Saturday, July 26, 2014

Astra Militarum Tactics: Tempestus Scions

Time for the last imperial guard elites choice.  Well I have covered these guys pretty extensively but it is important to do a consolidated look at them, especially at the standard ones out of the AM book versus MT.  Personally these are your most useful elites choices, they bring the most utility and being able to be taken as a platoon means you can take a lot of these and still have room for other elites choices.  Granted the IG elites aren't must take units, but these guys come in as just about there.

As a choice, you have a minimum of one Scion squad, with up to three max and a command squad as an option.  So for one elites choice you can take 4 squads.  They all start out at 5 man units, with 70 base for the standard squad and 85 for the command.  They are 12 ppm and you can have up to 10 in a standard squad.  They all have carapace armor, hot shot lasguns, frag and krak grenades, move through cover and deep strike.  The squad leaders have pistol and ccw instead of lasgun.  The command squad is similar except that the Tempestor Prime has an I of 4 and 2 Wds.  Option wise the standard squad can take two special weapons, melta gun, plasma gun, volley gun, grenade launcher, and flamer.  The squad can also take a vox for five.  The tempestor (sgt) can take a power weapon or fist, and can take a bolt pistol for free or a plasma pistol for 15. Always take a bolt pistol!  The hot shot pistol has only 6" range and is just about never able to get a shot off because of this.  The bolt pistol is just more useful.  The tempestor prime can take the same options.  The command squad can take up to 4 special weapons and has the normal platoon upgrades that you should not bother with, they're best as a gun unit.

There are a lot of ways to take these guys and few that work well is in MSU (multiple small units).  Taking 4 five man squads and either throwing them in transports (AM scions can take Chimeras), vaklyries/vendettas, or deep striking them is a great option to get lots of special weapons up the field in a relatively durable package.  For deep striking, meltas are just about perfect, having a platoon with a bunch of meltas drop in to lay waste to vehicles or heavy infantry.  This also works well for plasma gun spam, giving each sgt  a plasma pistol and two plasma guns in a squad gives you a lot of firepower that you can drop where its needed. 

You want to keep them relatively close to the command squad if you take one as it provides an 18" bubble of leadership as the squads get to use the tempestor prime's Ld9 if within that range.  Because of this, I would take a scion squad an command squad as minimum choices.  You can do this three times for 6 squads and have a lot of guns and orders plus high leadership.  This is a good force that can deep strike with lots of small squads that can do a lot of damage and be enough of a thorn that your enemy will have to devote a lot of fire power to get rid of.  Having 6 squads means at least 6 units will try to have to kill them, not shoot at the rest of your army.

They also work really well as a mechanized strike force.  Personally I prefer taurox primes for this, they have BS 4, good weapons,and are fast, plus automatically reroll failed terrain tests, which for me is enough to put them above chimeras.  Chimeras are good if you want a sturdier, yet slower advancing unit.  Use them as a concentrated force to hit a flank of your opponent and overwhelm them with fire.  The great thing about 7th as well is that they can score as well, giving them great opportunity as not just an objective clearer, but an objective taker. 

As an aerial assault force they also excel, having move through cover means they do not take dangerous terrain tests if they scatter jumping out of valkyries/vendettas, giving a big edge over veterans in this role.  These can be full sized squads or small ones, and the great thing is that they are still small enough to fit inside vendettas and pack a punch.

The big difference between these guys and the MT scions is orders, and they really change what they can do.  MT scions can take on anything, and are very good at killing MCs and vehicles, as well as hurting higher toughness units.  AM scions don't fill this role.  Instead they are a better general purpose unit and with first rank fire they can take horde units on much better than MT scions.  They are actually much better at taking on T4 and less infantry and work well in this role.  They also are a little more mobile, being able to shoot and run and make use of move move move, plus get back in the fight from senior officers.  Fire on my target is also great on units that have a 3+ save but are dug into cover, or really any infantry unit that is in cover.  Bring it down is not as useful, with the exception on melta armed scions.  Take aim and suppressive fire are also good, giving them either pinning or precision shot.  Take aim is good if there is a 2+ save tank up front but worse models behind, though you still need to roll 6s to hit to make use of this.  Pining is all around a great thing to make use of and is another order to use against advancing units.

There big difference between MT scions and AM scions is that MT scions can take on just about any unit, where AM scions can't.  AM scions can take on infantry units better and can be more mobile and a little more flexible, but will struggle against MCs if they don't have the right weapons.

When you are taking them, figure out what role you want them to fill.  If its anti infantry then bring volley guns, or flamers/grenade launchers and take them out.  If it's heavy infantry then go for plasma guns, if anti-tank then go for melta guns.  The key for them working well is to figure out what you want them to do and then build the platoon around that.  And they work really well in a platoon.  A token squad is find, but when taken in numbers they can support each other and provide a high threat to your opponent.  They are a great option and can do a lot of damage to your opponent when they are least expecting it.  I will say though, they need mobility so your choices are to either deep strike them, put them in a flyer, or put them in transport, as their short range will hurt them if left on foot.



  1. I tell ya. I didn't know there was such a big difference between AM and MT scions.

    Thanks for the info!

    I'm just glad I still have 20 or so Kasrkin. GO CADIA. Plus their model is way sexy.

    1. If you like the Kasrkin models as I do as well then you should love the Death Korps of Krieg Grenadiers models from forge world now there is some badass looking models the best one is the one with the heavy stubber I love mine. GO CADIA GO KRIEG

  2. I've yet to play many 7th games, but have found that running 3units, 1 command and 2 squads, deep striking them behind the enemy and taking out the troops works quite well. Always run them as MT's though, may have to try them as AM at some point though.

  3. Can we get some info on the new D99 guys from IA 4? I want to see where they fall on the line between veterans and scions

  4. Can I ask your opinion, I'm looking at running a single platoon of scions as part of a fairly balanced list, ccs, mech vets, a small platoon, hellhounds, leman russes and a vendetta.

    I'm planning on running a plasma scion command, two 5 man melta squads and a 10 man squad armed with either volley guns or plasma as a contingency squad to either plug gaps or go after objectives.

    Basically I was planning on DS the meltas to hit targets, do you think they would be better off in transports? Should the scion command DS with them or are they better off in the vendetta and losing their order potential? Is it likely you will get all 3 squads to arrive at the same time anyway?

    With the contingency squad do you think plasma or volley guns is best suited (or even flamers?) And Valkyrie or taurox?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. It kind of depends how you want them to work. The basic loadout is good, volley guns are good and will give you some help dealing with larger squads, so that is what I would lean at taking in the large squad, the plasma in the command squad should be able to deal with whatever they shoot at.

      If you are wanting them to act as a solid unit, I would consider some tauroxes to transport them, that way you can have them all pop out at once. Its hard to get all your reserves on when you want them, so if you are ok with that, then DS the melta squads is ok, if not then go for some tauroxes.

      Honestly if you are using the melta squads to just go after vehicles, I think the CS can go with the other squad, use the plasma and volley squad together to hit targets, let the melta squads go after tanks. Be aware that they will prob die after hitting their target.

      Personally I find DS to be a little risky with meltas, it can be hard to get into melta range with scatter. Transports are more reliable, but it can be harder to get them where you want them to be so its a trade off.

      Also consider the tempestus ground formation, which is a command squad, commissar, and three scion squads and 4 tauroxes. They all get twin linked and pinning when they disembark. Only down side is that they cannot use AM orders, but the MT orders are also really good so its not too bad.

    2. Thanks, I'd planned on the meltas just being suicide vehicle killers and I think some games they will. I'd not thought of the formation though, when I'm not taking my SW allies it would be a good option, would you bump up the 5 man squads if so? Considering I'll have a vendetta, vanquisher, executioner, 2 hellhounds, chimeras on the table what load out would be best for the tauroxes? If they are all moving up the board in a formation would a shed load of gatling/volley guns be a good idea or a mix do you think?

      My other thought is when not using that formation and I want the large squad and command squad arriving together a Valkyrie might be a good option if the command rides in the chimera?

      Thanks for your advice, I don't play much so I rely heavily on others for kitting up my models.

    3. Not necessarily, the 5 mans can stay the same in the formation, or you can bump them up, they work fine as small or larger units so its up to you where you want to spend your pts. I would go with a mix, the gatling is good, but limited as it can only hurt a few things, I would do either 3 regular taurox primes and one gatling, or two of each. The regular ones i would take autocannons instead of volley guns.

      Having the regular squad in a valk would be good, just keep in mind your going to want something to help getting reserves in like a comms relay. It sucks when one comes in turn 2 and the other turn 4/.

  5. I'm new to the game and have some questions

    1st...can I run scions with AM codex or do I need the MT codex to make them tougher?

    2nd...if I have one command sqaud can I put tWo 5 man cadian shock troopers with them?
    3rd...should I have a command sqaud or scion sqaud. Or should I have one comman sqaud and one scion sqaud to compliment my cadian armored fist unit?

    I'm sure these are simple questions but It a little overwhelming wit all the options and expenses that are associated with a new hobby. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. To answer your first question, there are two ways you can run scions. One is as an elites choice from the AM book, they are in a platoon where you only have to take a scion squad as a minimum. You can take them as MT allies per the rules there. Main difference is orders, AM scions use AM orders, and MT scions use MT orders, and their scion squads are OBSEC, so it'll be dependent on how you want to run them.

      For your second question, are you asking about models or units? If its just using the models, really its not an issue as long as they are clearly different from your other cadian infantry so no one confuses them. You can't mix a scion platoon and infantry platoon together though per rules, their seperate units, but you can run them in the same army as long as you meet minimum requirements.

      I like having a scion command squad with a normal scion squad personally, if I was to choose I would take both as they have a lot of good firepower and flexibility. A single normal scion squad will be fine though.

      Hope this helps and feel free to email me if you have more questions.