Imperial Guard could be described as a 'hoard army' in Kill Team. In 40k Guard armies are typically defined by groups of men and heavily armed tanks, in Kill Team, the tanks are missing.
This just leaves lots of men.
Now we are not talking about Vet Squads, those to me are a different army that comes with the game box. I'm talking the team from the compendium book.
This kill team is made up of two fire teams, the first being 7 models of Guard and the second is 5 models of Storm Troopers (I refuse to call them Scions). I'm going to break each section down individually and talk about them as pure single type kill teams, then the advantages/disadvantages or a combined team.
A Kill Team made up of Guard is about 14 models strong with a choice of Trooper, Comms, Gunner and Sergeant. You can select 3 of these different type of operatives with the exception being Troopers and Sergeant. You also cant double up on weapons, so you couldn't take 2 plasma gunners in 1 fire team as an example.
Most guard models only have 7 wounds, which means a good round of 3/4 damage weapons will take a guardsmen out of the game completely. Marines have a 60% chance of hitting with at least 3 out of 4 bolter shots, meaning you need at least 2 saves giving your guard about a 25% chance of surviving, and that's if no crits are rolled.
Basic troopers have a lasgun with only 2/3 damage, so you will need to get a good 6-7 wounding hits on an Intercessor Space Marine to bring it down. Troopers do have the advantage of being GA (group activation) 2, allowing you to action two trooper models compared to many other armies 1.
This unit has the same durability as standard troopers, but the comms abilities and unique actions set them apart from their fellows. A Kill Team can have two of these troopers in total which I highly recommend as they are a good support operative in the game.
They can rely the Sergeants orders, which comes from Guard strategic Ploys for 1AP meaning your whole force will benefit not just models within 6inch. The second ability (for 1AP) is to increase the APL of a single operative within 6inch. This can be highly tactical, allowing operatives to dart across Kill Zones in order to achieve objectives.
These are your big hitters, and with some weapon choices they can hit REAL big. You need to protect these guys as the 7 wounds really become a weakness here. Melta's and Plasma Guns will become your go to, especially if your opponent uses a lot of marine elements. Melta guns have a huge chance of taking a Marine out with 1 good round of shooting and plasmas can do high consistent damage especially at range. Dont forget with 4 attacks you have a 1 in 4 chance of getting a 6, and with the added AP factors of these weapons they are going to annihilate some folk.
Flamers are not really a choice I would go for unless you are going against other Guard armies or Genestealer Cult. Flamers are not even that effective against Orks as the flamers small 2 damage can mean you need quite a few hits to bring one of those mean green bastards down.
Sniper rifles are a nice choice for some good tactical advantage and the HEAVY and SILENT traits are going to mean they aren't under a lot of fire once in a good position. They just aren't going to win you games as you wont be using then to grab objectives.
The selections for a sergeant in kill team are quite easy. You need plasma pistol and power sword, the lack of points means that you have no real advantage in taking a chainsword over a power sword, which is a bit of a shame really. Would have liked to see the chainsword get a little love in this game.
Now, i've included Scions as the title of this piece, but I will be referring to these as Storm Troopers because yes, I am that old.
Storm Troopers are more survivable then the standard Guard operatives, but you get less of them. A fire team of Storm is 5 men compared to the standard 7. No one has group activation and with them only having 2 action points each you might find it harder grabing those objective, but trade is you will last a little longer.
With a 4+ save on 3 dice you are expected to save 1.5 of them. So against lets say a Bolter hitting 3 times its a 50% chance you will survive, compared to the 25% on regular guardsmen. They also have access to Hot-Shot lasgun weapons. Now these pack an amazing punch in 40K, however in Kill Team they have the same profile as bolters.
Storm trooper fire teams are limited the same as Guard fire teams, except they can only have 2 Gunners per 5 men. Weapon options are also the same, with the exception of a hotshot volley gun, which not sure why you would select this weapon over a plasma gun when you are not paying points. The Sergeant also has very similar options, except they have access to a power fist, which would normally be my go to, but for some reason the Guard version does not have Brutal, so I would be more inclined to select the Power Sword for your leader option.
Now i'm not sure what other peoples copies of Kill Team Compendium are like, but mine seems to have a bit on an error when it comes to Sergeant and Tempestor Models in the game.
On the Strategic Ploys section is states that when you play a Strategic ploy it counts 6 inch from your Guardsmen Sergeant, which would surgest that Tempestors cannot use these Strategic Ploys, however the special abilites on the Tempestor states he can use a Strategic Ploy for free, which why would he be able to do that without being able to use them? Obviously this is an oversight and I would state that Tempestors would be allowed to use the orders as normal.
The ploys for guard armies are set out in the form of orders, which, unless you have the Guardsman Comms, only effect models within 6inch of the Sergeant. (which is why you would take a comms guy). Most will give a benefit to your forces, be it re-rolling a different variety of 1's, ether for attack or defence or add a little bit extra to your movement.
The Scions (urgh) have a special order for them that allows then to use mission actions for free. Which I can see being especially useful in turn 2 of the game. Which lets be fair is where most of the action is.
My faves are probably take aim and take cover. Both of these do a good number of increasing chances of success. A lasgun has a 30% chance of hitting with 3 dice, with that result increasing to nearly 45% when you re-roll 1's. Saving with 2 dice goes from 25% chance to 33%, meaning your getting a little bit of survivability from your regular troopers.
Dont forget these orders also effect Scions, with their chance of saving all 3 jumping from 12% ro 20%. And saving at least 2 from 25% to 34%, with the only downside being Scion units cannot all be effected by the order (unless they all bunch up around their sergeant).
Sadly there is only one ploy currently available for Guard forces, which is bring it down. Now this can be very powerful, especially allowing all of your dice to be re-rolled against this 1 operative. Unfortunately for me its only useful when going against hard targets, such as marines or custodies.
Mixed or Single Fire Teams
The question is now do you go for single or mixed Kill Teams? Having 14 men is very useful but on the small board and scale it can become very crowded and you will find yourself susceptible to blast and torrent style weapons.
Having a team of pure Scions, can be more hard hitting, but you will find that you have a tactical disadvantage in certain situations
Having a mixed Kill Team ALSO has disadvantages. You do get the added bonus of additional men from the Guard side with the harder hitting Scion side, unfortunately you will find that your force cannot all benefit from orders, which can hamper (again) tactical options.
For me, its a pure Guard Kill Team. I like the appeal of the Scions but just having lots of men under the same order because of Comm's is very tempting indeed. You might only have 4 left at the end of the battle, but you've probably won the game.