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Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

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

If the PBS could do that, then even I'd be singing their praises!

   
Made in us
Phanobi





Paso Robles, CA, USA

H.B.M.C. wrote:
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.




And honestly, let's stick with what we know.

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings.
Look on My works, Ye Mighty, and despair.

Chris Gohlinghorst wrote:Holy Space Marine on a Stick.

This conversation has even begun to boggle my internet-hardened mind.

A More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy 
   
Made in us
Rough Rider with Boomstick





Philadelphia

Love the review, cant wait for more.

I agree with just about everything, but even if I though you were on crack, I like the way you are writting it.

Well done, you.

Big Troy, The Samurai Gunslinger of South Philly

Dystopian Wars fleets: KoB, EotBS, Prussian, FSA
Firestorm Armada Fleets: Sorellian

Current 5th ed WL record
Salamander Marines 22-3(Local) GT Circuit 2-0-1
Mech Vet Guard 54-8-4 (local) 5-1 Ard Boyz


 
   
Made in ca
Longtime Dakkanaut





Ottawa Ontario Canada

Keepin it coming man! Great job so far.

Only thing I'd add is about creed. He's pricy but I think the ability for him to give any unit the ability to outflank is potentially a big deal.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/09 02:34:29


Do you play 30k? It'd be a lot cooler if you did.  
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

Troops

Infantry Platoon
In the recent White Dwarf, Robin stated that the Infantry Platoon is probably the most complicated unit entry in all of 40k. After reading the codex, I have to agree, but really only with the definition of complicated to mean “lots of moving parts.” For anybody with sound intelligence, the Infantry Platoon makes a lot of sense. As the beginning makes clear, a Platoon consists of a Platoon Command squad, 2-5 Infantry Squads, 0-5 Heavy weapon squads, 0-3 Special Weapon Squads, and 0-1 Conscript Platoon. Each unit acts independently but the entire platoon is one choice for deployment and reserves.

The head of the Platoon is the Platoon Command Squad, or PCS, led by the rather drably named “Platoon Commander,” or PC. I suspect many old IG player will continue to call the Platoon Commander a JO, or even a Lieutenant for quite a while. The PCS has many of the options a CCS does, losing the ability to take Camo or Carapce, or a Regimental Standard, or any of the Regimental Advistors, but gaining the ability to add a commissar. In addition, the PCS can only issue a single order at 6”, from the basic list of FRF!SRF!, Move, Move, Move, and Incoming. In terms of sheer abilities, the CCS is far better at only 20pts more, gaining if nothing else two more wounds from the Company Commander, BS4, and the far sexier orders. Of course, the PCS is part of a troops choice and can be taken in frighteningly large numbers, and the reduced cost and abilities don’t matter if you’re using the PCS properly.

Much like the CCS, which could either support a gunline or operate on its own as a deadly short range unit, the PCS can either support a small fire base or operate on it’s own, or really perform a mixture of both. The orders available to it make the PCS fare more of an “add-on” than a real performance booster to infantry squads:

First Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire! Adds a shot unto the lasguns in a unit, which heavy weapon teams lose their lasgun and sergeants not longer have the option means that if you use this order squads will once again have almost as many lasgun shots as before. Extra lasgun shots are easy to ignore, but if instead of this order every PCS could shoot 6 S3 shots at either 12” assault or 24” heavy… well, we’d be interested in that, right? Even if only available 55% of the time, 6 more shots is 6 more shots. Never rely on this power, but never forget that it’s available.

Move! Move! Move! A squad that runs gets to roll 3d6 and pick the highest. Huh. Even less obviously useful than FRF!SRF!, this order actually adds a almost two inches to the average run move, from 3.5 to around 5”. This means that a squad moving to claim an objective or set up a better firing lane, or just moving on in Dawn of War, can scoot a little farther. IMO this is the first power to check for good uses of, as the game is won by claiming objectives.

Incoming! GW must have a surplus of exclamation points. A bigger, better Go to Ground, it forces a squad to give up all movement and shooting in the next turn, and since orders are given at the beginning of the shooting phase, they lose the current turns shooting as well. If you have squad camped on an objective that can be shot at, and a 3+ save isn’t good enough, Incoming turns it into a 2+ save. This could be handy, but who tries to clear IG from objectives through shooting? This order is sort of like road flares: you’ll probably never need it, but you’ll feel really cool the one time you do.


So, with PCS not being that good at leading troops, and no longer providing a leadership bubble, what do they do, I hear my readers ask. The answer, surprising, is fight pretty well. The basic PCS is only 30pts, or cheaper than a Special weapon squad, and can take up to four specials. With the BS 3 of the PCS, and BS4 readily available on Vets and CCS, flamers become noticeably better, as do grenade launchers due to their affordability. Snipers aren’t bad if you really hate ratlings, but at 50pts for 4 snipers you are turning down 5 ratlings that are BS4 and have stealth. Meltas are still not a bad call, as a 70pt double melta squad will still hit twice, and given a chimera they can project the firepower surprisingly well. Plasmas are both expensive and available in too many other places to be more than fun option for the PCS. None of the heavy weapons really add much, as single BS3 Heavy weapons are basically the raison d’etre of infantry squads. Load up on specials where you can and where they are cheap. In addition, any special heavy PCS used to be a liability when units could consolidate into new units. Now, as long as you avoid a multi-charge an enemy squad can hit an infantry squad, wipe it out, and then have to twist while the four flamers behind them do their worst.

In a fun twist, the PCS is actually also not a terrible countercharge unit. While probably not usable as such in competitive play, the availability of 15pt power fists and Commissars, also with 15pt hidden fists, turns the PCS into a punchy little unit in combat. The x factor is the commissar, which at 35 pts is not cheap for a one wound character. Stubborn, while often poor in many squads, is very hand in small, easily dispatched squads. The scenario goes something like this: a full PCS with four flamers, commissar, and two fists get out of their chimera and move towards a tactical squad. They hose it down with promethium, killing 3-4. The survivors are charged, and the small handful of marines can’t do enough wounds to actually kill either fist, which then proceed to knock 2 more down. They get easily dispatched in the next turn, but they prevent the tactical squad from charging another unit, or worse, popping a tank. That whole squad runs 115pts and while it is a bit of luxury, it’s genuinely deadly with LD9 and stubborn, as well as two S6 powerfists. The platoon standard is a possibility, but at 15pts is not worth giving up a special weapon slot unless combined with every possible HtH upgrade.

When equipping the PCS, the list of options seems to settle into five big questions:
Which special to add four of?
Do I add a commissar?
Do I add powerfists?
Do I mount the squad in a chimera?
Do I buy plasma pistols for the PC and/or Commissar?

Believe it or not, both the commissar and the Platoon commander are BS4, and can snag 10pt plasma pistols, adding surprisingly decent option to the PCS.

At this point, I basically see the following builds of PCS dominating the early builds:

Four flamers, chimera (possibly commissar/fist combo)
Four Grenade Launchers on foot (cheap and fun)(can add toys if desired)
Four meltas, Chimera (possible PP)

It seems like the role of the PCS is limited to short range fire after a squad is wiped out, or possible as a cut rate melta platform, but any army that is taking infantry platoons needs mobile special weapons available, not more heavy weapons.

To add variety, you can replace the standard Platoon Commander with Commander Chenkov for 50pts. Chenchov gains a point of LD, a wound, bolt pistol, Power weapon, and Carapace armor, along with a few special rules. Forward you dogs makes every unit within 12” Stubborn. As discussed above, I’m less bullish about casually stubborn units than many people, and I’m often worried that he’s going to prevent a key break rather than keep a key unit in position. I might be stressing needlessly, but IG, more than really any other army, don’t want to pass every leadership test. He is, however, able to use two orders a turn at 12” range, but is limited to Move! Move! Move! and Get Back in the Fight! I’m not sure how often squads are breaking with his stubborn bubble, but I suppose it is a nice ability. Finally, in an army with Chenkov, Conscript Platoons can buy the ability Send In the Next Wave, which allows the unit to be removed from the table as casualties at the beginning of any turn. In addition, any squad with this rule that is removed from play returns at the beginning of the controlling players next turn. This is really nice ability, it’s just a shame that it costs 75pts per squad to apply.

An army with Chenkov is going to be built around having a rock hard backbone that isn’t going to simply melt away in close combat. Now, that may or may not always be a good thing, but Chenkov coupled with a CCS with Standard will enable the IG to tarpit pretty effectively. Add in the neat ability of a conscript platoon to charge in, test on their own LD (which still isn’t very good), and then disappear in the next IG turn to allow for shooting, and Chenkov has some interesting merits, but requires a substantial amount of work to build an army around.

If you prefer your platoon based special characters to be both more stylish and more dynamic, then Captain Al’Rahem can add that touch of the exotic to even the most humdrum IG gunline for 70pts. Like Chenkov, he’s an upgrade to a basic PCS and comes with +1 W, +1 Ld, a plasma pistol, and the Claw of the Desert Tigers; a power weapon that inflicts instant death. Al’Rhahem also has two orders at 12”, and is able to use FRF!SRF! and Bring It Down, along with a unique order, that allows a unit to shoot and then run in the same shooting phase. In addition, his entire platoon must outflank.

With the Claw and the PP worth about 20pts of the upgrade on their own, and the bonus orders (particularly since Bring it Down is arguably the best order) solidly worth another 15 (based on the 20pt difference between the PCS and the CCS), the real question is if having an entire platoon outflank is worth 35pts. With an Astropath to guide him, Al’Rahem can bring troops into the flank of the enemy reliably. The squads may mount up in Chimeras, dramatically extending the threat radius. Outflanking does prevent those early game parking lots that can dramatically cut into the IG’s effectiveness, allowing a platoon to come out, hopefully (with a 59% chance), on turn 2 where needed.

Some fun Al’Rahem tricks to consider:

Al’Rahem, his PCS, four flamers, a commissar with fist and a chimera runs 225pts, and can really mess up light units that tend to hang back and shoot. With a free smoke launcher, successful turn three burninations on rangers, scouts, Devestators, lootas, etc. are all far easier. For spice, drop the flamers for meltas, and with Bring it Down add some anti-vehicle spice. Droppping the Commissar saves 50pts, making the all flamer version a much leaner 175pts.

A basic squad with flamer in a chimera is 110pts, and with Al’Rahem can outflank to control/contest objectives (even the IG’s own) or harass light troops. For more fun, give the Chimeras a heavy flamer in the hull.

Two of the above, plus the stripped down melta squad runs 415pts, for a decent threat to enemy armor and lighter infantry.

Alas, any squat on foot will probably be easily dealt with, as it’s just not hard for your opponent to deploy his forces so they can’t get flamed from the flanks, and Special Weapon Squads can’t take chimeras. Heavy weapon squads don’t belong in reserves if it can be helped, and conscripts are kind of lousy.

All in all, I think Al’Rahem is fun, but costs too much in terms of points and turns of firing to be truly top grade.


The backbone of the list, or at least the backbone of previous IG lists, is the humble Infantry Squad. 10 Guardsmen, a Sergeant, a special weapon, a Heavy Weapon, and maybe a commissar or Chimera make up the least assuming squad in 40k. The Sergeant is now a mandatory veteran, and the squad now has frag grenades, but the squad is essentially unchanged from previous incarnations. The world, however, has moved around it, changing its role pretty dramatically from the centerpiece of the list to almost a supporting role for more dynamic elements. While all infantry builds are still possible, they give up what are clearly the best three things in the codex: vets in valks, vendettas, and heavy support

The critical change in terms of Fifth edition for infantry squads is the ability to combine up into large, “blob squads.” This is crucial ability to avoid getting hosed in KP missions, but aside from those, two smaller squads are almost superior. The other key time to consider blobbing up is in Dawn of war missions, where each side may only deploy two units. There isn’t too much to discuss here, as the tactics will be felt out, and nothing needs to be bought. Larger squads do become slightly more viable in HtH, and can still churn out some decent shooting.

The basic squad runs 50pts, and can take any of the five specials for the basic price. In nice revisit to the GW rule of threes, really only three of the options are viable. Snipers are too unreliable and wonky to fit well into line squads, and the melta gun really needs both numbers and movement to work as an option, and there are far better places to load up on melta guns. That leaves the flamer, the grenade launcher, and the plasma gun to compete for slots. Before analyzing what specials to take, let’s figure out what heavies to take. In the heavy weapons, the mortar is the cheapest and the likely choice for bare bones squads. The heavy bolter is as good as always, but at the same cost as the autocannon simply cannot compete, as the autocannon is good against light and medium infantry, decent against meqs, and good against light and medium vehicles, as well as high T creatures. The Missile Launcher is now pricier than the Autocannon despite being barely able to compete at the same cost, and is only five points cheaper than the lascannon. While Lascannons aren’t knocking out Land raiders anymore, they are still among the best weapons for Armor as low as AV12, Monstrous creatures, and anything with a 2+ save. In other words, just because it’s not good at its job doesn’t mean it’s not the best at its job. This leaves three main choices: mortar, Autocannon, Lascannon. Luckily, the three pair up neatly with the three special choices, forming mortar/flamer, AC/GL, and Las/plas squads quite neatly. Mortar Flamer is a dedicated anti-infantry squad that emphasis affordability. The Autocannon/Grenade Launcher combo is best for dealing with enemy vehicles and does decent double duty at anti-infnatry. The las/plas combo is best at dealing with 2+ saves and armored vehicles.

One of the most interesting debates has to be the very role of infantry squads themselves. If an army is only taking a few, I would recommend focusing on the most efficient variant: Autocannon & Grenade Launcher. This adds great punch against light vehicles while adding lasguns and bodies to the list. Anti-tank weapons aren’t hard to come by in the list, but 65pts AC/GL squads are a dirt cheap way to get some durable mid strength shots. If you are taking a few more squads, than the lascannon is the best way to go. Able to deal with any threat, a squad of 10 guardsmen in cover will enable a lascannon to fire for quite some time. Only in the largest infantry armies is there any reason to take Mortars in infantry squads (and I’ll argue later that Penal Legionaires perform the light screening and flanking duties of the Mortar/flamer quite well). If points are available, upgunning the GLs to Plasma Guns adds more punch, both against vehicles and against armored infantry. While the IG’s need of squad based AP2 depends on what other units are in the list, even at 15pts a plasma gun is simply good at what it does. At all costs, avoid not including a heavy or special in a squad. Even bizarre combinations like Lascannon/flamer are better than simply taking the lascannon alone.

This seems as good a time as any to discuss voxes, which now allow a squad to re-roll the leadership test for an order if both the officer and the squad have a vox. Given the relatively limited applications for orders on infantry squads, it seems unlikely that a 5pt upgrade (plus five points on the command squad) is worth it to gain a better chance at an Order. With 65pts AC/GL squads and 85pt las/plas squads, a 10pt bump (for the two voxes) is an 11-15% increase in cost, solely to gain a 27% increased chance to get off an order, none of which are critical to the function of line squads. In short, I do not recommend voxes.

Basic Infantry squads can take commissars, in the same way as a PCS, however the commissar may not take a powerfist, although squad sergeants can now take power weapons (albeit at 10pts a piece). One interesting idea floating around is to take a single commissar with PW, and several squads blobbed up, all with power weapons and flamers. With, say, three such squads you get 30 men, 12 S3 Power weapon attacks, 3 Flamers, and LD9 and Stubborn for 220pts. This unit, it should be painfully obvious, is vastly inferior to Ork boys in nearly every way, and while it could surprise the unaware (particularly if combined with Creed or Straken’s ability to confer Furious Charge) the goal of IG counter charge is to protect the infantry squads, not be infantry squads. In case anybody is wondering what the purpose of infantry squads is, it’s to protect the tanks from HtH assault. So, let the infantry squad get charged instead of the tank, and then send in a PCS to deal with the enemy unit. Let the infantry squads do the shooting and the dying, not the assaulting. The ability to take Krak grenades is finally properly priced at about 10pts, but the 5pt melta bomb for the sergeant simply seems like the better option.

The final ability of the infantry squad is the ability to take a Chimera. While nearly mandatory for the CCS and Psyker Battle Squad, and highly recommend for a PCS, the Chimera is pretty mediocre for the infantry squad. It is often worth buying, however, to give the ride to a Special Weapon Squad or even Heavy weapon squad. The reason they’re not that essential to Infantry squads is because the squads aren’t really good at shooting on the move, and have the bodies to survive all but dedicated anti-infantry shooting.

Joining the Infantry Squads in Infantry Platoons for the first time since 2nd edition, Heavy Weapon Squads are now troops. All heavy weapons teams are now two wound large bases, meaning they can be instant killed by S6 and above weapons, and also lose the bonus lasguns. In addition, wound allocation means that every two wounds will kill a heavy weapon team, instead of the old “kill three loaders before I lose a lascannon” tricks. This downgrade outweighs the shift to troops and the price break across the board on heavy weapons. Three lascannons run 105pts, 3 autocannons 75pts, and three mortars are only 60pts, making these squads cheap ways to get lots of weapons, but their fragility, coupled with their low LD making orders more difficult (guess what unit can’t take a vox, or a chimera?). With heavy weapons in general simply not being as good, it’s hard to see heavy weapon teams thriving in anything but specializing builds, featuring a dozen plus such squads with devastating alpha strike firepower. Even the price of krak grenades is screwed up, with the upgrade costing 5pts despite there only being three models in a squad.

Speaking of Krak Grenades, Special Weapon Squads can’t take those at all. Or voxes. Or Chimeras. Because those upgrades would actually be useful to a special weapon squad. Amazingly, Special Weapon Squads also lose the frag grenades all other guardsmen have.

Anyways, if you really like special weapons, and have run out of veteran squads, CCS and PCSs, then consider buying special weapon squads. They cost more than a PCS for less value, but they can take a demo charge for the new improved price of 20pts. SWS troopers must take three special weapons, so the cheapest possible SWS is the same cost of Guardsman Marbo, and get a less accurate demo charge, no way to get into position, and two more flamers for their effort. This squad reeks of afterthought. Anyway, all smarminess aside, taking one with two flamers and a demo charge isn’t terrible option, but as stated above, veterans and the PCS really are superior in nearly every way.

If you’ve thought my opinion of the options declines as this epic unit entry carries on, rest assured it’s reaching its nadir with Conscripts. Conscripts lose close order drill, the ability to take flamers, and every other Guardsman in the game dropped in price… so conscripts stayed the exact same price. Seriously, I’m supposed to buy 20 dudes with lasguns and LD5 (and no really good way to boost it) instead of 10 stubborn, LD 8 Penal legionnaires? Oh, I can spend 75 pts to get more of the useless things in case they die. At that point, 20 recycling guardsmen cost as much as 10 veterans with meltaguns in a chimera. I don’t understand GW sometimes. This unit is garbage and shouldn’t be taken.

Infantry Platoon: Competitive
PCS: Very Competitive
Chenkov: Semi-Competitive
Al’Rahem: Semi-Competitive
Infantry Squads: Very competitive (the AC/GL variant, the rest are Competitive)
Heavy Weapon Squads: Competitive (if done right… more is more with these guys)
Special Weapon Squads: Semi-Competitive
Conscripts: Casual



Veteran Squad
After the odyssey that was the Infantry squad, the next unit in the codex is an old favorite, the Veteran Squad. Veterans are basic guardsmen with BS4, and some very interesting weapons options available to them. On quirk shared by the Storm Trooper and the Veteran is that unlike previous versions, the basic trooper is still LD7, with the Sergeant being LD8. I suppose it makes losing the Sarge more poignant, but I liked the old all 8 leadership stat. In a more serious lose, Veterans can no longer infiltrate, and like the rest of the list have lost the ability Deep Strike. Curiously, they squad also lost the ability to have lp/ccw.

The star of the show for Veterans is the ability to take three special weapons, making them the anti-tank squad of choice along with the CCS, all mounted in either Chimeras or Valkyries. The sniper rifle is a complete waste on the veterans, and flamers and Grenade Launchers can be gotten for cheaper elsewhere (a PCS or SWS, perhaps), leaving the Plasma gun as the other top notch option for the Vets. The downside to the Plasma gun is their ready availability in platoons, Leman Russ Exterminators, and even sentinels (well, the last two are plasma cannons, but they share a common target pool). One veteran can take a Heavy Flamer instead of another special, but like in command squads, the cost in both points and opportunity is too great for anything other than a fun choice. Veterans can take a heavy weapon, and the decision of whether or not to take advantage of that will no doubt be the source of much future debate. My current rule of thumb is: never for Airmobile squads, always for foot squads, and sometimes for mechanized squads. If you’re packing melta guns in a chimera, you might expect to move full speed, but you also might stay put to shoot with the chimera. In those times, packing an autocannon for 10pts is simply a good buy. Further, vets with three plasmas and a lascannon run only 135pts, and can tuck into cover or a Chimera to provide great cover fire.

The squad as a whole can take shotguns instead of lasguns, and again, if air mobile take shotguns, but other wise take lasguns. Vets will be charging rarely enough to make a difference, but if you can model them, the melta squads will eventually benefit from being assault 2 instead of rapid fire.

Veterans are also the one time I’d really recommend a vox, as a CCS can use Bring it down or Fire on My Target very well with Veterans. 10pts is still ten points, but it’s not a bad buy for these guys.

The Veteran Sargent has a nice array of weapon options, the same as Company Commander, including a 15pt fist or a 10pt plasma pistol. While you really don’t want these guys in combat, it’s feasible that the 15pt fist could save the squad. I’d probably stick with the plasma pistol if anything.

Veterans can take one of three doctrines: Carapace armor, camo cloaks and defensive grenades, or melta bombs and a demo charge, all for 30pts. Carapace armor is overpriced as always, but provides a good way to use Kasrkin models without having to swallow the awful Storm Trooper rules. The camo cloaks are also quite pricy, and defensive grenades are nice but not enough to save veterans from anything but the weakest charging unit. Demolitions add a nice mix to the squad, and while 30pts is a lot of points for a demo charge in an airmobile squad that charge can often reap huge benefits. Melta bombs are also generally good. All in all, Demolitions is the best of the three, but all are at least 10pts over priced for what they do.

The good old Ox model makes a comeback in the form of Gunnery Sergeant Harker, a 55pt upgrade for a Veteran Sergeant that comes with a relenetless heavy bolter and feels no pain. Harker also grants the squad stealth, move through cover, and infiltrate. Interestingly, this can still be combined with any doctrine except carapace armor, which means a single Veterans squad could have three melta guns, a demo charge, a lascannon, and a heavy bolter. Of course, that squad would cost 205pts, but that’s a lotta dakka. In a more serious vein, Harker combined with three flamers is probably the best way to go, running at 140pts and able to outflank or otherwise sneak about. While not really top notch, it’s a fun option that allows what al’Rahem does not: a good outflanking unit.

Answering the demand nobody expressed, the final option for Veterans is a Kasrkin Special Character, Sergeant Bastonne. Bastonne is equipped exactly like a Kasrkin sgt: carapace armor, hot-shot laspistol, and power sword. In addition, he has Leadership 10, and the ability for his squad to always regroup, regardless of restrictions. What makes him interesting is the ability to issue his own squad a single order, picking from any of the CCS orders except “Get Back in the Fight.” With LD 10, he’s essentially a 60pt upgrade that either twin links his squad’s weapons, or forces all cover saves to be re-rolled. It’s hard to really dislike this guy, even if he makes a 100pt triple melta squad 160pts with only a 33% increase in fire power if twinlinked. He does make a squad pretty reliable, although at pretty high cost.

Veteran Squads
: Very Competitive
Gunnery Sergeant Harker: Competitive
Sergeant Bastonne: Competitive

Penal Legion Squad
The final troops choice is the Penal legion. After being presented as a unique veteran squad, a full army, and a highly customizable force, Shafer’s Last Chancers finally settle as an abstracted out generic troops choice. At their Core, Penal Legionnaires are basic Guardsmen with Lasguns, LD8, Stubborn, Scouts, and a roll on an upgrade table. The three options are either making lasguns 24” Assault 2, gaining furious charge; Fleet; amd Counter Charge, or adding a laspistol & CCW that rend in close combat. At first glance, these guys look like the possessed of the IG book, but there are two key differences: one is that you roll for their rule before deployment, and the second is that all three options lead to a productive use for the legionaires.

The first roll, that of assault 2 lasguns, is most boring but in many ways the punchiest. 18 24” range shots per turn, even at BS3 and S3 will lay three wounds on T4 a turn, which is the same as a heavy bolter heavy weapon squad, and can move while doing so. In this role, the legionaires are best used as a simple screen, scouting forward to begin shooting right away, and falling back to avoid getting charged. As stubborn troops, they will be expected to charge the enemy, and hold with the last few members of the squad to prevent the enemy from getting the charge on my valuable squads.

The second roll is that of knife fighters makes the squad slightly faster and slightly better in combat. This unit should either be outflanked to deal with enemy light fire support, or kept on a flank or as a mobile reserve to tie up the enemy when they’re breakthrough is approaching. Again, unless the unit charged can kill 10 guardsmen, they’re testing to hold on LD8, which passes 73% of the time. The fleet rule is the big winner here, as it stretches the charge range nicely.

The final roll make the unit psychopaths, gaining a second attack and rending, turning mild mannered guardsmen into extremely low rent genestealers. With the ability to actually do a few wounds on the charge, as well as retaining the ability to be stubborn, psychopaths are the clear winners. They can countercharge, they can outflank, they can hold up the enemy, they can screen your better troops, all for a mere 80pts a squad.

Simply because the best builds of IG are going to be mostly mechanized, the top notch usefulness of the Penal Legion will suffer, although it will be a strong unit in many lists.

Penal Legion: Competitive

Chimera
The only dedicated transport available to the IG is the Chimera. While essentially the same old tank, it got a 30pt price break, and the top hatch now allows five models inside to fire. Add in a special rule that allows an officer inside to use orders measuring from the Chimera’s hull, and the new rules make the once over-costed and under armored Chimera fun again.

First, nobody is going to confuse the chimera with a Wave Serpent, a devilfish, or even a Razorback. Only AV12 up front and AV10 along the long, long side flanks make Chimeras less durable than I’d like, and their sole back hatch and restrictive weapons make the Chimera a weird combination of not very good transport and not horribly good light tank. It is cheap, readily available, and if surrounded by enough friendly armor, annoyingly durable.

The Chimera now simply comes standard with Multi-laser and Hull Heavy bolter, both can be switched for a Heavy Flamer and the Multi-laser can be switched for a heavy bolter. The auto cannon turret is suspiciously absent, most likely because even 65pt chimers with auto cannons would dominate the mechanize battlefields of 5th edition. Anyway, I’d never recommend taking out the multi-laser, but subbing the heavy flamer in the hull is a good choice for a chimera that is mostly going to be moving anyway.

Chimeras serve three major purposes in the IG list: pillboxes for shooting squads, slingshots for melta or flamer heavy squads, and taxis for objective grabbers. The last two will often be combined, of course, but while the Chimera isn’t really built for either role, it’s cheap enough to fake it. As an added bonus, the Chimera gets smoke launchers for free.

Chimera: Highly Competitive

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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Killer Klaivex






Forever alone

Edit: Nevermind

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/09 07:01:29


People are like dice, a certain Frenchman said that. You throw yourself in the direction of your own choosing. People are free because they can do that. Everyone's circumstances are different, but no matter how small the choice, at the very least, you can throw yourself. It's not chance or fate. It's the choice you made. 
   
Made in fi
Junior Officer with Laspistol







A minor thing my opponent on Thursday used to my demise was that the extra D6" of movement given by Al'Rahem's special order do not count as running, so there's nothing stopping the affected squad from assaulting, if they don't fire lasguns or heavies.

"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
Hardened Veteran Guardsman





Mishawaka, Indiana

Just noticed that if you use the DH codex you can get the Inquisitorial Stormtroopers for 10pts each, and you could use the new Hellgun rules with them, giving you the AP3 for relatively cheap, and it could be a good way to give backup to all the veteran squads that are being fielded.

just an observation

by the way, I like the in depth analyzing of the codex! Really makes me think about my tactics and how I organize my army.

1500 (Work In Progress) 
   
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Rough Rider with Boomstick





Philadelphia

damn that is one detailed review, not 100 percent with you on some of the ratings, but I have to aplaud the effort, and think it will be of great use to many guard newbs

you did make a good point in favor of the penal legion, I keep wanting to dismiss them as useless due to the randomness factor, but in an infantry army I can see them having a legitimate role.


Big Troy, The Samurai Gunslinger of South Philly

Dystopian Wars fleets: KoB, EotBS, Prussian, FSA
Firestorm Armada Fleets: Sorellian

Current 5th ed WL record
Salamander Marines 22-3(Local) GT Circuit 2-0-1
Mech Vet Guard 54-8-4 (local) 5-1 Ard Boyz


 
   
Made in au
Killer Klaivex






Forever alone

ShadowRocket wrote:Just noticed that if you use the DH codex you can get the Inquisitorial Stormtroopers for 10pts each, and you could use the new Hellgun rules with them, giving you the AP3 for relatively cheap, and it could be a good way to give backup to all the veteran squads that are being fielded.

just an observation

by the way, I like the in depth analyzing of the codex! Really makes me think about my tactics and how I organize my army.

No you can't. Hellguns and Hot-shot lasguns are completely different. DH Stormies use the hellgun profile from their codex.

People are like dice, a certain Frenchman said that. You throw yourself in the direction of your own choosing. People are free because they can do that. Everyone's circumstances are different, but no matter how small the choice, at the very least, you can throw yourself. It's not chance or fate. It's the choice you made. 
   
Made in ca
Devious Space Marine dedicated to Tzeentch






Creston, BC

Polonius wrote:

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, 7 wounds, 14/3 failed saves, or nearly 5 wounds. The Nob will swing last, with 2 swings, 1.5 hit, and enough to pull a second full ogryn. The Ogryn win, 7 to 6, and kill boy with no retreat. In the second round, the three remaining Ogryn swing 10 times, hit 5, wound 10/3 and kill 2.5 boys. The 12 boys remaining take 36 swings, hit 18 times, wound 6, and lay 4 wounds on the Ogryn. The Nob than throws another wound on them, and the last two Ogryn are now testing an LD8.



If the Ogryns get the charge (or even if they don't looking at the second round of combat) shouldn't the Orks need 6's to wound? str 3 v toughness 5? Ogryns would take 3 wounds on average from the boys. Next round would see 4 ogryns on 10 boyz (two more lost to fearlessness). Second round should see the Ogryns take the orks down to 6 boyz that should get one more wound and then the nobz 1.5. I could be missing something, it's late here and I need to go to bed.

Fantastic job, Polonius. I always enjoy reading your posts.

kh

   
Made in us
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Just a little nit-pic about the Commisar Lord. I think you are under stateing the usefulness of his leadership bubble.Tucked safely behind lines he can improve leadership to rattlings and Ogryn. turning Rattlings from cowards to a head ache and making sure your counter-charging Ogryn never break. His main bonus is getting Leadership up for Orders tests, that makes vox-casters un-needed up grades.

And whilst you're pointing and shouting at the boogeyman in the corner, you're missing the burglar coming in through the window.

Well, Duh! Because they had a giant Mining ship. If you had a giant mining ship you would drill holes in everything too, before you'd destory it with a black hole 
   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Special Weapons can take multiple Demo Charges, up to 3, having lost the 0-1 restriction.

And they're still Troops. Crappy Troops, but Troops nonetheless.

Plus, they're part of a basic Platoon, so Al-Rahem can Outflank them.

I don't know about your opponents, but where I play, a couple SWS popping up in the backfield and tossing a half-dozen Demo Charges is definitely going to get somebody's attention!

   
Made in us
Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

bigtmac68 wrote:damn that is one detailed review, not 100 percent with you on some of the ratings, but I have to aplaud the effort, and think it will be of great use to many guard newbs

you did make a good point in favor of the penal legion, I keep wanting to dismiss them as useless due to the randomness factor, but in an infantry army I can see them having a legitimate role.



Well, the end ratings are more to spur discussion than anything, but if there's something you disagree with, let me know. I could have missed a way to use a unit that would be good to include.

As for Penal Legion, they've got some juice. Nothing really great, but what do you want for 80pts?


kid_happy wrote:
Polonius wrote:

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, 7 wounds, 14/3 failed saves, or nearly 5 wounds. The Nob will swing last, with 2 swings, 1.5 hit, and enough to pull a second full ogryn. The Ogryn win, 7 to 6, and kill boy with no retreat. In the second round, the three remaining Ogryn swing 10 times, hit 5, wound 10/3 and kill 2.5 boys. The 12 boys remaining take 36 swings, hit 18 times, wound 6, and lay 4 wounds on the Ogryn. The Nob than throws another wound on them, and the last two Ogryn are now testing an LD8.



If the Ogryns get the charge (or even if they don't looking at the second round of combat) shouldn't the Orks need 6's to wound? str 3 v toughness 5? Ogryns would take 3 wounds on average from the boys. Next round would see 4 ogryns on 10 boyz (two more lost to fearlessness). Second round should see the Ogryns take the orks down to 6 boyz that should get one more wound and then the nobz 1.5. I could be missing something, it's late here and I need to go to bed.

Fantastic job, Polonius. I always enjoy reading your posts.

kh



You are correct sir. I'll go back and re-write that section, which may end up changing my tune on Ogryn a little bit.

sexiest_hero wrote:Just a little nit-pic about the Commisar Lord. I think you are under stateing the usefulness of his leadership bubble.Tucked safely behind lines he can improve leadership to rattlings and Ogryn. turning Rattlings from cowards to a head ache and making sure your counter-charging Ogryn never break. His main bonus is getting Leadership up for Orders tests, that makes vox-casters un-needed up grades.


I don't deny that he's useful, I just think that taking a 70pt unit simply so that other lousy units can become somewhat better (heavy weapon squads most notably) is pretty mediocre idea. Think of it this way: If a Lord Commissar is babysitting a ratling squad and four heavy weapon squads, than each of those squads essentially went up 14pts in the process. As for Ogryn, with only a 6" bubble, it's going to take some finagling to get reliable countercharge while staying in range. At roughly the same price as a triple autocannon HWS, a penal legion, or a Griffon Mortar, I can reliably think of better uses for the points. There are also better uses of the HQ slot, as the CCS is just a really, really good unit. It was one reason I wasn't going to rate the units, as I think people can regularly point out ways the units could be better rated. I do stand by my judgment that you'll probably seldom see Commissar lords in successful lists outside of casual play, unless I've completely missed something.

JohnHwangDD wrote:Special Weapons can take multiple Demo Charges, up to 3, having lost the 0-1 restriction.

And they're still Troops. Crappy Troops, but Troops nonetheless.

Plus, they're part of a basic Platoon, so Al-Rahem can Outflank them.

I don't know about your opponents, but where I play, a couple SWS popping up in the backfield and tossing a half-dozen Demo Charges is definitely going to get somebody's attention!


It's going to get their attention, but if they're reasonably experienced players they'll simply deploy with ~12" gutters on their DZ to avoid getting Demo'd. If the SWS could take a dedicated chimera, it would be a competitive unit, as would Al'Rahem. As it stands now they have a high damage potential that's often too easy to counter.

The though of taking a SWS with three Demo Charges in a Valk is somewhat interesting, but at 95pts that's not a cheap unit. Thow in even a Chimera (which they can't start the game in) and at 150pts you're basically back to the classic debate: why not take a damn Leman Russ? Adding a Valk runs 195pts, which is a demolisher with heavy bolters. A really fun build, and it can really do well in some environments, but it's just too fragile and easily countered for my liking.



My Painted Armies
: Co. B, 37th Praetorian IG: 11,000pts
Cygnar: 350pts
KOW Ogres: 4500 points
Loyalist Emperor's Children: 2500 points 
   
Made in gb
Boom! Leman Russ Commander






Wow this review is just great chears man very helpful indeed !

   
Made in us
Crafty Bray Shaman





NCRP - Humboldt County

THanks for the review Polonius. Your thoughts have given me more to think about and I most likely will finish my Cadians with a combined Catachan detachment. When will you be posting the remainder of your review?

Jean-luke Pee-card, of thee YOU ES ES Enter-prize

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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

I imagine I'll have the Fast Attack Section up at some point today, and Heavy Support either late tonight or tomorrow, with some closing thoughts to follow. I just took the sentinel entries out back and roughed them up a bit, so I'm making progress!

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
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NCRP - Humboldt County

Im in yo threadz, campin yoz reeplies

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Make it so!

 
   
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Drop Trooper with Demo Charge




Polonius wrote:I imagine I'll have the Fast Attack Section up at some point today, and Heavy Support either late tonight or tomorrow, with some closing thoughts to follow. I just took the sentinel entries out back and roughed them up a bit, so I'm making progress!


Good to hear, and btw nice review and thanks for taking the time to make it.

 
   
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Longtime Dakkanaut





Ottawa Ontario Canada

Can't wait to read the rest dude, keep it comin. I really like the your designations from highly-competative to casual, I feel it's a really great way to go about it and it doesn't come off as overly negative or childish.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2009/05/09 23:16:45


Do you play 30k? It'd be a lot cooler if you did.  
   
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I can understand your position on the commisar lord. I would like to add that in some builds, 30 rattlings, mass heavy weapons or Troop blob, the LD 10 goes a really really long way. In a chimera or a Valk, if the ability is from the hull like psy powers it's range can be Vastly Increased. In a chimera charge army, he can make sure troops in destroyed transports don't get pinned or run.

And whilst you're pointing and shouting at the boogeyman in the corner, you're missing the burglar coming in through the window.

Well, Duh! Because they had a giant Mining ship. If you had a giant mining ship you would drill holes in everything too, before you'd destory it with a black hole 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






SoCal, USA!

Polonius wrote:Well, the end ratings are more to spur discussion than anything,

Actually, your ratiings and tests should probably be reformulated as an article. They're very good.

Polonius wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:I don't know about your opponents, but where I play, a couple SWS popping up in the backfield and tossing a half-dozen Demo Charges is definitely going to get somebody's attention!

It's going to get their attention, but if they're reasonably experienced players they'll simply deploy with ~12" gutters on their DZ to avoid getting Demo'd.

A really fun build, and it can really do well in some environments, but it's just too fragile and easily countered for my liking.

And here, we're seeing the difference between Apoc and tournament play. Al Rahem & SWS & Demo Charges are solid in target-rich Apoc, not so much in sparser RTT play.

   
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Baltimore, MD

JohnHwangDD wrote:
Polonius wrote:Well, the end ratings are more to spur discussion than anything,

Actually, your ratiings and tests should probably be reformulated as an article. They're very good.


Well, the whole review is going into an article, but I could also do an article simply on how to rate and test units and a codex as a whole. It could be very meta.

Polonius wrote:
JohnHwangDD wrote:I don't know about your opponents, but where I play, a couple SWS popping up in the backfield and tossing a half-dozen Demo Charges is definitely going to get somebody's attention!

It's going to get their attention, but if they're reasonably experienced players they'll simply deploy with ~12" gutters on their DZ to avoid getting Demo'd.

A really fun build, and it can really do well in some environments, but it's just too fragile and easily countered for my liking.

And here, we're seeing the difference between Apoc and tournament play. Al Rahem & SWS & Demo Charges are solid in target-rich Apoc, not so much in sparser RTT play.

It was a very conscious decision to make the lowest rating casual, and not something more derogatory. Yes, if your group plays with Outflank In Apocalypse (it's actually not in the core rules. We've allowed Flank March to be used solely to allow outflankers to flank) than Al'Rahem is glorious, as a things like Commissar lords, creed/Keel, Ogryn, priests, and heavy weapon squads. Apocolypse allows for all kinds of units to shine by taking a lot of pressure off. Even in Apocolypse, it's hard to justify some of the units, however, which I suppose is the job of datasheets.

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

sexiest_hero wrote:I can understand your position on the commisar lord. I would like to add that in some builds, 30 rattlings, mass heavy weapons or Troop blob, the LD 10 goes a really really long way. In a chimera or a Valk, if the ability is from the hull like psy powers it's range can be Vastly Increased. In a chimera charge army, he can make sure troops in destroyed transports don't get pinned or run.


Hey, I agree that he does what he says, and can be used cleverly and well. I stand by two key assertions: that the builds in which he is critical have a tactical ceiling that isn't very high, and that taking a slot away from a second CCS with Standard eliminates a lot of his stated goal: helping with orders and morale.

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
Fixture of Dakka






on board Terminus Est

ShadowRocket wrote:Just noticed that if you use the DH codex you can get the Inquisitorial Stormtroopers for 10pts each, and you could use the new Hellgun rules with them, giving you the AP3 for relatively cheap, and it could be a good way to give backup to all the veteran squads that are being fielded.

army.


I dont believe you can do that... As they are two separate armies. Would be nice though if you could.

ALL HAIL SANGUINIUS! No one can beat my Wu Tang style!

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on board Terminus Est

sexiest_hero wrote:I can understand your position on the commisar lord. I would like to add that in some builds, 30 rattlings, mass heavy weapons or Troop blob, the LD 10 goes a really really long way. In a chimera or a Valk, if the ability is from the hull like psy powers it's range can be Vastly Increased. In a chimera charge army, he can make sure troops in destroyed transports don't get pinned or run.


I am thinking the best way to play guard is go horde and field a lot of cheap units to take advantage of orders. Too bad there is not an order to bump BS3 +1.

This is an excellent review by the way... a very objective point of view.

G

ALL HAIL SANGUINIUS! No one can beat my Wu Tang style!

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I Agree that it's a great review. I'm hoping you give and objective review on valks and Vens, I don't feel they will live up to the hype, like Ork stormboys when they first came out

And whilst you're pointing and shouting at the boogeyman in the corner, you're missing the burglar coming in through the window.

Well, Duh! Because they had a giant Mining ship. If you had a giant mining ship you would drill holes in everything too, before you'd destory it with a black hole 
   
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Decrepit Dakkanaut






Baltimore, MD

sexiest_hero wrote:I Agree that it's a great review. I'm hoping you give and objective review on valks and Vens, I don't feel they will live up to the hype, like Ork stormboys when they first came out


Well, it's hard to be too objective, as they're simply amazingly cool. Plus, no matter how you crunch the numbers they're better than any other IG fast attack choice, Faster than a Devilfish, Cheaper and punchier than a Waveserpent, and can carry squads that can really do damaged with 3 or 4 special weapons per squad. The vendetta has more firepower than Landraider for half the cost, and the Valk is a stone cold steal at a base 100pts.

That's the key thing to remember about the Valks and vedettas: they're simply very cheap units by any objective measure.

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

Fast Attack

Scout Sentinel Squadron
Sentinels have been a pretty aggressively mediocre choice for the IG for about a decade, and the newly bifurcated Scout Sentinel Squadron looks to carry that tradition into the future. Scout Sentinels, as differentiated from the ARmoured Sentinels that get front AV 12, extra armor, and the option from a plasma cannon, are simply the old sentinels with a few tweaks, notably the addition of Move Through Cover and the option to take a Missile Launcher.

The fundamental problem with Sentinels has always been that they don’t really take advantage of the benefits of a Walker platform, which is to mount up to two heavies, or a heavy and a DCCW, on a relatively light platform. Killa Kans, Warwalkers, even penitent engines somehow figure out how to mount lots of kit on a light walker, but sentinels are always stuck with one heavy weapon and no combat option. The argument has always been that that Sentinels are fast attack, and thus are light scout vehicles and won’t be heavily armed, but in my opinion, watered down heavy support is still bad heavy support, and doesn’t become good fast attack. Faced with the options of making sentinels cheaper, making them faster, or making them punchier, GW went with a gutless compromise of all three, leaving the Sentinel one of the lease exciting entries in the list.

The basic walker at 35pts with a Multilaser is a pretty decent buy, in all fairness, as it can outflank, it has a decent gun, and three of them run only 105pts. Of course, in terms of sheer firepower, three sentinels pale next to chimeras at 110pts, making the sentinel a relatively inefficient vector for the multi-laser. Oddly, the Heavy flamer and Autocannon are both 5pt upgrades, which is odd as I’d consider a heavy flamer almost always a downgrade from a multi-laser. This codex seems to value heavy flamers very highly, however, and thus all the old Catachan sentinels are nicely overcosted. The Missile Launcher is only 10pts more than a multilaser, but with the 15pt lascannon option, it’s pretty redundant. 50pts for a move and shoot lascannon looks good until compared with the Vendetta which is literally on the facing page!

The one really neat use I can think of for sentinels is to take autocannons and Hunterkiller missiles for a 50pt alpha strike, either starting on the board or outflanking. Two S7 and a S8 shot at side or rear armor can be pretty potent, and the unit is cheap enough to be a throw away unit. The downside to hunter killer missiles is mitigated by the fact that sentinels rarely, if ever, survive more than a turn or two. I can’t think of any time the heavy flamer will come in handy, now that it’s pricier and can’t deep strike, alas. Lascannon sentinels with hunter-killers might not be an awful unit, but I’d recommend keeping them cheap with multi-lasers and autocannons if you really feel the need to take them.

The squadron can take smoke launchers at 5pts per model, if you feel like overpaying for a 4+ cover save once per game at the expense of shooting.

Scout Sentinel Squadron: Semi-Competitive

Armoured Sentinel Squadron

The other half of the old sentinel entry, the Armoured Sentinel Squadron trades some mobility for far greater durability in a fire fight. For 55pts, or 20pts more than a Scout Sentinel, the Armoured Sentinel has AV12, is closed topped, losses Scout and Move through cover, has extra armor as standard, and can take a Plasma cannon for 20pts. All other options remain the same between the two.

This raises two major issues, namely if 20pts for a major armor boost is worth paying for, and if so, does that make them worth actually taking. The answer to the first is not really, the second is a pretty emphatic no. The 20pts is over half the cost of the multilaser, and a full half of the autocannon Scout Sentinel, for some pretty decent increase durability at the front, but no boost on the sides. Again, the multi-laser Armoured Sentinel simply is inferior to the Chimera when they’re the same cost, the 70pt lascannon sentinel is outclassed by the Vendetta, and the 75pt plasma cannon Sentinel is made redundant by the Executioner.

Low cost single heavy weapon vehicles work great in other armies because they are on fast vehicle chassis, and aren’t limited to moving 6” a turn. Until GW adds a second weapon (I’ve long advocated pintle heavy stubber, grenade launcher, flamer, and power weapon options), the sentinel will simply languish as a poor choice.

Armoured Sentinels: Casual

Rough Rider Squadron
Another unit that got better but less useful, Rough Riders were the best counterchargers available to the IG in 4th edition. With 5th edition’s elimination of screening, and the reduced need for counter charge units do to the lack of consolidation into fresh squads, rough riders became both more fragile and less essential.

In the new codex, Rough Riders now must all take hunting lances and a 5pt sergeant, but drop a point in cost. Riders may now take up to two special weapons instead of a hunting lance, and finally have frag and krak grenades standard. The sarge can take a plasma pistol or a power weapon, but not both, and does not get a bonus weapon with the PW.

As units go, this one has a pretty simple premise: wait until the enemy gets near, and charge! At S5, I5 powered weapons, the hunting lance will cut through the enemy pretty well, and frag grenades finally allow them to charge into cover. The down side is that they’re still a dedicated assault squad that can’t contribute shooting, and they give up a KP pretty easily. I think that in many environments, they’ll retain their old usefulness, but in general at the higher levels rough riders are a luxury unit that eats up points and slots better spent on other choices. The main thing keeping them competitive is their usefulness against vehicles and their low cost.

The Mogul Kamir is an option, bumping a standard sergeant up to WS4, W2, and A3, and fearless (for him and his squad). He also gets +d3 attacks on the charge instead of +1, and subjects the entire squad to Rage. For 40pts, those aren’t bad abilities, but rage forces them to always move towards the closest enemy, and if they run, to run towards the closest enemy. Even in combat, they must consolidate closer to the enemy. Setting up a good Rough Rider charge is all about timing and placement, and a rule that monkeys with that is simply too great a price.

Rough Riders: Competitive
Mogul Kamir: Casual

Hellhound Squadron
I have to make a disclaimer about hellhounds: I simply don’t like them. When most IG players really dug the 4th edition Hellhound, I found it to be a very underwhelming medium tank that was both under gunned and surprisingly fragile. I’ll try to be as objective as possible, but I felt that I should mention that up front when discussing the new Hellhound Squadron.

In this new squadron, you can take up to three hellhound variants in a single unit with three different turret variants available. The Hull weapon is a basic heavy bolter, with the option to take a free heavy flamer or a 15pt Multimelta. The squad as a whole can buy nicely overpriced dozer blades (at 10pts they’ve doubled in price while halving in effectiveness), smoke launchers (5pts a hound), or extra armor (the new imperial standard 15pt).

The big new difference is that hellhounds are finally fast vehicles, while retaining their AV12 on the front and side. This has two big effects: once again Hellhounds can move 6” and shoot all their weapons, or they can scoot the full twelve and shoot shorter ranged weapons.

The elephant in the room for all fast attack choices is the fact that they all compete with the Valkyrie and the Vendetta, in both points and slots. As discussed below, the new skimmers are very efficient, making much of the rest of the Fast Attack choices redundant.

The second effect is most useful with the inferno cannon on the new Hellhound, which is now a 12” range weapon (with only the narrow end of the template needing to be within 12”) instead of a 24” range weapon (where the entire template needed to be in range). While the overall range hasn’t gone down very much, the key to remember is that the Hellhound will often end up in charge range (or melta gun range) of whatever it shot at. In addition, at AP4, while the hellhound shreds Orks, it simply doesn’t put enough wounds on anything 3+ or better to be anything more than harassment. One way to view the basic Hellhound is that it’s a 130 fast vehicle that can contest objectives, shrug off all light and most medium firepower, and can lay some serious wounds on light infantry when given the chance. The other way to view it is a 130pt tank that is short ranged and can’t reliably hurt MEQs.

The first of the new variants is the Devil Dog, which swaps the inferno cannon for the new Melta Cannon. I had hoped the melta cannon would be a longer ranged or twin linked multi-melta, but instead it’s simply a blast multimelta. The new blast rules mean that the Melta Cannon is more likely to hit small squads, but is actually less likely to hit anything smaller than a landraider than the Multi-melta. The Devil Dog is pretty cheap at 120pts, and the effective range of ~24” is about as good for long range anti-tank as the IG can hope for. The downside is that for 125pts you can take a PCS with four melta guns in a Chimera, for better, if shorter, anti-tank, along with good anti-infantry and decent anti-AV10 work. Applying the mighty 20% rule, if Devil Dogs were 95pts, would they be the hottest thing in the codex? Answer: they’re still not as good as troops with meltas or the Vendetta. It is a fun build, but just not good enough.

The final variant is the Bane Wolf, which reminds IG veterans of the old 3rd edition Hellhound. The Chem Cannon has no range, but wounds on a 2+ with AP3. The hidden strength of the Chem Cannon is that at Strength 1, it counts as a defensive weapon, meaning you always get to fire the hull weapon as well as the turret. While this has the same fragility problems due to the short range as the rest of the Hellhound types, the Bane Wolf murders anything that it touches (except terminators). Toss in the effects of a hull heavy flamer which goes off at the same time, and the one shot a game that the Bane Wolf gets can actually really matter. I think if you’re going to take a short ranged tank, you should take the tank that can actually accomplish something.

Hellhound: Semi-Competitive
Devil Dog: Semi-Competitive
Banewolf: Competitive

Valkyrie Assault Carrier Squadron
Winning the award for formal unit name that will be least used by players is easily the most anticipated unit in years: the Valkyrie. The basic elements of the squadron are simple: 1-3 fast skimmers with 12 model transport capacity, AV12/12/10, built in extra armor, scout and deep strike capability, and a free searchlight. In addition, embarked units can disembark even if the Valk moves flat out, landing anywhere in the Valk’s movement path via deepstrike rules. This is risky, as the unit takes a dangerous terrain test, and if unable to deploy a model, the entire unit is destroyed. While pretty clearly a desperation tactic, it’s a neat option for late game objective grabs. Keep in mind that the IG gets all of this for only 100pts.

The basic weapon options for the Valkyrie start with a chin multilaser and two hellstrike missiles on the wings. Each hell strike missile is a one shot, long range missile that counts as ordnance, but isn’t blast. As low cost anti-tank weapons go, the Hellstrike isn’t bad, but certainly isn’t good. It still needs to roll to hit, and while it will reliably pen AV12 (with two dice pick the highest), and is of course free, but a roughly one quarter chance to actually hurt AV12 isn’t exactly the marks of a good anti-tank unit. Of course, that’s not why anybody buys the basic valk. The chin multi-laser is a very fine choice, adding a small amount of punch to a chassis that’s basically just a pure transport, and it meshes well with Rocket Pods. The multi-laser can be upgraded to a lascannon for 15pts, continuing the almost ludicrous over costing of lascannons in the codex. The fact that a vendetta is only 15pts more than a valk with lascannon makes it a bit of a silly upgrade, but it’s there if you like magnets and have 15pts one game.

The real offensive fun is the Rocket pods, which are a 30pt upgrade but each provide a Bolter strength large blast. While unimpressive on their own, two of those, plus a multi-laser, provide some pretty decent anti-infantry firepower that can fire after moving 12” a turn. I may be overstating the usefulness of move and shoot firepower, but given the competition the Vendetta provides for anti-tank, the Valk needs to emphasis its strengths, which are either reduced cost or enhance mobility while shooting.

In terms of usefulness, the Valk and Vendetta both lay on a spectrum between almost pure gunship, hybrid shooting transport, and nearly pure transport. The Vendetta fills the role of gunship as well as a hybrid (much like a basic landraider), leaving the Valkyrie to be either the pure transport or the anti-horde hybrid. I think that the prevalence of light infantry will determine if Rocket Pods are worthwhile, because those things just eat up Ork and Nid hordes.

Valks can take heavy bolter sponsons for +10pts, which seems cheap, but again, it’s really hard to justify 10pts for heavy bolters that cant’ shoot on the move when the lascannons for only 20pts more.

Another question for the YMDC is if a scouting Valk that moves 24” as its scout move counts as obscured. The skimmers moving fast rule only applies if it moved flat out in it’s last movement phase, implying that it does not. This isn’t a huge deal, but gaining a pregame scout move with the obscured rule makes it very potent.

Valks are also one of the few units where scout will be used, not just to outflank, but also to gain a pre-game move. Assuming the Valks surive the first turn shooting, the Valkyrie can genuinely set up first turn land raider kills if its carrying melta-gun vets or a CCS.

At its core, the Valkyrie radically redefines how the IG play, giving eldar-like mobility to the IG at a price way below fair market.

Valkyrie: Highly Competitive.

Vendetta Gunship Squadron

Nearly everything about Valkyries is also true about the Vendetta, except instead of serving as cheaper transport or anti-infantry gunship, the Vendetta is a pure anti-tank gunship. With three twin linked lascannons for only 130pts, the Vendetta is the most cost efficient way to buy lascannons in the entire game, and as a fast vehicle it can move 6” and still shot everything.

As an Eldar player, I’m keenly aware that relying on the shooting from AV12 platforms is a ticket to disappointment. If you drop 3 Vendettas and support them with some Russes, there is too much armor for any army to deal with effectively, but there are some armies that can reliably keep AV12 shaken. That doesn’t mean they’re not worth taking, it’s just that Vendettas are better when an army is built around them, rather than simply throwing one into an army. The second downside is that in 5th edition, even three twinned lascannons cant’ really slow down a landraider.

As long as you have realistic expectations and support it properly, the Vendetta will do what it’s best at: sniping at mid range armor or monstrous creatures while carrying melta veterans to deal with anything heavier.

Vendetta: Highly Competitive

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






SoCal, USA!

As always, nice work.

Polonius wrote:The fundamental problem with Sentinels has always been that they don’t really take advantage of the benefits of a Walker platform, which is to mount up to two heavies,

watered down heavy support is still bad heavy support, and doesn’t become good fast attack

This codex seems to value heavy flamers very highly,

50pts for a move and shoot lascannon looks good until compared with the Vendetta which is literally on the facing page!

Scout Sentinels are cheap, and as basic as they come, which is their lot in 40k. War Walkers are the twin-Heavy specialists, while Killa Kans are the light CC variant, and Penitent Engines fill the pure CC role. All well-differentiated. Besides, as you note, that 2nd Heavy generally ought to be a HK missile.

"Light" Heavy is what IG generally use their Fast for, except when you look at the Scout Sentinel. The Scout Sentinel is the only "pure" Fast option here, by dint of its low cost and focus on sneaking. Even with Squadrons, IG Heavy slots are contested in a way that Fast are not.

5E in general overvalues Negates Cover quite a bit. Look at the HellHammer compared to the Baneblade - it extends to Apoc Superheavies, too.

For 150 pts, I get 3 Lascannon shots per turn, rather than 1 per turn, or 3 on a single, final turn. That's really not so terrible, especially with Scout.


Polonius wrote:For 55pts, or 20pts more than a Scout Sentinel, the Armoured Sentinel has AV12, is closed topped, losses Scout and Move through cover, has extra armor as standard, and can take a Plasma cannon for 20pts.

the 75pt plasma cannon Sentinel is made redundant by the Executioner.

AV12 is worth 10 pts over AV10, and Extra Armor and closed-top are each worth 5 pts, so yeah, it's probably worth 20 pts for the stats. Losing the mobility rules is bad, so the Armored Sentinel is relatively overpriced. It should be 45 pts base, not 55.

The Plasma Cannon is a cool option that will look great on my shelf, so don't knock it!

The Executioner is a major points and slot investment that competes with the best of what IG have - Heavy pie-throwers. The Sentinels don't have that same problem.


Polonius wrote:Hellhound Squadron
The elephant in the room for all fast attack choices is the fact that they all compete with the Valkyrie and the Vendetta, in both points and slots.

One way to view the basic Hellhound is that it’s a 130 fast vehicle that can contest objectives, shrug off all light and most medium firepower, and can lay some serious wounds on light infantry when given the chance. The other way to view it is a 130pt tank that is short ranged and can’t reliably hurt MEQs.

With Squadrons, they don't have to compete as strongly as if they were still singles:
- 1-3 Sentinels
- 1-3 Hellhounds
- 1-3 Valkyries / Vendettas

I look at all of the Hellhounds as "Cruiser Tanks", complementary medium-weight support to the true Heavies.


Polonius wrote:Valkyrie Assault Carrier Squadron
the IG gets all of this for only 100pts.

At its core, the Valkyrie radically redefines how the IG play, giving eldar-like mobility to the IG at a price way below fair market.

First off, the Valkyrie is almost identical to a Wave Serpent in broad function, and fairly-costed. The Wave Serpent, like all other pre-5E Transports is grossly overpriced by roughly 50%. Being high-function (and high-cost) Transports, the Wave Serpent and Tau Devilfish are now the most grossly-overpriced vehicles in 40k. They are as punitively-priced as the Chimera used to be, so any fair pricing comparison naturally looks like a virtual bargain.


Polonius wrote:Vendetta Gunship Squadron
As long as you have realistic expectations and support it properly, the Vendetta will do what it’s best at: sniping at mid range armor or monstrous creatures while carrying melta veterans to deal with anything heavier.

This isn't a bad gunship, but it is limited by the Defensive Weapon rule, so you can trade a good round of shooting for a near-certain shoot-down the next turn. Otherwise, you're paying 130 pts for a Fast twin Lascannon.

   
 
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