Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk Astra Militarum tactics! This time: the Emperor's Shield Infantry Platoon and Emperor's Shield Infantry Company. As always, check the Tactics Corner for tons of great articles!
Read part 1 of this series, here: The Cadian Battle Group Overview
The Cadian regiments march to victory and glory for the glory of the Emperor! Sounds great, right? Well, the part they don't tell you is that glory and victory usually comes at the cost of countless lives. Those lives come in the form of the soldiers of Cadia. The Emperor's Shield Infantry Platoon and Company formations give you some interesting rules for playing these brave men and women who face the horrors of the grim dark with nothing more than a Las Gun and faith in the soldier next to them.
This Platoon formation is really meant to be run as a part of the larger Emperor's Shield Infantry Company where the various benefits of the Cadian Battle Group really start to shine. On its own, you give up ObSec, which is a lot to lose, but you gain some interesting bonuses in both.
- 1 Infantry Platoon which must contain 5 Infantry Squads and may not take any dedicated transports.
- 1-3 units of Scout Sentinels or Armoured Sentinels
- 1 Company Command Squad
- 3 Emperor's Shield Infantry Platoons
- Forward Recon: Units from the formation within 9" of any Sentinels gain Move Trhough Cover.
- Marching Drill: The Platoon Commander gains the Fire and Advance! order which allows a unit that moved to fire as if they had remained stationary. The nice thing is he gets this as a bonus order, and can still issue another of his normal orders.
- Punishing Fusillade: The Company Commander can issue a single First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire order to any number of units in the Formation at the same time. They take a single leadership check using the highest leadership of any of the units and if passed, all units gain the benefit but must shoot at the same target.
This formation one its own is a bit feeble, honestly. With a requirement for 55 infantry models and a Sentinel, but no ObSec, you will be hard pressed to find a reason to take it over a standard troops choice in a CAD or Allied Detachment. It is really meant to be taken as a part of the larger Cadian Battle Group as stated above. That said, if you do want to go this route, running the infantry units as a power blob (a big blob of all 50 with Power Axes and Melta Bombs in addition to assault weapons such as Flamers) with character support is not a bad option as with MtC, the unit is less likely to get stuck in terrain if near the Sentinel, which with a unit that big is easy to accomplish.
The PCS can issue an order to increase their run speed, or First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire on them, and still issue Marching Drill on itself to move around with a heavy weapon and still be able to fire. A White Scars character for example, would give them Hit and Run, ATSKNF, and some more punch. You'd be surprised at how good a power blob can be in melee.
As they aren't ObSec you can focus on pure offense with them. And, as you wouldn't need an HQ choice, you save a few points in grabbing a blob this way over an Allied Detachment or CAD. Not much when you factor in the Sentinel, but hey, we're looking for the silver lining here!
Alternatively, you can run the infantry as a shooty blob, with loads of heavy weapons and have them move around the field, issuing the order to fire as if they were stationary but benefitting all of the weapons teams. The same could be done with a Heavy Weapons Squad in the platoon as well.
Again, not an ideal choice, but certainly not terrible.
The Company starts to show the strength of these formations. With the combination of 3 of the Platoons and the benefits of a CCS with Ignores Cover and Monster/Tank Hunter orders you can really dish out some pain. You'll be starved for orders though, unless you are taking this formation as a part of the Cadian Battle Group (which you should be if you're going to be playing a formation of 173+ models!) as you then also gain the benefit of taking Orders checks on 3d6, dropping the lowest, and rerolling 1's with your Las Guns.
Combine that with the Punishing Fusillade order and you could potentially be firing 450+ Las Guns shots on a single target, rerolling 1's to hit! Lol, besides taking the better part of an afternoon to resolve that attack, if it can be hurt by the Emperor's Flash Lights, it will die.
The CCS' taken as a part of the command choice in the detachment can issue up to 3 orders each out to a range of 24." Grab a two of them and you have an absolutely massive amount of orders that are extremely likely to pass, the ability to move and shoot heavy weapons, Ignore Cover all over the place, and dumb buckets of accurate Las fire all over the place and you have a surprisingly powerful army (and yes, it will take up most of your army!).
Mix in a good amount of shooting and assault oriented guard squads, some blobbed, some running solo. Sprinkle in some character support such as a Librarius Conclave to give key units ATSKNF and psychic buffs, or a Commissar Lord if you want to stick with Astra Militarum, and you have yourself a stew!
The main problem is the amount of models, and time it would take to play. However, some readers have been writing in saying they've tried it and that it actually plays faster than you'd think. Either way, on paper--despite losing ObSec--this is a very hard hitting army due to the huge number of bodies, special and heavy weapons and the crazy versatility Orders provide you.
What do you all think about the Emperor's Shield Infantry Platoon and Company? And as always, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day. We've actually got a sale going on the New Year, New Army starter bundles right now, at 25% off their already discounted prices! That sale runs through the end of today, Friday the 8th. Send your orders, here: Orders@FrontlineGaming.org