Thought I'd make a thread for fellow commanders to share thoughts on how our army is best played in the new edition. I'll start it off.
I think some of the biggest changes are in 8th editions rules itself rather than the specific Guard index. A few huge ones:
Units can withdraw from combat.
Combined with our get back in the fight order, this means that screening troops just became amazing. Block the enemy's advance and pull your chumps off the line for your shooting phase so that you can still pour fire onto the advancing enemy. Our orders mean that these units can also shoot too and force another overwatch. Nasty. Considering turn 1 charges are definitely a thing now we want lots of chaff to absorb these initial hits and give our armies time to grind. Also a hidden buff for flamers. Flame the enemy in your shooting phase, use it just as effectively in overwatch during the enemy assault phase. Withdraw and repeat ad infinitum.
Casualties are chosen by the defender and no more challenges
Hidden power axes, plasma pistols, special weapons are back. We can remove chump lasgunners first as we like to preserve the killiest parts of our units no matter where the shots/hits are coming from.
Reserves come on when you choose, and do not scatter
Huge. We can now wait on our enemies advancing armies and pick the perfect time to overwhelm his backline objectives with our reserves, and we have great options for it. Tempestus command squads with 4 plasma and 5 man rough rider squads pack a punch on a budget and mean we are much more mobile than before with no more relying on dice. Corner camping is a thing of the past. We also have another hidden buff here. Our enemy has reserve shenanigans planned as well, and needs the same 9'' space requirement we do. We however have two advantages. We can cover our board with enough troops to deny this, and have the long range punch to blow holes in enemies deployments to ensure our own.
Characters can't be chosen as targets unless they are the closest
Just amazing for our new style of army. Of course we still have to protect them from snipers, but hiding them out of line of sight using terrain and vehicles is still an option. Supporting this is again our amazing indirect fire options. Mortar squads, Basilisks, Manticores and Wyverns should all make sure that they remove any enemy snipers on the first turn to allow us to really leverage our characters.
Vehicles shoot like monstrous creatures
All weapons can shoot from any part of a tank, at different targets. Sponsons arcs no longer limit our options. Used to being concerned about those 8 heavy flamers on your Baneblade not all having a target in their arc? Now they always will, even in melee, and overwatch!
With these changes I think our style of fighting should change. The new ideal is that the enemy advances as little as possible before running straight into our platoons and conscripts. These then begin a fighting retreat for the rest of the game, crumpling the enemy under lasfire and flamers leaving our long ranged units to methodically take out key enemy units, before we take apart the enemies backline with our reserves.
We need to make sure that fast enemies can't just rush us into a corner, so I propose we think about the concept of deep battle, we will have options to participate everywhere on the board. I don't want to give my enemy the ability to advance in one direction at top speed and be able to engage everything when he gets to my side. I want him slowed, and pulled between both sides of the board. To this end I personally will be dividing my armies into three different roles. Midfield units, Backline units and Contesting units. I'll give some examples.
This part of the army has the task of claiming as much ground in the opening turn as possible while presenting a wall of fire and flesh to slow the enemy advance. They are buying us maneuverability and time. Example units:
Conscripts w/ platoon commander and commissar- Iconic, invaluable. Deploy on the edge of your deployment zone, covering your side. Use Move! Move! Move! order to run 12'' + 2d6'' in the first turn and claim as much ground as you can. Shoot, fight and die gloriously over the next few turns. Using cover and a primaris psyker, you can potentially have a 3+ save on 50 guys, try and stay alive for as long as you can and play blocker.
Scout Sentinels with heavy flamer- Scout 9'' before the game, move 9'', flame things. Tie them up. Cheap, annoying, fast. Wonderful.
Hellhounds with heavy flamer- The Inferno Cannon is dangerous and multi role now as it toasts troops and armour quite effectively. And it's still fast and quite tough.
Flamer bus Chimera- Dual heavy flamer chimera with either 2 special weapon squads with flamers, 3 command squads with flamers or veterans with 3 flamers and heavy flamer. Point this at a table side where you don't want infantry to exist. 14d6 of flamers is devastation.
Platoons- Flamer with plasma pistol and axe. 57 points for a lot of mobile capability.
Punisher Russ- Punisher cannon and 3 heavy flamers. You've got 10'' of movement now, may as well use it for some close support. They overwatch now, and can fight. Can move 20'' +2d6 a turn with orders hilariously.
Enginseers -Because the only thing better than tougher vehicles is tougher regenerating vehicles. Repairs happen in the movement phase, just in time to potentially repair their profile up a ballistic skill step for the next phase.
Heavy weapon squads with Lascannon/Autocannon/Missile launcher- Cheaper and more efficient at what they do. Morale less of an issue, and they take orders automatically, much improved.
Medic command squads with Company Commanders- To provide healing and orders for your backline heavy weapon squads and platoons
Platoons with Lascannon Plasma gun- 67 points for some great damage and a cheap footprint. Remember to split fire.
Ratlings- We're the only ones allowed to have characters. Move them out of line of sight blocking terrain and back using scarper to keep them alive.
Drop in the backline when the enemy is vulnerable or when it is time to take objectives for the win. Keep them cheap, these units are not going to be participating in the majority of the battle.
5 man squads of rough riders- 50 points for a fast moving outflanker that has enough assault power to overwhelm weak backline units. Consider 2 flamers or plasma guns here.
Tempestus -2x Tempestus command squads with 4 plasma guns and a tempestor prime with a command rod-158 points for 16 bs 3+ plasma shots with rerolls that deep strike where you want when you want. Wow.
Eversor- 70 points of pain which has an almost guaranteed charge out of hiding and packs a wallop when he does it.
I hope my ramblings made some sense, and am looking forward to hearing from the rest of the barracks about what they have planned for the new edition.
Edited by Truesight, 06 June 2017 - 02:58 PM.