Meta Breaker- The Imperial Guard and You!

TPM Paul Murphy asks, where does guard stack in the current and evolving meta game?

Over the years Games Workshop has struggled trying to make the Imperial Guard actually competitive. Every past guard player I have ever known thought that the secret to winning with them was more troops. If they lost a game they would immediate sit back down with the list and figure out a way to get a few more boots on the ground in their list. This is, IMHO, where guard players always went wrong.

Unlike some, I am not a ‘new’ guard player. I played guard a bit in 3rd edition and a good bit in 4th. I’d rotate armies after every RTT I win. For full disclosure I never won an RTT with the IG until recently (several best generals but never taking home the gold) but my list design was very similar to the way it is now. The secret to guard is LESS troops and more tanks.

We all know this so I’ll try to get back on topic. I just wanted to establish that I’ve been a long time guard player and wasn’t just on the top tier band wagon. I am very happy that GW has finally made them top tier viable and it’s certainly a welcome bone to the long time guard guys who have been on the receiving end of many a beat down over the years.

How long is this guard honeymoon going to last?

The powers that be at GW are doing a decent job slowing down codex creep and making the most recent armies fun to play with several flavorful and fun to play list variants in each codex but you know that they have to be thinking “Can this new codex compete with the armies out there?”

I’m going to ignore Tyranids for this article. I think they are a fun list but the codex itself is at BEST a B+ compared to the other lists out there right now. The other relatively new codices like Space Wolves and Blood Angels are both top notch and a glimpse at where it looks like the future of 40k codex design is heading.

In each of these books there are at LEAST three our four different competitive, fun and interesting lists to field. I expect the same from the rumored releases of Dark Eldar, Gray Knights and beyond.

Both SW and BA can, without question, give the most competitive IG ‘leaf blower’ list a run for its money. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that once the Gray Knights are released we will see the loss of the ally system and probably a loss of mystics all together. This will blow the doors open on other lists that can compete with the IG trailer parks. Even as a long time guard player I think this is a good thing. So how long will the honeymoon period last? My guess is about 6 more months. Enjoy it while it lasts.

As far as where the guard stack in the current meta game. They are going to be around and near the top for a long time. Vehicles in 5th ed are great and the guard get some of the best. I think guard will always have an advantage against other lists that have sub par vehicle options but that’s O.K. Don’t bring a trukk to a tank fight. The guard have been crammed full of everything that is good in 5th edition so there is no reason to fear the future if you are a guard player. Guard players are going to have to start thinking more and coming up with new tricks but, let’s be honest, that is what this game has always been about.

What do you think, will the ReD and GrAy SpAze MuRinze conquer all? Will the Guard drop off, and when? So many questions….

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