Thursday, 28 November 2013

Wish List - Imperial Guard Codex 2014

Hey everyone, man I am really pumping the posts out this week.

I like it when I have a lot of hobby stuff on my mind and this blog is a great way for me to vent while hopefully giving my readers something interesting and or helpful to read at work COUGH! I mean in their own time.

Well today I am going to talk about my wish list for the next Imperial Guard codex, it might seem a bit early for such a topic but I was walking to the gym the other day and I just found myself thinking about what I would like to see in the next dex and figured I would get it all written down.

looking back at the previous Imperial Guard codex and what I have seen happen within new codex’s specifically Tau and Space Marines I started to think how the Imperial Guard could return with their own unique identity and how this would translate onto the table top while incorporating all the signature units and wargear that make them so popular.

Imperial Guard Regiments - Doctrines
l started by looking at what it means to be an Imperial Guardsman and how the different regiments might function on the table top, just like the new Space Marine codex and its chapter tactics each regiment should have its own army wide tactics and rules to support the fluff (background).  Now anyone who played the previous Imperial Guard codex will remember doctrines and how they used to help you customise your army.  Below is a list of the old army special rules and I have elaborated on two that best represent how a Cadian and Catachan army should operate.

Infantry Specialization (Cadians):
Infantry units may add medics to their squads (feel no pain yes please)
Infantry units may add Commissars to their squads (Always useful for keeping the grunts in line)
Infantry units now get Vox casters for free (would saves you 5pts on each unit and helps with orders)
Infantry units may have 2 additional special weapons in the squads (this is possible in Veteran squads now and widely used)

Mechanized Specialization:
Airborne Specialization:
Light Infantry:

Jungle Fighters (Catachans):
May see 12” through jungle or forest (this might now mean reducing or ignoring enemy cover saves from such terrain)
Units may take a heavy flamer instead of a heavy weapon team (nice)
Units armour saves are reduced by -1 (due to only wearing ripped T-Shirts)
Units get 4+ cover save when in forest or jungle terrain (would likely be a +1 to jungle and forest cover in 6th ed, nice)
Move at full speed in forest or jungle terrain (move through cover is always nice even if restricted to terrain types)
Units with this doctrine cannons take Lascannons
Units with this doctrine may not take carapace armour or camo cloaks (I like game balance to be considered at all times)

Battle Hardened:
Xeno Fighters:

So doctrines are a no brainer and GW do now seem to like bringing back retro rules to keep things interesting, doctrines would increase the diversity of the Guard while opening up loads of possible Regimental supplements.  It has worked well for the Space Marine chapters so I see no reason why it should not work just as well for the Imperial Guard.

Regimental Warlord Traits
With each new codex and supplement we are seeing new warlord traits and I think this trend should and will continue, I can see the stock codex coming with a standard warlord trait table that will likely work to the strengths of the Cadian regiments.  If we are very lucky a few other regiments will be represented with their own traits but it’s more likely that supplements will supply other regiments like the Catachans with their own warlord traits.  So with regimental army special rules and warlord traits we are well on our way to a fully bulked out army book with a ton of cool options.

The Chain Of Command - Orders
So the chain of command in the Imperial Guard codex goes Company Commander, Platoon Commander and infantry squad Sergeant which is simple enough for all to understand and in my mind should not become any more complicated.  So your Company Commander can issue 2 orders a turn and the Platoon Commander can issue 1 but the lowly Squad Sergeant cant issue any orders of any kind. 
Now I would like to see the orders system define the Imperial Guard as an army even more than they do now, they are basically buffs and de-buffs that are not psychic powers so they can’t be nullified which is great but I just find that too often I don’t get the most out of them. 
Take for example the types of units that issue orders, both the CCS (Company Command Squad) and the PCS (Platoon Command Squad) are five man units and in 6th edition its becoming increasingly hard to keep these small units alive long enough to make the most of the orders.  With my CCS now worth a VP (Victory point) thanks to the secondary objective ‘Slay the Warlord’ I find that they are dead soon after turn one whether or not they are in an armoured transport, in fact being in a transport will often see them killed even sooner than if they had been on foot.  The same if true of the PCS, all too often they are dead or out of position or wishing they had access to such orders as “Get Back In the Fight”. 
I don’t see the composition of these units changing any time soon but I would like to see more orders available across the command levels and an increase in the number of orders each unit can issue, most of all I would like to see the Squad Sergeant be able to issue one single order a turn.  I would have the CCS able to issue three orders then PCS two and the Sergeant just one, this would increase availability overall.

The orders themselves I think are good and I am not sure if I would change them other than maybe add a few more but I would like to see the PCS at least gain access to “Get Back in the Fight” because Imperial Guard so often use going to ground to their advantage and as only the CCS has the ability to get them back up you end up with huge gaps in the line as your single CCS can’t be everywhere at once, delegating this order to the frontline commanders would be perfect.

The Squad Sergeants should have a very limited number of orders maybe only “Incoming” and “Move, move, move” as these two are best suited for use at a squad level.  This would free up the PCS to issue “1st rank fire 2nd rank fire” and “get back in the fight” which would make sure that as many Guardsman were on the line and able to shoot as possible because let’s face it a St3 Lasgun that shoots all the time is still pretty meh so if you spend the whole game pinned you are getting nothing done and your 100 guys are for nought.

The Communications Network - Vox Casters
So in the current codex the issuing of orders is limited by not only who can issue them as I talked about above but also the range at which they can be issued.  A CC (Company Commander) can bellow an order or send a runner at a range of 12” which is the exact same range of effect that he had in the previous codex, orders were not a thing back then  and instead it was the Commanders Leadership that was shared in a 12” bubble.  A PC (Platoon Commander) had and still has a range of only 6” so he is expected to be right in the line of fire keeping the gun line intact. 
So enters the humble Vox caster which in this edition gives a unit receiving an order the chance to re-roll its leadership test to determine if the order is carried out so long as both the unit issuing and the unit receiving the order are equipped with a Vox caster.
This seems like a nice buff but at the same time it seems very un-like a radio network as the range of the order is not increased or better still rendered obsolete all together.  Thinking back to the previous incarnation of the Vox caster it enabled the leadership bubble from a commander to be used anywhere on the battlefield which at the time was something I depended on and when I got my hands on the current codex I was expecting the same when it came to order ranges……………..DENIED!
So let’s have the Vox do for the Imperial Guard what the Marker-light has done for the Tau, it should become a signature item of wargear that enables the Guard player to buff and de-duff units where ever they are on the tabletop, because in many of the deployments and mission objectives in 6th Edition having such a short range on orders is just not realistic. In this age of long table deployment and Line Breaker objectives you need to have your commanders in relative safely able to issue orders to the troops be they out on the frontline or deep behind enemy lines so come on GW sort it out J.

I would be happy to have the re-roll dropped in favour of the range for orders being doubled or removed but I would encourage that the Inspired Tactics and Incompetent Command rules remain as they keep that element of randomness that GW have become so fond of and who does not enjoy a little risk and reward.

Well that’s it peeps, I thought long and hard about what I want to see so here’s looking forward to the new codex sometime early 2014, hopefully around February so I can get a new book for my Birthday .

As usual feel free to comment below and just be aware that I check each comment before publishing it so keep it clean and be patient.

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