Start Competing: Imperium Soup Tactics

An article by    Gaming Start Competing Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Do you long to bring the full might of the Emperor’s loyal legions to bear on your foes? Does the idea of brave, doomed guardsmen holding the line while an elite force of Space Marines strikes at your opponent’s flanks sound incredibly metal to you? Or do you just own way too many armies, and are looking to justify that by leveraging them for tactical advantage? If any of these things sound like you, then Imperium Soup might be for you.

This article is going to have a somewhat different structure to our regular Start Competing, because when we’re talking about soup we don’t have a big list of abilities and units to rate and talk about. Since this is the first one of these, we’ll kick off by explaining what a soup army is for the unfamiliar, and then we’re going to take a tour through the factions of the Imperium looking at what they offer to the soup connoisseur. Finally, we will, of course, include some army lists showing off how players have used the Imperium superfaction successfully. Let’s go!

What is Soup?

Soup is a term that started emerging late in the previous edition of 40K to describe armies drawing heavily from more than one different codex, with initial examples enabled by some of the Gathering Storm books and available alliances, but it really exploded in usage once 8th edition hit. Army construction in 8th edition requires that every unit in your army and every unit within each detachment shares a faction keyword (or be unaligned), and every codex tends to have one keyword that everything in it shares, but as well as these many units are part of broader factions, the most important of which are:

  • Imperium
  • Chaos
  • Aeldari
  • Tyranids

As long as all the books you want to draw from belong to the same superfaction, you can mix and match detachments from multiple books and still end up with a legal army. In the wild wests of Indexhammer in early 8th you could go even further than that, mixing units within a detachment, but mercifully that was quickly stamped on by the Battle Brothers rule. This rule prevents you from using any of the four keywords above (plus Ynnari) as the “unifying” keyword for an individual detachment, somewhat reining in the wilder possibilities. In addition to this, most codexes require you to include full detachments to unlock stratagems and faction traits.

None of this stops you having building a force containing three detachments that each use a different keyword as long as they all come from the same “superfaction” (a general term for the four above). For Imperium and Chaos in particular this opens up a spectacular range of army-building possibilities (with Aeldari and Tyranids also benefiting substantively), and so-called “soup” lists from these factions have been a staple of competitive play all edition. That, obviously, begs the next question – why?

Why Soup?

Playing a soup army can offer the following advantages over running “pure” lists:

  • Access to best-in-breed units from multiple codexes.
  • Access to units that close an individual codex’s weaknesses.
  • Accessing cross-codex synergies.

It’s important to note the “can” here – while soup lists can be very potent, Games Workshop have deliberately toned down some of the benefits of it over the course of the edition, and choosing to play a soup army can come with the following costs:

  • Reduced impact from codex-internal synergies, such as reduced benefits from buff auras.
  • Loss of access to some abilities, such as Space Marine Combat Doctrines.

Playing a soup build can be the correct call when you find a combination where the strengths outweigh the costs. Chaos soup is currently in a glorious golden age, as it has a massive range, minimal costs for souping and far greater cross-codex synergies available to it than any other superfaction. For all the others there’s a real calculation to be made, and helping you work out when calling in a little help from your friends is going to take your list to the next level.

Before we hit the strategic calculations it’s also worth calling out an external one. Many competitive players are heavily focused on the ITC rankings, including the “best in faction” ones. In order to compete for a codex’s best in faction you have to play pure lists, with each superfaction soup flavour getting a separate league table outside of these. Since competing for “best at <yourfactionhere>” is very appealing, many players will choose to pass on soup options even when there might be good reasons to take them. Paradoxically, that can be more true for “weaker” codexes the could use the most help, because the calculation there is that a soup built with a weak book will probably be inferior to one using stronger factions, so it’s better to lean in to the army being underpowered and compete in the faction rankings. Our analysis from here on our assumes that you’re basing decisions on strategic calculations alone, but we felt it was important to acknowledge this up front.

Analysing Soup Options

How are we going to do this? Well, strap in, because one of my legendary master plans is about to come to fruition.

A few weeks back I put together an article about “real” battlefield roles, where I talked about the various meaningful functions a unit can fulfil on the battlefield.

You can check it out here.

That article got written when I started to think about how to put together this one, because most of the strength of soup can, in my opinion, be boiled down to the increased flexibility it give you in picking units to fill roles. Whether it be searching for the best units in a given role from across the superfaction, or finding codexes with complementary strenghts, looking at the dizzying array of soup options in terms of roles helps us identify the ones that are offering use something genuinely valuable.

That’s exactly what we’re going to do here. The Imperium superfaction contains eleven Codexes, three White Dwarf add-ons and six Marine Supplements, all of which are a potential ingredient in your delicious cream of Imperium soup. For each, we’re going to talk about the following:

  • What roles they’re especially good at supplying units to fill – which tells us why we might want to bring them into a soup list.
  • What roles they’re unusually bad at filling out on their own – which tells us why we might want to bring in another book to support them.
  • What drawbacks (if any) there are to including them in a mixed list.
  • A general rating on how relevant they are to soup lists.
  • Which units are especially notable in soup and why.

Do note that for the first two points the evaluations are very much relative – just because I haven’t included a role in a faction’s strengths doesn’t mean they don’t have any units that can do it, just that they don’t do it so especially well that it’s worth considering them over examples in other books.

There is a punishing amount of stuff to go through here in the Imperium faction so we’re going to keep each army’s section relatively concise, and if you want more detailed deep dive on each faction you can of course check out the individual Start Competing guides, all linked from the landing page. Each faction’s guide will also be linked in their section.

Finally, before we start, for those that haven’t read the roles article, or want a quick reference to look back at, here’s a brief summary of the set we’re using. Plenty of units can do more than one of these things, though in a soup context there’s usually a bit more focus on the thing each unit is very best at.

Role List - Click to Expand

  • Push Threat: Short ranged, durable threats that can attack enemy positions.
  • Ranged Threat: Units that can deal meaningful damage at range.
  • Reactive Threat: Units that can deal disproportionate damage in specific circumstances, usually counterattacking.
  • Force Multipliers: Units that help other units perform dramatically more effectively.
  • Board Control: Units that can occupy or threaten large parts of the board moderately durably.
  • Tarpit: Units that can occupy small parts of the board extremely durably.
  • Screening: Units that provide cost-efficient bodies to protect your other units.
  • Backfield: Units that you are happy to use to fill space in your deployment zone and hold home objectives.
  • ObSec: Unit with the Objective Secured ability.
  • Harassment: Units that can threaten enemy weak points.
  • Slot Fillers: Units that fill out detachments and unlock other units or CP.
  • Counters: Units that help counteract specific strategies.

Imperial Factions

Adepta Sororitas

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Adepta Sororitas Sister Superior

Adepta Sororitas Sister Superior. Credit: Jack Hunter

 

Strong Roles

  • Board control
  • Harrassment
  • Slot fillers
  • Counters

Weaker Roles

  • Tarpit
  • Ranged threats

Drawbacks

Adepta Sororitas used in soup with anything other than an Inquisitor lose access to the Sacred Rites ability. While this ability isn’t the be all and end-all of Sororitas lists, it’s specifically great on their best push threats, leaving these substantially weaker as soup options than they are in pure lists (and they’d otherwise be listed as a strength thanks to Repentia).

Soup Rating

Good

As we’ll see when we go through the factions is that one of the most common reasons to take a faction in a soup list is if it provides a cost-efficient battalion that provides CP and some sort of additional benefit. Using the Valorous Heart faction trait, Sisters provide a competitively priced infantry core that can be unusually good at holding the board, and thus be used to anchor a list  that either wants to shield ranged threats behind them, or play some sort of complex high-mobility game elsewhere. They make a great anvil if you’ve got a hammer.

In addition to this, Seraphim are best-in-breed harrassment units, and including Sisters grants you access to a handy anti-psychic stratagem (further enhancing their capabilities as a mid-board defence).

Sisters are notably weaker in the department of ranged threats. Exorcists are fine, but that’s the main shooting option they have access to, and dedicated shooting armies threaten to evaporate them and win a gun fight. Souping them with some more durable or broad ranged threats is a tempting option.

Notable Units

Battle Sisters

Your basic Battle Sister, run as Valorous Heart with an Imagifier and a few special abilities scattered around, is extremely good at holding space. With a 3+ save that ignored AP-2 and either a 4++ or 5++ depending on whether you commit to bringing Celestine, they’re build up one of the best “durable” low-cost battalions the Imperium can bring.

Seraphim

Run either as Bloody Rose for additional punch or Valorous Heart to share in the additional defenced brought along for the core Battalion, Seraphim are great harrassment units. With the ability to fire twice with their bolt pistols on the turn they arrive, plus crack off some shots with inferno pistols that can auto-hit/high roll damage in a pinch, they’re a threat to almost any kind of target, they’re mobile once on the board and have decent defences for their cost. They are, straight up, just a great unit and one that offers a lot to a variety of strategies, especially as they can be tacked on to a cost-effective battalion.

Zephyrim

Zephyrim are a bit more niche than Seraphim because you really want them as Bloody Rose for access to the +1 wound strat, making them a bit harder to squeeze into lists. However, their ability to automatically charge out of deep strike with an Act of Faith, and throw out high-volume power sword attacks with major boosts to wound forced opponents to play extremely conservatively with their valuable units until you’ve used them, making them an interesting choice if you can fit them into the army.

Blood Angels

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard. Credit: Jack Hunter

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Strong Roles

  • Push threats
  • Reactive threats

Weaker Roles

  • Ranged threats
  • Backfield
  • (Slot fillers)

Drawbacks

Blood Angels souped with non-Marines completely lose access to Combat Doctrines. Blood Angels souped with Marines lose access to the Savage Echoes special Doctrine.

Soup Rating

Good

Of all flavours of Marines, Blood Angels plausibly care the least about losing combat doctrines, as they have a very specific set of skills that makes the loss mostly irrelevant. Specifically, the Blood Angels bring access to a wide selection of characters that can absolutely dumpster high-value targets they get into, and some powerful push threats that can get into the opponent’s face straight away and start swinging.

The trade off for this is that they have few powerful ranged units to speak of, and few things they want to leave on home objectives or in the backfield. While their scouts do also let them fill battalions reasonably cheaply and effectively, they are also desperately CP thirsty like almost no other Imperial army, and they’re thus very much in the market for cheap Battalions to add on to their core forces.

Notable Units

Smash Characters

Blood Angel Smash Captains were the original incarnation of the concept, and their Captains still do this very well. On top of that, you have access to the various named character Chaplains (who with Mantra of Strength can do nasty, nasty things), Mephiston and Librarian Dreadnoughts. Other chapters can do this stuff too these days, but access to the Chaplains, who are less CP and points intensive than Captains, still gives them a unique angle on it – as do the mobility strat that let them redeploy or charge from deep strike. Blood Angel characters were the archetypal soup ingredient for a long, long time, and are enough better at the job than other books that they turn up in modern mixed Marine lists.

Sanguinary Guard

Charged up by the boosts from Blood of Baal, Sanguinary Guard are now one of the nastiest push threats the Imperium can muster, and one of the most reliably able to pull off a first-turn charge against an unscreened opponent. They’re expensive and it’s very much an all-in kind of tactic, but if you just want to shove a glorious angelic host right into your opponent’s face then there are few things in the Imperium that do it better. They do require some support characters to really work, making them a decent investment, but there’s been heavy (and at least somewhat successful) experimentation in combining them with Guard since the book dropped.

Dark Angels

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Dark Angels Intercessors

Dark Angels Intercessors by Tyler “Coda” Moore

 

Strong Roles

  • Harassment
  • Tarpits
  • Backfield

Weaker Roles

  • Screening
  • Slot Fillers
  • ObSec

Drawbacks

Dark Angels souped with non-Marines completely lose access to Combat Doctrines. Dark Angels souped with Marines lose access to the Relentless Hunt special Doctrine.

Soup Rating

Medium

As of Ritual of the Damned, Dark Angels do now have some OK mono-faction builds, but they’re still one of the weaker factions – and worse, a lot of their best units rely heavily on codex-internal synergies to excel. That’s something of a shame, as they’re also hungry for the benefits including a cheap battalion from elsewhere would bring, usually forced to just put some mediocre scouts in to harvest a few CP. Sadly, as soon as you cross the rubicon of starting to soup, there aren’t that many things here you want to take over options from elsewhere, leaving this mostly still a faction for pure list die-hards.

A couple of standout units do occasionally find a role, however, and it’s worth having a quick look at them.

Notable Units

Talonmasters

Ravenwing Talonmasters (with Samael sometimes taking the place of one) are pretty nifty harrassment units. They can bounce around the board applying a reasonable amount of mid-quality firepower while being hard to shoot back, they can be OK in melee thanks to relics, and they have the mobility to get to wherever the opponent is weakest.

Deathwing Knights

At the complete opposite end of the spectrum, every now and then a top player comes up with a galaxy brain list that uses a giant brick of Deathwing Knights as a tarpit, and often put in decent performances. Knights are incredibly deadly and extremely hard to shift with access to the buffs from RotD, and lose very little from not getting Doctrines, so they’ll almost certainly continue to see successful use.

Eliminators

Eliminators are one of the best Marine units, and Dark Angels ones are especially great thanks to built-in re-roll 1s to hit when they’re stationary. If you are building a soup list, they’re a reasonable consideration on that basis.

Deathwatch

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Credit: TheChirurgeon

 

Strong Roles

  • Board Control
  • Harassment

Weaker Roles

  • Ranged threats
  • Push Threats
  • Screening
  • Backfield

Drawbacks

Deathwatch souped with non-Marines lose access to Combat Doctrines.

Soup Rating

Medium

Deathwatch are in a relatively similar place to Dark Angels – they’re very interested in a lot of what other books have to offer, but the other books aren’t currently super excited for what they’re bringing to the table.

Partially that’s a consequence of an extremely hostile metagame. The main strength of Deathwatch is slamming down powered up Veteran or Intercessor squads mid-board to provide durable, broad threats – but they’re absurdly vulnerable to mortal wounds, making this a weak strategy when Thousand Sons and Grey Knights are all over the place. They’re also a fair bit weaker at killing power-armoured targets than almost anything else, so in a power-armour heavy metagame they suffer quite a bit.

With the addition of their new rules from White Dwarf there will probably be a small uptick in their use in combination with other Marines, plausibly Blood Angels, but for almost anything else Wolves are probably a better bet to do a similar job until the metagame shifts.

Notable Units

Veteran Squads

Fully loaded Veteran Squads, toting around storm bolters, storm shields and a few special model add-ons, are still a pretty nasty thing to throw down mid board – it’s easy to forget that it isn’t such a long time since these were the terrors of the metagame. They’ve lost the ability to bolter discipline at full range since, but can still deep strike in at half range to blast away, and now get doctrines in Marine soup and Transhuman Physiology whenever. If you know for a fact that nobody local likes big piles of wizards they’re still a relatively interesting choice – just get ready to weep when the Grey Knights show up.

Intercessors

Intercessors are basically just good across all Marine factions, and in a Marine soup list having access to one squad of these with special-issue ammunition auto-bolt rifles to drop in your opponent’s back-line as harassment units isn’t horrible.

Grey Knights

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Grey Knight Kill Team

Grey Knight Kill Team
Credit: Pendulin

 

Strong Roles

  • Reactive Threats
  • Harassment
  • Counters
  • (Tarpits)

Weaker Roles

  • Screening
  • (Ranged threats)

Drawbacks

Grey Knights in any sort of soup (other than adding an Inquisitor) lose access to Masters of the Warp.(Tides)

Soup Rating

Poor as a main force, Medium as an add-on.

More than any other Imperium faction, if the main focus of your army is Grey Knights you do not want to soup. A huge amount of what makes the army good is tied into their Tides, and losing it makes many of the units bad at their job.

A supreme command of characters in list that’s focused on another faction can be a decent add-on, however. They’re universally dangerous fighters with can teleport around the board, provide psychic defence and farm CP.

Notable Units

Characters

Adding a selection from Kaldor Draigo, Voldus, Crowe or maybe an Inner Fire character to throw at the enemy at a key moment to a wider Imperium list brings some potent psychic capabilities attached to some pretty hefty bodies. They aren’t as brutally deadly as fully tuned-up smash captains, but they’re still fine as reactive threats, so if your metagame leans psyker heavy they can be a good inclusion. They can also flex to harassment thanks to the ability to teleport and the potent psychological weapon of the Inner Fire wielder.

Paladins

If you want a tarpit unit you could plausibly take Paladins, as while they do lose out from not getting access to some of the Tides, it hurts them a lot less than it does strike squads, and one big unit of these is a formidible thing for an opponent to try and shift. In general I think they’re enough less good than they are in pure Grey Knights that you probably look elsewhere, but given you could tag them into a Supreme Command with the aforementioned characters it’s worth at least being aware of – though it starts to eat well north of a third of your points.

Space Wolves

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Credit: Starvolt

 

Strong Roles

  • Reactive threats
  • Board Control
  • (Push Threats)

Weaker Roles

  • Ranged Threats
  • Screening
  • Backfield
  • (Slot Fillers)

Drawbacks

Space Wolves souped with non-Marines completely lose access to Combat Doctrines. Space Wolves souped with Marines lose access to the Savage Fury special Doctrine.

Soup Rating

Medium-Good

Differentiating Space Wolves and Blood Angels in a soup context isn’t the easiest but damn it we’re going to try. Just like Blood Angels, wolves are a bit less badly hurt by losing doctrines/their special doctrine than other Marines (though losing Tactical is a bit worse for what you’re likely to use them for) and just like Blood Angels they can put some brutally nasty characters on the table.

Where the two forces differ is in what else they do well. In general, Blood Angels are good if you want to burn an tonne of CP to throw some absurd early sucker punches, while Wolves are a bit better tuned to secure the mid-board and provide a durable counterpunch against anyone who comes to start something. Thanks to 6″ heroics on their characters and access to the Armour of Russ, they will absolutely ruin the day of enemy push threats. They can also pivot to acting as a push contingent themselves against an enemy that doesn’t want to engage. Finally, they also have access to one of the best one-size fits all mid-board threats in the Imperium right now in the form of combi-plasma Wolf Guard. It’s worth saying too that while this is all a bit less dramatic than what Blood Angels can pull off, it’s generally more reliable and self-sufficient – there aren’t as many failure cases from missed psychic powers or litanies, and the cost in CP is lower can can be recouped via Knowledge of the Foe.

In terms of weaknesses, Wolves share Blood Angels lack of ranged threats, and don’t have super cheap slot fillers or screening, but the consistent and reliable ability to occupy and threaten the midboard without constantly burning CP does, to an extent, mean they don’t need to look at soup as much as Blood Angels do. The flipside of that is that minimum size of an effective Space Wolf contingent is a bit bigger than a Blood Angels one so needs to be a bigger part of your overall army planning. Wolves definitely have a decent amount to offer a shooting-focused list, and could also benefit substantially from some shooting backing out of another Marine chapter, so expect to see them used in this role in the future.

Notable Units

Characters

Space Wolf Characters are nasty killing machines, great on their baseline stats and even better when turbo-charged with various stratagems. Ragnar Blackmane is one of the single nastiest blenders in the game as of his recent tune-up, and him backed up by some jump pack characters is one of the main draws to playing Wolves.

Intercessors

Wolf Intercessors have two things going for them as board control units, over and above some other chapters:

  • Better performance from power fist sergeants letting them threaten more things.
  • Increased-range heroic interventions from nearby characters makes them dangerous to engage in melee.

The Intercessors can, of course, intervene themselves thanks to Counter-charge, and just in general a Wolf Intercessor block is an uncomfortable thing for an opponent to contemplate attacking.

Wolf Guard Terminators

In their capacity as the dubiously-bearded cool uncles of the Space Marine world, Wolf Guard have an entire wizard-van’s worth of weird and wonderful wargear options to choose from, allowing you to build much better tuned squads than most flavours of Marine. In particular, access to squad-wide combi-plasma with some storm shields scattered in lets you build an extremely potent and very flexible squad. They can stack stratagems to hit on a 2+ even when firing both profiles, allowing them to do vicious things to both horde targets and heavier fare. They also aren’t slouches when the opponent tries to hit back, though watch out for mortal wounds as they don’t have any great answers to those. A tough unit with general-purpose offence is a great compliment to what wolves are already trying to do, and also a very handy “troubleshooting” unit, so worth a real look.

Adeptus Custodes

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Custodes NMM

Custodes NMM, Credit Silks

 

Strong Roles

  • Ranged Threats
  • Reactive Threats
  • (Push Threats)

Weaker Roles

  • Screening
  • Slot Fillers
  • Backfield

Drawbacks

None

Soup Rating

(Theoretically) Good as a main force, Medium as an add-on.

Custodes as an army are massively in the market for access to cheap objective holders/screens/CP batteries, so are frequently seen in combination with cheap Battalions from other factions. In terms of what they offer, they have some very flexible shooting options out of their Forge World roster, and the unit that launched a million “is soup killing the game” thinkpieces in late 2018 in the form of the Jetbike Captain. They also have some nearly-there push threat options in the form of Bikes,Terminators and Forge World Dreadnoughts. Pretty much all of these have, for one reason or another, been at their best some time in the past, but they’re all still capable options in the right hands (and shortly due an upgrade in War of the Spider).

Notable Units

Bike Captains

A supreme command of jetbike Shield Captains was once a very popular Imperium choice, as they make excellent reactive threats with an upside of being ObSec and tough enough to flex to operating as push threats or harrassment units when needed. They’re still fine in this role but the game has shifted somewhat – everything got cheaper while they stayed the same price, so it’s harder for them to reap back their points before their rampage is ended, and many armies have also picked up better counter-charge options of their own, making it riskier to push with them. They are also particularly bad victims of the draw towards best in faction rankings, as they’re effectively sitting in a role of “strong all-rounders”, so not hard for anyone who cares about staying pure to find substitutes for.

Forge World Tanks

Here we’re mostly talking about the Caladius Grav Tank, Pallas Grav Attack and the Orion Gunship (though a bit less the latter as it’s sufficiently expensive to make squeezing it into soup hard). While the Caladius has been nerfed from the absurdly broken heights it once soared at, it’s still low-key pretty good (and the Blaze Cannon build worth looking at), and the Pallas Grav Attack is pretty cost efficient. Both also have the upside of being fast enough to move to seize objectives once they’re done blasting, and some built in deep-strike protection from their minus charge ability. Accompanied by a single Bike Captain or Trajann for re-rolls, these options pop up every now and then in lists aiming to go all in on a selection of the Imperium’s best shooting units.

Adeptus Mechanicus

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Belisarius Cawl

Belisarius Cawl
Credit: Pendulin

 

Strong Roles

  • Ranged threats
  • Backfield
  • Slot filler
  • Counter

Weaker Roles

  • Reactive threats
  • (Push threats)

Drawbacks

None

Soup Rating

Medium as a main force, Great as an add-on

Admech suffer no consequences from souping, have one of the cheapest battalions available to the Imperium, a best-in-breed backfield/ranged threat combo unit in the Skorpius Disintegrator and even a counter element from the Graia stratagem. Admech is one of the most common add-on options for other Imperial armies, and the only reason armies with admech at their core don’t soup more is that the faction has very few serious weaknesses, with units that can fill almost every role except that of a reactive character threat.

Notable Units

Skorpius Disintegrator

The Skorpius is just brutally efficient. Even after its very, very minor cost hike in Chapter Approved it’s priced to move, and comes loaded with some nice, broadly applicable weapons if you pick the Belleros option. It’s also pleasingly durable at the price, and has a nice big chassis to take up space in your backfield. There’s not much more to say about them – they’re just really, really good.

Skitarii Rangers

Sure, they’re incredibly basic infantry, but they’re very good at being that. They’re form part of the cheapest battalion option (three squads plus two TPEs runs to 165pts), so tick the box of being good slot fillers, and you can configure them to provide some additional upside without too much hassle. As Graia they’re suddenly a potent anti-psyker tool, while as Stygies they get pretty annying to kill at a distance, making them good backfield units. Finally, the unit can add a few Arquebi if you want to give enemy characters minor heart attacks every time they go into the open, heavily punishing armies without ranged threats, and forcing those with them to spend time shooting at lower value targets.

It’s worth calling out that there’s basically a three way competition for cheap Imperium battalion filler at this point between these, Scions and guard infantry squads. In general, I’d argue Skitarii are the best if you need backfield units, guard infantry if you need screens and Scions if you’re looking for a harassment option. All can be valid depending on your list.

Astra Militarum

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Credit: Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Strong Roles

  • Ranged threats
  • Screening
  • Slot filler
  • Harrassment
  • ObSec

Weaker Roles

  • Reactive Threats
  • (Push Threats)

Drawbacks

None

Soup Rating

Great

Just like AdMech, Guard are a fantastic soup addition, and also more notably have some identifiable weaknesses of their own that they’re happy to see filled. They have access to one notable push threat in the form of Bullgryn, but they’re happier playing a tarpit role, and in general guard gunlines are a bit less mobile that AdMech ones, making their lack of reactive threats more of a pain point when matched up against aggressive enemy forces. Adding in some Marine characters as a brutal countercharge option is a very common choice, and since these often come from the Blood Angels adding in some Sanguinary Guard as a push threat is a logical followup. With the big tune-up wolves have recently received, using them to provide mid-board skirmishers to protect a gunline is also a plausible option.

In terms of what they offer to other lists, their key sell second and third flavour of cheap battalions – infantry squads to push forward, screen and grab objectives or scions to harrass and act as troubleshooters. Other than this,Tank Commanders are great, self-sufficient shooting options that see use in soup, and newly-cheap Demolisher Russes have a moderate amount to offer as must-answer durable threats.

Notable Units

Infantry Squad

The humble infantry squad is the majority component of the once infamous “Loyal 32” (three squads and two company commanders), for a long time the go-to cheap Imperium Battalion. More options now exist, but this still has some things to recommend it – the infantry squads are fast and provide more bodies per point if what you’re worried about is screening space and absorbing psychic wounds. The downside is that more armies now exist that will evaporate them off the board in short order when they’re in the open, which is why the other possible options (Scions and Skitarii) see use as well.

Scions

Scion battalions give you fewer bodies than infantry squads but far more mobility – they can all natively deep strike, allowing you to put them down wherever they’re needed and shield them from early artillery strikes. With the optional addition of a few special weapons, they also begin to threaten enemy characters or backline units, letting them fill the role of harassers. In armies that want to heavily mitigate their opponent’s ability to score kill points in ITC, being able to keep them off the board until they’re needed is a big upside, and they’re definitely worth keeping in mind for lists that consider that a strength.

Tank Commanders

Tank Commanders are just really, really efficient ranged threats, especially when enhanced with various relics and stratagems. The Hammer of Sunderance buffed up with Hail of Fire is absolutely premium tier anti-tank ranged output, with the flexibility to go after infantry as well, with demolisher-armed TCs being another source of powerful ranged threat. The ability to run the latter as Gunnery Experts and Spotter Details out of Greater Good also helps make them much more generally threatening when you’re not going all-in on strats. It is worth saying that they heyday of Tank Commander Soup was when the punisher gatling cannon was also top tier, but the battle cannon and demolisher options are still very strong, and are particular stand outs for the Imperium if you’re eschewing Forge World options.

Imperial Knights

Start Competing

Credit: SRM

 

Strong Roles

  • Push threats
  • Ranged threats
  • Board control

Weaker Roles

  • Slot fillers
  • ObSec
  • Screening
  • Harassment

Drawbacks

None

Soup Rating

Great as a main force Medium as an add-on.

Pour one out for the glory days of Imperial Chivalry. Once upon a time (BWIM mid-last year) the notorious Krastsader was seemingly in every other Imperium list, but its over-saturation in the metagame lead to armies adapting to being able to consistently shoot one off the board, while the proliferation of nasty, hard to shoot melee threats that can rip a Knight apart has made bringing one as an add-on in other Imperium lists a fringe strategy at best.

For armies maining Knights, however, it’s a different story. At this point the Knight book basically only has one standout unit at this point in the Knight Crusader, and three of those still only runs you to about 1500pts, even fully tricked out. It also leaves you with an army that’s very short on several crucial things, most notaby screening and backfield units. With the sheer number of things that can pop out of deep strike and punk a knight, some sort of board-filler is pretty much mandatory unless you really, really want that precious “Best Imperial Knights” trophy. Successful lists have run Admech Battalions, Guard Battalions or sometimes both, and cheap Scions offer a third option that lets you control your opponent’s access to easy kills more effectively than the other two.

Notable Units

Knight Crusader

At this point you probably shouldn’t take a solo Knight Crusader in a wider Imperium list (though I’d be happy to delete this sentence if Engine War brings something totally wild) but if you really want to add a lone knight it’s probably your best option. Running as House Krast gives you access to superior choices for walord traits and relics, as well as the Questor Mechanicus stratagems, which are generally more useful. It isn’t fantastic but because Knights are a bit less common you might find yourself in more games  where you’re opponent can’t just instantly deal with one, especially if you have the rest of your army to keep it safe. It isn’t a must-have like it once was, and you need to have a plan to protect it, but it’ll still put a hurting on some opponents.

Space Marines

Start Competing

Raven Guard Primaris Eliminators

Raven Guard Primaris Eliminators. Credit: Dan Boyd

 

Strong Roles

  • Ranged Threats (anti-infantry specific)
  • Backfield
  • Tarpit

Weaker Roles

  • Screening

Drawbacks

Space Marines souped with non-Marines lose combat doctrines. Space Marines souped with other Marines lose their chapter-specific Doctrines.

Soup Rating

Medium

In their capacity as one of the best armies in the game, Space Marines have great choices to fill most roles, and are also heavily incentivised away from souping with non-Marine armies via the loss of the extremely powerful Combat Doctrines ability. Until recently, the power of the Imperial Fist and Iron Hands doctrines also discouraged most “internal” soup builds. With the hefty nerf these have received, it’s much more valid to start looking at soup builds within the Marine factions (and some interesting lists have started popping up), but adding anything outside those to primarily Marine lists is very unusual.

In some ways the same applies in reverse – Marines run heavily on their internal synergies, so small contingents in other lists tend to underperform compared to what you might expect. They do have a few standouts though, notably in the area of backfield artillery and sniper units, where they have some best in breed options and a powerful tarpit/push threat combo in the form of Salamander Terminators

Notable Units

Thunderfire Cannons

Thunderfire Cannons are just really good – they kill infantry at high efficiency, they sit in your backfield being hard to shoot, can slow stuff down in a pinch with Tremor Shells, and leave an objective holding character behind if they get blasted somehow. Since Mortar teams got banished to the shadow dimension, these are vying for best Imperial anti-infantry artillery option, and can be worth a look if your list struggles with hordes. If you just want one for access to the stratagem, you could bring them along with…

Eliminators

Primaris Eliminators get to feature twice in this article because they are non-hyperbolically in contention for the best single unit in the entire game. Seriously. Marines are probably the best codex, and when we went looking for top performing lists from various flavours a lot of people were maxing out on Eliminators and with good reason. They’re a pain to shift from cover, they plausibly threaten characters all the time and they’re priced to move. If you want some backfield units that contribute to your game plan, with the side option of pulling some fringe screening shenanigans with the carbine build, these are great.

Salamander Terminators

Outside of the various Imperial Agent options, direct cross-book synergy is much rarer in the Imperium than it is for Chaos, but Salamanders break that rule with the Self Sacrifice strat, allowing one of their INFANTRY units to protect an INFANTRY unit from another faction. It has been heavily nerfed since its original incarnation, but does still let you do something unique. It is seeing successful use with large squads of Terminators with TH/SS, as these are a nightmare to shift once you stack some of the other defensive buffs Sallies get on them, and also extremely deadly to anything they make contact with. This sees particular use in combination with Admech, who can front extremely nasty INFANTRY squads that love sheltering behind big green men with shields, and don’t have outstanding push threat/tarpit options of their own.

Inquisition

Index Review

Inquisitor Corteaz

Inquisitor Corteaz. Credit: Axis of Entropy

 

Strong Roles

  • Force Multiplier
  • Counter

Weaker Roles

N/A

Drawbacks

N/A

Soup Rating

Mandatory

Outside of stunt lists trying to win Best in Faction for Imperial Agents, souping Inqusitors is a must. Luckily, they get a special rule allowing a single one to be added to any Imperium list without breaking any detachments or special rules.

Realistically, inquisitors can bring one of the three things to the table that might make you choose to do this:

  • You want access to either the Terrify (overwatch suppression) or Power Through Knowledge (5++ for INFANTRY or BIKERs) powers.
  • You want some psychic defence.
  • You want a cheap CP farm.

The most notable place Inqusiitors have popped up is in Adepta Sororitas, where otherwise-pure lists want access to Terrify to allow their deadly Repentia and Zephyrim to hit combat safely, as both have the kind of statline where an unlucky round of overwatch can seriously hurt the squad. Otherwise, Ordo Xenos inquisitors are very cheap and can come packing a CP farming ability.

Notable Units

Hector Rex/Lord Coteaz

These two are easily the most powerful Inqusiiton characters, packing an eye watering number of casts/denies and a heft statline to boot.

Greyfax

If you want to spend slightly fewer points and are specifically interested in some psychic defence or mid-range psyker harrassment, Greyfax is also a defensible option.

Basic Ordo Xenos Inquisitor

…and if literally all you want is to Terrify people, with an angle on occasionally buying the CP farming trait if you’re bored, a vanilla Xenos inq. is the cheap and cheerful choice.

Assassins

Guide

Credit: BuffaloChicken

 

Strong Roles

  • Harassment
  • Reactive Threat
  • Counter

Weaker Roles

N/A

Drawbacks

They cost 2CP to bring in as a solo add-on – but if you do that you get to pick which one you have at the table.

Soup Rating

Mandatory

We will never forget the legendary “all assassins and fortifications” list of LVO 2020, but just like with the Inquisition, soup is the place to use them. Unlike the Inquisitors, sadly, they don’t currently get a pass on not disabling army-wide rules like Sacred Rites and Combat Doctrines, which in combination with points hikes has left them pretty squeezed as an option. The unique flexibility that being able to pick the right one for a matchup gives you does mean that they still see usage alongside otherwise pure Guard and Admech armies, who want the roles they bring to the table and tend to have CP to spare.

Notable Units

Assassins

Thanks to their unique method of purchase, you tend to either end up in a situation where you’re flexing between these game to game, or bringing exactly one of each, so all are theoretically relevant. In practice, if you can only afford to buy one, the Callidus is your best bet – she’d by far the most flexible and generally useful.

Sisters of Silence

Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

Strong Roles

  • Counter

Weaker Roles

N/A

Drawbacks

Tricky to build a full detachment of, requiring the use of either a 0 CP vanguard or an imported Guard character.

Soup Rating

Mandatory (but not currently relevant)

Sisters of Silence don’t have the unit count to be a full faction, so if you see them it will be part of soup. You probably won’t, right now. I have, actually, played against a list that used them and used them well at a major, but that was prior to the current incarnation of Adepta Sororitas existing, and the blunt truth is that there is nothing these do for a soup list that a Battalion of Sisters can’t do better.

GW seem to be teasing that these will get some new army construction options in War of the Spider, so check back then

Notable Units

N/A

 

Salamanders Space Marine. Credit: PierreTheMime

Notable Combinations

Before we head into some lists, it’s worth highlighting some of the most prominent combinations seen in Imperium, as it helps to give an idea of why people choose to soup. There has been a fair amount of upheaval in the superfaction since the explosion of Marines onto the meta and the subsequent avalance of PA books, but there are definitely still some key themes to pull out.

Knights and Backup

The majority of successful Knight lists pack either or both of a Guard Battalion and an Admech contingent, which can be a battalion or may extend further to include some Skorpius Disintegrators as well. Including cheap, objective holding infantry helps to shore up the weaknesses of Knights, providing them with some reliable backfield units to hold objectives and bodies to throw in the path of fast push threats like Lords Discordant and psychic barrages.

Guard and Combat Marines

For a long time the standout Imperial Soup build, Guard benefit heavily from having access to some counter-charge reactive threats in the form of Marine characters, while Blood Angels (who used to be the only game in town for this role) want access to lots of CP to power their nonsense. These days, Space Wolves can also fill the combat marine role, and are a bit less CP hungry, but you can also swerve wildly in the other direction and include an expanded Blood Angel detachment including a push threat like Sanguinary Guard.

Stalwart Sisters

This one is less a complete combo and more one half of an equation – at this point if you think you’ve come up with a build that would benefit from being anchored by an extremely solid (but not too expensive) board control presence, Valorous Heart Sisters are one of the first places you should be looking. We’ll review a list that’s made extremely successful use of this option later on in the article.

Nightmare Gunlines from Hell

What if you took all the best shooting tanks from across the Imperium and put them into a single list? Would that be good? Kinda, yeah. Threat saturation is very much a thing, and giving your opponent a fairly consistent set of targets to pick from can reduce the impact from any weaponry not well suited to shooting at it. This has been tried with at least modest success in Imperium, often combining AdMech, Custodes Tanks, Tank Commanders and Knights in some sort of mix and match combination.

 

Haldor Icepelt Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Haldor Icepelt Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Lists

Wolves and Guard

This list is one we’ve put together to show off how you can bring some of the newer soup-capable Imperium elements together.

Army List - Click to Expand

Space Wolf Battalion

Ragnar
Wolf Guard Battle Leader w/Jump Pack, Hammer, Shield

3×5 Intercessors w/Power Fist (one squad with auto bolt rifles)

3x Impulsor w/Shield Dome

Tallarn Battalion – Emperor’s FIst

Tank Commander w/Battle Cannon, Plasma Sponsons – Hammer of Sunderance
Primaris Psyker – Warlord

3×5 Scions

Guard Spearhead – Spotter Details + Gunnery Experts – Emperor’s Wrath

Tank Commander, demo cannon

Manticore w/ hunter killer, full payload
Basilisk, full payload
Leman Russ, demo cannon

This list shows off a few concepts. First up, it combines the shooting prowess of guard with the board control and countercharge elements available out of Space Wolves. With all of the nastry tricks you can play with Impulsors and the thread of being murdered by the characters, the Space Wolf contingent can make the mid-board a very unsafe place for your opponent. This buys the time the ranged threat elements need to do significant damage to the enemy’s forces, and hopefully ensures that powerful combat elements can never safely make it to your backline. Finally, the Scion squads either plug any holes in your forces that appear, or drop in to harrass vulnerable elements in the enemy backline.

That’s how the roles from the various forces come together, but the other soup concept this shows off is target saturation. This army has the option of putting nothing down on the board turn one that isn’t >=T6 and with a 3+ save, leaving enemy small arms fire largely useless until it decides to commit – and when it does it can hopefully do quite a bit of damage. Finding ways you can line up units that fill different roles but provide a similar target profile across different factions can make your soup lists much stronger.

Nick Weiss’s Guard, Sisters and Grey Knights

Army List - Click to Expand
+ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [32 PL, 8CP, 723pts] ++

Regimental Doctrine: 133rd Lambdan Lions

+ HQ +

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 40pts]: Display Astra Militarum Orders, Relic (133rd Lambdan Lions):Refractor Field Generator, Tempestus Command Rod, Warlord, WT (133rd Lambdan Lions): Keys to the Armoury

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 40pts]: Tempestus Command Rod

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 119pts]
. 5x Scion
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 119pts]
. 5x Scion
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 114pts]
. 5x Scion
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 119pts]
. 5x Scion
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

+ Elites +

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 92pts]
. Tempestus Scion: Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Meltagun
. Tempestus Scion: Meltagun

Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 80pts]
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adepta Sororitas) [49 PL, 3CP, 876pts] ++

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ Stratagems +

Open the Reliquaries [-1CP]: Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 53pts]: Bolt pistol, Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword

Celestine [8 PL, 160pts]

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [8 PL, 163pts]
. 12x Battle Sister
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Meltagun
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [6 PL, 90pts]
. 9x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [6 PL, 90pts]
. 9x Battle Sister
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ Elites +

Imagifier [2 PL, -1CP, 45pts]: Heroine in the Making, Relic: Book of St. Lucius, Tale of the Stoic, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

Imagifier [2 PL, 45pts]: Tale of the Stoic

+ Fast Attack +

Dominion Squad [7 PL, 110pts]
. 4x Dominion
. Dominion Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter

Dominion Squad [7 PL, 120pts]
. 5x Dominion
. Dominion Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter

++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Grey Knights) [27 PL, , 395pts] ++

+ HQ +

Brother-Captain [9 PL, 125pts]: Empyrean Domination, Storm Bolter
. Nemesis Daemon Hammer: Nemesis Daemon Hammer

Brotherhood Champion [6 PL, 90pts]: Blade of the Forsworn, Inner Fire

Lord Kaldor Draigo [12 PL, 180pts]: Gate of Infinity, Hammerhand

++ Total: [108 PL, 11CP, 1,994pts] ++

This list took first place at the Two Rivers GT in early 2020.

This list is one of the more unusual creations to emerge from the aftermath of the winter releases, and makes use of some fairly new soup elements.

At it’s core we can still understand this as a hammer and anvil list. The Valorous Heart battalion acts as a very effective anvil – Celestine and the Indomitable Belief warlord are here to provide a 4++, and the Imagifiers mean they’ll get their 3+ against most small arms fire, leaving them extremely time consuming to shift. I also like the presence of the Dominions (who can use Blessed Bolts) and scattered meltaguns (for Acts of Faith) to give the block a bit more teeth. Scattered among them you have two or three powerful GK characters, with Draigo and the Captain likely to always run with the crew, and the Champion sometimes doing so and being kept in deep strike as a harrassment tool in others. Draigo is a killing machine in melee, and can play the reactive smash captain role, while also providing psychic defences. Celestine herself is another strong reactive threat to sit in a line. While Sisters are pretty new, acting as a board control block in this way is a clear capability that has emerged from early usage of the book.

The way the list uses the Scions is rather more unusual. Normally these sit in a reactive threat/harrassment role, but Nick’s list goes heavy enough on them, while arming them to the teeth and boosting their resilience with the Refractor Field Generator that the contingent can actually operate more like a push threat, deploying in force at an enemy strongpoint and doing sufficient damage when they do to put the opponent on the back foot. The option to use individual squads in a harassment capacity is still there, but fundamentally what the detachment does is act as a push threat hammer. This plan is also, I assume, part of why the Grey Knights were chosen as a reactive/defensive option rather than something like Blood Angels – the Scions will suffer against an opponent who can counterattack with lots of psychic powers, so being able to Gate of Infinity Draigo up to join the Scions on the turn they commit can both help to mitigate that and shore up the block against anyone who wants to engage it in melee.

Over the winter it looked like the glory days of Imperial Soup might be gone, but this list suggests that we’re instead just entering a new era as top players begin to unpack the new combinations that the Psychic Awakening has unlocked for them.

Jonas Beardsley’s Blood Angels, Guard and Admech

Army List - Click to Expand
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Blood Angels) [52 PL, 8CP, 785pts] ++
**CHAPTER**: Blood Angels

+ HQ +

Captain [6 PL, 143pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, The Angel's Wing (replaces jump pack), Thunder hammer, Warlord, Death Visions of Sanguinius [-1 CP]

Captain [6 PL, 133pts]: Chainsword, Jump Pack, Thunder hammer, Death Visions of Sanguinius [-1 CP]

Chief Librarian Mephiston (Primaris) [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Chainsword

+ Elites +

Sanguinary Guard [20 PL, 199pts]
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [46 PL, 4CP, 692pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Detachment CP [5CP]

Regimental Doctrine: Regiment: Tallarn

Vigilus Defiant [-1CP]: Emperor's Fist Tank Company

+ HQ +

Tank Commander [12 PL, 192pts]: Battle Cannon, Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannons

Tank Commander [12 PL, 190pts]: Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannons, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander [12 PL, 190pts]: Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannons, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 35pts]
. 4x Scion
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 35pts]
. 4x Scion
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 35pts]
. 4x Scion
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

+ Elites +

Astropath [1 PL, 15pts]: Laspistol

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [36 PL, 5CP, 518pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Detachment CP [5CP]

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Stygies VIII

+ HQ +

Daedalosus [3 PL, 50pts]

Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts]

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts]
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts]
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 35pts]
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger

+ Heavy Support +

Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber

Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber

Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber

++ Total: [134 PL, 17CP, 1,995pts] ++

This list took fourth place at Coastal Wargaming in early 2020.

As we talked about in their section, the truest form of the red thirst is the thirst for endless CP, and one of the things that soup lets Blood Angel fans who want to give in to this particular darkness do is to run an effective triple Battalion, which is what we see here. It also shows off the enduring popularity of Tank Commanders and Skorpiuses as soup shooting threats.

What this list really has going for it is that it’s got the tools to adapt to whatever pace of the game the opponent doesn’t want to play. The shooting threats are numerous, dangerous and tough enough that it can go toe to toe with another shooting list for a bit, and force an opponent who isn’t packing so much heavy firepower to engage early or get whittled off the board. However, engaging with this list is easier said than done – it has two initial layers of bubblewrap available to it, with the blood angel scouts and the skitarii, and can fill in gaps with the scions as needed. That sums up to enough screening that it’ll be a challenge for many lists to just zoom straight through – but if they get bogged down anywhere along the way or pause in the wrong place, the Sanguinary Guard and characters are ready to leap in and make a horrendous mess of them. Given the squad is smaller than max size and the Standard of Sacrifice isn’t present I’m assuming the golden host are here more in a reactive role than a push threat role – but thanks to Upon Wings of Fire the opponent has to be constantly aware that they have the option of slamming into a key point at any moment.

Essentially this list combines elements to force a painful choice on the opponent – play cautiously and risk getting shot off the board, or play aggressively and risk getting smashed off the table by a brutal counterattack.

Wrap Up

And thus concludes our first soup guide. We will, of course, be back with guides to the other soup factions in the near future, and if you think there’s anything we’ve missed do reach out at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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