Astra Militarum Tactics

Allies for Salamanders – Tempestus Scions

Approximate Reading Time: 6 minutes
Salamanders Vulkan - Tempestus Scions?

Salamanders Vulkan

Let me introduce a friend of mine @CommonSenses101, he wants to talk about Allies for Salamanders, we go way back, 10+ years from our uni days. Although I have not seen him in a while and we have never played 40K together – we have set a date to play each other in April. Anyway, @CommonSenses101 wanted to give me a little write up on Tempestus Scions and how they can be used as Allies for Salamanders, he plays Salamanders and is thinking about allying with Tempestus Scions. Without further ramblings, here he is…..

I decided to write a post for @Cadianshock as the blog is very interesting and I wanted to add to it. I play Salamanders – mainly a drop-list – and like to rely on math-hammer since Salamanders are pretty reliable for this. I just caveat that as what I think may not be as useful for some armies.

Tempestus Scions – Standalone Codex

It’s not really stand-alone, for one if you want to run a decent-sized army of say 5 squads & Command HQ would hit you in the pocket for around £200 – 250, add in Taurox Primes (more on these later) and it’s a costly elite army.

Putting aside the money (£400 could buy this, or this, or even this) the points cost/model is high. The standard 5 man unit with 2 Plasma Guns is 100 points. And there is a distinct lack of ranged weapons/close combat ability.

So what do you get for your points (& cash)


  • BS4 – well no-one was expected better were they?
  • 4+ Armour Save – well scout level armour is ‘OK’, better than ‘standard issue’
  • Access to: Melta Gun; Plasma Gun; Hotshot Volley Gun; Grenade Launchers and Flamers
  • Deepstrike – This is where my interest flared (and the reason for this post)
  • Move Through Cover – Useful to keep mobile, but not game-changing
  • Frag and Krak grenades – well don’t need to say much more
  • Standard with AP3 rapid-fire weapons!


  • WS3, S3, T3 – keep these guys out of combat, they simply won’t survive beyond the first turn; made worse by only 1 attack each
  • 4+ Armour Save – Yes I realise this was positive, but let’s be fair it’s a 50/50 save, and ignored by a lot of heavy weapons.

So comparatively speaking they fall somewhere between Scouts and Tactical Marines (In points cost, stat line and access to equipment). Equipped with 2x Special Weapon (as you should always do) they fall between 80 & 100 points for a 5 man unit.

Can 100 points be spent better?

Absolutely. My Salamanders could get a Thunderfire cannon for exactly 100 points which is dropping 4 blast templates at range and with various utility ammunition types. T7, 2+ save and a cover save (bolstered by the Techmarine if required). – But that’s comparing apples and a 4-barrelled death machine.

As I said previously – Tempestus Scions fall between scouts and marines.

So taking various aspects of the combination into consideration, what can they do, that the sons of Vulkan (or other equivalents) can’t?

Well, a Tactical squad with a Plasma gun comes into roughly the 100 point category. To deliver them into effective bolter/plasma range I’d need to drive them in a rhino or (more likely) drop pod them, which adds to the cost (both points and pounds). I’d also only get 1 Plasma Gun (or other Special Weapon) as opposed to 2; though this would be made up for slightly by the extra durability of the Marines (and the lack of a deep strike mishap).

Ultimately both units would likely suffer painful deaths if landed on their own.

Tempestus Scions load-outs

Basic run down, Tempestus Scions Command Squad can take 4 special weapons, the normal squad takes 2.

Weapon profiles are:

  • Plasma Gun 18” S7 Ap 2 – Rapid Fire, Gets Hot!
  • Melta Gun 12” S8 Ap 1 – Melta
  • Flamer Template S4 Ap 5
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Hotshot Volley Gun 24” St4 AP 3 – Salvo 2/4

Since I play Salamanders I exclude the Melta Gun and Flamer options straight away, I can get the equivalent with Tacticals and the twin-linked rules.

This really leaves the Hotshot volley guns (awesome for MEQ clearing) and Plasma Guns (awesome for MEQ, MCs & TEQ)

My personal loadout options – Allies for Salamanders

Command Squad with 4 Hotshot Volley Guns – throwing out 16 shots at BS4, S4 and AP3. So average 10-11 hits, 5 ish wounds on normal marines. Not bad for a 5 man squad that could easily get 2 rounds of shooting in.

Scion Squad with 2 Plasma Guns – straight forward S7 Ap 2 volley – with, in essence, 3 ablative wounds. Great for knocking someone of an objective.

This fills the gap of AP 2 and 3 that my armies regularly lack. The drawback is that this loadout, to be effective really needs 1 command squad and 2 troop choices of Tempestus Scions. This comes in at 325 points!

Some armies might see this as absolutely fine for what they’ll do; others – such as marines – have access to Legion of the Damned for example. Which for 310 points can bring 2x 5-man squads of relentless, 3++, Melta & M Melta (twin-linked if you bring Vulkan), deep striking, ignoring cover – flaming murder machines (with LD 10, Fearless, 2 base attacks).

Taurox Primes

The Taurox Prime looks pretty decent has some great weapon load-outs, but suffers from (inexplicably) low armour. (11/10/10), I can’t work out why. For this reason, I wouldn’t take them.

Here are the weapon load-outs for info.

Main turret:

  • Taurox Battle Cannon 48” S7 Ap 4 – Heavy 1, Blast
  • Taurox Gatling Cannon 24” S4 AP – – Heavy 10
  • Taurox Missile Launcher 48” Heavy 2, Frag or Krak Missiles


  • Twin-linked Hotshot Volley Gun 24” S4 AP 3 – Salvo 2/4
  • Twin-linked Auto Cannon 36” S7 Ap 4 – Heavy 2

Basically, they’re mini Leman Russ / Whirlwinds with transport capacity. (and armour of a sentinel!). Model wise they look nice, in urban warfare they might even fair ok with cover saves.

I doubt I’d field them as the cost to survival ratio is very low. But as a backup to a tougher mechanised list, eg a Hell Hound and pair of Chimeras leading a frontal assault this could provide decent covering fire. In a Marine list Razorbacks and Rhino just do the job better (and cheaper) to be honest.

So would I use them as Allies for Salamanders?

Yes, the next thing on my order list is a drop pod (never have enough) and 3 squads of these guys. The new Terminator Librarian will take this over the £80 threshold for Elemental Games.

And no-one can deny they’re amazing looking minis!