Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

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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 Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

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Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Monday, May 17, 2021

Forge World Analysis

 I actually have a battle report that I want to write, but I'll keep that for later. Needless to say, today's Onslaught game was disastrous for me, it was another one-sided, crushing defeat that saw me tabled by turn 4. Ouch. More on that in another post because I want to focus on the forge worlds today!

Today, Warhammer Community has posted an article on the forge worlds that will feature in the new Adeptus Mechanicus codex. As you all know, I'm looking forward to this because I have a large Skitarii force (albeit one that got decimated in their last 2 games, ouch). Maybe the new codext will help them out a lot more. Bloody hell. Though most likely it's my own idiocy and failings that are the problem, I made both poor tactical choices and horrendous rolls. So maybe no new amount of buffs and codex creep will help until I actually figure out what I'm doing wrong and why I keep losing so badly. My Skitarii are so fragile at Toughness 3, with only a 4+ armor save, they die to storm bolters, bolt rifles and other Space Marine weapons. Ouch. Hopefully there will be some way in the codex to mitigate we shall see!

I'm not going to repeat everything they said in the article, you might as well go to Warhammer Community and read everything there instead. Copying and pasting what is already said just wastes everybody's time and I'm sure you don't want to read what is essentially the same post twice in a row. So here's the stuff of interest particularly to me. I will be running an analysis (a very sucky one), taking note of what these might mean for the faction in general, and what changes there are.

First of, we have Mars. Yay! Now what is of particular interest to me is that "Skitarii units with this dogma gain the Canticles of the Omnssiah ability." If you recall, the original Mars dogma was giving your Mars Adeptus Mechanicus detachment two Canticles of the Omnissiah. So what does this mean?

It means that Skitarii no longer get Canticles of the Omnissiah in the new codex. Wait, I hear some of you cry. Then that means they got nerfed!

Well, yes and no. Skitarii no longer get Canticles of the Omnissiah - that's a Cult Mechanicus thing now - but they should be getting Doctrina Imperatives instead. If you recall, back in 2015 and 7th edition, when the Adeptus Mechanicus got their codex, it was in the form of 2 books, Skitarii (which was released first, I believe in April 2015) and Cult Mechanicus (a month later, in May 2015). Back then, it was kind of stupid that they divided Adeptus Mechanicus into two books - I remember grumbling to myself about having to buy two codexes for what was essentially one army. The White Dwarf in 2015 also gave us the Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation, which combined the Skitarii Battle Maniple formation with Cult Mechanicus Battle Congregation (basically a primary detachment in 7th edition that uses the old Force Organization Chart) and a single Imperial Knight in an oathsworn detachment. So you had the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus essentially spread over two books - three if you include Knights. It was ridiculous.

Back then, though, Skitarii had something called Doctrina Imperatives. For those of you who only started out in 8th edition, you'll only be familiar with them in the form of Stratagems, and limited ones at that. But 7th edition veterans (goodness gracious, I've already been in the hobby for 6 years, though not as long as many veterans, but I can't believe time flew by so fast) will remember the old Skitarii Doctrina Imperatives. In essence, if you take a Skitarii maniple (which had no HQ slots for some stupid reason, despite having Skitarii Alphas), your infantry get Crusader and Scout, and your Warlord has Preferred Enemy, and your Skitarii all had Doctrina Imperatives. These allow you to tailor your stats accordingly - one would add 1 to your WS, or add 2 to your Ballistic Skill, in exchange for subtracting 1 from your Weapon Skill.

Now, with the cap on the negative modifiers to shooting and hit rolls (they can never stack and thus -1 is the maximum modifier), I don't know how the new Doctrina Imperatives work, but needless to say they will reappear in some format or another, giving bonuses to your hit rolls for either ballistic skill or weapon skill, like above. I don't think they will deviate too much from the original Doctrina Imperatives, they will most likely be the Skitarii's version of Combat Doctrines (a la Space Marines). But instead of increased AP, it'll be increased weapon skill or ballistic skill. Nice. And I bet the Skitarii Marshal will have an ability to allow you to swap Doctrina Imperatives if necessary.

I'm assuming the Cult Mechanicus units will also have a tweaked or completely changed Canticles of the Omnissiah. In the past, it was kind of unwieldy because the strength of the Canticles depend on the number of models using them, but I doubt they will do that nonsense. Most likely they will try to stay as close to the current Canticles, but with slight improvements or modifications, but don't quote me on that. However, only Cult Mechanicus units will get Canticles, Skitarii will not unless they are Martian. That means your tech-priests, Kataphron battle-servitors, electro-priests, Cybernetica Datasmith and Cybernetica Kastelan robots. Seriously, they need to give us access to the Forge World Cybernetica robots and other units already. Cult Mechanicus is seriously lacking in options and variety. We only have one type of robot, which could be fixed if they give us access to the 5+ different automata we have in Horus Heresy (Castellax, Thanatar, Vorax, Domitar, Vultarax, Altarax, to name a few). Sigh.

Lucius basically became Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators. Won't help much against heavy bolters, autocannons and D2 weapons with AP -1 (damn it!), but it'll help more against small-arms fire like lasguns, hot-shot lasguns and autoguns, as well as boltguns, giving you power armor level saves, heh. I don't know how to feel about this, but I don't play Lucius, so whatever. Just thought it was interesting that they completely changed the dogma. It used to be "treat AP -1 as AP 0" but now it's a flat +1 save against any AP weapons, whether it's AP 0, AP -1, AP -2 or AP -3 (plasma weapons that aren't supercharged, but you'll get a 6++ invulnerable save due to bionics anyway). Speaking of which, I wonder if they intend to change the bionics 6++ invulnerable save back to 6+++ Feel No Pain like in 7th edition, but I doubt it.

Bad news for those of you using Teleportarium for Kastelan can no longer teleport vehicles, and Kastelan robots are vehicles. Damn. Ouch. Also, it's noteworthy to see how they have tweak the limits of the Stratagem - you can only use it one for smaller games, but if you play Strike Force (2,000 points), you can use it twice, and thrice in Onslaught (3,000 points). I think this will be a new pattern we will be seeing throughout.

Thanks to the change in how overwatch works in 9th edition, it was inevitable that Agripinaa saw one of the biggest changes to their dogma. They no longer hit on 5+s for overwatch all over the army, for it's kind of useless since only one unit can overwatch per turn (it's now a Stratagem). So instead they can now Hold Steady (which allows you to overwatch on 5+ when you use the Stratagem) or you get +1 to your hit rolls in melee when you are charged. Not bad. They also get a slight boost in offense, an additional AP -1 for weapons shooting under half their range. Nice?

Their Stratagem has changed too. Originally it was Fresh Converts, which allows you to revive a dead unit of Kataphron Servitors, but now you just increase their Toughness by 1. As above, you can do it multiple times in bigger games.

Graia, which I used mostly before Engine War (then I switched over to custom forge worlds), no longer gets 6+++ Feel No Pain. Instead they are basically Black Templars who can resist psychic powers and mortal wounds. Take note that this applies to plasma too, so if your Kataphron Destroyers eat a bunch of mortal wounds when supercharging their plasma culverins, you can roll to see if they ignore those mortal wounds on a 5+! The other one, which allows them to automatically pass Combat Attrition tests is pretty meh, if you ask me. Only kicks in if you field large units of Skitarii, like stuff with 10 or so models, otherwise the combat attrition will rarely come in if you field multiple small units of 5 men each.

Stygies VIII largely remain the same, except that their vehicles have to be over 18" away and not 12" (like the infantry and cavalry) to get the -1 to hit debuff on your enemy units. Yeah, that's what Dense Cover (not heavy or light cover) does, gives your opponent a -1 to hit against your dudes.

I've always like Ryza. If you've been following my blog and are familiar with my forge world, Draconis IV, you'll know that Draconis IV has always considered itself the second Ryza, recruiting extensively from Ryza and replicating their plasma technologies to manufacture plasma weapons, Leman Russ Executioner tanks and Stormblades. I love plasma weapons, so I modeled my forge world after Ryza. But their forge world dogma was lackluster, to say the least. Originally it just gave the models re-rolls of wound rolls of one during the fight phase, and that was it. Yikes. But now thy are a lot deadlier in melee - Ryza has become pseudo Blood Angels. As you can see, their dogma adds 1 to the wound roll if you charge, were charged or Heroically Intervened. It's exactly the same as Red Thirst! Unlike Blood Angels, on the other hand, your Ryza Skitarii and combatants get +1 to their charge rolls. Sweet! Now I might actually consider building around a Ryza styled dogma by adding more melee orientated units. I already have a bunch of Kastelan robots, I can add more Sicarian Ruststalkers and maybe even Serberys Raiders! We'll see.

They nerfed the plasma specialists Stratagem, though. So now you don't get +1 to wound rolls for plasma, and it costs 2 CP instead of 1. Damn. Still powerful, since you're basically getting Dark Age of Technology Stratagem (so Ryza didn't just copy the Blood Angels, they also learned from the Dark Angels too!) and increasing the damage of your plasma weapons. Also thematic, since my forge world is known for producing plasma weapons. But ultimately...I don't know. I'll consider it and keep it at the back of my head, but I prefer my custom forge world for now.

With the changes to the galvanic rifles (now heavy instead of rapid fire), you can move your Skitarii Rangers around and shoot without penalty if they are from Metalica. Your Skitarii Vanguard can advance and shoot assault weapons without penalty - and take note this applies to all cognis weapons, including those on Ironstriders Ballistarii, Skorpius Duneriders (cognis heavy stubbers) and perhaps the cognis twin lascannons on Archaeopter Stratoraptors (though why would you advance an aircraft that can zoom across the tabletop is beyond me). All cognis weapons are Assault weapons now, remember. Also, it seems that Metalica forces enemy units to take Combat Attrition tests when in melee with them at half-strength, meaning they will always lose models on 1s and 2s if they fail their morale. That's an increase from 1/6 to 1/3, nice.

Now...for the fun part!

We have the Distant Worlds rules to create custom forge worlds now! So I can best represent Draconis IV by creating a custom forge world dogma from four primary dogmas, each of which have three secondary dogmas to choose from! Those of you who already follow my blog will know that Draconis IV currently uses the custom forge world rules from Engine War, with me combining Magnabonded Alloys (6+++ Feel No Pain for vehicles) and Autosavant Spirits (my vehicles gain 1 wound at the start of each of my turns). That's why I field a lot of Skorpius hovercraft, Archaeopters and Kastelan robots. They are all vehicles and they benefit from the two dogmas!

And now that has changed for me! We got improvements! Look!

Now my vehicles don't just have 6+++ Feel No Pain and regain 1 wound at the start of each turn, they also count as having double the number of wounds when checking if they have degraded a tier! AWESOME! Thank you, Omnissiah!

Of course, I'll be checking out the other new forge world rules to see if there's anything more suitable. But we'll see. If there's more suitable dogmas out there for me, I don't mind changing my forge world dogma. After all, Draconis IV isn't just famed for producing lots of vehicles - we don't just manufacture our own Skorpius hovercraft, Archaeopter planes and battle robots, we also build Leman Russ tanks and many other vehicles such as Vendetta gunships, Carnodon medium tanks and APCs for the Imperial Guard - we also have a bunch of Skitarii. I have 30 Skitarii who wouldn't benefit from the dogma, so I'm looking to see if there's any stuff from Data Hoard Forge Worlds that benefit my Skitarii (no, not just Onager Dunecrawlers). We'll see!

I'll be keeping an eye on the codex updates, so when I hear more, I'll post about them again!