Secutarii Peltast: “Hidden Gem” Tactica

With all the focus Codex: Deathwatch, the Traitor’s Hate supplement for CSM, and the Angel’s Blade supplement for Blood Angels lately (plus the incoming Genestealer Cult codex) recently, I think one very interesting and competitive new unit has been lost in the shuffle: Forgeworld recently released models and rules for Secutarii Hoplites and Peltasts, both of which can be taken as Elite choices in a Skitarii Maniple:

Of these, I am most intrigued by the possibilities that Secutarii Peltasts bring to the game, especially in conjunction with other Imperium allies. Looking at their profile, they have “standard” Skitarii stats/rules:

WS3 BS4 S3 T3 W1 I3 A1 Ld9 Sv4+ (Peltast Alpha is +1A /Ld, but not +1W like other Skitarii “sergeant” characters)

-Doctrina Imperatives — Buffs to either BS/WS; very good for helping Peltast shooting 3 times a game

-FNP(6+) – Small boost to survivability, but with T3 a lot of weapons will ignore this

-Relentless – Combines well with their Galvanic-Casters, allowing them move and shoot to full capacity

In addition to these rules, Peltasts get the “Blind Barrage” rule, which enables them to forgo their shooting once per game and instead give Shrouding to a friendly unit within 18” until the start of the next player turn (this has several potent tactical uses, which I will discuss later).

In terms of Wargear, Peltasts have Secutarii War Plate (basically Carapace Armor for a 4+ save), plus the following:

I — Kyropatris Field Generator – If a squad has at least 5 models with this War Gear, then ALL models in the unit can re-roll failed Armor Saves of 1; additionally, if the squad has 10 models with this piece of equipment, then all shooting attacks against the unit have their strength reduced by -1. While the Kyropatris Field Generator makes the Peltasts themselves bit more survivable, they are pretty fragile already with T3 and a 4+ save, so I think the real value of this piece of Wargear is its ability to help protect attached Independent Characters. For example, if you attach an allied Space Marine Biker Chapter Master with AA and a Storm Shield to this unit, then not only does the Chapter Master basically have EW against shooting as long as there is at least 10 Peltasts alive (i.e. S10 shooting against the unit is reduced to S9, meaning that his T5 cannot be “doubled out” and he is therefore immune to Instant Death except against Force Weapons or weapons with the ID rule specifically), but he also gets to re-roll 1s for any failed Artificer Armor saves against non AP2/1 shooting, giving him a 97% chance to successfully save against those attacks for the unit. This makes both the Chapter Master himself more survivable and also improves the durability of the squad’s as long as he is positioned correctly to “tank” the shooting for them.

II — Galvanic-Caster – This is basically turns Peltasts into the Skitarii version of Sternguard, with three different shooting/ammo profiles to choose from each turn:

[1] Flachette Burster — 24″ S3 AP– Salvo 2/4, Shred

*This is the “go to” ammo type against almost any non-vehicle unit, since it allows 4 x S3 Shred shots per Peltast at an effective 30” range (24” + 6” move, thanks to Relentless). Given that you can take up to 20 Peltasts in a single squad and you can improve their shooting up to BS5 (or better) with Doctrina Imperatives, this makes for up to 80 x BS5(+) shots a turn with a threat range of 30” and Shred for re-rolls to wound. Doing the Mathhammer, that can easily take down pretty much any MEQ unit or worse in the game and can even torrent down Terminators with sheer volume of highly accurate shots. If you can combine this with the Misfortune power from the Divination Discipline, then a squad of 20 Peltasts can bring down Wraithknights, Stormsurges, and even the mighty KX139 Ta’unar Lord of War with pure volume of Rending shots.

[2] Ignis Blaze — 18″ S3 AP5 Heavy 1, Blind, Parabolic Shot, Ignores Cover, Small Blast

*This is your ideal weapon for taking out cover-camping GEQs like AM Guardsmen, Gretchin, Gaunts/Termagaunts, CSM Cultists, Necron Scarabs, Tau Pathfinders, Eldar Guardians, DE Warriors/ Wyches, etc. (“Parabolic Shot” allows the Peltasts to even hit units out of LOS, as long as they are not in a completely enclosed space, like inside a building). Having between 10-20 x S3 AP5 Small Blasts that Ignore Cover can absolutely tear up any light infantry in cover and can even force enough massed wounds against large, tightly packed mobs (say Ork Boyz or Necron Phalanxes) to deal significant damage to these “heavier” infantry types. Finally, the ability to force Blind checks is exceptionally handy against low Initiative enemy forces that rely heavily on shooting/gun lines, such as Tau, Astra Militarum, and Necron armies.

[3] Kinetic Hammershot — 30″ S4 AP3 Heavy 1, Rending

*Probably the least useful ammo type (in almost every case, it is better to use the “Flachette Burster” ammo instead of this, even against MEQs, because of their high rate of fire), the Kinetic Hammershot still has a role for long-range shooting (threat radius of 36”), for use against light/medium vehicles (Rending allows Peltasts to threaten up to AV13 targets), and for dealing with T7 and above opponents that the other two types of ammo cannot hurt (unless you have Misfortune cast, of course 😉 ).

So, based on all this, I think the Peltasts are not only a very competitive addition to a Skitarii army, with their versatility in shooting and “force-multiplication” for survivability they offer, but I also think they make a great unit to add to an allied list for other Imperium forces. Here are some example battle group combinations using Peltasts that I think would be competitive on the table-top:

[1] 20 Peltasts with attached White Scars Librarian (TDA, SS, PML(2), and Hunter’s Eye Relic) – The White Scar Librarian provides Ld 10/ATSKNF, Hit and Run, Psychic Defense, re-rolls to hit via Prescience (combines with Doctrina Imperatives for hyper-accurate shooting), Ignore Cover via the Hunter’s Eye relic, and strong “tanking” power with his 2+/3++ saves (with re-rolls of 1s for the Armor Saves, as long as at least 10 Peltasts are still alive).

If the Librarian rolls up Misfortune, then he can make the Peltasts’ shooting even more deadly and, in a pinch, he also provides some close combat punch of the unit gets charged (80 shots of overwatch, backed up with re-rolls from Prescience, makes it pretty darn dangerous to charge this unit). Finally, the Peltasts themselves provide the powerful, flexible shooting and also numbers for staying power to complement the Librarian, making for an overall very versatile, dangerous battle group.

[2] Minimum sized squad of Peltasts, Deathwatch Aquila Kill Team with 5 Heavy Thunder Hammer Veterans, 3 Power Maul/SS Vanguard, 1 Librarian, a Corvus Blackstar with Infernum Halo-Launcher, and Skyshield Landing Pad – The tactic here is to get the Heavy TH Deathwatch Veterans into combat “at any costs,” so to speak. Have the Aquila Kill Team start the game in the Corvus Blackstar, which itself is on the Skyshield (Peltasts can also be positioned on the Skyshield to benefit from improved LOS and 4++ save). Turn 1, move the Blackstar up 12”, then cast Blind Barrage on it during the shooting phase with the Peltasts, then move it Flat Out another 18” (thanks to being a Fast Skimmer while in Hover mode).

This results in Blackstar having a 2+ cover save when it Jinks (Jink + Shrouded), which can be re-rolled thanks to the Infernum Halo-Launcher… in other words, unless your opponent has Ignore Cover weapons, the Blackstar will basically be invulnerable to any shooting for the next turn. On turn 2, move the Blackstar another 6”, disembark the Kill Team 6”, then have them charge their designated target 2D6” (with re-rolls thanks to Heroic Intervention). With the Librarian casting Prescience, that is 15 x S10 AP2 Heavy Thunder Hammer attacks, all with re-rolls to Hit, re-rolls of 1s to Wound/to Penetrate (thanks to Aquila Doctrine), and Instant Death on any rolls of 6+ to Wound… basically, there is almost no unit in the game that will survive this charge… as long as the Vanguard Vets can absorb enemy attacks with their Storm shields, then the Heavy Thunder Hammer Vets will survive long enough to bring down their target 😉

[3] Three squads of Peltasts and allied Lias Issodon (as WL) – Issodon uses his WL Trait to Infiltrate the three Peltast squads within 18” of key enemy shooting units, ideally things like Tau Stormsurges, Necron Destroyers, AM Blob Squads, etc. which have low Initiative and lots of shooting potential. Turn 1, engage multiple enemy targets with the “Ignis Blaze” ammo, forcing Blind tests and hopefully shutting down several key elements of enemy firepower (or at least forcing it to fire as BS1 only).

An alternate way to employ Issodon/Peltasts is to use his WL trait to infiltrate a squad of 20 Peltasts and two attached Wolf Lords (Runic Armor, SS, TH, TWC mounts on each) right up toward enemy lines. The two TWC Lords tank any enemy shooting on turn 1, relying on their 2+/3++, 4W, and T5 in conjunction with re-rolls of 1s for their Armor saves and enemy shooting reduced by -1S (thanks to the Kyropatris Field Generators) while the whole unit advances 6” and the Peltasts engage their enemy with their Galvanic-Casters. Turn 2, the Wolf Lord can split off and charge up to two different enemy units, while the Peltasts continue advancing, grabbing objectives, and/or providing fire support.

[4] Max size squad of Peltasts, Draigo, PML(3) GK Librarian, and two Dreadknights with PTs and Heavy Incinerators/Psycannons — In this battle group, Draigo and the GK Librarian attach to the Peltasts and force multiply their shooting, durability, and mobility with Divination powers (the Librarian can give squad Overwatch at full BS, a 4++ save, Ignore Cover shooting, Rending for all its attacks on a specific target, and/or re-rolls to Hit, based on what powers he rolls up) and Gates of Infinity/Hammerhand (from Draigo). At the same time, the Dreadknights “shunt” forward with the Peltasts, providing a “screening” element against enemy close combat threats, additional firepower via Heavy Incinerators and Heavy Psycannons. The Peltasts make Draigo and the Librarian more survivable with their Kyropatris Field Generators and provide powerful shooting support as well. Taken all together, this battle group provides mobility, the ability to absorb lots of damage, dangerous close combat capability, and lots of shooting, making it very capable on the table top, I think.


Overall, as you can see, I think Secutarii Peltasts are a very strong unit, especially for their points costs and combat power (they are only 12 points a model), and can make a great addition to any Skitarii army or allied Imperium force.


2 comments on “Secutarii Peltast: “Hidden Gem” Tactica

  1. WestRider says:

    Dude. I can’t believe I forgot that Skitarii are Relentless when I was looking at their Weapon Profiles. That makes them vastly better. Def gonna have to give them another look.


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