Guide to Adeptus Mechanicus
The Priesthood of Mars
Spoiler: Special RulesCanticles of the Omnissiah: You can pick which one you want every turn - however you can't ever have the same one twice in a single game. Or, you can randomly roll your Canticle at the start of every turn, and you are allowed to have the same one more than once, if you randomly determine it.
1. This is probably going to be one of your last choices, and almost definitely useless if you roll it in the early turns.
2. This one is for Melee AdMech. Even so, it only happens on a '6', so it's not even that good.
3. Another Melee Canticle, use it if you need it - you don't.
4. By far the most important Canticle. Almost always used on Turn 1 or 2.
5. +1 Strength isn't really anything. It's handy sometimes - especially on Skitarii Vanguard. But, there are other Canticles to use - particularly #3 - if you want to roll into Melee.
6. Re-roll 1s to hit in the Shooting phase isn't really anything, because anything that needs it, is already being buffed by Dominii.
Overall, there's not much to say here about anything. Sometimes they're useful. Most of the time they're not. Once you've picked #4, it really doesn't matter about the others. You can roll for the chance to get it again, if you really want to.
Congregations of War
Adeptus Mechanicus Detachments gain the following;
Soldiers of the Machine God: Troops have Objective Secured. AdMech Troops are really good. And they're reasonably priced. Take as many Troops as you can. There's not much else in the Codex.
Forge World Dogmas
Mars: Roll 2d6 for determining Canticles. Apply both. This is handy if you're going to build your army around the Canticles. Which, if you're building <Mars>, you are. 3/6 Canticles are for Melee, #4 is almost always useful. #1 and #6 are almost always useless. So, if you're playing Mars, you want to build fairly strongly around Melee units.
Graia: Every model on the board gains 6+ ignore wounds. Even against failed Morale tests. This is incredibly strong on units with a massive amount of models, or units that you don't particularly want running away (Rangers). A very good Dogma. Unfortunately, there are simply better choices to make. Like...
Metalica: When a <Metalica> unit Advances, it treats all Rapid Fire weapons as Assault weapons, and, additionally, Metalica units don't suffer penalties to hit for Advancing and Shooting. A Metalica Detachment is generally pretty fast. Going from Rapid Fire 1 to Assault 1 is (almost) always a downgrade. But lookout for units that come with Assault weapons stock, as they're typically going to have higher rates of fire. If you want to run nothing but Vanguard, Metalica is the Forge World for you. If you've built your models as Rangers, you're better off with
GraiaStygies or Mars.
Lucius: AP-1 weapons count as AP0. It's okay. Not great. But okay.
Agripinaa: Overwatch on a 5+, instead of a 6. It's not going to help you.
Stygies VIII: Your opponent has -1 to hit your models, if they're over 12" away. By far the strongest Forge World, and pairs great with your staple unit - Skitarii Rangers. You have no reason to not play Stygies. Unless you really, really, really like Belisarius Cawl. Or you have an older AdMech army full of Skitarii Vanguard - in which case Metalica.
Ryza: Re-roll to wound in the Fight phase. Is that a thing for AdMech? Really bad.
1. Monitor Malevolus; Best Trait. Stop reading.
2. Who cares?
3. Nothing matters.
4. Necromechanic: The only time to use this Warlord Trait, is if your army is mostly made up of Imperial Knights. Combine with the Tech-Adept Stratagem to repair 4 Wounds per turn. But, Imperial Knights are very Command Point heavy, and bringing and Adeptus Mechancius Detachment in your army of Knights, is more likely to hurt you, rather than help.
5. No-one cares.
6. Why are we still doing this?
Mars; I guess? Maybe? For Cawl? But then you don't get #1.
Graia; Shoot your Rapid Fire/Assault guns whilst in combat like Pistols. Except, just like Pistols, you have be in combat for at least two turns before 'firing into combat' even matters. If you're in combat for two turns and neither side has destroyed the other and/or Fallen Back, then the combat doesn't really matter, and you're better off using the exact same models, with a different Warlord Trait like...
Metalica; Models within 6" can Fall Back and shoot (-1) in the same turn. This would be...Decent...As a Dogma (e.g; Ultramarines). As it is? It's good for when you get first-turn Charged. Except any unit that is making a first-turn Charge, has been built around doing so, and it's highly likely that your unit has already died. So, whatever.
Lucius; Not gonna help.
Agripinaa; Not gonna help.
Not quite sure how any of the Forge World Traits stack up against #1. Like it was written. The first Warlord Trait you read is the best one. You could just stop reading after that.
Pater Cog-Tooth: No. What is your Dominus doing in Melee? Are you dense?
Anzion's Pseudogenetor: Stop. Putting. Your Dominus. In Melee.
Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land: It's pretty good. However you're better off just not taking Wounds in the first place.
The Uncreator Gauntlet: Why are you wasting your Relic on a Datasmith?
Raiment of the Technomartyr: Givers the bearer a '6' to ignore wounds, and also throws out an Aura where every Overwatch hit generates another attack. This is, by no means, a great Relic, but it's the best in the book...For whatever that's worth. However, if you find yourself taking multiple d6s worth of Damage in the same turn, you need the extra regeneration off of the Autocaduceus. But, why is your bearer taking multiple d6s worth of damage, and at that point, it's already a write-off.
Skull of Elder Nikola: No.
The Omniscient Mask: Useful if you're spamming Melee Lucius units. Otherwise, hard pass.
The Cerebral Techno-Mitre: <Graia>. Combine with the #1 Warlord Trait. But you're so much better off with one of the 'Armour' Relics. Alternatively, take the Magic Hat for the +1CP, then use that extra CP to use Archeotech Specialists to pick up your favourite armour. However, that's a total waste of this Relic, and since there are no other benefits, it would be like you never had this Relic in the first place. I guess it's...Funny?
The Red Axe: <Mars>. Stop doing dumb things.
The Solar Flare: <Lucius>. You horribly miscalculated what a Dominus actually does, and now you need to teleport him away. Or, you can just not make the mistake in the first place. Alternatively, it's kind of useful for picking up Objectives. But that only works if your opponent isn't covering them with their models.
The Adamantine Arm: <Metalica>. No.
The Omnissiah's Hand: <Stygies VIII>. No.
Weapon XCIX: <Ryza>. Basically, the only Relic worth using Archeotech Specialists for. However, it does require that you have a Ryza model/Detachment ready and able to pick it up.
The Eye of Xi-Lexum: <Agripinaa>. At the start of every Shooting phase, pick an enemy <Vehicle> within 18" of the bearer. All Agripinaa units get re-roll 1 to wound against said Vehicle. It actually is pretty strong. However, your opponent has to bring a Vehicle, you have to put your bearer within 18" of said Vehicle...And then Agripinaa is totally useless in all other facets of play that it's never even worth picking up a Detachment of them.
11. Gain a VP if you roll dice for determining Canticles. Go go Mars!
12. Gain a VP if you heal a <Vehicle> in your army to full Wounds. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's extremely difficult. But, at the end of the day, you need Vehicles - and a way to heal them - in your army. This applies to all Vehicles in your army. Regardless of Faction.
13. Gain a VP if you kill a Psyker, or your opponent fails a Psychic test (lol), or you Deny or otherwise negate a successful Power. Once again, it doesn't matter what Faction your models are, as long as you do it (or your opponent just fails). Good.
14. It's Priority Orders Received combined with Mission Critical Objective. If your Warlord isn't already on the Objective that you randomly roll, at least you can just treat this one as as a normal SecObX card. You should be doing it anyway, really. You just get more points if you're lucky.
15. Destroy a <Vehicle>. But don't gain a VP if it explodes. Kind of annoying when your opponent definitely-on-purpose rolls a 6.
16. Take your opponent's Objectives.
Nothing special here. You will be taking Vehicles, because you're AdMech. The only real point of contention is whether or not you want to play Mars, and whether or not #11 is a free Discard in your meta if you don't.
Spoiler: StratagemsGloria Mechanicus: Immediately swap your Canticle in the usual way. This is handy if your opponent gets really, really, really lucky and makes multiple unlikely Charges in the same turn, and you suddenly find yourself in Melee and need to urgently switch.
Divine Chorus: For 2 CPs, you can pick a Canticle to use that you've already picked.
Zealous Congregation: One of your <Electro-Priest> units can Fight a second time at the end of the phase. The existence of this Stratagem makes Electro-Priests better than any other Melee unit in the book...Except Robots. But Robots can Fight twice naturally, without having to wait for the end of the phase (i.e; Without their opponent getting a turn to Fight back).
Elimination Volley: The only (real) reason to bring Kataphron Destroyers...And you're paying 2 CPs every turn.
Binharic Override: At the end of any Phase, immediately change one of your Robot unit's Protocols. They can't change for the rest of the game. Actually really useful. Just remember to use it in your opponent's turn. Because some players will certainly let you know when you 'missed your chance' to use this Stratagem. Datasmiths do not do the same thing as this Stratagem.
Archeotech Specialists: You don't really have any Relics worth picking up.
Scryerskull: Useless in Matched Play. So useless for the purposes of this Guide.
Dataspike: One of your <Characters> is in Melee with a <Vehicle>. You've already screwed up. Anyway. Roll to hit. Do D3 Mortal Wounds.
Cognis Overwatch: Cognis weapons Overwatch on full BS. How many Ironstrider Ballistarii are you running? (HINT: It should be 'none')
Protector Doctrina Imperative: A <Skitarii> unit gets +1 to hit for the Shooting phase, or +2. Use on Plasma Vanguard.
Conqueror Doctrina Imperative: A <Skitarii> unit gets +1 to hit for the Fight phase, or +2. Use on Sicarian Infiltrators or Sydonian Dragoons.
Benevolence of the Omnissiah: Whenever an AdMech Vehicle or <Questor Mechanicus> unit takes a Mortal Wound, make a 5+ save, and also make 5+ ignore Mortal Wounds for the rest of the phase. In most Codecies, this Stratagem only ever works in the Psychic Phase. However, AdMech can do it in whatever phase they want. That's actually really, really useful. Especially for your <Questor Mechanicus> units. This Stratagem does not have the same name as the similar Stratagem in Codex: Imperial Knights - Benevolence of the Machine God. You can use both at the same time.
Tech-Adept: One of your Repairers can Repair twice - even the same model. Useful for trying to get that VP.
Machine Spirit Resurgent: Use the top row of an AdMech Vehicle or <Questor Mechanicus> Damage table. Can be useful. However, it is still a Stratagem, and you still only get to use it once per phase.
Rage of the Machines: One of your Vehicles gets to ignore the penalties for Moving/Advancing and shooting in the same turn with whatever weapon they happen to have. Pretty good. Not a priority, though.
Dunestriders: One of your chicken-walker units gets to roll 2d6 for their Advance move.
Acquisition At Any Cost: One of your <Infantry> units within 3" of an Objective gets +1 to saving throws, and +1 attack. Unfortunately, this Stratagem is used at the end of your turn. So this is a defensive Stratagem, not an offensive one. Which actually makes it borderline useless. Unless you're using it on Fulgurites, who destroyed their unit on your turn, are now holding an Objective, and really wound like that 2+ Invulnerable save before your opponent unloads their entire army on them.
Infoslave Skull: Shoot (-1) at any opposing model that sets up within 12" of one of your units. Neat.
Machine Spirit's Revenge: Your Vehicle automatically explodes. Don't roll. Extremely useful on Robots and Dunecrawlers - especially when they're in the last Damage bracket anyway.
Fresh Converts: <Agripinaa>. Spend 3CPs to 'reset' one of your Kataphron units with <6 models in it. It's pretty strong, and doesn't cost points. Unfortunately, it's still Agripinaa, and still terrible. Kataphrons aren't even good.
Legio Teleportarium: <Lucius>. Nah. Stygies does the same thing, better.
Clandestine Infiltration: <Stygies VIII>. Before the first Battle Round begins, set up as many units as you want 9" away from enemy models. There are many, many, many good candidates for this Stratagem, especially as the Stratagem does not specify <Infantry>. Which means that it is perfectly valid to infiltrate Robots and Dragoons. However, remember that Dragoon and Robot footprints are pretty big, so try not to go crazy, because not all of them will be able to make it into combat. The other option is to run a Vanguard Detachment with 45+ Electro-Priests. That's fun. Remembering to save enough CPs so that one of your Electro-Priest units can Fight twice.
Stygies has the best Dogma, and the best Stratagem.
Plasma Specialists: <Ryza>. One of your units gets +1 to wound, and +1 Damage with Plasma weapons. This is an immensely strong Stratagem (outside of the -1 to hit meta). Unfortunately, you only get to use it once per turn, and also Ryza's Dogma isn't even remotely similar to this Stratagem. So, bring exactly one unit of Vanguard with triple Plasma, or as many Kataphron Destroyers as you can possibly bring with Plasma Culverins. Other than exactly one Plasma unit, and the HQ to make it a legal Patrol, you'll never need to look at <Ryza> ever again.
Steel Mind, Iron Logic: <Graia>. *shrug* It's still 50% chance to fail.
Wrath of Mars: <Mars>. Whenever your picked unit makes a 6+ to wound in the Shooting phase, do a Mortal Wound in addition to the other damage. The number of bonuses you get to wound for a Mars army is...None? Mars also wants to play mostly-Melee. The unit that makes this pay off the most is Kataphron Destroyers with Heavy Grav Cannons. They have the most shots, and deal a lot of damage per shot, plus Mortal Wounds. This is also helpful because, as Mars, you will be taking Robots, which combines well with Elimination Volley.
Deafening Assault: <Metalica>. *Fart noise*
Knight of the Cog: A <Questor Mechanicus> Knight gains the benefit of Canticles for the turn. +1 to Armour Save is always handy, and for everything else, there's Melee. Remember to combine with <Mars> for maximising Canticles.
Rotate Ion Shields: This is only useful because you haven't gotten around to buying Codex: Imperial Knights, yet.
Spoiler: HQBelisarius Cawl: Cawl is <Mars>. <Mars> is Cawl. Cawl ramps up Canticles something fierce. As we've established earlier, Canticles are much, much more reliable to units that actually want to use them - Melee units. One of the major problems with Kastelan Robots is that they're WS4+. That's actually pretty bad. However, Robots are actually pretty good if you can get their Attacks to connect. One or way or another, Canticles makes it happen. Cawl makes Canticles happen. Additionally, Cawl's Aura allows all re-roll to hits in the Shooting phase, not just 1s. This makes your BS4+ models (also bad) that much more reliable...They'd be good if they could connect. However, you could also be using Cawl's Aura to supercharge your BS3+ models which are already good. The point is, Cawl opens up options. Melee is more reliable, Shooting is more reliable. This allows you to run more options, though not necessarily better options.
Cawl's Warlord Trait...Isn't great. His re-roll to hit Aura is nice, combined with his larger base. However at the end of the day, he's not getting you Command Points back, and AdMech is a very Command Point intensive army.
Tech-Priest Dominus: None of the weapons actually matter. Take whatever you want. Cheaper is better. The role of the Tech-Priest is to bring their rr1 to hit Aura. It doesn't sound like a lot, and it isn't. But, you have some of the better Plasma options in the game (which turn to garbage in the '-1 to hit' meta). You can also put a Dominus behind your Vehicle of choice, and just have them repair your Dunecralwers or Robots as needed.
Tech-Priest Enginseer: It's like a Dominus without an Aura, and thus, much, much, much cheaper. The other problem is that in a solo AdMech army (gross), TPEs become a necessary evil due to the 3-cap. So you'll end up taking some as taxes anyway.
[COLOR="#0000FF"]The AdMech Codex pairs extremely well with Codex: Imperial Knights - the Theme doesn't hurt either. If your main Detachment is (Questor) Imperial Knights, and you're chasing a Battalion for CPs. Not only are Enginseers cheap, but they also have the ability to repair Knights. Especially with Tech-Adept Stratagem and Necromechanic Warlord Trait.
Spoiler: TroopsSkitarii Rangers: Your staple Troops choice. Arc Rifles should be your Special Weapon of choice. However the kit is so limited that you don't really get choices. It is not worth having 10 Rangers to get 3 Arquebuses. That's a real bad idea and so stupidly expensive. Plasma Calivers are nice. But, at the end of the day, try and pick up Arc Rifles from your bitz seller of choice. Maybe even find a conversion guide. Doesn't really matter. Arc Rifles are 4 Points, and ridiculously good.
Skitarii Vanguard: Currently, the limitations of the Skitarii kit are really annoying. In any case, Plasma Calivers pair really well with Radium Carbines, only because both weapons just happen to be Assault weapons. So, yeah. Plasma weapons. The other major reason to run Vanguard, is if you're Forge World of choice is <Metalica>.
Kataphron Breachers: Heavy Arc Rifles all day. Arc Claws are better simply because they're the cheaper Melee weapon that you will never, ever use. Problem is, they're Kataphrons, and BS4+ is real bad. The other problem with the Hydraulic Claw, makes you WS5+, and at that point what are you even doing?
But, with S8, -4, d6 Damage wouldn't Torsion Cannons serve the role as anti-Vehicle in the AdMech army? Okay...Let's see...Over 50 Points each, 1 shot, BS4+. Ugh. I feel sick. The fact that anyone would consider Torsion Cannons as viable anti-Vehicle within the Codex, is a testament to the current position of the AdMech Codex within the meta.
Kataphron Destroyers: Heavy Grav-Cannons forever. BS4+ is real bad on guns with random shots. So ignore Plasma Culverins. Especially if you're in a meta that spams -1 to hit. Phosphor Blasters are better by virtue of being cheaper. 'Cognis' is also an extremely over-rated word in the book. In any case, Kataphrons aren't too great. BS4+ is just a pretty huge nail in a coffin on a model that's going to be over 50 Points.
Bizarrely, Kataphrons are <Infantry>. So, despite being on tracks, Kataphrons can climb ladders and get Cover saves.
Spoiler: ElitesServitors: No.
Cybernetica Datasmith: While your Tech Priests are busy repairing Knights, Datasmiths can repair Robots.
Sicarian Ruststalkers: Similar in points to Fulgurite Electro-Priests. Except Fulgarites are better.
Sicarian Infiltrators: Power Swords are good. Taser Goads are good. Corpuscarii Electro-Priests are better. No option to pick up a Data-Tether, so Doctrina Imperatives doesn't do anything magical. It helps. But there are just better targets.
Fulgarite Electro-Priests: If you take any, take as many as you can. Play Stygies, and Infiltrate them. Slam into your opponent on Turn 1, Fight twice if you have to. Have a 3++ for the rest of the game, on top of a 5+ to ignore wounds. Very strong unit...Stygies only.
Corpuscarii Electro-Priests: This unit is great, because they aren't so reliant on destroying a unit to be good. On the other hand, their only save is that 5+ ignore wounds. As long as your opponent isn't spamming S6 weapons or units with over T4, Corpuscariis do fine. Fine. Not good. And only against specific armies. Still, the goal is to take as many of them as you can to maximise their Charge which is always pretty brutal. Still... Stygies only. Also, major problem...Corpuscariis are WS4+. So that Charge has to go well.
Spoiler: Fast AttackSydonian Dragoons: Coming stock with Enhanced Data-tethers (as opposed to choosing between an Omnispex), they make perfect targets for Protector Doctrina Imperiatives. Slam into someone and roll 4+ to hit and roll hard. However, Dragoons have a problem where they're extremely expensive compared to their points cost. Which means you'll inevitably need to pick up a lot of them for them to be effective...But their cost-efficiency to your wallet, is...Bad.
Ironstrider Ballistarii: Every Ironstrider you make, is a Dragoon you didn't make. Next.
But muh Twin Lascannon! ...For 100 Points each. You're better off with Breachers, and Breachers are bad.
Spoiler: Heavy SupportKastelan Robots: One of the few <Imperium> Heavy Support choices to not be utterly redundant via Armiger Warglaives. Robots are really, really good. Especially combined with Battle Protocols and Canticles. However, that WS/BS4+ is pretty killer when compared to the aforementioned Warglaives. So, if you're going to want to take any Robots, you're going to want to build around them. Cawl is especially important, as are Datasmiths. But Stygies is also handy for the first-turn Charge. At the end of the day, playing Robots can get pretty expensive, so you may not be wanting to play AdMech solo, and you may need to pick up bodies from elsewhere.
Onager Dunecrawler: If you're going to have any, you need three of them. That works perfectly because they're in the Start Collecting! box, which you should always start your army with three of. The Eradication Beamer is pretty good. So, one Eradication Beamer is worth three Breachers. And Dunecrawlers at least start with BS3+. So that's good. But, if you're going to roll Neutron Lasers, you're almost better off running the Warglaives instead. The Icarus Array is fine, if you happen to play against a lot of Aeldari armies.
Spoiler: Questor MechanicusThis whole section is pretty pointless. And you should just buy Codex: Imperial Knights.
Knight Gallant: Cheap...And Bad.
Knight Errant: Good.
Knight Warden: Better.
Knight Crusader: Best.
If you do end up picking up Codex: Imperial Knights, what makes a Knight 'good', goes completely out the window, depending on what your army is and how your army works and what you want to do (e.g; Knight Gallants in the IK book, are really good). So, a Knight Warden in this Codex, is much better than the exact same model in a different book. So, magnetise your Knights, and try and pick up their dedicated Codex as soon as possible. Then do what best suits you.
But, you already knew that the AdMech book was 'behind the meta', right?