An Assessment of the Imperial Guard Chimera by Nathan Oldacres

21 Jul


The Chimera is the Imperial Guard’s most commonly used armoured troop carriers. These ubiquitous vehicles are extremely durable and practical, caparable of mounting an array of support weapons. From within the armoured confines of a Chimera, an embarked Infantry Squad can utilise the hull-mounted firing points to unleash a lethal fusillade of shots into the foe, protected from all but the most destructive reprisals.’
– Imperial Guard Codex

When assessing how the Chimera can perform on the battlefield, it is first essential to have a look at its stationer With the BS of a standard Guardsmen you can expect to hit 50% of the shots fired, not great, but standard fare for every model in your army. Much more impressive, however, is its front armour value of 12. This makes it very resistant to any weapons upto S8/9, where we begin to fall into dedicated anti-armour (AA) territory. Couple this with the free smoke launchers and the Chimera becomes a rather nice, durable little tank. Care must be taken to ensure that neither the side nor the rear of the vehicle is left exposed, as these are particularly vulnerable to incoming enemy fire.

The basic weaponry that comes fitted onto the Chimera is also fairly impressive. The medium strength guns can easily throw wounds on T4/5 models and force your opponent to take armour saves. Unfortunately, the lack of any significant AP does decrease the effectiveness of the shooting somewhat. You should only very, very rarely feel any desire to switch out the turret-mounted multi-laser as it is an excellent all-round weapon; able to target almost anything from infantry to light vehicles in a pinch. There can be some variance in the hull-mounted weapons, and this will be discussed when we look into exactly how you can use your Chimera on the battlefield.

One of the biggest advantages the Chimera has got going for it is its price. At a mere 10% more than a ‘naked’ Infantry Squad and touting two heavy weapons to boot its an absolute steal. The simple affordability of this tank for the Guard means that you should see a lot of them on the table, indeed, some Guard forces that I’ve seen can field upto 8 of the things at once! Flooding the battlefield with massive amounts of armour is one of the keystones to success in a mechanised Guard army, and the lynchpin for such a list is the humble, yet deadly, Chimera.

The way I see it there are two primary ways you can field Chimeras, and the method you choose changes drastically dependant upon your overall list and what it is exactly you want to get out of your Chimeras. The two main ways that you’ll find are:

* Armoured bunkers

Or

* Special weapon delivery systems

The first method involves kitting the Chimera out to make the most of its long range weapons. A multi-laser coupled with a hull-mounted heavy bolter and a heavy stubber can throw out a huge number of shots per turn. This can be used to easily whittle down hordes or maybe even throw a wound or two on a Monstrous Creature (MC). If you want to field your Chimeras in this way, I would recommend putting either an Infantry Squad, or a dedicated Heavy Weapon Team, armed with autocannons, heavy bolters or lascannons inside the tank. Due to the fire points out of the top hatch, the passengers can fire at the enemy with impunity, protected as they are by the Chimera’s tough front armour. When coupled with the already fairly impressive firepower of the tank itself, the sheer volume of fire coming from a single tank becomes truly terrifying.

This type of tactic works particularly well when you want to hold objectives on your home turf, as the enemy has to not only destroy the Chimera itself, but then has to work at killing its occupants before you relinquish your hold on said objective.

The second method of use, as a delivery system, is seen far more regularly than the bunker tactic. Often a Chimera will get loaded up with a Veteran Squad armed to the teeth with melta/plasma guns, and sent straight at the enemy; its single purpose being to ensure that the Vets get an opportunity to devastate the chosen target with their weapons of choice, protected as they are within the Chimera’s bulk. Chimeras used in this way will often forgoe any upgrades, keeping it as cheap as possible, and also switch out their heavy bolter in favour of the heavy flamer. Due to the close-range, aggressive nature of this tactic, the template of the flamer synergises much better than the 36″ range heavy bolter.

Regardless as to which method you prefer, the Chimera is as essential a vehicle as any in the Guard army. Its plethora of heavy weapons, decent armour, flexibility and general affordability, ensures that the Chimera remains not only one of the best vehicles in the Guard army, but one of the best general, all purpose tanks in the whole of the 41st millennium

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3 Responses to “An Assessment of the Imperial Guard Chimera by Nathan Oldacres”

  1. Digital Unicorn July 21, 2011 at 19:42 #

    Nice breakdown.
    Great work.

  2. Jon Taylor July 26, 2011 at 19:17 #

    For special weapon delivery, I arm mine with hull heavy bolter, heavy flamer turret and heavy stubber:

    1) On the move it still has a lot of dakka (both HB and HS can shoot)
    2) When you get there, you can angle the Chimera so the armour 12 is towards any threat and rotate the flamer to get the best shot on your target.

    It’s a little pricier with the heavy stubber, but I think they’re cool 😉

  3. Mark Perry July 27, 2011 at 12:13 #

    Chimera with multi-laser, heavy flamer and vet squad wielding 3 melta guns. 155 points. Scoring. Armour 12 front. Totally spammable and probably better value than a vendetta … and that’s saying something!

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