My Imperial Guard army, though I've had it the second longest, I've never actually properly started.
Indeed, the only reason I have one at all was that about three years ago I was offered a Catcachan heavy weapons squad on a discount because the box was damaged (the models themselves were fine) While I didn't particularly care for the Catcachan look (seriously, no armour?) I did like the idea of having my Ultramarines backed up by Imperial Guard, since the Ultramarines would be doing most of the hard work up close.
The Cadians are awesome looking models, and the Death Korp of Krieg even moreso, but as the latter are prohibitively expensive, I got some Cadians and thought I'd have a proper go at it.
Having briefly read through the new IG codex before being distracted by the pictures, I've figured out three things:
1. The 'orders' system is completely foreign to me.
2. The Imperial Guard have a whole mess of troops, so if I actually make a usable army I'll need a wheelbarrow to transport them.
3. Parts of the codex are written very poorly.
That said, here's my overview of what I think I'll do with the army as a whole..
HQ: These are the basic hammering units of every army. Make a commander, point it at anything non-vehicle and watch the body count rise. The Imperial Guard are comparatively fragile, so I imagine that it's going to really be more of a convoy for the special weapons guys. I'm thinking flamers, so that I can deal out the most damage per turn possible. The other HQ choices are also good, but I'd say the Platoon Command squad is going to be the favourite.
Troops: Infantry Platoons really do seem to be the only choice worth taking. I mean, sure, Veterans are closer in short ranged combat, and the Penal Legion can be outright devastating in the right circumstances, but neither of them give you the sheer numbers that an Infantry Platoon does.
Fast Attack: Sentinels are a favourite of mine, but I imagine most people will see these as a points sink. Sure you can pay more to make them armoured, but is it worth it? I think so, but most people use them to stand and shoot, which can be done better and cheaper by heavy weapons squads. Valkyries/Vendettas are going to be a favourite, less for their troop transport ability, but more for their hit and run lazcannons. Rough riders are still fragile, but are a solid one hit weapon, if I didn't already have five models, I wouldn't consider them viable at all. They would be useful to pair up with a Platoon Command squad for maximum impact damage. The Hellhound and it's variants are still mostly the same as before, so they'll still be a crowd pleaser. The new variant, the Banewolf, would be perfect for a Krieg army. I don't know how viable each of them are in combat, but I can't see the melta-toting one being as popular as the others.
Elites: Ogryns seem to be weaker than they used to be. While they could probably deal out some decent damage in close combat, I think I'd take a rough riders squad first, because they'd at least have a shot at surviving the counterattack. Why can't you give Ogryns carapace armour? Ratlings are as good as they always were, but there isn't much to say about them. You want stuff dead at long range? They can do it fine, but most people would rather take a Basilisk. The psyker squad seems to be a points sink unit, and I can't see it dealing out enough damage to be useful. I'm sure more skilled commanders could get their money's worth from them, but I like the more basic tactic of blowing things into tiny bits. My money is on the Stormtroopers. They've got the Imperial Guard's best gear, supposedly the best training, and are basically the equivalent of ODST's from Halo. They are there to nail the objectives while your army is getting into place. Lastly, Marbo.. Everyone seems to be rushing to make a model for him, and I just can't see why. I mean, sure, he's the IG version of Tellion, but he's still a guardsman. Your paying 65 points for one very fragile guy, when you could spend 55 and get an armoured sentinel, that would probably deal more damage in one turn than Marbo can in a whole game..
Heavy Support: You say those words around an IG veteran, and they'll smile. Rightly so, as the IG have the best guns. The most guns. Guns guns. There are some good ones, and some bad ones, there are no great ones though, because it always comes back to one major point: The IG can't shoot as good as the other armies. Thankfully, with the introduction of the Hydra and the Punisher, you don't really need to worry much about aiming. I love the Hydra, it's so perfect, when I first saw the model I started converting one from an Army Men tank. That said, I honestly think the Punisher is better. I'd love to have 9 of those in my army, but for now, I think we'll see if I can scratchbuild one. I imagine that project won't start for some time though. Heavy support is nice, but it can wait.
Tune in next time as I start conceptually putting the pieces into place. Same bat time, same bat channel!