Time for one of my lame analysis and speculation posts. Imperial guard are right around the corner so we are led to believe. Pics of the codex and models have been leaked and we also have the whole militarium tempestus release to consider.
Firstly though, what's in a name? Storm troopers are now militarium tempestus and imperial guard are now Astra militarum, presumably to further distinguish their ip from certain other franchises. Personally I welcome the changes, and suspect that in the books they will still have reference made to their low gothic names, kind of like the space sharks. Let's face it, people are still going to call them guard. I would actually quite like it if space marine become adept us astartes and csm traitor astartes. The chapters with their own codexes and supplements need not change names as they are individual chapters rather than a whole institution. Only one that irks me somewhat is the space wolves, whose names is second only to space sharks (who are themselves second only to rainbow warriors) in silliness. Their chosen name would be hard to sell as a codex though, which only really leaves sons of russ/fenris or lupus Astra to go with. Plus I've never really liked the term 'dark' eldar. Perhaps eldar raiders/pirates or fallen eldar would be more appropriate?
Anyway, I digress. What I really wanted to talk about was guard. First up is the militarium tempestus, which as a deviation from the norm is being released a week before any guard releases. The scions and command squad are a beautiful kit with sadly far too many bits to get full use of. Whereas the other guard command squad parts can be spread amongst the cheaper and more abundant troopers, these chaps are one and the same so expect to have a lot of spare flags. The taurox I want to love but a couple of things make me hesitate. Still, it's far from the worst kit gw have put out.
I suspect that the codex will allow command squads as hq and scion squads as troops with only dedicated transports (chimera, taurox, prime, valkyrie, vendetta) thrown in. The guard codex (from the WD leaks) allows the taurox as a dedicated transport with the prime reserved for Scions, which themselves are elites which can be taken as a platoon with a command squad and 1-3 squads taking up a single slot. It seems the best way to include storm troopers in a guard force is to take them as troops via allied mt contingents rather than simply as non scoring elites, meaning guard players will likely want an mt codex. Of course they will be excellent to run with an inquisitor too.
Now, on to the imperial guard. Well we've seen the book cover, ogryns, bullgryns and hydra so far. I guess we can count the scions and taurox/prime as being guard releases of sorts too. Some of the guard boxes are already being repackaged with the new name and a price bump so it seems - expect this to continue throughout the month. Let's take a look then. We have the book, scions (stormtroopers), taurox, taurox prime, (not seen in non-mt colours yet though) ogryns, bullgryns (combo kit) and a hydra for certain. Which units does this leave?
I suspect that the hydra will be a combo kit and my money is on the griffon. It would fit nicely with a redesigned griffon on a central turntable and frankly would be a better fit than with the other, larger artillery pieces. Speaking of which, as we can see the older style basilisk alongside the hydra I doubt that a new basilisk/medusa/colossus model will be coming anytime soon. Though with forgeworld being mainstream now there's a chance that those artillery pieces will be removed from the book altogether.
Sticking with that point for a moment, models may indeed be lost completely if not simply to fw as with the tyranid book. I suspect Bastonne, kamir and perhaps some of the other special characters may disappear. As for rough riders and penal legion, who knows. Rough riders will hopefully stay as they have old but still in existence models. Penal legion however I suspect may disappear. Question still remains however, what other releases will there be to fill the rest of April? With two vehicles and two infantry sets we may well be out of luck already. After all, tyranids only got the 4 kits with other stuff either removed or left as finecast, no doubt for a wave release later on. I hope at least the army box deal will be good value.
It seems entirely possible that we've seen all guard have to offer us already. A sad truth, but possibly a reality. With forgeworld offering pretty much everything that is not mainstream and the tempestus release offering new toys, there may be no more love to come for the guard. I hope that not to be the case, but at any rate I can't see the likes of rough riders or penal legion being prioritised for release, much less a new regiment in plastic. The pros and cons of the new release schedule are that we are fed info little and often, so we won't know until mid April the full extent of the release. Here's hoping. Cheers.