This DLC train took some time to reach the station, but there you have it.
Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War eventually/finally go the DLC. So what are the friendly neighborhood tech cultists up to? Adeptus Mechanicus
Fluffingly, Adeptus Mechanicus – as described in the mission and flavor text – works like you expect. They’re cold, inhuman, but still very much conflicted about their duties, tasks, and people disagreeing with them. Mechanically, their biggest weirdness comes in Doctrina Imperatives and Canticles of Omnissiah, global abilities that affect either the more human or the more borgy parts of the army. The boosts are welcome, but the distinction isn’t always easy to remember.
Other than that, Adeptus Mechanicus build cities with the view of having buildings of a single type concentrated in a single tile – synergy is rewarded, mixing is punished. Not much left to say about the ground combat specifics except that they seem to get transports the earliest of any faction I’ve played (or that I remember) and they’re very good for moving troops around.
One other thing is that you finally can build – and tame – the bane of all wilderness, the Kastellan robots. They don’t feel too powerful in your hands (I’m sure that’s just a perception issue) and they still look dumb (but that’s GW’s fault), but hey, wrangling wild ones is always fun.
Unfortunately, Adeptus Mechanicus DLC campaign still has some balance. Here I go wrecked because I got caught between the usual suspects of Orks and Necrons (always seem to come out on top, those two) and mission-spawned band of Terminators and Vindicators. This promptly led to the loss of a city and most of my forces. Then again, the rescue of the Tech-Priest Manipulus, the super-heal hero, made for a fun harrowing experience.
Techpriest heroes give some of the most plentiful and accessible healing in the game, which helped me a whole lot, just like Onager Dunecrawlers being dedicated AA platforms that put out enough fire to make any ground attack penalties moot.
What REALLY helped turn the tide (with Necrons literally at the walls of my capital) was the most blatantly OP unit I’ve encountered so far: Scorpius Disintegrator. Kills everything, never dies, and is more economical to field than the Knight Questoris. These fellas, with the help of Manipulus and a few friends, helped beat back the Necrons and destroy at least one of their cities, halt the Orks, and then crush the final mission onslaught without any real casualties.
Here’s the graph at the end of my game. Sure, Disintegrators still had to be managed and would have perished without the Manipulus, but once they get going, units start disappearing off the table. Forgive me the Altansar, I had forgotten to change the name after finishing the Eldar DLC. All in all, Adeptus Mechanicus is a fairly fun DLC, even if the the storyline ends on a very unsatisfactory note and balance issues persist.