Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to relate our play-testing with the new Astra Militarum.
IG or AM or whatever the hell we’re calling them now, are back. Some of the things in the book are disappointing. Units we all like that are no longer there (R.I.P. Marbo), some units that were really weak staying weak or actually getting slightly worse (Rough Riders, Scout Sentinels). Seemingly arbitrary nerfs (Hydras), etc. are definitely annoying.
But, looking at what we DO have, there’s a lot to be happy about. In fact, IG are so powerful now, that they don’t even need allies to be a top tier book. Like Eldar, they can go toe-to-toe with any other army in the game with a reasonable expectation of victory. All things considered, this is what every codex should feel like.
I am a looooong time IG player. I started at them at the dawn of second ed. and have loved them ever since. I even played them in tournaments in 4th ed when they were the absolute worst book out there, only matched in sucktitude at the time by Orks! I just love the idea of normal humans fighting against super-human enemies and winning through sheer willpower, courage and tactics. My Tartarus 151st is a huge army and one that I am very excited to be playing again.
So, that said, what is it that makes IG so good? Very simple: support units and cheap, devastating firepower.
40K is a game about minimizing risk. You do that by reducing or eliminating variables. Units that can ignore cover, reroll dice, etc. are all VERY good at this. The more variables you eliminate or reduce, the more consistent your results will be. Meaning, you are more likely to get the results you expect from your units. That is one of the reasons why Deathstars are so prevalent in competitive 40K right now.
AM can do this in spades, and for not many points. With access to a boatload of Divination, Morale buffs, awesome special abilities and Orders that are crazy, crazy good applied to already very points efficient shooting units you get an army that is ultra efficient.