Well now, this is a tricky one.
Ron, over at From the Warp has asked us for a collaborative post exploring our 'must have' unit - that without which we would never leave the troop carrier (compulsory units aside).
The only problem? My 'must have' unit is a compulsory choice: the humble platoon command section.
Before the new Codex: Imperial Guard came out, this was a 'no-brainer' - junior officers were great! They could automatically give anyone nearby a Ld boost, and with my typical doctrines would enable them to infiltrate, move through cover and (brilliantly) rally those troops nearby - even below 50% strength.
But now? Strewth! They have hardly any bumps, they can't afford medics anymore (at 30pts each) they no can longer inspire their troops and their sodding vox batteries have run down, leaving them with a measly (read: 'pointless') 6" range.
So why do I like them?
Simple. For 50 points I can get a 5-man scoring unit with Ld8 and 4 grenade launchers. Genius! For 105pts I can give them a chimera too! They can scoot around, shoot four S6 shots out to 24", and maybe even occasionally give out some useful orders (hmmm...).
But here's the thing: they're a real throwaway unit. Officers attract fire because they look important, they sound important, and they used to actually be important...but they're not! Of course they can be tremendously useful, but under the old codex, if you could kill a platoon's officer, you'd scare the horses and panic the men...they'd scatter like rats out of an aqueduct.
Now? Who cares! The infantry can watch Rupert the Officer getting himself slotted whilst ostentatiously striking a pose, turn to their sergeants and say "Right then, Sarge - what next?". The bump to sergeants has rendered the officers pretty much obsolete. So it goes.
So I love 'em. If you want to tool them up for anti-tank duties with four melta guns in a chimera...great - go for it! If you want to keep them back mumbling their poxy orders and maybe counter-attacking...wonderful! If you fancy keeping them out of sight with a mortar team...smashing! For me, I'll pretty much keep them on foot with three or four grenade launchers, and have my little bit of Draxian fun.
Thanks Ron, and cheers for reading, everyone.