I've been looking at the Gladius strike force for my Emperors Disciples and the Lions Blade strike force for my Dark Guardians and while I'm still planning on using the CAD for both, it seems sensible to see what I can do with just the formations in the codex, as I've a feeling that the CAD will disappear at some point, possibly with 8th.
So what's the verdict? Well, for the Emperors Disciples the story is not all bad. On the whole, there are not a lot of changes, with most units remaining the same with some minor tweaks, there are only a few major changes. The biggest ones come in the form of the loss of a devastator squad, with the two squads being somewhat combined in to a 5 man lascannon/missile squad with the plasma gunners moving in to two of the tactical squads instead of the Heavy Bolters. This does reduce the overall effect of the anti-air but maintains the anti-armour, also the ap2 shooting is maintained although its now spread a little thinner. The other major change is the inclusion of 3x 5 man vet squads instead of just one 10 man squad, in the form of 2x 5 man Sternguard, one combi-plasma and one combi-melta, which were originally formed in to the 10 man squad. The other vet squad is a 5 man Vanguard squad with power weapons, probably swords, as a companion for the Assault squad I need to include. The other major change is the loss of the Librarian, but the gaining of a Chaplin.
So overall, the army feels the same, not a lot will be lost and there will be a few more assault type units in the army, not something that I was really going for but is mostly unavoidable. I could drop the Vanguards for more Sternguard, but it could be useful to have a bit of a CC squad with some ap3 killing power. If I have to go towards the Demi-Company, then I would feel to down and I'll be able to keep the army going as it is.
The Dark Guardians on the other hand are going to take a battering either way I spin in. Why? Well, if I go with the Lions Blade strike force I will loose a lot of my elite units, namely one of the two company vet squads, and most of the other squads are being forced to take minimum numbers and no war gear in order to save points to get in the 1+ aux slot - Deathwing Redemption Force and the Ravenwing Formation, as I cant fill the Ravenwing Strike Force as I have no Land Speeder. However, I can just take the formations and use my Ravenwing and Death company, but I'll loose my vets, command squad and tac squads.
So, what to do? Well, for the moment stick with CAD, but when it goes, I'll probably go for the Lions Blade as it gives me marines on the table and will use the models I have, rather then forcing me to go and buy new ones, which I will have to do to make up the points. However, this does mean that I'm running a lot of bodies with out any upgrades or abilities. This isn't really what I wanted, I get to keep a vet squad and command squad, although without many of there upgrades, mostly their Storm Shields! I'll also have an assault squad, without packs to save points and 3 basic tac squads which will just sit around doing nothing, that's an assault squad and a tac squad that I don't really want or need! Also there is the Dev squad, which at the moment is armed with missiles and flakk, for some AA but they may just get dropped down to Bolters for some points. For the Termies, i'll carry on running the Deathwing Redemption Force, but I may look at running the Ravenwing Attack Squadron, but that means getting at least 2 Land Speeders, using 2x 5 bike squads. Now, this would be 100 points min, but I would prefer to arm them with twin HB's at 110 points, but I would really like twin MM but that puts it up to 150 for the two, although I would a lot of that by getting rid of the Chaplin on a bike, around a 100 points, but that still leaves a deficit of points and all I really have to give is combi-weapons on the vets or the Command squad upgrades, Standard or Champion, or alternatively get rid of them all together, all of which are not options I really want to explore.
So overall, I'll just have to hope that the CAD remains, at least for my Dark Guardian anyway. All this leads me to wonder about the BA future, as I think that the next codex, when ever it arrives will also contain a Demi-Company setup, but looking at it, it may not be much of a problem as I have most of the units I need. The Baal Pred my well be in trouble though. I wonder what will happen to the IG/AM as well, as they will, I assume, get a similar treatment at some point. Well, I suppose I will just have to wait and see on that front.