Amongst the badass precursors to the Imperial Guard, few were more badass than these guys. They are essentially a mix between Stormtroopers and Space Marines. In 30k they play as Storm Troopers, but far more flexible in terms of available support. When the Emperor finally got over his parental pride and realized that a crusade dedicated to helping humanity should probably have some actual humans in it, he got on with the Imperial Army, drawn from everywhere the Imperium had influence. Towards the end of the Great Crusade, some 20-25% of the Imperial Army were made up of Solar Auxilia. Originating from Saturn and Terra, the demands for elite void troops soon far outstripped the ability of the Sol system to supply and recruits were drawn from other worlds in the Imperium. If you want to learn more about fielding these guys, you can take a leisurely stroll over to the tactica.
The fundamental level of an Auxilia force is a Tercio, so called for being composed of up to three sections (squads), and three different types of squads are available to them. This can lead to a lot of fun as one basic Lasrifle Tercio can throw down 120 shots as 36" Heavy 2 Lasrifles to literally melt one side of the battlefield in a hail of energy fire. On the other hand, Veteran Veletaris Tercios usually consist of three squads of ten veteran troops equipped with short-range weaponry such as the Volkite Charger or Flamers (or even power axes). Furthermore, with Tercios counting as one troops choice in the FOC, the elite few of the Solar Auxilia can outnumber even the horde armies of the Imperial Militia.
Being 30k's Stormtroopers, they have lots of nifty tricks and items, like alternate lasgun power settings, enhanced snapshots, hold-my-hands-for-WS4 formations and damn good morale (rerollable Ld10!) with the right conditions. Oh, this being 30k they lack 40k Stormtrooper's weakness in the vehicular department, as the Solar Auxilia can bring a wide assortment of Super-Heavies as mere Heavy Support choices, and have access to a tank commander that can ride said Super-heavies. Those were the times...
To add even more awesome, some of Solar Auxillia troopers were hanging around since the beginning of the Great Crusade at the time of Horus Heresy. The regular "tour" had a length of at least 30 years, and after that one was given a choice: either to leave and continue their life as a very wealthy (and potentially noble!) person on some new-compliant world, or to be furnished with anti-aghthaics and medicae tretment to expand their lifespan. Should I say such procedures are available only for the richest persons in the grim darkness of 40k?
As it stands, they only have
one two characters, "Lord Marshal Ireton MaSaad", a retired badass who wins through sheer old man strength and comes with the best colour scheme (Warplock Bronze and green) to date, but is a little lacking in the rules department; and Surgeon-Primus Aevos Jovan, the mortal version of Fabulous Bill but loyal, interestingly spared from execution by the intervention of MaSaad himself. Not to fret, there is a wealth of options to customize a generic leader for whatever role, even able to go toe-to-toe with the champions of the Space Marines, although a Lord Marshall is arguably better served as a force multiplier with a command squad to push this train into the station.
Martians, With Death Rays
The original Core of the Auxilia were taken, along with their name, from the Solar System, including the red planet. More importantly, the Volkite weaponry favored by the early legions found its way into the hands of the Veletaris Storm Sections, the elite of the elite meaning that you can finally play out your Mars Attacks! fantasies on the tabletop, (admittedly without a weakness for Noise Marines).
Their distinct steampunk-esque getup, the Solar Pattern Void Armour, is a fully enclosed environmental suit that covers their needs of void warfare and combat on new and hostile worlds, providing protection without sacrificing fashion sense. On the tabletop, this translates to a 4+ save, with the Void-Hardened aspect granting a re-roll to damage from blasts and templates, which isn't too shabby if you're building them as a shooty horde.
Like the Guard of 40k, the Auxilia also make use of Abhumans, and are notably more mean to them. Ogryn Charonites were pretty much what happens if you cross an Eversor Assassin, Edward Scissorhands and a bunch of conscripted Ogryn, leaving your enemy facing a squad of remote-control, drug-filled Murder-Cocktails with the power-tool section of B&Q where their hands should be. With little space left in their pained minds for anything other than rage, they tend to go off on explosive, albeit controlled, rampages once their handlers flip the switch and plunge their minds into an aggressive 80's movie drug montage loop for the remainder of the battle/their lives.
Enginseers with Cortex Controllers also allows the Auxilla to field Thallax Cohorts and Castellax class Battle-automata from the Legio Cybernetica. Because why send only Ogryn Charonites to horribly butcher the enemy? Using weak fleshy Abhumans and crude cyborgs to fulfill the duties of "humble servants" of the Omnissiah is for back worlders. That's why. You thought only Space Marines had access to dozen feet tall death machines? This is the 30th Millennium, because of course they do. Thallax and Servo-automata are also one of the few sources they have to for Plasma weaponry. Phased plasma fusils never get hot. Grenade Launchers are also quite useful. Enginseers themselves have the option of taking Graviton Guns.
The Auxilia are in a bit of a weird place with their vehicles as they don't have access to the cool gadgets of the Mechanicum, or the special snowflake treatment of the Legiones Astartes, they do however have one of the best transports in the form of the Dracosan, which can even take a demolisher cannon(!?!), at the expense of ten transport capacity. Suck it Rhino. Special mention must also be made of the totally original Aurox.
Tactical Command Sections are able to fly into battle inside Arvus Lighters as their primary transports. Twin Autocannons or Multilasers are good enough for all comers. The Auxilia can arm them with Twin Lascannons or two Hellstrike to make anything they want dead into a smoldering heap in short order. If that's not enough, Chaff Launchers and Flare Shields turns the goofy looking space craft into an annoying target that is hard to shoot down. At twelve spots, this is more than enough for a Command Squad, Legate Commanders and a Lord Marshall. Rounding out their air power are Heavy Thunderbolt Fighters and Primaries-Lightning Strike Fighters.
They also have exclusive access to the Leman Russ Incinerator. The only vehicle that so far that mounts the Volkite Demi Culverin. A tank that gives the middle finger to enemy hordes. As the Leman Russ Punisher wasn't even invented yet.
Once upon the time, as of the fourth Horus Heresy book, one sculptor named Edgar Skomorowski over at Forge World has become tired of the multiple flavours of power armour he has had to work with thus far and decided that battles in the Age of Darkness could probably do with a dash of variety. Not only he alone made all models in range, which is already quite a feat, but also masterminded all the rules, resulting in hilariously powerful (some may say overpowered) army. Now you too can spend £70 for 100 points of your army! However, while the pay gap is colossal, the Auxilia are one of the more rewarding armies to play, with your granddadie's Kalibrav V-1 pattern 36" Lasrifle (things were better in his day), access to some of the better dress sense and LORD OF ALL HUEG TANKS, they can make a list tailored to their player for maximum fun. On the downside, that fun is done in full knowledge of the horrors awaiting you once your mortal life is forfeit and the deamons you bargained with to get those models come for your soul. Morbity aside, your army will be the envy of everyone you know, so it's swings and roundabouts really.
Bad news? Edgar Skomorowski no longer works at Forgeworld, and Solar Auxilia is in hands of Israel Gonzalez, who then left Forgeworld too, so it's unlikely Solar Auxilia will ever receive new units.
Because you need to see that they're not just "Great Crusade IG." Their threads and weapons make Stormtroopers and Battle Sisters look like plebs in comparison. That isn't just snark. Just about everything they have is junk compared to what the Auxilia can field. The fact that the Imperium has not been defeated in spite of losing all this shit is a testament to the sheer grit they have.