Archive for the ‘Imperial Guard’ Category

Optimising IG: Pure Shock and Awe Guard


There are more articles on adding Imperial Guard as Allies coming soon, including a deep dive into the frequently ignored Elites slot, but in the meantime I’ve had a few requests for Pure Guard lists. The first is from a player who would prefer it for old-fashioned thematic reasons, the second is for a player who needs it for a tournament that restricts players to a single codex. Yah I know, that’s like sooooo 2011, but fortunately IG remain one of the armies most capable of playing a pure list without allies.

Hopefully players who are considering Guard as Allies will also find the notes and changes useful, as many of the principles behind them apply equally to secondary detachments – in fact armies shopping for Guard as allies have it easier, because the gaping void called ‘the Assault Phase’ is so much easier to fill.

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Optimising your IG Allies: Orks and Guard

Orks Guard

Moving on with the mini-series of Imperial Guard as Allies, this article brings together two extremes – the shooting orientated Guard and the close-combat orks.

The first is an army of Guard with Ork allies called “Guns and Harlies” that I tried myself early after the new rule book was released and thought was about as much fun as I’ve ever had playing 40K, second army build is an example of adding Guard to an Ork army to meet a player’s specific requests. I origionally wrote them in the opposite order, but moved the bike list to the top of the page because I think it makes better use of the player’s limited “40k Quality-Time”.

In fact for the avid readers, back when we thought it might be a good idea to play one 6th Edition game in the middle of the country’s last 5th edition tournament, this was the army I flew over with to play against Kirby back at the Australian Team Championship last year.

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Optimising Allies: Imperials and Guard

“What I cannot crush with Marines I will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!”

As part of the mini-series on Imperial Guard as Allies I received some army building requests which I’ll be tackling before moving on to the rest of the Force Organisation Chart.

The first batch are Imperial, namely Space Wolves, two Blood Angel builds and finally a rebuilt pure Guard army. Watch this space for Guard and Orks in the very near future. Read more »

Optimising your IG Allies: Don’t take a Vendetta

As part of the mini-series on taking Imperial Guard as allies, I’ve decided to skip ahead to start in the most obvious place: The world-class Vendetta, that almost 4 years after being introduced to 40k remains a top-tier choice and the Flyer all others are compared against.

My advice to anyone considering Imperial Guard allies is don’t take one.

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Understanding 6th Edition is Understanding Guard


Like it or not, the Ally rules are a vital part of the game in 6th Edition. Love them or not, the Imperial Guard are the best allies most other armies could ever hope for. Take them as your own allies or not, you are likely to see them crop up in opponent’s forces and you need to know their capababilties and weaknesses. If you want to really understand 6th, it is almost as important to know Guard as it has been to know MEQ in the past.

To try to help, I’ll be writing a mini-series on using Imperial Guard allies. I’ve dabbled in several other armies, but it is Guard that I’ve used to win about 20 local, 1 national and 3 state championships over the last four years so this is the area I excell in. If this counts as a credential, over the years I’ve drawn twice (Buddah at the ATC and a friendly game in 2010) but have never actually lost a game against Guard, so apparently I know how to kill them too. So they can’t be that tough, right?

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IG Codex Review in 6th – Part three: Psyker Battle Squads

Due to changes to the ease of regrouping and other rules that have hit the effectiveness of Weaken Resolve, the Internet has fallen out of love with Psyker Battle Squads and they have disappeared from the vast majority of Guard lists. The Internet is wrong.

It’s not just about understanding how the Rules have changed, it’s about understanding how the Game has changed.


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Ally Template – Hybrid Guard

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.

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Army lists – Australian 40K Masters

This weekend will see the Australian 40K Masters Tournament, and all indications point to it being a blood bath.

The roster of 16 competitors is made up of winners of the State masters events and RankingHQ’s top ranked players in the country, who claim they will be throwing their best armies at one another in hopes of taking home the prize.

I think the thing that really makes this event competitive though is that these are all people who have hit the Podium at event after event in order to qualify, and it has just sunk in that one of them has to come 16th this time! Nothing wrong with that, just qualifying for a National Masters event grants bragging rights, but still… I hope it’s not me lol.

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Nightmare Guard (Army Build)

After I won the State masters with an IG/GK list that I called ‘not optimal’ I’ve had quite a few requests in the Chatbox and email for an example of what I would rather have taken instead. For your viewing pleasure, I present Nightmare Guard.

This is a variation of the army build I will take to the Australian 40K Masters this weekend. The idea is to take the firepower-orientated, reliable but slow and predictable Imperial Guard army and meld it with the close-combat orientated, haphazard fast and unpredictable Chaos Daemons. The result is something I’ve had a lot of fun playtesting.

There are some extremely powerful armies and talented players coming to this event so I’m not going to jinx it by claiming this is one of better builds, but I do think it has the tools to deal with most threats including the ubiquitous Necrons.

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Imperial Plasma and you: a Primer on how to kill your own soldiers

Reach out and touch somebody.

Greetings, Imperial Citizens! Thank you for purchashing this Primer on superior Imperium Plasma technology with your hard earned throne gelts. In this handy little book you can learn the proper application of your Plasma Gun, when to fire a full salvo with little risk of being detonated and perhaps you may learn to drop your weapon before it blows up.

Most likely however, you will just blow yourself up.

With the transition to 6th edition still well underway people are still uncertain about how the new metagame is forming. It’s understandable just like when a block rotates out of Magic: The Gathering and a new set of cards or some reprints come through; new strategies must be made, old ones must be adjusted and entirely different decks are made in a few months. Magic is quite incredible in the regard of people able to adapt to an entirely new metagame in a short space of time and figure out what works.

We’re still stuck deciding if we want transports. I guess that’s the difference between the competitive communities, if one has a larger fan base.

And doesn’t have Warseer.

One of the big things that seems to be popular is that with hull points making tanks more reliable to kill that people are shifting more towards anti-infantry options to deal with things no longer in metal boxes. People are sometimes ditching tanks in general but many people are making hybrid lists.

What amazes me is that everyone has now got the idea in their head that because of this, their list needs as much anti-infantry as possible and thus take every weapon slot as either a plasma pistol, plasma gun or plasma cannon. Space Marine Captains dual wielding plasma pistols, the new meta!

This is not only a terrible thing to do but also goes against the entire idea of a balanced list, one that 3++ is the new black and myself at Melta Martini advocate. Whilst plasma has by definition got better due to the simple fact that there will be more infantry to use it on, I feel the need to tell people how to use plasma, when to use plasma and how to incorperate it into a decent, balanced list.

Let’s discuss the key features of plasma first. Plasma weapons are usually 12-36″ range assault weapons, with strength 7 and AP2. Plasma pistols are pistols by nature with a 12″ range. Plasma guns are rapid fire and have a nice range of 24″. The Plasma cannon is a heavy blast weapon with a mighty range of 36″. All Plasma weapons have the Gets Hot! rule, which means if you roll a 1 to hit with them, you take a wound and need to pass an armour save or die.

Now we know what plasma is, what is plasma useful for? The obvious reason you’d want to use plasma is because of the AP2. AP2 basically means you never get an armour save under any circumstances, as a 2+ is the highest you can go. This means that you have a good chance of scoring more wounds (or the same amount of wounds on more durable targets) on higher armour targets, the higher the better. The 7 strength also means that we usually either wound on a 2+ or, if in some cases a monstrous creature comes around, a 3+ or a 4+. It still means you most likely wound anything you hit with it if it doesn’t have a good invulnerable save. AP2 took a buff as well through the vehicle damage chart and strength 7 means you can threaten light armour (AV10-11) quite easily with your plasma weapons, either stripping hull points or using that AP2 on a penetrate.

Plasma isn’t all rainbows and sunshine though, so what are the bad points? The main thing is the Gets Hot! rule. Whenever you fire a plasma weapon you have a chance of killing your own dude. You’re granted an armour save (which is unusual for a weapon that ignores armour) but in the end, you’re firing a risky gun that may kill your own men. The men handling these weapons are either characters, heavy weapons teams or something in a normal squad that had the opportunity to take a new gun; you’re squandering not only your own men but what those men could have been if you didn’t blow them up. Hope that you don’t roll a one. The other minor thing is the lack of volume of fire, and many people agree that weight of fire is usually better than single, stronger shots.

Going over all that, what is plasma bad at doing or is simply outperformed by something else? Plasma is generally not good at killing light infantry. A plasma cannon can turn Boyz into melted goo but it can’t be fired when you move, because Blast weapons aren’t allowed to be snap shots and manueverability is important when it comes to Orks. When the same shot can wound a Boy on a 2+ with no armour save and do the same to a Sanguinary Guard, you’re better off firing at something else. On top of this, you might be able to threaten light armour but that doesn’t mean you’re going to use plasma as anti-light armour. Plasma should be used to kill heavy infantry but can also be used to threaten light armour if you really need it.

When you look at it this way, think of plasma like the inverse of a missile launcher. A missile launcher is an anti-light armour tool that can be used in a pinch against heavy or light infantry. Plasma on the other hand should be used as a tool to deal with heavy infantry but can also be used to kill light infantry or light armour in a pinch. Another cute thing is that Plasma is actually better when your own model has a higher armour save to absorb the Gets Hot! wounds (and also worse, because that model will cost more so if it does die, you lost a greater investment.) It’s a shame however that terminators generally don’t get plasma weapons and the only thing you can get with them is possibly a combi-plasma. Funny, that the best and potentially worst platform for plasma can’t get it.

To summarise then: Plasma is great at killing heavy infantry and monstrous creatures. It can kill light infantry and threaten light vehicles but should not be taken for either of those reasons, just that you have the option to do so if your primary target is not available. Plasma compliments missile launchers very well. Plasma can also kill your own men so don’t spam it in your units. Bring enough plasma so that you have redundancy but not enough that you’ve forsaken everything else. You want balance, not overwhelming the enemy with your own bodies.

I hope this post has helped you to decide if you really want that extra plasma gun or you want 3×5 devastators with 4 plasma cannons or not. Know what plasma can do, what it can’t do and make sure that your list is balanced.