Astra Militarum – Commissar Yarrick

Posted: April 21, 2014 by The Master of the Adeptus Administratum in Rules, Tactica, Uncategorized
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As Imperial Guard players transition to the new Astra Militarum codex, while much may seem the same, many things have changed.  I’ll be posting a series of articles about some of the units which have seen changes and hopefully provide some insights, tactics, and general information about how the unit has evolved.


First up:  Commissar Yarrick.

In the old Codex Imperial Guard, Commissar Yarrick was a bit of a questionable HQ choice.  At 185 points, he seemed a hard unit to justify adding to an IG force at 1500 points or less.   In the new Codex Astra Militarum he checks in at 145 points, netting a 40 point savings.  So, what’s changed?

Statline:  Unchanged.

Wargear:  At first glance, everything looks to be more or less the same.  The biggest change is the Power Field (4+ inv save).  In the old codex, his Force field caused wounds allocated to him to be re-rolled.   Reasonably good against S3 or less attacks, but against anything S6 or better, re-rolling a wound that needs a 2+ to wound wasn’t really much of a save at all.  The 4+ Invulnerable is a massive improvement.

Warlord Trait:  Draconian Disciplinarian –  In the new codex, Commissar Yarrick can only be the Warlord as per the Chain of Command special rule.  Given that, this Warlord Trait gives friendly units within 12″ of him the ability to avoid morale tests for suffering 25% or more casualties.  This at first glance would also include a unit Commissar Yarrick would be attached to.

Special Rules:  Some changes here…

  • Aura Of Discipline – Units within 6″ of the Commissar that are not joined by him can no longer can use the Commissar’s leadership for orders received.  This is a major change, especially for heavy weapon teams!
  • Chain of Command – The intent of the rule would seem that if there is no Company Command Squad in the army, Commissar Yarrick can be the Warlord.  This will require some kind of FAQ as the actual rule states he can be the Warlord if you have no models with the Senior Officer special rule in your primary detachment – but Yarrick actually has the Senior Office rule.  For now, best to play it with this intent in mind.
  • Eternal Warrior – Unchanged.
  • Iron Will – Unchanged at first glance.  Yarrick will still get up on a 3+ if he loses his last wound.  However an odd situation can now occur where Yarrick could be in single combat with an opponent and lose the combat, fail a morale check and be run down in a sweeping advance with no ability to return to the fight.  In the previous codex he was Fearless and this situation could not have occurred.
  • Preferred Enemy (Orks) – This is a very thematic addition to Commissar Yarrick, which replaces the old Inspirational Hero special rule.   So, this can be seen as a downgrade against other armies, but a significant upgrade when fighting Orks.
  • Voice of Command – This Allows Commissar Yarrick to now issue orders – something he was never been able to do in the previous codex.
  • Senior Officer – This allows Commissar Yarrick to issues two orders and the orders only senior officers can issue.  This is a major upgrade for Yarrick effectively replacing the need for a Company Command Squad.
  • Summary Execution – With the the old Inspiration Hero special rule and it’s Fearless ability not carried forward, the replacement is the new Summary Execution rules which when a morale test is failed to effectively trade a model from Yarrick’s unit for a passed morale test.  So, as long as Yarrick is up and fighting with a unit around him, they will stand up to most anything.   The danger is that if Yarrick is alone and fails a morale test he can get caught in a sweeping advance as I detailed above.  So, best to ensure he has plenty of Guardsmen to lead into battle!

So, with all of this we now have a character that can stand up to almost anything an opponent can throw at you.  With the addition of a squad of guardsmen (the larger the better) and a couple of additional characters (Primaris Psyker, Priest) this unit has the potential to give and take a lot of punishment.  Joining these characters is not without risk, as a Primaris Psyker which suffers a Perils of the Warp result will be executed – and with the new Summary Execution rules your opponent may just decide that the Commissar will put him out of his misery in advance for the morale of the unit.

Yarrick mini

Commissar Yarrick will provide a very attractive alternative to the traditional command squad, and for those with a penchant for taking the fight to the enemy the opportunities for heroic actions are assured.  Ork players will rightly fear “One-Eye Yarrick” who will be one of the few units in the Astra Militarum codex which can stand up to the likes of Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.




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