Saturday, April 12, 2014

Codex: Astra Militarum Review By: Heretic Steve

Codex: Astra Militarum Review
By: Heretic Steve

I stayed up late last night reading through Codex: People and I love it.  Many things have drastically changed in points or effectiveness.  We are going to look through what I think are the pros and cons of the new codex.

Orders have gotten even better in this edition and so have the HQ section of the codex.  The command squad can be made overall cheaper or more expensive depending on what our upgrades are.  The medic and advisors all dropped in price and Nork Deddog dropped 25pts.  Straken went up but now has smash.  I cannot wait to kill an assaulting demon prince with one S10 hit.  Creed is still good and can issue 3 orders per turn but pound for pound I would pick Straken for some. 

Commisars all dropped in price but I would pass because of the other options in the HQ section.  However, Yarrick is a beast and can now issue orders, get up every turn, and dropped by 40pts. 

The Ministroum Priest and Primaris Psyker can be taken 1-3 per detachment, dropped in points, and skyrocketed in effectiveness.  They will be in all AM armies and used as allies everywhere.  The priest has new War Hymms for close combat that allow rerolling all saves for his unit, reroll all failed wounds against the enemy unit, or grants smash attacks to himself all for the price of a leadership check.  The priest also has zealot (fearless and hatred) and he can take a plasma gun.  The Primaris Psyker has access to divination, a force weapon, and an invulnerable save while enjoying a modest drop of nearly 33% of his former points cost.   

The Infantry Platoon is slightly different.  Power weapons went up by 5pts.  Sniper rifles went down by 3pts each.  Heavy weapon teams, special weapon teams, and conscripts went down in points to match their effectiveness.  Medipacks and heavy flamers dropped in price by half across the codex so expect to see many more of those in the coming months. 

Veterans dropped by 10pts a unit but lost krak grenades.  The doctrines dropped except for the  demolitions.  However, if you take demolitions it works out to be 10pts cheaper since you are not paying for the krak grenades you would not have used since they have meltabombs anyway.  Glass half full.  They can take 3 special weapons but not if they take a heavy weapon or heavy flamer…then they can take 2.  That works out if you have them in Chimeras since you can only fire 2 out of the hatch anyway.  Fire 2 special weapons on your turn and if they assault then overwatch the heavy flamer. 

The best part of the codex for me is the drastic reduction in points for the Leman Russ variants.  I am especially excited about the executioner since I have three of them ready for the table since they came out thanks to magnets.  All of them saw point reductions except the demolisher.  However, the sponson and front weapon also dropped in points to make any variation cheaper. 

The tank commander is a new HQ that is several editions late in making the codex and allows Leman Russ tanks to be taken in a squad as an HQ choice.  He can issue orders and free up HQ slots for other tanks like the Wyvern, Hydra, and Deathstrike.

The Deathstrike may see the table top in this edition.  This bad boy is easier to fire and shoots a 10 inch, ignores cover, barrage, ordnance, S10 AP1 blast.  It will wipe out anything underneath the template with T5 or less.  After that just use it for tank shocks and to provide a cover save for other units. 
The Wyvern is an amazing little gem that will put out 4 twin linked, barrage, shred, ignores cover templates a turn for less than a 5 man tactical squad.  Let that sink in for a second.  This tank will be all over the table tops to destroy troops and stem the incoming green tide.  The Orks will be saying “Waaaaghtdaf#@K!!” as they pick up large numbers of models at a time per Wyvern on the table. 

The Hydra and Vendetta got a smacking form the +1 Nerf Bat of Doom.  Hydras did drop 5 points but does not ignore jink saves and is now open topped.  Vendettas went up 40 points and can only hold 6 men.  Will I still field them?  Yes, until I get saber defense platforms.   What are my other options?   
Ogryns,  Bullgryns, are Tempestus are too expensive and do not score objectives.  The Taurox is a razorback with a dozer blade.  How well do those do in 6th edition?  Not too great.  Let’s see what 7th edition or supplements bring for these units. 

The Chimera, went up by 10pts.  It does have searchlight and smoke launchers but only 2 can fire out.  The trade-off is the lasgun arrays can shoot at 2 separate targets from the main guns.  This will be great to try and bring down flying monstrous creatures.  The Chimera and unit inside can then shoot at a combined 4 targets.  That is a possibility of 4 grounding checks per unit.  Not too shabby since statistics say you will down 1 out of 3.  Once they hit the table, this Codex can destroy them quickly.  

Armored Sentinels dropped in price enough to see them on the table with some plasma cannons or autocannons but I would stick to the heavy tanks, troops, and Forgeworld units.

That is my take on the new Astra Militarum Codex.  What do you think?  What are the hidden gems?  I cannot wait to put Kharn the Betrayer in a 50 man blob squad with a priest, Primaris Psyker, and 5 power axes. 


  1. To upgrade to the new codex I need to buy sentinels, wyverns and a deathstrike. Check.

  2. Yeah, I don't recall seeing anything under Ministorum Priests that state their War Hymns only work on Militarum units or infantry in your Primary detachment.

    TH/SS Terminators lead by a Priest re-rolling 2+/3++ in assaults are going to be pretty brutal!