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Warhammer 40K This Week’s Meta Hotness – Skitarii Vanguard

6 Minute Read
Jul 21 2021
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Let’s take a look at one of Warhammer 40K’s top, and certainly raddest, units, Skitarii Vanguard.

In the ever-shifting meta of 40K, armies rise and fall. We’ve spent a lot of time talking about armies that are hot or not, but a lot less time looking at units that are running the show. Today let’s take a look at one of the hottest units currently running around the tabletop.

The Unit

Skitarii Vanguard are an Adeptus Mechanicus infantry unit. These troops, made up of augmented humans, serve as one of the core units of any Admech army. Unlike Rangers, they are a close ranged shooting unit, with fast firing, light guns.

Why They Are Good


Vanguard don’t have amazing basic stats. They are a pretty basic, if cheapish, infantry unit with low-powered attacks. Their main pluses are having BS 3+ and a 3-shot firearm. They can take extra support weapons, but with the new rules, which also pushed them up to larger 20 man squads, they won’t. Instead, they are good due to the crazy combos they can get.

Offense

For shooting you are can REALLY go crazy. To really make them go all-out take the Rad-Saturated Forgeworld as your dogma, and pic Scarifying Weaponry as your secondary ability. Right off the bat this buffs you to S4 AP-1. That’s a boltrifle right there, but we aren’t done.  Next, have a Techpriest with the Artisans holy order target them with their Exquisite Calibration rule, this takes them up to S5.  If that Tech-Priest is also a Manipulus they can drop their Galvanic Field on the unit, taking them to AP-2 as well.  Having a Skitarri Marshal with Exemplar’s Eternity nearby will also allow them to re-roll 1’s to hit and wound. This takes the gun from S3 Ap0 to S5 AP -2 (and bumps its range up), with rerolls. In the right Doctrina you can be hitting on 2s and rerolling ones. If you really want to load up on the unit, targeting it with the holy order rules Overloaded Safeguards and Flaws of the Foe, will give you extra hits on 6s (given you get 60 shots this can pay off) and lets you ignore enemy cover. However, getting all that does mean you’d need 3 Tech-priests and a Marshal buffing the unit. What makes these even better is that they are targeted buffs, and not native to the unit. If the unit starts to lose models, you can just shift all the buffs to a fresh unit.

Defense

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But what if you want your unit to be more defensive? Well, you can do that also. Your basic Skitarii unit is T3 with a 4+/6++ save, a bit squish, so what can we do? Well, first let’s make them Stygies VIII. This means enemies more than 12″ away are -1 to hit them. Next let’s have a Tech-Priest Logos target them with Predicated Barrage, this lets them treat AP -1 or -2 as AP 0. Then have a Skitarii Warlord (you can have up to five including the unit’s leader) hit them with Firepoint Telemetry Cache, this gives them Light Cover (+1 save) and an extra +1 save if they are already in cover (mind you this is only vs ranged). Lastly pop on the Bulwark Imperative for +1 save. All of a sudden the unit goes from a 4+ to a 1+ save, ignores AP-1 and -2 and most enemies take a -1 to hit them. That’s a difficult unit to shift. These are just two of many different combos you can run with Vanguard, this makes them an incredibly deadly and versatile unit, thats also quite cost-effective.

A Sample List

Saying a unit is hot is all well and good, but let’s take a look at how players are using it. Ironstrider Ballistarii have shown up in a number of Admech lists sweaping events in the past weeks. One list that highlights them is the list that Sam Dutney ran to take 1st place at the recent Geelong GT .  (via 40kstats.com)

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [57 PL, 1,108pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Detachment Command Cost

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Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-1CP]: Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-2CP]: 2x Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

+ Troops +

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex

. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine

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. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts]

. Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)

. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Ruststalkers [4 PL, 85pts]

. Ruststalker Princeps (Razor)

. 4x Sicarian Ruststalker (Razor/Chordclaw): 4x Chordclaw, 4x Transonic Razor

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 225pts]

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. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha

. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

+ Dedicated Transport +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [27 PL, 541pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts]

. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle

. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts]

. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle

. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

+ Fast Attack +

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha

. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha

. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [18 PL, 350pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 110pts]: Logi, Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Transonic cannon, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts]

. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle

. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts]

. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle

. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

++ Total: [102 PL, 5CP, 1,999pts] ++

Using the Unit

This list makes use of a large max size unit as its main infantry block. We can see some of the combos I mentioned above at work here. By being Lucius you already start off by giving the Vanguard +1 to most weapons that will target them. The Manipulus can buff the units guns, which combined with Lucius will take them up to a 27 inch range, a big buff from 18. Being Logi also lets them ignore AP -1 and -2, and with his Warlord trait he can make them only be wounded on a 4+. His relic also lets them teleport allowing them to have lots of options, they can jump on an objective, get away from attackers, or hunt down enemies. The two Marshals allow the unit to always count as being in light cover, re-roll 1’s to hit and fall back and shoot. This all combines to make a unit that puts out a ton of deadly firepower, that is hard to pin down, since it can teleport and fall back, and is hard to shot at vs a lot of attacks it’ll be rocking a 2+, or better, save ignoring AP -1 and -2. This is a massively annoying and deadly unit.

Let us know what units you think are hot right now, down in the comments! 

 

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