dedicated melee units like Ogryns/Bullgryns. Our Infantry squads are still better in assault than Battle Sisters, Guardians Defenders, Termagants or even Tactical Marines point for point. That's before Priests, Fix Bayonets, and Catachan shenanigans. But squads caught in melee alone will fail anyway because...
  • Individual units are weak without support from characters and other squads. Synergy is key.
  • Anti-infantry weapons will destroy your hordes in short order.
  • Anti-tank weapons will destroy your tanks in short order.
    • Now stop and think about those above three points. Together, they constitute a major challenge when understood in tandem. Enemies can reap bounteous rewards through good target selection against the IG, and it can be tricky to find ways to deny their efforts. Take a typical mixed-unit army, some infantry and some tanks. There will be times when the enemy can pull off a highly effective attack, pointing their dakka at your infantry and their blasta at your tanks. Some units may have to be sacrificed to an effective enemy - let's say a unit of Sentinels against enemy melta fire - if it means guarding a more important yet similarly vulnerable target - your Leman Russes - until you can wheel a more effective counter unit into place - disposable infantry squads. You can only anticipate so much! The standard wisdom when designing an army is to aim for a uniform defensive approach between units, to prevent easy target practice for the enemy. But the IG are very dependent on synergy, so taking an all-infantry or all tank army is also quite risky! Whether it's a mixed army that demands carefully positioning and tough sacrifices, all-infantry that runs the risk of weak output or all-tank brigades that struggle to shoot fast enough, you've always got a catch when constructing your wall of shooty death.
  • Although your units are cheap in points, they're not that cheap in cash, particularly if you buy from Games Workshop, instead of a cheaper source; four maxed out conscript blobs will run you $160, not to mention the difficulty of painting and hauling around 120 3 point bodies, and that's far from the most expensive option. You will want to find a cheaper, alternative source of models.
  • The powerful IG options in 8th are in a constant state of flux; when the Indexes were released, parking lot armies were out, infantry hordes were in. With the Codex, the tanks got a much-needed boost (being able to fire twice with turret weapons if they moved less than half their distance, getting a price reduction too) and hordes got a very slight nerf (Conscript squads capped at 30 instead of 50 models). Right now, nobody can say for sure what the new hotness is or will be.
  • You're not GW's favorite children, so not only are new models for your army very rare, but your infantry models are mostly outdated as fuck and are rarely in stock. Just thank the Emperor that you don't have to buy pewter models for everything like Sisters players do.
  • Unless you keep everything in transports or a tank squad list (and maybe if you're playing against Orks), you're less likely to get the first turn by getting all of your units deployed first since during the roll-off the player who finished deploying first gets +1 to their roll (this is assuming you're using the new deployment method outlined in the Chapter Approved book and confirmed by GW, if you're using the old one you will rarely go first). Plan your strategy accordingly. Of course, you can get away with going tank and transport heavy better than most armies can.

Special Rules[edit]

Warlord Traits[edit]

Unlike Doctrines, you can only take a Regiment's Warlord Trait if you're actually from that Regiment, so custom Regiments will all use the Universal list, below, but that's fine, since it has the best two anyway, Grand Strategist and Master of Command. Your Warlord may only select from these if he has the <Regiment> (including Militarum Tempestus) or Officio Prefectus keywords, in addition to being a character, obviously. Named characters that already belong to a specified <Regiment>, like Creed, Kell, and Pask (Cadian) or Straken and Harker (Catachan), may NOT pick from these general traits; they get the trait that corresponds to their specified regiment. Yarrick already has the Master of Command trait, but Lord Commissars may pick from here as normal.

Since they lack the necessary keywords, Scholastica Psykana (Primaris Psykers & Astropaths), Forge World (Enginseers), Adeptus Ministorum (Priests), Militarum Auxilla (which aren't available anyway, since Ogryn Bodyguards can't be your Warlord, and neither can Nork), and Aeronautica Imperialis (Officers of the Fleet, outside of Elysia) characters can't use these.


As noted above, these only apply to characters with the <regiment> (including militarum tempestus) or officio prefectus keywords, not all astra militarum characters.

  1. Grand Strategist: Re-roll one failed hit, wound, or save per battle. More importantly, every time you spend a command point, get it back on a 5+. Quite powerful when you have an easy time making Brigades and other armies (SM) bring Vanguard. Beat the Smurfs at their own game!.
    • While the CP is gained on a 5+ (aka 1/3), that same CP you just got back can be regained yet again on a further roll of 5+. Thus the actual bonus is 1/3+(1/3)2+(1/3)3+(...) = 1/2. And it can be combined with Kurov's Aquila to essentially give your Brigade 18CP + 1/2 of whatever CP your enemy spends.
  2. Old Grudges: At the start of the game, choose an enemy unit. All Astra Militarum units within 6" of your warlord re-roll failed wounds against that unit.
    • Better than "Bring it Down!" and affecting multiple units, thus letting you order "Take Aim!" for dual re-rolls (static Cadians will re-roll everything!), but against a single enemy unit you have to pick up front. Powerful when nominating Magnus or models providing buffs, but Guilliman and anyone smaller can hide from anything more dangerous than a Ratling, unless you nominate a key element of your enemy's strategy instead, like a deathstar squad or their transport.
  3. Implacable Determination: When the warlord and one friendly unit within 3" of them advance, both add 6" to their move instead of rolling.
    • Note the lack of keywords on this one - you can use this to accelerate any friendly. At its most extreme, if you've been allied to Tyranids via Genestealer Cults, this will work on both a GSC unit or a Tyranids unit.
  4. Draconian Disciplinarian: Re-roll failed Morale checks for friendly Astra Militarum Infantry within 6" of the Warlord.
    • Or just bring a Commissar instead, for the same effect, only much better.
  5. Bellowing Voice: Increase all data sheet ability ranges of the Warlord by 3 inches. The primary use is obviously 9" orders (which won't stack with a Vox-caster. The only other use is that Commissars get 9" auras for both of their morale buffs. Kell, Straken, Herker, Yarrick, Masters of Ordnance and Officers of the Fleet can't get this WT in the first place.
  6. Master of Command: Gain the Voice of Command Rule. If you already have it or Tank Orders, issue one extra order instead (Tank Commanders don't get infantry orders).
    • Unless a FAQ says Officio Prefectus can issue non-specific orders to any Regimental Infantry units, you're going to have to Gentleman's Agree it for Yarrick and your Warlord Commissars.
    • Notably more useful in more contexts than the Cadian Warlord Trait, and should usually be preferred to it if you have the choice.


The compelling options here are the Cadian one, which can exceed Master of Command's output when combined with Kell and/or Creed, and the Tallarn one, which gives you an effect you can't otherwise bring; the others can all largely be replaced with an Ogryn Bodyguard, Commissar, or Astropath, and then spending your trait more wisely in the Universal pool.

  • Armageddon - Ex-gang Leader: Add 1 to the Warlord's attack characteristic. In addition, add 1 to all wound rolls made for your warlord in the Fight phase.
    • Outright superior to the BRB warlord trait Legendary Fighter, but of dubious utility, since even with this and a Blade of Conquest, you won't be good enough in melee to excuse jumping into it; you'll get a lot more mileage out of combining Grand Strategist with the Armoured Fist stratagem.
  • Cadian - Superior Tactical Training: Roll a die every time your Warlord issues an Order; on a 4+, the order can affect an additional Cadian unit of the same type within 6" of the warlord.
    • A high-risk, high-reward version of Master of Command, statistically multiplying a Commander's number of orders by 1.5. Keep in mind, however, that the rules are "copied" to another same-type unit: it helps when you want the units to both FRFSRF...but when you want to issue different orders, then MoC's reliable higher number of independent orders will serve you better. STT doesn't "consume" or "force" a unit to obey an order you didn't issue to it. You roll a dice, on a 4+ you can make the order affect a nearby unit. If you don't want to (or the unit had already been ordered), nothing happens; the unit isn't "used up" and you can still order it to do something else.
    • STT helps you better the more orders an officer can issue. As such, it's worse than MoC on a Platoon Commander or Tank Commander, statistically equal on a Company Commander, and superior if you have a way to get to 3 or more orders base, which currently requires named characters: Creed (3->4.5), Kell+Pask (3->4.5), Kell + Company Commander (3->4.5), or Kell + Creed (4->6). Always bring Kell, if you can afford him.
    • Can be combined with Laurels of Command: You issue an order, this has 1/2 chance of "spilling" onto an additional squad. That's 1 order +1/2. Then you roll to see if the Laurels let you issue another order "stacked" on top of the same unit (another +1/2), which also has 1/2 chance to spill over (+1/4). As such, each time Voice of command is used, STT+Laurels make each order worth 2.25...if you were going to issue repeated orders, that is. Because of the lessened gain (successive 4+ rolls), this is equal to MoT+Laurels if the Officer issues 2 orders. Having Kell around a CCommander makes it superior (6.75 orders surpassing Creed's 6 WTF?!), while giving Laurels to a lonely STT Platoon Commander is worse than a MoT+Laurel one. Again, this is a chance upon chance to get copied orders spill onto available targets. If you want reliable stacked orders instead of rolling successive dice and see which squad gets ordered what by chance, just pick Master of Command.
  • Catachan - Lead From The Front: The Warlord has a 6" Heroic Intervention (double in range and distance as normal). In addition, if your Warlord was charged, did a Heroic Intervention, or was charged himself, then they re-roll failed hit rolls until the end of the turn.
    • Re-rolling all failed hits is better the worse your WS, so the benefit from this is actually greatest on a Tank Commander, nearly doubling his base melee accuracy; if you combine it with a Dozer Blade, you'll get all the way to 20/36 (slightly better than WS4+) melee on the charge. Still not remotely as good as combining Grand Strategist with Crush Them!, and of dubious utility over taking an Ogryn Bodyguard in any event. Avoid this if you can.
    • Compulsory for Straken and Harker, and hence a good reason in any Catachan force to take someone else as your Warlord - Straken is a lot better off using buffed friendlies to win his fights than he is doing it himself.
  • Militarum Tempestus - Faithful Servant of The Emperor: Your Warlord can attempt to deny one psychic power per phase, as if they were a Psyker.
    • Or you could bring an Astropath (and their powers) for 15 points. Avoid.
  • Mordian - Iron Discipline: Roll a die for every model that flees from any friendly Mordian units within 6" of your Warlord. On a 4+, that model does not flee.
    • Or you could bring a Commissar for 30pts (or play Valhalla). Avoid.
  • Tallarn - Swift Attacker: Your Warlord and every Tallarn unit within 6" can charge after Falling Back.
    • Now we're talking! This makes your melee screens infuriating to fight - start the turn, fall back an inch, Order the unit to Get back in the fight (Laurels for trolling) so they can shoot up the offender alongside the rest of your army, then charge back again if that wasn't enough (though they'll recieve Overwatch), keeping whatever they were in melee with locked in melee still, despite having pulled out for Shooting.
    • Remember: the main purpose of this trait is to allow your tarpits (like Conscripts or kamikaze Chimeras) to keep on tarpitting the enemy while allowing the rest of the army shoot at them, GBitF is optional. Bullgryns and Crusaders aren't Tallarn, after all. Rough Riders are, though; Hit and Run Hunting Lances all day long!
  • Valhallan - Tenacious: 5+ FNP, 6+ if a Vehicle, for your Warlord. Outright replaces the BRB warlord trait Tenacious Survivor.
    • Effectively makes your Tank Commander W14, but there are better things to do with your warlord trait, and you can just take an Ogryn Bodyguard (although they will stack); avoid.
  • Vostroyan - Honored Duelist: Re-roll failed hit and wound rolls in the Fight phase for attacks made by your Warlord.
    • Again, a shooty character trying to be in melee. Avoid this.


THE Imperial Guard Gimmick, the Orders system grants abilities to your troops to tip the scales of battle! At the beginning of the shooting phase, units with the OFFICER keyword and Voice of Command rule may issue an order to friendly infantry units of the same <Regiment> within 6" of them. Krieg Officers are the only ones who can also order Cavalry. Similarly, a Tank Commander with the Tank Orders rule can issue a Tank Order (labeled as such below) to a friendly Leman Russ of the same <regiment> within 6".

Note that Regiment-Exclusive Orders, like Warlord Traits and Relics but unlike Doctrines, can only be used by their designated Regiment: a custom Regiment, like the Savlar Chem-Dogs, has to play without any exclusive orders at all. A way to step around this problem is to bring separate detachments, each with the Doctrine you want the units to have, which is fluffy (e.g. Prosan 314th is Catachan 182nd & Elysian 90th)...or to talk with your opponent/organizer. This is still supposed to be a game to have fun, after all.

Imperial Guard Orders, both general and regiment-exclusive, can basically be put in four groups: Re-roll Orders, Movement Orders, Extra Attack Orders, and Targeting Orders. Elysia's Morale order is the only one not falling into any of these groups.

Re-roll Orders: These orders allow a unit to re-roll dice when attacking (attack volume, to-hit, or to-wound). Both "Take Aim!" and "Bring it Down!" are better than "First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire!" when used on units with proportionally few to no lasguns: Shotgun Veterans, Command, Special, and Heavy Weapons Squads, especially if aimed at big stuff. "First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire" is better when used on Infantry, Conscript, and Lasgun Veterans, particularly against light targets. Yes, even if you are Cadian and re-roll all misses. This is because massed lasguns > a few strong shots against light targets. Tempestus Scions are an interesting case, because they can't rapid fire their hot-shot lasguns when they deep strike, and particularly if you're using Vox-Casters, you'll only have 1-4 hot-shot lasguns in the unit, both of which make FRFSRF less than compelling, so think their orders out carefully.

  • Bring it down!: Ordered unit re-rolls to-wound rolls of 1 until the end of the phase.
    • When compared to Take Aim!, Bring it down! has the exact same effect on chances of wounding, making the two orders interchangeable, except for cases of Gets Hot! (where "Take Aim!" is better) or auto-hitting weapons (where "Bring it down!" is better), or for special interactions, like Cadian units that don't move.
  • Take Aim!: Ordered unit re-rolls to hit rolls of 1 until the end of the phase. Did someone say "Supercharged Plasma"?
    • The main argument for "Take Aim!" is that your guys won't die from supercharges; FRFSRF is a better infantry-killer in the cases written above. Still, your dudes not dying IS argument enough, and even more so when facing the heavier stuff.
  • Catachan - Burn Them Out!: The ordered unit can re-roll the dice when determining the number of shots a Flamer or Heavy Flamer has. In addition, enemy units targeted by the models with these weapons in the ordered unit lose the cover bonus to saves for the rest of the phase. Better than Bring it down! on the relevant weapons, but it doesn't buff the other weapons in the squad (other than ignoring cover, which they will on the unit(s) the flamer(s)/heavy flamer targets), which is an issue on squads other than Special Weapon and Command squads, like Veterans.
    • Note the effect on saves; you don't need to wound, or technically even hit, if the targeted unit has some miraculous way to avoid being hit by a Flamer/Heavy Flamer, for the targeted unit to lose the cover bonus to saves for the rest of the phase. You can use this to turn off cover on something relying on it for durability, like Scout Marines, then actually kill it with the rest of your army.
  • Militarum Tempestus - Elimination Protocols Sanctioned!: Ordered unit re-rolls all failed wounds, but only against MONSTERs and VEHICLEs.
  • Gunners, Kill on Sight! (Tank Order): This is simply the Tank Order version of "Take Aim!", it just doesn't compete with FRFSRF.
    • Unlike "Take Aim!", however, static Cadian Leman Russes do not upgrade to re-rolling all hits like static Cadian Infantry does, so it doesn't affect them when not moving. Luckily, they have the next order for that.
  • Cadia - Pound Them To Dust! (Tank Order): Ordered vehicle can re-roll the dice for determining the number of shots for Leman Russ turret weapons until the end of the phase. Combine with Grinding Advance, and your Battle Cannons will be able to blow apart blobs and armor alike, just as they could in previous editions. Because there aren't any Leman Russ turret weapons that roll multiple dice for attack volume, this will behave like the Catachan doctrine, only worse, since it will only buff the turret, not the sponsons; its efficacy depends on your loadout.
    • "Gunners Kill on Sight!" is strictly inferior on a Battle Cannon, Eradicator Nova Cannon, or Executioner Plasma Cannon; it is strictly superior on a Punisher Gatling Cannon or Vanquisher Battle Cannon. On a Demolisher Cannon, it is strictly inferior against a unit of 5 or more models, and statistically equivalent against smaller units. For a static Leman Russ, GKoS won't stack, so your best bet for a Russ you're planning on keeping static is an Executioner Plasma Cannon that's going to constantly overcharge, along with a lascannon and a pair of plasma cannons. If you want to keep your Leman Russ more mobile, it's a lot more involved.

Movement Orders: These orders allow units to double move or advance/fall back and shoot, not only making transports less necessary but also letting you play with weapon ranges or slipping away from your foe.

  • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase. Heavy weapons will behave like Assault weapons on the advance, while Rapid Fire ones will behave even better, not taking any penalty to hit.
    • Can be used for close play with weapons range: Get your special weapons into Rapid/Melta range without giving up your Lasgun shots (which can be split-fired), or get your Lasguns into 24" range to begin with. If deep-striking infantry arrived within 9+" of your unit, give the order and now they'll need a charge of 9" + your advance", although you'll be firing at a penalty if you do it with heavy weapons, since you moved. Get around corners; it's run & gun, man. If pure speed or rapid firing lasguns is what you're after, "Move! Move! Move!" and FRFSRF will serve you better.
  • Get back in the fight!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it fell back in its movement phase; no penalty, unlike Ultramarines.
    • The main point of falling back is allowing the rest of your army to shoot at the enemy and forcing it to eat another round of overwatch, if at the cost of the retreating squad's shooting. This order waives away that penalty, which can mark the difference when it rallies something like 20 rapid fire lasguns and plasma and flamers (specialists last longer) back against the enemy. Undeniably better than just punching them. HOWEVER, if the retreating squad is a badly mauled handful of survivors and you're forced to choose, you're better off ordering a nearby, healthier squad to FRFSRF: One sgt and three guardsmen don't really bring much back to the fight.
  • Move! Move! Move!: Ordered unit must move as if it were in the movement phase, and it must advance and cannot charge. This lets your infantry outrun tanks and assault marines, moving 19" on average. Get where you need to be (or out of dodge) ASAP.
  • Armageddon - Mount Up!: Targeted unit may shoot and immediately embark as long as they're within embark range and did not disembark in the movement phase that turn.
    • In 8E you may embark and disembark regardless of the transport's entry points - as long as it's within 3" you're good to go. This order allows you to use your extra-resilient 4.75-inch-long Chimeras for piggy backing more than 10" a turn without having to use FFtE instead, and it can be combined with both your Armoured fist Stratagem and Industrial Efficiency Doctrine : One turn you can Mount Up! within 3" of the front of your Chimera, the next one disembark (optional Stratagem) within 3" from the other side of it, then move 6" away from the enemy while you also move the Chimera so that it ends up on the other side of the squad. This way you can constantly keep the enemy 18" away, which is extremely hard to cover in a move+charge for most squads, but precisely the range you can Rapid Fire from.
  • Elysia - Loses "Forwards, For the Emperor!" for Move and Fire!: All of the ordered unit's weapons become Assault weapons until the end of the turn (not phase, like most orders). Similar to Forwards, for the Emperor! but also allows Heavy Weapons to fire and move without the normal penalties for doing so. This makes Rapid Fire 1 weapons Assault 1 (unfortunate), but Heavy, Pistol, and Grenade weapons all get a nice buff. Yes, assault frags and kraks, which you can shoot alongside your sadly assault Lasgun or un-nerfed shotgun. If you get in range (remember, this can't work on Overwatch, since it expires at the end of your turn, before the enemy charges), throw all 10-20 grenades and shoot all 10 other ranged weapons at the enemy, without spending 1CP like those normies do to only throw 10 grenades, and do it after advancing, if you have to.
  • Full Throttle! (Tank Order): This is simply the Tank Order version of "Move! Move! Move!", and is identical in every other respect. Did you ever expect a Russ to move 27", outrunning Eldar skimmers?.
  • Tallarn - Get Around Behind Them! (Tank Order): The ordered unit can move up to 6" before or after firing, and this does not count against the range calculation for Grinding Advance (turret firing twice). Look at me, Tau: I am the Move-Shoot-Move now. Or, shoot twice while maintaining nearly normal speed (by definition, infinitesimally less than 12").

Extra Attack Orders: These orders are effectively "double phase" orders, allowing a unit to effectively shoot twice (Lasguns & Hotshots) or fight twice, doubling its attack volume.

  • First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!: Your bread and butter. Ordered unit's Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns become Rapid Fire 2. That means 4 shots when Rapid Fired, so mind your range! Especially with Scions, who can't Rapid Fire immediately after deepstriking but want the increased rate of fire to proc Storm Troopers more often. While Conscripts have less BS, can only get to 30 and reject orders half the time, 20 Infantry pasted together do the same FRFSRF damage, reliably.
  • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fights as if it were in the fight phase.
    • Ordering Get Back in the Fight is better on most scenarios: your BS and WS are the same, so two punches are the same as a rapid firing lasgun...but falling back forces the enemy into overwatch again and allows the rest of your army to shoot at them (your squads are never on their own), and special weapons are way better than a bayonet. HOWEVER, a single melee boost like the Priest's or Straken's (preferably both) turns this around: unless you are a Mordian Conscript, punching three or four times is better than rapid firing + overwatch. And if you are against a lightweight enemy with bad melee and good shooting, then it becomes a damn good tactic.
    • Krieg Cavalry can take orders. They don't pause to think about the considerations of wether to fall back or not, they just attack 8 times a turn.
  • Death Korps of Krieg - Loses "Take Aim!" for Duty Unto Death!: Any INFANTRY or CAVALRY model in the affected unit slain in the Fight phase makes one last attack. Why aren't you using "Fix Bayonets!"?!.
  • Strike and Shroud! (Tank Order): Allows the ordered Russ to both fire its weapons (including Grinding advance) and protect itself with its smoke launchers, as if it had two shooting phases. If you can't avoid retaliation like Tallarns can, you can use this rule to get into a shooting position (you can see the enemy but it can see you too) and cripple the enemy while you survive the return fire. Smoke launchers are One Use, and so is this rule.

Targeting Orders: These orders allow the ordered unit to target units it otherwise could not, which radically changes what you can use your units for, besides "go shoot that unit over there".

  • Mordian - Form Firing Squad!: All of a unit's Rapid Fire weapons (Lasguns, Plasma and the sgt's Bolter) may target Characters that are in range regardless of whether or not there are closer enemy units.
    • Or you could bring Ratlings When comparing Ratlings to FFS for character sniping purposes, there's a number of things to consider. In favour of using the order all you need to do to use it is bring standard combat capable infantry you'd already want with officers to order them. Clean, simple, and versatile. Much more durable and deadly in close range. However, using Rapid-Fire involves getting your troops to within 24/12" of a character (and closer to its guards) and then firing ON the character using up an order. Using Conscripts involves risk of failure, Infantry poor output, combined squads eats a CP, and Vets are hard to get close enough. That's not to say they can't get the job done, but it will be messy, risks getting you stuck in melee, and is usually not the best use of the units and orders. Ratlings are much more likely to be able to get in range to hit a character without getting bogged down, but if hunted down WILL be destroyed, but at range, will require committing either long ranged weapons or putting units close and personal with your lines. Choose your units accordingly. One might consider using FFS and ratlings to complement eachother. FFS could be used to finish an enemy wounded by Ratlings. Or Ratlings could be used to help manipulate the enemy's behaviour, pushing the characters into the range of Firing Squads, baiting the enemy troops into an ambush, or drawing long ranged fire (usually overkill against them). Even if they're ignored, they'll usually earn back their points chipping away at targets of opportunity.

Comparison table for Infantry/SWS/Vets/Commandsquad/Ratlings vs Commissar/LordC/SMLieutenant/SMCaptain. Militarum squads in the comparison have all the plasma guns they can bring, no Heavy Weapon teams (as to not lose the lasguns), and the sergeant (if available) has a boltgun. Ratlings that pop out of LOS-blockers lower their BS by 1, so they're listed near the Militarum squads that closed to Rapid Fire range. Numbers in bold indicate the target is killed. Keep in mind these numbers are for single squads: your Company Commanders issue two orders each (multiply number by 2), and Infantry squads can also form Combined Squads. Can be combined with Laurels of Command, but only Lasguns will be affected.

Mordian Snipers.JPG
  • Valhalla - Fire On My Command!: The ordered unit can shoot at enemies that are within 1" of another friendly unit, but any hit roll of 1 is resolved as a hit against the friendly unit instead. If more than one friendly unit is present, choose which one gets hit. This order can't be issued to a unit which is itself within 1" of an enemy unit. Kill them all; the Emperor will know His own. Funnily enough, flamers are safe to use since they don't roll to hit. Told you Emps knew His own.
    • Tie up a problematic unit with disposable Conscripts, then order your Heavy Weapon Squads to fire on your command...and then you bring the Second Wave - Iron Warriors, eat your hearts out. This order shines when it's YOU who is on the offensive, tying up the enemy with Bullgryn and Crusaders who actually want to be in melee and can't "Get Back in the Fight". Those squads are in fact so well armoured (3W|2+ and 3++) they can tank a few Heavy Bolter misses better than Space Marines can tank successful hits. For other non-melee units, just Fall Back; "Take Aim!" and "FRFSRF" do more damage than shooting on allies if the later's melee isn't anything out of the ordinary.
    • Did you notice it only says "friendly units"? THEY DON'T EVEN NEED TO BE YOUR UNITS: Reivers and Infiltrators can easily survive a stray lasgun shot while still spooking -1Ld off the enemy squad, and Vanguard's Rad Saturation lets you hit a weakened enemy (especially if they are Graian), which you can't do otherwise. Multiple detachments! Apologize to your friends! Yay!
    • Watch out for supercharged plasma: not only will the firing model be slain by the 1, but a friendly unit will also be hit. Do keep in mind, though, that Crusaders have a 3++ and one can revive on a 2+. Especially useful against Primaris.
  • Vostroya - Repel The Enemy!: Targeted unit can fire any of their weapons at enemies within 1" of themselves, like Pistols can. Doesn't give the actual Pistol weapon type, only the ability; you can still only use one grenade per shooting phase (without spending CP). Get Back In The Fight will usually get the same job done, but sometimes you don't have the luxury of falling back, e.g. you don't have enough space or you would lose control of an objective. In those cases, this can be a lifesaver.
    • You can also use this to allow infantry squads or veterans to fight alongside proper melee units. Rough Riders, Ogryn types and allies can find themselves wanting help with nothing but guardsmen nearby. You won't be able to use this ability until the turn after they charge, but it can turn a combined squad with flamers or plasmas (and maybe a priest) into decent budget backup, whereas shotgun vets with specials (while crap in melee) will be dangerous to ignore.
  • Death Korps of Krieg - Loses FRFSRF for Without Mercy!: Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns become Pistol 2, so they can be fired at melee range. Not the usual "this weapon may fire even if the enemy is withing 1 inch" (like Vostroyans), the weapon actually gains the Pistol 2 weapon type. Yes, it is MEANT to let your infantry shoot twice and punch first instead of the usual Fall-back-shoot-twice-overwatch-punch-second (and indeed "Without Mercy!" does more damage)...but this allows Lasguns and Hot-Shots fire twice at full range, essentially serving as your version of FRFSRF too.
  • Elysia - Loses "Fix Bayonets!" for Hold the Line!: The targeted unit ignores models killed during both the Shooting and Fight phases for the purposes of the Morale phase until the next Movement phase. This makes commissars even less useful for Elysians, though you will, in most cases, use the other orders, since your company commanders already grant a re-roll.

Regiments and Regimental Doctrines[edit]

AKA where your dudes are from. These are your equivalent (but different) of Chapter Tactics, Legion Traits, Forgeworld Dogma, you get the idea. If your army is Battle-forged and every unit in the Detachment has the same <Regiment>, you get one of these rules. You just replace the keyword Regiment for one of the 8 listed Regiments their Doctrines you want to use and you'll get the rule.
You can pick whatever Regimental Doctrine you want for your dudes (with a few exceptions): e.g. if you're playing Tanith 1st (& Only) you can choose to use Vostroya to highlight their marksmanship, or Mordia for increased Ld as a result of hanging around heroic Commissar Gaunt, you decide. As of yet, you do NOT get the associated Exclusive Orders that go with that specific regiment, like Mordia's "Form Firing Squad!", which would highlight Tanith's hard-on for sniping. You want them? Speak to your opponent/organizer - this is still supposed to be a game fun to play.
If you want to have some units with one Regiment and others with a different one, put them in different Detachments. E.g. Prosan 314th, Vietnam-esque airmobile jungle-warfare specialists, can be represented by bringing a Catachan 182nd and Elysian 90th detachments. Do keep in mind: Officers from one Regiment can neither order units from a different one nor boost them. Catachan Straken would boost Kriegers good, huh? Ain't happening. Now, for what you CAN'T do:

  • Regiments are neither Chapters nor Forge worlds or the like. A Captain from the Blood Ravens Chapter won't boost guardsmen from Blood Ravens Regiment. If you're playing beers & pretzels, however, we cannot tell you how to use your toys. Hell, that's what the Tyrant's Legion did anyway.
  • You cannot assign either Militarum Tempestus, Oficio Prefectus, Militarum Auxilia or Adeptus Ministorum as your Regiment. Only Tempestus Sions may be Stormtroopers, your Commander will not order Ogryns or Crusaders and so on. As to what Regiment your Lord Commissar Master of Command can issue orders to, until we get a FAQ a safe bet is to say he can order Regiment units in his own detachment, at the very least.
  • Superheavy Auxiliary Detachments don't benefit from Doctrines, so if you want a LoW with a Doctrine you need to pay for a Superheavy Detachment (3-5!), or a cheaper Supreme Command Detachment (3-5HQ 0-1LoW), which is cheaper and has Officers you could use.
  • In order to get a Doctrine, each and every unit in your Detachment must be have the same Regiment, but there are a few non-Regimental units you can bring and still get your Doctrine:
    • Tech-priest Enginseer and Servitors. Not Forge world units, just those two. Remember this is an Astra Militarum Detachment. They DON'T gain a Dogma, NOR AdMech Stratagems, Relics or Warlord Traits. If you want those rules, you can bring them in a separate Vanguard detachment, for all the good it'll do to you.
    • Ministorum Priest and Crusaders. Not Adeptus Ministorum units, just those two. If you want Celestine or Uriah Jacobus, then bring them in a separate detachment.
    • Aeronautica Imperialis. Not "this unit, and that unit", but all Aeronautica units, like Vendettas.
    • Militarum Auxilla AKA Abhumans, each and every single one.
    • Officio Prefectus AKA Commissars. They "Which units can my Commissar order?" question will be adressed in a FAQ.
    • Scholastica Psykana AKA Primaris Psykers (no relation), Wyrdvanes and Astropaths.
    • Militarum Tempestus units won't prevent your army from getting a Doctrine, but they themselves won't get their Storm Troopers doctrine unless all other units are Tempestus themselves (or people from this list). So, if you want to bring Artillery or other vehicles, you'll need to bring them in a separate Spearhead detachment.

The Regimental Doctrines are as follow:

  • Armageddon - Industrial Efficiency: Armageddon INFANTRY units may double the number of attacks they make with Rapid Fire weapons (i.e. Lasguns, Bolters, and Plasma guns) at 18", like a watered down version of the Death Guard's Inexorable Advance. Armageddon VEHICLES treat attacks against them with AP-1 as AP0, as if they were from Lucius.
    • 18" is a distance that is almost impossible for enemy foot infantry to cover in a single move-and-charge, instead of the usual 12" that will get you in combat the next turn guaranteed. Increased RF range and good Chimeras will make you a master of positioning (which is key in 8E), and in turn you'll get almost double the use for lasguns than other regiments. Pretty darn solid.
  • Cadia - Born Soldiers: Models with this doctrine may re-roll 1s to hit during the Shooting phase if they did not move in the movement phase. If an infantry unit is issued the order "Take Aim!" and has not moved, they re-roll all failed to-hit rolls. Only infantry; Russes may only ever reroll ones.
    • Plasma guns that didn't move explode less - turns out the secret was to not shake them.
  • Catachan - Brutal Strength: Catachan INFANTRY units gain +1 Strength (i.e. S4), plus +1Ld too if they are within 6" of a friendly Catachan Officer. Furthermore, each time a Catachan vehicle fires a weapon with random shot volume, you may re-roll one die when determining the number of shots that weapon gets. Grinding Advance Russes, dual-flamer Hellhounds/Chimeras. Each time you may reroll.
    • Space Marines can do melee because they're heavily armoured, hit hard, often and can get close surprisingly fast. You merely punch hard - still a shooty army. That being said, what you do have is hordes of infantry with a better wounds-to-points ratio, and can boost them with Straken, Ministorum Priests and "Fix Bayonets!". As in, all those three at once. Now that's proper Catachan melee, and supported by better vehicles, not some Renegade rabble.
    • A note on the math - you re-roll only one die, and it's a re-roll, not an additional unkept die, so assuming you do the sane thing and only re-roll 3 down on a 1d6 and 1 on a 1d3, your expected values go from 3.5 to 4.25 and 2 to 1.17, respectively (and if you use a vehicle with multiple dice, the value of the benefit plummets, of course - in those cases, you always re-roll the lowest die, obviously). Earthshaker, Stormsword Siege, and Twin Earthshaker cannons are special; the way you should fire them is to roll the full number of dice, then re-roll the one lowest die, no matter what it is, then drop the lowest dice.

Every example of this Doctrine's effect on vehicle rate of fire (listing an example weapon), assuming you only re-roll when you ought to:

  • 4D6 (Wyvern Mortar): 14 -> 15.79 (x1.13)
  • 3D6 (Deathstrike Missile): 10.5 -> 12.06 (x1.15)
  • 4H2D6 (Twin Earthshaker): 9.34 -> 9.93 (x1.06)
  • 2D6 (Twin Heavy Flamer): 7 -> 8.24 (x1.18)
  • 2H1D6 (Earthshaker Cannon): 4.47 -> 4.96 (x1.11)
  • 1D6 (Heavy Flamer): 3.5-> 4.25 (x1.21)
  • 3D3 (Volcano Cannon): 6 -> 6.70 (x1.12)
  • 2D3 (Neutron Laser Projector): 4 -> 4.56 (x1.14)
  • 1D3 (Plasma Cannon): 2 -> 2.33 (x1.17)

As you can see, the greatest impact is on 1d6 weapons - a Leman Russ Battle Cannon's rof*damage goes from 7 to 8.5, while a Demolisher Cannon against a single target goes from 4 to 4.66.

  • Mordian - Parade Drill: If all of a MORDIAN Infantry unit's models are touching the base of at least one other model in the same unit, it gains +1 Ld and can add +1 to Hit rolls on Overwatch. MORDIAN VEHICLES within 3" of other MORDIAN VEHICLES can add +1 to Overwatch rolls as well. Positioning is key when using this Doctrine, so put the Special weapons in the middle of the squad and remove the cornermost models of a unit when they suffer casualties, to avoid losing the bonus.
    • Despite the core codex says Overwatch isn't affected by modifiers, this Doctrine says it is, so it is. Specifically, 5s become 6s but 6s don't need to become 7s since you can choose to add +1, instead of being forced. Thus, it makes supercharged Plasma safe when overwatching. Conscript lasguns will now always hit on 5+, which essentially doubles the damage you do in Overwatch. And then the Defensive Gunners Stratagem will let your vehicles overwatch on a 4+, hillariously letting Hydras hit more ground units with overwatch than with normal fire.
  • Tallarn - Swift as the Wind: Tallarn Infantry units with this doctrine can advance and still shoot all weapons except Heavy weapons, and do not suffer the penalty to hit when advancing with Assault weapons (which means they also won't suffer a penalty to hit with Rapid Fire, Pistol, or Grenade weapons after Advancing). No running about with lascannons, but the extra speed is appreciated. Tallarn vehicles do not suffer the penalty for moving and shooting their Heavy Weapons, making them the only regiment worth considering for a variety of Vehicles (like Sentinels), but do not ignore the penalty for advancing and firing Assault weapons, which is relevant on both the new Hellhounds and the new Baneblade variants. Titanic Vehicles that advance treat all their Heavy weapons as Assault, so everything on them except for storm bolters and that one lasgun can shoot after advancing at a -1 penalty. Assault Baneblade Cannons, anyone?
  • Valhalla - Grim Demeanour: Valhallan Infantry units halve (rounding up) the number of models that flee if they fail morale tests, which makes them safer to use without a Commisar, especially Infantry squads with their smaller number and better Ld than Conscripts. Infantry heavy lists will have the flexibility to deploy forces all across the board, and squads with special weapons will be a nuisance until wiped out (allowing Next Wave). Valhallan Vehicles with this doctrine that have damage tables instead count their remaining wounds as double their actual value for the purposes of determining what their characteristics are, meaning you remain at full operational ability for much longer - some wound tables are affected more than others, but 11 wounds goes from 1-2/3-5/6-11 to 1/2/3-11 (meaning a repair on an injured model always improves it), while 26 goes from 1-6/7-13/14-26 to 1-3/4-6/7-26 (meaning you never need more than a full 3 repair to make it better).
  • Vostroya - Heirloom Weapons: Units with this doctrine extend the range of all Rapid Fire (i.e. Lasguns, Bolters, and Plasma guns) and Heavy weapons with a minimum range of 24" or more by a further 6". 30" RANGE MULTIMELTAS, as well as Demolishers and Punishers. Melta Cannons are assault weapons now, so they're not affected. You also get 42" heavy bolters and plasma cannons, and 54" mortars and lascannons, but that's less impressive. Remember, this absolutely applies to all of your vehicles, and has the greatest impact on 24" guns, since the relative buff is greatest on them (a 24" range gun shoots 25% farther at 30", but a 48" gun shoots 12.5% farther at 54", and your longest range guns could already shoot past the end of the table, so no benefit). Pay particular attention to guns with abilities that are relative to their range, such as Multi-Meltas and Magma Cannons, all of whom get +3" to their half-range profile, on top of +6" to their full range profile.
  • Militarum Tempestus - Storm Troopers: If a model with this doctrine is shooting a target at half range or less, they get an extra shot for each roll of 6+ to hit, which can't proc itself. Due to the Hot-Shot's range, you can't immediately use FRFSRF Rapid Fire Storm Troopers after an Aerial Drop (more than 9" away), so order Take Aim! instead.
    • Taurox Primes may not be Russ Punishers, but with a Stormbolter, two Hot-Shot Volley guns and a Gatling cannon those 32 Str4 shots go from killin 8 guardsmen to 12, and it has the speed to reach 12" range. Or extra shots from safer 24" for a Taurox Prime with Autocannons and Battle cannon/Missile Launcher, taking over the Chimera as the dakka wagon.

There are a couple Forge World regiments without doctrines of note. However, when asked whether Krieg (and by extension Elysians and Renegades) could take a regimental doctrine as 'any other regiment' the initial community representative response was they could...before the answer was retracted by Peter Foley and told to await an FAQ:

  • Death Korps of Krieg (Forge World): Access to Death Korps exclusive orders, rules, units, and characters. Officers may issue orders to Cavalry as well as the usual Infantry. Improved resistance to Morale checks and more effective in close combat, but not many options for infantry-usable long range firepower. This places greater emphasis on infantry blobs, artillery, and Death Riders.
    • Unfortunately, most doctrines won't work at all on your Death Riders - only Cadia, Vostroya, and Militarum Tempestus work on Cavalry, but Vostroya won't work on the weapons they actually carry, and the other two are really crappy on laspistols. Your best bet is probably Cadia, because it buffs melee accuracy starting on the second turn of melee if you charge, since you won't have moved in the preceding Movement phase.
    • Outside of Death Riders, it heavily depends on what you're fielding, but DKoK is the only way to combine Armageddon with Hot-Shot Lasguns, letting you live the dream - because the Armageddon doctrine uses a flat 18", rather than a buff on the underlying weapon, when applied to a short-ranged Rapid Fire weapon, it becomes incredible. With this doctrine, your Hot-Shot Lasguns will double tap at their entire range!
  • Elysian Drop Troops (Forge World): Access to Elysian exclusive orders, rules, units, and characters. A deep-strike heavy list emphasizing mobility, fast attack units, and flyer support, at the expense of heavy weapons and tanks.
    • Overcharged Elysian plasma is D3 because Forge World is a potato and never noticed this typo.
    • While more than one doctrine will be good on them, due to their Valkyries being in-Regiment, you should seriously consider Tallarn, to allow you to move and shoot without penalty and without entering Heavy mode, while also providing good synergy with the Elysian order to make your weapons Assault.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Guard Psykers are drawn from the Scholastica Psykana, and thus don't have a regiment; however they're the only Psykers with the Astra Militarum keyword, so if you want regiments, doctrines, and all that good jazz without adding another detachment, you're limited to the Psykana discipline. Fortunately for you, it's really good! The rules breakdown is here, but here's some tactical commentary.

  • Offensive Powers
    • Terrifying Visions (WC 7): One of the hardest powers to channel, with only a 58.33% base chance of success. This, combined with the fact that most of the units you'll cast it on - those with high points-per-model where Battleshock is most painful - are high leadership, have ways around it, or can just deny your powers to begin with, makes it highly situational, and while it's not useless, it's probably the least useful power in the discipline.
      • Before the IG Codex, it was the time of mixed Imperium armies. But multiple small detachments are still a thing, and -2Ld is less situational when you stack it: Sicaran Infiltrators can combine their own -1Ld aura with Metallica's -1Ld Stratagem, and appear wherever you need them to. 120pts & -1CP for an Auxiliary Detachment, or 212pts for a Patrol and the cheap HQ Enginseer can repair your vehicles too. Reivers also have -1Ld and may deepstrike, and Black Templar reroll charges (233-268pts for a Patrol with Jump Pack Lieutenand and Scouts), not to mention SM in general have powerful melee infantry to begin with (plus the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant for another -1Ld). 6 Maul Bullgryn cost 252pts, so it's not unreasonable. What we're saying is -2Ld is situational, but -4Ld not so much and you still have Crusaders, Bullgryn, Rough Riders and disposable Conscripts, boosted by Priests, Yarrick and Commissars, who also immunize them from battleshock. -4Ld renders expensive & resilient Plague marines as cowardly as Conscripts, but without a Commissar to "motivate" them. IG is & Imperium all about coordination, don't you restrict it.
    • Gaze of the Emperor (WC 6): With a 72.22% base chance of success and no save of any kind aside from a deny roll, this is also a TEQ-buster. It's model-count-dependent, so it's lousy against Characters, but it can wreck small units of high points-per-model troops, or densely packed blobs of cheaper models. Aim carefully - friendly fire is on - and beware the random range!
    • Psychic Maelstrom (WC 7): The other hard one to channel, but a hell of a lot more powerful. This can target Characters, and it's probably best used in this fashion; you've got a really solid chance of scoring at least one mortal wound if you pull it off. As-is, there's no way to add to the roll to wound, but the rule is future-proofed for it; if you do find a way, this power can become a lot stronger.
  • Defensive Powers
    • Psychic Barrier (WC 6): Channels relatively reliably and only benefits Astra Militarum units, for some reason. Best against poor AP attacks. The flat bonus to saves can make certain units stupid durable; suggestions include Bullgryns, Conscripts, Crusaders, and anything in the Baneblade family - it affects Invulnerable saves, too! Going from 3+ to 2+ outright halves wounds taken, before AP. Make sure to cast it on a unit that the enemy can't ignore so they don't just target something else. Good for Scions, since it protects against both ranged and melee. One of the best powers on the list, right there with...
    • Nightshroud (WC 6): A new power added with the Codex, this is essentially a psychic smokescreen; all ranged hit rolls made towards the targeted unit (which, again, must be Astra Militarum) subtract 1. Best against low accuracy shooting, think Gaunts and humans. Psychic Barrier is better in about 70% of the circumstances you'd be using this, but by RAW it can cause enemy Plasma gunners to blow themselves up, and completely negates '6+ to hit' effects like Necron Tesla weapons. More importantly, the two powers stack. Get two psykers and pick a unit you want to stick around; with both of these on it, it will stick around. Don't waste it on something the enemy can afford to ignore though.
    • Mental Fortitude (WC 4): AKA 'I'm the Commissar now!' This will go off more than nine times out of ten and makes the unit in question immune to morale. You don't even have to execute anyone! It's not an AoE, and it's Astra Militarum only, but it can be a nice backup ability if your Commissar runs afoul of a sniper's bullet.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Overkill
1 VP if a ASTRA MILITARUM VEHICLE destroyed an enemy unit this turn, d3 VP if the vehicle in question was TITANIC.
12 - Regimental Pride
1 VP if you slew an enemy CHARACTER with an attack made by one of your <REGIMENT> CHARACTERs this turn. Good luck with that, you're going to need it.
13 - Chain of Command
1 VP if you issued 3-5 different orders or tank orders this turn, which goes up to d3 VP if you gave 6 or more orders or tank orders.
14 - Troops on the Ground
Score d3 VP if you control 3-5 objectives with INFANTRY units. If you hold all 6 objectives with INFANTRY, it becomes d3+3 VP.
15 - Hammer of the Emperor
1 VP if you destroy an enemy unit that was controlling an objective at the start of the turn.
16 - Death from Afar
1 VP if an enemy unit wholly within their deployment zone at the start of the turn was destroyed by a unit wholly within your own deployment zone this turn.


Each new Codex grants its faction new Stratagems.


  • Aerial Spotter (2 CP): Use at the start of the shooting phase. A Wyvern or Basilisk can re-roll failed hit rolls in this phase.
  • Consolidate Squads (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select two Infantry Squads (the entry, nor just any Infantry units) within 2" of each other sharing the same <Regiment>, and they combine to form one big unit. Who didn't see this coming? Allows you to sort-of recapture the blob guard armies of yore and use less orders, but it'll now cost you valuable command points. Still nothing an extra Battalion Detachment can't fix, though. Also a good option to 'save' orphaned special and heavy weapons by adding them to less mauled squads.
    • The Stratagem doesn't have an explicit rule against combining a squad with a squad that's already been combined with this Stratagem, so in theory you could keep on consolidating them so long you have the CP...though the game might not last enough for you to surpass 60 models when accounting for casualties. It does help if you're bent on having every single Guardsman listen to orders at all time; every Platoon Commander costs half an infantry squad after all. As casualties diminish each individual squad, your orders affect less and less models but this Stratagem fixes that problem just as the Munitorum pastes understrenght Regiments together.
    • Contrary to popular belief, a huge blob is more vulnerable to the enemy since the enemy now doesn't need to judge how much firepower it will split across multiple units, it's unwieldy, cannot be easily transported, depends on a single roll for charges, may only listen to a single order and looks exactly the same as multiple squads shoulder to shoulder. But it makes all models act on a single order, and a huge blob will all be immune to battleshock even if only a few are near a Commissar.
  • Crush them! (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of the charge phase. A Vehicle may charge, even if it has advanced this turn. In addition, all attacks made by the vehicle will hit on a 2+. Remember how the Baneblade family has 9 powerful melee attacks that are reduced in effectiveness by WS 5+? This will fix that in an instant and make sure that even dedicated melee units won't want to get into its newly boosted charging range.
    • Particularly good on Tallarn, as their Doctrine combined with this permits their Baneblades to Advance, Shoot with virtually all their guns, and Charge in the same turn.
  • Defensive Gunners (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a charge is declared against one of your vehicles. When it fires Overwatch for the rest of the phase, it hits on a roll of 5 or 6. Mordian vehicle formations can serve as a literal wall of iron in front of your infantry, as the enemy won't be able to slip through them without declaring multiple charges. And you thought charging a Wyvern was already a risky proposition.
  • Fight to the Death (1 CP): Any Imperial Guard unit can take a morale test on 1d3 instead of 1d6. You've got plenty of morale improving abilities already, but it's cheap and could be useful in an emergency.
  • Fire on my position! (3 CP): Use when the last model is slain from an Astra Militarum unit equipped with a vox-caster, before removing it from the table; for each unit within 3", on a 4+ that unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds. Note, specifies unit with a vox-caster, not model (you use it when the unit dies, not the specific model with the caster), and if several models all die together, you can choose which is the last to be rePmoved from the table, to maximize the potential victims of this stratagem.
    • Hits all nearby units, friend or foe, but only up to once per unit, so a waste of CP against a single blob, but excellent if a bunch of MSUs have melee'd you to death.
  • Go! Recon! (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the beginning of your shooting phase; select a unit of Scout Sentinels. They immediately move 2d6", but cannot shoot or charge this turn. Useful for getting a Scout sentinel to an unguarded objective or out of trouble, but only applies to one unit, and can't be applied to an Armoured Sentinel; sacrificing a turn of shooting makes it extremely situational, and it doesn't even benefit a unit with a chainsaw blade, as they can't charge, either.
    • Note that, although you can't Charge, you are still allowed to use this move to move within 1" of a enemy unit and thus fight in the Fight Phase, due to the fact that the prohibition on moving with 1" of an enemy model is only in effect during the movement phase. Do note that this is likely RAW instead of RAI, and thus may be FAQed.
  • Grenadiers (1 CP): Use this stratagem before an Astra Militarum Infantry unit either shoots or fires overwatch. Up to ten models in the unit armed with grenades may throw their grenades this phase instead of only one- basically the AM rip-off of the Death Guard grenade stratagem.
    • This makes Special Weapon Teams with 3 Demolition Charges viable again, after spending a valuable CP for it (but IG has the easiest time farming CP). Now that Conscripts can fail orders and combined squads are king of rank-fire, this can be a dependable alternative for conscripts that get close enough. Vostroyans are better off using Firstborn Pride with FRFSRF for offensive purposes, since it affects more than just 10 models, but this can be a powerfull tool for any regiment in Overwatch on a roll of 3 or more. And if it affects Grenade-type weapons instead of just grenad-name ones, Bullgryn (an Astra Militarum Infantry) Frag Bombs become a hail of bolter shots. Beware gimped charge range against squishy distant enemies.
  • Jury Rigging (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of your turn. Select a AM Vehicle in your army, that vehicle can't move, charge or pile in this turn but immediately heals 1 wound. Good for giving that little push into a better health bracket if an Enginseer isn't around (or it wasn't enough), and you can still shoot with the targeted vehicle.
  • Imperial Commander's Armoury (1/3 CP): One use only. Use "before the battle" and you may take 1 additional relic for 1 CP, or two additional relics for 3 CP; all relics must be different and given to different characters.
    • "Before the battle" means, suprisingly, "before the battle". Use it to get the Dagger of Outflank before deployment? It works. The Grand Strategist WT needs the Warlord to be already on the field (which won't happen until the deployment phase) to refund your CP, so that won't work. But enemy Kurov's Aquilas do work, since they only need to be written in the enemy's roster, not any "while this Warlord is on the battlefield" limitation. You spend CP and gain extra toys before the battle, simple as that.
  • Inspired Tactics (1 CP): An officer can issue 1 more order. You can only bring so many Platoon and Tank Commanders, after all, and not everybody is Creed, Pask or Kell.
  • Mobile Command Vehicle (1 CP): Use at the start of a turn; pick a Chimera, and until the end of the turn, an embarked officer may issue orders to units outside the vehicle, measuring range from the vehicle. He is also treated as having access to a Vox. Sadly it now costs CP to use Chimeras as the Command Vehicles they were...but under threat of enemy snipers, this Stratagem may be worth its CP.
  • Opening Bombardment (2 CP): One use only. After deployment but before the first battle round, each enemy unit on the battlefield suffers a mortal wound on a 1d6 roll of 6+. Like Fire on my position, this can be useful against MSU, but less so if they hid themselves inside transports.
  • Officio Prefectus Command Tank (2 CP): Commissar Tank! Pick a Leman Russ at the start of the first round, before the first turn - it gives all Astra Militarum units within 6" of it Ld9 for the rest of the game. "Drive me closer, I want to hit them with my sword!"
  • Take Cover! (1 CP): Use this stratagem in your opponents shooting phase if they target one of your units. That unit immediately adds 1 to their saving throws (including invulnerable saves!) until the end of the phase.
  • Vengeance for Cadia! (1 CP): Any Imperial Guard unit can re-roll failed hits and wounds versus Chaos. Scary, this can turn even basic Infantry or Conscripts into a major threat against Daemons and Heretics, especially if you combine it with FRFSRF since it surpasses both "Take Aim!" and "Bring it Down!" effects (supercharge that Plasma). It goes without saying Consolidated squads use it better than lone Infantry ones, but keep in mind it affects Vehicles too. From the humble Sentinel to the mighty Manticore and Baneblade, the Stratagem's effects are far more powerful than its cheap cost would suggest.
  • Vortex Missile (3 CP): Nuclear launch detected, for when targets require not so much strategy as a "fuck you". Use this stratagem before you get to fire a Deathstrike missile. You can re-roll all failed to-hit rolls with the weapon, and add 1 to the roll made to determine if nearby units within 6" of the target unit are hit (so a 3+, rather than a 4+). If a model is wounded but not slain by the attack, roll an additional die, on a 6 it suffers 1d6 additional mortal wounds. Makes the missile go from 5.25 mortal wounds dealt on the target + 1 to each nearby to 8.46 + 1.72 per each nearby, but the amount of variance is very high, and that assumes you're shooting a parking lot, as single-wound models won't trigger the stratagem's extra mortal wounds.


  • Armageddon - Armored Fist (1 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, select an Armageddon Infantry unit that disembarked from an Armageddon transport this turn. It can re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 until the end of that phase. Basically a slightly more situational form of Take Aim! that doesn't take up one of your orders. If you want to make someone cry consolidate a couple infantry squads, stick them in a Gorgon, and when they pop out use this stratagem along with FRFSRF.
  • Cadia - Overlapping Fields of Fire (2 CP): When a Cadian unit causes an unsaved wound on an enemy unit, use this stratagem. All other Cadian units add 1 to hit when firing at that unit.
  • Catachan - Vicious Traps (1 CP): Use this stratagem when an enemy unit finishes a charge move within 1" of a friendly Catachan unit that is wholly on or within a terrain feature. Roll a die, and on a 4+, the unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Good for scaring your opponent away from charging at your cover campers.
  • Mordian - Volley Fire (1 CP): Use before a Mordian Infantry unit shoots in the shooting phase; on a hit roll of a 6, that weapon can shoot again at the same target, and these extra attacks cannot proc additional attacks. Pretend you're Stormtroopers. Except it's way, way better than theirs. The wording of the Mordian Stratagem, as compared to the Tempestus one, implies that the whole weapon fires again, so while Stormtroopers get one extra shot, you can get up to 4 more with a lasgun, or a theoretical maximum of 36 more with a mortar or grenade.
  • Militarum Tempestus - Superior Intelligence (1 CP): Use this strategy immediately when your opponent has a unit arrive on the battlefield within 12" of a Militarum Tempestus unit; they may fire at that unit as if it was their shooting phase, with a -1 hit penalty. So if, for example, a terminator squad teleports close to one of your squads, or a daemon is summoned, they get a 4+ attack. Note as Tempestus cannot be added to another unit unlike other regiment keywords, while this strategem could be used on a Taurox Prime, you will never encounter a situation with a Tempestus Baneblade or Leman Russ getting a free shooting phase- at least, not without using a regiment that doesn't have its own Doctrine and assigning it the Tempestus Doctrine; we still don't know if Stratagems follow the same rule or not.
  • Tallarn - Ambush (3 CP): Use during the deployment phase. You may set up to three Tallarn units in ambush. At the end of your movement phase, you may deploy them within 7" of the table's edge and more than 9" from any enemy units. Outflank that Baneblade, you know you want to.
  • Valhalla - Send In The Next Wave! (2 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select a Valhallan Infantry non-character unit that has been destroyed earlier in the battle. Set up the unit wholly within 6" of your table edge and more than 9" away from enemy models. The Chenkov classic, ideal for replacing your Conscript blobs or plasma Veterans. To get the most out of conscripts play them aggressively and force the fight. Recommend giving them a priest for suicide charges. Commisar is optional, but not a bad idea if you also brought the priest since the enemy will be trying harder to kill you. For veterans, taking plasma will both increase the value of the replaced unit and encourage the enemy to wipe the squad out instead of trying to cripple it. Meltas work for this too, but are harder to get back into the fight after respawn.
  • Vostroya - Firstborn Pride (1 CP): Used at the start of the shooting phase. Select a friendly Vostroyan unit; they add 1 to all hit rolls. Use this to make your plasma weapons 100% safe, particularly on a Leman Russ. Or have your conscripts shoot like real men.


Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Lasgun: Your trusty flashlight hasn't changed, really, but because of the way strength rolls against wounds now, you stand a chance of actually making a small dent in anything. You'll need a lot of shots (and hits), but gone are the days when a lone model with high toughness and some bullshit save can creep its way to your 50 guardsmen without so much as a scratch. Worse against TEQ HQs and others who now have more wounds, unless they also have T5 or 7+ where the buffing to wound makes up for it.
  • Laspistol: Like the Lasgun, it's not a huge threat by itself, but it clocks in at the low-low price of zero points. Sergeants and Platoon/Company Commanders get it by default, and you can swap out Command Squad's Lasguns for this and a close combat weapon... which you probably shouldn't do unless you have something specific in mind.
  • Bolt Pistol: S4 AP-0, almost universally a better choice than the crappy flashlight pistol your sergeant/Officer starts out with. Commissars and Lord Commissars start out with this.
  • Boltgun: Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP-0 1 D. Functionally free for (Lord) Commissars, as they start with a compulsory 1 point pistol they can swap out for one of these 1 point guns, meaning the model's cost is the same with either loadout. Sergeants and Commanders can also take this, which you usually should unless you want the trinket below, or you want to keep the Commanders slightly cheaper with shotguns.
  • Plasma Pistol: No longer the ever-present risk it used to be unless you overcharge it, this weapon is your anti-MEQ and better at S7 AP-3. If you overcharge it, the pistol becomes S8 AP-3 2 D, enough to one-shot Terminators, but if you roll a 1 the model suffers an uber-gets hot and is removed from play as a casualty. Unlike fairly cheap guardsmen and veterans, you do not want to get your character killed just because of one bad roll. The 8th ed. trick of firing pistols while in melee is a huge boost as well.
  • Shotgun: Buffed since last edition, but not by much. Only available to vets and Commanders. The Shotgun is still 12" Assault 2. OH and it can't accept FRFSRF. However, the shotgun does have a little quirk. Should the enemy get to 6 inches, the weapon becomes str 4 AP-0, hilariously becoming makeshift Bolters with assault or shootas. An interesting and fluffy choice.
  • Hot-shot Lasgun: This Lasgun is used only by Scions and Death Korps of Krieg, and sacrifices 6" of range for AP-2. That's right, nothing gets better than a 4+ armor save against this weapon without cover. Taking into account Scions' cost reduction, this bad boy is ever so slightly worse at MEQ hunting now, but better against everything else, especially TEQ and tanks (thanks to the changes to strength these are actually better against T8 and higher than bolters). Also comes in a pistol version with a 6" range - Creed gets to take two.
    • The big downside to this is that its Rapid Fire range is only 9", so when you deep strike the Scions in, they only get half the shots with it - which actually makes it worse than a lasgun against a 4+ or worse save on absolute terms, and worse against 3+ once you take its cost into account. One of the surprisingly significant reasons Elysians do so much better than Scions do, since they can drop in with lasguns on their non-special weapons carriers.
      • If you let you Scions jump out of a Valkyrie you can still move after you placed them more than 9" away. This way you can bring them in Rapid Fire range.
  • Autogun: Previously only available to Ministorum Priests, now Veterans can take these for some reason. There is absolutely no reason to bother: it has the same exact statline as a lasgun, but it doesn't benefit from orders like the lasgun does. It doesn't matter for Priests since they can't take orders anyway.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Demolition Charge: Only available to Special Weapons Squads. Got an amazing price reduction from 20 points to only 5 points for a 1/game 6" Grenade D6 S8 AP-3 D1d3, which is fair, since it's essentially a melta bomb that shoots 3.5 times once per battle instead of 1 time once per turn, with slightly worse AP and significantly worse damage. This weapon will kick the nads in of MEQ and worse, but it's actually a grenade now, so the loophole abuse of throwing all three at once from last edition now requires you spend a CP. A model carrying this costs 1 point more than half the cost of a model with a meltagun instead, which, at the same range, will deal more than double the damage with better penetration, and the meltagun wielder can advance and shoot if he needs to (e.g. due to being Tallarn and not minding), so best avoided in general.
    • Sadly, Elysians do not get these.
    • They're gone from the Codex proper. I guess GW saw potential abuse with the Grenadiers stratagem and nerfed Special Weapon Squads.
  • Flamer: An Assault 1d6 S4 AP-0 D1 weapon with an 8" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. The changes to how Flamers work give them a bit of effectiveness against small, lightly armored units as well- the number of hits they can score means that a single model can be hit more than once.
    • Just remember, your flamers no longer ignore cover, and have no ability to penetrate armor. They do at least ignore to-hit modifiers, which means they can hit fliers. Significantly, you can no longer control shot volume with clever model placement - your rate of fire is up to luck, not skill - so they also won't behave as predictably/reliably as before. You'll need to apply multiple flamers to a problem if you want a reliable number of shots, due to what happens to probability when you add dice rolls together: it becomes much more likely their sum will be close to average, but sadly you can still find yourself getting 3-5 hits with your full squad of flamer sentinels from time to time.
    • A reasonable choice for Flamers is a Catachan Special Weapons Squad, if you have the orders to spare; you won't "waste" any points paying for improved BS you aren't using, and their unique order is so much better than re-rolling wounds of 1 that the unique one wins out. By contrast, a 3x Flamer/1x Heavy Flamer Veterans Squad gets worse under the unique, because they lose out on the re-rolling wounds of 1 with their shotguns, which will usually be within S4 range if combining with Flamers, and, of course, you "waste" points that way buying a better BS on the Flamer Vets. Better than either in terms of points efficiency, if you have one, is a Command Squad with a heavy flamer and 3 flamers; the unique order is good enough to compensate for the "wasted" points spent on BS, and you're not buying 6 more models who can't employ it, so the net result is roughly 71% better than the Special Weapons Squad and roughly 87% better than the Veterans Squad. You'll want a Valkyrie to deliver that, of course.
  • Grenade Launcher: Multipurpose portable explosive grenade launcher. A versatile weapon that stands an okay chance of putting a dent in whatever it needs to, now including TEQ (krak are still slightly worse than frags against MEQ). Unfortunately, it took a big hit against what was its favorite target: 4+ saves. All told, it's almost useless. Plasma guns, lasguns, and hotshots can do its jobs just fine. Would be decent 2 points cheaper. It is most well-suited to footslogging special weapon squads, with its good range and low cost, but you could take veterans or ratlings instead.
    • Unfortunately, the very low AP on krak grenades means even the Militarum Tempestus doctrine can't save this weapon, despite their unique order being better the lower the strength of the attacking weapon, even against the relevant targets.
  • Hot-shot Volley Gun: A Tempestus-exclusive weapon, where it basically replaces the Sniper Rifle. 24" Heavy 4 S4 AP-1 D1means you don't need to bother with FRFSRF for volume of shots or worry about Rapid Fire range. It's slightly more potent than a hot-shot lasgun and has better range, so you can consider it a flat upgrade if you're holding your ground; Scion BS also allows it to be fired on the move at BS 4+ for some impressive running-and-gunning. Can also be taken on the Taurox Prime.
  • Meltagun: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6. If within half its range (so 6" or closer), it rolls 2D6 for damage and selects the higher number (takes the average from 3.50 to 4.47, or basically +1 damage and more reliable), so it's good against Monsters as well as Vehicles now. The changes to wounding, number of wounds, and AP "helped" the meltagun by nerfing its competition; plasma doesn't hurt TEQ or monstrous creatures the same without taking a big risk. Meltaguns are now better at hurting heavy infantry in cover and can melt away wounds a lot faster than a plasma gun, but cost nearly twice as much.
    • Meltaguns are very good, but remember, anything in range of your meltagun is in range for your plasma gun to shoot twice, and that's at only slightly more than half the price of a meltagun; also, neither weapon can negate an invulnerable save. For most infantry targets, your Wounds-Per-Point from plasma guns will vastly exceed that of meltaguns, but with the safety and price cut to plasma guns, you already wanted plasma for armoured infantry anyway; melta is anti-multiwound. Against multi-wound targets, you still have the problem that meltaguns cost nearly double for half the rate of fire, and compared to an overcharged plasma gun outside of 6", only 175% the damage out, so you need to make the meltagun's improved AP work for you, and make sure you're getting in close for the improved damage, to really make it earn its keep over a plasma gun.
  • Plasma Gun: The plasma gun works differently from its earlier incarnations- for a start, it now has two firing profiles, both of which share Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. In its normal mode, it's S7 AP-3 1 D so it's basically a flat upgrade from a bolter that does a good job of taking out MEQs and TEQs. In its supercharged mode, it has one extra point of Strength and Damage that lets it one-shot Terminators. Firing the supercharged mode triggers the new version of Gets Hot!, and this time it just kills a model with no saves on a to hit roll of 1. Lastly (and importantly), they are now disgustingly cheap. This is all great news for Guardsmen. They appreciate the safety of regular shots more than anyone else and the overcharged shot isnt much more dangerous than regular shots used to be. On top of that, especially with the price cut, you won't hardly even care about the loss of a guardsman plasma gunner, not even a veteran. At least they can shoot straight and make the risk even more worthwhile. [That's where you're wrong kiddo] In the new codex a plasma gun gets its price cut down to 7 pts for a model with a BS of 4, but if it has any other BS number such as 3, it still costs 13 points. That's your vets, command squads and all the tempestus taking it at 1 point MORE than a meltagun.
    • The Take Aim! order will do wonders to simultaneously improve your accuracy and reduce models lost to Gets Hot!, particularly since units with plasma guns in them are no longer hordes, as conscripts can't take them. The Cadian Doctrine is equally effective in this regard if the unit using it stays still.
  • Sniper Rifle: Gives you the ability to target an enemy character, even if they aren't the closest model. Also, rolling a 6 to-wound dishes out a mortal wound in addition to its normal (mediocre) damage of 1. Cannot be taken by rough riders. Best on Ratlings or not at all. Note: Heavy 1, despite being under Special Weapons, not Heavy Weapons.
    • Command squads with these can be Ordered, which in combination with Cadian 'Take Aim!' makes them hit about 90% of the time. Not as good as Ratlings, since they're vulnerable to return fire and can't scarper back out of LoS, but nearly 30% more accurate.

Melee Weapons[edit]

Most of these are specific to one unit. The ones that aren't are listed below, and may be taken by sergeants and most characters. As of newer codex, Power Axe and Power Maul are no longer available options in Imperial Guard Armory, but you can simply field them using their Index entries. However, none of them will make you great at melee. Almost everything that can take something here gives up a chainsword to do so, although normal Commissars do not.

  • Chainsword: Some credit must be given to the old standby. In addition to being free, it gives an extra attack with it. This serves to make units like Rough Riders a lot nastier than they might look from their statline (Rough Riders effectively carry two of these, giving them 2 bonus attacks with this profile), and is why Infantry Squad Sergeants should give all of the other options here a complete miss, unless maybe they have a priest.
  • Power Axe: S+1 AP-2 looks good on paper, and it is, the only problem being it's 5 points instead of 4. But then again, so what? Generally the best option for killing T3, and not bad against T4, it's the take-all-comers option.
  • Power Fist: Sx2 AP-3, but forces a -1 to hit on the model using it. Company/Platoon Commanders and (Lord) Commissars won't feel that too much, but Veteran Sergeants may. While expensive, it's cheaper than it was in the Index, and as a result, almost everything that can take this will see the best results from it, in general - the only real exceptions are Veteran Sergeants, who should only take this if they're Catachan, as the bump to S8 is needed to justify the cost. The Vostroyan warlord trait makes this deadly, and their relic armour can keep him alive long enough to use it.
  • Power Maul: At S+2 AP-1, this is the best choice if you're fielding a Lord Commissar but want to keep him cheap - it'll outperform the sword for the same cost.
  • Power Sword: At SUser AP-3 and 4 points, just not good enough for the S3 models that can mostly take this - and the S4 models prefer the Fist. You should generally avoid this unless you're looking for a budget choice for Catachans.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

All but the bottom two options here, and the heavy flamer, can be taken by infantry with access to heavy weapons teams (command, heavy weapons, and infantry squads, and veterans); heavy flamers are a bit odd in that only Command and Veterans squads can take them, where they don't take up a heavy weapons slot, but your vehicles, who can by and large access most of this list, can also take them, where they generally take up the same slot as any other heavy.

  • Autocannon: 48" Heavy 2 S7 AP-1 D2. The 'Pom-Pom' is a strong contender in 8th. Retaining its decent AP, solid strength, and good rate of fire, the Autocannon has gained multi-wound capability. It's probably your best friend on a Scout Sentinel, and for 15 points (an increase, but on most units the net cost is lower) it makes a solid option for Heavy Weapons Squads. Prioritize it to cripple fast attacks and kill off multi-wound, heavy infantry for maximum effect.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D1. It's still standard on every vehicle in your motor pool, and it's better than the Autocannon against single-wound T5 and less, but especially 4 and 2 where it hits 50% harder. It's gone way down in price (8 points), so the choice is a choice now, but it's still one of the weaker options. Interestingly, the AP-1 over the Multilaser makes a double Heavy Bolter Chimera a strong contender now (and the triple Heavy Bolter Chimera, if anyone remembers Forge World, might be a serious powerhouse).
  • Heavy Flamer: 8" Heavy 1d6 S5 AP-1 D1 makes this almost strictly better than a Flamer, with the only downside that it can't advance and fire (outside of Tallarn Titanic Vehicles).
  • Lascannon: 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D1d6. The ever-reliable Imperial tank-buster. The improved strength over Missile Launchers is critical, as most tanks are T8, meaning krak missiles wound on 4s while the Lascannon wounds on 3s. The extra AP doesn't hurt, either; carapace armor is ignored entirely, and Land Raiders have to roll with a 5+. It's the same price as last edition, at 20 points, but the D6 damage lets it threaten heavy units, and it can now be used to snipe heavy infantry in cover.
  • Missile Launcher: 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 or 48" Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 D1d6. Still the Jack of All Trades, still the Master of None. Lost the option for a flak missile (though you don't really need it, as fliers can be hit on 5s by guardsmen now, and 4s by Veterans and Scions) but kept the cost; at 20 points it's tied with the Lascannon for most expensive heavy weapon. Once again, compared to Autocannons, it's better against the hordiest and heaviest units such as Guardsmen or Tanks, but the auto cannon has a slight edge against MEQ, a decent edge against T 5/6 MEQ and TEQ, and kicks ass against almost anything with 2 wounds, especially with light or medium armour like Nobz or Rough Riders (as neither frag nor krak missiles are fully effective against such models).
    • Thanks to guardsman BS, this weapon is absolutely awful for its points against anything; you're better off taking lascannons and/or mortar teams, particularly now that everyone has Split Fire.
      • Counterpoint: The missile launcher is a fine weapon to field (if a bit overpriced). The fact is, unless you know exactly what your opponent is going to bring (which you are most likely not going to, if you are heading down to your local store for a friendly game; regardless, it's bad form to make a list based on knowing your opponent's list), the missile launcher will give you the most versatility. A lascannon is going to be wasted against your average horde of Orks or Tyranids, whereas you may find a heavy bolter just won't do the job. The missile launcher will work best for you in regular infantry squads, with a friendly grenade launcher to make ordering re-rolling hits/wounds a viable option.
        • Counter-counterpoint: A mortar team costs 9 points, while a missile launcher team and a lascannon team both cost 24, so a set of 2 mortars and a lascannon costs 6 points less than a pair of missile launchers. Against GEQ, the former will obviously do better, with the two mortars matching the frag missiles, and the lascannon chipping in. Against, say, a Land Raider, the two combos will do exactly the same damage (assuming krak missiles, of course), despite the former costing 6 points less. Never take a missile launcher if you can help it.
  • Mortar: 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1, and may fire indirectly. Down in cost, and along with the nerf to the Wyvern this brings it back into the realm of 'good' choices. At 9 points a gun team, it's a dirt cheap light and medium infantry muncher. Because of the revision to the way AP works it's in direct competition with the Heavy Bolter; this ALSO means it's in indirect competition with your entire motor pool. Consider this when the challenge of fitting half a dozen kits' worth of mortar tubes into your list is a daunting prospect.
  • Multi-Melta: 24" Heavy 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, and not available to infantry. If you're within 12" of the target you roll 2D6 for damage and take the highest. Leman Russ Demolishers can find some use out of this to brawl with enemy heavy vehicles and monsters, although they'll take a penalty for firing on the move if they're not Tallarn. Cost is unchanged from 7th, at the same 20 point cost as a missile launcher or lascannon, but because it's so difficult to get it into range for the increased damage, particularly without incurring a -1 penalty to hit, and due to how AP works in 8E, you're usually better off with a lascannon against T8 (or incredibly rare T9) targets; the Multi-Melta remains far superior against <-T7 with 3+ or better saves, but the big issue remains getting into range - lighter vehicles like that are faster, and you don't want to be fighting infantry hordes with either weapon - and it's not like you can rely on your opponent leaving his T8 at home. Plus, Multi-Meltas are hurt far more by invuln saves than lascannons are. Your more reliable anti-tank choice is always going to be the lascannon, for the same cost.
    • Vostroya is better able to deal with its range issues, thanks to its Regimental Doctrine. Its "roll 2d6, drop lowest" range is also increased, since that's defines as happening at half range and the range of the weapon is what goes up.
  • Plasma Cannon: 36" Heavy D3 S7 AP-3 D1 or S8 AP-3 D2 Gets Hot, and not available to infantry. Someone found the manual! It's an option on Armored Sentinels, if you don't mind risking the entire Sentinel every time it shoots. Of course, a reckless guardsman can still overcharge it, getting the more powerful statline, but a 1 on the hit roll kills you. Yes, that's correct - no armor save, you're just dead. The ones on Leman Russ sponsons have special vents to survive this, taking only a single mortal wound per 1 rolled. Cost is unchanged from 7th, though when buying just one, you only pay for one. Careful firing on the move or against Tyranids with venomthropes; those -1 to-hit modifiers now make it much more likely to roll that 1, at least until GW regains its sanity and makes it only a natural one.
    • When fired on normal mode, this is equal to or worse than an autocannon against everything in the game with 2 or more wounds, but often better against 1-wound targets, since the improved AP helps, while the difference in Damage doesn't matter. In overcharged mode, it completely puts the autocannon to shame - but even with re-rolling 1s to hit, you run a 5.45% chance every time you fire it of slaying the wielder, and the wielders you don't mind losing - heavy weapons teams - can't carry it. That's a whopping 29.78% chance to lose the wielder without the buff, incidentally. On top of all this, its only advantage over a plasma gun is range - its average rate of fire is the same as a plasma gun within rapid fire range, and a plasma gun can be carried by a Moving wielder without penalty, while costing less than half of what a plasma cannon does. By and large, avoid this weapon if you can.
  • If you are unable to work out what Heavy Weapon to take, consult the table below for wounds point for point.
    • As can be seen from this list, when all weapons are able to hit, the Heavy Bolter is best against TEQs and MEQs, the Mortar is best against GEQs and the Lascannon is best against Vehicles and Monsters while the Missile Launcher and Autocannon are overcosted and thus only good if you need to have flexibility. However, remember that certain weapons have other advantages such as range and not requiring line of sight.
Target Mortar Heavy Bolter Autocannon Missile Launcher Lascannon Winner
TEQs Terminator (T4; 2+/5++; 2 wounds) 0.058 0.083 0.059 0.042 0.056 Heavy Bolter
Terminator w/ Storm Shield (T4; 2+/3++; 2 wounds) 0.058 0.083 0.059 0.027 0.027 Heavy Bolter
MEQs Space Marine (T4; 3+; 1 wound) 0.058 0.125 0.044 0.029 0.035 Heavy Bolter
Captain or Chaplain (T4; 3+/4++; 3 wounds) 0.058 0.125 0.044 0.063 0.063 Heavy Bolter
GEQs Hormagaunt (T3; 6+; 1 wound) 0.389 0.250 0.111 0.097 0.042 Mortar
Guardsman, Guardian (T3; 5+) 0.311 0.208 0.093 0.077 0.042 Mortar
Aspect Warrior (T3; 4+; 1 wound) 0.233 0.167 0.074 0.042 0.035 Mortar
Sister of Battle (T3; 3+; 1 wound) 0.156 0.125 0.056 0.039 0.035 Mortar
Other Tyranid Monster (T6; 3+; 4+ wounds) 0.078 0.063 0.089 0.078 0.097 Lascannon
Light Tank or Monster (T7; 3+; 4+ wounds) 0.078 0.063 0.067 0.078 0.097 Lascannon
Medium Tank or Monster (T8; 3+; 4+ wounds) 0.039 0.063 0.044 0.058 0.097 Lascannon
Heavy Tank or Monster (T8; 2+; 4+ wounds) 0.019 0.042 0.030 0.044 0.078 Lascannon

Vehicle Equipment[edit]

All of your non-Forge World vehicles on treads (so everything except either kind of Sentinel or either kind of Taurox) that isn't a Baneblade variant (i.e. not a Lord of War) has access to this list.

  • Augur Array: The vehicle may re-roll one hit die per game, at a cost of 10 points; with the vast array of other possible sources of re-rolls, this upgrade should be rejected out of hand. What were GW thinking?
  • Dozer Blade: Adds one to melee hit rolls when charging. Not bad per se, at 5 points, but how often do you charge with a Leman Russ? Can be combined with Crush Them! if you're trying to hit something giving you a penalty to hit, and has some synergy with Straken's aura.
  • Hunter-Killer Missile: This is a missile launcher with only the Krak profile that can only shoot once per game, at slightly more than 1/4 the points (i.e. 6).
  • Pintle Weapon; one of:
    • Heavy Stubber: 4 points for 36" Heavy 3 S4 AP0 D1 is a bit more to think about it; outside of Tallarn, you can't move and shoot it without being at Ork BS, and it's twice the cost of the Storm Bolter, while fewer shots out to 12" (relevant for e.g. Overwatch).
    • Storm Bolter: 2 points for 24" Rapid Fire 2 S4 AP0 D1 is completely respectable and a good idea on basically everything.
  • Track Guards: Makes the vehicle ignore the damage table in respect to degraded movement range. This one does actually make sense to take, as it will keep your vehicles agile; 10 points is an investment, though - shove it onto your Hellhounds and your enemies will never escape the auto-hitting cleansing flames. Also useful on Leman Russes, as it will let you maintain your move-and-shoot-twice speed despite being degraded.

Other Wargear[edit]

  • Bullgryn and Ogryn Bodyguards:
    • Bullgryn Plate: Grants the wearer a Sv characteristic of 4+.
    • Brute Shield: Grants the wielder a 4++ invuln.
    • Slabshield: Wielder adds 2 to all save rolls, meaning both normal and invulnerable. While Bullgryn don't normally get invulnerable saves when equipped with a slabshield, it does make buffs that grant them invulnerable saves much more effective. Saint Celestine comes to mind...
  • Command Squads:
    • Medi-Pack: At the end of the Movement phase, wielder can select friendly Astra Militarum Infantry (sorry, Rough Riders, but good news, Ogryn and Ratlings!) unit within 3" and roll 1d6; on a 4+, a unit with a Wounds of 1 gets a slain model back, or for any other value, one model in the unit heals 1 wound. You can't use more than one of these on a given unit each turn.
    • Platoon Standard: Only carried by Militarum Tempestus Command Squads, all friendly Militarum Tempestus units within 6" of a unit with a model in it with one of these may add 1 to its Leadership when taking a Morale test.
    • Regimental Standard: Carried by non-Militarum Tempestus Command Squads, all friendly <regiment> units within 6" of a model with one of these must add 1 to its Leadership when taking a Morale test - note the very important nerf relative to a Platoon Standard that the aura is emitted by the model, not the unit, and the completely irrelevant nerf that it is a must effect, not a may effect.
  • Command and Infantry Squads, Scions, and Veterans:
    • Vox-Caster: This machine is the beating heart of the Orders system. It's greatly simplified from previous editions; if an Officer is within 3" of a model with a Vox, and the target squad also has a Vox (and is of the same <Regiment>), the range of the order is tripled to 18". The important thing to note here is that it means your Officers can improvise their command structure a lot more - any Vox can send, and any Vox can receive, as long as the Officer and target squad share regiments. It is entirely legal - and fluffy - for your Platoon Commander, his assigned Vox operator having been killed, to run to a nearby squad of Tempestus Scions and commandeer their Vox Operator to continue sending orders! This also means you don't need to rely on flimsy four-man Command Squads for your Officers to send orders out; squads of Veterans with sniper rifles and heavy weapons, and even Militarum Tempestus Scions can be used as "command" squads.
  • Tempestor Primes:
    • Tempestor Command Rod: Improves Voice of Command from 1x to 2x for these guys; an auto-include, since he holds it in his otherwise mostly useless Pistol hand.

Heirlooms of Conquest[edit]

Relics return in the new Codex. Like Warlord Traits, the regiment-specific ones really are regiment-specific, so custom regiments can only use the Universal list, but once again, this list contains the best options anyway, Kurov's Aquila and The Laurels of Command. The only ones available to Tank Commanders are The Dagger of Tu'Sakh and the Relic of Lost Cadia (Cadia only); The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius has no keyword restrictions beyond being Militarum Tempestus only, but there currently aren't any Militarum Tempestus Vehicle Characters.


  • The Blade of Conquest: Replaces a Power Sword. S+2 AP-4 D1d3. It's not too shabby, but you really should avoid melee unless you're extremely desperate. Since it functionally replaces a 4-point Power Sword, feel free to take it on a Lord Commissar who's guaranteed to be in the thick of it for a nasty surprise on any opponent!
  • The Dagger of Tu'Sakh: During deployment you can set up the bearer and one INFANTRY unit in ambush behind enemy lines; as of the Codex, if the bearer has a <regiment>, the other unit must have the same one. At the end of any of your movement phases these units may launch their attack. Set them up within 3" of each other, more than 6" from any battlefield edge, and more than 9" from enemy units.
    • There is no requirement that the bearer be INFANTRY - feel free to use this to Deep Strike a Tank Commander!
    • Give it to an Ogryn Bodyguard, Lord Commissar, or Commissar, to deep strike anything you like, since they haven't got a <regiment>.
  • The Deathmask of Ollanius: Infantry only; the bearer has a 4++, and once per game, at the start of your turn, can heal 1d3.
    • Put this on an Ogryn Bodyguard with a Slabshield for a T5 W6 3+/2++ (2+/2++ with Bullgryn Plate, if you're worried about attacks that bypass invuln but not armour) Character who heals 2 wounds on average - a healing bodyguard is best bodyguard, and he can outright tank a truly impressive amount of abuse. The healing will, of course, stack with a Command Squad medic's shitty average 1/2 wound a turn.
  • The Emperor's Benediction: Replaces a Commissar's or Lord Commissar's Bolt Pistol; it has +2 shots, -1AP, and +1D, so 12" Pistol 3 S4 AP-1 D2, and when the bearer isn't within 1" of an enemy unit, so it's not using its Pistol special rule, it gains the Sniper ability to hit non-closest characters. Still only 12", though, so really not a particularly worthwhile relic.
  • Kurov's Aquila: Officers only (now including Tank Commanders!). Every time your opponent uses a stratagem, roll 1d6, and on a 5+, you gain a command point. Punish Ultrasmurfs for their recycling command points!
  • The Laurels of Command: Officers with Voice of Command. When the bearer issues an order to a friendly <regiment> unit within 6" of them, roll a die; on a 4+, the bearer can immediately issue them another order, which does not count against the orderer's maximum, and can trigger Laurels again. RAW, this does nothing at all, like the Mordian doctrine, because all it lets you do is order the unit a second time, without overriding the rule on page 85 of the Codex that a unit can only be affected by one Voice of Command order per turn; the RAI is pretty clear that this is meant to override that.
    • Has phenomenal scaling with a Cadian warlord with Superior Tactical Training; you can issue 2 orders, each of which propagates to a second unit on a 4+ and generates a second order on the same unit which also propagates on a 4+. The easiest way to resolve having both is as follows:
      1. Issue your first order to your first unit.
      2. Roll for STT; on a success, you can propagate this order out to an unordered unit.
      3. Roll for Laurels; on a success, go to 1 for the first unit's next order.
      4. Repeat the process on an unordered unit.
      • Note that most orders cannot be infinitely applied to the same unit, making the Laurels capable of underperforming, if you manage to pile every order on - for example, on a basic Infantry unit firing lasguns, Take Aim, FRFSRF, and Bring It Down will all stack, but then you're out of things to do for most regiments, unless you also need to let it fire despite Advancing/Falling Back; as a result, instead of 2 orders per order, the average number of orders you can apply to such a unit is 1.75 if it can only "absorb" 3 orders, 1.875 for 4. The two orders capable of infinite application are Move-Move-Move and Fix Bayonets, both of which cause an immediate action and then expire - for example, if you're ordering a unit in melee, you can theoretically order it to fight infinite times, so on average you will issue it 2 orders (50% chance of 1, 25% of 2, 12.5% of 3, and so on). Move-Move-Move can do the same thing, but it's never going to come up, because the Officer will fall out of order range, although you can help the problem with vox-casters; with vox-casters in play, you can theoretically apply Move-Move-Move 7 times to an M6 unit, giving it a statistical order absorption of 1.98.
        • Outside of Cadia and Tallarn (the latter of which essentially cooks the Forwards, for the Emperor order into being always on), the other regiments all have orders that can theoretically stack one more onto a unit, but in practice, Militarum Tempestus won't stack with Bring It Down, while Vostroya won't stack with Get Back In The Fight (but will stack with Fix Bayonets - see below); meanwhile, Catachan has a very high chance of having brought Harker, which obviates interest in Take Aim. Particularly interesting synergies:
          • Anyone can stack Get Back in the Fight or Fix Bayonets with Take Aim/Bring It Down/FRFSRF, but some regiments do this really well:
            • Anyone can spam Fix Bayonets, or try for Take Aim and/or Bring It Down and then spam Fix Bayonets, but obviously, Catachan will do this best.
            • Militarum Tempestus can apply Elimination Protocol Sanctioned to a squad with a lot of melta in it, which will also be within melta range if they just Fell Back; if you're dealing with a suicide transport, this will very reliably pop it open. Alternatively, if you just want to stack GBITF with FRFSRF, your hot-shot lasguns will all be in rapid fire range, for sure.
            • Vostroya can issue Repel the Enemy and then ranged buffs, as opposed to everyone else issuing Get Back In the Fight and then ranged buffs; this is slightly better, as you have a non-zero chance of going through Repel, FRFSRF, Take Aim, and Bring It Down, and then spamming Fix Bayonets, while everyone else solving the same problem with GBITF simply runs out after Bring It Down.
          • Catachan has the ongoing issue with their Burn Them Out order that most units with the relevant weapons have so many other weapons that another order is better; this lets them tack on Burn Them Out after other orders (especially useful when it is stacked with Bring It Down).
          • Valhalla can issue Fire On My Command and then Take Aim (and then other buffs, of course), to help avoid shooting up your own units.

Regiment Specific Heirlooms[edit]

Currently, the only ones here worthy of serious discussion are the Cadian relic, which is brokenly overpowered but probably going to be FAQed, and the Valhallan one, if you're looking to use a relic slot to avoid buying a real Commissar to keep your conscripts around even better.

  • Armageddon - Skull Mask of Acheron: -1 to enemy ld within 6" of the wearer, -2 for Orks.
    • The double-whammy of 1) being an offensive melee relic in a shooty army and 2) having its strongest debuff vs an army that largely laughs at morale anyway makes this relic fairly worthless.
  • Cadian - Relic of Lost Cadia: Unveil at the start of any turn. Until the end of that turn, all Cadian units within 12" of the bearer re-roll both hit and wound rolls of 1; they re-roll all failed hits and wounds against Chaos units. Clearly intended to be 1/game, but lacks any such rule currently, so until it's FAQed, you can reveal it every turn.
    • Given that Cadian units already get the primary effect of this relic if they haven't moved, you're primarily going to take it for the bonus effect vs Chaos.
  • Catachan - Mamorph Tuskblade: Replaces a power sword; S+2 AP-3 D2.
    • Worse than the Blade of Conquest against almost every possible target in the game; better against TEQs, specifically, since the extra AP won't matter but the average number of wounds dealt will be higher - D2 is a lot better than D1d3. The Blade of Conquest is a lot more efficient against the vast majority of people you'll actually end up fighting in melee, as higher armor is more common than specifically having 2 wounds, rather than 1 or 3 or more.
  • Mordian - Order of the Iron Star of Mordian: Mordian Infantry bearer has a 4+ FNP.
    • Would be a lot nastier if you could take this on a guy who actually has a good save to begin with. As-is it doubles the effective wounds of one character. Not bad, but not great.
  • Militarum Tempestus - The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius: When the Bearer uses Voice of Command, they may attempt to issue one additional order; roll a die before attempting, and on a 2+, the order happens.
    • With a Command Re-Roll this is effectively the equivalent of giving your Tempestor Prime a third order - and with the Master of Command warlord trait, he can issue four. This is horrifying when combined with deep-striking plasma squads - use it wisely.
  • Tallarn - Claw of the Desert Tigers: Replaces a power sword; SUser AP-3 D2, and can make 2 additional attacks. Unlike the Mamorph Tuskblade, actually is interesting compared to the Blade of Conquest - taking a model from S3 AP-3 to S5 AP-4 is better than A3->A5 against T4 specifically, but worse against T3 or T5 - but you shouldn't be taking this, since Tallarn is all about running circles around your enemy and staying in a gun-battle.
  • Valhallan - Pietrov's MK 45: A Valhallan model may replace its Bolt Pistol with this relic, which has D2 and AP-1, and prevents friendly Valhallan units within 6" from losing more than 1 model per morale check.
    • Essentially this turns your Company Commander into a makeshift Commissar with a slightly beefier pistol for 1 point. Use this like you would a Commissar, but due to your doctrine, won't really earn its keep unless used on Conscripts; all of your other units are too small to ever really benefit from this, thanks to your doctrine, unless their leadership is debuffed and/or you blob up some Infantry Squads. You can totally run a fluffy Chenkov though.
  • Vostroyan - The Armour of Graf Toschenko: Vostroyan Infantry only; wearer has Toughness 4 and Sv 2+.
    • Just in case you wanted terminator armoured guardsmen. Again, only available to dudes you want kept out of melee normally, which limits its usefulness.

Unit Analysis[edit]

  • Keywords: Common keywords are ASTRA MILITARUM, IMPERIUM, and the placeholder <REGIMENT> which can be substituted for Cadian, Catachan, or the like.
  • Sergeants: Like most armies the Guard's infantry (and cavalry) squads have non-commissioned officers leading them. These Sergeants (or Bone'Eads, if you're an Ogryn) have +1 Attack and Leadership over the rest of the squad, and in Infantry squads they swap the longarm of the rest of the unit for a laspistol and chainsword. Infantry Squads, Scions, Veterans, Rough Riders, Ogryns, and Bullgryns all have sergeants in some form, none of whom cost more than the non-Sergeants in the squad with them.

Dropped Models[edit]

The following models currently lack any rules, and must be considered "dropped" in 8th edition until we get them:

  • The Fortress of Arrogance
  • Traitor's Bane (since this is also the name of Ezekiel's sword, chance are it won't return.)
  • Sly Marbo (fairly sure he is just hiding from his enemies as to make his entrance even more dramatic.)

Note that Rough Riders are not dropped - we "have" rules for them, in the Index. However, we don't have models for them (and haven't in years).


Any Regiment[edit]

  • Tank Commander: A single Leman Russ tank, with 3+ to hit. On the upside, it no longer needs to take a bodyguard tank. On the downside, it can't take bodyguard tanks at all now. Arguably better though, now that you can field the Tank Commander as a single tank. The Codex has granted it the ability to order itself, like an order-giver on foot, finally justifying fielding one by itself; the points surcharge on it isn't worth the BS upgrade alone, but combined with Gunners, Kill on Sight issued to itself, it is. Note that it is a Leman Russ unit, so it gets Objective Secured in an Astra Militarum Spearhead. Tank Commanders are also Officers now, meaning that they qualify for Command Squads and various heirlooms - notably, you can give a Tank Commander with the Master of Command Warlord Trait the Laurels of Command, and the Laurels will work on the Tank Orders as well (This is debatable: RAW, to use the Laurels must be an Officer AND have the Voice of Command ability. The Tank Commander is an Officer but DOES NOT have VoC); in addition, they qualify for Kurov's Aquila, and, in a custom Regiment, similarly to the Laurels, can combine Master of Command with the Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius, but it will only buff the VoC order, not the Tank Orders.
    • Tank Orders are:
      • Full Throttle!: Ordered unit must make an immediate move and advance, but cannot shoot or charge. Best used for Demolisher-type Russes which NEED to get closer.
      • Gunners, Kill on Sight!: Re-roll to-hit rolls of 1. Usually don't Get Hot!
      • Strike and Shroud!: Can only be given to a Leman Russ that has not used its smoke launchers; ordered model then shoots and pops smoke right after, as causing damage is usually preferable for an extra one-turn survivability, and the smoke launchers often get ignored.
      • Pound Them to Dust! (Cadian): Re-roll all dice when determining number of attacks made with turret weapons.
      • Get Around Behind Them! (Tallarn): Move up to 6", either or before or after shooting, as if it were the Movement phase, which does not affect movement distance for the purpose of determining how many times its turret can fire.
    • For the regiments which get extra tank orders, Cadians are best off accompanying the vanilla Russ or Demolisher to make the most of Pound Them To Dust!, while Tallarn commanders are good with just about anything, thanks to a combination of their Doctrine and move-move-shoot/move-shoot-move shenanigans.
    • Overall, the same weapons choices apply to these guys as general Leman Russes, so see that section for more discussion of what loadouts to take.
  • Company Commander: This guy gives you your orders, issuing up to two orders per turn. He starts out with a 5++, a Chainsword, a Laspistol, and frag grenades, but can upgrade his melee and shooting weaponry, as expected. He needs a Command squad to give him support and keep him hid from rampaging enemies. Take way more guys along than he can order, he can lose order efficiency if his squads get wounded.
    • For the daring, or suicidal commander, give this guy a power fist and jump into CC when you can charge an enemy tied up with a normal squad. With his 4 wounds, Fix Bayonets! if absolutely necessary, and the help of the much improved medic from the command squad, he might be able to kill off the last Chaos Champion or Tyranid warrior. Remember to use him as a counter-attack backed up by his vets. Combine with a Lord Commissar (who is more accurate in melee, anyway), and rock two fists! While you're at it, make him Catachan to bump his Strength up further still, just to be safe.
    • It's worth remembering that he can order himself. Whilst it’s not that effective, it’s better than wasting an order if there’s no one else around. Could even win you a game if Move! Move! Move! allows him to take or contest an objective. Fix Bayonets! can be combined with the Laurels of Command for theoretically infinite punching, but you're exponentially unlikely to manage that (on average, it should double your melee output).

No Regiment[edit]

Adeptus Astra Telepathica[edit]
  • Primaris Psyker: Gone are the days of making everything reroll hits. For twice the points of an Astropath you get a force stave, one more known power, and more durability. Can still only cast 1 a turn, so only bring him if you need HQs or are worried about snipers (he's tougher than an Astropath). Slightly okayish in close combat. Keep a Commissar nearby in case Perils kills him- he'll still die, but it'll prevent mortal wounds from spilling over to anyone else.
    • Alternate opinion: These guys are probably the best cheap way to spam (unmodified) Smite in the game. Each of them will, on average, score 1.79 mortal wounds per turn (assuming they are at full health - they get a bit worse as their ability to survive Perils goes down), which likely is more damage than any other 40 point unit in this army will deal. Astropaths may be more efficient when it comes to utility, but being able to reliably get off Smite makes these a steal for their points.
      • Other armies, however, can do this, only cheaper, and Smite is best on a mobile platform, so you have the most control over which enemy unit is closest, which other armies can do better. The real problem is the points cost - because your Primaris has no option to leave his staff at home, he's forced to pay 12 points for it, which is nearly half his cost, and he's not really designed overall as a melee powerhouse otherwise. He's slightly less points-efficient for Smite than an Astropath, if you assume no one is attempting to Deny you: a Primaris Psyker's Points-Per-Wound with Smite is 22.33 (assuming he can live through Perils, which he can from full health, guaranteed); an Astropath's is 22.5 (assuming he took a laspistol, not a stick). It's just that 3 of him cost 8 Astropaths, and they can provide full Deny the Witch, Astral Divination, and bring 8 copies of Psykana powers, compared to the 6 those Primarises... Primarii? will bring. They can't cast all of those, but they can spread around access, so you can attempt the power where you want to attempt it.
        • If only they could actually use all of those Psykana powers each turn...
    • The Psykana powers vary in power, from the best (Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud are absolutely incredible at keeping your shit alive, especially since the Barrier improves invulnerable saves, too), to the mediocre (Mental Fortitude, copied from the Inquisition's discipline, lets your psyker act like a shittier backup Commissar, and Terrifying Visions can be helpful finishing off a multi-wound unit or blocking enemy healing by making models flee rather than die), to the worthless (Psychic Maelstrom is absolute garbage and Gaze of the Emperor is only slightly better - their only real use is on Astropaths, who can't reliably cast Smite instead). All of them are better on Astropaths than Primaris Psykers, though - Primaris Psykers are only better at Smite.
Adeptus Mechanicus[edit]
  • Tech-Priest Enginseer: Not an Astra Militarum option per se, but you can field this guy using his Adeptus Mechanicus entry, where he is an HQ choice; per the rules in the AM Codex, he explicitly won't block your Regiment rules. Your Regiment will block his Canticles, but he doesn't get those anyway when fielded as an Elites choice. The benefit of doing this is that you can pay an HQ tax with an Enginseer, which you may have wanted anyway to keep your tanks repaired, in e.g. a Spearhead detachment, or better yet a Supreme Command Detachment with 3 of them; the major downside is that he won't have the Astra Militarum keywords, so you won't be able to convince him to get on any of your transports, and he'll cause other problems, like interfering with Stratagem access. Still, he's legal, just a poor choice.
Adeptus Ministorum[edit]
  • Uriah Jacobus: A Ministorum Priest on steroids who now has the Astra Militarum faction keyword and qualifies as an HQ despite being found in the Adeptus Ministorum portion of the index. He has Shield of Faith, which lets him try to deny a psychic power manifested by an enemy psyker (but only using 1d6 as opposed to 2d6). Besides this, he also adds +1 to the leadership of all Adeptus or Imperial Guard units within 6", which isn't too shabby, and has a snazzy shotgun with a 24" range, Assault 2, S4 AP-1 D1 (D2 if you roll a 6+ to wound). Sure, why the hell wouldn't the guard follow some crazy old preacher into battle?
    • Poor Uriah is pretty overpriced for what he provides if taken in a pure Adeptus Ministorum detachment, but in a mixed or purely Guard detachment, he can be pretty useful alongside Ogryns/Bullgryns or Conscripts, especially if you want to save the Elite slot a normal Priest would take (and with Platoon Commanders, Command Squads, and Commissars being as good as they are, it's entirely possible you'll want to). Just keep in mind that he comes at a cost.
Officio Prefectus[edit]
  • Lord Commissar: A buffed out Commissar with a 4+/5++ and a Power Sword, and makes everyone around him Ld9, which is awesome. His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him never lose more than one model from a failed Morale test, which is ULTRA-AWESOME, but regular Commissars have the same rule. You primarily buy this guy for two reasons: you have a Brigade detachment and need more HQs, and because between his carapace armor, refractor field, and extra wound, he's twice as tough against pretty much anything as a normal commissar, for less than double the points. This is a smart move, especially if you expect to face enemy snipers - that red sash (and the fact that he's the lynchpin of your blobs) makes him a primary target.
    • You should always replace his bolt pistol with a bolter to make the most of his BS 2+ - he's not as good as a Commissar unless he's contributing to combat.
    • Don't overlook Aura of Discipline, something his un-Lordy friends also picked up. All friendly AM units in 6" can use the LC's Leadership of 9. Compared to a standard Commissar, the difference is that instead of the morale losses being 0 lost to 2 wounds, then 1/6, 2/6, ..., always losing exactly 1 at 8 wounds taken or more, the blob starts with 0 at 3 and progresses to exactly 1 at 9 wounds or more, so he's better in the 3-8 wounds range. That's very specific and will usually matter more to 10-man squads than 30, but it's better than nothing. See the base Commissar for more on Summary Execution, an amazing rule.
  • Commissar Yarrick: Has the same Aura of Discipline rule that the Lord Commissar has, and has the Summary Execution rule (in spite of his fluff where not a single soldier was executed by him at the Battle of Hades Hive). He comes with his Bale Eye (a hot-shot laspistol), Storm Bolter, Bolt Pistol, Power Klaw, and a Power Field for a 4++. In addition, his last wound has a 3+ FNP. He can come back from the dead... a lot. Interestingly, he now gets the fluffy "Hero of Hades Hive" special rule, which grants friendly Astra Militarum units re-rolls of 1s to hit within 6" of him. This becomes re-roll all failed hits when the unit is attacking Orks. A fitting replacement for the old Preferred Enemy: Orks rule of 6th and 7th edition. Sadly, all of this old man awesome comes at a price - he costs 130 points. His re-rolls of 1s to hit (re-rolling all misses against Orks) makes him incredibly potent when he sits next to a horde of Conscripts or a parking lot - he's more efficient than Tank Commander spam, and works on non-Russes, too.
    • Obviously, he's less efficient than Harker if all you care about is re-rolling 1s during the Shooting phase (remember, Harker's buff applies to Fix Bayonets, but not in-Fight-phase fighting). He's also 25 points more expensive than simply taking Harker and a Lord Commissar, although he doesn't cost you the Elites slot that choice does. He does two things meaningfully better, since you won't always be facing Orks: he buffs Fight phase melee, and he ignores <Regiment>, meaning he can be fielded with Creed, if you're hard up for Command Points, or any other Regiment, if you are after a particular Doctrine/Order/Warlord Trait/Relic.
    • Speaking of Creed, if you're using him with a Cadian Regiment, he's almost pointless if you're playing a static gunline, since the new Cadian doctrine virtually does what Yarrick does...for the low-low price of changing all <REGIMENT> keywords to CADIA, also known as free. Of course, playing a static gunline lets your opponent do whatever he wants with the table's objectives, which may be a terrible idea.
    • Yarrick has one more significant benefit over Harker and a Lord Commissar: he's better at melee. Even with his Power Klaw's -1 to hit, he can reliably chew through MEQs and generally live to tell the tale. He can be quite a nasty surprise to deliver with some bubble wrap in close combat.
    • Now gets voice of command if he is your warlord (he has to pick master of command warlord trait). But how would he order a unit with the same <REGIMENT> when he doesn't have one?
      • RAI here is probably that he can order any unit that is otherwise capable of receiving orders, perhaps by using a wildcard <REGIMENT> keyword, but as that would make him the only model in the game capable of possessing a wildcard keyword like that, and if the rule is on the Warlord Trait, it would be absurdly powerful on otherwise fixed-Regiment Warlords like Creed, don't expect a firm resolution until we get a FAQ.
        • Another option could be that Yarrick actually gains a <REGIMENT> keyword, either fixed or choosable. Which does seem more likely than a complete wild card, though it does come with its own weird quirks... (Catachan Yarrick hitting at S8, anyone?)
          • Officio Prefectus units like Yarrick explicitly do not benefit from Regimental Doctrines, even if he does end up with a <REGIMENT> for the purposes of orders.
    • GW has confirmed that Yarrick's warlord trait will be covered in the upcoming FAQ, so all the above is about to be a moot point. Although he'll most likely only be able to use one order a turn (he doesn't qualify for the Laurels of Command since he's not an OFFICER), if you treat his aura like a free "Take Aim!", that probably makes up for it.

Specific Regiment[edit]

Militarum Tempestus[edit]
  • Tempestor Prime: The Militarum Tempestus version of the Company Commander; he costs a bit more, but has been buffed from his 7th Edition iteration. In addition to his BS 3+ and 4+ armor save, he can now take a Tempestus Command Rod, letting him issue 2 orders instead of just 1. Makes him more useful now that you can take Militarum Tempestus Scions as Troops. Keep in mind he gives up his pistol for the shouty stick. Is also the only model in the game qualified to carry the Militarum Tempestus relic, but only take that if you're combining it with Vox-Casters - without them, it's much worse than simply taking the universal Laurels of Command. Similarly, he alone can take the Militarum Tempestus Warlord Trait, which is Deny the Witch 1/phase, but that's a really terrible idea over Grand Strategist and just bringing 1 Astropath or Primaris Psyker along for the same Deny output.
  • Lord Castellan Creed: MIA (read: in Trazyn's collection) in the fluff, but you can still use him. If your army is battleforged, Creed gives you 2 extra Command Points if he's the warlord, and can issue up to 3 orders per turn. Since you'll always want him to be your Warlord, the Superior Tactical Training Warlord trait will work wonders with the potential to give out 6 orders (see Warlord Traits above) to units of the same type as each other.
  • Knight Commander Pask: Pask is different, but still awesome. Gone are the alternate profiles for his weapons, but unlike other Leman Russ tanks, his tank hits on a 2+. This benefits every weapon that his tank can potentially have, including sponson weapons. Statistically, that means you'll be hitting 5/6 of the time on any weapon if you're not on the move, and 2/3 of the time even if you are. While it stings that the Pasknisher isn't as awesome anymore (it's still awesome, it's just that Pask doesn't do much for it but boost its accuracy), the fact that he makes the weapons more reliable is just about worth his points' cost alone. But in addition to that, he can issue two tank orders a turn, including to other Tank Commanders.
    • Like Creed, Pask's orders only work with if the tanks he's ordering have the CADIAN regiment keyword. There is nothing stopping you from taking tanks with the Cadian regiment in one detachment and infantry with the Catachan regiment in another though, especially if you want to get Straken or Harker on the field.
    • Remember that only his turret (and, naturally, his heavy flamer sponsons) ignore the BS penalty from moving, just like any other Leman Russ. This doesn't matter if he's staying still, though.
    • According to the Index: Imperium 1 FAQ, Pask cannot order himself. At least he can still order other Tank Commanders. In the codex, it is not made clear that he cannot order himself, so maybe your opponent will let you pull it off, but YMMV. Best not to try to rely on it; it does seem that other Tank Commanders can order him now, so there's less of a reason to try to pull off this kind of cheese, anyway.
    • The order to re-roll ones is absurdly good on a Tank Commander Executioner with Plasma Cannon sponsons. Running this and Pask together comes at a steep cost, however.
      • This can be done a lot more cheaply using Harker in a Catachan list, although even at a spring, he'll slow the tanks down if they want to move. Moving is a terrible idea with plasma LRs, though, since they'll Get Hot on 2s.
  • Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken: Gives 1 additional attack to all Catachan units within 6" of him, and re-rolls all failed to-wound rolls against Monsters in the Fight phase. In addition, he can issue up to 2 orders per turn.
    • He has a metal arm which allows him to pimp slap large enemies at S6 (S7 with the new Doctrine), T4 because he has spent most of his life on possibly the most dangerous planet in the galaxy, and 5 wounds due to extensive bionic enhancements after getting chewed up by a miral landshark (don't worry, he quickly killed it with his other arm balls). All in all, he is one of the strongest and toughest mortal and non-astartes imperial characters. Can go toe to toe with a lot of opponents and will fair well most of the time in melee. All this for 75 points, and he has a plasma pistol, shotgun, devil's claw melee weapon, and a 3+ save. Good things do come from bad places.
    • Be careful... a carnifex, brood lord, tyrant, even warriors, etc, will usually eat this guy for breakfast. In reality 'ol Straken knows better and would perform complex ambushes and such on the big beasts. Make the best of him and try and finish off monstrous creatures after they have been wounded by heavy weapons fire, as they will become slower and lose damage output. Also, pair with Nork Deddog, who can absorb damage far better.


Any Regiment[edit]

  • Infantry Squad: Ten men, ten guns. The galaxy-wide standard. Infantry Squads got a 20% points discount, which is kind of strange given the buff to 5+ saves and S3 in 8th edition. The old "Combined Squads" special rule is now a Stratagem; at the end of your Movement phase you can choose to combine two infantry squads into a Combined Squad of both models, at the cost of 1CP. Given that Conscripts are capped at 30 men and will only accept orders like Rank Fire 50% of the time Combined Squads are perhaps a more competitive option now. Compared to Conscripts they have better leadership, BS4, can take heavy/special weapons, and accept orders 100% of the time, and taking 6 Infantry Squads is also the easiest way to unlock a Brigade detachment.
    • If you want a big, blobby platoon, note that the stratagem mentioned above is spammable, although only once per turn; if you like, every Movement Phase you can absorb another Infantry Squad into your growing blob, reaching 50 men by Turn 4, for example. This can help you cope with losing order sources, but is a very slow way to improve order efficiency if you didn't bring enough order sources to begin with. Remember that you can't use it before the battle begins, so if you go second, your units will not be blobbed yet while you get alpha struck, and they can't be blobbed in time for any other abilities you might have that work on one unit at a time, like the Dagger of Tu'Sakh.
    • To clarify - why choose Infantry Squads over the generally superior Scions? Bodies. Lots. Of. Bodies. So many bodies most players can't even use them properly. For instance, 500 points can buy you 100 models on the field WITH special weapons (100 points worth to be exact). Let that sink in. If ever Guard players had heaps of Guardsmen to play with, 8th would be that edition.
    • Keep upgrades to a minimum. Vox networks can dramatically boost the range of your orders; however, you may want to bubblewrap combined squads around officers. Taking heavy weapons is debatable, because Heavy Weapon Squads get better order efficiency; however, they're better protected in infantry squads. Generally speaking, you want to mitigate the Guard's BS4 as much as possible - flamers hit automatically, while mortars especially, autocannons, and heavy bolters get lots of shots. Regimental Doctrines are also something to consider when deciding what to do with your infantry. For example, Catachan squads benefit the most from putting a melee weapon on the sergeant, and with S4 can reliably assault Space Marines. Tallarn, on the other hand, might want to avoid heavy weapons entirely, since assault and rapid fire weapons let them freely advance every turn. Infantry Squads synergize better with Tauroxen than Chimeras, unless you're hauling characters or using the Armageddon doctrine (in which case you'd be better off taking plasma vets). You could put them in a Valkyrie or Vendetta, but...why?
    • Sergeants can now take plasma pistols. While not game-breaking, this is neat little change and can give your otherwise weak squad some punch when they're stuck in.
  • Conscripts: If there is anything thinner than paper, it would be Conscripts. Good thing there are a lot of them - up to 30 guys. Even better that they're cheaper than dirt - tied with Gretchin for the 2nd cheapest model in the game, at 3 points a man (Brimstone horrors are 2 points). One for the lasgun, one for the grenades, one for the flak armor - human filling is free. Start with 20 base, and can add 10 more to go to 30 guys, making them your only option for fielding a horde of dudes without slowly building up a huge combined Infantry Squad. With a pitiful Ld4, Commissars are a must. Slap these in cover on an objective with a Commissar and watch your opponent cry as they fail to remove 90 points' worth of meat from the table while your tanks tear shreds out of their army.
    • A full unit of 30 with a Platoon Commander can put out truly impressive points-per-wound against an impressive number of targets, and this gets better if you use a Company Commander with them, of course. They need to buy another commander every 30 or 60 guys instead of every 10 or 20 like Infantry Squads, but their Raw Recruits rule gives them only a 50% chance of obeying an order; in terms of points per wound math, this behaves like only half the unit receiving the order but without rolling to fail or succeed, so they'll mathematically behave like they need new order sources every 15 or 30 instead of 10 or 20 - still an improvement, but not as drastic. You're better off emphasizing ways to use them that don't rely on orders to begin with, like the always-important Commissar, a Priest, Astropath, or Sabre Weapons Battery with Spotlight, or, depending on things like your <regiment>, special characters with auras, like Straken, Harker, Yarrick, Celestine, or Guilliman.

Specific Regiment[edit]

Militarum Tempestus[edit]
  • Militarum Tempestus Scions: The New Veteran Squad? 5 model squad base with two special weapons, or 10 man squad with four specials, and the Hot-Shot Lasgun is mean now - with its solid AP it can threaten anything, and with orders it can put out a frightening number of shots. This almost makes up for the Veterans' demotion to the elite slot. The new rules have shifted Scions closer to typical troops, being cheaper and less specialized than before. Base cost of 9+1 (for the weapon) points per guy, so almost at Space Marine territory here, they still have their built-in transport option of deep striking. This combined with their points cut can actually make them a cheaper frontline Troops choice if you skip the transport. Can also ride in their exclusive Taurox Prime, a Chimera, fly high in a Valkyrie, or downgrade to a basic Taurox.
    • The 5-man loadout should be Sergeant with Bolt or Plasma Pistol, 2 models with plasma, melta, or volley guns, 1 model with a vox-caster if you want one, and 1 scrub with a hot-shot lasgun (who will usually be your go-to for throwing grenades, when you're close enough); expanding to 10 means adding 3 more scrubs and 2 more special weapons. Do not take a grenade launcher or flamer - the former is bad in its own right, and the latter tends to waste the points you spent on having a higher BS, on top of not being fireable on Deep Strike turn.
    • Deep Striking hot-shot lasguns are terrible, because you are forced to show up outside of Rapid Fire range for them (meaning you're also outside of Doctrine range) and are forced to pay a point for them, so it's not a great idea to take a 10-man hot-shot squad and count on FRFSRF to do any meaningful work. However, order efficiency drops if you go MSU style to minimize your hot-shot "taxes", as you need more orders to buff more units, unlike aura abilities, so you're better off with a 10-man squad with 4 special weapons than 2 5-man squads with 2 special weapons each (take a bolt or plasma pistol on the sergeant in either case, so when you Deep Strike in you get 1 shot, not 0, at the same cost; sadly, he's not as well-trained as a Veteran Sergeant, so he can't carry a bolter).
    • Combine them with a Tempestor Prime, and you get yourself some incredibly powerful shooting units. Deepstriking overcharged Plasmaguns with "Take Aim!" not only practically guarantees their survival, but it gives a hell of a punch. At their core, Scions are perfect for Alpha assault, and can cause A LOT of damage when they come in, and with their Deep Strike (that now doesn't scatter and you can set up anywhere you want) they are also quite useful to get those pesky out of the way objectives that some of your army may not get. Not only that, but with their built-in 4+, falling back and "Get Back in the Fight!" order gives them more staying power, allowing your units to charge after shooting from deep strike (you need about 3 units trying this for each 1 you want to succeed), and then next turn disengage and shoot once more, or ditch an annoying melee and counter-attack. More precise, capable, and flexible than before, Scions now behave like the elite soldiers they are supposed to be.
    • Vox-casters are good if you want to keep your Tempestor Prime alive. Since he will most likely deep strike with your units, the Tempestor benefits from getting orders at longer range, and since it doesn't sacrifice a special weapon slot (it forces you to take a hot-shot laspistol instead of a hot-shot lasgun, so it's deceptively expensive, but it's on a separate model from the special weapons bearers), it can really serve any unit well. Moreover, Deep Striking with Scions allows you to pick different positions for your units, so with a Vox Caster you can still give orders to units far from you. Just remember that the Vox bearer can't shoot at all when he Deep Strikes.
      • Vox-casters are not <REGIMENT> specific, so if you're fielding mixed regiments, such as Militarum Tempestus backing up Catachan, remember that any model with Voice of Command can use any nearby Vox-caster - the ordered unit has to be in-regiment, of course, but the nearby unit need not be, so a Scions squad with a caster can transmit a Catachan order, and vice-versa. Just remember to make each regiment its own detachment, or you'll lose the Regimental Doctrine bonuses from your Scions.


Any Regiment[edit]

  • Master of Ordnance: Gone is the hilariously inaccurate mini-basilisk of 7th edition; the MoO is now a fire support coordinator, which is arguably closer to the fluff. Nearby <regiment> Basilisks, Deathstrikes, Manticores, and Wyverns - by explicit name, so he's not compatible with e.g. any of Forge World's additions - can reroll 1s on the hit roll if this guy is about and the target is more than 36" away (because he can't really help if the gun is direct firing, apparently). If that isn't enough to justify his cost, he can call in a favor from a nearby battery once per game, dropping a (thankfully accurate) basilisk shell anywhere on the map - though if he can't see the target, it hits on 4s.
    • While he's not going to fry your own squad anymore, you'll be lucky to get more than 3 "shots" off without a Command Re-Roll thanks to his one-shot syndrome, and only some of those will hit; on average, you're looking at 2 1/3 shots landing if he can see the target, 1.75 otherwise. Take this guy for his re-roll ability, but don't expect his artillery strike to actually accomplish anything. That way, you're pleasantly surprised if it does instead of basing your strategy around such an unreliable, one-use attack.
  • Platoon Commander: Now an individual model, broken off of his Command squad. This is one of your options for orders! At least he gets a 5+ Invulnerable save base now like past Imperial Guard Commanders. A cheaper alternative to the Company Commander, and the preferable option if you have a single conscript blob and you want them ordered every turn - but costs more points per order than the Company Commander does. Don't go taking them just for extra orders either
  • Command Squad: These guys exist for one purpose: murder. At BS 3+ they can provide higher-skill special and heavy weapons teams, which comes at no premium - they cost the same as any Veteran does, which is upcosted from your basic troopers slightly more than how much better their BS is. Their squad size is small, which can be both benefit and drawback. The Regimental Standard adds +1 to nearby leadership, and the Medi-pack allows you to heal and even return nearby removed models to the field (leading to the rather humorous event of a commissar executing a coward and the medic then returning him to the battle - his suffering will presumably "continue" to serve as an example). A vox operator can drastically extend the range of your orders, too, as long as the receiving squad also has a vox. You need at least 1 officer per squad of these guys (see the FAQ), so the days of the 3 squad Valkyrie drop shenanigans just got about 30 points more expensive.
      • Alternative take - Sniper squad loadout. 4 men vs 5 men min squad size vs ratlings but can take orders. Re-rolling to hit or to wound (fishing for mortal wounds) makes them better shooters than ratlings.
    • The Medic is sadly incompetent by Imperium standards; he needs a 4+ just to heal, unlike every other healer, who automatically heals. While needs the same 4+ to res, he can only res 1-wound units; while this means he definitely can't res a heavy weapons squad member, there's no FAQ entry on units with multiple wound profiles, such as both Infantry and Veteran squads (and the Command Squad itself), which can all have a single 2-wound model in them. As he definitely can't bring those models back in a squad of just them, for now, assume the rule says he can only res 1-wound models and move on, and hope for a FAQ. He also can't heal Cavalry, period.
    • That means this squad's best use is always to be a "tax-free" Veterans squad with just 4 special weapons or 2 special and a heavy, as the only two things this squad does better than anything else you can field is have a Medic in it and field tax-less Veteran weapons. The Standard is worse than (although it does stack with) a Commissar, and the Vox-caster should be carried by an Infantry Squad.
  • Veteran Squad: Rather boorishly promoted demoted to the Elites slot, guardsmen with 3+ to hit and more weapon options than basic Imperial Guard squads. They used to be the bread and butter of Mechanized guard armies who used Chimeras to cart their asses around, but now they'd be better off supplementing basic guard squads in Chimeras. They've also lost camo cloaks and 4+ armour, which has screwed them a lot. On the plus side, every change to plasma guns seems to be made for these guys. They lost 4+, but flak is buffed this edition and gets hot doesn't depend on armour saves, and cheap weapons are suited to cheap units. This means scions are not automatically the go-to plasma squad, though they do melta well with durability and deep strike. The key to getting the most out of vets is taking the most advantage of their unique weapon combinations. They can take 3 special weapons, a heavy flamer, and a heavy weapon team, all with the option to take new improved shotguns. Build them with a plan for how you are going to use them, and don't overdo it on close range weapons, or you'll shoot them out of effective range. Plasma guns can pair with shotguns or heavy flamer, but don't take all three; the shotguns will either be second or last to fire and might be out of 6" or 12" range at that point. So they might as well just be lasguns, especially if they're from Vostroya or Armaggedon and/or plan on rank firing.
    • Loadouts: The Heavy Weapons Squad should take a lascannon if you want anti-heavy, or a mortar if you want anti-horde or just to pay less points (two veterans cost 12, but one veteran mortar costs 11); then take 3 flamers and a heavy flamer for anti-horde, 3 meltas and shotguns everywhere for close range anti-tank, or 3 plasma guns, an optional heavy flamer, and shotguns everywhere for versatility. All three combos are powerful and won't sweat too many losses. You can take autoguns on these guys, but considering that they have the exact same statline as a lasgun and don't even benefit from FRFSRF, there is absolutely no reason to besides flavor.
    • Note that Special Weapons Squads pay fewer taxes for the same number of special weapons, with an end result that, outside of orders, SWSes are actually more efficient at melta and plasma, and much more efficient at flamers, than Veteran Squads, largely because the non-special weapons in the squads contribute so little to the difference against targets you are passionate about killing.
    • Being a bit of a glass cannon, these guys love the threat range bonuses given by Armaggedon, Vostroya, and Tallarn, especially if you give them plasma guns, though Tallarn will also like any assault weapons, even Grenade Launchers since they can run away and fire at full power.
  • Special Weapons Squad: Like Heavy Weapons Squads, the base cost of this unit is absurdly cheap - 24 points for 6 guys before you have to give 3 of them Meltas, Flamers, Plasma, or the like. A few teams of supercharged plasma gunners are a pants-shittingly powerful option of dealing with TEQs and MCs. All of your soldiers **will** die, but your playing the Guard: do you really care? You can do fun things like giving a squad 1 demo charge and 2 flamers and running them in a chimera with Scion buddies, preferably with meltas. And if you don't add the 6th scion, you can toss in a Lord Commissar or Primaris Psyker. That's a whole lot of fun in one transport. Fun fact: Demolition Charges got even cheaper, but don't take 3 as you can only throw one a turn.
    • Unless you give them Flamers or Demo Charges, a Command Squad with 4 special weapons would be a better choice due to their better BS.
      • Keep in mind that you need one officer per Command Squad, and Command Squads are your only source of Medi-Packs and Regimental Standards, which are actually useful this edition.
    • A plasma SWS is especially effective with the Armageddon Regimental Doctrine, unique Order, and unique Stratagem- it extends their Rapid Fire range, allows them to redeploy faster, lets them re-roll those pesky 1s, and buffs their transport's durability for good measure. Honourable mention to Vostroyan plasma gunners too, who can pull an impression of Hellblasters with plasma fire from a slightly safer distance.
Forge World[edit]
  • Atlas Recovery Tank: Believe it or not, this thing is almost useful now. It's a standard "battle Chimera" tank (T7 W11 and a hull heavy bolter) with S7, but rather than a battle gun, it has an enginseer's ability to heal a vehicle (but not itself). Compared to the enginseer, it's more expensive (both in points and money), but more mobile and less vulnerable to sniper fire. Unfortunately, while being a tank means it can't be picked off by snipers, it's not a character, so it can be targeted by anything else. Still probably too expensive for what it does, but a lot better than what it used to be.
    • Important note: Unlike the Enginseer's Master of Machines rule, the Recovery Vehicle rule doesn't stipulate that a given vehicle may only benefit from it once. If you have a Lord of War on the field and want it to stay alive, an Enginseer and a few Atlases can give it a serious survivability boost. Highly situational, but potentially useful.
  • Hades Breaching Drill Squad: A Vehicle with a squad of "Veterans" (who all have Sergeant grade LD, but none of whom have Veteran grade BS, all with shotguns) that emerges anywhere more than 9" away from enemies. Once it shows up, the Drill and Veteran Squad become separate units entirely. The Hades Drill itself is a big 'fuck you' machine, with 1d6 WS3+ S10 AP-4 D1d3 melee attacks (D1d6 against Vehicles), and it has a 4++ invul in the fight phase thanks to its whirling blades. With T7, W7, and Sv3+, it's pretty durable, too. The Veterans are significantly worse than normal Veterans at shooting, with limited special weapons access on top of their nerfed BS, in that they can only take 2 special weapons in the squad, with no heavy flamer or heavy weapons team; the squad amounts to a tax on the drill, because it is so much worse than your other options, but it can still do ok with a pair of flamers.
  • Salamander Command Vehicle: Don't get excited - this isn't a command vehicle, and you can't issue orders from inside it. It's not even a Transport, although it is an Ld8 Chimera chassis. It's also not a member of the Salamanders Space Marines Chapter. Instead, as a Salamander Vehicle, it has Scout, so it gets a 9" move after the first round begins but before the first turn begins. More importantly, during Shooting, a single friendly <regiment> <vehicle> within 6" gets +1 to hit rolls, so you can finally shoot plasma safely from a Leman Russ, Arkurian Stormblade, or Macharius Omega (the Leman Russ is ironically the most efficient option, because the latter two can't take plasma sponsons). Incredibly expensive, at 100 points with just the starting guns, but there's very few upgrades you'll want to take on this since most of them are extra guns, but you don't want this thing shooting, you want it buffing your real tanks.

No Regiment[edit]

Adeptus Mechanicus[edit]
  • Tech-Priest Enginseer: Found in the AdMech list as well as the new Guard codex alongside Servitors. Repairs D3 lost wounds on a single Astra Militarum vehicle or AdMech vehicle with the same Forge World keyword as himself within 3" of him. This opens up some interesting listbuilding ideas, such as combining mechguard troops with Skitarii snipers or Cult Mech deathrobots, as the Enginseer can repair whatever he pleases from either list as long as they share the same Forge World. An auto-include if you brought a Baneblade. He can also repair Questor Mechanicus Knights, albeit only for a single wound per turn.
    • Imperial Guard codex kept Tech-Priest as an Elite choice, and allows him to bring in his Servitors with him as another Elite choice.
  • Servitors: 4 Guardsman bodies which are slower, have poor BS of 5+, and have a 4+ save. Two of them can take a Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannon, or Multi-Melta. If Tech-Priest is babysitting them, they increase their BS to 4+ and Leadership to 9. A poor choice all around, even with two Plasma Cannons.
Adeptus Ministorum[edit]
  • Ministorum Priest: Another Astra Militarum character "borrowed" by another faction but also appearing in the new Guard codex. His War Hymns are now a +1 attack for every Astra Militarum infantry unit within 6". Conscript blob squads (and massed Infantry Squads, if you have enough orders) may be interesting with this and the Fix Bayonets order, and Ogryns/Bullgryns turn into giant muscley man-blenders with five attacks apiece on the charge. He also still has Zealot, though since it's not an AoE buff and only offers the first turn re-roll, he no longer assists with morale. Not a bad idea if there's a likelihood that your boys will charge or be charged.
    • Has obvious synergy with Catachan - not only will he stack with Straken for A3 on your basic infantry (although Straken won't stack for Fix Bayonets, and the Priest won't stack for non-infantry), they'll be S4, to boot, and all 3 of the Priest's +1A, Straken's +1A, and Straken's +1Ld (thanks to being a Catachan officer) are auras, so they'll work MSU style if you want, without requiring one large blob, and, obviously, they don't consume orders. A single Catachan Infantry Squad without any upgrades near the two of them costs 40 points for A31 WS4+ S4 AP0 D1 (and Ld8), which is fantastic.
  • Crusaders: Pretty much identical to what we have seen with the Sisters index. In summary, you get two models with power swords with two S3 WS3+ attacks each, with a re-roll misses on the first turn of combat, whether they charged or have been charged. They also have a 3+ invulnerable save backing T3 and Ld7. They even get to keep their Act of Faith rule, making them the only unit in the Codex that can. All in all, not much has changed from their entry in the Sisters forces, besides some new keyword additions. Crusaders bring a unique element to Guard, in that they are one of the Codex's only access to 3++ invulnerable saves (the others rely on stacking buffs) and also one of the easiest access to power weapons. When paired with a Priest, Crusaders can offer some much needed melee support. With the prevalence of assault deep-striking units, a squad of these can be put to good use keeping annoying enemy charges from screwing up your precious gunlines. In addition, with their above-average saves, they can make excellent protection against having your characters sniped out by things like lascannons, and absorbing other heavy firepower, though with 1 wound, they will die easily to volley fire. Also, don't forget that they kept their Act of Faith, so one unit per turn, on a 2+, can take advantage of some double move, fight, or revival of fallen brothers mid-game. They are incredibly cheap, and a pair costs less than 1/4 a 3-model Bullgryn squad, and model for model nearly a third the points (15vs42), though Bullgryns, having 3 wounds, are tougher if you can afford them. Therefore, consider them as worthwhile melee Elite list filler.
    • The addition of the Astra Militarum keyword has given these knights of the Emprah a powerful friend from an unlikely source: the Adeptus Astra Telepathica. Though they might gripe about it, the Psykana power Psychic Barrier is especially powerful on these guys: it adds 1 go their save, making a squad of these guys supported by a (properly sanctioned, of course) Imperial Psyker one of the most absurdly durable units in the game, with a 2+ invulnerable save. DEUS VULT!
    • Bullgryn are fewer points per wound, of course - 14, rather than 15 - with higher Leadership than Crusaders, assuming you keep the Sergeant alive, but a smaller maximum unit size of 9, rather than 10, and much worse points per attack (14, rather than 7.5); since in both cases you want one large unit more than two small ones, for ease of buffing, the exact differences are worth considering:
      • The Crusaders cost 150 points and provide A20 WS3+ S3 AP-3 D1 on 10 T3 W1 models [W10 unit] with Ld7 4+/3++ (3+/2++ with Astropath), and at the start of the turn, can, on average, regenerate 5/6 of a wound or move 5" or pile in and Fight with an 83.33% chance. Celestine will provide a reliable Act of Faith if you bring her.
      • The Bullgryn cost 378 points and provide A28 WS3+ S7 AP-1 D2 on 9 T5 W3 models [W27 unit] with Ld8 2+ (1+ with Astropath). With Celestine, they get a 4++ if they brought slabshields: Celestine's 6++ aura is a save, and slabshields give +2 to saves, regardless of source.
    • These are combinable, but you can only Psychic Barrier one of them; while you can and should dynamically decide what to buff if you field this, 2 Astropaths + Celestine + Crusaders + Bullgryns means the Crusaders don't have to roll for their Act of Faith, the Bullgryns have a base 2+/4++, and you can either make the Crusaders 2++ and the Bullgryns have a -1 to be hit aura (this is better when soaking e.g. flamers), or the Bullgryns 1+/3++ and the Crusaders have a -1 to be hit aura (this is better when soaking e.g. BS 2+ lascannons). Naturally, the whole deathball is stackable with a Ministorum Priest, and a Commissar if you're concerned about Leadership, but it has no ability at all to handle Fliers, so make sure it's doing its primary job of keeping your tanks safe as their guns solve all of your problems for you.
      • If you want to be a complete asshole, and you should, combine with an Ogryn Bodyguard carrying the Deathmask of Ollanius and a Slabshield. He'll be 2++ all the time without Astropath support, heal 1d3 once per game, and happily eat wounds the Astropaths, Priest, or Commissar would take (as Celestine is not an Astra Militarum character, e.g. if the Astropaths suffer Perils.
Officio Prefectus[edit]
  • Commissar: His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him never lose more than one model from a failed Morale test. In addition, thanks to the Aura of Discipline ability, those same Guard squads will be given Ld8. The fact that these buffs are AoE is the saving grace of Infantry Squads everywhere. Compared to his senior ranking Lord counterpart, he has one less wound, a 5+ save, WS and BS 3 instead of 2, and no Invulnerable save of any kind. However, he's much cheaper.
    • Summary Execution is phenomenal. If he only had Aura of Discipline, extra wounds taken to morale by a Conscript squad would start at 0 for having taken 2, then 1/6, 1/2, 1, 5/3, 5/2, 7/2, .....; instead, the progression is 0, 1/6, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 5/6, 1, 1, .... The difference is incredible, and obviously more pronounced the higher the casualties. He also doesn't particularly mind leadership bombs, even when they catch both him and his buffed charges, since the worst it can do is kill 1 more model. Be very, very thankful this guy dodged the codex nerfs; he is the real reason Conscripts are so strong.
    • His ranged weapon should always be a bolter; you shouldn't buy him a melee weapon, as he should be staying out of melee and providing buffs instead, but if you insist, his best choice is a power maul.
    • The cheapest Commissar you can take is 31 points with a Bolter, while Lord Commissars have to take a Power Weapon as well, raising them up to 55. They're Characters, so what you primarily need them to live through are sniper rifle shots; their points divided by how ratling sniper rifle shots it takes to kill them are 31 and 41.25, respectively. The Lord Commissar fills up an HQ slot, which is better - Elites slots are more valuable and pay fewer taxes - but the Commissar will outperform the Lord Commissar provided he stays out of combat, while the Lord Commissar will outperform if he gets into it.
Astra Telepathica[edit]
  • Wyrdvane Psykers: Very mediocre. If you have 6 you get to add 2 to psychic tests (getting them all the way up to succeeding two thirds the time for Smite, and one half to one third for the Psykana powers, ugh), but you only roll 1d6 for both Psychic and Deny tests (the bonus for having members only applies to Psychic tests, though). And without having the character keyword, expect them to die quickly. It is, however, impossible for you to peril.
  • Astropath: Only 1d6 for Smite, but only 21 points (15 with a laspistol, which you should take because he isn't going to dent a grot with that stick). Camp a few of these guys behind your gunline and deny powers while giving people +1 save. The only reason not to bring these guys would be if you ran out of Elites slots, because Primaris Psykers are HQs.
Aeronautica Imperialis[edit]
  • Officer of the Fleet: Now slightly different. He can basically attempt to call in an air-strike on a non-character anywhere on the table once per game doing upto 3 mortal wounds 50% of the time, he also grants friendly Astra Militarum/Aeronautica fliers re-rolls of 1 to-hit a single ground target within 18 inches of himself each turn. This air strike makes him somewhat useful even if you're not using flyers or reserves, though he is otherwise a 25 point 3 wound Guardsman armed only with a laspistol who must put himself in the front line to provide the buff
Militarum Auxilla[edit]

Per the current FAQ, this is explicitly not a <REGIMENT>, so you can't e.g. assign it to your Commander.

  • Bullgryns: From zero to hero! Their Slabshields and Brute Shields got buffed: Slabshields give them +2 to all save rolls as of the Codex, while Brute Shields give them a 4++. Did I mention either option is now free, and you can mix and match them with the weapons now? Like regular Ogryns, they get an additional attack the turn they charge. With their upgraded Power Mauls (+1 D), that's gonna hurt a lot. Finally your Terminator-cost unit can match with actual Terminators! If only they could take orders. Also, consider the slabshields and power mauls for T5 2+, and distraction carnifex them to make your opponent leave your tanks alone. Even with powermauls you'll still be able to manually lob one grenade a turn, so they're not losing as much firepower as you'd think.
    • Slabshields are much better now; for example, given a source of a 6++ Invuln save, such as Celestine, they'll skyrocket to 2+/4++, and, since their Characteristic hasn't changed, Grav weapons don't improve against them - Bullgryns with Slabshields are Sv 4+, with +2 to save rolls. Naturally, this also has interactions with other rules, such as the currently very rare rules that might cause save re-rolls. With Psychic Barrier, that can be a 1+/3++ (0+/3++ in cover, which you have a stratagem for)!
    • Give them a priest to make the most out of their awesome (for Guard) melee capabilities (but watch your movement, see above). To make them even tankier, you can mix and match slabshields and brute shields. If none of them have taken a wound yet, take anything that gets a good armor save on the slabshield, then anything that would lower the armor save to worse than a 4 (-3 and worse, which is basically dedicated anti-tank weaponry like lascannons) against the brute shield. This goes out the window once one of them takes a wound (at least until that model dies), but on the plus side both shields are the same cost, so just make with the magnets and experiment with the ratio of power fields to ceramite.
      • Alternate Take - As above, leave the priest at home and instead take four Bullgryns in a flying metal bawks for a first turn charge. If you want a support character still, deep strike an Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in with them and have him cast Terrify on the unit it wishes to charge. His leadership buff will make the Bullgryns immune to fleeing (they'll be dead before they run) and ignoring overwatch can be a massive boon.
        • This is great advice for high point games, but in low point games where you're already struggling to stay below your points limit, stick with the Priest. He's cheap; another Bullgryn (or Inquisitor) is not.
    • In a high point game, consider the Ogryn Battlewagon, A Stormlord has space for 40 models and has 20 firing ports; take two minimum squads of Ogryn/Bullgryn, 20 infantry, a priest, and your choice of final buffing spot (commissar/officer etc..). You then have a very shooty transport that can survive moving up the table to deploy a significant firebase where your opponent least desires it, and if it's destroyed en route, what pops out shouldn't be outnumbered; consider also combining with the Crush Them! stratagem for that extra movement and a devastating melee attack to soften up the enemy line before deploying. If you want extra smash, two squads of 6 meatheads plus a priest and a psyker for each is a whole barrel of fun. You can buff both squads, buff one twice (using nightshroud), or anything else you feel like doing. With the Stormlord behind them as fire support there is very little that can survive this.
  • Nork Deddog: Need a capable bodyguard? This is the guy you're looking for. If a character within 3" of him takes a wound, he can take a mortal wound on a 2+ to cancel out the wound on the character - and with 6 wounds he can do it a lot. Coming with a Ripper Gun, his huge knife (S:User AP-1 D2), 4+ armor, and the ability to headbutt an opponent (the headbutt counts as a melee weapon that can't be used for more than one attack) at S+3 AP-2 D3, he wrecks a decent amount of face in melee, too. Finally, he can make a heroic sacrifice if he loses his final wound in the fight phase: he can immediately attack, even if he had already been selected to fight beforehand.
    • Note that Nork's bodyguard ability isn't optional - you are required to roll the die if a nearby character is hurt. Nork isn't smart enough to weigh the tactical value of a cheap Master of Ordnance against the valuable Lord Commissar keeping your conscripts in line - he'll do his level best to protect both. It's just the kind of guy he is.
    • Nork will actually die far, far faster than his points in Bullgryn, while dealing less damage, to boot. Make sure you take him for his Loyal to the End bodyguard ability, not for anything else.
  • Ogryns: Probably one of the most improved Guard units this edition (though due more to how the game changed than anything else). They're cheaper, they get a bonus attack on the charge (AND they go first!) and they're still T5 - which in this edition is a serious boon, as all but the most lethal of weaponry will still only wound them on 3s. You need a Demolisher Cannon to hurt these big boys on 2s! The Ripper gun is the same as it was, an Assault 3 S5 AP0 shotgun, although thanks to the Codex, the bayonet on it now grants AP-1, which is nice. "Assault" is the key word here, as it now makes foot slogging them decently fast. With them moving an average of 9.5 inches a turn and still being able to shoot, they become the shock troops they were always meant to be. More importantly, the Assault Vehicle rule is gone; you can charge the turn you disembark from a Chimera/Taurox/Valkyrie, but they take up 3 transport slots, so be careful.
    • Priests love to preach to these guys. A double-size squad of six will put out 30 attacks on the charge with the priest following them. For about 200 points it's a great pile of meat to throw across the board. Just be careful about matching your advances. The priest is a separate unit, so he doesn't advance in lockstep with the squad - you have to roll his advances separately, and he won't be able to charge, since you have to finish a charge within 1" of an enemy unit and ogryn models have big enough bases to make this impossible - this can result in your over-enthusiastic meatheads charging out of his buff radius! This applies to Bullgryns too, except of course they're more expensive.
      • Alternate Take - Priests can be expensive if they have any kit worth taking, especially in comparison to another Ogryn. If footslogging, take the priest, but if you're transporting them in a Chimera then leave him at home or stick him with conscripts. In a standard squad of three you're only getting three extra attacks, and if you fit in a preist you'll either have to put in two other characters and deathstar it up or forfeit two spots in the transport. Just take the fourth Ogryn and get the same number of attacks extra anyway. Ogryn No. 4 also adds survivability, which the priest does not.
        • You don't take Priests for their gear. You take them for their AoE buffs, their low point cost, and the fact that they only take up one spot on a transport.
  • Ogryn Bodyguard: Not a new 8th edition model, unfortunately, but a generic Nork Deddog (and so can be taken in multiple), he has a slightly weaker version of the bodyguard ability (operates on a 3+ rather than a 2+) and lacks Nork's headbutt as well as his heroic sacrifice rule; he can, however, choose from Ogryn/Bullgryn equipment. The baseline model costs nearly as much as two Ogryn Sergeants (55 to their 60) and has the same number of wounds as both of them put together, in addition to both the very serious upgrade that is character (although they are explicitly banned from being your Warlord, unfortunately), and carrying, for free, a Huge Knife to accompany his Ripper Gun, in addition to his aforementioned ability to, on a 3+, suffer a mortal wound to block a wound on a nearby character (this means you can "walk" a wound using multiple of them, since they can Bodyguard each other - you can even waste time bouncing it back and forth between two of them, which currently does nothing, but keep an eye out - if we ever get a way to put FNP on these guys, you'll be able to use this trick to attempt to "dissipate" wounds).
    • Do not underestimate the Bodyguard ability. It's rolled on a per-wound basis, meaning it's effectively a 3+ FnP for every character within 3" you can roll (successfully) up to 6 times (with the possibility for more, see below). This is an enormous survivability boost for your commanders and commissars; even Skitarii Rangers with transuranic arquebuses will have to dedicate multiple turns and squads of sniping to the task. And all the while, you're chewing them up with artillery...
    • The Knife hand can only hold options that don't cost points, but let's be serious: it should be holding a slabshield, now that slabshields are +2 to all save rolls. Not only is a higher save far more useful in general against sniper-capable weapons (in case someone decides to attack the Bodyguard directly), that +2 to save rolls means he'll act like a 3+ or 2+ model without being vulnerable to Grav, and he can use the thing to improve any invuln save he gets from anywhere - with Celestine, he'll skyrocket to 4++ (3++ with an Astropath to help), and with the Deathmask of Ollanius, 2++.
    • He can also put on bullgryn plate, which is carapace armor; outside of the Deathmask of Ollanius, this is a very good idea, since it will stack with the slabshield.
    • The Gun hand can carry a Ripper Gun for free, or you can pay points for a Bullgryn Maul or Grenadier Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is garbage; since the model is a single-model unit, it can just throw Frag Bombs for free for the same effect out to 6", and out to 12", it's not worth the points cost against any target in the entire game vs. the Ripper Gun. The Maul is worth discussing, as it is far better than a Force Staff and far cheaper, but since we're comparing it to the Ripper Gun, remember, it won't improve your AP at all - instead, you're contemplating paying 7 points for +2S and doubling your Damage to 2. The big reason to take this seriously is that the Bodyguard can legally employ Heroic Interventions, and is far better when doing so with the Maul in hand; even against 1-wound models, he's more efficient this way against Toughnesses 3 and 5-7, and obviously, once he's hitting multi-wound models, he's better with the Maul against everything. You can always stick with the Ripper Gun if you prefer to keep your Bodyguard cheap and contributing to the ongoing gunbattle, but he'll do real work with a Maul in hand.
      • Alternate Take As the bodyguard ability causes a mortal wound which can't be saved no matter how armoured up he is and (with the exception of special characters like Yarrick or Creed) he costs more than most of the characters he will be guarding (for instance two Company Commanders or Commissars is cheaper), you have a choice of two different ways to play the bodyguard. If he's acting as a dedicated bodyguard (particularly if he's protecting Pask), keep him as cheap as possible with no additional armour and retain the Ripper Gun to put out some shots while stationary. The other path is to deck him out with the best gear and play him as an Ogryn Commando, your own personal over-sized Sly Marbo with as bodyguard ability as just a secondary function.
  • Ratlings: The same pint-size sniper unit as before with much improved abilities. They retain an infiltrate and a stealth/cover skillset, but their Shoot Sharp and Scarper ability is now a normal move, rather than a random D6" run. With a bit of planning and positioning around LOS-blocking cover, these little gits can snipe away enemy characters with impunity. Hilariously, because Heavy Weapons only impose a -1 shooting penalty for firing after a move, and Ratlings are BS3+, this lets the Ratlings still move-shoot-move, in an era where Tau Battlesuits, the originators of the tactic, have lost this ability. On top of this, sniper rifles in general have been buffed by the edition - on a 6+ to hit each rifle inflicts a mortal wound in addition to any other normal damage. So Ratlings are a good unit overall. As of the new FAQ, their movement has been reduced to 5", but that still means a 10" scarper thanks to their ability. Just beware their terrible defenses. Toughness 2 and Leadership 7 are underwhelming, while their +2 to saves in cover is small consolation when their base save is a mere 6+, so anything stronger than a stiff breeze will fold them like a deck of card.
    • With characters generally untargetable by non-sniper shooting in 8th Edition, all types of sniper unit have become much more valuable, and Ratlings are a prime example. Both cheap and good at what they do, the space halfings have gone from a quirky side-choice to an almost must-have. Two full squads of these guys are relatively cheap and will statistically down an Ork Warboss on your first shooting phase. They also say a friendly "fuck you" to any cheeselord Tau players running 6 Commanders in the backfield by forcing him to strip shield drones to these guys.

Specific Regiment[edit]

  • Colour Sergeant Kell: KIA in the fluff (RIP, he will be missed), but usable in-game still like Aun'Va, Konrad von Carstein, Vlad von Carstein pre-End Times, and the like. If you have a lot of units on the field and not enough Commanders to give orders, consider taking Kell, as he lets one officer within 6" issue an additional order every turn. He can be taken without Creed now, but that's not fluffy, and you also waste his ability to bodyguard for Creed on a 2+. Also, Cadian units within 6" can re-roll failed Morale tests. Pretty solid, if pricey.
    • Creed always has Superior Tactical Training if he's your Warlord (and you'll always Warlord him, to avoid wasting Tactical Genius), so this brings his average order pool from, statistically, 6, to 8.
    • Now that Pask and Tank Commanders are officers, Kell can support them, too. This brings Pask up to 3 orders (statistically, 6 with Superior Tactical Training), or a regular Tank Commander up to 2 (3 with Master of Command, statistically 4 with Superior Tactical Training).
    • For maximum order output, the Laurels of Command are an order doubler, statistically, just like Superior Tactical Training, which can be combined on a Company Commander with Kell, bringing him from 2 to 3 (Kell) to 6 (STT) to 12 (Laurels), although remember that Laurels and STT proc in opposite ways (STT lets you order more units; Laurels lets you pile additional orders onto the same target, so scales less well without access to useful Fix Bayonets!).
  • Sergeant Harker: No longer a replacement for a Veteran Sergeant, now a Character who lets Catachan within 6" re-roll 1s to hit in the Shooting phase (and since he's Catachan and within 6" of himself, he also gets to reroll 1s with his Assault Heavy Bolter, Payback).
    • Possibly the hidden gem of the new Index, he makes it so there is little reason to run your guys without the Catachan keyword. He does what the Master of Ordnance does, but better, and for only 12 points more. Additionally, he's the only AM unit that can buff Baneblades (besides Yarrick). He's almost an auto include for any list that doesn't consist entirely of Stormtroopers. Since Pask only buffs 2 tanks (usually a buddy commander or two), make the rest of your Leman Russes Catachan (but really Vostroyan or whatever) and give them all re-roll ones! Stick him in the middle of your veterans or heavy weapon teams and double down with orders, allowing re-roll ones to hit and to wound, or in your Conscript rave bubbler for Rapid Fire 2 and re-roll ones to hit.
Militarum Tempestus[edit]
  • Militarum Tempestus Command Squad: Don't forget about these guys. Like the Veterans in the Command Squad, they have BS 3+ and can take 4 special weapons, but have a 4+ armor save and the old Deep Strike ability. Take 4 plasma guns, Deep Strike them 9" away from your enemies, get your Tempestor Prime to issue them an order and laugh when you overcharge and fire off 8 Strength 8 AP -3 Damage 2 shots in rapid-fire range. You can also load them up similar to the standard Command Squad (medi-pack, voxcaster, and standard bearer, with room for one special weapon), but you'll probably only take the Vox. The standard's bubble is too small to be worth it and the medi-pack isn't all that great considering you're giving up another special weapon. With that in mind another good loadout is three Volley Guns and a Vox. Drop them in cover alongside your Prime with command rod and issue two orders across the table with some decent long range punch.
    • Per the FAQ, you may only take 1 command squad for every Tempestor Prime in the detachment. Additionally, you may keep your hot-shot lasgun in addition to the hot-shot laspistol and vox-caster/medi-pack if you wish to hold onto some firepower. You may not take a special weapon if you've done this. Note that regular Scions are unaffected by this change.
    • Modeller's tip: To create the voxcaster and still have the lasgun model, simply take the wrapped up lasguns that come with the sprue and glue them onto the model.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Chimera: The old king of metal boxes has fallen. With the loss of Amphibious, Mobile Command Vehicle, its fire points, and a price hike, the Chimera has been thoroughly nerfed. On the other hand, it's much tougher, and the improved transport capacity over your other transport options makes it the go-to option for transporting Ogryns and Bullgryns (it can hold 4, while the Taurox can only hold 3), especially now that all vehicles are assault vehicles. Can do fun things like take a full scion squad loaded with melta/plasma, a Tempestor Prime, and a psyker for barrier. Or take two special weapon squads with a demo charge and 2 plasma guns each. Or support your close combat veteran squad with a priest and commisar. You can play around with the chimera.
    • It's not so much that the Chimera sucks as that it's outclassed in terms of speed and firepower by the Taurox Prime, which is CHEAPER. The old Multilaser/Heavy bolter bog standard Chimera does poorly as a weapons platform unless it sits still, which as an APC it shouldn't be doing. That said, the more expensive 2 Heavy Flamer version could be a strong replacement.
    • Don't write off the double heavy bolter option (or trip HB see Gryphonne-Pattern Chimera below), 6 or 9 ap-1 shots is more accurate on the move and better anti-personnel duty than the taurox 4 shots -1ap while being tougher. In this view the Taurox with its 48 inch range is the stand off platform while the good old dakka box is better off closer and landing more shots on the move.
    • Regimental doctrines bring Chimeras back to the table. The Catachan doctrine benefits the double Heavy Flamer version the most, while the double (or triple) Heavy Bolter version can get mileage out of the Armageddon doctrine for added resilience and army synergy. The Tallarn doctrine is only beneficial to multilaser/Heavy bolter versions, but has the best synergy with the units inside (3" disembark, 6" move, d6" advance and then fire all non-Heavy weapons).
  • Taurox: The student has learned well. With its twin autocannons and good move speed the Taurox makes a strong contender for the new Guard motor pool. It's faster and cheaper than the Chimera, too. It's cheapness, high firepower and 10 man cap make it ideal for carrying basic infantry squads.
    • For the more mathematically inclined, a Taurox is 70 points. For another 39 points you get a double flamer Chimera, which can fire on the move, is tougher, and can haul 2 more models. Taurox like to sit and shoot, Chimera like to get in the thick of it. Depends whether you want a cheap ferry with some bonus fire support or a line breaker.
Forge World[edit]
  • Centaur Light Carrier: "Light" is sort of an understatement - with only a 5-man capacity and two heavy stubbers as its weapon, the thing is a terrible transport. Its real role is to haul around your otherwise-immobile artillery batteries, taking them along for its move. The artillery in question can't fire that turn, but it's useful enough to keep them out of range of opponents. Alternative view: The Centaur functions as a cheaper alternative to the Chimera, suitable for 5-man veteran squads and command squads. It's fairly speedy (and importantly) very small, so it's quite easy to hide behind terrain/other units.
    • This is the cheapest Dedicated Transport in the Imperium, clocking in at 54 points; that comes at a cost of -1S, -1T, -3W and -1A relative to a Chimera, but you don't care about the S or the A. And while those lost Wound may suck, this also carries the vehicle below the threshold for stat diminishment, a huge boon in 8th. After suffering 5 or 6 wounds, the Centaur actually has higher M and BS than a Chimera, and equivalent A. It's pretty even, as by the point a Centaur would be dead a Chimera's so crippled it doesn't matter anyway.
    • Centaurs do check regiment for towed artillery, be aware.
  • Chimera, Gryphonne-Pattern: Replaces the Multilaser with a Twin Heavy Bolter for extra dakka, or an Autocannon (per FAQ). Supplementing the Heavy Bolters with the one on the hull can turn this into a surprisingly nasty bullet-hose, while the Autocannon can provide some extra light anti-tank. It's not as strong in the fire support category as a Taurox Prime (see below) but it's tougher and offers better transport capacity. This Chimera variant is your friend if you're Cadian - it packs the most long-range heavy firepower, so it can sit pretty on objectives in your half of the board and provide fire support while enjoying the Cadian reroll-1s doctrine. It's only an 8.33% accuracy bonus, but with fixed shot counts and no need to move, it's certainly worth considering.
    • A THB is far better than a Multilaser - 14 points for 6 shots at S5 beats 10 points for 3 shots at S6 against everything except Toughness 6, 10, or 11, the last of which you'll never face anyway, and that's before taking into account the AP-1 on the THB; since nothing exists at T6 with no save at all, you'd have to find a T10 model with only a 4+ save or worse for the Multilaser to even attempt to outperform the THB.
    • It's also better than an Autocannon, clocking in at a point cheaper for triple the shots; due to its D1, that's only 1.5x the output against multiwound models, so the Autocannon will do better against T6 multiwound and T10 multiwound, but that's it, and T10 is rare enough to ignore.
    • The comparison to a Heavy Flamer is harder, of course; the THB will better if the Chimera holds still, as the difference in shots actually landing isn't enough to justify the Flamer's higher cost, but the Flamer is better if the Chimera moves or is firing Overwatch, and, of course, the THB has 4.5x the range.
    • Note: This version of the Chimera (actually just the turret, the rest is exactly as per the standard kit) isn't manufactured by Forge World anymore. This is probably because they realized it's stupidly easy to kitbash; just cut up the heavy bolters you weren't using from any one of your other vehicle sprues and glue them on, or use an Autocannon from your Sentinel kit, your Taurox kit, your Heavy Weapons Squad kit...
      • The above note only applies to the twin heavy bolter loadout. You can still get the autocannon turret for 15 quid, though you're still more than welcome to kitbash.
  • Trojan Support Vehicle: This Forgeworld model was updated to be effectively a very cramped (Transport Capacity 6) Chimera for a rather stunning tripling of its original base cost to a painful minimum of 98. In return, however, it brings the one and only source of flat re-rolls in the Guard, granting one tank within 6" re-rolls to hit in the shooting phase. If you're not using this as the portable love slave of your Stormlord, you're doing it wrong.

Specific Regiment[edit]

Militarum Tempestus[edit]
  • Taurox Prime: The Taurox's bigger, angrier brother is available exclusively to Scions and Commissars, but man is it worth it. With improved BS and an impressive selection of weaponry for its points, the Taurox Prime is the new king of metal boxes. It won't last long with that toughness, but it'll make back its points in the meantime. Generally, your two options for firepower are the twin gatling gun and hot-shot volley guns or the twin autocannons and mini-battle cannon, which has been buffed in 8th. The gatling array is better vs infantry, while the cannon array is better vs multiwound targets (while you can mix your firepower, it's not recommended that you do so - you want to be able to bring all your guns to bear at once, and completely destroying enemy units is more important than ever, since many armies have a medic equivalent that can resurrect fallen models). The Taurox Missile Launcher, firing 2d6 Frag or 2 Krak Missiles, is also viable, though it raises the cost significantly. Still, two Krak missiles and successful autocannons can take just about anything down.
    • Note: This vehicle is finicky about who can get on it, not just who can bring it; only Militarum Tempestus and Officio Prefectus infantry (and, of course, the Inquisition, using their special rule) can board it. This is theoretically to avoid the scenario where a Commissar, who in the fluff has the authority to command entire armies, should the need arise, can't board a simple armored car, although they're not allowed to bring their Ogryn Bodyguards with them, unlike with a standard Taurox.
    • For secondary weapons you want to stick with complementary ones. Gatling Primes should take the two hotshot volley guns for a truly stupid amount of Str 4 shooting and go infantry hunting. Cannon Primes are complemented by the autocannons for 7.5 S7 AP-1 D2 shots that can threaten any vehicle or monster at 48" and can even make a nice AA platform. Don't take the Taurox Missile launcher - it's not worth its points for what it does.
    • As for what this thing actually transports, well, you've got some problems. With Aerial Dropping plasma guns being one of the strongest current metas you're going to end up running these things empty more often than not. Which isn't horrible, but you'll find that your transports end up carting around a single lord commissar until it can pick up whatever Scion squad needs a lift. A 10-man scion squad with 4 hotshot volley guns compliments both Taurox Prime loadouts, giving Cannon Primes localized anti-infantry and Gatling Primes supllemental horde-mulching. Definitely one of the most buffed units in 8th, but consider its cost against more Scions with Plasma guns.
    • Alternative take: Don't use it as a transport, but as a full blown tank. For exactly 100 points, you get a T6 W10 Sv 3+ vehicle that shoots 31 S4 shots that hit on a 3+, and 8 of those even have AP-2. This is insane value, and if you play two or three in a 1000 point game, you will certainly wreak a shit ton of havoc.
      • Note: I agree with the above statement, but I'll add that it could start as a tank and end up as a shooty transport. Shoot with it, drop troops in, then pick them up if need be.
    • NOTE: For Inquisition players looking for transports for their inquisitor and henchmen, this is is probably the shooty metal box you're looking for.

Fast Attack[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Armoured Sentinels: Cannot mitigate the penalty for moving and shooting a heavy weapon (unless you're Tallarn), so unless they take flamers you're going to treat them like armoured turrets that can redeploy fast. With flamers and the humble sentinel chainsaw they become quick, durable shock troops. As such, taking anything but the multilaser (plus hunter-killer) is recommended because a weak load-out is a waste of this unit's fair durability. Up to 3 T6 6W 3+ Save models are rather hard to bring down quickly. They have generalist armour, meaning they can be hurt by anything, but they don't really have hard counters. Anti-tank seems effective, but they'll usually waste a few overkill wounds, and sentinels have high wounds-for-cost for a vehicle so it doesn't scare them as much as other vehicles, but beware meltaguns and strong assault units if you take the flamers. Remember many vehicles took a hit to their firepower, so a group with las, plas, or flame (with HKs) is nothing to scoff at.
  • Scout Sentinels: A squishier, slightly faster version of the Armoured sentinel that can scout 9". Not usually considered very good. You can give them heavy flamers, but be prepared to wade through fire first, and infantry weapons CAN hurt these guys. Bolters will struggle to drop them, but nothing else will. Mass lasguns/s3, plasma, melta, shuriken, gauss, pulse weapons, ANY heavy weapon that isn't a heavy stubber. These guys will have a hard time getting that close, so choose your moment or expect them to be nothing but a distraction. With the other weapons, they can quickly get into a firing position with scout, and if necessary run away. Multilasers keep them cheap, and unlikely to draw much heavy firepower once the HK have fired. Hit them early then kite infantry if you have to. Giving them cannons essentially turns them into turrets. and DO take hunter-killers as these are a cheap source of them.
    • Consider the fact that their 9 inch pre-battle move can get them into a reliable position to deny enemy deepstrikers or units with similar abilities. And since deepstrike is no scatter and guaranteed now and most of the players will finish deploying before you do and get first turn with deepstrikes, 3 Scout sentinels, 1 on each flank and 1 in the middle, moving up 9 before the battle, create a deepstrike null zone for your opponent. View them as just that and nothing more, so keep them as cheap as possible (multilaser being the cheapest option).
  • Hellhounds: The medium tank of the Guard motor pool has been favored in 8th, with increases in speed and toughness and decreases in price all around. The chassis actually covers three vehicles, but they're all the same power, so they all get one entry. Regarding the chassis itself, the wounding rules make it genuinely tough in 8th - your average lascannon has to hit it six times to kill it, which is a very welcome increase over the 4.5-if-it-doesn't-just-explode of 7th - and they can't outright lose their weapons, either. Track guards were basically made for this vehicle as the majority of available weapons ignore ballistic skill. Unless your bringing the devil dog, your tanks will pretty much never degrade.
    • The basic Hellhound is armed with the infamous Inferno Cannon, a more powerful heavy flamer with double the range, double the rate of fire, and +1 strength, at S6. A nasty infantry muncher, capable of eating guard-equivalent models with 2s to wound and a 6+ save from up to 16 inches away; due to good strength and rate of fire it's not too shabby against vehicles either (who knew setting things on fire could be so effective?). Use it to hunt down the other Guard player's Heavy weapons teams, or just chew through his conscripts at a healthy pace from safely outside of rapid fire range. Still not convinced? Mathhammer says it will outperform a Battle Cannon versus anything that's not T7 3+ and better, and it can still score a few wounds besides. Let 'em burn!
      • Because the Hellhound is BS4+ and can't mitigate the movement penalties for heavy weapons, you would be wise to try for a Heavy Flamer on the hull mount, but on the Hellhound that means you need to get in very close to use it, negating the Inferno Cannon's range advantage. The Heavy Bolter is cheaper and more consistent, but at BS5+ on the move outside of Tallarn, it won't hit anything at all - you choose it to keep the tank cheap, not to actually kill anything with the gun. On a non-Tallarn unit, particularly Catachan, always take the Heavy Flamer if you want the gun to actually kill anything.
    • If your foe is made of tougher stuff, swap out for the Bane Wolf, whose vicious (and cheaper) Chem Cannon wounds everything that's not a vehicle on 2s, with an improved AP-3 (at the cost of range, only 8", and shot count, only 1d6 vs the Hellhound's 2d6). Between the wounding improvement and the AP improvement, this will outperform the Inferno Cannon against MEQ even before you account for its reduced cost - the range is the primary issue, as 8.1" charges will ignore it on Overwatch, and the secondary issue is that while it's obviously incredible against monsters and Primarchs especially, it's absolute garbage against vehicles, and utterly inferior to the Hellhound versus anything not MEQ or MC. While by itself the Bane Wolf may not actually do a lot, its potential will scare many opponents into focusing it down like the plague after a turn or two. This is probably the best distraction carnifex you will ever find in this codex outside of a deathstrike (and this is cheaper, too).
      • Here the use of a Heavy Flamer is more obvious, since it has the same range as the Chem cannon. With two auto-hitting weapons, this thing will take a big bite out of attacking forces in Overwatch.
    • Finally, if you want to take on vehicles, the Devil Dog closes the gap with the mighty melta cannon, which is much better than a multi-melta for the same cost - on average, twice the shots, and assault now, rather than heavy. It's specialized, but powerful - it outperforms even the revised Inferno cannon against pretty much anything tank-shaped (specifically, T7 with a 3+ save and tougher).
      • Sadly, the Multi-Melta you'd usually strap to the hull to supplement its tank-busting is still Heavy, and still shoots like an Ork unless it's Tallarn, so give thought to alternatives.
  • Rough Riders: Surprisingly, 8th Edition's been kinder to Rough Riders than 7th Edition was. Their hunting lances are no longer one use only, being S+2 AP:-2 and do D3 damage, but still only when they successfully charge. Cheaper, twice the wounds, and now their flak armour might actually do a damn thing, though not against most multiwounding weapons. In addition, they may perform Flanking Maneuvers, which allows them to set up within 7" of a battlefield edge of their choice, and more than 9" away from an enemy unit. Combined with a pair of meltaguns this can make them surprisingly mean tank hunters (between the charge and the melta shots they can inflict about 5 wounds on a T8 3+ target on average) or Character assassins, but it does not make them front-line brawlers; they might all have chainswords and laspistols but they only get 1 attack a model base. But wait a second, that's three attacks after wargear plus the new trick of shooting pistols in melee, and given that S3 is more effective against T5 and can actually hurt 7+ now - compare them to Hormagaunts or Stormboyz, and these cavaliers come out alright. If you've got a melee-buffer like a Priest on-site they can smash into the flank pretty hard, but their flanking approach and high speed usually puts them out of the range of friendly characters, that can make them better than alright. If only Priests could ride a horse of their own...
    • Critically Important: Rough Riders are not Infantry and cannot be Ordered. Unlike every other unit here that can take a Plasma Gun, you can't stop a bad roll on overcharge with an order, which hurts especially bad since they're multiwounds models now. Also, why were you giving tank hunting units plasma guns? The meltagun is better on these guys for everything that has more than one wound, which in this edition is a lot.
    • These guys also don't gain any benefit from most Regimental Doctrines, sadly - the only ones that can apply are the Cadian, Vostroyan, and Tempestus (using a custom regiment) ones, and none of those really help Rough Riders do what they do any better.
    • Alternate Opinion: It is possible to buff Rough Riders with the right combo. If you're playing Catachan (preferably with Catachans converted to ride Cold Ones from AoS/Fantasy), and then charge the Rough Riders into something near Straken and a Priest, you'll get 1611 S5 Attacks that cause D3 Wounds plus 10 S3 Attacks, and that's just with a minimum size Rough Rider squad. Considering their low cost you might as well take ten of them and get 21(!) S5 Attacks (at most, provided you remain in the aura) followed by 20 S3 ones.
      • Note: Straken and the Priest both have to be nearby during the Fight, and are slower than Rough Riders, so it may be non-trivial delivering them.
Forge World[edit]
  • Artemia-Pattern Hellhound: In exchange for the enormous, highly-exposed fuel tank and slightly derpy-looking turret the Artemia version of the Hellhound is D2, rather than D1, gets to roll the best of 2d6 when deciding how many hits its Inferno Cannon inflicts, rather than a straight 2d6, for an expected improvement of 27.78% in terms of shots * damage, from 7 to 8.94. In addition, Artemia Hellhounds do more damage when they explode, dealing 1d6 (3.5, on average) mortal wounds, rather than the 1d3 (2, on average) of a base Hellhound, a 75% improvement on a one-shot gun that goes off only on a 4+. Probably worth the 7 point up-charge, but to really earn it, make sure you suicide-rush this guy in, so he'll be in range for his explosion to do a lot of damage. Also, the math is only justified on multi-wound targets - against single wound targets, will always do far less damage than a Codex Hellhound.
    • The improvement is decidedly less noticeable on a Catachan model, since the two buffs to shot volume don't stack linearly; you might prefer a valhallan or armageddon one, to help ensure it reaches where you want it to blow up.
  • Salamander Scout Tank: Cute little light tank, with guns otherwise found on sentinels or heavy weapons squads. Pricier and tankier than either; great if you have the points and are not otherwise concerned about getting bogged down in melee, as these things will get bogged down in melee.
  • Tauros Assault Vehicle: Never take the badly overcosted grenade launcher; take the heavy flamer if you were seriously considering a heavy flamer Sentinel of either stripe, as this will cost less and be faster than an Armoured Sentinel, while being more durable than a Scout Sentinel and faster after the Scout move for only 2 points, but the Venator is really much better.
    • Important Note: Tauri, both AVs and Venators, do not have the Vehicle Squadron rule. This means they're treated as a single unit, and must stay in-coherency for the duration of the battle. It also means any unit-wide buffs you can hand out, such as Psychic Barrier, affect the entire group.
      • If you want to have your Tauri to work independently, take them as separate units, as slots are no longer capped if you pay the HQ tax. (Plus you get those juicy Command Points).
  • Tauros Venator: This is more expensive than a Sentinel, but easily worth the cost - you get double the guns, both of them ignore the penalty for moving and shooting, and if you went multilasers, you get a 10% cost discount on what two multilasers would otherwise cost (18, rather than 20). Still faster and more durable than its weight in Sentinels, depending on which you're comparing it to.
    • Here we should also mention the Galvanic Motor. In addition to providing a power-to-weight ratio that would make Jaghatai Khan blush (which lets the chassis cover a frightening 15" without advancing) the Tauros chassis' powerplant develops a weak power field if it's over a certain number of revs. In game terms, your ordinarily paper-thin buggies get a 5+ invuln save...but only if you're going more than 10" a turn. And why would you not be?


The following weapon options are exclusively available to the flyers at your disposal:

  • Hellstrikes: Hell yeah strikes! Does a good job against any armor, but they come in at a price of 20 points each. This is a go-to on both Lightnings and Thunderbolts. Heavy 1, S8, AP-2, roll 2d6 pick highest for D, which means at an average of 4.4 damage for each unsaved wound, this is the go to monster/tank/aircraft killer.
  • Skystrikes: Cheaper at 15 points each, but only Heavy 1, S7, AP-2, D3 damage. Your dedicated anti-air missile, it gets +1 to hit against flyers but -1 against everything else. The strength here seems to be that you get to take 6 instead of only 4. But the damage for each unsaved wound is an average of 2 compared to Hellstrikes' 4.4. Statistically, they are worse unless you are shooting at very specific targets like jet bikes or battle suits.
  • Hellfuries: Anti-infantry missiles that are expensive for the amount of shots you get. They haven't found their niche yet.
  • Tactical bombs: Pretty cool. They are cheaper than the missile options and do some serious damage. May be a valid option on a aircraft that can hold its own without extra missile firepower.

No Regiment[edit]

Aeronautica Imperialis[edit]
  • Valkyrie: The original badass of the skies can hold 12 Astra Militarum Infantry; Ogryn count as 3 models. Any infantry with the Astra Militarum keyword (and Inquisitorial models with the Authority of the Inquisition trait) count. Transports can hold multiple units now, so 3 Command Squads each with 4 meltaguns for 12 meltaguns (or, cheaper, plasma guns, of course) at BS 3+ in one Valkyrie? Nice! Even better, Grav-Chute Deployment allows you to put anybody it can carry 9" away from the enemy...after the Valkyrie's 20" minimum move. Can you say 'turn 1 charge with ogryns?' And to top it all off it has 2 MORE wounds than a Leman Russ tank (though 1 less toughness). Cue the music!
    • Note: On the firepower side of things, hellstrike missiles are no longer one-use only (but you can fire only 1 per turn).
    • Other Note: The Grav-Chute deployment still only counts as a disembarkation from a transport, allowing you your normal movement afterwards with your 12 melta vets, or your 4 Bullgryn for that 3+ charge... Ogryn can fit in Valkyries, just not Vendettas.
    • Note: The new FAQ just stated that you now must have 1 officer per Command squad; while not game breaking, this does mean that you need 3 officers per Valkyrie 3 CC squad combo. Something to keep in mind when you start getting tight on points.
Forge World[edit]
  • Aquila Lander
  • Arvus Lighter (FW Index: Astra Militarum): This thing went from completely useless to pretty useful. It is pretty expensive at 115 points barebones, but thanks to advanced clown car physics you can somehow cram 12 models into it now (no Ogryns though). With T6 and 8 wounds it is more fragile than a chimera but it can fly and move 30"/20" when hovering. It also has the ability to regain a wound on a 6+ and has no characteristics modifiers. It can also deepstrike, so just put it behind some LoS blocking terrain and unload your flamer/melta/plasma squads on the next turn. It can also take one or two additional models in the same slot thanks to the squadron ability.
    • Honestly, if the model wasn't discontinued, one would be tempted to think Forgeworld wants to push the sales with these buffs. It's back now and got more expesive - hmmm...
  • Avenger Strike Fighter (FW Index: Astra Militarum): The ground attack beast rocks on in 8th edition. With T7 and 14 wounds it's pretty tough and will probably stay on the table a while. Comes stock with two lascannons, an 8 shot S6 AP-2 D1 bolt cannon, and an 8" heavy stubber that rerolls hits against FLY units. The weapon upgrades now cost double but you'll also get twice the shots so it's only fair. Missiles lost their "one use only" rule so feel free to load up on anti-infantry or anti-vehicle fire power. Like the other non-hover fliers it hits on 3+, but since it always has to move you hit on your regular 4+ (still better than the Ork BS of the Valkyrie/Vendetta).
  • Lightning Strike Fighter: Hard hitting little thing that brings a ton of anti-tank for a reasonable cost. The Thunderbolt is generally the more cost effective choice, with a better airframe for a marginal cost increase and comes with 2 twin autocannons instead of 1 long barreled piece of crap. The Lightning finds its niche as the cheaper option with slightly more expansive payload options. The most interesting one is loading it up with anti-tank missiles. This is assuming that leaving out one-use only is not altered in a future faq since they would go from "we could pay that" to "no way in hell are we paying that". You can fit the Lightning with anti-air (could be good) or -infantry missiles (much worse than vultures). The anti-air missiles are not much better than the anti-tank missiles at shooting aircraft (or even worse) and the anti-air missiles are A LOT worse at engaging tanks. With that said, you do get 6 anti-air missiles for only 10 points more than 4 anti-tank missiles, and they do a nice job against things like battle-suits and landspeeders. The anti-infantry version may seem tempting, but vultures do this job much better at a cheaper cost. 235 points buys you a Lightning with 4 anti-tank missiles and 245 for 6 anti-air missiles.
  • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter: The frame itself costs 5 points more than a lightning and for those 5 points you get 1 more wound and 6+ repair. Not huge additions, by any means, but quite good value for 5 points. This guy also carries more guns, 4 autocannons and two lascannons. That is 3 more autocannons than the Lightning, and since they are twin autocannons instead of a long barreled one they are far more cost effective. Has slightly more restrictive payload options than the Lightning, though the only option you miss out on is anti-infantry missiles, so no-one cares. Basically you get more effective firepower, but you need to invest more in a single model to get there. 280 points buys you the thunderbolt with 4 anti-tank missiles and 290 buys you the thunderbolt + 6 anti-air missiles.
    • Against multi-wound models, the anti-tank missiles are definitely better, doing more than twice the damage per shot with 2/3 the shot volume and 8/9 the points; even after accounting for the BS3->BS4 or BS4->BS5 penalty, the anti-tank missiles are going to be better in general against whatever flyers you are trying to bring down. Against single-wound models you should be fielding a Vulture instead.
  • Vendetta (FW Index: Astra Militarum): She's back, boys and girls! The premier tank-hunter of the galaxy is back, and she's pissed. Carrying half a dozen lascannons and a nice, fat troop bay for 12 models (even keeping Grav-Chutes!) the Vendetta is a fine transport and gunship both. You pay a premium for her - you have to buy every one of those six lascannons - but it's worth it. God-Emperor, is it worth it.
    • Be aware, of course, that Heavy Weapons impose a -1 penalty on a roll to hit if you moved, and you must move as a flyer unless in Hover mode. This means your beautiful (and expensive!) lascannons are fired with an Ork BS of 5; 3 twin-linked ones would have been better, if it were still possible. If you feel safe from assaults or you have already disembarked its cargo, go into Hover mode and unleash hell. Take the slap on the wrist; with the miracles it can pull in the field of transportation the lousy shooting is the only thing keeping this from being outright cheese.
      • No. The chance for six hits is better than boosting your chance at three hits. Keep the Vendetta as a scary bastard zipping around the board, it's expensive, but when you roll good it's damn good. Or go Hover early, wipe something out, then zip around soaking fire for the rest of the game. Heavy bolters are fun to throw some extra dice out to keep attention on your Vendetta.
  • Vulture (FW Index: Astra Militarum): Sorry, did we say the Vendetta was a fine gunship? Well, okay, it is, but this is the exemplar of the role. A Valkyrie's statline with a tasty Strafing Run rule (+1 on roll to hit if target has no <Fly>) and 4 weapon pylons, carrying rocket pods, missiles, autocannons, multilasers and tactical bombs (a special one-time use ability that's great against units with lots of models and deals mortal wounds on a 5+)... yeah, okay, fine. We know why you're here. The Twin Punisher Cannon, a Heavy 40 S5 dual-minigun man-muncher that will turn anything you point this bird at into paste. Scratch the paint and make sure it's not an Ork...

Heavy Support[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Basilisk: Fluffy is back! The Earthshaker gun motor carriage smacks units up to twenty feet away at Heavy 2H1D6 S9 AP-3 D1d3, rolling 2d6 for shot count and taking the highest and ignoring LOS - and it's down in cost too, to 108 points base (after the heavy bolter, which you can pay to upgrade to a heavy flamer if you're an idiot). Better against vehicles than troops, because its multi-wound power is wasted against infantry, but powerful and long-ranged for its points nonetheless. The Basilisk is brutal and very point-efficient, with the only problem being the Guard's BS of 4+. Still one of the best choices nonetheless. It is also "Webstore exclusive" - what a funny coincidence. There is a bit of a cost disparity on this vehicle between points (108) and power rating (7), leading to the situation that it's better value for money under the former than the latter, as the "standard" power cost for it should be 5 or 6.
    • Since it has the same strength and AP, it intrinsically has to compete with Heavy Weapons Squads with lascannons, which it can't actually do against anything with enough wounds for the lascannons to work at full capacity; however, it will beat them against anything with only 1 wound, or 2 wounds under catachan. The primary reason to take one is to sit back and ignore LOS while shooting enemy heavies, and in that role, it's king.
    • This can take vehicle equipment, but all of the options are bad ones.
    • As far as regiments are concerned:
      • Cadian and Militarum Tempestus doctrine will both hit 16.67% more, while catachan ones will hit 11% more; that last can stack with Harker, for a net effect of 29.35% more (anyone else has to use Yarrick, at a substantial cost increase, or a Master of Ordnance, who will only help at 3 feet out or more, except for Cadians, who won't stack).
      • You'll never notice the result of, and should not take, vostroyan, and valhallan, armageddon, tallarn, and mordian are incredibly unlikely to ever come up, since you can and should sit in the back ignoring LOS, raining down fire.
  • Deathstrike: Slightly more durable at T7. Gone and buried are the days of Riptides laughing off a hit from an ICBM - nothing wants to be hit with this monster. 3d6 shots at 16' 8", ignoring LOS, and any hit inflicts a Mortal Wound. No save, no wound roll, no problem. Furthermore, any unit within 6" of the target takes d3 Mortal Wounds half the time. Smack the center of the enemy's army with this for 163 points after the compulsory heavy bolter and it'll make back its points with ease. Of course, you'll have to get the shot off first: you have to roll an 8+ on a d6 + the battle round number (so it can't fire on your first turn, then 6+, then 5+, etc). Use Command Points to re-roll the die and force that 6 (in second turn) or that 5 (in third turn) roll. Better yet, use the Vortex Missile Stratagem and the Catachan Regimental Doctrine. With their respective effects combined, you'll be able to re-roll all of its failed hit rolls, one of the 3d6 for the shot number, improve its likelihood of nearby units taking damage, and any models not outright killed by the attack have a chance to suffer d6 more mortal wounds.
    • Potentially a new distraction Carnifex; by turn three, one of two things should've happened. Someone who's been against one will make it a priority, and spend a few turns firing at it while the rest of your army chips away at their own high-value targets while receiving little in the way of return fire, OR a less-informed opponent will ignore it until it's too late for them to do anything.
    • The progression is can't fire turn 1, then 6+, 5+, 4+, 3+, and then you're into turns that might not happen, so you can't ever guarantee it will fire.
    • This can take vehicle equipment, but all of the options are bad ones.
    • As far as regiments are concerned:
      • Cadian and Militarum Tempestus doctrine will both hit 16.67% more, while catachan ones will hit 14.88% more; that last can stack with Harker, for a net effect of 34.03% more (anyone else has to use Yarrick, at a substantial cost increase, or a Master of Ordnance, who will only help at 3 feet out or more, except for Cadians, who won't stack).
      • You'll never notice the result of, and should not take, vostroyan, and valhallan, armageddon, tallarn, and mordian are incredibly unlikely to ever come up, since you can and should sit in the back ignoring LOS, raining down fire.
  • Heavy Weapons Squad: The base cost of this unit is absurd, even after the Codex nerf! 18 points for a full squad of 3 heavy weapon T3 meat platforms, before weapons! Almost no fat between you and your Heavy Bolter, Lascannon, etc. That's 40 points for three Heavy Bolters! 63 points for three Autocannons! With the advent of squad-wide splitfire, the choice between these and putting them in Infantry Squads is more even; an HWS is more order-efficient but an Infantry Squad will stay alive longer (though heavy weapons don't benefit from orders as much now). The exact "overhead" you pay across these versus Infantry Squads is subtle, but aggravating, because Infantry Squad HWTs are only 4 points, rather than 6, and reduce the number of models you have to pay for; an Infantry Squad HWT is formed from two guardsmen, each of which is 4 points, making it 8 points total. an Infantry squad taken just for its HWT is 36 40 points + heavy weapon, while each HWT in this squad is 6 + heavy weapon, meaning the comparison is being forced to pay 34 points for a laspistol and 7 lasguns.
    • Incidentally, you do not need a Commissar for these; any damage severe enough to make the squad actually lose more models than a Commissar would prevent (more than 1, followed by a 6 on the morale roll) will kill the squad entirely, and you don't need high Leadership to get off Orders now, either. The real downside of these is on the organizational level; you'll quickly max out your Heavy Support slots by taking these in significant numbers - 3 heavy weapon squads, and the Platoon Commanders to order them, is less than 250 points, and eats 3 heavy support and 3 elite slots!
    • Wake up and smell the cheese, in the era of detachments and Command Points using up slots isn't a drawback at all. It's a veritable boon, as it lets you put these units into their own group for cheeky extra CP, and also opens up more flexibility for regiment shenanigans. In this instance, get around the six slots by creating a dedicated Heavy Weapon Team and Company Commander spearhead detachment and take that nice +1CP to the bank.
    • 3 mortars is 33 points, a piddling amount for the output you can pull off with them since they don't need to see their targets. Very much worth considering, especially if you give them their own detachment and form a whole mortar company.
    • Weigh the decision about whether or not to take heavy weapons teams embedded into your gunline (instead of as separate units, like this) very carefully. Yes, these units are cheap and can be spammed, but any smart opponent is going to target them immediately. Mortars don't need to worry about this so much since they can fire out of line of sight, but autocannons, lascannons, heavy bolters, and missile launchers all need to be able to see their target, which means their target can see them, too. Chances are that anything you need to shoot them with will have a weapon of its own that negates your combined armor/cover save, and there's almost no way you're getting the first shot off since you'll have way more to put on the field than your opponent will. In an Infantry or Vet squad, these guys have up to 8 other models that have to get chewed through before they take a hit, and with Vet Squads, at least they get BS3+. This will also free up some Heavy Support choices (as well as the Elite choices you would need to give them orders, though you lose the ability to give your Vet/Infantry Squads a separate order besides what you would give the HW team). It's not fun to lose all of your lascannons on Turn 1 or 2. You can also take them in a Command Squad, but that's two Guardsmen not carrying special weapons, a vox-caster, a medi-pack, or a standard.
      • Regardless of how they get onto the table, heavy weapons teams with mortars and lascannons are your most point efficient options, respectively, for murdering hordes or heavies from far away, although if you want to stay out of LOS like the mortars do, lascannon teams are best replaced by Basilisks.
  • Hydra: The original AAA is back in action! The red-headed stepchild of the Chimera-chassis Heavy choices, this is the only one a Master of Ordnance can't help you with. The Hydra can hit ground troops on 5s and FLY units on 3s, and with its 6 feet of 8 S7 AP-1 D2 shots, it's a potentially good investment even if you didn't expect FLY from your opponent. The power comes at a price, though: 108 points after the compulsory heavy bolter, up from 75. Fliers will learn to fear it, though; it puts out enough power to statistically guarantee damage versus most aircraft. There is a bit of a cost disparity on this vehicle between points (108) and power rating (7), leading to the situation that it's better value for money under the former than the latter, as the "standard" power cost for it should be 5 or 6.
    • There's a surprising number of units with FLY, like jetbikes, jump troops, anything that used to be a skimmer in 7th, Monoliths, half of the Dark Eldar and Tau Army Lists... it's really quite staggering. Make sure you check the tags on your target's datasheet before opening fire, and do take a picture of your opponent's face when you inform them of this.
    • This will outperform a Basilisk against its chosen targets.... but needs LOS to do it, and against anything else, it won't do so well. Since it needs LOS, and outside of tallarn needs to remain static, it's in direct competition with your Heavy Weapons Squads; at cost, you can field 4 lascannon teams in HWSes (with 4 points left over), which will outperform it against the enemy air you were presumably worried about.
  • Leman Russ Battle Tanks: Ah yes, the Leman Russ. Has long-held, and continues to hold, the title of sturdiest tank in the galaxy, point-for-point. For 122 points (it got cheaper in the codex), a T8 W12 platform with a 3+ save will consume an enormous amount of firepower before dying. All Russes have a hull mount that can take a Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, or Lascannon, and may take two sponsons that in turn may take Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers, Multi-Meltas, or Plasma Cannons. The turret weapons in past editions determined the variant of Russ; with the new codex, they may fire at full BS even if the tank moves, and may fire twice at the same target if it moves less than half (i.e. you'll move it a hundredth of an inch less) its full speed. And if taken in a Spearhead detachment, they gain the unique ability to be the only vehicle in 8th edition that benefits from the equivalent of Objective Secured!
    • A few notes on doctrines: all weapons with random shot count like being Catachan, especially with Sgt. Harker around; while only the random shot volume turret likes being Cadian, the entire tank likes sitting still to become more accurate. Vostroyan-made Russes have an extra 6" of range on all their weapons except for the Heavy Flamers, and Tallarn Russes suffer no penalty on any of their weapons for firing on-the-move, and although they can't fire while advancing, they can move-shoot-move or move-move-shoot.
    • The hull weapon should be a heavy flamer (if you want to actually hit) or heavy bolter (to keep costs down) for most regiments, since it can't re-roll to hit; the sponsons should usually be left completely naked, for similar reasons. The exceptions of significant note are Tallarn, which can take anything it wants (so the lascannon and heavy bolter options are compelling, but the plasma cannons will require some bravery, still), Catachan, who can re-roll shot volumes, improving the heavy flamers and making the plasma cannons tempting with Harker (if you're willing to sit still, which will lead you back to seriously contemplating the lascannon), and Cadian, which is going to be tempted to sit still anyway, which will make the lascannon and plasma cannons tempting.
      • Tallarn with maximum plasma (an executioner and double plasma) will take 1.25 mortal wounds on average per round of shooting per tank, so you'll want some combination of Enginseers and Yarrick to try and fix the problem; Tank Commanders can fix their own (or a buddy's) plasma, so you can also field some "safe" plasma and some Punishers/Demolishers with Heavy Bolters/Lascannons.
    • The four 'Battle Tank' cannons have more range, but not as much firepower; the only one worth taking is the Battle Cannon (but check out the other set of cannons, which are better).
      • Battle Cannon: Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 D1d3; took some big hits over previous editions. It (along with many others) practically lost large blast, and is lucky to get 2 hits in (getting 4 or more will be a rare occurrence indeed). MEQ now get a 5+ save instead of being auto-pasted like its 5th-7th edition iteration, but this thing's now decent against enemies with 2+ armor, which is a decent trade-off. The cheapest of the four options here, and easily the best under most doctrines (but check out the other set of cannons, which are better).
      • Exterminator Autocannon: Garbage; costs more than the Battle Cannon, which would be worth it for the improved rate of fire (outside of Catachan and Cadia, where it is worse), except that its output is inferior against T4, T7, T8, anything with a 5+ or better save, and anything with 3 or more wounds. Never take this.
        • Alternate Opinion: While indeed outperformed by Catachan and Cadian Battle Cannon versus models with T8, T7 and T4 - Exterminator Autonannon really shines against units with 3+/4++ save, Necron vehicles (which rely more on quantum shielding rather than on regular saves to block incoming fire) and models with T5 and T6 in general. Furthermore you'll consistently put a lot of firepower, whithout the need of staying in range of Cadian Tank Commander. It's not that Exterminator Autocannon is better or worse compared to Battle Cannon, it's just designed for different puprose. Put lascannon, multimeltas and track guards on your Tallarn Leman Russ Exterminator and for 217 points you'll have very good, mobile, all rounder unit that can react to almost everything on the battlefield.
      • Eradicator Nova Cannon: The other mixed bag, and often overlooked. For 3 points more than a Battle Cannon, you lose 36" of range and 2 points of strength, in exchange for ignoring cover bonuses to saves - but that bonus is usually only a +1 (but with more and more codex's coming out it's intended targets, T3 infantry with a 5+ or more saves, are gaining ways to get cover in the open), and the AP of both guns is already -2. while seemingly not as useful as the regular old battlecannon this is better for specilist targets like Poxwalkers with the cover save, admech with cover canticles, dug in light infantry will still fear the hell out of being shot with this thing as most of the time they wont get a save, Plus what would you rather have VS those camo scouts in cover with sniper rifles? this or a regular old BC?.
      • Vanquisher Battle Cannon: The Vanquisher, a dedicated anti-tank cannon, is proof that GW is incapable of statistics, as it performs worse against heavy armour than every Leman Russ turret except the exterminator, despite being one of the pricier options (doing 0.93 wounds to another Russ; every other variant manages at least 1 wound). Sad thing is, if GW had given it a flat 2+ to wound against vehicles or flat 2D6 damage instead of 2D6 drop the lowest, it’d perform better against most vehicles than other Russes. Never take this.
        • Alternate Opinion:From practical experience i start to wonder where this statistic boils out of, While the Vanquisher isn't done any favors thanks to a 4+ to hit, it's still a melta gun on a very long stick and with two shots your gonna hit atleast once. bear in mind most common tanks (i.e practically everythign not a russ or land raider) is T7 and you ARE rolling 2d6 and picking the best damage result. go roll the dice yourself to see what sort of damage you get, it;s not all that bad. To improve it into a genuinely scary threat against any big gribbly/tank/model of T7 or lower, mount it on a Tank commander for a tank "ace"
    • The three 'Demolisher' variants hit much harder at the expense of range; only one of them beats two feet, unless it's Vostroyan-made.
      • Demolisher Cannon: You can fit a man in that gun barrel! Statistically the best tank-buster of all Russ cannons; nearly doubles (x1.82) the cost of the Battle Cannon, but deals x1.75 the Damage against targets with enough Wounds to suffer it, on top of +2S and -1AP, making it far superior against T5 and T8 in practice. With 2 Multi-Meltas and a Lascannon on a Tallarn tank, this will munch through most enemy armor, if you can bear the cost of 222 points. It gets larger dice rolls versus units of 5 models or more, letting it outpace the Battle Cannon - though using such a short-ranged and expensive weapon against anything but TEQ is a mis-allocation of resources.
        • The math changes a bit under Catachan, because their buff works better on 1d6 than 1d3 - for them, you should really be eyeing the Executioner, below.
      • Executioner Plasma Cannon: A plasma cannon with nearly double the rate of fire, even before you use Grinding Advance to shoot twice and without a movement penalty, but only x1.33 the cost, and cheaper than a Battle Cannon, at the same price as a Punisher. If you fire it on Supercharge - which you should - it will outshine the Battle Cannon easily, dealing more damage to W2 models at -1AP for 9.1% (2) fewer points. That actually places this weapon in direct competition with the Demolisher Cannon, above - when Supercharged, the Demolisher's only improvement against most targets is +2S, which is of dubious utility, given that it costs 25% more and has 66.67% the range.
        • Particularly compelling under Catachan, who can re-roll 1s to hit with it while also re-rolling shot volume - because the Catachan doctrine is much better on 1d6 than 1d3, under them, this completely outstrips the Demolisher cannon against tanks under them. Cadia can pull the same trick, only worse (the tank has to remain static to do it), but they can also apply their stratagem to render the weapon completely safe on Overcharge. If you're going the Catachan route, combine with triple heavy flamers for 193 points and roll around murderin' shit, or with two more plasma cannons and a heavy bolter if you're willing to sit still and hope your enemies are within 36" for 180 points (192 with a lascannon); unlike Cadia, you can also re-roll the shot volume on your sponsons. Don't forget to use Harker if you're doing this, as he's much more efficient than Tank Commanders at keeping your tanks firing safely - you can even use a Tank Commander with the Dagger to Deep Strike Harker into position, if you need to.
        • Under Tallarn, mostly interesting because you can combine it with the admittedly less efficient plasma cannon sponsons and a heavy bolter for 180 points and roll around shooting at 36" at no penalty.
        • Vostroyan sacrifices a bit of mobility, but gives us access to 42" plasma cannons (and heavy bolters, if you want a bit more anti-infantry), and the Firstborn Pride stratagem lets us hit on 2+ and never overheat.
        • Real Talk: outside of penalties to hit, this will only deal 0.583... mortal wounds to you, on average - 0.71 with the Catachan buff. You should not be feeling scared to fire it, even without re-rolling 1s.
      • Punisher Gatling Cannon: Tank-mounted BRRRT. Statistically, your best friend against infantry, but it lacks range and struggles against heavy stuff. With 3 heavy bolters (166 points), it can wreak impressive amounts of havoc for a single model.
        • Definitely a good idea under Tallarn, where the sponsons won't mind at all moving the tank into position to fire, and you can order the tank to move like it means it. You can also combine it with lascannons, multi-meltas, and plasma cannons freely under them, for the same reason. Note that if you are moving away from heavy bolter sponsons, a lascannon is a better idea than a multi-melta for the hull weapon, as it will outperform the multi-melta against a Land Raider even before you realize that if you've driven up next to infantry for the Punisher, good heavy targets might be farther away; likewise, the Plasma Cannons will do better if you're willing to supercharge, but without an accuracy buff like Yarrick or Guilliman along, both of whom will slow you down, that's a risky click.
  • Manticore: Slightly more durable at T7, the Guard's entry into the community of rocket artillery, and arguably the best. May not be squadroned, but don't be discouraged - it's gotten a MASSIVE points reduction, down to 133 after the compulsory heavy bolter, from 175. The Storm Eagle Rockets still hit like the proverbial meteor: Heavy 2d6, S10 AP-2 D1d3 with a range of 10 feet, ignoring LOS. Minimum range is gone, too - this may be your new best friend in the realm of artillery. Sadly, nothing good lasts forever; you only get four shots, and Overwatch does consume them, so make each one count! Broadly speaking, worse output per point than a Basilisk against 2+ saves outside of T5/9/10, so a Basilisk is better against a Land Raider, but a Manticore is better against a Knight (until you run out of shots, of course). By and large, a Basilisk is a superior choice.
    • This can take vehicle equipment, but all of the options are bad ones.
    • As far as regiments are concerned:
      • Cadian and Militarum Tempestus doctrine will both hit 16.67% more, while catachan ones will hit 13% more; that last can stack with Harker, for a net effect of 37.27% more (anyone else has to use Yarrick, at a substantial cost increase, or a Master of Ordnance, who will only help at 3 feet out or more, except for Cadians, who won't stack).
      • You'll never notice the result of, and should not take, vostroyan, and valhallan, armageddon, tallarn, and mordian are incredibly unlikely to ever come up, since you can and should sit in the back ignoring LOS, raining down fire.
  • Wyvern: One of the latest additions to the Imperial Guard motor pool. Got swatted with the nerf bat. Its infamous Wyvern quad mortars generate more attacks than they did before, with 4 feet of 4d6 S4 AP0 hits that re-roll to wound and ignore LOS; costs 93 points, assuming you were sane and didn't buy the heavy flamer. For comparison, one of these will usually kill 4.15 GEQs or 1.75 MEQs, both better than a Basilisk, which will kill 1.86 and 1.55, respectively; what ultimately makes the Wyvern suffer is that you can just drop 99 points instead on 3 Heavy Weapons Squads with 3 Mortars each, and 9d6 shots will outperform 4d6 re-rolling wounds every single time.
    • This can take vehicle equipment, but all of the options are bad ones.
    • As far as regiments are concerned:
      • Cadian and Militarum Tempestus doctrine will both hit 16.67% more, while catachan ones will hit 18% more; that last can stack with Harker, for a net effect of 31.57% more (anyone else has to use Yarrick, at a substantial cost increase, or a Master of Ordnance, who will only help at 3 feet out or more, except for Cadians, who won't stack).
      • You'll never notice the result of, and should not take, vostroyan, and valhallan, armageddon, tallarn, and mordian are incredibly unlikely to ever come up, since you can and should sit in the back ignoring LOS, raining down fire.
Forge World[edit]
  • Basilisk Family
    • Armageddon Pattern Basilisk: 7 points up on a standard Basilisk for an enclosed crew compartment, which nets you 1 more toughness and wounds. About as viable as the normal one if you have the model, but not exactly worth the extra money if you don't.
    • Earthshaker Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The gun deck of a Basilisk, sitting pretty on a stationary foundation. With tough-as-nails vehicles back in action, so is this machine...insofar as a blast-inflicting machine can function in an edition with no blasts. Still, it's by far the cheapest source of long range firepower, and still tough enough to get off a few volleys. Just don't let someone charge it.
      • This is another discontinued model, but dont be discouraged. Simply take the part of your Basilisk thats not a Chimera (the cannon and T-shaped gun platform) and plop it on a suitable-looking base. Get creative so your opponent actually lets you use it.
    • Earthshaker Carriage Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The Earthshaker Cannon mounted on a Krieg-style wheeled gun carriage. Unlike the above, the crew is separate, and thus can defend the gun in melee...or get shot, leaving the gun useless. Fortunately if the gun's closer the enemy must shoot it first, and you get 4 crewmen a gun. And they can take orders, though re-rolling 1s won't work the miracles that ignoring all cover saves once did.
      • Note that they don't fire the big gun - it fires itself, provided they are nearby. Ordering them buffs their lasguns, not the Carriage, sadly (in particular, read the bit about them being treated as entirely separate units, mechanically).
  • Griffon Mortar Carrier: The Griffon Mortar Carrier occupies the niche of cheap medium artillery support compared to the other big guns available to the Guard. The Griffon Heavy Mortar has a range of 48" and strikes at S6 with AP -1 and dealing D3 damage per wound...and unlike the Wyvern, this Mortar ignores cover saves. In previous additions, the Griffon used to have the ability to re-roll scatter, and thanks to the way the bombardment and artillery squadron rules worked meant that you could use it as spotter artillery for your bigger guns. These days however, much like its larger cousin the Basilisk, it rolls 2D6 and takes the highest to determine the number of attacks it makes. This all clocks in at a measly 78 points after purchasing the mandated Heavy Bolter, though this can be swapped out for a Heavy Flamer for extra charge defense and it can also take a pintle mounted weapon and/or Hunter-Killer Missile. Unlike the Medusa and Basilisk who's preferred targets are TeQs, MeQs and Vehicles, the Griffon is best used to rain hate on cover camping units with a 4+ save or worse, though it can also be used to hunt light vehicles and low save, multi-wound models thanks to its D3 damage. It doesn't re-roll wounds like the Wyvern, but since both mortars main targets tend to hide in cover, any time you would take a Wyvern, consider the Griffon instead. Probably not as competitive as either the Medusa or the Basilisk, but a solid artillery piece for the price. Tallarn Griffons can move and shoot, Catachan ones can re-roll attacks, Cadian ones can re-roll 1's to hit, and Vostroyan ones have 54" range. Note: Forgeworld no longer sells a model for this unit, but the conversions are super easy.
  • Colossus Bombard: Finally gaining the toughness of the Leman Russ chassis it's mounted on, the Colossus still ignores cover, though that doesn't do as much now. Downside, it costs as much as a Leman Russ, too. The mortar itself has gotten a HUGE range increase (In fact this might be a typo - 240 inches), and hits like a Heavy Mortar with slightly better AP. It fires twice as many shots, too.
  • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle: 40k's version of the Goliath, a bomb on treads controlled by remote. Magos Cawl figured out how to encrypt the controller signal, so the operator doesn't have to walk around on the field next to it, but putting it in transports disrupts the signal...so you can't drop it out of a Valkyrie anymore. In exchange, it's much faster (10" move, though advancing prevents you from setting it off) and its payload is one of the few blast weapons in 8th edition that's actually a blast - you set it off in the Shooting phase, and it hits everything, friendly and enemy, within d6" like an Earthshaker shell. Oh wait, no, it actually hits much harder, rolling a flat 2d6 for shots instead of 2d6-take-the-highest, and it auto-hits. This is the single worst thing to roll into a deathstar of characters at the center of your opponents' army - no more Look Out Sir! to slough off the pain it can bring, and every unit within the effect radius is hit the same. It's not very tough, but it's small and easily concealed behind bigger, bulkier units, and at 40 points it can be a powerful disruptor of enemy formations.
    • Note that this little ball of hate explodes on a 3+ when killed, and that's your die to roll. You, the Guard player, with the giant pile of command points. Take a reroll, hand out some mortal wounds, and get a glass for the tears of your opponent.
  • Heavy Mortar Battery: Another crewed gun, the Heavy Mortar hits like a midway between a normal mortar and the Earthshaker Cannon. Unfortunately it takes after the latter in price - 72 points for a 3-man team and the gun carriage. Potentially viable if you've got the models, but nothing special.
  • Heavy Quad Launcher Battery: Also known as the Thudd Gun. Invented by a race of abhumans whose worlds were lost to the Tyranids sometime in the mid-M40s (it's not clear) and much beloved by Kriegers, 8th Edition's Thudd Gun behaves like a Wyvern's quad-gun, without the rerolls to wound (perhaps it doesn't use airburst ammunition?). It's also the exact same cost as a Wyvern, sans the heavy bolter the latter gets with its Chimera mobile platform. Workable if you have it, not worth the money if you don't.
  • Hydra Battery: Four long-barreled autocannons on a stationary platform. Higher toughness but lower wounds and save than the mobile version. Shoots the same, at about 25% less points. Workable, but not exceptional.
      • Side note; Not being vehicles allows these to be stationed in ruins or on top of battlements. Enjoy your Vortex missiles and artillery batteries being together.
  • Leman Russ Family
    • Leman Russ Annihilator (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): In past editions, this was indisputably the most underwhelming Leman Russ variant. However, with the changes to the twin linking rules, it’s the only Leman Russ that has increased in firepower. Against another Leman Russ, this thing will put out 1.94 wounds, matching the Demolisher but with more range. Expect to see this eclipse the “anti-armor” Vanquisher, which only puts out 0.94 wounds a turn against another Russ. In an edition where vehicles tend to stick around, loaded for bear (multi-melta sponsons and a hull lascannon), this tank has the potential to take out a vehicle per shooting phase.
    • Leman Russ Conqueror (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Actually pretty useful now. No longer the cheaper version of the vanilla, as per the Forgeworld 1.0 FAQ, it is now three points MORE. The Conqueror cannon has the same statline as a regular battle cannon, just with a 48" range. The co-axial weapon is only a storm bolter though, rather than the much more logical heavy stubber, but Forgeword are bound to go derp somehwere. Actually while the Storm Bolter is shorter ranged (its max range is half the main gun's, rapid fire is 12) due to not being a heavy weapon it fires at full BS on the move, and it grants rerolls to hit with your Conqueror cannon if you fire on the same target, it doesn't even have to hit anymore.
    • Leman Russ Stygies Vanquisher (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): A slight improvement over the normal Vanquisher, and arguably forgeworld's attempt to fix that variant. They failed. The Stygies pattern comes with a co-axial storm bolter, and if it remains stationary, the main weapon gains +1BS. Like the Conqueror, shooting the storm bolter and the cannon at the same target grants rerolls to hit. With both bonuses stacking, this can pull off 1.66 wounds against another russ – meaning unlike the normal vanquisher it outdoes the battlecannon (1.17 wounds) but is still beaten by the annihilator and demolisher at 1.94 wounds a piece, which are more useful against other targets and offer better range and mobility (as the Stygies needs to be stationary at 24 inches to be fully effective).
    • Sponson/Hull Weapons - Heavy Flamers and Storm Bolters can be fired on the move without penalty, but only they and your turret gun have that benefit. If you do take Plasma Cannons (or other options, like a Hunter-Killer Missile), don't expect to land many hits.
  • Malcador Tank Family (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Down(?)-graded from Lord of War to Heavy Support, the light-super-heavy tanks of the Malcador family have been smiled upon in 8th by the removal of weapon facing. This means the bizarre fixed-transfer casement the main gun sits in (and the fact that the sponsons can't train forward) no longer limits its shooting ability; also gone is the chance to break down every time it moves, apparently they finally fixed the engines on these things. The Demolisher cannons have Grinding Advance, as well. Note: The Valdor tank destroyer is still taking a Lord of War, so no spamming Neutron Lasers (not that you could spam a tank this size anyway).
    • Malcador Heavy Tank: The basic Malcador is a Russ on a steroid binge - 18 wounds instead of 12 (this is standard across all Malcadors), and it can carry autocannons or lascannons in the sponsons.
    • Malcador Annihilator: The Malcador's version of the Leman Russ Annihilator. Two lascannons in that weird turret and a Demolisher cannon in the hull.
    • Malcador Defender: Now we're talkin'! In a remarkable display of foresight, the Defender eschews the nerfed turret weapons of its brothers for an interwar-style turret fitted with five heavy bolters. Two more on the sponson mounts make for a bullet hose to rival the Stormlord - at 21 shots, it can chew through blobs for breakfast. It also adds 1 to its overwatch hit rolls. A demolisher cannon is still present on the hull for tougher targets.
    • Malcador Infernus: The Malcador's version of the...Hellhound? Apparently someone saw the need addressed the requirement to set entire city blocks on fire at once. This vehicle carries the Inferno Gun, which rolls 2d6 automatic hits with a strength and damage that resembles an Autocannon (with better AP). If that and the 16" range weren't enough the prometheum fuel can be swapped out for Trooper Duffy's special soup recipe a toxic sludge that wounds everything that isn't a vehicle on 2s, and has AP-3. It's a big pile of points and tends to violently explode, but it can be very fun to run! And if it does blow up, try to have it do so next to those heretics. It WILL hurt.
  • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery (Forgeworld Index: Astra Militarum): Got nerfed hard and went from auto-include to nope. Twin-linked is gone but it still fires only one shot, so there is no chance to reroll that 4+ except CPs, as the Rapier can't take orders any more. Still, the gun is S12, and if the shot hits, on a roll of 3-5 it does 2D6 damage, and on a 6 it's upped to 3D6 (so you could hypothetically one-shot a Land Raider, but it is highly unlikely) - the overall expected damage roll is 6.42, slightly better than 3d3 but slightly worse than 2d6. The price got almost doubled ,to 74 points for one gun and a crew of two. The rapier has 3 wounds now, but unfortunately is only T5. Mathhammer says it will only beat out a team of lascannons (of similar cost) against 2+ models, models of T6 and below, and 3+ models of T9 and above. Not worth buying, but if you have it, save it for the really tough stuff.
    • Alternate opinion: These are all valid criticisms and Forgeworld should really refund the money of any poor soul who bought these in the twilight days of 7th Edition, but putting this out here: if this thing does hit, it will kill almost anything you point it at. You also can get a re-roll not only through Command Points, but also by re-rolling 1s if you stick Harker (give it the Catachan keyword) or Yarrick near it. Granted, this will only be a re-roll of 1s unless you are fighting Orks and brought Yarrick, but it does help. But let's be honest here, the buffing one or even a trio of AT guns is hardly the best use of either those characters. Only do this if you can still get those characters to buff the units they need to buff while still buffing the Rapier, like a massive horde of Conscripts.
  • Medusa Family
    • Armageddon Pattern Medusa: Your only mobile source of the Medusa Siege gun. It can fire out of LoS, but can't take Breacher shells. Same price as a Basilisk, though, and tough for its points; potentially viable as a line-breaker.
    • Medusa Carriage Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The Medusa Siege Gun returns, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage. Got a few buffs - the standard siege shells are ballistic, and may be fired out of line-of-sight now, while the still-direct-fire Bastion-Breaker shells may be used without losing the ability to fire standard shots. The 36" range may chafe on an immobile platform, though...
  • Sabre Weapons Battery: For 20 points base, you get 1 3W, T4 model with a 4+ save. While most of its "twin" options are nothing to write home about compared to two heavy weapon teams, which for 12 points cheaper gets you 3 more wounds at the expense of 1 point of toughness and 1 point better armor save on more models (which mitigates high damage hits). Furthermore, because orders only work on infantry instead of "non vehicle units" a la 7th, it can no longer take orders. HOWEVER, you don't take a sabre anymore for its weapon options. Instead, as a 0 point upgrade, the sabre weapons battery can take a Defensive Searchlight. This godly piece of kit means if one sabre targets an enemy unit with 48" of it and in line-of-sight, one friendly <regiment> infantry or Sabre unit can add 1 to hit rolls when firing at said unit. While this doesn't immediately seem that stunning, remember - you're Guard, master of the massive unit. Conscript blobs hitting on 4s? Yes. For 20 points a light, it's an auto-include, no mistake - and 3 of them can light up 3 different targets. (Per the Forgeworld FAQ, however, you can no longer have multiple searchlights targeting the same unit, so no stacking bonuses.) The closest thing to a downside these things have is they're immobile, but if you want they can be towed by Centaurs, and thanks to RAW they can still light targets on a turn when they've been towed. These things went from being overpriced HWTs to markerlights on steroids.
    • Note that orders no longer state a unit must immediately take an action when ordered, so it's entirely legal to order your conscripts to set up a firing line, light up your target with a spotlights, and then give him a good old fashioned Cadian Burial: 200 lasgun shots, hitting on 4s. The sheer dice output of this attack can wipe an entire squad of Space Marines from the board (finally, something that can one-shot a unit!) and including lights, officers, and conscripts, it's a lean 190 points (244 points if you include a Centaur to tow the Sabre) of fine cheddar. Use it wisely.
    • Our lord and savior Forgeworld no longer makes a model for the Sabre. However, a proxy can be kitbashed pretty easily. Simply buy a heavy weapon squad box from GW, build them as lascannons, cut off the lascannon barrel so that the stump is flush with the gun shield, and glue on the front of a vehicle searchlight (found in pretty much every IG vehicle kit that no one bothers to put on). Voila! For a more elaborate version, you can use the spinning gun deck, control column, and crew from a Wyvern platform.
    • Sadly, the buff only works on units in the same regiment, so that's a sad no on your 10-man Ratling squad or Scions benefiting from this.
  • Sentinel Powerlifters: For about the same price as a Bullgryn (and twice as many wounds, though you lose those awesome shield saves) these ad-hoc Dreadnoughts swing 3 times with built-in Power Fists that don't impose a -1 to hit. Guard WS hobbles it a bit, but it's fast and hits like a train. Also gets a scout move and smoke launchers to improve the chance of getting in close.
    • That scout move is critical. If you deploy cleverly you can start the minimum of two feet from your intended target...and then Scout move towards it. Then move normally, and you have a 6" charge to make. Point at the nearest Tyranid and say it with me:[1]
  • Stygies Family: These are Leman Russes in all but name - in fact, the Thunderer Siege Tank is a Leman Russ Demolisher with the hull gun stripped off and +1 wound - but that name matters a lot, since they can't take orders from a Tank Commander.
    • Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter: A Leman Russ chassis with no turret and a Heavy Laser Destroyer Array for a hull gun. It's not twin-linked anymore, instead acting a bit like a small blast weapon - D3 shots at a Lascannon statline, except it rolls 2d6-pick-the-highest vs vehicles on damage. Offers the highest damage output against heavy vehicles of all Leman Russ variants, putting 2.48 wounds on another Leman Russ.
    • Stygies Thunderer Siege Tank: 10 points more than a Vindicator for one additional wound and 1 lower BS...which only counts when you're standing still, because this vehicle gets Grinding Advance. Sadly not particularly worth it due to the general nerf to blast weapons, but can be a fun distraction vehicle or tank-buster nonetheless.
  • Tarantula Battery: Surprisingly cheap compared to last edition (the primary cost is for the guns on it), but you still get the annoying targeting protocols. In fact, slightly worse now, since this thing will never shoot at Characters if there's another model closer...even if it's one of those 10+ wound Characters the rule wouldn't normally apply to.

Lords of War[edit]

Due to Codex updates, most of the options here are terrible comparatively, as the Codex Baneblade variants are so deeply superior to the Forge World options.

  • Forge World, with its unbridled fetish for treads, guns, and engines, has provided the Guard with the largest selection of Lords of War in the game, bar none. You can't take Titans in here anymore, but you could be forgiven for not noticing. The overwhelming majority of these are tracked vehicles of one variant or another, and most of them have the Steel Behemoth rule, allowing the vehicle in question to shoot and charge normally if it's fallen back that turn, fire heavy weapons with no penalties to hit, fire twin heavy flamers or twin heavy bolters into melee combat as if they were pistols, and fire the larger guns normally even if there are enemies within 1" (but not at those same enemies). Who said the conventional army fighting spooky paranormal activity was being screwed? Here's the hint: That daemon is not going to be riding a tank.
    • On the other hand, that daemon probably won't be shooting like an Ork if it moves. The Forge World Lords of War have an older version of the Steel Behemoth rule that doesn't nullify the penalty for shooting Heavy weapons after moving, which includes pretty much their entire arsenal sans pintle Storm Bolters. In most cases, you won't care, since they have the range to sit pretty on one corner of the board, but if you're using a Titanic Transport like the Crassus, this can be a problem. Be aware! Stick to the Codex ones or pick Tallarn if you want to be able to take the Forge World variants without losing the ability to move and shoot with impunity.
    • Since you're probably taking a Detachment just for one of these, remember that it's encouraged to mix regiments - it's not like even your Transports will care what they're carrying, and outside of Catachan for Harker, you don't have access to any buffs for them, anyway. Might as well take the best regiment you can for the vehicle, without obsessing over it matching your infantry. For example, are you taking a Stormlord? You're a lot better off with a Valhalla one than a Cadia one, even if you want to fill it with Cadian Infantry!
      • You won't be able to use Regimental Doctrines for these in a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment, which means that in order to pull off this level of cheese, you would need to take a Superheavy Detachment or Supreme Command Detachment of the same <REGIMENT> (no plopping in Guilliman in order to achieve this). In other words, if you want a Lord of War that benefits from a Doctrine you'll need to either take several Lords of War, all with the same <REGIMENT> keyword, or a bunch of extra HQs (you could take Yarrick or some Lord Commissars, though). Still, the Imperial Guard is perhaps one of the few armies that can pull this off without too much of a HQ tax since ours tend to be cheap. As of the new Codex, Primaris Psykers as HQ, and Techpriests and regular priests as Elites count towards this HQ quota (and you'll want a techpriest anyway if you are bringing a member of the Baneblade family) without disrupting your regimental doctrine.

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Baneblade Family: By and large, all of these are the same core statline: M 10->7->8, BS 4->5->6+, WS 5+ S9 A9->6->3 with Adamantium Tracks, T8/W26->13->6, Ld 8, Sv 3+. All have Explodes (6+, 2d6", 1d6 mortal wounds) and Smoke Launchers; all also have Steel Behemoth, but this was updated in the Codex and not in the Indices, so the Forge World variants are rocking the old version, while the non-Forge World ones no longer suffer any penalty to moving and shooting (Tallarn can fix this with their Doctrine, of course). They also all sport an optional pintle storm bolter/heavy stubber, and an optional hunter-killer missile; the other options all widely vary, although most can take 2 or 4 sponsons, each with a lascannon and either twin heavy bolter or twin heavy flamer. Almost all of them also have a hull twin heavy bolter. Since the ranges on the main guns for a lot of this family are so high, it's worth noting that the longest possible shot you can take on a 6' by 4' table, ignoring both the base sizes of the firing model and the target (in exchange for ignoring elevation), is less than 87", up to worrying about 99" if you're facing a model with a special rule adding a foot to firing distance - anything above that is going to be wasted, even before considering sight lines.
    • The galaxy's premier super-heavy tank has been lucky this edition, with almost-universal reductions in points, retention of fire points, amazing toughness, and the addition of the Steel Behemoth rule. The Steel Behemoth rule is especially powerful on Baneblades; Versus targets in melee it may fire its twin heavy flamers and twin heavy bolters like pistols, targeting foes within 1" - this makes a fully-armed Baneblade variant one of the meanest models in the game in close quarters, dealing out an average of 31 hits, at S5 AP-1 - and that's before it uses its adamantium tracks, which swing at s9 ap-2 for d3 damage up to 9 times. And those flamers hit on overwatch, too. All variants have a twin heavy bolter on the hull, and may take up to 4 sponsons, each with a lascannon and a twin heavy flamer/twin heavy bolter.
    • The choice between twin heavy bolters and twin heavy flamers on your sponsons is a tricky one. The bolters deliver a lower average hit count (3 instead of 7) but are much cheaper and have more than four times the range of the flamers. If you're thinking of getting in close and can spare the points, a giant tank that's more painful to fight in melee than a bloodthirster versus most targets can be a lot of fun (and it's even more dangerous in conjunction with the Crush Them! Stratagem to give it WS 2+ and a boosted charge range), but if you plan on hanging back (and have a Trojan around), save yourself the points.
    • Codex changes, several members of the Baneblade family have seen a reduction in points cost of up to 40 to their hulls, their main weapons have all been buffed to do an extra D6 shots (e.g. if it fired D6 it now fired 2d6, if it fired 2d6 it now fires 3d6) with the exception that the Stormlord is still a flat 20 and Shadowsword went from 1d6 to 3d3. This has resulted in some changes to power cost though; Baneblade -2, Banehammer 0, Banesword +1, Stormlord -1, Stormsword +1, Shadowsword -1, Doomhammer +1. See the Catachan Doctrine discussion above for seeing how that improves relevant rates of fire.
    • As with all superheavies, carefully assess if your needs would be better met with 2-3 of the smaller versions (in this case Russes). Firepower, board control, damage control, ease of support, and vulnerability to burst damage need to be considered when comparing.
    • Baneblade: First of the turreted variants (though with the removal of facing that's not as relevant anymore), the original Baneblade packs the mighty Baneblade Cannon, an autocannon, and a hull Demolisher Cannon. Oldies but goldies.
    • Banehammer: When it comes to stopping the enemy advance, the Banehammer delivers. Its Tremor Cannon can turn entire sections of the field into flying clouds of dirt and debris, halving the Move of enemy units and preventing them from advancing. Hold the line! Received a troop bay and transport capacity in this edition; 25 models can hitch a ride, of whom 10 can shoot out of the firing deck.
      • The Tremor Cannon is 60" Heavy 3d6 S8 AP-2 D3, and units hit by it halve their Move and cannot Advance in the following Movement phase, but the primary weapon on this thing is the Firing Deck, provided you fill it with melta and/or plasma. Its average statline is 60" Heavy 10.5 S8 AP-2 D3.
    • Banesword: With its Quake Cannon swatting enemies from more than 11 feet away, the Banesword is a premier fire support vehicle. Sadly eclipsed by the Shadowsword, since the Quake Cannon can't fire out of line-of-sight.
      • Not necessarily...the Quake Cannon is 140" Heavy 2d6 S14 AP-4 D1d6, but it treats damage rolls of 1 or 2 as a 3, so its full average statline is 140" Heavy 7 S14 AP-4 D4. This compared to the Shadowsword's statline means the Banesword performs ever-so-slightly better vs crowds due to the higher rate of fire. Of course, firing a weapon like the Quake Cannon at single-wound models is a mis-allocation of your firepower in the first place...
    • Doomhammer: Second of the transport-capable variants, the Doomhammer supplements a troop bay and firing deck matching the Banehammer's with the Magma Cannon, adept at bringing the hurt to large targets. Six Ogryns and a Priest is a nice package to dump upon an unsuspecting enemy, and you still have room for one more model. The Ignores Cover is unlikely to come up on an AP-5 weapon, but prepare to cackle madly the few times you get to shoot a Land Raider in cover with this thing.
      • The Magma Cannon on this baby is 60" Heavy 2d6 S10 AP-5 D1d6, Ignores Cover Saves, Melta Damage, so the averages are 60" Heavy 7 S10 AP-5 D3.5, and 30" Heavy 7 S10 AP-5 D4.47 - but, like the Banehammer, the Firing Deck is the big seller.
    • Hellhammer: Preferred by Catachans, the Hellhammer's main cannon ignores cover bonuses and hits harder than the Baneblade's at the expense of range. As the other turreted variant it includes a hull Demolisher Cannon. The smaller turret also incorporates a crew defence lasgun. Most recommended for the quad flamer 'brawler tank' build; the demolisher and main cannons working in tandem are a threat to anything and everything. Don't keep it sitting in the back if the board - it's the shortest ranged tank in the Baneblade family, and on certain deployments this will give you trouble.
      • Entertainingly, as mentioned above, this comes with an autocannon, demolisher cannon, and plinky little lasgun, but the Hellhammer Cannon is 36" Heavy 3d6 S10 AP-4 D3, Ignores Cover Saves, so on average, 36" Heavy 10.5 S10 AP-4 D3. The extra strength over a Baneblade Cannon isn't all that relevant; you can wound T5 models on 2s and T9 models on 3s; they do exist, but it's basically Titans and the like. The extra AP, however is much handier; anything with a 3+ and better will be affected. And it ignores cover. The choice is yours.
    • Shadowsword: Arguably the most famous aside from the Baneblade itself, the 'Titan-Killer' mounts the incredibly powerful Volcano cannon, still capable of one-shotting Land Raiders even in an edition rife with tough vehicles and monsters with an impressive Strength of 16. Versus Titanic units it gets +1 to hit with everything and the Volcano Cannon re-rolls wounds. Very little can hope to survive a duel with this beast.
      • The Volcano Cannon is 120" Heavy 3d3 S16 AP-5 D2d6, re-rolling wounds against Titanic, so on average it is 120" Heavy 6 S16 AP-5 D7 - the highest damage*rate of fire gun this line can field, so high it even accounts for lacking a Demolisher Cannon when attacking low-model units. On average, one shot from this gun will kill a fellow Baneblade variant with 1.22 wounds to spare, or a Land Raider with 1.5 wounds to spare. However, it won't kill a Knight in one shot, on average dealing 18.15 wounds - enough to cripple all the way, usually, but you'll want the lascannon sponsons to finish the job.
      • Alternatively, give shadowsword-senpai some minions! A Salamander Command Vehicle and a Trojan Support Vehicle can beef up the Volcano Cannon's firepower considerably, taking its average hit count from 3 to 5.33 - which makes for 23.5 wounds after damage rolls and the knight's invulnerable save. This means you can finish the job with the hull bolters, and sponsons with lascannons will make the kill a virtual certainty. You will need to take it in a Supreme Command detachment to assign your Shadowsword to a regiment, which means 3 HQs, but you were going to take those Primaris Psykers and Lord Commissars already, right? Take the detachment as Catachan for EXTRA pain; with rerolls to one of the shot dice the Shadowsword the average shot count is 6.67, which gives you 26.14 wounds...enough to kill a Knight in one blast, no sponsons or bolters required.
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormblade (Forge World): One of the few variants without a twin heavy bolter stock, this one comes with a plain heavy bolter instead, as well as a plasma blastgun. The Plasma Blastgun's 2d6 MEQ-vaporizing blasts will wipe out any infantry near it. Supercharging it boosts its range from 72" to 96" and boosts the shots' strength and damage by 1, but as always you'll want something nearby to ensure that it doesn't risk damaging itself in the process. This is a Forge World variant, so it uses the deeply inferior variant of Steel Behemoth, on top of its turret gun being deeply underwhelming.
      • The Plasma Blastgun is 72" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 D2 or 96" Heavy 2D6 S9 AP-3 D3, 1 mortal wound per 1 rolled to hit, which averages to 72" Heavy 7 S8 AP-3 D2 or 96" Heavy 7 S9 AP-3 D3 and take 1.17 mortal wounds, which would still be underwhelming even if it didn't inflict the mortal wounds, largely because this is a Forge World gun that didn't get up-gunned, so the Codex variants are deeply superior.
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormhammer (Forge World): Easily the strangest variant, this is the only one that can't take the standard sponsons, and it hasn't got a hull-mounted heavy bolter at all, twin or not - it ships with its own, mandatory custom sponsons, so it has a Stormhammer Cannon with Co-Axial Multilaser, a Twin Battle cannon, a lascannon, and 6 sponsons, each of which can carry 1 lascannon, multilaser, heavy bolter, or heavy flamer, although only the last two can fire in melee like Pistols, per Steel Behemoth. One of the most flexible variants, the co-axial multilaser acts more like a target marker than a weapon in its own right - if its Stormhammer Cannon shoots the same target as the multilaser, it can reroll any failed to-hit rolls with the Stormhammer Cannon. The cannon itself is 60" Heavy 2d6h1 (roll twice, pick the highest), S9 AP-3 d6 D (re-rolling a result of 1 for damage), making it a slightly shorter ranged but otherwise much better Battle Cannon that works well with the other two Battle Cannons it has. It comes with six more multilasers, which can and probably should be switched out for heavy flamers, heavy bolters, or lascannons as needed. This is a Forge World variant, so it is still using the inferior Steel Behemoth definition, and cannot move and shoot without penalty.
      • The Stormhammer Cannon is 60" Heavy 2h1d6 S9 AP-3 D1d6r1, or, on average, 60" Heavy 4.47 S9 AP-3 D3.92, which isn't enough, even with the multi-laser, to scratch the paint on anything you can be bothered shooting with one of these, since the gun did not receive the Codex upgrades the other variants did to rate of fire.
    • Stormlord: Gork and Mork (or was it Mork and Gork?) cry tears of pure joy when this arrives on the field. With a troop bay that holds 40 models (of which 20 may fire out) and the Vulcan Mega Bolter, this monster can put out more dice than any non-titan model. Put entire squads of Bullgryns inside it for a pseudo-Land Raider or entire Detachments of Heavy Weapon Squads (probably with Mortars, though to fill it completely you'll be fine with a mix) for unprecedented firepower and durability.
      • On top of a pair of heavy stubbers, the Vulcan Mega Bolter this thing ships with is still one of the best Baneblade guns you can take, at 60" Heavy 20 S6 AP-2 D2, on top of its aforementioned best-in-show Extended Firing Deck.
    • Stormsword: Formerly one of the cheapest variants (though still a list-buster at 390 points before its weapons), the Stormsword carries the Stormsword Siege Cannon, a massive gun that ignores cover and all but the strongest armor to boot. Lead the charge and smash the foe. Lost a lot of its thriftyness with the Shadowsword, Banehammer, and Banesword now matching it in price.
      • The Stormsword Siege Cannon is 36" Heavy 4H2d6 S10 AP-4 D1d6r1, Ignores Cover, or on average, 36" Heavy 9.34 S10 AP-4 D3.92. Its relatively shabby gun is only comparable to guns carried by cousins with transport capacities and firing decks, so you probably want to shop around the other choices before settling for this one.
      • Arkurian Pattern Stormsword (Forge World): Exactly the same as the regular Stormsword. The mind boggles as to why it got its own entry in the FW index.
        • The OOP FW model has a single heavy bolter instead of a twin and heavy flamers instead of lascannon, but apparently whoever was writing the Imperial Armour Index forgot the "edit" part of "copy, paste and edit the Index Imperium entry."
        • No longer identical since it did not receive the Codex upgrades, so avoid at all costs.
  • Crassus Armored Assault Vehicle (Forge World): Still a good capacity armored transport, effectively the guard Land Raider... except not really. The simplification of the transport system puts it in competition with the Stormlord... which is amazing. You can replace the heavy bolters with lascannons, but you won't be hitting much anyway. Still, if you don't feel like shelling out for a Gorgon and have some Bullgryns/Ogryns you need to get into position, this is a great way to do it. It's viable if you have it, but increases significantly in usefulness if you're trying to claim objectives: drop your payload of 30 Conscripts plus Commander, Priest, and Commissar onto an objective, or deliver your full Ogryn/Bullgryn squad right where it's going to hurt the enemy the most.
    • Stick with the heavy bolters or heavy flamers. Lascannons will make this thing a gigantic target without much payoff, and the whole point of it is to keep your massive units safe, so the less fire it draws, the better. The heavy bolters will help it defend itself in close combat, as it can shoot them at anything it's locked in combat with. The Crassus's saving grace is that it isn't intended to be a weapons platform; probably the only FW Lord of War the Guard has that's stayed just about as useful as it was when the Codex dropped. Just make sure you use it for its intended purpose.
  • Dominus Armored Siege Bombard (Forge World): STILL doesn't have a model. The price reduction of the basilisk and its derivatives has removed this tanks' selling point of being more cost effective; instead it's now a potential partner for the Trojan, since squadrons can't share buffs.
  • Gorgon Heavy Transporter (Forge World): Want to haul an entire platoon of conscripts? Here's how. With an unmatched-anywhere transport capacity of 50 models, the Gorgon can move more men safely than anything else. The Gorgon Mortar is no longer one-shot, too, letting this vehicle function as a pseudo-Land Raider...until you realize you're transporting 3 point models in a Lord of War, and they can't shoot out of it.
  • Macharius Family (Forge World: the middle child of the super heavy tanks, the Macharius series starts to wield titan-sized guns, while the non-tank variants of the chassis bring to the field some of the largest transport capacities in the game.
    • Macharius Heavy Tank: Suffers from a lot of the problems that the Leman Russ suffers from. It has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but like the Leman Russ battle cannon, the likelihood of it actually doing anything isn't that high. If you really have your heart set on this tank, consider the Macharius Vanquisher as an alternative.
    • Macharius Omega: Its plasma blastgun is pretty amazing, especially if you can keep it still. Only 1 mortal wound per to-hit roll of 1 on the supercharged firing mode, and even if you play it safe, each shot is still doing as much damage as a normal supercharged plasma gun shot, but with much better range. Consider this if facing big squads of MEQ... now, if only FW still made the model for it.
    • Macharius Vanquisher: Two Vanquisher shots are better than one, and if all else fails, you can fire this as a slightly less potent version of the twin battle cannon that the Macharius Heavy Tank has, making this a more versatile choice. It's still nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things, but at least you get two shots for the Vanquisher cannon instead of 1.
    • Macharius Vulcan: The Vulcan Mega Bolter retains the ability to spin up to maximum speed if the tank hasn't moved, doubling its rate of fire to 30. On a S6 AP-2 gun, that's some SERIOUS pain. With 15 hits on average, you'll be mowing down entire GEQ squads with an average of 12.5 wounds per shooting phase. This is a nice tank to have up your sleeve when that Ork player floods the board with Boyz.
  • Minotaur Artillery Tank (Forge World): One of the two variants of the Malcador chassis that retains the Lord of War title...though you could be forgiven for not noticing, since it's had two Earthshaker cannons mounted on it. Backwards. Simultaneously the coolest thing on treads and an ungodly abortion only Hereteks could love. Has two heavy bolters mounted on it...somewhere. As a side effect of mashing two Basilisks together it gains Steel Behemoth and a 5+ Invulnerable save against shooting attacks (which is copy-pasted from the Gorgon's entry, because the two are such similar machines...bravo, Forge World). The durability comes at a cost: for the firepower of two Basilisks, it's almost as expensive as three.
  • Praetor Armored Assault Launcher (Forge World): Very versatile now. You don't have to pick the ammo type at the start of the battle; instead, you can choose on the go. Foehammer missiles are great for big, multi-wound targets like vehicles and monsters; Firestorm missiles are great for GEQ hordes and ignore cover saves; finally, Pilum missiles get a +1 to hit anything with the Fly keyword. The fact that you can choose between them for each shooting attack makes this a great all-arounder... and a priority target, so keep it well-protected.
  • Valdor Tank Hunter (Forge World): The other Malcador variant that's still a Lord of War, the Valdor is to vehicles what the Infernus is to infantry. It packs a Neutron Laser Projector, a cannon that hits plenty hard, fires more than one shot and gets damage rerolls vs vehicles (who also take a -1 shooting penalty if the shot damages them). Be wary: the reactor powering this thing is closer to a bomb than an engine. When killed, the Valdor explodes on a 2+, inflicting D6 mortal wounds on everything within 2d6". Sadly, it's too pricey to be taken just for the spectacular not-a-deathstrike suicide attack.

Aeronautica Imperialis[edit]

  • Marauder Bomber (Forge World): 40k's version of the B17 'Flying Fortress' and probably one of the largest flyers in the game (and one of the largest you can actually afford!). Comes with a twin lascannon on the nose and two ball turrets holding twin heavy bolters; it may fire these at full BS regardless of movement thanks to its Sky Fortress rule. The real kicker, of course, is the bombs - three times a game the Marauder can bomb a unit on the field. Roll dice to stack mortal wounds on the target: 3d6 per vehicle/monster or d6 for every other model - every 4+ causes a mortal wound. For softer targets Hellstorm bombs can be used: they roll for 3s but only get 2d6 vs monsters/vehicles. Against large enough units it's basically a Deathstrike, but you can already see that it's probably unique among the Guard Lords of War in its utter inability to kill anything in one hit: by definition it will never roll enough dice to kill non-vehicle/monster units, and nothing with those keywords has less than three wounds, which you won't roll unless you are very, very lucky. Not worth the money unless you're a fan of display pieces.
  • Marauder Destroyer (Forge World): While the B17 was never converted to serve as a gunship(Yes it was experimentally at least), the Marauder was, and serves the role pretty well in 8th. It keeps the Sky Fortress rule, swaps the twin lascannon for six Autocannons, swaps one of the heavy bolter ball turrets for a twin assault cannon turret, and most of its bombs for a rack of up to eight Hellstrike missiles, which aren't consumed upon firing. Rules oversight? Who knows. But the fact remains that this thing can spew out 12 S7 AP-1 D2 shots, 12 S6 AP-1 D1 shots, 6 S5 AP-1 D1 shots, and up to 8 S8 AP-2 Dd6 shots that roll 2d6-take-the-highest for damage...every turn. at 460 points fully loaded, It's a flying blender, no mistake! Oh, and it also gets a bombing run! Tough as a flying fortress should be, at T7 with 20 wounds and a 3+ save, on top of being a flyer. A proud king of the skies.

Death Korps of Krieg[edit]


In addition to their special units, the Death Korps of Krieg can only use the following units:

  • HQ
    • Tank Commander
      • Bizarrely, there is no way for a DKoK Tank Commander to show up in a Mars Alpha Leman Russ.
  • Elites
    • Atlas Recovery Tank
    • Hades Breaching Drill Squadron
      • This is one of the only ways to field DKoK infantry that lacks the Cult of Sacrifice special rule, along with the crews of the various artillery options below and the Master of Ordnance just below.
    • Master of Ordnance
  • Fast Attack
    • Hellhounds
    • Salamander Scout Tank
  • Heavy Support
    • Armageddon Pattern Medusa
    • Basilisks
    • Colossus Bombard
    • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle
    • Earthshaker Carriage Battery
    • Heavy Mortar Battery
    • Hydras
    • Malcador Annihilator
    • Malcador Defender
    • Malcador Heavy Tank
    • Malcador Infernus
    • Medusa Carriage Battery
    • Quad Launcher Battery
      • This does not exist, but Forge World probably meant a Heavy Quad Launcher Battery, which does.
    • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery
    • Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter
    • Stygies Thunderer Siege Tank
  • Dedicated Transports
    • Centaur Light Carrier
  • Lords of War
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormblade
    • Baneblade
    • Gorgon Heavy Transporter
    • Macharius Heavy Tank
    • Macharius Omega
    • Macharius Vanquisher
    • Macharius Vulcan
    • Minotaur Artillery Tank
    • Shadowsword
    • Stormsword

They are also unable to take sniper rifles as special weapons.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Cult of Sacrifice: When taking Morale tests, ignore casualties inflicted in the Shooting phase. This applies to all Infantry units listed above, not just the Death Korps exclusive ones. This rule helps mitigate the punishing effects of morale, which is both fluffy and reduces their dependency on Ld-boosting aura effects.
    • Note that this is casualties inflicted in the Shooting Phase not By Shooting. So DKoK ignore casualties inflicted by Gets Hot!, which is good for Plasma and Carcass spam.
  • Death Korps can take laspistols, hotshot laspistols, and hotshot lasguns as ranged weapons, heavy flamers and twin heavy stubbers as heavy weapons, and chainswords as melee weapons.


The Death Korps of Krieg has a different roster of Orders compared to standard guard and can order Cavalry as well as Infantry.

  • Re-roll Orders: Death Korps lose Take Aim! and thus only have Bring it down! as a Re-roll Order. However, except in the case of Gets Hot!, Bring it down! has the same effect as Take Aim!
    • Bring it down!: Ordered unit re-rolls to-wound rolls of 1 until the end of the phase.
  • Movement Orders: Same as standard Guard. Death Korps are mostly footsloggers, so a fluffy army will find these more useful.
    • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase.
    • Get back in the fight!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it fell back in its movement phase.
    • Move! Move! Move!: Ordered unit must move as if it were in the movement phase, and it must advance and cannot charge.
  • Special Orders: Death Korps lose First Rank fire! Second Rank fire! and gain the orders Duty Unto Death! and Without Mercy!
    • Without Mercy!: Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns become Pistol 2. While lacking in the sheer number of shots FRFSRF can bring out, it can be quite effective at surprising a melee-happy opponent when your gunline can keep on shooting even in close combat.
      • This is basically your equivalent of FRFSRF, and unless you're under 12", actually gives the same firepower - no range change so you get 24" Pistol 2.
      • However, because you still have access to Get back in the Fight!, overall you're usually worse with these weapons than stock Guard - FRFSRF+GBITF together solve most problems as well as or better than Without Mercy + GBITF. This order is primarily useful on Objectives, where you dare not Fall Back or you'll cease to contest.
    • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fight as if it were in the fight phase.
      • This is more useful for Death Korps, as it can be given to their superior dedicated melee units, namely Death Riders.
    • Duty Unto Death!: Any INFANTRY or CAVALRY model in the affected unit slain in the Fight phase makes one last attack. Helps to wring out one last bit of usefulness from a unit that's losing a melee fight.
      • Compared to Fix Bayonets! this is useless, as Fix Bayonets! lets all of a unit's models fight twice with their full attacks, not just slain models fight with one attack.

When using death riders, Duty Unto death is the only way to get extra attacks with the lances. Fix Bayonets can not be used the same turn you charge (shooting is before charging and thus you are not within 1"). Duty Unto death *can* give some extra attacks if some death riders are killed. Otherwise stick to the other orders



  • Death Korps Marshal: The equivalent of a Company Commander doesn't come stock with a chainsword (but can take one for free, so he might as well) or shotgun, but he does come with a Krak Grenade and a higher armor save. Additionally, the Momento Mori he can buy forces all weapons that normally roll for damage to treat the roll as a 1, giving him a bit more staying power than normal.
    • Marshal Karis Venner: Your named Character for the Death Korps, he comes with a hot-shot laspistol, powersword, and Momento Mori. He can issue three Orders per turn and forces friendly units within 12" to use his Ld value unless their own Ld is higher. With that Ld aura, you can combine Venner with a platoon and regimental standard for an Ld 11 bubble 25"+ in diameter (depending on what size base you put him on). Basically gives your guys fearless. A little something to remember: RAW states that all friendly units can use Venner's Ld, which means that all units in your army use his Ld. That's right. Terminators with Ld 11? Yes, please.
  • Death Korps Field Officer: The Platoon Commander equivalent, though he shares the improved armor save with the Marshal and comes with a Marshal's Ld score as well. At 23 points base, possibly the cheapest HQ choice in the game (other regiments have to spend a precious Elite slot on their version of this guy).
  • Death Korps Death Rider Squadron Commander: A Field Officer on a horse, with a boost to Toughness and Wounds to go with it. Having the same Augmented Mount ability as other Death Riders helps to increase his durability, and for obvious reasons he's the best choice for getting Orders to your cavalry.


  • Death Korps Infantry Squad: A rather odd change to the basic Guardsmen; they lose the option to take Heavy Weapons Teams and the Watchmaster uses a lasgun like the regular troops (though he can buy both a pistol and melee weapon), but they all have a WS of 3+ and can buy a Platoon Standard that buffs allies' Ld by 1. Best used alongside the Death Korps' unique orders. Oddly enough the Watchmaster (Sergeant equivalent) has BS 3+. While this fits with the lore, maybe it's a misprint?
  • Death Korps Grenadier Storm Squad: A Tempestus Scion squad with deep striking replaced with Cult of Sacrifice and no hot-shot volley guns. Unlike the Scions, the number of heavy weapons they can take doesn't depend on the number of models in the unit so it's possible to go MSU and still have 2 special weapons in the squad. Now with the FAQ update they can take Heavy Stubbers as special weapons, as well as the ability to form a Heavy Weapons team to tote around a Heavy Flamer.
    • Not as good as Combat Engineers in terms of points per wound, but they can get Objective Secured, which is probably worth their extra points cost and loss of acid gas grenades. Fundamentally fantastic MSU style, with a heavy flamer, 2 special weapons (probably plasma, maybe melta), and a sergeant taking up 4 spots in a transport and costing very little points. Shove three squads in a Valkyrie and drop them onto an objective.
      • OR, if you don't want to spend the points on a Valkyrie, chuck these mean machines in a centaur. They are suprisingly mobile, thanks to the 9" scouting move you can do before the game starts. And a bare-bones centaur is only 54 points!
    • Hot-shot laspistols are garbage, so always have the Sergeant swap out his weapon - your best bet is probably a bolter, unless you want to fucking commit and get a plasma pistol.


  • Death Korps Command Squad: No heavy flamer, medi-pack, or heavy weapons teams in this command squad, but what you do get is the ability to use the Regimental Standard. It only affects Cavalry and Infantry, but grants an additional attack on top of the Ld bonus, making your troops more effective in close combat.
    • As of the current FAQ, this unit is not limited to 1 per Commander, unlike a normal <Regiment> Command Squad. While this seems like a fairly obvious RAI oversight (no more than 1 per Marshal or Field Officer), it's not entirely clear whether or not Death Rider Squadron Commanders should let you bring more of these.
    • These guys are surprisingly underwhelming compared to Combat Engineers, since you pay the same cost per model and don't get a 4+ save or acid gas bombs; furthermore, they obey the same 2 special weapons per unit limit as the Engineers. Even if you do spam them, you're not going to achieve anything you couldn't achieve only better with Combat Engineer spam, since their standard won't work on Conscripts, they're too slow to keep up with Death Riders, they can't be Medics.... really, there's just about never a good reason to field these guys over Combat Engineers.
  • Death Korps Combat Engineer Squad: Shotgun infantry with decent armour. Overall not super inspiring until you see their shotguns have Carcass Shot, which wounds anything (except Vehicles) on a 2+. Carnifex? 2+ Wound. Ogryns? 2+ Wound. You lose the model if you roll a 1 on the hit roll. BUT buff them with a nearby Guilliman and say hello to rerolls of 1 to hit. Carcass Shot vs GEQs, MEQs and TEQs is basically a Plasma Gun with AP 0.
    • These guys are incredible - they cost a point less than Grenadiers for what amounts to the same model with the addition of an acid gas grenade, although they are Elites and hence cannot get Objective Secured. You can keep their shotguns, which, unlike hot-shot lasguns, are worth spending a point on, or swap out for special weapons to demonstrate superiority over Grenadiers - 2 plasma gunners, a boltgun on the sergeant, and a heavy flamer team will get you the same output as a Grenadier squad with the same loadout, except your guys also have acid gas grenades and cost less. The plasma gunners can carry meltaguns instead, of course, and either way can be stuffed in a Valkyrie and dropped in sets of 3 squads directly into your enemy's lap.
    • A bit of MathHammer shows the following averages: 864pts of Combat Engineers will put out 216 shots, hitting on 3s and wounding GEQs, MEQs and TEQs on 2+ with a 5+/3+/2+ save respectively and 2 wounds, killing 640pts/160 models of GEQs, 1040pts/80 models of MEQs and 960pts/20 models of TEQs; while losing 288pts/36 Engineers in return. Thus, ignoring other factors the kills to deaths ratio will always be in your favour by a factor of 585:1300, 360:1300 or 390:1300 respectively and Carcass Shot is most productive when used on MEQs.
  • Death Korps Commissar: A basic Commissar. Given all the buffs to Ld you can get with the Death Korps along with their Cult of Sacrifice rule, you can skip him. The models are pretty nice though.
  • Death Korps Death Rider Commissar: See above, but with a horse. Forge World doesn't seem to make these models anymore so you'll have to kitbash them.
  • Death Korps Quartermaster Cadre: This is where the Command Squad's Medi-pack went. One creepy guy and up to 4 servitors wielding scalpels that wound non-vehicles on a 2+ and get buffed to WS/BS 4+ and Ld 9 as long as they stay close to him. They also grant nearby Infantry and Cavalry the ability to ignore an unsaved wound on a 6+, making it mutually beneficial for them to stay close to a big squad of infantry.
  • Death Korps Death Rider Command Squad: A must-have for any list focusing on Death Riders. Taking this squad along allows them and up to 5 other Death Rider units to deploy via outflanking at the end of any movement phase. Use in combination with the Death Rider officer, above, and a few squads of Death Riders, below, to outflank an entire detachment!
    • As of the current FAQ, this unit is not limited to 1 per Commander, unlike a normal <Regiment> Command Squad. While this seems like a fairly obvious RAI oversight (no more than 1 per Death Rider Squadron Commander), it's not entirely clear whether or not Marshals or Field Officers should let you bring more of these.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Death Korps Storm Chimera: The Krieger approach to warfare is obvious in this armored vehicle's loadout. It gets an autocannon as its turret gun and the option to buy improved armor, which gives it a 2+ save vs weapons of S4 or less and lets it ignore the effects of land mines on a 4+. It's a price hike on the standard Chimera, but it's worth it. Note that it doesn't necessarily have to be used with Death Korps; although it has the DEATH KORPS OF KRIEG keyword instead of REGIMENT, it specifically says it transports ASTRA MILITARUM INFANTRY, and even mentions it can take Ogryn, so RAW, it's legal to use these to transport regular guardsmen, or even storm troopers.
  • Death Korps Centaur Light Assault Carrier: Hoo-boy. This little bugger is magnificent. Sure, it's not as tough or as shooty as a Storm Chimera, but if you pop 5 grenadiers with some meltas or flamers, or 4 with heavy flamer/melta or flamer/melta or flamer/sergeant and, optionally, a fifth rider of your choice, such as an Astropath or Primaris Psyker for Smite, you can send this off towards the enemy up to 9" before the game even starts. Imagine your opponent's face when they see this little bundle of hurt rolling towards them. They can ignore it, and have some grenadiers kick them in the arse, or shoot it and ignore the vast majority of your army.
    • Pretty cheap, at 54 points, and 6 wounds in it's still Movement 12, unlike a Chimera, which has dropped to 8 by then. Plus, like the DKSC above, this transport carries any Imperial Guard infantry, not just <REGIMENT> ones.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Death Korps Death Rider Squadron: A big step up from the basic Rough Riders. +1 to WS, T, A, and Sv, although the +1A evens out in the wash when you don't charge, as you lack chainswords; regardless, you're much less likely to die before you reach your target, particularly since the Augmented Mount special rule gives you 5+ FNP against S4 weapons and below. Your steed gets 2 extra attacks instead of one and hits as hard as a bolter; this is particularly noticeable when not charging, giving you 4 attacks to a normal Rough Rider's 3, and 2 of those are at +1S. While you don't get a chainsword, you do get krak grenades, which will benefit one model in the unit. While you cannot outflank with this unit (unless you take the Death Rider Command Squad), it is not slowed when charging through terrain, making it easier to attack cover campers. With no access to special weapons, they're much better suited as frontline brawlers - with access to orders, they can be just mean with Fix Bayonets! and Duty Unto Death! (although Fix Bayonets is better in basically all circumstances). Like with most DKoK, they have Cult of Sacrifice as a morale buff.
    • On the turn you charge, you can't use Fix Bayonets usefully. Duty Unto Death multiplies the output of any dying model by 9/6 (except for the Ridemaster, who base is multiplied by 8/6), while Bring It Down will multiply by 7/6. That means the "tipping point" is that you should use Duty Unto Death when you expect to lose more than 7/9 of a unit, and Bring It Down with less, and it doesn't matter at exactly 7/9. Since that can be a very tricky fraction to apply mid-combat, it might be easier to remember this rule of thumb: use Duty Unto Death only when you're expecting to lose the fight very badly, and stick to Bring It Down otherwise. If even that is too tough to call, just stick with Bring It Down as your default.
      • I might be missing out on someething? why would you ever use any of those orders when charging? Both fix bayonets and bring it down is used in the shooting phase and last until the end of the shooting phase. So on the charge only Duty Unto Death will help out in the combat.
    • Rough Riders cost 10 points apiece, compared to the DKoK Death Rider cost of 16, which pays for itself in the improved attack volume alone, let alone their many other improvements, like ability to obey orders; their only substantive downside is their inability to take special weapons. Even their sergeant is buffed, as he drops his lance to buy a melee weapon if you want to change his melee up, as opposed to stock, which is forced to carry both a lance and a power weapon if you want that.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Death Korps Heavy Weapons Squad: Other than the higher WS, Krak Grenades, and Cult of Sacrifice, they're identical to the vanilla HWS - with the additional option to take heavy flamers. You might need to bring a couple along anyway though since you can't take heavy weapons in your regular infantry squads.
    • Heavy Flamer teams are drastically the most cost effective way to get heavy flamers into your army, so much so that they are actually competitive with flamers (which does not usually happen, due to a heavy flamer costing more than two flamers). This gives them a radically dofferent role from what HWSs are used to, but they can be very effective when carried in a Valkyrie.
    • Heavy Bolters and Twin Heavy Stubbers may compete with each other, as they both cost 8 points each, and are both direct-fire anti-infantry options. Against TEQs (T4 2+), Heavy Bolters win (0.9801 wounds on average vs 0.765 wounds on average). Against MEQs (T4 3+), either option is viable (1.485 wounds on average). Against GEQs (T3 5+), Twin Heavy Stubbers are better (3.9204 wounds on average vs 2.4948 wounds on average). Ultimately, Heavy Bolters are better against enemies with better saves, and Twin Heavy Stubbers are better against enemies with worse saves. The models for either weapon choice are very nice, so you can't lose there.
  • Death Korps Leman Russ Mars Alpha Battle Tanks: Your favorite battle tank, customizable into any configuration of Russ as you see fit (though the Vanquisher Cannon comes with a heavy stubber instead of a storm bolter as its coaxial weapon), but now with the ability to trade the stock hull-mounted heavy bolter for a multi-melta or a plasma cannon. As an added bonus, its armour save becomes a 2+ against weapons of S4 or lower, so bolter shots won't even faze you.

Elysian Drop Troops[edit]

Note that people who don't understand how incompetent Forge World is will insist that, like DKoK, they have a doctrine in Aerial Drop, even though they pay a point for it, and doctrines don't cost points; the truth of the matter is that Elysians ought to have a doctrine, but don't. Since any regiment without a doctrine can take any doctrine, this means Elysians can take tallarn for more accurate fliers (just remember to stick with the Valkyrie, since the other options don't have the Codex ability to become more accurate while Hovering) and more accurate assaults when Advancing and using their unique order to make their weapons Assault. Other options work, too, but will neither feel as Elysian nor be as effective, outside of militarum tempestus, which will multiply your deep strike lasgun and plasma gun shots by 7/6, just like re-rolling 1s does.


In addition to their unique units, Elysian Drop Troops can only take the following:

  • Elites
    • Officer of the Fleet
      • With the FW FAQ, this model buffs all Elysians targeting a specific target, making this one hell of a complement to our Company Commanders. Re-rolling both 1s to wound and to hit with plasma and melta is a pretty big deal. They also gain aerial drop ability. Deep striking one of this guy down to buff your backfield heavy weapon teams or vet/command squads is a very strong buff and a steal for the points.
  • Fast Attack
    • Tauros
      • Gains aerial drop.
    • Tauros Venator
      • Gains aerial drop.
  • Heavy Support
    • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle
    • Tarantula Battery
  • Fliers
    • Avenger Strike Fighter
    • Lightning Strike Fighter
    • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter
    • Valkyrie
    • Vendetta
    • Vulture

The following weapons cannot be taken by Elysian Drop Troops:

  • Autocannon
  • Lascannon
  • Power Axe
  • Power Maul
  • Sniper Rifles are carried by specific 2W 2A Elysian Sniper Squad models, who, like their cousins in the Death Korps not actually named Heavy Weapons Teams, curiously only occupy 1 transport spot on a Valkyrie.

Special Rules[edit]

A few rules that are unique to Elysians and have wide spread effects concerning many or most units in the army.

  • Aerial Drop: You can deep strike any Elysian Drop Troops model, including any kind of Tauros. Just don't forget the limits of doing so in matched play.
    • Remember, this applies to every model with the Elysian Drop Troops keywords, which is everything with either Aeronautica Imperialis or <REGIMENT> you can take, i.e. every in-faction model for you, including e.g. turrets and flyers. Elysia apparently does not believe in non-droppable materiel.
  • Iron Discipline: All Elysian officers have an aura buff that gives you the ability to re-roll failed morale. Talk about hard core soldier when even junior officers of the Elysian army are inspiring enough to make your guys as brave as space marines. Squads that come with a sergeant will be at ld 8 so the enemy will have to inflict some pretty fucking serious casualties before you start suffering significant losses due to morale.
  • Strafing Coordinates: This is the officers of the fleet target designation rule. He picks a target within 18" and friendyl aeronautica imperialis units shooting at that target gets to re-roll hit rolls of 1. Sounds familiar? For regular guard regiments this is kind of cute since faq 1.0 this is one of the corner-stones of our buffs. Faq 1.0 replaced all the officers of the fleets instances of the keyword aeronautica imperialis with Elysian giving all units with the Elysian keyword. Fantastic when we write about the ootf or officer of the fleet buff this is what we are talking about.

Weapons and Wargear[edit]

  • Breacher charges: Some Elysian squads can take breacher charges. This is what we get instead of demolition charges. Unlike demolition charges, which are powerful, cheap grenades, breacher charges are 5 times as expensive melee versions which don't let you use your ballistic skill. They do cause mortal wounds, but to be frank, if you do the math, the average damage output of these one-shot weapons is not good. Even assuming you get into melee intact, 6 of these (from, say, 2 special weapon squads armed with 3 each) will put out an average of 10.5 mortal wounds. That won't even kill a rhino, and if you want consistent charges, you'd better be willing to invest in a Valkyrie for those two squads. If you don't, you have to realize that your chance of making a charge out of aerial drop is only 10/36 or about 28% chance. If you do invest in the Valkyrie, you are now spending 260-288 points for a one-shot assault unit that does not even do that much damage; you are substantially better off with meltaguns against absolutely anything durable enough to make you reach for breacher charges in the first place.
    • Breacher charges could have been a fun and iconic piece of wargear for Elysians this edition. If they had been 5 points each, or at least auto-hit, they probably would have. Now, instead of throwing a few breachers around your army, making it sort of threatening sometimes in melee, one quickly realizes that a piece of one-use wargear that costs more than 3 plasma guns must have a lot more impact on the game than breacher charges do. Two breacher charges are roughly the same cost as a command squad with plasma guns, and 4 charges are as expensive as a veteran squad with 3 plasma guns and a plasma pistol.
    • Point is, stay away, outside of narrative games or other settings where efficiency and winning is not the primary concern in constructing a list.
  • Lascutters: Elysian Drop Troops can take lascutters (an S9 AP-3 D1d3 melee weapon which can only make 1 attack) as special weapons. From a competitive perspective, these are neither worth the special weapons slots nor the points. Charging from deep strike is about a 28% chance, and charging from Valkyries is expensive. Even if you get your veterans (or whatever squad you put these on) unharmed into melee, it is very hard to imagine a scenario where this would outperform some shooting with a melta or plasma gun. If efficiency is not something that concerns you, they can be quite a bit of fun. Theoretical cool setups include 10 veterans with 3 lascutters, a breacher charge, and a power fist, or 3 command squads with 12 lascutters, or 2 special weapons squads with 6 lascutters.


Like the Death Korps of Krieg, Elysians have have two unique orders.

They give up:

  • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase.
  • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fight as if it were in the fight phase.

They gain:

  • Hold the Line!: The targeted unit ignores models killed during both the Shooting and Fight phases for the purposes of the Morale phase until the next Movement phase. This makes commissars even less useful for Elysians, though you will, in most cases, use the other orders, since your company commanders already grant a re-roll.
  • Move and Fire!: All of an Elysian INFANTRY unit's weapons become Assault weapons until the end of the turn. Similar to Forwards, for the Emperor! but also allows Heavy Weapons to fire and move without the normal penalties for doing so. Note that this will make Rapid Fire 1 weapons Assault 1, which is unfortunate, but Heavy, Pistol, and Grenade weapons all get a nice buff. That last is particularly important, given how widespread access is to frag and krak grenades - with this order your entire unit can finally throw all of its grenades at once!



  • Elysian Company Commander: Compared to the basic company commander, the Elysian version loses the shotgun and chainsword but gains an extra point of Ld and allows friendly Elysian Drop Troops within 6" of him to reroll failed morale tests.
    • You will be forced to take these guys to fill out hq slots. He is a superior choice to the commissar in most cases and is a damned fine buffing character. We can also assume that he unlocks command squads for us which are quite points efficient. Elysian orders are good and these guys will spread them around to your troops. Has the benefit over Tempestors of both giving two orders and taking a plasma pistol. You may even risk overcharging that pistol from time to time since officer of the fleet makes access to re-roll 1s free on priority targets.
    • There are two approaches to taking Company Commanders, take as few as possible or take a-lot of them. The first approach gives you more "real" units to aerial drop. The second gives you more command squads and better saturation of orders. I have tried both and will usually land somewhere in between though i think going for few commanders is probably better. Remember commanders are not our primary source for re-rolling 1s to hit on plasma guns, officers of the fleet will help us out on that front.
    • Our commanders are generally more efficient than other regiments since we get access to re-roll ones on our through officer of the fleet. I would always take a ranged weapon for them. Take either a plasma pistol or bolgun as the situation requires.
  • Elysian Lord Commissar:This Lord Commissar loses the Power Sword (which is an upgrade, since he can still buy one if you wanted it, and can swap his bolt pistol out for a boltgun), and like the Company Commander he allows friendly Elysian Drop Troops within 6" of him to re-roll failed morale tests as an extra defense against morale checks.
    • Not great for us and you will rarely see any one take a Lord Commissar. He is more expensive than a normal commissar lord but the problem is we do not have conscripts. Since our Company Commanders offer ld re-rolls in addition to being cheaper and giving out orders he is the natural choice. The biggest unit size Elysians have are 10 man squads and while it is quite easy to create theoretical scenarios where a commissar would be better as a morale buffing char than a commander it will rarely impact the game in practice. This is especially true when you consider Elysian commanders have a morale buffing order they can drop in a pinch.


  • Elysian Drop Trooper Squad: More expensive than basic Guardsmen and also lack heavy weapons access, but have an extra point in Ld and the whole unit can take krak grenades for free. The sergeant can replace his laspistol with a lasgun since the faq.
    • The problem with breacher charges:Breacher charges are super cool but expensive and ineffective, even when we get to use them. 25 points is a lot for a piece of equipment, especially when that equipment is one use only (faq 1.0). Remember that the entire base cost of the squad is only 50 points. Even when we get to use them they don't do that much damage. Since they only work 50% of the time they will score an average of 1.75 mortal wounds on vehicles, buildings, or monsters, and only 1 on everything else. Combined with the abysmal likelihood of making the charge after aerial dropping in, we can only expect to land 0.5 wounds on a vehicle with an infantry squad.
    • Alternate opinion: Our infantry squads are not very tempting compared to other options. If you are going to take them keep them dirt cheap and expendable because they will not have the punch of veterans or special weapon squads. If you want to have something aerial dropping and killy in the troop slot take some scions. A cheap unit of infantry can be very useful in 8th edition. You can drop them on to objectives, this is especially relevant in progressive scoring missions. You can deploy them as a screening unit for your long range shooting, and it's not like you can take Conscripts since they're not allowed in the army list.


  • Elysian Special Weapons Squad: Like the vanilla counterpart, but swaps the demolition charge option for breacher charges, and, critically, takes their special weapons in addition to their lasguns - a 6-man vanilla squad is 3 lasguns and 3 specials, but an Elysian Squad is 6 lasguns and 3 specials, all of which can fire in 8E. Good as suicide melta units. Also effective for getting plasma guns into Rapid Fire range; plasma spamming is probably the best option for them if you want to deep strike them, though running them with flamers and meltaguns isn't a bad move either. A cheaper alternative to Veterans if you can ignore the lower BS.
    • Remember, a 3-flamer unit is 6 lasguns and 3 flamers, and very cheap.
    • Alternate opinion This squad suffers badly from sharing a slot with Veterans and Command squads. They have 1 worse BS and can't take heavy flamers. The two things that makes this unit unique is the squad size and the ability to take more than one breacher charge. The first is kind of nice if you consider putting them in valkyries or have plenty of elite slots to spare (which is surprisingly rare when making lists at 2k+). If you are putting them in valkyries they get expensive quickly, though. And get the stupid idea of taking two squads with 6 breacher charges in a valkyrie out of your head right now; that is an insane amount of points, and even if you get to dump 6 breachers onto a vehicle, it's only an average of 10.5 wounds. 10.5 wounds and you spent 150 points on breachers, another 60 for the men, and the valkyrie on top of that. Buy something reasonable instead, like melta guns or flamers, if you want to run them in a Valkyrie.
    • If you're spamming aerial drops, this unit is far cheaper than a Veterans squad, making it more efficient for drop-plasma, even after accounting for the Veteran's other benefits, assuming no orders are being handed out to the dropped units; while it is simply worse than a Command Squad, it's also not constrained by Commander count, which Command Squads might be (see below). That makes these great in any context where you want to simply drop in some suicide plasma.
  • Elysian Veteran Squad: Lost their most important option, forward sentries, so now you longer have any source of homing beacons in the entire codex. Identical to vanilla veteran squads (statline is the same but options/orders differ), but gain deep strike. These guys can take four flamers and jump from a transport into a horde, giving you 3d6 flamer and d6 heavy flamer overwatch hits, or you know, just burn the fuckers if they don't charge you. Breacher charges should be one per squad, as more may not survive to use it next turn (you can't take more than one). Missile teams are the best choice for heavy weapons, assisted by "Move and Fire" (This depends entirely on the target. Against anything you would shoot a frag missile against you are better of with a heavy bolter or mortar instead). Giving them shotguns can also be surprisingly effective, especially given how Move and Fire turns grenades into Assault weapons RAW. Note that since the faq the sergeant can take a lasgun and replace it with a shotgun if you want to (fw has confirmed the shotgun swap through email).
    • If you're taking these guys to cram them into a Valkyrie or Vendetta, remember that their Weapons Team does not have Heavy anywhere in its name, so the model only takes up one slot on a Transport, allowing you to fit the entire unit plus three more people on, if you take the Team. Also, a Team with a Mortar ends up running you 2 points less than the pair of Veterans it replaces, which can improve efficiency, although the Team goes from 6 weapons to 1 when pulling off the Assault order trick, which is seldom worth it on its own.
    • Lascutters + breacher charge + power fist is cute, and could be fun to play, but the range weapons will put out more damage and can put out that damage reliably. Remember rolling a 9+ to charge is not very likely (you will roll 9 or more in only 10 out of 36 cases) and the breacher charges are crazy expensive for a one use item that only works in melee. Besides, even when you get there it only deals an average of 1.75 mortal wounds against vehicles, buildings, and monsters, and an average of 1 to everything else. When factoring in the chance to charge out of deep strike this becomes a sad 0.28 mortal wounds on average against infantry. The lascutters are not great either. Str 9 is impressive and so is the d3 wounds. But after taking into consideration your lower chance to hit a melta gun is more reliable, keeps you out of melee (if you want to be in melee you can charge after firing the melta gun) and does more damage.
    • Alternate Opinion: Mathematically, this unit is great at doing aerial drops with 3 plasma/melta + plasma pistol. I would advise staying away from superfluous equipment like breacher charges and taking things like missile launchers and heavy flamers on them without thinking about it. Keep them focused on a task and fairly cheap and they will serve you well. I would also keep them out of transports in general. It is quite tempting to put them with full flamer load out inside a valkyrie but as soon as you do that the price of putting the unit on the board goes through the roof. With the potential of rerolling 1s to hit and to wound from a commander and officer of the fleet this unit is second in efficiency only to command squads in putting out deadly plasma fire at a cheap price.
  • Elysian Sniper Squad: A two wound BS3+ squad with a sniper plus deep strike for seven points each? Quite possibly the best value sniper unit in the game. May have lost the breacher charges and magnoculars for D-99 but got a crazy point reduction so it worked out well. Works wonders with "Move and Fire" (why would you waste your orders on a 21 point unit?) giving you assault snipers negating the move penalty of heavy weapons, combine that with deep strike and you can put these snipers exactly where you want them and dominate the table with them. Feel free to spam vanguard detachments with these guys, a company commander with three units of snipers is 103 points, a great beginning to any Elysian list this edition. You probably have to in order to take a decent amount of them, the Elites slot in your case is crowded as hell.
    • These guys are not bad for the points comparing them to other snipers in the game. Keep in mind though that killing high wound characters with good saves will take a lot of these guys. Roboute won´t lay down just because half a dozen of these squads shoot at him (a bog standard Astartes captain will take 23 or so sniper shots to bring down). Something like a Commissar on the other hand is possible to kill with a few units. A reasonable expectation of snipers is for them to be annoying for your opponent, sit on objectives, and allow you to aerial drop more veterans.
    • Each of these is like a heavy weapons team (2 wounds, carries an extra lasgun, etc), but because it isn't called that anywhere in its keywords, it will only occupy 1 capacity in a transport, which may be worth remembering.
    • Pack three units of snipers (9 teams) and 1 officer of the fleet in a valk/vendetta, send them off to your opponent's deployment and have a field day as you fuck with his characters with snipers plus an air raid (it seems crazy expensive to transport a few snipers and an ootf in a valkyrie when they have no reason to get within 9" and all have aerial drop).
  • Elysian Command Squad:Super cheap and deadly, best configuration is generally going to be 4x plasma/melta, with the first being cheaper and generally more useful. Most of the time you are forced to take at least 3 company commanders and you should pretty much always take the maximum allowed of these guys. Besides being cheaper than their scion counterparts, they also have greater damage potential with the way officer of the fleet interacts with Elysians after faq 1.0, buffing all Elysians and not only aircraft.
    • Currently even after faq 1.0 these are not limited by the number of officers in your army; this is an obvious oversight, though, so don't go thinking you can take like 14 of these, though if this turns out not to be an oversight it would be crazy powerful. Current RAW is that you can spam them, but most opponents are unlikely to let you.
  • Elysian Platoon Commander:Gets to take melta bombs for free which is cool. Though with only one order and competing with officer of the fleet for the slot you would be hard pressed to actually find a place for these guys. Officer of the fleet is cheaper, a better buffer in most cases and drops some mortal wounds on the enemy for you. He does unlock more command squads, though, and is passable if you don't intend to run a deep-strike intensive force.
  • Elysian Drop Sentinels: They are more expensive than regular guard sentinels but can aerial drop. Its super cool to have your guys dropping in via grav-chutes but beyond the narrative etc aplications its hard to fit them in a list. A better idea is probably taking the regular guard version unless you are dead set on pulling off distracting charges from deep strike. They don't get the cc weapons of normal sentinels though and if you are thinking of investing in a Sky Talon to get them in Ogryns seem like a better choice.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Tauros Assault Vehicle: BS4+ with either a twinned grenade launcher or a heavy flamer, same stats as the Venator which has worthwhile weapon options. Pass.
    • Another way of looking at it is that in a pure Elysian force this is the cheapest fast attack choice we get. The grenade launcher is no doubt horrible (priced as a lascannon) but the heavy flamer can make for a mobile cheap-ish unit that let us reserve more veterans and be annoying for the opponent. To be fair, though, taking regular AM scout sentinels is probably a better idea.
  • Tauros Venator: Either a twinned multilaser or a twinned lascannon; multilasers can actually annoy 5+ or worse infantry as the laser is S6. Lascannons will usually hit once with BS4+. Ignores movement for Heavy weapons, which means that achieving the 5++ for moving minimum 10" is now worthwhile. Is this Jink brought back in 8th, you ask? Maybe. Three of these pump out the same amount of shots as a Vendetta while being able to move and shoot, as well as having a 5++, for 48 more points. Consider these if you want something meatier than infantry but you can't fit in a flyer. Don't bother putting these in a sky-talon; with the range of these weapons you want to stay back and harass from a distance.
    • These suffer from the standard problem of anything with twin lascannons, which is that Forge World decided every weapon except lascannons deserved to be less than twice as expensive when twinned due to the inability to fire it at multiple targets - meaning the twin multilaser does cost less than two multilasers, which has a tendency to modify the math on which weapon loadout is the most efficient. At 18 points, the twin multilaser is surprisingly good at busting up TEQs and other 3++ targets where the lack of AP basically doesn't matter, as it delivers a lot of shot volume for the cost.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle:Funnier than when other Regiments take it, because unlike them, you can drop this right next to the enemy. You can't drop it close enough to actually threaten them, since it won't explode past 6 inches and you'll be more than 9 inches away, but it's still a very disquieting 40 point ball of worry - and, of course, if you drop it next to some enemy melee units, they really won't want to deal with it themselves.
  • Elysian Heavy Weapons Squad: Like Vanilla counterpart, but you gain deep strike, so they become even better. You lose lascannons and autocannons compared to vanilla guard, but with deep strike you get some free positioning without resorting to transports. Mortars are for blobs and missile launchers deal with armour and monsters. Heavy bolters are meh since tarantulas do the job of two heavy bolter teams but for the double the wounds, better toughness and armour save, for three points cheaper in exchange for having to shoot the closest infantry squad, though you were probably using the turret as a distraction anyway. "Move and fire" order combos well, giving you assault missile launchers or mortars. Parking these squads in cover will do worlds of good for them as all three weapons have decent enough range. These will be common as infantry squads lost heavy weapons and vets will be used to deliver melta/plasma/flamers into close quarters environments, where heavy weapons will be a tad out of place.
    • Since you, in all likelihood, won't be aerial dropping these guys, saving those slots for our vets, it may be tempting to take regular guard weapon teams instead to save a few points. Don't fall victim to that temptation. While I would argue that it is a waste to have a commander giving heavy weapon squads buffs, at least mortars and heavy bolters, the main reason for staying Elysian is the buff to re-roll from officer of the fleet. A 25 point character will give you re-roll 1s to hit for all units engaging his designated target. That is a very effective way to buff heavy weapon teams spread out in cover.
    • Mortars are dirt cheap, missile launchers are not. While most opponents will cringe at the idea of throwing their precious shooting at mortar squads (especially when they are hunkered down) engaging missile launchers is a much more palatable activity. From my experience mixing squads to contain 1 missile launcher and 2 mortars seem to work best. Mortars try to deploy out of line of sight while the missile team try to be minimally exposed. Once you start taking fire you can remove the mortars first (or the missile launcher if you have no need for krak missiles). It makes the missiles more cost effective as far as resilience goes.
  • Tarantula Battery: Astoundingly cheap, and while you can't give it orders, you can drop it right next what you want it to shoot. It will take the movement penalty to shooting the turn you drop it, of course, but so would a dropped heavy weapons team. The sheer number of twin heavy bolter turrets you can simply drop in your enemy's way is fantastic.


Remember, all of your Fliers have the Aerial Drop ability, but why would you want to? Well, the 8E rules have never been clear on how deploying in a transport interacts with the other deployment rules, so the closest we have to a FAQ ruling on this is the Designer's Commentary, which specifies very clearly that a transport on the battlefield counts as the same "deployment choice" as the units embarked within it. This means we don't actually know whether embarked units during deployment count as anchors, drops, or something else entirely (they might count as neither, depending on what "deployment choice" means, exactly). For now, do your best, but it might end up the case that dropped transports need fewer anchors or something. Keep an eye on the FAQ.

Other than that, your flyers are all very tanky, due to Airborne and Hard to Hit, so they are ideal anchors (aside from their cost) - stick them on the table during deployment to soak up and avoid enemy fire, and get ready to surprise your enemy with presents containing violence.

  • Avenger Strike Fighter:
  • Lightning Strike Fighter:
  • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter: Slight callout here, as it's your only 15 wound plane and has a 6+ regen, so it's definitely your tankiest plane.
  • Valkyrie:
  • Valkyrie Sky Talon: Fewer options than a basic Valkyrie and you can't take them in squads, but they can transport either a Tauros or 2 Drop Sentinels. Previously you could spam these guys alone, however with their new points increase valks are generally better value. It should be noted that you can use these to shove Heavy Flamer sentinels down your opponent's throat..... but since your sentinels already have both Scout and Aerial Drop, it seems dubious that it would be worth the points. Also works on Heavy Flamer Tauroses, of course, but..... why?
  • Vendetta:
  • Vulture:


  • A warning: Guard are strong this edition. Very strong. Between dirt-cheap, morale-immune blobs like conscripts and commissars, and extremely weapon-dense deep striking units like scion command squads, Guard can take an enormous beating and deal one out in turn. It's not speculation to say they're one of the strongest armies this edition. You remember all those Tau and Eldar players you hated in 7th? That's you now. Be magnanimous! Don't run the strongest army you can (unless its against the Tau and Eldar); just enough to make it fun. As the saying goes, never play an ace when a two will do.
  • Meat and Potatoes Army for 50 power, or 1030 points, and fulfilling a battalion detachment (you wont care about rerolls with this army though) you can field 3 company commanders, 4 commissars, 200 CONSCRIPTS, and 3 full heavy weapon squads of any variety. And they said 8th edition was free of abuse and power gaming...do note that this is a LOT of men, and will run you ragged in dollars as well as friends. But it is strong.
    • This is your successor to the parking lot army of editions past. A bunch of conscripts (2 squads of 30 is usually sufficient for 2000 pts) on the flanks to hold objectives. A vanguard detachment of 2 platoon commanders and 2 commissars led by a Ministorum Priest works nicely, and gives a nice +1 CP. These are your potatoes. Chimeras, Leman Russes, heavy weapons and artillery in the center. Run sentinels (or, better, Tauri) up the sides and drop Scion squads 9" from the enemy and open up with Plasma Guns. This is your meat.
  • Elysian Special Weapons Squads/Command Squads can bring more plasma/melta than is even remotely necessary to the battlefield. They are cheap - Elysians still pay 7 points for BS3+ plasma. Plus, they can deep strike safely within rapid fire range. Combine with the Militarum Tempestus doctrine to hit as hard as possible when deep striking, or with Tallarn for best-in-the-business Valkyries.
  • Valkyries & Vendettas: Or 'How I learned to stop worrying and love 8th Edition'. Due to the wide range of infantry, your Valkyries can carry a lot of stuff and get it into 'fuck you' range with exceptional speed. Here's a few suggestions as to what to put inside:
    • 2x Special Weapons Squad - two demolition charges and two flamers can give a nice one-shot pile of pain.
    • 3x Command Squad - Can take Heavy Flamers, and no lasgun tax. Offers some serious density of firepower, but at the cost of survivability; every casualty counts if everyone's carrying a Meltagun. You can get them all into melta range, but when the enemy returns fire, you have no nameless riflemen to keep the heat off your precious special weapon bearers. Scions can improve the survivability a bit but you're still T3 with one wound apiece. So that's what it feels like to play Grey Knights. Alternatively, fill your V-Force flyers with 12 plasma guns apiece for a mere 156 pts, and Grav-Chute immediately into rapid fire range. Problem, Battlesuits?
      • Plasma guns are more points efficient than meltas against almost all non-vehicle targets, including within melta range, provided you apply a rerolling buff to make overcharging "safe". 2 command squads and an officer for orders leaves you room for something else your enemy really doesn't want next to them, like Nork (see below). Meltas win out against Rhinos or tougher.
    • Ogryns/Bullgryns - Turn 1 charge! Seriously, the Valkyrie's Grav-Chute Deployment is a disembark move, so you can move, shoot, and charge normally afterwards. Thus your meatheads can advance 6" up the 9" required separation distance, fire whatever guns they brought along, and then charge from 3" away. This can be done with any Astra Militarum unit (thus the meltaguns above can move into range for maximum effectiveness, see above) but if you're going to be charging, you're going to be doing it with Ogryns & Bullgryns. Note that Vendettas cannot transport Ogryns/Bullgryns.
      • Elysian Command Squads come in 4-man squads, like the amount of Bullgryns you can fit on Valk, but you can fit three squads in one, for 12 guys. Each can carry a lascutter, which hits harder than an Ogryn does (+2S -2AP usually the same D). They're only WS 4+, not 3+ like an Ogryn, and not even remotely as durable on the return, but if you want a cheap melee glass cannon, these guys can deliver.
    • Veteran Squad - Like the Command Squad, above, but you have some lasguns to eat return fire, increasing your chance of firing those Special Weapons more than once. On the other hand, you're using a valuable airborne assault carrier to get these guys into combat in the first place, so why not maximize that alpha strike? Up to you.
    • Infantry Squad - Nah. You've got better options and you know it.
      • Alternatively Elysian Infantry Squads can all throw frag/krak grenades with "Move and Fire", so consider that for dealing with units that suck at cqc (Tau/vehicles without fly) and then charge them for maximum effectiveness.
    • Tempestus Scions - Elysians, if you don't feel like selling your kidneys to Forge World. Sure, they can Deep Strike, but this way they can move another 6" after the disembark, which is very valuable for Scions; it gets you into Rapid Fire range for your Hot-Shot Lasguns, and bonus-damage range on Meltaguns, too. This can result in an extremely painful alpha strike, if you bring along a Tempestor Prime to order them. And you're hitting on 3s!
  • Artillery Park The Mighty MoO is a cheap autoinclude, but is worth building an army around. Thanks to templates no longer being a thing, 3 Manticores and 3 Wyverns can safely fit within the roughly 7" bubble emitted by Yarrick or Harker, and dole out the xd6 shots all the day long. The above rocks in at slightly under 800 pts before upgrades, so it's not like you won't have enough for some bubble wrap.
    • If you are going to bring a Spearhead detachment for your artillery, it might as well be a Catachan one. You can fit a tank commander, Harker and your artillery tanks into the formation and all the big guns reroll 1s to hit with Harker and reroll a die on the number of shots when they shoot for extra creamy goodness.
  • Gunship fortifications The new rules for the Skyshield Landing Pad is that it can repair fliers on top of it to the tune of d3 wounds per turn. Stuff a techpriest and an Officer of the Fleet next to a Vulture and dare your opponent to come within firing range of a Hovering flyer rerolling 1s and regenerating 2d3 wounds per round while chucking out 40 shots per round.
  • Keep Your Allies Close: You aren't just a Guard player this edition; you're an Imperium player. That means that you can technically bring any Imperium faction into your army without much difficulty. When push comes to shove and there's a hole in your list that needs plugged, don't be afraid to look at a small group of non-Guard Imperium allies to plug that hole: it's perfectly legal so long as they share the Imperium keyword, and unlike the bullshittery that was going around with the <regiment> keyword and was mercifully FAQed out of debate, this is actually how the game is meant to be played. There are some armies, such as the Adeptus Mechanicus, that have perks that are only usable if every unit in the detachment shares their subfaction's keyword, but there are others that don't care. Celestine doesn't have the Astra Militarum keyword for instance, but she does produce a bubble of 6" that specifically gives your Guardsmen (and any other Astra Militarum unit within 6") a 6+ Invulnerable Save. It's fluffy, it's legal, it's not rules lawyering, and you can keep your army overwhelmingly Guard-themed.
    • Besides obvious choices like Celestine (and the Adeptus Ministorum in general), Adeptus Mechanicus (preferably in their own detachment), and Guilliman (who buffs all Imperium units), other solid choices include most varieties of Space Marine, especially close-combat ones like Blood Angels and Space Wolves. Some people even say you can ally in Genestealer Cults and get access to Tyranid allies that way, but those people are filthy xenos-loving heretics.
    • With the exception of Crusaders, which now have the Astra Militarum keyword for some reason, a lot of these will prevent you from taking Regimental Doctrines unless using separate detachments. In the case of Inquisitors and any HQs like Celestine, you can easily circumvent this by placing them in a Vanguard detachment along with any <Regiment>-less Elites you have, such as Priests, Commissars, Ogryns, and so on.
  • Mech Guard in 8th: Mechanized Guard took something of a hit in 8th edition with the way Heavy weapons interact with vehicles and the generally poor Ballistic skill of said vehicles. It's hard to play aggressively with a tank army without seeing a drop in your vehicle's effectiveness. Pretty much all of your vehicles are now more expensive but less accurate on the move, limiting how many you can take and how often you can hit. With the meta favoring blob guard buffed by characters, it might be awhile before mech guard becomes viable again. That said, it's important to maximize your selection, such as having units in transports that synergize well. Tempestus Scions should never ride in a Chimera if you own a Taurox Prime. Likewise, Infantry squads perform better in a Chimera where they can recieve the benefit of a character or two riding along. Veteran squads, once the staple of any mech list, got an awful demotion to the Elites slot, but can become a hard-hitting counter-punch unit if equipped with shotguns and flamers or meltaguns, riding in either a Chimera or more preferably a Taurox for its higher move. The unit can disembark, move, advance, and still shoot with a 4+ to hit. If they choose a Chimera they should seriously go with the double Heavy Flamer variety since your reduced Ballistic Skill doesn't matter and you're going to be up close anyways. Armored and Scout Sentinels can keep pace in the earlier turns, but are basically redeployable turrets. Avoid the old Devil-Dog like the plague. As far as Leman Russ variety, put fixed shot weapons like the Externinator Autocannons and Punisher Gatling guns on the standard Russ, and random-shot number weapons on your Commander to maximize your hit chance with the shots you get. Sponsons are generally leave, as anything except Heavy bolters are either too random, too expensive, or has too few shots to make up for the loss of Ballistic Skill when moving. The exception to this is your Tank Commander or Pask, as they can more reliably hit on the move.
    • One of the advantages to a mech Guard list is that it will be one of the few times your dudes can get the first turn without seizing the initiative.
  • A note on list building: You can, and realistically SHOULD be running a Brigade-sized (3 HQ, 3 Elites, 6 Troop, 3 Fast Attack, and 3 Heavy Support) detachment in your Guard army, with every single required force org slot having a unit that can be taken for under 45 points. Company commanders are only 30, Platoon commanders 20, infantry squads 40, Scout Sentinels with multilasers 45, and Heavy Weapons mortar teams at 24. For just under 600 points you're getting 75 meat bags and 3 ration cans, but more importantly you're getting +9 Command points before you're even half way done with a 2000 point list. Start with this basic set up, and then season to your personal preference. Just keep in mind that with 18 drops (before dedicated transports), this sort of army will very rarely get first turn.
  • Armor: Alright treadheads, this book does NOT leave us in the dust. Rommel would be proud of how our Russes look this edition. Previously our tanks were all mediocre, but now, not even the Vanquisher is a stinker (though it is the worst still). GW saw fit to give us regimental rules for our vehicles as well, meaning that we got what Marines did not. Honestly, the only regiment that doesn't do something nice for tanks, is Mordians. Armageddon tanks are tougher and hit harder for longer. Catachan tanks reroll random dice for shots, Cadian tanks get to reroll 1's to hit when they sit still and have a tank order. Tallarn tanks can move and shoot at full BS FOR ALL WEAPONS. Vosroyans add 6" to all heavy weapons (you know, the type of weapon your tank is literally covered with). I feel like I'm forgetting something...Oh yeah, if we move between 0-half the Russes current move stat, we fire our turret weapon TWICE! So you ask, "Okay, can we build an army of Russes?" Absolutely, 8th has given us the mighty Spearhead detachment. for 2000 points, you can bring around 6 kitted out tanks of various flavors, two Commanders and a BANEBLAAAAAADE. Give it a shot and enjoy your army of over 120 T8 3+ wounds.

Tallarn Tactics[edit]

  • Deep Strike 2, CP Boogaloo: Put Kurov's Aquila on your Grand Strategist Warlord, and make sure he's on the table first. Spend 1-3 CP on Imperial Commander's Armoury, which will cost 2/3 or 2 CP on average; give the Dagger of Tu'Sakh to an Ogryn Bodyguard, Enginseer, or Yarrick, and have it buddy up with a Bodyguard, Enginseer, or Command Squad (which you choose depends on other choices, but the Command Squad is just a Medi-Pack for the Dagger bearer if you take one, since you'll be deep striking so far from the enemy); if you take at least one Bodyguard, you can give him the Death Mask of Ollanius, for a 2++ Bodyguard who can heal himself 1/game. Then use Ambush (average cost: 2 CP) on 3 Leman Russ units that have committed to full plasma: Tank Commanders can use Ogryn Bodyguards and order themselves to re-roll 1s, making them exceptionally durable, but Leman Russ Battle Tanks can go 3 at a time, since they don't split the squadron until after they deep strike; they're more reliant on Enginseers (and possibly Yarrick) to keep their plasma safe. Tank Commanders can also use Yarrick to re-roll 1s, using their order for move-shoot-move shenanigans. The net result is 5 deep striking units, 3-9 of which are plasma tanks, that are carrying more than enough with them to keep their plasma firing on overcharge in relative safety. The whole mess has to deep strike near table edges, which is why it's done with Leman Russes as the core - infantry can't drop and shoot usefully, and your artillery tanks don't have a real need to deep strike. You can do it with a Baneblade variant (in fact, up to 3 of them), such as a Stormlord, but the CP cost is fairly extreme for something that can probably survive just starting on the table to begin with and doesn't need help getting in range.
    • If you don't take a Death Mask Bodyguard in the deep strike ball, you can take one for your Warlord, or just take the Laurels of Command, depending on your anchors - the Laurels are much better for a Company Commander with infantry, but the Bodyguard is better if you're starting with yet another Tank Commander, particularly with more plasma.
    • You can add Celestine in an allied detachment - she can deep strike in on her own and provide a 6++ - but you might find at that point that you'd rather have her start on the table protecting your anchors, depending on what you are anchoring with. She will grant an Ogryn Bodyguard or Bodyguards a 4++, significantly.
    • The Warlord double commits to CP refunding to manage the costs of doing this (as well as how good it is to have CP refunding on tap throughout the battle); if you'd prefer, the only critical relic is the Dagger, and the Warlord can be a Tank Commander in the Ambush ball with Master of Command, letting him babysit one other tank and reducing your initial CP costs, but you'll have fewer CP as chances for the CP refunders to trigger pass you by, and you'll deeply regret lacking a Death Mask bodyguard if you're dropping your Warlord into the fight, particularly with plasma.
    • The plasma is primarily to cope with deep striking so far from the enemy (completely within 6" for the Dagger and 7" for the stratagem of a table edge, and more than 9" from any enemy), but this can also be done with Punisher or Demolisher Russes, which will slightly hinder your flexibility in where you drop them; you should reconsider your sponsons if you opt for that. The plasma weapons punch very hard for their cost while overcharged, but if you drop the plasma turret, the plasma sponsons are a lot less compelling, since they're less efficient than the turret was, and the less plasma you take, the less you care about also deep striking in ways to cope with mortal wounds from the plasma.
      • If you go plasma light, you can use the dagger to bring in one or two Astropaths instead, for Deny the Witch and, more importantly, +1 to saves on one tank and -1 to be hit on another.
      • You can also use it on a Tank Commander; this means the second deep striking Dagger unit will have to be tallarn infantry, though, and they have to show up near each other.

Elysian tactics[edit]

This section focuses on tactics for Elysians. That means armies entirely made up by Elysian forces or where the majority of points/models/focus is spent on the Elysians. If you are just splashing a couple of deepstrikers in your blob/astropath list then it's probably better to post it in the general strategy section above. In any case, exercise some common sense.

  • Deep-strike lots of veterans: If we are talking basic strategy and Elysians it takes a moderately intelligent individual about 60 sec of looking through the rules to think of this strategy. Everything has access to aerial drop? Plasma guns fire at full effectiveness in the allowed drop zone? Veterans get 3 plasma guns per squad? Since our answers is yes, yes and yes we realize that deepstriking veterans with special weapons is a good idea. While a straight forward strategy it takes some clever list building to get something where we can overwhelm our enemy. We want a good balance between useful but cheap units on the boards as this will allow us to aerial drop more veterans, I recommend reading the section above called "Anchors" for suggestions and an explanation of why we want these units. Now slam a bunch of buffing characters in there, command squads and veterans and go to town! If you min/max with cyber wolves, tarantulas etc, you should be able to deep-strike between 14-20 units in a sweet combination of buffing characters and bs 3+ squads with good density of plasma guns.
    • A note on balance: Spam plasma guns. You can't go wrong. If you want the odd cases where something may outperform plasma check the weapons header above for more thorough analyzes.
    • I want friends: A great aspect of this list is that it is very fluffy at its core. If you are playing friendly, narrative etc games then just tone it down. Don't take cyber wolves as fast attack, take tauros venators. Don't just spam out heavy bolter tarantulas and mortar teams, throw a vulture in there. Maybe it is kind of harsh to play veterans in your gaming group, mix in special weapon teams.
    • Veterans are actually less cost efficient than Special Weapons Teams - to the point that you will easily use up all 18 elites slots in 3 vanguard detachments well before you reach 2000 points, even if you stay in-faction for your Fast Attack slots and take Venators instead of Cyberwolves as your anchors. One thing you can spend your excess points on is Vultures, who are very expensive anchors, but are durable as fuck and enjoy raping infantry in their spare time.
  • Command Squads? Command Squads!: Ok so while the idea of placing a ton of veterans in tactical reserve is like the definition of what Elysians do Command Squads are slightly different. The same principles as above generally apply. We will want a pile of anchors on the ground letting us aerial drop a ton of special weapons and fucking up our opponents' stuff. The veteran strategy utilizes the minimum amount of company commanders and a ton of veterans (of course buying one command squad for every company commander) and a few officers of the fleet. This list goes more or less exclusively for command squads as our aerial dropping special weapons. So instead of taking a minimum amount of company commanders we will take a lot of them. And for each company commander we will take a platoon commander. Now the platoon commander will join our ground troops, so he is unlocking an extra command squad and is then relegated to anchor duty. This will, in principle, give your company commanders 2 command squads each to buff (you don't need all squads to get buffed in reality). The thought here is that we will get more cost effective deep striking plasma (even after accounting for the officer tax). We will generally try going into 1 brigade + 2 vanguard detachments with this strategy. That buys us up to 20 elite slots and up to 9 hq slots. We quickly see that this would let us buy up to 14 command squads (9 company commanders + 5 platoon commanders = 14 command squads). If you think that's a tad light you may want to shoot for 2 brigades + 1 vanguard (22 elite and 12 hq slots) which would give us up to 17 command squads. That is 12 company commanders and 5 platoon commanders. Do note that at this point we are paying something like 600 points for infantry squads to fill out the troop slot and 630 points for officers (we get 22 command points though). We won't go that extreme though since we want a few officers of the fleet so we may end up with a veteran squad or two. What we gain is a more potent ground force to fight for us. Any officers we dont "need" for deepstriking will augment our ground forces increasing their damage output and/or mobility.
    • I want friends: This is not that kind of list. This is not fluffy, it is striving to min/max and optimize everything paying NO head to the backstory of Elysians or the other players enjoyment. If you are playing friendly/narrative games or any sort of game where you have not before hand agreed to a no holds barred dirty fucking fight.
    • It's not as bad as you think, because all of those brigades force you to take troops, and our troops are, fundamentally speaking, overcosted garbage by Imperial Guard standards if they footslog. If you go out of faction for troops (e.g. non-Elysian conscripts), that's where you'll start obviously maximizing your cheese, but bear in mind this still isn't that bad, since none of your officers will be able to tell your conscripts what to do, which robs them of all of their bite. Because Elysians can't take conscripts in-faction and non-Elysians can't deep strike their shit, there's really no way to go balls-deep on the deepstriking plasma cheese with command squads and come out ahead (command squads are an incredibly inefficient order target).
  • Maximum Plasma: Fairly straightforward; take nothing but Vanguard detachments. Each detachment's contents can vary somewhat, but the basic concept is that you buy THB Tarantulas, Tauros Venators, and HQs (Primaris Psykers for psyker support, or Commanders for Command Squads + Orders, although this is MSU style, so orders aren't terribly efficient) as your main anchors (the HQ anchors can ride in a Valkyrie or Vendetta, which is, itself, an anchor, allowing you to take one less "HQ tax"), then Plasma Command Squads and Plasma Special Weapon Squads as your drops in the Elites slots, with one Elites slot in each detachment going to an Officer of the Fleet for the MSU style re-rolls you need on your plasma. This is typically so efficient, you can then easily afford tailoring after the fact, as you will have so many points left over - for example, you can easily afford at 2000 points to fit a Vulture in as a replacement anchor for an HQ.
    • Valkyries vs Vendettas: Both have garbage BS, so you probably want a Valkyrie, which means you want lascannons on your Venators - in principle, you can instead field multilaser Venators with a Vendetta, but the improved multilaser output won't do much since the rest of the army can already handle good multilaser targets; lascannon Venators might actually hit something, in contrast. Remember, all of your vehicles are buffed by the Officers of the Fleet when shooting ground targets.
    • Whether or not you put a pair of Heavy Bolters on your Valkyrie/Vendetta will probably be a function of whether you went for Commanders or Psykers, as the Commanders will want the HB's points to upgrade Special Weapons squads to Command squads.
    • Avoid temptations like full-on Veteran squads. The only time you should field Veterans is with an attached Officer in a Valkyrie/Vendetta to pull off the assault grenades trick. You can modify this list to do that, of course - you'll just be giving up some sweet, sweet plasma to do so, and you'll be using an Elite as an anchor, so plan accordingly.
    • The reason you're not filling up on Command Squads is simply the assumption that you're not supposed to be able to, as the RAW does not limit Elysia or Krieg from spamming Command Squads, unlike every other Regiment, including Militarum Tempestus. In a context where you know Command Squad spam is legal, obviously just field that for maximum plasma.
  • I just want to play with model aircraft Well it sucks to be you because it turns out in the rule-book FAQ that you automatically lose the game if you only have aircraft remaining in play. Nah I am just screwing with you. While aircraft no longer count towards having units on the board for determining whether or not you have been wiped off the board this is only relevant after the first game round (after you and your opponents first turn). Games workshop did not screw us over while sill managing to wreck the storm raven and hemlock spam. So this really falls in to two categories, one where we actually transport our dudes in Valkyries and vendettas and one where we transport our dudes in "high-flying Valkyries" aka waiting to aerial drop them. In principle the first kind gives up a bit of its air power to get more out of the grunts, primarily flamer and melta wielding grunts. The second kind focuses a bit more on effective aircraft and settles for the regular plasma shenanigans.
    • Ride of the Valkyries: The name is on the nose but you will spend a lot of points on Valkyries and vendettas. First turn you will hopefully rush these birds up the field and disembark grunts with devastating effect on your enemy. Its probably worth bringing a few other kinds of aircraft so you keep some teeth after the primary strike when disembarking. Vultures are fucking amazing value and lightnings/thunderbolts are good tank hunters while the avenger lands somewhere in the middle.
    • Broken arrow: Name is inspired by the phrase from "We were soldiers". Here we are aerial dropping almost all of our stuff. To be honest this is the way I prefer running my aircraft heavy Elysian. I feel like the vulture and avenger/lightning/thunderbolt complement plasma veterans very well. Look at it like this, we are already paying for the privilege to aerial drop our stuff. And while you may imagine we should have a discount for taking transport aircraft we do not. I usually go for about 6 aircraft, with the rest of the points spent on veterans and anchors. Make sure you bring an officer of the fleet to play his part as a force multiplier. Depending on the opponent its not always best to hit him head on. Some times it can be very beneficial to hold back the bulk of your infantry as the threat of deep-strike may keep the enemy wrapped in his little corner. In objective based missions this can be absolutely devastating as spending 3 turns not moving out often makes it difficult to win objective-based games. I many cases this is an in-your-face army. Flyers rush up the field, tons of veterans fall down next to their targets, officers of the fleet mark targets for you. If all goes well you will weaken the opponent to the point where you can blunt his counter attack. Just remember the "aircraft don't count when you check if you are tabled" rule. Spreading out some snipers and mortars in your deployment zone is often enough so that you opponent cant easily get to everything.
  • "Mechanized" Elysians: Mechanized Elysians are a thing, at least in the fluff. There are references to entire drop regiments deploying in a barren landscape to fight speed freak orks (it's from an imperial armour book, I believe it's volume 8: kastorel-novem, but not entirely sure). To keep up with the orks, pretty much the entire regiment deployed in tauri supported by aircraft. Now, the regiment ended up being absolutely wrecked in the fighting (not unusual for the brave Elysians) and this strategy is not really about going no holds barred but rather about recreating something cool from the backstory. So we basically load up on a bunch of tauros vehicles, for most of us that means venators since assault vehicles are not available any more. We also get our mandatory hq-choices, command squads to with them, a few officers of the fleet, at least enough veterans to not squander our company commander orders and then get some aircraft. This is basically a list with a few deepstriking infantry units, and a bunch of vehicles. Officers of the fleet buff your stuff and then we use our mobility to try and outmaneuver the opponent. It may not be the most powerful list out there but vultures do a good job against infantry and venators with lascannons do a number on heavy armour. Deepstriking plasma guns should complement this nicely allowing you to apply a lot of force in one place or spread it out exactly where you need it.
  • The infantry squad surround: A complement to any cohesive Elysian strategy that includes deep-striking infantry squads, the one thing that Elysian infantry squads do better than anyone else in the game. Drop 1-2 squads + 1 company commander down 9" away surrounding a vehicle as best you can (this vehicle has to be kind of isolated in order for this to work without lucky advance rolls). In the shooting phase give them the order to move. This lets them move between 7-12". Use the move to surround an enemy vehicle, making it impossible for the models inside to make a legal disembark. Once they are surrounded, give the transport hell with your shooting and smile when your opponent realizes all those terminators (or Custodes or whatever) are now automatically dead.

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