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Astra Militarum Preview Roundup

Games Workshop Warhammer Day Online Preview finally revealed the Astra Militarum arriving in ninth edition. We’ve been waiting a long time for this! So, let’s grab some dirt and see what’s ahead.

Early Previews from June

Back in June, Warhammer Community dropped some teasers for new Astra Militarum models. They led off with a short video spotlighting new models; Kasrkin, Sentinels, and Ursala Creed.

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The Lord Castellan of Cadia holds the standout position. She has many of the tells of her father Ursarkar with twin pistols, stylish sash, and stocky build. Fortunately she knows when the time is right for a helmet! And she isn’t a smoker. Reportedly, she is just as tactically skilled and stubborn as her father.

Now, here’s a figure I had little faith in seeing again. The Cadian Kasrkin were the equivalent of Tempestus Scions in previous editions. I was sure they were not coming back when Scions arrived in plastic. Among the best of the Cadians, Kasrkin carried carapace armor, hot-shot lasguns, and scads of heavy weapons. Here’s the preview in their distinctive camouflage scheme.

The last model previewed was another surprise. Sentinels haven’t been chewing up the meta, ever. So seeing a new Armored Sentinel got a big “Wha!” from players. This version sure looks more like a warmachine than its predecessor. Not only does it have a beefier appearance, it carries more plates on the vulnerable legs and joints, as well as enclosing the engine compartment. Hopefully the new Codex profile justifies the rework.

Kill Team Shadowvaults

Unfortunately, the first crack we’re getting at new models, the Kasrkin, are bundled in Kill Team Shadowvaults. It won’t be until the next big Kill Team release that we get a separate box set. Still, this gives us quite a view of the fantastic new troops, including sprues. Below, we see a fully assembled Kasrkin squad and closeups of the specialists. Nice to see the weapon options include a hot-shot volleygun. Every one of the special weapon options, except the sniper rifle, come two to a kit. Given how GW packs their kits, there will be two weapons in each squad (plus a separate sniper?)

Cadia Stands, Astra Militarum Launch Box

With a stirring collage of images, GW revealed Cadia Stands, an Army Launch Set for the Astra Militarum. This set previews a major range refresh with resculpts for Cadian Shock Troopers and the Cadian Command Squad. This will be the first place to get hands on the new Sentinel. Finally, the real kicker are those pair of Field Ordnance Batteries which push the envelope of man-portable. Complete contents include 20 Shock Troopers, a Command Squad, a Sentinel, and 2 Field Ordnance Batteries.

Take a close look at the new Cadian Shock Troopers and then the old. While still GW chunky, the new troopers have better proportions, more armor, and sensibly sized weapons. Especially compare the heads, feet, and lasguns to really see the difference.

Similarly, you can see the same changes with the Cadian Command Squad. the only one I really have a problem with is the voxcaster. That’s one heck of an aerial he’s got. Command radius better be more than 18 inches.

Not only do we get the Armored Sentinel, but the kit also makes the reliable Scout Sentinel.

Finally, Games Workshop unveils a new unit with the Field Ordnance Battery. Given that the Cadia Stands box only shows 2 bases I expect this will be individually packed. Options include multi-missile launchers, a large-bore cannon, or a heavy, overcharged lascannon. They’re not going to be very mobile, think the Space Marine Firestrike Turret, but they’ll pack a punch.

Other Astra Militarum Releases

Not appearing in Cadia Stands, but part of the Astra Militarum relaunch are Cadian Heavy Weapon Squads, Commissar, and the Cadian Castellan.

Cadian Heavy Weapon teams share the improved look of Shock Troopers and Command Squads while retaining all their previous options plus loads of crew and base options. Bases also appear to be smaller than the 60mm ones earlier editions used. While I hate rebasing the old Heavy Weapon teams looked dwarfed by their bases. Here’s the new teams.

Our new Commissar model steps back from the ostentatious Officio Prefectus to present a no-nonsense Imperial disciplinarian. The Astra Militarum should field several Commissars in their forces and a sea of big hats looks way too silly. Carry on!

We finish with a new unit, the Cadian Castellan. Castellans dispense with a Command Squad to move independently among the troops. They provide two orders a turn and re-rolls to every CORE unit in range. As a new unit, the Castellan comes with a variety of weapon and 4 head options. Check them out.

And that’s it for the Astra Militarum. Cadia Stands comes with the new Codex, but GW wants to save that for future previews. Hopefully we’ll see some more model refreshes. Leman Russ I’m looking at you! When that happens I’ll spread the Emperor’s good word!

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