"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 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), since the average Guardsman is only capable of drawing enemy fire and shining a flashlight at his enemies (although much more fortunate Guardsmen get to drive the tanks and other armored vehicles fielded by the IG, which proceed to blow their enemies into little chunks from very long ways away); but after Horus' little tantrum and the breakup of the Legions, trillions upon trillions of humans were drafted to make up for the difference, even if entire squads and even regiments are generally not expected to survive their first combat action. Or training. Or just meeting their Commissar for the first time. Even so, 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 forget that you really only need the T-shirt guys to defend tanks and use heavy weapons and call artillery. The storming positions and what-not can be handled by stormtroopers and grenadiers. So yeah, all those heroic redshirts dying everyday? The only reason is their leaders didn't bother matching the right type of infantry to the right type of objective.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Play Style
- 3 Steel Balls, Then and Now
- 4 Notable Figures of the Imperial Guard
- 5 Main Advantages of Fielding an Imperial Guard Army
- 6 Downsides to being a Guardsman Highly fanciful scenarios that most likely will not occur during your glorious service as a Guardsman
- 7 Memorable Quotations
- 8 A Piece of Writing That Explains the Imperial Guard
- 9 Another piece of writing: Pity the guardsmen
- 10 The Imperial Guard's Anthems
- 11 Notable Imperial Guard Forces
- 12 Imperial Guard forces featured in Black Library novels
- 13 /tg/ Homebrew Guard Forces
- 14 See Also
- 15 External Links
- 16 Gallery
- 17 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 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
ceramite jackets flak armor, glorified laser pointers, a few weeks of training, some toilet paper, and a pair of Mars-pattern, titanium-plated balls.
While the lasgun, full body Flak Armor, and a chest piece of carapace armor (for elites, normies just get flak armor) are very good by modern standards, they're just flashlights and t-shirts compared to the automatic death launchers and magic power armor of the rest of the galaxy - the Guard make up the difference with sheer nerve (except the Carapace Armor, which is really quite good by 40K standards).
It sounds stupid and foolish, especially when the Sisters of Battle's power armor is taken into consideration, but there's an important detail to remember: the Imperial Guard is not an offensive force (hence "Guard"). It's basically the Imperium-wide version of a Planetary Defense Force though with much better equipment, talent, and training. Some worlds have an Imperial Guard presence to help with peace-keeping, defending against raiders and the like, and other such minor soldiering, other worlds are outright military fortresses or training grounds or simply strategically important enough to heavily boost the PDF's power with a potent Guard presence. When a world is invaded, the PDF uses its extensive network of defensive systems to hold the line. They use mesh armor and autoguns which are actually both quite good for infantry-on-infantry as they lack the Guard's extensive giant tank and IFV supply. And they use a smallish number of heavy tanks and light APCs for some mobile support. They don't need more because of static defenses. The Imperial Guard arrives and provides a massive boost to the local defenses as well as tons of extra defense materials and weapons including fortifications and static weapons they can put together after arriving. They bring tons of giant tanks and mobile artillery and combat-capable infantry transports as well as shit tons of air support (if the Navy is harassed enough to bother) to add to the local planets' own forces (or replace in the case of the PDF being wiped out).
The point of the Imperial Guard is to do what the PDF is for: hold the line until a relief force can arrive. The point of the Imperial Guard is to be so cheap that it is large enough to always be able to respond to and sufficiently defend a planet before any of the more powerful forces of the Imperium can arrive. Because they're meant for defensive tactics from within entrenched positions, fortifications, tanks, and artillery, and heavy weapons, and with tons of air support, they don't need armor and weapons that are good for more than fighting enemy infantry who aren't wearing freaking tank armor. The armor and weapons they have are very good for exactly that. This need for numbers for rapid response (thanks to the Warp, mostly) along with their gear being perfectly suitable for their role is why the Imperium never bothered to upgrade their gear. The Sisters of Battle, the Space Marines, the Skitarii, robots, knights, Titans, and so on are defensive of their homes but offensive when deployed in the Imperium at large. Their duty to the Imperium is to be a nearly invincible beat-stick with which the Emperor can beat the shit out of his enemies. Case-in-point, the Astartes of the Great Crusade were usually accompanied by Skitarii and robots and so-on when they fought. The Imperial Army's normal soldiers usually didn't fight beside Astartes at all but instead were a rear-guard, occupation force, and a shaft that could add the weight of its machines and manpower to hold positions taken by Marines and add their firepower to the Marines' own while occupying points that would be hard to dislodge even if the Marines lost. Just like how the Imperium fights offensively in the 41st millennium.
That said, there are plenty of moronic generals who think they're supposed to kick the invaders out instead of holding the line or who want to rush it instead of performing a grinding advance. The Guard has the nickname "Hammer of the Emperor" because of its ability to smash the face of His enemies with their tanks and artillery. More than a few generals forget this and just use human waves supported by thinly spread tanks and look at Chimera as though they're taxis instead of Infantry Fighting Vehicles.
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.
Although the average frontline Guardsman is highly unlikely to survive his first deployment, veteran soldiers are some of the manliest motherfuckers the Imperium has to offer, putting even the fucking SPESS MEHRENS to a billion shames. 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! Also, that's the Tau's whole schtick. However, do note that some commanders themselves shove off this fact and order their men to charge enemy lines with or without heavy armor/artillery support and regardless of terrain.
That said, 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 when any of these things are available, because, remember, Guilliman. So, honestly, the combined arms of 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 as those are offered in Only War) gives great protection against stub weapons (and playable alien adversaries which use weapons roughly as powerful) except hand cannons, heavy stubbers and larger. Keep in mind the Imperial Guard are fighting rebels or the like 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, tanks, IFVs, and heavy weapons of all kinds to smash the enemy so the infantry can swiftly blast the foe at close-range (the question of where those poor grunts learn to work alongside tanks, walking tanks, Knights, Titans or, Emperor preserve, flyboys, is better left to imagination). This is when they're not being used to merely destroy threats to Titans and Astartes so the Titans and Astartes can wipe out the enemy. The Guard also has a wide selection of super-heavy vehicles and even bigger, killier things.
Do NOT fuck with the Imperial Guard!
Dan Abnett and the Guard’s latest Codex turned the IG into gods of mechanized warfare, and yet 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 a 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. 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 soylens viridiens and lasguns to come out of the Forge World assembly lines. Unless most of those people or even just a significant minority of them worked in factories like the lore says they do but instead of shitting out ground cars and other civilian junk, they shat out tanks. After all, factories produce far more machines each day than than people make human babies (even in the days of everything being machined by hand in factories) so if a lot of the population was working in factories...But that would end the Grimdark in no time and that wouldn't sell models so the Imperium can't actually engage a wartime economy without Games Workshop getting pissy.
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, as every regiment that isn't Krieg does, 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.
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.
- 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 Railgun rounds. 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)
- "When in doubt, throw more men at it."
- “You see, Necrons have a preset kill limit. Knowing their weakness, I sent wave after wave of my own Whiteshields at them until they reached their limit and shut down.” - Zapp Brannigan, twenty-five Star General of the Cadian 25th.
- "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
- "Yes, you shall die when assaulting a well maintained fortress under a competent commander. But at least strive to make your death useful." (Paraphrased)
- "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
- "We'd offer a pension if we thought you needed it..." - Unknown Recruiting Officer.
- "When in mortal danger, when beset by doubt, run in little circles, wave your hands and shout." - Parody of the Litany of Command. (More popular than you think)
- "LET ME PREACH HIS NAME!" - Priest
- "FAITH IS THE BLADE OF WAR!!" - Priest
- "Our deaths will be MAGNIFICENT!" - Priest
- "My SCARS prove my worth!" - Priest
- "A good general does not lead an army to destruction just because he knows it will follow." - The Tactica Imperialis
- "If at first you don't succeed, bring heavier firepower!"
- "THERE WILL BE NO COWARDICE IN THE EMPEROR'S SERVICE, GUARDSMAN!"- Unknown Inquisitors
- "They just keep coming!" Heretic Stevos, counting troop ships.
- "GO GO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- "Did I give you permission to get shot soldier? Then don't let those heretics shoot you!"
- "TANKS! WHERE ARE THE BLOODY TANKS!?"
- "WHERE IS THAT ARTILLERY!?"
- "WHERE'S OUR FIRE SUPPORT!?"
- "FLEE!!! THEY'RE TOO MUCH FOR US!" - A guardsman who hadn't noticed that the commissar is still alive
- "Remember your training and you will make it back alive" - Unknown deceased Guardsman
- “Have you seen my flashlight?”
- "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
- "If I found out that you have been coveting HERESY, I shall force-feed you your own ******" Mordian Guard Commissar warning a newly promoted sergeant from his regiment.( Take a guess on the proposed ration)
- "We'll get through this I know it" - Random Guardsman's last words.
- "Nothing crushes the spirit of man! The Imperium overcomes and WE ARE the Imperium!"
- "WITNESS YOUR DOOOOOOOOOOOOOMAH!!!" - Wyrdvane psyker unleashing his unholy wrath
- "TEAR THEIR THOUGHTS ASUNDER!!!" - Wyrdvane psyker about to mindrape some unlucky fool
- "Witness the glory of the Emperor...through MEEEEEEEEE!" - Wyrdvane psyker
- "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
- Every Baneblade quote from Dawn of War Soulstorm.
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.
The Imperial Guard's Anthems
For more Imperial anthems, consult your Uplifting Primer. While the Ecclesiarchy and several, if not all, Chapters of Space Marines look down upon the frivolities of music (unless said music is sung in somberly in High Gothic and praises the Emperor) as distracting to any soldier in carrying out his Divine Duty, the Imperial Guard still makes heavy use of marching themes and anthems. Examples are given below:
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRUL1wJKQds - The Death Korps of Krieg’s unofficial anthem.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AwIWi6r0p4 - A well known march of the Imperial Guard known galaxy wide, it was first used by the Imperial Army during the Great Crusade. Its origins are thought to be much older, and it is rumored to have originated in the 2nd millennium.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmX1NlxYt_k - Imperial Guard in a nutshell
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bcRCCg01I - Baleeted no longer
- 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=6XCNshTP3ig - Sung at the Funeral of Fallen Death Korps soldiers.
- 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://youtu.be/4p4XfQeuXZk - This is sung by extremely hardcore and grim regiments, is rumored to have originated from Krieg.
- 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=4n_QBxBs0QQ - Sung at the funerals of the nameless heroes
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCGB81DBzOc - Rumored to be used by the Men of Tanith
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9Tye_bzl9U - Sung by many of the Imperial armored regiments
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91kdwxFsthI - National Anthem of the Valhallan Ice Warriors
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZujhoHZBsg - National Anthem of the Death Korps of Krieg (Dead link)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9fSEdZIM08 - March of the Death Korps of Krieg
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIVSpY8xY9I - March of the Praetorian Lifeguard (This video is unavailable.)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1Qkzj5bStU - sang by Cadian Regiments, also popular with Imperial Navy Pilots (dead link)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5W1NCmV_OM - Planetary Anthem of Cadia
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NWEmnRbkRw - Regimental march of the Kronus 1st "Liberators"
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G5rfPISIwo - Heard being sung by Praetorian Hussars returning from deployment in the Crimean sector
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo6KdeCvESw - Sung by the guardsmen of the Armageddon Steel Legion(dead)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXH3QJrx98U - Another favorite of the Steel Legion
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUQCmDfKFac - Often sung by Veteran Guardsmen of Cadia during planetary deployment between outbreaks of combat.
- 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=dzTisgf8p8E - The Elysians also love singing that while they are maintaining their FAMAS Accatran Lasgun
- 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=pAOOhfQI13s - another anthem for Cadian Shock Troops.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1uGm_dIqBI - Quite popular among Vostroyan artillery regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZpbCLdg-r8 - Heard from a regiment of Storm Troopers surfacing from an extensive period hiding behind enemy lines on an Ork-controlled world.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnaF4_LTovk - A list of Commonly sung Krieg songs.(apparently this one is hate speech, fucking YouTube heretics)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uTnl78HLDQ- Common song by the Elysian drop troops commemorating famous battles.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eji8eWwOu3g- Sung by many Kreig units that found themselves in city warfare. (Hate speech wtf)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLTpKs2ylP4- A common tune by Valhallan snipers between warzones. (Also hate speech, apparently?)
- 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=bNv-uAUqr9k - Played after a particularly heavy victory, one where the casualties mount to more than 90%
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkxHiQO6vjw - Popular piece played by Elysians,Phantines and Harakoni on any available vox systems while commencing an orbit or air-borne mass scale invasion, specifically on enemy fortresses and the like during limited orbital bombardments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKT7qxk9-pw - A campfire song often heard from Drookian Fen Guard encampments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J__ZdvsZaE - Commonly sung by Valhallan Armoured Regiments as they drive into battle.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkrTf729Gzk - A fight song of various Cadian regiments heard while on long marches, or before an offensive push.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L740ESYghT0&index=40 - A song of Armoured Regiments of the Armageddon Steel Legion.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JKar_hChU4 - Another Krieg March song.(again more hate speech)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ift85e38H3M - Schola Progenium's unofficial anthem.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_AXybK015o- The Anthem of the Krieg Armoured Regiments.
- 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=mhqWHIq-aZw- Undisputed Anthem of the Imperial Guard.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6MgTQ-56P0- Ballad of the Imperial Guardsman
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRhg2zvalXc- A favoured marching hymn of particularly devout Guardsmen Regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je6tcrVEzW8 - A traditional song used by Imperial Guard regiments of all types raised from the Nippon Sector of the Ultima Segmentum.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLBy2IZVgKI - An ancient march used by Imperial Guard regiments across the galaxy, and rumored to date back to ancient times.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6K6-JomneA - A popular theme originally used for propaganda pieces, but since adapted for victory marches.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjIVkl34Vig - A litany often sung by Kasrkins and various veterans of campaigns against the forces of Chaos, said to greatly aid in the banishment of daemons and other forces of the Arch Enemy.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLtNE6MMGR4&t=0m9s - This piece first resurfaced during the Siege of Terra, and has since become a staple march for the Imperial Guard, especially in Cadia.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iOJ99eb-j8 - This piece is usually played when Vostroyans are on the march.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7VLTqGCOC8&t=0m8s - This ancient piece initially resurfaced in a loyalist propaganda video during the Horus Heresy, and has become a standard march among the Mordian Iron Guard.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AB0k4Itneg - March of the Maccabian Janissaries. Or you know, the original one, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ulg1ahV552g or if you are interested in some visuals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZr1ibaFE_4
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PxlJLUqFzY - Valhallan Ice Warriors, especially those under Commander Kubrik Chenkov, march to this tune.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6EIv9GULJU - Initially intended as a titan legions' march, this intimidating piece quickly spread to the few baneblade companies still active, and was then expanded into the appropriately named litany of war that the entire army, from the general down, is supposed to chant prior to making contact with the enemy. Only the most badass forces of the Imperial Guard know of its existence.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBa5tf4BZ10 - Lord General Castor personally commissioned this music so that he and his men sound more glorious than other guard armies marching to war.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNv1ImIa1-4 - This is often played in recruitment ads alongside an imperial guard training montage.(seriously though, try exercising to the sound of this; the running to war and urging to never stop gave me so much gains and confidence that I seduced an elda- I mean, assert human Dominance over inferior xenos!)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRmES6IJk_o - A song sometimes sang by PDF Regiments, preferably when a Commissar is absent.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXSk-WVLS2A - This piece is often used to signify the both the domineering, incalculable might of the Imperial Guard, as well as to mark planetfall.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geB2bIV9_v4 - At the gates of Cadia
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW310pS8aNY - This march is favored by more oriental-themed guard regiments. Anyone who mentions to them that it sounds like the music of Blueberries are reminded that humanity invented oriental music first, that the Tau have committed massive copyright infringement and owe the Imperium trillions in royalties, and are then executed.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3KlpFBIb00 - This piece is often played in imperial triumphs and victory marches. Those seem to be happening less and less these days.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeNrhMix2Sw - A Popular music piece among the Harakoni Warhawks and Elysian Drop Troops, usually played on Vultures,valkryies' and other rapid insertion/deployment or Attack aircraft on the eve of a shock-and-awe offensive. Also (although originating from Harakoni-adjacent cadets)used from time to time by Imperial Navy.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeyDfVjq6sw&t=12s - A Vostroyan ditty that has since become popular among cavalry regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKT-f9F9tvY - Musical piece last heard and recorded by the orbital satellites around Cadia before the eye of terror completely devoured it. Apparently found playing from numerous vox casters around the fortress cities while the 8th made their last stand. Now an unofficial anthem of vengeance by Surviving Cadian regiments
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrNUnUMSQk4 - Vostroyan parade march.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G136GODWKhc - An immensely popular Vostroyan campaign march, also used as a litany of battle against heretics and chaos, and a variant was created for victory parades https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWBh8Q_VOHM
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BhGWO01pIs - ancient anthem that came from the Death Korps of Krieg, of all places; they don't sing it anymore(dead as a doornail, Emperor damnit, why can't I just listen to some good fucking music)
There is a disturbing lack of hell march in this list. Whoever is responsible report to your local commissar and prepare for summary blamming.
Problem with that: It's Hell March. The local Commissar wants to see you. Nothing wrong with "Hell" march, if it was "Warp" March or "Heretic" March, there'd be a problem. As it goes, does the imperial guard nor deliver the Emperor's judgement upon the Traitor, Mutant and Heretic? Their wrath(Firepower) can rightly be described as "Hell" should it be directed at you.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HUWUtTZvK4 - music piece made popular by Vostroyan and Valhallan regiments when launching all out assaults (persistent rumours that the Death Korps and Cadians have adapted the piece continue to be denied by respective parties)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUOPvtVZwo8 - Originally used by the Frateris Templar, the song was forgotten until it's resurgence to Cadia's defenders during the 13th Black Crusade.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nFKPVfDrgU - Cadian version of popular Vostroyan/ Valhallan music piece played when launching all or nothing assaults on enemy bases.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHICh8PoDu8 - A traditional Catachan folk song, notably sung by bands of Jungle Fighters during particularly intense firefights, and reportedly based off of
an older Catachan folktale.Sly Marbo.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRhg2zvalXc - A song often sung by Guard regiments holding out against overwhelming enemy forces to maintain moral as they Hold The Line, said to have been blasted from every available vox unit and speaker during the final days of Cadia.
- https://youtu.be/hrG0AwUJQDQ - A common marching theme for the Arkhan Confederates, said to date back to late M1
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0TzUNti3rY - A popular war hymn with Cadian forces going into battle against the hordes of Chaos, VENGEANCE FOR CADIA!
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7icNhOYXgA - An ancient piece of music often blasted as entire Super Heavy tank companies roll into battle, said to signify the doom of The Emperor's foes and the triumph of His servants
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lccR7fJTYu8&t=22s - As The Cadian 8th "Castellan's Own" makes one final stand to buy time to evacuate as much troops as possible out of Cadia, This Music was played on every Vox Channel as Creed and His Men take as many of the Heretics with them to Hell
- https://youtu.be/CIGHCoVzqtk - Associated with the 18th Cadian after defeating Hive Fleet Gorgon. Based on an older song supposedly first played during the purging of the insectoid xenos known as "Arachnids".
- https://youtu.be/_Efb1DAeA34 - An ancient Valhallan march said to be sung by the Ice Warriors' defenders during the dreaded War of Survival against the Orks, and rumored to have been sang by regiments of the Valhallan Ice Warriors throughout the War of the Beast.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwnrDuKyT9E - An ancient Terran song detailing a large mechanized battle that occurred on ancient terra, it has since been adopted as a march by Valhallan and Vostroyan regiments.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AFdwoyNT24 - A song about fearless Mordian guardsmen fighting off Nurgle-oriented cultists, deploying chemical weapons against them. The song itself is said to be written and made by those, who witnessed the "attack of the dead men" on heretics.
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|