The balance of any army is a difficult thing. WIth guard, where the majority of the structure is so rigid, the optional extras must be exploited as much as possible. It's important to note that the army list presented here represents the 'optimum' wargear setup. With Imperial Guard, there's always a balance to be struck between numbers and strength. The options presented below are still highly restricted by doctrines. While I can take storm troopers as grenadiers, the subsequent opt in options would require me to buy back ratlings, orgryns, techpriests, psykers, heavy weapon teams, special weapon squads - a nonsense. That said, as every guard player knows, you can bend the codex to take what you want and I'm not above sacrificing the Heavy Weapon Platoon and taking more HQ extras.
The Army Core
The core of this army is Easy platoon. It's five squads form the backbone of the elite forces, while the platoon command is kitted out with cheap but effective grenade launchers to give maximum move and fire support to the troops.
Previously, my use of the gun-line meant that having autocannons or heavy bolters as part of the squads was a useful way of soaking up incoming fire while keeping the units fresh. With 5th Edition and the requirement for troops to capture objectives, a heavy weapon has become an expense not worth having. I have plumped for plasma and melta in the squads as both are most effective within the rapid fire range of 12". I've steered clear of flamers in the squads, largely because while they can prove wildly successful, thy are a wasted option for most of the game and I prefer to attached such weapons to units that are close combat orientated, faster, or disposable.
The command squads of the Heavy platoon and the Troops platoon are interchangeable. The 24" grenade launcher will allow the Easy Command Squad to range behind these troop shields, enjoying a 4+ save while taking pot shots at potential adversaries with frag, or popping Dire Avengers with krak grenades. Meanwhile, the classic 3 plasma and a medic combination is strengthened further in the 5th Edition, with 'gets hot' rolls being more forgiving. I foresee this heavy weapon platoon command squad providing 'deterrence' strength to infiltrators and deep strikers at the rear of the board, while offering a back up squad with real punch to offer a satisfactory second line of offense against wraithlords etc.
Backing up this central platoon and its platoon HQ are the two 'Sturn's Specials' special weapon teams. Without melta or plasma, they'll present less of a target, while they're 4 grenade launchers will offer 'pester power'. The addition of a couple of demolition packs will hopefully give them the punch to capture objectives and seize ground.
Close Combat Options
I'm the sort of player who enjoys throwing squads into the mix, but with the new close combat rules being so destructive, I want to ensure that whatever I throw in demolishes the opposition. This can be achieved in two ways, drastically outnumbering your opponent with masses of troops; or tipping the odds in your favour with some tougher close combat squads. 5th Edition is less terrifying for the guard, as a single close combat squad can no longer roll up the line, but when fighting Orks, Tyranids or Smurfs its toughness, saving throws and attacks that win the day. Being WS7 is nice, but you still only get 3+ to hit - what a waste of points.
With this in mind I've got two toughened close combat units. The first is an overpriced dream, I've found the combination of Nork Deddog and a plasma'd up command squad essential in the past. The addition of carapace armour makes they remarkably potent, as does the essential addition of power weapons. My command squad, plus Nork and a Commissar saw off two aspect warrior squads (Striking Scorpions/Swooping Hawks) and a band of Harlequins thanks to plasma, power weapons and the commissar shooting Sturn in the head. Nice.
My second option is a bit of a pet project, I've spoken about the Orgyrns I'm purchasing and their assorted weaponry. The idea is that these Adeptus Mechanicus augmented Orgyrns will be armed with storm bolters and huge weaponry (although their stats will be basic). On top of this I've decided to create an house rules Independent Character called 'Lugger Cross", who is a Bone'Ed armed with carapace armour, a wraithlord sword (counts as +1S weapon) and (here's where we leave the annals of the codex) a heavy flamer. The model will look awesome, in toughened armour, toting a cigar! Needless to say, he'll be pricey at 56 points all in.
The second line of assault in my Deathwatch Killteam. All the fun of taking smurfs without the cheese. These guys aren't the hottest in close combat, but with five 30" Rapid Fire AP4 kraken bolts and two assault 3 heavy bolters - they're not to be sniffed at either. Oh and I gave the captain a powerfist and powersword because I like him.
Red and yellow and pink and green, well not pink obviously. The Space Marine DeafWatch Killteam come to play.
Finally, I have the unmentionable Unregulars - my conscripts. 20 guard only given Rogue Trader armour and lasguns - poor boys! I did give them two flamers! Now I just have to buy Ibrahim Gaunt ... at 45pts they're then fearless. Hmm nice.
Heavy Weapon Teams: With the troops options mobile and supported by special weapon fire, the positioning of the Heavy Weapon Teams becomes essential. With Guard and heavy weapons, I following one simple rule: Shoot as much as possible. Hence why I lead with two squads of Heavy Bolters mustering a total of 18 shots a turn, followed up by the six autocannon shots with their anti light tank and walker role. In addition, this firepower can be further stoked by the Sentinel Stalkers. Armed with Autocannons for maximum impact.
While many armies focus on the Lascannon as the central piece of the weapons, I prefer the flexibility of the Missile Launcher. When fighting Eldar, which I do frequently, S9 is not an advantage as it's usually sacrificed by by the skimmers bow-wave. Furthermore, while the AP2 is useful against Terminators, I'd rather use my missiles on softer targets. Three frag missiles can really flatten a squad of guardians, while the S8 AP3 missile can even make a wraithlord blush. As such I usually pack 6 of these beauties, and can field a total of 12. An interesting argument put forward by SubtleBlatancy, is to use missile launchers right across your army, that way the enemy can't 'single out' and particularly frustrating squad, plus the missile launcher on most tests outperforms all other weapons.
Leman Russ: The final and most recent addition to the force are the tanks and armoured transports. I have personally steered clear of both the Basalisk and the Demolisher. While I respect their potential, they fall into the future purchase options for me. The core of my force is built around two Leman Russ battle tanks. These have standard armament including sponsor heavy bolters and lascannon (and the required heavy stubber). The use of ordinance weapons is essential to guard armies and these battle cannons usually focus their ire on squads. The addition of two lascannons does give the force the additional antitank punch when required.
Chimera's ... hmm where to start, they just won't die, will they? Whether because of their weaponry, seemingly weaker armour or passive calming paintjob (ED: eh?) the lowly Chimera just keeps on churning, the focus for mine is to play taxi to the objectives required. Despite being sorely underestimated, the chimera can churn out an awesome arsenal of 9 S4,S5 and S6 shots which can quickly wither away any enemy troops. Just them as mobile pillboxes, or alternatively use them as the fire screen to this bad boy.
The Hellhound. I love my hellhound, the inferno cannon is the best anti infantry hill grabbing option available. My biggest problem is that I want more of them ... Can't I take three?
And that's it. A full breakdown of the armour troops and specialist options adopted.
- Commander Storn (plasma pistol and powersword, carapace)
- 3 x veteran troopers (plasma pistols and close combat weapon, carapace)
- 1 x veteran trooper (plasma pistol, carapace, close combat weapon and company standard); in a Chimera transport
Optional HQ Advisors
- Commissar Ulbrect (Bolt Pistol and power sword, carapace)
- Nork Deddog (As per GW spec, Rippergun, carapace)
- Nark Muldoon: Psyker (Honorifica Imperialis; carapace; plasma holdout pistol [bolt pistol] and master crafted force weapon, psyker ability: Psychic Ward)
- Techpriest Petark: Techpriest Enginseer advisor (counts as an elites option if he takes servitors); las pistol, power axe, servo arm, power armour.
Nork Deddog and Nark Muldoon 'lead' a charge.
- 2 x Storn's Specials: special weapon teams armed with 2 grenade launchers, demolition charge, 3 lasguns.
- 1 x Fire Support Squad, Heavy Bolters 
- 1 x Anti Tank Squad, Missile Launchers 
- Kochi Stalkers : Autocannon and chainsword equipped Sentinels
Veteran Sergeant complete with Storm Bolter, targeter and powersword
HQ Option: DeathWatch Killteam. Space Marines  led by a Captain armed with Power Fist and Power Sword, Five Space Marines armed with bolters armed with kraken bolts. Two space marines armed with Suspensor Heavy Bolters (18" Assault 3 weapon) and Hellfire Shells (2+ to wound).
- Kochi veteran unit : 3 grenade launchers and a missile launcher, vet sergeant with power sword, storm bolter and targeter.
- Ratling Snipers 
- Orgryn Attack Squad , comprising augmented stormbolters and massiveclose combat weapons (equivilent to a rippergun). Bone 'Ed 'Lugger Cross' with carapace armour, heavy flamer and mighty sword (+1S); in a Chimera transport.
Troops: Kochi Regulars
- Command Squad with 4 grenade launchers, lieutenant with bolt pistol and close combat weapon.
- Easy Alpha : Standard Squad with meltagun.
- Easy Bravo : Standard Squad with plasmagun.
- Easy Charlie : Standard Squad with meltagun.
- Easy Delta : Standard Squad with plasmagun.
- Easy Squared : Standard Squad with meltagun.
Colonel Sterns - Kochi Irregular Veteran Bodyguards
- Grenadier Squad Foxtrot : Plasmagun and grenade launcher.
- Grenadier Squad Gamma : powersword, meltagun and flamer.
- Kochi Unregulars: 20 Conscripts, 2 flamers.
- Hellhound: Inferno Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Smoke, Hunter Killer Missile and Heavy Stubber.
- Leman Russ "Crystal Meth": Heavy bolter sponsons, lascannon, battle cannon, heavy stubber.
- Leman Russ "First Doubts": Heavy Bolter Sponsons, lascannon, battle cannon, heavy stubber.
Heavy Weapon Platoon
- Command squad with 3 plasma guns and a medic, lieutenant with bolt pistol and close combat weapon.
- Fire Support Squad, Heavy Bolters 
- Fire Support Squad, Autocannons 
- Anti Tank Squad Missile Launchers 
- Mortar Teams 
- Swap out Special Weapon Squads for second Veterans Squad .