Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Guard(8E)

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Why Play Imperial Guard

When recruits are inducted into the Imperial Guard, they are given four 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"), a large stack of toilet paper (which the recruiters refer to as the "Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer"), and the regulation extra large wheelbarrow that allows them to cart their massive brazen balls into battle.

From a gameplay perspective, the Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard is a flexible force known for having either hordes of cheap infantry to blast the heretic swine, waves of tanks to flatten the bastards, or a medium 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.

Pros

  • Versatile and strong vehicles.
  • Hordes of infantry that can be buffed with force multipliers such as Commissars and Platoon Commanders.
  • Dirt cheap troops means you can laugh off the loss of a cheap 50-man conscript squad whereas an elite army cannot.
  • The removal of platoons means you can get rid of some minor taxes. A little bit of points go a long way.
  • Laughably easy to amass command points in a brigade detachment due to dirt cheap units
  • Scions, with the help of numerous powerful long range IG options, will easily fill up brigade detachments and will out gun any army at any range. You will never see an army with more assault weapons than scions (well, other than nids).
  • The new Strength/Toughness and AP mechanics tend to favor hordes, as does the removal of templates. Your opponent won't get more than 6 hits from a flamer or heavy flamer, you actually get a save against both, and that heavy flamer only wounds your boys on 3s.
  • You have way more opportunities to make your army look distinctive than most other armies do. Space Marines might get to make themselves feel special by slapping different colors of paint on their armor or putting different emblems on their pauldrons, but there are actually entirely different model options for your guardsmen. (Granted, only Cadians and Catachans are available in plastic right now and the others are rare...)
  • You're the best ally army in the Imperium, bar none. It doesn't matter if you're bringing Space Marines, Sisters, AdMech, or Genestealers: you open more doors for more armies than any other army in the game, whether with long-ranged fire support, cheap bodies, or badass flyers.

Cons

  • Overall flimsy infantry. What you have in numbers you do not have in toughness; your most common model statline is toughness 3 with a 5+ save.
  • Comparatively weak in assault. S3 with 1 attack each is not doing you any favors. Avoid close combat like the plague, unless you can mob a single enemy squad with models, buff your dudes to the point of competence, or you're using dedicated melee units like Ogryns/Bullgryns.
  • Individual units are weak without support from characters and other squads. Synergy is key.
  • Anti-infantry weapons will destroy your hordes in short order.
  • Although your units are cheap in points, they're not that cheap in cash, two maxed out conscript blobs will run you $150.(Where do you buy models that 120 guardsmen=$150?)(5 man packs can be bought for €8,- so 20 packs are 100 models for €160,-) Not to mention the difficulty of painting and hauling around 100 3 point bodies. (And on the cash front, Emperor help you if you decide to run Death Korps of Krieg.)
  • The powerful IG options in 8th have changed significantly from 7th; parking lot armies are out, infantry hordes are in. While it's still too early to tell what the new hotness will actually be, it seems unlikely that your existing army will stay 100% effective across the edition shift.
  • You're not GW's favorite children, so not only are new models for your army very rare, but your models are mostly outdated as fuck and are rarely in stock. Just thank the Emperor that you don't have to buy pewter models for everything like Sisters players do.
  • Unless you keep everything in transports or a tank squad list (and maybe if you're playing against Orks), you're less likely to get the first turn by getting all of your units deployed first since during the roll-off the player who finished deploying first gets +1 to their roll (this is assuming you're using the new deployment method outlined in the Chapter Approved book and confirmed by GW, if you're using the old one you will rarely go first). Plan your strategy accordingly.

Special Rules

Orders

One of the biggest gimmicks to the Imperial Guard, the Orders system grants abilities to your troops to tip the scales of battle! At the beginning of the shooting phase, units with the OFFICER keyword and Voice of Command rule may issue this order to infantry of the same Regiment within 6" of them at. If the Officer is within 3" of a Voxcaster, and the unit he's trying to order also contains a voxcaster, the range is boosted to 18".

Imperial Guard Orders can basically be put in three groups: Re-roll Orders, Movement Orders and Special Orders.

  • Re-roll Orders: These orders either allow a unit to re-roll 1s to hit or wound, buffing a unit in the same way as a Space Marine Captain or Lieutenant respectively. Both Take Aim! and Bring it down! are better than First Rank fire! Second Rank fire! when used on Special and Heavy Weapons Squads, while First Rank fire! Second Rank fire is better when used on Infantry, Conscript and Scion Squads.
    • Take Aim!: Ordered unit re-rolls to hit rolls of 1 until the end of the phase. Did someone say "Supercharged Plasmas?
      • Absurdly good on Militarum Tempestus with Plasma Guns - field them and they will please you.
      • This does not apply to the Fight phase. If you're in close combat, use Fix Bayonets! instead, unless you are somehow fielding massive numbers of pistols and want them to be more accurate.
    • Bring it down!: Ordered unit re-rolls to wound rolls of 1 until the end of the phase.
      • When compared to Take Aim!, Bring it down! has the exact same effect on chances of wounding, making the two orders interchangeable except for cases of Gets Hot! (where Take Aim! is better) or auto-hitting weapons (where Bring it down! is better).
  • Movement Orders: These orders allow units to double move or advance/fall back and shoot, making transports less necessary.
    • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase.
    • Get back in the fight!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it fell back in it's movement phase.
    • Move! Move! Move!: Ordered unit must move as if it were in the movement phase, and it must advance and cannot charge.
  • Special Orders: These orders are effectively "double phase" orders, allowing a unit to effectively shoot twice (but only with Lasguns) or fight twice.
    • First Rank, fire! Second Rank, fire!: Ordered unit's Lasguns and hot-shot Lasguns become Rapid Fire 2. That means 4 shots when in Rapid Fire range. You can almost bring back that insane number of shots your 50-man platoon had! Do not underestimate what it can do on the 50-man Conscript unit you can still field.
    • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fight as if it were in the fight phase. This order is something akin to panic button: guardsmen are individually weak in close combat and Rough Riders and Ogryn can't take orders. On a mass blob of conscripts, however, it can do a surprising amount of damage, especially if you have a nearby Priest to buff them further.

Regiments

You may assign your own keyword to most Astra Militarum units to replace their <Regiment> keyword, with the exceptions being units with a pre-set Regiment (such as Commissars) or with no Regiment (such as a Techpriest Enginseer, although he has a <Forge World> assignable keyword, instead). The only Regiment you cannot assign is Militarum Tempestus. The primary reason to care about this is buffs, like the Orders above, which only work when the buffer and their target share a Regiment. Another reason is so that you can more feasibly include powerful named characters in your army:

  • Cadian - recruit Ursarkar Creed and Jarran Kell to order your dudes around, and call up Knight Commander Pask to command your tanks.
  • Catachan - Colonel Straken and Gunnery Sgt. Harker can join up.
  • Death Korps of Krieg - Access to Death Korps exclusive orders, rules, units, and characters. Greater emphasis on infantry blobs, artillery, and Rough Riders. Improved resistance to Morale checks and more effective in close combat, but not many options for infantry-usable long range firepower.
  • Elysian Drop Troops - Access to Elysian exclusive orders, rules, units, and characters. A deep-strike heavy list emphasizing mobility, fast attack units, and flyer support at the expense of heavy weapons and tanks.

Other, more fluffy but less character-rich names include Steel Legion, Vostroyan, Mordian, and so on. You may also make up your own, to personalize your force!

Note: Do not assume that you may assign your regiment any name that already exists elsewhere; see Warhammer 40000 Designers Commentary on Warhammer Community. For the lazy, the devs stated that the use of the keyword is for personalizing your force and preventing you from abusing buffs. Using a Space Marine chapter name is right out, for example. Also, the debate is over: per the FAQ, you cannot assign either Militarum Auxilia or Officio Prefectus as Regiments, either.

Wargear

Ranged Weapons

  • Lasgun: Your trusty flashlight hasn't changed, really, but because of the way strength rolls against wounds now, you stand a chance of actually making a small dent in anything. You'll need a lot of shots (and hits), but gone are the days when a lone model with high toughness and some bullshit save can creep its way to your 50 guardsmen without so much as a scratch. Worse against TEQ HQs and others who now have more wounds, unless they also have T5 or 7+ where the buffing to wound makes up for it.
  • Laspistol: Like the Lasgun, it's not a huge threat by itself, but it clocks in at the low-low price of zero points. Sergeants and Platoon/Company Commanders get it by default, and you can swap out Command Squad's Lasguns for this and a close combat weapon... which you probably shouldn't do unless you have something specific in mind.
  • Bolt Pistol: S4 AP-0, almost universally a better choice than the crappy flashlight pistol your sergeant/Officer starts out with. Commissars and Lord Commissars start out with this.
  • Boltgun: Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP-0 1 D. Functionally free for (Lord) Commissars, as they start with a compulsory 1 point pistol they can swap out for one of these 1 point guns, meaning the model's cost is the same with either loadout. Sergeants and Commanders can also take this, which you usually should unless you want the trinket below.
  • Plasma Pistol: No longer the ever-present risk it used to be unless you overcharge it, this weapon is your anti-MEQ and better at S7 AP-3. If you overcharge it, the pistol becomes S8 AP-3 2 D, enough to one-shot Terminators, but if you roll a 1 the model suffers an uber-gets hot and is removed from play as a casualty. Unlike fairly cheap guardsmen and veterans, you do not want to get your character killed just because of one bad roll. The 8th ed. trick of firing pistols while in melee is a huge boost as well.
  • Shotgun: Buffed since last edition, but not by much. Only available to vets. The Shotgun is still 12" Assault 2. OH and it can't accept FRFSRF. However, the shotgun does have a little quirk. Should the enemy get to 6 inches, the weapon becomes str 4 AP-0, hilariously becoming makeshift Bolters with assault or shootas. An interesting and fluffy choice.
  • Hot-shot Lasgun: This Scion-exclusive Lasgun sacrifices 6" of range for AP-2. That's right, nothing gets better than a 4+ armor save against this weapon without cover. Taking into account Scions' cost reduction, this bad boy is ever so slightly worse at MEQ hunting now, but better against everything else, especially TEQ and tanks. Also comes in a pistol version with a 6" range - Creed gets to take two.

Special Weapons

  • Flamer: An Assault 1d6 S4 AP-0 D1 weapon with an 8" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. The changes to how Flamers work give them a bit of effectiveness against small, lightly armored units as well- the number of hits they can score means that a single model can be hit more than once.
    • Just remember, your flamers no longer ignore cover, and on top have lost all ability to penetrate armor. They do at least ignore to-hit modifiers, which "seems" to mean they can hit fliers. Significantly, you can no longer control shot volume with clever model placement - your rate of fire is up to luck, not skill - so they also won't behave as predictably/reliably as before. You'll need to apply multiple flamers to a problem if you want a reliable number of shots, due to what happens to probability when you add dice rolls together: it becomes much more likely their sum will be close to average, but sadly you can still find yourself getting 3-5 hits with your full squad of flamer sentinels from time to time.
  • Grenade Launcher: Multipurpose portable explosive grenade launcher. A versatile weapon that stands an good okay chance of putting a dent in whatever it needs to, now including MEQ and TEQ (krak are still slighly worse than frags against MEQ) . Unfortunately it took a big hit to what was its favorite target: 4+ saves. All told, it's almost useless. Plasma guns, lasguns and hotshots can do it's jobs just fine. Would be decent 2 points cheaper. It most well suited to footslogging special weapon squads with its good range and low cost, but then you could take veterans or ratlings instead.
  • Meltagun: S8 AP -4 D d6 Assault 1 with 12" range. If within half its range (so 6" or closer) it rolls 2D6 for damage and selects the higher number (takes the average from 3.50 to 4.47, or basically +1 damage and more reliable), so it's good against Monsters as well as vehicles now. The changes to wounding, number of wounds, and AP "helped" the meltagun by nerfing its competition; plasma doesnt hurt TEQ or monstrous creatures the same without taking a big risk. Meltaguns are now better at hurting heavy infantry in cover and can melt away wounds a lot faster than a plasma gun.
    • Meltaguns are very good, but remember, anything in range of your meltagun is in range for your plasma gun to shoot twice, and that's at only slightly more than "half" the price of a meltagun; also neither weapon can negate an invulnerable save. For most infantry targets, your Points-Per-Wound from plasma guns will vastly exceed that of meltaguns, but with the safety and price cut to plasma guns, you already wanted plasma for armoured infantry anyway, melta is anti-multiwound.
  • Plasma gun: The plasma gun works differently from its earlier incarnations- for a start, it now has two firing profiles, both of which share Rapid Fire 1 and a 24" range. In its normal mode, it's S7 AP-3 1 D so it's basically a flat upgrade from a bolter that does a good job of taking out MEQs and TEQs. In its supercharged mode, it has one extra point of Strength and Damage that lets it one-shot Terminators. Firing the supercharged mode triggers the new version of Gets Hot!, and this time it just kills a model with no saves on a to hit roll of 1. Lastly, (and importantly) they are now boldly, DISGUSTINGLY cheap. This is all great news for Guardsmen. They appreciate the safety of regular shots more than anyone else and the overcharged shot isnt much more dangerous than regular shots used to be. On top of that, especially with the price cut, you won't hardly even "care" about the loss of a guardsman plasma gunner, not even a veteran. At least they can shoot straight and make the risk even more worthwhile.
    • The Take Aim! order will do wonders to simultaneously improve your accuracy and reduce models lost to Gets Hot!, particularly since units with plasma guns in them are no longer hordes, as conscripts can't take them.
  • Sniper Rifle: Gives you the ability to target an enemy character, even if they aren't the closest model. Also, rolling a 6 to-wound dishes out a mortal wound in addition to its normal (mediocre) damage of 1. Cannot be taken by rough riders.
  • Hot-shot volley gun: Another Scion-exclusive weapon. Heavy 4 means you don't need to bother with FRFSRF for volume of shots or worry about Rapid Fire range. It's slightly more potent than a hot-shot lasgun and has better range, so you can consider it a flat upgrade if you're holding your ground; Scion BS also allows it to be fired on the move at BS 4+ for some impressive running-n-gunning. Can also be taken on the Taurox Prime.
  • Demolition Charge: Got an amazing price reduction from 20 points to only 5 points for a Grenade D6 S8 AP-3 that does D3 wounds/hit. This weapon will kick the nads in of MEQ and worse. It's been relegated to Special Weapon Squads only, but to be fair giving these to normal guard and veteran squads would've been ridiculous. Also, it's actually a grenade now, so the loophole abuse of throwing all three at once from last edition is no more.

Melee Weapons

Most of these are specific to one unit. The the ones that aren't are listed below, and may be taken by sergeants and most characters.

  • Power Fist: Sx2 AP-3, but forces a -1 to hit on the model using it. Company Commanders and Lord Commissars won't feel that too much, but Veteran Sergeants and Platoon Commanders may. Given its astronomical cost relative to your other melee options in addition to being inaccurate, generally a poor choice.
  • Power Axe: At S+1 it may seem like a good idea, but AP-2 means it's now worse at kicking in the shit of MEQ and above. Mathhammer confirms it's usually a slightly poor choice, and also cost a point more than a sword or maul. Its only time to shine is against T 6 or 7, with a save in the 2+ to 4+ range, or against T 3 in the 3+ to 5+ range.
  • Power Maul: It does the least armor penetration of the power weapons, but gives you the biggest strength increase aside from the Power Fist. Mathhammer says it performs better than the axe against MEQ (due to being cheaper), and outright better against models of toughness 8 and 9, but generally speaking, it's your best bet - going from S3 to S5 is a huge leap given the actual toughness values you're liable to be hitting, it's cheaper than the axe, and it's the most difficult weapon to 'waste' AP with against models with either invuln saves or no saves at all. Not for nothing, it is also your best choice against MEQ.
  • Power Sword: Has the greatest armor penetration rating at AP-3, but does not increase your strength in any way. By mathhammer it's really only useful against models with very good saves, as you might expect, but also low toughness - still has more victims than the axe does in terms of being more efficient than a power maul.
  • Chainsword: Some credit must be given to the old standby. In addition to being free, it gives an extra attack with it. This serves to make units like Rough Riders a lot nastier than they might look from their statline (Rough Riders effectively carry two of these, giving them 2 bonus attacks with this profile).

Heavy Weapons

  • Mortar: 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1, and may fire indirectly. Down in cost, and along with the nerf to the Wyvern this brings it back into the realm of 'good' choices. At 9 points a gun team, it's a dirt cheap light and medium infantry muncher. Because of the revision to the way AP works it's in direct competition with the Heavy Bolter; this ALSO means it's in indirect competition with your entire motor pool. Consider this when the challenge of fitting half a dozen kits' worth of mortar tubes into your list is a daunting prospect.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D1. The reasons that this was bad in 7th edition have carried over, unfortunately. It's still standard on every vehicle in your motor pool, and it's still inferior to better than the Autocannon against single-wound T5 and less, but especially 4 and 2 where it hits 50% harder. It's gone "way" down in price (8 points), so the choice is a choice now, but it's still one of the weaker options. Interestingly the AP-1 over the Multilaser makes a double Heavy Bolter Chimera a strong contender now (and the triple Heavy Bolter Chimera, if anyone remembers Forge World, might be a serious powerhouse).
  • Autocannon: 48" Heavy 2 S7 AP-1 D2. The 'Pom-Pom' is a strong contender in 8th. Retaining its decent AP, solid strength, and good rate of fire, the Autocannon has gained multi-wound capability. It's probably your best friend on a Scout Sentinel, and for 15 points (an increase, but on most units the net cost is lower) it makes a solid option for Heavy Weapons Squads.
  • Missile Launcher: 48" Heavy D6 S4 AP0 D1 or 48" Heavy 1 S8 AP-2 D1d6. Still the Jack of All Trades, still the Master of None. Lost the option for a flak missile (though you don't really need it, as fliers can be hit on 5s by guardsmen now, and 4s by Veterans and Scions) but kept the cost; at 20 points it's tied with the Lascannon for most expensive heavy weapon. Once again, compared to Autocannons, it's better against the hordiest and heaviest units such as Guardsmen or Tanks, but the auto cannon has a slight edge against MEQ, a decent edge against T 5/6 MEQ and TEQ, and kicks ass against almost anything with 2 wounds, especially with light or medium armour like Nobz or Rough Riders (as neither frag nor krak missiles are fully effective against such models).
    • This weapon is absolutely awful for its points against anything; you're a lot better off taking lascannons and mortar teams, particularly now that everyone has Split Fire.
  • Lascannon: 48" Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D1d6. The ever-reliable Imperial tank-buster. The improved strength over Missile Launchers is critical, as most tanks are T8, meaning krak missiles wound on 4s while the Lascannon wounds on 3s. The extra AP doesn't hurt, either; carapace armor is ignored entirely and Land Raiders have to roll with a 5+. It's the same price as last edition, at 20 points, but the D6 damage lets it threaten heavy units, and it can now be used to snipe heavy infantry in cover.
  • Plasma Cannon: 36" Heavy D3 S7 AP-3 D1 or S8 AP-3 D2 Gets Hot. Someone found the manual! It's a viable option on Armored Sentinels, now. Of course a reckless guardsman can still overcharge it, getting the more powerful statline, but a 1 on the hit roll kills you. Yes, that's correct - no armor save, you're just dead. The ones on Leman Russ sponsons have special vents to survive this, but the tank still takes SIX mortal wounds (as in, half your maximum amount) and can't fire either of the Plasma Cannons again (can still fire the Executioner Cannon). Cost is unchanged from 7th, though when buying just one (pretty much just armored sentinels, since Servitors are AdMech now) you only pay for one. Careful firing on the move or against Tyranids with venomthropes, those -1 to hit modifiers now make it much more likely to roll that 1, at least until GW regains its sanity and makes it only a natural one.
  • Multi-Melta: 24" Heavy 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6. If you're within 12" of the target you roll 2D6 for damage and take the highest. Leman Russ Demolishers can find some use out of this to brawl with enemy heavy vehicles and monsters, although they'll take a penalty for firing on the move. May also be allowed on Forge World Drop Sentinels, as in 7th - when the Forge World lists come out, anyway. Cost is unchanged from 7th.

Unit Analysis

  • Keywords: Common keywords are ASTRA MILITARUM, IMPERIUM, and the placeholder <REGIMENT> which can be substituted for Cadian, Catachan, or the like.
  • Sergeants: Like most armies the Guard's infantry (and cavalry) squads have non-commissioned officers leading them. These Sergeants (or Bone'Eads, if you're an Ogryn) have +1 Attack and Leadership over the rest of the squad, and in Infantry squads they swap the longarm of the rest of the unit for a laspistol and chainsword. Infantry Squads, Scions, Veterans, Rough Riders, Ogryns, and Bullgryns all have sergeants in some form, none of whom cost more than the non-Sergeants in the squad with them.

Dropped Models

The following models currently lack any rules, and must be considered "dropped" in 8th edition until we get them:

  • The Fortress of Arrogance
  • Traitor's Bane (since this is also the name of Ezekiel's sword, chance are it won't return.)
  • Sly Marbo (fairly sure he is just hiding from his enemies as to make his entrance even more dramatic.)

HQ

Any Regiment

  • Tank Commander: A single Leman Russ tank, with 3+ to hit. On the upside, he no longer needs to take a bodyguard tank. On the downside, he can't take bodyguard tanks at all now. Arguably better though, now that you can field the Tank Commander as a single tank. But since it still has the ability to give orders to tanks, there's no reason to take it alone.
    • Orders are given at the start of the shooting phase, only affect ONE Leman Russ that is not a character, and are now Full Throttle (ordered unit must make an immediate move and advance, but cannot shoot or charge), Gunners, Kill on Sight (re-roll to-hit rolls of 1), and Strike and Shroud (can only be given to a Leman Russ that has not used its smoke launchers, ordered model then shoots and pops smoke after)
    • Remember how you don't HAVE to take a bodyguard tank anymore? Well unless you think +1 BS on a single gun is worth 35 points think again. In 7th edition your tank buddy was usually an Eradicator with no sponsons since it was the cheapest. Now, that role is taken by either the Executioner or Punisher variant, both clocking in at a minimum of 160 points. Looking at your orders, you're probably better off picking the Plasma variant to make use of Gunners, Kill on Sight's re-rolling 1s, though you can't go wrong on re-rolling 1s on a 20 shot gun.
  • Company Commander: This guy gives you your orders, issuing up to two orders per turn. He starts out with a 5++, a Chainsword, a Laspistol, and frag grenades, but can upgrade his melee and shooting weaponry, as expected. He needs a Command squad to give him support and keep him hid from rampaging enemies.
    • For the daring, or suicidal commander, give this guy a power weapon or fist (a power maul is your most efficient option) along with a plasma pistol and jump into CC when you can charge an enemy tied up with a normal squad. With his 4 wounds, and the help of the much improved medic from the command squad, he might be able to kill off the last Chaos Champion or Tyrannid warrior. Also, these upgrades are cheap, ranging from 4 points and up. Remember to use him as a counter attack backed up by his vets. Combine with a Lord Commissar, and rock two fists! If anything your opponent won't expect it when you win a few mid level combats until they send in the really nasty monsters...
    • It's worth remembering that unlike the tank commanders he can order himself. Whilst it’s not that effective, it’s better than wasting an order if there’s no one else around. Could even win you a game if Move! Move! Move! allows him to take or contest an objective.

No Regiment

Officio Prefectus
  • Lord Commissar: A buffed out Commissar with a 4+/5++ and a Power Sword, and makes everyone around him Ld9, which is awesome. His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him never lose more than one model from a failed Morale test, which is ULTRA-AWESOME, but regular Commissars have the same rule. You primarily buy this guy for two reasons: you have a Brigade detachment and need more HQs, and because between his carapace armor, refractor field, and extra wound, he's twice as tough against pretty much anything as a normal commissar, for less than double the points. This is a smart move, especially if you expect to face enemy snipers - that red sash (and the fact that he's the lynchpin of your blobs) makes him a primary target.
    • You can (and should) replace the power sword with a power maul; a second power weapon probably won't find a way to earn its points back, since you have to choose between them when you attack. You should consider the free boltgun, to make the most of his BS 2+, though for a few extra points a plasma pistol lets him contribute to melee without too much risk.
    • Don't overlook Aura of Discipline, something his un-Lordy friends also picked up. All friendly AM units in 6" can use the LC's Leadership of 9. This generally means a unit is going to need to suffer three wounds before battleshock is even a concern. Keep him close to units that can expect high attrition that need to stay in the fight.
  • Commissar Yarrick: Has the same Aura of Discipline rule that the Lord Commissar has, and has the Summary Execution rule (in spite of his fluff where not a single soldier was executed by him at the Battle of Hades Hive). He comes with his Baleful Eye (S3 AP-2 6" pistol 1), Storm Bolter, Bolt Pistol, Powerklaw, and a Power Field for a 4+ Invulnerable save. In addition, if he loses his last wound, roll a d6 and on a 3+ he does not lose his last wound. He can come back from the dead...alot. Interestingly, he now gets the fluffy "Hero of Hades Hive" which grants friendly Astra Militarum units re-rolls of 1s to-hit within 6" of him. This becomes re-roll all failed hits when the unit is attacking Orks. A fitting replacement for the old Preferred Enemy: Orks rule of 6th and 7th edition. Sadly, all of this old man awesome comes at a price - he costs 130 points. His re-rolls of 1s to-hit (re-rolling all misses against Orks) makes him incredibly potent when he sits next to a horde of Conscripts.
Astra Telepathica
  • Primaris Psyker: Gone are the days of making everything reroll hits. For twice the points of an Astropath you get a force stave, one more known power, and more durability. Can still only cast 1 a turn, so only bring him if you need HQs or are worried about snipers (he's tougher than an Astropath). Slightly okayish in close combat.
    • Alternate opinion: These guys are probably the best cheap way to spam (unmodified) Smite in the game. Each of them will, on average, score 1.917 mortal wounds per turn (assuming they are at full health - they get a bit worse as their ability to survive Perils goes down, bottoming out at 1.820 with one wound left), which likely is more damage than any other 40 point unit in this army will deal. Astropaths may be more efficient when it comes to utility, but being able to reliably get off Smite makes these a steal for their points.
      • Other armies, however, can do this, only cheaper - for example, an Eldar Warlock only costs 37 points - and Smite is best on a mobile platform, so you have the most control over which enemy unit is closest, which other armies can do better (such as that same Warlock, who can hop on a jetbike). The real problem is the points cost - because your Primaris has no option to leave his staff at home, he's forced to pay 12 points for it, which is nearly half his cost, and he's not really designed overall as a melee powerhouse otherwise. He's slightly less points-efficient for Smite than an Astropath, if you assume no one is attempting to Deny you: a Primaris Psyker's Points-Per-Wound with Smite is 20.87 (assuming he can live through Perils, which he can from full health, guaranteed); an Astropath's is 22.5 (assuming he took a laspistol, not a stick). It's just that 3 of him cost 8 Astropaths, and they can provide full Deny the Witch, Astral Divination, and bring 8 copies of Psykana powers, compared to the 6 those Primarises... Primarii? will bring. They can't cast all of those, but they can spread around access, so you can attempt the power where you want to attempt it.
        • If only they could actually use all of those Psykana powers each turn...
    • In addition, the Psykana powers, while not as powerful in supporting your shooting, are still good. Terrifying Visions makes battleshock rolls more painful; great for your melee units. Gaze of the Emperor is good (well..... if you cast it into melee and roll well for distance) for piling some extra wounds on a large horde and the characters within. And Psychic Barrier is like cover in the open...except it stacks with cover, too. Put your conscripts behind an aegis line, hit them with this, and then dare your opponent to try and shift 50 3+ models. Or do the same with your veterans, weapons teams, or ratings, conscripts live to die anyway. Or take them into melee and fight like you're wearing carapace armor - it works in melee, too!
      • Psychic Barrier doesn't just stack with cover and your armor saves; it also applies to the few sources of invulnerable saves you have, too. Consider stacking with Celestine's aura effect on a group of Conscripts for a 50-man squad with 5++, or giving a squad of Bullgryns with brute shields 3++ for maximum deathstar goodness.
Adeptus Ministorum
  • Uriah Jacobus: A Ministorum Priest on steroids who now has the Astra Militarum faction keyword and qualifies as an HQ despite being found in the Adeptus Ministorum portion of the index. He has Shield of Faith, which lets him try to deny a psychic power manifested by an enemy psyker (but only using 1d6 as opposed to 2d6). Besides this, he also adds +1 to the leadership of all Adeptus or Imperial Guard units within 6", which isn't too shabby, and has a snazzy shotgun with a 24" range, Assault 2, S4 AP-1 D1 (D2 if you roll a 6+ to wound). Sure, why the hell wouldn't the guard follow some crazy old preacher into battle?
    • Poor Uriah is pretty overpriced for what he provides if taken in a pure Adeptus Ministorum detachment, but in a mixed or purely Guard detachment, he can be pretty useful alongside Ogryns/Bullgryns or Conscripts, especially if you want to save the Elite slot a normal Priest would take (and with Platoon Commanders, Command Squads, and Commissars being as good as they are, it's entirely possible you'll want to). Just keep in mind that he comes at a cost.

Specific Regiment

Militarum Tempestus
  • Tempestor Prime: The Militarum Tempestus version of the Company Commander; he costs a bit more, but has been buffed from his 7th Edition iteration. In addition to his BS 3+ and 4+ armor save, he can now take a Tempestus Command Rod, letting him issue 2 orders instead of just 1. Makes him more useful now that you can take Militarum Tempestus Scions as Troops. Keep in mind he gives up his pistol for the shouty stick.
Cadian
  • Lord Castellan Creed: MIA (read: in Trazyn's collection) in the fluff, but you can still use him. If your army is battleforged, Creed gives you 2 extra Command Points if he's the warlord, and can issue up to 3 orders per turn. Can only be used with the CADIAN regiment keyword.
  • Knight Commander Pask: Pask is different, but still awesome. Gone are the alternate profiles for his weapons, but unlike other Leman Russ tanks, his tank hits on a 2+. This benefits every weapon that his tank can potentially have, including sponson weapons. Statistically, that means you'll be hitting 5/6 of the time on any weapon if you're not on the move, and 2/3 of the time even if you are. While it stings that the Pasknisher isn't as awesome anymore (it's still awesome, it's just that Pask doesn't do much for it but boost its accuracy), the fact that he makes the weapons more reliable is just about worth his points' cost alone. But in addition to that, he can issue two tank orders a turn, including to other Tank Commanders.
    • Like Creed, Pask's orders only work with if the tanks he's ordering have the CADIAN regiment keyword. There is nothing stopping you from taking tanks with the Cadian regiment and infantry with the Catachan regiment, though, especially if you want to get Straken or Harker on the field.
    • Remember that only his turret (and, naturally, his heavy flamer sponsons) ignore the BS penalty from moving, just like any other Leman Russ. This doesn't matter if he's staying still, though.
    • Pask cannot order himself per the updated FAQ, so there goes that tactic. At least he can still order other Tank Commanders.
    • The order to re-roll ones is absurdly good on a Tank Commander Executioner with Plasma Cannon sponsons. Running this and Pask together comes at a steep cost, however.
Catachan
  • Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken: Gives 1 additional attack to all Catachan units within 6" of him, and re-rolls all failed to-wound rolls against Monsters in the Fight phase. In addition, he can issue up to 2 orders per turn.
    • He has a metal arm which allows him to pimp slap large enemies at S6, T4 because he has spent most of his life on possibly the most dangerous planet in the galaxy, and 5 wounds due to extensive bionic enhancements after getting chewed up by a miral landshark (don't worry he quickly killed it with his other remaining arm balls). All in all, he is one of the strongest and toughest mortal and non astartes imperial characters. Can go toe to toe with a lot of opponenets and will fair well most of the time in CC. All this for 90 points and he has a plasma pistol, shotgun, devils claw CC weapon and a 3+ save. Good things do come from bad places.
    • Also of note is that you can give all your infantry the Catachan keyword and all your tanks the Cadian keyword, to allow for some technicality cheese if you take Pask along.
      • This is actually kind of fluffy, so it's not just a technicality. Catachans don't really keep a lot of tanks on hand, and they've fought alongside Cadian regiments before.
    • Be careful... A carnifex, brood lord, tyrant, even warriors, etc. will usually eat this guy for breakfast. In reality 'ol Straken knows better and would perform complex ambushes and such on the big beasts. Make the best of him and try and finish off monstrous creatures after they have been wounded by heavy weapons fire, as they will become slower and loose damage output. Also pair with Nork Deddog, who can absorb damage far better.

Troops

Any Regiment

  • Infantry Squad: Ten men, ten guns. The galaxy-wide standard. They got a really small 20 PERCENT points decrease, but they have lost the well-received "Combined Squads" special rule. Now you're capped at 10 models per unit. WTF, GW. Not even 20? On the bright side, you don't necessarily need platoons anymore - Commissars produce their morale bonuses in an AoE buff, and orders are both automatic and cheaper, since Platoon Commanders can be bought alone instead of with the entire platoon to go with them; this could produce an MSU play style for the Guard. Kind of strange that they even got a point decrease with the buff to their flak armour saves and lasgun wounding ability. To clarify why you would choose these over the generally better scions, bodies, lots of bodies, so many bodies most people can't even use this part of them properly. for example for 500pts you can have 100 models on the field WITH some special weapons (100pts worth to be exact), just let that sink in. 100 bodies for 400 pts. If ever guard players had heaps of Guardsmen models to use now would be the edition. Synergize better with Taurox than Chimeras unless you're hauling characters.
  • Conscripts: If there is anything thinner than paper, it would be Conscripts. Good thing there are a lot of them. Even better that they're cheaper than dirt - tied with Gretchin for the 2nd cheapest model in the game, at 3 points a man (Brimstone horrors are 2 points). One for the lasgun, one for the grenades, one for the flak armor - human filling is free. Start with 20 base, and can add up to 30 more guys, making them your only option for fielding a horde of dudes. With a pitiful Ld4, Commissars are a must. Do not expect them to pull miracles, but with Rank Fire, they can ignore their terrible 5+ to-hit at range. With objectives now being held by the number of MODELS around the objective, slap these in cover on an objective with a Commissar and watch your opponent cry as they fail to remove 150 points worth of meat from the table while your tanks tear shreds out of their army.
    • You can absolutely expect them to pull miracles - but only if you keep them under FRFSRF, and in numbers. A full unit of 50 with a Platoon Commander can put out a truly impressive points-per-wound against an impressive number of targets, and this gets better if you use a Company Commander with 100 of them, of course. They will completely outstrip any attempt you are making to efficiently use FRFSRF on your Infantry Squads, due to their need to buy another commander every 10 or 20 guys instead of every 50 or 100.
    • In melee things are a tad more tricky. 'Fix Bayonets!' allows a unit to fight out-of-phase, effectively doubling your conscripts' attacks per turn, and also allowing them to get in the first shot against whatever's in melee with them (this ALSO allows them to envelop and pile in on enemies with surprising speed, since they pile in twice this way). This is still inferior to the four shots per man a Rank Fire order would get you at that range, but if you add in a Priest, then each time your men fight, they make one additional attack...and thus attack four times per turn. Thus Conscripts, properly managed with Character support, can be just as dangerous in melee as they are at range. Not all of them will survive to melee, but they are even more resilient to anti infantry weapons than before, and even half the blob will swamp the enemy with up to 100 attacks!
      • See above, but add in a Ministorum priest and Colonel Straken. Now you're looking at anywhere up to 300 attacks. Make sure you bring extra dice bricks and some new friends, since you'll never see the old ones again.

Specific Regiment

Militarum Tempestus
  • Militarum Tempestus Scions: The New Veteran Squad? 5 Man squad base with two special weapons or 10 man squad with four specials, and the Hot-Shot Lasgun is mean now - with its solid AP it can threaten anything, and with orders it can put out a frightening number of shots. This almost makes up for the Veterans' demotion to the elite slot. The new rules have shifted Scions closer to typical troops, being cheaper and less specialized than before. Base cost of 9+1 (for the weapon) points per guy, so almost at Space Marine territory here, they still have their built-in transport option of deep striking. This combined with their points cut can actually make them a cheaper frontline Troops choice if you skip the transport. Can also ride in their exclusive Taurox Prime, a Chimera, fly high in a Valkyrie, or downgrade to a basic Taurox.
    • Deep Striking hot-shot lasguns are terrible, because you are forced to show up outside of Rapid Fire range for them and are forced to pay a point for them, so it's not a great idea to take a 10-man hot-shot squad and count on FRFSRF to do any meaningful work. However, order efficiency drops if you go MSU style to minimize your hot-shot "taxes", as you need more orders to buff more units, unlike aura abilities, so you're better off with a 10-man squad with 4 special weapons than 2 5-man squads with 2 special weapons each (take a bolt pistol on the sergeant in either case, so when you Deep Strike in you get 1 shot, not 0, at the same cost).
    • Combine them with a Tempestor Prime, and you get yourself some incredibly powerful shooting units. Deepstriking overcharged Plasmaguns with "Take Aim!" not only practically guarantees their survival, but it gives a hell of a punch. At their core, Scions are perfect for Alpha assault, and can cause A LOT of damage when they come in, and with their Deep Strike (that now doesn't scatter and you can set up anywhere you want) they are also quite useful to get those pesky out of the way objectives that some of your army may not get. Not only that, but with their built in 4+, Fall back and "Get Back in the Fight!" order gives them more staying power, allowing your units to charge after shooting from deep strike (Rapid-Fire be damned now), and then next turn disengage and shoot once more, or ditch an annoying CC and counter attack. More precise, capable, and flexible than before, Scions now behave like the elite soldiers they are supposed to be.
    • Vox-casters are good if you want to keep your Tempestor Prime alive. Since he will most likely deep strike with your units, the Tempestor benefits from getting orders at longer range, and since it doesn't sacrifice a special weapon slot (it forces you to take a hot-shot laspistol instead of a hot-shot lasgun), it can really serve any unit well. More over, Deep Striking with Scions allows you to pick different positions for your units, so with a Vox Caster you can still give orders to units far from you. Just remember that the Vox bearer can't shoot when he Deep Strikes.
      • Vox-casters are not REGIMENT specific, so if you're fielding mixed regiments, such as Militarum Tempestus backing up Catachan, remember that any model with Voice of Command can use any nearby Vox-caster - the ordered unit has to be in-regiment, of course, but the nearby unit need not be, so a Scions squad with a caster can transmit a Catachan order, and vice-versa.

Elites

Any Regiment

  • Master of Ordnance: Gone is the hilariously inaccurate mini-basilisk of 7th edition; the MoO is now a fire support coordinator, which is arguably closer to the fluff. Nearby artillery units (such as basilisks, wyverns, and manticores) can reroll 1s on the hit roll if this guy is about and the target is more than 36" away (because he can't really help if the gun is direct firing, apparently). If that isn't enough to justify his cost, he can call in a favor from a nearby battery once per game, dropping a (thankfully accurate) basilisk shell anywhere on the map - though if he can't see the target, it hits on 4s.
    • While he's not going to fry your own squad anymore, you'll be lucky to get more than 3 "shots" off without a Command Re-Roll thanks to his one-shot syndrome, and only some of those will hit. Take this guy for his reroll ability, but don't expect his artillery strike to actually accomplish anything. That way, you're pleasantly surprised if it does instead of basing your strategy around such an unreliable, one-use attack.
  • Platoon Commander: Now an individual model, broken off of his Command squad. This is one of your options for orders! At least he gets a 5+ Invulnerable save base now like past Imperial Guard Commanders. A cheaper alternative to the Company Commander, and the preferable option if you have a single conscript blob and you want them ordered every turn.
  • Command Squad: These guys exist for one purpose: support. At BS 3+ they can provide higher-skill special and heavy weapons teams, though you'll be getting the skill at a premium due to the higher cost per model and lower squad size. The Regimental Standard adds +1 to your leadership, and the Medi-pack allows you to heal and even return nearby removed models to the field (leading to the rather humorous event of a commissar executing a coward and the medic then returning him to the battle, his suffering will "continue" to serve as an example). A vox operator can drastically extend the range of your orders, too, as long as the receiving squad also has a vox. You need at least 1 officer per a squad of these guys (see the FAQ) so the days of the 3 squad Valkyrie drop shenanigans just got about 30 points more expensive.
  • Veteran Squad: Rather boorishly promoted demoted to the Elites slot, guardsmen with 3+ to hit and more weapon options than basic Imperial Guard squads. They used to be the bread and butter of Mechanized guard armies who used Chimeras to cart their asses around, but now they'd be better off supplementing basic guard squads in Chimeras. They've also lost camo cloaks and 4+ armour, which has screwed them a lot. On the plus side, every change to plasma guns seems to be made for these guys. They lost 4+ but flak is buffed this edition and gets hot doesn't depend on armour saves, and cheap weapons are suited to cheap units. This means scions are not automatically the go to plasma squad though they do flamers and melta well with durability and deep strike. The key to getting the most out of vets is taking the most advantage of their unique weapon combinations. They can take 3 special weapons, a heavy flamer, and a heavy weapon team, all with the option to take new improved shotguns. Build them with a plan for how you are going to use them, and don't overdo it on close range weapons, or you'll shoot them out of effective range. For a close combat squad pick a close range weapon: heavy flamer/shotguns or both, then add plasma guns or melta guns and stick them in a transport. Heavy flamer and plasma combo is deadly anti-horde, the different ranges of the weapon make for a burn, beam combo that can also hurt TEQ. Plasma guns can pair with shotguns or heavy flamers, but don't take all three; the shotguns will either be second or last to fire and might be out of 6" or 12" range at that point. As a gun line, something like a squad with missile launcher plus plasma guns or lascannon plus launchers (all BS4) is powerful, versatile, and won't sweat taking a few losses. This edition these builds can make decent anti-air/cover.
  • Special Weapons Squad: Like Heavy Weapons Squads, the base cost of this unit is absurdly cheap. 24 points for 6 guys before you have to give 3 of them Meltas, Flamers, Plasma, or the like. You can do fun things like giving a squad 1 demo charge and 2 flamers and running them in a chimera with Scion buddies, preferably with meltas. And if you don't add the 6th scion you can toss in a Lord Commisar or Primaris Psyker. That's a whole lot of fun in one transport. Fun fact: Demolition Charges got even cheaper, but don't take 3 as you can only throw one a turn.
    • Unless you give them Flamers or Demo Charges, a Command Squad with 4 special weapons would be a better choice due to their better BS.
      • Keep in mind that you need one officer per Command Squad, and Command Squads are your only source of Medi-Packs and Regimental Standards, which are actually useful this edition.
  • Hades Breaching Drill Squad (Forge World): A Vehicle with Squad of Veterans that emerges anywhere more than 9" away from enemies. Once it shows up, the Drill and Veteran Squad seperate and move independant from each other. The Hades Drill itself is a big 'fuck you machine' with D6 S10 Melee attacks that deal D3 damage (D6 against Vehicles) and it has a +4 invul in the fight phase thanks to its whirling blades. With T7, W7, and 3+ it's pretty durable too. Veterans are Veterans, you get the gist. Have them pop up with Flamers or Meltas and have an It Came From Below style of pain train. The drill coming combined with a veteran squad means, that Kriegers cannot take them with Combat Engineers anymore and are stuck with the inferior veterans.
  • Atlas Recovery Tank (Forge World): Believe it or not this thing is almost useful now. It's a Leman Russ that trades in its main gun for the enginseer's ability to heal a vehicle. Compared to the enginseer it's more expensive (both in points and money) but more mobile and less vulnerable to sniper fire. Unfortunately while being a tank means it can't be picked off by snipers, it's not a character so it can be targeted by anything else. Still probably too expensive for what it does, but a lot better than what it used to be.
  • Salamander Command Vehicle (Forge World):

No Regiment

Adeptus Mechanicus
  • Tech-Priest Enginseer He's blessed with the Astra Militarum key word although found in the AdMech list. Repairs D3 lost wounds on a single Astra Militarum vehicle within 3" of him. This opens up some interesting listbuilding ideas, such as combining mechguard troops with Skitarii snipers or Cult Mech deathrobots, as the Enginseer can repair whatever he so pleases from either list. An auto-include if you brought a Baneblade.
    • As opposed to 7th Edition, servitors no longer buff up an Enginseer's ability to repair vehicles, and they no longer have any affiliation with the Astra Militarum faction anyway. While you can still easily take them (just like you can take any other Imperium unit), there's no longer a really compelling reason to do so.
Adeptus Ministorum
  • Ministorum Priest Another Astra Militarum character borrowed by another list. His War Hymns are now a +1 attack for every Astra Militarum infantry model within 6". Conscript blob squads (and massed Infantry Squads, if you have enough orders) may be interesting with this and the Fix Bayonets order, and Ogryns/Bullgryns turn into giant muscley man-blenders with five attacks apiece on the charge. He also still has Zealot, though since it's not an AoE buff and only offers the first turn reroll he no longer assists with morale. Not a bad idea if there's a likelihood that your boys will charge or be charged.
Officio Prefectus
  • Commissar: His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him never lose more than one model from a failed Morale test. In addition, thanks to the Aura of Discipline ability, those same Guard squads will be given Ld8. The fact that these buffs are AoE is the saving grace of Infantry Squads everywhere. Compared to his senior ranking Lord counterpart, he has one less wound and no Invulnerable save of any kind. However, he's much cheaper.
Astra Telepathica
  • Wyrdvane Psykers: Very mediocre. If you have 6 you get to add 2 to psychic tests (getting them all the way up to succeeding two thirds the time for Smite, and one half to one third for the Psykana powers, ugh), but you only roll 1d6 for both Psychic and Deny tests (the bonus for having members only applies to Psychic tests, though). And without having the character keyword, expect them to die quickly. It is, however, impossible for you to peril.
  • Astropath: Only 1d6 for Smite, but only 21 points (15 with a laspistol, which you should take because he isn't going to dent a grot with that stick). Camp a few of these guys behind your gunline and deny powers while giving people +1 save. The only reason not to bring these guys would be if you ran out of Elites slots, because Primaris Psykers are HQs.
Aeronautica Imperialis
  • Officer of the Fleet: Now slightly different. He can basically call in air-strikes or grant friendly Astra Militarum/Aeronautica fliers re-rolls of 1 to-hit. This actually makes him somewhat useful even if you're not using flyers or reserves, though he no longer nerfs enemy reserves, either.
Militarum Auxilla

Per the current FAQ, this is explicitly not a <REGIMENT>, so you can't e.g. assign it to your Commander.

  • Ogryns: Like Rough Riders, probably one of the most improved Guard units this edition (though due more to how the game changed than anything else). They're cheaper, they get a bonus attack on the charge (AND they go first!) and they're still T5 - which in this edition is a serious boon, as all but the most lethal of weaponry will still only wound them on 3s. You need a Demolisher Cannon to hurt these big boys on 2s! The Ripper gun is the same as it was, being an Assault 3 S5 AP0 shotgun. "Assault" is the key word here, as it now makes foot slogging them decently fast. With them moving an average of 9.5 inches a turn and still being able to shoot, they become the shock troops they were always meant to be. More importantly, the Assault Vehicle rule is gone; you can charge the turn you disembark from a Chimera/Taurox/Valkyrie, but they take up 3 transport slots, so be careful.
    • Priests love to preach to these guys. A double-size squad of six will put out 30 attacks on the charge with the priest following them. For about 200 points it's a great pile of meat to throw across the board. Just be careful about matching your advances. The priest is a separate unit, so he doesn't advance in lockstep with the squad - you have to roll his advances separately, and he won't be able to charge, since you have to finish a charge within 1" of an enemy unit and ogryn models have big enough bases to make this impossible - this can result in your over-enthusiastic meatheads charging out of his buff radius! This applies to Bullgryns too, except of course they're more expensive.
      • Alternate Take - Priests can be expensive if they have any kit worth taking, especially in comparison to another Ogryn. If footslogging, take the priest, but if you're transporting them then leave him at home or stick him with conscripts. In a standard squad of three you're only getting three extra attacks, and if you fit in a preist you'll either have to put in two other characters and deathstar it up or forfeit two spots in the transport. Just take the fourth Ogryn and get the same number of attacks extra anyway. Ogryn No. 4 also adds survivability, which the priest does not.
        • You don't take Priests for their gear. You take them for their AoE buffs, their low point cost, and the fact that they only take up one spot on a transport.
  • Bullgryns: From zero to hero! Their Slabshields and Brute Shields got buffed: Slabshields give them 2+ saves, while Brute Shields give them a 4++. Did I mention either option is now free, and you can mix and match them with the weapons now? Like regular Ogryns, they get an additional attack the turn they charge. With their upgraded Power Mauls (+1 D), that's gonna hurt a lot. Finally your Terminator-cost unit can match with actual Terminators! If only they could take orders. Also, consider the slabshields and power mauls for T5 2+, and distraction carnifex them to make your opponent leave your tanks alone. Even with powermauls you'll still be able to manually lob one grenade a turn, so they're not losing as much firepower as you'd think.
    • Give them a priest to make the most out of their awesome (for Guard) melee capabilities (but watch your movement, see above). To make them even tankier, you can mix and match slabshields and brute shields. If none of them have taken a wound yet, take anything that gets a good armor save on the slabshield, then anything that would lower the armor save to worse than a 4 (-3 and worse, which is basically dedicated anti-tank weaponry like lascannons) against the brute shield. This goes out the window once one of them takes a wound (at least until that model dies), but on the plus side both shields are the same cost, so just make with the magnets and experiment with the ratio of power fields to ceramite.
      • Alternate Take - As above, leave the priest at home and instead take four Bullgryns in a flying metal bawks for a first turn charge. If you want a support character still, deep strike an Ordeo Mallus inquisitor in with them and have him cast Terrify on the unit it wishes to charge. His leadership buff will make the Bullgryns immune to fleeing (they'll be dead before they run) and ignoring overwatch can be a massive boon.
        • This is great advice for high point games, but in low point games where you're already struggling to stay below your points limit, stick with the Priest. He's cheap; another Bullgryn (or Inquisitor) is not.
  • Ratlings: The same sniper unit as before with much improved abilities. They have an infiltrate and a stealth/cover skill as before but their Shoot Sharp and Scarper ability is now a normal move, rather than a random D6" run. Now with planning and LOS-blocking cover they can snipe enemy characters with impunity. Hilariously, because Heavy Weapons only impose a -1 shooting penalty for firing after a move, and Ratlings are BS3+, this lets the Ratlings still move-shoot-move, while Tau battle suits lost this ability in 8th. In addition, the sniper rifle got buffed - on a 6+ to hit it inflicts a mortal wound in addition to its normal damage. A good unit overall. As of the new FAQ they can now only move 5" meaning they could still move 10" thanks to their ability.
    • With characters being otherwise untargetable in 8th Edition, snipers in general have become much more valuable. Ratlings, being cheap and good at what they do, have gone from a quirky choice to an almost must-have. Two full squads of these guys are relatively cheap and will statistically pop an Ork Warboss on your first shooting phase. Also say "fuck you" to that cheeselord running six Tau Commanders in the backfield.
  • Nork Deddog: Need a capable bodyguard? This is the guy you're looking for. If a character within 3" of him takes a wound, he can take a mortal wound on a 2+ to cancel out the wound on the character - and with 6 wounds he can do it a lot. Coming with a Ripper Gun, his huge knife (S:User AP-1 D2), 4+ armor, and the ability to headbutt an opponent (the headbutt counts as a melee weapon that can't be used for more than one attack) at S+3 AP-2 D3, he wrecks a decent amount of face in melee, too. Finally, he can make a heroic sacrifice if he loses his final wound in the fight phase: he can immediately attack, even if he had already been selected to fight beforehand.
    • Note that Nork's bodyguard ability isn't optional - you are required to roll the die if a nearby character is hurt. Nork isn't smart enough to weigh the tactical value of a cheap Master of Ordnance against the valuable Lord Commissar keeping your conscripts in line - he'll do his level best to protect both. It's just the kind of guy he is.

Specific Regiment

Cadian
  • Color Sergeant Kell: KIA in the fluff (RIP, he will be missed), but usable in-game still like Aun'Va, Konrad von Karstein, Vlad von Carstein pre-End Times and the like. If you have a lot of units on the field and not enough Commanders to give orders, consider taking Kell, as he lets one officer within 6" issue an additional order every turn. He can be taken without Creed now, but that's not fluffy, and you also waste his ability to bodyguard for Creed on a 2+. Also, Cadian units within 6" can re-roll failed Morale tests. Pretty solid, if pricey.
Catachan
  • Sergeant Harker: No longer a replacement for a Veteran Sergeant, now a Character who lets Catachan within 6" re-roll 1s to hit in the Shooting phase (and since he's Catachan and within 6" of himself, he also gets to reroll 1s with his Assault Heavy Bolter, Payback).
    • Possibly the hidden gem of the new Index, he makes it so there is little reason to run your guys without the <Catachan> keyword. He does what the Master of Ordinance does but better, and for only 12 points more. Additionally he's the only unit that can buff Baneblades (besides Yarrick). He's almost an auto include for any list that doesn't consist entirely of Stormtroopers. Since Pask only buffs 2 tanks (usually himself and a buddy commander) make the rest of your Leman Russes <Catachan (but really Vostroyan or whatever) > and give them all reroll ones! Stick him in the middle of your veterans or heavy weapon teams and double down with orders, allowing reroll ones to hit and to wound.
Militarum Tempestus
  • Militarum Tempestus Command Squad: Don't forget about these guys. Like the Veterans in the Command Squad, they have BS 3+ and can take 4 special weapons, but have a 4+ armor save and the old Deep Strike ability. Take 4 plasma guns, Deep Strike them 9" away from your enemies, get your Tempestor Prime to issue them an order and laugh when you overcharge and fire off 8 Strength 8 AP -3 Damage 2 shots in rapid-fire range. You can also load them up similar to the standard Command Squad (medi-pack, voxcaster, and standard bearer, with room for one special weapon), but you'll probably only take the Vox. The standard's bubble is too small to be worth it and the medi-pack isn't all that great considering you're giving up another special weapon. With that in mind another good loadout is three Volley Guns and a Vox. Drop them in cover alongside your Prime with command rod and issue two orders across the table with some decent long range punch.
    • Per the FAQ, you may only take 1 command squad for every Tempestor Prime in the detachment. Additionally, you may keep your hot-shot lasgun in addition to the hot-shot laspistol and vox-caster/medi-pack if you wish to hold onto some firepower. You may not take a special weapon if you've done this. Note that regular Scions are unaffected by this change.
    • Modeller's tip: To create the voxcaster and still have the lasgun model, simply take the wrapped up lasguns that come with the sprue and glue them onto the model.

Dedicated Transport

Any Regiment

  • Chimera: The old king of metal boxes has fallen. With the loss of Amphibious, Mobile Command Vehicle, its fire points, and a price hike, the Chimera has been thoroughly nerfed. On the other hand, it's much tougher, and the improved transport capacity over your other transport options makes it the go-to option for transporting Ogryns and Bullgryns (it can hold 4, while the Taurox can only hold 3), especially now that all vehicles are assault vehicles. Can do fun things like take a full scion squad loaded with melta/plasma, a Tempestor Prime, and a psyker for barrier. Or take two special weapon squads with a demo charge and 2 plasma guns each. Or support your close combat veteran squad with a priest and commisar. You can play around with the chimera.
    • It's not so much that the Chimera sucks so much as that it's outclassed in terms of speed and firepower by the Taurox Prime, which is CHEAPER. The old Multilaser/Heavy bolter bog standard Chimera does poorly as a weapons platform unless it sits still, which as an APC it shouldn't be doing. That said, the more expensive 2 Heavy Flamer version could be a strong replacement.
  • Taurox: The student has learned well. With its twin autocannons and good move speed the Taurox makes a strong contender for the new Guard motor pool. It's faster and cheaper than the Chimera, too. It's cheapness, high firepower and 10 man cap make it ideal for carrying basic infantry squads.
    • For the more mathematically inclined, a Taurox is 85 points. For another 24 points you get a double flamer Chimera, which can fire on the move, is tougher, and can haul characters. It's a choice; each has its own.
  • Gryphonne-Pattern Chimera (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Replaces the Multilaser with a Twin Heavy Bolter for extra dakka, or an Autocannon (per FAQ). Supplementing the Heavy Bolters with the one on the hull can turn this into a suprisingly nasty bullet-hose, while the Autocannon can provide some extra light anti-tank. It's not as strong in the fire support category as a Taurox Prime (see below) but it's tougher and offers better transport capacity.
    • Note: This version of the Chimera (actually just the turret, the rest is exactly as per the standard kit) isn't manufactured by Forge World anymore. This is probably because they realized it's stupid easy to kitbash; just cut up the heavy bolters you weren't using from any one of your other vehicle sprues and glue them on. Or use an Autocannon from your Sentinel kit, your Taurox kit, your Heavy Weapons Squad kit...
      • The above note only applies to the twin heavy bolter loadout. You can still get the autocannon turret for 15 quid, though you're still more than welcome to kitbash.
  • Trojan Support Vehicle (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): This Forgeworld model was updated to be effectively a slightly more cramped Chimera for a rather stunning tripling of its cost to a painful 90. In return, however, it brings the one and only source of flat rerolls in the Guard, granting one tank within 6" rerolls to hit in the shooting phase. If you're not using this as the portable love slave of your Stormlord, you're doing it wrong.
  • Centaur Light Carrier (Forge World): "Light" is sort of an understatement- with only a 5-man capacity and two heavy stubbers as its weapon, the thing is a terrible transport. Its real role is to haul around your otherwise-immobile artillery batteries, taking them along for its move. The artillery in question can't fire that turn, but it's useful enough to keep them out of range of opponents.

Specific Regiment

Militarum Tempestus
  • Taurox Prime: The Taurox's bigger, angrier brother is available exclusively to Scions and Commissars, but man is it worth it. With improved BS and an impressive selection of weaponry for its points, the Taurox Prime is the new king of metal boxes. It won't last long with that toughness, but it'll make back its points in the meantime. Generally, your two options for firepower are the twin gatling gun and hot-shot volley guns or the twin autocannons and mini-battle cannon, which has been buffed in 8th. The gatling array is better vs infantry, while the cannon array is better vs multiwound targets (while you can mix your firepower, it's not recommended that you do so - you want to be able to bring all your guns to bear at once, and completely destroying enemy units is more important than ever, since many armies have a medic equivalent that can resurrect fallen models). The Taurox Missile Launcher, firing 2d6 Frag or 2 Krak Missiles, is also viable, though it raises the cost significantly. Still, two Krak missiles and successful autocannons can take just about anything down.
    • Note: This vehicle is finicky about who can get on it, not just who can bring it; only Militarum Tempestus and Officio Prefectus infantry can board it. This is to avoid the scenario where a Commissar, who in the fluff has the authority to command entire armies, should the need arise - can't board a simple armored car.
    • For secondary weapons you want to stick with complimentary weapons. Gatling Primes should take the two hotshot volley guns for a truly stupid amount of Str 4 shooting and go infantry hunting. Cannon Primes are complimented by the autocannons for between 5 and 10 Str 7 AP -1 shots with an average of 2 Damage that can threaten any vehicle or monster at 48" and can even make a nice AA platform. Don't take the Taurox Missile launcher - it's not worth its points for what it does.
    • As for what this thing actually transports, well, you've got some problems. With Aerial Dropping plasma guns being one of the strongest current metas you're going to end up running these things empty more often than not. Which isn't horrible, but you'll find that your transports end up carting around a single lord commissar until it can pick up whatever Scion squad needs a lift. A 10-man scion squad with 4 hotshot volley guns compliments both Taurox Prime loadouts, giving Cannon Primes localized anti-infantry and Gatling Primes supllemental horde-mulching. Definitely one of the most buffed units in 8th, but consider its cost against more Scions with Plasma guns.
    • Alternative take: Don't use it as a transport, but as a full blown tank. For exactly 100 points, you get a T6 W10 Sv 3+ vehicle that shoots 31 S4 shots that hit on a 3+, and 8 of those even have AP-2. This is insane value, and if you play two or three in a 1000 point game, you will certainly wreak a shit ton of havoc.
    • NOTE: For Inquisition players looking for transports for their inquisitor and henchmen, this is is probably the shooty metal box you're looking for.
      • Note: I agree with the above statement, but I'll add that it could start as a tank and end up as a shooty transport. Shoot with it, drop troops in, then pick them up if need be. Plus, that's some narrative awesomeness if I ever seent it.

Fast Attack

Any Regiment

  • Armoured Sentinels: Cannot mitigate the penalty for moving and shooting a heavy weapon, so unless they take flamers you're going to treat them like armoured turrets that can redeploy fast. With flamers and the humble sentinel chainsaw they become quick, durable shock troops. As such, taking anything but the multilaser (plus hunter-killer) is recommended because a weak load out would be a waste of this unit's fair durability. Up to 3 T5 6W 3+ Save models are rather hard to bring down quickly. They have generalist armour, meaning they can be hurt by anything but they don't really have hard counters. Anti-tank seems effective, but they'll usually waste a few overkill wounds, and sentinels have high wounds-for-cost for a vehicle so it doesn't scare them as much as other vehicles, but beware meltaguns and strong assault units if you take the flamers. Remember many vehicles took a hit to their firepower, so a group with las, plas, or flame (with HKs) is nothing to scoff at.
  • Scout Sentinels: A squishier, slightly faster version of the Armoured sentinel that can scout 9". Not usually considered very good. You can give them heavy flamers, but be prepared to wade through fire first, and infantry weapons CAN hurt these guys. Bolters will struggle to drop them, but nothing else will. Mass lasguns/s3, plasma, melta, shuriken, gauss, pulse weapons, ANY heavy weapon that isn't a heavy stubber. These guys will have a hard time getting that close, so choose your moment or expect them to be nothing but a distraction. With the other weapons, they can quickly get into a firing position with scout, and if necessary run away. Multilasers keep them cheap, and unlikely to draw much heavy firepower once the HK have fired. Hit them early then kite infantry if you have to. Giving them cannons essentially turns them into turrets. and DO take hunter-killers as these are a cheap source of them.
    • Consider the fact that their 9 inch pre-battle move can get them into a reliable position to deny enemy deepstrikers or units with similar abilities. And since deepstrike is no scatter and guaranteed now and most of the players will finish deploying before you do and get first turn with deepstrikes, 3 Scout sentinels, 1 on each flank and 1 in the middle, moving up 9 before the battle, create a deepstrike null zone for your opponent. View them as just that and nothing more. so keep them as cheap as possible (multilaser being the cheapest option).
  • Hellhounds: The medium tank of the Guard motor pool has been favored in 8th, with increases in speed and toughness and decreases in price all around. The chassis actually covers three vehicles, but they're all the same power, so they all get one entry.
    • The basic Hellhound is armed with the infamous Inferno Cannon, a more powerful flamer with double the range. A nasty infantry muncher, capable of eating guard-equivalent models with 2s to wound and a 6+ save from up to 16 inches away. Use it to hunt down the other Guard player's Heavy weapons teams.
      • Because the Hellhound is BS4+ and can't mitigate the movement penalties for heavy weapons, you would be wise to try for a Heavy Flamer on the hull mount, but on the Hellhound that means you need to get in very close to use it, negating the Inferno Cannon's range advantage. Further evening the choice is the Heavy Bolter's lower cost and consistent shot count. Give it some thought.
      • Alternative view: Don't buy any of these tanks. Just don't. With the changes to how wounding works in 8th edition, this vehicle just isn't tough enough to survive in their appointed task of close-ranged medium tank. Most anti infantry weapons now wound you on a 5+, you're no faster than a Chimera with an extra wound, and all of the guns are too random (Inferno, Chem Cannon, Heavy Flamer) or random AND unreliable on the move (Melta Cannon, multi-melta, Heavy bolter). Seriously, there is not a 'good' gun on this chassis. That said, if you absolutely insist on taking one, go for the Inferno cannon/Heavy flamer variant and keep it parked out of sight or on a flank to use as rapid response to a linebreaker. It's just not tough enough to last on front line duty.
        • Counterpoint: While the Hellhound will die fast to dedicated anti-tank, that's anti-tank not hitting your Baneblade or other more valuable vehicles. And if your opponent does ignore it in favor of heavier targets, it has the potential to do a lot of damage, especially if it gets within Explodes! range. It's not like Guard armies are exactly bristling with decent Fast Attack choices (seriously, there haven't been models for Rough Riders in years, and Sentinels are only useful for filling up Fast Attack slots). One Hellhound won't last long on its own, but two or three will absolutely give your opponent pause if you play smart. This is one of those cases where you can run the math all you want, it's not going to reflect a game where you actually have line-of-sight breaking terrain or players' strategic decisions.
    • If your foe is made of tougher stuff, swap out for the Bane Wolf, whose vicious Chem Cannon wounds everything that's not a vehicle on 2s, with improved AP (at the cost of range).
      • Here the use of a Heavy Flamer is more obvious, since it has the same range as the Chem cannon. With two auto-hitting weapons this thing will take a big bite out of attacking forces in Overwatch.
    • Finally, if you want to take on vehicles, the Devil Dog closes the gap with the mighty melta cannon.
      • Be warned: unlike the other two, the Melta Cannon doesn't auto-hit. This is exacerbated by the melta options all costing the most and, like all melta weapons, being relatively short-ranged, helping to force you into movement. You could be forgiven for thinking this fast, inaccurate configuration is piloted by Orks...
  • Artemia-Pattern Hellhound (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): In exchange for the enormous, highly-exposed fuel tank and slightly derpy-looking turret the Artemia version of the Hellhound gets to roll the best of 2d6 when deciding how many hits its Inferno Cannon inflicts. For 7 more points. Sure, Forge World, whatever.
    • This increases your expected number of attacks by almost 1, from 3.5 to 4.472. After rounding, that means the "fair" cost for this buff was 6 points (actually about 5.56), not 7. So it's slightly overcosted relative to the base pattern, but not by a lot.
  • Rough Riders: Surprisingly, 8th Edition's been kinder to Rough Riders than 7th Edition was. Their hunting lances are no longer one use only, being S+2 AP:-2 and do D3 damage, but still only when they successfully charge. Cheaper, an extra attack, twice the wounds, and now their flak armour might actually do a damn thing, though not against most multiwounding weapons. In addition, they may perform Flanking Maneuvers, which allows them to set up within 7" of a battlefield edge of their choice, and more than 9" away from an enemy unit. Combined with a pair of meltaguns this can make them surprisingly mean tank hunters (between the charge and the melta shots they can inflict about 5 wounds on a T8 3+ target on average) or Character assassins, but it does not make them front-line brawlers; they might all have chainswords and laspistols but they only get 1 attack a model base. Hold on, that's three attacks after wargear and there's the new trick of shooting pistols in melee, plus S3 they can hurt T5 and 7+ now. Compare them to Hormagaunts or Stormboyz, these guys are alright. If you've got a melee-buffer like a Priest on-site they can smash into the flank pretty hard, but their flanking approach and high speed usually puts them out of the range of friendly characters, that can make them better than alright.
    • Critically Important: Rough Riders are not Infantry and cannot be Ordered. Unlike every other unit here that can take a Plasma Gun, you can't stop a bad roll on overcharge with an order, which hurts especially bad since they're multiwounds models now. Also, why were you giving tank hunting units plasma guns? The meltagun is better on these guys for everything that has more than one wound, which in this edition is a lot.
    • Alternate Opinion: It is possible to buff Rough Riders with the right combo. If you're playing Catachan (preferably with Catachans converted to ride Cold Ones from AoS/Fantasy), and then charge the Rough Riders into something near Straken and a Priest, you'll get 1611 S5 Attacks that cause D3 Wounds plus 10 S3 Attacks, and that's just with a minimum size Rough Rider squad. Considering their low cost you might as well take ten of them and get 3121(!) S5 Attacks (at most, provided you remain in the aura) followed by 20 S3 ones.
      • Note: Straken and the Priest both have to be nearby during the Fight, and are slower than Rough Riders, so it may be non-trivial delivering them.
  • Salamander Scout Tank (Forge World):' Cute little light tank with guns otherwise found on sentinels or heavy weapons squads. Pricier, tank-y-er than either; great if you have the points and are not otherwise concerned about getting bogged down in CC as these things will get bogged down in CC.
  • Tauros Assault Vehicle (Forge World):
  • Tauros Venator (Forge World):

Flyers

The following weapon options are exclusively available to the flyers at your disposal:

  • Hellstrikes: Hell yeah strikes! Does a good job against any armor, but they come in at a price of 20 points each. This is a go-to on both Lightnings and Thunderbolts. Heavy 1, S8, AP-2, roll 2d6 pick highest for D, which means at an average of 4.4 damage for each unsaved wound, this is the go to monster/tank/aircraft killer.
  • Skystrikes: Cheaper at 15 points each, but only Heavy 1, S7, AP-2, D3 damage. Your dedicated anti-air missile, it gets +1 to hit against flyers but -1 against everything else. The strength here seems to be that you get to take 6 instead of only 4. But the damage for each unsaved wound is an average of 2 compared to Hellstrikes' 4.4. Statistically, they are worse unless you are shooting at very specific targets like jet bikes or battle suits.
  • Hellfuries: Anti-infantry missiles that are expensive for the amount of shots you get. They haven't found their niche yet.
  • Tactical bombs: Pretty cool. They are cheaper than the missile options and do some serious damage. May be a valid option on a aircraft that can hold its own without extra missile firepower.

No Regiment

Aeronautica Imperialis
  • Valkyrie: The original bad bitch of the skies can hold 12 Astra Militarum Infantry; Ogryn count as 3 models. Any infantry with the Astra Militarum keyword (and Inquisitorial models with the Authority of the Inquisition trait) count. Transports can hold multiple units now, so 3 Command Squads each with 4 meltaguns for 12 meltaguns (or, cheaper, plasma guns, of course) at BS 3+ in one Valkyrie? Nice! Even better, Grav-Chute Deployment allows you to put anybody the bad bitch can carry 9" away from the enemy...after the Valkyrie's 20" minimum move. Can you say 'turn 1 charge with ogryns?' And to top it all off it has 2 MORE wounds than a Leman Russ tank (though 1 less toughness). Cue the music!
    • Note: On the firepower side of things, hellstrike missiles are no longer one-use only (but you can fire only 1 per turn), and the multiple rocket pod is a nice infantry muncher. However, the Valkyrie isn't immune to the penalties for firing heavy weapons on the move, and being Airborne it HAS to move, so it'll be shooting like an Ork most of the time (unless you hover but then you can also be shot at normally and/or charged). Spring for Multiple Rocket Pods, multilasers and door gunners with Heavy Bolters to power through the penalty. But it also may hover. So if you really want to kill something, you may switch to hover mode and let go. But prepare to die afterwards, since all the Flyer buffs are then gone.
    • Other Note: The Grav-Chute deployment still only counts as a disembarkation from a transport, allowing you your normal movement afterwards with your 12 melta vets, or your 4 Bullgryn for that 3+ charge... Ogryn can fit in Valkyries, just not Vendettas.
    • Note: The new FAQ just stated that you now must have 1 officer per Command squad; while not game breaking, this does mean that you need 3 officers per Valkyrie 3 CC squad combo. Something to keep in mind when you start getting tight on points.
Forge World
  • Aquila Lander
  • Arvus Lighter (FW Index: Astra Militarum): This thing went from completely useless to pretty useful. It is pretty expensive at 115 points barebones, but thanks to advanced clown car physics you can somehow cram 12 models into it now (no Ogryns though). With T6 and 8 wounds it is more fragile than a chimera but it can fly and move 30"/20" when hovering. It also has the ability to regain a wound on a 6+ and has no characteristics modifiers. It can also deepstrike, so just put it behind some LoS blocking terrain and unload your flamer/melta/plasma squads on the next turn. It can also take one or two additional models in the same slot thanks to the squadron ability.
    • Honestly, if the model wasn't discontinued, one would be tempted to think Forgeworld wants to push the sales with these buffs.
  • Avenger Strike Fighter (FW Index: Astra Militarum): The ground attack beast rocks on in 8th edition. With T7 and 14 wounds it's pretty tough and will probably stay on the table a while. Comes stock with two lascannons, an 8 shot S6 AP-2 D1 bolt cannon, and an 8" heavy stubber that rerolls hits against FLY units. The weapon upgrades now cost double but you'll also get twice the shots so it's only fair. Missiles lost their "one use only" rule so feel free to load up on anti-infantry or anti-vehicle fire power. Like the other non-hover fliers it hits on 3+, but since it always has to move you hit on your regular 4+ (still better than the Ork BS of the Valkyrie/Vendetta).
  • Lightning Strike Fighter: Hard hitting little thing that brings a ton of anti-tank for a reasonable cost. The Thunderbolt is generally the more cost effective choice, with a better airframe for a marginal cost increase and comes with 2 twin autocannons instead of 1 long barreled piece of crap. The Lightning finds its niche as the cheaper option with slightly more expansive payload options. The most interesting one is loading it up with anti-tank missiles. This is assuming that leaving out one-use only is not altered in a future faq since they would go from "we could pay that" to "no way in hell are we paying that". You can fit the Lightning with anti-air (could be good) or -infantry missiles (much worse than vultures). The anti-air missiles are not much better than the anti-tank missiles at shooting aircraft (or even worse) and the anti-air missiles are A LOT worse at engaging tanks. With that said, you do get 6 anti-air missiles for only 10 points more than 4 anti-tank missiles, and they do a nice job against things like battle-suits and landspeeders. The anti-infantry version may seem tempting, but vultures do this job much better at a cheaper cost. 235 points buys you a Lightning with 4 anti-tank missiles and 245 for 6 anti-air missiles.
  • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter: The frame itself costs 5 points more than a lightning and for those 5 points you get 1 more wound and 6+ repair. Not huge additions, by any means, but quite good value for 5 points. This guy also carries more guns, 4 autocannons and two lascannons. That is 3 more autocannons than the Lightning, and since they are twin autocannons instead of a long barreled one they are far more cost effective. Has slightly more restrictive payload options than the Lightning, though the only option you miss out on is anti-infantry missiles, so no-one cares. Basically you get more effective firepower, but you need to invest more in a single model to get there. 280 points buys you the thunderbolt with 4 anti-tank missiles and 290 buys you the thunderbolt + 6 anti-air missiles.
    • Against multi-wound models, the anti-tank missiles are definitely better, doing more than twice the damage per shot with 2/3 the shot volume and 8/9 the points; even after accounting for the BS3->BS4 or BS4->BS5 penalty, the anti-tank missiles are going to be better in general against whatever flyers you are trying to bring down. Against single-wound models you should be fielding a Vulture instead.
  • Vendetta (FW Index: Astra Militarum): She's back, boys and girls! The premier tank-hunter of the galaxy is back, and she's pissed. Carrying half a dozen lascannons and a nice, fat troop bay for 12 models (even keeping Grav-Chutes!) the Vendetta is a fine transport and gunship both. You pay a premium for her - you have to buy every one of those six lascannons - but it's worth it. God-Emperor, is it worth it.
    • Be aware, of course, that Heavy Weapons impose a -1 penalty on a roll to hit if you moved, and you must move as a flyer unless in Hover mode. This means your beautiful (and expensive!) lascannons are fired with an Ork BS of 5; 3 twin-linked ones would have been better, if it were still possible. If you feel safe from assaults or you have already disembarked its cargo, go into Hover mode and unleash hell. Take the slap on the wrist; with the miracles it can pull in the field of transportation the lousy shooting is the only thing keeping this from being outright cheese.
  • Vulture (FW Index: Astra Militarum): Sorry, did we say the Vendetta was a fine gunship? Well, okay, it is, but this is the exemplar of the role. A Valkyrie's statline with a tasty Strafing Run rule (+1 on roll to hit if target has no <Fly>) and 4 weapon pylons, carrying rocket pods, missiles, autocannons, multilasers and tactical bombs (a special one-time use ability that's great against units with lots of models and deals mortal wounds on a 5+)... yeah, okay, fine. We know why you're here. The Twin Punisher Cannon, a Heavy 40 S5 dual-minigun man-muncher that will turn anything you point this bird at into paste. Scratch the paint and make sure it's not an Ork...

Heavy Support

Any Regiment

  • Heavy Weapon Squad: The base cost of this unit is absurd! 12 points for a full squad of 3 heavy weapon T3 meat platforms, before weapons - less than a third of what it was in 7th! Almost no fat between you and your Heavy Bolter, Lascannon, etc. That's 36 points for three Heavy Bolters! 57 points for three Autocannons! With the advent of squad-wide splitfire, the choice between these and putting them in Infantry Squads is more even; an HWS is more order-efficient but an Infantry Squad will stay alive longer (though heavy weapons don't benefit from orders as much now). Incidentally, you do not need a Commissar for these; any damage severe enough to make the squad actually lose more models that a Commissar would prevent (more than 1, followed by a 6 on the Battleshock roll) will kill the squad entirely, and you don't need high Leadership to get off Orders now, either. The real downside of these is on the organizational level; you'll quickly max out your Heavy Support slots by taking these in significant numbers - 3 heavy weapon squads, and the Platoon Commanders to order them, is less than 250 points, and eats 3 heavy support and 3 elite slots!
    • Get around that by making a dedicated Heavy Weapon Team and Company Commander spearhead detachment and gain +1CP along the way.
    • 3 mortars is 27 points, a piddling amount for the output you can pull off with them since they don't need to see their targets. Very much worth considering.
    • Weigh the decision about whether or not to take heavy weapons teams embedded into your gunline (instead of as separate units, like this) very carefully. Yes, these units are cheap and can be spammed, but any smart opponent is going to target them immediately. Mortars don't need to worry about this so much since they can fire out of line of sight, but autocannons, lascannons, heavy bolters, and missile launchers all need to be able to see their target, which means their target can see them, too. Chances are that anything you need to shoot them with will have a weapon of its own that negates your combined armor/cover save, and there's almost no way you're getting the first shot off since you'll have way more to put on the field than your opponent will. In an Infantry or Vet squad, these guys have up to 8 other models that have to get chewed through before they take a hit, and with Vet Squads, at least they get BS3+. This will also free up some Heavy Support choices (as well as the Elite choices you would need to give them orders, though you lose the ability to give your Vet/Infantry Squads a separate order besides what you would give the HW team). It's not fun to lose all of your lascannons on Turn 1 or 2. You can also take them in a Command Squad, but that's two Guardsmen not carrying special weapons, a vox-caster, a medi-pack, or a standard.
  • Leman Russ Battle Tanks: Ah yes, the Leman Russ. Has long-held, and continues to hold, the title of sturdiest tank in the galaxy, point-for-point. For 132 points, a T8 W12 platform with a 3+ save will consume an enormous amount of firepower before dying. Its basic Battle Tank Cannon is Heavy D6 S8 AP-2 and took some big hits. It (along with many others) practically lost large blast, with it being lucky to get 2 hits and getting 4 or more will be a rare occurrence indeed. MEQ now get a 5+ save instead of being auto-pasted like its 5th-7th edition iteration, but this thing's now decent against enemies with 2+ armor which is a decent trade-off. The Exterminator took a 1/3 firepower hit as well, placing it squarely worse than a predator autocannon versus big targets, and is no longer more accurate with heavy bolters than ordnance Russes. Speaking of which, with Heavy Bolters also being worth a mere 8 points each (less than half of a Heavy Flamer), adding 3 Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 weapons is a thrifty 24 points, making them more worth their points. Unlike the vanquisher. The vanquisher is proof that GW is incapable of statistics, as it performs worse against heavy armour than every leman russ turret except the exterminator, despite being one of the pricier options (doing 0.93 wounds to another russ, every other variant manages at least 1 wound). Sad thing is if GW had given it a flat 2+ to wound against vehicles or flat 2D6 damage instead of 2D6 drop the lowest, it’d perform better against most vehicles than other russes. Hopefully this will be corrected in the codex. The other mixed bag is the often overlooked Eradicator. You are effectively getting a Vanilla Russ that drops two Strength from it's Cannon in exchange for Ignores Cover. It's better against cover camping infantry squads (like those squishy Eldar and Tau) but may struggle against anything else.
  • Leman Russ Demolisher Tanks: The brawlers of the battle tank variants; no guns over 36" (except the Lascannon) and a LOT more power in exchange. The Punisher and Demolisher are statistically your best friends against troops and vehicles/monsters, respectively - a Punisher with 3 heavy bolters (176 points) or a Demolisher with 2 multi-meltas and a lascannon (232 points) can wreak impressive amounts of havoc for a single model, if you can bear the cost, and unlike previous editions they don't mind being in melee (in fact with a trio of heavy flamers they'll be quite painful to charge). Also back in the running is the Executioner. With 2 plasma cannons and a hull lascannon (202 points) it can put out an impressive amount of MEQ-hate. And unlike every other model with plasma, a 1 on the hit roll of an overcharge shot doesn't kill you! Instead it inflicts 6 mortal wounds (half of the tank's health) and burns out every plasma cannon on the tank except the turret. So...yeah. It's perfectly safe, the commissar told me so! Really if you want to overcharge any plasma weapons, go for the Executioner cannon, a gets hot will only inflict D6 mortal wounds, it won't be disabled after overheating, and it isn't penalized for firing on the move.
  • Hydra: The original AAA is back in action! with the revision to Skyfire, the Hydra can hit ground troops on 5s, and with its eight autocannon shots it's a potentially good investment even if you didn't expect fliers from your opponent. The power comes at a price, though: 108 points, up from 75. Fliers will learn to fear it, though; it puts out enough power to statistically guarantee damage versus most aircraft.
    • It doesn't get +1 to hit against Fliers. It gets it against anything with the FLY tag. Guess who has the Fly tag? Eldar Jetbikes. You did magnetize that Wyvern you bought, right?
    • There's a surprising number of other units with FLY, like the aforementioned jetbikes, Jump troops, anything that used to be a skimmer in 7th, Monoliths, half of the Dark Eldar and Tau Army Lists... it's really quite staggering. Make sure you check the tags on your target's datasheet before opening fire. And do take a picture of your opponent's face when you inform them of this.
  • Wyvern: One of the latest additions to the Imperial Guard motor pool. Got swatted with the nerf bat. Its infamous Wyvern quad mortars generate more attacks than they did before, doing 4d6 S4 AP0 hits that re-roll to wound. Thanks to the new 8th Edition rules, the old "enemy spreads their models out to avoid blasts" tactic is moot. It's lost its "Ignores Cover" ability, which really hurts given its lack of AP. It gets 14 shots and 7 hits on an average roll, which at S4 and AP- will only reliably kill 2 or so marines. (Wait, marines? Why didn't you take a basilisk?) The Wyvern excels at killing GEQ and similar lightly armored infantry blobs, whether they're footslogging Orks, other armies' Guardsmen, or common traitors. Using this thing to target Marines is just a waste of fire and not what the weapon is designed for.
    • Thanks to the re-roll to wound it is possible to take a few wounds off of vehicles or monsters.
    • Enemies will have to think twice before assaulting this baby, as it is scary on overwatch. (not hellhound scary, but still)
  • Basilisk: Fluffy is back! The Earthshaker gun motor carriage smacks units up to twenty feet away at s9 AP-2 and d3 damage, rolling 2d6 for shot count and taking the highest - and it's down in cost too, to 108 points. Better against vehicles than troops, because its multi-wound power is wasted against infantry, but powerful and long-ranged for its points nonetheless. Basilisk is brutal and very point-efficient, with the only problem being Guard's BS of 4+. Still one of the best choices nonetheless. It is also "Webstore exclusive" - what a funny coincidence.
  • Manticore: The Guard's entry into the community of rocket artillery, and arguably the best. May not be squadron'd, but don't be discouraged - it's gotten a MASSIVE points reduction, down to 133 from 175. The Storm Eagle Rockets still hit like the proverbial meteor: Heavy 2d6, S10 AP-2 Dd3 with a range of 10 feet. Minimum range is gone, too - this may be your new best friend in the realm of artillery. Sadly, nothing good lasts forever; you only get four shots, and Overwatch does consume them, so make each one count!
  • Deathstrike: Gone and buried are the days of Riptides laughing off a hit from an ICBM - nothing wants to be hit with this monster. 3d6 shots, and any hit inflicts a Mortal Wound. No save, no wound roll, no problem. Furthermore, any unit within 6" of the target takes d3 Mortal Wounds half the time. Smack the center of the enemy's army with this for 155 points and it'll make back its points with ease. Of course, you'll have to get the shot off first: you have to roll an 8+ on a d6 + the turn number. Use Command Points to reroll the dice and force that 6 (in second turn) or that 5 (in third turn) roll. It's tougher than it was in 7th. Too bad it will never fire and it's totally better to take literally any other artillery instead.
    • Potentially a new distraction Carnifex; by turn three, one of two things would've happened. Someone who's been against one will make it a priority, and spend a few turns firing at it while the rest of your army chips away at their own high-value targets while receiving little in the way of return fire, OR a less-informed opponent will ignore it until it's too late for them to do anything.
Forge World
  • Sabre Weapons Battery: For 20 points base, you get 1 3W, T4 model with a 4+ save. While most of its "twin" options are nothing to write home about compared to two heavy weapon teams, which for 12 points cheaper gets you 3 more wounds at the expense of 1 point of toughness and 1 point better armor save on more models (which mitigates high damage hits). Furthermore, because orders only work on infantry instead of "non vehicle units" a la 7th, it can no longer take orders. HOWEVER, you don't take a sabre anymore for its weapon options. Instead, as a 0 point upgrade, the sabre weapons battery can take a Defensive Searchlight. This godly piece of kit means if one sabre targets an enemy unit with 48" of it and in line-of-sight, one friendly infantry or Sabre unit can add 1 to hit rolls when firing at said unit. While this doesn't immediately seem that stunning, remember - you're Guard, master of the massive unit. Conscript blobs hitting on 4s? Yes. For 20 points a light it's an auto-include, no mistake - and 3 of them can light up 3 different targets. (Per the Forgeworld FAQ, however, you can no longer have multiple searchlights targeting the same unit, so no stacking bonuses.) The closest thing to a downside these things have is they're immobile, but if you want they can be towed by Centaurs, and thanks to RAW they can still light targets on a turn when they've been towed. These things went from being overpriced HWTs to markerlights on steroids.
    • Note that orders no longer state a unit must immediately take an action when ordered, so it's entirely legal to order your conscripts to set up a firing line, light up your target with a spotlights, and then give him a good old fashioned Cadian Burial: 200 lasgun shots, hitting on 4s. The sheer dice output of this attack can wipe an entire squad of Space Marines from the board (finally, something that can one-shot a unit!) and including lights, officers, and conscripts it's a lean 190 points (244 points if you include a Centaur to tow the Sabre) of fine cheddar. Use it wisely.
    • Our lord and savior Forgeworld no longer makes a model for the Sabre. However, a proxy can be kitbashed pretty easily. Simply buy 3 a heavy weapon squad box from GW, build them as lascannons, cut off the lascannon barrel so that the stump is flush with the gun shield, and glue on the front of a vehicle searchlight (found in pretty much every IG vehicle kit that no one bothers to put on). Voila! For a more elaborate version, you can use the spinning gun deck, control column, and crew from a Wyvern platform.
    • Sadly, the buff only works on units in the same regiment, so that's a sad no on Ratlings dishing out mortal wounds on a 5+. That being said, if you do have a bunch of snipers in one unit for some reason, you do have the potential to land some additional mortal wounds. Certainly don't build your list around this idea since you'll never have more than three, possibly four snipers benefiting from one of these at any given time (and that four is only if you crammed a Command Squad full of them). But it might net you an extra mortal wound or two against a pesky character.
  • Leman Russ Conqueror (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Actually pretty useful now. No longer the cheaper version of the vanilla, as per the Forgeworld 1.0 FAQ, it is now three points MORE. The Conqueror cannon has the same statline as a regular battle cannon, just with a 48" range. The co-axial weapon is only a storm bolter though, rather than the much more logical heavy stubber, but Forgeword are bound to go derp somehwere. Actually while the Storm Bolter is shorter ranged (its max range is half the main gun's, rapid fire is 12) due to not being a heavy weapon it fires at full BS on the move, and it grants rerolls to hit with your Conqueror cannon if you fire on the same target, it doesn't even have to hit anymore.
  • Leman Russ Annihilator (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): In past editions, this was undisputedly the most underwhelming leman russ variant. However, with the changes to the twin linking rules, it’s the only leman russ that has increased in firepower. Against another leman russ, this thing will put out 1.94 wounds, matching the demolisher but with more range. Expect to see this eclipse the “anti-armor” vanquisher, which only puts out 0.94 wounds a turn against another russ.
  • Leman Russ Stygies Vanquisher (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): A slight improvement over the normal Vanquisher, and arguably forgeworld's attempt to fix that variant. They failed. The Stygies pattern comes with a co-axial storm bolter, and if it remains stationary, the main weapon gains +1BS. Like the Conqueror, shooting the storm bolter and the cannon at the same target grants rerolls to hit. With both bonuses stacking, this can pull off 1.66 wounds against another russ – meaning unlike the normal vanquisher it outdoes the battlecannon (1.17 wounds) but is still beaten by the annihilator and demolisher at 1.94 wounds a piece, which are more useful against other targets and offer better range and mobility (as the Stygies needs to be stationary at 24 inches to be fully effective).
    • Sponson/Hull Weapons - Heavy Flamers and Storm Bolters can be fired on the move without penalty, but only they and your turret gun have that benefit. If you do take Plasma Cannons (or other options, like a Hunter-Killer Missile), don't expect to land many hits.
  • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery (Forgeworld Index: Astra Militarum): Got nerfed hard and went from auto-include to nope. Twin-linked is gone but it still fires only one shot; so there is no chance to reroll that 4+ except CPs, as the Rapier can't take orders any more. Still the gun is S12 and if the shot hits on a roll of 3-5 it does 2D6 damage and on a 6 it's upped to 3D6 (so you could hypothetically one-shot a Land Raider but it is highly unlikely). The price got almost doubled to 74 points for one gun and a crew of two. The rapier has 3 wounds now but unfortunately is only T5. Mathhammer says it will only beat out a team of lascannons (of similar cost) against 2+ models, models of T6 and below, and 3+ models of T9 and above. Not worth buying, but if you have it, save it for the really tough stuff.
    • Alternate opinion: These are all valid criticisms and Forgeworld should really refund the money of any poor soul who bought these in the twilight days of 7th Edition, but putting this out here: if this thing does hit, it will kill almost anything you point it at. You also can get a re-roll not only through Command Points, but also by re-rolling 1s if you stick Harker (give it the Catachan keyword) or Yarrick near it. Granted, this will only be a re-roll of 1s unless you are fighting Orks and brought Yarrick, but it does help. But let's be honest here, the buffing one or even a trio of AT guns is hardly the best use of either those characters. Only do this if you can still get those characters to buff the units they need to buff while still buffing the Rapier, like a massive horde of Conscripts.
  • Heavy Mortar Battery: Another crewed gun, the Heavy Mortar hits like a midway between a normal mortar and the Earthshaker Cannon. Unfortunately it takes after the latter in price - 72 points for a 3-man team and the gun carriage. Potentially viable if you've got the models, but nothing special.
  • Heavy Quad Launcher Battery: Also known as the Thudd Gun. Invented by a race of abhumans whose worlds were lost to the Tyranids sometime in the mid-M40s (it's not clear) and much beloved by Kriegers, 8th Edition's Thudd Gun behaves like a Wyvern's quad-gun, without the rerolls to wound (perhaps it doesn't use airburst ammunition?). It's also the exact same cost as a Wyvern, sans the heavy bolter the latter gets with its Chimera mobile platform. Workable if you have it, not worth the money if you don't.
  • Hydra Battery: Four long-barreled autocannons on a stationary platform. Higher toughness but lower wounds and save than the mobile version. Shoots the same, at about 25% less points. Workable, but not exceptional.
  • Earthshaker Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The gun deck of a Basilisk, sitting pretty on a stationary foundation. With tough-as-nails vehicles back in action, so is this machine...insofar as a blast-inflicting machine can function in an edition with no blasts. Still, it's by far the cheapest source of long range firepower, and still tough enough to get off a few volleys. Just don't let someone charge it.
    • This is another discontinued model, but dont be discouraged. Simply take the part of your Basilisk thats not a Chimera (the cannon and T-shaped gun platform) and plop it on a suitable-looking base. Get creative so your opponent actually lets you use it.
  • Earthshaker Carriage Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The Earthshaker Cannon mounted on a Krieg-style wheeled gun carriage. Unlike the above, the crew is separate, and thus can defend the gun in melee...or get shot, leaving the gun useless. Fortunately if the gun's closer the enemy must shoot it first, and you get 4 crewmen a gun. And they can take orders, though re-rolling 1s won't work the miracles that ignoring all cover saves once did.
    • Note that they don't fire the big gun - it fires itself, provided they are nearby. Ordering them buffs their lasguns, not the Carriage, sadly (in particular, read the bit about them being treated as entirely separate units, mechanically).
  • Medusa Carriage Battery (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): The Medusa Siege Gun returns, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage. Got a few buffs - the standard siege shells are ballistic, and may be fired out of line-of-sight now, while the still-direct-fire Bastion-Breaker shells may be used without losing the ability to fire standard shots. The 36" range may chafe on an immobile platform, though...
  • Malcador Tank Family (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): Down(?)-graded from Lord of War to Heavy Support, the light-super-heavy tanks of the Malcador family have been smiled upon in 8th by the removal of weapon facing. This means the bizarre fixed-transfer casement the main gun sits in (and the fact that the sponsons can't train forward) no longer limits its shooting ability; also gone is the chance to break down every time it moves, apparently they finally fixed the engines on these things. The Demolisher cannons have Grinding Advance, as well. Note: The Valdor tank destroyer is still taking a Lord of War, so no spamming Neutron Lasers (not that you could spam a tank this size anyway).
    • Malcador Heavy Tank: The basic Malcador is a Russ on a steroid binge - 18 wounds instead of 12 (this is standard across all Malcadors), and it can carry autocannons or lascannons in the sponsons.
    • Malcador Annihilator: The Malcador's version of the Leman Russ Annihilator. Two lascannons in that weird turret and a Demolisher cannon in the hull.
    • Malcador Defender: Now we're talkin'! In a remarkable display of foresight, the Defender eschews the nerfed turret weapons of its brothers for an interwar-style turret fitted with five heavy bolters. Two more on the sponson mounts make for a bullet hose to rival the Stormlord - at 21 shots, it can chew up blobs but good! It also adds 1 to its overwatch hit rolls (which doesn't actually do anything - Overwatch requires a 6, regardless of modifiers; nice one, Forge World). A demolisher cannon is still present on the hull for tougher targets.
    • Malcador Infernus: The Malcador's version of the...Hellhound? Apparently someone saw the need to set entire city blocks on fire at once. This vehicle carries the Inferno Gun, which rolls 2d6 automatic hits with a strength and damage that resembles an Autocannon (with better AP). If that and the 16" range weren't enough the prometheum fuel can be swapped out for Trooper Duffy's special soup recipe a toxic sludge that wounds everything that isn't a vehicle on 2s, and has AP-3. It's a big pile of points and tends to violently explode, but it can be very fun to run! And if it does blow up, try to have it do so next to those heretics. It WILL hurt.
  • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle: 40k's version of the Goliath, a bomb on treads controlled by remote. Magos Cawl figured out how to encrypt the controller signal, so the operator doesn't have to walk around on the field next to it, but putting it in transports disrupts the signal...so you can't drop it out of a Valkyrie anymore. In exchange, it's much faster (10" move, though advancing prevents you from setting it off) and its payload is one of the few blast weapons in 8th edition that's actually a blast - you set it off in the Shooting phase, and it hits everything, friendly and enemy, within d6" like an Earthshaker shell. Oh wait, no, it actually hits much harder, rolling a flat 2d6 for shots instead of 2d6-take-the-highest, and it auto-hits. This is the single worst thing to roll into a deathstar of characters at the center of your opponents' army - no more Look Out Sir! to slough off the pain it can bring, and every unit within the effect radius is hit the same. It's not very tough, but it's small and easily concealed behind bigger, bulkier units, and at 40 points it can be a powerful disruptor of enemy formations.
    • Note that this little ball of hate explodes on a 3+ when killed, and that's your die to roll. You, the Guard player, with the giant pile of command points. Take a reroll, hand out some mortal wounds, and get a glass for the tears of your opponent.
  • Sentinel Powerlifters: For about the same price as a Bullgryn (and twice as many wounds, though you lose those awesome shield saves) these ad-hoc Dreadnoughts swing 3 times with built-in Power Fists that don't impost -1 to hit. Guard WS hobbles it a bit, but it's fast and hits like a train. Also gets a scout move and smoke launchers to improve the chance of getting in close.
    • That scout move is critical. If you deploy cleverly you can start the minimum of two feet from your intended target...and then Scout move towards it. Then move normally, and you have a 6" charge to make. Point at the nearest Tyranid and say it with me:[1]
  • Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter: A Leman Russ chassis with no turret and a Heavy Laser Destroyer Array for a hull gun. It's not twin-linked anymore, instead acting a bit like a small blast weapon - D3 shots at a Lascannon statline, except it rolls 2d6-pick-the-highest vs vehicles on damage. Offers the highest damage output against heavy vehicles of all leman russ variants, putting 2.48 wounds on another leman russ.
  • Stygies Thunderer Siege Tank: 10 points more than a Vindicator for one additional wound and 1 lower BS...which only counts when you're standing still, because this vehicle gets Grinding Advance. Sadly not particularly worth it due to the general nerf to blast weapons, but can be a fun distraction vehicle or tank-buster nonetheless.
  • Tarantula Battery: Surprisingly cheap compared to last edition (the primary cost is for the guns on it) but you still get the annoying targeting protocols. In fact slightly worse now, since this thing will never shoot at Characters if there's another model closer...even if it's one of those 10+ wound Characters the rule wouldn't normally apply to.
  • Armageddon Pattern Basilisk: 7 points up on a standard Basilisk for an enclosed crew compartment, which nets you 1 more toughness and wounds. About as viable as the normal one if you have the model, but not exactly worth the extra money if you don't.
  • Armageddon Pattern Medusa: Your only mobile source of the Medusa Siege gun. It can fire out of LoS, but can't take Breacher shells. Same price as a Basilisk, though, and tough for its points; potentially viable as a line-breaker.
  • Colossus Bombard: Finally gaining the toughness of the Leman Russ chassis it's mounted on, the Colossus still ignores cover, though that doesn't do as much now. Downside, it costs as much as a Leman Russ, too. The mortar itself has gotten a HUGE range increase (In fact this might be a typo - 240 inches), and hits like a Heavy Mortar with slightly better AP. It fires twice as many shots, too.

Lords of War

  • Forge World, with its unbridled fetish for treads, guns, and engines, has provided the Guard with the largest selection of Lords of War in the game, bar none. You can't take Titans in here anymore, but you could be forgiven for not noticing. The overwhelming majority of these are tracked vehicles of one variant or another, and most of them have the Steel Behemoth rule, allowing the vehicle in question to shoot and charge normally if it's fallen back that turn, fire smaller guns like twin heavy flamers as if they were pistols, and fire the larger guns normally even if there are enemies within 1" (but not at those same enemies). Who said the conventional army fighting spooky paranormal activity was being screwed? Here's the hint: That daemon is not going to be riding a tank.

Any Regiment

  • Minotaur Artillery Tank (Forge World): One of the two variants of the Malcador chassis that retains the Lord of War title...though you could be forgiven for not noticing, since it's had two Earthshaker cannons mounted on it. Backwards. Simultaneously the coolest thing on treads and an ungodly abortion only Hereteks could love. Has two heavy bolters mounted on it...somewhere. As a side effect of mashing two Basilisks together it gains Steel Behemoth and a 5+ Invulnerable save against shooting attacks (which is copy-pasted from the Gorgon's entry, because the two are such similar machines...bravo, Forge World). The durability comes at a cost: for the firepower of two Basilisks it's almost as expensive as three.
  • Valdor Tank Hunter (Forge World): The other Malcador variant that's still a Lord of War, the Valdor is to vehicles what the Infernus is to infantry. It packs a Neutron Laser Projector, a cannon that hits plenty hard, fires more than one shot (instantly making this thing superior to the poor Vanquisher) and gets damage rerolls vs vehicles (who also take a -1 shooting penalty if the shot damages them). Be wary: the reactor powering this thing is closer to a bomb than an engine. When killed, the Valdor explodes on a 2+, inflicting D6 mortal wounds on everything within 2d6". Sadly, it's too pricey to be taken just for the spectacular not-a-deathstrike suicide attack.
  • Macharius Family (Forge World Index: Astra Militarum): the middle child of the super heavy tanks, the Macharius series starts to wield titan-sized guns, while the non-tank variants of the chassis bring to the field some of the largest transport capacities in the game.
    • Macharius Heavy Tank: Suffers from a lot of the problems that the Leman Russ suffers from, and it doesn't even get to ignore the -1 penalty for firing its main weapon on the move. It has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but like the Leman Russ battle cannon, the likelihood of it actually doing anything isn't that high. If you really have your heart set on this tank, consider the Macharius Vanquisher as an alternative.
    • Macharius Omega: Its plasma blastgun is pretty amazing, especially if you can keep it still. Only 1 mortal wound per to-hit roll of 1 on the supercharged firing mode, and even if you play it safe, each shot is still doing as much damage as a normal supercharged plasma gun shot, but with much better range. Consider this if facing big squads of MEQ... now, if only FW still made the model for it.
    • Macharius Vanquisher: Two Vanquisher shots are better than one, and if all else fails, you can fire this as a slightly less potent version of the twin battle cannon that the Macharius Heavy Tank has, making this a more versatile choice. It's still nothing to write home about in the grand scheme of things, but at least you get two shots for the Vanquisher cannon instead of 1.
    • Macharius Vulcan: The Vulcan Mega Bolter retains the ability to spin up to maximum speed if the tank hasn't moved, doubling its rate of fire to 30. On a S6 AP-2 gun, that's some SERIOUS pain. With 15 hits on average, you'll be mowing down entire GEQ squads with an average of 12.5 wounds per shooting phase. This is a nice tank to have up your sleeve when that Ork player floods the board with Boyz.
    • Crassus Armored Assault Vehicle: Still a good capacity armored transport, effectively the guard Land Raider... except not really. The simplification of the transport system puts it in competition with the Stormlord... which is amazing. You can replace the heavy bolters with lascannons, but you won't be hitting much anyway. Still, if you don't feel like shelling out for a Gorgon and have some Bullgryns/Ogryns you need to get into position, this is a great way to do it. It's viable if you have it, but no longer worth your money if you don't unless you really like the model.
    • Dominus Armored Siege Bombard: STILL doesn't have a model. The price reduction of the basilisk and its derivatives has removed this tanks' selling point of being more cost effective; instead it's now a potential partner for the Trojan, since squadrons can't share buffs.
    • Praetor Armored Assault Launcher: Very versatile now. You don't have to pick the ammo type at the start of the battle; instead, you can choose on the go. Foehammer missiles are great for big, multi-wound targets like vehicles and monsters; Firestorm missiles are great for GEQ hordes and ignore cover saves; finally, Pilum missiles get a +1 to hit anything with the Fly keyword. The fact that you can choose between them for each shooting attack makes this a great all-arounder... and a priority target, so keep it well-protected.
    • Gorgon Heavy Transporter: Want to haul an entire platoon of conscripts? Here's how. With an unmatched-anywhere transport capacity of 50 models, the Gorgon can move more men safely than anything else. The Gorgon Mortar is no longer one-shot, too, letting this vehicle function as a pseudo-Land Raider...until you realize you're transporting 3 point models in a Lord of War, and they can't shoot out of it.
  • Baneblade Family: The galaxy's premier super-heavy tank has been lucky this edition, with almost-universal reductions in points, retention of fire points, amazing toughness, and the addition of the Steel Behemoth rule. The Steel Behemoth rule is especially powerful on Baneblades; Versus targets in melee it may fire its twin heavy flamers and twin heavy bolters like pistols, targeting foes within 1" - this makes a fully-armed Baneblade variant one of the meanest models in the game in close quarters, dealing out an average of 31 hits, at S5 AP-1 - and that's before it uses its adamantium tracks, which swing at s9 ap-2 for d3 damage up to 9 times. And those flamers hit on overwatch, too. All variants have a twin heavy bolter on the hull, and may take up to 4 sponsons, each with a lascannon and a twin heavy flamer/twin heavy bolter.
    • Note - Whether by intention or by accident, currently the Baneblade and all variants are lacking the Leman Russ Battle Tank "Grinding Advance" special rule, and therefore take a -1 to hit when shooting heavy weapons (read: Pretty much all of them) if they have moved in the previous phase, meaning your Baneblade will be hitting on 5's with all of its weapons if you move it. This generally means if your Baneblade is going to be in close you'll want to go for weapons that autohit - like the twin heavy flamers, above.
    • Baneblade: First of the turreted variants (though with the removal of facing that's not as relevant anymore), the original Baneblade packs the mighty Baneblade Cannon, an autocannon, and a hull Demolisher Cannon. Oldies but goldies.
    • Hellhammer: Preferred by Catachans, the Hellhammer's main cannon ignores cover bonuses and hits slightly harder than the Baneblade's at the expense of range. As the other turreted variant it includes a hull Demolisher Cannon. On this version the backup radio antenna on the rear of the turret becomes a crew defence lasgun. Most recommended for the quad flamer 'brawler tank build; the demolisher and main cannons working in tandem are a threat to anything and everything.
    • Shadowsword: Arguably the most famous aside from the Baneblade itself, the 'Titan-Killer' mounts the incredibly powerful Volcano cannon, still capable of one-shotting Land Raiders even in an edition rife with tough vehicles and monsters with a has-been Strength of 16. Versus Titanic units it gets +1 to hit, and the Volcano Cannon rerolls wounds. Very little can hope to survive a duel with this beast.
    • Stormsword: One of the cheapest variants (though still a list-buster at 390 points before its weapons), the Stormsword carries the Stormsword Siege Cannon, a massive gun that ignores cover and all but the strongest armor to boot. Lead the charge and smash the foe.
      • Arkurian Pattern Stormsword (Forge World): Exactly the same as the regular Stormsword. The mind boggles as to why it got its own entry in the FW index.
    • Banesword: With its Quake Cannon swatting enemies from more than 11 feet away, the Banesword is a premier fire support vehicle. Sadly eclipsed by the Shadowsword, since the Quake Cannon can't fire out of line-of-sight.
    • Banehammer: When it comes to stopping the enemy advance, the Banehammer delivers. Its Tremor Cannon can turn entire sections of the field into flying clouds of dirt and debris, halving the Move of enemy units and preventing them from advancing. Hold the line! Received a troop bay and transport capacity in this edition; 25 models can hitch a ride, of whom 10 can shoot out of the firing deck.
    • Doomhammer: Second of the transport-capable variants, the Doomhammer supplements a troop bay and firing deck matching the Banehammer's with the Magma Cannon, adept at bringing the hurt to large targets. Six Ogryns, a Platoon Commander, and a Priest is a nice package to dump upon an unsuspecting enemy.
    • Stormlord: Gork and Mork (or was it Mork and Gork?) cry tears of pure joy when this arrives on the field. With a troop bay that holds 40 models (of which 20 may fire out) and the Vulcan Mega Bolter, this monster can put out more dice than any non-titan model. Put entire squads of Bullgryns inside it for a pseudo-Land Raider or entire Detachments of Heavy Weapon Squads (probably with Mortars, though to fill it completely you'll be fine with a mix) for unprecedented firepower and durability.
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormblade (Forge World): The Plasma Blastgun's 2d6 MEQ-vaporizing blasts will wipe out any infantry near it. Supercharging it boosts its range from 72" to 96" and boosts the shots' strength and damage by 1, but as always you'll want something nearby to ensure that it doesn't risk damaging itself in the process.
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormhammer (Forge World): One of the most flexible variants, the co-axial multilaser acts more like a target marker than a weapon in its own right - if its Stormhammer Cannon shoots the same target as the multilaser, it can reroll any failed to-hit rolls. The cannon itself is 60" Heavy 2d6h1 (roll twice, pick the highest), S9 AP-3 d6 D (re-rolling a result of 1 for damage), making it a slightly shorter ranged but otherwise much better Battle Cannon that works well with the other two Battle Cannons it has. It comes with six more multilasers, which can and probably should be switched out for heavy flamers, heavy bolters, or lascannons as needed.

Aeronautica Imperialis

  • Marauder Bomber (Forge World): 40k's version of the B17 'Flying Fortress' and probably one of the largest flyers in the game (and one of the largest you can actually afford!). Comes with a twin lascannon on the nose and two ball turrets holding twin heavy bolters; it may fire these at full BS regardless of movement thanks to its Sky Fortress rule. The real kicker, of course, is the bombs - three times a game the Marauder can bomb a unit on the field. Roll dice to stack mortal wounds on the target: 3d6 per vehicle/monster or d6 for every other model - every 4+ causes a mortal wound. For softer targets Hellstorm bombs can be used: they roll for 3s but only get 2d6 vs monsters/vehicles. Against large enough units it's basically a Deathstrike, but you can already see that it's probably unique among the Guard Lords of War in its utter inability to kill anything in one hit: by definition it will never roll enough dice to kill non-vehicle/monster units, and nothing with those keywords has less than three wounds, which you won't roll unless you are very, very lucky. Not worth the money unless you're a fan of display pieces.
  • Marauder Destroyer (Forge World): While the B17 was never converted to serve as a gunship, the Marauder was, and serves the role pretty well in 8th. It keeps the Sky Fortress rule, swaps the twin lascannon for six Autocannons, swaps one of the heavy bolter ball turrets for a twin assault cannon turret, and most of its bombs for a rack of up to eight Hellstrike missiles, which aren't consumed upon firing. Rules oversight? Who knows. But the fact remains that this thing can spew out 12 S7 AP-1 D2 shots, 12 S6 AP-1 D1 shots, 6 S5 AP-1 D1 shots, and up to 8 S8 AP-2 Dd6 shots that roll 2d6-take-the-highest for damage...every turn. at 460 points fully loaded, It's a flying blender, no mistake! Oh, and it also gets a bombing run! Tough as a flying fortress should be, at T7 with 20 wounds and a 3+ save, on top of being a flyer. A proud king of the skies.

Death Korps of Krieg

Restrictions

In addition to their special units, the Death Korps of Krieg can only use the following units:

  • HQ
    • Tank Commander
  • Elites
    • Atlas Recovery Tank
    • Hades Breaching Drill Squadron
      • This is one of the only ways to field DKoK infantry that lacks the Cult of Sacrifice special rule.
    • Master of Ordnance
  • Fast Attack
    • Hellhounds
    • Salamander Scout Tank
  • Heavy Support
    • Armageddon Pattern Medusa
    • Basilisks
    • Colossus Bombard
    • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle
    • Earthshaker Carriage Battery
    • Heavy Mortar Battery
    • Hydras
    • Malcador Annihilator
    • Malcador Defender
    • Malcador Heavy Tank
    • Malcador Infernus
    • Medusa Carriage Battery
    • Quad Launcher Battery
      • This does not exist, but Forge World probably meant a Heavy Quad Launcher Battery, which does.
    • Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery
    • Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter
    • Stygies Thunderer Siege Tank
  • Dedicated Transports
    • Centaur Light Carrier
  • Lords of War
    • Arkurian Pattern Stormblade
    • Baneblade
    • Gorgon Heavy Transporter
    • Macharius Heavy Tank
    • Macharius Omega
    • Macharius Vanquisher
    • Macharius Vulcan
    • Minotaur Artillery Tank
    • Shadowsword
    • Stormsword

They are also unable to take sniper rifles as special weapons.

Special Rules

  • Cult of Sacrifice: When taking Morale tests, ignore casualties inflicted in the Shooting phase. This applies to all Infantry units listed above, not just the Death Korps exclusive ones. This rule helps mitigate the punishing effects of morale, which is both fluffy and reduces their dependency on Ld-boosting aura effects.
    • Note that this is casualties inflicted in the Shooting Phase not By Shooting. So DKoK ignore casualties inflicted by Gets Hot!, which is good for Plasma and Carcass spam.
  • Death Korps can take laspistols, hotshot laspistols, and hotshot lasguns as ranged weapons, heavy flamers and heavy stubbers as heavy weapons, and chainswords as melee weapons.

Orders

The Death Korps of Krieg has a different roster of Orders compared to standard guard and can order Cavalry as well as Infantry.

  • Re-roll Orders: Death Korps lose Take Aim! and thus only have Bring it down! as a Re-roll Order. However, except in the case of Gets Hot!, Bring it down! has the same effect as Take Aim!
    • Bring it down!: Ordered unit re-rolls to-wound rolls of 1 until the end of the phase.
  • Movement Orders: Same as standard Guard. Death Korps are mostly footsloggers, so a fluffy army will find these more useful.
    • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase.
    • Get back in the fight!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it fell back in it's movement phase.
    • Move! Move! Move!: Ordered unit must move as if it were in the movement phase, and it must advance and cannot charge.
  • Special Orders: Death Korps lose First Rank fire! Second Rank fire! and gain the orders Duty Unto Death! and Without Mercy!
    • Without Mercy!: Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns become Pistol 2. While lacking in the sheer number of shots FRFSRF can bring out, it can be quite effective at surprising a melee-happy opponent when your gunline can keep on shooting even in close combat.
      • This is basically your equivalent of FRFSRF and unless you're under 12", actually gives the same firepower - no range change so you get 24" Pistol 2.
    • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fight as if it were in the fight phase.
      • This is more useful for Death Korps, as it can be given to their dedicated CQC units such as Death Riders and Combat Engineers.
    • Duty Unto Death!: Any INFANTRY or CAVALRY model in the affected unit slain in the Fight phase makes one last attack. Helps to wring out one last bit of usefulness from a unit that's losing a melee fight.
      • Compared to Fix Bayonets! this is useless, as Fix Bayonets! lets all of a units models fight twice with their full attacks, not just slain models fight with one attack.

Units

HQ

  • Death Korps Marshal: The equivalent of a Company Commander doesn't come stock with a chainsword (but can take one for free, so he might as well) or shotgun, but he does come with a Krak Grenade and a higher armor save. Additionally, the Momento Mori he can buy forces all weapons that normally roll for damage to treat the roll as a 1, giving him a bit more staying power than normal.
    • Marshal Karis Venner: Your named Character for the Death Korps, he comes with a hot-shot laspistol, powersword, and Momento Mori. He can issue three Orders per turn and forces friendly units within 12" to use his Ld value unless their own Ld is higher. With that Ld aura, you can combine Venner with a platoon and regimental standard for an Ld 11 bubble 25"+ in diameter (depending on what size base you put him on). Basically gives your guys fearless. A little something to remember: RAW states that all friendly units can use Venner's Ld, which means that all units in your army use his Ld. That's right. Terminators with Ld 11? Yes, please.
  • Death Korps Field Officer: The Platoon Commander equivalent, though he shares the improved armor save with the Marshal and comes with a Marshal's Ld score as well. At 23 points base, possibly the cheapest HQ choice in the game (other regiments have to spend a precious Elite slot on their version of this guy).
  • Death Korps Death Rider Squadron Commander: A Field Officer on a horse, with a boost to Toughness and Wounds to go with it. Having the same Augmented Mount ability as other Death Riders helps to increase his durability, and for obvious reasons he's the best choice for getting Orders to your cavalry.

Troops

  • Death Korps Infantry Squad: A rather odd change to the basic Guardsmen; they lose the option to take Heavy Weapons Teams and the Watchmaster uses a lasgun like the regular troops (though he can buy both a pistol and melee weapon), but they all have a WS of 3+ and can buy a Platoon Standard that buffs allies' Ld by 1. Best used alongside the Death Korps' unique orders. Oddly enough the Watchmaster (Sergeant equivalent) has BS 3+. While this fits with the lore, maybe it's a misprint?
  • Death Korps Grenadier Storm Squad: A Tempestus Scion squad with deep striking replaced with Cult of Sacrifice and no hot-shot volley guns. Unlike the Scions, the number of heavy weapons they can take doesn't depend on the number of models in the unit so it's possible to go MSU and still have 2 special weapons in the squad. Now with the FAQ update they can take Heavy Stubbers as special weapons, as well as the ability to form a Heavy Weapons team to tote around a Heavy Flamer.
    • Not as good as Grenadiers in terms of points per wound, but they can get Objective Secured, which is probably worth their extra points cost and loss of acid gas grenades. Fundamentally fantastic MSU style, with a heavy flamer, 2 special weapons (probably plasma, maybe melta), and a sergeant taking up 4 spots in a transport and costing very little points. Shove three squads in a Valkyrie and drop them onto an objective.
    • Hot-shot laspistols are garbage, so always have the Sergeant swap out his weapon - your best bet is probably a bolter, unless you want to fucking commit and get a plasma pistol.

Elites

  • Death Korps Command Squad: No heavy flamer, medi-pack, or heavy weapons teams in this command squad, but what you do get is the ability to use the Regimental Standard. It only affects Cavalry and Infantry, but grants an additional attack on top of the Ld bonus, making your troops more effective in close combat.
    • As of the current FAQ, this unit is not limited to 1 per Commander, unlike a normal <Regiment> Command Squad. While this seems like a fairly obvious RAI oversight (no more than 1 per Marshal or Field Officer), it's not entirely clear whether or not Death Rider Squadron Commanders should let you bring more of these.
    • These guys are surprisingly underwhelming compared to Combat Engineers, since you pay the same cost per model and don't get a 4+ save or acid gas bombs; furthermore, they obey the same 2 special weapons per unit limit as the Engineers. Even if you do spam them, you're not going to achieve anything you couldn't achieve only better with Combat Engineer spam, since their standard won't work on Conscripts, they're too slow to keep up with Death Riders, they can't be Medics.... really, there's just about never a good reason to field these guys over Combat Engineers.
  • Death Korps Combat Engineer Squad: Shotgun infantry with decent armour. Overall not super inspiring until you see their shotguns have Carcass Shot, which wounds anything (except Vehicles) on a 2+. Carnifex? 2+ Wound. Ogryns? 2+ Wound. You lose the model if you roll a 1 on the hit roll. BUT buff them with a nearby Guilliman and say hello to rerolls of 1 to hit. Carcass Shot vs GEQs, MEQs and TEQs is basically a Plasma Gun with AP 0.
    • These guys are incredible - they cost a point less than Grenadiers for what amounts to the same model with the addition of an acid gas grenade, although they are Elites and hence cannot get Objective Secured. You can keep their shotguns, which, unlike hot-shot lasguns, are worth spending a point on, or swap out for special weapons to demonstrate superiority over Grenadiers - 2 plasma gunners, a boltgun on the sergeant, and a heavy flamer team will get you the same output as a Grenadier squad with the same loadout, except your guys also have acid gas grenades and cost less. The plasma gunners can carry meltaguns instead, of course, and either way can be stuffed in a Valkyrie and dropped in sets of 3 squads directly into your enemy's lap.
    • A bit of MathHammer shows the following averages: 864pts of Combat Engineers will put out 216 shots, hitting on 3s and wounding GEQs, MEQs and TEQs on 2+ with a 5+/3+/2+ save respectively and 2 wounds, killing 640pts/160 models of GEQs, 1040pts/80 models of MEQs and 960pts/20 models of TEQs; while losing 288pts/36 Engineers in return. Thus, ignoring other factors the kills to deaths ratio will always be in your favour by a factor of 585:1300, 360:1300 or 390:1300 respectively and Carcass Shot is most productive when used on MEQs.
  • Death Korps Commissar: A basic Commissar. Given all the buffs to Ld you can get with the Death Korps along with their Cult of Sacrifice rule, you can skip him.
  • Death Korps Death Rider Commissar: See above, but with a horse.
  • Death Korps Quartermaster Cadre: This is where the Command Squad's Medi-pack went. One creepy guy and up to 4 servitors wielding scalpels that wound non-vehicles on a 2+ and get buffed to WS/BS 4+ and Ld 9 as long as they stay close to him. They also grant nearby Infantry and Cavalry the ability to ignore an unsaved wound on a 6+, making it mutually beneficial for them to stay close to a big squad of infantry.
  • Death Korps Death Rider Command Squad: A must-have for any list focusing on Death Riders. Taking this squad along allows them and up to 5 other Death Rider units to deploy via outflanking at the end of any movement phase. Use in combination with the Death Rider officer, above, and a few squads of Death Riders, below, to outflank an entire detachment!
    • As of the current FAQ, this unit is not limited to 1 per Commander, unlike a normal <Regiment> Command Squad. While this seems like a fairly obvious RAI oversight (no more than 1 per Death Rider Squadron Commander), it's not entirely clear whether or not Marshals or Field Officers should let you bring more of these.

Dedicated Transport

  • Death Korps Storm Chimera: The Krieger approach to warfare is obvious in this armored vehicle's loadout. It gets an autocannon as its turret gun and the option to buy improved armor which gives it a 2+ save vs weapons of S4 and less and lets it ignore the effects of land mines on a 4+. It's a price hike on the standard Chimera, but it's worth it. Note that it doesn't necessarily have to be used with Death Korps, although it has the DEATH KORPS OF KRIEG keyword instead of REGIMENT, it specifically says it transports ASTRA MILITARUM INFANTRY, and even mentions it can take ogryns, so RAW it's legal to use these to transport regular guardsmen, or even storm troopers.
  • Death Korps Centaur Light Assault Carrier: Hoo-boy. This little bugger is magnificent. Sure, it's not as tough or as shooty as a Storm Chimera, but if you pop 5 grenadiers with some meltas or flamers, you can send this off towards the enemy by up to 9" before the game even starts. Imagine your opponent's face when they see this little bundle of hurt rolling towards them. They can ignore it, and have some grenadiers kick them in the arse, or shoot it and ignore the vast majority of your army.
    • Pretty cheap, at 54 points, and 6 wounds in it's still Movement 12, unlike a Chimera, which has dropped to 8 by then. Plus, a Grenadier Squad's minimum size is 4 models, so you can squeeze in a fifth guy from somewhere else if you have someone you want shoved up the table, like an Astropath or Primaris, since, like the DKSC above, this transport carries any Imperial Guard infantry, not just <REGIMENT> ones.

Fast Attack

  • Death Korps Death Rider Squadron: Your only Fast Attack choice, but a big step up from the basic Rough Riders. For a start, you have better WS, Toughness, Attacks, and armor than them, which means you're way less likely to die before you reach your target. The Augmented Mount special rule also lets you ignore wounds from S4 weapons and below on a 5+. Your steed gets 2 extra attacks instead of one and hits as hard as a bolter, and while you don't get a chainsword to start with you do get krak grenades. While you cannot outflank with this unit (unless you take the Death Rider Command Squad) it is not slowed when charging through terrain, making it easier to attack cover campers. With no access to special weapons, they're much better suited as frontline brawlers- with access to orders, they can be just mean with Fix Bayonets! and Duty Unto Death! (although Fix Bayonets is better in basically all circumstances).
    • Duty Unto Death is better the turn you charge in, granting any rider who dies one last lance attack before you take him off. Fix Bayonets won't help if you're not already stuck in

Heavy Support

  • Death Korps Heavy Weapons Squad: Other than the higher WS, Krak Grenades, and Cult of Sacrifice, they're identical to the vanilla HWS - with the additional option to take heavy flamers. You might need to bring a couple along anyway though since you can't take heavy weapons in your regular infantry squads.
    • Heavy Flamer teams are drastically the most cost effective way to get heavy flamers into your army, so much so that they are actually competitive with flamers (which does not usually happen, due to a heavy flamer costing more than two flamers). This gives them a radically dofferent role from what HWSs are used to, but they can be very effective when carried in a Valkyrie.
  • Death Korps Leman Russ Mars Alpha Battle Tanks: Your favorite battle tank, customizable into any configuration of Russ as you see fit (though the Vanquisher Cannon comes with a heavy stubber instead of a storm bolter as its coaxial weapon), but now with the ability to trade the stock hull-mounted heavy bolter for a multi-melta or a plasma cannon. As an added bonus, its armour save becomes a 2+ against weapons of S4 or lower, so bolter shots won't even faze you.

Elysian Drop Troops

Restrictions

In addition to their unique units, Elysian Drop Troops can only take the following:

  • Elites
    • Officer of the Fleet
      • With the FW FAQ, this model buffs all Elysians targeting a specific target, making this one hell of a complement to our Company Commanders. Re-rolling both 1s to wound and to hit with plasma and melta is a pretty big deal. They also gain aerial drop ability. Deep striking one of this guy down to buff your backfield heavy weapon teams or vet/command squads is a very strong buff and a steal for the points.
  • Fast Attack
    • Tauros
      • Gains aerial drop.
    • Tauros Venator
      • Gains aerial drop.
  • Heavy Support
    • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle
    • Tarantula Battery
  • Fliers
    • Avenger Strike Fighter
    • Lightning Strike Fighter
    • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter
    • Valkyrie
    • Vendetta
    • Vulture

The following weapons cannot be taken by Elysian Drop Troops:

  • Autocannon
  • Lascannon
  • Power Axe
  • Power Maul
  • Sniper Rifles are carried by specific 2W 2A Elysian Sniper Squad models, who, like their cousins in the Death Korps not actually named Heavy Weapons Teams, curiously only occupy 1 transport spot on a Valkyrie.

Special Rules

A few rules that are unique to Elysians and have wide spread effects concerning many or most units in the army.

  • Aerial Drop: You can deep strike any Elysian Drop Troops model, including any kind of Tauros. Just don't forget the limits of doing so in matched play.
    • Remember, this applies to every model with the Elysian Drop Troops keywords, which is everything with either Aeronautica Imperialis or <REGIMENT> you can take, i.e. every in-faction model for you, including e.g. turrets and flyers. Elysia apparently does not believe in non-droppable materiel.
  • Iron Discipline: All Elysian officers have an aura buff that gives you the ability to re-roll failed morale. Talk about hard core soldier when even junior officers of the Elysian army are inspiring enough to make your guys as brave as space marines. Squads that come with a sergeant will be at ld 8 so the enemy will have to inflict some pretty fucking serious casualties before you start suffering significant losses due to morale.
  • Strafing Coordinates: This is the officers of the fleet target designation rule. He picks a target within 18" and friendyl aeronautica imperialis units shooting at that target gets to re-roll hit rolls of 1. Sounds familiar? For regular guard regiments this is kind of cute since faq 1.0 this is one of the corner-stones of our buffs. Faq 1.0 replaced all the officers of the fleets instances of the keyword aeronautica imperialis with Elysian giving all units with the Elysian keyword. Fantastic when we write about the ootf or officer of the fleet buff this is what we are talking about.

Weapons and Wargear

  • Breacher charges: Some Elysian squads can take breacher charges. This is what we get instead of demolition charges. Unlike demolition charges which are powerful cheap grenades, breacher charges are 5 times as expensive melee versions which don not let you use your ballistic skill. They do cause mortal wounds but to be frank, if you do the math the average damage output of these one shot weapons are not good. Even assuming you get into melee intact 6 of these (From say 2 special weapon squads armed with 3 each) will put out an average of 10.5 mortal wounds. That wont even kill a rhino and if you want consistent charges you better be willing to invest in a valkyrie for those two squads. If you don't you have to realize that your chance of making a charge out of aerial drop is only 10/36 och 28% chance. If you do invest in the valkyrie you are now spending 300 points for a one shot assault unit that does not even do that much damage.
    • Breacher charges could have been a fun and iconic piece of wargear for Elysians this edition. If they had been 5 points each, or at least auto-hit, they probably would have. Now, instead of throwing a few breachers around your army, making it sort of threatening sometimes in melee, one quickly realizes that a piece of one use wargear that costs more than 3 plasma guns must have a lot more impact on the game than breacher charges do. Two breacher charges are roughly the same cost as a command squad with plasma guns and 4 charges are as expensive as a veteran squad with 3 plasma guns and a plasma pistol.
    • Point is, stay away, outside of narrative games or other settings where efficiency and winning is not the primary concern in constructing a list.
  • Lascutters: Elysian Drop Troops can take lascutters (a S9 AP-3 D1d3 melee weapon which can only make 1 attack) as special weapons. From a competitive perspective these are not worth the special weapons slots nor the points. Charging from deepstrike is about a 28% chance and charging from valkyries is expensive. Even if you get your veterans (or whatever squad you put these on) unharmed into melee, it is very hard to imagine a scenario where this would outperform some shooting with a melta or plasma gun. If efficiency is not something that concerns you they can be quite a bit of fun. Theoretical cool setups are valkyries carrying 10 veterans with 3 lascutters, a breacher charge, and a power fist. 3 command squads with 12 lascutters in a valkyrie. 2 special weapons squads in a valkyrie with 6 lascutters.

Orders

Like the Death Korps of Krieg, Elysians have have two unique orders.

They give up:

  • Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase.
  • Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fight as if it were in the fight phase.

They gain:

  • Hold the Line!: The targeted unit ignores models killed during both the Shooting and Fight phases for the purposes of the Morale phase until the next Movement phase. This makes commissars even less useful for Elysians, though you will in most cases use the other orders since you company commanders already grant a re-roll.
  • Move and Fire!: All of an INFANTRY unit's weapons become Assault weapons until the end of the turn. Similar to Forwards, for the Emperor! but also allows Heavy Weapons to fire and move without the normal penalties for doing so. Note that this will make Rapid Fire 1 weapons Assault 1, which is unfortunate, but Heavy, Pistol, and Grenade weapons all get a nice buff. That last is particularly important, given how widespread access is to frag and krak grenades - with this order your entire unit can finally throw all of its grenades at once if it needs to! This is what people mean when they say Forge World Rules.
    • Observe that there is no way in hell that any tournament or gaming group would actually let you move your veteran squad up, shoot their normal guns, and hurl 20 grenades in the same turn.
      • As of faq 1.0 this wording is still unchanged and seems to still turn grenades in to assault weapons. The ITC seem inclined to interpret the rule this way as well. God have mercy on us all and check with the TO before attempting this bullshit.

Units

HQ

  • Elysian Company Commander: Compared to the basic company commander, the Elysian version loses the shotgun and chainsword but gains an extra point of Ld and allows friendly Elysian Drop Troops within 6" of him to reroll failed morale tests.
    • You will be forced to take these guys to fill out hq slots. He is a superior choice to the commissar in most cases and is a damned fine buffing character. We can also assume that he unlocks command squads for us which are quite points efficient. Elysian orders are good and these guys will spread them around to your troops. Has the benefit over Tempestors of both giving two orders and taking a plasma pistol. You may even risk overcharging that pistol from time to time since officer of the fleet makes access to re-roll 1s free on priority targets.
    • There are two approaches to taking Company Commanders, take as few as possible or take a-lot of them. The first approach gives you more "real" units to aerial drop. The second gives you more command squads and better saturation of orders. I have tried both and will usually land somewhere in between though i think going for few commanders is probably better. Remember commanders are not our primary source for re-rolling 1s to hit on plasma guns, officers of the fleet will help us out on that front.
    • Our commanders are generally more efficient than other regiments since we get access to re-roll ones on our through officer of the fleet. I would always take a ranged weapon for them. Take either a plasma pistol or bolgun as the situation requires.
  • Elysian Lord Commissar:This Lord Commissar loses the Power Sword (which is an upgrade, since he can still buy one if you wanted it, and can swap his bolt pistol out for a boltgun), and like the Company Commander he allows friendly Elysian Drop Troops within 6" of him to re-roll failed morale tests as an extra defense against morale checks.
    • Not great for us and you will rarely see any one take a Lord Commissar. He is more expensive than a normal commissar lord but the problem is we do not have conscripts. Since our Company Commanders offer ld re-rolls in addition to being cheaper and giving out orders he is the natural choice. The biggest unit size Elysians have are 10 man squads and while it is quite easy to create theoretical scenarios where a commissar would be better as a morale buffing char than a commander it will rarely impact the game in practice. This is especially true when you consider Elysian commanders have a morale buffing order they can drop in a pinch.

Troops

  • Elysian Drop Trooper Squad: More expensive than basic Guardsmen and also lack heavy weapons access, but have an extra point in Ld and the whole unit can take krak grenades.
    • The problem with breacher charges:Breacher charges are super cool but expensive and ineffective, even when we get to use them. 25 points is a lot for a piece of equipment, especially when that equipment is one use only (faq 1.0). Remember that the entire base cost of the squad is only 50 points. Even when we get to use them they don't do that much damage. Since they only work 50% of the time they will score an average of 1.75 mortal wounds on vehicles, buildings, or monsters, and only 1 on everything else. Combined with the abysmal likelihood of making the charge after aerial dropping in, we can only expect to land 0.5 wounds on a vehicle with an infantry squad.
    • Alternate opinion: Our infantry squads are not very tempting compared to other options. If you are going to take them keep them dirt cheap and expendable because they will not have the punch of veterans or special weapon squads. If you want to have something aerial dropping and killy in the troop slot take some scions. A cheap unit of infantry can be very useful in 8th edition. You can drop them on to objectives, this is especially relevant in progressive scoring missions. You can deploy them as a screening unit for your long range shooting, and it's not like you can take Conscripts since they're not allowed in the army list.

Elites

  • Elysian Special Weapons Squad: Like the vanilla counterpart, but swaps the demolition charge option for breacher charges. Good as suicide melta units, or as a cheap source of breacher charges. A squad of two flamers plus a breacher charge can make an effective close quarters unit that you can use to annoy any infantry unit in the game. Also effective for getting plasma guns into Rapid Fire range; plasma spamming is probably the best option for them if you want to deep strike them, though running them with flamers and meltaguns isn't a bad move either. A cheaper alternative to Veterans if you can ignore the lower BS.
    • Alternate opinion This squad suffers badly from sharing a slot with Veterans and Command squads. They have 1 worse BS and can't take heavy flamers. The two things that makes this unit unique is the squad size and the ability to take more than one breacher charge. The first is kind of nice if you consider putting them in valkyries or have plenty of elite slots to spare (which is surprisingly rare when making lists at 2k+). If you are putting them in valkyries they get expensive quickly, though. And get the stupid idea of taking two squads with 6 breacher charges in a valkyrie out of your head right now; that is an insane amount of points, and even if you get to dump 6 breachers onto a vehicle, it's only an average of 10.5 wounds. 10.5 wounds and you spent 150 points on breachers, another 60 for the men, and the valkyrie on top of that. Buy something reasonable instead, like melta guns or flamers, if you want to run them in a Valkyrie.
    • If you're spamming aerial drops, this unit is far cheaper than a Veterans squad, making it more efficient for drop-plasma, even after accounting for the Veteran's other benefits, assuming no orders are being handed out to the dropped units; while it is simply worse than a Command Squad, it's also not constrained by Commander count, which Command Squads might be (see below). That makes these great in any context where you want to simply drop in some suicide plasma.
  • Elysian Veteran Squad: Lost their most important option, forward sentries, so now you longer have any source of homing beacons in the entire codex. Identical to vanilla veteran squads (statline is the same but options/orders differ), but gain deep strike. Can make an effective wrecker squad with three lascutters and a power fist/plasma pistol loaded in a valkyrie/vendetta which you can drop down to fuck up fortifications/vehicles without fly, though will draw fire and with WS4+ you'll lose against any real cqc that shows up. Alternatively these guys can take four flamers and jump from a transport into a horde, giving you 3d6 flamer and d6 heavy flamer overwatch hits, or you know, just burn the fuckers if they don't charge you. Breacher charges should be one per squad, as more may not survive to use it next turn (you can't take more than one). Missile teams are the best choice for heavy weapons, assisted by "Move and Fire" (This depends entirely on the target. Against anything you would shoot a frag missile against you are better of with a heavy bolter or mortar instead). Giving them shotguns can also be surprisingly effective, especially given how Move and Fire turns grenades into Assault weapons RAW.
    • If you're taking these guys to cram them into a Valkyrie or Vendetta, remember that their Weapons Team does not have Heavy anywhere in its name, so the model only takes up one slot on a Transport, allowing you to fit the entire unit plus three more people on, if you take the Team. Also, a Team with a Mortar ends up running you 2 points less than the pair of Veterans it replaces, which can improve efficiency, although the Team goes from 6 weapons to 1 when pulling off the Assault order trick, which is seldom worth it on its own.
    • The lascutter + breacher charge + power fist is cute, and could be fun to play, but the range weapons will put out more damage and can put out that damage reliably. Remember rolling a 9+ to charge is not very likely (you will roll 9 or more in only 10 out of 36 cases) and the breacher charges are crazy expensive for a one use item that only works in melee. Besides, even when you get there it only deals an average of 1.75 mortal wounds against vehicles, buildings, and monsters, and an average of 1 to everything else. When factoring in the chance to charge out of deep strike this becomes a sad 0.28 mortal wounds on average against infantry. The lascutters are not great either. Str 9 is impressive and so is the d3 wounds. But after taking into consideration your lower chance to hit a melta gun is more reliable, keeps you out of melee (if you want to be in melee you can charge after firing the melta gun) and does more damage.
    • Alternate Opinion: Mathematically, this unit is great at doing aerial drops with 3 plasma/melta + plasma pistol. I would advise staying away from superfluous equipment like breacher charges and taking things like missile launchers and heavy flamers on them without thinking about it. Keep them focused on a task and fairly cheap and they will serve you well. I would also keep them out of transports in general. It is quite tempting to put them with full flamer load out inside a valkyrie but as soon as you do that the price of putting the unit on the board goes through the roof. With the potential of rerolling 1s to hit and to wound from a commander and officer of the fleet this unit is second in efficiency only to command squads in putting out deadly plasma fire at a cheap price.
  • Elysian Sniper Squad: A two wound BS3+ squad with a sniper plus deep strike for seven points each? Quite possibly the best value sniper unit in the game. May have lost the breacher charges and magnoculars for D-99 but got a crazy point reduction so it worked out well. Works wonders with "Move and Fire" (why would you waste your orders on a 21 point unit?) giving you assault snipers negating the move penalty of heavy weapons, combine that with deep strike and you can put these snipers exactly where you want them and dominate the table with them. Feel free to spam vanguard detachments with these guys, a company commander with three units of snipers is 103 points, a great beginning to any Elysian list this edition. You probably have to in order to take a decent amount of them, the Elites slot in your case is crowded as hell.
    • These guys are not bad for the points comparing them to other snipers in the game. Keep in mind though that killing high wound characters with good saves will take a lot of these guys. Roboute won´t lay down just because half a dozen of these squads shoot at him (a bog standard Astartes captain will take 23 or so sniper shots to bring down). Something like a Commissar on the other hand is possible to kill with a few units. A reasonable expectation of snipers is for them to be annoying for your opponent, sit on objectives, and allow you to aerial drop more veterans.
    • Each of these is like a heavy weapons team (2 wounds, carries an extra lasgun, etc), but because it isn't called that anywhere in its keywords, it will only occupy 1 capacity in a transport, which may be worth remembering.
    • Pack three units of snipers (9 teams) and 1 officer of the fleet in a valk/vendetta, send them off to your opponent's deployment and have a field day as you fuck with his characters with snipers plus an air raid (it seems crazy expensive to transport a few snipers and an ootf in a valkyrie when they have no reason to get within 9" and all have aerial drop).
  • Elysian Command Squad:Super cheap and deadly, best configuration is generally going to be 4x plasma/melta, with the first being cheaper and generally more useful. Most of the time you are forced to take at least 3 company commanders and you should pretty much always take the maximum allowed of these guys. Besides being cheaper than their scion counterparts, they also have greater damage potential with the way officer of the fleet interacts with Elysians after faq 1.0, buffing all Elysians and not only aircraft.
    • Currently even after faq 1.0 these are not limited by the number of officers in your army; this is an obvious oversight, though, so don't go thinking you can take like 14 of these, though if this turns out not to be an oversight it would be crazy powerful. Current RAW is that you can spam them, but most opponents are unlikely to let you.
  • Elysian Platoon Commander:Gets to take melta bombs for free which is cool. Though with only one order and competing with officer of the fleet for the slot you would be hard pressed to actually find a place for these guys. Officer of the fleet is cheaper, a better buffer in most cases and drops some mortal wounds on the enemy for you. He does unlock more command squads, though, and is passable if you don't intend to run a deep-strike intensive force.
  • Elysian Drop Sentinels: They are more expensive than regular guard sentinels but can aerial drop. Its super cool to have your guys dropping in via grav-chutes but beyond the narrative etc aplications its hard to fit them in a list. A better idea is probably taking the regular guard version unless you are dead set on pulling off distracting charges from deep strike. They don't get the cc weapons of normal sentinels though and if you are thinking of investing in a Sky Talon to get them in Ogryns seem like a better choice.

Fast Attack

  • Tauros Assault Vehicle: BS4+ with either a twinned grenade launcher or a heavy flamer, same stats as the Venator which has worthwhile weapon options. Pass.
    • Another way of looking at it is that in a pure Elysian force this is the cheapest fast attack choice we get. The grenade launcher is no doubt horrible (priced as a lascannon) but the heavy flamer can make for a mobile cheap-ish unit that let us reserve more veterans and be annoying for the opponent. To be fair, though, taking regular AM scout sentinels is probably a better idea.
  • Tauros Venator: Either a twinned multilaser or a twinned lascannon; multilasers can actually annoy 5+ or worse infantry as the laser is S6. Lascannons will usually hit once with BS4+. Ignores movement for Heavy weapons, which means that achieving the 5++ for moving minimum 10" is now worthwhile. Is this Jink brought back in 8th, you ask? Maybe. Three of these pump out the same amount of shots as a Vendetta while being able to move and shoot, as well as having a 5++, for 48 more points. Consider these if you want something meatier than infantry but you can't fit in a flyer. Don't bother putting these in a sky-talon; with the range of these weapons you want to stay back and harass from a distance.
    • These suffer from the standard problem of anything with twin lascannons, which is that Forge World decided every weapon except lascannons deserved to be less than twice as expensive when twinned due to the inability to fire it at multiple targets - meaning the twin multilaser does cost less than two multilasers, which has a tendency to modify the math on which weapon loadout is the most efficient. At 18 points, the twin multilaser is surprisingly good at busting up TEQs and other 3++ targets where the lack of AP basically doesn't matter, as it delivers a lot of shot volume for the cost.

Heavy Support

  • Cyclops Demolition Vehicle:Funnier than when other Regiments take it, because unlike them, you can drop this right next to the enemy. You can't drop it close enough to actually threaten them, since it won't explode past 6 inches and you'll be more than 9 inches away, but it's still a very disquieting 40 point ball of worry - and, of course, if you drop it next to some enemy melee units, they really won't want to deal with it themselves.
  • Elysian Heavy Weapons Squad: Like Vanilla counterpart, but you gain deep strike, so they become even better. You lose lascannons and autocannons compared to vanilla guard, but with deep strike you get some free positioning without resorting to transports. Mortars are for blobs and missile launchers deal with armour and monsters. Heavy bolters are meh since tarantulas do the job of two heavy bolter teams but for the double the wounds, better toughness and armour save, for three points cheaper in exchange for having to shoot the closest infantry squad, though you were probably using the turret as a distraction anyway. "Move and fire" order combos well, giving you assault missile launchers or mortars. Parking these squads in cover will do worlds of good for them as all three weapons have decent enough range. These will be common as infantry squads lost heavy weapons and vets will be used to deliver melta/plasma/flamers into close quarters environments, where heavy weapons will be a tad out of place.
    • Since you, in all likelihood, won't be aerial dropping these guys, saving those slots for our vets, it may be tempting to take regular guard weapon teams instead to save a few points. Don't fall victim to that temptation. While I would argue that it is a waste to have a commander giving heavy weapon squads buffs, at least mortars and heavy bolters, the main reason for staying Elysian is the buff to re-roll from officer of the fleet. A 25 point character will give you re-roll 1s to hit for all units engaging his designated target. That is a very effective way to buff heavy weapon teams spread out in cover.
    • Mortars are dirt cheap, missile launchers are not. While most opponents will cringe at the idea of throwing their precious shooting at mortar squads (especially when they are hunkered down) engaging missile launchers is a much more palatable activity. From my experience mixing squads to contain 1 missile launcher and 2 mortars seem to work best. Mortars try to deploy out of line of sight while the missile team try to be minimally exposed. Once you start taking fire you can remove the mortars first (or the missile launcher if you have no need for krak missiles). It makes the missiles more cost effective as far as resilience goes.
  • Tarantula Battery: Astoundingly cheap, and while you can't give it orders, you can drop it right next what you want it to shoot. It will take the movement penalty to shooting the turn you drop it, of course, but so would a dropped heavy weapons team. The sheer number of twin heavy bolter turrets you can simply drop in your enemy's way is fantastic.

Flyers

Remember, all of your Fliers have the Aerial Drop ability, but why would you want to? Well, the 8E rules have never been clear on how deploying in a transport interacts with the other deployment rules, so the closest we have to a FAQ ruling on this is the Designer's Commentary, which specifies very clearly that a transport on the battlefield counts as the same "deployment choice" as the units embarked within it. This means we don't actually know whether embarked units during deployment count as anchors, drops, or something else entirely (they might count as neither, depending on what "deployment choice" means, exactly). For now, do your best, but it might end up the case that dropped transports need fewer anchors or something. Keep an eye on the FAQ.

Other than that, your flyers are all very tanky, due to Airborne and Hard to Hit, so they are ideal anchors (aside from their cost) - stick them on the table during deployment to soak up and avoid enemy fire, and get ready to surprise your enemy with presents containing violence.

  • Avenger Strike Fighter:
  • Lightning Strike Fighter:
  • Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter: Slight callout here, as it's your only 15 wound plane and has a 6+ regen, so it's definitely your tankiest plane.
  • Valkyrie:
  • Valkyrie Sky Talon: Fewer options than a basic Valkyrie and you can't take them in squads, but they can transport either a Tauros or 2 Drop Sentinels. Previously you could spam these guys alone, however with their new points increase valks are generally better value. It should be noted that you can use these to shove Heavy Flamer sentinels down your opponent's throat..... but since your sentinels already have both Scout and Aerial Drop, it seems dubious that it would be worth the points. Also works on Heavy Flamer Tauroses, of course, but..... why?
  • Vendetta:
  • Vulture:

Tactics

  • A warning: Guard are strong this edition. Very strong. Between dirt-cheap, morale-immune blobs like conscripts and commissars, and extremely weapon-dense deep striking units like scion command squads, Guard can take an enormous beating and deal one out in turn. It's not speculation to say they're one of the strongest armies this edition. You remember all those Tau and Eldar players you hated in 7th? That's you now. Be magnanimous! Don't run the strongest army you can (unless its against the Tau and Eldar); just enough to make it fun. As the saying goes, never play an ace when a two will do.
  • Meat and Potatoes Army for 50 power, or 1030 points, and fulfilling a battalion detachment (you wont care about rerolls with this army though) you can field 3 company commanders, 4 commissars, 200 CONSCRIPTS and 3 full heavy weapon squads of any variety. And they said 8th edition was free of abuse and power gaming...do note that this is a LOT of men, and will run you ragged in dollars as well as friends. But it is strong.
  • This is your successor to the parking lot army of editions past. A bunch of conscripts (2 squads of 30 is usually sufficient for 2000 pts) on the flanks to hold objectives. A vanguard detachment of 2 platoon commanders and 2 commissars led by a Ministorum priest works nicely and give a nice +1 CP. These are your potatoes. Chimeras, Leman Russes, heavy weapons and artillery in the center. Run sentinels up the sides and drop Scion squads 9" from the enemy and open up with Plasma guns. This is your meat.
  • Scions can bring more plasma/melta than is even remotely necessary to the battlefield. They are cheap, hell plasma guns are now safe and only 7pts?!?! and hit on 3s for shooting. Plus they can deep strike safely within rapid fire range
    • Scions will work beautifully as allies to armies like blood angels, providing precision high powered dakka while the marines handle the face to face confrontations.
    • For fewer points, you can grab Elysian Drop Troops (especially their Command Squads), which lets you field more plasma per dollar by skimping on things real soldiers don't need, like armor or friends.
  • Valkyries & Vendettas: Or 'How I learned to stop worrying and love 8th Edition'. Due to the wide range of infantry, your Valkyries can carry a lot of stuff and get it into 'fuck you' range with exceptional speed. Here's a few suggestions as to what to put inside:
    • 2x Special Weapons Squad - two demolition charges and two flamers can give a nice one-shot pile of pain.
    • 3x Command Squad - Can take Heavy Flamers, and no lasgun tax. Offers some serious density of firepower, but at the cost of survivability; every casualty counts if everyone's carrying a Meltagun. You can get them all into melta range, but when the enemy returns fire, you have no nameless riflemen to keep the heat off your precious special weapon bearers. Scions can improve the survivability a bit but you're still T3 with one wound apiece. So that's what it feels like to play Grey Knights. Alternatively, fill your V-Force flyers with 12 plasma guns apiece for a mere 156 pts, and Grav-Chute immediately into rapid fire range. Problem, Battlesuits?
      • Plasma guns are more points efficient than meltas against almost all non-vehicle targets, including within melta range, provided you apply a rerolling buff to make overcharging "safe". 2 command squads and an officer for orders leaves you room for something else your enemy really doesn't want next to them, like Nork (see below). Meltas win out against Rhinos or tougher.
    • Ogryns/Bullgryns - Turn 1 charge! Seriously, the Valkyrie's Grav-Chute Deployment is a disembark move, so you can move, shoot, and charge normally afterwards. Thus your meatheads can advance 6" up the 9" required separation distance, fire whatever guns they brought along, and then charge from 3" away. This can be done with any Astra Militarum unit (thus the meltaguns above can move into range for maximum effectiveness, see above) but if you're going to be charging, you're going to be doing it with Ogryns & Bullgryns. Note that Vendettas cannot transport Ogryns/Bullgryns.
      • Elysian Command Squads come in 4-man squads, like the amount of Bullgryns you can fit on Valk, but you can fit three squads in one, for 12 guys. Each can carry a lascutter, which hits harder than an Ogryn does (+2S -2AP usually the same D). They're only WS 4+, not 3+ like an Ogryn, and not even remotely as durable on the return, but if you want a cheap melee glass cannon, these guys can deliver.
    • Veteran Squad - Like the Command Squad, above, but you have some lasguns to eat return fire, increasing your chance of firing those Special Weapons more than once. On the other hand, you're using a valuable airborne assault carrier to get these guys into combat in the first place, so why not maximize that alpha strike? Up to you.
    • Infantry Squad - Nah. You've got better options and you know it.
      • Alternatively Elysian Infantry Squads can all throw frag/krak grenades with "Move and Fire", so consider that for dealing with units that suck at cqc (Tau/vehicles without fly) and then charge them for maximum effectiveness.
    • Tempestus Scions - Elysians, if you don't feel like selling your kidneys to Forge World. Sure, they can Deep Strike, but this way they can move another 6" after the disembark, which is very valuable for Scions; it gets you into Rapid Fire range for your Hot-Shot Lasguns, and bonus-damage range on Meltaguns, too. This can result in an extremely painful alpha strike, if you bring along a Tempestor Prime to order them. And you're hitting on 3s!
  • Artillery Park The Mighty MoO is a cheap autoinclude, but is worth building an army around. Thanks to templates no longer being a thing, 3 Manticores and 3 Wyverns can safely fit within the roughly 7" bubble emitted by Yarrick or Harker, and dole out the xd6 shots all the day long. The above rocks in at slighty under 800 pts before upgrades, so it's not like you won't have enough for some bubble wrap.
  • Gunship fortifications The new rules for the Skyshield Landing Pad is that it can repair fliers on top of it to the tune of d3 wounds per turn. Stuff a techpriest and an Officer of the Fleet next to a Vulture and dare your opponent to come within firing range of a Hovering flyer rerolling 1s and regenerating 2d3 wounds per round while chucking out 40 shots per round.
  • Keep Your Allies Close: You aren't just a Guard player this edition; you're an Imperium player. That means that you can technically bring any Imperium faction into your army without much difficulty. When push comes to shove and there's a hole in your list that needs plugged, don't be afraid to look at a small group of non-Guard Imperium allies to plug that hole: it's perfectly legal so long as they share the IMPERIUM keyword, and unlike the bullshittery that was going around with the <REGIMENT> keyword and was mercifully FAQed out of debate, this is actually how the game is meant to be played. There are some armies, such as the Adeptus Mechanicus, that have perks that are only usable if every unit in the detachment shares their subfaction's keyword, but there are others that don't care. Celestine doesn't have the Astra Militarum keyword for instance, but she does produce a bubble of 6" that specifically gives your Guardsmen (and any other Astra Militarum unit within 6") a 6+ Invulnerable Save. It's fluffy, it's legal, it's not rules lawyering, and you can keep your army overwhelmingly Guard-themed.
    • Besides obvious choices like Celestine (and the Adeptus Ministorum in general), Adeptus Mechanicus (preferably in their own detachment), and Guilliman (who buffs all <IMPERIUM> units), other solid choices include most varieties of Space Marine, especially close-combat ones like Blood Angels and Space Wolves. Some people even say you can ally in Genestealer Cults and get access to Tyranid allies that way, but those people are filthy xenos-loving heretics.
  • Mech Guard in 8th: Mechanized Guard took something of a hit in 8th edition with the way Heavy weapons interact with vehicles and the generally poor Ballistic skill of said vehicles. It's hard to play aggressively with a tank army without seeing a drop in your vehicle's effectiveness. Pretty much all of your vehicles are now more expensive but less accurate on the move, limiting how many you can take and how often you can hit. With the meta favoring blob guard buffed by characters, it might be awhile before mech guard becomes viable again. That said, it's important to maximize your selection, such as having units in transports that synergize well. Tempestus Scions should never ride in a Chimera if you own a Taurox Prime. Likewise, Infantry squads perform better in a Chimera where they can recieve the benefit of a character or two riding along. Veteran squads, once the staple of any mech list, got an awful demotion to the Elites slot, but can become a hard-hitting counter-punch unit if equipped with shotguns and flamers or meltaguns, riding in either a Chimera or more preferably a Taurox for its higher move. The unit can disembark, move, advance, and still shoot with a 4+ to hit. If they choose a Chimera they should seriously go with the double Heavy Flamer variety since your reduced Ballistic Skill doesn't matter and you're going to be up close anyways. Armored and Scout Sentinels can keep pace in the earlier turns, but are basically redeployable turrets. Avoid the old Devil-Dog like the plague. As far as Leman Russ variety, put fixed shot weapons like the Externinator Autocannons and Punisher Gatling guns on the standard Russ, and random-shot number weapons on your Commander to maximize your hit chance with the shots you get. Sponsons are generally leave, as anything except Heavy bolters are either too random, too expensive, or has too few shots to make up for the loss of Ballistic Skill when moving. The exception to this is your Tank Commander or Pask, as they can more reliably hit on the move.
    • One of the advantages to a mech Guard list is that it will be one of the few times your dudes can get the first turn without seizing the initiative.
  • A note on list building: You can, and realistically SHOULD be running a Brigade-sized (3 HQ, 3 Elites, 6 Troop, 3 Fast Attack, and 3 Heavy Support) detachment in your Guard army, with every single required force org slot having a unit that can be taken for under 45 points. Company commanders are only 30, Platoon commanders 20, infantry squads 40, Scout Sentinels with multilasers 45, and Heavy Weapons mortar teams at 24. For just under 600 points you're getting 75 meat bags and 3 ration cans, but more importantly you're getting +9 Command points before you're even half way done with a 2000 point list. Start with this basic set up, and then season to your personal preference. Just keep in mind that with 18 drops (before dedicated transports), this sort of army will very rarely get first turn.


Elysian tactics

This section focuses on tactics for Elysians. That means armies entirely made up by Elysian forces or where the majority of points/models/focus is spent on the Elysians. If you are just splashing a couple of deepstrikers in your blob/astropath list then it's probably better to post it in the general strategy section above. In any case, exercise some common sense.

  • Deep-strike lots of veterans: If we are talking basic strategy and Elysians it takes a moderately intelligent individual about 60 sec of looking through the rules to think of this strategy. Everything has access to aerial drop? Plasma guns fire at full effectiveness in the allowed drop zone? Veterans get 3 plasma guns per squad? Since our answers is yes, yes and yes we realize that deepstriking veterans with special weapons is a good idea. While a straight forward strategy it takes some clever list building to get something where we can overwhelm our enemy. We want a good balance between useful but cheap units on the boards as this will allow us to aerial drop more veterans, I recommend reading the section above called "Anchors" for suggestions and an explanation of why we want these units. Now slam a bunch of buffing characters in there, command squads and veterans and go to town! If you min/max with cyber wolves, tarantulas etc, you should be able to deep-strike between 14-20 units in a sweet combination of buffing characters and bs 3+ squads with good density of plasma guns.
    • A note on balance: Spam plasma guns. You can't go wrong. If you want the odd cases where something may outperform plasma check the weapons header above for more thorough analyzes.
    • I want friends: A great aspect of this list is that it is very fluffy at its core. If you are playing friendly, narrative etc games then just tone it down. Don't take cyber wolves as fast attack, take tauros venators. Don't just spam out heavy bolter tarantulas and mortar teams, throw a vulture in there. Maybe it is kind of harsh to play veterans in your gaming group, mix in special weapon teams.
    • Veterans are actually less cost efficient than Special Weapons Teams - to the point that you will easily use up all 18 elites slots in 3 vanguard detachments well before you reach 2000 points, even if you stay in-faction for your Fast Attack slots and take Venators instead of Cyberwolves as your anchors. One thing you can spend your excess points on is Vultures, who are very expensive anchors, but are durable as fuck and enjoy raping infantry in their spare time.
  • Command Squads? Command Squads!: Ok so while the idea of placing a ton of veterans in tactical reserve is like the definition of what Elysians do Command Squads are slightly different. The same principles as above generally apply. We will want a pile of anchors on the ground letting us aerial drop a ton of special weapons and fucking up our opponents' stuff. The veteran strategy utilizes the minimum amount of company commanders and a ton of veterans (of course buying one command squad for every company commander) and a few officers of the fleet. This list goes more or less exclusively for command squads as our aerial dropping special weapons. So instead of taking a minimum amount of company commanders we will take a lot of them. And for each company commander we will take a platoon commander. Now the platoon commander will join our ground troops, so he is unlocking an extra command squad and is then relegated to anchor duty. This will, in principle, give your company commanders 2 command squads each to buff (you don't need all squads to get buffed in reality). The thought here is that we will get more cost effective deep striking plasma (even after accounting for the officer tax). We will generally try going into 1 brigade + 2 vanguard detachments with this strategy. That buys us up to 20 elite slots and up to 9 hq slots. We quickly see that this would let us buy up to 14 command squads (9 company commanders + 5 platoon commanders = 14 command squads). If you think that's a tad light you may want to shoot for 2 brigades + 1 vanguard (22 elite and 12 hq slots) which would give us up to 17 command squads. That is 12 company commanders and 5 platoon commanders. Do note that at this point we are paying something like 600 points for infantry squads to fill out the troop slot and 630 points for officers (we get 22 command points though). We won't go that extreme though since we want a few officers of the fleet so we may end up with a veteran squad or two. What we gain is a more potent ground force to fight for us. Any officers we dont "need" for deepstriking will augment our ground forces increasing their damage output and/or mobility.
    • I want friends: This is not that kind of list. This is not fluffy, it is striving to min/max and optimize everything paying NO head to the backstory of Elysians or the other players enjoyment. If you are playing friendly/narrative games or any sort of game where you have not before hand agreed to a no holds barred dirty fucking fight.
    • It's not as bad as you think, because all of those brigades force you to take troops, and our troops are, fundamentally speaking, overcosted garbage by Imperial Guard standards if they footslog. If you go out of faction for troops (e.g. non-Elysian conscripts), that's where you'll start obviously maximizing your cheese, but bear in mind this still isn't that bad, since none of your officers will be able to tell your conscripts what to do, which robs them of all of their bite. Because Elysians can't take conscripts in-faction and non-Elysians can't deep strike their shit, there's really no way to go balls-deep on the deepstriking plasma cheese with command squads and come out ahead (command squads are an incredibly inefficient order target).
  • Maximum Plasma: Fairly straightforward; take nothing but Vanguard detachments. Each detachment's contents can vary somewhat, but the basic concept is that you buy THB Tarantulas, Tauros Venators, and HQs (Primaris Psykers for psyker support, or Commanders for Command Squads + Orders, although this is MSU style, so orders aren't terribly efficient) as your main anchors (the HQ anchors can ride in a Valkyrie or Vendetta, which is, itself, an anchor, allowing you to take one less "HQ tax"), then Plasma Command Squads and Plasma Special Weapon Squads as your drops in the Elites slots, with one Elites slot in each detachment going to an Officer of the Fleet for the MSU style re-rolls you need on your plasma. This is typically so efficient, you can then easily afford tailoring after the fact, as you will have so many points left over - for example, you can easily afford at 2000 points to fit a Vulture in as a replacement anchor for an HQ.
    • Valkyries vs Vendettas: Both have garbage BS, so you probably want a Valkyrie, which means you want lascannons on your Venators - in principle, you can instead field multilaser Venators with a Vendetta, but the improved multilaser output won't do much since the rest of the army can already handle good multilaser targets; lascannon Venators might actually hit something, in contrast. Remember, all of your vehicles are buffed by the Officers of the Fleet when shooting ground targets.
    • Whether or not you put a pair of Heavy Bolters on your Valkyrie/Vendetta will probably be a function of whether you went for Commanders or Psykers, as the Commanders will want the HB's points to upgrade Special Weapons squads to Command squads.
    • Avoid temptations like full-on Veteran squads. The only time you should field Veterans is with an attached Officer in a Valkyrie/Vendetta to pull off the assault grenades trick. You can modify this list to do that, of course - you'll just be giving up some sweet, sweet plasma to do so, and you'll be using an Elite as an anchor, so plan accordingly.
    • The reason you're not filling up on Command Squads is simply the assumption that you're not supposed to be able to, as the RAW does not limit Elysia or Krieg from spamming Command Squads, unlike every other Regiment, including Militarum Tempestus. In a context where you know Command Squad spam is legal, obviously just field that for maximum plasma.
  • I just want to play with model aircraft Well it sucks to be you because it turns out in the rule-book faq that you automatically lose the game if you only have aircraft remaining in play. Nah I am just screwing with you. While aircraft no longer count towards having units on the board for determining whether or not you have been wiped off the board this is only relevant after the first game round (after you and your opponents first turn). Games workshop did not screw us over while sill managing to wreck the storm raven and hemlock spam. So this really falls in to two categories, one where we actually transport our dudes in Valkyries and vendettas and one where we transport our dudes in "high-flying Valkyries" aka waiting to aerial drop them. In principle the first kind gives up a bit of its air power to get more out of the grunts, primarily flamer and melta wielding grunts. The second kind focuses a bit more on effective aircraft and settles for the regular plasma shenanigans.
    • Ride of the Valkyries: The name is on the nose but you will spend a lot of points on Valkyries and vendettas. First turn you will hopefully rush these birds up the field and disembark grunts with devastating effect on your enemy. Its probably worth bringing a few other kinds of aircraft so you keep some teeth after the primary strike when disembarking. Vultures are fucking amazing value and lightnings/thunderbolts are good tank hunters while the avenger lands somewhere in the middle.
    • Broken arrow: Name is inspired by the phrase from "We were soldiers". Here we are aerial dropping almost all of our stuff. To be honest this is the way I prefer running my aircraft heavy Elysian. I feel like the vulture and avenger/lightning/thunderbolt complement plasma veterans very well. Look at it like this, we are already paying for the privilege to aerial drop our stuff. And while you may imagine we should have a discount for taking transport aircraft we do not. I usually go for about 6 aircraft, with the rest of the points spent on veterans and anchors. Make sure you bring an officer of the fleet to play his part as a force multiplier. Depending on the opponent its not always best to hit him head on. Some times it can be very beneficial to hold back the bulk of your infantry as the threat of deep-strike may keep the enemy wrapped in his little corner. In objective based missions this can be absolutely devastating as spending 3 turns not moving out often makes it difficult to win objective-based games. I many cases this is an in-your-face army. Flyers rush up the field, tons of veterans fall down next to their targets, officers of the fleet mark targets for you. If all goes well you will weaken the opponent to the point where you can blunt his counter attack. Just remember the "aircraft don't count when you check if you are tabled" rule. Spreading out some snipers and mortars in your deployment zone is often enough so that you opponent cant easily get to everything.
  • "Mechanized" Elysians: Mechanized Elysians are a thing, at least in the fluff. There are references to entire drop regiments deploying in a barren landscape to fight speed freak orks (it's from an imperial armour book, I believe it's volume 8: kastorel-novem, but not entirely sure). To keep up with the orks, pretty much the entire regiment deployed in tauri supported by aircraft. Now, the regiment ended up being absolutely wrecked in the fighting (not unusual for the brave Elysians) and this strategy is not really about going no holds barred but rather about recreating something cool from the backstory. So we basically load up on a bunch of tauros vehicles, for most of us that means venators since assault vehicles are not available any more. We also get our mandatory hq-choices, command squads to with them, a few officers of the fleet, at least enough veterans to not squander our company commander orders and then get some aircraft. This is basically a list with a few deepstriking infantry units, and a bunch of vehicles. Officers of the fleet buff your stuff and then we use our mobility to try and outmaneuver the opponent. It may not be the most powerful list out there but vultures do a good job against infantry and venators with lascannons do a number on heavy armour. Deepstriking plasma guns should complement this nicely allowing you to apply a lot of force in one place or spread it out exactly where you need it.
  • The infantry squad surround: A complement to any cohesive Elysian strategy that includes deep-striking infantry squads, the one thing that Elysian infantry squads do better than anyone else in the game. Drop 1-2 squads + 1 company commander down 9" away surrounding a vehicle as best you can (this vehicle has to be kind of isolated in order for this to work without lucky advance rolls). In the shooting phase give them the order to move. This lets them move between 7-12". Use the move to surround an enemy vehicle, making it impossible for the models inside to make a legal disembark. Once they are surrounded, give the transport hell with your shooting and smile when your opponent realizes all those terminators (or Custodes or whatever) are now automatically dead.


Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
Imperium Space Marines (7th) • Blood Angels (7th) • Dark Angels (7th) • Deathwatch (7th) • Grey Knights (7th) • Space Wolves (7th) • Adeptus MechanicusImperial Guard (7th) • Sisters of Battle
Chaos Chaos Space Marines (7th) • Chaos Daemons (7th)
Eldar Eldar(7th) • Dark Eldar (7th) • Harlequins (7th)
Necrons Necrons (7th)
Orks Orks (7th)
Tau Tau (7th6th)
Tyranids Tyranids (7th) • Genestealer Cults (7th)