[Enemies] The Imperial Guard
Outline of the threat the Imperial Guard pose
to the Tau in the 5th Edition of Warhammer 40,000
[Fluff; any takers?]
The sledgehammer of the Imperium, the Imperial Guard are the largest organised military force in the galaxy. Utilizing large numbers of troops, tanks and artillery the Imperial Guard are fighting force to be reckoned with by any army. The ability to call upon a numerous amount of diverse wargear, units and allies the Imperial Guard can create unique forces able to deal with any threat to the Imperium.Table of Contents
Strengths of the Imperial Guard
Unit by Unit Summary
Common Army Compositions and Strategies
Strengths of the Imperial Guard
Although the Imperial Guard are a very diverse army, they have a few main strengths that distinguish them from other armies. Every Imperial Guard army you face will be different, but these strengths are likely to be found throughout the army as a base or a force tailored around one key aspect. By recognising and negating these strengths we can give ourselves a better chance of defeating the enemy. Armoured Fist
With access to numerous amounts of Tanks and Transports, the Imperial Guard can field a highly efficient vehicle force. The Leman Russ and its' variants have high armour values; when fielded in large numbers they can be difficult to stop. The diverse range of turret and sponson options they get allows a force to be tailored around the battle tanks, filling in gaps that aren't covered in Heavy Support. As such a force will revolve around these Tanks, destroying them will be paramount. Your anti-tank assets will need to be well protected as the Imperial Guard player will be trying to nullify any threat to his vehicles. The Imperial Guard also have access to two of the best Transport systems in the game; the Chimera and the Valkyrie Assault Carrier. The Chimera and its' strengths are explained fuller in the unit section; basically it is relatively inexpensive and can be easily brought in numbers, making delivering troops right to your lines quite easy. Valkyries compete with Wave Serpents for the best transport in the game; and rightly so. When fielded in large numbers they quickly and safely deliver troops right into your lines in turn 1/2, while still being a devastating anti-infantry platform.
The Tau have access to some of the best anti-vehicle weapons in the game; the Fusion Blaster and the Railgun. Fortunately for us, both of these weapons can be fielded in relatively large numbers. This is a huge asset for us against Imperial Guard vehicles; the high strength of the Railgun and the Melta rule for the Fusion Blaster are a necessity for dealing with the AV 13/14 of the Leman Russ. With large amounts of Railguns we can reliably stun enemy vehicles until we can get into Fusion Blaster range with our other anti tank assets. Imperial Guard transports pose a larger threat to us than the transports of other armies [generalisation] due to the reduced effectiveness of the Missile Pod. The universal AV 12 of Imperial Guard transports means our Missile Pods require a 5+ on the armour penetration roll to do any damage. However, Chimeras have a low side armour which allows our manoeuvrable XV8's to get side shots on the lower armour. Valkyries are a a large threat because because of the higher armour on the front and
sides. If it moves Flat Out it will also gain a cover save similar to our Disruption Pods but works at >12". While this move usually brings it into Melta range, it will still have a cover save. The key to stopping the Armoured Fist of the Imperial Guard is to hold up their more threatening vehicles and destroy any supporting elements. This will allow Railguns and Fusion Blasters to light up their targets with ease.Melta Delivery
Imperial Guard armies have widespread access to Meltaguns, which are considered more reliable than their other anti tank weapons such as the Lascannon or Demolisher Cannon. The Meltagun is so effective with the Imperial Guard because they have units which can have access to up to four BS 4 Meltaguns. This gives a large number of high strength hits with which to annihilate armour, and these units can be taken in relatively large numbers. Although melta weapons are only effective at close ranges, the Imperial Guard have excellent transport systems with which to offset this downside. Mounted in Chimeras, the Meltagun team can inflict drive-by attacks from the fire points of the vehicle. Utilizing Valkyrie Assault Carriers, Meltagun teams can get to their designated target much more quickly due the Scout USR of the vehicle. This gives opportunity for turn 1 strikes against vehicles. The Imperial Guard can close the gap to get their meltaguns into range quickly, while being relatively cheap pointwise. This means redundancy is easy to get with these units and if one is destroyed it isn't a huge blow to the rest of the army.
Meltaguns are extremely effective against Tau vehicles due to their range; they negate the Disruption Pod. The short range means that they will always be >12” when shooting. This is bad because it can ground our scoring Troops far from objectives, or destroy our Hammerheads which have weapons that happen to be very good at killing Guardsmen. The first and foremost way of stopping Chimeras is to destroy them. It may sound simple but kept hull down they can be difficult to stop. This will ground their troops, hopefully some distance away from their objective. Stopping them at around 18” away from you is ideal; this is the range that Tau firepower excels. Piranhas can be used to block off routes open to the Chimeras; the Fusion Blaster will also help destroying the vehicles. Although the occupants are likely to destroy your Piranha, it is often a better tradeoff for you – Hammerheads and Sky Rays will be saved. Protection against Valkyries is described in the Common Army Composition and Strategies section.Template Barrage
The Imperial Guard have access to the most template weapons in the game. Mortars, Flamers, Battle Cannons, Demolition Charges; the list goes on. Although taking a few Blast or Template weapons is a good option, making extensive use of Template and Blast can offset one of the Imperial Guard's weaknesses; average Ballistic Skill. While blast templates will scatter, bringing them in large numbers will ensure that something gets hit. Having large numbers of blasts also allows for more chances to roll a 'Hit' on the scatter dice. While Template Blast and Template weapons are usually poor against vehicles, they are generally cheap [due to a perceived weakness] which allows for points to be spent on dedicated anti-tank weapons as well. Having lots of template weapons also gives the Imperial Guard good power against MEqs; while blasts are usually used against horde armies, the ability to cause lots of wounds forces the MEqs to make a lot of saves. Template weapons will often cause far more hits against units in comparison to normal weapons with a limited amount of shots. This is especially the case with the Imperial Guard due to their average Ballistic Skill. In response to seeing a template heavy army, enemies will often spread out their troops to reduce the effectiveness of the blast and template weapons [spreading out gives less chance of being under a template]. However, because of the Imperial Guard's low Ballistic Skill, the weapons will often scatter and still hit large amounts of enemies. Spreading out also slows down the army, as units will have to manoeuvre around one another and the terrain. In the 5th Edition Codex the Imperial Guard gained many options to make them a far more mobile army; they can use this mobility to crush weaker parts of the now slower moving army.
While a great strength of the Imperial Guard, it is largely mitigated against a Tau army. Most Tau armies are largely comprised of Mech units such as Devilfish and Hammerheads, and small elite units such as XV8's and XV88's. Due to scattering, even high strength blasts will fare poorly against vehicles. Battlesuit teams have very small footprints on the board, and so most blasts will miss them completely. The flame and blast templates also do not have the ability to cause many wounds, as there are very few members in the squad. However, we can be quite vulnerable to some kinds of blasts. As most Imperial Guard Tanks and Artillery use Ordnance weapons, when they roll a 'Hit' on the scatter dice the weapon is very likely to penetrate our armour. Heavy Ordnance weapons are also likely to come in numbers, which reduces the effectiveness of Disruption Pods; they can't save every shot. Low AP blasts pose a very large threat against XV8's when on target. Shield Drones will not be able to help when the suits are targetted by a blast, and due to the high strength of weapons such as Battle Cannons, our suits will be killed by Instant Death. While XV88's will have protection against AP3 weapons, the Imperial Guard also have access to even lower AP blasts. Demolition Charges, Melta Cannons and Plasma Cannons will easily destroy Broadsides by bypassing the Shield Drones' invulnerable save. So while our troops are largely unaffected by the Imperial Guard Barrage of Doom, our stronger elements are vulnerable if the enemy rolls numerous 'Hit' results on the scatter die. Target Priority is key here; by destroying the key template threats we can force the enemy to use less useful weapons on our units. Units with Blast weapons will often have to remain stationary to fire them so we can use our superior mobility to get in close and eradicate the threat. Ablative Bodies
Infantry Squads are a cheap way to get bodies into an Imperial Guard army, but the models themselves are not what counts, it's what they're hiding. Unlike Tau doctrines, the Imperial Guard way of war is to have many heavy and special weapons integrated into units. The ability to use many Infantry squads allows them to have many heavy weapons that add redundancy to the rest of the army, while being extremely hard to remove completely due to the large number of squads. Killing a large amount of Guardsmen isn't extremely hard, but the threat isn't gone until the models with special and heavy weapons are destroyed; you have to kill enough to force the player to allocate wounds to them. If the squad has some cover, it becomes even more of a problem to kill. The heavy weapon in the team will continue to harass the enemy until a dedicated effort to destroy it. Having lots of bodies also helps in close combat. While the Imperial Guard are not renown for their close combat abilities, they can use the ablative bodies as delivery squads to get the the Powerfist wielding Sergeants and Commissars into combat.
While killing infantry isn't a difficult task for the Tau due to our plethora of S5 weaponry, the complications arise when faced with multiple units of infantry dug in cover, hiding heavy weapons. It becomes more tricky because the guardsmen get cover saves; although we can use Markerlights to remove the cover save, they are often already tasked with guiding our other units against more threatening units such as Vendettas and Leman Russes. Close combat is the best way to remove these entrenched units [because they don't get cover saves], however we do not have access to any specialized close combat units. Although Kroot excel against Guardsmen in the open, they suffer because they now strike after the Guardsmen and lack a save, leaving them with less attacks. Using expendable Devilfish to Tank Shock and keep the heavy weapon moving is a good option; but be wary of any nearby weapons that can damage the vehicle. Utilizing the mass of Pulse weaponry we can cause enough wounds on the squads so they are forced to allocate them to the heavy and special weapons also works effectively. While Deepstriking Heatwave suits seems like a good idea, the Imperial Guard are likely to have nearby countercharge squads which will easily dispose of our suits; and it isn't worth it to only destroy a single Infantry Squad.
Unit By Unit Summary
This section is to provide an understanding and outline of what each unit in Codex: Imperial Guard is capable of, and their common function on the battlefield. This section also highlights how the units effect our Tau armies, and what threats they could potentially pose. HeadquartersCompany Command Squad
The Company Command Squad [hereafter the CCS] consists of a Company Commander and a team of 4 Veterans. It is a highly customisable unit, able to undertake numerous roles on the battlefield. Always expect to face at least one CCS, it is an extremely cost effective way of getting a hard hitting unit in an Imperial Guard HQ slot. The Company Commander no longer provides a leadership bonus to nearby enemy units, and so for the most part, the CCS must integrate itself into the army strategy in order to be successful. The Company Commander has access to a cheap Plasma Pistol and Powerfist, both relatively good at hurting XV8s if allowed to get close. The Commander has access to all 6 of the standard orders and is able to issue 2 at 12" per turn. The 3 exclusive to the CCS are described below.
Bring it Down!: This order gives the firing unit a much better chance to hit against vehicles and Monstrous Creatures. This order is likely to be used with Meltagun armed Veteran squads or the CCS itself; any Tau vehicles will be downed instantly if caught in range of their Meltaguns.
Fire on my Target!: Forcing the target of the unit utilizing the order to re-roll all successful cover saves, the Disruption Pods effectiveness is largely reduced against long range anti tank weapons. Kroot and Pathfinders hiding in cover also become extremely vulnerable.
Get back in the Fight!: This allows any unit to regroup and act as if it had never been falling back, gone to ground, etc. This can protect a gunline from routing completely, or it can allow units to advance, go to ground, and then shoot in their next turn. This can let Imperial Guard units creep slowly towards the Tau lines, while being quite difficult to remove.
The CCS has numerous weapons and wargear options. By purchasing a Medic, the squad gets the Feel No Pain USR, but at an expensive price. The squad can by a Standard, which is usually only useful for Close Combat orientated units, but can help a gunline by providing re-rolls for Morale and Pinning checks. The squad can purchase up to 4 of the special weapons, or a heavy weapon. If the CCS's role is to stand back and be a support unit, expect a heavy weapon or Plasma Guns - at BS4 they pose a serious threat to Crisis Suits. A CCS can also make an effective tank hunting unit, armed with 4 Meltaguns and mounted in a Valkyrie or Chimera to quickly get in range. The CCS makes such a good anti-tank unit because it can take up to 4 Meltaguns as opposed to Veterans who only get 3. The Command Squad also has access to the Bring it Down!
order all the time. The Company Commander isn't bad in combat if equipped with a Powerfist, and the CCS can be equipped with Flamers to make quite a good countercharge unit.
The Company Command Squad also has access to Advisors. These count as an extra model in the squad and add some very useful bonuses to the army. Each advisor can only be taken once per CCS, the exception being bodyguards which up to 2 can be taken.
Bodyguards: At a relatively cheap cost, Bodyguards allow up to 2 wounds allocated to the commander to be re-allocated to the bodyguards. These guys add extra numbers and durability to the squad, especially if the squad also has a Medic. Bodyguards allow quite a bit of firepower to be shrugged off by the unit without hampering the effectiveness.
Master of Ordnance: An extremely good upgrade to any stand and shoot CCS; the MoO allows an Earthshaker Cannon type attack to be used every time the squad doesn't move. It is horrendously innacurate, scattering 2D6 on a Hit and 3D6 on a miss. However, it is an Ordnance Barrage attack so it ignores cover saves. This can cause havoc if it hits any of the Tau vehicles [negating the Disruption Pod and the Ordnance Penetration rules] and it hits Crisis Suits very hard too. Expect to see the MoO in any CCS designed to support troops from the back
Astropath: The Astropath is designed to help Imperial Guard armies with reserves, providing bonuses to the reserve roll and the outflank roll. This helps armies using Valkyries and Vendettas greatly; these units have the Scout USR and the increased outflank accuracy can make any air mobile unit devastating as in can get right into the Tau lines quickly. The reserve roll bonus also allows Imperial Guard units to get onto the board early on in Dawn of War; here it must also be noted that the Astropath's abilities work even when he is off the board - the codex states he must simply be alive.
Officer of the Fleet: This Advisor hampers enemy reserves coming onto the board. While it might play havoc on reserve heavy styled armies, this upgrade is highly environmental. Units likely to stay off the board to capture objectives late in the game [such as Firewarriors] actually benefit from this, as there is more of a chance that they will stay off the board, unable to be unharmed until they auto-enter late enough in the game to capture the objective.
The Company Command Squad also has access to a Chimera. The benefits of this are described under the Chimera section, but there is one factor that is quite important. As orders can still be issued from inside a Chimera, the CCS can be mounted inside and support a Firebase while being protected by an AV12 hull. This can prove difficult to destroy, and will allow squads to be boosted in effectiveness until the CCS is destroyed. Lord Castellan Creed
For a high price, the Company Commander can be upgraded to Creed. While not much of a fighter, Creed is the ultimate commander. He can issue up to 4 orders a turn at 24”, and has access to all 6 orders plus an extra one. His special rule allows a unit in the army to Scout. Creed is most likely to come up in a Static gunline style army, where his orders will be most widely utilized and needed. In a Mechanized army, he will be left out [as vehicles cannot benefit from orders]; but in a Semi-Mechanized army he may come up because of two things – his orders will greatly strengthen any firebase in the army, and he allows something potentially devastating [such as a Hellhound Squadron] to Scout or Outflank, strengthening the mobile part of the army. Creed is also likely to be taken in an army containing Grey Knights, as he allows them to Outflank without purchasing a Valkyrie. This can be quite a scary prospect for the Tau, as this will mean even more troops right in our midst early one. Other close combat orientated units also benefit from his extra order, as described below.
For the Honour of Cadia: This order grants the unit the Furious Charge and Fearless USR's for a turn. This can make close combat units even more deadly, or turn regular units into semi decent assaulters. Multiple Infantry Squads under the Combined Squads rule will become good tarpitting units, as they gain the opportunity to deal decent damage on the charge.
Lord Creed's purpose is to hang back and command the army by issuing orders. His Command Squad is likely to be equipped for such a purpose. While not hard to destroy, he can provide bonuses to his supporting elements to deal with threats to him, by boosting the effectiveness of the shooting of Heavy Weapon teams, or granting close combat bonuses so countercharge elements in the army are more effective. Kell
Colour Sergeant Kell is an addition to the Company Command Squad. At a very high cost, Kell adds to the army the ability to take order tests using the Officer's, not the squad's Leadership. This gives a large bonus to units like Heavy Weapon Teams and Special Weapon squads which have low basic leadership, but benefit greatly from many of the orders. Kell also has a Standard, is relatively punchy in close combat, and counts as a bodyguard. Only expect to see Kell in gunlines with a lot of spare points, his high cost and questionable value makes him an upgrade that will only be useful in a few circumstances.Colonel Iron Hand Straken
Like Creed, Straken is an upgrade to the regular Company Commander. However, Straken's role is very different; he is a close combat character, and with double the strength of a Firewarrior and 4 Attacks he can really deal damage. He counts as a Monstrous Creature in close combat, ignoring armour saves and adding an extra D6 to armour penetration rolls. One of his biggest benefits is the enhanced close combat performance of his CCS and the units around him, as his gives every unit within 12" the Furious Charge and Counter Attack USR's. This can allow Infantry Squads with Commissars and Sergeants with Powerfists to deal significant damage on the charge, and can often surprise an unsuspecting opponent. His CCS makes an effective transport hunter; armed with Meltaguns they can destroy a transport and then charge in to destroy the occupants.
Because Straken can still issue orders, his role as a Company Commander is largely unchanged. However, he is far better at being the countercharge element in the army. With Carapace Armour,a Medic, and Bodyguards, Straken's CCS will be able to hold up most dedicated CC squads. He also grants the Fearless USR to his squad which ensures that they stick around. While most of Straken's bonuses are wasted against a Tau army, he isn't a hugely expensive upgrade and if squads of Guardsmen are allowed to get too close they can tie up Tau units very well. Nork Dedogg
Nork is an addition to the command squad. He adds a few Feel No Pain wounds to the squad, has Stubborn, Furious Charge, and counts as a bodyguard. However, despite his resilience and strength, his lack of a power weapon and high cost make him a shaky upgrade. His inclusion does not affect the Tau greatly, apart from the ability to allow the CCS to soak up a few extra Pulse shots. It is also far more efficient to purchase more Guardsmen instead, so don't expect to see Nork very often at all.Lord Commissar
Commissars come in two types, the first being the lower level Commissars bought with Infantry Platoons; the second being the Lord Commissar. A Lord Commissar is an Independent Character, and takes up an HQ slot. Their main role is to utilize their Aura of Discipline special rule, which confers the Commissar's Leadership to all squads within 12". This helps prevent squads like Infantry Squads and Special Weapon Squads from running away, as well as helping Heavy Weapon Teams and Veteran Squads pass order tests - it also allows points to be saved on Voxes; the high Ld makes them redundant.
While the Lord Commissar will help prevent a gunline from fleeing, the Tau have enough firepower to eliminate complete squads rather than relying on the enemy failing morale checks. The Stubborn USR he grants to the squad he joins keeps them around in Close Combat a bit longer. Because he is an IC, swamping his unit with Kroot works well as he can be picked out. His average Toughness and save means he dies quite quickly; even Crisis Suits will do reasonably well against him. He is likely to be hiding in a large Combined Squad, providing Ld bonuses - if he isn't attached to a unit he will be very easy to kill.Commissar Yarrick
Veteran of Armageddon, Yarrick is a Commissar and a Priest Combined into one. He provides bonuses to the squads around him, and most notably gives Fearless and Litanies of Hate to the squad he joins. He is also quite hard to kill, as his Forcefield forces wound rolls to be re-rolled if they pass, combined with T4, Eternal Warrior, and the chance to get back up if he dies, Yarrick is a tough little character.
He doesn't pose a significant threat as Tau S5 will down him pretty quickly, and he is slow. He also costs a hefty amount and their are better options in the Codex for giving bonuses to the rest of the army. However, his Powerfist attacks combined with the re-rolls to hit can make Yarrick joined with a Grey Knight squad very deadly on the charge.Primaris Psyker
Compared to the Psykers of other races, the Primaris Psyker seems quite lackluster. He has two decidedly average powers, a S3 Force Weapon, and takes up an HQ slot for a reasonable price. Lightning Arc is a psychic shooting attack which causes 2D6 S6 shots, which is rather good at putting wounds on Crisis Suits. Nightshroud is a power which forces any units shooting at the Psyker or any squad he is attached to pass a Leadership check and if failed they cannot shoot. While not a problem for most armies, the Tau have a rather average leadership so they stand a chance of failing. However, Guardsmen on foot (units the Psyker is likely to be joined to) are usually not a large threat and won't be targetted anyway - our guns should be focussed on Vehicles or Mechanized units.
The Pskyer doesn't add much to the army, and as an HQ choice he limits the amount of CCS's that can be taken to one. If taken, don't worry too much and your vehicle pilots will cherish the absence of a second Melta CCS. Ministorum Priest
At first glance, the Priest seems to be a very weak, easily killed Independent Character. While this is true, he offers quite a lot to an Imperial Guard army. He gives his attached unit re-rolls to hit on the charge, and with an Eviscerator, can be quite deadly himself. Attached to a Countercharge or Close Combat orientated Company Command Squad he greatly enhances the effectiveness of the unit; giving them a significant bonus in the first round of combat. If also enhanced by the Furious Charge USR, a first round win is likely to occur, causing the enemy to run.
However, the Priest is T3 and only has a Rosarius for protection. As an IC he can be picked out in Close Combat and so will die pretty quickly. He is likely to be placed in a Grey Knight squad or a Company Command Squad lead by Straken - both these units maximise the re-rolls provided by the Priest. Avoid being charged by any unit he hides in, and weight of fire can be used to force him to make saves. His low wound value means he isn't going to last long, so take him down before he can allow his unit to be destructive in combat.Techpriest Enginseer
The Enginseers have now been moved to the HQ section, where they can be taken as a 2 for 1 choice without using a slot. He can fix a Weapon Destroyed or Immobilized result on a 5+, has Power Armour, and has a Powerfist at S4. He can also take servitors. Each servitor adds +1 to the repair roll, and up to two can be equipped with a heavy weapon. However, they are very weak, and usually considered far too expensive to be a reliable source of heavy weapons.
He isn't extremely reliable at repairing vehicles, and adding extra servitors to increase his chances bring the cost of his unit comparable to purchasing an extra vehicle instead. However in larger games with tank squadrons and such, his cost becomes less of a worry and keeping tanks moving and shooting can be a large asset for an Imperial Guard army.ElitesOgryns
Ogryns have been designed to take a charge, and with high Toughness and Wounds stats they do exactly that. They are also quite good at dealing damage themselves, and can be mounted in a Chimera to take the fight to the enemy. They cannot be mounted in Valkyries which prevents them from getting turn one charges. Although their guns are decent for softening up units before a charge, their short range will mean they won't get to shoot before they are assaulted or in the case of the Tau, they won't have any targets due to the danger of Tau units being close to anything even remotely assault orientated.
If kept at a distance, Ogryns can be killed by Pulse fire or Missile Pods if they aren't occupied destroying transports. As they are slow without a Chimera, it is very easy to stay away because of our high mobility. Using Kroot to assault Ogryns doesn't work so well because it takes a lot for a Kroot to wound an Ogryn, and they are Stubborn so usually won't run. They are rather expensive, and so expect to instead see Grey Knight Terminators or even regular Grey Knights as the close combat units in the army as they do a far better job. If you find yourself sinking too much firepower into them with little result, use a Devilfish Chassis to block them off and concentrate on the more dangerous parts of the army.Ratlings
The Hobbits of 40k, these abhumans are a cheap way of bringing Sniper Rifles into an Imperial Guard army. With flexible deployment options due to Infiltrate, they can set up in suitable cover and pin low Ld units and take wounds of Monstrous Creatures pretty reliably as they are BS4. On the other hand, they are very weak and even with Stealth it is very easy to kill them and force them to fall back because they have a low leadership.
Ratlings pose very little threat to the Tau. Although Tau suffer from pinning weapons due to our low Ld without Shadowsun, there are plenty of Barrage weapons in the Imperial Guard arsenal that do far more damage as well as pin. As the Tau, we don't even need to dedicate an entire units shooting to get rid of them – units with Target Locks and detached Drones should easily be able to cause the wounds needed to force a morale check.Psyker Battle Squad
The PBS is a squad of Psykers with two powerful psychic abilities. The first of these, Weaken Resolve, lowers the leadership of any unit within 36” [and in LOS] by the number of psykers in the PBS, to a minimum of 2. This will cause basically any non-fearless unit to fail morale checks and flee, effectively making a game changing ability by causing a massive assault unit to run away. The second ability is Soulstorm, a large blast shooting attack with Strength equal to the number of psykers in the PBS and APD6. This will make units like Plague Marines wary, as being caught under an AP1-2 large blast in the open can be very painful indeed. The PBS can take a Chimera, and and will usually always do so as the unit is rather fragile and psykers can use abilities from inside transports.
While Weaken Resolve may look fearsome to a Tau army, especially as we have no Fearless units and no Psychic Defences, their only real targets are Broadsides and Pathfinders. Vehicles are unaffected, and XV8s can hide by using the vehicles as cover. As Broadsides and Pathfinders are static, they need LOS to shoot and so the enemy can see them back. However, as they are frequently deployed further back in the Deployment Zone, the PBS is forced to move forward to get into range and thus becomes an easy target for our guns. The transporting Chimera can be destroyed easily by Missile Pods or Railguns, and the remaining members of the PBS can be mopped up by Pulse fire. Storm Trooper Squad
This unit is supposed to be one of the Imperial Guard's primary anti-MEq units. Armed with the new Hot-shot Lasgun, a shorter ranged AP3 weapon, it does a reasonable job as it can get into range quickly when mounted due to the Scouts USR. The Airborne Assault special rule allows the Storm Trooper Squad equipped with Meltaguns to be a relatively effective anti-tank deepstriking unit – they can be placed close [6” or less] as the risks of Grav Chute Insertion are decreased. However, Veteran Squads perform the anti-tank role better, at a cheaper cost, and are troops; thus they will usually always be taken over Storm Troopers.
While Deepstriking Storm Troopers are a threat to our vehicles, Veterans and the CCS have always posed this same threat. When used in an anti-infantry role they are likely to be pulverized by Pulse fire as they try to get into range due to their 4+ save, and our ability to knock out transports with ease. Storm Troopers really don't threaten us at all, the low strength of their weapons is a real liability against XV8s and the fact that they don't score makes them even worse. Guardsman Marbo
Marbo is essentially a poor mans assassin, but adds a few interesting perks. His deployment rules mean he has to start in reserve but can come onto the board as long as he is at least 1” away from any enemies [and he doesn't scatter]. He is armed with a Demo Charge and so while he can't assault on the turn he arrives, he can do some serious damage to heavy infantry or rear armour – his high BS means that it shouldn't scatter much. If he survives the turn he arrives, he can then assault and with a 2+ Poisoned Weapon and a heap of attacks at WS5, this guy can really take it to weakened units; his low defences mean that against full strength units he won't kill them all and the rest are likely to wound him easily. He can make almost any army wary, as they cannot hide anywhere – he has Stealth and Move Through Cover meaning he can hunt down units in cover effectively. Fleet and Hit and Run also expand his options regarding close combat.
As he is pretty cheap and Astropaths are a common addition to Imperial Guard armies, Marbo is an excellent way to add the element of surprise to an army. XV8s and 88s will suffer from the demo charge and Pathfinders and smaller units of Kroot will be annihilated in combat. He is extremely likely to hurt something when he comes onto the board, so just make sure you have the mobility to move away and deny him any chance of assault.
~More to come soon; feedback and suggestions welcome.