Thursday, July 8, 2010

40k Overview: The Hammer of the Emperor

Good evening, good morning, good afternoon as the case may be.

After overhearing a discussion between Loki, ZerkeX, and a friend I wanted to get your opinions. I would like to hear your views on the Imperial Guard, their past and present, and how they affect(ed) the game. Have at, but first some of my own views.

As a Tau player, I'm not used to being outshot or having too many vehicles to target and kill, but the Guard are the army most able to put me in this position. When we look at the Guard, the most pivotal part of the army list is the troops section. While generally a shooting-based army, the choice of troops can make Guard from a horde army to a (relatively) small, more elite army. I will go into more detail on this army if you like, but the troops choices can dictate the feel of the army.

First the veteran squad, probably the most common troops choice on the internet, is the essential 5th edition "Powergaming" choice. For one hundred fifty-five points, fifteen less than a bare bones tactical squad, you can buy a veteran squad with three meltaguns in a chimera. By itself this unit has approximately a 56% chance of killing a land raider. With orders this can be raised to approximately a 72% chance. For being cheap and able to de-mechanize the enemy no matter their transport, the veteran squad can be used to make some of the "hardest" armies in any tournament.

My favorite troops choice, the infantry platoon, is the back bone of the "classic" Guard army. Consisting of 25-147 guardsmen per platoon, the platoon has the option to bring an answer to most any opponent and illustrates the "untold billions" in service to the God Emperor. While it can be built to be a competetive choice, they eat points faster than terminators. A good versatile choice and representative of the story of the 40k universe, the infantry platoon can simply swamp the board with bodies and baffle an opponent as to how to kill that many models.

Finally, Loki's favorite troops choice the penal legion squad. Akin to the CSM possessed squad, their speciality changes based on a random dice roll. This unpredictability and their lack of access to anti-vehicle weaponry means they are automatically discounted from "serious" lists. They are an interesting choice and can provide a cheap troops unit to allow more room for other choices or be a replacement for the Schaffer's Last Chancers from the previous codex. They also open up modeling opportunities for the hobbyist and a wide variety of story options for anyone who wants a laugh.

What I'm trying to say is that while the Imperial Guard codex allows for some of the deadliest and hardest to beat army lists in the current 40k atmosphere, but it can also allow some of the most hilarious stories for gamers to play out. I enjoy the challenge of playing against guard who always give me a good fight. Remember that a challenge can also be fun and the sky is not actually falling.


  1. All kidding aside, I would like to see the IG become slightly less powerful in the grand scheme of things. Even If I were not a marine player, Im not a fan of seeing the reasons to take Marines (impressive stat line and armor saves) reduced to a null and void state by the ungodly large number of answers that codex can bring to bear.

    Marines should be superior (not unbeatable by any means) but I feel like I should be able to see a difference from marines outside of CC... which is hard for 10 models to close the game on 30 and an 8-3 blast :P

  2. I agree with loki somewhat (as I play tyranids) I feel that the large squads of veterans are rather fluffy, and in many cases so are massive numbers of vehicles.

    What i've found rather unfluffy with the new guard codex is that people are spamming veterans. As heretic posted the veterans are the best troop choice the imperial guard have... but that means that an increasing number of army lists come out that only field veterans as troops where fluff wise an imperial guard company may only have 1 squad.

  3. I think a 0-1 troops choice for the Vets would have been appropriate. I'll hope an errata comes out saying that lol.

  4. I absolutely refuse to finish reading this as you did not spell my name correctly. Proofreading seems to be a lost art. It is ZerkeX, not Zersex. Please fix that, this names means alot to me.

  5. Fixed. Hope you enjoy the article.

  6. Guard are not over powered. After playing in the gladiator and the ard boys, I can say that almost all opponents make the same mistake when trying to fight guard, they try to out shoot us.

    There are only two armies in the whole 40k universe that can do this, tau and other guard armies. Tau can kinda do it but they simply do not have the bodies to do it very effectively (not saying they can't).

    The only people who ever get it right are assult armies (which almost every codex is 'thee' assault army)such as blood angles, templar, and orks. Not to mention the over powered assault phase witch guard don't really com-peat in.

    Really Imperial Guard won't be that bad once they get rid of demon hunter mistics.

  7. That being said, even though they aren't amazing in a 1 on 1 comparison, 30 guardsman will still do a decent amount against marines (especially given the bayonet charge order).

    It's not the fact that they aren't well rounded st all times like marines, it's more or less they have an amazing answer for making themselves rounded when needed... which can be better than being marines or anythign else for that matter :P

  8. From my experience as a Tau player, the Guard are frustrating and games, while close, never really see that much happening because guardsmen in the open against Tau is suicide as is most anything Tau in the open against Guard. Games against Guard, honestly mostly against Luke, are always enjoyable and worth playing.

    Marines have some major advantages against Guard and most other armies, but they also have some weaknesses. They have across-the-board (relatively) high leadership and outstanding durability that no other army can really match. Each army has something that it can do better than any other army and (Codex) Marines have the ability to improve themselves through characters that no other army can. Each army has an ability that no other army can match, though they can come close. Tau can run some very nice tanks and a gun line with support shots, but Guard can do it better. If you play to your strengths and don't worry about trying to play your army like another army, you will probably do better.

  9. ...But what if your army is supposed to be a gunline? Do I just lose? Necrons just lose, Daemons with their no anti-tank lose, Ork green tide (which honestly doesn't match up to stuff like Manticores or Medusa's or whatever), the list goes on.

    Guard is the best army because they can bring an insane amount of suppression fire to bear for very little cost packed into tons of units. For instance, what I consider THE IG anti-tank unit, the Vendetta, is like what, 100 some points for 3 TL'ed Plasma Cannons? AND it transports? AND its fast? Holy Jesus. It doesn't even matter if you can't blow up all your opponent's tanks turn one, you can shake or stun them all into oblivion.

    I think saying "overpowered" is going a little too far, but there is no doubt in my mind that Guard are the best codex, and even all assault BA jumpers with mass FNP bubbles will struggle to even get to a well run Guard parking lot.

    Of course, if you choose not to run the best units in the codex at a tournament like Ard Boyz' in order to not be "cheesy" or something, well, of course you lost ;)

  10. :P Vendettas have 3 TL Lascannons

    Against IG I'd need first turn to get an effective alpha-strike on the hard hitting units, and then hope to be able to weather the large blasts on my Crisis Suits, regardless of the cover they'll have. Beyond that it's target priority as usual, destroy their parking lot, go get some sushi.

    OP? Nah, just pretty nice.

  11. ^Very true, I remember reading about Danny Internets vs Jawaballs and how it literally came down to who went first.

    Thats not where I would like the game to go however. It seems that GW is content to say "well, just don't be a jerk and play lists like that" while I think most sensible people would think "hey GW learn to balance your game".

    From what I've read though their doing better. Not sure what led them to believe Tyranids were OP though.

    Also I had a derp moment, I meant Lascannons lol.

  12. The IG codex is simply a more powerful version of it's previous self. Simply put, they can do the same thing, with a much higher success rate due to improvements in points and the addition of the new orders system.

    I am not a huge fan of the simple power difference found in it compared to the other army choices, but then one can argue money prohibits most problems.

    In the end, I don't really care. If played against properly, any army (yes even Necrons and Daemons) can still beat the IG. It requires more work for some, but that is the nature of army lists, as any list can almost always be beaten by another.

    But all of this pales in comparison with the clearly superior Black Templar codex (fnar fnar)

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