Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Initial Review: Codex Militarum Tempestus

Militarum Tempestus aka Storm Troopers.  So the codex is out now and it is a solid book, it has good orders and decent warlord traits with the usual fluff and artwork that I love.  What you see is what you get.  This is a storm trooper army with so tricks and accessories.  I'll do a run down of what it has and what I think about it.  Bear in mind I have yet to get a copy of my own yet so what I have is based off of looking over anothers copy and what I have seen online.  I would love to talk about the fluff in it but I have yet to do a sit down and read through it, but what I have seen so far is good. 

First off you have a Commissar or Scion command squad as your HQ.  Commissars are pretty cheap now at 25 which can be upgraded to lords for 40 more, a nice reduction but I am more glad that standard commissars are free now and can be attached as you see fit.  Your scion platoons  squads are your troop choices and you can take valkyrie's as fast attack in squadrons of 3 and individual Taurox's as well.  No elites or heavy support.  This is pretty much exactly as expected, if you love storm troopers and want to have a large force of them, here is your way to go.

The voice of command is the "officer" special rule, it allows you to issue orders.  Tempestor primes have this and can issue any of the 6 orders.  The operations of orders has changed little but one change is that double 1s do not grant an additional order, but all successive orders automatically pass.  I like this better in all honesty as having the rest of your orders go through with no test is better then getting one freebie that you can still fail.  Though the Prime can only issue one order.  Going for two command squads is going to be pretty important with this army.

On to the orders themselves.  The first is Directed Firestorm Sanctioned: the unit must shoot and all fired weapons are twinlinked for this shooting attack with no restrictions.  As always twin linked is a wonderful thing and having no restrictions on what weapons can use it or limits on targets is even better. 

The second is Autonomous Fire Sanctioned: The unit must make a shooting attack and all models in the unit gain Preferred Enemy for this attack. This is great with plasma guns and Hot Shot volley guns, and really useful in general.  S3 can be hard to wound with at times and this is a good thing to use on T3/4 targets where that reroll can be helpful, its not amazing but is def useful. 

The third is Close Assault Doctrine Sanctioned: The Unit has the Crusader Special Rule for the rest of the turn. Now per BRB turn is player turn unless specified so they have it for the remainder of your turn, though this one is not going to affect your assault phase, but the next one will.  This is ok, I can see it being useful and in most cases this is better than Move Move Move as you can get more than 6" on your run.  Good for footslogging or trying to get some space out of deep strike if nothing is in range. 

The fourth is Advance On Target: The unit gains Fleet for the rest of the turn.  As stated before you have fleet for the rest of your whole turn, including assault phase.  Now generally you are not going to be wrecking face with Scions in close combat but with carapace armor and a power weapon, these guys can pick on weak units and sweep them, plus this gives you a lot of movement.  This will be situational but crucial in the times you need a charge to go off

The fifth is Suppression Doctrine Sanctioned: the unit must make a shooting attack, all hotshot lasguns and hot shot laspistols can only fire a single shot, but gain the Sniper and Pinning special rules.  You cannot charge but thats ok.  This is a very nice order, this is the one to use when you are beyond rapid fire range.  Sure there are units that ignore pinning, but every shot being a precision shot and having rending is very nice.  Also wounding marines on 4s instead of 5s is a great thing.  Being S3 this is a good order to use as very few T2 units are out there and you can use other orders on them, overall a good order to use on just about anything when you are not in rapid fire range, which is going to be a lot of the time.

The sixth is Elimination Protocol Sanctioned: The unit must fire at a vehicle or Monstrous Creature and all shots fired at said target gain Rending.  This is similar to the above but has crucial differences.  The first is that it does not limit your number of shots and second is that any weapon can make use of it.  This gives hotshots a chance at doing something and if you can get into rapid fire range then it can be very good against the rear armor of a vehicle or a pesky monstrous creature.  Not amazing by any means, but it at least gives you a chance of wounding a wraithknight or getting through the 2+ of a riptide.  Mass shots is where this becomes useful, plus rending doesn't hurt on a flamer or grenade launcher, or any special weapon for that matter.

Thats it for orders, first rank is not in but is in the main IG so if that is what you want take them as part of Astra M instead of Tempestus.  If this is your primary though you will have enough Scion bodies that this will only be a minor issue.  Plus AM officers may be able to order Scions and if so you can always throw Creed in as an ally to get access to all those orders, though that is yet to be seen.  All in all these are some very versatile orders with a few climbing to the top as being the commonly used ones, with suppression, directed firestorm, and elimination coming to mind.  Almost all of the shooting ones help hotshots out in some way and give them a much needed boost.  The others can certainly be useful with fleet and crusader moving you faster especially when dismounted.

On to the warlord traits.  These are solid with the usual situational ones.  Not the best table but not the worst by far. The first is Dauntless Commander: The Warlord gains Fearless.  Solid if nothing special either.  The second is Grenadier: When throwing frag or Krak grenades, the Warlord has the twinlinked special rule, and when using krak grenades or melta bombs in combat, the warlord gains the Tank Hunter special rule.  Sitituationally useful and great when you need it but can also have no chance to benefit from either. The third is Intrepid Leader: The Warlord and all units from the Codex: Militarum Tempestus within 12” of the Warlord gain the Stubborn Special Rule.  This is solid and at least affects more than just the commanders unit.  The fourth is Grav-chute Commandos: All friendly units chosen from Codex:Militarum Tempestus re-roll failed Reserve Rolls if arriving from deep-strike. Also, all units in the same platoon as the Warlord only scatter D6 instead of 2D6”.  This is great when you want it and can still be useful even if you are building for mech, gives you something to think about. The fifth is Drill Chief: When firing hot-shot lasguns or hot-shot laspistols, units within 12” of the Warlord can fire an additional 6”, provided they did not move in the preceding movement phase.  This is the one I want. The last is inspired Commander: The Warlord had +1 Leadership to his Profile up to a max of 10.  With Clarion vox net this is actually very good. 

Some good ones with situational, like most warlord traits.  I can be happy with this as you'll have times where it doesn't do much but most times they will have some use.  I'd be happy getting drill chief all day.  Grav chute commandos is very situational  and if you don't plan on dropping them in then it doesn't help you.

So the units.  These have been covered but another run down won't hurt. 

Lord Commissar's have aura of discipline, a 6" bubble of leadership boost, which does not appear to apply to orders.  Most cases I would say to just stick with the standard Commissar as you can get most of the benefits and can give him wargear for the price of a lord.  The lord has boosted stats and additional wound and attack but other than that your better with a Commissar and a Command Squad.  Very important to note that summary execution is much better now.  If you fail a morale, pining or fear test you can CHOOSE to roll a D6 and on a 3-6 you choose the model that dies, on a 1 2 your opponent does (excluding commissar).  In either case the unit passes the test.  If you do not choose to do so, then the unit fails as normal.  This is much better than before as you have a good chance of just killing a regular trooper rather than your Sgt and you have a choice in executing a soldier.  The other is that you automatically pass rather than roll the Ld test again and have a chance at failing.  This gives you some very hard to move units.  I would probably not attach them to command squads as just about every guy in there is useful and losing one of them will hurt.  You have a lower chance of failing but in a normal squad you are most likely to just lose a normal trooper.  These guys are good are a great choice if you are not looking for prescience from an inquisitor.

Scion Command Squad
These are taken as an HQ choice.  The rest of the guys are standard scions with grenades and hotshots.  BS 4 and Ld 7 with carapace and otherwise standard guardsmen profile.  The Tempestor prime is WS & BS 4 with A 2 and 2 wounds and I 4.  The initiative boost is nice and gives him an edge in combat if you get stuck in.  You really shouldn't be throwing them into CC most cases as they are still a small low T squad.  The squad costs 85 pts base.  As for upgrades you have the standard platoon upgrades.  The officer can take a bolt pistol for free  and a P pistol for 15.  A power weapon is 15 and a fist is 25.  Spendy but can be useful in the right place and time.  The squad can either take weapons or special equipment.  One can take a vox for 5 which gives you reroll on orders, one can take a standard for 10 which gives you a bonus of one wound in combat, and the medi pack for 15 which gives FnP.  The standard is not worth it, your losing a special weapon for a CC bonus for a squad that isn't good in CC.  the medi pack is now cheap enough that it can be useful, however there is lots of S6 weaponry so your only going to get use out of it some of the time.  Good when it works.  Vox is pretty useful to get those orders off, but not critical either.  I would say most of the time give these guys weapons

The weapons options are the same as before with the addition of the hotshot volley gun.  The is 24" S4 AP3 salvo 2/4 Gets Hot.  This is a pretty decent gun and at 10pts not bad.  Load up a squad with these and use them as you anti infantry fire support.  The potential amount of shots these can produce is very tempting and combined with orders can make many units go away.  You'll have to be stationary to get the most out of them so if you plan on moving a lot another weapon will suit you better.  The grenade launcher and flamer are unchanged and are 5pts.  The melta is 10 and plasma is 15.  So you have a lot of ways to kit the squad out and really depending on what you want to focus them on. 

A way to make an assaulting squad to work is to give them 4 flamers and power weapon to the prime.  Use the twin linked order, as that gives you reroll to wounds with your flamers. Kill as many as you can with the guns and then assault to finish them off.  Another is with melta guns but the number of models you'll kill is limited and I would go for potential number of wounds here.  Four grenade launchers is also pretty decent as well, but I like the flamers better, you are getting close to assault, the flamers give you a good chance you taking out a good number of models, even marines, and will make an enemy think twice before assaulting them with wall of death. 

Best way to use this unit is as your fire support for your standard squads and keeping them close to benefit from clarion vox net (use commanders leadership if within 18" except for orders) and his order.

Tempestus Scions
The squad is 70 pts base, a very welcome 15pt drop from the previous squad.  They all have standard profile with grenades and hotshots lasguns.  The Sgt has Ld 8 and additional attack but is otherwise the same profile wise and has a pistol and cc instead of rifle.  You can add five more up to ten total at 12pts a model.  Options are the same except for no standard or medi pack.  Sgt can take power weapons and pistols for same costs.  The squad can take up to two special weapons for the same costs as above. 

You can go with lots of min units to max out on special weapons or keep them large.  I see both working really well, with min units working great in a deep strike threat overload role providing too many units to deal with at once.  They can deal with any threat depending on how you kit them and melta guns and plasma are going to remain solid choices for them.  Throwing a few flamers and grenade launchers here and there to round the army out.  I feel the volley gun is best left in the command squads hands as you can maximise their effectiveness and can still put out fire even if they move.  A mix of plasma and melta squads will give you the opportunity to deal with any threat.  Preferred enemy for the plasma squads means you will rarely get hot and will wound most targets you shoot at.

They really are good and you can make them work in most roles.  I would say running them two ways will maximize their use.  Maxing out on minimum squads or going with two full squads in each platoon to give you more platoons and officers for orders.  You take 6 squads and can have over 60 models on the field and leave room for special weapons and vehicles.  As I read it, there are no platoons in the codex.  It does not have an actual force org chart in the codex, so Im sure someone will try and argue that you can take as many of each as you want, but lets assume normal rules apply and you have 2 HQs 6 troops 3 Fast Attack.  So if you are going to be taking this as your only army, you'll need some vehicles to get to 1850 as your squads will only take so much even with weapons and wargear.  But it is good in a way as you can feel free to spend points on the squads and give them options. 

They have access to dedicated transports as well as valkyries to give you some more options.

Taurox Prime
So first is the Taurox Prime which is 80 and is fast and rerolls failed terrain tests.  It is both a dedicated transport and a fast attack choice.  It has two fire points on each side and can hold ten guys and is BS 4.  It starts with a T battle cannon which is 48" S7 AP4 Heavy Blast and a twinlinked Hotshot volley gun on the side.  Throw on a heavy stubber for 5 more pts and you have a lot of shots to throw at infantry.  You can swap the volley guns for autocannons for free as well.  Depending on what you want to do this is a prety decent set up, I plan on keeping them standard and hunting infantry with it, though if you throw the autcannons on you can hunt light vehicles better.  The cannon can touch light vehicles if needed but this can move 6" and put out 8 shots, add in a few more T Primes and you'll be washing away most infantry units.  The gatling cannon is 10 more pts and gives you a 24" S4 no AP Heavy 10 gun.  If you are looking to kill light infantry this is decent but I think I will stick with the cannon.  For 20 pts you can take a T missile launcher which is a two shot missile launcher with both frag and krak rounds.  Take autcannons with it and you can hunt vehicles pretty well with this one.  At 100pts you have a fast vehicle that can threaten a lot of vehicles and still do damage to infantry.

The way I see these is keeping them as little upgraded as possible and using thier fast status to your advantage to get shots on target.  For a platoon I would do 3 standard and one missile for the commander's ride.  This gives you a very mobile strike force that can threaten anything once you include the troops inside.  They will not stand up to fire so use terrain and get them in position early to do damage.  A solid punch with them early will clear a lot of infantry and buy the scions inside time to deal with more dangerous threats.  Despite their costs they are pretty solid for the firepower they bring and maneuverability they add.  A choice to definitely consider if not an auto take unit.

So the valkyries are in.  They are fast attack and you can take squadrons of three still.  Same transport of 12.  Starts with multilaser and hellstrike missiles.  the cost is bumped up to 125 which is about right.  You can take a lascannon for 10pts and missile pods for the same.  Heavy bolters are 10pts.  The best way I see them going is with the pods and just flying around dropping pie plates on things.  With squads inside you have a very mobile army that is hard to deal with and can soften up the infantry before deploying the scions to take out vehicles.

You can certainly run an almost entirely airborne unit, though you'll have to leave a few on the ground till turn 2 rolls around.  In most cases though a few valkyries will do the job though.

Vehicle upgrades
most of the standard stuff from before.  Heavy stubber or storm bolter for 5, searchlight for 1, dozer for 5, extra armor or HK missile for 10 and camo netting for 15.  Now you also have an auger array which allows you to not scatter when deep striking within 6" from that vehicle.  Fire barrels cause d6 S4 AP5 hits the first time the vehicle is charged.  Recovery gear allows the vehicle to repair an immobilized result on a 6.  And relic plating gives it adamantium will.  Fire barrels are a nice addition and give your vehicle a chance of at least killing something before it gets blown up by the assaulting squad, and if you are really lucky you may even survive because of it.  I am really happy with the augur array as IG have been lacking something like it for a while and it  is something that will be very handy if you are looking to run a deep striking army.  All in all these are nice upgrades though it is disappointing to see searchlights and smoke launchers having to be paid for.

So GW was nice enough to include formations in here instead of trying to sell a dataslate on top of the codex.  That is refreshing at least.  The formations are pretty nice and take the form of ground attack and air attack.  Both share similar rules though.  You must take a commissar, command squad and 3 scion squads and 4 of the transports (Valk or Taurox).  The commissar must be joined to a squad and all must be embarked in vehicles.  You can start the whole unit in reserve or on the board, but not piecemeal.  If you reserve the formation, you roll for the whole formation and can reroll passed or failed reserve rolls

The air attack gives any disembarking units by grav chute a reroll on their scatter and gives any unit that has disembarked from a valkyrie split fire and twin linked.  This is solid and gives you reliable drops all at once and lots of flexibilty when shooting, maximizing the number of units you can shoot at with split fire..

The ground attack gives all units that disembark twin linked and pinning for that turn.  This is great as it allows you to free yourself up for other orders to stack on top of these.

Of the two I like the ground attack better, it boosts the combat effectiveness of the scions which is the important part, plus I am a big fan of pinning.  However the air attack is good as well and if you plan on taking a bunch of valkyries and scions, this is certainly a good choice and gives you a lot of reliability in shooting and getting on the board and taking out multiple targets with split fire.

I see the formations working best as an ally choice, giving you a solid unit that can strike at once and hits hard with some very solid bonuses to their fire power.  I like the ground attack personally and may try it out to see how it goes, if I get enough taurox's to do it.  This is also a way to plus up this army, taking a standard force org and then a formation.

To sum it up, Tempestus is there for those like me that have always wanted lots of storm troopers and gives some really good orders and a decent warlord table.  Access to good support units to supplement their firepower and you have an elite army that can still put a large number of bodies on the table with a good armor save and ballistic skill.  I really like this book and will definitely be using it as primary or an ally for my army.  If you are not looking to throw out a lot of storm troopers then pass on it and stick to the white dwarf as it has all the rules you really need.   This is a good start and hopefully the IG book will contain a lot more good things, despite some of the let downs that are going to occur.



  1. My only problem with Militarum Tempestus is the lack of Chimeras. I get it, I do, but I don't own Valkyries or Taurox so getting to use my stormtroopers as an army means going put infantry with T3 +4 guys that have 18" range standard. Not a good idea IMO. I might have to look into Valkyrie.

    1. You could always deepstrike them as disruption units....

    2. Also keep in mind that they will be in the Astra militarum codex, so if you are not looking for a full army of them, just wait for the main book and use them as part of your IG.

    3. play AS is you friend. Chimera - Taurox or get somehting low cost try try before you go for the high $ gw bit.

      gooogle 1:35 Revell Germany Wiesel 2 LeFlaSys (Ozelot & AFF & BF/UF) - RG3205
      3 apc for less than 1 taurox

      or 1:48 Tamiya Russian Armored Car BA-64B - TM32576 (may be a bit small but great price)

  2. Great article, I really like the suppresion Doctrine. It gives us an additionnal threat against wraightknights. I always like it when they are afraid of my 90pts daemonettes, now they shall be afraid of my scion hotshot lasgun....being S3, they cannot hurt it but with the snipper rule, they could greatly help to finish one off....

    I keep thinking about the new psyker battle squads that will provide prescience...combined with these orders, they could really be dangerous...

    1. get in close and 18 hotshots, possibly twinlinked with rending, that will do pretty well against most things.

  3. Great review! Will they come in platoons in the IG codex as well or is that just a bonus for this one? Also are the Valkyries BS4 or are they still BS3?

    1. Valks are BS3.

      Note that there are no Scion platoons in Tempestus, that was an oversight. I picked up the book last night. HQ is Command squad, Troop is Scion squad. The platoons are looking to be only in the Astra Militarum book

  4. If I remember correctly they will be a platoon style addition to the AM codex. I play tested them based on what was in the White Dwarf... They were useful, I am interested in trying out the orders. According to the White Dwarf article they were going to get FRSR fire. That was the only order I used... The fact that you can take 3 squads and a command squad of Scions for one elite slot. That is amazing! I look forward to running these in upcoming games!

  5. So after picking up the codex and reading through it, there are no platoons in the Tempestus book. Scions squads are an individual troop choice and command squads an HQ. So you can have 2 command squads and 6 Scion squads.

    Per WD, it looks like the platoons will be in the Astra Militarum book, I've corrected the review, the shop got the codex in right when I finished writing this.

  6. Maybe if one really wanted to ...

    PanzerGrenider company with the Temp's and Forge World Armored Battle Grp. ?

  7. Another few problems for the codex are: no relics or named characters. Tempestor Prime has no invulnerable save.