Underplayed & Overlooked: Codex Imperial Guard


Welcome back to Underplayed & Overlooked. Today we take a look at the Imperium's primary line of defense against the horrors of the cosmos: Codex Imperial Guard. Lets begin.  

Commissar Yarrick

  • Cost: 2
  • Offense: 4
  • Defense: 5
  • Support: 4

Starting with his cost it is obvious he is pretty expensive. This is his greatest downside in an army that has the hallmark of affordability that the Imperial Guard is known for. You could almost get three Commissars for what he costs. It is a good thing that he brings a lot to the table and in my opinion he could definitely lead a force but his cost is very difficult to ignore.

Offensively he is quite potent even for a Guardsman. For ranged he has a Bolt Pistol as well as a Bale Eye that acts as a Hot Shot Laspistol which both hit on 2+. For Close Combat he has WS 5, 3 Attacks with his Strength 6 Powerfist. Additionally on the turn he charges he, and his squad, get to reroll his To Hit rolls.

Defensively he is the toughest Unique character in the book to kill by far. While he only has a 4+ Armor Save and Toughness 3 he has some tricks up his sleeve. The first is Eternal Warrior meaning he is a man who can take Lascannon shots to the chest. Secondly he has a Force Field which forces you to reroll all successful To Wound rolls against him. Lastly if you do manage to kill him on a 3+ he just gets back up with 1 Wound remaining.

From a Support perspective he can hold his own with any Officer in my opinion. Not only does he make himself and his squad Fearless but he makes all units within 12" Stubborn. In addition he, like all Commissars, he lends his Leadership characteristic to all the squads within 6" making orders much more likely to succeed. Of course his downside is his lack of an ability to issue Orders himself.


Captain Al'Rahem

  • Cost: 4
  • Offense: 4
  • Defense: 3
  • Support: 4

For what you get this guy is worth his cost in spades. Simply the ability to have an Infantry Platoon gain the ability to Outflank is very potent. That you get a nice boost in Close Combat and an Officer to boot is just a welcome extra.

Offensively for Ranged Combat he brings a Plasma Pistol that hits on 3+. For Close Combat he has WS4, 2 Attacks, and the Claw of the Desert Tigers which causes Instant Death regardless of Toughness. This could be a really unwelcome surprise if you manage to score a wound on a monstrous creature of some kind (eyes on you Monstrous Creatures…) or a character model.

Defensively he is average Guardsman. They didn't even shell out for Carapace Armor for the guy. But at least he has 2 Wounds. That is the only thing that keeps his score a 3.

Support wise he has a 12" Command Radius to issue his orders to. In addition he has a unique order that allows units to perform a Shooting attack and then move D6 inches which is really cool and in the right circumstances could prevent countercharges. Finally he has an additional point of Leadership over a regular Platoon Commander helping to insure Orders happen and units don't start running away.


Commander Chenkov

  • Cost: 4
  • Offense: 3
  • Defense: 3
  • Support: 4

Another bargain character in the Guard Codex. Impossible I hear you say but it is true. For only 50 pts you get an Officer who can bring Conscript units back into the game completely renewed. This is a very rare ability and in two thirds of the base scenarios (objectives) it could prove pivotal.

Offensively he is just a cut above mediocre. For Ranged Combat he has a Bolt Pistol that hits on 3+. For Close Combat he has WS4, 2 Attacks, and a Power Weapon. True it isn't  thrilling but certainly is isn't anything to complain about.

Defensively he repeats his performance from the Offensive department having a 4+ Armor save and 2 Wounds. Not a game changer but he is better than a base Platoon Commander by a fair margin.

From a Support perspective he has a 12" Command Radius to issue his 2 Orders to. Also, like Yarrick, he makes all friendly units within 12" Stubborn. Stubborn can never be underestimated.

But his real strength lies in the ability  called Send In the Next Wave which allows you to destroy an existing Conscript squad and have them come back in at full strength at the start of your next turn from Reserves. This can be a useful ability if you dont mind throwing the points at it. Here are a few ideas (that all improve if you throw a Lord Commissar into the unit):

  • In objective based scenarios you are likely to have an objective in your starting area this means you can use this ability late game, say around Turn 4, to obliterate a squad and have them waltz up and cap an objective in your starting area sitting pretty at full strength.
  • You could also have a unit of nasties running rampant through your lines. Something like Ork Commandos or Genestealers or Wolf Scouts. You can then "bring home" a unit to help tarpit them and possibly remove the threat. Instant reinforcements.
  • Finally you could throw them into Assault on your turn. During your opponents turn let them hamburger some of your ablative human shields. If they dont run then at the start of your turn destroy them and fire into the unit that spent the last turn slapping around your disposable teenagers.


See us next time when we talk about the Imperium's little bug problem in Codex Tyranids.