Friday, 2 April 2010

IG Tactica Part One

"By the Emperor, we've won!"

TKE offered me a place to write on his blog initially for me to discuss the IG. I have played IG on and off since the start of RT. Today this post is all about the humble Infantry Platoon, its uses, its faults and how to maximize it.

(EDITORS NOTE - Page Breaks are your friend... :) )

So lets look at the basic IG platoon and its choices and uses on the modern battlefield. This post will deal with the PCS.

The PCS, is an interesting choice as far as IG go. There are currently two schools of thought of how to use them in the main and a single secondary use. A static support to your gunline (increasingly rare in 5th) or to use them a cheap alternative to Vetran Mech are your mainstays. A counter puncher is your secondary use.

A a static fire base support unit, the 4 man PCS has a few things going for it. The first is it’s a cheap source of an extra HW. For foot slogger armies and defence lines, nothing beats the bristling guns of the IG infantry line. Your choices should be taken around what your force lacks…. But nothing in the 40k universe beats the humble autocannon for its use, its diversity and its lack of respect shown to it by other players. Its cheap, that’s the first advantage, second it will punch through eldar armor like cardboard with enough of them hitting the target (or Tau or SM rhinos) and deliver a nasty high str hit to most infantry. As it is two shots, the rate of fire these cannons can produce when massed is staggeringly effective.

This leaves us with 2 men standing about, polishing the JO swagger stick… These guys I have come to realise are perfect choices for little cherished and overlooked Grenade Launcher. A lot of IG players make the mistake of tricking out their PCS with all bells and whistles on the JO or taking a ML and then adding meltaguns or flamers. Like all IG you chose to do something well and leave the rest to another unit better tooled to deal with it. I always put my GL with my Autocannons as they compliment each other. If the Autocannon is firing at AV 10 or 11 armor, the GL can as well. It might not hit as often or even pen… but against open topped orks, tau and eldar when shooting off two krak grenades and an Autocannon, you can still stop them. If the Autocannon has to face off against troops, which it is still a solid choice then the GL can turn to frag and give you plates on troops even at a reduced str hit….. it’s the old guard standby, the more I have to roll the more I will hit and wound.

However for the mech vet list the PCS gives an interesting and cheap source of support. With a different strategy of adding a Chimera and giving them meltaguns, you have effectively given yourself an extra Vetran unit going to do what they do best. It even allows a JO to appear in the midst of your vets and issue orders at close range. First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire, is often overlooked with vetrans. That’s a mistake. At close range with the humble lasgun with a BS of 4. If you have 12 vetrans from two squads all of a sudden getting that order issued within say 7 inches of an enemy…. Watch how often the casualties stack up adding to the amount of dmge your 3 meltaguns are doing….. you will effectively whittle down even a mob of 20 orks or remove a squad of firewarriors.

Things not to take for your PCS.

Don’t take a Commissar….. The Commy is the lord of fail in a PCS. The ld is only 8 and the unit does have a good chance of panic attack…. And the Comm will step forward and deliver his “FEAR ME BUT FOLLOW” routine and shoot your pretty officer.

I do take Platoon standards, but I am old school and they suit the theme of my guard. But for a standard use platoon, for the 15 points you have better choices.

Don’t bother with a medic for a PCS. Its not worth the investment for what the unit costs you. Unless you have 3 plasma gunners. Then it can be a nice back up.

Don’t bother with a VOX, especially if you are playing all Infantry…. You have better ways to ensure your orders get through and whom too. The order system of IG is great, but if your that reliant on an order getting through to win…. Then your force needs more metagame thought to be effective.

Don’t overtrick the JO. He is not worth it. I go by what I gave the figure, but nothing is wrong with a plasma pistol at times. It delivers a high str hit at close range and sure it might be dangerous…. However I have found even the humble bolter for 2 points…. Not a bad choice. I don’t bother with rest, and I certainly don’t tool them maxed for CC.

There is one last use for the PCS. It’s the Counter puncher. (That is not a dirty thai sex club act but I am willing to discuss that on another forum if anyone has an interest). Guard suffer from a lack of CC. Its common knowledge and most opponents will attempt to do two things against guard, break the armor and get his forces into CC quick. If you have a static PCS that you don’t need to tool for armor duty consider the counter punch unit. Basically the unit is sitting behind your gunline or protecting your static vehicles. If you’re an IG general and your not using a Hydra in 5th then you have probably either a). Gone Insane b). Are not thinking hard enough about how to convert one or my favorite c) Might be an eldar player. A PCS with meltaguns or plasma will hurt a drop pod or DS terminator 5 man and make the Sm player cry. It can effectively wipe the majority of anything nasty that lands and shoots. If your smart, you add an Inq as an elite choice with two mystics and take them out before they even shoot then your starting to play smart. In the age of the genestealer rush, arming them with 4 flamers will tip the balance back toward you and not stop your static armor or firing line from another round of shooting at the advancing Hive Tyrant. It’s a reactionary unit, designed to give you that third round of more shots into the horde, or stop them as they come out of reserve or land.

If anyone else has another use or trick of tooling their PCS, I am more than interested to hear it. As one of the last foot slogger generals out there in even semi competitive play…. Its always good to hear other uses.
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