30k: A Guide to Choosing an Army – Mechanicum

By |2016-02-25T08:00:22+00:00February 25th, 2016|Categories: Adeptus Mechanicus, Forge World, Horus Heresy, How To Tutorial|

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If you love Ad Mech in the Grim Dark future you’ll surly love them in Horus Heresy. Come see how to play Mechanicumin 30k!

Hi folks!

Today I’m just going to do a super quick overview of what the Taghmata Omnissiah offers you as an army of the 31st millennium and specifically how I’m going to be building it for myself!


I’m going to start off my going through what really characterizes a Taghmata army and then I’ll go over its strengths and weaknesses before I launch into the build I will be going for!

Army Character

By army character I am trying to give you a feel of what defines this as an army. In much the way that an Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum) army is characterised (by and large) by either massive platoons or loads of tanks, the Taghmata also has its own unique indelible character.

Monstrous creatures/battle automata. This is one of the key builds of 30k mechanicum. You have at your disposal many many different types of battle automata that are often monstrous creatures and those that aren’t are still very high toughness with multiple wounds. These beasts are often the vehicle for large and powerful weapons like the Helix Plasma Mortar – S8 AP2, large blast, ordnance 1, barrage – and so the become vital to your war effort.


The second most defining things about 30k mechanicum is actually a combination of small elite units (like myrmidons) and transports/tanks. A very uncommon build for 30k mechanicum but one that jumps out at me as completely characteristic of them, is an armoured convoy with vehicles such as the triaros armoured conveyor and the krios battle tanks, supporting/transporting these elite units safely to wreak havoc. In my head this build also incorporates the use of Knights to further add that elite but durable feel to the army.

A third option, though one that does not really strike a chord with me as being ‘defining’ is the use of hordes of tech-thralls with a few heavy hitters. I am have seen quite a few people run armies like this, but it just doesn’t scream MECHANICUM at me, but rather a poor mans Solar Auxilia (Imperial guard of the past).



High toughness multiple wound models that come in units. A barebones unit of thallax will come with 9 wounds all at toughness 5 with a 4+ save on jet pack infantry. So although they have a “low” save of 4+ they also have great mobility and require more than a regular bolter to consistently put wounds on them. This means even this BASIC troop option will require a good deal of fire power dedicated at them to kill them.

Additionally you have a huge variety of excellent weapons at your disposal such as the aforementioned Helix Plasma Mortar. You can really deck your battle automata and other elite units out with fantastic levels of fantastical weaponry making you an incredibly shooty army to be reckoned with. Similarly there are some units that perform very well in combat, though that is not the forte of this army by any means.

The final strength of this army is the ease of its access to knights, which in 30k is a pretty big deal. As it is not as simple as in 40k to just take an additional knight, partly because of lord of war restrictions but also because a lot of different rites of war for the Legiones Astartes restricts your ability to take allies.



There are a few key weakness of the Taghmata that need to be very carefully looked at to avoid some horror situations. The first is two-fold; poison and instant death. Instant death you can’t do much about except recognise that threat and deal with it before it gets to you!! You don’t have to fear being doubled out much except my S10 for some of your infantry (your battle automata are all T6 or higher so no problem), but any special instant death or remove from play rule can seriously ruin your day. D weapons can obviously do that as well, but they do it to everyone so meh.

Poison can be a lethal weapon against you because of the toughness ignoring mechanic, as can fleshbane. However, with all of your battle automata specifically, such as castellax or thanatars, they have an inherent resistance to poison fire through their cybernetic resilience special rule, This forces successful wounds from poison or fleshbane weapons to be re-rolled! This only really comes into play though if you go heavy in these big creatures.

The two other weakness in this army are close combat and flyers. You have limited access to flyers in this army and you are unlikely to run many if any. This makes skyfire nexus objectives incredibly valuable as well as your target priority. If you kill everything on the ground, you’re still likely to win!! Cover is important too and avoiding lanes of fire, if you can get into position that the flyers can’t navigate (vector dancer excepted) then you should be OK.

Close combat can kill you through tar pitting. Thanatars are an example of a big strong beast that has excellent ranged weapons,,, but only 2 attacks base. Any large unit of tar pitting bastards will end this threat for nigh on the whole game. Do not let it happen! Careful positioning and again target priority should help alleviate this!


Recommended Purchases

The Horus Heresy: Mechanicum Taghmata Army List – This has all the rules you need to field either an overall Taghmata army or a specific Legio Cybernetic or Ordo Reductor army (I will be covering these in later posts)

Cybernetica Battle Group – This is pricey at £280 but it is actually not a bad deal saving you about £25 and that damn good for forgeworld out of season!

From the Horus Heresy to Infinity and Beyond

Peace out,


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