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Astra Militarum
Prod. time
4 Turns.png Turns
24 ProductionCost.png Production Cost
10 Food.png Food
10 Ore.png Ore
1 Food.png Food
Armor.png Armour
Hitpoints.png Hitpoints
Morale.png Morale
Movement.png Movement
Sight.png Sight
ItemSlots.png Item Slots
CargoSlots.png Cargo Slots
8x Lasgun
Damage.png Damage: 1
Attacks.png Attacks: 1
ArmorPenetration.png Armour Penetration: 0
Accuracy.png Accuracy: 6
Range.png Range: 2

RapidFire.png Rapid Fire


Guardsmen is a Gladius light infantry unit..

Description[edit | edit source]

From the steaming jungles of Catachan to the war-torn fortress world of Cadia, the humble Guardsmen provide the ironclad backbone of the Imperial Guard.

Traits[edit | edit source]

With Research:
Extra Infantry Armour
Description: Increases the armour.
Effect: +1 Armor.png Armour.
Requires: Extra Infantry Armour (Research)

Description: Reduces the morale loss.
Effect: -25% Morale.png Morale loss
Requires: Vox-Caster (Research)

Template:Hotshot Powerpack

Actions[edit | edit source]

With Research:
8x Frag Grenade
Description: -
Consumes Actions.png Action Points
Consumes Movement.png Movement
Cooldown.png Cooldown: 10 Turns.png Turns
Requires: Frag Grenade (Research)

Damage.png Damage: 1.5
Attacks.png Attacks: 1
ArmorPenetration.png Armour Penetration: 0
Accuracy.png Accuracy: 8
Range.png Range: 1

Blast.png Blast
Grenade.png Grenade

With research:

ImprovedFragCasings.png Improved Frag Casings

8x Krak Grenade
Description: Krak grenades are implosive charges designed to crack vehicle armour.
Consumes Actions.png Action Points
Consumes Movement.png Movement
Cooldown.png Cooldown: 10 Turns.png Turns
Requires: Krak Grenade (Research)

Damage.png Damage: 3
Attacks.png Attacks: 1
ArmorPenetration.png Armour Penetration: 2
Accuracy.png Accuracy: 6
Range.png Range: 1

Grenade.png Grenade

With research:

ImprovedFragCasings.png Improved Frag Casings

Description: Restores the hitpoints.
Consumes Actions.png Action Points
Consumes Movement.png Movement
Cooldown.png Cooldown: 10 Turns.png Turns
Range.png Range: self
Requires: Medi-Pack (Research)
Effect: +50% Hitpoints.png Hitpoints

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Guardsmen act as the buffer between more valuable units and the enemy. Their low cost, low upkeep and short build time make them easy to maintain or replace as combat rages on.

in the early game, a single unit of guardsmen is almost worthless. Taking the initial three units at the start and treating them as "one" unit makes early scouting much easier. The unit also sees a massive power spike with the Tier 1 tech Frag_Grenade. This ability can one-shot other large-group light-infantry units. The long cool down of 10 turns is best mitigated by using many guardsmen units together.

One of the first challenges commanders face with this unit is handling enemy melee units. Guardsmen simply melt when hit with melee. High casualties also lower the effective damage of the guardsmen to almost nothing. Its important to remember that most cover doesn't provide a defensive buff against melee attacks. Therefore, when trying to kill a melee unit with many models, its important to take advantage of your numbers and the Rapid Fire trait of the lasgun. This trait effectively doubles the damage of the guardsmen at melee range, helping to reduce the total damage an enemy melee unit can dish out on the next turn. Guardsmen are hard countered by enemy melee units with low or singular model counts. In that case, its better to run and lure the high tier melee unit into range of a Leman Russ Battle Tank.

The next major power spike for guardsmen comes with the Medi-pack at Tier 3. This tech grants the ability to heal 50% of the guardsmen's max health while consuming the action and any remaining movement. This covers for the guardsmen's low defense, HP and high model count, allowing the unit to soak many more attacks or get back into the fight faster. A guardsmen typically survives the first attack of most low and mid-tier units. A weakened guardsmen can be cycled to the rear, use its action to heal, and allow another guardsman to advance and attack. This is an essential strategy at all stages of the game, damage done against a guardsmen is more easily replenished than damage done against one of your more valuable units.

The guardsmen sees 4 other upgrades from the tech tree. vox-caster, Extra Infantry Armour, krak grenades, and Hotshot Powerpacks. Vox caster is useful after the early game, as morale typically drops only when losing units and when these units are packed together (you will lose many guardsmen). Extra Infantry armor is a nice boost, but mostly helps guardsmen survive contact with other faction's high tier units. Krak grenades give a group of guardsman an option against armored targets, and also benefits from a Lord Commissar's "Bring it down" armor piercing ability. These grenades do not replace Heavy Weapons Squads when combating armored opponents, however. Hotshot Powerpacks at Tier 4 boost all lasgun fire in the army, but with the guardsmen's low armor penetration value, this benefit doesn't feel like a significant upgrade. Hotshot Powerpacks should absolutely be taken for the massive benefits to other units, such as Scout Sentinels.

Guardsmen combine well with the Lord Commissar, serving as a cheep source of models for the "Summary Execution" ability to keep the morale of all your units high. A single model counts as 12.5% of the total health of the guardsmen, so a guardsmen in an outpost on a special feature Terrain can heal faster than Commissar can damage it with its ability. The increased accuracy and armor penetration from the Commissar's abilities increase the damage output of any nearby guardsmen significantly, but guardsmen should be the last of your units to benefit from these perks as more elite units can better take advantage of these buffs.

The reinforcement DLC provides access to the Tempestus Scions, which have better armor, damage, and armor penetration as the guardsmen, benefit from all the same technologies and buffs, have a lower model count, and also have the "move through cover" trait, reducing the movement cost of features on the map. They are also twice as expensive to build and maintain as guardsmen. Given that so much of the guardsmen's power comes from its long cool down abilities, two guardsmen units cost the same as a scion, but have twice the medi-kit, frag, and krak grenades charges to use. Also the role of the guardsmen is to physically hold back the enemy and the scion's role is to flank and assassinate fleeing targets. Thus, guardsmen are not replaced by scions, even in the late game.

In the late game, physically reinforcing the front lines becomes an issue as guardsmen tend to die often. Valkyries help rapidly transport up to 4 infantry units around the map, though filling one with guardsmen does not have the same impact as filling it with Bullgryns. Luckily, as guardsmen are so cheep to maintain, a constant stream of them can simply walk across the map without being a huge drag on your economy. If any guardsmen gets caught alone, that unit can be considered already dead, so Valkyries are still useful to help mitigate this issue. The build speed of two Imperial Barracks, combined with Astra_Militarum_edict Inspired Training, with both barracks build on a +10% production terrain feature allow you to produce a guardsmen unit every turn, yielding an incredible amount of defensive power while giving opposing units little kill xp for their efforts.

The Astra_Militarum_quest gifts some guardsmen early on, but guardsmen alone will not be enough to complete the quest chain. The Enslavers can lower the will of a guardsmen unit to capture in a single turn if they get adjacent, so its best to approach these with a guardsmen as bait, then use elite units to actually kill the enslaver, preferably while also saving the guardsmen to be used as bait again. The final chapter will typically burn through a few of your guardsmen units, but with victory in sight, their sacrifice will not be in vain.