Imperial Guard

Issues dealing with gameplay balance.
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Deuce Bigalow
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Imperial Guard

Postby Deuce Bigalow » Sat 01 Jul, 2023 6:01 pm

Let me preface this by saying that I am continuing to experiment playing IG to see if I feel the same way playing them vs. playing against them. I recommend anyone do this before making any balance post, to gain insight in to what it feels like to play as the thing which you are suggesting needs to be changed.

In proper language instead of the rage I had during the matches, Bruce and I have been skirmishing and discussing how strong we think the Imperial Guard have been lately, in particular the mid-late game Inq and to lesser extent the Commissar Lord.

Here are a few things that stick out to us:

-The bane wolf. We had a game on vulcan pits where Bruce lost Catachans and 1.5 gen farms in addition to me having the entire map going into t2. Weirdly, losing units as IG actually gets you closer to rolling out a bane wolf and instantly bashing your opponents gen farm, so he was able to completely recover in a short time. Per his words, "any other race would have been gg after the t1" to which I agreed. I am not sure if the bane wolf damage vs. generators has been looked at, but this unit (even if it's damage vs. generators was nerfed massively) is still a very potent vehicle, offering an on-hit slow to all targets, and respectable damage vs. infantry. EDIT: I wrote this post unaware that the bane wolf is now 125 red to field (it used to be higher, 150 or 175?) 125 is astonishingly low and explains why it's coming out so fast. I would recommend 175 minimum for this unit. The storm trooper call-in is incredibly cheap as well at 300/0/125. Compare that to warp spiders at 350/0/175. I would see 325/0/175 as more in-line with their performance, and that would be on the low end.

-Guardsmen can now swap flamers for plasma. This one seems over the top for a race that can camp your farm already for little power investment with turret. The previous aggressive play was 2x guardsmen, sent, and turret hanging out at your farm with hero or catachans capping. If you wanted to "ninja-bash" with flamers you had to commit to flamer and if you failed the gen-bash you effectively were punished by not getting plasma option. Now, if you fail the gen-bash with flamer it's no problem: you still have the option to upgrade, and you have a decent t1 weapon.

-Artillery spotters combined with assault kit storm troopers are able to shut down set up team play in a manner that requires fairly little timing and micro. The answer would be a jump unit or a walker, right? Well, the inquisitor readily handles those types of plays with her pistol and excruciators. The plasma guardsmen, set up teams, and ogryns spell doom for that sort of thing as well when combined with her.

-Bleeding as IG is different from bleeding as other races. When you bleed as SM, Orks, Nids, Eldar, Chaos, you actually can FEEL the bleed. You have to wait sometimes in base if you have taken a bad engagement. For a similar or equivalent lapse in micro or bad engagement, IG recovery is more forgiving. I realize that they are designed this way to some extent, but it feels as though they overperform in that regard.

-The psyker. Oh boi. So IG is already, as a race, designed to excel at ranged warfare by trading economically. They can do this with just guardsmen. Now, on top of that, add in assault kit storm troopers and you have a unit that can either back up the main engagement or contest side points in a stellar fashion with grendades, stealth, and range. Now, on top of the previous two units, you can add in the psyker, who has respectable dps from the gate. Then, his wargear effectively counters his counters, by making him able to slow down or knock over melee units. This doesn't even take into about his dome ability which makes his support even better!

-Hellfury strike. I remember the stream in which everyone started talking about buffing this thing. Torpid used a hellfury strike vs. a turret and it didn't do any real damage. So instead looking at ways in which we can buff only the damage vs. turrets, the impact damage and damage over time was buffed, so that now you literally have a T2 half-strength nuke for 150 red. This thing is another slap in the face to setup teams, which even those with heavy armor cannot withstand if they are less than 60 percent HP or so. So, vs. IG, you have to either sit in base letting your already slow-healing units get to max hp, or risk losing the squad. That risk is in addition to other Setup team threats (spotters, assault storm troopers, ogryns, flanks, etc.) The spotter flame combined with hellfury can really put the hurt on. Ok, so just retreat right? If you were aware enough to see it ahead of time and not lose models, it's basically a won engagement for the IG and allows them to press into the map and hold, or push your gens.

-Judgement Pistol. This is probably more related to the fact that melta damage is anti-everything. When you put it on a melee hero, you have something that is nearly impossible to kite. As she chases you, she can peel of expensive models because there is no damage penalty. Hop into a building? Yeah, right. Melta has better damage AND accuracy vs. buildings, so that's a death sentence. This doesn't even discuss the ability, which high level players will target, then hang back for a bit, and use. The counter is either 1. Keep the judged squad away or 2. Force the inq to retreat. In regards to 1., sure your squad isn't being blown up, but because of the range on judgement and the instant hit, it can effectively keep the judged squad out of combat, while the inq is still in there shooting things. Regarding 2. (forcing the retreat), this is easier said than done. Jumping in with assault troops usually spells doom. Even if the inquisitor didn't have excruciators or purgatus, or the psyker didn't have his stun, you still have to deal with a massive ranged army of plasma, or Ogryns, or Setup Teams that are waiting for you to make this mistake. This has led many players to opt for long range artillery vs. IG, but now that artillery spotters and hellfury are strong, in addition to assault kit storm troopers, (not even discussing the manticore), long range artillery has suffered.

-Excruciators. On demand stun that can also wipe a default heretic with the damage. I targeted this on a default, full HP heretic squad that was bashing gens, and it wiped them before they could get out of the range. EDIT: This retreat damage may have been changed since I last tested, so will need to verify this.

-Purgatus. Basically stuns melts everything with very little skill required. Counterplay involves make sure that your units are spread out in the late game. Even if you do that, and then during an engagement group-target a unit, your units tend to clump together to fire on the target. So one micro slip by you = the inquisitor instantly punishing it with 2 button presses.

-Crossbow Stun to Nuke. I hate even bringing this up because players will use it. If you crossbow stun an army and immediately target a Basilisk Barrage where they are and leading into their retreat path, there is literally no way to dodge the nuke. If you stay, you can't move, and eat it. If you retreat, you still get hit.

I haven't thought about suggested changes yet, but these are the concerns as they are. Figured I would get them out there, see how others feel, and discuss options later.
Last edited by Deuce Bigalow on Sat 01 Jul, 2023 8:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby Asmon » Sat 01 Jul, 2023 7:17 pm

As you said IG is meant to bleed and to be better at it. There are at least two ways to reduce their power regarding this: increase the reinforcement cost of guardsmen (but it has been tweaked a lot with limited success) or increase the xp yield, which as I have said so many times should be the way to go.

About the Nuke combo: IG Nuke is basically impossible to dodge on its own, which is (more or less) fine. Especially since it is mainly anti-infantry, so it should be great at it. So that combo sounds a bit superfluous.

Anyway I'm ok with easy combo into nukes, it's also the job of your opponent to realize they could be nuked and place their units accordingly.
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby PianoMan » Sun 02 Jul, 2023 8:50 am

different people should be consulted about the changes made to IG in the future :)
no real nerfs happened, the nerfs applied only force you to not reinforce guardsmen as much which coupled with the spotter cost reduction is just idiotic as it makes high level IG run around with 3/6 gms and 5 units in t1
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby Venjitron » Wed 05 Jul, 2023 7:33 am

ig is stupid op
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby LOCALgHOST » Fri 07 Jul, 2023 1:40 pm

Should rework psyker damage. Not to kill-all-infantry-style
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby Panzerbatallion5 » Sun 09 Jul, 2023 7:09 am

Years of nerfing, couple patches with little buffs alongside with other nerfs and ig again op. Imao ig haters never changes, never sleep and never win anything playing ig.This game never changes.
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby PianoMan » Sun 09 Jul, 2023 8:31 am

Panzerbatallion5 wrote:Years of nerfing, couple patches with little buffs alongside with other nerfs and ig again op. Imao ig haters never changes, never sleep and never win anything playing ig.This game never changes.

hottest race right now in League, u need to experiment with build orders and stop doing the same thing every single game, especially when it gets nerfed.
pro tip - look at your guardsmen usage :)
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Re: Imperial Guard

Postby Lag » Tue 26 Sep, 2023 10:03 pm

You can't say that you feel the reinforce with SM and don't feel the reinforce with IG and not mention the fact that IG actually bleed unlike SM/CSM/OM. The difference in getting XP due to so many models dying while SM models just don't die is staggering and starts snowballing as soon as you first T1 unit gets lvl2 while GM are still 1/4th of an XP bar full to get anywhere.

A lot of these I can say for other factions as well: Cloud can wipe armies, Sorc retreat flames are such a 1-click retreat-wipe ability etc. Why single-out Hellfury?

I agree on some points (Psyker is a completely unnecessary addition imho but am thankful for some freshness added to the mix) but you are looking at one aspect of something (like bleed cost) while ignoring other aspects: the above mentioned XP diff, or the fact that GM are difficult to place in cover due to model number and spread, or the fact that GM are slow and will always be punished with bleed for finding themself out of position and having to move away (unlike Scouts, all of Eldar, anything with cloak etc)... Selective theory-crafting.

What about the fact that it's the only faction that has to revolve it's entire T1 around a unit which is designed and expected to die in T2 unless you are happy with keeping a walking liability around? Sure, I've had sentinels be super effective even into t3 but that's 1 out of 10 games while literally every other unit in the roster of any faction scales better, except for maybe Spore Mines :P.

Anyway, I might be talking out of my ass. Pay me no mind.

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