Thursday, October 13

TOGP: The Eye of the Tiger?

      In the Spring, I dedicated this year to getting the Old Guard back in the picture. It's not proven as easy as I had hoped. This article deals with some of the "what's the point" that those who have lost something go through to regain it. Myself included:

    QUE FLASHBACK! As some of you may remember from way back when Duke introduced me, I was once a feared master of the 4th edition Imperial Guard. It would be safe to say that I was authoritative on what worked (Iron Discipline and Russes), what was ok (Sentinals), and what was unusable (mass mech). Many of us get to the point of being able build lists off of a flash of inspiration; recalling points costs, unit options and restrictions, and size requirements as fast as we can jot them down on a napkin. Using this knowledge, there was no prayer to the emperor a marines player could utter that would protect him from me. I had elevated killing marines (and MEQ) to an art, you see. I could go to any minor event in the state and expect to place in the top 3.  Once, I was great!


 PRESENT DAY! - Once. Two years now I've been off the horse, and to be sure, I can still play a mean game at a game store with just about anyone who wishes to play a pick-up game. But tournament wins are now a long way from what I can accomplish. One thing I've always known is that greatness is not achieved through chance. It is achieved through dedication and effort. In order to be good at something, you have to really want to be good at it. This is true of my 40K skills as well. And now I find myself remembering what it took to become that grandmaster of the lasgun, and I face that journey again. That first year of getting beaten, badly, over and over again. I lost over 40 of my first 50 games, as many new players often do. I understand the costs. I understand what I need to do to regain my skill. I just don't know if, having already paid that price once, it is worth it to me to pay it again. And even if it is worth it now, will it be worth it again when I return from a year-long deployment, and must start all over yet again?  What do I ultimately want to be? The old man staring at his trophies regretting the changes that dethroned him, or the man who spends all his spare time diligently working to get better at a thing, but never able to quite master it again. I have yet to decide.

     Looking back at the first piece I wrote for this blog, some of the things I said to make my position clear, are ringing hauntingly true.
Specificly two things: 1 That much of the IG community "wisdom" was lost, and 2.  that the community has gotten lazy. I have asked every guard player I can find how foot guard or hybrid guard can pave thier way to wins. The gist of the answers I got - "They don't". (in person at least. I never ask the internet these things...) I'm sorry, it may be true that foot guard have a harder road than the rest, but I refuse to accept that they can't win. No one has put forth the effort to try. I guess that means it up to me to soldier on, and preserve that particular chapter of the Tactica Imperium more or less on my own. It had been my hope this year to place well in the feast of blades, as proof to myself and others that I could. It doesn't seem to be in the cards for me, and I have pretty much missed the boat on getting on board with the new thinking.  I've been gone too long, and given myself too little time to recover. That's ok. Disappointing, because such opportunities are not likely to fall in my lap again for at least two more rule editions as a guard player. Once again I'll be that guy with a huge bag beside him. At the store, people will point at me, "you see that guy. He runs foot Imperial Guard. you know, tons of dudes with commissars screaming hate at you as you murder them in droves. No, no, he's good at it. Just play him once, you'll see..." 

  I think I can live with that....

 Dragoon 6


  1. There is a good reason why most guard players will tell you without hesitation that foot guard doesn't work anymore. There are so many things that can chew through a hundred+ guardsmen these days without breaking a sweat, get around the commissar's leadership rules, aren't threatened by a horde of T3 5+ save dudes, or can just outright kill the commissar out of the blob. A combination of any of those things makes the Blob expensive and ineffective. It's not just Blobs either, the weaknesses of Heavy weapon teams especially make foot guard untenable. Easy to target, easy to kill, and not really that effective to begin with. And once those heavy weapons are dead... foot guard have what? A half dozen BS3 meltas and maybe a few autocannons?

  2. Come six edition, foot armies will rise again! We will prevail! I miss my Black Templars :(

  3. Waffle master is simply just right.

    Venoms and trueborn with duke can chew through foot guard very quickly.


  4. lol, you can believe it all you like but it will still be true. there are two reasons for this, both of which are irrefutable.

    one has been stated, tanks are harder to kill than infantry. vastly harder in fact.

    the second is mobility. tanks can move and fire heavy weapons, tanks can move 12, disgorge a squad 3 inches, and then the squad can shoot or run, an infantry squad can shoot, or it can move.

    these facts combine to make mech, or at the very least hybred, vastly superior. no-one has ever said that foot guard dont work. they can put out devastating firepower, and can grind even very hard assault units down through attrition wounds with commissars, but they cannot and as long as fifth edition lasts never will be as effective as fully or semi meched lists.

  5. Interesting...
    " Using this knowledge, there was no prayer to the emperor a marines player could utter that would protect him from me. I had elevated killing marines (and MEQ) to an art, you see."

    I distinctly remember repeatedly defeating you with my purple marines... I miss my deep striking my "boogy-man" Libby with his 2 assault cannon toting termie squad. Anything within range of 'fear of the darkness' that didn't run away like little girls was then gunned down. Granted, this was not easy to do in 4th, but I still managed to do it. We had some good games friend, but...

    Don't be so full of yourself Dragoon, you were good, but I wouldn't have called you the "feared master of the 4th edition Imperial Guard." Humility is the true sign of greatness. Additionally, adaptation is a cornerstone of a tactician. That and deception, ha!


  6. I understand what you are all saying. I think the simplest way to respond and make the message clear is to borrow the Flavor text of a Magic:The Gathering card: True Beleiver. "So great is his faith, that mere facts cannot possibly shake it."
    I chose IG in the beginning because I loved them, and believed in them. They certainly weren't powerful back then; not by a long shot. The army I created at that time was dangerous not of thier own virtue, but because I made them so.
    I am proud of what I have accomplished with mere men. Probably foolishly so. and rather than lament my empty wallet, I choose to continue to believe that the tools that got me to where I was, still work just fine. The power drill is faster, more efficient, and easier on the user, but I'll stick with the screwdriver for now.

    And it'll be the most effective damn screwdriver anybody ever saw. :)

    @ Immortal: Yes, you beat me. remembering the "good old days" always yields a glossier outlook than it really was. You are an outstanding player in your own right, so it's kind of...expected, that I would lose to you.
    But I also beat you, too, Sir.

  7. Unless of course, your screwdriver is a sonic one.

    It seems to me that you are lamenting the most at the fact that your old style of play (foot-guard) is no longer the bee's knees (do bee's actually have knees, hmm...). The fact remains that with the changes implemented in the transition from 4th to 5th as well as having a new codex, they simply aren't outright competitive. That being said, a player can easily win with a lower tier army. I recently watched a few friends play a game of Sisters (the WD codex version) vs. Grey Knights. Sisters won, not because the army was better but because the Sisters player was more experienced and played smarter.
    If you want to keep playing foot guard, there is nothing wrong with that, it's very 'fluffy.' Wanting to play them competitively, that's another story.

  8. And to poke fun at myself a bit, were there really ANY "Feared masters of the 4th edition IG"? .........well no. no there weren't. But I was good. Better than most in the faction, back then. I think about the only people I've played that I've never beaten,; I've never beaten Duke. he wielded those Eldar far too well for me to take on. they were good games though. and Steve. those tyranids were very dangerous.

    So I guess a disclaimer is in order: I will take advantage of the general annonimity that the internet affords to try and write articles for this blog that are entertaining, and fun to read. If a dash of embellishment helps illustrate my point , I will use it. and I'll avoid tooting my own horn so much in the future.

  9. Cruor Vault just informed me that bee's, in fact, do have knees. FYI

  10. And yes. I did want foot guard to be competitive. I admit that. I don't think it's wrong to want things. I also don't think it's to try, fail, and be disappointed that it didn't work. This article is about letting go of trying to be competitive, and deciding what the hobby is worth to me, which it seems I failed pretty badly to communicate. based on the collective feedback so far. Not a great player, nor a good writer me, I guess.

  11. No, other then being a little haughty, it was a good article. My point was more along the lines that tactics change along with the rules. This can also be said for real life... slowly charging at you with a line of infantry armed with muskets went out the window when modern weapons were developed, such as the machine gun and tank (granted, it took a world war for generals to figure that out).
    Keep at it dude. You can only get better by learning from your follies.

  12. Foot guard had their day, now is the era of Mech. it's just how GW rolls. Instead of clinging to the past, try to embrace the future. Adapt and change, Mech guard can be a really rewarding way to play. Also, even the most min-maxed list will still have 70-80 infantry models in it, so not all of your dudes will go to waste this edition.

  13. OK big truth time: I'm an Airman 1st Class. (E-3). I have a Wife, and three children. Updateing a warhammer force is very expensive. by the time I could afford to get the 0-3 valkyries and/or the the half dozen or so aditional chimeras I would require to do that, 6th ed will be here. All that, combined with a distinct lack of inclination to change.....It's probably better just to save my pennies, rather than invest a buttload and find out I've got all the wrong stuff. Still.

  14. While I 100% understand the family things, don't let 6th fear get you down.

    I'm pretty sure mech is here to stay (don't quote me on it). Essentially, it sells a lot more miniatures and GW is t just going to throw that out the window for the sake of balance, or some other thing like that.

    I don't think anyone is suggesting buying a million things at once, but adding a chimera or two every so often isn't a bad start.

    Rome in a day and all that.


    Ps: 4th Ed eldar FTW!!!

  15. 40K is ever changing, sometimes we can keep up and some times we fall behind. Buying and building/painting that is.

    The best thing to do is have fun playing and forget about winning or losing. Ask your friends to play some missions that might favor foot guard.
    Did you get a copy of the missions book GW put out a year or so ago???

    My plan is a slow grind collecting my favorite forces in the hope that I will always have something to play that can do well in the tourny enviroment and be fun.

  16. Dragoon

    I've been following your story for a while, like a 40k soap opera fan and I must say I'm a little bit disapointed. I want more batreps, more pain and triumphs, more blood from you. The premise is fantastic, an old school guard player still trying to bring it. Please hang in there. Please post more.

    I don't think it can be done. I do think Duke is right, and a chimera here or there, over a period of time, will probably ease the pain. But I want you to try damnit.

    Hope to see more soon.

  17. @anonymous:

    I have good news for you, and bad news for you.
    Good news: I will be making an effort to post more, and moeny really is an issue, so it'll be awhile before those tanks can show up.
    Bad News: Bat-reps......I suck at those. Pains and triumphs I can probably handle though. especially once the new year rolls around. And you'll see me around the Feast of Blades, if you're able to attend that. It'll be easy to spot me if I'm playing. I'm sure! (yeah. the dude with foot guard. shouldn't be hard to spot. Note, I was NOT successful in my attempt to qualify. I'll be on the open gaming tables on friday, and helping run events during the main parts of the Con)

  18. Pure foot Guard has a lot of built in weaknesses that keep it from being a top level army. It's slow, can't reliably deliver melta, and is very vulnerable to close combat units that put out a high volume of attack with lots of bodies. It has too many really bad match-ups in my opinion. Jump Pack BA, Orks in Battle Wagons, etc. Hybrid Guard is a different story. Several blobs backed up by chimera mounted special weapons and support tanks is really tough to deal with.

  19. @ Vimes: I agree. and at the least for now, that's what I'm looking at doing. Right now, I have two chimeras, a hellhound, a banewolf, and and several russes and artillery pieces. I think with the purchase of a single Valkyrie, i'm in buisness, so to speak.

    1. I enjoyed following the whole entry, I always thought one of the main things to count when you write a blog is learning how to complement the ideas with images, that's exploiting at the maximum the possibilities of a ciber-space! Good work on this entry!