Thursday, April 17, 2014

Codex: Militarum Tempestus Thoughts

I wanted to do some kinda review of Codex: Militarum Tempestus but everybody already either has their book or has read a review as good as anything I could put out. With that in mind, I'll just put out some thoughts I have on the new book and its units.


Lets start with the new units:

Tempestus Command Squad -
This squad consists of four scions and a Tempestor Prime, the new officer version of a stormtrooper. The key to this unit is going to be two things, orders and special weapons. The orders are, in a word, awesome. While normal Astra Militarum orders may seem good (and they are) these ones are wondrous in what they add to the situation. Normally, I image you'll be using three of them (though all of them have a time and place). Don't worry about the specific names, these orders do one of three things:

  • Twin-Linked (all guns): The most commonly used order, I predict, for when you just want to lay into an enemy force.
  • Sniper (Hot-Shot): Helpful for dealing with monstrous creatures that will typically require you to need 6s to wound. You can only fire one shot but tripling your chances to wound is worth it.
  • Rending: Aside from plasmaguns, this is how Tempestus will deal with +2 armor saves that normally reduce your Hot-Shot weaponry to glorified lasguns. It also helps against vehicles that are AV12 or less but if you're close enough for meltas then just use twin-linked and get the most out of it.
Beyond the orders, you can also take up to four special weapons. Some may be tempted to not want special weapons because they already have their awesome Hot-Shot Lasguns. Ignore that temptation and load up on whatever you need for the mission. I recommend four of anything besides Grendade Launchers (booo!) What you chose depends on your mission. Be warned about Hot-Shot Volleyguns, you have no ablative wounds in this squad and are still T3. If those shots really matter then you'll be targeted early and often until you go away.

On a last note, you can take regimental standards and medipacks. I'm not sure about the standard but am deeply considering one (if only to re-roll orders) and the medipack is almost a give in on a warlord unit (assuming Tempestus is your primary detachment.) Also, the officer can take melee and pistol upgrades. Don't, except maybe the plasma pistol. He does have two wounds so he isn't going to die out of hand from his own weapon.

Commissar -
I'm not going into detail here. Any IG player knows the commissar and only two things are different about this guy. First, his Summary Execution is different. Its an auto-pass, not a re-roll, BUT on a roll of 1-2  the enemy player chooses who got shot while you chose on a 3-6. Secondly, he is cheaper. Aside from formations, I don't see this being taken since you only have two HQ slots and want those sexy, sexy orders.

Tempestus Scions -
The stormtroopers we all know and love. They lost Special Operations and their pistol/ccw combo (boo! hiss!) but became a LOT cheaper (Yaaaay!!!!) They also have Move Through Cover so you can deep strike them into terrain with no risk of losing models (unless you drift.) It seems to me that there are two ways to take these guys, both of which require double special weapons (don't mix and match, just stick with two of the same.)

First, you can deep strike a five man suicide squad. While they aren't as good at it as they used to be, having lost re-roll on the deep strike scatter, they still aren't bad and being cheaper helps them considerably here. Plus, if your Command Squad is advancing they can benefit from orders after coming in.

Second, full man squads. Ten men, two specials, don't touch the sergeants wargear. These guys exist to make Hot-Shot weaponry work. Orders will enhance them but you only have (at most) two orders a turn so make them count! The squad can take a Taurox Prime (see below) to help them get around and I personally recommend it (gasp! I'll explain below) unless you plan to deep strike. Range 18" on the Hot-Shot Lasgun means you have to get close so don't hold back.

Taurox Prime -
This ugly pig is growing on me. What really helps it, for me, is that you can take it as a dedicated transport AND a fast attack choice (well played GW.) While a lot of people are impressed with the Gatling Gun (ten str 4 shots) I'm not after running the numbers. Tempestus has plenty of how Str shots, it doesn't need more. With that in mind, I recommend two builds:

  • Armored Personnel Carrier - Taurox Battle Cannon and TL Autocannon OR TL Hot-Shot Volleygun. Chose the second gun based on who you're likely to face but I'd default to the higher strength autocannon (more versatile.) Keep it cheap. This guys main job is to get Scions were they need to go and give them an AV11 shield until they get there. Any killing it does is just icing on the cake.
  • Fire Support - Taurox Missile Launcher and TL Autocannon. Take this if you have squad that isn't going to advance or as a fast attack choice. The whole purpose of this tank is to bring the pain and kill enemy non-AV14 armor. Three of these working together can deliver some serious hurt.
The key to using the Taurox is a couple of things. First, realize that it isn't going to win the game for you. That is the Scion's jobs and the Taurox is just to help them out. Second, it is soft as hell. Seriously the Rhino is tougher (but not by much.) Use cover! Their re-roll to difficult terrain means that you should just plow through ruins and cover, picking up a save and just praying you don't roll 1s twice. If GW ever gets its act together and gives us Camo Netting (why is that in the book at all?) then take it on Fire Support Taurox almost every time. Lastly, they are expensive. At 80-100 points you're looking at the cost of a light tank for an APC. This, more than anything else, makes me wish that Scions could take the standard Taurox.

Side note, you're BS4 and the Heavy Stubber is only 5 pts. Deeply consider taking it for any Taurox Prime that is going to be blasting infantry. It won't take long to earn its points back.

Valkyrie -
Our...anti-air? No. Fire support? No. Big dangerous model? No. I'll admit, I was happy to see the Valkyrie in this codex at first but that has since worn off. There is a reason that IG almost never to Valkyries, they aren't good. The best anti-air weapon they have is a single BS3 lascannon and their missiles have ORDINANCE! For those not in the know, this means that firing even one causes you to snap fire everything else. Swap that sucker out for a rocket pod. It might do some damage.

If you take the Valkyrie, don't use it to dog fight. You're better off with fortifications, allies, or snap fired Taurox Primes (a Fire Support variant uses six dice of shots, after twin linked, so it should hit at least once.) Use it as anti-infantry templates (Rocket Pods) and as a mobile transport to drop off a unit where it is most needed. I personally, despite a previous post, will not be buying any.

Formations -
Both formations require a full codex load (1 Commissar, 1 Command, 3 Squads, and four Taurox Prime or Valkyrie.) Both operate on their own (reserves together and commissar must join up.) The big deal for both is that Scions get twin-linked when disembarking, allowing you to further buff them with orders, the the aerial version gives re-roll to the deep strike when Scions bail out of Valkyries! If you're taking full squads though, both run at least 1k points!

I'd still take the land one (see my current thoughts on the Valkyrie for the second one) but one question still irritates me. Are Scions still troops (and thus scoring) when they're taken as a formation since the formation is outside the normal FOC limitations? If not, then I'd never take them. Too many points for trading in scoring, in my opinion.

Final Thoughts -
Overall I like the codex and intend to use it. A few things disappoint me though. The warlord table is meh in all but two places and one of them is in deep need of clarification. That one enhances deep striking but has a line that applies the rule to 'platoons.' Tempestus doesn't have platoons. Bad form GW. Also, would a relic or two have been that hard. A power armor knock off. Some super hell gun with AP 2. A comm device that extends the range of his orders and grants FNP (+6) because of bio-signal monitoring. Anything is better than nothing. I would also have liked a special character or two. They even mention some in the fluff. Would some rules have been too hard or did they already take up all their pages on describing seemingly every regiment every. Lastly, and the new AM is also feeling this, is the increased cost of CC upgrades. No way in hell am I paying for a powerfist on my Str 3 +4 save model. Even power weapons shouldn't be looked at twice. If we still had our pistols and knives then maybe it would be considered, but there is no point paying a lot for something you'll still suck at.

I'm going to take advantage of the allies matrix and start building a Inquisitorial Stormtrooper army. I'll eventually get me some Taurox Prime (with wheeled conversion kits) and maybe some Grey Knights (Battle Brothers.) It'll have to wait until I sell my Empire army though.

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