Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Astra Militarum: Still Going Strong

As a big fan of the codex, I was sad to see my friend trade his well painted IG army for a collection of Tyranids, but it did get me thinking about the Codex a little bit.

One of the problems as new codex's tumble out of the chute, especially at the pace they have been, is that we stop looking for the gems in the codex's and even stop playing them in favor of the new hotness.

I was looking through the Astra Militarum book and thought "this book really has something to deal with everything"!

Let's run through it.  Anti-aircraft?  They have a tough well equipped anti-air flyer, access to the usual goodies everyone has access to and they have the Hydra Flakk Batteries.  Check!

Imperial Knights?  No problem.  They have enough STR 9 and Meltagun or meltabomb access even in their basic squads to scare any number of Knights.  From Veterans all armed with Meltabombs, to blobs sporting 5 meltaguns apiece, with Lascannons to boot and then you have the barrage weaponry to get around their shields if it all fails.

Need help cracking bikes?  Without their Jink saves they aren't so tough and the Psykers can help a very large number of angry Guardsman plow a bike Squad at a time completely off the table unless they are bike squads of unusual size.

Speaking of Psykers, you can afford to have the Psykers to offer protection to your main units, and a 5+ Deny the Witch ain't nothing.  Relic Plating helps protect the vehicles as well, at only three points per vehicle.  Why wouldn't you have the Psykers around since their powers are incredibly valuable to the ever present Imperial Guard blobs.

Having Ork issues?  Hordes had better really come with a plan because if there's one thing an Imperial guard force can do, its to wither an ork force to the bones.  The sheer volume of fire is enough to terrify.  The Priests and Psykers as well as Powers axes you can hide in the blobs are like a nuclear deterrent to almost any unit, horde or otherwise.  While certain units are very good at milling the blobs, such as Flayed Ones, the number of units that can truly break one is small given the priests Zealotry.

Monstrous Creatures just mean less models to kill and a LOT of high strength shots to get it down.

Need mobility to get to objectives late?  They have several units that can deep strike, outflank, infiltrate and even more that can drop out the back of Vendettas.  Deployment options are just so good for an Astra Militarum player who wants flexibility to be a part of his early game strategy.  Then there are the ubiquitous Chimras.

I tried to think of an army that this one could not adapt to and it was a hard thing to identify.  I think short of a boatload of Paladins and their crazed leader bashing into them, or as i mentioned, the Flayed ones getting enough into combat, there's just a lot of good things the blobs can handle and their steel sidekicks pick up the slack.

The Warlord Traits and the Special Order add even more versatility.

All in all I think the codex has really good legs, and always has just because of how adaptable to its meta that it can be.  Yet I hear them getting mediocre reviews from many and aren't seeing a ton of high level competitive play.  One wonders why.

For some reading on Militarum Tempestus, click here!