So, there I was, thinking I was out of the speculation about how Guard would be playing in 6th edition, leaving it for the people who play test regularly to overtake my early meanderings - and then GW put out an FAQ which seriously overhauled how Guard play on the tabletop.
Please read my disclaimer.
For more in depth approach, I would recommend pottering over to 3++, where they are starting a far more comprehensive analysis.
Company Command Squad
The changes to "Look Out Sir!" probably down-power bodyguards a little bit - but only when considered in isolation. My initial suspicions are that the guaranteed move of wounds around is now better in comparison to how other people's "Look Out Sir!" has been affected. Feel free to Math-hammer this one to death, I don't have the will right now.
The loss of the re-roll for allies heads off an assortment of shenanigans at the pass. Not much more to say, though!
The servo arm is, for now, confirmed as ignoring armour saves completely, making this a surprisingly scary anti-terminator close combat unit!
Psyker Battle Squad
Given that the leadership drain is not a Witchfire power, it looks like Psyker squads embarked in a Chimera are once more unable to target enemy models. This is a significant down-powering, and probably not an intentional one (but probably the right answer).
No longer accidentally execute Space Marines who've joined the unit. Makes sense for fluff, doesn't change much for me - people planning clever ally combinations are probably a bit happier, though.
Heavy Weapon Squads
No Flakk missiles for me just yet. Its a shame, as some variation in my anti-air would be nice.
Valkyrie / Vendetta
All reserve armies are formally confirmed as automatically losing on the first turn for having no models on the table. Not really a concern for me as I never used them to that numbers, preferring not to be the "special snowflake" of the air mobile division.
However, the units transported not being part of the 50% limit on reserves does greatly increase your capacity to have a high proportion of your army being reserved, if you're willing to take the risk!
Grav Chute insertion is now much more worthwhile - not having to slow to fast skimmer speeds makes the fliers much more survivable and capable of transporting units without committing suicide to let them out. I did kind of like the idea of it being dangerous to do an airborne landing under fire, though, so in some ways I hope I see some transport fliers at some point that do have to slow down to let people out. Its one of the staples of military true accounts and military fiction, and I think losing that is a bit of a shame.
And no, I didn't expect Scout to allow a Valk or Vendetta to deploy onto the board. Are you insane?
The hunting lance clarification is no surprise - its pretty much exactly what I expected it to be, so no real surprises there.
Leman Russ Tanks
The move to "Heavy" does make things a little easier in terms of simplifying the rules, so I can see why it was done. But it leaves the Battle Tank and the Demolisher, the two Ordnance guns, at a serious disadvantage to the rest of the guns. I've barely _looked_ at which of the main guns has the Ordnance special rules before now.
Now, I've never been one for sponsons, and had a moment where I felt sad about the city fighting Demolisher with three heavy flamers no longer being able to use any of them . . . until I realised that if your target is within heavy flamer range, you shouldn't be using your main gun at all due to the risk of being hit by it! I never much liked plasma being overused anyway, so the plasma sponsons taking a hit is no great loss to me.
What this does do is move up interest in the other tanks with cheaper sponsons and the ability to put out a lot more mobile firepower. I'm not going to go into the various different combinations right now, because there's a lot to take in and its something I want a little more time to think about.
All in all, there are still lots of odd little combinations of turret and sponson I'm yet to try, so I'll be excited to give them all a go!
Hydra Flak Tank
I had a strange waking dream moment where I thought Games Workshop had lost all reason and given the Hydra Interceptor as well as Skyfire - to the point where I was actually confused to find it wasn't there while writing this blog post.
They remain good for their points, but not "insanely so good it is compulsory to buy them for everything ever".
Interesting observation: The Hydra's Heavy Bolter doesn't have Skyfire. This is the right thing, as it's intended for last ditch defence against ground based targets - but it does give it a tiny bit more flexibility than some realise.
Griffon & Colossus
No more minimum range at all is a wondrous thing. The Griffon I'm still up in the air about - we have plenty of generic anti infantry firepower already, and its competing for just plain excellent choices in the category. Its role as a "spotter gun" may still be valid, but I need to find out how unit barrages work now.
The Colossus is now a 'must test'. It is the Marine killer of choice.
I never expected that it would hit fliers, so that doesn't change anything really.
So, there you are. I hope this isn't too much restating what is actually there, and there's some actual commentary and thought here. As per the disclaimer - this is all about what to look at play-testing, not what is 'better'. No-one can tell you right now what's the truth in that!