Luca from Italy requested help in rebuilding his 1500 point list to have more of a chance against some of the other armies he faces. The requirements of the sort of army he wants to run are:
- No Meltavets
- Avoiding chimera Spam
- Infantry heavy force
- Leman Russes
I like the fact he is pretty specific about the sort of army he is after, and is trying to steer it away from the cookie-cutter ‘netlist’ builds – in fact, I would like to strongly recommend anyone who sends in a list looking for advice is equally specific about what they hope to accomplish and how much they are willing to change.
By his own admission the problems with his current army are that he is forced to play a reactive rather than proactive game, the best he can hope to do in ‘Capture and Control’ is draw, and playing ‘Seize Ground’ is a struggle since the distant objectives aren’t threatened by his slow moving troops.
Let’s see if we can take his list and his requirements and turn it into something aggressive, surprising and competitive.
Hello Matt!I am looking for an alternative approach to Imperial Guard than the usual "Net-Approved" Meltavet in chimera spam (or for that matter all the elite-ish approach to Guard, where veterans are more common than normal troopers!) and when I read that you'll begin writing at 3++ about alternative, powerful guard builds which led you to victory without using veteran spam i knew that my point against meltavets wasn't a daydream!What I'm looking for is a more Infantry-heavy approach, to obtain the "feel" of endless human waves with heavy tanks support while still being fairly competitive (I am not aiming for powerplay, but still I'd like to at least have some chances against top-tier builds)
Imperial Guard (1500pts)HQ: Company command squad, Missile Launcher, Vox casterPlatoon 1Platoon command squad (empty)Infantry squad, vox caster, commissar (with PW), sergeant with PW and meltabomb, Autocannon, MeltagunInfantry squad with Autocannon and meltagunInfantry squad with Autocannon and meltagunInfantry squad with Autocannon and meltagun
Platoon 2Platoon command squad (empty)Infantry squad, vox caster, commissar, LascannonInfantry squad with LascannonInfantry squad with LascannonInfantry squad with Lascannon2x Heavy Weapons Squad with AutocannonsHeavy Weapons Squad with Mortars
Leman russ battle tank with LCLeman russ battle tank with LCLeman russ Demolisher with HB
- I am seriously considering a Company Standard, so i can babysit the heavy squads and boost their low morale
- The PCS aren't a threat to anyone, but can score and dish out some mid-range antihorde firepower
- Platoon 1 is quite controversial and might look a mess. But the powerweapons work wonders when I'll get charged (always) and the autocannons help when in closecombat because they'll allow a lot of models to fight even from ranks behind. The place that it looks like I am wasting points are meltaguns, which i rarely get to fire. I once killed a rhino with DoG, but that's it.
- Platoon 2 will be my main AT firepower. 4 TL Lascannons with 35 ablative wounds ARE tough and can destroy everything at long range
- The 2 Heavy Weapon Squads with Autocannons are Antitransport for the first turns of the game
- The Heavy Weapon Squad with Mortars are cheap scoring troop which can blast opponents hiding behind out of LoS and out of cover. Really not bad for its points
At First Glance
First some general comments before getting into the rebuild:
- Platoon Command Squads are one of the most point efficient units in the game, and it is a real shame to leave them without any special weapons. The basic squad with lasguns is 30 points, but for just 20 points you get a scoring unit with 4 flamers, or 40 points more gets you a unit with 4 meltaguns. The meltagun option is not popular, but I believe it is worth looking at because 4 shots at BS3 is the same as a veteran squads 3 shots at BS4, and benefits more from orders. Arming the squad works better in a Mech list where the special weapons have protection, but any list can benefit from using them better than armed with just 4 lasrifles.
- It would be a much better idea to have the Leman Russes carry the heavy bolters and the Demolishers carry the Lascannon, rather than vice-versa. The reason for this is simply that the Lascannon compliments the Demolisher’s AP2 cannon, making this a very efficient terminator killer that is also able to handle tanks within its 30’ threat-range. If your opponent’s tanks are more than 30’ away for long you are probably going to win anyway.
- The cheap and cheerful heavy bolter is a better match with the Leman Russ’s battle cannon, which is more likely to be used against infantry or very light vehicles.
And now the rebuild!
The goal will be to make something similar to his own list, the "feel" of endless waves of infantry but at the same time aggressive, surprising and competitive with multiple paths to victory.
First, starting with Heavy Support as any honest Guardsman should, we’re using Leman Russes. Under the current rules there is only one time I find Leman Russes really justified, and that is when you actually get to benefit from their massive front armour because the enemy has no other valid target choices.
This means we need to have no light armour on the table, so no chimera spam or vendettas, and no heavy weapon squads (the two HWTs with Autocannons in his original list are the ideal recipients of enemy S6+ firepower, so sadly have to be cut. Sorry).
1 Leman Russ Battle Tank 150
1 Leman Russ Demolisher (Lascannon) 180
1 Leman Russ Demolisher (Lascannon) 180
These will be the only vehicles that start on the table. Let the enemy scratch their paintwork if they can!
Next, some infantry that will in a similar way be almost a complete waste of the enemy’s shooting; A large platoon armed with Lascannons. This is the deluxe version, and comes with melta, power weapons and a commissar so will take your opponent a long time to shoot through at range or chew threw in combat. Whether they fire at this or the tanks, they are probably wasting their shots.
10 Infantry Lascannon Meltagun Powerweapon+ Commissar Powerweapon10 Infantry Lascannon Meltagun Powerweapon10 Infantry Lascannon Meltagun Powerweapon
They would be lead by a PCS with 1x Autocannon (if they also have a Lascannon this will attract too much attention) and 2x flamers (for close encounters). It is worth considering not deploying them at all, or deploying behind a tank that will later move out of the way.
Next we take an HQ with 2 flamers and a Mortar, accompanied by an Astropath. The Mortar is not a great weapon, but I find taking one serves to remind me to deploy out of sight and still feel like they are doing something useful. I know it's silly, but it works. If you can’t deploy out of sight or behind a tank, keep them in reserve. The Astropath works either way, and reserve control is the main function of this unit.
Taking the fight to THEM!
That is the bulk of the force established, so now we look at the aggressive and fun part – we want to take the enemy’s objectives, and we are going to do it by outflanking a vast wave of angry guardsmen who are going to storm in from a board edge and wreak havoc amongst enemy lines.
Captain Al'rahem, Platoon Command Squad with 4 MeltagunsChimera Multilaser, Heavy Flamer10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon+ Commissar Powerweapon10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon, 10x Krak Grenades
Al’rahem has the only AV12 vehicle in the army, and will use it either stay alive a little longer or get 4 meltagun shots on an enemy vehicle up to 26” from the board edge – that’s a very impressive melta threat range! They can also tank shock – useful near the enemy’s deployment edge. Remember, Al’rahem has the ability to issue two orders including Bring it Down and First Rank Fire (useful for the combined platoon if the enemy are out of charge range – hit them with 3 rapid fire shots per lasgun instead).
The Platoon is kitted out for a fight. One squad has Krak grenades since I almost always find there are a few stationary vehicles worth multicharging, and as a whole this should swamp most of the sorts of things like Combat Squads or Long Fangs you find in the enemy backfield pretty quickly.
Surround and Conquer
The Astropath will give you about an 89% chance of coming in on the edge you need, and that is what makes him so vital. That knowledge should help you direct firepower to soften up the correct side of the board before the men arrive. At this point you will have a mob of 31 angry guardsmen with powerweapons behind the enemy and a brick of Leman Russes and another mob of 31 guardsmen with power weapon in front of them.
That leaves room in the list for one last surprise to keep the enemy on their toes:
Yes, he gets his own subtitle. I don’t share a lot of people’s fascination with Marbo, but in a list that can weather the first turn or two with negligible losses and is already using an Astropath for reserve control, Marbo can add a third heat by making sure that no point on the table is safe from a demo charge. Again you really should know where you want him ahead of time and soften the area up. His survival chances are increased if he is one of 36 men who just came from reserve at once and your best case scenario is he messes up an expensive unit with his Demo charge and then gets to charge something with a meltabomb the next turn, but usually he is a one shot wonder.
Here is the 1,500 point list in full:
Company Command SquadFlamer x2 Mortar x1Astropath
Platoon Command SquadFlamer x2 Autocannon x1
10 InfantryLascannon Meltagun Powerweapon+ Commissar Powerweapon10 InfantryLascannon Meltagun Powerweapon10 InfantryLascannon Meltagun Powerweapon
Captain Al'rahem, Platoon Command Squad with 4 MeltagunsChimera Multilaser, Heavy Flamer
10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon+ Commissar Powerweapon10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon10 Infantry Meltagun Powerweapon, 10x Krak Grenades
Leman Russ Battle Tank 150Leman Russ Demolisher (Lascannon) 180Leman Russ Demolisher (Lascannon) 180
So I hope you can see this has become a very aggressive, reasonably flexible and unpredictable version of the “wave-upon-wave of my own men” armies favoured by Creed and Zapp Brannigan. It’s probably also about as much fun to play as it is possible to have at 1,500 pts with a Leman Russ derived army.
And not a Vendetta or a Meltavet to be seen. HoooRAH!