For part two
Now you should be all caught up, so onto Formation Armies.
Choosing the Formation
I guess the first question is, why build a Formation as opposed to using the CAD? The CAD is a good place to start building armies, as it's straight-forward choosing units from your Codex to fit the mission. However, 7th Edition introduced Formations and Detachments for army building. The CAD is a Detachment (hence the D). These allow you to take thematic groupings of units without worrying about filling in other sections. They provide special rules to the units within them, much like the CAD does. Best of all, so box sets come with a Formation, meaning you can play the force straight out of the box without needing the minimums of the CAD.
So, what are we looking for in our Formation?
The Formation idea is to find something that would be good at the mission. Not all Formations are created equally,and some of them are completely unsuitable. 3 of the Guard ones cost more than the 1000 points we have available, and another 2 don't have a lot of room for upgrades.We are looking for something that both fits the mission and it's limitations. The limitations is the easy part. We want 1000 points or less, no Lords of War and no Flyers. So it's finding one with a combination of units and special rules that will be good for the mission.
I've looked through the list and chosen the Emperor's Blade Assault Company for the Astra Militarum. Their other ones are either too expensive, or not as good at the job. This Formation comes with two special rules. One terrible and one amazing.
Infantry from this Formation have Objective Secured
This is terrible. Normally, Objective Secured is a useful ability, and is the main rule of the CAD. However, the Relic is picked up by a model, so it doesn't matter if you have this rule and they don't if they get to it first. So why choose a Formation with a dud rule? Because the other rule makes up for it.
Models from this Formation have; Preferred Enemy - Enemy units within 6" of an Objective Marker
Turns out that the Relic is still an Objective Marker! While the mission rules stop it from interacting with our first ability, they don't stop the other. Our units will re-roll 1s for hits and wounds against the enemy unit carrying the Relic if they get to it first. And any other units within 6". Also, should we get the Relic and be assaulted, we get the benefit in close combat too.
Our Formation is already primarily Veterans, who are Guardsmen with BS4. So this should help overcome the weakness that we usually attempt to overcome with numbers. So what is the Formation made of?
1 Company Command Squad, must be mounted in a Chimera or Taurox
3 Veteran Squads, must all be mounted in Chimeras or Tauroxes (in any combination)
1-3 Hellhound Squadrons
An elite force of Guard designed to get in and take objectives. Sounds like the perfect force to capture the Relic for the Emperor :)
Building the Formation
Taking the minimums for the Formation comes to 625 points. This leaves us 375 points for upgrades. The only option we have for extra units is more Hellhound Squadrons, which can be up to 3 tanks each. Given that we want more Infantry than Vehicles, so we can pick up the Relic, it's probably best to not go down that route.
Our Company Command Squad will have Carapace Armour, Camo Gear, a Vox and one each of Plasma Gun, Meltagun and Flamer. This should give them fire options against a wide variety of opponents. They will also be accompanied by an Astropath for psychic defence and access to Psychic Shriek. Their Chimera will stick with Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter, and be give a Dozer Blade and Camo-netting.
Our 3 Veteran Squads will be identical to each other and very similar to their commander, just with more men in the squads. Carapace Armour, Camo Gear, Vox, Plasma Gun, Meltagun and Flamer. Their Chimeras will follow suit with Multi-laser, Heavy Bolter, Dozer Blade and Camo-netting.
Finally, our Hellhound will have upgrades that mark it as similar to the rest of the group. Inferno Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Dozer Blade and Camo-netting.
That comes out to 996 points across 41 models. Definitely more compact than our CAD design, but equally more mobile. Part 3(b) will cross-check this army against our goals, and part 3(c) will simply be the Army List.