Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt

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"I have a reputation, Modile, a reputation as a fair, honest man who treats his soldiers well and supports them in the face of darkness. Potentially, that reputation makes me soft. It seems I understand failure and forgive it. Some, like Kowle, believe me to be a weak commissar, not prepared to take the action my rank demands. Not prepared to enforce field discipline where I see it failing. I am an Imperial commissar. I will enflame the weak, support the wavering, guide the lost. I will be all things to all men who need me. But I will also punish without hesitation the weak, the incompetent, and the treasonous."

– Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts
A better Hero of the Imperium

The GRIMDARK Sharpe to Cain's Flashman. Stars in the series of books written by the God-Like author Dan Abnett about the Tanith First (And Only) Regiment. Nobody knows why he shares his last name with a species of Tyranid. Perhaps he is so goddamn badass that he fought a Hormagaunt three seconds after he was born, tore it in half, and wore its head as a hat. This is a distinct possibility.

Perhaps one of the best characters in the 40k fluff because he acts like a decent person trying his hardest in the bleakest setting possible and not losing hold of his morals or conviction. Lesser authors in the Black Library wish they could make such a well rounded and kick ass character like Gaunt for their books.

Origins of the Tanith First (And Only)[edit]

After Tanith was selected by the Warmaster to create three new regiments, the planet was plunged into a party the likes of which none (save Slaanesh) had ever seen before. The massive party was noticed by a wandering Chaos fleet, whose ass was recently kicked. Angry, the Chaos Armada destroyed most of the planet. Ibram Gaunt then had to make a painful decision: he would take what forces were available and leave the planet, allowing the destruction of Tanith. His troops at first didn't understand why he did this, and resented him for it. Eventually, they forgave him (ok, no not really).

Current Status[edit]

Upon being declared "Lost in the Warp", Gaunt was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lord General and given full military honours. When he showed up after making a 10-year leap into the future from a botched Warp translation, he was given his promotion and ascended to the Sabbat Crusade's high command. In the wake of a crisis of confidence in Warmaster Macaroth's leadership, Gaunt was further promoted to First Lord Executor, essentially Macaroth's second-in-command and de facto heir should the Warmaster be slain. Which is really possible, mind you, given his emaciated hikikomori state.

Items of Significant Importance[edit]

  1. One of the Tanith Guardsmen named Rawne tries to kill Gaunt many times. The first time, Gaunt KO's his ass when there's a demo charge about to go off, and instead of leaving him there or *BLAM*ing his ass he risks his life to carry him out. (Also of note is the fact that later Rawne becomes the de facto second in command and takes over field command while Gaunt goes on a short vacation with the 'friendly' neighborhood torturers.)
  2. Gaunt is one of the only men ever to achieve the rank of Colonel-Commissar giving him EPIC status. (However, his mentor was mentioned to be General-Commissar, making even more EPIC! Actually, he was Commissar-General, which means he was General within the Commissariat. Colonel-Commissar means he is both Imperial Guard Colonel and Commissar at once.)
  3. To further elevate his awesomeness he found an STC that was INTACT but had to be destroyed because it was tainted by Chaos (Motherfuckers!). Everything was alright though, given it was heretical tech to begin with.
  4. Gaunt's favorite weapon is a power sword that CAN SLICE THROUGH ANYTHING!!!!!! Gaunt kills TANKS with IT!!!!!! and even cut down a Chaos Space Marine SINGLE HANDED !!!!(yeah it was a surprise attack but still) - The weapon is the heirloom sword of Heironymo Sondar, the original leader (or one of them) of Vervunhive, the sword is of antique design and probably hails from when the Emperor walked around. Therefore it deserves its AWESOME status. He also has an old bolt pistol that always seems to be running out of ammo, but it's ok because then he just switches to his POWERSWOARD!
  5. Gaunt's trademark item is a Tanith Camo-cloak, which he made himself to better lead his regiment of Scottish Ninja Assassins, making him the only Commissar EVER capable of INFILTRATION. (Actually not only, since Lord Commissars in Codex: IG can also take stealthpants, but the only NAMED.)
  6. He also loves to charge enemies firing double bolt pistols, and fight multiple Chaos Marines at once with nothing but his power sword. He can do this because Gaunt is almost as badass as Ciaphas Cain is (Cain having taken on the same with a chainsword and flashlightpistol, but he certainly hates the experiences like this).
  7. Gaunt led a unit that killed a Giant Battleship-Pyramid-Tank commanded by Heritor Asphodel, one of the supreme generals leading Chaos forces during the crusade, that would've given most Titans a run for their money.
  8. Before setting off to destroy said Giant Battleship-Pyramid-Tank, His daughter's bodyguard got herself shot running straight at a sniper with no armour so maybe it's a good thing she's not around to teach anyone her bad habits. (Pretty sure this guy was thinking about different books and events as if they happened at the same time (Actually happened over a decade apart), charging the tank happened during the siege of Vervunhive whereas the bodyguard doesn't die until 'Warmaster'. In fact, his daughter hadn't even been born when the prior event happened.)
  9. When all the senior Vervunhive commanders were killed, Gaunt was the only ranking military officer left alive to coordinate the defense of an entire hive city under siege by Chaos forces on all sides. For many commanders, this task would be flaming-pants-on-head overwhelming, to say the least, but Gaunt just sighs and resigns himself to spend the rest of the day calling out orders; reorganizing thousands of demoralized soldiers and shattered armor over the vox, and effectively holding off AN ENTIRE Chaos army. We get a glimpse of the strategist that Gaunt could be if Command ever gave him the time of day. After the battle, do Gaunt and Co. get medals of honor and gold statues? A day named after him? A fucking commemorative plaque?? No. Not A Single Fucking Medal Was Given That Day. (But he did get the girl though, right in the command center no less) Of course not they were doing their job, you don't get medal for that! Well at least in the Imperial Guard you don't (although the hivers literally build a statue to the Tanith men, the architect states the statue has nothing to do with Gaunt, whom he never even spoke to. He's also called the People's Hero. So you know). The Tanith are 'allowed' to absorb the remaining Vervunhivers to reinforce their dwindling ranks, and Gaunt's Ghost are again rushed off to yet another battlefield.
  10. Gaunt has never had to BLAM his own troops. (Though he tried to on Aexe Cardinal, before his chief medical officer talked him down.) He has, on several different occasions, BLAMMED troops of other units, including for stealing vital medical supplies. Do note, that even Cain had on occasion BLAMed his own soldiers (although for nothing less than outright treason).
  11. Two THREE FOUR different Inquisitors have tried taking Gaunt on. One ended up MINDFUCKED and the other was kidnapped/recruited by the Eldar, the third turned out to be a Xenos specialist of some kind, and the last ultimately allied with him.
  12. Gaunt has carried more wounded Imperial Guard troops off the field of battle than a medivac Valkyrie. And he's a commissar. Enough said.
  13. Gaunt and Co. were stranded on a Chaos held world for a sizable stretch of time. Gaunt and Co. return to the Imperium untainted. Apparently simply telling the insidious cancer of Chaos to FUCK OFF actually works... as long as you are Colonel Commissar IBRAM FUCKING GAUNT.
  14. Gaunt and Co. are the favored regiment/and have acted as the honor guard of a reborn Living Saint. It's like fucking having an Angel as a best friend in real life!
  15. Gaunt's eyes were seared off by cultists when he was captured once. The asswipe Battlegroup General who sent him and his men on the mission that lead to this felt so guilty that he paid the best techmagi to give Gaunt bionic eyes. Which look like regular eyes but now allow him to see into the infrared spectrum. YES, he can stealth/infiltrate, he has a blade, and a hightech range weapon (bolt pistol). FUCK. YEAH.
  16. Gaunt was an HQ choice in 4th edition, making his men Fearless (and thus not being the big, bad, executing type). His metal mini can still be found on the Games Workshop website (or Ebay), as well as a smattering of other characters from the Tanith 1st.
  17. By taking all accounts in all the novels to be true, he has cut down enough Chaos loving cultists to fill several armies several times over. Seriously the body count done by this man is insane. Kharn would buy him a drink and ask him to join his homies if he could.

Books that include Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt (All by Dan Abnett)[edit]

The Founding

First & Only, Ghostmaker, Necropolis

The Saint

Honour Guard, The Guns of Tanith, Straight Silver, Sabbat Martyr

The Lost

Traitor General, His Last Command, The Armour of Contempt, Only in Death

The Victory

+Blood Pact, Salvation's Reach, Warmaster, Anarch

In the art Gaunt is usually depicted with dark hair even though the books say he's blond. This is probably a nod to how Richard Sharpe has black hair in the books but is played by a blond actor.


Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt[edit]

  • HQ, 150 pts.
  • WS 5 BS 5 S 3 T 3 W 3 I 4 A 3 Ld 10 Sv 5+
  • Composition: 1 Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt
  • Unit Type: Infantry (unique)
  • Wargear: Flak Armour, Bolt Pistol, Sword of Heironymo Sondar (Paragon Blade; see Horus Heresy, Book 1: Betrayal), Camo Cloak, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades
  • Warlord Trait: Tactical Genius
  • Special Rules: Aura of Discipline, Independent Character, Fearless, Stealth, Adamantium Will, Infiltrate, Acute Senses, Voice of Command, Senior Officer


Famous members of the Imperial Guard
Commissars: Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt Commissar Ciaphas Cain
Commissar Holt - Commissar Severina Raine - Commissar Yarrick
Senior Officers: Colonel Greiss - Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken - Knight Commander Pask
Lieutenant-Colonel Mikail Leonid - Lord Castellan Ursarkar E. Creed
Lord Solar Macharius
Junior Officers: Captain Al'Rahem - Commander Kubrik Chenkov
Enlisted Guardsmen: Arden - Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell - Gunner Ferik Jurgen
Mogul Kamir - Nork Deddog - Ollanius Pius - Sergeant Harker
Sergeant Lukas Bastonne - Sly Marbo
From Dawn of War I: Commissar Anton Gebbet - Colonel Carus Brom - General Sturnn
Vance Motherfucking Stubbs - Governor-Militant Lukas Alexander
From Dawn of War II: Commissar Lord Bernn - Lord General Castor - Sergeant Merrick