Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Guard/Armoured Battlegroup(7E)
Do you like Tanks? I mean REALLY like Tanks? Then this list is for you! All tanks, all the time.
As you probably already know, the tanks of the Imperial Guard are some the best ones in the entire game. Many a list are geared towards getting as many Leman Russes on the board to protect your squishy Guardsmen, and are practically needed to really succeed with the army.
For this reason, this army can be a fucking pain to an enemy who are ready to take on a lot of squishy Guardsmen, and get a fucking platoon of Lemans on their ass. Then again, if you get countered by an anti-tank army, like Eldar or Necrons, if build as most people build them, you're in for a tough ride.
Additionally, you can now piss on all those Marine lists with Grav out the butt and show them just what the good ol' workhorses can do, to show that the Monstrous Nightmare isn't still the only thing to fear in 7th Ed.
- 1 Why Play Imperial Guard Armoured Companies
- 2 Warlord Traits
- 3 Special Rules
- 4 Unit Analysis
- 5 Should you bother?
- 6 Tactics
- 7 Allies
Why Play Imperial Guard Armoured Companies
First things first: "Normal" Guard armies get access to nearly all the same unit options as you do, though you can create a Battle-Forged army of tanks without so many taxes. It does mean that unless you field a lot of tanks, you may find that playing "normal guard" could be the more effective way to go.
- Every single unit will use an Armour Value somewhere, making them largely immune to S3 and S4 weapons (depending on the position of certain vehicles), meaning that your opponent's compulsory Troops (or "Core") purchases get to sit around scratching their heads as you drive by.
- Squadrons of Leman Russes that can secure objectives in Combined Arms Battle-Forged lists. Watch your opponent squirm with barely restrained RAGE when you park three Demolishers on an objective and dare him to take it from you.
- More high strength pie plates than any other army.
- Due to plastic tanks, most of the units can be acquired without resorting to Forgeworld.
- Generally speaking, you'll have little to nothing to do in the Assault phase, and may have to watch in horror as your opponent casually latches meltabombs to your hulls. Even your units that can fight really won't stand a chance.
- Without allies, you will have no psychic phase, or any form of defense against incoming psychic powers.
- Leman Russ squadrons contribute to overkill, meaning that although you may certainly kill what you shoot at, firepower can go to waste.
- Shit Stormtroopers.
- No relics.
- Lack of cheap infantry options means that you'll suffer for every unit you lose on the battlefield.
Aside from the unique warlord traits named character possess (detailed below), the Warlord Traits for Armored Battle Group Tank Commanders are as follows:
- Night Fighter: Automatically Night Fighting on the first turn, with no need to roll. Meh.
- Disciple of Macharius: A single vehicle squadron gains Outflank and Acute Senses. Pretty good, a good way to CREEEED! Hellhounds or Demolishers into advantageous positions.
- Icon of Imperial Glory: Friendly units are Stubborn within 12" of the Warlord. Decent, especially when combined with regular guard tarpit blobs. Add a Commissar tank nearby to boost their leadership to 10.
- Tip of the Spear: Warlord and all units within 12" can add D6 to Flat Out moves. Not bad, but not very exciting.
- Armored Assault: The Warlord is a scoring unit. In 7E this should mean they get Objective Secured. It's always nice to have more superscoring units.
- Steel Juggernaut: Gain a Victory Point for each enemy vehicle destroyed with a Ramming attack. Awful, as your warlord should generally be sitting in the backfield in a Vanquisher.
Overall interesting, but not nearly as flexible as the base Guard warlord traits. Sadly, you MUST take them; you can't even roll d3 on the main Guard table. For this reason it's probably a good idea to have your warlord be something, or someone, else.
Armoured Battlegroup Arsenal
It's Imperial Guard tanks! They are big, boxy and gothic, so they need big, boxy and gothic upgrades. Armoured Battlegroup delivers.
- Mine Plough: - Dozer Blade on steroids. Not only does it help passing dangerous terrain on any speed (why does this even matter, DBs don't care about vehicle speed anyway), it also allow you to smash a few unlucky soldiers with tank shock. Though, its nowhere near destroyer blades or the (formerly, Defrollas got nerfed in 7th) almighty defrolla, with S2 and only D3+1 hits.
- Artificer Hull: - +1HP. Only available on certain HQ vehicles. (and the Commissar tank, which was named "Ablative Armour" but has been fixed by the FAQ) Will help if your opponent tries to glance your tank to death, but near useless against melta and railguns.
- Armoured Track Guards: 4+ save against immobilization. Cheap and they work. Take them if you're cross terrain driver and "just" mine plough just isn't doing it for ya.
- Improved Comms: Extra 6" of order reach. With 24" already you won't need it, unless you have some devious plan, which include outflanking Demolisher squadron (for which you need to roll a random warlord trait anyway).
- Was also FAQ'd to include a +1 to reserve rolls when rolling for the unit that bought it, seeing as how a +6" command radius is useless to EVERY other unit that has the option of taking it.
- Anti-grenade Mesh: 5+ invuln against grenades. Good on short range tanks, which get krak grenaded a lot, but again useless against melta. Actually, pretty useful against haywire grenades, but you should smack yourself on the back of the head if you allowed enemy troops to close on your softly rear-armored tanks anyway.
- Anti-aircraft-mount heavy stubber / storm bolter: As a weapon, it's garbage. Only can be useful for maybe glancing AV10 flyers and lucky-wounding FMC-s but your units can't split fire so using it means your tanks aren't shooting at ground targets. Real anti-aircraft firepower can be found elsewhere in the list. That said, it is certainly useful as another way to keep a useful weapon from being destroyed if you get a bad result on the Vehicle damage table, ask Space Marines about why they buy storm bolters for their Vindicators.
Specific tank upgrades
Special munitions available to your Company Command Tank or your Commissar Tanks. Think of these as your special issue wargear options that characters get in other armies:
- Illum Shells (all LR's with shell cannons): Big blast searchlights. Not really worth it, considering you have searchlights on Chimeras and Hellhounds, and that you should sacrifice main gun shooting in order to use this shells.
- Augur Shells (LR Conqueror): Entropic Touch! Woo! Well Kinda... it's far worse. Works only on pen/glance rather than hit and the gun itself is just S8, so it can't be used to drop almighty AV14 down. It also has Gets Hot! so there's a risk of you glancing yourself to death while using them. Finally, it loses its blast template, so you can only hit a single target and you may miss (though this is mitigated by BS4 and the co-axial weapon).
- Considering the FAQ: Conqueror Cannons were upgraded to S8 AP3 Blast anyway, so Augur Shells have turned into 20 points of "meh"
- Infernus Shells (LR Battle Tank): Big blast of heavy flamer hits. Make those Hellhounds cry in tears of jealousy. By taking these rounds you basically get standard Leman Russ with a Leman Russ Eradicator built-in.
- Beast Hunter Shells (LR Vanquisher): Instant. Fucking. Death. Known to fuck Tyranid and Daemon armies (even more). Bonus points for one-shoting Mephiston, Dreadknight or the Swarmlord. This is the bane of Eldar Wraithknight manbarbie spam, though it has suffered with the Wraithknight becoming a Gargantuan Creature.
- Co-axial Heavy Stubber (LR Vanquisher): Coaxial bonuses are great. Take it! There is also a stormbolter variant, but with lower range and fewer shots. Since you're only using it to pick out targets for your main gun you'd need to be a lobotomized idiot to prefer a bolter over a stubber.
Like in regular IG regiments, your officers can issue orders on their units, but only for Leman Russes, Thunderers, Salamanders, Destroyers and Hellhounds. (NOT Artillery, Transports or Hydras) They work on a flat dice roll of 4+ which is not great, but if you roll a 6 then you can attempt to roll another order as well, and your order bubble has a 24" range which IS awesome.
- Concentrated Fire: Force opponent to reroll cover saves, almost doubling average kill count of your low-AP big blast tanks. It's your main order, and outside of Eradicators and heavy flamers your only real way around cover on your tanks. Use it. Cherish it.
- Erratic Maneuvers: Force opponent to reroll to hit rolls in melee against the ordered squadron. Errata dictates that only one meltabomb/haywire grenade may be used per squad per phase. Your tanks won't evaporate in melee now, and this order doubles their survivability. Consider it.
- Full speed ahead!: Extra D3 of flat out move. This order is mostly useless now, since Leman Russes can't flat out, and Hellhounds are Fast, meaning they flat out 12" already, which is more than enough. The only vehicles this is really useful for are the Thunderer, Salamander, and Destroyer Tank Hunter.
Just like in regular guard armies your HQ infantrymen can issue orders. Though your basic command squad is only a junior officer unless you upgrade it.
Still requires you to pass a leadership test in order to successfully use them. There are two special rules for rolling doubles of certain kinds:
- Inspired Tactics: Roll 2D6 like you would for any Orders test. On a double one, all Orders for the rest of the turn automatically pass.
- Incompetent Command: Roll 2D6. On a double six, you cannot issue orders for the rest of your turn. It is not pretty when a blob squad fails to issue remaining orders when Genestealers/Boyz/melee deathstar units are bearing down on you.
The orders are as follows:
- Bring it Down! - Senior Officers only. Grants a squad Tank Hunters/Monster Hunters when engaging a Monstrous Creature(s)/Enemy Vehicle(s).
- Fire on my Target! - Senior Officers only. Grants a squad ignores cover ability. Suck it Tau, Orks, and Dark Eldar! Due to the specific wording, it also applies to Jink saves, because a Jink save just gives a vehicle a 4+ cover save. Dark Eldar Cardboard boxes, Jetbikers, and Eldar Skimmers can kiss their asses goodbye.
- Get Back in the Fight! - Senior Officers only. Lets you basically get a squad that's falling back or gone to ground to instantly regroup. If the unit was falling back, it does not make a 3" move like it normally would.
- First Rank, FIRE! Second Rank, FIRE! - Your most frequently issued order, Rank Fire basically gives your Guardsmen an additional shot if they are using Lasguns or Hot-Shot Lasguns. There are few things that match the expression of the opponent's face when you get to roll 28 dice at the same time, which means that even at BS3 and Strength 3 (and possibly AP3 in the case of hotshot lasguns), the enemy is in the sea of possible pain. Use with combined squads for extra hilarity, and don't forget to ask your opponent if you can borrow his dice.
- Move! Move! Move! - The targeted squad must Run, and chooses the highest result of three dice when doing so. For example, you want to run with a big blob and contest an objective? Your odds of making it within 3" are now better.
- Smite at Will! - The Targeted Squad makes a shooting attack with the Split Fire special rule. Useful if you forgot to make a separate Heavy Weapon Squad with a specialized weapon set.
- Forwards, for the Emperor! - The Targeted Squad makes a shooting attack and must immediately Run after making it. This is how you move those heavy weapon teams and still get their regular shots. Alternatively, move your guardsmen out of the way of your Tank so an enemy unit cannot declare 5+ cover from intervening models, squeeze off shots with this order, then bubble-wrap the tank again with the run move.
- Suppressive Fire! - The Targeted Squad makes a shooting attack with the Pinning special rule. Due to the new Ork Mob rule and their horrendous Ld7, you are now matched with Eldar for anti-Ork capabilities by combining this order with your lasguns. Otherwise, all other armies have fearless or too high Ld for Pinning to really work.
- Take Aim! - The Targeted Squad makes a shooting attack with the Precision Shots special rule. With 7th edition, it has been clarified to need a 6 to land a precision shot. Useful for piling up large amounts of wounds on a sergeant or model with a special weapon you don't want near your stuff, or pick out Chariot drivers in case someone was playing Daemons and thought that seeker cavalcade was a good idea.
- Company Command Tank: Your command vehicle, the company command tank has the ability to give orders to your other tanks in the same way that infantry command squads do, allowing them to better smash the enemy. Your command tank can be any of the standard Leman Russ variants, and comes with an improved BS. However it is expensive, so don’t go overboard giving it upgrades.
- Armoured Company command/commissar tanks can bring their own special BS4 version of the Vanquisher, with a co-ax Heavy Stubber giving TL BS4 shots out to 36", and Beast Hunter Shells, a S8 AP2 small blast causing instant FUCKING death, and an extra hull point. You're allowed to ally an AC list to Codex IG: - Bring one Vanq command Russ (req HQ), one Vanq commissar Russ (opt Elite - plus all IG units within 6" of hull have Ld10. Stop your cowards fleeing off the objectives), and then use your required troop slot on that other Russ you were going to bring anyway... but with better upgrade options. Now you have 3 Russes with all of your Heavy Support slots free for some interesting alternatives. (Super mega-death loadout: BS4, 4HP, TL Beasterhunter/AT Vanq shells, Lascannon, 2 Multimeltas. 250pts but you will fuck any goddamn tank or MC that looks at you sideways. Just don't get shot up the arse. Place commissar tank (Ld10 bubble) near cowardly heavy weapons teams in a defence line fortification for a maximum dakka outpost)
- Armoured Fist Command Squad: It's a Platoon Command Squad in a Chimera. You can also upgrade it to be a Company Command Squad, but with no option for a medic or any regimental advisors. Comes with the Senior/Junior Officer rule so you can issue "normal" orders to those infantrymen you brought with you to shore up your objectives.
- Salamander Reconnaissance Commander: It's fragile and poorly-armed, but it's not designed to shoot or be shot at. What it is designed for is causing massive amounts of Not as Planned. In particular, you can use its built-in auspex to reduce enemy cover saves, then order concentrated fire to mess with them even more. Suddenly those weaboo 3+ cover save tanks aren't that imposing.
- Captain Obadiah Schfeer: A contradiction. He's riding in a Vanquisher, but he doesn't have Beasthunter Shells and his Warlord Trait penalizes enemy Leadership tests in a 12" bubble, which makes him an expensive command tank that's outperformed by specialized command tank builds.
- Colonel 'Snake' Stranski: A Command Squad in a Chimera, which counts as Scoring, and the Colonel can fire his twin-linked plasma pistols without using up one of the tank's fire points. Cool, but not really worth the cost, especially as he lacks the Senior Officer rule and is thus unable to issue orders.
- General Grizmund: Fantastic. Very expensive, but he can give a Troops Russ squadron BS4 for no additional cost and friendly tanks within 12" reroll the first missed roll to hit every Shooting phase (note that this only really affects Vanquishers and Punishers; every other tank either rolls scatter, meaning the ability doesn't work, or they're already twin-linked on the primary gun). Park him and some friends in a spot with good vision and blast the living daylights out of anything that pokes its head above ground. He combos best with Vanquishers; Master-Crafted BS4 will score a hit almost 90% of the time. With a 6-foot range, your squadron of can openers can turn any vehicle on the board inside out.
- Commissar Tank: Basically a CCT with orders replaced with Lord-Commissar-esque Leadership bubble. Actually, it's better, since Lord Commissars only affect Morale, Pinning, and Fear tests; this guy just makes everybody within 6" LD10. Even without orders BS4 Russes are great. See Command Tank entry for details of extreme 'Nid destruction, and useful ways to hold your home objectives with the Ld10 bubble these guys give.
- Tactical Note: In addition to orders, there are several Imperial Guard units that roll against their personal Leadership stat to activate a special ability (Ministorum Priest's War Hymns, the Master of the Fleet's reserve roll trickery, et cetera; because their attached unit isn't making the test, they can't use the Ld of other, 'braver' models), and this big hunk of Commissariat steel is the only way to boost them. Keeping a Commissar Vanquisher in your gunline can work wonders.
- Destroyer Tank Hunter Squadron: Destroyers aren't bad per se. They have a Strength 9, 72" range, Ordnance cannon (well, laser array), which will demolish most of what it hits in one shot. The problem is in comparison to the Leman Russ Vanquisher, which has the same range and only Strength 8, but also gets an extra d6 of armour penetration and sponson weapons. Oh, and they have Lumbering Behemoth, which means they can keep up a decent pace while laying down a large amount of firepower. And you can take a lot more Vanquishers than you can Destroyers. Of course, although Vanquishers are the more efficient tank hunting choice.
- Mathematically the Vanquisher is around 2-3%~ less likely to destroy vehicles AV13 or worse, but has a greater chance of destroying AV14, without even factoring in the possibility of the coaxial re-rolls. With the introduction of Rapier Batteries DTH's small edge has dulled considerably as you can get basically the same gun, but in a T7 W2 3+Sv package that costs 40 points and is twin-linked.
- Atlas Recovery Tank: Ironically, the Atlas is kinda terrible at what it's made to do, which is towing tanks. Basically, you can tow an immobilized tank d6+2", or d3+2" if it's a Heavy vehicle. You can also tow immobile gun platforms and the like. For 85 points, this is basically counter-productive. Sure, you can get into better positions, but it's not like you'll get there very fast. Also, both tanks can only make Snap Shots while towing, not to mention you're putting another potential kill point on the table while lessening the possibility of killing something.
- However, there is one really big caveat that makes it worth considering: Tech-Priest Enginseers within 6" can reroll failed Blessings of the Omnissiah repair rolls, and they can make a second repair attempt, which can be on a different tank than the first one. This makes Enginseers incredibly efficient, but you're still dropping 85 points on a fairly pointless tank. Unless you are fielding super-heavies, in which case it's good idea to glue a tech-priest with Atlas and 2 servitors to the superheavy's rear armorplate for those 2 recovered hull points per turn.
- Armoured Fist Storm Trooper Squad: Stormtrooper squad with a Chimera. However, unlike Scions they don't Move Through Cover or Deep Strike (this was amended in the FAQ, now they're a 140 point sink for five men). Consider allying in Scions if you want these guys as you're wasting Elite slots which could otherwise be spent on cooler tanks.
- This can be a good option if you just want some AP3 goodness without the HQ tax. However, any "tax" for Scions is incredibly low. The points cost for a single commissar and a squad of Scions is 95 before factoring in upgrades. That's already a 55 point saving on the "free" Chimera that the Armoured Fist Troopers get have to fork out for, while allowing you to Deep Strike.
- Tech-Priest Enginseer: Here to fix your shit. Hide him behind a tank wall, give him servitor retinue and pair him with Atlas for maximum effectiveness. You can get two per FOC, and they do not steal your Elite slots. That and they can take a Trojan which buffs your tanks.
- Trojan Support Tank: It's basically a 35 pt. Chimera with AV 10 on all sides and only six transport slots. It also has the Support Vehicle special rule; a single Tank or artillery model within 6" gets the Preferred Enemy (Everything!) USR. It's cool and all, and definitely a good way to tow your Enginseers around, so it definitely merits inclusion, but it's not such an amazing force multiplier as to be an auto-include. Except again, unless you have super heavy that could use some preferred enemy rerolls, namely dual-turbo laser Warhound Titan and Stormlord and suchlike. Also if you have Destroyer weapons remember that Preferred Enemy lets you reroll those annoying "get out of jail free" 1's when resolving Destroyer attack table results. For a list with Leman Russ Executioners, a tech-priest in one of these can allow you to happily melt Terminators without too much worrying about glancing yourself to death.
- Battle Tank Squadron: AV-10-rear type of Russes. Squadroned. In troops. See IG tactica for details.
- Siege Tank Squadron: AV-11-rear type of Russes. Squadroned. In troops. See IG tactica for details. Note that these tanks include the Vindicator on Stereoids (also called as Thunderer Siege Tank) which makes Spess Marines cry tears of jealousy. Grab it while you can, lads! Also it includes the demolisher at the 6th ed IG cuodex point cost - a *big* improvement, and the Executioner, while more expensive at 170 points basic, loses Gets Hot! on the main gun, which is much more better.
- Armoured Fist Squad: Guardsman in Chimeras. Here to score your objectives. Protect them, because you can't spam a lot of warm bodies like regular guard. Altho if you really want warm bodies, then just ally with standard Imperial Guard for those infantry blobs. It's 7th edition and no one plays single armies anymore!
- Armoured Fist Veterans: Starting out as FIVE "better" guardsman with either a Centaur or a Chimera as a transport. However, if you're just looking for MSU then regular Armoured Fist squads are five points cheaper for five extra pairs of boots on the ground. What veterans offer is better customisation and with proper upgrades they can protect themselves and even dish out some hurt. Now gain Tank Hunters for free with new FAQ, making plasma guns even more deadly.
- Scout Sentinel Squadron: Dirt cheap mobile outflanking guns on legs. Die the moment your opponent looks at them, so be sure to use their shots wisely.
- Armoured Sentinel Squadron: Less cheap mobile guns on legs, but this time with solid AV12 on front. They die too, but not as fast as their scout brothers. Can also be useful for screening your tanks, in case you don't want to hide them behind an Aegis line.
- Imperial Navy Gunship Squadron: Vendetta or Vulture squadron. Only one per FOC, so choose carefully. Basically auto-include. These are the classic Vendettas at 125 pts and 12 transport capacity aka 50 pts cheaper and twice as good as the 'modern' versions from the IG Codex . You also get access to Navy upgrades such as flares/chaff granting a one off 4++ and 'Distinctive Paint Scheme' allowing one unit to reroll a failed leadership test once per game.
- Tauros Strike Squadron:
Nota fluffy choice for Armoured Battlegroup (ever seen a scout humvee?), however Hellhounds/Infernus shell Battle Tanks tend to be better at burning the shit out of cover campers. Lascannon equipped Venators with HKMs can be good at vehicle sniping though, but you've got more then enough anti-tank in this list
- Salamander Recon Squadron: This thing combines the outflanking tricks of Tauroses/Scout Sentinels with Chimera-level armour and weapons. Overall a good choice, useful for glancing opponents' artillery and vindicators side/rear armor to death.
- Hellhound Squadron: It's Hellhounds, Bane Wolves and Devil Dogs. Nothing has changed, so use them as vanilla ones - to kill things with fire, melt down cover camping MEQ's and evaporate TEQ's or tightly packed vehicles respectively.
- Hydra Flak Tank Battery: The most cost-effective ground-based anti-air in the game. Love it. Use it. Park it in cover, because enemy flyers WILL try to blast it the turn they come from reserve. Yeah, the lack of Interceptor sucks, but you can't complain for 75 pts.
- Ordnance Battery: Vanilla Basilisks and Medusae.
- Griffon Strike Battery: Cheap, but in this case you get what you pay for. Grossly underarmed by comparison to the rest of your artillery. Still, they are very accurate as they basically get Twin-linked for free.
- Colossus Bombard Battery: Powerful shot (AP3 and Ignores Cover on a Large Blast), but expensive and comes with a crippling minimum range of 24". Use carefully. S6 and ordnance so it has the potential to explode light vehicles, glance heavy vehicles (barrage weapons hit side armor) and cause massive amounts of tears from certain somebody as his beloved ultrasmurfs explode without chance to save or take cover. Remember to yell "DANGER CLOSE" as you fire at an enemy who is 6" away from your own meatbags for extra dramatic effect.
- Armoured Fist Heavy Weapons Squad: Three Heavy Weapon teams and a Chimera. You can't hide them inside a combined infantry squad unfortunately. but you can get Skyfire on the missile launchers and you can also buy a Vox Caster for in case you brought a Command Squad HQ choice.
- There are a few errors with the unit entry which haven't been corrected in the FAQ: Like the ability to buy Frag Grenades when they already have them. But also the fact that although they start with Mortars, the text says you must arm them (not replace) with another heavy weapon. Which if taken RAW means each team gets two weapons. Remember even if you are argumentative enough to get your opponent to agree to it, the team is still just one model and can't actually fire both weapons from the same base in the same turn.
- Armoured Fist Cyclops Demolition Squad: Slow and squishy. Don't bother. Unless you play in cityfighting scenario against eldar or space marines, in which case take some for the lols.
- Imperial Navy Air Support: Standard Thunderbolt, Lightning, and Avenger. They can all be kitted out to take down flyers or infantry fairly effectively, plus they come with Deep Strike to get into just the right fire arc. Note that lightning gets shot down the moment when someone looks at it so maximize the first strike potential.
Lord of War Units
- BANEBLADES!! Also Weismann. Standard issue Baneblades and variants. Hellhammer for cityfighting, Shadowsword to pop LoW units etc
- Maximilian Weisemann: Comes with the custom Baneblade Arethusa, which he grants BS4, the ability to ignore Crew Stunned and Crew Shaken results on a 4+, and the ability to twin-link one of the weapons. Seeing as the main cannon already has a coaxial autocannon, this can mean a twin-linked Baneblade Cannon and a twin-linked Demolisher Cannon if you're feeling lucky. Expensive, but if you're shelling out for a standard Baneblade it's not that much more.
- Malcador Battle Tank Good Leman Russ 2.0 for 100pts extra cost. Serves best as scare and bait for the enemy since it basically has the same firepower as regular Russ.
- Malcador Infernus Don't take this thing. Only That Guy fields these. Basically Hellhound that sweeps entire city blocks. While not extremely overpowered, it costs only 280 points which is nothing compared to the carnage it easily causes when it fires.
- Macharius Battle Tank Malcador 2.0, or Baneblade 0.5.1. Does not get a Demolisher Cannon, but gets 5" blast ordnance 2 twin-linked Battle Cannon. 6hp tho so can be squishy.
- Macharius Vanquisher For only 50 extra points, it is basically better than the standard Macharius in every way. Can fire its twin-linked Vanquisher cannon with a Battle Cannon profile or a Vanquisher profile, making it far more flexible. Probably the best variant overall.
- Macharius Vulcan Mounts the Vulcan Mega Bolter, which is just as cool as it sounds. Fires 15 S6 AP3 shots, and if it doesn't move it can fire twice at two different targets. Even at BS3 this will cause serious problems for light vehicles and footslogging MEQs. Tyranids hate this thing.
- Macharius Omega Mounts the Omega pattern plasma blastgun. Basically a more dakka version of the Executioner, the Omega can fire its main weapon as one of two profiles: S7 AP2 Ordnance 3 Large Blast with a maximum range of 60", or S9 AP2 Ordnance 1 Massive Blast Gets Hot! with a maximum range of 72". The only Macharius with an open-topped profile, so park it in cover and melt away.
- Valdor Tank Hunter Destroyer Tank Hunter on steroids. Twin-linked but suffers from the Vanquisher syndrome.
- CRASSUS ARMOURED ASSAULT TRANSPORT What the fuck do you need something with a transport capacity of 35 for, in an army where everything has a dedicated transport?
- Crassus Mobile Missile Artillery A.K.A nuclear gatling artillery. Chooses from 3 types of ammo at the start of the game. Just dont let anything hit it.
- Dominus Siege Bombard the win button. 3-hit Strength 10, AP 3 Apocalyptic Barrage that can hit anything in a 45° arc in front of it if it sits, or a single Large Blast between 12 and 36 inches away if it moves. Comes with a sponson. Great for forcing Reanimation Protocols and mowing down Canoptek Harvests.
- Gorgon Armored Assault Transport Just No. If it could carry Demolishers, maybe .
- Minotaur Siege Artillery If you find a genuine model, pat yourself to the back. Basilisk with extra cannon for dakka purposes. Might not be worth LoW slot but it's nostalgia so who cares!
- TITANS you know titans. If you don't, you bring dishoneruu to familyy and must immediately commit sudoku.
Should you bother?
First thing you need to consider with the Armoured Battle Group is if you actually want to run them.
7th edition allows you to go 'unbound' allowing for a similar effect as the battle group with none of that "hum, is that a forge world list?" squinting and questionable acceptability, (which sadly may be the defining attribute), so what does the battlegroup offer over standard guard?
Well first thing is obvious, "Objective Secured" on a Leman Russ, allowing you to muscle control of objectives unless another troop with the rule is nearby. The problem is that Leman Russ tanks need to roll up the board to secure the objective, right into melta range. Also, they are very expensive to have baby sitting a home field objective (though admittedly they do have the range for it but at most point levels short of maybe 2,000 you will need everything you got rolling up to get objectives), and further if you're rolling up the board to get objectives you will have to leave you side and rear armor exposed unless you've killed everything, and I mean EVERYTHING as you go, and even your weak points will still be wide open to deep strikers, and with AV10 on the rear, a drop pod of sternguard won't need combi meltas to wreck you. However, if you're daft enough not to take your tanks in pairs so you can bolt them back to back and abuse the squadron rules to have effectively a 14 13 14 vehicle, you may want to reconsider your choice of army.
The "why play" section talks about demolishers on objectives, but the fact is that such a formation would be defeated with guns with ranges longer then 24", or by throwing more then two units at them at a time since tank squadron can't split fire (something the guard can do with HQ commanders). Also having that many short ranged tanks in a single squadron means that as you roll up the board, you honestly not doing that much with those big cannons.
Like the real world, you need infantry to secure ground behind the tanks if only so you don't have a tank babysitting a home field objective and the battle group has the worst infantry in the game. No hyperbole. They may be just like the guard, but they can't be taken in guard style numbers to compensate for that, not to mention other toys you lose out like Ogryns, Ratlings or any form of psyker.
So in return for these weakness, what do you get?
Special shells, tank hunting rule for vets, co-axial guns,Tank orders that might be a bit weaker then the guards version (only rerolling cover I can confidently say is better) in built imperial navy support, which vanilla guard get as well, heavy artillery that GW stripped out that, again forge world gives back to the guard, basically every unique toy the battle group has is also given to the standard guard except the shells and Battle group only special characters.
only best reason to play the battle group is for the Objective Secured Leman Russ, and as covered Leman Russes have issues securing objectives compared to a infantry platoon with five chimera mounted infantry squads, which are faster and each is more disposable and able to sit on a objective not doing anything much easer.
The second best reason is the almost unique ability to apply twin linked blast, area of effect Instant Death USR ap2 hits to everything in the game through the Vanquisher's beast killer shells. With nearly every army in 7th have either a threatening or downright disruptive MC or high toughness choice, the beast killer Vanquisher provides IG with a sturdy and fairly reliable hard counter which happily doubles as a solid anti vehicle option.
Also you get the ability to bring loads of Leman Russes, and loads of heavy ordnance, which would otherwise be capped to 3 (or 9 if you squad 3 russes which is bad move since 3 russes firing at same target is overkill). Basically what that means for 7th edition Armored Battlegroups is this: You cannot fight alone. You need allies, or you need to be ally army to something that has plenty of multiroles, but lack the sheer amount of pieplates and impact that Armored Battlegroup can bring.
Speaking about allies below...
7th edition made all units scoring. What was the past problem with AB armies? Lack of Scoring units! Well now you needn't to worry, squire: your squadron of Leman Russes now count as scoring unit and it even has "Objective Secured!" if you built your force according to default CAD.
However, we live in age where almost all armies have access to some sort of apocalyptic fart-machine that throws S:D blasts everywhere, starting with psykers that choose Sanctic dicipline and ending with Revenant Titan armed with quad-firing S:D pieplates. What this means that army built completely around 7-8 heavily armored tanks might as well be armed with tinfoil and kebab when they are facing a rampaging Imperial Knight or swarm of Broadsides, ready to bear with their 12 S7 AP4 shots. And that means: don't do like the Germans did during WW2 and leave your precious machines of death without infantry cover.
The easiest solution to the problem is: just allying with your buddy buddy Astra Militarum. With that, you get access to bubblewraps and cheap meat to throw into the grinder while your tanks show the enemy what happens when you make poor decisions in life, say like standing in front of trio of Thunderers firing salvo. Consider taking Imperial Knight or two since it's (their) life expectancy is vastly improved with techpriest in Atlas or Trojan glued to it's (their) butt plate(s).
On the other hand, the Armored battle group shines as a ally to another army. As stated they ally like Guard, so any army in the game
(except nids) that takes them as allies can take from a minimum of 2, (HQ and one troop) can take anywhere from 2 up to a max of 11 heavy vehicles counting the artillery from heavy support, commissar tank form elite, and taking air support or Hellhounds/Salamanders (for even more tanks) for fast attack. This howewer sucks a lot of points from your main detachment and only useful in large point games (where you can take double FOC anyway) so any existing army can be beefed up with AV 14 and all the templates you can carry.
Basically the optimum ally AB FOC for tight points cost consists of 1 CCT Vanquisher equipped with BH shells and C-ax stubber, and 1 Thunderer Siege Tank because pieplates and
instant death to manbarbies (Wraithknights are now Gargantuan Creatures, which take d3 wounds from Instant Death effects. Not nearly as effective.) For a few more points, pick up a Commissar Vanquisher for another BS4 tank with a lovely LD10 bubble.
Remember who you're battle brothers with so you can use your Tank orders and leadership ten bubble on allies, namely other guard since marines are all but fearless anyway and tank orders only affect certain types of tanks, none of which marines possess.
An important development is the addition of Genestealer Cult as allies of convenience. They can serve as an immense distraction, think 10 metamorphs with furious charge and str6 base right off the gate. In this role the armored company can serve as a strong ally or you can break out the various strong formations available to the cult. The First Curse and Subterranean Uprising both bring terrific pressure, leaving your tanks a fair bit more defended. And, with the Demolition Claw, you can get your own accurate, if still disastrously close-ranged, mob of pie-plate-flinging tanks, full of relatively faster, harder, and stronger troops (i.e.: Acolyte Hybrids), who don't give up accurate shooting to use said pie-plates.