This past Saturday saw the release of the new Imperial Guard Lord Commissar, Regimental Advisors, and the new Battleforces for Cadian and Catachan armies. This completes the IG releases for May, but rumor has it that there will be more coming for the Guard this August with the release of the new multi-variant Hellhound and Demolisher kits.
Now the newly revised Imperial Guard Codex and shiny new models raises some interesting possibilities regarding army selection in every area of their 40K force organization chart, including the HQ choices. Previously, the HQ options for a Guard army were extremely narrow, but with new characters like the Primaris Psyker and Lord Commissar to lead IG armies, as well as selections like Commissar Yarrick and company command upgrade characters like Creed and Straken, Imperial Guard generals now have a plethora of selections and combinations they can try out in the HQ role. Additionally, new flexibility with choices like the Ministorum Priests add even more tactical options for IG enthusiasts.
So, let me ask, both new Imperial Guard commanders and veterans alike:
– Which HQ choices and combinations will you be using most often?
– How do you think the new HQ options will affect the employment of the IG in games? Will they have a significant effect on game play and tactics or do they just add a little “oomph” without much changing the way the army will be used?
– If you’re a long-time IG commander, will you be sticking close to the old-style company command squad, will you be switching to the newer options, or will you be using a combination of the two?
– What other items are you planning to add to existing Guard armies? Do options like Penal troops, Veterans and Conscripts seem more attractive under the new Codex?
– Do any of the new options make the Guard feel less fragile in the face of possible close combat situations or do the Guard still need to avoid close combat in all but the most dire and desperate circumstances?
– If you’ve played games with or against the Guard using the new Codex, what if anything seems significantly different now compared to Guard under the previous Codex?
Okay, Imperial commanders, file your analyses and battle doctrine recommendations in the comments area below. The Lord Commissar gives you permission to speak freely on this topic, so the usual sanctions against tactics that include withdrawal manoeuvres and the like are lifted for a limited time.
I played an Apocalypse game against a friend’s Guard army last Friday and the newly increased Guard fire power and special orders were certainly causes for concern, although my Slaughterfiend Bloodpack and massive hordes of Khorne Berserkers were not to be denied their skulls in the end! Nevertheless, what was a good army is now a great one under the new Guard Codex and we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible with an Imperial Guard army now.
I completed a large Imperial Guard army of my own in 2006 (a sampling of it can be viewed here) and I’ll be revisiting it this year for sure with new tanks, Valkyries and more. Being a Warhammer collector and modeler first and a 40K player second, I think it will be fun to paint the new HQ characters as well as some troop options that now seem more colorful to me than they did before, specifically, Penal and Conscript squads. I’d also like to go back and paint a few odd unpainted IG models I have like Creed and Kell. Then there are those crazy fun projects I always start thinking of to make my armies more unique. For example, I’m considering turning that old collection of Necromunda Escher gang models I have into a squad of all-female veterans. As always, too many potential projects, too much fun to be had, too little time!