Warhammer 40,000 Faction Focus: Adeptus Mechanicus

Frankie, organiser of the new SoCal Open and part of the play testing team behind the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, released this weekend, returns once again having turned his methodical and calculating brain to the equally logical Adeptus Mechanicus:

Frankie: These cybernetic warriors are known for their cold logic, colder hearts and esoteric weaponry. Their armies have typically been seen in the War Convocation formation, formed around an Imperial Knight and a variety of different units and loads of “free” wargear. They’re a powerful army and remain so in the new Warhammer 40,000. The forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus will have armies of Robots, cyborgs, warrior priests of the machine god and Belisarius Cawl himself.

So, first off, let’s talk about Belisarius Cawl. He is one of the most detailed and characterful models Games Workshop has ever made and looks amazing on the tabletop. His rules are equally impressive. He gives friendly Martian units within 6″ a re-roll to hit in the Shooting phase, similar to a Space Marine Chapter Master.

He also lets you add or subtract 1 when you roll on the Canticle chart every turn which is incredible. He’s no slouch in shooting either with a gun that can potentially do 18 damage! Any big ticket unit will come to fear Cawl. Overall, he is one of the most solid HQ’s in the new Warhammer 40,000 and will be leading many Martian Adeptus Mechanicus armies.

Next, we have a unit that wasn’t used much in the previous edition: the Electro Priests. Both the close combat and shooting versions are solid choices now with impressive damage output. The shooting version (Corpuscarii) gives you mass amounts of shots that explode on a 6+ to hit. And be aware that if you can get a +1 to hit, you get the bonus hits on the roll of a 5 or 6 – especially if you’re standing next to a Character that lets you re-roll hits.

The Fulgurite, or close combat flavour of Electro-Priest can do mortal wounds on the wound roll of a 6+, which is tremendously powerful. Both units have a 5+ invulnerable save and an additional 5+ “Feel no Pain” style save for every wound they take. They are an excellent backfield protection unit that come in at a reasonable price point.

Wait – I mentioned cyborgs, didn’t I? Well, let’s talk about the Ironstrider Ballistarii. These models have a 6+ invulnerable save, 6 Wounds and Toughness 6, which makes them tough targets to take down. The main reason to take these models, though, is their fire power. You can take them in a unit of 1-6, and each can be armed with a Twin Cognis autocannon, which is 4 shots at Strength 7 AP -1 and 2 Damage. Or my personal favourite, the Twin Cognis Lascannon, which is two shots at Strength 9 AP -3 and D6 Damage. The melee version, the Dragoons, are also fantastic with exploding 6’s to hit on their weapons and a high movement. But the key for either flavour of these guys is they are very points efficient. You will see many of them in Adeptus Mechanicus armies.

Lastly, let’s talk about the Kastelan Robots. These models are monsters and can shoot twice or swing twice in close combat or even get +1 to their saves due to their suite of special abilities. They are Toughness 7, 6 Wounds a piece and are quick with an 8″ move. The Kastelan fists are +4 Strength, -3 AP and do 3 Damage with each swing meaning you do not want to find yourself engaging in fisticuffs with these guys. They can also be equipped with Heavy Phosphor Blasters which, when shot twice, will put a ton of damage down the field. These robots are great at taking mid table and holding it for the entire game, fending off enemy units.

The Adeptus Mechanicus are a great army in new Warhammer 40,000 and are not only very fun to play but also to play against. Now replace those weak fleshy parts of your body and prepare to give homage to the Omnissiah!


Frankie is part of the team that runs some of the biggest independent Warhammer 40,000 events in the world, including the Las Vegas Open, the Bay Area Open and the recently announced Southern California Open. An avid player for years, with an impressive tournament record, he’s also been part of the playtest team for the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, putting in hundreds of hours to make sure this new edition will be great for all you gamers out there (Thanks Frankie!).

So, basically, he knows his stuff.

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