Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Imperial Guard - Keeping it cheap...

Cause Gaunt don't get no Vendetta spam!
Copyright acknowledged to GW and Black Library.

The Imperial Guard have some wonderful units which can play very specific roles... thanks to the new codex, many of the more 'standard' units have been eclipsed by the likes of the multi-talented (and multi-effective) Vendetta, Valkyrie, Veterans and Manticore (ok not really multi-talented but you get my drift)...

SO how do I bite back, I bring the firepower back to the plebs. When was the last time the Imperial Guard fielded nothing but Vendetta's and Valks in a Gaunt's Ghosts novel, eh?


As such, here's my (fun) contribution to the sort of army I like to play, which is all about synergy, sacrifice and one-trick wonders, THE GUARD WAY!

Mobile Infantry list (1500)
  • 2 x Primaris Psykers (140pts)
  • 4 Ratlings (40pts)
  • Platoon HQ with 4 Grenade Launchers and Heavy Stubber Chug (115pts)
  • 4 Squads with Autocannon's and Heavy Stubber Chugs (500pts)
  • 5 x mortar teams, 15 in total (300pts)
  • Penal Legion Squad (80pts)
  • 3 scout sentinels with Lascannon and Camo (180pts)
  • 7 x Rough Riders (75pts)
  • 7 x Rough Riders (75pts)

This isn't the sort of army your opponent will be used to facing. The Chimera's are there to play pillbox and pump out 11 S4-7 shots a turn. Outside of AV14 these guys should be able to down light transports without breaking a sweat and suppress the s*** out of any foot troops. Imperial Guard are crap at 'challenging' for objectives, so it's best to shoot everything down and then grab the nearest.

The Chugs are led by a Platoon HQ. Now I've found these guys to be a good stopper against whatever 'can make it through that hail of fire'. Dropping a Primaris Psyker on board (or two) can make this chug a serious 'silent killer' as it can pump out up to 11-31 S6 shots at 24". That's enough to give even Terminators the wobbles... think of this unit as your mopping up unit after the roughriders have gone in (and died heroically)...

Behind the Chugs come three camo'd and lascannon'd Sentinels. place correctly, they should be able to get a 3+ save while drawing a bead on whatever landraider/monolith/battlewagon approaches. Remember that they don't get a 3+ if they move, and keep them busy. The ability to move (from cover) and alphastrike a target is their strength.

Rough riders, spread them out behind the Chugs but around the mortars to ensure that you minimise deep strike danger. These guys can deliver an awesome counterpunch for both anti deep-strike and anti-terminator baddies. 7 Rough riders deliver 15 S5 power weapon hits at I5. That's some serious 'on-par' baddy killing there.

Behind the Rough Riders come the mortars. These guys should be out of line of sight and hidden behind (or in) cover. The more firepower these plebs attract the better, as they can go to ground and weather it easily. These are the 'motivator' for your opponent as they can hit any squad within 48" with horrific casualties every turn. Spamming mortars is devilishly effective. Thanks to indirect you can fire with impunity and with the barrage rules, when you hit a 1/3rd of the time it will really, really hurt. 15 mortars can and will completely dominate the game, your opponents objectives and his playing style. Oh, and you pin.

Penal Legions ... well they had to come didn't they? If they get the guns, stick them in the front lines, if not then consider flanking them into a close combat position or to challenge the opponents home plate. Even S3 is awesome with a rend and you only need a couple of lucky rolls for these guys to shine. Remember they are also 'stubborn', so as a 'hold them up' unit - you couldn't do better!

4 Ratlings are along for the ride. 3 out of 4 should hit and 1.5 wounds a turn is better than none. These guys are really there for playing position however and keeping genestealers or kommando's and other infiltrating nasties at a decent reach.


The Mortars force your opponent to be aggressive, anything without AV14 is going to get a serious hammering, the rough riders cover the mortars and prepare for counter attack against whatever makes it through the torrent of fire. It's a bit of a one trick pony, but it's also a difficult nut to crack.

Remember that although this is a lot of firepower, it's not a lot of bodies (on the field that is, inside tanks is another matter), use this to your advantage.

The rate of fire is key here as you can shoot enough shots to make both high toughness monsters like Mephiston or the Tryant or highly armoured opponents like terminators shudder under the rate of fire.


The Landraider: First up, you lack anything that can really challenge a landraider or similar AV14 all round 'cheat-machine'. That said, anything except a thunderhead unit will die to rough riders. My advice ... try to get lucky with your lascannons and concentrate on wiping out the rest of his army. When they hit, get a sacrifice unit in the way, and then hit them hard with everything backed up by the mortars. Mortars have no minimum range and can therefore be used to pile on the wounds. 3 'hits' will easily give you 15 hits on a disembarked squad, giving you up to 22 wounds from the 5 squads. Try not rolling any 1's.

Flankers: If your opponent has a bunch of genestealers, then castling up in the centre is a good idea. Remember that rotating your Chugs does not count as moving, but will expose flanks. Maybe its better to keep that AV12 forwards and just sacrifice the heavy bolter. Remember that mortars are pinning ... so every wound you cause may have a silver lining. And a pinned unit IS a dead unit against this kind of firepower.

The Versus Consideration

Against CSM/C:SM: Rate of fire and high strength will make rolling 1's and 2's a depressing proposition. Be aware of wolf scouts, deep strikers and other 'nasties' and plan accordingly. Also, watch out for those long fangs. Your lack of AP weaponry favours the habitual deathguard, but your rough riders will have a lot of fun!

Against Tyranids: Taking out the anti-tank threats and watching for flankers/pods will be key. Anything that arrives at point blank either needs a can opener or can face down a lot of serious firepower. Focus your lascannons/autocannons and multilasers on the nasties, while the mortars can happily chip away at the horde.

Against Orks: Beyond the PK and the Deathrolla, you have few concerns. You forgot the armour piercing ammo, and they forgot the armour. Give 'em hell! Don't forget to hit those pesky Deffgun wielding maniacs on turn one and mortar them back to the stone age. Also remember that the Primaris's other power Nightshroud is a wonderful thing to use on Orks...

Against Tau: Tau will struggle to win against mortars. Their fire warriors are easy pickings and the kroot just vanish. Use the lascannons on the suits (especially the broadsides) and you shouldn't have a problem. Your lack of a deathstar unit is a boon.

Against Eldar: An interesting problem. The key one is the Elder Seer Council on jetbike with fortune. Otherwise the rest of the army will die in short order. Keep the lascannons and Ratlings focused for wraithlords. Beware Harlequins.

Against Dark Eldar: AV10 - why thank you! The warp portal will give you more concern, but remember that you can nuke any unit one by one. Consider swapping out the 4 grenade launchers on the command squad for flamers ... should keep things interesting.

Against Chaos Deamons: These guys have a similar problem, focus on the fast stuff with your guns and leave the Deamon Princes and Plaguebearers to the Rough Riders.


Ok, so its a bit of a one trick army, but it brings an awesomely big gun to the proceedings and would give pause to most armies. Remember that half the army is ACTUALLY in transports, so they can drive off to challenge objectives leaving the home plate in the control of the mortars.
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