I like what you're doing with that Guard list, but I can see why your buddy it having a time against it with Sternguard in Drop Pods. How many Pods does he use? I throw two T1 against my CSM buddy, one a 10 man Assault squad with Meltas and one a Fragioso, and he scrambles for a turn but ultimately smacks them down. The key is in deployment when it comes to facing a heavy T1 presence. I play Deathwing, Drop Pods, (now) Grey Knights- anything that lets me come in across the table T1, and they way my buddy deals with it is by bubble wrapping strong counter-attack units with multiple juicy targets that have less ultimate worth to him long term but are still valuable players. Makes me really choose with my Meltas whether to snag a sure First Blood on a Rhino or try for the one clear/one cover shot I have on the front armour of his Vindicator. Don't put any of your tanks in Reserve, they're then useless for at least one turn. Use your troops to garner cover for them and force tough decisions that have decently tempting results for your enemy but still give you the advantage.
So i should put in a deathstrike for example. He either has to go for it or risk having it launch. And unlike him (who doesnt risk his pods any closer than 12 inches to the edge) i love the drift dice and they love me. He drops about 5-6 pods