Saturday, April 12, 2014
Imperial Guard First Look
I got my codex yesterday and spent most of the evening pouring over it. And I love it. This is a great update to the imperial guard. A note on the name. While the book may be called Astra militarum, it is barely mentioned throughout the book other than that it is it's "official title". Beyond that we are still the imperial guard, so if you were fearing a total retcon, thankfully it did not happen. I understand their desire to protect the IP, and they did that without taking away the soul of the Imperial Guard.
So we already know some of the bad stuff rumored, but what are the winners of the codex. One might be gravitated to the Elites section, and you would not be wrong, it is a much better section and you will be seeing far more IG elites being fielded. But the real winner of this codex is HQ.
My oh my it is a land of wonders in the HQ. First off the named characters are all pretty darn good. Creed is still a solid choice. While not having a standard warlord trait may seem like a bad thing, but really it isn't. He gets two and can CHOOSE between taking two on the IG, two from the BRB, or one from a different table and one from another. Now you still have to roll, but if you are on the same table you can reroll any doubles. I would roll on the IG table 9/10 but the BRB has some good tables as well so its great to be able to choose. The fact that he is a little cheaper and gets to rerol failed orders is great as well.
Yarrick is actually good. He is a company commander and a lord commissar all balled into one. He is also 40pts cheaper and has a 4+ invul know. Still ET and bale eye. He will be a solid HQ choice and can punch stuff to death and having the benefits of being a lord commissar and company commander and issuing orders, what is not to like. Throw him with a platoon or CCS and you'll be throwing lots of orders around and can get into fights reasonably well. Or take him in a blob with priests and just roll things over.
Straken is more expensive but he is beasty mcbeast with smash and monster hunter and being able to strike at I with S6 ap2 attacks or halving them and doubling S. He has to issue a challenge, but most times he can actually win those unless you are taking on a beat stick. But throw some priests with him and he can even then survive against some of the meaner CC characters. He still has his bubble of counterattack and furious charge. He is more expensive but being able to issue orders and go beef cake on punk sgts, he is not a bad all rounder command choice.
Then their are tank commanders. First cause I know their is some confusion on this, they do not draw from a heavy support slot. Its an Hq choice that takes a commander and has to have one more leman russ variant with him and can add one more for a 3 tank squadron. With orders they are a nice addition and a good way to buff up the russes. So if you are planning on taking a squadron, I would really consider making room for at least one HQ choice of these. With the loss in points of most russes, they are pretty good as well. Yeah they still have the issues firing ordnance but their cheapness makes up for it a lot added to some drop in weapon upgrade points, some tanks can now be fully kitted out at the cost of their previous base points, whats not to like about that.
Then there are commissars, you get one for each CCS and PCS you have. So if you want lots, you can take those horrible :p units and get another one. In all seriousness this is a good balance for standard commissars as they are pretty darn good. With them and priest competing though, its up to you which you want to take and what you want to get out of them, but its good as if you run out of priests you have some extra guys to fill in the blanks to add some back bone.
Speaking of priests, the regimental advisers are good. You can take 0-3 of priests, primaris psykers, and tech priests. Techies are nice being able to throw around machine spirit and add some utility to them other than repairers. We all know about normal priests and how good they are. Primaris are another great choice at 50 for prescience or other good powers. All in all a great add. The CCS advisers got a change but are good as well. The Master of ordnance dropped to 20, so why would I take a basilisk? the officer of the fleet now picks up the roles the he and the astropath fulfilled. He can issue an order the either bumps your reserves or reduces your opponents. Also multiple fleets do stack this time around. The astropath is a cheap and only access to telepathy. Really great, even better than before. Having a ld of 7 though means you will not be getting those powers off all the time but god they are dirt cheap, its good balance too them.
And company command squads are as good as ever. With warlord and relics, you can easily make your own special character and never take one of the named ones. These are still the solid take of the IG HQ, but they have a lot of competition now. The warlord traits are all pretty darn good, with none being situational. You can get preferred enemy, D3 outflankers, units not taking morale under 25% withing 12", relentless, two that give voice of command, which each giving an additional bonus if you already have it. One expands orders to 18" and another gives an extra order. There is no silly, "if an enemy sniper unit is in a ruin,you get an extra attack" type trait that some other codex's have.
I'll do a full review tomorrow before breaking down the sections but this codex is looking to be really good. My initial take is that the HQ section is going to be one of your harder choices now as you have a plethora of good units to take. This section is going to take your IG over the edge and what you spend here will truly be worth it. You have cheap as cheap troops, so you got to spend the points somewhere :). There are solid elites choices and the fast attack is much more internally balanced now, with some actually choices to be made their besides under priced flyers. The heavy supp port is solid if not amazing. Hydras are a shadow of themselves and I'll find it hard to take them. Honestly a quad gun with the ignores cover order is going to do what old hydras did. Wyverns are good solid anti infantry artillery and the basi is the same ole dependable as before, but with cheap MoO, I prob won't be taking them. Russes got a points drop instead of a fix to heavy, which is a decent trade off. You can take kitted russes for the cost of base ones now and that goes a long way and since the ordnance rule only affects two of the tanks, this is a big win for the russes overall.
So we have a really solid codex with certainly a few stinkers in here, but nothing that is outright bad, just overshadowed by some other choices. I am loving the flexibility that orders bring and how much better PCS are now with access to 6 very good orders. Sprinkle priests and prescience to taste.