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I thought that I would post some ideas I have been using for my Imperial Guard Army. I have the unfortunate problem of playing 90% space marines (Blood Angels and Space Wolves most of all) at the GW shop in my town. As such I have had to adapt my tactics to combat these power armor wearing legions from slamming into my lines and consolodating me off of the planet. A pervasive tactic that my shopmates use without fail is the Drop Pods ability. Remember that this ability is available to Space Marines even if the mission says that reserves, deep strike, or other special abilities are not allowed. Sooooo, when we play most tournement style rules I have a great chance of getting a mission that does not allow me to either deep strike or infiltrate, while my foes get to Drop Pod onto me anyway. Thusly, I have begun to use as many small units of punch-packing guard as I can squeeze into the 1500-2000 points we usually play.
I start with grenadiers and use two units of five stormtroopers to soak up the two mandatory troops slots on the force organization chart. This starts me off with merely 100 points used and both slots already taken care of. The minimum a normal infantry platoon can cost is 160 points (Squad One + Squad Two + Junior Officer). I will then max out the plasmas, i.e. two and a pistol for the Sgt. If you do this for both squads then you are still below the points cost for a decently outfitted normal platoon. The reasoning being, the only soldiers that matter vs. space marines (and many other armies) are the ones with the special or heavy weapons. Five more hellguns aren't goint to swing the battle one way or another. So, 85 points for a normal infantry platoon with one plasma and one misslie launcher - each with a 50% chance to hit - or 86 points for three plasmas that can be used rapid fire for six shots of hot death with a balistic skill of 4.
I know some will say that the extra guys in a normal platoon are to soak up damage and protect the special weapons. But I would rather have my troops be able to inflict damage when I want them to and in good proportion rather than have a whole unit dedicated to firing one big gun that can kill one man a turn and only has a fifty percent chance of even hitting him in the first place and cannot even attempt to do so if forced to move. If you are trying to kill vehicles, thats what heavy weapons squads are for. Also, consider the points saved by taking smaller squads. These add up fast in a large point army and can be used many times over to take whole other squads. Again, I think many people will complain about the lack of abiltiy to take casualties due to how few men are available in the squad. This is offset by the point above about taking whole other units. If charged or rapid fire shot at, guard units are dead meat anyway. Minimize the loss by losing five men while leaving five more with special weapons alive, rather than taking ten men all at once. Remember, your opponent will have to choose one unit to shoot at and then assault that same unit. If you have ten men standing together - say hello to Allah. But if you have divided them into crack shooting tactical squads, then half are sacrificed so that the other five can rapid fire into the victors of the assault with plasmas.
What I do to boost their mobility and power is to mount these Strormtroopers in Chimeras with the two heavy flamer combo. True, the range is short but remember that Chimeras have a balistic skill of 3. The vaunted multilaser will hit maybe once or twice, and marines still get an armor save. Not to mention people with guns to shoot have a bad habit of only moving 6" so that they can still shoot their guns. Transports aren't small tanks, they are transports. Do what the name defines. Move the transport 12" and pop smoke if you have to. Give it extra armor so that it can keep on moving if you like. But get it into a position where on your chosen turn it can move into place and flame on with two heavy flamers over an entire squad of marines and have your boys jump out of the back with three rapid firing plasmas. I recommend that you use a 45 degree angle on your Chimera so that the guys in the back can disembark near the back corner and still see all the enemy models. I can tell you from countless uses of this combination that no army - marines or otherwise - wants to see two heavy flamers and six plasma shots from balistic skill 4 models. And if you want more punch you can do this with your hardened veterans and add another plasma to the mix and get 8 rapid fire plasma shots on top of the heavy flamers. This combination will erase Choas, Marines, and other tough opponents right off the board. Another advantage is that once disembarked, the men and the Chimera are now treated as seperate units. So the survivors (what few that will remain) can only shoot and assault EITHER the men or the Chimera. Which means again that you have effectively divided your potential losses (points wise) in half and the enemy can only try and kill one of those units, which will leave the other (typically the Chimera) to unleash flaming death on the victors of the inevitable assault.
Anyway, this is a fast and fun method of responding to space marines and even together the cost of Stormtroopers or Hardened Veterans equipped as I described and mounted in a Chimera will still only cost about as much as a single squad of Marines - and to boot the guardsmen will be immune to incoming bolter fire as they advance due to the exellent front armor of the Chimera. This in conjunction with the normal tanks, heavy support squads, and menacing assault rough riders in any guard army plus infiltrators if available as an option can make a guard army very fast, very scary, and very fun to play against unsuspecting marine commanders that don't know what dread lies within each humble Chimera.
Let me know what you think you animals.
I play BA and DH. And I'm working up a platoon and an AF squad of inducted guard.
BA are my primary army. Here's some tips....
Mortars against the assault squads. coupla batteries for indirect and pinning. Cheap and effective.
Stay in cover to deny BA their init bonus. Death company is a hassle, but I would tailor my firepower to killing the assault squads and stomping rhino-tacticals, etc.
Shooty grenadiers are death. My DH army has 6 full 10-man squads of inquisitorial storm troopers. They rock. Make the mobile,even better.
Mess up my setup and enhance yours....
macharian cross--reposition a unit on your side after infiltrators and scout moves are take.
Take an inquisitor lord with emporer's tarot to improve your chances of going first. wshile you're at it, a plasma cannon servitor and 2 other shooty servitors/warriors would work we.. 2 sages and a mystic to defeat podded squads.
Most importantly, take a callidus assassin. use hte word in your ear ability to relocate an enemy unit 6" prior to first turn.
With all that you can pretty much delay at least one fast unit from assaulting for a turn.
remember to take sentinels. I've used these to tie up enemy units for a bit while I shoot up other units. if I can stick it to any MEq squad with3 of these in the asault phase, staying clear of the unit's PF, I can generally prevent their movement in their movement phase, at the very least.
special weapon squads with demolition charges? with a charge, the unit is 45 points. drops a S8 AP2 pie plate of doom on whatever is under the template. deep striking the unit is best.
I mentioned DH allies. HOpe it's something you can use. You can really mess up BA deployment, and those mortars can get free wounds in on stuff that's way out of LOS on the cheap.
I"m not an expert guard player, but I am an expert BA player, and BA needs precise timing to collapse an enemy flank on the assault. if you can mess up the itming even by 1 or 2 units arriving a turn later, you can defeat them.
2 grenadiers in transports--grens loaded with plasma guns and a PW just in case.
Just like to say that I agree completely with the storm troopers/2 heavy flamer chimera tactic. I use it all the time, and it almost always does heaps of damage.
Especially powerful in combat patrol games, a 10 man storm trooper squad with 2 plasmas and a power sword, with the chimera above can really own the game.
Special weapons squads with democharges and melta or flamers would be an useful addiction