Warlord Wednesdays: Adeptus Titanicus Stratagems

Welcome back to Goonhammer’s series for aspiring Titan Principes. We here at Goonhammer’s own Collegia Titanica know that Adeptus Titanicus can seem intimidating to players unfamiliar with its particular quirks, but this series aims to equip you with everything you’ll need to play out epic clashes on the battlefields of the far future with your very own Titan Battlegroup. In this series, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the various Legios of the Collegia Titanica – exploring their origins and how to use them on the tabletop, from maniple selection and their loadouts, through to how to command them on the field of battle to secure ultimate victory.

Titancius has a surprising amount of depth to it despite a relatively limited model range and unit count due to the sheer number of different ways it gives you to tailor your force. Most of these choices are made in advance of a game such as your Titan loadout and the structure of your maniples. But Just before deployment you’ll choose what stratagems and tactics your forces will have at their disposal for the upcoming battle.

Stratagems and tactics unlock many different abilities that vary from “basic utility” all the way up to “game-defining,” which you keep hidden from your opponent until it’s time to use them. After a few supplements, the game has loads to choose from, so this week we we’re looking at those stratagems, how to use them, and what we think of them.


Using Stratagems

Adeptus Titanicus Battle Levels – Credit: Warhammer Community

The first question here is the easiest: how do you get stratagem points? You start by looking at the size of the game you’re playing. Most games will be in the 1250-1750 point bracket, which means you start with 3 stratagem points. Next, look at your opponent’s list: how many sets of legion rules are they taking? For each legion in your opponent’s list, you get an extra 2 stratagem points. Finally, look at the points cost for your list and your opponent’s list. For each increment of the “underdog margin” between your lists, you get another 2 stratagem points.

So as an example, if you bring a 1260 point Legio Vulpa list, and your opponent brings a 1,550 point list pairing Legio Gryphonicus with Legio Atarus, your opponent would get 5 stratagem points – 3 base + 2 for your one set of legion rules – and you would get a whopping nine – 3 base + 4 for your opponent’s two sets of legion rules + another 2 for the underdog margin.

We find that most games will be in the “Confrontation” bracket, and that most opponents will bring one set of legion rules. This means that in your average game of Adeptus Titanicus, you’ll have five stratagem points to use. Bidding for the Underdog Margin could net you more points, but it typically isn’t worth it.

Legion Xestobiax Warlord Titan

Legion Xestobiax Warlord Titan. Credit: Jack Hunter

Choosing Stratagems

Now that we know how many stratagem points we have at our disposal, we now have the challenge of deciding which ones to take. Here are some of the major factors you’ll want to take into account when choosing your stratagems:

  • Objectives
    • What objective do you have for your mission? What is your opponent trying to achieve? Look at Stratagems that will help you in this goal, such as Long Retreat for Loyalists or Warp Displacement for traitors when playing Retrieval.
    • If your opponent has an objective with a higher potential score and you think they might be able to convert, consider a tertiary objective – if you choose the right one and manage to bring it home, it could win you the game.
  • Terrain
    • How is the terrain going to impact your game? A number of stratagems work better depending on the field, especially if your opponent is going to be bunched up.
  • Titans & Maniple
    • Some stratagems work better with different Titans, whether being used offensively or defensively. Thermal Mines into a list full of Warhound Titans with the Vital Cargo or Retrieval objective can be a nasty trick.
    • Sometimes, you might even build a specific Titan for use with a particular stratagem – Overcharged Cannon is a prime candidate here.
    • Since you get to choose your stratagems after seeing your opponent’s list, be sure that you’re bringing ones that will work well against them. For instance, if you’re playing against a force of all Warhounds, a tertiary objective that requires you to kill a Warlord isn’t a great idea. Similarly, if your opponent is likely to move aggressively into close range with you, think carefully before taking too many stratagems that require you to be at long range.
  • Loyalty
    • Whether or not you’re loyal to the Emperor will determine which faction subset of Stratagems you have access to. These add even more options and flavour to your force, and include some really cool ones such as Iron Resolve or Warp Displacement.
  • Legio
    • Some Legios have their own exclusive Stratagems which have devastating effects such as Offensive Surge for Legio Fureans, which can be used for a unique edge. Not all of them are amazing, and a few are really core to how the legion works. Definitely look closely at these when they’re available.

Tier 1 stratagems are worth considering regardless of most conditions if you are eligible. Nothing is an auto-include in Titanicus, but if you’ve got points left over and aren’t sure what to take, you can’t go wrong with these. A good example here is Blind Barrage from the Core Rules. It’s cheap, it gives you a powerful effect, and it’s got flexibility that allows you to protect a key model in your own battlegroup or interfere with the accuracy of your opponent’s big guns.

Tier 2 stratagems are powerful abilities which should be taken if you’ve got the right conditions on the table. A good example here is Only Forwards from Shadow & Iron – if you’re playing a “stand back and shoot” list, or if the terrain is so dense you don’t think you’ll be able to line up a single turn with multiple charges, this probably isn’t worth the SP. The difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 stratagems is that Tier 2 stratagems won’t be readily usable in every game.

Tier 3 stratagems are pretty situational, but can do some solid work when they connect. The difference between Tier 2 and Tier 3 is usually either that Tier 3 stratagems are usually either even more situational or just plain too expensive for what you get. A good example is Orbital Lance Strike – it’s powerful when it lands, but it’s not super reliable and you only get it once per game.

Tier 4 stratagems are either pretty hard to use or aren’t that great. They also tend to be unreliable or not very effective, though several of them can create very memorable moments in the game. The difference between Tier 3 and Tier 4 is one of effectiveness – if you don’t have a narrative reason for taking one of these, they might disappoint you.

Don’t let this ranking deter you from taking something you think is cool, though! These rankings are to help you get a sense for what’s effective from a rules perspective, not necessarily what you’ll have fun with. However, keep in mind that more expensive and more situational stratagems might feel more like a weight dragging you down than a useful tool in your arsenal.

Soggy: I feel it’s important to underline that Adeptus Titanicus is more of a narrative game rather than a perfectly balanced competitive one and we certainly aren’t saying you should only take the Tier 1/2 stratagems. Things like Scatterable Mines have the potential to ruin someone’s day. Make sure you have the same expectations of the game and be excellent to each other.

Profane BlessingTraitor1Play in the first Strategy phase of the game. The player chooses one of their Titans or Knight Banners and places a marker of some kind next to their terminal. That unit may choose to re-roll one or more dice for a single roll. Remove the marker after the re-roll has been resolved. This may be taken multiple times.It's a pile of "re-roll alls" on any single roll - you're basically buying Vulcanum's trait, but better, for a single CP. And you didn't even have to lose a Titan to get it.1S&I
Iron ResolveLoyalist1Play when a Titan fails a command check during the Strategy Phase or when a Knight Banner fails a command check to see if they become Shaken in any phase. That check is instead passed. This can be purchased multiple times.Do you know you're going to need a particular order at a particular time to execute your strategy? This actually guarantees it.1S&I
Concealment Barrage1Play during any Strategy phase. Place the 5” template anywhere on the battlefield. Any part of the battlefield underneath the template blocks line of sight. Remove the Blast marker at the end of the round. This can be purchased multiple times.Got instantly nerfed and is still one of the best strats in the game. You can no longer place it reactively to say "no, that Titan is not allowed to shoot, actually," but it is still a very powerful tool that can deny key lanes of shooting to let you work through your opponent's force without having to worry about return fire. Plus, making you play it at the top of the stratagem phase honestly makes it more fun - thinking about where to put it so you get the most use out of it while minimizing your opponent's ability to play around it can be real brain-burner.1S&I
Veteran Princeps1When this is chosen the player chooses one of their Titans that is not a Princeps Seniores to be commanded by a Veteran Princeps. Add 1 to the result of any Command checks made when issuing an order to the chosen Titan. This may be purchased multiple timesCompetes with Iron Resolve, trading away the certainty that you’re going to get the order you want exactly when you want it for more reliable orders across the board. If you want to issue orders frequently and consistently, pick this. If you want one decisive turn and are a Loyalist, go for Iron Resolve (or Only Forwards for close-combat lists). If you want to guarantee one decisive turn and are a Traitor, sucks to be you, I guess.1S&I
Warp DisplacementTraitor2Play in any phase. Choose one of your own units and roll 2D6. Models within the chosen unit move that many inches in a straight line in a direction chosen by the player, ignoring any rules for movement such as Dangerous or Blocking Terrain. If the unit would be placed in a piece of terrain, other than Blocking, the unit suffers D3 S7 hits to its Body, bypassing void shields, and the terrain is destroyed. If the unit would be placed overlapping the base of another unit, the unit stops at its base and suffers a collision. This does not change the unit’s facing and a unit cannot move off the battlefield - if it would, place the unit on the battlefield edge.Fun, flavorful, and very useful in the right list. The fact that you can use it whenever you want - including in the middle of a phase - makes it even stronger.2S&I
Only ForwardsLoyalist2Play during the start of any Strategy Phase. For the remainder of that phase, any unit may be issued Full Stride or Charge order without need of a command checkIf you're running a loyalist list full of brawlers and close-combat monsters, this stratagem is for you. Otherwise, it's a bit expensive - you ideally want at least 3 Titans to be getting use of this for it to be worth it.2S&I
Weapons to FullLoyalist2Play during the Combat phase. Select a friendly Titan. That Titan may immediately attack with any/all of its weapons even if it has already been activated in the Combat phase that round. After resolving each weapon attack the Titan rolls a D10 on the Reactor Overload table.Getting what is effectively a second activation in the combat phase is cool as hell, and would be a steal at 2CP if it weren't for the downside. However, rolling multiple d10 on the Reactor Overload table has a solid chance of causing your Titan to just instantly vanish. Could be a neat trick to pull on a Titan that's almost certainly going to die anyways, but as it stands the downside and 2CP cost make it a bit risky to be worth putting at the top of your list.2S&I
MIU Link1Play this in the first strategy phase. The player chooses two of their Titans to link MIU. For the remainder of the game, when making a weapon attack, you may measure from either linked Titan for the purposes of determining the Accuracy value for short or long range. If either of the linked Titans suffers the MIU feedback critical damage effect, both Titans suffer it and the MIU link stratagem is ignored for the remainder of the game, even if the damage is repaired.This lets you play around some of the more awkward range restrictions and get increased accuracy at ranges where you normally wouldn't (or avoid penalties where you'd usually incur them). A neat trick depending on your list, with a harsh downside that's mitigated by the fact that your head is the best-armored track on any Titan.2S&I
Augmented Servitor Clades2Play in the first Strategy phase. The player chooses one of their Titans to have a Senior Enginseer aboard. Increase the Servitor Clades for that Titan by 1 during each Damage Control phase.Lets you give a single Titan half of the Elite Magos trait from White Dwarf. This is a very strong effect that is only held back by its 2CP cost.2S&I
Wails of the DamnedTraitor2Play during any strategy phase. For the remainder of that round, subtract 2 from the result of command checks made for enemy units when issuing orders.Makes issuing orders less reliable for your opponent, potentially denying them an important order when it counts. Not as potent as Vox Blackout, but also doesn't stop you from issuing more stratagems either.3S&I
Unhallowed GroundTraitor2Play during the first Strategy phase of the game. The battlefield is infused with tained Warp energies. At the end of each movement phase, any unit that has not moved suffers D3 S6 hits, ignoring void and ion shields. Titans suffer these hits to the Legs.Most lists want to be moving anyway, so this isn't the biggest downside. Also, the units who are most likely to want to stand still for First Fire - Warlords and Acastus - don't care much about strength 6. It's funny and flavorful, but won't make much of a difference most of the time until later in the game.3S&I
Aetheric InfusionTraitor2Play during any phase. The player chooses one of their Titans and rolls a D10. On a 3 immediately make a repair roll for the Titan adding 2 to their Servitor Clades for that roll. On a 2 the Titan takes D3 Devastating hits to the Body. On a 1 the Titan suffers Catastrophic DamageA potentially strong repair out of sequence with a 20% chance of either dealing a pile of structure damage or outright killing you. Neat, if you need it, I guess.3S&I
Even in DeathLoyalist2Play when a friendly Titan suffers Catastrophic Damage, before rolling on the Catastrophic Damage table. Instead of rolling on the table, roll a D6; on a 1-4 the Titan suffers a Magazine Detonation, on a 5+ it suffers a Catastrophic Meltdown. Add 1 to the D6 result if the reactor was orange, or add 3 if red.If you want to use a Titan as a hand grenade, this lets you guarantee that it won't be a dud. Gives you a solid chance of a Catastrophic Meltdown, even when you're not redlining. Interesting on singleton close combat Titans or as a trick to punish lists that get too aggressive.3S&I
Sacrificial Lock-OnLoyalist2Play at the start of any Combat phase. Place the 5” Blast marker so that the central hole is entirely over a friendly model’s base. Any unit touched by the marker suffers D3 S10 hits or 2D3 S10 hits if the hole is entirely over its base. The attack does not ignore void shields even if the friendly model the marker is centred over is within 2” of a Titan with active shields.This might let you favorably trade away a dying Titan, but could just as well result in nothing happening. If you're going to use it, make sure the Titans you're targeting don't have voids up - if you need more ways to strip shields, there are better ways to get that from your strat points. You need to make sure this one counts.3S&I
Shock Mines3Play after an enemy unit has finished moving or making a turn. That unit suffers D3 S5 hits to its Legs. Shield saves cannot be made against these hits. If that unit suffers any Direct, Devastating, or Critical damage that unit discards any order it currently has and is immediately issued Shutdown Orders. This Shutdown Order is automatically removed at the end of that round.3CP is a lot. However, the results here can be terrifying - if you hit the right target. It's next to useless against Warlords, but if you've ever wanted to terminate that flanking Warhound with extreme prejudice, this is a good way to send a personalized invitation to that particular party. Bair Note: If you hit it with Thermal Mines first, the shutdown is a near-guarantee. It's a lot of CP, but could be a neat trick.3S&I
Tracer Cloud1Play during any Stratagem phase. Place the 5” template anywhere on the battlefield. A player may re-roll Hit rolls for attacks made against any unit under the marker. Remove the Blast marker at the end of the round. This may be purchased multiple times but only one may be used per roundThis strat was an easy Tier-1 choice, but got nerfed in the post-Shadow & Iron FAQ at which point it dropped down to a more situational pick. Rather than being the "fuck those Titans in particular" stratagem that it was originally, it is now more of a neon flashing sign, declaring "Do Not Go In There" to any god-engines that happen to be in the neighborhood. You're not likely to get a ton of use out of the bonus to hit unless you're firing at a Fortis Battlepile or something, but it has its applications.3S&I
Localized Warp StormTraitor3Play this stratagem in any strategy phase. Place the 3” blast marker anywhere on the battlefield and scatter it D10”. Any unit touched by the blast after it has scattered suffers D3 hits as if attacked by a Warp weapon that has successfully hit.Expensive and will rarely work. Potentially cool if it hits, but not worth wasting the majority of your points on. If this only scattered d6" like Orbital Lance Strike, it might be worth taking, but as it stands it's too inconsistent.4S&I
EMP DischargeLoyalist2Play during the movement or combat phase. Pick a friendly Titan that has active void shields. Every Titan that has active void shields within 3” of that Tian suffers a number of S4 hits equal to the Void Shield level of the chosen Titan, as if resolving an attack from a Shieldbane weapon. After resolving these hits the chosen titan’s void shield level is reduced to X.Dropping shields is a hell of a gambit that might come back to bite you, and getting maximum mileage out of this will require you to get a Warlord (or at least a Reaver) with full shields within 3” of an enemy. But when it works, it’s super cool.4S&I
Vox Blackout1Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. The Strategy phase immediately ends and all orders are removed, with the exception of Shutdown orders.An incredibly useful ability that lets you shut down your opponent's tricks when they least expect it. Always useful to deny any critical orders such as charge orders or completely ruin Knight Households from Coordinated Striking. Can be used to prevent your opponent from using any stratagems if you play it first.
Condit Note: Just be careful bringing this into a casual game - denying your opponent a critical stratagem can create a real "feel bad" moment.
Scatterable Mines1Play this during each Strategy phase. Place a marker anywhere on the battlefield then scatter it D10". The area within 12" of this marker counts as Dangerous terrain until the end of the round.Absurdly good at denying movement for half of the table every turn for a single point. Very powerful, and frustrating to play around.1DoM
Overcharged Cannon2Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The player chooses one of their Titans armed with a weapon with the Maximal Fire trait. Place this card next to the Titan's Command Terminal and select one of its weapons with the Maximal Fire trait. For the duration of the battle, the Titan can fire this weapon on Super Maximal Fire. This works in exactly the same way as the Maximal Fire trait, except that the weapon's Strength is increased by 4 instead of 2.Turn your Sunfury into a Bellicosa that can do targeted shots. Core unshielded Titans and vaporize Knight Banners on demand2DoM
The Long RetreatLoyalist1Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of this round, the player's Titans do not halve their Speed when moving outside of their Front arc.All of your Titans can now moonwalk even better than a Corsair Maniple, fantastic for Retrieval or dodging through terrain.2DoM
Blood ThirstTraitor1Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of the round, the player's Titans add 2 to any To Hit rolls made against enemies within 2" of them. In addition, the player's Titans add 2 to their Command checks when attempting to issue the Charge order.Excellent for maniples who want to get in close and a near auto-include for Vulpa Titans with Distruption Emmiters2DoM
Strafing Run2Play this during each Strategy phase. A squadron of fighter bombers scream across the battlefield, attacking everything in their path. Choose one of the four edges of the battlefield and pick a point on that edge. Then pick a point on any other edge of the battlefield and draw an imaginary line between the two. Any unit under this line, or within 2" of it, takes D3 Strength 5 hits.Offmap Ordinance that happens every turn and can't miss. Annoyingly useful at chipping shields off Titans across the board. Very handy if your opponent is bunched up in squadrons.2DoM
Quake Shells2Play this during each Strategy phase. Place the 5" Blast marker anywhere on the battlefield then scatter it D10". Any unit touched by the marker where it eventually lands suffers D3 Strength 6 hits, or D6 Strength 6 hits if the central hole of the Blast marker is entirely over its base. In addition, the unit is then moved D6" in a direction determined by the Scatter dice (this may result in a Collision - see page 31 of the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook). This does not change the unit's facing.Can lead to hillarious results on a terrain dense map or if your opponent is going to bunch up. Use their own weight against them.2DoM
A Quick Kill1Play this in the End phase of the first or second round. If at least one enemy Titan with Scale 8 or greater has been destroyed, score 5 Victory points.Five VPs can often decide a game, a worthwhile gamble if you think you can focus down a Reaver quickly. Just be sure to bring enough firepower to score it.2DoM
Hold the Centre2Play this at the end of the battle. The player scores 2 Victory points for each of their Titans that are within 12" of the centre of the battlefield. In addition, they score an extra 5 Victory points if there are no enemy units within 12" of the centre of the battlefield.Quite often this can lead to some easy Victory Points as you will be going to the centre of the map anyway. And if you can win the secondary, this offers an amazing value.2DoM
Justice for the FallenLoyalist1Play this at the end of the battle. If the player has destroyed at least as many enemy Titans as they themselves have lost, they score 5 Victory points.If you've got a heavy maniple and your opponent has a load of Warhounds this can be an easy tertiary objective to claim. You'll need to be careful not to get outflanked, though.2DoM
War LustTraitor2Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of the round, the player's Titans add 2" to their Boosted Speed characteristic. In addition, the player's Titans add 2 to their Command checks when attempting to issue the Full Stride order.Need to get somewhere fast? This will get you there. Great for Vital Cargo or Retrieval when supported by Obscuration or Blind Barrages.
Condit Note: Also has use in close combat lists, giving you a little leeway when you're trying to make a long charge.
Cursed Earth1Play this Stratagem in the first Strategy phase of the game. The battlefield is heavily irradiated, making shields less effective. Titans must roll an extra dice when making Void Shield saves, while Knight Banners count the Strength of attacks as one higher for the purposes of working out their Ion Shield saves.An interesting symmetric ability, although you need to tip it in your favor - such as combining it with Strafing Run to ensure your opponent has no voids. Note that it's not limited to the first battle round: you play it round 1, but its effect isn't limited to the first round. We think it probably continues for the entire game RAW.
Condit Note: If you like lasers, this is a cheap and effective way to get even more mileage out of their Shieldbane trait. Taking advantage of this will help you make sure you're getting more use out of this than your opponent.
Wages of BetrayalLoyalist2Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of the round, enemy Titans suffer a -2 penalty to Command checks. The enemy Princeps Seniores suffers a -3 penalty to Command checks instead.Deny your traitorous opponent an effective orders phase and make their machine spirits more rowdy. Solid. The extra penalty to the Princeps also cancels out their innate bonus, which is a neat trick.2DoM
Warmaster's PortionTraitor2Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. During the Movement and Combat phases of the first round, the player's Titans can re-roll rolls of 1 when making To Hit rolls.Useful on heavy maniples with a lot of firepower on the first turn, quite often denied due terrain or deployment. Re-rolls are always nice, but only getting them in the first round limits this stratagem's utility.3DoM
Experimental Weapon2Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The player chooses one of their Titans and places this card next to its Command Terminal. Then randomly choose one of the Titan's weapons. For the duration of this battle, the selected weapon gains the Maximal Fire trait, though must always declare that it is using this Trait each time it fires. If the weapon already has the Maximal Fire trait, select another weapon.While this can lead to some hilarious situations like a mega-bolter array with Maximal Fire, the fact you don't get to choose the weapon (unless you game it with the other weapons) and that you have to always use Maximal Fire makes it less reliable.3DoM
Ablative Amour1Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. The player chooses one of their Titans and places this card next to its Command Terminal. The first Direct, Devastating or Critical Hit suffered by the Titan is ignored. Then discard this card.Interesting utility but not very exciting. Could be used as a bait and switch on Vital Cargo. Decent in close-combat focused lists to let you shake off the first hit on a Titan that's closing and makes giving up your Combat phase with Full Stride a little less painful, since the counterpunch won't be quite as hard.3DoM
Great Crusade TitansLoyalist2Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of the round, the player's Titans add 2 to Command checks when issuing Charge orders. In addition, when moving under Charge orders the player's Titans count as moving 6" further than they actually moved for the purposes of working out additional Attack dice.Great for Loyalists who want to punch some fools. Can lead to some surprisingly powerful melee attacks at point blank - you can get an 8-die charge with a chainfist Reaver, which is almost certain to hurt.3DoM
Martian Servitor CladesLoyalist3Play this Stratagem at the beginning of any Damage Control phase. Each of the player's Titans adds two Repair dice to their Servitor Clades. In addition, if the player's opponent is fielding any Legio Mortis or Legio Tempestus Titans, they may re-roll any results of 1 on the Repair dice.Excellent for recovering your Titans but at a relatively high cost. The bonus against Mortis is nice, considering how frequently you'll run into them, but this strat is ultimately a bit expensive to be an auto-include.2DoM
Living ArmourTraitor3Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. The player chooses one of their Titans and a location on the chosen Titan that has suffered Structural Damage. The player then rolls a D10. If the result is equal to or higher than the amount of Structural Damage suffered, all damage to the location is repaired. Otherwise there is no effect, but the player may retain this card and play it again next round.Considering there usually is no way to repair Structural Damage, this is a very unique power with some interesting risk reward mechanics attached. Ultimately a bit expensive, but being able to go back to the top of the track could be very powerful. Not losing the strat if you fail the roll saves this from being too much of a risk to take.3DoM
EarthShaker Mines2Play this Stratagem immediately after an enemy unit finishes moving or making a turn. That unit suffers D3 Strength 6 hits to its Legs. Void Shield saves cannot be made against the hits. In addition, the unit is then moved D6" in a direction determined by the Scatter dice (this may result in a Collision - see page 31 of the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook). This does not change the unit's facing.The leg damage is only going to tickle unless your target has previously been hit, but forcing a Titan to pinball in the middle of a Squadron or dense terrain is always a good time3DoM
No Prisoners2Play this at the end of the battle. Score 5 Victory points if all enemy Titans have been destroyed. If the points total of the game is 2,500 points or more, score 10 Victory points instead.Generally speaking, if you've tabled your opponent you've probably won the game anyway, but if you're worried about edge cases, this could help. Although this could be funny to use against someone playing a Knight Household with a single support Titan3DoM
Titanic Decapitation1Play this in the End phase if an enemy Titan was destroyed by suffering Critical Damage to its head. Score 5 Victory points.Kills from headshots are less common due to the location's relatively heavy armour, but this can pay out for it's low cost - especially if you are going into Melee. Most useful against lists that run Warhounds.3DoM
Penance2Play this at the end of the battle. The player scores 3 Victory points for each of their Titans that has not been destroyed, but which is Structurally Compromised. In addition, they score an extra 3 Victory points if their Princeps Seniores' Titan currently has any Critical Damage.At the end of the battle your Titans will be worse for wear, although this will require clever play on your part to keep them alive as your opponent will normally focus where possible. Ultimately not likely to trigger on more than one Titan, but with careful play you could get some mileage out of this.3DoM
Dark PledgeTraitor1Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The player chooses an enemy Titan or number of Titans with a Scale of 10 or more to mark for destruction. If, at the end of the battle, these marked Titans have been destroyed, the player scores 10 Victory points. If all or some of the marked Titans have not been destroyed by the end of the battle, the player loses 10 Victory points.Killing a Warlord takes some serious dedication and can be tricky if they are hanging out in the back field. An interesting gamble on a pair of Warhounds, though.2DoM
Static Rain3Once during the game, play this card during the Strategy phase. Place a marker anywhere on the battlefield. Any Titan within 2D10" of this marker must make D3 Void Shield saves. Knight Banners within this range cannot make Ion Shield saves for the remainder of the round, even if they subsequently move out from the marker's radius of effect.A more expensive Strafing Run that only goes off once a game and is often less effective. Just take Strafing Run and spend the point you saved elsewhere3DoM
Titan Hunter Infantry2This Stratagem can be played once in each Strategy phase of the game. When this Stratagem is played, place two markers anywhere on the table wholly within a piece of terrain (this does not need to be the same piece of terrain). Instead of activating a Titan or Knight Banner, a player may fire with these markers as if they were units, following all of the rules for making attacks and using the profile below. If more than one player has this Stratagem, players take turns when placing their markers, beginning with the First Player. If two opposing markers are placed in the same piece of terrain, immediately remove both markers. BS/WS: 5+. Firing Arc: 360 degrees. Range: S 6" (+1), L12" (-). Dice: 4. Strength: 5. Traits: -.This strategem is rad if only for the ability to make the counters from old Epic Marines. As long as you are playing a relatively dense table you should get some milage out of this ability. Keep in mind that with the most recent FAQ, the tokens vanish once they're used, so you can't just fill every piece of terrain with angry Space Marines.3DoM
Forward Observers1Play this Stratagem before making an attack using a weapon with the Barrage trait. Place a command bastion or communication relay anywhere on the board to represent a forward observer team position that has been camouflaged up until this point. While the Asset is on the board, when friendly units make attacks using weapons with the Barrage trait, they may draw line of sight, though not range, from this model, thus ignoring the normal -2 penalty for firing indirectly.For a very low cost you can ensure your barrage weapons won't be blocked by terrain. The fact this pops out once needed rather than being placed at the start of the game makes it somewhat more practical.3DoM
Gifts of the Dark MechanicumTraitor3Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The player chooses one of their Titans and places this card next to its Command Terminal. Each time the Titan Pushes its Reactor, the player can choose to place a token on this card instead of rolling the Reactor dice, gaining the benefits of Pushing the Reactor without advancing the Reactor track. Once this card has three tokens placed on it, it is discarded.Push it to the limit and avoid the reactor danger zone. Interesting on a Warhound with lasers, and even better if you're using it as a shield battery in a Regia - being able to push for Shieldbane or Voids to Full without having to roll is cool.
Bair Note: This is probably Tier 3 in a Regia, and Tier 2 in a Vulcanum Regia. It's still expensive, but getting 3 free reactor pushes to keep those shields re-rolling for your little battery hounds is really good. The ability to choose when you use it makes it even better.
Dawn Attack3Play this Stratagem in the first Strategy phase of the game. For the first two rounds of the game, darkness cloaks the battlefield. Titans must roll D6x10 to determine how many inches they can see - only enemies within this range can be targeted. Titans that shot earlier in the round can be targeted, regardless of the distance an attacker can see.Oozing with flavour, sadly this under-performs its cost. If you're issuing a lot of Full Strides first turn, this is an interesting trick, but even then you're looking at an average of 35" range, which will typically be obsolete by round 2.
Condit Note: Unfortunately, it's also unclear when you check this range - if the range is determined when you play the stratagem, it's a bit weaker as your opponent can just play around it. However, if you roll to determine sight range when the Titan activates, this could create some interesting mind games. After some debate, we think you probably roll for each Titan during the Strategy Phase round 1, but if there's a clarification it could make this stratagem slightly more effective. Still wouldn't be amazing, though.
Auspex Bafflers2Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. The player chooses one of their Titans or Knight Banners. For the duration of the round, the chosen unit increases the To Hit roll penalty by 1, i.e, -2 To Hit if at least 25% of the unit is obscured, or -3 To Hit if at least 50% of the unit is obscured.An asymmetric Blind Barrage that requires you to hide in cover which will make it harder for you to return fire anyway. Rather iffy, and we would probably take Blind Barrage due to its ease of use and lower cost.4DoM
Secutarii BatallionLoyalist3Play this Stratagem in each Strategy phase. Any enemy units with a Scale of 3 or less immediately suffer D6 Strength 3 Hits if they are within 2" of one of the player's Titans.Only affects Questoris, costs 3 points, and only goes off once per banner - it targets units and not models. No thanks.4DoM
Endurance of TerraLoyalist2Play this Stratagem when one of the player's Titans suffers Critical Damage. The player rolls a D6. If the result is equal to or less than the Critical Damage suffered, the damage is ignored. Otherwise, the damage is suffered as normal and the player may retain this card to use in subsequent rounds.It's pretty unlikely to prevent that critical damage when you really need it and by the time it works it is most likely too late. At 2 points, it's too expensive for how situational it is.4DoM
War of FatesTraitor1Play this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. Before the Movement phase, Damage Control phase and Combat phase, the player rolls a D10. If the result is an odd number, for the duration of that phase any D6 roll of 6 counts as a 1 and any D10 roll of 10 counts as a 1. If the result is an even number, for the duration of that phase any D6 roll of 1 counts as a 6 and any D10 roll of 1 counts as a 10.If you had a choice of which to pick, this would be very interesting. As it stands, if you're in a situation where it doesn't matter what you roll because you're OK with either outcome, you've probably already won.4DoM
Haywire Barrage2Once during the game, play this card in the Strategy phase. Place a marker anywhere on the battlefield then scatter it D10". Roll 2D6 for each Titan within 6" of the marker. If the roll is equal to or greater than their Scale, they take 1 point of Critical Damage to a random location, ignoring shields. If the location is a weapon, it is disabled. If the location is a disabled weapon or already has 3 points of Critical Damage then the barrage has no effect. Knight Banners hit by a Haywire Barrage take D3 Strength 7 hits that ignore ion shields.While more reliable than Warp Storm at hitting the intended target, a single critical damage to a random location isn't typically that useful unless you roll a Weapon, and even then it's not inspiring. Could be cute to open up for a couple of warp missiles, though.4DoM
Blind Barrage1Once per battle, play this during the Strategy phase. Pick a unit on the battlefield. Any attacks that target it or are made by it suffer a -2 To Hit penalty for the duration of the round.The original auto-include. Able to be used offensively on a Titan you want to miss or on a vital Titan that needs to survive this turn. That flexibility makes it a great tool in almost any list.1Core
Thermal Mines2Play this Stratagem immediately after an enemy unit finishes moving or making a turn. That unit suffers D3 Strength 10 hits to its legs. Shield saves cannot be made against the hits.Does your opponent need to get somewhere with a Reaver or a Warhound? This will get the damage track started for you. We have seen it one-shot Warhounds from full health, though you shouldn't count on it.2Core
Decapitating Strike2Play this at the end of the battle. If the opposing player's Princeps Seniores' Titan has been destroyed, score Victory points equal to half its Scale (rounding down).If your opponents Princeps Seniores isn't a Fire Support Warlord or Warbringer, chances are you will be able to focus them down if you want to. However, if it's anything but a Warlord, this is a bit expensive for the potential VP gain.2Core
OutflankXWhen chosen, secretly note one of your own units. The cost of the stratagem is equal to half of the unit’s scale rounding up. Play at the start of deployment to set that unit to one side and state that it is outflanking. Write down which flank the unit will be arriving from but do not reveal to the opposing player(s). At the start of the movement phase turn 1 reveal to your opponent which flank the unit will be arriving from. During the second movement phase the unit can be activated.Not going to be used every game, but can result in some devastating results if you plan for it. We've seen it work very well with a full banner of Questoris Knights with Thermal Cannons. Unlike 40K there is no distance you need to come in from your opponent - take advantage of this.3Core
Sabotage2Play this Stratagem at the start of any phase. Pick an enemy unit which does not currently have Shutdown orders, remove its current order (if any) then roll an Order dice - the unit immediately takes the order shown. If it cannot be issued that order, re-roll the dice.One of the most hilarious Stratagems when it works - such as shutting down a Titan on the first turn, or giving a fire support Titan full stride orders. It isn't something you should rely on, but will always be frustrating for your opponent.3Core
Artillery Bombardment2Play this during each Strategy phase. Place the 5" Blast marker anywhere on the battlefield, then scatter it D10". Any unit touched by the marker where it eventually lands suffers a Strength 8 hit, or two Strength 8 hits if the central hole of the Blast marker is entirely over its base.Dropping a pie plate every turn is nice, but most of the time your targets will have voids or ion saves, and that assumes you even manage to hit them after the 10" scatter. Still, this could clear out some terrain and land the odd lucky hit.3Core
Orbital Lance Strike2Once per battle, play this during the Strategy phase. Place the 3" Blast marker anywhere on the battlefield, then scatter it D6". Any unit touched by the marker where it eventually lands suffers D3 Strength 10 hits, or 2D3 Strength 10 hits if the central hole of the Blast marker is entirely over its base.Will do some real hurt on a target without voids, but there is still the chance it misses completely. You only get one shot with it, but it's a doozy and the 6" scatter gives you a good chance you'll at least wing your target.3Core
Break Through1The player can enact this at the end of the battle to score 1 Victory point for each of their units with a scale of 5 or more that is within 9" of their opponent's edge of the battlefieldWorth looking at if you are doing Vital Cargo or if your opponent is doing Hold the Line3Core
A Score to Settle1Play this at the end of the Battle. Score 1 additional Victory point for each enemy unit that has been destroyed.Cheap, but harder to cash in compared to other tertiaries if your opponent isn't using Knights3Core
Command Bastion1A command bastion allows the owning player to issue one more order after they fail a Command check when issuing orders in the Strategy phase. The order must be issued to a unit within 18" of the command bastion. Note that this does not allow more than one order to be issued to a unit.Useless in an Axiom, but worth considering if you're building around a lot of fire support Titans to take advantage of First Fire and Split Fire orders.3Core
Apocalypse Missile Strongpoint2In the 'Enact Stratagems' step of the Strategy phase, the owning player can make an attack with the strongpoint's apocalypse missile launcher, using the profile which follows. The strongpoint has a Ballistic/Weapon Skill of 4+ and a 360 degree firing arc. Range: S 30" (-), L 120" (+1). Dice: 5. Strength: 4. Traits: Barrage.If your opponent is lacking long range firepower, one of these in the open can happily ping at shields from long range. Failing that it could still be a nusciance with barrage at targets more than 30" away.3Core
Communications Relay2Subtract 1 from the result of any Command checks for units that are within 18" of a communications relay that is owned by the enemy.Amusing if your opponent is using Knights and there is some cover you can hide this behind. Otherwise not likely to come into play.3Core
Macro Cannon Battery2 In the 'Enact Stratagems' step of the Strategy phase, the owning player can make an attack with the battery's macro cannon, using the profile which follows. The battery has a Ballistic/Weapon Skill of 4+ and a 360 degree firing arc.

Range: S 12" (-), L 24" (-1). Dice: 2. Strength: 10. Traits: Ordinance.
Strength 10 hits are going to make themselves known against a target without voids, but the limited effective range and accuracy make this a tough sell.3Core
Void Shield Relay2Failed Void Shield saves can be re-rolled for units that are within 2" of a friendly relay and which have not moved (voluntarily or involuntarily) this round.
Being able to reroll all failed saves is huge, but not being able to move can be rough. Rather amusing with a Fortis Maniple on Hold the Line, but how much use you get out of it will depend on your objectives and table.3Core
Noble Sacrifice1Use during strategy phase. Pick a Titan from your force who is structurally compromised and roll a D6. Add 1 if the reactor is orange, 3 if red. The Titan suffers a Magazine Detonation on a 1-4 or Catastrophic Meltdown on a 5-6. At the end of the battle lose a number of victory points equal to the Titan’s scale.In the right circumstances this can make for a very memorable game, getting into position can be tricky, but it's the VP penalty that drags this one down.4Core
Voidbreaker Field2Play this Stratagem immediately after an enemy unit with active Void Shields finishes moving or making a turn. Roll a D6. On a 2 or more, the opposing player must immediately make a number of Shield saves equal to the number rolled on the D6. On a 1, the Stratagem can be used a second time, in a subsequent turn.If this was half the cost we feel it would be more useful. As it is, you are better off taking Strafing Run which goes off every turn and keeps contributing even once shields are down.4Core
Cripple the Foe2Play this at the end of the battle. Score 2 Victory points for each enemy Titan that has not been destroyed, but which is Structurally Compromised. In addition, score 2 Victory points for each enemy Battlefield Asset that has been destroyed.Handy if you don't finish the job on your opponent's Titans. If your opponent is spamming battlefield assets (which you won't know at this point) it's a nice bonus4Core
Plasma Generator1When the owning player activates a unit within 1" of the plasma generator in the Movement phase, they can declare that it will draw power instead of moving or making turns (or attacking, if it has the First Fire order). The unit does nothing when it is activated, but its Reactor Level is reduced by D3.Only useful with the stars align in terms of Loadouts or Mission Objectives, using this in your movement activation might be useful, but you're giving up a lot. There are other one-off reactor management strategems you may want to consider instead, or just issue Emergency Repair orders - they're about as effective on anything bigger than a Warhound.4Core
Legio Fureans Warhound and Reaver

Legio Fureans Warhound and Reaver. Credit: genola

Titan Legions

As we mentioned earlier, some Legios have their own exclusive stratagems reflecting their style of warfare. Here’s our take on those stratagems:

Blessings of the EmperorDefensor3Reveal this Stratagem when a hit would result in one of your Titans rolling on the Catastrophic Damage table. The hit is ignored and this Stratagem has no further effect.Being able to say "no" when your Opponent says "ENGINE KILL" is always amusing. Just be sure you make the investment worth it - save it for a heavy hitter.1TD
Fog of WarSolaria1Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The Imperial Hunters player may redeploy a Warhound Titan for every Titan with a Scale of 7 or greater in their force. These redeployed units can be placed anywhere that they would normally be allowed to deploy by the mission being played.Redeploy shenanigans are always great, especially with Warhounds, who definitely benefit from the ability to hide from key firing arcs.1TD
Offensive SurgeFureans3Reveal this Stratagem in any Combat phase. The Tiger Eyes player may choose one of their deployed Tiger Eyes maniples; for this Combat phase, each Titan in the chosen maniple may attack twice with one of its weapons but must increase its Reactor level by 1, in addition to any other effects.Puts the Alpha in Alpha Strike, worthy of the high cost1TD
Burned OnesInfernus1Play during any Combat phase. Choose any piece of Blocking terrain within 12” of any Legio Infernus Titan and remove it replacing it with an area of difficult terrain of the same size. This can be purchased multiple times.Don't like that building? That's fine. Just blow it up! Cheap, useful when you need it, and you can take it as many times as you want. Helpful for a legion that focuses on short ranged weapons.1S&I
Portents of DoomInterfector2Reveal this Stratagem during the Strategy phase. Any enemy Titan or Knight Banner within 12" of a Legio Interfector Titan may not be issued Orders this round.Best used with a Maniple with numerous closing Titans, this can ruin someone's orders phase while letting you issue your own.2DoM
A Day of RetributionDefensor2Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. Choose one of your opponent's Titans. Immediately conduct a round of shooting against the Titan with one of your own Titans' weapons, counting the weapon as having double its normal range. Note that this does not increase the weapon's Short Range. Then, advance your Titan's Plasma Reactor Status track three places. Once the effects of the attack have been worked out, begin the first game round.Combines well with a Warlord carapace weapon or Reaver carapace megabolter. A great way to drop voids quickly at the cost of your reactor's stability.2TD
Maniple of OneAtarus2The Firebrands player may reveal this Stratagem at the beginning of any round. For the duration of that round, one Titan in their force may gain the benefits of any Maniple trait normally available to the Firebrands. Note that while this Stratagem is in effect , the chosen Titan loses any other Maniple trait it might have and does not count as being a part of any other maniples.Utility and flexibility is always nice to have. You won't always take this, but it could allow you to set up some really interesting turns.2TD
March of the DeadMortis3Play this Stratagem in the Strategy phase of the first round. The Legio Mortis player may immediately move each of their Titans just as if it was the Movement phase. This special movement cannot be boosted. If the player uses this Stratagem, their opponent automatically becomes the First Player for the remainder of the first game round.Blitz up the field for a relatively high cost.2TD
No Pity for the VanquishedVulpa1Play this Stratagem when an enemy Titan is destroyed (i.e., makes a roll on the Catastrophic Damage table). The Titan who inflicted the killing attack may immediately make another attack with the same weapon system against a fresh target within 12" of the destroyed Titan. For all intents and purposes, this is a new attack requiring a dice roll, any increases to the Titan's reactor level, etc.This one seems like a weird fit until you realize that Vulpa's trait rewards you for using ranged weapons within 2". If you finish something off with a gatling or laser, you can get a free follow-up round of shooting with it. Not bad, but there are other things you'd probably rather have.3TD
Precision VolleyPraesagius2Play at the start of the Strategy Phase, before any orders are issued. Until the start of the next round, add 1 to the Hit rolls of all attacks made by Legio Praesagius Titans when using a weapon’s Long rangeIncredibly powerful, this will let you set up a seriously dangerous turn of shooting at long range.1S&I
Decisive ActionOberon2Play at the start of any Strategy phase. If played during the first round, until the end of the phase Legio Oberon Titans may be issued First Fire or Full Stride orders without needing a command check. If played in any round after the first, then any Legio Oberon Titans may be issued with Full Stride or Split Fire Orders without needing a command check. All Titans issued using this stratagem must be issued the same order.Lets you issue a whole pile of free orders to your maniple. The spread of options here is pretty good, letting you either close the distance or unload from a distance, which will help you adapt to your opponent's battleplan. Not an autotake, but definitely worth considering.2S&I
UnstoppableMordaxis3Play at the start of the Damage Control phase before any repair rolls are made. Until the end of the phase add 2 to the Servitor Clades of all Mordaxis TitansAn expensive but powerful ability that might just be able to turn the tide of the game. Pricy, though, and doesn't have the upside of Martian Servitor Clades against Mortis.2S&I
StrategiserOberon3Play when an opponent plays a stratagem that costs 2 or less points, before resolving its effects. The stratagem is discarded and its effects ignored.Agents of Vect comes to Titanicus. It's a doozy, but could be an incredibly powerful tool to have in your back pocket. Unfortunately, 3 stratagem points is a lot in this game, so don't expect to take this often. However, if you think your opponent is planning around a specific stratagem, this will really throw a wrench in the works.3S&I
For the Red PlanetFortidus2The Dauntless player may reveal this Stratagem when activating a Titan. Until the beginning of the following game round, the Titan ignores the damage effects of Critical Damage to its Head, Body or Legs, as chosen by the player when the Stratagem is revealed.Situational but at least used upon activation to ignore a vital critical such as a damage to the Legs on Retrival or Vital Cargo3DoM
Bounty of MarsAstorum2Play this Stratagem at the beginning of the Damage Control phase of any round. Choose one type of critically damaged system or disabled weapon, i.e., Head, Body, Weapon, etc. For the duration of this Damage Control phase, the dice score required to repair this system is reduced by 1, i.e., if a dice result of 5 or 6 is normally required then for this phase, the player can use a dice result of 4, 5, or 6.If the stars align and you have multiple Titans that need help on repairs, this could be useful. However, you won't run into that situation that often.3TD
Machine DefianceAstorum2Play this Stratagem when a Titan's Void Shields collapse. Immediately roll a number of D6 equal to the Titan's Servitor Clades characteristic. For each roll of a 5 or 6, restore the Titan's Void Shield level by 1. Note, this is not a Repair roll and does not benefit from any effects which influence or modify Repair rolls.Gives you a chance to bring void shields back when they go down. Held back by the fact that you can't do anything except raise voids. Could be a real pain for your opponent to deal with depending on your objective and the state of the board.3TD
Scorched EarthKrytos1Reveal this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of that round, when targeting terrain, Titans of the Legio Krytos add 2 to the Strength of their weapons.It's not often that you intentionally target terrain, but on Split Fire orders you can set the world ablaze3TD
Red SkiesFortidus1The Dauntless player may reveal this Stratagem when one of their Titans suffers a Magazine Detonation or Catastrophic Meltdown result on the Catastrophic Damage table (see page 36 of the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook). When resolving the Catastrophic Damage effects, add 5 to the Titan's Scale.Interesting, but ultimately not very useful. Not only do you have to lose a Titan, but you have to roll high on the Catastrophic Damage table, limiting its usefulness.4DoM
Impetous Machine SpiritAtarus1Reveal this Stratagem when a Firebrands Titan would be required to make a roll on the Awakened Machine Spirit table (see page 44 of the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook). Rather than rolling, the Firebrands player may instead choose to automatically apply the Impetuous result, rolling D6+2" rather than D6" to determine the distance moved.Not that great. Could be an interesting trick to close the gap if your machine spirit happens to wake on a Voids to Full roll, though.4TD
Frontier GuardLysanda2Play during the Strategy phase of any round. Until the end of the round, the WS and BS of any Legio Lysanda Titan within 3” of an objectives (for their own victory conditions) is increased by 1 (to a maximum of 2+).This would be neat if objective markers were more of a thing - as it stands, they don't come up often enough to make this worthwhile. Keep it in mind if the format for matched play changes, though.4S&I
Iron EnduresKrytos1Reveal this Stratagem in any Strategy phase. For the duration of that round, all God Breakers Titans reduce the Strength of hits suffered as a result of Dangerous terrain by 2 (to a minimum of 0).We find that personally and at events most terrain is blocking/impassble rather than dangerous terrain, making this have limited use.4TD
Combat DropTempestus3When a player chooses this Stratagem, they must secretly write down the name of one of their Titans which has a Scale of 6 or lower. Play this Stratagem at the start of deployment to set that unit to one side and state that it is being held in orbit (it is not deployed with the rest of the battlegroup). Declare (and write down) a round between rounds 2-4 - this is the round in which its dropship is aiming to deploy the Titan to the battlefield.It's Outflank, except it can only be used on a Warhound, it may not turn up when you want it to and it may deviate into a building and explode.4Core
Blood Wolf, Warhound of Legio Mortis Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Blood Wolf, Warhound of Legio Mortis Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Show Your Strategic Genius

Stratagems add another layer of depth to Titanicus and will help you keep your opponent guessing. Clever use of these can turn a game around or result in legendary moments that you’ll talk about around the table for some time. And while choosing the right stratagems in your games is difficult, what’s important is that you think about what you’re trying to accomplish, and how the various stratagems might play into that.

Also keep in mind that just because a stratagem is expensive, situational, or a little weak doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun to play with. Take the time to experiment and find out what works for you, but keep in mind that you’ve only got so many points to work with. Stratagems are yet another way to define how your legion plays, so as long as you’re thinking about how they can support the play style you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong.

As always, if you have any questions or feedback, feel free to drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com.


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