Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rush to Judgement: My gut feelings and initial impressions from the new Imperial Guard Storme Troopers (em,I mean TEMPESTUS SCIONILINGUS!...that's right, no?)

I actually bought a digital copy of the White dwarf last week and  I'm not terribly happy with the new models (either the troop models or the transports).

Their rules are predominately "Meh", but I like things about them enough that they will have a decent presence in my Air Cavalry force (assuming One can buy enough Valkyries/Lighters to make them Air Cav.).

Point Cost and primary Armament
Their point reduction was nearly mandatory, as a 16pt model with a guardsmen at it's base, is almost completely retarded. 

The Hotshot lasgun is OKAY, but it it's low strength removes most of the scare factor of its otherwise impressive AP3.  They sound like they can benefit from "First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire!!" So that MIGHT make any large Storm Trooper squad have the potential for a little nastiness.

7 close range Hellguns firing average 3.1 MEQ kills and bumps to 4.5 with Close range FRF_SRF which is their ideal target/fighting conditions)

They lost their special orders (replaced with Move through cover) and their pistol/CCW unit-wide.  This to me, largely seems to be a parallel downscaling in potency and cost leaving them again as a mediocre unit. (though not a bad unit either.)

Unit statlines are decent but not exemplary, nor are they’re special rules. Decent is a good adjective for the unit rules.

transport options
The transport models I’m still largely turned off of (even though some Dakka Dakka photo shoppers are able to put a tolerable spin on the Taurox  with enough conversion work)  The Taurox Prime’s weapon system seem like they were stolen from some poor Hasbro toy line. 

Rulewise, they are okay, being equal in scope to the chimera but with a deviation of form.  (Where I see folly with this is that if people already own all the chimeras they need, the rules or model don’t inspire the “Gotta Have it” need required to have decent sales)  I wouldn’t be surprised if the Taurox is a one-edition pony.(one sales cycle and out)  I’ll end up converting my own as there are plenty of great models out there to choose from.

Their Charm
Their great appeal to me is that they have a platoon structure, so you can take multiple units under a single Elite spot.  This allows LOTS of units to be purchased from the Elite section of the force org chart which can be fun for the otherwise not-elite Guardsmen. 

Additionally, I’ve been tinkering around with my own ideas for having an Elite IG squad that could break apart like combat squads and fight as individual fire teams. (and adopt a loadout similar to conventional US army platoons  of 2 fire teams consisting of a team lead, rifleman, grenadier and Automatic Rifleman.  This platoon structures actually allow you to come pretty close to modeling this.(though they wouldn’t be able to merge for transporting purposes and such.)

I also like the Hotshot Volley gun acting very much like a Squad Automatic weapon.  It will be a regular in most of my Storm trooper units.  I'll probably kit out most units with a Grenade Launcher and Volley gun to replicate traditional US Army squad structure I noted above.

Wishlist Lost opportunities
There were a couple of things I was really hoping for that may not be in the cards this release.  these were "wishlist" items that I was hoping for, but I'm fond enough of the rules I have seen to excuse  their absence. ;-)
1. Replacement of the 'Special mission' with being Scoring units.  While their cost and  small model count preclude them from being the ideal objective takers I liked the notion that their "special mission' could be translated as helping take objectives. 
2. Valkyrie as Dedicated Transports- CURSE YOU STUPID NEW TAUROX model kit!  My gut tells me Valkyries would have become a Dedicated transport for Storm trooper had it not been for the new (and lackluster) Taurox transport option.  The Valkyrie and Storm troopers just always seems like a natural fit theme-wise.
3. Ideally, I would have preferred the Hotshot lasgun take it's original role as a Las version of the str4 boltgun.  given the otherwise standard scaling of Las weapons in general(Lascannon has quickly increasing STR over  the MultiLaser which has quickly increasing  STR over the lasgun)  I would have ideally liked to see the Hotshot lasgun as a 24" str4 AP6 rapid fire weapon. but alas, it does not seem like it was mean to be.

My initial feel is that this new take on the Storm Troopers have potential, but don’t strike me as overpowering.  I used "Decent" to describe the rules earlier and that seems like an accurate adjective for the Storm trooper.

I don't expect them to have a strong presence on game tables aside from those more an "elite Deltaforce" theme driven enthusiast or those that do fall in love with the new model range(or wanting to use their older storm trooper minis). 

If that ends up being true I'm right, I'm okay with that.  I tend not to like it if new rules make my stuff too much cooler, as then you see everyone and their dog suddenly jumping on the bandwagon and removing the uniqueness of your own army.  Sometimes It's nice to be the guy who brings those units to the table people think suck.... and then wipe them off the felt covered battlefield with them! Moo-haha! Moo-haha!..ha...MOOO!