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  1. #1
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    Tutorial: Designing an Army List

    I have seen many an army list that can be fixed up with basic changes that take nothing away from fluff and can save you a lot of hassles. I invite other veteran IG players to throw their opinions in here. I'll go by subject and design chronology and different ways of going about it.

    Imperial Guard
    The best thing to remember about Imperial Guard is that an army can be made for anybody. With so many doctrines and alternate organizations, plus the host of Forge World equipment, its a wonder if two armies ever look the same. You can masses of tanks, men, a mix, or just a few elite men in a few upgraded tanks. You can use doctrines from existing armies, or combine them to make your own. Then you get to chose paint schemes and banners and fluff. Next to Orks the Imperial Guard are probably the most versatile army list out there.

    The Steps
    There are steps involved to making an army, some are optional, some aren't. You can make the decisions in any order you want but here are the ones you must decide upon:
    -Basic Army Structure -
    There are 2 different army structures you can choose from: Infantry Company, and Tank Army. Each of these have sub-classifications, which can be further chosen from, called alternate organizations: these are for Infantry: Infantry, Mechanized, Grenadier, and tank: Siege or heavy. Each has their merit and reputations so lets look into detail.

    -Infantry- This is the army you will see 50-60% of the time. Is has a few tanks, some specialized units and lot and lots of ground pounding infantry. They can have anywhere from 55 to 260 men, and 0-25 vehicles, plus innumerable heavy weapons, such as the heavy bolter, and special weapons, such as the plasma-gun. Different combinations of these can create armies of varying table-top effectiveness, and fluff, or back story, effectiveness.

    -Mechanized- This is a rare army to see in the greater model quantities simply because of the monetary cost. Simply put, every unit which is labeled as Imperial Guard Infantry, by the codex, must take a chimera tank. That means, on average, each infantry platoon will cost you $150 US (roughly £60GBP) to make. Plus supplies. If you wish to start this I hope you have lots of money or find a really good deal. For further information I'll direct you here (Mechanized Grenadiers) and here. (Mechanized / Grenadier Forum). The person who wrote them is very well versed in the grenadier and mechanized areas, he would be of great help if your interested.

    -Grenadiers these are companies formed of the stormtroopers that the Inquisition uses. They are a relatively slight improvement, man for man, over normal guardsmen. Where I have not found any practical use for such units, I do use the doctrine. And for any further question, click on the links mentioned above.

    -Armored Company- This is an army you'll come across as a second or third army more often. Simply because its a very hit-or-miss army. Some armies are geared up enough towards tanks that they will be able to defeat you while barely exercising their brain. While others have little or no anti-tank abilities within them, making them push overs. This is a very popular army however because of set up time, model building and plain coolness factor. Wait to see the look on that GK player's face when you pull out 14 pie plates. You can field 3-17 tanks in one army, and up to 60 infantry. However the downside to Armored company is that, if you lose a single tank, you lose a significant portion of the points you invested. Here are downloadable rules for the Armored Company list.

    -Heavy- This army is simply Russes and variants, arguably the best tanks point for point in the whole of 40k.
    -Siege- While this army is made of artillery, such as the basilisk and gryphon, very limited in smaller games, but wonderful for 4000+ megagames.

    This sums up the alternate army lists and organizations with my opinion on each one.

    - Designing a Decent List
    Every one of the previously mentioned units has rules and a wide range of models which you can chose from. Many are useful, many more are considered not. This all depends on how you plan to play. For more details on units, click here and here. these will give a basic layout of the units. Now you need to decide which rout your taking. One thing to always keep in mind, I'll underline it so that you can remember it. Every unit has a strength and a weakness. By designing your army to place over-lapping shields, so to speak, over the weaknesses and broadening the strengths you can significantly increase the odds of defeating any given opponent you come up against. In short Create a balanced list!

    How you start isn't all that critical, unless you want to start playing right away. In which case, if your going with a normal Infantry Platoon, you can start with a command squad and two platoons of 25 men, or a command squad, a single platoon, and an armored fist squad. Or you want to just mess around for a bit and eventually meet a predetermined army, then buy them how ever you feel.

    There are a few quirks when designing a list that can be of help, both money wise and army wise. I'm sure I'll forget a few so I ask for help from other members.
    -When starting off at your command platoon, make your leader a Junior Officer, and give him the Honorifca Imperialis. You get a Heroic Senior officer for a saving of a small amount of points.
    -When making storm trooper drop squads, instead off making one unit of ten, make two of five. Then buy two Kasrkin Special weapons blisters. Then put the meltas into one squad and use them for deep striking behind the enemy, and use the other to do the same or spearhead assaults.
    -Try to avoid using mortars in line squads, there usefulness is not very apparent there. Instead, put the mortars in to your command squads and keep those squads well away from the fire fights. Use other heavy weapons like the heavy bolter or the missile launcher in its place. These will both give you flexibility in how you play.

    Other little thing to remember
    Quote Originally Posted by Guardsman 173rd
    First off, great idea, when an army list is submitted to the army list forum, you find a scarily great number of similarities between different lists. Those similarities are often
    1. Too much wargear (Does your heroic senior officer really need a powerfist, trademark item, refractor field and a bolt pistol?)
    2. Too much vehicle upgrades (armoured crew compartment on sentinels etc)
    3. Weapon mixing. (flamer and a grenadelauncher for your stormtrooper squad, not a good idea)(though this phenomena is GWs fault, since their basic trooper kits doesn't supply you with a large number of plasma or melta guns )
    Quote Originally Posted by BoxANT
    Good post, I hope it helps many a Guard Commander.

    I just have a few tips to add
    (this is assuming that you want to make a hard list)

    1. Focus on your strenghts. Guard shoot, so try to maximize your shooting ability. The last thing a Guardsmen needs is to be out shot.
    from Forger: I agree to play to your strength but some armies have different strengths, shooting is simply the most common.

    2. Quanity > Quality. See #1 by 173rd gaurdsmen.
    from Forger: I give my officers power weapons and/or plasma pistols, but not too much. It just adds a little flexablity.

    3. Heavy Weapons are your friend. Take LOTS of them. Unless a squad will have an extremely mobile roll, it should be bringing a Heavy Weapon. There's no excuse not to, they're just too important not to bring! Even if you plan on moving alot, there WILL be many times where you're going to want to blast those charging Nids to hell.

    4.)[i]From Forger, Paraphrasing BOXant: Some heavy/special combinations work better than others. Guns that have similar ranges should be grouped together.
    4.) Its usually good to have a general goal for your untis to have. Ie, flanking, spearhead, reinforcment, line, etc. That way you can save yourself a few problems.

    Come up with some fluff for your army
    No one likes to see a millionth Cadian 8th Regiment or the Catachan 7th for the 5th time, Mix it up. Heres an example of some rather in-depth fluff I created for my regiment. here. (The New A Bit More Coheirant Fluff Of.....) Now you don't need to come up with something that complex, but it is an example of how far it can go. Fluff can also help you decide how to paint your army, or what units should be in it. In fact, I found it easier to based my army on the German armies of WWII, using roughly the same mix of mechanized, infantry, tanks, and support that they did (I know I'll catch flak for this but its the truth). You can come up with a variety of different themes, some or most, not having anything to do with anything on Earth.

    Choosing a paint scheme
    My only advice is to keep it simple, and use basic techniques to pass your guard off as a respectable foe. If you try to use more complicated methods on an army with 300 models, you could burn your self out for a while. Guard models aren't expected to be well done, there are just supposed to be a lot of them.



    _____________________________________

    I have given you the basics and I hope you find collecting an Imperial Guard army easier because of me. Here are a list of other sites you may, or may not find useful.
    Basic link to beginning IG and other adivce
    A site to advanced army list models, such as armored and air calvary.
    Sample lists from your fellow LOers, not necessarily well thought out
    Infantry/Armor mixed ([2250] Imperial Guard- 143rd Company of the 26th Vinacium)
    Mechanized ([1500] IG Mechanised Infantry)
    Mostly Infantry ([1500] Imperial Guard (defensive))
    And lastly
    Armored Company ([1700] Armored Company)

    PS To those that have something to add or correct, please do so. I've just been seeing a lot of people telling a lot of other people the basics of building an army. And if some one could find me a doctrine break down, I'll add that as well.

    Last edited by Forger of Civilization; September 15th, 2005 at 02:39.
    Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
    143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
    159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
    69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)

    Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Guardsman 173rd's Avatar
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    First off, great idea, when an army list is submitted to the army list forum, you find a scarily great number of similarities between different lists. Those similarities are often
    1. Too much wargear (Does your heroic senior officer really need a powerfist, trademark item, refractor field and a bolt pistol?)
    2. Too much vehicle upgrades (armoured crew compartment on sentinels etc)
    3. Weapon mixing. (flamer and a grenadelauncher for your stormtrooper squad, not a good idea)(though this phenomena is GWs fault, since their basic trooper kits doesn't supply you with a large number of plasma or melta guns )

    Generally the normal rank and file troopers are born down with expensive upgrades and fancy equipment, which sadly doesn't make them especially effective. One thing to remember is that we have all done these sorts of lists, and on paper they're fluffy, different, fun and logical in some strange way. Another common factor is the army development, why does your army have 1 leman russ, 1 chimera 50 guardsmen and 5 stormtroopers? this might also be GWs fault because of the prices, players that doesn't spend a lot of money on warhammer doesn't have as large chance to really make the army they want.

    A key thing to do when designing an army list is to first sit down and figure out, what is this army going to do? and which unit(s) will it achieve this? Basically give all your units different roles on the battlefield.

    If your playing cleanse for an instance, what units will be your fast elements? There's nothing more annoying than being pushed into a corner because you lack the mobility to do something about it. those units could be: Deepstriking guardsmen, armourd fist squads, hellhound, demolisher? there are tons of options. Say you have assembled your objective snatching part of the army, what about firebase?

    etc, etc go on and use the strengths of all your units. as closet_anarchist said,

    "Every unit has a strength and a weakness. By designing your army to place over-lapping shields, so to speak, over the weaknesses and broadening the strengths you can significantly increase the odds of defeating any given opponent you come up against."


    Or you can go and make a an army based on a few game mechanics like, armoured company or mass infantry, these are the most effective (when not facing an opponent which is prepared) lists and can be quite fun to play with, but sometimes it isn't fun to roll over a SM player who has 2 lascannons with your 8 leman russes.

    well that's my opinion on the subject, keep it simple and remember your units roles.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daviszko
    Guardsman 173rd, those are incredible - you've impressed me and my friend who I linked it to. Nice work!!
    http://artpad.art.com/?ihxjyl1j1r4s
    http://artpad.art.com/?ihxveyxdfp4
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  4. #3
    I have a cunning plan no1cafc's Avatar
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    great posts by the way

    i used to over equip everything which resulted in me running out of points rather quickly and not fitting the right units into my lists. it may seem nice giving your gaurdsmen carapace armour but it isnt that cost effective as gaurdsmen are supposed to be cheap so you can get lots of them into your army meaning more special and heavy weapons.

    for your hq is a medic and kitted out officer really essential if you just want to use the officers leadership

    the points you can save will often allow you to add an extra squad to a platoon or more heavy weapons that you will actually use

    when writting try to write a basic list first then see what you can add
    eg.for 1500pts limit yourself to 1200 to 1350 trying to fit what you need into those point brackets and then you know that you have plenty of points for upgrades or even more units at the end this should help keep your list balanced and for those of you who overspend points quickly it will help keep prioritys first

  5. #4
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    Has this helped anyone?
    Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
    143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
    159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
    69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)

    Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces

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    I was reading the army types and wondered is there a structure that an army not under one of those catagories should follow??? I mean what about an army combining several different strategies from that list.
    A Lizard Wearing Boots XD

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    Join the Asgard Army and go to http://www.stargatewars.com/recruit....d=uu1125371252

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    The light has been seen...
    Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
    143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
    159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
    69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)

    Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces

  8. #7
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    Nice work Forger, well written and thought through. This is a must read for new IG players and people thinking of playing IG. I would like to see it in the Pinned articles.

    Some of the best things about IG are its versatility, individuality and types of play. You want to take lots and lots of troops, IG is for you. You are a Tread Head like me, we have the best and coolest tanks in 40k. You want a challenging army to play, yup IG is the way to go.
    "A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
    Sir Winston Churchil

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    Senior Member Guardsman 173rd's Avatar
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    sad fact not more people has written in this thread, think it contains good and solid information which many new players could appreciate.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daviszko
    Guardsman 173rd, those are incredible - you've impressed me and my friend who I linked it to. Nice work!!
    http://artpad.art.com/?ihxjyl1j1r4s
    http://artpad.art.com/?ihxveyxdfp4
    http://artpad.art.com/?ihz6s11k5ao

  10. #9
    Lasgun Cell Cook BoxANT's Avatar
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    Good post, I hope it helps many a Guard Commander.

    I just have a few tips to add
    (this is assuming that you want to make a hard list)

    1. Focus on your strenghts. Guard shoot, so try to maximize your shooting ability. The last thing a Guardsmen needs is to be out shot.

    2. Quanity > Quality. Leave the fancy wargear to the Marines. We're guardsmen and we get by with a lasgun and a piece of flak. This even applies to Officers. They don't need all those "cool" wargears. They just need Iron Disp/Standard and perhaps HSO/carapce.

    3. Heavy Weapons are your friend. Take LOTS of them. Unless a squad will have an extremely mobile roll, it should be bringing a Heavy Weapon. There's no excuse not to, they're just too important not to bring! Even if you plan on moving alot, there WILL be many times where you're going to want to blast those charging Nids to hell.

    4. Special Weapons should compliment your Heavy Weapon.
    Lascannon (PG)
    HeavyBolter (GL,PG,flamer(in cqb)
    Autocannon (PG,GL)
    MissleLauncher (PG)

    note, don't put Meltaguns in a squad w/ a HW. Don't Put Mortars in a squad (other than out of LOS command squad).


    there's alot more, but these are the most important imo.

  11. #10
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    I disagree, so unless I get a few PMs in support of boxANT, I'll keep it down within the posts. The part about single expensive units is correct though.
    Three Companies of the 26th Vinancium
    143rd Airborne Badgers (99.9% done)
    159th Corsair Rifles (35% done))
    69th Armored Wall Busters (95% done)

    Total 197 men, 12 tanks, 4 Heavy Artillery Pieces

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