Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Officio Assassinorum
"Pain is an illusion of the senses, fear an illusion of the mind, beyond these only death waits as silent judge o'er all.."-
Assassin Proverb *BLAM* That quote is from Mortarion, you filthy heretic!
-Why the Imperium needs the Officio Assassinorum
The Officio Assassinorum may look like an odd choice for allies. With only 4 Elite options, and each one costing over 130 points for only 1 model (the most expensive one is 150pts), they will lower your model count drastically. All the assassins get Move Through Cover, Infiltrate, and Fearless along with 4++ and an absurd stateline of WS8, BS8, and I7. They also have a special rule where enemy characters take a -2 penalty to Look Out, Sir! rolls for any wound caused by them. Each assassin has something special and unique to bring to the table, all with a specific role and goal. You'll never see your opponent more annoyed at a single model than these assassins.
- 1 Shared Rules
- 2 Distinct Rules
- 3 Detachments and Formations
- 4 Allies
All assassins share the same underlying profile and some rules, with additional changes to differentiate them.
They cost 135, 140, 145, and 150 points, so the following profile lists the cheapest one.
- Unit Type
- Infantry (Character)
- Unit Composition
- 1 Assassin
Every Assassin is a Character with Fearless, Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, and the three unique special rules:
- Lightning Reflexes: A model with this special rule has a 4+ invulnerable save. In addition they do not suffer the penalty to their initiative for charging enemies through difficult terrain.
- No Escape: Wounds inflicted by this model inflict a -2 to Look Out, Sir! saves against them.
- Independent Operative: A model with this special rule can never be joined by another character. If a model with this special rule is your army’s Warlord, it never has a Warlord Trait.
- Vindicare Assassin
- Point Cost: 150 (+15 from base)
- All successful To-Hit rolls made by a Vindicare Assassin, excluding Snap Shots, have the Precision Shots special rule.
- Callidus Assassin
- Point Cost: 145 (+10 from base)
- Hit & Run
- Precision Strikes
- Deploy anywhere on the table that is more than 1" from any enemy unit, whether deployed enemy units can draw LOS to her or not. If a Callidus Assassin starts the game in Reserves, she can move on from the enemy board edge when she arrives. During the first game turn, or during the game turn in which the Callidus Assassin arrives from Reserves, enemy units can only fire Snap Shots when targeting her.
- Reign of Confusion
- You can re-roll the dice when attempting to Seize the Initiative. In addition, your opponent suffers -3 to the first Reserve Roll he makes during the game.
- Eversor Assassin
- Point Cost: 135 (base)
- Feel No Pain
- Furious Charge
- If an Eversor Assassin is ever reduced to zero Wounds, before removing the model as a casualty, each nearby unit (friend or foe) suffers a Strength 5 AP- hit for each model it has within D6" of the Eversor Assassin. After resolving any additional damage, remove the Eversor Assassin from play as a casualty.
- Fast Shot
- The Executioner Pistol shoots 4 times, in any combination of its two profiles, but all 4 must be at the same target.
- Culexus Assassin
- Point Cost: 140 (+5 from base)
- Preferred Enemy (Psykers)
- Life Drain
- All of this model's melee attacks are AP2, have Murderous Strike (6 to-wound is ID), and inflict ID on all Psykers.
- Psychic Abomination
- Psykers, friend or foe, within 12" of a Culexus Assassin have -3 Leadership, do not generate any Warp Charges, and only harness Warp Charge points on a 6. A Culexus Assassin can never be targeted or affected by psychic powers. Any blessings or maledictions affecting a unit immediately cease to be in effect if the unit moves within 12" of a Culexus Assassin or vice-versa.
The Assassins' Blades (Armoury)
|72||Heavy 1||-||2||Sniper, Exitus Ammo|
|12||Pistol 1||-||2||Sniper, Exitus Ammo|
- This is the reason this guy is so well known. The rifle is a Sniper with a range of 72"(!), AP2, and access to Exitus Ammo. This allows the Vindicare to take down a number of different enemies...See that angry Chaos Lord? *BLAM*. See that Farseer? *BLAM* See that Chimera? *BLAM*. You can do this by using one of the following bullets. The pistol is highly overshadowed by the rifle version, but grants +1 A in combat along with his combat weapon, which is nice as a last resort, and he can relocate and keep firing at anyone who gets too close with the same ammo that the rifle, which could save his life temporally until help arrives. Still not worth using it instead of the rifle: you've brought a sniper, not a gunslinger.
- Exitus Ammo
- Each time he fires, the Vindicare assassin may choose 1 of 3 bullets, each useful in one way or another.
- Shots will always wound on a 2+. This will likely be your most commonly used one, as you can whittle down regular squads or monstrous creatures.
- Invulnerable saves cannot be taken against wounds, glancing hits, or penetrating hits from this bullet. Could be useful when a model refused to die.
- Against vehicles, bullets hit at strength 10. Against all other targets, it inflicts D3 wounds...Chaos Terminator Lord anyone?
- Spy Mask
- All shots made by the Vindicare Assassin Ignore Cover... We do not need to exaggerate how awesome this is, it speaks for itself. Any direct-firing fortification shots also benefit from this (and the BS8), which can often be more useful than the rifle.
- Blind Grenades (Defensive Grenades)
|Melee||User||-||Melee, Poisoned (3+), Rending|
Could be useful against monstrous creatures, and since you're I7 the only things that can outpace you are Bloodthirsters and Keepers of Secrets.
|Melee||User||2||Melee, Phasing Hits|
Bye bye, terminators!
- Phasing Hits
- To-Wounds of 6 ignore invulnerable saves.
|Template||Pistol 1||1||2||Neural Shock|
- Neural Shock
- Always wounds on 4+.
- Remember, he can mix and match ammo types (4/0, 3/1, 2/2, 1/3, or 0/4) as he likes.
- Great against low armoured targets, e.g. Orks.
- Melta Bombs
- The Eversor Assassin rolls 3d6 to charge and gets 3 extra attacks from the charge instead of 1, giving you 8 attacks at WS8; have fun drinking your enemy's tears.
|18||Assault X||5||1||X is the combined mastery levels of all Psyker units within 12"; up to 3 times you may add to this number by expending a Warp Charge die.|
Using this also doesn't count as shooting; it is fired in the Psychic Phase (and only in the Psychic Phase, so no Overwatch). As a result, you can still toss a 'nade or run in the following phases.
|8||Assault 1||2||-||Blast, Psi-Shock|
Also counts as Defensive Grenades against Psyker models.
- A unit containing at least one Psyker hit by this attack has a randomly determined Psyker in it suffer Perils of the Warp.
- All units targeting the Culexus Assassin in melee or shooting resolve at BS and WS 1. Psykers hate the Culexus by default, but this is why everyone hates him. Be wary of stuff that can ignore this, like Kharn hitting on 2+ in CC (why you would try to fight Kharn in assault with a Culexus is beyond us).
Detachments and Formations
Officio Assasinorium Detachment
With the dataslate comes a detachment exclusively for the assassins. All you have are the assassins labeled as Elite choices, but you don't need anymore since they're meant to be allies anyway, and there's absolutely no reason you shouldn't take this detachment if you're running Officio Assassinorum. If one of the assassins kills the Warlord then you get one extra victory point alongside Slay the Warlord and any other points you get. Since your assassins will be gunning for the Warlord and elite units anyway this shouldn't be a problem. And the cherry on top; this doesn't take up an ally detachment, so you can take yet another ally alongside your assassin(s).
- Vindicare Assassin- Costing 150 points, he has WS8 and BS of 8. He has lots of special goodies that let him kill things better. He has 'Deadshot', making shots from the Vindicare Assassin have precision shots (except Snap Shots), so you chose who dies. He is also an Independent Operative, which means he can never join units, or can not have a warlord trait if he is. He has an awesome stat line- but he is not meant to be the model that gets back his points in 1 turn- his job is back up, to take down the units that are bothering you. Though the other assassins are great in their own right, the Vindicare is undoubtedly the best for most situations. His Exitus Rifle can quite literally deal with everything except large hordes.
- Callidus Assassin- Costing 145, she is the second most expensive. She is the sneaky, infiltrator type out of the 4. She has a special rule which allows her to be up to 1" from a enemy unit during her infiltrate, and enemy units can only snapfire at her during her first turn on the field. The Callidus is basically a mini-distraction carnifex meant to scare the fuck out of the opponent. Use this assassin to destroy low SV+ models (Terminators, Power Armour, Daemon Princes with warp forged armour). With her high WS and BS, she could properly take a few terminators before getting overwhelmed. Still, she is an assassin. Get her into the fight, take someone out and leave. Sticking around in fights will cost you.
- Eversor Assassin- At 135 points, he is the cheapest out of the lot. He is the overwhelming attacks assassin. He has fast shot which allows him to fire 4 times in one turn (at the same target) and still charge, using 3d6 and gaining 3 attacks on the charge. If he dies, he activates "bio-meltdown" which is a strength 5 hit to all models within 6" before he is removed. Send him into units with low armour (Orks, Guardsmen, Chaos Cultists, and anything with low armour. The Eversor Assassin is the bane of them. Be wary of massive melee-centric hordes or anything that can force him to roll massive amounts of saves, without backing him up. Holy shit this guy, tore apart 3 carnifexes and brought the swarmlord down to 2 wounds by himself (sure why not!) It was only due to the sheer amount of wounds caused so don't expect it to work all the time... Also to remember this guy does have a power sword (meaning he can eat his way through MEQs as well) and melta bombs.
- Culexus Assassin- Because fuck psykers.
Costing 140, he is the second cheapest and the most specialized of the lot. While the Callidus and the Eversor can have a go at anything and the Vindicare will just kill anything, the Culexus is meant for one thing only; making psykers his bitch. He was born for this. He has a lot of nasty special rules to do this, which includes making Psykers (friend or foe...remember that) have -3 leadership and make them not generate warpcharge. Not just psykers though; he ignores ALL armour saves in CC and inflicts instant death on a 6 to wound! He can incredibly troll the Tzeentch Daemons by erasing whole units with Daemonic Instability. The Culexus Assassin can not be targeted or affected by psychic powers. He also removes any bonus or malediction affecting a unit with a 12", and he causes all attacks against him to roll at BS or WS 1. This is awesome, as even blast weaponry will scatter to the winds, but keep in mind that flamers do not need to roll in order to hit you. In other words, keep him as far away from any Wraithguard as you can. Use this guy if you don't mind losing a few friends.
Assassinorum Execution Force Formation
This consists of one of each type of assassin (Vindicare,Callidus, Eversor and Culexus.) The formation grants them Preferred Enemy against the Warlord and a bonus victory point if they kill it. Not bad in objective games as the extra objective point wouldn't hurt, but you'll need at least 570 points to drop if you want to field this formation.
Assassinorum Murder Squad (Apocalypse)
An upgraded Execution Force for Apocalypse level threats. Technically listed under "Grey Knights," but not formation restrictions exist, so it's just semantics. All four assassins get three wounds (which is the same as what they usually get now, anyway), and FNP of 5+++. As well, each assassin gets a special weapon that the various clades of the Assassinorum only bring out for special occasions. As a result, there's no reason to run an Execution Force in an Apocalypse game, unless you just have to get the bonus from killing the enemy warlord.
- Vindicare Assassin- All ammunition types get Soul Blaze as well as their other properties. Kinda meh.....it's like a few bonus bolter shots.
- Callidus Assassin- Neural Shredder gets buffed up to S9. Not shabby at all.
- Eversor Assassin- Boost to Frenzon, granting 2D6 attacks as a charge bonus rather than the usual 3 (previously 1D6 in 6e). Holy shit, he's a blender.
- Culexus Assassin- Animus Speculum gets boosted up to S6, which should be wonderful against squads of psychers.
In general the assassins are good with three things: pester the life out of the enemy, provide a great distraction, and gun down the Warlord. They're allies and support, nothing more. They're Battle Brothers with other Armies of the Imperium, so you'll rarely see assassins in xenos or Chaos armies. Since they can't join other units and they'll most likely be out of range to be affected by any Warlord traits or psychic blessings, the benefits can be dependent on the user. Another thing to note, since all Assassins have Infiltrate you won't have that much of a problem with One Eye open if you play your cards right.
- Adepta Sororitas: Sisters are arguably the ones that benefit the most from Officio Assasinorium. All four assassins can bring something to the table for the nuns. Vindicares can hit vehicles where your Exorcist can't touch them and will help keep your Cannoness out of challenges by sniping dedicated CC characters. The Callidus can sneak behind enemy lines and provide ample distraction so your heavy flamers can get close. Speaking of flamers, an Evesor alongside an army with Sisters with a shitton of flamers will be the absolute bane of any horde army like Orks or Renegades. Culexus assassins can mix very well with Sisters since they have Shield of Faith (Adamantium Will/6++), making an anti-psyker force unlike any other.
- Astra Militarum: Assasinorium is an all around good choice for Guard. Vindicares and Eversors can distract and whittle down squads to a more manageable size for your lasguns to handle. Callidus and Culexus can still be a huge distraction and the bane of psykers, respectively. Fairly straightforward and simple, frankly. Can't hurt to have an assassin in your army but you won't be damned if you don't bring one.
- Imperial Knights: Assassins can't do much for Imperial Knights besides provide a little extra firepower that they might not need. Callidus can touch them where Knights might not reach, while Culexus can tailor specifically to psykers. Vindicares may be a bit redundant since Knights have anti-armor in spades, as well as Eversors since they don't lack blast weapons either. Certainly can't hurt to take one though if you have the points for it.
- Skitarii/Cult Mechanicus: All of the assassins can help an AdMech list. Need some infiltration and mind-fuckery? They got Callidus Assassins. Need some more Rip'N'Tear? They got Eversor Assassins. Need some long-ranged firepower to take out vehicles and characters? They got Vindicare Assassins. Need to ruin a psyker's day? They got Culexus Assassin. Culexus will probably be your best choice though since the Mechanicus don't have the best options to counter psychic powers. However, for the Skitarii specifically, you may want to consider if you need an assasin to perform the role in question. Sicarian Infiltrators and Ruststalkers can do pretty puch the same job as a Callidus or Eversor and a squad of five Rangers with two transuranic arquebuses and an omnispex can perform the role of a Vindicare.
- Space Marines: To be honest, there's not much the assassins can add that TEH EMPRA'S FUREH already have. Vindicares an pick off characters but anti-armor is not a problem for the Astartes. Callidus are nice but we already have scouts and drop pods. Eversors can chew through swarms, yes, but Assault Terminators with Lightning Claws and that bullshit Vindicator formation can do the job just as easily. Culexus, however, can make that Chaos Sorcerer or Farseer his bitch and bring something new to the table. However; if you ever try to bring a Culexus alongside Grey Knights, consider yourself a winner of the Darwin Award.
Allies of Convenience
- Eldar: I mean, we can't blame you for wanting to do this. And coincidentally, Vindicares fit fairly well with Eldar since they can pick up the slack of the Rangers and destroy armor. One may say that bringing a Vindicare alongside a Wraithknight may be considered a dick move indeed. Eversors can chew up mobs that cause problems and be a general pain in the ass. Callidus might be a bit misplaced, however, since your Jetbikes might reach the enemy deployment zone by turn two anyway. Do not bring a Culexus; he'll fuck up your Farseer and cause more problems than it's worth.
- Dark Eldar: Just don't. Just don't.
- Tau: You are going to get accused of forging the narrative here but who the fuck cares, you are already automatically hated for playing Tau anyway.
Tau are notoriously bad against psykers owing to the fact that, outside of O'Shara's bling amulet, you have zero units or upgrades to deny psykers. For a reasonable cost of 140 points the Culexus lets you quite reliably fill the anti-psyker role you are looking for while also having the bonus of being a distraction carnifex because any psyker army is going to wan't that thing dead long before it can cause any lasting harm.
If you are running it alongside stealth suits or any suit bomb just be aware of the One Eye Open rule from Desperate Allies, scattering into range of the Culexus and watching half your army looking at him with shifty eyes is mind shatteringly annoying
Come the Apocalypse
Entertainingly, there is actually no loss in using Come the Apocalypse allies rather than desperate allies, as due to the wording of the infiltrate rule, you cannot deploy within either 12" or 18" of enemy models while infiltrating (which you should be doing most of the time), and all allies other than battle brothers count as enemy models. So, lots of the time, a 12" deployment gap is present anyway
- Chaos Daemons:
- Chaos Space Marines: Traitor! Like their loyalist brothers, the Chaos Space Marines already have a lot of the things that Assassins already offer. The main reasons why you should take one is that they can increase your range, provide a distraction, and assassinating annoying characters. Vindicares provide more anti-armor alongside Obliterators and Havocs, Callidus can be sneaky-sneaky, Eversors alongside Berzerkers and Heldrakes are goddamn terrifying, and the Culexus can assist the Blood God in fucking over psykers. If your running a Tzeench list or have a Sorceror/psychic Daemon Prince, avoid the Culexus like Nurgle's Rot. "But what if-?" Shut the hell up. Don't do it.
- Khorne Daemonkin:
- Necrons: Dust off that old Pariah model and run it as a Culexus Assassin.
- Orks: Ork Sniperz? Vindicares are easily your best option, providing range and anti-armor that Orks desperately lack. They can pop Land Raiders and assassinate strategic characters. Callidus can provide tactical benefits as well as distracting the enemy for long enough until your Boyz reach their gunline. The Eversor may be a bit redundant but they can soften up elite units for your Warboss to clean up. Culexus can be great to nullify bullshit maledictions on your Boyz and keep psykers off your back.
- Tyranids: Assassins are meh alongside the bugs. Ole' LIIVI here can reach past your Zoanthropes and Termagaunts and take out vehicles, while the Callidus can cripple an opponent's first Reserve and cause havoc. Compared to Genestealers and Hormagaunts, Eversors are a waste of points. Shy away from the Culexus considering that a lot of your units are psykers (Zoanthropes, Broodlords, etc). Though if you really wanna risk that and One Eye Open, the Culexus combined with Shadow in the Warp will drive any psychic army fucking bonkers.