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Female Soldiers in the IG and Pregnancy


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#1 Musclewizard

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 03:37 AM

About two weeks ago my players brought up a few interesting questions that I'd like to ask the forum.
It's well known that the Imperial Guard employs men and women both in single gender and mixed gender units both on the front lines and probably on various support tasks. At least in my interpretation of the setting the Soldier of the IG are not constantly fighting, there's downtime, there's patrol duty and even some R&R every now and then. I'm imagining that a lot of soldier seek various enjoyments in their time away from the front be it alcohol, gambling, illegal drugs or sex.
So we were wondering what would happen if a female soldier got pregnant during her tour of duty? Would they get moved to a different unit that operates away from the front? What about the baby itself once she gives birth (assuming she surives that time and doesn't suffer from any complications due to stress or the combat itself)? Is it "property" of the Imperial Guard? Would she get maternity leave? (I'm guessing she wouldn't considering the setting).

What if it were not a common Soldier but an Officer or other non-grunt?



#2 Santiago

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:11 AM

 I think this would be illigal but will still frequently happen. I think  she will removed from duty until her gives birth. The childe will probably be given to the Schola Progenium after which the mother will be returned to the front. Serving in a penal legion or something.



#3 Adeptus-B

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 02:30 PM

I think Santiago is right. One thing I'd point out, though, is that the brutal regementation of the IG probably means that female troopers in mixed units are required by regulation to be on contraception- probably in the form of some kind of long-term 'Norplant'-like device/injection.

And, if it needs to be said: it's always a bad idea to let your PCs breed!



#4 Santiago

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 09:30 PM

Adeptus-B said:

And, if it needs to be said: it's always a bad idea to let your PCs breed!



Well, I disagree on that one. I had a great blast with creating a lineage for my Rogue Trader game and messing with their own family. But in a game like Only War I would say it should be bad.



#5 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 02:55 AM

Santiago said:

 I think this would be illigal but will still frequently happen. I think  she will removed from duty until her gives birth. The childe will probably be given to the Schola Progenium after which the mother will be returned to the front. Serving in a penal legion or something.

The novel Imperial Glory (focussing on a regiment of Brimlock Dragoons, some 20 years after their founding) mentions that a lot of the regiment's support "staff" are family members of the rank and file, which includes children. When these children come of age, they become Guardsmen themselves.

This idea doesn't sound too unreasonable, particularly for regiments within a Crusade, where a regiment's demobilisation (if it survives that long) will see them colonise a reconquered world - by allowing soldiers to bring along their families (or form new ones) during their service, there's a ready-made colonial population.


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#6 Nameless2all

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 07:33 AM

N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

 

The novel Imperial Glory (focussing on a regiment of Brimlock Dragoons, some 20 years after their founding) mentions that a lot of the regiment's support "staff" are family members of the rank and file, which includes children. When these children come of age, they become Guardsmen themselves.

This idea doesn't sound too unreasonable, particularly for regiments within a Crusade, where a regiment's demobilisation (if it survives that long) will see them colonise a reconquered world - by allowing soldiers to bring along their families (or form new ones) during their service, there's a ready-made colonial population.

 

 

Never read that book, but being an Army man myself and knowing some Warhammer 40k fluff, I'm assuming the children are from the female civilian population that regiments drag along with them.  The IG needs it's fighting power, and considering how cruel the IG can be, I would not rule out them snipping / tying the womens tubes.  Or giving them the novaplax sponge, pills, or injections, or anything else Warhammer 40k fluff related so the the women soldiers in the IG unit do NOT get pregnant.

Maybe if they filled paperwork requesting pregnancy during their down time, or after the unit demobilizes can that be lifted.  If a female soldier did get pregnant during war tours, she would/should be punished like what Santiago stated.

If the unit is more civilized and allows the females to get pregnant during war tours (highly unrecommended, but that's just my opinion), then what you stated applies.  In essence, no matter what, it's the GM's call with advice coming from the players upon unit creation / background fluff.


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#7 Unholy_Ravager

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 09:11 AM

 It very well might depend on the CO of the unit is question. I could see some officers(or commissars) ruthlessly punishing though render themselves in any way unfit for front line duty. I could see others giving what amounts to a slap on the wrist in the case of pregnancy and likely transfering the woman in question to non-front line duties.

 

It depends how you want to potray the Guard. Are guardsmen at even greater risk from their own superiors then the enemies they were sent to fight? Are their CO's aloof and uncaring? Or do they actually care for the lives on their men? Giving the order for a costly with great regret? Wishing there was a less costly alternative?



#8 Librarian

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 02:16 PM

 though there has not yet been a pregnant trooper in the ghosts yet the gaunts ghosts books do sometimes touch on the other side of the guard, the camp followers, who are often as numerous as the troopers themselves, everything from cooks, to prostitutes, to troopers wives, maids, and basiclly anything else a person could think might follow an army around. 

also remember warp travel takes along time add to that lost orders, the time it takes to set up or take down camp, its possible more than a year or two can pass between actual deployments.

remember something like 80% of cadians are in the army but they still find time to make more cadians. 



#9 Seeten

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 05:20 PM

Who is gonna play the regimental groundsheet?

 

Ahhhh yeah.



#10 N0-1_H3r3

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Posted 22 July 2012 - 10:43 PM

Nameless2all said:

 

Never read that book, but being an Army man myself and knowing some Warhammer 40k fluff, I'm assuming the children are from the female civilian population that regiments drag along with them.  The IG needs it's fighting power, and considering how cruel the IG can be, I would not rule out them snipping / tying the womens tubes.  Or giving them the novaplax sponge, pills, or injections, or anything else Warhammer 40k fluff related so the the women soldiers in the IG unit do NOT get pregnant.

In the case depicted in the novel, the regiment's fighting strength was exclusively male, so pregnancy didn't impact upon the front lines and none of those measures would have been required.


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#11 blackwell

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 08:43 PM

It is also briefly mentioned in the novel The Traitor's Hand that, due to the fact that it was a mixed regiment and because it was a part of his duties as commissar of the Valhallan 597th, Ciaphas Cain occasionally had to deal with female guardsmen who ended up becoming pregnant.



#12 Fgdsfg

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:43 AM

On one hand, I think it would be illegal and my gut immediately told me "forced termination of pregnancy". But if I think about it, I sincerely doubt that would happen, given that the Imperial Creed likely forbids abortions, on account of them being human and the Imperium and the Emperor always wanting more, at the very least, soldiers for the constant war efforts and the unending crusades against the enemies of the Imperium.

But it would at the same time likely be illegal for women to become pregnant, because every soldier is valuable in their own right, here, now, in the present - not a potential soldier 15-20 years down the line.

Because if it's not illegal, I could see female soldiers using pregnancy as an excuse or tactic to avoid the front. But this could also explain why the vast majority of Imperial Guardsmen are.. well.. guardsMEN - despite the supposed equality within the Imperial Guard/Navy.

Never read that book, but being an Army man myself and knowing some Warhammer 40k fluff, I'm assuming the children are from the female civilian population that regiments drag along with them. The IG needs it's fighting power, and considering how cruel the IG can be, I would not rule out them snipping / tying the womens tubes. Or giving them the novaplax sponge, pills, or injections, or anything else Warhammer 40k fluff related so the the women soldiers in the IG unit do NOT get pregnant.

[…]

Almost anything is possible and I'd say that it is even likely that males or females could get all manner of hormonal injections or contraceptives, but as for tying  the tubes - permanent solutions like that - I'd say that's a big no-no. They'd definitely want females to be able to be fertile again, should they survive their tour of duty.


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#13 Nameless2all

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:15 PM

Fgdsfg said:

 

Almost anything is possible and I'd say that it is even likely that males or females could get all manner of hormonal injections or contraceptives, but as for tying  the tubes - permanent solutions like that - I'd say that's a big no-no. They'd definitely want females to be able to be fertile again, should they survive their tour of duty.

 

 

It's reversible silly, because my wife has it and I've looked into getting it fixed.  But…. I see your point.  The IG wouldn't care that any surgery is a risk no matter how minor, because (IMO) it is would be more efficient and they wouldn't have to worry about periodic injections/pills getting misplaced, damaged, lost, or tainted.  With injections, sponges, pills, etc that cause infertility and such, I'm sure in the future there might be other injections, pills, etc. that reverse the effects, that guardsmen could get ahold of on the blackmarket.  Maybe the snipping or tying the tubes could be a final punishment on a female soldier that keeps getting pregnant, before they finally shoot her for disobeying lawful orders.  But hey, the specifics don't have to be mentioned on what the IG does to make an IG woman not get pregnant, other than the GM saying yay or nay that you can or can't get pregnant.

You go ahead and send a pregnant woman to fight a war with these symptoms.  www.americanpregnancy.org/gettingpregnant/earlypregnancysymptoms.html/  I don't think anyone would survive, besides that woman and her baby.  Now are you guys/gals wanting to play SIMS or a War Game here?  I'd keep the pregnancy thing as an off camera / downtime event.


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#14 Nameless2all

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:31 PM

blackwell said:

It is also briefly mentioned in the novel The Traitor's Hand that, due to the fact that it was a mixed regiment and because it was a part of his duties as commissar of the Valhallan 597th, Ciaphas Cain occasionally had to deal with female guardsmen who ended up becoming pregnant.

To help this dilemma move along, what did Cain specifically do, and was it a punishment or just a transfer thing?


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#15 blackwell

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:24 PM

Nameless2all said:

blackwell said:

 

It is also briefly mentioned in the novel The Traitor's Hand that, due to the fact that it was a mixed regiment and because it was a part of his duties as commissar of the Valhallan 597th, Ciaphas Cain occasionally had to deal with female guardsmen who ended up becoming pregnant.

 

 

To help this dilemma move along, what did Cain specifically do, and was it a punishment or just a transfer thing?

 

The section in question was one of Amberley Vail's footnotes and it reads as follows:

Cain's apparent familiarity with the habits of infants is not explained anywhere else in the archive. However he was serving with a mixed regiment at the time, so its quite likely that the inevitable occurred on more than one occasion. If so, as the regimental commissar, he would have been responsible for ensuring the welfare of all concerned.

From p. 518 of Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium, feel free to interpret it any way you want.



#16 Lightbringer

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:35 PM

Fgdsfg said:

 

On one hand, I think it would be illegal and my gut immediately told me "forced termination of pregnancy". But if I think about it, I sincerely doubt that would happen, given that the Imperial Creed likely forbids abortions, on account of them being human and the Imperium and the Emperor always wanting more, at the very least, soldiers for the constant war efforts and the unending crusades against the enemies of the Imperium.

I'm always dubious of suggestions that the Imperial Creed is anti abortion. I've seen variations on the "we just want more humans" argument advanced as reasons for why the Imperium would be anti-homosexual, too. I don't rate either argument.

Yes, the Ministorum is a pastiche of the Catholic Church, but although it attempts to play on many of the same tropes, it's not a carbon copy. It certainly doesn't replicate its beliefs exactly. I don't necessarily believe that the Imperium is ant-abortion. BITS of it certainly will be, and bits of it won't. It's a huge universe, after all.

Equally, I'd be incredibly surprised if the Imperial Guard forced terminations on their soldiers.

I like the Abnett-style Guard - harsh and bureaucratic, but not actively malign or fanatically issue-driven. They're (largely) professional soldiers, not religious or political fanatics along the lines of the Khmer Rouge. There's a kind of world-weariness about the Abnett Guard. Yes, they send millions to their deaths in horrific warzones, but equally they have camp followers, romantic relationships and the like. Commissars are portrayed as both whip-wielding fanatics and very human mentor figures within each regiment.

I would imagine that most Commissars, if facing a pregnant Guardswoman, would act like modern military officers in the same situation. They might be dicks about it and rant and rave at her about how she's scuppering her career or the mission etc, or they might be supportive and helpful. But I don't think they would routinely require terminations, execution or disciplinary action, as is suggested on this thread. More likely you'd look at transfer to administrative or other non-physical duties.
 



#17 Nameless2all

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:29 AM

Musclewizard said:

About two weeks ago my players brought up a few interesting questions that I'd like to ask the forum.
It's well known that the Imperial Guard employs men and women both in single gender and mixed gender units both on the front lines and probably on various support tasks. At least in my interpretation of the setting the Soldier of the IG are not constantly fighting, there's downtime, there's patrol duty and even some R&R every now and then. I'm imagining that a lot of soldier seek various enjoyments in their time away from the front be it alcohol, gambling, illegal drugs or sex.
So we were wondering what would happen if a female soldier got pregnant during her tour of duty? Would they get moved to a different unit that operates away from the front? What about the baby itself once she gives birth (assuming she surives that time and doesn't suffer from any complications due to stress or the combat itself)? Is it "property" of the Imperial Guard? Would she get maternity leave? (I'm guessing she wouldn't considering the setting).

What if it were not a common Soldier but an Officer or other non-grunt?

Well Musclewizard, I guess to summarize this debate there is no right or wrong answer.  GM discretion is advised.  


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#18 Lynata

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:00 AM

Fgdsfg said:

They'd definitely want females to be able to be fertile again, should they survive their tour of duty.
If there is one resource the Imperium has a sufficient supply of, it is human lives. Why should the High Lords care if a few million women go sterile every year? Back on the worlds where they come from, there are countless more to take their place. If anything, the IoM is drastically overpopulated.

That's just my interpretation of GW material, of course, and I'd prefer the more permanent solution simply because it is more "grimdark", which I feel is a very important element of the franchise's style. I'm well aware that various licensed publications may propagate different visions, though. And that's not even touching on the idea that it may even vary within the setting itself, from one world to another.
In the end, GMs and players alike are perfectly free to pick an option they are most comfortable with, and/or think of as the most fitting.


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#19 Kshatriya

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 01:47 PM

I really doubt the Imperial Creed cares much about *** sex or abortion. Really unimportant compared to ABHOR THE WITCH and SUFFER NOT THE XENOS TO LIVE all that stuff that will actually doom mankind if not followed to a T. That being said, individual cultures/worlds might have strong opinions. But the overall Creed as a whole? I can't see it.

Can't see tying the tubes for every woman. Too much work for medicae and downtime for the patients. The Imperium is a ruthless bureaucracy but even the most hardcore general knows that a soldier recovering from major surgery is generally not fit for duty., and their goal is to keep their soldiers in fighting trim for when they actually have to go fight. The medic probably deals with IUDs or some kind of long-term contraceptive patch that might last years. More likely to give all the men vasectomies but that still seems really inefficient and pointless. The Imperim may have a lot of people, but there are still frontier/colony worlds and they can always use MORE people.

As for bearing children, I seriously doubt most Commissars are going to put a bolt in the head of a pregnant Guardsman, or even really punish them, because to me it literally makes no sense to do so. Doesn't really serve as a disincentive to sexual activity (seriously, people will still have sex even if sex will be punished with boltering) and I don't think Commissars are completely retarded when it comes to boltering people. The pregnant woman would probably be shifted to different duties in the regiment as the physical situation makes her less suited for line work, then rotated back in once she's all healed post-birth and the child is either given to the Schola or raised by the regiment like Whiteshields.

Of course, these are my thoughts on GENERALLY how things work. Specific regiments might have different traditions after all.



#20 Nameless2all

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 10:04 PM

I totally agree with you Lynata.

Now, lets get into perspective the majority of how wounded soldiers are "fixed."  They are given cybernetics for crying out loud.  The whole modern concept of major surgery tying the tubes, snipping them, or something similar to this effect may, in the Warhammer 40,000 year, not be as drastic as surgery is today, the year 2012.  I mean, heck, in Dan Abnett's books the sniper recon guy (I'm thinking Mad Larkin but that's not him) had his eyes replaced with cybernetics.  For RT's and other powerful individuals (Inquisitors..???) cybernetics are also common replacements for limbs.  And, lets not forget, the Adeptus Mechanicus.  I mean, come on, their whole torso is a power conduit. Not to mention, have you ever rolled to see if the surgery is successful or not with any cybernetic replacement for a character in Warhammer 40k?  All it is, is poof you have cybernetic limb now.  In our day and age, that kind of surgery is beyond our scope, but obviously not in 40k.  So, once again, get off the concept that it would require massive surgery and huge bed time recuperation to make it a long term solution, but it could be easily reversible if/once desired/appropriate.

And aren't we talking about the whole IG that sends millions of soldiers and veterans alike to storm sci-fi castle walls, only to have enough dead pile up to finally  get over the top?  Or am I missing something here?  Yes yes yes, obviously not every IG commander is going to utilize his soldiers like this (or else Only War would flop), but the majority of them do.  I'm sorry, that is the setting we play in.  The true and finale game setting is ultimately up to the players and the GMs, but like Lynata and a few others stated (myself included), it's grimdark.

Happy hunting though everybody. 


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