Wednesday, 15 September 2010

227 Vox Un-Populi: Whatever Happened to IG Radios?

Hullo, All.

Just thought I'd share my disappointment at the understandable lack of vox-sets in Guard armies these days...including my own.
I'm happy to admit that in the last incarnation of the Codex, the vox-caster was over-powered. Being able to use the commander's Ld from across the board - whilst a nice nod to battlefield communications - made Guardsmen too steady in the face of casualties. the current Codex they are seriously, seriously rubbish. I get the 'Orders' process, and (whilst it's a little fussy at the start of the shooting phase with a lot of infantry) it's fun and works at the right 'level'. I get that the range is 6" or 12" and I'm happy for that to represent an abstraction of the effective range of officers' shouts/charisma/authority. But what on Earth do voxes do these days?
They offer you a re-roll on an orders check.

So...if the squad's within 6" of the issuing officer, and they don't quite catch his yells of "Shoot the buggers! Fire by ranks! Kill them! Kill them all!" then they can call him up on the vox net and clarify just what it is they so urgently need to do. But only if they're already within shouting distance.
Bloody ridiculous.
And it costs 5pts per squad.

What's more is that - for the most part - the troops you often really want to issue the juicy orders to aren't allowed vox sets (heavy and special weapon squads; maybe snipers). The only notable exception is veterans, who have the potential to really benefit from almost every order.

I'm fairly sure I'm not alone in enjoying many of the various Guard vox miniatures, and I'm still using mine, but even though I like to try and make my forces fairly fluffy, I'm still not wasting points on vox-sets.
If I had the ability to re-write the rules, I'd do it very simply: orders have a 6"/12" range unless both units have a vox, in which case there's no range limit. Y'know, like what they designed radios for.*

Any other thoughts on the matter?

- Drax.

*It's worth pointing out that British Army radios traditionally seem to have a real-life working range of only about 12". On a 1:1 scale. But only whilst the batteries work.


  1. Spot on.

    In a game with in most cases perfect battlefield knowledge and control, it is hard to represent field communications, since they're not needed for most things. The current solution though is indeed poor.

  2. I agree with you about the vox sets. but keep the morale check and drop the reroll, the range representing the vox bonus.
    on a side note I have had some pretty good comms with the little prr radios. they are awesome. over a kilometre range in favourable conditions.

  3. agreed. The reason I usually take Creed is his 24" shout range. If orders could be over vox (maybe re-rolling successful leadership tests for longer range) would be a much better use of them. as it is most of my troops end up being clustered around the commander.

  4. I like the idea of a vox simply making orders have no range, but even then I dont think I would use them without that re-roll also attached. Perhaps the re-roll would only take place if there was also line of sight to the commanding officer?

  5. Good to see the Army have the same Comms issues as the Navy - my PRR doesn't even work if I can't have LOS - too much metal in the bulkheads!

  6. They obviously aren't using baby monitor technology. I can pick up a distress call from one of the babies from almost a hundred feet!

  7. @Natfka
    Most good orders require los anyway.

    As for the post, I agree fully. I was somewhat worried that I'd have to model voxes onto all my squads when the new dex came out, but it turned out it was a horrible waste. Still, it's a shame they're so useless, perhaps Cruddace considered anything else overpowered?

  8. I'm totally with you Drax--I made a similar comment in one of my own posts a while back:

  9. The only reason I use voxes is because I'm too lazy to redo the models that have them (I always play WYSIWYG, so 30pts per IG list are effectively wasted). It does boggle the mind as to why you would need a radio when all that's really needed at those ranges is an officer with a megaphone.

  10. Thanks, Chaps!

    >sonsoftaurus: Good observation.

    >Firewasp: Fair one - PRRs are indeed a quantum leap forward at local level. Maybe the Imperium should invest...

    >Natfka: This is exactly why ships ought once more to be built of wood.

    >Geek: I know where you're coming from, now!

    >Hal'jin: it's certainly a strange omission.

    >Darkwing: I shall read it forthwith.

    >Da Masta Cheef: I have a lot of respect for that, sportsmanship-wise. As for me, I'll never say a model has something better than it appears to, but I've found it easier to say "Ignore the voxes - they're pants". And as for a megaphone? We used one on the gun platforms before the aforementioned PRR came along!

    >Zzzzzz: *Drax smiles*.

    - D.

  11. Jeez - sorry: got mixed up with some names there.

  12. Clanman! - I forgot how heavy those thing were, my shoulders are aching just looking at that pic - lol.

    I'm with you on the vox, it seems to have gone to one extreme to the other.

  13. The rationale for the vox-caster working the way it does, I think, is that it forces the guard player into maintaining an overall army coherency. The army designer sees Guard armies working in a certain way: a rigid battle formation. Old vox mechanics would have allowed too much flexibility in guard deployment. GW clearly wants platoons to stick near each other, and it also forces guard officers into leading from the front.

  14. I like the Vox rules as they are. Rerolling orders checks is very worth it, especially for those of us (me) who are absolute whizzes at failing LD rolls. And 5 points really isn't expensive at all.

    I agree with Cam on the army design aspect. The general feel for IG armies is that they're supposed to be large groups of men sticking together to win the fight, and the orders rules force you to do that. In the old codex, you could spread your Guardsmen super-thin. I often did that, and I often lost. Now that I have to keep them together if I want to issue orders, I find that I lose less often (i.e., most of the time instead of all of the time).


Thanks for taking the time to comment!