Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mont'ka Review: Cadian Warlord Traits

Instead of starting with the new shiny formations, relics, or the somewhat intimidating Cadian Battle Group, I decided to start with the new Forces of Cadia warlord traits table. I did this for a simple enough reason, its what I might actually use moreso than anything else from this book. You'll see why in a bit, but first, the traits themselves.

Like all warlord trait tables, there are six of them and they are a mixed bag, with some clear winners, some losers, and a few that are situation.

To gain access to them, you have to play a 'Cadian' army. That means playing IG, declaring that you're a Cadian, and not fielding non-Cadian special characters. Simple enough really.

Trait 1 - Master Orator:
Your warlord gains zealot!
Wow, potentially game breaking in other armies! Picture a Black Templar Marshall with zealot (as most BT players do) and you begin to see the potential. Too bad you're most likely giving this to the leader of a five man squad that avoids melee like the plague.

Trait 2 - Dead-eye Shot:
Your warlord gains +2 BS and his unit gains +1 BS!
Sweet mother of God, this one is potentially brilliant and almost makes me want to take a plasma pistol just for the chance I role it. Again, picture if marines could take this. BS5 devastators anybody? However, you're only getting the full potential from a special weapon laden CCS, since it would make all of those veterans BS5. I really hope the next codex update gives officers a chance to take combi-weapons.

Trait 3 - Artillery Veteran:
Once a game, your warlord can be a Master of Ordinance.
Big all-or-nothing type trait. Either you'll use it and do a happy dance for all the carnage it cause, or it'll shatter way off and you'll be done and sad. Also, it requires your warlord hold still, which isn't good for mechanized list that are typically moving toward objectives or getting close for four special weapons. This is great for the Cadian Battle Group, where improved orders and reach means that hiding the CCS behind cover and using orders all day is a fine plan. Other playstyles will try to re-roll this one.

Trait 4 - Unflappable Stoicism:
12" of not taking moral tests for 25% casualties.
Somebody correct me if I'm wrong but isn't this the exact same rule that Yarrick has and is the #4 trait from Codex: Astra Militarum? Did GW have zero original ideas? Either way, this is a decent list for an infantry centric approach and fitting for Cadian Battle Groups, since now all of those men cannot be shot off of the objective.

Trait 5 - Above the Thundering Guns:
Gain Voice of Command. If you already have it, gain another order.
Again, tailored for the CBG, which I get but I'm not sure when else I'd want it. Its a rare thing for me to wish I had more orders but the bonus from the CBG should help make this worth while. Great for officers pretending they're CREEEEDD!

Trait 6 - Staunch Traditionalist:
al;kdjaofihnkl;ceio!!!???! If you've ever wondered where all of the so-called traditionalists went, this trait answered that question. They died. Painful. On the end of space marine sergeants' chainswords!
This trait forces every character in your army (just the Cadian part) to challenge, because we're chaos now? On the plus side, you get to re-roll to hit and wound in challenges...if I have to explain why that is bad, you're a marine player and I understand.

Good times.

Now, that I've read them, I can think of a few ways to field them.

CCS in Astra Militarum CADs:
Don't, just don't. Strategic is better. Astra Militarum traits are better. Sorry.
The exception is if you're running with a ton of infantry. At which point, run a Cadian Battle Group! Trust me on this one (Review Pending...)

CCS in Cadian Battle Group:
Set your guy up to hid behind cover and issue orders. Stick a MoO with him to throw out shots. Almost all of the orders are solid. BS+ means you're more accurate when it might matter, but isn't the best, and traditionalist will, of course bite, but traits 3, 4, and 5 are golden for this type of character who doesn't want to engage and plays a support role.

Finally, how I will probably throw down with this...
True Leadership!
Commissar Lord in Astra Militarum CADs or Cadian Battle Groups (w/o CCSs...somehow):
Commissar Lords already offer a lot to infantry centric IG and I think the benefits might now outweigh the negatives with some of these traits. Think platoon blobs, with or without conscripts, priests, etc.
Trait 1 means you're giving fifty guys (with some power axes right?) zealot. No better situation in our codex, imo.
Trait 2 means that blob of guardsmen are all now veterans. Gold when you need that lasgun fire going down range or are counting on your special weapons to perform.
Trait 4 means that you're commissar effects basically a 12" of 'going-nowhere' for your men. Perfect for when the enemy counter attacks.
Trait 5 means your commissar just became a junior officer. FRFSRF and Forwards, for the Emperor are all junior officer orders that are wonderful for a blob and would go off on Ld10 for your own blob.
Trait 6...still kinda sucks but is now a double edged sword at least (as opposed to a sword only facing you.) A properly kitted out commissar lord (Powerfist, Carapace, relic weapon, etc.) can, with re-roll, take a character or two so long as they're not super-murder-lords-of-eternal-shield-hammer-death and, if you're facing one of them, then have a sergeant take the challenge instead.

Only trait 3 is a real let down and who knows about that one.

Food for thought. I might have to list hammer something out for this guy. My fist commissar has been inactive for an edition.


  1. I think you forget something. In 7th you can name a sergeant the warlord, as a warlord doesn't have to be the highest leadership model or an HQ. so technically you can have a +1 BS 50-man guardsman blob. Or a zealot blob. Or he could give an order or do the bombardment :D.

    Not very fluffy but very powerful...

    1. That actually would not be too unfluffy. I'm reminded of the number of times some up and coming soldier overshadows his superior and earns a lot of good PR for it. I can only hope that in this instance somebody will recognize his potential and have him start shadowing Creed or something.