Our first review looked at how the Kastelans had changed going into 8th edition, now we’re back to see how the Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus have affected these big beautiful monsters. Beep-boop as it were and on we go!
First off, the Codex saw no change in points for the Kastelan Robots, which is a boon as they were on the high-end of units available to the priests of Mars. Likewise their stats and weapons remain unchanged, another leg-up for them as a unit. The only actual change to them was a clarification on their Repulsion Grid. In it, the reflected shot is now expressly on the actual die roll of a 6. This is after re-rolls but before modifiers. While it was nice to see mortal wounds bouncing off on a 5 or 6, it really was too good. What really changed is the inclusion of Forgeworld Dogmas and Stratagems.
Kastelan Robots, Pose!
It’s all in the name: Forge Worlds
With the Codex we now have 7 distinct Forge Worlds, each with their own Dogma that applies to all units in a Forge World detachment that share the same keyword. Mars, Graia, Metalica, Lucius, Agripinaa, Stygies VIII, and Ryza all now have rules akin to Legion traits or Chapter Tactics. The key ones are Mars, Stygies VIII, and Lucius, though the others might see some play in niche play styles.
Mars is the most common, though its particular Dogma isn’t specifically targeted at Kastelan Robots. Belisarius Cawl, maximizing the use of Canticles of the Omnissiah, and the Wrath of Mars Stratagem all are great assets to employ. Despite the benefits of the men from Mars, there are benefits of the other Forgeworlds as well.
Lucius is another prime target capable of getting a lot of use out of a unit of Kastelan Robots. Their Dogma reduces the AP of enemy attacks that are AP -1 to AP 0. Your already resilient Kastelans can now utilize their 3+ (or 2+ when in Aegis Protocol) that much more. Furthermore, the Lucian specific Stratagem allows you to Deep strike a unit for 1 CP. Dropping a unit of Robots anywhere on the board is pretty powerful given the limited movement (8″) normally. Couple that with the Relic that allows a character to teleport 30″ away, makes a powerful combo.
Finally, Stygies VIII Dogma reads: targeting a Stygies unit outside of 12″ subtract 1 from their Hit roll. This is huge when considered alongside Shroudpsalm and the inherent survivability of the Robots. Furthermore, the Forge World’s Stratagem allows you to Infiltrate a unit before the 1st turn begins. Once again, being able to position your robots after the enemy is deployed can mean utter victory.
Show me your cards: Stratagems
Now that we’ve looked at some of the top Dogma’s, let’s dive into the Stratagems for Kastelan Robots. First, these Stratagems are best used with their gun options, the Heavy Phosphor Blaster. The other options of Cognis Flamer and Power Fist are both neat, but for their points don’t really work out in my experience. Equipped as such, each robot puts out between 9 and 18 shots at 36″. Normally, Kastelans hit on 4+ if they don’t move. Tag in Cawl or a Dominus and you’re rerolling some of those misses. Key stratagems to consider, beyond those mentioned above, are Binharic Override, Elimination Volley, Infoslave Skull, and Machine Spirit’s Revenge.
Binharic Override changes a Battle Protocol immediately rather than waiting for a turn, at the expense of never-changing from the chosen Protocol. This is super useful when stuck in Protector Protocol and assaulted suddenly.
Infoslave Skull gives you the ability to fire on an enemy unit that arrived within 12″ of your unit. It’s pretty obvious the benefit of being able to gun down a unit of Melta-gun toting Veterans, or a horde of Berserkers appearing in a Drop Pod or using Alpha Legion tactics.
Elimination Volley activates if your unit of Kastelan Robots is within 6″ of a unit of Kataphron Destroyers, giving both +1 to Hit. The added hits from hitting on 3’s, or countering the -1 to Hit from a flyer can’t be discounted and can be the difference in victory or defeat.
Lastly, Machine Spirit’s Revenge gives a last hurrah in case something gets close to your Kastelan Robots. For 1 CP, you explode, just like that. Spitting out D3 mortal wounds to surrounding units can break an assault or finish off a stubborn objective holder.
The greatest combo I’ve used has been Elimination Volley + Wrath of Mars + Binharic Override to unleash a fusillade that saw Magnus brought low in a single shooting phase from one unit! If that isn’t impressive, consider the staggering damage this unit can put out at full strength, surrounded by support units.
Kastelan Robots are easily one of my favorite units in the Codex. I can safely say I struggle to build a list these days without them. Solid survivability and quality damage output all for a reasonable price, who could ask for more? Check out how they fare in our tournament reviews and take a look at more articles at FieldofFireGaming and on Facebook. Until next time, beep-boop and happy hunting!