Imperial Guard Tactics

WH40k Imperial Guard Basilisk mobile artilary gun

Imperial Guard Tactics, Imperial Guard Special Rules, Imperial Guard Regiments, Catachans, Tank Regiments, can all be found here.

In these pages I will be studying Imperial Guard Tactics for Warhammer 40k. These pages are written with the expectation that you own a copy of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook and the Codex Imperial Guard rule book too, and read them. Having played a few games might help too.

The Imperial Guard army is all about having hundreds of troops backed up by the biggest guns in the game. If you like to fields loads of troops and have mega-sized armies then the Imperial Guard is for you.

Imperial Guard General Tactics

In this section we will look at the tactics for the Imperial Guard army as a whole.

Safety in numbers!

The main advantage of playing Imperial Guard is that you can field so many troops. A standard organization chart allows over 300 troops to be deployed.

Hold Your Ground

The Imperial Guard work far more effectively as a stationary force. For this reason you want to choose the ground that gives defensive cover, but leave a good amount of space between yourself and the approaching enemy.

Take a tank or two

Warhammer Imperial Guard BasiliskThe Imperial Guard have the best tanks in the game. It will take a few games to decide which type of tank is best for your style of play. The standard Leman Russ is a good all rounder, and easy to convert to different variations if you change you mind in the future.


The 2013 Imperial Guard Codex allows the officers to issue orders to a troop squad. Tactical use of these orders will increase the efficiency of your Imperial Guard army.

The Orders are issued at the start of the shooting phase, but you may want to decide which orders you want to issue at the start of the turn so you get your troops moved in to the best positions before the order is issued.

Who to

The officer can pick a squad within an given distance. This distance varies depending of seniority. The officer can pick his own squad.

As the distance is quite short ( 12″ Senior Officers ) the officers are best placed in the middle of a formation so you have more choice about which squad to choose.

The receiving squad needs to take a leadership test to accept the orders. This means that orders passed to squads with a higher leadership will more likely be accepted. One way to increase a squads leadership is to add a commissar. Be careful with this, the more that a commissar lead unit has to take a leadership test, the higher the likelihood that this plan will backfire (literally!).

Orders Available

The orders that are available to a model depends on its seniority. Junior Officers can issue one order a turn from a selection of 5. Senior Officers can issue 2 orders from a selection of the 5 orders the junior officer gets plus 3 others. Most special characters have three rules, these are to of the regular rules and one extra one that is special to that character. The exception to this is Lord Castellan Creed who gets to issue 4 orders over a wider area out of a selection of 7 orders.

Each unit that receives an order needs to roll a leadership test, and there is a chance ( 1 in 36 ) that you will not be able to issue any more orders this turn. With this in mind you will want to order the most critical unit first. That way if a leadership failes on a double 6 you have already issued the most critical orders.