Kirb your enthusiasm!


"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Imperial Guard Codex Review: Part 4: Special Characters Part 1

Time to look at the Special Characters for Imperial Guard. These are a bit of a mixed bag and there are certainly some good choices alongside some terrible choices. Uniquely among 5th edition books there aren't any FoC swaps and perhaps this is why we don't see a lot of these characters as 'auto-inlcudes' like in other 5th edition books. This is really an attestment to the FoC balance of the current Imperial Guard codex but also a reflection of what people want from their special characters (perhaps). Let's start with the Command Squad special characters and in the next post will look at the others.


It's only right that we start with Creed! Creed has an increased statline but like for most IG, it's still pretty eh. Ld10 is a nice boost over Ld9 but doesn't help with giving orders unless combined with Kell. No Eternal Warrior and T3 still means he's pretty easy to Instant Death and not exactly durable in any case. Don't go throwing him into combat... Creed of course is the epitome of a battlefield commander who controls the ebb and flow of the army from afar and this is represented by his ability to cast four orders up to 24" away. That's twice the number and twice the range of normal Commanders. These orders are the same as the regular Commander options in the Company Command Squad with the bonus "For the Honour of Cadia!" This gives an infantry unit Furious Charge. At first glance this seems pretty eh, after all they are Imperial Guard but it can make blob units quite scary on the charge with multiple Sarges with Power Weapons, a Priest and Commissar. Not super duper amazing but annoying to deal with for opponents.

Creed also allows one unit to have Scout in the army. It's a nice little bonus but with only one unit, this isn't always going to be worth it. Combine with an Astropath though and you can outflank a melta unit pretty reliably. In the end, you take Creed for four orders which can really benefit the BS3 of heavy weapon teams whilst also giving your army great flexibility in terms of other orders such as First Rank FIRE!, Second Rank FIRE!; Move, Move, Move!; etc. At 90 points this flexibility is very handy and although expensive in light of normal Company Command Squad prices, is pretty cheap overall.


Once again, a mildly better statline but nothing to write home about. Kell comes with a Regimental Standard which is nice and helps keep Imperial Guard hanging around, Kell also allows the Leadership of the Officer to be used when issuing Orders - this combines very well with Creed and his Ld10 obviously but Ld9 from normal Commanders isn't anything to sneer at. It's nice but I could just use Vox Casters instead... and at 85 points, you're not really saving any points or getting a combat beast. He is 2W so the Standard can last a bit longer but dedicated firepower is still going to kill the unit. Kell gains Bodyguard status if Creed is in the same squad but this becomes far too expensive for both characters and whilst a not combination is not really necessary. Rather than Kell I'd just buy the Standard and Vox Casters. You'll save points more than likely though you will have to use Ld7 for the Heavy Weapon Teams of course.


Now that's a statline for Imperial Guard! WS5 and strength 6 with base toughness 4! It's like the Mephiston of Imperial Guard. Still I3 but also three wounds and attacks with Ld9 and a 3+ save. Not bad...and then we have his special rules. His Command Squad becomes fearless which isn't so great in combat if you lose but you know the squad isn't going to be pinned or falling back any time soon - nice to have. Considering the buffing effect this unit has on your army, this is a good thing. No Orders bonus compared to your normal Company Commander as he can only give two standard orders a turn up to 12" but all units within 12" of Straken have counter-attack and furious charge, including the squad Straken is with. That's amazing for foot lists as the Imperial Guard units can be relatively scary both on the charge and when charged themselves. Even Mech IG will find this benefit helps their squads of ten infantry do some damage outside of their meltaguns.

An extra bonus for Straken is he ignores saves in combat and rolls 2D6 for armor penetration. He comes with wargear which gives him +1A in combat, a refractor field (5++), plasma pistol and shotgun so can pewpew away but the invulnerable and +1A is nice to have. For 95 points this guy is pretty beastly and is going to make Imperial Guard a lot scarier around him though remember, he's not invincible and his statline is only so good. When you take Straken, it's probably the only time I'd recommend adding extra bodies or wargear to a Company Command Squad as he makes them pretty scary in combat. The buffing effects of Straken's unit though are huge which makes this squad a massive target for your opponent but can make the whole Imperial Guard army run like a well oiled machine.

Nork Deddog:

Nork is a beefy bodyguard of Orgyn proportions. This makes his statline a nice sight to behold with Strength and Toughness 5, three wounds and four attacks but at 110 points, he doesn't do much more than this. He has the bodyguard special rule of Look out - Arghh! to improve the survivabilty of the Commander and also does extra damage when he dies (D6 S6) whilst fiddling with Commissar rules - yay. Unfortunately his role and price make him a poor choice. He'd be great to join to a Straken Command unit with his extra combat ability and Straken protection but is simply too pricey.

Commissar Yarrick:

Yarrick is a Lord Commissar so immediately has the 6" Ld10 bubble and is also an Eternal Warrior which is nice. Not much of a statline buff over a normal Lord Commissar with T4 and a 4+ save being the only differences. Yarrick has a further aura where all units within 12" are stubborn and his unit becomes Fearless and re-rolls hits in combat on the charge. This is really nice and can make lots of Imperial Guard units hard to shift in combat. Yarrick is also annoyingly hard to kill. Not only does he have T4 and Eternal Warrior but a force field which forces all wounds allocated to Yarrick to be re-rolled. The lack of an invulnerable save is disappointing and limits his use in combat though. Yarrick also comes with a Power Fist, a hot-shot laspistol (Bale Eye) and frag/krak grenades. To top this all off, when Yarrick reaches his last wound, on a 3+ he gets back up with one Wound. Annoying is the right word.

Unfortunately for all of pay 185 points which is really expensive. Yarrick is nice to have for the auras of Ld10 and Stubborn and takes the role of a Priest in a blob squad (re-rolls to hit on the charge). Whilst he is difficult to take down, Yarrick still folds to power weapons though he at least cannot be swept due to Fearless. If you were looking for buffing characters I'd rather look at Straken/Creed or simply go with a normal Lord Commissar and take stealth pants instead.


Straken and Creed are probably the best choices here and excellent for foot, hybrid or more aggressive Imperial Guard armies. Creed is going to really benefit an army which makes great use of orders (hello Heavy Weapon Teams) with the bonus of improving combat ability of squads due to Furious Charge. If you're looking for more infantry units or aggressive play however, go with Straken who is not only a combat beast himself but has an aura of furious charge/counter-attack of 12". He's going to affect far more units this way continuously over Creed. Even basic units can become annoying with this effect in play. If you want to run a foot list, you should really be taking one or the other and I'd be leaning heavily towards Straken.

Kell has his options for using the Leadership of the Commander on Orders but is expensive all things considered even though he comes with a Regimental Standard. Just buy the standard and Vox Casters if you're worried about failing Orders regularly. Nork and Yarrick just end up being too expensive for what they do even though Yarrick can be very difficult to bring down.

Next post we'll look at the rest of the special characters generally used as upgrade characters for particular units.

Follow us on Facebook!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...