Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

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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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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Militarum Tempestus - As a separate Schola Progenium army or Elites in Astra Militarum?

In the end, thanks to some events in the university today, and after thinking about it, I've decided to return to Stormtroopers. In fact, I made up my mind and ordered the Militarum Tempestus Storm Scions box set today, after comparing the prices. I'll probably spend around $411 buying a Cadian Armored Fist, Company Command Squad, 2 Chimeras and 2 Hellhounds. And that's not even including a Valkyrie. On the other hand, the Militarum Tempestus Storm Scions cost about $470, with the Valkyrie already included. So I think it would be cheaper to buy the Militarum Tempestus Storm Scions than to complete the Emperor's Blade Assault Company. Not only that, if I get storm troopers, I'll be able to field everything I own in a Battle Group for 2,500-point games, unlike the points-sucking Emperor's Blade Assault Company which means I have to sacrifice either my Stormsword or my Emperor's Spear Aerial Company for 2,500-point games. Another huge reason is fluff, because for Draconian Armored Defense Force, the Kamikaze troopers play a huge part in it.

Anyway, enough about that. The purpose of this post is to compare Storm Troopers as their own separate Schola Progenium army against Storm Troopers as an Elites slot in an Imperial Guard army. There have been many people, particularly 1d4chan, arguing for Schola Progenium Storm Troopers because they have "superior" orders AND Objective Secured - the latter being the one advantage to rule them all. Of course, in a meta where all your opponents want to play Kill Point games (and not Maelstrom, objective-based games), Objective Secured is meaningless. So...yeah. Aside from that little detail, I would like to discuss the pros and cons of having Storm Troopers as Elites in a regular Imperial Guard army, and compare that to Storm Troopers as their own detachment. I would like to argue that even if you don't have Objective Secured or the powerful Militarum Tempestus orders, your Elite Storm Troopers in an Imperial Guard army can still work very well.

Yes, there is no doubt that Schola Progenium Militarum Tempestus has a huge advantage with Objective Secured. They also have a great set of orders that make them fearsome warriors that can threaten even Gargantuan Creatures and Super-heavies. Their Schola Progenium detachment allows them to strike and eliminate high-value targets and make them awesome monster/tank hunters, thanks to their orders.

Militarum Tempestus Orders

1. Directed Firestorm Sanctioned!: Twin-linked. Awesome, particularly for the Storm Trooper Command squad with 4 special weapons like meltaguns, but meant particularly for Deep Striking 5-men Storm Trooper Squads with only 2 meltaguns because you really need all those shots to hit.

2. Autonomous Fire Sanctioned!: Preferred Enemy. Again, super-awesome, and a match made in heaven for Storm Trooper Command squads that spam 4 plasma guns. Yes, if you equip your command squad with 4 plasma guns, you must absolutely give them this order and pray that you roll less than a 10 every time (unless you get Inspired Commander as a Warlord Trait, which means you can breathe easily...until you roll a 11 or a 12).  Better start spamming plasma if you haven't already. Re-rolls rolls of ones for Gets Hot! AND To Wound? With BS4, and most things being wounded by plasma on 2s, this is one order you must absolutely issue!

3. Close Assault Doctrine Sanctioned!: Crusader. Er...I guess it'll be useful if you need your Storm Troopers to run to that objective...but don't bother with the Sweeping Advance because it's more likely that your Storm Troopers will be swept instead.

4. Advance on Target!: Fleet. Like above, it'll be useful to run to that objective...and charge. But I don't think you want to charge your Storm Troopers into combat. Their shooting is way better than their melee. I'll...pass.

5. Suppression Doctrine Sanctioned!: Hot-shot laspistols and hot-shot lasguns only fire one shot, but get Sniper and Pinning, and Storm Troopers can't charge (I already told you not to charge them!). Awesome against Monstrous Creatures now...used to be great against Wraithknights, but now they can only Wound on least they can wound Wraithknights at all. But if you want to hunt Gargantuan Creatures and Super-heavies, I would rather you use the order below. Still, this is good for hunting regular Monstrous Creatures like those T7 Kastelan Robots, or that Carnifex, or even Hive Tyrant. Make sure you order a 10-men squad and let loose 10 hot-shot shots! You'll at least get 3 or 4 wounds (5 if you're really lucky) on average.

6. Elimination Protocol Sanctioned!: Rending. If you really need that Wraithknight to die, order your 10-men squad to fire as many rending shots into it as possible! Works great if you have 2 hot-shot volley guns in thr squad, and of course it works excellent if you have a command squad with 4 hot-shot volley guns. The latter would potentially deliver 16 salvo shots (just don't move then), all with Rending. Maximize this order with either huge squads with a lot of dakka or command squads with 4 hot-shot volley guns (beware of salvo though, so it'll be better to wait for your enemy to come to you before unleashing 16 salvo rending shots). Superb for eliminating Gargantuan Creatures, and perhaps good for wrecking super-heavy vehicles. Can't say it's reliable for destroying armored vehicles, though. Meltaguns don't need rending (might as well use the twin-linked order to make sure they hit), plasma guns benefit more from Preferred Enemy, though it'll be hilarious to see a plasma command squad glance or penetrate a Land Raider to death if you get really, really lucky.

In comparison, Storm Troopers taken as part of a regular Imperial Guard detachment don't have access to these orders, and they don't have Objective Secured. Yes, that might be a huge disadvantage, particularly to competitive and pro gamers. Fortunately, I'm not pro or competitive, and I can see the benefits of taking Storm Troopers in a regular Imperial Guard as opposed to taking them in a Schola Progenium army. As above, I already mentioned that Objective Secured is meaningless in Kill Point games where the sole objective is just to kill each other, with no objectives to secure.

But there are also other advantages. First, one of the major disadvantage of taking a Schola Progenium Militarum Tempestus army is that the orders you give are limited. You only have 2 HQ slots at most, and your Tempestor Prime does not have the Senior Officer rule. That means he can only issue one order. In other words, your single detachment of Storm Troopers can only issue 2 orders at most. People will get around that by taking a few detachments to maximize the HQ, but that's a bit cheesy, and not ncessarily wise. Let's look at the bare minimum detachment first - taking 2 HQ and 2 Troops for the minimum requirements, which means that half your number of units will not benefit from the orders. That ratio will not change even if you spam many Storm Trooper detachments. So while people may argue that Militarum Tempestus orders are better in terms of monster hunting, the reality is that the number of those orders being issued is severely limited. If you choose to order your 10-men squad to snipe those Kastelan robots to death, it means your plasma squad will not have Preferred Enemy for their 4 plasma guns. If you order your command squad to fire rending hot-shot volley guns into that Wraithknight, your 5-men melta squad might miss the Wave Serpent with their 2 melta guns. So yeah, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a schola progenium Storm Trooper army.

On the other hand, if you stick to Elite Storm Troopers in a regular Imperial Guard army, you have more orders available. Let's say you use 2 Command Squads. With the Senior Officer rule, they can dish out 2 orders each. Add to that, you can take a Tempestus command squad as part of your Storm Trooper platoon, which doesn't take up a slot AND increases the number of orders you have to 5. With the option to take up to 3 Militarum Tempestus squads in a single platoon, that means all of them will have the chance to be ordered to do something nasty, and you have a chance to order one of your command squads to do mean stuff with 4 special weapon-equipped veterans. That's assuming you didn't buy them a Chimera (another benefit - Chimera APCs are Mobile Command Vehicles but Taurox Prime APCs are not) or you disembarked them as soon as possible. Not a bad deal, huh?

Additionally, the regular Imperial Guard orders are not bad as well. Yes, the Militarum Tempestus orders are made specially for Storm Troopers to take out high-value targets such as Monstrous Creatures and even Gargantuan Creatures, but what about the regular Imperial Guard orders? Let's look at them more carefully.

Imperial Guard Orders

Senior Officers

Bring it down!: Tank and Monster Hunters. Arguably on par with Elimination Protocol, and might be better than Suppression Doctrine. Allows you to re-roll failed To Wound and To Hit rolls against Monstrous Creatures and vehicles (don't forget Gargantuan Creatures and super-heavies!). All right, it might not work against Wraithknights, but look at this. If you're running a command squad with 4 hot-shot volley guns, I think you still wound the Wraithknight on a 6. The AP2 is pointless because you already have AP3 and the Wraithknight only has a 3+ armor save. However, don't just think about Wraithknights. Your 10-men Storm Trooper squad can re-roll failed To Hit and To Wound rolls against the Tau's newest Stormsurge! And Riptides! And don't forget Hive Tyrants too (if I'm not mistaken, they're also toughness 6) and Carnifex! Which is better, a few Rending rolls of 6s with AP2, or the opportunity to re-roll both hits and wounds and get even more 6s when you already have AP3? We haven't even talked about tank destroying - well, if you're relying on Rending Hot-shot lasguns to glance vehicles to death, that's fine, but if you have meltaguns, you might as well issue this order to make sure they get destroyed. Even with only 2 meltaguns, this order will make sure you wreck those tanks.

Fire on my target!: Ignores Cover. Now combine this with your mostly AP3 weaponry. Most enemies, save Terminators or stuff with a 2+ armor save, will be unable to avoid taking wounds from your onslaught...unless they have invulnerable saves or that near-trollish 4+ reanimation protocol for Necrons. Works great against jinking bikes and Wave Serpents as well! Order your meltagun command squad to fire 4 melta shots and laugh as your opponent realizes that no amount of jinking will save it! Or fire a volley of hot-shot lasgun bolts from 10 Storm Troopers or 16 hot-shot volley gun rounds from your command squad and watch that camping Tau squad (or cultists) melt under their useless cover!

Get back in the fight!: Could be useful, particularly if your storm troopers fail their morale test (well, Leadership of 8 does that sometimes) and fall back. Also useful for them getting a better cover save after going to ground and then firing at their normal BS4 instead of snap shots as per usual.

All officers

First rank, fire! Second rank, fire!: Also known as the awesome lasgun spam, now with AP3.  Do you remember when you first issued this order to your guardsmen and rolled lots of dice? That was with BS3 and AP-. Now do that with 9 hot-shot lasguns and watch them pour out up to 27 AP3 bolts at BS4. Then laugh. Laugh very loudly. Worth noting that even if you replace 2 of your hot-shot lasguns with hot-shot volley guns, you still get more or less the same amount of dakka (2 less if you moved, 2 more if you didn't move), but with a nice fraction of shots at S4 instead of S3. Awesome. Get in close and let loose a volley of hot-shot lasguns on that nice blob of Space Marines and watch them DIE! Dakka is awesome, and the more shots you have, the more wounds you're likely to deal to them. Works great against low to medium toughness targets, but high-toughness targets, you're better off using Bring it down! Not only that, this turns your Storm Troopers into blob killers, something the Schola Progenium Storm Troopers lack. It gives you quantity over quality, and as they say, quantity has a quality of its own.

Move! Move! Move!: Come on you apes, you want to live forever? Run, but with the highest result from 3 D6 instead of 2. Uh...okay, it's basically like Fleet and Crusader in the Militarum Tempestus one. I think this is better than merely re-rolling 2D6. My personal opinion, though.

Smite at will!: Split fire. Awesome. Works great for regular Storm Trooper squads with 2 meltaguns. It means you don't have to waste those other 3 hot-shot AP3 shots and can fire at someone else. Now, if only the regular Militarum Tempestus has something like this...hard to say if twin-linked is superior to this - it definitely makes sure you hit those vehicles, but split fire allows you to fire at 2 different targets. Both have their pros and cons. Then again, I would much rather make use of Bring it down!'s tank hunter if it's available, and that's superior to twin-linked.

Forwards, for the Emperor!: Shoot and Run! This is extremely powerful for Storm Troopers hurrying into objectives, as it allows them to both shoot and destroy a target before running in to occupy the objective. Alternatively, it also strengthens Storm Troopers that make use of the grav-chute insertion from Valkyries and Vendettas (which I'll be using thanks to the Emperor's Spear Aerial Company). Land them near an objective, shoot an enemy within range, then run into that objective without needing to worry about mishaps and stuff. Then again, they have Move Through Cover, so forget about the mishaps, just run them into cover after shooting. Awesome.

Suppressive fire!: Pinning, but no sniper rule. Well, that's okay, you get your regular number of shots, and it applies to all weapons, including your special weapons. Well, the other orders above are better, I suppose.

Take Aim!: Precision shots. Hey, actually this isn't bad, especially if you draw a tactical objective that needs you to assassinate. Fire a bunch of hot-shot volley gun rounds (16 salvo shots!) or a whole bombardment of 9 hot-shot lasguns (or a mix of both hot-shot lasguns and hot-shot volley guns) and gain 1 VP for assassinating that character, because you're almost certain to roll a few sixes with that many shots. Can be useful.

So yup! Each set of orders have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you're playing a plasma-heavy list for example, a Schola Progenium Storm Trooper army is for you. As for monster hunting, it's hard to say if Elimination Protocol with Rending is better than Bring it down! with Monster and Tank Hunter. Of course, if you're playing against Wraithknights, the former is better, but in most cases Bring it down! is sufficient. On the other hand, it's better for tank-hunting and vehicle destruction - more reliable than Rending, if you ask me, unless you're making use of Rending Hot-shot lasguns to hunt vehicles. BUT Schola Progenium Storm Troopers are better at taking down Monstrous Creatures with their Sniping Suppressive Doctrine. On the other hand, the Split Fire rule allows you to both hunt tanks with 2 melta guns and still fire at other targets with the hot-shot lasguns. But you run the risk of missing so little shots, which is mitigated by the twin-linked provided by the Schola Progenium Directed Firestorm order. Then again, if you want to compare that, you might as well get your company command squad to order your Storm Troopers to Bring it down! not just for more reliable hits BUT also for a better chance of glancing or penetrating that tank. So in terms of monster hunting, Schola Progenium Storm Troopers win out, but regular Imperial Guard Storm Troopers are better tank and vehicle hunters.

I can't see how Fleet or Crusader is superior to Move! Move! Move!, and to be honest I much prefer Forwards, for the Emperor, because it allows my Storm Troopers to shoot (which is why I brought them in the first place) and run, while the other 3 orders don't. Forwards, for the Emperor also makes my Storm Troopers superior drop troops/airborne calvary than the individual ones.

Speaking of orders, you have to take note that the Imperial Guard Storm Troopers have access to a lot more orders, thanks to taking 2 Company Command Squads with the Senior Officer rule AND an extra Tempestus Command Squad that doesn't take up a HQ slot and essentially comes free with the regular Storm Trooper squads. On the other hand, Schola Progenium Storm Troopers only have 2 orders at most, so effectively at least half your army doesn't benefit from the supposedly superior orders. On the other hand, even if you use up all your orders on Storm Troopers in Imperial Guard, the regular infantry platoon still has a platoon commander to order them to unleash First rank, fire! Second rank, fire! So there's no shortage of orders there. Of course, the downside is that Imperial Guard Storm Troopers do not benefit from Objective Secured like their Schola Progenium counterparts. So it really depends on how you want to play and what your objective is. If you just want to grab objectives, then perhaps it's better to use Objective Secured Schola Progenium Storm Troopers to seize them. But on the other hand, it's not impossible for your Imperial Guard Storm Troopers to shoot your enemies off the objective by using the force multipliers your numerous orders provide.

Now, we come to the heart of why I'm writing this article. Because I'm planning on using a Militarum Tempestus platoon in my Cadian Battle Group (or Draconian Battle Group). Mostly because of fluff, because my Kamikaze Troopers, the counterpart to Cadian Kasrkins and Death Korps of Krieg Grenadiers, play a huge role in the Draconian Armored Defense Force. But that is another post for another day because this one has gone on too long. Tomorrow (or next time whenever I'm free), I'll explore the reasons why I want to use Storm Troopers as part of my Draconian / Cadian Battle Group.

Till then! The Emperor protects!

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