Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!


My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Force, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood and Skitarii legions, and perhaps the Titan Legion, Legio Gojira (which will never happen because I don't have money for Forge World Titans).

Oh, and I'll throw in the Thousand Sons from time to time because they're my favorite Space Marine Legion. I refuse to believe that they are Traitors! They're just...ahem...secretly loyal to the Imperium!

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Expanding your army: Skitarii

At last, the release of the new Warhammer 40K starter sets have been released! I have been waiting for their launch before writing about my next article which is on expanding your army. If you recall, the last post, Starting Warhammer 40K: Imperial Knight, was about recommending those who have no idea what they like to start the game with an Imperial Knight. In that post, I promised to write about expanding your Warhammer 40K army collection, and that's what this article is today. It's about expanding your Imperial Knight army with a collection of Skitarii!

And now is the best time to do it, what with the Start Collecting! Skitarii bundle being released by Games Workshop that will ship from January 9th onward. Awesome! It's a great deal, and I wish I had waited for this before getting my Skitarii army, but what's bought is bought. And I do like my army. Anyway, this isn't about the bundle or the Dominus Maniple rules (which I don't have at the moment, and I will write about it once I get my hands on it), it's about expanding your army.

Again, let me emphasize this. The best army to start with is the faction YOU like. You must love your faction, its fluff, its models, its units, etc. I mean, there's no point power-gaming and collecting a bunch of drop pod models just to be competitive if you don't like them - I'm not going for Drop Pod Skitarii or Drop Pod Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation regardless of how powerful or competitive it is. I don't like Flesh Tearers or Space Marine models, so I won't get them. That's why I sold my Tau stuff, I didn't like them so there was no use holding on to them. Don't be stupid like me and avoid buying them in the first place, even if they have really cool rules. Similarly, don't get an Imperial Knight because I say so. Get it only if you like it, or if you have absolutely no idea what to get.

For those who are on the fence and neutral to all factions, thus having no idea what to start with, I have already recommended an Imperial Knight. However, if you remember, I had advised readers to only begin with one or two. Partly because if you're a casual player looking for casual opponents wanting a good time and not highly competitive, plonking 3 or 4 Imperial Knights on the table is hardly going to earn you friends (unless your friends don't mind playing against them, which is great!). Sure, they can be easily countered with melta guns and stuff, but your opponent probably wants to bring his favorite list, not a list tailored to specifically destroy Imperial Knights. So just bring one, or maybe two.

However, as you play bigger games, you also realize that while they are awesome, Knights have weaknesses. They are few in number, they get easily meltagunned to death (or Haywired to death), they are a big fire magnet and the targets they shoot at are limited even if you can fire its 6 weapons at 6 different targets (and trust me, 2 heavy stubbers aren't going to do anything even if you fire both at the same target, which means 5 targets). Plus if you find out that you love the tabletop game and enjoy spending more time in longer matches, Knights wouldn't be a good army as they either win too quickly or die too fast.

So you need infantry to shield your Knights from meltaguns, you need more units to grab more objectives, and you want a lot more flexibility. That's where allies come in, and I would recommend Skitarii.

Again, I must reiterate here that this article and advise is only for those who have no idea what to do after they have gotten their Imperial Knights and have no favorite faction or clue what they like. If you want to pair your Knight with Eldar, do so. Throw in a Wraithknight alongside your Imperial Knight and bring a cup to collect your opponents' tears (just don't blame them if they refuse to play with you ever again). Or if you want Tau hiding behind your Knight and sending the guy in as a Distraction Carnfiex while your favorite Gundam-ish models shoot from the back, that's fine too. In fact, if you're a huge fan of Imperial Guard and their tanks, then by all means roll out an armored column of tanks and Knights with the new Cadian Armored Company, The Emperor's Fist. However, if you don't know what to like and have come against the wall while not being willing to buy another Knight because while one or two are cool, you find a whole army of four or five Knights boring, then I'll recommend the Skitarii or Mechanicus. One. because it's fluffy, and two, the two (or three) factions synergize very well together in an excellent formation.

In fact, I'm using the Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation from White Dwarf Issue 69, released in 2015, which is a formation that makes use of a Cult Mechanicus Battle Congregation, a Skitarii Battle Maniple (take note it's the Battle Maniple formation that requires one of every unit except the Ironstrider Ballistarii and Sydonian Dragoon, which you choose either one), and an Imperial Knight Oathsworn Detachment. If you think that's too much for you, then ditch that (but it's a very powerful and fun formation - not overpowered, I've lost a lot more games than won with it, thanks to me being a newbie) and just get Skitarii.

Skitarii is awesome and very flexible, having an array of options to counter almost every threat. The Vanguard are equipped with radium carbines, standard, which can put a lot of wounds on your opponents if you roll enough sixes - and with a squad able to stock up to 10 men and each radium carbine pumping out 3 attacks, you'll probably get a lot of those. Furthermore, you can swap 2 (or 3 if you have 10 Vanguard) for plasma calivers, which throw out an equal number of shots (3 per gun) at S7 AP2, making them Terminator killers if you need to. Good for killing Monstrous Creatures too. Rangers have quite the range, and Precision Shot, but S4 AP4 without rad poisoning like the Vanguard does, and only 1 shot each, means they aren't going to do much. For Troops, I would prefer Vanguard, even with their inferior range, they pump out quite the dakka and put on lots of wounds. Plus plasma calivers are better on them because they have equal range to the radium carbines, and you are probably wasting them on your Rangers because they're meant to sit back and make use of their 30" range (and the armorbane sniper rifle thing). Both can use arc rifles for Haywire goodness, so keep in mind their great number of options.

The Elites, Sicarian Ruststalkers and Sicarian Infiltrators, are pretty good melee units. Not as good as dedicated melee units like Necron Lychguard or Thunderwolves, as I found out to my chargrin (though the Ruststalkers did give the Thunderwolves quite the big fight despite being only a fraction of their total cost), but still pretty good. Their 2 wounds each make them pretty resilient, even with T3 - they shrugged off shooting from Tau Fire Warriors and wiped them out in shooting, never mind combat. Infiltrators are anti-horde units in addition to their nerf circle, aka Neurostatic Aura, which deducts 1 from WS, BS, Leadership and Initiative, so make use of that in conjunction with your Knight and other units! Their flechette blasters pump out a hell lot of shots, about 5 each at 12" range, which usually means I throw 25 shots at my opponents. Don't underestimate the S2 AP-. With that amount of dakka, and Shred which allows me to re-roll To Wound rolls, I usually deal a surprising amount of damage to my opponents (I told you I wiped out a squad of Fire Warriors with just the flechette blasters alone!). Their taser goads are also deadly in combat, with each roll of a 6 generating 2 additional hits! Sometimes I deal more wounds than the number of attacks my little guys have! Just 2 of them wiped out an entire biker squad on their own! HA HA HA HA! They also have a better Feel No Pain 5+ than their Troops counterparts, who only have Feel No Pain 6+, so keep in mind that makes them a lot more resilient. And don't forget the 6+ invulnerable save! That has saved me countless times.

Fast Attack is pretty good too, with the Sydonian Dragoon having the same taser lance that generates 2 extra attacks with rolls of 6. These 3 units, plus the Ironstrider Ballistarius, have Dunestrider, which adds 3 to their movement and charge, making them extremely fast and with Scout conferred to them by their Maniple bonuses, this usually negates the need for transport and stuff. The Dragoon also has Incense Cloud, which provides a 5+ cover save to your fragile AV11 all-round 2-Hull Point walker.

The Ironstrider Ballistarius, while useless in all my games, probably needs a lot more friends to be useful. Ouch. I gave him a lascannon, and twin-linked means he can shoot tanks and stuff without much difficulty. Usually my opponent makes the cover save though, or I failed to penetrate. Ouch. Anyway, they are useful in multiple model-units, same with the Sydnonian Dragoon. Take more of them in one unit, don't just take one each. Otherwise don't take them at all and spend your points on the awesome Infantry. Cognis means the Ironstrider Ballistarius can shoot at air though, but as I said, you probably want to have a lot more than just 1 guy in a squadron.

The Onager Dunecrawler is my favorite, and is the epitome of flexibility. If you need anti-air, this can be your guy, with his Icarus Array able to shoot down any flyer dumb enough to fly within his range. Otherwise you can give him a S10 AP1 neutron laser that would wreck both vehicles and Terminators reliably. My favorite tactic is to put 3 of them in a single unit because they improve each other's saves. One only has a 6+ invulnerable save, but 3 of them have 4+ (they get +1 for each other Onager Dunecrawler in the same squadron).

With this many options, you can reliably ally them with your Knight to get rid of a bunch of stuff that your opponent throws at you. The infantry are surprisingly resilient, tough and very shooty. They can grab objectives, hunker down and dish out a frightening amount of damage. So if you're worried of Terminators with Power Fists hammering your Knight to smithereens, fire radium carbine rounds and plasma caliver shots at them until they die! Land Raider annoying your Knight with its lascannons? Get your guys close enough to pump out 4-6 arc rifle Haywire rounds! Worried about tarpits? Throw your Sydonian Dragoons and Sicarian Infilitrators at the hordes and watch them melt to your taser attacks! Flyers bombarding you with multi-meltas? Throw in your Onager Dunecrawlers with Icarus Arrays and laugh as they get shot down the moment they fly into the table! With so many options and huge flexibility the Skitarii can cover the weaknesses of your Imperial Knights, bring a lot more bodies to the table, having great shooting and resilience, and have a countermeasure for just about everything! Best, they're cheaper than Space Marines, come with all sort of exotic gear, relics and awesome weapons (Space Marines have no taser weapons! Hah!), the best anti-air platform in the game, and Dunestrider makes them pretty fast!

So if you're wondering who to pair your Knights with, look no further than the militant arm of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Get maybe 10-20 Vanguards and Rangers (10 each, or 2 10-men squads of Vanguard, or 10 Vanguard and 5 Rangers, or 5 whatever, combination up to you). Get 1-3 Onager Dunecrawlers (I'll recommend 3 for that awesome 4+ invulnerable save and more dakka), then follow it up with Sicarian Infiltrators. Ruststalkers are useful sometimes with their Haywire and 2nd turn AP2 attacks in melee, but Infiltrators are better, so get them first, and then consider Ruststalkers after that. Syndonian Dragoons are great in large numbers, and Ironstrider Ballistarii are good anti-vehicle guys if you get 2-3 of them, so never get them by themselves or they'll be uesless like my single Ironstrider Ballistarius. Remember all these tips and you'll have a well-balanced army that while not top-tiered, should be fun to play with and has an answer to everything!

So that's it, guys! Ave Omnissiah! Have fun with your new Adeptus Mechanicus army!

4 comments:

  1. Hi there. I was wondering the best way to deliver this new skitarii formation. If I’m also using astra militarum and use their fast attack fliers: Would a 10 man vanguard squad with dominus placed in a valkyrie be a good idea? Or 5 man vanguard squad with dominus in a vendetta be better?
    To make use of the formation rule, line of sight is drawn from the dominus. So even if he is flying around the onager can still shoot what the dominus is in range of. Any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. If you ask me, I think having 10-men Vanguard in a Valkyrie would be better...that said, it depends on what you're using them and your Valkyrie for. What is your Astra Militarum list?

      If you're using the Vendetta for anti-air or anti-tank, I suggest you use an Onager Dunecrawler with Icarus Array or Neutron Laser instead. In which case, a Valkyrie with its anti-infantry multiple rocket pods would be better. Drop your Vanguard in front of the target unit and unload as many radium carbine rounds as you can. This is why I recommend 10 Vanguard over 5 - saturate as much firepower as you can with as many radium carbines as possible, you're certain to roll a few sixes. Think about this: 5 Vanguard only unloads 5x3 = 15 shots, with an average of 2 or 3 rolls of 6 for about 4-6 extra wounds. On the other hand, 10 Vanguard fires about 30 shots, with about 5 rolls of 6s for 10 extra wounds. That's a lot of damage!

      However, I think having 3 plasma calivers to maximize the twin-linked rule is a good idea, and even with 3 palsma calivers, 7x3=21 carbine shots are still not bad, and you'll have about 3-4 rolls of 6s, which means 6-8 extra wounds, which is still quite a lot of damage. Add the 9 plasma shots and you've quite a fearsome infantry squad that can reduce any Terminator or Monstrous Creature (or even Gargantuan Creature!) into molten slag. Of course, if you're worried about vehicles, you can use arc rifles instead, so your Vendetta isn't of much help.

      As for the rule, that's correct. The line of sight is drawn from your Dominus, so even if your Onager Dunecrawler is 48" away, as long as your Dominus is within 18" of the target, your Onager Dunecrawler still gets the twin-linked rule.

      If you're asking about the Dominus having line of sight when inside a Valkyrie, he most likely still has. In Page 80 of the rulebook, under embarkation, I think there's a line that says, "If the players need to measure a range involving the embarked unit (except for its shooting), this range is measured to or from the vehicle’s hull." So it should apply to the Dominus.

      I hope this helps!

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    2. Thank you, it does ;-)
      Consider another convert to the Skitarii, Dominus Maniple purchased! The miniatures are great, the formation not bad at all (love having a small self contained formation) and the value is amazing.

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