Imperial Guard Tactics.
By Matthew Thornley (Brother -Captain Andromidius).
Now I understand there are a lot of Imperial guard players
With that many people there must be some who need help winning their
(no offence to those people, I'm sure it's just unlucky dice rolls.).
can't tell you what to do (that would be very rude) but I can offer
advice. I can't guarantee 100% wins either, but these tips and
help bring these wins to around 60% or better. Please note that
most of my
tips are for normal battles, and you should adapt them for special
like breakthroughs, etc.
The more the better.
As most experienced Guard commanders will know, the more
troops you have
the more you can do. This may seem obvious, but how do you get
a hundred or
more men from 1,000 pts?
Easy- don't kit out your squads.
You may scoff in disgust at the prospect, seeing as you
already bought all your lovely special and heavy weapons. Even
Imperial Guard says to always take the upgrades, but that is expensive.
you want lots of troops, don't take them. At the most you can
have a Flamer
or Meltagun (to hunt enemy tanks or clear trenches and bunkers), but
take anything else in your Infantry squads. Likewise, only take
grenades if you know you will be attacking enemy positions in close
because elsewhere they are a useless waste of points.
Special weapons should be left for HQ and elite choices,
as these are
expensive anyway, and heavy weapon should be taken by Heavy weapons
as they will probably get to actually use them (as Infantry often have
move around a lot).
I love Sentinels. But they are very fragile, particularly
with lots of big guns. Solution: take lots of them. Don't
upgrades such as Extra Armour and Armoured Crew Compartment, as that
expensive in the long run, and doesn't actually do much to save a Sentinel
from a Lascannon. Better to spend the points on more guardsmen.
like rough terrain modification are good in terrain-heavy battlefields,
hunter-killer missiles are a must against heavily armoured foes (at
one hunter-killer per squadron, more the better). Searchlights
useful in night fights, so only take a maximum of one if you really
you need it.
Always hug cover whenever possible and attacking the flanks
of an army is
also a good use of the Sentinel's talents. The squadrons should
all be in
close proximity to maximise firepower, but if your opponent has several
ordinance weapons nearby, spread out a bit more.
Launching surprise attacks through cover is an excellent
way to push the
enemy back, especially if the forward elements of your Infantry are
to support the Sentinels if it all goes wrong. Try to avoid confrontations
with large targets like Land Raiders unless it's the last turn or you're
really confident that your hunter-killers or Lascannons can deal with
Be assertive with your Sentinels, as a fast moving flank
attack can scare
the pants off some players- causing them to make rash choices.
throws his/her whole army at them then don't hesitate, shoot!
away before they can respond. Your lovely Sentinels have probably
destroyed, but they've done their job.
Now I must admit that I'm a bit of a treadhead at heart,
but I try not to
base my strategy around them. Tanks may win some battles, but
in the long
run Infantry is what you should rely on. Tanks are good for support,
making a hole in the enemy's line for your troops to exploit.
are very useful for distracting your opponent (i.e. He/she may consider
Leman Russ to be a bigger threat to his/her army then a platoon of
even though the guardsmen may be much closer. He/ she may well
charging off at that Leman Russ and will then be open to an attack
Try not to think that your lovely tanks are invincible,
me they're not. Even a flamer can destroy many types of tank,
Leman Russes or Predators. I've used this tactic on one of my
uses Space Marines. His Vindicator was blocking my advance, and
Yarrick had failed to even damage it for three turns running with his
claw. I gambled and moved behind the Vindicator with a squad
My friend's laugh failed when their flamer got behind the tank and
apart. 3 points of flamer in exchange for over 120 points of
In a defend mission you should place your battle tanks
near the back out
of range of most of the enemy's guns, and use their long ranged weapons
pepper them as they advance. Close support tanks like the Hellhound
armoured fist squads should be kept back in case of a breakthrough.
attack mission your battle tanks should support the infantry advance
the back, and faster tanks should move with them, providing cover against
Never, ever advance tanks without infantry support, and
guardsmen in chimeras if possible.
You'll be surprised how effective snipers can be, even
Marines or Chaos. One unlucky leadership test and a whole unit
pinned for a whole turn, slowing down any advances. The longer
also useful, as the pinned unit often can't fire back because the snipers
are out of range of their weapons.
Though Ratling are good at sniping, I find that they are
a bit fragile.
Catachan Snipers are much better, as they are tougher and are hard
when in jungle. Their deathworld toxins are useful too.
Also, they can
target different units, potentially pinning three units in one go.
only downfall is that they can't move, so it may be best to take both
Ratling and Catachan Snipers together for flexibility if you went
concentrated sniper fire in your army.
The question may arise, should I take Storm Troopers?
These are supposed
to be the Imperial Guard's best troops, but aren't as good as the Space
Marine's worst troops! They are also expensive points-wise.
But the good
points about them, good basic weapons against low armoured troops,
shooting, good armour and they look cool as well. Being able
to deep strike
or infiltrate is also useful in some circumstances. Yet
think that they aren't really worth their points cost- that the points
better spent on more, cheaper guardsmen. But if you like them,
them! A surgical strike behind enemy lines may turn the tide
of a battle,
but remember they aren't very good in close combat at all. The
heavy weapons is a pain as well.
Avoid it. You'll probably never win unless you have
either a lot of men,
dedicated assault troops or a hell of a lot of luck. There are
things that stand a real chance in close combat: Command HQ's, Ogryns,
Riders and Deathworld Veterans. Of these the best choice is the
elsewhere they aren't much use. My favourite overall choice would
be the Deathworld Veterans as they are just as good at shooting as
guardsmen. The only drawback is that they are quite expensive
each compared to 6 points for a regular guard), but that wouldn't be
a problem if you followed my 'the more the better' advice.
If you are defending, try to space out your men so that
the enemy can't
just sweep your whole army away and kept a counter-attack force nearby.
you are attacking and feel that an assault would be profitable, then
as many troops in so you can to maximise results. If you lose
then the more squads you have in the combat the better, as though some
squads may fall back some will probably still be there to stop the
sweeping and destroying more of your men. Comm-links are also
as the leadership boost from your commanders will hold more of your
'The most powerful force in the galaxy."
The Imperial Guard are potentially the best army, with
a good mix of
units and weaponry, but don't let this go to your head. Careful
and, of course, a bit of luck are still needed, and your opponent may
few surprises for you (like three Land Raiders filled with Terminators.).
Just keep a cool head.
~ Brother-Captain Andromidius