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I'm having a hard time understanding why people hate the Carapace Armor doctrine so much. Most races have AP5 basic weaponry, so for +1/3 the cost (in an Infantry Squad) you double their survivability. Some say that if the enemy directs heavier weaponry towards them, it becomes useless. I find the idea of an opponent turning his heavy firepower to the rank and file better for me- less guns going for my Storm Troopers and vehicles. The last comment I see is that it costs much more for command squads and the like. Well, I think making a command squad more resistant to infantry fire is a good thing, no? It means that your chain of command is less likely to be beheaded by a group of jump troops coming over.
Really, for only 2pts a model you can make them twice as hard to kill, and it's even worth it against AP6/- too. Pair it with Sharpshooters, and you have Infantry Squads that can equal Space Marines at shooting. And now the Mathhammer (notice that the Guard have a fairly ubiquitous weapon loadout, not anti-MEQ):
Infantry Squad, 10 men, one plasma gun, one heavy bolter, Sharpshooters, Carapace Armor: 110pts
8 Space Marines: 120pts (don't have the codex, working off what I know)
First up, 8 Lasguns rapid fire:
8 hits, 2.66 wounds, .88 kills = 13pts of damage
Tack on another 1 1/3 hits, .44 wounds, and .14 kills from Sharpshooters = 2 more pts
So lasguns get 1 kill, 15pts.
Plasma Gun rapid fire:
1 hit, .833 kills = 12.5 pts of damage
Note that due to overheat, which is a 1/6 chance of killing, I'll add a bonus 3 points to the marines.
So we're up to 27.5 points of damage.
Lastly the Heavy Bolter:
1.5 hits, .75 wounds, .5 kills = 7.5 points more
So the Guard did 35 pts of damage total.
10.65 hits, 7 wounds, 3.5 kills = 31.5 points
Add in the 3 from the plasma overheat, and the two come out even. The marines, however, will be forced to take a morale test.
So why do people hate this upgrade so much? I can't find any real disadvantage.
Most guard players choose not to use carapace armour because its effectivly seen as paying to have fewer bodies. (Remember that every three squads that pay for carapace armour cost you a fourth squad.) Theres also the fact that guard players, more than any marine equivalent army, should understand the importance of cover rather then armor. We're guard, we get our line men dug in where they are most effective and keep them firing until everything is dead or they die in the process. If some squads are flanked or their cover is bypassed then they are usually dead; its a cruel and somewhat bleak outlook on why not to upgrade your gaurdsmen to have tougher armor but its true all the same.
However, that does not in any way mean that guard commanders do not improve the armor, shooting ability, or staying power in close combat (they put those doctrines in their for those commanders that like Uion civil war tactics I guess. ) it just means that if you do choose to go the route of heavy or elite guard that you sould also look into alternative guard tactics. (Such as if you are going to be using heavy guard, all in carapace armour, then be prepared for either larger games or a smaller force or bring in some form of allies to augment your forces in either shooting or, better, close combat...)
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The point is that it is not per model, which makes it more expensive for smaller units- whereas most other Doctrines are per model. Plus it's just expensive. A lot of people who play Guard like to have some weight on the table, and Carapace makes that harder.
Plus, no matter if your troops have Iron D leading them, Sharpshooters, Carapace, a Commissar with them, and Hardened Fighters, they still won't be MEQs. I suppose there is probably a point where one might decide whether they want to play GEQs or MEQs. Me, I've fallen to Chaos, but not because I've lost interest in Guard. Explaining why I hang out here sometimes.
I guess it has advantages, but it's expensive. Not too much so (except for Vets, Heavy Squads, Rough Riders, and Commands), but still, it is.
EDIT: Oh, and he has a point too...
Its the old question of quality over quality. Without carapace you could afford two more squads in a 1000 point list which gives you 4 more slots for heavy or special weapons and in a lot of cases you need the extra firepower to down the enemy assault troops before they tie you up in close combat where carapace is less useful as you want your men to brake so that the rest of your army can shoot them.
It may be worth it when facing Tau as they have a lot of nasty anti infantry weapons and i have heard players that say that without carapace the tau would walk all over them but if you stay out of range with weapons like heavy bolters and down there transports then you won't need carapace and will thank yourself that you had the few extra weapons needed that stopped them in there tracks.
More men in its own way is just like carapace armour in the fact that you get more wounds but with this you get one more scoring unit, more firepower and one more squad for taking objectives or tieing up a enemy assault squad for that all important extra turn.
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As has been said most players would rather take the extra troops but for some of us thats just not posible. More troops = more money, carapace = more points for 0 extra money. And this is why we get carapace armor.
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Carapace limits alot of troops that can be brough, which is the biggest advantage IG has. These aren't marines where you can bring about 35 or 40 to a game a win. Guard need numbers, doesnt matter if you have the best armour you can get, a squad of marines can kill a squad of guard. Your going to need numbers anyway. You will more then likely get into assault and again doesnt matter if you have the best armour possible, somebodys going to die in cc almost all the time.
Don't know about you but I can find plenty of other things to fieled with the points if I dont take carapace then if i did. Oh BTW, sharpshooters might look good on paper but its a waste to IG unless you take support squads, a lasgun is a lasgun, doesnt matter how many times you miss your still going to hit something if you pack lots of men, sometimes the reroll isnt worth it have the time considering what squads of IG pack with them.
. The only thing in your command squad( not anything attached like support squads or advisiors)is your officer, the other guys are pretty much supposed to die if you want to look at it that way.
Why bother? There are nearly as many AP4 weapons as there are AP5.
You are paying for a small increase of survivability for a massive cost.
Even though you get a save vs bolters,splinter riles etc you are still only T3 which IMO is just as bad (because there are very few S3 weapons really).
Also guard play the numbers game, so the lack of bodies (and access to special/heavy weapons) can make the differance.
"A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril."
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Also remember that our strength is in number. Number of bodies, number of flashlights, number of tanks, number of heavy weapons. For for 500 points we can get 15 heavy weapons. It would cost devastators, around 1000 points (I believe, numbers could be wrong).
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
But few armies equip every single soldier with an AP4 weapon. Most armies do have AP5, however.Why bother? There are nearly as many AP4 weapons as there are AP5.
And I don't understand why everyone feels that more numbers = good. If you get 3/4 as many troops, but they're twice as hard to kill, you will effectively have more bodies than an unupgraded army- by the end of turn four, you will have more troops left than the t-shirt army would, and that means more firepower.
Against most enemies, its twice the survivability for only 1/3 the normal cost. I understand the point about cover, but not every battlefield has enough cover for your whole army to be hiding in, nor does skulking in cover allow you to maneuver efficiently. And besides, just look at the numbers in my example- the marines have to take a morale test, not the Guard! Having Carapace armor is like mobile cover- and I'll bet that it's more effective than cover. Sure, you don't get that 5+ save against AP4 or better weapons, but against the bulk of your enemy it improves your save.
Besides, you can have the best of both worlds. Take Carapace Armor, and skulk about. Your ordinary Guardsmen will become very difficult to remove.
And as I said before, paying 20pts even for a five-man squad isn't a penalty (unless you're talking about a 'remnant squad'). Most small squads (Command squads, heavy weapon squads, etc.) are units that benefit more than the rank and file from having better armor. Your officers get Carapace armor for 'free', and can survive a round of enemy fire. And your heavy weapon squads will survive getting shot by that Marine squad you didn't think was within Bolter range. I think 20pts is worth saving half the unit, don't you?