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A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex
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Old 21 Apr 2009, 19:06   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Part 1: HQ Choices

Company Command Squad:
This will undoubtedly be your most broadly useful HQ available to your army. The high leadership value and order range combined with the available regimental advisors will make this an essential unit in any infantry based force. I do see problems arising from the sheer cost of these advisors. All three advisors, a vox and a standard is going to run you well over 150 points for a relatively frail unit. Obviously you're going to want to this unit buried in the back of your formation in heavy cover. I see this unit getting the best use out of staying with the heavy weapon equipped unit and spamming "Fire on my Target" and "Take it down!" orders on tough enemy units. The bodyguard option could also come in very handy to prevent losing yout actual officer against the first couple hits you take.

Commissar General:
This is your frontline HQ unit. Superior combat stats, high leadership and a toned down version of the 4th edition "leadership" rule make the commissar general ideal as a CC support unit for infantry formations equipped for close assaults. The downside here is the Commissar General is an independant character, and with his low T and standard guard Ld, canny opponents will target him first to weaken the assault. Burying him in the back of a unit like the old 4th ed independant commissars will probably work best to keep him safe against enemies he can't handle himself.

Primaris Psyker:
Mid ranged missile support. The Primaris psyker is a frail target with a potentially lethal amount of dakka output. Against opponents with low saves, he can cripple whole squads himself every turn, and even MEQs can expect to take a few casualties. He can also opt to make himself less vulnerable to enemy shooting, but with most enemy units these days having high Ld values, I don't see this being all that useful in most games as a reliable strategy.

Priests:
A potentially effective tool in a CC equipped unit when equipped with an eviscerator, although he`s a pricy independant character that won`t make his points back without being in the forefront of an assault where he can take a serious beating from enemies.

Techpriests:
Tank heavy guard armies may actually find the enginseer a more viable choice now in 5th edition. They can still be costly, but when you 3 or 4 tanks in a small area (as you will with squadrons) you can make sure those guns keep firing if you keep your techpriest in behind them where he isn`t going to get torn apart by enemy shooting. In a pinch, a techpriest with a handful of servo-arm servitors can make a vicious CC unit with a large amount of S8 powerfist attacks.
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Old 21 Apr 2009, 19:30   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Elites

Ogryns:
This unit has seen both an increase in cost and power in the new book. The problems of getting torn apart by bolter fire and S8 weapons has been solved with a T bonus, and they`re ability to lay down a ton of damage on a squad between their shooting and charge is impressive. Where points aren`t an issue, this unit has serious potential against anything without a 2+ save or a lot of power weapons. They are extremely expensive though, and unless you're mkaing a dedicated close assault build, this unit will probably not fare particularly well in efficiency. Side note: A squad of ogryns within a commissar general's aura of discipline radius will be almost impossible to shift from combat.

Ratlings:
Slightly cheaper than they're former incarnation, ratlings haven't changed much. They still remain your most efficient choice for sniper support and need to be kept in heavy cover.

Sanctioned Psykers:
A potentially scary unit. You will always want this squad at it's maximum value as both of it's powers depend on the unit strength. The shooting attack is a bit unpredictable, but if you get lucky on the AP role you can lasy waste to just about any unit in the game. In my opinion though, the real gem here is the Weaken Resolve power. Slap a target with a -8 leadership modifier and then rip into it with a few squads and watch it flee off that objective you want to grab, or off the board, or just because you don't like them

Storm Troopers:
In Purpose, this unit hasn't changed much, but how you use it has. The power buff on hellguns has made Storm Troopers ideal for tearing into MEQs, that pesky winged hive tyrant or carnifexes without the T bonus. With 2 plasma guns or meltas, these targets will likely be crippled or destroyed in a single round of shooting if you shell out the points for a full squad. Their new deployment options are a nice change, especially since you don't have to pay for them or choose them when you make your list. On an objective power for price scale, they're a good choice, but fitting them into a list is going to be a substantial investment and you're not going to want to be haphazardly throwing them into suicide roles like the 4th edition 5 man deepstrike squads with meltas.
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Old 21 Apr 2009, 20:28   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

The Infantry Platoon:
As always, the backbone of your army. The infantry platoon is going to be the basis for almost all the tactics employed by your army, in the lynch-pin for the mutual support tactics many guard armies are going to need to use. A single infantry platoon can now hold absolutely staggering amounts of soldiers and heavy weaponry. Whenever I manage to amass the models, I fully plan on using 2-3 platoons with close to full numbers in their infantry squads. Originally, the platoon was a command group and 2-5 squads, now we have those same units, but also a 20-50 man conscript squad, up to 5 heavy weapon units and up to 2 special weapon squads for a maximum of almost 150 scoring models in a single force organisation slot. Of course that would be obscenely costly in points, and some units wouldn't likely make good scoring unit choices for their (heavy weapon squads). Another abosultely lovely new trick up our sleeves is "Combined Squads". Any of those infantry squads from the same platoon can be combined together to form a single unit. The possibilities here are almost endless, and I'll write up some of what I've come up with at the end of thise article. Another nice addition is that commissars are directly purchaseable for any infantry squad now, although they're somewhat less potent than they used to be. Squad sergeants are now able to take power weapons, (as can commissars) which can give guard armies A LOT of power weapons available to them.

Heavy weapon teams have become much more valuable, especially with the drastic price drop on most of their weapons and special weapon squads are no longer limited to a single demolition charge. Conscripts I see as being much less useful than they once were. To keep them from running early in the game you're going to need to field them in huge squads so the enemy is forced to kill a large number of models to force a morale test. Once more though, a Commissar general can be extremely useful for keeping a squad like this from running.

Veterans:
Veterans are now troop choices, which gives you the option to field a cheaper mandatory troop choice as well as play a more elite style army. Carapace and grenadier style armies from 4th edition will need to use these units if they wish to keep their old style. Veterans make excellent fire support units with their large number of special and heavy weapon slots and their high ballistic skill. Special Combat Doctrines are a bit pricey, but whether they are worth their points will have to take some playtesting. Forward Sentries will probably be the most effective one for a stationary firesupport unit. Demolitions has potential, but with the squad having no means of special deployment, they'll be hardpressed to get in a position to make good use of their melta-bombs and demo charge.

Penal Legionaires
Interesting, but I don't see them being particularly useful as a dependable unit. They have very little in their basic stats to make them better than a regular guardsmen unit, no access to heavy or special weapons or any other options for that matter and a randomly assigned ability after deployment. All three have limited and vaguely useful applications, but in most cases I think you'll be better off with veterans or regular infantry men, especially considering their cost.
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Old 21 Apr 2009, 21:06   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Scout Sentinels:
Basically identical to 4th edition sentinels with a nice point drop and the addition of a missile launcher option. Out flanking with a squad of these carrying just about any of the weapon options available is a good way to give your opponent a big head ache. They're jsut as vulnerable as they've always been though, so don't expect them to stick around for long un-supported after their first round of firing.

Armoured Sentinels:
Swap Scouts for enclosed compartment and increased front armour and you've got a nice little squad of mini-dreadnaughts with plasma cannon access. These little dudes will be awesome for tying up enemy infantry and laying down mobile heavy weapons fire.

Rough Riders:
Rough riders remain your human-seeker missile against enemy heavy infantry at a massively reduced price. Very little has changed here aside except you now must take hunting lances instead of paired CC weapons, I don't know many instances when you'd want just close combat weapons anyways though.

Hellhounds:
THe regular hellhound remains an effective anti-infantry platform, but now picks up the added bonus of a) being fast and b) having a free heavy flamer hull option. A pair of these running up the side of a board will be a vicious anti-infantry strike team

The devildog, I'm less enthused with. A blast template multi-melta sounds interesting, but the potential for innacuracy is a little worrisome. I'll try it out a couple times with a proxy and see how it fares. It coul also be useful against close packed MEQs and like teh other hellhounds, has a hull Multi-melta option, which is nice on a fast vehicle.

The banewolf is the new option I'm starting to like more and more. This is probaly the best anti-MEQ weapon you'll find in the game when you consider it's speed and relatively cheap price.

The Valkyrie:
Fast skimmer transports are always a good thing to have, especially when they're equipped with ungodly amounts of anti-infantry firepower. The valkyrie is going to trump the falcon for all time best assault transport. For 140 points you get a fast transport with 9 anti-infantry shots and 2 anti-infantry large templates, all with reasonable range that can all be fire on the move, and it'll always be moving because it has extra armour for free. Plus, the transport aspect which will be incredibley handy for bringing that stormtrooper or veteran squad exactly where you want it to unleash its multiple high powered weapon on a seperate unit. On a regular valkyrie you also have the option to have a lascannon and a pair of upmarket hunter killer missiles, but considering the superior array of anti-infantry weapons it can take.

I think that role is better left to the Vendetta which swaps out the wing hardpoints and nose multilaser for 3 (yes 3) twin linked lascannons. Which it moves and fires. And still transports 12 models. It's cheaper than a fully loaded anti-infantry valkyrie too. A single one of these will have no problem blowing apart an enemy tank every turn. You can swap 2 of your lascannons out for a pair of single shot large blast bolters too for free if you want, but I can't imagine who anyone would think that's a good idea. It's also good to note that both variants have scout so can outflank and bring that firepower into an enemy's flank.
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Old 21 Apr 2009, 22:16   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Heavy Support

Leman Russes:
All the Leman Russ chasis units have picked up a nice new rule to let them fire with theit turret on top of any other weapon they can fire, giving them a massive amount of damage output, plus a side armour increase to all variants. WIth the ability to take them in squadrons, of three you can take a lot more of them than we used to be able to, although squadronned tanks become more vulnerable to damage, and a lot less maneouverable. Of course, with the stationary firepower of a russ, you probably won't want to move too often anyways. All the demolisher sponson options are available to all variants now too. Expensive, but frightening. All russes have recieved a price bump to go with their upgrades. It's a fair trade though I think.

The standard russ is just as versatile and useful as ever, and can fill any battlefield role you need them too aside from perhaps busting through 2+ armour saves. They're the cheapest now as well aloing with the exterminator.

The exterminator is your go-to tank for AP4 firepower. Anyhting in that armour bracket will evaporate under its huge damage output. MEQs and 3+ save monstrous creature also have something to fear here, although againt AP2 enemies, you will be a bit lacking.

The vanquisher has lots its dual role as a russ and tank hunter and now only keeps its tank hunting aspect. With it's improved AP value, it can perform well against monstrous creatures as well as tanks assuming it can land a hit, which may be difficult as it still retains standard guard BS.

The eradicator is a cover buster tank, meant to take on light and middle grade infantry thats buried in cover. Against infantry in the open, the regular russ will score idential numbers for less and against MEQs and better, the eradicator will be woefully inadqaute in comparrison to its cheaper cousin. It's a very niched tank, which makes me not like it, but against the right opponent on a dense board it can be highly effective.

The demolisher hasn't really changed. It's more expensive than it used to be, but it can still perform it's role of killing anything and everyhting that comes near it extremely well. With the larger price gap though, those of you who use to always take demolishers instad of russes will probably find a mix of the 2 tanks more effective.

The punisher is scary on paper, but once you take into account that most most metagames are very MEQ heavy, this tank becomes much less effective and much more expensive than a regular russ. Unless you know you're going to have to chew through large mobs of orks, gaunts or other guardsmen charging across an open expanse, I'd leave this one at home. It does however come with the handy increased rear armour of the demolisher

The Executioner. Yikes. I remember looking at this tank in Imperial Armour and thinking it was retarded. All it has was a long ranged plasma cannon. Hardly made it seem like the ancient weapon of destruction its written to be. GW has fixed that handsomely. Another tank with increased rear armour, the executioner has the most potential to tear apart enemy formations. Of course, with a full weapon load it costs almost as much as a landraider, but most of the time I think a single one would earn it's points back. The turret brings a three shot plasma cannon to the table, which is scary on its own, but like all russes it has the option for 2 plasma cannon sponsons, and just in case 5 plasma cannon shots wasn't enough, you can always upgrade to the hull lascannon for another AP 2 shot. I don't expect any unit of heavy infantry would walk away unscathed unless it was in a fortified bunk or equipped with stormshields. Even then, a 5 man TH/SS termie squad is going to be hardpressed to make it through that storm of death.

Artillery:
The earthshaker is absolutely identical to it's 4th edition self but automatically comes with the indirect fire option. It still has a massive blind spot and suffers from its inability to hide well. The new artillery options are all better buys outside of apocalypse games. The basilisk's only real advantage is that it's the only artillery piece with both direct and indirect fire capability.

The Medusa trades indirect fire and range for close ranged heavy firepower. It basically mounts a demolisher cannon with a 50% range bonus on the weaker chimera chasis. If you can get it into cover, I think this is one of the most effective new artillery options. It also has the option to exchange its regular shells for ones with a longer range, better AP and double penetration dice, although its template is smaller.

The griffon is back as the little mortar that could we all know and love from 3rd edition. It's cheap, it has better accuracy, and still packs a punch against almost any target. It has a small blindspot, and reasonable max range, but don't expect to go corner to corner.

The collosus is similar to the griffon but far more expensive. It has a better AP and a much larger maximum range, but also a larger blindspot, although not as bad as a basilisk. It will perform best against MEQs if you're dead set on engaging them with artillery, but I think there are Russ variants that could fill this role better.

Hydra Flak Tanks:
Don't get me wrong, I love the Hydra, it's one of my favourite tanks in 40k, mostly because it looks inceribley badass, but in a regular game, I really don't see these being effective. While it's more expensive an Exterminator fill the same role better and is far tougher to destroy. The Hydra's special AA rule is cool, but how often does anyone actually move their Skimmer flat out to gain that save? in 4th edition, this badboy would have ruined everyone's day if they relied on skimmers taking glancing htis only from moving 6", but now it falls a little flat. Ironically, the best target for it is going to be a unit from it's own list (The valkyrie in case you hadn't guessed). Even then though, I you'll probably only see it going flat out once or twice a game, and against AV12, autocannons are effective, but not overly reliable. In apocaylpse though, where you're more likely to be seeing low armour combat planes, a battery of hydras will assure death to any target that happens to fly into it's massive killzone.

Manticore:
One of the only tanks not available in squadrons; manticores may fire 4 times over the course of the game. Every time they do, they fire D3 barrage missiles. Each missile is an extermely high strength template. The tank is moderately expensive, but the templates have a strangely middlerange AP value making them unsuitable for engaging MEQs. With the number of hits they can score, they will still lay waste to most 10 man squads, but it still seems strange to me. I see the manticore being more effective against heavy armour, where you can almost assure a penetrating hit. There seem to be better russ and artillery tanks to fill these roles though for the cost. This one will need playtesting.

Deathstrike:
Kind of a weird weapon to bring to a regular 40k game. This seems more at home in Apocalypse, especially with its absolutely retardedly long range. In any case, the Deathstrike is a one shot, indestructible weapon (well, unless you kill the tank). When it fires, it will basically wipe out anything within its considerabley gigantic blast radius. Vehicles might survive, but they're still subject to the full strength of the weapon as the blast doesn't have a center whole like the regular templates. On the downside, you could get absurdly unlucky and never fire it, or end up blowing apart a large chunk of your own army.

Coming Tomorrow: Special Characters and Equipment.
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Old 22 Apr 2009, 01:09   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

This is what I get for holding back @_@" Ah well, wanted to do a Tactica for Infantry Squads
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Old 22 Apr 2009, 01:11   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Lol, no worries Zenny, I always seem to have a little bit different idea of how things should work anyways, always good to have multiple perspectives. You already caught something I missed anyways :P
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Old 22 Apr 2009, 01:15   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

Good point. I'll give a full account of it after today's exam......OMG! I need to go study! *Runs*
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Old 22 Apr 2009, 01:46   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

[quote=Jordan]
Elites

Ogryns:
This unit has seen both an increase in cost and power in the new book. The problems of getting torn apart by bolter fire and S8 weapons has been solved with a T bonus and FNP, and they`re ability to lay down a ton of damage on a squad between theit shooting and charge is impressive. Where points aren`t an issue, this unit has serious potential against anything without a 2+ save or a lot of power weapons.

AWESOME write up, question though;

Ogryns have FNP? I thought they nixed that?

If true that would make them much more worth while, in my opinion.

Thank you again for the awesome write up!
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Old 22 Apr 2009, 01:57   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Competitive Review of the 5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex

I am so very excited to use some Deathstrike missiles. I'll use two along with my russ. That'll be good...Muah ha ha ha ha!
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