Tactica Imperialis - The Armoury  

Posted by Hal'jin in , , , ,

I suppose it's about time to post something else than just pictures and modelling articles. Time for the first article, in a possible series, genuinely named Tactica Imperialis. This one will mostly focus on saying a few words about pretty much everything in the new Guard codex as I find them on the battlefield.

This series will consist of three parts. First one will focus on weapons available to the Guard, second the units and third the possible combinations of the units. I hope some of these informations you will find helpful and they will aid you in constructing a list that will bring glory to the God-Emperor many times! Remember to keep in mind though, this is entirely my own opinion based on my experience. Yours may vary depending on your tactics, meta-game and many many more.

Let's begin then.

  1. Special Weapons
    • Grenade Launcher
      Ah, the humble Grenade Launcher. It doesn't really excell at anything, but it's a good all-round weapon. In my opinion, if you take and infantry squad it has to have this weapon at the very least. If its not made for some specific task the Launcher costing only 5 points is a must-have even if only to make that single S6 shot. Don't expect miracles out of it but it's still a small boost to effectivness of the squad. It's a viable option for every unit, though I do prefer more specialised weapons for BS 4 vets. I put those on every infantry squad I field.
    • Flamer
      The second cheap weapon in our armoury, the flamer is much more specialised than the Grenade Launcher. First of all it requires you to be up close and personal, which isn't the best idea for your fragile guardsmen. Second thing is their effectivness raises tremendously when stacked on a single squad. Third is that they do not use BS and as such are great choices for low BS guardsmen but not so good for BS 4 vets. I tend to stick them onto special weapon squads and the Platoon Command. The other good use I can see is a few combined Infatry Squads.
    • Melta Gun
      One of the best special weapons nowadays and the single best anti-tank weapon (aside from Multi-melta of course) in game. It's drawbacks are short range and single shot. I such they're best utilised on BS 4 that's somehow made more mobile. The best in my opinion is a squad of vets or a Company Command Squad in a Chimera. That way they're protected from most harm, have an effective range of 26" (20" on short range) and can be where you need them to be. Second choice would be Stormtroopers with Airborne Assault deployment - second good way to put the weapons exactly where needed.
    • Plasma Gun
      The bread and butter of Guard in previous edition, now somewhat receeding. With its cost up to 15 points it's quite a serious investment. In my opinion you should only use it on BS 4 units where they can make the most out of those weapons. They're still good for opening light vehicles and taking down MCs especially with Bring it Down! order, but I'm fielding only 3 of those, when I used to field 12 and some people used to have more...
    • Heavy Flamer
      Seemingly a great weapon, though somehow limited in which units have access to it. After you see the hefty point cost however it stops being so great. As of now it's only place is on vehicles for me, though I suppose fielding it on Vets isn't that bad of an idea. On the other hand using it on a Command Squad is a waste in my opinion. For the price of one you can have 4 regular Flamers, what do you think will cause more damage? Sure, you could field 3 and one heavy but I think it's a waste of points that could be put to a much better use.
    • Sniper Rifle
      I still haven't used that weapon, so in fact I have no experience on how it performs. I did hear however that it's quite effective, though again it has to be stacked to do anything good. The ability to pin combined with Psykers nearby can however be a deadly combination to an enemy killer-unit. They too should be put on BS 4, Ratlings work all too well for those.
    • Demolition Charge
      Aaah, one of my favourite weapons. Once it hits it more or less obliterates the enemy unit, but it has to hit first. With only 6" range and very few units who can take those it's not that easy. Doesn't stop me from taking four on two SWSes though and it sure is a great laugh when they scatter back onto your owno unit... Still, back in 4th Guard needed some kind of unit that would act as a cc-counter. Nowadays a demo charge is all unit need, hide it behind the to-be-slaughtered unit, watch it die and enemy helplessly consolidate within the range of the dreaded "briefcase"
    • Boltgun
      Well it is a kind of a special weapon for the Guard is it not? In my opinion - a waste of points. Take it only for fluff reasons and the coolness-of-model factor.
    • Bolt Pistol
      As above, turning that single 12" S3 shot into 12" S4 AP5 shot won't really do much difference. Pick only for fluff reasons or to fill in missing points.
    • Plasma Pistol
      A "slightly" more lethal upgrade for a pistol this one more noteworthy. However it's point cost is rather high and it has the annoying tendency to kill your character (and Guard sergeants are much more than they used to be, having 3(!) base attacks). It still could find its use to add a bit more punch to the unit, but myself I tend to steer clear of these, though I did use to field them under the previous codex in the plasma-bomb-veterans-of-doom.
  2. Heavy Weapons
    • Mortar
      A cheap, versatile and very handy to get those pesky enemies that are hiding out of los, possibly sitting on an objective. Even after the recent additions and changes of the codex Guard isn't the most mobile army around and sometimes you just have no way to reach that objective. Personally I haven't fielded those, but I'd sure wish to try one day and I heard lots of good about them.
    • Heavy Bolter
      Another weapon I haven't really fielded on the squads. I prefer to keep it to the tanks. With the same point cost as the Autocannon there really isn't a reason to field the Bolter with less Strength and less range even though it has one shot more, other than you liking this weapon in itself.
    • Autocannon
      The best heavy weapon in my opinion. Cheap and effective can both through light vehicles (up to AV12) and some infatry (wounding nearly everything on 2+ does help). Again I field all my Infantry Squads with one of these.
    • Missle Launcher
      A strange weapon, to be honest. Personally I don't really like it. On one hand it's versatile allowing you to shoot both nearly every vehicle (Only really weak against AV14, though the single shot does hurt) and infantry with the blast. On the other it is just single shot and the small blast isn't going to hit lots of models if your opponent know how to play. I find myself preferring the Autocannon to it, though I surely can see why people would field Missle Launcher.
    • Lascannon
      Quite expensive but still a decent heavy weapon, however I do not field any on my infatry anymore. Two Vendettas carry more than enough Lascannons for the job and they are more resillient and hit much better. Some claim that Lascannon on BS 3 is one of the worst AT weapons mathematically and I suppose there's some truth in it looking back at what they used to do. Still Lascannons are more-or-less mandatory in the list somewhere, so if you do not field Vendettas you'll need some for the long-range AT quality.
  3. Melee Weapons
    • Power Weapon
      In most cases melee weapons are rather useless in the Guard. Power Weapons might take away the enemy high armour save but it doesn't change the fact that the wielder is only S3 and against a lot of opponents he'll wound on 5+. It's not really worth the 10 points looking at it competetively. They do however have their use when combining squads. 3 or more combined Infatry Squads with a Commissar fully outfitted with Power Weapons have from 12 to 16 no-armour-save-allowed attacks which can deal serious damage to the enemy. The combined squad is also too big for nearly any enemy to kill the sergeants before they manage to make their blows.
    • Power Fist
      A much more interesting choice costing only 5 points more. I seem to be noticing lots of people put Fists onto every Veteran Squad of theirs. being 10-man strong it's hard to kill the sergeant before he makes his attacks and he's going to bring at least one enemy down. Sure it doesn't cause instant death like Marines PFs but it still does wound on 2+. Right now I'm looking into way of fitting these into my list and I'll let you know how they fare once I've tried them out good. I did field them yesterday against Dark Elder, but the vet unit never got into any combat and had no chance of testing them out. On the other hand the fist on command squads or, even worse, Commissar Lord is a total waste of points and your commander. The 5-man command squad is very unlikely to get a chance of using the weapon, unless you have a myriad of different advisors there, though that does make the squad quite overpriced. Commissar Lord being IC is definitely going to die before his chance.
  4. Other
    • Medi-Pack
      30 points for Feel No Pain on a squishy 5-man unit? Mh, not really, thanks. Though I suppose if you do not field your unit in a Chimera, or have many advisors and maybe plenty of plasma guns it can have its appeal. Though I still think 30 points can be spent much better, sadly, as I really like the old metal Medic model.
    • Regimental Standard
      Now this is an interesting thing. Re-rolls for morale tests are really good stuff, especially since you do not have to re-roll if you do not wish to. The sad thing is they don't work from inside the Chimera and I'm unsure why do I field one. I guess I just love the looks of standards in general, though it isn't really visible anywhere when it's inside. I guess it will have to go in some variants of the list, though in my opinio it's a must-have for a Company Command Squad that's on foot.
    • Platoon Standard
      This standard on the other hand is quite useless. The 5-man platoon command will be slaughtered by nearly everything that will assault it and counting as dealing one more wound won't help. It may actually hinder you as otherwise they squad could've safely disengaged and combat ending during your assault phase is a great threat for the Guard army. I wouldn't field it even though I love standards so much.
    • Vox-Casters
      On voxes I do have mixed feelings. If you wanted to outfit entire army in those they turn out quite expensive. Re-rolls for orders are nice, but in all honesty I haven't really had that many problems with order. Usually I actually have no units to issue them to, playing a more mechanised list! In my opinion they're a bit of a waste as they are now and I could only see the use if you have a specific unit that's meant to work with order and you can't afford it to fail. But frankly, I don't believe such situation will come up on the battlefield often.
And that's it. I hope you enjoyed the read and will benefit from it one way or another. As with IHRH if you have any specific wishes go ahead and express them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer. Finishing, here's my 1800 pts list that I've been using with slight modifications here and there. It still lacks that final polish as I'd like to add the Fists, another Chimera and the Astropath, but still haven't got to it.

Imperial Guard 42nd Cadian - 1800

Company Command Squad

Officer of the Fleet, Melta Gunx3, Regimental Standard
Chimera - Multi-Laser, Heavy Flamer

Psyker Battle Squad(10)
Chimera - Multi-Laser, Heavy Flamer

Infatry Platoon
Platoon Command Squad

Infatry Squadx4
Grenade Launcher, Autocannon

Special Weapon Squadx2
Flamer, Demolition Chargex2

Veteran Squad

Veteran Squad
3xMelta, Power Fist
Chimera - Multi-Laser, Heavy Flamer


Scount Sentinel Squadron(2)

Leman Russ Battle Tank
Sponson Bolters

Leman Russ Demolisher
Sponson Plasma Cannons


This entry was posted on Friday, July 24, 2009 at Friday, July 24, 2009 and is filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Regarding the specials...

I think I'd worry about a flamer more than I'd worry about the grenade launcher. Sure, the GL CAN slap out a krak grenade, or even a small blast...but it's not really going to do much. If I'm stuck with a special slot on a BS3 guy, I think I'm more likely to slap the flamer on there as a 'just in case' measure.

On Meltaguns, I agree with you: they need vets to carry 'em. Three BS4 meltaguns (especially with 'bring it down') are liable to do the job.

Plasma gun? I suppose you could slap 'em into a command squad with a medic and carapace armor, but that's a bit pricey. Certainly, give it only to BS4 fellows.

I agree with you that the heavy flamer is best on vehicles. I think that just about everything aside from a Devil-Dog variant that has space to take one for free should take one for free. If the enemy does get into your lines, these will sort the problem out. I might consider it vet squads and go 2 meltagun/heavy flamer to give them the ability to maim anything at close range, but that's an army-comp issue.

I think the sniper rifle is a points-soaker in something like a vet squad w/ camo cloaks that sits on an objective. No more, and no less. They do their best work in numbers and combine nicely with 'bring it down', but that's all. But, that doesn't make Ratlings worth it. T2 means they eat too many wounds, and you can get pinning checks of ordnance barrage.

For Mortars? Need 'em in numbers, but they can constantly shell stuff. Might as well.

Heavy bolters? I disagree that they should be on vehicles, Sure, if a Chimera is standing still, it can get even MORE shots out to range, but if/when the enemy closes, the heavy bolter is crap compared to what the heavy flamer can get you.

I'm with you on the autocannon and missile launcher. Screw the versatility, get more shots.

Lascannons? Get 'em on the Vendetta. Give the Vendetta heavy bolters and it can engage anything.

Now, I disagree with you on the melee weapons. Unless you're going some wonky assault-themed guard army (with something like several combined infantry squads w/ power weapons, meltaguns, and a commissar or two) then just avoid them. Sure, your vets MIGHT slap a couple wounds on something with the fist, but honestly? Guard don't do melee.

On the non-killy gear, I'm also pretty much with you. Medics are bloody expensive for the FNP, and you might as well put that command squad in a Chimera anyway. Though, Vox Casters ARE nice if you only have a few units that might be taking orders. It's points-filler, but can be helpful. Not essential, though.

The standards? Look cool, I suppose, but I'm not paying points to look cool.

24 July 2009 at 22:56

Mh, thanks for the lengthy response, now to answer it.

I still do like GLs though. Flamer has the issue of short range unfortunately. Sure, if you hit with it you're going to do much more than with the GL, but if you really plan for your squads to just sit there, act as meatshields and cover the objectives in pile of bodies, I think GL is reasonable choice to give slightly more firepower.

The 3 plasma gunners don't fail me to be honest. But definitely not getting any more with the point cost.

Still don't have my own opinion on sniper rifles, but I have heard of several cases of field Ratlings succesfully so I guess they're that bad? And I do mean competetive enviroment.

As for HBs, that's why all my Chimeras have HFs. ;) But I do like to add those 3 shots or more to that Battle Cannon Shell. Admittedly they do not do a lot, but I haven't really modelled my LRBT with detachable sponsons so.. But that's one source of points I could find.

I've only tried HBs on Vendetta once and wasn't too impressed. Generally 3 Lascannons are meant to be AT, while HBs are meant to be anti-infatry and that's not a perfect match up. Though maybe if I'd have spare points...

As for melee weapons I used to think the same way... Though the point of that fist is to prevent the squad getting mutilated by a single SM sergeant or a smilarly small group of high-ASv models. I have seen it happen a lot, though somehow I was lucky with that myself. I'm going to experiment around with them and once I do I'll let you know of the result.

And the last point - the Standard hit my weak spot unfortunately. Though if I will ever be going to a tournament it's going out in favor of a 4th melta or something. Though last game I did wish I had it out of Chimera when my Infantry Squads failed their Ld test and were run down by a single DE jetbike they would've easily defeated next assault phase...

24 July 2009 at 23:17

I don't know why I haven't been following your blog sooner, Hal'Jin, because your stuff is pure win. Models are converted well, painted well, and played well (as seen by you taking the time for this in-depth tactical analysis), making for the ultimate combination. I will be reading through your back-posts and soaking it all up. Keep up the good work.

25 July 2009 at 09:21

Well now, what a great overview!

I'm becoming increasingly disillusioned with sniper rifles and plasma guns - for the reasons noted. It's a shame, as I love all of the sniper models.

I dery much agree with the demo charges - so much fun - and I've also been very impressed with mortars. For 60 points for three with 48" range I've had considerable success with them - and that's Vs necrons, marines and even terminators! Again though, they're a very 'Guard' weapon: cowardly to fire, weak to wound and hilarious when you shell your own troops!

But my personal favourite? Grenade launchers. Since they no longer take medics (and I did love my medic models *sniff!*) my Platoon HQs all heft 3 GLs now, and I've never yet failed to be impressed by them, Vs 'Crons, 'Nids, MEQs and (of course) Guard. Great fun, and it's surpriseing how often those S6 shots come in useful. 3 of them firing at 24" from a chimera hatch is really winner.

Just my twopenn'orth.

- Drax.

26 July 2009 at 23:13

One of the smaller parts of this breakdown got to me. The vox casters. I love the look of them, but your right; if my army does end up being mechanized (as I hope they someday will be) then they'll be pretty redundant.. Well, at least until all the chimeras get blasted, which will probably be like turn three, because they generally suck.. Still, it'd save me about 150 or so points..

6 October 2009 at 07:01

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