Tuesday, 4 April 2017

8th edition Imperial Guard

So, despite the recent rush of information I have decided to continue the 8th edition theories series, I'll try and keep on top of any changes that will occur due to the new rumours and information. In the mean time, let us look at my main loves of the 40k universe, the Imperial Guard (and that's the IMPERIAL GUARD and not the Astra Militarum). Name changes aside, what do I think and hope will occur with the 8th edition codices.

Well, to start, I expect that we will continue to have two codices, one for each faction, or failing that I expect that we will receive one codex with the option to run a pure IG or MT force through formations, if not through the CAD or imperial version.

Assuming that we get two codices, what will the guard one look like? To be honest, I doubt much will actually change here. I don't think that we will get any new models as such, but I do expect that we will get new infantry and heavy weapons boxsets, partly due to the demise of cadia and partly due to the fact the current ones are getting long in the tooth. Most sets have the options to build all combinations, even if not at the same time (think combi-weapons) but the guard only have the basics, the catachan box set doesn't even have a grenade launcher in, one of the two most basic of special weapon choices. What armies these boxsets will belong to is unknown, but I expect them to be very generic. Other than a redo of the infantry kits I can't see any kits that really need redoing. The Russ kits are good, as are the wyvern/hydra, the hell hound and chimera ones are good to. Only the sentinel kit is a bit weak, but it still has all the options. The same can be said of the command squad kits, ogryns, and MT squads (I'll cover these in detail later). The only 'kit' that needs an upgrade is the ratlings, as their still metal, that's if they still exist in the new codex and haven't been replaced by special weapon squads with sniper rifles.

So kits and model wise, I don't see much happening, but what about rules wise? We'll I see a lot of points adjustments here to start with. A lot of guard stuff is well costed, platoons, chimeras etc. The main one that springs to mind is the bulgryns/ogryns. They are more expensive than a terminator with no invun and a worse save. Yes their thought and strong, but that's not the same. They, as in ogryns, don't even have any weapon options, (flames anyone?) bulgryns do a little better but are still just as overpriced. I'd like to see them drop in points, how many? Not sure, but a fair few.

The only other unit I can think of that needs a base points reduction are the various Russ tanks. I'm not suggesting a big drop here, no, just a few points, 10 or 15 maybe. For me, they seem just a little high, if they were bs4, then I'd be happy as well, but lets face it there guard, not marines. The biggest issue though is the options, not just with the tanks, but overall. While most are fine, some just don't make sense. The main culprit is cam nets, while it maybe justifiable on a russ ( just about), on a sentinel its just stupid. There needs to be some sort of adjustment with a few others as well, nothing major, just maybe they need some individual tailoring for certain units.

The last big points issue though comes with the special characters. Now, some of them we know or at least speculate, are gonna be gone, Creed and Kell, so their points cost is a little irrelevant at the moment, so ill stick to Straken. Now this is a man with a serious points issue. He is more than a command squad on his own, and while his stats are good, there not THAT good! He either needs some serious rules buffs or a large price drop. I'd go with the latter.

So that's my main gripes with units and points, but what about the rest of the book? Well, one thing I would love to see are chapter tactics or rather regimental doctrines, seeing as were talking guard. We all know how well the chapter tactics have worked, so why wouldn't it work for guard? They used to have a similar thing in the old days, with the likes of codex; catachan, and some of the special characters, such as chenkov and al'rahem, giving special rules related to their regiments. Why this can't be resurrected in a similar fashion I don't know, but it would add a whole layer of fluff to the guard again. The question would then be though, what doctrines would you have? Cadian, Catachan, Mordian, Valhallan, Tallarn, Steel Legion, the list is long, almost endless in fact, at least with the marines it was pretty definitive.

What other changes will there be? Formations and detachments, but hopefully not the Cadian one! A smaller core choice, maybe the armored assault vets one, or just a slimmed down company (2 squads per platoon maybe?) There is no doubt that we will see a detachment in the book, but what it looks like is up in the air. If the bring in doctrines then its likely we may see more than one, maybe 4 or 5, with differing command and core options and requirements, maybe an infant based catachan option, armored steel legion, mech vet Cadian, aircav ???, you get the idea.

All in all, I think that the basics of the army will not change, the main units will remain the same with the same options and much of the rest of the book will be very recognizable. The main changes I feel will be that way the army is fielded and to a lesser extent how its played. For most of us though, little will change. Those of us with foot slogging armies will keep on marching, those who ride in (relative) comfort will ride on and the tread heads will keep on rolling.

At this point I was going to start on the Militarum Tempestus boys, but I think that will have to wait until a new post!