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Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 4 of 4 now up....done!)
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Old 24 Jun 2009, 04:06   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 4 of 4 now up....done!)

A Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard
This is the first of a four part dissertatio n on the new Imperial Guard codex and an examination of how it effects Eldar players. The parts will be as follows:

  • Imperial Guard Units of Note: Target Priority
  • Metagame and Orders: Changing the Way You Think About Mon Keigh
  • Trophy Hunting: A Fire Dragon's Guide to Imperial Vehicles
  • Heroism Among Savages: Who's Who Among Imperial Characters


I'll be blunt and say that I'm pretty disgusted with the Imperial Guard Codex. They seem to have gotten everything we lost. Astropaths are better than Master Strategist. They can disturb Reserves. Their Psykers can be very painful to us. Their Skimmers can Deep Strike. In short, the Imperial Guard now have a specialist answer to literally everything we can field (not to mention no obsolete rules like we have).

This just makes it all the more of a priority that we understand what the Imperial Guard can do and how they do it. It's also going to fundamental ly change the way we approach the table when Guard are involved.
Imperial Guard Units of Note: Target Priority
The new Imperial Guard codex contains more units and unit variants than you can shake a stick at. Covering each possible unit or play style would be enough to drive even the most organized Harlequin Chronicler mad. Thus, for the purposes of simplicity, I will cover units in the most brief method possible. Only when the unit is of note will I go into depth.

Company Command Squad
Unlike the previous codex, the Company Command Squad (CCS) is not obligatory. However, I doubt many players will be willing to give it up. The CCS doesn't only unlock a number of special advisors, it offers players a number of Orders (to be discussed later) which can enhance the humble Guardsman. That said, CCS's will undoubtedly be central to many Guard strategies and will, as such, be well guarded.

A couple advisors of note:
Astrophath For all intents and purposes, he offers the same advantage that Master Strategist does and then some. He makes Flank March more accurate as well.

Officer of the Fleet Basically the opposite of Master Strategist for the opponent. This makes Autarchs more valuable if you're using Deep Striking or Flank Marching units.

Master of the Ordinance Essentially a big bad gun with no range. Like the Chapter Master's Orbital Bombardment but it can be fired more than once.

CCS's should be at the top of your target priority. The Imperial Guard will probably depend on them for coordinatio n and synergy within their army. And they can offer a lot of it. Still, this is where Pathfinders, Warp Spiders and Shining Spears will come in handy. They aren't a tough nut to crack. But they'll probably be stashed in the back somewhere safe.

Advantage Versatile, synergizes well, can provide excellent support.
Disadvantag es Small unit size & fragile.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Commissar Lord
Not an especially threatening stand-alone HQ slot. However, he can be very annoying if you're using Plasma Missiles or Rangers as he can offer his Leadership for Pinning tests. He'll probably be buried in a unit but he lack's much in the way of defense. Most of our assault troops will be able to handle him in close combat.

Advantage Provides vital morale support.
Disadvantag es Doesn't play well with psykers. No real niche application .
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
And don't underestima te the Commissars. They can make any unit Stubborn as well as boosting their Ld and their Summary Execution works like a Regimental Banner. You can forget trying to pin or using any Ld-base attacks/powers on that unit that has a Commissar attach to them.
Primaris Psyker
Again, not a great stand-alone HQ, but he does have his place. His place is not, however, using his shooting attack. Instead, look for this guy to be piggy backing with a Psyker Battle Squad (PBS) and screwing with your ability to shoot at them. He's not going to do anything on his own, but if he's with a decent unit and backed up by a PBS, he'll be practically untargetabl e.
This is why Runes of Warding is going to be a must take item against Imperial Guard. You can easily block his ability to use Nightshroud with his low Leadership.

Advantage Has an amazing psychic power when combined with other units.
Disadvantag es Fragile.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
Also, Primaris Psykers are overrated. They're Shrouding Psychic Powers is Ld-base. Eldar being mostly Ld8-10 can pass that test with ease. Their Lightning Arc, though, is something to be careful of.
Techpriest Enginseer
Not too much to say here. He's pretty much the same as he's always been. His Servitor rules have been updated to be in line with the Space Marines Techmarine. He can provide a decent fire base. However, with all of the other new gadgets, don't expect to see him much. That said, he's the only 3+ save the Imperial Guard can field.

Advantage Good save, synergizes well with vehicles, can provide a good fire base.
Disadvantag es Redundant as IG vehicles are expendable or durable (or both) and heavy weapons fire is plentiful.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low.

Ministorum Priests
As fanatical as ever, these guys get the equivalent of Litanies of Hate and confer that to their unit. Thankfully, there aren't too many killer assault units in the list that can benefit from it. Still, Veterans or Storm Troopers might be an issue. Penal Legion with a Priest can be a big problem (more on this in the Penal Legion section).

Advantage Much needed close combat support.
Disadvantag es Durable and limited in application (what unit do you support?)
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Infantry Platoons
There's a lot that can be said about Infantry Platoons (IP). Let it be said that they are incredibly versatile. They can take Heavy Weapons Squads, they have their own Command (and Orders), and they can take almost any weapon configurati on you can think of. Just know that IP's present a great way to get "miniature armies" that can operate individuall y and support themselves. Pay careful attention to your opponent's set up. We're seeing the implementat ion of "waves" of specialized IP's which are kitted for certain situations. These aren't tactical squads that are good at everything and great at nothing. The IP's are being outfitted to kill very specific targets and they do it very well.

Still, they're Guardsmen. They have low toughness and low saves. So Shuriken Catapults / Cannons will take them down as well as anything else.

Advantage Very versatile. Cheap. Amazing amount of firepower.
Disadvantag es Fragile. Poor stat lines.
Threat High.
Priority Medium to high. Specialist, heavy, and command squads take priority here.

Veteran Squads
These are the Dire Avengers of the Imperial Guard...wit h benefits. They have a good BS and can get a decent save. They can also take a very specialized array of weapons. The good news is that they're expensive for Guardsmen. The bad news is that they're not that expensive compared to Eldar.

A couple upgrades of note:
Demolition Charges: Demo Charge & Melta Bombs are just evil. This set up can get you a 10 model squad of virtual Fire Dragons for about 130 points. Granted, these aren't Fire Dragons, but they'll be almost as efficient with 3 Melta Guns, 10 Melta Bombs and a Demo Charge.

Camo Cloaks: They're not Pathfinders, but they're not bad either. Taking three Sniper Rifles and a Heavy Weapon team (think Autocannon, Heavy Bolter or Lascannon here) with Camo Cloaks means that you can sit this unit if cover and lay down fire that even an Eldar Guardian Squad would be proud of. Cost? 125 points.

Carapace Armor: While you may not see this too much, it is nonetheless a decent upgrade. For about 3 points per model, Veterans can pick up a better save. This suddenly makes our Shuriken Catapults not quite so good and gives Veterans and edge on our Guardians. For roughly two points per model less, IG players are getting Dire Avengers stat lines (less Initiative, of course).

Weapon Spam: I see this as the biggest threat from both Guardsmen and Veterans. A player can easily spam Meltaguns, Plasma Guns, or Flamers - and for a decent cost. This makes their units much more specialized than many of the forces you'll see across the table.

Advantage Decent BS. Great options.
Disadvantag es "Relatively" expensive. Never terribly durable.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Penal Legion
These guys have a lot going for them, in my opinion. They've got a poor stat line, for sure. But they've also got two close combat weapons, Stubborn, and Desperados (which gives them a random special ability). They're also dirt cheap. Imagine Storm Guardians with Rending or Furious Charge. Yeah, that's these guys. As with almost any IG unit, on their own they won't amount to much. But here's where they shine. Put the Penal Legion squad with a Primaris Psyker and a Ministerium Priest. Back them up with a Psyker Squad and you've got an untargetabl e unit that has a boatload of close combat potential.

Still, this is one of those units that won't probably see much play. For the 80 points the unit costs, I can drop a Veteran Squad with two Sniper Rifles or Flamers.

Advantage Great close combat potential.
Disadvantag es Fragile. Random. Small unit size.
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Ogryns
Unlike armies like Orks, I don't think Ogryns are a huge threat to Eldar. They are cumbersome, expensive, and short ranged. They are amazingly durable, for sure, and deadly in close combat. But that's where their advantages end. Their durability is, by far, their greatest threat. We simply don't have an effective solution for a high toughness, multi-wound squad. They are going to soak up S6 fire like it's going out of style. This might be a good situation for Wraithguard or Wraithlords . Or, you could simply lay down some withering fire. Honestly, I don't see these guys making many appearances and certainly not in full strength units.

Advantage Very durable. Loads of close combat attacks.
Disadvantag es Single theme. Expensive.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
You gotta remember that they're still wearing Flak Armor (5+ Armor Save). They don't have access to Carapace Armor nor FNP. So, Shuriken Cataputs can do well against them (especially with Bladestorm). Think of this way. If they stay put and act as a Counter-Attack unit, you can attack the weaker flank and draw them out. If they're dumb enough to come out, just do a little ditty around them and/or Shuriken them to death. They're tough but that's it. No Carapace and No FNP. Just 3 Wounds each and 5+ Armor. Each one dead is a terrible loss. They may look tough but you can probably go around them with ease. I say you can ignore them for the most parts. Just punish them if they did something stupid. They're meant for wound-soaking and to tie up anything in CC (That's why I love my Power Klaw-wielding Warboss; Strength 10 Power Weapon). Taking Ogryns also takes a huge chunk of points that can be used for more Infantry
Squads along with their Heavy Weapons and Special Weapons.
Ratlings
For their price, Ratlings really are a poor choice. You're not getting a whole lot. Most players will probably see Veteran Sniper units as a better deal (for only a slightly higher cost per model with Chameleon Cloaks). However, this unit is still a high BS unit with sniper rifles and Stealth. That means that they can take down Wraithlords or Independent Characters with reasonable effectivene ss.

Advantage High BS. Sniper Rifles. Special Rules.
Disadvantag es Low Leadership (i.e. easily pinned). Relatively expensive overall.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low (unless fielding MC's then high).

Rough Riders
For what these guys are and what they can do, they are very reasonably priced. They are everything the Imperial Guard need. They are fast and assault oriented. This is one of those units to keep an eye on because they can tie up our units early in the game. The flip side, though, is that they lack durability. Since they're Cavalry, you're unlikely to see them running through cover. However, they have a 24" threat range.

Advantage Fast. Complimenta ry weapons options. Good price.
Disadvantag es Fragile.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Storm Troopers
This is one of those units that you might write off as being a "Space Marine threat" but really, they are Aspect killers. Their Hot Shot guns will eat up our Aspect warriors like She Who Thirsts. Each model can effectively kill .667 Aspect Warriors (of any type except Shining Spears) each Rapid Firing phase. That's before Orders and before special weapons. The good news is that we can return the favor because they are as expensive as our Aspect Warriors. They can, however, be pretty tricky when it comes to special rules (as they can vary). So be sure to understand what your opponent has designated as their mission.

Advantage Good equipment. Great BS. Good special rules options.
Disadvantag es Expensive. Not terrificall y durable.
Threat High
Priority High

Psyker Battle Squadp
Of all of the Imperial Guard units, this is the unit I probably fear the most. They can single handedly unman a Farseer or bring a unit low enough to be pinned. They can also drop a potentially lethal blast on your units at range. You'll probably see them often (if your opponent knows who he is playing) and my suggestion is that you just make Runes of Warding standard gear now. RoW can quickly destroy this unit through the "Ultimate Sanction" rule.

Advantage Two very good psychic powers.
Disadvantag es Ultimate Sanction.
Threat High.
Priority Low (if you have Runes of Witnessing).
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Old 24 Jun 2009, 12:16   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 1 of 5 now up)


Wow. That was a very good read Emlyn. I'm going to withhold some comments until I see the whole article but I will say that Ogryns in a chimera are pretty scary for a lot of my units. Veteran spam lists also can be pretty difficult to deal with. I'm okay with the gunline IG platoons. My problem is really that vehicles (especially Chimeras) and tanks can now provide IG with the mobility to counter our traditional approaches and tactics we used to get the upper hand. It is another codex that dictates the need to go mechanized in 5ed when playing Eldar.

I share your feelings on codex creep. We are not getting a lot of love with the all new codex strains our lists more and more. It becomes difficult to build an 'all comers list' when we are so specialized a force. Certainly we can builds a list to take on IG but then we will falter against different opponents. It is troublesome.
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Old 24 Jun 2009, 12:22   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 1 of 5 now up)

Wow. This gives me such a big advantage over my brother's Guard army...

Thanks!
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Old 24 Jun 2009, 15:26   #4 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 1 of 5 now up)

Thanks guys.

@ Canabebe. I'm very interested in your thoughts. Feel free to post up counterpoin ts at any point.

@ Everyone. I've edited the first post to reflect some comments I got from Zenai.
Metagame and Orders: Changing the Way You Think About Mon Keigh
One of the most fundamental changes to Imperial Guard playstyle in the new codex is the implementat ion of Orders. Orders are, effectively, a wild card. It is very easy to look at a Leman Russ and assess its relative strengths and weaknesses. However, Orders can change the game for infantry very quickly and unpredictab ly. Add to this that many Orders will harm our units, it becomes apparent that understandi ng Orders is going to be fundamental to countering most Imperial Guard armies.

What is an Order?
An Order is effectively a temporary special rule which is conferred upon a unit of infantry (can someone confirm this for me?) by either a Special Character, a Company Commander or a Platoon Commander. The rule is conferred at the beginning of the Shooting phase. Orders must be received by passing a Leadership test and Vox Casters help with this.

You'll also notice that all of the Orders have exclamation points. That's because these Mon Keigh communicate through inefficient gutterol intonations rather than psychic links.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
I wouldn't call them Special Rules but rather more akin to "Psychic Powers" coz Orders can do funky stuff while you need to do a Ld Test to be able to use it.
Bring It Down!
In the image of the great Imperial Guard commander, Theoden of Rohan, the commander issues an order to attack either a Monstrous Creature or a Vehicle. This improves the chances of hitting against said vehicle or MC. Since we've always sort of relied upon the poor BS of Imperial Guard units to chalk up some level of Lascannon fire as ineffective, this can be a nasty surprise. However, the implication s go much further than that. This can improve Plasma Gun fire or snipers. Or can be issued to Heavy Weapons Squads of all Lascannons or Autocannons . Suddenly, poor BS becomes less of an issue and MC's and vehicles are more vulnerable.

The saving grace of this rule is that it doesn't improve the chances of killing the target (as we'll see with other rules). So Wraithlords can still be fairly durable and Falcons can still use Holo Fields. However, as we know, volume fire can be deadly too. And increasing the chances to hit can certainly increase the volume of fire.

Fire On My Target!
Of the Company Commander Orders, this is the one I see being the biggest problem. It ousts Fortuned cover saves completely. It also lessens the effectivene ss of Conceal, Flat Out and Turbo-Boosting. Finally, it can even hurt Pathfinders . Since cover is such a vital portion of 5th edition with TLOS, expect to see this Order almost every turn.

Get Back in the Fight!
Just when you thought the most annoying Morale rule was ATSKNF...th is comes along. Okay, maybe it's not that bad. But it is fairly similar. Remember that squad of Ogryns you sent running like sissy Mary la-la's last turn? Yeah, they're turning around for some more...and shooting you...and assaulting you. Or do you see that unit you worked so hard to pin last turn? Yeah, they're not pinned anymore.

While this isn't going to be a game breaker, turn 5 is going to be a good time to use it....espec ially to contest objectives. Also, it's always annoying to see your hard work be undone by a pesky morale rule.

First Rank FIRE! Second Rank FIRE!
You know a rule has got to be good when it's in all CAPS. :P In truth, this isn't that bad. It's effectively a Blade Storm for Rapid Fire weapons. That's not too great. It will be more deadly with Veterans. But as it only effects Lasguns and (IMO) doesn't help Storm Troopers (no Lasguns), there isn't much to worry about here.

Incoming!
Not that great on the surface, but it has it's uses. This is going to be the "objective camping" order. As with "Get back in the fight!" expect this order around turn 5 when durability matters. Still, as it's easily undone by Template or Barrage weapons (or assaults) this is probably one of the less spectacular Orders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
Eldar suffers from the lack of template and barrage weapons as they're more dependent on their Psychic Powers and Weight of Fire. You wanna counter the Order Incoming!? Get Striking Scorpions. Bypass Cover altogether and you can probably pull them away from the objective.
Counterpoint: Storm Guadians, Fire Dragons, Wraithlords, and Warlocks can all take template weapons. However, you're correct that we don't have a lot of things that counter cover saves.

Move! Move! MOVE!
Yes. It's official. Imperial Guard can now Run better than Eldar. This is an early game or late game Order that makes footsloggin g Guardsmen more efficient. You can't count on isolating units of Guardsmen with our mobility anymore. A few turns of this Order can have a unit crossing half the table with reasonable consistency .

How to deal with Orders
Admitting you have a problem. Step one to dealing with Orders is to be aware of them. Know what the possibiliti es are and try to minimize risk. That means not relying on cover saves, protecting your vehicles and MC's, and not taking objectives and mobility for granted.

Orders are one of those codex features that can win games. If used properly, a well Ordered Imperial Guard force can maximize every shooting phase. The good news is that this makes playing an Imperial Guard army a little more complex. The bad news is that it makes the Imperial Guard more deadly in the hands of a seasoned player

Finding a solution. Step two to dealing with Orders is cutting off the head. This is why Command Squads (Platoon and Company) are such a high priority. You simply cannot let them dominate shooting phases all game. Thankfully, the restriction s applied in order to issue Orders also make these units vulnerable to our rapid counteratta cks. Remember that the points for Orders are built into the list. So if you kill the Command Squad, you effectively undercut a number of special rules available to the grunts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
Chopping off the head is all well and good but it's too much trouble getting to them, don't bother. Even if you cut off the head, the hammer-wielding arms will still swing around for a lucky hit and when you get hit, it still hurts as badly. IMHO it can work both ways; cut off the head, you reduce the efficiency of the entire army entirely. Chop off the arms and legs, the head will be helpless. Choose your target according to the situation. Platoon Commander's Orders are less threatening that what a Company Commander can issue so you may want to kill off the Company Command Squad then go straight for the Infantry Squads or whatever makes up the bulk of the IG Army.
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Old 25 Jun 2009, 00:59   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 2 of 5 now up)

Trophy Hunting: A Fire Dragon's Guide to Imperial Vehicles
By far, the biggest changes in the Imperial Guard codex happened within the vehicles. The Imperial Guard now have access to no fewer than twenty two different vehicles. That means that our learning curve is going to be sharp in terms of remembering what vehicle threatens what unit.

Vehicle Squadrons
Unlike any other army, almost every Imperial Guard vehicle can take a squadron. Big deal, right? Remember that 5th Edition vehicle squadrons get a number of advantages. Having an AV12-14 vehicle squadron is pretty harsh. Aside from durability, it means that vehicles can shoot "through" each other with no penalty. Keep in mind, though that vehicles in a squadron don't give cover to each other either.

Chimera
With its points decrease, the Chimeras have come in line with Rhinos as affordable (and expendable) transports. Still, these little vehicles offer a respectable amount of firing (S5 & S6 weapons), are fairly durable, and are tanks. Don't underestima te a Chimera as a delivery mechanism or a support vehicle. Also, pay attention to what units are on board a Chimera. Psykers, Flamers, Melta Guns, etc aboard a Chimera can be painful due to their updated Fire Points.

Advantage Relatively durable, reasonable price, great firepower.
Disadvantag es Poor side and rear armor.
Threat Moderate to High (dependent upon its use and contents).
Priority Moderate.

Scout Sentinels
I would expect that thanks to Flank March, Scout Sentinels will be the walker of choice for Imperial Guard armies. Basically, they will be performing the same tasks as our War Walkers but with slightly less in terms of firepower. They have a low AV but a decent array of weapons. They are something to be wary of, but I wouldn't get excited over them.

Advantage Walker. Special Rules.
Disadvantag es Low AV.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low.

Armored Sentinels
This shiny new Sentinel load out will probably find its way into some lists. It provides a decent mobile platform for weapons including Plasma Cannons. It sports a respectable front armor value and, while not a game winner, can certainly do some damage as a squadron.

Advantage Plasma Cannon. Walker. Decent Armor Value.
Disadvantag es Low side and rear values. Relatively expensive.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low.

Hellhound
Of the three Hellhound variants, this one bothers me the least. That's saying something because this Chimera variant vehicle can throw out heavy flamer templates at range. Oh, and did I mention it's Fast? Well, it is. This will put the smack down on your Rangers, your Concealed units, and even your Turbo-boosted Jetbikes.

Advantage Template. Good Strength & AP. Fast.
Disadvantag es Short ranged by Guard standards.
Threat Medium to High.
Priority Medium to High.

Devil Dog
The Imperial Guard have, as far as I know, the only Melta Blast weapon of the new codices. This is one tough vehicle with a 36" threat range and the ability to smoke Vypers and War Walkers (due to open-topped) like it's going out of style. This vehicle can also toast our Skimmer Tanks with their huge surface areas. If you play mech Eldar, this tank will live up to its name.

Advantage Melta. Blast. Fast. Range.
Disadvantag es Chimera armor values. Look for side and rear attacks.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
Do note that they're still BS3 and the Melta-Cannon is a Blast Weapon. Scattering will be a major problem for any Guard player. I wouldn't call it the best AT weapon as there are more threatening AT weapons at a Guard player disposal. I say you don't need to worry so much about the Devil Dog.
Counterpoin t Yes, but even with an S4+2d6 Melta blast...our open-topped vehicles will still be toasted. Also, If you place the hole over the center of the top of our skimmers, you can effectively move 2" in any direction and still be over the vehicle. That means that you've got an effective BS5 when shooting against our skimmers.

Banewolf
The name for this tank should be Wraith Bane. For your Iyanden players...I'm sorry, I really am. This is a Fast vehicle with an AP3 Poison 2+ template weapon. That was a lot of information so let me explain. This vehicle will move up, hit your 350+ point Wraithguard unit and, most likely, kill them all with no saves allowed. Oh, yeah, did I mention that the chem cannon is a Defensive Weapon? Yeah, so that one Wraithguard that will statistical ly survive the attack will be hit with either a Heavy Bolter, Multi Melta or a Heavy Flamer.

Advantage Chem Cannon. Chem Cannon. Chem Cannon.
Disadvantag es Chimera armor values. Template weapon.
Threat High (esp. vs. Wraithguard)
Priority High.

Valkyrie
This has been a very popular item at my store. I really freaked out about these when they first came out. But, you know, the Imperial Guard have things that hurt us more. That said, the Valkyrie is nothing to underestima te. It's a Falcon that has Scout...and Deep Strike...an d a better capacity... and better weapons...c an be taken in Squadrons.. .and it's cheaper. Am I bitter? Yes, I am.

The good news is that it's not as durable as a Falcon. The bad news is that it doesn't have to be. It's Hellstrike missiles are amazingly lethal. Furthermore, because it can carry a full squad, it makes for a great delivery system for Storm Troopers (who can counter the mishap rule for Grav Chute Insertions).

Advantage Weaponry, good statistics, great special rules, troop capacity.
Disadvantag es Fast Attack slot - competes with Hellhound variants.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Vendetta
The Vendetta is the gunship version of the Valkyrie. Apparently, the Valkyrie wasn't shooty enough, so the Vendetta fills that role. Vendettas still have transport capacities, they're actually more expensive than a Falcon (until you give the Falcon something beyond a Shuriken Cannon), and they sport three (3) twin-linked Lascannons. Yeah, I'll stop there. I'm sure you can figure the rest out.

Advantage Armament - tank killer.
Disadvantag es More expensive than Valkyrie without a lot of enhancement .
Threat High (against vehicles)
Priority High.

Leman Russ
There are about 101 Leman Russ variants in the new codex. While the latest Eldar innovation was the Vyper, the Imperial Guard are apparently building all sorts of new toys for their Russes.

Russes in themselves are insanely durable but painfully slow. Their Lumbering Behemoth rule gives them the ability to light up the night but at the cost of mobility. But when you have a range 72 weapon, who needs mobility, right?

Russ squadron's scare the living daylights out of me. They present a wall of iron that is just as likely to run over you as it is to incinerate you. But what really bothers me about the squadrons is that it opens the door for a player to field two or three Russes and still have two Heavy Support slots to field.

Russes can take a variety of sponsoon options and there aren't many surprises there. So we'll focus instead on their custom guns and go from there.

The basic Russ comes with a Battle Cannon. Nothing new here. It's big, long ranged, and is Ordinance. That means that it can crush our Holo Fields. It also means it can crush just about anything else. Thankfully, this entry level Russ is very expensive points wise. But I could still work three into a 1000 point list without much effort.

Advantage Range. Ordinance.
Disadvantag es Cost. Lack of mobility.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Exterminato r
The Exterminato r is a much better gun than the Battle Cannon against Eldar. It can trounce our Skimmers and it utter destroys most of our Aspect Warriors. Its respectable rate of fire and twin-linked rule mean that it is going to be able to kill about three models per turn. This is before Sponsoon and Hull mounted Heavy Bolters have their way with us. You could easily have a 190 point Exterminato r eliminate an entire squad of Aspect Warriors in a single shooting phase.

Advantage High ROF. Good strength. AP.
Disadvantag es Cost. Lack of mobility.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Vanquisher
This tank hunter should probably scare me more than it does. But I'm really not worried about it. If you want to tweak out a 200 point tank for tank hunting, go ahead. That's what we have Fire Dragons for. Honestly, Vendettas and Devil Dogs would be much more efficient against our vehicles. The Vanquisher is for cracking Monoliths and Land Raiders, not Wave Serpents and Falcons.

Advantage Great offensive anti-tank potential.
Disadvantag es Expensive when fully loaded. Single target.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low. There's not much you can do about this tank other than kill it before it kills your vehicles.

Eradicator
I'm still not quite sure what the big deal is about the Eradicator. Anti cover....bi g deal. It's not like the Guard don't have anything else that can't do that. Yes this vehicle will bowl over Aspect Warriors. But there are about 3013 other weapons that the Guard have that can kill aspect Warriors. Just be aware that this vehicle will be targeting your cover-dependent troops.

Advantage Ignores cover. Decent range. Good strength.
Disadvantag es Redundant. Expensive. Slow.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low. If your opponent wants to sink the points into killing Concealed Guardians, let him. Then blow it up with a Bright Lance.

Demolisher
This is a weapon that might do some damage. Even an off center scatter can kill a whole squadron of Vypers or War Walkers with luck. This gun is a big infantry eraser as well. It's not terribly priced either. Definitely try not to end up in the crosshairs of this vehicle.

Advantage Amazing gun. Typical Russ durability.
Disadvantag es Cost & mobility... though range makes up for that.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Punisher
I'm still laughing at this variant. Sorry. It's just silly. This gun is simply not going to phase us. Against a squad of Aspect Warriors... you may kill 1-2 models. It's expensive.

Advantage High Rate of Fire. Decent Strength.
Disadvantag es Inaccurate. Expensive. No AP.
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Executioner
I'm a little nervous about anything that can dish out 5 Plasma shots a turn. Still, the expensive of this vehicle should keep it in check. If you ever see one on the battlefield, slag it quickly. Because otherwise it will do some serious damage.

Advantage Loads of plasma goodness.
Disadvantag es Very expensive. Over 270 points when fully loaded.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Hydra Flak Tank
Hope and pray that your opponent doesn't realize how deadly this weapon is against us. This is an anti-aircraft cannon that can take down our Flat Out skimmers, Turbo-boosting jetbikes, etc, very quickly. If that weren't enough, this thing can take out Aspect Warriors with contempt. It's cheap, deadly, and can be fielded in squadrons.

Advantage Good range, strength, AP and ROF. Targeting System. Cheap.
Disadvantag es None.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
Uh, The Hydra Autocannon is AP4. So, your Guardian Jetbikers as well as your Shining Spears are safe with their 3+ Armor Save.
Response Doh! My bad! I am used to Orky bikes! : Thanks for catching that.
Basilisk
For a while, this will probably be the more common Imperial Guard Ordnance Battery. It has a terrific range and a great damage output. It's main restriction is the minimum range. This can really be a deterrent for this weapon as we can get most of our army within the minimum range fairly easily. Still, this weapon is very effective at what it does and a good IG player will undoubtedly be screening it with other units.

Advantage Incredible range. Great damage.
Disadvantag es Minimum range. Fairly expensive.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Medusa
I, personally, think the Medusa has a lot more potential than the Basilisk. My experience with the 40,000 universe has taught me that 48" is just about the maximum range for any major shooting. The fast majority of my firefight experience occurs between 12-36". That is where the Medusa dominates. With a higher strength than the Basilisk and, in my opinion, a more efficient range, the Medusa provides a very real threat to just about anything on its side of the board. It is, though, fairly expensive.

Advantage Effective medium range weapon. Loads of damage.
Disadvantag es Relatively short ranged for an IG heavy support weapon.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
The only reason you want to take a Medusa is that Leman Russ Demolishers are more expensive and you rather use the points for something else. Medusa can only fire DIRECTLY so it must expose itself. AV12 in the open is bad when you got an equivalent which is AV14. But since this is against Eldar, Bright Lances mooted this point.
Colossus
The Colossus is an overkill weapon. For the cost (more than a Medusa) you're getting a Starcannon Strength and AP out of a mortar. It has a special rule which ignores cover saves...but Barrage weapons do that anyway. So you're really only ever negating area terrain. For the points, you can almost field two Griffons which have a more appropriate range, the same strength and an only slightly worse AP.

Advantage Ignores cover. Good AP. Big gun.
Disadvantag es Inefficient range window (though better than the Basilisk's), Expensive.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Griffon
I'm probably partial to Griffons. Way back in 2nd Edition, my first Warhammer vehicle was a Griffon. Now that they're back, I'm very excited about them. I've gotten two original Griffons for my son's Imperial Guard. So when I tell you that these weapons are good, I mean it.

Griffons are cheap. They've got a decent strength and a reasonable AP (that makes Aspect Warriors and Orks shudder). It has a special rule that allows its scattering to be more efficient. This means that a Griffon battery will be sitting back and pounding away at your objective holders or your troops with loads of effectivene ss. Personally, I see this as the Battery weapon of choice and I think any Imperial Guard player who doesn't field at least two is making a mistake.
Advantage Cheap, Accurate Bombardment, decent weapon.
Disadvantag es Not as brutally potent as the other choices.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Manticore
This is really an anti-hordes weapon. Ork players should fear this. However, most of the time we won't have the numbers to make it worthwhile. Still, it can essentially carpet an area with a S10 barrage and that's nothing to ignore. I'd rather face one of these than a battery of Hydras. It's expensive and can't be fielded in squadrons.

Advantage Amazing amount of firepower.
Disadvantag es Expensive. Eats up Heavy Support slots.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
The reason why each Manticore takes up one FoC slot is that it can release as much firepower as a fully-armed 3-vehicle Ordnance Battery unit so it balances out. People will be scared shitless when they see a unit that can release 3 D3 Strength 10 Ordnance Barrage Blasts. Anyway, it's way easier to hide (out of LoS) one vehicle than three as well as relatively much cheaper in point cost. I say it's a much better alternative to Ordnance Battery when you want to saturate an area with as much Large Blast Template as you can and yet keep to a budget.
Deathstrike
This really should have just been an Apoc weapon. It's too expensive and unpredictab le to be of worth in a regular game. A player is much better of with a Manticore. We'll be able to smash this before it fires in almost every game.

Advantage Huge area of death.
Disadvantag es One shot. Unpredictab le. Expensive.
Threat Low.
Priority Medium. Get it before it shoots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
The Biggest, Fattest and Whitest Elephant in the entire Imperial Guard Codex. It's a major joke putting such a unit in a 40K Codex. If you're scared of this, then there's something wrong with you. If you got unlucky and you got hit by it, shrug it off. It won't hurt you again.
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Old 25 Jun 2009, 10:22   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 3 of 5 now up)

Is it me or is this more aimed at Apocalypse?
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Old 26 Jun 2009, 00:09   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 3 of 5 now up)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummifoamycoffee
Is it me or is this more aimed at Apocalypse?
The Deathstrike? I really see that as just being someone's brainchild that got muscled into the codex. No one in their right might will use one in a normal game.[hr]
Heroism Among Savages: Who's Who Among Imperial Characters
Even brutal savages have their own primitive version of heroism. Imperial Guard commanders, in keeping with the newest codices, offer players with some very competitive tactics. As with all of the Imperial Guard codex, being able to recognize who does what and how will be important to countering the Imperial Guard players.

Lord Castellan Creed
Creed is the consummate Imperial Guard commander. He is a Company Commander upgrade who can issue a ton of Orders each turn. He has a special Order which bolsters the close combat capacity of Guardsmen. Finally, he has the ability to give Scouts to a unit each game. There are a number of good options for Scouts in an Imperial Guard army...not the least of which are Hellhound variants or Rough Riders.

Advantage Loads of Orders. Special Order.
Disadvantag es None.
Threat High. While it may be subtle. A properly tooled army can use Creed to maximize his army's output each and every turn.
Priority Medium. There isn't much you'll be able to do against Creed. A good player will screen him, give him bodyguards, and bury you in Creed's infantry if you get too close. Focus on breaking the backbone of his infantry units first.

Colour Sergeant Kell
Kell is a Regimental Standard special character. He is relatively expensive, but he has some rules that make him worthwhile. Kell synergizes well with Creed in maximizing Order efficiency and operating as an extra bodyguard.

Advantage Assists with Orders. Operates as a bodyguard for Creed.
Disadvantag es Expensive.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Knight Commander Pask
Pask seems to have a hard time benefiting his army. In small games I actually see him being more of an issue than in large games. When you're only facing 1-2 Russes, Pask might be an issue. But if you're facing 2-4 Russes, Pask won't be so deadly. Here's why, Russes are going to tend to hit with enough shots to put holes in things on their own. Also, Crack Shot isn't going to be helping too much with our lightly armed Skimmers (Leman Russes are going to be shattering them anyway).

Advantage More consistent tank cracking power.
Disadvantag es Overkill vs. Eldar.
Threat Medium.
Priority Low.

Sergeant Bastonne
Bastonne is one of two Veteran Squad upgrades available to Guard players. Both fill very opposite roles. Bastonne is you Grenadiers Veteran sergeant. He serves a vital role in all Veteran armies by issuing Orders to his own squad. This frees up your Company Commander to use his Orders elsewhere. Other than Orders, Bastonne increases his units ability to rally and sports decent wargear. He isn't, though a game changer.

Advantage Orders. "Never give up."
Disadvantag es Expensive. Only effects one unit.
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken
Straken is a frontline character who replaces a Company Commander. Unlike Creed, Straken does not sit in the middle of an army and coordinate its efforts. Instead, Straken leads from the front, creating a bubble of assault oriented Guardsmen. Straken himself is fairly brutal with a Power Fist that hits on initiative and the ability to dish out some decent damage in close combat.

Advantages Man of Steel Adamantium, Fearless, Furious Charge, Counteratta ck.
Disadvantages Expensive. Only close combat oriented.
Threat Medium. He can be shot down fairly easily...as can his troops.
Priority High. You'll want to eliminate him before he can assault you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
GW gave me the best gift ever; Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken. Ever since I've read the Catachan Codex, I wanted to field him so badly but alas the Codex was illegal when I came into 40K. But the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex changed, I've been using him ever since. He's a literally going "xy'ka you!" and in turn, beat the stuffing out of you when you try to attack him. He's literally a Space Marine. Maybe even a Khorne Berzerker! Guard players will surely need to build his Company Command Squad to be CC-orientated. That means Laspistol and CCW, Carapace Armor, Medi-pack and Bodyguards ( and personally, maybe even Nork Dedogg if I had the points). But I have to emphasize that Guard is not meant to be an Assault Army. They're better at Counteratta ck. Despite Straken being CC-orientated, he will have to sit it out for awhile until your oppenent decides to move up. He still can give the more vital Orders like Bring it Down! and Fire on my Target! Now, Infantry Squads (especially a Combined 51-man Infantry Squads; 5 Sergeants and 1 Commissar with Power Weapons). They can dish out 24 Strength 4 Power Attacks. With a Priest, they're worst. On average, they can kill 6 MEQs and this is not including the rest of the attacks from the Infantry Platoon. Even you charge them, their Counteratta ck is still a major hurt. Of course, the Infantry Squads have to be close to Straken who needs to show and shout at them on how should the Emperor's Guardsmen beat the shtlk out of the Xenos, Traitors, Heretics and whatever dickheads who wants a piece of the Emperor. And you have to remember, Company Commanders are not meant to be shooty and even if that's the case, Straken is equipped with the best range weapon available; Shotgun and Plasma Pistol. So, don't discount him in the Shooting Category. In summary, he will beat the shtlk out of you and you better bring something big and I mean BIG!
Guardsman Marbo
Of all of the Imperial Guard special characters, Marbo is the cheesiest. He Deep Strikes without scattering. He carries a demo charge, a poisoned close combat weapon, and a deadly pistol. Basically, a game with Marbo goes like this. Turn 2 or 3 rolls around, Marbo shows up anywhere, drops a demolition charge and wipes out a vital part of your army. If you get lucky, you'll kill him in the next turn. If you don't, he'll charge you and tie up units.

Advantage Cheap, deadly, reliable, unable to be countered.
Disadvantages One trick pony.
Threat High.
Priority Low (until after he arrives).

Gunnery Sergeant Harker
Harker represents the other Veteran squad upgrade for Guard. Whereas Bastonne is all about Orders and discipline, Harker is a brutal killer. He is very durable, he's decent in close combat and, most importantly, he is Relentless. This makes Harker's squad a great move and shoot firebase. Imagine a mobile squad with two heavy bolters, a heavy flamer and two flamers. Or a static squad with three Plasma Guns (or Sniper Rifles) and two heavy bolters. Harker presents a tangible offensive threat to most units. The special rules he confers on his squad are outstanding and he makes sure that you'll make your points back with him against infantry.

Advantage Loads of special rules.
Disadvantag es Still fairly expensive.
Threat Medium.
Priority Medium.

Commissar Yarrick
Yarrick is a tank. He'd better be, though, because his points demand it. He has a pile of special rules that are designed to keep him alive. His Force Field works like Doom but in reverse. His Iron Will works like We'll Be Back (that's right, he's actually a Necron). Yarrick will be a tough model to kill. However, he's not just a living fortress. He also inspires friendly units and is a fairly respectable assault troop. He can act as Litanies of Hate for friendly units and sports an Ork Power Klaw. Yarrick, when combined with a few other toys for Imperial Guard, can create a respectable assault bubble that will be hard to break.

Advantage Extremely durable, assault oriented, inspiring.
Disadvantages Expensive.
Threat High.
Priority High.

Captain Al'Rahem
Al'Rahem is one of two Platoon Commander upgrades for the Imperial Guard. Al'Rahem focuses on mobility and hit-and-run maneuvers. His platoon must Flank March...but that's not really a bad thing - especially with a couple Astropaths. Having a whole platoon show up on your flank and be able to move and shoot in the shooting phase is pretty harsh. If I were running this character, I'd toss them out with shotguns (command squad) or assault special weapons. Add a Commissar into the mix and you have some decent assault troops. Personally, he sports the equivalent of a Force Weapon - which is pretty amazing. Still, Al'Rahem is only commanding one platoon of standard Guardsmen. If you can avoid being taken by surprise by his "Like the wind!" rule, you'll be fine.

Advantage Very mobile. Decent close combat potential.
Disadvantag es Commanding Guardsmen.
Threat Medium to High.
Priority Medium. There's not a whole lot you can do here other than wait for him to flank march, "Like the wind!" and assault you. You can counter him quickly and lethally.

Commander Chenkov
Chenkov is the conscript commander. He is the other platoon commander upgrade. Where Al'Rahem is more subtle and surgically lethal, Chenkove is brutally lethal. He focuses on keeping his troops in line and sending wave after wave of conscripts in against the enemy. For a pile of points (275) you can field 50 model conscript squads which cycle as they are destroyed. In truth, this is less of a problem for our forces. We can outmaneuver and whittle away at Conscripts. There are much more frightening things in the Imperial Guard list than Chenkov and conscripts.

Advantage Buries the enemy in numbers.
Disadvantag es Centers around conscripts.
Threat Low.
Priority Low.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
A word of caution; never underestima te Conscripts. Best cannon fodder unit in the entire Imperial Guard Codex. Forget it about them being expensive. They'll just make their points back by coming back onto the tabletop again and again and again. They make not look like much but I assure you that Conscripts are best at what they do; distraction . Chenkov just made them better by having an endless wave of them. It's either you get rid of them or they'll be a nuisance later on. Thus drawing precious firepower away that could have been used on Infantry Squads or Command Squads or Storm Trooper Squads.
Mogul Kamir
Kamir is an upgrade for the Rough Riders unit. Kamir is, in my opinion, a vital addition to the unit. He makes a mediocre unit potentially devastating . Kamir has the typical upgrades you might expect: Fearless, Furious Charge, bonus attacks, etc. One rule you might not be familiar with is Rage. So be sure to be aware of the implication s of this rule. It can be a liability with our more mobile units. With a little bit of thought your forces, you can set up a trap for Kamir and his riders.

Advantage Fearless, Furious Charge, Cyber Steed.
Disadvantages Rage. Poor armor save.
Threat High.
Priority Medium. He can be easily countered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenai
If any of you have played Fantasy, you would know how to deal with a Frenzy unit e.g. have a Fast unit lure them and play a game of Cat and Mouse. But the problem here is that this is 40K and those Raging Rough Riders can just go straight 24" Assault Range. But one thing 40K has is more terrain (generally speaking, of course). Use the terrain to hide your units and make the Rough Riders see what you want them to see. Lure them in and counter-assault them. A good opportunity to practice good tactics.
Nork Deddog
You've just got to love Nork. The lovable, dependable Ogryn bodyguard. In truth, Nork presents almost no threat to us. His biggest asset is that he keeps the enemy Company Commander alive longer. However, Nork can foil plots to assassinate enemy Commanders. So be aware that the survivability of a commander goes way up when Nork is in his unit.

Advantage Durable. Great bodyguard.
Disadvantages Not terrifically offensive.
Threat Low.
Priority Low.


Edit I was going to make this a five part discussion. However, lack of interest has dampened my enthusiasm. Sorry, guys, but this sort of thing takes hours to write and with the exception of Zen & Bebe, no one really seems to give a damn.
Cheers.
Em
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Old 02 Jul 2009, 02:34   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 4 of 4 now up....done!)

Quote:
I was going to make this a five part discussion. However, lack of interest has dampened my enthusiasm. Sorry, guys, but this sort of thing takes hours to write and with the exception of Zen & Bebe, no one really seems to give a damn.
Good effort though Flagged.
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Old 02 Jul 2009, 03:02   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 4 of 4 now up....done!)

A good article.

+1 Karma.
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Old 02 Jul 2009, 03:05   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Xenos Guide to the Imperial Guard (part 4 of 4 now up....done!)

Don't take it to heart. A lot of people have read your thread and I have commented to you via PM. I have had limited response to my tactica as well but I noticed that a lot of people have read it. Every time I write one I feel it will be my last but it never is, lol. I often find that a a particular article gets a limited response but I always judge its usefulness by the number of hits it gets. You have got a lot of hits EM.

I'm sure this tactica will be found often and used as resource by a few players. As Zenai rightly points out, it is a very good effort and well written and presented. I think Zenai should be flagged along with you for his contributions but no one listens to me so don't get your hopes up.

I'm sure that now you have expressed your concerns, you will be inundated with comments. Please finish this up EM. We want to see the last part.
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