Monday, March 30, 2009

Meat Grinder

Hey everyone, Dictator (Alex) here with another evaluation of the upcoming Guard Codex. This week, it concerns the rank and file Guardsman.

3rd/4th edition Codex:

The infantry one could choose in this codex were actually rather varied in terms of their traits thanks to doctrines. But the one problem with this was that there was not much meat for the grinder. When you needed to "take the hill", you would take the hill with about 35 troops tricked out with sharpshooters, cameleoline, and Light Infantry. It was rather "unguard like" to have individual troops that were around 8 points each. In the end your "normal" guardsmen were just as squashy as ever except you had less of them.

The 3rd/4th edition Codex was great at making our troops better, but I believe it backed the guard into a corner where we did not rely on our strengths: massed infantry and unique tactics (you know, like a real Army... Sort of). Instead we had smaller unit sizes as everyone tried to max out on Lemann Russ's and hellhound's in 1500 point games. Not good, not guard-like.

5th edition Codex

First off, basic squad is 50 points: The cheapest normal guardsmen have been. This means we will have troops and more of them. Unlike other people I will not use the new found 100 points or so in my list to get another tank or two, I will probably be filling it with more infantry. Either that, or giving my infantry Chimera's.

Without doctrines the codex could have fallen into boredom and repetition (something I accuse of the
3rd/4th edition Codex). But thankfully it won't because of the new Orders system and unique special characters. Each Platoon level officer gives 1 Order per turn, and every Command level officer gives 2 per turn. This is essentially where the guard's new strength lies. When we need our troops to be extraordinary, issue an order and watch your opponent pull the hair out of his head!

*Need to hold that objective?
How about adding 2 to your cover save?
*That Terminator Lord is very scary, not enough LASGUNS!
Turn 60 Las-shots into 90.
Plus 1 to armour penetration is available!

The best part is that these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many unique orders per officer and others that come regularly that I did not mention here.

But, there is a problem. The Order range is only 12 inches! And it roles on the leadership of the squad! That means you have to keep your newly Leadership 8 (they come with a veteran sergeant) guard infantry very close to their officer. This also means officers are invaluable to your mission success, and as a result, high priority targets.

You can give your officer body guards, but they are 30 points for two superfluous wounds (almost the price of another guard squad!). My suggestion is do what we have always done since 5th edition came out. Protect our valuable assets with a lot of meaty cadian-born infantry. The officer will be surprisingly fine if he is covered in a wall of 50 guardsmen, which are much more intimidating than his one order per turn. (they can even be many kill-points or objective grabbers the enemy would not mind toasting)


My suggestions for this new codex.

1. While it is all fun and games to play whit our new Leman russ toys, remember, chimera's are cheap and our troops are cheap. Use them, 2/3rds of games are objective based anyways.

2. Vox-net is not so important until you use it. Vox nets no longer share leadership, which sucks. But they do allow for a re roll of orders. Typically when you will use orders, you will REALLY need them. This 5 point safety net is probably worth it.

3. Don't max out on plasma. Mortars and Grenade Launchers are much cheaper. Have your objective holders use mortars (PINNING!) and your objective grabbers use their Grenade Launchers (assault weapons FTW).

4. Veteran Squads are made for Valkyries... Rapid insertion, rapid damage, Veteran squads excel at this

5. Keep the Leman Russ's at a minimum below 1500 points, above 1500, splurge on them.

6. Don't forget about using your orders. They can be used every turn, so use them. Write them down on a piece of paper, on your hand, tattoo them to your arm. I don't care, just do whatever you can so that you remember that orders are there!

That is all for this week, next week iw ill come back with a more in depth look at the "specialty" units and vehicles in the new codex.


Admiral Drax said...

I've fielded infantry-only lists with Guard for a couple of years now, and won about 2/3 of the time - bring 'em on, I say!

Mind you, if rumours are true, I'll miss Light Infantry and my beloved vox net...
ho-hum - it's about time the guardsmen failed more saves...

D'you know if they can still use officers' Ld when physically close (for normal Ld stuff)?

The Inner Geek said...

Those are some good thoughts, thanks for sharing them. I think the new guard will be pretty nice.

Dictator said...

Admiral Drax, The light infantry doctrine can be replicated with an HQ choice. Also, the Officer's Ld buff no longer exists.

Kevin said...

"tattoo them to your arm."
That is true dedication!

I personally can't wait to field a fluffy Valhallan army because they can actually be pretty competitive! :D