Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to (finally!) finish up our review of the Cadian Battle Group formations! This time: the Emperor's Spear Aerial Company.
Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great reviews!
Here are the previous articles in this series:
- Read Part 1 in this series, here.
- Read Part 2 in this series, here.
- Read Part 3 in this series, here.
- Read Part 4 in this series, here.
- Read Part 5 in this series, here.
- Read Part 6 in this series, here.
- Read Part 7 in this series, here.
- Read Part 8 in this series, here. Psykana Division.
When I read about this formation, I think of the scene from Apocalypse Now where the choppers are coming in over the beach. Love me the smell of some Promethium in the morning! This formation is for rapid insertion tactics and air support for the boys on the ground and is quite good at both.
This formation is comprised of 3 units of any combination of Valkyries or Vendettas.
Formation Flight: If one of the birds passes a reserve roll form this formation, you can choose to pass or fail any remaining reserve rolls for the rest of them.
Low Altitude Drop: At the beginning of your movement phase, you can declare that a unit from this formation will enact a low altitude drop. If it does so, it must take a dangerous terrain check for each piece of terrain it passes over that is more than 3" tall and it cannot jink until your next movement phase. Units that disembark using Grav Chute Insertion do not scatter.
This is a fun formation that serves several purposes. For one, the Fast Attack slot actually gets pretty crowded in Astra Militarum armies as they have so many good options. Also, if you want to go full Airborne (as I like to do at times!) this formation lets you without having to go Elysians. You can take 3 of another flyer in your FA slots (Vultures are my favorite!) and then snag this formation to carry say, 3 units of Astra Militarum Veterans or a Company Command Squad or two plus vets. They ride in the back, come in on a single reserve roll, jump out without scattering and get some Melta Guns all up in someone's grill! With the Ignores Cover or Split Fire order, of course. Oh, and for lols, give the Veterans the Demolitions upgrade and huck a Demo Charge in someone's face! That is always good for a laugh. Plus, 10 Veterans with Melta Bombs is no joke, either. Imperial Knights get skittish around them.
You could also start bending the fluff a bit and throw some units in the birds like Space Marine Command Squads, Sternguard, etc. The ability to put models precisely where you want them without scattering is very powerful.
The Birds themselves are quite good, too. I prefer the Vendetta, myself, but the Valkyrie isn't terrible. It's relatively cheap and puts out a decent amount of flakk fire. The Vendetta is a bit pricey, but it can put some twin-linked las cannon love nearly anywhere on the board. Certainly not bad!
Some type of reserves manipulation is important with a big ticket formation like this. You really want to ensure that your birds come in when you want them to. My main man is Lias Issodon, but you can also just use something more mundane like an Aegis with a Comms Relay.
The formation is fairly straight forward, honestly. It's mobile, provides some solid firepower, and can put hard hitting troops right where you want them! Not bad. Be wary of interceptor, obviously, and try to eliminate skyfire units before your flyers come in if at all possible.
I played against this formation at Adepticon and was quite impressed with it. Three Vendettas in your face with 3 units of Special Weapon toting troopers is no joke.