Friday, 10 November 2017

Codex: Astra militarum - Orders

This time around we are going to take a look at the orders. While this may be slightly out of order with the book, it feels like a good place to put them, having just gone through the regimental doctrines. As with the last few editions of the guard, there are a number of orders that are available to all regiments and then there are the regimental specific orders, which are listed at the end.

First up are the general Orders

Take aim!
The first order listed in the book is Take Aim! and will probably one of the more commonly issues orders, especially to heavy weapons teams and anything wielding plasma, thus is due to it allowing the ordered unit to re-roll 1's to hit. This means that it will cut down the number of misses from those heavy weapons teams but more importantly it means that overcharged plasma weapons have a lot better chance of not only hitting but more importantly, not exploding! This order won't be the most common used overall, but for plasma and heavy weapons it will be. One other thing to note, if you are playing a Cadian regiment, and you remained stationary, this order means that you will be re-rolling all your misses, not just 1's.

Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire (aka FRFSRF)
Now this is going to be the most commonly used order in the majority of guard armies, regardless of regiment, as it turns all your lasguns in to rapid 2 weapons. That's a lot of shots from even a basic guard squad and tied in with some of the doctrines like the Armageddon or Vostroyan, it will mean that you have a very potent threat. For the majority of cases where you will be issuing orders, this is going to be better than any of the more specific ones and if your not sure what order you should use, use this one. Oh, and lets not forget it also works with hotshot lasgun too.

bring it down
This is the other side of the Take Aim coin and enables you to re-roll 1's to wound. Now in most cases this isn't going to be very effective, unless you shooting g at something very weak or using a powerful gun, your only going to be re-rolling a third of your misses which isn't very much. However, if you are shooting a lascannon against a space marine or even a normal t8 vehicle, then yes, this will be an effective order, provided you actually hit in the first place. I see this order being useful for Cadians more than most, as they already get there re-rolls to hit, but for everyone else, its more important to get hits, than you worry about wounding, afterall if you don't hit in the first place, you can't do any wounds.

Forward for the emperor
The order for when you need a little bit more movement to get in to rapid range or even just in range, as the ordered unit van both advance and shoot. This is one of the orders that is very situational and won't get used a lot. There will be times when it will be required but if you want to shoot, something like FRFSRF would be better and if you need to move, then Move Move Move would be better. An order worth keeping in mind but not one that you'll go to very often.

Get back in the fight
Again, a very situational order, as it enables you to shoot after falling back from combat. Now, most of the time if a unit is falling back, its going to be mangled and not really worth putting an order on to but there will be times when it will, such as with conscripts, who will generally have enough numbers to survive combat, fall back and still be able to do damage in shooting. You may also want tonuse this on a units with special weapons, such as flamers or plasma, even if there are only a few models left, just to get the benefits of the weapons. Overall though, your better off just falling back and ignoring the unit, putting your orders on to other, stronger units.

Move! move! move!
This is another of the good units and if your playing a maelstrom game or entering your last turn of an eternal war mission, can be vital. The unit receiving this order must move and advance instead of shooting. If you already have moved and advanced, this could result in 24 inches of movement, although 18 is more likely. This really increases the movement of a guardsmen, meaning that those objectives rant quite as far away as you thought. It can also cause you opponent a few problems as well when your guardsmen suddenly sprint across the table. While the downside is that you cannot charge, oh wait, not that's not much of a downside is it? So while this won't be one of the first orders you go to, its definatly a very useful order.

Fix bayonets - only if within 1", fight as per fight phase
Another one of the situational orders, as although it can only be order to a unit within 1 inch of the enemy and effectively gives you a free round of combat, most of the time your not going to want to be in combat, unless your sure you can survive until the enemies combat phase. If your in combat and have an excess of orders, you"d be better off falling back and issuing Get Back in the Fight. The only time this order could be useful is when you are locked in combat with a unit you cannot fall back from, such as wytches, then there is little other choice for orders, except if your playing Vostroyan. All in all this is probably going to be the least used order, as there several other better options and orders.

That's all of the general orders, and as always there are some good ones, and some not quite so good, situational ones but they all have there uses and will at some point it another be used.

The next set of orders are tank orders and can only be given by tank commanders and received by Lehman Russ battle tanks.

Full throttle
This order is for when you want to move, in the same vain as the infantry Move, Move, Move, order. This means that instead of shooting you can move as if it was the movement phase but again you must advance. This means that you could potentially have a movement of 32 inches, which is a long movement for a vehicle like the LRBT. This wont be you first choice for the tanks, but can give to a lot of extra movement when you really need it, either to get to an objective, remember LRBT's are objective secured in spearhead detachments, or to get in to cover/out of LOS. Its going to be rare that you are going to want to forgo your shooting phase, but there may be occasions when you need to and in those circumstances, this is the order you'll need.

Gunner, kill on sight
This is going to be the most used order for most tanks, Re-rolling 1's to hit. This will mean that you might get an extra hit or maybe 2, depending upon what your shooting. Weapons like the Vanquisher will not benefit much from this, where as a Punisher will probably benefit a lot.

Strike and shroud
This is an unusual order and one that will be situational and also its a one shot job. The order can only be placed on a unit that hasn't used its smoke launchers during the game, an ability I usually forget all about! I think that this order gets forgotten about a lot of the time but is actually a really useful order and can add a lot of survivability to a tank. Being able to use your smoke as well as shooing, means that you can push up your tanks in to areas where they would usually be exposed or to give you extra protection when sitting in cover. This is definitely an order you should keep handy, but be careful not to waste it, as it is a one shot only order.

The next set of orders are regiment specific and as such only available to detachments using the named regimental doctrine

Cadian - Pound them to dust
The Cadian order is a tank order and so can only be issued by tank commanders or by Pask. This order allows you to re-roll the dice for the number of attacks you can make for those turret weapons that use a random number of attacks, such as the battle cannons d6 roll. This means that on most occasions you will end up with 4 or more attacks, which is always better than rolling a 1. Combine this with both the doctrine for re-rolls of 1 to hit and the grinding advance rules and you have a formidable firepower output. granted there are some tanks that are not going to be able to use this order, such as punishers and vanquishers, but you have other orders you can use there. If your running Cadians then I can see this order being used quite a bit to get you some extra shots.

Catachan - Burn them out
The Catachan order again runs very close to the fluff of the unit and also relies on you being very close to the enemy to use it, where that +1 strength will also come in handy! With this order, flamers and heavy flamers get to re-roll the dice for the number of attacks that they make and those attacks also ignore any save bonus' given by cover or terrain. Now, as usual this order only applies to infantry, so no using this on your hell hounds but it can be very useful for upping the number of hits a unit gets. It will work best on things like command squads or vets loaded up with a heavy flamer and 3 flamers. On a standard infantry squad with one flamer, this is going to be wasted, as at that range you'll be a lot better of with FRFSRF, where you'll be generating a lot of extra hits, far more than a flamer could every get. Used wisely, this is a great order, but its very situational and chances are, who every you issue it to will be dead next turn.

Valhallan - fire on my command
Life is cheap and meaningless to a Valhallan, and its shows in there order. With this order a unit can shoot INTO combat, usually something that is a big no no. the only downside is that any to hit rolls of 1 are worked out against the friendly units that are in the combat. While this order is great for being able to help out a unit locked in combat, even with the downside, its situational, as I think most of the time you'll be better of falling the units in combat back and shooting at the enemy units with other orders. However, for those times a unit is locked in combat and cannot leave, then this is going to be very useful. A good order, but you'll need to think carefully about how you use it.

Vostroyan - Repel the enemy
This is the other side of the Valhallans order, as with this one you can shoot while locked in combat. Of the two orders this is by far the better order, as chances are your guard squad are going to be a lot stronger at shooting that they are at combat. Just look at the average guardsman, with 1 S3 attack in combat vs 2 S3 attacks in shooting. If you don't want to fall back out of combat, then this is going to be the order for you, especially for those plasma armed vets.

Armageddon - Mount up
This is another great order and can be very useful, especially for those would be suicide squads. The order allows a unit that is within range of a transport to embark at the end of there shooting, although you cant use it on a unit that disembarked during the movement phase. So no getting out shooting and jumping back in. Still this is a good order, you'll just need to be good with your measurements. Move a unit out in to range and run a transport up behind them, once they've shot, they can jump in and shelter from the return fire in relative safety. Again this is probably best used on your valuable heavy hitting units, like command squads and vets, but is equally useful for infantry squads as well and would be useful for relocating heavy weapon squads mid battle as you would only loose a round of shooting rather than 2.

Tallarn - Get around behind them
The Tallarn order is another tank order. The order allows a tank to move up to 6 inches in the shooting phase, either before or after it fires. However, the main thing is that this extra movement does not count towards you total movement for determining whether you can use the grinding advance rule to fire twice. So, you can still move half distance and then move the extra movement, effectively giving you your full movement value and still being able to fire twice or allowing you to move in to a fire position and then back out of LOS. This is a really good order and one that I think will see a lot of use in a Tallarn based tank army. If I could use this in any tank army, I think I would be using this more than I used all the other orders combined.

Militarum Tempestus - Elimination protocol sanctioned
The scions got a better deal with there order than they did with there doctrine, being granted re-rolls to wound against monsters and vehicles. This order will benefit the two most commonly used scions squads, plasma and melta squads, the former against monsters and the  against vehicles. With the greater BS  skill, re-rolling to wound rather than hit is not a major issue, although its no help with overcharged plasma weapons, something you might want against monsters. This order is a good order to have and will be useful in a lot of cases to conver those hits to wounds, and with plasma and melta up values, there's not a lot that is going to survive being wounded.

Mordian - Form firing squad
Again, the poor old mordians are last on the list but there order is far from being the worst, in many respects its one of the best. With this order the unit can target characters with there rapid fire weapons, regardless of whether they are the closest model or not. Granted its only for rapid fire weapons, so only out to 24 inches in most cases, but it means that you have a chance of taking out those buffing units or there combat monster before they can do there thing. This is really going to be good with  armed with plasma and has the potential to completely mess with the enemies plans. Having characters removed is a big deal in 8th. This is a good , one that will be used a  but only if your enemy is helpful enough to put there characters in  position for you to shoot at.