Hey guys, it's my first post on the forum, although I've been a fan of this site for a while now. I'm someone who's only gotten into Warhammer recently, but I really fell in love with the Imperial Guard.
Speaking honestly, 7th edition was a little complicated for me to jump into, especially with the wildly different power levels for codexes and the complicated rules for flyers, monstrous creatures, ect. I've tried my best to keep up, and things seemed like they would get better with 8th edition. It sounded like GW was committed to simplifying the rules and leveling the playing field. I was really excited.
...until I saw the new rules for Imperial Guard.
I'm sure others have different opinions, but to me it feels like GW has taken away almost everything that made this army unique. It is really disheartening to see some of the changes they have made. Platoons, combined squads, veteran customization- they got rid of everything that drew me to the Guard in the first place, and I don't particularly like anything they have given us to replace it with.
I built my army around platoons, supported by leman russes and veteran squads in Chimeras with carapace armor. I even converted my vets to give them a unique "armored up" feel. None of that, as I understand it, is viable now. There are no more platoons, which were the heart of the guard to me. No more way to combine squads, which gave our army great individuality. Veterans have lost all of their unique customization, and with the changes to Chimeras I honestly don't see any reason to field them. Essentially the way I played doesn't exist anymore.
Losing company and platoon command squads is another big blow. I guess the new game system wasn't designed to handle it, but having a single company commander running behind his men takes out a lot of the originality out of this army. I know people are still debating the merits of leman russ tanks, but from what I've heard they aren't going to be very competitive either. What is really frustrating is that it seems like there are now fewer units which are viable for us- which is the opposite of what GW promised.
Perhaps the most frustrating part about this to me is that there doesn't really seem to be anyway to voice these concerns to GW. They made this massive change without really consulting Imperial Guard players. I know people are holding out hope that maybe a year from now we get a codex with some more personality and power, but it's hard for me to be optimistic now. They've done so much right so far with 8th edition in my estimation, but this feels like a serious mistake, and it feels really disrespectful to guard players.
What are you guys thoughts on all this? Am I overreacting? I hope there is a silver lining that I haven't seen yet. Thanks for reading.
I know others have already talked you back a bit, but here's my thoughts too.
Firstly, the Guard are massively improved by the various changes with 8th, even if there are some things that have lost some of their shine in the change-over. for every "weaker" unit (see debate over Leman Russes) there are two or more massively improved units, such as Bullgryn or Manticores.
I certainly understand being annoyed about the lack of options on Veterans and hopefully something will return in the eventual Codex. For now, you may be best served using them as Scions, or keep using them as Veterans - although Scions can carry 4 Special Weapons now there are benefits to using the latter, such as a heavy weapon and benefiting from Orders from regular Officers and not having to buy a Scion officer.
Chimeras are still brilliant, though the (game-wide) loss of Firing Points sucks. The Lasgun Arrays are reasonably powerful with the new way Wounds work, and you have the option of 2 Heavy Bolters (greatly improved weapons) and a Heavy Stubber for long-ranged work and 2 Heavy Flamers (which are stupidly good now) and a Storm Bolter for any unit that will be advancing up the board. Vehicles as a whole are tough to kill, and the ability to put someone like a vulnerable Officer, Astropath, whole entire Squad or similar into such a tough box in a pinch could absolutely save you games.
Combined squads though, are something that was relatively new to the Guard, and I have always felt they were a bad thing as it led to the irrelevance of Conscripts (why take them when for only a few points-per-model more you get better BS, better Ld and actual weapon options?). I do totally agree about the loss of the Platoon structure, that was one of my favourite things that I also felt was unique to the Guard. However, after discussing it with my local store manager I can see why perhaps it was dropped - apparently it was an incredibly difficult concept for players to grasp and was a nightmare to try to teach (and, interestingly, it was the adults who struggled more than the children). Combine that "entry problem" with the opening up of the Force Organisation Chart that has made the Platoon structure less necessary and it does seem sensible for it to go (even if I hate it still )
Also, the platoon org chart of yore was necessary back in 3rd edition where you would max-out on troop slots way too fast if each infantry squad was its own choice. And that was the reason they were organized the way they were -- to give us the ability to field the troops we needed. Now, it works greatly to our advantage to have them seperate since we can now max out on command points by filling up detachments easily. So this is a huge bonus and it's not like platoons are gone -- you can still take a platoon commander, his command squad, and infantry squads to make platoons. They just take up more than one troops slot which, again, is a huge bonus now to collecting command points.
As others have said, try a game -- I think you may be pleasantly surprised!
I hadn't thought of looking at building Platoons that way, that is a really clever idea. It will be limited by any "max detachments" caps people put on games (especially tournaments) but Guard could get bonkers with the Command Points.
Watched a battle report on mini war gaming today. The ability to withdraw from combat to allow friendly units to shoot the close combat troops is really nasty, especially if you give the withdrawing squad the order allowing them to fire as well.
Charging 40 points of guardsmen into a hive tyrant to tie it up for a turn, only to withdraw and then shooting it with all your tanks is pretty nasty.
That does sound neat, but I wouldn't use the order on a naked 40-point squad, Lasguns and a Laspistol won't do that much to something like a Hive Tyrant. However, it could be a fantastic niche for Veteran Squads - keep them buried in amongst your other units, rush them forwards to shoot & assault a threat like the aforementioned Tyrant, lose a few lasgun/shotgun guys in melee, then fall back & blast it with the good guns again thanks to the Order.
As it is, I plan on making sure I have at least 1 squad with Flamer and Power Weapon in each of my "platoons" to act as a counter-attacking staller, so the premise behind the tactic is certainly viable. Conscripts will be the true screen (especially as you can get them up to a 3+ save quite easily) but I feel a second/reactive wave between them and the rest of the infantry is warranted.
I actually just finished a simple conversion to a chimera for my company command squad- it had an officer leaning out the turret hatch and waving a regimental flag. I was pretty excited about how it worked out, only to learn today that the chimera/company command squad combination doesn't really work anymore. Whoops.
It can work very, very well still - give the Chimera 2x Heavy Flamers, give the Command Squad a Heavy Flamer, whatever fun stuff you want (Medic, Standard Bearer if you want to represent turret-guy out of the tank, etc.) and then give the remaining men Special Weapons too - perhaps Flamers, to keep a theme going, but Plasma Guns are great on BS3+ models. This will give you 3D6 automatic S5 AP-1 hits (which is devastating) plus whatever else the Command Squad has, and allows you to keep using your cool conversion.