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I was reading a post on another forum by Aliaros (I think) regarding his approach to infantry heavy Imperial Guard and a ‘battle group’ tactic and it got me thinking.
On paper having the army divided into specific groups each with a specific objective or goal seems to be not only the most sensible way to play an infantry guard army (or at least one that does something in the movement phase) and is also quite cinematic and just plain cool because it seems a lot more real.
So my questions/thoughts for discussion are:
What are some of the general, basic tactics that Infantry commanders use?
How do these cope with various battlefield situations and do the perform effectively?
Can real life squad/battalion tactics be used effectively in 40k? (I have read various ‘Art of War’ type articles, and other tactical articles and know that numerous principles can be employed, but does anyone use their guard in the manner of modern military forces?)
Who plays a hybrid list and how does it fare? By hybrid I mean a mix of infantry and mechanised/armour or infantry and drop troops etc.
For those interested here is the link:
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain (It's time to roll the dice)- Mattrim Cauthon
Well, there is a lot of questions here so I will answer as many as I can.
Q:What are some of the general, basic tactics that Infantry commanders use?
A:This a kind of a broad question and there are many ..., no ... cancel that, a ton of tactics that one could use during a battle. You can have an infantry heavy force, where each unit acts as a firebase and outwits any other army by the volume of fire. If you loose a unit, oh well because you will have another 10 units to take their place. You could also go with grenadier/veteran type of armies relying heavily on elite 4+ troops. But again, this will hit you point wise and your model count will greatly decrease. Therefore Grenadier/Veteran armies are least competative of all, and will have a lot of trouble competing in a big event with a lot of experienced players. There is also partialy mechnized armies, where you can have some units on foot acting as firebases while armored fist squads and mechanized grenadier units could take the objectives from the enemy.
Q:How do these cope with various battlefield situations and do the perform effectively?
A:This is even a broader question, every IG army has advantages and disadvantages. A heavy infantry army will easily outgun virtualy everything but if the enemy makes it into CC, usualy they will slice through squad after squad unless you have a good CC counter charge unit like conscripts, GN termies or Inq lord with retinue. This is one of the best armies to play for IG if you want to fair well in tournaments.
On the other hand, there are armies with a lot of heavy armor. These are more of a hit or miss since your opponent can either have too little anti tank, or too much at which point you could get ultimately devastated. On the other hand, the amount of template and ordnance guns can realy help you win the game if you are playing something like a nid swarm, nonmobile Tau army thats low on suits, some Orks and even space maries.
mechanized are also a popular option, but then again you never know how much anti tank your enemy will be packing. This force is very costly mone wise since chimeras arent cheap, and the overall model count compared to other forced is fairly low. Note, that mechnized IG ISNT like Tau, space marines or dark eldar so make sure you dont confuse these.
Mixed armies are random force put together based on the players personality, they can feature everything and anything so its just a matter of what you like and dont like. They are very common on daily bases.
Q:Can real life squad/battalion tactics be used effectively in 40k? (I have read various ‘Art of War’ type articles, and other tactical articles and know that numerous principles can be employed, but does anyone use their guard in the manner of modern military forces?)
Who plays a hybrid list and how does it fare? By hybrid I mean a mix of infantry and mechanised/armour or infantry and drop troops etc
A: Yea, why not? Thats what the doctrines are for - to enchance the theme of the force. Light infanty will help your men run through the city without be slowed by terrain too much, jungle fighters are ... jungle fighters I guess. Chem inhalers is pretty much there, if you want to make an army full of crack heads. You can make a good hit and run army, with some armored fist chimeras using their long ranged weapons to harass the enemy and retreat if he gets too close. You could have a trench warfare if you want to play by DKOK rules, or even deepstrike the whole army onto the enemy using drop troops or by simply playing Elysians.
Q:Who plays a hybrid list and how does it fare? By hybrid I mean a mix of infantry and mechanised/armour or infantry and drop troops etc.
A: Most people in fact play hybrids, but not up to a point where they include absolutely everything - drop troops, mechnized, armored company. Thts simply too much to fit into one single army so you will have to be a little selective. In order for guard to fare well, they need to perform the function that you gave them when you were making the list. Meaning if you take heavy weapon platoons, you shouldnt be charging the enemy with them. And if you take a basilisk, than it has no business of being in LOS of your opponent's guns. If you take a CC tooled Inq Lord, than he has no business behind your line, he should be in front acting as a counter charge unit.
Hybrid lists arent the most competative but they can be deadly if you use them right, which is the same for any army in 40k. Nothing is stopping you from taking a lot of infantry, and an armored fist squad or two to steal objectives from the enemy on the last turn of the game. Also, if you decide to play an infantry heavy army, (and I can give you quite a lot of pointers about them) than you can always keep 3 small 5-6 man vet units in reserve to deepstrike right on top of the enemy while he is advancing at you. Yes, they will die but with three special weapons and BS4 they will be bount to earn their points back. You know, maybe a Tau player has a skyray somewhere in his deployment zone or just some ppor biovore that was left behind by an advancing nid force.
Thanks for the reply - you raise some good points and perhaps I should make myself a little clearer in areas.
I thought that this thread could be used for players to put down some of their general tactics and strategies and set moves etc, figuring that anything that expands the general knowledge of the larger community is worth it.
While I am new to guard I am not new to 40k, however I am finding that the playstyle of my particular army is a little stagnant - I believe that I fell into the static gunline trap and am looking at various other ways that I can play my Guard to mix things up a bit and keep my - usually well armoured - opponents on their toes.
So, to adress the first issue of general tactics I'll give an example. For instance in the majority of recent games with my guard I have deployed back and adopted a rather static approach - the gunline. I generally deploy my AF squad out of it's Chimera and use the Chimera as mobile firepower in support of my russ. I generally tend to run 5 mortars in 1000pts - 3 in a squad and 1 each in command squads and then try to place as many bodies in terrain as I can and create firelines that the enemy has to move down.
However, this is quite boring and I am looking for alternative play styles, something that I can be a little more aggressive in, but not get carried away with.
But I do have a question for you mr WraithGuardian: what is this non-mobile, low suit Tau army that you speak of? Never have I heard such ludicrous and baseless accusations! Lol.
Frivolity aside, I guess that my real question is who has tride something similar to Alairos (sp?) Battle Group idea and how did it work for you?
Dovie'andi se tovya sagain (It's time to roll the dice)- Mattrim Cauthon
I feel all foot guard are a bit weak because if they hit combat they are dead, no questions. Just in the same way that 5 tanks in 1000 pts is rediculous (yes i have done this) Guard need to use their elements as one force, a guard infantry force will either be a gun line or just about impossible to play. One tactic I read about involoves you dropping half a dozen command squands or veteran squads or special weapon squads, anything capable of 3 special weapons. Behind enemy lines shoot at anything tough with melta or plasma. Then infliltrate the rest of his army (all on foot) into cover using light infantry doctrine, and make it so that if you enemy makes it into combat he has killed a single squad, not a platoon or worse.
Straight Infantry Platoons is a very set deal. You're going to stand there and shoot for the most part. You can deepstrike, or infiltrate, but ultimately the majority of your force is going to be hanging back and shooting. While I always hear about, "Well you can do so and so to fight in hth..." the fact is that it's more trouble than it's worth unless you're swamping a single big unit or fighting grots.
To that end, it's really about maximizing firepower towards a specific target, i.e. plasma and krak missles to MEQs, Heavy bolters and flamers to light infantry, etc. Deep striking suicide command squads help give variety and give a big dose of pain to whatever you need to be killed. These suicide squads are amazing against vehicles or shock troops. Your basically playing a numbers game with all infantry platoons, how can I through the most firepower at my target.
The spice to IG lists are Stormies, Vets, and Rough Riders. The first will add some elite killing power to your IG. Guard squads can be frustratingly bad at killing their target sometimes. Stormies and Vets plug those holes. Rough Riders the most under used, underrated unit in my book. These guy kick ass in hth, great counter charge unit.
Armor is a whole other ball game. Look at armor as very mobile, very tough IG squads. Leman Russes are the standard and a damn good one. These tanks are really good for whatever you need a tank to do. Basilisks should be hidden and provide artillery support. Not as offensive as a Russ, but they can force those pesky Crisis suits out of hiding. Demolisher is a high offensive tank, best if used as an escort/bullet magnet. Chimeras are troop transports that add the only real mobility your troops will ever have. Not to mention it has awesome guns. Hellhounds roast infantry, and sentinels add mobility with the scout rule and can be very good at sniping vehicles or certain units.
While that's not a direct answer, it sets up the framework for the logic behind a lot of IG commanders. You tend to have a large block of infantry and then you pick how you want to add to that block to create the force you need. Certain doctrines allow to bypass that block and go for quality over quantity.
A horde of infantry as a gunline can work very well. Especially if you have an assasin or 2 in their midst. Once, 2 assault squads smashed into my line to start butchering my line squads, then my 3 eversor assasins came and slaughtered them.
In most games I'll be sporting 2 infantry platoons. One is lead my my HSO, and one lead by one junior officer with Honorifica. They each take one plasma gun, no heavy weapon, so it keeps them mobile, and they walk forwards with a tank using it as protection. I like the idea of it looking very WWII, infantry pushing up behind / supporting heavy armour. ok, if they do get into combat they're going to die, but the other squad and command squad can provide the firepower to wipe out anything that takes out one of the squads when it's free from combat.