Sunday, 29 October 2017

Regimental Reporting: Order! Order!

Welcome back to the Regimental Mess my fellow Officers. Following on from last week's inaugural 8th edition action for the Imperial Guard I've been pondering some of the toys the new Codex offers the wily general, and I've decided to focus first of all on a Commander's best friend, Orders!

It is a documented fact that the best troop in the entire universe is the Mighty Imperial Guardsman, and Orders just make them even mightier!*

*Evidence on available from your local Ministorum Propogandum liaison officer. 

Infantry advance!

I think most 40K players recognise the hallmarks of an Imperial Guard army; loads of foot slogging infantry backed up by tanks and artillery, all led by a handful of Officers and other specialists.

The humble Infantry Squad is one of my favourite units in Warhammer 40,000; 10 troops armed with a heavy and/or special weapon as well as objective secured (super objective scoring) for a pittance of points.  And they are made better when issued with Orders; essentially temporary "buffs" issued to a squad on a turn by turn and needs by need basis.

A model with the "Voice of Command" rule can issue one or more Orders each turn to Infantry units (not just Infantry Squads) from the same regiment. My Guard forces represent the 82nd Cadian Special Operations Group, so the forces can make use of both the Cadian specific and the generic Orders, which I'll cover below.  The 82nd also make use of Karskin Storm Troopers, fielded from the Militarum Tempestus, who have their own variation on Orders, and I'll cover those in another post. Ditto for Tank Orders which are another beast entirely!

Colonel Staysback, ordering the troops onward!
Let's have a look at the generic Orders, usable by every regiment:

Front Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire (FRFSRF)! This Order makes the humble Infantry squad or Conscripts squad pretty shooty; turning Las Guns from Rapid Fire 1 to Rapid Fire 2. This doubles the basic shooting output of a unit, and whilst the Imperial Flashlight is fairly rubbish, weight of dice counts in 40K.

Get Back in the Fight! The ordered unit can shoot even if it Fell Back this turn. I can see this being useful if the unit in question has a lot of shots, or high quality shooting (e.g. heavy or special weapons) that you don't want to lose.

Fix Bayonets! The ordered unit fights as if it was the Fight phase. This is a bit more situational, as the Imperial Guard are not really renowned for their martial prowess. Might be useful to try and clear an opposing squad which is tying up multiple friendly units, or perhaps to try and exploit pile in/consolidate movements. This needs experimenting with.

Take Aim! The ordered unit can re-roll 1s to hit when shooting. This is really nice when combined with the Cadian Regimental doctrine as it allows the unit to re-roll all failed hit rolls if it has remained stationary this turn. Particularly tasty with Mortar Teams, which (as has been pointed out to me by some of the local generals) are really good in this edition. A meagre handful of points for buckets of shots that can fire without Line of Sight is excellent, and this Order is icing on the cake.

I can also see me using this Order an a lot with my Plasma Gun toting Veterans; the re-rolls makes overcharging plasma a lot less risky, and hence a lot more uncomfortable for your opponents!

Bring it Down! The complementary Order to Takes Aim! which allows the ordered unit to re-roll 1s to wound. I'm sure there is a complex bit of MathsHammer which will work out when it is better to use FRFSRF or Bring It Down when using a bucket of Las Guns (may be I'll work that out one day, may be), but the other use is to make sure your high strength hits actually count. The 8th Ed to wound table means Plasma, Missiles, Melta and Las Cannons will be wounding on 3s quite often, so this Order will make those heavy weapons more reliable. It is a trade off with getting the hits to land in the first place of course.

Is it better to hit or wound sir? Make a decision sir!
Forward for the Emperor! The ordered unit can shoot even if it Advanced this turn. The first of two movement related commands, which I think are perhaps the hidden stars of the Orders. Advance into cover, then shoot, (i.e. have your cake and eat it). Move a unit into Rapid Fire range for their Plasma guns. Back a squad off from something scary and assaulty and still shoot it. Loads of possibilities.

Move! Move! Move! The unit moves and advances as if it was the movement phase. Speedy guardsmen! Letting guardsmen move an average 19" in a turn is amazing. Who needs transports huh?

And don't worry if your guardsmen start to get out of range of your officers. That's what Voxes are for...

*Orders received and understood. Over* 
 Whilst I'm musing about the Orders it's also worth touching on related Warlord Traits, Relics and Stratagems.


Warlord Traits: There are a couple of obvious choices here for Infantry Warlords.

Bellowing Voice: Adds 3" to an Officer's range for issuing Orders. This could potentially remove the need for Voxes, freeing up some points for other toys.

Master of Command: Allows the Warlord to issue an extra Order per turn. I think we've established Orders are good, so why not take more free ones?

Superior Tactical Training: (edit: missed this first time round!) This is a Cadian specific Warlord Trait that potentially allows an Officer to issue the same Order multiple times; imagine a Commander with 2 Infantry Squads in Order range; he issues FRF!SRF! to the first squad; on a 4+ the second squad is also affected by FRF!SRF! Whilst Master of Command gives a guaranteed Order each turn, this Trait is gambling for multiple bonuses.


Relics: Remember you can take one of these for free in each army, and more if you are prepared to blow Command Points on the appropriate Stratagem.

The Laurels of Command: This is a little gem in the Codex. This allows an Officer to (potentially) issue multiple Orders to the same unit, allowing the benefits to stack. Remember the hard choice between re-rolls to hit and re-rolls to wound? Not with this available. How about Advance for the Emperor to get a unit into Rapid Fire range and then call Front Rank Fire! Second Rank Fire? Loads of options. And don't forget the "re-roll a dice" Stratagem gives a second chance if you really need to get the multiple Orders off.

Relic of Lost Cadia: Essentially grants the To Hit and To Wound re-roll Orders, allowing other orders to be stacked on top. One use, but still strong.


Strategems: Ideally a Guard army will be generating a lot of Command Points, so using these Stratagems will be possible.

Consolidate Squads Combine two infantry squads to benefit from a single Order. Possibly useful if orders are limited.

Mobile Command Vehicle Allows an Officer to issue Orders when embarked on a Chimera. Again possibly useful, but situational given Officers are characters and can hide from shooting fairly well. May be if the Commander needed to move a long way up the table in the transport?

Inspired Tactics Allows an Officer to issue an extra Order. Could be useful when there are a lot of squads that need bossing around, or you have lost some Officers as casualties.


I hope you've found this post useful & informative, both as a primer for players new to the Guard, and perhaps the afore-mentioned wily old generals might have learnt a trick or two. Next time in this series we'll cover Orders for the Stormies! Figured any cool tricks using Orders, if so feel free to leave a comment below.

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