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

The Imperial Guard are much more widespread than the Space Marines. Imperial Guard are also much more expendable; the loss of a dozen Imperial Guardsmen would still not equal the loss of one Space Marine. The Primarch of the Imperial Fists Space Marine chapter, Rogal Dorn, once famously quoted: "Give me 100 Space Marines or, failing that, give me 1000 other troops." (In actual game terms, however, because of a need for balance, Imperial Guard are able to fight Space Marine armies with a higher chance of victory due to nearly thousands of regiments more than Space Marines.)

Imperial Guard, while weak individually, rely on infantry numbers and the assistance of powerful tanks, such as the Leman Russ Battle tank, Basilisk mobile artillery, and Chimera APC, to win. Even a small Imperial Guard division is likely to have a full complement of armoured fighting vehicles. For example a Baneblade can overpower its Space Marine predecessor Land Raider in ballistics and firepower, as well as the Basilisk can easily defeat the Tau Skyray in matters of range and firepower.

The Imperial Guard also have a number of special forces troops at their disposal, such as Stormtroopers, the elite of the Schola Progenium, who have been issued better weapons and stronger armor.

Though general purpose Imperial Guardsmen are weak in close combat, with the help of specialists such as Ogryns (brute-like Ogre creatures), their strength at close quarters is boosted. Also, some named Imperial Guard regiments have special rules like Ambush to help stun the enemy for a head start in the fighting. Regiments also have the options to take doctrines, specializing their force in some ways to make it stand out from the rest. These can include better armour for the army, or allowing them to drop into the middle of a battlefield at any time during a fight. This system makes the Imperial Guard list quite flexible.

Despite being heavily underpowered in melee and ranged combat to Space Marines; The Imperial Guard task force in full frontal battle can easily defeat the Space Marines, due to Imperial Guard's number in the masses.


The Imperial Guard is a colossal military organisation, consisting of many individual armies throughout the Imperium, and forming the vast bulk of the Imperium's military machine. The Guard collectively numbers billions of men from thousands of different Imperial worlds.

Each Imperial Guard regiment is raised from a single world and generally number between five hundred and two thousand fighting soldiers, supported by a huge array of light and heavy armoured vehicles. Each regiment also has its own entourage, consisting of support staff, camp followers, suppliers, tech-priests, doctors, religious leaders and the like.

Regiments are drawn from all types of planets of the Imperium from Holy Terra to Feral and Medieval worlds, and the contributions of some planets over the ten thousand years of the Imperium runs into the billions, if not more. The Imperial Guard are constantly at war, freeing worlds from Chaotic or alien influence, or defending them from the same. The Imperial Guard rely upon the Imperial Navy for transport to and from war zones.

Space Marines in all are considered the elite of the Imperium although the Imperial Guard have higher mass thus can easily defeat the Space Marines if full frontal combat.

Imperial Guard Equipment and Weaponry has a wide range from standard Lasguns to Earthshaker cannons.

Components of an Imperial Guard Regiment


High Command Squad

In large-scale crusades, 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 Commanders 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.

Imperial Guard High Command Squad

Command Squad

Containing an officer (Heroic Senior, Senior or Junior), 4 Guardsmen and up to 5 support squadrons. The Heroic officers are the most senior officers. They have access to the most equipment, and have the best statistics. They have the highest leadership and instill a strong feeling of patriotism for the Emperor. The Senior officer is able to run the army, with worse stats, but being cheaper. The Junior officer has the worst statistics, is cheaper in proportion, and is generally used to lead infantry or heavy weapon platoons, however they can lead the whole army, if the player desires. The guardsmen can be armed with a variety of weapons, and can be upgraded to veterans for better stats and access to the company Standard and one becoming a medic. They can all be mounted in a Chimera. The officer is in continuous contact with his subordinates and coordinates attacks and provides a solid leadership anchor.

Fire Support Squad

Can have up to three heavy bolters or autocannons. Useful for attacking horde armies, such as Orks and other Imperial Guard armies.

Anti-tank Support Squad

Can have up to three lascannons or missile launchers. Useful for attacking heavy infantry and vehicles, as well as bunkers.

Mortar Support Squad

Can have up to three mortars. Useful for bombarding enemy forward emplacements from in cover.

Sentinel Support Squadron

One Sentinel squadron may be used, allowing up to 12 Sentinels in any one army. Useful for defending objectives or drawing fire from the powerful leader units.

Special Weapon Support Squad

Allows up to three special weapons including meltaguns, flamers, grenade launchers, sniper rifles and up to one demolition charge. Useful for sneaking up on the enemy and taking out any expensive units and light vehicles.

Sanctioned Psykers

Certain psykers are picked out by the Adeptus Psykana for their psychic gifts and are constantly screened and trained to hone the ability that lets them stand out so. Given that they are also a potential psychic conduit for the creatures of the warp, they have to be ever vigilant to keep their soul intact and loyal to the Emperor. Thus, they are able to use their psychic abilities to aid the commander in his decisions by predicting or sensing enemy movements, or more directly in combat, skillfully manipulating warp energies to damage the enemy or enhance allies in some way or other. Commissars have the power to execute a psyker if it appears said psyker has been attacked by a creature from the warp. This removes the link to the warp and prevents the entity from entering real space.


Even in battle does a Guardsman 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 often operate as autonomous individuals, counseling and advising the commander. They have the ability to execute Sanctioned Psykers if they are attacked by beasts of the warp and also to execute officers who fail a morale check. 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.


These fanatical members of the Ecclesiarchy follow the Imperial Guard campaigns and battles preaching the Righteousness of the Emperor. They favour 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.


Hardened Veteran Guardsmen

Some guardsmen have their skills honed by constant battle and their experience sets them apart from other guardsmen. These experienced individuals are hardened by battle and are drafted into special squads where they are given more specialized weaponry for certain jobs. They are often regarded with some degree of respect or fear by their peers due to their natural status given to them by their skill and experience. However, their standard equipment varies very little and the most significant difference is their ability at wielding special weaponry. Their skills, however, come in useful in other situations and commanders often take advantage of this.


Stormtroopers 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 stormtrooper carries a hellgun and wears carapace armour that can give better protection than flak armour.



Large, hulking, and angry. These warriors are big on brute force, but small on brains. They are given well built Ripper Guns, which more often than not are used for bashing the enemy with 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 as such are not at their best when being transported (however, it has been found that Officers and Commissars are quite adept at relieving this fear). 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 shorter and more muscular than most other humanoid species. The are considered powerful enough to take on a Terminator Squad with victory.

Ratling Squad

These small humanoids come from low gravity worlds and are unsuitable for close combat. They form the sniper core of the Imperial Guard, and many squads are grateful for the covering fire of a squad of Ratling when they fall back. They are also known for their excellent skills at being cooks, although they are also the subject of many a Guardsman's jokes.

see also Adeptus Ebulum

Techpriest Enginseer

A heavily armoured warrior from the Adeptus Mechanicus who can repair tanks and vehicles on the battlefield. They can be accompanied by other 'servitor' units, who can either aid him in combat, at range, or in repairing vehicles. They are privy to the mystical secrets of the machine spirits in vehicles and are held in high regard amongst armoured companies, comprising primarily of vehicles, but in most Imperial Guard armies, they are shunned because of their bionic enhancements and disfigurements.




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. In battle, Guardsmen suffer the greatest losses but most of the time these losses are not missed in the greater scheme and are easily replaced by simply recruiting from their homeworlds. As standard, a guardsman is equipped with a lasgun and outfitted with flak armour that provides minimal protection.

Infantry Platoon

The standard infantry deployment, including officers, their staff, many guardsmen and a wide variety of heavy and special weapons. They are tactically flexible and make up the bulk of most Imperial armies.

Armoured Fist Squad

These are units of guardsmen, much like an infantry squad, but mounted in a Chimera. These are more tactically flexible than infantry platoons, but lack the large numbers of guardsmen. They may take various heavy and special weapons.

Conscript Platoons

These are normal people with little or no training, given a lasgun and flak armour, and sent into the battle. They can be small units or brought together to form a formidable swarm of men. They are sometimes penal units, or simply Whiteshields recruited at a young age, and may include a number of special and heavy weapons, but are unable to utilise some available to the better trained Imperial Guardsmen.


The troop transport for the Imperial Guard follows in the idea of 'as many guns as possible' toting six hull mounted lasguns, a turret mounted weapon and another heavier hull mounted weapon. It can carry up to 12 men, or 6 Ogryns, and is adept at arriving out of nowhere and deploying a large array of troops. It has the advantage of being amphibious, and so can also take part in naval assaults. It is very durable, and is the basis for many other of the Guard's heavier vehicles, such as the Basilisk, Hellhound, and Griffin mortar platform. They play a heavy role in mechanized armies such as the Armegeddon Steel Legion.

Fast Attack

Rough Rider Squadron

Mounted on horse/animal/creature 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, the Hellhound totes a large flamer known as an 'Inferno Cannon'. It is feared by all enemies because of its ability to cover a wide area with flames and cause horrific losses to units that cluster together, such as Orks. They instill fear in a target unit, forcing the enemy to take various checks to find out if they run or bunker down. They have large promethium fuel tanks on the rear chassis of the vehicle and the members of the tank crew are often gleeful pyromaniacs.

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 armoured however, and are susceptible to light arms fire. They are often employed as scouts and can be used for defending the flanks of other units or striking forward to take out medium-heavy armoured infantry or vehicles.

Heavy Support

Leman Russ Battle 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 or heavy flamers. With strong front armour, 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 other base of design for some of the other vehicles, including the Leman Russ Demolisher, 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 armour. The simplest tactic is to get just within range of the enemy and then blast as much as possible, relying on the front armour to keep the tank going. It can also have more rare heavy weapons such as Plasma Cannons and Multi Meltas that the standard Leman Russ does not have access to. They are the only tank in the Imperial Guard that is directly affiliated with infantry formations, rather than being assigned from an armoured 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.


File:IG Basilisk.jpg

The longest range weapon in the game, the Earthshaker cannon has a high strength and range, making it deadly for bombarding enemy positions. It 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.

Heavy Weapons Platoon

Includes a Junior officer and his staff, and 1 to 3 support anti-tank, fire support or mortar squads. Useful for having more concentrated firepower.

Notable Imperial Guard Forces

Cadian Shock Troopers

Template:See 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 United States Army as well as the Mobile Infantry from the 1997 movie Starship Troopers and the United States Colonial Marines from the 1986 movie Aliens.

History of Cadia

Cadia has a special and honoured place in the history of Mankind. Cadia stands upon the 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 Kasrkin 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"
  • 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

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 less heavy weapon teams than a standard army, and those that they do have favor mortars and heavy bolters. This leaves them undergunned 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 movie 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.

There is a catachan character named Sly Marbo who appeared in the 4th version of Warhammer 40,000 (confirmation of this fact required).

Ice Warriors of Valhalla

Valhalla was originally a verdant paradise world. No records survive of its colonisation, but legends recall a world ripe for conquest. Unfortunately, Valhalla was destined for catastrophe. A rogue comet entered into a collisson 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 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 a long way 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. The comet was bad, but not to be the end of their suffering. 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.

Tallarn Desert Raiders

The Tallarn Desert Raiders are exceptional at Guerilla 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

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 here 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. They bear a slight resemblance to the Prussian army under Bismarck and if painted right could also look like Japanese army in the Russo-Japanese war in the early 20th century.

Armageddon Steel Legion

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. Armageddon produces many armored fighting vehicles for the Imperium, such as Chimera APCs. As such, the Armageddon Steel Legions are primarily Mechanized Infantry.

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 sudden 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) and appearance (their helmets bear a single spike on the top, just like the German Pickelhaube helmets did).

Savlar Chem Dogs

The Chem Dogs are typical of many Penal Legions in the Imperial Guard. Recruits are drawn from the prisons on the planet Savlar by the promise to allow them to keep anything they take from the battlefield, as well as the chance to get away from Savlar's highly toxic environment. They were created to fight in the Third War for Armageddon and excel in fighting in Hive Cities and close quarters. They get their courage mainly from the use of nitro-chem inhalers, and are just as likely to steal from other regiments (and each other!) as they are from the enemy.

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 3000 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). 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.


The Praetorians resemble colonial-era British soldiers (as in the film Zulu), complete with brightly-colored dress uniforms and pith helmets. They were introduced as a "limited edition" range for the Gamesday Massacre at Big Toof River display and participation game. Like many older models, they have been removed from production, but are widely available online, and until recently, through the manufacturer's own archive service. The Praetorians were reasonably popular, largely due to the highly distinctive look of their armies and the sharp contrast between them and the dark, gothic Imperium around them. As such, many people were angered at GW's decision to drop the range.

Terrax Guard

The planet of Terrax is the site of a major Schola Progenium facility, the Schola Excubitos. This means they have a large number of commissars and Storm Troopers. Some Storm Troopers are even part of the regiment itself. The regiment is known for its excellent and rigid discipline, as though it were composed completely of Commissars.

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.

Kanak Skull Takers

Kanak, a volcano-wracked world, is home to many fierce barbarian tribes. They soon found a home in the Imperial Guard and considerable tolerance for their feral tactics is displayed. Some of the tribes consist of people closer to Ogryns (see further up the page) than humans.

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 vehicle to date that they can utilize is the modified Drop Sentinel. The Elysian Drop Troopers were among the forces that fought in the 3rd Armageddon War.

These troops are based on roughly modern day parachute troops to futuristic drop troops such as the Hell Jumpers in the game Halo 2 and the Mobile Infantry from Starship Troopers.

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

The 13th Penal Legion (Colonel Schaeffer's Last Chancers)

The Last Chancers are an elite force of criminals, rebels and misfits who are rescued from the firing squad and given a chance to win the Emperor's forgiveness by engaging in suicidal missions. They draw heavy inspiration from the classic film The Dirty Dozen. On the battlefield, Last Chancers are fielded in contingents of 5 to 20 men, with the possibility of arming and equipping every trooper individually, which opens excellent modelling and conversion options.

Vostroyan Firstborn

Vostroya is a world in the Halo-zone beyond the eye of terror, which swore alegiance 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 Heresey, Vostroya refused to provide regiments to the Emperor, preferring instead to reserve the population in the manufactorium blanketing the world. After the Heresey came to an end the Vostroyans agreed to supply every first born son to service with the Imperial guard.

Stalinvast Grenadiers

Use Vostroyan pattern uniforms.

Petrosk Beseigers

Use Vostroyan pattern uniforms.

Vitrian Dragoons

An Imperial Guard regiment from the planet Vitria, the Vitrian Dragoons are very well-drilled and austere soldiers, operating in platoons of about 20 men. During the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the Vitrians gave an excellent account of themselves in support of the Tanith 1st and Only.

The Vitrians wear a clever form of full-length mesh or chain-armour, made from volcanic glass or obsidian. This armour is made up of scale segments woven into a fabric base, each segment joined to the next with interlocking teeth. As well as offering protection against projectiles and lasgun fire, the armour has thermal and electrical insulating properties. A control at the waistband enables the wearer to instantly flip each segment back to front, exposing the reverse side - one side of the armour has a shiny ablative surface, and the other has a dark matt coloration and is deployed for stealth purposes.

The Vitrian Dragoons also wear full-face helmets with visors. These helmets have narrow eye-slits glazed with dark glass.

The Vitrians have fewer heavy weapons than other Imperial units, and the heavy weapons they do have are likely to be plasma guns, rather than melta-guns or flamers. Their light weapons are lasrifles, which also have spike-bladed bayonets.

The Vitrians' guiding philosophy is expounded in the Byhata, the Vitrian art of war, and every soldier carries a copy of this text. A typical exhortation from the Byhata is: "Make your first blow sure enough to kill and there will be no need for a second," which explains why their lasguns are normally set to maximum charge.

Notable Characters

PC Games

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - The Imperial Guard made a guest appearance in the Single Player campaign, and were expanded into a playable army in the expansions Winter Assault, Dark Crusade, and Soulstorm.

The Imperial Guard also made an appearance as antagonists in the game Fire Warrior.


  • Codex: Imperial Guard 3rd Edition - created by Gamesworkshop
  • Codex: Catachans - created by Gamesworkshop
  • Gamesworkshop website

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