Posts Tagged ‘imperial guard’

Taking Pre-Orders for the Next Round of Astra Militarum Releases
Taking Pre-Orders for the Next Round of Astra Militarum Releases avatar

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

This week we have coming 3 new box sets for your Astra Militarum enjoyment. First up is the Cadian Defense Force. This 30-model set replaces the Cadian Battleforce in the role of introductory army box set for the Astra Militarum. The set includes a Chimera Transport and a Leman Russ Battle Tank as well as a Cadian Command Squad, 3 Cadian Heavy Weapon Teams, and 20 Cadian Troopers. This set is a great deal at $165.00, and an even better deal at $132.00 with 20% from

Next up we have available for pre-order a box of 3 Ogryns. This kit is full of options. In addition to Ogryns, the models can also be built as Bullgryns, and 1 of the 3 models can be built as the character Nork Deddog. The box set retails for $47.00 and is available from us for $37.60.

Our final release this week is a new plastic Commissar model. The model comes armed with a power sword and your choice of a bolt pistol or plasma pistol. The ChaosMailOrder price for this figure is $16.80, which is 20% off the retail price of $21.00.

If you still haven’t picked up a copy of Codex: Astra Militarum, a Cadian Armoured Fist, or the Wyvern/Hydra Tank kit, all of which came out last week, we still have copies on hand and ready for you to order!

To order Games Workshop products from you must call us at 1-877-40Chaos. We are here everyday from noon until at 10pm eastern time.

Check back next week when we will be previewing new Citadel tool sets.

Imperial Guard Rebranded Astra Militarum; Preorders Available Now
Imperial Guard Rebranded Astra Militarum; Preorders Available Now avatar

Monday, April 7th, 2014

wyvernWe are now taking preorders for Codex: Astra Militarum , the Cadian Armoured Fist, and the new Hydra/Wyvern tank kit. 

Codex: Astra Militarum is the essential rules document for playing your Imperial Guard. This 104 page hardback book retails for $49.50, but why pay that when you can get it from for just $39.60?

The Cadian Armoured Fist comes with a Chimera transport and a Squad of Cadians.  This convenient packaging is a perfect one stop shop for adding to your Astra Militarum army or allying an Armoured Fist into another army.  This package deal retails for $60.00, but get it from CMO for just $48.00.

Last up we have the Hydra/Wyvern kit.  What would the Imperial Guard be without their wonderful armoured divisions?  This tank kit, based on the Chimera chassis allows you to build either the anti-air Hydra tank with its 2 twin-linked Autocannons or the Wyvern which features anti-infantry mortars bound to give any enemy a bad day.  This tank kit retails for $56.00, but preorder it today from for just $44.80.

Both the Militarum Tempestus Scions and the Taurox transport have arrived from Games Workshop and are available for sale now.  With our standard 20% discount, the Scions are available for $28.00 per 5-man box and the Taurox is $38.40.

To order Games Workshop products from you must call us at 1-877-40Chaos. we are here everyday from noon until at 10pm eastern time.

Check back next week when we’ll be taking pre-orders for the new Ogryns.

Recent and Upcoming Releases from Games Workshop
Recent and Upcoming Releases from Games Workshop avatar

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Recently arrived we have :
Short Code Product Name Retail CMO
56-49 QUAKE CANNON CRATERS $37.00 $29.60
On Friday, April 4, the Scions of the Militarum Tempestus arrive in their spiffy new Taurox transport. We are taking pre-orders now to ship out as soon as they arrive on Friday.
Short Code Product Name Retail CMO

Check back next week when we’ll be taking pre-orders for the new Astra Militarum items including the Codex and the Hydra tank kit.

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.

Imperial Guard in 6th Edition: Part II
Imperial Guard in 6th Edition: Part II avatar

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

As I play more and more 6th Edition, I’m starting to recognize more things that affect the Imperial Guard army.  Some of these sound obvious, others are a cascade of changes that amount to one large conclusion.  Regardless, there are some more subtleties to consider when you’re building your list:

Night Fight

Night Fighting can come into play in just about any game now.  And with really good odds.  You may get it at the beginning, or at the tail end, but if you’re a shooty army like the Guard, you’re going to feel its effects in both directions.  Not being able to target anything outside of 36″ really neuters your big guns.  One of the Guard’s biggest strengths is its artillery and tank cannons, and if they’re limited to a fraction of their effective range.  Note that Night Fight rules can go into effect at the beginning of the game — dampening your notorious Imperial Guard first turn — or at the end of the game.  The latter is almost worse, because when you’re trying to wrench an enemy from an objective, the sun may set and suddenly you can’t outshoot.

There are two ways to mitigate Night Fight rules, and you should have a fair amount of both in your army.  The first is Searchlights.  After shooting at a unit, you can opt to use a Searchlight.  This will illuminate the unit you targeted, thus negating any Night Fight bonuses for the rest of the turn.  Note that it also illuminates the firing unit!  Your second option is template weapons.  Beyond the 36″ targeting constraint, Night Fight grants cover save bonuses (+1 from 12-24″, +2 from 24-36″).  Template weapons ignore cover, and the Guard have no shortage of them…flamers, Hellhound squadrons, you name it!

Hull Points

Hull Points are a problem for an army like the Guard, which brings a lot of vehicles to bear.  At first glance, I didn’t think Hull Points were going to be a huge issue: in addition to the vehicle table for penetrating hits, vehicles lose a Hull Point whenever a glancing hit is suffered.  In previous editions, glances would do mitigated damage against a vehicle.  In 6th Edition, they do no damage…they only shave off a Hull Point.  At first glance, that seems like a buff.  The problem, which the designers addressed intentionally, is that in previous editions the consequences from a glancing hit were largely irrelevant.  You don’t care if your crew can’t fire; the transport is still trucking.  You don’t care that your walker can’t shoot; it’s in combat.

In 6th Edition though, you do care.  Because most vehicles only have 3 Hull Points.  You lose one for each glance and each penetrating hit, meaning that your Sentinel (2 Hull Points) can be slain by a hail of bolter fire.  Heaven forbid you face Necrons!  Hull Points aren’t just going to affect your Sentinels.  A Leman Russ Battle Tank is an imposing model to plop onto the table.  It does damage, it’s got front AV14, there’s a lot to like.  Lascannons can penetrate it on a roll of a 6, so you feel impervious as they bounce off your hull.  Unfortunately, you’re now worried about the 5′s too, because you can only suffer a few of those before your war machine is a smoldering heap of scrap.


I really like the new missions for 6th Edition.  Certain missions require you to go grab objectives.  Certain missions (Relic) require you to get to the middle of the table, grab an objectives, and extract it.  Others just require you to kill enemy units.  Regardless, there’s a lot of variety.  You and your opponents should be randomly rolling for missions, because it’s a mechanic that forces you to have a well-balanced army.  You may end up having Heavy Support units as scoring: bring some Russes.  You may have Fast Attack as scoring: bring some Vendettas!  In the other missions, you’re going to need a ton of troops.  You’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you bring a lopsided army these days.

So how does this affect the Guard?  Luckily, we’ve got a ton of great options in the aforementioned Force Organization slots.  Scoring Leman Russes are nasty to play against, especially if you can obscure them from the enemy big guns.  AV14 with a cover save is a nice objective camper, not to mention the Battlecannon on top.  Fast Attack is great, because Vendettas are already very competitive units and being able to hover and grab an objective makes them even more valuable.  Sentinels, although extremely vulnerable, can also outflank and grab objectives.

Don’t forget the secondary objectives as well!  There are enough ways to bring the pain as Imperial Guard — getting an alpha strike can net you first blood, our slew of Characters can help net you a Warlord kill, and if your Fast Attack can score or contest, you should get Linebreaker easily!

Imperial Guard – Special Weapons
Imperial Guard – Special Weapons avatar

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

In the Warhammer 40k universe, your grunts are equipped with the Lasgun.  It is ubiquitous.  It is a reliable, solar-rechargeable, power-adjustable engineering marvel that will incinerate targets when its laser touches them.  And yet, in the Warhammer 40k universe, it’s most widely known as a “flashlight.”

Your Infantry Squads will need other weapons to keep them in the fight, and they have a variety of special weapons available to them.  For this article, I’m going to leave out discussion of heavy weapons, because that’s a different mess to untangle.  In 5th Edition, mobility is important.  The Imperial Guard need to move to claim and contest objectives, as well as to position themselves for vengeance after a squad of their comrades gets eaten by some alien menace.  Special weapons allow you to move, shoot, and assault all in the same turn.  Couple this with the almighty Chimera, and you’ve got some serious options here.  Let’s take a look at your options for your Infantry Squads, in what I consider best to worst order:

Flame Thrower (Rating: A)

What if I told you that you could have a 7″ gun that hit everything in front of you at S4 AP 5.  Looking at Lasguns, which at best give you 3x S3 AP- shots at 12″, you’d be pretty excited.  Now what if I told you that you didn’t even have to roll to hit?  Flamers are pretty underrated, because the Boltgun is considered “average” in 40k games, and they have the same profile.  For the Imperial Guard, they’re way more exciting.  Flamers are way stronger than Lasguns, ignore 5+ armor AND the omnipresent cover save, and ignore our mediocre BS3.  What’s not to love?  Naturally, this weapon works best if you plan on getting up in the enemy’s face; I wouldn’t put it in a squad that is just going to sit on an objective with a heavy weapon.

Grenade Launcher (Rating: B+)

The Grenade Launcher is a close second.  It could have a terrible damage profile, and I’d still want to take it.  The Grenade Launcher’s most valuable trait is that it’s the only man-held weapon that can move and shoot 24″.  This effectively gives you a 48″ threat bubble around the carrier, which is something that people will learn to take note of.  The damage profile isn’t underwhelming either, for the 5 points you’re paying.  Shooting a Krak grenade will allow you a S6, AP4 shot.  This is useful for insta-killing or ignoring Feel No Pain on T3 troops.  It’s useful for threatening light vehicles and transports.  It meshes very well with an Infantry Squad who’s also sitting with an Autocannon, which has a very similar damage profile.  The Frag grenade allows you to hit a bunch of troops.  While the AP6 will only make Kroot and Orks shudder, the S3 will wound most enemies on 4′s or 5′s, just like your Lasguns.  The difference is, you may get to roll 5 times to wound, and don’t need to roll to hit.

Plasma Gun (Rating: C+)

It’s funny that a Plasma Gun is a mainstay in so many other armies, but rated so low in ours.  I’m personally not a fan, because S7 AP2 has one of two roles: threatening light vehicles or threatening heavy infantry.  For the former, the Imperial Guard have a lot of other army options.  You can take Sentinels, Valkyrie/Vendetta squadrons, or any other host of scary weapons to terrorize anything with an AV of 12 or below.  In terms of threatening heavy infantry, your options are to either take away their save or make them take a ton of saves.  I’m not a fan of trying to beat 2+ saves, because there are too many other factors to consider now.  In 5th Edition, almost everything seems to get a cover save.  With Terminator Squads, they can mix in enough Storm Shields to get 3++ saves.  Your other option is to make them roll dozens of 2+ saves, just waiting for a few 1′s to come up.  Guess what?  You have dozens upon dozens of Lasguns that are eager to fell some enemies, numbers is your game!  This makes the Plasma Gun a weak option for us, in my opinion, especially at the heavy cost

Sniper Rifle (Rating: C-)

I usually don’t advocate Sniper Rifles, for a few reasons.  Snipers used to be way cooler, back when I played…they hit on 2′s and wounded on 4′s.  There was even a time when they had rending.  Now they don’t have much of a role, unless your Codex happens to have special rules or a lot of high-BS infantry with free Sniper Rifles.  The only real thing a Sniper Rifle offers you is a 5-point way to reach out at 36″.  Moreover, there’s always the slight chance that you can cause a wound and a pinning test, which isn’t something to be counted on.  It can change the tide nonetheless, as your opponent never really expects to fail them either.

Meltagun (Rating: D)

Let me start this by saying I’m a huge fan of the Meltagun in general.  It’s a fun, flavorful rule and has a definite place in pretty much every army.  Unfortunately, this is not the place for an IG army.  Your Infantry Squads will only be able to bring 1 Meltagun for every 10 bodies.  Even if you blob up some squads, and throw in a Commissar with some anti-vehicle gear, you’re wasting dozens of Lasguns just to get a few BS3 Meltagun shots off.  Meltas belong in Veteran Squads or Command Squads, period.  Stick them in an Infantry squad and you’ll either be wasting the Melta or wasting the Lasguns, assuming you ever get the chance to fire it.

Imperial Guard Chimera Loadouts
Imperial Guard Chimera Loadouts avatar

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


The Imperial Guard Chimera is one of the best transports in the game.  For a mere 55 points, you 12/10/10 armor, six firing points, and a couple of weapons that can really do some damage.  So with all of the options, how are you supposed to outfit your Chimera?  Let’s take a look at the things you should consider for your Chimera when picking out a weapon loadout.


The first variable to consider is what’s going to be in your Chimera.  A popular option is to load up a Veteran squad with special weapons, leveraging their BS4 to run around spraying Plasma or Melta fire at things.  Since there are 6 firing points, you can get all 3 special weapons (and some Lasguns) off.  It’s possible that you’re just using your Chimera to actually transport infantry squads, to hold objectives.  You need to have a plan for your Chimera, because you’ll have a good idea of how far away enemies will be.  You need to know if you’ll just use your Chimera as a pillbox for a heavy weapon squad, or if you’ll be driving it into the thick of things.

The Multi-laser

You start with a free multi-laser as a turret weapon.  The multi-laser puts out 3 shots, which is a boon given the Chimera’s BS3.  It’s puts out those shots at S6 AP6 at a 36″ range.  That’s a decent amount of firepower, but leaves a pretty glaring hole in the armor penetration department.  Everyone except Orks and Kroot will be taking saves against your multilaser, which makes it pretty sub-optimal for mowing down infantry.  The high strength value, however, makes it great for poking at light transports and walkers, and will wound most infantry on 2′s.  It also helps add volume to those targets that usually get a save (i.e. Terminators) and just need a volume of fire.  Another important fact to consider is that S6 will insta-kill any T3 units — Eldar bodies, small swarm bases, etc.

Heavy Bolter

You get a free Heavy Bolter on the hull, and can even replace your turret Multi-laser with one for free. The question is, should you? The Heavy Bolter has a similar profile, putting out 3 separate S5 AP4 shots at the same range as the Multi-laser. As we all know, the Heavy Bolter will mow down infantry. Because of its lesser strength, you won’t be wounding on 2′s against MEQ’s. Its better armor penetration will allow you to negate the saves of Guardsmen, Eldar, Firewarriors, and even Scouts. It should be pointed out that in 5th Edition, where cover saves are abound, the better AP value may go to waste. The Heavy Bolter is less desirable though for shooting at vehicles. You can expect 0.16 penetrations per hit on AV10 with the Heavy Bolter, whereas the Multilaser will give you 0.33.

Heavy Flamer

The Heavy Flamer has the same profile as the Heavy Bolter, just with a flame template.  I’m a huge fan, because it allows you negate the Chimera’s poor BS and automatically hit.  It also ignores the ubiquitous cover save that every unit seems to have at this point.  The limiting factor with the Heavy Flamer is obviously the range.  I use my Chimeras to move Melta veterans around, so I know that at some point my Chimera will be in range of something that can use a blast of prometheum.  Being able to automatically hit 4-5 models with an S5 AP4 weapon is a scary thing, and shouldn’t be ignored if you know your Chimera will be near enemy lines.  I would like to point out that taking double Heavy Flamers isn’t really viable.  The only time you’ll shoot them both is if you stand still, which means that anyone that survives your blast will automatically hit you in close combat.  You also place the template from the tip of the gun, which is substantially further back if on the turret.

Heavy Flamer turret, not recommended.

Defensive Weapons

None of the weapons listed above are considered “defensive weapons” per the rulebook.  This means that if you’re not parking your Chimera and using it as a pillbox, you’ll only be able to shoot one of the aforementioned weapons per turn.  You do have the option to add pintle-mounted weapons, which I’m personally a fan of.  For a mere 10 points, you can add a defensive weapon that can always shoot.  The Heavy Stubber is a preferable option, as it shares a range with the other guns on your Chimera.  Those extra 12″ and the third shot are far more important than one point of armor penetration.

Putting It All Together

There are only a few loadouts you can take.  Your turret can be any of the guns, your hull weapon can either be a Heavy Bolter or a Heavy Flamer.  If you know that you’re going to just sit your Chimera and shoot a heavy weapon team out of it, then I would load up with a Multi-laser and Heavy Bolter combo.  They’re both somewhat effective against infantry and light vehicles, and it might be a bit too good if we could have a hull Multi-laser too.  If your Chimera is going to be on the move at all, I’d highly advise a Multi-laser/Heavy Flamer combo.  Since you’ll be on the move, you can really only shoot one weapon at a time.  If you need to shoot at a vehicle, you’ve got it.  If you need to soften up an immediate threat, the Heavy Flamer can take care of that.  Always remember that you’ve got Smoke Launchers for a turn if you need them, and that your passengers can shoot a different target than their transport!

Imperial Guard Command Squads
Imperial Guard Command Squads avatar

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Having spent the last article talking about the oft-underrated Scout Sentinels, I want to talk about something that almost everyone has in a respectable Guard army: Platoon Command Squads (PCS).  The PCS differs from the Company Command Squad in three main ways: you can have more than one, they have less orders, and they don’t have veterans (and thus fire at BS3).


No, not this guy.

These are a few important things to keep in mind as I talk about how I like to equip my PCS’s in-game.  A PCS is a squishy blob of Guardsmen that can easily get expensive, but still needs to provide some value.  I use the PCS in one of the following ways:

Static Firebase

This PCS is meant to sit still and support a gunline by providing orders.  Plop it in cover, so you’ll get some kind of save, in between other squads that will sit and shoot.  Equip it with a heavy weapon, preferably an Autocannon or Heavy Bolter to keep the costs down.  A Lascannon will cost almost as much as the basic PCS, and remember you’re firing at BS3!  Some people will add special weapons to complement the heavy weapon (grenade launchers for AP4 heavy weapons, plasma guns for Lascannons) but this starts to get really pricey.  Remember, they’re only 5 Guardsmen, and their support to the rest of your squads (read: First Rank Fire/Second Rank Fire!) will make them a high-priority target.  I’m less inclined to use this model, because of the value of mobility in 5th Edition and the expense required to make this unit powerful in such a role.

Close-Combat Support

This PCS moves alongside infantry squads, or more commonly an infantry blob.  The idea is to give them order support as they move into rapid fire range, or to get a charge.  A PCS escort can give them a better go-to-ground save, make them run faster, or get 50% more Lasgun shots.  I run this sometimes alongside a 20 or 30-man infantry squad with a Commissar for morale.  They’re great for taking and holding objectives, for rolling oodles of dice against elite units, or as a tie-up unit.  I equip this squad with Laspistols and close-combat weapons, which are free and give them an extra attack, and a power weapon for the Officer if I can afford it.  This gives some teeth to the blob in close combat, and can bail them out if need be.  Meltabombs can be a good idea to ensure that your unit doesn’t get bogged down by a silly Sentinel.

Special Weapon Squad

Depending on how you play it, being able to fill the squad with special weapons is an exciting prospect.  Things like Plasmaguns or Meltaguns are too expensive in my mind, especially given that you’re rolling at BS3.  There are two intriguing options, however: flamers and grenade launchers.  Flamers are a great choice because they’re dirt cheap and allow you to ignore the PCS’s mediocre BS.  Not rolling to hit with a S4, AP5 template weapon is a big deal to a little Guardsman.  Any time you can drop 4 flame templates on a squad, even if it’s a T4/3+ body, you’re going to do some damage.  God forbid you get to use it on Orks, Eldar, or other Guard.  I’ve tried using the flamer squad as a counter-charge unit: feed someone a sacrificial Infantry Squad in combat so that when the combat ends, the flamers open up.  This requires a bit of timing and luck to pull off, because you must ensure that your PCS is in range to let loose with the prometheum, and on your own turn.  This may work well as an escort unit, as described above.

The other option is Grenade Launchers.  No other hand-held weapon for the Guard can move and shoot 24″, which alone makes it an interesting idea.  Sure, you have to worry about rolling to hit, but the ability to lay down 4 blast templates or lob 4 Krak grenades is pretty exciting.  It’s also great for terrorizing AV10 vehicles and transports, namely those threatening Trukks and Raiders.  This unit, which costs the same as the flamer unit, can move as an escort and lob supporting fire along the way.  They can also bounce around a static gunline, providing support where needed and keeping the advancing tides at bay.


The PCS is something that most armies are going to have to buy.  It’s still a squishy group of guardsmen, but since it doesn’t carry the same expense, ballistic skill, and powerful orders as your CCS, you can afford to be a little more blasé with it.  Don’t be afraid to leave the protection of the nest, but remember that they will fall in a single round of shooting, which can affect the rest of your army.  A lot of these tips and guidelines change when you start talking about your CCS, so remember the difference between them when you’re writing your list!

Discuss it here, in the forums.