Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Imperial Guard (9E)
- 1 Why Play Imperial Guard
- 2 Important Rules References
- 3 Special Rules
- 4 Regiments and Regimental Doctrines
- 5 Warlord Traits
- 6 Orders
- 7 Psychic Powers
- 8 Secondary objectives
- 9 Stratagems
- 10 Wargear
- 11 Specialist Detachments
- 12 Unit Analysis
- 12.1 HQ
- 12.2 Troops
- 12.3 Elites
- 12.4 Dedicated Transports
- 12.5 Fast Attack
- 12.6 Flyers
- 12.7 Heavy Support
- 12.8 Lords of War
- 13 Regiments
- 13.1 Armageddon
- 13.2 Cadia
- 13.3 Catachan
- 13.4 Militarum Tempestus
- 13.5 Tallarn
- 13.6 Mordian
- 13.7 Valhalla
- 13.8 Vostroya
- 13.9 Death Korps of Krieg
- 13.10 Elysian Drop Troops
- 14 Tactics
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 a regulation extra large wheelbarrow that allows them to cart their massive brazen balls into battle.
If you play Imperial Guard then you play as the true hero of Warhammer 40,000. You do not lead lethal aliens or unstoppable super-warriors. You lead the conscripted farmer, the gangbanger or the factory stiff with their bulletproof vest and clunky laser rifle and what is implied to be an armoured tractor with a turret bolted to the top; you lead ordinary men and women up against a galaxy that is literally Hell (and in fact it has one). Your victories are spectacular, and your greatest defeats are still moral victories. Imperial Guard-focused stories like Gaunt's Ghosts and the Tanith First and Only are testaments to the very human yet also superhuman bravery and acts of incredible sacrifice Guardsmen perform in the line of duty every day across the galaxy. And if you play Guard then you can play out your own stories too[].
From a gameplay perspective, the 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 both. The army is easy to learn while having a lot of options and tactics being discovered frequently, (Conscript spam is not the most viable option in the Guard army, after all). That's why you play the Imperial Guard.
- Hordes of infantry that can be buffed with force multipliers such as Commissars, Astropaths, Priests and Commanders.
- Dirt cheap troops means you can laugh off the loss of cheap guardsmen or even 30 man conscript squads whereas an elite army cannot.
- Most Special and Heavy weapons are discounted for you in comparison to other Imperial armies, which is great considering how many you can cram into a list and your predominantly BS4+ 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 rarely see an army with more special weapons than Scions.
- Most HQ choices are very affordable which helps mitigate the "HQ tax" of multiple detachments.
- 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. 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 you've got entirely different model options for your guardsmen. This is pointed out in the Codex, with Guard/Admech/Genestealer Cult kitbashes now being canon (as well as Chris Peach’s Empire chaps from White Dwarf).
- 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 you need long-ranged fire support, cheap bodies, or badass flyers.
- Your primary strength is your versatility, so you're not reliant on a single gimmick.
- Guard is one of the strongest armies in the game thanks to high point efficiency, versatile units, and high special/heavy weapon density. Between Scions, Leman Russes being able to secure objectives, and lots of cheap bodies, you'll do quite well when board control is the name of the game (like CA2019 missions).
- Always fun for you and your opponent cause even if they lose they'll always cause a lot of casualities
- Flimsy infantry that can be scythed down en masse by units that the other guy took to fill out a Brigade. What you have in numbers you do not have in resilience; your most common model statline is toughness 3 with a 5+ save. Still some of the toughest models point-for-point, but it practically forces you to buy in bulk. If you took less than 70 Guardsmen, you can reasonably expect them all to be dead by the end of turn two.
- Many of your tank weapons are blast now, so they can get tied up in melee as easily as they did in 8th.
- Your long-ranged artillery options and units that can fire out of sight are priced for a board size that does not exist anymore. Basilisks and Manticores, for instance, will dominate on a large, non-regulation board, but their range will almost certainly be wasted in 9th.
- Comparatively weak in assault. S3 (S4 for Catachans) 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. Our Infantry squads are still better in assault than Battle Sisters, Guardians Defenders, or Termagants point for point. That's before Priests, Fix Bayonets (the single best rule in ALL of the 40K universe!), and Catachan shenanigans. However, individual squads caught in melee alone will fail anyway because...
- Individual units are weak without support from characters and other squads. Synergy is key.
- Anti-infantry weapons will destroy your hordes in short order.
- Anti-tank weapons will destroy your tanks in short order.
- Now stop and think about those above three points. Together, they constitute a major challenge when faced in tandem. Enemies can reap bounteous rewards through good target selection against the IG, and it can be tricky to find ways to deny their efforts. Take a typical mixed-unit army, some infantry and some tanks. There will be times when the enemy can pull off a highly effective attack, pointing their dakka at your infantry and their blasta at your tanks. Some units may have to be sacrificed to an effective enemy - let's say a unit of Sentinels against enemy melta fire - if it means guarding a more important yet similarly vulnerable target - your Leman Russes - until you can wheel a more effective counter unit into place - disposable infantry squads. You can only anticipate so much! The standard wisdom when designing an army is to aim for a uniform defensive approach between units, to prevent easy target practice for the enemy. But the IG are very dependent on synergy, so taking an all-infantry or all tank army is also quite risky! Whether it's a mixed army that demands carefully positioning and tough sacrifices, all-infantry that runs the risk of weak output or all-tank brigades that struggle to shoot fast enough, you've always got a catch when constructing your wall of shooty death.
- Playing Imperial Guard can be tedious. Whether its literally counting out hundreds of dice for shooting (bring bags, and expect to lose some) or spending more than half an hour just deploying your army (movement trays, learn to love them). Fortunately your turns will go by faster once you start piling up casualties.
- Although your units are cheap in points, they're not that cheap in cash, particularly if you buy from Games Workshop, instead of a cheaper source; four maxed out conscript blobs will run you $160, not to mention the difficulty of painting and hauling around 120 3 point bodies, and that's far from the most expensive option. You will want to find a cheaper, alternative source of models, unless you're interested in supporting your FLGS - store owners love new Guard players..... But screw that, currently wargames Atlantic offer some of the cheapest guard building options with models that could be a convincing stand-in for Krieg, Vostroyan and Steel Legion, £25 for 24 men, yes please[]
- You're not GW's favourite children, so not only are new models for your army very rare, but your infantry models are mostly outdated as fuck and are rarely in stock.
- There are many Guard units (mostly Forgeworld) that are out of production. If you want to take those you'll either have to buy used or kitbash. If you're into conversions this won't be a big problem.
- Your units are either a steal or completely overpriced compared to what other armies get (almost all named characters, Baneblades).
- 9th Edition has not been the least bit kind to the Imperial Guard. Besides most of our vehicles receiving above-standard price hikes (keep in mind our vehicles were a steal beforehand), the changes to detachments and CP mean that you will now pay a premium for the flexibility of multiple detachments, and you will no longer be able to squeeze a Baneblade into a Supreme Command detachment. Blast weapons will demolish your hordes while almost every other single army that's the least bit competitive gets to keep their basic Troop choices to 5 models or fewer (Tempestus Scions are an exception mind you). The nerf to Overwatch also benefits charge-heavy armies, which you aren't, to the detriment of non-Tau shooty armies, which you are. Kill missions are not especially kind to the Guard either due to how flimsy we can be vs. the prevalence of heavy firepower in many armies (like Space Marines).
- Not even Tyranids have had fewer new plastic kits (ones that actually represent new units, that is) since 6th Edition than we have. All we've gotten are Finecrap/Failcast characters with shitty rules. However, the classic Cadian Shock Troopers kit got an upgrade sprue that was previewed in Warhammer Fest 2021...it's better than nothing.
Important Rules References
- Codex: Astra Militarum is obviously your primary go-to for rules.
- The FAQ is here.
- Warhammer Legends contains any models that have since been outmoded after the codex and Psychic Awakening book, such as Rough Riders and some special weapons that were in the Index but haven't been seen since. Just beware that these aren't automatically allowed in all games so you'll need to ask before you can take any options present.
- The file is here.
- Imperial Armour Compendium also contains options of substantial interest, including rules for Death Korps of Krieg and Elysian Drop Troops - this is your source for Forge World rules.
- Chapter Approved 2020 is an essential upgrade for all players (especially competitive ones) as it includes all the latest official rules and points updates for most armies (including IG). Don't mix up with the outdated 2017 or 2018 version which you don't need any more.
- The FAQ is here
- Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good is yet another essential blob of new rules, stratagems, keywords, warlord traits, doctrines, etc.
- The FAQ is here
- Defenders of Humanity: Leman Russes in a Spearhead Detachment, and all Astra Militarum troop choices, have Objective Secured in 9th edition.
Regiments and Regimental Doctrines
These are your equivalent (but different) of Chapter Tactics, Legion Traits, Forgeworld Dogma, you get the idea. If your army is Battle-forged and every unit in the Detachment has the same <Regiment> (with some exceptions, see below), you get one of these rules. You just replace the keyword Regiment for one of the eight listed Regiments their Doctrines you want to use and you'll get the rule.
Custom Regimental Doctrines
With The Greater Good, the IG can follow in the footsteps of several other factions in making their own Regimental Doctrine, combining two of the following rules:
- Agile Warriors: Infantry can re-roll advance dice.
- Combined Auspex: When a vehicle fires Overwatch within 3" of another vehicle from the same Regiment, it hits on a 5+. Half of the Mordian doctrine.
- Disciplined Shooters: Infantry with Rapid Fire weapons fire an extra shot at 18" instead of the usual distance. Half of the Armageddon doctrine. A defensive buff pretending to be a offensive one, as many foes at 18" out won't be able to launch a charge in their next turn, (18" away moving 6" closer gives them a 12" charge)
- Fire from the Hip: Infantry can shoot Rapid Fire weapons after advancing, with a -1 to hit. Before considering this trait remember that there is an order that lets you do this for free with no penalty.
- Gunnery Experts: When rolling to determine the number of shots it fires, a vehicle can re-roll one of the dice. Half of the Catachan doctrine.
- Jury-Rigged Repairs: At the start of the turn, roll a d6 for each vehicle that has lost a wound. It heals one wound on a 2-4, and d3 wounds on a 5+. Who needs Enginseers?
- Further, you can take Gunnery Experts, and genuinely run some potent vehicles.
- Stacks with Enginseers: force your opponent to kill the tank or suffer. Double trouble on Atlases; not only can they repair other tanks, they benefit from this Doctrine themselves!
- While other regiment's tanks may shoot more accurately or more efficiently, this will make your tanks the toughest, forcing your opponent to kill tanks outright, lest you rebuild them with Elmer's glue and MRE wrappers.
- Lords' Approval: Infantry melee weapons get -1 AP if within 9" of an Officer (which includes tank commanders). No matter how many ways you stack the odds in your favor for CC, other CC armies will still smash you ('Nids, Orks, Chaos, naked women with giant chainswords...) You might as well optimize for solid ranged warfare and/or durability of your vehicles.
- Monster Hunters: Heavy weapons inflict 1 mortal wound against Monsters on an unmodified wound roll of 6.
- This has a more noticeable impact the weaker the weapon's S, AP, and D, especially if you haven't got access to the ability to re-roll successful wounds. Focus on weapons with high A instead - heavy bolters and flamers, gatling cannons, etc.
- Pyromaniacs: Flamers, heavy flamers, and twin heavy flamers re-roll wound rolls of 1. A very nice effect, but irritatingly leaves out vehicle-specific weapons on things like Hellhounds or the Malcador Infernus.
- This got indirectly buffed in 9th, as now all the weaponry that this would effect has a range of 12" instead of 8".
- Slum Fighters: Infantry scores an additional melee hit on an unmodified melee hit roll of 6.
- See Lord's Approval above. It's cool, but certain aliens are literally bred and evolved to slaughter you in melee. You can fight a little harder and kill a few more with this in melee, but you can do far more at range, out of melee. That said, it works like +1 to hit only better, so it's most noticeable the worse your WS - put this on Conscripts to make them hit like regular soldiers.
- Spotter Details: +6" to the range of heavy weapons with a range of at least 24". Half of the Vostroyan doctrine.
- Wilderness Survivors: Infantry that did not advance get the cover save bonus to their saving throws. Not bad, as you can still move and even get within 12" (or 18" if you combine with discipline shooters (hint hint)) of the opponent and use cover out in the open. In fact, if for some reason you want to charge the enemy, you'll get the bonus against Overwatch shots, and even less likely, if you end up still in combat in the following shooting phase, it'll work on any pistols you get shot with.
Maintaining Regiment Doctrines
Most units in Astra Militarum detachments (excluding Superheavy Auxiliary detachments) benefit from a regimental doctrine if every unit in the detachment has the same Regiment and/or is on the list of units that do not break regimental doctrine. These units include:
- Aeronautica Imperialis. Not "this unit, and that unit", but all Aeronautica units, like Vendettas.
- Militarum Auxilla AKA Abhumans, each and every single one.
- Ministorum Priest and Crusaders. Not Adeptus Ministorum units, just those two.
- Officio Prefectus AKA Commissars.
- Militarum Tempestus units won't prevent your army from getting a Doctrine, but they themselves won't get their Storm Troopers doctrine unless all other units are Tempestus themselves (or people from this list). So, if you want to bring Artillery or other vehicles, you'll need to bring them in a separate Spearhead detachment.
- Scholastica Psykana AKA Primaris Psykers (no relation), Wyrdvanes, and Astropaths.
- Tech-priest Enginseer (either your copy, the elite with Astra Militarum, or AdMech's copy, the HQ without) and Servitors. Not Forge world units, just those three. Remember this is an Astra Militarum Detachment. They DON'T gain a Dogma, NOR AdMech Stratagems, Relics or Warlord Traits. If you want those rules, you can bring them in a separate Vanguard detachment, for all the good it'll do you.
As alluded to above, Superheavy Auxiliary Detachments don't benefit from Doctrines. If you want a LoW with a Doctrine you need to take them in either a Superheavy Detachment (3-5! Lords of War),
a cheaper Supreme Command Detachment (3-5 HQs plus 0-1 LoW), or give it the Steadfast Leviathan Tank Ace trait in a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment.
- The Death Korps of Krieg and Elysia can also be selected as your Regiment, though they do not have a proper Regimental Doctrine. Instead, they get a modified unit and Order selection with several choices unique to them, along with a number of special rules that more or less form a Doctrine. They lack any unique Warlord Traits, Stratagems or Relics, but have access to all the regular ones. Check out their sections towards the bottom of the page for more information.
If your Warlord is Astra Militarum, then they may select a Warlord Trait. Your Warlord may only select a <Regiment> Warlord Trait if they are part of that <Regiment>; custom regiments can only take the universal traits (honestly, the best ones are universal so no worries there). Named characters that already belong to a specified <Regiment>, like Creed, Kell, and Straken, may NOT pick from these universal traits and always have the <Regiment> specific Warlord Trait. Brood Brothers can never be the warlord, so don't get any ideas there.
Since they lack the necessary keywords, Scholastica Psykana (Primaris Psykers & Astropaths), Forge World (Enginseers), Adeptus Ministorum (Priests), Militarum Auxilla, and Aeronautica Imperialis (Officers of the Fleet, outside of Elysia) characters can't use these traits.
- Grand Strategist: Arguably the best Warlord Trait available to us. Re-roll one failed hit, wound, or save per battle. More importantly, every time you spend a command point, get it back on a 5+. Quite powerful when you have an easy time making Brigades compared to other armies.
- As of Chapter Approved 2018, you can only recover 1CP per battle round, making this somewhat less impressive. Still, the ability to reroll a save at a critical moment can be a life-saver.
- This warlord trait is still amazing post FAQ if you're spending a lot of your command points before the battle begins which means there is no limit to how many CPs you can recover before the game.
- Old Grudges: At the start of the game, choose an enemy unit. All Astra Militarum units within 6" of your warlord re-roll failed wounds against that unit. One of the best choices for a Tank Commander thanks to a bigger aura (remember, measure from the hull!).
- Better than "Bring it Down!" and affecting multiple units, thus letting you order "Take Aim!" for dual re-rolls (static Cadians will re-roll everything!), but against a single enemy unit you have to pick up front. Powerful when nominating Magnus, an allied Knight or other superheavy, or models providing buffs. However, Guilliman and anyone smaller can hide from anything more dangerous than a Ratling, unless you nominate a key element of your enemy's strategy instead, like a deathstar squad or their transport.
- Implacable Determination: When the warlord and one friendly unit within 3" of them advance, both add 6" to their move instead of rolling.
- Note the lack of keywords on this one - you can use this to accelerate any friendly.
- Draconian Disciplinarian: Re-roll failed Morale checks for friendly Astra Militarum Infantry within 6" of the Warlord. Definitely better than a Commissar, rerolling for free instead of at the cost of 1 execution.
- If applied to an actual Commissar, Summary Execution takes precedence. If the Summary Execution re-roll is also failed, d3 models are slain but the test is considered passed. Now that regular Commissars may not cut it for Conscripts, this is the only area-of-effect source of morale immunity (after 3 cowards) that every regiment has access to.
- Bellowing Voice: Increase all data sheet ability ranges of the Warlord by 3 inches, aka 9" orders (which won't stack with a Vox-caster) or 9" Commissar auras of Discipline and Summary Execution. Remember named characters and Officers of the Fleet can't get this WT in the first place.
- Master of Command: Gain the Voice of Command Rule. If you already have it or Tank Orders, issue one extra order instead (Just remember that Tank Commanders don't get the infantry orders). Probably the best trait to have as you can always use an extra order to buff your squishy guardsmen as much as possible.
- No longer an issue for Yarrick or Lord Commissars. The FAQ says Commissars can issue the basic orders to any <regiment> infantry units, regardless of regiment. This is more special if you have multiple detachments, as Company Commanders may order units only from their own Regiment. So it's not only putting your orders in more baskets, but it carries fewer restrictions (although the Warlord won't have a Regiment-exclusive order). Remember, the Commissar still won't have a <regiment>, so they won't be able to order themselves.
- Notably more useful in more contexts than the Cadian Warlord Trait, and should usually be preferred to it if you have the choice.
New for Psychic Awakening, the IG can skip taking a warlord trait and/or use a stratagem to apply a Tank Ace trait to an eligible vehicle. Different vehicles gain access to different abilities. Can not be used for vehicles in a Brood Brothers detachment, sorry GSC. These traits also cannot be given to a named character (in other words, Pask).
Leman Russ Aces can be taken on any unit with the Leman Russ keyword. This includes Tank Commanders as well as the Forge World Leman Russ variants (but not the Thunderer or Stygies Destroyer).
- Armoured Rush: May fire the turret weapon even after advancing (and at no penalty, as the weapon remains Heavy). You do sacrifice shooting twice, though, plus your sponsons fire.
- Your Punishers and Demolishers can get to the fight earlier, but keep in mind that you'll still need a screen if there's anything that might charge your tank.
- Master Mechanic: -1 to the Damage characteristic of all ranged attacks, to a minimum of 1. Doesn't work in melee.
- Combine with Jury-rigged Repairs or being Valhallan and a Techpriest to maximize the lifespan of a Leman Russ. Do remember damage that comes from a weapon's special rules will usually not be affected by this: if a D1 ranged weapon deals an additional damage on a wound roll of 6+, this rule will never stop it from dealing 2 damage on a 6+; it modifies the attacking weapon's characteristic, not the amount of damage suffered.
- Slow and Purposeful: Ranged attacks made after moving the model "less than" half its Move (AKA "half its move -0.1 mm") re-roll 1s to wound.
- While this has the same impact on any gun you shoot, it won't synergize with the same ability from elsewhere, such as Pyromaniacs on a Leman Russ with Heavy Flamers, so just.... don't take both at once.
- Steel Commander: If the bearer is a Tank Commander, it may issue 1 additional tank order. If you're not just cranking every Leman Russ you have into a Tank Commander, this allows them to still order themselves. Finally, something akin to a generic Pask.
- Up-Armoured: 2+ armor save. Demolishers and Punishers will appreciate the 2+ save. Kinda sucks that you can't give Tank Ace traits to Pask, but this will make Tank Commanders live a good bit longer, taking some of the edge off of plasma and lascannon spam.
- Weapon Expert: The turret weapon's AP is improved by 1 (i.e. AP0 becomes AP-1).
- This is better the worse the weapon's native AP, so Punishers like it more than Exterminators, while a Demolisher will notice the benefit least.
Support Aces can be given to any Vehicle unit with the Basilisk, Hydra, Manticore, Wyvern, or Deathstrike keywords. Besides those very units, that means it also applies to the Armageddon Pattern Basilisk, but not the Battery variants.
- Full Payload: Always deal maximum damage on D3/D6 damage ranged weapons. The only D6 damage weapon any of these tanks can take is a hunter-killer missile; otherwise, this is completely worthless on everything but the Basilisk and Manticore, as the Deathstrike, Wyvern, and Hydra all eschew damage rolls altogether.
- Shatterer of Will: -2LD for any unit hit by this ace's ranged weapons. This stacks with other debuffs, but not with itself (so you can't hit a unit twice using the Emperor's Wrath Artillery stratagem and give them -4). Worth a look if you're already stacking these debuffs and were planning on taking artillery anyway, but you probably won't do enough damage with just the artillery to even force a leadership test in the first place (unless you're shooting a Wyvern into blobs of Cultists and Conscripts). Even then, immunity or near-immunity to morale checks is so abundant, this is probably not worth your time.
- Well Stocked Magazines: Re-roll any or all of the dice for the number of shots for weapons that roll. Might be fun on a Deathstrike. Not competitive (only because the Deathstrike can't be guaranteed to shoot over the course of a game), but fun. Worthless on a Hydra, and pretty worthwhile on a Wyvern, but pretty redundant on Basilisks (especially Catachan ones).
- The effect on a Wyvern is particularly great; the average number of shots a Wyvern fires is 14 base, 15.79 for Catachan, and 17 with this.
Super Heavy Aces can be given to any Vehicle unit with the Titanic keywords. This includes Forge World Lords of War, such as the Macharius and Crassus... even the Marauder variants technically can take one, but none of the traits are any good on Marauders for reasons that are obvious once you look at them.
- Hull Down Deployment: Receives the benefit of cover until the first time the tank moves. Now THIS is cheese, man. Stacks with Psychic Barrier too.
- Inspiring Might: Roll 2 dice and choose the result for morale for any friendly Guard infantry within 12". While Baneblade-class vehicles don't care as much about getting into close combat as other vehicles do, you should still be protecting them from deepstriking thunder hammers and rock saws with a screen, and this will help them stick around longer, or support your infantry advance if you're making a brawler tank.
- Steadfast Leviathan: The user can benefit from a Regimental Doctrine even if they're in a Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachment. A small price to pay for the points savings involved. This is cheese, man. Nice way of making that Baneblade you snuck into a 750 or 1000 point list more effective without having to have actually brought three. Note that this doesn't grant the Regiment keyword and does not allow a unit without it to benefit (looking at you, Marauder).
THE Imperial Guard Gimmick, the Orders system grants abilities to your troops to tip the scales of battle! At the beginning of your shooting phase units with the OFFICER keyword and Voice of Command rule may issue an order to friendly infantry units of the same <Regiment> within 6" of them. Krieg Officers are the only ones who can also order Cavalry. Similarly, a Tank Commander with the Tank Orders rule can issue a Tank Order (labeled as such below) to a friendly Leman Russ of the same <regiment> within 6".
Note that Regiment-Exclusive Orders, like Warlord Traits and Relics, but unlike Doctrines, can only be used by their designated Regiment: a custom Regiment, like the Savlar Chem-Dogs, has to play without any exclusive orders at all. A way to step around this problem is to bring separate detachments, each with the Doctrine you want the units to have, which is fluffy (e.g. Prosan 314th is Catachan 182nd & Elysian 90th)...or to talk with your opponent/organizer. This is still supposed to be a game to have fun, after all.
Imperial Guard Orders, both general and regiment-exclusive, can basically be put in four groups: Re-roll Orders, Movement Orders, Extra Attack Orders, and Targeting Orders. Elysia's Morale order is the only one not falling into any of these groups.
- Elysia - Loses Fix Bayonets! for 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 your company commanders already grant a re-roll.
These orders allow a unit to re-roll dice when attacking (attack volume, to-hit, or to-wound). Both "Take Aim!" and "Bring it Down!" are better than "First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire!" when you don't have massed lasguns. Tempestus Scions are an interesting case though, because they can't rapid fire their hot-shot lasguns when they deep strike, and particularly if you're using Vox-Casters, you'll only have 1-4 hot-shot lasguns in the unit, both of which make FRFSRF less than compelling, so think their orders out carefully.
- 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), or for special interactions, like Cadian units that don't move.
- Take Aim!: Ordered unit re-rolls to hit rolls of 1 until the end of the phase. Did someone say "Supercharged Plasma"?
- The main argument for "Take Aim!" is that your guys won't die from supercharges; FRFSRF is a better infantry-killer in the cases written above. Still, your dudes not dying IS argument enough, and even more so when facing the heavier stuff.
- Gunners, Kill on Sight! (Tank Order): This is simply the Tank Order version of "Take Aim!", it just doesn't compete with FRFSRF.
- Unlike "Take Aim!", however, static Cadian Leman Russes do not upgrade to re-rolling all hits like static Cadian Infantry does, so it doesn't affect them when not moving. Luckily, they have the next order for that.
These orders allow units to double move or advance/fall back and shoot, not only making transports less necessary but also letting you play with weapon ranges or slipping away from your foe.
- Forwards, for the Emperor!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it advanced in the movement phase. Heavy weapons will behave like Assault weapons on the advance, while Rapid Fire ones will behave even better, not taking any penalty to hit.
- Can be used for close play with weapons range: Get your special weapons into Rapid/Melta range without giving up your Lasgun shots (which can be split-fired), or get your Lasguns into 24" range to begin with. If deep-striking infantry arrived within 9+" of your unit, give the order and now they'll need a charge of 9" + your advance", although you'll be firing at a penalty if you do it with heavy weapons, since you moved. Get around corners; it's run & gun, man. If pure speed or rapid firing lasguns is what you're after, "Move! Move! Move!" and FRFSRF will serve you better.
- Get back in the fight!: Ordered unit can shoot, even if it fell back in its movement phase; no penalty, unlike Ultramarines.
- The main point of falling back is allowing the rest of your army to shoot at the enemy and forcing it to eat another round of overwatch, if at the cost of the retreating squad's shooting. This order waives away that penalty, which can mark the difference when it rallies something like 20 rapid fire lasguns and plasma and flamers (specialists last longer) back against the enemy. Undeniably better than just punching them. HOWEVER, if the retreating squad is a badly mauled handful of survivors and you're forced to choose, you're better off ordering a nearby, healthier squad to FRFSRF: One sgt and three guardsmen don't really bring much back to the fight.
- Move! Move! Move!: Ordered unit must move as if it were in the movement phase, and it must advance and cannot charge. This lets your infantry outrun tanks and assault marines, moving 19" on average. Get where you need to be (or out of dodge) ASAP.
- Full Throttle! (Tank Order): This is simply the Tank Order version of "Move! Move! Move!", and is identical in every other respect. Did you ever expect a Russ to move 27", outrunning Eldar skimmers?.
Extra Attack Orders
These orders are effectively "double phase" orders, allowing a unit to effectively shoot twice (Lasguns & Hotshots) or fight twice, doubling its attack volume.
- First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire!: Your bread and butter. Ordered unit's Lasguns and Hot-shot Lasguns become Rapid Fire 2. That means 4 shots when Rapid Fired, so mind your range! Especially with Scions, who can't Rapid Fire immediately after deepstriking but want the increased rate of fire to proc Storm Troopers more often. While Conscripts have less BS, can only get to 30 and reject orders half the time, 20 Infantry pasted together do the same FRFSRF damage, reliably.
- Fix Bayonets!: May only be issued to units within 1" of an enemy unit. Ordered unit may immediately fights as if it were in the fight phase.
- Ordering Get Back in the Fight is better on most scenarios: your BS and WS are the same, so two punches are the same as a rapid firing lasgun...but falling back allows the rest of your army to shoot at them (your squads are never on their own), and special weapons are way better than a bayonet. HOWEVER, a single melee boost like the Priest's or Straken's (preferably both) turns this around: unless you are a Mordian Conscript, punching three or four times is better than rapid firing...especially if you're a S4 Catachan. And if you are against a lightweight enemy with bad melee and good shooting, then it becomes a damn good tactic.
- As the unit is fighting while still in the Shooting Phase, the Cadian Doctrine and Take Aim! will let them re-roll 1s to hit. Likewise, Bring it Down! will let them re-roll 1s to wound.
- Krieg Cavalry can take orders. They don't pause to think about the considerations of wether to fall back or not, they just attack 8 times a turn.
- Strike and Shroud! (Tank Order): Allows the ordered Russ to both fire its weapons (including Grinding advance) and protect itself with its smoke launchers, as if it had two shooting phases. If you can't avoid retaliation like Tallarns can, you can use this rule to get into a shooting position (you can see the enemy but it can see you too) and cripple the enemy while you survive the return fire. Smoke launchers are One Use, and so is this rule.
Guard Psykers are drawn from the Scholastica Psykana, and thus don't have a regiment; however they're the only Psykers with the Astra Militarum keyword, so if you want regiments, doctrines, and all that good jazz without adding another detachment, you're limited to the Psykana discipline. Fortunately for you, it's really good! The rules breakdown is here, but here's some tactical commentary.
- Offensive Powers
- Terrifying Visions (WC 7): If manifested, an enemy unit with 18" of the psyker suffers -2 to its leadership. One of the hardest powers to channel, with only a 58.33% base chance of success. This, combined with the fact that most of the units you'll cast it on - those with high points-per-model where Battleshock is most painful - are high leadership, have ways around it, or can just deny your powers to begin with, makes it highly situational. That said, you can synergize with other Imperial leadership debuffs like Sicaran Infiltrators, Metallica's -1Ld Stratagem, Space Marine Reivers The Guard (and Imperium) is all about coordination!
- Gaze of the Emperor (WC 6): With a 72.22% base chance of success and no save of any kind aside from a deny roll, this is a TEQ-buster. It's model-count-dependent, so it's lousy against Characters, but it can wreck small units of high points-per-model troops, or densely packed blobs of cheaper models. Aim carefully - friendly fire is on - and beware the random range!
- Of note is that it’s the units that suffer the mortal wounds, not the models. This means that you can't snipe out specialists.
- Because friendly fire is on, you can use this, if you're desperate, to try and detonate your own Hellhound(s).
- Psychic Maelstrom (WC 7): WITNESS YOUR DOOOOM!! Its not easy to cast, but if manifested, roll a D6. On a 2+, an enemy unit within 18" of the psyker suffers a mortal wound, then you throw another D6. on a 3+, you repeat this process until you fail to deliver a wound. This power is hard to channel, but it can be powerful. This can target Characters, and it's probably best used in this fashion; you've got a really solid chance of scoring at least one mortal wound if you pull it off, most of the time even more.
- Defensive Powers
- Psychic Barrier (WC 6): If manifested an Astra Militarum unit gets +1 to their saves until the start of your next psychic phase. Channels relatively reliably. The flat bonus to saves can make certain units stupidly durable and it affects Invulnerable saves, too! Going from 3+ to 2+ outright halves wounds taken, before AP. Make sure to cast it on a unit that the enemy can't ignore so they don't just target something else. Good for Scions, since it protects against both ranged and melee. Stack it with Nightshroud on a Baneblade and make your opponent weep salt-water crocodile tears. One of the best powers on the list, right there with...
- Nightshroud (WC 6): A new power added with the Codex, this is essentially a psychic smokescreen; all ranged hit rolls made towards the targeted Astra Militarum unit subtract 1. Best against low accuracy shooting. Psychic Barrier is better in about 70% of the circumstances you'd be using this, but it negates '6+ to hit' effects, but not effects that rely on an umnodified roll of a 6. It stacks with other hit penalties, bit you cant cause more than -1 to hit, so it usually there is no use in stacking it since even a -3 to hit will only reduce the enemy hit roll by one. Stacking several hit penalties, like this power and smoke launchers can however negate an enemy +1 to hit and still give him an -1 to hit.
- Mental Fortitude (WC 4): AKA 'I'm the Commissar now!' This will go off more than nine times out of ten and makes the unit in question immune to morale. You don't even have to execute anyone! Limited far more by the Psychic Focus rule in matched play - you only get one. This is also the only power that Wyrdvanes can reliable cast.
A description goes here.
- Purge the Enemy
- Not the best thing we've got going for us. Yes you can probably pick off an enemy if they over-extend, but we don't have the melee or sniping potential we need to make the greatest use of this. Side note, expect a lot of people to take this against you.
- Bring it Down
- Now this is more up our alley. The guard has plenty of ways to kill tanks, including a few tanks of our own, or the ever-reliable (if pricey) Lascannon. Of course your enemy needs to bring enough tanks to max this out.
- Titan Slayers
- This is probably our best pick from this category. Between the aforementioned abundance of AT we can potentially bring, Old Grudges allows you to declare "fuck that thing in particular" on any titanic unit to reroll wounds.
- Slay the Warlord
- This is almost never a good idea, simply because if you're able to do this, you probably could have made more points with another secondary.
- This one is okay. However, your psykers are already going to be stretched fairly thin casting buffs on your swarms of infantry, so taking a power off to cast this can be a serious drain on your casts.
- This is an interesting one. Guard can hold their ground, particularly if you brought bullgryns and have relatvively cheap psykers, meaning it won't be the end of the world to allocate one to the ritual. It's a serious risk, but has serious reward.
-Abhor the Witch
- This isn't one you want to take much unless you plan on running Krieg. The main reason being that it can only be taken if you haven't brought any psykers, and even after the cost increase on astropaths, their buffs are still crucial for keeping your infantry on their objectives.
- Pierce the Veil
- Potentially a good one considering you should have at least one Astropath near your expeditionary force.
- No Mercy, No Respite
- Thin their Ranks
- This is one of the better ones for guard. Between Blast, flamers, and good old massed flashlight fire we have plenty of ways to clear lots of light infantry, and have enough big guns to bring down something big enough to be worth 10 points if we ever see it.
- Not a good one for guard. It is said that guardsman lives are like amunition, a valuable resource, but one that should be expended without hesitation. Guard specialize in MSU and we lose guardsman squads like anyone near the bloody magpies lose relics.
- While We Stand, We Fight
- An interesting one to be sure. Our most valuable units are more often than not literal tanks, and can be screened quite nicely by guardsman squads and bullgryns. Worth considering if you plan on playing your tanks like its 8th edition.
- First Strike
- Did somebody say 600" range with no need for line of sight? Guard arty is some of the best at punching down squishy units on the other side of the field. Furthermore, this makes it easier for us to consider the other half of the secondary, killing more than we lost. If you're up against a melee army that comes online in the 2nd or 3rd round, this can be an almost certain 8 points.
- Battlefield Supremacy
- Engage on All Fronts
- Considering the standard guard tactic is to drown the enemy in your own blood, this one seems made for us. With an aggressive army like the Catachans and cheap troops to spread the field, it isn't difficult to cover the board in bodies.
- This doesn't play to our strengths quite as well. The Imperial Guard is a strong shooting faction, even if we do have nippy vehicles like our newly buffed Hellhounds and buff schwartzenager men to go punch the enemy to death with. If you're punching the enemy back all the way to their deployment zone great! But by that point you were probably winning anyways.
- Pick this one if you plan on going with a more elite, more defensive army using bullgryns and probably cadians. Otherwise Engage on All Fronts is better.
- Shadow Operations
- Raise the Banners High
- Similar to Domination, this one is good if you plan on doubling down on take and hold. Guard is one of the best armies for these missions, as we've got plenty of bodies we can leave to handle the actions. Taking a single guardsman squad out of the action for a turn won't hurt us nearly as much as some armies (looking at you Custodes)
- This one is tricky, as it means we not only need to take the center of the board, but also clear it and keep it clear long enough to pull it off. However, we've got plenty of tarpits and roadblocks to slow the enemy down, and as stated, enough MSU to not be hurt by losing one for a turn.
- Repair Teleportation Homer
- This is probably the worst out of these for us. It's not that tricky to slingshot a unit of Guard into the back line, but keeping them there through the entire enemy turn is another matter entirely. Guardsmen are versatile, surprisingly deadly in large numbers, and have the biggest balls in the galaxy, but they do die remarkably quickly without some serious support.
Standard strategems that can be used by any and all Regiments.
- Aerial Spotter (2 CP): Use at the start of the shooting phase. A Wyvern or Basilisk can re-roll failed hit rolls in this phase. If you're sitting your artillery still like a good guardsman, this stratagem will bring your hit rate up to 75%. Just imagine a Wyvern with 75% of its average 14 shots hitting (especially since they already reroll failed wounds).
- Consolidate Squads (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select two Infantry Squad units within 2" of each other that share the same <Regiment>. The selected units combine to form one big unit. Who didn't see this coming? Allows you to sort-of recapture the blob guard armies of yore and use less orders/get more out of buffs, but it'll now cost you command points. Also a good option to 'save' orphaned special and heavy weapons by adding them to less mauled squads. Use this properly and your opponent will tear their hair out trying to kill off the growing pile of heavy and special weapons you're rolling together like a meaty snowball of doom. Combine with your strong morale abilities to ensure special weapons survive all but the heaviest shooting, and fold them into the next squad down the line at your leisure. Them give the whole mass an order and clean up.
- Crush them! (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of your charge phase. A Vehicle Unit may charge, even if it has advanced this turn. In addition, all attacks made by the vehicle will hit on a 2+. Remember how the Baneblade family has 9 powerful melee attacks that are reduced in effectiveness by WS 5+? This will fix that in an instant and make sure that even dedicated melee units won't want to get into its newly boosted charging range (Tallarn Titanic units also have their heavy weapons count as assault if they advance... Just throwing that out there). Another clever use of this is to get Sentinels into melee with great reliability. No, they can't fight too good, but that's not the point - the point is its a T6W63+ model fighting, not your flimsy infantry!
- Defensive Gunners (1 CP): Use this stratagem when a charge is declared against one of your vehicles. When it fires Overwatch for the rest of the phase, it hits on a roll of 5 or 6. Mordian vehicle formations can serve as a literal wall of iron in front of your infantry, as the enemy won't be able to slip through them without declaring multiple charges. And you thought charging a Wyvern was already a risky proposition. For further hilarity, use this on a Mordian Malcador Defender, and it will actually shoot more accurately then when it's normally shooting!
- Fight to the Death (1 CP): Any Imperial Guard unit can take a morale test on 1d3 instead of 1d6. You've got plenty of morale improving abilities already, but it's cheap and could be useful in an emergency. Now that commissars got the nerf this one got a lot more useful. You might want to use this stratagem if you’re using infantry or vets and need them to survive morale, and don’t have anything else to buff leadership nearby. It’ll help them survive losing 3-5 guys at once much more easily.
- Fire on my position! (3 CP): Use when the last model is slain from an Astra Militarum unit equipped with a vox-caster, before removing it from the table; for each unit (friend and foe) within 3", on a 4+ that unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds. Note, specifies unit with a vox-caster, not model (you use it when the unit dies, not the specific model with the caster), and if several models all die together, you can choose which is the last to be removed from the table, to maximize the potential victims of this stratagem. Useful if your squad was wiped by several MSU units and/or characters.
- Go! Recon! (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the beginning of your shooting phase; select a unit of Scout Sentinels. They immediately move 2d6", but cannot shoot or charge this turn. Useful for getting a Scout sentinel to an unguarded objective or out of trouble, but only applies to one unit, and can't be applied to an Armoured Sentinel; sacrificing a turn of shooting makes it extremely situational, and it doesn't even benefit a unit with a chainsaw blade, as they can't charge, either. It does not however, prevent you from popping smoke, which given that you can't shoot anyways, you might as well.
- Grenadiers (1 CP): Use this stratagem before an Astra Militarum Infantry unit either shoots or fires overwatch. Up to ten models in the unit that are armed with grenades can throw a grenade this phase, instead of only one model being able to do so. Vostroyans are better off using Firstborn Pride with FRFSRF for offensive purposes, since it affects more than just 10 models, but this can be a powerful tool for any regiment in Overwatch on a roll of 3 or more (especially Mordians). Bullgryn Frag Bombs can become a hail of bolter shots.
- Extra powerful in Cities of Death, where grenades both reroll all failed wounds and get the maximum possible amount of hits. That's 60 for ten models.
- Can also give Scions squads a nasty bite. Krak grenades will do a better job versus tanks than a hot-shot lasgun. 6 of them can supplement the squad's special weapons nicely, especially since scions are out of order range a lot more often.
- Krieg Combat Engineers are white hot death with this stratagem! The whole squad carries Acid Gas Bombs, AP-2 DD3 Grenades that auto-wound non-VEHICLES. That's not all though! Aside from the squad also carrying Krak Grenades, one can take a Demolition Charge and the Watch Master can also take Melta Bombs, so not even tanks are safe. For 1CP, it's possible to erase nearly any unit stupid enough to get too close.
- Jury Rigging (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of your turn. Select a AM Vehicle in your army, that vehicle can't move, charge or pile in this turn but immediately heals 1 wound. Can only be used once per turn. Good for giving that little push into a better health bracket if an Enginseer isn't around (or it wasn't enough), and you can still shoot with the targeted vehicle.
- Imperial Commander's Armoury (1/3 CP): One use only. Use "before the battle" and you may take 1 additional relic for 1 CP, or two additional relics for 3 CP; all relics must be different and given to different characters.
- "Before the battle" means, surprisingly, "before the battle". Use it to get the Dagger of Outflank before deployment? It works. The Grand Strategist WT needs the Warlord to be already on the field (which won't happen until the deployment phase) to refund your CP, so that won't work. But enemy Kurov's Aquilas do work, since they only need to be written in the enemy's roster, not any "while this Warlord is on the battlefield" limitation. You spend CP and gain extra toys before the battle, simple as that.
- Inspired Tactics (1 CP): An officer can issue 1 more order. You can only bring so many Platoon and Tank Commanders, after all, and not everybody is Creed, Pask or Kell. Its important to remember because this will help you squeeze out one more Move! Move! Move! order in attempt to snag an objective or hurriedly tie down an enemy unit trying to do the same.
- Mobile Command Vehicle (1 CP): Use at the start of a turn; pick a Chimera in your army and until the end of the turn, any embarked officers may issue orders to units outside the vehicle, measuring range from the vehicle. He is also treated as having access to a Vox.
- Opening Bombardment (2 CP): One use only. After deployment but before the first battle round, each enemy unit on the battlefield suffers a mortal wound on a 1d6 roll of 6+. Like Fire on my position, this can be useful against MSU, but less so if they hid themselves inside transports.
- Officio Prefectus Command Tank (2 CP): Commissar Tank! Pick a Leman Russ at the start of the first round, before the first turn - it gives all Astra Militarum units within 6" of it Ld9 for the rest of the game. It also lacks the Summary Execution rule while granting a superior LD buff, so you should always consider taking this stratagem over a regular Commissar. "Drive me closer, I want to hit them with my sword!"
- Splash Damage (1 CP): When attacking with the main weapon of any Hellhound subtype and the target is in cover, you can re-roll the wound roll.
- Strike First, Strike Hard (1 CP): In the shooting phase of the first battle round, select a unit of Armored Sentinels or Scout Sentinels. Their attacks gain +2 to hit. That trio of lascannon Sentinels just got a lot more threatening. Makes for an interesting distraction: Does your opponent shoot down the armored sentinels which are tougher than average for their price?? OR, go after the bigger tanks which they really should be shooting at??
- Take Cover! (1 CP): Use this stratagem in your opponents shooting phase if they target one of your Infantry units. That unit immediately adds 1 to their armor saves until the end of the phase. Can get Scions up to 2+ in cover.
- Tank Ace (1 CP): One use only, used before the battle begins. A vehicle from your army (Not a named one though, sorry Pask) gets a Tank Ace ability.
- Vengeance for Cadia! (1 CP): Any Imperial Guard unit can re-roll failed hits and wounds versus Chaos when shooting or firing overwatch. Scary, but keep in mind it affects Vehicles too. From the humble Sentinel to the mighty Manticore and Baneblade, the Stratagem's effects are far more powerful than its cheap cost would suggest.
- Vortex Missile (3 CP): Nuclear launch detected, for when targets require not so much strategy as a "fuck you". Use this stratagem when you get to fire a Deathstrike missile (pay after rolling the 8, before resolving the shot). You can re-roll all failed to-hit rolls with the weapon, and add 1 to the roll made to determine if nearby units within 6" of the target unit are hit (so a 3+, rather than a 4+). If a model is wounded but not slain by the attack, roll an additional die, on a 6 it suffers 1d6 additional mortal wounds. Makes the missile go from 5.25 mortal wounds dealt on the target + 1 to each nearby to 8.46 + 1.72 per each nearby, but the amount of variance is very high, and that assumes you're shooting a parking lot, as single-wound models won't trigger the stratagem's extra mortal wounds.
Psychic Awakening Stratagems
Added in the Greater Good, these stratagems are useable by all Regiments.
- Concentrated Fire (1CP): Heavy weapons team gains +1 to hit and wound when targeting a single enemy unit. Cadian HWTs, especially when under orders, become ruthlessly effective!
- Deft Maneuvering (1CP): Armored Sentinels can pop this when shot at, halves all damage inflicted. Make them the toughest 35 point model in the galaxy bar none!
- Direct Onslaught (1CP): Wyvern or Manticore gains +1 to hit when shooting at a visible enemy.
- Experienced Eye (1CP): When shooting with veterans improve AP of all ranged weapons by -1 for a single shooting phase. Up to 4 AP-1 lasgun shots per veteran? AP 4/5 plasma/meltas? AP 2 Autocannons? Don't forget shotguns!
- Focused Bombardment (1CP): Master of Ordinance's artillery becomes 6 shots rather than D6.
- Furious Charge (1CP): Ogryn models inflict 1MW on the charge for each 4+. Not bad on a bigger unit, since regular Ogryns are reasonably priced.
- Hail of Fire (2CP): When shooting at an enemy VEHICLE a Leman Russ fires max shots with all multi-shot weapons. This seems to be pretty strong. A LR command tank with a Demolisher Cannon should be strong enough to destroy a Land Raider or damage a knight with its main gun only. Then again it needs to be in range for this.
- Use this stratagem with the relic Battle Cannon, Hammer of Sunderance. A full payload of 12 shots that do 3 damage a piece? Unlike the short-ranged demolisher, you can do this from 72" away. Have fun!
- Don't forget the Executioner with sponson Plasma Cannons or a Conqueror with triple Heavy Flamers!
- Head First (1CP): +2" to charges after disembarking from a chimera. Useful for a few niche units like crusaders, Ogryns and their smaller cousins, Catachans.
- Psychic Conclave (1CP): Used on a Primaris Psyker (note that this is using the keyword, not the unit name - Aradia Madellan has this keyword and is thus eligible) and Wyrdvane Psykers when within 6" of each other; 2+ to cast and able to manifest 1 extra power each. This is pretty good, as it makes extra smites all the more dangerous after you cast your standard Psychic Barrier and Nightshroud. It also can make Aradia's power go off fairly reliably.
- Relentless (1CP): Non-TITANIC unit may use top bracket of damage table. This is a pretty strong stratagem. Your enemy (almost) destroyed one of your key units? I say fuck him, shoot with full BS anyway! Malcadors like this, as they are some of the largest non-titanic models.
- Rolling Death (1CP): Taurox unit that shoots after moving 1/2 distance or less receives +1 to hit.
Better on Taurox Prime than a standard Taurox, obviouslyIt cannot be used on Taurox Prime, obviously.
- Shield of flesh (1CP): Use on Bullgryn unit, when closer to enemy models and within 3" of an infantry unit, that unit is -1 to hit.
- Splash Damage (1CP): Hellhound turret weapons gain reroll wound rolls if the target is in cover. Sadly, notably does not affect the Artemia Hellhounds, since it specifically names the standard variant's weapons.
- Strike First, Strike Hard (1CP): An Armoured or Scout Sentinel unit gains +2 to hit for the first battle round. This might actually might make armored sentinels with Lascannons, Plasma Cannons and Hunter-killer Missiles actually useful!
Just in case you forget, the following stratagems can be just as crucial as the ones above, if not more so. 9th Edition changed up some stratagems, while adding in several new ones. Prepared Positions was deleted.
- Command Re-roll (1 CP): Changed up a bit from 8th Edition. Re-roll a single Hit roll, Wound roll, Damage roll, Saving throw, Advance roll, Charge roll (this means you re-roll both dice), Psychic test, Deny the Witch test, or a roll to determine the number of attacks made by that weapon. It's much more narrow in its application, as you can tell. No more re-rolling shrugs or objective-based rolls.
- Counter-Defensive (2 CP): Used in the combat phase after an enemy unit that charged has fought. Pick one of your units to immediately attack.
- Cut Them Down (1 CP): Used when an enemy unit Falls Back, before models are moved. Roll a dice for each model in your army that is within Engagement Range (0.5") of that unit. For every roll of a 6 that enemy unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
- Desperate Breakout (2 CP): Used in the movement phase. Pick a single unit in your army that is within Engagement Range of an enemy unit. Roll a dice for each model in your unit. On a 1, the model is slain. Then, they may make a fall back move, passing through enemy models as if they weren't there. At the end of the unit's fall back move, if any models still remain within Engagement Range of an enemy unit they are automatically destroyed. The remaining unit may not perform anything else this turn, even if they have an ability to do so. This is here to help you in case those Orks or Genestealers attempt to wrap around a unit to prevent you from falling back and save them from being shot at (unless you're Valhallan). However, you cannot order them to "GBITF". The value is in freeing up the wrapping unit for the rest of your army to shoot.
- Emergency Disembarkation (1 CP): Used when a Transport model in your army is destroyed. You can set up disembarked units within 6" of the Transport model, but now are destroyed on a 1 or 2. Again, wager a 1/3 chance of dying (risky but acceptable) vs being auto-deleted by a bubble-wrapping horde unit (which is quite infuriating) trapping you inside of your transport.
- Insane Bravery (2 CP): This stratagem can only be used once per game. Used at the start of the Morale Phase. Automatically pass a morale test for a single unit of your choice. This is one you should save for a Conscript/Combined Squad.
- Overwatch (1 CP): Used in the Charge Phase. Pick a single unit that an opponent's unit declared as the target of a charge, it may fire Overwatch. It's now a stratagem, goodbye shenanigans.
As a rule of thumb, all of the following are available as options to Sergeants and Characters. The Guard do have a few other melee weapons (Ogryn and Rough Rider units mostly), but they'll be detailed in their unit entries later on.
- Chainsword: SU, AP0, D1, bearer gains +1A. 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), and is why Infantry Squad Sergeants should give all of the other options here a complete miss, unless maybe they have a priest.
- Power Sword: S+1, AP-3, D1. Even at 5pts and with the new 9th edition S bonus, it's not enough for your S3 models - and the S4 models prefer the Fist. You should generally avoid this unless you're looking for a budget choice for Catachans or plan on taking one of the numerous relic swords the Guard get.
- Power Fist: Sx2, AP-3, D2, bearer suffers -1 to their hit rolls. Company/Platoon Commanders and Lord Commissars won't feel that too much, but Veteran Sergeants may. While expensive, almost everything that can take this will see the best results from it.
- The Vostroyan Warlord Trait makes this deadly and their Relic armour can keep him alive long enough to use it.
- Catachan Company Commanders are the most obvious choice for a power fist, and they become S8 with their Regimental Doctrine. Have him order Fix Bayonets to himself and a nearby Infantry Squad (preferably a combined squad) and put them both in buff range of Straken and a Priest. That's nine S8 powerfist + fifty-four S4 attacks all hitting on 4+.
- Power Maul (Legends): S+3, AP-1, D1. The new 9th edition S bonus is effectively Sx2 for you, making this a budget powerfist. That being said, it's generally worth shelling out for the powerfist unless you're going against other T3 W1 models.
- Power Axe (Legends): S+2, AP-2, D1. the only thing that this isn't Legends for is an Enginseer. Your best bet against Marines, since every bearer goes up to at least S5. Exceptions are the Catachans (naturally); they prefer the sword against T4 targets since they go to S5 and get an extra point of AP, and the axe against T3 targets since they now wound on a 2+.
- Autogun: 24", rapid fire 1, S3, AP0, D1. Think of it as a lasgun that cannot FRFSRF. Previously only available to Ministorum Priests, now Veterans can take these for some reason. Would be cool if they had special ammo or something so they had a reason to exist.
- Shotgun: 12", assault 2, S3, AP0, D1, becomes S4 if the target is within 6". Available to your Commanders (Index) as well as to Veterans, with whom they go well alongside their plethora of flame weapons.
- Laspistol: 12", pistol 1, S3, AP0, D1. A lasgun that's a pistol. More of a placeholder than anything else, but it's free. Just about anything in your army that can take something better should, but some things are stuck with one, like the Master of Ordnance.
- Lasgun: 24", rapid fire 1, S3, AP0, D1. Your trusty flashlight hasn't changed. What changed is the way strength rolls against wounds, allowing it to wound T5 on a 5+, and T7+ is no longer immune to them. Paper stats aside, the sheer number of these you can field and combined with FRFSRF will make even Terminators shit their ceramite-plated pants.
- Bolt Pistol: 12", pistol 1, S4, AP0, D1. 2pts for a real pistol for your sergeants and free for Commissars. The only advantage the bolt pistol has over the boltgun is that it can be fired in close combat, if you expect your squishy meatbag Guardsman to be fighting there for some reason. Worse than the boltgun, better than the laspistol.
- Boltgun: 24", rapid fire 1, S4, AP0, D1. 2pts allows your Sergeant/Character to actually contribute to a firefight instead of merely looking cool. This is realistically the only option you should be taking. You can somewhat kitbash these by clipping off the lasgun magazine and barrel and replacing with a boltgun magazine and flash hider.
- Hot-Shot Laspistol: 6", pistol 1, S3, AP-2, D1. What it says on the tin, but only 6" range means you may not even get to shoot it in overwatch before a charge. Creed has two, just because. If you find yourself within the 6" range to fire it, you may as well just throw a krak grenade instead, which is better in every other way.
- Hot-Shot Lasgun: 18", rapid fire 1, S3, AP-2, D1. Available to Scions and Krieg Sergeants and Grenadiers. The short 18" range makes it unable to rapid-fire right after a Deep Strike natively, even though its most common carriers love Deep-Striking. Considering the number of mobility options available to Scions though, as well as new regimental rules, and this downside can quickly be mitigated. Having massed mid-AP weapons would usually be a reasonable counter to MEQ's, but you still wound on a 5+.
- This basic infantry weapon became widely feared after the Greater Good update; Iotan Dragoons gain +6" range with rapid fire weapons, allowing you to fire it out of Deep Strike. Lambdan Lions improve the AP of their weapons by 1. Kappic Eagles gain +1 to their hit rolls after they disembark, thus hitting on a 2+.
- Plasma Pistol: 12", pistol 1, S7, AP-3, D1, may gain +1S and +1D but hit rolls of unmodified 1 kill the bearer. An actual officer's weapon, it's a toss-up between this or the boltgun for most models, but your Scion Sergeants in PlasmaTrooper squads will love this.
- Frag Grenade: 6", grenade d6, S3, AP0, D1, blast. Damn near every Infantry model in the Guard carries them.
- Note on the maths: if you're able to issue FRFSRF in rapid fire range, you're statistically better off taking the flat four lasgun shots over the average 3.5 shots a frag gives you. However, your sergeant will never do worse with a frag when compared to his laspistol.
- Not bad on their own, but they really shine when you use the Grenadiers stratagem on a BS3+ Veteran Squad jumping out of a transport; most of the stats aren't great, but 10d6 attacks will still decimate most units.
- Krak Grenade: 6", grenade 1, S6, AP-1, Dd3. A rarity in the Guard, available only to Scions, Kriegers, and a few characters.
- Another one that can be combined with the Grenadiers stratagem. Most of your Stormtroopers will be minimum strength to get past their paltry Ld7, but this may see use in your 10-man Krieg units or a single ten-man SS Squad for a Krak-ikaze.
- Flamer: 12", assault d6, S4, AP0, D1, automatically hits. Being an assault weapon that always hits, there's no penalty for advancing and firing, especially for Special Weapon Squads. Flamers are most effective when taken in Catachan Special Weapon Teams or flamer Command Squads because they can reroll their D6 shots with the Burn Them Out! order.
- Grenade Launcher: 24", assault d6, S3, AP0, D1, blast or 24", assault 1, S6, AP-1, Dd3. The mini missile launcher isn't bad, but there are better things available. It's main problem is that meltaguns, plasma guns, and flamers cost 5pts too.
- Hot-Shot Volley Gun: 24", heavy 4, S4, AP-2, D1. A Militarum Tempestus-exclusive, replacing their access to the sniper rifle (also mounted on Taurox Primes). This, and not the flamer, is the Scion's response to hordes.
- Meltagun: 12", assault 1, S8, AP-4, Dd6, gains +2D if the target is within half range. Good against anything with lots of wounds, not just Vehicles. As of Chapter Approved 2020, you're paying 5 points for regular guardsmen and 10 for anyone with BS of 3+ or better (Scions and Veterans).
- Note on the maths: On a model with BS3+, the meltagun within half range has a slight advantage in terms of average damage dealt per point over a supercharged plasma gun in rapid firing range against T8/3+ targets and TEQ-characters. Guys with a BS of 4+ are almost always better off with plasma as they get two shots and aren't as expensive if they melt themselves with it.
- The choice between plasma and melta should be based on what you want your Infantry units to be doing. If your dudes are going to be sitting in a static gunline, plasma is the better choice due to the range. If you are getting your men close to murder bigger things, melta can be the better option.
- Plasma Gun: 24", rapid fire 2, S7, AP-3, D1, may gain +1S and +1D but hit rolls of unmodified 1 kill the bearer. Now that Marines are W2, expect to be seeing a lot more of these and for the points cost to increase because GW base all points costs around their golden boys. Given that you have a huge variety of ways to re-roll 1's (Take Aim order, Cadians Regimental Doctrine, Harker's Hellraisers from Harker (obviously), Hero of Hades Hive from Yarrick, etc.), casualties from supercharging can be easily minimized.
- Given it has the same 24" range and rapid fire profile as boltguns and lasguns, plasma guns should be the default special weapon choice in most squads. Remember, it is 5pts on BS4+ models and 10pts on BS3+ models as of Chapter Approved 2020.
- Sniper Rifle: 36", heavy 1, S4, AP0, D1, may target Characters even if they aren't the closest model and wound rolls of unmodified 6 inflict a mortal wound in addition to any other damage caused. At 2pts no matter the BS of the bearer, this is your cheapest special weapon. The weak stats and low odds of even inflicting the additional mortal wound means these should be spammed as much as possible to do something of note or not taken at all.
- Autocannon: 48", heavy 2, S7, AP-1, D2. A good all-rounder, but worse then the heavy bolter and frag missiles against Infantry and worse than the lascannon and krak missiles against Vehicles. However this weapon is amazing when spammed, which it should be. It's cheaper than the anti-tank weapons and the long range lets you have a lot of overlapping fire arcs among your army. You should be letting your anti-personnel weapons and anti-tank weapons fire first, and then you use your autocannons to pick off any priority targets that are left. With heavy bolters at D2, these are only better than them against T6 and 10-13, and even then, only by 33%, unless ACs get buffed as well.
- Heavy Bolter: 36", heavy 3, S5, AP-1, D2. It's still standard on every vehicle in your motor pool and it's better than the autocannon against T4 and less, with the exception of T3. The heavy bolter is alright, but nothing to write home about.
- With the advent of 9th edition giving this weapon D2 and all Marines W2, you now want the heavy bolter against MEQ's instead of the autocannon; the one extra shot helps make up for your BS4+ and 36" is long enough for most boards. It's even also better than the autocannon against heavy vehicles T8/9, and just as good against T7.
- Heavy Flamer: 12", heavy d6, S5, AP-1, D1. Can be taken on most Vehicles in place of the heavy bolter, as sponson weapons for the Leman Russ, and in Command and Veteran Squads. This almost strictly better than a flamer, with the only downside that it can't advance and fire (outside of Tallarn Vehicles). Not a bad choice on Leman Russes and Chimera, especially if they are expected to be close to the fight.
- Lascannon: 48", heavy 1, S9, AP-3, Dd6. The ever-reliable Imperial tank-buster, the improved strength over missile launcher is critical; krak missiles wound on 4's while the Lascannon wounds on 3's against T8 targets and the extra AP doesn't hurt, either.
- Missile Launcher: 48", heavy d6, S4, AP0, D1, blast, or 48", heavy 1, S8, AP-2, Dd6. Still the Jack of all trades, still the master of none. At its current point cost, specializing with mortars and lascannons is generally a more efficient option.
- Mortar: 48", heavy d6, S4, AP0, D1, blast and does not need line-of-sight. The has been the go-to for heavy weapon teams on competitive tables. While not terribly powerful, being able to fire out of line-of-sight is an asset the Guard can always use.
- Vox-Caster: Your only Infantry wargear in this section. This machine is the beating heart of the Orders system. If an Officer is within 3" of a model with a Vox, and the target squad also has a Vox (and is of the same <Regiment>), the range of the order is tripled to 18". The important thing to note here is that it means your Officers can improvise their command structure a lot more - any Vox can send, and any Vox can receive, as long as the Officer and target squad share regiments. It is entirely legal - and fluffy - for your Platoon Commander, his assigned Vox operator having been killed, to run to a nearby squad of Tempestus Scions and commandeer their Vox Operator to continue sending orders! This also means you don't need to rely on flimsy four-man Command Squads for your Officers to send orders out; squads of Veterans with sniper rifles and heavy weapons, and even Militarum Tempestus Scions can be used as "command" squads.
- Augur Array: The vehicle may re-roll one hit die per game, at a cost of 5 points; with the vast array of other possible sources of re-rolls, this upgrade should be taken with a bucket of salt. Can be used to fill out points in a list, and could prove useful. Auto take in power level games. Very much worth a look now that guard are no longer CP factories.
- Dozer Blade: Adds one to melee hit rolls when charging. Not bad per se, at 5 points, for that rare situation where you want to charge with a Leman Russ (finishing off MCs, for instance). Can be combined with Crush Them! if you're trying to hit something giving you a penalty to hit, and has some synergy with Straken's aura. Or if you just want your tanks to look cool.
- Actually crush them just forces a +2 to hit regardless of modifiers, probably not worth it considering how many CP you'll have.
- Hunter-Killer Missile: This is a slightly more powerful Krak missile launcher (S10 AP-2) that can only shoot once per game, at 5pts. Not bad on Pask or a Tank Commander for a little extra punch on turn 1. Sentinel squads can spam these like no-ones business, even better with the new stratagem to give a sentinel squad +2BS, load up 3 with lascannons and HK missles and DELETE a single piece of armor t1.
- Pintle Heavy Stubber: 2 points for 36" Heavy 3 S4 AP0 D1 is a bit more to think about it; outside of Tallarn. Compared to the storm bolter, it's the same cost, but for extra range and more shots from 12"+ away. Take this if your vehicle is sitting still, otherwise grab the storm bolter if you're running all over the place.
- Pintle Storm Bolter: 2 points for 24" Rapid Fire 2 S4 AP0 D1. A perfectly respectable option on just about everything, and particularly useful in Overwatch.
- When considering whether you should take the heavy stubber or the storm bolter, it comes down to how far you expect the enemy to be in relationship to your vehicle, specifically if you think they will or won't be within 12" of you. The heavy stubber has an extra shot over the storm bolter outside 12" as well as having a longer range. By contrast, the storm bolter will have mor dakka in its preferred range of 12", not to mention that, unlike its competitor, it's not a heavy weapon, so it would suffer a penalty to hit when firing at units within engagement range.
- Track Guards: Easily the most useful of all the vehicle upgrades. Makes the vehicle ignore the damage table in respect to degraded movement range. This one does actually make sense to take as it will keep your vehicles agile even when they're on their last wound.
- As far as upgrades go, 5 points (latest errata dropped from 10 to 5!) is an investment - put it on a Hellhound and laugh as your opponent fails to escape its auto-hitting cleansing flames even when its down to 1 wound!
- Also useful on Leman Russes (particularly Tallarn who want to be moving) and short-range tanks like Demolisher and Eradicators.
Heirlooms of Conquest
Relics return in the new Codex. Like Warlord Traits, the regiment-specific ones really are regiment-specific, so custom regiments can only use the Universal list, but once again, this list contains the best options anyway, Kurov's Aquila and The Laurels of Command. The only one available to Tank Commanders is the Relic of Lost Cadia (Cadia only); The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius has no keyword restrictions beyond being Militarum Tempestus only, but there currently aren't any Militarum Tempestus Vehicle Characters.
- The Blade of Conquest: Replaces a Power Sword. At S+2 AP-4 D1d3 it's better than a Relic blade...but if you want one why not take an actual Relic Blade on a SM (who are much more than just dudes with Str4)? But if you're bent on demonstrating mortal hands are worthy of this Macharian blade, an Armageddon/Catachan/Vostroyan Company Commander with their respective trait, or Lord Commissar, could make something out of it, especially when supported by the usual retinue of Ogryn Bodyguard, Priest, Commissar Yarrick, Bullgryn, Crusaders and Conscripts (plus Straken for Catachans). The Guard may be a shooty army, but mortals can still fight the good fight with blade, boot and bodies. Plus the sword is only 5pts, try having some fun.
- The Dagger of Tu'Sakh: Infantry officers only, per the FAQ. During deployment you can set up the bearer and one INFANTRY unit of the same Regiment (if the bearer has one) in ambush behind enemy lines. At the end of any of your movement phases these units may launch their attack. Set them up within 3" of each other, more than 6" from any battlefield edge, and more than 9" away from enemy units. Surprise Special weapons are always welcome, especially when they're a part of a bigger plan instead of just them.
- The Deathmask of Ollanius: Infantry only; the bearer has a 4++, and once per game, at the start of your turn, can heal 1d3.
- An Ogryn Bodyguard with a Slabshield and Bullgryn Plate will now have a 2+/4++, massively increasing his durability for non-Mortal Wound threats, risks that are both diminished by it suddenly healing 1d3W, helping the overwhelmed Field Medic.
- The Emperor's Benediction: Replaces a Commissar's or Lord Commissar's Bolt Pistol, giving it +2 shots, -1AP, and +1D. While it can also target Characters like a 12" sniper, it can't do so when the bearer is within 1" of the enemy, unlike the very similar Imperial Fists Spartean relic Bolt Pistol. Still, better than a Plasma Pistol.
- Kurov's Aquila: Officers only (now including Tank Commanders!). Every time your opponent uses a stratagem, roll 1d6, and on a 5+, you gain one Command Point. The only relic available to non-Cadian Tank Commanders. Punish Ultrasmurfs for their recycling command points!
- Unfortunately you can only regain one per battle round, so the days of old where you could recycle CP left and right are gone. Still, being able to get one when your opponent spends is still good and you can combine this with the Grand Strategist warlord trait to have even more chances to reclaim them.
- The Laurels of Command: One of the better relics too! Officers with Voice of Command. When the bearer issues an order to a friendly <regiment> unit within 6" of them, roll a die; on a 4+, the bearer can immediately issue them another order, which does not count against the orderer's maximum, and can trigger Laurels again. Also the only way in the game to stack multiple orders on one unit, though the bonus orders can't be the same as the first (so no, you can't use Fix Bayonets like 10 times if you keep making the roll).
- Has phenomenal scaling with a Cadian warlord with Superior Tactical Training; every order issued can cause an 'exploding' propagation of orders, easily allowing one man to command very large numbers of units. The easiest way to resolve having both is as follows: 1) Issue an order to unit A. 2) Roll for STT; on a success this order affects unit B as well. 3) Roll for Laurels; on a success, go to 1 for unit A's next order. 4) Repeat the process on an unordered unit.
Specialist Detachments are a type of Detachment added with the Vigilus Defiant campaign supplement and can be unlocked by spending commands points. These Detachments are custom made for specific sub-factions, which grant them access to additional Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Artifacts through the use of a new, unique keyword. Only specific units within the detachment are affected, and a detachment can only be turned into one specialist detachment. Detachments that are customized for each faction that grant bonuses, does this remind you of anything?
It seems fine thus far, though who knows how the future will unfold. Nothing seems like an obvious meta-breaking auto-take, but they all seem to have a place. Plus they don't really grant bonuses. They just unlock Stratagems, which still cost Command Points to use.
- Field Commander (1 CP): This stratagem bears special mention. For one command point, you can designate a character with a Specialist Detachment keyword and they gain the warlord trait associated with that detachment. Can't be used on named characters or to give your warlord a second warlord trait. Usefulness may vary.
Emperor’s Fist Tank Company
Delicious. Finally, some good fucking tank rules. All Leman Russ tanks, including your Tank Commanders, gain the Emperor's Fist keyword. Never has a keyword been so apt.
- Unyielding Advance (1 CP): No matter how far you moved in the movement phase, the selected Leman Russ may have the full benefit of the Grinding Advance ability by firing twice. While few would think LRBTs needed a mobility enhancement, it does allow for strategic and tactical options without sacrificing firepower. Your short-ranged Russes (Punisher, Demolisher, Executioner) will thank you. Fireball Demolisher tank crews can now get in there and murderburn whole squads with triple heavy flamers and 2d6 demolisher shells. Especially good combined with Tallarn's tank order, since it adds about 5" of movement - you can either undo all of it with the 6" from the order if you just wanted the shot but not the positioning, or you can stack them for about 11" of threat. Also worth noting that Surprise! Russes set up via the Tallarn's Ambush stratagem are considered to have moved their maximum distance, making them a good candidate for Unyielding Advance.
- Steel Phalanx(1 CP): Choose an enemy unit. All Emperor's Fist units that charge the chosen unit cause d3 mortal wounds on a 4+ (net average 1 mortal wound, but with a lot of variance). This turns your tanks into pseudo-Carnifexes or Land Raider Crusaders/Redeemers. However, this is usually going to be less useful than Crush Them (although you can certainly stack them), regardless of whether you're trying to tarpit with a nearly dead Leman, or you're the one being charged.
- Unflinching Resolve: 6" aura, re-roll overwatch rolls for Emperor's Fist units. Wrap your commander with high volume shot units, Punisher wingmen?
- Thinking about running a Mordian Emperor's Fist Tank Company? Good news and bad news, but mostly good. You get less relative benefit than everyone else does, because you don't need the ability to re-roll 5s, but the abilities do stack. Remember, it's re-roll, then modify, so when you roll a 5 to hit, choose not to re-roll. Then, when you add your +1 modifier, hey presto. Your Overwatch shots now hit 20/36 of the time (slightly better than half - i.e. better than BS4+ would, shooting normally!). Also stacks with the Defensive Gunners strat, due to the wording on the regiment trait - pop the strat, and your dice will hit showing 4-6 and you can just re-roll 1-3.
Heirloom of Conquest
- Hammer of Sunderance: 72", heavy d6, S8, AP-2, D3. Replaces a Battle Cannon. The flat three damage is excellent in all situations.
- Remember, this takes up a relic slot, AND you still have to buy the underlying Battle Cannon. Kurov's Aquila will just about always be better. Relic of Lost Cadia is also usually better, but is Cadia only. So... it's alright. The game is certainly full of better relics, but hey, it's something.
- Another thought: 1CP for 2d6 D3 attacks with enough range to target anything on a table? That’s seven shots average, around five hits; finally, a good Guard tank hunter option. Kills whole squads of almost any Marines and can one-shot kill beasts and walkers.
- Modeling tip: Use the best cannon you have in your sprue box to represent it! Go wild with a proper empire cannon, or slap on it the big cannon of the Ogre Kingdoms in a proper custom turret lodging if you really feel that the enemy should taste ornate gothic obliteration. This Anon recommends the Leman Russ Incinerator from the Solar Auxilla line. A slightly cheaper option is to just use the Vanquisher cannon that you get in every battle tank Russ box because you definitely aren't running it as an actual Vanquisher in this edition. Consider the Forgeworld Vanquisher turret. Fire!
Emperor’s Blade Assault Company
The mechanized formation, your standard troopers and transports, aka Company and Platoon Commanders, Command, Infantry, Veteran, and Special Weapon Squads, Chimeras, and Tauroxes all gain the Emperor's Blade keyword. This one just screams Steel Legion, doesn't it?
- Rapid Redeploy (1CP): Disembark one unit at the end of the movement phase. It cannot move further that phase, though it can charge. Only Catachan would care about that, but it does combine with Head First for +2" Chimera disembark charges.
- Positioning is good, but how badly do you need it, especially when it's limited to a single unit of mere mortals per turn? Armageddon may be the vehicle regiment, but Catachans Burn Them Out order depends on short ranged flamers and removes the targets cover, making it vulnerable to the rest of your army. You could also use it on Mordian plasma snipers and Form Firing Squad order into rapid fire range, just don't disembark this unit alone. Or use it to get a unit into grenade range and use the Grenadiers stratagem to lob 10 grenades into the enemy.
- Mechanised Fire Support (1CP): A Chimera/Taurox within 6" of a charged infantry unit can overwatch and hit on 4+. Doesn't stack with the Defensive Gunners stratagem because that's a lesser boost.
- Keep those Mordian Chimeras near each other and it'll be hitting on a 3+.
- Mechanized Commander: Warlord can issue orders to Emperor's Blade units from inside a Transport in the same detachment and counts as being within 3" of a vox. This right here makes the detachment pay for itself, since it normally costs you one CP per turn to use the Mobile Command Vehicle stratagem to do the exact same thing and (unlike MCV) this can also be used from inside a Taurox. Splendid synergy with Armageddon units.
Heirloom of Conquest
- The Shield of Mortwald: A 3++ invulnerable save that cannot be re-rolled for any reason and stops working the first time it fails. Essentially a weaker version of the Drukhari shadowfield, and like it, you can choose which save you use. Though the Emperor's Blade wearer will be hidden away inside a transport, so it may not see actual use.
Emperor’s Wrath Artillery Company
Affects Company Commanders, Masters of Ordinance, Basilisks, Hydras, and Wyverns. Looks like the Manticore is out of luck. Grant's the Emperor's Wrath keyword. Cadians and Catachans already love Artillery, so consider those two <Regiments> for this specialist detachment.
If you are considering taking some guard soup to back up a combat army, you could do worse than adding a cheap Spearhead Detachment for the sake of ensuring your guys get close enough to use their knives/bayonets/swords/axes/servitors, which is especially helpful to small, W1 melee units with high damage output. Failing that, to keep it fluffy, you can do worse than charging in a squad of Arco-flagellants/Crusaders after using the suppressive fire strat. Also, remember that because the unit's movement speed is halved, they are less likely to be able to fall back from your next turn, keeping your combat units from being pew pew'd by enemy guns. Bonus!
- Suppressive Fire (1 CP): One Emperor's Wrath Vehicle can give up a turn of shooting to suppress an enemy infantry unit in range of one of its guns. Said enemy unit cannot Overwatch and halves their movement speed. This is great for locking down extremely fast units or protect that Ogryn squad from a painful round of Overwatch fire.
- Pounding Barrage (2 CP): One weapon on an Emperor’s Wrath Vehicle can shoot twice. This is never NOT useful. Can combine with the Aerial Spotter stratagem for a healthy 'fuck you' to one target. Costs 4 CP, but it can be an excellent way to spend all those extra CPs you're swimming in when running brigades. Combine with the relic (see below) for some real ground pounding.
- Lord of Ordinance: 6" aura. Wound rolls of 6 improve their AP by 1. Best used on Wyverns, somewhat good on Hydras, barely noticeable on Basilisks.
Heirloom of Conquest
- Agripinaa-Class Orbital Tracker: One Emperor's Wrath Vehicle within 6" of the bearer ignores enemy bonuses to cover. If you use it on a Wyvern, you can relive the glory days of 7th edition where it had ignore cover as standard. This can make a surprisingly big difference, particularly when targeting Elite units with lots of shots and dealing wounds by sheer number of saves they have to make.
Emperor’s Conclave Infantry Company
Affects Company Commander, Platoon Commander, Command Squad, Infantry Squads, Conscripts, Priests, and Crusaders. Makes your troopers into super zealots. If you somehow want to run melee guard, here you go. It should go without saying that this is the specialist detachment you want for Infantry Guard.
- No Quarter Given (2 CP):Used at the start of the fight phase. Models slain from target unit can pile in and fight or fight again before being removed. Just when that asshole with Genestealers or Orkboyz thinks he's got the better of that Conscript blob, you can try and take as many of them down as possible. You aren't gonna need the 2CP's for morale immunity when the entire unit is wiped after all. Bear in mind that since it's declared before attacks are made, you can also pay 2CP's to interrupt if another charging unit goes first.
- Sanctimonious charge (1 CP): Used in the Charge phase. Priests that make a successful charge move grant +1 to the charge rolls of other Emperor's Conclave units within 12". Shame Ogryns can't benefit from it.
- Fiery Denouncer: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 in the fight phase for Emperor's Conclave units within 6". This is SCARILY good when combined with Straken and a Ministrorum Priest, even more so if you use a Consolidated Squad of 20+ Catachan troublemakers, instead of an unruly bunch of Conscripts. While this doesn't turn your puny dudes into killer machines, it still makes for a powerful deterrent. You're still a shooty army, but by Sebastian Thor, you WILL make things regret assaulting you.
Heirloom of Conquest
- Litany of the Holy Synod: Emperor's Conclave units within 6" roll 2d6 and use the lowest for morale. In addition, if the bearer dies, pick an Emperor's Conclave unit within 6"; for the rest of the battle, they are immune to morale and have +1 attacks.
Militarum Tempestus Drop Forces
Gives all Scion models and Valkyries the Drop Force keyword. This detachment is all about flying around in the Valkyrie and dropping hot, sweaty plasma everywhere. Given point changes in Chapter Approved 2018 and the current rules shifting against Deep Strike, this detachment could become very common.
- Precision Drop (1 CP): Pick a Valkyrie; when Drop Force models use the grav-chute to disembark, they do not have to roll to see if they die. Two Command Squads escorting their Tempestor Primes around? They are safe from random death.
- Now fairly redundant: all Militarum Tempestus got a stratagem in Psychic Awakening: Greater Good that does this AND lets you drop within 5" rather than 9".
- Aerial Fire Support (1 CP): When a Tempestus Drop Force Infantry unit is charged whilst within 6" of a Drop Force Valkyrie, that Valkyrie may fire overwatch and hits on a 4+ irrespective of modifiers. Whether this is worthwhile depends on what charges you. Big guys will fear hellstrikes and lascannons, horde units will rightly shit their pants at multiple rocket pods and multi-laser attacks backed by heavy bolters in either case. Generally speaking, if you can activate this stratagem you probably should, at the very least it gives one of your Valkyrie's a free shooting phase that's immune to modifiers and at best it might just keep one of your Scion Squads alive for another turn.
- Grav-Chute Commando: Tempestus Drop Force units that disembarked from a Valkyrie on that turn gain +1 to hit when they're within 6" of the Warlord. Somewhat nerfed in 9th edition, now that overcharged plasma explodes on unmodified 1's, but still; BS2+ melta and plasma guns are supremely effective.
Heirloom of Conquest
- Cypra Mundi Null-Emitter: If the bearer is targeted or affected by a Psychic Power, the Power can be nullified on a 2+. Useful only if you took extra relics and placed a Tempestor out front of your army against Grey Knights, Thousand Sons, and Daemons to block Smites. You know, in case you don't have enough for a Culexus or Sister of Silence Squad who are slightly more survivable. Note that due to the wording, this does not count as denying a Psychic Power from being cast, you're just immune to its effects.
- 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.
- Company Commander: 35 points: Your go-to HQ if you're running an Infantry-based list. Besides the fact that he's an Officer and unlocks Command Squads, he's also your primary source of orders, capable of issuing orders to any two (before Warlord Traits and so forth) <Regiment> infantry units in a given turn, including himself or other Commanders. Don't spend too much on his wargear unless you're playing a smaller game, where he's more likely to end up actually having to get in the thick of it; his main goal is to stick around and give orders. Comes stock with a laspistol, chainsword, and a 5++ invulnerable save. One point swaps your laspistol for a boltgun (which should always be taken), but you have little reason to upgrade the chainsword unless you're running a frontline Catachan Commander.
- Tank Commander: 175: A single Leman Russ tank that costs 35pts extra to gain BS3+ and Tank Orders to boost a single fellow Leman Russ (or themselves). If you can afford it, you should consider upgrading if you have the HQ slots spare. It's still a Leman Russ, so it still gets Objective Secured in Spearhead Detachments.
- Tank Orders. Pick one friendly <Regiment> Leman Russ within 6"(you can also pick yourself) to gain one of the following abilities. A Leman Russ can only be affected by one Tank Order per turn.
- Full Throttle! The ordered model immediately moves and advances instead of shooting, and cannot charge.
- Gunners, Kill On Sight! The ordered unit re-rolls hit rolls of 1. Of dubious use for Catachans, since they can pay for Gunnery Sergeant Harker to jog next to the tanks for an aura with the same ability.
- Strike and Shroud! After shooting, the ordered unit immediately uses their smoke launchers. Cannot be used on units that have already use their smoke launchers.
- A Tank Commander ordering himself with Gunners, Kill on Sight has a roughly 78% accuracy, compared to the 50/50 of a normal Russ, making them a lot better than normal Russes for loading up on sponsons and plasma. With a base Russ they have a 58% chance of hitting with the same orders; you're gonna want Commanders to order themselves every time. Any regular Leman Russ will need Pask or a Tank Commander capable of multiple orders (i.e. warlord trait or tank ace ability) to reliably get orders.
- Tank Orders. Pick one friendly <Regiment> Leman Russ within 6"(you can also pick yourself) to gain one of the following abilities. A Leman Russ can only be affected by one Tank Order per turn.
- Salamander Command Vehicle (FW Legends): A Chimera with BS3+, a heavy bolter, and heavy stubber. Scout Vehicle lets it move up to 9" after deployment and before the first turn. Auspex Surveyor is an aura ability that lets <Regiment> Vehicles within 6" gain ignores cover against one target within 24" of this model. 100pts for a fluffy Armoured Company unit with a decent aura ability, especially on those units that rely on cover saves.
- Primaris Psyker: Compared to an Astropath, you get a compulsory force stave, one more known power, and one more wound. Can still only cast and deny one power per turn, so only bring him if you need HQ's or want to be able to smite like a big boy. Okay-ish in close combat, due to WS3+, S3 (+2 from the force stave), A3, and Dd3. If he suffers Perils of the Warp within 6" of a Commissar, units within 6" do not suffer the normal d3 mortal wounds.
- These guys are a good way to spam (unmodified) Smite cheaply. On average, he scores 1.79 mortal wounds per turn (assuming he's at full health - he gets a bit worse as his ability to survive Perils goes down), which likely is more damage than many other 46 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. If you assume no one is attempting to Deny you, a Primaris Psyker's Points-Per-Wound with Smite is 22.33 (assuming he can live through Perils, which he can from full health, guaranteed); an Astropaths is 22.5 but their odds of actually casting Smite on 1d6 are abysmal. Psychic Maelstrom is generally much better than Smite, so consider taking it as your second back-up power.
- The Primaris Psyker is a prime candidate for the Deathmask of Ollianus. He'll appreciate having a 4++ invulnerable, especially once he gets into close combat. It's not uncommon for a Primaris Psyker to make his points back in close combat alone either, as if he can either attack first or survive the attacks, he can bash his way through MEQs and even a good number of the named Marine characters. Plus, as a Psyker whose only ranged weapon is a laspistol anyway, he doesn't care about being locked in combat.
- Aradia Madellan: A 40 point Primaris Psyker that doesn't get to choose her powers but comes with Smite and a unique Warp Charge 8 power that gives a friendly Astra Militarum infantry unit +1 to hit. Yes please. It may be a hard cast to pull off, but is worth the risk. She can still be popped by a generic Commissar if she would die as a result of Perils.
- Lord Commissar: A more expensive Commissar with a power sword, but improved in all key stats; HQ instead of Elite, WS2+, BS2+, W4, Sv4+/5++, and (most importantly) Ld9. He works best with squads small enough to benefit from Aura of Discipline to give them his excellent Ld without having to trigger Summary Execution, like Ogryn. Furthermore, he's the one with enough WS to properly use a powerfist. Always replace his bolt pistol with a bolter. All that for a mere 35pts base.
- Catachan, Mordian, and Regimental Standard buffs to Ld work with Aura of Discipline, as the unit is replacing its Leadership with the one of the Lord Commissar, and then all modifiers apply, per page 203 of the core rulebook. Similarly, pair him up with a Valhallan Warlord who is using the Inspiring Leader Warlord Trait from the main rulebook. The Warlord buffs everyone nearby, including the Commissar, who then shares his new Ld10 with everyone nearby. Combined with their halved battleshock, you will almost never have to execute anyone!
- Officio Prefectus Command Tanks cost CP and aren't Characters (unless you choose a Tank Commander but even then he has more than 10 wounds, so moot point anyway), so they tend to last less despite being a damn tank. They get you Ld9, but also lack the reroll. Likewise, you can always pay 2CP to auto-pass Morale, or 1CP to take the test on 1d3.
- Commissar Yarrick: A named Lord Commissar with a power klaw he ripped from an Ork Warboss (Sx2, AP-3, Dd3, suffers -1 to hit rolls). A Lord Commissar with powerfist and boltgun is 46pts, compared to Yarricks 105pts. What do you get for 59pts then? The only storm bolter an Imperial guard Infantry model has and the Bale Eye (6", pistol 1, S3, AP-2, D1). He also has T4, a 4++ invulnerable instead of 5++, and he has a 3+++ FNP against his last wound only. Finally, Hero of Hades Hive lets Imperial Guard units within 6" re-roll hit rolls of 1, or ALL failed hit rolls if your target is Orks.
- For the cost, you could buy two Company Commanders to order the actual Take Aim! to your units, in addition to a Lord Commissar (and get +1CP in a Supreme Command Detachment). But Yarrick's buff can stack with other orders and even affects Vehicles.
- What Yarrick brings to the shooting phase against non-Orks, Cadian's get at the cost of not moving and Catachan's get for Harkers 55pts (and Harker brings much more for shooting).
Only two choices, though they're good enough. Well, and Tempestus Scions, but those are in their own section; remember, you can take them as your troops without losing your regimental bonus, but they won't get theirs.
- Infantry Squad: Ten men, nine and a half guns. These guys are the meat and potatoes of any non-Scion infantry list, and at 5.5 points apiece, they're pretty efficient. That base 5+ save isn't great, but they can be surprisingly resilient in cover. The Sergeant starts off with a laspistol and a chainsword, both of which can be swapped out for more powerful weapons; the very least of which should be your swapping the lapspistol for a boltgun so they can actually contribute to a firefight. One Guardsman can take a voxcaster, one can take a special weapon, and two guardsman can combine into a single Heavy Weapons Team. As for the exact loadout these guys will use, it depends on their <REGIMENT> and the role they'll be playing. In general, it is best to keep them cheap, as special weapons and other toys don't help their primary goal: dying for the Emperor. Plus, FRFSRF works best when they're loaded out with lasguns.
- Catachan like taking flamers and their sergeants will be better able to use powerfists, but the order that buffs your flamer could have been FRFSRF, which is usually better, and that powerfist will usually miss.
- Cadian gunlines can fire plasma weapons supercharged with less danger, and any heavy weapons in the squad (including sniper rifle special weapons) will be noticeably better, as you'll want the unit to sit still anyway.
- Armageddon squads will also like plasma, or even just sticking with basic lasguns and a bolter on the sarge, combining ranked fire with their regimental doctrine to lay down blistering fire at a safer distance. Mixing Heavy Weapons Teams into your Infantry Squads isn't a bad move either, as you're essentially trading a lasgun for a heavy weapon and providing your valuable weapons with plenty of lasgun chaff to die before they start taking wounds.
- The current meta in competitive circles seems to be taking the stock 10-man squad with no bells and whistles. As long as you have access to an officer to issue FRFSRF, this seems to be the most point efficient use of the humble infantry squad. Additionally, many competitive IG players have begun to take 90 or more Guardsmen in their lists; this might sound unwise particularly given how easy they are to kill, but once you get into the mid-to-late game your opponent is unlikely to have enough anti-infantry left alive to deal with the 40+ Guardsmen you have left.
- A quick pro-tip for those money savers, if you don't mind easy to build kits (or the Cadian guard theme), consider getting two easy to build Guardsmen kits for every standard Infantry Squad box. That way you can split the guardsmen inside the larger kit and save yourself some cash (which we all know, if you're playing 40k in general, is always a bonus).
- If your planning to take heavy weapons in your squads, consider buying the Brood Brothers box to get the option of adding a heavy weapon team into your squad. If you buy five of them you'll get 5 infantry squads with a heavy weapon and a additional squad made up of the left over guardsmen that come with the boxes (along with a few extra pieces to spice up your squads a bit). In addition you'll also save money buying 6 Brood Brother boxes compared to buying 6 Cadian Shock Troop boxes and 2 Cadian Heavy Weapon Squads.
- Conscripts: If there is anything thinner than paper, it would be Conscripts. Conscripts have gone from being a near-blue chip unit to being nearly entirely useless. They cost as much as Guardsmen despite having worse BS, WS, Ld, and weapon choices (they're stuck with lasguns only, although they're not forced to take a laspistol along). On top of this, they only accept orders on a 4+, so even if you use their one ability your basic Guardsmen lack - showing up in a horde - you'll lose out heavily on points efficiency. There might be some uses for them since they do get full doctrine bonuses (as well as any other non-Order buffs), but in general, one 20-man unit of these dudes aren't as good as two 10-man Infantry Squads.
- In close combat, their sheer size can prevent consolidations, thus allowing your units to counterattack in your next turn. Catachan conscripts with Straken and a priest can actually be pretty nasty in close combat if you can help their morale, but they'll struggle to fix bayonets.
- Ld4 is pretty terrible and it can be challenging to get these guys stick around after taking casualties... but you can still do it! Here are the ways to make them as unshiftable as they were before the Codex; Astropaths buffing them with Mental Fortitude, A Lord Commissar babysitter, the Valhallan Pietrov's Mk 45 relic has the pre-nerf Summary Execution, and squads that fall out of the aura halve battleshock casualties due to their doctrine, and the Mordian warlord trait has a similar aura, and with their +1Ld while in formation can be more easily combined with Commissars, Defensive psychic powers and/or Fight to the death.
In previous editions the Guard's elite slot was almost completely ignored, but with all the shuffling around of our units it's now surprisingly crowded. As always with Imperial Guard Infantry these units tend to be very cheap and are generally either small hard hitting units or supporting characters. Pick and choose as needed to either fill gaps or enhance your other units. Melee support includes Ogryns, Bullgryns, Crusaders, and Priests, while Veterans and Command Squads provide shooting help. The various Characters are obvious with respect to what the buff.
- Platoon Commander: Now an individual model, broken off of his Command squad. This is one of your options for Orders, capable of giving one per turn and he has a 5++ invulnerable save. Laspistol and chainsword as standard, but those can be swapped for better melee or ranged weapons. You're usually better off with more Company Commanders given the crowded Elite slot, however these Lieutenant equivalents can be used to access nifty Field Commander traits (Mechanized Commander) from specialist detachments or sneak in with a relic (Dagger of Tu'sakh).
- Master of Ordnance: The Master of Ordnance has two things going for him: a one-use 100", heavy d6, S8, AP-2, Dd3 attack that cannot be used if this model has moved and does not require line-of-sight, but you suffer -1 to hit rolls if you don't have a visual. No matter mow many of these guys you have, you can only fire one artillery salvo per turn. The real gimmick he has is squatting within 6" of <regiment> Basilisks, Deathstrikes, Manticores, and Wyverns to allow them to re-roll hit rolls of 1 against targets over 36" away. As the Wyvern has a 48" ranged weapon, this has the most use with the other three models.
- Obviously, don't take him if you're Cadian or brought another buffer with the same effect like Harker or Yarrick.
- As of the change he can now support an Armageddon-Pattern Basilisk, but he still inexplicably cannot support the other Forge World variants, like Battery variants of the guns.
- Command Squad: Only one can be taken for each Officer you have on the field. Essentially four Veterans who can all be outfitted with special weapons, or laspistols + chainswords, or you can give each one your choice of Medi-Pack, a Standard, or Vox-Caster. The Medic ain't no Apothecary, and his shit only works on a 4+ by returning one model to the squad or healing one model with one lost wound. The Standard is worse than a Lord Commissar, although it will buff Catachans or Mordians to Ld9 so long as they also have an Officer within 6"/have at least two unit members left to stand back to back. The vox-caster should typically be carried by an Infantry Squad. You can also swap out two of these guys for a Heavy Weapons Team. It's points efficient to give these guys two special weapons and a heavy weapon or just four special weapons, but they're very likely to get shot off the table, whereas a Veteran Squad at least has some expendable bodies before you start losing special weapons.
- For some slightly rage-inducing shenanigans, use an Ogryn Bodyguard/Nork to tank wounds for your Characters, and then use the medic to heal the Ogryn.
- While it remains an unFAQed mystery what exactly happens if you take a medi-pack and target a majority 1-wound unit with a heavy weapons team, you can certainly take a medi-pack and 3 plasma guns, then use the medic to try to bring back dead plasma gunners, though this is not a competitive option due to the cost of the medi-pack and its 50-50 success rate.
- It should be noted, Company and Platoon Commanders are not the only Officers you can bring. Tank Commanders have the officer keyword and therefore unlock access to an additional command squad.
- Veteran Squad: Rather boorishly
promoteddemoted to the Elites slot, Veterans are Guardsmen with a BS3+, three special weapon slots, one heavy flamer slot, and the ability to swap their lasguns for shotguns. Get the most out of them by taking advantage of their weapon combinations, as you have quite a chunk to work with. Go close-range with shotguns and flamers/meltas, or go gunline with plasma and heavy weapons. Just bear in mine that plasma and melta will cost more than your BS4+ brethren and avoid standard flamers on these guys (and look at the Special Weapons Squad below instead); it's a total waste of their improved BS.
- Special consideration should be given to these guys when packing plasma guns, particularly when using Mordian or Armageddon regiments. Armageddon allows you to get 3 plasma guns firing two shots each at 18”, while the Mordian special order allows you to target Characters with Rapid Fire weapons. Veterans in this configuration along with a Platoon Commander with the Dagger of Tu’Shakh can make an excellent 2nd turn execution force. Vostroyans will make plasmas and heavy weapons 6" longer in range. 30" plasma never hurt anyone... well, except your enemy... or the person firing the gun.
- Special Weapons Squad: Like Heavy Weapons Squads, the base cost of this unit is absurdly cheap; 24 points for six guys before you have to give three of them their special weapons. Your options are plasma guns, melta guns, flamers, sniper rifles, or grenade launchers. Legends has returned their demolition charges for 5pts each that hit at 6", grenade d6, S8, AP-3, Dd3, one-use only. Drop a squad from a Valkyrie then hit your opponent with an all demo charge unit using the Grenadiers stratagem.
- Point for point, a Special Weapons Squad with plasma guns/demo charge is one of the most effective options at clearing out Marine targets; consider throwing two squads in a Chimera and/or the Disciplined Shooters regimental doctrine to get the shots to their targets.
- Atlas Recovery Tank (FW Legends): Believe it or not, this thing is almost useful now. It's a standard Chimera tank, but instead of the turret weapon and transport capacity, it can heal a <Regiment> Vehicle within 3" for d3 lost wounds. Stack with a Techpriest and have both babysit your superheavy tank to heal it 2d3 wounds per turn. That being said, a Techpriest is 35pts and an Atlas is 80pts. The Techpriest has Character protection and the Atlas gains the tankiness of a tank.
- Sentinel Powerlifter (FW Legends): If you wanted a melee Sentinel, this bears thinking about instead of one with a sentinel chainsword. It's a Scout Sentinel as base, and you lose the ranged weapon, but the powerlifter is much stronger than the chainsword at Sx2, AP-2, Dd3, and +2A with this weapon.
- Tech-Priest Enginseer: Found in the AdMech list as well as the new Guard codex alongside Servitors. Repairs D3 lost wounds on a single Astra Militarum vehicle or AdMech vehicle with the same Forge World keyword as himself 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 pleases from either list as long as they share the same Forge World. An auto-include if you brought a Baneblade. He can also repair Questor Mechanicus Knights, albeit only for a single wound per turn.
- Imperial Guard codex kept Tech-Priest as an Elite choice, and allows him to bring in his Servitors with him as another Elite choice.
- Because he has the Adeptus Mechanicus keyword the Enginseer also has access to their stratagems, most notably Tech Adept which allows you to make an additional repair roll for 1CP (RAW you can heal the same vehicle twice, overriding the normal limitations of Master of Machines). Note that you can only access these strategems if you also include a Detatchment with the Adeptus Mechanicus keyword.
- Potentially you can heal 3D3+1 wounds on the same vehicle if you stack this ability with a Trojan Recovery Vehicle + "Jury Rigging".
- Servitors: 4 Guardsman bodies which are slower, have a poor BS of only 5+, but have a 4+ save. Two of them can take a Heavy Bolter, Plasma Cannon, or Multi-Melta. If a Tech-Priest is babysitting them, they increase their BS to 4+ and Leadership to 9. They are, however, not very points efficient as of the release of 9th edition.
- Even though they are still somewhat bad, they can still be a source of bodies for Actions, similar to Cryptothralls. Watch this spot in case of the Guard codex making them a bit less expensive.
- Ministorum Priest: The Priests' War Hymns grant +1 attack to every Astra Militarum infantry unit within 6". These guys are useful if you think there's high probability that your boys will charge or be charged.
- Priests synergize well with Catachan, especially when taken with Straken for A3 on your basic infantry during the fight phase. He's also great at accompanying Bullgryns, Ogryns, and Conscripts; in fact, he's a must for any infantry units you plan on getting in close combat. He also buffs nearby Adeptus Ministorum infantry, too, so there's obvious synergy with their dedicated close-combat units as well.
- Be sure and use the Index datasheet for the priest rather than the crappy Codex version if you want access to eviscerators, bolters, plasma guns, combi-weapons, etc.
- Crusaders: A dedicated close-combat unit that with S3, T3, WS3+ with a 4++, a single wound and a power sword. They have two attacks base and the Zealot special rule. While not as tough or strong as Bullgryns, they do have access to the Index version of the Sisters-exclusive Index Act of Faith rules: at the start of your turn roll a D6 and on a 2+, you can immediately take an out of sequence action (move, shoot, or fight) or bring back a dead model. Per the Index rules, you'll only get one Act of Faith per turn, no matter how many units of these guys you have.
- These guys can easily overwhelm their points in MEQs on the charge, and they love taking Priests with them. They can be made even tankier by using Psychic Barrier (as unfluffy as it may be to have them tolerate the presence of Psykers).
- They're one wound wonders, but you can bring one back each turn on a 2+ so long as the unit hasn't been destroyed. They're not quite as points efficient as Bullgryns, but they can come back from the dead, and they have an easier time fitting into your list, as they can be taken in groups of 2-10 and are cheaper per model.
- It should be notes that Zealot takes place in the first round of a combat whether your squad charged or was charged. So a solid tactic is to screen these guys in front of a character or valuable unit and let them soak up a charge during your opponent’s turn, where you’ll re-roll hits. Then, at the start of your next turn, fight again on a 2+. Remember that Act of Faith takes place at the start of your turn, BEFORE your movement phase, so if you wipe out your opponent’s unit you can consolidate, move and then hopefully charge, once again gaining your re-roll to hit.
BIG CAVEAT HERE: Crusaders got a major overhaul in the ADEPTUS MINISTORUM Codex. Acts of Faith were completely reworked, Crusader squads are capped at 6 dudes and a lot of their rules were adjusted or removed. Most importantly, how only one Battle Enclave unit can be included in a Detachment without a Ministorum Priest and take up no Detachment slots if there is one. There's been no mention in any of the FAQs if the new ADEPTUS MINISTORUM datasheet completely overrides the old ASTRA MILITARUM one or if you are meant to use one or the other, so be very careful about taking these guys until GW clarifies the situation.
- The crusaders of SoB have a unit size of 2-6. The unit size of the guard one is 2-10. Both of these different unit size are kept in the munitormum field manual. This is a very strong hint that GW sees this as 2 different data sheets and guard players should use the one in their codex.
- As a FURTHER addendum the October 2020 Indomitus AM FAQ has apparently buffed these guys sideways. Power Swords got a 1+S buff and storm shields follow the new Space Marine rules, with a 4++ and 1+ modifier to armour saves, changing the nature of their durability somewhat while lifting the curse of S3 from them. Give them a Priest and Gotfret to run with and start cracking some power armour open.
- Gotfret de Montbard: A unique Crusader from the Blackstone fortress escalation box. Almost basically an oldschool Aspect Warrior Exarch for Crusaders, but is a CHARACTER so he's safe from enemy fire and can Heroically Intervene. Otherwise Has crusader stats across the board besides his 4W and 4A (effectively making him 2 2W crusaders), which on hit rolls of 6 score 2 hits. his Power Sword now has him at S4, so overall For 40 points not a terrible choice. Very fluffy if you're building a Feudal World melee regiment, but your Elite slot is crowded as is and cheap as he is, you have access to cheaper units that support your army. Should be noted that if you have a Ministorum Priest he takes up no force organisation chart slots.
- Alternative take: He's a 40 point character with a 4++ and the ability to hold his own vs small elite squads of objective takers. You can easily place him on a backfield objective and have him survive some flanking manoeuvres.
- Officer of the Fleet: Fleet officers can attempt to call in an air-strike on any non-character that he can see (so if there's terrain on the table try to get him up to high ground to give him a good vantage point) once per game. Doing so can deal up to 3 mortal wounds 50% of the time. They also grants friendly Aeronautica Imperialis fliers re-rolls of 1 to hit a single ground target within 18 inches of himself each turn. This air strike makes him somewhat useful even if you're not using flyers or reserves, though he is otherwise a 25 point 3 wound Guardsman armed only with a laspistol who must put himself in the front line to provide the buff.
- Tactical Note: This is the only unit in the Codex that is both an Officer and lacks a Regiment (Aeronautica is specifically not a Regiment), which makes him uniquely suited to using the Dagger of Tu'Sakh; it allows him to outflank and bring non-regiment Infantry with him. Ogryns, Crusaders, Psykers; you spend your relic and he can do little other than calling in an airstrike once he takes the field, but for 25 points giving your dedicated melee troops a cheap outflank is absolutely wonderful.
- New FAQ: Now that the Dagger of Tu'Sakh is only available to officers, it is not a bad idea to give it to the Officer of the Fleet (he is an Officer) because he can get any infantry unit (regardless of <REGIMENT>) with him to deep strike almost anywhere on 2nd turn onward. That also helps your Flyers since they can zip around to get into position on the first turn and then drop to hover mode and annihilate a unit designated by the Officer of the Fleet(who will be in 18" range to use his ability since he deep struck on the spot you chose and has meat shields to keep him alive).
- Astropath: Only 1d6 for Smite (but you should be casting Psychic Maelstrom or Gaze of the Emperor for damage anyway), but decently cheap. Camp a few of these guys behind your gunline and deny powers. These guys lack the It's For Your Own Good rule, so Commissars are unable to stop them from blowing up in case they die from Perils of the Warp. However, it's also impossible for Astropaths to Perils while casting Smite (as they're limited to only rolling 1D6).
- Most people also tend to forget about the Astropath's other special rule (note this is not a psychic power) - Astral Divination. Pick an enemy unit within 18" of an Astropath, and for the rest of the shooting phase that unit loses its cover save against AM models within 6" of your Psyker. A great way to fuck with Eldar Rangers, Space Marine Scouts, or anything that relies on cover saves.
- While 9e has hit it with a pretty major point bump from 15 points with a laspistol to 35 points no matter what weapon you give him, 35 points is still pretty good for the support powers it has as well as its ability to deny.
- Wyrdvane Psykers: Very mediocre in most situations. 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. You may be able to make them work by stuffing them out of line of sight and preventing your opponent from reducing their efficiency. If your enemy goes after them, they'll be wasting resources that they really should be dedicating to more worthwhile units. On the whole, though, you should avoid taking these guys unless you have a plan or are using them to support your Primaris Psyker. Note that it is possible to get these guys up to a +4 on their psychic tests now for 1 CP if a Primaris Psyker is around, so consider stuffing them behind a Baneblade alongside that Primaris Psyker or something.
- Ogryn Bodyguard: A generic Nork Deddog (and so can be taken in multiple), he has a slightly weaker version of the bodyguard ability (operates on a 3+ rather than a 2+) and lacks Nork's headbutt as well as his heroic sacrifice rule. He can, however, choose from Ogryn/Bullgryn equipment. They are pretty beefy with six wounds and the ability to take bullgryn shield and armor.
- Do not underestimate the Bodyguard ability. It's rolled on a per-wound basis, meaning it's effectively a 3+ FnP for every infantry character within 3" you can roll (successfully) up to 6 times (with the possibility for more, see below). This is an enormous survivability boost for your commanders and commissars; even Skitarii Rangers with transuranic arquebuses will have to dedicate multiple turns and squads of sniping to the task. And all the while, you're chewing them up with artillery...
- The Gun hand can carry a Ripper Gun for free, or you can pay points for a Bullgryn Maul or Grenadier Gauntlet. The Gauntlet is garbage; since the model is a single-model unit, it can just throw Frag Bombs for free for the same effect out to 6", and out to 12", it's not worth the points cost against any target in the entire game vs. the Ripper Gun. The Maul is worth discussing, as it is far better than a Force Staff and far cheaper, but since we're comparing it to the Ripper Gun, remember, it won't improve your AP at all - instead, you're contemplating paying 7 points for +2S and doubling your Damage to 2. The big reason to take this seriously is that the Bodyguard can legally employ Heroic Interventions, and is far better when doing so with the Maul in hand; even against 1-wound models, he's more efficient this way against Toughnesses 3 and 5-7, and obviously, once he's hitting multi-wound models, he's better with the Maul against everything. You can always stick with the Ripper Gun if you prefer to keep your Bodyguard cheap and contributing to the ongoing gunbattle, but he'll do real work with a Maul in hand.
- Alternate Take As the bodyguard ability causes a mortal wound which can't be saved no matter how armoured up he is and (with the exception of special characters like Yarrick or Creed) he costs more than most of the characters he will be guarding (for instance two Company Commanders or Commissars is cheaper), you have a choice of two different ways to play the bodyguard. If he's acting as a dedicated bodyguard keep him as cheap as possible with no additional armour and retain the Ripper Gun to put out some shots while stationary. The other path is to deck him out with the best gear and play him as an Ogryn Commando, your own personal over-sized Sly Marbo with his bodyguard ability as just a secondary function.
- Given the Deathmask of Ollanius Pius, a Slabshield, and a Maul the Ogryn Bodyguard can reliably beat down most characters in challenges. Taking the Deathmask and a slabshield means you can get an angry Ogryn running around with a 2+/4++ and 6 wounds that can heal once per game. Think of him as the Guards answer to Smashfucker... only instead of a jetpack he's got Downs Syndrome.
- 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) with the same potency as a battle cannon (S8 AP-2 DD3) 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. It's just the kind of guy he is.
- Nork will actually die far, far faster than his points in Bullgryn, while dealing less damage, to boot. Make sure you take him for his Loyal to the End bodyguard ability, not for anything else.
- Ogryns: Unarmored Bullgryn with "small" arms. They're still T5 and their Ripper gun is an Assault 3 S5 AP0 gun. The ripper gun does also sport an S user AP-1 bayonet, which is nice. "Assault" is the keyword 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. You can charge the turn you disembark from a Chimera/Taurox/Valkyrie, but they take up 3 transport slots, so be careful. They are also very pricey for what you get at the launch of 9th edition. But then again unlike everyone else, they didn't go up in points at all, so it's a net advantage for them.
- 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 or using a Taurox, take the priest, but if you're transporting them in a Chimera 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 priest 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.
- 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.
- Bullgryns: From zero to hero! Their Slabshields and Brute Shields got buffed: Slabshields give them +2 to armor save rolls as of the Codex, 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.
- In a high point game, consider the Ogryn Battlewagon, A Stormlord has space for 40 models and has 20 firing ports; take two minimum squads of Ogryn/Bullgryn, 20 infantry, a priest, and your choice of final buffing spot (commissar/officer etc..). With the Stormlord behind them as fire support there is very little that can survive this. Khorne begs to differ, but its is a very impressive apocalypse load out no doubt.
- Ratlings: The same pint-size sniper unit as before with many improved abilities. They retain an infiltrate and a stealth/cover skillset, but their Shoot Sharp and Scarper ability is now a normal move, rather than a random D6" run. With a bit of planning and positioning around LOS-blocking cover, these little gits can snipe away 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, in an era where Tau Battlesuits, the originators of the tactic, have lost this ability. On top of this, sniper rifles in general have been buffed by the edition - on a 6+ to wound each rifle inflicts a mortal wound in addition to any other normal damage. So Ratlings are a good unit overall. As of the new FAQ, their movement has been reduced to 5", but that still means a 10" scarper thanks to their ability. Just beware their terrible defenses. Toughness 2 and Leadership 5 are underwhelming, while their +2 to saves in cover is small consolation when their base save is a mere 6+, so anything stronger than a stiff breeze will fold them like a deck of cards.
- With characters generally untargetable by non-sniper shooting in 8th Edition, all types of sniper unit have become much more valuable, and Ratlings are a prime example. Both cheap and good at what they do, the space Halfings have gone from a quirky side-choice to an almost must-have. Two full squads of these guys are relatively cheap and will statistically down an Ork Warboss on your first shooting phase.
- Vs Vindicares 10 of our little Ratling boys require four turns on average to kill a four wound character, where a Vindicare requires only two. Taking into account the mortal wounds on 6s halves this to two turns, but a lucky 6 gives the Vindicare a 50/50 chance of killing a four wound character in one turn. Vindicares have double the range, are characters and thus are harder to target, and don't have to deal with morale. Ratlings however will do more damage against infantry unless they're shooting multi-wound models or 2+ saves. With all of this in mind, the Vindicare seems to be the clearer choice for character hunting but can't be squeezed into your existing detatchments.
- Vs Cadian Snipers Ratlings can't benefit from orders, receive Cadian rerolls or Overlapping Fields of Fire. Cadian snipers will be hitting on a 2+ whilst re-rolling ones, and with Bring It Down they're increasing their chance of wounding too which is great news when you're fishing for mortal wounds. Furthermore, Cadians are T3 (vs T2) but they don't benefit from stealth/cover/infiltrate, so the strategy will vary too.
- Comparing the unit cost: Ratlings are 35pts for 5 (up to 70pts/10), Special Weapon Squads are 30pts for 3 (with three reduntant guardsmen), and Command Squads are 32pts for 4 (requiring a Commander).
- Rein and Raus: A pair of Ratling twins from the Blackstone Fortress kit. Rein is armed with a sniper rifle, Raus has a demolition charge and Grappling Hook, and both have a stub pistol. They have a lot of the drawbacks of Ratlings, including a 6+ save that only gets to 4+ in cover (like a normal goddamn Guardsman), but they also have improved BS+ and have a full 6" move (plus they can move after shooting). Their relative fragility (T2 and W2) is compensated for by their CHARACTER keyword - unlike your other snipers, Rein generally won't be targetable by enemy artillery. and Raus can ignore vertical distance when he moves. He also is better at using demolition charges than Special Weapons Squads, but he only gets 1. In a high points game, they're not really worth it unless you need to fill out an Elites slot for 35 points, but in a small game, they can wreak some havoc.
- Commissar: His Summary Execution rule means that all Astra Militarum squads within 6" of him may re-roll (as of the latest FAQ, which also dropped their points cost considerably) their first failed Morale test in any given phase at the expense of a single model dying (the newly dead model doesn't count for the re-roll), which means you should be picky about when you use the Summary Execution ability. Thanks to the Aura of Discipline ability, those same Guard squads will be given Ld8. Compared to his senior ranking Lord counterpart, he has one less wound, a 5+ save, WS and BS 3 instead of 2, and no Invulnerable save of any kind. However, he's much cheaper.
- In case you have missed it, Summary Execution is an optional re-roll now. Commissars also faced a steep price decrease, now being 16 points instead of 31 at base.
- His ranged weapon should always be a bolter; you shouldn't buy him a melee weapon (apart from a chainsword), as he should be staying out of melee and providing buffs instead.
- The cheapest Commissar you can take is 15 points (16 with a Bolter), while Lord Commissars have to take a Power Weapon as well, raising them up to 34 (35 with a Bolter). They're Characters, so what you primarily need them to live through are sniper rifle shots; their points divided by how many Ratling sniper rifle shots it takes to kill them are 76 and 165, respectively (using the versions that took a Bolter).
- Consider using the Officio Prefectus Command Tank stratagem instead of taking a Commissar. For just 2CP you get a 6" LD9 buff with a much better version of Summary Execution... in addition to being a goddamn tank.
- Other Stratagem options include paying 1 CP to take a test on 1d3 or 2 CP to auto-pass; if you're low on CPs, you're playing Guard wrong, especially now that a Brigade nets you 12 goddamn CP.
- Other choices, provided you can get them in, include an Astropath or a Primaris Psyker using the Fearless power.
- Commissar Severina Raine: The main character in the book "Honour Bound" and a bit of a mixed bag in terms of stats. She has the standard Commissar stat line and Comes with "Summary execution" and "Aura of discipline", but she is 16 points more than a Commissar with a powersword and she doesn't have much to show for it. The biggest disappointment is her Sword, "Evanfall" which is AP-1 with no buffs to strength or extra attacks meaning she is even less useful in a fight than a regular commissar. Though with her special ability, you actually don't want her to kill what she charges. Her 4+ armor save is nice and her Bolt pistol "Penance" is Ap-1 which means she is slightly more effective in close range firefights than charging in close. Her special rule, "Leading from the front" allows all friendly guard forces within 6" auto pass morale checks is she is 1" from an enemy unit. This means she lends herself to being run along side a squad of Stormtroopers or Shotgun Veterans (both fluffy and crunchy since she mostly hangs around those units in Honourbound), to aid them in the close range shooting with her Bolt pistol and to keep them Immune to morale if they are charged, but she won't able to carry the squad in melee so next turn have her and the squad fall back and shell the squad that charged with artillery (or use Get back in the fight! to shoot the unit you coward). Overall, interesting but quite overcosted.
- A way to use her that will actually see her make her points back is to use her to buff up a Conscript melee tarpit, especially if you can keep her protected with a nearby Ogryn bodyguard to intercept any melee wounds your opponent wisely decides to inflict upon her. Her morale ability is incredibly potent and will absolutely offset any Leadership penalties you might be suffering, so suck it, enemy Psykers and debuffers. Also, keep in mind that she only has to be within 1" of an enemy to prevent a Guard unit within 6" from suffering losses in the Morale phase... which means that unit doesn't need to be within 1" of an enemy itself. That means that even if your enemy starts hitting your infantry squads behind her hard with ranged fire, they'll stick around if they're close enough. Another example of why there's more to the game than Mathhammer.
- Chimera: The old king of metal bawkes is ready to carry troops to the front lines in 9th edition. T7, W10, Sv3+, and it can carry twelve Infantry with Ogryns counting as three models. A hull heavy bolter, turret multi-laser (36", heavy 3, S6, AP0, D1), and two lasgun arrays (rapid fire 3 lasguns that can only be fired with an embarked model). The heavy bolter can be swapped for a heavy flamer and the multi-laser can be swapped for a heavy bolter, heavy flamer, autocannon (+10pts, FW Legends), or twin heavy bolter (+25pts, FW Legends).
- With the advent of D2 heavy bolters and W2 Marines, the heavy bolter Chimeras are better than the Taurox against MEQ's now. 8th edition also effectively killed the multi-laser, as compared to the heavy bolter, they're only statistically better against T10/11 (which don't exist, a Warlord Titan is only T9) and T6 models with no Sv (which again, don't exist).
- The primary benefit of a Chimera over a Taurox is the two extra transport slots, +1 Toughness, and the wider-variety of wargear option. Which Vehicle you should take depends both on your regiment and what you intend to put in it; Tauroxes imply you're using vox-casters to get your orders through, while Chimeras imply you're having an Officer or other support Character tag-along.
- Catachan's wouldn't mind taking the twin heavy flamer option for brawling and making your dedicated transport pull double duty as a poor man's Hellhound after dumping your S4 manly men in the face of the enemy.
- Tallarn are able to move about while still laying down some amount of fire. It isn't great, but if you need to advance your Transport, its better than nothing.
- Armageddon likes these in general; the extra toughness and added transport slots synergize well with their unique order and Stratagem, as well as the boosted resilience against AP-1 weaponry.
- 90 Points = 1 Chimera, 2 Heavy Flamers, Track Guards, 12 spots for organic fillings. Dont ask questions.
- Taurox: The student has learned well. With its twin autocannons and a good move speed of M14", the Taurox makes a strong contender for the new Guard motor pool. It's faster and cheaper than the Chimera, and the ten-man capacity makes it ideal for carrying Infantry Squads or dropping an Ogryn and Priest combo.
- For the more mathematically inclined, a Taurox is 70 points after its guns. For another 28 points you get a double flamer Chimera with track guards, which can fire on the move, is tougher, and can haul 2 more models. Taurox like to sit and shoot, Chimera like to get in the thick of it. Depends whether you want a cheap ferry with some bonus fire support or a line breaker.
- The main job of any transport is simply to get from Point "A" to Point "B" in one piece. In practice the Valkyrie does a better job than either the Taurox or the Chimera, but if you only want to move your army across the table as quickly and cheaply as possible, the Taurox delivers.
- Centaur Light Carrier (FW Legends): "Light" is an understatement; with only a five-man capacity and two heavy stubbers as its weapon, the thing is barely a Transport. Its real role is to haul around your otherwise-immobile <regiment> 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. This is realistically its only use, as it may be cheaper than the Taurox and chimera, but it's not worth sacrificing the firepower, stats, or capacity for those points.
- Trojan Support Vehicle (FW): 98pts for a six-man transport Chimera with only one heavy bolter or heavy flamer that heals one friendly <Regiment> vehicle within 3" with one wound and if that Vehicle has used any once-per-battle weapons, they are restocked ONCE. Mostly this will be for hunter-killers, but hilariously this also restocks Deathstrikes and Manticores.
- Hades Breaching Drill (FW): The mini Terrax Termite. Doesn't transport any models, but allows it and one Veteran or Combat Engineer Squad to arrive by Deep Strike as long as both unit set-up within 3" of each other. You can only take one of these models per Veteran or Combat Engineer Squad in your detachment, which is smart as these things are pretty good in melee and relatively cheap. M6", WS4+, S6, T7, T7, Ad3+3, Sv3+/4++ in melee, and a melta-cutter drill (Sx2, AP-4, D3, automatically hits Buildings and becomes damage 6 against Vehicles) mean this thing will fuck up exactly one Vehicle Building unit before it dies.
- Armoured Sentinels: In 9th edition, Armoured Sentinels are a relatively tough, cheap, and mobile heavy weapons platform. Every heavy weapon has a use (except the multi-laser, never take those). With a heavy flamer and the humble sentinel chainsaw (SU, AP-1, D1) they can become quick, durable shock troops. Lascannons are good anti-tank, and autocannons, missile launchers, and plasma cannons can do double-duty as anti-tank and anti-infantry. T6, W6, and Sv3+ gives them decent staying power that statistically requires a few lascannons to bring down. Their generalist armour means your opponent can dedicate their 150pt lascannon Devastator/Havoc Squad to bring one 45pt Sentinel down, which is better than those guns being turned on your Leman Russ, but your Sentinel can also be hurt by more anti-infantry-orientated guns like heavy bolters. Plasma guns and autocannons are cheap enough to be their absolute bane though.
- Cadian Sentinels can pick a spot on the board and use their re-rolls and height to put overcharged plasma fire over a wide radius. Armageddon Sentinels can take a heavy flamer and be tonka-tough harrassers of enemy Infantry. Catachan Sentinels can do the same, but trade toughness for power. Mordian Sentinels can act as a cheap escort for your tanks, letting them benefit from the overwatch bonus. Tallarn Sentinels can be quick moving lascannon platforms.
- Scout Sentinels: Similar to the above, but T5, Sv4+, and does not have plasma cannon access. Instead, these guys get a 9" move after deployment and before the first turn that cannot end within 9" of an enemy unit. This pre-game move can help you snag an objective early in the game or get them in position to deny enemy Deep Strikers.
- Hellhounds: The medium tank of the Guard motor pool has been favoured in 8th, with increases in speed and toughness and decreases in price all around. M12" and track guards ensure you never really need to worry about the short range of the main guns, and the inferno cannon and chem cannon automatically hit and thus don't give a shit about degrading BS. For guns, you have a heavy bolter that can be swapped for a heavy flamer or multi-melta on the hull, and then you have the main gun; the Hellhounds inferno cannon is the daddy of flamer weapons, automatically hitting with 16", heavy 2d6, S6, AP-1, D1 attacks. The Bane Wolf's chem cannon is for tougher non-Vehicle targets, being 8", heavy d6, S- AP-3, D1 that automatically hits all targets and wounds non-Vehicles on a 2+. Finally, the Devil Dogs melta cannon is 24", assault d3, S8, AP-4, Dd6, becoming dd6+2 against a target within 12". As an additional note, they also explode on a 4+, so get them in your opponents face.
- 9th edition has turned/will turn these babies into murder machines. 12" heavy flamer? Heavy 2 multi-melta? Moving and firing heavy weapons without penalty? Better melta rules? Possibly a damage increase to the inferno cannon and range increase to the chem cannon?
- Tallarn Hellhounds are currently a bit wasted, as vehicles can move and fire heavy weapons without penalty which is their current Regiment Doctrine for Vehicles. Catachan's love them though, especially with the hull heavy flamer. Militarum Tempestus Devil Dogs with their melta cannon and a multi-melta weirdly go well together; d3+2 melta attacks against a target within 12" gains an extra hit on a hit roll of unmodified 6 and +2D.
- Artemia-Pattern Hellhound (FW Legends): An option for the Hellhound now. +20pts to replace the inferno cannon for the Artemia inferno cannon (16", heavy 2d3, S6, AP-1, D2, automatically hits).
- Rough Riders (Legends): Surprisingly, 8th Edition was kind to Rough Riders. Their hunting lances are no longer one-use only, being S+2, AP-2, Dd3, but can only be used after charging. Don't expect them to last long though, with T3, W2, Sv5+, you'll need to keep them in engagement range to get the melee-shield. Thankfully their Flanking Manoeuvres rule means they can arrive within 6" of a board edge and 9" away from enemy model, like a limited Deep Strike, so they don't have to "hoof" it up the board where they'll get shot to bits. They also have frag grenades, laspistols, chainswords, and trampling hooves which are functionally an extra chainsword. Squad size is one Sergeant (who can swap their laspistol for a plasma pistol and their chainsword for a power axe/sword/maul) and four Riders. Up to two riders can swap their hunting lance for a special weapon, but this often isn't worth it since these are your kamikaze units. Be wary about rules that only affect Infantry, as these guys are Cavalry instead; they cannot be ordered, cannot be buffed by Priests, and largely cannot take Regimental Doctrines.
- 8ps per model, with +2pts each for hunting lances and +5pts each for melta or plasma guns. 56pts get you special weapons within 9" of a target and a chance to charge it afterwards. Probably still not worth the effort to convert or find the OOP models. If you're desperate to take them, use the Tallarn Mukaali Riders or Krieg Death Riders.
- Salamander Scout Tank (FW Legends): Cute little light tank, loaded up with an autocannon and a heavy bolter, plus the usual HKM plus storm bolter or heavy stubber options. If you were planning on taking an autocannon Sentinel, this is worth considering; faster, beefier, has more guns, and has the 9" post-deployment move from the Scout Sentinel.
- Two autocannon Sentinels or either flavour will cost you 90pts, whereas this runs you 75pts.
- Given that Forge World doesn't make the Salamander model anymore, a good proxy is a Chimera hull with an autocannon turret converted from a Heavy Weapon Team.
- Tauros Assault Vehicle (FW Legends): A cool little dune buggy scout vehicle. At first, you might think they're just more expensive (and OOP) Scout Sentinels, but there are a few neat advantages here. They're M15", keep their T5, W6, Sv4+ profile, and their Galvanic Motor gives them a 5++ invulnerable if they advance. If they advance, they can't fire their heavy flamer but they can fire their Tauros grenade launcher (36", assault 2d6, S3, AP0, D1, blast or 36", assault 2, S6, AP-1, Dd3) after advancing. These guys do NOT have the Vehicle Squadron rule so many other Vehicle units have, so they have to stay in coherency if you take more than one in the same slot. It also means any unit-wide buffs you can hand out, such as Psychic Barrier, affect the entire group.
- Yet another discontinued Forgeworld model, but thankfully there are a few options for kitbashing here - the GSC Achilles Ridgerunner compares well size-wise so just take the twin stubbers off. Also consider the wonderful range of Ork buggies, especially if you're looking for a more scratch-built appearance (feral world regiment anyone?)
- Tauros Venator (FW Legends): The bigger Tauros, but has the same stats and points cost... Wow. The only difference is the weapon options, with a twin multi-laser for 0pts or a twin lascannon for +30pts. The lascannon option isn't great, since you can't advance for the 5++ and fire the lascannons, plus it's an expensive points cost for a single model that's as tough as a Scout Sentinel.
Standard Flyer rules for your reference: Airborne (model cannot charge, can only be charged by Fly models, and can only attack or be attacked in the fight phase by Fly models), Hard To Hit (enemy shooting attacks against this model suffer -1 to their hit rolls), and Supersonic (pivots up to 90 degrees before moving in a straight line and advances 20" instead of d6").
- Valkyrie: The original badass of the skies can hold 12 Astra Militarum Infantry, with Ogryns counting as three models. The most modestly-armed of the three IG V-flyers, it comes stock with a multi-laser (36" heavy 3 S6 AP0 D1) and hellstrike missiles (72" heavy 1 S8 AP-2 Dd6, roll 2d6 for damage and discard the lowest). The multi-laser can be swapped for a lascannon and the hellstrikes can be swapped for two multiple rocket pods (36", assault d6, S5, AP-1, D1). You can take a pair of optional heavy bolters. Obviously it would be best for you to match the weapons to their best role, anti-tank or anti-infantry. Additional special rules include Hover Jet (loses the three flyer rules to reduce their movement to 20") and Roving Gunship (it if's hovering, it gains +1 to hit rolls). Grav-Chute Insertion allows models to disembark from a Valkyrie, but if the Valkyrie has moved more than 20" then disembarking models are killed on a d6 roll of 1. Disembarking models cannot move again this turn and most deploy more than 9" away from enemy models.
- Candidates for embarking include Command Squads (Guard or Scions) with special weapons and Cyclops Demolition Vehicles. Otherwise drop a squad of Ogryn and hope for a nice, long charge distance or drop them into cover to set them up for a move and charge next turn.
- Valkyrie Sky Talon (FW Legends): An Elysian-exclusive variant, this model has a heavy bolter and two hellstrike missiles (two, not the one that the regular Valkyrie has), which can be swapped for two multiple rocket pods. The main difference is that you swap the Infantry transport for the ability to carry one Elysian Tauros model (which are fast enough that they don't need help getting around the map unless you're playing apocalypse and even then artillery will make a bigger difference) or two Elysian Drop Sentinels.
- Vendetta (FW): A Valkyrie whose first words were "fuck tanks". The three usual rules and hover jet, alongside its transport capacity of twelve models make it capable enough for dropping troops, but note that it doesn't have the Grav-Chute Insertion rule of the Valkyrie. But obviously, you're not taking her to mainly transport things, since the Valkyrie does it better and cheaper. No, you're taking her for the three 72" twin lascannons she has as standard. Two of the twin lascannons can be swapped for the hellstrike rack (72", heavy 2, S8, AP-2, Dd6+2), but you shouldn't do that as you're swapping four lascannon shots for two weaker attacks that may do more damage, but not as much damage as two additional lascannon shots. Finally, she can also take two heavy bolters. With 9th edition removing the -1 to hit rolls for moving and firing heavy weapons if you're a Vehicle, this model is back in relevance now.
- Vulture (FW): The last of the V-flyers, this is the only one without transport capacity and is a true gunship. With a Valkyrie's statline, the Vulture comes stock with a heavy bolter, hellstrike rack (72", heavy 2, S8, AP-2, Dd6+2) and two multiple rocket pods (36", assault d6, S5, AP-1, D1). You can swap the hellstrikes and rockets for two punisher gatling cannons (24", heavy 20, S5, AP0, D1). Aye, you get a lot of attacks, but they're short range so you're placing the very tall model within range of more of your opponents guns. As for odds, only about half of them will hit (20 hits), then two-thirds will wound (13 wounds, assuming 3+ wound roll), then half will take damage (6.5 damage, assuming 4+ armour save). It's not that effective against infantry, and even then you've got your lasguns and mortars for that job.
- Avenger Strike Fighter (FW): Brrrrrrrrttttt! Someone put the A-10 Thunderbolt into 40k. With T6 ,W14, and Sv3+, the Avenger is decently rugged, but can't stand up to sustained fire for long. Two lascannons and a heavy stubber are secondary weapons, you're taking this thing for the 36", heavy 10, S6, AP-2, D2 Avenger bolt cannon. With 9th edition giving Marines W2 and heavy bolters D2, this model no-longer fills a niche it used to, but it still looks cool-as-fuck.
- Voss-Pattern Lightning (FW): With the same profile as the Avenger, the Lightning nominally carries more anti-tank firepower but not that much. Two lascannons are standard and a hellstrike rack is optional (72", heavy 2, S8, AP-2, Dd6+2). Honestly? You have better anti-tank firepower.
- Thunderbolt Heavy Fighter (FW): The Thunderbolt has an extra wound and point of toughness over the other fixed-wing Flyers. A quad autocannon and twin lascannon with optional hellstrike rack make up their armoury. Can be thought of as a tougher and longer-ranged Avenger Strike Fighter.
- Arvus Lighter (FW): An unarmed Chimera that fly's. Literally, it has no weapons. Carries twelve models but no Ogryns, so think of this as an expensive and restrictive Drop Pod for Imperial Guard.
- Aquila Lander (FW Legends): Jesus fucking Christ, at least the Arvus is meant to Kamikaze. T7, W12, Sv3+, with a heavy bolter, autocannon, or multi-laser (36", heavy 3, S6, AP0, D1). Only carries seven models and no Ogryns, so a couple Characters and a Command Squad.
Leman Russ Variants
Ah yes, the Leman Russ; the Guard’s MBT that is as much a tribute to the Primarch himself as it is the battering ram behind his codpiece. Has long-held, and continues to hold, the title of sturdiest tank in the galaxy (point-for-point). T8, W12, and Sv3+ makes for a sturdy weapons platform that gives you a lot of options for said weapons; a hull-weapon, turret weapon, two optional sponson weapons, and one pintle weapon (a storm bolter or heavy stubber). Grinding Advance lets the model fire the turret weapon twice if it moves less than half its maximum move distance this turn and fires at full BS when on the move, which is what makes its performance so absolutely incredible for the points cost - e.g. if you put a Demolisher gun on it, it'll just straight-up outperform the Space Marine equivalent. Finally, they gain Objective Secured if taken in a Spearhead Detachment, helping you have a fluffy Tank Regiment component to your army, although since they're still a lot of points (and wounds) wrapped up in one model, they'll easily lose out when contesting objectives with fellow ObjSec units.
- The tank's hull weapon and sponsons should complement its turret's range and capabilities. Sponsons are, of course, optional in every sense of the word, and it will typically be cheaper and more efficient to put heavy weapons into gunlines instead where they can benefit from orders, although this varies wildly based on Regimental Doctrine and sponson choice.
- A note on Doctrines:
- Catachan Russes benefit the most with tanks that have a high number of random shot weapons; battle cannons,executioner plasma cannons, demolisher cannons, and heavy flamers are good examples (as would be plasma cannon sponsons, if their points cost weren't so high and multimeltas weren't so good; the Catachan re-roll is better on 1d6 than 1d3, and it isn't enough to save plasma sponsons right now). If stacked with Harker's Hellraisers, this effectively makes them better than Cadian Russes as they can still move and re-roll 1s.
- Harker is the primary reason to stick to Catachan if you're spamming these - if you literally field nothing but 9 Leman Russes and 2-3 Tank Commanders, you can roll a custom regiment that has both the re-roll and either Vostroya's +6" to all your Heavy weapons except for the flamers, or rolling for random healing on every tank (can do 0-3, with expected healing 7/6).
- Cadian Russes re-roll 1s to hit if they didn't move in their previous movement phase, and they also benefit from their unique order Pound Them to Dust (which lets them pretend they're Catachan, but only on the turret weapon). Tanks with a fixed volume of shots, like Punishers, overall prefer to be Cadian (except for the Tank Commanders), and Executioners also get a little more insurance against mortal wounds from supercharged plasma weapons.
- Vostroyan-made tanks have an extra 6" of range on all their weapons, with the exception of heavy flamers. However, the now- 42" executioner plasma cannon is the clear winner here because it hits on 3+ with Firstborn Pride!
- You can roll a custom regiment with this and the Catachan re-roll of shot count if you're just doing Russ spam.
- Tallarn Russes can advance and fire at a -1 penalty to everything except their storm bolters, and their unique tank order lets them either shove a Russ 6" before shooting without turning off Grinding Advance, or lets the Russ move after shooting, which is boss as fuck.
- The advance and fire is basically worthless, but the tank order's ability to let you scuttle over to shoot the enemy and then scuttle back can be absolutely clutch and can't be simulated with anything else in the codex.
- Catachan Russes benefit the most with tanks that have a high number of random shot weapons; battle cannons,executioner plasma cannons, demolisher cannons, and heavy flamers are good examples (as would be plasma cannon sponsons, if their points cost weren't so high and multimeltas weren't so good; the Catachan re-roll is better on 1d6 than 1d3, and it isn't enough to save plasma sponsons right now). If stacked with Harker's Hellraisers, this effectively makes them better than Cadian Russes as they can still move and re-roll 1s.
- Heavy Stubber: Russes cost so much anyway, there's little harm in spending 5 points on another 3 S4 AP0 D1 shots to throw downwind. It won't bother an enemy heavy, but you can put this on a Punisher for better chaff hunting, or on a heavier hitter to help cover your tank's weaknesses. This is best done after you've made the main list to spend a few remaining points, so you should give them to Tank Commanders before you give them to base tanks.
- Storm Bolter: A great way to waste 3 points. If you want to sit in melee shooting your enemies so you're considering this over the stubber, slap yourself and take heavy flamers.
Hull and Sponson Weapons
- Heavy Bolter (Hull and Sponson): 36" heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D2, the default hull weapon. A BS4+ tank re-rolling 1s to hit or a BS3+ tank will do more S5 AP-1 damage with this than a Heavy Flamer, and at range, to boot.
- Heavy Flamer (Hull and Sponson): 12" heavy d6 S5 AP-1 D1, automatically hits. If you re-roll your number of attacks, the average number of shots rises from 3.5 to 4.25, meaning the heavy bolter has to be on a BS3+ tank re-rolling 1s to keep up - but at only range 12", you may not be able to keep up with your targets.
- Lascannon (Hull only): 48" heavy 1 S9 AP-3 Dd6. A classic Imperial anti-tank weapon that will never not do its job well. Krieg Leman Russes can take these as sponson weapons, but it'll make the tank Legendary. This is a good choice for Tank Commanders with enough orders to support other tanks, as they want to be behind the tanks getting told what to do.
- Plasma Cannon (Sponson only): 36" heavy d3 S7 AP-3 D1, blast, may gain +1S and +1D but hit rolls of unmodified 1 inflict a mortal wound on the bearer. Don't even consider it; even on supercharge, it needs blast to trigger to try and keep up with multimelta sponsons, and you're risking wounding yourself. Just don't, even if you can re-roll the number of shots.
- Multi-Melta (Sponson only): 24" heavy 2 S8 AP-4 Dd6, +2D at half range. Multimeltas are the best Imperial weapon in 9E, and you usually can't go wrong spamming them; on a Leman Russ is no exception. Excellent with +6" range from either Vostroya or a custom regiment.
- Battle Cannon: 72" heavy d6 S8 AP-2 Dd3, Blast. The main gun for your Leman Russ, it is able to take on anything and deal at least some damage. Grinding Advance nets you seven shots on average, with a strong enough profile to take a chunk out of most targets. This is your best gun at nonsensically long range; arguably better guns don't come up until 36", and indisputably better don't come up until 24".
- FW Legends gives you the option to pay +5pts and take an additional heavy stubber or storm bolter. This is better than the pintle option, as it counts as a turret weapon for Grinding Advance and can be fired twice if you move less than half speed.
- Vanquisher Battle Cannon: 72" heavy 1 S8 AP-3 Dd6, roll 2d6 for damage and discard the lowest. Bad. Really bad. Literally never take this - an actual Battle Cannon will outperform it against everything.
- Exterminator Autocannon: 48" heavy 4 S7 AP-1 D2. If you're thinking this is just a twin autocannon, you'd be right. More consistent than the battle cannon in number of shots and amount of damage, but the weaker S and AP hurts it, as does the lack of Blast for raising number of shots against hordes. Take a Battle Cannon instead if you're considering this, or go for shorter range.
- The Exterminator might have one niche use where it might preform really well, and that is targeting mid-toughness models with high invul saves and low armour. Drukhari Raiders and Venoms are the first thing to come to mind here.
- Eradicator Nova Cannon: 36" heavy d6 S6 AP-2 Dd3, Blast, ignores light cover. Another bad option; half the range and less S than the battle cannon just to gain ignores cover. It does poorly fill the niche of melting GEQs that rely on cover saves (the Dd3 is wasted, there), but it'll reliably underperform an Executioner Plasma Cannon on Overcharge.
- Executioner Plasma Cannon: 36" heavy d6 S7 AP-3 D1, Blast, may gain +1S and +1D but hit rolls of unmodified 1 inflict a mortal wound on the bearer. Easily outshines the battle cannon when supercharged, thanks to better AP and a consistent D2, so you may want to consider taking this if you're building around the setup (namely, a custom regiment with re-rolling number of shots and self-healing tanks; with that and being ordered to re-roll 1s, this can do quite well, although you can still do better at shorter range).
- Pairs well with Heavy Bolter sponsons, as the ranges match - you don't actually want to pair this with plasma sponsons and push your luck on too many mortal wounds.
- Demolisher Cannon: 24" heavy d6 S10 AP-3 Dd6, Blast. Another GW classic, the demolisher cannon hits as hard as it always has. The most "high-risk, high-reward" Leman Russ weapon, the short range puts you in range of more enemy weaponry that may kill you. Has the best output of any turret weapon against a wide variety of hard targets.
- Vostroyan and Catachan Demolishers will benefit the most, gaining +6" range or re-rollable heavy d6 respectively (or both, on a custom regiment). Tallarn can use its tank order to simply get 6" closer before shooting, or if you're already that close, to pull back after shooting.
- Punisher Gatling Cannon: 24" heavy 20 S5 AP0 D1. Tank-mounted BRRRT is definitely your best friend against light-medium infantry. The short range can be offset by sticking them on a Tank Commander to let them hit more than 50% of the time; the Pasknisher is a very common combination.
- Catachan Punishers are pointless, but Tallarn, Vostroyan, Cadian, and custom are excellent candidates.
- Conqueror Battle Cannon (FW): Squatted, does not exist in FW Compendium or Legends.
- Annihilator Twin Lascannon (FW Legends): 48" heavy 2 S9 AP-3 Dd6. Better S and AP than the Battle Cannon in exchange for swapping its A and D values and then making the A consistent means this is a legit choice at 48".
- Stygies Vanquisher Battle Cannon (FW Legends): 72" heavy 1 S8 AP-3 Dd3+3. Better than a Vanquisher Battle Cannon, but that's a low bar - this is terrible.
Artillery Tanks and Emplacements
Many of these tanks are based upon the chimera hull, with M12"/8"/4", T6, W11, Sv3+.
- Basilisk: An Imperial Guard staple, the earthshaker cannon is 240", heavy d6, S9, AP-3, Dd3, roll 2d6 when determining the number of shots and discard the lowest result and does not require line-of-sight (being T6, use this as much as possible). The Basilisk is as brutal and point-efficient as ever, with the only weak-link being the BS4+.
- A Basilisk has pretty good survivability compared to your other options for long range firepower; Infantry are much more vulnerable to small-arms fire, Leman Russes are more durable against some anti tank weapons while having a much higher cost and being more of a target priority, and Sentinels are simply worse in every regard.
- Not a serious gaming point, but many keks can be had by utilising the twenty feet of range to fire upon the next table or two over.
- Armageddon-Pattern Basilisk (FW): 15 points up on a standard Basilisk for an enclosed crew compartment, which nets you +1T. About as viable as the normal one if you have the model, but not exactly worth the extra money if you don't (nothing stopping you from using "counts-as" though).
- Wyvern: If the Basilisk is death-from-afar, the Wyvern is death-from-not-as-far. The quad stormshard mortars are 48", heavy 4d6, S4, AP0, D1, re-roll failed wound rolls and ignores line-of-sight. One of your premier anti-Infantry weapons, and it only gets better in the Emperors Wrath Artillery Company Specialist Detachment. Note that because of the wording of the Blast rule, you don't get any benefit when firing against units with fewer than 11 models, which is unfortunate.
- If there's ever been a candidate for a Catachan Vehicle, this is certainly one of them; cheap and fires a huge number of random-shot attacks.
- Hydra: The OG AA, 72", heavy 8, S7, AP-1, D2, gains +1 to hit rolls against Fly targets and -1 to hit rolls against all other targets. Two of these will ensure that no enemy Fly models will last more than two turns.
- For now, there are a lot of Fly units (Marine Jump Packs, Eldar Jetbikes, Tau Battlesuits, etc) that are affected by the +1 to hit bonus; HOWEVER if that Marine Codex is any indication, expect this to be fixed to only gaining +1 to hit rolls against Aircraft.
- If you're not adverse to using Forge World, consider taking two Sabre Batteries with Autocannons instead. For 18 points less and "only" 4 feet of range, they will do the same job as a Hydra, while for 2 points more than a Hydra, with an added searchlight, they will do 25% more damage against air and 50% more damage against ground.
- Manticore: One of two T7 Chimera chassis, the Guard's entry into the community of rocket artillery and arguably the best. Four storm eagle rockets (120", heavy 2d6, S10, AP-2, Dd3, ignores line-of-sight) can be fired at a rate of one-per-turn and are naturally one-use only. Broadly speaking, worse output per point than a Basilisk against 2+ saves outside of T5/9/10, so a Basilisk is better against a Land Raider, but a Manticore is better against a Knight (until you run out of shots, of course). With most missions lasting only five turns, the fact the Manticore has only four rockets isn't as punishing as it used to be. Adding the Full Payload Tank Ace ability makes its 2d6 shots hit that much harder. With the Vigilus detachments being banned in many competitive circles, the Manticore offers similar volume of fire.
- You have limited shots, so Catachan's should be used to make the most of them.
- Deathstrike: The second T7 Chimera chassis, the ICBM launcher somehow has less range than an earthshaker. 200", heavy 3d6, and one-use only. Each successful hit inflicts a mortal wound against the target and each unit within 6" suffers d3 mortal wounds on a 4+. The Hour Is Nigh prevents you from nuking your opponent turn one though; If you want to fire it, roll a d6 and add the turn number. On an 8+, you can fire it.
- Use of the Vortex Missile Stratagem and the Catachan Regimental Doctrine enables you to re-roll all of its failed hit rolls, one of the 3d6 for the shot number (two with a command re-roll), improve its likelihood of nearby units taking damage, and any models not outright killed by the attack have a chance to suffer d6 more mortal wounds. The high CP cost of this trick makes it situational, but boy can it sting.
- Potentially a new distraction Carnifex; by turn three, one of two things should've happened; someone who has 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.
- However, with the Tallarn Doctrine, this giant everything-hater can show up in any turn, and the rule does not state that it needs to be on the battlefield at the beginning to add the Battle Round number to its chance of firing off. You can only bring one onto the field in this fashion though, but still....
- This thing is drastically better against some armies then others. Against the Custodes and similar low-model-high-toughness armies, it's absolutely terrifying, but your average Ork or Tyranid player will probably just shrug it off
- Armageddon-Pattern Medusa (FW): Your only mobile source of the Medusa siege cannon. 36", heavy d6, S10, AP-3, Dd6, blast and ignores line-of-sight, places it as a cross between a demolisher cannon and earthshaker cannon. T7 and a 3+ save gives it more survivability to make up for the shorter range. A very tantalizing option with a new D6 damage value.
- Colossus Bombard (FW): What happens when you stick artillery on the T8, W12, Sv3+ Leman Russ chassis, the Colossus siege mortar is a truly huge gun; 240", heavy 3d3, S6, AP-2, Dd3, blast, ignores line-of-sight, and ignores cover. A damn fine piece of artillery for fertilising the countryside with Infantry.
- Artillery Batteries (FW): Not a model per-se, but lumped together for readability. 1-3 Artillery Batteries, with the crew counting as being part of the model. T6, W7, Sv4+ makes this one of the lightest artillery pieces, but it doesn't have a degrading statline unlike the rest.
- Heavy Mortar: 48", heavy d6, S6, AP-1, D2, blast and ignores line-of-sight. Heavy mortars have a place in your army as artillery without random damage.
- Earthshaker Cannon: 240", heavy d6, S9, AP-3, Dd3, roll 2d6 when determining the number of shots and discard the lowest result and does not require line-of-sight. If you were going to camp your Basilisk (which you SHOULD be doing anyway), consider using this unit instead. It's cheaper and does not lose what little accuracy it has when it get damaged.
- Heavy Quad Launcher: 48", heavy 4d6, S5, AP0, D1, blast and ignores line-of-sight. Use the heavy mortar against Marines and the quad launcher against W1 Infantry.
- Medusa Siege Cannon: 36", heavy d6, S10, AP-3, Dd6, blast and ignores line-of-sight. Hits hard, but is subsequently expensive. The short range and immobility means it may not always be in range of its desired targets though.
- Artillery Batteries (FW Legends): Not a model per-se, but lumped together for readability. 1-3 Artillery Batteries, they are different from those that can be found in the Imperial Armour: Compendium. For comparison, they are T7, but no WS or A. Is it worth trading five WS4+ S3 attacks for +1T? Yes. They also have a weak explodes rule, affecting units within 3" with one mortal wound on a 6. From a modelling perspective, just grab the relevant weapon and T-shaped platform from the model kit and slap it on a relevant base.
- Basilisk: 240", heavy d6, S9, AP-3, Dd3, roll 2d6 when determining the number of shots and discard the lowest result and does not require line-of-sight.
- Hydra: 72", heavy 8, S7, AP-1, D2, gains +1 to hit rolls against Fly targets and -1 to hit rolls against all other targets.
- Manticore: Four storm eagle rockets (120", heavy 2d6, S10, AP-2, Dd3, ignores line-of-sight) can be fired at a rate of one-per-turn and are naturally one-use only.
Other Heavy Support Units
- Heavy Weapon Squad: Three Heavy Weapon Teams. Often complete garbage, as you don't have disposable bodies carrying flashlights to take wounds for you, unlike an Infantry Squad. The main viable option of three mortars in a ruin was somewhat quashed by the points hike mortars faced.
- Mortar Teams can still take advantage of the Concentrated Fire stratagem for +1 to hit and wound, which is useful when taking advantage of the blast keyword against hoards.
- Sabre Weapons Battery (FW Legends): A tougher heavy weapon team, but not by much. T4, W4, Sv4+ and Skyfire (+2 to hit rolls against Aircraft) is certainly an improvement though. Unit size is 1-3 and weapon options are twin heavy bolters, twin heavy stubbers (awful), twin autocannon, twin lascannon, or a defence searchlight; one <Regiment> Infantry unit or <Regiment> Sabre Weapons Battery gains +1 to their hit rolls against one unit within 48" of the searchlight.
- Carnodon (FW): A Heresy-era fossil that got a new coat of paint ten thousand years later, they can be thought of as a Diet Leman Russ. They still have W12 and Sv3+, but they're M12"/9"/6", T7 and lose Grinding Advance. Turret weapons can be picked from twin autocannon, twin lascannon, twin multi-laser (36", heavy 6, S6, AP0, D1), or a volkite culverin (45", heavy 4, S6, AP0, D2, wound rolls of unmodified 6 inflict an additional mortal wound). Sponson weapons are very similar; two autocannons, two heavy flamers, two heavy bolters, two lascannons, two volkite calivers (30", heavy 2, S5, AP0, D2, wound rolls of UM6 inflict an additional MW, gained S5 in 7th Jan 2021 FAQ) versions of the culverin mentioned earlier in this entry), or two multi-lasers (option added in 7th Jan 2021 FAQ). They have an optional hunter-killer missile, but no access to any other equipment or pintle weapons.
- Carnodons fill a similar role to the Guard's fast attack units. Tactics used for Sentinels and Hellhounds are more applicable to Carnodons.
- Tallarn makes these guys pretty effective cavalry tanks. They can quickly redeploy to deliver whatever firepower the brought to bear.
- Thunderer (FW): A Diet Leman Russ Demolisher, it has extremely similar stats but ONLY a demolisher cannon with optional hunter-killer missile and heavy stubber/storm bolter. They can't take Tank Orders and they don't benefit from Grinding Advance. Unless you can't spare the ~50pts, get a Leman Russ Demolisher. Its a funny model: 1 Leman Russ hull, 3 holes for exhaust, intake, and human insertion, then a huge cannon barrel smack in the middle.
- Stygies Destroyer Tank Hunter (FW Legends): Leman Russ stats with W10. The Stygies laser destroyer is 72", heavy 2, S12, AP-4, Dd3+3, making it rather good at knocking out light Vehicles or small Monsters in one turn or taking a large chunk our of something bigger.
- Cyclops Demolition Vehicle (FW): Bonus points for painting a Kamikaze headband on the model. M10", T6, W4, and Sv3+ means a flock of these models should get to where they want to be going. The demolition charge they carry hits hard, with 6", heavy 2d6, S9, AP-2, Dd3, blast. When this model attacks, it makes attacks against EVERY visible enemy unit within range and is destroyed afterwards; RAW, this makes it one of the best Character-killers in the game. It cannot complete actions or capture objectives, but it CAN fit in a Transport while taking up the space of six models and cannot shoot in a turn they disembarked. It is also more likely to explode, going off on a 5+ and inflicting d3 MW's on all units within 6".
- Rapier Laser Destroyer Battery (FW): The slowest model in your army, barring actual immobile models. M4", T5, W4, Sv3+ are the prominent stats. The laser destroyer is beastly, with 36", heavy 3, S10, AP-4, Dd3+3. Relatively cheap and good at its job, but vulnerable to a single lascannon or krak missile wiping it out.
- Valdor Tank Hunter (FW): The first of your Titanic units, T8, W20, and Sv3+ shows why. The main gun is the Valdor neutron laser, which is a 48", heavy 3, S12, AP-3, Dd6 tank killer that becomes D6 if they did not move. The consistent number of shots and the (potentially) consistent damage makes this one of your best anti-tank weapons in a Militant-Generals arsenal. For a hull gun, you have an autocannon (unique), lascannon (gels well with the main gun), heavy bolter, or heavy flamer. You also have the option for a hunter killer missile and heavy bolter/storm bolter. Like the Baneblade family, you also have the Steel Behemoth rule.
- Malcador Variants (FW): T8, W18, and Sv3+ but NOT a Titanic Vehicle. Extremely well-armed, as described in detail below. Hunter-killer and heavy stubber/storm bolter options as standard.
- Malcador: The vanilla Malcador. Battle cannon and three heavy bolters, any of which can be swapped for autocannons or lascannons.
- Malcador Annihilator: For peeling open tanks like tin cans. Demolisher cannon, twin lascannon, two heavy bolters that can be swapped for two autocannons or two lascannons.
- Malcador Defender: MAXIMUM DAKKA. Much improved version a regular Malcador, even if the cannon is shorter ranged. A demolisher cannon and a whopping seven heavy bolters, with two heavy bolters being able to swap for two autocannons or two lascannons.
- Malcador Infernus: Touting one of the biggest flamers in the Imperium, the inferno gun is an 18", heavy 3d6, S7, AP-2, D2, automatically hitting wall of hellfire. D2 and a large number of attacks means you should melt a Marine unit per turn, but beware of overkill. Don't be shy to use it on Vehicles though, it hits slightly harder than an autocannon. As sidearms, it has two heavy stubbers that can (and should) be swapped for two autocannons, two heavy bolters, two heavy flamers, or two lascannons.
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. 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 heavy weapons with no penalties to hit, fire twin heavy flamers or twin heavy bolters into melee combat as if they were pistols, and fire the larger guns normally even if there are enemies within 1" (but not at those same enemies).
Since you're probably taking a Detachment just for one of these, remember that it's encouraged to mix regiments - it's not like even your Transports will care what they're carrying, and outside of Catachan for Harker, you don't have access to any buffs for them, anyway. Might as well take the best regiment you can for the vehicle, without obsessing over it matching your infantry. For example, are you taking a Stormlord? You're a lot better off with a Valhallan one than a Cadian one, even if you want to fill it with Cadian Infantry! You won't be able to use Regimental Doctrines for these in a Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment, which means that in order to pull off this level of cheese, you would need to take a Superheavy Detachment of the same <REGIMENT> (no plopping in Guilliman in order to achieve this). In other words, if you want a Lord of War that benefits from a Doctrine you'll need to take several Lords of War, all with the same <REGIMENT> keyword, or make it a Tank Ace with Steadfast Leviathan as its ability.
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, since they have the most amount of sponson heavy bolters or heavy flamers that act as pistols. 8d6 autohitting heavy flamers in melee, after 8d6 autohitting heavy flamers in overwatch - and that's before it uses its adamantium tracks, which swing at S9, AP-2, Dd3 up to nine times with the best stats and hitting on 2+ with the Crush Them stratagem. All variants can take one or two pairs of sponsons, each with a lascannon and twin heavy bolter or twin heavy flamer.
A Baneblade appears to be very survivable but when you factor in the high cost of over 400 points they are actually quite vulnerable for their cost. For the same price you could get four Basilisks or almost three Leman Russ's which are both more survivable and able to put out more damage (with the exception of the Shadowsword). This means that you should only consider taking a Baneblade based on their other qualities like their relatively high mobility and strong melee capabilities thanks to the Steel Behemoth rule. The firing deck is also unique to the Baneblade family and can be a great way to transport lots of models at once or to hide your fragile units like Heavy Weapon Teams or Command Squads.
It might be tempting to use the sponsons but by doing so you would concentrate too many points and firepower on an already way too fragile model. It is much better to spread your heavy weapons overall units in your army so you don't lose everything when your Baneblade is taken out. That being said, a Stormlord with full sponsons spits out fifty D2 attacks, not including anything firing off the deck. Marine soup anyone?
- Baneblade: The OG eleven barrels of hell. Hull twin heavy bolter, hull demolisher cannon (24", heavy d6, S10, AP-3, Dd6, blast), no-longer-co-axial autocannon, and the mighty ex-pie-plate Baneblade cannon (72", heavy 3d6, S9, AP-3, D3). The high shot count compared to many other variants gives the Baneblade a little more flexibility by being able to effectively shoot at Infantry after you inevitably destroyed all Vehicles/Monsters.
- Banehammer: When it comes to stopping the enemy advance, the Banehammer delivers with the tremor cannon; 60", heavy 3d6, S8, AP-2, D3 may not be the strongest, but units hit by it halve their move characteristic and cannot advance, which hilariously also works against Flyers. The first of the firing deck models, carrying 25 Infantry with ten being able to fire off the top. The Banehammer is one of the three cheapest variants, effective against a wide variety of targets and slowing down enemy units which helps your whole army. In general, it's a pretty safe bet to take one of these.
- Banesword: Less guns than the two above, with only a twin heavy bolter and quake cannon (140", heavy 2d6, S14, AP-4, Dd6, damage rolls of 1 or 2 count as 3 instead). Can be used as a Diet Shadowsword, being cheaper and hitting only slightly less hard.
- Doomhammer: The magma cannon on this baby is 60", heavy 2d6, S10, AP-5, Dd6, roll 2d6 for damage and pick the highest when targeting anything within half range. It also has a firing deck, being able to carry 25 models with ten of them being able to fire while embarked. Six Ogryns and a Priest can be dumped on an enemy, and you still have space for a Heavy Weapon Squad.
- Hellhammer: Preferred by Catachans in the fluff, The Hellhammer is outfitted like the Baneblade but swaps the Baneblade Cannon for the Hellhammer cannon; 36", heavy 3d6, S10, AP-4, D3, targets do not gain a bonus from being in cover. Against the Baneblade, it has an advantage against T5 models (Custodes, Marine Bikers and Gravis models, Monsters, etc) with its S10. Although against Marines in cover, this cannon removes any armour save they may have, whereas the Baneblade leaves them with a 5+. Hilariously, it also has a fucking lasgun. This is most recommended for the heavy flamer brawler-built, now that heavy flamers are 12". Don't keep it sitting in the back of the board - it's the shortest ranged tank in the Baneblade family, and on certain deployments, this will give you trouble.
- Shadowsword: Arguably the most famous aside from the Baneblade itself and with a +1 to hit against any unit with the Titanic keyword, the 'Titan-killer' mounts the incredibly powerful volcano cannon; 120", heavy 3d3, S16, AP-5, D2d6, re-roll failed wound rolls against titanic units. Still capable of one-shotting Land Raiders even in an edition rife with tough Vehicles and Monsters. You may find it to be a bit overkill if there isn't anything juicy enough for it though.
- Stormsword: Just as cheap as the Banesword, the Stormsword carries the Stormsword siege cannon which is 36", heavy 2d6, S10, AP-4, Dd6, re-roll damage rolls of 1 and targets do not gain the benefit of cover. Compared to the Banesword the Stormswords gun is worse in almost any situation. You should avoid this and take one of the better alternatives.
- 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 (60", heavy 20, S6, AP-2, D2), 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. With maximum sponsons and heavy bolter Heavy Weapon Teams, you can becomes the bane of Marines and the highest target priority model on the field.
- Stormblade (FW): One of the few variants without a twin heavy bolter stock, this one comes with a plain heavy bolter instead, as well as a plasma blastgun; 72", heavy 2d6, S9, AP-4, D3, blast, and like all Imperial plasma, it has the option to gain +1S and +1D, but hit rolls of unmodified 1 inflict three mortal wounds against the bearer. Supercharging is going to be overkill against most targets, though almost every army has at least one unit where supercharging would be more effective and worth the risk. Making it Catachan and sticking Harker behind it will mitigate the risk though.
- Arkurian-Pattern Stormhammer (FW Legends): Easily the strangest variant, this is the only one that can't take the standard sponsons and it hasn't got a hull-mounted heavy bolter at all. It instead has a Stormhammer cannon (60", heavy 2d3, S9, AP-3, D2d3, blast), twin battle cannon (72", heavy 2d6, S8, AP-2, dd3, blast), a lascannon, and seven multi-lasers. Each multi-laser can be swapped for a heavy bolter (this is the least you should do), a heavy flamer, or a lascannon.
The middle child of the super-heavy tanks, the Macharius family doesn't have the firepower or durability of the Baneblades above, but is still tougher than the Malcador and Leman Russ. 8th edition made the regular and Vanquisher variants useless in comparison to their Leman Russ cousins, but 9th edition has probably been kinder to them than any other unit the Guard have. All Macharius tanks still have Steel Behemoth and adamantium tracks like the Baneblades above, so they're not totally tarpitted in melee.
- Macharius (FW): Comes with a twin battle cannon (72", heavy 2d6, S8, AP-2, Dd6, blast), two heavy stubbers, and a twin heavy stubber. It's unclear whether the Dd6 is a typo or not; if not, this version may actually be worth it. The two heavy stubbers can and should be replaced by twin heavy bolters or twin heavy flamers.
- Macharius Vanquisher (FW): Your new best tank hunter, unless you target Titanic units then the Shadowsword gets that award right back. The Macharius twin vanquisher cannon is 72", heavy 2, S16, AP-4, D9, gains +1 to hit rolls against Monster or Vehicle targets. Jesus Christ. Want to one-shot a Carnifex? Still has the heavy stubber and options as the regular version.
- Macharius Vulcan (FW): A significant nerf this edition, as the vulcan mega bolter can no-longer fire twice if it hasn't moved. That being said, it's still a 60", heavy 16, S6, AP-2, D2 gun that will eat Marines and light Vehicles for lunch. Still has the heavy stubber and options as the regular version.
- Macharius Omega (FW Legends): A great plasma cannon, even if this model is OOP. The plasma blastgun is 60", heavy 2d6, S8, AP-3, D2, blast, and may gain +1S and +1D, but hit rolls of unmodified 1 inflict a mortal wound against the bearer. Your best option against Marines, since Terminators and Bikers graduated to W3 and the little guys went to W2, this allows you to take on all comers and deal massive damage. It lacks the heavy stubbers of the other three, but has the option for two heavy bolters, two heavy flamers, or two autocannons.
Other Lord of War Units
- Crassus (FW): Effectively the Guard Land Raider. If you're strapped for points and don't want the massive fire magnet that is a Stormlord, this rolling bunker is half the price. Adamantium tracks and Steel Behemoth seems to be the IG Titanic Vehicle standard. Also has four heavy bolters as the "main" weapons. T8, W20, and Sv3+ will get your Imperial guard models (all 35 transport capacity of them) across the board to where they need to go. There's space for a full Ogryn/Bullgryn Squad, Nork Deddog, and a Primaris Psyker and Priest for buffing.
- Also, if you're bringing a Baneblade variant or two and are looking to fill up a Superheavy Detachment to get those sweet, sweet Regimental Doctrines on your Shadowsword, consider using this as your second or third Lord of War choice. It's the cheapest LoW choice the Guard have, as the absolute most this thing will cost you is 290 points.
- Praetor (FW): Following on from the Crassus platform, it swaps the transport capacity for the mighty praetor launcher. Both profiles have blast and do not require line-of-sight to use. Foehammer missiles will cripple tanks, at 12-120", heavy 2d6, S9, AP-2, Dd6 whereas Firestorm missiles will root out entrenched enemies with 12-120", heavy 3d6, S6, AP-2, D2, and targets do not gain the benefit of cover. Both profiles are excellent for their job, especially as you can mix-and-match per turn as opposed to locking yourself into one-or-the-other at the start of the game.
- Minotaur (FW): The super-Basilisk that is significantly different from its 8th edition entry. T8, W22, Sv3+, and AP-1 attacks count as AP0, if your opponent bothers attacking thing this with any AP-1 attacks at all. Still has adamantium tracks and Steel Behemoth, but the main take is the Minotaur twin earthshaker cannon with 240", heavy 2d3+3, S9, AP-3, Dd3, blast and does not require line-of-sight.
- Dominus Armoured Siege Bombard (FW Legends): STILL doesn't have a model, but the Praetor is a decent enough counts-as. The Dominus triple bombard has two profiles, depending on if it moved or not. The stationary profile is 60", heavy 3d6, S10, AP-3, Dd6, blast, and does not require line-of-sight, whereas the mobile version is 36", heavy 2d6, AP-2, and Dd3 instead.
- Gorgon Heavy Transport (FW Legends): The bigger Crassus transport, somehow. T8, W22, Sv3+/5++ against shooting attacks. Equipped with two twin heavy stubbers and two gorgon mortars (48", heavy 2d6, S5, AP-1, D1, blast and targets do not gain the benefits of cover) that can be swapped for four heavy bolters, four heavy flamers, or four heavy stubbers. Sacrifices a bit of transport capacity in exchange for the firepower though, as it can "only" carry thirty Imperial guard Infantry models.
- 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). Two twin heavy bolters and a twin lascannon make up the fixed wargear, alongside Airborne, Supersonic, and Hard to Hit from the Flyer section. You then have a choice of two heavy bombs or two inferno bombs. Both are one-use and one-per turn, but you select a point the model moved over to be the target. With heavy bombs, roll a d6 for each unit within 6" of the target point and subtract one if that unit is a Character; On a 4-5, those units suffer d3 mortal wounds, rising to d6 mortal wounds if the result was a 6. Inferno bombs are slightly different, with you rolling for each unit within 9" and subtracting one if the unit is a non-Vehicle or non-Monster Character unit and inflicting d3 mortal wounds on a 4+. It should be noted that this affects ALL units, not just enemies.
- Marauder Destroyer (Forge World): A slightly tweaked Marauder Bomber, for when you want moar dakka instead of moar bombs. She carried a marauder autocannon (literally a heavy 12 autocannon), twin heavy bolter, twin assault cannon, a single heavy bomb, and an optional hellstrike missile rack (72", heavy 2, S8, AP-2, Dd6+2).
In the grim darkness of the far future, what you cannot crush with words you will crush with the tanks of the Imperial Guard!
Armageddon takes strongly after the Wehrmacht of World War II, particularly the armored divisions. On the tabletop, Armageddon is your premier Armoured Fist Regiment. Most everything about them is dedicated to the fine art of piling out of a Chimera, evaporating some sorry traitor/xenos scum (Orks strongly preferred), hopping back aboard and zooming off to do it again.
Regimental Doctrines - Industrial Efficiency: INFANTRY units with this doctrine may double the number of attacks they make with Rapid Fire weapons (i.e. Lasguns, Bolters, and Plasma guns) at 18" instead of 12". Armageddon VEHICLES treat attacks against them with AP-1 as AP0.
- 18" is a distance that is almost impossible for enemy infantry to cover in a single move-and-charge, instead of the usual 12" that will get you in combat the next turn guaranteed. Increased RF range and good Chimeras will make you a master of positioning (which is paramount in 8E), and in turn you'll get almost double the use for lasguns (and Plasma guns!) than other regiments. Pretty darn solid. Or great, if you can pull off the fire and manoeuvre AFV tactics it calls for. If you can roar up mid board in with a pack of chimerae and hellhounds FRSRF first turn, and fall back holding down the lasgun triggers behind the flaming pillboxes of your flamer transports, pewpewpew murderburning half his troops before they can even make eye contact with any of your big guns or objectives. A bit like kiting, keep falling back so they can’t charge you. Pour on the lasguns.
- While situational, the ability to ignore AP-1 is quite handy against autocannons which are common in take-all-comers lists, and will nicely insulate your light vehicles from attempts to weigh them down under heavy bolters. Light weapons are a joke against your 2+ armoured vehicles in cover.
Warlord Trait - Ex-gang Leader: Add 1 to the Warlord's attack characteristic. In addition, add 1 to all wound rolls made for your warlord in the Fight phase.
- Outright superior to the BRB warlord trait Legendary Fighter, but of dubious utility since even with this and a Blade of Conquest, you won't be good enough in melee to excuse jumping into it; you'll get a lot more mileage out of combining Grand Strategist with the Armoured Fist stratagem. This, like many of the other Regiment Warlord Traits, is trying to encourage you to make your generally shooty Warlord a more competent melee combatant which is often not a competitive choice, but it can be a fluffy one.
- Funny enough, you can give this to a tank commander. It's not a good idea, but with this and the Crush Them! stratagem, you get 4 attacks that hit on a 2+ and wound anything up to toughness 7 on a 2+ as well.
Relics -Skull Mask of Acheron: -1 to enemy Ld within 3" of the wearer, -2 for Orks. Doesn't specify "Infantry" character.
- Fact is, since hordes (like yourself) have ways around morale, inflicting battleshock is better on expensive multiwound models, but those have a naturally high Leadership and -1Ld isn't good by itself. Thus, combine it with your other Imperial stuff: Terrifying visions inflicts -2Ld; Metalica Sicaran Infiltrators allies provide another -2Ld (aura + stratagem) and appear where you need them while moving almost as fast as Rough Riders; while Reivers inflict -1Ld alongside -1 To Hit (Shock Grenades) and have a higher chance to a successfully charge out of a Grav-chute (Black Templar Tactics, Combat squads). You could also use a Dark Angel's Termie Chaplain with the reivers, and blow a CP on another -1 with the eye of the unseen. One such separate detachment is cheaper than 6 Bullgryn, which are basically Maul Terminators now. Reaching -5Ld with Metalica Infiltrators isn't too hard, up to -6Ld with the Reivers. Even Chaplain/Dark Apostle-boosted Primaris/Plague marines will become as cowardly as Conscripts, and they lack Commissars. Disregard the bit about orks, though.
Order - Mount Up!: Targeted unit may shoot and immediately embark as long as they're within embark range and did not disembark in the movement phase that turn.
- In 8E you may embark and disembark regardless of the transport's entry points - as long as it's within 3" you're good to go. This order allows you to use your extra-resilient 4.75-inch-long Chimeras for piggy backing more than 10" a turn without having to use FFtE instead, and it can be combined with both your Armoured fist Stratagem and Industrial Efficiency Doctrine : One turn you can Mount Up! within 3" of the front of your Chimera, the next one disembark (optional Stratagem) within 3" from the other side of it, then move 6" away from the enemy while you also move the Chimera so that it ends up on the other side of the squad. This way you can constantly keep the enemy 18" away, which is extremely hard to cover in a move+charge for most squads, but precisely the range you can Rapid Fire from.
- Also be sure to shoot the Chimera you just embarked on AFTER you issue this order. The Lasgun arrays on your Chimera can only be fired if a unit is embarked; nothing about WHEN that unit embarks. They’re often overlooked but it’s 6-12 extra lasgun shots. Shoot, jump aboard, shoot again.
- This can also be away keep Plasma vets command teams safe for two turns just let fire then order them back into transport. While keep Commissar Yarrick near by for those re-roll ones.
Stratagems - Armored Fist (1 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, select an Armageddon Infantry unit that disembarked from an Armageddon transport this turn. It can re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 until the end of that phase. Best used when coupled with the FRFSRF order. Or triple veteran plasma gun squads and sarge with a plasma pistol? Ooh yeah. Use your Armageddon order to blast away again next turn, to mount up and escape retribution. Great on flanks. Overcharge plasma and shoot up his artillery, dread, other thing you need to die.
In the grim darkness of the far future, worlds break before the Guard does!
Cadians are the most recognizable Guardsmen at a glance, and even after the destruction of their homeworld, they still make up a huge portion of the Guard forces.
On the tabletop, they benefit from sitting still, which makes them more accurate and has great synergy with Grinding Assault on Leman Russ tanks.
Their unique characters specialize in getting more orders out than normal Commanders or Tank Commanders. Cadia stands (still and gets to re-roll lots of dice)!
Regimental Doctrines - Born Soldiers: All models with this doctrine may re-roll 1s to hit during the Shooting phase if they did not move in the movement phase. If an infantry unit is issued the order "Take Aim!" and has not moved, they re-roll all failed to-hit rolls. Only infantry may reroll failed hit rolls, russes can only reroll ones... but so does your artillery. This means Cadia has almost no use for a Master of Ordnance.
- This makes Cadians second only to Catachans (see below) as the best artillery regiment. Basilisks that reroll 1s are really nice. However, if you're using heavy weapons teams, seek no one else - Cadian lascannons are the most point-efficient anti-tank in the game, and mortar teams can have your opponent wondering where you hid that Thudd gun.
- Do not underestimate the advantage of rerolling failed hits for infantry who are static and ordered to take aim. Guard's greatest shortcoming is their generally meh ballistic skill. Rerolling misses effectively brings you basic guardsmen's 50% accuracy up to 75% - statistically better than having a 3+ BS! Cadians have the best static infantry gunline in the Guard, bar none.
- Combining rerolling on ones with Pask's 2+ and ability to command himself and another russ to "Pound Them To Dust" means that you can mimic the catachan regimental doctrine AND have a 2+ reroll 1's (98% accuracy) all for just 55 pts more than a normal Russ.
Warlord Trait - Superior Tactical Training: Roll a die every time your Warlord issues an Order; on a 4+, the order can affect an additional Cadian unit of the same type within 6" of the warlord.
- A high-risk, high-reward version of Master of Command, statistically multiplying a Commander's number of orders by 1.5. Keep in mind, however, that the rules are "copied" to another unit. This trait helps when you want the units to both FRFSRF, but when you want to issue different orders, then MoC's reliable higher number of independent orders will serve you better.
- STT helps you better the more orders an officer can issue. As such, it's worse than MoC on a Platoon Commander or Tank Commander, statistically equal on a Company Commander, and superior if you have a way to get to 3 or more orders base, which currently requires named characters.
Relics - Relic of Lost Cadia: One use only; unveil at the start of any turn. Until the end of that turn, all Cadian units within 12" of the bearer re-roll both hit and wound rolls of 1; they re-roll all failed hits and wounds against Chaos units.
- Doesn't specify Infantry model either, so it can be given to your Tank Commander to widen the bubble and move it wherever you need to.
- Given that Cadian units already get the primary effect of this relic if they haven't moved, you're primarily going to take it for the bonus effect vs Chaos.
Tank Order - Pound Them To Dust!: Ordered vehicle can re-roll the dice for determining the number of shots for Leman Russ turret weapons until the end of the phase. Combine with Grinding Advance, and your Battle Cannons will be able to blow apart blobs and armor alike, just as they could in previous editions. Because there aren't any Leman Russ turret weapons that roll multiple dice for attack volume, this will behave like the Catachan doctrine, only worse, since it will only buff the turret, not the sponsons; its efficacy depends on your loadout.
- "Gunners Kill on Sight!" is strictly inferior on a Battle Cannon, Eradicator Nova Cannon, or Executioner Plasma Cannon; it is strictly superior on a Punisher Gatling Cannon or Vanquisher Battle Cannon. On a Demolisher Cannon, it is strictly inferior against a unit of 5 or more models, and statistically equivalent against smaller units. For a static Leman Russ, GKoS won't stack, so your best bet for a Russ you're planning on keeping static is an Executioner Plasma Cannon that's going to constantly overcharge, along with a lascannon and a pair of plasma cannons. If you want to keep your Leman Russ more mobile, it's a lot more involved.
Stratagems-Overlapping Fields of Fire (2 CP): When a Cadian unit causes an unsaved wound on an enemy unit, you may use this stratagem and ALL other Cadian units add 1 to hit when firing at that unit. Useful for felling large centerpiece units like Knights or greater Daemons, or pretty much anything that essentially needs to die this turn.
- Gets even better when you consider that this is only restricted by the <Regiment> keyword. Basilisks smacking units from out of sight on 3+, re-rolling 1s, is a glorious thing indeed.
- Very valuable against plaguebearer spam as this means most your army will be hitting them on 5+ instead of 6+, with most your units rerolling 1's,2's and 3's.
- Knight Commander Pask: A flat upgrade to a Tank Commander, but a pricy one, plus with the fixed WT of Superior Tactical Training (which is less redundant on him than it is on Creed, assuming you brought at least three Russes including him). He has BS2+, which is awesome, and even the underpowered Vanquisher cannon starts to look alright when he's firing it (not really). If you're going to upgrade any of your Leman Russes with extra sponson or pintle weapons or an HK missile, he's the guy to do it to, since he is much more likely to hit something. Probably best used when supported by a Techpriest and sitting still with one of the longer-ranged turret weapons, as he can benefit from re-rolling 1s, shooting his turret weapon twice, and even use the Jury Rigging stratagem if necessary to get back a lost wound. On the other hand, if you can keep him out of the line of sight, he's downright scary in a Punisher.
- Lord Castellan Creed: Though MIA in the fluff (actually in Trazyn's collection, so he'll be back at some point), you can still field Creed as your Warlord, and you should do so if you're running Cadians and want to maximize your order potential and CP benefit. He's only about 25 points more expensive than a bog-standard Company commander, and he gets to give orders at 12" instead of 6" without a vox (and gets one more order a turn). You also get an additional 2 CP if he's your Warlord, which isn't bad. His shooting isn't impressive (two hot-shot laspistols), but hopefully, he never has to fire a single shot or swing his power sword. Unfortunately, gone are the days of outflanking Baneblades. He must take the Superior Tactical Training WT if he's your Warlord, which means he's going to pump out even more orders (and that's before you throw Kell into bodyguard for him). In small games, however, you probably won't have enough units to actually order to get the most of him.
- Colour Sergeant Kell: KIA in the fluff (RIP, he will be missed), but usable in-game still like Aun'Va, Konrad von Carstein, 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.
- Creed always has Superior Tactical Training if he's your Warlord (and you'll always Warlord him, to avoid wasting Tactical Genius), so this brings his average order pool from, statistically, 6, to 8.
- Now that Pask and Tank Commanders are officers, Kell can support them, too. This brings Pask up to 3 orders (statistically, 6 with Superior Tactical Training), or a regular Tank Commander up to 2 (3 with Master of Command, statistically 4 with Superior Tactical Training).
- For maximum order output, the Laurels of Command are an order doubler, statistically, just like Superior Tactical Training, which can be combined on a Company Commander with Kell, bringing him from 2 to 3 (Kell) to 6 (STT) to 12 (Laurels), although remember that Laurels and STT proc in opposite ways (STT lets you order more units; Laurels lets you pile additional orders onto the same target, so scales less well without access to useful Fix Bayonets!).
Hailing from the Death World of Catachan, the Jungle Fighters specialize in particularly gritty theatres of war.
On the tabletop, they hit harder than the usual guardsmen, both in terms of their strength of 4 and their usually better shot output from vehicles. The death worlders also posses some of the best characters and officers, most of which lore wise slay Tyranid type monsters with their bare hands (use caution on the tabletop).
Regimental Doctrines-Brutal Strength: INFANTRY units with this doctrine gain +1 Strength (i.e. S4), plus +1 Ld too if they are within 6" of a friendly Catachan Officer. Furthermore, each time a Catachan vehicle fires a weapon with random shot volume, you may re-roll one die when determining the number of shots that weapon gets. Grinding Advance Russes, dual-flamer Hellhounds/Chimeras, Basilisks etc. are now quite a bit nastier - and remember, overwatch counts as firing a weapon.
- Space Marines can do melee because they're heavily armoured, hit hard, often and can get close surprisingly fast. You merely punch hard - still a shooty army. That being said, what you do have is hordes of infantry with a better wounds-to-points ratio, and can boost them with Straken, Ministorum Priests and "Fix Bayonets!". As in, all those three at once. Now that's proper Catachan melee, and supported by better vehicles, not some Renegade rabble.
- A note on the math - you re-roll only one die, and it's a re-roll, not an additional unkept die, so assuming you do the sane thing and only re-roll 3 down on a 1d6 and 1 on a 1d3, your expected values go from 3.5 to 4.25 and 2 to 2.33, respectively (and if you use a vehicle with multiple dice, the value of the benefit plummets, of course - in those cases, you always re-roll the lowest die, obviously). Earthshaker, Stormsword Siege, and Twin Earthshaker cannons are special; the way you should fire them is to roll the full number of dice, then re-roll the one lowest die, no matter what it is, then drop the lowest dice.
Every example of this Doctrine's effect on vehicle rate of fire (listing an example weapon), assuming you only re-roll when you ought to:
- 4D6 (Wyvern Mortar): 14 -> 15.79 (x1.13)
- 3D6 (Deathstrike Missile): 10.5 -> 12.06 (x1.15)
- 4H2D6 (Twin Earthshaker): 9.34 -> 9.93 (x1.06)
- 2D6 (Twin Heavy Flamer): 7 -> 8.24 (x1.18)
- 2D6 (Inferno Cannon): 7 -> 8.24 (x1.18)
- 2H1D6 (Earthshaker Cannon): 4.47 -> 4.96 (x1.11)
- 2H1D6 (Artemia Inferno Cannon): 4.47 -> 4.96 (x1.11)
- 1D6 (Heavy Flamer): 3.5-> 4.25 (x1.21)
- 3D3 (Volcano Cannon): 6 -> 6.70 (x1.12)
- 2D3 (Neutron Laser Projector): 4 -> 4.56 (x1.14)
- 1D3 (Plasma Cannon): 2 -> 2.33 (x1.17)
As you can see, the greatest impact is on 1d6 weapons - a Leman Russ Battle Cannon's rof*damage goes from 7 to 8.5, while a Demolisher Cannon against a single target goes from 4 to 4.66.
Warlord Trait- Lead From The Front: The Warlord has a 6" Heroic Intervention (double in range and distance as normal). In addition, if your Warlord was charged, did a Heroic Intervention, or was charged himself, then they re-roll failed hit rolls until the end of the turn. While rerolling failed hit rolls is powerful, especially for low WS models, you should remember that you are playing Guard and even with this, you are comparatively weak in assault even if you have a Warlord like Straken in the fight.
Relics - Mamorph Tuskblade: Replaces a power sword. A reskin of the Blade of Conquest at S+2 AP-3 D2, so guaranteed 2D instead of having to roll for it, in case you decide to use a mortal to hunt Primaris. Works similar enough, and you do have Straken.
- Better than the Blade of Conquest against targets with 2W, the same against other stuff. The worse AP isn't that much of a factor.
- Something to keep in mind is this is a Catachan relic, meaning the wearer Will be S6, something to keep in mind if fighting something like Tyranids.
Orders - Burn Them Out!: The ordered unit can re-roll the dice when determining the number of shots a Flamer or Heavy Flamer has. In addition, enemy units targeted by the models with these weapons in the ordered unit lose the cover bonus to saves for the rest of the phase. Better than Bring it down! on the relevant weapons, but it doesn't buff the other weapons in the squad (other than ignoring cover, which they will on the unit(s) the flamer(s)/heavy flamer targets), which is an issue on squads other than Special Weapon and Command squads, like Veterans. Worth considering if you want to gamble stacking orders with the Laurels of Command, though.
- Note the effect on saves; you don't need to wound, or technically even hit, if the targeted unit has some miraculous way to avoid being hit by a Flamer/Heavy Flamer, for the targeted unit to lose the cover bonus to saves for the rest of the phase. You can use this to turn off cover on something relying on it for durability, like Scout Marines, then actually kill it with the rest of your army. You can remove cover from multiple units at once, too, as you can target more than one unit.
Stratagems - Vicious Traps(1CP): Use this Stratagem when an enemy unit finishes a charge move within 1" of a Catachan unit from your army that is wholly on or within a terrain feature. Roll a dice; on a 4+ that enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds.
- Colonel Iron Hand Straken: At 80 points, Straken is a considerable investment over a standard Company Commander, but he might just be worth it if you're looking to run an assault army. For one thing, all Catachan units within 6" of him get an extra attack, which can turn even a Conscript squad into a nasty tarpit. His Been There, Seen It, Killed It rule makes him great for charging and finishing off wounded Monster units. He also gets S6 (effectively S7, assuming you take him in a purely Catachan detachment, where he also boosts unit Ld by +1 for being an Officer) and T4 in addition to W5, so he's a bit harder to put down. Consider running him with a Ministorum Priest.
- Sly Marbo: All memes aside, unfortunately, Sly Marbo is not even remotely competitive. While he has the ability to appear 9" away from an enemy and trigger one of three special rules (immediately shoot, which lets him snipe Characters; make a small move and add 2 to his attacks if he charges; or trigger concealed explosives that have a 50/50 shot of dealing mortal wounds), his lack of durability and lackluster weapons (not a single one has any AP) makes him a poor choice overall. He can disappear if there are no enemy units close to him at the start of the Movement phase, but you will never get to use this rule because he will most likely die and also fail to clear out the enemies he charges anyway. If he debuffed enemy leadership, had some way to mitigate armor saves, and could be reasonably expected to stick around for more than a single round, he might be worth it, but he's not.
- Another view point. Will most effective way to use Sky Marbo is if you have alliance Militarum Tempestus detachment. Militarum Tempestus able with help Stratagems to get their foot soldiers 6 inch opponent lines means when he deep strike he not be closet model and pistol wounds get six shots and wounds 2 by average going to kill something 2 space marines turn. Doing that two turns make points back and them some. Ideal you have commission Yark with him. Which is likely best way to us him. Were Catachan provide artillery support with Militarum Tempestus will being aim to destroy vehicles.
- There other ways using him to: Back other units charging or hide behind them and shooting.
- Sergeant Harker: Sgt. Harker totes around his Assault 3 Heavy Bolt, Payback, and has a pretty decent statline for a guardsman, think a platoon commander on miral shark steroids. You don't take him for his cool gun or stats though. Harker allows all friendly Catachan units (himself included) within 6" oh him re-roll 1s to hit in the Shooting phase. Every Catachan list should include Harker since he can buff any Catachan, from the lowly Conscript to the mighty Baneblade!
Elite shock troops of the Astra Militarum, they appear on the brink of massacre and turn it into a crushing victory.
On the tabletop, they drop in hot, distribute an unholy amount of plasma, and play in a fast and fragile balance of fire and trying to survive the incoming charge. Uniquely, they have further sub-Doctrines that make them close to being an independent faction in their own right. These guys behave like S3/T3 Marines and favor a very close range play style. They offer little in CC or tanks, but can smoke terminators with ease and favor constant air superiority.
- Regimental Doctrine - Storm Troopers: If a model with this doctrine is shooting a target at half range or less, they get an extra shot for each roll of 6+ to hit, which can't proc itself. Due to the Hot-Shot's range, you can't immediately use FRFSRF Rapid Fire Storm Troopers after an Aerial Drop (more than 9" away) unless they dropped from a Valkyrie, so order Take Aim! instead. This is equivalent to a 7/6 modifier, like Cadia's re-rolling 1s to hit, but requires you to be within half range, rather than standing still.
- This doctrine is vicious, but hard to get. If understood correctly, drop in with those favourite overcharged plasma and get free shots on sixes? A five man squad shooting two plasma guns and a plasma pistol will likely get one from 5 total shots. Make sure it’s dead.You get +16.67% hits on any unit for which it applies (e.g. it won't apply to weapons that automatically hit); this is not as good as Catachan's trait or Cadia's order to re-roll attack dice for weapons with 1d6 attacks, especially the auto hitting ones, but it's much more versatile than those due to its wide application. Also, it's worth noting that it always works during Overwatch. In exchange, however, you can't have any Fast Attack, Heavy Support, or Lord of War choices in a MT detachment, because those slots only contain Regiment units.
- Remember, you can use a custom regiment, such as Savlar Chem-Dogs, to pick up this Doctrine, if you want it on general Imperial Guard stuff, but doing so will not get you access to the Militarum Tempestus Warlord Trait, Heirloom, Stratagem, or Order. If you do so, it's best on very long-range weapons, to ensure the target is within range for the buff, such as a Basilisk or Shadowsword or Mortar Team. Stacks with re-rolling 1s to hit or wound multiplicatively, just like those two do with each other, so if you want all three at once, you can combine Yarrick for re-rolling 1s to hit with an order source for re-rolling 1s to wound on an infantry unit (for obvious reasons, you'll want to do this on a heavy weapons squad - all three buffs combined are still worse than FRFSRF on lasguns). The percentage gains from these are 16.67% for any 1, 36.11% for any two, and 58.80% for any three (FRFSRF is a +100% gain, which you can add to the previous three if you're combining them - combining all four will require the Laurels of Command relic).
- Warlord Trait - Faithful Servant of The Throne: Your Warlord can attempt to deny one psychic power per phase as if they were a Psyker. This can be useful, but it is very situational. Its usefulness is further questioned since Astropaths only cost 26 points as of Chapter Approved 2018 and won't break your regiment rules even if you're bringing a Militarum Tempestus detachment.
- Relics - The Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius: When the bearer uses Voice of Command, they may attempt to issue *one additional order; roll a die before attempting, and on a 2+, the order happens.
- Can turn your Tempestor Prime into something like a Creed for your Scions. Up to four orders when combined with the Master of Command WT, 5 with Inspired Tactics. No Scion will go unordered.
- Order - Elimination Protocols Sanctioned!: Ordered unit re-rolls all failed wounds, but only against MONSTERs and VEHICLEs.
- This is situational, but very strong; Scions usually hit on 3s, so the more significant limiter on inflicted damage is usually weapon power (even meltaguns will only damage a tank half the time). Use on squads loaded with meltas (NOT plasma, as you'll be overcharging and you want that re-roll of 1s) to get some extra oomph on a tank or large creature.
- This also pairs quite nicely with the LAMBDAN LIONS Gifts from the Mechanicus stratagem.
Ordo Tempestus Regiments
Psychic Awakening has given our boys some new flavor. We can now add further extra rules based on specific Ordo Tempestus Regiments, which are accessed by picking one of the new Regiments from below. You can pick one of the following OR Storm Troopers. You may not get both.
- Iotan Dragons - Crack Shots: +6" Rapid Fire (for normal guard, its not that big a deal; for Scions, it makes our guns actually useable on the drop, which is clutch).
- Relic - The Emperor's Fury: 3-shot Plasma Pistol.
- Warlord Trait - Precision Targeting: ID units within 6" ignore the bonus of cover against enemies within 18" of the warlord.
- Stratagem - Drilled to Perfection (1CP): Overwatch on 4's for a single unit for an entire phase.
- Lambdan Lions - Prized Weaponry: -1 AP to all weapons. This doesn't specify only ranged weapons. Hotshot lasguns now tear through MEQs and meltaguns bypass armor saves entirely, but it's most noticeable on your melee attacks suddenly being AP-1.
- Relic - Refractor Field Generator: 5++ to all LL models within 6".
- Warlord Trait - Keys to the Armory: LL units within 6" reroll 1's to hit
- Stratagem - Gifts from the Mechanicus (1CP): 6s to wound for hot shot weapons inflict a mortal wound in place of normal damage for a single unit.
- Psian Jackals - Death From the Dark: Each kill counts as 2 kills for the next morale phase. Terrifying against bigger units.
- Relic - Hound's Teeth: Chainsword with S+1 AP-2 +3 extra attacks and rerolling wounds vs knife ears. Why are you in melee, against Eldar of all people?
- Warlord Trait - Skilled Tracker: Redeploy 3 Psian Jackal units prior to the start of the game.
- Stratagem - Elusive Hunters (1CP): Used after a PJ unit is targetted, models shooting weapons from further than their weapons half range, get -1 to their hit rolls against that PJ unit.
- Iotan Gorgonnes - Resolute Heroism': 6s to hit at the closest enemy unit by infantry score an additional hit. Usually worse than just being Thetoid Eagles or Iotan Dragons - Eagles in particular get this on their vehicles, unlike you. However, you need not to be in half-range to benefit from this trait.
- Relic - Blessed Bolt Pistol:12" Pistol 2 S5 AP-2 D2 (D3 vs psykers) which can snipe characters. Keep in mind that psykers are usually characters, food for thought.
- Warlord Trait - Sanctity of Spirit: Enemy psykers witin 24" will Peril on any double.
- Stratagem - Daring Descent (1CP): Infantry unit can drop 5" away from enemies; may not charge afterwards. Note that the unit is chosen when setting up in deep strike, not when deploying mid game.Use the stratagem in the movement phase.
- Thetoid Eagles - Predatory Strike: Unmodified 6s to hit at half range score an additional hit. Better than Storm Troopers because it is a straight-up hit instead of a shot (and if you really can get both, they'll stack), and usually better than Iotan Gorgonnes, because you have more control over when it applies (on top of this one working on vehicles). While it can't trigger on 5+s it also can't be prevented from proccing at all either. If you liked Storm Troopers, this is better in everything but a Drop Force (and better for every round after the drop).
- Relic - Fire of Judgement: 12" Hot Shot Laspistol, Pistol 2 inflicting mortal wounds in place of normal damage. Remember, their doctrine means that 6's proc an extra hit at half range. This thing has the potential to pump out 4 mortal wounds if you get lucky.
- Warlord Trait - Uncompromising Persecution: Wound rolls of 6 made by TE units using hot shot weapons within 6" of the the warlord are AP-4.
- Stratagem - Full Charge (1CP): Taurox Prime can reroll hit rolls when shooting at a unit within 12"'.
- Kappic Eagles - Mobilized Infantry: Infantry models can move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty and +1 to hit after disembarking Transports.
- The second half of this doctrine grants them +1 to hit after disembarking a transport. These guys do for free, what the stratagem can do for only Valkyries. Their WL Trait gives a 24" order bubble and can issue orders from transports. Drop your soldiers out of valkyries and enjoy their plasma shredding while benefiting from an order from downtown. This also gives your warlord a flying, -1 to hit, T7 box for protection.
- Relic - Distraction Charges: When firing overwatch any KE unit within 3" of the bearer will halve the charge roll if they inflict 1 or more hit.
- Warlord Trait - Master Vox: 24" order range, warlord may order units when embarked on a transport.
- Stratagem - Tactical Misdirection (1CP): Use after one of your KE infantry units destroys an enemy unit. All other units suffer from a -1 to hit when shooting unless they target that KE infantry unit or if another unit is closer.
- Superior Intelligence (1 CP): Use this strategy immediately when your opponent has a unit arrive on the battlefield within 12" of a Militarum Tempestus Infantry unit; they may fire at that unit as if it was their shooting phase, with a -1 hit penalty. It allows Tempestus to also work as guardians for your army. Volley gun squads sitting on your objectives, or babysitting your guard artillery? Let them try and sneak deepstrike those termites and it will cost. Even better for volley gun command squads with 16 shots s4 ap-2. Could be useful.
- Point Blank Efficacy (1CP): A Scion unit gains +1 strength to ALL Hot Shot weapons when fired at half range or less. A Strength 4, AP-2 HSLG is literally a Space Marine's nightmare. Pairs exceptionally well with Lambdan Lions for additional -1 AP or the Iotan Dragons for the ability to double tap S4 HSLG out of deep strike. A Strength 5 AP-2 Volley Gun can be devastating.
- Unquestioning Obedience (1CP): Auto pass morale for all scion units within 12" of Commissar or Tempestor Prime.
- Precision Drop (1CP): A Scion unit that Grav-Chutes their way off of a Valkyrie or a Vendetta does not roll to see if they die, and may deploy 5 away from the enemy instead of 9.
- Hammer Blow (2CP): Used after an AERONAUTICA IMPERIALIS model kills one or more models in a units; that unit halves all advance/charge distances and shoots at -1 to hit.
Absolute solid gold cheese if you somehow manage to kill something with your Officer of the Fleet’s laspistol.Not possible since to proc that stratagem unit has to be with a flyer battlefield role.
- Advanced Countermeasures (1CP): Used before the battle, a Valkyrie can switch to hover without losing Hard To Hit for the entire battle.
- Tactical Air Control (1CP): Add 2 for the roll for an Officer of the Fleet's Air Raid; range and LOS is measured from any Scion unit with a Voxcaster.
- Progeny of Conflict (1CP): Gain a warlord trait for any non warlord Scion CHARACTER. Basically an auto-include if you don't already have Grand Strategist, since you get a re-roll fornyour CP and then the added effect of refunding yiur own CPs from stratagems on a 5+ basically for free.
- Killing Zone (1CP): Use after a Scion INFANTRY unit kills 1 or more enemy models, for the rest of the phase all other Scion INFANTRY unit gain +1 to wound when targeting the damaged unit. Give your two battalion Primes plasma pistols and let them roast some measly Boy, with the safe firing mode if you wish. Next trigger this and let your other three, 10 man, quadruple volley gun squads roast another 20 or so. Dont forget orders and the +1 from the Drop Force WT and you stand a good chance of wiping the whole Boyz mob in one go!
Special in the sense that you don't need the rest of the detachment to bring them, but then they wouldn't get their regimental doctrines.
- Tempestor Prime: The Militarum Tempestus version of the Company Commander. Compared to a Company Commander, he has access to only one order (can be improved to two with a 5 pt piece of wargear), has a 4+ save, but loses his 5++, and only unlocks Militarum Tempestus Command squads. That said, he can deepstrike to follow his Scions wherever they go. Being a Militarum Tempestus HQ, he lets you bring a separate Tempestus-only Detachment; this gives them access to their Storm Troopers special rule. Comes stock with a hot-shot laspistol you'll never fire, since it's the same range as his frag and krak grenades, and nothing in the game exists that dies faster to the pistol than it does to one of the grenade choices. You should always swap it for either a better pistol or, more likely, the aforementioned item for +1 order.
- 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 (although it's more efficient to simply land your Tempestor Prime next to a regular squad and use their Vox instead, as you're not giving up any special weapon options that way). 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.
- Remember, just like with standard command squads, you are limited to one Tempestus command squad per Tempestor Prime. 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.
- 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.
- Militarum Tempestus Scions: Scions can be taken either as a 5-man team with two special weapons, or 10 man squad with four special weapons; you only get 1 sergeant either way, of course, but your sergeant is worse than the regular Imperial Guard get, as it has no access to a bolter - you'll usually end up taking a bolt pistol and chainsword, as a result. They have better BS and Sv characteristics when compared to a Guardsman and their standard issue Hot-Shot Lasgun is mean now. With its solid AP, it can threaten nearly anything. One squad member can take a vox caster and Hot-Shot Laspistol in addition to the standard hellgun. The Tempestor (sergeant equivalent) comes with a Hot-Shot Laspistol (which you'll always replace with a bolt pistol, except for when you really want a plasma pistol) and chainsword, but can take the usual sergeant armaments (except the boltgun).
Now 7 points each!As of Chapter Approved 2020 it’s now 9 points per model.
- Best taken in five-man teams (unless you're short on orders) while spamming as many special weapons as possible. Their special weapon loadouts should be focused - all plasma (including the Tempestor's sidearm), melta, or Volley guns. Mixing and matching reduces their combat effectiveness.
- Ten-man squads do have their place in terms of order efficiency and the ability to sustain losses without losing special weapons. The fun thing about Scions? Even with a standard loadout they punch very hard and aren't trivial to remove. 90 points for 10 deep-striking, BS3+, SV4+, AP-2 soldiers is pretty radical. Combined with your choice of effective regiment and Scions are extremely dangerous.
- It's important to note that without the use of stratagems or one very specific regiment, your hellguns cannot deep strike or grav-chute into Rapid Fire range, your meltas can never deep strike into melta range, and hot-shot laspistols cannot deep strike into actual shooting range. The melta thing isn't so bad, but this is still worth keeping in mind. If you're not using the Daring Descent or Precision Drop stratagems, put your melta troops in a transport.
- 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. For weapons, you should always be taking the Gatling Cannon, the sheer number of shots it puts out makes it better than both other options point for point (except against Land Raiders, where the Missile Launcher is -slightly- better). Similarly, the Hot-shot Volley Guns are always better point for point than the Autocannons.
- Note: This vehicle is finicky about who can get on it, not just who can bring it; only Militarum Tempestus and Officio Prefectus infantry (and, of course, the Inquisition, using their special rule) can board it. This is theoretically 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, although they're not allowed to bring their Ogryn Bodyguards with them, unlike with a standard Taurox.
- You should only ever consider taking the Battle Cannon and/or Autocannons if you for some reason need extra range.
- NOTE: For Inquisition players looking for transports for their inquisitor and henchmen, this is is probably the shooty metal box you're looking for.
Tactical Objectives Tactics
In the grim darkness of the far future, there's the quick and there's the dead.
An anachronistic amalgamation of Laurence of Arabia, Rambo III, Dune, and the North African Campaign.
On the tabletop, they play fast and tactical; with your Ambush stratagem, you can for the most part control the board, or keep important units safe until the opportune time to strike. Just don't expect to have the damage output of our Cadian and Catachan brethren.
Regimental Doctrines - Swift as the Wind: Infantry units with this doctrine can advance and still shoot all weapons except Heavy weapons, and do not suffer the penalty to hit when advancing with Assault weapons (which means they also won't suffer a penalty to hit with Rapid Fire, Pistol, or Grenade weapons after Advancing). Your infantry get to act sort of like eldar, because with you always advancing (and you should) the slowest you'll be is 7". No running about with lascannons, but the extra speed is appreciated. Tallarn vehicles treat Heavy Weapons as Assault when they Advance. This gives vehicles a little bit of extra mobility compared to other regiments, but the vehicles do not ignore the penalty for advancing and firing Assault weapons, making this Regiment less powerful for vehicles than it was in 8th. Titanic Vehicles that advance treat all their Heavy weapons as Assault, so everything on them except for storm bolters and that one lasgun can shoot after advancing at a -1 penalty. Assault Baneblade Cannons, anyone?
Warlord Trait - Swift Attacker: Your Warlord and every Tallarn unit within 6" can charge after Falling Back. This makes your melee screens infuriating to fight - start the turn, fall back an inch, Order the unit to Get back in the fight (Laurels for trolling) so they can shoot up the offender alongside the rest of your army, then charge back again if that wasn't enough (though they'll recieve Overwatch), keeping whatever they were in melee with locked in melee still, despite having pulled out for Shooting. It is important to note that this Warlord Trait effects all Tallarn units, not just infantry. Rough Riders benefit from this since they can use their hunting lances only on the charge and any vehicles you may want to charge can use the Crush Them stratagem every turn. This Warlord Trait can be very useful if you plan to be in your opponent's face.
Relics - Claw of the Desert Tigers: Replaces a power sword; SUser AP-3 D2, and can make 2 additional attacks. Unlike the Mamorph Tuskblade, actually is interesting compared to the Blade of Conquest - taking a model from S3 AP-3 to S5 AP-4 is better than A3->A5 against T4 specifically, but worse against T3 or T5 - but you shouldn't be taking this, since Tallarn is all about running circles around your enemy and staying in a gun-battle.
Tank Order - Get Around Behind Them!: The ordered unit can move up to 6" before or after firing, and this does not count against the range calculation for Grinding Advance (turret firing twice). Look at me, Tau: I am the Move-Shoot-Move now. Or, shoot twice while maintaining nearly normal speed (by definition, infinitesimally less than 12"). This can be especially potent on boards with good line of sight blocking terrain; move your 5" from behind a building, do some damage, then retreat 6" back behind cover for a frustrating game of whack-a-Leman-Russ. It can greatly help extend the life of a tank commander, and makes you feel like a tactical genius.
- The 6" movement is crucial here. Grinding Advance activates on movement 5" and under, so you're looking at an extra inch of movement after your Leman Russ' doubletaps. Use that extra inch to your advantage! As mentioned above, it could be used to retreat back into cover, advancing forward to an objective, squeeze yourself next to a screen, or even closing in on something you'd want to hit with your sword.
Stratagems - Ambush (3 CP): Use during the deployment phase. You may set up to three Tallarn units (only one of which can be a vehicle) in ambush. At the end of your movement phase, you may deploy them within 7" of the table's edge and more than 9" from any enemy units; they are treated as having moved their maximum distance. Outflank that Baneblade, you know you want to. Some key things to remember with this stratagem; 1) Vehicle squadrons are a thing, 2) This can be used more than once during deployment, since it is an out of phase stratagem, and 3) Each unit does not need to be set up in any kind of coherency outside of unit and vehicle squadron coherency. Do with this info what you will, and have fun!
Special Characters Fast Attack
- Mukaali Riders: (Open and Narrative Play only.) Bizarre desert space lizard beasts with 2" less movement than traditional Rough Riders, but compensate with better Toughness, Wounds, and 3 extra S5 attacks from Stomping Feet replacing Trampling Hooves.
- Tallarn Tank drive-bys: The Psychic Awakening updates have done a lot to buff the Leman Russ, but as with most Guard units, the lackluster 50/50 BS and lack of an invuln in an edition full of AP and multishot AT has made it so that the challenge isn't points cost or weapons, but making the most out of the unit before it inevitably blows up. For 22 points more, consider upgrading your Tank into a Tallarn Tank Commander for the ability to scoot-and-shoot (Using GABT!) while still keeping the Commander's 3+BS. Spend another CP to give the entire detachment's tanks the Emperor's Fist Keyword, which gives access to a 1 CP Strat that will allow you to move your full 10 inches and still doubletap; Spend another 2 CP to use Hail of Fire from the new PA book to bypass the dicerolls on your multishot weapons to fire the maximum number of shots(!) and watch as Tau and Eldar players go green with envy. If you really want to take out that Leviathan or KEQ, give the Tank Commander Hammer of Sunderance for 2 Heavy 6 Shots at S8 AP-2 and flat 3D. While this sounds like a big CP investment, well shut up, you're playing Guard, CP shouldn't really be an issue.
- When compared to Cadia, Tallarn tanks are a lot more mobile and are a lot less likely to be sitting ducks. Sure,Pask stills hits on 2s and reroll 1s (with two orders), but you can only take one of him, while in a Tallarn list, you can have two Tank Commanders Fire and Fading on 3s. Giving a TC a Warlord Trait can also let them give that second order, if you want.
In the grim darkness of the far future, discipline is the only thing keeping terror at bay.
From the night world of Mordia, the Iron Guard wear colorful parade uniforms and fight in carefully constructed formation. Don't be fooled by their colorful uniforms, for they can lay down punishing and well-disciplined fusillades of Lasgun fire.
On the tabletop, they benefit from keeping tight, defensive formations and are capable of assassinating characters with the right order to take out the enemy's chain of command.
Regimental Doctrines - Parade Drill: Infantry units with this doctrine gain +1 Ld if all its models are touching the base of at least one other model in the same unit, and can add +1 to Hit rolls on Overwatch (and their Overwatch hits on 5's too). The same is true for MORDIAN VEHICLES within 3" of each other.
- Positioning is key when using this Doctrine, so put the Special weapons in the middle of the squad and remove the cornermost models of a unit when they suffer casualties, to avoid losing the bonus. For ease, use strips of packing tape sticky-side up; a serried squad of 10 fits perfectly on a strip about 6" long. As a bonus, once it's on the table it's generally quite hard to see; all you get is perfect ranks of blue, red and gold. This is also the one and only instance that using square bases in a 40k game will not result in your immediate and violent demise via your own Shadowsword to the head. Incidentally, if you use the advice of taping your models together with packing tape, this will make your army faster to physically move your models then other Imperial Guard armies with heavy infantry cores.
- Infantry squads in the formation and in Regimental Standard range get better Ld than a Commissar. Furthermore, since the wording is units have +1 Ld (unlike "add 1 to the Ld characteristic" like Catachans), it probably stacks with a Lord Commissar's Aura of Discipline (the unit uses his Ld9, and gets +1Ld on top of whatever Ld it's currently using).
- Hitting on a 5+ essentially doubles the damage you do in Overwatch. And then the Defensive Gunners Stratagem will let your vehicles overwatch on a 4+, hilariously letting Hydras hit more ground units with overwatch than with normal fire.
Warlord Trait - Iron Discipline: Roll a die for every model that flees from any friendly Mordian units within 6" of your Warlord. On a 4+, that model does not flee. Essentially an aura of Valhallan Grim Demeanour. Mordians do have superior leadership compared to most of their counterpart regiments and Commissars are usable again as of the April of 2018 Big FAQ to further improve a unit's leadership.
Relics - Order of the Iron Star of Mordian: The Mordian infantry bearer gets a 4+ FNP, effectively doubling his wounds, lifting some of the workload from the Field Medic and the Ogryn Bodyguard. Of good use when you absolutely must ensure your Warlord's survival, as regular Company Commanders aren't that special by themselves.
Order - Form Firing Squad!: All of a unit's Rapid Fire weapons (Lasguns, Plasma, and the sergeant's Bolter, if he has one) may target Characters that are in range regardless of whether or not there are closer enemy units.
- When comparing Ratlings to FFS for character sniping purposes, there's a number of things to consider. In favour of using the order all you need to do to use it is bring standard combat capable infantry you'd already want with officers to order them. Clean, simple, and versatile. Much more durable and deadly in close range. However, using Rapid-Fire involves getting your troops to within 24/12" of a character (and closer to its guards) and then firing ON the character using up an order. Using Conscripts involves risk of failure, Infantry poor output, combined squads eats a CP, and Vets are hard to get close enough. That's not to say they can't get the job done, but it will be messy, risks getting you stuck in melee, and is usually not the best use of the units and orders. Ratlings are much more likely to be able to get in range to hit a character without getting bogged down, but if hunted down WILL be destroyed, but at range, will require committing either long ranged weapons or putting units close and personal with your lines. Choose your units accordingly. One might consider using FFS and ratlings to complement eachother. FFS could be used to finish an enemy wounded by Ratlings. Or Ratlings could be used to help manipulate the enemy's behaviour, pushing the characters into the range of Firing Squads, baiting the enemy troops into an ambush, or drawing long ranged fire (usually overkill against them). Even if they're ignored, they'll usually earn back their points chipping away at targets of opportunity.
- The best option is just to put a vet squad loaded for bear in a valkyrie or chimera and give them an officer. Or wait for your opponent's special snowflake characters to come to you, and then melt them with a couple plasma squads.
Comparison table for Infantry/SWS/Vets/Commandsquad/Ratlings vs Commissar/LordC/SMLieutenant/SMCaptain. Militarum squads in the comparison have all the plasma guns they can bring, no Heavy Weapon teams (as to not lose the lasguns), and the sergeant (if available) has a boltgun. Ratlings that pop out of LOS-blockers lower their BS by 1, so they're listed near the Militarum squads that closed to Rapid Fire range. Numbers in bold indicate the target is killed. Keep in mind these numbers are for single squads: your Company Commanders issue two orders each (multiply number by 2), and Infantry squads can also form Combined Squads. Can be combined with Laurels of Command, but only Lasguns will be affected.
Stratagems - Volley Fire (1 CP): Use before a Mordian Infantry unit shoots in the shooting phase; EACH TIME you roll a hit roll of 6+ for a model in that unit, that model can shoot again at the same target, with the same weapon, and these extra attacks cannot proc additional attacks. Better than Stormtroopers since it's firing the weapon again, instead of an extra shot from half range. You're SO combining this with FRFSRF.
- Sadly the September 2019 FAQ now changed it to "one additional hit roll". Still better than Stormtroopers since it's at full range, but we are now reduced to Orks, essentially giving us Dakka! Dakka! Dakka! for the price of 1 CP. And it is only on infantry. And it doesn't automatically hit. Yeah... On the bright side it doesn't specify unmodified hit rolls of 6, so if you really want to make use of the stratagem, you can take Aradia Madellan to give the unit +1 to hit and make it proc on a 5+. Or a Sabre Defense Searchlight, I guess. On the (grim)dark side, -1 modifiers to hit make the whole exercise pointless.
Tactical Objectives Tactics
In the grim darkness of the far future, lasguns are cheap but lives are cheaper.
The other Space Russian regiment, these ones are based on the Soviet Union and, more specifically, the Soviets during WW2.
On the tabletop, they often use infantry squads in combination with their doctrine and Relic to lessen or even ignore morale. Their stratagem is amazing in Open or Narrative play, but not worth it for Matched.
Regimental Doctrines - Grim Demeanour: Infantry units with this doctrine halve (rounding up) the number of models that flee if they fail morale tests, which makes them safer to use without a Commissar, especially Infantry squads with their smaller number and better Ld than Conscripts. Infantry heavy lists will have the flexibility to deploy forces all across the board, and squads with special weapons will be a nuisance until wiped out. Valhallan Vehicles with this doctrine that have damage tables instead count their remaining wounds as double their actual value for the purposes of determining what their characteristics are, meaning you remain at full operational ability for much longer.
- Some wound tables are affected more than others, but 11 wounds goes from 1-2/3-5/6-11 to 1/2/3-11 (meaning a repair on an injured model always improves it), while 26 goes from 1-6/7-13/14-26 to 1-3/4-6/7-26 (meaning you never need more than a full 3 repair to make it better).
Warlord Trait - Tenacious: Warlord gains 5+ FNP, 6+ if it's a Vehicle. Outright replaces the BRB warlord trait, Tenacious Survivor. Makes the Field Medic's and Ogry Bodyguard's jobs a bit easier. Effectively makes your Tank Commander W14, but there are often better things to do with your warlord trait.
Relics - Pietrov's MK 45: The bearer may replace its Bolt Pistol with a better, AP-1 D2 Pistol 2 (as of Spring 2019 FAQ) Bolt Pistol, and prevents friendly Valhallan units within 6" from losing more than 1 model per morale check, effectively turning your Company Commander into a Commissar, reducing your army's dependence on them even further.
- Useful on Conscripts, since your doctrine already diminishes most of the effects of morale on the smaller Infantry Squads in normal circumstances. A damn fluffy Chenkov though. Remember it doesn't affect non-Regimental units like a real Commissar does. Also after FAQ its the only way of getting a pre-FAQ commissar in your army. A solid choice now - a Company Commander with this and Master of Command can walk 120 conscripts across the board and be an incredible pain in the жопа for everyone involved.
Order - Fire On My Command!: The ordered unit can shoot at enemies that are within 1" of another friendly unit, but any hit roll of 1 is resolved as a hit against the friendly unit instead. If more than one friendly unit is present, choose which one gets hit. This order can't be issued to a unit which is itself within 1" of an enemy unit. Kill them all; the Emperor will know His own. Funnily enough, flamers are safe to use since they don't roll to hit. Told you Emps knew His own.
- Tie up a problematic unit with disposable Conscripts, then order your Heavy Weapon Squads to fire on your command...and then you bring the Second Wave - Iron Warriors, eat your hearts out. This order shines when it's YOU who is on the offensive, tying up the enemy with Bullgryn and Crusaders who actually want to be in melee and can't "Get Back in the Fight". Those squads are, in fact, so well armoured (3W/2+ and 1W/3++) they can tank a few Heavy Bolter misses better than Space Marines can tank successful hits. For other non-melee units, just Fall Back; "Take Aim!" and "FRFSRF" do more damage than shooting on allies if the latter's melee isn't anything out of the ordinary.
- Did you notice it only says "friendly units"? THEY DON'T EVEN NEED TO BE YOUR UNITS: Reivers and Infiltrators can easily survive a stray lasgun shot while still spooking -1Ld off the enemy squad, and Vanguard's Rad Saturation lets you hit a weakened enemy (especially if they are next to a Graia warlord), which you can't do otherwise. Multiple detachments! Apologize to your friends! Yay!
- Watch out for supercharged plasma: not only will the firing model be slain by the 1, but a friendly unit will also be hit. Do keep in mind, though, that Crusaders have a 3++ and one can revive on a 2+. Especially useful against Primaris.
Stratagems - Send In The Next Wave! (2 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your movement phase. Select a Valhallan Infantry unit (no Characters or Consolidated squads) that has been destroyed earlier in the battle. Set it up wholly within 6" of your table edge and more than 9" away from enemy models.This would be amazing, but in Matched Play, this does cost reinforcement points. This is crippling - you have no tactical reason ever to hold back a unit you've already paid for, especially if it only arrives once a friendly identical unit has been destroyed and especially if it only shows up in your deployment zone. Since you should be running a battalion anyway though and trying to max out CP this rule is perfect for when games go badly, don't listen to other edits. It's an amazing Stratagem /s.
Tactical Objectives Tactics
In the grim darkness of the far future, Cossacks get ornate lasguns and more range than your average Guardsman.
One of the two Space Russian regiments, this one is based on the Cossacks and noblemen of the old Russian Empire, with the bling to back it up.
On the tabletop, they have more range than other regiments, and are generally best used as a static or slow moving gunline, enjoying their increased range and strategems.
Regimental Doctrines - Heirloom Weapons: All units with this doctrine extend the range of all Rapid Fire and Heavy weapons with a minimum range of 24" or more by 6". 30" RANGE MULTIMELTAS, as well as Demolishers and Punishers. You also get 42" heavy bolters and plasma cannons, and 54" mortars and lascannons, but that's less impressive. This Doctrine has the greatest impact on 24" guns since the relative buff is greatest on them. Guns with abilities that are relative to their range (Multi-Meltas, Magma Cannons, Rapid Fire guns) end up getting +3" to their half-range profile, a consequence of +6" to their maximum range. Yes, Demolisher squadrons can be a thing. They had that 15 point price drop late 2019 down to around 140 points each? Take three. Always. Blow them up with 30in multimeltas on your tank commanders. Drive them out from cover to king hit counterpunch knights off their feet.
Warlord Trait - Honored Duelist: Re-roll failed hit and wound rolls in the Fight phase for attacks made by your Warlord. Again, a shooty character trying to be in melee. Not terribly competitive.
Relics - The Armour of Graf Toschenko: The wearer gains Toughness 4 and Sv 2+, effectively giving your Company Commander Terminator resilience. Kit him out with Power Maul and Bolt Pistol, along with the Vostroyan Warlord trait and get yourself a cut-rate Terminator for only 35 points. Not a CQC monster by any means but he will hand any errant Sergeant-equivalent his arse on a platter. Though, the best defense is not being hit in the first place.
Order - Repel The Enemy!: Targeted unit can fire any of their weapons at enemies within 1" of themselves, like Pistols can. Doesn't give the actual Pistol weapon type, only the ability; you can still only use one grenade per shooting phase (without spending CP). Get Back In The Fight will usually get the same job done, but sometimes you don't have the luxury of falling back, e.g. you don't have enough space or you would lose control of an objective. In those cases, this can be a lifesaver.
- Combined with the Grenadiers stratagem, this can let a squad tie up the enemy and bite off their nose. A skilled opponent will often charge, wipe the front squad, and then consolidate into CC with the squads behind, ostensibly weakening your shooting. Pop this order, Grenadiers, and Firstborn Pride for good measure, and show him what's what.
- You can also use this to allow infantry squads or veterans to fight alongside proper melee units. Rough Riders, Ogryn types and allies can find themselves wanting help with nothing but guardsmen nearby. You won't be able to use this ability until the turn after they charge, but it can turn a combined squad with flamers or plasmas (and maybe a priest) into decent budget backup, whereas shotgun vets with specials (while crap in melee) will be dangerous to ignore.
Stratagems - Firstborn Pride (1 CP): Used at the start of the shooting phase. Select a friendly Vostroyan unit; they add 1 to all hit rolls. Use this to make your supercharged plasma weapons 100% safe; static Russ Executioners are your best source of plasma. Or have your conscripts shoot like real men (an you can always buff them further to hit on 3s if you take a Defensive Searchlight). Is this the best guard stratagem? So good. Tank Commanders fully kitted? Can all hit on 2s now. Shadowswords? Can all hit on 3s now.
Tactical Objectives Tactics
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only death, atonement and trench warfare .
The Death Korps is a somber, fatalistic lot, based roughly on designs from WW1 and the Napoleonic Era. In lore, they fight grueling battles of attrition and slaughter to repay their debt to the Imperium.
On the tabletop, ...
- Regimental Doctrin - Cult of Sacrifice: When taking Combat Attrition tests, no modifiers apply to your roll. 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. In addition, if any Character or Vehicle dies by enemy fire (thus avoiding plasma misfires) and doesn't explode, you need to roll a 4+ to get one last attack or shot with one weapon.
Weapons and Wargear
- Gas Bombs: One half of the nightmare that is the Combat Engineer Squad. 6" Genade D6 S2 Ap-2 D1 Blast, and autowounds anything that isn't a VEHICLE or Titanic on a 2+.
- Engeneer Shotgun: The other half of the Combat Engie dream team. 12" Assault 3 S4.
- Melta Bomb: Currently removed from the Engie Watch Master as of IA Compendium
- Mole Launcher: A Krieg Combat Engineer exclusive, courtesy of their short beardy friends, this bad boy has half the range of a regular Mortar, but brings 1 more Strength and AP.
- Death Rider Hunting Lance: lance for your cavalry, give only Ap-1 but on the charge, it becomes S+2 Ap-3 D2.
- Savage Claws: even horse attack, Each Rider makes 2 additional S4 Ap-1 attacks.
- Death Korps Marshal: The equivalent of a Company Commander with a power sword or chainsword and take a las, bolt, or plasma pistol. At the moment before the Guard's 9th codex, the Marshal is a 5pt cheaper way to give a Commander a power sword.
- 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 help to increase his durability, and for obvious reasons, he's the best choice for getting Orders to your cavalry.
- Death Korps Marshal Karis Venner: (Legends) Death Korps Marshal that removes half-strength penalty from Krieg Infantry within 6" and has a 5+++ FNP.
- DEATH KORPS GRENADIER SQUAD: (Legends) Tempestus Scions without the deep-strike
- QUARTERMASTER CADRE SQUAD: (Legends) Apothecary with servitor assistance, giving your troops a 6++ FNP. As it's not a character, have to hide and pawn wounds to the servitors to keep the unit from the target.
- STORM CHIMERA: (Legends) Replaces the muli-laser with a autocannon.
- Death Rider Commissar: (Legends) mounted Commissar for speed.
- Combat Engineer Squad: Shotgun infantry with decent 4+ armour save. Has native deep strike, for a 5 man squad to belch 15 bolter rounds. if you prefer shooting shoot guns from cover, take a Molelancher which is a shorter range mortar with S5 & AP-1. Opponents are Remonend not get close as gas grenades (combo with grenade stratagem) can wreck most things that not a vehicle.
- Death Korps Death Rider Command Squad: A must-have for any list focusing on Death Riders. More elites Death Rider that get 2 lance attack. They don't take up slots for each Death Rider Squadron Commander you have, in case you also want to fill your fast attack slots also with other elites.
- Practically the same price as the fast attack but a fixed size of 4 with no Sargent.
- Death Korps Death Rider Squadron: 15pt per model. A big step up from the basic Rough Riders. Very quick durable and hard-hitting melee unit which is a big change for the shooty Imperial Guard. WS+4 & S3 but T4 W3 Sv4+/5+++ FNP, with a lance that hit about as hard as a human powerfist with steed producing 2 attacks that hit like Astartes Chainsword. They have the ability to outflank from reserves, so extra points for being able to get close to their charge target.
- Combination of 4+, 5+FNP, and W3 makes this a great mobile tarpit unit.
- Outflanking Death Riders *Death Riders are perhaps the single greatest edge you have over any other IG regiment, Rough Riders simply cannot compare (despite going to legends although they do make excellent tank hunters). Use Flanking Maneuvers to put up to 45 horses in your opponent's backfield. Death Rider Command units are no longer required to allow your Death Riders to Flank. Death Rider Command Squads can also not take up Force Org Slots if taken at a 1:1 radio with Death Rider Commanders. An all Death Rider army is perfectly feasible and highly competitive, though it works best when supported by a horde of infantry and mortar artillery.
- Combat Engineers' We lost Carcass Shot and the ability to bring special weapons, but gas Grenades make splinter rifles look tame by comparison. If your Engineers get locked in melee (and with a 12" threat range it's going to happen) fall back 6", Get Back In the Fight!", and then use the Grenadiers stratagem to lob 10 gas Grenades at your opponent.
- Your Engineers will need a transport, either a Centaur (Legends) if you're running them in MSU or a Chimera for a full squad and a Field Officer. A Field officer with The Dagger of Tu'Sakh with a full squad of engineers coming in behind the enemy is very powerful. Just say they tunneled up from below.
- Krieg used to be the best IG regiment when it comes to melee (other than Catachans). We lost WS3+, higher Ld, and old Cult of Sacrifice, but we keep our Death Riders and can now run Ogryns/Bullgryns that we previously didn't have. We can also take Telepathica units to help boost some of our units on the field.
- Krieg excels in games with heavy terrain like few other armies. Deathriders aren't impeded by charging through cover while mortar artillery ignores cover saves completely. And Combat Engineers are even in better in Cities of Death where they can benefit from Fire In the Hole.*Tunneling Engineers the other great unit we have is engineers, these guys are king at deleting enemy units. Give a field officer the relic dagger (or shovel) and pop up from the flanks and let an enemy unit eat your carcase shot, even taking losses to it overheating its still worth it since you can take out a 200point Terminator squad for only 103points. Scared of losses to 1s you can just put them in a valkrye or chimera with Yarrik, a commissar wl with master of command or an inquistor for that re roll 1s to hit goodness. By far the best way to use them is to get close and use their acid grenades using the grenadair stratagem if you can get them close enough.
In the grim darkness of the far future, some times the only way forward is feet first into Hell.
Elysians Drop Troops are the paratroopers of the 41st millenium. Guardsman life expectancy is short as is, and Elysians even more so, but its a job that needs to be done and glory never dies. On the tabletop, Elysians are your airborn support. While they lack heavy armour, their heaviest unit being the Tauros Venator, they make up for it with tactical flexibility and the ability to deploy anywhere they damn well please.
Update January 2021
The start of 9th edition has been sadly very disappointing for Elysia. We did not feature at all in the Imperial Armour Compendium (Nov 2020) which is the 9th edition textbook for FW units. As of the Warhammer Legends update at the end of 2020, it got even worse. We no longer exist as a faction in either official GW rules or Warhammer Legends. This was to be expected given we have been out of production at FW for many years now, but bad news for folks with (very expensive) Elysian armies on their shelves.
The only Elysian units making it to Legends were Sniper Teams, the Skytalon transporter and the Tauros & Tauros Venator. But our army-wide ability to aerial drop (deep strike) is now gone entirely, as have our unique twists on infantry squads (better LD and different weapon options), officer traits (iron discipline), and our unique orders are dead. Breacher charges and lascutters remain a wargear option via Legends. Battlescribe has also now been updated to reflect this. So to play Elysians using official/legends rules, your only bet is to use the standard Codex: Astra Militarum and maybe use custom regiment traits as appropriate.
But did you really think we'd die that easily? Drop Troopers don't die, we just go to Hell and regroup!
That's right kids. Your faith in the immortal God-Emperor of Mankind will trump all retcons and rule changes. The Elysian Drop Troops Discord community has grown exponentially and began a project to create a full, glorious homebrew Codex: Drop Troops. This covers all Guard airborne infantry, including Elysia, D99, Harakoni Warhawks, Phantine Skyborne (of Gaunt's Ghosts fame) and rules for creating your own custom regiments. Designed to be played in "friendly" Matched Play and Crusade games, this will never see the inside of a tournament or a GW store. But it has been an awesome way to keep Drop Troop armies alive and rearm them with a full suite of stratagems, units and high quality rules. Because hell yes you should be able to deploy an entire army from Valkyries. This is Romeo Foxtrot, shall we dance?
We intend to release Codex: Drop Troops in February 2021. At time of writing we are in the final presentation and proof-reading stage, and will be releasing in "Alpha" version to collate community feedback and playtesting, with a few YouTubers lined up to help us with outreach. Join the fight and see the WIP rules here.
Regimental Doctrine, Stratagems, Orders, Warlord Traits, Relics
Are all gone as of the Imperial Armour Compendium and Warhammer Legends update of 2020 (9th Edition). RIP. The remaining options below can be taken via Warhammer Legends only (with the exception of the Cyclops). So since the Elysian Drop Troops no longer exist as a faction, your best bet would be to run a standard Codex: Astra Militarum army and select Elysian Drop Troops as your <Keyword>. Technically as a named Regiment you wouldn't be allowed to take a Custom Regiment Doctrine a la Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good, but always have a word with your opponent to see if you can. Since our few remaining options are Legends, we can't play in official Matched Play rules now anyway.
Weapons and Wargear
The following two options are added to the Astra Militarum Special Weapons List, but are only available if your <REGIMENT> are Elysian Drop Troops. Seems a bit much to have access to these in return for having no Regimental Doctrine...
- Breacher charges (Legends): Now a Grenade D6 S8 AP-3 D3 profile, but can only be used once per battle. Swingy but fun.
- Lascutters: Elysian Drop Troops can take lascutters (an S9 AP-3 D1d3 melee weapon which can only make 1 attack) as special weapons. From a competitive perspective, these are neither worth the special weapons slots nor the points. Charging from deep strike 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, it can be quite a bit of fun. Theoretical cool setups include 10 veterans with 3 lascutters, a breacher charge, and a power fist, or 3 command squads with 12 lascutters, or 2 special weapons squads with 6 lascutters.
- Elysian Sniper Squad (Legends): A Heavy Weapons Squad but carrying one Sniper Rifle per team instead of a heavier weapon, though with BS3+ instead. Laughably cheap making them some of the most point-efficient anti-character units in the game. However they do not have Aerial Drop on their datasheet, and with the Elysian faction effectively having been killed off, they can no longer deepstrike.
- Elysian Drop Sentinels (Legends): They are more expensive than regular guard sentinels but can aerial drop, now hard-coded into their datasheet. If you don't aerial drop them, they have the Scout Vehicle rule allowing them a free move after deployment before battle begins, same as regular Scout Sentinels. For weapons they can take either a heavy flamer or a multi-melta, two options which the regular Guard versions cannot take. You can add a Hunter-Killer Missile, but be aware that Drop Sentinels can not benefit from sentinel-specific stratagems from the Guard rules as those reference specific Armoured Sentinel or Scout Sentinel keywords from the main book.
- Alternate Take: You're deep striking a Multi Melta for 55 points now, which is pretty good. Having 6 wounds on T5 means they are gonna get killed, but a unit of three can force your opponent to completely change their strategy, allowing you to counter their movements. What makes these useful is their ability to stay out of anti deep string bubbles while still firing at full effect, and they will require your opponent to prioritize them. They also possess the scout vehicle rule, allowing you to deploy them on the board and strike hard and fast if you need to. Otherwise, using them as tough(ish) suicide Multi Melta units seems to be the only useful role for them.
- Tauros Assault Vehicles (Legends): Remains a <REGIMENT> keyword so not restricted to Elysians, however with the Elysian army faction no-more, these lose Aerial Drop. Can pack either a Heavy Flamer or a Tauros Grenade Launcher (twin stock GL) plus a Hunter-Killer Missile. Is insanely fast and gains a 5++ if it advances, with the dude clinging on for dear life on the back still blasting since the GL is an Assault weapon. An effective harassment and board-control option, worth remembering that blast weapons cannot be fired in melee, but heavy flamers can. Can be taken in squads of up to 3.
- Tauros Venators (Legends): The AV's bigger brother, identical statline but packing either a Twin Multilaser or Twin Lascannon. Again can be taken in a pack of up to 3.
- 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 60 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. Not updated for 9th Edition Imperial Armour Compendium
- Valkyrie Sky Talon (Legends): A heavy-lift variant of the stock Valkyrie, this can transport either one Tauros or 2 Drop Sentinels. For weapons it can either take 2x Multiple Rocket Pods or 2 Hellstrike Missiles... except that Hellstrike Missiles technically no longer exist in the game as the Imperial Armour Compendium replaced them with the differently-named Hellstrike Missile Rack... thanks GW. A beautiful model and a fun concept, but with Drop Sentinels being able to Aerial Drop themselves and the Tauros being fast-as-fuck anyway, this seems very expensive for the points.
- The Cheapest Brigade: The absolute cheapest Brigade you can run (that still has sensible coverage for every role) looks something like this: 3 Company Commanders, 6 Infantry Squads (lascannon, plasma gun), 3 Rough Riders (each with 2 plasma/meltaguns), 3 Squads of Mortars, a Commissar, a Ministorum Priest, and an Astropath. Your HWTs sit in the back with your two rear Company Commanders while the lead Commander takes the Priest, the Commissar, and Astropath, and takes a 60-man carpet to work. Rough Riders punch the flanks, and your Heavy Weapons punch the big stuff. Works best Cadian, thanks to Superior Tactical training and improved Heavy Weapon teams. If you don't have a supply of Rough Riders you can swap them for Hellhounds/Devil Dogs, but this will cost an additional 30-40 points per FA slot, or use Scout Sentinels, which are even cheaper than Rough Riders.
- There is extra wisdom to this now that Commissars only offer a re-roll with their Summary Execution. You CAN run conscripts with your Warlord in the center (Draconian Disciplinarian and a Commissar allows you to do so) but it's not particularly effective, due to poor Order efficiency, poor resistance to morale, poor accuracy...
- On this build you primarily buy a Commissar for his leadership buff; Summary Execution is going to play like a tax. If you have the points, an Officio Prefectus tank does the same job, without the bogus reroll; if you're worried about losing your motivation vehicle to enemy anti-tank fire (a valid concern), seek allies; an Inquisitor in a Vanguard detachment with 3 squads of acolytes (which incidentally have the statline of guardsmen...and many of the same special weapons...) does the same job, and gives you additional access to psyker abilities and Deny rolls. Actually, (s)he does it better; at Ld10, your Infantry Squads will need to suffer 50% casualties before they even entertain the thought of running! To maintain Brigade requirements, swap your Commissar for some Ratlings.
- Elysian Special Weapons Squads/Command Squads can bring more plasma/melta than is even remotely necessary to the battlefield. They are cheap. Plus, they can deep strike safely within rapid fire range. For less than 200 points, a Vanguard detachment of special weapon squads will earn their keep every time, overwhelming an under-guarded part of the battlefield or stopping an enemy advance in its tracks.
- The even cheaper brigade: 3 Company Commanders, 6 Infantry Squads with mortars, 3 Astropaths, 3 Scout Sentinels with autocannons, 3 Heavy Weapon Squads with mortars. Clocking in at 695 points, it provides a lot of anti-infantry firepower, psychic denial, scoring bodies, and 12 Command Points for your inevitable allies.
- The Ultimate Cheapest Brigade: 3 Company Commanders, 6 barebones Scion squads, 3 Commissars, 3 Armoured Sentinels with Multi-lasers, 3 Heavy Weapon Squads with Heavy Bolters. This ridiculous detachment of The Emperor's Finest comes in at 579pts. You even have room to bring a Baneblade in a Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment and still remain under 1000pts!
- Valkyries & Vendettas: Or 'How I learned to stop worrying and love 9th 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, though with the removal of moving after the Grav Chute Deployment you may be better served by plasma or melta
- 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! While you still have to make a 9" charge to make it in after FAQ 2019, both of these can pack a serious punch, and the Valk effectively gives them a deepstrike, and on turn 1 no less. 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 -Not as great as they used to be, but still pretty good. No more rapid fire turn 1, nor flamers or half-range meltas. Despite this, they can still serve as a replacement to standard command squads, as you can combine their specialist detachment warlord trait with alot of plasma for safe overcharging, hitting on 2s, rerolling 1s with an order. Not to mention increased durability and a charge-deterrent stratagem. However, if you aren't using the Scions specialist detachment you'd likely be better off deepstriking them and saving the space on the Valkyrie
- Crusaders - Ten of these plus a psyker and a priest can deposit a truly impressive amount of unpleasantness in charge range. The Psyker can buff the Crusaders' saves and the Priest can buff their attacks. As long as you don't get shot down on the way in (or die from the drop), you can drop 30 AP-3 attacks with a 2++ save on whatever you want!
- Artillery Park: The Mighty MoO is a cheap autoinclude, and 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 slightly under 800 pts before upgrades, so it's not like you won't have enough for some bubble wrap.
- If you are going to bring a Spearhead detachment for your artillery, it might as well be a Catachan one. You can fit a Tank Commander, Harker and your artillery tanks into the formation and all the big guns reroll 1s to hit with Harker and reroll a die on the number of shots when they shoot for extra creamy goodness.
- An argument can be made that Cadian is the best choice for tons of artillery. First, artillery get re-roll 1s thanks to Born Soldiers and on top of that the stratagem Overlapping Fields of Fire grants +1 to hit, as long as a fellow Cadian model successfully wounded the target of your choice.
- 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. Using the Skyshield costs you valuable CP, so its only a good option if you dont need many of them anyway.
- Mech Guard in 9th: 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 a while 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.
- Remember, that unlike every other faction in the game, your transports only care about the ASTRA MILITARUM Keyword, not your <Regiment>. This means you can pick and choose the best <Regiments> for your troops and transports respectively. Krieg Combat Engineers riding in double flamer Catachan Chimeras? Yes please! Also, consider the Vigilus formations to make the most of your vehicle mounts. Emperors Blade Assault Company stratagem lets a nearby chimera to overwatch to help drive off those pesky enemy assaults. Emperors Fist tank company warlord trait lets all nearby units reroll overwatch. Pretty good for chimera gunboats with 6 heavy bolter shots, 6 lasguns and 3 heavy stubbers.
- 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 Multi-lasers 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 +12 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.
- Alternate take: Sure, you can get a Brigade in under 1000 points, but you're not going to have anything on the field worth spending CP on, most likely. You're much better off taking two Battalions to get boots on the ground, then something like a Spearhead detachment where you can fit in actual heavy artillery or tanks (or even a Supreme Command detachment with LoW). If you're up against an army that you know is going to have a hard time shooting you off the table due to low model/shot count, such as Custodes, then in objective games, don't even bother with trying to get CP. Just take a bunch of Battalions full of Conscripts and Infantry Squads. At 1000 points, you can have 200 Conscript and Guardsmen on the ground with Company Commanders, Platoon Commanders, a Lord Commissar, and Commissar prior to upgrades. 200 bodies to shoot through would be more than the shots that some armies will get in an entire game. (Just keep in mind you won't be doing much more than tarpitting or holding objectives with this list.)
- Armor: Alright treadheads, this book does NOT leave us in the dust. Guderian would be proud of how our Russes look this edition. Previously our tanks were all mediocre, but now, even the Vanquisher is less of a stinker (though it is the worst still). GW saw fit to give us regimental rules for our vehicles as well, meaning that we got what Marines did not. Mordian tanks fire overwatch on 5s, going up to 4s if you use the Defensive Gunners Stratagem. Armageddon tanks are tougher and hit harder for longer. Catachan tanks reroll random dice for shots, Cadian tanks get to reroll 1's to hit when they sit still and have a tank order. Tallarn tanks can move and shoot at full BS FOR ALL WEAPONS. Vostroyans add 6" to all heavy weapons (you know, the type of weapon your tank is literally covered with). Valhallan tanks don't degrade as badly, and can shoot with full BS on half as many wounds as other regiments' tanks (enjoy shooting at full BS even when your Leman Russ tank has 4 wounds left!). I feel like I'm forgetting something...Oh yeah, if we move between 0-half the Russes current move stat, we fire our turret weapon TWICE! So you ask, "Okay, can we build an army of Russes?" Absolutely, 8th has given us the mighty Spearhead detachment. for 2000 points, you can bring around 6 kitted out tanks of various flavors, two Commanders and a BANEBLAAAAAADE. Give it a shot and enjoy your army of over 120 T8 3+ wounds. Oh, and that Spearhead Detachment you're taking? Every Leman Russ tank in it gets OBJECTIVE SECURED. Watch your opponent rage as you move your single Leman Russ tank up to an objective and capture it from right under his nose even though he has 3 HQ Characters sitting on it.
- The Wall of Dice: A full 30 man squad of conscripts within 12" buffed with FRFSRF, shoots a total of 120 lasgun shots. For an average of 40 hit shots, not the best but with Cadia we can improve this to 48 shots and with the Cadian stratagem we can also buff the BS to +1 and the to wound roll to +1(even better against Chaos!). This leaves us with around 60 hits, and mathhammer tells us that it'll kill on average 15 GEQs which is mostly overkill, and it'll kill 7-8 MEQs, 3-4 TEQs,and about 5 wounds on a T8 tank. Now is this good? Yeah probably not, while an absurd number of dice and rerolls this was calculated using the Cadian stratagem and would already need something in that unit to be damaged this turn. Plus this is ~160 points to kill a squad of MEQs(with leadership 4 you'll need to take a psyker to actually get them to stick around not to mention you need a 4+ to even get this many shots).
Matchups and Counter-play
These tactics are good and all, but knowing your enemy is important. For simplicity's sake we're going to assume that your and your enemy's list is NOT a soup list, which is the slang term for taking multiple factions that share the Imperial, Chaos, or Aeldari keywords or the like in the same army.
- Space Marines: They now have a new and improved Codex, and with it come updated Chapter Tactics and the addition of Combat Doctrines. For starters, the Devastator Doctrine gives all Heavy Weapons an additional point of AP Turn 1 onward until the Tactical Doctrine is activated, and the TD likewise applies a further -1AP to all Rapid Fire and Assault weapons. Then, after at least 1 turn of the Tactical Doctrine, they can switch to the Assault Doctrine which does the same for all melee weapons (yes, even the basic CC weapon all models carry, -1AP punches baby). The Devastator Doctrine hard-counters the Prepared Positions stratagem, unfortunately. You may still want to consider it just to give your Russes a 6+ save against the AP-4 Lascannons coming their way. Stratagems to watch out for include Transhuman Physiology, which stops any non-vehicle or servitor unit from being wounded on unmodified rolls of 1, 2, and 3. That's gonna sting your Battle Cannons and any S8+ weapon if RNG screws you by rolling a bunch of 2s and 3s to wound. Thunderfire Cannons can now shoot twice thanks to the Suppressing Fire strat, and any chosen Dreadnought has its damage now reduced by 1 (to a min of 1) thanks to the Duty Eternal strat. Oh, did I mention the new Shock Assault rule makes all flavors of Marines scary in Close Combat again? Watch as a simple 5-man Intercessor squad shits out 16 AP-1 attacks (17 if the Sarge has a chainsword) under the AD, don't let them get close! In terms of updated chapter tactics, vehicles now benefit from all Chapter Tactics, since Guard can't have all the fun with their vehicles anymore. Lots of potential hard-counters to the Guard's firepower and dirt cheap unit shenanigans now. Specifics are listed below.
- Ultramarines vehicles can now fall back and shoot, so a Land Raider Redeemer or even basic Rhino that was forgotten about can ram and tarpit your vehicles, lock them down from shooting, and then greedily ignore that said counter to vehicles if you thought it was cute to charge that Hellhound or mauled guard squad at a vehicle with big guns. Their Doctrine modifier is that all models in the army count as having stood still during the Tactical Doctrine unless they fell back or advanced. Relentless Heavy Weapons and going full-auto with their Rapid Fire Bolters from 24" is not a fun prospect at all. Their biggest ace is Guilliman who will take you for a rough ride with his rerolls-r-us schtick, even though he's been slightly nerfed he's dropped in points.
- Raven Guard now always benefit of cover from 18" away, and only gain -1 to hit if they are 12" away.(vehicles cannot benefit from this part, at least). In addition, Raven Guard units gain +1 to hit and +1 to wound when targeting characters during the Tactical Doctrine, yes that includes Tank Commanders. Beware RG Scout Snipers and Eliminators, and grab an Ogryn bodyguard just to be sure since Eliminators can wall-bang characters. Raven Guard can infiltrate and deep-strike at will, so there really is no other way than to screen them out like hell and try to hide your characters out of LoS whenever possible. All of a sudden, that Artillery Specialist Detachment with the cover-ignoring relic looks insanely juicy against Raven Guard. You have the CP to burn for the specialist detachment and extra relic after all.
- Iron Hands vehicles now have Valhallan-style resilience, and they can overwatch on 5s and 6s in addition to their famed 6+ shrug. Their supplement's combat doctrine gives them relentless and re-rolling 1s to hit on all heavy weapons in the Devastator Doctrine that they begin the game in. They can have one unit overwatch on 4+ in case you want to charge a hellhound into it to lock them down, and any Stalker Boltgun Intercessors are going to have a field day with your officers. Something to watch out for is their special relic The Ironstone, which reduces the damage of all attacks against a single vehicle of their choice by 1 to a minimum of one, and that stacks with the Duty Eternal stratagem from the main Codex. Watch as a Relic Leviathan tanks EVERY. SINGLE. HEAVY. WEAPON. IN YOUR ARMY. Iron Hands are currently sweeping the meta, even after the FAQ's nerfed the double repair strat, overwatch strat, and Feirros. The Guard at least know what that feels like.
- Crimson Fists and Imperial Fists are extra-competent with their Bolters, CF gaining +1 to hit if their unit contains 5 or more models (unless they're characters who count as 1 model) and they're targeting units with double the model count than the attacking unit (friendly vehicles always count as being 5 models for the purpose of the CF tactic). Imperial Fists keep their ignores cover ability while dropping their bonus against vehicles and fortifications, and both Chapters gain 2 hits with bolt weapons instead of 1 when they roll unmodified 6s to hit. Considering even an MSU guard squad is 10 models minimum, that's going to be dangerous for your hordes. Crimson Fists like being outnumbered, and due to the Devastator Doctrine combining with Imperial Fists' ignoring cover ability, any tank you have turn 1 is most likely dead unless you shove it out of line of sight and/or the opponent rolls poorly.
- Imperial Fists add 1 to the damage characteristic of any Heavy Weapon when targeting VEHICLE or BUILDING models during the Devastator Doctrine. Correction, NOW even if your opponent rolls like shit your tanks are DEAD unless they're shoved out of line of sight.
- Salamanders can re-roll 1 hit roll and 1 wound roll per unit, which makes their pick of weapon surprisingly nasty. In addition, they treat AP-1 as AP0 like your Steel Legion vehicles, so that's gonna sting your autocannons and Heavy Flamers (who'd have thunk). During the Tactical Doctrine, all Flamer and Melta weapons gain +1 to their wound rolls. They also have a stratagem that lets a single unit's flamer weapons do the maximum number of shots possible (full 6 instead of d6 for a Heavy Flamer, for example). Put two and two together, and that spells doom for your guard hordes. Also +1 to wound means those meltaguns and multimeltas wound your Leman Russes and Baneblades on 3+, not to mention anything below T8 gets wounded on a 2+.
- White Scars can charge after Advancing or Falling Back, in addition to ignoring hit penalties for moving with heavy weapons or advancing with assault weapons. Their Combat Doctrine gives a charging or heroically intervening unit +1 damage to all melee attacks during the Assault Doctrine. You can expect that happening on Turn 3, but charging after advancing gives the White Scars almost Genestealer-level speed. Plus, with 2cps they can use the Strike for the Heart stratagem to let them consolidate d3+3" (d6+6" if they can move 10+"), letting them drag clustered units into combat and lock them down. If you're not careful with screening, you might end up with your vehicles dragged into combat. Another annoying stratagem called "Butchered Quarry" lets them fight against a unit that falls back AND chase them 3" if the unit isn't wiped, you know just in case you thought you could fall back and use "Get Back in the Fight" to screw them over.
- Black Templars gained a 5+ shrug against Mortal Wounds in addition to re-rolling one or both dice when determining charge distances. Their Combat Doctrine, Knights of Sigismund, gives all of their charging and heroically intervening units auto-wounds on natural rolls of 6 to hit with melee attacks resolved against non-vehicle units during the Combat doctrine. That's...quite lackluster in a Guard matchup since against their Chapter Tactic, you don't tend to spam mortal wounds you spam lasgun shots and Leman Russes. Their Assault Doctrine will likely only kick in by turn 3 (unless some stratagem/special rule allows some units to fast-track), and your infantry fold over against Shock Assault marines anyway, not to mention the fact that it can't ever affect your vehicles which is where the auto-wounds would be most beneficial to the marines. However, a 20-man Crusader squad charging out of a Land Raider Crusader has the ability to ignore overwatch with the Shock and Awe stratagem. Also, they can spend another CP to stop a unit from falling back on a 2+ which is also very concerning. Don't forget to screen your key units.
- Overall, Marines count a lot on synergy, even more so than you. 85 points and 2 CP for a Vindicare can help you pop those troublesome characters. Primaris Marines will still struggle against Bullgryns with slabshields, though, even with all of their fancy broken shit. Plus, you can always just flood the board with more bodies than they can realistically shoot.
- Blood Angels: An army designed to hard-counter Imperial Guard with their Blitzkrieg playstyle. Their Chapter Tactic gives them +1 to wound whenever they charge, get charged, or Heroically Intervened (so basically always in the first round of combat), meaning they wound your infantry on a 2+, and without any special melee weapons your tanks on 4+ (Leman Russes and Baneblades on 5+). Don't let them get that charge off whenever possible, and just in case throw a screen closely and directly in front of your tanks to ensure that they cannot charge your big guns. Investing in a Priest and some Bullgryns with their mauls and 4++ shields is recommended for a good counter-charge unit. One thing to keep in mind is that Blood Angels only get +1 to wound in the turn when they charged. Even a squad of Death Company with chainswords may fail to wipe that 30-man Conscript squad, at which point they're just choppy 1-wound models. You may also choose to take the Emperor's Wrath Artillery detachment in order to blunt the movement speed of flying Smash Captains, Jump Pack Death Company, and Sanguinary Guard, too. As of Psychic Awakening: Blood Of Baal, they officially get access to Combat Doctrines, and their Chapter Doctrine gives them an additional attack if they charge or heroically intervene during the combat doctrine. Remember when we told you you're safer against Blood Angels intercessors than Ultramarine intercessors? Not anymore. A 5-man Intercessor squad with a chainsword sarge puts out 22 AP-1 attacks that wound your infantry on a 2+. Did I also mention they can now have Death Company intercessors that gain all the benefits of being Death Company?
- Dark Angels: The shooty emo Catholic Marines. Their Chapter Tactic makes them almost immune to morale, and grants them re-rolls of 1s to hit when they stand still. They essentially perform the role of static gunline, a role which you can do, only cheaper. They possess a stratagem that ups the damage of Plasma weapons by 1 (making for a potential 3 damage on plasma guns on supercharge), making Hellblasters, Plasma Inceptors, the Land Speeder Vengeance, and a Plasma Cannon devastator squad insanely deadly to your tanks. Another unit of note is the Land Speeder Darkshroud that gives a -1 to hit bubble of 6" to all Dark Angel units. This is often paired with Azrael, the Chapter Master who also gives a 6" bubble of re-roll all misses and a 4++ to non-vehicles. There are Doctrine-specific stratagems that can neutralize the Dark Shroud's bubble, though. If you're Cadian, gun for a wound and invoke Overlapping Fields of Fire, and have at it. If you're Vostroyan, use Firstborn Pride on that Heavy Weapon Squad of Lascannons to try and kill it in one go. Once the Darkshroud is down (if it explodes, it's a bonus), go to town on the other units and pile on the saves.
- Space Wolves: Death to furries. Now that that's out of the way, these guys have a similar tactic to the Blood Angels, but they get +1 to hit instead of +1 to wound. It's not as bad on paper, but my lord do Blood Claws, Thunderwolf Cavalry, and the motherfucking Wulfen love it. The rule of thumb for the Space Wolves is if it can take a storm shield, it will take a storm shield. Their Venerable Dreadnoughts can take a weaker Storm Shield that gives them a 4++, making them tougher nuts to crack than the usual dreadnought at the expense of their ranged options. Sacrifice your screen of Conscripts and let the tanks and artillery do the talking. Notice a slight pattern here?
- Deathwatch: They're just better Marines with the old Special Issue Ammo. They have the same rule of thumb as Space Wolves, whoop-de-doo. Frag cannons are a bitch, like they were when Deathwatch first dropped. They benefit the most from Primaris units who can choose to ignore your armor saves completely with Kraken or Vengeance rounds, and hidden Hellblasters in a Deathwatch Intercessor squad.
- Grey Knights: They're no longer the terror they were in 5th Edition, but they're still a fantastic beatstick army. You'll outnumber them fairly easily, and they're just as vulnerable to Plasma as they always were. As of Psychic Awakening and numerous Chapter Approved point drops, these guys deserve a second opinion. With their "Tides of Battle", the analogue to Combat Doctrines, they have some much needed versatility. They will most likely start the game in the Tide of Concealment which grants them the Raven Guard Chapter tactic (see above). They can also change the tide with a psychic power, meaning they can bump up their gimped smites to a slightly more respectable flat 2 mortal wounds, up the strength and damage of certain weapons, or re-roll 1s to wound in close combat in case they wanted to more than guarantee that wipe.
- Adeptus Custodes: At first glance these big boys seem very intimidating with a universal 2+/4++ or 3++ and T5/T6. Remember the saying, "Death by a 1000 cuts"? Take that and apply it to them. A single unupgraded Custodian Guard model costs as much as an infantry squad with some toys in points. You'll very easily outnumber them, and due to their lack of 24"+ range weapons without dipping into Forgeworld units, they cannot play the keepaway game. Take advantage of your numbers and force as many saves in any way possible. Also, beware the flag! The Vexilia Magnifica provides a very strong defensive buff (rendering a third of your hits ineffective) and effectively cannot be sniped due to the sheer toughness of its bearer. You have no choice but to overwhelm it with sheer firepower. You can do this - you're Guard - but keep in mind the effect when prioritizing your shooting or that red flag will frustrate you immensely. Otherwise, there isn't a lot here that can really surprise you once the game is going. But good lord, watch out for those Shield Captains on Dawneagle Jetbikes!
- Due to the 9th Edition shakeup, Custodes will now have a CP pool to play with that is more or less equal to your own (assuming neither of you blow pregame stratagems). They also have some of the most bullshit stratagems in the game thanks to Psychic Awakening. The biggest surprises are Arcane Geneti Alchemy (can only be wounded on unmodified rolls of 4-6), and The Emperor's Auspice (attacking units are unable to re-roll hit rolls, wound rolls, and damage rolls by any means). Re-rolls and high-strength tank weaponry are some of Guard's specialties, and having your hardest-hitting units essentially get nullified by a well-timed use of those stratagems can often determine the course of the game.
- Astra Militarum: Oh boy, a mirror-match. You know what's good and what's bad from the rest of this article, but we'll point out the lynchpin anyway - Officers! Snipe out those low-wound characters to neuter the enemy chain of command and his infantry will suddenly be a LOT less impressive. The same is true of you, of course, so protect your own. Enemy tanks will be tonka-tough for dirt cheap, because so are yours - prioritize the ones that threaten you most. Most importantly, get fast! Taking the first turn versus guard is extremely valuable with the amount of shooting you have. Hit hard, hit first, hit often!
- Militarum Tempestus: Technically this is still Guard, but the play style is radically different, so it warrants a note. You may occasionally see a purist running an army like this. In a sentence, your response should be to play tighter than the lug nuts on a rusted tire. You're going to eat the deep strike from Hell, and only after this will a Scion army be really vulnerable to counterattack. Deploy carefully and watch your movement - you do NOT want a deep strike in your backline. Their base weapon ignores your armor, and they have better armor than you - but you outrange them. Use your numbers to your advantage (oh, really?) and don't overextend - Scions are very adept at punishing careless plays.
- Sisters of Battle: As they have been since the edition dropped, Sisters are currently most frequently played mechanized with their fantastic transport game. Immolators and Repressors filled with meltas, storm bolters and Death Cultists are the flavor of the day and you don't need to be reminded to not let them get close enough to use them. A footslogging sister is a dead sister. With the release of their Codex, however, they have acquired significantly more flexibility and thusly have shot up on the threat scale. Repentia, while still fragile, will reduce just about any unit you can field to a pile of body parts and scrap metal if they get the drop on you and every unit that was dangerous before is now even more so. All of this combines with the Sister's deadly new toy: Miracle Dice. Having a pool of numbers to pick from instead of relying on RNGesus means that at any point a critical dice roll is required, they can pull it off. Really needed that Melta shot to wreck that Repressor? They can just take a 6 for the Invuln save. Desperately hoping Morale will finish off that Seraphim squad? Nope, just going make that roll a 1 and pass. Fortunately, you are one of the best armies to press this system's weakness: mass of fire. Do what Guard does best and throw more dice and bodies at the problem than your enemy has resources to deal with it. Make it a game of seeing who bleeds dry faster, because most of time it won't be you.
- Imperial Knights: A mechanized army, taken to it's logical extreme. These big boys can put out a lot of firepower that can fairly easily scythe through hordes of models (Gatling Cannons and the gigantic flamer the Dominus knight can carry), and have terrific close combat potential. Against infantry spam they'll do well to stay out of 24" range to avoid a "death by a thousand cuts" from massed lasgun fire. Against a tank-heavy army they'll try and get up close and assault the tanks to either outright destroy them or force them to keep falling back and stop them from shooting. If they're not from Knight House Hawkshroud or a Questor Mechanicus knight, you can hope to damage these boys so that they are left limping. If they're either of the other two, you HAVE to commit to destroying a knight once the wounds start piling up lest they easily circumvent the penalties of degrading statlines. Units of choice should be the Shadowsword superheavy tank, or as many infantry squads filled with lascannons as possible so that the Knight player cannot destroy all of them in 1 turn. The addition of Armigers makes things even more challenging - the Armiger Warglaive is a Devil Dog that's competent in melee, and the Armiger Helverin is what your Leman Russ Exterminator dreams of being before scarfing another tub of Rocky Road and crying. Treat them seriously, but remember that they're only Lords of War in name.
- Adeptus Mechanicus: KEEP YOUR HEAD DOWN!! The Transuranic Arquebus is an Officer's nightmare, capable of slaying any Officer short of a Company Commander instantly. Hug cover, stay out of sight, and failing that, get an Ogryn to take the hit for you - you are not going to outrange it. Other units to beware include the Kastelans with triple phosphor blasters - one of the few units that can realistically outshoot guard infantry. The Onager has some sweet guns, but it's not as cost-effective as yours; play smart and you can deal with it. Admech has only one character, but Cawl is an absolute powerhouse - in melee he will eat your dudes like popcorn and at ranged he's a terrific source of buffs, and most annoying of all he's an untargetable Character. Be wary of any army with him in it, and be aware of his place on the board at all times. Besides that you will feel like you're fighting Scions - lots of T3 Sv4+ dudes with good shooting and good guns.
- Officio Assassinorum: Technically their own army thanks to their White Dwarf index, but they are often seen as an ally to other Imperial armies. The Vindicare is 100% the most terrifying assassin the Guard can face. He can target sub-10 wound characters, wounds Infantry models on 2+, ignores both cover and invulnerable saves, and his weapons are AP-3. But that's not the rough part. If he rolls 6s to wound, his rifle does d6 damage instead of its usual d3. If a guard character has somehow survived the initial shot, his Headshots rule allows him to keep dishing out mortal wounds until the target is dead. You will not outrange him, so hide behind LoS-blocking terrain and/or get an Ogryn bodyguard to tank the hit and buy your officer a turn. A visible officer to him is a dead officer. Oh, did I mention he can spend cps to shoot and kill another visible character or deal a straight d3 mortal wounds to a Tank Commander? Other than that, Eversors will also give your units trouble since he can potentially kill 16 models in combat, plus 4 shots from his sentinel pistol. It's just enough to wipe a 20-man blob, and force a harsh morale check on conscripts. The Callidus with her Neural Shredder and Invuln-ignoring sword isn't at her best against cheap guard fodder. Her CP fuckery can be annoying if you rely on using stratagems. The culexus, however, is an anti-psyker specialist who is nevertheless versatile in that he forces all attacks against him to hit on 6s, regardless of ballistic skill, weapon skill, or modifiers. That's why you have Hellhounds and flamers!
- The Inquisition: Recently brought up to speed by their White Dwarf Index, you really shouldn't discount the threat the Rosette offers. Though you'll likely never face them in any high point games (unless your opponent is a madman with 3 Land Raider Prometheia), their presence in other armies can make life very annoying for you. Primarily, their Psychic powers are exceptionally nasty and good at picking your Officers out of a crowd. Worse, they can use one of those powers, Psychic Pursuit, to turn one of their aforementioned Land Raiders into a fucking sniper. Most of your CHARACTERS can't take Heavy Bolter fire or Mortal Wounds very well, so beat them at their own game and bring your own snipers to deal with them quickly before they deal with you.
One hilarious strategy against Chaos in general is to run the Relic of Lost Cadia, and once per game drop the hammer on these bastards for what they did to Cadia.
- Chaos Daemons: On paper, Chaos Daemons are an army that primarily relies on their psychic phase and Close Combat phase to do damage. The 40k setting has often favoured armies that rely primarily on their shooting capabilities. In practice, Daemons have been faring very well in 9th Edition. With Psychic Awakening and a comparatively lenient entry in the Munitorum Field Manual 2020 (hint, Guard got slapped hard in that book), Daemons now have multiple ways to fuck your shit up. Watch out for Exalted Greater Daemons. By spending a CP for each Greater Daemon, they can either roll two random abilities, or pick a unique 1 for each GD. Said abilities are actually very strong. Khorne Bloodthirsters, for example, could end up with a 2+ Armour Save and can only take up to 8 wounds per phase before the rest are automatically ignored.
- Chaos Space Marines: Abaddon's still bad news, armless jokes aside. With the addition of Legion Traits, several builds can do a number on the guard's forces. The Alpha Legion has the same -1 to hit against ranged attacks outside of 12" that Raven Guard have, Night Lords make horrible leadership bombs that can scare off half your units even if they lose only one model in a turn, and Iron Warriors ignore cover with their weapons. Deal with them as you would their Loyalist equivalents. Get inside 12" of Alpha Legion units, and use Hell Hounds or Valkyries filled with flamers to do so. Against Night Lords? Remember to take a Regimental Standard, a Lord Commissar for Ld10 before the Ld bomb happens, and a Psyker with the Mental Fortitude Power for fearless on a unit of your choice. That, or just take the Valhallan relic pistol and get your old Commissar back.
- As of Faith and Fury, Night Lords can spend a Command Point to prevent a tarpitted unit from falling back. I hope you're Valhallan to shoot into close combat.
- Death Guard: Now given their own Codex, these guys are slow and very tough. Plague Marines are a bitch and a half to kill unless you brought a Leman Russ Demolisher to wound them on 2+ with S10, and force them to roll multiple Disgustingly Resilient saves with its d3 damage. Mortarion is horrible to deal with, since he dishes out d3 mortal wounds to all units within 7", and given the amount of units guard can field he'll very likely tear strips out of your bunched up units. That's before you get into his Scythe that can either do 18 S8 attacks to your infantry, or 6 S16 attacks against your tanks. In addition, he'll very likely receive the lion's share of the defensive buffs so he'll have -1 to hit against him, and perhaps even a re-roll of 1s on his Disgustingly Resilient saves on top of his 3+/4++ saves.
- Renegades and Heretics: Generally speaking, this will play out much like a Guard mirror match, though a lot of the balls will be in your court. Regimental Doctrines are in general superior to Chaos Covenants, due to affecting your vehicles if nothing else. R&H have no stratagems or warlord traits beyond the basic ones and are completely missing relics. However, don't think for a second the poor madman on the other end of the table is just handing you a free win, the filthy traitors can still pull plenty of tricks out of their hat. Namely, unlike you, they can properly pull off conscript hordes in this edition. By combining enormous and LEADERSHIP IMMUNE hordes with the Slaaneshi Covenant, you can quickly find yourself drowning in screaming mutants. If you've got Ratlings or Elysian Sniper teams, this is where they will save your ass by pick off those linchpin Enforcers.
- Chaos Knights: Hang on, this is gonna be a rough one. They're like the Imperial Knights, but you can play upon the degrading statlines of these buggers much more effectively by taking out bits and chunks of each tank and reduce their WS and BS. However, Chaos Knights are much more aggressive and tanky in their playstyle than Imperium-loyal Knights. Chaos Iconoclast Knights can pay 1cp before the game begins to take a Vow of Carnage which grants them an extra melee attack for every 10 models they destroy. If you're playing a guard horde, that spells bad news. Like, really bad news. On top of that, they can spend 2cps to give a different Knight of their choice the Vow of Dominance which gives them immunity to being wounded on unmodified rolls of 1, 2, and 3. That's a huge blow to your near-mandatory lascannons, and choice weapons such as the Demolisher cannon or the Shadowsword's weapons. Outside of that, they share some stratagems such as Full Tilt, the infamous Rotate Ion Shields, Chainsweep, and Devastating Reach.
- Thousand Sons: Ironically Magnus the Red is no longer a completely OP psyker, he's now a close combat blender HQ. Tzaangor Enlightened are fairly annoying for your tanks since they automatically wound on 6s to hit (5+ if they're next to an Enlightened Shaman), bypassing the benefits of T8 on your russes. The good news is those cunts have the Fly keyword and your Hydras will laugh, and laugh, and laugh. The actual Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult terminators have 5+ Invulns abound and get +1 to all saving throws against damage 1 weapons, meaning they'll have Cataphractii-level resilience against your basic troops. But, you took Autocannons and supercharged your plasma guns like a good boy, right? Outside of that, the Cultists and Tzaangors often show up in big blobs and get either put in deepstrike reserve through Webway infiltration or warptimed in order to get close to a screen to clear it.
- Craftworld Eldar: With to-hit modifiers being hard capped at +1/-1 these days, Craftworlders are nowhere near as hard to deal with these days. While the occasional -1 to hit does suck, the sheer volume of fire your infantry squads and vehicles are capable of outputting will borderline guarantee hits upon anything they can field. With a standard GEQ T3 and 4+ save on their infantry, even your humble lasguns have a solid 50/50 shot of killing the average Aspect Warrior (and remember, Aspect Warriors are anywhere from two to five times as pricey per model as your guardsmen. You'll have a lot more lasguns than they will Aspect Warriors). This by no means should be a cause for complacency. Melee is a notable weakness your infantry tends to suffer from (with a few exceptions), and Craftworlders do have a few units that'll seek to exploit that. Howling Banshees will eviscerate any GEQ infantry they're thrown at, thanks to their buffed power swords and overwatch immune charges (which they can make after advancing, mind you) while Striking Scorpions can deepstrike and bury your backline in S4 chainsword attacks if you leave a gap in your deployment line. Lastly, the Wraith units will be priority targets; Wraithblades are deadlier still than any Aspect Warrior while Wraithguard can easily pop a tank per turn with their S10 AP-4 guns. There is good news though; as hinted earlier, everything the Eldar can field comes at a relatively steep price, especially compared to you. Not only can you easily outnumber the average Craftworlder, you'll invariably be able to easily outrange them as well. Spread out to ensure no uninvited guests can pop into your backline and to help contain potential melee charges. For your bigger guns and tanks, focus down their longer ranged heavy hitters first; Dark Reapers, Fire Prisms and Crimson Hunters can pose a serious threat to your armor and are among the few longer ranged options Craftworlders will typically bring in this matchup. Without those, they'll be forced to close the gap to engage you. Lastly, keep tabs on their Psykers. It's a blue moon when a Craftworld player doesn't bring a supporting psyker (in fact, the only non-named non-psyker HQ they can bring is an Autarch) and if they're left to their devices, they can cause quite a bit of chaos through the mortal wounds and the library of buffs/debuffs they can throw around. Bringing one or two psykers of your own if only for Deny the Witch rolls wouldn't be a bad call.
- Dark Eldar: Covens no longer fuck us over 100% thanks to the "everything can wound anything" rule now. Notice "100%", since the bastards now get an invulnerable save making them tough on your lascannons, plasma guns, and anti-vehicle/monster weapons. Kabalites in Boats and Wyches with their insane close combat attacks are top notch against us. Flamers are, and always will be, your friend against these slippery fuckers, and be sure to bring some Hydras along to punish the fact that all their vehicles FLY. Depending on the Kabal obsession, the infamous Agents of Vect stratagem has an 83% chance of denying a stratagem of the opponent's choice, costing you a key re-roll or a regimental-specific stratagem such as overlapping fields of fire. There's no way you can stop this, other than hoping the opponent lacks the 4cp necessary to pull it off or rolls a 1 (unless s/he elects to re-roll it and then blow 5cp like a dunce and have a 1/36 chance of getting another 1 anyway). Be warned, like the Imperium's Scions Dark Eldar are very adept at punishing careless plays since Dark Eldar like Nids were trash for so long that any long-term players tend to be tactical geniuses.
- Harlequins: Well, these guys are just bad news. With flip belts that can launch these bastards over screening units and terrain in the movement phase, Genestealer-level close combat attacks, -1 to hit modifiers, 4+ Invulnerable saves, and access to a multitude of leadership debuffs, you're in for a tough fight. Again, bring flamers, auto-hitting weapons and lots of screening units spread out so they have no space to finish their moves over them. Since these guys like to drive around in Venoms, an absolutely filthy tactic would be to surround the vehicles with Infantry Squads or Conscripts in a 1.5-2" range (can't go within 1" in the movement phase), and shoot your flamers and other weapons into them. If you destroy the transport, the clowns inside have no room to disembark within 3" of the craft and stay more than an inch away from your models and instantly die, even if that squad has a stupid Faolchu's Talon relic. A unit to watch out for is the Death Jester. He can snipe characters with his Shrieker Cannon, so either block LoS whenever you can or get an Ogryn Bodyguard/Nork Deddog to tank the hits for you.
- Ynnari: This eldar army will behave very largely the same as any one of the other elf armies mentioned previously, only with a particular predilection towards melee-focused lists. The good news is that their out-of-phase actions are a thing of the past, so you won't need to worry about double tapping Fire Dragons or Dark Reapers anymore. The bad news is that the melee potential of units like Wraithblades or Troupes is effectively maximized if they soulburst, meaning they will absolutely slaughter units whole-sale if they make it into combat. Bringing a decent degree of heavy armor is advised since outside the larger Wraith units, most of their piddly S3/4 melee attacks will just ping off without dealing much damage. Flamers are also a strong charge deterrent, but beware of units like Howling Banshees or Autarchs who can disable your overwatch. Focus on whittling them down at range wherever possible as well; outside allied detachments, Ynnari detachments don't have much incentive to natively invest heavily in dedicated gunline units due to the inherent lack of support available to them anymore. Just like when dealing with Craftworlders, key targets include any psykers or the Ynnari characters, as they provide a significant amount of support to their units (like healing/rezzing wounded/dead models, providing re-roll support, etc).
- Necrons: In a sentence, play for KEEPS. Reanimation Protocols doesn't trigger if the unit in question has been wiped out to the last man, so keep shooting until every last tin man is a pile of scrap. Don't fight in half-measures, or you're going to lose a lot of effectiveness. Versus vehicles, your meltas and lascannons are going to lose a lot of effectiveness when Quantum Shielding triggers - bypass it with Battle Cannons and Earthshakers, which roll D3 for damage instead. Defensively, Necrons have strong anti-tank but it has weak range (with a few exceptions), and besides their fliers they're relatively slow. Bring long ranged heavy guns and protect them so they can knock out the bigger problems on the board. Lastly, Powers of the C'tan HURT - and they're not psychic powers, so they can't be denied! Bring down any dead gods that happen to be around before they can be a serious threat to you. Walk through the shadow of the valley of death, but fear no evil, because you brought artillery.
- Orks: First, shake hands with your opponent and thank him for keeping this hobby fun. Then, crack open a beer. Finally, STAY OUT OF MELEE! Even your dedicated melee troops are going to struggle against the green tide - Mob Rule makes Ork mobs effectively immune to morale, and while they don't have good quality units, they do have a LOT of them. You may actually lose out on model count and board control, depending on what he brought. Orks depend on movement tricks in order to get close and bypass their shit movement of 5". Ther "Ere We Go USR allows them to re-roll either one or both dice for a charge roll allowing them to pull of charges from a surprisingly long distance. A stratagem to look out for is Unstoppable Green Tide, which lets an Ork player restore and outflank an Ork Boyz squad to its starting strength if it loses half or more of its starting number once a game. And unlike the Valhallan stratagem they get to do it without needing reinforcement points. Don't fight in half measures, fight in just-under-half measures or go for the wipe. Pick your objectives and play hard for them - don't spread yourself too thin. And then crack open another beer with the boyz.
- Tau: Like Craftworld Eldar, these guys used to be a thorn in our side with markerlight spam that took away cover, Pulse Rifles that shredded our infantry from 30" away, and Riptide spam that made a mockery of our tanks. They too got hit with the nerf bat in the edition shake-up, but they still can put out a lot of hurt at range. The Bork'an sept will give you trouble since it adds 6" to the range of all rapid fire and heavy weapons in their army, meaning they can easily play keep-away while dumping shots into you. Their infantry are superior to yours, with 4+ armor and S5 guns that mercifully no longer wound on 2+ and ignore armor, but they can easily put out 3 shots a guy when within 15" (18" with Bork'an rifles) with an Ethereal and Fire Blade next to them. Handle that combo as you would any other aura-based list and either play keepaway and/or nuke them before they get to shoot. Another unit to watch out for are the Shield Drones and their ridiculous Savior Protocols which let them make a 4+ Look Out Sir to all battle suit units. Any T'au player worth their salt will spam them for that reason. This will have to force you to put any high-volume volleys of shots into those flying roombas before you point your Lascannons and other high-damage weaponry at the battle suits. If you can, a Psyker with the Nightshroud power will do you wonders since the T'au tend to have a mediocre ballistic skill value of 4+ without markerlights or Commander units. Also, remember to issue the order "Strike and Shroud" to any Leman Russ you can for that exact same reason. Finally, if you have Artillery you can one-up the T'au since most of their ranged weapons require LoS, so hiding your vehicles becomes EXTREMELY important.
- Tyranids: Poor misbegotten Tyranids. They were briefly powerful at the start of 8th, but they've fallen way behind the power curve once more (thanks Cruddace). The best way to win against Tyranids in 9th Edition? Take a bloody balanced force. The one decently costed unit Nids have going for them are Genestealers using the Kraken Hive Fleet adaptation to make a long bomb charge on their own. If you've seen it happen once, you'll always be prepared for it. Bubble-wrap your units carefully, and remember the Desperate Escape Stratagem if they think they're being clever by trapping your conscript screen. If you really feel up for the challenge, Catachans are S4 in melee. Combine Straken and a Priest to give your average guardsmen serious counter-charge potential. Or, since positioning requires brainpower you could just take the Valhallan doctrine, skip Desperate Escape, and shoot the bugs that are tied up with your conscripts in close combat. Target anything giving out Synapse (90% of which are non-character Monsters) and -1 to hit wherever possible. It'll help you, trust me.
- Genestealer Cults: Positioning, positioning, positioning. These guys are always unpredictable. For one thing, these guys can bring a Guard detachment (and even without doing that, borrow a few Guard units), so don't be surprised to see Leman Russes and Chimeras. Even without that, these guys will obliterate any opening you leave in your backline, so screening units are a must. Kelermorphs are utterly fucking broken, especially against Guard characters in particular, needing only two or three unsaved wounds to kill most everyone outright, so you'll probably want to include an Ogryn Bodyguard or Nork Deddog in your list if you expect to see one. If you can position your characters to be more than 12" away from any potential deep strike zones while still giving your front line units their needed buffs, you'll be able to keep your officers safe-ish. You usually don't want to be in melee with these guys, but if you bring Bullgryns, you can make your opponent generally regret taking an ambush-themed army once you get those countercharges in. Expect to see more Achilles Ridgerunners now that they've been rebalanced, too. But if you really want to screw with your GSC-playing opponent, bring Scions in Valkyries backed up by Vulture and Vendetta Gunships and fly around the board with them, where you'll be relatively safe from just about everything your opponent is going to deep strike and generally immune to charges. Then, once they come in at the end of the third turn, disembark and shoot them down - they're only T3 like you are, for the most part.
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