Monday, 7 September 2009

Loving the Chug

A 'Chug' (he say with all authority) is a Chimera. It's a name (I invented) which I think best reflects the vehicles abilities. It's not the fastest transport in the fleet, but it'll poddle along like Ivor the Engine and eventually get your boys into combat.

In my fluff, the Chimera plays an intrinsic role for the Kochi 20th Light Infantry - and as such, they're my first tank of choice when it comes to filling out the armour. For the uninitiated, here's a quick taster:


Either way, it was a mess.

"No one's helming this tub, and they're playing in the rigging while the rocks kiss our keel." Hagard mused to himself, scratching his three days growth of grey black mottled stubble. It was clear that this battle was in its last moments, and despite the desperate acts of a valiant few, it was the last desperate punch delivered before the true weight of the Tau fell.

"Lucky for them the 20th is in the last minute business.” He mused to no-one in particular. He triggered his intercom, all channels.

"Huntpack Alpha: flank left and vent those Tau. Huntpack Beta: flank right, I want concentrated fire, rout those Tau and isolate the hill. Chugs are up front and centre, target those blasted skimmers. Branch out and form a firebase at the Colonel’s position. Watch your spacing and go spare with the ammunition, we got friendlies up there."


As such, I'm a very happy bunny about the new imperial guard codex. On my recent uber-tank-purchasing-splurge I purchased a bucket full of goodies for the Guard. The new demolisher and hellhound were top of my list, along with a Basilisk for more indirect meanness. But alongside all this hardcore firepower, a also purchased two additional Chugs to bring my tally up to four.

Here's why...

Comparible benefits of a Chimera ...

The Chimera (pronounced Kai-mera - go figure, ruddy greeks?!?) is the 'workhorse' of the Imperial Guard, and until recently it was a fairly pricey one at that. The old Chug had to buy its tank AND then buy all the upgrades, resulting in a slow transport at about 100pts a pop. Other than the price, it is one of the best balanced transports in the game... but that was until the new rules, which make it indispensible.


The Chug has solid frontal armour, and thanks to its relatively 'wide' nose any first round chug with a hit on the side armour is an unlucky one. Added to this, the Chug now comes with 'free' smoke launchers. This means that the first turn can be spent chewing up 12" and popping the smoke. Try alternating 'smokers' to benefit from 2 turns of popping. The Chug can also mount extra armour, which is worthwhile if you're expecting to use them as 'armoured walls' and want to move 6+ inches a turn to minimise the hits against you.


In the world of 5th Edition, rate of fire is now more important than low AP in general. That's not to say, when facing space marines or terminators, that the application of plasma isn't required. But at range (24" +) its all about rate of fire due to the abundance of cover saves. I was always fairly dismissive of the lowly multilaser as it lacks either the high (er) strength of the autocannon or the AP4 of the heavy bolter.

In the new codex however, the multilaser is now the anti-transport weapon of choice. The advent of heavy weapon teams becoming T3 2W models has lead to some serious navel gazing among the 40k Guard throng. The weapons team is only Ld7, so orders like 'bring it down' aren't as effective - in addition, an agressive Guard force (now a distinct possibility) cannot rely on any heavy weapons teams to give the 'durability' of the previous codex.

Assault cannons, Reaper Autocannon, Ion Cannons, Tau Rail Rifles and other S6-7 weapons all love targetting weapons teams, and I'm incresingly finding that beyond fielding mortars (hidden away), I'm prefering armoured direct fire heavy weapons over unarmoured.

This is where the Chug excels, at only 55pts with multilaser and heavy bolter. The Chug can lay down withering antipersonelle and anti-transport fire while ignoring every S6-S7 shot on the board. In the absense of some heavier armour, this may present a problem, but usually Chimeras are ignored in favour of targetting higher priority targets, like Russes and Hellhounds.


12 passengers isn't bad either. Delivering either that much needed veteran squad or 6 Orgyrns into the mix, the only problem the Chug suffers from over the Rhino is that its weaponry means that often you'll choose to move 6" and fire rather then 12". This said, as guard, if it ain't peppered with holes by the time you arrive, you ain't going to kill it. Chimeras give you the option of considerable speed en masse, while at the same time allowing you to approach steadily mowing things down - the moving pillbox.

Command Vehicle:
The new orders also make the Chimera the first vehicle of choice for command squads as it both makes them more durable AND give them a longer range for administering orders - plus the discounts on the command squads over the old codex mean a chugs practically mandatory.

Drive-by Monster: The rules for shooting from a Chimera have been simplified. Rather than firing once from the top and firing the 'lasguns' along the side separately the new rules mean the player can simply shoot up to 5 squad weapons from the top of the Chug. In addition, the Chimera no longer counts as open topped when doing so. Suddenly a range of opportunities opens up - for drive by Chugs...

Where's the command squad? Three guesses...

Favourite Combinations:
  • Close Support Command Shooter: Command HQ with a plasma pistol and 4 grenade launchers in a Chimera with Multilaser, heavy flamer, heavy stubber and extra armour. This baby pumps out 7 S6 shots and 3 S4 shots at 24" a turn when moving. This tank is designed as the ultimate close support vehicle for your infantry. Remember that HQ Command Squads are true Vets now with BS4! When moving forward, the heavy flamer is my secondary weapon of choice. Moving will limit your ability to fire more than the multilaser and heavy stubber anyhow, and the heavy flamer is brilliant for parking up and clearing a building.
  • Oggers Away: The Chug is the only way to deliver Ogyrns in 40k. Gone are the 'dark in dere' rule, so Oggers can leap in and out of Chugs all battle (albeit gingerly). Ogyrns are a bit of a points sink - but it should be remembered that 6 Oggers pump out a total of 18 S5 shots at 12" - nice! I'd recommend extra-armour, heavy flamer and a bulldozer blade to get you there asap. In for 400 points in for a pound.
  • Drive-by Plasma Death: Any enemy Marine Equivilent (MEQ) commander is going to target those squads carrying the plasma weaponry. This either leads to you spreading out your plasma death, or alternatively, putting them in a metal box. The combination of 3 plasma and a medic for 'feels no pain' is as old as the hills. Combine this with a Chimera and you've a durable unit for surviving long enough to deliver those S7 hits on the nose.
  • Psyker Touring Bus: The psyker battle choir turns a Chimera into a close support Basilisk - adding a 36" S9 template to the mix. That said, for the price I'd rather have a leman russ... but the 36" 'I'm gonna screw with your leadership and give you the willies...' skill is pretty damn cool - especially for routing jetbiking seer councils 3D6.
  • Primaris Psyker Toy: 2D6 24" S6 shots ain't to be sneered at, combine this with a command squad with 4 grenade launchers, or a meltagun in the mix and you've got a brilliant (and cheap) objective grabber. They may be a command squad, but they're troops none-the-less and with 14 S6 shots and 3 S4 (heavy stubber) plus a heavy flamer when needed - they WILL TAKE THAT HILL DAMMIT!
  • Veterans Armoured Fist: The only armoured fist you can now recreate (and a much improved one too) is the veteran squad. Melta should maybe be deployed in Vendettas and Valks, but the Chug will suffice for grenade and heavy flamer objective takers. For a real treat, have Harkers squad picked up from a flank in a Chug for an Assault 3 Heavy Bolter and three special weapons on top of the multilaser shots... nice.

The chimera offers a plethora of lethal combinations that make it still one of the most viable and durable tanks in the game. The bargain price has made it a serious contender... plus in my experience ... Chugs are lucky - I've had one survive a close encounter with a Carnifex AND face down a wraithlord twice ... they are especially useful against Eldar as brightlances bring everything down to AV12 - so bring AV12. At 55 pts you can buy 4 Chugs for 1 well built demolisher, which makes choices tricky.

So lets here it for the Chug - How do you feel about the ubiquitous transport?