Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

6th Edition 40k Missions: The Relic
6th Edition 40k Missions: The Relic avatar

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

To wrap up our mission recaps, let’s take a look at the final and personal favorite mission: The Relic.  The Relic requires you to control a sacred object and keep your opponent away.  This has the opportunity to really make for some interesting games, so let’s take a look.

Image courtesy of GW.

The Relic

In The Relic, you can grab the objective by having a scoring model end the movement phase in base-to-base contact with it.  The Relic can only move 6″ per turn, and can be dropped voluntarily or if the carrying model dies.  The Relic itself is worth 3 VP, and cannot be “denied” by nearby units!

How You Win

With a single objective at 3 VP’s, the holder of the Relic requires the opponent to complete all secondary objectives…and that’s for a tie.  So holding the Relic is a good way to win the game!  This will likely require you to have a large, hearty squad of troops.  Survivability is key, because any squad getting near the Relic will be focus-fired.  Being able to maneuver the Relic into a safe location is also key, so that you can get your squad to safety.  Speed can be a big help in terms of getting to the Relic first, but remember that you can only move away with it at  6″ per turn!

The other possibility for victory is to deny the Relic to your opponent, capitalizing on secondary objectives.  This requires the same thing as all of the other mission types — being able to nail down a First Blood or slaying a Warlord easily.  One factor to consider, however, is that denial of the Relic is fickle.  Having Characters or Snipers that can single out the objective-carrying model can be a boon.  Remember that they have to pick up the objective at the end of their movement phase, so if you have the second turn you can win on the last turn!

How You Lose

Indecision.  Once deployment has finished, you need to assess the situation and commit to a gameplan.  You’re either getting in, getting that objective, and getting out or you’re focusing on secondary objectives.  By trying to do primary/secondary objectives at half strength you’re setting yourself up for a mediocre job at both.

Don’t forget alternate deployment units, as they can really ruin your day.  An outflanking or deepstriking squad can block your path to the Relic, or keep you from escaping with it.  It can also shred a fragile squad that you’ve tucked away for indirect fire, resulting in a free VP for First Blood.  Play conservatively with your units until you’ve figured out whether your opponent’s playing for the Relic or for the secondaries.


The Relic is a fun gametype because it incorporates a metagame of where the fighting will be focused.  You want your army to have survivable troops in case grabbing and holding the Relic seems like the best way to go.  You also want to be able to ensure First Blood in the event that nobody manages to grab the Relic, as it’s one of the easier secondaries to nab…especially against min/maxers.  Finally any way you can snipe models, be it ordnance/snipers/positioning/Character-based, may grab you an extra turn of keeping the Relic out of enemy hands.

6th Edition 40k Missions: The Emperor’s Will
6th Edition 40k Missions: The Emperor’s Will avatar

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Mission #5 in the big rule book is known as the Emperor’s Will.  It’s also known from its earlier incarnation, Capture and Control, or more commonly as “the one that always ends in a tie.”  Let’s take a minute to examine why people think this game is an auto-tie, and what you can do to pull out an actual win.

Image courtesy of GW.

The Emperor’s Will

The Emperor’s Will revolves around 2 objectives, each worth 3 VP.  You place one in your table half and your opponent places one in his or hers.  Note that this doesn’t have to be in your deployment zone, although most of the time you’ll want to put as much distance between your objective and your opponent as you can.  The game has standard secondary objectives, and no fancy special rules where other force org units count as scoring.

How You Win

By scoring more points than your opponent!  More succinctly, by capitalizing on secondary objectives.  This means you either need to slay the enemy’s Warlord, destroy the first unit, or end the game with a scoring unit in the opponent’s deployment zone.  The first two are highly dependent on the makeup of your opponent’s roster — a lone Warlord or a small, fragile unit should be a top priority because those VP’s can mean the difference between a win and a loss.  Linebreaker should always be at the back of your mind as well, although odds are your opponent will have placed his objective in his deployment zone, so you’ll be trying to get there anyways.

Another (more difficult) option would be to try and pry your opponent off of his objective.  Depending on terrain and the type of unit(s) your opponent is defending with, you may be able to shake them loose by rolling up in transports, deepstriking, or some other method.

How You Lose

You can lose by giving up an easy VP.  A careless assault with your Warlord, or leaving a lone Landspeeder out to dry, will cost you the game.  This means that you’re going to have to play conservatively with your units, at least until the First Blood secondary objective has been claimed.  Never throw your Warlord into a precarious situation.

One other way to lose, which should go without mentioning, is that you can get knocked off of your objective.  Odds are your opponent will tunnel in on loosening your grasp of the objective, so don’t underestimate his forces!  If you can weather the storm and manage to pick off a unit or Warlord first the game is yours.  One of the worst things you can do is over-commit forces in a losing battle to take the objective from his half, losing your own in the process.  That’s a surefire way to lose 6-0 on the VP scorecard.


The Emperor’s Will is one of the more chess-like scenarios.  There’s only one way to win when you think about it, but there’s a handful of ways to lose.  You need tough units to avoid giving up an easy First Blood point.  You need to preserve the Warlord so that you’re not giving up a VP there either.  If you can wrestle a VP away from your opponent, then odds are you can pull out a win as long as you’ve got some hearty troops that can hold your objective.

6th Edition 40k Missions: The Scourging
6th Edition 40k Missions: The Scourging avatar

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

The Scourging is the fourth option for missions.  Just like the previous articles, we’re going to examine what happens in this mission, which contains a lot of random objective factors.

Image courtesy of GW.

The Scourging

The Scourging is an objective-based gametype with variable values for objectives.  You place 6 objectives on the table, each of which has a VP value assigned to it for its occupant.  The twist?  Each objective may be worth a different number of Victory Points, and you don’t find out which is which until after deployment!  The six objectives are worth 4, 3, 3, 2, 2, and 1 Victory Point.

How You Win

Mobility is a huge factor, as you’d imagine with objective games.  It’s an even bigger factor because of how random the objective distribution is.  Picture the 6′x4′ battlefield, and imagine the objective placement rules.  It’s pretty likely that you’ll have two objectives in your deployment zone, two in your opponent’s zone, and two in the no man’s land between them.  It’s possible that you’ll have a 1VP objective and a 2VP objective in your deployment zone, while your opponent has a 4VP and a 3VP.  Automatically, that puts you at a 4VP deficit!  Being able to move means that you’ll be able to adjust to the battlefield circumstances once objectives are revealed.

The flip side of this is that you may also win because of good luck.  The odds are equally likely that the tables will be turned and you’ll have a 4VP lead over your opponent.  I wouldn’t really bank on this though…the odds of a specific player getting stuck in such a bleak situation are around 7%.

In a somewhat random twist, you also get an extra VP for destroying enemy Fast Attack units.  Focus fire!  Popping an early Land Speeder could net you 2 VP’s, including first blood!

How You Lose

Don’t underestimate the late-game shenanigans that can win or lose a game.  Remember, you’re going to win by VP.  If this means conceding an objective in the middle that’s only worth 1 or 2 VP’s so that you can lock down the 4VP objective, then consider it a net gain for your troops.  Outflankers or deep-strikers can be a real nasty surprise, as they can contest an objective that you’ve held unopposed all game long.

Again, don’t forget that you need to be able to claim and contest objectives in order to win.  Like a lot of 40k, you can lose before your army hits the table.  If you’ve only got 2 troops choices and a smattering of vehicles, you’re going to have a very difficult time laying claim to an objective.  It’s in your best interest to have a balanced force that’s capable of moving and grabbing late-game objectives.  Things like Assault Marines may not seem glamorous on paper, but they afford you plenty of options for contesting an objective last-minute.

The extra advice about Fast Attack applies here as well.  If you are going to field Assault Marines, don’t field them in a 5-man unit, because you’ll basically be giving your opponent a free VP!


Your best option is going to be some mobility in your list, because you won’t know until after deployment whether you need to play offensively, defensively, or a mix of both.  Any kind of outflanking or deepstriking can be key, as it may allow you to catch your opponent totally off-guard.  As with most gametypes, you’re going to need troops and infantry so that you can hold and contest objectives to stay in the fight.

6th Edition 40k Missions: Big Guns Never Tire
6th Edition 40k Missions: Big Guns Never Tire avatar

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

For the third week of the 40k Missions reviews, we’re going to look at the third scenario: Big Guns Never Tire.  This mission type revolves around objectives, but also places a significant focus on Heavy Support units.  Let’s take a look at what that entails.

Big Guns Never Tire

The scenario requires you to place out D3+2 objectives, giving you between 3-5 of them strewn around the table.  Most importantly, the scenario allows your heavy support units to count as scoring, even if they’re vehicles!  Furthermore, you get points for destroying enemy heavy support.  This changes the game quite a bit, based on the heavy support you and your opponent have chosen to bring to the table.

How You Win

By holding objectives.  Each objective is worth 3 VP’s, which means that there will be 9-15 points to be had on objectives alone.  Keep in mind that non-immobilized Heavy Support units are also scoring now, which means that you need to keep them alive and keep them on objectives.  This is great if you’ve got an objective or two nestled in your deployment zone; because you can park a tank or heavy-wielding infantry and leave them there.

You can also pick up a few VP’s by wiping out the enemy’s Heavy Support.  This also denies them a scoring unit, which is an added bonus.  Heavy Support units are usually big targets anyways — Land Raiders, Leman Russes, etc.  They dish out punishment, and having VP’s attached to them should make them an even higher priority.

How You Lose

I’d normally say “by not holding objectives” but let’s look at this in more detail.  If you bring a list with no Heavy Support, odds are you’ll be outnumbered in terms of scoring units.  Keep in mind that a lot of Heavy Support units are tanks, and thus provide great late-game mobility for objective grabs.  It’s difficult to compensate for that loss, since even mechanized troops may struggle with objective grabs (troops in transports don’t count!)

Another thing to consider is bleeding out VP’s with easy Heavy Support kills.  If you take a squishy unit of heavy-wielding infantry and leave them out in the open, you’ll be giving away easy points.  That being said, remember that you only get 1 VP for killing a heavy support unit.  Don’t tunnel in on killing them, because your opponent can still claim objectives the old fashioned way — with troops.


Altogether, Big Guns Never Tire requires you to bring heavy support to the fight so that you can have more scoring units on the table.  Don’t be surprised if you need some indirect fire or dynamic deployment to get at a heavy that’s holding down an anchor objective in your opponent’s deployment zone.  Finally, if you’ve got anything that can repair damage to vehicles it may be worth bringing, because a last-turn fix can mean the difference between a scoring unit and a non-scoring one!

6th Edition 40k Missions: Purge the Alien
6th Edition 40k Missions: Purge the Alien avatar

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

In Week 2 of our 40k missions summary, we’re going to look at the second scenario: Purge the Alien.  This mission is described as having only one goal…”kill as many enemy units as you can!”  For people who don’t play scenarios or roll for gametypes, this ends up being how most games work.  Still, the mission isn’t as simple as “kill everything.”  You need to kill units which means that there are certain army priorities to be considered.

Purge the Alien

The objective is Victory Points (VP’s).  You get 1 VP for wiping out a squad completely.  If a unit isn’t on the board, or is falling back, it counts as wiped out for VP purposes.  Independent Characters and transports also yield 1 VP.  Finally, secondary objectives are in effect (Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker).  This means that if the first casualty of the game was a Warlord, it would give 3 VP’s!

How You Win

By killing entire enemy units.  If you’re facing an army of 10 tac squads, and you reduce them each to 1 Marine left, then you have 0 points.  You need to focus fire and wipe out entire units.  This means that you need to have a lot of firepower to bring to bear, or you have to be able to crush and run down units in close combat.  Keep in mind that if all of your power is consolidated into a few squads, you’ll have a problem with target priority.  You don’t want to waste an entire pie plate trying to eliminate 2 models to seal that squad’s fate, it’s overkill!  But if you don’t have anything else to wipe out the remnants from that squad, you’ll find that wasting some firepower may be a good idea.

How You Lose

By giving up more VP’s.  More specifically, if your army is built with multiple small units (MSU’s) in mind, then you may be in trouble.  Consider an Imperial Guard army which brings Sly Marbo or a Tyranid army with a bunch of throwaway Gaunts.  Any “suicide” unit is basically a free VP, maybe even two VP’s if they’re first blood.  Your army needs to have hearty units that can withstand punishment, and if you’ve already divided your forces up it makes them easier to conquer.

A second thing to consider is Leadership.  If you have no Psychic defense or inherently low Leadership values, your troops may run off the table.  This makes your job easier for your opponent, who can simply break squads rather than wipe them.  This applies to you and your opponent as well…just be careful for tricky Psyker abilities and other special rules that can auto-rally!

Finally, beware the easy VP’s in vehicles.  Armies like Dark Eldar, who may bring a ton of paper-thin transports, present juicy targets for VP’s.  Even Rhinos and Chimeras can be easy VP’s, since they usually hold more nefarious cargo and are a high-priority target.  And don’t even get me started on Sentinels!


The Purge the Alien scenario will punish players who give up casualties.  This means you need to bring beefy squads so you’re not giving up easy VP’s.  It also means that you have to be able to wipe out squads to a man with focused fire, so any weapons that give you flexibility in targeting are at a premium.  Finally, consider minimizing transports because they offer easy VP’s.  Don’t rule them out completely though, because extra mobility may allow a wounded squad to get out of dodge and survive the game, thus denying a VP!

6th Edition 40k Missions: Crusade
6th Edition 40k Missions: Crusade avatar

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

There are 6 possible missions that can come up in a game of 40k.  Assuming you and your opponent don’t already have one planned out, you’ll simply roll a d6 and choose from the table.  The missions have varying rules and parameters — different units gain different roles on the battlefield, there are different objectives, and different win conditions.  I’m going to do a little series to examine each of these missions, because you never know which one you’ll be playing and thus should be equipped to handle all of them.


Crusade is the #1 result on the mission table.  The description states that the battlefield is littered with various objectives and wounded, and you have to get to them before your opponent does.  D3+2 such objectives are placed on the battlefield, meaning you’ll have between 3-5 objectives to fight over.  Odds are that the objectives will be evenly divided among your deployment zones, with any stragglers in the middle.

How You Win

Control the objectives.  Secondary objectives are Slay the Warlord, First Blood, and Linebreaker, but the primary objectives are worth a whopping 3 Victory Points a piece.  In order to control objectives, you need a lot of troops.  Remember that troops cannot be inside a vehicle, or be a vehicle themselves, in order to control an objective!  The more staying power your troops have, the better chance you have of parking them on an objective and keeping them there.  Things like massive Ork Boyz squads and Imperial Guard blob squads do this well.

You’ll also want to be able to contest enemy objectives.  This means if you have a survivable non-troop squad, they’ll still be useful in a contesting-role because an enemy will likely abandon that objective rather than dig them out.  Fast squads can also be useful late-game to reposition themselves in a contesting spot, but be forewarned that you must be able to disembark from a vehicle to contest!  Dark Eldar Raider or Venom squads can do this well, along with units like Assault Marines.

How You Lose

A lopsided force organization chart.  If you’re the kind of person who brings 2 minimal troop squads to every game, be prepared.  You’re going to need something strong enough to stand on an objective and take punishment while the enemy’s actively trying to clear them.  If you can’t claim any objectives, you’ll be fighting an uphill battle from turn one.

On the flip-side, you have to be able to remove opponents from an objective.  If you can’t fight a single tactical squad off of an objective, then there’s nothing to stop your opponent from taking a handful and just weathering the storm!  Some killy units are needed to address these problems — ordnance, combat specialists, etc.


The takeaways from the Crusade mission type are that you must bring troops in order to capture and hold objectives.  Troops are useful in this role for all gametypes that involve objectives.  You have to be able to focus fire on enemy squads that hold or contest an objective in order to remove those VP’s.  Finally, you need to be able to manoeuvre your units to get to objectives first, or as a late-game gambit.

Sniping in 6th Edition
Sniping in 6th Edition avatar

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

6th Edition has made quite a few changes to 40k.  Casualties are taken from the front.  Units only need 25% coverage to count as obscured, but the basic cover save is now 5+.  You can focus fire on units out of cover, and they can shoot you up as you charge them.  One of the biggest changes is the increased vulnerability for characters.

Let’s take a minute to talk about characters themselves.  I don’t just mean scary HQ units, or special characters.  The term “characters” now refers to something separate from independent characters, and includes things like squad leaders and champions.  Sure, you may get a 4+ Look Out Sir (or 2+ in the case of IC’s) but there’s one scary truth: characters are relatively easy to single out.  Let’s take a look at the options you have from shooting alone; we’ll cover challenges in another article.

Sniper Rifles

Sniper Rifles are probably an obvious suggestion, so I’ll get them out of the way first.  They’re not the most effective way to snipe a character, but they’re actually good for singling out models in a squad for once.  They benefit from the Precision Shots rule, which allows them to allocate wounds to a specific enemy model on a to-hit roll of 6.  That means that 1/6 of the time, a shot from a sniper rifle can be allocated to Commissars, heavy weapons guys, or that pesky Apothecary.  Sniper Rifles even have a chance of rending (auto-wound and no save allowed on a 6 to wound) but they’re not that scary, because they still need a 4+ to wound with a measly AP6 and grant cover saves.


All Characters (and remember, that means squad leaders!) also benefit from the Precision Shots special rule.  This means that a blob squad of 40 Guardsmen, which will contain 4 Sergeant characters, will get to roll 4 special dice for allocation.  That may not sound scary, until you start considering how many plasma pistols fit into any given 1500 point army.  It’s certainly scarier if you consider any shooty special character with a high volume of shots.  Someone like Harker, for the IG, who’s rolling with a Heavy Bolter as a character.  This is an oft-overlooked factor, but hardly a game-breaker.


You have to take casualties from a squad starting with those nearest to the firing unit.  This requires you to tactically employ each model and stay mindful of its relative position.  Think you’ll take 3 casualties?  Better put a few guys ahead of that Melta-gunner.   Your opponent will probably try and keep his heavy weapons further back, leaving plenty of ablative wounds up front.  This makes flanking a valid tactic in 40k now, in terms of shooting at least.  If there are 9 models ahead of your enemy’s Lascannon, and your outflanking unit starts shooting its unit, the Lascannon is the first to go!

Barrage Weapons

Barrage Weapons benefit from one very special deviation from regular ordnance rules: the “source” of the damage is the center of the hole rather than the firing unit.  This has implications for cover, first and foremost.  It doesn’t matter if some Space Marines are holding an Aegis Defense Line.  When those Earthshaker shells start dropping down on them at AP3, and the hole is centered behind the wall, those marines evaporate.  Secondly, the casualties are taken using the same logic, meaning that they start from the hole and work outward.  There’s a 1/3 chance that any barrage shot will be a hit, meaning that by centering above a unit you can snipe it with barrage weapons.  If you’re firing multiple barrage weapons, you actually increase your chances.

Art of the Warlord — Strategic Traits
Art of the Warlord — Strategic Traits avatar

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Strategic Traits make up the final table of Warlord options, and are described in the rulebook as “skills that affect your entire army.”  Let’s take a look at how valuable the 6 possible traits are with respect to conservative support Imperial Guard Warlords, and aggressive ones that advance with the army.

Conqueror of Cities

Your units have Move Through Cover (Ruins) and Stealth (Ruins).

Support — Very useful, if there’s ruins on the board.  Stealth means you can park yourself in some ruins and get a better cover save, and all of your army benefits from these as well.

Aggressive — Very useful, if there’s ruins on the board.  This one is helpful for the entire army, but its utility is directly correlated to how many ruins there are.

Night Attacker

You can choose to have Night Fight for the first turn.

Support — Average at best.  This really comes in to play if you’ve got a lot of units sitting out and don’t want them to get shot at.  The downside, of course, is that it’s way harder to shoot at your enemy.  Given that a support commander will likely be hanging back providing long-range support, I wouldn’t get too excited.

Aggressive — Fairly useful.  It allows you to place your troops aggressively, not really worrying about whether you get first turn.  Getting up to +3 to cover saves or being untouchable outside of 36″ can give you some decent options, although certain armies will have ways around it.

Master of Ambush

All of your Outflank units have Acute Senses.

Support — Somewhat useful, really dependent on your army composition.  If you’ve got a lot of Outflanking units, being able to choose which side they outflank on can be nice.

Aggressive — Same as above.  It doesn’t really suit one commander more than the other, it’s wholly dependent on who’s outflanking.  It is worth pointing out that the bonus is only active while the Warlord is alive, so be a bit careful with your aggressive Warlord.

Strategic Genius

You can re-roll any Reserve rolls (successful or unsuccessful).

Support — Somewhat useful, depending on whether you have a lot of units in reserve.  Pretty independent of the Warlord type.

Aggressive — Somewhat useful, dependent as above.  Again, the buff is only active while the Warlord is alive, so an aggressively-played front-line Warlord may be more likely to die.

Divide to Conquer

Your opponent has -1 to reserve rolls.

Support – Not very useful.  6th Edition comes with a +1 to reserve rolls, relative to 5th Edition (things come in on Turn 2 on a 3+ now).  This basically pushes things back towards that, and will only make a difference 1/6 of the time your opponent makes a reserve roll.

Aggressive – Same as above, although the normal caveat applies about keeping your Warlord alive to get the buff.

Princeps of Deceit

Redeploy one unit 3d6″ from its position, or 3 units d6″ away from their respective positions.

Support — Fairly useful.  This gambit basically allows you to see how your opponent deploys, and then re-deploy in case you had to deploy first.   A support Warlord will usually be sitting back with static units, so there may not be a lot of room to shuffle around in the deployment zone.

Aggressive – Can be very useful, although still highly situational.  It allows you to have your opponent commit to a deployment setup, and then re-deploy to make sure your command bubble is intact.  Unfortunately, it can’t take you out of the deployment zone and it still is susceptible to Scouts/Infiltrators ruining your day.

In Summary

The Strategic Traits table is pretty agnostic of which Warlord you’re playing; their value is determined by the rest of your army or your opponent’s army.  If you use Outflanking units, like Vendettas, then 2/6 of the options are good.

I’m a big fan of choosing the Personal Traits for Warlords, because it’s got a pretty good hit rate although there are some real duds.  Command is a good choice if you’re playing your Warlord aggressively.  Strategic is highly situational.

Very few of the Warlord Traits are going to be gamebreakers, but they provide some extra flavor and random factors into the game.  Choose wisely, and good luck!

Art of the Warlord: Personal Traits
Art of the Warlord: Personal Traits avatar

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

As a follow-up to last week’s article about the first table of Warlord Traits, I wanted to discuss the Personal Traits.  Personal Traits buff the Warlord himself, and often times the unit.  Again, I’ll be approaching this from the perspective of the Imperial Guard, who can use their Warlords in either an aggressive role or a support role.

Master of Defence

Warlord and his unit gain Counter-attack in their own deployment zone.

Support — Fairly useful.  If you’re hanging back, dropping down Master of Ordnance shots or plinking away with a Lascannon, this is a nice trick to pull out.  Nobody’s going to fear a CCS in combat, but having a few extra attacks could come in handy.

Aggressive — Useless.  If you’re using an aggressive Warlord, be it a CCS/Commissar/Primaris Psyker, you’ll be moving it up along with your front lines.  Once you leave your deployment zone, this trait has no effect.

Master of Offence

Warlord and his unit gain Furious Charge in the opponent’s deployment zone.

Support — Useless.  If you’re hanging back firing away, you should never be in the opponent’s deployment zone.

Aggressive — Slightly useful.  There aren’t many IG units that like close combat, and assuming that they make it all the way to the opponent’s deployment zone you’ll have to get the charge to make a difference.  Still, a bunch of S4 attacks on the charge from a blob squad can be nice.

Master of Manoeuvre

Warlord and unit he joins gain Outflank special rule.

Support — This is an intriguing option.  A support character can show up on a flank and rip it open with a round of shooting, but will likely be in a very vulnerable position.  The usefulness of this trait is highly dependent on the table layout and deployment for your game.  Don’t forget that if you choose to Outflank, your Warlord is off the table for at least a turn, which could be good or bad.

Aggressive — Fairly useful, depending on how you kit out your Warlord and his squad.  Primaris Psyker in a Melta Vet squad?  This could get you some juicy rear shots.  Commissar in a blob squad?  Suddenly you have an immovable object walking into your opponent’s deployment zone.

Legendary Fighter

Gain 1 VP for each character slain by the Warlord in a challenge.

Support — Useless.  Unless someone assaults your Warlord (in which case you’ve probably already lost) and he somehow manages to kill a character in a challenge (in which case you were probably assaulted by a Tau Ethereal).

Aggressive — Mostly useless.  As with most IG Warlords, you’re not going to want to be in combat a ton.  If you are, you’re certainly not going to want to go up against Blood Angels Captains and other nasties, so I’d hardly consider this a benefit.


Warlord and unit gain Feel No Pain while within 3″ of an objective.

Support — Very useful.  This makes the Warlord’s unit even more effective in any objective-camping role.  If you need to sit on an objective in your deployment zone and make it rain, you’ll take fewer casualties from return fire.  Even works if you get assaulted!  This is even more useful if your Warlord is an IC that you can attach to an actual scoring unit.

Aggressive — Fairly useful.  If you’re trying to take or contest an objective, this could easily swing the tide.  If you’re escorting a blob squad with your Warlord, you can easily stretch them out so that the unit is within 3″ of an objective, conferring FNP to the whole squad.

Immovable Object

The Warlord is a scoring unit, even if he’s a vehicle.

Support — Very useful.  Whether you’re using a CCS, tank commander, or Commissar on a firing line this is huge.  It does, however, make the squad a very juicy target so be forewarned.  Your opponent will relish the notion of clearing an objective and wiping out the Warlord in one fell swoop.

Aggressive — Fairly useful.  Your Warlord will likely be escorting a scoring unit anyways.  This could come in handy if you’re escorting a non-scoring unit, or if you separate your Warlord from his unit.  In either case, note that the unit doesn’t become scoring…only the Warlord himself.


Altogether I’d argue that the Personal Traits table has 3/6 useful traits for passive, supporting Warlords and 3/6 useful traits for aggressive Warlords who lead from the front.  There are some traits that will simply be useless for your Warlord, including the Legendary Fighter trait which won’t win any popularity contests for either.  Nonetheless, this is a reasonable route to go if you want to see some on-the-table buffs for your troops.

Art of the Warlord: Command Traits
Art of the Warlord: Command Traits avatar

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

6th Edition added an interesting concept in random Warlord Traits.  You nominate your highest-LD model to be a Warlord, and select whether he’ll specialize in Command, Personal, or Strategic areas.  Each area has its own respective table of random perks, which vary from useless to gamebreaking.  I wanted to take some time to examine the three tables and how they pertain to Imperial Guard Warlords.


A quick note about selecting your Warlord as Imperial Guard.  You basically have two options: a support Warlord, who will stay back and issue orders/add firepower to the fight.  This will be very common, since the Company Command Squad boasts such a high Ballistic Skill and will often include a Master of Ordnance.  It’s also possible to play a CCS more aggressively, or more likely use something like a Primaris Psyker as a Warlord.  The pros and cons of each choice merits its own article, but for now we’ll just refer to them as Support and Aggressive Warlords, respectively.

Inspiring Presence

Friendly units within 12″ can use the Warlord’s Leadership.

Support — The use of this trait is arguable.  On the one hand, if you’ve got a static firebase set up then they’ll likely be in range…the 12″ Leadership bubble lines up nicely with the CCS’s order range.  On the other hand, if they’re taking casualties and need to pass Leadership tests, then something’s probably pretty wrong and you may already be in trouble.

Aggressive — This is much more helpful if you’re using your Warlord to support your advancing troops.  If he’s escorting a blob squad, for example, you can keep him in the middle of the squad and he can confer his benefits to anything else advancing alongside it.  This is especially useful if you’re using your CCS in a forward position, where they can stay behind the main lines and still offer support.

Intimidating Presence

Enemy units within 12″ use the lowest Leadership in the unit.

Support — Basically useless.  If anyone’s within 12″ of your squishy support squad, then they’re about to get some free victory points and likely don’t care what their Leadership is.

Aggressive — Slightly less useless.  It will likely only apply to units with a squad leader upgrade or a character attached to it, and being within 12″ of those is usually a scary thing for most Imperial Guard units.  It could be useful in a situation where you’re rapid-firing away at someone 12″ away and they sustain heavy casualties.

Dust of a Thousand Worlds

Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ gain Move Through Cover.

Support — Mostly useless.  By definition of a support Warlord, you’re going to sit and provide fire, and moving around reduces your effectiveness in that role.

Aggressive — Very useful.  As mentioned above, the Warlord and anyone he’s advancing up with gains this rule, making them advance that much faster.  This could make the difference in getting to an objective, and being able to ignore Dangerous Terrain is nice as well.

Master of the Vanguard

Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ roll an extra d6 when running.

Support — Still pretty useless.  It can make the difference if you need to grab an objective in your own zone late-game, but otherwise the same rules as above apply.

Aggressive — Very useful.  Since this meshes well with the 12″ Order range, you can use Move Move Move and roll 4d6 and then pick the highest.  That’s definitely a nice benefit!  Not to mention, it’s great if you need to run up to an objective.

Target Priority

Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ reroll 1′s to hit when shooting at enemies within 3″ of an objective.

Support — Moderately useful, really only bound by how good of a shot you can get on objective-holders in any given game.  Also depends on what kind of shooting you’ve got placed around your Warlord.  Still, when those stars align, it’s a nice buff if you’re rolling a lot of dice.

Aggressive – Fairly useful, especially if you plan on removing an enemy from an objective who’s dug-in.  Imagine a blob squad with this and FRF/SRF trying to remove a squad of marines from an objective?  That’s 2-3 Lasgun shots a piece, rerolling 1′s to hit.  Nice little boon.

Coordinated Assault

Warlord and all friendly units within 12″ add 1 to charge distance.

Support — Absolutely useless, god forbid you have to charge someone in your back lines.

Aggressive — Mostly useless.  Unless you’re an army who’s going to be charging all the time, and you know your Warlord’s going to be the tip of the spear, the 1″ isn’t really a big deal.  Even if you were playing that style, it’s one inch…hardly enough to count on.


Altogether, I’d argue that the Command table for Imperial Guard Warlords has 2/6 good traits for Support Warlords, and 5/6 good traits for Aggressive Warlords.  Support Warlords will benefit from Target Priority and perhaps Inspiring Presence or one of the movement ones.  Aggressive Warlords benefit from just about everything, although I doubt Coordinated Assault and Intimidating Presence really have any regular impact on an Imperial Guard unit.