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A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]
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Old 01 May 2009, 11:42   #1 (permalink)
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Default A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

I've had the Guard Codex for a week now (I love my local GW. ), and whilst I don't claim to know every trick in the book, I've got some pretty good ideas on what can and cannot be done.

So, I have decided to run through every unit, and give my impressions.

HQ:
The Imperial Guard are spoilt for choice with their HQs.

Company Commander:
For 5pts less than the old Senior Officer you get a Heroic Senior Officer (now known as 'Company Commander&#39. The Commander comes with a Refractor Field as well, and his squad are all Veterans; Bs 4 guard!

In terms of gear, you get everything you'd expect; Vox-casters, special weapons, a Heavy weapon team, etc. The Commander himself pays 5-10pts less for his gear than his Astartes equivalent, which is good seeing as he isn't as skilled with it.

To top it all off, the whole squad gets Frag Grenades, with the option to buy Kraks, Carapace Armour and/or Camo Cloaks.

Let's not forget to mention the new special rule of the Guard - Orders. Senior Officers get to issue two Orders a turn, and get the full set. More on Orders later, but suffice to say he is really worth taking when you see what he can do...

Advisors:
In addition to the Veterans, you can take up to five Advisors; one each for the Astropath, Master of Ordnance and Officer of The Fleet, and/or up to two Bodyguards.

Astropaths you probably know already; they improve your Reserve Rolls and allow you to re-roll the board edge you arrive on when Outflanking a unit.

Officers of The Fleet are the opposite; they penalise enemy Reserve Rolls and you can force them to re-roll their board edge when Outflanking.

The Master of Ordnance is packing serious heat. He can basically call an Earthshaker strike anywhere on the board. It's a lot less accurate than normal, but as he counts as firing you can use his Bs to reduce the scatter.

Finally, the Bodyguard; he's essentially a Veteran Sergeant who can take hits for your Commander. Very handy.

Special Character Commanders:
Creed is the first of our 'Commander Characters', and he is really bad-ass now! He can issue four orders a turn, he has double the range of a normal Commander when issuing orders, and he lets a single unit or vehicle Scout. Creed may be a limp-wristed pansy in a fight (seriously, he is virtually useless in combat) but he can make your army work like the murderous death-machine it is meant to be. Last, but not least, he gets a unique order that makes your units Fearless and gives them Furious Charge!

Matching Creed wonderfully is Colour Sergeant Kell, who replaces a Veteran in any Command Squad (he can be bought without Creed if you wish). Kell is a pretty decent fighter all things considered, but what makes him shine is "Listen up Maggots!". When an Officer accompanied by Kell issues orders, the squad uses the Officer's Ld, not their own. Combined with Creed (Ld 10), you can produce a brutally efficient Order-driven army!

Stark contrast to the fat, flabby Creed is the bionic bad-ass, Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken. He's a Str 6, Power Armoured, Power-weapon toting, Shotgun-sporting, Fearless psychopath who grants Furious Charge and Counter-attack to every unit within 12"... and as if all of this wasn't enough, the son of a bitch still gets all the Orders available to a normal Company Commander!

Our final character here is the beloved Nork Deddog. He's an Ogryn with Feel No Pain, he takes hits just like Bodygaurds, and if you kill him in close combat he goes mad and pummels the living hell out of you. He's potentially deadly, but high-save units may be able to endure him long enough to take him and his squad down.

Commissar Lord:
These guys are the Fighty HQ of the Guard, but they also have a variation on the old Leadership rule - any squad within 6" of the Commissar Lord uses his Ld. They're also Stubborn, they still shoot people for trying to run (or for Perils of The Warp), they're our best shots and our most skilled fighters, but they aren't cheap; a full 20pts more than the Company Commander.

It's because of that high price, coupled with their vulnerability (they have a Refractor Field, but still...) means I don't know if I would take them.

Yarrick:
Supremely hard, and a character who earned many cries of "That is so Cheezy!" He's T4, has Eternal Warrior, makes all allies within 12" stubborn and he has a rule very similar to that of a Space Marine Chaplain when he charges. His Bale-Eye is a Hellpistol (sorry, "Hot-Shot Laspistol") and he has a Force Field that means all successful wounds on Yarrick must be re-rolled. To top it all off, every time Yarrick goes down, he recovers on 1 wound on a roll of 3+! There is no way to negate this; he can even recover from Instant Death!

Primaris Psykers:
Our 'Librarian' character, and the only HQ who doesn't have two wounds, the Primaris Psyker isn't the most impressive Psyker I've seen, but compared to the bollocks we got in the last Codex he's godly.

First, he's got a Force Weapon and Refractor Field. Next, he gets two Powers to use... but can only use one per turn. Nightshroud forces enemies to take a Ld test to fire at him or his unit, whilst Lightning Arc inflicts 2D6 Str 6 hits on the target. Alas, the Primaris Psyker is unable to purchase upgrades to allow multiple powers a turn, which would I feel have made him a much better character. Still, he's 30pts cheaper than the Librarian, so he'll get the job done.

Priests:
Priests are much the same as ever. The main difference now is that A) they cost 5pts more, B) they only have 1 Wound, and C) they are Independent Characters. Oh, sorry, they have a Rozarius as well. Still, you can stick an Eviscerator on one and plonk him in a fighty unit (might I suggest the Command Squad of Iron Hand Straken?). Righteous Fury could be very useful if used right.

You can take up to five Priests - they don't actually take up any HQ slots, but count as HQ choices in all other respects.

Techpriest Enginseers:
Power Armour, check. Power Weapon, check. Servo Arm, check. Blessings of the Omnissiah copy-pasted from Codex: Space Marines, check. Servitor squad stolen from same, check.

I would really consider these guys; they cost as much as they did in the last codex, but the updated Blessings of the Omnissiah rule is easier to actually use, and succeeds more often.


That's it for the HQ section. Sorry to disappoint a small number of players, but Doctrines don't exist anymore - those of you who hoped taking a Valhallan Officer gave Valhallan Doctrines or somesuch have been left out in the cold (now if you'll excuse me, I'll be off cheering the death of those bloody stupid Doctrines!).

Our HQs are a mix of mid-tier melee killiness, and advanced command abilities. Our Commander can allow a squad to have an extra shot with their Lasguns (Conscript-spam the objective!), or Twin-Link our weapons when firing at 'Big stuff' like Vehicles or Monstrous Creatures. They can rally fleeing units, force enemies to re-roll successful Cover Saves, give a Gone to Ground unit +2 to their save instead of +1, or even to roll extra dice when Running (to ensure you get that vital roll of 6...). Whilst most of our HQs won't wow the top-end killers in a brawl, our foes are going to be pouring more fire at our HQs than ever... so thank the Emperor they're so cheap now!
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Old 01 May 2009, 13:30   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

Awesome job!

I played against my friends Guard yesterday and my jaw dropped when he started issuing orders. IG are scary now!
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Old 01 May 2009, 17:04   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

I love that Master of the Ordnance! I just refer to them as TACP controllers and stick one in every list.
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Old 02 May 2009, 04:11   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

I like the writeup, I cant wait for you to keep it going.

I have never been a fan of the doctrines either, or the marine stuff. I think there were many ways they could have been better.
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Old 02 May 2009, 04:54   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

I kinda like the idea of Orders, sounds like a whole new phase of the game. Nork's back, that's kinda cool. Yarrick does sound kinda nuts, so he's kinda like a Necron and refuses to stay down? :P

Also, I take it you've changed your mind about the codex? You seem to have mostly positive things to say so far (granted you've only done HQs...) and I remember you saying once they were ruining the Guard, so...
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Old 02 May 2009, 11:04   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [Elites done!]

Onward we go - part two is here!

Elites:

Ogryns:
Personally, I never gave Ogryns the time of day before, but now I may change my tune; they're as strong and tough as an Ork Warboss, they're carrying a Str 5 shotgun (with an extra shot) and then we add in Furious Charge and Stubborn... all for 40pts a model. These guys should scare the hell out of your enemies, and can even bog down Terminators since they can't be insta-gibbed by most Melee units!

Ratlings:
From good to bad, we have Ratlings. They were crap in 3rd, crap in 4th and are still crap now. Nothing about them is of value. They're still weak, they're technically worse than in previous versions because they only hit on a 3+ now, Bolters kill them on a 2+, they're worse in combat than Firewarriors and they cost just as much. To top it all off, they can't even hold your objective for you. Pure bollocks.

Psyker Battle Squad:
Now the newbies, the Psyker Battle Squad. These guys are tricky to judge, because whilst they're weak as hell in combat and vs shooting, their own powers are pretty neat. Basically, the larger the squad the more powerful its attacks are; Soul Storm is a Large Blast attack with 36" range and a strength equal to the number of Psykers in the unit. Oh, and it has a random AP (you have a 50% chance of ignoring Marine Armour, so it's a decent Marine-killer).

Weaken Resolve reduces the enemy Ld by, you guessed it, the number of Psykers in the unit. Overall, I think they have potential to be a good unit, and with Ld 9 they cast reliably, but you really need them in a 3+ Cover bunker or something; the enemy won't have any trouble blowing them away.

Storm Troopers:
Start on the positives; Hellweapons are Ap 3 now, you get a Hellgun, Hellpistol & close combat weapon as standard, you get Frag & Krak as standard, you get Deep Strike as standard and you get Special Operations; each squad gets to pick to gain either A) Move Through Cover and Scouts, B) the ability to re-roll the scatter dice when Deep Striking, or C) Infiltrate, and their first shooting attack counts as Pinning.

Bad side; Hellweapons are now called 'Hot-Shot' weapons, which sounds crappier. You pay premium for your special weapons, Hellguns are only 18" range and Stormtroopers cost more than a Space Marine.

I compare these guys to Sternguard most of all, because it's the only way I can justify them; you just have to drop them in for a suicide attack, blow something important / expensive away, then write them off as dead. For what they cost, and how vulnerable they are (they are still Guardsmen, remember) I don't see them surviving long if you treat them as Line Infantry. They're one-trick ponies, and expensive ones at that; if you aren't fighting Marines, they're a waste of points.

It's sad really... I used to love the Stormtroopers, and I own forty of them myself. That's forty models that won't be seeing battle ever again.

Sly Marbo:
This guy's a joke. In a good way. Sly Marbo has a lot of fancy rules, but all you really need to know is that he's 65pts, he has a Demo Charge, and he 'appears' on the board anywhere more than 1" away from the enemy.

In short, you deploy him 1.5" away from the 250pt Space Marine HQ and his 300pt retinue, and plonk the Demo Charge on their heads. Who cares if Marbo dies as well, he'll easily blow away double his points in one shot!

Same rule as Stormies with Marbo; fire and forget. Unlike Stormies, Marbo is worth fielding.
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Old 02 May 2009, 11:50   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

I would add that Morbo is a decent CC unit as well, using him to target non-CC oriented squads will take out a lot of points for your measly 65pt investment. He'll get to shoot his pistol, with BS 5, sniper, and AP2 that's a guaranteed kill there, and with 6 attacks on the charge that will be hitting on 3's and wounding on 2's at a high initiative will dish out a good amount of damage before a counterattack.

I don't think we'll ever see Morbo finish a fight before getting knocked out, but he should certainly kill many more points than you pay for him.

I think the same goes for the Stormtroopers as well, although overpriced now in my opinion, they're great for getting behind the enemy and tieing up a non-CC oriented squad as each regular trooper will get 3 attacks on the charge, and you can give your Sergeant a power weapon, getting 4 attacks on the charge. Since everyone has those hellpistols now you'll get off a few good shots before you charge them.

I used to include Stormrtoopers in every list, but their higher price only warrants them in higher points battles now, in which I'll most likely be deepstriking them from my turbo-boosting Valkyrie near some soft targets.
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Old 02 May 2009, 13:01   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

Overall a very interesting assessment and certainly a good read. I have a few minor disagreements with some of your analysis but nothing major.

Ratlings can make back their points. Yes, we know they are fragile but BS4 snipers still have their uses.

Ogryns would be phenomenal if they cost ten points less. At their present cost they are not the equal of ss/thunderhammer Termies by a long shot. You need a chimera as well to play them and generaly they are going to be an expensive tarpit. I could tarpit and counter charge with Armoured Sentinels for a lot less.
I fully agree on the rest of the Elites. I also would really like to use these guys. I'm just hesitant because of their cost efficiency but in a casual game they would be a possible addition. I don't see them as competitive though.

You know one of the best upgrades for a CCS is a medic. I haven't crunched the numbers but I suspect he is better then two bodyguards in many cases and if you are using a special character the unit instantly becomes a real menace on the table.

What most of our Elites and HQs have as well is access to a Chimera. The Chimera in my book is better then the Valk or Vendetta for the points and has improved quite a bit in the new codex making it a great transport for drive bys, contesting, mobile terrain, et all.

I want more Wargamer. Are you going to suggest certain builds for HQ and Elites and how to use some of these in a game?
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Old 02 May 2009, 15:03   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [Elites done!]

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wargamer
Onward we go - part two is here!

Elites:

Ogryns:
Personally, I never gave Ogryns the time of day before, but now I may change my tune; they're as strong and tough as an Ork Warboss, they're carrying a Str 5 shotgun (with an extra shot) and then we add in Furious Charge and Stubborn... all for 40pts a model. These guys should scare the hell out of your enemies, and can even bog down Terminators since they can't be insta-gibbed by most Melee units!

Ratlings:
From good to bad, we have Ratlings. They were Klkn in 3rd, Klkn in 4th and are still Klkn now. Nothing about them is of value. They're still weak, they're technically worse than in previous versions because they only hit on a 3+ now, Bolters kill them on a 2+, they're worse in combat than Firewarriors and they cost just as much. To top it all off, they can't even hold your objective for you. Pure bollocks.


Storm Troopers:
Start on the positives; Hellweapons are Ap 3 now, you get a Hellgun, Hellpistol & close combat weapon as standard, you get Frag & Krak as standard, you get Deep Strike as standard and you get Special Operations; each squad gets to pick to gain either A) Move Through Cover and Scouts, B) the ability to re-roll the scatter dice when Deep Striking, or C) Infiltrate, and their first shooting attack counts as Pinning.

Bad side; Hellweapons are now called 'Hot-Shot' weapons, which sounds crappier. You pay premium for your special weapons, Hellguns are only 18" range and Stormtroopers cost more than a Space Marine.

Sly Marbo:
This guy's a joke. In a good way. Sly Marbo has a lot of fancy rules, but all you really need to know is that he's 65pts, he has a Demo Charge, and he 'appears' on the board anywhere more than 1" away from the enemy.
Ratlings - While I am going to miss some of the old rules with them, their point cost is not to far out there, and having a BS 4 unit with sniper rifles is worth it for me, and how I play. While I wont rush out and buy the new minis for them, I might hunt down a few more of the older minis. 3-7 snipers are nice for pinning down an area, or just laying down fire, and giving the enemy something else to shot at while I move my other units about. I still missing using the Catchatian Codex with their snipers

At least they have stealth?

Storm Troopers - While a little costly, I ordered my first unit of them last night. I played IG from the start, I never owned a single one, it didnt go with the whole Nam theme I had. Now I have a unit, and I will order a few more with spec weapons. While not great, they still have BS 4, have an AP 3 weapon, can deep strike, and if you want, you can toss a plasma gun in there, or Gren Launcher, and cause a little chaos behind the line. That and their save is just a hair better than a normal IG unit.

Sly - Just like my Yarrik, he has changed so much over the years. Yet now, the person you're playing doenst know if your going to put him behind a wall and try to rush in withy Fleet, Charge and everythign else he has. Play the role of sniper, or use the charge. In any case, he can chew up someone on his way out.

All three together, well now you have the means to start Chaos. Morters are not guess weapons like way back when, and now Heavy Weapons teams start with them as a default. So between them, Barrage weapon tanks, deep striking men with AP 3 weapons, who can rappid fire, or drop in with a Gren Launcher and Flamer, Sly sneaking about (I miss his old rules most of all) dropped a blast on the table, and a group of midget snipers sending rounds down field. The Enemy will be confused, weakened, and while they have a target rich environment, they have three cheep to slightly coslty units to target, while you rain shells down on their head, and move your troops in to hold ground, or engage.
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Old 02 May 2009, 16:15   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A blow-by-blow account of the Guard Codex [HQs done!]

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Originally Posted by Sidstyler
Also, I take it you've changed your mind about the codex? You seem to have mostly positive things to say so far (granted you've only done HQs...) and I remember you saying once they were ruining the Guard, so...
In some ways, they have. Whilst the Guard don't allow you to reshape the whole army just because you took a Special Character, certain elements are... well, just wrong.

Stormtroopers, whilst in keeping with the style of play GW are now pushing, have changed a lot from the unit I used to know and love. Commissars are subtly different, but the change is noticable; you can't attach a Commissar to your HQ, for one. Aside from the Commissar Lord, they're pretty puny now, and in my opinion overpriced.

The Valkyrie... it's pathetic really. Not in terms of how it performs, but in terms of what it is and how GW choose to reflect it on the Tabletop. Imagine, if you will, that GW decided to reduce the save of Power Armour to 4+ for all non-Marine models to 'emphasise how good Marines are'. That would be a really stupid way of doing it, because a better way would be to keep Power Armour standard across the game, and make the Marines themselves better. Valkyries are in the same boat; it's a flyer, a full-blown aircraft designed to move at speeds that nothing in 40K (short of possibly a Falcon Grav-tank) can even come close to. Instead, GW treat it like it's a Land Speeder.

The final blow to the Codex is the Vanquisher - it's not armed with a Vanquisher Cannon. They claim it is, but I've got a Guard Codex and two editions of Imperial Armour documentation that state otherwise, and I can poke a few people to further validate the point by bringing up Imperial Armour Apocalypse if I really have to. The Vanquisher Cannon's abilities are well known and thoroughly documented... and the Vanquisher isn't armed with one.

All I will say is they could have done worse, and dear christ did I expect them to do worse. However, this is a very flawed attempt at a 5th Ed. Codex.
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