Iron Warriors Tactics-Faith and Fury Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

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The Iron Warriors are the undisputed siege-breakers of the Heretic Astartes, deploying long range artillery and precise bolterfire to slowly but surely dislodge their opponents from their fortresses. They also frequently utilize the Dark Mechanicus and members of the Cult of Destruction in their assaults, as their unique style of warfare relies heavily on them.

    Today, we’re going to look at the major payoffs for playing in Iron Warriors, some unit and character combos,a  sample list, and finally tactics for how to play the list. If you’re looking to take your gameplay with the Iron Warriors to the next level, then look no further!

THE PAYOFFS

Before we get started, we are going to define the term “payoff” so there’s no confusion on definitions. In this article, a “payoff” is something you get for playing specifically Iron Warriors that’s highly powerful  and that can not be accessed otherwise. For example, the Stratagem Tank Hunters is a payoff, as this is a highly powerful Stratagem only available to Iron Warriors (hereafter IW)

     On the other hand, Veterans Of The Long War would not be an example of a payoff here. Even though it’s another highly powerful Stratagem, it’s available to all non-Renegade forces so it doesn’t fit our definition today. Finally, these entries won’t be in any particular order. We aren’t trying to organize things by their power so much as providing you with what the best tools you have to play with are.


Warlord Traits: IW have access to a wide variety of totally reasonable Warlord Traits. Most CSM Warlord Traits are focused towards turning your Warlord into a better beatstick, so they don’t typically have many support elements in their Characters aside from Psykers or an Apostle. IW have a variety of fun and fluffy options to pick from to build an army around a theme of their choice, whether it be a mobile Infantry gunline using Stoic Advance or a horde of Daemon Engines being lead by a Lord Discordant with Daemonsmith. The only Warlord Trait that isn’t really worth taking here is Iron Without, as a 5+ to shrug off Damage on your Warlord just doesn’t compete in the slightest with your various force multipliers you can pick from here.

Methodical Annihilation:  This Stratagem brings a lot of consistency to your more random weapons, and is particularly attractive with Missile Launchers as it can allow you to re-roll your attack dice if firing Frag Missiles and your Damage if firing Krak Missiles. You can get similar mileage out of a unit of Noise Marines with Blast Masters, if that’s more your speed. Ectoplasma Forgefiends can even be pushed to respectable heights with this along with Daemonsmith and the right buffs.

Dour Duty: This is frankly one of the best, if not the best, Stratagems available to Iron Warriors. We’ll get into this more in a bit in the Combo’s sections, but you can push units to really incredible levels of durability. Obliterators in Cover will functionally have a 0+ Save as just one example. Yes, you still fail on 1’s, but you get to take 3+ Saves against AP-3 instead of a paltry 5+. You can also use this on Vehicles to save them from being chipped out against a massive amount of AP-1/AP-2 fire. Just remember that bonuses to your saving throws are more impactful the better your save already is, and that you can’t use this against AP0. In other words, moving your Cultists from not having a save against some Heavy Bolters to a 6+ Save isn’t a big deal, but moving your Marines from taking 4+ saves to 3+ against those same Heavy Bolters will cause a sharp drop in casualties.

Unholy Vigour: Vigour is an excellent recovery Stratagem to drag a damaged Vehicle up a damage track, or to simply undo some of the work your opponent has already done. Couple this with a Warpsmith and you can recover half the health of a Vehicle every turn. Your opponent will try to 100-0 your Vehicles in one go, but you have tools at your disposal to make that difficult and if they fall short you can erase a huge chunk of the work that they put in.

Tank Hunters:  CSM have a lot of ways to push the damage of a unit higher, and IW have a few extra tools to push their damage even higher. Tank Hunters is probably the single most impactful one, as it will frequently yield a much higher result than Veterans Of The Long War, and if you really need to you can combine them both. For example, a full squad of Bikes with a Champion that takes an extra Combi-Bolter will spit out 80 Bolter Rounds at +1 to Wound and re-rolling to Wound Vehicles  if you also throw in Endless Cacophony. At +1 to hit from Prescience and a Chaos Lord/Demon Prince standing nearby. That’s an average of ~58 Wounds, or 19 Damage to typical Vehicles. Sure it’s 4 Command Points, but it turns a unit that’s almost exclusively good at killing Infantry into dedicated Vehicle destroyers. You can also use this Stratagem in melee, so a random Chaos Lord or Demon Prince with Talons can suddenly seriously threaten to destroy a Vehicle on their own.

Rampant Techno-Virus: Although this Stratagem works with both Obliterators and Mutilators, Mutilators are really inconsistent due to them needing to successfully land a charge out of Reserves. So, you’ll usually be using this with a unit of Obliterators. That being said, this Stratagem pushes Obliterators to being the most devastating unit in the CSM arsenal. A single Obliterator can plausibly destroy a Vehicle with this and Tank Hunters along with a nearby Chaos Lord and Prescience. Throw in Veterans of the Long War and Endless Cacophony, and you can take out an entire tank company of Leman Russes with a single squad of Obliterators. You absolutely want a full unit of Obliterators in every IW list you write, and arguably sometimes you could easily include 2 units of 3 even.

Insidium:
The Warlord in an Iron Warrior’s list is far more likely to be playing a support role than an offensive one due to the nature of the IW Warlord Traits, which in turn makes a defensive relic like Insidium far more attractive. It’s particularly noteworthy on a Lord Discordant. Moving them to Toughness 7 makes Strength 6 and 7 Weapons less effective against them, and against higher Strength values they can use Dour Duty and fall back on their 2+ Save. This should be your go to Relic to put on your Warlord most of the time.

THE COMBOS

This is where things get awkward for the IW. At the end of the day, the Chaos Space Marine Codex is heavily slanted towards close range or melee combat. Many of our long range options just aren’t very attractive, or they have other logistical issues. For example, Havocs are a great unit on paper except for the part that they can’t take spare bodies. Having the unit capped at 5 models means that they’re very easy to remove, which in turn means you don’t want to load them up with weapons. Not loading them up with Weapons in turn makes it a poor choice to use your Stratagems and Psychic Powers on them.

      In addition, most of the IW payoff’s are just static damage multipliers. You lack the unique game changing effects that the other Legions got, such as Emperor’s Children basically automatically passing difficult charge rolls from Honor The Prince or Word Bearers improving the Damage of Daemon Weapon Relic’s with a mix of Exalted Possession and Revered Host. There is a single combination that you have available, which we will get to in a bit.

There are a couple of solutions for dealing with the Codex that your army plays out of. First, you can still embrace what Chaos Space Marines are good at, which is close ranged/melee combat. Iron Warriors are the Siege Breakers, not the Siege Makers after all, and part of breaking a Siege is eventually rushing the fortifications and pushing the enemy out physically. IW Berzerkers coming out from a Drill and charging a Knight or other set of Vehicles that get to re-roll to Wound from Tank Hunters will make really quick work of those units, for example.

    The other thing that you can do is look at Forgeworld for some better long range entries. Units like the Hellforged Predator or Scorpious can bring you some quality long range firepower or artillery which will then play nicely with the various Stratagems and Warlord Traits that you have available. However, some groups will look down on Forgeworld or don’t use them, so this may not be a perfect solution. Still, if your group is okay with it, Forgeworld offers a variety of useful options that you can play around with. Now, let’s look at our one genuinely powerful combo available to IW.

Bastion+Dour Duty+ Aegis Defense Line

Courtesy of the recently dropped FAQ, we have confirmation that the Bastion Warlord Trait and Dour Duty can combine to let a single unit treat AP -2 as AP0. This means that you get a 2+ Save on your Infantry for one unit against AP-2, which is really scary theoretically. The main issue with Bastion however is that it only affects units that are receiving the benefit of cover, which is a little hard to orchestrate on an armywide basis.

    This is where the humble Aegis Defense Line( hereafter ADL) comes in. The ADL can be placed right on the line between two pieces of terrain, which in turn gives you a wide stretch of cover to work with. Now, you can place some units in Power Armor that suit your fancy right behind the ADL, and they will have a 2+ Save and ignore AP-1. If your opponent lights up a unit you care about with AP-2, Dour Duty will drag that down to AP-1, and then Bastion will drag it down to AP0 ensuring your Marines get their 2+ save. This can give you some excellent midfield control now that Marines can Rapidfire their bolters if you hold still, and since IW ignore cover you can turn any Marine with a bolter into a discount Noise Marine with Sonic Blaster.

    The only downside to this is that the ADL consumes a Detachment all on its own, and IW still want plenty of CP. However, careful list construction can let you field all the units you want and have the CP for it with only two Detachments to work with. There’s a lot of directions you can take this, and we’re going to show you one right now in our sample list!

THE LIST

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [78 PL, 1,360pts, -1CP] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic) [-1CP]

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord with Jump Pack [6 PL, 102pts]: Chainsword, G’holl’ax, Fist of Decay, Mark of Nurgle, Power fist

Daemon Prince [8 PL, 159pts]: 4. Bastion, Insidium, Malefic talon, Warlord, Warp bolter

. Slaanesh

-Delightful Agonies

+ Troops +

Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 75pts]: No Chaos Mark

. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

. 3x Marine w/ Boltgun

. Marine w/ Heavy or Special Weapon: Missile launcher

Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 75pts]: No Chaos Mark

. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

. 3x Marine w/ Boltgun

. Marine w/ Heavy or Special Weapon: Missile launcher

Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 75pts]: No Chaos Mark

. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

. 3x Marine w/ Boltgun

. Marine w/ Heavy or Special Weapon: Missile launcher

+ Elites +

Khorne Berzerkers [9 PL, 152pts]

. Berzerker Champion: Chainsword, Power fist

. 8x Chainsword and Chainaxe: 8x Chainaxe

Noise Marines [11 PL, 154pts]

. 2x Marine w/ Blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster

. 7x Marine w/ boltgun

. Noise Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ Heavy Support +

Hellforged Scorpius [12 PL, 217pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh, Scorpius multi-launcher

Hellforged Scorpius [12 PL, 217pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh, Scorpius multi-launcher

+ Dedicated Transport +

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [8 PL, 134pts]: Mark of Khorne

. Storm Bolters: 2x Storm bolter

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [38 PL, 565pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ HQ +

Dark Apostle [5 PL, 72pts]: Mark of Tzeentch, Mutating Invocation, Warpsight Plea

Sorcerer [6 PL, 88pts]: Bolt pistol, Diabolic Strength, Force sword, Mark of Tzeentch, Prescience

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: No Chaos Mark

. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun

. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: No Chaos Mark

. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun

. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: No Chaos Mark

. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun

. Cultist Champion: Autogun

+ Heavy Support +

Obliterators [18 PL, 285pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator

++ Fortification Network (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [5 PL, 75pts] ++

+ No Force Org Slot +

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ Fortification +

Aegis Defense Line [5 PL, 75pts]

++ Total: [121 PL, -1CP, 2,000pts] ++


    So, let’s breakdown what this list does. We have our Demon Prince that’s providing us Bastion to our 3 units of Chaos Space Marines and our Noise Marines. In total, we have 3 Missile Launchers, 2 improved Missile Launchers in our Blastmasters,  and 20 models with Bolters spitting 40 Bolt rounds a turn that ignore cover. Our Noises are in a 2+ save, ignoring AP-1 with a 5+ to shrug off damage and they can be made to ignore AP-2 thanks to Dour Duty. Even our other 5 man units can take hits thanks to being in 2+ Saves and ignoring AP-1.

    In the back we have our Chaos Lord which protects the two Scorpious’s. Every turn, the Apostle gives a Scorpious +1 to hit, and we can push that Scorpious to really absurd heights from Methodical Annihilation and possibly Veterans Of The Long War or Tank Hunters as the situation calls for. On Turn 2, our Obliterators drop down and start trying to really force our opponent to come to us, and on Turn 3 our Khorne Berzerkers and their Drill show up and engage the enemy in melee.

    As we slowly push our opponent out of his position, our 25 Marines and their guns can kill most things that walk into the open without issue, and they’re extremely difficult to push from that position. Between this, our Scorpious’s, and our Cultists we can make it so that our opponent doesn’t have good options to drop Reinforcements on us to negate the benefit of our ADL. Finally, against any potential melee threats our Chaos Lord can fly out and dispose of them without issue. If your opponent is playing a more melee focused army, then the Berzerkers and even the Drill can serve as extra counter charge units to fight back. Most gunlines will be forced out of their position from the Scorpious’s raining down on them, meaning that’s a matchup you’re typically favored in.

    The only thing to really look out for would be Tau, as they can ignore your Cover due to markerlights which in turn makes most of your army plan fall apart since they can quickly and easily remove your Marines and leave you exposed. Despite this weakness, this list has some serious fangs and is just one way you can approach playing Iron Warriors. They’re one of the harder to play Legions, but Forgeworld units and the Bastion combo can make for an army that Perturabo himself would be proud of.

Painting Problem Solved

Painting miniatures can be the most exciting part of Warhammer 40k… and also the most tedious/annoying if you don’t know the right techniques. That’s exactly why in this article you are going to discover how I transformed my miniatures to have them looking beautiful enough to win medals at conventions (while saving time).

I remember a time when I had a bunch of grey, plastic minis laying around all over the house (it’s not hard to forget because I remember Eve complaining about it). It frustrated me because I loved Warhammer 40k so much but I absolutely hated the painting process.

Honestly, it’s why I stayed with the same army list for so long because I just didn’t have time to buy a new one and paint it all. There was no way I could justify taking hours upon hours a day just to paint an army when I already had a perfectly good one ready. It wasn’t until I learned from Aaron Lovejoy that I discovered the exact techniques to not only speed up my painting process significantly, but have my miniatures being worthy enough to win medals. 

That’s why I decided to hire Aaron Lovejoy to create a 14 day painting challenge which will teach you everything you need to know to paint faster while having your miniatures still look beautiful. Don’t just hear it from me, see what others who have taken the challenge have to say!

Click here to join the others and discover how to make your miniatures look stunning as well: https://www.14daypaintingchallenge.com. See you on the challenge!

As always a big thanks to Games Workshop for allowing us to use photos from their website!

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