40K: Top 5 Stratagems For Astra Militarum

The Astra Militarum are rumbling in and we’re taking a look at our Top 5 Favorite Stratagems!

We’ve been digging through the book all week on our Twitch Channel and we’ve gotten lots of play with the new Astra Militarum. They are pretty good… But we wanted to take a look at 5 Stratagems that we really appreciated about the Guard. These aren’t the “most powerful” options (although some are contenders), but the Top 5 that we think showcase how the AM tick.

Consolidate Squads

Lots of folks on the stream were wondering about Guardsmen’s Squad sizes. Infantry Squads are now 10 men with no option to increase them. Conscripts are 20-30 sized squads now. So how do you get massive “blob squads?” Well – you can’t anymore. Unless you pay 1 CP to consolidate your Infantry Squads (note: This does not apply to Conscripts). You would want to do this so that you can maximize the effectiveness of Orders (only needing to use one vs two).

We liked Consolidate Squads because we appreciate the concept that the Astra Militarum are able to reform squads and keep fighting instead of running around understrength. It’s a neat concept that makes sense for the army – it can also lead to some pretty crazy situations where one squad has 5 or 6 special weapons…guess who’s going to form a new Veteran Squad (if they survive).

Jury Rigging

Sometimes you just need to stop in the middle of a battle and pull out your Duct Tape and fix things. That’s exactly what this Stratagem does. What we really liked about this (aside from getting back a wound) was that it doesn’t impact your ability to shoot for the turn. That one wound can make the difference in your BS as well! It really helps Valhallans out as it’s doubly effective with their Regimental Doctrine.

Take Cover!

This one is going to see a LOT of play. Take your average Guard Squad, get them in cover and then toss this Stratagem on them, too. If you REALLY want that unit to avoid getting destroyed you can also tap your Astropaths to call in a Psychic Barrier and/or Nightshroud. Who’s going to want to shoot at a unit with a +2 save AND a -1 to be hit?


You know what’s funny? 10D6 worth of Grenades during either shooting or Overwatch. If only there was a Regiment that was just better at hitting in Overwatch…Oh hello Mordians!

Mobile Command Vehicle

The Astra Militarum do extremely well when they get their orders right. So one way to attack them is to pick-off their Officers. Fortunately for the Guard, they can park an Officer in a Chimera and still toss out those oh-so-helpful orders from the safety of an Armored Vehicle. They are probably sipping coffee in those things, too. Perks of being an Officer I suppose!

The Astra Militarum have 25 stratagems in total – we’ve only covered a fifth of the options they have! If you’re an Astra Militarum player I hope you’re ready to hit the books because when this Codex comes out you’re going to want to study-up. They have a lot of really good tools in their kit but it’s going to be up to you to know when to use them.


Imperial Big Guns Never Tire! Get ready for the Arty barrage from the Astra Militarum!

  • Mr.Gold

    Imperium players take a patrol detachment of guard (commander/commissiar
    + 20 conscripts ish) to then be allowed to access their stratagems (per
    a recent FAQ – Death Guard Codex V1.0) then use “Take Cover” and other
    similar stratagems on all your important units as it doesn’t require any
    keywords… (also the conscripts will provide a nice bubble wrap). also
    I believe there is a relic for Guard Officers to allow you roll 5+ each
    time your opponant uses a command point to regain 1CP. also the “Take
    Cover” stratagem just states Saving Throws – where is that unit of (…
    insert unit here…) with a 3++ etc. or similar.

    • oddball21

      though you would not be able to do this in matched play as there rules on page 214 state in matched play all units in the ARMY must share at least one keyword with the exception of those that have the unaligned keyword so would only be able to do it if your battle forged in open or narrative play

      • Benandorf

        They’d share the “Imperium” keyword, no?

      • Mr.Gold

        Yes but that can be “Imperium”

        • swiftscythe

          No space marine should be allowed to waste a microsecond listening to a cowardly guard commander to “take cover” that goes against the story.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Astartes aren’t stupid, they’d probably be ducking first. At least 3 of the original 8 Loyalist Chapters relied on tactics more cunning than “march 100 6’7″ 500 lb. beef-slabs into enemy fire and kill the shooters with whomever is still standing” (Smurfs don’t count, because taking all tactical considerations into account is slightly different than being resourceful, sneaky, or slippery).

        • oddball21

          death guard don’t have the “imperium” keyword

          • lemt

            In the Death Guard FAQ there was a rules clarification of the main rules. Why they placed it there instead of in the main rulebook FAQ is anyone’s guess.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Because Death Guard is the first Sub-Faction Codex in the new Edition, so it is the first time that you have Sub-faction-level rules interactions, at least with regards to Stratagems.

    • lemt

      In matched play you can only use each stratagem once per phase, so there’s a hard limit on how many units you can protect that turn. Also, if someone tries to cheese the rules when playing open or narrative games, don’t play open or narrative games with that person.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Former special rules, now turned into Stratagems.

    • generalchaos34

      Thats actually how I hoped they would handle a lot of things, and I wish I would see it more. Its a way to harken back to those fun rules, like the land speeder artillery strike, or combined squads, without going too overboard on the special rule/formation department. Its not all perfect, and there should have been an option to make a Super Dominus for non Mars forgeworlds like chapter masters or the cool new Commissar tank.

  • Some other ones I like.
    Cadian stratagem (2 CP): if a unit of yours has inflicted a wound on an enemy which wasn’t saved, all other units gain +1 to hit vs that unit till the end of the phase

    Tallarn stratagem (3CP): use during deployment. Choose up to 3 tallarn units, they go hide. At the end of any movement phase, any can emerge within 7″ of any battlefield edge but not within 9″ of enemy.

    Officio Prefectus Command Tank (2 CP): Pick a Leman Russ – it gives all Astra Militarum units within 6″ of it Ld9 for the rest of the game.

    Defensive Gunners (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a charge is declared against one of your vehicles. When it fires Overwatch for the rest of the phase, it hits on a roll of 5 or 6, not 5+, so the Mordian Overwatch rule still won’t buff your accuracy. And you thought charging a Wyvern was already a risky proposition

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Flank-marching Baneblades, getting 2+ hits and charging turn 1. Russes doing similarly, but making the charge on a 5+ instead of a 9+.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Consolidate squads does not work for veterans does it ?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      It refers to a specific Datasheet, so no.

  • FCBullsht

    The Tallarn specific Stratagem is by far the best and you dont even mention it…

    “If there only was a Regiment that was just better at hitting in Overwatch…Oh hello Mordians!”
    Mordians do NOT hit better at Overwatch! The Overwatch rule clearly states that it ignores hit-modifiers so their +1 to hit with overwatch doctrin is utterly worthless!

  • FCBullsht


    • Congrats on being that guy.

      • FCBullsht

        Because it is totally my fault that GW is competely unable to write working rules xD