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The IG gunline and what not to do. Courtesy of Oz WD 333.
The following article is being put together to satisfy my disdain for White Dwarf, and as a guide for aspiring Imperial Guard commanders on potholes to be avoided on the road to glory. In this article we’re going to scrutinise what was taken by the Imperial Guard player (Gav Thorpe) in the AU WD333 battle report against the new Chaos codex and see what he shouldn’t have done.
The following has an “IMO” disclaimer attached to it, and I fully admit right now that I am a biased sonofabitch. I hate White Dwarf and I hate Jervis Johnson (even though he had nothing to do with the Bat Rep we’re dissecting, I still hate him. But that’s a discussion for another time).
• Army selection
• Deployment and other pregame shenanigans
• The game itself
• Summary of principles to apply to your army
Doctrines: There are no doctrines! Quite simply, doctrines are the best thing for the IG since sliced bread and when selected wisely will more than once positively influence the game for little or no cost. Leaving home without doctrines in itself is an error if you lack lots of restricted troops such as army featured in the Bat Rep. They even cater to fluff enthusiasts with some of the more cost inefficient upgrades and ineffective but fluffy rules found in the game.
HQ Command Squad: At 222pts without attached advisors or support teams this is far, far too expensive. The fact that it is more costly than the opposing Chaos HQ choices is an indicator of how bloated it is. The main problem is the amount of wargear attached to the Colonel.
What has been attempted here (along with the Commissar to be attached), is to create a Command Squad that provides a solid base for Leadership, as well has having some form of CC prowess. Now, although I don’t strongly advise this course of action, it can be achieved and wielded to some degree of efficiency. However, this bloated example is not the way to go about doing things.
The key mantra that you will hear repeated over and over in some forms by IG vets is to keep it cheap. That means, make it effective enough to do what it needs to do, don’t go splurging too much on the gubbinz. The problem with the unit featured in the bat rep is that it’s misunderstood its role. No matter how many points you spend on a Command Squad unit, they’re not going to into MEQs (Marine EQuivalents for those who don’t know). With that in mind it’s crucial to realise that this means that it cannot perform as an assault spearhead. It’s got no delivery method, low hitting power, and low resiliency. What is the role of a CC Command Squad then you ask? Its role is strictly as a mopping up unit. For example, the last 3-4 survivors of a Space Marine Assault Squad are a likely target. Diving headfirst into a Monstrous Creature or pack of Harlequins is not advised.
Now, as I mentioned before the example in the bat rep is overloaded with upgrades. What you do need is surprisingly simple. Just add a Power Weapon to the Officer and a Power Fist to the Commissar. Your unit should look something like this:
Command Squad: 91pts
Heroic Senior Officer: Power Weapon, Laspistol, Iron Discipline.
3 Guardsmen: Laspistols and Close Combat Weapons
1 Veteran: Company Banner
Power Fist, Laspistol
That’s 151pts all up and performs its role as a mop up unit just as well as the 282pts unit featured in the bat rep. What could have been dropped? Bionics, Master Crafting, Macharian Cross, Regimental Standard, Medic, and the Meltagun are all primary suspects. The first four items are just generally cost inefficient pieces of wargear that will deliver little to your unit. The Medic is no good as he can’t help save wounds when in base contact with the enemy (which is more than likely going to happen if you charge in). The Meltagun is wasted potential; your command squad will be hiding most of the game and with its limited attack range it may well find itself being eschewed in favour of guaranteeing the charge. Basically if you paid for another gun elsewhere in the army instead you could easily pick off more enemies by the time the enemy gets close enough for that Meltagun to work.
And although some people swear by it, I still stand by the fact that a Vox Network is useless in a gunline army when the Officer’s Leadership special rule already does the trick. When you look at it that’s a 131pts totally wasted. Enough to buy yourself something cool like a Hellhound or another support team for the HQ (or as indicated further on in this article, some heavy weapons for your Guardsmen!).
Sentinels: Gav Thorpe made the error of clustering all of his Sentinels into the one unit with mixed weaponry when he had three open Fast Attack slots. The principle behind splitting them into as many units as possible is to allow the sentinels to split their fire, and to concentrate incoming fire. For example if a Devastator squad with nothing else to do fires at the pictured set up, they easily have the potential to destroy all three Sentinels. If those Sentinels are split up into three separate units then only one sentinel can become a casualty as the Devs are forced to concentrate their fire on a single Sentinel.
Just a quick note on their weaponry, Multilasers are generally overlooked. For their cost they deliver little as they don’t function exceptionally as anti horde weapons, and Autocannons give the vehicle a wider threat range for little cost in hitting power against GEQs (and against targets like Genestealers, they’re that much better).
Inquisitor Lord: I don’t know how to fully describe the utter uselessness of this unit without taking up the rest of the article with a rant. In short, it’s costly and it delivers very little to the army. If you really desire an assassin then keep it simple. Often the best route is a dirt cheap Inquisitor with no retinue, although that may for some people clash with their elite FOC slots. However in this example there was enough space to trade the Inquisitor Lord for his cheaper cousin. Again this is an example of simply trimming unnecessary frills and lightening the wargear load the army is bearing. At the very least the unit could have been designed to act as some sort of fire support with gun servitors.
But, the way it was written the battle report was written indicates the Inquisitor was taken for fluff reasons. So I guess it’s not all bad, though to those looking for the cost efficient choice this is not the way to do it.
Stormtroopers: One of the main principles in the IG army is to select and streamline a unit for a specific purpose. The fact that Stormtroopers are deepstriking only compounds the matter, they have a limited range and need to inflict maximum damage possible against their intended target. In this example the Stormtroopers have mixed their weaponry by selecting a Plasmagun and a Meltagun, effectively two different roles. Plasmaguns are for hitting MCs, Termies etc with their higher volume of firepower up close, and the Meltaguns are second to none at up close tank busting (mostly anyway). What should have been done is to select either two meltaguns or two plasmaguns.
The other thing to realise is that Stormtroopers are generally a poor choice for deepstriking attacks. The thing to remember is that unless you attack via deepstrike en mass, the unit is most likely going to die in short order against most enemies. The stormtroopers lack a high enough volume of firepower to completely destroy enemy units, hence putting them in assault range against most enemies. For this reason units deepstriking on their own are generally thought of as kamikaze attacks. Thus you want to apply maximum firepower and worry little about defence for the unit. This means that a more effective setup for the unit would have been 5 men plus two special weapons, bringing the cost to 75pts. If the unit survives a round after deep striking? Well that’s a bonus, but don’t count on it.
This brings us to the other point about Stormtroopers. They’re generally out-competed by other units in respective roles when doctrines such as Drop Troops are taken into consideration. Want an infiltrating firebase? Hardened Vets do that better. Want a suicide deepstrike team? Special Weapon teams, Hardened Vets, or kamikaze Command Squads do that better. Want a mobile attack unit? Grenediers do that just as well and don’t fight for elite slots. Sometimes doctrine selections will limit these other options and allow Stormtroopers to shine, but wherever possible you should consider these other options.
In addition, the Honourfica was misplaced here. It would have been far better used by placing it on an Infantry Command Squad. This makes the Officer pack a bit more punch in CC and improves the Leadership he passes out to his minions. In addition, when combined with Close Order Drill this creates an Initiative 5 Officer who strikes before Marines. Handy, no?
Infantry Platoon: Gah! Now if the Inquisitor Lord made your eyes bleed…
First things first, where are the heavy weapons? Outside of Drop Troop armies no Infantry Platoon should be without heavy weapons. The reason for this is that the gunline type of Imperial Guard rely on dealing with their enemies at a range, the further the better. The closer the enemy gets the more dangerous they become, ranging from bringing nasty small arms into range to getting into assault.
Quite simply, the weapon selection made by Gav Thorpe was absolutely appalling. For starters Meltaguns have no place in the Infantry Squads. As mentioned before a gunline needs to deal with the enemy at long range, emphasis there on long. If you want to bust tanks take a Lascannon not a meltaguns. Then you can burst the rhino full of CSM before it gets anywhere near you or gradually pick off terminators from the safety of the other end of the board. Plasmaguns on the other hand are a great weapon. However they’re a complementary weapon and can’t pull the hard yards on their own due to their lack of range. Thus the units with plasmaguns still required heavy weapons.
I just find it a little funny. Quoting Gav Thorpe in his pre game discussion:So, yeah. With that in mind you don’t pick any heavy weapons at all for your backbone infantry units, and then equip them with 11th hour special weapons. BAM! Rigged battle reports strike yet again.Knowing that the Chaos Marines will easily outclass my troops in assault, I need to hit them with everything possible as soon as possible.
Again I’ll touch on streamlining a unit to achieve an objective. When creating your list, decide what kind of enemy you want your unit to shoot at preferentially. If it’s GEQ, give the unit a heavy bolter. If it’s a Monolith or other heavy tank, give it a Lascannon. If it’s a Monstrous creature give it a lascannon and plasmagun. If it’s a light vehicle then give it an Autocannon and Plasmagun. There are other ways to combine weapons, but I’m sure you get the point. Pick an enemy type then equip the unit to deal with them.
Amoured Fist Squad: This unit has been designed by Gav Thorpe as an objective grabber, or Mobile plug unit.
One thing that should be recognised is that the Imperial Guard gunlines really do have a harder than normal task at taking objectives. Really, the gunline type of army should leave objective snatching to the last couple of turns. This is because of the low resiliency of our units, there’s little point in leaping onto an objective in the first turn, only to put your unit in the sights of a bunch of Bolters/Heavy Bolters.
As Plug unit, the squad has little, but some merit. Again there is a better alternative in the form of Grenediers as with their obvious benefit of more special weapons and a better accuracy. The Armoured Fist squad is lacklustre in this role because like deepstrikers it’s relying on dealing damage in a very short space of time. This means every shot counts and reliability is king, and a single meltagun that has a 50/50 chance of hitting is far from reliable. That’s not exactly something you’d like to hinge stopping an impeding rampage in CC from a defiler on.
Really what should have been done with this unit is to equip it as you would an Infantry Squad and then set it up ready to fire away from turn one. If the opportunity presents itself to take an objective during the latter moments then seize it, but leaping onto the said objective early in the game is tantamount to suicide in the majority of cases.
That's the first section done. I'm terrible with grammar, punctation and spelling so if you can't understand something please point it out. Same goes for if you want to argue a point. Feel free to post.
I'd also like to point out the Chaos player cheated on turn 1. His rhino with his Lord inside was blown to pieces and subsequently the unit should have been entangled, yet he moved them.
Another example you don't trust a red shirt's opinion of the rules etc. If Alessio Cavatore, one of the senior games developers, can't get it right then a red shirt provides no extra credibility to his name.
... only triumph could turn pooing his pants into a good thing..
A battle report (for Fantasy) I remember where re-rolls were used for magic casting dice.... not allowed unless stated in item descriptions... and resulted in an Irresistable Force, and a Foot of Gork stomping nearly every enemy unit on the table. That shouldn't have happened, and changed the end result of the game. Thing is, they still had fun...
I agree with you Triumph, and if anything, I 'spose it's not good for a professional outlook on WD. Sure, he slipped up on a rule. And the other Bloke didn't really put in a lot of thought into his Guard list. My main gripe (ATM, seeing as I haven't read the Article) is WD focusing on Advertisement, and these fishy 'rigged battle reports'.
Nonetheless, these guys have done a lot for the game over the years. I appreciate that. It's just sad that those that are already knowledged in the game are being left out of WD, there's no real material for us to chew on passionately.
In the long run, if they had fun, and showed some off some of the new Chaos Rules Mechanics, then I guess that fullfills the point of the battle report
LO RULESOriginally Posted by Jaffar_Hasad
HAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'd just started compiling the same bloody list last night, glad to see your report here mate!
It should be noted, however, that this wasn't a proper game anyway - it was aimed specifically to showcase the new Chaos army list, and as such, the IG never had a chance. It was rigged, and I doubt that the game was even played at all anyway.
(If anyone does not believe me, I have a challenge for you: find me a white dwarf battle report, featuring a new army book, sometime in the last 2 or 3 years where the new army has lost a battle. Nothing comes to my mind, but if you can prove me wrong, well, rep for you!)
And Triumph, I'd rep you, but I know how you feel about that
...Now to actually read what you wrote there....
Then there's the fact that the Chaos army was 2008 points or something, and the IG one was about 1999. Thats a whole 'nuther grenade launcher or something. With all the savings that should have been in there, a whole 'nother couple of lascannons/bunch of plasmaguns!I think you will be even more annoyed when you realise that he didn't even bother building a proper vox network - the only other squads with a vox caster are the storm troopers, and the other command squad. Neither of these squads really needed a vox caster!!! (Note, do not have the white dwarf on me, working from memory of the things that got on my nerves and stuck in my memory last night).And although some people swear by it, I still stand by the fact that a Vox Network is useless in a gunline army when the Officer’s Leadership special rule already does the trick. When you look at it that’s a 131pts totally wasted. Enough to buy yourself something cool like a Hellhound or another support team for the HQ (or as indicated further on in this article, some heavy weapons for your Guardsmen!).I thought you could only take 1 allied elite choice from the demonhunters/witchhunters codex, meaning you have to take a HQ inquisitor, meaning you have to take a retinue for the guy. That is, if you want to take an assassin (which will take up the elite slot I just mentioned before).However in this example there was enough space to trade the Inquisitor Lord for his cheaper cousin.
Still, I agree - it could've been a lot cheaper....
As for everything else, Amen brother. White dwarf is quite a sham, mostly - even the tacticia articles are rarely great. Sometimes something good crops up, but they really could do with a bit more meat.
"Pickles, the drummer, doodily doo. (Ding-dong, doodily, doodily, doo.)"
Also, you should google "garfield minus garfield". Awesome.
As has already been stated there is no doubt that it was rigged. 2 main reasons support this:
1) Chaos is the new army list on the block and it would be quite bad form if they lost now wouldn't it
2) They let Gav Thorpe play.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a big fan of Mr Thorpe - in fact I would go so far as to say he is a bumbling idiot who shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the games or games development.
Rant over - more later most likely. Probably should go do some work now
P.s - If memory serves me correctly, the last 'new' list to lose in it's debut battle was the brettonians when ant reynolds (i think) played them. Mind you, the corrected this and played 2 games, which he promptly won the second.
Last edited by Exarch Thomo; September 11th, 2007 at 04:30. Reason: Forgot to add something
I must also join in the disliking of WD. Here in canada it is as bad or worse.
Imperial Guard Variants 69/20/9
Space Wolves 17/16/2
I.G. Armoured Company 7/3/2
I.G. BFG 0/1/2
*slaps self*I thought you could only take 1 allied elite choice from the demonhunters/witchhunters codex, meaning you have to take a HQ inquisitor, meaning you have to take a retinue for the guy. That is, if you want to take an assassin (which will take up the elite slot I just mentioned before).
I'll correct that later. Still, the retinue build left a lot to be desired.Correct again Cadaver. Now why didn't I see that? ;YI think you will be even more annoyed when you realise that he didn't even bother building a proper vox network - the only other squads with a vox caster are the storm troopers, and the other command squad. Neither of these squads really needed a vox caster!!! (Note, do not have the white dwarf on me, working from memory of the things that got on my nerves and stuck in my memory last night).
... only triumph could turn pooing his pants into a good thing..
I liked the "Last Chancers"
As an IG player who despises Chaos, I cried at the battle report...
I agree Vox is a waste in most IG armies, but then to just give it to 1 unit!?!??!??! WTF!???!?!?!
Exarch Thomo is right, it was WD 289 (outside 3 years ago)
And Cadaver, in WD 285 (exactly 4 years ago so outside your range) the Beastmen lost their first BR going down to the WE but this was atributed to luck on the WE players part so the new army could claim a moral victory at least.
The 'Nids also suffered a terrible draw (oh noes!) in WD 306 although Owen Rees (played IG) said in his conclusion pharagraph...a draw under normal sircumstances. However, few are the games of Warhammer 40,000 where just the dead bodies count; it's always about the mission.What nerve!
Also the Empire achieved a draw against the new Ogre Kingdoms in WD 301
And the ending of the WH (WD 292) first game is suspiciosly lucky...(to win the WH had to kill a sapce wolf rune priest with a 4+ invunerable save. In the last combat of the game the Inquisitor lord Karamazov had 3 attacks to deal 2 wounds to win the game. He had 4s to hit, wound and save. All 3 hit (12.5% probability of this happening) all three wounded (1.56% chance of this happening) and he failed at least 2 saves (0.78%).
So not one new army playing a battle report has lost a battle in the last 3 years (or I just haven't found it)! WOW!!
While searching this I found that their are only 13 pages devoted to WFB in WD 318 out of 128 pages. Can't we give the mother game more then 10.16%!
I was going to point out that when the 3rd edition IG codex came out the IG were totally stomped. But it was a long while ago (back when Catachans were new). If I remember from that battle report the Ig player took 3 kitted out Commissars, back when they didn't give a ld bonus and forced a ld test when the hq was killed AND power weapons were over 9 points ( but under 11). They even played short edge vs short edge where the orks had to cross a long way to get into cc.
My favorite battle report of all time was when the ork dex was launched ( I've been playing for a while) and they battled the crimson fists ( the marines won). That battle report got me into 40k. Plus that particular white dwarf came with codex assassins, which was pretty sauce.
But you're right cadaver I haven't found a single (40k at least) battle report in recent history where the showcase army lost.
Thanks for pointing that out.
Bravo Triumph (stands up and claps vigorously).:party:
This post should be required reading for new players.
Darn you Triumph, I feel moisture coming on again in my loins!;o
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchil