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Warhammer Warhammer 40k

Into 9th Edition: Mars & House Taranis

With the new edition of Warhammer 40000 coming later this month, I decided to take a look at the current state of each of my armies at the end of 8th edition and what I’m looking forward to for them in 9th edition.

I started this army when I bought the Forgebane box. I liked the idea of having some Imperial Knights and the Adeptus Mechanicus units ended up being a nice thematic companion force to give the overall army a wider range of units.

Army Overview

When deciding on a forge world for my Adeptus Mechanicus force, I settled on Mars. I liked that it let the army lean into canticles as a special rule and it keeps open the option of adding Belisarius Cawl to the force. Once I picked Mars, it felt natural to have the accompanying knights hail from House Taranis which has a history of working closely with the tech priests of Mars. The House Taranis rules make the knights more durable which is great on models that are already tough with a lot of wounds.

My force from Mars has three different tech-priests as HQ options. I generally use a Tech-Priest Dominus as my Warlord. He’s equipped with a phosphor serpenta and eradication ray. I used to give him the Necromechanic warlord trait to make him better at repairing the knights, but going forward I think I’ll be leaning towards the new Learnings of the Genetor trait from Engine War once I paint up a unit of Kataphron Destroyers to serve as his bodyguard. The other two tech-priests are a Manipulus with a transonic cannon and an Enginseer.

For Troops, the army currently has three units of skitarii. A ten model unit of Skitarii Vanguard provide a strike force that moves towards enemy objectives. That unit is equipped with a pair of plasma calivers which increase their firepower and nicely match the range and type of the unit’s primary radium carbines. One unit of Skitarii Rangers is equipped to serve as snipers with a pair of transuranic arquebuses. The arquebuses reduce the units mobility, but the long range and high power of those guns mean that they can have an impact as long as they can be deployed somewhere with good line of sight across the battlefield. The second unit of Rangers carries a pair of arc rifles that make them more of a threat against light vehicles.

The Martians have a unit of Sicarian Infiltrators as their Elites option. The unit can emerge from hiding mid-game to maximize their impact. The stubcarbines offer a high rate of fire when they enter the battle and their power swords make them a threat against even better armored infantry. I gave the unit’s Princeps the other armament choice mostly to help him stand out from the rest of the unit, but his higher number of attacks also makes the taser goad more likely to get additional attacks.

For Heavy Support, the Mars force has an Onager Dunecrawler. This walking tank is armed with a neutron laser that can threaten even the heaviest of tanks. Its pair of heavy stubbers also let it help to weaken any infantry units that start getting too close to it.

My knights from House Taranis offer three Lord of War choices to the overall army. A Knight Warden offers a high rate of powerful shots from its gatling cannon. When it closes with enemy vehicles or monsters, its thunderstrike gauntlet can make quick work of almost any target. The Knight Warden is also equipped with an ironstorm missile pod that lets it threaten enemy units even if they are hiding out-of-sight. I sometimes run the Knight Warden as my warlord in which case I like to upgrade it with the Ion Bulwark trait and the Paragon Gauntlet. The other two units are a pair of Armiger Warglaives that offer the army additional anti-tank firepower.

Into the New Edition

I’m not sure how well this army will fare in 9th edition. With two detachments, it seems like I’ll be down 2 or 3 command points compared to armies that can fit in a single detachment. At the same time, the knights and Dunecrawler already had the ability to move and shoot without penalty so that rules change doesn’t help them much.

Expansion Possibilities

I have a unit of Kataphron Destroyers waiting to get painted. Once they are ready, I intend to use them as a bodyguard unit for my Tech-Priest Dominus. He’ll give them more accurate shooting and the Learnings of the Genetor warlord trait can grant them a 5+ roll to avoid wounds for added durability. I think that will be a fun combination to play with.

Beyond my painting list, I’m interested in a few other Adeptus Mechanicus units. I like the Kastellan Robots models and have been tempted to get a set of them for a while. I also think a Skorpius Dunerider would be a good addition to transport my Skitarii Vanguard unit across the battlefield. The fire-breathing cyber-dogs of Serberys Sulphurhounds are also really neat looking.

I don’t think I’ll be expanding the House Taranis side of the army any time soon. I do have another Imperial Knight kit waiting on my shelf, but I think when I paint it I’ll likely go for a Questor Imperialis house rather than painting it to match these knights.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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