Monday, April 14, 2014
Codex Review: Imperial Guard
Alright time for a further look at the Imperial Guard. I will do further in depth reviews of the Imperial Guard sections as I did before, but here I'll try and give a good overall run down. And yes we are still the Imperial Guard, the book cover may have changed but inside we are the same. I want to say that this is a great codex, and though there have been some losses, most of those are made up in other areas. Your army will change, so no complaints that how you have been running things do not work anymore. Some may be more valid than others, but this is what we have and it is really good.
Armor is definitely being pushed, and with all the tread heads out there, I'm sure you'll be happy with that. Though there is no fix for firing ordnance, the rest of the tanks got amazing price drops. Along with tank commanders, you can run a possible 15 leman russes if you choose. The orders commanders can issue or solid if not amazing, but having the ability to move more than 6" is a nice tool to add to your belt. Infantry are as good as ever and won't be going away any time soon. The PCS is great now with a boosted order range and 6 great orders to use. The fast and elites sections are good as well, with some choices to make their now. Psychic's have gone way up and will play a great role, no more needing allies to get some prescience with an astropath for telepathy if you want to roll that way. The regimental advisers are great and techpriest have added utility with casting power of the machine spirit. All in all the army is flexible with multiple ways to play it and armor is better than ever.
So going down the list I'll start with the HQ section.
This is going to where you start. The HQ section has a lot of options and depending on what you are building towards, it has what need. Now special characters. We have three special HQs, with two support characters. Yarrick, he is now pretty good. He got a hefty drop of 40pts and is a senior officer, so he is a lord commissar and company commander rolled into one. His warlord trait makes squads that are within 12" not have to take morale checks for suffering 25% or more casualties. He is a solid choice for an all rounder, he issues orders, can join units, makes a lot of units around him almost impossible to break. He is also a neat beat stick with a 4+ invul and eternal warrior plus with his iron will, meaning he can be around kicking for a while. He has preferred enemy orks, so bonus there. With some priests in a squad with him, have can survive quite a bit of punishment and punch stuff to death with his power klaw(fist). Honestly he would be my HQ choice for an ally detachment, he packs everything into a neat little package and will ensure your IG are not going anywhere and can actually fight pretty well in CC and even better with some support.
Straken got more expensive but is less than yarrick on his own, but with the command squad it is going to cost more for this HQ choice. But he is another beat stick that is also issuing orders and buffing troops around him. His warlord trait makes him and his unit relentless, so plan accordingly. You can attach a master of ordnance and still move around with him firing away (and split fire to have them shoot at different targets). He gives units around him furious charge and counter attack (as well as his own). He makes troops around him fight better while yarrick makes them stand better. Straken also has smash and monster hunter, with S6 and T5. So on the charge he will have 4 S7 attacks rerolling on MCs that are at AP2. His only issue is having to issue a challenge. But here its not as bad as it seems. He can actually kill quite a few things on the board in CC and only the truly beastly CC characters will punk him out. A medic in the squad and some priests will make for a tough guy to run around with infantry to shoot and punch stuff.
Creed is the last and he is surprisingly the cheapest. Only change to his wargear is having two hot shot laspistols over a twin linked one, which is better but hot shot pistols still suck. Creed is your order guy. He has three and always rerolls failed orders (who needs a vox now). He takes two warlord traits, which you get to choose which tables to roll on. I would roll on the main IG one, as you can get added order range, another order, D3 outflankers and the rest are not bad as well. I still don't know if Kell is worth it, yeah you get to test on his ld 8, but creed is rerolling anyways so its kind of redundant and really not that great. Kell does auto pass glorious intervention, but if this squad gets in CC its most likely dead whether kell jumps in front or not. Leave kell behind, he is a lot of points for not much. Creed is still a great HQ choice for the support roll and with two warlord traits he needs to be yours and rolling on the table to get milage out of him. He is best supported by the battle staff, throw a standard and advisers plus a few weapons. This squad is going to be a force multiplier with rerolling leadership checks for everything, and units around them. Don't worry about getting into the fight. A master of ordnance is home in this squad, creed can issue his last order with split fire, that way the MoO can target a different unit, giving some great flexibility to this squad. A chimera is a good choice here, as they retain their command vehicle role and will keep the squad alive. Plus since the MoO is barrage, you can have two guys still fire out the top and he can fire his barrage blind.
Thats it for the real special characters. Nork is in here and is cheaper but a lot of points still. If you are sinking points into a cc command squad, most likely with straken and priests, he can be useful here but otherwise is a lot of points for an ok combat character. He can exchange all of his attacks for a S8 ap 3 headbutt that is concussive, and Im sure that could be useful but is situational.
So if your not taking one of the above, your next choice is going to be between a command squad or tank commander. This is a relatively easy choice. Are you bringing tanks, well there you go. If you are bringing infantry, then its the other. Note its not a bad choice to take one of each. The added bonus a tank commander brings to leman russes is great, and his 30 pts is more than made up for in the pts drops in most russes. The command squad has gone up 10 pts but most of the options are cheaper so you come out ahead once you start adding the things you want. Carapace is half the cost and a good option to add a little bit of survivability. Now I tend to run support oriented command squads, so less weapons in the squad itself and more supporting things like regimental standards and advisers. These are cheap now, with the MoO and Officer of the fleet being ten pts less. The fleet got the reserve rule from the astropath but he does now have to pass a ld check for one to be used that you choose, either boost your reserves or minus your enemies. The affects do stack this time though so multiples of these can be great for denying your opponents reserves. The astropath is only 5pts cheaper but has telepathy, which I am a fan of. Its a great table, now he is only Ld7 so your not going to be getting it off reliably but he is also dirt cheap so an interesting if not must take option.
With Heirlooms of conquest is where you start to be able to "build" your own special character. The auto reliquary is very nice and allows any successful ld test that is a double counts as inspired tactics, but a double 1 shuts it down for rest the game. With the importance of orders this is a great item to take and is 25pts, a very nice relic. This would be my go to for a company commander. The laurels of command allow any IG units within 6" to choose to pass or fail morale checks, but if the bearer dies they must make a pinning test. This is another good one, as choosing to pass or fail is a great thing, especially if their is a unit tied up in CC that you want to get out so you can shoot at it. This is the same price as the reliquary. The blade of conquest is a +1S AP3 Master crafted sword, its the price of a power fist. Its ok, its pricey but having a reroll to hit and S4 and ap3 on your commander is not bad. Some priests will help but honestly there are better combat characters if you are going this route. The last thing that the Command squad can take is kirov's aquila which grants preferred enemy to units within 6" and grants a single reroll of any leadership test for the commander per turn. Its expensive at 60pts, but damn it can be good. You'll have to build around it, but a plasma gun command squad with some plasma vets around him will love this.
Orders are great and I love the revamp of the senior orders. So ignores cover means suck it wave serpents. Monster/tank hunter means suck it big things. And back in the fight is still great as always. Plus the 6 standard orders you have some massive flexibility. Being able to order pinning onto any weapon is great and really not much of a reason to take sniper rifles as with this order and the precision shot order, you get the good things that those have. Not saying snipers are bad, but a pinning or precision krak grenade is going to be better most times and can actually wound things on a 2+. Actually now that I am thinking about it, this is great with a PCS with four grenade launchers to turn it into an assault mortar squad, running around pinning things. Orders are where you are going to win your games most times, so plan accordingly, they are all good now and there is more than just a couple of good ones.
Lord commissars. Honestly they are not bad, but I can't really think of a reason to take them. If I'm looking for a minimum HQ for ally, I'll take yarrick as he can still issue orders. Note that lord commissars cannot be chosen as warlord if there is anyone with the senior officer rule, yarrick has it so he gets around that. Aura of discipline does not affect orders anymore, so really there goes the one reason I would take one. He can technically take heirlooms of conquest but can only take 3 of them, one being a better bolt pistol, which is only 5 pts and not really a reason not to take it if you are bringing him. The deathmask grants a 4++ and IWND and fear. Its ok, but probably better on a commander. He can take the sword as well. The only way I would take this guy is with the pistol and sword to make my own Ciaphas Cain commissar, which I very well may do. Not competitive but def fun. But realistically a regimental standard gives you the same bonus as aura of discipline with twice the range and 50 less pts. If the sword was rending, I would probably take it in a heartbeat though.
Now normal commissars are still good. You get one for every PCS and CCS and they give stubborn and are cheap at 25. Sure you have priests but at most are getting three, so commissars are the second tier choice for giving you a pseudo fearless. They are not bad though and can buff up Ld of a squad. Note that the way orders are worded, you can use the commissars leadership to take orders unlike before, as it is taken on the units highest leadership and once the commissar joins the unit, he becomes part of it per BRB meaning since his is the highest, the squad uses that for all tests. This will be good in conscript squads where you may not want to waste a priest on, but still want them moving up and using orders.
Now the regimental advisers are really good, two in particular. The priest is what everyone is talking about and for good reason. He is same cost as a commissar but has zealot, giving you fearless and hatred. The best part is the war hymns. Basically one gives you smash, one rerolls to hit and wound and one to reroll armor and invul saves. plus he has a 4++. You activate the warhymns at the beginning of any assault phase, requiring the priest to pass a ld check. He is only 7 so you won't be getting it off every time, having a couple in a squad ups your chances. This is why I think commissars will still be seen. Priest work better concentrated so you can still use commissars to spread around some back bone while the priests go forth with a kitted out blob or other nasty unit.
The primaris is now great. He is 50pts and has access to divination. He also has access to biomancy, pyromancy, and telekinesis, but most time you'll want prescience to throw around twin linked. Not much more to say about this guy, he is a cheap divination psyker that you can hide in squads. Three of these will do work. You can up him to ML2 for 25 pts, this can be good if you want to take another power to add some flexibility to him. That being said he will do fine at ML 1.
The enginseer is the last advisor and is pretty decent. He repairs vehicles on a 5+ and ad +1 for every servitor with servo arm. He can also cast power of the machine spirit now to a vehicle within 12". This adds some nice utility and can allow you to overcome a shaken result or split your fire. For 40pts they are a good choice for any list that is taking armor. Also worth noting that servitors are only way to take plasma cannons on infantry and are at an ok cost. With prescience or orders you can have a nasty shooting squad putting out as much plasma cannon blasts as an executioner.
Ok so thats the HQ, that took a while. as time goes on I'll do more analysis but really there you have it. Tank commanders are great if you want some flexible tanks. CCS are your go to. And you have great support and special characters along with heirlooms to add flavor and utility.
So there are some minor changes here. With platoons not much has changed. There is one big one though that I must mention. Platoons no longer act as a single unit for purposes of reserves. Unless an FAQ changes that the now all act as independent units. This is good and bad. You can now split the platoon up and put some in reserve and others on the board, but not longer can you out flank a massive amount of troops even if you get the D3 outflankers for your warlord. All in all its not a huge game changer. You gain some flexibilty with reserves and also means each individual squad counts towards your reserves total, meaning you can keep a lot of crap off the board.
The heavy weapon squad is different but the same. It starts at 45 and then you buy weapons. It works out the same for most, though the lascannon squad is 5 pts cheaper. Special weapons squads are the same, though since sniper rifles are cheaper you can get a super cheap sniper unit. In the end the PCS is the winner here. It can issue 6 orders now and has 12" range. With some upgrades getting cheaper like medipack, you can take more on these guys. A chimera is a good choice, its still a command vehicle so you can issue orders from it and protect your PCS. These guys are really useful now and taking platoons just to get them is not a bad thing at all.
Veterans are now cheaper, krak grenades are an option that brings them back to previous price. But I really like that they are an option as if I don't really want them I'm not forced to pay for them. With two of the doctrines being much cheaper, they are even better. Carapace is now a well priced 15 pts and camo gear and snare mines 10pts. Demolitions stayed the same, but its still a bargain as 10 melta bombs should be 50pts. Heavy flamers are half price now! So my favorite vet squads of 2 meltas and heavy flamer with carapace just dropped by about 35 pts now if I don't take krak grenades. Veterans are truly better than before. forward sentries and grenadiers are reasonably priced and I'll still be using the heck out of vets with carapace.
Dedicated transports. I know there is contention here but I am actually happy with the taurox addition and the chimera is still quite good. By keeping its command vehicle role it has a utility that the taurox doesn't have. The fire points are fixed in my opinion. I know many will disagree but having 5 fire from the top hacth when the were "supposed" to be firing the las gun arrays made no sense. The las gun arrays are not bad with two on each side, can fire at different targets and always use BS3 unless the chimera is shaken or stunned. I was expecting this to happen so not really a shocker. They are still great and will still be seen by those that want them. The taurox is cheaper, and has a TL autocannon. It can take stuff from the vehicle list, but really here its prob better to just be kept cheap. If you are looking for disposable transports to get you through cover reliably and have decent shooting, its an option to take and prob will work in a platoon setting of the command squad in chimera and rest in tauroxes. However most cases I would still take the chimera, but its an option if all you care about a transport to move you around.
The taurox prime is scion only. I am growing to like it as it has a few key advantages that make it a solid little gun truck. Its BS4, Fast, and has access to good weapons within a decent price range. Now scions can take chimeras in the AM book so you are not solely stuck with them if you are not a fan of them. But I have grown to like them and will prob take them with scions, they can be constantly moving and shooting, something chimeras struggle to do. Unless you are taking scions though, you don't have to worry about them.
Will say a short thing on harker, he sucks. He is prob 25 pts too expensive if not 35. He lost most of his rules, most importantly infiltrate. Oh his HB has rending now whoopie! Yeah he really is not what he used to be. Not sure what the hate on him is all about, but he got a massive nerf with no price reduction. As a 25pt relentless heavy bolter, he would not be too bad, but at 55 he is ridiculous.
So the stars are realigning and the frontrunners of the elites have changed. Scions/storm troopers have come out quite ahead. They had a 4pt drop per model and are now platoons. They lost their special operations rule, which hurts some, but you'll have to play them differently (if you even played them before). They are going to be a rapid strike force that carries orders with it and has good weapons. Hot shot lasguns may not be great, but against a lot of the xenos out there, they will be just as good as clearing them up once you add special weapons too them. Also small deep striking squads with meltas are a good option to bust some tanks, or plasma weapons to target some MCs. I'm still torn which way to take them, as their own orders are really good, but so are IG so its a toss up. Look at what you want them to do and which orders best fit that role and go from there. All in all a good choice, but won't be a mainstay of your army either.
Wyrdvane psykers (PBS) are different now. They lost overseer, are brotherhood of psykers, and are ML 1 with same powers as primaris. They kept same base cost but are 12 pts a model now. Since none of the powers care how many are in the squad, they can probably be kept minimum. If you are taking Primaris, it can be a good idea to go for different powers to have flexibility. Otherwise its another prescience source. They aren't bad, just different and I'll really have to look at the powers and see how they can be used.
ratlings are almost exactly the same, except being able to run after shooting now. This could be useful, but you may end up forcing yourself to move again and having to fire snap shots because of it. All in all they are still a good sniper unit and can infiltrate. They have stealth so find some ruins and take pop shots with a ten man squad to annoy the heck out of people.
Ogryns, oh ogryns. Honestly they are worse. VERY BULKY. I mean fuck, so I can take a max of four in a chimera, but then no characters to make them better. You could take a three man squad and throw two priests and a commissar in chimera to make an expensive and ok CC unit. Um yeah, Im finding it harder to see them working, I really am.
Bullgryns, a little bit brighter here. The same three man squad with priests and commissar can actually be beastly. The three upfront stay in base to base for the 3+ rerolling with the priests, or you can throw the priests up to tank wounds if there is Ap 3 or 2 weaponry. Even then it won't be an amazing CC unit and will be very expensive. Now a slightly bigger squad walking is something that may work. I would under no circumstance trade the shield out for the mauls. The maul and shield does not get the 3+ armor save. So a 6 man squad marching in a phalanx in front of stuff is going to give your opponent a tougher choice. They have a good save and give better cover to those behind them. But they still are really expensive and there is a lot of firepower out their that can still toast them. I do think the bullgryns can work, but I think the ogryns may be a lost cause. Very bulky is a bull shit change and hurts them in a huge way as it takes ogryns only real way to get into combat (chimeras) away. They do not survive walking.
Over all you have some good choices in elites. Scions are fast and shooting. Psykers are support, ratlings are snipers with a gimmick, bullgryns are walking tanks, and ogryns are retards.
So the fast has had some tweaks. Overall for the better. No longer is the vendetta king. Some may hail it as bad thing, but its not a bad thing to have a section that is internally balanced.
Scout sentinels. Still good, they have scout(outflank) and move through cover. Coupled with the changes to camo netting (no longer have to stay still), you can run these cheap guys around the flanks into cover and annoy the crap out of them. Oh there is ignores cover. Yes I know, please shoot your riptides bs5 ignores cover blast on these guys, please waste markerlights or serpent shields on them. These work best as cheap fuckery units, getting in the back field with multi lasers and hitting rear armor and infantry. Hide them in terrain with camo netting and force your opponent to waste good shots on these guys.
Armored sentinels are good, with being only 5pts more than scouts but losing the special rules of av12 on front. The weapons are also cheaper. For me I like the plasma cannons all day, you can prescience them if you are worried about them blowing up, but they are so much cheaper now. Anti tank ones are goo as well, but you may be forced to use prescience on them, as 3 bs3 shots is not much. A good cheap anti tank unit you can hide in terrain and buff up with psychics, or yo can go heavy infantry hunting. A useful option now with the base and weapon pts drops.
Hellhounds, they got some base tweaks. Hellhound and devil dog switched in points, which is about right. Other than that, the multi melta is cheaper (I believe, old codex not in front of me). The devil dog is an alternate tank hunter and competes pretty well with the vendetta. The hellhound is great as always and the bane wolf does the same as before. All are good in their roles and having side armor 12 and fast is not a bad thing. They can work well with scions in T Primes.
The valkyrie went up in base, but since the only really good way to take it is with MRPs, and those dropped a lot, their effective price is only 5pts more. Honestly no reason to not take MRPs now as hellstrike missiles are worthless being ordnance. Lascannon is cheaper, though the heavy bolters are ten pts more expensive here than in the scions book. Realistically you don't need them though. Thes guys do the same the thing as before and are your only large squad arial transport. Note they no longer have a restriciton on carying ogryns (interesting). Grav chute is unchanged.
Vendettas. I'm sure there are some unhappy people, but I feel its right where it should be. It was cruelly under priced from before. It has transport of 6 and is 40 pts more. So if you are bringing vets in an air wing, those days are over. But you can still tote around command squads, and 6 man scion squads. Special weapon squads can be used as well and you can do a pseudo marbo throwing a demo charge on them and grav chuting them out of a vendetta. You could take hellfury missiles cause your dumb, why these aren't an option for valkyries boggles me (this should be the base missile not the worthless hellstrike). These guys are still good, but flying them in mass is going to cost you, I expect more valkyries to appear and only token vendettas flying around.
Rough riders, well about the same. With ogryns not really floating my boat, these guys are a much better choice for a faster CC unit that cna hurt a lot of things when they charge. The hunting lance is effectively the same, add 2 to I (5 as before) +2 to S and AP3, so exactly the same as they were in the FAQ, though will be interesting if the +2 to I will help against any I negative modifiers. How I see these guys, run a ten man squad, hit a unit with lances, disengage and then go tank hunting. They all have krak grenades and with melta guns they can actually kill stuff. Also the shoot and run order may be really good with them, pop out shoot, then pop back behind cover, till your opponent gets too close and hit them in the face. Orders have some good use with them, the tank/monster hunter also helping them out. Really you are running them because you like them. But they are not useless either. A power lance on the sgt could be an interesting choice, meaning on the charge he is almost as good as hunting lance, but can still charge over and over with it and use it in subsequent rounds. Actually I would much rather these guys have those over hunting lances, at least those can keep on being used(homebrew anyone).
so thats the fast attack. You now will have to think whether you really want a vendetta or not and if other things can do the job better. Anti tank can be found cheaper and fast transports in the valkyrie will give you multiple options. Riders are your worst option, and not horrible ones to be honest, just not that great either. Playing with orders can help and its worth noting they are the only one in this section that can be ordered.
Leman russ. So changes here. First the standard russ is the only one without a change and the demolisher went up. So I guess GW doens't want you to use the ordnance ones, with no change to heavy and ordnance rules they won't be your first choice anyway. Now a standard russ is still cheap, but keep them un upgraded and just throw out large blasts. Demolishers, hmm, honestly same advice, and throw them in a tank commander squadron. The tank commander should take a better tank, but use his flat out order to get close first turn and then start throwing out S10 AP2 blasts all over the place. The other russe though got better for the simple fact of being cheaper. The executioner got a huge cut. You can tool up a vanquisher with multimetlas and lascannon for about the cost of an unpgraded one. Sweet my favorite tank is dirt cheap now. The eradicator is 120pts, oh my, some S6 AP4 ignores cover coming your way, this would be my tank commander choice for the demolishers. Exterminators are also super cheap and I love them so no reason not to take them. Punisher is 10pts more than exterminator. I like it but probably would only give to pask as I like the exterminator better. I mean if you liked tanks before, you'll love them now. Other than the old warhorses, they are cheaper and better for it.
Hydra. This is a big stinker. Its 5 points "cheaper" but is opened topped so is actually 10pts more expensive this is not one of those things your happy to have the "option" of. added to the fact that it lost ignore jink, yeah no thank you. A quad gun with the ignores cover order will do so much better. Sorry if you were hoping like me that the hydra would be seeing more use, but really there is no advantage over a quad gun. Sure its cheap, but you'll probably die to most incoming fire from flyers before you ever get a chance to use them. Big let down here
Basilisks are unchanged. Still solid, but a master of ordnance is 105pts cheaper so yeah. They are still a good choice, but for me others are better.
The Wyvern is the new kid and I like it alot. Its opentopped but its super cheap and puts out 4 blasts apiece that ignore cover and reroll wounds and are twinlinked. I like mortars to begin with and these are on steroids. I prob will drop ground pounding mortars from my lists now. Now you'll still need to protect them, but they are a good infantry killer.
The manticore is a little more expensive at 170 but is still just as good. Really is a good choice and will still be showing up in lists. They are great for killing vehicles and infantry alike.
The deathstrike is actually better. Instead of needing a 6, on a 4+ it can fire on turn 2 (can't fire turn 1). With the same modifiers as before, +1 for everyturn it hasn't moved and -1 for crew shaken, stunned, weapon destroyed results. Natural six will always fire it. Its an apocalyptic blast now. This may actually be useful now. It has a decent chance of firing and is a massive blast. So have fun with it.
All in all the Heavy support shining stars are the leman russes. The manticore and wyverns are your best artillery with basilisks being another good choice. Other than the poopiness of the hydra, its another good section.
Ok that took a while. So what you have is an extremely flexible army with great orders and a rockstar HQ section supported by a solid book. IG is here to stay and some new armies are going to be rising to the top. Infantry and armor are going to be king, air is taking a supporting role in this one. Elites are usable and add some nice support and utility besides ogryns.
Really you can build your army to be a lot of different ways and do really well. Orders are very important here and be sure to maximize them to carry the day.