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  1. #1
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    How to buy your Guard army ( A guide for 2011)

    Ok, the old guide dropped off the sticky thread, so here's some new basics (hopefully to be stickied by a passing mod):

    Buy the Codex.
    Without it it's like driving a car blindfolded without a steering wheel.
    You may well end up making illegal models If you don't know how the squads are equipped / can be equipped (even GW put a example model of a power sword and grenade launcher model up a short while back - That combination cannot be legally fielded by any means, although It looks cool.)

    I would highly recommend the main rule book too btw, but I'll assume you have that.

    What is the best starting point?

    I would highly recommend a Battalion, for the financial reasons, explained as follows:
    (Prices taken from the GW site 04/05/2011 )

    A Battalion is £ 56.50

    In it there is (Individual prices in brackets, if you bought them seperately)
    A Command Squad (£15.50 )
    2x Infantry Squads (2x £15.50 )
    A Heavy Weapon Squad (£20.50 )
    A Sentinal (£15.50 )
    (total of seperate purchases = £ 82.50 )

    Now, there are two seperate choices, Catachans or Cadians. These pretty much have the same components, (weapons, upgrades etc) but the bodies of the men look different so it's really a personal choice which you prefer.

    Let's Look at what is in those seperate boxes (or all if you got a battalion)

    A Command Squad
    In here you will find the parts to make 5x men, with lots of variety.
    One of the men is a officer, With different legs, torso (a choice of 3 torso's in fact) and head. One of the standard guardsmen legs is also kneeling, and some really nice heads to make your men / sgnts veterans etc really stand out.
    The Special weapons / unit upgrades are as follows (with stuff like heads):
    Medic Parts
    Standard Parts (Platoon or company, one of each)
    Heavy Flamer
    Plasma Gun
    Melta Gun
    Power fist
    Power sword
    Plasma Pistol

    Also found (but in infantry - although different)
    Vox (different detail on back and helmet)
    Flamer (Shoulder pad more detailed)
    Grenade Launcher (shoulder pad more detailed)
    Chainsword and Laspistol arms (different sleeves and pose)

    and some others - There are minor differences between Catachan and Cadian, Like The Catachan has a Boltgun (and flamer ammo webbing - sometimes converted into demo charges) Cadian has Servo skulls etc.

    Please be aware that Space marine melta / Plasma guns are easily converted from marine ones, if you use the grenade launcher arms. The torso's are lovely, and you will also get a "soft" torso (The tank commander if you don't use him ) in most tanks for a bit more variety

    Infantry Squad
    In this you will get 10 men, with the options for:
    Vox (and a helmet for it)
    Flamer (and backpack)
    Grenade Launcher (and webbing)
    Sgnt (as in bare head and loose helmet, chainsword and laspistol)
    # Please note, there are two different lasguns, and webbing.One has a bayonet attached to the gun (and empty sheath) and one does not (with filled sheath)
    With two squads You can have one with, and one without (and easily tell them apart)
    The arms are lettered for the pose on the sprue, so don't chop them up and mix them all or they won't fit as well. (you will end up with spares normally anyway )
    - This is the cadians, the catachans are not that different (exept loose weapons)

    # You can interchange the Heads quite easily (and even arms) - So your spare Sentinal driver / command heads will fit quite nicely on the torso's.
    ## - If you can get hold of spares you can do things like put catachan heads and arms on cadian torso's and legs to make a veteran squad (Non helmeted with bandana's and very muscly) or even empire bits / others with a bit of work, they're quite interchangable (or very easy to convert)

    A Heavy Weapon Squad
    This has three large bases (with two men on each) that can be used as a seperate heavy weapon squad, or you can replace 2 men in a infantry squad with a heavy weapon.
    You get three of every weapon, (Lascannon, Autocannon, Heavy Bolter) - that require a tripod (3 tripods supplied per box) and you also get three mortars and missile Launchers (which require the "bipod" like stand, 3 supplied per box)
    # Some people only have 1x kneeling guardsman per base, and stretch their heavy weapons out by just getting more large bases, and mixing in Infantry squad legs (or using the kneeling legs from the command squad) - Missile launchers aren't bad or you can mount the Lascannons etc on sandbags instead of tripods.
    ## The heads are different and you get things like pointing arms for a bit of variety if mixed in to your squads.

    A Sentinal
    This comes with all the Weapon options, and can be scout (a roll cage) or armoured (with top). You also have a pair of Catachan and Cadian Driver heads (and different arms) - these can be mixed in to your squads for variety as desired
    It also comes with Hunter Killers, Searchlight, Smoke launchers etc - It would be best to look at the codex for points on these and if you want them before gluing these on.
    All the weapons can be pretty much interchangable with a bit of converting using magnets, or even just blu-tac, wowever the "ammo feed" bits aren't (especially with the plasma cannon) - The standard multilaser power cell works quite well for me and I change between Lascannon, Autocannon and multilaser as I wish.

    # There is a catachan sentinal upgrade sprue with things like camo netting etc if you wanted.

    Now, I recognise that many people have different ways of getting their models, and different advice on how to buy / convert their models but this is a basic beginners guide, just using the GW site (or shop or independant where these will all be availiable)

    I also suggest planning your list and planning your purchases first (with a codex)

    More advanced stuff later, like tanks etc

    Last edited by stayscrunchyinmilk; May 4th, 2011 at 13:30.

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  4. #2
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    More Advanced Advice

    There aren't (currently) boxed sets with lots of tanks in as a discount from GW.
    Simply put, there is not much more than personal preference between the different turret and sponsoon weapons, I'll leave that to your personal choice depending on your overall army build / play style. (exept heavy Bolter turret chimeras and Heavy Flamer sponsoons on russes. I advise against them)
    The majority of kits have:
    The commander torso (and arms / shoulder pads) can be used to add variety to your Infantry squads or officers if you want.

    These are pretty simple models in reality, there's not much you can mess up with them. You may have to choose to glue either the hull heavy flamer / Heavy bolter (both have their uses) and the Turret Multilaser (recommended) Heavy Flamer or Heavy Bolter (Not recommended at all) upon assembly if you're not good at converting with magnets.

    Hellhound, Devil dog, Bane Wolf
    Well, unless great with magnets you have to pick the turret upon assembly. This has a different tank commander (with a funny back if memory serves) so he's less useable in your infantry for spares / variety.

    Leman Russ Demolisher, Executioner, Punisher
    These are lovely models, and the turret is again, your choice. The important thing here is to choose if you want sponsoons or not - You can easily make the weapons interchangable (even with a bit of blu tac) but you won't be able to take the sponsoons off. Some people can make the turrets interchangable, but that's quite tough.

    Leman Russ, Vanquisher, Exterminator
    Pretty much the same as the Demolisher box

    I would recommend Hull heavy bolters / Lascannons (and no sponsoons) for your typical Russ (To be used for shooting at range) And Maybe flamers / sponsoons (melta's are pricy but useful) for the close up russ varients (The demolisher springs to mind here, or any with AV 11 - This is very important for your tanks survival)
    Mind you, the closer ranged tanks tend to die a lot quicker, so another school of thought is to not add upgrades, keep it as cheap as possible as it's far more likely to die anyway - and this isn't bad thinking either

    Manticore , Deathstrike
    These aren't interchangable and It's pretty dedicated as tanks go. I suggest hull heavy bolter, not flamer (you really want to avoid having anyone that close, or be moving full speed away if they are) - I honestly can't remember what the commanders like, but assume it's like the chimera's

    This is a basalisk. Heavy Bolter or Heavy flamer (I recommend The Bolter) - If memory serves It has 2x crewmeen, made using Heavy Weapon Team Crewmen. I'm unsure what the re-done kit is is all honesty, (I last got them before they were re-done) but I think they had the tank upgrade sprue in them. (Nice commaqnder bits - swap with your officers!)

    now this is a beautiful kit.
    Top tip - for the canopy use PVA (White wood glue) to finish assembly after painting, It dries see through and if messed up is removable with water / a nail.
    I highly recommend you do not use the Hellstrike Missiles, They're a appauling (but really good looking) weapon option.
    If you're ever going to get forgeworld ever, I recommend the Vendetta (three twin linked lascannon) uopgrade kit (err... a bit advanced for beginners advice I know) It's easy to do and make, and really, really good in the game.
    - The door gunners (and their shoulder pads) are ok to mix in to your army (the bodies are different, but as advisors / get a few and stormtrooper conversions etc)
    - The side doors can be assemblerd so they're slideable (and the back openable)
    - For best painting, Painting the interior and cockpit before finishing assembly is recommended.

    Bits packs

    They're a bit of a decadance but some add so much detail (sometimes) I'll go through them:

    Imperial Guard Tank Accessory sprue
    One of these used to be included with every IG tank. They can add some nice touches (like Track Guards) and have some other nice bits, notably the Tank Commander ( a nice peaked cap for the officers) and heads (get enough any you can make a cadian com-linked vet squad) I also like the stowage like extra fuel drum, pickaxe and spade, and loose jerrycans (for scenery / objectives). It is extra money for not many points in your army though.

    Imperial Guard Stowage
    I'm sorry, I really don't see the point in doing far less than what's on the accessory sprue in metal for 50p less. Get the accessory sprue.

    Tank Commanders and Pask
    They're nice, they are pretty unique, I really like the russian tank crew style padded heads. They mean pretty much nothing other than adding Detail (or Pask, he isn't really worth the points in my opinion, but adding him to something with many guns may make it worthwhile - because of the the BS increase )

    Imperial Guard Heads
    Now, This may surprise a lot of people, but I really like these. I got them on pretty much a whim, and I don't think the photo's do them justice at all - The bearded monacled officer head, or the alternate peaked cap officer head, there's a couple that are In my opinion catachan, and a servitor one, ones with piercings - they add so much sprinkles across a force.
    There is a lot of variety here that's not found elsewhere, and really good detail. they are however, still a £ to no points luxury.

    Leman Russ accessory Pack
    This exists so you can add a Leman Russ Turret to your planetstrike buildings.

    Baneblade sponsoons and accessories
    This exists to add extra sponsoons to your baneblade (pretty much, definately at that cost ) - not really for a beginners purchase

    Imperial guard aquillas
    Not Really £ to points effective. I have enough leftover from other Imperial sprues anyway.

    Imperial guard Crew
    Lovely models, full of detain, beautifully done. If i was going to do a base diorama or painting competition entry I may well get these, not for a army though.

    Squadron Command Frame
    It's not much and the antennae box (with massive aquilla) looks really nice on a Leman Russ painted up as a command tank.
    The leftovers can be swapped with other players for their bits if you wanted. Not £ to points worthwhile, but not many £ for the detail either.

    I cry a little bit inside every time I see someone buy these - they come in the Battalions. Unless you're doing a army with 9x in please avoid. mind you, that's my view as I had 6 odd before the new dex, so I'm very biased.

    Other Units

    Rough Riders
    I think they're cool. They're as resiliant as wet paper, fall over in a stiff breeze and one shot but I like them
    However, at £ 7.20 each the very cool mongolian looking models are WAAAAY too pricey for me.
    I converted mine out of Outriders - swapping the torso's for cadian ones, then adding spears made out of plastic rodding and spare mortars.

    A metal model, They're really not bad in the game (not really as good as a dedicated combat unit in other armies) but surprisingly shooty and liable to cause some mess in melee.
    However, I am really put off by the £ cost of them (they're not honestly points effective at all) They're decadant, I'd avoid them as a beginner

    I personally don't cheer sniper rifles in a IG army very much, however these are the most points effective per sniper rifle availiable to you. They're not a very good unit (Tend to die, horribly, and quickly due to the low T), certainly not £ cheap but lovely models nonetheless. These are really relegated to theme armies, in my opinion.

    Now we're talking, very cool models, (either Kaskirin or the older ones) and not too bad in the game either (airbourne with melta guns is quite a common sight)
    unfortunately my wallet starts crying every time I look at them, especially the special weapons
    # Tip - If you saved up enough bits you can try to make these from plastic, e.g. A bunch Of Valkyrie door gunners, OR Tank Commander torso's with Vehicle Crew shoulder pads, etc. The world is your oyster! convert away! (Oh, forgeworld Respirator Heads are really nice here, But let's not get ahead of ourselves)

    Psyker Battle Squads
    - Now, GW do do a pack of 3 Psykers, but they're all too same-pose for my taste, and being solid metal cast fairly £ expensive too (to me anyway)
    However, a box of empire Flagellants works pretty well for them with a little converting.

    GW don't do conscript models. That's because you just use the standard models (with a slightly different paint job)
    - They are however, appauling in the game. For a minor reduction in points per guardsmen you lose all the squad upgrade options, make your shooting far worse, yourself easier to hit and... just gey standard Infantry unless it's part of a theme

    Penal Troops
    I did mine as follows: all men had shaved heads (flagellant spares, Various command / bits heads, it's easy to remove mohicans) and I added extra knives to every model, made sure i had the bayonet lasguns, and did nicks and knacks. The penal officers had the catchan peaked cap / bits pack peaked cap.
    Many people say they're rubbish, sincerely, they're random but really can be great (especially outflanking)

    There aren't really any vet models (unless yo uwanted to get the different metal models which are expensive and chip, with limited special / heavy weapons sometimes) - as nice as that Is just using the standard catachans . cadians and converting them a bit (the great heads / extra equipment like backpacks is good, or a good paint scheme. The forgeworls Veteran upgrade packs are ideal here too. I personally use a lot of Cadians, then Catchans for my Vets (and a company command squad) so they're easily identifiable

    They have a few options that are best converted as follows:
    Demolitions - A really good Upograde, Metal Demo charges (for catachan) are good for this, and availiable from GW or the Cadian Forge World Packs have them too. I've seen them reprasented by the Catchan command flamer ammo webbing, or just rod with a fuse (like dynamite) Krak grenades from the space marine assault squad / scouts works well here.
    Scouts - The Empire outrider cloaks are easily attached as camo cloaks, and the SM scout ropes reprasent good trip wires.
    Carapace Armour - SM scout torso's are ideal, or extra armoured torso's (with the tank crew shoulder pads ) work well here also. Some people greenstuff kneecaps etc

    Advisors Etc
    There are a lot of other bits and bobs, availiable from GW - convert away if you feel like it (I'd be typing reams and reams to try to cover them all)
    Some Items are availiable in the witch hunter / daemon hunter sections (priests spring to mind) , or even Necromunda (good vet squads can be found there)


    Paint Schemes
    A good paint scheme can really pull a army together, I suggest a simple sheme (you can always go back with detail) - like a couple of foundation paints with a wash to get the base colours on 50+ men, and go back with the detail later (Tallern flesh and devlan mud for skin works well)
    - Unless you're a expert, I wouldn't start doing a 8 different shade camo pattern over your 100 troops, it may get disappointing very quickly! (as it takes ages)

    For a IG army this, in my opinion is just as important - It really pulls it together (and having the paint scheme to match helps too, e.g. a desert camo scheme on ice probably won't work that well.
    I also recommend adding rubble / detail (chopped up spares from your/other armies works well) to a base, - Using PVA (white wood glue, apply with a old brush), spreading the sand over it, (tapping the exess off when dried) and undercoating afterwards helps keep it all attached.
    Last edited by stayscrunchyinmilk; May 5th, 2011 at 09:19.

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    Son of LO Marnepup's Avatar
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    Fantastic write-up. My own cadians are fifteen years old, so I had no idea what's in the current battalion box...I'm actaully pretty impressed. Except for maybe the sentinel, 99% of players will need every model in the box. That's not common...usually, these package deals end up being marginally cheaper than buying the stuff that you actually want/need separately, and then have some almost completely useless junk thrown in as an unwanted "bonus." This one,'s a good buy, and I'd find that buying three of them would be a fantastic starting point...six nicely kitted infantry squads (I assume you have to take the heavy weapons from the "heavy weapons squad" if you want to equip the infantry squads?), two platoon command squads, a company command squad, one (since you canibalized the other two for the six infantry squads) heavy weapons squad, and a squadron of sentinels....that makes a very nice core to an army, needing only some heavy support and some fast attack (besides the sentinel squadron) to round it out. And cheap at the price!

    On painting:

    Expect a ton of different colors for even a simple paint's not like space marines, where you can get by with one color for the armor, a contrasting color for the eyes and such, and a third (plus boltgun metal, to make four) for the bolter....which makes for a perfectly satisfactory paint job. For guard, even if you're not (yet) putting a camo pattern on the fatigues, it takes a lot more color to get them looking even halfway decent. Exposed skin takes at least two shades of some kind of flesh tone, or one and a wash (so you can see the individual fingers, and facial detail) the eyes, at least. Then there's the color of the cloth, a different color for the boots, belt, pouches, and so on. The color of the armor. Two colors, at least, for the lasgun.

    Stayscrunchyinmilk is right, though...when starting out, just put the base color for what may someday become a camo pattern on the cloth're working with a lot of different colors as it is, and you've got potential for as many infantry as orks or nids...but you can't get away with orky (messy) or natural (absence of clean lines) looking paint. Slop the blue armor color onto the tan fatigues, and it jumps right off the model at the viewer as a mistake. So try to keep it to eight or so colors at first...

    This takes thirteen colors for regular joes (more for special models), and 2.5 hours per model, which is not something you want to be doing when you're hungry to get a painted army on the table quickly:

    By deleting the camo pattern and the highlighting, you could turn out models that look 80% as nice with 50% of the effort in 30% of the time....and nothing would prevent you from going back at a later date and "finishing".

    Basing is also pretty important. I'd echo everything Stayscrunchyinmilk said about that, even a simple bit of gravel, like in the photo above, looks much better than a bare (even painted) base, and doesn't take much effort at all. I would caution that if you are considering competitive play, if you go the quick and simple route, as I have with this army, you'll probably be penalized when the appearance is graded, since at that level there seems to be an expectation that you put significant effort into the basing of your models. In fact, I'm laboriously rebasing one of my other armies in order to eke out a few more points when I enter that one in tournaments. But for random games at the local shop, even the simple bit of multicolored gravel on my bases exceeds the standard.
    Last edited by Marnepup; May 4th, 2011 at 19:51.
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  7. #4
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    Actually, I may well refresh one of my old guides (and basing, or attach a link to one)

    - to be done in the future / weekend (with photo's)

    and maybe a bit on griffons / hydras / medusas etc

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    a friend of mine suggested me to buy the "apocalypse box" if i need to build a lot of infantrymen in a single run... but i made a quick search and didn't find anything for the IG... only something for the space marines...
    do you have any info on this box? (like, does this really exist? where i can get one?)

  9. #6
    Senior Member stayscrunchyinmilk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frost89 View Post
    "apocalypse box"
    do you have any info on this box? (like, does this really exist? where i can get one?)
    They released a bunch of deal boxes with the release of apocalypse, and frequently do so for christmas (or the approach to)
    However it's not a regular box set

    They were boxes for : 3x basalisks / 3x Leman russes / 10x Leman Russes / and even a whopping big box with a entire IG company (If i remember right it had about 300+ men at a great deal for £'s )

    However, if they do stuff like that again (or in that scale) i'll be surprised - there was some trouble with independants buying all they could get, breaking them up and selling them on ebay, which led to a lot of contract changes for independant stockists (like, no opening the boxes at all as a condition of supply) which is a shame really.
    Last edited by stayscrunchyinmilk; May 6th, 2011 at 00:41.

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