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I'm an Eldar player considering starting an IG force.
A number of the weapons availible on artillary are quite appealing, however they are expensive and seem extremely easy to terminate. Which is bad both for losing a valuable gun and for giving up easy kill points. Also the current rules on no LOS indirect fire make it less appealing.
So I was wondering about using cheap griffens as ablative armor for better guns. My plan for deployment would be something like setting the expensive gun on top of a hill and the griffens behind the hill.
The main gun would then likely have LOS for indirect fires and have the option for direct fire. The Griffens would contribute to whatever the main gun is shooting at, but they would also provide a cover save for the squad as a whole and I could allocate damage to them.
Does that seem like a good idea?
The problem is, a Griffon can reroll it's scatter - which is likely better than the -3" from the main gun. You're also using up a slot you could put more Leman Russ in.
"The sergeant major asked me what my job is. I told him it's to do what I am told. He gave me a medal. I like the Imperial Guard."
"Innocentia Probat Nihil"
Not a good idea, and for several reasons. The first is footprint; a squadron of vehicles is much harder to protect from close combat (the real vehicle killer for IG) than a single vehicle. The second is incompatible weapons; the Griffon's short range makes it not work well with Basilisks or Colossi and the Medusa is direct fire-only, so it would be nothing more than an ablative shell. You might as well bring a second big gun and enjoy the full benefits of squadroning. A third reason is wound allocation. I would rather do five instant-death, no-armor wounds to a unit that those five wounds plus a normal armor save...things like that allow sergeants, characters and other upgraded models to survive.
A better way to provide a cover save would be to simply park a Chimera in front of it, maybe a platoon command squad with flamers to act as a counter-charge unit? If you're going with a mechanized list then artillery fragility might not even come up, not if you can keep pressure on the enemy. Remember also that nothing is sacred in the Imperial Guard; if the enemy wants to kill your artillery, or any other specific unit, then he probably will. It's better to let your artillery risk a quick death than spend a lot of points trying to keep it safe.
Believe it or not, I personally see the fragility of artillery as a good thing. For example, I'll park a Basilisk in a far corner and take a few shots with it, just business as usual. Then some enemy outflankers show up and either charge the Bassie or light it up with meltas. Thanks to being stationary and open-topped, the Bassie is almost sure to explode and the enemy is almost sure to be within the blast radius. They take some wounds (outflankers rarely have great armor) and then they're standing in the open, bunched up close and ready to take some payback.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.