Last night, my friend Cain and I descended on the local GW shop to monopolize the PREVIEW COPY of the new Imerial Guard Codex. Cain's been collecting and fielding Guard armies since 1998-99 so he's WAY ahead of the curve and can fully adapt his boys to ever shifting tide of benefits and restrictions new editions place on humanity in the 41st millenium. My own collection is more modest and troop based, so I got a clean slate when it comes to the mahjority of the tanks now available in this latest incarnation of the IMP Guard codex...and holy crap are there the choices.
It's hard to say where to begin, but in the spirit of the majority of 40K blogs across the web, I'll start with a little bitching. As with most of the 5th edition geared codexes, the squad sargeants have been reigned in considerably -- not a problem for me really. But I don't like that a regular lasgun is no longer an option for the plain ol' squad sargeant. Yes they get a cheap-CHEAP power sword to make up for the loss, but at WS3, I'd rather have my sarges shooting with the boys. In the same vein, Stormtrooper sargeants can now TAKE a "Hotshot" gun like their boys. At WS4 and AP3! (AP fething 3!!)...happiness is extra shots!
The 4th edition codex saw a downturn, a recession and reigning in of the use of tanks, and apparently a blossoming of Forgeworld alternatives. With the new 5th edition codex there are tanks literally falling off the shelves in their number and variety. GW has taken their best customizable army and tripled the variety and character of it. From the familiar Leman Russ and demolisher and all of their wonderful children, and allowing 1 to 3 tanks per heavy choice it a tread heads wet dream. I'm especially excited about the mainstreaming of the Executioner tank! The only leman russ I currently own. Also, The Exterminator is back with a higher rate of fire. The autocannon is still the most underrated, understated weapon in the game, but not for much longer once these awesome 3rd edition relic tanks are dusted off and replaced on the tabletop where they belong.
From the 4 ways to use veteren squads -- as troop choices -- to the option for stormtroopers to the can't go wrong randomness of the penal legion squads to the long overdue arrival of PLASTIC VALKYRIES, regular humans in the 40K universe should have a better chance of showing off on the tabletop why theirs is the largest empire in the galaxy -- "time of ending" my ass.