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Warhammer 40K: Guard Are Bringing Big Guns and Bigger Changes – BoLS

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Oh boy, is that a big big gun. Lets take a look at the new 10th Edition rules for the Astra Militarum.

Warhammer 40,000 10th Edition is not that far off. We’ve seen the massive new Leviathan box. GW has also given us a nice taste of the changing rules. Now we’ve been getting a nice look at the newly updated factions. After all, it’s not just the core rules that are changing, but those for every unit and faction in the game. This week we’ve gotten a look at my favorite army, the Astra Militarum.

astra militarum voice of command 10th edition rule
The faction rule for the Guard remains the ability to issue orders, now named Voice of Command. This functions more or less like it has for the past few editions. During your command phase, Officers can issue orders to units with give them various buffs. Importantly, officers do not have to issue the order to the unit they are attached two, but a unit within 6″ that their sheet says they can order around. The orders have also been streamlined a bit, with each one giving a simple buff to one or more of the unit’s stats. This does make things a little easier to keep track of.

This does have some interesting interactions. Since the buffs to shooting and melee now improve your BS and WS by 1, they do not overlap with other rules that give you a +1 to hit or with rules that allow re-rolls. I think this is a solid change and makes them a lot more viable. Combining that with the free weapon upgrades means that First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! remains strong, but is no longer the best pick always.
cadian shock troops 10th edition
We also got a look at the full Cadian Shock Troops datacard. Stat and weapon-wise, there isn’t a whole ton of surprises here. A few weapons have changed up, but it’s nothing crazy. The Shock Troops rule is a fine one that helps the army be a little more mobile. However, there are some interesting tidbits here. Vox-caster has moved from having anything to do with leadership and now has the potential to give you extra CP. I’m assuming you are still capped at getting 1 free CP a turn, but if not the Vox-caster means Guard will have a lot of them to spend.
99120105039 CadianShockTroopsNEW01
Even more interesting is the news that Guard Squads, both the core infantry squads and the various regiments like Cadians, now all have a max size of 20. Doubling up on the size is an effective way to let you have a lot of infantry without falling too much into MSU. In modern 40K it’s rare for a single squad of Guardsmen to have much effect, so this makes sense. In addition to the larger size, you can also attach two heroes to the large squads, and one can be a command unit. This implies that a single Guard squad might now have up to 26 models. This makes commands a lot more efficient and really makes Duty and Honor! a tempting order as it could give a unit around 75 OC.
baneblade 10th edition
GW also showed off a fair amount of info on tanks. We got a good look at the Baneblade datasheet. It’s possible that super heavies might be worth it this edition, though honestly 24 wounds seems a little low. You can see a bunch of changes, including that lascannons have gone up to D6+1 damage. On top of that the Baneblade cannon is nothing to laugh at.
Volcano Cannon 10th edition
The real start of big guns however is the Volcano Cannon. Now this is a gun! If this thing hits you, you won’t be happy. It’s a rare weapon that can just vaporize a tank with a single hit, but here you’ve got one. We don’t know what this edition’s blast rule does, but heavy does bump the gun up to hitting a 3+. Ouch.
leman russ battle cannon 10th
The Battle Cannon has also become a lot more reliable this edition, with D6+3 shots and a straight 3 damage. Again without knowing what blast does (is it extra shot, max shots?) its a bit hard to judge, but a reliable weapon is a good one. The Baneblade also showed off the Demolisher Cannon’s stats, and I think there is a good match up here. The Demolisher is shorter-ranged and less reliable, with D6 damage, but gets a higher max output, better strength and a higher AP. The Battle Cannon only being AP -1 is it’s biggest draw back, but a mix of the two might not be out of place.
Reinforcements astra militarum 10th ed stratagem
Lastly, we got a look a one of the Guard’s new stratagems. Or rather old ones, since we’ve seen stratagems and rules like this for a number of editions. Basically, for 2CP you can bring back a unit. We don’t know what all units have the Regiment keyword. At least the battleline units appear, to and it may be that most of the infantry units do. Maybe Rough Riders? This can be a pretty powerful stratagem, especially with the new larger squad sizes. You could even argue it makes the Guard better at bringing back models than the Necrons. It’s unclear if you get to use Vox-casters with this stratagem, but if you do that’s an extra bonus. Overall the Guard are shaping up to have some powerful tools and bring some real pain with their tanks.
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Let us know what you think about the new Guard rules, down in the comments! 
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