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I've read quite a bit about IG, and I've figured out what the various units can or cannot do, however, I still haven't figured out what I can do with a army of IG. I get the idea they have lives to throw away, but what kind of armies can they be?
Static shooty's obvious, anything else?
with all there doctrines they are one of the MOST diverse armies you can play. although they can be quite expensive $$$ wise they are also allot of fun.
I recommend getting the codex if you havent and read up on the army and all the doctrine choices.
lots of people play hard core grenadier armies. these guys are basicaly guardsmen who have a little more staying power against standard enemy weaponry as well as having the ability to hit the targets they aim at.
you may try a mechanized force which is guardsmen who are all mounted in chimeras. these are a huge hole in the wallet but if your intrested, go ahead. very manuverable and the chimeras are great mobile gun platforms.
the final army type that i would consider to be common is the drop troop army. these guys fly in via deepstrike and doesn't cost tremendous amount of cash to convert your troops. of course, if your playing a battle which doesn't allow deepstrike you'll just have to imporvise.
i personaly play a static army with a few lascannons. this puts my enemies in a state of security that brings their tanks into more open grounds. unless they are wise enough to look at my list, they won't see the two unit of deep striking units of storm troopers with melta weapons comming.
i can't tell you what is the best army to play, you should proxy with your friends at first and see what you like. there's nothing wrong with starting with a static army list as it is a very simple army to play.
good luck, and welcome to the Guard
As greyknight said, you can do many different things, about the only thing you cant do is create an elite assault army, even the nmob assault army only really comes into its own in cityfight
Traditionally guard are, as you mention a static shoot army, this can be entirely pedestrian or include one to three tanks
But the doctrine system works like the SM trait system only more so, GK has mentioned the common army varriants talked about (although I rarely see drop troops played asside from my own and mechanised isnt that common IMHO)
Everything you have been told is a lie!
In addition to whay Greyknight listed you could also just go all out tanks, with armored company. You can take russes for troops choices... I don't think any other army can do that. It can be tricky to play, since you will seriously lack cc ability
Also, IG can be a serious horde army. Armies that rely on basic troops, and even conscripts will greatly outnumber any opponent, short of hordy nids. This setup is actually very effective, as the opponent will have a hard time distinguishing which unit is an actual threat.
IG can really be tweaked with the doctrines to play however you want. You could even have an army heavy with cavalry. Cavalry. Mounted on horses or Xeno-steeds, your choice.
Tyranids: 2500 pts
Imperial Guard: 1000 pts
Witch Hunters: 1000 pts
You can also select from Witch Hunter and Daemon Hunter army lists to complete your IG force. Imagine stopping an advancing enemy with hit and run seraphim, and blasting them with a few pie plates. :wacko:
One of the best ways to think of an IG army is that they are the true humans of the 41st milennia.
Basically if you want a good theme choose a historical battle and base your army on it.
WW1= static, heaps of heacvy weapon teams etc
Desert Storm = Mechanised, semi elite forces eg veterans lots of tanks etc
Napoleonic = ranks of infantry with a few heavy cannon (las/missile?) and cavalry = rough riders
WW2 Paras = drop troops, lots of melta and flame weapons
Special forces = lots of storm troopers, veterans and grenadiers
That way your army will have a good coherent feel and you can base the painting and equipment on real photos.
Just sit back and fire your heavy guns at the enemy, use infantry to block incoming CC units and shield weapon teams from incoming fire. Thats how I think of IG. They can outgun anything in 40k universe even necrons on most ocasions.
Sam Hain Eldar (not sure on spelling) can also take an all vehicle army. I had to face one in my first ever tournament and I got my butt whooped. It was made up of a falcon, a wave serpent, and about 10-12 Vipers (all in squadrons of two). If you thought mech tau was bad, an all skimmer army is even worse. With the mission as gamma take and hold and me rolling turn one night fight, I was pretty much stuffed from the get go.Originally Posted by Abraham Lincoln
Back on topic, I think if you are starting a guard army, a good static army with tanks in support is an easy way to get some experience before venturing into the more adventurous army types. Over time you'll get to see how the various units actually perform in combat, and from there you can try new tactics or regimental doctrines. I tend to favour tanks personally and usually employ two russes and a demolisher to back up my troops. Some others prefer all foot troops, but thats the great thing about guard, you can tailor it to a lot of different play styles. But as I said earlier, the best way to see what a guard army can do is to actually play with one and learn through experience.
What Guardsmen dont want to hear...
"Ok boys, time to fix bayonets!"
you may want to try a basilisk. If you do then put it as far back as possible, give it indirect fire and dump it behind something. If you can get it surrounded by stuff, or in a corner by cover so that no-one can deepstrike behind it (they are generally a primary suicide unit target IMO, with th very light rear and side armour, which is what most DS units will attack anway) and it should be shielded from almost anything. If you are playing on a massively long board then I would probably consider it to be compulsory cos of its massive range.
other than that, the IG has great potential with some of its other tanks and the doctrines are COOL and add so much diversity to any IG force. there are so many combinations so you can make an elitist shooty force, a barbaric warrior weapons force (although I think it is pointless and completely againt what the guard do) and countless other things.