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Astra Militarum Tactics
Posted By Jake

Astra Militarum Infantry List – 18 Command Points

Astra Militarum Infantry List - whats not to love?!


Approximate Reading Time: 8 minutes

I’ve another guest post today! This comes from Guard Daddy after he posted a link in a comment on my Warhammer 40K Blog to a rather interesting Astra Militarum Infantry List, also known as a Walking List. Guard Daddy’s comment was in response to my Buffing Astra Militarum Infantry article. Also thanks to Guard Daddy for letting me use his photos!

Finally, before we begin with Guard Daddy, if you’re new to the Astra Militarum and/or Warhammer 40,000 – check out my Getting Started series.


Over to Guard Daddy…

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Astra Militarum Infantry List Benefits

In 8th Edition, the ability of any weapon being able to wound anything, meant that infantry vs vehicles and monsters received a massive buff. However, there was no balance to this. Vehicles and monsters did not gain additional bonuses v infantry. This tipped the advantage towards infantry.

Single wound models benefit from wounds not rolling over. Essentially this means the more powerful a weapon is (strength/damage) the less effective it is proportionately at targets made up of multiple single wound models. This is why Lascannons aren’t used to shoot infantry squads.

An infantry list takes these principles to the extreme! An all infantry list effectively makes a large portion of an enemy’s points redundant almost immediately. The targets that multi-wound weapons are good against are protected by the character mechanic, and this is something within your control. The only multi-wound models in an all infantry list are characters. Your enemy cannot easily bring their Lascannons to bear on your Company Commander for example.

Anti Alpha Strike

A further benefit relates to Alpha Strike. Most anti-infantry weapons are relatively short ranged, or much less effective at longer ranges. The entire Rapid Fire subset of weapons are, by definition, less effective at longer ranges (normally turns 1 and 2).

Alpha Strike in 8th Edition is very powerful because the rules relating to terrain have changed. ITC standard now has windows at ground floor level block line of site for example. We therefore now see much more terrain on the table. Infantry is much more flexible at:

  1. Passing through terrain
  2. Gaining the cover benefits when in terrain
Guard Daddy's models - Astra Militarum Infantry List

Guard Daddy’s models – Astra Militarum Infantry List

Objectives

The early dominance of fast-moving Flyer units led to one of the first big changes post-release in the sense that infantry gained objective secured whilst almost everything else did not. This means an all infantry list is at a huge advantage in terms of ob sec during a game.

Stratagems

In 8th Edition perhaps the biggest change has been the introduction of Stratagems. This is where the fluff/feel of an army increasingly comes from. Rather than being written into core rules, players are able to deploy special abilities via Stratagems. This requires battle forged detachments to access additional Stratagems over the baseline 3.

The single biggest barrier in terms of building lists that make use of the higher Command Point detachments are the troops. With an all infantry list it is very easy for you to make use of the bigger detachments as you are by default going to be taking the basic building blocks required.

Horde For The Win!

The balance against horde style armies was the new morale mechanics. Armies should melt as casualties become horrific. The Conscript meta that quickly evolved was based on negating this by removing morale with a buff of some sort (Commissars in Astra Militarum armies for example).

However, the multiple small unit approaches (lots of 10 man squads) limits the impact of morale as your losses in a turn. You cannot lose more than 10 in a 10 man squad, no matter how badly you fail morale.

As Guard, we should be able to use Stratagems and psychic powers to save 3 squads a turn (auto-pass stratagem, take morale test on D3 Stratagem, auto pass psychic power) meaning that severe damage to 4 squads needs to be done before morale becomes a significant problem.

Also, Smite becomes almost useless! Wasted against 4 point models!

Morale? No problem! - Astra Militarum Infantry List - Guard Daddy's Commissar

Morale? No problem! – Astra Militarum Infantry List – Guard Daddy’s Commissar

Additional Benefits – Astra Militarum Infantry List

And some final benefits:

  • The order system makes Astra Militarum Infantry units incredibly powerful. Double shooting with First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire, or a minimum move of 14”, max 24” with Move Move Move.
  • Astra Militarum Infantry is incredibly cheap.
  • Astra Militarum Infantry load outs – particularly at the Veteran level are very flexible.

Core Concepts – Astra Militarum Infantry List

Exploit Veteran BS!

Get high damage weapons into Veteran Squads. This gives them protection against enemy power weapons. A Lascannon in a Veteran Squad hits on 3+, re-rolling ones if Cadian. And if you use Take Aim they can re-roll all misses as Cadians!

Make it Rain!

Mortars are the best, I think, in Heavy Weapon Teams in infantry list. You can afford millions! In addition, indirect fire means they can be spaced out covering the back zone of your deployment area. It also allows you to focus fire with little concern about terrain heavy boards, and they are perfect for hitting the units that are often counter to your infantry (enemy infantry).

Dominate Space – Board Control

With high numbers of units and models, you must exploit this by being hyper aggressive with the front wave of your army. You have two objectives with this.

  1. Extend the Deep Strike exclusion zone. Board control in this way limits enemy strike units entering via one of the Deep Strike mechanics. An infantry squad with Move, Move, Move can get them between 14” and 24” across the board. You can also use Scout Sentinals to extend this exclusion zone.
  2. Determine the combat point against enemy close combat units. A close combat army forced to fight away from your gun line loses their speed. They STILL make contact with your army but do so a long way away. Astra Militarum Infantry can then fall back if not wiped out. If you’re wiped out enemy can only move a further 3” forward. You then create a constantly falling back barrier of troops that cause the enemy to be exposed to your ranged fire every turn. Controlling the contact point is crucial to mastering guard.
Guard Daddy's Troops - Astra Militarum Infantry List

Guard Daddy’s Troops – Astra Militarum Infantry List

Maintaining Order

The Vox-Caster is central to this more mobile play style as you want units able to move away from command units if required. Also, this approach brings into play the awesome fluffiness of the Fire on my Position Strategem.

Editor’s Note: I have not used Fire on my Position yet. But after reading this article I really want to! And in this Astra Militarum Infantry List, it’s going to be really easy to use Fire on my Position. For The Emperor!

Deployment Domination

Whilst some armies go all out to minimise drops, the Guard cannot play that game with an infantry list. So we need to maximise the benefits that this offers.

We need to deploy units that are less location dependent first, our goal is to force the enemy to be fully deployed allowing us to concentrate our forces against their position.

Mortar teams, for example, want to be relatively central to your side of the board to allow maximum coverage for their 48” range. By taking five or six teams Heavy Weapons Teams teams can be placed first ensuring enemy has to deploy half army! Then some Company Commanders to order them and a general screen of four or five infantry squads and now your enemy forces are fully deployed. You can then deploy Veteran teams and rest of infantry against their forces as required.

Target Priority

It is very easy to want to put your powerful firepower into big stuff! However, you need to assess what is going to degrade your numbers when making a threat assessment. An enemy that has anti-troop weaponry is a priority. Dakka Pred v Las Pred? – hit the Dakka Pred!

Example Astra Militarum Infantry List – 2000pts

The Walking Dead – 100% walking list! This force will consist of, a Brigade detachment, a Battalion detachment and a Supreme Command detachment.

Total of 16 Command Points!

Slap on Creed for 18 Command Points!

Editor’s Note: This beats my list with 1,000 Point Astra Militarum List with 12 Command Points! Although it is more points of course!

List Basics

This is the basis of a 2,000 point all Astra Militarum Infantry List. It will give you something to start from with a load of Command Points. The Sentinels are needed for Fast Attack, and they are like infantry, right? They have two legs!

Check back soon or – because soon we will take a look at finishing off the above basics into a fully fledged 2,000 point Astra Militarum Infantry List.

Astra Militarum Infantry – The Hobby Side

If you go for full priced minis from Games Workshop or even cheaper ones from Element Games or Wayland Games creating an Astra Militarum Infantry List is a daunting task!

Ebay is your friend. I wrote an Astra Militarum Ebay Guide some time ago.

Also painting them ALL can be a nightmare. Luckily I have a guide for that too! Batch Painting!

Astra Militarum Batch Painting

Astra Militarum Batch Painting

Astra Militarum Infantry List – 18 Command Points
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