19 July 2013

Why I'm retiring my guard army

Warning: long wall of text with no pictures


The context of this comes after getting my worst tournament result ever with my supposedly best tournament guard army yet. So what went wrong?

The Problem

It's the same problem every time. Models and the fact that I don't own the right ones. I'm handicapping myself because when I need to play full wysiwyg and full paint I'm effectively forced to make choices I would not otherwise. 

All the extra powerswords, plasma pistols, etc add up. And added to this I don't have all the best models. Looking at the judge's list who had to step in to play ringer at the last second, he managed to squeeze in 6 vendettas, 6 chimeras and also 2-3 pieces of artillery, as well as the full array of plasma and melts vets to fill those up.

Why can't I do the same? Well I only have 2 vendettas... And 2 chimeras. I'm not planning to buy any new tanks because I already have spent my money on 3 russes... I'm not going to suddenly buy 4 vendettas or 4 chimeras in one go... I mean it's not like I'm meant to be starting a whole new army here. And while I could take the same number of veterans, it's kind of pointless if they don have anything to transport them.

The death of the blob

Perhaps power weapon blobs are not, but since I don't run them this isn't about them in particular. Guardsmen have a dilemma. Heavy weapons are good, but easily killed. Stick them in a squad of 10 expendable bodies and you've got the protection but are paying at least 60 points for just 1 useful shot. This is too expensive. 

Also when you blob up there is another problem. I opposed this idea for a long time but now I see its merit. In order to maximise the utility of these one gun squads you combine them to gain the benefit of orders for all of them in one go. The problem is that a mephiston, daemon prince or anything else that can kill 5+ guardsmen in combat comes along and then you're leadership 5 or less, get caught and have just lost 20-40 men in one assault phase. Commissars do not really help actually as canny opponents can kill off a sergeant or two before assault so then the commissar helps to delay the combat for one turn, then is killed in a challenge and the enemy is free again in their own turn.

The good news

Well there is a new guard codex rumoured to be on the horizon and because I've been motivated to paint my guard I'll have a whole army of already painted models to use when the new book hits. Perhaps if I'm still into 40k by then I may be tempted to pick up some new models.

For now it's back to tau and space marines, as well as starting my dark eldar.


  1. DimmyK, I feel your frustration. In 3rd ed when they released the Wave Serpent for the Eldar army I felt practically pushed off the fence. I certainly don't want to buy new models to continue playing an army I love. Took me a long time, two editions and more than 10 years, before I brought my Eldar back to the table. Still feel like I have to buy new models for the army to make it work.

    Well thoughtout. Give yourself a pat on the back.

    1. Thanks man! At least wave serpents are good now, tried them out on Monday and they are lethal :)



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