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View Full Version : (Re)starting the game - would welcome some advice



Generalissimus
17-07-2013, 22:44
Hello there, returning player reporting for duty.

My history with 40K goes back to a brief period playing it as a young teenager, about thirteen years ago or so. I have always been fascinated with science fiction and I love the setting of the 40k grimdark millennium as a place to play war games. Whilst my initial time playing 40K was brief, I have come back to the fiction and the magazines intermittently over the following years and have spent some time recently lurking around Warseer, mostly around the 40K background forum.

As of recently, I have made the active decision to restart playing. So far I am armed with the 40K rule book, templates and dice, and I intend to put a bit of cash towards beginning an actual army next month. The question is; which army?

I am incredibly interested in starting a Guard army, and I believe that this is going to be my long term goal. However, a few things are putting me off having the Guard as my starting army as I ease myself back into the rules of gameplay;

1) The relative weakness of individual guard infantry units in comparison to other armies.
2) The cost of putting together a combat-capable Guard army.
3) Allegations I have seen on other forums that the Guard is much less customisable then it used to be, thus creating an army that can look cosmetically different but runs a lot of the same tactics.

Now, 1) is not an issue for me in itself; part of playing the Guard is the potential to have massive armies of Joe Human standing up to the godlike terrors of the universe. However, when combined with point 2), I am a little deterred because I am not in a position at the moment to put a large amount of cash down just to make a basic army that can undertake a stand-up fight. This leads me to the idea of putting together a small starter army based around something that can lay down more fight-per-pound sterling as I get used to the rules, and then move into Guard as a more experienced and (hopefully) better-off player later down the line.

Point 3) is something I have seen mentioned a few times; an allegation that since the army-wide doctrines have been dropped, the customisation of Guard armies is nowhere near what it used to be. I would appreciate some insight into the validity of this statement, as being able to vary my army in rules as well as the aesthetics of the models I choose is important to me.

So, this leads me to my current thought pattern - starting a small Space Marine army to give me a bigger bang for my buck and a greater level of forgiveness on the battlefield while I relearn the rules, followed by moving into a Guard army further down the line. Reckon this is a good idea?

Any and all comments, thoughts or feedback on the points and ideas raised here is most welcome.

dhagi
17-07-2013, 22:52
Not a bad plan to start with marines then move to guard.
Friend of mine and I did a 5k game last weekend, the guard stood their own until my space wolves got in their trenches, but for the first 4 turns his guard (leman Russ tanks and las cannon teams) ate two land raiders and a huge selection of power armor models.
Yeah, that's a huge game example, but with guard you'll be putting more money down anyway. What I noticed about guard is they tend to require more real life purchases for same in game points cost.

Charistoph
18-07-2013, 02:46
With Allies, it goes from a good idea to a great idea. Once you have your feet under you again with whatever Marines you choose, you can Ally in Guard. Then once they are big enough, your Marines become the Allies.

As for your concerns, Guard are actually quite customizable, so long as you disregard the WAACY hyperbole which will say only one or two builds can ever be viable for ANY army. You can go with small Veteran squads or huge Platoons for your Troops, Artillery parks or Tank columns for Heavy Support, and even chicken walkers or Flight of the Valkyries for Fast Attack. The only limit is your imagination and your funds.

So, yeah, your second concern is quite valid, they can easily be the most numerous, and thus most expensive army in 40k.

jubilex
18-07-2013, 09:42
With Allies, it goes from a good idea to a great idea. Once you have your feet under you again with whatever Marines you choose, you can Ally in Guard. Then once they are big enough, your Marines become the Allies.
Seconded.

If you are a fluff bunny, you might want to put some thought into how the two could be integrated and themed.
It seems that you will inevitably drift toward the guard, so perhaps make them the top dog.

My guards are all gas masked up and painted with some pretty nauseous pale purple skin.
They double up as nurgle reneguard with plague marines and a genestealer cult with daemonette "stealers."
I just swap command sections and sergeants to show alleigance.

Btw, no army is ever finished.
But, be warned, for some reason that is entirely beyond reason, guard seem to multiply exponentially.

Chem-Dog
18-07-2013, 16:41
1) The relative weakness of individual guard infantry units in comparison to other armies.

A non issue. The relative weaknesses there are countered by relative strengths just as with any other army.
The infantry might not sparkle, but they enemy will be spending too much time shooting at your tanks to worry about them ;)


2) The cost of putting together a combat-capable Guard army.

The IG can be a little pricey to build initially but some of this can be mitigated if you're careful. My stock advice here is to examine the kits on the website and plan your purchases to the finest degree possible. The actual Infantry Squad box should be bough as infrequently as possible unless you just want extra bodies.

Remember also that the smallest IG legal force consists of just 21 men. Two veteran squads and either a Primaris Psyker or Lord Commissar (or Yarrick). You will struggle to reach 500 points with that kind of line-up but once the FoC is happy, things get a bit easier to choose. There's nothing really stopping you running Veterans until have enough models to run Platoons, just make sure you re-task your heavy/special and sarge models appropriately to avoid wastage and redundant models.



3) Allegations I have seen on other forums that the Guard is much less customisable then it used to be, thus creating an army that can look cosmetically different but runs a lot of the same tactics.

It's nonsense. There are more options in the IG codex now than there ever were in the Doctrines book. Sure there might have been a number of ways to finesse your army but most of them didn't change your army's play style, the few that did can be replicated now by using commonly available options or, at worse, a little creative thinking.

Generalissimus
19-07-2013, 07:34
Thanks to everyone for the advice; I like the idea of starting up with Marines and then integrating them as allies into a Guard army.

I am a bit of a fluff person and would like the incorporation of a Marine cadre into a Guard army to be fluff legitimate. I was pondering the issue during my lunch hour yesterday, trying to think of currently established examples (on the loyalist side of things at least) where Marines may regularly fight alongside Guard or Guard-style units. Initial ideas were as follows:

- Ultramar Auxilia regiments fighting for the Guard - would probably not look out of place if their Space Marine protectors had a unit fighting along with them.
- Inquistion-themed army - lead by an Inquisitor-style character, would have the ability to draw on both Guard units and Marines (if they asked nicely).
- Rogue Trader army - similar to the above, except arguably more flexible fluff-wise in what opponents they can fight.
- Frateris Militia army - using Guard could represent a particularly well-trained and financed group of volunteers fighting for the Ecclesiarchy, could possibly have some Marines drawn from a crusading chapter attached to it.
- Renegade army - Where a high ranking and particularly charismatic Commander from either the Guard, Navy or a Renegade Marine chapter manages to pull together both Guard units and Space Marine units to fight their private wars of faith/expansion/rebellion.

Any other examples people can think of? I would be interested to hear them.

jubilex
19-07-2013, 10:50
How about ad mech?

Nice theme and it could offset the cost by using (perhaps carapace) vets and storm troopers as skittari.
Maybe an archaeology/archeotech dig team expecting xenos trouble so they bring along a death watch contingent or something.
The usual suspects, plus conscrips as labourers?

Or perhaps Mentor legionaires. They are technology obsessed "testbeds" and would likely collaborate in seeking out new weirdness to employ.
Kind of like the sound of that actually!

Generalissimus
21-07-2013, 20:59
Thanks for all the advice and recommendations.

Based on the options that seem to be out there (and given that I want to make my army as fluff-legit as possible), I have decided that my long-term goal will be to develop an Adeptus Mechanicus army using Guard rules and utilising Guard models as a basis.

Browsing the Lexicanum articles on the Skitarii, I was a little concerned about being able to create a military force that looks like the troops listed (red cloaks, very priest-like), but upon further reading I have discovered that Skitarii armies are apparently remarkably varied in appearance depending on where they were raised;



There is little standardisation or central command of Skitarii across the Mechanicus, as each individual regiment is the personal army of a particular Magos. For example, the Skitarii of the Titan Legion, Legio Invicta are gene-bulked humans with weaponised limbs and augmetic armour, whereas a different type of Skitarii investigated the dead world of Tarsis Ultra, and were seen to be wearing something similar in both function and design to Terminator armour.

Being a fan of eighties action movies and Vietnam-era combat history, I have always had a fondness for the Catachan models. The "gene-bulked humans" aspect described in the article gave me a bit of inspiration; I could use the Catachan models as base figurines and modify them with various augmetic aspects to make them look partially robotized and cyber-enhanced, thus creating what I hope would be a rather formidable looking AdMech-style army.

As for Space Marines that would go from my initial 'rule-learning' army to Allied Detachment, the AdMech style would fit in nicely with a contingent of Steel Confessors, who I am led to believe from the Warhammer40k Wiki were secretly created by the AdMech and still have a remarkably close relationship to them now. A group of Steel Confessors attached to an active AdMech army travelling the galaxy as part of the 'Quest for Knowledge' would not seem out of the ordinary, I believe.

What do you think? Thoughts, suggestions and critiques on this idea are, as always, gratefully received.

Mage
21-07-2013, 22:23
The direction you are going in sounds like a good idea. Any Iron Hands successor chapter would fit the bill nicely, or mentors, or one of your own design.

Also, FW are doing some HH era Adeptus Mechanicus stuff, albeit slowly.