Well it took a while but Forgeworld’s Imperial Armor: Siege of Vraks Update is finally here. About a couple of weeks ago all of us on the FW Newsletter list received the long-awaited ‘Newsflash’ containing the mysteriously delayed Death Korps of Krieg Update and I can say I was just as excited as I would have been if GW had released a surprise codex. The Imperial Guard needs these alternate lists if its potential as a faction is to be realized and this army list is a full step in the right direction.
So what’s changed?
Well the army list as a whole has been brought in line with the Imperial Guard codex. These means that the old, slightly convoluted Doctrines have been tweaked to comply with GW’s more streamlined approach to special rules. Also units such as the Company Command squad have been renamed and restructured to match current unit choices in the Imperial Guard codex.
For the Death Korps these changes work rather well. It means you get to keep all of the rules that made the DK unique but enjoy many of the perks of the codex. For instance DK command squads can now give orders whilst still maintaining a charming WS 4 on all of its members (except advisors for some reason).
The re-pricing of all units means the Death Korps are now a competitive army. Their infantry squads are no longer prohibitively expensive which allows the player to take more goodies like thudd guns and other stationary artillery. The higher cost of Siege list entries is now more of a stylistic choice for the player – the price of having an army that’s different to anything that’s out there. With IG being so popular in the meta-game there’s no better time to start a Siege/Death Korps force.
The list has been written to include some really interesting units such as the Engineers and Death Riders. These entries, whilst not incredibly hardcore, can turn a mediocre list into something really interesting and fun to play with. They allow the long-time Guard player to try something new and experiment with being more aggressive whilst still fielding an army that is a gun line.
I expect the Hades drill will make quite a few appearances in Guard lists everywhere. This cheap, disposable unit has the hitting power to take on anything and, if fielded en masse, one can even expect a few to survive to continue the carnage. You can even overlook the lackluster Engineer squads since the list gives the player the option to replace the engineers (who do get a demo-charge so it’s not all bad) with Veteran squads straight out of Codex: Imperial Guard. Three BS 4 Meltas appearing out of nowhere right in the enemy lines ready to stop that rampaging Land Raider cold – what’s not to like?
Still it wouldn’t be Forgeworld if there weren’t a couple of blunders. Though this is the best army list that FW has produced to date it still contains some errors in pricing and some ugly rules (‘Slow Rate of Fire’ – WHY?). Along with great changes such as giving Grenadiers the option to take a Democharge you have senseless costing of Death Riders at 16 pts a model.
It’s worth noting that FW makes a point of overcosting almost everything to make up for the fact that their lists are not as “official” as GW’s. While good in theory it basically means whole entries get ignored – especially if a cheaper, more efficient entry exists in a mainstream codex that can perform the same role. We all know FW, like GW, only produces the rules to sell the models but if you want folks to buy those obscenely expensive Death Rider models why not make Death Riders good?
There’s no question that the Siege Regiment list is a step in the right direction for Forgeworld. If we continue to see accurate point costs, interesting rules and beautiful models there’s a real possibility that FW only armies become a more common sight. This benefits everyone as more rules sources means more diversity and less playing against the same armies with the same builds over and over again.
Forgeworld has been pumping out releases at a strong tempo with new models and rules emerging from their website every few weeks. I’m proud of them for taking this important step to supporting their existing customers with solid rules (I hope you’re taking notes GW) even if it did take them a few months too long. Good job FW.