Switch Theme:

Add a New Article

Recent Changes
Your Watchlist
All Articles

View a Random Article
Upload a File

Images Tutorial
Editing Tutorial
Articles Tutorial

5th Edition Imperial Guard Codex Elites Review (Polonius)

Ogryn Squad

Ogryns by PeteGodwin

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

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

40 freaking points a model.

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

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

Running the same basic test against an Ork Boyz 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 Boyz. The remaining 14 Boyz swing back, with 42 swings, 21 hits, 3.5 saves, 7/3 failed saves, or just over two wounds. The Nob will swing last, with 3 swings, 1.5 hit, and enough wounds to pull a full Ogryn. The Ogryn win, 7 to 3, and kill 4 Boyz with No Retreat!. In the second round, the four remaining Ogryn swing 13 times, hit 6.5, wound 13/3 and kill 3.5 boys. The 7 basic Boyz remaining take 21 swings, hit 10.5 times, wound 1.75 times, and lay just over one wound on the Ogryn. The Nob than throws another wound on them, and the Ogryn win again, 3 to 2, causing the last 8 Boyz to take a Leadership Test.

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

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

Ogryn: Semi-competitive

Ratling Squad

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

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

Ratlings: Competitive

Psyker Battle Squad

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

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

Psyker Battle Squad: Highly Competitive

Storm Trooper Squad

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

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

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

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

Storm Troopers: Casual

Guardsman Marbo

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

He’s a Pro-Am unit because he really doesn’t help much against top tier armies (Blood Crushers are too big to really get caught under a demo charge, Assault Terminators have a 3++, and Nob bikes have a 4+ cover save and big bases), and most top armies can either ignore him, or deal with him easily.

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

Guardsman Marbo: Competitive

Further Reading

IG Codex Review

IG Codex Review HQ

IG Codex Review Troops

IG Codex Review Fast Attack

IG Codex Review Heavy Support


Got Comments? Discuss This Page in the Forums. Click Here.


Share on Facebook