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Made in ca
Been Around the Block

I think with 9th its time I actually got off my butt, stop talking about "some day", and start somewhere. So this list is as much about a <500pt patrol roster as it is making a cost-efficient start. This list is C$400 with tax (including core and codex) which is right about my comfort limit for a "getting into it" cost.

Exact choice of special weapons can always be refined. I thought about adding a Cadian Command Squad, but at $50 I dont know how much use that would be starting out.

Thoughts for a noob?


++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [31 PL, 3CP, 486pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [3CP]: 1. Combat Patrol (0-50 Total PL / 0-500 Points)

Detachment CP

Regimental Doctrine: Astra Millitarum

+ HQ +

Lord Commissar [3 PL, 42pts]: Boltgun, Power sword, Warlord

+ Troops +

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 57pts]
. 8x Guardsman: 8x Lasgun
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Sergeant: Boltgun, Chainsword

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 57pts]
. 8x Guardsman: 8x Lasgun
. Guardsman W/ Special Weapon: Flamer
. Sergeant: Boltgun, Chainsword

+ Heavy Support +

Leman Russ Battle Tanks [11 PL, 165pts]
. Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter

Leman Russ Battle Tanks [11 PL, 165pts]
. Leman Russ Battle Tank: Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter

++ Total: [31 PL, 3CP, 486pts] ++

Created with BattleScribe

This message was edited 3 times. Last update was at 2020/12/30 11:23:37

Made in us
Dakka Veteran

This is my favorite topic question ever in the gaurd! so.
1. Consider strongly where you will play. If its not in an actual GW sponsored store, I would strongly, strongly advise you not to buy GW gaurdsmen from GW. Alternate source stuff is much cheaper and comes with the special weapons. (see "deathfields" discussion spoiler below). Only GW stores actually give a crap about your using pure GW merchandise, and playing in them is nice, but hardly necessary with your first army if you have a friends circle or a FLGS that isn't the UFLGS of a GW merch place
2. What you have there is actually 260 dollars canadian of astra militarum starter boxes. You have used 1 of 2 commisars, 0 of 4 heavy weapons team, and you have 3 bolters and a single plasma gun that didn't come in the boxes to begin with.
For the price of 486 points, I would shave the bolters off (480 points) and that leaves you 20 poitns to play with, enough to give both squads a heavy weapon team (two man). This gives you 4 extra normal bodies to play with. The exact reason I change your plasma out for a grenade launcher is .. you don't NEED to buy a third box to make this exact list exactly this way.
lord commisar (warlord) bolt pistol (can be replaced by relic "emperor's benediction" and powersword can be replaced by relic "blade of conquest".
Starter box ONE.

(lord commisar with powersword, boltistol. Warlord trait "voice of command" (can give 1 order to any imperial gaurd regimental or scions unit that can take orders). 40 point.
Infantry squad A. grenade launcher and mortar, 7 lasguns, laspistol and chainsword. 65 points
lleman russ A support battle tank with battle cannon and heavy bolter 165
so, you are now at 270. This is the core of your army's functions in a nutshell, you have the ability to
fire directly with tanks, maneuver with infantry, use orders, fire special and heavy(indirect) weapons, and your single warlord commisar can be tuned by giving him a different relic into either a melee or shooty(sniper!) character. For his points, wickedly effective, I might add.

So what do you want to do with the other 230 points?
Option A.
Starter box TWO .. gaurd and gaurd. total cost 200USD or 260CAD for exactly those two boxes.

infantry squad B. A flamer and a heavy bolter, 7 lasguns, 1 sarge with laspistol and chainsword. This is more designed to get in closer and fire from up front. It will teach you flamers, direct fire heavy weapons, and how gaurd dies when it gets too close. (That is a lesson you will learn no matter what.) 65
Leman russ B support battle tank with battle cannon and heavy bolter 165

That gives you 500 points on the nose, adding significant firepower to the squads, and you have every single piece of plastic you need to build that exact configuration with the two starter boxes, no issues, no command squad needed.
You have unused (between both boxes)
1 lord commisar kit.
4 bodies of regular looking gaurd, a flamer, a grenade launcher.

Advantages. Two leman russ bodies you are likely to use a long time. 20 gaurdsmen nobody is calling a bad idea, that you can use with, or without, the heavy weapons in the squad. Totally WYSIWYG, pure Games Workshop parts(can be played in their hateful stores). Disadvantages. grenades and flamers are not the strongest competitive weapons-- but they are ok. Someday, you will want plasma, just as someday, you will spend the 40 dollars to buy a marine box to get bolter, bolter, bolter, and plasma gun out of it (and powersword and plasma pistol) to requip some squads.
But for right now, the big difference between a gaurd squad with a boltler and a gaurd squad with a heavy bolter is that you have TWO heavy bolters in your two boxes, but ZERO bolters.

Option B. Swiss army knife. (My actual suggestion.)
patrol from first box gives you the chance to add scions in to gaurd, for a little bit of everything.

lord commisar, warlord / bolpistol and powsword
those 10 guys again with a flamer and a mortar
that battle tank with a battlecannon and a heavy bolter

then you buy a single scions starter box.
This gives you 10 scions bodies, but also, a treasure trove of special weapons (there are 2 melta, 2 flamer, 2 plasma, 2 hotshotvolleygun, 2 powerswords, 2 plasma pistols and two powerfists, and even 2 medic boxes.) in this box. That's enough to (with a bit of stealing a few arms from the scoins and giving them to non-scions people) give you a plasma pistol and powerfist wielding company commander out of one of your 4 extra bodies. Equip him with the deathmask of oleanus (costs you a cp) and he is now about as good in melee as your warlord / lord commisar even if the lord commisar took the blade of conquest. Actually for a 500 point gaurd unit, that's a shockingly good melee duo. He does cost you a snappy 50 points, though, to deploy, but he can run the 10 infantry quite well with his 2 orders.
so 180 left.
Lets say you want a transport. Yep, a transport. This is going to be tricky to get in but you can do it if you get 10 scions (that is enough for TWO, count them TWO light units) for 90 points, and a taurox (not prime) for 60+30 or 90 points. The base taurox is armed with 2 autocannon, its not a terribly good tank, its not a terribly good transport (10, not 12, inside) but your tiny fledgling army now has

Putting it all together, you end up at 260 CAD with this..
lord commisar warlord / blade of conquest + bolt pistol. 3 attacks, hits on 2+ with s6/ap-4/d3 damage per hit. (because the blade is good.) 4++ invuln protects his 4W body even if his base save is 4+ armor. warlord trait = voice of ocmmand so he can pass orders to scions.
company commander with powerfist and plasma pistol. He is not as accurate with is weapon -- hits on a 4+, but its comparable otherwise to the blade of conquest, S6/-2/2D, and I recommend you use the pistol only when he has given himself a reroll 1 order or when he is using it at low power mode. The deathmasque of oleanus (see astra militarum codex) gives him a 4++ shield and lets him self heal once midbattle for d3 wounds, augmenting greatly his native 5++ shield and 4W profile. He might finish what the lord commisar starts, in melee. Honestly gaurd is not about melee, usually, but this edition is, so you should be building to learn it as well. You could also run him as a platoon commander for 10 points less, losing 1 wound and 1 attack. This isn't necessarily what you want this time, but its something to consider in later detachments.
90 points total -- for some pretty good melee given what you spent on the game.
10 man gaurd squad with flamer and mortar (learn flamers, indirect fire, and the frustration of - ap weapons)
5 man scions squad with base weapons all across. 8 hotshotlasguns and 2 hotshotlaspistol is actually not terrible weaponry, because of course you can also have that last guy chuck a krak grenade (or frag). AP-2 guns firing are not too shabby, either, and you can start both these units in deepstrike so as to sprinkle them across the board. OR, if you prefer, start your officers and one of them in your transport taurox, and the other up above, and have just the 10 man gaurd unit exposed on turn 1. 65+90---155
heavy support
leman russ battle tank with tank ace (your second spent command point) for master mechanic. All incoming shots are -1 damage (minimum 1) to this beast, making it much more resilient. A battlecannon and a heavy bolter suffice if you can keep your distance from the foe.
Transport/auxilliary tank.
A taurox with 2 autocannon. It can act as a pure transport for up to 10 bodies of gaurd or scions or auxilla (like the commisar).

Again, 260 bucks on the nose, and you have leftover
1 commisar
a lot of special weapons on the sprue of the scions troops.

Now, why would you want to do it this way? You can glue the right arm on each scion soldier with crazy glue (which can, if need be, be popped off later) effectively giving you the option to swap in any heavy weapons you want later. Or plasma pistols and powerswords on the sargents. So you haven't given up anything on all your scions, but keep the option open to run (for example) a 5 man scions squad with 2 hotshotvolleyguns, and a command squad with 2 melta and 2 plasma (drop that in close, and cut them up as iotan gorgones)... without buying any more merch.

That's all the GW choice, and it gives you a well rounded patrol with a lot of functionality that the first patrol didn't yet have. You get to experiment with droptroops that pop up in the middle of the board, with heavy weapons in mobile infantry, with mechanized infantry tactics, with armor resilience games, with a pair of melee guys that actuall could bring down a single marine melee guy in battle, if they hit lucky. (MOST gaurd squads seriously can't. Seriously). They could also, just barely, threaten a tank with melee punches, which is something gaurd rarely does. (yes, I said barely.)

Anyway. You can also play with different regimental doctrines.[spoiler]
You can split into two patrols, moving all the scions and the lord commisar to an "all scions" squad and play aroudn with different regiments of scions. For example, when run like that, one of the scions groups gets +6 inch range to all their rapidfire weapons. You might find this useful and end up running it as just a 10 man scions with their lord commisar to pass orders.
You can put the turret together on the taurox with a scion weapon in it (gatling gun or taurox battle cannon) and move it over to the pure scions list as well. The taurox with a gatling cannon on it is a pretty decent little armor piece in lambda lions regiment hands (-1 ap on all shots).
But I digress. for the now, you have a decent, simple to run patrol that you CAN treat exactly like you treated the other one -- but you have more units of troops, more firepower in the troops, more melee, more officers, transports, deepstrikers, even a token indirect shooting weapon. In other words, you get to use almost every tool the gaurd will need to use, to make the gaurd's toolkit of victory in ninth edition.

Addendum. NonGW gaurd option.

Now, lets say you wanted to be cheaper[u][i].

Atlantic wargames deathfields series are IG compatible boxes for USD35 (so probably 50 bucks in your country?) that come with 24 soldiers, and 6 each of the basic special weapons. No heavy weapons, but you can buy two of them for about 100 bucks and have 48 gaurdsmen ... or elite militarum tempestum scions.
At some future point, spring for a lone leman russ battle tank. so 160 CAD total cost.
You end up with

Company commander with plasma pistol 40
tank commander with master mechanic (DR 1) and choice of plasma or demolisher, with 2 multimelta sidecannon and a forward heavy flamer. 235
10 gaurdsmen with a plasma rifle and 8 lasguns and a plasma pistol
10 gaurdsmen with ditto
10 gaurdsmen with ditto
command squad of 4 gaurdsmen with 4 grenade launchers.
499 points.

This has much more a feel of a shooty gaurd army, than my swiss army suggestion above (or even, than my "gaurd with two tanks" tweak above.
Your total cost has been (for this patrol) 170 or so canadian dollars. That tank ace will be fun to play, and he is definitely the star of this show, he alone has about as much killpower as both tanks in your original list, and (situationally) is almost as hard to kill. Plasma wielders cry to meet him.
Downside is, this patrol will never be welcome on the table of a gw workshop store, but the upside is, you have 12 plasma! 12 grenade launchers! and 12 "that counts as a hotshotvolleygun" if you ever want to convert this tiny army to be a scions army. That is what I would probably end up doing with it someday, when you go up to 1000 points total, you can end up wtih .

someday scions battalion from the same boxes at no additional price.
3 tempest prime
3 command squads (4 plasma, 4 volleygun, 4 volleygun)
10 scions with 4 plasma
10 scions with 4 volleygun
10 scions with 4 plasma
That's 690 points of 45 very well armed scoins for 100 CAD, and you can add them to a much larger army of more conventional troop choice gaurd as a second detachment. Or part of them. For the same function, you would have had to buy something with a lot of special weapons in it, and the 5 man scions box (also about the same price as one of these 24 man boxes) comes with only 1 plasma, 1 melta, 1 volley, 1 grenade, and 1 flamer.
In other words, its crapton more expensive to equip the scions WELL in pure GW equipment, and you are buying them for literally 24/5 the price per model.

So I would probably go with some mix of the options described. Want a good start gaurd army that isn't pure scions or pure gaurd, and is cheap?
Atlantic wargames stuff again.

1 deathfields (buy the ones in funny hats and call them valhallan soldiers) = 2 officers, 20 gaurdsmen, and 2 spare bodies.
1 other deathfields (raumjager line, call these scions) = 2 scions offciers, 2 scions command squads, and 2 scions 5 man troop choice, with 4 bodies leftover. you can field something like 12 special weapons here from one box alone, six plasma, six grenades (and lambda lions patrols use grenades pretty well, actually).

Then you can pick and choose your gaurd armor .. a good start being a leman russ and a manticore.

I hope this ramble helps but I fear I have to go soemwhere right now, so I don't have time to make this a polished discussion or to include the astropath/psyker stuff. but yeah, you can totally get a gaurd patrol for 500 points for under 300 CAD, and even make it a good one.


This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2021/01/22 22:44:53

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
Made in ca
Been Around the Block

Thank you for the extended thoughts and advice! Going to have to read through that a couple times to fully digest it.

When I said C$400, I was in fact thinking two Start Collecting boxes, Core Rules, Codex, and taxes. I just didn't realize the infantry don't come with comprehensive special weapons parts (took for granted that the options presented by BattleScribe would be on the sprues).
Made in ca
Regular Dakkanaut

Unfortunately not. That Cadian Command Squad box is the main source for special weapons for guard
Made in us
Dakka Veteran

Note that point values as of now middle January 2021 reflect the faq errata poi ts list .. So maybe a few changed aince I weote all that.

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
Made in us
Emboldened Warlock


Dukeofstuff, I salute you, that's a really kind and useful helping hand for new IG players!

For the greater glory of the Zoat Empire!

Made in gb
Guard Heavy Weapon Crewman

 Verthane wrote:
Dukeofstuff, I salute you, that's a really kind and useful helping hand for new IG players!


I second Duke's thoughts on alternate models; wargames atlantic have a new deathfields box coming out soon that looks great, guys in jumpsuits with almost-lasguns. Or the Raumjauger infantry for troops or scions, or the iron core for scions. Consider converting cheaper tank kits too, and robogear foor sentinels. Here's what i did for cheap: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/794296.page

Bu if you want official models, I say go for it. GW make the best stuff. Apart from those ugly catachans. I think the genestealer cult brood bros box looks good value, it's cadians with extra bits you could sell if you don't use.

Made in us
Regular Dakkanaut

My initial purchase for guard was the Chadian battle force off the GW website that and a start collecting gave me some great options for my first few games around 500 to 1000 points
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!

Segmentum Solar, Terra, France

Sunsanvil wrote:Thank you for the extended thoughts and advice! Going to have to read through that a couple times to fully digest it.

When I said C$400, I was in fact thinking two Start Collecting boxes, Core Rules, Codex, and taxes. I just didn't realize the infantry don't come with comprehensive special weapons parts (took for granted that the options presented by BattleScribe would be on the sprues).
Unfortunately, contrary to every other army in the game, Astra Militarum players are handicapped by GW being stingy to us. Since they made plastic guardsmen in 3rd edition, the only plastic special weapons available in troop boxes, have been the flamer and grenade launcher. Weapons that have been steadily maintained as uncompetitive throughout the numerous editions, so that GW can incentivise us to buy quite expensive blister packs of metal meltagun + plasmagun if you want to up-gun your squads.

The command squad box is a more recent addition to the range, and does contain one copy of each special weapon. Alternatively, you can buy a Finecast (fail-cast) blister of plasma guns. These are meant to be used by SM, but with a little of sawing work, can be adapted to guardsmen hands. My recommendation is to put plasmaguns in each and every troop squad, whenever possible.
for official parts :
Many 3rd party manufacturers offer compatible plasmaguns also, neat looking, in resin.
If you are willing to go that route, just ask us for references.

Fisheyes wrote:Unfortunately not. That Cadian Command Squad box is the main source for special weapons for guard

absolutely. Being also the source for the mandatory commander, with lots of other parts for conversion, it is a recommendable box.
I would stay away from commissars blisters, they are quite useless as of now, sadly.

longtime Guard maniac 
Made in us
Dakka Veteran

One such commisar comes in either astra mil or tempestus mil start collectting boxes. Even after using several to make my own version of astropaths.. Istill have several. Dontthrowthem out though theycan make a surprising range of conversion charharacters. A new player may not be budgeted for a 25 dollar inquisitor(or whate er) and 3 x 15 dollar a pop psyksrs.. And officer of the fleet and master of ordinance and priest. Converting a flock of officers is half the fun.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/22 17:11:19

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
Made in us
Hurr! Ogryn Bone 'Ead!

Segmentum Solar, Terra, France

Yeah, kit-bashing the plastic commissar with parts from the command squad box can be quite fun.
One can easily make a second company commander out of this.

longtime Guard maniac 
Made in us
Dakka Veteran

Quick note. You can use the hotshot lasguns in their holsters (designed to sit on the back of the medic scions whose hands are busy doing medic things, or the commo guys whose hands are using the squak box, so that they have a hotlasgun, too. HOWEVER, if you wanted to field a couple snipers, you can use the holstered (and slightly different looking) hslg on the back like the sniper is carrying his good gun there, ready to whip it out in a sniper stand.

So that's even a couple MORE free special weapons (and cheap ones!) that this little box of scions starters can provide you with, if you just glue the holsters across the backs of some cadian bodies, and give them the "veteran in the squad" heads (ie, not the closed heads) that the scions come with.

(if you look in my own photo gallery, there is one scion who is fighting, or ready to fight, with brass knuckles and a knife, he has this style of rifle on his back. Also, the axe-wielding preacher in my gallery has a scions "not helmeted" head on -- its a beret look that is excellent for paratrooper or elite infantry and you can just slap it on a cadian body (or in the case of the priest, its on an armored warrior of chaos from AOS or something.) Point is, its a nice head to make soldiers that look a smidge different than regular gaurd, even if you put the helmets on all the scions bodies, you have a few extra (rather nice) heads.

Guard gaurd gAAAARDity Gaurd gaurd.  
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