The Making of a 2,500 Point Astra Militarum List
My thought process when building a 2,500 point Astra Militarum list
I started writing this post on July 25th and have delayed its publication for a while. It’s contents are highly desired by the enemy’s of Cadia – The Blood Angels. Who knew? Basically I have a 2,500 point Warhammer 40K battle tonight against a friend with his Blood Angels. I didn’t want him to get his eagle eyes on my 2,500 point Astra Militarum list too early so I’ve delayed its publication and scheduled it’s publish time for just before we commence battle!
I started writing the first list in early July, about 6 weeks before our big game! This is the biggest game I’ll have played so I’m excited for it and wanted to win! I also wanted to do the battle report justice and so needed a list of models to prepare in time for the big game. They’ll be the right models even if they’re not all painted.
The debrief from this battle is now online – Blood Angels Vs Astra Militarum Debrief.
2,500 Point Astra Militarum List
The final list took me four attempts to get right. It’s right me for at least, enough punch and enough fun to make for a good game. I’ve lost countless times too to my regular Blood Angels foe – so I’ve gone for a fair amount of punch. I hope.
List 1 – My Normal Approach
Like any lazy list writer I went for my standard 1,500 point list and bolted on another 1,000 points of toys. My usual list contains a mix of the following for those of you who are less familiar to my battles;
- Punisher Pask with Wingman
- Two Veteran Squads
After expanding on this style of list to make a 2,500 point Astra Militarum list I decided this was not the way to go.
- It was too all over the place
- Lacks a solid purpose
- It’s a tried and tested and failed style
- It’s what my opponent expects
It was scrapped and I started a fresh list from nothing.
List 2 – The Human Wave
This list style was a suggestion from a mutual friend of mine and my Blood Angels opponent. He really wants the Blood Angels to lose! He had found this list type online – although I’m unsure where.
But the idea is to swamp my opponent with lots of infantry and give those infantry units the ability to hit hard. Give Infantry squads Krak Grenades and their Sergeants Melta Bombs. These units move up in waves along with Bullgryns to stop any assault force in their tracks and slow them done to the point of uselessness. Or wreck them completely with Melta and Krak. And we know things are going to get close as I am fighting Blood Angels. Plus use Fearless Conscripts to really clog up their ranks.
Boiled down this list comprises of;
- 2x Infantry Platoons; both with 20x Conscripts, PCS, 2x Infantry Squads with Flamer, Krak Grenades and Sergeants with Melta Bombs
- 2x ML2 Primaris Pyskers
- 2x Priests
- 5x Ratlings
- 5x Bullgryns with Gauntlet and Slabshield with a Ministorum Priest
- Company Command Squad with 3x Flamer, Heavy Flamer, Volkov’s Cane all in a Chimera
- Malcador Defender (Forgeworld Tank)
- 2x Wyverns
- Armoured Fist Formation with Punisher Pask, Demolisher Wingman, 3x Vanquisher, 2x Engineers and 2x Servitors – all Russ with Dozer Blades
I love this 2,500 point Astra Militarum list. It feels fluffy and fun – charging bodies in with no regard for loss of life. All that matters is that the enemy is stopped from moving forward. But this isn’t my final list. It feels too fluffy and there isn’t enough win in the list. Needs more power!
List 3 – AP FTW
I had been using the internet far too long before I found out what FTW meant. Now I know, I use it – but for those like the old me it means For The Win.
This is a list centred around lots of AP2 weaponry. AP1 wasn’t such a focus as I wanted to be able to easily bypass armour saves rather than insta-pop vehicles. I figured if I could take so much AP that the Blood Angel saves became none existent I’d have brought them down to a more level playing field.
- Company Command Squad with 3x Plasma Guns, Vox Caster, Carapace Armour, Camo Gear, Commander with Plasma Pistol and Volkov’s Cane all in a Chimera
- 6x Bullgryns with Power Maul and Brute Shield joined by a single Priest
- 2x ML2 Primaris Pysker
- 3x Ratlings
- A Bane Wolf
- 3x Veteran Squads with Demo charges, Melta Bombs, Vox Caster, 3x Plasma Guns and Sergeant with Plasma Pistol
- A Basilisk
- Armoured Fist Formation with Tank Commander and Wingman in Executioners with Plasma Cannons and Kabe’s Herald, 3x Vanquisher, 2x Enginseers and 2x Servitors – all Russ with Dozer Blades
The Veteran Demo squads can put down 4.4 dead Marines per turn at 12″ on average with Prescience. And I know range isn’t an issue as they’re Blood Angels; they’ll come to me for sure. Plus Prescience will help with Gets Hot.
This 2,500 point Astra Militarum list isn’t my final list either. It feels like a good list, despite my hate of Plasma and Gets Hot. It’s too high risk. Too much can go wrong. Like my Plasma guys dying and having to kill Marines with Lasgun fire. Onwards to another 2,500 point Astra Militarum List!
List 4 – Brute Force (Final 2,500 point Astra Militarum List)
And so we arrive at my final list. Some will say a cheese list but I think I can be forgiven for that as I really want to win, haven’t beat my Blood Angels opponent in an age and I’ve never used cheese before. Here it is;
- Company Command Squad with 3x Melta Guns, Commander (my Warlord) with Volkov’s Cane and Celeritas all with Carapace Armour – part of CAD
- 2x Veteran Squads with Carapace Armour, 3x Melta Guns, Heavy Weapon Lascannon Team all in a Chimeras with Camo Netting and Dozer Blades – part of CAD
- Psykana Division formation with 3x Commissar, 3x Wyrdvane squads (5x men each) and a ML2 Primaris Pysker
- Ogryn Auxilla formation with 2 squads of 3x Bullgryns with Slabshield and Grenadier Gauntlets and 2 squads of 3x Ogryn plus a single Commissar
- Armoured Fist Formation with Tank Commander and Wingman with Leman Russ Battles Cannon variants and Kabe’s Herald for the Tank Commander, 3x Vanquisher with hull mounted Lascannons, 2x Enginseers and 2x Servitors per Enginseer – all Russ with Dozer Blades and Camo Netting
And that’s that. I’ve basically removed the sporadic elements from the AP FTW list and moved them into more useful formations.
For example I can remove the two ML2 Primaris Pyskers and just take one, using the spare 75 points to begin my Psykana Division formation. Likewise with the priest; he is no longer needed in the Ogryn Auxilla. Instead I have a single Commissar for all 12 of the ‘gryns.
The Basilisk, Bane Wolf, Ratlings and CCS Chimera are also all gone. While they’re decent units they don’t serve this list very well. Everything is going to be really close together to ensure the Ogryn Auxilla can support in melee and the Leman Russ can gain maximum benefit from their Tank Commander and the Enginseers. So no need for a CCS Chimera and no need for a Fast Bane Wolf. Everything is castling up. Ratlings points went on Camo Netting.
I’ve hopefully made the list more focused and more effective by removing those units that didn’t serve the primary purpose very well – surviving and killing. Surviving is something I always struggle with so I went for Carapace Armour on everyone – armour saves versus Bolters can be a big deal. Camo Netting on all my tanks too will mean decent Cover Saves, 4+ in smoke, 4+ past intervening terrain and 3+ when shooting through my Slabshield’d Bullgryns (5+ normal save -1 for Camo Netting and -1 for Bullgryn Slabshield). I hope that is a real shocker for my opponent, 3+ Cover Save on my Leman Russ! Plus being backed up by two Enginseers who are repairing on a 3+.
The above is my final final list, but just before it became my final list I made some amendments. All the Melta Guns were Plasma Guns, the Chimeras previously didn’t have Camo Netting, the Lascannons were Heavy Bolters and the Carapace Armour upgrades were Demolitions upgrades on the Vets. My Sergeants and Commander also had Plasma Pistols, but I removed them in favour of an Armoured Sentinel with a Lascannon. And then I removed that Armoured Sentinel and gave all my Vanquishers Lascannons as they can use them alongside their main Vanquisher guns and cost 10 points each – rather than 50 points for one on the Armoured Sentinel.
I felt the Plasma Guns were too risky still, even with Prescience and Carapace Armour on my Veterans. So I went for Melta Guns, again the enemy will be coming at me fast and hard (and Deep Striking I expect) so range will be less of an issue moving from Plasma to Melta. I have reduced the risk to my guys, reduced range but increased fire power. The Heavy Bolters felt useless too. Best to go for a Lascannon to knock out Marines easily or to plink away at far off vehicles using the Split Fire order.
And so into the game. I’ll be sure to write a report! Watch this space citizens of the Imperium!