Issue #3 - Air Cavalry
What is an Air Cavalry army? Well, it's a type of army only available to Imperial Guard in non-apocalypse games at this point, thanks to the introduction of the Valkyrie into our new codex. Air Cavalry is fast, decisive, hard hitting, but lightly armed. They strike lethaly at the most important points in an enemy's army, and cannot hold their own in attritional or siege warfare. They are good for players who like rapidly moving armies consisting of fewer troops but dish out a lot of hurt in a short amount of time.
Units you Need:
- Storm Troopers
Units to stay away from:
- Rough Riders
- Regular Infantry Platoons
- Leman Russ Tanks
- Artillery Tanks
Units in between:
- Hellhound and variants
An Air Cavalry, commonly refered to as Air Cav., is far smaller than a regular Guard company or regiment. They are usually more elite, equipped with better armour, and fight in a different way than regular Guard armies.
Your only troops choice should be veterans, and give them Carapace armour and/or demolition charges when possible. The Demolition charge is the Air Cavalry's best friend, because it can be thrown upon disembarking from a Valkyrie or Vendetta, and it's got the power of a Battle cannon shell that punches through Terminator armour in it. Obviously, there is the danger of it backfiring, but that's a risk you might just have to take.
Storm troopers are you best friend - their hellguns, or hot-shot lasguns as many new Guard players will learn to call them, are the best anti-MEQ basic weapon in our army. Sure, they're weak, but up close, you get a lot of shots with them, and they ignore power armour. Storm troopers also get to re-roll the scatter die when deep striking, making them very valuable for deploying from a Valkyrie or Vendetta via grav-chute insertion.
Army List Recommendations:
To start out your Air Cavalry force, you'll need, of course, your two complulsery troops choices and your H.Q. These will be a command squad and a pair of veteran squads, but you must remember - for an Air Cavalry unit, veterans are you basic troops, but with better training. They are not like Catachan Devils, with extra equipment, battle scars, and cool conversion work, though you may do this if you like. You should probaby just make regular painted guardsmen for these guys, though obviously you might want to give them grav-chutes or something. It's up to you.
After you get those, your wallet is really going to drain - you must get 3 Valkyries. These are the start of your Air Cavlary even more so than the infantry, because it's how you move quickly, and in the case of the Vendetta, kill enemy tanks. The Vendetta is great for this, because of its payload of powerful missiles with long range, and its twin linked lascannons.
The Air Cavalry is new to me, and so I do not know many nasty cheap tricks to use against your opponent, however there is one clear and present advantage to Air Cavalry - deep striking behind your opponent with your entire army.