Warhammer 40,000/5th Edition Tactics/Imperial Guard

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This is an old Edition's Imperial Guard tactics. 6th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Imperial Guard[edit]

When recruits are inducted into the Imperial Guard, they are given three things. Their regulation flashlight (commonly referred to by the troops as "lasguns" for some reason), their regulation cardboard box (which certain regiments have taken to cutting up and wearing into battle, calling it "flak armor"), and the regulation extra large wheelbarrow that allows them to cart their massive brazen balls into battle.

From a gameplay perspective, the Imperial Guard army is a flexible force known for having either hordes of cheap infantry, waves of badass tanks, or a mix in between. The army is easy to learn while having a lot of options and tactics being discovered frequently (melta veterans in Chimeras are not the sole option in the Guard army after all).

That's why you play the Imperial Guard.

Additionally, you are the second-most powerful army in Apocalypse, and the standard by which all other Apocalypse armies are measured. You are absolutely spoiled for Forgeworld choices with everything from the dinky little Lightning Fighter to the unholy death machine that is the Imperator Class Titan. And why is Chaos better than you? Because of a small footnote by the side of the Vindicator Linebreaker Formation. In short, it details that Chaos armies may use ANY AND ALL Imperial Datasheets as long as they have spieks on them. Building your Lightning Fighter wing? Chaos get that with their Hell Talon support. Imperator Titan? Chaos can subvert one with fuckhueg spikes. Fortress of Arrogance? Chaos Yarrick makes you his bitch. Daemon Lords? You don't get those. For once, Chaos is the one giving not receiving.

So the only way to be better than the Imperial Guard in Apoc is to use Imperial Guard units plus daemonic bullshit. Still a win for IG.

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ[edit]

  • Company Command Squad: This squad provides leadership to the many. It orders around those who can order around others.This unit gets orders. It gets an ample selection of gear, and extra dudes. This includes a 30pt template weapon, penalize the enemy reserve rolls and bonuses to your own. This unit can have its leader switched out with other named leaders with awesome powers and gear. This should be your HQ of choice. The only sad part is that you can only take two of them.
    • Ursarkar E. Creed: For a decent point cost, one Company Commander may be upgraded to Creed. Creed is pretty nifty for being able to use a lot of douchebaggery with his Tactical Genius special rule. But he should be known for his massive 24" command bubble and his 4 orders per turn. Seriously. You don't have to use his ability to run a Leman Russ into their flank, you can also send your tanks in with a Scouts rule BEFORE MOVEMENT. No one expects it, and it can help you get the drop on enemies or even force someone's hand. If you have the first turn, you can position your Leman Russ tanks to do some serious damage to the enemy line, or even move your Heavy Weapons squads into a position. Technically, after they get their scouts moves, they can fire. Creed might be fun for being a dick, but when you're running a solid force, he is an excellent asset for any force that might need a bit more mobility in their army list. But outflanking with a Warlord Titan certainly helps too.
    • Sergeant Kell: With him at Creed's side, all squads can use Creed's leadership (10) for any orders he issues to them. Kell himself is kinda tough too, and comes with a Power Fist. You shouldn't take Creed without Kell.
    • Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken: Is frighteningly good at close combat - in fact, he's the best that the Imperial Guard has - even Yarrick is not this balls-out powerful in close-combat. Strength 6 with no initiative penalties and strikes as a Chainfist, makes any squad he's in Fearless and any squad he's near gets both furious charge and counter-attack. He's also a senior officer, and is the only goddamned special commander other than Creed and Yarrick who gets a refractor field. He's also the only goddamned unit that isn't a Techpriest with Power Armor. Straken alone will seriously make enemies think twice about getting anywhere NEAR his squad, and his ability to bolster his squad's close-combat capability can make armies that otherwise might be willing to charge into close-combat against shooty squads (most infamously Raptors and Assault Marines) give pause; Guardsmen may not be hugely effective, but when you throw furious charge and counter attack on the sons of bitches, that many close-combat attacks is going to fuck some shit up. Recommended. Alternatively, whack him in a Valkyrie, scout move, disembark and charge on 1st turn. Watch as your opponent goes ape-shit looking for a rule saying you can't do this (you can and should).
    • Nork Deddog: Nork is one o' da smartest Ogryns. He and da commanda have a bond. When he dies, he attacks every bad guy trying to hurt the commander. If your command squad is going to be in the fray of battle, take this somewhat expensive body guard. Doesn't get along well with Commissars, so be careful if you take them both.
    • COMPANY COMMAND ADVISORS (WHO THE HELL FORGOT THESE?!)
      • Bodyguard: He's just a little Sergeant, but if you want to wreck shit with an suprising-as-hell assaulty command squad, add two of these to Straken (if you don't take Nork) and watch the other player's reaction when the little man-things suddenly start whipping everything else. Comes armed with a close combat weapon and laspistol, basically being a sergeant without any extra options.
      • Officer of the Fleet: Why AREN'T you using these?! Officer of the Fleet is a great asset to add to a command squad. The Officer forces a -1 on enemy reserve rolls, and could seriously jeopardize their well-thought schemes. However, he won't stop drop pods and if the enemy doesn't reserve anything you've wasted the points. In combat, the Officer is as good as dead. A massive fuck you towards Daemons players.
      • Astropath: Why AREN'T you using these?! The Astropath is the best advisor, along with the Officer of the Fleet, and the two added together make for serious trolling. While the Officer of the Fleet forces the enemy's reserve rolls to be higher, the Astropath makes YOUR reserve rolls lower. So while the enemy is butthurt about not getting his precious reserves, suddenly yours are arriving on the table much more easily. If you take Storm troopers, you NEED this guy. In combat, the Astropath is as good as dead.
      • Master of Ordnance: This guy is like a tiny Basilisk. Once per turn he is able to call down a Basilisk-type attack on the enemy, subject to scatter. Not very good unfortunately, but can be fun for spamming pie plates. However, since the bombardment has an unlimited range, if you place Master of Ordnance correctly, it can be used to troll Ork and Tyranid swarms with a Strength 9 plate of instant death.
  • Lord Commissar: Lord Commissar is a Independent buffed out Commissar, the key ability of him makes everyone around him LD10 and Stubborn. And that is awesome. The main issue is that he is a kill point himself and he takes away a slot of HQ for more Company Commanders. Let it not be said that he doesn't have his own uses, though. You want a blob-platoon to do REALLY well? Bind 'em into one giant squad, put a Lord Commissar in there and run it all over the place killing everything in sight. Seriously. 30 guys means 3 Sergeants with Power Weapons, 60+ attacks on the charge and a Lord Commissar with a Power Weapon as gravy. It's also Stubborn, so watch your friends complain about how the squad is still coming at them despite missing half of the people once in it. If you're feeling particularly threatened, equip him with a camo cloak and attach him to a fifty-man squad for instaStealth.
  • Commissar Yarrick: Awesome fluffy man. Costs quite a bit. Very close combat oriented. He can come back from the dead... a lot. He has some nifty gadgets. Yarrick also has a reputation of being nasty as crap in close combat; he can take on Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka one-on-one and have a fighting chance of coming out on top. He's got a power-fistklaw, a decent WS, and he's got Eternal Warrior and his come back from the dead bullshit. Due to a technicality, the Fortress of Arrogance, alongside Old Man Yarrick, is available to Chaos forces in Apocalypse.
  • Primaris Psyker: Puts out fucking good punch in the form of Lightning Arc, has a decent stat-block, and all for a nice low price. Solid overall stats with minimal upgrades needed out-the-box, which makes him damned efficient. While considered to be at its best in small games, where a player can take two and run them around firing 4d6 S6 lightning blasts everywhere, the real punch in the Primaris comes from his cost and the availability of Nightshroud, which can protect critical units for a turn and help fuck with enemies trying to damage mission-critical targets like artillery vehicles or commanders. Also offers a Force Weapon, for dissuading CQC attackers, since players will be hesitant to send a killy IC into combat against a squishy guard unit if it means they could lose it to a Force Weapon strike. Like the Lord Commissar, the Primaris frequently isn't as useful as a standard Command HQ, but can still be fuck-mothering useful if you use its abilities to their fullest.
  • Ministorum Priest: This guy is somewhat iffy. His abilities are mostly all effective, but he costs 60 points when he is at his peak. Put this guy in a huge squad of Guardsmen. Make them stubborn as shit, and for the low cost of 15 points, you can be the new owner of a two handed giant chain-sword counted as a Chainfist, very useful for a blob squad that can only have power weapons. Still, not as effective as a Lord Commissar in this regard, but he doesn't take an HQ spot and can help your guardsmen to not get stomped in a single charge.
  • Techpriest Enginseer: Sadly, not that many people use it. There can be a point to bring a techpriest and some servitors if you have a mech-heavy list, but most cases than not, he won't see any action, as he can't really keep up with vehicles, is pretty vulnerable to incoming fire, and more expensive than he's really worth. His biggest use is actually when he's paired up with a squad of gun servitors; they count as carapace armored and it's a reasonably cheap way to get a plasma cannon onto the field. It's not terribly points-efficient, but is a useful method to get some extra heavy weapons if you absolutely, positively need them, so don't forget about 'em. They can alternately work as a close-combat squad, but the squad itself is small and tends to be vulnerable - so it's generally better to load it up for fire support if you wanna use one.

Elites[edit]

Just to let you know, the IG Elite choices are the worst section of units in the codex. They cost a lot point wise, and model wise. If you like fluff, you might enjoy a few of these. If you like to fuck with your opponent and laugh your ass off, these may be for you.

  • Ogryn Squad: Big meaty men things with pretty awesome assaulting guns, Terminator equivalents to an extent. Assaulty wall of meat. Lovable to the end, which will be soon, seeing as these guys are a firing magnet. Keep them the fuck away against anything that could Instant-Death them, and get them into melee as soon as possible. However, even there they will struggle against Necron Warriors...
  • Ratling Squad: - Snipers, cool in theory, but everything wounds on a 4+, even against Gaunts or Grots. You should have Meltas or Lascannons to take out big things, not a paper thin squad of inbred midgets. Also most competitive armies have Fearless, so say goodbye to your beloved pinning. Ratlings are just too soft (T 2 so fucking bolters, flayers, and shootas will instagib them) and too cowardly (LD 6) to really have a place in the guard. If you want snipers, you're better off using Vets, Command Squads, Special Weapon Teams, or Vindicare Assassins like in Dawn of War (Just use the Allies rule, explained better further on). Just Say "No" to inbred space hobbits.
  • Psyker Battle Squad: A full Psyker Battle Psyker Squad in Chimera costs like a Leman Russ, while not having the same degree of survivability. Psychic Defenses can give them trouble, as do many other issues. So why bother taking these poor saps?
    • The first reason would be if you wish to take a Large Blast, but don't have left-over Force Organization slots in your Heavy Support Section. A reason for this would be should your army choose to take Manticores or Hydras. Depending on the foe at hand, and your ability to throw other high-priority threats (including Veteran Squadrons or Vendettas), you *should* be able to afford keeping them disembarked in cover, where they now have the option to benefit from Orders, "Fire on My Target" turning them into a wannabe Eradicator...
    • However, the most popular reason these Psykers get taken is because of Weaken Resolve. The ability to lower enemy Leadership for the remainder of the game turn has a lot of utility, both offensively and defensively. The most common use of it is to set a unit up for being Pinned/Routed by Manticores. One common mistake people forget is that Stubborn only negates this power when it comes to Morale checks; Stubborn does nothing to protect against Pinning checks for Pinning Checks are not Morale Checks; finally, even against Fearless foes, the ability to reduce the Leadership of an enemy psyker can cripple the enemy's plans; a Zoanthroape unit, or Lash Prince is far less likely to successfully cast its powers when hit by Weaken Resolve.
  • Storm Trooper Squad: In general, they are inefficient at general-purpose duty and are best-used at higher points-levels. Their main selling point, that they have AP 3 weapons by default, is negated by their low Strength, proliferation of cover, and the fact many Marine armies rely on dirt-cheap transports. Combine with having less Special Weapons than a normal Veteran Squad and things look grim. That said, they do have their role depending on the build you want to go for. They can choose to Deep Strike (and reroll Scatter) or Scout. For lower point levels, this doesn't matter as much, as one can use Veterans and Valkyries/Vendettas as part of the "Scout Rush", but one only gets 6 Veteran squads max. Storm Troopers can provide a Scouting/Outflanking Chimera if need be (which can be useful if you intend to outflank Vendettas, for they can be used in tank-shocking anti-outflank screens out of the way), additional Deepstrikers that aren't dependent on Grav-Chute Insertion and additional Melta support, or as Infiltrators to negate anti-Scout-rush tactics (the Krootscreen being the premier example). So they *can* have a role depending on the army build you go for, but not as mainstay units. These guys are incredibly underrated and from the stricken out section you can see why people might think that. However, consider this: for 15 points more than veterans, you get non-scoring (what, you expect to use Stormtroopers to camp objectives?!) rerollable deep strike melta with AP3 guns and 4+ saves that can buy chimeras and give them to special weapons squads which can't buy their own. Never let anyone tell you these guys are bad. If you're facing a gun line army, deep strike behind it and kill their fire support. If you need them to, they can scout instead or outflank. They may be expensive but when it comes down to it, if you take even one infantry platoon (so, always then) then you want these guys. Do remember that since they are likely to fight alone and without any support from Independent Character traits, they can get stomped in an assault as easily as a basic guardsman, and unless you sink points into them, you won't have many Stormtroopers in the squad to begin with.
  • GUARDSMAN FUCKING MARBO: Rambo is a strange unit in and of himself. There can only be one. He is 65 points, the same cost of a bitchin' 10 man squad with a grenade launcher and a power weapon. And Rambo is a kill point that you practically give your opponent. On the other hand, he is the shit. He swoops in and drops a pie plate of death anywhere on the board (str8 ap2). But beware, He can only throw the demo charge 6 inches. If unlucky on the dice rolls, Rambo himself can fall to his own demise from this attack. If he can last the next turn, he can fuck some units up in close combat until he dies a fucking glorious death, surrounded by the dead bodies of enemy squads he got to assault. If Lady Luck and Admiral Awesome are on your side you should take him. If you don't, you can go join the unmanly players at the not imperial guard table. Its up to you.
  • Hades Breaching Drill (forgeworld): Remember the Tyranid Mawloc? Well the IG looked at it and said "we need something like that but even more destructive." Yes this thing has rhino armour, but when it comes in it puts a fucking pie plate blast with S10 AP1 melta. This blast don't halves strength on partials and even destroy terrain. And then your vets pop out of the holes it leaves behind. The ultimate fuck you towards gun lines. Once it enters, it can go around blasting people with it's meltadrill, but it's probably going to die afterwards...assuming anything is left standing. And on top of this, drill only counts elites: it don't take up the slot in force organisation.

Troops[edit]

  • Infantry Platoon: Cheap core of army. Consists of a multitude of parts and options. Think of it as a force organization chart in your force organization chart, so you can write yo list while you can write yo list. Can add on extra squads of heavy and special weapons. Though those count as kill points so its risky to take the special weapon squads when you could use your Platoon command squads to do the same work for you. You could also put your heavy weapons in Infantry squads.
    • Platoon Command Squad: This unit can be tricked out much like the CCS (barring options for Camo-Cloaks or Carapace), yet do not have the accuracy of Veterans. Additionally, the Platoon Commander is less efficient at issuing orders. There are two unique Platoon Commanders, each which can be taken as replacements to the standard ones; they provide a degree of specialization.
      • Captain Al'rahem: Al'rahem is the long-standing rival to Ursarkar Creed, laughing at the former's antics. Creed can Outflank a Leman Russ or Scout some Hellhounds forward. Al'rahem always Outflanks his entire platoon. Order-wise, he replaces the standard Platoon Command orders in favor of Bring it Down and his unique order Like the Wind. This ability allows a Guard unit to shoot, then move d6 inches, as though it were running with Fleet of Foot; uses for this would be allowing a unit to spread out after disembarking, peel back away from enemy units, hug cover with small Grenade Launcher teams, or to help your get into assault faster. Ultimately though, Al'rahem is for players who *really* love Outflanking. On a final note, while he *does* have a cute Power Weapon with the potential to get lucky and one-shot an enemy model, the squishy nature of his squad makes using his unit for assassin duty very risky; if you *really* wish to use him in such a manner, a Priest is a must.
      • Commander Chenkov: Do you want to take that point? I mean, REALLY take that point? Seriously, how many dudes do you want to throw at that point? Chenkov can throw that many guys at the point, AND MORE. Including him is a fun way for your Conscripts to get some action, as well as make you just move your little boys 7-12 inches every turn, never shoot their guns, and charge, because boy, is that the only thing he does well. Chenkov lets your Conscripts come back from the dead, well, only if the whole platoon gets wiped out, but if you get sick of waiting you are allowed to just destroy them yourself. It's a lot of awesome for a lot of points. You can drown your enemy in so many bodies it isn't even funny (for them, at least). The only problem is getting them into the fight. Keep lots of Chimera on hand for this guy, if you want to use him at all.
    • Infantry Squad: If you play blob guard, this is going to be your bread and butter, if you play a balance of blob and mech, you are still going to take these dudes. They are paper thin, only hit half the time, and they run away if it can't be helped. But its for fucking sure that they can be made a monster. They can become Stubborn and get a Ld of 9 with a Commissar, the squad can be combined with other squads of the same kind to make huge tar pits. With 30 men, first rank fire second rank fire can make them fire 84 shots in one turn. That's a whole lot of diddly. They can take a heavy weapon and a special weapon. This can be combined to make many different options. A basic set up would be a grenade launcher, to be able to move and shoot a very versatile weapon. On top of that, If the squad is going to be a gun line, add in an Autocannon. You could also take a Priest with an Eviscerator to give the squad a Power Fist, and rerolls on the charge, because a squad that big is going to be charged eventually. You can get plenty of Power Weapons in there as well, for the Sergeants and Commissars. But there is a common misconception that you can have Power Fists in the squad, the only one you could is an Eviscerator.
    • Conscripts: A platoon may take one unit of Conscripts, or human Grots as they're affectionately called. If there is anything thinner than paper, it would be Conscripts. Good thing there are a lot of them... They are one point cheaper than a regular guardsman, so only take them if you are full of the others (how did you do that) or if you are using Chenkov's "Send In the Next Wave".
    • Heavy Weapon Squad: This is where the awesome firepower comes from. Some don't like them because they die rather quickly if they can be seen. But if you buy HWS instead of putting HW in your IS they can target big things and not waste the lasgun fire. Lascannons are nice here. In fact the only one that isn't that good to take here is the heavy bolter. They are a Kill Point and are slower than Sentinels, but they are cheap for what they do (per-model), can be modified to engage any threat, and don't take up an important Force Organization slot.
    • Special Weapon Squads: The only use of these I see are units that stop back the wave of Close combat, and demo charges. But Marbo does that so much better... So much wrong. It's a 65 point team of meltaguns. Fuck everything else, find them chimeras and drive them forwards so they can be a super cheap but less accurate vet squad. There is only 6 of them, but they can bring specialized firepower when it's needed.
  • Veteran Squad: Key to most mech lists. Slightly superior to regular guard and have an even better selection of gear. Stick in chimeras and try to see lady luck take them from you. Only downside to this squad is that you only have six troop choices. You could also do the smart thing and mix 2-3 vet squads with an infantry platoon, giving you unholy amounts of melta, chimeras and bodies everywhere. They're weaker generally less specialized than storm troopers, but they score. Always take at least two.
    • Gunnery Sergeant Harker: Not recommended. Removes Veteran Squad's ability to buy 4+ armor save, and only gives Feel No Pain and Relentless to himself. Grants no bonuses to close combat. His best use is to make a squad full of Assault-type weapons and to kite the enemy. Still, a waste of 55 points, since he is the opposite of flexible, and isn't really recommended. You don't need another Heavy Bolter on the field, and an additional chimera does a better job than Harker could ever achieve. He gives the squad stealth, move through cover, and infiltrate. Together with an autocannon/heavy bolter team and 3 plasma guns this makes a very nice thorn in the enemy's backside. Use his squad to claim an objective and sit on it all the game and rain death on whatever comes in range.
    • Sergeant Bastonne: Expensive at 60 points, but comes with Carapace and a Power Weapon. He can also give any order to his own squad, meaning that he can switch between shooting and running efficiently. The power weapon will let you do some damage in Assault, but that's not your primary goal with Bastonne's Squad. Remember that he is still affected by Incompetent Command, though and can only issue orders after everyone else already did.
  • Penal Legion Squad: You have to roll a d6 to see what these prisoners are good at. You don't have that kind of extra change to throw at lady luck during a game. This squad of cons can go fuck themselves. And even if you roll what you want it's still shit. Melee with a1, s3, i3 and ws3 still sucks even with rending. Compare to a orkboy and burst in tears.
    • If you still want to try them out though and have points to waste (what is wrong with you?!), you can have some fun with those guys. Gunslingers can hug cover and exploit the range of their 24 inch assault 2 lasguns. If they get shot at, they have stubborn. Still, their only use is to shoot up and then tie down choppy squads for a turn or two. And that's not really worth the 80 points.
    • Knife Fighters are even more luck-based, but since they Scout (and therefore can Outflank), they can end up taking down some expensive target. With a charge, that's at least 3 auto wounds that can ruin some expensive, low number squad's day. Don't forget to evade your opponent's raging fists if you end up shanking his foot slogging Terminator unit in the first round. Still, the cons lack the staying power, and are likely to get killed to a man the moment enemy retaliates. Again, not really worth the points, especially since you are playing Guard and every point counts.
    • Psychopaths are trash, and you might as well just remove the squad as casualties if that's how they roll.

Dedicated transports[edit]

  • Chimera: This is the gem of the MEHTAL BAWKS world. It makes the Guard competitive at high end play. Always replace the hull mounted heavy bolter with a heavy flamer to discourage people from charging you. There's no reason not to unless you're sat still and if you're sat still, buy anything else instead. You also get a turret-mounted multilaser by default, which is pretty good against anything infantry short of anything with Space Marine stats (and even Marines will go down eventually).
    • Cheap. (point-wise) You can spam them, get lots and lots of multilasers (it will please you) and a solid wall of AV12 metal.
    • Makes otherwise-slow Guardsmen mobile.
    • You can fire all your important shit (special weapons, aka melta and plasma) out the top hatch. Letting you fry while staying safe from retaliation. Heck, Commanders can even give orders out the top hatch.
    • They also count as tanks, meaning that once your troops are on the point, you can tank shock the enemies off it and even crush some Ork vehicles and scare off the mobs.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Scout Sentinel Squadron: Weak armor, going to die second turn most probably. Fun choice of weapons. Key part here is they have Scout. So three Sentinels coming from the side or scout into cover blasting away causing havoc in the enemy ranks. But still. They are going to die. They are open topped. They are going to die. They have 10 armor. They are going to die. But they may as well take a tank or two down with them. If you want to be insane, Heavy Flamers all around can result in hilarious infantry murder. Most of the time you'll take them as a 40 point autocannon on legs.
  • Armored Sentinel Squadron: Armored heavy weapon pretty much. Can move around and fire, unlike heavy weapon teams but you only get one for a similar price. Can do decent in close combat, unlike heavy weapons. Even better choice of awesome weapons compared to Scout Sentinels, such as plasma cannons (but you'll never pick anything other than autocannons, otherwise you'd pick a vendetta, right?). Can be used to keep mobs in the inverse Tarpits, if going gets tough, and guardsmen are in danger.
  • Rough Rider Squad: Poor misbegotten Rough Riders. Yes they're cavalry, yes they're dirt cheap, yes they can be virtually guaranteed a 24" charge range if you use Move! Move! Move! on them...and they are ultimately a one-trick pony that is difficult to hide in cover, is fragile in close combat, near-useless against actual dedicated assault troops (go ahead and charge Genestealers with them...), and should they be tarpitted, die. Perhaps the only way to reliably use them is with Creed, Glory for Cadia and all. And for that investment, couldn't one buy another Hellhound? Alternatively, you can use them as a one-time anti-vehicle suicide squad, since Sergeant can carry Melta Bombs. Still, you can probably find a much better Fast Attack slot choice.
    • Mogul Kamir When you first see him, Mogul doesn't look that bad. An improvement over a Sergeant he replaces, with a Bolt Pistol instead of a LasPistol, 3 attacks + 1d3 attacks on the charge due to his Cyber-Steed. He grants Furious Charge and Fearless to his unit. And he isn't that expensive for a an upgrade character. And then you notice that he basically has "Rage" rule, meaning that you lose the control over that one unit who needs to pick targets wisely to survive. Thus, no matter how much he adds to the squad, it's all for naught. He can't even get Melta Bombs. Not recommended. At all.
  • Hellhound Squadron: The Hellhound tank variants give you access to Fast Tanks. This can have its advantages, as you use them for movement-blocking, tank-shocking, or blasting enemies to oblivion. A low profile makes finding cover for it relatively easy, though cover-hugging isn't exactly the best use of this tank. There are three variants, each with a unique turret weapon, and the choice of hull-mounted Heavy Bolter, Heavy Flamer, or Multi-melta.
    • The standard Hellhound is a very handy infantry-killer. If they're not Marine-equivalents (and even they will be hurting once the wounds pile up and they start failing saves), and not in a transport, they will die. The range of the Inferno Cannon means that you can expect them to hit enemy infantry starting on turn 1 (move 12", fire 12", cover another 8" with flame template). Ran in support of longer-ranged anti-tank weapons for popping enemy transports, Hellhounds can also serve to finish off units from disembarked vehicles. As a general rule however, the Hellhound does best with a Multi-melta, for it can only fire one weapon at Cruising speed anyway. Using Creed to outflank a squad of these is hilarious against horde armies. Do it.
    • The Banewolf sacrifices the range of the Hellhound for a poisoned AP 3 flamer template. Banewolves will kill any infantry short of Terminators or similarly tough units. Their armor and speed give them unparalleled ability to be used for flushing enemy infantry from cover. This said and done, this may be the one variant you can afford to specialize; because the Chemical Cannon is a Defensive Weapon, adding a Hull-mounted Heavy Flamer means you're moving 12" and throwing out two really mean flame-templates. This tank is the epitome of offence over defence, on one hand, it can destroy an entire SM tactical squad in one turn, on the other hand, it can easily be put down by a Lascannon head-on. They are well known for making Tyranid and Chaos daemon players cry as you gib their monstrous creatures with as much ease as their cannon fodder. But then again, what doesn't make Tyranids and Daemons cry in 5th edition?
    • The Devil Dog is the last one out, eschewing a short-range flamer, for a Melta Cannon. This weapon is unique in 40k, for being a blast weapon with the Melta rule. Partials do benefit from the melta die of course, meaning that these tanks are great for sending into the center of an enemy armored formation and intimidating your opponent into breaking up, lest he find himself losing multiple tanks! Alternatively, assuming one has reliable long-ranged anti-tank, the Devil Dog can be used for finishing off survivors of destroyed enemy transports. Add a hull-mounted Heavy Flamer, and the Devil Dog can flush troops out of cover (though not as efficiently as the Banewolf). While not a flashy vehicle, it gets the job done. Probably the best variant for most games. Enjoy arguing over how the melta rule works with scattering blasts though.
  • Valkyrie Assault Carrier Squadron: Goddamnit, why don't you have one? A Valkyrie is relatively expensive flying Chimera,it is well worth it. It has BY DEFAULT Extra Armor in its profile, which means the bad bitch can never be stunlocked. If you keep your Valkyries Turbo-boosting around the table, it's rare for them to die. Keep them alive to support your armor with a hard-hitting blast from its Multiple Rocket Pods. Valkyries eat infantry and shit brass and work best with Stormtroopers or Veteran Squads, deep-striking the squad in the most annoying place possible, and then flying off to rain hell on the enemy. Unfortunately, it's totally outclassed for anti-infantry by the Hellhound. That said, it does upgrade to the...
  • Vendetta Gunship Squadron: 3 twin-linked Lascannons. Fast skimmer. Carries Guardsmen. Outflanks or gets into perfect firing position with Scout USR. Relatively cheap. There is no better option for fielding mobile anti-tank than this behemoth. Base height can be an issue as the only cover save you'll ever see is from Flat Out movement, but AV12 front/side arc and it's default Extra Armor help to mitigate this drastically. Why would anyone every field a valkyrie over this monster?
  • FORGE WORLD:Vulture Gunship:Essentially a 40k Apache helicopter, comes with a nose mounted heavy bolter, and 4 wing pylons that are divided into two sets of 2 pylons that give space for two twin-linked weapons (one pylon on each side per weapon). This machine is very modular, able to adapt to ANY situation, Green Tide getting you down? Well, instead of two twin-linked weapons, you can actually attach a twin-linked punisher cannon!!! The ammo boxes do take up the other two pylons, but twin-linked means 15 shots hit instead of 10 (on average). Other weapons that only take up one of two spaces include:
    • Lascannon
    • Autocannon
    • Missile launchers
    • Multiple rocket pods
    • 6 Hunter-killers (not twin-linked, 3 per pylon)
    • 6 Heavy bombs (again 3 per pylon, but one pylon dropped per turn as apocalyptic barrage (3))
    • Multilasers
    • Hellstrike missiles (not twin-linked, 1 per pylon)
    • And of course, the single twin-linked Punisher Cannon

I would personally recommend buying spending too much on all possible weapons and not gluing them in place, maybe use magnets or some other such method, just make sure you can change the vulture's armament easily to ensure it is never left wanting in a battle. Because the main strength of the Vulture is its adaptability.

  • You don't really need a Vulture. Valkyries and Vendettas are terror enough. THOSE WORDS ARE BLASPHEMY!!!!

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Leman Russ Squadron: Leman. Fucking. Russ. It's a big tank. Holds the proud title of best tank in the galaxy for its size and cost. Side effects include: templates, lots of dice, lots of AV, lots of choices. As an addition, Knight Commander Pask can be added to any one tank that you field. He'd a nice little upgrade to the BS, helps reduce drift, and he's a tank killer. Put him in a Demolisher, Vanquisher, Executioner or Punisher for the best bang for your buck, though, nothing is wrong with putting him in a Battle Tank.
    • Leman Russ Battle Tank: Though it comes in many flavors, the basic tank is the most useful. With its STR8 AP3 72" gun and thick armor, it is good against anything for decent points. This is your runner-and-gunner, your go-to tank, and the majority of your Leman Russ pool at any time should be either these or Executioners.
    • Leman Russ Exterminator: Armed with a 4-shot twin-linked autocannon means this thing is death incarnate for carapace armour and light vehicles. Arm with 3 extra heavy bolters for beautiful infantry shredding, if you feel like it, add Pask, and watch it destroy Predators and Falcon grav tanks with ease. Pity its worse value than a Hydra really.
    • Leman Russ Vanquisher: A Melta with a devastating range. Thus a bit costly for 1 shot at BS3 (works well with Pask, but only useful against vehicles). Not very useful really considering the amount of melta you should already have.
    • Leman Russ Eradicator: Kind of a Hellhound that hits worse, is slower but better armored. And you can add a Lascannon for versatility. Strange tank that eats your enemies' cover saves. Consider for Cities of Death games.
    • Leman Russ Demolisher: For +15 pt to the basic Russ you get a cannon that lays waste of everything on the battlefield and immunity vs S4 melee units. Thus sometimes 24" is too close at the enemy. The Demolisher is tried and true, and should ALWAYS lead the armored charge into the enemy. Works great alone, works even better in trios.
    • Leman Russ Punisher: Shares the cons but only few of the pros with the Demolisher (it does keep the additional back armor, which helps). Heavy 20 may sound cool, but on average, you end up with 10 S5 hits with no AP (making it difficult even to glance vehicles to death, but why would you target vehicles anyway?). Everything except Grots is butchered better with the cheaper and better ranged Battle Tank. However, unlike most Russes, it gets better if you sink the points in it: Kit one out with Pask and a full triple Heavy Bolter set, at which point the machine will 1-shot anything from Terminator squads to full-sized mobs every turn, and will stop nidzilla in its tracks through sheer dice output. Well, that or you'll be killed by the enemy's anti-tank units and waste 250 points on something the rest of your army should be doing anyway. By far the coolest looking, though.
    • Leman Russ Executioner Oh hell... what a devastation. This thing lays waste to whole Terminator squads and everything else the enemy has - this one will hurt badly. The only problem might be that it is a bit costly, and, if the enemy has nothing with 2+ saves, the Battle Tank is the better choice per points. Same might be true if the enemy has 2+: the Demolisher (who can also, you know, demolish tanks) might be a more price-worthy alternative. However, if you have spare points, take one. Even against those plasma-syphoning assholes take one and pray for the Emperor's blessing on your scatter dice.
  • Ordnance Battery: "Infantry win firefights. Tanks win battles. Artillery wins wars," or so the old saying goes. The Imperial Guard is noted for being able to bring really big guns to the battlefield, their firepower able to remove small sections of the opponent from the playing field. This said and done, the Imperial Guard artillery units are slow (sometimes outright static) and fragile for their cost due to being Open-Topped, a drawback which becomes increasingly noted should one wish to take artillery in a Squadron (and with the exception of the Griffon, Ordnance has the same cost issues with squadron up vehicles); this said, one can remove the Open-Topped Status. Artillery in itself will not make a Guard army due to its fragile nature, but they provide excellent firepower should the rest of the army be able to protect them. There are numerous artillery-pieces available, including the following:
    • Basilisk: Jokingly called the penis-enlargement gun by veteran Guard Players, the Basilisk is noted for having a really big gun. This gun is also known for being long-ranged, having the option for direct or indirect fire, and having AP 3 (meaning it can kill Marines in the open, or pummel Crisis Suits). However, having the worst minimum-range requirements has the potential to often relegate the Basilisk to being a direct-fire weapon, a task the Medusa tends to do better in most cases for a marginal upgrade in cost; this said, the Basilisk's direct-fire does have a longer range than the Medusa. Unless it's apocalypse, you don't need more than 36" though, so get a Medusa.
    • Colossus: Games Workshop has a checkered history when it comes to Marine-Killer weapons. Their emphasis on certain units being designed for killing Marines in the open, has lead to horridly inflexible units like Vespids, Flash Gitz, Thousand Sons, and now the Colossus. At first glance, the Colossus looks like a fun gun. With the ability to ignore cover, and Marine Power Armor saves, it will utterly devastate Marines should it land properly. On the other hand, having a wide minimum range and the inability to fire directly means the Colossus falters against a lot of Marine Armies. With the exception of some foot-slogging Space Wolf armies, many Marine armies are very fast, and noted either for operating as a mechanized army, fighting by Drop Pods, speeding forth towards your lines on Bikes, deepstriking in by Jump Packs, or otherwise excelling at fighting at short range. While the Colossus can be used for indirect-combat if kept isolated from the rest of the battleline with an infantry unit or two to watch over it, it isn't too popular in tournament armies for this reason.
    • Griffon: The cheapest artillery-piece the Guard get, the Griffon is also the most accurate on most accounts; the ability to reroll Scatter Dice is a handy ability in most cases. Like the Colossus, the Griffon is unable to fire directly, yet its shorter minimum range makes it more usable against rapidly advancing armies. Should a player wish to take a Griffon (or a pair of them, which isn't as point-intensive as squadding the other artillery), they work as part of a handy one-two combo for finishing off infantry from a destroyed transport, or in support of Hellhound-equivalents being used to Tank-shock enemy infantry into clustered formations.
    • Medusa: A pure direct-fire weapon, noted for having Strength 10 and AP 2, the Medusa is arguably the most popular form of Ordnance on account of its raw firepower. While having the same issues with accuracy most blast weapons have, whatever it hits will suffer on account of it. For those who wish to trade accuracy and flexibility for raw tank-busting firepower, the regular firing mode can be replaced with Siege Shells, turning the Medusa into a heavy tank hunter. With an AP 1 blast template, and the normal Ordnance bonus replaced by rolling 2d6 for armor penetration, even partials have the potential to kill enemy vehicles, and the threat of losing multiple vehicles to a well-placed shot does a lot to intimidating opponents to spread their vehicles out. This said, like with the Devildog's Melta Cannon, the accuracy issues inherent with the Medusa mean it tends to work best in support of, rather than being the primary source, of ranged anti-tank.
  • Heavy Artillery Battery (forgeworld): This is Basilisk and Medusa guns without Chimera Chassis. They are immobile, fragile (though not as fragile as orks an eldar artillery with AV11) and need crew (which could be killed), but they are also cheap. And for being non-vehicles, they can take orders. Earthsakers and Medusas with "Bring it down!" and "Fire on my target!" could make miracles if used properly. Or die pointlessly, if used improperly.
  • Hydra Flak Tank: A relatively popular vehicle for one key reason. Providing dual twin-linked Autocannons and a Heavy Bolter at an extremely efficient price, even before you take into account its ability to ignore cover generated by Turbo-boosting or moving Flat-out, the Hydra is great for reliably dealing with enemy light vehicles at range, or disabling/stunlocking medium armor until Meltagun infantry can get close to finish the job. A squad of these is excellent for chipping away at Monstrous Creatures, and unlike many other vehicles, squadding the Hydra won't be excessively expensive. On the other hand, it competes with other popular Heavy Support options, and like all Autocannon units is useless against AV 14. If Hydras are taken, make sure that your list has the means to deal with these other threats. That said, for the same price as a Leman Russ, you're getting 8 twin-linked autocannon shots that shoot 72" and can always get cover from (but still fire over) Chimeras. 2+ saves give you trouble, but really that's always true unless you've got access to, say, a lot of melta, plasma and AP1/2 template weapons. Easily the best choice for most armies - go buy some. Now. Hurr, it's Forgeworld only! Grab an Aegis Defence Line, plant the quad-gun on the back deck of a Chimera for a quick and dirty Hydra.
  • Manticore Missile: Mixed-bag. Good for the points, bigger blast range then hell, but can't really shoot every turn deal with marines. Drop it back by your Basilisks or Heavy Weapons. Good points are simple: They're not open-top, compared to artillery. They've got HUGE blast ranges and they can virtually ensure that you're going to be making people spread out their firepower, great for you to focus on one group at a time. Downsides are just as bad as the upsides though. Limited ammo CAN be a problem (rarely). Spreading people out causes you to lose a lot of their effectiveness. Seriously, it can only shoot 4 out of 5-6 turns (unless your opponent isn't retarded, in which case it'll be gone a great deal sooner). Overlooked a lot, but can be powerful on those first few crucial turns. On a high note, these things DEMOLISH Necron Warrior elements.
  • Deathstrike: The Deathstrike Missile Launcher tends not to be taken in a lot of tournament builds, being viewed as too unreliable a weapon. Its main selling point is that it eventually fires a Strength 10 AP 1 superlarge blast (to put this in context, while a normal Ordnance Blast has a 2.5" radius, a Deathstrike Missile has a radius of 4-6" depending on the luck of the die), ignoring cover, and operating at full Strength against any and all vehicles caught in the explosion; should it go off, it has a high chance of devastating the opponent. On the other hand, it's chances of properly firing are random at best, and it won't be firing on turn 1, and the Deathstrike is a one-shot weapon. It mostly gets used either for casual games on account of this unreliability, as a gamble, or for psyching the opponent out into spreading his forces out. But if you're a favored champion of the dice gods, received the blessing of Admiral Awesome and the benediction of Lady Luck and have balls of ceramite, you might just hilariously wipe half of your opponent's forces early in the game. In 2k+ games, combine 3 Deathstrikes with 4 units of demo special weapons squads in vendettas and watch your enemy's face drop as he realises he the might of pie plates as he has to deal with either 3 nukes or 12 S9 AP2 large blasts+12 twin linked lascannons on turn one. Unless you get first turn of course, in which case he has to deal with 3 nukes having already been hit by 12 blasts...

Apocalypse units[edit]

    • Marauder Bomber: Heavy bomber. Imagine the massive bombers that dropped massive amounts of bombs on cities during the Second World War; the Marauder is basically the same thing, but with much bigger and less dinky and useless guns. Also happens to share the same name as a real bomber, too. It's not good for its point cost though, even in Apocalypse. Those bombs just don't hurt tanks.
      • Maurauder Destroyer: Heavy attack plane. While the standard Maurauder is the Imperium's B-17, this one is basically a flying Manticore with three twin-linked autocannons on its nose. Instead of bombing, this sucker flies in and strafes with crap-tons of fire and flies away. Better than the bomber in every way (looks, armour, actual AA mount guns, horrific bombing runs).
    • Baneblade: ECKSMETALBAWKS HUGE KILLDOZER WITH A FUCKTON OF GUNS. Orgasms aside, the Baneblade is one of the most feared tanks the Imperium and Chaos posers have to offer. Sporting a Baneblade cannon, co-axial Autocannon, Demolisher Cannon, two Lascannons, three twin-linked heavy bolters, and optional pintle mounts AND optional Hunter-killer missile, it's a rolling fortress of death. Comes standard with three structure points, AV14 front, AV13 side armor, and AV12 rear armor. Can be commandeered by a Commissar to REALLY motivate your troops.
      • Hellhammer: Baneblade without the Baneblade cannon. This has, instead, the Hellhammer cannon (equivalent to the Eradicator cannon) The Hellhammer cannon is shorter ranged but has a smaller template, better strength and AP. But why take this when the Stormsword right down the corner is so much better?
      • Banehammer: Fun for trolling mech armies with its Tremor cannon. With a 60" range and S8 AP3, the Tremor cannon may not seem like much, but that's when its special rule "Earthshock" come in. Everything within 4d6" of its 7" blast gets caught within a shockwave zone which is treated as dangerous terrain to vehicles and difficult to all else. Not the best super heavy to take, but is fun.
      • Banesword: Designed especially to reach out and fuck someone's day over. With a range of 180" on its main cannon (called the Quake Cannon) as well as S9 AP3, Barrage, and 10" Blast, someone is going to have a really bad day. And for shits and giggles, you can kill that annoying Tau player's army 2 tables over.
      • Stormsword: Best at street fighting and siege warfare, what this bad boy lacks in range (a sort of pathetic 36") is made up for in firepower. Its cannon launches a enormously painful S10 AP1 10" blast primary weapon shot which denies cover saves and instagibs vehicles on a 3+ and is at the very least ripping off a weapon, and will turn anything with less than T5 inside out. So in other words, it's a great way to say "screw you" to that annoying as fuck Vindicare assassin camping in those ruins. The blast template is in fact so huge that the Stormsword is actually physically incapable of missing its original target with its main cannon, which is awesome. Firing this thing once can wipe its cost in units off of the gameboard, which is even more awesome. Pretty much everything you love about the Leman Russ Demolisher is taken up to eleven on this baby. If you can get these guys in range, they will never fail to impress with the incredible amounts of destruction they will unleash.
      • Doomhammer: This super heavy isn't sure if it's supposed to be a scary-ass tank or dedicated transport... but does decent as both. With a transport capacity of 25 models, it certainly isn't too shabby especially with its fire points (well, fire point really) allowing 10 models to blast away from it. It also counts as open topped for (dis)embarking purposes. Its primary cannon (named the Magma cannon - yeah, it's the Volcano cannon's baby bro) has a range of 60" and is S10 AP1 5" blast. So yeah... Something caught between a Stormsword, Stormlord and a Shadowsword... So for a jack of all trades, this is a decent choice (though the Baneblade is probably better at it).
      • Shadowsword: Like the Baneblade but instead of a turret and hull weapon, mounts a fuckhuge Volcano cannon (yes, it is as powerful as it sounds). The volcano cannon is range:120" S:D AP1 large blast. The Titan killer and possibly one of the most useful Baneblade-based vehicles.
      • Stormlord: Shadowsword chassis with Vulcan Mega bolter instead of Volcano cannon (Yes, the mega bolter is as insane as it sounds, imagine a vulcan minigun with Heavy Bolters for each barrel), the mega bolter is range:60" S6 AP3 type: heavy 15, and if the Stormlord doesn't move, it can fire twice either at different targets, or at the same target. However, the most lulzy thing about this beast is that it can transport FORTY troops. 20 of which can fire from a rear mounted firing platform. To really maximise its epic lulz potential, team up with a Space Marine player and let him shove 20 devastator Marines in it. For obvious reasons, this thing will then be chucking out more fire than an entire Imperial Guard regiment.
    • Malcador: Basically a bigger Leman Russ, half the size of a Baneblade. Like the Russ, it has a Battlecannon, but has the option for sponson heavy stubbers or sponson lascannons. Malcadors have a limited turret traverse, due to their weird design.
      • Malcador Defender: Instead of a Battlecannon, has a bunker on the top with five heavy bolters and a demolisher cannon in the hull.
      • Malcador Annihilator: Has a twin-linked lascannon turret weapon, and a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon.
      • Malcador Infernus: Take a Malc, throw out the turret and give it a titan-sized Inferno Cannon. It's a GIANT flamethrower tank, like a Hellhound on steroids. Also has sponson weapon options.
      • Valdor Tank Hunter: Like a smaller Shadowsword, or specifically, like a bigger Destroyer Tank Hunter. It has a fuckhuge laser cannon. No sponson weapons.
      • Minotaur Artillery Tank: Basilisk on crack. Carries two Basilisk cannons on a Malcador hull.
    • Macharius Heavy Tank: Comparable to the Malcador, except with moar gunz. Standard Macharius has two sponsons and a TWIN. LINKED. BATTLE. CANNON. Unlike the Malcador, the Macharius has a full 360-degree traverse so it can fire in any direction from its position. Also has hull-mounted twin linked stubbers in the front.
      • Macharius Vanquisher: TWIN. LINKED. VANQUISHER. CANNONS. Also has sponsons on either side. Hull-mounted heavy stubbers also.
      • Macharius Vulcan: Mother of god. For ultimate cheese, get a Stormlord with Vulcan mega bolters, and get a couple of these to roll with it. This Macharius has a Vulcan Mega Bolter on its turret, plus the sponsons and hull heavy stubbers.
      • Macharius Omega: A Macharius assault tank, basically. Has no turret for its PLASMA BLASTGUN. Has sponsons weapons also.
      • Gorgon Assault Carrier: The ultimate party bus. The Gorgon can transport entire platoons instead of just a single squad. Has two twin-linked heavy stubber turrets on the very back, and has the option of either sponson-mounted weapons or twin-linked mortars. One thing to note is that the Gorgon is permanently open-topped.
      • CRASSUS ARMORED ASSAULT TRANSPORT: Picks up where the Gorgon slacked off. Has two heavy bolters on its nose, sponson weapons and it's completely closed. Unknown carrying capacity, but it must be huge. It's pretty much the IG's equivalent of a Land Raider, and like the Predator vs Leman Russ, the CRASSUS ARMOURED ASSAULT TRANSPORT is more powerful, more durable, and generally better at its job, which is hilarious when you think about it.
      • Praetor Armored Assault Launcher: OMG. Just as the Minotaur is a super-Basilisk, the Praetor is a super-Whirlwind. Its backside houses a multiple-rocket launcher, also has two heavy bolters on the nose. Unknown if sponsons are allowed.
    • Warhound Scout Titan: Buy three!!!!!!!!!! Can equip two arm weapons, give it two Turbo-Laser destructors and watch the fireworks as it kills everything
    • Reaver Battle Titan: Buy one!!!!!!!!!!! Gets two arm weapons and one carapace weapon, uses the same weapons as a Warhound.
    • Warlord Battle Titan: FUCKING MAKE ONE!!!!!11111!!!!!11!!1!!!!11!!!!!11!!!!111 One of these, will obliterate its cost in say, Predator Annihilators or Baneblades, without a freaking scratch. It mounts two of the Warhound's weapons on its back and two of its own weapons on its arms, which pack more range and fire more shots each turn.
    • Imperator Battle Titan: If you play one of these, just give up... I mean, the other titans scaling up add on gun, but this God-Machine carries six carapace weapons (use the Warlord's weapons for that, there's not point using the Warhound's), and its two arm weapons, and even its weakest arm gun will at the least throw out 6 strength-8 AP3. There is no safe place against it, its weapon's range let it hit anything. Even if the enemy team fills every square inch of the board with anti-tank guns, this thing will come out on top without taking so much as a glancing hit to its armor with all the void shields they need to get through. Load up on laser blasters for the carapace and vengeance cannons for arms and this can let loose an insane TWENTY-SIX destroyer shots. They're never going to get up close for melee either, because even if the enemy can avoid getting vaporized by its guns, when the titan moves, everything except gargantuan creatures and super heavies within 12 inches counts as going through difficult terrain. NOTE: You will never get a model for this thing, not in a thousand years, but you can proxy one, just ask your two meter (seven foot) pal over and get him to cosplay.
    • Lightning Fighter: A nippy little air fighter, small armament, and not great armor, but fast and fairly cheap.

Tactics[edit]

Tactics for the Imperial guard have been expanded upon through out the years resulting in a plethora of different stratagems. First to explain a few of the different rules of the IG and their different uses, as well as some army compositions and strategies.

Orders[edit]

The order system, though new to Guard, has become one of the most important and most raged-about addition to the IG codex. When you are about to declare a Ld check for an order, get your troll face on. The fact is, is that Sisters are only decent now because of faith points. In a few years the same will be said about Guard and the orders system. With orders your lasguns become 30-50% more effective. You get rerolls for cover and armored/monstrous enemies. When you go to ground with an order, you go to ground like no other son of a bitch. Your run move is guaranteed to be decent. Some call it broken, but you can not give orders to those inside vehicles. So the most broken list of Guard currently, can not make full use of them. Anyway, orders are the shit. And you don't even need lady luck on your side. With the right vox system and use of other leaders Ld *COUGH* commissar *COUGH*, you should be able to roll a savings grace.

Army variants[edit]

  • Blob guard

Blob guard is a rather simple concept. Have more bodies than your opponent has bullets. The fact is, is that IG has access to guardsmen that can be as cheap as 5 points. You will overwhelm them in model count, in deaths a turn, in shots fired, you will have at least twice as many heavy weapons as they will. All of their anti-tank weaponry that was meant to take out the 150 point Leman Russ? It killed a guardsman with a lasgun, good job. The problems that come with such an awesome army composition is the lack of speed and how effective the enemy's anti-infantry will be against you. A decent thousand-point list might consist of 2 20-man combined squads with a commissar and priest each, about 9 or so heavy weapons, and your three or so command squads loaded out with special weapons. Works best in a Cities of Death game, all that cover, all those cover saves, your men will live a bunch longer and confound the enemy to no end.

  • Mech guard

Mech explores the wonder of armored vehicles. The core of the army would be a command squad and 2 squads of vets all in chimeras. And the rest would consist of anything from Leman Russ tanks to vendettas, to artillery, fast attack choices, or more chimeras.

  • Melta vet spam guard

Put vets in Chimeras. Give them meltas. Fill up Force Organization troop chart. Do same with Company Command Squads and Storm Troopers.

  • Hammer and Anvil Guard

This army is for those who can't choose between the two. A main force hits head-on while supported by tanks and artillery, and vets come in from a supporting side. As they say, hit from the air, sea, and ground. A list might include a command squad along with a squad of vets in a Chimera, a squad of 20-30 men with a commissar and priest, a Leman Russ variant, and a Basilisk.

  • Artillery apocalypse

Take a few infantry squads with just standard guardsmen, say around 20-30 troopers, do not upgrade at all: these are meat shields. Fill up your remaining points with the Imperium's single most destructive medium, Basilisks. "But wait," you say, "Baneblades/Titans/Shadowswords are more destructive!" And yes, you'd be right, HOWEVER, when you have, say, 1,000,000 Basilisks per battle titan, well, you get the picture. Whilst your enemy is dossing around trying to kill your infantry, your many Basilisks pound them into dust. AP3 and large blast means all standard infantry fall like chaff to these bad boys, whilst Str 9 means most man-sized units suffer instant death. This mind-blowingly massive amount of firepower is, however, completely useless if the crew is being hacked to pieces by deep striking terminators or some other such buttholes. So this formation is best for large, pitched, foot-slogging battles, where your foes will be lucky even to reach your infantry lines if you've spent half your points on Basilisks.

Allies[edit]

If you're still using the now-old Codex: Witch Hunters or Codex: Daemonhunters and you want to use allies, good god do so. For the price of a fully-kitted Veteran squad, you can have an entire 10-woman Sisters squad with all their needed gear PLUS the cost of a Rhino for them. Suddenly your army has 3+ saves and BS4 Bolters to backup your lasgun spam and 5+ armor save.

If you're lacking punch for some reason, consider using the old Allies rules. Sisters and Grey Knights can introduce a world of hurt most people don't expect from a Guard army. This writer knows from experience that Valkyrie-borne Sisters plus a Canoness make a superior, cheaper alternative to expensive Veterans or Stormtroopers doing the same thing.

What to buy[edit]

The battle force. This gives you two squads of 10 and a leader pack, as well as heavy weapons and a Sentinel. This will be helpful if you are going blob or mech. You can make them vets for a quick 500pt army. You can even save the heavy weapons for vehicle modifications later when you buy tanks if you go for mech. Next thing would most likely be a Leman Russ and two chimeras if going mech, and another battle force if you are going blob.


Also if you dip, or one of your friends dip, ask them for the metal lids to the tobacco containers. These are the exact size of the heavy weapons base, making it extremely easy to take advantage of all the heavy weapons in the pack. Just use the bending knee for the dude shooting, and put the other dude as a standing man. Green stuff some sandbags or a wall to take place of the tripod stand.


As far as organizing your army, you ought to know better that you don't have to pimp out every platoon FULL of men. Usually, two large Platoons decked out will do the job, but let's calculate the body count if you spammed every slot.

HQ: CCSx2 (24 models; Commissar, Chimera, and all Advisors, including Officer of the Fleet and Astropath, which are MANDATORY)
Priest x5
Techpriest x2 (With 10 servitors. Give 'em ALL plasma cannons. Because you can.)

Elites: Stormtroopers all around, bitches (30 models)

Troops: 6x FULL Infantry platoons (6x6-man CCS + Chimeras, 30x11-man Infantry squads + Chimeras, 30x6-man Heavy squads (it's two guys on one base, be glad I'm not counting the gun model), 12x6-man Special squads, and 6x50-man Conscript squads. 954 models, bitch)

Fast: 3x Rough Rider squads (30 models)

Heavy Support: 9x Leman Russ EXECUTIONERS WITH FULL PLASMA-SPONSONS (STFU. You want them)

Grand total: 1064 models, INCLUDING Chimeras. Yes. You can have one-thousand models on the table. THIS IS THE GUARD. OUR INFANTRY ARE BLOBS.
Want MORE INSANITY? For an extra 500 points you can make those 300 Conscripts UNDYING MONSTROSITIES! This is also mandatory, no exceptions.

But unless you're a millionaire or you've been in the Guard since 2nd edition, you aren't pulling this off.

Ideal generalized army list that you should start with:

HQ: 1x CCS

TROOPS: 2 Infantry platoons of two Infantry squads each

FAST ATTACK: Scout Sentinel x2, Valkyrie and Hellhounds if you wish.

Once your army has reached this point, start looking at where you want to go with it. You'll have a decent base for starting the typical MechVet army that is shining right now. If you want to get Leman Russes, get three, split between two Battlecannons and a Demolisher. Max out melta. It's the best thing in the game currently. Just do it.


Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Orks
Tau
Tyranids