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Of the three Imperial Guard commanders, the Lord General is probably the second-hardest to play, due to his lack of ability to deal with dedicated melee units. However, the Lord General adds to your Imperial Guard army exactly what the Imperial Guard needs, ranged support!

Tier 1

At tier 1, the first thing you'll notice is that the Lord General has a unique mechanic. Retinues! Instead of going into the battlefield solo, the lord general takes with him two bodyguard stormtroopers, who add their hotshot lasguns to the firefights. Not just that, but the bodyguards will also ensure that the Lord General dies last, and best of all, they can be recruited away from your main base! This makes the Lord General incredibly hard to push away, simply because he continues to bring new bodyguards into the field everytime one dies. However, bear in mind that this will drain your requisition. Each bodyguard has (compared to regular guardsmen) a rather significant cost in requisition. In most cases, it's more than worth the extra cost to keep your Lord General in the field, if only to keep him adding fire to your forces. As you upgrade the Lord General, his retinue will continue to expand, becoming central to his function on the battlefield.

His first weapon option, the granade launcher, equips not just the Lord General, but also his bodyguards with granade launchers. The damage on these things isn't that great, but it's area of effect (AOE) damage and like Chaos granade launchers deals bonus damage to units in buildings, on top of having far greater range than his base guns. Especially against enemy Guard players, heretics with granade launcher spam or Eldar, these things can be highly effective. This wargear also adds an ability to the Lord General in the form of Move! Move! Move! which dramatically increases the movement speed of units around the Lord General. It gives you some good mobility, either for the purpose of moving across the map, chasing enemies or staging a hasty retreat.

At tier 1, there's also two choices of armor for the Lord General, Carapace Armor and Stabilizers. All armor options for the Lord General increase his health by the same amount, so look primarily at the abilities for what you want/need. Carapace Armor grants your Lord General Stand Firm, which makes nearby infantry immune to suppression. It's worth taking if you already know that's what you're gonna face. After all, there's nothing funnier than having a squad of guardsmen with flamers run the gauntlet through a storm of heavy bolter fire to torch that damn devastator squad that thought it was safe! However, if the enemy isn't going to suppress your guys anyway, this is a wasted upgrade, so consider getting it carefully. The Stabilizers armor is more versatile, granting your Lord General a (triggered) weak but long lasting aura that heals nearby units over time. It helps you keep your units healthy and in the fight, but won't stand up against focussed firepower.

Lastly, there's the Sergeant upgrade. Unlike any other commander, the Lord General can upgrade himself with all his accessories, which arrive in the form of an extra body being added to his retinue. This means that all the accessory upgrades available to the Lord Commander do not just grant him special abilities, but also increases his total health and damage output. The price for this, however, is that if the Lord General has already lost his stormtrooper bodyguards, he will start losing members of his retinue as he continues to take damage, and will be forced to buy them back at their full cost! At tier 1, however, he only gets access to the Sergeant. Fairly cheap, though he's armed with only a weak pistol, making his contribution to firefights minimal. Thankfully, he adds another warm body to the Lord General's squad, and has a special passive ability that raises the Lord General's squad health by a juicy 15%. His real benefit comes in the form of his granted ability, Distribute Med-kit. This allows the Lord General to grant the Medi-kit ability to a friendly unit close by (very close by!). This heals the unit for a flat amount per member of that squad, making it more effective with larger squads. It's a great way to keep your units in the field without having to make them go all the way back to the base, or to just heal some damage in the middle of a fight (problem, apothecary?).

Tier 2

Tier 2 brings the Lord General his two remaining weapon options, the Sniper Rifle and the Meltaguns upgrade. Unlike the other two upgrades, the Sniper Rifle will only upgrade the Lord General's own gun. Naturally, this equips the lord general with a sniper rifle, giving him massive range, "sniper" type damage which is awesome against heavy armor (space marines) or units hiding in cover or buildings, as well as the Fire on my target! ability, which dramatically increases the range of the weapons on all your nearby infantry, to the point where they can outrange snipers and heavy weapons! On the other hand, is the Meltaguns upgrade, which upgrades not just the Lord General but also his bodyguards with meltaguns, turning the Lord General into a short-ranged anti-tank unit, though meltaguns are notoriously effective against pretty much anything! It also grants the Lord General the Fight Harder! ability, dramatically increasing the rate of fire of all nearby friendly infantry. With Meltaguns, your Lord General will be far closer to the fight (and therefore, at more risk), but this ability alone makes the added risk more than worth it!

The Lord General also gains access to his final armor upgrade, the Flak Jacket, which grants him the Incoming! ability, decreasing the ranged damage suffered by infantry around the Lord General. It doesn't help at all against enemy melee units, but with this, you'll more than likely outgun everyone else by sheer virtue of the durability of your units.

Lastly, at tier 2, the Lord General can expand his retinue to its fullest, unlocking the Commissar and the Vox Operator. The Commissar is equipped with a close combat weapon and a pistol, both dealing reasonable damage, while also passively increasing the damage of the Lord General's squad, so if you want to expand your Lord General's firepower, he's your go-to guy. He also gives the Lord General the Refractor Field ability, which massively decreases the ranged damage to the Lord General and nearby units. This may seem identical to the Incoming! ability granted by the Flak Jacket, but it's actually far more potent, at the cost of being in a tiny little radius around the Lord General. You can try to bunch up all your units to make maximum use of this ability, but that comes with risks of its own. You have been warned. The Vox Operator adds a lasgun to your squad, which surprisingly doesn't deal as much damage as the Commissar's pistol, but still adds an appreciated amount of extra firepower to the squad. Passively, the Vox Operator also increases the movement speed of the Lord General and his retinue. However, much more amazingly is the ability it grants the Lord Commander. This is the Call Reinforcements ability, which at the cost of 150 requisition, drops a box near your Lord Commander which instantly reinforces all nearby squads completely. Useful both in and out of combat, though not very cost effective.

Common tips:

Put your Lord General on reinforcement overwatch by right-clicking the reinforcements button. This causes the Lord General to automatically reinforce his squad with stormtroopers, allowing you to keep your attention elsewhere.

Do not let the Lord Commander get caught by melee units! While the Lord Commander is very hard to pull down, due to his retinue protecting him, it costs an arm and a leg to buy back any important retinue members that were lost in combat. Even if the Lord General doesn't die himself, it can be a massive drain on your economy to constantly buy back the Sergeant, the Commissar and the Vox Operator.

The Lord General can outgun a lot of other ranged commanders, but only thanks to his retinue. He can win, but it's likely to cost you some bodies. If your Lord General ends up fighting an enemy ranged commander alone, consider whether it's really worth sacrificing the stormtroopers to hold your ground.

The Lord General can only deal with enemy melee units in tier 1 by gunning them down before they get to him! Against some enemies it may be worth investing in Catachan Devils or a Heavy Weapon Squad to prevent them from tearing your guardsmen a new one in melee.

Due to consisting of three bodies, rather than just one, the Lord Commander is a better choice than your standard guardsmen to occupy a building, as there will be less loss of damage output and the squad is slightly less vulnerable to anti-garrison weapons.