Jwolf here. If you’re like most Imperial Guard players who have played for the Guard for a long time, you do the Happy Dance when Spearhead Deployment comes up. After all, we have the big guns with all the range, and Spearhead means we get set up a nice neat castle in the corner and mow the enemy down on their way in, right? Here are a few good reasons to consider using Reserves and different deployment options for the Imperial Guard under Spearhead Deployment (Note: Any shooty army can benefit from this, so get over the whining about Imperial Guard articles already).
1) Reserves come in anywhere along the long table edge. This means Chimeras coming from Reserves get Multilaser shots at the sides and rear of enemy vehicles charging towards your line. This is especially true if you deploy towards the center of the table along the short table edge. Spearhead is also a good mission to consider Valkyries and Vendettas in normal Reserve instead of outflanking, for this very reason.
2) In Seize Ground, deploy away from objectives, and keep your initial forces away from them. This causes your opponent to either pursue the objectives or your forces. Since most of your initial deployments can be the big guns (which are coincidentally non-scoring but kill the most enemy units), having to choose what to dedicate to each task makes it easier to find a flaw in your opponent’s strategy and take it apart. In Capture and Control, you’ll want the objective as far from the enemy as possible; don’t make it easier for them to get there by deploying assaultable units along the path.
3) Hellhound Chassis Vehicles and Demolishers have short range but are rightly feared. Having them available to come in from the Flank and Rear makes a good general think about something other than his plan of attack, which makes their implied threat greater. This also means that you’re certain to get Alpha strikes with these vehicles, which is a very good thing. Deploy closer to the center of your own board edge to maximize the value of these vehicles in Reserve.
4) Drop Pods and Outflankers are hell on castled forces. Castling provides a target-rich environment that enemies love and Fifth Edition has seen so great an increase in non-linear movement that the old castle just isn’t what it used to be. Unless you prefer using a Chimera wall to outmaneuvering the opposition – that castle is still terribly viable.
5) Cheap Chimeras and good Fast Attack Choices (that are actually fast!) mean that IG are best played without the old gunline. Make enough of a gunline that your opponent can’t afford to leave it alone, then use the rest of your forces to strike at their weak points, or simply run around them and grab the objectives.
6) Astropaths make Outflanking a good percentage option. Load up Valkyries and/or Vendettas and get those Melta-Vets delivered right to the opponent’s rear objectives.
~One of the great things about the new Guard Codex is an unprecedented level of mobility, so shake up your old thoughts about Spearhead and use that mobility and Reserves to take the engagement non-linear. the floor is open Generals. Lets hear your thoughts on Spearhead deployment and firepower armies.