February 28, 2011

v5.022811.L Of The Adeptus Mechanicus Is Here!

First and foremost, I would like to give special thanks once again to Derek Reihe and Nick Thom for their continuous and tremendous help on this FanDex. I assure you this new version would look nothing like it does without their amazing ideas and help. I'd also like to thank all of you who have emailed me your opinions, criticism, battle reports, kind words and angry cursing. I do read each and every email I receive and take most into consideration when making changes. And finally, a great thanks to my gaming buddies of Twin-Linked Awesome that have helped me playtest my creations and have been sure to give me that you're-dumb look when something doesn't work.

Without further adieu, here are some of the major highlights of the new version of the fandex. I think you'll agree with me when I say this version feels like a completely new fandex when compared to the old version. The changes are major and vast throughout the entire rulebook. Very few units and rules didn't receive changes. While there are hundreds, possibly thousands of smaller changes, not all are worth notating here or I'd be writing for the better part of a week. So here's some of the larger and more important changes you'll see in this version:

The following units have been removed:
  • Chimera
  • Land Raider
  • Land Speeder
  • Rhino
  • Sentinels
  • Whirlwind
The following units have been added:
  • Caminus-Priests
  • Cantharis
  • Cult Abomination
  • Divexo Beacon
  • Forsaken
  • Gant
  • Knight Titan
  • Phantous
  • Tech-Priest Transmechanic
Other notable changes:
  • Balanced point values have been calculated, but are still in trial. 
  • FOC pages have been added.
  • Skitarii moved from Elite to Fast on the FOC.
  • Enginseer removed from HQ to replace Overseers; now used as a pseudo-Sergeant to specific units.
  • Single Techmarine changed to Techmarine Squadron.
  • Battlefield Repairs rule removed and added on to Servo-Arms/Harness'.
  • Robot Maniple stats have been significantly reduced.
  • Removed Chant of Release from the Rune Priest's powers.
  • Rune Priest powers Chant of Control and BSOD reworked.
  • Holy Icon vehicle upgrade reworked.
  • All Rune Priest powers have an 18" range, (can be extended by the Holy Icon vehicle upgrade.)
  • Leader of the Quest army rule removed.
  • A Race Apart army rule which previously increased AV on vehicles has been completely reworked.
  • Tech Quest army rule has been reworked so it has less control over the game.
  • The Warhound Titan has been completely reworked and brought to non-Apocalypse standards.
  • Hover Lifters vehicle upgrade removed.
  • Renamed some of the infantry armour options to reflect AdMechyness.
  • There has been a lot of weapon options clean-up, ie; less weapon options, but cleaner feel.
  • All changes from the FAQ have been applied, aside from Hellgun/pistol range which will remain at 18", but now have the Gets Hot! Special Rule.
I'm not going to go into much detail on each change as...well, it's all explained in the codex. But I'll mull over an explanation of my reasoning for some of the changes.

First of all, the number one complaint I received through all of your emails was the lack of uniqueness for the dex as a whole. You all didn't like the fact that I had Imperial vehicles from other codices in here, and I can fully understand and agree with that. The reason I went in that direction in the first place was because of fluff and background. The Mechanicus create everything Imperial, so it made sense to me that they'd use the vehicles on-hand. Fortunately, I believe that the Mechanicus would also use more unique options when going on their Tech Quests due to their excavation needs. This spawned the removal and replacement of almost everything Imperial. Now, you will notice the Leman Russ is still in there, and you might be asking why, when other vehicles were removed. There are two reasons for this; first, you all like it. A lot. A couple of you appeared to be weak at the knees for the Leman Russ variants in this fandex. If there was one item in the dex I got the most compliments on, the Leman Russ would be competing for that title. Secondly, it was an attempt for me to hold onto my original thinking of the AdMech bringing Imperial vehicles. And the Leman Russ is arguably the best of the best of common Imperial vehicles; so it just fit.
The second complaint I received the most of was the A Race Apart army rule. No one seemed to like it, and to be honest I was impartial to it. I wanted vehicles as a whole to have a uniqueness to them for the AdMech, but wasn't sure how to go about it in a simple way. Well, thanks to the help of Derek Reihe, we've created something truly fantastic. And while the only feedback thus far is from the small team I have working on this project with me and my gaming group, it has all been positive thus far. We've reduced armour values across the board to very weak values. Aside from the Leman Russ (which has been reduced back to normal values,) there are few vehicles in this with an AV higher than 11. To balance out this weakness, we've implemented something called Complexity Values (CVs) across everything with an armour value for the Mechanicus. Similar in a few ways to Structure Points, CVs provide a unique and balanced way to help these weaker armoured vehicles survive. I'm not going to go into detail about it, but you can find everything you want to know in the dex.

Next, point values. In the previous version point values were lowered to the point of ridiculousness. I did this purposely in order to get as many units as possible on a list for testing. And thanks to you beta-testers out there, the few things that were majorly flawed in the previous version have been corrected. And so, point values have been raised to a normal state. So those of you who have been kicking your friend's asses due to low point values on most of the dex; it's time to play the AdMech for real. You knew this day was coming. No, stop crying. It's time to put your big girl/boy pants on, now.
I'll touch on the Rune Priest a bit as well, as he's been a time consumer. This awesome son of a bitch has been a real pain the last few months. This guy got nerfed hard from the last version and for numerous reasons. First and foremost; point cost. Calculated out from the last version, I recall his point value coming out to390ish. Correct me if I'm wrong, that's the single most expensive base cost for an Independent Character to date, and I didn't want him costing as much as or more than a Nightbringer. With the changes made, his cost has been whittled down to 235. Another reason, and this goes without saying from my previous point cost: the Rune Priest was just way too powerful. My hopes are there's not one single unit in this entire dex that everyone feels they have to take (I'll touch more on this in a bit.) The way the Rune Priest was going, he would be most everyone's top choice, maybe even at its ridiculous point cost. I've mentioned this in the FAQ, but the Tech Priest was also very well suited for close combat, and this was not my intention. His stats combined with his model-removal template might tempt players to go the way of melee. This is not what I had in mind for this guy. What I want is a durable HQ that can sit in the dead center of his army and work his "magic" from a distance. In the new version, I think this is accomplished. Check the dex for the numerous changes to this guy.
The Warhound. Oh how the Warhound has been debated over and over again. I'll state this before I go any further, and I'll even put it in bold for everyone so you can read it with some intensity; it's not going anywhere. I would say there's not much of anything in this dex that's not up for debate, but the Warhound is the exception to the rule. As some of you might have read, this entire AdMech FanDex is roughly based off of the book Titanicus by Dan Abnett. This book gave me so much inspiration for the fandex, and while in the novel Praetorians aren't ogren and Skitarii are 10 times more bad ass than a couple of other sources out there, I'm staying true to the book. This is partially why I'm not willing to bend on the Warhound. Now, I'll admit, in the previous version the Warhound was quite powerful, probably too powerful. But in the newest version, I've "un-Apocalypsed" it. No more Strength D, no more Hellstorm templates, no more Structure Points and Void Shields. It's infinitely important to me that this is a stand-alone fandex, not needing 3 other books to flip through just to find weapon profiles. All you should need is models, the fandex and a 40k rulebook. While the Warhound reductions make it less powerful in some respects, it is more balanced for regular game-play. Now, I'm not saying it's the most fair thing on the table, and I'd honestly like an entire month to playtest just the Warhound before sending this dex out as it's by far the hardest to balance due to it's extreme uniqueness. But the truth of the matter is I enjoy the Warhound; the idea of it, the gameplay and holding Dan Abnett's rendition of the Mechanicus true. So I'll say it again, I want as much criticism as you can throw my way, but keep in mind the Warhound is here to stay.
Finally, I'll touch on army builds. Too often we find a "one way or the highway" mentality in the current codices. In most official codices you'll find yourself in a position where everyone is telling you the only way to play the army is this or that way. Typically these cookie cutters exist in one or two manners in the codex, and going outside that box is madness! There is some merit to this, though. As a man who enjoys experimentation (/giggle,) there's something to be said for an optimal way of doing things. Some of the codices out there have units that are quite powerful for a cheap cost, and those optimal builds surround said units. This is where the elitist competitors will renounce to you the right and wrong way to play a dex. It's unavoidable, it truly is. There are going to be those units out there that just aren't worth taking most of the time, even in my dex (see Machine Cultists.) Overall I wanted this dex to work outside of the "optimal build" qualities that seem to follow the codices that are already out there, and I think I've pulled this off in the newest version. Rather than cookie cutters, a player can choose how they want to play and choose accordingly. Here's some of the best examples:
  • "I like powerful models that just won't die." - Bring Zacharia which unlocks Robots for Elite and Heavy slots.
  • "I want quick melee rather than vehicles." - Bring Commander Lau which unlocks Skitarii as a Troop choice.
  • "I want to play defensively, keeping my vehicles safe." - Load up on as many Servo-Arms as you can, and bring the Tech-Priest Transmechanic with his bonus to repair rolls.
  • "I want to sit back and blow everything up!" - Load up on Leman Russ', Divexo Beacons, Praets with Lascannons and Gants with Autocannons.
  • "I like Psykers more than anything." - Bring as many cheap vehicles with Holy Icons that you can and let your Rune Priest(s) run wild!
  • "I want to control my enemies so they're helpless." - Bring in the Cult Abominations and as many Graviton Guns as you can shake a stick at.
  • "I want a fast army that gets up close and personal." - Bring 3 Cantharis' with Skitarii, Electro- or Caminus-Priests in them and equip every vehicle with boosters.
  • "I want to be a dick." - Warhound.
I truly want playstyle to rule over min/max building, and I hope you'll agree through your experiences that I've accomplished this on some level.

That's about all I'm going to say on changes as I've ranted long enough. As for the update itself, all of the rules for playtesting, emailing and downloading the AdMech FanDex can be found on the original post HERE (all links for downloading have been updated,) or at the following three locations:

As always keep the emails coming, have fun and enjoy.

Much thanks to you all.


  1. Great to see the project it still progressing.

    I'll give a good going over in the next few days.

    I have to be honest, I do worry about the inclusion of the Warhound titan. I'll reserve judgment until I dig into the codex wholesale.


  2. Thanks Big Jim, much appreciation for mulling it over.

    I think the changes I've made to the Warhound will work out all right (not being a Super Heavy, no more Str D weapons, no more VSs and SPs, etc.) And the restrictions in place to field it are a bit more binding than they were.

    Can't wait to hear what you think!

  3. Man, I think your posts are longer than your fandex. You really need more pictures. How about you tell your next post entirely in pictures. I think that would be sweet.

    I like how the fandex has developed. While I did like the fact you originally drew from existing Imperial vehicles, I think that creating new vehicles makes the fandex more unique. Otherwise, you could argue that it was just an Imperial Guard variant.

  4. And it felt like a variant of IG... The fact that I can't say the same thing anymore makes me quite happy.

  5. Keep your things out of places, player!

  6. Yeah BOOIIII

  7. Stop trying to expose me, Mel!