Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Astra Militarum Codex Review: Part 5- Troops

My Astra Militarum Codex Review continues with a look at the Troops choices available. This will be a quick one, as there are only a few options in this section of the codex. 

Infantry Squad
From a background perspective, these squads should make up the bulk of any Guard army. As such, they have a fair amount of variety in how they can be built.
As standard, each squad consists of 10 Guardsmen (including Sergeant) and have the general Guard statline as they have for many editions. As usual, one Guardsman can take a special weapon and two can form a heavy weapons team. The Mortar has proved incredibly popular in 8th edition so far, but I think most of the Heavy Weapons can be of use in a Guard squad. The vox-caster is also a great addition to take, extending the range of orders to 18" if both squads have one and one is in range of an officer.

Annoyingly, the Sergeant still doesn't have the option to take a Lasgun, meaning you will still have at least one laspistol in the squad, slightly reducing the number of shots a little in each squad.

This squad will probably make up the bulk of my army, as it has in previous editions, and has gotten a bit cheaper to field, meaning I can squeeze more points out of  my army for the big extras, such as tanks and flyers.

A downside of this squad is that it is harder to form combined squads in 8th edition without spending command points on them (bit of a waste for me). This means that your orders will not go as far as they did in 7th editions and gives you more deployment drops in most cases, decreasing your chances of going first in many games.

A squad that I never really fielded in the past, they have proved to be very popular in 8th edition, especially when combined with the previous morale-countering rules of Commissars.

The changes in the codex mean that the conscripts are fielded in squads of 20-30 (instead of 20-50) and can only be affected by an order on a 4+. They are still incredibly cheap at 3 points per model, so only 90 pts for a full squad. They don't really have any upgrade options, but are one of the few ways to get a larger squad than 10 men in the codex. The changes to Commissar rules have made them a bit less reliable, as they are more likely to flee now after taking a lot of casualties. However, they are not completely useless now, being an incredibly cheap way to gain a lot of board control in your deployment zone. They are great for screening your more valuable units and vehicles from enemy deep strikers for a bargain cost.

I can't really see me fielding this squad much in my army, but maybe once in a while I will have spare points and models to add a squad.

Militarum Tempestus Scions
The final troops choice is the very popular Scions. This unit brings an improved BS of 3+ and some great weapons options and fantastic deployment options for the Guard.

The hotshot lasgun is great with -2AP. It is still only S3, but each wound you cause should hurt a lot more thanks to this. They also get to take a special weapon for every 5 Scions in the squad. This becomes really effective thanks to their Aerial Drop ability allowing them to deploy anywhere on the board outwith 9" of an enemy unit. This is great for getting the special weapons into range and rapid firing with the hotshot lasguns. I have faced armies taking multiple units of these and they are extremely deadly on the turn they arrive, especially when backed up by sufficient orders.

I have a squad of these (using the old Kasrkin models) that should be making a regular appearance in my army.

All three options have their uses in a Guard army. One of the biggest benefits of them is how cheap they are. This allows you to fill out your troops slots with incredibly cheap units that can still be effective on the board with the right supporting units and orders. This allows you to easily access more detachments and get those great command points. 


  1. With the Scions, they can now take 2 special weapons for every 5 men, meaning a full 10 man squad can take 4 special weapons. This is up from the last codex when it was 1 special weapon for every 5 men. This is one of the reasons that they are so popular at the moment, there are few other troops that can take such a high number of special weapons for such a low cost.

    1. Ah, thanks for the clarification, I must have misread the entry. Yeah, that makes them really good for loading up with special weapons and "deep striking".

    2. I missed it first time around in the index, it was something I picked up in a Youtube battle report.

  2. Ah man Scions have been so tempting for such a long time!

    1. Yeah, I should really pick up a few more squads to add to my army.