Wednesday, 9 March 2011

252 Improvements to Codex: Imperial Guard

You all know I love the Guard, and this is an impromptu explosion of my cumulative thoughts over the last couple of years - this is simply a compilation of my considered ideas on how and why I would improve Codex: IG...
NB: For the quick version, just look for the contentious bits in red:Firstly, HQ units:
  1. I'm generally fine with all of them, although I think Jarran Kell is a tad expensive. Other things I'd do include the following:
  2. The Commissar Lord (and all commissars for that matter) would have a power weapon as standard...they are only Str 3, after all!
  3. The Primaris Psyker would have a better second power too - nightshroud's rubbish.
  4. I'd also give the advisors freedom to choose whether to force re-rolls or alter the dice rolls.
  1. Ogryns would be only 30pts each, just because it'd be nice to see more of them (something Mr. Cruddace failed to fix).
  2. Ratlings are fine - I love that they have laspistols!
  3. Stormtroopers would be brought down to only 14pts per model. There's no way they should cost more than a space marine, and again, it'd be nice to see more of them.
  4. I'd make Veterans into an Elites choice again. It would solve so much spam (but see my entry on chimeras, below).
  1. Commissars as above.
  2. I'd reduce Chenkov's cost - and that of his special rule - as I think it's a fun idea that's simply never used.
  3. Sergeants would have the option of carrying a lasgun: not an unreasonable step, methinks.
  4. Heavy Weapons Squads and Special Weapons Squads would have access to chimeras. Why on Terra would you not give a transport to the guys with the heavy guns and ammo?! (again, see my points on chimeras though...)
  5. Special Weapons Squads would have access to krak grenades. It's daft that SWSs can't take them, but the HWSs can, even though they (a) really oughtn't to be assaulting vehicles and (b) have quite enough to carry as it is!
  6. Conscripts are great, but I miss the option of a stand-alone conscript platoon - with a more practical Chenkov, this could be fun!
  7. Again, if Veterans were 'Elites' again, (as the name rather implies anyway), it'd force players away from using them to claim objectives and towards more diverse lists. The bitching would be awful though!
  8. Penal Legion rock: such a great fun unit design.
  1. Keep the same unit price, but...
  2. only one Heavy Weapons Team could fire out of the hatch (see point 4, above)
  3. I'd allow three normal/special weapons to fire out, (five's too many) but after passengers had fired from the hatch, the vehicle would count as 'vulnerable to blasts/templates' until the start of its next movement. Just like the old codex - some sort of balance is needed.
  4. Of course, having Veterans as 'Elites' would help...
  5. They should have costing options for the Forgeworld turret weapons upgrades - autocannon (+10pts) and T-L heavy bolter (+10pts).
Fast Attack:
  1. Rough Riders should have both a laspistol and a close combat weapon: they should be able to fight well without their blasted lances.
  2. Bane Wolves should be 140pts per model
  3. All the Hellhound variants should have smoke launchers as standard, for no extra points: it's daft that they don't.
  4. Valkyries and Vendettas should have a side armour of 10. 11 at best, but they've no right to be as heavily armoured as they are on the side.
  5. Vendettas should be 160pts. They are way too cheap for three T-L lascannon in addition to everything else they can do. I'd be tempted to drop their transport capacity, too.
Heavy Support:
  1. ALL Leman Russ Variants should be armour 14/13/11. It's insane to think that someone can open one up in a frontal assault as easily as a chimera or an artillery piece.
  2. Lose the poxy Eradicators, and bring on the awesome Annihilator variant. The fluff and the models already exist, and - let's face it - if you can put SIX lascannon on a Vendetta with 12 folks inside(!) you can certainly squeeze three into a tank. Why on Earth did Cruddace omit it from the codex?
  3. Camo netting would be half the cost (15pts) for artillery pieces ('Ordnance Battery' vehicles)
  4. Lose the Deathstrike. Simply should not be in a normal codex.
  5. I'd bring back Heavy Weapons Platoons. Sure, Heavy Weapons Squads are less robust now, but organisationally, it was a fun way to include them in a support platoon, rather than tagging them onto otherwise more manoeuvrable infantry platoons.
And finally,
Voxes and Orders:
  1. Orders should work exactly as they currently do, but voxes should provide an unlimited range for officers to order their troops. Note that LOS to target (for example) would still be required as appropriate. For a lengthy rant about voxes, please see this post.
Thanks for your time. I'd love to read any comments you may have, and I've numbered the points to help you shoot me down!

Yours aye,

- Drax.


  1. Hey Drax,

    The only thing I'd not agree on is the Veterans. not because I run a vet spam list either :)

    My favourite unit in the old codex was the armoured fist. If you drop vets as troops, you've got to give us those back.

    Personally I like things the way they are because the smaller squads of vets make up for thier numbers with better shooting.

    the vox range is a total no-brainer and it boggles me that it's not already this way.

    Ditto the heavy weapon platoons. in fact so convinced was I recently that they still existed as a Heavy slot choice, that when i couldnt find them in army builder i had to go look in the codex.


    nice post :)

  2. Thanks, mate: I appreciate it.

    I see what you mean about the Armoured Fist. I run an AF platoon sometimes (see top-right) but other than detaching an infantry squad from a normal platoon you can't really get the same effect.

    Interestingly, the wording in the chimera fluff in the codex seems to encourage players to give isolated squads a chimera, as if the squad were on attachment...


  3. Pretty well thought out thoughts you have here.

  4. Changes to my beloved Guard codex? NEVER!


    All right, fine.

    Valks/Vends- AV 11 on the front and sides. They are WAY too armored for aircraft.

    Vends- Get rid of the transport capacity. Gunships shouldn't have that much space left over.

    Vets- I'd agree that they should be moved to Elites, probably with some kind of special character that unlocks them as Troops choices (Ibram Gaunt, perhaps).

    Stormies- drop to 14 points, I'd agree with that, maybe also give them the option to get a heavy weapon and discount their special weapons.

    Penal legionnaires- man, I hate these guys because they COULD be so cool. Give them the option to combine squads/purchase more people, give them frikkin' frag grenades and maybe access to flamers/grenade launchers.

    Psyker Primaris- some options would be nice, and I agree a better secondary power would be great. Maybe the option for carapace armor/other powers would be good.

    Commissar Lord- make him cheaper or, as you suggested, a power weaopn standard. The problem with him is he's too easy to take out.

    There's more that should be changed, but we'll stop there for now. Great topic!

  5. Are you going to be writing the next edition codex, Drax? You've got my vote.

  6. I've always believed in fielding as many Voxes as possible, so your change would be welcomed. Kudos!

  7. Greta post Drax and yeah i agree on most parts. The thing i would like to see the most tho is to bring the uniqueness of armies like the 3rd addition codex did. Where all the world had different bonuses.

    Like the catachans are suppose to be some of the best snipers/marksmen in the imperial guard and still get same stats like everyone else.

    Give them bs4 but limit their mech options. Or give them different mech options, like better scout sentinels, cheaper ogryns. Kinda like a updated Death world codex but for all worlds.

    All this would apply to all worlds and every world could be tailored supported by their fluff.

  8. 1. Orders should work exactly as they currently do, but voxes should provide an unlimited range for officers to order their troops. Note that LOS to target (for example) would still be required as appropriate.

    This is the second thing i would like to see the most!

    Ogryns would be only 30pts each, just because it'd be nice to see more of them (something Mr. Cruddace failed to fix).

    I am the only one in the club who runs ogryns and every time theres a guy who says something along the lines of: " Its awesome to see ogryns on the table, i never see them" and "i dont think they are so shitty, actually they are kinda good "(after a god game for ogryns which actually happens quite often in my list)

  9. Here's wishing that they tweak the voxes. Why the hell would some guy carry a massive bit of comms gear into battle if it wasn't to commmunicate with someone miles away?

  10. Quality post sir....

    Here's my ten-pence piece worth:

    Your focus is on adjusting the current setup. I would subvert it towards the following:

    a) Platoons are the core of an army. Vets should be purchased as part of a platoon or elites.
    b) The type of commander purchased molds the structure of platoons.
    c) The type of Commander also dictates the 'ability' of the platoon/s.

    Standard Platoon makeup is HQ, 2-6 Squads, 0-2 SWT, 0-5 HWT, Conscripts.


    Ibram Gaunt, Battle damaged: 2-4 squads, 0-4 vet squads (identical non-vet loadout), 2-4 SWT, 0-3 HWT. Stealth upgrade option, squads may take 2 sniper rifles if no HW.

    Commissar Yarrick, embittered trenchers: 2-8 squads, 0-2 vet squads, 0-2 SWT, 0-6 HWT, conscripts. Stubborn, gain defensive grenades.

    Ironhand Straken, Jungle Fighters, 2-6 squads, 0-2 vets, 0-4 SWT, 0-3 HWT. Camo, Move through cover and WS4 upgrade.

    Castellan Creed: 2-6 squads, 0-2 vets, 0-2SWT, 0-5 HWT, Conscripts. Scout upgrade available.

    Commander Chenkov: 2-10 squads, no vets, 0-5 SWS, no HWT, Conscripts. Never retreat, operates as a commissar rule + stubborn.

    Captain Al'rahem, religious fervour: 2-5 squads, 0-4 vets, 0-2 SWT, 0-5 HWT. Preffered enemy USR.


    Vendettas, yep. Oggers, yep. Stormies, yep. Vets, yep. Russes, deffo.

    Chimeras .... oooo yeah ok, as a Chug spammer I gotta give you that they are just too hardcore a platform at the moment and too open to abuse.

    Vets - totally agree. They are the 'best' option and effectively SMurf-light with BS4 and Carapace options.

    Why even include stormtroopers?

  11. Suneokun - the problem with your suggestion there is that under that system, each of the "Led" platoon choices you highlight would be a single "Troops" choice under the force org.

    For me thats the most broken thing about platoons, and why the gap left by the armoured fist has been filled by vets.

    I am considering running a single "normal" platoon in my force as it expands, but than in and of itself is going to be minimum 25 miniatures for a single forge org slot.

    I guess what I'm saying is that horde is good but some of us want to play a smaller more elite force, and without Vets or armoured fists, we kinda can't do that.

    I blame Dan abnett, because it's gaunts ghosts that made me want to play IG, an elite, outnumbered force, pretty much always on the edge of losing, makes the games intersting for me.

  12. Another thing I'd like to see happen with voxes -- artillery spotting.

    Allow barrage weapons to use the BS of a unit within LOS of the target if the unit has a voxcaster. That unit may have to forego shooting, etc to balance.

  13. Wow! Thanks, chaps!

    >Max: I agree with valks and vendettas - not quite so sure about penal legion: I know they're a really limited choice, but they're just and annoying for the opponent!

    >Darkwing & COTBT: Thanks, mates!

    >GreyCleric & Courtney: All the way, mate; all the way.

    >Ras: I'd be more inclined to go with a WS4 for Catachans...but thanks.

    >suneokun: Cheers. I like your ideas, though I also agree with Karitas...Hmmm...

    >Hudson: You are so, so right. That's be great! Nice idea to balance, too.

    Cheers, All.

  14. There would be a downside to making valkyrie/vendetta armour 11 or 10 on the side... prepare to see them spammed to death at Combat patrol events that they are currently excluded from :oP

    I think the thinking behind it is that it is the same as the Hellhound variants. The stuff more likely to be ahead of the main force and thus get shots to the side has better side armour. The main force, made up of chimera based infantry, is the anvil, so only need good armour to the front...

  15. Greeting's Drax, I agree with a very large part of what you say, but for 2 things. 1 Stormtroopers. I think they should be 12pts a piece. 5 points a piece more then a vet seem's fair, especially for the reduced range of those aweful guns - After all they are just 3t humans in carapace armour - and it one doens't have a 3+ AS - it might not as well have one!
    Vendetta - agree on the points value - and lose transport options. But make is AV 10-11 on the sides, the horror - that think would last long enough to fire w/o apoc flier rules!

    Russ's with rear 11 - I'd love to see it!!

  16. @Drax actually your right! After looking in my old Catachans Codex. They all have WS 4! Never noticed that....

  17. Great thoughts.
    I totally agree on vox. The spotter thing would be aces, too.

    Artillery in general: The Imperial Armor version, where you can purchase barrages instead of vehicles on the board, is very cool. I'd like to see that as IG standard. Less flexible/targetable than on-board, but less vulnerable.

    I think Vets ought to have some sort of platoon structure. Their "stand alone" nature is indeed the source of some oddness. Maybe make Vets a simple cost upgrade from normal troops, vs a whole separate unit type.

    Chimeras: I like the suggestions, but going to a single heavy weapon would seem to make the chimeras for the HWTs redundant Also, the rule for blasts/open top/whatever should apply to any transport that uses a hatch in that fashion. (read: Rhinos)

    Storms: couldn't agree more. Too much of a point sink to get used. Hot shots at ST3 aren't effective enough, even with AP3.

    Leman Russ Eradicator: make it AP3, and it's magic vs MEQ (like the Colossus). At AP4, it's next to useless.

    I would also love to see the Annihilator in the codex.

    An oddity I noted the other day: why are the two platoon leader special characters given 2 wounds, where the more expensive Vet special characters still have 1? Odd.

  18. Good point about the wounds, Wine Shark!

    With regard to the chimera's hatch, it's a variation on an old rule which worked well. It used to be that any open-topped vehicle counted as vulnerable to blasts/templates (makes sense) and that chimeras counted as such when the hatches had been fired from (old rules = anything other than the fixed lasguns fired from it).

    Rhinos with open hatches (like landspeeders) didn't count as open topped as the crew are always assumed to count as 'encased' in power armour (with rebreathers, etc.) anyway...

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  20. A bit of a belated response, but fantastic ideas - I agree 98%!

    The only 2% is with regards to Vox Casters - I definately think they should increase the range of orders to 24" perhaps, but unlimited range removes a need for tactical placement which we saw in 4th edition with unlimited Phychic Hoods (or our current Runes of Warding!). Plus, unlimited range means supposedly unsupported flanking units can also benefit from some insane situational bonuses, which may be a little unbalancing in this new context...

    That aside, again great and balanced suggestions - I would love to see these in the codex!

  21. Fair point, Mike, you're right: a fixed range would be better. But don't forget that (a) orders aren't really that powerful,
    (b) the officer needs LOS to the target,
    (c) only basic inf squads and vets can take voxes and
    (d) they need to pass an Ld test to use them.

  22. I don't think your HQ suggestions go far enough. I often find myself hard pressed to find a reason to take a Primaris Psyker or Lord Commissar. Command squads offer special weapons AND the wonderful orders. If I had to change them I'd give the Primaris Pskyer and Lord Commissar the ability to issue orders. Pskyer with unlimited range and Commissar Lord up to 3 for being so damn heroic.

    It would have been nice if Penal Legion could have taken Chimeras as a dedicated transport.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!