|Apparently Elite Shock Troopers wear blue and gold now|
Now that my small bit of soapboxing/wishlisting is out of the way, let's see what this book brings to the table as a stand alone army, or to it's potential allies.
Background and Art
The codex goes into the background of the Storm Troopers a lot further than we've had before, laying out how disciplined, efficient and overall useful Imperium they are, that is unless you're an Imperial Guardsman in which case you hate their guts completely. And yes, the "baroque carapace armour" (as the codex describes it), is apparently standard issue. Though to be fair, when it comes to the Imperium, "subtle" isn't usually part of the vocabulary so I can't talk too badly about it because it at least fits the setting fairly well.
An interesting fact about those masks that they wear that is presented is that they don't provide just air, but also a nutrient gruel, allowing the Storm Troopers to go long periods of time without food, or sleep, instead just standing around dormant, but alert. Becoming addicted to this though, and the failure to sleep properly can lead to the Storm Trooper becoming reliant on their equipment and their discipline slipping, leading to them being possibly removed from the regiment if it goes too far.
The codex even goes into detail about our good friends and every present morale officers, the Commissar as well. We even get a good bit of background about the Schola Progenium itself, really filling it a fair number of holes that used to exist in the background before. And no, they are not happy places.
Overall the background information is a fairly entertaining read for those who like reading these parts of the codex. I was just left with one question after reading it: what is "Emperor Day"?
My newly confirmed lack of a complete understanding of the Imperium aside, the art in the book looks to be pretty much all new. I'm not 100% sure that the icons and little paragraph break images aren't re-used, but the images of the Storm Troopers themselves are all new and they look good. Even though I'm more of a fan of more subdued colors for my troopers, I really like the art in this book. It's in the same style as a lot of the current art, so if something you're fond of, don't worry there is plenty of it here, to include 18 different images of Storm Troopers in different regimental colors (not counting a few others peppered through the book in relation to some specific events given a more fleshed out treatment). So if you weren't a fan of the blue and gold there is a good chance that one of the other regiments might be something you're more interested in instead.
We also get some images of different paint schemes on both the Taurox and the Valkyrie to help give players some ideas how to paint theirs for their regiment of Storm Troopers. The model gallery section, likewise, covers a number of paint schemes, to include one done in a woodland style camouflage pattern that makes my hands ache to think about painting it en masse.
Army Rules and Wargear
OrdersIt's probably no surprise to anyone who is familiar with these guys from the Imperial Guard codex to know that they have the ability to issue orders. Here it follows the rule Voice of Command, a rule only available to models who are "officers" in the army, which lays out rules for issuing orders, and what to do if you have a model who can issue more than one order or more than one model with this rule.
The orders are:
- Directed Firestorm Sanctioned - Ordered unit must make a shooting attack. All weapons fired by models in the ordered unit are Twin-Linked.
- Autonomous Fire Sanctioned - Ordered unit must make a shooting attack. When resolving the shooting attack, all models in the ordered unit have the Preferred Enemy special rule.
- Close Assault Doctrine Sanctioned - Ordered unit gains the Crusader special rule for the rest of the turn.
- Advance on Target - Ordered unit gains the Fleet special rule for the rest of the turn.
- Suppression Doctrine Sanctioned - Ordered unit must make a shooting attack. When resolving the shooting attack all hot-shot laspistols and hot-shot lasguns have the Sniper and Pinning special rules. Additionally the unit cannot charge in the following Assault phase.
- Elimination Protocol Sanctioned - Ordered unit must make a shooting attack at an enemy vehicle or Monstrous Creature. When resolving the shooting attack all weapons fired by the ordered unit have the Rending special rule.
Warlord TraitsAnother codex, another Warlord Traits table. Let's see what this one gives us:
- Dauntless Commander - Warlord is Fearless.
- Grenadier - When throwing Frag or Krak grenades the Warlord has the Twin-linked special rule. When using krak grenades or melta bombs in combat the Warlord has the Tank Hunters special rule.
- Intrepid Leader - The Warlord, and all friendly units from Codex: Militarum Tempestus, within 12" have the Stubborn special rule.
- Grav-chute Commandos - All friendly units chosen from Codex: Militarum Tempestus re-roll failed Reserve Rolls if arriving by Deep Strike. All units in the same platoon as the Warlord only scatter D6" instead of 2D6".
- Drill Chief - When firing hot-shot laspistols or hot-shot lasguns, friendly units from Codex: Militarum Tempestus within 12" of the Warlord can fire an additional 6" providing they didn't move in the preceding movement phase.
- Inspired Commander - Warlord has +1 Leadership (to a maximum of 10).
AlliesNo pictures of the chart in this book, just the categories and the armies they apply too:
- Battle Brothers: All Armies of the Imperium (Adepta Sororitas, Astra Militarum, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Grey Knights, Imperial Knights, Inquisition, Space Marines and Space Wolves)
- Allies of Convenience: Eldar
- Desperate Allies: Dark Eldar, Tau Empire
- Come the Apocalypse: Chaos Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Necrons, Orks, Tyranids
FormationsRemember those formations we've only been seeing in Dataslates? Well this book has them. I'll cover them a bit later, but I wanted to mention it now as this is where the book talks about how they work. Same stuff we've seen before: they don't have a limit and count as a completely separate detachment from the Primary Detachment regardless of the number units in the formation. Additionally formations ally as they would normally, but don't count against allies detachments. And no, they still don't cost extra points beyond the cost of the models to meet the requirements of the formations.
- Flak Armour (the same t-shirts the Guard wear, now on your Commissars!)
- Carapace Armour (Storm Troopers comes with this standard)
- Hot-shot Lasgun (Tempestus Scions come with this standard, it's like a standard flashlight, but AP3!)
- Hot-shot Laspistol (Tempestor and Tempestor Primes come with this. It's an AP3 Maglite)
- Bolt Pistol (Commisar/Lord Commisar)
- Close Combat Weapon (Commisar/Lord Commisar/Tempestor/Tempestor Prime all bring their own pig stickers)
- Frag/Krak Grenades (Everyone brings these to the party)
- Refractor Field (Lord Commisars only, gives a 5++)
- Flamer (Same as everywhere else)
- Grenade Launcher (Frag and Krak just like the Guard Codex)
- Hot-shot volley gun (24", S4, AP3, Salvo 2/4)
- Meltagun (No changes)
- Plasma gun (Yup, it still Gets Hot!)
- Power weapon (same as the rulebook)
- Power fist (same cost as a Marine one for a lower total strength)
Special Issue Wargear:
- Carapace armour (same cost as a melta bomb, and gives a 4+ save, what's to not like?)
- Melta bombs (same old, trust-worthy Melta-bomb)
- Medi-Pack (gives the Command Squad Feel no Pain)
- Platoon Standard (a unit with the Platoon Standard counts as scoring 1 additional wound for purposes of calculating assault results)
- Vox-Caster (re-roll failed Leadership tests when testing for orders as long as the officer's unit has a Vox-Caster, does not affect the Officer's unit)
- Searchlight (Yeah, that thing most Imperial vehicles come with standard that people forget to use)
- Relic Plating (Gives the vehicle the Adamantium Will special rule)
- Doze blade (No, I'm not sure where it goes on the model either)
- Storm bolter (I don't think this needs explaining. It's the same one every Imperial army has)
- Recovery gear (Gives the vehicle the ability to become mobile again like a Rhino if it's immobilized. Does not give back Hull Points. (Costs the same as a Melta bomb)
- Smoke launchers (Not standard here apparently)
- Extra armour (Just in case you're worried about being Stunned)
- Fire Barrels (First time an enemy unit attempts to charge a vehicle with these they suffer D6 S4, AP5 hits allocated randomly. For the cost of a meltagun, I would probably take this if I was worried about things punching my vehicles)
- Hunter-killer missile (the same one that no one takes, you can even see the dust!)
- Augur Array (New kit that works like a Teleport Homer)
- Camo Netting (only helpful if you sit still)
- Taurox Battle Cannon (48", S7, AP4, Heavy 1, Blast. Basically an autocannon that fires one explosive round)
- Twin-linked Hot-shot Volley Gun (24", S4, AP3, Salvo 2/4, Twin-linked)
- Twin-linked Taurox Gatling Gun (24", S4, AP-, Heavy 10, Twin-linked, (Pask would be proud))
- Taurox Missile Launcher (Frag: 48", S4, AP 6, Heavy 2, Blast; Krak: 48", S8, AP3, Heavy 2)
- Twin-linked Autocannon (replaces Twin-linked Hot-shot Volley gun, 48", S7, AP4, Heavy 2)
- Multi-laser (No changes here)
- Hellstrike Missiles (same as the Guard codex)
- Lascannon (replaces Multi-laser)
- Multiple Missile Pods (Replaces Hellstrike Missiles)
- Heavy Bolter Sponsons (just like normal)
Army ListWouldn't be much of a codex if we didn't have an army list to build off of, now would it?
- Commissar (may upgrade to Lord Commissar)
- Militarum Tempestus Command Squad (the unit you'll probably see more often as it can give orders, plus Clarion Vox-Net, which allows all friendly units from Codex: Militarum Tempestus within 18" to use the Tempestor Prime's Leadership for Fear, Morale and Pinning tests)
- Militarium Tempestus Scions (Starts at 5 models, can go to 10)
- Taurox Prime (also a dedicated transport for Militarum Tempestus Command Squads and Militarium Tempestus Scions)
- Valkyrie Squadron (1-3 Valkyries, still carries 12 models despite rumors have claimed. Not a dedicated transport option)
FormationsI told you that we'd be covering these. There are two in total.
Airborne Assault FormationRequires:
- 1 Commissar,
- 1 Militarum Tempestus Command Squad,
- 3 Militarium Tempestus Scions squads,
- 4 Valkryies
- Air Calvary: All infantry units from this formation begin the game embarked upon their Valkyrie transports and, thus, must be placed in reserves. Futhermore, if a unit in this formation disembarks using the Valkyrie's Grav-chute Insertion special rule, you re-roll the scatter die.
- Secure the Area: On any turn that a unit in this formation disembarks from a Valkyrie (even using the Grav-chute Insertion special rule) it has the Split fire special rule and all of it's ranged weapons have the Twin-linked special rule.
- Strategic Intervention: When rolling for reserves treat the formation as a single roll, and upon a successful Reserves Roll the whole unit arrives from Reserve.
Ground Assault FormationRequires:
- 1 Commissar,
- 1 Militarum Tempestus Command Squad,
- 3 Militarium Tempestus Scions squads,
- 4 Taurox Primes
- Calculated Strike: All units in this formation must be either set up during deployment or placed in reserve, they can not be splot. When rolling for reserves make a single Reserve Roll for the formation, and upon a successful Reserve Roll all units in the formation arrive from Reserve.
- Mounted Battle Group: All Infantry units in this formation begin the game embarked upon their Taurox Prime transports
- Surgical Deployment: On any turn in which a unit from this formation disembarks from a Taurox Prime, all of its ranged weapons have the Pinning and Twin-linked special rules.
Final ThoughtsOverall the army looks pretty interesting and for the first time since we started getting these mini-dexes, doesn't require a special FOC to run as it brings everything it needs to be a legal list. The idea of running an army of AP3 weapons is pretty entertaining, and the vehicles do a nice job of helping balance out the army's obvious weaknesses with dealing with vehicles. Large units will still pose an issue as the army lacks access to large blast templates, but the Gatling Gun looks like it might help in that regards.
The inclusion of formations into the army list does a lot for the book as well, and should help make some people happy that they don't need to buy a dataslate just to access them.
In all the book brings back Storm Troopers to people who have been wanting to play them as a proper army, to Sisters players who used to run them in Codex: Witch Hunters, to Inquisition players who wanted some better troop options to support their Inquisitor and generally adds a fairly interesting force to the game. The art is pretty good, and I like the additional information about the Scholas, something we didn't have much on before. Even though I don't plan to play the army at this time, this is one book I'm glad I picked up and will definitely be considering playing in the future.