Conscript Platoon

Rating: Marginal


The only real reason to use conscripts is to save points on your infantry screen! The big advantage is that you can nearly double your screen for the same investment -- 80 points gets you 20 bodies, and remember that your Infantry Squads (10 men) will cost around 83 points on average with suitable upgrades.

Now, you'll be giving up some things, too. There's generally no point in giving Conscripts any weapons upgrades except the Flamer, and that's because of their crummy BS2 as well as the increased cost of their weapons selection (compared to other Guard units). If you give every squad in a Conscript Platoon a flamer, each squad will be worth 49 points, so a full 50-man platoon will be 245 points. This is comparable to the cost of an upgraded, minimum-sized Infantry Platoon, which is 25 models for around 250 points! On the other hand, you're giving up three heavy weapons and taking nothing but flamers...

Conscripts do have some other weaknesses. First, they have only a Leadership of 5; to make sure they don't break and run every time they're called upon to take a Morale check, you need to either keep them near an officer, or assign them some Independent Character leader. Second, even if you do keep them near your officers, Conscripts can't take advantage of the Company Standard -- so they'll never be as dependable as units that can. Third, they can't be upgraded with a lot of doctrines, because they don't count as "Guard Infantry". There are a lot of doctrines that would work nicely with Conscripts, too, which is a shame. Finally, you're giving up heavy weapons completely if you spend points on Conscripts instead Infantry Squads -- not many, but it will have an impact on your total firepower.

Their biggest weakness, however, is that unless your Conscript Platoons are relatively small, then as soon as they're assaulted, the resulting melee will completely block up your LOS -- and for a while, too, because it takes time for even the crunchiest assault units to eat through 20-50 bodies. That TOTALLY BLOWS. And because you must take a regular Infantry Platoon for every Conscript Platoon you field, eventually you're left wondering what the point is -- might as well field Infantry Platoons instead, with heavy weapons and all, and avoid Conscripts entirely.

Still, this is a very feasible choice, especially if you're facing an opponent that you know will be trying to outshoot you, not assault you.

Kyoto Sensei points out that besides being cheaper, conscripts are bigger. A 50 man single unit is better than a 5 10 man units since you have to kill 14 of them to force a morale check while you can get away with killing just 3 in each unit to force the whole squad to run. Of course you need an officer or indy commissar (so you can actually make morale checks) to make the conscripts work.

Good Doctrine Combo:

There aren't many doctrines useful or available to Conscripts, but Independent Commissars are a nice choice. This gives you an instant Leadership boost, doubling the unit's leadership to 10. Normally the Commissar wouldn't be able to lead a unit until he kills the Sergeant/Officer in charge -- but there's no sergeant or officer in a Conscript Platoon, so the Commissar will start off in charge! (Note that it would actually be more beneficial to have the Commissar not start off in charge, as that would give you an 'automatic' success the first time you failed a Morale check, at the cost of a single Conscript).

Still, this is only a useful doctrine if your Conscript Platoon(s) are designed to move forward, and away from your officers' leadership range. That's an interesting strategy even if you have a 'shooty' army, because you'll still have a (light) screen of Infantry Squads from the Infantry Platoon(s) you also had to field, to screen the rest of your forces, and your Conscripts meanwhile would do nicely tying up enemy units that would rather be assaulting the rest of your forces. If you plan on doing something clever like this, it might even be worth taking Meltaguns instead of Flamers in your Conscript Platoon, just to 'encourage' your opponents not to try to Tank-Shock through the Conscripts with their transports and get to the rest of your army.

JenBurdoo adds: in reference to Conscript Platoons, Close Order Drill is a possible doctrine choice. The plus to LD is pretty worthless (6 is still bad and you should have an officer nearby anyway) but the I4 could be useful when you use them as a close-combat screen. Particularly considering that this Doctrine costs *no* points to take, it's particularly handy to keep in mind its potential applications.

Reminder: The Official GW Q&A 'clarifies' that Conscripts may not be given Chem-inhalers; this item is supposed to be reserved for use by Guard Infantry units only.

Created by: system. Last Modification: Sunday 25 of January, 2009 12:02:49 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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