Monday, June 7, 2010

Infantry Platoon: Where size -does- matter. Part 3

Welcome back to Infantry Platoon, for those of you who have not read the previous two entries i suggest taking a look at Part 1 and Part 2 and sorry for the delay on this part three but things have been very busy with 'ard boyz and other local events.

Part 3 will discuss the final three options in the Infantry Platoon: The Heavy Weapons Squad, the Special Weapons Squad, and the Conscripts Squad.

The Heavy Weapons Squad:

Made up of 3 heavy weapons teams of mortars the HWS is an essential to the imperial guard gun-line lists. They can have mortars, heavy bolters, autocannons, missile launchers, and lascannons in any combination, mixed and matched. They are also able to be equipped with krak grenades (though why you ever would is beyond me, i guess if someone decided to assault them with a walker?)

In my own lists I happen to enjoy all the different sort of weapons and prefer to keep my squads all the same type, though something can indeed be said about putting a lascannon with two missle launchers in order to protect the lascannon. With orders these squads can tear down enemy vehicles or squads with great efficiency. However they must be protected by those infantry squads or perhaps the conscripts.

Another tactic i have heard used, but never tried myself yet, is to load these heavy weapons teams up in chimeras bought through your infantry platoons, though that would no longer allow them to receive orders, this would provide them with a bit of extra protection.

Over all I -love- these guys, they rip through everything and are worth the points!

The Special Weapons Squads:

Special weapons squads are cheap methods of death dealing craziness, they are made up of 6 regular imperial guardsmen and three of them -must- take a special weapon. They can take flamers, grenade launchers, sniper rifles, meltaguns, plasmaguns and even the dreaded demolition charge.

Having not experimented to much with these, I have not quite made up my mind on them, though the cheapness of the squad itself combined with the amount of possible firepower protected by a chimera bought through the infantry platoons or through a valkyrie or vendetta can make them quite potent. After all who wants to see 3 large str 8 ap 2 blast templates tossed at them from a squad? Or three meltas on a tank? or three plasmas?

However I do not think the flamers or grenade launcher options are worth much here, though i can see the validity of having 3 snipers in some situations but it seems still a bit of a stretch.

Over all I want to see how these work on the field a bit more before i five my final answer.
The Conscripts Squad:

This squad of bodies can consist of anywhere between 20-50 bodies of WS and BS 2 imperial guardsmen with no possible upgrades unless you have Commander Chenkov in your army to give them the Send in the Next Wave option. With their low leadership of 5 it might seem like something you would not want to field, but once again just think about 50 bodies there to help plug up that front line and provide you cover, or stop an assault on your good troops. Then if you do have Chenkov in your army, they become infinitely better due to the fact that they can keep coming in over and over again! Plus with 1st Rank Fire, 2nd Rank Fire! you have got up to 150 las gun shots, which makes the BS 2 thing a bit more palatable.

Over all I would not consider using these all that often in competitive play, however in a game that is for fun with a friend, these fellows can provide endless (literally) entertainment.

That is all for now folks, let me know if there is anything specific you want me to cover otherwise I will be choosing my next topic soon.

Until next time, burn some heretics, kill some mutants, and do it as always...



  1. I don't know but I think Flamers with special weapons teams would be nice to clear out swarm armies. Having them at the vanguard in chimeras would help you clean out the rabble.

  2. I can definitely see this as something to use, however, for the extra 35 points I can have a full squad of vets with more firepower in total and better leadership.

  3. HWS are good for getting extra Autocannons, and the Mortars actually aren't half bad, either. (IG often have enough bodies on the field that getting LOS becomes an issue.) I think mixed weapons are a huge mistake, as they push the unit in different directions. Lascannons are usually too vulnerable and go better in Infantry Squads, where you can have Vox support and ablative wounds.

    SWS are okay but not great, a sort of niche unit. Triple flamer and double flamer/Demo are the two most common setups I use. While they're certainly worse than Vets in a lot of ways, they are cheap (50 pts for burninating rather than 85, almost half the price) and let's be honest: an IG unit standing in the open within 8" of enemy lines is going to die no matter how many bodies you put in it. Vets are a much better melta delivery system thanks to BS4, but SWS trump them on price.

  4. The HWS with lascannons is great if you toss Kell in your HQ squad, which is about the only time i would bother, after all leadership 9 (or 10 with a special character) make them well worth it.

    Mortars definitely do not get the respect they deserve out of most players in the game, but at my FLGS i have been running around with them a lot lately and people have started to notice the damage they can do.

  5. I use the special weapon squad with 3 flamers in my vendetta, just to make it scoring. Works out great, most of the time the little buggers don't even have to leave the protection of my figurecase.

  6. Always an interesting idea Johan, one I have thought of a few times, but in my own personal feelings, if they do get out, I would rather them be able to take down something they would be forced to be against, and large blast templates work better (unless in cover, i know, i know) for mobs and plasma/melta works better for Monstrous creatures and tanks, though the flamers are, indeed, a cheaper option than the demo charge, it is something i will have to explore further.