Difference between revisions of "Imperial Guard"
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*[[Regulations of the Imperial Guard]] Things The Imperial Guard Is No Longer Allowed To Do.
*[[Regulations of the Imperial Guard]] Things The Imperial Guard Is No Longer Allowed To Do.
*[[Lost and the Damned]]
*[[Lost and the Damned]]
* Wargames Atlantic for cheaper alternative models[[https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Wargames_Atlantic#External_Links|Wargames_Atlantic]]
* Wargames Atlanticfor cheaper alternative models[[https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Wargames_Atlantic#External_Links|Wargames_Atlantic]]
Revision as of 14:16, 5 August 2022
"Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood."
"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men."
- – George S. Patton
"When one has two hundred artillery pieces per kilometer of the frontline, he does not report contact with the enemy or ask for whereabouts. He reports successful breakthroughs and asks for further orders."
- – Attributed to Aleksandr Vasilevsky
"Hey guys, they're called Astra Militarum now!"
- – Game Workshop, shortly before everyone proceeded to ignore them.
The Imperial Guard (officially titled the Astra Militarum as of 6th Edition, ‘cause fuck your original name if GW can't trademark it), also known as THE WALL OF GUNS, are the foot soldiers of the Imperium in Warhammer 40,000. They exist only to fight (and die) gloriously in the Emprah's name. Commissars (like Holt and Ciaphas Cain) ensure that they do so regularly, and any cowards or deserters tend to be summarily executed. During the Great Crusade, the Emperor only intended for them to be auxilia for his SPESS MEHRENS (and to man masses of tanks, artillery, and aircraft). After Horus' little tantrum and the breakup of the Legions, trillions upon trillions of humans were drafted to make up for the difference. Although these are, for the most part, mere men and women, they have held the line in the Imperium's wars for 10,000 years. Many consider their dogged perseverance in the face of overwhelming odds to be what makes them so balls-to-the-wall awesome.
Basically, the Imperial Guard is what happens when you remember that quantity has a quality all its own, and that there is no problem that can't be solved via the application of a sufficient level of firepower. While the elite forces of the Imperium gain all the glory, the Imperial Guard wages war on thousands of fronts with or without support. They are the soldiers of Humanity who fight and die in numbers beyond counting.
Without the Imperial Guard, the Imperium could not exist.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Recruitment and Deployment
- 3 Fluff and stuff
- 4 Play Style
- 5 Steel Balls, Then and Now
- 6 Notable Figures of the Imperial Guard
- 7 Main Advantages of Fielding an Imperial Guard Army
- 8 Downsides to being a Guardsman Highly fanciful scenarios that most likely will not occur during your glorious service as a Guardsman
- 9 Memorable Quotations
- 10 A Piece of Writing That Explains the Imperial Guard
- 11 Another piece of writing: Pity the guardsmen
- 12 A Selection of Approved Music for the Imperial Guard
- 13 Notable Imperial Guard Forces
- 14 Imperial Guard forces featured in Black Library novels
- 15 /tg/ Homebrew Guard Forces
- 16 See Also
- 17 External Links
- 18 Gallery
- 19 Navigation
It is worth noting that in a universe where opposing armies include:
- Cults of genetically-engineered killing machines;
- EVIL genetically-engineered killing machines, with a variety of sorcerous powers;
- Barbaric super-fungi that grow in size and number the more you fight them;
- Creepy space elves with psychic powers, incomprehensible technology and a habit of materialising out of nowhere;
- EVIL PIRATE creepy space elves that literally get off on making others suffer, whose creative use of slaves makes an agonising death seem merciful;
- Extra creepy space elf clowns whose motives are obscure even among the rest of the space elves and make it their collective goal to turn mass slaughter into a literal art form;
- Samurai space communists with AI-enhanced battlemechs, infinite firepower and cannibal dinosaurs in tow;
- Endless swarms of screeching, hyper-evolved space bugs that, combined, spew voracious parasites and corrosive acid from more orifices than most forces have bullets;
- Nightmarish hybrid abominations that infest the darkest corners of your world until they breed enough thralls to overwhelm your armies and summon the aforementioned space locusts;
- Extradimensional predators that live to slaughter, corrupt, disease and violate mortal bodies, before tearing out their souls to do it all again, but much slower;
- Martian Illuminati with ancient war machines, a monopoly on modern technology, and religious objections to humans attached to their original limbs;
- Multi-story bipedal mechs bristling with tank-sundering guns from head to man-crushing toe;
- EVIL Multi-story bipedal mechs which can do the same thing;
- nigh-immortal zombie robots that snuff out stars for kicks;
- and Fanatic Warrior Nuns who can heal themselves through prayer;
... the foot soldiers of the Imperial Guard take to the field equipped with nothing but flak armor, glorified laser pointers, a highly variable amount of training, some toilet paper, and a pair of Mars-pattern, titanium-plated balls. In truth, a typical Guardsman's equipment is significantly more effective than the gear fielded by any real-world modern nation. It's just that the threats a Guardsman must face are often incomprehensible in comparison. As such, the Guard makes up the difference with numbers, overwhelming firepower, and sheer nerve.
In many cases the Imperial Guard will function as a sort of galaxy-spanning firefighting force, responding to uprisings, rebellions, and other threats as needed. When a world is threatened by a major invasion, the local PDF is expected use its extensive network of defensive assets to hold the line until external help arrives. In the vast majority of situations, that help will consist of the Imperial Guard. In theory if not always in practice, the arrival of an Imperial Guard army is intended to end any such threats, with or without additional help from specialist formations such as the Space Marines and the Adeptus Mechanicus.
It would be a mistake to assume that the Guard's sole purpose is simply to help the PDF hold out until even more help arrives at some indeterminate point in the future. On the contrary, the Guard's purpose is to end the threat. They are, sometimes quite literally, the cavalry riding to the rescue.
On that note, there's an important detail to remember here: while the Imperial Guard does indeed perform a defensive role, it is also the Imperium's primary ground-based offensive force. When a Crusade is called, it is almost always the Imperial Guard that will provide the vast majority of the Crusade's fighting strength. Depending on the nature of the threat, dozens or even hundreds of regiments will be called up; a fighting strength in the tens of millions would be considered quite ordinary. Vast formations of infantry from varied worlds will be supported by columns of tanks and other armored vehicles, air support, and artillery... very, very large amounts of artillery. The pictures you see in sourcebooks that depict vast numbers of doggedly advancing human soldiers aren't just artistic license- this is actually how many Guard armies prefer to fight, a sheer wall of firepower stretching from horizon to horizon that nothing can stand against, and against which fancy tactical maneuvering means very little. This is why the Imperial Guard has the nickname, "Hammer of the Emperor."
Recruitment and Deployment
Every Imperial world is expected to pay the Imperial Tithe, which is essentially a tax that supports the greater Imperium. This tithe includes the expectation that the world will produce certain goods and resources, that it will comply with Imperial doctrines, and that it will provide a regular levy of soldiers for induction into the Imperial Guard.
The exact amount of soldiery that a world is expected to contribute is based on an arcane formula that even the most wizened member of the Administratum would struggle to fully explain. Nevertheless, contribute each world must, for a Governor who fails to meet the Tithe will find no sympathy, and risks being branded as a renegade. Aside from this, the quality of the soldiers being contributed is not necessarily important. Many worlds take great pride in drawing new Guard regiments from the best and brightest of their PDF, where such foundings are a matter of great pomp and circumstance. Many of these make a point of contributing Guard levies far in excess of their required tithes. On other worlds, prospective recruits will compete with each other (sometimes bloodlessly, sometimes not) for the right to wage the Imperium's wars. On yet others, the tithe will be filled with undesirables and criminals.
While the exact manner in which a new founding is equipped is not standardized either, it is expected that the new formation should be ready and able to fight, and the Governor who neglects this requirement risks drawing the ire of the Administratum. Otherwise, the precise character, fighting style, and preferences of the regiment will of course be colored by the world that it was drawn from.
In some cases that are experiencing an active war zone, such as on Armageddon, new foundings will be deployed directly to theaters on their home world. Most often, however, the Departmento Munitorum will coordinate with the Imperial Navy as to where the regiment goes next. The first stop will often be to a nearby Forge World, where the regiment will receive additional gear, equipment, and vehicles. If they are very lucky, a regiment might even receive one or more super-heavy tanks such as the Baneblade. All the while the regiment will continue training, while its newly assigned Commissars work to stamp out any lingering weakness and disloyalty. Soon enough, the new regiment will find itself deployed in one of the Imperium's endless number of conflicts.
It is important to note that once they are deployed offworld, a Guardsman will never see their home planet again, aside from certain highly rare and unusual exceptions.
A regiment's first taste of combat is often a very difficult crucible, and it is one that many regiments do not survive at all. If it does, then the regiment will continue to be deployed as long as it retains fighting strength. Eventually, a regiment that might once have consisted of thousands of soldiers might be whittled down to only a few hundred survivors, or even down to just a single squad. By then such hard-bitten veterans will often consist of some the toughest and most experienced soldiers that the Imperial Guard has to offer. These survivors are often folded into another regiment where their talents can be transferred to the greener troops. In other cases, two understrength regiments might be combined to form a completely new regiment with a new founding number. In very rare circumstances, a regiment that has fought with distinction through many, many campaigns will be granted the honor of colonizing a newly captured world. For most guardsmen, this distant and highly unlikely outcome is the only hope for a life after service.
Therefore, although the average frontline Guardsman does not have good odds of surviving his first deployment, some do survive, and these veteran soldiers may accumulate decades of experience. They are some of the manliest motherfuckers the Imperium has to offer, capable of putting even the fucking SPESS MEHRENS to shame. Disturbingly, if Imperial Guard tactics advanced from WWI-style warfare (
overuse of artillery (modern militaries make use of artillery spam whenever possible) and mass charges against machine guns and tanks) to modern military strategies (such as taking cover and using air/armor/support, which while many elite regiments often do, there’s so much damn variety you can't really have good quality control), the Imperial Guard could become the most feared army in the whole universe. But NO, that's not grimdark enough! However, do note that while the Imperium is generally unconcerned with individual casualties, and while some commanders do therefore order their men to charge enemy lines with or without heavy armor/artillery support and regardless of terrain, fluff has also noted that incompetent commanders who are wantonly wasteful of Imperial resources tend to be weeded out rather quickly by the Commissariat.
Examples of Guardsmen going above and beyond even this inherent badassery, demonstrating the possession of testicles so massive they should be deployed in battle as a separate unit, are plentiful: Ollanius Pius is one such Guardsman, standing up to fucking Horus himself (depending on whose canon you prefer). Dawn of War sees the Blood Ravens running into a pair of Guardsmen who have held their position, without support, in the middle of a combined Chaos/Ork/Eldar invasion, for more than a week. Dawn of War II has Guardsmen rescued in an earlier mission returning in the finale to provide infantry support while the Blood Ravens launch an attack... on a fucking Tyranid hive. These same guardsmen (led by the ever awesome Sergeant Merrick) SURVIVE the suicidal mission, and fight on for ten more years against the remnants of the Tyranids/Orks/Eldar. A different group of about 72 loyal Guardsmen also managed to hold out for those ten years. In a frozen wasteland. Surrounded by former comrades taken by Nurgle, bands of Black Legion Chaos Marines, and a growing Daemonic incursion.
Fluff-wise it seems that the Guard's most common methods of war are to use lots of heavy weapons, tanks, and artillery to smash the fuck out of the enemy while Guardsmen mop up the shards of their foe while supported by more heavy weapons, special weapons, and Infantry Fighting Vehicles. So, honestly, the combined arms doctrine of the Imperial Guard is really fucking powerful even without considering their numbers are so vast they could just drown you with their own blood and corpses and the paper to write the report on for said casualties would be literally not worth the paper. On top of that, their flak armor (which includes flak shirt and flak pants apparently) actually gives pretty good protection against stub weapons and most other mid-tech small arms. Keep in mind that the Imperial Guard are often fighting other humans such as rebels most of the time, whom nearly always use stubbers and armor inferior to Guard flak armor. When fighting things that make mince-meat of Guardsmen, the Guard tends to utilize concentrations of artillery, air support, tanks, superheavy vehicles, IFVs, and heavy weapons of all kinds to smash the enemy so the infantry merely have to occupy the smouldering crater that once consisted of the enemy's position.
In short... do NOT fuck with the Imperial Guard!
Fluff and stuff
Dan Abnett and the Guard’s latest Codex turned the IG into gods of mechanized warfare, though they still suck compared to 8-foot-tall Daemonic killing machines with chainaxes. To be fair, though, that's like comparing a sedan to a tank. How are you NOT supposed to suck against things that can slice through meter-thick speshul-steel armor like so much cheese?
The cold, hard truth of the matter is that the lowest currency in the Imperium is human life. Whereas the modern day commander would sacrifice expensive equipment (a cruise missile ain't cheap) to save even a single life, in the grim darkness of the far future, emphasis on civilian morale and "leave no man behind" ideals would screw up an already overtaxed bureaucratically fucked Munitorium. Instead, commanders do risk assessment. They're not going to devote resources just to save one lowly grunt if they will expend resources more expensive in return. Although to be fair, commanders who make these decisions know the moral implications of what they're doing while the Imperium treats this as a perfectly normal act.
A bit of maths, if you will. According to one calculation of the frequency of Hive Worlds, there are 32,380 Hive Worlds in the Imperium. The average population of these worlds is around 200 billion each. We put these together and we get 6.476E15 (6,476,000,000,000,000 or 6.476 Quadrillion) people on Hive worlds ALONE. Eventually there would be more human babies than there would be lasguns coming out of the Forge World assembly lines. So now you see why humans are worth so little. But this also means that once they get their ass in gear and onto the battlefield, they ALWAYS win, because they have practically unlimited manpower and resources. Compare it to water bashing against rocks. A few gallons won't do jack, but countless billions of tonnes crashing down on it WILL destroy it in a surprisingly short amount of time. Apply actual tactics, and it becomes even more effective (Do keep in mind, it's not like they commit trillions of troops to one battle. The Imperium frequently has to withdraw, but it's like saying "We lost the battle, BUT NOT THE WAR!").
In fact, it is point-blank stated numerous times that guardsmen are way cheaper than their lasguns, because there are far more Hive Worlds to produce humans than there are Forge Worlds to produce lasguns. And to add more grimdark, the Imperium lost numerous forge worlds and mining worlds during the Time of Ending, so there are even fewer lasguns and cardboard jackets coming from assembly lines. The Death Korps of Krieg have a specific guy who runs around battlefields shooting the wounded and collecting their gear (as well as blood and organs to fix those who still can be saved to fight next day).
Sometimes this creates a disparity with other parts of the setting, as an example, games and art with Hive Gangers make it clear that they can be better equipped and armed than Guardsmen, including varieties of ammunition (such as exploding bullets) and fucking powered exoskeletons and thunder/power weapon equivalents.
Think of the Red Army from the Hollywood movie Enemy at the Gates: Soviet Russia there had a fuckton of soldiers to draw from, but many were not issued spare ammunition or even rifles, and were expected to loot supplies off dead bodies. On an individual level the Germans had the obvious advantage, but send in enough cannon fodder to keep them pinned inside they city, then cut them off, and they eventually cracked.
But what the Imperium does have going for itself is the individual heroism of its protectors. The Guard bears countless heroes, without whom the Imperium would have fallen ages ago. Notable heroes of the Imperial Guard include: Ollanius Pius, Straken, CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED, Lord Solar Macharius, Ciaphas Cain HERO OF THE IMPERIUM, Vance Motherfucking Stubbs, Yarrick, SLY FUCKING MARBO, Colonel-Commissar fething Ibram Gaunt and countless others. These extraordinary men and women inspire the masses around them to truly heroic deeds, and through those deeds, ensure that the Imperium will never falter. Which is kind of weird since the setting is supposed to be one in which everyone is worthless and heroes have no impact.
The Imperial Guard are notorious for their SIGAOD methodology: Shooty Imperial Guard Army Of Doom for the less than nerdy. The basic lasguns are downright pathetic, but can still be effective if used en masse, and we mean en masse. The effect is a little like how cavemen throwing rocks could still be a threat to fully armored knights. It only takes one lucky shot and they don't stop shooting until they get lucky. Scientifically speaking, the lasguns are strong enough that they damage most materials, even Space Marine powered armor. It's just so minor against most foes that it doesn't matter. Until you get a hundred guys shooting at one target. Then it matters pretty damn quickly. Add in special weapons and heavy weapons and indirect fire like mortars all blazing away at an enemy and... yeah. Also, a lasgun used with precise aiming is quite lethal as you can devastate any vulnerabilities of a target easily. For example, the Vostroyan Firstborn are famous for their great precision and it shows in the massive kill-counts they rack-up. Who the fuck knows why that isn't a requirement for Guardsmen but it's probably because some goober in charge didn't notice and so never mentioned it in a memo to who-cares.
The IG has loads of vehicles. Loads of vehicles. Most of them are fairly cheap and pretty good for what you pay for, so it is quite easy for IG armies to have half a dozen vehicles or more in a medium-sized game. There are 4 principal IG ground vehicles of note:
- First is the Chimera, which is the basic IG troop transport. In modern terms, it would be considered an Infantry Fighting Vehicle, not a mere APC. It is not particularly fast, but it is reasonably durable, it has good firepower, it's cheap, and the passengers can still shoot while inside. Bread and butter. It's also used as the chassis for various other vehicles. Overall it's far more useful than the Rhino.
- The second is the iconic Leman Russ Battle Tank. It is in every way a solid, dependable warhorse. Key features include the BFG on the turret (that can potentially fire twice per turn as of 8th Edition), the optional heavy weapon sponsons, and the completely exposed engine in the rear. Apparently, they ran out of badass when they designed it. It is a very tough nut to crack.
- Third is the Sentinel. It's a support walker, and while not generally as effective as the other big 3, it earns its place by virtue of utility. The sentinel can serve as a reliable escort and scout while also providing useful fire support. Featuring a decent variety of weapon options, it is also a cheap way to add Hunter-Killer missiles. It's hard to go wrong by taking a Sentinel.
- The last vehicle of note is the Basilisk. Apparently, some tech-priest decided to take a Chimera, rip out the turret and troop compartment, and bolt on the biggest piece of artillery he could fit on it. The Earthshaker Cannon is far more powerful than even the BFG they stuck on the Leman Russ and has much longer range. No game of WH40k has been played where a target has been out of range of the Basilisk.
The four vehicles above are only a small selection of what the Guard has to offer, but they are all pretty reliable workhorses for most builds and strategies. Most other vehicles are specialized variants of the above, being largely situational units.
Let's not forget the Deathstrike Missile, which GW used to give UNLIMITED RANGE. Players have called up GW stores the next town over and told them that they're dropping a Deathstrike in the middle of whatever battle is closest, and they've accepted. The Range is 200" as of 8th edition, but 16 feet is still ridiculous.
Also of note is 6th Edition's contribution of flyer units. The IG has the most non-apocalypse flyer units in 40k, and while some of them are absolutely useless for anything but flavor, some of them kick all kinds of ass. Triple twin-linked Lascannon, twin-linked Punisher Gatling cannons, or a flying tank-busting mega-bolter kinds of ass to be specific. Rape from above.
In summary, the Imperial Guard wins by having firepower, cannon fodder, and lots of both, transported in a massive variety of METAL BOXES.
Unfortunately for the Guard, though, the Imperial Navy has a bad habit of taking ships that were designed to launch atmospheric craft in support of the Guard (such as Marauders) and instead sticks void combat attack craft inside (such as Furies) them. The result of this is painfully obvious if you're a Guardsman on the ground. Not to say they don't have air support, but that their air support has a presence that is completely at odds with the number of atmospheric fighters and bombers a ship can carry. The Navy literally fits whatever atmospheric fighters and bombers they can into whatever excess space remains after putting their Furies and Starhawks into hangers designed for holding countless Lightnings, Thunderbolts, Marauders, and Avengers, instead. Grimdark? Yep. Thanks to Roboute Guilliman's reforms, the inability of Guard to fight at maximum efficiency (or make it to their destination in time without borrowing civilian transport ships) is kinda the point - it makes revolt much harder, and he didn't care if countless Imperium worlds would go to shit thanks to this, to exclude the possibility of heresy was much more important. Of course, the reason why a third of the Imperial Army rebelled was due to the Imperium violently conquering their worlds. Fortifying and consolidating conquests post-Heresy would have helped prevent rebellion and Administratum control (it was efficient back then) would have prevented the populace from feeling rebellious because their lives would be great. Damaging the Guard only prevented them from doing their job and really, any rebellious Guard regiments would be (and usually are) quickly annihilated by the loyalists surrounding them. Generally, they steal transports and Chaos forges provide plenty of aircraft for them. Defeating the point of weakening the Imperial Guard and actually making rebel regiments stronger.
Enter the Hydra. The only tank designed to take out aircraft. That is BADASS. Screw the navy. Hell, some regiments have a Leman Russ for every infantry squad! Do that with Thunderbolts or Lightnings in addition to the Russ and... yeah, epic stomp.
It's not inaccurate to think of tanks in the Guard as the actual infantrymen and as the footsloggers as supplemental.
So what's the catch? First thing, the Guard are quite good for what you pay for point-for-point, but they aren't exactly renowned for their individual resilience in the same way Astartes or Necrons are: Guardsmen are just T3 and 1W with a measly 5+ Sv provided by their flak vests, so most anti-infantry fire will turn them into red paste. This effectively requires you to bring infantry in bulk; in most other armies (Orks and Tyranids not withstanding), 70 infantry models would be a fairly large amount but for the Guard, that's a paltry figure and you can reasonably expect all of those guys to be dead by the end of round two. Their tanks fare somewhat better - the Leman Russ is their iconic mainstay and has T8 and 12W and a nice +2 Sv so it can shrug off a lot more than the flimsy infantry squads, but lacking any native invuls or FNP or other tricks to mitigate damage, the tanks will still go boom if dedicated anti-tank concentrates hits on them.
As anti-infantry massacre your squads in short order and anti-tank wrecks your vehicles in short order, this encourages a combined-arms approach to play. As in modern military strategy in real life, synergy between different arms working together is vital to your success. The Imperial Guard suffer greatly from good target selection on the enemy's part and it can be tricky to deny their efforts. Sadly this means the Guard are an army where you can still lose even if you do everything right. For example, should an Eldar player snipe your key officer with Rangers, blow up your artillery with Fire Dragons or get some Banshees or Wraithblades in your infantry line, you are in deep... and even one of those things happening can ruin your game in the long run (Eldar due to their extreme specialization are perfectly placed to exploit destroying Imperial Guard keystone units which is why they are traditionally a bad matchup for Guard, but it's not just them, many other armies definitely have the tools to put you in this situation). Ultimately, Guard is an army where you have a unit that can answer any situation but you'll have to get used to the idea of taking casualties and making sacrifices, and get smart at picking which vital unit is least vital to your long-term success.
That, and close combat. Unless you mob the enemy in bodies, buff your infantry to the point where they can be somewhat competent, or use Ogyrns/Bullgyrns, anything remotely optimized for close combat will go through your infantry line like shit through a goose. Guardsmen with proper support can sometimes handle low-tier TEQs like Guardians, Fire Warriors and Termagaunts but then it's a wasted effort - Guardsmen are much better in shooting, and any Eldar or Tau player using these units in melee should really just give up and play a Khorne army.
Steel Balls, Then and Now
In the ancient days of /tg/ before the Great Purge of 2009, the running meme for the Guard was that they had "steel balls", and it was well-deserved. In 4th edition and most editions prior, the Guard were stuck in the awkward position of being the Imperium's first line of defense, but were also obligated to be objectively worse than everyone at everything. The Guard were like the little brothers to the Space Marines, and when the Marines got a tank, the Guard got a hand-me-down tank that used to be a tractor. This constant relegation, coupled with the Guard's system of shooting anyone who backed down from a fight, gained them a reputation as being patently badass against all odds. Everyone was a bully to them, and yet they stood up tall and spat in every bully's face!
But in 5th edition, Robin Cruddace took the helm for writing the Imperial Guard, and since it was his personal army and these were the days of "Spiritual Liege" writing, the Guard have shaped into bullies themselves. Since that time, the Guard have been able to field some of the most devastating weapons the game has to offer, with the largest armored battalions, to create some of the most frustrating meta environments possible. Tanks variants were also introduced that allowed the Leman Russ to escape the thumb of the Space Marines, so the "little brother" stigma came to a close. In fact it's now treated as a major crunch advantage to have access to some of the Guard's armory and design structure, and any competitive list will take the Guard meta into consideration. It's a foregone conclusion that they'll be in the upper tiers of play.
While it is logical that Space Marines would become an auxiliary to the Guard given the lore, and their sheer numbers set victory by attrition to be assured in the long run, the factions that would rival them based on the stories haven't held up well on the table. Orkz, the most militant and numerous combatants in the galaxy, have spent many long years suffering from poor accuracy and inane tactical pigeon-holes. It was, for example, standard procedure for Ork players to kill tanks by punching them because it's easier to have Orkz run after a moving vehicle than it is to get Tank Bustaz to shoot straight. As for Tyranids, the other race beyond numbers - Cruddace was allowed to write their codex and they paid dearly for it. For the better part of a decade, the bugs have also been using limited options to jury-rig solutions to basic problems that appear in every conventional 40k game.
Over time, people quit talking about how "badass" the Guard were. They aren't really underdogs in lore or crunch, and it's difficult to think of them as "bold" when you watch a Guard player table your army in a single round of shooting. If anything, it's the Orkz and everyone else who are brave as all hell for standing up to the bastards, or too stupid to stop, or both. Although, if you became a Guardsman you’d probably go insane quickly from the horrific space monsters and daemonic shit. So, still balls of steel. And their kit and tanks are so damn cool.
Notable Figures of the Imperial Guard
- Ciaphas Cain - HERO OF THE IMPERIUM (Charming Commissar in the Harry Flashman/Edmund Blackadder tradition.)
Colonel-Commissar Lord Militant CommanderFirst Lord Executor Militant Ibram Gaunt - (Rambo + Sharpe + 40,000 king of awesome) Main protagonist of Gaunt's Ghosts, and a REAL hero of the Imperium, unjustly doomed to lowly obscurity.
- Commissar Yarrick - Old one-eye. Saviour of Armageddon, twice. Known for having an Ork Klaw on his arm, having a personal Baneblade, and a bizarre relationship with the ork warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.
- Commissar Holt - Awesome cinematics are awesome, from Warhammer 40,000: Final Liberation. Don't you dare to simply call him Holt. *BLAM*
- Commissar Dan - "But Commissar Dan says we're on a blaze for glory run!" "Commissar Dan is a maniac! Never listen to anything he says." Also canon thanks to FFG.
- Commissar Fuklaw - Currently in service with the Angry Marines.
- Commissar Raege - Currently trolling Space Marines.
- General Sturnn - Manly damn old son of a bitch, from Dawn of War: Winter Assault. Struggles with grammar because of the grit in his teeth.
- Lord General Castor - Sporting a manly mustache and known for having a trophy room full of Tyranid heads.
- Ollanius Pius - The catalyst for the Emperor finally erasing Horus out of existence. (Erased from canon at one point, later restored, and as of the Horus Heresy book series the fluff for him is a bit complicated, but he's still awesome in his own way.)
- Vance Motherfucking Stubbs - Another manly bastard,
famous for "losing" a hundred Baneblades.*BLAM*LIES AND CHAOS PROPAGANDA!!! There is nothing written about the Baneblades being lost.
- Colonel "I ate a Miral landshark for breakfast" Straken - Yet another manly fucker and another solid contender for biggest balls in the Imperial Guard.
- Knight Commander Pask - Rain man in 40k. An autistic Leman Russ tank ace that has destroyed Titans and Gargants. With a Leman Russ. He somehow manages to wreck his tank in every battle, always getting a new one and renaming it "hand of steel." He's managed to claw his way out of hundreds of burning wrecks somehow.
- Colonel Greiss - Straken's former commander and proof that the manliest fuckers the Imperial Guard have aren't necessarily the biggest.
- Lord Castellan Usarkar E. Creed - Famous for outflanking enemies with Titans. Must have been the work of some sort of tactical geniu-CREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED!!!
- Merrick - Tough bastard who survived a Tyranid Invasion, a Chaos uprising, ten years of nonstop combat, and putting a gun to his superior's head. Also fucking strong, since he can carry an entire heavy weapons setup on his own.
- Sly Marbo - ...by time you have read this... you are already dead...
Gone, just like Creed's ability to scout titans, because GW hates awesome things.He's baaaaaaack...
- Doom Marine - because, why the hell not?
- Engineseers - All of them. Want to repair your own tank, do you? HERE'S THE FUCKING MANUAL. By the way, it's Heresy to do it yourself.
- Lord Commander Solar Macharius - A Brilliant tactician who Gets Shit Done (in fluff) and the most useless command choice from the Second Edition Codex: Imperial Guard who would habitually screw up your entire battle plan since he rolled for his strategy rating on a D6 (which decided who got the first turn) and 4-6 would stop you firing your army-fucking pre-battle barrage. On a 6 you also had to put everything you had in reserve on the table. He also had no model and the fluff gave no idea what he looked like. IMPROVED IN 3RD ED WHEN HE GOT BETTER RULES AND A MODEL: Baseline stats are: WS D3+2, BS4, S3, T3, W4, I4, A D3+1, LD10
- Because he is slow in his old age, he has an initiative of 4, which is pretty bad, but he can potentially have four attacks with a mastercrafted power weapon at a WS of 5. He's still too wild of a character to use in a serious game, so save him for your fuck-around games, or Apocalypse.
- In conclusion, he has a terrible crunch but have a ridiculously awesome fluff being as the most successful Warmaster ever existed since the Great Crusade
- Colonel Schaeffer - The craziest, malicious, heinous and downright evil imperial guard officer to ever exist. Most other officers are either incompetent when battlefield tactics are concerned or egocentric to the point of believing nothing else around them has a pulse, ultimately resulting in the average footslogger having such a brief lifespan. Colonel Schaeffer on the other hand, intends to make those under his command suffer in the most grueling, painful and surprisingly productive way possible. He is there along with them too.
- Colonel Jurten - Nuked the living shit out of his own planet, 'cuz Krieg ain't belonging to no one but the Big E. Then inhabited it solely with clones, mostly of himself.
- Commander Kubrik Chenkov "Now see here comrade, is all for great glory of great Stalin empero- Нет! Вернись, свинья! *BLAM* Essentially a stereotypical Soviet General IN SPESS. Known for being the most famous user of the "send in the next wave" tactic, wherein a squad of 50 conscript guardsman are sent into a minefield to clear it by triggering them and another 50 are sent in immediately when they all inevitably die. The biggest waste of flesh the Imperial Guard will likely ever see, he's only survived by dint of never running out of soldiers and somehow clawing together victories. Emperor help Chenkov's ass if he meets Ibram Gaunt, Ciaphas Cain or Vance Motherfuckin Stubbs as he will most likely end up in the Penal Legions if they hear how that idiot spends his men like autogun bullets. Heck its a surprise that no other Imperial Guard leader or commander above Chenkov has shanked his ass yet. His only redeeming factor is that he considers his life no more important that anyone else's and leads his men from the front.
Main Advantages of Fielding an Imperial Guard Army
- Shit loads of men to throw around the battlefield
- LEMAN RUSSES
- Titans acting as scouts.
- Reasonable prices for vehicles. Sorta.
- Tank Squadrons.
- The first and best Flak Tank.
- Loyal soldiers that can and will hold the line to the bitter end.
- Commissar Yarrick
- Cool looking models and plenty of variety to choose from.
- Standard issue adamantium balls.
- YOU COULD NOT POSSIBLY FORGET THAT YOUR GUYS FIELD THE BEST TANKS OF THE GAME, RIGHT?
- VANQUISHERS, FUCK YOU BLUE SKINNED PANZIES
- Did we forget to mention that all units have standard issue balls of steel? Except for Yarrick. He has adamantium balls. And that guy in the cardboard box.
He has Power Balls.(No one has ever been able to confirm what kind of balls he has (EXCEPT FOR YO MAMA! OOOOOH!) no one fucks with Sly is any form of the word and lives to tell the tale) [Your dudes are basically this guy.]
Downsides to being a Guardsman Highly fanciful scenarios that most likely will not occur during your glorious service as a Guardsman
While your local propaganda might say that being in the guard is the most honorable thing you could ever get into, and it is! Here is a small list of things that will very likely never happen to you and are entirely preventable with forethought, your trusty lasgun, and endless faith in the Emperor:
- You will die in the line of duty and no-one but your family and friends will remember you unless you've done something that only a Space Marine could do in combat. Anyone can do it!
- You're expendable in every sense of the word. Freedom isn't free and you're the currency that pays for it!
- Your Commissar might execute you to make your friends fight harder. You deserved it.
- Your Commissar might execute your friends to make you fight harder. They deserved it.
- Unless you're in a special forces division like the Kasrkin, you're really just a meatshield in large scale assaults. A glorious, spiffy looking meatshield!
- "See how great this is? Your very own laser gun!" Too bad it's a bad joke compared to everyone else's guns. You're just using it wrong.
- You can't even die when you want to. You don't want to be a quitter, do you?
- You might be: mutilated, disemboweled, eaten alive, chopped into meat chunks by a rusty slab of metal, disassembled into your component atoms, sacrificed to the Chaos Gods, left for dead, tortured for fun by xenos, mutants, heretics and zealots, stuffed with shurikens and lasers better than yours, or blasted by high-power rounds from miles away. But you'll earn the eternal gratitude of the Emperor!
- You will be sent into hopeless situations and your superiors expect you to fight without retreating or showing cowardice. Just do it, no one likes a crybaby!
- You may be used as mine clearance. By being marched through the minefield. That's right boys, you can teach those dastardly mines who's boss by blowing them up!
- Even if after losing your entire regiment, watching your last-minute friends die horrendous deaths, and generally do the most gruesome work to win the day; the minute Space Marines come crashing down from the sky; They'll take all the credit for it, even if the Marines themselves attribute the win to you. They deserve it.
- Those same Space Marines might bomb you and the civilians you're trying to save into mulch because you're too weak to be worth rescuing. You deserve it, weakling.
- You will be taken from your home planet and dropped on the other side of the universe to fight in a war you didn't know existed. Think of the interesting people you'll meet, and then subsequently possibly kill!
- You will NEVER see your home planet again unless you are stationed there. In which case it is likely under siege by yet another one of the Imperium's foes, and will likely remain so for the remainder of your short life. Think of the interesting places you'll see, and then subsequently blow up!
- 5 Million of you dying under a four hour assault by orks, is considered a flawless victory by Segmentum Command (Then again that would likely be either a very large ork warband or a WAAAGH!, so GOOD JOB!). Better than 5 million and one, am I right?
- If you fight along side Grey Knights, you will be *BLAMMED*, or mindfucked and lobotomized, after the battle in the interest of secrecy. Grey Knights don't exist, that's silly.
- Hell, just fighting Chaos has a slight chance of you getting disposed of after the battle because the Inquisitor investigating your regiment thinks that you may be a slight, bit, tad tainted. You wouldn't want to spread that taint would you?
- Even when your army are the only ones that still uses combined arms warfare, your army still sucks, since it's routinely losing entire brigades (complete with Armor vehicles and aircraft) to any single bog-standard Space Marine and/or xeno mook. But not you! Your buddies and you can definitely take 'em!
- God forbid you dare complain. Fucking Commissars. Morale must be maintained!
- "Enemies of the Imperium, hear me. You have come here to die. The Immortal Emperor is with us and we are invincible. His soldiers will strike you down, his war machines will crush you under their treads, his mighty guns will bring the very sky crashing down upon you. You cannot win. The Emperor has given us his greatest weapon to wield. So make yourselves ready. We are The First Kronus Regiment, and today is our victory day!" - Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander
- "The meaning of victory is not to merely defeat your enemy but to destroy him, to completely eradicate him from living memory, to leave no remnant of his endeavours, to crush his achievement and remove all record of his very existence. From that defeat there is no recovery. That is the meaning of victory." - Lord Solar Macharius
- "What is the strongest weapon of mankind? The god-machines of the Adeptus Mechanicus? No! The Astartes Legions? No! The tank? The lasgun? The fist? Not at all! Courage and courage alone stands above them all!" - Lord Solar Macharius
- "Though our tanks and artillery are mighty, it is the vast ranks of Imperial Guardsmen that shall trample the enemy to dust - let them come" - Creed
- "I have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialized drop troops, stealthers, mechanised formations, armoured companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool who stands before me, for I shall not." - Warmaster Demetrius
- "The enemies of mankind may employ dark sciences or alien weapons beyond Humanity's ken, but such deviance comes to naught in the face of honest human intolerance backed by a sufficient number of guns."
-DRIVE ME CLOSER! I want to hit them with my sword! (originally a meme that started from a picture of a Commissar standing up in a tank hatch brandishing his sword, the phrase became so popular it is one of Commissar Lord Bernn's in campaign/skirmish/multiplayer lines when he gets in a Chimera in Dawn of War II, Retribution)
- "Look at me. Look at me! This is home now, Trooper! This is the zone! It doesn't like you, but by the Throne, it's where you are! The Emperor wants you, boy! Did no one ever tell you that? The Emperor wants you to make his glory for him! And if you're scared, I'm terrified. The archenemy is no playmate. You're going to see things, and be expected to do things your poor mother would have a fit at. But the Emperor expects, and the Emperor protects, all of us, even you. Especially you - I promise you that." - Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
- "Pain is temporary, Honour is forever" - Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
- "You're a fearsome warrior! Act like it!" - General Castor
- "To each of us falls a task, and all the Emperor requires of us Guardsmen is that we stand the line, and we die fighting. It is what we do best: We die standing." - General Sturnn, Dawn of War: Winter Assault
- "Only in death does duty end" - Sturnn
- "All right men! TIME TO WAGE TO WAR!" - Sturnn
- "A true servant never yields to doubt" - General Vance Stubbs
- "Remember, we have more numbers men!" - sergeant in skirmish/multiplayer line from Dawn of War II Retribution
- "Let's see them fight ALL of us!" Guardsman, Dawn of War: Soulstorm
- "For each one of us that falls, 10 more will take its place!" Guardsman, Dawn of War: Soulstorm
- "We died so that others may live." - Unknown Brimlock Dragoon
- "Infantry wins firefights, tanks win battles, artillery wins wars." - Tactica Imperialis
- "A Guardsman's LIFE is to die. My job has always been to send them where they CAN die. I'm not afraid to spend men, but I never waste them!" - General Castor
- "Your foe is well equipped, well-trained, battle-hardened. He believes his gods are on his side. Let him believe what he will. We have the tanks on ours." - Colonel Joachim Pfeiff, Krieg 14th Armoured Regiment
- "A good general does not lead an army to destruction just because he knows it will follow." - The Tactica Imperialis
- "Let my epitaph be this; I was born nameless and abandoned in the gutter of a sunless pit, but I have died a conqueror of worlds." - Reputed last words of Lord Militant Erais Slaithe
- "Peace is not in my vocabulary." - Commander Jarra Mordiker of the 13th/5th support regiment
- "A good soldier obeys without question. A good officer commands without doubt." - Tactica Imperialis
A Piece of Writing That Explains the Imperial Guard
At the end of the day, though he's been ferried through hell on a ship that's ten thousand years old to some godforsaken, war-torn rock; though he deployed from high orbit with nothing but a grav chute; though he is one of ten million men and women snatched from his homeworld to fight a war he barely understands; though he has been given a weapon that fires small suns and may annihilate him as he fires because the knowledge of how it functions has been lost; though his company is supported by tractor-tanks that run on anything you can burn; though he wages war against a devouring hivemind, ravenous demons and hordes of hyper-advanced aliens with strange technologies and sorceries he never dreamed existed; no one will remember his sacrifice, there will be no records of his deeds, no glorious parades in his honor, and no remembrance of his name. All he will earn is a shallow, unmarked grave on a forgotten world untold light years from home.
Yet for all this thankless sacrifice a Guardsman is a man, just like you. He has no millennia-old genetic engineering, no prophetic leader, no miracles of faith. He has his lasgun, his orders, and those beside him. He is an Imperial Guardsman.
Another piece of writing: Pity the guardsmen
Pity the Guardsman...
A weak sack of flesh destined to die for a dead god that never cared, he spends his pitiful, brief life, alone in his foxhole with nothing to keep him company, or to keep him safe, than the cheapest, most disposable of equipment. Perhaps the glow from his lasgun barrel keeps him warm at night.
Me? As a servant of the Powers I enjoy the delights of all this world and the warp has to offer. Power, it courses through my veins. The gifts of the Chaos Gods will soon overtake me, and one day I may even ascend. What has the Guardsman to look forward to but a grim life, and if he is lucky perhaps he will feel nothing as my axe sends his soul to Khorne.
He lives for a corpse god, and he shall join his god, as a corpse. I shall spare a half second to think of him and his kind. Then, I shall only laugh. Hail Chaos!
You would laugh monster, But let me remind you.
Within that weak sack of meat and bone, uncared for by his god and wept for by none, beats a heart. A human heart, that carries with it the strength and courage of all mankind. Within that sack of meat is ensconced the hope, the will, and the fury of every man, woman, and child from every corner of the Imperium. Within that weak sack of meat, festooned in thin armour and weapons only powerful in numbers, beats the heart of a man. And for ten thousand years, the hearts of men have beaten, strongly, in defiance of your so called "powers". For ten thousand years, the hearts of men have stood united against a galaxy that despises them for no reason save that they had the audacity not to lay down and die. For ten thousand years, your Black Crusades have been pushed back, beaten down and made a mockery of, by weak sacks of flesh with cheap weapons and disposable equipment.
For that weak sack of flesh that you so gleefully mock is no super soldier, no immortal warrior, no creature cursed by Chaos like you. He is a man, an Imperial Guardsman drawn from some forgotten corner of the Imperium to fight for his species and for the safety of the people he loves. He is a factory worker, a farmer, a storekeeper, a father, a brother, a son, a mere man. And against creatures like you, teeming and numberless, powered by the very will of thirsting gods... he holds the line. He has held the line for ten thousand Years.
So what's your excuse, monster?
And in 3d animated version for extra pleasure the guardsmen can finally get the recognition he deserves.
A Selection of Approved Music for the Imperial Guard
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmX1NlxYt_k - Imperial Guard in a nutshell
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWBoMWZJkeI - (none of that 'mercan shite)(It's pronounced 'Murican)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxapTnODhCs - A marching song that most Training worlds use to this day.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJNz2QgSNsk - Standard cadence song sung by veteran units.
- https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n7hHlh2IusY - Commonly sung by Trench and siege regiments, thought to be about an ancient civil war
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjvKZHJeayg - Rumored to be used by Praetorian Guard Regiments
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRIAw6LkqlE - Again, a rumored anthem.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5NzAksjfDI - Wildly popular Catachan song, most notable for being sung aboard transports.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS1lBID2Mtw - Popular parade piece for the Phantine Air Corps
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9fSEdZIM08 - March of the Death Korps of Krieg
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWgsdexkv18 - Harakoni Warhawks are sometimes required to memorize the lyrics as part of their training.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKT7qxk9-pw - A campfire song often heard from Drookian Fen Guard encampments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26cr_rBQu74&list=- A traditional folk/drinking song of the Vostroyan Light Armor and Mounted regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLV4_xaYynY - Traditional Catachan folk song. Catachan Guardsmen are sometimes heard either humming, warbling or whistling this song while on Guard duty.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V92OBNsQgxU - This is song is inevitably played over loudspeakers whenever there are two or more Valkyries entering the battlefield.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVcD1gW-cQE - This song begun to resurface throughout Valhallan Armored Regiments after a few joint missions with Knight Commander Pask's Cadian 423rd Armoured Regiment.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1uGm_dIqBI - Quite popular among Vostroyan artillery regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrJAwCBbnuc- Often sung by storm troopers during risky and/or frontal assaults on enemy forward positions or leading massive charges.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umzRoqtWvrA- Sometimes heard while the Drookian Fen Guard are on the march.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YsMCqgZPKE- Heard when the Drookian Fen Guard are in battle.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6MgTQ-56P0- Ballad of the Imperial Guardsman
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhqWHIq-aZw- Undisputed Anthem of the Imperial Guard.
Notable Imperial Guard Forces
Because GW was too lazy to create an original themed Imperial Guard army, they basically used RL armies as a base for them, gave them a little touch of grimdark, assorted amounts of tempered ceramite balls and placed them... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE!
- Cadian Shock Troops: (Resettled after Cadia's fall) Generic occidental army/Colonial Marines/Mobile Infantry clones... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! FOR IMPERIUM AND EMPEROR! CADIA STANDS!
- Catachan Jungle Fighters: Vietnam War Americans (with Australians, British and Canadians)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! GOOD MORNING CATACHAN!
- Tallarn Desert Raiders: Lawrence of Arabia's Raiders (or Mujihadeen)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! الإمبراطور أكبر!
- Armageddon Steel Legion: Wehrmacht mechanized divisions... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! FÜR DEN IMPERATOR, FEUER FREI!
- Valhallan Ice Warriors: World War II Soviet Red Army... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! ЗА РОДИНУ! ЗА ИМПЕРАТОРА! НИ ШАГУ НАЗАД!
- Mordian Iron Guard: Napoleonic Prussians (spiffing blue uniforms, iron hard discipline and ranked fire)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! GOTT KAISER MIT UNS!
- Death Korps of Krieg: WWI's Western Front (both sides), offensive side... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Now that we're in space, imagine what the Clone Army in Star Wars might be if Lucas liked grimdark as much as he liked CGI and revising the original trilogy.
- Gilead Gravediggers: WWI's Western Front (both sides), defensive side... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! POUR L'EMPEREUR, ON NE PASSE PAS! The less grimdark and even more trench-loving cousins of the Kriegers.
- Vostroyan Firstborn: Cossacks... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! YOU WILL NOT MAKE SUBJECTS OF IMPERIAL SONS, FUCK YOUR MOTHER!
- Elysian Drop Troops: French paratroopers... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! QUI OSE GAGNE! POUR L'EMPEREUR! (Taros Campaign=Dien Bien Phu or Operation Market Garden)
- Dieprian Mountain Men: World War II Italian Army Alpini Corps... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! NESSUNA MONTAGNA È TROPPO ALTA PER NOI, PER L'IMPERATORE!
- Harakoni Warhawks: American paratroopers... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! GREEN LIGHT!!! LET'S GO!
- Tanith First (And Only): Roman-era Celts... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! DWI'N OFN, OND DILYNWCH FI!
- Attilan Rough Riders:
MongolsHuns... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! (Yes, again.)
- Savlar Chem Dogs: Post-apocalyptic raiders (and a bit of the Vietnam War tunnel rats)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! They rule Bartertown, get out of here guardsman.
- Terrax Guard: World War II Soviet Commissars (This is essentially a Commissar Regiment with extra steps)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! ТОЛЬКО ВЕРНЫЙ ВЫИГРЫВАЕТ ДЕНЬ!
- Drookian Fen Guard: Anglo-Scottish border reivers... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! A GOT NAE PANTS ON UNDER MA KILT SO A KIN DRAPE MA BALLS ON YER FACE WHILE YE CHOKE ON YER OWN BLOOD, YE NINNY LITTLE WANKER!!
- Praetorian Guard: Victorian British Army... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! PRAETORIANS NEVER YIELD! (Ever seen the movie Zulu? Like that, but against Orks. And yes that is a bit racist when you stop and think about it but oh well, just give your officer darker skin tone, not like anyone who isn't a major That Guy would care about that in real life.)
- Kanak Skull Takers: Cavemen (with some Apache)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! ME TARZAN, YOU DEAD!!
- Brontian Longknives: Australian Crocodile Dundee swordsmen (That's not a knife. THAT'S a knife!)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Guns? Too modern to my taste.
- Phantine Air Corps: Battle of Britain RAF... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! FLIP OVER ON HIS BETTY HARPER AND CATCH HIS CAN IN THE VERTI!!
- Phantine Skyborne: British SAS... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Who dares, wins.
- Scintillan Fusiliers: 18th century French aristocrats... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! QU'ILS MANGENT DE LA BRIOCHE!! Likely doomed if their Commissars get an STC for a portable guillotine.
- Ventrillian Nobles: 16th century Spanish conquistadors (with some WHFB Tileans)... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! POR VENTRILLIA, EL IMPERIO Y EL EMPERADOR!!!
- Maccabian Janissaries: Ottoman Empire's Elite Corps... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! AMINA KOYAYIM!!! Nobody cared who they were until they put on the masks.
- Indigan Praefects: Monster Hunters... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Certified Imperium Beast and Pest Control.
- Jopall Indentured Guard: Corporate Debt Bondaged Soldiers... IIIIINNNN SPAAACE! FOR PROFI-err I mean, FOR THE EMPEROR!!!
- Athonian Tunnel Rats: Vietnam War Tunnel Rats (and a bit of Post-Apocalyptic raider flavor... this feels familiar)... IIIIINNN SPAAAACE!
- Solar Auxilia: The first iteration of the Imperial Guard. Significantly better equipped than their latter-day counterparts.
With such a large and diverse collection of units in the Imperial Guard that puts even the Space Marine armies to shame, you'd think that you'd have plenty of options for fielding an army, right? Well, I've got some bad news for you: Realistically, you can only field Cadians and Catachans in large numbers, as well as the Death Korps
and Elysians if you're willing to pay Forge World prices. As for everyone else? Entirely discontinued (or never made in the first place), with the sole exception of the base Steel Legion infantry squad, and most of them were never made in plastic, so good luck trying to get custom loadouts. Yes, some units like the Attilans or Harakoni may seem too out there to have broad appeal, but you'd think at least the Steel Legion would get more support, what with their intimate involvement in Armageddon, one of 7th Edition's Warzone settings (or it could be a scam to make you pay FW prices as their models look pretty similar to death korps).
GW are at least remaking Gaunt's Ghosts in plastic, though six named characters is hardly enough to make a full Tanith army. There are also some people who can cover your needs for legally-distinct space army men in a variety of flavors.
Imperial Guard forces featured in Black Library novels
The writers from Black Library have also created some armies for Black Library novels, and while some of them only appear in one novel or short story they may be worth mentioned as a great source of custom Imperial Guard armies:
- Arkhan Confederates, Civil War American Regiments... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Featured in the extremely grimdark novel Fire Caste, their name seems to be a reference both to the state of Arkansas and H.P. Lovecraft's haunted city of Arkham (also their homeplanet is Providence, so yeah), they just came out of a civil war between loyalists and rebels, with their average troopers getting the slang of "greybacks", their culture is akin to America's 19th century with a bit of northern barbarian for some measure, while the Adeptus Mechanicus have enforced Mars dogma Arkhan nobles still have a tendency to tweak and build their own machines as a form of Omnissiah worship, which have resulted in jumpack sentinels and the Zouaves clockwork power-armoured elite soldiers, which are capable to stand their ground against Tau battlesuits (progress!), also their psykers usually come with a northern tribesman guardian who is tasked to chop the psyker's head in case it gets perils of the warp.
- Roane Deepers, ANZAC... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! Featured in Ghostmakers and Necropolis by Dan Abnett, they fought with the Tanith First (And Only) during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade on Vervunhive. Light infantry and poorly equipped, courtesy of their homeworld being far down the Departmento Munitorum's list, they come with a bad reputation of being lazy with warfare and training approach. However, when lasers and bullets start whistling around, they are tenacious fighters. They suffered heavy casualties against the much better equipped Blood Pact. Their uniforms are made of mustard color fatigues, flak armor and a netted helmet.
- Vitrian Dragoons, ancient Babylonians... IIIIIINNN SPAAAACE! with a bit of Ottoman Empire. Another regiment featured in Dan Abnett's novels. Shock infantry. Wear carapace armour made from a glassy metal from their home world. They also have their own codex which tells them tactical situations and how to react in combat scenarios.
Here are some of the regiments spawned by /tg/.
- Cendran Abolishers: Pyromaniacs who eat the burnt flesh of their enemies.
- Darmine Marshalls: Elite sharpshooters supported by huge amounts of explosive collar-fitted penal troopers.
- Onóir First and Foremost: Heavy troopers who use an unholy amount of Valkyries and flamethrowers
- Ferdain Mustangs: Cavalry regiment that use genetically tailored horses that are practically heavy armour.
- Sauristoni Ghostchasers: Renowned scouts and trackers who are experts on Eldar.
- 1st Membranes: A regiment made almost entirely of psykers from a black ship that crashed on a forge world.
- Arianius Divided Regiments: Regiments are segregated along gender lines. Men are slicey women are shooty.
- Kandamii Crabhunters: A regiment made up of Augmented soldiers who specialize in Oceanic and Aerial warfare.
- New Terran Rangers: Or (NTR) for short. Are a group of
Slaaneshi cultistI mean totally loyal Guard that all others should aspire to be. Others should stride to be as heroic as them.
- Unbreakable Tritons: A rigorous and disciplined regiment, specializing in aquatic/amphibious, and naval combat.
- Terran Knights: Elite regiments recruited exclusively from Terra. As a result they have some of the best equipment in the Imperium.
- 2478th Penal Legion, "Hell Harlots": All-female penal legion close combat drop troops made up entirely of the same religious prison gang.
- Generian 99th Medium Infantry: The original regiment of the All Guardsmen Party spawning some of the most dangerous, heretical, yet pragmatic acolytes in the entire inquisition.
- Hua Yuan Exterminators: Tyranid hunters and Hive warfare Specialists that use unique 'Color And Mayhem' tactics to disorient and daze in the cramped not!Honk Kong they're from. By far the most fleshed out /tg/ regiment to date.
- Franchfarran Legion: One of the stupidest ideas to come out of thinking about 40k. Beats the Benveadig Militia though...
- The Varkhese Legionnaires: Heroes of the Siege of Varkhat and the infamous mechanised force used by the Mechanicus in its recent terraforming endevours.
- Argo Brigade: Regiment of brutally effective counterinsurgency operators who really, really enjoy crucifying dissidents, dissident sympathizers, and xenos upside down and/or sideways.
- The Karthak Raiders: Purple-clad Cadians with names like Kinmar, Kinfey and Kinross. There's a short story about them coming soon.
- Clavessa Bush Brigade: Some poor sods who are posted in-orbit on the most parasitic death-world planet in the universe. EVERYTHING is a parasite here. It also has DEATH BEES. And the worst thing is, the enemies of the Imperium KEEP INVADING this place for some stupid reason (it says everything when the Orks are the only ones with ACTUALLY sensible, rational and understandable reasons to keep coming back to attack this shithole)
- Void Trekkers: Galaxy Quest meets the grim darkness of 40k.
- Imperial Guard Regiment Creation Tables
- Imperial Guard Tactics in-game.
- Hellhound Tank
- Basilisk Artillery Gun
- Leman Russ Battle Tank
- Only War - The official Tabletop RPG of the Guard!
-  - The Imperial Guard before they became the Astra Militarum of today, The awesome looking SOLAR AUXILIA! Thank the Emperor for Forge World.
- Regulations of the Imperial Guard Things The Imperial Guard Is No Longer Allowed To Do.
- Lost and the Damned
- Wargames Atlantic for cheaper alternative models[]
What the Jokaero should have been.
|This article contains PROMOTIONS! Don't say we didn't warn you.|
|Playable Factions in Warhammer 40,000|
|Imperium:||AdMech:||Adeptus Mechanicus - Mechanicus Knights|
|Army:||Imperial Guard - Imperial Knights - Imperial Navy - Militarum Tempestus - Space Marines|
|Inquisition:||Inquisition - Sisters of Battle - Deathwatch - Grey Knights|
|Other:||Adeptus Custodes - Adeptus Ministorum - Death Cults - Officio Assassinorum - Sisters of Silence|
|Chaos:||Chaos Daemons - Chaos Space Marines - Lost and the Damned - Chaos Knights|
|Xenos:||Aeldari:||Dark Eldar - Eldar - Eldar Corsairs - Harlequins - Ynnari|
|Tyranids:||Genestealer Cults - Tyranids|
|Others:||Necrons - Orks - Tau - Leagues of Votann|