Imperial Guard Threaten the Firepower Throne

February 13, 2009 ·

February 14, 2009

Having long ago usurped the Imperial Guard as being the firepower army of choice, Tau players will be interested to know that the Imperial Guard are back with a new selection of tank variants packing a variety of new weapons.

Most worrying of all, is the return of the Leman Russ Vanquisher with its single shot battlecannon which fires an armour peircing tank shell with 2D6 armour penetration.

Formerly this unit was only available from the non-tournament-legal Forgeworld books and for a short time when Codex Armageddon was legalised. So does the Imperial Guard have a rival to our beloved Railgun once again?
Well, with an average 2D6 roll of 7, I'd say yes. Add that the Strength 8 battlecannon and Imperial Guard players will be needing a 6 to glance Armour 13, a 7 to glance Armour 14 and an 8 to penetrate Armour 14, which is rather worrying.

Statistically, the Vanquisher Cannon has better odds to damage a tank than a railgun. Let's just hope the Leman Russ Vanquisher remains at Ballistic Skill 3.

The new Imperial Guard have all manner of other tanks; none of which appear to be particularly threatening or effective Heavy Support choices. Instead Games Workshop appear to have designed a new range of tanks and weapons to draw mass appeal to the army from the hordes of kiddies who are into the hobby.

Meanwhile tournament players who plan to squeeze the very best from a potential new army will turn to the old favourites, finding few improvements. Although from the rumours posted on Bell of Lost Souls, it seems that the Hellhound is stronger than ever before and cheaper in points as well!

So what does this all mean for a Tau player? Simply that the Imperial Guard have some new toys, but still can't match us for the sheer quantity of Railguns we are able to field and that Tau and Eldar tanks will still rule the roost thanks to Disruption Pods and Holofields.

However, many of the Imperial Guard units are forecast to become far cheaper in points, which is interesting as I always felt that the 'Guard were often the underdogs due to being far too numerous for a 6' X 4' table and unwieldy due to their static nature.

As a result one of my friends who has been playing Warhammer 40K since the start of 2nd edition dropped his Imperial Guard army in favour of the specialised firepower units available to the Tau.

And it's really no wonder when you consider how specialised Tau units are when it comes to wiping out the enemy: We have railguns for tanks, stealth suits for gunlines of troops, plasma rifles for armoured infantry and missile pods (aka: autocannons) for light vehicles and smart missiles for anything we can't see -plus, the best basic weapon in the game.

While the Tau army has had a rough ride at the start of 5th edition, I believe that if we stick to what we do best (killing stuff!) not even the numbers of the Imperial Guard will be able to absorb all of our firepower.

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!


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