Imperial Guard are an ally we haven’t really discussed in much depth but have joked about as being the best ally in nearly every case. This is unfortunately too close to the truth for comfort given we’d prefer one army to not be heads and shoulders above the rest but unfortunately Imperial Guard work very well as Allies. Why? Because the limitations upon the Fast/Heavy/Elite/HQ Force Organisation slots isn’t that huge and Imperial Guard can bring a lot to the table through a single Troops choice and still bring impressive options through the other FoC slots.
Given that Imperial Guard are Allies of Convenience with nearly every army in the game, this also means nearly every army can take advantage of this awesomeness and with either very sturdy vehicles (i.e. flyers, AV14, hiding artillery, etc.) or cheap (i.e. AV12 chimeras) the options in terms of putting them amongst foot, hybrid or mech armies isn’t really limited at all.
The basic model here therefore is very flexible in its own regard. Let’s see what this is:
Platoon Command Squad w/4x Flamers
3x Infantry Platoons w/3x Autocannons, Commissar
Vendetta w/Heavy Bolter sponsons
Total: 635 points
Not that much in terms of points but what you’re getting is pretty decent and there are literally TONS of options to make this plug-in work for whatever army you need it to. First off, you’re getting increased firepower. Even the Infantry Platoons are putting out a decent number of S3 shots and pray to any unit which steps to within 12” and gets slapped with a First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! The Manticore also adds large ordnance barrage blasts to the mix to force the enemy to spread out, smash anything which doesn’t and dig infantry out of cover. Although it can’t dig Marines out of cover, Marines in cover generally aren’t overly numerous and straight torrenting can remove them. The Vendetta is of course a flyer and all that entails with enough firepower to poke at infantry units and shred vehicles. And the Psyker just adds some nice utility with the PCS bringing a mobile flaming scoring unit or support for the blob.
And every one of these units can be changed.
The Primaris can become a Lord Commissar for stealth pants (assuming it doesn’t get re-FAQ’d) or a CCS for more orders.
The Platoons can be increased in number, given Chimeras and special weapons, given Power Axes and joined by Priests, etc. You can even bring in two Platoons. You can add special weapon squads to go into Chimeras/Vendettas. Heavy Weapon Teams for more firepower at a relatively cheap cost.
The Vendetta cannot be changed. Shut up about it J.
The Manticore has a lot of friends which are nice options as well. Many of the Russ and artillery variants are now solid options simply because of the blast rules and whilst Hydras are less awesome than they were, they still aren’t a terrible choice. It is hard to beat out the Manticore though…
And that’s still without touching Elites. Marbo makes a great disruption addition for 65 points as do a Stormtrooper unit with some meltaguns. A Psyker Battle squad provides more damage and utility and the further option of another Chimera if you’re feeling peckish. None of these squads are that expensive either.
What this simple plug in does is provide you with a very solid scoring option and a variety of firepower types. You have S10 ordnance, S9 on flyers, a bunch of S3 and a nice smattering of S7 which can be expanded in a lot of ways. Add in a lot of Space Marine variants are Battle Brothers with Imperial Guard and that big foot blob can get lots of USRs added to it as well as greater psychic variety *cough Divination cough*.
The concept isn’t devastating as say a TH/SS bouncy ball for Tau or as obviously amazing as Necron Flyerwing but the robustness and flexibility of both the options and when it’s on the table makes Imperial Guard an ally option which it is very, very hard to overlook no matter what your army is attempting to do. Other allies do other things better, there is no doubt, but this type of Guard plug-in fits in very handily without much tweaking for a lot of armies. i.e. expect to see lots of Guardsmen out there kids :).