Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Imperial Guard In 6th Edition: Good And Bad

by SandWyrm

As I read through the 6th Edition 'Leak' that came out yesterday, I've noticed quite a few things that will both enthuse and discourage Imperial Guard Players.

(Note: For the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to assume that the 'Leak' document is real. Though it could be anything from a fan-made fake to an outdated test document. Be that as it may, let's not get caught up whether it's real or not. I'm more interested in the changes it would bring to the game if it is real.)

So, what will 6th Edition bring to the Guard?

  1. Standard Cover is now only a 5+.
  2. Rapid Fire Weapons will always be able to shoot once out to 24", even if the unit moves.
  3. Blast Weapons will be far more accurate. You hit at normal BS and only scatter 2x the roll you miss with. 
  4. Weapons firing multiple blasts only hit/scatter the first blast fired. The second blast can be laid anywhere that touches the first. The third can be laid anywhere that touches the 2nd, etc. Hello Manticores and Leman Russ Executioners!
  5. Russes can fire 3 weapons on the move or 6 if they remain still, though each weapon may still only be fired once. Executioners with Sponsons should be quite popular!
  6. Units and Tanks can split their fire at the expense of shooting one weapon. So a Russ that stays still could fire it's Sponsons and Main Gun at one target, while shooting it's Hull Heavy Bolter and Stubber at another.
  7. Russes may be immune to difficult terrain, but this isn't completely clear.
  8. Techpriests are finally useful! They repair on a 5+ (better if servitors are handy) and can increase the rate of fire of a tank by 1 if there's nothing to repair! They also repair entire squadrons at once!
  9. All tanks get a -1 on the vehicle damage chart.
  10. All weapon distances are now measured from the vehicle's hull. 
  11. Ranges for passenger weapons are also measured from the vehicle's hull, not the fire point.
  12. When a vehicle in a squadron gets shaken, stunned, or immobilized, they get a 4+ save. If this save is failed, the entire squadron is shaken, stunned, or immobilized together.
  13. Assault weapons can be used in combat to give that model an extra CC attack.
  14. Grenade Launchers can be used in combat against walkers. They allow the model to use Grenades while hitting at their normal weapon skill instead of a 6+.
  15. You can shoot at enemy units that assault you. :)
  16. Snipers get to pick their targets in a unit!
  17. Pin check is at -1 for each wound suffered from a sniper unit!
  18. Flamers get a 3" range bonus (fires like a Hellhound).
  19. Changes to Wound Allocation make it more likely that Storm Shield models will die as you put wounds on them. Though they'll also be blocking far more of the incoming wounds.
  20. Valkyries and Vendettas now have a base move of 8".
  21. If your squad leader gets within 3" of a transport's access point, the entire squad may embark.
  22. If a unit's transport is destroyed, each model dies on a D6 roll of 6. Nice!
  23. Troops in a transport get the Relentless special rule.
  24. A vehicle that moves any distance has a WS of 10! So most attackers will need a 6 to hit it in Close Combat.
  25. The incoming order got better. The unit that receives it may choose whether to go to ground that turn. If it does, it gets the +2 save.
  26. Move! Move! Move! now gives the target unit a 3" consolidation. Hmmnnn...
  27. Enclosed Crew Compartments add +1 to the vehicle's side armor. Huh?
  28. Primaris Psykers can now stop enemy Psychic powers on a 5+.  But not if he's in a transport.
  29. (added) Walkers can now Go To Ground!
  1. Standard Cover is now only a 5+.
  2. When a vehicle in a squadron gets shaken, stunned, or immobilized, they get a 4+ save. If this save is failed, the entire squadron is shaken, stunned, or immobilized together.
  3. Russes will only move up to 6". The die roll for extra movement is gone.
  4. Tanks will be much easier to hit. Tanks that don't move will be hit automatically!
  5. The breached hull rules and conversion of multiple stuns to weapon destroyed and immobilized results will mean that penetrated vehicles will die much more reliably.
  6. Fleeing troops within 12" of an enemy at the start of their turn are automatically destroyed. Doesn't apply to Marines of course.
  7. If you lose a combat and break, you only get away on a single 5+ roll. Fail that roll and every unit you had in the combat is destroyed. Doesn't apply to Marines of course.
  8. Valkyries and Vendettas can only fire 2 weapons on the move. Ouch! (Edit: Not True)
  9. Troops in a transport can only see 18"!
  10. UH-OH!!! A unit in a transport may only fire one weapon out if it moves! Bye bye Mech Guard!
  11. Flamers that hit a firing point will do D3 hits to units inside a transport!
  12. Move! Move! Move! now gives the target unit a 3" consolidation. 
  13. No more free cover if a Vehicle Explodes.Vehicles are simply removed without leaving a crater.
  14. BEWARE!!! Unless you buy your Commissars power weapons, they're going to be picked out with directed attacks from enemy squad leaders and Characters in close combat.
Well, if these rules turn out to be genuine, it will certainly change up the strengths of the Guard. Russes will be king again. Manticores will be even more stupid-good, and Hellhounds will be even nicer as they'll be firing more weapons on the move and will worry much less about assaults.

Big nerfs though to Vendettas and Chimera Vets. That would not make me happy if I was still running that army. But that's exactly what GW wants to push new sales.



  1. Oh, but this is an amazing breakdown. Thanks so much for taking the effort!

    I read the rules through and I was impressed...but my mind was frankly boggled.

    I never play chimeltavet-type guard, but I'm looking forward to not feeling the shame burn any time I put a chimera on the table.

  2. i am really not kidding when i say i would stop playing if they invalidated mech guard again. i suffered all through third and fourth playing them, and fifth has been a dream come true. i cant go back to that and i dont want/cant afford another army. given my last point, i doubt very much GW will care about losing me as a 'customer' anyway, as i havent bought anything for about a year...

  3. You missed the big one, which is the change to Disembarkation upon destroying a Transport. It's now essentially a Deep Strike formation where the first model has to be placed in B2B with one of the access points (prior to removing the vehicle in the case of Explodes). First, this means no more ringing around the vehicle to be exactly where you want to be--second, it means you're standing in a big Blast/Template friendly pile--and most important of all, if you can't perform this pile-disembarkation legally without being within an inch of enemy models, those models get to either Defensive Fire or Charge by Chance at you. That means destroying vehicles via the Assault is suddenly a viable tactic, and whenever some Orks/Daemons/Tyranids beat your metal boxes to death, odds are they'll immediately eat the dudes inside too.

    Some other things:

    --Assault weapons can be used in combat to give that model an extra CC attack.
    Only if they already have a Primary CCW to pair it with.

    --A vehicle that moves any distance has a WS of 10! So most attackers will need a 6 to hit it in Close Combat.
    No, it means practically everything in the game will never need a 6 to hit vehicles ever again. WS3 or lower are the only things that would be needing sixes. WS4-5 will always need 5+, anything higher will be 4+.

    --You can shoot at enemy units that assault you. :)
    I've seen lots of people referencing this as if it always applies--if it does, I must have seriously missed something. Defensive Fire has to be TRIGGERED to be used; it's not always available. The only things I'm seeing that trigger it are Critical-range Deep Strike, Overwatch, Transport "Trapped" situations, and models unable to avoid a Ram. I'm not seeing any blanket allowance for Defensive Fire to be used in reaction to a charge, it merely explains how a Defensive Fire works **IF** it has been triggered by a charge--which is entirely likely, as both Overwatch and the Deep Strike Defensive Fires could trigger as part of an Assault move.

  4. I think Dodger is right on all counts. Man, the wording of some of those rules is confusing!

  5. At any rate, Mech Guard is dead. At least according to these rules. Prepare for Infantry Gunlines with Russ, Hellhound, Manticore, and Hydra support. Expect to see fewer Vendettas too, as they won't be worth the trouble of carrying them around.

  6. No, Vendettas are just as stupid as they've always been. That's another one he missed.

    They gained Gunship, so they multiply their MT value by six rather than two when remaining stationary. Being Fast means they can do that even at Combat speed, so Vendettas are technically allowed to fire six weapons while moving 8", which basically keeps them identical to what they already are but with a bonus 2" of movement each turn.

  7. Thanks for checking me Dodger. :)

  8. One of the big standout things I'm seeing in the new ruleset is that any Marine players who think it's true should take all their Power Fist bits and go trade them for Power Swords.

    The Directed Hits rule penalizes hidden Power Fists in just about every way. And with the new Alpha Strike rule replacing Assaulting Through Cover, hidden Power Fists will almost never get to attack--you'll fail a save, and your Power Fist will get Directed, and not get to attack. On the flipside, Coarse weapons (of which Power Fists are one) are never allowed to be Directed Hits, so you never get to benefit from the rule even if you do somehow get to attack, because your Sergeant is required to be your Squad Leader.

    Meanwhile, you could buy a Power Sword instead. Not only does that allow you to perform Directed attacks yourself and pick out other people's special weapons/Sergeants, it also makes your Sergeant IMMUNE to Directed Hits in CC himself, as he's now a 3+/5++ model (with the new Parry rule) and therefore becomes his own Armour Group.

    Though, technically he'd still be at risk from Shooting Directed Hits, but it's hard to say how common those will be--Point Blank seems to be the easiest way to get it, as Covering Fire relies on rolling triple sixes, but it's unclear to me whether Point Blank affects the whole unit's shooting (for the purposes of Directed Hits, at least) or just the character's. Based on where it is and how it's worded, I think only the character gets Shooting Directed Hits at Point Blank, so even then it's still hard to go picking out squad leaders with it.

    1. @Dodger3,

      On page 35, it seems to suggest that all veteran sergeants should get a 6+ invulnerable save, presumably as a means of rendering them a different save group. Hence all sergeants should be immune to directed hits.

  9. Power Weapons just became mandatory for IG Commissars.

  10. Coaxial guns (HStubbers) make the primary weapon on the turret they're attached to twin linked!

    Our boomguns would become super-accurate with these upgrades!

  11. There's no coax option yet in the codex for Russes though. Do Baneblades have coaxial guns?

    1. Baneblades have an autocannon as coaxial to their main cannon, I believe.

  12. The way I read it, it'll now take at least Str7 to instant-kill multi-wound Guard models too, (T+4), so if that's right I'll fear scatter lasers less.

    By the way, Sandwyrm: this site's not been loading properly for me since my last comment on this post...

  13. Is it instill having problems right now?

  14. Another great thing for IG with these rules is that choosing to 'Go To Ground' only results in the unit being 'Shaken'.

    Shaken units can still make a Combat move (i.e. move their normal movement) or remain stationary allowing them to make a 'Heavy Fire' action and fire their heavy weapons (Autocannons) and Lasguns.

    Combined with a Commissar Lord's stealth pants this can give a combined platoon going to ground a 2+ cover save and the ability to still return full fire! HELLOOOooo n̶u̶r̶s̶e̶ Blob Guard! Possibly now the best infantry saves in the game.

    The 'Fire Sweep' ability of Flamers makes Platoon Command Squads armed with quad Flamers an interesting prospect for combat as well. If they can survive to their initiative step unloading 4D6 of AUTO-HITTING S4 hits on a unit can do some juicy BK flame-broiled damage!

    A good tactic may be positioning your combined platoon to receive the charge, hopefully holding with Stubborn. Then during your turn counter-charging with the PCS against a unit already locked fighting the platoon, thus giving them the ability to 'Alpha Strike' and hit at Init. 10 with 4d6 of flamer hits.

    Since charge moves don't have to be made in a straight line it's easy enough to shelter them behind the platoon and charge around when needed.


out dang bot!

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