Thursday, 7 January 2010

Late 2008 - Mid 2009 - From punchbag to cheese.

Late 2008: The journey continues, and I amass more models (some pictures below, but not all of them, just the ones I could take photos of) in a quest to find a playable, competitive, and fluffy 512th Cadian regiment.

Colonel Slim (the ol' Storman Norman metal Cadian model. Gotta love that gut.)

Veteran Squad 01 - Metal Cadians repainted, the 512th way!

HQ - Led by Captain Scarlet. A piss-poor paint job that for some reason I can't be bothered to rectify.

Tanks! My first assembled and painted Leman Russ. God I love tanks. I now have about 4 Russes (1 of which is a Demolisher, the other a converted Punisher), a Basilisk, 2 Hellhounds and 2 Chimeras. Tanks in the 512th Orbital Defence Detail? They must have pretty big ships to fit these bad boys in them..

Sentinel Squad 01

So far, until mid-2009, I ran the following 3rd Ed Codex IG armies standardised around 1 HQ 2 Troops with the following doctrinal/unit/weapon variations, around the 1000-1500pt range, playing both KP & Objective games numerous times, against Marines (mostly 2 tac squads + 2 drop pod - 1 dread consistently vanilla lists) and Orks (varying lists e.g. mekboy cover save, warboss transport, weirdboy teleporting, shoota heavy, kombat heavy, etc), an average 3-4 games per version, with the following results in bold italics:

The 512th Regiment in their following incarnations:

  • Mark I 'Shield Apprentices' - Carapace & Plasma heavy - Get their asses kicked every time.

  • Mark II 'Viridian Irregulars' - Xeno/Hardened Fighters - Guard in combat = Dead guard always.

  • Mark III 'Skirmish Devils' - Light Infantry infiltrators, with some tanks - Mostly losses, some draws (objective-based games), no wins.

  • Mark IV 'Flying Cowboys' - Droptroopin' demolition squads, with some tanks - Some losses, mostly draws, still no wins.

  • Mark V 'Deepstrike Dragoons' - Last Chancers, all with flamers, max'ed demo charges, droptroopin' demo squads (7no. demos), some tanks - Some draws, mostly wins?????

  • Mark VI 'Plasma Mothers' - Last Chancers, all plasma'ed out - Mostly draws, unreliable dice rolls mean I frag mostly my own guys.

  • Mark VII 'The Thin Grey Line' - As many platoons and tanks as possible. Guard as they're supposed to be played (horde) - Get their asses kicked every time.

  • Mark VIII 'Dakkadakka' - As many heavy bolters, hellhounds, tanks as possible - Mostly draws. Great Vs Orks, not so much Marines.

  • Mark IX 'Grenadier Bastards' - The Mobile Infantry list, Mechanised & Grenadier doctrines,Stormies in Chimeras ahoy!, with Ratlings thrown in for some fun. And I got rid of tanks and put Basilisks with re-rolling in to squeeze the points as much as possible - MOSTLY WINS!!!

Now, from the above playing 3rd edition IG in 5th edition 40K, everything is as it should be expected, what with codex creep, overcosted options in the ol' dex, tissue-paper combat survivability of guard and tanks, uselessness of sponsons, and poorer ballistic skill of the average guardsmen

However, the 512th Mark V and IX bucked that trend, how was this possible?

Mark V 'Deepstrike Dragoons' were designed to rectify poor dice rolls out of the way, albeit Last Chancers had a better BS, but the combination of deepstriking many templates got the better of Orks and Marines everytime. I had won my first game this way (after losing every game I had played for almost half a year), but cries of 'CHEESE!' abounded.

"That's not how Guard are supposed to be played! You're bending the rules to give yourself an unfair advantage!"

Pfft. If Guard are supposed to be played as an expensive and over-costed, lumbering horde beast consisting of masses of limp scoring units that don't do anything, colour me uninterested. Guys jumping off planes giggling maniacally with promethium strapped across their backs? You have my attention!

Did I care re: cheesiness? No sir, I did not. I won my first ever game, well and truly. And when winning the next few games followed, I was ecstatic! There seemed no reliable way to get the better of my Salamander... I mean 'Dragoon' list, apart from leaving it up to Lady Luck to delay the inevitable during the Reserves/Deep Striking roll. Still, I moved on from that list and discovered...

Mark IX 'Grenadier Bastards', with it's scorin' stormies and chimera spam, meant X things:
  1. Increased survivability of 4+ saves.
  2. Increased survivability of being inside a Chimera.
  3. Increased shootiness of BS 4.
  4. Chimera multilaser, great against Rhinos!
  5. Increased mobility to run away from combat, and shoot again. Bye Orks, no fighting for you!
  6. Increased flexibility overall, getting the troops as and where they are needed.
  7. Wrecked, destroyed by meltas? Not to worry, here's MORE Chimeras!
  8. Basilisk hides and pie plates anything and everything. Who needs front armour 14, side sponsons, etc, when you can get a great gun for cheap and not get shot at?
Hallelujah! An even more reliable method than deepstriking, no more reliance on the Winds of Fate. Dice Gods in your face! Sure 70pts Chimeras (remember, old 'dex) were expensive, and overcosted, but they tipped the balance, yessiree they sure did.

Mechanised certainly seemed the way to go, and the stripped down mechanics of my Hidden Artillery list did wonders to my win ratio. As much as I liked the erratic, random nature of a drop troop list (it was the Cadian 512 orbital defence after all!) which fitted into the fluff in my imagination, men in tanks a la Steel Legion was certain a winning combination. And a fun combination.

It was fun to win. And win hard, in a well deserved, respected kinda way. At least that's what I thought. And I think the local Ork player agreed, seeing he had a go at the list (we swapped forces) and reckoned Mechanised Imperial Guard was really a tough nut to crack.

But as ever, the cries of contemptous (or was it fearful?) cheese (mostly from our Marine player) continued:

"That's not how Guard are supposed to be played! It's so unfair that my drop-podding Marines can't get into combat, or that you put your guys in reserve before my 1st turn! Why is it you get more special weapons than I do? Do they give it out like candy or what!?!"

Little did we know the shiny new 5th Edition Imperial Guard codex was coming just around the corner. Imperial Guard were suddenly the punchbag no longer....

1 comment:

  1. I will need to post my guard list again, but I have come to several of the same conclusions. First off, transports add to survivability for a number of reason:
    (1)Guard are fragile
    (2)Guard were cardboard for armour
    (3)Being in a transport negates a lot of psychic attacks.

    Due to the amount of Eldar where I play, I have decided that anything with more than AC 12 is a liability. With the new Tyranid Lance weapons, this seems to be a good choice.

    I have artillery, Chimeras, and Hellhound Variants as they all have AC 12 - yet remain effective.