Fluff wise how well do the imperial guard do on gigantic and large battles? - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Member ninga_express's Avatar
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    Fluff wise how well do the imperial guard do on gigantic and large battles?

    I've read notable battles a lot of them star a small regiment, a special character who went beyond above but what about massive massive battles! of epic proportions?

    Would they fair well against Tyranids in a massive clash?
    Orcs?
    chaos?


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    It's what they're for. So I would assume fairly well.

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    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    As a general rule, once the Munitorum gets rolling the Imperial Guard can win any battle of any size. The cost of victory must still be 'negotiated', of course, but almost no other species can pay as high a price as the Imperial Guard.

    Tyranids are the major exception due to their emphasis on collecting biomass. IG can repel a small incursion but only the Navy can stop the larger fleets, typically by destroying the luckless planet at the moment the Hive Fleet has the most biomass invested in consuming it. It's a great strategy except the Imperium is running out of habitable planets in certain areas of the galaxy.

    Similarly, IG can repel any Chaos attack unless the enemy has psykers (or daemons) capable of both ruining the average human mind and of defeating whatever psychic defense the IG brought along (typically a Malleus Inquisitor or some sanctioned psykers).

    Orks are different in that, once defeated, they become a nuisance species. Lots of PDF garrisons stay in combat shape fighting periodic Orkoid reinfestations. Ork Waaghs aren't generally hard to defeat, however; standard tactics and (if possible) an assassination or two is all it normally takes to stop the Green Tide.
    "My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard

  5. #4
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    IG are really only ever effective when massed. I mean, a typical IG invasion force numbers in the billions. It doesn't matter how poorly you do at that point, you could hurl men in catapults and still outgun your enemy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid
    Ork Waaghs aren't generally hard to defeat, however; standard tactics and (if possible) an assassination or two is all it normally takes to stop the Green Tide.
    I felt I should address this, since it's kind of misleading. Ork Waaghs are very hard to defeat with standard tactics. "Standing tactics" consists of "fight them" and fighting Orks just makes them stronger and more enthusiastic. The two best methods displayed are:

    - assassination, which works so long as the Waagh is centred around the Warboss (it generally is, since any worthy second-in-commands break off and form their own Waaghs, so by definition the Warboss of a large Waagh has very few worthy second-in-commands). And even if there is a successor, the Waagh usually collapses from the infighting.
    - misdirection, which isn't really "defeating" so much as "pointing them at the Tyranids". This is the best short-term option, since not only do you get the Orks out of Imperial space, but they run off and fight the Eldar or whatever, knocking out two birds with one stone. It's the worst long-term option, because eventually - even if it takes centuries - the Orks will win, and then they will come back, and they will be much larger and much, much stronger.
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  6. #5
    jboweruk
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    Actually I think the 'nids will defeat the Orks, because they get stronger a lot quicker. I don't wanna be the one to tell that heretical SOB Kryptmann that he screwed the pooch by leading the nids onto the orks. As by the time the nids clear ork space they are going to be unstoppable monsters that will soak up lasfire no matter how much you pour into them.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_poodle
    I felt I should address this, since it's kind of misleading. Ork Waaghs are very hard to defeat with standard tactics. "Standing tactics" consists of "fight them" and fighting Orks just makes them stronger and more enthusiastic.
    I would disagree. The individual Ork is far more aggressive and improves with combat (specifically hand-to-hand combat), yes, but in large groups those benefits get lost to poor leadership (not meaning bravery) and an obsession with crude tactics like banzai charges. Conversely, the weakling human Guardsmen are effective in large-scale conflicts precisely because of their organization. Once the Guard has enough artillery and entrenched positions to throw back a mob then the Orks are going to lose, barring extensive reinforcement or unusual events.

    Besides, since when is assassination not a standard tactic? IG snipers may not perform on the tabletop but I expect they'd be reasonably lethal in real life, and once a Warboss is located (not too hard given the Orkish lack of subtlety), an orbital strike will do for him as easily as a Deathwatch kill-team.
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  8. #7
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intrepid View Post
    I would disagree. The individual Ork is far more aggressive and improves with combat (specifically hand-to-hand combat), yes, but in large groups those benefits get lost to poor leadership (not meaning bravery) and an obsession with crude tactics like banzai charges. Conversely, the weakling human Guardsmen are effective in large-scale conflicts precisely because of their organization. Once the Guard has enough artillery and entrenched positions to throw back a mob then the Orks are going to lose, barring extensive reinforcement or unusual events.
    Black Library (and Ork fluff) show that Orks thrive in wars of attritrion. Recall how Orks reproduce; through spores secreted constantly throughout life and discharged in a big heap at the moment of death. The more Orks die, the more Orks there are the next week (and the tougher the survivors are), and it's even worse if they're dying in such numbers that it's logistically impossible to go out and incinerate the bodies - the only proven method of preventing spore reproduction. And the humans are suffering casualties throughout this process as well, but they aren't nearly as quick to recover.

    Fighting in trenches with artillery and gunlines will kill a lot of Orks, but the problem with Orks is that the harder you beat them down, the harder they are to keep down. Every attempt at fighting an Ork Waagh head-to-head (Fifteen Hours and Brothers of the Snake are good examples) results in temporary victory followed by a slow, gradual slide towards eventual defeat as the Orks get stronger and larger and the humans get more and more exhausted. That's not even including the Imperial Guard's habit of shelling their own troops by accident.

    Besides, since when is assassination not a standard tactic? IG snipers may not perform on the tabletop but I expect they'd be reasonably lethal in real life, and once a Warboss is located (not too hard given the Orkish lack of subtlety), an orbital strike will do for him as easily as a Deathwatch kill-team.
    Well...they're nonstandard. You get non-standard units (assassins, kill-teams) that are specially chosen for the job in order to do it. It's not something you do every day. You don't send Private Joe Imperial out behind enemy lines to snipe a warboss, you get a kill-team of stormtroopers or a temple assassin.
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  9. #8
    Son of LO Marius the Possessed's Avatar
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    Not to mention that Orks are cunning, so headlong charges aren't the only tactics they use. It seems that there will invariably be some unexpected tactic that will come out of nowhere to hit the defenders (for example, the use of submarines during both Black Reach and Armageddon campaigns).

  10. #9
    jboweruk
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    Intrepid, if you look at the tabletop game, then even ordinary ppl in real life can outshoot the guard, heck I personally have proved I can outshoot even the super Space Marines.

    I think I'll bin my marines and take a squad of British Paras (hit on 2's anyone?) LOL

  11. #10
    Senior Member Intrepid's Avatar
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    If I look at the tabletop game, Orks win only because IG aren't allowed to shoot them until the turn before they charge.

    Unless Orks can reproduce in a matter of days, which I don't believe is the case, the conflict will be over before their replacements are available. The whole 'spore reproduction' thing means they keep coming back for new wars and battles, not that they can replace their losses AND grow twice as big in a day or two. (Tyranids can, but not Orks.) The Guard wasn't winning in Fifteen Hours because they had supply shortages, no reinforcements and a chain of command so incompetent that they regularly, knowingly and daily shelled their own men with their artillery (as ze_poodle mentioned). Even then, the Guard had Orkish tactics pegged at every point and held the line repeatedly.

    I haven't read Brothers of the Snake.


    On a different level of fluff, it's impossible for the Imperial Guard to be worthless against every major threat the Imperium faces. If the IG's only job is shoving cannon fodder into the enemy's path until the Space Marines ride to the rescue then why not just disband the Guard and let the xenos and heretics rampage at will? It'd be the same bodycount and the Marines would look even more heroic. Even then, there aren't enough Marines in the galaxy to do that; most IG campaigns never see Marine deployment. So, if IG are ineffective against Orks, Tyranids, Necrons, Chaos and Eldar...what do they do that the PDF doesn't?
    "My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard

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