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I've seen the following statement in many forms over the last few years:
"The Strength of the Imperial Guard is seen in larger games because their numbers are their strength"
The statement is often generally acepted as fact. I'm not so sure about its validity for one primary reason: In order for this stement to be true, the relative power of the Guard must increase in comparison to other armies.
The most obvious point is that if this statement was true, the best Guard armies at lesser points would fill their troops slots first, or at least NOT be taking vehicles. At, say 1500 points, you'd not see 3 tanks in competitive armies. We know the opposite to be true except for the all-infantry armies, which often take Heavy Platoons and Vets anyway.
Once a Guard army has filled it's Elites and Heavies, like most other armies, it is left with just adding more troops. So, in order for for this statement to be true, IG Troops slots must be superior to the Troops slots of other armies. Point for Point, this isn't really true.
It seems to me, that in larger games, the strength of all these numbers is that some armies can't kill enough guardsmen to win. Yes, there is firepower in our big lists, but there it isn't scaling "up" as the above statement might imply. Also, some armies, like assaulty ones, can roll our overfilled deployment zones and stay stuck-in.
Finally, powergaming at the lower points levels seems to favor the IG, rather than the reverse. For example, I can build a 1000 point list with 2 bassies, a Russ, 3 lascannon squads, a plasma squad and an armored fist. That is 4 hulls plus 50 men with 3 lascannons, 4 plasma.
So, what do you folks think?
RecklessFable's Journey to Mediocrity (Painting an IG army)
I've been addicted to World of Tanks lately and neglecting my IG... But it is so... much... fun!
I suppose in big point games it boils down to your school of play. Would you rather have X amount of SMs/GKs/nidzillas or X times 10 guardsmen/gaunts/orks? Surely there is a point where quantity overcomes quality and vice versa.
I find my self thinking like that. "They get better in larger games", but not only regarding my IG. The same reasoning goes with my Thousand Sons and Lost and Damned.
Dare I even suggest most armies seems to work according to this mechanism.
The thing is (I'm just assuming here and might very well be far out and plain wrong) in smaller games you have to specialize. You have to chose between say Fast Attack and Heavy Support, Hellhound or Russ, while in larger games you can have an army that actually works good as a whole. You can have both a solid HS and a fast moving spearhead with Storm Troopers, AFs and Vets all backed up by a huge number of infantry bodies.
The same goes for Chaos, SMs and most armies I guess.
What I think the guard has as an advantage in larger games is that they can get so many more 48"+ range weapons. Due to the large nature of th boards in these large games lots of autocannons, lascannons, missile launchers and earthshaker cannons (3 seems apealing) are very effective.
Yeah but the counterpoint to that is that every point spent on a heavy weapon is one less for more guardsmen, thus cutting down on your numbers advantage. It seems like with IG in really big battles it comes down to a battle of attrition, rather than superior equipment/tactics/what have you. Of course there are going to be variables in that equasion, such as tailoring your list to your opponent, luck of course, terrain, and what kind of mission you're playing to name a few.What I think the guard has as an advantage in larger games is that they can get so many more 48"+ range weapons. Due to the large nature of th boards in these large games lots of autocannons, lascannons, missile launchers and earthshaker cannons (3 seems apealing) are very effective.
Also, more weapons that can fire earlier can tend to complicate matters in a big battle because although you will have more weapons, you will also have more targets, so concentrated firepower becomes more of a risk, especially bearing in mind a guardsman's average BS.
Agreed, bigger isnt alwasy better. I like smaller point games. They more faster and are more fun to play. This also involves alot more thought as to how your army will work, a major aspect of the game for me. BUt high point games also have there upsides, though not always meaning that IG will win in the end due to strenght in numbers.
I think some people claim IG get better the bigger the points game due to the limiting nature of the FOC. Most armies only get a choice of around 10 models per troop slot whereas IG can field 55 plus advisors. Unless you start to introduce second FOC's, the additional points allowed cant be effectively used by some armies so they are instead forced to spend it on armoury extra's. So where say SM's get a total of one heavy and special plus "wargear" per slot, IG can have 6 heavies and at least as many specials. Not to mention that more 'meatshields' on the board allow you to better protect your more useful units, such as AT Lascannon squads etc..
What Guardsmen dont want to hear...
"Ok boys, time to fix bayonets!"
Did you all ever think about the number of chimera tanks and sentinels IG might field after filling elites and heavies? And a complete vox network making all infantry LD 9 , and Solar Macharius as a second HQ to get first turn.
Or with a single 55 men platoon i could meet all my meatshield requirements and fill other troops slots with 3 mechanized grenadiers and 2 allied grey knights or sisters squads.
I say a large IG army has ways to get nastier than most armies.
I think that for the most part, IG does get natier at higher point costs, in comparison to other armies. However, it is not that the guard are bad at low point cost, its just certain armies like Tau or Eldar can field some nasty stuff at low point cost (combat patrol anrbody), and it can seem like the guard just aren't that great at low point cost in comparison to those armies.
Battlesuits, putting the BS in BullS*%t.