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Where the Space Marines might fight a war through tactics and efficiency, the Guard can easily afford to crush its opposition amidst thousands of lasgun volleys and hundreds of ordnance blasts. Such is the numerical superiority of the Imperial Guard that even [[Ork]]s can sometimes find themselves outnumbered by the "Sledgehammer" of the Imperium.
Where the Space Marines might fight a war through tactics and efficiency, the Guard can easily afford to crush its opposition amidst thousands of lasgun volleys and hundreds of ordnance blasts. Such is the numerical superiority of the Imperial Guard that even [[Ork]]s can sometimes find themselves outnumbered by the "Sledgehammer" of the Imperium.
[[Imperial Guard Equipment and Weaponry|Imperial Guard equipment and weaponry]] spans a wide range of common handheld weaponry, from the standard issue lasgun to the high powered Hellgun and Hot-Shot lasgun.
[[Imperial Guard Equipment and Weaponry|Imperial Guard equipment and weaponry]] spans a wide range of common handheld weaponry, from the standard issue lasgun to the high powered Hellgun and Hot-Shot lasgun. Likewise, the Imperial Guard soldiers can also range from Cadian guardsmen who are trained to kill and are certainly not your typical meatshield, to ordinary citizens dragged from their homes and stores, given a rifle and flak jacket, and told to go shoot at some big demon thing.
Although the nature of the guard does allow for casualties to be easily absorbed, they do have one key weakness: Their moral. While guardsmen from worlds like Cadia tend to be stalwart and brave, a good portion of the guard would rather be tending to their grox herds, not fighting some war they neither understand nor care about. As a result, the Guard is prone to breaking into panic and fleeing. Comissars and threats of execution can only go so far.
==Components of an Imperial Guard Regiment==
==Components of an Imperial Guard Regiment==

Revision as of 18:54, May 8, 2010

The Imperial Guard is the largest fighting force of the Imperium of Man. It is comprised of countless billions of men and women - hundreds of thousands of different regiments, supported by a vast array of light and heavy vehicles. They are usually the first Imperial force to respond to a threat if a planet's Planetary Defense Force fails to suppress it. They also hold major locations of interest to the Imperium and are often found in defensive roles.

The Imperial Guard is often refered to as the "Sledgehammer of the Emperor"; the sheer amount of force that the Imperial Guard can bring to bear on the enemy is devastating, but is not as direct or as precise as their Space Marine allies, who are described as the "Sword of the Emperor". There is no universal uniform or company command heirarchy in the Imperial Guard, although it is compulsary for every regiment to have at least one Commissar to maintain the discipline and morale of the men while watching for any signs of corruption or taint in the ranks. However, it is worth noting that a number of worlds copy the uniform of Cadian regiments, which are viewed as being the most effective of the Imperial Guard's infantry units.

The main tactic of the Imperial Guard is to overwhelm the enemy with endless numbers, while at the same time hammer them into submission with devastating artillery and crush them with powerful battletanks.

More recent or detailed images of units will be uploaded when availible.


The Guardsmen form the foundation at the end of the Imperial Guard command structure, however it is uncommon that Regiments will dispatch formations made entirely out of Guardsmen without attaching auxiliaries or support elements. In the chain of command for example, an Imperial Officer, often a Colonel or a General will find himself accompanied by Imperial Psykers dispatched from Scholastica Psykana facilities, or Officers of the Fleet, dispatched from the Imperial Navy to relay co-ordinates to harass enemy deployments and interception attempts.

The Imperial Guard is able to drawn upon, a not inconsiderable amount of specialized troops and sub-human and ab-human auxiliaries at its disposal. These may include the Stormtrooper Regiments of more disciplined origins, likely the Schola Progenium facilities on many Imperial Worlds, or Orgyns from feral worlds whose brutish strength may be used in order to make up for the Guardsmen's lack of close combat endurance, or Ratling snipers whose small size and nimbleness allows them to infiltrate behind enemy lines where they can wreak havoc with their natural talents behind the telescopic sights of their needle rifles.

Though the Imperial Guard has enough men and firepower to throw up a withering wall of las bolts, most opponents that close the distance with the Guard lines find themselves at an major advantage in close combat, which more often than not, results in a bloodbath as the Guardsmen find themselves outmatched in melee, and are often slaughtered.

Different types of Imperial guard regiments utilize different methods of  warfare. Though most would count as battles of attrition when the Imperial Guard is concerned, often units will work alongside auxiliaries or specialized units in order to achieve different tactical outcomes some which may include, sabotage, infiltration, demolitions. 


The Imperial Guard is the stalwart fighting force of the Imperium of Man, capable of  dispensing a myriad of specialized troops. The Imperial Guard's most prominent asset is its ability to draw upon endless ranks of Guardsmen, drawn from various human-settled worlds. Each Imperial world supplies an annual tithe of Guardsmen, often accompanied by quotas of las-gun production and armoured vehicles in order to sustain the never-ending war machine that is the Imperial Guard.

Though the hierarchy of command and the formations of local planetary defence forces may differ from world to world, in the Imperial Guard, there is only the Regiment. The Regiment provides a solid command structure that allows for both versatility and lethality when the application of force is needed in any Imperial warzone. Guardsmen form the bulk of many Imperial Regiments, however it is common for Regiments to exclusively include the support drawn from other Regiments in order to sustain operations. The nature of the Regiment alone is one that requires the support of many other Imperial assets. Infantry Regiments consist mainly of Infantry Squads backed by Heavy Weapon deployments and Conscript Militia. However, Armoured Regiments may include a larger percentile of Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Support Tanks than Infantry Regiments, and may only include Guardsmen in Mechanized formations, largely known as Armoured Fist squads, where a single Infantry Squad would be attached to a dedicated transport, likely a Salamander or Chimera Armoured Transport or equivalent. Thus, it is not uncommon for Infantry Regiments to include Infantry Support Tanks from other Regiments in order to mantain a solid fighting force. 

Airborne elements often have to request Valkyrie transports from the Imperial Navy before singular operations may be emplaced.

Guard Regiments are drawn from all types of planets in the Imperium, from Holy Terra itself to Feral and Medieval worlds, and the contributions of some planets over the ten thousand years of the Imperium's existence run into the millions. The Imperial Guard is constantly at war, freeing worlds from the influence of aliens or theRuinous Powers, or defending them the same. The Imperial Guard relies upon the Imperial Navy for transport to and from war zones. The regiments of Guardsmen are as diverse as the worlds they come from.

Where the Space Marines might fight a war through tactics and efficiency, the Guard can easily afford to crush its opposition amidst thousands of lasgun volleys and hundreds of ordnance blasts. Such is the numerical superiority of the Imperial Guard that even Orks can sometimes find themselves outnumbered by the "Sledgehammer" of the Imperium.

Imperial Guard equipment and weaponry spans a wide range of common handheld weaponry, from the standard issue lasgun to the high powered Hellgun and Hot-Shot lasgun. Likewise, the Imperial Guard soldiers can also range from Cadian guardsmen who are trained to kill and are certainly not your typical meatshield, to ordinary citizens dragged from their homes and stores, given a rifle and flak jacket, and told to go shoot at some big demon thing.


Although the nature of the guard does allow for casualties to be easily absorbed, they do have one key weakness: Their moral. While guardsmen from worlds like Cadia tend to be stalwart and brave, a good portion of the guard would rather be tending to their grox herds, not fighting some war they neither understand nor care about. As a result, the Guard is prone to breaking into panic and fleeing. Comissars and threats of execution can only go so far.

Components of an Imperial Guard Regiment


Company Command Squad

In large-scale crusades, Guardsmen High Commanders are often found directing the crusade effort from the rear, keeping with him representatives from the various Imperial Guard Regiments and the occasional Space Marine Chapter to keep in constant contact and update with the fighting components. However, when necessary, the High Commander may take to the battlefield with his aides and bodyguard, boosting his men's morale with his mere presence. High Commanders have a higher rank than other officers normally found at the front lines.  A commander has the choice of which regiment to go over, but there are hundreds of different types and they can be put into the major sections of all different types of Imperial Guard Regiments.

Imperial Guard High Command Squad

Command Platoon

A Command Platoon Contains a Senior officer and 4 Guardsmen. The Command Platoon is usually placed in charge of 2-5 Guard Squads.The Guardsmen are equipped with a variety of weapons from the company's armory, one carries the company standard, another serves as a medic, and a third carries a portable vox unit; the squad may all be mounted in a Chimera. The officer is in continuous contact with his subordinates and coordinates attacks and provides a solid leadership anchor and can have advisers and bodyguards accompany him.The senior officer can give 2 orders to soldiers within 12" of him in the shooting phase(including his own squad). The unit who is subject to the orders must take a leadership test and if passed, the order takes effect. A roll of a double 1 means that the officer gets to make a free order again due to that order being done in record time. A double 6 means confusion reigns; there is a lack of communication and no orders can be made by anyone that turn. Bring it down! This allows the Officer to make the unit being issued the command to target a vehicle or monstrous creature with their weapons counting as twin-linked.This is very good when using las-cannons to target vehicles. Fire on my target! This means the unit in question fires on the designated target and any cover saves that were successful must be re-rolled. Get back in the fight! Any unit that has gone to ground or is fleeing will regroup regardless of any restrictions and units gone to ground will act normal again.(Next 3 Junior officer)

Commissars and Lord Commissars

Imperial Commissar

Even in battle, a Guardsman may need to be reminded of his duty to the Emperor, and Commissars are often seen as the Emperor's representatives on the battlefield. Stern-faced and grim individuals trained by the Schola Progenium, Commissars are able to either inspire great deeds or strike fear into the hearts of Guardsmen. Either way, this encourages them to stand their ground against the enemy and battle it out to the end.

Commissars are, however, more than just a visible representative of the Emperor. They also often take the fight to the enemy, battling against foe after foe to aid the battle. Their elevated status marks them apart from the standard hierarchy of command, and they often operate as autonomous individuals, counseling and advising the commander of a Guard unit. They have the ability to execute Sanctioned Psykers and Primaris Psykers if they are attacked by the dark forces of the Warp. If a commander or soldier is found wanting, or wavers in his duty to the Emperor, the Commissar has full rights to distribute punishment from the barrel of a gun. It is this mix of extreme corporal punishment and bravery that makes Commissars such effective boosters of morale on the grim frontlines.

Commissars are often drawn from the ranks of the also fiercely loyal Storm Troopers. They learn how to lead and fight in these squads at the Schola Progenium and then work their way up to the status of Commissar.

Commissars who inspire their troops to victory above and beyond the norm are promoted to the rank of Lord Commissars. Lord Commissars are few and far between, but they inspire their soldiers to acts of valour in a way no average Commissar can.

Terrax Guard are Imperial Guardsmen dressed as Commissars to strike fear into the enemy; they have many resemblences and must not be mistaken for a true Commissar.


These fanatical members of the Ecclesiarchy follow the Imperial Guard on campaigns and battles preaching the Righteousness of the Emperor. They favor close combat over shooting, as they bring holy death to their enemies and they instill this ideal in the Guardsmen following them. Such is their fury that they must charge any enemy they find, making them equally ferocious as a Commissar when it comes to motivating men, although they use inspiration rather than terror. (0-2 priests may be in the army and don't count as a HQ choice.)

Techpriest Enginseer


Techpriest Enginseer

A heavily armored warrior from the Adeptus Mechanicus who can repair tanks and vehicles on the battlefield. They can be accompanied by up to five other 'Servitor' units, who can aid in ranged combat or repairing vehicles.

A Techpriest has numerous bionic upgrades installed inside them for times of battle, when tanks and vehicles need to prepare under heavy fire or time constraints. Many Techpriests have their lungs replaced with mechanical breathers or computer upgrades in the cortex for easier compliance with the archaic machinery of the Imperium. Some of the more extreme Techpriests have their blood replaced with an artificial substitute, to minimize the effects of wounds and injuries inflicted on the field of battle. Many Techpriests choose to have servo-arms installed, as an extra limb is always useful for combat and repair.

The Techpriest Enginseers are privy to the mystical secrets of the machine spirits in Imperium vehicles and are held in high regard amongst armoured companies, which are comprised primarily of vehicles. However, in most Imperial Guard armies the Techpriests are shunned because of their bionic enhancements and disfigurements (0-2 Techpriest may be taken and don't count as an HQ choice.)


Storm Troopers

Storm Troopers are considered superior to other Guardsmen because of their additional training and indoctrination by the Schola Progenium, as well as their improved equipment. They are often used in the vanguard of an assault or as infiltrating troops to carry out special objectives lesser Guardsmen would be unable to undertake. A Storm Trooper carries a Hot-Shot lasgun and Hot-Shot laspistol and wears carapace armor that gives better protection than flak armor.


Often drafted into Imperial Guard Regiments from the Ogryn Auxilia Legions, these mutant offshoots of humanity are large, hulking, and angry. Of course, given their tendency for brute force and phenomenal melee power, they usually have little intellectual power. They are given well-built Ripper Guns, which more often than not are used for bashing the enemy, rather than shooting them. They are extra tough in combat and are a good blocking force, preventing the enemy from reaching the softer inner core of the armies' guardsmen. They can be mounted in a transport, although they do suffer from a form of claustrophobia and are not at their best when being transported (however, it has been found that officers can get them in with the help of a friendly faced trooper and a crate of rations. Unfortunately for the trooper he is stuck in there until they leave). They can resist incoming fire and move up the field to bash away at the enemy's stronger combat units. They come from high gravity worlds, forcing them to grow taller and more muscular than most other humanoid species. With their multiple wounds and high strength, a squad of Ogryn will give even the best enemy melee troops something to think about.



A Ratling sniper squad

These small mutant humans come from low-gravity Imperial worlds and are unsuitable for close combat. The Ratlings instead act as snipers, and many a regiment has been saved at the last moment only by the pinpoint accuracy of the tiny humanoids.

Ratlings are also great cooks, being able to make anything out of whatever they find (or pilfer). Ratlings are notorious crooks, organizing gambling rings or using their small size to steal whatever is laying around, whether it be a shiny bullet casing or the senior Commissar's peaked hat. Needless to say, Regimental commanders have noticed that rates of petty theft and drug dealing invariably increase when a Ratling squad is attached to the company. This skill means the Ratlings make fine profits on the front-lines, where they smuggle in whatever the soldiers need or want - at a price.




A typical Imperial Guardsman of Cadia

Found in every single Imperial Guard Regiment, the Guardsman is an ubiquitous representation of the Imperial Guard, as he makes up the very backbone of the army itself. Armed with low-power laser weaponry known as las-weaponry, a Guardsmen's lethality is minimal. Armored with basic flak armor fabricated from some sort of metal, they have little protection in comparison with the Adeptus Astartes and other species' front-line warriors.

Instead of cybernetic upgrades, demonic Chaos powers or biological weapons, the Guardsmen face up to the universe's unimaginable horrors with nothing more than a rifle in their hands and fire in their bellies.

Guardsmen are used differently, depending on how their commander works. Some leaders choose to use the near-limitless number of Guardsmen like water on rocks - maximum casulties, but a slow and sure victory. Others prefer a sledgehammer style - an enemy will always fall under a volley of a thousand lasguns. Others just use the Guard like flesh shields - overload the meat grinder until it works no more. However they are used, the Guard will always win, whatever the cost, in the name of the God-Emperor.

Infantry Platoon

The standard infantry deployment, comprises 1 command squad lead by a junior officer and their staff, 2-5 infantry squads and 0-5 heavy weapon squads, 0-2 special weapon squads, and 0-1 conscript platoons. Counting as 1 troop choice.

Platoon Command Squad

This squad consists of a junior officer and his personal staff. They may be chosen for their medical skills, their skill with special weapons or their potential to become an officer. They coordinate and plan their platoon's movement and actions. It is their duty to ensure that the Guard fights effectively on the battlefield. Sadly for evey officer that performs valiantly there is another that panics and falters and is quickly punished for wasting the time and lives of the guard. The officer can issue 1 order in the shooting phase to any unit within 6 inches of him.(including his own) The same rules are applied fto the senior officer .The 3 orders he can issue which the senior officer can also choose to issue are:

First rank fire! Second rank fire! This allows each unit member armed with a lasgun to have one more shot than they normally do. Therefore, at 24" each lasgun fires two shots, and at 12" three shots are fired per model.

Incoming! The unit goes to ground and get +2 to it's cover save insted of +1.

Move! Move! Move! The unit runs but you roll 3 dice and pick the highest roll.

Infantry Squads

These are the main body of men and women fighting in the Guard.They do everything that is needed and do most of the dying until the enemy is pounded away. A sergeant and 9 men with the option of 1 using a special weapon (A grenade launcher, a flamer, a plasma gun, melta gun or a sniper rifle) and the option of one acting as the squad's vox officer (operator). Then 2 others can act as a heavy weapons team.

Conscript Platoons

These squads consist of normal people with little or no training, new recruits, children of the Regiment or Guardsmen that have not completed their training depending on the world and Regiment.They are given a lasgun and flak armor, and sent into battle. They can be small units or brought together to form a formidable swarm of men. They consist of 20-50 men in a platoon.


Cadian Heavy Support Squad

Heavy Weapon Teams

These soldiers are drawn and put into dedicated heavy weapon teams.They are equipped with mortars, heavy bolters, autocannons or lascannons to offer long range support or antitank support to regular Guardsmen.

Special Weapon Teams

These soldiers consist of either snipers and spotters, combat engineers with flamers or demolition experts offering a variety of special support. Some can act as anti-tank units with melta or plasma guns or sniper teams of 3 snipers and 3 spotters with lasguns. The combat engineers are trained to attack bunkers and the explosive experts can carry either grenade launchers or a demolition charge.



These soldiers are those in Guardsmen squads who have survived when most of the squad mates have not.They have the skill and experience to survive. They are crack shots and can have several special weapons in their squads and have weapons not issued to regular Guardsmen. Many of their weapons are taken from their foes. It is rare for a Regiment to have a lot of these men except for regiments with natural-born soldiers or those which have a lot of luck. A Regiment who have been reduced to the point when there are just a few of these men left are put into a new Regiment in the hope that their skills will rub off onto the new men.

Penal Legion

The Custodian has control of the detonator linked to the Legionnaires' explosive collars, and uses it to kill the Legionnaire he chooses, showering those nearby with sanguinous gore in an effort to retain order.They are formed by those who have committed capital crimes against the Imperium but have been given a chance to redeem themselves by the Arbites with their inevitable deaths in battle.Their ranks swell with rapists, murderers, traitors, mutants, and psychopaths, contributing to their disreputable aura, nonetheless, nearly every century a particularly brave (or lucky) legion is awarded freedom for their years of service, and their sins absolved before the Emperor.This is the only hope that they cling to as they bloodily die by the dozen, leaving behind the most violent and hardened of their number.


Capable of transporting twelve Guardsmen, the Chimera is the standard transport of nearly all Regiments. It is amphibious and capable of supporting naval assaults from orbit. It is often the basis for other Guard vehicle variants, such as the Basilisk, the Hellhound, and Griffin mortar platform. They play a heavy role in mechanized

armies, such as the Armageddon Steel Legion.

Imperial Guard Chimera

Fast Attack

Rough Rider Squadron

Mounted on a horse/animal/creature's back, these units are fast and flexible, but don't last for long. Compared to normal Guardsmen they specialize in close combat and can gain a movement boost during the shooting phase, but they are weak compared to the close combat specialists of many other armies. They can be given a special 'Hunting Lance' which gives them a one shot advantage in close combat. This makes them useful for hit and run tactics.


Based on the chassis of the Chimera, Hellhounds have large promethium fuel tanks on the rear chassis of the vehicle. These tanks are used to fuel a large front-facing flamer known as an "Inferno Cannon". The Inferno Cannon has the ability to spew streams of flaming fuel over large distances, making it the bane of light and medium infantry like Orks and Space Marines.

The Inferno Cannon and its tanks are highly unstable, making the Hellhound a risky vehicle to operate. Because of this, most Hellhounds are crewed by maddened pyromaniacs.

The Hellhound can form units of 1-3 craft, and can be upgraded to the Devildog and the Banewolf variant tanks.


The Devildog is a variant of the Hellhound armed instead with a melta cannon.The melta cannon makes a howling sound when it fired.This offers crucial anti-tank support to armies that would otherwise be lacking in this area.(The Devil dog can form a unit of 1-3 mixed with the Hellhound and Banewolf)


The Banewolf is only used when the complete destruction of the opposition is warrented. It carries a chem cannon, which is a strength 1 weapon, but targets with a toughness value will be wounded on 2+, at AP 3.The chem cannon fires a smog which dissolves all organic material. Skin is destroyed and the victims blood boils as the horrific weapon takes its toll. Even Power armour will not protect the enemy and so all infantry, apart from heavily armoured units such as Terminators, will run for their lives as their friends and allies scream behind them. (The Banewolf can form a unit of 1-3 mixed with the Hellhound and the Devildog) .

Scout Sentinel Squadron

These small squadrons of walkers can carry a variety of heavy weapons, depending on the pattern of the Sentinels, and bring high levels of power and maneuverability together in one place. They are lightly armored however, and are susceptible to light arms fire. They are often employed as anti infantry units and can be used for defending the flanks of other units or striking forward to take out light-medium armored infantry or vehicles.They are also commonly used in hit and run attacks,many foes will find themselves attacked in the middle of their own territory by these things.They will commonly attack refineries and factories, harassing the garrison there.

Armoured Sentinel Squadron

The Sentinel Squads are more heavily armored than scout sentinels and can carry weapons such as plasma cannons and lascannons to destroy tanks. They are more deadly in combat because they are not open topped and have more armor.Unlike the Scout Sentinel the normal Sentinel will be used for tank hunting as well as anti infantry jobs. They are far deadlier, and by a consequence of design, far noisier.  While Scout Sentinels produce little engine noise, the Armored variant is one that will be heard coming. But for those that hear it,it might be too late.


The Valkyrie is a transport that can carry troops to the battle from long distances.The Valkyrie is used for drop missions and aerial insertions. Its missile pods and Hellstrike missiles are potent, and can be great anti-tank weapons. This is a great transport to air-drop Storm Troopers into battle. This is a good idea because they're trained for such missions and have a better chance of coming out in one piece if they jumped out with grav-shoots whilst in midflight, and going flatout. This means you can drop stormtroopers onto the objective or near it while still going directly towards the target. This is much more dangerous with other units, however they can still attempt it. If the Valkyrie is going flatout it can drop it's occupants anywhere along its flight path for that move phase, but they must deep strike and if they don't roll a hit they all take instant wounds with saves allowed and if any land in terrain that isn't clear they also take a wound with saves allowed. Stormtroopers have a special rule that allows rerolls of the scatter dice if they wish.
Imperial Navy Valkyrie Dropship

Imperial Guard Valkyrie Dropship


The Vendetta is a modified version of the Valkyrie, replacing the usual Valkyrie armaments with three twin-linked lascannons. For this reason, the Vendetta gives up most of its anti-infantry capabilities and takes on the role of an anti-tank unit, allowing it to counter enemy armor while simultaneously transporting soldiers across the battlefield. Notwithstanding this difference, the Vendetta is otherwise identical to the Valkyrie variant.

Heavy Support

Leman Russ Battle Tank

Imperial Guard Demolisher

Leman Russ Demolisher siege tank

The tank is named after one of the Space Marines' Primarchs, Leman Russ of the Space Wolves, and is the mainstay tank of the Imperial Guard. It has a large main battle cannon, which is a hugely powerful ordnance weapon, a hull-mounted lascannon and optional sponson-mounted heavy bolters, heavy flamers, plasma cannons,or melta cannons. With strong front armor, it is designed to initially bombard large formations and then assault the weakened enemy defenses later, weapons firing. It is however particularly vulnerable to rear and side attacks. It is the most commonly found vehicle in the Guard, and is the base design for some of the other vehicles of the Guard, including the Vanquisher, Conqueror and many others. They can be upgraded to enhance their combat effectiveness.

Leman Russ Demolisher

Based on the standard Leman Russ chassis, it has a similar configuration. It boasts a demolisher cannon, designed for short range bombardment, rather than the longer ranged battle cannon. The extreme power of this weapon makes it tear easily through even Terminator armor. The simplest tactic is to get just within range of the enemy and then blast as much as possible, relying on the front armor to keep the tank going. They are the only tank in the Imperial Guard that is directly affiliated with infantry formations, rather than being assigned from an armored company, and have a reputation for never letting down their 'little brothers.' As such, they are often at the front of the battle with the guardsmen.

Leman Russ Exterminator

The Exterminator variant of the Leman Russ battle tank is an excellent choice for taking on infantry and light vehicles. The twin linked autocannons excel at knocking out light vehicles such as buggies and Land Speeders, and the sponson mounted heavy bolters can decimate enemy troop formations. Against more heavily armored troops and vehicles, the Exterminator flounders, as it lacks the stopping power of dedicated anti-tank weapons such as Lascannons or Krak Missiles

Leman Russ Vanquisher

The Vanquisher is a new tank but is now slowly becoming a rare sight on the battle field. Its 1 shot:1 kill ratio makes it a great candidate for anti-tank jobs. The Vanquisher should be used for cracking Chaos Land Raiders, along with light or medium tanks. There is only one tank that can stand up to its power, the Monolith, because of the special Rule: Living Metal.  The Vanquisher is usually fielded against tank-heavy armies that the standard infantry platoon finds hard to deal with. The technology required to make this tank was lost when the Forge World Tigrus was overrun.

Leman Russ Eradicator

The Eradicator was first used during urban conflicts.The Eradicator cannon's blast is so powerful that any cover is useless against such a torrent. If you are facing an opponent that relies on cover from your tank then you're in luck. The Eradicator offers a solution to a simple but annoying problem: Tau hiding behind a wall! Even throwing crack grenades and plasma at them can fail, as they can use cover saves to negate the killing power of those weapons. The Eradicator is the solution to your troubles as it can come around the corner and kill them because of its AP and no cover-save.

This tank is great for fighting cover dependent units who hide and harass your men and tanks.

Leman Russ Punisher

The Leman Russ Punisher can put more ammo at the target than any other tank in the Imperial guard.The crew is usually gung-ho and trigger happy.The Punisher is a heavy 20 (S5 AP -) weapon.This is your best friend when fighting Tyranids.They can kill most Tyranid Genestealers due to their low armour value while wounding them isn't an issue. A heavy 20 against them will hit quite a few and wound them while the low armor value is that of or less of a guardsman's armor. Tyranids and Orks are the only armies with lower armor, but with this baby you'll start to destroy their endless supplies of troops while those troops can't hurt you. Their heavy support will do some damage, however.

Leman Russ Executioner

The Executioner is an ancient and very old tank. Once it was produce in entire legons of them but as understanding of plasma technology was lost so was the technology to make the tank. The Executioner is in essence a plasma tank. Its main gun is an Executioner plasma cannon which shoots 3 plasma shots or 5 if 2 side sponson plasma guns are put onto it.

Hydra Flak Tank

If your opponent is the Tau or Eldar and they're using vehicles this is your answer.  The auto targeting system means that you will have no targeting problems with vehicles.  This is a very effective weapon against Tau or Eldar skimmers, but it is AP 4 so will need some protection from enemy infantry.
Imperial Guard Hydra Emplacement

Imperial Guard Hydra Flak Emplacement

There is also a version where the main gun is mounted on a Chimera chassis.

Hydra Flak Tank

Imperial Guard Hydra Flak Tank


Imperial Guard Basilisk

Imperial Guard Basilisk artillery

"Infantry win firefights, tanks win battles,  artillery  wins  wars" - old  saying amongst Imperial Guard artillery officers. 

One of the longest range weapon in the game, the Basilisk is a common sight on the battlefields of the Imperium. Equipped with the powerful Earthshaker cannon, with strength 9, AP 3 and 36" - 240" range, the Basilisk is designed to sit far from the frontlines, ceaselessly bombarding the enemy frontlines. The basilisk uses the standard Chimera chassis but has all transport room and lasguns removed, leaving it with a single hull weapon and the Earthshaker cannon itself. It can be upgraded to be allowed to fire from behind cover, blindly destroying targets before the other forces arrive, while keeping itself safe from enemy fire. The ordnance this produces is able to break through all of the enemies defenses and is feared, rightly so. It is susceptible to enemy fire if caught in the open however, and will not last long against any heavy weapons.


The Medusa is a siege cannon designed to crack open enemy bunkers or blast a breach into a fortress. It is very high-powered and excellent for piercing armor, but has a very short range. These are usually fielded with heavy infantry support to protect it's vulnerabilities.


The Colossus is an ancient piece of siege equipment that is rarely seen except when thier enormous siege cannons are required to flatten enemy positions.  While not as powerful as some of the other artillery units it is used when a wall or fortess needs destroying or penetrating.  The Colossus is a mortar which can only fire indirectly and negates cover saves like the Leman Russ Eradicator. They fire high explosive shells that release an enormous detonation.


The Griffon is a self-propelled heavy mortar which has been returned to the Codex from 2nd edition. Based on a Chimera chassis, this cheap artillery option is very effective for its points cost. The Griffon has good AP and can give your opponent much to fear.  Due to its light ammunition it can be fired with higher accuracy than the other ordinance batteries.


The Manticore is one of the most feared units in the Imperial Guard.  It is an anti-horde weapon which is effective against Orks.  The rockets and the machine spirit of the Manticore are so unpredictable that the rockets may not fire, even when given the proper blessing, or sometimes all four rockets will launch at once.  The Manticore has only 4 shots and reloading is a time-consuming process. This makes the Manticore a danger to all those around, including friendly units.  Once during a siege of a major fortress the defenders surrendered at just the sight of a single Manticore. Moments later the Fortress was destroyed by the rockets all going off at the same time.  Clearly this tank is dangerous to anyone but the crew inside.
Manticore Missile Platform

Imperial Guard Manticore Missile System

The Manticore is a resin conversion kit from Forge World, with the main weapons mounted on a Chimera chassis.

Manticore Missile Tank

Imperial Guard Manticore Missile Tank

Death Strike

The Death Strike is an element from Apocalypse that has been added into regular gameplay. It has a massive missile that can reach out to 960" on the board and boasts the largest blast size of any weapon in standard 40,000 games. Each turn, a dice is rolled to determine if it can fire its missile. Certain modifiers are used as well, depending on what turn it is and whether the vehicle has been hit. Used only in situations where total oblivion is wanted, it can carry multiple warheads from titan hunting warheads to bio-weapons. Its most destructive warhead is the vortex warhead that can only be used if approved by Segmentum Command. Traditionally, it carries a large plasma-based charge that can incinerate entire armies in a single blast.

Notable Imperial Guard Forces

Cadian Shock Troops

Cadian Imperial Guard

Cadian Shock Troopers

The Cadian Shock Troopers are famous throughout the galaxy for constantly proving themselves in the arena of battle. Their leader is the Lord Castellan, the position currently held by Ursarkar E. Creed, hero of the Battle for Cadia. The model for Cadians are the standard model for all Imperial Guard troopers, consequently making them the Imperial Guard's equivalent of the Ultramarines. Cadia has always been a fortress world, charged with guarding the "Eye of Terror".

Its population all are destined for military life; the birth rate and recruitment rate are practically synonymous. Cadian regiments are highly disciplined, make excellent shots and use elite shock troops to lead their attacks. Such is their reputation of the shock troops that many other regiments mimic their appearance and equipment, although their doctrines may differ.

The Cadians fighting in the 13th Black Crusade were developed to be a generic force representing any modern or science fiction armed force based on modern Russian, British, German, American, and various other hi-tech soldiers. In previous (Second and Third) editions, the Cadian Shock Troopers were heavily styled on the Mobile Infantry from the 1997 Starship Troopers film as well as the Colonial Marines from the 1986 movie Aliens.

History of Cadia

Cadia has a special and honored place in the history of Mankind. Cadia stands upon the very edge of the Eye of Terror within a narrow corridor of stable space called the Cadian Gate. This forms the one and only predictable passage between the Chaos infested daemon worlds of the Eye of Terror and Terra. No battle fleet of any size can rely upon other unstable passages and must pass through the Cadian Gate. Cadia is therefore one of the most strategically important planets of the galaxy.

On several occasions the forces of Chaos have moved against Cadia and raging battles have been fought in the depths of space. Such huge battles are rare, but the constant intrusion of Chaos raiding craft is commonplace. Chaos Space Marines make frequent forays onto the surface of Cadia and must be hunted down. The bulk of the Cadian army is made up of the Shocktroops, with the remainder made up of the Whiteshields (conscript soldiers recruited at the age of 14 and trained to take place in Shocktroop regiments) and the Elite Kaskrin soldiers.

Notable regiments:

  • 7th Cadian: "The Lucky Sevens"
  • 8th Cadian: "The Lord Castellan's Own", led personally by Ursarkar E. Creed during the Thirteenth Black Crusade
  • 39th Cadian: "Xenobane"
  • 89th Armoured Cadian: In the Apocalypse rulebook due to their famous baneblade "Steel Lord"
  • 110th Cadian: "Shadow Corps"
  • 122nd Cadian: Distinguished themselves in the Vogen Campaign, and featured in Codex: Cityfight (Chambers, 2001)
  • 412th Cadian: Featured in the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War expansion Winter Assault
  • 417th Cadian: "Hellbringers"

Catachan Jungle Fighters

Jungle Fighters

Catachan Jungle Fighters

Catachan is a Death World almost completely covered in dense jungle where it seems the entire ecosystem is hostile to human life. Catachan's only export is its people, who through natural selection are bred tough and strong from living in such a dangerous world.

Catachan Jungle Fighters are among some of the deadliest experts of jungle warfare in the entire galaxy and their reputation precedes them. They make use of many close combat weapons including the "Catachan Fang", a knife measuring up to 20 inches of gleaming steel, which is the most common weapon. It is also used for settling disputes between Catachans. Another knife is the Night Reaper, which is smaller and blackened, effective in night infiltration and assassinations. They are sometimes poisoned to improve their kill strength, the poisons coming directly from Catachan. The Devil's Claw, named after the Catachan Devil, is the longest weapon, up to four feet long. It is closer to a sword than a knife and has achieved status among the Orks who call it "Da Cutta". The blade is hollow and half filled with mercury in order to improve swing strength and control, and the design of this weapon has been copied by Catachan regimental officers for use as a power weapon.

They also make extensive use of traps, mines and other unpleasant surprises. They use traps, spring mines, shredder mines and plasma charges, each specializing in killing certain types of troops. The most skilled Catachan Jungle Fighters are capable of launching deadly ambushes, remaining unseen in the foliage and appearing only when they want to attack. Due to their tactics and the terrain which they specialize in, the Catachan Jungle Fighters do not use any vehicles save for the Sentinel walker which is modified for jungle warfare. They also use fewer heavy weapon teams than a standard army, and those that they do have favor mortars and heavy bolters. This leaves them under-gunned compared to other Imperial Guard regiments, but their weaponry is optimal for their preferred style of combat.

Catachan Jungle Fighters, as a whole, bear similarities to the "Rambo" movie series, complete with red headbands, and to a lesser extent, Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movies "Commando" and "Predator". They also resemble some of the stereotypes of the American G.I. during the Vietnam War, which involved a great deal of jungle combat.

Notable regiments: Catachan XXIV "Waiting Death" - Use of extensive traps, using "baiter" squads to lure the enemy onto the traps.

Catachan XVIII "Swamprats" - Attacked a Tyranid horde, masked themselves in Tyranid ichor and successfully wiped out the Tyranids. They then had to spend two years on a decontamination ship.

Catachan XVII "Screaming Devils" - Led by Captain Thorn, including famous sniper, Sniper Dell, who won the Silver Bullet seven years in a row.

Catachan XXII Airborne Assault Group - Led by Colonel Paseski, combined with the 1139th Orbital Attack Group, known for their extensive use of Valkyries.

There is a Catachan special character named Sly Marbo, who appeared in the 3rd version of Warhammer 40,000 in the Catacahan "sub-codex". He also appears in the short story Death World by Steve Lyons as part of the Imperial Guard Omnibus: Volume One collection. He is part of the Catachan XIV Regiment and is considered the best camouflage expert and sniper in the entire regiment. He has also been referred to as the "one man army" by his commanding officers and fellow Catachan. He often works completely alone in the field, shadowing squads as they travel through dense jungles acting as sniper support. His character is heavily inspired by the infamous character John Rambo portrayed by Sylvester Stallone (Marbo is an anagram of Rambo).  Little is known of Marbo's past, but it is hinted that he and his nine brothers joined a Catachan regiment that was wiped out - only Marbo survived, returning to his post with a severed enemy commander's head with a bullet hole between the eyes. Marbo apparently stares vacantly into space in the time between assignments, and few have heard him speak; both attributes unsettle commanders who encounter him, but none can argue with the results of his solo missions.

Catachan Jungle Fighters if painted a certain way, closely resemble members of the United States Army and Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

Ice Warriors of Valhalla

Valhalla was originally a verdant paradise world. No records survive of its colonization, but legends recall a world ripe for conquest. Unfortunately, Valhalla was destined for catastrophe. A rogue comet entered into a collision course with Valhalla. The planet's defense lasers fired at the comet, but only succeeded in breaking it up. Later, it was found that the comet was made of almost pure iron, explaining why the lasers were so ineffective. The comet mostly impacted in the vast ocean, but a mile-wide fragment impacted the northern continent, creating vast plumes of dust which proceeded to cover the planet in a blanket of dirt. To make matters worse, the planet's orbit was changed, moving it farther away from its sun. This change in the amount of warmth and light altered Valhalla's ecosystem permanently, changing the planet to an icy wasteland. The people struggled to make a living, fearing famine due to a lack of viable farmland. Unfortunately, this was not the end of Valhalla's troubles. A damaged Ork warfleet descended on the planet and proceeded to fight the Valhallans for the precious food they had stored. The Valhallans held out bravely for a long time in their vast hive cities beneath the ice but were pushed right back to the food vats. Eventually they destroyed the orks by using ice boring machines to strategically strike at the heart of the mob, burning and melting most of the orks and scattering the rest.

Regiments of Valhallans have been assigned to planets infested with Orks due to their intimate knowledge of Ork tactics and their dogged determination in the face of defeat, where other armies might run.

Valhalla is an extremely cold, ice covered planet similar to the ice planet Hoth from Star Wars. Valhallan Ice Warriors resemble the Soviet army during World War II.

Famously, the Comissar Ciaphas Cain served with the Valhallan 597th.




Praetoria is a heavily populated Hive World that lies in a system close to the Imperial naval base at Bakka. The overpopulated Hive-Cities of Praetoria are renowned for their rigid class divide and severe squalor and degradation in the lower classes, and produce some of the toughest gangsters on any of the hive worlds in the Imperium. Imperial Guard regiments raised on Praetoria are renowned for their iron discipline, by-the-book drilling and unshakeable bravery, even in the face of the most overwhelming odds.

Originally Mordians with different sculpted heads, the Praetorians were introduced following the Games Day display "Massacre at Big Toof River", where a substantial Imperial Guard force was annihilated by an enormous Ork horde in a similar style to the British defeat at Isandhlwana by Zulus. Despite this crippling loss, the Praetorians fought back at the "Last Stand at Glazer's Creek", where they, supported by local militia and allied Ratlings, fought off a rampaging Ork horde in a battle similar to the British-Zulu conflict at Rourke's Drift.

It is befitting then that the Praetorians are based on British colonial soldiers typical of those found in Africa during the 19th century. This is further reflected by the fact that their most common enemies are the Ork tribes - who function as a grotesque parody of the Zulu warriors.

Tallarn Desert Raiders

The Tallarn Desert Raiders are exceptional at guerrilla-style warfare, having adapted to the harsh conditions of their home planet. They are also known for their weaponry accuracy, as well as having highly capable Sentinel and Tank squads.

Tallarn Desert Raiders have a slightly Arab-like appearance, but influences have also been taken from other sources, such as the African campaigns of WW2.

Mordian Iron Guard

Iron Guard

Mordian Iron Guard

Mordians normally wear bright dress uniforms, even into combat, and often present a look of amateurism, perhaps to catch their enemies off guard. Friends and allies alike learn from this mistake quickly, as the Iron Guard's training is second to none. Due to the condition of their planet, the troops raised there tend to be a dour, no-nonsense lot. Mordians believe in perfect precision and constant drill to overcome their foes, and they will rarely be seen routed, rather they make fighting retreats to a better and more defensible position.

The Mordian Iron Guard bear a slight resemblance to the Prussian army under Bismarck and if painted right could also look like the Japanese army
A squad of 10 Steel Legion soldiers

Armageddon Steel Legion

in the early 20th century.

Armageddon Steel Legion

"Heroes of Armageddon! You have withstood the evil savagery of the Orks, and they have nothing left for you to fear. So raise high the black banners of vengeance - now is our time!" - Commissar Yarrick

Armageddon is a Hive World, a planet covered in vast polluted wastelands broken up by hives, huge arcologies stretching miles into the sky. True to its name, Armageddon has been the site of three apocalyptic battles, most recently a pair of invasions by the Ork warboss Ghazghkull Thraka.

As a result, the armies of Armageddon are skilled in fighting against Orks. The Steel Legion soldiers are siege experts and masters of attrition, driving their wounded enemies back across the ash wasteslands of the planet after they have suffered severe casualties. Armageddon produces many armored fighting vehicles for the Imperium, such as Chimera APCs. As such, the Armageddon Steel Legions are primarily Mechanized Infantry, employing Chimera APCS, Hellhounds and several variants of the Leman Russ (tank).

The Armageddon Steel Legions resemble the German Fallschirmjäger (paratroops) during World War II.

Death Korps of Krieg

The Planet Krieg was once the site of a rebellion against the Imperium. In retaliation, the people of Krieg subjected their world to 500 years of atomic cleansing to root out the rebellious factions.

The Death Korps are fearless warriors, never flinching even in the face of unavoidable death, which they see as atonement for the rebellion. They see their deaths fighting in war as penance for the heresy of their ancestors. They are a dedicated trench and siege warfare force and perform best in wars of attrition.

Appearance-wise, the Death Korps are similar to the Steel Legion, but have darker colors, and their masks usually have a skull motif. Of all the regiments of the Guard, they are the most gloomy and dark, both in appearance and in spirit. They bear a strong resemblance to the Imperial German Army in World War I, in tactics (trench warfare) as well as appearance.

Tanith First-and-Only (Gaunt's Ghosts)

The world of Tanith came under attack by Chaos forces while it was mustering soldiers for the Sabbat Crusade. Only about 3,000 men were rescued from the planet by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt before it was destroyed by the powers of Chaos. Because they were left without a homeworld, the members of the Tanith 1st and Only came to call themselves "Gaunt's Ghosts" (As later named by "Mad" Hlaine Larkin, sniper of the Tanith First-and-Only). During the course of their deployment, after a mission in Verunhive, they gain new troops from the ruined hive. A second commissar, Commissar Hark joined the unit. They are excellent light infantry and scouts, and as such are known to dress in cloaks made out of cameoline for camouflage.

The stories of the Tanith 1st and Only can be found in the Gaunt's Ghosts series, written by Dan Abnett.

Harakoni Warhawks

Harakon is a low-gravity planet with tall hives. The Harakoni use grav-gliders to hunt vapourwyrms in the valleys below their hives. This makes them fearless of altitudes and great at judging air currents. Their abilities have found a home in the imperial guard where they act as drop troops. Many a General or warmaster owes their decorations to the bravery and experience of the warriors of Harakon.

Elysian Drop Troopers

The Drop regiments of Elysia are known for the rapid deployment capabilities using Airborne Troop Carriers called Valkyries, and either rappel down ropes or use grav-chutes at high altitudes. These troops have deep strike capability, and can use mortars, rocket launchers, and heavy bolters like any other IG regiment. Unfortunately, They must sacrifice the heavy vehicle support that most other IG regiments field. The only ground vehicles to date that they can utilize are the modified Drop Sentinel and the Tauros Venator. The Elysian Drop Troopers were among the forces that fought in the 3rd Armageddon War.

Forge World recently released a line of resin models for the Elysians for the Taros Campaign, a conflict between the Imperium and the Tau.

Vostroyan Firstborns

Vostroyan Firstborns

Vostroyan Firstborn

Vostroya is a world in the Halo-zone beyond the eye of terror, which swore allegiance to Mars during the Age of Strife. It is now ruled by a committee of Techtriarchs, A mix of Mechanicus Magos and more traditional Imperial planetary government. During the Horus Heresy, Vostroya refused to provide regiments to the Emperor, preferring instead to reserve the population in the manufactorium blanketing the world. After the Heresy came to an end the Vostroyans agreed to supply every first born son to service with the Imperial guard. Despite the black mark on their people's history, the Vostroyans now consider it an honour to fight for the Emperor, and view other more reluctant regiments with disgust.

The Vostroyans were introduced in the 2006 campaign "Fall of Medusa IV".

The Vostroyan carapace armour is mildly based on the armour worn by Cossacks of Eastern Europe, and the Vostroyan culture itself is inspired by 19th century Russia.

Kauravan 252nd Conservator Regiment

Featured in the game Dawn of War: Soulstorm they are the remainng imperial guard units in the system, having lost the others defending Kaurava IV against the legions of Chaos Space Marines. They led by Govenor-General Vance Stubbs. Dawn of War II suggests that the Imperial Guard defeated the other powers and established a stonger rule on the system.

Other Imperial Guard Regiments

The Imperial Guard, perhaps more than any other Warhammer 40,000 army, allows painters and modellers a great deal of scope for creating a personalised force. With regiments of Imperial Guard present on almost every world in the Imperium many players like to invent their own regiment, writing their own background and creating a unique looking force. The Citadel plastic kits for Cadians and Catachans are fully compatible allowing for very easy conversions

Some players combine the Citadel Minitures plastic kits with 28mm minitures produced by other companies, such as World War II historical models, to make their Imperial Guard more characterful (although doing this often means they cannot enter offcial GW tournaments or use the models at in-store games).

Notable Characters

PC Games

  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - The Imperial Guard made a guest appearance in the Single Player campaign, exactly the same withe dawn of war 2, but this time kaskrin instead of ordinary guardsmen, and were expanded into a playable army in the expansions Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm.

External links


  • Codex: Imperial Guard 3rd, 4th and 5th Editions - created by Gamesworkshop
  • Codex: Catachans - created by Gamesworkshop
  • Expansion: Apocalypse - created by Gamesworkshop
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