Tactica Imperial Guard: Elites

Continuing my series of posts on Imperial Guard tactics, today I'm going to be looking at those mainstays of the Guard battleplan - Elites.  These nails units offer up an enormous range of specialties  not to mention fantastic modelling and painting opportunities.  But like all Guard, they're generally not that tough and can run up a hefty points bill if you let yourself run away with it all.

(Should also mention that the prices given in all these articles are taken from GW direct - you can usually save at least 10% by going through another supplier.)



Elites
_________________________________________________________________________________
Stormtroopers.  The elite 'Glory Boys' are one of the deadliest infantry units available - one half of the 'storm-vets' duet of Guard special units.  Along with Veterans they are, simply, an elite version of your standard 10-man squads.  That BS4 really comes in handy when using special weapons, and the standard frag/krak/pistol/CCW loadout along with the lasgun makes them fearsome close combat opponents.  Even modestly kitted out with assault weapons and power swords, further increasing their lethality, you can get the whole lot in for about 200pts.

Not even mentioning the whole Deep Strike thing - I don't often seem to play missions with DS and even if I did, I probably wouldn't use it because that's not how Palladians fight.  Nonetheless, it's yet another factor in favour of this nice elite unit.

As for models, the vanilla GW option is the Kasrkin metal kit, currently costing £25.50.  A fairly high cost, especially when you consider the inflexibility of these metal figs which have stagnated fairly quickly - from a creative point of view.  The quality is good, but the very limited range of figures falls far short of the options available.  With only one grenade launcher and one flamer, it's likely you'll be doing fiddly conversions to get the other assault weapons in there.  That shouldn't detract from the fact that despite these drawbacks, the actual sculpts themselves are pretty cool.

Lethality/Effectiveness ****
Value for money ***
Model coolness ****

Good value (pointswise), and perhaps the most flexible Guard unit out there?

_________________________________________________________________________________
Ogryns.  Mad, bad, and fatal to know.  Over-muscled Ogryns prop up the feeble T3 struts of the Guard infantry with their sinewy, triple-wound frames.  Ogryns are, again, expensive but they are easily the toughest non-vehicle unit the Guard has to offer.  They also get a respectable shooting capacity and an excellent, high-strength close combat attack which makes them ideal linebreakers and objective-siezers.  In my last game, a squad of Ogryns romped through Space Marine lines to bring home an objective.  That the entire squad was wiped out, less the Bone 'Ed with one wound left, shows that any other unit would have been wiped out.

These guys tend to act as bullet magnets (as do many big Guard units), drawing a disproportionate amount of fire.  That can be used to their advantage - stick them in front of a platoon and they can act as 'abhuman shields', if you will.  Obviously everything in 40K costs more points if it's good, and a decent-sized squad of these guys is likely to preclude the possibility of any other large/well equipped Elites in a ordinary game, which must be borne in mind - particularly those going with the sacrificial abhuman shields option.

The models themselves (I think they're gorgeous, by the way), are perhaps the most obscenely expensive GW make even accounting for their larger size.  At a wallet-trembling total of £13.80 each, even a squad of five is going to cost nearly £70.  Conversion options or Ebay may be the way forward ...

Lethality/Effectiveness *****
Value for money  *
Model coolness  ****


A great all-rounder, although points heavy.  And the prices are obscene.

_________________________________________________________________________________
Ratling Snipers.  I'll confess right away to being a big fan of Ratlings, so apologies for the inevitable upcoming bias.  Apart from one or two odd options here and there the Ratlings are the only way to take Sniper weapons in a Guard army nowadays.  Of course, their main ability stems from their weapons and weapon type rather than the models.  Their weapons mean they can punch vastly above their weight (and height), I've used them effectively to thin down enemy Heavy Weapon squads in my last three games.

Cost wise, Ratlings are the antithesis of Ogryns.  A squad of five costs less than a single Ogryn in real money and is under 100pts.  They are much more subtle than Ogryns and they will draw less attention - but they are also much less flexible.  I like to plonk them in a building and whittle away at an enemy's flank.  They also happen to be my favorite unit!  Did I mention that?

Lethality/Effectiveness ****
Value for money  ****
Model coolness  ****

You can't put a price on that Sniper ability!  There's always room for at least three.

_________________________________________________________________________________
Psyker Battle Squad.  These chaps are a bit like the Primaris Psyker from the HQ post.  Cheap in points with the potential for mass devastation - but also an ability that fades as the squad is thinned.  Personally, I have never had much success with these guys and tend towards leaving them out of my lineup now.  Although individually they might be a poorer choice, think in the context of an army.  Points saved by going with the PBS (only just topping a hundred points for the whole 10-man squad) could very well be spent elsewhere - even on other Elites.

The models make up for what I think is a bit of a lacklustre unit choice.  They are really really nice and reasonably priced (for GW) at £8.20 for three.  Although that does mean £25 for a 10-man squad.  The poses are very similar, but the models are still some of my favourite.

Lethality/Effectiveness **
Value for money  ****
Model coolness  ****

If you go with them and get lucky, they'll kill their value in points - no problems.  But a risk.



Thanks again for reading, folks.  I'll try and get the last few parts done over the course of next week and a few model photos might also be forthcoming.  In the meantime, may the dice be with you...

The Colonel

Comments

  1. I'm definitely enjoying these overviews - it's always cool to see how others view the various units. The Elites are always the hardest part for me to decide on when building a list. I love my abhumans so 9 times out of 10 it's Ogryns and Ratlings, though the PBS is a common choice in lieu of Ogryns when points are tight.

    Still, it feels like sacrilege not to have Thargadd and da boys stomping around the table wreaking havoc!

    Looking forward to seeing more of this series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you're enjoying them. Despite me trying to be impartial here, any overview written by a Guard player is going to have some bias. But as you say there's no fun (and little value) in reading something totally impartial. The value comes from seeing how other people look at things and having your perceptions challenged. For example (from the last post) I see the benefit of two 'no-frills' command squads - something I hadn't thought of before.

      Ratlings and Ogryns are now two of my favourite units, and after Thargadd's performance in the last battle it's going to be hard to exclude him from any future lists!

      Delete
  2. Nice Read. I admit I love Storm Troopers because they can DS, which fits in perfectly with my Drop Troop army. Seeing that I've been working on an all Infantry army, I try to get at least 2 squads of these in. For some reason my opponent has always feared them more than their actual worth.

    It's also nice to read that Snipers are so effective. I've been thinking about adding a squad of these to my army as well. I just wasn't sure if I should go Ratlings (I hate the models!) or with the special wpn squads equipped with Sniper rifles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah well they fit perfectly with drop troop armies, and if it's all-infantry then you probably save tonnes of Heavy Support points and take two decently-equipped squads. That thing about opponents fearing units beyond their worth - that's the subject of a future post, coming soon.

      The good thing about snipers is that it's the weapon not the man - so SWSs or veterans or whatever will be just as good as Ratlings. I happen to love abhumans (I'm a recent convert) - but Ratlings still give you the best opportunity for a very big and very cheap sniper squad. And you can always use 'counts as' models.

      Delete
  3. Ratlings are my favorite elites choice for the Imperial Guard. I've used them to stunning effect on more than one occasion. One battle that saw my Cadian guard fending off the forces of the Black Legion; my little unit of hawk-eyed halflings brought down the enemy's daemon prince in a single salvo. But when I'm playing my traitor guard (which I normally use the Renegade list from the Vraks book)I deploy a massed unit of Ogryn Berzerkers, that variety of abhuman does not come with a gun. They make up for it by being completely ridiculous when they work right. I don't think there's a weak choice in the elites section but you do have to work around the strengths and weaknesses of each unit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That 2+ to hit really comes in handy, and with Rending they're a danger that even Terminators can't ignore. I do have a small traitor army, after the success of Ogryns in my regular unit I think that might be my next purchase.

      As came through in the entry I think the PBS are a bit of a gamble, but yeah the Guard come off pretty well for Elites choices. I certainly find them at the centre of most of my battle plans.

      Delete
  4. A great article Col Scipio, very interesting insights. The elites are my most neglected section, I have a mostly infantry IG army (which used to have the good old Drop Troops doctrine) and my elite choice are stormtroopers, but they have never done much, but I think that's because I didn't DS them.

    I think I will give Ratlings a good, always liked the models (old and new).

    I am also tempted to try Ogryns, converted from WFB Ogres, and a PBS converted from WFB Flagellants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kron, glad you likeed it. Ah Doctrines, them were the days! I only very rarely take Stormies but when I do, I use them as elite infantry.

      I'm pleased there's someone else who loves Ratlings. I used to have an all infantry army and was a bit of a realism purist - no fancy space things. But I've been won around by the models recently, as you can see.

      Ladies, gents - see the above comment for two great suggestions for cheaper Ogryn and PBS conversions.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Necromunda Campaign Superpost!

English Civil War Superpost

Laser Destroyer Conversion