Hello again, and happy Tuesday!
Today we’ll be running through some of the benefits on using the new auxiliary advisors and the abhuman auxilia, but first I’d like to pick up where I left off last time – with the Militarum Tempestus.
The Militarum Tempestus Scion Command Squad was downright broken when the indexes were first released, with a 16 point plasma gun on a deep striking 3+ to hit platform taking full advantage of the new DS rules. The new Chapter Approved has taken steps to rectify this, with the same rig now costing you 22 points a pop. It’s not all bad though, as the codex gifted us with a regimental doctrine which turns this increase into something of a moot point.
The Militarum Tempestus doctrine allows you to generate additional shots on hit rolls of ‘6’ when the unit is shooting at an enemy within half the range of the weapon at hand. This means deep striking a command squad of 4 scions armed with plasma guns, backed up by a Tempestor Prime to order them to reroll 1s to hit, will likely generate ~10 hits. Given they only started with 8 shots I think that’s a pretty solid bargain, particularly if you’re overcharging.
This particular doctrine can be a hard one to implement if you’re running a stock standard Astra Militarum list. That said, it’s very worthwhile to try and invest in it, because wasting the opportunity to have storm troopers who are actually priced properly (it’s only taken 3 editions) would be a travesty. The good news is that the issue of how to get the doctrine in place has been somewhat pre-planned with the addition of Auxiliary units. Regimental doctrines can only be applied to a detachment when all of the units in that detachment share the same regiment keyword – the exceptions to this rule are units bearing a form of the Auxilia keyword, and the Scions themselves when included with other regiments.
What this means is that you can run a Vanguard detachment and assign it the Tempestus doctrine. With a Tempestor Prime in the HQ slot, you’re free to take Command squad (or two as long as you bring another Prime), while filling out the required elite slots with cheap auxiliary characters like the Astropath or Enginseer. In the end you finish up with a relatively cheap monster/vehicle/character killing supplemental detachment with the Tempestus doctrine that also nets you a nifty +1CP.
Not bad, right?
Auxiliaries have made a bit of a comeback this edition as well, particularly with the introduction of the Ogryn Bodyguard. The bodyguard is the generic incarnation of old Nork Deddog, and has given standard gunline lists a bit of combat flexibility. Hitting at S7 AP-1 D2 with a Bullgryn Maul, you can equip him with a 2+ armour save and a relic that gives him a 4+ invulnerable and the chance to gain D3 wounds back once per game, so he’s a solid anti-assault character for just under 70 points. If you don’t mind forgoing the invul you can take more than one as well.
Even though it’s twice the cost it used to be, the Astropath is still a cheap psychic inclusion into your army, augmenting key units or vehicles with +1 armour save or -1 to hit when targeted, and can even add a bit of offence with the formidable Psychic Maelstrom power. Don’t forget about their special ability either, which sees Astra Millitarum units within 6” of the Astropath ignoring cover on a chosen enemy unit within 18” of the psyker.
Ratlings are of course still a decent elites option, with the cute little ‘Shoot and scarper’ rule giving you a nice hit and run unit. However their codex pricing does beg the question why you wouldn’t make use of the Company Command squad equipped with sniper rifles instead – you end up with a cheaper unit that has higher toughness and leadership, the same ballistics skill, and the ability to be ordered.
Techpriests are of course a must-have inclusion if you’re running more than a handful of vehicles (if you aren’t, why not?). In this new world of vehicles with wounds, having a regen option of D3 wounds can put your tanks back into optimum fighting capability after taking an alpha strike beating, or at least put them into a position to hit something rather than nothing.
Priests, Crusaders, Officers of the Fleet and Masters of Ordnance all add a dash of colour to your lists, though given the flyer nerfs and the fact that games of 40K this edition end in a knife fight more often than not mean that some are of less use in a competitive environment.
Lastly, I wouldn’t want to forget about Ogryns and Bullgryns this edition either, with both units getting a refresh in points and a boost in combat power – they’re one of the few units that’s retained the +1 attack in close combat on the charge. While there are certainly better options to put S5 firepower onto the board, your generic Ogryn isn’t bad value when a standard unit has 9 wounds at T5 and hits on a 3+ in close combat. With no more instant kills those wounds go a bit further, but a 5+ armour save can leave them open to easy wounds from small arms.
Bullgryns on the other hand provide a bit of a fix for that particular issue. When given a slabshield they’re shrugging off most hits with a 2+ armour save, and if you’re concerned about high AP they can take a bruteshield for a 4+ invul. I’m not sure about the value of the grenadier gauntlet, but the Bullygryn maul is effectively an autocannon club, and having a relatively inexpensive unit with 13 attacks on the charge seems like a nice thing to have for me. Supporting an Ogryn Bodyguard you can field an anti-assault squad that can saturate a 2+ armour save target with enough high strength double damage hits to quickly overwhelm all but the most durable combatants.
Auxilia are part of what makes an Imperial Guard army unique, and I think this edition has managed to add enough flavour to make sure that your army will include an abhuman or mutant or two. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little read and might have gotten a few extra ideas. Let us know what your auxilia combos are in the comments, and tune in next week for a look at the big guns we’ve been gifted this edition!
As always, make good choices.