Steel Legion – First Army List

March 7, 2021 by Solar Cross

Imperial Guard Steel Legion - A Hobby Project
Steel Legion - First Army List

It always helps when planning an army to rough out an army list using the appropriate game rules. I play 7th edition Warhammer 40k so the books I will be using to guide the planning of this project will be the Astra Militarum Codex that came out for 6th edition and the Astra Militarum update in the Mont’ka rules and of course the 7th edition rules itself.

Incidentally if you happen to need any out-of-print warhammer books I might be able to help you here.

For those familiar with the Mont’ka book there is a formation in it that is a particularly close fit for the Steel Legion, the Emperor’s Blade. It is a mechanised infantry formation with support from light tanks, hellhound variants. This then will be the first formation I will recruit for my Steel Legion Hobby Project.

Emperor’s Blade Assault Company

The specific requirements for the formation are one company command squad, three veteran squads and at least one hellhound variant squadron up to a maximum of three. The command squad and the veteran squads must each take dedicated transports, either taurox or chimera. I will go with chimera.

That is exactly 1 officer, three sergeants, 31 veterans, 4 chimera and at least one, to a maximum of nine, hellhounds. The veterans could have up to 4 heavy weapon teams and up 13 special weapons among them. I guess it will do well to have a heavy weapon in each squad given they will have transports. I like the missile launcher because it is quite versatile with its different ammo types. Potentially it can even give an anti-air capability. Also as a proxy Panzerfaust, that is not a bad look for the Steel Legion too. Happily the metal Steel Legion squad includes a missile team.

Each squad could do with a flamer, if not a heavy flamer, to give them some defence against being charged once out of their boxes.

Additionally a company squad can also take up to three regimental advisors, the fleet officer, master bomber dude and astropath. I think I will have all of them.

Regimental Specialists for the Mont’ka Formations

According to the 6th ed book an Astra Militarum detachment can also take up to three priests, enginseers and primaris psykers. Also each command squad allows up to three commissars to be taken too.

Now I know there are some that have claimed that none of these options can be “Rules As Written” taken in the Cadian Battle Group or the formations included in the Mont’ka book but honestly that claim is literal nonsense. It is an old argument in the current days when Warhammer 40k is on its 9th edition but if I ever feel like proving decisively in writing why these regimental specialists and the commissars absolutely can be taken in the Mont’ka formations then I will do so here (if there is no link I have not done it yet). For now let us just assume they can be.

I can see taking a primaris psyker, at least one commissar, and at least one enginseer. An enginseer might be handy for keeping all those little tanks running. The ministorum priests are probably not very useful but they might make for fun painting and converting.

Transport Capacity Considerations

A chimera has a decent transport capacity of 12. This means a veteran squad will have only two seats spare for regimental specialists and commissars, while the command chimera will have four seats spare even if all regimental advisors are taken. These means this formation could allow up to ten of these extra personal to hitch a ride. That is pretty neat.

Hellhound Variants

I would like each veteran squad to have a hellhound variant accompany it because there is a pleasing symmetry in that. So that will be three hellhounds. I would like to be able to field each of the three variants, Hellhound, Devil Dog and Bane Wolf but I do not want to buy nine kits so I will just get busy with the magnets.

A Very Versatile Formation

This formation is a complete take-all-comers army on its own. The hellhounds depending on their armament can clear hordes, make slurry out of elites and melt armour. The vets can be kitted out with even more versatility, even taking on aircraft with missile launchers. There is scope for taking along some psychic shenanigans too. And everything is highly mobile.

It is a solid foundation which will be expanded with the following formations.

Emperor’s Talon – Recon Company

As mentioned in the last instalment of this series I do already have one sentinel, my first Astra Militarum model. Aside from going unbound there are three ways of taking sentinels for this project. They are: a combined arms / allied detachment, an Emperor’s Shield Platoon / Company or a Recon Company.

The first two options are undesirable because they mean taking a yet more infantry alongside it. In the case of the Emperor’s Shield formations that infantry must be footsloggers, which is not very appropriate for the Steel Legion.

The last option, the Recon Company, is by far the more best and most fluffy for the Steel Legion. Alas, it does mean taking at least six sentinels. The formation has some nifty rules though which basically allows the sentinels to get the benefit of Orders.

Battle Command Group

I would not take this to get another Company Command Squad and it will not really help for making a (counts as) Cadian Battle Group unless I also took a Emperor’s Fist Formation which is really quite a big formation. The initial interest in this formation is just that it is the cheapest way to get some Leman Russ on the table in a formation. As an alternative to a Command Squad one can make this formation by taking a Tank Commander who requires a Leman Russ and at least one other Leman Russ to be his wingman.

Cadian Battle Group Oddities

Curiously the Battle Command Group is all that is required to create a Cadian Battle Group, which is very usual for the 7th edition super-formations, like the Gladius and Decurion. Usually such super-formation require at least one pretty hefty “Core” formation. The Cadian Battle Group however is complete with just a bare bones command command squad for just 60pts. The trick is that for any “Auxillary” formations to be included in the Battle Group there must be at least one hefty “Core”. Note the Auxillary formations could still be fielded in the same army they just would not be inside the Battle Group and benefit from its special rules without a Core formation.

To be clear, one can field a Battle Command Group and a Emperor’s Blade Formation together in the same army without a Core formation but in that case the Cadian Battle Group rules would only apply to the Battle Command Group and not the Emperor’s Blade. Formations can get confusing!

Emperor’s Fist – Armoured Company

The other way to field some Leman Russ in formations, aside from going down the Combined Arms Detachment route, is the aforementioned Emperor’s Fist Company. The minimum requirement for this one is five Leman Russ, oh and an enginseer.

Staged Leman Russ Accumulation

Looking back at the last two formations, the Battle Command Group and the Armoured Company, we see the way to stage our accumulation of Leman Russ:

The first two go on the table as a Battle Command Group. Once I have three more they can go on the table as an Armoured Company instead. Once I have two more I can field all seven Leman Russ as a Cadian Battle Group composed of a Battle Command Group and an Armoured Company. With those two formations complete I add up to three other Auxiliary formations, like the Recon and Assault Companies detailed above, under the Cadian Battle Group’s special rules. Oh my, but that would be a lot of tanks! Then again if there is one thing that says Steel Legion it is a lot of tanks.

Enough Steel Legion?

Well… I want a super heavy, a Baneblade or some variant. There I said it. I know it is nuts, even to field regular tanks in a huge scale like 28mm for gaming is just bonkers, but then also throwing down shoe box sized super-tanks like the Baneblade in that scale is bonkers dialed up to 11 and beyond. Then again warhammer 40k is all about dialing up the bonkers to 11 and beyond. Sensible people would just play epic scale and not go broke.

Imperial Guard Steel Legion - A Hobby Project
Steel Legion - First Army List

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