Friday, July 5, 2013

Allies: Space Marines and Imperial Guard

I’ve finally gotten around to returning to my long delayed series on Space Marines and their allies. Since it’s been so long, I thought I’d better mention what I want out of allies.

1)      Skyfire
2)      Efficient scoring units
3)      Numerous infantry

Imperial Guard make an excellent addition to Space Marines, as they’re about as opposite to marines as they could be. Combining elite heavy infantry with mediocre but numerous light infantry is a recipe for a well-rounded army. From a fluff point of view, Space Marine armies very often fight alongside the Imperial Guard. Fortunately, they’re Battle Brothers so your marines and guardsmen can fully support each other on the table.

So how do the Imperial Guard meet my criteria? As far as dealing with enemy flyers, they do pretty well. They have access to Hydras, which are basically a quad gun on a Chimera chassis. They’re only BS 3 and don’t have Interceptor, but they ignore Jink saves, which is pretty handy. They are limited against armies without flyers or skimmers, but those are pretty rare. In particular, the newly resurgent Tau and Eldar will bring a lot of skimmers to the table. In addition, the IG can bring along a Vendetta or three, as long as they’re in one squadron. As an AV12 flyer armed with three twin-linked lascannons, the Vendetta is one of the best flyers in the game at dealing with enemy flyers and tanks.

As far as efficient scoring units and numerous infantry go, the IG win the prize. The standard infantry platoon allows you to bring a special weapon packing, order issuing command squad, five infantry squads, and a mix of heavy weapon and special weapon squads for a single Troops choice, very handy when using the limited Allies FOC. That’s a lot of scoring potential for very few points, compared to the cost of Space Marine units. In objective missions, the squads can deploy separately to take multiple objectives, while in Purge the Alien (or the Emperor’s Will), they can combine to produce a very tough mass of infantry. In this case, a marine character can join them and give the whole unit And they shall know no fear. Those unreliable guardsmen suddenly aren't going to run away. The obligatory HQ choice can be a cheap Company Command Squad.

The last thing to consider is what else IG can bring to the table beyond my minimum criteria. Sadly, I think this is pretty limited. The strength of IG is in massed infantry and tanks. However, taking Hydras means that you can’t take Leman Russes since they both take a Heavy Support slot. If you think your army already has anti-flyer covered, then a squadron of Leman Russes is definitely and option. AV 14 is difficult to deal with at range, and they can put out enough firepower to demolish the infantry heavy armies that seem so common lately. As a bargain option, a squadron of Griffons can maintain fire on infantry anywhere on the table and can snipe out important models due to the barrage rules. They won’t do as much to heavy infantry, but they can force enough armor saves to cause some damage.

Those are the IG units I think make a significant addition to a Space Marine army. Do you think I missed any?


  1. Good points! I'd take a big platoon with power axes on the sergeants, and one plasmagun per squad. Stick your Librarian to give them ATSKNF, it'll last forever! Also 2 Vendettas in a squad and a Manticore or Colossus. I realli like both of them.

  2. You have made some good points.

    But the options of SM allied with IG offer much more.

    What about a Techmarine or a MotF(besides giving improved cover saves to max. 5 support squads) making your Tank-Squad much more durable due to Blessing of the Omnissiah?

    A commandsquad with FnP is perfect for almost every SM HQ.

    But generally i run IG with an SM allied detachment that is focused on alphastriking:

    Droppod with sternguard, 5 kombi-flamers, 5 komby melta
    Droppod with ironclad Cybot
    5 Tactical Termies in a Landraider beefed up with the Master of the Forge as HQ (makes Cybots support ore elite)
    Droppod with a Tactical Squad

  3. It looks like you're looking more at what a Space Marine Allied detachment offers an Imperial Guard Primary detachment, while I was looking at the reverse.

    As far as your points, a Techmarine may help a tank squadron in a similar manner to an Enginseer. The Techpriest will do a better job, but will cost more. I wouldn't add a SM HQ to a Imperial Guard Command Squad, as the SM will undoubtedly want to assault, and the IG will not do well there. A Space Marine Command Squad is far more appropriate.

    Your choice of Space Marine allies makes the most sense, as it provides something that the IG can't get otherwise. However, you detachment is illegal (if you run that all at once) as the Terminators and Sternguard are both Elites and you only get one Elite choice in the Allies FOC. I would just skip the Terminators, as they don't add to the goal of this detachment. The Master of the Forge can join the Sternguard if you reduce them to 9 models, and his servo-harness will add some extra firepower.


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