Thursday, June 19, 2014

Militarum Tempestus Tactics: Scion Squads

Well its time for the final unit in the Tempestus Codex, the back bone of the army, the Scion squad.  They are your troop choice and are going to make up the most of your army.  They are the best the Imperial Guard has to offer and can access some of the best equipment in the imperium.  Though not the toughest unit in the galaxy, the can hang in a firefight surprisingly well and more than dish out punishment in return.

At their core they are similar stat wise to a veteran, having BS4 and everything else is the same IG wise.  They have carapace armor, hot shot lasguns, frag and krak grenades, and have move through cover to top it off (which is great).  The squad starts at a 5 man unit with 4 scions and a tempestor(sgt) and can be upgraded to a full 10 man unit for 12pts apiece.  They start at 70, so fully manned you are looking at 130 before weapons are added.  They can take 2 special weapons, of which your options are a grenade launcher, flamer, plasma gun, melta gun, and volley gun. Each weapon has its uses but there are some you should consider over others.

Generally you want to have a good portion of larger squads.  With only 6 troops choices you'll struggle in points for large armies and they are fragile at that small size.  Its ok to have a few small squads, but generally you want them in the 8-10 range.  Weapons wise your main stays are going to be plasma guns and volley guns, they provide good all round use, the volley gun can put out a lot of shots against infantry and the plasma gun can threaten a lot of targets and has good range.  Melta guns are good as well, but only a few squads will need them and these are good on smaller squads.  The grenade launcher is another good choice if you don't have quite the pts for the more expensive options and has all round utility, the flamer is good for a specific role in mind like an objective clearing unit.

You want at least two rifle squads in your army.  Their goal is to be generalists, capable of threatening just about anything but not specialized to where they suffer against certain targets.  Their role is to deal with infantry and light vehicles.  As such you want plasma guns, or a mix of a volley and plasma gun.  This allows them to put wounds on just about anything, and with orders they become truly deadly.  They will be forming the main part of your battle line and holding your key objectives.  Other squads should have a specialized role like tank hunting or anti infantry work, and you can even have an assault oriented squad with flamers to deal with weaker units. 

When it comes to assault with scions, you have to be a bully, even with a power weapon, they are not going to be taking on assault specialized units.  What they can do is pick on standard troop squads like fire warriors, guardsmen, guants, small ork mobs, anything that is not too nasty in assault and you can weather the return attacks on your carapace armor.  Key to this working is using the flamers effectively to get maximum damage before assaulting.  Also with krak grenades they can take out vehicles as well.

Early in the game you are generally going to want to hold back, using your tauroxes to pick away at the enemy and save for scions for the critical point later in the game.  There are a few exceptions to this though.  If you get the infiltrate warlord trait, this is great to move up your squads into close range to strike early, though generally this should be use if you are going first, otherwise you are just making them an easier target for your opponent.  Against long range armies though you want to cross the field to get in range.  For example against standard IG, you just do not have the weapons and numbers to win a long range war of attrition.  Instead concentrate in your tauroxes and move up the field fast and eary.  Use terrain to protect yourself from the worst incoming fire and get close to take advantage of your armor and better shooting capability.  Using a deep striking unit or two to decapitate the order structure for IG is also a very strong tactic, if not a must. 

Your scions, like your tauroxes, are your workhorses and are going to be doing the bulk of your killing and objective taking.  Take advantage that a large portion of your army has objective secured (with dedicated tauroxes) and position them against non objective secured units on objectives.  Always remember that scions do well in close range, so they need mobility to be able to effectively neutralize targets.  Its ok early on to rely on tauroxes to pick apart your opponent, but by mid game you want to be concentrating your scion squads on critical areas and eliminating key targets.  Whether using valkyries, tauroxes, or deep strike, these are the tools that get your troops where they need to be. 

As general rules, base your tactics on the army you are facing.  If they are coming to you, let them, draw them in to the trap.  Play keep away till you can concentrate and eliminate key units.  Against armies that are going to turtle up, hit them hard early.  Against Tau it is dependent on what type of army, if its broadside heavy stay back and out of missile range and use tauroxes to pick them apart and fore their mobile elements to move at you and out of broadside protection.  Mobility is your advantage, so in every case use it to gain shooting lanes and cover.  Concentrate scion squads, don't spread them to thinly as you have mobility to move them from hot spot to hot spot.

That is scion squads in a nut shell.



  1. If you're going Air Cav, and using the Formation rules, both 5-man melta and 5-man flamer squads are good builds. The Formation rules help out with deep strike accuracy, and the Twin Linking the turn they disembark serves both meltas and flamers well. If you want a deep striking army, the formation is a very reliable way to get deep strike accuracy. You just can't rely on the 33% chance to get the warlord trait.

    As these squads aren't part of your main detachment, they don't get Objective secured and therefore adding additional bodies isn't efficient. Also, you can use Formations to get around the standard 6 troops squads in a Combined Arms detachment.

    For Taurox-mounted squads in your Combined Arms detachment, the max squad size with 2 plasmas or volley guns is your best bet. These squads get objective secured and you want them as large as possible to maximize that effect.

    @1850 points, you can fit in the Air Cav formation with min sized squads, plus the mandatory 1 HQ 2 Troops in your primary Combined Arms detachment.

  2. Question about formations though, does the whole formation move as a unit? Say the Air Cav one, are all 4 valkyries in a squadron or all units mentioned are individual units?

    1. The valkyries are on their own, but they come on from reserves with one roll, and all the squads must start in the valkyries

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    1. Sorry forgot you had written AM Scion Tactics here: