Welcome to Librarium Online!
Hey, all. Here is my first stab at building an Imperial Guard army. The guys that I play with generally run games of two teams of two players, 1000 points per team. The biggest challenge I faced was to get some of the heavy hitting weapons in under the point limit (I will likely be facing Tau quite often, so I wanted something that could pack a punch against suits). So, without further ado, I present:
Zero Company, 49th Battalion, 158th Franciscan Guards Regiment, 81st St. Francis Army
(Characters in quotation marks are the decals that will be applied to the shoulder piece of each trooper in a given squad. I’m kind of anal about stuff like that.)
Command Platoon “Zero-IL” – total points: 97
-Command Squad “Zero-IL-Skull” – Heroic Sr. Officer, Vox-caster, 2 Veterans, Medic, Standard Bearer.
Infantry Platoon “Double Zero” – total points: 245
-Command Squad “Zero-Zero-Skull” – Jr. Officer, Heavy Weapon (Missile Launcher)
-Infantry Squad “Zero-Zero-One” – Heavy Weapon (Lascannon), Special Weapon (Plasma Gun)
-Infantry Squad “Zero-Zero-Two” – Heavy Weapon (Lascannon), Special Weapon (Plasma Gun)
Armoured Fist Platoon “Zero-Four” – total points: 156
-Infantry Squad “Zero-Four-One” – Special Weapon (Flamer), Vox-caster
-Chimera Transport Squad “Zero-Four-Be” – Turret Weapon (Multi-laser), Hull Weapon (Heavy Flamer)
-For the sake of simplicity (and because in a small-point army like this I don’t really see the need), I’ve forgone the Doctrines option.
-The Armoured Fist platoon is going to be the main close combat force, while the Heavy Weapons sit back and snipe. Basically you’ll have the Chimera drive up, disgorge a pile of Guardsmen while laying down its own fire, then the Guardsmen pile back in and drive away again. That’s the theory anyway; I’m not sure yet how well it will work.
-Comments and constructive criticism are welcome; I’m pretty much a complete newbie, so I welcome any advice from those that are more experienced.
-I would really like to have the Heavy Weapons as a separate squad under the Command Platoon, mostly so that they can sit still and fire while the Infantry squads are allowed to move. The biggest downside is that a separate squad is 40 points more expensive than having them in with the Infantry. Is it important enough that I should take the hit and try to bleed off 40 points elsewhere?
-Are Plasmas a better choice than Meltas? It seems to me that the plasmas have poorer stats, and the Gets Hot risk, but they have the same range as the lasguns that the rest of the squad fields. I would like to run Meltaguns in my squads, but I worry that they won’t be much good with 12” range, when all the other squadmates are firing at 24”. Am I right on this one, or is it not as big a deal as I think it is?
Firstly, which rules are you using? Is this just the start of an army or does it use the combat patrol rules?
I'm assuming the former given your setup so I shall proceed from there...
In such a small points game there isnt really a great need to use an HSO, an SO can be ok, however if you do wish to use the HSO use the JO with HI combo. This will save you a few points. Secondly there is no need for you to use the medic. The command squad is there for leadership so concentrate on that, dropping the medic and changing to the JO with HI will save 16 points straight out. The vox network isnt really needed however I will go into that with the tactics so leave it in for the moment.
The command squad is good its simple and also effective (try to model this with the missile guy on a normal base as it'll make it even better). The squads are however not great.
The lascannon plasma combo is the most expensive combo and also actually quite rubbish for the points that you are spending. The lascannon when in squads shouldnt be accompanied by a special wepaon, there isnt really an instance that will make this worthwhile, in larger points games this isnt so crucial but it is here. If you want the lascannons dont take the plasma.
I would recommend dropping the lascannons. Firstly at this level you wont be facing anything that will require a lascannon to take it down, if you want them later on it is still feasible to put them in then but not this early. I would recommend autocannons or heavy bolters, even missle launchers would work although at this level autocannons would be a good choice. (points wise it means you can swap them out for missiles if you want to try something different). Thatd save you 20 points.
the Af squad is a nice idea but tactically i'm not sure of it's quality. Firstly take smoke and extra amrour on the chimera. These are musts for any transport, also taking track guards can help although that isnt essential. If strapped for points at least get smoke. The squad itself is a bit underpowered with the flame thrower. They arent the best of weapons and on their own dont tend to do so well. (they work better in a platoon command with another one or two and a JO with a powersword). I would suggest perhaps giving this squad a veteran sargeant and arming him with say a stormbolter for the extar hits, even a bolt pistol for cheap thrills. in these squads a plasma can generally be good as it gives xtra punch. Essentially think of your chimera as anti infantry with the squad being anti tank.
The list isnt that bad, the only things I would really definately change are the choice of platoon squad weapons (change along the lines above ) and getting rid of the command squads medic.
The creating of a seperate squad of heavy weapons is IMO a bad idea especially so at this low points level. It woudl mean the enemy could ignore the majority of your army to take out the support squad leaving you effectively defenceless. In higher points I still dont like the idea of them in a mainstream army (all infantry armies work well with this setup though, although they tend to include heavy weapons in squads aswell.)
As for the meltas, dont ever put them in a line squad, they should only ever be in stormie, veteran or command squads. They need to be right up near the enemy (only ever use against tanks unless ou have no other choice) so getting of as many shots as possible is essential. The stats of weapons are misleading. what you need to factor in is cost and usability, eg, the flamer is cheap and hits lots of people which is good however its stats arent great and you will probably only get one use (roughly 8" range on the template) if that. The lascannon on the other hand has a good range and amazing stats yet is expensive and only has one shot.
Essentially a little bit of maths can show you which weapons are best against certain targets for their points; but there are so many variables that a battle plan is needed to use them properly. With the maths sometimes I like to multiply the result by the amount of uses to get a probable worth for a certain plan. (this sounds odd but it is only a rough thing not a complicated scientific formula!)
It is something that you will learn with practice.
I can give lots more advice if you have more questions.
Hope that helps
Thanks for the advice! I get a little bit paranoid with the relative ease that Guardsmen can be knocked off in a battle, but at 500 points it's true that I probably don't have to worry all that much about the "heavy hitters" on the other side, unless both players on the other team take the same army (which is a possibility as one player has the capacity to field a 1000 point Tau army relatively easily). And even then, I could throw a missile launcher in with the Infantry Platoon command squad or something like that. Now that the bustle of the holidays has died down some hopefully I'll have the time to rework my list and come up with some fluff.