Tactica Imperium

Collected thoughts on His most glorious Imperial Guard

~Light of the Emperor

Dear Reader, welcome! Warseer has once again proved itself nothing if not willing to share some more heaps of dubiously objective opinion, so after a great deal of discussion, begging, pleading, and outright flaming, we finally have something to offer. What follows is a collection of articles from an assorted group of authors, giving their thoughts and opinions on units and tactics for the Imperial Guard Codex. We trust you may find some gleaming morsels of wisdom among our interminable ranting. Interspersed with this are a variety of rather stunning photographs, used with the kind permission of their original owners. I’ve also subjected you to a collection of quotes that you will have to forgive me for finding amusing, used without the knowledge of their unsuspecting authors. With that said, all that’s left is for me to wish you the best of luck, for surely you shall need it. For the Emperor! ~Lord Cook, your Editor for… however many evenings it takes you to read this.


“People play Marines because not everybody is cool enough to play Imperial Guard.” ~Slaaneshi Slave
1 - Introduction – Lord Cook 4 - Company Command Squads – ColonelGreiss 6 - ………Advisors 6 - ………Upgrades 7 - ………Special characters 10 - Specializing your Command Squad – Steel Legion for Life 13 - Orders – ColonelGreiss 15 - HQ Characters – ColonelGreiss 17 - Techpriest Enginseers – Lord Cook 19 - ‘Commissar Catullus’ – Ash 20 - Ogryns – Lord Solar Plexus 22 - ………Ogryns and special characters 24 - Ratlings – Lord Cook 25 - Psyker Battle squads – Lord Cook 27 - Guardsman Marbo – Lord Cook 29 - Storm Troopers – SonofUltramar 31 - ………Special operations 34 - Infantry Platoons – Richblake 34 - ………Platoon Command squads 36 - ………Infantry squads 38 - ………Heavy Weapon squads 39 - ………Special Weapon squads 40 - ………Conscript platoons 41 - Chimeras – Vaktathi 43 - Mechanized Platoons – Vaktathi 45 - ………Deployment illustrations 50 - Veteran squads – Cleansingfury 53 - ………Harker and Bastonne 54 - ‘Rhork’s Drift’ – only joking... 55 - Sentinel squadrons – Gondorian 57 - ………Common strategies 58 - ………Equipment and weaponry 60 - Rough Riders – Awilla the Hun 62 - ………Counter assault 63 - ………Mogul Kamir 63 - ………Aggressive assault 65 - The Dogs of War – Captain Micha 65 - ………Hellhounds and Bane Wolves 66 - ………Devil Dog 68 - Valkyries and Vendettas – Steel Legion for Life 69 - ………Weaponry 70 - ………Deployment options 71 - ………The airborne army 73 - ‘Mobile Air Control Tower’ – DigitsDavid 74 - Firepower niches and building your army – Sircyn 76 - Heavy Artillery – Sircyn 78 - ………Deploying the big guns 79 - ………Defending your artillery 79 - ………Killing stuff 81 - ………Griffon 83 - ………Basilisk



84 - ………Medusa 85 - ………Colossus 86 - Hydra Flak Tank – Sircyn 88 - Manticore Rocket Launcher – Sircyn 90 - Deathstrike Missile Launcher – Sircyn 92 - Leman Russ – Colonel Jacka 94 - ………Using the Leman Russ MBT 96 - ………Tank formations 99 - ………Vanquisher 101 - ………Demolisher 103 - ………Exterminator 104 - ………Eradicator 105 - ………Executioner 107 - ………Punisher 108 - ………Conqueror, Destroyer, Thunderer, Atlas 111 - Assorted pictures 118 - Special thanks

Content coming soon: Dogs of War deployment illustrations – Captain Micha Penal Legion – Lord Cook Wound allocation shenanigans – Lord Cook Aspects of the Guard – Solar_Eclipse Sample army lists – Onlainari

Do you have an idea for an article? Cool pictures available? What have we missed? Send a PM to me (Lord Cook) on Warseer and we’ll sort out the details! If you would like to write about something that has already been covered but you have different opinions or ideas, don’t hold back. Let me know. Variety is the spice of life!
~Lord Cook


Company Command squads, by ColonelGreiss
"Bloodcrushers pulverized the entire left flank, wiping out a squad and leaving only five of the other squad alive. Miraculously for the guardsmen (but face-palm for their commander), they make their snake eyes morale check and hold the line." ~Formerly Wu

~Ingold Toynbe

The Imperial Guard Command Squad is one of the most versatile and flexible units in Warhammer 40K. This Tactica will specifically address its strengths and weaknesses, different load outs, and the ways it can compliment different army builds, in relation to the brandspanking new Imperial Guard codex. Your Company Command squads come with one Company Commander (CO) and four veterans. It is important to note that the CO is one of the few models in the Guard codex that can actually dish out some hurt in close combat. Another important thing to note is that the veterans all have Bs4, which is a huge boost from the previous codex. These squads now represent a cheap and efficient way to pack a lot of special weapons into your army. The Command squad’s best strength is their wealth of options. The CO can be equipped with a boltgun for some (slight) long range shooting, or a plasma pistol for splattering marines, or a power fist for cleaning up units in close combat. Every veteran can be given a special weapon, either a flamer, plasma gun, meltagun, or grenade launcher. In addition one veteran can take a heavy flamer, or two veterans can be turned into a heavy weapons team manning a lascannon, autocannon, heavy bolter, missile launcher, or mortar. You can give any unupgraded veteran a medi-pack to give the whole squad the Feel No Pain USR, and give another un-upgraded veteran a regimental standard to help anchor your battle line. You can also give the unit either carapace armour, or cameleoline, to make them a little less fragile in the face of enemy fire. And that’s without the use of ANY special characters or advisors.


There are two schools of thought on Company Command squads. One is to keep them cheap and effective. Eschew expensive upgrades, characters and advisors and make the unit hit as hard as it can for as cheaply as it can. The other school would rather tech out the Command squad as much as possible, having it survive for longer in order to dish out more of the Emperor’s righteous fury to heretics. [I have unashamedly long-since dived head first into the first school. ~Editor].

Basic builds
Unit of Fiery Doom CO w/ Power fist and shotgun 3 Veterans w/ Flamer 1 Veteran w/ Heavy flamer Chimera w/ Turret heavy flamer, hull heavy bolter This is a great unit, with the ability to put enough wounds on an MEQ unit to severely damage it, as well as having the ability to wipe entire 30-model strong units of Orks off the board. The heavy flamer and power fist are not necessary, but can greatly increase the units hitting power if you have the extra points in your list. However, this unit takes no advantage of the veterans’ improved BS of 4, and also puts them directly in harms way, which can be something you want to avoid with your commander. This build is much better suited to Platoon Command squads with their BS of 3 and relative expendability.

Plasma Taxi CO w/ Boltgun 4 Veterans w/ Plasma guns Chimera w/ Multi-laser, heavy bolter This unit can terrorize an opponent. Monstrous creatures, MEQs, Terminators, and light to medium vehicles will all want to keep their distance from this Chimera. Pouring out eight plasma shots a turn at Bs4 is nothing to ignore. However, the amount of plasma gunners in the unit can quite quickly decrease. The inability to take a medic alongside four plasma gunners is unfortunate, and leaves us with two unsatisfactory solutions. We can take a medic and three plasma gunners, which will save our gunners from killing themselves two thirds of the time, but lower the units maximum damage potential, or we can give the unit carapace, keeping the units damage output the same, but only saving the gunners half the time. Or you could take the medic and the carapace. I personally like to keep this squad fairly cheap, and so just trust that I’ll get a little lucky when it comes to "Gets hot!" saves. Melta Taxi CO w/ Melta bombs 4 Veterans w/ Melta guns Chimera w/ Multi-laser, heavy flamer A great anti-tank unit. Combined with the “Bring it down!” order this unit is basically guaranteed to kill any vehicle it gets within 6" of. Even without that order it is guaranteed to do some sort of permanent damage, barring horrible luck. Giving the Chimera a heavy flamer (or even two) is a fun trick that will often fool your opponent into shooting your "more dangerous" heavy bolter and multi-laser chimeras, giving this one the time to get up close and personal. This is even more effective if you give your long-range Chimeras a heavy stubber as well.


Sneaks CO w/ Boltgun 3 Veterans w/ Sniper rifles 1 Veteran w/ Regimental standard Cameleoline Master of Ordinance (MoO) This is a good unit to put in some cover in the centre of a gun line. The commander and standard bearer anchor your gun line, giving out orders and morale bonuses, while the snipers can do as much damage as they can, pinning units and sniping MCs and just causing their usual havoc. The MoO, which I will discuss in greater detail later, is a nice addition to this unit as it is unlikely to move, which will allow him to drop his earthshaker shots as he pleases.

Astropath This advisor can go into any Company Command squad. His abilities have little to no effect on the squad, and vice versa. Think of him instead as an upgrade for your entire army. If your army uses a lot of reserves or flankers then he is a no-brainer. If you don't use many reserves, leave him at home. This works even better in multiples. Officer of the Fleet This advisor can go into any Company Command squad. His abilities have little to no effect on the squad, and vice versa. Think of him instead as an upgrade for your entire army. Use him if you find yourself facing mechanized Eldar, drop pods, or Daemons etc. a lot. Or if you really don't like outflankers. If you rarely face these armies in your gaming group, he will be largely unnecessary. Potentially works even better in multiples. Master of Ordnance This advisor should only be used in a Command squad that is never ever going to move. That is pretty obvious. However this can greatly limit their effectiveness, as many of the best uses of Command squads are as mobile, hard hitting counters to your opponents units. This guy shines in a Command squad that is designed to give out orders to a gun line, alongside a couple of snipers, and maybe a heavy weapon. Anywhere else, he will be shooting rarely, and hitting even less often. Possible rules abuse by combining him with a mortar to take advantage of multiple barrage rules to lessen his scatter. I personally don’t think the rules work that way, but some people do, and it is effective, if in my opinion, underhanded. Bodyguards These boys are supposedly used to protect your CO. However, since your officer is often one of the least important members of your command squad, they are often simply extra wounds that can protect your special weapons or other advisors from death. Take these guys if you are not going spend most of the game inside of a chimera, as they can greatly extend the units survival.

Carapace armour Good for a mobile Command squad that will draw a lot of fire and be out in the open. A little pricey if bought for a 5-man Command squad, but if you are using three or four advisors it becomes much more cost effective.


Cameleoline Good on a stationary Command squad. Better than carapace, as it will usually give you a 3+ cover save. Better than carapace on mobile Command squads if the board is heavy on the terrain. Like carapace it’s expensive if bought for a 5-man Command squad, but with many advisors it becomes much more cost effective. Medic Takes a special weapon slot, which is unfortunate. However, Feel No Pain allows the squad to have the equivalent of Marine armour or better vs. most weaponry. Combine this with carapace to give your entire unit a save slightly worse than terminator armour. Probably best used in a big unit designed for counter assault purposes that has some special character upgrades. Very pricey, but once again gets more cost effective with more advisors. Regimental standard Very nice upgrade for an army with lots of infantry. Replaces the role of officers with iron discipline in the old codex. When combined with the "Get back in the fight!" order you can forget that your units even have a morale stat. Takes a special weapon slot (why? is waving a flag that hard?) so is probably best left out of the special weapon heavy builds for Command squads.

Special Characters
Ursarkar E. Creed Best use of a middle initial award goes to... Creed is quite expensive, clocking in at 90pts on top of what you’re already paying for unit, and replacing your CO. But he’s worth it. Four orders a turn, instead of two, and twice the order radius, plus a ridiculous "For Cadia!" order that makes a unit have Furious Charge and Fearless. And, as a bonus, you get to give any unit in your army Scout, which can make those Rough Riders mighty scary. Creed’s downside is pretty obvious, in that other than his leadership abilities, he doesn't really do anything. He’s not very good in combat, or at range, and will die pretty fast once anything gets into combat. Combining him with Nork or Kell or two bodyguards is highly recommended. In fact, two bodyguards should probably be taken with any CO or platoon officer upgrade. Creed can be used in a mobile or stationary Command squad with equal effect, but you have to go to greater lengths to protect the large points investment he represents if you plan on putting him in harms way. Jarran Kell Kell doesn’t need to have Creed present to be taken, nor does he have to be deployed with Creed. Nevertheless he’s a great way to make sure all of Creed’s four orders are followed with his "Listen up, maggots!!" special rule making the test to use orders go against Creed’s leadership of 10. Also makes Creed’s unit much scarier to face in CC, and helps to keep Creed alive with the "Look out sir! Argh!" special rule. Also has a regimental standard, so all the points about them apply to him as well. If you take Creed and have a few extra points, he’s a good investment, however if you’re tight on points it’s probably a better deal to just get a couple bodyguards. Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken One of my personal favourite oddball special characters, a Command squad with Straken can be the first step down a very dangerous path that leads to the craziest of all Imperial Guard lists; CC Guard. However he can also be used as the basis of a much smaller counter assault element in a regular Guard list. He’s rock hard in combat, and combined with a large command squad and/or Nork Deddog he can cause quite a bit of damage in CC with five S7 attacks by himself. Toss a Priest in the unit for a little extra fun. With a couple nearby Rough Rider squads (or even just big Infantry/Conscript squads) to benefit from his awesome Counter Attack and Furious Charge auras, he can put a dent in any assault armies plan.


[Nork Deddog I so desperately wanted to like Nork Deddog; especially as that Ogryn standard-bearer I’ve shamelessly plastered all over this PDF is mine. A nice Ogryn conversion looks great amongst your Command squad, and having three extra wounds with Feel No Pain is very handy at the best of times. He can even do a fair amount of damage. Unfortunately, I can only assume that his points cost was calculated by throwing darts at a periodic table, because he is ridiculously overpriced. It doesn’t help of course that his T5 is largely useless, given that wounding rolls are based on majority toughness. So until the squad is whittled down a great deal, he might as well count as T3; a flaw shared by Straken. Similarly, his attacks don’t ignore armour, so his damage potential is just as easily gained by buying a power fist for a marginally decent combat character. If you’re playing a laid back game of Apocalypse, add Nork for a laugh. If you want a more durable Command squad that costs far too many points, get two bodyguards, a medic and carapace armour. That still leaves you 30 points in profit compared to buying Nork. ~Editor].

Advanced Company Command squad builds
Ursarkar E. Creed Veteran w/ Regimental standard Veteran w/ Medi-pack Veterans w/ Heavy weapon 2 Bodyguards Master of Ordinance Officer of the Fleet Cameleoline Chimera w/ Multi-laser, heavy bolter, heavy stubber A very pricey unit, but a great basis for an infantry-heavy army. Creed and the standard will anchor your line and allow you to pour out a little extra and more accurate fire. This unit probably won’t need a Chimera for protection with cameleoline and some cover, but since it is so expensive it is worth the extra points to protect your investment. The unit will also be able to cause your opponent some pain from afar with the (admittedly inaccurate) MoO taking chunks out of their army; while the Chimera spits out nine shots a turn, and the heavy weapon can take pot shots at tanks or infantry. CO w/ Power fist 4 Plasma gunners 2 Bodyguards Astropath Officer of the Fleet Chimera w/ Turret heavy flamer, hull heavy bolter This is one of my mechanized lists’ HQs. The Astropath works great in multiples allowing you to hold you entire army in reserve, and come on all at once in a storm of death and destruction on the second turn. The Fleet Officer messes with the plans of other armies hoping to pull the same tactic, while also ruining drop pod and Deamon armies days, as well as greatly decreasing the strength of your opponent’s flankers. The CO has a power fist as he has so many ablative wounds that if he HAS to go into combat, he can do quite a bit of damage before he gets dragged down. Plasma guns are simply the best option for a Company Command in my opinion, so they are taken in all possible spots. Hits hard, and effects the entire game in a very large way. What more could you want? CO w/ No upgrades 4 Melta gunners Officer of the Fleet Astropath


My other HQ, this one flies in off the flank inside a Valkyrie/Vendetta. A rather suicidal squad in general, killing a big nasty tank (or two) before getting eaten by a close combat unit. I don't mind too much when the advisors get killed as the Astropath has already served his purpose, and the Officer of the Fleet has already delayed reserves a couple turns, and I still have the second one to force my opponent to re-roll what board edge his flankers come on. Colonel Iron Hand Straken Priest w/ Eviscerator Veteran w/ Regimental standard Veteran w/ Medi-pack Veteran w/ Heavy flamer Veteran w/ Flamer Nork Deddog Astropath Officer of the Fleet The nucleus for a great counter assault element (or even, if you’re crazy, an assaulting Guard army). Works great flying in a Valkyrie or in a Chimera. Will cause some serious hurt when combined with a unit of Conscripts, Ogryns or Rough Riders. [Having barely restrained my hands from the keyboard for several of these builds, I can’t help myself with this one. I’m going to interpret terms such as ‘works great’ and ‘cause serious hurt’ purely within the context of Apocalypse and not a competitive game of 40k. Fun? Yes. Worth the points? When hell freezes over, or when the new Dark Eldar codex is released, whichever comes first. ~Editor].

~Karrig stern


Specializing your Command squad, by Steel Legion for Life
"In my opinion there is no such thing as a close combat guardsman just those guys who didn't get to the weapons rack fast enough." ~predatorsown

~Mr Feral

Ultimately, Command sections fulfil different roles in different armies, and are one of the most flexible units in the codex. You can equip them differently to plug holes in capability in your army, and you should probably think about exactly what their role in YOUR army is, rather than generalising. The main thing you want them to do is use the (excellent) CO-only orders, advisors and other passive boosting abilities while staying alive. I tend to break Command sections into three types: 1) Immobile Immobile Command sections are probably best used in infantry heavy shooting armies. They are cheap, and effective for their points. You deploy them out of LOS as protection, and don't waste points on survival upgrades like carapace, medics, camo cloaks etc. You don't need LOS to use the two important passive abilities they provide - orders and a standard. Orders are obviously great; the idea is to deploy the officer in a place where he can issue the most important orders to the bulk of your army - this is particularly important for infantry gun line armies, who will rely on the Commander using Bring it Down! in particular, to boost the effectiveness of heavy weapons units. In a static army, the standard is probably the most cost effective boost to leadership in the game. Everything within a 2ft diameter bubble gets a re-roll on important leadership tests. It's a bargain for 15pts, in the right army. As the unit is stationary, a Master of Ordnance is a good buy. Equally, as the unit is deployed out of line of sight, and can reliably expect to be alive for the first couple of turns, the Astropath and Fleet Officer's passive bonuses will have a good effect.


As for special weapons for this type of unit, I think it's worth buying them a mortar, so they can do something while hiding, or a couple of flamers, so they can have dual function as a counter assault for a minimal investment of points. The immobile HQ tries to be cheap, and hidden, exploiting passive abilities. 2) Mounted The mounted HQ is the unit I use the most. This is a unit that tries to keep costs down, getting added survivability and manoeuvrability from a Chimera or Valkyrie. I think it's best to try to exploit the mobility the transport gives you, making this HQ an effective troubleshooting unit, leaping out of a vehicle and saving the day in a blaze of special weapons fire. This is a good unit; I tend to use a very cheap one with four flamers, in a Chimera with multilaser, heavy flamer and heavy stubber, but I have seen effective units with four meltaguns for vehicle hunting, four plasma guns for going after monstrous creatures or Terminator squads, or a mix of flamers and meltas for flexibility. It does tend to move a great deal, and because they often have to move 12", dismount and then fire, the squad will often be wiped out by return fire or an assault from the enemy. The four flamer squad is, in my experience as effective against 2/3+ save units, much more effective against hordes, and is dirt cheap, so losing it matters less. In a mechanised army, it's often hard to use orders effectively, as troops can't receive orders inside Chimeras. Still, you will find yourself using them. I do find myself using Get Back in the Fight! relatively often, to force units who have bailed out of destroyed transports to fire and react. Equally, in lots of the airborne armies I've seen, people find the "alpha strike" arrival turn so crucial, they often use two HQs, jumping out of Valkyries to give orders to Veterans, ensuring a reasonable certainty of killing vehicles with Bring it Down!. Because you're often moving, and when you jump out you often die, advisers probably aren't worth it in mechanized HQs - Masters of Ordnance can't fire and Fleet Officers/Astropaths aren't really appropriate in a (relatively) sacrificial unit, as you lose their benefit as soon as they die. Still, most airborne armies include a couple of Astropaths, to maximise the chance of a whole army arriving on one turn from Scout/deep strike. 3) Front-line Front-line is a sort of grab bag of other unusual options for a Command HQ. It's my summary title for builds that try to make the HQ be a meaningful combat unit on top of fulfilling the other functions. I'm not sure this is the optimum use of the unit, but it can be effective. There are two good builds I've seen for this. One is a Sniper HQ, where the HQ Veterans are given camo cloaks and sniper rifles. This gives you an effective sniper unit; with access to Ld9 orders - useful for Bring it Down! on monstrous creatures. It's also quite cheap, and probably safe enough and sufficiently static to add advisors to. Still, it's a Command HQ that has to be in line of sight of the enemy to use those rifles. The 3+ cover save is a nice deterrent for random shooting, but I'm sure I'd blast one of these to death asap, just to get rid of the orders. The person I know who uses this unit points out that the HQ absorbs a shocking amount of fire with the cover save; a 3+ cover save + a Medic could be an (expensive) but good sponge for anti-infantry shooting. The other viable build I have seen for a Command HQ is the frontline HQ with all the


trimmings. This is an HQ with all five possible advisors, in carapace armour, with a medic for FNP, and an assortment of combat upgrades (e.g. power fists, Straken, Kell, whatever you fancy) joined by a Priest and maybe a Commissar Lord. The unit does a substantial amount of damage in combat, thanks to re-rolls from the Priest and having quite a few high S power fist/weapon attacks. Equally, it's surprisingly resilient as the 4+/4+ (Carapace + FNP) really whittles down the amount of wounds it takes, and it has a lot of wounds, and will usually be stubborn at Ld9, potentially with a re-roll from a standard. It really is surprising how much better carapace/medic makes you in combat; the 75% survival rate on wounds, combined with having more wounds to lose across the squad means you can often win truly desperate looking combats. It's very similar to an Inquisitorial retinue in being a T3 combat unit for a zillion points, that isn't nearly as effective as the amount of points you spend on it. Still, much like a large Inquisitorial retinue, it is a fun modelling challenge, and can be surprisingly effective in combat. Hope this helps.



Orders, by ColonelGreiss
"I try to promote the terms ‘double-tapping’ or ‘firing twice’ to mean firing twice with a Rapid Fire weapon at a target within 12" of the firing model." ~Culven "With my Guard I call it ‘spray and pray’." ~don_mondo
I typically view orders as a happy bonus to the army. Most games they will have minimal effect. But every now and then they will allow you to move that extra inch, survive that last volley, or destroy that vital tank and will win you the game. I follow the idea that the orders help make your army better, not that you should tailor your army so they work best when given orders. Some people however will like to take 50 man infantry units with voxes so they can get off those extra 50 lasgun shots from a single order. It’s all about your play style and what you want to get out of your orders.

Basic Orders
Any Platoon or Company Commander, with certain special exceptions, can use any of these orders. Front Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire! This lets all lasguns in the unit fire either twice at long range (>24”), or three times at short range (>12”). Best used in infantry heavy armies with large units of guardsmen or Conscripts. A basic Infantry squad will not get much use out of this order, as seven extra lasgun shots aren't really going to be a big help. However, you should never forget that you CAN use this order, as seven free lasgun shots is not something we should just pass up. Incoming! This is one of my favourite new orders. For the sacrifice of not doing anything this turn or next turn you get a +2 modifier to your cover save. A unit of ten guardsmen on an objective that either gives them cover or are screened by other guardsmen can use this order to get a 2+ cover save. Try shooting that off an objective on the last turn of the game. Unfortunately, it can't be used in response to enemy shooting, so its only use is on a unit you KNOW the enemy is going to have to kill. In any other situation they can just switch targets. Move! Move! Move! This is another rule that can be very beneficial for a unit that has to make it onto an objective (or into cover). It allows you to roll 3d6 and take the highest when running, making it much more likely you'll get that hallowed 12" move. Considering how rarely I run my Guard, however, I feel this order will see little use other than last ditch attempts at objective grabbing or emergency redeployments. It is always nice to have a safety net for when you screw up and that unit is going to be just short of the objective however. [Personally I’ve found it invaluable for when you absolutely must contest/capture an objective this turn. ~Editor].

Advanced orders
These orders can only be used by a Company Commander and by certain Platoon Commander special characters. Bring it Down! Great order. This order twin-links all firing by the unit at a vehicle or monstrous creature. Using it on melta Command squads and Veterans squads is just mean. Also nice when used on plasma squads that are firing at MCs or light vehicles (re-rolling ‘gets hot!’ is so fun).


Might lead to some people taking lascannon Heavy Weapon squads, however the teams themselves are incredibly fragile, and should really just be upgraded to Vendettas. Fire on my Target! Unit targeted by the unit must re-roll all successful cover saves. Another great order for squads with many special weapons. The last thing you want is for all your Ap2 weapons to be ignored because of the plethora of 4+ cover available in this edition. Get Back in the Fight! A nice replacement for iron discipline and the leadership bubble. Allows you to quickly get pinned or broken units back into the fight. Also allows you to get units up from "Incoming!" so they only miss one turn of shooting instead of two.

Special Character Orders
For Cadia! Ursarkar Creed only. Ridiculous order. Furious Charge AND Fearless to a unit. Combine with Rough Riders or 50 man squads for extra nasty. Helps mitigate leadership modifiers in combat, allowing you to tar pit with units that would normally flee. Best order of the bunch. [Like the Wind! Captain Al’Rahem only. The ability to shoot with a Veteran squad at close range and then run backwards out of assault range is delightful. This must be how Tau players feel. This would be an amazing order, were it not for the fact that the units able to get most use from it generally do not outflank with Al’Rahem. Instead he’s surrounded by lacklustre regular infantry. Might be worth having a large unit of Storm Troopers use Reconnaissance to outflank next to Al’Rahem, fire a full volley and then get out of dodge. ~Editor]. General Order Tactics Don't take voxes for all your units. Really think about how often you’re going to want to give an order to each unit. Then think about how important for your game plan it is for that unit to successfully complete that order. Then think about how likely that unit is to fail an order. Then make your decision. Big 50 man units of guardsmen and Platoon Commands with meltaguns are the only units I feel really change with the addition of orders. Giving these units voxes is acceptable, in any other case, they are simply not worth it. [They are easily worth it on Veteran squads with three special weapons, particularly mechanized Veterans who will have one chance to cripple their target before inevitable and fatal retaliation. ~Editor] The problem with voxes is the types of units that would really benefit from them, often can’t take them. Conscripts, Special Weapons squads, Storm Troopers, Rough Riders, and Heavy Weapon squads all can't take voxes. If you want to make sure your orders always go off, take Creed AND Kell instead of voxes. Everyone using Creed's orders will test on his LD of 10 instead of their leadership of 6 or 7, AND you get the bonus of a nice combat guy to protect Creed and a regimental standard.


HQ Characters, by ColonelGreiss
“Twin-fisted Commissar Lord - For 30 points the bugger can feel like a poor man Calgar.” ~innerwolf

~Lord Cook. Painting by Andy Meechan.

Lord Commissar The basic Commissar Lord clocks in at a few points more than a typical Command squad, but has many less upgrades and therefore ends up being much cheaper. He is an inspiring leader (units within 6" can use his leadership) and he’s adequate in combat. However he doesn't come close to matching a Company Command squad in versatility. Commissar Lords also do not have the capability to give orders. In all, he is much less impressive than a Company Command squad. His greatest advantage comes in two things. The first is that he is cheap. With minimal upgrades (power fist and pistol) he clocks in at 85 points, which is significantly cheaper than a fully kitted Command squad and Chimera, which is advantageous in really small missions, or if you want to cram in as much of the goodies in the new codex as you can. His other advantage is that he can join any squad, including Ogryns. Now Ogryns are seriously nasty (if expensive). Their one biggest weakness is their low Ld. However take a unit of five and a Commissar Lord in a Chimera and you have one tasty little combat unit. However, there are a couple of other units in this very section that I believe do that job much better.


Primaris Psyker Same points as the Lord Commissar. Sacrifices some CC ability and Ld (and aura) for two psychic powers. The first is a 2D6 S6 Ap5 psychic power. This can be effective, and will average seven S6 shots a turn, but its AP of 5 is a little underwhelming. He can also be combined with a unit of Ogryn to offset their low Ld, however he adds more to the unit before combat by augmenting their shooting abilities rather than their combat abilities. His big reason for being in a unit of Ogryn is his other psychic power. This makes the enemy have to pass a Ld test to shoot the unit he’s in. If they fail, they don’t get to shoot that phase at all. Combined with a Psyker Battle squad this can remove an opponent’s fearsome shooty squad (Devastators, Heavy Weapons squads, Dark Reapers) from shooting at your best squad. However, with the things Ogryn being most afraid of coming off of tanks (S10 Ap2 ordnance) it may not be the most effective combination. Also combos well with allies, e.g. GK Terminators. Priests Priests received a minor bump in power level in this codex, losing the "Always moving" rule, gaining a free 4+ invulnerable save, and being allowed to join any friendly unit. Priests are great. Just not for Guard. Well, that isn't exactly true. Large units of Conscripts or guardsmen with Furious Charge and a Priest can really bring the hurt to an opponent. In these units consider taking him without the eviscerator to save on points. He also works nicely when combined with the Straken combat squad of doom. Straken, Nork and a Priest (and Kell or Yarrick if you really want to have fun) can really put the hurt to an opponent. Priests’ biggest disadvantages are their inability to join the two Guard squads that are actually good in close combat. Ogryns can’t use their rule and Priests (and Commissars) still can’t take horses in spite of people converting them on horses since third edition (and Forge World releasing mounted Commissars). If you are taking allies, however, Priests can do nasty things. Since they can now join any unit in your army GK Grandmasters and retinues re-rolling all misses on the turn they charge sounds good. Also works well with some Witch Hunter units, but those units are typically better being avoided. Commissar Yarrick I’ve always had a soft spot for Yarrick, but clocking in at 185 points means he'd better be damn good. He's almost as hard to kill as ever, and his 12" Stubborn aura is insane (also found for a cheaper price on Chenkov). The change in force field makes me unhappy as I always liked totally negating attacks, but re-rolling successful wounds against him is good. He has the Priest re-roll to hit ability as standard, which makes him a great addition to a Straken-led Command squad. However, with only three base attacks he doesn't hit very hard. If you want someone to help anchor your infantry line, Chenkov is a better option, and if you want the re-roll ability in a combat squad, Priests are much cheaper. His best use is probably in an Ogryn squad. A full unit of Ogryns, or a small unit inside a Chimera, with Yarrick, could be a very effective assault unit. However, they would probably cost almost 500 points, so it will probably be restricted to larger games.


Techpriest Enginseers, by Lord Cook

~only joking…

There’s something innately appealing about the prospect of being able to repair your own tanks. It might be something to do with seeing the expression on an opponent’s face as the plasma-flinging-death-launcher he just shot to bits is now back in action; an expression Necron players are long since familiar with. Fortunately this sense of smug satisfaction can now be yours with the new and improved Enginseers. Unfortunately, they still can’t pull their weight in your average game of 40k. As they don’t take up a FOC slot, they also can’t count as your mandatory HQ choice, so no little bonus there, before you get any ideas. Equipment options are virtually nonexistent. You can give your servitors ranged weapons if you really want to, but with Bs3 and one wound they simply don’t justify spending 35 points per model for just a heavy bolter, and that’s the cheap option. There are far better dedicated shooting options available for less points, so clearly if the lovable servants of the Mechanicus are going to see the light of day, they need to be repairing stuff. In this role they aren’t terrible. An Enginseer and two technical servitors will set you back 75 points. They can move and repair vehicles on a 3+ each turn. In armies that include large numbers of front line vehicles, you can reliably expect to have something to repair by about turn two or three, and enough vehicles to keep you busy all game. On top of this, each member of the unit gets one free power fist attack per assault phase, giving them a little defensive ability against combat troops trying to introduce your vehicles to a variety of grenades or big pointy claws. Unfortunately the average army just can’t get enough benefits from the unit for it to be very viable. There are some things we can do to help. When are Enginseers useful? > Heavily armoured, close-topped tanks like Leman Russ are less likely to be destroyed outright by incoming fire. Instead enemies may be content with destroying your Russ’s weapons or immobilizing it. Having an Enginseer on the board will force them to devote more resources into destroying your heavy tanks.


> Tanks in squadrons are destroyed on immobilized results. If the Enginseers want to be able to repair damage like that, your tanks need to be going solo, one per FOC slot. > People often take sponson weapons as insurance in case the main weapon is destroyed. The presence of an Enginseer would allow you to leave the sponsons off, saving you points on your tanks to help pay for the repair team. > If you keep all your Leman Russ within 12 inches of the Enginseer, weapon destroyed results can be fixed by having both units move towards each other and meet in the middle. Immobilized results need the tanks to be within 6 inches, as they obviously can’t cover their half of the distance. So what does this give us? Perhaps units like this: Leman Russ w/ Heavy bolter Demolisher w/ Lascannon Demolisher w/ Lascannon Techpriest w/ Two technical servitors _____ 585 points

The player has kept his tanks very cheap by avoiding expensive sponsons, safe in the knowledge that one weapon destroyed result need not be the end of one of his precious tanks. By comparison, adding heavy bolter sponsons to every tank to provide redundancy would cost 60 points, as much as an Enginseer and one servitor. Demolishers with their short range also rely on movement more than their long-ranged competitors, so additional safety from immobilized results is welcome. The problem? As insurance the Enginseer is only worth it if you actually suffer damage he can fix. Just buying more units with more guns seems to work just as well, and they’re always useful. For those 75 points you could get a Hydra or Griffon with spare Heavy Support slots. If you gear your entire Heavy Support section towards working alongside an Enginseer then it could work… possibly. But unless you urgently want to include an Enginseer for thematic or ‘rule of cool’ reasons, I just don’t think they can quite pull their weight.


’Commissar Catullus preaches aboard the Dominatus Maximus’ ~Ash


Ogryns, by Lord Solar Plexus
Welcome to another tactics article. Having had the luck to command a detachment of Ogryns in several engagements, one of the staff officers from HQ asked me to talk about my experiences with the big brutes. After all, I’ve used them more than twice, and so can say that I’ve used them more often than I can count. Well the times are dire, and if I can offer some advice to my fellow commanders, I will, so lean back and enjoy the show. Oh, and pass me the grappa while you’re at the cupboard, will you? Ogryns (Homo sapiens gigantus; still a long-forgotten mystery which “scientist” put the ‘sapiens’ in there) have been around for quite a while. I do not know when exactly they were first released but they did make an appearance in the very first edition of Warhammer 40k. [Bonus points to everyone, like me, who is too young to remember such dark and perilous days. ~Editor] The role of the Ogryn Ogryns are a blunt instrument. They are not for the indecisive, nor for any officer who prefers to fight with a rapier instead of a sledgehammer. In my experience, it will also lead to irritations on both sides when they are commanded by a connoisseur of aromas, as poor Major Jofros found out… his nose did not come out any better from that tragic encounter…but I digress. Ogryns were for all respects and purposes intended to provide Imperial Guard commanders with an assault, or, should we say, counter-assault element. For this reason, they always had better strength and more attacks than regular humans (and just for laughs they even were I5 in 2nd Edition!). Suffice to say that for several editions of the rules and a couple of codices, they could not fulfill this role satisfactorily. Well, times have changed. Ogryns today sport an impressive toughness of 5, good strength even when being charged, a decent number of attacks and multiple wounds. This improved stat line removes the most glaring weakness of their former incarnations, mainly being T4, and as such, easily instant killed. In addition, they benefit from the Furious Charge and Stubborn USR’s. With these stats, they can finally make a useful contribution to any Imperial Guard force looking for a resilient counter-assault unit. While a charge from Rough Riders is a glorious thing, especially against enemy units with good body armour, they are fragile. Ogryns are not such a glass cannon. They can walk through a hail of small arms fire without noticing it too much, and they can sometimes even take a charge - and still hit back like a truck. Two Ogryns, smiling for the picture session. The fate of the pictographer remains unknown.
~Lord Solar Plexus

A walk in the park, or to drive where no Ogryn has gone before Having said that, walking across an open field is rarely a good idea, high toughness notwithstanding! As the Tactica Imperialis tells us, in war every visible target is a dead target, whatever armour or natural defences it may possess. Therefore, a Chimera will prove to be useful, as it allows them to re-deploy more reliably and in all probability more speedily to an area of the battlefield where they are needed. Just don’t let them use the stretch limo from the HQ vehicle fleet as my XO Captain Willis did; that stench is incredibly difficult to get


rid of again. Sitting behind several centimetres of steel offers some protection, especially against small arms but to some extent even against heavier weapons. Another important aspect is that a mechanized unit is protected against many a psychic power (e.g. Lash/Pavane). If a transport is not available or not desired for one reason or another, they must at least make use of cover. After having the chance to use them both as footsloggers and with a Chimera in several games, I have come to the conclusion that both these methods can be employed with some success – if the player knows what he his doing, and is aware of the respective drawbacks. Both methods are based on a different approach to a battle. “Mechanized” Ogryns will allow an aggressive player to field a capable unit that few opponents can ignore. As such, a unit of Ogryns can be used as a deception. Even if they do not kill much by themselves, they might draw serious assets away from the main thrust, or hold up something that would rip the line infantry apart. The drawbacks One word: The very expensive price tag. Why don’t you pour me another drink, lad, it nicely focuses the mind. Ah, better. Well, Ogryns are not cheap. The hefty cost of 40 points per homo gigantus is something to consider. After all, that’s what people pay for Bloodcrushers or Terminators. A unit of six comes to 250 points, and what other resources could we buy for this considerable investment! Therefore, I advocate using Ogryns primarily in games of over 1,500 points where the relative cost is lower. After all, the Imperial Guard usually does not work well when it relies solely on one ‘Deathstar’ unit. High toughness and multiple wounds aside, an opponent who knows what he’s doing will be able to hurt them. The only positive aspect of their high cost is the reduction of Kill Points. This brings me to the other major disadvantage of theirs: If they do not comprehend what goes on (and that will happen, believe me!), they will retreat, if not rout. It’s the Crudacius gene so I gather that has recently become dominant, making them Ld7 (with a Bone’ead). Even though they are Stubborn, a single failed test may well mean their untimely demise. There are a few ways to ameliorate this problem but none of them is guaranteed to work: > A Commissar Lord as a unit leader. He will make the unit Fearless, and while this is often worse than Stubborn, it is better to take some wounds than to lose the whole lot. > A Primaris Psyker as a unit leader. He will improve their leadership to 9, and that should be good enough. Of course, both of these leaders are independent characters, and as such will be picked out by any smart opponent in close combat, so it is questionable whether they will still be around to provide the benefit they have been bought for. A third possibility is the use of a regimental banner in their vicinity. Just be careful that this does not lead to the premature death of your commanding officer along with his banner bearer. Example 1: Footsloggers “A couple of years ago we were stationed on Gell XI, fighting off raids from a highly mobile Eldar force. One day, they attacked our columns with Wave Serpents. They must have spotted our Ogryn Auxilia but whether they did not care or did not know any better, concentrated their efforts on the poor infantrymen. Seeing the mistake in their position, I ordered Lt. Green to train his meltaguns on the rightmost Wave Serpent and clear the way for the Auxilia for a flanking maneuver. I know you have seen war before but what these Ogryns did to the Swooping Hawks, Autarch and Guardians in their path was a most bloody, if efficient affair”. In that game, my Ogryns ended up in a position with little opposition, on one flank in Spearhead, and proceeded to get within a couple of inches of the enemy’s objective, while


the main fight took place around my own (which, incidentally, the infantry managed to defend successfully). That means that especially against opponents with a low model count, it can be quite possible to move, run or assault over the table top without major losses. Example 2: Mechanized “In recent times, my regiment has fought against many an Ork host, and our valiant, if not outright stupid Auxilia has proved their worth many times (more times than I can count, at least. My glass is empty, it appears.). In one of those battles, Lord Commissar Ghent decided to lead them into the fight. Too late he found out that their Chimera had already sped away towards the approaching enemy, and so was forced to run behind. An amusing sight, if a little disgraceful, I must say.” I used a unit of six Ogryns in a Chimera with the Lord right behind it. With run, he was able to keep up long enough to provide his ‘aura bubble’. Incidentally, they did not need it, defeating some forty Orks and running down one already quite badly mauled mob. Of course, a transport offers several advantages. The main drawback might be the cost, although this should really not be the case, as our transports are quite affordable, contrary to Ogryns. Example 3: Leadership “During the fighting on Gell XI (see ex. 1), the sometimes unpredictable nature of our Ogryn friends was ably demonstrated again. Tasked with capturing a crater held by the Eldar, they stubbornly walked across the field of slaughter, crushing all opposition left, right, and centre – and then were pinned down for hours by sniper fire.” I actually managed to threaten the Eldar objective for two or three turns, and my remaining three Ogryns would have crushed the few Pathfinders there but alas, they were pinned for two turns. Ogryns and special characters Another combo that might be worthwhile but fairly costly could be Creed, five or six Ogryns in a Chimera and an Astropath. This combination allows them to outflank. A possible (and fairly reliable) outflanking unit of Ogryns on the second turn should worry almost any opponent, even if they cannot charge right away. Of course, Daemons, deep striking Marines or mechanized Eldar could all counter it in one way or another but hey. Of course, this is a considerable effort and investment, and if it doesn’t work for any reason, those ~450 points would have been better spent elsewhere. Still, it would be nasty against any gun line, siege or overly defensive army hanging back. And then there is the legendary Commissar Yarrick, a leader of men and Ogryns alike. He, contrary to a mere Lord Commissar or Psyker, will be able to put up with wounds few others would survive, and as such seems like the ideal choice in terms of synergy. Of course, he costs even more than Creed and an Astropath taken together, and you surely remember what I said about Deathstar units in His Most Glorious Imperial Majesty’s forces. Charge! As you might have gathered by now, I am quite fond of an Ogryn’s abilities (except the ability to clog one’s nostrils with this unbelievable odor). While there are some other instances where this was and is possible, I find it unbelievably satisfying to play the Imperial Guard and order a (most often successful) CHARGE. Still, in order to get the most use out of them, it is imperative that they are the ones that charge, regardless of whether you intend to use them in a counter-assault role or in a more forward and active style. The reasons for this are simple; Furious Charge will improve their damage output and allow them to hurt things they cannot scratch in later turns, such as Dreadnoughts (although you would be ill advised


to charge Dreadnoughts in the first place! Don’t!), allow them to hit before Orks, and takes away the enemy’s charge bonus. Example 4: Combat Not an actual example from my battles but a little theory: 6 Ogryns (incl. Bone’ead, attacker) vs. 30 Orks (incl. power klaw, no cover) 18 shots = 5 dead Orks 25 attacks = 8-9 dead Orks 16 Orks hit back = 48 attacks = 2-3 wounds 2 PK attacks = probably another wound Result: Orks lose combat and take another 4-5 wounds from being fearless. The unit is now reduced to around a dozen Greenskins, quite a manageable size. The Ogryns have probably lost one of their number, with another one wounded. Against shootas, the result is even more in favour of the Ogryns. However, if the Orks charge… 30 shots = 2-3 wounds 116 attacks = 13 wounds… you get the gist. Of course, they fight simultaneously, so the Ogryns would probably kill 3-4 Orks as well but surely we are in agreement that this is not the result one would like to see. And with that, I will excuse myself. I know there’s another bottle of grappa somewhere in the house… [It’s important to note that point for point, even on the charge Ogryns will eventually lose any combat with 30-model Ork mobs including a Nob with power klaw. However, the massive advantage Ogryns have during the first assault phase (particularly No Retreat! wounds for the Orks) means that with a bit of softening up first, they can win very decisively with few losses. Whether they are better than the shooting alternatives? ~Editor]



Ratlings, by Lord Cook
“One of the best things about them is how worthless they are; you infiltrate 3 of them somewhere annoying and anything your opponent does to deal with them is almost by definition a waste of points.” ~Steel Legion for Life
Very much like marmite, bungee jumping, and Margaret Thatcher, we all either love or hate Ratlings. While having Halflings in 40k is controversial, their firepower on the tabletop is not. 100 points will get you ten Bs4 snipers with Infiltrate and +1 to all cover saves. Not too bad. As ever, there’s a downside. Firstly, Ratlings have an appalling leadership of 6. If they’re shot and suffer a few casualties, it’s likely that they’ll flee. Having a Lord Commissar within 6 inches solves this issue, but now you have a 70-point Lord sitting in the backfield doing nothing. You could station Heavy Weapons squads nearby, giving them a very handy Ld10 for orders, but frankly they have enough issues of their own, and if you need to start going to Mount Doom and back in order to get a unit to work, it’s usually a good sign that something was wrong right from the start. Simply put, three or four wounds that don’t ignore armour, with maybe one that does, are not consistently worth that much effort. Large monstrous creatures almost always have solid 2 or 3+ saves, leaving you hoping for poor rolls from your opponent. The ability to cause Pinning would be great, if only we could rely on the target actually failing a morale check. All in all, Ratlings are unappealing. However, for those of you who really want to give them a go, here are a few ideas, neither of which was originally mine. Combine with Psykers Sanctioned Psykers can lower the leadership of the target with their ‘weaken resolve’ power. Now that the enemy unit in question is at a paltry Ld2 or 3, hit them with the sniper rifles. A full unit of Ratlings can reliably expect at least one unsaved wound, causing the target to roll for morale on Ld2, and assuming your opponent doesn’t roll like my opponent’s at tournaments, he will fail. The problem is we’ve just spent about 200 points to kill one model and pin a unit. For that cost we could have just blown them to bits. Multiple small units This is an idea whereby you take multiple squads of Ratlings, but only have three or four models per squad. With the ability to Infiltrate and hide in 3+ cover they make an unattractive target, surviving because they aren’t worth the effort of digging them out. Then, in theory, they have many turns in which to pepper the enemy with sniper fire and hopefully cause the odd casualty and pinning test here and there. These harassment units don’t achieve wonders but they are quite cheap, so you lose little. Unfortunately I’m still not convinced that they can actually be relied upon to do anything worthwhile, given the difficulty of ever pinning anyone and the chance of Kill Points rearing their ugly little heads. In the end, give Ratlings some thought if you expect to fight a lot of monstrous creatures, or if you actually have taken Heavy Weapon squads and a Lord Commissar. In such situations they won’t cripple you, and add a nice touch of flavour. But if you’re looking for a competitive unit in a take on all comers environment, keep looking.


Psyker Battle squads, by Lord Cook
“Chaos want to play rough with the Guard? Bring it on pork chop!” ~Tanith Ghost
The Imperial Guard Elites section has always been a bit of a joke. Nothing in our whole army has ever been able to call itself ‘elite’ with a straight face, so it’s probably more accurate to say that it’s a dumping ground for all the units too overpriced to go in the Troops section. However who ever I speak to about the new Psykers have almost universally heaped praise upon them like cheap confetti. Clearly I’m doing something wrong because my own play testing revealed an entertaining but unreliable unit with severe self-inflicted head-explosion issues. Let’s take a closer look: Soulstorm To start off, we need to pass a psychic test. Not unreasonable on Ld9, but bare it in mind. Having avoided daemonic possession, the Psykers can now fire a large blast out to 36 inches with strength between about 4 and 9, depending on how many Psykers you bought. As an anti-tank weapon this is pretty useless, so there’s no real need for more than S6, as that will wound most infantry on a 2+. Enough Psykers for a S6 shot will be 80 points, so we’re in the realm of Griffons here. Stiff competition. The real benefit of course is the variable AP. You’ve got a 50% chance of getting at least Ap3, and a 33% chance of penetrating terminator armour. The catch, as ever, is that you don’t know what AP you’re going to get until you’ve picked a target. So no one who isn’t very desperate can ever shoot Terminators, because chances are good your psychic attack will bounce off (not that I was aware psychic phenomenon could be blocked by a glorified metal diving suit). If you’ve got the choice between shooting Scouts or Terminators, I’d give serious consideration to shooting the Scouts, as at last you can be confident in some kind of result. Ultimately, the lacklustre reliability in AP value combined with low accuracy makes this a horde killer, with 3+ save infantry-heavy armies at a push. It’s decent, but for 80 points on a non-scoring unit the only thing it’s got going for it is that it used an Elites slot, which is pretty much guaranteed to be otherwise empty. Upping the strength of the shot is only layering more points on to the unit in exchange for being able to instant kill things, and providing more Psykers for the inevitable laspistol headshots later. Weaken Resolve Ah, here it gets more interesting. Weaken resolve works automatically as soon as you pass the psychic test, so it’s actually very reliable. The range is good as well, at 36 inches. But what use can we put it to? > Reduce an enemy unit to low leadership, and then concentrate on causing 25% casualties. It’s almost always better to have an enemy flee than to pin them, particularly if you can hit a fast unit with this in turn one, making them very vulnerable to running right off the board. There’s just about enough range on weaken resolve to give this a go. > If 25% casualties probably won’t be possible, substitute it for any casualties at all from a pinning weapon. Ratlings, mortars and any of the ordnance barrage weapons will do. Remember that ordnance barrage is already inflicting a –1Ld modifier on top of whatever the Psykers manage. Pinned units can be ignored for a turn allowing you to turn your firepower elsewhere. If they happen to block a unit behind them from moving forward, all the better. > Lower leadership and then charge with something likely to win the first round of combat, like Rough Riders. Certainly not the best use of your Psykers, but if it saves your Rough Riders by forcing the enemy to flee, they can pull out their krak grenades and go tank hunting while the Psykers find a new target.


> Lower leadership and then hit the target with the Callidus Assassin’s neural shredder. The neural shredder is an Ap1 flamer that counts as S8 but replaces the target’s toughness with their Ld characteristic. So it hits automatically, wounds Ld6 or less on a 2+, and ignores all armour and cover saves. Ld4 or less is open to instant death as well. Bare in mind unless a monstrous creature is specifically immune to instant death, they will die instantly just the same. A Carnifex would be instant killed for example. > Lower leadership and then use a selection of Witch Hunter Inquisitor’s psychic powers. Divine pronouncement forces a morale check within 18 inches and modifies the target’s leadership even lower in proportion to the difference in Ld to the Inquisitor. Hammer of the witches forces a leadership check on D6 enemy psykers, with any failed tests resulting in perils of the warp attacks. Word of the Emperor prevents an assault on the Inquisitor’s unit unless the enemy passes a morale test. None of these are particularly good, but doubtless someone will spot some fiendish combination I’ve missed. > Keep a full unit of Psykers close to a Culexus Assassin. The Culexus carries what’s called an animus speculum, which fires S5 Ap1 shots at 12-inch range, as an assault weapon. The animus gets two shots as standard, but also +1 shot for every psyker within 12 inches. So a full unit of Psykers would make it S5 Ap1 Assault 11, with Bs5. The problem is that any unit (friend or foe) within 12 inches of the Culexus counts as having Ld7, so your Psykers won’t be able to use any powers without blowing themselves up half the time. And get within 6 inches of the Culexus and they need a to pass a morale check or fall back. On Ld7 remember. This combination keeps coming up again and again; so let me take this opportunity to say that it costs at least 215+ points and really isn’t that good. Battlefield use Psykers benefit enormously from a Chimera. It protects them in their fragile 5+ save robes, and they can all fire out, as only a single psyker needs LOS for the whole squad to shoot. While their long range does seem to make footslogging at least non-suicidal, I think the potential of this unit is going to be enough to attract more than enough fire to neutralise them. Once you’re down to two or three psykers their powers lose most of their sting anyway, so you need an armoured shell to surround them permanently. At 55 points with decent heavy weapons included, the Chimera is a reasonable investment anyway. Personally I found about seven or so psykers to be a good number. Enough to wound infantry on a 2+, with a spare psyker for later, and also enough to take a Ld10 unit down to Ld2 in combination with ordnance barrage. Remember there’s obviously no benefit to going below Ld2, because a double 1 always passes regardless of circumstances. Psychic hoods are troublesome, although the newer ones tend to have limited range, so if you have your Psykers in a Chimera you should be able to find a spot outside of their psychic shield. The real scourge of Psyker Battle squads are Runes of Warding. These little gadgets are available to Eldar Farseers, forcing you to roll 3d6 for psychic tests and suffering a perils of the warp attack on any combined result above 12, or on any double 1. Considering the average total of 3d6 is 10.5, getting 12 or more really isn’t hard, and if you roll 1’s like I do, you may match my record of killing off six psykers in two turns purely with summary executions. At the end of the day I love my Psykers. They look very cool and they are always entertaining to use. Their uses are virtually limitless, and I’m sure there are many more way to employ weaken resolve. Ultimately however they seem like quite an expensive support unit for something like a 1,500pts game, and they struggle to compete with more conventional weaponry such as Veterans or artillery. I’d leave them on the shelf until you reach at least 1,850pts, or until someone brings out the Nob Bikers.


Guardsman Marbo, by Lord Cook
“That was no IG scout. That was Mkoll. Mkoll is to IG scout as Primarch is to Space Marine. Imagine the baddest **** ever, add extra sprinklings of awesome and win, and then you have Mkoll on a bad day. Orks have been known to form Waaaghs just to organize a uniform direction in which to flee from him.” ~Tonberry


Even for the most jaded critic of pantomime, the chance to legitimately declare “He’s behind you!” in the middle of a tournament game is practically worth the cost of Marbo in itself, at least for the first few times. But in terms of rules, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a bit more complicated, given that Marbo has seven special rules and six pieces of equipment. Don’t be fooled. Marbo is 65 points for a bs5 demolition charge that you can place almost anywhere. If I were anything less than an upstanding gentleman I’d be tempted to call it the perfect “**** you” button. He arrives, he throws the bomb o’ doom, it probably hits, your target of choice probably dies. What more can you ask for? A bit of insurance perhaps. If the demo charge misses, you need to have put some thought into how Marbo can salvage the situation. Things to remember: > Marbo has stealth, for +1 to all cover saves. When he arrives you can place him anywhere, and it’s not a deep strike so there’s no risk in placing him in cover. That way when your opponent shoots back, he’s got two wounds and a 3+ cover save as standard. Marbo has move through cover, so he probably won’t be slowed down himself, assuming he survives the counter attack. > Consider going to ground if Marbo is shot at. It may seem pointless because he will inevitably die sooner or later, but by going to ground you’ve got a 2+ cover save. Your opponent can’t ignore the potential of him charging around, so every turn he would have to constantly shoot him with at least something. That kind of distraction potential can really pay off. > Marbo has five attacks once you’ve taken his weapons into account. With Ws5 and wounding anything on a 2+, he can dish out a lot of wounds. But without a power weapon, this makes him useful only against very tough but poorly armoured foes, such as Daemon Princes from Codex: Daemons. The Chaos Marine version unsportingly wears power armour.


> If someone does attack you and by some miracle you survive, remember you’ve got the use of Hit and Run to get away as soon as possible. Running into or further into cover would work well. > Always keep in mind the limitations of the demo charge. It may be incredibly powerful, but it still isn’t good against vehicles, it’s wasted on cheap hordes and it doesn’t ignore cover. Needless to say things you can instant kill like Tau Broadsides make ideal targets. But exercise caution; Obliterators are also perfect targets, but fail to kill them and they’ll flame Marbo to death very easily, removing any distraction potential from your good cover saves. > If you look at your opponent’s army and it doesn’t seem as though Marbo would be much use, do something to make him look impressive before the game starts. Tell a story about how amazing he was in some past game, surreptitiously ‘warn’ your opponent about what he can do, whatever. Just get your opponent thinking about Marbo during his deployment phase. That will force him to take the threat into account, either compromising his deployment a little (perhaps a screen of troops around a valuable unit) or just distracting him and making him focus on irrelevancies. The Poker players amongst you can verify that psychology just adds a new dimension to the game.



Storm Troopers, by SonofUltramar
"With the option for scoring carapace vets, I really just don't see what ST's offer, and this is coming from someone who thought the old ST's were pretty bad and still fielded 60." ~Vaktathi

~Karrig stern

In this section I am going to cover the uses for the new Storm Troopers including squad builds and commonly employed tactics. Although initially appearing to be very expensive for a basic five man unit there is much flexibility with the unit as they come with not only their hotshot lasgun but also a close combat weapon and hotshot laspistol making them a versatile unit from the outset. As an Elites choice they are unable to claim objectives but a key point to remember is that any unit can contest which will be important when adding them to your army. The first main point to decide is the role you wish the unit to play; there are many ways to use the unit and the list I provide is far from exhaustive: Counter Assault- This type of unit is usually deployed within your own battle lines and used as a counter to enemy assault units by using one of two tactics. Firstly they can be used to advance into rapid fire range and bring their weight of fire to bear against a single target, this tactic is commonly employed by plasma gun armed units to engage assault units usually marine equivalents (MEQs) as the Strom Troopers can blunt or neutralise an assault from a small unit such as Space Marine Assault squads but if charged you have multiple attacks and decent armour allowing you a chance to potentially save the unit to repeat the tactic if needed, if doing this a power weapon for the sergeant and a full strength squad is highly recommended. The second tactic used to be a staple of Guard tactics but is no longer viable in Kill Point scenarios as it involves a bait unit, usually a single guardsmen squad, who moves out to meet an assault unit which will most likely destroy them leaving the enemy unit open to return fire. [In short, a cheap unit gets itself killed and leaves the enemy hanging, providing a window for the Storm Troopers to launch an immediate volley of fire at close range. ~Editor]. This really depends on your opponents army as MEQs are better countered by Storm Troopers using this tactic whereas horde armies such as Orks and Tyranids are better


countered by flamer units who can maximise the number of templates they put down, usually done by Special Weapon squads or Platoon Command sections who can take more flamers. When facing MEQs this tactic can be carried out by a single large squad where the hotshot lasgun fire can be maximised although a slightly more expensive option is to take two minimum sized squads with two special weapons in each to maximise the number of plasma and/or meltaguns against MEQs or grenade launchers and/or flamers if preferred for use against targets with less armoured infantry such as Tau, Tyranids, Orks or even Eldar. Tank Hunters- Utilises their good ballistic skill and variety of mobility options to close with enemy vehicles. This option is usually seen as a last resort melta unit as there are many other options for taking them, most notably Veteran squads who can take an extra meltagun and as a Troops choice are a scoring unit. Other melta squad options include Special Weapons squads, and Company and Platoon Command sections. The basic set up for this unit is a minimum sized unit with two meltaguns, this however can be a one shot wonder as the unit can easily be neutralised sometimes by enemy fire but also exploding vehicles. By adding a few models the unit can also be dual tasked for Objective Denial (see below). The real options revolve around your general army set up for dealing with armour and the amount of armour your own army will include. If for instance you take multiple lascannon Heavy Weapon squads you are unlikely to need a melta Storm Trooper squad. Conversely if you have no Leman Russ chassis you’ll find that the Storm Trooper transports could quickly be overwhelmed by your opponent’s anti-tank fire, this balance is key not only for a Storm Trooper list but also as a general tactic of list design. First up is the simple non-transported unit, usually a full strength unit for advancing across the table. While not unfeasible this tactic is usually only successful on tables with large amounts of terrain which you can use to screen them, where this is not possible players wanting to keep their points spent the same often resort to taking a minimum sized unit in a Chimera. Next up is the mechanised unit, this unit is usually minimum strength with melta bombs added in to allow the extra punch if the unit needs to assault and with a Chimera they can theoretically engage multiple vehicles either by remounting their Chimera or by using it as mobile cover. The third option is to mount them in a Valkyrie, now this may seem odd but as a support option the Valkyrie with missile pods can be used for anti-infantry while a small unit of Storm Troopers can be used for tackling armour. This combination is very versatile but lacks specialisation so a dedicated tank hunting unit may be better suited to a Valkyrie with no upgrades to keep points costs down. As the Valkyrie is a Fast vehicle it does allow for a highly mobile anti-tank unit allowing for a rapid counter to armour even if arriving from reserves. The last option is the highly mobile dedicated anti-tank unit that can be accomplished by mounting them in a Vendetta. This allows the Vendetta to stand off against armour and if needed to move quickly to drop the Storm Troopers in to attack a specific target.

Objective Denial- Used to deny the enemy objectives while the rest of your force secures other objectives. This tactic is very risky due to random game length which can ensure a swift victory however a full seven turn game can lead to the Storm Troopers and possible their transport being destroyed for little gain. The Storm Trooper’s special rules allow them to deep strike with greater accuracy from a Valkyrie with an increased chance of survivability making them ideal for late game objective denial. The premise behind this is to take a full sized unit and deliver them to an objective with sufficient firepower to drive off opposing units and defend the objective against counter


attack. Equipping this unit can be very tricky and is best taken in context of the rest of your army but as a shock unit the common builds are a pair of plasma guns to engage with MEQs or flamers to deal with high model count and poor save forces.

Special Operations Overview Storm Troopers can select one Special Operation for free. They provide the following abilities: Reconnaissance - Scout and Move Through Cover. Airborne Assault - May re-roll the scatter dice when deep striking. Behind Enemy Lines - Infiltrate and their weapons count as pinning the first time they fire. When selecting Special Operations for your Storm Troopers it is best to set them up for one type of operation. What follows are a number of examples of Storm Trooper uses considering the use of these operations. Again, this list is not exhaustive and is based upon the feedback of the community in general. Remember that just because you can do something it does not mean you must do it, if the Special Operation you chose will no longer be to your advantage you always have the option not to use it and deploy normally. Tank Hunters - Utilising the Airborne Assault Special Operation a small unit of Storm Troopers armed with a pair of meltaguns enter play via deep strike very close to an enemy vehicle. This tactic while very risky can potentially disable or destroy valuable enemy vehicles very early in the game especially if you have an Astropath to increase their chances of arriving. While this tactic is viable two key points must been raised. Firstly, in Kill Point scenarios take care to ensure you do not leave the unit vulnerable to return fire either by aiming for cover or by using the vehicle itself as cover from enemy units that have good static firepower such as Space Marine Devastators or Eldar Dark Reapers. The second point to consider is when targeting transport vehicles make sure you have something to deal with any passengers who may disembark, Storm Troopers are expensive and the destruction of a Rhino or Trukk will do you little good if the passengers destroy the Storm Troopers in their next turn. Outflanking Harassers - This tactic uses the Behind Enemy Lines Special Operation to allow outflanking, due to the infiltrate rule, to tackle support units or even bolster your own battle line. To gain the full effect of this an Astropath is once again required but this time for the reroll of table edge which outflanking units enter from. This unit can be very versatile with their ability to deal with most vehicles in close combat and rapid fire low AP weapons. While the basic configuration is viable the addition of a flamer or meltagun is usually seen as a wise choice allowing them to tackle any vehicle (with a meltagun) or devastate smaller units (with a flamer). A newly arrived unit of Storm Troopers can be ably supported by a Psyker Battle squad using ‘weaken resolve’ to help pin a unit on the turn they arrive which allows the Storm Troopers more time to either shoot them or withdraw to a safe distance. A point to note with this unit is that while they can be used offensively remember that such a force can be used to deny objectives or to tackle flanking forces where your opponent screens valuable units from your firebase, potentially leaving them exposed to the side or rear and without a cover save from your Storm Troopers. Death from Above - Using the Airborne Assault in conjunction with the Valkyrie (or Vendetta) allows the Storm Troopers to disembark using the Valkyrie’s Grav Chute Insertion special rule to rapidly drop them in a specific position. Note that while this combination of special rules makes Strom Troopers more survivable any failed dangerous terrain test forced by the Grav Chute Insertion rule could dramatically reduce the unit’s effectiveness. The major benefit is obviously being able to deploy the unit anywhere within 24” (the maximum speed


of the Valkyrie and Vendetta) with any weapons load out with many players opting to use either plasma guns or meltaguns to deal with MEQs or heavy armour. City/Jungle Fighters - By taking the Reconnaissance Special Operation a unit can not only deploy forward or use outflank but they can take the fight to the enemy when terrain density is high such as in Cities of Death or other tables with a high proportion of area terrain. This role makes your unit literally Storm Troopers who advance into the enemy’s territory to tackle a specific foe whether it be infantry or vehicles. This configuration can be used as a distraction force and when armed with a pair of flamers can be devastating in such close terrain. There are of course many other configurations for Storm Trooper units within an army but a major point raised by several members was the difference between perceived strength and actual battlefield performance. This is not to say that they are a weak unit, there are many occasions where an opponent over estimates their damage potential and make them a high priority target, but they do only have S3 weapons so caution is required when facing marines or other targets where few wounds will be caused and do not be blinkered by their AP value. An important question faced by many players is how big to make the unit? In some instances a minimum sized unit can be very effective but this is not always the case. The unit size is very flexible and as the individual model cost is quite high for an infantry model it is best to find an optimum size to protect other models such as the sergeant and special weapons by having more models to distribute wounds from shooting or combat. For the following example I am going to use a group of ten Bs4 S4 AP5 shots, simulating a typical volley of fire from a number of units including a Marine Combat squad, Chaos Marine squad and Necron Warriors, against a Storm Troopers profile. The enemy unit will typically cause the following 10 shots at Bs4 =6.67 hits 6.67 hits with S4 against T3 = 4.45 wounds As Ap5 does not negate their save they can use their save resulting in 4.45 wounds with 4+ Save = 2.23 casualties As your opponent can’t kill a fraction of a model I work on the assumption that they kill two models, which short of a large unit will mean a morale check will be required. Due to wound allocation you cannot ensure that your sergeant survives so that his higher Leadership value can be used. To help negate this we need to allocate wounds to other models meaning we have to ensure there are sufficient numbers of regular Storm Troopers to take those hits. In the example we saw that between four and five wounds were caused so ideally we want to allocate all of those hits to regular Storm Troopers bringing the squad size to eight. This being the sergeant plus two special weapons and five regular Storm Troopers. Another point raised regarding unit size was to try and avoid taking a morale check from shooting, due to 25% casualties, is to take a unit of nine models which gives you increased firepower, greater survivability for the sergeant and special weapons but also reduces the chances of taking morale checks while taking fire from small units or lightly armed vehicles. Such units which are less likely to cause the three casualties required opposed to an eight man unit which only needs to take two casualties can be of great benefit when assessing the potential risk the unit may face from the enemy.


In summary > Pick a specific role for the unit. > Select a Special Operation that can help you achieve this role. > Select special weapons for that role (if any at all). > Add additional models as needed to achieve the role. [> Pray for miraculous intervention on your behalf. ~Editor]



Infantry Platoons
“Guardsmen! On my order, unleash HELL! And lasguns. Don't forget the lasguns.” ~Bunnahabhain

~Captain Brown

Platoon Command squads, by Richblake
The heart of any platoon is the Platoon Command squad. Cheaper than the previous version and with a better officer plus the ability to give an order makes it feel less like points you don’t want to have to spend. The Platoon Command can be used in a variety of ways; For example, it can be used to form a backbone of your platoon (especially with special characters) in which case you might want to keep it safe. Alternatively you can take advantage of the fact that it can have up to 4 special weapons in it to use as a makeshift Special Weapons squad or even kit it out to be a small counter-charge close combat squad. With the ability to give out one order a turn, with a choice of “First Rank FIRE, Second Rank FIRE!”, “Incoming!” or “Move, Move, Move!” the Officer’s ability to lead your guardsmen can come in handy. However unless the Infantry squads are merged (more on this later) you will find one order insufficient to achieve good results. It is also important to remember that orders given by the Platoon Commander are given after the Company Commander and that it’s not necessarily the Platoon Commander that has to order your squads for that platoon. If you find a non-platoon unit is within 6” of the Platoon Commander but not the Company Commander, feel free to use the Company Commander to order the platoon squad, to leave the Platoon Commander free to order the non-platoon squad. A Commissar is an option for the squad, however beyond adding another character able to take a power weapon it seems to have little practical use. The squad will become Stubborn with leadership of 9 but for a Command squad that isn’t your top priority to keep on the battle field this seems a little unnecessary. In terms of upgrades for the Officer less certainly seems better, with only one wound in a 5 man squad the Officer is likely to die simply to wound allocation and spending points on a power weapon seems a tad inefficient. Saying that if you are kitting the squad out for counter-charging then power weapons may be invaluable. Plasma pistols seem a little extravagant for a Platoon Commander but it would certainly add a little punch to their shooting (especially combined with 4 plasma rifles...) though a bolt pistol is cheap and


cheerful, the difference between S3 Ap– and S4 Ap5 for one shot is not worth worrying about. As for squad options any of the special weapons have their merits. Four flamers will hurt most troops down to sheer number of hits for example. Generally, it is probably not a good idea to mix and match. A plasma gun in a counter charge squad is not a good idea as have to choose between shooting and charging, not both. In addition, meltagun and flamer are another bad mix, one is pure anti-infantry and the other is pure anti-tank, no matter what you shoot at one of your shots is wasted. As for the squad specific upgrades these include camo-cloaks, carapace armour, a medic, a vox-caster and a standard bearer. Both the camocloaks and the carapace have their uses, though arguably if you are after a 4+ save then splashing out the extra 10 points for a medic instead will only prove to be any different should you be shot at by any strength 6+ weapons, in which case a 4+ save generally wouldn’t help. The vox is a must have if your other units have them, otherwise the squad is losing out as any orders it gives cannot be re-rolled. Whether or not you want voxes will depend on how vital you feel orders are to making your army work. Finally I cannot see a justification for a platoon standard as it costs the same as a regimental standard however it loses the ability to re-roll morale tests, simply allowing you to add +1 to combat results. The only big advantage I could see is to get two of them together with the regimental standard to add +3, however those points could be better spent elsewhere. Captain Al’Rahem Captain Al’Rahem stalks his opponent’s striking at the last minute where they are most vulnerable. To represent this his entire Platoon (including transports) must outflank, not “may”, must! This is actually an incredibly powerful ability, anyone on the wrong end of 6 Chimeras with troopers outflanking will regret it. Even on foot it is a powerful choice though, especially combined with his unique order “Like The Wind!” allowing a squad to move D6 inches after they have fired. With Al’Rahem you must look at striking hard into the weak spots in the enemy lines, however when writing an army with him included it’s important not to pour all your points into his platoon, if your opponent has hardly anything to focus on apart from this outflanking platoon they will prepare for an attack from the board edges. It almost goes without saying that taking an Astropath with your Company Command squad is very useful if you’re using Al’Rahem. Commander Chenkov This Valhallan Commander is the physical embodiment of the callous Guard commander, throwing waves of his troops (literally) at his opponents to grind them into the dust. He’s fairly cheap with some good benefits; firstly he makes all friendly units within 12” Stubborn. If you find yourself taking Chenkov he essentially makes Commissars obsolete as he can do what it would take several of them to do. Secondly he comes with a bolt pistol, power sword and carapace as standard, giving a bit more of a punch than your average Platoon Commander. He also can issue the “Get Back In The Fight!” order which is handy, however he cannot issue “Fire Rank FIRE, Second Rank FIRE!” or “Incoming!” presumably because all he cares about is his troops marching forwards. Finally, he allows all conscript squads in the army to be upgraded with “Send In The Next Wave!” which is looked at in more detail in the Conscript squad section.


Infantry squads, by Richblake
"We are going to have to use the bodies of the 233rd as cover." "But Sir! Aren't we the 233rd?" ~Simsandwich

~Captain Brown

The good old-fashioned Infantry squads, now leaner, meaner and cheaper than before, these guys can form a good section on meat to have present in your army. [If you didn’t understand that metaphor, don’t worry. I didn’t either. ~Editor]. The squad has a Sergeant (Veteran Sergeant for those of you who had Guard in the previous codex) with close combat weapon and laspistol as standard now, as well as complimentary frag grenades. Apart from being better equipped the squad has more options, each squad can be mounted in a Chimera, take a heavy weapons team, a special weapon, a vox-caster, a Commissar and at the start of the game they can merge into larger squads. The options are pretty much the same as anything you’d expect, read the Heavy Weapons squad and Special Weapons squad entries for more details on the heavy and special weapons. Before you kit out your squad with fancy weapons you need to know what it’s going to do, if you want to gain ground heavy weapons won’t help, if you want to stand and shoot they fare a little better. It’s also useful to bear in mind that lasguns can’t damage tanks, a lascannon with lasguns will waste one of the two every time you shoot. However the extra guardsmen can be seen as “ablative wounds”, absorbing fire to keep your guns in a fight, or only being used when the enemy infantry is close enough to be deemed a threat. Special weapons are a little easier, with all of them being good choices, however you may want to balance their choices with the rest of your army, if you have plenty of anti-infantry tanks then meltaguns are probably best, if you’re lacking anti-infantry guns flamers and grenade launchers are probably best. Lacking AP3 or 2 probably lends itself to plasma rifles, however these are expensive options for someone just as likely to hit as to miss. As for other upgrades a Commissar is a nice way to get another power weapon in your squad (Sergeants can take them) and it makes the squad Ld 9 and Stubborn, which isn’t too shabby. The biggest advantage though comes from merging squads together (more on that to come). A vox is cheap and cheerful and allows you to re-roll failed orders, failing orders at Ld 8 is still relatively common, so if you’re a static gun line that needs those extra shots, cover saves or whatnot then voxes are essential. Finally Chimeras can add mobility to an otherwise static army. You don’t even need to fully mechanise the platoon, simply buying a Chimera for one squad essentially gives you an “Armoured Fist” squad to perhaps lend fire support or grab objectives. Merging squads is probably one of the most significant changes. Before the game any Infantry squad can merge with an Infantry squad in the same platoon, acting as one big unit for the rest of the game. This has several benefits, namely more efficient use of orders (1 order for 30 men is better then 3 orders for 30 men), less Kill Points on the battlefield and the “sharing” of bonuses (for example, one Commissar can be shared by 50 guardsmen,


same with vox casters). However it does make the squad vulnerable to assault, failing orders can mess up your game plan (as you cannot re-try to issue an order to a squad) and forces your guardsmen to fire at singular targets. The benefits can be great, but there are also disadvantages. As a choice you make during deployment this is largely contextual, who you are fighting, on what board and with which mission and deployment type all come into play. As such it’s best each time for you to weigh up the pros and cons and make the decision based on the game you are about to play, rather than a pre-prescribed “do it” or “don’t do it”.

~Mr Feral


Heavy Weapon squads, by Richblake
“Lascannons... It's decidedly 3rd or 4th edition, and therefore not as sexy as Vets or CCSs in Chimeras or Vendettas, but I find it does the job very nicely.” ~Epicenter


The good news for Heavy Weapon squad users is now their squads are Troops choices and they can claim objectives, however they are a lot weaker than before. With being multiple wounded models instead of two separate models, it takes hypothetically one multilaser burst from a 55 point Chimera to wipe out your 100+ point lascannon squad. However they can still be useful, Mortar squads can hide where no-one can see them and keep taking pot shots at the enemy, other squads can be useful but you’ll have to work hard to give your opponent enough threatening targets that the squads are prioritised last. Mortars, heavy bolters and autocannons are all cheap with all three being great for anti-infantry with the latter being a sound choice for a little light vehicle (read: Trukks and Rhinos) work. Missiles have stayed relatively expensive, probably due to the nature of being able to fire anti-infantry or anti-tank missiles, with finally the trusty lascannon making an appearance, though as usual it’s good to remember one shot weapons like the lascannon do not favour BS3 models.


Special Weapon squads, by Richblake
“Finally, demo charges. We have an aircraft and we have a bomb. We want to use the bomb on the enemy. We are therefore going to give the bomb to a guy, and have that guy jump out of the plane. When he arrives on the ground, he will throw the bomb at the target. Something about this has never seemed quite right to me.” ~Mandragola


You can have two of these to accompany your Infantry Platoon, offering specialist squads to deal with specialised threats. In all honesty, if you’re thinking of taking just one of these consider using your Platoon Command squad for it, it can have 4 special weapons instead of 3 and it saves you the trouble of buying another squad. In terms of special weapons you have the flamer, grenade launcher or sniper rifle to work on infantry, though the latter two can glance AV12, meltaguns for tanks, plasma rifles for the heavy infantry (Read: 3+ saves) and demo charges for... well nearly everything! Combining different load outs is generally not a good idea; give them weapons that complement each other even if they are not the same. Demo Charges are the only out of the ordinary choice here, they are a little pricey and very risky, but just one demo charge can take out an entire squad of Terminators, so don’t rule it out too quickly. Whatever you choose remember with only 6 models this squad is a little weak; it won’t take many boltgun shots to completely render the squad useless.


Conscript squads, by Richblake
“We are the Imperial Guard. Resistance is futile.” ~DartzIRL

~le Mediko

Conscripts, as in previous editions, are there to provide a cheap way to field more men and to provide a meat shield for your “good” squads. It is amazing how often your opponent will ignore the squad of 20-30 Conscripts giving you a cover save because they do not want to “waste shooting” at it, instead shooting at your more valuable squads, but with a cover save. However in the latest codex Conscripts are a waste of time, for 1 point a model more you get an extra WS and BS, +2 leadership (+3 for the squad with a sergeant), frag grenades and the option for special/heavy weapons. If the only reason you are considering conscripts is because you want big squads, merge Infantry platoons instead. However, when you take Chenkov you can upgrade Conscripts for 75 points to “Send In The Next Wave!” essentially making your Conscripts limitless. Now, the exact wording is twofold: Firstly at the start of your turn, you may remove the squad from play, counting as a casualty and secondly that any time the squad is destroyed (either by you or your opponent) they may (important that it’s may) re-enter the board on your board edge. The first section is important as it allows you to prevent them from tying stuff up you’d rather shoot at. The look on your opponents face when you remove 30 Conscripts from assault and take them off the board so you can shoot his Assault Marines is priceless. Secondly the “may” part is important as it limits the damage this rule could do in KP games, essentially you can ignore the rule for KP games, though it is leaving you 75 points under your point limit. The important thing with “Send In The Next Wave!” is to make sure the Conscripts die. That isn’t just because it makes you feel like a real Guard commander, it’s because the quicker they can cause damage, lose numbers, then re-enter the board in your next turn the better. Ideally you’d want your opponent to kill them in their turn every turn. Having to take them off in your own turn leaves you without up to 50 models for a turn, your opponent killing them means you get a re-supply every turn. The best way to get them killed is actually to assault stuff. Shooting means you hit on 5s regardless, with assault you’re hitting on 5s only against anything WS5+. Also by assaulting your enemy there is a chance that your Conscripts will actually stick in combat at the end of your turn (especially as Chenkov makes them Stubborn if they are within 12”), tying your opponent’s unit up, then you have to hope they break and get caught in a sweeping advance in your opponent’s assault phase. In one particular game reported to the Guard community at Warseer a draw was pulled against Chaos Daemons by simply using this method for the last few turns, in total over 130 Conscripts were killed, but it prevent a loss in terms of the overall game.


Chimeras, by Vaktathi
"It's the only transport in the game that isn't an open-topped fast assaulty thingy that has Av10 side armour. Everything else has 12 or 11, carries better troops, and is either a skimmer, has side hatches, or both." ~Vaktathi "And some people say that the IG doesn't get anything unique!" ~Count de Monet

~Lord Cook. Painting by Andy Meechan.

As we all know, the basic guardsman is the source of much derision and the butt of many jokes. However, when massed in sufficient numbers, guardsmen can be a threat to just about anything. The current cost and setup of these units, in addition to the availability of orders has made them something to be wary of for almost every opponent, where once they were seen as little more than filler. The Chimera was also once seen in much the same light, relatively awkward for a transport, overcosted, lacking in utility. The drastic price decrease, coupled with the ability to both issue orders from within and fire up to five models from within make it a cheap and effective mobile mini fort. With regards to setup, I tend to run mine differently for different units. For the Infantry squads they have a turret multilaser and a hull heavy bolter. Combined with an autocannon and grenade launcher for the infantry, this load out runs at 120pts, meaning I can get two of these units for the cost of a mechanized Space Marine unit while packing far more firepower in a versatile and complementary array of weapons. The multilaser and heavy bolter offers solid long-range firepower that can be used against infantry and Av10/11 vehicles, while the autocannon and grenade launcher perform much the same role and can fire from within the safety of the Chimera, safe from enemy anti-infantry weapons if such are present.


With a Command squad I replace the hull heavy bolters with heavy flamers as these units tend to be mobile due to their use as special weapons platforms rather than heavy weapons carriers. The heavy flamer for Command squad Chimeras in turn makes the Chimera extremely scary once an enemy closes, particularly for units without a 3+/2+ armor save. Heavy flamers can also be useful in Infantry squad Chimeras, however be aware that often you will may be sacrificing the firepower of the squad heavy weapon if the unit is embarked and you wish to get into a good position to use the heavy flamer. Saying that, once an enemy is close or you need to start running up to clear objectives, the heavy flamer is far superior in general, however the heavy bolter still is a solid choice for units that may remain static for much of the game until the time comes to seize objectives. They can also be useful against many mechanized opponents such as Space Marines or Dark Eldar, where the heavy bolter can be put to some use as a secondary anti-vehicle weapon against light armour. It is not necessary to always deploy a squad within the Chimera; often you may find it is better to deploy it in cover to get the most out of those lasguns and orders, since units cannot receive orders while mounted, however having the option for either is extremely powerful and can be a source of great frustration for opponents. Other load outs for the Chimera can include two heavy flamers, two heavy bolters or a hull heavy bolter and hull multilaser. I’m not a fan of the double heavy flamers as to get the most use out of them one will likely have to move, thus forcing one to sacrifice the use of one of the flamers, although it does offer redundancy. Double heavy bolters works ok for fighting against Eldar, however often times units will either be in cover or in 3+/2+ armour, negating the AP of the heavy bolter and making it harder to wound MEQ’s with the turret weapon, in addition to sacrificing much of the anti-Av10/11 ability of the multilaser. The heavy bolter/multilaser combo is the one I historically ran, and is probably still the best when facing off against Marines or longranged opponents, as the heavy bolter can help stop Rhino’s and offers more range than the heavy flamer, the multilaser is solid against weaker transports, and coupled with a heavy stubber can see the Chimera tossing out 9 shots at 36” for a mere 65pts, not counting whatever the unit inside may be firing. This can cause many opponents that rely on range or light vehicles (Tau, other IG, SM’s) much consternation.



Mechanized Platoons, by Vaktathi
"I think it'd be good if armoured fist squads came with carapace armour so it wasn't like the Omaha Beach scene from Saving Private Ryan when you offload the troops onto an objective." ~Colonel Fitzgerald


The combination of Chimeras and cheap Infantry squads can offer more guns than many other army’s Heavy Support units, for between 115-150pts depending on your load out. This means that not only can the IG field a large number of infantry, but a large number of tanks as well. Fielding nine Av12 Chimeras and 75 infantry between your HQ and Troops in only 1100 points will typically far surpass many opponents ability to deal with that many vehicles, and still leaves you a good chunk of points for Leman Russ tanks and things like Vendettas or Hellhounds. Target overload is key when playing an IG army, you want to give your opponent so many targets to have to deal with that they simply can’t allocate their firepower effectively, while on your side you have so many units you can easily double or triple up on each enemy unit, and even your cheapest units will still not be something to ignore. With regard to platoon setups, there are several routes to go, however I typically keep mine as cheap as possible while still maintaining decent firepower. This means I forego the stubbers, useful though they can be especially on Veteran units (not discussed here), and expensive things like lascannons or anything that can’t take a transport of its own (e.g. Heavy Weapons squads). Keeping in mind the limitations of moving and shooting from within Chimeras, I outfit my platoon commands with four grenade launchers. Being assault weapons these still get to fire to full effect even if the Chimera moves at combat speed, and can put some serious hurt on light infantry or light vehicles, and complements the Chimera’s weapons well, and keeps the unit cheap (50pts). Good alternatives are flamers or meltaguns, just be aware you need to be close with these weapons and they don’t offer the same versatility. Plasma guns are not optimal in this unit as they are expensive and being only Bs3 and coupled with Gets Hot! are often likely not to function as well as they would in other units. My infantry squads are kitted with autocannons and grenade launchers for dual infantry/light vehicle work. Keep the units cheap, and don’t try to make something go after too disparate types of units. Being able to counter light tanks and still have anti-infantry power is a solid plan, and your platoon’s main targets will be infantry. I would typically argue against kitting


the infantry squads to fight big tanks or monstrous creatures, as they aren’t very good at it and are more effectively utilized against infantry, so leave the lascannon at home for these units. Plasma guns can be of some use if you intend for your squads to fight MEQ’s most of the time or go light vehicle hunting, but the added cost of these can often add to another squad and Chimera having to be left out. After the Platoon Command I usually then take either two or three Infantry squads depending on how big of a game I’m playing (three for 2000, two for 1750 and lower) and I typically take two platoons. At 2000pts this gives me four Av12 medium tanks and 35 infantry packing 4 multilasers, 4 heavy flamers, 3 autocannons and 7 grenade launchers for 465pts, for a total of 22 blast or flame template weapons in my Troops alone. In two platoons that’s more firepower, tanks, and dudes than many other armies can field in barely over 900pts, albeit at the lack of high toughness, good armour saves or combat ability. Once on the field, I typically set up my Infantry squad Chimeras in a gun line type formation. This allows them to be able to start hammering enemy transports and troops from the get go or in a position to start speeding to the other side if the enemy tries a refused flank (usually requiring only one turn of movement) while the Command squads get set up as reaction units on the flanks, mobile firebases to hit outflankers, deep strikers, or anything that gets close very quickly. It’s also a good idea to sometimes use Chimeras to screen Leman Russ tanks or artillery units, giving them a cover save while still being small enough for big turrets to see over them or fire indirectly behind them. Be aware that often having so many units will create a very crowded deployment zone, particularly in Table Quarters, although this applies to most IG army builds. Parking lot deployment zones can be a problem, especially in terrain heavy quarters or sides, so be aware of this. Once the game begins, react with those elements that need to move and get them moving, and then go to town with the gun line. When the enemy starts hitting back, don’t be afraid to be aggressive with the Chimeras, the infantry, if embarked, will have to be shot or hacked out of the tank to be attacked, and even if you lose the tank, they can still operate somewhat effectively often, and even a total loss is relatively negligible at 120pts or so as an opponent may just have offered a 200 or 300pt unit up to the mercy of your gun line to kill that unit. Don’t be afraid to lose Chimeras or Infantry squads. They are cheap. Sacrifice them to protect the Leman Russ or Basilisk if their continued existence is needed. Losing a 55pt Chimera won’t hurt too much, but will often still take an opponent just as much effort as to kill a more valuable target, especially in CC. When it comes to objective based missions, typically you often won’t need to do too much moving until turns four or five. By turns two and three your opponent should be across the board to you. Given that an IG army often wins or loses by turn two, your actions should be fairly free and clear by the endgame. Sit still for the first few turns and just blaze away, leave objective grabbing for turns four and later when playing Seize Ground, when you have either crippled your opponent or your army lies dead and dying. On Capture and Control you may need to rely on other units to capture your opponent’s objective (or simply contest it) or just blow away any Troops they may have, or start jetting Chimera’s over on turn three. In Kill Point games, you know what to do (unlock the safety and don’t leave the ammo bins full), just remember that the Chimeras’ mobility will come into play to avoid destruction via CC attacks rather than to capture objectives in such missions. If facing a possible power fist charge, either run up and heavy flamer the hell out of the unit, or jet that unit 12” and get it out of the way and forced to be hit on 6’s (often also forcing an opponent to attack a less viable alternative). The massed Chimeras of Infantry Platoons also serve an additional purpose; target overload. The Imperial Guard survives by attrition. When fielding mechanized Infantry Platoons, one can start mounting in excess of a dozen Av12 and higher vehicles in 1500pt games, and upwards of 15-20 in 2000pt games, in addition to dozens of infantry. This puts an extreme stress on an opponent’s anti-tank capabilities, as many armies will come prepared to deal with a few vehicles, maybe one or two Av14 tanks, but seldom are they able to counter the


numbers fielded by the Imperial Guard. As an opponent deploys opposite an army in which they face the massed might of an armored tide, they will often realize that their army may simply not be equipped to deal with mechanized Guard. By fielding so many tanks, an opponent can be forced to spread their anti-armor assets extremely thinly in an attempt to counter your deployment and actions, and even if they concentrate fire they may not be able to burn through even half of your armor in five to seven turns, especially if you’re packing several Av14 vehicles. Because of this, both an opponent’s army list and their psyche can be extremely stressed in attempting to counter an Imperial Guard army. In particular, opponents lacking heavy hitting CC elements without the ability to perform multiple assaults, such as Nob Bikers or Terminators will begin to hurt. If they must rely on only a couple of units with marginal antitank ability or on pure shooting, then their ability to defeat your army will be in doubt, as they will be forced to play to your strengths. Furthermore, in addition to the large numbers of vehicles, your opponent will still have to deal with your infantry, potentially in greater numbers than they field themselves. In doing so, an opponent’s firepower can often be effectively dispersed, causing minimal harm to the army as a whole, or can be forced to concentrate on a portion of the army that will essentially be written off while the remainder of the army continues to operate at a significant numerical and firepower advantage. One of the largest threats to a mechanized Imperial Guard army is a fast and high strength close combat unit, such as Nob Bikers or deep striking Dreadnoughts. These units may be able to terminate any unit in your army, or even hitting multiple units with a single charge and stand an excellent chance of wiping them all. I’ve experienced the charge of Nob Bikers hitting my line, and losing two tanks and fifteen infantry in a single assault phase. In order to counter such threats, it may often be necessary to preemptively sacrifice a Chimera or Infantry squad to create a tempting target for your opponent’s units. By doing so, and sacrificing a relatively cheap unit in doing so, the rest of the units can then concentrate on the threat and terminate it. For example, if faced by Nob Bikers, throwing an empty Chimera forward 12” and popping smoke directly in their path can often force them to attack it if they don’t want to go around or through terrain. In doing so they will likely utterly destroy your sacrificial element, but then be forced to face the full might of your gun line, or have to take the chance of taking wounds through terrain or having to move around, taking long to reach your lines. Chimera’s make an excellent sacrificial element in this regard, particularly if the infantry have disembarked. For the following pictures, assume the Chimeras are armed with heavy flamers (as mine are not yet converted from 4E properly yet). Protecting the Leman Russ



Here is an example of deploying to provide a Leman Russ cover (hiding 50% of the model) while still allowing the LRBT to fire its main gun to full effect. (Remember when doing this to leave room for models to disembark if necessary). This also helps prevent deep striking Dreadnoughts and the like from getting close enough to cleanly fire melta weapons at your Leman Russ tanks. Such a formation also can prove a potent firebase, with Infantry squads inside firing out their heavy weapons, the Chimeras firing their guns, or ready to dash forward to flame closing enemy units, and the LRBT tossing out battle cannon shells from within its Chimera fort. Protecting the infantry


Here is a protected ‘V’ formation, the infantry lie between the two tanks to prevent an assault by the Chaos Space Marines against them, while still being able to fire at the CSM’s, and allowing the Chimeras to make use of their weaponry. This can also be used as a defense against shooting, hiding the troops (if they must be disembarked) with the Chimeras, while the tanks pop smoke and generate a 4+ cover save for themselves. Infantry screen



Here is an example of infantry screening a Leman Russ from a krak-grenade assault, forcing them to attack a much less valuable infantry squad or Chimera. The Leman Russ cannot be assaulted this turn by the Chaos Space Marines as the guardsmen are in the way. In doing so, this protects the Russ, while still allowing all the units shown to fire to full effect. The Chimeras on either side stand ready to swoop in with hull heavy flamers and block movement to the sides. Sacrificial units


In this picture, a Chimera is used as a sacrificial blocking element. The Chaos Marines must choose to either go around the Chimera to attack the further units, and likely thus be out of assault range due to the added distance, or be satisfied killing the sacrificial Chimera and then remaining open to attack the next turn. Tank shock (1)


Assuming one of these Chimeras cannot shoot, a single heavy flamer cannot catch all of the Marines at once. They need to be maneuvered into a more favourable position.


Tank Shock (2)


The Chimera that is unable to shoot launches a tank shock, forcing the troops to move out of the way. This is particularly evident in larger units, such as with Orks. Tank Shock (3)


The second Chimera now moves up to deliver the coup de grâce.


Target overload


Here is where the massed might of the Imperial Guard becomes apparent. While originally this picture represented a 2000pt Imperial Guard Storm Trooper army under the previous Imperial Guard Codex, everything pictured can be fielded as a legal 1500pt Infantry Platoon army. In 1500pts that’s 11 vehicles of Av12 or higher and 50-60 infantry. Target overload becomes instantly apparent and a very real danger for an opponent. Imagine an opponent’s reaction when outnumbered 4:1 in vehicles and 2:1 in infantry. For 2000pts imagine 20 more infantry, two more Chimeras, and two Vendettas added to this.


Veteran squads, by Cleansingfury
“Veterans are good for being cripplingly overspecialised and then being pointed at a target that absolutely, definitely must die.”

~Ingold Toynbe

Within every codex I like to find the unit that really does what I want and build from it. In Codex: Space Marines it was Assault squads, for Tyranids my Lictors, and for Tau the Broadside. In the new codex I have found my cornerstone, and for once it is a troops choice. The Veteran squad, which rolls for a measly 7 points a model, is so diverse that it is perfect for anything. With Bs4 the squad can hit most of the time, and still take orders. Within the 40k universe there are different types of units: anti-tank, anti-infantry, assault, and objective takers. There are more but these are the most common. The anti-tank veteran squad has different variations: Veteran squad - Lascannon, 3 plasma guns – 135 points Veteran squad - 3 Meltas, Demolitions – 130 points Veteran squad - Lascannon, 1 melta, Demolitions – 130 points Each of these capitalizes on strengths of the squad. The las/plas squad uses its weaponry to go after anything that gets too close and then flank the vehicle or enemy to hit the weaker side armour. Not extremely effective against Land Raiders but against everything from there down they are. The tri-melta/demo squad uses the idea that you can survive out of cover if you hide your models correctly. This squad is also commonly found in a Chimera. The Bs4 means that you should get about two hits a turn, and if close enough kill nearly any tank you get close to thanks to the Ap1 modifier on the damage charts.


Veterans with such a weird layout as las/melta are how you hold your line from rushing rhinos or transports. In my armies I use three such squads, all planted next to officers to receive orders. If I have a high armour target nearby I actually move to get in melta 6” and twin link said melta. These tactics enables me to more then likely kill/immobilize or do something to that vehicle. If said shot fails, I still have the demo charge and can charge with melta bombs. If it is a Land Raider I can wrap my squad around the doors and prevent people bailing out if I kill the vehicle. [Or at least force an emergency disembarkation. ~Editor] Anti-infantry is everywhere in the new Guard codex, however, the Vets can do it so much better sometimes and with certain perks. A Leman Russ may have the large blast, but sometimes three small blasts and an autocannon are better. The current AI veteran build that has done the best is: Veteran squad - Autocannon, 3 grenade launchers, Grenadiers – 125 points The argument can be made that a heavy bolter is good, however, the squad as is means death for Tyranid Warriors. The special/heavy weapons are all Ap4 and thus nukes their synapse warriors, or denies saves to Tau/Orks/Eldar/Guard. The fact that the squad can put out three small blasts and take orders means that your enemy might not get a cover save. So your weapons can tear them to shreds. Another squad that works well is the tri-plasma set up: Veteran squad - 3 Plasma guns, Grenadiers – 145 points Putting out 3/6 shots per turn and able to live through bolters can be the difference between wiping out the enemy marine squad or two, or being rolled over. The reason I do not like this squad is the amount of 1’s that are possible, my guns should not kill me when I fire them. Currently I have not seen a single good reason to assault with your Veteran squads. They cannot take pistols and thus will get slapped around unless that is the point. This idea of having a sacrificial squad leads us to objective holders, either using a Veteran squad in conjunction with an Infantry platoon or just dual Veteran squads means that you have a good chance of holding said objective. All squads need backup, especially when taking an objective and that is why this idea is so important. The squad that is holding the objective technically doesn’t need any weapons, the Grenadier option is good for if your shield is cut down. The shield however, should have something to put out shots against anything that gets close. I find flamers work well followed by assault, but so does a tri-plasma set up. Make the unit holding the objective ‘go to ground’ and take advantage of orders to get a 2+ invulnerable from their shield squad. The shield just has to live once it has set up; this is not too hard as you should have other similar units on your table. A basic objective grabber: Veteran squad - Vox – 75 points Veteran squad - 3 Flamers, heavy bolter, Grenadiers – 125 points So for 200 points you have a unit that can effectively take and hold objectives. The vox on the naked squad is just in case there is an officer in range, which may very well be the case. The heavy bolter is there in case no one is in range and you want one more heavy weapon firing against the enemy. Through all these tactics there has been a theme; doctrines. One I have not used yet is Forward Sentries. This is because it belongs in a special category, sniper units. These are the units that fire at enemy commanders/synapse/Daemon Princes/big nasties. The sniper build is: Veteran squad - 3 Sniper rifles, autocannon, Forward Sentries – 125 points


While not the only kind of sniper unit, this one does the job the best. Planting one or more of these next to your commander to benefit against MCs means the difference between that Daemon Prince or whatever getting to your line. This means that you can hide your command squad behind the snipers to benefit from cover and thus have a bunker inside of strengthened terrain. So far I have talked about the tactics of foot units, with heavy weapons, or a bunker theme. However there is a vast item that needs discussion, the mechanization of your Veterans. For 55 points the Veterans can receive a Chimera that gives them the ability to zip about and fire at the enemy. Whenever I use Chimeras I ignore the doctrines as they give no real benefit due to being able to fire from the hatch. The best set-ups for such a drive by situation are the tri-melta or the tri-plasma squad. This means you are either going for AT or anti-heavy infantry/light vehicles. The Chimera can deal with light infantry thanks to the multilaser/hull weapon. The Chimera forms a weak bunker around the squad allowing for some daring tactics if you take the risk. Such a squad can be game breaking, or a small loss. At about 165 points depending on equipment you are not breaking the bank for this squad that can do so much. This finally brings me to the last point; Veteran squads are the new Storm Troopers. We can have them as troops and give them a 4+ save, or outfit them in numerous other ways. The Veteran squad is not something to be avoided like the plague, but is instead the backbone of my army besides my tanks. The key is teamwork within your army, just as it always has been.



[Looks like I’ll be doing the special characters then… Gunnery Sergeant Harker Harker is an extremely characterful addition to your Veterans squad, and the fact that even a jaded, cynical mechanized player like myself finds him very fun is a sign that the designers were on the right track when they wrote his rules. For 55 points, Harker gives your entire squad infiltrate, stealth (counts-as camo cloaks) and move through cover. This allows them to move swiftly through cover, get +1 to all cover saves, and deploy in some nice big pieces of cover, not necessarily in your deployment zone. On top of that you get a heavy bolter that can move and fire, carried by a guy with Feel No Pain. If we assume the heavy bolter is worth around 15 to 20 points, that’s 35 for the rest of the package. Altogether not too bad. So how do we equip the squad? The dreaded buzz words ‘synergy’ rears it’s ugly head again. We need a weapon that will fit with the heavy bolter, and grenade launchers seem the only viable candidate. That gives you six S5 or 6 shots with Ap4, fired out to 24 inches while moving, or a heavy bolter plus a triple S3 frag blast if you’re feeling excessively optimistic. The problem is that this is 140 points for pretty mediocre firepower. Where the squad comes into its own is in terms of its scoring potential. In cover they will be very hard to shift (excepting flame weapons), and they can deploy very close to objectives that would normally be beyond your reach. All in all there are better options. I’d rather just drive to the objectives myself. But if you wanted to create an all-infantry army, I think this squad could be invaluable for adding some much needed mobility to your otherwise slow army. Sergeant Bastonne This is a man far closer to my own heart. If Bastonne were real, he would scream to be placed with a squad of plasma-equipped Veterans in a Chimera. With Bastonne, you’re essentially paying 10 points for a power sword and carapace armour for your sergeant, and then 50 points to allow that sergeant to issue orders on Ld10. A S3 power sword being what it is, that makes the orders everything. So how much do you value orders? You can always issue them to the squad, and with Ld10 they will almost always pass. But for 50 points? Tricky. In isolation, I think it might just work. Twin-linking three plasma guns is a massive bonus, avoiding overheats and increasing damage even further. Similarly forcing a re-roll on cover could make all the difference, especially with bike units relying on that turbo-boost to survive. Always being able to rally regardless of restrictions is hardly minor either. However, we have two problems: Firstly, it would be far cheaper just to give the order via a Company Command squad. While the Veterans are only Ld8 in this case a vox will add the necessary reliability. The fact that you need an HQ choice anyway, and that the Command squad is also carrying Bs4 special weapons just makes it all the more attractive. Secondly, Veterans seem almost designed to operate out of transports. They need to disembark from said transports to allow them to use orders. A plasma-Veterans squad with Bastonne is 175 points. See the problem? 175 points of 5+ save plasma troops getting out of their transport attract more fire than a Guy Fawkes doll on Bonfire night. In conclusion, Bastonne could work in armies where you urgently need the use of orders for your best squad, but you lack access to Command squads. An airborne army might fit the bill, as your Commander could struggle to land close enough, or perhaps he’s disinclined to get out of his Valkyrie to issue instructions in the first place. While Bastonne is cool, sadly he’s just undercut by his competitors. ~Editor].


‘Rhork’s Drift’ ~only joking...


Sentinel squadrons, by Gondorian
“From a game play perspective, it looks solid. 3 AV14 tanks, 6 AV12 vehicles, and 3 AVtinfoil sentinels.” ~Sir_Lunchalot


The strengths of Sentinels lie in their heavy firepower, their ability to use that firepower on the move and their relatively light points cost. Their weaknesses are that they are very lightly armoured and cannot stand up to heavy retaliation, not to mention the fact that they compete with other, very powerful Fast Attack choices. The basics Sentinels are walkers with one main weapon. Thus playing with them involves using that weapon to the fullest effect. While they can put out a decent amount of firepower, their light armour often means that you only have a couple of turns to use that firepower to full effect (unless of course you can persuade the enemy that you have other, more dangerous targets). It’s also worth remembering that while 90% of their function is fire support, there are a number of uses that they can be put to: tar-pit assaults, screening armour and contesting objectives to name a few. Remember that the Sentinel pilot is an opportunist, sometimes an opportunity will rise and you can throw the Sentinel in to exploit it. It may result in the destruction of that Sentinel but if the sacrifice hurts your opponent’s plans more than yours then you’ve made the right call. Which type of Sentinel is best? The sentinel comes in two forms, the Armoured and the Scout variant. Let’s first examine the difference between these two forms. The Scout Sentinel is open-topped, Av10 all around and has the Scout and Move Through Cover special rules. The Armoured Sentinel has a front AV


of 12 and extra armour as standard. Each variant has an identical set of upgrades with the exception of the Armoured variant being able to mount a plasma cannon. From these differences we already have different roles unique to each type. The Scout Sentinel is able to outflank, giving it immediate access to a greater area of the board, and will have greater manoeuvrability in dense terrain. It can also start on the board in a DOW mission adding good more initial firepower. By comparison the Armoured Sentinel has greater durability when its front is being targeted meaning that you always want to present the front facing to the enemy if you can. It also has a closed top so will also take a little more damage before it goes down. The stronger armour will benefit you in close combat, where the enemy must engage your frontal armour. Either variant can work well and the right choice will very much depend on the overall composition of your army. Mobility Sentinels can move and fire everything. Use that to stretch your opponent by keeping on the move, always looking for a tasty bit of side armour or a better sniping position. Only stay still if you’re in a good piece of cover or have the better shot where you are. If you can make the same shot regardless of whether you stay still or move, then move. Those 6 inches may get you into range of an objective towards the end of the game. There are of course situations where staying still has its advantages but stay stationary too long and the initiative goes to your opponent. The ability to fire on the move also means that you can easily support any infantry advance and be close enough to shield said infantry from combat. Always use the terrain to your advantage. Keep the Sentinels in cover as much as possible to give them the best chance of surviving enemy fire. Sometimes you may want to hide a Sentinel from LOS completely, for example with a heavy flamer Sentinel waiting to ambush some Genestealers before they reach your infantry. It’s worth noting that the Armoured Sentinel really benefits if you can find a piece of cover that blocks LOS to its flanks, e.g. a wrecked building. This forces the enemy to fire at the frontal armour giving you a better chance at survival. Ranged Combat With the exception of the heavy flamer, all of the sentinels pack a powerful heavy weapon capable of firing at a distance up to or over 36 inches. This means that their main use will always be to provide additional firepower and thus you want them shooting as often as possible. Use that high range to your advantage. Sentinels survive longest when enemies can’t hit them back. The target you want to engage will depend on which of the weapon options your Sentinel has but in general the principals remain the same. Try to set up cross fire with other units especially if you’ve armed them for tank hunting. A tank can only present its frontal armour to one direction at a time (not including Monoliths and Land Raiders for obvious reasons). Use that long range to limit the number of weapons the enemy can bring to bear on you. A volley of bolter fire will make one hell of a mess of your Sentinel, even the armoured variant if they can get the right angle, so try to avoid stepping into range. Heavy weapons will usually be able to strike back at you but then you force your opponent to use his heaviest weaponry on your lightest vehicles. The other possibility here is that your opponent will simply ignore your Sentinels altogether and focus on more threatening targets. This can be to your advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation. Melee Usually your Sentinels want to be out of combat, using their heavy weapons to hurt the enemy at a distance. There are however, exceptions to this. Sometimes it will be more useful for a Sentinel to charge an enemy unit either to tie that unit up for as many turns as possible


or to prevent that unit from charging your tanks or infantry. A Sentinel is immune to enemies with strength 3 and can only be hit by grenades on 6’s. The Armoured variant can take even more damage and will usually shrug off krak grenades. [The absolute best a krak grenade can achieve against an Armoured Sentinel is an immobilized result, and that assumes a six to hit, a six to glance and a six for damage. That equates to a mighty 1 in 216 chance, after which the enemy unit still has to destroy it with multiple damage results. In short, you only need to fear power fists (or equivalents) and high natural strength. ~Editor]. The Sentinel is not a close combat monster. The best it will do is rob enemy units of turns they could be hurting the rest of your army. Power fists and monstrous creatures will make a big mess of your Sentinels; charge them only as an absolute last resort. Sometimes such an assault will end with your Sentinel exploding. This can be useful as it will perhaps hurt your enemy. Beware however having guardsmen nearby to Sentinels for this very reason, you don’t want a whole squad to go down because they were too close to the tin can when it went up. Combat is a reality for the heavy flamer Sentinel, for the others it can be an opportunity, outflanking Sentinels who’ve fluffed their tank hunting can still charge the tank and hope for a lucky strike. They can charge into a unit of Broadsides and stop the enemy from shooting. Armoured Sentinels lurking at the back near your tanks can act as a guard for your heavy armour, making it harder for outflanking enemy units to charge your artillery.

Common strategies
Sneaky scouts With the ability to outflank, your Scout Sentinels immediately have access to a wide area of the board making them able to walk out straight into cover, target the side/rear of vehicles and pounce onto units near side board edges, locking them in combat. They can walk on near your zone or your opponent’s either reinforcing you or threatening the enemy’s objectives. This tactic can often force the enemy to turn around and deal with these Sentinels taking pressure off of the rest of your force, which can prove vital for winning the game. Adding an Astropath to your army will make these guys even better and give you the best odds of coming in somewhere vital. [Multilasers and autocannons seem to work well here. They’re cheap, expendable and have a high rate of fire for good reliability, with enough strength to punch through weak rear armour. For the truly adventurous, add hunter-killer missiles. Two or three Sentinels per squadron. ~Editor] Sniper! Imagine a real world sniper. He’s constantly on the move, firing one shot from a position where the enemy find it hard to hit him back. This is because while he has a perfect shot at the enemy, he’s positioned so that they have a poor angle; he has the better range and is sitting behind cover. After firing he moves to another position because the enemy is now expecting fire from that position and is more prepared to deal with it. Sentinels are used in a similar fashion, keep moving into positions where you can score a hit but the enemy struggles to hit back, try to outrange most of his return fire and stick near cover. Single Sentinel squadrons are easier to hide in this way. [Good way to fit lascannons into mechanized armies if you don’t have/want Vendettas. Armoured are too expensive for a purely shooting role in my view, so stick with the Scout variant. Move Through Cover is nice for hanging around in the woods taking pot shots. Two Sentinels per squadron has worked well for me. ~Editor]


Armoured screen Sometimes the enemy may have little he can do about your heavily armoured battle tanks and so focus his missile launchers on your Sentinels instead. If this is the case and you’re unable to exploit any other cover keep your Sentinels tucked behind the tanks. If the reverse is true, if the enemy has an abundance of broadsides and lascannons then you may want to put the Sentinels in front of your other armour. They won’t last long but the enemy has to eliminate them first or give you obscured rolls for your battle tanks. Either way it keeps your heavier firepower alive for longer. Squadrons Single Sentinels can split their fire, use cover much better and are far less vulnerable to being destroyed as an immobilised result doesn’t wreck them. That said they provide kill points to the enemy more easily. When in squadrons, the Sentinels are more vulnerable and confined to one target. They automatically downgrade stunned to shaken and do not provide as many kill points. When outflanking or arriving from reserve you get all of their firepower in one go, not in drips and drabs. This comes down to what you have in mind for your Sentinels and whether you have enough free Fast Attack slots. Equipment Usually the cheapest Sentinel is the best, however sometimes extra equipment can be worthwhile. Sentinels can have the following equipment: Searchlights: Useful only in night fighting. Acts as a cheap observer who lets the rest of the army fire to full effect knowing that the enemy is going hit back hard afterwards. Hunter killer missiles: If you were ever going to take these, the Sentinel is the best tank for it to go on in my opinion. Other armour tends to have more important things it could be doing than firing a single missile. Sentinels can fire these without sacrificing other fire power, it doubles their firepower for a turn against tanks and the unlimited range can be useful for catching a cocky monstrous creature/commander when he thinks he’s at a safe distance. 10pts a pop, but assuming your Sentinel is not long for this world, they can make all the difference. Smoke launchers: Essential for heavy flamer sentinels who may need some help during a turn where they’re out of range. Optional for the rest. Only use when you’ve been shaken/stunned/weapon destroyed or have absolutely nothing to target. Camo netting: Useful for making cover even better but requires you to sacrifice mobility to use it. Best suited for an Armoured Sentinel that’s equipped for long range sniping and has found a nice piece of rubble to hide in. Weaponry In my opinion there are no right or wrong choices when it comes to choosing your Sentinel’s gun, each is useful when used in the right way or in the right situation. That said, some armies will benefit more from one type than another and choosing the right type will justify the points you spend on them. The weapons available to Sentinels are the: Heavy flamer: This weapon immediately assigns your sentinel to a close range role. The heavy flamer is brilliant for roasting all kinds of infantry. MEQs will fail armour saves if you hit enough of them and GEQs will feel the pain as their troops are denied both armour and cover saves. Another bonus is that hitting is automatic which is always good for Guard. The short range of the flamer means that you have to be prepared for close combat. Sometimes you will want to charge after firing: denying enemy extra attacks, finishing off a lone survivor,


tying up an enemy shooting unit next turn etc. If you’re not in range for a shot, use the terrain to shield you while you get closer. The Scout version works well as it can threaten units on the board edges and can get close very quickly. That said the armoured version will tie units in combat up for longer due to the increased frontal armour. Multilaser: The basic armament without upgrades. 36 inch range, high number of shots and decent strength means that you’ll be hitting frequently and will usually wound on 2+. It’s a good infantry killer and can have a go at tank hunting. I find that opponents often underestimate the threat of this sentinel and thus give it a low priority. This is also the cheapest sentinel available. Autocannon: This is widely accepted as the best all rounder. Good rate of fire, good strength, good AP, nice range, very little not to like. The higher strength makes this boy a player in the anti-tank game, especially when it draws a bead on side or rear armour. It can also help put some wounds on monstrous creatures. Missile launcher: Like the autocannon this Sentinel can be used for both anti-tank and antiinfantry as it has both frag and krak missiles. The biggest drawback is that with only one shot you’ll either hit or miss your target, no in between. A squadron of two or three gives you better odds of doing something each turn but if you only have the one I’d advice to keep near cover to give you a better chance of surviving and having another go when it shoots again. Lascannon: This sentinel should only be used for tank hunting and dealing with monstrous creatures. Obviously if you have no such target, hit the infantry. Once again this is a one shot weapon but when it hits it tends to hurt. Being rather pricey you’ll want to keep this behind some cover so those powerful weapons can fire again and again and again. Outflanking with these will give you one hell of a turn of pulverising side/rear armour assuming you hit. Usually do well when you have a lot of armour focussed on anti-infantry, as they become lower priority targets. Plasma cannon: The most expensive of the Sentinel’s weapons and one of the most powerful. High strength and low AP and a small blast make this very useful against nearly every type of infantry but only some of the lighter tanks. Deep striking Terminators will not like you. As I haven’t had the chance to use this variant yet, I cannot comment much further. [I’m not going to lie; neither have I, but only the Armoured variant can take it. The Armoured is too expensive to just sit around avoiding combat, and you don’t want a plasma cannon in combat. Try it out and let us know. ~Editor].

Conclusion To get the most of your Sentinels you must use them well. They can achieve much in the space of a turn if you target the right units and use the right tricks. Get it all right and you’ll have a nice little thorn in your opponent’s side that may keep him off balance and allow the rest of your lads to carry the day.


Rough Riders, by Awilla the Hun
“Lance armed melee cavalry is an absurdity.” ~Ozorik “Sorry But horse+man+pointy stick = plausible to me” ~Tourniquet


As you will see, Awilla likes his Rough Riders. Only in Warhammer 40,000 do you have a cavalry regiment where one doesn’t have the urge to shout “Ha ha! You fool! You just let five horses with heavy armour and shields crash into your regiment! (oh, and the lances may do something too).” In this game, and I understand that this is shocking to émigrés from our older relative, the cavalrymen actually do something! Rarely is there a rubber lances syndrome! Indeed, of all the parts in my army, I have found that the Rough Riders do consistently best. This article will explain to you that, far from being an outdated General Haig fantasy that takes up a choice that could use Sentinels or Hellhounds, the Rough Rider is an exceptionally useful part of the Imperial Guard army, capable of bringing an enemy advance to its knees, or even -gasp- actually taking the initiative itself! Before going into the precise details of Rough Rider tactics, it is time for some appropriate music - Garryowen, a good Cavalry Song - and a brief reflection on the nature of the Imperial Guard. [I wonder if Awilla is aware of the irony that his chosen song was a favourite of Custer, and reportedly the last played before Little Big Horn? ~Editor]. Despite the best efforts of the new codex in offering up diverse and appealing ways to play as the Hammer of the Emperor, ranging from Air Cavalry to Urrah! Shouting human waves, the Imperial Guard is by nature an army that takes its foes on from a distance, preferably behind cover, and with immense volleys of heavy weapons fire. The basic guardsman squad has little


in the way of assaulting power on its own but, with the assistance of orders and heavy weapons, becomes a formidable heavy weapons platform, whilst capable of pouring volleys of lasgun fire into the enemy. Many players choose to group their platoons into giant merged squads, so as they can get the very best out of their orders. What, you may well ask, has this got to do with Rough Riders? Well, it is quite simple dear reader. The Rough Rider has two roles: defensive, and offensive. The former is far more common, so it will be discussed at greater length. Defending yourself The Imperial Guard, as a shooty army, is extremely vulnerable to enemy close combat units. If possible, these should be shot down, but this is sadly not always possible. In fact, I can remember few games in which my gun line was not hit by enemy assaulters. The reasons for this are many and varied. The enemy unit may have jump packs that allow it to power forwards, or they may be using cover that protects them. Regardless, it is sadly inevitable that in most fights, swords (or, at least, extremely close ranged guns - Stealth Suits and Warp Spiders, for example) will be eventually drawn. And when an Imperial Guard squad is hit by an enemy assault unit, chances are that the guardsmen will lose. There are three ways that the Guard player can get around this: 1) Make the guardsmen hold the line until the enemy runs away 2) Wait for the guardsmen to die, so as the enemy can be shot with a gigantic volley of fire (awaiting ordnance guns, Veterans, and flamer toting Command squads are good examples of these) or 3) Counter attack. Method 1 is often extremely difficult to do. The Imperial guardsman, unless assisted by a Commissar, is unlikely to hold off most enemy assault units for long. Big, merged platoons, led by a Commissar, are capable of holding an enemy up for a few turns, if only by simply taking a long time to kill. However, this is eating up a significant investment in points usually at least equal to that of the enemy close combat unit (or units), whilst not often killing many of the enemy in return, or getting to the objective. Therefore, it is not always practical. Method 2 is the preferred option among many guard players: wait for the enemy to finish killing, and then lure them into a trap that utilised the great strength of the Imperial Guard: shooting. What could be simpler? Sadly, things also happen that render this a less viable option. The Guard squad, for example, could survive the assault (often whilst being extremely mauled), denying the enemy the option of shooting the assaulters - especially if it is a merged platoon like the one above. This is more likely than it may seem, with the new rules for regimental banners forcing players to re roll failed leadership tests, and the Company Commander frequently being nearby so as orders can be issued; and Guard squads all having leadership 8 because of their sergeants being a compulsory buy. Another issue is that one round of poor luck could cost you the game, or at least a lot of troops. This can range from relatively benign - your lasguns simply miss - to downright dangerous - the big Demolisher shell aimed at the Terminators simply scatters right onto your (often nearby and densely packed) infantry line, causing a whole lot of them to rout. In this way, enemy assault units can simply rush from squad to squad, and do a lot of damage. Method 3, of course, is where the Rough Riders come in. (It has the added benefit of saving the trapped guardsmen from death, which is always pleasing; or, at least, avenging their deaths in a spectacular manner.)


Counter Assault options The Imperial Guard has three main counter assault units (note that I am not counting giant merged platoons led by Creed and a Priest; such things are too difficult to keep intact, are always big points investments, and are easy to neutralise by killing the Priest; or Armoured Sentinels, which are, judging by their options for plasma cannons and low attack values, more useful as ranged weapons.) These are: -Tooled up Company Commanders (involving a Priest, and as many power weapons as possible, preferably led by Iron Hand Straken, or at least a power fist toting Commander.) -Ogryns -Rough Riders Company Command squads are not the force weapon and honorifica toting psyker laden (comparatively) super units of yore. With the advent of the orders system, they are evidently designed to keep your line steady with Get Back in the Fight!, and your guns blazing with First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire!, Fire On my Target!, and Bring it Down! These cannot be issued in assault, thus denying the officer of a crucial role. Furthermore, even heavily upgraded Company Commands are only going to be a maximum of ten T3 4+ save models, with a handful of power weapon attacks between them (four to five power sword attacks, for example, are going to kill only one or two space marines without a Priest helping) - hardly a resilient or hard hitting assault unit, especially bearing in mind the high points cost required. Therefore, whilst it may be occasionally expedient to have them defend themselves, it is not best to use your Company Commander for dedicated hand to hand. Ogryns are a more effective combat unit, sporting Furious Charge on top of an already formidable strength, toughness, attacks, and a potent assault weapon capable of blasting no less than three S5 shots into the foe before charging. However, these behemoths too are not without their weaknesses. Against Space Marines (presuming they fire a volley before charging, and that they aren’t hurt by the attacks of the squad), the basic squad of 130 points will kill around three or four men. Against large mobs of less armoured troops (Orks, say), the figures are far better; but they are simply inefficient for the points against heavily armoured troops. They may be able to tie the enemy up, but not to do enough damage. Now, finally, we get to Rough Riders. [You can say that again. I jest, I jest! ~Editor]. For an extremely respectable price tag of 115 points - enough to get an entire squad of them, and to give the sergeant a power weapon, and still less than the basic Ogryns - you get six or seven dead Space Marines from their lancer charge, and will probably make the rest of the squad flee! Whilst much of their capacity of destruction would have been used up in the first charge, that first charge may be all that is required of them. Ergo, against power armoured assault units, Rough Riders are by far the most efficient troop type. But how do you use them in this defensive role? The most important thing about using them is ensuring that they survive, mostly intact, for long enough to deliver their lances to the enemy. This, because they are only guardsmen in terms of toughness (and have a large model and base), may seem difficult; but on most boards, there is usually terrain behind which they can hide.


Alternatively, just saturate the enemy’s supporting fire with lots of big, nasty tanks or Heavy Weapons squads, all of which look eminently more dangerous than a bunch of horsemen with spears; or give them a cheap screen to hide behind, if there’s nothing else. Setting your gun line up near the counter attacking Rough Riders also helps. When the enemy engages, charge the ruffians with cold steel, and hurl them into the abyss! (Or, if there’s a unit in cover near your gun line that’s preparing to attack, remember that you have frag grenades and engage it! Your guns may have difficulty getting it, but your lances will have a far easier time…) Mogul Kamir In this role, I would not advise that you go anywhere near Mogul Kamir. He costs 40 points, and grants the Rough Riders Rage and Furious Charge. Whilst there is still much debate over whether Furious Charge actually affects the hunting lance at all, the fact remains that Rage for a unit that has a potential 24 inch charge is going to remove any hope for them counter attacking in a well coordinated manner. What is more likely to happen is that they charge out, kill an expendable enemy skirmish line/bullet shield, and get murdered in the next assault phase. Hardly a fitting end to such an excellent unit. There are ways of giving them Furious Charge (Creed and Straken), but I would advise against building an army around letting one regiment have a special rule. [Rage forces you to move as fast as possible towards the nearest visible enemy, and if they Run they must do so towards the nearest visible enemy again. However they are free to charge whoever they like. Creative use of terrain or friendly vehicles to block LOS will stop them from moving anywhere until you want them to. In short, Rage is manageable. The problem is that he still costs 40 points and yet doesn’t come with a power weapon. Why Cruddace, why? ~Editor].

Aggressive Assault However, I’m sure that some of you are quite tired by now of this talk of sitting still and letting the enemy come. Like any true cavalry officer, you are thirsting for a glorious charge against the enemy’s best, eager to scatter their regiments and ride them down with drawn sabre. You are also aware that, in a battlefield full of automatic weaponry, such tactics are unlikely to succeed. But it is possible, dear reader, to use the horse and lance in an offensive role too… My technique for this is to simply put the cavalry behind the biggest tank in your army - a Demolisher is good, having nice thick side and frontal armour, a big, short ranged gun, and lots of decent sponsons that can be fired on the move. Rumbling towards the enemy lines with all guns blazing, and hiding your cavalry right behind it. With a platoon advancing to gain objectives, the enemy guns are going to have a choice between many potent targets, and they are unlikely to always make the right one. The cavalry will be hidden from the brunt of the enemy fire (like all clever soldiers), and can - when the time is right - spring out and charge into the midst of the enemy ranks! At worst, you shatter an enemy squad, and distract large parts of their shooting units from their task of hurting your main force. At best - and this best should be assisted by a psyker battle squad/mortar combo pinning nearby enemy squads, and by the arrival of other, more pressing targets - you can unleash another charge! For this role, Kamir is a possible choice, although I would still prefer a more stable Furious Charge dispenser. If nothing else, find a nearby tank and ready the krak grenades. (Taking a special weapon or two is useful for this role also; the long charge gained by Fleet of Hoof is less likely to be a major factor, which means that - after the initial charge - you can start shooting.)


So, to sum up, with some do’s and don’ts for Rough Riders: DO > Attack heavily armoured enemy soldiers (Space Marines and Terminators) > Ensure that you get the charge (because trust me, a laspistol and close combat weapon only go so far) > Keep them hidden from enemy fire for as long as possible. > Use them to herd fleeing troops DON’T > Expose them needlessly to enemy guns > Attack large masses of infantry - they will get dragged down and butchered! > Charge anything that has a higher initiative than them (e.g. Banshees, Genestealers.) > (If all else fails) get worried if they die after the first charge. You’ve only wasted 115 points killing something far more expensive that belongs to the enemy!

~Light of the Emperor


The Dogs of War, by Captain Micha
“I mean, my standard Tanith army consisted of Infantry Platoons, heavy weapons, and a few Leman Russes...now I have to consider OTHER VEHICLES AND UNITS?! It's insane!” ~CommissarTanith

~Perfect Organism

Hellhounds and Bane Wolves. The Hellhound and Bane Wolf are two very powerful units in the Imperial Guard Codex. As someone that commonly lets slip the Dogs Of War, [None of the rest of you peasants referenced Shakespeare did you? No! ~Editor], I think I can comment a little on their best uses. I tend to use my hounds as defensive weapons, ready to strike the biggest threat to my army. A Fast vehicle is often an offensive one, but I think that the hounds really do get to break this rule. They are a support unit and a very versatile one at that, depending on your needs. For example the Bane Wolf is pretty much the living bane of Space Marines everywhere and anywhere (if you ever think you'll use the other weapon system on the Banewolf buy yourself a multimelta, thanks to the wound allocation rules being as naff as they are). Against Marines, I use a Bane Wolf that has a multimelta, but against everyone else, a heavy flamer works just fine pretty much. [For an explanation of why the heavy flamer can sometimes be a liability refer to the ‘Wound allocation shenanigans’ article. ~Editor]. The Hellhound on the other hand is almost always best suited in my opinion for the heavy bolter secondary weapon. The kinds of targets the Hellhound fires against naturally are a little different than the ones you will find the Bane Wolf useful for. I use my Hellhounds for


things like Fire Dragons or other suicidal anti-vehicle units, whereas my Bane Wolf is usually used to slaughter assault units. The Hellhound can also be equipped with the multimelta making it -a little better- for anti-vehicle work than the banewolf, but this is marginally so, given the vehicle movement rules. Deployment with the hounds is probably the most important part of using them, as someone that routinely goes first if possible, I deploy my hounds deep and forward, preferrably behind LOS blocking terrain where I can. There are times though such as when I'm using an extended front deployment, that my hounds are deep in my own deployment zone, usually on the flanks, ready to counter whatever force comes in to pick on one specific area or another of my line. Thanks to the hounds being Fast now, there's almost nowhere in your deployment zone they can not reach. Remember as Fast vehicles that they can fire their main gun up to a 12 inch move, and that Bane Wolves can fire both weapons after a 12 inch move because the chemical cannon is classed as defensive. I find that the hounds are especially useful when I take artillery. I think the Banewolf and the Hellhound work best with a Basilisk or Collosus team up. The hounds cover the weakness of the artillery, (no one wants to get close while hounds are on the table I've found) and the artillery helps shore up the hounds' short ranges. Devil Dog There's alot of people out there that misinformedly think the Devil Dog is a worthless hound. These people are dead wrong. The Devil Dog, in the game of 40k has a very powerful place on the battlefield. Unlike the other hounds which are made to slay infantry, the Devil Dog is capable of shredding even the mighty Land Raider in one fusilade. This will cover anti-MEQ for now, though this advice can apply to other armies as well. Whenever I am facing Marines and I have a Devil Dog, I make it face the Land Raider. I'll deploy it in such a fashion that it can react to both areas of my deployment zone should they be attacked. The DD will always have an easy route to a LR due to it's quick movement. Remember when you move your DD out into the open to pop smoke. [Assuming you bought smoke, considering the hound variants don’t get it as standard. ~Editor]. Shoot the Land Raider, and watch it explode. Two melta rounds is not a pleasent experience for a Land Raider. The reason this strategy works as well as it does is because while you are gunning down the rest of the Marine's transports with the bulk of your army, your Devil Dog is allowed to be a mission specialist and prevent even the Land Raider from getting there, solving one of the great dilemmas of fighting Marines. Even if you pop a couple of Rhinos.... the Raider getting there often means if he's smart about it, you will still lose because the Raider's deadly cargo can easily make up for whatever losses he takes getting there. This allows you to destroy the Raider, bog down it's Terminator cargo, and still gun down the Rhinos. The other Devil Dog if you have a second one, is free to engage Rhinos and it easily makes up for the "loss" of having a Devil Dog on a Raider. Because after all your entire anti-tank can focus on Rhinos. This also works on pesky Eldar... trading out Raider for Fire Prism, and Rhinos for Serpents. Tau are also vulnerable to this sort of thing as well, as the Devil Dog has the speed to close and get inside the shield offered by decoy launchers. Another lovely thing about the Devil Dog is that it synergizes very well with Hydra Flak Tanks. The two together means you don't really need Russes either. So you've saved some points potentially because the DD can provide anti-Terminator grade firepower, and the Hydra sheer volume. You also gain mobility which is fairly critical in this edition. [The Devil Dog isn’t a one-trick pony, nor does the range always have to be horrifically short. While Land Raiders make an ideal target, it also functions nicely as a light tank hunter as


well. Buy it a hull multimelta and it can move 6 inches and still fire two Ap1 ‘krak missiles’ out to 24-inch range. Also, if the fusion cannon is within half range, it’s important to note that even a partial hit (which halves your strength) would still get the +2D6 bonus for melta weaponry, giving you an average penetration roll of 11. Easily enough to make a play for light to medium vehicles, quite accurately. ~Editor]. Defensive tactics, including Planetstrike Hounds make excellent defensive units because they have the speed to quickly react to any new threats. During a Planetstrike game, or against any opponent making a mass deep strike assault (such as Daemons or Drop Pod Marines), they can be invaluable. My hounds are placed more or less in the center as a reactionary force. Target priority is as follows. 1) Assault units or transports. 2) Any heavy weapons fire that might be out there. 3) Command and control. Particularly during Planetstrike, the enemy will often deep strike right in front of your Bastions, highly valuable units or wherever your objectives are. Your hounds have the movement and capability to destroy whatever is foolish enough to get so close. Remember that with Guard and fire points in buildings our infantry firepower is severely lessened so you should use your vehicles to the best advantage to make up for this until the buildings are destroyed (If they ever are). Try to position your hounds in a place where they can react to either side of your army incase of attack. This applies both to normal games where you might be outflanked, or when playing on the defense in Planetstrike. If possible stick them under something that makes them impervious to barrage for at least least one salvo, such as deploying them under the landing pad. Most people forget something is even under there, and it saves you the wrath of Fire Storm (at least it does for me). I tend to place my landing pad towards the right side of my deployment zone, with my bastions on either side. I then deploy normal terrain accordingly so I have a semi circle. [An expansion of this article will be forthcoming, with some discussion of deployment for the hounds. The fact that it is not here yet is entirely my fault and not that of Captain Micha. All of the new content will be forthcoming in due course. ~Editor].


Valkyries and Vendettas, by Steel Legion for Life
"The one thing I liked most about the Valk was the ridiculous German translation on the preorders page of GW Germany, to the effect of: 'screaming over the battlefield, the Valkyrie drops its passengers in the middle of the carnage and showers the disembarking soldiers with a deadly hail from its weapons'. That would be worse than a CSM Dreadnought, wouldn't it?" ~Bloodknight


Right, just to establish my credentials for writing this article, I've used individual or paired Valkyrie drop ships or Vendetta gunboats in games of 1500pts or below, and have played a string of games with a four Vendetta/two Valkyrie all airborne list. This may make all of this advice completely irrelevant to you, if you are playing in larger games. Just to get it out of the way now, at the time of writing the rules for the Valkyrie/Vendetta are somewhat opaque. This is mostly down to issues with the size of the model and the height of the flying stand. The tactics article assumes the following to be true, and are the "house rules" I have used the Valkyrie/Vendetta under. I'd recommend discussing these with your opponent before the game, as people who haven't played against Valkyries/Vendettas before may find them confusing. Rules assumptions >Units embarked in the Valkyrie/Vendetta may be deep striked or outflanked, and all come on with the same reserve roll. >The height of the flying stand may not be reduced or increased, for range measuring or cover purposes. >Units may disembark from the Valkyries/Vendettas using the normal rules as well as the grav chute rules. >Valkyries/Vendettas, and units mounted in Valkyries/Vendettas, may contest objectives as normal, measuring from the edge of the base.


>Valkyries (and particularly Vendettas) may move on the board from reserve by using a 6" move, even though this can leave the tail/wing of the aircraft off-table. Some of these house rules may be controversial with your gaming group, as they do breach RAW. For example, due to the height of the stand, by RAW, the Valkyrie/Vendetta can neither disembark troops nor contest objectives. Best to avoid squabbles and have a chat about it. If entering a tournament email the organisers some time before and have them produce a detailed FAQ on the Valk - to not to do so is to ask for a picky Eldar player in game six, on the top table, who insists you can't disembark by RAW. Using skimmers in general Valkyries and Vendettas are different from any unit in the Imperial Guard army. For the first time, we have a fast skimmer; capable of dealing out huge amounts of damage; but only if it can survive to do that. When you put a gunboat or drop ship on the table, you need to work out the role you want your aircraft to fulfill, what equipment it needs to fulfill that role and what unit it’s going to transport.

Valkyrie It’s probably not worth taking unarmed Valkyries. The hellstrike missiles seem initially appealing, but there are two things to consider about them. Firstly, while they are ordnance, they aren’t ordnance blast. So essentially, they’re a pumped up hunter killer missile. And because they are ordnance, you can only fire the one missile, and no other guns. The lascannon on the Valkyrie would be a decent option, but for the fact that the Vendetta exists. For 15 points more than a lascannon/hellstrike Valkyrie, you can have a Vendetta, which is much better at doing the same job. The best option for the Valkyrie is therefore the multiple rocket pods. Thirty points seems like quite a lot, but the increase in anti-infantry firepower is substantial. The other thing to bear in mind is that the rocket pods are S4, thus defensive weapons, which you can move 12 inches and still fire everything. This makes the Valkyrie better in the role of transport and objective grabber than the Vendetta, as it has more in game mobility. I’d advise against the heavy bolter door gunners. Because of the way the vehicle rules work, the Valkyrie will have to slow down to fire them, and I wouldn’t recommend that for the reasons above. Vendetta Valkyries excel at anti-infantry, but Vendettas excel at anti-monster and anti-vehicle shooting. The Guard army has a wide variety of other competitive options for anti-infantry firepower, from Chimeras to Leman Russ, so the basic Valkyrie can often be eclipsed in this role, especially when you consider the disadvantages posed by its large size. The Vendetta, on the other hand, is absolutely unparalleled in the role it has for its points. Compared to any other way of getting long-range S9 Ap2 shots, it’s impressively cheap. For example, it’s only 25 points more than a lascannon Heavy Weapon squad, but it also has the capacity to carry troops, scout, deep strike, move 24 inches and is considerably more survivable. There probably isn’t a better unit for killing monstrous creatures in almost any army list in 40k (possibly the Exorcist) [plasma Veterans with access to orders? ~Editor], and the ability to deep strike or outflank gives an incredible ability to pull out side or rear shots on almost any vehicle. The alternative weapon options are hellfury missiles, and heavy bolter door gunners. Hellfurys’ replace two twin-linked lascannons with two one-shot, ignore cover missiles. I’d say they’re best left at home. If you want anti-infantry gunships, stick with the rocket pod Valkyries, as they can fire every turn, even though they don’t ignore cover. The heavy bolter door-gunners aren’t a bad option for the Vendetta; it usually will be moving 6 inches or less, so the reduction in movement isn’t such a big deal. While the heavy bolters are no use at all against the vehicles or monsters that are the prime target of the Vendetta,


they are cheap, and give the Vendetta a second use, which can be helpful in a take all comers army. Transport units – Who should fly the friendly skies? One of the most important things to consider with a Valkyrie or Vendetta is which unit to deploy in it. It can be a fantastic way to get short ranged troops into action, almost immediately. The most obvious choices are Veterans armed with multiple short ranged guns, such as plasma guns, meltaguns, or flamers. It’s well worth considering demolition charges for this unit. Equally, Special Weapon squads can be a cheaper, albeit less effective option. Still, you can give them multiple demolition charges, which can be incredible against packed troops. This requires you to have an Infantry Platoon, so can be better in armies using Valkyries as support, rather than all airborne armies. Troops choices are probably best for mounting in Valkyries, as then you can scatter to claim rather than contest objectives on the last turn. Still, there are other great options for mounting in Valkyries. Command sections have greater access to Bs4 special weapons than any other unit, can give other units orders, and as a result you will definitely want to mount your Command sections in an all airborne army. Still, they are more fragile than Veterans and as mentioned, they can’t claim objectives. Storm Troopers can be effective in Valkyries, but get far less from the mounting than anything else, as you’re effectively paying twice for them to gain special deployment options.

Deployment options
The key to using Valkyries is in the deployment option you choose to use with them. The sheer size of the model, combined with the relative vulnerability of the unit, make it important to not get shot but simultaneously makes it all but impossible to hide. Of course, this may not apply if you’re playing on a scale replica of Manhattan, but most of us aren’t. There are three options, and you should certainly think about using all three of them. Having said that, bear in mind that sometimes the best option is to just come on from your own board edge. [Particularly in Dawn of War when everything is guaranteed to arrive on turn one, and when you’re going second. ~Editor]. Scout Particularly if you get the first turn, it can be worth deploying your Valkyries, and then using their scout move to redeploy them 24 inches. This can be used to either fox your opponent by moving them somewhere he doesn’t expect, or to close on any unit in his army, and possibly drop their cargo on whatever you want, or put yourself in an ideal shooting position on turn one. This means you can effectively have a 48 inch move before your opponent gets to react to them, meaning you can do all kinds of interesting things. For example, no Guard player will like having his fire support units flamed on turn one, or his artillery units meltagunned before they ever fire. Equally, have a look at the board and where the enemy is; it’s surprising how often you can get the Valkyries out of line of sight of enemy shooting units, or at least in cover from their fire, just based on interposing his units or putting your Valkyries somewhere where terrain intervenes. Of course, doing this has its disadvantages. It can leave you terribly exposed to fire if your opponent seizes the initiative, and will leave you on the board for the whole game; one of the biggest advantages of using one of the alternative deployment methods is that your enemy has less time to shoot you. Deep strike – “The express elevator to hell, going down!” People underestimate the use of deep strike with Valkyries. The big advantage of deep striking is you can put the Vendetta down anywhere, and then deploy the carried unit in range, while still firing all the guns. This can be especially useful on large tables, or where


your opponent has advanced into the middle of the table. Otherwise with outflank, you are limited to dropping your unit within either 6 or 12 inches of the table edge, or moving faster, exposing your troops to risk and costing yourself shots from the transport. With the importance of the alpha strike turn to airborne armies, and the ability of canny opponents to move away from the table edge to counter Valkyries, this can be the option of choice for airborne armies. [With the rapid movement of both skimmers, trying to keep your distance from the side edges would be highly unlikely to succeed, given that they would have to be more than 20 inches away just to avoid a half-range meltagun shot from a unit that didn’t even need to use grav chute insertion. ~Editor]. It’s the most risky deployment option, as you have no protection from deep strike mishaps – you can lose a 130-point vehicle and a 100+ point squad on a bad scatter. Still, if you like to gamble, it can be worth going for. Outflank This is the most popular deployment for a Valkyrie, and probably should be considered a default option, as it is by far the least risky. You come on from a board edge, but the long range and high speed of the Valkyrie should make even an outflank mishap a reasonably minor setback. This is great for setting up side or rear shots, and for playing in a cagey way with your Valk. It’s worth looking at your opponent’s list – in the age where the meltagun is king, people quite often people lack long-range guns, so it can be worth sniping at long range with a Vendetta if this is the case. Deploying normally I’d recommend you not do this – if you don’t use your scout move, the Valkyrie is a huge fire magnet, especially with troops on board. I’d recommend deploying mounted troops as soon as possible from Valkyries, as they often draw huge amounts of fire. Still, this can be useful; for example, in an army with nothing but Av12 hulls, a Vendetta hanging over it can pull gunfire away from things like Chimeras and Medusas – of course, this is a gamble, as one autocannon round can smash your Vendetta, letting all the guns in the enemy army to focus on other things. Cunning tactics 1) The Valkyrie/Vendetta is hard to hide but you can frequently be obscured, if your opponent is in cover, or if there are intervening enemy troops. Get down to the models eye view, and often you will find that troops (especially vehicles) will get in the way of the shot. If there are 6 to 7 inch tall buildings - not that unusual - the forge world Vendetta can be obscured and still fire two lascannons on the right hand side. Remember, your pilots don’t have to be able to see to fire lascannons! There’s a reason they have optical sights, one assumes... 2) Units in a transport can still score, so you can pull off truly shocking objective grabbing with the Valkyrie on the final turn; just don’t get cocky and find the game doesn’t end... 3) The best way to obscure Valkyries is with other Valkyries. You can protect say, a Vendetta moving slowly to fire, with a Valkyrie moving over 12 inches. This means that both are equally unappealing targets, as they both benefit from the 4+ obscured/moving fast save. 4) Thanks to their large size and high mobility, both Valkyries and Vendettas make useful shepherds for herding fleeing units off the board, never giving them a chance to regroup. The airborne army I’m sure that the all-airborne army is viable. I’ve tried it in quite a few games, and have found it to be very competitive; in fact, I might take my Armageddon Assault Corps list to the UK GT this year. It’s not the “unbeatable nine Valkyrie list” of everyone’s nightmares though.


My 1500pt list: Company Command squad w/ Astropath + 3 Flamers + Vox =100 Company Command squad w/ Astropath + 3 Flamers + Vox =100 Veterans w/ shotguns and 3 meltaguns + Vox + Demolitions =135 Veterans w/ shotguns and 3 meltaguns + Vox =105 Veterans w/ shotguns and 3 meltaguns + Vox + Demolitions =135 Veterans w/ shotguns and 3 meltaguns + Vox =105 2 Valkyries squadroned with rocket pods =260 2 Vendettas squadroned with heavy bolter sponsons =280 2 Vendettas squadroned with heavy bolter sponsons =280 A few things I’ve learnt: The army plays very like the old Guard drop troops doctrine army. That is to say, a tremendous amount of the damage is done on the turn your army appears, but it is quite fragile once on the table, and to an extent at the mercy of bad reserve rolls. The major difference between this army and the old drop troops doctrine is that you have far less troops, who are far more fragile, but far more mobile. I once lost a whole army in Chimeras on turn one, and I know this army is horribly vulnerable to losing everything in one bad turn. This is especially true because of the squadron rules. I haven’t lost the whole army on the first turn my opponent can fire at them yet, but I’m sure it will happen. Probably game six of the UK GT... This “alpha strike turn” is absolutely vital to the army. I found moving on with my whole army at once, deploying all four squads, ordering the squads to have twin-linked weapons, enabled me to cripple an entire enemy army in one go, particularly a mechanized one. You can easily expect to destroy six vehicles and large amounts of infantry in a single turn. The worse the alpha strike is, generally, the harder the game will be. You can best ensure a good “first turn” by using two Astropaths. This means that the bulk of your army will arrive on turn two, on a 2+ roll. I’d say the pair of Astropaths is absolutely vital for the airborne army. Fleet Officers are not a great choice for this army. Often, an opponent will choose to have his whole army in reserve. The more his army is delayed, the more likely large amounts of it will come in en masse, automatically, on turn five. My experience with using Fleet Officers with this army is pretty negative. Good opponents will mass their armies in the centre of the board, or hold everything in reserve. Against an opponent moving to the centre, be prepared to take the risk of deep striking near them. Against armies in reserve, if you show up first, move everything flat out, keeping far enough away from his table edge that you can outrange the units that move on, many of which will be constrained to rapid fire range. Rush in and kill whatever comes on and destroy his army piecemeal as it arrives bit by bit. If you’re lucky, you can effectively get several “alpha strikes” against an army entirely in reserve. The army I’ve found the hardest to beat was an army with 150 Orks in it. This army, while very effective against mechanized, vehicular, or monster based armies, can struggle against infantry heavy MEQ armies or hordes, and require careful play and luck to win against those opponents.


’Mobile Forward Air Control Tower, Drogan 22nd Voltigeurs.’ ~DigitsDavid


Firepower niches and building your army, by Sircyn
“IG need at least three ways of dealing with every type of threat because in general one will miss and one will be dead.” ~ RCgothic
When building any all comers army I consider all of the potential types of threat my army will have to face and ensure that my army has at least one or two examples of each tool required to deal with them. This way my army will always be able to have a go at fighting any enemy. A single unit can cover several niches. E.g. My Leman Russ with plasma sponsons can deal with hordes thanks to their many blasts but also heavy infantry thanks to their low AP and high strength values. When facing extreme lists the less useful units become support elements to ensure the successful application of my more valuable resources this game. You should also consider scoring units, mobility and assault capability when building a balanced all comers list, but particularly when using artillery it is covering your firepower niches that is important. The following firepower niches need to be covered with redundancy. Redundancy is having multiple platforms available to you so that all your hopes for dealing with a particular niche aren't tied up in one unit, allowing you to take more damage before your list is crippled and to give you better chances of doing damage to the enemy. These rules are flexible and you will get a feel for what you need as you play test your army, for instance, having S10 guns in your army isn't as useful to you if you never face Monoliths, Plague Bearers or Nob Bikers. You should include the weapons in your army capable of providing efficient coverage of the following categories of firepower: Light Infantry. This includes any T4 or lower infantry (and swarms) with a 4+ or worse armour save, such as Scouts or Guardians. Heavy Infantry. Generally Marine equivalents, but anything with a 3+ or better armour save. Marines, Necrons, Striking Scorpions, Tau Battlesuits, and so forth. Ap2. So important it gets it’s own category. There are many nasty units and MC's that have a 2+ save, so it is very useful to have at least some capability of negating it with reliability. Relying upon weight of fire alone leaves you vulnerable to the whims of variance; sure it's possible for all these lasguns, multilasers and mortars to kill a unit of Terminators but you could end up stumped when your opponent refuses to roll any 1's. Being able to just remove units like this without the evil save can be vital. Examples include upgraded Tyranid MC's, Terminators, Meganobz, and many IC's. Light Vehicles. Av10-11 vehicles, 12 at a pinch. This often includes the majority of unit transports but also includes light and often fast gun ships that may be in squadrons, such as Rhinos, Raiders, Vypers, and Piranhas. Heavy Vehicles. Any vehicle with an AV of 12+, including Land Raiders, Monoliths, Predators, Defilers, and Ironclads. Monstrous Creatures. Self explanatory, any monstrous creature with a high T and multiple wounds, often with a good armour save, an invulnerable save, or both! Includes the Carnifex, Avatar, and Greater Daemons. Strength Ten. Sometimes nothing else will do! Some units have such combinations of high toughness, multiple wounds, Feel No Pain, immunity to melta weapons and so forth that sometimes a S10 gun will really make your life easier by removing these units more efficiently than a pile of other guns. The use of this niche is quite subjective and will vary


from player to player and list to list. It's a handy thing to have and is worth considering but isn't vital by any means. Non-LOS. This is likely a new firepower niche to most people and one that I am taking the liberty of adding to the list seeing as I am writing the article and I am allowed! Non-LOS firepower is any type of weapon system that can fire upon the enemy without being able to see them. These are mostly barrage weapons but there are a few with special rules like the Tau Smart Missile System (the utility of which I learnt to admire when playing mechanized Tau and have since adapted this need to my Guard). There are some units that are fast and hug cover or can do annoying pop-up attacks that deny your direct fire weapons the ability to effectively return fire. These would include jump infantry, fast skimmers, bikes, jet bikes and jet pack infantry. The Imperial Guard still struggles with mobility, where other armies can just move around the table and negate the cover by drawing LOS or reducing cover saves the Guard cannot move and fire as effectively. This is where the Non-LOS niche comes in. Long-range indirect fire helps to mitigate your lack of mobility, or support your average mobility if you are running Mech. Airborne armies need not apply, as they are fast enough already. With such weapons you can deal with nasty assault troops trying to get near your line or Battlesuits and Eldar Jet bikes that are dancing around a piece of terrain and making your life hell. If this type of firepower is sufficient it takes your opponent out of his comfort zone because his precious, often delicate units have their major asset of speed negated as they begin to take fire from your army regardless of their position on the field. Non-LOS fire can soften up or destroy units before they hit your army; this often forces your opponent to commit the units before they are ready, disjointing their attack. You begin to force your opponent to play your game rather than his own or at the very least he takes damage and/or prioritizes your artillery as a target, which you can plan for and be prepared to take advantage of. The ability to snipe at last turn objective grabbers such as Eldar bikers or light skimmers can be a game winner. You could fill this niche with fast units, the ability to move 12 inches and fire effectively negates the need for specific non-LOS weaponry, but non-LOS weapons can cover this niche without the whole of your army being geared to support fast moving units. The Guard often cannot field enough of these units without considerable risk or extreme army lists. The Guard artillery gives a more reliable, safer and multi role unit that can reach out and touch the problematic hiding units with much less risk involved compared to running skimmers or fast vehicles at the same problem. Alternatively, there could be many cases where it would be impossible to move your units to deal with the enemy in time or without it being a suicide mission. Artillery is instant, involves much less risk to your own units and doesn't need a large portion of your force to support them in doing their job.


Heavy Artillery, by Sircyn
"The Imperial Guard doesn't dig the enemy out of fortifications. It blasts them out, then occupies the craters." ~Sonsoftauras

~le Mediko

“Ultima Ratio Regum” [“The last argument of Kings”, famously engraved on French cannon by instruction of Louis XIV. ~Editor] In this edition of the Guard codex we have been gifted with a plethora of new artillery pieces and thanks to squadrons we have the option to take up to of them in one Force Organisation chart! In this article I am going to go through an overview of the artillery options available to the Imperial Guard and the uses for each, with my own conclusions as to their efficiency, role and suggested army types they would most be suited to. I will also draw up some general rules of thumb to consider when using any artillery, such as placement and keeping them firing at their best. “Guns will make us powerful, butter will only make us fat.” ~Hermann Goering. Covering firepower niches The first rule of using artillery is to only bring artillery pieces that reinforce a firepower niche in your army. Artillery cannot be used to its full effect if you do not factor in its use while you are constructing your list from the start. You have to have a purpose for your artillery and pick the right units to do the job for you against the targets they are meant for. This way the artillery compliments and rounds out your army’s firepower and justifies using up a highly contested Heavy Support slot. I say reinforce rather than fill as I would never recommend relying on a unit of artillery to cover a niche on its own, artillery is too fragile and will make


an obvious target for your opponent if you are relying on it to be the lynchpin of your army. What artillery does best is picking up the slack for the rest of your army. Can you fit Av12 vehicles effectively into your force? You should ask yourself this question when you want to put artillery into your army. One of the big weaknesses of Imperial Guard artillery is that they are all based on Chimera chassis. It's big, has weak side armour, and is usually open-topped unless you fork out points for an expensive upgrade. They can also suffer from the disadvantages inherent in the squadron rules. Artillery is very killy and will be high on your opponent’s target priority list, which doesn't bode well for such flimsy units. If artillery is the only type of vehicle in your army you can be sure all your opponents anti-tank fire will be focused on them from the outset. It’s a hard enough task to hide two or three pieces of artillery, yet alone nine of the things! In other words some other scary targets need to be around to force your opponent to make the choice between targeting your artillery or suffering at the hands of your other units. As all armies have anti-tank weapons and heavy artillery are all tanks, this will often mean bringing some other armour to benefit from the dilution effect of having multiple vehicles on the field. In my personal experience either mechanized, armoured or combined arms forces that include one of the previous two army types are the armies most suited to effectively fitting an artillery squadron into the list. They will often have a pair of Leman Russ and/or some other Chimera chassis vehicles around that present other more pressing targets for enemy AT assets. This situation will give your artillery a better chance of being able to do it’s job unmolested, especially if you deploy and position your artillery effectively. While the idea of row upon row of heavy guns and lots of infantry is an evocative one, in terms of raw effectiveness I would rate it poorly, as all your opponent’s anti-tank and out flankers will be directed towards these costly, fragile units and will soon leave your army crippled. [It’s important to note that artillery can sometimes work well with infantry, because if they can stay out of sight of anti-tank weapons, you leave your opponent with only infantry to shoot his lascannons and bright lances at. ~Editor]

Opportunity cost and could I be doing this job better with the same points spent elsewhere? If you have been sensible and picked your artillery to fill a firepower niche in your army you can now consider whether there might be other options available to you that could do the job assigned to the artillery better or if you could use the points and FOC slot better elsewhere. You also need to take into account your army as a whole, the strengths and weaknesses of all your units in it and how you plan on using the army to answer the question well. Do this whenever you consider any unit in your army, but especially so for artillery due to their considerable weaknesses. Opportunity cost is a business term used in decision-making. The opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative forgone as the result of making a decision. When choosing a unit to add to your army it is prudent to compare the other options available with the option you have chosen using the same resources. The discarded options are the opportunity costs, what you could have done with these resources, but didn't. [Let’s say you have a unit of Ogryn, the opportunity cost would be what an equal number of points worth of Rough Riders could have achieved if you had bought them instead. ~Editor]. As far as 40k is concerned, when you are taking a piece of artillery you are using up a Heavy Support slot and a number of points to take the unit. You could have used these elsewhere on other units. The idea is for you to make sure the opportunity cost is not greater than the benefits of our first choice. I must add that there is not an easy or definitive answer to this question and it's a very subjective concept when deciding what is best for an army or not, it's why the army list forum on Warseer is so busy! [Or because nobody uses the search function. ~Editor].


An obvious opportunity cost of taking heavy artillery is using up a Heavy Support slot; you could take more Leman Russ or a different artillery piece with that slot. For instance you could bring a Medusa with bastion breacher shells to deal with enemy heavy tanks, but arguably a better choice is the Devil Dog as it costs fewer points, has better armour and is a fast vehicle, meaning it is more likely to be successful in this role as it's durability and maneuverability mean it is more likely to deliver it’s firepower effectively. After you have considered the most effective choice for the role you must weigh the opportunity cost of allocating the resources spent on this unit elsewhere, you may be forgoing the extra range of the Medusa and also reducing the amount of Valkyries you could be taking by using up the Fast Attack slot instead of a Heavy Support slot. The important point to take from this section is that you can benefit from rigorously analyzing the units you take and the other options you are discarding by taking them. "If, after the battle is over, your infantry don't like you, you are a poor artilleryman." ~Captain Henry Reilly. The Field Artillery Journal, September-October 1940. Deploying the big guns Deployment is the most important decision you are going to make with any of your artillery pieces. Where you place your artillery could spell doom or victory for the unit. Choosing where to place your pieces is heavily dependent upon what type of artillery it is and hence it’s role and preferred firing methods, where it's potential targets will congregate and how best to reduce incoming fire. Terrain is of course a major determining factor in all of these points but it is an unknown. What type of enemy you are facing and the firepower niche your artillery covers is another important consideration as are the mission objectives to win the game. Here the player will have to learn how to react to the field presented to him and produce a mental SWOT analysis for each of his artillery units to help determine the best deployment for that situation. The idea is to maximize your strengths, minimize your weaknesses and consider any opportunities or threats the situation my present to you while doing this. All of the Artillery pieces are on big, lightly armoured and mostly open-topped chassis. To add to their fragility you may be taking them in squadrons, meaning damage rolls of a 3+ will wreck the vehicles. Couple this with their massive firepower and they tend to shoot up peoples target priority list. If they don't immediately they soon will after your first shooting phase! The first and most obvious solution to these weaknesses is to put your heavy artillery behind cover. Some artillery can fire indirectly, but others don't and sometimes you need the extra reliability of direct fire for vehicles that don't have multiple barrages. On most tables while you can't always rely on being totally out of LOS from the entirety of the enemy army, you can probably expect a cover save, from terrain or your own tanks if needs be. At the very least get yourself a cover save, you can also make use of fire lanes to ensure that if you are visible to the enemy you only face a portion of his forces, or if you are lucky little AT fire from the units that can draw LOS to you. Never deploy your artillery on your objectives. Artillery are not scoring units, putting them near to your objectives just places your artillery right where your opponent is planning on going anyway, killing two birds with one stone. If you place your artillery as far away from your objectives as possible you force your opponent to divert from your objectives to deal with your artillery or take fire from them all game. You must be aware of the purpose of your artillery, too often I see players hide their artillery in a perfect position to prevent return fire, then during the game realise they are out of range or inside minimum range before they know it, meaning the artillery doesn't kill as much as it could have, wasting their potential. You have to project an imaginary firing arc above your tanks, with minimum and maximum ranges present. Have a mental picture of the threat range of your artillery and the areas of the board they are covering. Keep an eye out for choke points or areas you expect your


targets to be placed, hidden in or travel across. Balance the need to protect your artillery with the need to do damage with them, taking into account the nature of the guns you are using. [Good general advice for all units across the entire codex. ~Editor]. Defending your artillery Having some sort of armour dilution and other threats in your army to draw fire away from the artillery is another very powerful means of having your artillery left unmolested as discussed in the “Can you fit Av12 vehicles effectively into your force?” section. Friendly units hanging around your artillery to deter close range attacks and deal with out flankers can be useful; you have to weigh the opportunity costs of keeping units back to keep your artillery safe and is dependent heavily upon what else is in your army and how much you have invested in your artillery, on whether you are attacking or defending and whether you are expecting deep strikers or out flankers. Another viable option is to destroy such threats as a high priority thus protecting your artillery without having to have friendly units wasting their time on the off chance they could do something. You can also cover your artillery with long range fire, the threat ranges of other units can be enough to protect your artillery, for instance if your Leman Russ on the opposite side of your deployment zone can draw LOS to your Griffons you are protecting your artillery without having to dedicate whole units to this task alone. Artillery is so fragile that when faced with deep strikers or out flankers there could be little you can do to prevent your unit’s destruction, you just need to make sure this is a suicide mission for the enemy and then your opponent will have to seriously consider if it is worth trading his often expensive deep strikers or out flankers for your artillery. If you have spent heavily on your artillery pieces you will get more use out of dedicated supporting units. Keeping your artillery squadrons cheap means that your opponent will have a more difficult situation to consider deciding whether to commit resources to your artillery's destruction, especially if you can overlap threat ranges of the rest of your army with the position of the artillery to ensure close range methods of dispatch are suicide missions. Use cover and the often long-range capabilities of your artillery to protect them from long range fire, meaning you only have to worry about close assaults. Make these close assaults death traps for the units devoted to them and at the very least the loss of your artillery will be much less than the resources your opponent spent trying to remove them. Vulnerable, but what can they do? The weaknesses of the Imperial Guard artillery are somewhat balanced by the ability to indirect fire and/or having really long range, having high damage potential to inflict upon the enemy and being able to squadron to take advantage of extra shots and/or multiple barrage rules to increase damage potential and reliability. The strengths of the artillery tend to be more specific to the individual vehicles in question, but in general artillery will offer big firepower on top of unique abilities and methods of delivering it. Most of the artillery options available to the Guard present options that cannot be obtained elsewhere and when chosen well can be a considerable force multiplier for the army they are a part of. You need to be aware of these strengths and weaknesses and be very conscious of taking the necessary measures for you to get as many shots fired per game as you can and so do as much damage to the enemy as possible. Killing stuff is the primary purpose of your artillery after all. Killing stuff Says what it does on the tin. You have gone to all the trouble of building your list to accommodate artillery effectively, have deployed the unit as best you can to reduce incoming fire and you now want to make stuff assplode. Welcome to the fun part of playing with artillery... killing stuff! This is just basically common sense but it pays to have the thought


process nailed down so it becomes natural. Shoot at the targets your artillery is best at killing as a priority! If you fire your pair of Griffons at an Ork Trukk you are wasting the potential to decimate a big mob of boyz, use all the weapons for their intended purpose first and stagger your target priority so that your units can fulfill their maximum damage potential that turn. Use the most efficient guns to kill your targets first, to increase your damage potential and to prevent wasting shots that could be better used elsewhere, only fire on secondary targets when you have no option or the enemy unit must die that turn whatever the cost. For example, fire your anti-tank at transports first then fire your anti-infantry at the disembarked units. Fire your templates at infantry before direct fire to make the most of the greater number of enemy models. If there are no big mobs of boyz or hiding bike units you may as well shoot the Trukk if it’s the second best target. Place templates to cover the most models and consider an average seven inches scatter. You will minimize the loss of impact a bad scatter can cause and maximize the damage you do. Don't forget your artillery! I often find myself forgetting my artillery till last in the shooting phase and sometimes totally in a turn as they tend to be hidden away. It can be easier than you think to do so when you have a big Guard army to deal with! Keep the artillery in your mind and fire them when it is best suited to your target priority. This will usually be early in your shooting phase at large infantry formations or scary tanks that need to die. Be mindful of your minimum and maximum ranges and projected enemy movements. You want to get the most fire out of your units as possible; having to move them to get away means you aren't lobbing shells. That said don't be afraid to turn around and heavy flamer something if you have to. Look for choke points where enemy infantry will be packed tightly, or defensive fire lanes your anti-tank artillery could project area denial into. Secondary weapons All of the artillery pieces have the opportunity to have a hull mounted heavy bolter or heavy flamer. Just as with Chimeras I would suggest you use the heavy flamer, compared to three Bs3 shots from a heavy bolter the flamer stands a chance of actually doing something. A squadron of artillery can lay down two or three heavy flamer templates simultaneously and generate a healthy number of hits, often quite enough to deal with small outflanking units. If you aren't firing your main guns it is because they have been shot off or the enemy is right in your face, so the heavy flamer is your best bet here. The secondary gun will rarely get fired; the heavy flamer will provide much more impact on those rare occasions. “BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM. BOOM, BOOM. BOOM.” - ‘The German Guns’. ~S. Baldrik. Self propelled artillery - The units Imperial guard artillery pieces are not actually artillery in the sense of the 40k rules; they are all self-propelled guns on the ubiquitous Chimera chassis. This shared platform immediately gives all of the artillery options available to the Guard common ground for comparison. They are all mounted on reasonably large and rather weak vehicles, while several of them can't fire directly meaning that they cannot move and fire at the same time. So why would we consider taking these weak, immobile and often open topped light tanks? BIG firepower. All of the artillery in the Guard codex threatens to spew out template death or anti-tank firepower unmatched in ferocity by the majority of alternative units. These following sections will evaluate the artillery options and conclude whether they are vital additions to any Guard army or over-costed glass cannons that will only be pulled off the shelf for Apocalypse games. In all cases you can assume I am talking about 1500-2000 point standard games of 40k unless I mention otherwise.


Griffons, by Sircyn
"It's true that most of the time the Griffon will hit due to its re-roll ability, and it's still excellent value for the points, but the only thing you can ‘count on’ with dice is that they will screw you." ~Ironhand
The Griffon heavy mortar is the cheapest piece of ordnance barrage you can lay your hands on and I would argue that at its role it’s one of the most cost effective choices in the entire army. You can take two of these for the points of most other single artillery pieces and I like to compare a number of Griffons equal to any other single piece in value. It is a specialist anti-infantry piece. Griffons put out a respectable ordnance barrage blast that will shred any light and medium infantry. Thanks to the barrage rule drawing cover saves from the point of the blast it often means that unless your opponent is in area terrain or has a special rule, most hordes of infantry won't be getting a cover save either. While the weapon itself is decidedly average on the scale of artillery awesomeness it's strength is still enough to wound basic infantry on 2's and this is suited perfectly for it's job of thrashing light and medium infantry. The Griffon's accurate bombardment special rule is what makes this tank stand out. On paper it seems like a mediocre ability to re-roll the scatter dice, when you put a pair down on the table and use this rule in conjunction with the multiple barrage rules you will realise that this unassuming little Griffon lives up to its name in ferocity. With the improved accuracy you can rely on your indirect barrage to hit home and not only that, but also multiple shots get much better too. Even against moderately packed infantry formations you can put down a staggering amount of hits from multiple barrages, making even MEQ's worried about so many saves. Against the Griffons primary targets you can shred massed formations in one or two turns with just a pair of them, 30 strong Ork mobs or Guard and Tyranid hordes are little to fear with a Griffon propping up your anti-infantry firepower. The accuracy and low cost of the Griffon makes it an excellent anti-infantry choice (yes, even against MEQ's!) as you can either kill outright or produce a large amount of wounding hits on enemy formations. The Griffon does have some weaknesses. It only has 48-inch range (fairly mediocre for artillery) with a 12-inch minimum range and is unable to fire directly. Considering most games are played on a 4x4 or 6x4 board this doesn't become much of an issue as long as you are aware of this factor in your deployment. As with similar cheap artillery choices it has the drawback of robbing you of a Heavy Support slot that you might want to use for something else. While Hell Hounds and various other units in the Guard codex can kill infantry en masse, the Griffon offers you the most cost effective method of doing so as well as providing you with Non-LOS firepower. I have found the Griffon to be an excellent addition to mechanized veteran Guard armies, as they contribute to armour dilution and cheaply add big anti-infantry firepower that can be lacking in such armies. The Griffon is cheap enough and effective enough that you can slot it into any army lacking anti-infantry fire to quickly solve the problem, with the lessons of being able to fit artillery into your force taken into account of course! I would always take the Griffon in pairs at least; they are so cheap and benefit the most from the multiple barrage rules, so it would be a waste of a Heavy Support slot to only bring one to the table. Another idea I see thrown about the forums is the idea of using the Griffon to “spot” for other artillery pieces in the squadron, taking a cheap Griffon to make sure your expensive Basilisk or Colossus hits it's target. I would say that this idea is flawed and a waste of points. Firstly if you take a Griffon with any of the other artillery pieces you are mixing the roles of the unit, most of the other artillery units can fire at vehicles with success or have some other special ability the Griffon does not have, reducing the effectiveness of your fire as you will be


wasting the full potential of either the Griffon or your other artillery pieces whatever you shoot at. The second major point is that the accurate bombardment rule affects only the Griffon’s shells, meaning that your original placing shot from the Griffon might hit but then your other shell only has one roll of the scatter dice to determine where it lands, the ordnance template is so big that your Griffon’s shot could force your other artillery fire off the target if they scatter, and if the second or third shots don't scatter you could have saved your points spent on the Griffon. It's just not going to work for you that often given probable situations. Finally the range of the Griffon differs wildly from the other artillery pieces, most of them have longer minimum ranges and all have bigger maximum ranges, meaning to use the dubious benefits of the Griffon’s spotting round you limit your other artillery to the Griffon’s range minus your minimum range. This will often be a very narrow strip of board. In short, don't mix your artillery units, at all, ever. None of the artillery pieces gel well with each other and you won't be using them to their fullest as they all have different ideal targets or are expensive generalists that are a waste of points compared to just bringing another specialist along.


Basilisks, by Sircyn
Speaking of expensive generalists, we have the Basilisk. This artillery piece pays the points for being decent at everything but not as outstanding as any of the specialists. Considering that we have the option to pay a few points more or less for the much better specialist artillery pieces this leaves the Basilisk without a role in standard 40k games. A crippling weakness of this vehicle is it's huge 36 inches minimum range when firing indirectly, meaning you will soon have to be firing directly for your tank to continue to contribute to the game, for such a fragile and expensive vehicle this is dangerous and you could have just bought yourself a Leman Russ and saved yourself the hassle. For a vehicle that will find itself firing directly a lot you still have to pay extra to make it closed topped, bumping the price up even further. In fact, this pretty much mandatory upgrade makes the Basilisk on par with the most expensive ordnance battery artillery piece while being decidedly average in all other respects. The Basilisk’s only stand out feature is the huge maximum range of its gun, which is wasted in all but Apocalypse games. I would advise against bringing the Basilisk in standard 40k games as all the other artillery pieces present better options in specialist roles and the Manticore is a much more impressive generalist vehicle. Using a company of Basilisks in Apocalypse games is still fun, but unfortunately it's the only use I'd consider for them now. [The Basilisk may be outclassed, but I wouldn’t call it a poor vehicle per se. S9+2d6 armour penetration makes it a potent tank hunter against very large targets such as Land Raiders. Meanwhile an Ap3 large blast is death to even heavy infantry. If anything, I would call the Manticore a generalist leaning towards anti-tank and anti-horde, while the Basilisk is a generalist leaning towards anti-tank and anti-heavy infantry. Choose appropriately based on your local opposition. ~Editor].


Medusas, by Sircyn
“Bastion Breacher Medusa - I love the name, but what I really love is to field the most badass anti-tank weapon in the game. Yeah, you have Av12. I auto-glance.” ~innerwolf
The Medusa boasts a 36-inch range demolisher cannon, or alternatively you can opt to reduce the size of the blast in exchange for Ap1, and adding an extra D6 to armour penetration. It can be a specialist AT unit or a heavy infantry killer. The Medusa cannot fire indirectly, meaning it's fragile chassis has to be exposed to the enemy to fire. This is an even bigger weakness as it's weapon does not have larger range than most anti-tank weaponry, meaning it has to put itself inside enemy threat ranges to do it's job. The Medusa’s big scary gun means that it will shoot right up to the top of your opponents target priority list, which isn't very good for a vehicle with short range mounted on a fragile chassis. Another problem with the Medusa is that to take the bastion breacher shells to effectively turn it into a 40k Stug, you forgo the ability to fire the large blast. Even though the bastion breacher shell bumps the range to 48 inches, this still does not outrange a lascannon or most other antitank weaponry for that matter. I feel the Medusa is a victim of its fantastic gun; it has to put itself in the line of fire to be used but is so powerful the enemy will be gunning for it straight away. Even with other vehicles on the board in my own experience the enemy puts all he can into destroying the Medusa by turn two, regardless of how clever you are with positioning. If you want to use your Medusa it will be open to some form of return fire, deep strikers or out flankers. I would consider the drawbacks of the Medusa so considerable that I would rather take a Demolisher if I wanted the large Ap2 blast. A lot of people do value the bastion breacher shells for being the most powerful anti-tank weapon open to the Guard. I consider the chassis and having to direct fire to be crippling weaknesses, leading me to prefer a Devil Dog or even a Vanquisher for the same role as these options have better delivery methods for their weapons and both have more resiliency for around the same points cost. When using the Medusa I found I had to be very cagey and be prepared to wait a turn or two before moving into a position to fire. The Medusa would often lie in wait covering choke points to deny pieces of ground from the enemy or face a powerful bastion breacher shot. I found it was used best in a heavily armoured or mechanized force to present armour saturation and to use my own vehicles as cover for my precious Medusa. When it did get to fire I found the Medusa excellent at penetrating armour, but was still at the whims of a single D6 to do damage, even with the reliability of Ap1 I could often have been firing any other lesser gun and got the same results as the bastion breacher shell was serious overkill, without the hassle of getting the Medusa into a position to fire at a vehicle. The hassle was certainly at least as much as putting a Devil Dog, melta Veteran squad or Vendetta into position to knock out tanks with more reliability. I think there are other options that are better suited to the Medusa’s role, either as demolisher shell thrower or AT sniper.


Colossus, by Sircyn
The Colossus is a specialist MEQ infantry killer, although its shells will do for virtually any infantry regardless. The only drawback of the Griffon was it's average Ap and that the enemy can still sometimes obtain a cover save. The Colossus resolves both of these with style, making it a powerful anti-infantry killer, wherever and whatever that infantry is. It's a powerful gun that comes at a cost: Firstly it's the most expensive ordnance battery. Secondly it has an annoyingly large minimum range without being able to fire directly. Fortunately the Colossus can overcome these drawbacks through clever positioning and having target saturation, something all artillery pieces need anyway. The expense of the Colossus means that if you want multiple barrages you are spending Land Raider style points on the unit, nearly four Griffons worth! Your local meta game will determine how valuable the ignores cover special rule is to you, in my experience I found a pair of Griffons with the greater accuracy and having two templates for every one of the Colossus made up for the lack of Ap and ignoring cover, forcing casualties through sheer weight of numbers. With regard to a single Colossus blast, the effects of scatter and the enemy spreading out small MEQ units can considerably reduce your effectiveness, especially thanks to the large minimum range. Another thing to consider is that the role of ignores cover Ap3 can be performed by the Bane Wolf for the same cost, but on a fast, mobile, short-range platform. If you find yourself fighting up close and personal more often than you value the indirect range of the colossus you may find the Bane Wolf a better option. Despite the weaknesses of the Colossus it still stands up as a decent tank that fills it's niche well. It will come down to personal preference, your local opposition and the construction of your army as a whole as to whether you find the Colossus more valuable to you than the other options available for covering the same niche in different ways.


Hydra Flak Tank, by Sircyn

~Colonel Jacka

The Hydra is very different to the other artillery pieces in that it is not an ordnance barrage weapon that lobs template death across the field. It is a dual twin-linked long-barreled autocannon platform with a massive range and an additional special rule that negates the cover saves of turbo boosting skimmers and bikers. While the auto-targeting system won't see much use against bikers as they tend to have better than a 4+ save or an invulnerable it can help against fast skimmers. Unfortunately this rule does not negate cover saves from cover and any opponents with experience of using fast skimmers or bikes will be using cover. This special rule just isn't particularly impressive. For the price I consider Hydra Flak tanks to be good vehicles, as they fill a vital role covering the monstrous creature and light vehicle firepower niches. At a pinch they can consider light and heavy infantry secondary targets. They are very cheap and I would always take at least a pair in a squadron, as I wouldn't want to waste more than one Heavy Support slot on them unless playing in very small games. They are very cost effective; a pair can spew out enough reliable long range S7 shots to make any light vehicles wrecks or seriously damaged in a single round of fire. They can be counted upon to force lots of armour saves on MC's, but those MC's can't be counted upon to fail their armour saves as most scary MC's will have a 2 or 3+ save. Their fragility is a concern as they are light tanks needing direct fire that will almost always be in squadrons; this can be mitigated by their long range and clever positioning. The Hydra’s only major weakness is the opportunity cost of using up a Heavy Support slot and that the role they perform can be easily performed by other units in the army without using up that slot, leaving your Heavy Support for other vehicles whose abilities or utility cannot be replicated elsewhere in the army list.


Squadrons of Hydras are cheap and when compared to the Leman Russ Exterminator you get more autocannon for your buck, at the expense of durability, firepower on the move, other weapon options (and thus some measure of flexibility) and Pask. Compared to the autocannon Heavy Weapons squad Hydras are more durable and mobile autocannon platforms in that they are largely immune to small arms fire and can reposition more swiftly. Moving and trying to fire the Hydras reduces the vehicle to a single Bs3 twin-linked autocannon a turn, effectively your 75pts vehicle is now an (even more!) expensive Armoured Sentinel. They are still more cost effective taken in an isolated comparison, but Heavy Weapons squads are Troops, present less obvious targets, can make better use of cover and can twin link their guns against their priority targets and reduce the effect of real cover saves with orders. When used in their ideal position as an autocannon bunker that remains unmolested the Hydra puts out more autocannon shots per point than the other options available to us, but those ideal conditions may not be all that easy to maintain. The key to having success with Hydras is being able to fit them into the rest of your army; it is not always the best option to take the most cost efficient killer. You have to consider synergy with the rest of your force. While other units might not be the most points efficient autocannon platforms, they may well fit into the rest of your army as a whole better than the Hydras do and they have to compete for that Heavy slot while it is still possible to cover their firepower niche with other units that you may be taking anyway. Scout and Armoured Sentinels, basic Infantry squads and Veteran squads can all take autocannons and all can either twin link them via orders or have their own boons of mobility or deployment to get use out of the guns. The Leman Russ Executioner is putting out more firepower than a pair of hydras on the move with better armour at roughly the same cost in points. They may not be equally points efficient autocannon platforms in an ideal situation, but you will be taking Troops choices regardless of your army type and the autocannon is a fine weapon for infantry units that aren't going to be sitting in a Valkyrie. You may soon find you have the mid strength firepower band covered by the rest of your army already, in Chimeras, infantry and Sentinels making Hydras a redundant option. If you are happy to use that Heavy Support slot for them and are aware of their fragility and static nature the Hydra is a very cost effective vehicle mounting a very flexible gun. Personally I would get my mid strength fire elsewhere and use that slot to cover gaps in my army that cannot be filled elsewhere.


Manticore Rocket Launcher, by Sircyn

~Lord Cook. Painting by Andy Meechan.

The Manticore is one of the star buys from the artillery park. It can deal with infantry hordes and enemy armour due to its high strength ordnance and potential for multiple blasts. This baby can fire a barrage of up to three S10 ordnance barrage shots! Tasty! It isn't particularly expensive considering it's potential and the enclosed crew compartment thrown in as standard. The Manticore can fire a devastating barrage of shells that can instant death uber units thanks to S10, as well as opening up tanks with its high rate of fire and heavy ordnance hitting side armour when firing a barrage. Even huge swathes of infantry are within it’s capabilities. It has the option to fire directly making its mediocre minimum range less of an issue and it won't run out of long range for standard games of 40k, meaning it can put its shells anywhere on the board. At it's best the Manticore can be a cost efficient generalist artillery piece that can target any enemy unit with a good chance of success, while still excelling and wiping out infantry. However at it's worst the Manticore could only fire four single shots and then run out of ammunition. The random nature of the barrage means that you are more at the whims of variance when using the Manticore than with other artillery pieces. It can still scatter wildly off course like any other, but you are also paying points for the potential to fire three shots a turn for four turns when you could end up with one shot for four turns, if the Manticore lives that long. You can work on the expectation that you will get a couple of shots a turn with it, but be prepared for variance to bite you in the bum from time to time. The Manticore like most of the other expensive artillery pieces will draw a lot of attention due to its huge damage potential.


It's other limiting factor is the limited ammunition rule giving it only four turns of fire. This rule turned out to be less of an issue than I first expected as the Manticore would often be dead by turn five anyway and if it gets to fire its full four turns you will have more than done enough damage to justify bringing the Manticore in most games as the first four turns are the most target rich and vital to winning the game. On the rare occasion the Manticore was alive after firing all its shots it either hid and preserved its kill point or joined the game as another heavy flamer platform. The other drawback of the Manticore is that you are limited to one per slot; I don't particularly consider this a weakness, as one Manticore was all that I ever needed in standard 40k. Two Manticores would cost 320 points, would encounter rapid diminishing returns and come at the cost of two Heavy Support slots. On average you will get plenty of bang for your buck from the Manticore but you must be prepared for those odd times when it lets you down. In all it is a fine generalist tank that will equal the specialist infantry killers while being able to deal with any target. You do suffer as with any generalist the loss of potential when firing at certain targets, if you end up firing at basic infantry you are wasting the S10 and ordnance attributes or if firing at a tank you waste its crowd clearance, however the multiple shots mean that this is counter balanced by the extra damage the multiple shots can do meaning whatever you shoot at will most likely be severely damaged. [Technically speaking, the Manticore should never use the multiple barrage rules for placing blast markers, because it is one weapon with multiple shots rather than multiple barrage weapons firing one shot. However, the Eldar FAQ contains a ruling on the Dark Reaper Exarch whereby his reaper launcher does use the multiple barrage rules. This seems a suitable precedent for us as well. ~Editor].


Deathstrike Missile Launcher, by Sircyn
The Deathstrike missile is an ICBM brought to the tiny battlefields of the average 40k game. It's big, cool and scary and fires the most powerful weapon in standard 40k! So why does it suck so badly that I'd never use it in a take on all comers list and reserve it for Apocalypse or special scenarios? The Deathstrike has crippling drawbacks that relegate it's impressive weapon to a paper tiger. Most of these drawbacks revolve around the “T-Minus five minutes to launching...and counting” rule. You have to roll a 6 on a D6 to fire the missile, but not on the first turn and for every damage result that doesn't blow up the vehicle you minus one to your roll. The only way to improve the roll to fire is to add the turn number to the result. By turn three you still only have a 50/50 chance to fire in ideal circumstances. This is without the enemy doing all he can to end your weapon of mass destruction. By the time the Deathstrike does get to fire if it ever does, it will likely be turn 4 or later by which time you should have won or lost the game by that point anyway. Enemy targets will be much more spread out and reduced in number if you have won, if you are losing by turn 4 the Deathstrike will most likely be one of the first things to die. The Deathstrike is so unreliable and when it does get to fire its uber weapon is usually severe overkill on whatever late game targets it is lucky enough to be able to fire upon. The variable blast radius and the vagaries of ordnance barrage mean you could still miss with your expensive, one shot, impossible to fire gun after all that effort! Add on top of this that it has all the usual weaknesses of imperial guard artillery (despite its improved side armour and closed top) and you are looking at a very unattractive prospect. Saying that, you do have the one in a million chance of your super missile ending the enemy’s army in turn two and winning you the game in a hilariously explosive fashion! I wouldn't count in it happening very often but that one in a million chance is more than enough for some people to want to take this vehicle. It is fun and cinematic to play with, especially the sight of your opponents face when you tell him what it can do! Unfortunately that fear will more often than not be unfounded. In short I would save the Deathstrike for Apocalypse where points don't matter and it has a chance of hiding from enemy attentions, in a large game it might be able to put its blast to good use against big formations where it could do the mass carnage it promises. Standard 40k battles are just too small and close ranged to leave the Deathstrike with any chance of success. “The Guns, thank God, the guns…”. ~Rudyard Kipling. Conclusions The Imperial Guard artillery is a mixed bag consisting of excellent specialists, mediocre generalists and the outright crazy! I would conclude that many Guard armies would benefit from having one of their Heavy Support slots dedicated to an artillery option. The non-LOS firepower niche is a very valuable weapon option to have and choosing artillery is the most powerful method of covering this niche in the Imperial Guard. The huge amount of raw firepower on offer from this range of vehicles is staggering. When chosen with the strengths and weaknesses of the units taken into account, along with the rest of your army and your local meta game artillery can be a powerful addition to your army. I personally wouldn't build any army around more than one artillery option when aiming for an effective all comers army list, as beyond this threshold finding suitable deployment locations becomes difficult and the artillery become a large enough part of your army to become worth your opponents time to devote much effort to counter. This will lead to the fragility of these vehicles coming to the fore and you'll find yourself losing your gun park very quickly to enemy deep strikers, out flankers, fast troops or long range fire. You'd have to devote the rest of your army to supporting these vehicles, which could result in you losing


mobility, or ignoring them and having a weak backfield. The high cost of a lot of these artillery pieces means the rest of your army begins to suffer the more you take. These are really powerful diminishing returns in standard 40k games. Artillery is primarily a support piece to enable the rest of your Guard army to do its job. Artillery should reinforce firepower niches and present to you the unique option of being able to shoot stuff that tries to hide from your slower army. Artillery in your army is going to be a high priority target and taking measures to be inconspicuous (by clever deployment and minimal or cost effective investment) and being taken as part of your armies redundancy (by having other units in your army that can kill stuff the artillery chooses as its primary target) means that its loss wont worry you too much and can even be used to your advantage. This all said I would advise all of you to play test any artillery you find to be an interesting unit or cool model and to verify or dispute my thoughts. I had great fun toying around with the various artillery pieces the Guard has to offer and I learnt a great deal from doing it. I would heartily recommend using various artillery pieces in your play test games to give you a feel for how the various units work and what options would then best fit into your army and play style. I hope this article goes a little way to help others avoiding the trial and error I had to go through and maybe presented a few pieces of food for thought for those considering or who have already been using Imperial Guard artillery.


Leman Russ, by Colonel Jacka
“Just six tanks? Look at ze girlie tank commander, commanding his girlie little tank company!” ~Pendragon


Colonel Matthew Jacka 12th Cadian Mechanised Regiment Supported by Steel Legion for Life Thought For The Day “The true role of the infantry is not to expend itself upon heroic physical effort, but on the contrary, to advance under the maximum possible protection of the maximum possible array of mechanical recourses, guns, bolters, tanks, mortars and aircraft to be relieved as far as possible of the obligation to fight their way forward.” -Tactica Imperium Introduction This synopsis will discuss the Leman Russ and its many variant’s. Both Codex and Imperial Armour Tanks will be discussed. I will discuss the basic characteristic of each tank and touch on the basic tactical uses while not getting into the many cunning applications that the devious Guard Commander will try. Generally I will use the same method to introduce each variant. I will start with the description of the variant which will be in ‘fluff’ terms and then this will be followed by the ‘Tactica for the use of the………’ which will discuss the use of the Leman Russ and its variants in gaming terms. In this endeavour I will be supported by comments from Steel Legion for Life. (There you go there’s your credit!). This will give us the ability to change our comments as we learn more on the best use of the Leman Russ and its variants in defeating xenos scum. I will make one point on an issue that regular raises its head throughout the Internet. This question regularly causes great angst amongst the members of Warseer and that question is whether Imperial Armour vehicles can be used in games of WH40K. The answer is yes and this is summed up in the opening remarks by Warwick Kinrade in Imperial Armour I. Warwick’s answer is this: “The answer is yes, feel free, and use these vehicles, none of them will ‘ruin’ a game by giving an unfair advantage, in fact I feel they will only enhance them!”.


Remember of course that you should only consider using the bigger beasts such as Baneblades in games of 2000pts or more. Also, some tournaments do not allow their use. More fools them I say! In the standard game of Wh40K crack on, use these vehicles and show the xenos scum some Imperial Guard Tank Shock! [It’s best to just politely discuss the use of Forgeworld with your opponent. While you only need permission to use these units in the same way you need permission to even play the game in the first place, a little tactful diplomacy goes a long way. ~Editor.] I will also employ a new stat to describe these armoured vehicles and that is called “Jacka’s Rule of Cool Stat” otherwise known as the JC. It will have a scale of 1 to 5 with a + or – variant and is extremely subjective to my whims and is based on no tactical gaming advantage at all. It can change at any time depending on the luck of my dice rolls. Below is an example: Destroyer Tank Hunter Rge: 72” Str: 10 AP: 2

Type: Ordnance / Special rule


170 JC: 5+

Leman Russ Main Battle Tank (MBT) The Imperial Guard is a highly mechanised fighting force whose strength derives from huge reserves of guardsmen, artillery and tanks. Of all the tanks the Guard has the Leman Russ is the most iconic. Nothing typifies the Guard more then the Leman Russ. This vehicle is the most widely deployed MBT that is used in the service of the Emperor. It has many successful variant’s that are in high demand by Guard commanders throughout the Imperium. This Standard Template Construct (STC) is seen on all battlefronts and in vast numbers. It is produced in the millions on all Forge Worlds from Mars to Ryza. Without a doubt it is the backbone of the Imperial Guard’s armoured strength. The Leman Russ’s strength lies in the fact that it is not a sophisticated weapons platform. It does not have advanced fighting systems such as targeting or night vision but it makes up for this by being extremely reliable, robust and repairable. It operates in all extremes of climates taking everything that the enemy and nature can hand out. It runs on all sorts of fuel including wood. The Leman Russ has a reinforced plasteel hull and turret that has the ability to withstand extreme punishment from the enemy. The tank’s armour is not the most sophisticated but it is practical and rugged; easily capable of withstanding a shot from the most dangerous and powerful of the enemies weapon systems. [Unless they’re currently in an army being controlled by me, in which case they explode the moment an opponent sneezes in their general direction. ~Editor]. It is crewed by four guardsmen except where it is fitted with sponsons, in which case two further gunners are added. It is cramped, hot and noisy but its crews swear by its survivability on the battlefield. In the hands of a veteran crew it is a highly successful weapon of the Emperor’s Imperial Guard. The Leman Russ is designed to move on the battlefield under fire while providing the crew a measure of protection. The cross-country mobility of the Leman Russ enables it to avoid enemy observation, fire and to take evasive action when needed. Its armour cannot protect against attacks from all weapon systems, ranges or angles of fire. Its level of protection is based on a trade off between its size, weight and mobility. The level of protection in the Leman Russ gives a reasonable chance of survival for its crew while maintaining mobility at an acceptable level for the weight and size of the vehicle. Flexibility is the gained from the Leman Russ’s mobility on the battlefield, sound communications and the mental attitude of the individual tank commander. It is the tank


commanders’ ability to use firepower, mobility and his vehicle’s level of protection to unleash the destructive power of his vehicle to inflict the maximum damage on the enemies of the Emperor. Attacks from the air by aircraft and skimmers make the Leman Russ, particularly in mass, very vulnerable to the delivery of precision munitions and other weapon systems. Tank commanders need to aware of the threat and use the designated drills to counter it. There are a number of Leman Russ variants, but the basic vehicle is usually armed with a battle cannon, hull mounted lascannon, two sponson mounted weapons systems and a turret mounted storm bolter or heavy stubber.

Tactica for using the Leman Russ MBT
Rge: 72” Str: 8 AP: 3 Type: Ordnance 1 / Large Blast Pts: 150 JC: 4

The Leman Russ is the basic MBT used by the Imperial Guard general. The battle cannon with its large blast template is an infantry and tank destroyer. It can be used both defensively and offensively. With its hull mounted lascannon it has the ability to destroy tanks and the like. Dual sponsons that have multiple weapon systems and a turret mounted stubber makes it a very effective anti-infantry system when called upon. Characteristics of the Russ and variants a. Firepower. The Leman Russ Tank Companies’ firepower is derived from the use of various high velocity tank guns, lasers and vehicle mounted secondary weapon systems. The Leman Russ is designed to bring heavy, aimed, and direct fire to bear on the enemy. The Leman Russ excels at: > Destructive fire against hard and pin-point targets, > Close support of Imperial Guardsmen, and > Engagement of opportunity targets. b. Vulnerability in close terrain. In urban terrain or close country, the Leman Russ is vulnerable to the enemies’ short-range anti-armour weapon systems. Guardsmen will be required to provide close protection. c. Difficulty in holding ground. The Leman Russ can hold or deny ground and objectives for limited periods. It will need the support of guardsmen to do it for extended periods. d. Fire and manoeuvre. If concentration and fire suppression in support of infantry is to be achieved then their manoeuvre must be supported by fire from the Leman Russ. e. Cooperation. The Leman Russ tank commander must work in close co-operation with Imperial Guard artillery and infantry formations. The weapon systems of all three types of units are complementary and interdependent. f. Tank shock. The use of tank shock is a physical and psychological assault on the enemy. It is designed to affect the enemies’ plans, cohesion and morale. Surprise, offensive action and concentration of force are the basic tenants for the use of tank shock. The lumbering behemoth rule now allows vehicles that have moved at combat speed or remained stationary to fire its turret weapon (ordnance included) plus, and it is a big plus, any other weapon it is allowed to fire! This rule gives the Leman Russ the firepower that it has always lacked. It is now a truly formidable weapon for the Imperial Guard general. The use of sponsons and the centreline gun mount are now really tempting ideas. Let’s look at their use:


Sponsons The use, success and effectiveness of sponsons will vary from opponent to opponent and game to game. Two extra guns are great, particularly if you sit still most of the game. But in lots of games, you'll have to move to stay alive and relevant. It becomes particularly important in tournament lists where you have to be able to ‘take on all comers!’ Sponsons give you substantially more firepower for use on tough units. They are cheap for the increase in firepower you receive, while also giving you guns that are hard to acquire elsewhere in the army list. On the other hand sponsons limit your mobility, as firing them tempts you to stay still. Equally firing both limits your ability to use cover effectively. Sponsons are probably a waste of points if you move a great deal; their utility and cost-effectiveness drops every time you move. Also, they make your already expensive tanks even more expensive. Centreline mounts The centreline mount on a Leman Russ gives you the ability to mount a heavy bolter, heavy flamer or the standard lascannon. Both the heavy bolter and heavy flamer are free. The most underused option is probably the heavy flamer. It suffers from being a conversion rather than a standard kit. If you were just taking a cheap tank with the turret gun, I’d certainly give some thought to the heavy flamer in the centreline mount. It has a great one-turn punch against units that get too close, doesn't rely on Bs3, and can be absolutely devastating. The effectiveness of flamers is magnified in a vehicle heavy army, as assault units will tend to cluster and ball around tanks they've just wrecked. The heavy bolter is a common option as although it’s less flashy than the heavy flamer, it will probably get just as many hits and wounds in a six turn game. It will be firing almost every turn on lots of the tanks. If you think your tank will move every turn and mostly shoot infantry then the free heavy bolter is a decent choice. The centreline lascannon is good as well. Lascannons are one of the more versatile guns in the game, as they can engage virtually any target and kill it. Against most common infantry targets, a heavy bolter is better on average, and most Leman Russ turret guns are usually going to be firing at infantry. The Lascannon also costs points. They can be worthwhile on certain builds, or in armies lacking long ranged Ap2 fire, but think carefully about whether you really need it. Battle cannons and weapon fits Ultimately though, you buy a Leman Russ for the main gun. Sponsons and centreline are trimmings. No one on the Marine forum is whining about the Leman Russ having two extra heavy bolters; they are whinging about battle cannon fire. It's easy in the new codex, with all the shiny exciting new options, to forget how awesome these actually are. The 72-inch range, S8, Ap3, ordnance blast makes the battle cannon one of the best guns in the game. Before you pick any variant, think to yourself "would a basic Russ be better"? Remember, this tank is cheap in comparison. You can almost have two of these for a "fully loaded" Executioner, for example. Suggested weapon fits: a. Battle cannon and heavy flamer. Point costs make it cheap and very effective against hordes. b. Battle cannon and heavy bolter. Point costs make it cheap and the heavy bolter will steadily cause damage throughout the game. c. Battle cannon and lascannon. A good all-rounder with the lascannon being mounted for emergency anti-tank/anti-monster fire. d. Battle cannon and three heavy bolters. This makes the tank more static, but considerably better at the prime role of anti-infantry fire. This is particularly since three heavy bolters will reliably generate wounds every turn, even when the battle cannon misses. Still, they can occasionally cheat you of wounds due to allocation messiness on small squads.


The ability to be able to take a Leman Russ Squadron has now made this Heavy Support selection very formidable. Not many Guard commanders will knock back this opportunity to field no less then three of the iconic Leman Russ MBT. Leman Russ Variants There are a number of variants of the basic Leman Russ STC design. Their availability to the Guard varies from extremely rare to common. All variants are highly prized by the unit they are issued to. Some variants are only built by a single Forge World. The Leman Russ has the following variants: > > > > > > > > > > Conqueror Demolisher Destroyer Eradicator Executioner Exterminator Punisher Thunderer Vanquisher Atlas Recovery Tank

Tactical Formations
Armoured attack may take two forms; the physical overrunning of an enemy position/objective or an attack by firepower. Many tasks such as counter–penetration and counter-attack can be performed by fire. In short, tanks firing at long range can react and counter threats a lot quicker than infantry, who generally need to be at close range or else stationary to fire. The presence of tanks supporting an attack allows direct, responsive and accurate fire on the enemy. As Imperial guardsmen engage enemy positions and weapons that threaten the advance, the Leman Russ and its variants can destroy or neutralize enemy defences, personnel, weapons and vehicles. Tanks and guardsmen on converging axis In this assault type the attacking force (Imperial Guard) uses two different axes to take the objective. The assault on the objective can be from the flanks or rear. Enemy positions may be forced to expose their flanks to one or the other attacking force. The advantages of this type of attack is that the tanks get good fields of fire, infantry movement does not interfere with tank movement and tanks can provide fire support up to the objective and on the objective if required. [For example, you might advance your infantry onto an objective from one direction while your tanks fire at nearby troops from another direction entirely. Vehicles moving together can provide cover saves to the more important ones, and the whole group is free to move without any (friendly) infantry getting in the way. ~Editor]. Squadron (three tanks) advancing line abreast This is a standard Imperial Guard squadron tank formation. The tanks are lined up left to right and are moving forward. What is known as Tank Commander 101! This is the formation used when advancing to contact with the enemy. This formation gives excellent firepower forward whilst providing some flank protection. You should always support this formation with mechanized infantry who will deal with unexpected enemy moves or unidentified positions. Something with long range off to the side will give great protection to this formation from a flank.


Squadron gun line This formation is used for prolonged bombardments on advancing traitors and xenos scum. The tanks are lined up left to right but are not moving forward. The formation can be used to provide over watch on assaulting formations of line infantry or on other tank squadrons that are advancing. The old ‘one foot on the ground’ rule is observed here. This formation provides maximum firepower forward but no flank cover. Supporting infantry is really required here. Squadron in echelon right / left Tanks are placed in a diagonal line, with each one offset to the side and either ahead or behind of its compatriots. This formation provides excellent firepower to the flanks because any tank can pivot and see clearly to either side, but firepower forward can get a little obscured. This formation is used to provide flank protection to assaults and larger formations. This formation is used in conjunction with larger tank company formations and may support line abreast squadrons by covering their flanks. Naturally this is only something you would use in an Apocalypse game. Tank Company (ten tanks) advancing in a wedge All the basic squadron formations can be combined to create a company formation. In the case of the wedge the centre would be made up with one squadron with one tank forward and two back forming a triangle (wedge) with the Company Commander in the central position and to the rear. On either flank you would have two squadrons forming echelon left and echelon right thus forming the assaulting company wedge. Supporting infantry in Chimeras would be placed in the rear in line abreast. They would be in a position to exploit the breakthrough created by the tank companies wedge formation. Again, this is only something you would use in an Apocalypse game. [Tight cover formation You’ve probably seen it before. An entire mechanized army, and there’s hardly any cover on the board. I’ve had this happen to me against a Tau army with three Hammerheads with railguns. Close combat isn’t a threat, but without some cover saves your army will be blown to pieces. Draw your tanks together into a very tight echelon. Essentially you have your most expendable tank at the front. Then a tank deploys behind it and slightly off to the side so that it can still see to shoot, while being at least 50% obscured for cover. A third tank can do the same again behind the second and so on and so forth. In this way three or even four tanks can all get a cover save except for the poor gits at the front. The front tank can change depending on your enemy. If you’re fighting Orks, have your Exterminator park in front of your Hellhound to provide cover until you want to make your attack run. If you’re fighting Marines, don’t be afraid to have the Hellhound out front and keep the Exterminator behind it in cover, where it can safely gun down Rhinos and Land Speeders. Prioritise each tank each game. Armour sandwich You expect outflankers next turn. They could come on from either edge, so which tank will they meet first? In this situation I prefer to block LOS from either edge to any of my vehicles with terrain or suitably armoured (other) vehicles. For example, War Walkers are coming with dual scatter lasers. Lots of S6 shots. Place your Leman Russ at either end of a gun line and keep all your weakly armoured Chimeras and artillery in the centre of the sandwich where they can’t easily be seen. The S6 shots can’t touch your Av13 side armour, so as long as you protect them from assault with difficult terrain, infantry, etc. the outflankers will struggle to have much impact. Alternatively, you expect something with meltaguns. Keep your heavy Russ tanks near the centre away from the edges and leave the lighter transports out on the flanks.


Squadron armour facings Tanks all chosen from one FOC slot naturally combine to form a squadron. A squadron is treated as having the Av facing of the squadron member nearest to unit shooting at them. If you have two Leman Russ in a squadron, have Russ #1 an inch or two further forward than the other, and make it face forward. Then Russ #2 can face off to either side, wherever you most expect an attack. Although this Russ #2 is now presenting its side armour straight at the enemy, it resolves all attacks against the relevant armour facing of the tank nearest the enemy. In this case that’s Russ #1, with Av14. If an opponent shoots them in the side, Russ #2 will be nearest and it’s facing the side, so they both still count as Av14. Smoke launchers Tank squadrons count as the entire squadron being in cover so long as at least half the tanks can get a cover save, although they can’t get them from each other (main rulebook, page 64). However this does provide a nifty ability. Two tanks in a squadron. Tank #1 pops smoke. Now half the squadron has cover so they both gain the benefit. Next turn, tank #2 pops smoke. Half the squadron is in cover again. Handy no? ~Editor].

~Colonel Jacka


Leman Russ Vanquisher, by Colonel Jacka


This variant is the more sophisticated version of the basic Leman Russ. It is becoming rarer on the battlefield and those left are highly prized by Imperial Guard commanders. When the Forge World of Tigris was overrun by the Orks much of the skills and technology needed to build the Vanquishers long barrelled battle cannon was lost. Only a few Forge Worlds, notably Gryphonne IV [Oh dear. ~Editor] and Stygies VII have been able to reproduce a version of the Vanquisher. The battle cannons of both are very different with the Stygies VII version being shorter in length utilizing an improved recoil system that reduces the effect of the violent weapon recoil. Although, this improved recoil system does not allow for a faster follow up shot. An issue not encountered in its long barrelled cousin from Gryphonne IV. Both versions have a high level of accuracy. Their long range and first hit ability have earned them an impressive and fearsome reputation within many Guard armoured units. They are renowned as a supreme anti-armour weapon system. Their long barrelled cannons can penetrate the most sophisticated of enemy armour and at great range. Tactica for using the Vanquisher Rge: 72” Str: 8 AP: 2 Type: Heavy 1 Pts: 155 JC: -5

The vanquisher battle cannon is an anti-tank gun; therefore you must roll to hit using the crews’ ballistic skill (Bs). That said when it does hit it generally kills. It is a very good defensive weapon that can kill at long range and with effective use of cover saves can have good survivability. The cannon, due to its anti-tank role, is not the weapon of choice for breaking infantry formations or the like. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant.


As a dedicated tank hunter, the Vanquisher is a really good way to destroy Land Raiders, other Av14 vehicles and monstrous creatures at range, and is more survivable than comparable options (such as Devil Dogs, Vendettas, mounted Veterans, lascannon support squads, etc.). Unlike most of those options, the Vanquisher can start putting its targets at risk from turn one, which can have all kinds of impacts on how your opponent deploys and plays. Still, it is more expensive and very, very niche weapon compared to those options. Suggested weapon fits: a. Lascannon and twin multi-meltas. This option is expensive, but really kicks ass against Av14 vehicles and MC’s. It also has a useful niche in reliably putting wounds on 2+ multiwound units, like Mega Nobz. Still, make sure you want this rather than say, a Vendetta, which is arguably the equivalent and costs less points and has more tactical utility. This tank is also a good place for Commander Pask. [b. Lascannon only. Able to move at combat speed and still fire both guns, this Vanquisher is mobile and at 170 points, isn’t horrendous for cost. A good option if you really want a Vanquisher in your force as it’s probably the most cost effective option, although it’s still easily outpaced by competitors like the Vendetta. Give it some thought it you face other Imperial Guard a lot, assuming they take multiple Leman Russ every game. ~Editor].

~Colonel Jacka


Leman Russ Demolisher, by Colonel Jacka
“Demolisher. It does exactly what it says on the tin.” ~Bodysnatcher


The Demolisher Siege Tank is the most common Leman Russ variant. It has been up armoured with stronger rear armour. This tank has been designed to carry the short ranged but highly destructive demolisher cannon. Armour is no proof against the destructive capability of this cannon. This weapon system is used for the close support of infantry and bunker busting. Primarily it is the tank of choice to smash open enemy fortifications and siege lines. It is effective in difficult country and open terrain. Tactica for using the Demolisher Rge: 24” Str: 10 AP: 2 Type: Ordinance 1 / Large Blast. Pts: 165 JC: 3+

The Demolisher has the ability to destroy the best-protected targets. This is balanced by its’ short range. It is a big threat on a standard table and when in cover with good line of fire it has the ability to do damage far above its point cost. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. The S10 Ap2 gun gets better or worse depending on table size and opponent. Occasionally, you find yourself wishing it were a battle cannon against say, a horde of Orks. Then again, one deep striking Terminator squad later, and you wouldn't swap it for anything. I'd definitely try to squeeze one into any Guard army. Suggested weapon fits: a. Demolisher cannon and heavy flamer. Point costs make it cheap, and more likely than almost any other tank heavy flamer to be used due to the short-range nature of the tank.


b. Demolisher cannon and lascannon. The demolisher cannon is a great anti-vehicle weapon, and supporting it with another anti-tank gun makes the tank a very viable tank killer. c. Demolisher cannon and plasma cannon sponsons. Very static, short-ranged and significantly more expensive, but has huge killing power. In particular, the all Ap2 minimizes wound allocation silliness, and gives the Demolisher a crucial extra 12" of range, which can often surprise unwary opponents. A centreline lascannon can add even more Ap2, or you could keep the heavy flamer, as this tank will often be up close. [The Demolisher is one of those rare breeds that can genuinely kill anything, from hordes to Terminators, and from bikes to Monoliths. It also makes an excellent cover vehicle, parked in front of friendly armour it can provide cover saves to those behind while being more secure with improved rear armour and the necessity to be close anyway due to short range. While I think a Demolisher is one of the best ways for a balanced army to add some Ap2, I feel that pure mechanized armies can do better with plasma Veterans in Chimeras, as they combine the ferocious firepower with being necessary Troops choices and scoring. Leave the secondary roles like fighting hordes to more specialised units, such as Griffons. Ultimately, the Demolisher is a master generalist, good against everything but fantastic against nothing. ~Editor].


Leman Russ Exterminator, by Colonel Jacka
The Exterminator Assault Tank is a common variant on the Imperial battlefield. The tank has had its battle cannon replaced with twin-linked autocannons. When armed with heavy bolters in the sponsons and in the hull for extra firepower this beast can lay down very heavy suppressing fire on the enemy. The Exterminator is slightly faster than the Leman Russ MBT. Tank company commanders tend to have at least one Exterminator in their units. They are used a lot in the reconnaissance role and in fixed defensive positions when heavy suppressive fire is required. When pressed this weapon system can be used in the anti-aircraft role. Tactica for using the Exterminator Rge: 48” Str: 7 AP: 4 Type: Heavy 4 / Twin-linked Pts: 150 JC: 3+

The Exterminator seems to be a good general choice in an anti-light tank role and against monstrous creatures. It can be used either defensively or offensively. It's cheap, reliable and useful against most opponents. It is very effective against poorly armoured monstrous creatures and specialist troops from armies like Tau, Eldar and Guard. The Exterminator is best used in a stationary role, and while it’s a niche vehicle, if used well it can be a real game winner. Replace the hull mounted heavy bolter with a lascannon and you add some anti-tank punch against lightly armoured vehicles. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. The four-shot turret gun means it can hunt light vehicles while staying mobile. Still, it faces stiff competition in the list from basic Russ (similar cost, much less specialised, often better vs. infantry targets), infantry squad autocannons (people seem to love them, but I think I may have been spoiled by multilasers) or pairs of Hydra flak tanks (twice the shots, still twinlinked, same cost and arguably tougher as there's two of them). Think about those options before taking the Exterminator. I think this tank is a bit like Russian fighter planes in WWII; not that good in the hands of an average pilot, but awesome with an ace behind the controls. I'm pretty convinced that this is the place for Commander Pask, if you're going to take him. This tank is the one that benefits the most from Bs4 and +1 strength vs. vehicles. The Bs4 alone on this tank, with the four twin-linked shots, makes it much, much better against its primary target (transports and the like), as only missing one shot in nine (as opposed to one in four) does make a big difference against these targets. The +1 strength vs. vehicles is a big deal for this tank as well, as the jump between S7 and S8 makes a big difference to the capability of the main guns (vs. Av13 or Av14 vehicles, the difference is huge, and it makes it, along with the centreline lascannon going to Bs4, S10, a great deal more effective against certain targets (such as Land Raiders or Monoliths). Suggested weapon fits: a. Commander Pask, autocannons and centreline lascannon. Point costs make it a cheap option for a Pask tank and an awesome mobile tank hunter. b. Commander Pask, autocannons, centreline lascannon and sponson heavy bolters. S6, Bs4 heavy bolters are great against transports, the primary target of this tank, and give it a useful secondary function of killing infantry. c. Autocannons and centreline lascannon point costs make it a cheap option for filling the niche of transport killing if you lack it, but think about paired Hydras instead. The plasma cannons and multi-melta’s don't really have much synergy with the autocannons on this tank, so I don't think they're worth it.


Leman Russ Eradicator, by Colonel Jacka
“I love the idea of irradiating my enemies to death with radioactive shells. Incendiary shells would have been fun too, but the ‘arsonist’ niche was already occupied by the Hellhound.” ~Badger[Fr]
This MBT is best used in the urban environment. The Eradicator has a nova cannon replacing its battle cannon. The nova cannon fires shells with an unstable sub-atomic charge in their core. The blast from these enriched shells can destroy buildings, barricades, bunkers and bodies. This STC is built on many Forge Worlds and is becoming more common in Area of Operations across the Imperium. It is used to support infantry fighting in the urban or dense terrain. Tactica for using the Eradicator Rge: 36” Str: 6 AP: 4 Type: Heavy 1 / Large Blast Pts: 160 JC: 2+

The Eradicator should be used against units in cover. Considering the short range it will typically need infantry support. It can be used either defensively or offensively. This tank will not be successful when used in isolation. Its strength is in plastering hordes and specialised units trying to use cover to hide from your regular array of weaponry, tempting them out into the open for the rest of your guns to deal with. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. I'd argue this tank is a badly designed unit. Its niche is either redundant or comfortably filled by other units. Use it only if you fancy modelling one or you like variety. Let me elaborate. The problem the Eradicator suffers is that as it stands, for all intents and purposes it’s an Av14 Hellhound with a worse gun. The range advantage over the Hellhound is relatively insignificant when you consider the hellhounds 12-inch move and fire and 12-inch range. Equally, the inferno cannon is absolutely precise, whereas the Eradicator cannon is woefully hampered by the scatter dice. [The inferno cannon has an effective range of about 14 inches, allowing for at least three quarters of the template to be covering the target. Compared to 36 inches on the Eradicator, I have to disagree that the difference is insignificant. While the Hellhound can move faster and still shoot, that involves moving towards the enemy, which has risks all of its own. ~Editor]. Being S6 Ap4 ignores cover also means it compares unfavourably with the Colossus and the Bane Wolf, both of which field similar (but superior) ignore cover guns. The one other advantage this has is that it can carry extra weapons; still, none of those have good synergy with the main gun. A very under whelming tank; almost any role you can find for it is better performed for less points by either a standard Leman Russ or a Hellhound and Bane Wolf. I suppose if you really worry about 4+ save troops in cover then maybe take one, but I think that niche is very, very small. Modelling only, in my view. Suggested weapon fits: a. Nothing really has synergy with the eradicator cannon, with the possible exception of a heavy flamer centreline. This build requires the Eradicator to advance and flame 4+ save troops in cover. How often does that happen? Even if it does, why not take a Hellhound for less points? [I agree with the conclusion. The Eradicator just can’t beat the competition. But I think that competition’s coming from Griffons rather than Hellhounds. Two Griffons are still cheaper than a single Eradicator, and against cover the respective blasts basically have the same effect, inflicting twice the wounds but having half ignored by cover. But the Griffons are still effective against troops in the open, fill the same FOC slot, can fire indirectly, are more accurate and have longer range. Goodnight sweet prince. ~Editor].


Leman Russ Executioner, by Colonel Jacka
“Basic Leman Russ for me due to versatility and points cost. Although second to that is Executioners with a pair of plasma cannon sponsons. Just because five plasma shots a turn against whiny marine players is HILARIOUS.” ~ashc


The Executioner is rarely seen on the battlefield because knowledge of its rare plasma technology is fading. While the Executioner is one of the oldest Leman Russ variants and once equipped entire armoured regiments, now of all the Forge Worlds only Ryza still has the skills to manufacture its specialist plasma cannon. Ryza’s techpriests have managed to preserve the knowledge of plasma reactors and magnetic containment which are needed to produce this fearsome weapon. The plasma destroyer cannon fires pulsed plasma bursts that can incinerate even the most heavily armoured infantry and tanks. The weapon is temperamental, relying on technologies that are barely now understood. Difficulties in containing the vast energies necessary to fire this weapon make it at best unreliable and potentially devastating to those who man this tank. The Executioner has protective heat shielding and chemical coolant tanks that are designed to give the crew protection if the weapon overheats. Most crews aren’t willing to take the risk and bail out at the first sign of trouble. The vehicle is not favoured by Imperial Guard tank crews, although those who do crew the Executioner enjoy a reputation for insane bravery.


Tactica for using the Executioner Rge: 36” Str: 7 AP: 3 Type: Heavy 3 / Blast Pts: 190 JC: 5

The Executioner is a short ranged tank with improved rear armour for increased protection. It is very effective against almost all infantry and monstrous creatures. Give the Executioner plasma cannon sponsons and you will have the ability to place five Ap2 blast templates on a target. Hit and you are going to cause serious damage. A very good defensive weapon when used from good cover. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. There is a lot of argument about this tank. Bare in mind it is EXPENSIVE and often, its role can be better performed by a Demolisher for fewer points. Firing three blasts means it is more reliable than the all or nothing Demolisher; it's also good for hunting MCs, with multiple high strength and AP shots. Suggested weapon fits: a. Executioner plasma cannon and heavy flamer. Leave off the heavy bolter to avoid wound allocation nonsense, and just go for the point defence flamer on this one. This tank is very mobile, puts out a large volume of fire and is very cheap in comparison to variant builds. b. Executioner plasma cannon and lascannon. The lascannon improves Anti-MC firepower, as well as throwing in an extra Ap2 shot for Terminators. Don't be fooled into thinking the lascannon makes this a good anti-vehicle build; firing plasma cannons at a vehicle is usually a big waste of Ap2 blasts. c. Executioner plasma cannon, twin plasma sponsons and heavy flamer. Five plasma cannon shots while stationary is scary firepower, but this tank is very, very expensive, and very, very niche. There are cheaper ways to fry MCs [Veterans with meltas, lascannon support squads, Vendettas, etc.] and in lots of games, a lucky Demolisher will do the same job for half the cost. Still, in the assigned role of reliably wasting 2+ save troops en mass it excels. It also has a substantial cool value. d. Executioner plasma cannon, twin plasma sponsons and lascannon. The lascannon makes this tank marginally better against it's primary target, but this tank is literally the most expensive tank you can buy without Commander Pask; make sure the dealer throws in the CD player and sunroof. [I really like the Executioner. Ok, it costs 40 points more than a basic Leman Russ. Ouch. But firstly, you get rear Av11. I reckon that’s worth 10 to 15 points right off the bat. Then you get your large blast turned into three small blasts, making for better reliability and more hits. You also get the Ap2, proudly showing the finger to all those Terminator-esque unit types that revel in their immunity to normal battle cannons. While the Executioner can’t deal with tanks very well, frankly the standard Russ isn’t winning any awards in that theatre either, and the Executioner is very good against monstrous creatures to balance it anyway. The only real weakness then is the 36-inch range, being only half that of a battle cannon. In short, I don’t think the Executioner has a niche role. In fact it can handle pretty much anything. The problem is that the cost will limit you to only one, if any. Compared to the Demolisher it sacrifices firepower for mobility and range. You may not be laying down as many square inches of Ap2 blast marker with the Executioner, but you can do so more effectively while moving, and while maintaining a much larger threat radius. Handy for reaching out for those annoying Obliterators and Broadsides who will never come within range of your Demolisher short of an all-out Guard advance. ~Editor].


Leman Russ Punisher, by Colonel Jacka
“If nothing else you get to roll obscene amounts of dice...” ~Spinegaunt01
The punisher only has one role and that is against infantry formations. There are few tanks in the Imperial Guard that deal out this much suppressive firepower against the enemies of the Emperor. The crews of Punishers have a reputation of being trigger-happy and gung-ho. The Punishers’ main weapon is the punisher gatling cannon; a recent addition to the Imperial Guard armoury. This weapon system is capable of releasing huge volumes of fire that will literally consume the enemy. Tactica for using the Punisher Rge: 24” Str: 5 AP: Type: Heavy 20 Pts: 180 JC: 5+

The Punisher is a short ranged tank with improved rear armour for increased protection. The Punisher has the ability to inflict massive damage on a certain very select group of units, giving it the very definition of a niche role. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. I'd argue this tank is another badly designed unit. As with the Eradicator, its’ niche is either redundant or comfortably filled by other units. Use it only if you fancy modelling one or you like variety. The Punisher suffers from being Bs3 and Ap-. The Ap- limits the effectiveness of the cannon severely against light vehicles, leaving it unable to do lasting damage to even Rhinos. The Bs3 cuts the number of shots that actually hit to the point it fails to compete with the basic Leman Russ in most situations. Counter-intuitively, this tank is much better against small, elite units than hordes; hordes present glorious battle cannon targets, whereas small units don't. You're never going to get twenty rolls to wound two Assault Marines with a battle cannon; it's hard to even hit them. This gives it a (small) role in finishing off units, but the final blow is dealt by the (totally unjustified) cost of the tank; it is simply far too expensive for what it brings to the table. 29 shots sounds impressive, until you realise you can get 27 (often better due to AP) from less points in Chimeras (three Chimeras with stubbers). The Guard army is not short of low strength, poor AP, short-range shots. Suggested weapon fits: a. Rotary and three heavy bolters. This is about the only weapon fit that makes sense on this tank; increases firepower by 50% for 10% points increase. I have seen these be highly effective in squadrons of three, as the sheer weight of fire tends to kill any infantry target, and at the very least, poses a huge danger to weapon/character-dependant squads. Try it if you have the points, it's certainly amusing. b. Rotary, three heavy bolters and Commander Pask. This option gives a large return on Pask's Bs4, making it very reliable at putting wounds on infantry and is very good vs. 3+ save MCs. Still very expensive to use and poor against vehicles due to Ap-. Not worth it in my honest opinion, but some people like it. [The Punisher can be great against monstrous creatures if combined with Pask, but it still isn’t as good in that role as Veterans would be, who are both cheaper and scoring. Similarly, the Punisher can almost work against Eldar, where it has plenty of T3 targets that cost lots of points but didn’t spend many of them on their armour, if you see my meaning. But again, something like a Hellhound would be just as useful, for massively reduced cost. Normally I despise idiotic, unsubstantiated statements like “Unit x sucks!” but frankly, the Punisher is about as useful as chocolate chain mail. Avoid at all costs. ~Editor].


Leman Russ Conqueror
The Conqueror variant is built exclusively on the Forge World of Gryphonne IV. [Or was, given that Gryphonne IV has been consumed by Hive Fleet Leviathan. ~Editor]. It is probably the oldest of the variants and was used by the Tech Guard that supported the War Griffons Titian Legion. This has never been a widely produced STC and only a few Conquerors have found there way into the Imperial Guard regiments. These are regiments (such as the 12th Cadian Mech Regt) that have been predominately supplied by the foundries of Gryphonne IV. Those crews that have this variant like the vehicle for its ability to fire on the move. Although, it does not have the hitting power of the standard battle cannon it makes up the difference by being able to getting out of trouble, exploiting breakthroughs and maintaining a high rate of fire. It has additional turret armour and a co-axial mounted storm bolter. The conqueror cannon replaces the standard battle cannon with a shorter barrel version. Its reduced recoil allows it to fire on the move. This makes it more mobile when leading an assault. Tactica for using the Conqueror Rge: 48” Str: 7 AP: 4 Type: Heavy / Blast 1 Pts: 145 JC: - 4

The Conqueror lacks the firepower to stop an enemy assault or go head on with enemy armour. See Tactica for the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. [The Conqueror can lay down a hail of anti-infantry fire, especially as it gets a co-axial storm bolter as standard. The problem is that you pay for mobility, and the rules for moving and firing tanks have since changed. This makes the Conqueror obsolete. It’s characterful, and if FW updates Imperial Armour Volume One we’re likely to get new rules that reflect it’s greater mobility. Until then, the model would represent a standard Leman Russ or Eradicator quite nicely. ~Editor]

Leman Russ Destroyer Tank Hunter
The Destroyer is a relic. This tank hunter was once a common vehicle in the ranks of the Imperial Guard. Now it is rarely seen and whilst its hull can be easily mass-produced the Destroyer’s priceless laser destroyer cannon cannot. Only a few Forge Worlds have the skill to manufacture this potent weapon. Its’ creation is a slow and laborious process. Demand far outstrips supply. Most Destroyers are old Mars pattern hull designs that have had the Leman Russ turret ring removed and replaced with a main crew hatch, as well as forward and rear maintenance access hatches. The laser destroyer itself is mounted in an offset position on the left hand side of the hull in a limited traverse mount. The engine and transmission are standard Mars Alpha pattern. Imperial Guard units that still have Destroyer Tank Hunters guard them jealously and each vehicle is patched up and repaired to keep them fighting with even more fervour than a standard Imperial tank. Destroyed or damaged vehicles are considered high priority salvage by Techpriest Enginseers. After a couple of shots the Destroyer will try to change positions to avoid return fire, in much the same way as an infantry sniper. To the enemy Destroyers are high valued targets. The Destroyer is not an offensive weapon and is not used in assaults. As it lacks a turret or secondary weapon systems it is vulnerable to flank attacks and enemy infantry assaults. Therefore, as it lacks offensive versatility it is generally relegated to a supporting role and defensive action, taking pot shots on advancing vehicles.


The Destroyer’s main role of the battlefield is to seek out and destroy enemy heavy tanks. Tactica for using the Destroyer Tank Hunter Rge: 72” Str: 10 AP: 2 Type: Ordnance / Special rule Pts: 170 JC: 5+

The laser destroyer weapon system is an ordnance weapon but does not use the ordnance template. Nevertheless it still rolls 2d6 and picks the highest for armour penetration, which is very potent combined with S10. In keeping with their role as tank snipers, they usually deploy well back in a hull down position waiting for targets. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. [The Destroyer comes from an edition of 40k where long range S10 weaponry was rare and expensive. Now however we have a far broader selection of heavy guns to choose from, such as Medusas with bastion breacher shells, or any lascannon with Pask sitting behind it. What used to basically be a specialist Monolith-hunter has now become a relic in the game, which at least remains true to the Destroyer’s background if nothing else. Poor reliability, a crippling weakness to weapon destroyed results and the lack of a 360-degree turret mount for it’s main gun all combine to make the Destroyer obsolete. I include it to indulge this little trip down memory lane, and because the unique aesthetic will always attract interest. Potentially an excellent model to use to represent other, more modern alternatives. ~Editor].

Leman Russ Thunderer Siege Tank
The Thunderer is a common conversion for those Destroyers that have lost the use of their laser destroyer cannon through damage or an inability to be repaired. Rather then waste these venerable chassis the Techpriest Enginseers will arm them with demolisher siege cannons. The vehicle is then used in urban or dense terrain to support infantry assaults. This weapon system is used for the close support of infantry and bunker busting, being primarily used to smash open enemy fortifications and siege lines. It is effective in difficult country and open terrain. This configuration ammunition storage for demolisher shells is problematic and fully loaded they can carry only eighteen rounds in their ready bins. This of course will reduce the time that a Thunderer can remain in action. The Thunderer has all the same features as the Destroyer. It is possible, given the difficulty of manufacturing Destroyers; some Thunderers have been produced as newly built vehicles. As a stopgap vehicle the Thunderer fulfils this role well. Unusually for a tank designed for close support, the Thunderer lacks a turret or secondary weapon systems, making it vulnerable to flank attacks or enemy infantry assaults. This makes it more of an assault gun than a conventional tank. You may only ever field one of these venerable vehicles. Tactica for using the Thunderer Siege Tank Rge: 24” Str: 10 AP: 2 Type: Ordnance 1 / Large Blast Pts: 165 JC: 1+

The Thunder has the ability to destroy the best-protected targets, although this is balanced by its short range. It is a big threat on a standard table and when in cover with good line of fire it has the ability to do damage far above its point cost. See Tactica for the using the Leman Russ MBT as the same points apply to this variant. [Naturally, there is no reason to use a Thunderer whatsoever in purely game terms. It was only ever intended as a characterful alternative to Demolishers and possibly because the Imperial Armour designers had a set quota of tanks they had to add and had already run out of ideas. ~Editor].


Atlas Recovery Tank
The Atlas is an armoured recovery vehicle based on the standard Leman Russ chassis. It has only one role and that is to recover disabled or immobilised armoured vehicles from the battlefield. A standard Leman Russ weighs sixty tonnes and requires a very powerful vehicle to tow it. The Atlas has been designed to do just that. The Atlas is built using a basic Leman Russ stripped down, fitted with a crane and a supercharged engine. This engine provides the Atlas with enough pulling power to tow a Leman Russ, even in rough terrain. Several Atlas’s working in tandem can pull a super-heavy such as a Baneblade. During a battle they are held in reserve. At the end of the fighting they move forward to commence salvage and recovery operations. With their lifting and towing gear they can haul the damaged tank to the rear well clear of further enemy action. The damaged vehicle will eventually be placed on a flatbed trailer to be transported to the regimental workshop for repairs. Tactica for using the Atlas Recovery Tank Rge: N/A Str: N/A AP: N/A Type: N/A Pts: 85 JC: -1

The Atlas is only good for scenario play I feel. It is a nice model that would be good for a Golden Demon attempt. The Atlas is armed with a pintle mounted heavy stubber or storm bolter. The Atlas can move a destroyed or immobilized vehicle (friend or foe) that it starts the turn in contact with. It moves D6 inches when towing. This can be used to move a completely destroyed vehicle out of the way if it is blocking movement, or move a vehicle that is immobilised in difficult terrain, out of the terrain so it can move again.



Assorted photographs
There are numerous pictures that I simply haven’t yet had the opportunity to use. It would be a pity to let them go to waste, so I’ve included all the unused photographs here as an appendix. As new content is added I will try to integrate them into the articles as and when appropriate.

~Ingold Toynbe



~le Mediko

















Special thanks to our contributors
I’d like to say thank you to all of you:

Andy Meechan Angelwing Ash Awilla the Hun Bango Buzzkill Captain Brown Captain Micha Chewbacacabra Cleansingfury Colonel Jacka ColonelGreiss Digitsdavid Explodingboy Gondorian Hrw-Amen Ingold Toynbe jedichef Karrig stern Le Mediko Light of the Emperor Lord Solar Plexus Mr Feral ninjin Onlainari only joking… Pekel Perfect Organism Richblake ServanoTomasin Sheep Silentsmoke Sircyn Solar_Eclipse SonofUltramar Spaced Steel Legion for Life Tommygun Vaktathi Voleron Vorenus




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