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#21 Askil

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 02:32 AM

Guardsmen don't go home unless the are the colour guard or are appointed commander of a new regiment. They get retired in-situ to seed loyalist ex-military settlers on newly won worlds.



#22 Visitor Q

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 06:52 AM

Imperial Guardsmen actually are meant to represent pretty competant, trained reasonably well equipped troops.  While they are often treated like cannon fodder by the Imperium and are often individually out matched by the xenos they fight compared to most PDF or militia troops they are pretty elite.

 

Added to this is the fact that manpower is not something the Imperium has in short supply. 

 

With all this in mind it doesn't make a huge amount of sense for the Department Munitorium to continue to feed, water, transport, regulate, adminsiter and equip a regiment that is made up of geriatrics, suffering from chronic PTS or are simply physically worn out.  Far more efficient to retire off the old regiment and raise a new one.

 

On this basis I think that Guardsmen do retire.  I would suspect they probably have a long mandatory tour to complete 15+ years up and are encouraged to re-enlist.  After they retire, receive backpay and what ever passes for a pension after which they are on their own.  If they are lucky then they get to colonise a world.  If they are unlucky they find themselves at a random space port a long way from anywhere. 

 

There would be lots of caveats to this though. 

 

First the type of regiment.  Penal Legions obviously don't retire and I doubt many abhuman regiments do either (possible exception of Ratlings).  Certain regiments like the Death Korp don't retire for historic reasons for example.

 

Second the types of enemies that Guardsmen fight and the sheer brutality of the Imperial tactics probably mean that most don't last long enough to retire and those that do are likely so institutionalised and desensitised to violence or are suffering from various battle traumas that they couldn't cope in the outside world. 

 

Thirdly I suspect that simple issues such as pay, pension and cultural dissonance probably means that retirment for many guard probably makes retirement impractical and they just reenlist.

 

So if your from a feral world regiment your pay might be six chickens a day.  On your home world that seemed like a great deal but 15 years later your back pay converted into thrones might not amount to a whole lot.  Certainly not enough to get you back to your own planet.

 

And this is to say nothing of the fact that the day you retire your out.  This means the administratum doesn't feed you, they don't tell you were you are, you don't have any briefings to tell you what to do.  If your really unlucky you might be the only one i nthe regiment retiring that day.  Do you even speak the language of the world you happen to be on?

 

In short I think Guardsmen do retire but it isn't necessarily as simple as that.



#23 Lynata

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 09:44 PM

My two shells:
 
As with most cases, I've aligned my interpretation to GW's original material. Guard regiments are raised with a specific campaign in mind, but should they happen to survive, they are simply sent into the next warzone. This process continues until the regiment is so badly mauled that it either has to be merged with the remnants of another regiment, or in some cases is assigned garrison duty on a nearby world or, more often, the one they just conquered/defended. If the regiment managed to remain active for more than 10 years, it earns the right to be granted custodianship over a world it has captured - in this case, the officers will form the basis of the new nobility, although the soldiers will remain active reserves until they are too old to fight, at which point they will finally become ordinary citizens.
 
It would be very unlikely for the regiment to ever return to its original homeworld, as to arrange transportation would be an incredible waste of naval resources better used elsewhere. Indeed, it is probably better for both the soldiers as well as the civilians back home if the troops would never return home, considering the horrors they have witnessed - surely, public morale within the Imperium is a precious, brittle good even without the population at large being made aware of a regiment's experiences, especially considering the risk that these stories might spread to the next batch of recruits.
 
"Not all Veterans are wholly sane, or even wholly men any more. Many suffer from severe battle psychosis to the extent that they hunger for battle, while others are haunted, paranoid individuals who believe that somewhere out there is the bullet or las bolt destined for them. The more dubious Imperial Commanders do not think twice about subjecting their Guardsmen to atrocities which would be considered barbaric by many, such as forced addiction to certain combat drugs, or the implantation of adrenal and endochrinal glands that turn the Veteran into a frenzied killing machine. In the most horrendous instances, the Veteran may have undergone such traumas that they are completely unhinged and unsuitable for normal service - tales abound of platoons forced to eat their dead comrades or starve; of being isolated for years at a time under continuous shelling until they are half-blind and deaf; of seeing alien and Chaotic monstrosities so hideous that they defy sanity. [...]"
-- Inquisitor : Imperial Guard Veterans
 
This is, of course, not to prevent individual soldiers to actively prevent from ever returning home, merely that the Imperium will not support such movements and the soldier would have to arrange for transport by themselves, thus making it an option primarily reserved for the officer caste, many of whom may hail from a planet's nobility, which would be able to pay for transportation.
 
That being said, some few soldiers would be able to "retire" as Drill-Abbots in the Ecclesiarchy's Schola Progenium, spending another one or two decades in service to the Emperor by training and molding young impressionable orphans, making sure that they are turned into loyal and well-drilled servants and that they would find a place in one of the Imperial adepta where their talents are of best use.
 

 

Hardly a good source? Where precisely do you propose to get official information on this fictional universe other than the only official source of fiction? Being that my previous post alluded to a book about the exact process of the topic in discussion?

 

Why, in the codices and rulebooks, of course. Or White Dwarf. Inquisitor, Necromunda, BFG. The various websites and PDFs that GW has created over the years, ...

 

But ... no. Personally, I do have a bias against material not from the GW core studio as well, chiefly because it tends to be filled with contradictions for no other reason than "the author had a different idea", and very often those contradictions end up preaching something that I perceive as a violation of some important aspect of the setting.

 

However, it is important for all fans to keep in mind that 40k does not have a "true" canon, merely lots of sources that all offer different interpretations of the setting. They are all equally valid, and it is entirely up to you to pick and choose what you want to go with. Arguably, Only War itself is breaking with IG Codex fluff on several details, but you as players and GMs have just as much right to cherrypick as everyone else.



#24 Drath

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 01:05 AM


 
"Not all Veterans are wholly sane, or even wholly men any more. Many suffer from severe battle psychosis to the extent that they hunger for battle, while others are haunted, paranoid individuals who believe that somewhere out there is the bullet or las bolt destined for them. The more dubious Imperial Commanders do not think twice about subjecting their Guardsmen to atrocities which would be considered barbaric by many, such as forced addiction to certain combat drugs, or the implantation of adrenal and endochrinal glands that turn the Veteran into a frenzied killing machine. In the most horrendous instances, the Veteran may have undergone such traumas that they are completely unhinged and unsuitable for normal service - tales abound of platoons forced to eat their dead comrades or starve; of being isolated for years at a time under continuous shelling until they are half-blind and deaf; of seeing alien and Chaotic monstrosities so hideous that they defy sanity. [...]"
-- Inquisitor : Imperial Guard Veterans
 

This is something I hadn't considered, but would mean that alot of war torn worlds would need mental institutes constructed after, to house all the crazy lunatics and guardsmen with horrific withdrawal symptoms that have been turned loose into their relatively vulnerable society.


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#25 Visitor Q

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 03:09 AM

Though bare in mind that the adjectives used in the veteran description do indicate that these are some of the more extreme examples rather than the norm (not the battle psychosis but the eating the dead etc).

 

I do remember reading that oft times a Guard Regiment isn't sent outside of their sector or even their sub sector except in the case of the largest war zones.  Depending on the conflict it might be practical for a triumphant Imperial Guard regiment to return home as a propaganda base for further recruitment.

 

It can take decades for the Munitorium to organise a full blown crusade or campaign which consists of dozens or even hudnreds of regiments, Marine Chapters, Mechanicus experts etc.  I could see that part of this process of recruitment might include a period of Guard Triumphs (in the roman style)  http://en.wikipedia....i/Roman_triumph to get the local population enthusiastic about joining up.

 

So for example war is brewing in some sector vs Death Guard or some other horrible foe.  High Lords declare they need an additional 100 regiments raised from scratch.  Department Munitorium know that under normal circumstances they can raise 20 regiments.

 

So maybe instead they instigate a few brushfire wars and relatively minor skirmishes against known pirate bases, minor rebellious worlds that they have been putting off dealing with and the like.

 

After these easy conflicts are resolved a half dozen regiments are retired and the members transported back home for a heroes welcome with stories of glorious victory and good pay.

 

Ten or twenty years later when the Guard comes to receruit there are plenty of young men and women eager to join up to live up to the exploits of Uncle Charlie not realising that they are at the bum end of the Department Munitoriums galactic recruitment cycle and are being shipped off to a real hell hole with no prospect of returning home.

 

In other words retirment and transportation back home might be seen as an investment on the part of the Munitorium. 


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#26 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 04:11 AM

 


 
"Not all Veterans are wholly sane, or even wholly men any more. Many suffer from severe battle psychosis to the extent that they hunger for battle, while others are haunted, paranoid individuals who believe that somewhere out there is the bullet or las bolt destined for them. The more dubious Imperial Commanders do not think twice about subjecting their Guardsmen to atrocities which would be considered barbaric by many, such as forced addiction to certain combat drugs, or the implantation of adrenal and endochrinal glands that turn the Veteran into a frenzied killing machine. In the most horrendous instances, the Veteran may have undergone such traumas that they are completely unhinged and unsuitable for normal service - tales abound of platoons forced to eat their dead comrades or starve; of being isolated for years at a time under continuous shelling until they are half-blind and deaf; of seeing alien and Chaotic monstrosities so hideous that they defy sanity. [...]"
-- Inquisitor : Imperial Guard Veterans
 

This is something I hadn't considered, but would mean that alot of war torn worlds would need mental institutes constructed after, to house all the crazy lunatics and guardsmen with horrific withdrawal symptoms that have been turned loose into their relatively vulnerable society.

 

On the other hand, the issues of shellshock and PTSD are known to be surprisingly uncommon in societies that encompasses large amounts of people that should have PTSD or PTSD-like issues. Exactly why that is, I'm not sure, but it could be theorized that it has something to do with people being able to relate to eachother and the experiences.

 

After all, the main issue of modern-day soldiers, primarily in the western world, is an inability to readjust and relate to civilian life after coming home, facing people that cannot possibly understand, unable to convey their thoughts and emotions. This is exacerbated by the sheer hypocrisy of modernist culture and cultural marxism, teaching doctrines that mesh incredibly badly with human nature and factual reality, and the reality a lot of soldiers have experienced first hand.

 

In a society with a lot of veterans and a pre-existing focus on survival and discipline, with a dogma maintaining hierarchy and teaching that the world is in fact dangerous - not uncommon in the Imperium, to say the least - I'd expect that the issues you mention would be greatly reduced.

 

But that's mainly just musings on my own part. Armchair sociology and psychology, at best. I just wanted to raise the point.

 

Also, the truly horrific horrors of the 41st millennium are not faced by the average guardsman. They are faced by guardsmen, yes, and those guardsman may be average, yes, but the vast majority of the Imperial Guard likely do not have to face Chaos or Tyranids specifically, and while there certainly are regular "horrors of war" going on, we're not talking reality-bending insanity.

I always had the feeling that no-one in the Imperial Guard that faces Chaos, Necrons or Tyranids lives to tell the tale, anyway. At least not for long.

 

 

Though bare in mind that the adjectives used in the veteran description do indicate that these are some of the more extreme examples rather than the norm (not the battle psychosis but the eating the dead etc).

 

I do remember reading that oft times a Guard Regiment isn't sent outside of their sector or even their sub sector except in the case of the largest war zones.  Depending on the conflict it might be practical for a triumphant Imperial Guard regiment to return home as a propaganda base for further recruitment.

 

It can take decades for the Munitorium to organise a full blown crusade or campaign which consists of dozens or even hudnreds of regiments, Marine Chapters, Mechanicus experts etc.  I could see that part of this process of recruitment might include a period of Guard Triumphs (in the roman style)  http://en.wikipedia....i/Roman_triumph to get the local population enthusiastic about joining up.

 

So for example war is brewing in some sector vs Death Guard or some other horrible foe.  High Lords declare they need an additional 100 regiments raised from scratch.  Department Munitorium know that under normal circumstances they can raise 20 regiments.

 

So maybe instead they instigate a few brushfire wars and relatively minor skirmishes against known pirate bases, minor rebellious worlds that they have been putting off dealing with and the like.

 

After these easy conflicts are resolved a half dozen regiments are retired and the members transported back home for a heroes welcome with stories of glorious victory and good pay.

 

Ten or twenty years later when the Guard comes to receruit there are plenty of young men and women eager to join up to live up to the exploits of Uncle Charlie not realising that they are at the bum end of the Department Munitoriums galactic recruitment cycle and are being shipped off to a real hell hole with no prospect of returning home.

 

In other words retirment and transportation back home might be seen as an investment on the part of the Munitorium. 

 

On the issue of "returning home", I can see several problems. But at the same time, it's entirely reasonable that it shouldn't be an enormous problem for a decorated or retired guardsman to "planethop". After all, there are very few worlds in the Imperium (relatively speaking) that are truly isolated. Even backwater worlds are tithed regularly.

Let's say it's a guardsman that was part of a regiment that was just retired. For whatever reason, they're in the Sector Cadia. Let's say, the regiment, or what remains of it, is originally from.. I don't know.. let's say.. Landunder. The weird planet in Sector Calixis, Malfian Sub-Sector.

Is it really so outlandish to think that they would hitch a ride to Scintilla, then to Malfi, and then try to find transportation to Landunder? Going to any Agri-World, something Fleet or Navy ships have to do all the time, I imagine, often gives you the chance to go to a great many Hive Worlds. And Hive Worlds are in turn enormous hubs of trade, commerce and production.

 

Traversing the Imperium this way is likely a slow process, and they would likely have to work while doing so, but I don't see why it would be so strange. The average ship has possibly tens of thousands of crewmen. Imperial Navy ships are built to transport entire regiments to warzones. When they leave, why would they leave empty unless they have to? The average ship resupplies people on nearly every port, to some degree or another, and many ships have countless unskilled workers, perhaps even press-ganged - congratulations, for this stint, we've got our friends in the Imperial Guard helping us out.

And woe to the pirates that attempt to attack a ship carrying veterans going home to mom and pop.

I realize that the universe is meant to be grimdark, but at the same time, let's not make it grimderp. It's dark because that's where the universe is at. It's grim because that's what it needs to be to survive. That doesn't mean that everything is horrifying or depressing because reasons.

Save for penal regiments and the like, there has to be reasons people sign up for the guard, even beyond the indoctrination. There has to be a reason there's not massive defections going on throughout all echelons of the command structures. I cannot imagine that Imperial Guardsmen are not paid - usually - and that their families are not cared for - usually - or that they can't retire after a tour of duty.. less usually.


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#27 Drath

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 05:08 AM

 

 


 
"Not all Veterans are wholly sane, or even wholly men any more. Many suffer from severe battle psychosis to the extent that they hunger for battle, while others are haunted, paranoid individuals who believe that somewhere out there is the bullet or las bolt destined for them. The more dubious Imperial Commanders do not think twice about subjecting their Guardsmen to atrocities which would be considered barbaric by many, such as forced addiction to certain combat drugs, or the implantation of adrenal and endochrinal glands that turn the Veteran into a frenzied killing machine. In the most horrendous instances, the Veteran may have undergone such traumas that they are completely unhinged and unsuitable for normal service - tales abound of platoons forced to eat their dead comrades or starve; of being isolated for years at a time under continuous shelling until they are half-blind and deaf; of seeing alien and Chaotic monstrosities so hideous that they defy sanity. [...]"
-- Inquisitor : Imperial Guard Veterans
 

This is something I hadn't considered, but would mean that alot of war torn worlds would need mental institutes constructed after, to house all the crazy lunatics and guardsmen with horrific withdrawal symptoms that have been turned loose into their relatively vulnerable society.

 

On the other hand, the issues of shellshock and PTSD are known to be surprisingly uncommon in societies that encompasses large amounts of people that should have PTSD or PTSD-like issues. Exactly why that is, I'm not sure, but it could be theorized that it has something to do with people being able to relate to eachother and the experiences.

 

After all, the main issue of modern-day soldiers, primarily in the western world, is an inability to readjust and relate to civilian life after coming home, facing people that cannot possibly understand, unable to convey their thoughts and emotions. This is exacerbated by the sheer hypocrisy of modernist culture and cultural marxism, teaching doctrines that mesh incredibly badly with human nature and factual reality, and the reality a lot of soldiers have experienced first hand.

 

In a society with a lot of veterans and a pre-existing focus on survival and discipline, with a dogma maintaining hierarchy and teaching that the world is in fact dangerous - not uncommon in the Imperium, to say the least - I'd expect that the issues you mention would be greatly reduced.

 

But that's mainly just musings on my own part. Armchair sociology and psychology, at best. I just wanted to raise the point.

 

Also, the truly horrific horrors of the 41st millennium are not faced by the average guardsman. They are faced by guardsmen, yes, and those guardsman may be average, yes, but the vast majority of the Imperial Guard likely do not have to face Chaos or Tyranids specifically, and while there certainly are regular "horrors of war" going on, we're not talking reality-bending insanity.

I always had the feeling that no-one in the Imperial Guard that faces Chaos, Necrons or Tyranids lives to tell the tale, anyway. At least not for long.

 

 

Though bare in mind that the adjectives used in the veteran description do indicate that these are some of the more extreme examples rather than the norm (not the battle psychosis but the eating the dead etc).

 

I do remember reading that oft times a Guard Regiment isn't sent outside of their sector or even their sub sector except in the case of the largest war zones.  Depending on the conflict it might be practical for a triumphant Imperial Guard regiment to return home as a propaganda base for further recruitment.

 

It can take decades for the Munitorium to organise a full blown crusade or campaign which consists of dozens or even hudnreds of regiments, Marine Chapters, Mechanicus experts etc.  I could see that part of this process of recruitment might include a period of Guard Triumphs (in the roman style)  http://en.wikipedia....i/Roman_triumph to get the local population enthusiastic about joining up.

 

So for example war is brewing in some sector vs Death Guard or some other horrible foe.  High Lords declare they need an additional 100 regiments raised from scratch.  Department Munitorium know that under normal circumstances they can raise 20 regiments.

 

So maybe instead they instigate a few brushfire wars and relatively minor skirmishes against known pirate bases, minor rebellious worlds that they have been putting off dealing with and the like.

 

After these easy conflicts are resolved a half dozen regiments are retired and the members transported back home for a heroes welcome with stories of glorious victory and good pay.

 

Ten or twenty years later when the Guard comes to receruit there are plenty of young men and women eager to join up to live up to the exploits of Uncle Charlie not realising that they are at the bum end of the Department Munitoriums galactic recruitment cycle and are being shipped off to a real hell hole with no prospect of returning home.

 

In other words retirment and transportation back home might be seen as an investment on the part of the Munitorium. 

 

On the issue of "returning home", I can see several problems. But at the same time, it's entirely reasonable that it shouldn't be an enormous problem for a decorated or retired guardsman to "planethop". After all, there are very few worlds in the Imperium (relatively speaking) that are truly isolated. Even backwater worlds are tithed regularly.

Let's say it's a guardsman that was part of a regiment that was just retired. For whatever reason, they're in the Sector Cadia. Let's say, the regiment, or what remains of it, is originally from.. I don't know.. let's say.. Landunder. The weird planet in Sector Calixis, Malfian Sub-Sector.

Is it really so outlandish to think that they would hitch a ride to Scintilla, then to Malfi, and then try to find transportation to Landunder? Going to any Agri-World, something Fleet or Navy ships have to do all the time, I imagine, often gives you the chance to go to a great many Hive Worlds. And Hive Worlds are in turn enormous hubs of trade, commerce and production.

 

Traversing the Imperium this way is likely a slow process, and they would likely have to work while doing so, but I don't see why it would be so strange. The average ship has possibly tens of thousands of crewmen. Imperial Navy ships are built to transport entire regiments to warzones. When they leave, why would they leave empty unless they have to? The average ship resupplies people on nearly every port, to some degree or another, and many ships have countless unskilled workers, perhaps even press-ganged - congratulations, for this stint, we've got our friends in the Imperial Guard helping us out.

And woe to the pirates that attempt to attack a ship carrying veterans going home to mom and pop.

I realize that the universe is meant to be grimdark, but at the same time, let's not make it grimderp. It's dark because that's where the universe is at. It's grim because that's what it needs to be to survive. That doesn't mean that everything is horrifying or depressing because reasons.

Save for penal regiments and the like, there has to be reasons people sign up for the guard, even beyond the indoctrination. There has to be a reason there's not massive defections going on throughout all echelons of the command structures. I cannot imagine that Imperial Guardsmen are not paid - usually - and that their families are not cared for - usually - or that they can't retire after a tour of duty.. less usually.

 

On the physchology aspect, I suppose you are right. I never suffered with PTSD, but those who did had tremendous difficulty sharing how they feel. Either because they found it upsetting to talk about, or because they felt like we would see them as weaker or treat them less. But when they did open up, 80% did actually feel better for it. The other 20% (maybe two lads) needed actual physchologists.

As for the pay. I would imagine they don't get paid (usually, not always.), because what would they pay for? They're fed, clothed, housed etc by them, and what you do buy probably can't take off world with. (Contaminants, contraband etc.) However I can imagine that they actually would give some kind of pension to the family or friends etc of the individual, to help them having lost their other source of income. (Whether that be farm animals, thrones or a home to live in.)


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#28 Robin Graves

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 05:30 AM

speaking of 40k PTSD: In one of the fluff books there is mention of guardsmen who survived a battle between imperial and chaos armies consisting mostly of super heavy walkers. Ie Titans for the imperials and "other things" on the chaos side. And the shear SCALE of the combat was enough to mentaly unhinge the poor guys.


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#29 Drath

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 05:35 AM

speaking of 40k PTSD: In one of the fluff books there is mention of guardsmen who survived a battle between imperial and chaos armies consisting mostly of super heavy walkers. Ie Titans for the imperials and "other things" on the chaos side. And the shear SCALE of the combat was enough to mentaly unhinge the poor guys.

Very interesting point. It probably would be. Not to mention utterly deafening and probably blinding, when it comes to the muzzle flash and volume of the guns, melee, falling titans and all those nice things.


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#30 Robin Graves

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:00 AM

also the notion that you got a lasgun and everything around you wont notice anything less than a lascanon. And you will probably get stepped on by uncaring metal god-machines. (Altough Imperial titan crews maintain that you should never ignore infantry, despise them, shoot them, step on them- but never dismiss them as harmless)


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#31 Drath

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:08 AM

That is the worse feeling, hopelessness, like you can't do anything. (That's not my experience, I was never in that situation, dad was though.) Said it was the worst thing he'd ever experienced.


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#32 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:36 AM

On the physchology aspect, I suppose you are right. I never suffered with PTSD, but those who did had tremendous difficulty sharing how they feel. Either because they found it upsetting to talk about, or because they felt like we would see them as weaker or treat them less. But when they did open up, 80% did actually feel better for it. The other 20% (maybe two lads) needed actual physchologists.

As for the pay. I would imagine they don't get paid (usually, not always.), because what would they pay for? They're fed, clothed, housed etc by them, and what you do buy probably can't take off world with. (Contaminants, contraband etc.) However I can imagine that they actually would give some kind of pension to the family or friends etc of the individual, to help them having lost their other source of income. (Whether that be farm animals, thrones or a home to live in.)

A lot of camps and organizations throughout history (and many prisons, still today) actually have in-house stores that you can spend your money on, for small luxury items.

Using prison as an example (I only know how the Swedish one works, so I can't say for prisons overall - also, no personal experience, yet) they often get part of the "pay" on an account that they can use to buy items inside the prison, whether it's candy or magazines, sometimes movies depending on where you are incarcerated. The other part of the pay is usually held until your release, unless you specifically request otherwise - the intent is obviously to make sure that you have at least a (sometimes very) basic "nest egg" when you get out.

While there is no solid fluff to support it and I imagine that it would vary greatly from regiment to regiment (or maybe it's tenuously regulated?), I could see it working much the same way in the Imperium. You get part of your pay for use in the camp, likely in some form of regimental script or currency, and the rest is docked pay. If you want to, part or all of this will be distributed to your relatives on <insert home planet here>. If you check out early, they get a pension relative to your docked pay and remaining service time at time of checkout.

I'm just spitballing a bit here on how it could work.

speaking of 40k PTSD: In one of the fluff books there is mention of guardsmen who survived a battle between imperial and chaos armies consisting mostly of super heavy walkers. Ie Titans for the imperials and "other things" on the chaos side. And the shear SCALE of the combat was enough to mentaly unhinge the poor guys.

Reminds me of something I discussed just today with my gf, in relation to space and hallucinations. Astronauts have been known to develop Solipsism Syndrome, for example, when faced with the reality of how small they are in the universe, after seeing Terra from the outside.

I guess that would be a common issue for Imperial Guardsmen from relatively peaceful or "backwater" worlds in particular, where they lived with their idea of the entire world - their family, the farm, their local society, etc.

I think it's something that you can snap out of, though. At least once you're out of that specific situation. Being in an extended warzone like that must be complete hell. I could see a retired guardsman never ever going outside ever again, and looking up at the sky, expecting a large metal bootheel to come crashing down at any second.

Hell, he might not even want to go into houses anymore, because you can't see the sky in the houses, and if you can't see the sky, you can't see if there's somehting that's going to step on you.

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#33 Lynata

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:48 AM

This is something I hadn't considered, but would mean that alot of war torn worlds would need mental institutes constructed after, to house all the crazy lunatics and guardsmen with horrific withdrawal symptoms that have been turned loose into their relatively vulnerable society.

 

The Guardsmen would probably just be shipped off to another world to continue their service, and those too old for it would become crazed old geezers that the next generation of parents will warn their kids about.

 

I could see the existence of some walled-off post-WW1 "retirement homes" that are built by the Ministorum and attended by a Hospitaller Order in a futile effort to make a point, though. They'd only care for a ridiculously small fraction of survivors, but it'd be more of a symbol rather than anything else anyways.

 

It can take decades for the Munitorium to organise a full blown crusade or campaign which consists of dozens or even hudnreds of regiments, Marine Chapters, Mechanicus experts etc.  I could see that part of this process of recruitment might include a period of Guard Triumphs (in the roman style)  http://en.wikipedia....i/Roman_triumph to get the local population enthusiastic about joining up.

 

Going by the original fluff, the exact method of raising a new regiment is entirely up to the local governor - the Munitorum cares only that X number of troops are standing on the landing field the day the Navy transport arrives. I suppose this is a result of the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Imperium of Man, and any logistics get trimmed down to the barest essentials. This is also why regiments were said to consist entirely of combat troops rather than how it works in the modern military where you have elements set aside to care for supplies etc. Generally, the IoM keeps it as simple as possible.

 

And then we hear about many regiments being conscripted out of Hive gangs or Feral World tribes. A lot of people in the setting are probably so accustomed to violence that they don't need much propaganda, and instead grimly accept their fate when getting told "join up or die".

 

 

As for the pay. I would imagine they don't get paid (usually, not always.), because what would they pay for? They're fed, clothed, housed etc by them, and what you do buy probably can't take off world with. (Contaminants, contraband etc.) However I can imagine that they actually would give some kind of pension to the family or friends etc of the individual, to help them having lost their other source of income. (Whether that be farm animals, thrones or a home to live in.)

 

Personally, I'm running with the concept of "Imperial scrip" I've picked up in one of James Swallow's novels. It has a basis in real military life, and to me it can make perfect sense in the setting.

 

Imperial systems have their own local currencies (or even none at all), and Guard regiments can theoretically travel from one end of the galaxy to another over the decades of their service - so any savings made with traditional coins are meaningless to them.

 

However, the Munitorum might pass out scrip vouchers allowing a soldier on leave* to buy goods and services from local merchants with a "the Emperor says you must accept this" clause. Said merchants would grumble as I'm sure they'd much prefer actual cash, but they'd be legally required to take these vouchers. They could then make a trip to the local Governor's palace and exchange these vouchers for local currency at an Administratum sub-office, which would pay the merchant out of the government's funds and balance these expenses against the world's next tithe.

 

(*: "leave" is a concept I see applied mainly to soldiers on garrison duty, but it can also refer to troops who are getting rotated in and out of combat zones a la WW1, with 5 days in the trenches and 2 days "rest and relaxation" in the occupied hinterlands .. I'd expect this to differ between regiments and campaigns, depending on how badly soldiers are needed on the front, and how used they are to warfare)

 

The vouchers are not assigned a fixed value (as this would differ from world to world anyways) but instead a fixed service. So, for example a Guardsmen could receive a voucher that says "1x hot meal", "5x haircuts", or "2x night's stay". This comes with the bonus effect that the Imperial Guard can directly control what its soldiers do with this form of payment - though I'm sure there would be a black market of soldiers trying to exchange vouchers for local currency, just like in real life!

 

I actually really like the image of this. Hundreds of ragged citizens standing in a long queue in front of the office, waiting to exchange vouchers at a small counter guarded by a few Arbites with riot shields and combat shotguns. The counter is open four hours a day (except on Ministorum holidays) and the crowd gets forcibly dispersed once it closes.

It could even open up the possibility of entire new jobs .. merchants who live too far away from this office, or who just can't afford to stand in a line half a day, might contract a courier. There could even be a guild-arranged service that arranges for bulk exchanges, representing several dozen merchants per trip...

 

Ahh, ideas. :D

 

On the other hand, the issues of shellshock and PTSD are known to be surprisingly uncommon in societies that encompasses large amounts of people that should have PTSD or PTSD-like issues. Exactly why that is, I'm not sure, but it could be theorized that it has something to do with people being able to relate to eachother and the experiences.

 

You raise a good point, actually.

 

The only thing I could add is that I would personally believe that it's less about people back home being able to relate, but more about those soldiers sent into a warzone not being mentally prepared for the carnage of battle, the feeling of losing friends, the hatred from your enemies (or potentially the locals), and the senseless, revenge-driven violence that comes with large scale military campaigns.

 

Today's society is a lot less barbaric than it was millennia ago, so perhaps humans in general are not "hardened" enough by their upbringing to withstand the psychic stress of war.

 

On the other hand, PTSD has only recently been accepted as an actual mental trauma. Just because society has just become aware of it, doesn't mean that it did not exist in medieval or ancient times. In fact, it could explain why a lot of people were pretty fethed up back then, what with all the fun stuff like torture, Swedish drinks, nailing people to crosses and whatnot.

 

The average ship has possibly tens of thousands of crewmen. Imperial Navy ships are built to transport entire regiments to warzones. When they leave, why would they leave empty unless they have to?

 

In most cases, it could be a matter of timing. Why would a Naval troop transport stick around long enough to actually be "there" when a regiment would get demobilised months, years, or decades later? The ships just come to drop off the troops, and then they move on again - except when it's a crusade, and then this regiment of Veterans could be considered too useful to miss out on in this newly conquered region, so instead they get garrisoned or even awarded the aforementioned custodianship over this new world.
 
Then, it could be a matter of destinations. Why would this Naval transport return to the exact same world the Guardsmen came from, instead of flying to another planet to pick up a regiment there? For this to even be an option, the end of the regiment's campaign would have to coincide with a new regiment being tithed.
(and if it's another transport, then its own arrival in this system would be yet another factor to consider)
 
The war material would have to be taken care of as well. Would you ship it back to the regiment's homeworld or just leave it standing around on the world the regiment last visited, for someone else to pick it up? And if you do ship it back, what would happen to it once there? After a couple centuries, even a random backwater Feral World would have thousands of artillery pieces standing around somewhere. It won't get assigned to any newly raised regiments, because the Munitorum would treat the 1000th regiment just like the 1st, and arrange for them to pick up the same gear after they were sent off.
 
And lastly, the Navy could simply be like "lol, why should I make sure your guys get fed and cared for on MY ship?" In spite of the Navy being able to forcibly conscript new crewmen and requisition supplies on any port, I think the organisation has a vested interest in not overdoing it just for the sake of a bunch of elderly people.
 
It's not very nice, but all in all I think there are too many disadvantages attached to a return home ticket, if we consider the crazy bureaucracy and the special considerations of Warp travel. It's not impossible, but I feel the Imperium would have to make a real effort to bring these people home - an effort that might be regarded as "out of character" if we think how it acts elsewhere.
 
That's just how I see it, though! Arguably, interpretations differ, depending on what we've read, what level of Grimdark we'd like to see, and what we can individually justify as being realistic for us. :)

Edited by Lynata, 22 August 2014 - 07:09 AM.

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#34 Drath

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 06:52 AM

 

On the physchology aspect, I suppose you are right. I never suffered with PTSD, but those who did had tremendous difficulty sharing how they feel. Either because they found it upsetting to talk about, or because they felt like we would see them as weaker or treat them less. But when they did open up, 80% did actually feel better for it. The other 20% (maybe two lads) needed actual physchologists.

As for the pay. I would imagine they don't get paid (usually, not always.), because what would they pay for? They're fed, clothed, housed etc by them, and what you do buy probably can't take off world with. (Contaminants, contraband etc.) However I can imagine that they actually would give some kind of pension to the family or friends etc of the individual, to help them having lost their other source of income. (Whether that be farm animals, thrones or a home to live in.)

A lot of camps and organizations throughout history (and many prisons, still today) actually have in-house stores that you can spend your money on, for small luxury items.

Using prison as an example (I only know how the Swedish one works, so I can't say for prisons overall - also, no personal experience, yet) they often get part of the "pay" on an account that they can use to buy items inside the prison, whether it's candy or magazines, sometimes movies depending on where you are incarcerated. The other part of the pay is usually held until your release, unless you specifically request otherwise - the intent is obviously to make sure that you have at least a (sometimes very) basic "nest egg" when you get out.

While there is no solid fluff to support it and I imagine that it would vary greatly from regiment to regiment (or maybe it's tenuously regulated?), I could see it working much the same way in the Imperium. You get part of your pay for use in the camp, likely in some form of regimental script or currency, and the rest is docked pay. If you want to, part or all of this will be distributed to your relatives on <insert home planet here>. If you check out early, they get a pension relative to your docked pay and remaining service time at time of checkout.

I'm just spitballing a bit here on how it could work.

 

That'd work too. I was basing mine on the novel Imperial Glory, where the Colour Sergeant says something about how he wants to die on this campaign because he's completed his service but he doesn't want to go home, as his wife and kids are dead. The captain asks him how he knows and he says he has loads of backpay coming, which tells him that they aren't collecting his money anymore, which means they're either dead, or she's remarried to a rich gentleman, and he saw his kid get gutted by an Ork that very campaign. So this sort of supports a mixture between our viewpoints. The family can collect, the money, and that which they don't becomes back pay.


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#35 Fgdsfg

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 08:00 AM

In most cases, it could be a matter of timing. Why would a Naval troop transport stick around long enough to actually be "there" when a regiment would get demobilised months, years, or decades later? The ships just come to drop off the troops, and then they move on again - except when it's a crusade, and then this regiment of Veterans could be considered too useful to miss out on in this newly conquered region, so instead they get garrisoned or even awarded the aforementioned custodianship over this new world.

Well obviously, there is nothing saying that there would be a Navy ship there at that exact moment. They could have to wait months or years - there's not even a guarantee that there'll be a navy ship. But at the same time, the Imperial Navy and the Imperial Guard largely move together, one way or another, in one fashion or another. The Imperial Navy surely must have supply ships and transport ships going too and from the places where the Imperial regiment in question happens to be at any one point, at least on average?

And of course, there is the fact that yes, far from everyone will have the opportunity or even the inclination to go home, such as in the case of being awarded the custodianship of a conquered or unpopulated world. We know it happens, after all. There's also the fact that a lot of these veterans are, as you say, quite valuable, if only to train new footsloggers and jarheads.
 

Then, it could be a matter of destinations. Why would this Naval transport return to the exact same world the Guardsmen came from, instead of flying to another planet to pick up a regiment there? For this to even be an option, the end of the regiment's campaign would have to coincide with a new regiment being tithed.
(and if it's another transport, then its own arrival in this system would be yet another factor to consider)

I would never expect that to happen at all. The odds of specifically a Navy ship that is specifically dropping off troops at the same time as these specific soldiers are retired and then returning to their specific homeworld is astronomical. If the veterans have any chance of coming home, the best they can hope for is transport to a hub of some kind. Like an Agri-World, carried there by supply ships. And then they can go from the Agri-world to a Hive World. And then they should be able to secure transport to a major transport hub of some kind, likely one of the Sector's major Hive Worlds, such as Scintilla or Malfi, and then go from there to home.
 

The war material would have to be taken care of as well. Would you ship it back to the regiment's homeworld or just leave it standing around on the world the regiment last visited, for someone else to pick it up? And if you do ship it back, what would happen to it once there? After a couple centuries, even a random backwater Feral World would have thousands of artillery pieces standing around somewhere. It won't get assigned to any newly raised regiments, because the Munitorum would treat the 1000th regiment just like the 1st, and arrange for them to pick up the same gear after they were sent off.

Well that's an issue either way, really. I would expect any relevant materiel to be taken away from the world, or left there for a potential PDF, or carted off by another regiment. The Munitorum is inefficient and wasteful, but the individual commanders and adepts aren't idiots.
 

And lastly, the Navy could simply be like "lol, why should I make sure your guys get fed and cared for on MY ship?" In spite of the Navy being able to forcibly conscript new crewmen and requisition supplies on any port, I think the organisation has a vested interest in not overdoing it just for the sake of a bunch of elderly people.

Like I said earlier, I'd expect them to work during the trip. And it really depends on the resources available and how it's done. Is it a week's trip? I could see every soldier taking care of their own well-being in the holds. Is it a month's trip? Harder. But that's still assuming that the navy just moves them at all, and doesn't take them on as press-ganged or menials. I could honestly see the Navy going "Guardsmen? Hey, trash people, this is your stopping point, get out!" and then take the guardsmen on as crew until the press-ganged menials can be replaced and the guardsmen sign off (if applicable).

Let's say that before the last trip, the ship picked up 2000 press-ganged menials on Port Wander. It drops off supplies in a warzone. There happens to be 2000 retired guardsmen that requests fare to whatever hub is up next. You, as a captain, would you choose the 2000 untrained morons that you can replace at any port, or would you choose the 2000 battle-hardened servants of the Imperium, even if it's just for a few months? One of them can't figure out the blast-end of a lasgun, while the other is liable to head-butt an ork to death while foaming prayers to Ollanius Pius at the mouth.
 

It's not very nice, but all in all I think there are too many disadvantages attached to a return home ticket, if we consider the crazy bureaucracy and the special considerations of Warp travel. It's not impossible, but I feel the Imperium would have to make a real effort to bring these people home - an effort that might be regarded as "out of character" if we think how it acts elsewhere.
 
That's just how I see it, though! Arguably, interpretations differ, depending on what we've read, what level of Grimdark we'd like to see, and what we can individually justify as being realistic for us. :)

I don't think there's a return ticket at all. I think that, at best, individual captains are willing to make concessions or offer deals, and individual commanders willing to pull some strings for their honoured knuckledraggers and trenchmonkeys, but I'd never, ever, expect service in the Imperial Guard to come with a "ticket home".
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#36 Visitor Q

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:02 AM

The thing which is great about 40K of course is because it is set across the Galaxy and potentially over a 10 millenia scope at one time or another any of these many ideas could have been used.


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#37 cpteveros

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 09:56 AM

As to whether or not this is all canon, the answer is of course: everything is canon. So congrats, you are all right!


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#38 Lynata

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 10:47 AM

I don't think there's a return ticket at all. I think that, at best, individual captains are willing to make concessions or offer deals, and individual commanders willing to pull some strings for their honoured knuckledraggers and trenchmonkeys, but I'd never, ever, expect service in the Imperial Guard to come with a "ticket home".

 

Ah, now that I could see working out in my interpretation, too. :)

 

Though I'd expect that, in most cases, the troops in question - by that point no longer considered Guardsmen - don't even get through to the commanding officer to submit their request. And even then there's a good chance the captain could simply laugh them off. Better chance to wait for a trade or pilgrim ship, depending on where you want to go.

 

It's a possibility, though! And in fact, I could see the appeal in the idea of a couple hundred veterans, all in their fourties, fifties, sixties, living as farmers and merchants, spending many years as civilians .. until one day, news arrive about a supply ship that could bring them back into their own sector.

 

So, after all those years, the regiment assembles one last time. Butchers and bakers sell their shops, farmer Frink puts on his worn, half-torn uniform and takes his Mars-pattern lasgun he used to hunt the native direwolves with from its place on the wall, old Sergeant Dannik goes to visit Corporal Destrier, who explains she has a husband and kids now and decided to stay. Finally, the townsfolk assembles to watch fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers assemble in a loose formation and begin the long eight-hours walk to the spaceport, where Major Stern - having assumed leadership of this tightly-knit community of soldiers after Colonel Danforth died of a flu last summer - will petition the starship's captain for passage home.

 

... of course, this being 40k, this is the point where the Tau-aligned rebels on the starship would reveal themselves and kill the captain, and the veterans are forced into one last battle. Be sure to pick up the novel! ;)


Edited by Lynata, 22 August 2014 - 10:47 AM.

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#39 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:04 PM

The truely 40K thing to do would be to change Guardsmen past their use-by date into servitors.


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#40 Robin Graves

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:12 PM

Or even worse:

 

In the  old epic (space marine) rulebook from the Mausoleum description:

" For the vast bulk of citizens of the imperium death is not the end of their service to the emperor.

Thye are quickly forgotten by everyone, but the record keepers of the administratum, and

their bodies are recycled into foodstuffs."

 

Soylent green is made of gu-gu-guardsmen!

 

And people wonder why i'd rather join chaos...


Edited by Robin Graves, 27 August 2014 - 06:13 PM.

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