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.

Contents

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 (Conscript spam is not the most viable option in the Guard army, after all). That's why you play the Imperial Guard.

Pros[edit]

  • Versatile and strong vehicles.
  • Hordes of infantry that can be buffed with force multipliers such as Commissars, Astropaths, Priests, and all Commanders.
  • Dirt cheap troops means you can laugh off the loss of cheap guardsmen or even 30 man conscript squads whereas an elite army cannot.
  • Laughably easy to amass command points in a brigade detachment or multiple battalions due to dirt cheap units.
  • Most Special and Heavy weapons are discounted for you in comparison to other Imperial armies, which is great considering how many you can cram onto a list.
  • 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 special weapons than Scions.
  • Most HQ choices are very affordable which helps mitigate the "HQ tax" of multiple detachments.
  • 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. 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.
  • Your primary strength is your versatility, so you're not reliant on a single gimmick.
  • Guard is one of the strongest armies in the game thanks to high point efficiency, versatile units, and high special and heavy weapon density.

Cons[edit]

  • 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.
  • None of your ground vehicles (with the exception of super heavies) can fall back and shoot. This makes tank heavy armies extremely vulnerable to assault.
  • Comparatively weak in assault. S3 (S4 for Catachans) with 1 attack each is not doing you any favor. 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 (the single best rule in ALL of the 40K universe!), 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.
  • Playing Imperial Guard can be tedious. Whether its literally counting out hundreds of dice for shooting (bring bags, and expect to lose some) or spending more than half an hour just deploying your army (movement trays, learn to love them). Fortunately your turns will go by faster once you start piling up casualties.
  • 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, unless you're interested in supporting your FLGS - store owners love new Guard players.
  • 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.
  • There are many Guard units (mostly Forgeworld) that are out of production. If you want to take those you'll either have to buy used or kitbash. If you're into conversions this won't be a big problem.
  • Balance is a fucking joke when you start looking at other armies' shiny new stuff. Your Shadowsword is almost as expensive as a Knight, but doesn't have an invul and has worse stats all around. Sly Marbo is a few points less than a Kelermorph, but the Kelermorph will dish out about five times more hurt and can actually penetrate armor, not to mention buffing nearby units. Yarrick is 100 points, but for that plus the price of a couple of Guardsmen, Iron Hands players can get Iron Hands Fierros, who outdoes Yarrick at absolutely everything and can fix vehicles. GW is clearly trying to fix the problem of early 8th edition where Guard armies were actually competitive against Marines.

Important Rules References[edit]

Games Workshop has been lax about propagating errata to their errata page, so FAQ links are included below. Current as of October 27, 2017

  • Codex: Astra Militarum is obviously your primary go-to for rules.
  • Index: Imperium 2 contains the original rules for the majority of the options you'll be considering as an Astra Militarum player; since any datasheet in the Index remains valid if it was absent in the Codex, you'll need to consult it for rules on things like Rough Riders or Power Axes and Power Mauls, and it has the rules for various allies you'll want to consider, like Celestine and the Inquisition.
  • Index: Forces of the Astra Militarum also contains options of substantial interest, including rules for Death Korps of Krieg and Elysian Drop Troops - this is your source for Forge World rules.
  • Chapter Approved 2018 is an essential upgrade for all players (especially competitive ones) as it includes all the latest official rules and points updates for most armies (including IG). Also includes Beta Codex of Sororitas which can be used as allies. Don't mix up with the outdated 2017 version which you don't need any more.

Special Rules[edit]

Regiments and Regimental Doctrines[edit]

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> (with some exceptions, see below), you get one of these rules. You just replace the keyword Regiment for one of the eight listed Regiments their Doctrines you want to use and you'll get the rule.

Making Custom Regiments[edit]

If you want to play a custom regiment, 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. For example, 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. 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 Militarum Tempestus, Officio Prefectus, Militarum Auxilla, or Adeptus Ministorum as your Regiment. Your Commander will not order Ogryns or Crusaders and so on. The Militarum Tempestus keyword cannot be used to replace the <Regiment> keyword on any other datasheet, so only the Scions, Command Squad, Tempestor Prime, and Taurox Prime may have the Keyword.

  • Per GW themselves, there's nothing stopping you from assigning the Storm Trooper Doctrine to your custom regiment, however, so you could include a separate detachment for all of your non-Militarum Tempestus units, give their custom <Regiment> the Storm Trooper Doctrine, and use the whole doctrine across your army. Just remember that you need to keep your actual Scions in a separate detachment from this one.

Maintaining Regiment[edit]

Most units in Astra Militarum detachments (excluding Superheavy Auxiliary detachments) benefit from a regimental doctrine if every unit in the detachment has the same Regiment and/or is on the list of units that do not break regimental doctrine. These units include:

  • Tech-priest Enginseer (either your copy, the elite with Astra Militarum, or AdMech's copy, the HQ without) and Servitors. Not Forge world units, just those three. 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 you.
  • Ministorum Priest and Crusaders. Not Adeptus Ministorum units, just those two.
  • 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.
  • 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.

As alluded to above, Superheavy Auxiliary Detachments don't benefit from Doctrines. If you want a LoW with a Doctrine you need to take them in either a Superheavy Detachment (3-5! Lords of War), or a cheaper Supreme Command Detachment (3-5 HQs plus 0-1 LoW)

  • The Death Korps of Krieg and Elysia can also be selected as your Regiment, though they do not have a proper Regimental Doctrine. Instead, they get a modified unit and Order selection with several choices unique to them, along with a number of special rules that more or less form a Doctrine. They lack any unique Warlord Traits, Stratagems or Relics, but have access to all the regular ones. Check out their sections towards the bottom of the page for more information.

Warlord Traits[edit]

If your Warlord is Astra Militarum, then they may select a Warlord Trait. Your Warlord may only select a <Regiment> Warlord Trait if they are part of that <Regiment>; custom regiments can only take the universal traits (honestly, the best ones are universal so no worries there). Named characters that already belong to a specified <Regiment>, like Creed, Kell, and Straken, may NOT pick from these universal traits and always have the <Regiment> specific Warlord Trait.

Since they lack the necessary keywords, Scholastica Psykana (Primaris Psykers & Astropaths), Forge World (Enginseers), Adeptus Ministorum (Priests), Militarum Auxilla, and Aeronautica Imperialis (Officers of the Fleet, outside of Elysia) characters can't use these traits.

Universal[edit]

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: Arguably the best Warlord Trait available to us. 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 compared to other armies.
    • As of Chapter Approved 2018, you can only recover 1CP per battle round, making this somewhat less impressive. Still, the ability to reroll a save at a critical moment can be a life-saver.
    • This warlord trait is still amazing post FAQ if your spending a lot of your command points before the battle begins which means there is no limit to how many CPs you can recover before the game.
  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. One of the best choices for a Tank Commander thanks to a bigger aura (remember, measure from the hull!).
    • 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, an allied Knight or other superheavy, or models providing buffs. However, 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. Definitely better than a Commissar, rerolling for free instead of at the cost of 1 execution.
    • If applied to an actual Commissar, Summary Execution takes precedence. If the Summary Execution re-roll is also failed, d3 models are slain but the test is considered passed. Now that regular Commissars may not cut it for Conscripts, this is the only area-of-effect source of morale immunity (after 3 cowards) that every regiment has access to.
  5. Bellowing Voice: Increase all data sheet ability ranges of the Warlord by 3 inches, aka 9" orders (which won't stack with a Vox-caster) or 9" Commissar auras of Discipline and Summary Execution. Remember named characters 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 (Just remember that Tank Commanders don't get the infantry orders). Probably the best trait to have as you can always use an extra order to buff your squishy guardsmen as much as possible.
    • No longer an issue for Yarrick or Lord Commissars. The FAQ says Commissars can issue the basic orders to any <regiment> infantry units, regardless of regiment. This is more special if you have multiple detachments, as Company Commanders may order units only from their own Regiment. So it's not only putting your orders in more baskets, but it carries fewer restrictions (although the Warlord won't have a Regiment-exclusive order). Remember, the Commissar still won't have a <regiment>, so they won't be able to order themselves.
    • Notably more useful in more contexts than the Cadian Warlord Trait, and should usually be preferred to it if you have the choice.

Orders[edit]

THE Imperial Guard Gimmick, the Orders system grants abilities to your troops to tip the scales of battle! At the beginning of your 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.

  • 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.

Re-roll Orders[edit]

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. You can remove cover from multiple units at once, too, as you can target more than one unit.
  • Militarum Tempestus - Elimination Protocols Sanctioned!: Ordered unit re-rolls all failed wounds, but only against MONSTERs and VEHICLEs.
    • This is situational, but very strong; Scions usually hit on 3s, so the more significant limiter on inflicted damage is usually weapon power (even meltaguns will only damage a tank half the time). Use on squads loaded with meltas (NOT plasma, as you'll be overcharging and you want that re-roll of 1s) to get some extra oomph on a tank or large creature.
  • 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[edit]

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.
    • Also be sure to shoot the Chimera you just embarked on AFTER you issue this order. The Lasgun arrays on your Chimera can only be fired if a unit is embarked; nothing about WHEN that unit embarks. They’re often overlooked but it’s 6-12 extra lasgun shots. Shoot, jump aboard, shoot again.

This can also be away keep Plasma vets command teams safe for two turns just let fire then order them back into transport. While keep Commissar Yarrick near by for those re-roll ones.

  • Elysia - Loses "Forwards, For the Emperor!" for Move and Fire!: the unit's weapons become Assault until the end if the turn. Allows the entire unit to throw grenades, basically it's only use.
  • 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"). This can be especially potent on boards with good line of sight blocking terrain; move your 5" from behind a building, do some damage, then retreat 6" back behind cover for a frustrating game of whack-a-Leman-Russ. It can greatly help extend the life of a tank commander, and makes you feel like a tactical genius.

Extra Attack Orders[edit]

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...especially if you're a S4 Catachan. And if you are against a lightweight enemy with bad melee and good shooting, then it becomes a damn good tactic.
    • As the unit is fighting while still in the Shooting Phase, the Cadian Doctrine and Take Aim! will let them re-roll 1s to hit. Likewise, Bring it Down! will let them re-roll 1s to wound.
    • 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[edit]

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 sergeant's Bolter, if he has one) may target Characters that are in range regardless of whether or not there are closer enemy units.
    • 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.
    • The best option is just to put a vet squad loaded for bear in a valkyrie or chimera and give them an officer. Or wait for your opponent's special snowflake characters to come to you, and then melt them with a couple plasma squads.

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 SnipersC.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 1W/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 latter'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.
    • Combined with the Grenadiers stratagem, this can let a squad tie up the enemy and bite off their nose. A skilled opponent will often charge, wipe the front squad, and then consolidate into CC with the squads behind, ostensibly weakening your shooting. Pop this order, Grenadiers, and Firstborn Pride for good measure, and show him what's what.
    • 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.

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): If manifested, an enemy unit with 18" of the psyker suffers -2 to its leadership. 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. That said, you can synergize with other Imperial leadership debuffs like Sicaran Infiltrators, Metallica's -1Ld Stratagem, Space Marine Reivers The Guard (and Imperium) is all about coordination!
    • 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 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!
      • Of note is that it’s the units that suffer the mortal wounds, not the models. This means that you can't snipe out specialists.
      • Because friendly fire is on, you can use this, if you're desperate, to try and detonate your own Hellhound(s).
    • Psychic Maelstrom (WC 7): If manifested, roll a D6. On a 2+, an enemy unit within 18" of the psyker suffers a mortal wound, then you throw another D6. on a 3+, you repeat this process until you fail to deliver a wound. This power is hard to channel, but it can be 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. Save a Command Re-Roll for this one - by re-rolling the lowest of two dice you can get it off about 84% of the time.
  • Defensive Powers
    • Psychic Barrier (WC 6): If manifested an Astra Militarum unit gets +1 to their saves until the start of your next psychic phase. Channels relatively reliably. The flat bonus to saves can make certain units stupidly durable and 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. Stack it with Nightshroud on a Baneblade and make your opponent weep salt-water crocodile tears. 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 Astra Militarum unit subtract 1. Best against low accuracy shooting. 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. It also stacks with Night Fighting and similar rules.
    • 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! Limited far more by the Psychic Focus rule in matched play - you only get one.

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. Hope you brought a tank commander, because the odds are pretty nill otherwise.
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.

Stratagems[edit]

Universal[edit]

Standard strategems that can be used by any and all Regiments.

  • 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. If you're sitting your artillery still like a good guardsman, this stratagem will bring your hit rate up to 75%. Just imagine a Wyvern with 75% of its average 14 shots hitting (especially since they already reroll failed wounds).
  • Consolidate Squads (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select two Infantry Squad units within 2" of each other that share the same <Regiment>. The selected units 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 command points. Also a good option to 'save' orphaned special and heavy weapons by adding them to less mauled squads. Consolidating squads can allow for improved ease of buffing, i.e. requiring fewer orders, allowing psykers to buff more models with a single power, etc. It could also be useful for adding more bodies to special and heavy weapons embedded with your men and for sergeants with fancy pistols and/or melee weapons. You could get more than one special and/or heavy weapon in a consolidated squad and have more bodies to die for them before they themselves are killed; the one thing Special Weapons Squads and Heavy Weapon Squads simply do not have.
  • Crush them! (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of your charge phase. A Vehicle Unit 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 (Tallarn Titanic units also have their heavy weapons count as assault if they advance... Just throwing that out there).
  • 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. For further hilarity, use this on a Mordian Malcador Defender, and it will actually shoot more accurately then when it's normally shooting!
  • 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. Now that commissars got the nerf this one got a lot more useful. You might want to use this stratagem if you’re using infantry or vets and need them to survive morale, and don’t have anything else to buff leadership nearby. It’ll help them survive losing 3-5 guys at once much more easily.
  • 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 (friend and foe) 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 removed from the table, to maximize the potential victims of this stratagem. Useful if your squad was wiped by several MSU units and/or characters.
  • 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. It does not however, prevent you from popping smoke, which given that you can't shoot anyways, you might as well.
  • Grenadiers (1 CP): Use this stratagem before an Astra Militarum Infantry unit either shoots or fires overwatch. Up to ten models in the unit that are armed with grenades can throw a grenade this phase, instead of only one model being able to do so. 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 powerful tool for any regiment in Overwatch on a roll of 3 or more (especially Mordians). Bullgryn Frag Bombs can become a hail of bolter shots.
    • Extra powerful in Cities of Death, where grenades both reroll all failed wounds and get the maximum possible amount of hits. That's 60 for ten models.
    • Can also give Scions squads a nasty bite. Krak grenades will do a better job versus tanks than a hot-shot lasgun. 6 of them can supplement the squad's special weapons nicely, especially since scions are out of order range a lot more often.
    • Krieg Combat Engineers are white hot death with this stratagem! The whole squad carries Acid Gas Bombs, AP-2 DD3 Grenades that auto-wound non-VEHICLES. That's not all though! Aside from the squad also carrying Krak Grenades, one can take a Demolition Charge and the Watch Master can also take Melta Bombs, so not even tanks are safe. For 1CP, it's possible to erase nearly any unit stupid enough to get too close.
  • 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. Can only be used once per turn. 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, surprisingly, "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 in your army and until the end of the turn, any embarked officers may issue orders to units outside the vehicle, measuring range from the vehicle. He is also treated as having access to a Vox.
  • 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. It also lacks the Summary Execution rule while granting a superior LD buff, so you should always consider taking this stratagem over a regular Commissar. "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 Infantry units. That unit immediately adds 1 to their armor 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 when you get to fire a Deathstrike missile (pay after rolling the 8, before resolving the shot). 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.

Rulebook Stratagems[edit]

Just in case you forget, the following stratagems can be just as crucial as the ones above, if not more so.

  • Command Re-roll (1 CP): Re-roll any single dice. Simple, but probably THE most important stratagem of the game.
  • Counter-Defensive (2 CP): Used in the combat phase after an enemy unit that charged has fought. Pick one of your units to immediately attack.
  • Insane Bravery (2 CP): Used at the start of the Morale Phase. Automatically pass a morale test for a single unit of your choice. This is one you should save for a Conscript/Combined Squad.
  • Prepared Positions (2 CP): Use this at the start of the first battle round, before the first turn. Anything wholly in your deployment zone that isn't Titanic counts as being in cover. Thanks to the vast hordes of infantry that Guard can field - if you're running a brigade then you will be fielding vast hordes - all too often you likely won't be getting first turn, so this is a big help - and remember Vehicles benefit too!

Wargear[edit]

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.
    • The Vostroyan warlord trait makes this deadly, and their relic armour can keep him alive long enough to use it.
    • Catachan Company Commanders are the most obvious choice for a power fist - thanks to "Brutal Strength" you're now S8. Have him order Fix Bayonets to himself and a nearby infantry squad (preferably a combined squad) and put them both in buff range of Straken and a Priest. That's 9x S8 power fist + 54x S4 attacks all hitting on 4+.
  • Power Maul/Lance: 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 or plan on taking one of the numerous relic swords the guard get.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

Basic[edit]

  • Laspistol: A lasgun Pistol. More of a placeholder than anything else, but it's free. Just about anything in your army that can take something better should, but some things are stuck with one, like the Master of Ordnance.
  • Lasgun: Your trusty flashlight hasn't changed. What changed is the way strength rolls against wounds, allowing it to wound T5 on a 5+, and T7+ is no longer immune to them. Paper stats aside, with FRFSRF ordered, treat these as S3 Storm Bolters.
  • Bolt Pistol: 1pt for a real pistol. Only advantage over the boltgun is that it can be fired in close combat, if you expect your squishy meatbag Guardsman to be fighting there for some reason. Usually worse than another option, like the laspistol, but there are specific cases where you might contemplate taking one as a deliberate choice, such as on a Tempestor.
  • Boltgun: 1pt allows your sarge/Character to actually contribute to a firefight instead of merely looking cool.
  • Hot-shot Laspistol: What it says on the tin, but only 6" range means you may not even get to shoot it before a charge. Creed has two, just because. Avoid this if you can on the Tempestus Scions and Tempestors that tend to carry these, because you can't deep strike and hit anything with these, but your hand may be forced. If you find yourself within the 6" range to fire it, you may as well just throw a krak grenade instead.
  • Hot-shot Lasgun: Available to Scions and Krieg Sergeants and Grenadiers. Still sacrifices 6" of range for AP-2, but as the AP system itself changed this bad boy is ever so slightly worse at MEQ hunting now. Its short 18" range also makes it unable to rapid fire right after a deep strike, even though its most common carriers love deep striking - it's not free, so swap it for something else if you can. (As of chapter approved 2018, these weapons are free.)
    • Hot-shot weapons are much better on models riding a Valkyrie, so you can deliver them into range.
  • Plasma Pistol: An actual officer's weapon. Plasma can now be fired safely at S7 AP-3 to deal with infantry, and can be supercharged to S8 and D2 to deal with heavy infantry and even vehicles. However, a Gets Hot now outright slays the shooter, so reserve overcharges for your disposable sergeants instead. No longer overcosted at 5pts, so it's actually worth considering now.
  • Autogun: A Lasgun that cannot FRFSRF, costing the same 0pts. Previously only available to Ministorum Priests, now Veterans can take these for some reason.
  • Shotgun: Still a 12" Assault 2 lasgun that cannot FRFSRF, it now gains Str4 at 6", so it behaves like a bolter when a squad "GBitF!", or when Vostroyans shoot them in melee with "Repel the Enemy!". Available to your Commanders (via the Index) as well as to Veterans, with whom they go well alongside their plethora of flame weapons.

Grenades[edit]

  • Frag Grenade: You know what this does and damn near every Infantryman in the Guard carries them. D6 lasgun shots at 6" of range.
    • Note on the maths: if you're able to issue FRFSRF, you're statistically better off taking the flat four lasgun shots over the average 3.5 shots a frag gives you. However, your sergeant will never do worse with a frag when compared to his laspistol.
  • Krak Grenade: A bit of a rarity in the guard. Available only to Scions, Kriegers, and Elysian Vet Squads and a few characters. A single S6 AP-1 DD3, might not sound like much, but it'll do a better job then a Frag against tougher multiwound Infantry and Vehicles and can be brutal when combined with the Grenadiers stratagem.
  • Frag Bomb: Big 'nades for big boys, these are your Ogryn's choice of grenade. It's a Frag that hits like a Boltgun; while inferior to the Ripper gun, it will allow melee built Ogryn Bodyguards and Bullgryn actually to do something in the Shooting phase.
  • Demolition Charge: Available to Special Weapon Squads (via the Index), Krieg Combat Engies and Death Rider Commanders, this is a brutal single use weapon, letting you make D6 S8 AP-3 DD3 attacks at the standard 6" range. While a no brainer take on the later two, it's more of an alternative side choice for SW Squads, since they keep their lasguns and give up their other weapon options to take them and can only chuck one at a time. Unless, of course, you use the Grenadier stratagem.

Special[edit]

  • Flamer: An assault 1d6 S4 that autohits from 8" away. You cannot depend on this weapon alone to beat hordes like it used to with its average 3.5 shots. Still, being an assault weapon that always hits, there's no penalty for advancing and firing, especially for Special Weapon Squads. It's also pretty useful insurance against charges as it always auto-hits during Overwatch and cautious opponents will position their charges at least 9" away to ignore its 8" range, thus degrading their odds of making the charge. Flamers are most effective when taken in Catachan special weapon teams of 3 because they can reroll their D6 shots with Burn Them Out!.
  • Grenade Launcher: Not bad, but there are better things available. Krak grenades in particular took a big hit, with insufficient strength, AP and shot volume. Apart from being an assault weapon, you're not getting much besides the frag and krak grenades discussed above.
  • Hot-shot Volley Gun: A Militarum Tempestus-exclusive, replacing their access to the Sniper Rifle (also mounted on Taurox Prime APCs). Essentially a bigger Hot-shot Lasgun at Heavy 4 24" S4 AP-2, and Scions have enough BS to hit on 4+ on the move. It cannot be boosted by FRFSRF, but its longer range allows it to more easily proc Storm Troopers' extra shots. This, and not the flamer, is the Scion's response to hordes.
  • Meltagun: Good against anything with lots of wounds, not just vehicles. 12" Assault allows it to be fired even if you ran. S8 AP-4 D1d6 makes it more powerful than supercharged plasma and safe. If you manage to get to within 6" and fire it, you roll 2D6 and take the highest. This improves the average damage to 4.47 from 3.5 and also providing more consistent damage output. As of Chapter Approved 2018, you're paying 10 points for regular guardsmen and 14 for anyone with BS of 3+ or better.
    • Note on the maths: On a model with 3+ BS, the meltagun within half range has a slight advantage in terms of average damage dealt per point over a supercharged plasma gun in rapid firing range against T8/3+ targets and TEQ-characters. Guys with a BS of 4+ are almost always better off with plasma (it helps that regular guardsmen are, regrettably, extraordinarily expendable when the gun gets hot).
    • The choice between plasma and melta should be based on what you want your infantry units to be doing. If your dudes are going to be sitting in a static gunline, plasma is probably a better choice. If you are getting your men close to murder tanks, big monsters, and/or armored characters melta can be the better option.
  • Plasma Gun: See the Plasma Pistol, but in Rapid Fire. You only need to supercharge against mean bastards, but against mean bastards, you need to supercharge. Given that you have a *huge* variety of ways to re-roll 1's ("Take Aim!", "Born Soldiers", "Harker's Hellraisers", "Hero of Hades Hive", etc.) casualties from supercharging can be easily minimized.
    • Given it has the same 24" range and Rapid Fire profile as Boltguns and Lasguns, Plasma Guns should be the default special weapon choice in most squads. Remember, it is 7 points on BS4+ models (Chapter Approved 2018 only made it 11 points for models that do not have a 4+ BS). As for BS 3+ units (vets, Scions, etc.), there is some room for debate between plasma and melta (see subpoints under Meltagun).
  • Sniper Rifle: May target enemy characters even if they aren't the closest model, but with its mediocre bolter-tier stats they're really fishing for Mortal Wounds on 6s to wound. Cannot be taken by rough riders.
    • At just a measly 2 points, it's the cheapest special weapon your squads can buy, but Ratlings can have 5-10 of them, don't have to buy them, and have the special abilities to get the most out of them, so if you really want sniper rifles you might as well just get them with the hobbits, or not at all.
    • Command squads with these can be Ordered, which in combination with Cadian 'Take Aim!' makes them hit about 89% of the time. Not as good as Ratlings, since they're vulnerable to return fire and can't scarper back out of LoS, but command squads are more accurate this way. This is, of course, a rather inefficient use of orders, but you may have orders to burn.

Heavy[edit]

  • 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. Because of the revision to the way AP works it's in direct competition with the Heavy Bolter and many vehicles in your motorpool. Becomes extremely valuable in games using a lot of scenery or buildings since it doesn't need LoS to hit its targets.
  • 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 T5 and less, but especially against T4 and T2. The heavy bolter is alright, but nothing to write home about.
    • Interestingly, the AP-1 over the Multilaser makes a double Heavy Bolter Chimera a strong contender now.
  • Autocannon: 48" Heavy 2 S7 AP-1 D2. Its two S7 AP-1 D2 shots don't particularly excel against any one kind of target. The heavy bolter is generally the superior choice against infantry and the lascannon is the go to for anything with high toughness and multiple wounds. The autocannon does, however, act as the take-all-comers option of the heavy weapons.
    • Because Guard has access to cheap platforms for weapons, it may be better to specialize your units. However, having autocannons can let your bolters focus on the infantry, your lascannons focus on the big guys so you aren't wasting those two on the intermediate targets like MEQs and Sentinels as well as 2-wound units like some Eldar Jetbikes, Nobz, etc.
    • The autocannon's awkward profile actually makes it a decent choice for medium toughness units with high invulns like Eldar vehicles and larger Daemons. Chapter Approved 2018 also happened to reduce the cost of these guys.
    • Unbelievably efficient at killing venoms and sky weavers.
  • Missile Launcher: 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 or 48" Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 DD6. Still the Jack of All Trades, still the Master of None. Chapter Approved 2018 dropped the cost to 15 points a launcher. Both profiles are outclassed by other heavy weapons; mortars and bolters for anti-infantry and lascannons for larger targets.
    • The Krak profile is as point efficient as a lascannon against T8 targets with 5++ saves (like Knights) and generally more point efficient if the target is T7. The missile launcher is also without doubt better against hordes compared to the lascannon.
  • Lascannon: 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 DD6. The ever-reliable Imperial tank-buster. The improved strength over Missile Launchers is critical, meaning krak missiles wound on 4s while the Lascannon wounds on 3s. The extra AP doesn't hurt, either. Well, it hurts the enemy, but that's kinda the point, right?
  • Heavy Flamer: 8" Heavy 1d6 S5 AP-1 D1. Can only be taken by Command and Veteran Squads, but doesn't take up two Guardsmen. This almost strictly better than a Flamer, with the only downside that it can't advance and fire (outside of Tallarn Titanic Vehicles) and it is more expensive(at 14pts).

Vehicle[edit]

There are many weapons that are only available on vehicles, and other weapons that are also available to infantry have different tactics when mounted. Note, this list is currently incomplete.

  • Multi-Melta: 24" Heavy 1 S8 AP-4 DD6. 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 15 point cost as a missile launcher but cheaper than a 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. They are certainly cheaper, which is a bonus.
    • 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. Someone found the manual! Optional for your Leman Russ sponsons or as an Armored Sentinel's main weapon. Of course, a reckless guardsman can still overcharge it, getting the more powerful statline, but a 1 on the hit roll will destroy the poor Sentinel or have your Russ eat a mortal wound; so make sure you want the target dead at all costs. Like with all plasma weapons, be careful firing on the move or against things with negative hit modifiers; the -1 to hits stack and make the weapon burn the bearer on higher rolls than just 1s...
    • 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.
  • Multilaser: The multilaser comes stock on both the chimera and both the sentinel variants. Good at laying down fire on just about anything (wounding T5 on 3+), but the lack of AP makes it underwhelming unless focused en masse on a single target (spamming Tallarn scout sentinels, for instance).
  • Leman Russ Main Guns
    • Battle Cannon: The main gun of your standard Leman Russ. The Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 DD3 profile combined with the being able to fire twice when moving at half speed with no penalty turns these into scary good weapons. While inefficient against hordes, it is able to inflict a respectable amount of damage on basically anything. Grinding advance averages you 7 shots and its profile is verstile enough to threaten just about anything. The Battle Cannon is very much a generalist weapon able to do most battlefield roles but will lose out to more specialized weapons. The main downsides are the variable damage, as you are relying on RNG against low multi-wound models whom you'll either kill outright or scratch them to death in a nonstop battle of attrition, and that it struggles against invulnerable saves which negate the cannon's AP advantage.
    • Exterminator Autocannon: Costs less than the Battle Cannon and has a consistent four shots instead of the Battle Cannon's 3.5 average. The Exterminator is ostinecibly just a pair of autocannons on a Russ. It is inferior against T4, T7, T8, anything with a 5+ or better save, and anything without exactly 2 wounds. The Exterminator Autocannon is an extremely niche choice.
    • Eradicator Nova Cannon: Often overlooked. For less points than a Battle Cannon, you lose 36" of range and only hit at S6. In exchange you ignore cover bonuses, which would have been negated anyway by the Battle Cannon's AP-2. This is perhaps the most specialized of all the Leman Russ options, so only consider bringing it against targets that depend on cover saves (Space Marine Scouts with camo cloaks, Eldar Rangers, AdMech with cover canticles, Poxwalkers, Vindicare Assassins, Imperial Guard, etc). Perhaps the best at straight-up murdering GEQs in cover (wounding on 2+ with no save), its extra 12" range edging out the Demolisher Cannon.
    • Vanquisher Battle Cannon: The Vanquisher, a dedicated anti-tank cannon, is proof that GW is incapable of statistics. It performs worse against heavy armor than every Leman Russ turret except the exterminator, (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, S9, or flat 2D6 damage instead of 2D6 drop the lowest, it’d perform better against most vehicles than other Russes. While it is bad, it is the cheapest turret options available.
      • Stygies Vanquisher Battle Cannon: Forgeworld's crack at trying to make the Vanquisher usable. They... did not completely fail. With +1 BS if the tank did not move this turn and a Co-axial Storm Bolter or Heavy Stubber to reroll Hit rolls, it technically has the highest theoretical damage against enemy armor, though only outdoing the Demolisher and Annihilator by virtue of it's Co-axial mount. Even then only under the perfect storm conditions of all your bonuses going off.
    • Demolisher Cannon: Statistically the best tank-buster of all Russ cannons, and easily the most powerful of all the Leman Russ options. At 20 pts, the Demolisher is S10 AP-3 dealing D6 damage. And, as of the latest errata, it is now Heavy D6 at all times, regardless of the number of models in the target unit. The caveat? It has the same range as a lasgun, a 24" bubble of pure unadulterated murder. If you have to choose it's best taken on a Leman Russ rather than a Baneblade/Hellhammer (which won't benefit from "Grinding Advance").
      • Vostroya Demolishers improve the cannon's range to 30".
      • Catachan Demolishers are probably your best bet as they reroll their D6 shots with "Brutal Strength".
    • 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. If you fire it on Supercharge - which you should - it will outshine the Battle Cannon easily because of its improved AP and consistent dammage. The Executioner - when supercharged - is actually in direct competition with the Demolisher Cannon in terms of anti-tank. The Demolisher's only improvement against most targets is +2S, which is of dubious utility, given that it costs more and has 66.67% the range. The Demolisher is, point for point, better against heavy targets, but the Executioner is probably the second best all-rounder turret choice (first place being the Conqueror turret, see below).
    • Punisher Gatling Cannon: Tank-mounted BRRRT. Statistically, your best friend against infantry, but it lacks range and struggles against heavy stuff. However, consider grinding advance. While the range is short you will be putting out *40* S5. Virtually no Infantry units in the game can withstand that level of firepower. Additionally, because of the way AP works in 8e the sheer volume of fire can do decent damage against targets that might not immediately come to mind when thinking about a minigun on steroids. This is particularly true if you can get a punisher to hit more that 50% of the time... Looking at you Pask!
      • If you're running Cadian Punishers then the punisher cannon is amazing at causing unsaved wounds for use with the Overlapping Fields of Fire stratagem. Drown the target in dice!
    • Annihilator Twin Lascannon: You know it, you love it. Twice the cost of a Demolisher Cannon that trades the flexibility against infantry for a reliable number of shots and twice the range. More exciting then most of the other Imperium forces' versions due to Grinding Advance and Tank Orders, amongst other things. Works wonders as a Cadian tank!
    • Conqueror Battle Cannon: A Battle Cannon with less range that costs more. However, the gun itself is not important; it's the co-axial Storm Bolter and the associated ability that is the real selling point here. When shooting the main gun at the same target as the Co-axial, you may reroll any and all hits made with the cannon. This makes the Conqueror the most potent and flexible Russ variants this edition. So much so you should be asking yourself 'Why SHOULDN'T I take a Conqueror?' Just keep in mind your Storm Bolter's range is half your cannon's, so you gotta get up close and personal to make the most of this; still though, you'll be performing identically to the battle cannon from 24-48", and significantly better inside of 24".
      • Remember, with a 4+ BS rerolling misses raises your average accuracy from 50% to 75%; a big deal when you are putting out an average of 7 S8 AP-2 shots. This is probably the best all-rounder turret option for your Leman Russes.
      • As a side note, Forge World no long sells these turrets so you'll need to kitbash. The easiest (albeit not at all the cheapest) way is to saw off the barrel of a Vanquisher Stygies VIII Conversion Kit. Alternatively, you could just cut down a storm bolter and attach it to a regular battlecannon turret.
  • Inferno Cannon: Standard issue on all Hellhounds. 16" Assault 2d6 S6 AP-1 that automatically hits its targets. A bit more of a gamble than the Leman Russ Punisher's consistency, but if luck of the dice is on your side, or you're running Catachans for Brutal Strength, it'll straight up murder any GEQs and pile the saves on most MEQ.
    • Also a fine candidate for pushing unsaved wounds on things for Cadia's "Overlapping Fields of Fire".

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

  • Hellstrike Missiles: Hell yeah strikes! Does a good job against any armor, at a cost of 12pts. Heavy 1, S8, AP-2, roll 2d6 pick highest for D, which means at an average of 4.47 damage for each unsaved wound, this is the go to monster/tank/aircraft killer for the Valkyrie.
  • Hellstrike Missile: Yes, this is technically different than above per the Forgeworld Index. That's right folks, literally the same profile as Hellstrike Missiles but nearly triple the cost! Lightnings, Thunderbolts, Marauder Destroyers, etc. have to pay 30 points a pop because... reasons?
  • 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.
  • Multiple Rocket Pod: Anti-infantry missiles, 16pts for a pair gets you Assault 2d6 with the damage profile of a heavy bolter(and half a shot more on average), now at the same cost. Shorter range than Hellfuries, but a better damage profile, assault, and cheaper. You're putting these on a flier, so a 3' range really shouldn't be a problem.
  • 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.

Other Wargear[edit]

Infantry[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 Armour save rolls, giving them a 2+ save. It doesn't affect invulnerable save as of the October FAQ's.
  • Command Squads:
    • Medi-Pack: At the end of the Movement phase, the wielder can select a 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, and the wording means you can't bring a Heavy Weapons Squad or Ogryn back from the dead, since you can only heal a damaged one.
      • Note that units don't actually have Wounds characteristics, but that's what the rule says, and there's no FAQ entry; the typical situation where you'd need a ruling comes up with Command Squads (ironic, since they're the ones carrying these things), Infantry Squads, and Veterans squads, since those are the readily available situations where you can have a unit with both a dead 1-wound model and either a dead or an injured 2-wound model; discuss with your opponent, but the most consistent ruling with how medi-packs work in general is that you can target such units with a medi-pack, and choose to either bring back a dead 1-wound model, or heal an injured 2-wound model. The most consistent ruling with how multi-profile units work in general (such as mixed Toughness) is that you use the lowest profile in the unit as the unit's profile value, which would mean you can bring back dead 2-wound models to alive and full health, but can't heal them, when they're in units that also have 1 wound.
    • 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.

Vehicle[edit]

All of your non-Forge World vehicles on treads (so everything except either kind of Sentinel or either kind of Tauros) 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 5 points; with the vast array of other possible sources of re-rolls, this upgrade should be taken with a bucket of salt. Can be used to fill out points in a list, and could prove useful. Auto take in power level games.
  • Dozer Blade: Adds one to melee hit rolls when charging. Not bad per se, at 5 points, for that rare situation where you want to charge with a Leman Russ (finishing off MCs, for instance). 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. Or if you just want your tanks to look cool.
    • Actually crush them just forces a +2 to hit regardless of modifiers, probably not worth it considering how many CP you'll have.
  • Hunter-Killer Missile: This is a missile launcher with only the Krak profile that can only shoot once per game, at 6pts. Not bad on Pask or a Tank Commander for a little extra punch on turn 1. Sentinel squads can spam these like no-ones business.
  • Pintle Heavy Stubber: 2 points for 36" Heavy 3 S4 AP0 D1 is a bit more to think about it; outside of Tallarn. Compared to the storm bolter, it's the same cost, but for extra range and more shots from 12"+ away. Take this if your vehicle is sitting still, otherwise grab the storm bolter if you're running all over the place.
  • Pintle Storm Bolter: 2 points for 24" Rapid Fire 2 S4 AP0 D1. A perfectly respectable option on just about everything, and particularly useful in Overwatch.
  • Track Guards: Easily the most useful of all the vehicle upgrades. 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 even when they're on their last wound.
    • As far as upgrades go 10 points is an investment - put it on a Hellhound and laugh as your opponent fails to escape its auto-hitting cleansing flames even when its down to 1 wound!
    • Also useful on Leman Russes (particularly Tallarn who want to be moving) and short-range tanks like Demolisher and Eradicators.

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 one available to Tank Commanders is 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. At S+2 AP-4 D1d3 it's better than a Relic blade...but if you want one why not take an actual Relic Blade on a SM (who are much more than just dudes with Str4)? But if you're bent on demonstrating mortal hands are worthy of this Macharian blade, an Armageddon/Catachan/Vostroyan Company Commander with their respective trait, or Lord Commissar, could make something out of it, especially when supported by the usual retinue of Ogryn Bodyguard, Priest, Commissar Yarrick, Bullgryn, Crusaders and Conscripts (plus Straken for Catachans). The Guard may be a shooty army, but mortals can still fight the good fight with blade, boot and bodies. Plus the sword is only 4pts, try having some fun.
  • The Dagger of Tu'Sakh: Infantry officers only, per the FAQ. During deployment you can set up the bearer and one INFANTRY unit of the same Regiment (if the bearer has one) in ambush behind enemy lines. 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" away from enemy units. Surprise Special weapons are always welcome, especially when they're a part of a bigger plan instead of just them.
  • The Deathmask of Ollanius: Infantry only; the bearer has a 4++, and once per game, at the start of your turn, can heal 1d3.
    • An Ogryn Bodyguard with a Slabshield and Bullgryn Plate will now have a 2+/4++, massively increasing his durability for non-Mortal Wound threats, risks that are both diminished by it suddenly healing 1d3W, helping the overwhelmed Field Medic.
  • The Emperor's Benediction: Replaces a Commissar's or Lord Commissar's Bolt Pistol, giving it +2 shots, -1AP, and +1D. While it can also target Characters like a 12" sniper, it can't do so when the bearer is within 1" of the enemy, unlike the very similar Imperial Fists Spartean relic Bolt Pistol. Still, better than a Plasma Pistol.
  • Kurov's Aquila: Officers only (now including Tank Commanders!). Every time your opponent uses a stratagem, roll 1d6, and on a 5+, you gain one Command Point. The only relic available to non-Cadian Tank Commanders. Punish Ultrasmurfs for their recycling command points!
    • Unfortunately, Chapter Approved 2018 has nixed recycling multiple CP - you can only regain one per battle round. Still, being able to get one when your opponent spends is still good and you can combine this with the Grand Strategist warlord trait to have even more chances to reclaim them.
  • The Laurels of Command: One of the better relics too! 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. Also the only way in the game to stack multiple orders on one unit, though the bonus orders can't be the same as the first (so no, you can't use Fix Bayonets like 10 times if you keep making the roll).
    • Has phenomenal scaling with a Cadian warlord with Superior Tactical Training; every order issued can cause an 'exploding' propagation of orders, easily allowing one man to command very large numbers of units. The easiest way to resolve having both is as follows: 1) Issue an order to unit A. 2) Roll for STT; on a success this order affects unit B as well. 3) Roll for Laurels; on a success, go to 1 for unit A's next order. 4) Repeat the process on an unordered unit.

Some orders are better than others, and since rolling a 4+ is no guarantee they have a priority or Cycle: "FR,F!SR,F!" -> "Take Aim!" -> "Bring it Down!"; with FftE or GBitF at the beginning if necessary. Some Doctrines add details to this cycle. Just don't plan on reliably rolling four consecutive 4+s.

  • Armageddon units may begin the cycle after being ordered to "Mount up".
  • Cadia has a better "Take Aim!", but "FRFSRF" is still more powerful than even full to-hit rerolls, so all regiments should order it first.
  • Catachans "Fix Bayonets" better, and have Straken. They may also "Burn them Out" of cover first and then begin the cycle if the Laurels activate, without using "Take Aim" if Harker is nearby.
  • Militarum Tempestus might need to "Get Back in the Fight" more often than others, due to their shorter ranged weapons. Only against vehicles and monsters is "Elimination Protocol Sanctioned" better than "FRFSRF"...but they have enough melta and plasma that "Take Aim" goes before "FRFSRF" when they supercharge. Otherwise, follow the cycle when trying to proc Storm Troopers. Again, you're already lucky if the Laurels activate in the first place.
  • Mordians may Form Firing squads before entering the cycle.
  • Valhalla should fall back and "Get Back in the Fight" instead of jumping to "Fire on my Command"...unless they're supporting a unit that cannot do so, like Bullgryn or Rough Riders. Order "Fire on my Command", and then they may want to "Take Aim" before the rest of the cycle, to minimize friendly fire. Or "rough-house playing", as they call it.
  • Vostroya has a similar reason to Valhalla to "Repel the Enemy" instead of "Get Back in the Fight". "Repel the Enemy" before "FRFSRF" to shoot four times in combat. Vets with Shotguns have a better reason to Repel instead of GBitF, though they won't FRFSRF.
  • The Tallarn Doctrine is essentially FftE always turned on.
  • Death Korps of Krieg caught in melee wouldn't fall back because of their better WS: turn your Lasguns into pistols with "Without Mercy", but then go directly to "Fix Bayonets". Death Riders should instead "Fix Bayonets" and then "Duty onto Death".

Specialist Detachments[edit]

Specialist Detachments are a type of Detachment added with the Vigilus Defiant campaign supplement and can be unlocked by spending commands points. These Detachments are custom made for specific sub-factions, which grant them access to additional Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Artifacts through the use of a new, unique keyword. Only specific units within the detachment are affected, and a detachment can only be turned into one specialist detachment. Detachments that are customized for each faction that grant bonuses, does this remind you of anything?

It seems fine thus far, though who knows how the future will unfold. Nothing seems like an obvious meta-breaking auto-take, but they all seem to have a place. Plus they don't really grant bonuses. They just unlock Stratagems, which still cost Command Points to use.

General stratagems[edit]

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

Emperor’s Fist Tank Companies[edit]

All Leman Russ tanks, including your Tank Commanders, gain the Emperor's Fist keyword. Never has a keyword been so apt.

Stratagems

  • Unyielding Advance (1 CP): No matter how far you moved in the movement phase, the selected Leman Russ may have the full benefit of the Grinding Advance ability by firing twice. While few would think LRBTs needed a mobility enhancement, it does allow for strategic and tactical options without sacrificing firepower. Your short-ranged Russes (Punisher, Demolisher, Executioner) will thank you. Especially good combined with tallarn's tank order, since it adds about 5" of movement - you can either undo all of it with the 6" from the order if you just wanted the shot but not the positioning, or, of course, you can stack them for about 11" of threat. Also worth noting that Surprise! Russes set up via the Tallarn's Ambush stratagem are considered to have moved their maximum distance making them a good candidate for Unyielding Advance.
  • Steel Phalanx(1 CP): Choose an enemy unit. All Emperor's Fist units that charge the chosen unit cause d3 mortal wounds on a 4+ (net average 1 mortal wound, but with a lot of variance). This turns your tanks into pseudo-Carnifexes or Land Raider Crusaders/Redeemers. However, this is usually going to be less useful than Crush Them (although you can certainly stack them), regardless of whether you're trying to tarpit with a nearly dead Leman, or, far more likely, you're the one being charged.

Warlord Trait

  • Unflinching Resolve: 6" aura, re-roll overwatch rolls for Emperor's Fist units.
    • Thinking about running a Mordian Emperor's Fist Tank Company? Good news and bad news, but mostly good. You get less relative benefit than everyone else does, because you don't need the ability to re-roll 5s, but the abilities do stack. Remember, it's re-roll, then modify, so when you roll a 5 to hit, choose not to re-roll. Then, when you add your +1 modifier, hey presto. Your Overwatch shots now hit 20/36 of the time (slightly better than half - i.e. better than BS4+ would, shooting normally!). Also stacks with the Defensive Gunners strat, due to the wording on the regiment trait - pop the strat, and your dice will hit showing 4-6 and you can just re-roll 1-3.

Heirloom of Conquest

  • Hammer of Sunderance: Replaces a Battle Cannon profile with...a slightly more impressive Battle Cannon profile, with damage set to 3 (for a +1 or *1.5 benefit). Heavy 1d6 (shooting twice with grinding assault) 72" S8 AP-2 D3 can do a lot of damage assuming you don't get screwed by rolls.
    • Remember, this takes up a relic slot, AND you still have to buy the underlying Battle Cannon. Kurov's Aquila will just about always be better. The Laurels of Command (which will also force you to take Master of Command on your Tank Commander) depend a lot on your list, as they don't do nearly as much for Tank Orders as they do for Voice of Command (due to the limited pool - the combo lets your commander choose 1 Tank + 1 (Tank or Voice) each round, and both orders are Laureled). Relic of Lost Cadia is also usually better, but is Cadia only. So... it's alright. Certainly, the game is full of better relics, but hey, it's something.
    • Modeling tip: Use the best cannon you have in your sprue box to represent it! Go wild with a proper empire cannon, or slap on it the big cannon of the Ogre Kingdoms in a proper custom turret lodging if you really feel that the enemy should taste ornate gothic obliteration. This Anon recommends the Leman Russ Incinerator from the Solar Auxilla line. A slightly cheaper option is to just use the Vanquisher cannon that you get in every battle tank Russ box because you definitely aren't running it as an actual Vanquisher in this edition.

Emperor’s Blade Assault Companies[edit]

For your standard troopers and transports. This affects all Company Commanders, Platoon Commanders, Command Squads, Infantry Squads, Veteran Squads, Special Weapon Squads, Chimeras, and Tauroxes. This one just screams Steel Legion, doesn't it?

Stratagems

  • Rapid Redeploy (1CP): Disembark one unit at the end of the movement phase.
  • Mechanised Fire Support (1CP): Vehicles within 6" of a charged infantry unit can overwatch and hit on 4+.

Warlord Trait

  • Mechanized Commander: warlord can issue orders from inside a vehicle in the same detachment and counts as being within 3" of a vox. This right here makes the detachment pay for itself since it normally costs you one CP per turn to use the Mobile Command Vehicle stratagem to do the exact same thing, and unlike MCV this can also be used from a Taurox.

Heirloom of Conquest

  • The Shield of Mortwald: A 3+ Invuln that cannot be re-rolled for any reason, and stops working the first time it fails. Essentially a weaker version of the Drukhari shadowfield. Note that, like the shadowfield, you can choose which save you use. If an uncharged plasma gun hits your tank commander, it’s probably better to take the 1 damage then potentially lose the invuln against something like a melta

Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Companies[edit]

Affects Company Commanders, Masters of Ordinance, Basilisks, Hydras, and Wyverns. Looks like the Manticore is out of luck. Grant's the Emperor's Wrath keyword. Cadians and Catachans already love Artillery, so consider those two regiments for this specialist detachment. If you are considering taking some guard soup (Heresy!!!) to back up a combat army, you could do worse than adding a cheap Basilisk/Wyvern or 2 with this detachment for the sake of ensuring your guys get close enough to use their knives/bayonets/swords/axes/servitors, which is especially helpful to small, 1 wound melee units (here's to you Vanguard Veterans) with high damage output. Failing that, to keep it fluffy, you can do worse than charging in a squad of Arco-flagellants/Crusaders after using the suppressive fire strat. Also, remember that because the unit's movement speed is halved, they are less likely to be able to fall back from your next turn, keeping your combat units from being pew pew'd by enemy guns. Bonus!

Stratagems

  • Suppressive Fire (1 CP): lets a Hydra, Basilisk, or Wyvern give up a turn of shooting to suppress an enemy infantry unit in range of one of its guns. Said enemy unit cannot Overwatch and halves is movement speed. This is great for locking down extremely fast units or protect that Ogryn squad from a painful round of Overwatch fire.
  • Pounding Barrage (2 CP): One weapon on an Emperor’s Wrath vehicle can shoot twice. Hello, Basilisks.

Warlord Trait

  • Lord of Ordinance: 6" aura. To-wound rolls of 6 improve their AP by 1.

Heirloom of Conquest

  • Agripinaa-Class Orbital Tracker: Pick an Emperor's Wrath vehicle within 6" of the bearer during the shooting phase. That vehicle ignores enemy bonuses to cover. If you use it on a Wyvern, you can relive the glory days of 7th Edition where it had ignore cover. This can make a surprisingly big difference, particularly when targeting Elite units with lots of shots, forcing your opponent to make 20 3+ saves on their hidden Dark Reapers a turn can be game-winning.

Emperor’s Conclave Infantry Companies[edit]

Affects Company Commander, Platoon Commander, Command Squad, Infantry Squads, Conscripts, Priests, and Crusaders. Makes your troopers into super zealots. Sort of...Maybe...Ok not really. But if you somehow want to run melee guard, here you go. For your consideration, Catachans are slightly better at melee than other Guard armies due to S4 and Straken's +1 attack buff. That still doesn't mean you should actively seek combat. What do they say about the best defense?... This specialist detachment can turn the meat for your grinder into prime rib. Remember, as long as the rest of the potatoes in your army are happily firing away unmolested, the Conclave has done its job.

Stratagems

  • No Quarter Given (2 CP):Used at the start of the fight phase. Models slain from target unit can pile in and fight or fight again before being removed. Just when that asshole with Genestealers or Orkboyz thinks he's got the better of that Conscript squad, you can try and take as many of them down as possible. You aren't gonna need the 2CPs for morale immunity when the entire unit is wiped, after all. Bear in mind that since it's declared before attacks are made, you can also pay 2CPs to interrupt if another charging unit goes first.
  • Sanctimonius charge (1 CP): Used in the Charge phase. Priests that make a successful charge move grant +1 to charge rolls of other Emperor's Conclave units within 12". Shame Ogryns can't benefit from it.

Warlord Trait

  • Fiery Denouncer: Re-roll to hit rolls of 1 in the Combat phase for Emperor's Conclave units within 6". This is SCARILY good when combined with Straken and a Ministrorum Priest, even more so if you use a Consolidated Squad of 20+ Catachan troublemakers, instead of an unruly bunch of Conscripts. While this doesn't turn your puny dudes into killer machines, it still makes for a powerful deterrent. You're still a shooty army, but by Sebastian Thor, you WILL make things regret assaulting you.

Heirloom of Conquest

  • Litany of the Holy Synod: Emperor's Conclave units within 6" roll 2d6 and use the lowest for morale. In addition, if the bearer dies, pick an Emperor's Conclave unit within 6". For the rest of the battle, they are immune to morale and have +1 attacks.

Militarum Tempestus Drop Forces[edit]

Gives Scions, Scion Command Squads, Tempestor Primes, and Valkyries the Drop Force keyword. This detachment is all about flying around in the Valkyrie and dropping hot, sweaty plasma everywhere. Given point changes in Chapter Approved 2018 and the current rules shifting against Deep Strike, this detachment could become very common.

Stratagems

  • Precision Drop (1 CP): When models use the grav-chute to disembark from the chosen Valkyrie, they do not have to roll to see if they die. Two Command Squads escorting their Tempestor Primes around? They are safe from random death.
    • Utterly terrifying when combined with orders. Two Tempestor Primes, one of whom is the Specialist Warlord, with two Command Squads, falling out of the sky anywhere on the board within Rapid Fire range, rolling 2s to hit and re-rolling wounds against Monsters and Vehicles? You can drop eight melta shots, or 18 plasma shots (counting the prime pistols), and then hit on 2s with re-rolls to wound against Monsters or Vehicles. That's enough pain to bring down most Lords of War. Don't do this unless you hate your opponent.
      • There's a certain Commissar that got a point drop recently who lets you re-roll 1s, and a single Tempestor Prime is capable of issuing two orders for 5 points more... 97% accuracy with a 33% chance of generating an extra attack seems kinda nice...
  • Aerial Fire Support(1 CP): When a Tempestus Drop Force Infantry unit is charged whilst within 6" of a Drop Force Valkyrie, that Valk may fire overwatch and hits on a 4+ irrespective of modifiers. Whether this is worthwhile depends on what charges you. Big guys will fear Hellstrikes and Lascannons, horde units will rightly shit their pants at Multiple Rocket Pods and Multi-laser attacks backed by Heavy Bolters in either case. Generally speaking, if you can activate this stratagem you probably should, at the very least it gives one of your Valks a free shooting phase that's immune to modifiers, and at best it might just keep one of your Scion squads alive for another turn.

Warlord Trait

  • Grav-Chute Commando: Tempestus Drop Force infantry units that disembarked from a Valkyrie on that turn gain +1 to hit when they're within 6" of the Warlord. Trigger your extra shots with your 100% safe plasma guns on a 5+? Where do I sign up?!?

Heirloom of Conquest

  • Cypra Mundi Null-Emitter: If the bearer is targeted or affected by a Psychic Power, the Power can be nullified on a 2+. Useful only if you took extra relics and placed a Tempestor out front of your army against Grey Knights, 1K Sons, and Daemons to block Smites. You know, in case you don't have enough for a Culexus/Sisters of Silence squad who are slightly more survivable. Note that due to the wording, this does not count as denying a Psychic Power from being cast, you're just immune to its effects.

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.

HQ[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Company Commander: Your go-to HQ if you're running an infantry list. Besides the fact that he's an Officer and unlocks Command Squads, he's also your primary source of orders, capable of issuing orders to any two (before Warlord Traits and so forth) <Regiment> infantry units in a given turn, including himself or other Commanders. Don't spend too much on his wargear unless you're playing a smaller game, where he's more likely to end up actually having to get in the thick of it: his main goal is to stick around and give orders. Comes stock with a Laspistol, chainsword and a 5++ save, with little reason to upgrade either weapon unless you're running a frontline Catachan Commander, who might actually benefit from taking a power sword and upgunned pistol.
  • Tank Commander: A single Leman Russ tank, with 3+ to hit and Tank Orders (as seen in their section) to boost a single fellow Leman Russ (including themselves). In short, you're paying +20pts over a normal Russ for one order, BS3+, and an extra Russ as a HQ as opposed to Heavy. However, normal Russes also fit in a Spearhead Detachment more easily, where they can get Objective Secured. If you are short on objective controlling units and don't mind sacrificing some firepower, take a standard Russ; otherwise, if you can afford it, you should consider upgrading. Do note that because of the Character keyword, however, they become easier to kill by Marines using the Tactical doctrine, which actually nerfs their survivability versus a normal Russ.

Specific Regiment[edit]

Cadian[edit]
  • Knight Commander Pask: A flat upgrade to a Tank Commander, but a pricy one, plus with the fixed WT of Superior Tactical Training (which is less redundant on him than it is on Creed, assuming you brought at least three Russes including him). He has BS2+, which is awesome, and even the underpowered Vanquisher cannon starts to look alright when he's firing it (not really). If you're going to upgrade any of your Leman Russes with extra sponson or pintle weapons or a HK missile, he's the guy to do it to, since he is much more likely to hit something. Probably best used when supported by a Techpriest and sitting still with one of the longer ranged turret weapons, as he can benefit from re-rolling 1s, shooting his turret weapon twice, and even use the Jury Rigging stratagem if necessary to get back a lost wound. On the other hand, if you can keep him out of line of sight, he's downright scary in a Punisher.
  • Lord Castellan Creed: Though MIA in the fluff (actually in Trazyn's collection, so he'll be back at some point), you can still field Creed as your Warlord, and you should do so if you're running Cadians and want to maximize your order potential and CP benefit. He's only about 25 points more expensive than a bog standard Company commander, and he gets to give orders at 12" instead of 6" without a vox (and gets one more order a turn). You also get an additional 2 CP if he's your Warlord, which isn't bad. His shooting isn't impressive (two hot-shot laspistols), but hopefully, he never has to fire a single shot or swing his power sword. Unfortunately, gone are the days of outflanking Baneblades. He must take the Superior Tactical Training WT if he's your Warlord, which means he's going to pump out even more orders (and that's before you throw Kell in to bodyguard for him). In small games, however, you probably won't have enough units to actually order to get the most of him.
Catachan[edit]
  • Colonel Iron Hand Straken: At 75 points, Straken is a considerable investment over a standard Company Commander, but he might just be worth it if you're looking to run an assault army. For one thing, all Catachan units within 6" of him get an extra attack, which can turn even a Conscript squad into a nasty tarpit. His Been There, Seen It, Killed It rule makes him great for charging and finishing off wounded Monster units. He also gets S6 (effectively S7, assuming you take him in a purely Catachan detachment, where he also boosts unit Ld by +1 for being an Officer) and T4 in addition to W5, so he's a bit harder to put down. Consider running him with a Ministorum Priest.
  • Sly Marbo: All memes aside, unfortunately, Sly Marbo is not even remotely competitive. While he has the ability to appear 9" away from an enemy and trigger one of three special rules (immediately shoot, which lets him snipe Characters; make a small move and add 2 to his attacks if he charges; or trigger concealed explosives that have a 50/50 shot of dealing mortal wounds), his lack of durability and lackluster weapons (not a single one has any AP) makes him a poor choice overall. He can disappear if there are no enemy units close to him at the start of the Movement phase, but you will never get to use this rule because he will most likely die and also fail to clear out the enemies he charges anyway. If he debuffed enemy leadership, had some way to mitigate armor saves, and could be reasonably expected to stick around for more than a single round, he might be worth it, but he's not.
Militarum Tempestus[edit]
  • Tempestor Prime: The Militarum Tempestus version of the Company Commander. Compared to a Company Commander, he has access to only one order (can be improved to two with a 5 pt piece of wargear), has a 4+ save, but loses his 5++, and only unlocks Militarum Tempestus Command squads. That said, he can deepstrike to follow his Scions wherever they go. Being a Militarum Tempestus HQ, he lets you bring a separate Tempestus-only Detachment; this gives them access to their Storm Troopers special rule. Comes stock with a hot-shot laspistol you'll never fire, since it's the same range as his frag and krak grenades, and nothing in the game exists that dies faster to the pistol than it does to one of the grenade choices. You should always swap it for either a better pistol or, more likely, the aforementioned item for +1 order.

Non Regimental[edit]

Adeptus Astra Telepathica[edit]
  • Primaris Psyker: Compared to an Astropath you get a compulsory 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) or want to be able to smite like a big boy. 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.
    • Note: These guys are a good way to spam (unmodified) Smite cheaply. On average he scores 1.79 mortal wounds per turn (assuming he's at full health - he gets a bit worse as his ability to survive Perils goes down), which likely is more damage than many other 46 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. 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 but their odds of actually casting Smite on 1D6 are abysmal. Psychic Maelstrom is generally much better than Smite, so consider taking it as your 2nd backup power.
    • The Primaris Psyker is a prime candidate for the Deathmask of Ollianus. He'll appreciate having a 4++ invul, especially once he gets into close combat. It's not uncommon for a Primaris Psyker to make his points back in close combat alone, either, as if he can either attack first or survive the attacks, he can bash his way through MEQs and even a good number of the named Marine characters. Plus, as a Psyker whose only ranged weapon is a Pistol anyway, he doesn't care about being locked in combat.
  • Aradia Madellan: A 40 point Primaris Psyker that doesn't get to choose her powers but comes with Smite and a unique Warp Charge 8 power that gives a friendly Astra Militarum infantry unit +1 to hit. Yes please. It may be a hard cast to pull off, but a maxed out Conscript squad with accompanying Priest or Straken hitting on 4+, standard heavy weapons teams hitting on 3+, or Veterans/Stormtroopers hitting on 2+ is worth the risk. Yes, you can make your Veterans shoot as accurately as Custodes without going to Forgeworld now. Hilariously, she can still be popped by a generic Commissar if she would die as a result of Perils.
    • One other significant difference between Aradia and the Primaris Psyker is that as a named character, she cannot take the Deathmask. Her survivability suffers a bit, but otherwise, she's every bit the competent melee fighter that the Primaris Psyker is.
Officio Prefectus[edit]
  • Lord Commissar: A more expensive Commissar with a power sword, but improved in all key stats like not using up one of your crowded Elite choices, offense (BS & WS2+), resilience (4W 4+/5++) and, most importantly, Ld9 for his Aura of Discipline. He works best with squads small enough to benefit from Aura of Discipline without having to trigger Summary Execution, like Ogryn. Furthermore, he's the one with enough WS to properly use a Power Fist. Always replace his bolt pistol for a bolter; same price, double shots.
    • Post-FAQ the Lord Commissar has practically become an auto-include - for a mere 35 pts you get a LD9 aura, optional ATSKNF, insurance against Perils of the Warp, and a surprisingly decent melee character. If you have the points spare, a power fist is a good option given that he'll be hitting on 3+ with it.
    • Catachan, Mordian and Regimental Standard buffs to Ld work with Aura of Discipline, as the unit is replacing it's Leadership with the one of the Lord Commissar, and then all modificators apply. Otherwise you'd be able to ignore losses in the squad as following the logic of not applying the bonuses Lord Comissar didn't have any models slain in his unit. Uriah Jacobus too helps you get rerollable Ld10.
    • By far the most point-efficient trick, if you don't mind putting your Warlord Trait into it, is to pair him up with a Valhallan Warlord who is using the BRB trait Inspiring Leader. The Warlord buffs everyone nearby, including the Commissar, who then shares his new Ld10 with everyone nearby. Combined with their halved battleshock, you will almost never have to execute anyone!
    • Officio Prefectus Command Tanks cost CP and aren't Characters (unless you choose a Tank Commander but even then he has more than 10 wounds, so moot point anyway), so they tend to last less despite being a damn tank. They get you Ld9, but also lack the reroll. Likewise, you can always pay 2 CP to auto-pass Morale, or 1 CP to take the test on 1d3.
  • Commissar Yarrick: Essentially a named Lord Commissar with a power fist klaw that costs a bit over three times that of a vanilla one with goodies (40 points if you could legally give a Lord Commissar a Storm Bolter, versus 100 points), but has a bunch of extra stuff on him. He's got three guns (Storm Bolter, Bolt Pistol, and Bale Eye Hot-Shot Laspistol), not that you'll use two of them, as there's nothing in the game the two pistols are better at killing than the storm bolter is. Even better is his resilience, with T4, his 4++ Power Field, and FnP 3+ for his final wound (and he's legally healable with a medic). His main use is Hero of Hades Hive, an aura of re-roll 1s to hit, re-rolling all failed hits against Orks instead. Not just "Take Aim!" for shooting, but in melee as well. Your infantry squads may not be so eager to be in close combat, but Bullgryn and Crusaders are. For the cost, you could buy two Company Commanders to order the actual "Take Aim!" to your units, in addition to the Lord Commissar (and get +1CP in a Supreme Command Detachment)...but Yarrick's buff can stack with other orders, like a Laurels of Command that isn't free but is reliable and even affects vehicles. Plasma, woo! Yes, he has Summary Execution despite him not executing anyone in Hades Hive.
    • What Yarrick brings to the shooting phase, Cadians get at the cost of not moving. Doesn't need to be against orks either. Still, Yarrick enables moving plasma supercharge for them and buffs Fight Phase melee. The main benefit is moving supercharged plasma without needing to waste an order and you probably want to stay out of melee anyway, but it's very situational.
    • Harker's got half the bonus he does, and old man Yarrick can beat his ass in melee. But if you're Catachan and all you want is re-rolling 1s for plasma, by all means bring that guy instead.
    • A fun idea to ruin someone's day - take Yarrick, bullgryns and a ministorum priest in a valkyrie. What results is 16 attacks from the bullgryn (on a charge) and 4 from Yarrick, all them effectively 3+ reroll 1's (effectively 78% accuracy) Bullgryn having S7 Ap-1 D2 and Yarrick with S6 Ap-3 D3 all with a possibly 65" move across the board. Possibilities include: killing doomsday arks on turn 1, tying up relic models (if not just killing them), and wiping out ork nob units.

Troops[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Infantry Squad: Ten men, ten guns. These guys are the meat and potatoes of any non-Scion infantry list and at 4 points apiece, they're pretty efficient. That base 5+ save isn't great, but they can be surprisingly resilient in cover. The sergeant starts off with a laspistol and a chainsword, both of which can be swapped out for more powerful weapons. They can even take boltguns, which makes them actually contribute to a long-ranged firefight. One Guardsman can take a voxcaster, one can take a special weapon, and two Guardsman can combine into a single Heavy Weapons Team, which only counts as 1 model. As for the exact loadout these guys will use, it depends on their <REGIMENT> and the battlefield role they'll be playing.
    • Catachan Guardsmen like taking flamers, and their sergeants will be better able to use high AP power weapons like a power fist or power axe.
    • Cadian gunlines can fire plasma weapons supercharged with less danger.
    • Armageddon squads will also like plasma, or even just sticking with basic lasguns and a bolter on the sarge, combining ranked fire with their regimental doctrine to lay down blistering fire at a safe-ish distance. Mixing Heavy Weapons Teams into your Infantry Squads isn't a bad move either, as you're essentially trading a lasgun for a heavy weapon and providing your valuable weapons with plenty of lasgun chaff to die before they start taking wounds.
    • The current meta in competitive circles seems to be taking the stock 10-man squad with no bells and whistles. As long as you have access to an officer to issue FRFSRF, this seems to be the most point efficient use of the humble infantry squad.
    • Many competitive guard players have begun to take 90 or more guardsmen in their lists, this might sound unwise particularly given how easy they are to kill, but once you get into the mid to late game your opponent is unlikely to have enough anti-infantry to deal with the 40 guardsmen left, leaving them free to grab objectives and tarpit enemy vehicles. In addition with this many guardsmen you'll be on at least 18 command points with three battalions and all for the low low price of 40pts per unit.
    • A large swarm of guardsmen can carpet the board very quickly, especially with move, move, move! In many cases this is enough to force crash and burn results on enemy fliers and close with tau gunlines by turn 2.
  • Conscripts: If there is anything thinner than paper, it would be Conscripts. Conscripts have gone from being a near-Blue chip unit to being somewhat dubious utility. They only accept Orders on a 4+ and can't take any special wargear, and have strictly inferior statline when compared to a standard Guardsman... and they cost the same as standard Guardsman. That being said, they still make effective screening units due to their sheer unit size. Unlike Infantry Squads, who have to spend precious CP to form larger squads, Conscripts can be taken in groups of 20 to 30. Ld4 is going to hurt if you don't have a Commissar around or have some other method of negating morale losses.
    • When looking at these guys, don't think about the potential damage they're going to inflict. Instead, think about the massive area of denial they can set up. Leave the direct fighting to the Infantry squads while you use your Conscripts to protect your artillery and other vehicles or to dog-pile objectives.
    • In close combat, their sheer size can prevent consolidations while giving your opponent minimal kill points, thus allowing your other squads to counterattack in your next turn. Catachan conscripts with Straken and a priest can actually be pretty nasty in close combat if you can help their morale and get them to fix bayonets.
    • It is recommended to use movement trays if you bring these guys.

Ld4 is pretty terrible and it can be challenging to get these guys stick around after taking casualties...but you can still do it! Here are the ways to make them as unshiftable as they were before the Codex:

  • Psychic powers: Cheap Astropaths are an excellent investment. All three Defensive powers help them to either be more difficult to kill or make them immune to morale, BUT you can only cast one of each in Matched Play.
  • Warlord Traits on Lord Commissar auras. Summary Execution was nerfed, but Ld9 rerollable is still better than Ld4, and gets +1Ld from Regimental Standards. Either more area coverage with Bellowing Voice, or capping battleshock at 1+1d3 casualties.
  • Stratagems: Insane Heroism provides full battleshock immunity, though the cheaper Fight to the Death can suffice if they're being boosted (which they should), and didn't lose like 14+ men. Can't use the same Stratagem many times a phase, and it costs CP, but between Kurov's Aquila, a Master of Command and cheap +3CP Battalions, there are ways to afford it.
  • <Regimental> gimmicks: The Valhallan Pietrov's Mk 45 relic has the pre-nerf Summary Execution, and squads that fall out of the aura halve battleshock casualties due to the Doctrine. The Mordian WT has a similar aura, and with their +1Ld while in formation can be more easily combined with Commissars, Defensive psychic powers and/or Fight to the death.

Militarum Tempestus[edit]

  • Militarum Tempestus Scions: Scions can be taken either as a five-man team with two special weapons, or 10 man squad with four special weapons. The have better BS and Sv characteristics when compared to a Guardsman and their standard issue Hot-Shot Lasgun is mean now. With its solid AP, it can threaten nearly anything. One squad member can take a vox caster and Hot-Shot Laspistol in addition to the standard hellgun. The Tempestor (sergeant equivalent) comes with a Hot-Shot Laspistol and chainsword, but can take the usual sergeant armaments (except the boltgun).
    • Best taken in five-man teams (unless you're short on orders) while spamming as many special weapons as possible. Their special weapon loadouts should be focused - all plasma (including the Tempestor's sidearm), melta, or Volley guns. Mixing and matching reduces their combat effectiveness.
    • It's important to note that your hellguns can never deep strike or grav-chute into Rapid Fire range, your meltas will never deep strike into melta range, and hot-shot laspistols will never deep strike into actual shooting range. The melta thing isn't so bad, but this is still worth keeping in mind. Melta squads are therefore better off in transports.

Elites[edit]

In previous editions the Guard's elite slot was almost completely ignored, but with all the shuffling around of our units it's now surprisingly crowded. As always with Imperial Guard infantry these units tend to be very cheap, and are generally either small hard hitting units, force multiplier support units that exist primarily to buff something else, and one or two units that are a combination of both. Pick and choose as needed to either fill gaps or enhance your other units, if you want melee support bring bullgryns, crusaders, and priests; if you want special weapons take veterans; if you want more orders take platoon commanders; if you want to boost your tanks take a Salamander or an enginseer; and absolutely always take as many command squads as possible.

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Command Squad: Only one can be taken for each Officer you have on the field. Essentially 4 Veterans who can all be outfitted with special weapons or laspistols+chainswords, or you can give each one your choice of Medi-Pack, a Standard, or Vox-Caster. The Medic ain't no Apothecary, and his shit only works a 4+. He also can't revive anything with more than one wound, but he can heal characters, which is probably his best use. The Standard is worse than a Lord Commissar, although it will buff Catachans or Mordians to LD9 so long as they also have an officer within 6"/have at least 2 unit members left to stand back to back. The Vox-caster should typically be carried by an Infantry Squad. You can also swap out two of these guys for a Heavy Weapons team. It's points efficient to give these guys two special weapons and a heavy weapon or just four special weapons, but they're very likely to get shot off the table, whereas a Veteran Squad at least has some expendable bodies before you start losing special weapons.
    • For some slightly rage-inducing shenanigans, use an Ogryn Bodyguard/Nork to tank wounds for your Characters, and then use the medic to heal the Ogryn.
    • While it remains an unFAQed mystery what exactly happens if you take a medi-pack and target a majority 1-wound unit with a heavy weapons team, you can certainly take a medi-pack and 3 plasma guns, then use the medic to try to bring back dead plasma gunners, though this is not a competitive option due to the cost of the medi-pack and its 50-50 success rate
    • It should be noted, Company and Platoon Commanders are not the only Officers you can bring. Tank Commanders have the officer keyword and therefore unlock access to an additional command squad.
  • Master of Ordnance: The Master of Ordnance (MoO) has two things going for him: a one use Basilisk-class artillery salvo and he confers an aura of reroll 1s to nearby <regiment> Basilisks, Deathstrikes, Manticores, and Wyverns as long as their targets are more than 36" away (because he can't really help if the gun is direct firing, apparently). Take this guy for his re-roll ability; that way, you're pleasantly surprised if the artillery strike does something instead of basing your strategy around an unreliable, one-use attack.
    • Obviously, don't take him if you're Cadian or brought another buffer with the same effect like Harker or Yarrick.
    • As of the change he can now support an Armageddon Pattern Basilisk, but he still inexplicably cannot support the other Forge World variants, like Medusae (vehicle or either Battery), or the Battery variants for Basilisks, Manticores, or Wyverns (that last meaning Heavy Quad Launcher Batteries).
  • Platoon Commander: Now an individual model, broken off of his Command squad. This is one of your options for orders, capable of giving one per turn and he has a 5+ invulnerable save.
  • Veteran Squad: Rather boorishly promoted demoted to the Elites slot, vets are guardsmen with a 3+ BS, three special weapon slots, and more weapon options than basic Infantry Squads.
    • The key to getting the most out of vets is taking the most advantage of their unique weapon combinations and superior ballistic skill. They can take up to three special weapons, a heavy flamer, and a heavy weapon team, and lasguns can be replaced with shotgun if you desire. Build them with a plan for how you are going to use them. If you're going for close-range assault, go with heavy flamers, meltaguns, and maybe some shotguns. If you're running a gunline, plasma and heavy bolter, lascannon, or mortar team depending on whether you need anti-tank or anti-infantry. Avoid standard flamers on these guys (and look at the Special Weapons Squad below instead); it's a total waste of their main advantage over Infantry Squads.
    • Special consideration should be given to these guys when packing plasma guns, particularly when using Mordian or Armageddon regiments. Armageddon allows you to get 3 plasma guns firing two shots each at 18”, while the Mordian special order allows you to target Characters with Rapid Fire weapons. Veterans in this configuration along with a Platoon Commander with the Dagger of Tu’Shakh can make an excellent 2nd turn execution force.
  • 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 you're 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."cough" "cough", Grenadiers, "cough", "cough"
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 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, AKA crazy... or very unlucky) 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. Makes for a delightful Distraction Carnifex; cackle with glee as your opponent shits himself trying to kill this thing before it crawls up his Stompa's ass and cores it like an apple!
    • You're probably going to want to take these guys and their death machine as CATACHAN. The Vets are going to be within pissing distance anyways and are all but guaranteed to see close quarters fighting and while the Hades doesn't benefit from the Doctrine (it specifies ranged weapons), it CAN benefit from Straken, since unlike Priests and Krieg Regimental Standards, his +1 Attack Aura specifies UNITS, not INFANTRY!
  • 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 132 points with just the guns. Much too expensive for what it does in a competitive game.

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.
    • Because he has the Adeptus Mechanicus keyword the Enginseer also has access to their stratagems, most notably Tech Adept which allows you to make an additional repair roll for 1CP (RAW you can heal the same vehicle twice, overriding the normal limitations of Master of Machines). Note that you can only access these strategems if you also include a Detatchment with the Adeptus Mechanicus keyword.
      • Potentially you can heal 3D3+1 wounds on the same vehicle if you stack this ability with a Trojan Recovery Vehicle + "Jury Rigging".
  • Servitors: 4 Guardsman bodies which are slower, have a poor BS of only 5+, but have a 4+ save. Two of them can take a Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannon, or Multi-Melta. If a Tech-Priest is babysitting them, they increase their BS to 4+ and Leadership to 9. They are only 5 points, so that's 15 points for a plasma cannon.
Adeptus Ministorum[edit]
  • Ministorum Priest: The Priests' War Hymns grant +1 attack for every Astra Militarum infantry unit within 6". These guys are useful if you think there's high probability that your boys will charge or be charged.
    • Priests synergize well with Catachan, especially when taken with Straken for A3 on your basic infantry during the fight phase. He's also great at accompanying Bullgryns, Ogryns, and Conscripts; in fact, he's a must for any infantry units you plan on getting in close combat. He also buffs nearby Adeptus Ministorum infantry, too, so there's obvious synergy with their dedicated close-combat units as well.
    • Be sure and use the Index datasheet for the priest rather than the crappy Codex version if you want access to eviscerators, bolters, plasma guns, combi-weapons, etc.
  • Crusaders: A dedicated close-combat unit that with S3, T3, WS3+ with a 3++, a single wound and a power sword. They have two attacks base and the Zealot special rule. While not as tough or strong as Bullgryns, they do have access to the Index version of the Sisters-exclusive Index Act of Faith rules: at the start of your turn roll a D6 and on a 2+, you can immediately take an out of sequence action (move, shoot, or fight) or bring back a dead model. Per the Index rules, you'll only get one Act of Faith per turn, no matter how many units of these guys you have.
    • These guys can easily overwhelm their points in MEQs on the charge, and they love taking Priests with them. They can be made even tankier by using Psychic Barrier (as unfluffy as it may be to have them tolerate the presence of Psykers).
    • They're one wound wonders, but you can bring one back each turn on a 2+ so long as the unit hasn't been destroyed. They're not quite as points efficient as Bullgryns, but they can come back from the dead, and they have an easier time fitting into your list, as they can be taken in groups of 2-10 and are cheaper per model.
    • It should be notes that Zealot takes place in the first round of a combat whether your squad charged or was charged. So a solid tactic is to screen these guys in front of a character or valuable unit and let them soak up a charge during your opponent’s turn, where you’ll re-roll hits. Then, at the start of your next turn, fight again on a 2+. Remember that Act of Faith takes place at the start of your turn, BEFORE your movement phase, so if you wipe out your opponent’s unit you can consolidate, move and then hopefully charge, once again gaining your re-roll to hit.
  • Gotfret de Montbard: A unique Crusader from the Blackstone fortress escalation box. He has Crusaders stats including Zealot, Acts of Faith and Shield of Faith, but with 4 Wounds and Attacks , every hit of a 6 scores 2 hits and is a CHARACTER so he's safe from enemy fire and can Heroically Intervene. However, he suffers the same issue that has been stated many times in both the Guard and Sisters tactics guides: S3 Power Sword attacks just don't do enough, even if he can deliver a ton of them. For 35 points not a terrible choice, very fluffy if you're building a Feudal World melee regiment, but your Elite slot is crowded as is and cheap as he is, you have access to cheaper units that support your army, there only useful if you have a priest and a spare 35 points due to the Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave rule making it so they dont take up an elite slot.

.

Aeronautica Imperialis[edit]
  • Officer of the Fleet: Now slightly different. He can basically attempt to call in an air-strike on any non-character that he can see (so if there's terrain on the table try to get him up to high ground to give him a good vantage point) once per game doing up to 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 20 point 3 wound Guardsman armed only with a laspistol who must put himself in the front line to provide the buff.
    • Tactical Note: This is the only unit in the Codex that is both an Officer and lacks a Regiment (Aeronautica is specifically not a Regiment), which makes him uniquely suited to using the Dagger of Tu'Sakh; it allows him to outflank and bring non-regiment Infantry with him. Ogryns, Crusaders, Psykers; you spend your relic and he can do little other than calling in an airstrike once he takes the field, but for 20 points giving your dedicated melee troops a cheap outflank is absolutely wonderful.
    • For Elysian Drop Troops: It is not a bad idea to warlord the ootf with the master of command warlord trait. He is an Officer (and also has the Elysian Drop Troops keyword because it replaces the Aeronautica Imperialis one) and you can use inspired tactics stratagem to get him up to two orders for 1 CP.
    • New FAQ: Now that the Dagger of Tu'Sakh is only available to officers, it is not a bad idea to give it to the ootf (he is an Officer) because he can get any infantry unit (regardless of <REGIMENT>) with him to deep strike almost anywhere on 2nd turn onward. That also helps your Flyers since they can zip around to get into position on the first turn and then drop to hover mode and annihilate a unit designated by the ootf (who will be in 18" range to use his ability since he deep struck on the spot you chose and has meat shields to keep him alive).
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. You may be able to make them work by stuffing them out of line of sight and preventing your opponent from reducing their efficiency. If your enemy goes after them, they'll be wasting resources that they really should be dedicating to more worthwhile units. On the whole, though, you should avoid taking these guys unless you have a plan.
  • Astropath: Only 1d6 for Smite (but you should be casting Psychic Maelstrom or Gaze of the Emperor for damage anyway), but astoundingly cheap, especially if you swap his staff for a laspistol. Camp a few of these guys behind your gunline and deny powers. These guys lack the It's For Your Own Good rule, so Commissars are unable to stop them from blowing up in case they die from Perils of the Warp. However, it's also impossible for Astropaths to Perils while casting Smite (as they're limited to only rolling 1D6).
    • Most people also tend to forget about the Astropath's other special rule (note this is not a psychic power) - Astral Divination. Pick an enemy unit within 18" of an Astropath, and for the rest of the shooting phase that unit loses its cover save against AM models within 6" of your Psyker. A great way to fuck with Eldar Rangers, Space Marine Scouts, or anything that relies on cover saves.
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 armor 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.
    • 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..). With the Stormlord behind them as fire support there is very little that can survive this. Khorne begs to differ, but its is a very impressive apocalypse load out no doubt.
  • 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) with the same potency as a battle cannon (S8 AP-2 DD3) 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. 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 priest 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.
    • Ogryns got their price reduced in Chapter Approved 2018 by 6 points. Only for Chapter Approved 2019 to up them back to their Codex cost for no reason at all. They're only 5 less points than Bullgryns who have access to a 4++ and better melee weapons at the "price" of losing Ripper guns.
  • 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 infantry character (As of the first codex FAQ this does not work on other Ogryns or Tank Commanders/Pask, so no wound musical chairs bullshit anymore).
    • Do not underestimate the Bodyguard ability. It's rolled on a per-wound basis, meaning it's effectively a 3+ FnP for every infantry 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 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 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 his bodyguard ability as just a secondary function.
      • Given the Deathmask of Ollanius Pius, a Slabshield, and a Maul the Ogryn Bodyguard can reliably beat down most characters in challenges. Think of him as the Guards answer to Smashfucker... only instead of a jetpack he's got Downs Syndrome.
  • 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 wound 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 5 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 cards.
    • 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.
    • Vs Vindicares 10 of our little Ratling boys require four turns on average to kill a four wound character, where a Vindicare requires only two. Taking into account the mortal wounds on 6s halves this to two turns, but a lucky 6 gives the Vindicare a 50/50 chance of killing a four wound character in one turn. Vindicares have double the range, are characters and thus are harder to target, and don't have to deal with morale. Ratlings however will do more damage against infantry unless they're shooting multi wound models or 2+ saves. With all of this in mind, the Vindicare seems to be the clearer choice for character hunting but can't be squeezed into your existing detatchments.
    • Vs Cadian Snipers Ratlings can't benefit from orders, receive Cadian rerolls or Overlapping Fields of Fire. Cadian snipers will be hitting on a 2+ whilst re-rolling ones, and with Bring It Down they're increasing their chance of wounding too which is great news when you're fishing for mortal wounds. Furthermore, Cadians are T3 (vs T2) but they don't benefit from stealth/cover/infiltrate, so the strategy will vary too.
      • Comparing the unit cost: Ratlings are 45pts for 5 (up to 90pts/10), Special Weapon Squads are 30pts for 3 (with three reduntant guardsmen), and Command Squads are 32pts for 4 (requiring a Commander).
  • Rein and Raus: A pair of Ratling twins from the Blackstone Fortress kit. Rein is armed with a sniper rifle, Raus has a demolition charge and Grappling Hook, and both have a stub pistol. They have a lot of the drawbacks of Ratlings, including a 6+ save that only gets to 4+ in cover (like a normal goddamn Guardsman), but they also have improved BS+ and have a full 6" move (plus they can move after shooting). Their relative fragility (T2 and W2) is compensated for by their CHARACTER keyword - unlike your other snipers, Rein generally won't be targetable by enemy artillery. and Raus can ignore vertical distance when he moves. He also is better at using demolition charges than Special Weapons Squads, but he only gets 1. In a high points game, they're not really worth it unless you need to fill out an Elites slot for 35 points, but in a small game, they can wreak some havoc.
Officio Prefectus[edit]
  • Commissar: His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him may re-roll (as of the latest FAQ, which also dropped their points cost considerably) their first failed Morale test in any given phase at the expense of a single model dying (the newly dead unit doesn't count for the re-roll), which means you should be picky about when you use the Summary Execution ability. Thanks to the Aura of Discipline ability, those same Guard squads will be given Ld8. 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.
    • In case you have missed it, Summary Execution is an optional re-roll now. Commissars also faced a steep price decrease, now being 16 points instead of 31 at base.
    • His ranged weapon should always be a bolter; you shouldn't buy him a melee weapon (apart from a chainsword), as he should be staying out of melee and providing buffs instead.
    • The cheapest Commissar you can take is 15 points (16 with a Bolter), while Lord Commissars have to take a Power Weapon as well, raising them up to 34 (35 with a Bolter). They're Characters, so what you primarily need them to live through are sniper rifle shots; their points divided by how many Ratling sniper rifle shots it takes to kill them are 76 and 165, respectively (using the versions that took a Bolter).
    • Consider using the Officio Prefectus Command Tank stratagem instead of taking a Commissar. For just 2CP you get a 6" LD9 buff with a much better version of Summary Execution... in addition to being a goddamn tank.
      • Other Stratagem options include paying 1 CP to take a test on 1d3 or 2 CP to auto-pass; if you're low on CPs, you're playing Guard wrong, especially now that a Brigade nets you 12 goddamn CP.
    • Other choices, provided you can get them in, include an Astropath or a Primaris Psyker using the Fearless power.
  • Commissar Severina Raine: The main character in the up coming book "Honour Bound" and a bit of a mixed bag in terms of stats. She has the standard Commissar stat line and Comes with "Summary execution" and "Aura of discipline". She is also 16 points more than a Commissar with a powersword and doesn't have much to show for it. The biggest disappointment is her Sword, "Evanfall" which is AP-1 with no buffs to strength or extra attacks meaning she is even less useful in a fight than a regular commissar. Though with her special ability, you actually don't want her to kill what she charges. Her 4+ armor save is nice and her Bolt pistol "Penance" is Ap-1 which means she is slightly more effective in close range firefights than charging in close. Her special rule, "Leading from the front" allows all friendly guard forces within 6" auto pass morale checks is she is 1" from an enemy unit. This means she lends herself to being run along side a squad of Stormtroopers or Shotgun Veterans, to aid them in the close range shooting with her Bolt pistol and to keep them Immune to morale if they are charged, but she won't able to carry the squad in melee so next turn have her and the squad fall back and shell the squad that charged with artillery (or use Get back in the fight! to shoot the unit you coward). Overall, interesting but quite overcosted.
    • A way to use her that will actually see her make her points back is to use her to buff up a Conscript melee tarpit, especially if you can keep her protected with a nearby Ogryn bodyguard to intercept any melee wounds your opponent wisely decides to inflict upon her. Her morale ability is incredibly potent and will absolutely offset any Leadership penalties you might be suffering, so suck it, enemy Psykers and debuffers. Also, keep in mind that she only has to be within 1" of an enemy to prevent a Guard unit within 6" from suffering losses in the Morale phase... which means that unit doesn't need to be within 1" of an enemy itself. That means that even if your enemy starts hitting your infantry squads behind her hard with ranged fire, they'll stick around if they're close enough. Another example of why there's more to the game than Mathhammer.

Specific Regiment[edit]

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 (although it's more efficient to simply land your Tempestor Prime next to a regular squad and use their Vox instead, as you're not giving up any special weapon options that way). 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.
    • Remember, just like with standard command squads, you are limited to one Tempestus command squad per Tempestor Prime. 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 Transports[edit]

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Chimera: The old king of metal boxes has fallen. With the loss of Amphibious, Mobile Command Vehicle, and its fire points, 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. Additionally, Chapter Approved 2018 did give it a much needed price drop. The primary benefit of a Chimera over a Taurox is the critical 2 extra transport slots, with the very slight additional benefit of +1 Toughness, and the somewhat more substantive benefit of better wargear options, since Tauroxes are stuck with twin autocannons, which suck, and the only Vehicle Equipment they can take is a pintle storm bolter/heavy stubber. Which vehicle you should take, and what you should put on it, depends both on your regiment and what you intend to put in it - Tauroxes imply you're using vox-casters to get your orders through, while Chimeras imply you're having a Platoon Commander or other support character tag along.
    • The twin heavy flamer option is a good one for brawling and making your dedicated transport pull double duty as a poor man's Hellhound, especially if you're running Catachan - their Doctrine benefits that loadout the most, and they want a Platoon Commander along more than other regiments for the leadership buff.
      • When used in conjunction with the rapid redeploy stratagem from the new formation you have a transport that can advance and shoot whilst still autohitting and a guardsmen unit inside that can disembark after moving to shoot and charge. A Brutal combination that few opponents will anticipate.
    • Tallarn wants a triple heavy bolter Chimera (Gryphonne-Pattern, see below) in a big way - their Doctrine is the only one that lets you concern yourself with letting the transport meaningfully contribute to shooting on the move, and that's hands down the most efficient points-per-wound option available. They also like the double heavy bolter option with Track Guards - it's less efficient at murder, but more efficient at maintaining mobility as you zip around. Either can be combined with a heavy stubber.
    • Armageddon likes these in general- the extra toughness and added transport slots synergize well with their unique order and Stratagem, as well as the boosted resilience against AP-1 weaponry.
    • Note that the Lasgun Arrays are no longer Fire Ports that let models shoot lasguns out of the vehicle. They are now a pair of 3-shot Lasguns that may only be fired if a unit is embarked. While this isn't a major change, it has the funny effect of allowing a single monkey to somehow fire the equivalent of 2 Multi-Lasers at once.
    • The Multi-laser was really hurt by the rules changes in 8th Edition. Consult the table below to see which weapon you should be using. It can be seen that the Multi-laser is better against specific toughnesses and low saves, but for those you really should just sell your soul to the resin gods and take an Autocannon.
Save
2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+ 7+
Toughness 2 or less Heavy Bolter
3 Heavy Bolter Both
4 Heavy Bolter
5
6 Heavy Bolter Both Multi-Laser
7 Heavy Bolter
8
9
10 Heavy Bolter Multi-Laser
11
12 or greater Heavy Bolter
  • Taurox: The student has learned well. With its twin autocannons and a good move speed of M14, the Taurox makes a strong contender for the new Guard motor pool. It's faster and cheaper than the Chimera, too. Its cheapness, high firepower, and 10 man cap make it ideal for carrying basic infantry squads or dropping 3-man Ogryn/Bullgryn squads where they need to go.
    • For the more mathematically inclined, a Taurox is 70 points after its guns. For another 28 points you get a double flamer Chimera with track guards, 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.
    • The main job of any transport is simply to get from Point "A" to Point "B" in one piece. In practice the Valkyrie does a better job than either the Taurox or the Chimera, but if you only want to move your army across the table as quickly (and cheaply) as possible the Taurox delivers.
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 barely a transport. Its real role is to haul around your otherwise-immobile <regiment> 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. Best used for 4-man command squads with their Officer; its big benefits are that it's cheaper than any other transport you have access to, and while it has -1S, -1T, -3W and -1A compared to a Chimera, but you don't care about the S or the A. One benefit of the lower wound count is that it carries the vehicle below the threshold for stat deterioration, which is a huge boon in 8th. After suffering 5 or 6 wounds, the Centaur actually has higher M (assuming the Chimera hasn't got Track Guards) 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.
  • Chimera, Gryphonne-Pattern: Replaces the Multilaser with a Twin Heavy Bolter for extra dakka, or an Autocannon (per FAQ); it can't take an Augur Array, Dozer Blade, or Track Guards, although Track Guards are the only one of those you'll miss. 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 (but is probably surpassed by the THB loadout against just about everything but T10). 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.
    • You'll need to kitbash the twin heavy bolter turret since only the autocannon one is sold these days, but this is pretty easy to do, even for a novice kitbasher. Also, it's worth mentioning that the Baneblade THB miniturret uses the same turret ring size as Chimeras, so if you got a Baneblade variant of some kind, you have a THB turret for a Chimera on those days you don't feel like breaking out the Lord of War.
      • The Gryphonne Chimera with 3 HB costs 21 points more than the normal Chimera with 2 HB. A HB for 21 does not sound like a very good deal.
  • Trojan Support Vehicle: This Forgeworld model was updated to be effectively a very cramped (Transport Capacity 6) Chimera for a rather stunning increase to the original base cost to a painful minimum of 98. In return, however, it brings the one and only source of full failure re-rolls in the Guard, granting one astra militarum vehicle within 6" re-rolls to hit in the shooting phase. Pairing this adorable little box with a Lord of War is a match made on Holy Terra - if you're not using it as the portable love slave of your Stormlord or Shadowsword, you're doing it wrong.
    • To go from 'wow' to 'what the fuck why' pair this with a Salamander Command Vehicle. The abilities stack, taking your buffed vehicle from a 50% hitrate to an 89% hitrate. A Shadowsword with this sort of buffage is absolute horror - its Volcano Cannon will hit on 2s versus Titanic units, wound on 2s versus anything smaller than a Warhound Titan, and rerolls everything except damage. We're talking enough power to, with a bit of assistance from the sponsons, bring down a Knight Castellan. Use wisely.
      • And that just got easier thanks to the April 2019 FAQ stating that a Knight's maximum invulnerable save is 4+. Enjoy.

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. For weapons, you should always be taking the Gatling Cannon, the sheer number of shots it puts out makes it better than both other options point for point (except against Land Raiders, where the Missile Launcher is -slightly- better). Similarly, the Hot-shot Volley Guns are always better point for point than the Autocannons.
    • 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.
    • You should only ever consider taking the Battle Cannon and/or Autocannons if you for some reason need extra range.
    • 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.
    • Note: Sentinels benefit from <Regiment> keyword and along with your weapon choice, this will heavily influence their combat role. Cadian sentinels can pick a spot on the board and use their rerolls and height to put overcharged plasma fire over a wide radius. Armageddon Sentinels can take a heavy flamer and be tonka-tough harrassers of enemy infantry. Catachan Sentinels can do the same, but trade toughness for power. Mordian Sentinels can act as a cheap escort for your tanks, letting them benefit from the overwatch bonus. Tallarn Sentinels can be quick moving lascannon platforms. Vostroyan and Valhallan Sentinels don't get anything good out of their doctrines, though - the lack of a wounding chart means Grim Demeanor does nothing, and the extra 6" of range doesn't give you anything a Heavy Weapon Squad couldn't do, besides fill Fast Attack slots on the cheap.
    • Remember that Sentinels do not have a vehicle damage chart, meaning your opponent is going to have to commit to destroying each one completely and can't just simply ignore a crippled Sentinel. There also aren't a lot of solid counters against T6 - especially when your opponent's lascannons are more worried about your real tanks. For less than 500 pts you can take 9x of them with autocannons in a TALLARN Outrider detachment.
  • 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).
    • Like their armoured cousins, the Armageddon doctrine makes these guys considerably more annoying to drop for anti-light vehicle weapons such as heavy bolters and autocannons.
  • 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 datasheet actually covers three vehicles: Hellhound, Devil Dog, Banewolf. Track guards were basically made for this vehicle as the majority of available weapons ignore ballistic skill. Unless you're 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!
    • Two words: Track Guards! With track guards your tank will always move at full speed... with the inferno cannon you will always auto hit when shooting... 12" + 16" = 28" threat range of constant FIREpower. Such a magnificent vehicle will cost you 111 points, don't even bother with any other upgrades.
    • 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.
    • Because Hellhounds always explode on 4+ they make excellent suicide tanks, useful for disrupting gun lines and charges (especially considering their relatively short range). Artemia-pattern Hellhounds are better at this though as they deal D6 mortal wounds instead of D3.
    • 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). Making the melta cannon assault has brought the D-Dog up from garbage to actually being a very solid tank buster. With D3 shots rerolling damage within melta range, you have one of few weapons potentially capable of blowing up a tank every time it fires. It's also the longest ranged melta weapon short of the Imperial Knight thermal cannon, and is mounted on your fastest ground unit, making range a non issue. 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. A heavy flamer will go a long way to deter the counter charge you will almost definitely be staring down after you shove that melta in your opponent's face.
  • 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. Not great, but alright; their hunting lances, speed and special weapons are still what lets them get shit done so these guys better be getting the charge.
    • Critically Important: Rough Riders are not Infantry and cannot be Ordered, or buffed by Priests (If only Priests could ride a horse of their own...) 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 multiwound models now. Also, why were you giving tank hunting units plasma guns? The meltagun is better on these guys for everything that has multiple wounds, which in this edition is a lot.
      • Possibly because plasma is cheap, riders are unlikely to get more than one ranged attack, and these guys can also be used for taking on ranged/glass-cannon infantry, a target that they can actually threaten with all of their weapons/attacks.
    • These guys also don't gain any benefit from most Regimental Doctrines, sadly - the only ones that can apply are the Cadian and Vostroyan ones, and none of those really help Rough Riders do what they do any better.
      • Note: Cadian stratagem or a relic can make plasma weapons a really good choice for these guys. For just 65 points you will get 5 plasma shots (2 plasmaguns and plasma pistol) with an outflanking unit that can also charge and be annoying in combat with 4 attacks of the lances (2 for the ones that didn't take plasma guns and 2 for the sergeant).
    • 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 16 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 has to be nearby during the Fight, and is slower than Rough Riders, so it may be non-trivial delivering him.
  • Note: TLDR, just make them DKOK[[1]] and run them as Death Riders, they're fuckawesome.
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, loaded up with an autocannon and a heavy bolter, plus the usual HKM plus Storm Bolter or Heavy Stubber. If you were planning on taking an Autocannon Sentinel, take this instead; much faster and much beefier than either of your walkers, while able to bring the rough equivalent of two Heavy Weapon Teams along for the ride AND maintaining the Scout move at the start of the game, all for a very modest point increase. Hell, even if you were considering taking ANY Sentinel, give the Salamander a strong consideration first. Able to quickly get itself in a stubborn position early and lay down a respectable field of fire, killing infantry, denying deep strikers and generally aggravating your opponent.
    • Given that Forge World doesn't make the Salamander model anymore, a good proxy is a Hellhound hull with the Chimera Autocannon Turret.
  • Tauros: A cool little dune buggy scout vehicle. At first, you might think they're just more expensive Sentinels, but there are a few neat advantages here - they're much faster with a 15" move (whoever said the Guard can't go fast?!) and benefit from the Galvanic Motor rule: if they go more than 10" they benefit from a 5+ invulnerable save. If you hug cover these can become a very handy thorn in your opponent's side.
    • Also worth pointing out that these have 2 attacks compared to a Sentinel's 1. At S4 they ain't gonna kill much, but being able to force a unit to fall back from an objective, or prevent it from shooting if they don't, can be crucial (and bloody hilarious...)
    • 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).
    • The Assault variant is best paired with a heavy flamer, so treat it like a Scout Sentinel armed with the same - except faster and more durable. Never take the grenade launcher as it suffers from the same 8th edition changes as the infantry version and has a truly idiotic points cost (put it this way, you could buy two autocannons elsewhere which gives you better range and hitting power for the same cost in points...)
    • The Venator variant is much tastier - it's a little more expensive, but 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.
    • Yet another discontinued Forgeworld model, but thankfully there are a few options for kitbashing here - the GSC Achilles Ridgerunner compares well size-wise so just take the twin stubbers off. Also consider the wonderful range of Ork buggies, especially if you're looking for a more scratch-built appearance (feral world regiment anyone?)

Flyers[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 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). In addition, the codex added the Roving Gunship rule, which adds 1 to hit rolls if you're in Hover mode. When standing still, you hit on 3s. Between the multilaser, rocket pods, and heavy bolters, that's a LOT of infantry mulching! Although infantry is about all the Valkyrie is decent at dealing with. While taking the Lascannon and Hellstrkies essentially turns you into a flying Vanquisher there are far better things your Valkyries should be doing - although swapping out the Multilaser for a Lascannon only costs 10 points, and gives you some anti-tank punch to go with your hosepipe of S5 Ap-1 shots.
    • Note: The Grav-Chute deployment still only counts as a disembark 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.
    • Note: As per FAQ 2019 you can't move your models after the Grav-Chute deployment. Gone are the days where a first turn Bullgryn charge was as easy as pie.
    • 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]

Chapter Approved 2017 hiked the price on most of the base airframes and the price increase on hellstrike missiles (30 points per missile now) makes most of these models very inefficient choices. The models are still pretty great though.

  • Aquila Lander: Priced like a Valkyrie, but plays more like a Flying Drop Pod. Not as durable, armored, and only has a capacity of 7. It can but itself and cargo on deepstrike, landing a heavy weapons team and Commander close to the enemy on turn 2.
  • Arvus Lighter (FW Index: Astra Militarum): This thing went from completely useless to pretty useful. Like most of these flyers, 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. It must be purely by coincidence that Forge World started producing this model again, and they were even kind enough to jack up the price a good bit.
  • 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 buy 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. 335 points buys you the thunderbolt with 4 anti-tank missiles and 305 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. Keep in mind 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. 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. Alternately, 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. How it even manages to fly straight spitting so much dakka is a mystery. Scratch the paint and make sure it's not an Ork...
    • In terms of weapons, the Twin Punisher Cannon is better than every other weapon vs most units and is only worse than the Skystrike Missiles vs units that can FLY. Hunter-Killer Missiles are also almost always better, but are one use only; while Tactical Bombs are rather gimmicky. If for some reason you aren't taking the Punisher, the following loadouts are best for the following roles:
      • Pure Anti-Tank: Twin Lascannon and Two Hellstrike Missiles
      • Pure Anti-MEQ/TEQ: Twin Autocannon and Two Missile Pods or Four Missile Pods
      • Pure Anti-GEQ: Twin Multi-Laser and Two Hellfury Missiles
      • Mixed Anti-Tank and Anti-MEQ/TEQ: Twin Lascannon and Two Missile Pods
      • Mixed Anti-Tank and Anti-GEQ: Twin Lascannon and Two Hellfury Missiles
      • Mixed Anti-MEQ/TEQ and Anti-GEQ: Twin Autocannon and Two Hellfury Missiles or Two Missile Pods and Two Hellfury Missiles
      • Anti-FLY: Take relevant loadout and swap the Hellfury/Hellstrike Missiles or Missile Pods for Skystrike Missiles.

Heavy Support[edit]

This is the meat and potatoes right here. In this slot you will find the absolute best tanks and artillery in the galaxy. Even the humble heavy weapons squad can lay down some serious hurt thanks to just how cheap they are. If you need something, anything, blasted to bits, this is where you can find the units to do it.

Any Regiment[edit]

  • Basilisk: Fluffy is back! The Earthshaker gun motor carriage smacks units up to twenty (!) feet away at with the same power as a lascannon (and the underwhelming D3 damage of a battle cannon), 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). Against vehicles one Basilisk is as strong as 2.5 lascannons but its higher shot count compared to a lascannon also makes them reasonably effective against multi wound infantry. The Basilisk is brutal and very point-efficient, with the only problem being the Guard's BS of 4+ (and there's a stratagem for that). Welcome in any list. 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.
    • Keep in mind that it is just a T6 vehicle so use the ignore LOS ability or see it explode.
      • A basilisk has pretty good survivability compared to your other options for long range firepower. Infantry squads are much more vulnerable against small arms fire, Leman Russes are just slightly more durable against some anti tank weapons while having a much higher cost, Sentinels are simply worse in every regard and Heavy Weapon Teams dont have any protection whatsoever.
  • 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 (two with a command re-roll), 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. With all effects combined (which you can get by stuffing it into a Catachan spearhead along with all your other tanks and reserving 4 CP for it) the beast will inflict 9.58 mortal wounds, with a further 1.72 mortal wounds to all nearby units...on average. The high CP cost of this trick makes it situational, but boy can it sting.
    • Seriously consider this vehicle as a choice for your Salamander's Battle Buddy. Rolling the die to determine if you can shoot is not actually shooting, so you can do this at the start of your shooting phase to determine if the Deathstrike can fire, before the Salamander designates the target of its own buff. This avoids wasting that precious +1 to hit. With all 3 effects combined the missile will make an average of 11.3 (13.2 for StormTrooper missiles) or so mortal wounds (compared to 9.8 without the Salamander) on whatever you aim it at, with an additional 1.72 on nearby models. At this point there isn't a whole lot that actually requires this much pain, but it's a hell of a hit. Having just run the numbers on the primary target here, taking 1 DeathStrike and a Salamander targeting buddy comes out to 22PPW - just the DeathStrike comes out to 16.5PPW (Both with stratagem and StormTrooper doctrine, ignoring CP reroll on number of shots). You're still going to delete the target whenever you fire, but if you're trying to squeeze out the most possible bang for your buck... either skip the Salamander, go all-in on DeathStrikes (15.7 PPW with 3), or have a Basilisk or something around to benefit from the Salamander buff on turns the nukes aren't launching!
    • Potentially a new distraction Carnifex; by turn three, one of two things should've happened. Someone who has 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.
    • However, with the Tallarn Doctrine, this giant Everything hater can show up in any turn, and the rule does not state that it needs to be on the battlefield at the beginning to add the Battle round number to it's chance of firing off. You can only bring one, though, but still....
    • This thing is drastically better against some armies then others. Against the Custodes and similar low-model armies, it's absolutely terrifying, but your average Ork or Tyranid player will probably just shrug it off
  • 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 42 points for three Heavy Bolters! 54 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.
    • Important to note that, due to Genestealer Cults suddenly being able to steal your Heavy Weapon Squads in addition to their own, the latest FAQ established that Heavy Weapon Squads, Krieg Heavy Weapon Squads and Elysian Heavy Weapon Squads (as well as their Brood Brother and Renegade counterparts) are all treated as the same unit for the purposes of the Rule of Three, so you'll need to find some other filling to fill out the remaining slots on your Stormlord. Filthy xenos, ruining the fun for everyone...
    • 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!
    • 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. Take four (or two-and-two with lascannons), grab two Company Commanders, and make the whole thing a Cadian Spearhead for less than 200 points and you can have 4d6 S4 shots (rerolling hits, natch) from a defensible position as nice crowd-munching battle buddies. The bonus CP is just icing on this nice fire support cupcake.
    • 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. 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+. 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.
      • When deciding whether to embed a heavy weapon in a gun line or heavy weapons team, consider the following: Heavy Bolters and Mortars are better off in a Heavy Weapons Team, as their higher volume of shots can get more out of re-rolls than single shots. Lascannons and Rocket Launchers generally benefit more from being embedded, as they are single shot (at least for Krak Missiles), more expensive, and offer long range anti-tank to a unit that is primarily medium-range anti-infantry. They also both like being embedded in Veteran squads, where the higher BS helps your chances of hitting that enemy tank. Auto cannons are either/or as their reduced points cost in Chapter Approved and all around versatility make them useful for gunlines and spammable as HWTs.
      • 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.
    • If you're not adverse to using Forge World, consider taking two Sabre Batteries with Autocannons instead. For 18 points less and "only" 4 feet of range, they will do the same job as a Hydra, while for 2 points more than a Hydra, with an added searchlight, they will do 25% more damage against air and 50% more damage against ground.
    • Cadian Hydras become BS2+ (and reroll 1's) when you stack Overlapping Fields of Fire stratagem against a model with FLY, as long as that model doesn't have the "-1 to hit" that lots of models with FLY do, then it still hits on 3+.
  • 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 137 points (Battle Cannon and Heavy Bolter included) a T8 W12 platform with a 3+ save will consume an enormous amount of firepower before dying. All Russes must take a hull weapon, either a Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, or a Lascannon and may also take two sponsons (Heavy Bolters, Heavy Flamers, Multi-Meltas, or Plasma Cannons). Thanks to "Grinding Advance" the tank's turret weapons fire at full BS even if the tank moves and may fire twice at the same target if it moves under half its its full speed. And if taken in a Spearhead Detachment it gains Objective Secured!
    • The tank's hull weapon and sponsons should complement its turret's range and capabilities. Sponsons are, of course, optional in every sense of the word and it will typically be cheaper and more efficient to put heavy weapons into gunlines instead where they can benefit from orders. Exceptions to this rule include Tallarn (no penalty for moving), Catachan (can re-roll shot volumes on heavy flamers and plasma cannons), and Cadian (which wants to sit still anyway, making the lascannon and plasma cannons more appealing).
    • A note on Doctrines:
      • All weapons with a random number of shots benefit the most from being Catachan, which is pretty much all of the best turret options (battle cannons, demolishers, eradicators, executioners). If stacked with "Harker's Hellraisers" this effectively makes them better than Cadian Russes as they can still move and re-roll 1's. Pair with a triple decker of heavy flamers and make horde players weep salty crocodile tears.
    • Cadian Russes re-roll 1's to hit if they didn't move in their previous movement phase, and they also benefit from their unique order "Pound Them to Dust" (which is still worse than "Brutal Strength"). Tanks with a fixed volume of shots like Punishers prefer to be Cadian and Executioners also get a little more insurance against mortal wounds from supercharged plasma weapons. And then there's Pask...
      • Vostroyan made tanks have an extra 6" of range on all their weapons (except Heavy Flamers) benefiting Demolisher-variants the most. However, the (now 42") Executioner Cannon is the clear winner here because with "Firstborn Pride" not only does it hit on 3+ but it's also impossible for its plasma weapons to misfire!
      • Tallarn Russes suffer no penalty to any of their heavy weapons for firing on-the-move, although they can't fire while advancing they can move-shoot-move or move-move-shoot.
The Leman Russ can be divided into two categories. The four 'Battle Tanks' (Battle, Eradicator, Exterminator, Vanquisher) have more range but less firepower than the three 'Siege Tanks' (Demolisher, Punisher, Executioner). Generally speaking the best general purpose option is the Battle Cannon.
    • Battle Cannon: Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 D1d3. The Battle Cannon has taken some big hits compared to past editions. Since losing its large blast template it only gets an average of 1.75 hits, though "Grinding Advance" buffs this to a less disappointing 3.5 and Catachan can buff it even further. MEQ now get a 5+ save, but it is now more effective against TEQ. Surprisingly the cheapest of the 4 options...and easily the best. Though it faces stiff competition from its Demolisher cousins.
      • Particularly since many of the other variant turrents have gotten points reductions: now the Battle Cannon is THE most expensive turret option. Still not a bad option, being the reliable, less gimmicky choice for main gun, particularly with Grinding Advance in play.
    • Exterminator Autocannon: 5pts cheaper than a Battle Cannon which would be worth it for the (very slightly) 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. Obviously excels at dealing with 2W MeQ or anything possessing to-hit penalties that the battle cannons RNG output can screw you over against, and makes a damn fine impromptu Hydra if you get desperate. It isn't designed for taking on other Tanks, especially the ones with T8 (like Russes) which seems to be where a lot of its bad rap comes from in comparison to the Battle Cannon.
      • Alternate Opinion: The Exterminator really shines against units with 3+/4++ save, particularly T5 and 6(so about 3/4 of every armies FA choices) Furthermore you'll consistently put out a lot of firepower without the need of staying in range of a Tank Commander. It's not that the Exterminator is better or worse compared to the Battle Cannon, it's just designed for a different purpose. Put a lascannon, multimeltas and track guards on your Tallarn Leman Russ Exterminator and for 217 points you'll have a very good, mobile all rounder unit that can react to almost everything on the battlefield. It will still deal less average damage than a battle cannon, but it will do so more reliably.
      • Continued: As above, this is a particular gun for particular targets. In most cases you’re better off taking one of the other options, but there are cases to be made for this one. The Exterminator excels against high-toughness multi-wound monsters and elite infantry, particularly Tyranid Monsters and Ork vehicles/nobs, against whom it generally performs better against than the “burst” damage of say a battle cannon. The Exterminator’s consistent shot volume and damage seems tailored towards these units, where you’re getting 4/8 shots instead of a potential 1/2. Also consider using on CSM and SM bikers (particularly scout bikers if you know people who use them) where the -1 AP and 2D can be a nasty surprise.
    • Eradicator Nova Cannon: Often overlooked. For 7 pts less than a Battle Cannon, you lose 36" of range and only hit at S6. In exchange you ignore cover bonuses, which gets you that guaranteed -2 to Armor save. This is perhaps the most specialized of all the Leman Russ options, so only consider bringing it against targets that depend on cover saves (Space Marine Scouts with camo cloaks, Eldar Rangers, AdMech with cover canticles, Poxwalkers, Vindicare Assassins, Imperial Guard, etc). Perhaps the best at straight-up murdering GEQs in cover (wounding on 2+ with no save), its extra 12" range edging out the Demolisher Cannon in this particular niche.
    • 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, though thankfully it has become one of the cheapest options after Chapter Approved, falling to 20 points (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, S9 or flat 2D6 damage instead of 2D6 drop the lowest, it’d perform better against most vehicles than other Russes. Never take this in a tournament or if you're a win at all costs player. If you're playing for fun, or love the model and look more, it's entirely up to you.
      • Even with its reduction to just 15 points in CA, it still may not be a competetive turret choice, except maybe on Pask or, at least, a Tank Commander.
  • The three 'Demolisher' variants hit much harder at the expense of range; only one of them beats two feet, unless it's Vostroyan-made. Demolishers and especially Punishers enjoy heavy flamers, as these tanks will be close anyway. Make tar pitting them a costly move and ignore the damage they will inevitably take.
    • Demolisher Cannon: You can fit a man in that gun barrel! Statistically the best tank-buster of all Russ cannons; same cost as 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 armour, if you feel okay chucking out 202pts for a BS4+/5+ tank. Thanks to the space marines new codex, demolisher cannons now pack a constant D6 shots, giving you the power to hammer any target with 2D6 shots at S10 AP-3 each doing D6 damage!!!! Will the imperial D cannon change in price? Only time will tell.
      • Infantry will usually come towards the punisher, this thing has a tendency to make armor run away. 160 points currently gets you the cannon, heavy bolter, and track guards to at least get you in range as you weather opposing anti tank fire (yes, that large cannon barrel is a fire magnet).
    • 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. Speaking of range keep in mind the Executioner is the longest range of the "siege tank" variants, at 36", nowhere near as good as the battle cannon, but a step up from the dangerously short range of the Demolisher and Punisher to a more middle of the road range where you can stay reasonably safe from enemy melta weapons while still laying down plasma fire.
      • 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.
      • Got a small points reduction in cost in CA, making it a whole 7 points cheaper than the Battle Cannon.
    • 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, very good at clearing away t4 screens like shield drones and plaguebeares particularly on a tank commander.
      • 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 (especially since multi-meltas can't be taken as hull weapons), 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 143 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.
  • 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 103 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.
    • The Suppressing Fire and Pounding Barrage stratagems from an Emperors Wrath Artillery Company allow a single Wyvern to either halve a units move and advance distances, or fire twice. These two strats are well suited for a pocket wyvern and make having a single one supporting your Basilisks a very useful addition to your tank lines. These two strats alone can allow the Wyvern to protect the Basilisks from crucial charges that would otherwise tie up your heavy guns.
Forge World[edit]
  • Armageddon Pattern Basilisk: 15 points up on a standard Basilisk for an enclosed crew compartment, which nets you 1 more toughness and wounds. Makes your earthshaker more resistant to S7 and S12 attacks, and because of the way the wounding rules work, that's about it, though the extra wound is a nice topping on the cake. About as viable as the normal one if you have the model, but not exactly worth the extra money if you don't (nothing stopping you from using "counts-as" though).
  • Carnodon Battle Tank: A Heresy-era fossil of a tank that's one third cheaper than a naked Leman Russ with its initial loadout and has the statline of a slightly weaker Predator. It is capable of taking highly specialized loadouts. For AT, take four lascannons. Multilasers are a good option to take out GEQs and the Volkite weapons are good against heavy infantry and can fish for mortal wounds on wound rolls of 6+. Bonus points for having better Volkite weapons than the Space Marines. And the Mechanicus. Nope, the cogboys aren’t salty about that one at all.
    • Carnodons fill a similar role to the Guard's fast attack units. Tactics used for Sentinels and Hellhounds are more applicable to Carnodons.
    • Tallarn makes these guys pretty effective cavalry tanks. They can quickly redeploy to deliver whatever firepower the brought to bear.
    • Volkite weapons may baffle most tech priests, but the damage they cause on the battlefield is plain to see. The Culverin has four shots, any of which that cause a wound roll of 6+ trigger D3 mortal wounds. The Calivers add another single mortal wound on any 6+. This setup with a heavy stubber runs you 110 points and has a minimum range of 30". The guns profile isn't bad either netting you 8 S6 AP-1 D2 hits. For this price 3 tanks at 330 points is affordable making them a startlingly efficient means of spamming mortal wounds while genuinely threatening far more dangerous enemies. The Vostroyan Strategy can give a single tank +1 to hit, generating mortal wounds on 5+, Cadians can use their strategy to give all subsequent tanks +1 to hit against the same target.
    • Clearly designed by C.S.Goto, because it has the potential to equip !!5!! Multilasers.
    • The price drop on multi-lasers helped this light tank out. At it's cheapest only running 90 points. Point drop didn't effect the twin multilaser on the turret though so worth switching it up for the added 4 points. Still 58 points less than a naked Russ for a lot of light firepower. The pintle mounted multilaser is 3pts more than the heavy stubber, for +2S.
  • Earthshaker Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The gun deck of a Basilisk, sitting pretty on a stationary foundation. As of Chapter Approved 2017, these guys are more expensive and less resilient than a regular Basilisk. The only saving grace is that it can technically still fire the Earthshaker while it is being swarmed by enemy assault troops.
    • This is another discontinued model, but don't be discouraged. Simply take the part of your Basilisk that's 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.
  • Crew-Served Gun Batteries: All of these deploy as one unit and then split into two - one unit of guns and one unit of crew. This means they can't be buffed with orders; any effect just buffs the crew, instead. The crew are essentially characters, thanks to wonky rules wording - they can only be targeted if they're the closest visible enemy unit. Furthermore, a gun model cannot fire unless a crewman is within 3" of it.
    • Be aware that the gun batteries have the <vehicle> keyword. This allows them to receive buffs from Salamanders and Trojans! Yes, you can re-roll misses and hit on 3s with Earthshaker Cannons. Both buffs are not unit-wide, so you must pick one gun in the battery when doing this.
    • Note: If somehow the guns are destroyed, or you don't need them, you can walk the crew around behind something tough, like Bullgryns, and use these guys as untouchable lasguns! Clearly an exploit, but so laughably inefficient it can never really be abused; inform your opponent, imagine they're hammer dancing, and have some fun!
    • 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. You get 4 crewmen a gun, which essentially means a full battery comes with a free Infantry Squad. And they can take orders, though re-rolling 1s won't work the miracles that ignoring all cover saves once did. With a slightly-lower-damage version of the lascannon's gun profile and an average of 2.24 hits to a lascannon team's 1.5 for a marginal increase in cost, it's more point-efficient than a lascannon team for tank-busting, and thanks to the high shot count and lasgun-armed crew, better at fighting crowds, too. Not bad.
    • Forget about it. Chapter Approved has killed it to death. Now base cost for this poor boy without legs (tracks) is 105 + 16 points for 4 crewman. Stick with a vanilla Basilisk, that costs only 108 points and still can move, while also having a heavy bolter. I would still recommend running it simply for fluffy reasons and that the model looks amazing.
    • Heavy Mortar Battery: 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 only 10 points cheaper 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.
    • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery (Forgeworld Index: Astra Militarum): Got nerfed hard and went from auto-include to almost-nope. Twin-linked is gone but it still fires only one shot, so barring a static Cadian gunline to reroll 1s, there is no chance to reroll that 4+ except CPs (or a Trojan, see above), 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.
  • 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 whose 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. All in all, it's a damn fine artillery piece.
  • 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.
    • Chapter Approved has increased its cost to 60 points from 40. Not a build-killer, but you'll need to work to make back its points now.
    • These bombs can take a <Regiment> keyword now. Armageddon is better for getting your bombs on target in 1 piece, while Catachan makes them more reliable. Mordian turns your little bombs into risky flanking buddies, although, tbh, Sentinels are better suited to this purpose, as far as cost is concerned. Tallarn is really fluffy, but so easy to counter. The others, however, give nothing that this unit needs, although it is an easy way to set up Overlapping Fields of Fire for your Cadian units. Vicious Traps does give this unit a kind of Overwatch, but isn't really worth it.
    • Don't forget: these can charge. Use these guys to charge your opponent's melee screen units with limited shooting, and watch the beads of sweat on your opponent's face flow as he realizes that killing this thing in melee is as bad as letting it live.
  • 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.
  • Leman Russ Family: As of the recent FAQs, all the Forge World tanks also gain Grinding Advance.
    • 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, compounded by Grinding Advance, it’s the only Leman Russ that has increased in firepower rocking, effectively, 4 bs4 lascannons. 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.
      • With that cool new Grinding Advance rule, this tank became our one of the best options, matching even Demolisher in sheer amount of hard hitting hatred it can bring to our enemies, even matching Demolisher in his own field, while been miles away from the fight. Sadly, you can't put Pask in it...
    • Leman Russ Conqueror (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Actually pretty useful now. 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 Forgeworld are bound to go derp somewhere. 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. Especially good for Mordian; slap a pintle mounted storm bolter on there and you'll be putting out 8 S4 shots hitting on 5s on overwatch.
      • When you do some math you will quickly realize, that this baby is one of the best Russ variants in the game right now. Reroll every (not only failed) shots on the main gun gives you MASSIVE powerboost, almost doubling your hits. Find the path to reroll that random attack D6 roll (Cadian's order or Catachan's doctrine) end enjoy tearing everything up to a land raider to pieces. Trust me, this tank gonna CONQUER your battlefield.
      • Chapter Approved lists the Conqueror as 122 points, the same as a Leman Russ Annihilator and dropping 10 points after the Forge World 1.0 FAQ.
    • 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.
      • As per the latest FAQ, the Stygies received yet another minor buff to try and salvage it. You can now exchange the Co-axial Storm Bolter for a Co-axial Heavy Stubber, which lets the tank function better as intended, that is, hold still and shoot at tanks from far away. The extra foot of range significantly boosts its threat radius and switching to a Heavy weapon is largely irrelevant, as you'd pretty much never get the Storm Bolter's additional shots and you probably won't be moving in the first place.
  • 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 casemate mount which 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. Note that this Malcador lacks any type of Grinding Advance, you're still better off with regular Russes.
    • Malcador Annihilator: The Malcador's version of the Leman Russ Annihilator. Two lascannons in that weird turret and a Demolisher cannon in the hull. Note that you can replace the Demolisher with a FIFTH Lascannon if you so desire but at 300 points it's somewhat(read:very) inefficient.
    • 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. Send a trio of these with Mordian tactics up the board in front of your Infantry to form a near impassable wall of Heavy Bolters for any opponent who heavily relies on hordes of footslogging infantry.
    • 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. Unlike its brothers, which are limited to Heavy Stubbers, Autocannons and Lascannons for sponson options, the Infernus additionally has Heavy Bolters and Heavy Flamers to pick from. Though, given the short range on the main gun the choice here seems obvious.
  • Medusa Family
    • Armageddon Pattern Medusa: Your only mobile source of the Medusa Siege gun.
      • This one is an odd little box. What you get is a vehicle that wounds like a Manticore (S10) and is just as tough (T7), ignores armor like a basilisk (AP3) and has a similar point value (111), has the wounds and armor of a Leman Russ (12W and 3+save) but can fire without line of sight. So far so good. However, you trade all this for the lack of ability to fire after moving without a penalty to hit (and have a poor range of 36 inches), the lack of T8 to survive plasma and anti-tank firepower that is usually S7 and above, and worst of all, you score less hits than a basilisk, Manticore or most Leman Russes with grinding advance with your single D6.
      • This means the Medusa is worse against almost everything. It deals inferior damage compared to other artillery pieces. And while you could argue the Tallarn doctrine removing the penalty to hit when moving turns it into a cheap chassis with a 36 inches range demolisher cannon equivalent equipped, the fact that the damage is d3 rather than d6 (like the demolisher) makes it a poor choice as well. It does, however, outperform the Basilisk against T9, T10, and T18. If it were to consistently get an above-average number of shots, however (via command re-rolls or taking the Catachan regiment), it would actually outperform the Basilisk rather consistently against T5+ as well, so still give it some consideration if you're up against TEQs or Death Guard.
    • 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.
    • This went from being cheesier than a fondue convention to "meh". For what is now 40pts (Chapter Approved 2018), one <regiment> infantry unit gains +1BS, and that's if the sabre is within 48" and both it and the buffed unit have line of sight. One unit also cannot gain from multiple defence searchlights.
    • 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.
    • Mordians get the most out of this; the Volley Fire stratagem procs twice as often if you're spotting for the unit in question. Get a full blob of conscripts, put them under Rank Fire (command reroll that if you need to), pop the stratagem, and light them up. You'll hit on 4s, and the wording of the stratagem means any roll of 5 or 6 grants another shot. This improves the firepower of the unit to approx. 66% accuracy, or a 3+ roll. Not bad, for a bunch of untrained bodies!
    • 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.
  • 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(S10 AP-2 Dd3) 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. Unfortunately they can't take HK missiles like the other Sentinel variants can, though this can be to thier benefit. Treat these as cheap passive-aggressive Distraction Carnifex's. Your opponent will most likely ignore them since they can't shoot(and the rest of your army can shoot...a lot), and until you start wailing on something noteworthy(at S10 you have a lot of choices too) they'll probably forget that yes, those are powerfists they have.
    • 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:[2]
    • I'm pretty sure the Armageddon regiment is the only one these guys will benefit from.
    • Keep in mind that you can use the Crush Them! stratagem with them, that way you add d6 inches to your movement and you are now hitting on a 2+.
  • 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. Don't look away so fast. Orders or no, turret or no, it's still one of the most well made vehicles in the galaxy; the damage tables on these are surprisingly good, possibly justifying the points hike.
    • 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. Unlike any other vehicle built on the Russ chassis, it must hold still to get its full BS. Easily overshadowed by the Annihilator in output, but much easier to conceal - remember that a tank in cover has a 2+ save. Furthermore, the 60" range means it almost never has to move, so you don't need to be bothered by the heavy penalty - and on average you get two shots. For 10 points over a Vanquisher it fills the role of a Russ tank hunter pretty darn well, beating out the Battle Tank on wounds versus T8 3+...barely.
    • 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 ignores the heavy penalty. Sadly not particularly worth it due to the general nerf to blast weapons, but can be a fun distraction vehicle or tank-buster nonetheless.
    • The Index FAQ deliberately avoided giving this vehicle the buff given to all Leman Russ tanks, for whatever reason, while also making it cost 40 points more than a Demolisher. Take a Demolisher.
  • 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.
    • Chapter approved has doubled its point cost per model...

Lords of War[edit]

  • 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.
    • 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 Valhallan one than a Cadian 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: 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 hitting on 2+ with the Crush Them! strategem. 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.

  • A Baneblade appears to be very survivable but when you factor in the high cost of over 400 points they are actually quite vulnerable for their cost. For the same price you could get 4 Basilisks or almost 3 Leman Russ's which are both more survivable and able to put out more damage(with the Exception of the Shadowsword). This means that you should only consider taking a Baneblade based on their other qualities like their relatively high mobility and strong melee capabilities thanks to the Steel Behemoth rule. The firing deck is also unique to the Baneblade family and can be a great way to transport lots of models at once or to hide your fragile units like Heavy Weapon Teams or Command Squads.
  • It might be tempting to use the sponsons but by doing so you would concentrate too many points and firepower on an already way too fragile model. It is much better to spread your heavy weapons over all units in your army so you dont lose everything when your Baneblade is taken out.
  • 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.
    • 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 which has the stats as a lascannon but it does 3D6 shots for an average of 10.5. The high shot count compared to many other variants gives the Baneblade a little more flexibility by being able to effectively shoot at infantry after you destroyed all vehicles. In case you needed any more firepower it also has a dual-linked heavy bolter, an autocannon, and a hull Demolisher Cannon. Oldies but goldies.
    • 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 of 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 (in case you run into real trouble), but the Hellhammer Cannon is 36" Heavy 3d6 S10 AP-4 D3, Ignores Cover Saves. 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 downside is that it costs 20 more points than a Baneblade so the choice is yours.
      • Traitor's Bane: Much like the Fortress of Arrogance above, this is no longer supported by the ruleset. However, if you're adamant on including this fucker, there's nothing stopping you from playing it as a normal Hellhammer and including an allied Inquisition detachment with a Jakaero.
    • 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. On the other hand, it's 50 points cheaper...
      • 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. It is still capable of destroying one transport every turn and can be an alternative if you are very short on points. On the other hand: why are you taking a superheavy if you dont have the points to pay for one?
    • Stormsword: Just as cheap as the Banesword the Stormsword carries the Stormsword Siege Cannon which is 36" Heavy 2d6 S10 AP-4 D1d6r1, Ignores Cover, or on average, 36" Heavy 7 S10 AP-4 D3.92. Compared to the Banesword the Stormswords gun is worse in almost any situation. You should avoid this and take one of the better alternatives.
      • 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."
    • Doomhammer: The Magma Cannon on this baby is 60" Heavy 2d6 S10 AP-5 D1d6, Ignores Cover Saves, Melta Damage which averages to Heavy 7 S10 AP-5 D4.47 at 30". 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. Additionally you get transport capacity of 25 models and a firing deck for 10 of them to shoot out. 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 Magma Cannon is just as good if not better than the Quake Cannon of the Banesword or the Siege Cannon of the Stormsword which means that you should always take the Doomhammer if you have anything for it to transport.
    • 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, but the primary weapon on this thing is the Firing Deck, provided you fill it with melta and/or plasma (or just load it up with cheap mortar squads).
      • The Banehammer is one of the three cheapest variant, effective against a wide variety of targets and slowing down enemy units which helps your whole army. In general its a pretty safe bet to take one of these.
    • Shadowsword: Arguably the most famous aside from the Baneblade itself and with a +1 to hit against any unit with the TITANIC keyword, 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. The Volcano Cannon is 120" Heavy 3d3 S16 AP-5 D2d6, re-rolling wounds against Titanic, which gives it an average damage of 17,5 - the highest damage*rate of fire gun this line can field or probably any other unit for that matter, oh and if you take a Trojan support vehicle you can reroll all hits. You will do enough damage to overkill almost every target you shoot so its potential can be a little wasted if you dont have the right targets.
      • 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.
      • If you prefer efficiency, take as Cadian. Rerolling 1's is powerful on a gun that can 1-shot tesseract vaults. But that is just the beginning of the hilarity. With Pask's almost-guaranteed ability to make at least one unsaved wound on any unit you can spend 2 CP and watch as your shadowsword gains 98% accuracy against titans (BS 4+, +2 to hit, reroll 1's). With 6 shots average (3d3 is weird, but the distribution of dice outperforms 2d6 almost always) you are unlikely to miss. Combine that with S16 and AP -5 the only thing that might possibly keep the opponents lord of war on the field are invuln saves. Afterward enjoy annihilating all of the enemies armor with 98% accuracy (as long as you don't move your tank... but with 120" range on the volcano cannon you're probably just fine staying put).
      • Funny little update in the FAQ; if you so desire, you can now nix the Lascannons off of your weapons sponsons and just take the Twin Heavy Bolters to represent the Forge World Shadowsword model. A bit weird, but it is a cost saving measure if you're really trying to fine tune your points.
    • 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.
    • 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. Or just take him in a Cadian Supreme Command Detachment.
      • 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. Pr the 16.04.2018 FAQ update, now finally recieved the propper "Steel Behemoth" rule, so no more -1 modifier for moving and firing heavy weapons. Very nice indeed!
      • 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.
  • 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. The Codex has indirectly nerfed these by buffing the Leman Russ. Now that a Russ can double tap its main gun, it can put out a similar amount of fire to its Macharius equivalent, but for less than half the points cost. While the Vulcan and Omega do make up for this by having improved Strength, and AP/Damage, the regular and Vanquisher are essentially just larger, tougher, and significantly more expensive Russes that can move and shoot slightly faster.
    • 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. Of note is that the AP rounds have one strength over the normal vanquisher cannon so you will be wounding just about everything non-titanic on at least a 3 instead of a 4.
    • 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. As long as it sits still, it can dish out some pain against enemy armor as well - an average of 6.67 wounds per round of shooting. The Macharius Battlecannon only averages 4.08 damage/shooting phase. If you're Cadian and don't move, the Vulcan deals an average of 7.73 damage and if you can somehow get a full reroll (from, say, a Trojan Support Vehicle) this goes up to 10 damage on average - enough to kill a Wraithlord in one go. Don't forget the Gun also does 2 damage so it will mulch multi wound targets and double the number of FNP saves Deathguard has to make.
  • CRASSUS ARMOURED ASSAULT TRANSPORT (Forge World): Still a good capacity armored transport, effectively the guard Land Raider. If you're strapped for points and don't want the massive fire magnet that is a Stormlord, this rolling bunker is half the price. You can replace the heavy bolters with lascannons, and with Overdrive and Steel Behemoth you can advance and fire them at BS4+. 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.
    • Also, if you're bringing a Baneblade variant or two and are looking to fill up a Superheavy Detachment to get those sweet, sweet Regimental Doctrines on your Shadowsword, consider using this as your second or third Lord of War choice. It's the cheapest LoW choice the Guard have, in face it was the cheapest LoW in the game prior to the introduction of Knight Armigers, the absolute most this thing will cost you is 290 points, and it will almost always cost less since that's its cost with 4 lascannons, a stubber, and an HK missile. This thing costs less points than a Land Raider and offers you a big solid mass transport in addition to its guns.
  • 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 4 point models in a Lord of War, and they can't shoot out of it.
    • Don't view the Gorgon as a mobile dakka vehicle like the Stormlord. View the Gorgon as a mass transporter to move your infantry into rapid fire range, or to dump a Bullgryn deathstar in front of your opponent.
    • Re-release of this kit on Friday 13 December 2019. New mold, New tech, Same sculpt.
  • 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 slightly more than two Basilisks ('roll 4d6 discard two lowest' for shot count vs 2 lots of 'roll 2d6 discard lower'), it's almost as expensive as three.
    • As odd as it sounds to have backwards facing guns, a few combat vehicles IRL did exactly that(notably the Archer Tank Destroyer from WW2).
  • 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.
    • Stupidly, the Pilum Missiles are only useful if the Praetor is reduced to BS 6+, a +1 to hit FLY doesn't outweigh twice as many shots.
      • The damage output from the Praetor leaves a lot to be desired considering its cost. While not bad per se, it is easy enough to get overwhelmingly more firepower from a group of Manticores instead at around or less the same cost.
  • 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 ground attack gunship, the Marauder was, and serves the role pretty well in 8th (think a B-25 Mitchell). 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 549 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.

Regiments[edit]

Armageddon[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, they (insert play description).

Regimental Doctrines - Industrial Efficiency: INFANTRY units with this doctrine may double the number of attacks they make with Rapid Fire weapons (i.e. Lasguns, Bolters, and Plasma guns) at 18" instead of 12". Armageddon VEHICLES treat attacks against them with AP-1 as AP0.

  • 18" is a distance that is almost impossible for enemy 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 paramount in 8E), and in turn you'll get almost double the use for lasguns (and Plasma guns!) than other regiments. Pretty darn solid.
  • While situational, the ability to ignore AP-1 is quite handy against autocannons which are common in take-all-comers lists, and will nicely insulate your light vehicles from attempts to weigh them down under heavy bolters.

Warlord Trait - 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. This, like many of the other Regiment Warlord Traits, are trying to encourage you to make your generally shooty Warlord a more competent melee combatant which is often not a competitive choice, but it can be a fluffy one.

Relics -Skull Mask of Acheron: -1 to enemy Ld within 3" of the wearer, -2 for Orks. Doesn't specify "Infantry" character.

  • Fact is, since hordes (like yourself) have ways around morale, inflicting battleshock is better on expensive multiwound models, but those have a naturally high Leadership and -1Ld isn't good by itself. Thus, combine it with your other Imperial stuff: Terrifying visions inflicts -2Ld; Metalica Sicaran Infiltrators allies provide another -2Ld (aura + stratagem) and appear where you need them while moving almost as fast as Rough Riders; while Reivers inflict -1Ld alongside -1 To Hit (Shock Grenades) and have a higher chance to a successfully charge out of a Grav-chute (Black Templar Tactics, Combat squads). You could also use a Dark Angel's Termie Chaplain with the reivers, and blow a CP on another -1 with the eye of the unseen. One such separate detachment is cheaper than 6 Bullgryn, which are basically Maul Terminators now. Reaching -5Ld with Metalica Infiltrators isn't too hard, up to -6Ld with the Reivers. Even Chaplain/Dark Apostle-boosted Primaris/Plague marines will become as cowardly as Conscripts, and they lack Commissars. Disregard the bit about orks, though.

Orders

Stratagems - 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. Best used when coupled with the FRFSRF order.

Special Characters

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Cadia[edit]

Cadians are the most recognizable Guardsmen at a glance, and even after the destruction of their homeworld, they still make up a huge portion of the Guard forces.
On the tabletop, they benefit from sitting still, which makes them more accurate and has great synergy with Grinding Assault on Leman Russ tanks.
Their unique characters specialize in getting more orders out than normal Commanders or Tank Commanders. Cadia stands (still and gets to re-roll lots of dice)!

Regimental Doctrines - Born Soldiers: All 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 may reroll failed hit rolls, russes can only reroll ones... but so does your artillery. This means Cadia has almost no use for a Master of Ordnance.

  • This makes Cadians second only to Catachans (see below) as the best artillery regiment. Basilisks that reroll 1s are really nice. However, if you're using heavy weapons teams, seek no one else - Cadian lascannons are the most point-efficient anti-tank in the game, and mortar teams can have your opponent wondering where you hid that Thudd gun. Also, plasma guns that didn't move explode less - turns out the secret was to not shake them.
  • Do not underestimate the advantage of rerolling failed hits for infantry who are static and ordered to take aim. Guard's greatest shortcoming is their generally meh ballistic skill. Rerolling misses effectively brings you basic guardsmen's 50% accuracy up to 75% - statistically better than having a 3+ BS! Cadians have the best static infantry gunline in the Guard, bar none.
  • Combining rerolling on ones with Pask's 2+ and ability to command himself and another russ to "Pound Them To Dust" means that you can mimic the catachan regimental doctrine AND have a 2+ reroll 1's (98% accuracy) all for just 55 pts more than a normal Russ.

Warlord Trait 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 unit. This trait 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 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.

Relics - Relic of Lost Cadia: One use only; 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.

  • Doesn't specify Infantry model either, so it can be given to your Tank Commander to widen the bubble and move it wherever you need to.
  • 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.

Orders

Stratagems-Overlapping Fields of Fire (2 CP): When a Cadian unit causes an unsaved wound on an enemy unit, you may use this stratagem and ALL other Cadian units add 1 to hit when firing at that unit. The +1 to hit makes your supercharged army's plasma safe when aimed at the designated enemy. Useful for felling large centerpiece units like Knights or greater Daemons, or pretty much anything that essentially needs to die this turn.

  • Gets even better when you consider that this is only restricted by the <Regiment> keyword. Basilisks smacking units from out of sight on 3+, re-rolling 1s, is a glorious thing indeed.
  • Very valuable against plaguebearer spam as this means most your army will be hitting them on 5+ instead of 6+, with most your units rerolling 1's,2's and 3's.

Special Characters HQ

  • Knight Commander Pask: A flat upgrade to a Tank Commander, but a pricy one, plus with the fixed WT of Superior Tactical Training (which is less redundant on him than it is on Creed, assuming you brought at least three Russes including him). He has BS2+, which is awesome, and even the underpowered Vanquisher cannon starts to look alright when he's firing it (not really). If you're going to upgrade any of your Leman Russes with extra sponson or pintle weapons or an HK missile, he's the guy to do it to, since he is much more likely to hit something. Probably best used when supported by a Techpriest and sitting still with one of the longer-ranged turret weapons, as he can benefit from re-rolling 1s, shooting his turret weapon twice, and even use the Jury Rigging stratagem if necessary to get back a lost wound. On the other hand, if you can keep him out of the line of sight, he's downright scary in a Punisher.
  • Lord Castellan Creed: Though MIA in the fluff (actually in Trazyn's collection, so he'll be back at some point), you can still field Creed as your Warlord, and you should do so if you're running Cadians and want to maximize your order potential and CP benefit. He's only about 25 points more expensive than a bog-standard Company commander, and he gets to give orders at 12" instead of 6" without a vox (and gets one more order a turn). You also get an additional 2 CP if he's your Warlord, which isn't bad. His shooting isn't impressive (two hot-shot laspistols), but hopefully, he never has to fire a single shot or swing his power sword. Unfortunately, gone are the days of outflanking Baneblades. He must take the Superior Tactical Training WT if he's your Warlord, which means he's going to pump out even more orders (and that's before you throw Kell into bodyguard for him). In small games, however, you probably won't have enough units to actually order to get the most of him.

Elites

  • 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!).

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Catachan[edit]

Hailing from the Death World of Catachan, the Jungle Fighters specialize in particularly gritty theatres of war.

On the tabletop, they hit harder than the usual guardsmen, both in terms of their strength of 4 and their usually better shot output from vehicles.

Regimental Doctrines-Brutal Strength: INFANTRY units with this doctrine gain +1 Strength (i.e. S4), plus +1 Ld 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, Basilisks etc. are now quite a bit nastier - and remember, overwatch counts as firing a weapon.

  • 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 2.33, 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)
  • 2D6 (Inferno Cannon): 7 -> 8.24 (x1.18)
  • 2H1D6 (Earthshaker Cannon): 4.47 -> 4.96 (x1.11)
  • 2H1D6 (Artemia Inferno 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.


Warlord Trait- 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. While rerolling failed hit rolls is powerful, especially for low WS models, you should remember that you are playing Guard and even with this, you are comparatively weak in assault even if you have a Warlord like Straken in the fight.

Relics - Mamorph Tuskblade: Replaces a power sword. A reskin of the Blade of Conquest at S+2 AP-3 D2, so guaranteed 2D instead of having to roll for it, in case you decide to use a mortal to hunt Primaris. Works similar enough, and you do have Straken.

  • Better than the Blade of Conquest against targets with 2W, the same against other stuff. The worse AP isn't that much of a factor.
    • Something to keep in mind is this is a Catachan relic, meaning the wearer Will be S6, something to keep in mind if fighting something like Tyranids.

Orders - 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. Worth considering if you want to gamble stacking orders with the Laurels of Command, though.

Stratagems - Vicious Traps(1CP): Use this Stratagem when an enemy unit finishes a charge move within 1" of a Catachan unit from your army that is wholly on or within a terrain feature. Roll a dice; on a 4+ that enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.

Special Characters HQ

  • Colonel Iron Hand Straken: At 75 points, Straken is a considerable investment over a standard Company Commander, but he might just be worth it if you're looking to run an assault army. For one thing, all Catachan units within 6" of him get an extra attack, which can turn even a Conscript squad into a nasty tarpit. His Been There, Seen It, Killed It rule makes him great for charging and finishing off wounded Monster units. He also gets S6 (effectively S7, assuming you take him in a purely Catachan detachment, where he also boosts unit Ld by +1 for being an Officer) and T4 in addition to W5, so he's a bit harder to put down. Consider running him with a Ministorum Priest.
  • Sly Marbo: All memes aside, unfortunately, Sly Marbo is not even remotely competitive. While he has the ability to appear 9" away from an enemy and trigger one of three special rules (immediately shoot, which lets him snipe Characters; make a small move and add 2 to his attacks if he charges; or trigger concealed explosives that have a 50/50 shot of dealing mortal wounds), his lack of durability and lackluster weapons (not a single one has any AP) makes him a poor choice overall. He can disappear if there are no enemy units close to him at the start of the Movement phase, but you will never get to use this rule because he will most likely die and also fail to clear out the enemies he charges anyway. If he debuffed enemy leadership, had some way to mitigate armor saves, and could be reasonably expected to stick around for more than a single round, he might be worth it, but he's not.

Elites

  • Sergeant Harker: Sgt. Harker totes around his Assault 3 Heavy Bolt, Payback, and has a pretty decent statline for a guardsman, think a platoon commander on miral shark steroids. You don't take him for his cool gun or stats though. Harker allows all friendly Catachan units (himself included) within 6" oh him re-roll 1s to hit in the Shooting phase. Every Catachan list should include Harker since he can buff any Catachan, from the lowly Conscript to the mighty Baneblade!


Tactical Objectives Tactics

Militarum Tempestus[edit]

Elite shock troops of the Astra Militarum, they appear on the brink of massacre and turn it into a crushing victory.

On the tabletop, they drop in hot, distribute an unholy amount of plasma, and play in a fast and fragile balance of fire and trying to survive the incoming charge..

Regimental Doctrines - 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) unless they dropped from a Valkyrie, so order Take Aim! instead. This is equivalent to a 7/6 modifier, like Cadia's re-rolling 1s to hit, but requires you to be within half range, rather than standing still.

  • This doctrine is vicious, but hard to get. You get +16.67% hits on any unit for which it applies (e.g. it won't apply to weapons that automatically hit); this is not as good as Catachan's trait or Cadia's order to re-roll attack dice for weapons with 1d6 attacks, especially the auto hitting ones, but it's much more versatile than those due to its wide application. Also, it's worth noting that it always works during Overwatch. In exchange, however, you can't have any Fast Attack, Heavy Support, or Lord of War choices in a MT detachment, because those slots only contain Regiment units.
  • Remember, you can use a custom regiment, such as Savlar Chem-Dogs, to pick up this Doctrine, if you want it on general Imperial Guard stuff, but doing so will not get you access to the Militarum Tempestus Warlord Trait, Heirloom, Stratagem, or Order. If you do so, it's best on very long-range weapons, to ensure the target is within range for the buff, such as a Basilisk or Shadowsword or Mortar Team. Stacks with re-rolling 1s to hit or wound multiplicatively, just like those two do with each other, so if you want all three at once, you can combine Yarrick for re-rolling 1s to hit with an order source for re-rolling 1s to wound on an infantry unit (for obvious reasons, you'll want to do this on a heavy weapons squad - all three buffs combined are still worse than FRFSRF on lasguns). The percentage gains from these are 16.67% for any 1, 36.11% for any two, and 58.80% for any three (FRFSRF is a +100% gain, which you can add to the previous three if you're combining them - combining all four will require the Laurels of Command relic).

Warlord Trait - Faithful Servant of The Throne: Your Warlord can attempt to deny one psychic power per phase as if they were a Psyker. This can be useful, but it is very situational. Its usefulness is further questioned since Astropaths only cost 26 points as of Chapter Approved 2018 and won't break your regiment rules even if you're bringing a Militarum Tempestus detachment.

Relics - 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.

  • Can turn your Tempestor Prime into something like a Creed for your Scions. Up to four orders when combined with the Master of Command WT, 5 with Inspired Tactics. No Scion will go unordered.

Orders

Stratagems - Superior Intelligence (1 CP): Use this strategy immediately when your opponent has a unit arrive on the battlefield within 12" of a Militarum Tempestus Infantry unit; they may fire at that unit as if it was their shooting phase, with a -1 hit penalty. It allows Tempestus to also work as guardians for your army.

Special Characters

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Tallarn[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, they (insert play description).

Regimental Doctrines - Swift as the Wind: 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?

Warlord Trait - Swift Attacker: Your Warlord and every Tallarn unit within 6" can charge after Falling Back. 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. It is important to note that this Warlord Trait effects all Tallarn units, not just infantry. Rough Riders benefit from this since they can use their hunting lances only on the charge and any vehicles you may want to charge can use the Crush Them stratagem every turn. This Warlord Trait can be very useful if you plan to be in your opponent's face.

Relics - 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.

Orders

Stratagems - Ambush (3 CP): Use during the deployment phase. You may set up to three Tallarn units (only one of which can be a vehicle) 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; they are treated as having moved their maximum distance. Outflank that Baneblade, you know you want to. Some key things to remember with this stratagem; 1) Vehicle squadrons are a thing, 2) This can be used more than once during deployment, since it is an out of phase stratagem, and 3) Each unit does not need to be set up in any kind of coherency outside of unit and vehicle squadron coherency. Do with this info what you will, and have fun!

Special Characters Fast Attack

  • Mukaali Riders: (Open and Narrative Play only.) Bizarre desert space lizard beasts with 2" less movement than traditional Rough Riders, but compensate with better Toughness, Wounds, and 3 extra S5 attacks from Stomping Feet replacing Trampling Hooves.

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Mordian[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, discipline and precision drills will win the day for Mordia.
From the night world of Mordia, the Iron Guard wear colorful parade uniforms and fight in carefully constructed formation. Don't be fooled by their colorful uniforms, for they can lay down punishing and well-disciplined fusillades of Lasgun fire.
On the tabletop, they benefit from keeping tight, defensive formations and are capable of assassinating characters with the right order to take out the enemy's chain of command.

Regimental Doctrines - Parade Drill: Infantry units with this doctrine gain +1 Ld if all its models are touching the base of at least one other model in the same unit, and can add +1 to Hit rolls on Overwatch (and their Overwatch hits on 7s too). The same is true for MORDIAN VEHICLES within 3" of each other.

  • 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. For ease, use strips of packing tape sticky-side up; a serried squad of 10 fits perfectly on a strip about 6" long. As a bonus, once it's on the table it's generally quite hard to see; all you get is perfect ranks of blue, red and gold. This is also the one and only instance that using square bases in a 40k game will not result in your immediate and violent demise via your own Shadowsword to the head. Incidentally, if you use the advice of taping your models together with packing tape, this will make your army faster to physically move your models then other Imperial Guard armies with heavy infantry cores.
  • Infantry squads in the formation and in Regimental Standard range get better Ld than a Commissar. Furthermore, since the wording is units have +1 Ld (unlike "add 1 to the Ld characteristic" like Catachans), it probably stacks with a Lord Commissar's Aura of Discipline (the unit uses his Ld9, and gets +1Ld on top of whatever Ld it's currently using).
  • It makes supercharged Plasma safe when overwatching. Hitting on a 5+ essentially doubles the damage you do in Overwatch. And then the Defensive Gunners Stratagem will let your vehicles overwatch on a 4+, hilariously letting Hydras hit more ground units with overwatch than with normal fire.

Warlord Trait - 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. Essentially an aura of Valhallan Grim Demeanour. Mordians do have superior leadership compared to most of their counterpart regiments and Commissars are usable again as of the April of 2018 Big FAQ to further improve a unit's leadership.

Relics - Order of the Iron Star of Mordian: The Mordian infantry bearer gets a 4+ FNP, effectively doubling his wounds, lifting some of the workload from the Field Medic and the Ogryn Bodyguard. Of good use when you absolutely must ensure your Warlord's survival, as regular Company Commanders aren't that special by themselves.

Orders - Form Firing Squad! Until the end of the phase, the ordered unit can target CHARACTERS with their Rapid Fire weapons, even if they are not the closest enemy unit.

  • That means your lasguns, plasma guns and your sergeants' boltguns if you gave them any. Single and consolidated Infantry Squads can shine their flashlights at CHARACTERS and Special Weapon Squads and Command Squads can now Plasma snipe™. Combine with The Laurels of Command for extra shenanigans.

Stratagems - Volley Fire (1 CP): Use before a Mordian Infantry unit shoots in the shooting phase; EACH TIME you roll a hit roll of 6+ for a model in that unit, that model can shoot again at the same target, with the same weapon, and these extra attacks cannot proc additional attacks. Better than Stormtroopers since it's firing the weapon again, instead of an extra shot from half range. You're SO combining this with FRFSRF.

  • Sadly the September 2019 FAQ now changed it to "one additional hit roll". Still better than Stormtroopers since it's at full range, but we are now reduced to Orks, essentially giving us Dakka! Dakka! Dakka! for the price of 1 CP. And it is only on infantry. And it doesn't automatically hit. Yeah... On the bright side it doesn't specify unmodified hit rolls of 6, so if you really want to make use of the stratagem, you can take Aradia Madellan to give the unit +1 to hit and make it proc on a 5+. Or a Sabre Defense Searchlight, I guess. On the (grim)dark side, -1 modifiers to hit make the whole exercise pointless.

Special Characters

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Valhalla[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, they (insert play description).

Regimental Doctrines - Grim Demeanour: Infantry units with this doctrine halve (rounding up) the number of models that flee if they fail morale tests, which makes them safer to use without a Commissar, 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. 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).

Warlord Trait - Tenacious: Warlord gains 5+ FNP, 6+ if it's a Vehicle. Outright replaces the BRB warlord trait, Tenacious Survivor. Makes the Field Medic's and Ogry Bodyguard's jobs a bit easier. Effectively makes your Tank Commander W14, but there are often better things to do with your warlord trait.

Relics - Pietrov's MK 45: The bearer may replace its Bolt Pistol with a better, AP-1 D2 Pistol 2 (as of Spring 2019 FAQ) Bolt Pistol, and prevents friendly Valhallan units within 6" from losing more than 1 model per morale check, effectively turning your Company Commander into a Commissar, reducing your army's dependence on them even further.

  • Useful on Conscripts, since your doctrine already diminishes most of the effects of morale on the smaller Infantry Squads in normal circumstances. A damn fluffy Chenkov though. Remember it doesn't affect non-Regimental units like a real Commissar does. Also after FAQ its the only way of getting a pre-FAQ commissar in your army. A solid choice now - a Company Commander with this and Master of Command can walk 120 conscripts across the board and be an incredible pain in the жопа for everyone involved.

Orders

Stratagems - Send In The Next Wave! (2 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select a Valhallan Infantry unit (no Characters or Consolidated squads) that has been destroyed earlier in the battle. Set it up wholly within 6" of your table edge and more than 9" away from enemy models.This would be amazing, but in Matched Play, this does cost reinforcement points. This is crippling - you have no tactical reason ever to hold back a unit you've already paid for, especially if it only arrives once a friendly identical unit has been destroyed and especially if it only shows up in your deployment zone.

Special Characters

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Vostroya[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, they (insert play description).

Regimental Doctrines - Heirloom Weapons: All units with this doctrine extend the range of all Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons with a minimum range of 24" or more by 6". 30" RANGE MULTIMELTAS, as well as Demolishers and Punishers. You also get 42" heavy bolters and plasma cannons, and 54" mortars and lascannons, but that's less impressive. This Doctrine has the greatest impact on 24" guns since the relative buff is greatest on them. Guns with abilities that are relative to their range (Multi-Meltas, Magma Cannons, Rapid Fire guns) end up getting +3" to their half-range profile, a consequence of +6" to their maximum range.

Warlord Trait - 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. Not terribly competitive.

Relics - The Armour of Graf Toschenko: The wearer gains Toughness 4 and Sv 2+, effectively giving your Company Commander Terminator resilience. Kit him out with Power Maul and Bolt Pistol, along with the Vostroyan Warlord trait and get yourself a cut-rate Terminator for only 35 points. Not a CQC monster by any means but he will hand any errant Sergeant-equivalent his arse on a platter. Though, the best defense is not being hit in the first place.

Orders

Stratagems - 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 supercharged plasma weapons 100% safe; static Russ Executioners are your best source of plasma. Or have your conscripts shoot like real men (an you can always buff them further to hit on 3s if you take a Defensive Searchlight).

Special Characters

Tactical Objectives Tactics

Death Korps of Krieg[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, they (insert play description).

Restrictions[edit]

In addition to their special units and general non-REGIMENT units like Commissars, Tech-Priests and Ogryn, 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
    • Master of Ordnance
  • Fast Attack
    • Hellhound
    • Salamander Scout Tank
  • Heavy Support
    • Armageddon Pattern Medusa
    • Basilisk
    • Colossus Bombard
    • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle
    • Earthshaker Carriage Battery
    • Heavy Mortar Battery
    • Heavy Quad Launcher Battery (though it is mistakenly called the Quad Launcher Battery)
    • Hydras
    • Malcador Annihilator
    • Malcador Defender
    • Malcador Heavy Tank
    • Malcador Infernus
    • Medusa Carriage Battery
    • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery
    • Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter
    • Stygies Thunderer Siege Tank
  • Dedicated Transports
    • Centaur Light Carrier
    • Trojan Support Vehicle
  • 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 OFFICERS and Watch Masters can take hotshot laspistols and hotshot lasguns in addition to the usual laspistol, bolt pistol, plasma pistol and boltgun (no Shotguns) as well as adding Chainswords to the melee weapons list in addition to the usual Power Weapons. Alternatively, they can take a pair of laspistols, hotshot laspistols or bolt pistols if they leave the melee weapon at home. Heavy Weapon Teams also have access to heavy flamers and twin heavy stubbers as heavy weapons.

Weapons and Wargear[edit]

  • Acid Gas Bombs: One half of the nightmare that is the Combat Engineer Squad. Besides having AP-2 and DD3, it autowounds anything that isn't a VEHICLE on a 2+; anything that is gets wounded on a 6+. Rumor has it they are filled with the delicious tears of Tyranid players who just had their Hierophant melted into sludge.
  • Krieg Combat Shotgun: The other half of the Combat Engie dream team. Has two firing modes: the first, Solid Shot, is as a standard Shotgun, except it's ALWAYS S4, not just within half range. The other half is what everyone came here for, Carcass Shot: +1D over regular shells AND it has the same autowound rule as the Acid Gas Bombs! The downside is that it acts like an overcharge Plasma Gun, killing the bearer on To Hit rolls of 1. Be sure to only use the Carcass shot against something you absolutely need to, like a Greater Daemon or a Carnifex, and strongly consider running Yarrick with the squad to keep them alive!
  • Melta Bomb: Reserved solely for the Combat Engineer Watch Master, it's a single 6" range Melta shot. It's dirt cheap at 3 points, a great choice for shoring up the squad's comparative weakness vs VEHICLES and can damn near delete any single low wound model that is unfortunate enough to be within grenadeing range of a Combat Engie squad.
  • Mole Launcher: A Krieg Combat Engineer exclusive, courtesy of their short beardy friends, this bad boy has half the range of a regular Mortar and can't attack Fliers, but brings 1 more Strength and AP, along with the unique ability of outright preventing the attacked unit from Advancing. A touch situational but against a melee heavy enemy, this can be a life saver, especially against the likes of large blobs of Ork boys or Chaos Cultists.
  • Twin Heavy Stubber: You guessed it, its a 36" Heavy 6 S4 AP0 D1 and exclusive to Krieg Heavy Weapon Squads. Still 8 points despite regular Stubbers getting their price cut down to 2, but if this was 4 points you'd probably never even bother considering any other option. As it is, it's highly comparable to the Heavy Bolter, doing far better against MEQ hordes and evenly vs MEQs, but falling off against super heavy infantry. If you were going to take Heavy Bolters, you're probably be better off taking this instead. Besides, the model looks fantastic.

Orders[edit]

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.
      • The primary benefit this has over fix bayonets is that it can be used on a turn in which you charge. Still not the strongest order.
      • With Fix Bayonets AND Duty unto Death you can get some/all models in that unit to fight 3 times, which can make consolidating into even a basic infantry unit scary for the opponent. 10 horms dead, 5 genestealers (3.5 with catalyst), 6 bloodletters, 1 Sanguinary Guard, and almost 2 Death Company marines... is a decent use of laurels on a screening unit to hold a line.
      • 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
      • Due to the poor wording of this rule, one could technically argue that it does not end. However, this will result in a full blown argument on rules, so we advise you avoid doing this if you want to actually play the game.

Warlord Trait

Relics

Stratagems


Tactical Objectives

Units[edit]

HQ[edit]
  • 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 lets 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 12"+ 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,(within 12") which means that all units in your army use his. That's right. Terminators with Ld 11? Yes, please.
      • If you really want to be cheesy, get him to sit on an Imperial Defence Line for another +1 to his Leadership. This will result in units that need to take at least 7 casualties (and, if they're Death Korps, those loses can't be in the Shooting Phase) to even have a chance of losing models to Morale and, even after taking 9 casualties, will still have a 50% chance of the remaining model holding the line. Finally, if you use the Fight to the Death stratagem, they become immune to Morale completely. And remember, this applies to all friendly units. Have fun with those Leadership 12 Space Marines.
  • 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.
Troops[edit]
  • Death Korps Infantry Squad: An odd change to basic Guardsmen, Kriegers lose the option to take Heavy Weapon Teams and their Watchmaster uses a lasgun like the regular troops (though he can exchange it for a chainsword and laspistol for free, so it's a non-issue). They also all have WS3+ and can buy a Platoon Standard which buffs all Kriegers within 6" LD by 1. They synergize particularly well with the Death Korps' unique orders - especially when dogpiling on an objective or bubblewrapping precious artillery pieces. Kriegers also come stock with Krak grenades; with the GRENADIERS stratagem you can throw 10 of them at once (though this tactic is more impressive when used on Grenadiers (no acid grenades for the grenadiers) or Combat Engineers' acid grenades).
    • Oddly enough the Watchmaster also has BS3+.(not so odd when you remember that all watchmasters serve in the grenadiers before returning to be promoted.)
  • Death Korps Grenadier Storm Squad: A Tempestus Scion squad with deep striking replaced by Cult of Sacrifice and no access to hot-shot volley guns. Unlike with Scions the number of Special weapons Grenadiers can take does not depend on the number of models in the unit so they can unfortunately only have two Specials max. 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 Watch Master 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 50 points!
    • Hot-shot laspistols are nice, but your other options are better and two of them cost the same, so always have the Watch Master swap out his weapon - your best bet is probably a hotshot lasgun or bolter (the las has shorter range, but will outperform the bolter unless your target has an invuln save that's equal to their armor, or only one point worse than armor in the case of T6/7), unless you want to fucking commit and get a plasma pistol.
Elites[edit]
  • 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.
    • 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 (gross, or don't and have some class. You are a Guard player after all, not a WAAC Tau reject left over from 7th) Yarrik 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.
    • As of April 2018, the cost of a Death Korps Commissar has gone down to 15 points, from 30. This makes their base cost the exact same as a normal Commissar as other regiments would take, but with krak grenades, cult of sacrifice, and of course the aura of discipline normally reserved for Lord Commissars. They’ve become a pretty handy Ld buffer for melee.
    • Despite what would be common sense, taking 2 Pistols does not let him Blam twice as many units.
  • 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.
    • While the Death Korps Commissar and the other Forge World Commissars were FAQed to have the new Summary Execution Rule, the Death Rider Commissar was overlooked. While this is an obvious RAW interpretation, the Death Rider Commissar therefore still only allows a maximum of 1 model to be lost to morale.
    • Same as the foot-slogging Death Korps Commissar, this Commissar got a point reduction to 35 points. They’ve become useful, if not viable, as your Death Riders will be getting stuck into melee.
    • Note: both Death Korps Commissars have the Officio Prefectus and Commissar keywords, and a Summary Execution rule that targets Astra Militarum units, meaning they can be taken in non-Death Korps armies without denying those armies their regiment rules, and can still proc a Psyker's "it's for your own good" rule. However their aura of discipline is Krieg specific so they won't be giving other regiments or auxiliaries ld8. Due to the amount of equipment options Death Korps Commissars have over regular ones (hotshots, dual wielding pistols, carrying grenades that are worth using, and of course being able to mount up) there's a decent argument to be made for taking one of them over a standard Commissar in a non-Krieg army, and absolutely no argument to take a regular codex Commissar in a Krieg army.
  • 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! Aside from this they're the same as an understrength Death Rider Squad, as they lost the ability to take a Standard.
    • As of the current FAQ, you may only bring one Command Squad or a Rider Command Squad per Death Korps officer, but any type of officer will do.
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 (how are you getting a squad of 4 grenadiers? Min is 5(ruled as written, a Grenadier Weapons Team doesn't take up two slots in the vehicles. Only Heavy Weapons Teams are mentioned.)) 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.
    • The fact that Death Riders trade their Chainsword for +1 Attacks is a bonus, because they can hit twice with their lance on the charge, instead of the one lance and one chainsword hit that standard Riders get.
    • Use Duty Until Death when you charge, because that's the only order you will get use out of by doing so. If your opponent decides he doesn't want to get slowly pounded down by hard to kill horsies, use Fix Bayonets! to make him understand that melee guardsmen just work.
    • 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. Consider said swap, as a power axe brings the sergeant pretty close to the lance, but usable in the event you get stuck in. Fix Bayonets!, and you're possibly hitting 6 times with that axe in one turn. Ouch.
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.
    • A full squad of mortars actually costs 3 pts less than it does in the AM Codex, although sadly they don't really benefit from Krieg's doctrines
  • 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. Aside from these things, they're exactly the same as the variants up top.


Tactics[edit]

Elysian Drop Troops[edit]

In the grim darkness of the far future, some diplenary action will be written here.
Thematically describe this faction.
On the tabletop, Despite forever being relegated to index, and they can only deepstrike on turn 2, you can still parachute in infantry and Special weapon squads.

Restrictions[edit]

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

  • Elites
    • Officer of the Fleet
  • Fast Attack
    • Tauros and 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 widespread 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 follows Maxim 11: "Everything is air-droppable at least once".
    • Note the wording on this rule and who gets it is rather strange, the unit list states that all Elysian Drop Troops units have this rule, but then adds that Tauros units with the Elysian Drop Troops keyword also get it. Tauros getting aerial drop should have been implied by the first clause of the rule, unless they meant to say that the other units you have in common with regular guard don't get aerial drop. Expect an FAQ, and discuss with opponents before you start deep striking sentry guns and cyclops bombs.
    • With deepstrike rule change, Aerial Drop can't be used until turn 2, so have some durable allies to be your anchor.
  • Iron Discipline: All Elysian officers have an aura buff that gives you the ability to re-roll failed morale. Talk about hardcore soldiers 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 friendly ELYSIAN DROP TROOPS FLYERS shooting at that target gets to re-roll hit rolls of 1. Not as amazing as before due to only affected FLYERS.

Weapons and Wargear[edit]

  • Auxiliary grenade launcher: Comes built into your lasgun and boosts the range of frag and krak grenades to 24". It's free, so why wouldn't you take it?
  • 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.
  • 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, it 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.
  • Shotgun: Same as the normal kind, but notable for being a special weapon choice you can take.

Orders[edit]

Like the Death Korps of Krieg, Elysians 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. The 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 - other regiments have to pay a CP to throw ten frag grenades, you can throw ten frag, krak grenades and a lasgun shot for free!

Units[edit]

HQ[edit]
  • 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.
    • 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 a few commanders is probably better.
  • 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 a 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 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.
    • As with Death Korps Commissars, he can technically be taken by any regiment rather than just his own, of course once again his aura abilities won't affect anyone, not from Elysia, but he can still BLAM regular guardsmen or mercy kill exploding psykers. Probably not worth it considering that, unlike with the Death Korps Commissar, regular Commissar Lords actually do have a non-regiment aura of discipline, and to make matters worse he was not FAQ'd to have the same reduced cost as the codex version, meaning you'll pay almost double the points for him, but if for some reason you wanted a deep striking Commissar with krak grenades and a shotgun, he's here for you.
Troops[edit]
  • 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 to 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.
Elites[edit]
  • 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 make 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 are and is BS 4+, so Plasma Guns are cheaper. 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. Giving them shotguns can also be surprisingly effective, especially given how Move and Fire turn 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.
    • Heavy Weapons choice should be Missile Launchers for Anti-Tank, Mortars for Anti-GEQ and Heavy Bolters for Anti-MEQ and Anti-TEQ.
    • 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 are 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.
    • Aerial Drop three units of snipers (9 teams) and 1 officer of the fleet into your opponent's deployment and have a field day as you fuck with his characters with snipers plus an air raid.
  • Elysian Command Squad:Super cheap and deadly, the 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.
    • As of the most recent FAQ, these are now limited to 1 per officer, like all other Command Squads.
  • 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. It's super cool to have your guys dropping in via grav-chutes but beyond the narrative etc applications it's 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.
    • Alternate Take: You're deep striking a Multi Melta for 55 points now, which is pretty good. Having 6 wounds on T5 means they are gonna get killed, but a unit of three can force your opponent to completely change their strategy, allowing you to counter their movements. What makes these useful is their ability to stay out of anti deep string bubbles while still firing at full effect, and they will require your opponent to prioritize them. They also possess the scout vehicle rule, allowing you to deploy them on the board and strike hard and fast if you need to. Otherwise, using them as tough(ish) suicide Multi Melta units seems to be the only useful role for them.
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 lets 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 60 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.
    • Weapon selection should be Missile Launchers for Anti-Tank, Mortars for Anti-GEQ and Heavy Bolters for Anti-MEQ and TEQ.
    • 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. These things pack a lot of T5 wounds, providing excellent anchors and speed bumps for whatever your enemy throws at you. Naturally, bait your opponent, then clean house with your dedicated firepower. They are small and love cover.
Flyers[edit]

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?
    • If you're planning on taking Multi-Laser and Rocket Pod Valkyries, take Heavy Bolter and Rocket Pod Sky Talons instead. For 2 points less they will kick out an average of 10 Heavy Bolter shots, and a Heavy Bolter is better than a Multi-Laser point-for-point.
  • Vendetta:
  • Vulture:

Tactics[edit]

Tactics[edit]

  • The CP Battery: Be warned, a very WAAC tactic. Take a battalion of 3 Infantry Squads and 2 Commanders, all bare bones. Give one Commander Grand Strategist and the other Kurov's Aquilla. Congratulations, for 180 points, you get 5 CP and 1/3 of any you or your opponent spends will be refunded. Now FAQ'd so you can't farm it as much anymore.
  • The Cheapest Brigade: The absolute cheapest Brigade you can run (that still has sensible coverage for every role) looks something like this: 3 Company Commanders, 6 Infantry Squads (lascannon, plasma gun), 3 Rough Riders (each with 2 plasma/meltaguns), 3 Squads of Mortars, a Commissar, a Ministorum Priest, and an Astropath. Your HWTs sit in the back with your two rear Company Commanders while the lead Commander takes the Priest, the Commissar, and Astropath, and takes a 60-man carpet to work. Rough Riders punch the flanks, and your Heavy Weapons punch the big stuff. Works best Cadian, thanks to Superior Tactical training and improved Heavy Weapon teams. This gets you fifteen total CP to use for lots of lovely Guard Stratagems, and it's less than 900 points. If you don't have a supply of Rough Riders you can swap them for Hellhounds/Devil Dogs, but this will cost an additional 30-40 points per FA slot, or use Scout Sentinels, which are even cheaper than Rough Riders.
    • There is extra wisdom to this now that Commissars only offer a re-roll with their Summary Execution. You CAN run conscripts with your Warlord in the center (Draconian Disciplinarian and a Commissar allows you to do so) but it's not particularly effective, due to poor Order efficiency, poor resistance to morale, poor accuracy...
    • On this build you primarily buy a Commissar for his leadership buff; Summary Execution is going to play like a tax. If you have the points, an Officio Prefectus tank does the same job, without the bogus reroll; if you're worried about losing your motivation vehicle to enemy anti-tank fire (a valid concern), seek allies; an Inquisitor in a Vanguard detachment with 3 squads of acolytes (which incidentally have the statline of guardsmen...and many of the same special weapons...) does the same job, and gives you additional access to psyker abilities and Deny rolls. Actually, she does it better; at Ld10, your Infantry Squads will need to suffer 50% casualties before they even entertain the thought of running! To maintain Brigade requirements, swap your Commissar for some Ratlings.
    • Elysian Special Weapons Squads/Command Squads can bring more plasma/melta than is even remotely necessary to the battlefield. They are cheap. Plus, they can deep strike safely within rapid fire range. For less than 200 points, a Vanguard detachment of special weapon squads will earn their keep every time, overwhelming an under-guarded part of the battlefield or stopping an enemy advance in its tracks.
    • The even cheaper brigade: 3 Company Commanders, 6 Infantry Squads with mortars, 3 Astropaths, 3 Scout Sentinels with autocannons, 3 Heavy Weapon Squads with mortars. Clocking in at 695 points, it provides a lot of anti-infantry firepower, psychic denial, scoring bodies, and 12 Command Points for your inevitable allies.
  • 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!
    • Crusaders - Ten of these plus a psyker and a priest can deposit a truly impressive amount of unpleasantness in charge range. The Psyker can buff the Crusaders' saves and the Priest can buff their attacks. As long as you don't get shot down on the way in (or die from the drop), you can drop 30 AP-3 attacks with a 2++ save on whatever you want!
  • Artillery Park: The Mighty MoO is a cheap autoinclude, and 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.
    • An argument can be made that Cadian is the best choice for tons of artillery. First, artillery get re-roll 1s thanks to Born Soldiers and on top of that the stratagem Overlapping Fields of Fire grants +1 to hit, as long as a fellow Cadian model successfully wounded the target of your choice.
  • 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.
  • 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 a while 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.
    • Remember, that unlike every other faction in the game, your transports only care about the ASTRA MILITARUM Keyword, not your <Regiment>. This means you can pick and choose the best <Regiments> for your troops and transports respectively. Krieg Combat Engineers riding in double flamer Catachan Chimeras? Yes please!
  • 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 Multi-lasers 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 +12 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.
    • Alternate take: Sure, you can get a Brigade in under 1000 points, but you're not going to have anything on the field worth spending CP on, most likely. You're much better off taking two Battalions to get boots on the ground, then something like a Spearhead detachment where you can fit in actual heavy artillery or tanks (or even a Supreme Command detachment with LoW). If you're up against an army that you know is going to have a hard time shooting you off the table due to low model/shot count, such as Custodes, then in objective games, don't even bother with trying to get CP. Just take a bunch of Battalions full of Conscripts and Infantry Squads. At 1000 points, you can have 200 Conscript and Guardsmen on the ground with Company Commanders, Platoon Commanders, a Lord Commissar, and Commissar prior to upgrades. 200 bodies to shoot through would be more than the shots that some armies will get in an entire game. (Just keep in mind you won't be doing much more than tarpitting or holding objectives with this list.)
  • 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 less of 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. Mordian tanks fire overwatch on 5s, going up to 4s if you use the Defensive Gunners Stratagem. 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). Valhallan tanks don't degrade as badly, and can shoot with full BS on half as many wounds as other regiments' tanks (enjoy shooting at full BS even when your Leman Russ tank has 4 wounds left!). I feel like I'm forgetting someItalic textthing...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. Oh, and that Spearhead Detachment you're taking? Every Leman Russ tank in it gets OBJECTIVE SECURED. Watch your opponent rage as you move your single Leman Russ tank up to an objective and capture it from right under his nose even though he has 3 HQ Characters sitting on it.
  • The Wall of Dice: A full 30 man squad of conscripts within 12" buffed with FRFSRF, shoots a total of 120 lasgun shots. For an average of 40 hit shots, not the best but with Cadia we can improve this to 48 shots and with the Cadian stratagem we can also buff the BS to +1 and the to wound roll to +1(even better against Chaos!). This leaves us with around 60 hits, and mathhammer tells us that it'll kill on average 15 GEQs which is mostly overkill, and it'll kill 7-8 MEQs, 3-4 TEQs,and about 5 wounds on a T8 tank. Now is this good? Yeah probably not, while an absurd number of dice and rerolls this was calculated using the Cadian stratagem and would already need something in that unit to be damaged this turn. Plus this is ~160 points to kill a squad of MEQs(with leadership 4 you'll need to take a psyker to actually get them to stick around not to mention you need a 4+ to even get this many shots).

Matchups and Counter-play[edit]

These tactics are good and all, but knowing your enemy is important. For simplicity's sake we're going to assume that your and your enemy's list is NOT a soup list, which is the slang term for taking multiple factions that share the Imperial, Chaos, or Aeldari keywords or the like in the same army.

The Imperium[edit]
  • Space Marines: They now have a new and improved Codex, and with it come updated Chapter Tactics and the addition of Combat Doctrines. For starters, the Devastator Doctrine gives all Heavy Weapons an additional point of AP Turn 1 onward until the Tactical Doctrine is activated, and the TD likewise applies a further -1AP to all Rapid Fire and Assault weapons. Then, after at least 1 turn of the Tactical Doctrine, they can switch to the Assault Doctrine which does the same for all melee weapons (yes, even the basic CC weapon all models carry, -1AP punches baby). The Devastator Doctrine hard-counters the Prepared Positions stratagem, unfortunately. You may still want to consider it just to give your Russes a 6+ save against the AP-4 Lascannons coming their way. Stratagems to watch out for include Transhuman Physiology, which stops any non-vehicle or servitor unit from being wounded on unmodified rolls of 1, 2, and 3. That's gonna sting your Battle Cannons and any S8+ weapon if RNG screws you by rolling a bunch of 2s and 3s to wound. Thunderfire Cannons can now shoot twice thanks to the Suppressing Fire strat, and any chosen Dreadnought has its damage halved (rounding up), thanks to the Duty Eternal strat. Oh, did I mention the new Shock Assault rule makes all flavors of Marines scary in Close Combat again? Watch as a simple 5-man Intercessor squad shits out 16 AP-1 attacks (17 if the Sarge has a chainsword) under the AD, don't let them get close! In terms of updated chapter tactics, vehicles now benefit from all Chapter Tactics, since Guard can't have all the fun with their vehicles anymore. Lots of potential hard-counters to the Guard's firepower and dirt cheap unit shenanigans now. Specifics are listed below.
    • Ultramarines vehicles can now fall back and shoot, so a Land Raider Redeemer or even basic Rhino that was forgotten about can ram and tarpit your vehicles, lock them down from shooting, and then greedily ignore that said counter to vehicles if you thought it was cute to charge that Hellhound or mauled guard squad at a vehicle with big guns. Their Doctrine modifier is that all models in the army count as having stood still during the Tactical Doctrine unless they fell back or advanced. Relentless Heavy Weapons and going full-auto with their Rapid Fire Bolters from 24" is not a fun prospect at all. Their biggest ace is Guilliman who will take you for a rough ride with his rerolls-r-us schtick, even though he's been slightly nerfed he's dropped in points.
    • Raven Guard now always benefit from cover, and only gain -1 to hit if they are also physically in terrain now (vehicles cannot benefit from this part, at least). In addition, Raven Guard units gain +1 to hit and +1 to wound when targeting characters during the Tactical Doctrine, yes that includes Tank Commanders. Beware RG Scout Snipers and Eliminators, and grab an Ogryn bodyguard just to be sure since Eliminators can wall-bang characters. Raven Guard can infiltrate and deep-strike at will, so there really is no other way than to screen them out like hell and try to hide your characters out of LoS whenever possible. All of a sudden, that Artillery Specialist Detachment with the cover-ignoring relic looks insanely juicy against Raven Guard. You have the CP to burn for the specialist detachment and extra relic after all.
    • Iron Hands vehicles now have Valhallan-style resilience, and they can overwatch on 5s and 6s in addition to their famed 6+ shrug. Their supplement's combat doctrine gives them relentless and re-rolling 1s to hit on all heavy weapons in the Devastator Doctrine that they begin the game in. They can have one unit overwatch on 4+ in case you want to charge a hellhound into it to lock them down, and any Stalker Boltgun Intercessors are going to have a field day with your officers. Something to watch out for is their special relic The Ironstone, which reduces the damage of all attacks against a single vehicle of their choice by 1 to a minimum of one, and that stacks with the Duty Eternal stratagem from the main Codex. Watch as a Relic Leviathan tanks EVERY. SINGLE. HEAVY. WEAPON. IN YOUR ARMY. Iron Hands are currently sweeping the meta, even after the FAQ's nerfed the double repair strat, overwatch strat, and Feirros. The Guard at least know what that feels like.
    • Crimson Fists and Imperial Fists are extra-competent with their Bolters, CF gaining +1 to hit if their unit contains 5 or more models (unless they're characters who count as 1 model) and they're targeting units with double the model count than the attacking unit (friendly vehicles always count as being 5 models for the purpose of the CF tactic). Imperial Fists keep their ignores cover ability while dropping their bonus against vehicles and fortifications, and both Chapters gain 2 hits with bolt weapons instead of 1 when they roll unmodified 6s to hit. Considering even an MSU guard squad is 10 models minimum, that's going to be dangerous for your hordes. Crimson Fists like being outnumbered, and due to the Devastator Doctrine combining with Imperial Fists' ignoring cover ability, any tank you have turn 1 is most likely dead unless you shove it out of line of sight and/or the opponent rolls poorly.
      • Imperial Fists add 1 to the damage characteristic of any Heavy Weapon when targeting VEHICLE or BUILDING models during the Devastator Doctrine. Correction, NOW even if your opponent rolls like shit your tanks are DEAD unless they're shoved out of line of sight.
    • Salamanders can re-roll 1 hit roll and 1 wound roll per unit, which makes their pick of weapon surprisingly nasty. In addition, they treat AP-1 as AP0 like your Steel Legion vehicles, so that's gonna sting your autocannons and Heavy Flamers (who'd have thunk). During the Tactical Doctrine, all Flamer and Melta weapons gain +1 to their wound rolls. They also have a stratagem that lets a single unit's flamer weapons do the maximum number of shots possible (full 6 instead of d6 for a Heavy Flamer, for example). Put two and two together, and that spells doom for your guard hordes. Also +1 to wound means those meltaguns and multimeltas wound your Leman Russes and Baneblades on 3+, not to mention anything below T8 gets wounded on a 2+.
    • White Scars can charge after Advancing or Falling Back, in addition to ignoring hit penalties for moving with heavy weapons or advancing with assault weapons. Their Combat Doctrine gives a charging or heroically intervening unit +1 damage to all melee attacks during the Assault Doctrine. You can expect that happening on Turn 3, but charging after advancing gives the White Scars almost Genestealer-level speed. Plus, with 2cps they can use the Strike for the Heart stratagem to let them consolidate d3+3" (d6+6" if they can move 10+"), letting them drag clustered units into combat and lock them down. If you're not careful with screening, you might end up with your vehicles dragged into combat. Another annoying stratagem called "Butchered Quarry" lets them fight against a unit that falls back AND chase them 3" if the unit isn't wiped, you know just in case you thought you could fall back and use "Get Back in the Fight" to screw them over.
    • Black Templars gained a 5+ shrug against Mortal Wounds in addition to re-rolling one or both dice when determining charge distances. Their Combat Doctrine, Knights of Sigismund, gives all of their charging and heroically intervening units auto-wounds on natural rolls of 6 to hit with melee attacks resolved against non-vehicle units during the Combat doctrine. That's...quite lackluster in a Guard matchup since against their Chapter Tactic, you don't tend to spam mortal wounds you spam lasgun shots and Leman Russes. Their Assault Doctrine will likely only kick in by turn 3 (unless some stratagem/special rule allows some units to fast-track), and your infantry fold over against Shock Assault marines anyway, not to mention the fact that it can't ever affect your vehicles which is where the auto-wounds would be most beneficial to the marines. However, a 20-man Crusader squad charging out of a Land Raider Crusader has the ability to ignore overwatch with the Shock and Awe stratagem. Also, they can spend another CP to stop a unit from falling back on a 2+ which is also very concerning. Don't forget to screen your key units.
    • Overall, Marines count a lot on synergy, even more so than you. 85 points and 2 CP for a Vindicare can help you pop those troublesome characters. Primaris Marines will still struggle against Bullgryns with slabshields, though, even with all of their fancy broken shit. Plus, you can always just flood the board with more bodies than they can realistically shoot.
  • Blood Angels: An army designed to hard-counter Imperial Guard with their Blitzkrieg playstyle. Their Chapter Tactic gives them +1 to wound whenever they charge, get charged, or Heroically Intervened (so basically always in the first round of combat), meaning they wound your infantry on a 2+, and without any special melee weapons your tanks on 4+ (Leman Russes and Baneblades on 5+). Don't let them get that charge off whenever possible, and just in case throw a screen closely and directly in front of your tanks to ensure that they cannot charge your big guns. Investing in a Priest and some Bullgryns with their mauls and 4++ shields is recommended for a good counter-charge unit. One thing to keep in mind is that Blood Angels only get +1 to wound in the turn when they charged. Even a squad of Death Company with chainswords may fail to wipe that 30-man Conscript squad, at which point they're just choppy 1-wound models. You may also choose to take the Emperor's Wrath Artillery detachment in order to blunt the movement speed of flying Smash Captains, Jump Pack Death Company, and Sanguinary Guard, too. As of Psychic Awakening: Blood and Talons, they officially get access to Combat Doctrines, and their Chapter Doctrine gives them an additional attack if they charge or heroically intervene during the combat doctrine. Remember when we told you you're safer against Blood Angels intercessors than Ultramarine intercessors? Not anymore. A 5-man Intercessor squad with a chainsword sarge puts out 22 AP-1 attacks that wound your infantry on a 2+. Did I also mention they can now have Death Company intercessors that gain all the benefits of being Death Company?
  • Dark Angels: The shooty emo Catholic Marines. Their Chapter Tactic makes them almost immune to morale, and grants them re-rolls of 1s to hit when they stand still. They essentially perform the role of static gunline, a role which you can do, only cheaper. They possess a stratagem that ups the damage of Plasma weapons by 1 (making for a potential 3 damage on plasma guns on supercharge), making Hellblasters, Plasma Inceptors, the Land Speeder Vengeance, and a Plasma Cannon devastator squad insanely deadly to your tanks. Another unit of note is the Land Speeder Darkshroud that gives a -1 to hit bubble of 6" to all Dark Angel units. This is often paired with Azrael, the Chapter Master who also gives a 6" bubble of re-roll all misses and a 4++ to non-vehicles. There are Doctrine-specific stratagems that can neutralize the Dark Shroud's bubble, though. If you're Cadian, gun for a wound and invoke Overlapping Fields of Fire, and have at it. If you're Vostroyan, use Firstborn Pride on that Heavy Weapon Squad of Lascannons to try and kill it in one go. Once the Darkshroud is down (if it explodes, it's a bonus), go to town on the other units and pile on the saves.
  • Space Wolves: Death to furries. Now that that's out of the way, these guys have a similar tactic to the Blood Angels, but they get +1 to hit instead of +1 to wound. It's not as bad on paper, but my lord do Blood Claws, Thunderwolf Cavalry, and the motherfucking Wulfen love it. The rule of thumb for the Space Wolves is if it can take a storm shield, it will take a storm shield. Their Venerable Dreadnoughts can take a weaker Storm Shield that gives them a 4++, making them tougher nuts to crack than the usual dreadnought at the expense of their ranged options. Sacrifice your screen of Conscripts and let the tanks and artillery do the talking. Notice a slight pattern here?
  • Deathwatch: They're just better Marines with the old Special Issue Ammo. They have the same rule of thumb as Space Wolves, whoop-de-doo. Frag cannons are a bitch, like they were when Deathwatch first dropped. They benefit the most from Primaris units who can choose to ignore your armor saves completely with Kraken or Vengeance rounds, and hidden Hellblasters in a Deathwatch Intercessor squad.
  • Grey Knights: They're no longer the terror they were in 5th Edition, but they're still a fantastic beatstick army. You'll outnumber them fairly easily, and they're just as vulnerable to Plasma as they always were. In fact, the plasma syphon got squatted in the Inquisition's Index. Fire the usual profile at PAGK, and supercharge those bad boys when you're facing Terminators. Be mindful of paladins though, with their 3-wound profiles it would be better to put the Leman Russes on them. Due to the change in game mechanics, Battle Cannons no longer bounce off of Terminator armor and will actually aid greatly in taking out chunks of Terminators.
  • Adeptus Custodes: At first glance these big boys seem very intimidating with a universal 2+/4++ or 3++ and T5/T6. Remember the saying, "Death by a 1000 cuts"? Take that and apply it to them. A single unupgraded Custodian Guard model costs as much as an infantry squad with some toys in points. You'll very easily outnumber them, and due to their lack of 24"+ range weapons without dipping into Forgeworld units, they cannot play the keepaway game. Take advantage of your numbers and force as many saves in any way possible. Also, beware the flag! The Vexilia Magnifica provides a very strong defensive buff (rendering a third of your hits ineffective) and effectively cannot be sniped due to the sheer toughness of its bearer. You have no choice but to overwhelm it with sheer firepower. You can do this - you're Guard - but keep in mind the effect when prioritizing your shooting or that red flag will frustrate you immensely. Otherwise, there isn't a lot here that can really surprise you once the game is going. But good lord, watch out for those Shield Captains on Dawneagle Jetbikes!
    • Keep this in mind: Custodes will struggle to have anything resembling a CP pool in a low-point games. You can bring a bare-bones Battalion and a fricking Baneblade at under 700 points. Massed Leman Russ battle cannons or even a single Baneblade will wipe just about any Custode unit off the battlefield, as even a 3++ invul doesn't mean anything when you're taking 3D6 shots wounding on a 3+. Demolishers also wound these guys on a 2+ and will force them to use their invul save, and unlike just about every other army on this list, they won't have nearly enough ranged shooting to threaten you before you get into that range.
  • Astra Militarum: Oh boy, a mirror-match. You know what's good and what's bad from the rest of this article, but we'll point out the lynchpin anyway - Officers! Snipe out those low-wound characters to neuter the enemy chain of command and his infantry will suddenly be a LOT less impressive. The same is true of you, of course, so protect your own. Enemy tanks will be tonka-tough for dirt cheap, because so are yours - prioritize the ones that threaten you most. Most importantly, get fast! Taking the first turn versus guard is extremely valuable with the amount of shooting you have. Hit hard, hit first, hit often!
    • Militarum Tempestus: Technically this is still Guard, but the play style is radically different, so it warrants a note. You may occasionally see a purist running an army like this. In a sentence, your response should be to play tighter than the lug nuts on a rusted tire. You're going to eat the deep strike from Hell, and only after this will a Scion army be really vulnerable to counterattack. Deploy carefully and watch your movement - you do NOT want a deep strike in your backline. Their base weapon ignores your armor, and they have better armor than you - but you outrange them. Use your numbers to your advantage (oh, really?) and don't overextend - Scions are very adept at punishing careless plays.
  • Sisters of Battle: As they have been since the edition dropped, Sisters are currently most frequently played mechanized with their fantastic transport game. Immolators and Repressors filled with meltas, storm bolters and Death Cultists are the flavor of the day and you don't need to be reminded to not let them get close enough to use them. A footslogging sister is a dead sister. With the release of their Codex, however, they have acquired significantly more flexibility and thusly have shot up on the threat scale. Repentia, while still fragile, will reduce just about any unit you can field to a pile of body parts and scrap metal if they get the drop on you and every unit that was dangerous before is now even more so. All of this combines with the Sister's deadly new toy: Miracle Dice. Having a pool of numbers to pick from instead of relying on RNGesus means that at any point a critical dice roll is required, they can pull it off. Really needed that Melta shot to wreck that Repressor? They can just take a 6 for the Invuln save. Desperately hoping Morale will finish off that Seraphim squad? Nope, just going make that roll a 1 and pass. Fortunately, you are one of the best armies to press this system's weakness: mass of fire. Do what Guard does best and throw more dice and bodies at the problem than your enemy has resources to deal with it. Make it a game of seeing who bleeds dry faster, because most of time it won't be you.
  • Imperial Knights: A mechanized army, taken to it's logical extreme. These big boys can put out a lot of firepower that can fairly easily scythe through hordes of models (Gatling Cannons and the gigantic flamer the Dominus knight can carry), and have terrific close combat potential. Against infantry spam they'll do well to stay out of 24" range to avoid a "death by a thousand cuts" from massed lasgun fire. Against a tank-heavy army they'll try and get up close and assault the tanks to either outright destroy them or force them to keep falling back and stop them from shooting. If they're not from Knight House Hawkshroud or a Questor Mechanicus knight, you can hope to damage these boys so that they are left limping. If they're either of the other two, you HAVE to commit to destroying a knight once the wounds start piling up lest they easily circumvent the penalties of degrading statlines. Units of choice should be the Shadowsword superheavy tank, or as many infantry squads filled with lascannons as possible so that the Knight player cannot destroy all of them in 1 turn. The addition of Armigers makes things even more challenging - the Armiger Warglaive is a Devil Dog that's competent in melee, and the Armiger Helverin is what your Leman Russ Exterminator dreams of being before scarfing another tub of Rocky Road and crying. Treat them seriously, but remember that they're only Lords of War in name.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus: KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!! The Transuranic Arquebus is an Officer's nightmare, capable of slaying any Officer short of a Company Commander instantly. Hug cover, stay out of sight, and failing that, get an Ogryn to take the hit for you - you are not going to outrange it. Other units to beware include the Kastelans with triple phosphor blasters - one of the few units that can realistically outshoot guard infantry. The Onager has some sweet guns, but it's not as cost-effective as yours; play smart and you can deal with it. Admech has only one character, but Cawl is an absolute powerhouse - in melee he will eat your dudes like popcorn and at ranged he's a terrific source of buffs, and most annoying of all he's an untargetable Character. Be wary of any army with him in it, and be aware of his place on the board at all times. Besides that you will feel like you're fighting Scions - lots of T3 Sv4+ dudes with good shooting and good guns.
  • Officio Assassinorum: Technically their own army thanks to their White Dwarf index, but they are often seen as an ally to other Imperial armies. The Vindicare is 100% the most terrifying assassin the Guard can face. He can target sub-10 wound characters, wounds Infantry models on 2+, ignores both cover and invulnerable saves, and his weapons are AP-3. But that's not the rough part. If he rolls 6s to wound, his rifle does d6 damage instead of its usual d3. If a guard character has somehow survived the initial shot, his Headshots rule allows him to keep dishing out mortal wounds until the target is dead. You will not outrange him, so hide behind LoS-blocking terrain and/or get an Ogryn bodyguard to tank the hit and buy your officer a turn. A visible officer to him is a dead officer. Oh, did I mention he can spend cps to shoot and kill another visible character or deal a straight d3 mortal wounds to a Tank Commander? Other than that, Eversors will also give your units trouble since he can potentially kill 16 models in combat, plus 4 shots from his sentinel pistol. It's just enough to wipe a 20-man blob, and force a harsh morale check on conscripts. The Callidus with her Neural Shredder and Invuln-ignoring sword isn't at her best against cheap guard fodder, nor is her cp fuckery since guard have cp out the ass. The culexus, however, is an anti-psyker specialist who is nevertheless versatile in that he forces all attacks against him to hit on 6s, regardless of ballistic skill, weapon skill, or modifiers. That's why you have Hellhounds and flamers!
  • The Inquisition: Recently brought up to speed by their White Dwarf Index, you really shouldn't discount the threat the Rosette offers. Though you'll likely never face them in any high point games (unless your opponent is a madman with 3 Land Raider Promethei), their presence in other armies can make life very annoying for you. Primarily, their Psychic powers are exceptionally nasty and good at picking your Officers out of a crowd. Worse, they can use one of those powers, Psychic Pursuit, to turn one of their aforementioned Land Raiders into a fucking sniper. Most of your CHARACTERS can't take Heavy Bolter fire or Mortal Wounds very well, so beat them at their own game and bring your own snipers to deal with them quickly before they deal with you.
Chaos[edit]

One hilarious strategy against Chaos in general is to run the Relic of Lost Cadia, and once per game drop the hammer on these bastards for what they did to Cadia.

  • Chaos Daemons: Khorne and Nurgle daemons will give you the most trouble. Khorne packs a punch in melee, and Nurgle's Disgustingly resilient rule will mean that you'll have to pull double time in order to tear chunks out of the daemons. Slaanesh daemons are much easier to kill, but you'll only have perhaps a single turn before they're in your midst doing unspeakable things to your infantry. Be prepared to make sacrifices to keep them off your guns. Tzeentch is the only daemon faction that is more ranged then melee, and against you it's to their tremendous disadvantage. They got hit hard by the nerfs to Smite spam, so throw more targets at them than they have powers to cast and drown them in lasfire.
  • Chaos Space Marines: Abaddon's still bad news, armless jokes aside. With the addition of Legion Traits, several builds can do a number on the guard's forces. The Alpha Legion has the same -1 to hit against ranged attacks outside of 12" that Raven Guard have, Night Lords make horrible leadership bombs that can scare off half your units even if they lose only one model in a turn, and Iron Warriors ignore cover with their weapons. Deal with them as you would their Loyalist equivalents. Get inside 12" of Alpha Legion units, and use Hell Hounds or Valkyries filled with flamers to do so. Against Night Lords? Remember to take a Regimental Standard, a Lord Commissar for Ld10 before the Ld bomb happens, and a Psyker with the Mental Fortitude Power for fearless on a unit of your choice. That, or just take the Valhallan relic pistol and get your old Commissar back.
    • As of Faith and Fury, Night Lords can spend a Command Point to prevent a tarpitted unit from falling back. I hope you're Valhallan to shoot into close combat.
  • Death Guard: Now given their own Codex, these guys are slow and very tough. Plague Marines are a bitch and a half to kill unless you brought a Leman Russ Demolisher to wound them on 2+ with S10, and force them to roll multiple Disgustingly Resilient saves with its d3 damage. Mortarion is horrible to deal with, since he dishes out d3 mortal wounds to all units within 7", and given the amount of units guard can field he'll very likely tear strips out of your bunched up units. That's before you get into his Scythe that can either do 18 S8 attacks to your infantry, or 6 S16 attacks against your tanks. In addition, he'll very likely receive the lion's share of the defensive buffs so he'll have -1 to hit against him, and perhaps even a re-roll of 1s on his Disgustingly Resilient saves on top of his 3+/4++ saves.
  • Renegades and Heretics: Generally speaking, this will play out much like a Guard mirror match, though a lot of the balls will be in your court. Regimental Doctrines are in general superior to Chaos Covenants, due to affecting your vehicles if nothing else. R&H have no stratagems or warlord traits beyond the basic ones and are completely missing relics. However, don't think for a second the poor madman on the other end of the table is just handing you a free win, the filthy traitors can still pull plenty of tricks out of their hat. Namely, unlike you, they can properly pull off conscript hordes in this edition. By combining enormous and LEADERSHIP IMMUNE hordes with the Slaaneshi Covenant, you can quickly find yourself drowning in screaming mutants. If you've got Ratlings or Elysian Sniper teams, this is where they will save your ass by pick off those linchpin Enforcers.
  • Chaos Knights: Hang on, this is gonna be a rough one. They're like the Imperial Knights, but you can play upon the degrading statlines of these buggers much more effectively by taking out bits and chunks of each tank and reduce their WS and BS. However, Chaos Knights are much more aggressive and tanky in their playstyle than Imperium-loyal Knights. Chaos Iconoclast Knights can pay 1cp before the game begins to take a Vow of Carnage which grants them an extra melee attack for every 10 models they destroy. If you're playing a guard horde, that spells bad news. Like, really bad news. On top of that, they can spend 2cps to give a different Knight of their choice the Vow of Dominance which gives them immunity to being wounded on unmodified rolls of 1, 2, and 3. That's a huge blow to your near-mandatory lascannons, and choice weapons such as the Demolisher cannon or the Shadowsword's weapons. Outside of that, they share some stratagems such as Full Tilt, the infamous Rotate Ion Shields, Chainsweep, and Devastating Reach.
  • Thousand Sons: Ironically Magnus the Red is no longer a completely OP psyker, he's now a close combat blender HQ. Tzaangor Enlightened are fairly annoying for your tanks since they automatically wound on 6s to hit (5+ if they're next to an Enlightened Shaman), bypassing the benefits of T8 on your russes. The good news is those cunts have the Fly keyword and your Hydras will laugh, and laugh, and laugh. The actual Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult terminators have 4+ Invulns abound and get +1 to all saving throws against damage 1 weapons, meaning they'll have Cataphractii-level resilience against your basic troops. But, you took Autocannons and supercharged your plasma guns like a good boy, right? Outside of that, the Cultists and Tzaangors often show up in big blobs and get either put in deepstrike reserve through Webway infiltration or warptimed in order to get close to a screen to clear it.
Xenos[edit]
  • Craftworld Eldar: The pointy-eared bastards used to be a thorn in our side with Wraithlords and Wraithknights that we could not damage, Wave Serpent Spam, and Scatter laser Jetbikes that could instantly wipe a maxed out horde of combined squads or conscripts in editions past. Now, they're a thorn in our side because we can't even hit the bastards with the stacking of negative to-hit modifiers. At the Guard's near- universal BS4+, all they have to do is stack 3 modifiers (a point fairly easily reached on several Eldar units) and your shooting attacks will automatically miss. Take a Hell Hound or three, and a Valkyrie shoved full of either flamer special weapon squads, an equally kitted out squad of Tempestus Scions or Krieg HWTs with Heavy Flamers to circumvent the modifiers (Alaitoc's modifier only works over 12") and nuke the squishy T3 bastards. Here are some Aspect Warriors that can also give us trouble; Howling Banshees, when spammed, are also ideal at taking out our units since they can reliably wound us on 4+, and CANCEL OUT OVERWATCH. Shining Spears are speedy bastards that mulch our infantry with their 4 Shuriken Catapult shots and their Star Lances. Swooping Hawks can delete entire hordes of guardsmen by deep-striking in and dumping 40 lasblaster shots at them, plus they can deal mortal wounds whenever they arrive from reserve or move over your units. Striking Scorpions also like to attack from reserve and are a bit hardier than the average Eldar unit with their 3+ saves, and they specialize in taking out cover-camping units by having +1 to hit against enemies in cover. The technically weakest Aspect Warrior you'll face are the Dire Avengers with their 18" range Assault 2 Shuriken weapons. They're technically the weakest since they're all about ranged fire power but the DA only have a pitifully short 18" range. However, they have quality and quantity of shots on their side, plus their surprising speed with Battle Focus. It should also go without saying that Fire Dragons up close and Dark Reapers will do a number on your armor. Seriously, a unit of fire dragons with the right buffs (guide and Doom) stand a very good chance of seriously crippling or destroying a Baneblade in a single turn. Characters to beware of include any Autarch with a Banshee Mask that cancels overwatch, and any Eldar Psyker character. Take Sniper Rifles to eliminate their characters and just like you, their squishy units will become a lot less impressive without support.
  • Dark Eldar: Covens no longer fuck us over 100% thanks to the "everything can wound anything" rule now. Notice "100%", since the bastards now get an invulnerable save making them tough on your lascannons, plasma guns, and anti-vehicle/monster weapons. Kabalites in Boats and Wyches with their insane close combat attacks are top notch against us. Flamers are, and always will be, your friend against these slippery fuckers, and be sure to bring some Hydras along to punish the fact that all their vehicles FLY. Depending on the Kabal obsession, the infamous Agents of Vect stratagem has an 83% chance of denying a stratagem of the opponent's choice, costing you a key re-roll or a regimental-specific stratagem such as overlapping fields of fire. There's no way you can stop this, other than hoping the opponent lacks the 4cp necessary to pull it off or rolls a 1 (unless s/he elects to re-roll it and then blow 5cp like a dunce and have a 1/36 chance of getting another 1 anyway). Be warned, like the Imperium's Scions Dark Eldar are very adept at punishing careless plays since Dark Eldar like Nids were trash for so long that any long-term players tend to be tactical geniuses.
  • Harlequins: Well, these guys are just bad news. With flip belts that can launch these bastards over screening units and terrain in the movement phase, Genestealer-level close combat attacks, -1 to hit modifiers, 4+ Invulnerable saves, and access to a multitude of leadership debuffs, you're in for a tough fight. Again, bring flamers, auto-hitting weapons and lots of screening units spread out so they have no space to finish their moves over them. Since these guys like to drive around in Venoms, an absolutely filthy tactic would be to surround the vehicles with Infantry Squads or Conscripts in a 1.5-2" range (can't go within 1" in the movement phase), and shoot your flamers and other weapons into them. If you destroy the transport, the clowns inside have no room to disembark within 3" of the craft and stay more than an inch away from your models and instantly die, even if that squad has a stupid Faolchu's Talon relic. A unit to watch out for is the Death Jester. He can snipe characters with his Shrieker Cannon, so either block LoS whenever you can or get an Ogryn Bodyguard/Nork Deddog to tank the hits for you.
  • Ynnari: This eldar army will behave very largely the same as any one of the other elf armies mentioned previously, only with a particular predilection towards melee-focused lists. The good news is that their out-of-phase actions are a thing of the past, so you won't need to worry about double tapping Fire Dragons or Dark Reapers anymore. The bad news is that the melee potential of units like Wraithblades or Troupes is effectively maximized if they soulburst, meaning they will absolutely slaughter units whole-sale if they make it into combat. Bringing a decent degree of heavy armor is advised since outside the larger Wraith units, most of their piddly S3/4 melee attacks will just ping off without dealing much damage. Flamers are also a strong charge deterrent, but beware of units like Howling Banshees or Autarchs who can disable your overwatch. Focus on whittling them down at range wherever possible as well; outside allied detachments, Ynnari detachments don't have much incentive to natively invest heavily in dedicated gunline units due to the inherent lack of support available to them anymore. Just like when dealing with Craftworlders, key targets include any psykers or the Ynnari characters, as they provide a significant amount of support to their units (like healing/rezzing wounded/dead models, providing re-roll support, etc).
  • Necrons: In a sentence, play for KEEPS. Reanimation Protocols doesn't trigger if the unit in question has been wiped out to the last man, so keep shooting until every last tin man is a pile of scrap. Don't fight in half-measures, or you're going to lose a lot of effectiveness. Versus vehicles, your meltas and lascannons are going to lose a lot of effectiveness when Quantum Shielding triggers - bypass it with Battle Cannons and Earthshakers, which roll D3 for damage instead. Defensively, Necrons have strong anti-tank but it has weak range (with a few exceptions), and besides their fliers they're relatively slow. Bring long ranged heavy guns and protect them so they can knock out the bigger problems on the board. Lastly, Powers of the C'tan HURT - and they're not psychic powers, so they can't be denied! Bring down any dead gods that happen to be around before they can be a serious threat to you. Walk through the shadow of the valley of death, but fear no evil, because you brought artillery.
  • Orks: First, shake hands with your opponent and thank him for keeping this hobby fun. Then, crack open a beer. Finally, STAY OUT OF MELEE! Even your dedicated melee troops are going to struggle against the green tide - Mob Rule makes Ork mobs effectively immune to morale, and while they don't have good quality units, they do have a LOT of them. You may actually lose out on model count and board control, depending on what he brought. Orks depend on movement tricks in order to get close and bypass their shit movement of 5". Ther "Ere We Go USR allows them to re-roll either one or both dice for a charge roll allowing them to pull of charges from a surprisingly long distance. A stratagem to look out for is Unstoppable Green Tide, which lets an Ork player restore and outflank an Ork Boyz squad to its starting strength if it loses half or more of its starting number once a game. And unlike the Valhallan stratagem they get to do it without needing reinforcement points. Don't fight in half measures, fight in just-under-half measures or go for the wipe. Pick your objectives and play hard for them - don't spread yourself too thin. And then crack open another beer with the boyz.
  • Tau: Like Craftworld Eldar, these guys used to be a thorn in our side with markerlight spam that took away cover, Pulse Rifles that shredded our infantry from 30" away, and Riptide spam that made a mockery of our tanks. They too got hit with the nerf bat in the edition shake-up, but they still can put out a lot of hurt at range. The Bork'an sept will give you trouble since it adds 6" to the range of all rapid fire and heavy weapons in their army, meaning they can easily play keep-away while dumping shots into you. Their infantry are superior to yours, with 4+ armor and S5 guns that mercifully no longer wound on 2+ and ignore armor, but they can easily put out 3 shots a guy when within 15" (18" with Bork'an rifles) with an Ethereal and Fire Blade next to them. Handle that combo as you would any other aura-based list and either play keepaway and/or nuke them before they get to shoot. Another unit to watch out for are the Shield Drones and their ridiculous Savior Protocols which let them make a 4+ Look Out Sir to all battle suit units. Any T'au player worth their salt will spam them for that reason. This will have to force you to put any high-volume volleys of shots into those flying roombas before you point your Lascannons and other high-damage weaponry at the battle suits. If you can, a Psyker with the Nightshroud power will do you wonders since the T'au tend to have a mediocre ballistic skill value of 4+ without markerlights or Commander units. Also, remember to issue the order "Strike and Shroud" to any Leman Russ you can for that exact same reason. Finally, if you have Artillery you can one-up the T'au since most of their ranged weapons require LoS, so hiding your vehicles becomes EXTREMELY important.
  • Tyranids:Once one of the crappiest armies in the game from 5th-7th edition, the Bugs got a massive boost in 8th Edition. One of the few armies in the game that can out-horde you, along with Orks and an Imperial Guard mirror match. Termagaunts can spam S4 shots like no tomorrow at range, and Hormagaunts while being only T3 have a 6" pile-in and consolidation move. Nidzilla is no longer the almost complete joke it once was, Hive Tyrants and Carnifexes now wreck face for their point costs. Now, let's get one thing straight, Genestealers are bad news, period. With enough attacks to literally clean that maxed out conscript squad in one fight phase, charging after advancing, and overrunning into your close-by squads, they're easily one of the few units that hard-counter Guard, even with the cheese we can bring. This just becomes ridiculous when you factor in how Genestealers can reach super-sonic speeds (Hive Fleet Kraken trait with the Opportunistic Advance Stratagem, Hive Commander ability from the swarmlord that lets them move again). They can also hide in reserve thanks to their infiltration nodes (but at least you get 1 turn to spread your stuff out to prevent over-runs due to the new FAQ on reserves). The best way to win against Tyranids? Take a dedicated close combat unit such as Crusaders or Bullgryns and hide them behind your squads until they've moved up into position. Another good suggestion: Hellhounds. The inferno cannon has EXACTLY the right statline to maximize effectiveness vs a genestealer (wounds on 3s and just enough AP to force that invuln save) and throws out enough hits to be a serious problem for them. Hit them again when they charge, then hit them again if they fail to kill you, because Hellhounds laugh at the wound table. And if they do kill you? Command re-roll your explode dice and take a few bugs with you. If you really feel up for the challenge, Catachans are S4 in melee. Combining Straken, a Priest, and the Emperor's Conclave specialist detachment will give your average guardsmen serious counter-charge potential. Or, since positioning requires brainpower you could just take the Valhallan doctrine and shoot the bugs that are tied up with your conscripts in close combat.
  • Genestealer Cults: Positioning, positioning, positioning. These guys are always unpredictable. For one thing, these guys can bring a Guard detachment (and even without doing that, borrow a few Guard units), so don't be surprised to see Leman Russes and Chimeras. Even without that, these guys will obliterate any opening you leave in your backline, so screening units are a must. Kelermorphs are utterly fucking broken, especially against Guard characters in particular (and are about ten times more points efficient than Sly Marbo, for only 5 points more), needing only two or three unsaved wounds to kill most everyone outright, so you'll probably want to include an Ogryn Bodyguard or Nork Deddog in your list if you expect to see one. If you can position your characters to be more than 12" away from any potential deep strike zones while still giving your front line units their needed buffs, you'll be able to keep your officers safe-ish. You usually don't want to be in melee with these guys, but if you bring Bullgryns, you can make your opponent generally regret taking an ambush-themed army once you get those countercharges in.
Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Orks
Tau
Tyranids