Hey all, Danny here to go over the newest dirt-in-the-hair inducing detachment in 40K, the first of likely several Super-Detachments to go along with the End Times. Hold on to yer butts.
The Detachment: Castellans of the Imperium
Faction: Imperium Source: Fall of Cadia
Elite/Heavy/Fast: 0-6 each
You must take at least two different factions within this detachment.
Zealous Defenders: All units in this detachment gain Hatred. If you take the max number of units (4 HQ, 4+ TR, 6 EL, 6 FA, 6 HV, 3 LoW), all units have Zealot instead.
Flock to the Front Line: Troops come back on a 5+ when fully destroyed.
Lord Castellan: Reroll Warlord Trait
Ok, so wow, this is clearly meant for big games as this is essentially a Double Combined Arms Detachment (CAD) in one detachment, but with the bonus of 3 LoW slots (but not Fortification slots at all). What truly makes this detachment a strange duck is you can draw units from 11 different sources, and this is the first Mega-Detachment that is akin to the old Fantasy End Times mega-army lists like Death or Elves United. You get to select units from: Assassins, Angels of Death, Astra Militarum, Adepta Sororitas, Death from the Skies, Inquisition, Imperial Agents, Imperial Knights, Mont’ka, Militarum Tempestus, and Space Marines. The only limit is that you don’t get the special characters from the SM codex except for the Black Templar ones.
Ok, this seems wildly overpowered:
Well, yes and no. No lie, there is a lot of potential for abuse here, namely with 6 slots for Heavy Support/Elites/Fast Attack, and having 4 HQs in a single detachment just gives Imperial players all the more ability to really, really, stack a Deathstar. Of course, there is also the chance to use this as intended and make a fluffy, last stand type of army with a disparate collection of Imperials.
So, let’s start with the competitive stuff: Deathstars. With 4 HQ choices for the cost of 4 Scout Squads, this is a relatively cheap way to have Celestine, Greyfax, Coteaz, and a Xenos Inquisitor ready to go for another unit where you have a character that won’t die, rad grenades, no infiltrators within 24, reroll Seize, and a character to grab that super sweet no Deep Strike relic. Coteaz also fixes the one really large issue with this Detachment: No Objective Secured, and since his rule states that any units in his Detachment are Obsec, well, those Scouts are suddenly way more awesome.
Another way is to spam the hell out of the AM artillery here as you could get 6 individual units of Wyverns, and depending on points, that could be anywhere from 6-18 Wyverns ready to kick ass. Damn, that’s some heat. You could also (if you could somehow afford it) get 6 different Grav-Centurion units as well. With so many options, the ability to go super-skew is strong here. The bonus Hatred is nice but not necessarily amazing, and the 5+ recurring troops isn’t all that great at the end of the line, but it is a nice bonus, especially on Scouts or any other disposable unit that may live to score a maelstrom point and then die, but hey, if you get one back to help secure a backfield objective, not bad at all.
Of course, if you aren’t a total TFG, you can also build this list in pretty fluffy ways. Having a few different commanders together with say a squad of Sisters, a Scout Squad, an AM platoon, and a Crusader squad is characterful and fun. You could have a mix mash of walkers with Sentinels hanging out with Dreadnoughts and a Knight or two (if you play in an environment that lets you have more than 1 LoW). If you aren’t just trying to win, this is a cool way to build a very cinematic army from a bunch of different sources in a Battle-Forged manner, which is exactly what GW wants you to do.
If you’re like me, you split the difference and think of all the competitive yet strange lists that can be made. An almost all Walker army with Contemptors (Heavy), Dreadnoughts (Elite), and Sentinels (Fast) would be hilarious, and the sheer armor spam could give some armies fits. You could do flyer spam with Stormravens (Heavy) backed by Valkyrie or Vendettas (Fast). You could also go crazy and have like six Vindicare Assassins. While that may seem bad, 6 individual shots that can be forced on specific models could really help slice out the key characters in a Deathstar.
This just seems bad for the game…
Well, take heart, this is likely the biggest sign thus far from GW that a bit reboot is on its way. This is exactly the same kind of Super-Army that we saw in Fantasy End Times, and while the Super-Armies were way broken for any kind of competitive play, they didn’t last very long. The notation of different source books is even more or the less the same format. I doubt this Detachment will be around this time next year or be anywhere as meaningful if certain core changes are made to the game.
In terms of it on the table, it does have a few weaknesses. The lack of Obsec without Coteaz hurts. You can spam units, but without Obsec, you aren’t gaining as much utility as you may think. Also, these models don’t lose their Faction identity, so you still can’t put a Culexus inside a Drop Pod here as while this Detachment may be one unified whole, each unit entry retains its faction, so no sharing Dedicated Transports at the beginning of the game. A lot of players are going to invest into the recursion mechanic, and that’s a bit of a trap. None of the troop choices are so amazing that taking tons of them is going to win you the game, and none of them can move fast enough to get back into the fight after they’ve walked on from your own board edge as this Detachment doesn’t give them the ability to Outflank.
Of course, it also depends on this is built. A Deathstar army is always going to have Deathstar problems, namely playing the mission and being vulnerable to stomps. Artillery spam is going to be vulnerable to charge out of deepstrike or reserves tricks. Flyer spam is going to be vulnerable to anti-flyer tech or Deathstars. Really, because you can make a whole butt load of different builds, it is hard to say specifically what issues this Detachment has.
Well, that’s it for this week, and as always, feel free to ask for a formation (or detachment) to go under the microscope, and of course, perhaps help us out with that Patreon. With LVO coming up, Adam needs some seed-money for the Blackjack tables.