Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Because Bullets and Laserbeams don't Explode

Imperial Guard infantry. The image brought to mind is lots of squishy guys with lasguns. That’s not far off, but among the choices we’re given to replace those rifle-sized laser pointers is the noble grenade launcher. Not that lasguns are bad, mind you – but are you really gonna argue against the upgrade to a GL for as cheap as it is?

Let’s take a look at this fine device: same range as a lasgun, and it’s assault 1, so moving and firing actually gets a range boost, but standing still lowers the rate of fire (at under 12”). Two firing modes – just like its older brother the missile launcher, but with slightly weaker stats – the frag deals a blast at S3 AP6, and the krak a roll-to-hit S6 AP4. This versatility is the weapon’s greatest strength – a group of lightly armored enemies will feel slightly more sting than a lasgun, and medium armor and even light vehicle armor is at risk from a krak grenade. Most things with an armor save of 4 will be wounded on a 2+, and there’s a lot of SA 10 and 11 that can be penetrated by this simple and effective weapon.

So let’s take a quick look at how one might employ them.

In a mobbed-up gunline platoon, you can have five of these waiting to unleash pain upon the over-confident foe. You can also put four of them in the PCS, for a total of nine per troops choice. Strength six adds up quickly – even if you’re firing that against MEQs, that and the lasguns will likely overwhelm a squad. Against a horde, the potential for nine blasts to land and also deny armor saves to stuff with 6+ can put a nice dent in the advancing enemy.

For an outflanking assault, giving El’Rahemo’s PCS some GLs will cause some consternation with enemy vehicles and the soft rear armor. The astropath helps, there.

Veteran drive-by with GLs won’t deliver quite the same punch as if they were plasma, but it’s a third the cost for the weapons, and you won’t melt your guys.

Now the part about honesty… I don’t really use GLs anymore. I pay-up, and buy some sweet plasma goodness. I find that when used judiciously, I only get on average one casualty from overheats per game, and the medic in the CCS really helps with that. Plasma has higher strength and lower AP than the krak grenade, and the only real drawback is a ~8% chance of melting a guy in carapace armor per shot fired. Half that, with a medic. And I roll all my ones when I roll to wound… Anyway, I just thought I’d tack that in here as a second opinion. Can you give a second opinion yourself? Well, I just did. I’m special, that’s what my mom always said.


  1. Cracking post mate, I have GL's in all my squads as it's a good all rounder but it's plasma for the command squads. Perosnally I run four in a squad and skip the medic. Do you roll collectively or individually when you roll to hit with the plasmas?

  2. All at once, then separate the ones, then the hits. Then I laugh at the poor fools who got shot with plasma, while I make my armor and/or FNP saves.

  3. Ah, that's interesting. I roll my hits per plasma guy, so if I roll two sets of 1's with rapid fire, I don't risk losing two guys.

  4. I would just allocate two ones per guy. No one has a problem with that. It makes sense, too -- if it overheats on the first shot, it's the most likely one to overheat on the second shot.

  5. Actually mate, you're wrong there, I've just checked the rule book and under Gets Hot (p31) it specifically states ...

    "For each result of a 1 rolled on its to hit rolls, the firing model suffers a wound (normal saves apply)"

    So, you'd have to roll them separately and you can't lump get's hot wounds onto one model. I should have check the rulebook before asking in the first place - lol.

  6. I don't see how that necessitates that my method is wrong. If so, then the rules would need people to roll every plasma shot individually. They should be more specific (again...) if they want that kind of procedure.