Imperial Fist Tactics: Advanced Guide


Today we take the next step up in Imperial Fist Tactics! In a previous post, we covered a beginner’s guide to Imperial Fists. Today I want to help you take your Imperial Fists to new levels with this Advanced guide!

Our Imperial Fists Tactics Beginner’s Guide followed the following 4 philosophies: Small Budget, Cool models, Diversity of models and Flexibility for future purchases. We will keep that in mind when expanding our army to 2000 points.

However, a small budget is much less of a concern having moved up to 2000 points but Forgeworld units are still not in use. The original list met the rule of 2 for 1,000 points games but that has gone to the rule of 3 at this higher point level. Crimson Fists and their tactics are featured in the second list. The original list:

Imperial Fists Patrol 986

  • Tor Garadon
  • Intercessor Squad x5 w/ Stalker Bolt Rifle
  • Intercessor Squad x5 w/ Stalker Bolt Rifle
  • Aggressor Squad x3 w/ Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets & Fragstorm Grenade Launcher
  • Terminator Assault Squad x5 w/ Teleport Homer, Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield 
  • Inceptor Squad x3 w/ Assault Bolters 
  • Eliminator Squad w/ Bolt Sniper Rifle
  • Hellblaster Squad x5 w/ Plasma Incinerators 
Imperial Fist Tactics
Tor Came with his own Wargear and can’t take A relic

The Free Relic?

There were 4 unused Character units from the Dark Imperium box set:

  • 1 Captain in Gravis armor
  • a Primaris Lieutenant with a power sword
  • a Primaris lieutenant with Mastercrafted Auto Bolt Rifle
  • and a Primairs Ancient.

Anyone of which can bear the free relic given to your army for having a Space Marine warlord. The Eye of Hypnoth is essentially the same as the Lieutenant Aura for a reroll 1’s to wound. So it’s a great relic to stick on to the Captain especially if you wanted to make him a Chapter Master for full rerolls to hit. So he gets added to the list.

First, we need to add command points. To get to the other detachments we are missing at least one more unit in the following force organization slots. An Elite for a vanguard detachment, a Fast Attack for an outrider detachment, and a Heavy Support for a Spearhead detachment.

A Battalion Detachment would require additional Headquarters and Troop units. Start Collecting Vanguard Marines will add in the 3rd Heavy Support units as well as an HQ to make the Spearhead. However, with the 10 Infiltrators, you actually have the means to take a full battalion for 5 additional command points in your army.

Non Heavy weapons are good to have as your army must now leave the Devastator doctrine. A Chaplain was added for Recitation of Focus for the Plasma weapons. The Suppressor Squads have the added bonus of stopping overwatch for when your Terminators want to get stuck in. 

Make Necrons Jealous

The Imperial Fists Tactics here makes use of exploding 6s to hit. The Imperial Fist Chapter tactic allows for an unmodified 6 to count as 2 hits. The Stratagem Bolter Drill does the same thing so that a 6 to hit would be 3 hits.

Using the Grey Shield warlord trait Indomitus Crusade specialist detachments, once per game, you can gain the chapter tactic from Crimson fist. This will allow for that unmodified 6 to hit to count as 4 hits. Arguably this will affect Inceptors in reserve as it’s not targeting them nor is it an aura. You can skip the argument by just having the Inceptors on the table when you activate the warlord trait. Our new list:

Imperial Fists Battalion 1180

  • Captain in Gravis Armor 
  • Tor Garadon
  • Infiltrator Squad x5 
  • 2x Intercessor Squad x5 w/ Stalker Bolt Rifle
  • Aggressor Squad x3 w/ Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets & Fragstorm Grenade Launcher
  • Terminator Assault Squad x5 w/ Teleport Homer, Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield 
  • Inceptor Squad x6 w/ Assault Bolters 
  • Suppressor Squad 

Imperial Fists Spearhead 390

  • Lieutenants in Phobos Armor w/ Occulus Bolt Carbine and Grav-chute 
  • 2x Eliminator Squad w/ Bolt Sniper Rifle
  • Hellblaster Squad x5 w/ Plasma Incinerators 

Imperial Fists Spearhead 428

  • Chaplain w/ Storm bolter
  • 2x Thunderfire Cannons
  • 2x Whirlwind w/ Whirlwind vengeance launcher

What if your Fist is Crimson for Imperial Fists Tactics.

Imperial Fist Tactics

Crimson Fist Tactics have changed since we first covered them here and have since become mostly Imperial Fists Tactics. Losing ignore cover will hurt a bit. While you may gain the Crimson fist bonus, you’ll find that it doesn’ come up all that often. For Example +1 to hit on your Thunderfire Cannons will matter if you are moving and targeting units 10 models or larger. Or if you just stood still, you are already hitting on a 2+.

Eliminators using hyper frag rounds when shooting at 8 man units will benefit from this but ideally, those Eliminators are shooting at Characters where this bonus will have no effect.

On the other hand, The Aggressors will appreciate this bonus twice over. Shooting into hordes and getting past that -1 to hit for the fists in melee. The Assault Terminators could then use Fury of the first for hammers hitting on a 2+.

So let’s play to their strengths. Keeping with the original list isn’t possible due to Tor Garadon being a named character for the Imperial Fist. He gets the boot while the rest of the original list stays. The Relic Powerfist smash captain instead of Tor Garadon is one option but there is a second Powerfist relic from the Special Issue Wargear that went on a Primaris Captain.

A Smash Chaplin could be made with the Crimson power fist that could be damage 4 with better strength and AP over the Benediction of Fury. That being said, you would lose out on the chance for mortal wounds. 

Crimson Fists Battalion 1029

  • Captain in Phobos Armour 
  • Primaris Captain w/ Plasma Pistol and Power Fist
  • 2x Intercessor Squad x5 w/ Stalker Bolt Rifle
  • Intercessor Squad x5 Auto Bolt Rifle, 1 Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
  • Aggressor Squad x3 w/ Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets & Fragstorm Grenade Launcher
  • Inceptor Squad x3
  • Eliminator Squad Bolt Sniper Rifles
  • Hellblaster Squad x5 Plasma Incinerators
  • Impulsor w/ 2x Storm Bolters, Shield Dome

Crimson Fist Battalion 971

  • Captain w/ Jump Pack, Power fist & Storm shield
  • Chaplain w/ Jump Pack & Storm bolter 
  • 2x Scout Squad x5 w/ Boltgun
  • Scout Squad x5 w/Sniper Rifle
  • Terminator Assault Squad x5 w/ Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield, Teleport Homer
  • Centurion Devastator Squad x3 w/ Hurricane Bolters & Heavy Bolters
  • Thunderfire Cannon
  • Whirlwind w/ Whirlwind Vengeance Launcher

Like the Imperial Fist, the Crimson Fist could make Necrons jealous with all the exploding hits. You would just choose the chapter tactic in reverse. If you wanted to build to that, a larger squad size would make better use of Bolter Drill. Perhaps at the cost of the Centurion Devastators.

In order to take the Eye of Hypnoth on the Phobos Captain, the Champion of Blades Stratagem has to be used. The Fist of Terra Could be taken on the Sergeant instead of the Captain, if you wanted to keep that Captain back depending on any other Relic Combinations you wanted to pull off. Mastercrafted could be another option for the Captain or Sergeant Powerfist upgrade.

Imperial Fist Tactics Pistoleros:

Imagine the firing from the hip rifle in one hand and pistol in the other. For Crimson Fist surrounded by the enemy, they would display surprising accuracy hitting on a 2+. Close Range Bolter Fire Stratagem can be used on Centurion Devastators in case they get locked in combat. Using it on the Auto Bolt Rifles means that each member in the squad will be shooting 4 pistol shots. 

Melee Characters were added to benefit from the Crimson Fist chapter tactic. Again this is unlikely to come into effect. Even less likely in melee as both relic Powerfist do not suffer a penalty to hit and Captains already hit on a 2+.  The lack of Heavy Weapons will mean that this army won’t benefit as much from the Imperial Fist Super Doctrine. It does provide for more screening units and 13 starting command points. Unfortunately, those are aimed at being spent on 3 extra relics if not more pre-game. 

Centurion Devastators are devastating. A small 3 man squad benefits more for Crimson fist without being the bullet magnets that they would be for Imperial fist. Of course, Imperial fist could make better use of them in a Siegebreaker Cohort. Even after the Nerf, a Squad of 6 can still put out nearly 20 mortal wounds versus a vehicle. Nevermind the actual saves that the vehicle would have taken or the bonus damage from the heavy bolters. 

This was our next step up guide for playing with Imperial Fists and Crimson Fists. It doesn’t cover everything nor is it meant for competitive play.

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As always thanks for reading!

Special thanks to Games Workshop for the use of their images and for making the best game ever!

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