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40k Stronghold Assault: Pick your Castle!

6 Minute Read
Aug 1 2014
Warhammer 40K
Stronghold Assault presents a wealth of Fortification options for your armies, it’s time to get the most out of them in 7th! 
Most of us are familiar with the Bastion and Aegis line of old, and there isn’t much new about them. Just about every tournament or pick-up opponent will be fine with you using one of the older Fortifications. However, Stronghold Assault is being integrated into the game more and more, and it’s time to use the new buildings to their full potential! 
1. The Wall of Martyrs Defense Line: A defense line like the Aegis, but units inside gain stubborn. 
The Wall of Martyrs has similar length to the Aegis line, but also provides cover  from multiple directions, to protect from Deep striking units or Barrage weapons, and grants stubborn. In my opinion it is worth the points increase over an Aegis to lend protection to a “bubble wrap” unit like a Guard blob stretched out in front of a Tank gunline. There are characters that can provide similar or better special rules, but the Defense Line is available universally and can never be challenged, killed or sniped out of the unit. For any kind of bubble wrap unit, I think the Wall of Martyrs is easily worth the 30 points more than an Aegis. 
2. Wall of Martyrs Defense Emplacement: Also a defense line, but shorter than the Aegis, and cheaper. Units inside gain stubborn, and Heavy weapons re roll to hit while performing Overwatch.
The Defense Emplacement is a curious case because it is much smaller than the Defense Line or Aegis, but does provide some nice benefits to the squad inside. If you only need the line for a single unit, this is 10 points cheaper than an Aegis, but usually you will get much more mileage out of the Martyrs Defense Line. 
3. Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunker: An AV 14, 4 Hull Point building that can hold 20 guys, and 8 may fire from inside thanks to it’s wider Firepoints. 
Now, here is where things get fun! The Bunker is just as durable as a Bastion, and is 20 points cheaper, but you may fire more models from inside the Bunker! For less points, this is just as good and often better than the normal Bastion. You do miss out on the Heavy Bolters, but the Bunker can fill the exact same role for your army, and has access to all of the same upgrades as a Bastion, for less points. What’s not to love? 
4. Wall of Martyrs Firestorm Redoubt: Again, we have 4 AV 14 hull points, but 6 models can fire out from inside. Also, this bad boy has a pair of 2 shot Lascannons, with twin-linked, skyfire, Interceptor, and  a 96″ range! 
True, this guy only has BS 2 and must auto fire it’s Quad-lascannons, but this guy still provides some excellent anti air defense. It’s important to note however that it must shoot the closest Flyer/FMC if there is one in range. It may also replace those Lascannons with Battle cannons or Punisher cannons, and may be upgraded to have BS 3 with a Magos Machine spirit. But this is a very solid building that can still function as a building with good firepoints and a transport capacity. The main selling point, however, is the firepower that the Redoubt can lend to your army. If your army has suffered against Flyers in the past, this will provide a great threat to help clear the skies! 
5. Wall of Martyrs Vengeance Weapon Battery: For 75 a pop, you can take one or two of these batteries, but they may be deployed separately. FAQ pending, these appear to be a small building and hence are AV 14 and 3 Hull points, with no transport capacity. Each is armed with a Punisher Cannon!
Just like the Redoubt, these are designed to add some firepower to your army easily. It also has access to Quad lascannons and Battlecannons, just like the Redoubt. Essentially, you pay 50 less than the Redoubt and get to split up the weapons, but also lose the transport capacity. There are very few armies that don’t benefit from adding this kind of Firepower. Just imagine a Knight army that suddenly has 4 skyfire twin linked Lascannons in it to round out uneven point values! (*Please note that I previously mentioned that Vengeance Weapon Batteries can take the Magos Machine Spirit, this is incorrect.*)
6. Promethium Pipe Relays: This is an interesting one to judge because we have not seen clear pictures of an official model yet. But, it provides a 4+ cover save and turns all flamers into Heavy and Torrent weapons, which is awesome for flamer heavy weapons. The downside is that a cover save of 1 causes the lines to explode and cause d6 Strength 4 ap 5 wounds, but it is 10 points less than an Aegis line. 
I believe that the best way to use the Pipes would be to keep a unit with an armor save better than 4+ behind the wall, so that you can take your armor instead of cover save when needed, as you need to minimize the chances to roll a 1 and take more wounds from the Promethium Line’s potential explosion. However, it is a good way to get a 4+ cover save for cheaper than an Aegis line and buffs your (non vehicle) flamer weapons as well! 
7. Void Shield Generator: The most well-known fortification from the book, the Void Shield Generator provides a single 12″ bubble of armor 12 for the same cost as an Aegis Line, but may buy two more AV 12 shields for 25 points each. This has also received an FAQ that blasts and templates only inflict a single hit on the shield, no matter how many models are under it. 
The usage here is rather obvious, it provides protection for all of your infantry, and can even essentially lend extra hull points to your vehicles. Also, note that these Shields regenerate on a 5+ each round once they’re taken down. With a 12″ radius, these extend past your deployment zone easily and can be used to provide protection for advancing assault units, as well as to protect a gunline. 
8. Macro-Cannon Aquila Strongpoint: This Large building has a medium building attached, and both are AV 15! The most obvious asset is that a Macro-Cannon may fire two Strength D shots per turn, or a single Apocalyptic Blast with Strength 10/7/5. To make it extra tough, this monstrosity forces -1 on the damage table when it is penetrated, making an explosion that much harder to achieve. 
This is by far the most powerful fortification in the book, thanks to the long ranged strength D, but in fairness it costs more than a pair of Land Raiders. If you take this building, it will be as the anchor of a ridiculously powerful gunline. AV 15 is incredibly hard to destroy at long range, and the firepower this puts out will delete units. On the other hand, losing this monstrosity will cripple your army due to the points it costs, and a single meltagun can take it out with some decent rolling. It’s a lot of points for a single model that can die quickly with unlucky dice, which balances out the firepower it possesses. 
9. Vortex Missile Aquila Strongpoint: This is technically a different unit than the Macro Cannon version above. For the same points, you replace the Macro Cannon with 7 Missiles. Each missile is strength D with infinite range, but can explode when the building is destroyed. Each Vortex blast stays on the table and scatters around every turn until it rolls a double on the scatter dice. Although it has one less D shot than the Macro Cannon, this Aquila variant can potentially leave D weapons scattering over your opponents table half for several turns, which will absolutely wreck a stationary army. 
Again, this is frightening amount of damage output, but what did you expect from a single model that costs over 500 points? It is also prone to being killed by a lucky melta gun, or massed anti tank weaponry, and trust me every single anti tank gun will be leveled at this Building once they read the rules! As the anchor of a gunline, it is incredibly powerful but is expensive and needs to be protected at all costs. Remember, don’t stay too close, as the Vortex missiles themselves can explode if the Strongpoint goes down… 
In conclusion, the Stronghold Assault rules can add a ton of protection and firepower to your army. However, the more you want, the more points you have to put in, and many of the options are far from cheap! Some of these buildings will protect your gunline, but others can support an army that charges forwards. Either way, there is a lot of potential for every army to get some good mileage out of these units. 
What fortifications do you think will help your army the most? Are the Aquila Strongpoints too expensive to use, or are they too powerful for standard games? 

Author: Guest Columnist
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