Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tactics: Do Guardsmen Feel No Pain?


Medic & Plasma

Hey everyone,

So I figured it was time to jump back into the Tactica posts a little, I haven’t played my Guard in over a month, but I have been reading the rules, playing with things, and reading Tactics around the blogosphere. Lately, there’s been an interest in Feel No Pain and its effects in the game.

Bell of Lost Souls wonders if its being given out too freely, and 666 Terminus Est 666 ponders the question if Sanguinary Priests are worth it in a Mech Blood Angels Army. So I figured I’d jump on board, pull out the ol’ Guard Codex, and see if Feel No Pain is worth it in the Imperial Guard.

First off, lets look at Feel No Pain in the Guard.


  • Saving Wounds on a 4+ is amazing!
  • Having a Failsafe against Overheating Plasma is a nice tool to keep them alive.
  • Your Command Squad are the most effective tools in the Imperial Guard, you really don’t want them dead by an exploding Chimera


  • You won’t be getting Feel No Pain on anything higher than a Heavy Bolter, and most Close Combat, like usual, will ruin your day.
  • Only Company and Platoon Commands can take Feel No Pain (Medics) in the first place.
  • Is a 30 point upgrade worth it to give a 5 man Squad FNP?

Hmmm….3 Pros, 3 Cons…this is gonna be hard to justify…or is it? In the Imperial Guard, only two units can take Feel No Pain: Company Command Squads and Platoon Command Squads. While the big guns are a key component of the Imperial Guard, the infantry are the real heroes. Now I believe I’ve posted my standard Guard list before, but if I haven’t/you can’t remember what it was, I run 60 guardsmen, split over 2 Platoons, on foot. I do it for a couple of reasons:

  • They Protect the tanks when Drop Pods and Mycetic Spores come down.
  • First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! is way too good, and allows your tanks to fire at real targets instead of the Assault Marines getting too close.
  • Chimeras are fun, but an equal mix of Mech and Infantry, I feel, are crucial in an All-Comers Guard Army.

DSCF0110 Example of my army at BOLScon

Anyways, that’s not the point of the article. I run Medics on my Command Squads, all of which are in Chimeras, to keep my Orders Systems running at Tip-Top shape. The Medic helps prevent stupid deaths at the hands of things like exploding Chimeras and Overheating Plasma, as well as small arms fire like Bolters, Lasguns, and Splinter Rifles.

Is a Medic worth it in a Guard army? I wholeheartedly believe so. If you’re correctly utilizing your Order System, as well as using your Command Squads as mobile Gun Platforms (WS 4!), a Medic will definitely keep them alive to do the job they set out to do.

I want to hear your thoughts and ideas about FNP in the Guard. Do you run Medics? How do they do for you, especially in a Guard metagame dominated by Leafblower?



  1. I normally don't run the medics.

    IMO, if you want to use them to save vs. overheats, instead of the medic just take another plasmagunner. More potential damage, costs less, and if lose one still at three PG.

    If you plan to beef up the squad, loading up with bodyguards, advisors, and a special character CO, then the more it's worth it. Helping five guys, OK, helping 8-10 guys, much better.

  2. That's definitely not a bad idea, running the extra plasmagunner. I could take the Plasma Pistol off of my Co. Commander and still have 15 points to play with....
    I do run an Officer of the Fleet though, and with a main opponent of Deep Striking Marines, I do like to ensure his extra survival with the Medic....definitely something to ponder now...

  3. I've run both the 4 plasma and 3 plasma with medic CCS's and right now I'm going with 4 plasma. I find that they die if looked at no matter what I do so they might as well do more damage before they go out.

    Where I HAVE found medics useful are in CC-oriented command squads. Strange I know, but very useful in certain situations. Have a 10 man squad with Straken? FNP it up already! Or, my favorite as it can (and has!) out assault Khorne Berzerkers on the charge, PCS with commissar and two powerfists with attached Commissar Lord with powerfist. Don't let it get shot up and get the charge off and you are golden, as 10 str 6 power weapon attacks ruin pretty much anyone's day, with the FNP to make sure they make it to initiative 1.

  4. That's a really good point, Max. Straken is a beast in Close Combat, why not keep him alive that much longer!
    In my Guard Playstyle, I'm very defensive. I like to castle up and use my orders. I usually run a Medic, a Vox, a Melta, and a Plasma. I might have to start playing around with, say, a Vox and three Plasma now....

  5. Humm i see what your saying. I play Death Korps for my Gurad and i use the Imperial Armour rules for them. I take a Quatermaster as one of my HQ choices, which grants FNP to any infantry squad within 2in of him or any of his Servitors. I've found it an invaluble tool for my Attacking Platoon and its saved my ass more than once! However, this all costs me 60pts, double that of a codex medic! I guess it all depends on your play style.

  6. I go Straken in my army, and always take a medic with him. Throw in a couple bodyguards and advisors, and usually an attached priest to ensure he doesn't fluff his attacks, and FNP is definitely worth it. I only take it in that squad though.

    The platoon command squads I tend not to bother. I either use them with 4 assault weapons as a nasty counter attack to put the hurt on a closing enemy, or I run them with minimal equipment to give my enemy a tough tactical decision - go for the 5 man easy kill squad that is giving useful orders to the infantry blob in front of it, or try to hurt some of that infantry blob. Putting 10 wounds on the blob is good, on the command squad it's overkill and thus wasted firepower.

  7. @The GunGrave: Man I wish the standard Guard codex could run something like that...
    @Ginge: I have definitely thought about just running a Medic on the Co. Command and run more plasma or something on the Platoon Commands, but only in an army I'm running Creed, which I have yet to do.