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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Here is the start of my rather in depth IG review. I've covered the HQ choices so far, and some stuff about the background and art and whatnot. More to follow.

An in depth Review of Codex: Imperial Guard

Codex reviews have become a sort of new phenomenon, with a good review often propelling discussion for weeks, such as HBMC’s delightful Chaos Codex review, or form the initial frame of discussion for a codex’s tactical options, like the Ork Codex review whose author I have forgotten. In that grand tradition, and fully aware that HBMC will be gracing us with a review of the IG book himself, I endeavor to share some thoughts and analysis on this latest incarnation of the guard. The focus of this review is more from a player’s perspective, glossing over the background and art and focusing on the army selection. With a healthy discussion already brewing about the most tactically powerful options in the book, I’m going to try to discuss more “mid level” tactics, and hopefully entertain and enlighten.

Artwork and Introduction

While I promise not to dwell on this, tradition demands at least token attention be paid to these elements of the IG book. The cover is busy, to be sure, but I think it does a better job of showing that the IG relies on masses of soldiers, tanks, and support than previous covers did. I do wonder what the officer in the red lined cape is standing on, however. It’s either nothing at all or the tracks of a Chimera, neither of which seem like a wise place to lead soldiers from. The cynical part of me notices the grey clad, masked rebel dead in the lower right hand corner and notices that those would be more interesting than more Cadian plastics… but it passes.

Credit is prominently given to Robin Cruddace on the first page, which is a new development. I can only ponder why this change has occurred, but I assume it’s simply cheaper than paying the development staff more. The inner cover shows a small Cadian force, and I’m reminded of how boring the Studio Cadians really are, and how silly the new IG Hunter Killer missiles look, particularly when mounted on the side of a Chimera. The Table of Contents is fine, but notably relabeled the old color hobby section “Soldiers of the Imperial Guard,” which is very vague. The introduction is as much filler as always, at least I assume it is because I didn’t really actually read it. The first of many recycled art pieces adorns this page: a black and white version of the beautiful two page piece of Creed and Kell leading the 8th from the old codex. I have no problem with recycled art or fluff, as I think the good stuff should stay in circulation. Five years ago I would have added that the fluff can always be expanded and refreshed in White Dwarf, but now I almost wonder if they shouldn’t put the old, venerable fluff in White Dwarf to cater to the magazines target market and make the codices the home for interesting new stuff.

Fluff and Background

Moving on, the next section describes the history and organization of the Imperial Guard. After reading every one of these sections, I have to admit that they have finally figured out how to make the IG seem real, part of the 40k universe, and interesting all at the same time. The regimental system, which seems clunky, is now expanded in rationale. Not only are regiments formed from a single planet, they are also typically formed of only one type of company: infantry, artillery, armored, etc. This is both to allow planets to specialize and to prevent regimental mutinies from have adequate support. It makes an odd sort of sense, while still dovetailing neatly with the established regiments. Cadians, Catachans, etc. are allowed combined arms formations not only because they are veterans, but because they are notoriously loyal. Thus, while a regiment from PigsKnuckle IV has to rely on seconded armored support, the Cadians can be trusted to operate in more self contained units. It’s a neat bit of fluff, and also partially explains why Cadians and Catachans are the best soldiers in the Galaxy but are still indistinguishable from other regiments. This segment closes with a page on Lord Solar Macharius, which does a fine job of retelling his story for one more time.

The next segment, “Famous Regiments of the Imperial Guard” distills many of the old familiar bits of background for easy consumption. In the grand tradition of Catachan fluff, they include the bit “every animal is a carnivore, and every plant is poisonous,” which leads me to ask why a planet with not herbivores would have any poisonous plants at all? It is also made clear that Catachans, despite not being able to produce tanks, do have tank crews, thus making it clear that even Jungle Fighters like a good tank. The rest of the regimental fluff, while brief, does a good job outlining them, with the notable lack of mention of my beloved Praetorians or the RT era Necromundan Spiders. Given GW’s nostalgia kick of late, I was surprised not to find an reference to the latter. As for the Praetorians, while I’d heard rumors that GW are faintly embarrassed that people like them, no company that produces Space Hobbit Snipers or Orc Cheerleaders can really claim any source of shame.

Next up are four pages of “Notable Battles of the Imperial Guard.” While most of the stuff reads like bad Silmarillion fan-fic (Lord Awesome lead 23 Billion warriors to destroy General Stinky, and all but four died, and the planet was destroyed), there are some good bits. Notable is the description of an artillery bombardment on a rebel hive that lasted for 10 years: two years after all life signs ended and five after its unconditional surrender. Kept to a dull background level, it’s useful to remind the reader that the 40k universe is fundamentally insane. Too much and it becomes hard to read, but I like the little bits in the corners of the fluff like that.

Forces of the Imperium, Wargear, and Army list.

While there is no really good way to separate fluff, rules, wargear rules, army rules, special rules, and point costs between the various codex sections, it makes any sort of tactical review nearly impossible. For the purposes of this review, I shall instead review based on FOC slot, referring to all three sections as is required. I’m not going to tee off on the layout, as far wittier members of the board will fill that gap, but rest assured that while it makes reading the book for pleasure much nicer, it makes game play a hassle.

It is interesting to note that the IG really doesn’t have any army wide special rules. Yes, their heavy weapon teams are super special for no real reason, and the orders system is new, but units like a special weapon team have literally no rules beyond their stats and their weapons. I think it makes a certain amount of sense, as IG are basic troops that shouldn’t need special rules to mark them out, but part of me also thinks that the days when GW can really claim that the IG based, all 3’s stat-line are the basis for the gaming system are long past.

Stealing the idea of ranking the units from that Ork review, I’m going to score each unit, and many major upgrades, as either Casual, semi-competitive, competitive, or highly competitive. The rankings are a bit squishy, but essentially conform to the highest level of list that would feature the unit or upgrade could still succeed at. Thus, if a unit is ranked as highly competitive, it means it could be a key component of a highly competitive list, excelling at GTs and Hard boys type environments. A semi-competitive unit is one that will seldom be seen in successful lists in environments beyond small local tournament. To provide a rough calibration, here are few examples from other codices:
Highly Competitive: Sternguard, Ork Boys, Blood Crushers, Plague Marines
Competitive: Fiends of Slaanesh, Tactical squads, Killa kans, Chaos terminators
Semi-Competitive: Trukk boys, Thunderfire Cannon, Defiler, Seekers of Slaanesh
Casual: Flash Gitz, Venerable Dreadnought, Chaos Furies, Spawn

In the tactical review, there are few aphorisms that I’ve coined over the years that I’m injecting. I’ll explain them here so you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The Half Priced Rule

When discussing whether an upgrade (be it a special rule, a weapon, or even a character upgrade) is overpriced, I like to apply the half priced rule. If the upgrade were half the current price, would it be an absolute no-brainer? If not, the upgrade is probably over-costed. This doesn’t mean that the upgrade is twice the optimum cost; it simply means that it’s pretty clearly above what the fair market value of the upgrade is. The classic example of this was in the 4th edition Space Marine codex, when it cost 20pts to upgrade from an assault cannon to a twin linked lascannon, despite the Assault cannon being superior against nearly every target and only being really limited by range. If the lascannon had only been 10pts more, it would have been a tough call between the lascannon and the assault cannon. Thus, at 20pts, it was pretty clearly over-costed. The counter example is something like lascannon sponsons on the new SM Predator. 65 pts might be too high, but 35pts would make the upgrade a no-brainer.

The 20% off Rule

A variant on the above rule, this one is meant for basic units, not upgrades. Essentially, if a unit could take a 20% price cut, and still not be a top tier unit, it’s clearly over-costed. The classic example here is probably Chaos Possessed. At 20% off, they’d be 21pts per unit, and still not clearly a top tier unit, especially when compared to Berserkers. This rule is more often than not also linked to BINAT.


The GW Rule of Threes

In any given list of options, very rarely will more than three be truly useful. Keep in mind that the focus is very narrow; restricted to a single slate of options for one single unit. If the same five upgrades appear in multiple different entries, different ones might be useful in different entries, of course. There are counter examples, of course, and sometimes people swear by 4th place options, but in general most people stick to the top three options. The classic example here would be Eldar Guardian heavy weapon options in 3rd edition, when there were five options but you hardly saw anything but Bright Lance or Starcannon. More recently, Devestators have five weapon options, but are seldom fielded with Multi-meltas or Lascannons. Even in tactical squads seeing heavy bolters or Plasma Cannons is rare.

Pro-Am Special

This is term used to describe any unit or upgrade that’s very good in a casual play environment, but generally avoided in very high level play. Not to be confused with a Timmy style unit (giant impressive units that eat up way too many points), it usually has a strong psychological effect on midlevel players, and tends to do better against midlevel build. A great current example are probably Thousand Sons: not a bad unit, but they’re far better in a low terrain, mostly MEQ environment.

Headquarters

Company Command Squad
The very first entry is the Company Command Squad, hereafter the CCS. First, I want to applaud GW for finally making clear names for HQ and Platoon level command squads. Secondly, the BS jump for a CCS was something I never even considered, yet makes eminent sense from the current GW idea that command squads are just veterans. It makes sense from every level, as why would the best troops not be with the commanding officer, or at least be available to the commanding officer? T

In one of the least lamented losses of options in GW history, the old three tiered system of Commanders has disappeared, replaced by a single “Company Commander”, who has a built in refractor field. I like the idea of simply bundling wargear like that in with a character, as nobody would ever pay any price for a refractor field in anything but the fluffiest lists, especially now that the Commander is not an IC. It does allow a CCS to allocate a power weapon wound to him, and hope to shrug it off instead of simply losing a model. The big loss to the Commander is the Leadership rule, which used to hold the IG together, especially when combined with Iron Discipline. While not utterly absent from the list, as the Commissar Lord has something similar, the role of the Commander is no longer to sit put with a standard and leadership and prevent troops from breaking. With the new orders system, coupled with exciting new options for the squad itself, the CCS is now a more integrated part of the armies function. The Commander is a bit more of a fighter than before, as he’s no longer an IC and can take a 15pt fist or a 10pt plasma pistol. Both are fun options, but it is a shame they bumped power weapons up to 10pts while dropping fists down. Anything that can take the fist will, for five points more. Its sloppy rules, and I guess I don’t see why power weapons couldn’t have simply been made 7pts (which is about what they’re worth) and been done with it. The final nail in the power weapons coffin for Commanders is his new Initiative of 3, meaning he’s swinging last against nearly everything anyway, making the fist the clear choice for a combat oriented officer.

Orders have been discussed at length, but there are a few key points to remember. The CCS gets two orders a turn at 12” range, and can give any of the six orders. While the squads most likely to benefit from orders, like heavy weapon squads and Special Weapon squads are only LD7 and pass only about 55% of the time, the twin linked order is very strong, and the cover save order can be a huge factor. Get back in the fight is either very good or nearly broken, depending on what the final phrase “may shoot and assault as normal” means. Does that mean as normal of a unit that regrouped, or as normal of a unit that was never falling back or shooting. If it is the latter, being able to have a heavy weapon team go to ground, then still shoot in the next shooting phase can be fun.

Aside from Orders, the CCS has a plethora of weapon and wargear options. They can finally take Carapace or Camo Cloaks as an upgrade, and one model may take a voxcaster which raises the YMDC question of “does a CCS with a vox get to re-roll a failed order?” It’ll probably not matter, as the only order a CCS is likely to give itself would be Bring it down, and a fourth melta gun is better than the vox. The medic, like the new apothecary, simply gives FNP to the unit, which is a fine upgrade I feel, but a classic Half-Price Rule example at 30pts and giving up a special weapon slot. The CCS can take a heavy flamer, which I guess is nice but at 20pts when compared to 5pt flamers, it seems like a real afterthought. The squad can take a heavy weapon or a full load of specials, including the newly promoted sniper rifle, and the new 5pt Krak grenade option might actually be taken in a game.

The other big change to the CCS is the ability to take advisors. The Bodyguards are the odd men out, as you can take up to two, and they simply transfer wounds allocated to the CC (up to two per turn) unto them instead. At fifteen points they’re a good upgrade for a combat oriented CCS, and more wounds on a valuable squad are always nice. Like many things, cost can add up quickly, so I’d imagine these will be used in a limited fashion outside of Apocalypse, but having options that excel in multiple gaming variants is in no way a bad thing. In another entry for YMDC, the look out sir rule states that “up to two wounds allocated to the CC are instead resolved against the Bodyguard(s).” Does that mean if the CC takes two wounds, each bodyguard takes one wound, one takes two, each takes two? If there is only one, and the CC takes two wounds, does one still take both? I’m guessing the answer is that the collective pool of bodyguards can absorb up to two wounds per turn, and they are allocated amongst any bodyguards as normal, i.e. on a piece if there is two, and both on one if not. It does limit the need to take more than one, though. If

The Master of Ordnance is a very interesting upgrade. Like all of the non-bodyguard advisors, he’s 30pts, but adds a potentially powerful weapon to the IG arsenal. If he doesn’t move, he can drop a an Earthshaker round anywhere on the table, except that it always scatters 2d6” on a hit, or 3d6” on a miss. The pessimist in me realizes that this is so wildly inaccurate as to actually make it useless against all but massive hordes or a parking lot of vehicles, and has almost no chance to really hurt the threats to the IG. Then a part of me remembers: it is a 30pt upgrade! This little guy seems to belong in any stay at home CCS, perhaps one anchoring a gunline, and should be avoided in any front line Squad. Running only 30pts makes this guy a prime candidate for becoming a Pro-am Special. One note is that he’s a great way to get indirect fire in an all infantry gunline, which is a fun build to run from time to time.

The Fleet officer and Astropath enable the IG player to manipulate the reserves battle. The astropath is obviously only good in IG armies with reserves, but in those, he’s worth every penny, IMO. The +1 to reserves is nice, but the re-roll to outflanking is money in the bank. With the best units in the codex (valk/vendetta) having scout, anything that makes outflanking better is useful. The rules specifically apply if the Astropath is alive, not on the table, so even if he’s in reserve, he’s helping you out. The Fleet Officer is less generally useful, if you’re opponent doesn’t have reserves he’s wasted space. I think that the Fleet Officer’s use will be highly environmental, based solely on local metagames. Combine armies with no reserves with those armies that don’t mind delayed reserves, and he becomes a very shaky upgrade.

If the basic Company Commander is too boring for you, consider upgrading him to the Lord Castellan himself, Creed. Creed is a man’s man, and commander’s commander. At 90pts, he nearly triples the base cost of a CCS, but brings a lot to the table. He may utilize four orders a turn, has a 24” order radius, and gets a bonus order. In addition, one unit in the army may scout. So, is he worth it? The answer, as always, is maybe. The four orders can be very clutch, combined with the larger range. In addition, his special rule makes a unit fearless and furious charging for a turn. Make a squad fearless, have it charge an enemy unit, tie it up, and then have it break and run in the opponents turn to shoot it up again. If successful, that combo alone can save a gunline from a massive combi-charge. Going another way, a large combined platoon with power weapons and attached commissars with power weapons becomes very good when furious and fearless.

In addition, one 24” radius circle is better, in terms of area, than two 12” radius circles. What’s unspoken there is that in the builds that will include Creed (gunlines), most of the guns are in the DZ anyway, making the two much closer in practice.

That brings up Creeds fatal flaw, which is that he alone costs more than second CCS with standard and three grenade launchers, which can spit out the same number of orders and shoot reasonably well, as well as help hold the leadership together. If you add Kell, his value goes up, but so does the total cost of the CCS in question. In general, I think there are better places for the IG player to spend the points in all but the largest games.

Speaking of the big guy, Kell adds the rule that most people expected with the orders system, namely the ability to test for them on the officer’s, not the squad’s, leadership. He also gets the bodyguard special rule, and includes the standard, making him really only a 70pt upgrade. In a large enough game, Creed and Kell allow up to four anti-tank squads to be twin linked against vehicles or monstrous creatures, which is pretty good until you realize that they do so for the cost of two more anti-tank squads. Doing the math, twin-linking four squads adds three hits per turn, which is exactly what two more anti-tank squads would add. In the end, with the IG in no way lacking ways to spend points effectively, spending 225pts simply to make other squad better seems unproductive.

If hand to hand hotness is your preferred brand of Company Commander, the legendary Iron Hand Straken is back; saved from the minor league that was the Catachan Codex. Straken does everything a normal Commander does, but adds two key things: vastly improved combat performance from his CCS, and Furious Charge and Counterattack for everybody in 12”. Now, nothing is going to turn basic IG squads into Hand to hand powerhouses, but those rules work on Grey Knights, Sisters of Battle, or in apocalypse, any friendly unit. The combos that can be created are endless, and furious charge really, really helps S3 models with power weapons. The old man himself makes his squad fearless, and is WS5, S6, I3 with a power weapon and four attacks. Toss in a plasma pistol, a 3+/5++ and an extra d6 Armor Pen against vehicles, and he’s the easy choice for a close combat oriented CCS. He’s clearly expensive at 95pts, but if you view him as a countercharge unit that also makes the rest of the army a little bet punchier, or you build your list to really take advantage of his bubble of rage, he’s a very solid little guy.

Finally, because every giant entry needs a truly awful option, Nork Dedogg makes a long awaited return to the ranks of the IG. Nork brings next to nothing to the table, adding three wounds with FnP to a squad, but lacks a power weapon, an invulnerable save, or any way to actually protect his charge. A true half priced rule special, Nork would be tough call at 50pts. At 110pts, he’s more expensive than any of the officers he’d protect, and is truly one of the worst options in the book. It’s a shame, because Nork has some of the best background in the game, and is really one of the few heartwarming aspects of 40k, as he ends up retiring back in his Ogryn village. In the game though, he’s terrible.

In general, I think there will be two main builds of CCS: the mechanized or air mobile variant with four meltas, maybe an astropath, built to blow stuff up and support equally mounted vets; and the gunline anchor with standard, astropath and/or MoO, possibly creed/kell, and a chimera to increase order range. Both are pretty fun and useful units, and help to hold together two very different kinds of armies. Even viewed as a cheaper, non-scoring alternative to veteran squads, the CCS will be a big part of many, if not most IG armies. Add in the ability to take two, and they’re very punchy units for not a lot of points.

CCS: Highly Competitive
Bodyguards: semi Competitive
Master of Ordnance: Competitive
Astropath: Highly Competitive
Fleet Officer: Semi-Completive
Creed: semi-Completive
Kell: semi-Competitive
Straken: Competitive
Nork: Casual

Lord Commissar
As the diligent reader may have noticed, in the list of regimental advisors the old favorites, the Commissar, priest, and sanctioned psyker were all missing. All are still in the list, just no longer available to the CCS as upgrades. Rather, they are all independent characters (although low level commissars can be added to platoons), able to roam at will, but also costing a key HQ slot. Were before IG rarely, if ever, used their second HQ slot, the ability of a CCS to act like a turbocharged Veterans squad makes the HQ slots have a bit of a premium. That all said, the various IC’s all add something new to the list, or in the case of the Lord Commissar, something old, just shifted to a new model.

The Lord Commissar seems to have two roles: as a sort of low rent combat charcter, and as Morale booster to an IG fire base. In the second role, he arguably does pretty well. Lords have the Aura of Discipline rule, which is essentially the old Leadership rule only with a 12” range. As Lords are LD 10, that makes them pretty good at preventing LD7 heavy weapon squads from running away. The lord also makes any squad he joins Stubborn. I’m very leery about the abundance of Stubborn in the IG list now, as Stubborn really doesn’t help the IG that much. There are no real negative modifiers in shooting anymore, with 5th edition rules and no more Fear of Darkness, so Stubborn only is useful in combat, where half the time you want your guardsmen to run anyway. Sure, it’s nice to charge into the enemy, and hold for a turn to deny him a monster charge, but it takes a deft touch. Rather than a universal positive, it’s at best a 75% positive.

As a close combat guy, have you ever feared an Eldar autarch on foot? No, right? Now, imagine the Autarch cost the same, had a 5+/5++ instead of a 3+/4++, was only WS5, couldn’t take a melta gun, couldn’t get a bonus attack, was only I3, and to make up for all of that could take a powerfist. That unit would be pretty hilarious. That, alas, is what the Lord is like in combat. While not terrible, he’s just not really good, and as an IC he’ll get picked out. Oh, and he can buy Carapace armor for 10pts, or half of what an entire CCS costs! I know you can’t compare models across codices, but GW has never even come close to figuring out S3 T3 Independent characters, and they haven’t started now.

In the end, the Lord will be a big feature in Apocolypse games, keeping heavy weapon squads in line. In anything else, he’s simply too costly in both points and lost HQ slots to feature in anything but fun lists.

Lord Commissar: Casual

Commissar Yarrick
My goal with this review is not to critique the codex, but sometime it’s really hard to, when there are just baffling aspects to the writing. Yarrick’s Bale Eye, one of the coolest pieces of wargear in the game, has a new rule that gives Yarrick a hot-shot laspistol, as well as giving him an extra attack. The rules then go on to state that it’s already included in the profile, which sure enough, lists Attacks: 3, meaning that Yarrick absent his bale eye has fewer attacks than a normal Commissar Lord. Noticing stuff like this is what kept me out of the really good schools.

Yarrick is 185pts, or 80pts more than a similarly equipped Commissar Lord (only with a plasma pistol instead of a hotshot laspistol). For those 80pts, you get the force field, which forces the enemy to re-roll any wounds laid on Yarrick, T4, Eternal Warrior, the ability get back up from death with one wound on a 3+, litanies of hate and fearless for himself and any unit he joins, and a 12” stubborn bubble. That’s a lot of rules for only 80pts, but considering the basic Lord Commissar is a pretty bad unit, it’s probably better to analyze Yarrick on his own merits.

In terms of combat, Yarrick simply isn’t that durable. Without an invulnerable save, it still only takes 12 S4 power weapon hits to drop him, which many armies can bring. In addition, his 4+ armor save means that non-power wounds still wound half the time. With only three powerfist attacks a turn, he’s not going to do enough damage to really balance out his vulnerability, and while boosting a friendly combat unit is useful, Priests do it for far cheaper. The only real use for Yarrick, as far as I can tell, would be in leading a squad of Ogryn. That’s an expensive squad, but fearless, furious, and can re-roll hits on the charge.

Yarrick: Casual

Primaris Psyker
In 40k, there are two kinds of good units: those that do something really well for a reasonable price, and those that do something reasonable for a really good price. Elite armies live and die with the former, but IG players love the latter. The Primaris Psyker doesn’t do much, but he does it for cheap at 70pts. A LD9 Psyker, he’ll only really get to use his powers if there is no psychic defense, and at S3 his force weapon is mostly for show, but on the off chance he can pop off Lightning Arc he’s throwing 2d6 S6 shots at BS4, at 24” range that counts as an Assault weapon. The secondary power, Nightshroud, forces any unit that shoots at the Psyker or his unit to pass a Leadership check. Anybody that lived through 4th edition remembers how little protection that was, and thus will probably be rarely used expect when the Lightning Arc is out of range. Toss in a random refractor field for a 5++ save and you have a very nice little unit. While probably not good enough to really challenge the CCS for a slot, the Psyker could be a contender in a list that includes any of the furious charge granting characters. As fluff goes, having one and a few Psychic Battle Squads would make for fun theme.

Primaris Psyker: Competitive

Ministorum Priest
Few things are as comforting as knowing that GW is essentially incapable of fixing bad units. For every inspired re-write, we have to endure a dozen false starts and dead ends. In the old codex, few units were as maligned as priests: expensive, fragile, and adding very little to a squad they were attached to, they simply did nothing and cost too much. In the new codex, they cost more, do less, and are more fragile. To be fair, they are now independent characters that can be attached to any unit, but that simply means with their new one wound profile they will be smeared pretty easily. Oh, and in case you think attaching them to ogryn for re-rolls would be cool, it’s not allowed.

On the positive side, they have a built in rosarius, they don’t take an HQ slot, and they can take an eviscerator for only 15pts. Because we all know that chainfists on T3 W1 Independent characters are great ideas.

The best use I can see for these guys is to add to a bloated CCS that is also a counter charge unit, maybe with Straken for extra punch. The re-rolls are nice, but at the cost of a nearly guaranteed KP and no combat punch absent the eviscerator, I think this unit is far too risky and costly for what it offers.

Priest:
Casual

Techpriest Enginseer
Another universally loathed unit in the old codex, the new Techpriest is very, very different. Instead of being a 2 for 1 elites choice, they’re now a 2 for 1 HQ choice that doesn’t use an HQ slot. Oh, and they now fix a weapon destroyed or immobilized result on a 5+, not a 6+, and do so in the shooting phase, not at the beginning of movement. Seriously, that’s all they changed.

The servitors are a little different, in that technical and combat servitors are combined into one basic servitor type that have a single power fist attack and add +1 to the repair roll. Up to two can have heavy bolters, multi-meltas, or plasma cannons. Now, servitors are 15pts, and the heavy bolter upgrade is 20pts, and servitors are BS3, and don’t have relentless. That means you can pay 35pts for a T3 4+ save model with a heavy bolter. Good times. The Plasma cannon or Multi-melta upgrade is 30pts, making a Techpriest with two plasma cannon servitors only 125pts less than two scout sentinels with plasma cannons. Guess which one I’ll be taking.

The best use for this guy would appear to be to actually fix vehicles, as a techpriest with four servitors can follow a tank squadron, and fix a weapon destroyed every time. The problem is that this costs 105pts, and another tank starts at 150pts. Of course, in Apocalypse, he can hang out near a Baneblade, which makes him much better.

Techpriest:
Casual

Tomorrow, I'll be covering Elites and hopefully troops. Feel free to comment, ignore, what have you.

This message was edited 6 times. Last update was at 2009/05/13 20:25:14


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in fi
Junior Officer with Laspistol







I think classifying poor units as suitable for "Casual" gaming is far too kind. They're best described as "Crap". There is no kind of game where Nork, Yarrick, Tech-priests or Lord Commissars will ever be useful. Even in the most friendly of matchups, they're still actively contributing towards your opponent's victory by not being good enough.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 09:11:29


"The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at all. It is possible it does not exist. But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas." 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Agamemnon2 wrote:I think classifying poor units as suitable for "Casual" gaming is far too kind. They're best described as "Crap".


Well, I'm not really trying to tell people how good the unit is, merely what it's ceiling is. You can put Nork in a casual play list and still win more than you lose, because it's casual play, and you can spot most opponents 110pts and still win.

I think Nork is really the only useless unit I've gotten to so far. Most other things have uses, even if only in apocalypse, that give them enough juice to justify taking.

I'd also argue, and this is a cop out to be sure, that having a massive point sink can be fun for teaching games. If you set up a 1000pt game with a new player, and you drop Yarrik and Nork in your list, you can play hard and still have a huge handicap.

Anyway, if people want a fifth category for "garbage", I can add it. I just think that it's pretty clear from the write ups what casual units are still decent in very narrow windows(Lord Commissar, Priests) and which are trash. But, people want it, it's not a problem.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 09:18:04


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

So, I can't sleep, so I wrote up the elites section.

Ogryn Squad
In most codices, Elites are where the good stuff lives, the top shelf stuff that excels at it’s role and can go toe to toe with the best units in the enemy army. In the IG list, Elites are where the support units live, the ones that are ok at stuff, but are often priced as well as the Elites of other armies. Nothing exemplifies that more than Ogryn.

Now, Ogryn are not bad. They were bad in the old book, but at T5 and W3, coupled with stubborn, Ogryn can now finally take a charge like they were always supposed to, as long as it’s not by a dreadnought, that is. The ripper gun is now S5 and Assault 3, making it a pretty deadly shooting attack. Ogryns also now all have three attacks, furious charge, and no longer fear getting into a chimera. So what’s not to love?

40 freaking points a model.

I’m stunned, simply stunned at that pricetag. I was guessing back up to 30pts, maybe 35pts, but at 40pts GW is telling us that Ogryns are as good as Assault Terminators, which they simply are not.

Aside from sticker shock, Ogryn seem to finally be decent as assault units. There is a litmus test for assault squads, which is that no unit can really be a dedicated hand to hand unit unless it can reliably take on a tactical squad (at the same price range) and win reliabely. Assuming a tactical squad with fist, melta, and Multi-melta, the squad is 210 pts, or exactly the same as five ogryn with a bone ‘ead. Assuming the Ogryn get the charge, they’ll get 15 shots, for 7.5 hits, 5 wounds, and a 1.666 dead marines just from shooting, a promising start. Assuming one full casuality, the 8 basic marines will swing next, thanks to a totally arbitrary Initiative drop to I2. 8 attacks leads to 4 hits, 4/3 wound and 8/9 unsaved, for one total wound. The ogryn then get 21 attacks for 10.5 hits, 8.75 wounds, or nearly three dead marines. The sarge will do about one wound, meaning the Ogryn win by one. Now, that’s pretty good, but considering that’s a dedicated assault unit under optimal circumstances attacking a non-Hand to hand unit, I’m very underwhelmed. In the second round, the 6 remaining marines keep fighting, with five swinging at I4, for 2.5 hits, 5/6 wound, and 10/18 unsaved. The Ogryn, assuming four remain, will swing back with 13 swings, 6.5 wounds, and kill two more marines. The sarge will do 5/6 of a wound again, meaning the Ogryn will keep winning.

Running the same basic test against an Ork Boys mob of 27 boys (to get the points even), the Ogryn will shoot and kill 5 Orks out of cover, and just over 3 with a KFF. Assuming no cover, that brings the boys down to 22. The ogryn charge and have Initiative, doing the same 8.75 wounds, for just over 7 dead boys. The remaining 14 boys swing back, with 42 swings, 21 hits, 3.5 saves, 7/3 failed saves, or just over two wounds. The Nob will swing last, with 3 swings, 1.5 hit, and enough wounds to pull a full ogryn. The Ogryn win, 7 to 3, and kill 4 boys with no retreat. In the second round, the four remaining Ogryn swing 13 times, hit 6.5, wound 13/3 and kill 3.5 boys. The 7 basic boys remaining take 21 swings, hit 10.5 times, wound 1.75 times, and lay just over one wound on the Ogryn. The Nob than throws another wound on them, and the Ogryn win again, 3 to 2, causing the last 8 boys to take a leadership test.

Against even non-dedicated assault troops that are MEQs, the lack of power weapons really limits the usefulness of Ogryn. While they can handle the tactical squad, they would also struggle against marines with BP/CCW, or really any unit that gets the drop on them. They did do good job of really slowing down an Ork horde, but 200pts would buy a lot of flamers if the IG player is worried about Orks.

As a beefy unit that can take some punishment, Ogryn will have a place in the IG players tool kit, but as they stand they are simply too expensive and too reliant on non-powered attacks to be a truly viable assault unit.

Ogryn: Semi-competitive (Possibly competitive?)


Edit: for correct math against Boys, thanks to Kid Happy for pointing that out.

Ratling Squad
There was a rather nice thread here on Dakka that discussed the delightful space hobbit snipers that are Ratlings. The consensus there, which I agree with, is that Ratlings do nothing that other units can’t do, but do what they do well and for a decent price. 10pt BS4 sniper rifles that come with infiltrate and stealth simply are good at being snipers. Now, snipers aren’t very good unless you face a lot of high T monsters, but if you do, Rats are cheaper than anti-tank squads and will in general do as many wounds. Combining rats with Psyker Battle Squads can make pinning good, and if you’re going to take a commissar lord ratlings are a prime candidate to take advantage of LD 10.

If taken, they’re there to throw some wounds on big critters, take potshots at basic infantry, try to pin low LD stuff, and hopefully draw fire away from the bigger guns in the list. All in all, Ratlings do exactly what they say on the tin: decent snipers at an honest price.

Ratlings: Competitive

Psyker Battle Squad

The first really new unit in the codex, the Psyker Battle Squad is a meta game changing event. Its primary ability, Weaken Resolve, can lower the leadership of any unit within 36” and LOS by the number of psykers, to a minimum of 2. Combine with any shooting to cause fall backs, or pinning to pin the squad, and a Warmachine worthy combination is formed. The PBS also has a large blast shooting attack with 36” range, APd6 and the same strength as members of the squad. The squad can take a chimera, and shoot its large blast out of it (it’s an assault weapon), and all psykers can use their powers from inside transports now, making Weaken Resolve from inside a Chimera the new power unit in 40k. This unit also is only 110pts, with a 55pts chimera added if desired.

Like the Primaris, this squad is only LD9 and is thus pretty vulnerable to most anti-psyker defenses, and number of fearless units makes weaken resolve pretty useless against Chaos, Nids, Ork Horde, and anything mechanized. Still, for a shockingly low price and with no real competition for the elites slot, a PBS with Chimera is basically the must have unit from the new codex.

Psyker Battle Squad:
Highly Competitive


Storm Trooper Squad

Has GW always spelled Storm Trooper as two words? I actually checked, and they have in every IG codex since 2nd edition, in the 3rd ed BBB, and in codex witchhunters. I never noticed that, so I’m not sure what is more worrying: that I noticed it now, or that I never did before. It does annoy me that GW can remember a wacky editorial quick like that, and not remember that Storm Troopers have sucked for 10 years, and they probably shouldn’t make them worse.

No matter how you spin the new 16pt, AP3 spitting storm troopers, they’re pretty bad. Storms always had three missions: deep striking with meltas (where they were outclassed by vets), forming a plasma fire base (where they were ok), and as a sort of mechanize linebacker squad, leading charges or countering the enemy as needed (a role they were simply far too fragile and costly for, but it was fun to use them that way). In the new codex they have exactly two uses: shooting at 3+ armor in the open (a role that they are designed for and are still mediocre at), or as deep striking melta gunners. As deep strikers, they’re actually quite good, getting a re-roll to the scatter, allowing for very aggressive placement near enemy land raiders. Absent any other deepstrikers that aren’t falling out of a valkyrie, this build is really the only choice IG commanders have to get deep striking melta guns. At 100pts the squad is about the same price as many of its targets, and the biggest threat to the IG are landraiders which can be at the IG lines before I can even roll for reserves half the time.

In short, between Marbo and the plethora of quality indirect fire choices available to the IG, even deep striking Storms simply don’t bring much to the table. The other builds fall apart really quickly, all invariably wilting in comparison to veterans, which are far cheaper, even with carapace, can take an extra special weapon, and are troops. In any head to head, decent troops will win out over decent non-troops, and storm troopers aren’t even close to decent.

To be fair, the new Storm Trooper Datasheet makes them decent, but really only if you already have 30 storm troopers. Two shots, with a run move between them, along with Vital objective make for a nice purchase, particularly in games where non-troops score.

Storm Troopers:
Casual

Guardsman Marbo

I love a good Pro-Am special, and Marbo might be the Pro-Am-iest of the entire codex. A poor mans callidus assassin for half the cost and with no need to be an inquisitor, Marbo is only 20 pts more than a six man heavy weapon squad with demo charge in the old codex, and this time doesn’t scatter when he arrives. He can show up, anywhere on the table, drop a demo charge, and if he lives until his next turn, shoot and charge a light unit and do some serious damage, with five attacks at WS5 always wounding on a 2+.

He’s a pro am unit because he really doesn’t help much against top tier armies (blood crushers are too big to really get caught under a demo charge, assault terminators have a 3++, and nob bikes have a 4+ cover save and big bases), and most top armies can either ignore him, or deal with him easily.

Still, expect a lot of IG armies to run him, as he brings an element of surprise to a list that is often very stodgy, and if used properly against the right enemy, he can really do some serious damage.

Guardsman Marbo:
Competitive

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2009/05/09 15:24:12


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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SoCal, USA!

Polonius wrote:I endeavor to share some thoughts and analysis on this latest incarnation of the guard.

The cynical part of me notices the grey clad, masked rebel dead in the lower right hand corner and notices that those would be more interesting than more Cadian plastics…

Credit is prominently given to Robin Cruddace on the first page, which is a new development. I can only ponder why this change has occurred, but I assume it’s simply cheaper than paying the development staff more.

Not only are regiments formed from a single planet, they are also typically formed of only one type of company: infantry, artillery, armored, etc. ... It’s a neat bit of fluff, and also partially explains why Cadians and Catachans are the best soldiers in the Galaxy but are still indistinguishable from other regiments.

notable lack of mention of my beloved Praetorians or the RT era Necromundan Spiders.


Company Command Squad
command squads are just veterans.

TL;DR.

Seriously, that is one heck of a long review, and it covers less than 1/3 of the book. I think I'm just going to do summary thoughts and leave it at that.

I would *love* GW to do Traitor Guard / LatD as a proper Codex, even with generic Daemons, it would be awesome.

The cynic in me thinks Robin get's solo prime credit because nobody else on the Dev team wanted to be associated with this thing.

The regimental Fluff is interesting, and a decent retconn patch. Tho, I'd rather GW spent more time on making Platoons more variable versus overloading Veterans again.

So all of the other modeled Guard have a text blurb? Good.

FWIW, I suggested CCS to be Veterans.

Anyhow, good stuff - keep going!

   
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Baltimore, MD

JohnHwangDD wrote:
TL;DR.

Seriously, that is one heck of a long review, and it covers less than 1/3 of the book. I think I'm just going to do summary thoughts and leave it at that.


I, like my namesake, do not know the meaning of the word Brevity.

FWIW, I suggested CCS to be Veterans.


and I"m almost positive I suggested the blob platoon rule. Eerie.

Edit: I actually found it. It was off the cuff, but it's basically the rule that was adopted:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/30/215251.page#340120


Anyhow, good stuff - keep going!


Thanks, I did something similar back in the day on 40k Online, and a lot of people liked it there. Too many tactica articles 5 years ago were just lists of all the units, and I'm glad we've moved past that, but those were very useful as well. Hopefully we can really get some ideas brewing about the new IG list.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 10:06:14


My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Finland

The final nail in the power weapons coffin for Commanders is his new Initiative of 4, meaning he’s swinging last against nearly everything anyway, making the fist the clear choice for a combat oriented officer.


Minor typo nitpick: the commander has Initiative 3.

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Solid review,cant wait to get my hands on the new codex.

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Baltimore, MD

A-P wrote:
The final nail in the power weapons coffin for Commanders is his new Initiative of 4, meaning he’s swinging last against nearly everything anyway, making the fist the clear choice for a combat oriented officer.


Minor typo nitpick: the commander has Initiative 3.


That's not a nit pick, that's catching a silly error. I'll fix it pronto.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Belgium

The first really new unit in the codex, the Psyker Battle Squad is a meta game changing event. Its primary ability, Weaken Resolve, can lower the leadership of any unit within 36” and LOS by the number of psykers, to a minimum of 2. Combine with any shooting to cause fall backs, or pinning to pin the squad, and a Warmachine worthy combination is formed.

Fot a really worthy combination, toss in some rough riders or an outflanking squad. Since a unit that is assaulted needs to regroup or is destroyed, and that weaken resolve works till the end of the turn, charging broken squads is very powerful. Of course, rough riders compete with a lot of other options in the fast attack department, but I feel I'll be squeezing in at least a single unit just for this possibility. First one to pull this off with Nob bikers needs to take a pic of the orc player's face and post it!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 10:47:58


A Squeaky Waaagh!!

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Mordheim/Germany

Thanks for the review, Polonius!

Greets
Schepp himself

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Sheffield, UK

Good stuff so far and I eagerly await the rest of this. You should turn this into an article when you’re done.

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George Spiggott wrote:Good stuff so far and I eagerly await the rest of this. You should turn this into an article when you’re done.


Agreed. I've been waiting for a detailed tactical review by people who are more current on the rules than I, and this is excellent. Thank you.
   
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Attempting to steal thunder are we Polonius. This will not be forgotten. *shakes fist*

   
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Baltimore, MD

H.B.M.C. wrote:Attempting to steal thunder are we Polonius. This will not be forgotten. *shakes fist*


Hehe, not really. I've tried to stay clear of critique, really, and focus more on application of the units in a from a tactical perspective. I think there's enough IG love to go around to a couple of threads.

Anyway, the real reason behind it is I finished my last ever finals on wednesday night, so now I've got some time on my hands between now and commencement on the 17th.

My Painted Armies
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Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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I would hope an IG list would shoot Ork Boyz and SM tactical squads rather than have Ogryn charge them. I would hope the Ogryn would stop/slow down the real threat to IG lines in assault. Daemon Princes, Greater Daemons, Characters on foot/bike that normally rampage through IG armies. It can be rather easy to screen some of those fast moving threats until they jump a unit, get tied up in thier assault phase and win in the opponents assault phase thereby jumping from unit to unit almost unscathed.
   
Made in gb
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Southampton

Await your musings on Penal Legionaires with interest. 80 pts for a throw away unit, that "might" get some "ok" close combat skills?

   
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Polonius wrote:I've tried to stay clear of critique, really, and focus more on application of the units in a from a tactical perspective.


Well I'll be staying clear or critique as well, and heading more towards trivial nitpicking.


   
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Really enjoying it, keep at it.

 
   
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Baltimore, MD

DarthDiggler wrote:I would hope an IG list would shoot Ork Boyz and SM tactical squads rather than have Ogryn charge them. I would hope the Ogryn would stop/slow down the real threat to IG lines in assault. Daemon Princes, Greater Daemons, Characters on foot/bike that normally rampage through IG armies. It can be rather easy to screen some of those fast moving threats until they jump a unit, get tied up in thier assault phase and win in the opponents assault phase thereby jumping from unit to unit almost unscathed.


Hmm, that's a really good point. The problem with Ogryn is that even with Stubborn they're only LD7, meaning they hold roughly half the time. Sure, you can charge say a Chaos lord with blood feeder with four Ogryn (equal points), the Lord will get, on average, 11 attacks, with 22/3 hitting, 22/9 wounding for 2.5 total wounds. The four ogryn have 17 attacks on the charge, hit 8.5 times, wound 17/3 of the time, and cause 17/9 unsaved wound. The Ogryn take a test on LD 7, break 42% of the time, but do lay some hurt on the guy. Against an Ork warboss it's even bloodier, causing only 4.25 saves but actually causing 2 unsaved wounds again. the problem is that the warboss has five attacks, for 10/3 hits, 50/18 wounds, and at S10 that wipes out two full Ogryn. They still test on a Seven, and still did two wounds, but they're pretty beat up after that.

Adding in the ripper gun shooting, and they kill both on the charge, on average.


Against anything T4 in Terminator armor, four ogryn on the charge are only doing about one wound.

Against Greater daeomons, particularly, the Bloodthirster, you throw six ogryn against it. Now, odds are the Thirster will get the charge, but assuming an Ogryn charge, the Thirster swings first and five times, hitting 10/3, wounding 50/18, for 2.5 total wounds. The six ogryn have 25 attacks, 25/3 hit due to the WS10, 25/6 wound, and 25/9 are unsaved, for 2.77 wounds. With the instrument, the thirster gets the win, but gets pretty beat up in the process.

I don't deny that the Ogryn are a pretty decent close combat unit, I just think that they units they excel at are a pretty narrow front, and dropping 15-240pts on a unit that excels in optimum situations against a few unit types is a pretty heavy luxury.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Baltimore, MD

Flashman wrote:Await your musings on Penal Legionaires with interest. 80 pts for a throw away unit, that "might" get some "ok" close combat skills?


I won't be getting to troops until later tonight, but with Penal Legions you get what you pay for. I've got more thoughts, but I feel comfortable saying that a squad of 10 in 1850 is at least a competitive choice.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Mordheim/Germany

I thought Ogryns were more of a tarpitting unit against pretty much anything without S10. They have a load of T5 wounds, if there was just a way to give them a better leadership...

Greets
Schepp himself

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 19:53:10


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Will you write it up?

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Get your own Dakka Code!

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SoCal, USA!

Polonius wrote:Psyker Battle Squad
This unit also is only 110pts, with a 55pts chimera added if desired.

Still, for a shockingly low price and with no real competition for the elites slot, a PBS with Chimera is basically the must have unit from the new codex.

I want to talk about this unit specifically.

I'm not convinced it's a must-have.

   
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Schepp himself wrote:I thought Ogryns were more of a tarpitting unit against pretty much anything without S10. They have a load of T5 wounds, if there was just a way to give them a better leadership...

Well, there are, but all of them rely on independent characters (Commissar Lord, Primaris Psyker, SoB Canoness), so are an automatic liability.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/08 21:35:00


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Excellent review so far, I am really enjoying it.
It occured to me reading that Straken + Eversor would be a good time...


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Bothell, WA

Good review started!

On the Psychic battle squad (I left my codex at home) Does the leadership drop with weaken resolve last through the entire turn (both players) or only the IG players turn? Or only the IG player's shooting phase?

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asugradinwa wrote:Good review started!

On the Psychic battle squad (I left my codex at home) Does the leadership drop with weaken resolve last through the entire turn (both players) or only the IG players turn? Or only the IG player's shooting phase?


It says until end of the turn, which I'd assume means until the end of the IG players turn.

My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
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Bothell, WA

Damn... I was hoping it could reduce eldrad or a lash prince's leadership to 2 so he couldn't use his powers.

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Polonius wrote:
Artwork and Introduction

The cover is busy, to be sure, but I think it does a better job of showing that the IG relies on masses of soldiers, tanks, and support than previous covers did. I do wonder what the officer in the red lined cape is standing on, however. It’s either nothing at all or the tracks of a Chimera, neither of which seem like a wise place to lead soldiers from. The cynical part of me notices the grey clad, masked rebel dead in the lower right hand corner and notices that those would be more interesting than more Cadian plastics… but it passes.


Funny how codex covers always show the army in question kicking another army's butt. This may be the first time a codex cover's army is kicking the butt of another army from the same codex.

BTW it appears to me the caped officer is standing on the Chimera's track guard, the front of which can be seen just to the right.

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