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5th ed. Priests, Platoons, Tech and Armaments (Completed!)
Old 04 May 2009, 07:02   #1 (permalink)
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Default 5th ed. Priests, Platoons, Tech and Armaments (Completed!)

Tactica: Priests, Platoons, Tech and Armaments.
(This Tactica specifically covers Infantry Platoons, Techpriest Enginseers, Ministorum Priests, Psychers, advisors, and some of the options and tactics available to these units.)

Hail to the Emperor, and blessings of the Machine God on you! If you are a player of the Imperial Guard, then I have some amazing news for you; New Codex. While there are flaws to circumvent, there are even greater advantages and opportunities present for all capable players.

Most significantly, alterations to the rules of certain units and the way they operate reduces the need for micromanaging individual models, and instead allows the army as a whole to shine. A beautiful balance has been struck, allowing the Imperial Guard to hold their own in a variety of areas that were restrictive or in the previous codex. Let's take a look, shall we?



Infantry Platoons make up the body of the Imperial Guard, both in story and in individual army design. Command squads leading infantry squads, laying down fields of fire or roaring downrange into the enemy line, on foot or mounted in Chimera transports.
Command Squads
It used to be that your platoon officer would act as a leadership buffer, a mobile "sergeant" for squads of infantry. However, orders did away with that, as have the automatic inclusion of LD8 sergeants in every infantry squad. That's not to say that command squads have lost importance; if anything, they are more valuable now than ever. Command squads can only give orders to units within a certain radius, so keeping your units in stable formations is vital.

Heavy Weapons Squads
That brings us to the second alteration: Heavy weapons squads. No longer an HQ additive or Heavy slot sink, Heavy weapons squads are taken with Infantry Platoons, giving the ability to secure objectives, and thus make excellent defensive units. Up to five can be taken with each platoon, presenting a midblowing 30 potential HWSquads for a single army. Since each team counts as a single model, there is an increased weakness to S6+ weapons, but reduces the number of wounds potentially caused by lower strength flamer/blast weapons. A significant drop in points means that a unit of gun-toting guardsman is always readily added to a list.

Special Weapons Teams
Likewise, Special weapons teams have been made troops units. While the lack of doctrines makes drop-specials far more difficult (but still doable with the addition of Valkyrie Transports), it does mean more of them can be picked up, ready to drop nasty surprises against heavy armored units that get too close to your battle-line.

As an added bonus, conscripts no longer take up a force org slot in and of themselves: Up to 50 "Whiteshield" infantry can be attached to an infantry platoon, at the same cost they had in the previous codex. With infantry squads being only one point more per model, and Conscripts unable to take special weapons, the unit has lost a significant degree of it's former punch. However, 50 models put on the board as a single unit is excellent shock value, in and of itself.

Infantry Squads
Which brings us to the bread and butter of the IG: Infantry. All infantry squads come in 10 man blocks, and are now 10 points cheaper than before: A bargain buy in the biggest military force of the 40K Era. While certain equipment options for sergeants have been removed (Mostly the ones we didn't have models for anyway...), so much more can be done with them. As mentioned above, rules for Heavy Weapons have been streamlined, and reduces the number of potential injuries blasts can cause. With the exception of plasmaguns, most special and heavy weapons are cheaper now than they were before, encouraging the use of said armaments that much more. Additionally, each SQUAD may be joined by a commissar, who monitors the unit, provides a significant leadership boost, and offers a great bonus for close combat.
The greatest benefit lies in an inverted version of Space Marines' Combat Squads rule, that allows multiple Infantry Squads from a given Platoon to merge into one or more combined squads, increasing unit durability and reducing the number of kill points on the board at any given point. With a single command squad and two infantry platoons, your potential KPs could be as low as 5, even with 115 men loaded and ready.


1.) COMBINED FURY--- Orders from command squads affect individual units...but with Combined Squads your single order can affect 50 men in a go. Attaching a single commissar raises the combined unit's leadership, and a single vox caster allows you to re roll the leadership check to see if the order is followed for almost guaranteed success.
As an upshot, the Stubborn rule granted by the Commissar's presence allows the unit to stick it out in even the toughest of melees, allowing you to wear your enemy's powerful units (Like Carnifex, High-output medium-defense Assault Marines, and Wraithlords) down in close combat for an entire game, while other elements of your army pick off stragglers or objectives.

2.) ORDERED PAIRS--- Make the most out of your Command Squads and their orders, and keep them in close proximity to your other infantry. Ideally, Company commands should be closer to the center, and platoon commands on the flanks.
Why, you may ask? Platoon command squads can only give a single order, and must be within half a foot. Company command squads have a larger radius, and can give orders twice-per-turn. With 1 Company CS and 2 Platoon CS's, that's 4 orders per turn. Use Combined Squads to find a good balance, and don't forget that you are just guardsman; loosing men or ending a turn ineffectually lying on the ground holding your head between your legs may happen, and it's up to an intelligent commander to make those units effective again.

3.) LAS-BARRAGE--- As mentioned above, two platoons and a Company Command can normally issue 4 orders per turn. Allow me to detail a small list:
1 Company Comand
2 Platoon Command Squads
10 Infantry Squads
2 Conscript Platoons (X100 total)
Total Cost: 1010 points
# of Models: 215
This particular setup allows 490 points for heavy weapons, vehicles, etc. and gives four 50-man squads, and 3 5-man command squads. The command squads can sit safely back, and give this massed front line the order to fire in ranks (Giving all lasguns +1 shot for their given range). 200(24") to 400(12") lasgun shots is worrysome; 400-600 lasgun shots per turn will wipe out armies. A few heavy weapons will then give the added punch needed to clear up tanks and monstrous creatures.

4.) ARMORED CORE...UNITS ;D--- Mechanised is back, with a vengeance. Chimera Transports now allow five models to fire from the hatch (This being treated as the general purpose firing point), which means a command squad fully loaded can rain hell on enemy units with relative ease.
A command squad with 4 grenade launchers costs the same as an un-enhanced infantry squad, and can do serious damage. The same goes for infantry squads with special weapons AND heavy weapons: everything that does the serious damage can fire. The addition of Valkyries into a list allows for Special Weapons Teams to be rushed to the front line, drop in via Grav-Chute, and throw as many as 3 flamer templates (or, just to be 100% sure NOTHING, is left, 3 demo charges) onto an enemy unit.
Mobile, and affordable in terms of points cost, Armored Guard are likely to make a comeback in force.

5.) GUNLINE--- If you want more heavy weapons than any other army, you are in the right place. Between Command squads, Heavy weapons squads and Infantry Squads it is possible and valid to have 21 Heavy Weapons in each Troops slot, for a decent cost. It is a withering fusillade of fire that even the toughest of enemies will be unable to stand up to for more than 1-2 turns.

Techpriest Enginseers:


While options for different equipment were lost when the Codex transitioned, what the techpriest gained in rules is so much better. Techpriests repair at the start of the shooting phase, doing so instead of firing. Base difficulty for the repair roll is 5, which means that even on his own the Techpriest has a decent chance to get the job done. The model is also just a normal infantry, not an independant character, which means that even with servitors, the squad is still just 1 KP.
My only complaint is that the unit is no longer able to take their own chimera. However, with so many other units that can, it's a simple trick to hitch a ride from a footslogger or gunline unit's APC.

It is a shame that the price for servitors went up, but it's worth the 5 point hike: all servitors come default with Servo-arms, granting a single S8 powerfist attack, and adding +1 to repair rolls. This means that with 4 servitors, a techpriest automatically succeeds all repair rolls... and with the ability to take 5 in a squad that leaves one free for other purposes.
The option for gun servitors is still present, but is significantly more costly; for the cost of a servitor's heavy bolter, an infantry squad could take a lascannon. Plasma cannons and multimelta's cost an additional 10 points over that of the heavy bolter. To top it off, the Departmento Munitiorum has apparently cut the budget on servitors, reducing Ballistic Skill by 1. However, it is the only place to get these armaments other than on an Fast attack or Heavy support slot (and they don't take up a slot anyway).


1.) SURFING SERVITORS--- Given that techpriests execute repairs in the shooting phase rather than the movement phase, the easiest and cheapest (pointwise) is to trail them behind or between your Leman Russ squadrons, and make hell for the enemy who thinks they've eliminated the threat of a Battle Cannon (this is especially effective against Necrons, who are extremely reliant on glancing hit damage to overpower or weaken enemy vehicles).

2.) COMBAT ENGINEERS--- I hate drop pods. I hate them with a passion. But I love seeing mindless drones rip them apart. Given that all servitors come with servo-arms, there's pretty good odds that SOMETHING is going down when the whole unit attacks. Keeping this unit near the flanks or edges of your army gives a good backup in CC, without having to invest in vast quantities of meltabombs. Not very effective against AV14, but anything less is going to have to watch where it steps. Great against fast-movers and open-topped vehicles like Orks, and the stray Carnifex that is tearing up your infantry line.

3.) MOBILE FIELD BASE--- 2 Plasma Cannons or Multi-Meltas, and as many servitors as you need. This unit doesn't follow vehicles; instead, it stays closer to the bulk of your units, providing suppressing fire against large vehicles, or squads of heavy armor that your Heavy Supports aren't able to deal with at the moment. If a vehicle suffers weapon destroyed results, swing it back to base for a quick fix in the shooting phase (usually easier when you keep them within 12"). This is a great tactic for an army based on artillery or hellhounds, as you can spread your assets widely, and still maintain combat efficiency.

Advisors and More:


Advisors in general
First of all, the new advisors are LIGHTYEARS ahead of the old advisors in terms of performance, and placement. While being attached to Company command squads means they aren't going to be where you want them all the time, it gives some flavor to an army while preventing specialist-spamming.
Put simply, astropaths put your units where you want them, when you need them, by adding to reserve rolls, and allowing you to reroll outflank dice to determine sides. Given that storm troopers, ratlings, penal legions, scout sentinels, and valkyries have scout or infiltrate, huge sections of your army can crush your enemy's forces from the sidelines. With the additions of special characters, you could add a squadron of tanks, a team of veterans, or even an entire infantry platoon to the list of outflanking units...all of whom get to re-roll the dice for deciding where they come on the board.

Officer of the Fleet
The opposite of the Astropath, an Officer of the Fleet suppresses enemy reinforcements, potentially denying them a chance to attend the battle, and confusing troops into rerolling which side they outflank on as you see fit. Two of these models will force the opponents to roll 6's if he want reserves to come in on the second turn, and a 4+ if he wants them by the 4th turn...At which point the battle may already be won.

Master of Ordnance
If you want an extra basilisk shell each turn, pick up this guy. He's highly inaccurate, scattering even when a hit symbol is rolled, and rolling an extra die of scatter on an arrow. However, 30 points for an extra blast template isn't bad. If you aim for the center of large enemy formations (or multiple squads clustered together) it actually has a pretty good hit rate. Use at your own discretion, and expect your command squad to get shot up like crazy.
Ministorum Priests
The might of the emperor shall crash on your foes, because Priests do not have to be attached to command squads anymore! While these Independant Characters have taken a small price hike, and can no longer have Holy Relics, they still grant re-rolls to attached units on the turn they charge, and can take Eviscerators for a much lower cost. The pointless "Agitation" rule that prevented using heavy weapons is gone, so feel free to attach them wherever you want.

Commissars and Lord Commissar
If you need high leadership in your guard army, this is where you'll get it. Commissars can be attached to any infantry platoon command squad or infantry squad for a small cost, granting the squad Ld9 and the ability to ignore negative modifiers for leadership (A big point for fans of the old Die Hards or Chem-inhaler Doctrines). They have the same equipment options as their squad's leader, so don't expect to see swarms of Powerfists on the board. Do expect to see loads of dead bodies, though; Summary Execution allows a reroll of failed Morale Checks, but doesn't auto-pass them.
The Lord Commissar, on the other hand, is a throwback to the old officers. He projects a maximum leadership aura on any squad within 6", and can be customised to match just about any army. He's also the only WS5/BS5 model in the army that is not unique, so expect some pretty epic duels when he gets in combat.

Psyker Battle Squad and Primaris Psyker
A psyker battle squad is treated as one, conglomerate psycher. Ld9 assures most of your powers will go off. Unfortunately, the unit caps off at 10 models, one of which is a non-psyker overseer who executes chunks of the unit if it suffers Perils of the Warp. This also caps off their psychic powers, both of which are based off the number of Psykers in the squad.
In and of themselve, though, the powers are nasty. One is a large blast with random AP, with a Strength equal to the number of Psykers. The other drops a target squad's Leadership by 1 for each Psycher, making them easy pickings for morale and pinning checks.
Primaris Psychers are independant characters with force weapons, 5+ invulnerable saves, and two powers of their own; a massive storm of lightning, or a shroud to shield their units from sight. They take up an HQ slot, so most players might skip them over...They will learn.


1.) CLOAK 'EM & SMOKE 'EM--- The Primaris Psycher's Nightshoud power forces enemy units targeting his squad to roll leadership, or skip their shooting phase (Vehicles count as LD 10). On his own, this is no real guarantee that he will be safe... but Psycher Battle Squads allow you to drop the leadership. Do the math. This means that a huge conscript block in front of your army can provide cover for the rest of your force, while staying relatively safe from enemy fire.

2.) GET STUCK IN--- Priests let units re-roll to-hit when they charge, and commissars ignore leadership penalties. Make use of combined squads or conscripts as meat-grinders for enemy forces, dragging them down in bodies of guardsmen near-indefinately, and putting some punishment the remainder of the army.

3.) SEND IN THE "VOLUNTEERS"--- No unit is more suited to being flung into the meat grinder than Penal Legion Troopers. Accompanied by a Priest, and inherently stubborn, these cutthroats will either open fire with 24" Assault 2 weapons, dash full speed up the battlefield and strike with S4 I4, or tear up enemy armor with additional attacks and Rending. Given that all of these abilities are decided before deployment, your wall of undesirables can make each ability hit where it counts.


Well, that's it, folks. I hope this information proves useful in your future games. Good luck, and may the Emperor Protect!
"I have exactly one-hundred men under my command counting on ME to lead that charge, you two-bit mechanic. I have five seige tanks, eight APC's, an artillery platform and a light mech that need resupply and repair by dusk. I need remote mines set, trenches dug, and my men fed and rested, or those Marines are going to be using us for toothpicks. Get it done, Fio'vre." Officer Sherwin Jackson, 13th Dal'yth Company, to Fio'vre D'nan

"Feed well, my Bretheren. You are what you eat, and we have devoured the mighty." Master Shaper Korl Muur
Damian_Alpha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05 May 2009, 21:12   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 5th ed. Priests, Platoons, Tech and Armaments (Completed!)

Great post, +1, but please avoid double posting.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.
-Will Durant
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