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Relatively simple question, with several different answers, and just looking to see what other Guard players use. In a nutshell, how do you guys build your leadership networks in your Guard armies? The basic guard leadership of 7 means we have to expend some points to give us a tough, resolute force, and as far as I can think of, there's really only two or three primary options for how to go about that.
The Vox-Network--The core of leadership comes from a Heroic Senior Officer with a master-vox, passing his leadership value of 9 (or 10, if you add a commissar) down to any squad with a vox-caster. The downside of this option is that a master-vox costs 25 points and each vox is an additional 5. Also, if the HSO gets whacked, the leadership of the entire army plummets. However, as long as he's alive, you get a solid leadership value stretched across your whole army.
Veteran Sergeants--Veteran Sarges contribute a respectable leadership of 8 to each of their squads for 6 points (slightly more than a basic vox-caster), without the need for centralized leadership like the HSO on a master-vox. This strategy can also be combined with Close Order Drill to bring the leadership value up to 9, with the downside of making you more vulnerable to blast and ordance weapons.
Overlapping Leadership Radius--This strategy is kinda similar to Tyranid synapse coverage, with a few officers providing their leadership in overlapping rings to the troops. This could be accomplished by purchasing a normal Heroic Senior Officer and then giving an Honorifica Imperialis to a Junior Officer to create two officers who can cover the entire width of the board (each with a 12" radius) conferring a leadership of 9 on all units. This is a bit less centralized than the vox-network, but still more vulnerable than the Veteran Sergeants approach.
So how do you guys ensure that your troops don't run? What items/doctrines/upgrades do you use? The Guard codex gives us ample tools to bolster our leadership, with officer leadership radius, vox-casters, veteran sergeants, standard bearers, trademark items, Iron Discipline, Close Order Drill, etc. Hell, for the truly brave we even have Chem-Inhalers! So what works for you? What hasn't worked? Any whacky ideas/strategies not mentioned here?
And finally, maybe we should put an FAQ together here, about what meshes with what leadership wise, in the guard army. More than anything, that seems to cause headaches. I feel that I've personally got a pretty good grasp on the mechanics, but I'm still not sure if a Trademark Item could be used by a squad borrowing the officer's leadership, and if that is the case, what units would have to take a morale test if the owner of the TMI dies? Just an idea, to add an extra dynamic to the discussion.
Personally, I blend vox-network, Iron Discipline, and overlapping leadership spheres.
All officers get ID. I put a regular vox in a HSO/TMI/Commissar HQ and regular voxes in Armored Fist and infiltrating Light Infantry squads as they're most likely to get out of leadership influence range. The idea is that because the bulk of the squads are covered by their platoon JO bubble, odds are good that the vox will only be needed once a turn. This gives me the ability to be mobile, but also redundant in my leadership coverage for the bulk of my army in case the HQ gets hosed. If a unit really needs to hold, I'll give them a vox too.
Sometimes I'll put an honorifica on a light infantry JO platoon commander and give him a powerfist, a commissar, and a couple GLs, so he can put 10 Ld and a hard counter-assault on a couple infiltrating light inf. squads. He might also get a regular vox for more redundancy. This also allows 2 uses of vox at Ld 10, and the vox network is still cheaper than a master unit, although the HI JO is way dang expensive. That's if I'm really feeling punchy in a high point game.
As for questionable rules, my friendly game crew play with the Commissar bonus working over vox; with TMI not working over vox or in leadership range but only for the command squad for both re-rolls and morale check (the wargear list says "in person"); and that a Commissar only kills an officer if the officer's unit fails Ld, not if a squad inside an officer's leadership 12" blows a Ld roll (as it's the sgt who's found lacking, not the officer). Just our agreed interp.
I use Leadership/ID(&standard).
unless you're using only grenadiers as troops, you're going to have command squads (usually more than 2).
i feel that it is prudent to minimize expenses (ACAP) in order to maximize the number of men and guns i have.
since we already basically have to purchase command squad, you might as well use them for your leadership. it's bascially free (or close to it) and effective.
yes, you can spend alot of points of a Voxnetwork or alot of VetSgts. but these points could imho be better spent on the aforementioned "men and guns".
if spread out correctly, it is rather easy to have your whole army under Leadership bubbles.
downsides of taking vox: if you loose your mastervox, you're hurting.
downside of VetSgts: it makes it harder to fail Ld tests (and there are many times when you'd want to fail!).
It depends on the type of game I am playing. In a large game, I like Master Vox, Commissar for LD10 for the whole Army. I always take a standard for my firebase.
If it is a small game I use ID and Vet Sgts/ COD. This usually is enough I find even in bigger games.
Iron Discipline is well worth the 5 pts. Its only downside is the cost of a Doctorine Slot.
Leadership with 4ed is much more important than it used to be, so it's important to have at least LD9 IMO.
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
Sir Winston Churchil
In my Elysian list, I use:
Vet Sgts simply so they get access to the Elysian 3 point grenade launcher combi weapon.
Vox so they can use the HSO's ld. of 9 (+1 more for a commissar too?)
Elysians also have Iron Discipline, which means keeping a Junior officer supporting each platoon.
Interestingly, this thread has now made me change my mind, from now on I'll be fielding plasmagunners in squads instead of vet sgt's.
I'll rely on the vox network & junior officers a bit more and not be facinated with give pretty toys to troopers on whom a 9 point upgrade is wasted when a 10 point plasma gun could take its place.
My squads now look like:
Sgt. with pistol & ccw.
Total cost 90 points.
The plasma is more powerful than the aux grenade laucher, longer ranged, and more entertaining when it melts my own troopers.
Scratch the pistol & ccw for the sgt. that should just be a standard Lasgun.
How come I can't edit my posts?
I'm going to run two command squads for leadership purposes to replace my current army spanning vox network which I've come to think of as a waste of points.
One squad will be a HSO with ID, Standard and a mortar and one vox caster. The second squad will be a JO with HI, ID, a Mortar and another vox caster. Like this I can send ld9 to two squads out of range of the officers one per turn without having to spend points on a master vox. I probably won't run more than 30p of vox. The second vox in the second command squad will most of the time be nothing more than a backup if the first command squad is killed but it might come in handy should two squads outside the 12" radius need to take a test at ld9.
Leadership radius for my normal guard , for my mechanized I use a vox network...
for my "normal" gaurd, I use Independent commissars, Sharp Shooters, Conscripts, Close-Order Drill, Heavy Weapon Platoons...
mechanized guard use, Mechanized, Jungle Fighters, Hardened Fighters, Veterans, Cyber Ehancement... (yes I know about the cyber enhancement, but i works for me...)
i use all of them usually in smaller pt games i take a jo for hq hence vet sarge come in handy. then my army has ld8(9 if i take close order drill and arange them as stated) in lower pt game the doctrine pt dosent hurt. i like vet sarge cause bolters and storm bolters make my army much better vs nids orks etc