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By Autarch Varrais
Guardians the farmers, artistes and other civilians of the craft worlds, however in fifth edition are they a viable option do the guardians still have some life in them or are they confined to the model shelf waiting for an update, replaced by dire avengers or rangers? Well I for one donít think so, thereís life in the old boys yet. Here are some advice about some things Iíve come across while playing my guardians.
To start with I recommend taking a warlock. Now I know that some of you may think their a waste of points but their ability to enhance a unit of guardians is invaluable add in the fact that they can use their powers automatically without need to roll a physic test and they become worth their wait in gold. (When deciding what equipment to take with them first decide what you want the squad to do).
There are 4 different powers available to warlocks each have their own strengths and weaknesses, now Iím not going to go into depth about the physic powers thatís a tatica for another time but merely skim over them from a guardian perspective.
First up conceal Personally its my favourite to take with my guardians because it gives them a granted 5+ cover save which since they only have a 5+ armour it becomes invaluable or even necessary to keep them alive. However the effects of this power is somewhat wasted on storm guardians as they wonĎt get the save in close combat.
Next up destructor this power is not the best choice you could make but if your looking to add some extra firepower to your guardians then this is the way to go remember to place the warlock at the front of the unit to get the maximum range.
Embolden again not one of the stronger choices but its cheap and gives you leadership re-rolls since guardians only have a leadership of 8 one of the lowest in the codex it can be very helpful in a pinch.
Enhance it works better on storm guardians than regular guardians with the enhancement of their close combat abilities with the 1+ to initiative and weapon skill this can be somewhat useful on guardians but again not one of the stronger choices.
Taking a HQ choice with your guardians can dramatically in crease their performance however make the wrong choice youíll just waste points. Depending on what you want the squad to do will influence your choice of HQ, for example: camping guardians would take a farseer with guide and fortune (never underestimate the power of fortune). There are 2 main choices of HQ Autarch an offensive HQ that can take a wide range of weaponry to fit any role. Farseer a supporting unit that can greatly enhance the abilities of any squad to the point where their an effective killing unit
Regular guardians have to take a weapons platform so what weapon to take? It all really depends on what role you want them to play, campers, anti-hoard, cheap troops choice, or tank hunter. For camper the best choice is the missile launcher because of its range and options, slight tank hunter and anti infantry. For anti hoard I suggest the scatter laser the four shots make up for the low B. However if your after a cheap troop choice the shrunken cannon is a good buy for 5 points you get a assault 3 S6 Ap6 weapon a good buy if you ask me. But if you want to go tank hunter you need to take star cannons or bright lances to pop those armoured vessels.
There are two types of weapon to take for these guys however unlike the platform you donít have to take them but I reckon you should. If you decide to take them then flamers should be anti hoard and fusion guns should be anti transport.
How to play them.
Whenever Iím playing my guardians I must take three main decisions weather Iím playing guardians or storm guardians, What role do I want them to take, and weather to run them on foot, or in a tank. These choice effect how I play the game and what I take with them.
Guardians or Storm Guardians?
This must be the first choice you make because this choice will influence the rest of the choices you make afterwards, got it?
What Role Do I Want Them To Take?
This choice will be influenced by your previous choice you made this choice will influence weather you take a wave serpent or not. (I mean if you had storm guardians with fusion guns and a Autarch with another fusion gun and power weapon wouldnít you rather them in a tank than on foot?)
Tank or No Tank?
Campers would be better without a tank than with one and storm guardians would do better with one. Here is a list of who need needs tanks and who doesnít need them
Campers, no tank
Anti tank, with or without
Anti hoard, tank
Cheap troop choice, tank
Storm Guardians tank
How I play them:
I always run mine with a warlock and most of the time a farseer on foot with conceal as a squad of 20, or in a tank as a squad of ten still with conceal. I camp on objectives or grab them at the last minute. I take scatter lasers, missile launchers or shrunken cannons and I use them as anti hoard, anti elite.
Hints and Tips
Here are some really useful things that I have come across while using my guardians.
20 guardians, 1 warlock, conceal, and a farseer with fortune is a hardy unit that will cause your opponent to go mad trying to kill them a very good fire soaker.
10 storm guardians, 2 with fusion guns, 1 warlock, enhance, singing spear, farseer, singing spear, guide, fortune, doom, wave serpent, star engines, vectored engines, sprit stones, shrunken cannons, twin linked star cannons, a painful transport hunting unit that can assault and kill the guys inside they can also grab an objective last turn and with a wave serpent they become very survivable unit.
I hope you found this tactica useful remember if thereís anything I missed please post it in this thread because 1 I would like to know and 2 anyone reading this article would like to know, I would also like you to tell me how you run your guardians and what you think of them. Thanks.
Later Autarch Varrais
I personally find that storm guardians in a transport work wonders. I feel the destructor is the best choice for them in alot of cases. Set up with 2 flamers and the destructor they are very effective at digging units out of cover. The only downside is that they don't have grenades so charging to clean up the remains is risky.
For the anti tank storms I generally go for the 2 fusions the warlock with a spear and embolden ( I have used destructor from time to time giving them an option for hurting hordes before charging ). If they are hunting tanks they are often times very close to the enemy. A cover save is nice but enough die even with it to force LD tests which I fail often. Having a mauled guardian squad is better than a fleeing one in alot of cases. The hardest part about taking storms as anti tank is that for the same cost as the above unit you can get 7 or 8 fire dragons which are far better at the tank killing because of more fusions and a better stat line. The only advantage the storms have is being scoring and an extra attack in melee if they survive to get assaulted.
Guardian defenders I struggle to use well. Squads holding an objective do ok at long as you can put enough pressure on your opponent to draw some fire off of them. I have had some success placing them in reserve and having them come on to deal with enemy units that have rushed forward. With two shots a peice they can soften up enemy units or finish off ones that have been whittled down in the first few turns. I rarely give defenders a transport unless I have some harlies that need a ride. If I can get close enough that the defenders could have got out and shot I generally am able to get close enough that storms with flamers get as many hits.
I think you should also note that the warlock in the squad can negate wraithsight making them a good choice to hold an objective with shooting wraithlords as they can baby sit each other. The embolden allowing rerolls for the farseers powers should also be noted as it almost ensures the casting will work. Another thing to note is that adding an Autarch to a storm guardian unit means that the unit can take advantage of his grenades meaning they can charge units in cover, the cost of the Autarch means I don't take them often but this is a nice perk if you do. I also think you should play up the warlocks witchblade. This is basicly the eldars powerfist. I know it doesn't ignore armor saves but it does wound on 2+ and hiits like a lascannon against vehicles. Few eldar units have an answer to a dreadnought assaulting them, guardians do. I have had defilers, soulgrinders and dreads all move away from guardian squads because of the witchblade that is hidden inside it.
I'm glad to see that you use guardians as they are often passed over as a weak choice but I feel that this could be fleshed out alot more.
With camping guardians I suggest trying out conceal and fortune along with 20 guardians I have had opponets try to kill them and throw everything they can at them and only do a tiny amount of damage in one game my opponets got so angry with them they assulted me with a killa kan, a chaos dreadnought, a chaos loard and an ork warboss sure I lost them but thanks to that sacrfice me and Zhupei won.
And on a second point I aggree with you storm guardians must be in a tank however rather than hunting tanks that are heavy armoured and don't carry guys go aftter light to well armoured transports espically troop carrairs.
yes witch blades are the equvilente of powerfist and yes a power weapon would be nice but beggers can't be choesers however don't assult a tank unless its a last resort with olny a couple of attacks with a witch blade its not worth the assault.
you must realize two things (1 this is my first tactica so the flow of the tactica won't be as good as others (2 this is just my personal opinion I have tried and tested most of these things others my friends have tried and I have personally found them useful I understand why you would call it a tactica mockery and I will fix things up next time.
I see you have the anti hoard tank and cheap troop choice tank up there well anti hoard units I have found to do better in tanks especially with there low range running them just doesn't work for me I have tried both and both have their advantages and disadvantages (and I have had a lot of time to test them since my best friend is a tyranid player and I vs him on a regular basis).
A cheap troop choice for me has to be somewhat survivable otherwise there not worth taking a tank insures that and can add some support to the squad at the same time.
Not to mention that they are survivable due to being infantry and having 4+ Cover, the thing that makes your Conceal advice somewhat strange. Hell, this is 5th edition...
OK I admit that conceal is a bit of a loss when your guy is in cover however I have had a number of occasions where my opponent has placed objectives out of cover or where no good cover is available with most weapons being AP 5 or lower your armor is easily ignored and with toughness 3 its a death sentence.
A tank provides maneuverability, support and protection for your guardians and you can always drop the guardians on an in cover objective and pick up other units with it if your worried about the points.