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A Question on the Depiction of the Imperial Guard


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#1 Ichor

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:04 PM

One of the things I find odd about Only War is how the Imperial Guard is depicted- a vast horde is near-worthless, poorly-trained conscripts.

And I feel this view is contradicted by almost all other major sources of fluff. Dark Heresy depicts the Imperial Guard as a well-trained, determined military force. And even the Imperial Guard codex itself states Guardsmen are typically drawn from the fighting elite of the world. I understand that in a universe of planet-devouring insects, reality defying demons, and superhuman warriors the unaugmented human may not be the toughest kid on the block, but the way Only War depics the average Guardsmen is laughable. The Guardsman should be shown as a tough, capable warrior- not some random joe who was given a gun and t-shirt and told to point his weapon at the enemy

Does anyone else share the same thought?



#2 Musclewizard

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:12 PM

I'm not sure where you've got this impression from. I think that OW represents the IG pretty good. In fact all the regiment descriptions read like "and here's these guys, they are awesome because of reasons"



#3 HTMC

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:25 PM

Ichor said:

One of the things I find odd about Only War is how the Imperial Guard is depicted- a vast horde is near-worthless, poorly-trained conscripts.

Can you point to some specifics that give you this impression? Like Musclewizard, I did not at all get that feeling from my read-through.



#4 Woodclaw

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:11 PM

Ichor said:

One of the things I find odd about Only War is how the Imperial Guard is depicted- a vast horde is near-worthless, poorly-trained conscripts.

And I feel this view is contradicted by almost all other major sources of fluff. Dark Heresy depicts the Imperial Guard as a well-trained, determined military force. And even the Imperial Guard codex itself states Guardsmen are typically drawn from the fighting elite of the world. I understand that in a universe of planet-devouring insects, reality defying demons, and superhuman warriors the unaugmented human may not be the toughest kid on the block, but the way Only War depics the average Guardsmen is laughable. The Guardsman should be shown as a tough, capable warrior- not some random joe who was given a gun and t-shirt and told to point his weapon at the enemy

Does anyone else share the same thought?

I don't get that impression, but I can see why you get it. The IG suffers of a double standard in terms of descriptions. They're a highly efficient army, but they are just human is a galaxy filled with things that are bigger, nastier and more dangerous that a human witha lasgun.



#5 borithan

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:51 PM

I don't think there really is a consistent depiction of Guardsmen at all. We look right back at the "Imperial Army" of first edition they were described as largely unwilling conscripts. Then they produced the "Imperial Guard" background, where they were chosen from the best of the PDF of a planet, but also directly conscripted from groups like hive gangers, and much was made of them being really quite good (but no change in stats over the unwilling conscripts). Since then we have also had descriptions of planets pawning off their convicts, undesirables etc to the Guard, huge armies of men thrown at the enemy ala the stereotyped Red Army and "supa-elite supa-strike force!s," like the Elysian drop troops.

The only thing that is consistent (at least since later in 1st edition) is that there are a lot of them, with lots of guns and tanks to back them up.

I personally generally hold to the "good quality conscripts and decent material used en-masse" as my base presumption of the guard. Ie, not a true professional army, but like the experienced armies of WW2. Remember conscript just means recruited without a choice (and even that doesn't mean they aren't willing), not necessarily bad soldiers.



#6 Cifer

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:13 AM

Firstly, the Imperium is large enough for both kinds of depiction: Some planets will pawn off their undesirables and have them charged into the meatgrinder, others will see to it that they only tithe the very best of their soldiers and arrange for them to be equipped appropriately.

 

Secondly, I also wonder where the OP has gotten the unilateral impression - after all, most of the setting and flavour texts don't exist at this point in time.



#7 KommissarK

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 02:52 AM

Perhaps it comes from a notion that most of the guard NPCs are roughly equal in ability to what comrades can do? And comrades are apparently pretty incompetent?






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