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With 5th edition, vehicles heavy lists are the way to go. As far as mounted lists, we Imperial Guard players have a choice between using Chimeras and Valkyries/Vendettas.
Chimeras don't take up force organization slots, while Valkyries/Vendettas do, limiting their number and forcing squadrons.
Due to the force organization chart, purely airborne lists are not as practical as purely mechanized.
Which is more effective: Airborne, or Mechanized?
There really should be a selection on the poll for a bit of both. Sure the mechanized can get around, but will be slow if wanting to shoot, and at the same token airborne can move around quite a bit, but you are limited in number. I believe that if you want things to work out for the best, you need a mix of both tactics, such as Chimeras for ground support/HQ support, and Valkaries for quick objective grab/air support.
The middle two responses are for a mix. That's why the first and last responses are "pure."
Just choose the one that is dominant. i.e. 2 chimeras and a vendetta = mechanized.
While valks/vends are cool and stuff, they're too expensive and fragile to be used en bulk in an actual army. The chimeras are great utility vehicles - cheap, decent firepower, mobility & protection. They basically let you build your army as a guard was meant to be - lots of troops and/or lots of tanks.
I would use 2-3 valks/vends, but mainly my force would be in chimeras.
Why didnt you include a choice that includes both? I personaly use both in every single game and usualy in equal amounts. Vendettas act as snipers just like hammerheads, while armored vet squads have a beauty to them when they have a safe means of getting close ot use their short ranged weapons.
I take it you didn't read the poll choices; you would have asked why there were both "Purely Airborne" and "Airborne."
Too fragile? Certs was telling me yesterday about a guy who brought a full 9 birds to the table. One battle, this guy's opponent conceded in turn 2, he was getting whalloped so badly.
Personally, I go for a mix of air/ground forces, but, one or the other can be quite nasty as well.
"Speed is life! You go slow, you die!"
-Sgt. Unther, Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries
Airborne(Pure) can be pretty effective - read OP and cheesy. If you haven't tabled the opponent by turn 3, then you are either unlucky, fighting a horde army or bad at 40k.
But for most sensible players out there mechanised with some air support is extremely effective and allows flexible and tactical play against avariety of opponents.
I believe that purely mech (by which I mean Chimeras + Russes, Vendettas are simply too expensive and fragile, without a viable option to outflank it's not going to carry the day).
and meltas are a bit low range, if those reach valks; the valk player is playing his list wrong.
any enemy infantry carrying such will find a hard time catching valkyries let alone surviving being pieplated by a squadron or two when they finally get close enough (same goes for infantry melee).
when done right, the only thing the opponent can use reliably is long-ranged heavy weaponry.
which is always targetted first; so it basically comes down to how much heavy weaponry the opponent stacked in his list and then who can outroll the other first, usually the valks do it better still with their mobility in those cases.
anyways... mechanized and airborne the only way to go WTF!?!?!?! where's my all-infantry option, 202 guardsmen of infantry and command squads and 6 sentinels is my way of the guard.
sheer numbers, firepower, and orders spam.