Planning: First IG Army List

Tear apart my first attempt at a 5th edition IG army list, after I offer an explanation of its purpose and intended feel.

The Humble Lasgun

As a historical introduction, I should mention that my first real army was Space Wolves, which I'd consider an elites version of an already elites army. Total model count was thus low, but troop quality was high. But even then, I would field well over 25 models in a 1000 pts. So going into Imperial Guard, I've needed to deal with a full paradigm shift: I believe that ranks of the Guard achieve strength through sheer numbers, yet dissolve in combat — the complete opposite of my furry Space Marines. And that means a vast change in strategy.

I want this army to feel like an army when it's on the tabletop. Nowadays, a Space Marine is worth 2-3 Guardsmen in points, and I wanted my total model count to reflect that. Where my Space Wolves army list (at 1500 pts) currently fields 39 infantry, 3 transports and 1 tank, the massed ranks of my COG force number 87 infantry, 3 walkers, 2 tanks and 1 transport. Yes, that's a paintjob and a half. But that's also a huge number of guys to kill.

The List

Before I go further, I suppose I'll post the list. I've made an image of it, shown below:

But if you're keen on reading it instead of viewing it, here are the details:

  • HQ

    • Command Squad: Vox, Plasma Gun, Chimera with Extra Armour
    • Lord Commissar
  • Elites

    • Storm Troopers Squad: 8 storm troopers
    • Ratling Sniper Squad: 5 ratlings
  • Troops

    • First Infantry Platoon:
      • Command Squad: Commander with Bolt Pistol & Power Fist, Flamer
      • Infantry Squad: Sergeant with Plasma Pistol, Flamer
      • Infantry Squad: Sergeant with Plasma Pistol, Flamer
      • Heavy Weapons Squad: 3 Mortar Teams
    • Second Infantry Platoon:
      • Command Squad: Vox, Autocannon Team
      • Infantry Squad: Vox, Autocannon Team
      • Infantry Squad: Vox, Autocannon Team
      • Heavy Weapons Squad: 3 Lascannon Teams
      • Heavy Weapons Squad: 3 Missile Launcher Teams
  • Fast Attack

    • 3 Scout Sentinels with Heavy Flamers
  • Heavy Support

    • Leman Russ Battle Tank with Hull-mounted Lascannon and Extra Armour
    • Leman Russ Demolisher with Hull-mounted Lascannon and Extra Armour

Shown below is a points breakdown (by percentage) of the army:


Let's not beat around the bush: this is a defensive army. In most circumstances I will want my opponent to have to advance on me. In Annihilation missions, I can take advantage of combined squads to boost my platoon numbers, while in objective missions I have a very large number of scoring units. As Pathfinder has discovered, armies like Tau can be fought with reasonable effectiveness at range by keeping them outside of 30". Assault armies have to weather the gun line or use heavy outflanking or drop pods to bring the fight right to the forefront, both of which rely on some measure of luck to make sure that the force doesn't arrive piecemeal.

Overall Strategy

Given the overall playstyle, it's probably not hard to see how the army's components are meant to be played. I have broadly divided units into two groups: firebase or speedbump.

My speedbump units are infantry squads from the first platoon, the Storm Troopers, the Sentinels and the Leman Russ Demolisher. These units will be the ones "taking it for the team." Storm Troopers will deep strike in, rapid fire their hot lasguns and then die. Infantry squads will hold their ground, use their flamers and rapid fire, and then die. The Demolisher will be a fire magnet (and is intended that way). The Sentinels will support my infantry squads, using their Heavy Flamers to draw out and possibly engage lighter units. I had also considered using them as flank protection.

The firebase consists of the Mortar teams from First Platoon, the Ratlings, all of Second Platoon and the Leman Russ Battle Tank. Ratlings will be focusing on monstrous targets or targets that are reasonably vulnerable to Pinning. Mortars will do the same, Lascannons on big targets, the Missile Launchers will choose targets as necessary with Frag or Krak, and the rest will target infantry units.

That leaves my Command Squad in the Chimera, which I'm likely to use as a mobile Orders platform. The Lord Commissar can play one of two roles: his aura of discipline can boost my speedbump squads or be used to grant my heavy weapons teams excellent leadership for taking orders.


The biggest weakness I have is that the army isn't playtested, nor have I played much 5th edition. Most of my ideas are at best theory. And that's where I need your help! What weaknesses do you see in this army list? How might you solve them?


oni said...

I personally don't think Vox-caster's are worth it unless all units have them, but I'm n00b IG player so take that as you may.

I real curious how you made that army sheet tho.

Max said...

It seems rather odd to me to use stormtroopers of all things as speed bumps, mostly due to their extreme cost. I can see what you're going for, the one turn of marine killing goodness plus a target that must be eliminated, but I can't help but think that you could get the same effect for less OR use the stormies in a more offensive role to take out enemy armor or MCs.

Another thing is you are seriously lacking in anti-tank. 3 lascannons and 3 missile launchers that are all very vulnerable to enemy fire are basically it (unless you include the tanks). You will have a tough time, especially against AV 14 targets.

Other than that looks pretty good. I personally like voxen if I can afford it, as I've failed far too many rolls on ld 8/9 when I really needed to BID.

Brett said...

@oni: For the vox to work, you need the order giver's squad and the order receiver's squad to both have a vox. I simply felt that for this list, voxes were needed on the firebase because they were likely to receive the most orders. The army sheet was made using Adobe Illustrator. Fonts used were Boycott (free), and Myriad Pro (comes with Adobe).

@Max: I agree that their cost makes them an expensive speedbump. What I was thinking was not necessarily dropping them between my line and the enemy, but deep in theirs, which would cause some of my opponent's forces to redirect, buying me more time. Any isolated guard unit is probably going to be killed, but if the stormies can be used as a "Hey I'm over here come kill me" kind of tool, they may get their points worth. Yes, they could also be outfitted with anti-armor weapons but I'm hesitant to give them meltaguns because it'd be wasting their hot shot lasguns, which I'm paying dearly for. I could field an entire lascannon heavy weapon squad (and then some) for their cost, which I feel make the most effective armor counters simply due to the Bring it Down order. Other options might include veterans in a Chimera or Devil Dogs - do you have any experience with either of those? What have been your most effective anti-armor counters?

Max said...

Heh, long time getting back to this. Using the stormies that way sounds like a plan, and I can definitely see wanting to use the hotshots if you go for a big squad.

For anti-armor I generally run two vet squds loaded up with meltaguns with a minimum sized squad of stormtroopers with two melta, as well as an Al'rahem led command squad with 2 melta and 2 melta in a special weapon squad. Both of the vets ride in chimeras if possible, though using Sgt Harker is also an option for mobility. Granted I run fairly mobile infantry lists and lascannons have done all right be me in the past, but I just hate waiting around for the enemy to come to me.