Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Militia and Cults (30k)
The latest FAQ can be found here (February 2019)
- 1 Why Play Imperial Militia and Cults
- 2 Special Rules
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Allies
- 5 Tactics
- 6 Building your Army
Why Play Imperial Militia and Cults
While not an overly powerful army, it is one of the most customisable armies you'll ever find
outside of including 40k Renegades and Heretics. These guys represent the mish-mash of military units found across the galaxy before anyone sat down and formalized the Imperial Guard (and sometimes before they were part of the Imperial Army). Remember all those Exemplary Battles of Astartes vs non-compliant humans? This is the perfect list to model them - the true face of the Great Crusade. So you can build an army of cyber augmented Skitarii wannabes, a feral world regiment of jungle warriors, a pre-compliant civilization or even a full-fledged Chaos cult.
Because of the sheer range of options available to you which can radically change both the appearance and function of the units under your command, you can even use models that you wouldn't otherwise consider to take into a 40k environment: If you want to maintain a low-tech/high-tech contrast then why not use fantasy Empire models for the fancy uniforms and muskets and even have them as crewmen for your Leman Russes or Earthshaker guns? Similarly if you are using the Abhuman Helots and/or Tainted Flesh provenances why not just take Fantasy Beastmen models? or even Skaven models if you want to go a bit more steampunk/alchemical? And, I bet no one ever told you this, but if you take the provenances of Abhuman Helots and Survivors of the Dark Age, you get... SQUATS!!! THEY'RE BACK, BABY!!! Then you'd just need to find a player who's masochistic enough to let you use your 30K army list, warlord traits and rules against their 40K army, all in the name of nostalgia, of course...
- Insane customisation options and the chance to model things you couldn't do with other armies.
- The ability to build a list tailored to your playstyle; large squads of footsloggers, or with Survivors of a Dark Age smaller mechanised units.
- Cheap and large scoring units that do not confer any points to your opponent for killing (it costs 60 points to get 20 Guardsmen-equivalents)
- A good modicum of firepower with large heavy weapons squads, artillery and access to Leman Russ squadrons
- Without the right Provenances or correct placement of characters, you have poor Leadership across most of your units.
- Even with the huge amount of customisation options you have only a few choices of unit per FOC slot and some of them can be entirely written off or made compulsory depending upon your Provenance selection, leaving you with less room to do your own thing.
- It's more of a side note, but there are a mass of misprints in the army list that means you need to be a bit liberal in your interpretation. An example would be the Rogue Psykers not having a points cost, or Grenadier Squad starting off with Auxilia Rifles but only being allowed to replace their non-existent Lascarbines, makes the entire thing feel rushed and not up to the standard of most Forgeworld stuff. Make sure you don't play That Guy with this list, you've been warned.
Provenances of War
This is where the modelling opportunities for this army come from. Your Force Commander can purchase up to two Provenances of War. While their cost seems rather low, they can all massively impact the rest of your army, and can radically change the army build and the options you can take. Some Provenances lock you out of certain things or are mutually exclusive with one another, but some also allow units to buy their own unique options.
- Warrior Elite: All units gain +1 Ld (max 9) and Militia Levy cannot be compulsory troops choices. ~ More important than you may think, since this raises your Infantry Squads to Guardsmen-Level leadership, and also means that your Grenadiers don't need Discipline Masters
- Gene Crafted: +1 str and +1 initiative but cannot take FNP rolls, so Medicae Orderlies are absolutely useless.
- Cyber Augmented: All units gain a 6+ invuln save, or +1 to existing invulnerable saves (to a maximum of 3+), but they reduce run and sweeping advances rolls by 1.
- Can't be combined with Gene-crafted.
- This and Survivors of a Dark Age are a good away to make Proto-Sisters. The 6+ invulnerable becomes their Act of Faith Invulnerable and the reduction to run represents a lack of Black Carapace.
- Alchem-Jackers: Gain the Stubborn USR, but if a unit fails a Ld test due to enemy shooting it becomes pinned instead of falling back.
- Frenzon: Any unit can purchase Rage, but must perform sweeping advances.
- Survivors of a Dark Age: Very powerful... Every eligible units gains +1 to their armour save, which essentially means Grenadiers are wearing Power Armour. The compulsory Troops must be Grenadier squads.
- Advanced Weaponry Grenadiers and Platoon Command Squads can buy +1 Strength for their las weapons or rotor cannons, which is very good but gets expensive since all squads have to pay if the upgrade is taken and you have to pay 20 points per squad. Grenadier squads and Command squads can also purchase a Rhino a Land Raider Proteus, or a Termite Assault Drill as dedicated transports. YES!
- Can't be combined with Cult Horde or Tainted Flesh provenances.
- The +1 Strength to regular las weapons isn't all that useful in reality, as the Grenadiers have to pay 10 points to get lascarbines before the 20 points to get +1 Strength, whereas bolters cost 30 points. Likewise, the Command Squad start with lascarbines but can upgrade to bolters for 20 points, meaning in many cases you may as well get the bolters and just be wannabe Space Marines.
- It DOES have uses with lasrifles (30" S4 Rapid Fire) or laslocks (S5 Assault 1), as well as rotor cannons (3/4 shots at 15"/30" S4 firepower), which are all superior to bolters in one way or another. Enemies are likely getting saves either way.
- Feral Warriors: The army gains +1WS. Ogryns gain +1 attack instead. The army cannot have more vehicle units than infantry.
- Blade and Fury All non-ogryn squads can purchase +1 attack for 25 points.
- Abhuman Helots: All units gain +1 toughness but have -1 initiative.
- Discipline Collars Can be purchased for any unit. It grants Stubborn, but if they EVER fail a morale check on a double six, their heads explode and you remove the unit entirely.
- Cult Horde: (Traitors only) Massively changes what you can do with your army. All units gain Hatred and Stubborn USRs, and they must always charge if in range, even if they have fired weapons that would render them unable to charge (like Heavy or Rapid fire weapons), but they perform a disordered charge if they do. However, all units can ONLY make snap shots when shooting and cannot go to ground, so build your models accordingly. Furthermore, the army cannot take grenadier squads.
- Cult Demagogue: Automatically happens with this Provenance. Your Force Commander gets the Daemon and Preferred Enemy (Loyalists) special rules, which is pretty sweet. He can also purchase a Tainted Weapon like the Word Bearers, but is probably better served by picking another weapon.
- Cannot be combined with Survivors of the Dark Age, but may use Chaos Daemons as Allies.
- Note: This may not be worth it following the FAQ since you lost Zealot (and the Fearlessness that came with it) but still suffer SNAPSHOTS FOR YOUR ENTIRE ARMY, which is extremely limiting. Hatred and Stubborn are good and all, but the change forces a reevaluation of how units need to be built; taking smaller units that don't sting if/when you lose them to a bad round of combat and the following sweeping advance. If you just wanted Stubborn, consider Abhuman Helots to purchase Stubborn but also get +1 Toughness & -1 Initiative which rarely does anything bar against other Militia.
- Tainted Flesh (Traitors only) All units gain Fear, Feel no Pain (6+) and Rending in melee, compulsory Troops MUST be Levy squads and cannot have more "non-levy" squads than levy squads, They can only take the Force Commander (which is required to take a provenance anyway) and rogue psykers as HQs. They also gain access to Mutant Sp... the disgusting things.
- Cannot be combined with Survivors of the Dark Ages, Gene-Crafted or Alchem-Jackers.
This army has staggering variety of less than staggering guns, allowing you precise control over the balance and type of your firepower to affordability.
- Auxilia Rifle: the standard-issue rifle for most of your units. Just an 18" S3 Assault 1 gun. They are described as any weapon ranging from black powder muskets to esoteric lasrifles not seen anywhere else, Survivors of a Dark Age doesn't apply to it in any case. Kudos to anyone who actually takes fantasy empire muskets on their models and starts mowing down space marines with them.
- Auxilia Pistol: Flintlock pistols essentially, 8" range and the same damage as the rifle. Characters don't really have the option to take them, since they'll have better laspistols to start with anyway. But your infantry/levy/grenadier squads can take them instead of a rifle giving you extra attacks in close combat when paired with their close combat weapons.
- Auxilia Lascarbine: The same as the 40k lasrifle.
- Auxilia Lasrifle: Better than the 40k lasrifle because they have 30" range.
- Bolter: Better than the 40k lasrifle because it's an ARMOUR PIERCING ROCKET RIFLE. Not as impressive as it sounds, but you know it and you might just love it. Available to Grenadiers and Command Squads.
- Blast Pistol: available to most characters. It's S5 and twin linked, which for 5 points seems like a bargain, however it only has a 6" range and Gets Hot! So you might have little opportunity to use it.
- Hand Flamer: available to all of your characters and squad leaders. A good option since you don't have to rely on Ballistic Skill to hit anything and it adds to your overwatch. It is usually one if your more expensive options, but it adds more to a squad than a Bolt pistol or blast pistol, so it should always be considered for each squad sergeant.
- Laslock: 18" S4 Assault 1, so a straight upgrade from the Auxilia rifle, optionally becoming S5 if you have the right provenance.
- Shotgun: Compared to the alternatives is a shorter range but (relatively) strong rank and file assault weapon. Not exactly shooty enough for shooty armies (like most of the other options) nor slashy enough for slashy armies, but an option if you just have to deny charges and want to hurt them at least a little.
- Needle Pistol: Its a Poisoned, Rending pistol, not available to regular sergeants but can be taken by Force Commanders and Discipline Masters. At 5 points it should be the default option as it can be a threat to near enough any form of infantry barring Death Guard.
- Rotor Cannon: Just like what the Legions get, S3 Salvo 3/4 (thought it will be S4 if you use the right Provenance). Not very good here either, as it is further hampered by the fact that it can only be taken as a special weapon option in Grenadier squads where it competes with better options. Or by Servo-Automata, who can't even improve it using a Provenance.
- Augmented Weapon: An S4 close combat weapon, no matter what the strength of your model is. Can be bought for most characters, but grenadiers can have the whole squad take them instead of their close combat weapon. Still not great considering if you wanted a close combat unit, you'd have built your army with specific provenances to do the job. That said, Gene-Crafted isn't the only melee option so this does have a place, such as in tainted ferals or... Various ferals.
- Charnabal Saber: Only the Force Commander can take one, giving him/her the Rending rule in melee and +1 Initiative in a Challenge. It's cheap at 5 points and can be considered a throwaway option, but is outclassed by nearly every other option and if your opponent is decked out for melee you're likely going to die. The only situation where it is of any use is if you took the Gene Crafted provenance so your commander can now strike at S4 & I5 and have a shot against marine sergeants and lesser characters.
- Power Weapons:
- Power Sword: In most cases this is a bad option for militia, as you strike after Marines you're likely to never get a chance to use it. As with the Saber above, its function radically changes when you take Gene Crafted, so now you hit at the same strength and speed as those Marines. Just avoid challenges, as you are going to die.
- Power Mace: A better option than a sword, because unless your opponent forgets to clothe his characters in highly artificed fineries, that S+2 and Concussive rule will help you a lot more than AP3 will.
- Power Axe: Probably your best option. You were going to strike last anyway so you might as well resign yourself to that fact. With a few swings this will likely cause wounds to anyone without an Invulnerable save.
- Power Fist: Only available to Force/Platoon Commanders. For five more points than an axe you can have a Fist, which wounds on a 2+ rather than the axe's 4+ (not counting Gene Crafted, where you could then even insta-kill a marine with your S8). However, the Fist falls into the points vortex which sucks up more points because you have to justify your investment: so as a Specialist Weapon you've got nothing to pair it with, so you need to buy Digi-Weapons or Master-Craft it to improve your attacks, then you'll need a good invulnerable save in order to protect it long enough to take a swing... It goes on, but you're still going to die.
- Tainted Weapon: specialist weapon CCW that causes instant death. Get your psykers to take it because it's cheap and they have no other option anyway, so you might get lucky. If your Force Commander has the option of taking it, you've bought Cult Horde and you need to give them a better weapon than this to take advantage of Hatred and Preferred Enemy - unless you've taken Tainted Flesh as well, in which case the combination of Preferred Enemy, Rending and Instant Death makes the weapon scarier than you think.... Especially against battle automata.
Special Issue Gear & Armour
- Flak Armour: Default for most units and characters. It's a 5+ save but you know that's practically worthless in a marine heavy environment like the Horus Heresy. However with the right Provenance, beefed up flak is as good as Carapace Armour. At least it's better than...
- Sub-Flak Armour: When you thought Flak offered as much defense as cardboard. Sub-Flak is more like wet tissue paper, offering only a 6+ save. Even Survivors of the Dark Age wont offer any relief cause you're only bumping back to 5+ (still useless) Thankfully only your disposable Levy squads wear this, so it doesn't really matter if they die.
- Carapace Armour: comes standard on Grenadiers and can be bought as an upgrade for your HQ units. DO THIS even if you don't take the Survivors provenance, it gives you an actual save against bolt weapons.
- Power Armour: you know what this does. Sadly 3+ is as good as it gets; it is not further upgraded using Provenances and you can find ways to get yourself a 3++ save instead, so buying it is strictly optional.
- Refractor Field: 5+ save for your Force Commander. Can be bought for your Platoon Commanders Enginseers or Discipline Masters.
- Iron Halo: only available to your Force Commander.
- Cyber Familiar: This is where it gets interesting: it adds +1 to Invulnerable saves (to a maximum of 3+) and let's you reroll failed characteristic tests (but not Ld checks). Your first option is to take it as a budget Iron Halo, as its five points cheaper than the Halo for the same save. Or you go the full nine yards and get the 3++ save for twenty five points. You need to decide if your Force Commander is worth that much, cause now you need to load up on even more gear to make your investment worthwhile. But at least this means you don't need to buy Carapace/Power Armour.
- Enginseers can buy a familiar too, but they also need to buy the Refractor Field separately, falling into the same points vortex as the Commander for only a single wound model.
- Nuncio Vox: only two ways of getting this in your army: either buying it for Enginseers or taken as a compulsory member of your Platoon Command Squad, so they'll rarely be seen on the field. It helps prevent deep strike scatter and spots for barrage weapons. Not a big deal because your army doesn't really deep strike, and Space Marine allies have these pretty much everywhere.
- Vexilla: available to your big Troops units for 10 points and let's you add +1 to combat resolution, as well as allowing you to attempt regroups normally when below 25% strength. Is it worth it? Ugh... Your soldiers are likely to die in droves in melee, but since your Provenances are nearly all geared towards getting you into melee you're going to want this on your side, if only to stop the pain from being laid on so thickly. If it ever helps you win combat then you've entirely justified its cost.
- Platoon Standard: only on your Platoon Command Squad, so it won't be a regular fixture in most armies. It grants pseudo-stubborn to friendly militia within 24".
- Infravisor: available to your Force Commander and your Recon squads. Grants Night Fight but makes you take Blind tests at Initiative 1. It's cheap enough but you really need to think about what to go with it, as Night Fighting never lasts past the first few turns. So make sure your Recon troops have Sniper Rifles and/or you attach your Force Commander to an artillery battery so you can get the most out of your early game advantage.
The Imperial Militia use the generic list of Dark Age of Technology relics everyone uses, but there are no specific ones to their army. So they don't get anything unique. Since they are restricted for IC use, the only ones with access to them would be the Force Commander or a Traitorous Rogue psyker, and both would be good recipients for such an item, particularly because the army relies on them much more than the Solar Auxilia does.
In a campaign you're only allowed one character with a relic which you'll be stuck for the rest of the campaign, so be sure of your decision. If the relic bearer is killed, the side that killed him can choose to play a Relic Hunt mission, where the winner steals (or recovers) the relic, even if it's a Legion specific one, but a Draw means that relic is effectively lost for everyone. Still, you can always opt to play a 'Relic Hunt' mission at the beginning of every campaign phase to acquire FREE relics, where your war zone-assigned character must be deployed and thus miss all other missions played in that phase...but that way you can hoard up on relics, even getting duplicates of the non-faction-specific ones, by rolling a D6 on the 'Relic Uncovered' table below. Of course, this only matters when playing missions instead of casual gaming, enjoy!
- #1 Nanyte Blaster: The Grey Goo gun of uncontrolled carnage!!! It's a S5 AP2 Fleshbane weapon, where if it kills anyone you center a large blast over the dead model on a die roll of 4+, causing a S5 AP2 hit to those underneath it. Unlike Volkite, each model who dies to this can cause yet MOAR large blasts on further rolls of a 4+. All you need to do is get one casualty and you can wipe out an entire unit! Smashing! Hilarious when it really works.
- #2 Warp Shunt Field: 3++ against shooting, however for every save of a 6+ (against direct fire weapons) the shooting unit suffers D6 S5 hits. This is the only risk-free defensive relic. Also hilarious if you get really lucky.
- #3 Phase Walker: Each moving phase, instead of moving you may place the bearer anywhere you like, counting as having just deep struck but with no scatter. If you move through a solid object you have to take a dangerous terrain check for EACH solid object you went through (including all models) so be wary of abusing it in city scenarios. Quite nice for Void Masters, who have Move through Cover, so feel free to abuse it. Too bad this leaves behind the rest of his unit, and commanders aren't known for being one-men armies. If you're up against an Assault heavy army though or are playing a Zone Mortalis/Cities of Death game it can make it's points back as your Warlord retreats through walls (and into another unit) so he can't be assaulted, like a panic button.
- #4 Combat Augment Array: Once per game, at the beginning of any of the controller's player turn, he may count any single die (only 1) rolled as an automatic 6 (Emails from FW confirm). However, he must also pass Toughness tests for each remaining wound. If he fails he suffers a wound with no saves or mitigating FnP rolls of any kind. A Cyber familiar can mitigate the danger by granting a re-roll on the commander tests. However, you're paying 35pts for one guaranteed 6 - nice combo with a Paragon Blade, but given that everyone strikes before you...do you really want to be in Close combat?
- #5 Cloaking Array: Once per game, at the beginning of ANY game turn you may make yourself invisible for that whole game turn (ie. on the 3rd turn both in your and your opponent's turn, thus starting on your enemy's turn if he goes first). You cannot be shot or charged at unless the enemy unit contains psykers or daemons, in which case the array immediately shuts down (so now everyone can hit you, not just the previous two). Unfortunately you cannot activate it while attached to a squad or if engaged in close combat already. You also cannot shoot, assault, move or do anything at all. So your model stands on the same spot invisible but doing nothing during a whole game turn. Since you don't want your commander to be alone, pass on this one.
- #6 Void Shield Harness: Yep. You can get a voidshield for your dude. It's a large blast-sized shield, centered on your dude but protecting anyone that fits inside. Glancing, Penetrating and Destroyer hits will collapse the shield, but it can be restored at the end of your turn on a 5+, and with AV12 you'll be immune to most small arms fire. However, a result of Explodes! will overload the shield, disabling it for the rest of the game and placing a S6 AP4 Large Blast template centered on the bearer - that's Instant Death for your commander and his friends, who won't get their armor saves, so get the hell away from Meltaguns.
- Ruthless Tyrant: Gain +1 Leadership (to max 9) and the army may reroll Reserves
- Merchant Princeling: One infantry unit get better ranged weapons, and count their AP as one value better - so pick heavy support squads for AP3 Autocannons or Heavy Bolters or AP2 missiles Note: it can only be applied to a unit with the Infantry type - but not necessarily just 'provenance' infantry - so an enginseer with a cadre of ap2 phase-plasma fusils is possible.
- Beloved of the People: If the warlord ever dies, then the rest of his army gets Hatred from the remainder of the game. - Sucks if you took Cult Horde as a provenance
- Marcher Lord: The warlord gains Implacable Advance (becoming a scoring unit in AoD games) and Stubborn while within 3" of an objective.
- Connoisseur of Alien Curios: Grab Fear and It Will Not Die
- Robber Baron: The warlord can voluntarily fail any morale check and may also re-roll Run or Fall Back distances.
- 0-1 Force Commander: An Independent character with a relatively poor statline compared to every other unit in the Age of Darkness (such is to be a man in a time of giants), worse even than the Solar Auxilia's Legate Commander, but you don't want him for his combat skills, but because you NEED him in order to purchase Provenances of War, so you are going to have him. Furthermore, he can pay 20pts for the ability to choose his Warlord trait instead of rolling for it, so you can reliably pull some pretty powerful combinations like using the -1AP with your Heavy Weapon squads, which is the only one you'll ever pick because your choices are limited to the Militia Cults WL trait list only and the other five are balls. He's pretty customizable, starting with a 5++ that can be upgraded up to a 3++, and can buy power armour as well as a variety of melee weapons and pistols for those times you want him to pull his weight after you used your WT, but don't expect him to be a hero unit.
- Discipline Master Cadre: 2-5 near-Commissars, they get attached to other units and add +1 Ld (to max 9, and it is going to be nine anyway since their own Ld was eight) and allow for a LD reroll if they shoot some squad members. Oddly they're not as harsh as their 40k brethren, and while they cause D3 wounds to their unit, these wounds can be saved, although it could be argued that wild BLAMing is just as harsh as precise BLAMing. These guys may not be the compulsory HQ choice nor can any of them be the warlord, but your Force Commander was going to do all of that anyway. Back in the day your common Commissar had 2W base and a S4 weapon, and could buy a power weapon and refractor field at discount price.
- Auxiliary Platoon Command Squad: Six dudes; one commander who is basically there to get gear and nothing else, one nuncio-vox operator, one standard bearer who allows Militia units within 24" to discount casualties when taking morale checks (Stubborn aura, essentially) and three bodyguards, with the option to add four more of them. No orders because this ain't 40k, they also don't get heavy weapon teams. But all of the bodyguards in the squad may replace their lascarbines/autoguns with a variety of weapons, like bolters or heavy stubbers. Also, the Platoon Commander is merely Ld7 and the rest of the boys is Ld6, such was leadership in the Imperial Militia.
- Rogue Psyker (Cult Horde or Tainted Flesh only) ML1 psykers with two wounds, but a sucktastic BS2 so witchfires that roll to hit are generally going to be useless, so avoid them. If they are ever killed short of being "removed from play" then they get possessed on a roll of 5+, which becomes a 2+ if they were killed by losing a wound to perils of the warp, replacing the model with a a 3 wound WS5/S5 rending nightmare. These guys are miles better than the Renegades & Heretics version by being independent characters, they cause fear, have FnP, and can actually take proper psychic powers from Pyromancy, Telekinesis, Biomancy and Malefic Daemonology. One psyker per detachment can even be upgraded to an "Alpha" psyker, granting him ML2, WS/BS3 (instead of 2), three Wounds and Toughness 4 making him a far better prospect.
- The January 2016 FAQ finally updated a points cost for these guys, they now come in at 35 points for the basic ML1 psyker.
- You can even buy them a Tainted Weapon on the cheap, giving their attacks the Instant Death special rule. Note that this weapon gets lost if the psyker gets possessed since you had to "remove" the psyker and "replace" it entirely with the daemon model. Still, for five points a lucky wound can do some real damage on enemy special characters and if you rolled Iron Arm on biomancy or Fiery Form on pyromancy then you've created a pretty mean close combat unit.
- When choosing psychic powers, just be aware of the limitations of the unit. As mentioned, the poor statline generally means rolling to-hit on witchfires are going to disappoint you, but beams, novas and to a lesser extent, blasts are still alright.
- Militia Infantry Squad: Twenty guardsmen with auxilia rifles and shitty Ld. No platoons, just one squad per slot. The sergeant gets customisation and can take things like hand flamers and power weapons. Also the squad can replace their auxilia rifles (18" S3) for a variety of weapons, from different-lasguns (lascarbines or lasrifles) to assault oriented weapons (shotguns, laslocks, pistols for +1A). Oh, and they get a goddammed Super-heavy as a DT, the Gorgon Heavy Transport. Have fun.
- Inducted Levy Squad: 20-50 conscripts with shitty BS2 auxilia rifles and shittier sub-flak armour. They have the same options as regular militia but just don't bother because they're here as fodder. Which is what they are fantastic at, because they never confer any points for their destruction like by kill points or by first blood, making them perfectly expendable. Back in the day however,
ConscriptLevy squads had a sarge of their own (to take challenges for the not-Commissar you'll add to them to make them Ld9), and could either upgrade their dakka to "decent" tier (lascarbine, laslock) or accept the fact BS2 is useless and get a pistol instead for +1 attack. And if they objected they could be given Discipline collars to make them Stubborn. Oh, those were the times.
- Puny as they look, Levy squads can be turned into rather scary melee units, as all mobs are. Especially in Cult Horde armies, where you now have a huge mob with 3 re-rollable attacks on the charge (4 if you also bought Feral Warriors), though unless you find ways of shoring up their leadership you should be prepared to lose them following the first round of combat because Stubborn isn't enough to save you from a bad leadership roll and being swept up in the advance which follows, so at least they were cheap and expendable. Combo Cult Horde with Tainted Flesh for Rending attacks and the prospect of causing Fear on certain 30k Legions. 50 mooks with multiple rerollable rending attacks will chew through nearly any target on the table through weight of numbers, including Primarchs and will never cost you victory points if/when they get wiped out.
- Militia Grenadier Squad: 10-18 veterans with BS4, carapace armour and auxilia rifles. These guys do well to replace their weapons with something else due to their increased accuracy. The remaining two spaces are made up by adding special weapon guys.
- If you've got grenade launchers in the squad, you can buy Gas and Fireburst grenades for them. Both are small blast weapons, Fireburst grenades are S3 and pinning so might be good as a trolling device, whilst Gas Grenades are Poisoned (4+) and Ignore Cover, the problem with Gas grenades though are that they have only AP5 so Space Marines and Solar Auxilia are getting saves anyway, making normal frag rounds either exactly the same or better for most situations, unless you are fighting against other Militia or Cult armies.
- These guys can allow you to have dick-swinging contests with the Tau. Grab Survivors of the Dark Age, Lasrifles, +1 Strength Upgrade and 8 extra guys coming to 140 points. Now lets compare to the Tau Strike Squad. Tau: BS3, 30" S5 AP5, 12/24 shots, T3 and 4+ Save. You: BS4, 30" S4 AP-, 18-36 shots, T3(4 with Abhuman Helot) 3+ Save. And you can add 2 Rotor cannons to that to up the number of shots to a grand total of 44. While the Tau do get markerlight support and could therefore annihilate your squad off the board, they can't take all of them on at once, especially when they have to worry about your supper cheap tanks/artillery. Don't forget that this squad is only 160 points tops.
- Fire Support Squad: your heavy weapon squads, just like with imperial guard, but as Troops choices with no platoon tax. Unfortunately as support squads they cannot be compulsory choices. They come in units of 5-10 teams and have the full range of guard weapons, including heavy stubbers and multilasers. This unit has awesome potential.
- Grab a unit of 10 Heavy Flamers and screw holding the line. These guys can move up the board and toast some motherfuckers because who said that heavy weapons need to stay still? Don't forget that all of these guys are 2 Wounds, 2 Attacks and have a laspistol + CCW, so make for surprisingly good assault troops. Add in the -1AP Warlord Trait and teach Marines fear again. THIS should be the way you have them for any assault-based list, and creates awesome modeling opportunities.
- Reconnaissance Squad: Five veterans in flak armour and are a support unit. But they have scout, infiltrate, move through cover and the option to buy chameleoline. They probably cost way too much for a base squad of five men in flak armour. But they may replace their lascarbines with shotguns or sniper rifles for a flat cost, I wonder which one you'll choose? Their sergeant can also take a demo charge, which might make some interesting suicide bomber units
in a cult horde listfor any provenance other than cult horde because all snap fire all the time means no blast or template weapons sadly.
- Auxillia Gorgon Heavy Transporter So, the Space Marines can get Land Raiders, Solar Auxillia get Dracosans, and we get a super heavy tank as our main transport? Seems legit. With 9 Hull Points, AV 14/14/10 and a 5++ save on the front (4++ against Blast and Template weapons) it'll be tough for you opponent to take it down without devoting serious resources to it (unless they get behind it, in which case it's as good as dead). It comes stock with a one-use Gorgon Mortar Battery (12-48" S5 AP5 Heavy 4 Blast, Barrage and Pinning) and two twin linked Autocannons, as well as coming with the ability to transport 40 dudes and imposing a -2 modifier to the Catastrophic Damage Table. It can spring for hunter killer missiles and Armoured Ceramite (for the ultimate expression of FUCK YOU to your opponent), as well as swapping the Autocannons for TL Multi-Lasers or TL Lascannons. It can also swap it's Gorgon Mortar Battery for two forward and two rearward facing sponsons which must all be the same type, either Autocannons, Heavy Flamers, Heavy Bolters, Multi-Lasers or Lascannons. However you'll only field it with a plan in mind as it costs 275 points base, meaning no spamming superheavies.
- Note: This thing is not Open-topped, so don't let your opponent fool you into thinking that. Not that it will matter to that Drop Pod full of Marines with Meltas, they'll punch through your paper-thin AV 10 rear armour like it's a game of FATAL even if you do get Armored Ceramite. Oh, but also note that, since it has lost open-topped, it's not an Assault Vehicle any more. So those 40 provenanced-up Cult goons might not be as useful as you think.
- Aurox Armored Transport: A Rhino analog, usable by Command Cadres and Grenadier Squads numbering 10 or less. Apart from using a Heavy Stubber (that can be replaced with a Heavy Flamer) instead of a Storm Bolter, costing 10 pts less and BS3, it's pretty much identical to the Rhino, but has no potential upgrades (even the dozer blade).
- Rhino Armoured Carrier (Survivors of a Dark Age only) It's a Rhino, you know what it does. Stolen from the Space Marines, it has the exact same options as the one in the Crusade army list, so look there for more info. Also note that it has the same profile, so it's BS 4. Won't be amazingly handy, but it's worth remembering.
- Land Raider Proteus (Survivors of a Dark Age only) Mwhahaha, my puny humans now have access to one of the most powerful tanks in the game. No forward assault ramp means no Assault Vehicle and awkward model placement, and it only comes with two twin linked Lascannons stock. However it's also the cheapest of the Land Raiders, and can take the ever-useful Explorator Augury Web as well as other useful things such as Armoured Ceramite, hull mounted Heavy Bolters/Flamers, Auxiliary Drives and a host of weapon options. However, these costs add up quick, and as the Gorgon is only 75 points more and (generally) much more survivable and can lay down more hurt, you may want to think about taking one of those instead.
- Ogryn Brute Squad: 3-10 Ogryns with big sticks, flak armour and frag grenades. That's it. But the beauty of this in how they can be customised. You can buy power weapons, boarding shields or combat shields and get something equivalent to Bullgryns. Buy ripper guns and you've got normal 40k ogryns. You can even buy Heavy Bolters, that become 18" range assault weapons when held in their hands!!! However, the rules do say that each model may only buy one option from the list, so you cannot load up on cool shit, but you are allowed to mix and match. The only upgrade that is universal across the whole squad is Carapace Armour (which can be upgraded using Provenances to create power armoured Ogryns) which for a flat cost is always worth it. Consider what effect the army provenances will have on them before you build them, but the combinations are nearly endless.
- Unless your Provenance is Tainted Flesh forget Shields; a 6++/5++ invulnerable save at a cost of taking any improvement in damage output is not worth it. (Tainted Flesh works because they get enough rules to handle themselves) That being said... a single Boarding Shield in the squad counts as Defensive Grenades, making the whole squad resistant to incoming charges. Also, a 'frontline' of shields and 'rear rank' of axes works better than a pure unit of either. Cyber-augmetics plus shields give a 4++ in assault - pretty good on sonething as tough as an ogryn.
- Additional CCW is expensive at 10 points EACH for just one extra attack. If that's all you wanted remember that the Feral Warriors provenance gives them an extra attack a flat cost to the whole army
- Power Weapons are your most expensive option by far, but they also grant the 2 weapon bonus as well as beefing the unit with killy stuff. Axes become preferred here because even if you strike last, a model equipped with one is still likely to survive and beat down a marine or two. Maces tend to work alongside Gene-Crafted because of S8 and a chance at instant death, but a sword would strike at I4 as well so remains a good option. Kitting out a whole squad necessitates creating a Deathstar unit though.
- Lascutters should be avoided unless you are specifically trying to build up a set of Big Daddy clones or something themed like that, as they negate all the benefits of being an Ogryn.
- Guns are really up to you, as the models are already there for it. But having BS2 is not encouraging, massed S5 firepower can be found more cheaply and accurately in Fire Support squads or Leman Russ squadrons.
- Imperialis Auxilia Medicae Detachment: 3-6 guardsmen with medipacks and laspistol/CCW. No customistion beyond whatever provenances you take. You just deploy them separately to squads and get FnP. You are allowed to double up if you want to make certain a squad doesn't lose the rule.
- Enginseer Auxilia: one of the few squads that gains no benefit from your provenance, so it is what it is. You get 1-3 Enginseers and 4-8 Servo-Automata, which are basically more customisable T5 servitors that can take cool guns like phased plasma fusils or flamers. Enginseers can take invulnerable saves and graviton/volkite weapons if they want, and they can fix stuff and gain bonuses for each servitor with a servo arm in the unit.
- Enginseers are one of the few units that can take Augury Scanners which, after the latest FAQ, gives them Interceptor on everythin. Full stop. This makes Enginseer Auxilia one of the only ways to counter deep striking squads with Multi-Meltas or plasma-fusils. (Yes, Marine Heavy Support squads can do this bigger and better, but Enginseers can do it from the Elites slot and at peanuts per model!)
- This unit is particularly useful in a cult horde list as it's unaffected by the provenance's enforced snap-firing, meaning this is your only infantry unit that has a chance of hitting a barn door at range. Take phased plasma-fusils plus the -1AP WL trait and drink the tears of anyone spamming Terminators or MEQs in artificer armour. Your dream of removing a deep striking Cataphractii unit in its own turn with 24 S6 AP2 shots? Fulfilled.
- Arvus Lighter: Only marginally better than the travesty of their 40k incarnation in that they can take guns and use them properly; this makes them like flying razorbacks with twice the transport capacity. You can take them as dedicated transports for grenadiers and to be honest, it might be worth it here if you can stomach forking out for a resin box when you can have so many other things (why are you buying a Arvus Lighter this is Militia and Cults you could use a Tau Devilfish if you want). Since the Arvus won't last long with the amount of Dakka that 30k brings to the table. You may as well go full bore and shell out points for the twin linked Lascannons and the Armored Cockpit. Also should be considered, outside of Survivors of the Dark Age, the only non super heavy transport.
- Auxilia Sentinel Scout Squadron: almost exactly the same as the guard option, three to six chicken walkers with a heavy weapon, no plasma cannons but you can take a multi-melta. You can also take combat blades granting them +1 attack, but taking open topped AV10 walkers into melee is still generally not a good idea.
- Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter: If you have one, field it as these are the business. They start off at BS4 which means their considerable firepower is going to come to bear more reliably, which now includes Kinetic Piercer missiles, which while only S6, are AP2, armourbane and heat-seeking which makes them twin linked against other flyers. While you could swap them for hellstrike missiles, you'd be an idiot to do so because of the drawbacks of the ordnance rule, but if you wanted more ground attack then sunfury missiles can be bought which are AP3 large blast and blinding but get hot. For added goodies, they can buy strafing run, so your nose guns hit things on the ground with rerollable 2s, and a flare shield which reduced incoming firepower by -1 strength.
- Terrax Pattern Termite Assault Drill: You get this five points cheaper than Solar Auxilia for the same standard loadout and 15 points cheaper than Legiones Astartes who have to buy heavy flamers separately. What you get is an underground drop-pod capable of carrying 12 models and arriving via special deep-strike, scattering a 5" blast marker, automatically avoiding impassable terrain and engaged units and then causing an automatic S10 AP- hit on anything else it scatters onto, then forcing the survivors to move out of the way so you can fit the giant drill who can then hose down the nearby units with heavy flamers. It is not an assault vehicle, so anything that deploys will be standing around waiting for the inevitable counter charge, unfortunately your melee units such as Levy squads need not apply since their minimum squad size is too high, and Ogryns are bulky and are not allowed. Because your shooting units tend to be quite fragile at close ranges maybe save it for some disposable short ranged squads like a shotgun Recon squad with a demo charge. Otherwise stick an Enginseer inside to keep it fixed and provide some nasty fire support with the tech thralls when he disembarks.
- It is one of the few units that can perform a turn 1 deep strike thanks to the Subterranean Assault rule, though you can only deploy half (rounding up) of these units on the first turn. Unless you play Survivors of the Dark Age you will be unlikely able to deploy more than two in the first turn because they are only Fast Attack choices but it still can be good for pushing enemy units out of position. If you do play Survivors and take them as dedicated transports for your grenadiers then you could pull off massed deep strikes the likes of which only an orbital assault Astartes army can achieve.
- Rapier Battery: Your entry level artillery unit. You start out with quad multilasers which have all the sixes. You get six twin-linked shots at S6 AP6 at a range of 36" (6x6), so is very good at taking out infantry. You can swap this for a quad heavy bolter for free, which would be better against GEQ units due to the superior AP value. If you're looking for anti-tank then you can buy laser destroyers, which are 48" S9 AP1 twin-linked Ordnance, which are excellent even considering the the shitiness of the men firing them. If you want to annoy your opponent, then the most expensive option is the quad-mortar (thudd gun), which fires of four S5 small blasts each, so a battery of them will pepper the battlefield. While they may have poor AP and average strength for a heavy weapon, they can consume a chunk of time to resolve and give you a psychological advantage over your opponent as he gets frustrated with so many templates and wants you dead. Overall Rapiers are good and cheap, but at only Ld 6 and flimsy guardsmen crew they are going to fall over if something looks at them funny.
- Regarding longevity, remember that if the unit falls back, they abandon the gun which means it is permanently lost even if they regroup later. So morale boosting upgrades/provenances become your main priority. Don't worry so much about armour plating them, because the gun already has T7 and a 3+ save.
- Funnily, "Cult Horde" isn't as terrible for them because the quad laser/bolters can still snap fire twin linked, so can still potentially hurt something, yet because they are Artillery they are prohibited from declaring a charge, so can remain safely in position.
- "Alchem Jackers" can be a godsend, since it pins the unit when they suffer shooting morale checks instead of running away, meaning you don't automatically lose the gun, and still be able to shoot with quad guns on the same turn by snapfiring. While this has little benefit in melee, if your rapier gets caught up in close combat it's going to be dead soon anyway.
- Regarding longevity, remember that if the unit falls back, they abandon the gun which means it is permanently lost even if they regroup later. So morale boosting upgrades/provenances become your main priority. Don't worry so much about armour plating them, because the gun already has T7 and a 3+ save.
- Heavy Ordnance Battery: Immobile Earthshaker guns each with 4-8 crewmen who are subject to your provenance. If you're taking these hopefully your army has good leadership modifying rules since the crew only have LD 6 and will abandon the gun if they have to fall back. You can have Medusa guns instead which is more cost for the same risk. Either keep these WELL out of the way, or bump their leadership as high as you can.
- Unlike the rapier batteries, there is no way to snap fire with these guns, being both "Blast" and "Ordnance". So pinning the unit will effectively neutralise it. Taking "Cult Horde" with them makes you an idiot.
- Carnodon Strike Squadron: Predators on a budget, they are only BS3 and have AV12 on the front, but at 60 points each when their Heavy Bolter/Flamer sponsons are free you can fit a whole lot of dakka into a small list without having to buy any additional upgrades for them. They come in squadrons so you can scale up to suit your points allowance, and you can replace those sponsons for autocannons to have the same S7 coverage all around. There isn't a whole lot to mention here, since the tank itself is nothing spectacular and has few options for upgrades. The main draw is their value.
- Yes, the actual model comes with the option to swap for multi-lasers, volkites and lascannons, but Imperial Militia don't have those options. Autocannon turrets with bolter/flamer/autocannon sponsons only but at least that stops the unit from becoming a points sink if you invest too much into them. If you want more guns on a bigger budget then consider Leman Russes instead.
- Battle Tank Attack Squadron: Leman Russes, everyone's favourite, chosen from the vanilla, annihilator, exterminator, demolisher and vanquisher flavours. They've only got access to Heavy Bolter and Flamer sponsons (which is still better than the Solar Auxilia, who get no sponsons at all), but hilariously they can replace the hull gun with a multilaser, which might be a good idea if you're taking an ordnance tank and just want a gun for snap firing, or even as a makeshift AA gun.
- Malcador Heavy Tank: bigger Leman Russes, also a fast super heavy vehicle that is not a Lord of War. You can upgrade it to AV14 on the front if you sacrifice the Fast rule, but you can also take a Flare shield which applies all over and is boosted against templates. These are great tanks, with a fair amount of customisation and make excellent support vehicles for even bigger baneblades or stormhammers.
- Mutant Spawn: (Tainted Flesh only) oh shi- GLARBLBLBLBL... Ahem slightly lesser than the 40k chaos version, possibly because they started out as humans and not space marines. They don't get access to marks and have only I2, however these ones have IWND and Hammer of Wrath as well as being 5 points cheaper on a per model basis, albeit with a higher startup cost like everything in HH, but you can take them in squads of ten which makes them a very potent prospect in melee. Their mutation table has also been heavily modified; taking effect from the beginning of the game and cannot be changed. Ones give them only a 5+ armour save, but at least it applies out of combat. Twos make them reroll 1s for random attacks, bleh. Threes give them Rending, so hope for this one and you can possibly have a big squad of these tearing through virtually anything.
Lord of War
- Auxilia Baneblade: - Though outclassed by the Legion Fellblade, the Baneblade is still a nasty proposition to face. Sporting a Baneblade cannon, Autocannon, Demolisher Cannon and a twin-linked heavy bolter. With the option of two/four Lascannons and two/four more twin-linked heavy bolters (the sponsons don't come as standard here) optional pintle mounts, AND optional Hunter-killer missile, it is a rolling fortress of death.
- Auxilia Stormhammer: - Taking Dakka to a logical extreme, the Stormhammer is less a superheavy and more a rolling fortress bristling with guns. Its hull weapon is a TL Battle Cannon, and its main gun is a S9 AP2 cannon with shred and pinning. With the options to take a pintle-mounted multilaser or heavy flamer, up to 4 HK missiles(!), a coaxial multilaser, a hull lascannon on top of the battle cannons, and six sponsons, all of which are armed with multilasers by default (making it C.S. Goto's dream tank) but can be swapped out for heavy bolters, heavy flamers, or lascannons (and the first two options are free), it can take on more targets at once than any other superheavy. (The sponsons are switched out individually, so feel free to mix and match however you like.) and the whole tank can buy targeters giving it a nifty BS4. In short, the Stormhammer is your best bet for a versatile superheavy that can fit any situation that you can think of.
Age of Darkness Theme: Army of Dark Compliance
Built from a blending of Legiones Astartes and units from the Imperial Militia and Warp Cults list. However, it is quite distinct from the "Sacrificial Offering" Rite of War in that it does not use up your allies slot, allowing you to take allies from a third source. But it does prevent you from using a rite of War, so you cannot layer on extra special rules.
However you are still privy to the insane customisation options presented in the Warp Cults list, and you are not prevented from taking any option from your Legion list either.
The "Age of Darkness" themes requires your opponents permission to use, however it is an easy theme to build an army around because there are few rules to take account of.
- You build your army with units from both the Crusade List and the Imperial Militia and Warp Cults list.
- You must include a Space Marine Praetor, Centurion or Consul to be your Warlord.
- Do note that to take any Provenances of War you'll also need a "Force Commander" as one of your HQ choices as well.
- Your army is automatically part of the traitor faction.
- You cannot use Rites of War.
- "Legiones Astartes" rules that apply to models by virtue of being in the same detachment do not apply of Militia units.
- That means the only way to get Militia units to benefit from Astartes rules would be to attach an independent character with special rules that confer to units.
- Unless specifically noted otherwise, all units count as being part of the same list for rules purposes such as Transports, Warlord traits and so on.
- You cannot include more units from the Legiones Astartes list than from the Imperial Militia list.
- This is your main restriction, which prevents you from merely dabbling in Militia units.
- You may not include Discipline Master Cadres
- Special Rules
- The Warmaster's Due: "Tyrants Due" by another name, any time your Legion units are shot at which draws its line of fire through infantry militia units, you can add +1 to any cover save gained. However the militia unit then takes D3 wounds with no AP value, meaning your crap sub-flak conscript could take a hit from a Lascannon intended for a Space Marine and potentially survive it.
- Disposable: Any Militia units in your army may be affected the the "Disposable" rule, preventing them from conceding victory points for any reason when slain. It does however prevent these units from scoring or denying objectives so be sure and have enough Astartes units to hold on to objectives for you. You are not required to use this rule if you don't want to, but you must declare at the start of the game if you do.
A few notes about the list, since it interacts with other armies in different ways depending upon what Provenances of War they have taken.
- If they've taken Tainted Flesh or Cult Horde, then they cannot ally with Loyalist forces, though they may count Chaos Daemons as "Fellow Warriors".
- Cyber-Augmetics may count Mechanicum armies as "Sworn Brothers"
- Abhuman Helots only count Space Marine and Solar Auxilia armies as "Distrusted Allies"
This army pretty much allows you to do whatever you want, although generally you'll be looking at infantry supported by armour and artillery. A large factor in how your army will play is what Provenances you take. Abhuman Helots, Survivors of the Dark Age, Cyber Augmentics and Tainted Flesh will all help improve the survivability of your infantry, while Warrior Elite, Alchem-Jackers and Abhuman Helots with Discipline Collars will make your guys less likely to run away so are highly recommended if you're not running Grenadier-only troops. There are a lot of Provenances that can improve your close combat game; Gene-Crafted, Feral Warriors, Cult Horde, Tainted Flesh and Alchem-Jackers with Frenzon all help you out in melee, although it's of questionable use in a Marine-oriented environment. However, only one Provenance, Survivors of a Dark Age, increases your range-game to any degree, which makes no sense at all considering that even with these buffs you'll get massacred by dedicated Marine units, but it's not supposed to allow your guys to go 1-1 with Marines, it's there to take it from a 3-1 fight to a 2-1 fight.
Your advantages include how cheap you are compared to other armies (seriously, even your Leman Russes are cheaper by 10 points), the fact that you can buff your infantry fairly easily with Provenances and Medicae Orderlies and the amount of armour and heavy firepower that you can bring to the field with artillery, Rapiers, Heavy Support Squads and Leman Russes, all of which are cheaper that anyone else's. However, this cheapness is balanced out by Provenances of War, making it not as spammy as it may initially seem.
Basically, what you want to do with these guys is find a theme to forge a narrative on, and then base it round that. Want to have an army of clones that are little more than meat shields for your Dark Mechanimum army? Tainted Flesh and Cyber-Augmented are right up your alley. Want your humies to mimic beakies? Take Survivors of the Dark Age and load your Grenadier Squad up into Rhinos. However, as for competitive play it's not that good unless you really min-max your army, so don't expect a lot out of them.
Also of serious consideration is whether or not you want Ultrasmurf allies to bring along Invictarus Suzerains to gain +1Ld to all your guys within 12" as well as bringing some hardier troops and better CC ability. Not compulsory but a good idea.
Building your Army
USE YOUR DAMN IMAGINATION! Only Renegades & Heretics have more customization. This army is about as customizable As they but less diverse both in the base units available and being restricted by the biggest source of customization being army wide. The units can take a startling rainbow of standard weapons, but like a rainbow, many of the options are almost the same. Its entirely possible (albeit better for friendly counts as games) to proxy a fantasy army, such as the Empire or possibly Skaven. Look at the stuff available on GW's website. Empire, Elf, Guard, Skaven, (some) Skitarii, even ORKS (with some converting) can work! Since many tournaments ban forgeworld anyway, look to other model sites if it suits your fancy. All of it works, all of its totally fluff friendly. WoC? Feral worlders. Infinity stuff? Technological advanced enclave. A WW2 model range? You get the idea. If you ever wanted to make an army thats truly "you", a one of a kind masterpiece, et cetera, this is for you. You may not exactly win, but you sure as hell wont be forgotten. Hell, make your army a bunch of chicks with swag armour and do a proto-sisters of battle army. Then piss people off and give them gene-crafted for Sister Marines, alchem-jackers with frenzon for RED RAGE sisters, or cyber sex gals.