Codex Adeptus Mechanicus – 10th Edition: Crusade Review

Rejoice, children of the Omnissiah! After sprinkling the single Gooonhammer computer we all share with the necessary holy oils, and cramming various sacred incense into its USB drives, we have received the codex of the Adeptus Mechanicus (I’ve been told by some this is the result of a “release schedule” and that I should “stop ruining the computer”. I don’t buy it and I won’t). As with every new codex release we’ve got a slew of new(ish) rules to go through. It’s worth noting that while we were riding high from the Space Marines and Necrons crusade sections being a refreshing change of pace, the Adeptus Mechanicus rules are more of an update to the 9th-edition ones akin to the Tyranid crusade section, although we do get a new mechanic sprinkled on top.

As always, thanks to Games Workshop for giving us a preview copy of this book

The Search for Archeotech

Similar to last edition, the main bit for Admech is that they’re out looking for Archeotech. This involves searching for various parts depending on the doodad you’re looking to create. As an improvement from last edition, you now get these parts from winning games (instead of just agendas and a coward’s requisition).

Archeotech Parts

When you find an Archeotech part you can either choose for it to be a Power Source or roll a D6 to determine if its a Weapon Part, Force Field Part, or Techno-Arcana Part. Every piece of Archeotech requires a power source, but the other parts will determine if what you get is a replacement weapon for your tech priests (Weapon), a new ability for a tech-priest (Force Field), or a more army centric ability (Techno-Arcana).

Tech-Priest Manipulus. Credit: Rockfish
Tech-Priest Manipulus. Credit: Rockfish

Assembling Archeotech Treasures

Ok you’ve grabbed yourself a Power Source and some kind of part, we’ll say a fucked up electro-slug that invents new swear words every 23 minutes. (Beanith: Sounds like something from space Australia but it doesn’t have nearly enough legs and isn’t incredibly venomous.) You may be asking “how the hell do I jam these together into something useful?”. Well, first you have to use the Assemble Archeotech requisition then roll on the relevant table to the part you used. If you hate the weird Slug-Gun you made, you can use another Power Source to reroll the result a single time.

Archeotech Weapons

All the Archeotech Weapons are extra weapons that can be equipped to your tech priests. Most of these are small impact side arms that fall into the “Nice to have” category. The standouts here are the Arc Annulus, which is a 2-shot BS pistol with Anti-Vehicle 3+, AP-1, and 2 damage, adding some nifty output into vehicles, or the Neural Jammer which is a 4-shot pistol with Devastating Wounds and Precision. These are good examples of what’s here; nothing worth building a whole character around but welcome additions.

Beanith: My go-to weapon would be the Electro-fire Implant which is an Assault D6+3 S4 D1 with Torrent and Anti-Infantry 4+ because sometimes you just need to kill it with fire or at the very least pre-heat if for the rest of the heat seeking death-rays your cogbots are packing.

Archeotech Force Field

Force Fields are more focused on buffing the individual Tech Priest and are a bit more impactful to the game than the weapons. With access to stuff like Time Sink, which has a 50/50 shot to decrease the weapon skill of enemies within 6” each Fight phase, or Void Shell, which gives you a once-per-game 2+ invulnerable save for a phase, there’s some really neat stuff in here. The number one pick is probably Inverse Power Feeds, which gives a model’s melee weapons Devastating Wounds, and will go great on a pissed-off Enginseer.

Archeotech Techno-arcana

Finally, Techno-arcana is focused around buffing stuff in your army. You get access to things like the Exo-Gauntlet, which lets you select an enemy unit at the beginning of the game to give your entire army the ability to re-roll 1s to hit against it, or the Hagioscope, which lets you ignore hit roll, wound roll or, BS modifiers for ranged attacks against a particular enemy unit (Norman: you could’ve made it all attacks, it’s ok I promise). A lot of these feel weirdly restrictive or like they could’ve been pushed a bit harder but all in all they’re nice to have.

Legendary Archeotech

Adeptus Mechanicus - Tech-Priest Dominus
Adeptus Mechanicus – Tech-Priest Dominus
Credit: Pendulin

In addition to the old hotness of collecting normal style Archeotech in 9th, in 10th the crusade rules give you the ability to collect Legendary Archeotech. Getting these artefacts is like, a whole thing, but once you have it you’ll have to use a 2 RP requisition, the Auto-Sermon of Deployment, to field them. These are the top-of-the-line gizmos and doodads available to the imperium, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got.

Finding Legendary Archeotech

Finding these thingamajigs is not something that can be done passively. Before you pick your agendas, you have to decide whether you want to forgo finding normal Archeotech Parts in order to get Location Data that will point towards your Legendary Archeotech. In future battles you can attempt to Scan for Legendary Archeotech by rolling a D6. If the sum of that roll and your Location Data is 10 or over, the scan succeeds and you found some Archeotech! If you didn’t, you took a wrong turn and you lose a point of Location Data.

Once you successfully scan for Archeotech you can Claim Legendary Archeotech. This has your opponent put down an objective marker 3” away from any board edge and 6” from other objective makers. If, at the end of the battle, an Adeptus Mechanicus model controls that objective, you get your Archeotech with a bonus 3xp if the model controlling it is a Character. You then roll a d3 to grab some Legendary Archeotech and remove 10 location data from your Order of Battle’s total.

The Legendary Archeotech

There are three pieces of Legendary Archeotech:

Once per battle a character you equip with The Doom of Thorantus can point at an enemy vehicle in 18” and declare that it sucks now. That vehicle loses 2 Attacks from ranged weapons it has (with no floor!) and if it moves at all it suffers D6 mortal wounds every time it makes a  Normal, Advance, Fall Back or Charge move. This is a pretty slick upgrade that can take a vehicle out of commission for an entire round.

The Syntaxik Charger is a weapon that a Tech Priest from your army gets to play around with. It has 8 shots with anti-infantry 2+, dev wounds, and a special little rule called Sonic Devastation. What this does is reduce the weapon skill of a unit that was hit by one or more of the attacks from this weapon by one until the start of your next turn. While this weapon is one shot and damage one, this can be incredibly powerful in the right circumstances since the -1 to WS stacks with a -1 to hit.

Finally, the Augur of the First Reclamation gives your Tech Priest +2 OC. Also, I guess you get extra CP if it’s on an objective marker if you’re on an objective maker outside your deployment zone. And oh I guess you also get an extra piece of Archeotech on a 4+ at the end of the game if you won.

If you use a piece of Legendary Archeotech you can’t use it again twice in a row.

Norman: Overall I’m of two minds about the Legendary Archeotech mechanic. On one hand, it adds some splashiness to the faction specific mechanic that the normal Archeotech mechanic lacks. On the other hand, to find one piece of this (with no normal archeotech) will on average take 6-7 games which is a lot for a reward you don’t always have available to you. I’ll give it a solid “Neat.”

Beanith: As they stand I think the Legendary Archeotech are great little doodads. Sadly though they are let down by the fact that you will spend forever trying to find all three and you will be hemorrhaging valuable Requisition to use them each game downgrading this Crusade mechanic to a solid Meh.

Condit: On the other hand, if you find yourself with a surfeit of requisition, spending it to pull one of these out of the vaults may be worth it. Plus, the effects are very interesting and open up some new tricks for characters that take them.


Tech Priest and the Boys
Tech Priest and the Boys. Credit: Pendulin

As with all crusade supplements, this one gets its own pack of Agendas. The first, Cold Logic, tasks you with killing things with Skitarii units that match your currently active Doctrina Imperative: if you’re in Protector Imperative, you gain XP for killing things from your own deployment zone, while Conqueror Imperative rewards you for killing enemies that are in your enemy’s deployment zone. Regardless of which one’s active, a unit will get one XP each time it succeeds. This one gets a solid “meh” from me considering, like getting mileage out of the Doctrina Imperatives themselves, it can be difficult to pull this off and your opponent gets a lot of say in how much XP you can rack up. 

Tech Scavengers is pretty neat, though. It tasks you with killing the most valuable vehicle in your opponent’s army and the unit that does it gets 3XP. The cool part is that after your target’s destroyed, you place an objective marker where the vehicle was and if you’re in range of it at the end of the battle–you don’t even have to control it–you get an Archeotech Part. A solid way to get some additional Archeotech even in a game you don’t win.

Omnissiah’s Will is another interesting one. This time the agenda has you declare you will “bring glory to the Omnissiah” in one of your Command phases. If you do, you get 1XP for every Cult Mechanicus unit that kills something, and each of your Tech-Priests on the board gains an XP. While you’re tied to one turn and it only benefits Cult Mechanicus units, if you have a good turn you could be looking at a huge chunk of XP if you manage to kill several units. I also love the design space of the “called shot” here and I hope we see more of it!

Condit: As an added bonus, your Tech-Priests are all Cult Mechanicus, so not only do they get to double-dip on this agenda, but if you attach them to a Vanguard or Ranger squad, they can pass on the benefit to that squad as well.

Finally, there’s Break the Seals. The Agenda has you select one objective marker in your opponent’s deployment zone at the beginning of the battle. If an Adeptus Mechanicus Character unit does an “action” in range while you control it, roll a D6. On a 3+ you get 1XP for that unit, and on a 6 you get an Archeotech as a bonus. There’s no cap here, so you can attempt the roll every battle round. The issue is that, since it’s in your opponent’s deployment zone, on most missions (but not all!) that means you’re gonna be popping seals in turns 4 and 5, which will likely result in just 1XP. Probably not worth taking this one unless the mission has your opponent’s deployment zone take up the whole battlefield.


Adeptus Mechanicus First Army
Adeptus Mechanicus First Army. Credit: Pendulin

We’ve already talked about two of the four requisitions here (Assemble Archeotech and Auto-Sermon of Deployment), and they’re just for you to use the mechanics in this book. Luckily the other two are pretty interesting. Consecrated Remodulation lets you take two Archeotech Treasures and recycle them to roll on one of the tables to make a new one as described in the Assembling Archeotech section. It’s really nice to have this flexibility with a mechanic this random, but I sort of wish it would let you just pick, considering it costs two whole treasures which needed their own requisitions just to put together and there’s always the chance you roll up one of the things you removed.

The last requisition, Battleware Reprogramming, Might be one of the most useful requisitions I’ve seen in a while. For a hefty 3 RP, you can select an infantry unit with one or more battle honours, remove them, and select new ones based on how many it had. There’s a reason most Crusade campaigns make you roll for Battle Honours and that’s because there’s always some nasty combos you can pull off if you pick. The 3 RP price tag is a bit hefty but it’ll be worth it to make a killer optimised unit.

Battle Traits

Adeptus Mechanicus - Fulgurite Electro-Priests
Adeptus Mechanicus – Fulgurite Electro-Priests
Credit: Pendulin

Speaking of killer units, there’s a whole mess of Battle Traits in here. Let’s take a look.

Tech-Priest Units

First up is Machine Savant which lets you auto pass an Out of Action test for a Vehicle in your army. Kind of boring if I’m being honest, but it picks up some utility given how Battle Scars work in 10th: if you’ve got a vehicle riding on the edge of being removed from your Order of Battle but don’t quite have the RP to repair a scar off, this could buy you the time you need to keep it around. Control Cortex is similarly situational, allowing the model’s unit to re-roll Battle-shock tests as long as it’s leading a unit. And Holy Acquisitor gives you an extra Archeotech Part at the end of the battle if you roll a 6 on a D6. Nice to have, but hot damn it could’ve been a 5+. If you can contrive to get this on multiple priests, though, it could be worth it.

The rest of these are a bit more interesting, though. Voltagheist Shock gives the unit the ability to deal D3 mortals to a unit that’s charging them once per battle, and forces them to make a Battle-shock test in the bargain. In most situations, they will simply shoot that unit, but if your opponent’s using a charge to get some more OC onto a critical objective, this could turn the tide. Even better is Hexamathic Chorale, which lets a unit within 12″ of the Techpriest with the SMOKE keyword use Smokescreen for 0CP, even if you’ve already used it that phase. And finally, Teleportation Node is completely bananas: it allows you to pick up the unit at the end of your Movement phase, places it into Strategic Reserves, and gives it the Deep Strike ability until the end of your next turn. This is incredibly powerful, and the highlight of this table.

Skitarii Character Units

These seem interesting, but you have to keep in mind that there are only two Characters who can take these: Skitarii Marshals and Stilt Weirdos, limiting their utility. Thankfully, they’re not that bad. First up, Integrated Refraction Emitters gives the model a 4+ invulnerable save. Neat on the assassin fellow, but if your marshal is getting hit you’re already in trouble. Battlefield Processing Cortex refunds a CP on a 6+ (or 5+ if you the unit has a data-tether) when a stratagem is used on the bearer’s unit. Nifty, but considering there’s a free stratagem trait in the other tree, in most situations I’d rather have that.

Condit: Keep in mind that with the Dataslate change to which stratagems you can modify the cost of, this trait is a bit more useful: if you’re intending to get frequent use out of something that’s not a Battle Tactic, then this has a 1-in-3 chance of getting you a CP back, putting you ahead of the “free stratagem” abilities in effectiveness.

Finally, Secutor-class Blade Implants deals mortals to enemies that charge the unit: d3 mortals on a 2+, or a flat 3 if you roll a 6. It has better damage output than Voltagheist Shock, but loses the ability to force the Battle-shock test. Not particularly amazing, but not the worst thing to have if you’re rolling and waiting for enough RP to reprogram your battleware.

Infantry and Mounted Units

This table is what you’ll be looking at for most of the list. Just keep in mind you can’t give these traits to Characters. Enhanced Bionics gives the unit a 4+ invulnerable save unless it’s Battleline or a Kataphron, in which case it gets a 5+ instead. Thing is, your Battleline units–Rangers and Vanguard–already have a 5+ invulnerable save thanks to the Dataslate. This seems to have been written before that buff came down, but unfortunately results in a dead trait for them. And we’re not sure how best to fix this one, because Skitarii with a 4+ invulnerable save would be a bit much. As it stands, we recommend steering clear of this one for Skitarii. If you’re determining traits randomly, flip a coin between the other two

Thankfully, those other two are OK. Killcode Gear Switches gives +1 strength to the unit’s melee weapons. And while that can be next to useless on units like Vanguard or Skitarii, it can be absolutely killer on others. And the last trait, Fervent Locomotion, is one that every unit can benefit from: it adds +1 to the unit’s Move characteristic and it’s Advance rolls, letting it cross the table very quickly.

Vehicle Units

The last table is for vehicles and, like most of the rest here, they have three traits to pick from. Sanctified Engine lets a unit automatically advance 6″ instead of having to roll for it. An excellent choice for units like Dragoons or Kastelan Robots who want to cross the table and get stuck into the fight early, but it can be a bit of a dead pick on something like a Dunecrawler.

The remaining two are great everywhere, though: Hardened Machine Spirit lets you ignore all modifiers to rolls or characteristics for a unit. Importantly, this includes the “bracketing” penalty for being below a certain number of wounds, making this a very good Battle Trait to aim for. And Blessed Spirit gives a unit the Feel No Pain 6+ ability, improving its durability nicely.

Of the sets, the Vehicle traits are pretty clearly the winners, but most units will have at least something they can benefit from. Unfortunately, if you’re rolling, some of them don’t quite get there, but every unit has at least something worth shooting for.

Crusade Relics

Sydonian Skatros
Sydonian Skatros. Credit: Pendulin

In addition to the cool Archeotech relics you make, you get some more standard Crusade Relics to throw on your bozos.

Artificer Relics

There are two relics here. The first is the Multiplexed Neural Inducer, which lets you use the Overwatch Stratagem for 0 CP even if was already used that phase. This is a very powerful relic that can let you put out some punishing shooting in your opponent’s movement phase. The other option here is the Kardiocore Galvanus, which gives +1 to Advance and Charge rolls for the unit. Considering a lot of equivalent upgrades also give +1 to Move, this feels a bit weaker, and is likely the weaker of the two Artificer Relics.

Antiquity Relic

Just one here and it’s the Exemplar’s Eternity which gives the bearer’s unit rerolls of 1 to hit and wound. While the flavour text suggests this should go on a Skitarii Marshal, the Sydonian Skatros is the better pick here considering the Marshal already gives its unit full hit rerolls, and an even more accurate sniper is likely to be a strong choice.

Legendary Relic

Last up, we have the Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land. This is from the guy who made the Land Raider! Once per battle, when a nearby vehicle is destroyed you can set it back up with 6 wounds remaining on a 3+. This is bonkers strong. Slap this on an Enginseer tasked with keeping a Dunecrawler operational all game and watch your opponent go nuts trying to kill the thing. Guess that Arkhan Land guy really knew what he was doing.

Beanith: Ah but what is best in life and Legendary relics? To yeet a vortex grenade and watch it crush your enemies, see them squished before you, and to hear the lamentations of your opponent.

Final Thoughts

Norman: This is a weird one for me. On one hand there’s some neat stuff here, I really like the Crusade Relics (even if half of them are recycled from 9th) and the new Legendary Archeotech stuff is fun and neat. It just all feels really reserved. You need a butt load of RP to make this book do its thing and no shortage of lucky extra dice rolls to get the parts you need. It also feels somewhat slapdash what with the 9th recycling of the Agendas, many of the Archeotech options, and the obvious gap on the Skitarii Battle Traits. Overall though, it all functions well enough and should be plenty of fun to play with.

Beanith: Norman’s not wrong, you’ll be burning through Requisition like nobodies business especially mid to late campaign to keep fielding the Legendary Archeotech when you could be using it to unlock the level cap on your on some of your cooler minions. I’m very let down by the fact that all the cool Weapon Enhancement options from the 9th edition book are missing. Admittedly a lot of them would be busted to field as is, especially the stilty lad and their giant arquebus using Detonation Rounds to suppress Hit and Wound re-rolls on key units. I liked the Battle Traits though, and the Vehicle table is *chefs kiss*. I think the Admech players will enjoy their treasure hunt across the galaxy.

Condit: These rules honestly feel like they’re missing something when you look at them next to cool toys like the Space Marines’ Oathsworn Campaign or the Necrons’ Awakening points. That said, what’s on offer here isn’t bad, and it largely works well and gives you plenty to play with between games.

But the real core of these rules is the sheer amount of customization you can throw at your Tech-priests: between the Battle Traits, Archeotech, and Relics, the sheer amount of stuff you can throw on you devotees of the Omnissiah is staggering, and the treasure hunt you’ll have to go through to get your hands on the coolest stuff available to you is neat. And while it will take you a good number of games to get there, the stuff you can get your hands if you’re smart about which agendas you pick is really cool. All in all, a solid set of rules, even if it’s not quite as flashy as some of the other factions’ options this time around.