Warhammer 40K Battle Report: Adeptus Mechanicus versus Astra Militarum

The Adeptus Mechanicus faces off against the Astra Militarum in this Warhammer 40K 10th Edition battle report.

Warhammer 40K Battle Report: Adeptus Mechanicus versus Astra Militarum
Conflict rages across the Imperium! The lost technology-seeking forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus face off against the implacable Astra Militarum in our first battle report! (Photo: Grokvar)

In our first-ever written Warhammer 40K battle report, the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus (piloted by Jeff) face off against the Astra Militarum (commanded by Trevor) in a 2000 point battle. Here are the forces involved, along with links to both army lists on pastebin.

Please note: This battle report was constructed after the fact from memory by both players, so some minor aspects might be incorrect or misremembered. Please drop me an email if you spot anything egregious, and I'll add a note / correction to the battle report if needed.

Order of Battle

Faction: Adeptus Mechanicus (Jeff) - 1995 points
Detachment: Cohort Cybernetica
Faction: Astra Militarum (Trevor) - 2000 points
Detachment: Combined Regiment

Primary mission: Priority targets
Mission rule: Chilling Rain
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil
Secondary objectives: Both tactical

The battle begins! The board state after deployment but before scout moves. (Click to enlarge image.)
The Astra Militarum forces prepare for battle, lined up against the edge of their deployment zone. (Click image to expand.)
The forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus get ready for battle, with a full squad of six Torsion Cannon-equipped Kataphron Breachers deployed in front of a Eradication Beam-equipped Onager Dunecrawler. (Click image to enlarge.)

Deployment / Game Start

Adeptus Mechanicus (Jeff) is the defender, and Astra Militarum (Trevor) is the attacker. Trevor wins the roll off and decides to go first. 

Jeff chooses the Protector Doctrina for the Adeptus Mechanicus, giving his army the [HEAVY] keyword and his opponent -1AP when shooting into Jeff’s deployment zone.  

The map at the start of the game (before scout moves) in visual form. (Click image to enlarge.)

Both players move scouts: Scout Sentinels move towards the south objective. On the AdMech side, a unit of Rangers and a unit of Serberys Raiders also move towards the south objective, while another unit of Serberys Raiders heads towards the north objective.

Battle Round 1

AdMech 4 : Imperial Guard 3

Imperial Guard Turn
Secondaries: Assassination and Cleanse

Command Phase: Three tanks get the Take Aim order, while the Cadian and Death Korps of Krieg squads get the Move, Move, Move! order. All of the Field Ordnance Batteries also get Take Aim.

Movement Phase:
Lord Solar moves onto his home objective, Cadian Shock Troops (led by Ursula Creed) use Move, Move, Move! and advance towards the north objective, while a unit of Death Korps of Krieg—led by a Death Korps Marshal and under the same move order—advance onto the center objective.

A Rogal Dorn rumbles towards the top objective to support Creed and her troops, while farther south, the Leman Russ Demolisher parks itself between the clump of trees surrounding the north objective and the ruins surrounding the central objective. Farther south, a unit of two scout sentinels lope onto the south objective, performing cleanse and aiming their guns at the Mechanicus units on the horizon.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases:
Concentrated fire from a Rogal Dorn and the Leman Russ Demolisher vaporize a unit of Serberys Raiders east of the north objective. One Kastelan Robot falls to enemy fire, and a single Ironstrider Ballistari takes some damage in the northeast corner. In the south, Trevor's field ordnance batteries obliterate a full squad of Skitarii Rangers. (Cue <sad robot noises>).

Adeptus Mechanicus vs Astra Militarum - Round 1 (Click image to enlarge.)

Adeptus Mechanicus Turn
Secondaries: No Prisoners and Investigate Signals

Command Phase: The Cybernetica Datasmith switches the Kastelan Robots' command protocol from Aegis (+1 toughness) to Protector (+2 ranged attacks) protocol, and Jeff uses the Motive Imperative stratagem to give the Kastelans +3 move and +1 to advance and charge rolls.

Movement Phase:
The Technoarchaeologist moves onto his home objective, while the Cybernetica Datasmith urges his Kastelan charges onward as they move towards midfield, their hulking frames whirring and clicking as they plod forwards, a solitary Tech-Priest Enginseer following close in their wake. A pair of Ironstrider Ballistari stride over the smoldering remains of the shattered Serberys Raider unit, stopping to investigate signals before they pivot towards the trees surrounding the north objective, their Skitarii pilots carefully eyeing the Rogal Dorn and squad of Cadian Shock Troops marching to meet them.
In the south, a lone Sydonian Dragoon and a trio of Serberys Raiders race towards the Scout Sentinels flanking the south objective. Far to the southeast, an intrepid squad of Skitarii Vanguard ignore the recent demise of their Ranger brothers and move to investigate a report of mysterious signals close to them.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases:
The Kastelans in midfield shoot their Heavy Phosphor Weapons at the Leman Russ Demolisher and only two shots land. In the south, the Onager Dunecrawler and the squad of Torsion Breachers shoot at the Leman Russ in the southwest corner of the map, scoring only minor damage. The Sydonian Dragoon and the Serberys Raiders manage to damage one of the Scout Sentinels with their shooting.

The Adeptus Mechanicus begin their movement phase in the bottom half of turn one. Note the Kriegsmen on the central objective, and the Cadians approaching the northern objective. (Click image to enlarge.)

Battle Round 2

AdMech 9 : Astra Militarum 16

The Adeptus Mechanicus army selects the Conqueror Imperative—which gives ranged weapons the assault keyword and gives a 1 AP bonus when attacking Trevor’s units in the Astra Militarum deployment zone—for this turn and every turn until the end of the game. 

Imperial Guard Turn:
Secondaries: Deploy Teleport Homer, Capture Enemy Outpost

Command Phase: Three tanks once again get the Take Aim order, while the Cadian and Death Korps of Krieg squads get the Move, Move, Move! order. All of the Field Ordnance Batteries also get Take Aim.

Movement Phase: A Rogal Dorn and the Cadian Squad move onto the north objective, while the Krieg in the ruins surrounding the central objective deploy a teleport homer. The Scout Sentinels move closer to the south objective, carefully sizing up the Sydonian Dragoon and Serberys Raiders there as they approach.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases: Combined tank fire kills a second Kastelan Robot. The Sentinels fire on and damage the Dragoon near the south objective slightly, while indirect fire from the field ordinance batteries damage a second unit of Skitarii Vanguard and one of the Ballistari.

Adeptus Mechanicus vs Astra Militarum - Round 2 (Click image to enlarge.)

Adeptus Mechanicus Turn:
Secondaries: No Prisoners, Storm Hostile Objective

Command Phase: The Cybernetica Datasmith switches the Kastelan Robots' command protocol from Protector (+2 ranged attacks) to Conqueror (+2 melee attack) protocol.

Movement Phase: The Sydonian Dragoon and Serberys Raiders move closer to the south objective, while the remaining Kastelan Robots move within charge range of the Leman Russ Demolisher. The Breachers, Onager, and remaining Vanguard units move towards midfield, while the Ironstriders move to face off against the Cadians and Rogal Dorn at the north objective.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases:  Near the south objective, the Serberys Raiders, Sydonian Dragoon, and Torsion Cannon-equipped Breachers manage to knock one Scout Sentinel down to two wounds. Near the center objective, the remaining Kastelan Robots fire their Heavy Phosphor Blaster at the Krieg hiding in the ruins nearby, killing several of them. The Arc Breachers and Vanguard chip away a few models in the Cadian squad near the north objective as well.
In the charge phase, the Serberys Raiders and the Sydonian Dragoon charge into and kill both Scout Sentinels, moving directly onto the south objective.
Jeff uses the Tank Shock stratagem on the Kastelans as they charge into the Leman Russ Demolisher, which is soon pummeled into scrap and removed from the battlefield. Punch-bots for the win!

The two remaining Kastelan Robots (and their Cybernetic Datamsith minder) prepare to charge the Leman Russ Demolisher at the bottom of turn 2. (Click image to enlarge.)
A sole Sydonian Dragoon charges into the damaged Scout Sentinel squad to contest the southern objective. After this photo was taken a squad of Serberys Raiders also charged into the Scouts as well. (Click image to enlarge.)

Battle Round 3

AdMech 22 : Astra Militarum 39

Imperial Guard Turn:
Secondaries: Bring it Down, Engage on All Fronts

Command Phase: Three tanks once again get the Take Aim order, while the Cadian and Death Korps of Krieg squads get Fix Bayonets! All of the Field Ordnance Batteries also get Take Aim.

Movement Phase: Trevor uses the Reinforcements! stratagem to revive the Scout Sentinel squad, which he places between the south objective and his deployment zone in the reinforcements phase. He also deploys cyclops demolition vehicles in both the northeast and southeast corners of the board in Jeff's deployment zone.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases:  Combined indirect fire from the field ordnance batteries and the southern-most Leman Russ destroy the damaged unit of Serberys Raiders and the sole Sydonian Dragoon, leaving the southern objective open.
Near the northern objective, concentrated fire from the Rogal Dorn, Cadian Squad and Ursula Creed destroy the Ironstriders. Near the center objective, the indefatigable Kastelan Robots fall to a intense barrage of fire, finally defeated after enduring nearly three full rounds of withering fire from the Imperial tanks. The Cybernetica Datasmith and the Enginseer are now standing alone and vulnerable in the scorched midfield, a chaotic, blasted assortment of various Kastelan Robot bits around their feet.  

Adeptus Mechanicus vs Astra Militarum - Round 3 (Click image to enlarge.)
Two Ironstrider Ballistari face off against Ursula Creed, her Cadian Shock Troops, and a Rogal Dorn tank before being destroyed at the top of turn 3. (Click image to enlarge.)

Adeptus Mechanicus Turn:
Area Denial, Extend Battlelines

Command Phase: N/A

Movement Phase: Jeff brings in the Skystalkers from reserves, and deploys them on the ruins next to the south objective. The Torsion Breachers and Arc Breacher continue to move north in attempt to get around the wall of the ruins in the center of the map, which would enable them to get improved line of sight on—and shoot—the squad of Krieg camped there.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases: Taking revenge for the demise of their robotic Kastelan brethren, the Arc Breachers, Torsion Cannon Breachers, and one squad of Skitarii Vanguard rain the Omnissiah's fire on Ursula Creed and her Cadian squad, wiping the unit, leaving a damaged Rogal Dorn precariously perched on the north objective.

Battle Round 4

AdMech 39 : Astra Militarum 51

Imperial Guard Turn:
No Prisoners, Overwhelming Force

Command Phase: Three tanks once again get the Take Aim order, while the Cadian and Death Korps of Krieg squads get Fix Bayonets! All of the Field Ordnance Batteries also get Take Aim.

Movement Phase: Using the Reinforcements! stratagem, Trevor brings back the full squad of Cadian Shock Troopers into the Adeptus Mechanicus backfield, deploying just outside the Technoarchaeologists 12" no-deploy range. In the south, the revived Sentinel Squad moves onto the southern objective, providing an equal amount of OC as the remaining Skystalkers that will move onto the objective in the AdMech turn, meaning neither player can claim it.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases: In the north, combined fire from the Rogal Dorn and both field ordnance batteries manage to kill both the Cybernetica Datasmith and Tech-Priest Enginseer, and also manage to kill two Breachers in the Arc Breachers squad. The newly-returned squad of Cadian take aim at the sole Technoarchaelogist camped on Jeff's home objective, knocking him down to two wounds.
The Krieg squad on the central objective shoot, fix bayonets, and then charge the unit of Torsion Cannon-equipped Breachers, managing to kill two of them. The Breachers attack back with their Hydraulic Claws, killing four Krieg.

Adeptus Mechanicus vs Astra Militarum - Round 4 (Click image to enlarge.)

Adeptus Mechanicus Turn:
 Bring it Down, Secure No Man's Land

Command Phase: N/A

Movement Phase: The Skystalkers drop onto the occupied south objective, matching the OC of the Scout Sentinels currently defending it. In the north, the Arc Breachers move closer to the northern objective, currently occupied by a lightly damaged Rogal Dorn. A very diminished unit of Skitarii Vanguard positions itself carefully within 6" of both Breacher squads in order to give both units the full hit re-rolls aura via the Kataphron's Breaching Command ability.

Shooting/Charging/Combat Phases: The Arc Breachers unload their fire on the Rogal Dorn on the north objective, and manage to knock it down to just a handful of wounds. But the Rogal Dorn—perhaps taking inspiration from its Cadian brothers—still stands!
The Torsion Breachers remain locked in melee combat with the stalwart Krieg near the center objective, and manage to kill three more. Regardless, the Krieg have managed to keep the Breachers off the objective, so Trevor still can claim the victory points for controlling the central objective.

The northeast corner of the battlefield at the start of the AdMech Turn 4 movement phase, showing the newly-deployed squad of Cadians after they've shot (and damaged) the Technoarchaeologist on the AdMech home objective. (Click image to enlarge.)

Battle Round 5

AdMech 59 : Astra Militarum 79

Adeptus Mechanicus vs Astra Militarum - Round 5 (Click image to enlarge.)

At the start of the turn, both players realize that the Adeptus Mechanicus army can’t catch up on points, so Jeff concedes the match to the victorious Astra Militarum, gives Trevor a handshake, and congratulates him on his well-deserved victory. Congrats Trevor!

!! Winner: Astra Militarum - 79-59

Astra Militarum (Trevor) Closing Thoughts

Most valuable unit: "My MVP was definitely the 20-model stack of Death Korps of Krieg that sat on the middle objective for most of the game. Having the ability to constantly regenerate OC on the middle objective was invaluable."      

Least valuable unit: "The unit of two Scout Sentinels. I always forgot (or didn't have a chance) to use their datasheet ability, and they were lackluster all around."    

Mistakes you made? "Other than the sentinels described above, I forgot to use the mortars attached to my Lord Solar Leontus unit in the first and second turns. I'm pretty sure I could have directed my artillery fire more efficiently."      

Things that worked? "Running double Rogal Dorns is pretty cool! Having multiple units of artillery is also pretty good."     

Things that didn’t work? "I need to find a better way to fill out points in my army other than taking an under-filled unit of sentinels."     

Thoughts on Astra Militarum vs. Adeptus Mechanicus? "AdMech is a matchup I've had plenty of virtually on Table Top Simulator. I'm pretty good at target priority and knowing what battles I can win or will most likely lose. It's always a fun matchup and I enjoyed playing with Jeff and helping him get ready for the Rocky Mountain Open. Maybe we'll rematch under the spotlights."      

Adeptus Mechanicus (Jeff) Closing Thoughts

Your MVP unit? "While they're currently (in Feb 2024) slow and expensive, my 4-model unit of Kastelan Robots absorbed almost 3 rounds of concentrated fire from three tanks, and still managed to punch a Leman Russ to death! The Necromechanic enhancement and the nearby Enginseer made them really tanky. I hope GW drops the points on the Kastelans in the next points update!"

Your LVP unit? "While they can do serious damage, both units of Breachers didn't see much action in this game. They're slow, have relatively big bases, and need their emotional support Skitarii nearby for the hit re-rolls, which makes maneuvering all those units around tight terrain a pain."

Mistakes you made? "My rookie deployment decisions weren't very good: My Breachers with Torsion Cannons (good vs. infantry) were far away or blocked by terrain from shooting Trevor's infantry on the center objective, and my Breachers with Arc Rifles were maneuvering around terrain to get visibility on Trevor's tanks for most of the game. Both units of Breachers (and their Skitarii support units) made my deployment zone very crowded, which forced my Onager Dunecrawler to sit in the backfield waiting for traffic to clear for most of the game. In hindsight I should have put the Onager in reserves along with the Skystalkers."

Things that worked? "My Kastelans absorbed a lot of tank shooting and helped keep my Breachers alive. Deploying the Skystalker reinforcements when I did helped me hold on to (or contest) the southern objective for the last half of the game."

Things that didn’t work? "My battleline Skitarii units were steadily getting mulched by Trevor's indirect fire, but my Breachers needed them for hit re-rolls. I've already mentioned how crowded my deployment zone was, and the big bases and slow movement on the Kastelans (6"), Onagers (8"), and Breachers (5") took time and space to move and kept those units from having a bigger impact in midfield."

Thoughts on Astra Militarum vs Adeptus Mechanicus? "This was the first time I played against Guard, and holy artillery do they have a lot of effective indirect fire. I'm also jealous of the speed and variety of guns on the Guard tanks—I wish AdMech had more tank-like vehicles. Also cool—and frustrating!—to see Guard regiments regenerating (Krieg) and the stratagem (Reinforcements!) that allows Guard players to redeploy destroyed units like Trevor did with his Cadians and Scout Sentinels. Great game, and looking forward to playing Trevor again someday."

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