Warhammer 40,000/6th Edition Tactics/Imperial Guard/Elysian Drop Troops
Why Play Elysian Drop Troops
Because Flyers are OP. Do you remember, how much rage does induct Necron ability to take flyers as dedicated transport? With Elysians you could take Valkyries as transport. And you have flyers in both FA and HS slots. Anything not mounted on Valkyries or Vendettas could deep strike. And all your troops are badass elite paratroopers IN SPACE. This comes for a cost though, as you have literally zero tanks, and all your infantry cost slightly more than regular guard.
Recently new rules have been released for Elysian's in IA3 2ed to 'better' fit 6th ed. Good things include the combat drop rule (only for a few units though), AGLs no longer being one shot, vulture squadrons and slightly better sentries. However, vultures are now fast attack (competing with vendettas and tauros), tauros no longer can take homing beacons (making the most unique and interesting Elysian unit no longer viable...) and demo charges have been nerfed to "breacher charges" which is straight up retarded.
The new rules basically means that instead of playing an interesting forward recon style drop army, flyer spam is the only (albeit powerful) viable option.
Personally I'll be sticking with the old IA8 rules with an A-Company Tauros and a load of homing beacon tauros leading on the ground (which is 'technically' legal since it is a different list from other volume like a D-99 list from IA4, but you will probably never get to play it in a tournament).
- Special Rules:Deep Strike and Iron Discipline. All infantry as well Sentinels gain the Deep Strike rule. Iron Discipline for all the infantry gives a chance for below half strength squads to still attempt to rally within 6" of an Officer (any type). This also means that Elysian units are slightly more expensive than regular Imperial Guard counterparts.
NEW RULES Combat Drop: Half of your Valkyries (sky-talons included), sentries and drop sentinels can deep strike on turn one.
- Company Command Squad: Much like regular CCS, except you can't take Astropath and Master of Ordnance. Also can only bring one special weapon and cannot take autocannon and lascannon. Reason behind this is probably because Command Squad is for commanding squads and not for deep striking melta guns. Can take Auxiliary Grenade Launchers (think marine grenade combi-bolter but with lasguns). Note that Valkyrie lack the command vehicle rule, so you need to disembark or grav-chute to give orders. Always give homing beacon to your company commander - with so much deep striking and grav-chuting around it's priceless.
NEW costs 5 points more and can take 4 special weapons now
- Lord Commissar: Again not much different from vanilla, except he can deep strike and can take homing beacon.
- Long Range ground scanner:This thing is weird. For 50 pts you get single guardsman model, which can fuck up enemy infiltrators or grant one of your
squadsunits rerolls to hit on non-ordinance guns. But it only works on 4+, range 6 (or unlimited if unit caries a vox) and scanner himself is indestructible piece of gear. If you want rerolls to hit it's always better to take allied Space Wolf runepriest with divinationstick into a fully upgraded Valk/Vendetta for flying Pask.
NEW now taken with the command squad instead of a heavy weapon
- Storm Trooper Squad: Same as in regular guard. Here for fluff reason. Totally redundant option since everything else can also deep strike while being cheaper. Oh and Valkyries are the dedicated transports.
- Drop Sentinels: Deep. Striking. Multimeltas. They are as paper-thin as regular sentinels and would eventually die, but not before taking some enemy tanks and/or monster with them. Comes with Heavy Bolter by default that can be swapped for Heavy Flamer for free or upgraded to Multimelta for points. As you get better faster and cheaper flamers on Tauroses, and really ANY fliers (even Vendetta with extra HB's) can provide you more than enough anti-infantry dakka stick with Multimeltas. They also could be taken as part of infantry platoon, and take Valkyrie Sky Talon as dedicated transport. Note you can have 27 of these deep striking multimelta goodness (3 Elite + 6 Troop squadrons) per FOC.
NEW now 20 more points but can be used for combat drops
- Drop Infantry Platoon: Again, much like regular platoon, except deep strikes and Valkyries dedicated transport option. You also could take one more HWT, and one Drop Sentinel squadron as part of platoon. Also Demolition charges 4 everyone.
- Platoon Command Squad: Same as regular guard PCS but with optional gear changes. Only one special weapon and can not take Lascannon or Autocannon. Though they can take Lasguns with AGLs. Also they can have a homing beacon and one Guardsman can take a Lascutter. Think S9 servo-arm.
- Infantry Squad: Basically the same as regular Guard but with Demo-charges and cheaper Krak grenades. Can not take any of the HWT options and Sarge & Commissar can take Lasguns with AGLs.
- Special Weapon Squads: It's a 65 point team of Meltaguns (everything else can be provided better by Veterans). There is only 6 of them (and only 3 can carry melta), but they can bring specialized firepower when it's needed. Can take a dedicated transport unlike the regular SWP. Also give them 3 Demolition charges and deep-strike. Laugh Maniacally.
- Heavy Weapon Squad: Elysian bring only half of awesome firepower because they lose AC. and LC. options. But since you can not buy heavy weapons in your Infantry Squad, they are your only long range option for targeting big things. You can deepstrike them for a perfect rear armor angle shoot but you will need a Homing beacon nearby to pull it off. Can take a dedicated transport unlike the regular HWS.
- Drop Sentinel squadron: Same as before, replaces conscripts.
NEW Demo-charges nerfed to breacher charges... I don't know either... PCS can have 4 special weapons now.
- Veteran Squad: Like regular veterans, but better. Can not take HW Lascannon and Autocannon options but Elysian Veterans can take Auxiliary Grenade Launchers 3 pt upgrade for flashguns and one Lascutter beside the regular gear. They are very flexible and can be kited for any role. Give Elysian Veterans 3 Plasmaguns and 6 AGL for MEQ-TEQ killing goodness or Carapace and 3 Meltas for deep striking Storm Troopers wannabes. Valkyries like before are dedicated transport. Also Elysian Veteran Doctrine with Camocloak swaps Defensive grenades for a Homing beacon (which you need in deep striking army).
NEW Can't take AGLs, Heavy Flamer is not a special weapon (yes you can has 3 flamers AND a heavy flamer), doctrine forward observers is now infiltrate and homing beacon, doctrine demolition swaps Demo-charg for breacher charge :S
- Valkyrie Assault Carrier: This is the main reason you should play Elysians. It's fast flyer with beefy 12/12/10 armor and decent armament. There is nothing to say about this bird besides "take it".
- Valkyrie Sky Talon: Cheaper and slightly worse variant of Valkyrie, used as transport for drop sentinels and tauroses. Worth mention, it counts as heavy support, which comes to play in Big Guns Never Tire type of missions. As Tauroses could outflank, and sentinels could deep strike, you should run your Sky Talon empty most of the time.
- Tauros Strike Squadron: Dirt cheap buggies with twin heavy flamers and Scout USR. If you want to scout flamer sentinels to ruin someone’s day, this guys would do it much better, for they are faster and deadlier for the same cost. Also all the tauros vehicles ignores immobilized results on a 4+. Can upgrade Heavy flamer to Tauros Grenade Launcher, a 40k grenade machine gun that fails to impress (works like regular grenade launcher with 50% range increase and a second shot). Do not expect them flimsy buggies to survive long: with AV10 all-round, open-topped and only two Hull Points, they are dead men riding. One upside to the Tauros is the fact that they can take homing beacons, so if you're running a drop troop army like Elysians, these are good to take. Can take a Valkyrie squadron!!!(1 per Tauros) or Valkyrie Sky Talon dedicated transport.
- Tauros Venator Strike Squadron:The Tauros Venator has same rules and basic upgrades as Tauros while adding two extra wheels, +1 front armor and a twin-linked Multilaser (can upgrade to Lascannon) for measly point upgrade. The Tauros Venator is a damned fine fire-support unit. Being fast, and coming with 2 Hunter-Killer missiles as part of the bargain, it can act as a fire-support annoyance for targeting vulnerable rear armor or for sniping a pesky independent character. Lascannons and high mobility make for a fine combination too - if you exploit the max range of the Lascannons, something is going to get cooked in short order. Keep it away from enemy fire and use its mobility and range, and you'll find it hilariously good at taking out specific targets. Can't fit in Valkyries but can fly in a Valkyrie Sky Talon.
NEW Squads can be mix and match but no more homing beacons... making them utterly useless compared to vendettas and vultures
- Vendetta Gunship Squadron: 3 twin-linked Lascannons. This is quite possibly the best unit in all of Warhammer 40K at this point. Carries Guardsmen. Outflanks. Relatively cheap. Comes in squadrons of up to three. There is no better option for fielding mobile anti-tank than this behemoth. Use Vendettas when the enemy fields Vehicles or Masses Monstrous Creatures - especially if they can fly as well.
- Cyclops remote control demolition vehicle: RC toy cars with a big Demo-charge that can deep strike. Sick joke. Sure, it could deliver some pie plate of hate, but both operators and Cyclops are extremely vulnerable, and would always die before they could do their job. Alternatively, troll the fuck out of your enemy and hover, disembarking them 6', running them and then detonating them extremely precisely in the middle of an infantry formation after charging them, essentially turning your Valks into bombers.
- Sentry gun battery No. Just no. While cheap it's immobile, BS2 and all your other HS choices are flat out better.
NEW now a automated artillery (T6/3+), cost a lot more and can hit something now, can be used in a Combat Drop (use for turn one deep striking 3 twin linked HB behind Ages Lines :D)
- Vulture Gunship: Essentially a 40K Apache Gunship, comes with strafing run USR, nose mounted heavy bolter, and 4 wing pylons that are divided into two pairs of pylons that give space for one twin-linked weapon (one pylon on each side) and one set of missiles. 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 missile pylons, but twin-linked and BS4 against ground targets means 18 shots hit instead of Leman Russes 10 (on average without Pask). I would personally recommend
buyingspending 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.
NEW moved to fast attack but can be taken in squadrons of up to 3
- Thunderbolt Fighter: The Imperium's standard for Fighter craft, this workhorse of the Imperial Small Craft Fleet is meant to be able to do any job asked of it, whether it be bombing, ground attack, interception, or air superiority. But it is a bit pricey, and properly kitted Vendetta or Vulture could do ONE of it's jobs better. But this neglects the true strength of the thunderbolt, sheer immediate versatility, while the Vulture can claim to be versatile, it's likely going to be kitted out to do one role on the battlefield, while a thunderbolt can do four simultaneously. But the place where Thunderbolts really shines is in Apocalypse, where they are the bane of superheavy fliers (be wary of Harridans, they'll laugh at your Autocannons and the Lascannons are at best only going to take one wound off.)
- Lightning Fighter: A nippy little air fighter, it defines the trope of "fragile speedster" with a small armament, paper-thin armor and only two HP. It is supposed to the cheaper and longer ranged companion of the Thunderbolt, carrying more missiles to compensate for a fewer number of guns to allow it to (briefly) pack the same amount of firepower, it does however, has serious survivability issues, and even the Big Shootas on an Ork Bomma will send one crashing down. And of course once it blows it's missile load it's firepower drops dramatically, but hey - do you expect this thing to last for much more than one turn?
- NEW Avenger HELL YEAH! Your dedicated AtG Jet Plane with a tasty Strafing Run rule. It comes stock with an absolutely useless defensive rear-mounted Heavy Stubber (can help knock a flying monster out of the sky tho...), two Lascannons, and the AVENGER BOLT CANNON, which is basically half of a VULCAN MEGABOLTER. This means it packs SEVEN Megabolter and two Lascannon shots at BS4 for only 150 pts, to ruin the day of anything with less than AV14 or a 2+ armour save. And if it's not enough, you could fit additional guns, missiles or bombs under it's wings. Do you really need any other reason to buy it?
You are a flier army you don't use fortifications.
- Aegis Defense Lines: Even though you shouldn't need this, sometimes a starting ground force is good to have. So take this if you are going to take any fortification at all. A Quad gun or Icarus Lascannon is always nice and it Also gives access to the Coms Relay which means you would not have to ally the IG Codex and get an Astropath.
- Skyshield Landing Pad: Well if you REALLY don't want to get those homing beacons you could get this... But don't. Trust me.
- Imperial Bastion: Expensive piece of terrain that you are never going to use. Unless it sits on objective. In which case enemy will get to it first and use it.
- Fortress of Redemption: See above.
Ride Of The Valkyries: Pretty simple: Put anything in Valkyries or Vendettas, max Heavy support with other flyers and don't forget get to amass enough Valkyries, Drop Sentinels or Sentry Gun Batteries since Combat Drop gives you HALF of them coming in from Deep Strike Turn 1. Just realize that this is a very competitive list and you will not make many friends if you show up with this style of army outside of a tournament.
Airborne Drop Force: If u wanna give your opponent a chance to win. Mainly Infantry platoons and Drop Sentinel Squadron. Command squads hide in cover with rocket launcher, while Infantry Squads with demo-charge and Multi-melta Drop Sentinels, all deep strike. Add Tauros with a Homing Beacon for safer deep strikes and Imperial Guard allies to get access to an Astropath (FAQ does NOT disallow his reserves bonus from affecting your main detachment even if the Astropath is taken as an allied detachment) and better gun line.
Ground Forces, First Wave, Second Wave, Air Support You have the wonderful advantage of combat drop, however you might not get first turn. So anything you have to keep on the ground should stay in cover. Get a veteran squad with forward observers and you have a good infiltrating homing beacon for everything coming on. Get an aegis defence line and man it with your command squad. The quad gun will ensure that light armoured flyer hunters (hive crone, crimson hunter) are taken care of (or at least severely weakened) before they can cause trouble (which they will if allowed). Don't take chances if your opponent goes first, go to ground and make sure you're in cover. The command squad will be fine with 2+ cover save (I doubt the enemy will get flamers to your side on turn 1) but be sure to take care with any veterans starting on the ground.
Once you get your first turn it's valkyrie time. Make sure to take as many sentinels or sentries you need to combat drop all of your valkyries (but no more than that, too many points/not very good). Valkyries go best with multiple rocket pods but don't be afraid to have one or two lascannon/missile combos to even it out (comes out cheaper in points and molests enemy armour). Keep at least one or two squads (depending on objective) in the air until it is safe for them to come out (unless it is some kind of emergency).
Turn 2, bring on as much as the dice will lets you. Stormtroopers benefit from rerollable scatter and can be really good at tank busting from behind for only 105 points (85 + 2 melta guns). Sentinels are also cool except they cost 75 points with a multi melta and are only BS3 (stormtroopers come out better) but you should still take one for combat dropping valks. That or sentries which are limited but are cheaper and kinda fun.
But what you really want are the flyers. A vendetta will blast most enemy flyers that aren't vulnerable to quad guns with relative ease (3 twin linked lascannons yes!). They are also good for popping tanks and MCs from the safety of the skies. But what really makes the enemy shit themselves is a punisher vulture which will rip apart almost any kind of infantry (pinning any survivors), light vehicles and light flyers and anything with low toughness or meh armour save (MEQs and TEQs wont be wiped out but they will usually lose something and can be pinned).
Elysian Drop Troops ally with everyone like Imperial Guard does, but can ally with an Imperial Guard contingent as Battle Brothers (and viceversa).