Sunday, June 22, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics: Techpriest Enginseers


To change things up I will be finally returning to the Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard codex and continuing with the reviews.  Today will be the techpriest enginseer, a nice support unit that has gotten better with the new codex and 7th edition.  You prob won't be seeing a whole lot of them, and they are not a must take unit, but there is a lot of use out of them that previously was not the case.

Starting off they are 5 pts cheaper than before, and you can take 1 more in your army than before.  They are an HQ choice that does not take up as slot but they do not fill your mandatory requirement either.  Stat wise they are exactly the same, guardsman profile with Ld 8 and 1 attack.  As before they have a power axe, laspistol, servo arm, frag and krak grenades, and power armor.  They can take melta bombs for 5 pts.  Compared to before, you can have a melta bomb carrying techpriest for the price of a bare one previously, so its a nice bonus. 

Where the things have changed the most is their special rules.  They are still and independent character and still have the blessings of the omnissiah.  Blessing allows you to repair a vehicle instead of shooting on 5+.  You must be in base to base or embarked and get a +1 for every servo arm servitor you have, more on them later.  If succeeded you get to repair a hullpoint, weapon destroyed, or immobilized on a vehicle.  You also have another option to choose from in your shooting phase, that being awaken the machine.  Awaken allows you to choose a single astra militarum vehicle within 12" and give it the Power of the Machine spirit special rule.  Note that no test is required for this, you just elect to do it and it happens.  This is a nice power as it allows ordnance wielding vehicles to fire another shot at BS and to counter shaken or stunned results for firing.

In addition to taking the techpriest, you can take servitors and this is where most of the changes are shown.  Overall they got a significant price reduction.  To take them you must have a techpriest, and for every one you can take one unit of servitors.  So if you have three techpriests, you can have three servitor units.  They start off as one servitor at 10pts (5pts cheaper), you can have 4 more for 5.  You can upgrade two of them jsut like before, but their weapons got tremendously cheaper.  The heavy bolter went from 20 to 10pts, the Multi Melta went from 30 to 10pts, and the plasma cannon went from 30 to 15.  So two plasma cannons from the price of one!  The servitors still have mindlock, if the unit does not have a techpriest, roll a D6, on a 4+ the unit acts normally, on a 1-3 it may not voluntarily move, shoot, or charge.  Note they can still attack in close combat if already in it, they just cannot charge.  Also note that techpriests do not have to be with the unit, not that there is a great reason not to.  You can shenanigan it by having the priest leave the unit, as the start of their turn has passed so they would be good for that turn, and beginning of next turn move the priest back into coherency before you use the servitors.  This is useful if you need the priest to go repair a vehicle but still want to shoot with the servitors.

Overall the techpriest is a good and flexible unit that really helps out mech and armored forces.  With 7th being much harder to one shot vehicles, having a few tech priests will significantly boost your stay time on the battle field.  They will get the most use out of heavy armor, as there is much less that can glance it to death so you'll be able to repair it after it takes damage.  Sticking a techpriest with a  few gun servitors nearby a leman russ squadron will significantly boost the squadrons survivability, and the priest can jump on a unit trying to charge the tanks if it has too.  They aren't great at CC, but servo arms are power fists essentially so the hits you do get will be killing most things.  Don't expect them to wipe the floor with anything, but if you need your russes to survive a few more turns, throw the techpriest and his servitors out there to protect their precious machines.

Awaken is something to make use of though it is limited, on ordnance wielding russes, this helps you to fire the hull weapon at full BS, or at units that have moved at cruising speed and are not fast.  Note that awaken does not state that you must be dismounted to use it, so their is nothing to stop you using it inside a chimera, or even a valkyrie for that matter.

When taking them, I would just about always take servitors with them.  Taking 5 is a very good choice, with two as weapon servitors.  With three servo arms, you'll be passing any repair on a 2+ and still have two guns to shoot.  Your best choice for weapons are plasma and heavy bolters, one shot weapons on a bs3 model is not the best, heavy bolters and plasma cannons have much higher chances of doing damage. 

Now that they can score as well, there best use is staying near your critical vehicles near a backfield objective.  If you spend the points, bring along an extra chimera for them to hop into, they can't take a dedicated transport on their own.  That way the gun servitors can fire and the priest/unit can hop out to repair the nearby vehicles if needed and can still cast awaken. 

Another good use of awaken is on wyverns, with their range you'll find that you sometimes need to move them.  They can move 6" and still fire one of the stormshard mortars, with awaken you can move it and then fire the other (at another target if you want).  This can be really useful if you have a few tehcpriests near a wyvern battery, you can move them and shoot effectively or have have them essentially split fire.  This can be really good as often the wyverns can overkill a unit and there are others you want to kill, with awaken you could theoretically target 4 units with three wyverns and three techpriests.  Now thats not the best way, but with two of each, you can split the shots between two units.  If only barrage still caused pinning *sigh*.  And realistically this is not a large investment of points, with 80 for two techpriests, and you prob are taking the wyverns anyway.

The splitting fire option is probably the best use out of a techpriest, using machine spirit to spread fire and prevent too much overkill.  This is even good on standard leman russ squadrons where you may be wanting to spread the large blast love, and is actually more reliable than the tank commanders split fire order.  Really its actually quite a useful power as I have had it happen where an artillery has been shaken and now it sits there useless for a turn, hoping ti doesn't die the next turn.

Overall the techpriest is a great support unit and should be strongly considered for any army that is making use of vehicles, especially heavy or artillery.  They are a small investment and can survive quite well if, as long as not placed to carelessly.  They can advance with your vehicles to provide support and a unit of serivtors can act as an annoying backfield unit that can camp an objective and help the priest repair vehicles.  All in all a good improvement and a good unit to be seriously considered.

GG

16 comments:

  1. Thank you for your review my friend, I've been thinking about including a techpriest in my army for awhile now. As always your reviews are insightful and helpful, keep up the great work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They can repair vehicles of Battle Brothers as well, so it is a cheap ally way of fixing Space Marine vehicles...or even Imperial Knights!

    Isn't it great the Mechanicus shares STC templates with each other!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Useful guy, I'll probably test him out soon, once I have more tanks assembled.
    PotMS is awesome, so many possibilities...12" heavy flamer Chimera-rush (surprise!!!), Wyvern can move 6" (get LOS and scatter reduction, or take cover) and fire both mortars. Leman Russ with better split fire/ordnance, servitors, repairs, there seem to be lots of possibilities.
    Especially with the Maelstrom missions requiring a more rapid movement, this would give lots of options without previously fixing them to a role.

    As for the techpriest's experiments, this one might interest you, an open-topped Taurox:
    http://abload.de/img/aimg_9222hvuma.jpg
    http://abload.de/img/aimg_9223phuno.jpg
    The back fits 4 seated models (with press mold legs, copied from the gunner), the only bitz not found in the Taurox box (besides decoration) are the bars to mount the gunners position, but filed-down sprue will do the job too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. nice I like that a lot. reminds me of a salamander. :)

      Delete
    2. No way man! They have the brotherhood of NOD symbol! Can´t believe it! Hahah I spent sooo much time playing Command & Conquer it brings me great memories!

      Delete
    3. Yeah, my favorite one is Tiberian Sun after all, so much style... But wait, there's more, that army is around 3000 pts currently.
      There are still lots of things to build and convert, so this won't end anytime soon.

      http://cadiascreed40k.blogspot.de/2014/01/imperial-guard-hobby-guest-army-of-nod.html
      http://www.gw-fanworld.net/showthread.php/185637-WH40K-imperiale-Armee-trifft-Bruderschaft-von-Nod

      Delete
    4. Yeah, C&C is so awesome, my all time favorite is Tiberian Sun after all.
      So much style...and so many things to convert for 40k. The Nod army is currently at roughly 3k points, more here:
      http://cadiascreed40k.blogspot.de/2014/01/imperial-guard-hobby-guest-army-of-nod.html
      http://www.gw-fanworld.net/showthread.php/185637-WH40K-imperiale-Armee-trifft-Bruderschaft-von-Nod/page7

      Delete
    5. Wow man! Tipping my hat right now! Awesome conversions! I, like GG, have always been more on the GDI side, and even thought about painting them that way, but I'm an awful painter.... But your work is very inspiring! Thanx for sharing!

      Delete
  4. You say you can use POTMS in an ordnance russ to fire another weapon to a diferent target, at full BS. But I´ve heard people say that the "ordnance" rule still remains, so EVEN if you could fire another weapon at full BS, like a hull mounted lascannon, for example, you´d still be snap firing if you fired the ordnance, because of the ordnance rule... What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "In a turn in which the vehicle neither moves Flat Out nor uses smoke launchers, the
      vehicle can fire one more weapon at its full Ballistic Skill than normally permitted."
      Normally permitted is no other weapon at full BS as per ordnance rules, so there is one more at full BS.
      Just like Crew Stunned/Shaken, you aren't normally permitted to fire anything at full BS, but now you can, especially as Shaken equals ordnance.

      Delete
  5. Another tactical use of Techpriests has just been made possible in the new edition of the Astra Militarum Codex.

    Because Techpriests are now independent characters, and because their repair bonus depends on the number of servo-arm servitors in their unit, you can actually attach multiple Techpriests to the same unit of servitors, and each will get a bonus to their repair roll. E.g. a unit consisting of 4 Servitors with servo-arms and 2 Techpriests will have a 100% success rate of doing 2 repairs per shooting phase.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that is awesome!

      Delete
    2. Wow, haven't thought of that...that would make certain vehicles close to unkillable.
      *glances over to Iron Hands VenDreads and LandRaider*

      Delete
    3. Incorrect they are not IC they are Character therefore they can not leave there unit also they cant join another unit

      Delete
    4. Incorrect. In my codex they have the IC special rule

      Delete
    5. Techpriests are independent characters

      Delete