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If there ever was a model in the Imperial Guard that look awesome than it is the Commissar. As any history buff will tell you it was heavily inspired by the Soviet Political Commissar. These individuals were basically political officers who’s job it was to ensure that the troop were loyal and kept morale. For anybody who’s seen “Enemy at the gates” has a general idea on how that worked. Games Workshop used this as a template for the Commissar as we now it.
I have always loved these models, mostly due to the fact that I really like that Soviet-look. I wanted to see how the worked in a actual game of Warhammer. A lot of people said I shouldn’t because of various reasons, but I decided to throw caution in the wind and just have a go at it. I wasn’t the least bit sorry.
Reasons to take a Commissar:
+ They look great
+ They add Ld to your Command Squad
+ They can be used as a hidden Power Fist
+ They can create the speed-bump from hell
Ways of using the Commissar
There are several ways of using the Commissar in your army; he is more flexible (and useful) than the Priest and the Sanctioned Psyker. I will explain his uses and what you need and what you should avoid. Yes, there is quite a bit you should avoid with this model because he gets expensive really fast and will not be useful in some formats.
The Leadership Boost Commissar:
This is your basic use for the Commissar; the advisor role. He is nothing more than a morale boost for your Command Squad. The fact that he adds two wounds is just a bonus. Many people think he is just too expansive to have him add just a single point of Ld. I must say for any game under 1000 points he is just too costly to put in play. But beyond that its not that bad.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to give him any wargear what so ever. This would be a waste, since he is not going to see combat anyway (if things go right). The Command Squad he’s attached to should be as clean as possible. No special weapons, no medic; non of the fancy stuff. Just a Junior Officer with a Honorifica Imperialis and a Veteran carrying your Banner.
Just plant this squad behind your line and have the Junior Officer’s Ld-bubble do the rest of the work.
+ Honorifica Imperialis
+ Veteran w. Banner
Cost: 116 points
The Assault Commissar:
This is the way I like my Commissars best! In this format the Commissar gets to duke it out with the best of them. There are two key elements that make a Commissar good for this role: he has excess to the armoury and he is NOT an independent character. This mean you can make him a hidden Power Fist. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, I’ll explain. If you give someone a Power Fist, they tend to become a high priority target for the opposing force in close combat. Since he is not a independent character he can not be targeted and as such “hide” behind Guardsmen.
You should give him a Power Fist (obviously) but nothing else is really worth it. Maybe a Bolt Pistol if you have a spare point but that should be it. I want to add that you should never, ever, ever give him Carapace Armour! This enacts the mixed armour rule and that means one dead Commissar. As for the Command Squad; just give them a Banner and be done with it.
Place the Command Squad near the most likely place of enemy assault. When ever they get close enough walk up to them, fire your Las Pistols and charge.
+ Power Fist
Close combat weapons + Las Pistols
Veteran w. Banner
Cost: 111 points
The Speed-Bump From Hell:
Every veteran Imperial Guard general has played this tactic one day or another. Before you can use this, you’re going to have to spend two doctrine points. One on “Independent Commissars” and one in “Restricted Troops: Conscripts”. So if you don’t have the spare doctrine points and aren’t willing to change things up a bit, than this isn’t for you.
This tactic is basically to compensate for the fact that we have a hard time dealing with the big critters in the game (wraithlord, Carnifex, Tyrant and such). Small ones we blaze away with Heavy Bolters, AutoCannons and Earthshakers but the big ones often get through to rip a gaping hole in our line. The speed-bump is basically there to tie those big guys up until the end of the game. They will probably not kill it, but it won’t kill your line either.
What you need is simple: 30-50 (dependant on game size) Conscripts with a Independent Commissar. With the Commissar at the lead they just keep going. Just walk them up to one of those big beasts and charge them. They will keep it tied without a problem. It should be noted that you want to keep the Commissar as much out of close combat as possible; he has become a independent character and as such can be targeted.
Things you should never give a Commissar:
I know it looks nice, all that shiny stuff in the armoury, but you should pass on most of the stuff. I’ll tell you why.
Plasma Pistol: This gun has the ”gets hot” rule. Saving a wound on 5+ save isn’t that great of a deal so you should definitely pass on this one.
Storm Bolter: The Storm Bolter is a two-handed weapon and as such doesn’t give you the extra attack for having two close combat weapons.
Carapace Armour: Enables the “mixed armour” rule. This makes you throw his saves separately and thus you can not kill a Guardsmen instead of giving him a wound.
Refractor Shield: Although a 5+ invulnerable save is very decent, this gadget is way to expensive. It will be a waste of points for sure.
The Commissar is more than just a good looking model. It can be used in several ways that can be very useful. Although it is somewhat expensive it can still hold his own in the roles shown above. I believe that it is a valid entry in most infantry based lists. If you know its restrictions and its strengths you can have good-looking and functional model.
Thanks for the Tactica Prittstift, it's anice one. I have long considered using a Commissar due to it's awsome nature, it's a bit pricy but then again, near all cool things are.
There is only one thing I'd like to point out as wrong, this:The mixed armour rule you are reffering to has a brother (in the BG the "torrent of fire", this means Carapace is not as bad as you suggest. Instead it will suit a Commissar just fine, especially when in a retinue, in a Conscript platoon it's quite uncommon to have someone managing to get say 30 wounding hits.Originally Posted by Prittstift
If someone wonders I'll explain short.
ToF- when wounding hits equals the number of models in the unit with the same saves, the "hitter" is allowed to name a model to make an individual save. In a Conscript+IC Commissar this should be the Commissar. He now rolls a 5+ save. The rest of the saves are taken by Joe Nobody's
MA: When all members of a unit with the majority save (20-50 Conscripts) have been allocated a wounding hit, the next save (commissar) takes one hit. He now rolls a 4+ save. The rest of the saves are to be taken by the surviving majority save-ers again.
IMHO a 4+ save is better than a 5+. (assuming of course someone would be able to wound enough models)
Nice tactica, clear and to the point. Only mistake I caught was that Independent Commissars cost an additional 10 points over a base Commissar. Otherwise I have fielded every one of these Commissar options at least once as a commander to varying levels of success. With the Hidden fist Commissar I often pay the 15 points and doctrine slot for hardened fighters. Weapon Skill 5 is a great breaking point for melee goodness.
What do you call a lasgun with a laser sight?
Thanks, love your sig by the way... Twin-linked
The Fist and Bump often work best. The Bump especially against those annoying synapse Tyranid giants. Fist is just great to keep small squads of heavy armoured models at bay. I've have ones, in a lucky streak killed 6 assault marines in two turn with the Commie. Thats just funny (for me. not them).
Exellent tactica here Prittstifft, you outline the main uses of the Commissar very well. However there is one thing I'm not sure about:Are you sure the about this? The wording of the rule says that +1 is added to the leadership characteristic of the officer/sergeant. Surley if the bonus is a characteristic increase then it can be conveyed....the Ld boost only counts for the Command Squad, not the Ld-bubble. So, your CS won't run as fast; once every 12 rolls.
However, I could be wrong about this, I would be interested to know your source. I know the old UK Grand Torunament FAQ said his bonus did not convey, but that FAQ had a huge amount of suspect clarifications in it (for example: it said that the +1Ld for Close Order Drill could be conveyed!) and has been taken down now.
Thanks for a solid tactica.
you say never to give him refractor field. but i was thinking, what if you give him it and attach him to some conscripts... Speed bump from the 9th layer of hell(cuase of the 5+ invul save.) well at least i think thats how it works(don't play guard.)
That is not dead which may eternal lie,
for in strange aeons even death may die.
Im getting a nasty idea that it wont work...
Such a unit can tie a Monster maybe, but the Commisar cant do a thing as he must be in the rear to avoid being hit (he is independent ) 40 conscripts are a large target so why dont train some Bolters on them...
Also assult squads will chew them up without problems, with 20-30 attacks
But the idea of Hidden-Fist is good ^^ one can clearly see who here ended Schola Progenium :yes:
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. " - Nebiros