Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Imperial Guard Army

Yesterday’s post explored the addition of a platoon to my army. I have been toying with this idea, but as stated previously, I have not been completely sold on it. I believe the biggest concern with adding it is that it feels out of place with the theme of my army. The idea of my painted army is that it is the personal guard/army of a prison warden that manages a prison that houses mutant troops (Ernie’s army). I want the army to have a very clean look to it, as this reflects the warden’s obsession with keeping everything ordered and organized. This doesn’t mean that individual units can’t have personalities, just that my army will have a very clean look to it. (i.e. no weathering on the tanks, uniforms will be painted cleanly, etc…)

With the theme fleshed out, I am looking at a few changes from the list in May, as I believe a couple of unit swaps will better define it. Before I list those units, I think it may be a good idea to share some of my general philosophy about unit selection for this army. The army is not really meant for the frontlines, as its role is more crowd control and prisoner maintenance. Along these lines, I don’t want to include plasma weapons, as they don’t really make sense in the context of the army. In contrast, I believe a lot of sniper rifles would be appropriate, as I feel like they fit the theme well. Lasguns are pretty much the standard issue for the imperial guard, but I plan on having a healthy dose of shotguns in the veteran squads.

When it comes to tanks, I feel like the hellhound, and its chemical variant, is a good choice. I have toyed with the leman russ punisher, but the new model has left me uninspired. In contrast, my imagination is jumping at the idea of the deathstrike, but it has zero place in my army and said inspiration is not strong enough to change my theme. Along the same lines, none of the artillery units feel like they belong in the army, though I do find a few of them interesting. Lastly, the hydra and manticore are both something I am willing to consider, but I think their place in the army depends on my mood towards them once I have completed some troop choices.

HQ – Company Command Squad w/ 2 sniper rifles, 1 heavy bolter and an astropath. [100 pts]

If one were to imagine the display base that I am going to build, this is the command squad that sits at the center of the tall wall along the back of the board. The warden is flanked by the two snipers, with the astropath standing behind him. The heavy bolter team will be an imperial guard saber defense platform that is positioned on a balcony just below the warden.

Elite – Ratling Snipers (5 models) [50 pts]

Using plasticard and bitz from the CoD and PS sprues, I plan on building an observation tower that is just outside the walls of the prison. In this tower will reside the ratling snipers I have been painting for the past month.

Troop – Veteran squad w/ Harker, 3 snipers, and heavy bolter team [150 pts]

I am actually working on this unit at the same time as the ratling snipers. When placed on the display board, they will be positioned ahead of the prison, most likely within a trench. This unit is composed of models that use bitz from both the cadian and catachan command sprues. The idea being that since they are position outside the prison, they are a little more relaxed when it comes to their uniforms and behavior.

Troop – Veteran squad w/ heavy flamer, 2 flamers, shotguns and hull/turret mounted flamer chimera [155 pts]

“The Matchstick Boys” are the first unit that presents the aspect of this army that is responsible for crowd control. This is 40K, so tear gas and other non-lethal methods are obviously not used. I have ordered the hardened veterans kit from FW. I’ll combine this kit with a command squad box to create the unit. The chimera for this unit will be one of the new hellhounds that are being released in August. I am using this kit because I plan on using the FW hellhound models for actual hellhounds and dislike the standard chimera model (specifically the goofy guns hanging out of the back).

The above units are what I consider the base of the army. I am 99% confident that the units above will always be included in every build of my army. These are also the units that have given me the most inspiration to create this army, so including them feels the most natural.

The next set of units are ones that will likely be include most of the time, but I need to create a little bit of flexibility to account for the typical team tournament rules that restrict unit selection. Specifically, the Chicago area typically enforces a 0-1 elite/fast attack/heavy support plus one floater for 1000 point games. In the case of a team tournament, teammates cannot have the same floater (i.e. both players taking a second elite as their floater). What this basically means is that I need to have two options for both the elite and fast attack slots as I don’t know what Ernie has planned for those slots.

Fast Attack/Troop – Grey Knights (teleport attack) w/ incinerator [160 pts]

This unit really belongs with the units above, but I have included it here because this unit may be shifted to a troop choice if Ernie needs two fast attack slots. The idea with this unit is that they are the warden’s trump card if things get really bad in the prison. The logic being that since the warden is dealing with mutants, presumably among them are going to be ones with psychic abilities. Since they are untrained, there is a higher than normal possibility of a daemonic incursion. The models have been assembled and are a combination of dark angel, grey knight, and other bitz. I have to admit I am getting the itch to paint them and may bump something back to move these guys up in the schedule.

Fast Attack – Bane Wolf [130 pts]

I like the concept of a tank that uses corrosive chemicals as a weapon against the enemy. Like the veteran squad w/ flamers, I see this tank being used by the warden to assert control over the prisoner population. I’ll be using the FW version of the tank, which I purchased back in March. Like the grey knights, I feel at this time that this unit will almost always be included in the army.

As I wrote yesterday, this army struggles with armies that depend on vehicles or terminators (2+ saves). Along those lines, the next unit is a strong possibility, but since it has not been started, I am not certain that it will make the final list. The biggest problem is that I have ~250 points to spend, and most unit choices fall into the 150-200 point range or fall under a slot that is already full. I would consider some FW models, but since most places don’t allow FW rules, I am going to avoid FW specific units.

Troop – Platoon command squad w/ 4 meltaguns and chimera (hb/hb) 125 pts
2 x Infantry squad w/ lascannon 130 pts (65 pts each) [255 pts]

This seems like the best fit for the remaining points as it gives me some much needed punch against vehicles. The struggle I have with the unit is how to make it fit into the theme of the army. The two infantry squads I believe can be worked into the theme by having each squad line the wall, the lascannon teams represented by saber models that are positioned on balconies below their respective squads. The command squad seems like the oddball, as I cannot justify why they would be packing meltaguns if they are essentially prison guards.

With the addition of the platoon, the army is at 1000 points. I feel like it has a good balance of units while keeping with the theme of the army. What I would like to explore with my readers is what should be added when I begin to consider the army at 1500 points. One unit that is currently missing from the list is the Nutcrackers (aka ogryn squad). I would like to add them, but I also realize that I have yet to use a heavy support slot, so I feel like there should be something that fills the slot.

So readers of my blog, what do you think should be added? As I ask that question, I feel like I need to add something to it. The theme of the army is much more important to me than the actual effectiveness of the army. This doesn’t mean that the tactical value of a unit is not worth considering; I just mean that I am not looking to add a unit purely because it will make the army better. Along these lines, the units I have already listed are pretty solid with the exception of the platoon. I don’t want to change those units, in large part because I like them and have begun work on them to some degree. So given the theme and points available, how should I use the 500 points?

1 comment:

  1. "The struggle I have with the unit is how to make it fit into the theme of the army. The two infantry squads I believe can be worked into the theme by having each squad line the wall, the lascannon teams represented by saber models that are positioned on balconies below their respective squads. The command squad seems like the oddball, as I cannot justify why they would be packing meltaguns if they are essentially prison guards." No problem, I'm thinking of taking chimera and a tank or two. Meltaguns and lascannons are a necessary "control" balance.