Let’s talk about some big take aways from The Greater Good for Astra Militarum players.
Well we’ve got another Psychic Awakening book and another host of rules and tweaks. Now I’ve normally been a bit lukewarm on PA books, they are OK, but not ground breaking. However The Greater Good contains new rules for the Astra Militarium, or Imperial Guard as us old folks still think of them. I’ve made it no secret that AM are my one true 40K love, so anytime we get any kind of new rules I am all over them. Today let us take a look at what I think are the best combos in the new book.
5. Better Ranged Infantry
The first thing to look at is the new Regimental Doctrines. These allow you to make your own regiment, with rules, and are an unmitigated good allowing for some nice customization. The downside to them is however a bit steep I think. While they can be on par at times with the basic Doctrines, you lose access to the Regiment specific orders, traits, stratagems and relics, not to mention characters if you have one. Because of this, and because of how good Catachans are, I don’t think the new doctrines are going to replace the shirtless Guard in competitive play.
That’s not to say that their aren’t some useful combos, and because AM can mix and match detachments at will you do have the option of taking smaller more focused detachments from different regiments. If that’s your goal then I think combining the Disciplined Shooters and Wilderness Survivors doctrines is a pretty great way of building infantry units that are meant to sit back and shoot. This combo lets your infantry rapid fire out to 18 inches (great with First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire) and gives them the benefit of cover as long as they don’t advance. While you loss the great close combat potential of Catachans, for back rank shooters I think its great. I also think this could win out as a choice if you are taking just The Loyal 32, the extra survivalibly of always being in cover really can pay off.
4. Tank Company Is Back
One of the things that makes Catachans so good is that they give great bonuses to tanks and infantry. However using the new regimental doctrines you can actually build a superior tank company. For my stars combining Gunnery Experts and Jury-rigged Repairs makes for a great way to run a lot of tanks. This combo lets your tanks re-roll the dice to determine the number of shots they get, and gives them an ability to heal wounds at the start of their turns. The re-rolling number of shots is what they already got from Catachans, but it is pretty much all tanks got from them. So adding on a self repair is pretty great giving you a really tough unit to crack. I think if you are able to separate your tanks out into their own detachment this is a winner over Catachans, though Tallarn might still give it a run for its money.
3. Killer Tank Commanders
I remain disappointed that this is not a Tank Ace ability or stratagem.
Tank Commanders with the Hammer of Sunderance relic are already a really good choice (as are ones with the upgraded Demolisher cannon is you’ve already used the Hammer) however they just got better. To start off you can use the doctrine I talked about above, this is already going to make the commander harder to kill. To add to that you now have the option of tanking Tank Aces, which can give your tank another buff. While they’ve got some good options, I think the best one is going to me Master Mechanic, which lets you reduce the damage you tank from ranged attack by 1 to a minimum of one. Now you’ve got a tank that is harder to hurt and heals, solid, but can we make it more killy?
Turns out yes, thanks to two stratagems. The first start we’ve got is Relentless, which simply allows your tank to to use it top row of stats if it has been damaged. This is really important because as a Tank Commander starts to degrade their firepower tapers off fast. The second important stratagem is Hail of Fire. It’s pricey at 2CP, but it lets you simply get max shots on your Leman Russes weapons when targeting a vehicle. On either a Hammer of Sunderance or a Demolisher Cannon that is really spicy, allowing you to throw out 12 great shots. Over all this is a tank commander to watch out for.
2. Manticore of DOOM!
Another great combo you can do up is to make one truly scary Manticore. Now the Manticore is a pretty solid tank, but it’s really held back by it’s randomness, so what if we got ride of most of that. First off we are going with either the combo from #4 or Catachans, that’s gunna let us reroll one dice for our number of shots, which should give us a decent number of attacks. Then we take the Tank Ace ability “Full Payload” this in effect means we change our damage type from d3 to 3- a great improvement. Then we use two stratagems, Direct Onslaught lets us add +1 to our hit rolls if we can see the target and Pounding Barrage (from being an Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company) lets us fire twice. While this ends up being a bit CP intensive having a 133 Pt Manticore put out 4d6 (reroll 2 dice) s10 ap -2 D3 shots hitting on a 3+ is solid (though it can only shoot twice).
1. Give The Enemy Army A -1 to Shoot
So this is a funny one, but its a little hard to pull off (and will like get FAQ’d). So overall the Tempestus Scions get better in this book, with a lot new options, though not a ton of crazy combos. My favorite, “combo” though its more of an exploit, is with the Tactical Misdirection stratagem from the 55th Kappic Eagles. Basically you use this stratagem when a 55th Kappic Eagles unit destroys and enemy unit with shooting. On the enemies next turn the enemy army takes a -1 to hit targets other than that unit, as long as that unit is the closest visible unit. Now this is worded so that you can’t just hide the offending unit, and it has to be the closest. Because of that its normally not going to be great. The enemy can just kill the offending unit or it might not even be the closest visible unit. What you have to do here then is to A. kill a unit, and then B. charge into combat. If you can lock an enemy unit in combo so that it won’t fall back, your unit will still be visible, and likely the closest to much of their army, but they won’t be able to shoot that unit, thus potentially giving the majority of their army a -1 to hit. Hard to do, but funny if you can.
Let us know what fun tricks you’ve found, down in the comments!