- "Quiet you dogs! Are you weak-willed agri-worlders, or are you first-born sons of Vostroya? If you receive an order, you act as if the Emperor Himself gave it!"
- — Sergeant Teodor Arinkev, berating new recruits recently arrived from Vostroya
The Vostroyan Firstborn is the name given to the Militarum Regimentum of the Astra Militarum that originates from the industrial Hive World of Vostroya located near the Halo Stars in the Segmentum Obscurus. The Vostroyan regiments have served the Emperor for countless centuries, though in truth they fight to absolve themselves of a terrible shame incurred by their ancestors over ten millennia ago when, during the dark days of the Horus Heresy, Vostroya failed in its duty to the Emperor of Mankind.
When the galaxy was consumed in civil war and anarchy, the Emperor commanded that worlds still loyal to the Imperium send forth fighting men to help defend it against the Warmaster Horus and his Traitor Legions. Vostroya refused, arguing that it could better serve the Imperium by continuing to devote all its efforts to the manufacture of weapons for the Emperor's armies in the world's great smelteries, and that to give up so much of its populace to become warriors for the Imperial Army would render it incapable of producing those weapons in sufficient quantities. The Vostroyans' refusal to provide soldiers was met with uncommon mercy by the Imperium once the Heresy had ended, and the people of Vostroya have forever after sought to atone for their mistake, promising to provide the first-born son of every Vostroyan family to the service of the Imperial Guard.
Firstborn regiments are trained in the frozen, snow and ash-covered ruins of the planet's ancient cityscapes, on portions of their homeworld no longer habitable or functional, before being shipped out, once each generation, to serve the Imperium, never to return. Unusually, the Firstborn reinforce their regiments, sending new soldiers out to each one, no matter how far away it is. This ensures that the youngest Firstborn have the experience of hardened Veterans to draw upon, and means that every Vostroyan Firstborn regiment can trace its existence back to their original mustering, ten thousand standard years before.
With every family -- from the highest ruling Techtriarchs of Vostroya to the lowliest menials -- required to send their first-born sons to serve, familial ties within regiments are not uncommon, and many young Vostroyans have found themselves under the guardianship of distant uncles and older cousins, something that encourages a strong bond of brotherhood. Within each regiment, the officer corps is composed of those of noble birth, while the common soldiery are drawn from the worker families that make up the bulk of Vostroya's population. Their ancient pact drives them onwards, instilling them with a stubbornness, courage and fortitude rarely seen outside the Adeptus Astartes.
Vostroyan regiments are most commonly line infantry, and are particularly at home in cold environments and urban areas, as these conditions best match those of their training back on Vostroya. However, Firstborn armoured regiments are not uncommon, turning the Vostroyans' traditional close ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus to the operation of powerful battle tanks.
- "We shall wage this war with undaunted faith and courage. We shall not take one step back. This is the Emperor's world and we will not surrender it!"
- — Lord Marshal Toshenko addressing the 16th Vostroyan at the Defence of Nimbosa
Vostroya has always been an important industrial centre for the human-settled galaxy, providing vital arms and munitions to the armed forces of the Imperium of Man. Vostroya's great shame has its roots in an age long past, when the Emperor of Mankind strode amongst the stars and when His empire was sundered by the Horus Heresy. As the legions of the Traitor Warmaster Horus carved a bloody trail to Terra, a petition from the Emperor requested that Vostroya raise regiments of soldiers for the Imperial Army to stand in Horus' path. Every worker that toiled in the great smelteries of Vostroya was already engaged in the immense war effort and the world's ruling Techtriarchs determined that such a sacrifice in manpower would render the production quotas unattainable. They reasoned that the people of Vostroya were better expended making guns than firing them. Reluctantly, the Techtriarchs refused the request.
Their actions might have gone unremarked, for in the violence of that terrible war many records were destroyed. Unfortunately for the people of Vostroya, such anonymity would be denied to them. When the Heresy ended and Exactor Tributii Advocates of the Administratum began to tally up the cost, Vostroya's refusal to raise arms came to light. The Techtriarchs were called to account -- a task that the Primarch of the Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman, oversaw personally. Faced with the ire of the Ultramarines Legion's Primarch, the people of Vostroya entreated the Techtriarchs to negotiate a settlement that would allow them to make amends for their perceived disloyalty. Guilliman warned that Vostroya's penance might never end, but even when he stated the grievous terms of Vostroya's reprieve the Techtriarchs willingly accepted their chance for redemption in the Emperor's eyes.
The proposal that Guilliman and the Techtriarchs agreed to was simple, but has shaped Vostroyan society ever since. To repay their debt to the Emperor, the Vostroyans have, for the last ten thousand standard years, given up the firstborn son of every family for service in the Imperial Guard. There is no exception to this penance, and even the greatest noble families must comply. Thus the regiments of the Vostroyan Firstborn were raised. Unlike other Imperial Guard regiments that are raised en masse by a single Imperial world, the already extant regiments of the Firstborn are regularly furnished with a steady influx of new recruits from their homeworld. To the Vostroyans it is a matter of pride that the regiments of the Firstborn have existed unbroken since their first creation in the 31st Millennium.
Vostroya continues to labour unceasingly to meet the production quotas of their Adeptus Mechanicus masters, but the repayment of their debt to the Emperor comes first. Attached to each of the thousands of manufactoria that blot the planet's surface is a sacred workshop, where the weapons and wargear of the Vostroyan Firstborn are produced. Every labourer on Vostroya is expected to give one hour in every ten to the upkeep of the Firstborn regiments. With stoic resolve, the Vostroyans steadfastly sacrifice their time. The weaponry they produce is of the finest quality, for the Firstborn are their sons and brothers and their only hope of redemption.
Thanks to the inhospitable climate of Vostroya, their regiments are trained in the most adverse of conditions. Within the skeletal remains of collapsed manufactoria, the Firstborn learn the skills of war. Vostroya's governing committee -- the Techtriarchy -- is composed of Adeptus Mechanicus officials as well as Imperial Commanders, and as a result Vostroyan uniforms tend to incorporate red, the colour of Mars, and cyber-augmentation among the ranks is commonplace. The weapons they carry to war and mount on their vehicles are not mass-produced, but exquisitely hand-crafted by military artisans.
The Spinward Front
Several regiments of the Firstborn currently serve within the Margin Crusade, lending their support during the recent escalation that has seen countless regiments pass from the Calixis Sector into the Halo Stars. It came as little surprise that amongst the reserves brought in from outside the Calixis Sector to defend the Periphery Sub-sector were a number of Vostroyan regiments, or that they were amongst the first to arrive.
Alongside a variety of Calixian and Cadian regiments, the Vostroyans have served the longest within the Spinward Front, earning numerous victories and staving off disastrous defeats. Yet, thanks to their own traditions of reinforcement, they have remained at close to full strength for the entire conflict so far. Consequently, Lord Militant Ghanzorik has been keen to ensure that the Firstborn regiments stand alongside his own Maccabian Janissaries as the core of many defensive lines, particularly on the world of Kulth, where the battle lines shift daily.
The opening of the Great Rift and the onset of the Noctis Aeterna has not curbed the Vostroyans' steadfast loyalty towards the Imperium. Vostroya itself, along with the majority of its regiments, are cut off from the guiding beacon of the Astronomican by the still-raging Cicatrix Maledictum. However, the Vostroyans have not only defended their own territories, but have also continued sending reinforcements to other war zones -- hoping to answer the last cries for help that were heard before the Emperor's light was extinguished and all went silent. Without the Astronomican to guide them, Vostroyan Navigators must fly blind, trusting in esoteric data charts or rote memory to navigate the perilously twisting Warp paths. The majority of transports never reach their destination, either emerging far from their target or simply being devoured by the forces of the Immaterium. Despite the devastating losses this has caused the Vostroyans, they continue sending their tanks and soldiers outward into the darkness. Never again will they wait when the call to war has been sounded.
- Defence of Nimbosa (790.M41) - The 9th Vostroyan Regiment, "The Old Irascibles," defended the Imperial world of Nimbosa against the Tau Empire's effort to expand their burgeoning alien empire and annex the world. The Vostroyan regiment heroically sacrificed themselves to a man defending the factory city of Polia against the Tau Commander Brightsword. Inspired by the Vostroyans' sacrifice, the populace refused to submit to the Tau Empire.
- Spinward Front Crusade (814.M41) - The 55th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment is currently involved in the ongoing Imperial Crusade in the Spinward Front of the Calixis Sector. They are currently deployed to the capital world of Kulth and continue to fight an ongoing campaign against the Ork forces of WAAAGH! Grimtoof and the Secessionist forces of the Severan Dominate.
- Kieldar Rebellion (956.M41) - The Kieldar Rebellion is utterly crushed by the combined forces of the Vostroyan, Cadian, Mordian, Loriar, Elysian, Catachan, Aegis, Tallarn, Harakoni, Neocassan, Paragon, Birmingham, Morax, Jjojos, Pintax, Athanos, K'phrani and Rassiosan Imperial Guard regiments.
- Disappearance of Grand-Marshal Durov (997.M41) - Grand-Marshal Durov of Vostroya reports daemonic incursions in the Finial Sector. Contact with Durov's Army Group was lost, and its whereabouts remain unknown.
- Fall of Karak Prime (998.M41) - Reformed after their destruction on Nimbosa, the 9th Vostroyan Regiment once again met their ultimate fate during the Fall of Karak Prime in 998.M41. They held the hive city that served as the planetary capital for eighteen standard months against the brutal onslaught of a splinter Tyranid fleet of Hive Fleet Moloch, valiantly facing the Tyranid swarm that stretched from the base of the city's walls to the distant horizon. With the onset of midwinter, and with the rapid depletion of ammunition and supplies, the 9th Vostroyan knew that they were doomed and vowed to sell their lives dearly. Only when the bulk of the Tyranid swarm had passed into the city did the regiment detonate its nucleonic stack, incinerating the hive, its defenders and an estimated 85% of the Tyranid swarm. With the coming of midwinter, the few surviving Tyranid organisms eventually starved to death and the splinter Hive Fleet was entirely defeated.
- Fall of Medusa V (999.M41) - The Imperial Mining World of Medusa V, located in the Ultima Segmentum, was devoured by a massive Warp Storm in 999.M41. Fortunately, the military forces of the Imperium of Man were able to evacuate the entire surviving civilian population of the planet before it was consumed. Before completing this evacuation, the world became the centre of a large military conflict between eight of the Milky Way Galaxy's major powers for control of the world, each for its own reasons in a campaign later known to Imperial savants as the Fall of Medusa V. Multiple Vostroyan Firstborn regiments, which included the 5th, 7th, 11th, 16th and 241st, answered the call to arms, and fought in the Medusa V campaign.
- Liberation of Kurkaris (Unknown Date.M41) - The 22nd Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment was instrumental in the liberation of the world of Kurkaris. The 22nd is notable for being one of the very few Vostroyan regiments to make use of Rough Riders mounted cavalry squadrons (called Hussars by the Vostroyans) in order to better engage the Orks in Kurkaris' thick forests.
- Defence of Danik's World (Unknown Date.M41) - The 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment defended Danik's World from a massive Ork invasion and a planet-wide rebellion. Last known Imperial records of the regiment indicated that it had dropped to a strength of around 30 effective soldiers, all from the 5th Company. The bulk of the regiment was destroyed by the rebellious forces, both through sedition and ambush tactics. The 5th Company, which had previously been attached as a rearguard, suffered severely in their valiant attempt to make it back to Imperial lines. The commander of the 5th Company, Captain Gregorious Sebastev, was officially placed in command of the hardened survivors, shortly before the whole group was seconded to the Inquisition. The eventual fate of these survivors, and therefore the regiment itself, is currently unknown.
Vostroya was colonised long ago, during the Dark Age of Technology, when Mankind first reached the stars. The homeworld of the Vostroyan Firstborn is a frigid industrialised Hive World, covered in manufactories and towering arcology cityscapes, which has maintained strong ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus since the Age of Strife. Like most Hive Worlds, it is heavily populated. Smoking chimneys belch toxic clouds of pollutants into the sky and blast furnaces fend off the bitter chill as vast workforces toil unceasingly for their Imperial masters. These smoke-clogged edifices are the only places where heat can be found, choking oases of light and warmth amidst the perpetual icy gloom. Few folk stray from their manufactoria without good reason.
Vostroya is governed by the Techtriarchs, a curious committee of Adeptus Mechanicus Arch-Magi and traditional Imperial planetary nobles, whose primary duty is to ensure that the Imperial tithes and production quotas placed upon the Vostroyans are always met. Most of the world's population work in the manufactoria, subjected to poor conditions and long hours to ensure that weaponry and other goods are produced in the vast quantities demanded by the Imperium. For the poorest families, their first-born sons are provided with an opportunity to achieve something beyond the toil and frozen squalor of their homes, and for all on Vostroya, the offering of the first-born is regarded as both a duty and an honour -- their culture places enormous importance on the repayment of their ancestral debt to the Imperium of Man and the God-Emperor.
Vostroyan Firstborn regiments are trained in the frozen, snow and ash-covered ruins of the planet's ancient cityscapes, on portions of their homeworld no longer habitable or functional, before being shipped out, once each generation, to serve the Imperium, never to return. Unusually, the Firstborn reinforce their regiments, sending new soldiers out to each one, no matter how far away it is or how difficult providing these reinforcements will prove to be. This ensures that the youngest members of the Firstborn have the experience of hardened veterans to draw upon during combat, and that every Vostroyan Firstborn regiment can trace its existence back to their original mustering, ten thousand Terran years before. With every Vostroyan family -- from the highest Techtriarchs to the lowliest menials -- required to send their first-born sons to serve the Emperor, familial ties within regiments are not uncommon, and many young Vostroyans have found themselves under the guardianship of distant uncles and older cousins, something that encourages a strong bond of brotherhood. Within each regiment, the officer corps is composed of those of noble birth, while the common soldiery are drawn from the Vostroyan worker families that make up the bulk of the world's population. Vostroyan regiments are most commonly line infantry, and are particularly at home in cold environments and urban areas, as these conditions best match those of their training back on Vostroya. However, the Vostroyan Firstborn's armoured regiments are not uncommon, turning the Vostroyans' traditional ties with the Adeptus Mechanicus into the highly-skilled operation of the Imperial Guard's powerful main battle tanks.
Vostroyans believe that the proper ways of living are those tried and tested by the generations that have gone before. Horror, pain and death are the just rewards of curiosity, for those that look too deeply into the mysteries of the universe are all too likely to find malefic beings looking back at them. For Vostroyans, ignorance truly is bliss. The Vostroyans also reserve a deep disdain for those Imperial Guard regiments they perceive to be less devoted to the Imperial cause than themselves, although that can sometimes include a great many of their allies on the battlefield. But should the Vostroyans' respect be gained by an individual or a fellow regiment, they are comrades in the face of death and hardship that any servant of the Emperor would be proud to serve beside.
With both the industrial capacity of Vostroya and its unusual tradition of reinforcement for existing regiments, the Vostroyans are particularly well-equipped, clad in durable, Plasteel-alloy Carapace Armour breast plates and armed with finely-wrought Lasgun rifles. These are both often passed down through the generations, giving the Firstborn a baroque look, further embellished by their traditional use of red dyes and brass metalwork in their uniforms and wargear. It is traditional for Firstborn regimental officers to bear Lasguns with integrated axe blades or bayonets. Vostroyan regimental standard bearers bear ancient tribal sabers and daggers, along with ritual scars on their upper torsos.
With stoic resolve, the Vostroyans steadfastly sacrifice their lives to the service of the Emperor either in the manufactoria or on the battlefield. The weaponry Vostroyan workers produce is always of the finest quality, for the Firstborn Imperial Guardsmen who will make use of it are their sons, brothers and fathers and their only hope for redemption in the Emperor's eyes. As such, hand-carved wooden stocks are expertly inlaid with precious metals and precision tooled barrels replace the utilitarian weaponry used by other Imperial Guard regiments. Every item of Vostroyan wargear is a work of art and carries the hopes of a world in its construction.
With both the heavy industrial capacity of Vostroya and its unusual tradition of reinforcement for its existing regiments already in the field, the Vostroyans are particularly well-equipped, clad in durable, plasteel-alloy Carapace Armour unusual for standard Guard regiments and armed with finely-wrought Lasrifles. These are both often passed down through the generations, giving the Firstborn a baroque look, further embellished by their traditional use of red dyes and brass metalwork in their uniforms and wargear.
The following is a list of the equipment traditionally equipped by a standard Vostroyan Firstborn soldier:
- M36 Kantrael Pattern Lasgun - The M36 Kantrael Pattern Lasgun is one of the most ubiquitous Lasgun patterns available across the human-settled galaxy. The M36 Kantrael Pattern is a locally-produced Lasgun variant manufactured on Vostroya.
- 4 Charge Packs - Charge Packs are powerful capacitors used almost exclusively by Imperial laser weapons. The potency of a Charge Pack varies depending on the class of the weapon. In all cases, it provides shots equal to the weapon's full clip value and can be recharged to fire the full number of shots once more.
- 1 Vostroyan Sword - The swords wielded by the Vostroyan Firstborn can range from short dagger-like models to longer, elaborate duelling blades. The nature of the blade (single- or double-edged, curved or straight, flexible or stiff, cutting or stabbing, and so on) varies with the intent of the sword and the taste of its user. The traditional shashka is a special kind of Vostroyan sabre; a very sharp, single-edged, single-handed, and guardless sword. In appearance, the shashka is midway between a full sabre and a straight sword. It has a slightly curved blade, and can be effective at both slashing and thrusting attacks.
- 2 Frag Grenades - These explosives use a combustible charge and special fillers of shrapnel fragments to fill a given circumference with deadly shrapnel, making this grenade a potent anti-personnel weapon. Imperial Frag Grenades are roughly the size of a clenched fist and covered with a heavily notched shell, both to increase the shrapnel produced and provide a more secure grip for throwing.
- 2 Krak Grenades - Krak explosives contain powerful concentrated explosives that have been shaped to punch holes in armoured targets such as vehicles or bunkers. While stronger than Frag Grenades, Krak detonations do not produce a blast effect and their more focused explosion makes them less practical for use as an anti-personnel weapon.
- Flak Armour - The most common type of armour in the galaxy is Flak Armour, as it is standard issue to the countless millions of Imperial Guardsmen. Many layers of ablative and impact-absorbent material go into making each suit, enough to deflect or negate most low-level attacks made by small arms, shrapnel, and proximity blasts. Solid hits from high-impact weapons can generally negate the protection provided by Flak Armour, but given that it is relatively lightweight, cheap to produce, and dependable in most combat situations, many veteran Guardsmen keep using it even when offered better.
- Carapace Armour Breastplate - Carapace Armour is generally a sign of status and is mostly worn by Imperial officers and agents. Made from moulded plates of armaplas, ceramite, or other strong, light but highly resistant materials, it can cover the entire body or just selected regions of the body depending on the desired level of protection. Storm Troopers, for example, wear full-body suits of Carapace Armour, including a helmet, while most standard Imperial Guard soldiers, such as the Vostroyans, are lucky to gain access to just a simple chestplate of Carapace Armour to wear over more comfortable mesh or flakweave suits. Some bodysuits have slots designed for simple carapace plates to be inserted in, so that the overall suits can be rapidly configured for as much or as little protection as desired. Damaged plates can in this way be more easily replaced without requiring the purchase or requisition of an entirely new suit.
- Vostroyan Firstborn Imperial Guard Uniform
- Poor Weather Gear
- Micro-Bead - A Micro-bead or Comm-bead is a short-range radio wave communication device worn in the ear, good for communications out to about one kilometre (depending on weather conditions and the intervening terrain). Each fits discreetly in the ear, with higher craftsmanship models being nearly undetectable in casual inspection.
- Respirator - A simple breathing mask that covers the nose and mouth or entire face, these offer much better protection than filtration plugs and are used by Vostroyan Firstborn Guardsmen in toxic environments or during attacks by chemical or even biological weapons.
- Survival Kit
- Basic Toolkit
- Mess Kit & Water Canteen
- 2 weeks' Rations
- Blanket & Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp Pack - Sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing.
- Grooming Kit
- Dog Tags
- Treatis Elatii - A Vostroyan sacred text written by Saint Nadalya, the Grey Lady, a saint of the Imperial Cult and the patron saint of the world of Vostroya and its planetary branch of the Adeptus Ministorum.
- Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer - A standard-issue Imperial text that covers a vast variety of topics, this book is possessed by all members of the Imperial Guard as part of their standard-issue equipment. The Primer is a basic guide that details everything a Guardsman needs to know: principles and regulations of the Imperial Guard, issued arms, attire, apparatus and equipment, basic battlefield policy and Imperial Guard organisation and structure, elementary battlefield medical instructions, and a detailed guide on the foes of the Imperium. No Guardsman should ever be found without possession of a copy of the Uplifting Primer, for the punishment is severe. The Primer is a basic guide to life in the Imperial Guard and the tactics employed by its regiments. Even elite Imperial troops like Kasrkin often times still rely on its advice.
Notable Vostroyan Firstborn Regiments
- 5th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 5th Vostroyan Regiment was commanded by none other than Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn, the supreme commander of the Imperial forces on Medusa V during the Fall of Medusa V campaign. The regiment defended Hive Euryales against the Forces of Chaos' assault tactics before the Warp Storm known as Van Grothe's Rapidity overwhelmed the planet.
- 7th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 7th Vostroyan Regiment defended Hive Euryales on Medusa V alongside Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn and the 5th Vostroyan Regiment during the Fall of Medusa V campaign.
- 9th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment, "The Old Irascibles" - Earning their name the "Old Irascibles" through hundreds of battles, the vaunted 9th Vostroyan Regiment served for three and a half centuries during the late 41st Millennium. The 9th Vostroyan became one of the most veteran formations in the Segmentum Obscurus, before finally meeting their match on the world of Nimbosa. Around 790.M41, the 9th Vostroyan defended the Imperial world of Nimbosa against the Tau's effort to expand their burgeoning alien empire and annex the world. The Vostroyan regiment heroically sacrificed themselves to a man defending the factory city of Polia. Inspired by the Vostroyans' sacrifice, the populace refused to submit to the Tau Empire. Reformed after their destruction on Nimbosa, the 9th Vostroyan once again met their ultimate fate during the Fall of Karak Prime in 998.M41. They held the hive city for 18 months against the brutal onslaught of a splinter fleet of Hive Fleet Moloch, valiantly facing a Tyranid swarm that stretched from the base of the city's walls to the distant horizon. With the onset of midwinter, and with the rapid depletion of ammunition and supplies, the 9th Vostroyan knew that they were doomed and vowed to sell their lives dearly. Only when the bulk of the Tyranid swarm had passed into the city did the regiment detonate its nucleonic stack, incinerating the hive, its defenders and an estimated 85% of the Tyranid swarm. With the coming of midwinter, the few surviving Tyranid organisms eventually starved to death and the splinter fleet was entirely defeated.
- 11th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 11th Vostroyan Regiment served under Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn, supreme commander of the Imperial forces on Medusa V during the Fall of Medusa V campaign.
- 16th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 16th Vostroyan Regiment helped defend the world of Nimbosa from another attempt by the Tau to conquer it before the Imperial Nimbosa Crusade liberated the world in 992.M41.
- 22nd Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 22nd Vostroyan Regiment was instrumental in the liberation of the world of Kurkaris. They are notable for being one of the very few Vostroyan Regiments to make use of Rough Riders mounted cavalry squadrons (called Hussars by the Vostroyans) in order to better engage the Orks in Kurkaris' thick forests.
- 55th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - Like all Vostroyan Firstborn regiments, the 55th can trace its history back to the reconstruction of the Imperium after the Horus Heresy. Generations of Vostroyan men have fought, bled, and died on countless worlds across the galaxy. It is an old saying amongst their number that Vostroyan blood has been shed on every world in the Imperium, and given the illustrious history of even one Firstborn regiment, this may not be too far from the truth. The Firstborn 55th were redeployed to Fort Drusus on Kulth in the Spinward Front of the Calixis Sector about four months after the Orks claimed Avitohol, having already fought with distinction on Ashen, Oriad, and Manus Genita during the earlier years of the Spinward Front campaign. Since that time, the 55th have been relocated to another corner of Kulth every other week, holding back Ork and Severan Dominate incursions before pushing to reclaim some scrap of territory from them. This constant dance of defence and attack has become something of a routine for the 55th, and considerable quantities of scrip and luxury rations, such as lho-sticks and alcohol, have been won and lost by the rank-and-file in the weekly sweepstake, with individual squads betting over which warzone on the planet they will be deployed to next. The regiment’s officers have done little to curb this, seeing it as nothing more than a means for the men to blow off steam and raise morale between gruelling battles—bad blood between winners and losers is unlikely, due to the strong sense of brotherhood within the regiment. The regiment’s commander, Colonel Nikolai Aleksandrov, is well regarded by the other officers in his regiment, not purely because of his rank, but because he is a distant cousin of one of the ruling Techtriarchs of Vostroya, and thus an extremely important member of the nobility. The rank-and-file have little to no interest in this, and most are entirely unaware of his high status, but respect the man’s leadership and prowess -- there is little that Colonel Aleksandrov will ask of his men in battle that he will not do himself, and he is always found at the front, leading the charge or exhorting his men with bellowed warcries.
- 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - The 68th Vostroyan Regiment defended Danik's World from a massive Ork invasion and a planet-wide rebellion. Last known Imperial records of the regiment indicated that it had dropped to a strength of 28 effective soldiers, all but one of whom were from the 5th Company. The bulk of the regiment was destroyed by the rebellious forces, both through sedition and ambush tactics. The 5th Company, which had previously been attached as a rearguard, suffered severely in their valiant attempt to make it back to Imperial lines. The commander of the 5th Company, Captain Gregorious Sebastev, was officially placed in command of the hardened survivors, shortly before the whole group was seconded to the Inquisition. The eventual fate of these survivors, and therefore the regiment itself, is currently unknown.
- 241st Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment - Nicknamed the "Legia Zaimprowizowany" or "Improvised Regiment," the 241st Vostroyan Regiment is famous for its troops' ad hoc organisation. They are well-known for adopting the fighting style of other regiments as the circumstances dictate. The commander of the regiment when it participated in the Fall of Medusa V campaign was Colonel Illyich Szradislav.
- 1054th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment, "The Void Shrikes" - Unlike the majority of the Vostroyan regiments that specialize in siege and pitched urban warfare, the 1054th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment is dedicated to void siege assaults and void combat. This expertise was forcibly shaped several millennia ago when bureaucrats of the Departmento Munitorum selected the 1054th, on the merits of their classification as a siege regiment, for the siege of the fortified void station of the wayward Imperial system lord Korsus Lenx, even though they only had ground siege warfare experience. As a result of overlooking the inherent differences between sieges in the cold depth of space and grounded planetary assaults, the 1054th suffered massive losses, both from the poor command decisions of officers inexperienced in void combat and from equipment and weaponry ill-suited to the nature of the siege. Yet, after months of protracted conflict, the Void Shrikes — as the 1054th had come to be known — were victorious. The mismatched men and women of the Vostroyan 1054th had breached the void fortress, dispatched Lenx’s personal devotees, and captured the maniacal system lord. Those who emerged from the gutted star fort were the best of the best the regiment had to offer. Each and every survivor stood tall having earned his place as a veteran of the Imperial Guard. From this time forward the veterans of the 1054th and the subsequent replacements their regiment received from their homeworld have served the Emperor as a dedicated void siege force. The members of the 1054th have developed an almost preternatural awareness and possess an acuity and cunning born of years of service in zero gravity environments. Their equipment has become specialized to better suit the environmental requirements. As part of their standard regimental kit, all members are issued rebreathers, and modified Flak Armour that can be made airtight for brief periods of time. While it is hardly as effective as a dedicated void suit, the modified armor is capable of keeping the wearer alive and uninjured for a few minutes in the void of space. This is typically enough time for the soldiers to breach an airlock or pass through an area that has become depressurized. Against the regiment’s doctrines, many of the regimental soldiers make further modifications to their Flak Armour to increase its effectiveness in such situations, although at the cost of their maneuverability. The regiment’s officers don’t sanction the modifications, but in spite of this many of the non-commissioned officers overlook the modifications. They recognize that the changes are generally traditions associated with platoons and companies that have served the regiment for millennia, and attempting to enforce the official doctrines could have serious consequences for overall morale. The Departmento Munitorum has rarely deployed the Void Shrikes effectively because they don’t meet the expectations of other siege infantry, leading to a broad range of assignments that were wildly inappropriate for the regiment’s expertise and training. Sometimes they completely lacked the required equipment to complete an assignment or the regiment sustained high levels of casualties. Examples have included subterranean assignments on mining worlds, missions to make aerial assaults upon an ocean world, and numerous deployments to face rebellious forge worlds. Also, the Departmento Munitorum has been incapable of providing the regiment with the necessary wargear to function effectively, making supplies a constant concern for the regiment command. Supplies are more analogous to shipments made to Imperial Navy crews, needing numerous logistical waivers to be delivered through traditional channels. Consequently, the Void Shrikes attempt to rely upon direct shipments of supplies from Vostroya whenever possible, even though these are infrequent. To compensate, the supply officers of the regiment are exceptionally active in trading equipment with their counterparts in other regiments and even aboard their Imperial Navy transport vessels. Throughout the regiment’s history, it has served on many fronts and most often on its own, in part due to its specialized nature. The practice of deploying the 1054th all but alone has continued unchanged for the majority of its history. Only when the regiment is engaged in a task that proves to exceed their grasp are they provided with the support of another regiment. After several thousand years of fighting on its own against all manner of foes, the Vostroyan 1054th has become capable of functioning in an independent fashion. Their service record is such an honour roll of glory and their assignments so far-flung that in recent centuries, the company commanders of the Void Shrikes have only rarely received their regiment’s orders in person. Communications were maintained through a network of astropaths, and it was only through the undeniable evidence of their success that the Void Shrikes were guaranteed to have received their orders at all. This independence has served as a further complication for resupply of equipment and provisions and replacement of losses by newly trained soldiers from Vostroya. Often, these replacements can take decades to reach their target regiment. In some instances, this is because the units were initially shipped to as many as four locations where the Void Shrikes had been assigned at the time of shipment. By the time the soldiers or wargear finally arrived, the 1054th had been reassigned. Further, newly trained troopers are supposed to report to the regimental commander prior to duty assignment, per standing Vostroyan protocols. With the various series of redirections, this has left some newly assigned soldiers to travel for years before finally reaching their designated post. In a few instances, due to severe losses, some longstanding companies within the 1054th had to be combined or entirely disbanded, due to a successive series of missions with high levels of casualties. In the past few centuries, the 1054th have been actively serving in the Calixis Sector and were recently assigned to assault the starfort Lycurgos, which was under control by the Severan Dominate general Frederique Constantine.
- 24th Vostroyan Heavy Armoured Regiment, "Iron Bloods" - The 24th Vostroyan Heavy Armoured Regiment consisted of less than 1,500 Guardsmen at its founding-strength. The Iron Bloods are most famous for the actions of one of their Tank Commanders. There have been countless Tank Commanders of note in the Astra Militarum's history. Astrov Yemenev of the Iron Bloods was noted for taking out the dread Biel-Tan tank ace, Vathwal Heavenlance. The Iron Bloods encountered the Fire Prism pilot on Hive World Degis, alone and cut off from his invading army. With a trio of lancing blasts the Aeldari incinerated an entire squadron of Leman Russ battle tanks while weaving deftly between the returning Imperial fire. Three more blasts saw another squadron obliterated. With his company below half-strength, Yemenev ordered the remaining gunners to lay down a wide blanket of fire on either side of the zigzagging Fire Prism. This left but a narrow channel where Heavenlance could move, through which Yemenev fired the killing blow.
- 1635th Vostroyan Firstborn Mechanised - The 1635th is best known for its Tank Commander Alaxei Dymetrin. Among the troops of the 1635th Vostroyan Firstborn Mechanised, it is said that Dymetrin has oil running through his veins instead of blood. Dymetrin has never really embraced the lifestyle of the Astra Militarum officer, and is more comfortable in the steel belly of one of his beloved tanks than he is in the comfort of headquarters. However, after the death of his own superior officer during the Eighteenth Great War of Vostroya, Dymetrin led his regiment's Leman Russ tank squadrons with such efficacy that he broke the Ork siege plaguing his world's capital. His field promotion was quickly made an official posting, and he has been regretting it ever since. Reasoning that rank has its privileges, he has since given his orders from the command cupola of Tundra's Bite, a Baneblade super-heavy tank whose interior is covered in etchings, friezes and kill markings.
Notable Vostroyan Firstborn
- Lord Marshal Graf Harazahn - Harazahn is one of the most famous commanders of the Vostroyan Firstborn, and he was was granted overall command of all Imperial military forces during the Fall of Medusa V Campaign.
- Lord Marshal Graf Toschenko - Lord Marshal Toschenko led the Vostroyan forces who served during the campaign against the Tau on Nimbosa.
- Colonel Nikolai Aleksandrov - Colonel Aleksandrov is the commander of the 55th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment, and is well-regarded by the other officers in his regiment, not purely because of his rank, but because he is a distant cousin of one of the ruling Techtriarchs of Vostroya, and thus an extremely important member of the Vostroyan nobility. The rank-and-file of the 55th have little to no interest in this, and most are entirely unaware of his high status, but respect the man's leadership and prowess—there is little that Colonel Aleksandrov will ask of his men in battle that he will not do himself, and he is always found at the front, leading the charge or exhorting his men with bellowed warcries.
- Colonel Maxim Kabanov - Colonel Kabanov, known as the "White Boar", served in the 68th Vostroyan Regiment, during the ill-fated campaign on Danik's World. Lieutenant Maro was his adjutant.
- Colonel Illyich Szradislav - Colonel Illyich Szradislav commanded the Vostroyan 241st Regiment during the Fall of Medusa V campaign. A taciturn and methodical individual, Szradislav is renowned for his practical and analytical approach to leadership, leaving the rousing speeches and battle-cries for others better suited to it. Szradislav is famous for adapting the Vostroyan 241st Regiment's tactics to suit the situation as well as for utilising the exact level of force necessary to achieve any given task. Szradislav adopted the use of Rough Riders mounted cavalry after an experience within the Segmentum Ultima during which several Armoured Fist regiments were seconded to a Rough Riders of Attila Company. The Vostroyan 241st Regiment has maintained an attachment of Rough Riders (Hussars) ever since.
- Captain Gregorious Sebastev - Captain Gregorious Sebastev, also known as the "Pit-Dog," served in the ill-fated 68th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment during the campaign on Danik's World. Captain Sebastev and nearly two dozen of his soldiers of the 5th Company were the sole survivors of the regiment after two crushing defeats by the Orks.
- Captain Grigory Kulikov - Commander of the 1054th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment's 7th Company.
- Lieutenant Sava Nikishin - Lieutenant who served in the 1054th Vostroyan Firstborn Regiment.
The Vostroyan Firstborn's distinctive look is based on the archaic uniforms worn by the Cossacks of Russia during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as well as the uniforms of other European soldiers between the time of the French Revolution in 1789 and the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 23, 37
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Regiments of Distinction - Vostroyan Firstborn"
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 18, 22
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 56-57
- Only War: No Surrender (RPG), pp. 13-16, 34, 54
- Shield of Baal: Leviathan (7th Edition) (Digital Edition), "The Hammers of Ixoi"
- The Fall of Medusa V (Games Workshop Campaign Booklet)
- Warhammer 40,000: Cities of Death (4th Edition), pp. 56-57
- White Dwarf 317 (US), "Index Imperialis: Firstborn Sons of Vostroya", pp. 44-53
- Rebel Winter (Novel) by Steve Parker
- Games Workshop Vostroyan Firstborne
- Medusa V Wordwide Campaign (Defunct)