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Astra Militarum – The Conventional Wisdom – Pt. 3

5 Minute Read
Apr 27 2014

I love the smell of promethium in the morning.  It’s time to wrap up our run through this codex and seperate the men from the boys!

a codex synopsis by Katharon

OK folks, so here is an opening disclaimer, statement, or what-have-you regarding this article. It’s as comprehensive and objective as I can make it in reviewing a codex that I’ve been looking forward to for about two years now. I will say in advance that I am heavily disappointed in Games Workshop for discontinuing the practice of telling us who wrote the rules. If, as some have speculated, they’ve moved towards crowd-sourcing to brainstorm their codices, then I can only fear for some and be happy for others. The format and style of this review will be in accordance to the unit description pages that give you the background details and special rules for models, if any are given.  Read Part 1  and Part 2 Here


Whether it be the bellowing of a newly minted Lieutenant who posses more gumption than forethought or a seasoned company commander who listens to his non-coms before giving a few precise instructions – orders are orders.

First, let’s go over the old 5th Edition IG orders. This will not include any orders that were specific to special characters – just the main orders that were part of the Senior Officer and Junior Officer orders.

Fifth Edition Imperial Guard Codex Orders:

Number of Orders & Range of Command

  • The Company Commander can issue up to two orders each turn. He has a command radius of 12”.

Bring it Down!

  • One of my favorite orders from the old codex, BiD allowed you to order a unit to fire upon either a vehicle (or squadron of vehicles) or a monsterous creature, counting all their weapons as twin-linked. This worked great when you could have Creed issue this order to four waiting heavy weapon squads that were desperately trying to shoot down flyers – or hoping to stop that mean looking Mawloc from ripping your conscripts a new one.

Fire on my Target!

  • This order had its uses against armies that made a great deal of cover saves. Once given to a unit, all its shooting attacks would ignore cover saves. Handy for use against Eldar Rangers and Tau Stealth Suits.

Get Back in the Fight!

  • A nice emergency-situations order, GbitF allowed you to hold the line even if your entire blob squad of running-cowardly Guardsmen failed their morale the previous turn. This order was retained in the new codex, but with a small change that will be covered below….

First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!

  • The favorite order of any IG player fond of fielding large blobs of flashlight wielding maniacs. Seriously, this order has so much potential that it’s hard to describe without context. One good example from this writer’s experience: ordering 50 Guardsmen to fire a fusillade into a Mawloc that popped up six inches away and firing one-hundred-fifty shots; needless to say, it died. As the old adage goes: “Quantity has a quality all its own.” The only sad part about this order was that it did not apply to the hot-shot lasguns totted by the stormtroopers.


  • A Guardsman’s best friend is the earth beneath his booted feet. This order was useful at times when you needed a squad to survive a turn or two whilst sitting on an important (and possibly game winning) objective. It seems that, in retrospect, the Aegis Defense Line got it’s shine from this particular order.

Move! Move! Move!

  • Likely to be one of the most unused order within the repertoire of the 5th Edition IG codex, MMM was about rolling three dice for your run roll – when you just really, really, really had to get a squad to move its butt double-quick.

Sixth Edition Imperial Guard Orders:

Number of Orders & Range of Command

  • A model with the Senior Officer rule can give two orders each turn. He has a command radius of 12”. Nothing changed here.

Take Aim! (New)

  • A new and interesting order, “Take Aim!” gives the ‘Precision Shot’ special rule to all the shooting attacks of the unit so ordered. This could be quite useful for Veteran Squads toting around with plasma guns and lascannon, able to pick off ICs and those pesky ‘Nid bugs that give synapse.

Smite at Will! (New)

  • This order gives a unit the Split Fire special rule. This would be much more interesting if Split Fire worked the way it did (does?) for the Space Wolves’ long fang squads. Unfortunately only a single model in a unit may fire at a different target from the parent unit – meaning you might be able to fire a heavy weapon team at a different target from its main squad. How useful that will be will depend on a case-by-case basis.

First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!

  • Pretty much the same as before – except for one awesome thing: this order can now apply to hotshot lasguns! That makes it so much more fun to gun-line those pretty new Scion boys who think they can live up to the name of ‘stormtrooper.’

Forward, for the Emperor! (New)

  • A very interesting and highly useful order, FftE allows a unit to immediately run after making a shooting attack – much like the Eldar battle meditation-thing. I can see this being used, though perhaps not in the same way that any of the testers at GW intended. 50-man blob squad fires double-tap at a scary enemy close-combat unit and then immediately runs backwards to gain that little bit of extra distance.

Move! Move! Move!

  • Nothing new here. Same as before. If you need to scoot then use this order.

Suppressive Fire! (New)

  • Another awesome new order that gives a unit’s shooting attacks the Pinning special rule. Useful to use against any unit that isn’t Fearless…which seems to be a dwindling number of targets considering how many ICs can give Fearless to a unit, one way or another….senior officer only.

Bring it Down! (New)

  • It might have the same name but this is definitely a new order. No longer giving a unit twin-linked against vehicles and monsterous creatures – this order now bestows the Tank Hunter and Monster Hunter USRs. Not to be a nay-sayer, but I personally would prefer the older version. With the IG and their usual arsenal of hard hitting heavy weapons, it’s more often a case of not hitting than not wounding. But time will tell…senior officer only.

Get Back in the Fight! (New-ish)

  • Pretty much the same order as before except for a single nerf: the unit that successfully follows this order and regroups is not eligible to get the extra 3” that other units get for regrouping naturally. As usual, Space Marines are just cooler about regrouping than the IG. Senior officer only.

Order Impressions:

Overall we’ve received a nice, hefty amount of new orders and the rules for their operation are practically unchanged. There is only one small change, that done to “Inspired Tactics.” If when an officer gives an order and you roll double-ones, then the 6th edition codex allows you to make all further orders without rolling – for they were given so clearly that you didn’t need to even roll. This is a big change, of sorts, from the older 5th edition “Inspired Tactics,” which allowed you to give an extra order (even if it was more than your usual allotment of orders per turn to give). I’m not sure about you guys, but we might miss that possible third order for the remainder of 6th edition…

    Cadets – dismissed!

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