Thanks for the feedback from Draxtics Part I.
Before the onset of May's forthcoming New World Order for the Imperial Guard, here's...
Draxtica Part II: Fielding Light Infantry.
I know my Light Infantry aren't ever going to be tournament winners, but they're nicely fluffy, so here are some the advantages and musings I've noted for fielding a purely infantry force:
-- the psychological advantage is superb: not only is your enemy faced with a huge amount of infantry, he'll also quickly realise that every single one of his anti-tank weapons is useless. What a great waste of points!
-- Proportionately, there are lots of scoring units. Tons, in fact. Enjoy!
-- The manoeuvrability of this force can be surprising. With the heavy weapons in fire support squads, the normal rifle platoon squads are free to troll forward and - if needs be - to run. This means that it's even easier for them to claim objectives (see above).
-- Hard-hitting. Sure, my Guardsmen are not particularly talented with the whole pulling-the-trigger-and-hitting-the-thing-they-were-aiming-at thing, but those fire support squads can actually pack quite a concentrated punch if the dice come up right. If you set them up in hard cover with the right arcs of fire they should be able to command respectable 'killing areas'. Plus, in 4+ cover and with an officer nearby to help their Ld (see below) their survivability's pretty good too!
-- Hive mind. My infantry have a high-Ld commander, lots of junior officers and a thorough vox-network. The vox-network (with a master vox for the HQ) means that everyone gets to benefit from the commander's Ld; whilst the proliferation of subalterns means that everyone within 12" of them gets to benefit from their special rules.
-- This includes the snipers and support squads. As long as they're within 12" of a command squad they get to use the officer's Ld.
-- Assault: all elite enemy assault troops are wasted, as there's nothing for them to get their teeth into. If I deploy right, the most they can hope for is to massacre one of my units then get slaughtered by rapid firing lasguns when they're unable to consolidate into another assault.
-- Of course, the officers are tasty targets for assault but that's why I take quite a few junior officers. And I always ensure that I keep a rifle squad or two back to provide a defensive ring around the commander, so the meat shield has to be attacked first.
-- My infantry are a little tricksy too. By this I refer to my flamer squads. Each platoon has a remnant squad of a sgt + four pax, one of whom has a flamer. Unembellished, this costs a distinctly un-whopping 36pts, and gives you a squad who can sneak up to flambé the enemy, or hang around at the back as additional protection for the command echelon. Also, the two grenade launchers that each of my HQ squads pack, are very useful all-rounders, and I've neutralised a surprising amount of heavy-hitters with them before...although they do struggle a bit against MEQs!
-- Finally, I MUST mention the Light Infanty doctrine. It allows you to move through cover and infiltrate...and you can give it to fire support squads too! It's expensive at 10pts/unit (especially for 5-man units) but it makes such a difference when you can delay the deployment of entire rifle platoons or heavy weapons platoons; safe in the knowledge that they can deploy straight into cover, vantage points and your enemy's flanks or even his rear! Brilliant! At last you can guarantee that you can react to his deployement regardless of that initial roll. You can also march them in from reserve on a flanking manoeuvre, though that's necessarily less reliable.
-- Incidentally, when playing against Daemons, I discovered that this allowed me to deploy one platoon on my objective (in cover) and one on his objective (in cover), forcing the daemons to deep strike into the board's centre and fight on two fronts in open ground. That was the time, by the way, when two-and-a-half squads of my light infantry annihilated a freshly deep-struck Bloodthirster...with lasfire (19 lasguns on rapid; 3 las pistols; 1 meltagun and a plasma gun that missed)!
One question remains: why - when I'm such an abysmally slow painter - did I ever choose a horde army?