Thursday, June 4, 2009

Making Do With Less, part 1: Hello Guard!

Today’s post is the first of a series that I’m going to write about making do with less with the Imperial Guard. For those of you who don’t know me (about all but 2.5 of you I would say), I work for Americorps in Minneapolis and therefore have an incredibly small budget. Thanks to a combination of cheap rent, communal housing and poor judgment (who needs to save money anyway?) I can manage to scrape together enough money to purchase Warhammer models every once in a blue moon. Now, because of this, my selection of models is fairly limited, especially given that I play Imperial Guard (a choice that many would call “bone-‘eaded” for a person on a tight budget… sooo many models….). To date I have purchased the following:

1 Old Cadian Battleforce
1 New Cadian Battleforce
1 New Catachan Battleforce (because making vets is fun!)
1 Poorly Planned but Eminently Worth It E-bay Purchase (the highlights of which are a LRBT, two armored sentinels, a metal commissar, a few flamers, voxen and grenade launchers, and plenty of guardsmen)
2 Chimeras
2 Meltagun packs and 2 Plasma gun packs (because they are so much cheaper than buying the assault weapons sprues)
1 Kasrkin box (because they were pretty)
The 40k peripherals (paint, dice, codex, etc.)

So, this leaves me in the following situation: I have plenty of infantry (unless I want to go conscripts, in which case I’m in trouble), a fair few heavy weapons and enough special weapons to make my squads WYSIWYG eventually. The real problem here is the vehicles; right now I have:

4 Sentinels (two of which are stuck in AS mode and 2 that have yet to be assembled)
2 Chimeras

This means that I have very little heavy support and even fewer transportation options, making my army much less maneuverable than I would like. I can fix these problems with proxying, but my main source for proxies is moving to Georgia at the end of June, so I need to start thinking about the future today.

I'll begin with tackling the maneuverability issue. Especially for any of my squads that have short ranged special weapons (like melta guns or plasma for rapid fire) this is a key issue. So I scoured the IG codex for some options that would enable me to use my infantry to get me closer to the enemy. Here's what I found:
  • What gets my boys close to the enemy quickly, allows them to move faster around the board, grants them protection from harm, has a heavy bolter that can be fired while moving 6", AND only costs 55 points? If you answered Sgt. Harker, you are correct! Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, Stealth and a relentless heavy bolter make him a prime candidate to lead one of my vet squads into the jaws of the enemy. Same duties as a chimera, same price... except on my wallet. A WIP of me kitbashing him will appear at some point.
  • Stormtroopers can act as melta/plasma gun delivery vehicles. Granted I tried this one before and didn't like it, but the ability to deep strike/outflank/infiltrate and take out a troublesome vehicle is one that I literally can't afford to ignore right now. A minimum sized squad with 2 meltaguns costs only 105 points, 50 points less than my triple melta mounted vet squads (say THAT 5 times fast). I might not recommend this option to anyone else as STs are expensive points and money-wise, but I have the models so I'll go for it. And since I have 10 models I might be able to make two squads out of them with some deft snipping (though the Sarge will be a problem...)
  • Al'Rahem grants a platoon the ability to outflank, placing it right in front of the enemy/on an objective. Combined with special weapon squads armed with meltaguns/demo charges, plus Al'Rahem's "Bring it down!" order and some special weapon packing bodyguards, should enable me to take out anything I need to. Once again, should be simple enough to kitbash an appropriate figure, especially with the incredibly awesome Command Squad sprues to help me.
  • Marbo can just pop up wherever he feels like and kill something dead, then go on being a nuisance/contesting objectives for the rest of the game. He's also really easy to kitbash. What's not to like?
As far as heavy support, I have fewer exciting options. Heavy weapon squads can bring the rain, but at least for now I am going to rely on special weapons spam to win the day. I have 12 melta and plasma guns and 2 heavy flamers (thank you command sprues!) as well as a surefire way to make demo charges, of which I can probably crank out 3 or 4 more.
Stay tuned for more segments of this over the coming days, and comments and criticisms are always welcome.

1 comment:

Admiral Drax said...

It all seems like very sound thinking indeed, to me.

For fun, I'm also trying to kitbash a Cadian Sgt. Harker at the mo, but I'm not having a lot of luck so far...