Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Astra Militarum Tactics: Armored Cadian Battle Group

As I continue going over the Cadian Battle Group, today is going to cover the only really playable way you can take this detachment.  This is really the only major success that this detachment sees, as you can take a pretty much all tank army without having to take a troop tax.  Now you won't benefit from the majority of the detachment benefits, but the formation itself makes up for most of this.  Its not the most competitive army in the current meta, but still more than capable of winning games and able to deal with a lot of threats.
The Emperor's Fist Armored Company is the core formation for the detachment.  Side note, there is a lot of Emperor's whatever formation here, because emperor.  This is similar to the steel host with minor differences, with a Tank commander(squadron) 3 Leman Russ Squadrons, and 1-3 enginseers.  The formation benefits are where this makes a difference.  All tanks within 12" of the commander has BS4.  This is a great buff for most of the leman russ variants, and unless you max out the squadrons, this is pretty easy to keep within range as long as you pay attention to placement.  The next benefit is that as long as a tank is within 6" of an enginseer in this formation and your opponent scores a penetrating hit, he must roll 2 dice and discard the highest, by no means a crazy buff but is surprisingly pretty useful in keep weapons destroyed and immobilization's to a minimum.  The last gives bonuses to tank shock and ramming, for ever tank after the first that tank shocks or rams the same unit, reduce the units Ld by one for every tank after the first, or add one to the S of the ram after the first.  This is not bad, while situational, tank shock and ramming is a lost art in my opinion that can quite useful, especially when facing invisible units or for pushing units off of objectives.

The main take away here is BS 4, and that the tank commanders squadron is always going to have it till he is destroyed.  There is also a Cadian relic that works well here as it has the same range as this buff, more on that later.  With this buff in mind, the tank commanders squadron should be kitted out to take advantage of it, meaning focusing on the non blast leman russes.  Personally, Vanquishers with lascannons go great here, and you should consider having the squadron with the third tank.  This gives you strong anti-tank and anti-monstrous creature firepower, what with knights and MCs being quite common, your going to want this.  Remember this is going to take up a good portion of your army.  The punisher is next to top the list, though personally I would take it in the other squadrons.  Another possible loadout for the squadron is an executioner for the commander, and exterminators for the others, as you'll be shooting with S7 to maintain your target coherency.

Important to note, pask cannot be taken as an upgrade.  The FAQ cleared it up for all formations, only if the commander upgrade is specified in the formation can you take it in the formation.  He can be taken as part of battle group command though.

For the other squadrons to surround the command squadron, punishers and exterminators are a primary choice.  This gives the formation overall strong anti-tank in the command squadron, and anti-horde/infantry to round it out.  I wouldn't spend a ton on side sponsons, though heavy flamers should be considered to protect you from the inevitable assaults coming your way.  Finish the formation off with 1-2 enginseers with a servitor or two for repairs, and power of the machine spirit.

This gives you a core for the detachment that is well rounded, with enough pts to bring other units in the detachment.  For the Command, you can go more tanks, but a CCS is more cost effective and will synergize better with other units.

For auxiliary you have a couple of good choices.  One route is to take the aerial company formation (3 valk/vendettas) to give you anti-air and transportation, and then finish off with a scion platoon.  Another option is the emperor's blade assault company for Obsec veterans kitted out for objective clearing. You can also just fit an artillery company, though won't be  a large one, mostly 1-2 Wyverns, 1-2 hydras for air support, and manticore and enginseer.

You have options here, to kit the army out to support the weaknesses that the formation has on its own, that being a lack of dedicated anti-air and susceptibility to assaults.  Personally the air wing and scions or the blade company give you bodies for objective taking and clearing units positioning to assault the tanks.

There is one more thing to consider, and that is the cadian heirloom, Kabes Herald.  Its only 20 pts and lets all leman russ squadron's within 12" of the tank commander be able to use his tank orders as well.  You get to choose but this works well with the formation, allowing the whole formation to pop smoke and shoot, go flat out, and split fire.  The heirloom specifies that the order gives the other squadrons split fire.  While by no means an auto take, its something to strongly consider.

This is the best way to use the Cadian Battle Group detachment, pretty much the only way.  It is by no means the best army you can field, but it does have some good bonus when built to consider it over a CAD with this formation added on.  That being said, a CAD + the armored company has some definite advantages as well, which I will go over in a more general tactics section on leman russes.

I know some are going to mention the Steel Host, and it is still a good option, but the focus here is on how to make an army with within the confines of the Cadian Battle Group, not an imperial guard army in general. Though it would have been awesome had the steel host been included in the Cadian Battle Group (it is Cadian), another miss for this detachment by GW.

I'm going to try this army out in the future, once I get my last few leman russes built, so will see how this goes in practice and work on the formation in a non CBG army.

Cadia Stands!


  1. I've fought steel host before. It's brutal!

  2. Did you just take my list (Armored Company with CCS as Command, Aerial Company and Militarum Tempestus Platoon as auxiliaries) and use it in this post? Wow. I'm flattered.

    About the Steel Host, I've got some bad news for you. According to a FAQ last year, Preferred Enemy no longer allows you to re-roll Gets Hot! rolls for blast weapons, so you can no longer do the whole Executioner with plasma cannons thing for Steel Host. So right now it seems that the Emperor's Fist Armored Company is the superior choice to take. Not to mention the Hydra tax in the Steel Host is more expensive than the Techpriest Enginseer, who while cheaper gives your tanks more protection.

    1. More of arriving at the same place you did with the limited choices there, its slightly different from yours(You had an executioner and vanq in a squadron). But really There is only a couple of ways to run this detachment, not much options for variance really. Your list did confirm what I already thought.

      On Gets Hot:
      ‘If a model has the ability to re-roll its rolls To Hit
      (including because of BS6+ or the Twin-linked special
      rule), a Wound is only suffered if the To Hit re-roll is a 1;
      it may also re-roll Gets Hot results of 1 for weapons that
      do not roll To Hit.’

      Q: Do plasma cannons and other Gets Hot Blast weapons
      benefit from rules that allow them to re-roll To Hit rolls of 1?
      For example, a Clan Raukaan character wearing the Tempered
      Helm nominates a unit of friendly Devastators to re-roll To
      Hit rolls of 1 in this Shooting phase. These Devastators are all
      equipped with plasma cannons. Do they get to re-roll the Gets
      Hot roll if it comes up as 1?
      A: Yes.

      You must be looking at an old FAQ, thats 100% clear, you get to re-roll your gets hot for plasma blasts.

    2. Well, according to the first draft of the FAQ from last year (, Gets Hot or overheat rolls are no longer To Hit rolls, so Preferred Enemy no longer applies to plasma blast weapons.

      If I remember correctly, that draft became official last year.

    3. Those quotes are from the current most to date FAQ.

      The second one makes it clear, anything that gives you reroll to hits of one, lets you reroll the gets hot of blast. Read it yourself, its on page 5.

    4. Also on pg 14 of the FAQ: Q: Does the Preferred Enemy special rule allow you to re-roll
      Gets Hot rolls of 1 for blast weapons (e.g. a plasma cannon)?
      A: Yes.

    5. Oh, they changed the draft! Thank the Emperor. For a moment I thought the poor Executioners went extinct.

  3. I'm trying a mixed list with the Armored Company as a core and a CAD filled with troops (Some vets and a CCS in Chimeras, and a couple infantry platoons w/ autocannon infantry squads) for protection. One thing I feel you undersell is the Techpriest buff. Take two techpriests, hide them behind the tank line, and watch as the Strength 10 AP1 blast goes from a 1 in 3 chance of explosion to a poultry 1 in 9. For that matter, the AP2 weapons go from 1 in 6 to 1 in 36 and every time a blast Russ is stunned or shaken the techpriest can run over and reactivate the main gun!

    Of course, if you face a lot of grav guns and D-weapons, that might not matter as much as you'd like.