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Project: Desert Astra Militarum #1

It's been a case of all-hobby, no-bloggy for the last few months. The new edition of 40k has reinvigorated my motivation to build a...

Friday, 14 November 2014

Project: Astra Militarum Initial Planning

I've been doing some serious thinking about what to include in my Astra Militarum army. I don't intend to build my army to a single specific list—I'll ensure I have enough models to change lists from game to game—but I do want to have a plan to guide my modelling.

I have a fair bit of flexibility in the number and weapons configuration of my infantry, but I am constrained when it comes to the vehicles. Over the last few years I've taken every opportunity available to grab Astra Militarum vehicle kits as my tournament prizes; I now have enough for an army and I don't really want to buy any more:
  • 6x Chimera
  • 2x Hellhound / Devil Dog
  • 2x Manticore
  • 2x Demolisher / Executioner / Punisher
  • 2x Valkyrie / Vendetta
  • 1x Baneblade
This is probably more Chimeras than I would use in most armies, and it lacks the powerful new Wyvern, but I'm sure I can make something of it.

A secondary constraint on my army building is my transport solution. I like the KR Multicase product line and use those cases for my Eldar army. For my Astra Militarum army I already own two of their IG10 cases; each carries a single flyer, four tanks and twenty infantry. Seeing as I have twelve tanks and will probably have more than forty infantry, I realise that I'll need at least one more case, but I'll keep transport options in mind as I plan the army.

To start things off, here are the units that I will almost certainly include in my army:
  • Vendettas – even with the increased points cost in this codex, these guys are efficient mobile firepower for killing armour and monsters, both in the air and on the ground
  • Chimeras – again, even with the increased points cost, these are good transports and the best way to mobilise and protect your valuable Objective Secured infantry
  • Company Command Squad – Orders are a huge force multiplier, and the CCS can also bring multiple special weapons, so they are the go-to HQ choice
  • Veteran Squad – there is no reason to put a regular Infantry Squad in a Chimera when Vets cost only 10 pts more
Next, here are the units that may not be in all my army lists, but that I still want to build so I have them available for situational use:
  • Manticores – there is no doubt that Wyverns are the best dedicated infantry killers in the Heavy Support section of the new codex, but these guys are versatile and can threaten anything not flying
  • Infantry Platoon – whether built for melee or shooting, a Platoon represents both a threat and a large number of Objective Secured bodies that must be removed; Command Squads and Special Weapon Squads are also cheap shooty units that can embark a Vendetta
  • Devil Dogs – often underrated, I think these guys could be good for hunting Imperial Knights and monsters, if I find my infantry melta/plasma to be inadequate
Lastly, these units make up the 'maybe' list:
  • Executioners – expensive but effective monster hunters, but probably not worthwhile unless combined with a source of To Hit rerolls and Invisibility shutdown, at even greater cost
  • Hellhounds – useful, but I think that Manticores and incidental shooting from my Troops should be sufficient anti-horde
  • Vultures – a strong unit and I love the model, but being Forge Works it is very pricy
  • Knights – again, effective and awesome models, but pricy
From these guidelines I will write up a few 2000 pts lists and start planning my modelling.