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I went for a balanced list, keeping in mind that this would be my first proper army and that I want to do reasonably well against as many armies as possible in the 500 point range (for now, of course). I also plan on adding Daemonhunters once I come to understand the basics of the Imperial Guard. Here's the list:
Junior Officer Command Platoon 
-Junior Officer Command Squad
-3 Heavy Bolter Crews
Infantry Platoon 
Junior Officer Command Squad; autocannon.
Infantry Squad 1; autocannon, plasma gun.
Infantry Squad 2; autocannon, plasma gun.
Armoured Fist Squad 
Infantry Squad 3; meltagun.
Chimera; multilaser, heavy bolter.
TOTAL  *Note that I could remove the 3 Heavy Bolters, replacing the autocannons in my Infantry Platoon with Lascannons and adding a Lascannon to my Junior Officer HQ and Armoured Fist Squad.*
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My majour concern is that I don't have enough AP2/3 weapondry, but I feel as though adding too many more low-AP weapons would cripple me in other ways. There's also a fairly good chance that I need to rearrange my heavy and special weapons within my squads.
It'll do fine, unless you're fighting mainly Space Marines you shouldn't worry too much about AP2/3. If you are, may I suggest the useful Missile Launcher? Fire some Kraks into them, or if you're facing a horde of troops then switch it to frag mode.
I'm a bit wary of a Heavy Bolter team at this points level. You don't have a lot of bodies as it is and focusing a large part of your anti-infantry firepower on guys that can't make a save against most weapons will lead to that squad dying real quick.
My suggestion? Try giving your HQ a Chimera, Multi-Laser and Hull Heavy Bolter. Get the points from the other JO with the AC, he should be behind your men offering up his bubble of Ld, otherwise he's gonna go down quick.
That gives you two Chimeras and about 10 points free still, if you felt like it you could give your Armored Fist Squad a Heavy Bolter. You also can upgrade the tanks further if you wish, giving them each Extra Armour or Smoke Launchers. I went nearly the same route, though I had Plasma/Lascannon squads because I knew the other guys would send AV14 Tanks against me. And they did.
The reason I prefer having more vehicles at this level is that they can deal with infantry much better than yours can, and vice versa.
Oh, and another option to a second Chimera are two Sentinels (again sacrificing the AC in your Platoon JO and the Heavy Bolter Team). For about 45 points apiece you could get two Multi-Laser Sentinels, or one Multi-Laser and one Autocannon Sentinel, each in their own Sentinel Squadron to provide some more fire.
The Multi-Laser is quite effective against any enemy, even Marines--forget the AP, it's high Strength will let you roll more wounds and therefore force more armour save rolls. I wouldn't recommend a solo Sentinel with a Lascannon though if you're looking for more AT punch.
At 500 points, dont be too concerned about having to field too many ap 2/3 weapons. Especially Lascannons, which you will probably find are not quite what they should be seeing as you will hardly ever see an AV14 target in a 500 point game. Missile Launchers over autocannons however might be a good option. 500 points can still accommodate a dreadnought fairly easily into a marine list, and you will probably find that you will need the extra point of strength to krak those tin cans open.
With regards to the heavy bolter squad, its actually not a bad choice in this type of points level. In fact I'd say its quite a good one. Just be aware when you are setting up your troops that you will probably want to keep them in the position that provides the best cover, and make sure you fully utilise their superior range. That way, you not only always get a save of some sort, but with a bit of luck, most enemies will be out of range for a good couple of turns as well.
Re the AF squad, I'm not sure that this one will perform according to your expectations. You have a single BS3 Meltagun and will be heavily reliant on ol' lady luck as to whether it will kill your intended target when you want it to. If you really want a mobile melta squad, take a 5 man grenadier squad with two melta guns. Same points cost, still meets your minimum troops requirements, but these guys might actually kill your intended target. (Which at this points level, should be at worst a dreadnought or predator) The only problem in this instance is that suddenly you need that chimera more for its mobility than its armamanet. So finding 8 points for smoke and extra armour pretty much becomes mandatory.
What Guardsmen dont want to hear...
"Ok boys, time to fix bayonets!"
Here's the revised list. My Armoured Fist Squad and Hardened Veterans allow me to get two hb/pg squads into advantageous positions early in the game, and I've given my two main infantry squads missile launchers to better deal with marines and vehicles. Seems as though I have less firepower but I'm better able to apply my firepower on my own terms rather than theirs.
Junior Officer Command Platoon
Junior Officer Command Squad.
7 Hardened Veterans; heavy bolter, plasma gun.
Infantry Platoon 
Junior Officer Command Squad.
Infantry Squad 1; missile launcher, plasma gun.
Infantry Squad 2; missile launcher, plasma gun.
Armoured Fist Squad 
Infantry Squad 3; heavy bolter, plasma gun.
Chimera; multilaser, heavy bolter, extra armour, smoke launchers.
Of course, I welcome any further suggestions. Advise on rudimentary tactics and tricks would also be very much appreciated.
I would either take the vets or AF, but not both,(I would take AF) but thats up to you. You also need a bit more fire power. May I suggest a sentinel or 2 with a Multi lasers? I personnely like the first list better though.
Good first try though
I'm slightly wary of Veterans at 7-men with only 1 special weapon and a heavy weapon. They can put it to good use, yes, but damn are they gonna die right quick. Still I suppose infiltrating them in there and gutting some poor infantry would earn their points back rather quickly.
Then again, why not just go for a 5-man squad? Wounds absorption? You may be able to put the 16 points to better use because those 2 wounds won't last that long. IE) Two Grenade Launchers, or an extra Plasma weapon and a Flamer.
If you want to hit 500 straight on give that Vet Sgt a Bolter. Might come in handy.
Last edited by Marwynn; December 16th, 2006 at 19:30.
If I removed the Hardened Veterans as well as a single plasma gun or the remaining heavy bolter, I could field a mortar support squad or a heavy bolter support squad. Removing the Hardened Veterans could also allow me to field a single sentinel and upgrade my infantry/command squads with more weapons. If I got a sentinel, I'd be investing one tenth of my points into a 10/10/10 open-topped, BS3, heavy weapon... and that doesn't seem like a very attractive option. Any thoughts on this?
Also, I've read it over a few times in the rulebook but there's still a particular aspect of plasma guns I'm not sure of. If you, for example, had 3 plasma guns in a 5 man squad (Hardened Veterans) and two of the plasma guns overheated, killing 2/5 Veterans... would they have to take a morale check? Essentially, can self-inflicted casualties of that sort force you to take morale checks?
Last edited by The Whetherman; December 17th, 2006 at 05:22.