40K: AM Doctrines Ranked Best to Worst

We’ve gotten a look at 5 doctrines for the Astra Militarum – let’s see how they stack up!

With the Armageddon Steel Legion reveal today, we now have a majority of the Regimental Doctrines. There are still 3 more on the way, but we think it’s a good time to take a look at each one that’s out and compare them against each other. Someone’s got to be the best, right?

That said, we’re only looking at the Doctrines – we’re not including Warlord Traits, Relics, Stratagems, there unique Orders, or anything that is unique to those Regiments. We’ve got to make a cut off somewhere so those are the lines! Let’s dive on in!

#1 Catachans – Brutal Strength

+1 Stength to all your Infantry with a boost to their leadership is already good. That puts them on par with a Tactical Space Marines in terms of raw strength. But what really sets this over the top is the Vehicle part of this doctrine. Vehicles re-rolling the number of hits is going to be a game changer. Just think about the types of weapons that are going to get a re-roll! This part alone is going to cause folks to run Leman Russ tanks. Baneblades? Manticores?  Wyvrens? Hellhounds? Even the Deathstrike Missile?! There are more…But I think you get the point. And I’m pretty sure most of the other vehicles at least have access to a Heavy Flamer. That’s why Catachans are #1…so far!

#2 Mordians – Parade Drill

You can make fun of the uniforms all you want – they are going to light you up in the Overwatch phase. Look, basic Guardsmens aren’t really known for their accuracy anyways. But when they are hitting on 5’s during Overwatch with a bucket of Rapid Fire dice…You get the idea. Oh and it also boosts their Leadership, which, hey I’ll take it! Let’s also remember that Parade Drill also applies to their Vehicles, too. We’re not including stratagems in this list but if we were…wow. Bring on the Leman Russ Punishers!!

#3 Armageddon – Industrial Efficiency

These next two…they are kind of interchangeable. But we think that the Armageddon version is better.

Armageddon units get to Rapid Fire out to 18″ – that’s actually pretty scary considering you can toss out the same order to a lot of different units (looking at you conscripts with First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire!). But we also liked the fact that their Vehicles are going to get to basically ignore the AP on small arms fire. Those two abilities combined are why coming above the next one on the list.

#4 Vostroyan – Heirloom Weapons

Adding 6″ to your Heavy or Rapid Fire weapons is pretty solid.  The thing is, most Heavy Weapons have a range where the extra 6″ isn’t going to matter that much. It really enhances the Punisher Gatling Cannon the most…everything else is just icing on the long range cake. Cause a 78″ Battle Cannon is going to be super helpful if you are playing on a 6X4 table…

The extra range for their Rapid fire weapons is nice – and it brings their Lascannons up to a 15″ rapid fire range. That’s 3″ shorter than the Armageddon ability…And Armageddon tanks are probably going to get more use out of their boost to armor than the boost to their range. Sorry Vostroyans (good think you’ve got some good Stratagems/Orders to help you out – but we’re not counting those in this list).

#5 Valhallan – Grim Demeanour

We covered this in their Regimental Focus – but we’ll go over it again. The Infantry bonus is just kind of lack-luster here simply because you can just plop a Commissar with 6″ of them to get a BETTER effect. So unless Commissars have gotten a HUGE change, I don’t really see that part having a big impact. The Vehicle portion of this ability isn’t bad but it’s anchored to the Infantry part of the Doctrine which is dragging this one down to the bottom of our list. Sorry Valhallans, this outlook is just plain grim. But hey, you did get this sweet artwork:


That’s our list for the 5 Doctrines we’ve seen so far. There are 3 more on the way so who knows what this list will look like by next week! We’d like to mention that we don’t think the Astra Militarum and their Doctrines are going to be bad by any means – but when you’re just comparing Doctrine vs Doctrine, there are some pretty clear winners and losers.


What do you make of our Rankings? Would you swap any around? How do you think this list will change when the final 3 are revealed next week?

  • marxlives

    Good to see that IG are the new poster boys of the newest edition of 40k. They were on the sidelines for to long.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    For those interested

    If I recall correctly from the Twitch stream:
    – Cadians Reroll hit rolls of 1 when they didn’t move (applies to infantry and tanks). If an infantry unit is issued the order “Take Aim!” and has not moved, they re-roll all failed to-hit rolls
    – Tallarn can advance and still shoot all weapons except Heavy weapons, and do not suffer the penalty to hit when advancing with Assault weapons. VEHICLES do not suffer the penalty for moving and shooting their Heavy Weapons,
    – Tempestus can double tap with weapons when with 12″ when they roll 6+ to hit. Can’t recall their vehicle one.

    Also from the teased in the stream:
    – When you take certain tanks in x-numbers (I think 3 as one choice) then those unit gain the Objective Secured rules! So you can make tank armies.
    – All the aux units like: Psykers, Techpriest, command dues; etc.. are back and have a rule meaning they don’t affect your army being Battle Forged
    – Similar Scions and their ilk have a rule so you can include them in AM armies that are purely them and not affect your army being Battle Forged (Although they can’t use their Doctrine or the armies one either)
    – Combined Squads stratagem. Cost 1cp Use this stratagem during the movement phase. Select two Infantry Squads, and they combine to form one big unit.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      May just consider changing to Tallarn. Luckily, Desert camo is easy to paint.

      • JD Robertson

        Tallarn super-heavies can also apparently advance and still shoot everything at -1. This presumably stacks with the strategem which allow the super-heavy to advance, charge, and hit on 2+ in combat. So go score your opponents backfield objectives with your baneblade.

        Tallarn and Cadia seem like really strong options, pending info about orders and warlord traits.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Thats a generic Baneblade rule they they are all getting called Titanic Vehicles can advance and fire all weapons at -1 to-hit, even Heavy weapons.

          • Tyr

            Nope, they just ignore the modifier for heavy weapons. Getting to shoot after an advance move is a seperate, Tallarn-only thing.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Ah. Coolio. That actually makes more sense. Must of misheard during the twitch stream 🙂

  • I_am_Alpharius

    I’m finding it really hard to choose a favourite or best doctrine. All of them seem really useful for different ways of playing – which I’m sure is the idea!

    • Karru

      The Valhallan one seems to be the least useful in my mind, don’t get me wrong, the morale loss thing will help boatloads with the Combined Squad stratagem, but the Vehicle one is very lackluster in my mind.

      All of them do have use and aren’t exactly Word Bearer levels of bad, which is nice.

      • Tomoyuki Tanaka

        You don’t play with Leman Russ tanks? I mean, that count as having double wounds thing really makes a difference for an injured tank!

        • Frostasche

          Just look at the actual numbers, for everything except titanic vehicles only with 1 wound the last line of table is used, for the middle one, the vehicle needs to be down to 2-3 wounds. So that is actually quite good in my opinion.

          • Tomoyuki Tanaka

            Yeah, and even titanic vehicles benefit! I mean, they need to get my Shadowsword down to below 7 wounds to actually force it to its next profile now!

        • Karru

          Yes, for an injured tank. What if the tank didn’t survive the volley?

          Combining the Grinding Advance with the Catachan trait is the best combo I’ve seen so far when it comes to Leman Russes in the new book. Battle Cannon getting basically 2D6 shots, rerolling the amount, sounds way, way better than getting 2D6 shots and the odd chance of seeing your tank survive past the first time someone opens up on it.

          • Frostasche

            Well it depends on your meta and, if you have other high priority targets. Most players i know would ignore a lemon russ with only 1-3 wounds, if there are still other targets for their tank hunters. Basically its damage output is already only at 1/3 of its normal value. With this doctrine, they will concentrate the fire, and so you have more completly undamaged tanks.

            And the reroll for Catachans is not really unique, just use 1 CP for example and you have it, if you really need it and AM seems to get ways of getting more CP. I am not saying it is bad, but there are other ways to also to get rerolls, while there is no way to reproduce the Valhallan doctrine.

          • Tomoyuki Tanaka

            My tanks mostly survive the first volley. It’s very rare that my tanks don’t survive. In fact, it’s extremely common for me to go into my turn with my vehicles having dropped to their second profile after taking a few lascannon hits.

            So yeah, the Valhallan trait seems better for me, since your battle cannon won’t be hitting anything on a 6+ even if you reroll that D6 shots.

            And I’m not sure how you do your math. The battle cannon doesn’t get 2D6 shots, you just re-roll the D6, and if it turns out to be worse than your first roll, (rolled a 3, and reroll it hoping that you’ll get a 4+ but get a 1 or 2 instead), you have to keep the latter result.

          • Jory4001

            The new rules state if a leman russ moves less than half its movement it can fire twice, so 2D6 rerolling both for # of battle canon shots.

          • Karru

            As Jory4001 said, the Grinding Advance states you shoot twice, not double your shots. This means you roll 2 separate times and as such you get to re-roll both dice.

          • Tomoyuki Tanaka

            Oh, that’s what you meant.

      • LankTank

        I found the Valhallan vehicle trait amazing.
        A Leman Russ would usually lose combat effectiveness after suffering 7 wounds (On avg two Lascannon hits for example). But a Valhallan Leman Russ would need to lose 11 wounds before losing any effectiveness. Thats more than 3 lascannons on avg of 3.5 damage. And with prior mentions of Tanks being able to access Objective Secured, stratagems allowing them to be better in combat and double tapping turrets that means they will be an absolute nightmare.
        I can’t wait to face them with my Apostles of Contagion!

        • Karru

          In comparison to the other powers, yes, I think that the other Traits are better.

          Since I have no idea what Cadians get, the Catachan one is the best one so far. +1 Strength and Ld is good, but the biggest downside of Leman Russ Tanks is their RNG weapons, guess what these guys give? Exactly the thing you need to help with that bs RNG.

          The thing about the Valhallan Tank Buff is that it useless if the Tank gets destroyed in a single volley, which is very, very common with the Russes, at least for me. One of the many reasons why I just go with Infantry with my Guard, as I find that Guard Infantry is thousand times more cost effective in every battlefield role than the Russes, which is a shame as I enjoyed having a few just hanging around.

          • LankTank

            Out of curiosity what unit is wiping your Leman Russ out in a single volley consistently?
            I have just recently got a Predator to go with my Land Raider and might need to keep my eye out as even 4 Lascannons struggle to do more than 7-8 wounds to my Raider in a single hit, and that is usually with CP re-roll of the damage. Hell even a 5man Plasma gun unit doesn’t usually get past 8 while overcharging and blowing themselves up

          • Karru

            As I am a heavily Infantry focused player, I just prefer it over Tanks with my Guard, I only have 1-2 Leman Russes take the field in all editions.

            In 8th, usually all it takes is 4-5 weapons that deal D6 wounds to destroy my tanks, which usually means units that have heavy weapons like that just pop them like they aren’t even a problem. Since Split Fire is now part of the the core rules, I constantly have units split fire their Heavy Weapons at my Leman Russes, 1 Missile from there, 1 Lascannon from here, suddenly that Leman Russ has 3-4 wounds left and the opponent still has some Strength 7 shots left in the bank to finish it off. It is more the case of I don’t like Tanks in general this edition as they have less survivability and less firepower than Infantry in most cases for the price you pay for them.

            A Leman Russ is Toughness 8 and has 12 Wounds. On average 3 D6 Wound weapons can pretty reliably kill it. For that price, I can take way more Infantry that can take more beating than the Leman Russ.

            I noticed this very fast, Number 1 enemy of Vehicles is Infantry based Heavy Weapons inside Squads. The amount of times my “meagre” Guardsmen Missile Launchers inside my Infantry Squads have managed to take down Medium to Heavy Tanks as I just shot some “random” shots at them is immense. The best part? The Tank gets basically no save against these. -2 or -3 usually, so that means 5+ or 6+ save for the tank, yay.

          • LankTank

            True but thats not exactly a single volley. I think you did pinpoint the disparity between tanks and infantry but now with the double tap turret the tanks are more viable. If you do prefer your infantry I can see why you would have a preference for other traits but I know that Valhallan trait is going to annoy me more than some s4/t3 guardsmen trying to break my death guard

      • Tyr

        Valhalla *does* have a fantastic stratagem though. Send in the next wave on pretty much any infantry unit could be insane…

      • Marco Marantz

        As with other codecies the Valhallans make up for it with other abilities which I think are among the best.

  • PrimoFederalist

    I really, really, really hope they do plastics for all these other regiments.

    • Frostasche

      I doubt it, at least not soon. Or else they would have shown some pictures already.
      GWs October modell releases will be centered around Shadesspire, then November Necromunda is the next big thing, and in December i guess modells for the last codex or the last two, not yet announced, codexes.

      • PrimoFederalist

        I agree in the short term, but I don’t see how it’s viable for the community in the long run for prohibitively expensive and incomplete model ranges for their armies and also ban third-party vendors from official events.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Errrrrm How, exactly, is the model range incomplete? All the 8 regiments are available. You can make: heavy weapons teams from the plastic ones and a couple of bods; special weapons out of plastics part; and convert command squads using plastics. For sure, it takes a little effort and is going to cost more than using the pure plastic kits; but, its certainly viable.

          Mind you, it won’t shock me to see GW release all the missing metal HW and SW teams or at least do a ‘made to order’ run on them.

          • Chad Underdonk

            The original perry brothers regiments only have 3 out of 4 special weapons, but otherwise all of the models could be available if they wanted to push them back out. I’d certainly love to see them do it.

          • Moonsaves

            At the very least it’d make them cheaper on eBay.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Nope, nothing coming; and I doubt any of the remain 4 codex’s to be release with be getting models. It will be like the GK at most; so any character model not available from a Triumvirate sets and/or new units that you make from existing kit ala GK Master in Dreadknight. Indeed the AM are getting a “new” unit, and there could be others, in the form of the Ogryn Bodyguard; obviously, which you can make out of Ogryn kit.

      • Frostasche

        I guess they will release something for the holidays, so at least one codex, will get something new. GW has not yet announced what they will release in december, at least i have not seen anything. And it would really suprise me, if it is not something for their main game.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Highly doubt it. Last 6 weeks of the year is always reserved for xmas focus goodies and not one particular army. With 12 weeks unit xmas, that plenty of time to have the remaining 4 to come before December; especially if GW double the ante like they did by having CSM and GK come out on the same weekend.

  • Frostasche

    Is it just me or is there a possibility that the commissars may get changed?
    Two of five doctrines have parts that are useless with commissars, as they are right now. Valhallans is already mentioned in the text, but the leadership + 1 for catachan units, has also no influence, when the unit is in range of a commissar. They can use the leadership of the commissar for moral test, and commissars don’t have the regiment keyword, so their leadership is not influenced.

    • LankTank

      Well Catachans hate Commissar’s so maybe it’s a way to enable players to not RELY on them so much. And while you can use Commissar’s Ld for Morale, some tests such as psychic attacks maybe against the units actual Ld so it would come into effect then. Not very often but still

    • Chris Hilliard

      I think there’s an intent that not every list should have to include Commissars. You now have the option take the slightly less powerful +1 Leadership in exchange for saving points on a Character. Sometimes its a great deal, sometimes you’d rather have the Commissar. Who knows if that’s how it works in the real world.

      • Watcherzero

        With the Cadian doctrine you could even save points and not take any officers to issue orders if you wanted to for example spend on vehicles instead. You get the most common order as standard.

  • Heinz Fiction

    I think the valhallan doctrine is better than you give it credit for. The vehicle part is really good as it forces to enemy to actually destroy your tanks instead of just crippling them and the infantry part makes commissars less mandatory especially if combined with the “next wave” stratagem. I would rank it above the vostroyan one.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    Must everything be ranked best to worst on a power level? Can’t we rank them in order of most to least fun, or most to least appropriate for the fluff?

    • Sleeplessknight

      Winning is fun.

  • Spacefrisian

    I feel the need to dig up some square bases an put Mordian Guard on them, and than rank them up in nice formations on movement trays.

    Good thing they dont have a kit, i might actually do it.

    • Moonsaves

      Go for the Victoria Miniatures ones.

      Speaking of her, she’s probably gonna come out well from this release.

      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        I prefer the highlander kit but her parade uniforms are very nice.

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    One of the great things about Tyranids in 8th is that I can do more than just hijack your entire army with a Malanthrope, a Broodlord, and sufficient amounts of Neophytes and Termagants. (And probably Exocrines, because honestly…) I can also justify pretty much any regiment rules I want while still using the cheap, plastic, and reliably in-stock Cadian models that already exist.

    Catachan’s strength and leadership rules seem fitting for berserk, brainwashed hybrids, on top of just generally being good.

    I like the Valhallans’ ability to shoot into combats, run less, and keep their damaged tanks in the fight, all of which speak to the hypnotizing effects of the Hive Mind. Thematically though, I have no need for Conscripts when Termagants in synapse range pretty much do the same thing and aren’t likely to change. In fact, if I swap Termagants for Rippers, it’ll look like the Parasite of Mortrex flew through the army.

    Armageddon and Vostroyan are both pretty solidly “no” for me. I plan to be on the move more than sitting back, so the range they add is pointless. (Maybe Tallaran…) That said though, the fact that I plan to have active movement phases means I’m probably IGing wrong.

    Mordians are a solid maybe. They certainly don’t punish me quite as much for moving forward and taking ground like a good Tyranid is supposed to, but their Overwatch-based abilities are all purely reactive. Might work if I can hammer-and-anvil with them as the anvil, or I could sabotage myself with the kind of counter-assaults that would normally be a good idea with shooting armies.

    Apparently, this is how Tyranids work now. FOR THE…. *shifty eyes, shifty eyes* …”EMPEROR”!

    • Watcherzero

      They are apparently going to accompany the Codex with an FAQ for Cult listing what they can and cant take from the codex.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        True, I don’t imagine we’ll get some of the fancier things, like Commissars, Ogryns, Rough Riders, Conscripts, Ratlings, or Stormtroopers. That said, most of those we don’t need anyway because things like Commissars and Conscripts compensate for IG’s terrible morale and melee, neither of which are an issue for Tyranids. Fortunately, I can very easily see Tyranids getting what we need most: lots of long-ranged heavy firepower, particularly anti-tank firepower. The kind of long-ranged anti-armor firepower that the Hive Mind, the ultimate predatory instinct, didn’t think was a necessary thing for the Tyranids to have when fighting a galaxy full of guns and tanks.

        We used to have Zoanthropes. How ironic that Zoanthropes, whose synapse enables other Tyranids to not be forced to shoot the closest target, is itself forced to shoot the closest target. Almost as ironic as the most adaptable, versatile race in the galaxy needing to steal things it doesn’t have in its own faction from humans. Basic, bog-standard, primitive, inflexible humans. Of all factions.

    • LankTank

      I think thematically for a Genestealer Cult support, EIther Tallarn (suddenly very swift and daring) or Valhallan (Less Fearful and morbid combined with a general disregard for their colleagues) seems most appropriate. With Catachans it’s weird as why are they stronger than the actually heavily infected Neophyte?

      • georgelabour

        Because they’re real men, and not some sissy muckity muck who grew up on bug juice and kisses?

  • Marco Marantz

    I get that vehicles are an important part of the IG but making them benefit from doctrines when other factions doctrines dont affect their vehicles is just STUPID. Codex creep has moved up a gear.

    • Jory4001

      Lasguns, aurocanons are heavy.

      • Marco Marantz

        of course…thanks.

    • LankTank

      I wouldn’t say it’s a significant power creep at all because what is more impressive: A doctrine that buffs a lasgun toting guardsmen? Or a doctrine that buffs a bolter wielding Marine?
      Don’t forget as well Marines/CSM/DG have their Helbrutes/Dread buffed as well (for some it matters, others… not so much).
      Also all codex’ have been very strong or have we already forgotten the rage of Girlyman, white scar/Ultra smurf fall back shenanigans, Alpha Legion combat bombs, Slaanesh plasma termi bombs, Mechanicum unit zoom zooms, DG grenade barrages etc?
      Just because their army strengths are no longer “in season” doesn’t mean they are not still valid

  • The Vostroyans Heirloom doctrine doesn’t add 6″ to the lasguns when they use rapid fire (i.e. shoot twice at 12″). It only extends their max range when they’re shooting normally.

  • paxter

    Tallaran have the old school eldar CTM rule they can move before or a http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1427d25c575c826c06d7567d0049492d4ca392646e53780f9f373eabec7f23b7.png fter shooting 6″ in other words can move back into cover

  • Who else thinks that the Imperial Guard should be in the next starter set instead of Marines?

    • LankTank

      Oh that would be cooooooooool. BUt will never happen.
      But imagine Catachan vs Tyranids with brand new shiny plastic Lictor kits.

      • I would like a Cadians vs chaos box. Or, if Guard Are not available, a Tau vs Necrons box. And this is coming from a Marines player.

  • Austin Kennedy

    Do mechanicus forge worlds next.