Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Fall of Cadia Review: Part 4- Arcana Mechanicum Relics and Ecclesiarchy Relics

Today, I take a look at the new Relics available to Armies of the Imperium from the Fall of Cadia book.

If your army includes Saint Celestine or Belisarius Cawl, or is in one of the Formations/Detachments in the book, any models in your army that can normally take a Relic can choose to take one of the Ecclesiarchy Relics or one from the Arcana Mechanicum. These are some potent Relics to add to your army as you will see below. 

Arcana Mechanicum
Any character normally able to take a Relic that is in one of the book's detachments or in an army that includes Belisarius Cawl can take one of these Relics. 

Numinasta's Casket of Electromancy
This is a one use only weapon that hits all enemy units within range (including flying units). It is a 2D6" range that is S3 and Haywire. At 30 pts, I feel that this is way too expensive to be useful as a one use only weapon. Strength 3 with no AP is not going to worry most units in the game. Haywire is nice, but most of the time you are going to do a single glancing hit. The random range is also annoying, as it would be too easy to fluff the roll and get a very short range. I would not see much use for this in an army. 

Quantum Annihilator
This is more like it. For the same cost as the Casket above, you get an 18", strength 2D6 and AP2 weapon with D3 shots. On a roll of 11 or 12, the shot is instant death or causes an automatic penetrating hit. This is a decent weapon, but there are better Relics to choose from. 

Sacrifactum Autorepulsor
Any unit attempting to charge the bearer must subtract 2 from their charge range. For only the cost of a Power Weapon, this is great. Stick this in a unit in cover and most enemy units are at -4 to charge. At any sort of distance, this is going to make an enemy unit more likely to fail a charge. If you are using Mysterious Objectives and get a Grav Wave Generator, that is -6 to charge, base! Given the Mechanicus have wargear allowing you to choose your Mysterious Objective roll, this is a very potent Relic to have. Adding all those penalties means a unit standing right in front of you will still have a 50% chance of failing a charge. I can see this featuring a lot in Mechanicus armies and other Imperial gunline armies. 

This Relic allows you to give the bearer and his unit access to a special rule. These include Skyfire, Monster Hunter, Tank Hunter and Cognis Weapons. Cognis Weapons allows units to fire overwatch at BS2 and Wall of Death weapons automatically score 3 hits. 
This can be very potent under the right circumstances and with certain units. Deathwatch Frag Cannons with Tank Hunter and scoring 3 hits each on Overwatch will be very potent. The ability to give units Skyfire is also great and can fix a hole in many competitive lists. This unit works with close combat attacks, as well as shooting attacks, meaning potential Tank Hunter and Monster Hunter re-rolls if your units are in combat with such a model. 

Omnissiah's Grace
Gives the bearer a 6+ invulnerable save or +1 to their invulnerable save (up to 3+). For only 10 points, this is a great Relic to add to a character with a 4+ invulnerable in place of a Storm Shield, allowing them to take two combat weapons. I'm glad this is capped at a 3+ invulnerable, or we would have a lot of 2+ invulnerable save characters running around. 

Saint Curia's Autopurger
Enemy models charging the bearer and his unit don't get their bonus attack for charging. In addition, each model locked in combat with the Bearer's unit must take a toughness test at the initiative 10 step. If they fail, the unit suffers a wound for each failed test. 
This Relic is pretty awesome too. Against most units, this will give you a lot of bonus attacks that have the potential to take out some of your opponent's models before they get a chance to attack. Against horde units such as Guardsmen, Orks or Tyranid Guants, this has the potential to be devastating after a few rounds of combat. 

 The Arcana Mechanicum has four solid Relics that could be of great use to a variety of armies. For a gunline army, the Sacrifactum Autorepulsor and Memento-Mortispex would be great. For an assualt unit, the Omnissiah's Grave and Autopurger will be very effective too. Some fantastic choices available to Imperial players. 

Ecclesiarchy Relics
Any character normally able to take a Relic that is in one of the book's detachments or in an army that includes Saint Celestine can take one of these Relics.

Skull of Petronella the Pious
Gives the Bearer and all models in the unit a 6+ invulnerable. This is decent enough, but way too expensive at 30 pts I feel. I can see some uses for it, but again, there are much better Relics available.

Blade of the Worthy
A melee weapon with two different profiles. If you pass a Ld test, it is +2S and AP2. If you fail, it is S User and AP3. For twice the price of a standard Power Weapon, I think that this is great. Odds are you will be putting it on a Ld 9 or 10 character, so the odds of passing the Ld test are quite good. On a standard character, you will be striking at strength 6 and AP2 at initiative. This is going to make a mess of Marine equivalents and a lot of units in the game.

This is essentially a Bolt Pistol that is AP2 and does not allow Invulnerable saves to be taken. This could be very useful for taking wounds off of characters before you charge them, or for killing Terminators or other heavy armoured models. It is still only one shot though, so will not be taking out characters in one shot.

The Font of Fury
A one use only, large blast, poisoned 4+ assault weapon. It goes up to poisoned 2+ against certain Chaos units. This is decent enough and cheap (only 10 pts). It could be useful in some situations, particularly against Daemons thanks to its lack of an AP value.

Shroud of the Anti-Martyr
Gives Eternal Warrior. A cheaper way to access Eternal Warrior for Space Marines if you don't want to go for the Shield Eternal. Also a nice way to give it to other Imperial Warlords to make them harder to kill. I see can some use for this in a number of armies.

Desvalle's Holy Circle.
Gives the bearer a 4+ invulnerable. In addition, enemy units cannot deep strike within 12" of the Bearer. If they scatter and land within 12" of the bearer, they automatically suffer a Deep Strike mishap.
Wow. For only 35 pts, this is amazing! This has the potential to completely shut down certain alpha-strike army builds, ensuring that the enemy units will have a hard time getting into Melta or rapid fire range. The fact that they automatically mishap if they come close is awesome. You have a 1 in 6 chance of destroying an enemy unit and a 1 in 3 chance of putting them in a terrible position. Imagine, getting to place the enemy drop pod in the corner of the table, far away from the objective and well out of meltagun range or grav cannon range. This could be a game winning Relic against a number of armies.

I can see this being used in combination with a couple of Landspeeder Storms. Set the Landspeeders up 12" away from the Relic bearer on each side. That generates a 4 foot line where Deep striking units either cannot attempt to deep strike or scatter 4D6" when they do scatter. That is going to create some deployment nightmares for a Drop Pod army. If you set all three up at their extremes of range, you can cover 78% of your deployment zone with areas hazardous to deep striking.

I think the clear winner here is the Holy Circle, with the Blade of the Worthy being useful for combat characters. Overall, there are some pretty solid Relics available in the Fall of Cadia book. I can see a lot of uses for them in a number of imperial armies.

Are there any Relics that would be useful to your army and what tactics would you employ with them? Which is the best of the bunch for you?

Fall of Cadia Review
Part 1- Saint Celestine
Part 2- Belisarius Cawl
Part 3- Inquisitor Greyfax
Part 4- Arcana Mechanicum Relics and Ecclesiarchy Relics
Part 5- Detachments and Empyric Storms


  1. I feel like the Castigator should be the standard weapon for Blanche's Cannoness - I can definitely see her blowing terminator heads off at close range

    1. A standard AP2 pistol on Sisters characters would be awesome.

  2. I agree that the Skull of Petronella the Pious is just head-scratchingly puzzling. Sisters of Battle already benefit from an inherent 6+ Shield of Faith save, this relic offers nothing they don't already have. It SHOULD have been like the Omnissiah's Grace that allow you to stack +1 to an existing save to a max of 3++. Now THAT would be worth 30 points!

    1. Stacking invulnerables for a unit would be crazy good. The Relic can be taken by other Imperial armies (not just sisters), but it does seem to be a bit of a waste. Don't get me wrong, a 6+ invulnerable is better than nothing, but there are simply better Relics available.