When I used to flip through the IG Codex, one of the cooler (to me) options could've been the Penal Legionnaires. These savage, battle-hardened a-holes can be some of the hardest fighters in their theatre, and also COMPLETELY expendible, even when compared to your regular 1-in-1 million Guardsman. My wonder, though, is whether they would be designed as a separate regiment design, ala Cadains, Catechans, Elysians, etc., or more like a variant of the other games' Alternate ranks? I am leaning toward the prior, as then we don't HAVE to differentiate Cadian PLs from Vostroyan ones. Here could be an attempt:
SCHAEFFER'S LAST CHANCERS/MEROV PENAL LEGION (PENAL LEGIONNAIRE) REGIMENT RULES
Characters beloning to one of the Imperium's Penal Legions gain the following advantages:
Characteristic Modifiers: +3 Agility, +3 Strength, +2 Weapon Skill
Starting Aptitudes: Social, Toughness
Starting Skills: Intimidate, Linguistics (Low Gothic), Navigate (surface), Peer (Underworld)
Starting Talents: Paranoia, Sprint, Street Fighting
Commuted to Life: Penal Legionnaires are among the worst dregs in the galaxy, already convicted of capital crimes against the Imperium, and only allowed to live, as it is, so that their death can have more meaning to the imperial Guard in which they now serve. Many would rather not serve, however, and so extreme measures are often taken. Each Legionnaire is fitted with a complex device, part drug injector, part failsafe, that can allow the individual holding the controller, often a Minder, Commissar, or Ministorum Priest, to enact a frenzied state within them, or execute them, should they be insolent. If the controller is within 1,000 meters, he can detonate the collar, instantly killing the occupant, and dealing 1d10 Explosive damage to anyone within 3 meters. Removing the collar without the control requires a Hard (-20) Tech-Use Test. 2 or more Degrees of Failure indicate an explsion. Normally, only death, or the mythically rare Emperor's pardon, see the collar removed intact. Due to life under the constant pressure of imminent detonation, the wearer receives the Social Aptitude, as they learn to behave, and to follow orders, at least on the surface, or die.
Honor Among Thieves: (OW, p.61)
Larcenous: (OW, p.62)
Scum and Villainy: (OW, p.62)
Wounds: +1 starting Wound.
Standard Regimental Kit: Universal Standard Kit (OW, p.68), plus explosive/injector collar, 5 doses of stimm, mono-knife (2 knives total). Replace the lasgun/lascarbine and 4 charge packs with the laslock equivalent, 1 flak vest, 1 flak helmet, 2 frag grenades, and 2 smoke grenades each per Player Character.
Favored Weapons: Laslock, Heavy Stubber
CREATING THE PENAL LEGIONNAIRES
The following doctrines have been used:
Home World: Penal Colony
Commanding Officer: Bilious
Regiment Type: Light Infantry
Doctrines: Die-Hards, Hardened Fighters, Combat Drugs
Total Cost: 15 points
So, what we end up with are some hardy, crazy, even dodgy soldiers, sentenced to fight on to the end, and ready to do so. They don't get much, but they excel at getting what they need, and can be a total nightmare when facing a surprised enemy. They are somewhat more focused on close-combat, where they can see the fear in their foe's eyes, and where the explosive collar might cause the most beneficial collateral damage. The collar was also an excuse to give them a "free" Aptitude; it gives them ready access to skills such as Charm, Deceive, Intimidate, and Inquiry, and possibly Talents like Munitorum Influence, Unremarkable, and several others, but it can immediately kill them, no questions. Their prefered weapons reflect less their preferences, and more the limit to which the Dept. Mun. is willing to equip people wearing battle royale collars, but I do feel it fits. Their guns aren't as good, but hit a bit harder, and they are fearsome, indeed, with their knives. Such a group could easily contain numerous types of soldiers, from crazy HG's, who really like to watch people burn, and maybe don't undertand the concept of collateral damage, to crazy doctors, and wily, but dishonored NCO's, who fell short of the level of leadership expected. A better Sergeant, Commissar or Ministorum Priest could easily be employed as the Overseer, holding the remote, and making sure these dregs give the most that their borrowed-time lives are worth, with an Ogryn bodyguard to push them on, or way from the controller. Some of the others might be a bit more difficult to squeeze in, but it could still fly (a crazy Chimaera driver, or maybe even a slightly loopy Psyker [pray not] could show up as easily). The name is a bit choosy, because it can be hard to tell, at least to me, sometimes, where this game falls in next to the table top, but one Penal Legion is as good as another; the Merov PL is referenced in Dark Heresy (DH: Radical's Handbook, p.57), and so appropriate to the time stting, while every player who knows what the Imperium of Man is has probably heard of Schaeffer's Last Chancers, the 13th Penal Legion led by Col.Schaeffer during the endtimes of the 41st millenium.
There we go, it's an attempt, anyway. Hopefully, I didn't do anything wrong.