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Monday, 8 April 2013

Imperial Guard Heavy Support Choices - Armoured Artillery Part 1

Hi Everyone,

Raggbur here, and today I want to talk about some of the pie plating choices an IG player can choose from.
About half a year ago, I went to quite big tournament called Insurrection 4, where I ended nicely in the middle (26 out of 54). In my IG list, I went completely anti-termie and brought along 2 Demolisher Russes (24", S10 AP2).
The cannons themselves were awesome off course, and the AV14 front really helps out in the current meta, but: there are so many cool artillery bonuses I felt I was missing out on.

So, I started experimenting with the Armoured Artillery sections in 6th Edition: and I love them! Now, little disclaimer here: I currently use the Forgeworld pieces instead of the normal IG ones. Yeah sure, they're a bit OP, I admit that, but I just love the look and feel of these huge cannons pumping out just as huge shells, blasting the enemy battle line to pieces.
But, today, we're not going to talk about those: we'll stay within the boundaries of our own (awesome) codex.

So, over the course of the following posts, I will be taking a look at the different Artillery pieces & why I think they would be fitting in your standard IG army or allies.

For easy reference, I'll mark them with a score on D10 10 in how good I think they generally are.

Artillery has become a big part of 40k now, being able to negate hard-needed cover save for blob squads, sniping out characters & taking a good chunk out of transports at range.

So, lets kick off with the only piece of artillery... That isn't actually artillery.

The Medusa

I'm actually a really big fan of the Medusa: 36" range ftw!
My first games with Guard were all packed full with Medusa's. However, I've found it lacking in a competitive setting. Why? Simple, because of it's Chimera chassis. With a Enclosed Crew Compartement, it's point cost equals that of a 'Russ, which is much more durable.
Then again, there are often match-ups (Greeeeey Kniiiights!) where I often wish for some S10 AP2 goodness. But maybe those are better provided by Demolishers or Thunderers, who have shorter range, but a tough AV14 front.
If it only had Barrage...

Score: 6/10 (Simply because of the S10 AP2)
Their Job: Good to fantastic (vs Paladins) against certain builds, but always a weak bullet magnet that can't be put out of LoS

The Basilisk (And a Rant About Barrage in General)

The Basilisk is probably The most iconic Artillery unit in 40k. Putting down a nice S9 AP3 pie plate, it's a serious pain against ADL-hiding marines. Or marines which transports you just blew.
Basiliscly (... Get it? ... It's a joke ... I bet that if you used it at your FLGS, everyone would laugh their asses of... Really.)  any MEQ infantry wants it dead.
And every transport. Because a Basilisk is also an absolutely superb transport-killer. Why?
One word: Barrage.

I love Barrage weapons: basiliscly (There, I did it again... Now you must be laughing, definitely) you deny 'natural' vehicle cover saves, cause pinning, have the ability to ignore LoS, and tons of other cool tricks using the simple rule that states that all wounds caused by barrage weapons count as coming from the centre of the template. Meaning you can snipe out characters/special bobs and, as said, deny vehicles any cover from obscuring.
A common mistake (or at least around here) some people make is that you've got to fire indirectly (full 2D6 scatter AND a minimum range, but ignoring LoS) to get this nice bonus, but you don't!
So, the minimum 36" of a basilisk rarely comes in use

Oddly enough, this makes barrage weapons, especially the Basilisk, ideal anti-armoured artillery units. So a basilisk is ideal to counter basilisks, for example. Simply because you don't need that much luck to get that lovely S9 vs AV10 hit. More than one manticore has been killed by Earthshaker shells.

It's resilience lies, as opposed to the Medusa, in that you can easily hide them when things get tough & start shooting indirectly.

Score: 8,5/10
Their Job: Great all-round artillery piece for the jobs described above.

All right that's it for today, check again in the near future for part 2!

- Raggbur

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