Using Orders: The Footsloggers Guide by Mark Perry

6 Oct

While my first love is Tyranids, I am quietly putting together a foot slogging IG list. As I am not going for the mech look, the use of orders becomes a major tactical issue for me. After reading “Hammer of the Emperor” I got a bit tank fixated for a while, but ultimately troops is where it’s at for me. In some ways Nids and IG are quite similar in that vast amounts of both armies are considered expendable by the General … but back on subject.

From what I have seen of other IG armies in my travels, it does appear that Orders is a criminally underused aspect of the army. So here are my thoughts:

The Basics

Giving Orders

Orders can be given by command units (ie CCS and PCS) according to their own rules. There will be a limit on range and on the number and type of orders available for each Commander. If the Commander in the unit dies then no further orders can be granted.

Orders are given prior to the Officer shooting or running (ie at the beginning of the shooting phase). Orders are then given in seniority order, so the Company Commanders will give all orders before the Platoon Commanders.

Orders cannot be granted if the Commander is in assault or in a non-chimera vehicle. They can also not be granted if the Commander is falling back or gone to ground. A Commander can though grant orders to his own unit!

Receiving Orders

As with the Commander giving the order, the unit cannot have run or shot that turn in order to receive an order.

Orders can be given to any friendly non-vehicle unit – so this can include elites, HQ choices etc. The receiving unit cannot though be embarked in any vehicle.

Each unit can only receive one order per turn, regardless of source (so 2 Commanders cannot both give an order to the same unit).

In order for the order to be successful, the receiving unit must take a leadership test – based on the highest leadership of the unit. If passed (rolling equal to or less than leadership on 2d6) the order is successful. Negative modifiers can be applied to this leadership test (eg psychic powers).

A roll of double 1 is always successful and allows the Commander to grant a further bonus order (but not to the same unit). A roll of double 6 always fails and the Commander additionally cannot grant any more orders that turn!

The Use of Voxes

Where both the Commanding unit and receiving unit have a vox, then any leadership test can be rerolled. If either unit does not have a vox then there is no benefit. It is also worth noting that many units such as heavy weapon teams and ogryns for instance cannot take a vox.

As the vox costs 5 points for both units and in Commanding Squads it takes up a valuable special weapons slot, the taking of voxes is only really viable for foot slogging infantry lists. Remember that, when combining infantry squads, you only need 1 vox for the whole combined unit.

What are the orders?

I will split these into separate sections for Company Command, Platoon Command and Special Characters:

CCS Orders

Bring It Down! – the unit’s weapons are treated as twin linked when firing at monstrous creatures or vehicles. Fantastic order  for Heavy Weapons teams and foot vets armed with plasma/melta. Can also be given to a CCS or PCS unit that will often have plenty of special weapons. Makes BS3 lascannons viable.

Fire on my Target! – A nominated enemy unit is targeted. The ordered unit will fire at this unit and any cover saves are rerolled. Another great order albeit situational – this time for units hiding in cover. Good for special weapons where the target relies on the cover save due to low AP.

Get back in the Fight! – auto regroup for falling back units and those that have gone to ground. A potential game saver if your large power blob (or even more likely a HWS) fluffs a leadership test. It can happen!

A Company Commander can also use the PCS orders below.

PCS Orders

First Rank, FIRE! Second Rank, FIRE! – grants additional shots to lasguns – so 3 shots for a unit within 12” and 2 shots for up to 24” where the unit hasn’t moved. Try this with a large blob unit of 30/40 guardsmen – that’s a lot of dakka!

Incoming! – the ordered unit goes to ground and gains +2 to their cover save rather than the normal +1. Expecting some shooting next turn, stick a valuable unit in cover and then gain the +2 on top. This can work for ogryns, psyker battle squads etc.

Move! Move! Move! – the unit rolls 3 dice for their run move, taking the highest. One of the least used, but still not a bad order and when it is used it can be a really good order. Often better for late objective grabbing than charging into CC – although this may not be the case if you run Ogryns, Rough Riders or Penal Legions!

Special Characters

When looking at Orders you have to look at the main man – Creed. He has a massive 4 orders with a 24” radius. As well as a the main orders he can also give:

For the Honour of Cadia! – the receiving unit has fearless and furious charge until the end of the turn. Nice for say a charging unit of Penal Legions!

Creed is expensive and there is an argument that rather than taking him you can take a second CCS for similar cost. This give you some more flexibility as well as additional special weapons platforms. For pure orders though, he is the man!

Al’Raheem, a PCS upgrade, has the following unique order:

Like the Wind! –  the unit can shoot and then move D6” in any direction. Handy to go with the outflank. Also works on sentinels if you run scout ones, so they can come out of cover shoot their weapons and then disappear back again.

Improving the effectiveness of Orders

As the order is a leadership test, then any way of increasing leadership will increase the effectiveness of orders. I mentioned the reroll for voxes above, but the main way of increasing leadership is with Commissars. A normal Commissar attached to an Infantry unit will increase its leadership to a healthy 9. A Lord Commissar though also has a leadership bubble allowing any unit within 6” to use his leadership of 10 for Orders. This can be very useful for Heavy Weapons Teams who have a base leadership of 7 and no ability to take voxes.

Another key to the effectiveness of orders is positioning. Many Commanders only have a leadership range of 12”, which is quite small. The Commander therefore needs to try and retain that 12” gap to as many units as possible when moving. Some Commanders (Creed) do have an Order radius of 24” which gives a lot more versatility.

Another route is to look at Kell. He can be taken without Creed and allows Orders to take a leadership test on the Officers leadership rather than the receiving units. This can be valuable for Heavy Weapons Squads without a Lord Commissar bubble. He is quite expensive though as you are paying for the standard and power fist that you won’t really use, but the benefits to Orders are obvious here.

On the BattleField

There is no real downside to Orders, so ensure you use all your orders every turn. Write yourself a note to give all orders before any shooting.

As mentioned above, with 12” order radii it is important in the movement phase to keep the Commanders in range of the units they are going to give orders to. Key point here is that orders can be given from a chimera but not to a chimera, so no excuse for the Commander not to keep up!

A unit cannot be given more than one order (even if they failed the first leadership test). Orders can though be combined over consecutive turns, so a unit could go to ground in T1 (Incoming!) only to spring back up to full life and start shooting in T2 (Get Back in the Fight!). This can be very annoying for your opponent!

Also, try Move! Move! Move! for the extra move followed by For the Honour of Cadia! in the next turn. For the Honour of Cadia! is also a really great order if you’re running Rough Riders as that furious charge bonus stacks with the lance bonus – so S6/I6 power weapons on the charge.

Overall, you will mainly look to make full use of Bring It Down! in a mech heavy environment, but this is not the only order available and the use of autoregrouping (get back in the Fight!) reducing cover saves especially against skimmers and the like (Fire on my Target!) and my favourite FRF, SRF! can make the difference in a foot heavy IG list. Even in a mech list, when the vets are eventually put on foot or the stormtroopers drop down, orders can once again improve their effectiveness. While you may not want to pay points for improving orders in a mech list, using those available from your CCS at the appropriate time can be a real boon.

If you like running a Psyker Battle Squad in the open, then remember that Soulstorm is a shooting attack and so can be twin-linked against vehicles or MCs through Bring It Down! (or at least how I play it). This gives the PBS a real alternative to only casting Weaken Resolve.

Remember, use all your orders every turn wherever possible!

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3 Responses to “Using Orders: The Footsloggers Guide by Mark Perry”

  1. 40KUK October 6, 2011 at 12:58 #

    Great article sir as always.

    You know what, I am going to go out on a limb and make a statement. Orders are vital in mine and any imprial guard army and I do love the re-roll successful cover saves in line with a plasma squad. However, for me the best order is run, run, run – an awesome order that allows you to get out of trouble, in position when you need to i.e to bubble wrap and most importantly to make that last dash for an objective.

  2. TJ1 October 7, 2011 at 12:32 #

    Great article and would have to agree that one of the best things in the guard dex is orders, though I also see so many guard players doing it wrong.

    For instance, there are loads of long time guard players in my area that forget to do the orders first and thus are unable to go back and do them. They then get upset when you tell them they can’t.

  3. Kirstysharpe October 7, 2011 at 12:33 #

    I’d second that, orders are missed all of the time, or a guard player is so excited about shooting their big stuff that they forget about the orders and then want to come on back.

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