Posts Tagged ‘CMO’

vs — Imperial Guard
vs — Imperial Guard avatar

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

With all of Drew’s great Imperial Guard content on our blog lately, it inspired me to poke back with some guard info of my own—mostly on how to SMASH THEM! This post will kick off a new series for me, “vs”, where I’ll give you some battle-tested techniques for taking down enemy lists.

Know Your Foe. Guns and tanks, that’s about it. Guard armies are one of the easiest to plan for because you know, with only the most bizarre of exceptions, that you’ll be up against these two things. Guard rely on a massive amount of artillery to get the job done, and the have easy access to huge templates en masse. While the fusillades of heavy weapons are devastating, their large infantry platoons can be just as effective due to their numerous special weapons and model count.

However, the guard does have a few Achilles’ heels that you can exploit:

  • Feebs. The only thing that dies faster in close combat are gretchin. Guardsmen are like lambs to the slaughter for almost any army, which means that if you can get into assault—you’ve probably won.
  • No Psychic Defense. Let those powers loose. Blood lance, lash of submission, jaws of the world wolf, fortune… any and all will give you an edge, especially those which provide cover saves to protect you from the hour-long shooting phase you’ll endure.
  • Swarms. Units of guardsmen may as well be swarms, because even a standard flamer will take a huge bite out of their numbers. Since they love to hide their huge squads behind vehicles or area terrain, flamers are a handy tool to wipe out their scoring units, of which they can field countless.
  • KP Heavy. All those vehicles the guard will bring can catch up with them in the long run; their lists sometimes offer you a KP ratio approaching 2:1!

Beware. When you’re staring down the barrels of a dozen tanks, it can be intimidating, but some things are definitely meaner than others.

  • Company Command Squad: This HQ will be buffing up the entire army throughout the game, and it’s usually very tough to do anything about it. Guard players love to keep their HQs very will protected, because their almost as easy to kill as regular infantry. In my experience it is better to leave them be because of the difficulty in getting to them and the certain counter attack to follow if you invest in a tactical strike against them via deep strike, etc. Work on taking down things you know you can get instead.
  • Infantry Platoons & Chimeras: While easy to kill on both accounts, guardsmen can surprise you if they catch you in the open. Their transports are rugged and versatile, while many guard players can manipulate the structure of their platoons to wiggle in a variety of special weapons.
  • Valkyrie/Vendetta. Probably the best all around vehicle in the guard codex because of their reliable, precision firepower and their speed. A big priority because if anything is going to get a shot on your vehicle’s side armor—it’s this.
  • Hydra Flak. These suckers can run in squadrons and put out huge light-armor shots, easily chewing through monstrous creatures and transports.
  • Executioner. Do you play marines? Then take this thing out quickly. One round of it shooting will wipe the floor with your toughest, most badass, and expensive unit with massive amounts of plasma!

Tactics. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to send the guard packing up early.

  • Turn order? Unless you have tricks that bring in reserves fast, I recommend that you always take the first turn with the opportunity. A full round of guard shooting will not only give them an early edge, it takes FOREVER! You could instead decide to go second and keep everything in reserve, but unless you’ve got tricks to bring them in quickly I don’t recommend it. Guard shooting at your whole army is bad, but the guard shooting at only a few units as they mingle onto the board is worse.
  • Speed! Get in close as fast as you can. In every game against the guard I’ve played it’s been like trying to storm a castle wall; as soon as the line breaks, they fold.
  • Target Priority. This is probably the most important aspect to being a general against a guard army. You will have so many targets that it can be hard to pick and choose. In general, it’s useful to take down the things that will keep you from getting to the guard’s front lines, because once you’re there you’ll be in fine shape. Know where you’re vulnerable, and kill whatever the guard has that will exploit that weakness.
  • Parking Lot. This is a great tactic to screw with guard players because it uses their tools against them. Position your army in tight formations so that the guard’s gunline becomes less effective. In general, you’ll want to go in the direction that his big guns aren’t, this way he’ll bunch up in an attempt to get line of sight to hit you. You’ll get easy cover saves, and in the best case find all his weak units in a row for a multiassault.
  • Outflank. Guard players will usually have their heavy ordinance sitting in their backfield, where it shoots over anything to deny cover. They rarely move these vehicles, since their range is so huge and they don’t need line of sight—which means that they are vulnerable to sneaky assaulters.

Letting Go of Your Hatred
Letting Go of Your Hatred avatar

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

There are so many reasons why we should hate Space Marines, at least those of us who don’t play them. As GW’s poster boy, they get the most attention, the best rules, the most face time, the largest space on the shelf, and in general—the most everything.

The first step in my understanding of Space Marines.

I started playing 40K with the Tau because I loved their style and flavor. Super precision guns and awesome jetpack battle suits made it a no brainier for me to start them. Imagine my surprise when I found at that marines have almost as many guns that are cheaper and more accurate, or that their special characters give the entire army special abilities, or that they can deep strike more precisely than anything in my army… and so on.

I felt cheated. It seemed patently unfair. Everything that my army was supposed to do well—they could do better. This was only reinforced as I played more games, and made especially painful when the updated Space Wolves codex was released. Again and again my Tau guns, Ork power klaws, and Chaos sorcery bounced right off anything space marine. I hated their codex. I hated their models. I hated the develops for creating a fundamentally biased and flawed game. But then something changed.

I think it happened the first time I actually beat the Space Wolves with my Orks. I didn’t just win—it was a face-crushing landslide. It proved that they weren’t indestructible; it just took smart playing and smart list making. Again and again the Wolves went down under the boots of the Orks, and the boyz actually surprised the gimmicky Blood Angel players at the recent Grand Tournament.

Goal setting can be very important.

In fact, this may have been the turning point. I realized that in the hands of a skilled player, no army is significantly better than another. Once you learn the Achilles’ heel of your opposing list (and player), you can exploit it. In my case, what goes around comes around, and I’ve only lost one game against Space Marine armies (codex, angels, grey knights, wolves, or templars) in the past 6+ months. In fact, I’ve kicked their asses. So if you’re feeling a bit of angst towards GW for a perceived unfairness in the rules, realize that you have the tools to beat them, if you can find right way to use it.

While I do definitely think that the Marine-centric prevalence of GW’s models (and slowness to update armies) hurts competition in the long run, this just makes smoking space marines that much more satisfying—and remember that this is coming from someone who owns a space marine army. I like rooting for the 40K underdog, even though I love my marines now, too.

Don’t give up. Experiment. Reflect on what works and WHY it worked. Know your foe’s weaknesses, and you’ll find that power armor isn’t as tough as you think.

This is pretty much how I view Space Marines now.

Chaosmailorder News and Blog
Chaosmailorder News and Blog avatar

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

CMO has a new blog. watch this space for news and announcements.