Multiple Regiments and 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000

Multiple Regiments and 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000

Today I talk about fielding multiple regiments in the current state of 9th Edition...

Approximate Reading Time: 8 minutes

Now that I have had some time to settle into 9th Edition, play a few games (lockdowns permitting) and some of the new codexes have been released, where d Astra Militarum players stand when it comes to fielding multiple regiments? The rules have changed so much in 9th Edition when it comes to fielding your detachments and how they now interact with the all-important resource of Command Points.

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Multiple Regiments

When I speak about Multiple Regiments I mean fielding more than one regiment type in an army. I have in the past used both Catachan and Cadian regiments in an army, as well as a sprinkling of Valhallans and Steel Legion. Each regiment has its own advantages and so each regiment takes the best units for those advantages.

I’ve also planned to expand my Valhallans and my Steel Legion forces. So, in time I could draw my forces from four significantly large regiments – which I hope will look amazing as well as give me some rather neat tricks and toys to use in battle.

Command Point Tax with Multiple Regiments

I can’t speak for everyone, but for me the Command Point tax we must now pay for fielding multiple regiments doesn’t leave a great taste in one’s mouth. Here are a few reasons I like to field multiple regiments;

  • Being able to combine their minor advantages is fun and a tactical mind game before the battle when list building.
  • The aesthetics of using multiple regiments look great.
  • Fielding more then one regiment feels fluffy and realistic. Various regiments are often deployed to the same battle zone in the Black Library books.

Granted, this might all change when we get a codex, but I’m not holding out hope given how the other releases have gone. Death Guard has to pay a CP tax if they want to bring Nurgle Demons – thanks for the confirmation on this, Plague Gardening. This is a similar situation whereby it feels fluffy and the rules from one play well into the tactics of the other – yet you are punished for wanting to field something that is not mono-codex.

The intent behind Games Workshop’s rules on this is sound and I don’t fault it. It stops soup and the negative effects that can have on the game of Warhammer 40,000. It also stops the stockpiling of CP via cheap Troop choices – which is unfair and hard to rebalance with points.

Unfortunately, this does mean we can no longer field fluffy armies without being at an immediate disadvantage. That disadvantage could be 2CP for a Patrol Detachment, or it could be heftier at 3CP – the more common occurrence I feel – for a Battalion, Vanguard or Spearhead Detachment.

Fielding this might be a thing of the past

Fielding this might be a thing of the past

But It Is Just A Game!

… I hear you scream from your cupola.

Why not just field different regimental models in an army, play games and roll dice!?

Yup, yes and yeah! 100%! If I have various models and my opponent doesn’t mind – not many will mind – why not just field those various models in one army. And I can certainly do this! From a pure fluff and visual standpoint, this is absolutely fine and can be done. We are lucky as Guard players because a Cadian Trooper can be easily played alongside a Catachan Trooper and they are both just men, just Guardsmen. They are similar enough that this is easily seen and conveyed. We can create a visually pleasing army while all being the same Regiment.

It is only when you start to take the rules into account that it becomes problematic – where you want to use different Regimental Doctrines in your army.

One Issue

There is one issue though with just getting on with it and fielding different regimental models in the same army all under one Regimental Doctrine – the issue is Me!

And I’m sure I’m not the only Guard player who thinks like this. If I paint 60 Cadians, as Cadians, and 60 Valhallans, as Valhallans, then there is a little piece of me that made me paint them as Cadians and Valhallans, that makes me want to keep them that way through and through.

They are painted as <Regiment A> and I’ll be damned if some Commissar is going to come in here and tell me to field <Regiment B> alongside them!

So yeah. I have that to contend with! Painting infantry models all the same and then all the tanks, all the same, is a little neurosis we all have to account for at some point.

And in this situation, it means that if I have some Cadians I want to run that as Cadians rules-wise, and I want to run them alongside my Valhallans rules-wise too. It is not particularly strategically effective to do so, but it makes more a more interesting game having the Cadians stand and shoot while the Valhallans race forward with a Commissar for no regard to their lives.

So neat and pretty and matching - Multiple Regiments

So neat and pretty and matching

Our Redundancy Issue

The easiest option to get one regiment legally playing alongside another is to use a Patrol Detachment and pay the single Command Point to do this. Easily done. But, I have often thought that we need to build redundancy into our lists. We need three of anything to get something done;

  • The first unit misses
  • The second unit fails to wound
  • The third gets the job done

This is not just the case when it comes to combat, but also with movement and objectives;

  • We need one unit to instantly die in the first turn
  • The second unit nearly dies but is now too weak to accomplish the task
  • The third unit survives and gets the job done

And that becomes an issue when you want to field a Patrol Detachment. You get a handful of units, which together can accomplish very little – apart from dying quickly. Ideally, we need to be fielding something like a Battalion to get any real worth from our additional regiment.

Redundancy - Multiple Regiments


Custom Doctrines

The Custom Doctrines we got in The Greater Good book have given me a new method of fielding multiple regimental models inside of one army.

I can take Gunnery Experts to give Vehicles re-rolls on their number of shots and then also take Agile Warriors. The former can be used for my shooty Cadian or Catachan models and the latter for my racing forward Valhallans.

I now have multiple regimental models and multiple regimental rules inside of my army, sort of. I am using slightly varied rules that give them both their little bit of flavour. This feels like a good compromise at present.

Although it does not give me access to named characters nor other extra like regimental specific Stratagems, Relics or Orders.

With the lists I have been writing during the current lockdown, ready for when we can play again, I have been doing things like this;

  • Take 2 Custom Doctrines
  • Catachans as regular Infantry Squads
  • Valhallans for Conscripts
  • Cadian Vehicles
  • Cadians for Veterans

This gives me three regiments of models inside of one army, with no CP tax. I get two Custom Doctrines as mentioned above and all the various regimental models all have a slightly different role to play in the game. It is also easily communicated to my opponent and easy for me to see and remember.

Valhallans infantry and Catachan vehicles - Multiple Regiments

Valhallans infantry and Catachan vehicles

New Codex, New Hope – Multiple Regiments

The new codex, whenever that is, I hope this year, may give us new ways to field multiple regiments – but I am not holding out any hope for this.

Games Workshop seems to be steering all armies into mono-codex army builds. Even the beloved Space Marines only get their extra Chapter Tactics if they are all Space Marines of the same Chapter. Any deviation from a single Chapter and you are penalised.

I often think that when Games Workshop writes Space Marine rules, especially combat-based rules, they do this;

  • Find a regular rule that is the norm for all armies and the game as a whole
  • Break it for Space Marines

Maybe they will do this for the Astra Militarum and remove the CP tax for fielding a second Battalion of a different Regiment as long as it still has the Astra Militarum keyword? That could work and be nice for us! Unlikely!

Only time will tell…

For now, at least I will stick with Custom Doctrines inside of a single army.