Combat Patrol: Astra Militarum
Updated: Feb 18
Hi everyone, Build Monkey here.
It’s been a little while since I last came to you all with an article, but as Gamesworkshop are soon to be releasing their latest Combat Patrol boxset with a whole brand new update of the Astra Militarum; with new vehicles, new characters, new weapons and whole new models for the Cadians (continuing to stand *pumps fist*), I thought I’d take a lookie see at what it is they now have to offer, and see whether it’ll be worth its price tag.
So, first things first. What’s in the box? Well… It’s a great first look in my opinion. Inside you’ll find; 5 x Cadian Command Squad, 20 x Cadian Shock Troops, 1 x Armoured Sentinel, and a Field Ordnance Battery. That a round total of 28 models, which is a pretty damned decent number of pieces I think. But if bought individually, what would be the cost?
1x Cadian Command Squad = £27.50
20x Cadian Shock Troops = £60
1x Armoured Sentinel = £27.50
1x Field Ordnance Battery = £32.50
Total = £147.50
Savings = £52.50
Buying all these models on their own together would set you back £147.50. With the standard pricing of these Combat Patrol boxsets being around £95, and at time of writing as we don’t have a set price for this boxset announced (so I’m making my best guess), that’s a whopping £52.50 you’re saving. That’s almost half the price of the individual sets all together alone, which is fantastic for the number of models you’re getting. So I’d call that more than just a bit of a win.
But with this in mind, it’s worth taking a look at if it’s actually going to be worth anything on the tabletop.
Cadian Command Squad - This is the standard HQ choice for the Astra Militarum, coming with 4 Veteran Guardsmen and a Cadian Commander. What more would you want? Well, more Cadians of course, I guess, but this little unit alone is quite nice. The 4 Guardsmen come equipped with either a Lasgun or Laspistol as standard, but these can be changed up if you want to spice things up a little. Plus, all of them come with Frag Grenades. But, they do only have a Weapon and Ballistic Skill of 4+, which isn’t great… Where they really shine though is with the Cadian Commander. Now, this guy improves on those skills with a Weapon and Ballistic Skills of +3, a nice tanky 4 Wounds and most importantly, access to Regimental Orders. This is a set of rules that give the Commander the ability to, well, issue orders to other Astra Militarum soldiers, such as by improving the Movement of troops by 2” with the order to “Move! Move! Move!”, and improving the unit’s overall ability to hit the enemy with a ranged attack by 1 with the order to “Take Aim!”. And who would ever turn down the chance to order their units to “Fix Bayonets!”, which gives the unit a +1 to Melee attacks and an improvement to their Armour Penetration of 1. What’s not to like?
Cadian Shock Troops - In a standard unit of Shock Troops you get 10 models; 9 Troops and 1 Trooper Sergeant. In this Combat Patrol boxset, you get 20. That’s quite a number of bodies to pad out your army, and they’re not weaklings either, not really. They have numbers and sheer grit and determination on their side. Plus, as long as they’re within 6” of their Cadian Command Squad Commander while they’re issuing Regimental Orders, or if they’re within range of someone with a vox caster, then they’re also able to benefit from them through Regimental Tactics, buffing them from potentially anywhere on the battlefield to create a large number of troops that can fight very well in unison.
Armoured Sentinel - Ah, here it is. The bane of Grey’s existence in Cadian armies, the Sentinel… I happen to think these things aren’t too bad to be honest, because they do bring some more mobile Heavy Weapon support to the Astra Militarum, which is always helpful. It’s got some nice range to it as well, with most of its Weapons being able to hit targets up to
48” away. And if you really want to, the Armoured Sentinel can be changed up to build a Scout Sentinel instead to provide an extra 4” of Movement, increasing it from 8” to 12”… Not sure why you’d want to though, I mean, it just make it more squishy just for the ability to go faster, but you can. If you want, I guess… It doesn’t seem entirely worth it.
Field Ordnance Battery - Finally we get to the real meaty meat of this Combat Patrol boxset, the Field Ordnance Battery. As standard, you get 2 Ordnance teams that can
build your choice of a Heavy Lascannon, Bombast Field Gun, or a Malleus Rocket Launcher. But, not being the typical built like a brick-out-house Space Marine the Astra Militarum don’t just pick these things up and walk with them, they come on mobile platforms that are wheeled around the battlefield into prime positions by small teams, and that in itself is a glorious thing in my eyes. They don’t move fast at only 6”, but they don’t really need to either with 48” of range in all Heavy Weapon stats… What amuses me the most though is their measly 6” of range for their Frag Grenades, but I suppose that’s just because it’s the troops themselves that are lobbing them at enemies getting too close for comfort… They gotta defend themselves somehow I suppose.
All in all, this boxset is amazing for what you get, the numbers of models, and the savings you make to get them. It’s a nice well-rounded starter army for anyone looking to get into playing the Astra Militarum and it’s got plenty of re-buyability if you’re looking to pad out your army with even greater numbers.