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War Movies for inspiration

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How about Letters from Iwo Jima? Soldiers holding a rock against someone who wants it and expects all the fanatic zealotry (here IJA = IG) to lay down their lives for it just to kill some enemies before dying. Though how could EVERY soldier buy into that, some want to go home eventually.

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The Russian said:

 

How about Letters from Iwo Jima? Soldiers holding a rock against someone who wants it and expects all the fanatic zealotry (here IJA = IG) to lay down their lives for it just to kill some enemies before dying. Though how could EVERY soldier buy into that, some want to go home eventually.

 

 

That is exacly what the Commissariat is for.

Those "not buying into it enough", or not making enough of a show of being into it get shot as a warning example to others.

"The floggings continue, until the morale improves", indeed. gui%C3%B1o.gif

Of course, the morale when encircled not really a a problem against most of the imperium's enemies, as against Orks, Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar surrendering is not an option, which would lead to surrounded and cut off forces fighting to the last bullet, knife and drop of blood.

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H2SO4 said:

Of course, the morale when encircled not really a a problem against most of the imperium's enemies, as against Orks, Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar surrendering is not an option, which would lead to surrounded and cut off forces fighting to the last bullet, knife and drop of blood.

I don't think surrender is an option with the rest of them when the Commissar is still alive. lol

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The Russian said:

H2SO4 said:

 

Of course, the morale when encircled not really a a problem against most of the imperium's enemies, as against Orks, Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar surrendering is not an option, which would lead to surrounded and cut off forces fighting to the last bullet, knife and drop of blood.

 

 

I don't think surrender is an option with the rest of them when the Commissar is still alive. lol

Considering that most Guardsmen are at least somewhat willingly brainwashed/inducted into Imperial dogma, the amount of Guardsmen that desert/defect/surrender are quite small compared to the rest of the Guard who'd gladly die for the Emperor, Imperium, and humanity if they ever got the chance.

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The Russian said:

Though how could EVERY soldier buy into that, some want to go home eventually.

Guardsmen seldom get to go home. For most Guardsmen, home is a very long way away indeed. The (legitimate, Emperor-fearing) choices of those Guardsmen tend to be death in service, or demobilisation to settle on a conquered/reconquered world. A few of the officers might go back home, to carry the regimental colours and histories back so that a new regiment can be founded to carry on the traditions, but that varies from culture to culture and circumstance to circumstance.

One of the (IMO) more interesting character moments in the novel Imperial Glory is one of the senior Sergeants explaining that there's likely no-one left on their homeworld that remembers them, because of the time distortions from travel through the Warp… it's been twenty years of war for them, but much, much longer for the people back home.

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As a general rule Guards regiments are all inspired by a mixture of real world military forces (Cadians, Tallarns) and/or fictional military characters (Catachans). As such every good military movie - and even some crappy ones - can be a good inspiration. My personal list includes.

  • Black Hawk Down (excellent to show how fast the **** can hit the fan and how the stupidity of the high brass can doom normal soldiers)
  • Enemy at the Gates (sniper duels are a must-have)
  • Dirty Dozen (penal legions)
  • Hamburger Hill
  • The Eagle Has Landed (paras infiltration)
  • Band of Brothers
  • The Enemy Below (for navy based campaigns)
  • Predator (you, your platoon and Mantis… good luck)
  • Redball Express (not so much of movie, but a good picture of what a convoy might experience)

 


Catachan said:

For early game PCs I'd probably put them though basic training "Full Metal Jacket" style. They were actually playing that movie at the recruitment center when I enlisted, and my drill instructor was more intimidating that I could have ever expected. Sgt. Harman would be a good place to start when coming up with a drill sergeant character.

Perhaps you might want to borrow one of my DH character: drill-commisar Artarius. One of my players (who pplayer the Guard) once gave a comment that sums him up perfectly: "And I thought sgt Hartman was a bastard."

Frankosis said:

 

People have already mentioned Stalingrad, but I think it deserves special mention for what happens when the PC's squad screws something up in the midst of a war/battle and they become part of a penal squad! This would be a great GM trick to keep in the back of your mind, instead of killing the PCs outright by a overzealous Commissar you have them reassigned. Come to think of it, that also puts them into the Dirty Dozen which I don't think was mentioned. I run my game that people with specialized skills (like the players) are not necessarily expendable fodder and likely have some specific use or mission. I loved the scene where the soldier/prisoners are assigned to clear a minefield. That reminds me of Kelly's Heros, a different type of guard game altogether…

Perhaps not so much. Guardsmen are very close to the bottom tier of the Imperium war effort (the bottom being the PDF). Kelly's Heroes is a good example of the kind of stunts a IG platoon have to pull to stay alive again overwhelming forces. The final part of of thee movie can be easily rebuilt as a IG platoon with a support light tank (a Chimera perhaps) fighting against three Chaos Predators.


CapitolImperialis said:

The Russian said:

H2SO4 said:

 

Of course, the morale when encircled not really a a problem against most of the imperium's enemies, as against Orks, Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar surrendering is not an option, which would lead to surrounded and cut off forces fighting to the last bullet, knife and drop of blood.

 

 

I don't think surrender is an option with the rest of them when the Commissar is still alive. lol

Considering that most Guardsmen are at least somewhat willingly brainwashed/inducted into Imperial dogma, the amount of Guardsmen that desert/defect/surrender are quite small compared to the rest of the Guard who'd gladly die for the Emperor, Imperium, and humanity if they ever got the chance.

This largerly depends from the regiment and the commisar. In "His last command" commisar Hark allowed a massive retreat argumenting that men so frightened to ignore both his rank and his plasma pistol were of no use in a battle. Still, after the battle, he looked for the regimental commander and executed him for manifest incapacity at leading his men.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

The Russian said:

Though how could EVERY soldier buy into that, some want to go home eventually.

 

 

 

Guardsmen seldom get to go home. For most Guardsmen, home is a very long way away indeed. The (legitimate, Emperor-fearing) choices of those Guardsmen tend to be death in service, or demobilisation to settle on a conquered/reconquered world. A few of the officers might go back home, to carry the regimental colours and histories back so that a new regiment can be founded to carry on the traditions, but that varies from culture to culture and circumstance to circumstance.

One of the (IMO) more interesting character moments in the novel Imperial Glory is one of the senior Sergeants explaining that there's likely no-one left on their homeworld that remembers them, because of the time distortions from travel through the Warp… it's been twenty years of war for them, but much, much longer for the people back home.

True.

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Just strollin gthorugh my DVD/BluRay collection i find ..

300 - for those last man standing fight

Alien - the whole series of course

Apocalypse Now - a classic

The A-Team - clear your name, and keep it clean unlike in the movie/series

Black Hawk Down - We got a Valkyrie down in our case

Doom - secure that facility and keep it safe

Duell: Enemies at the Gate - waves of infantry

Dune - desert warfare, giant worms are optional

Expendables - you are, aren't you soldier Nr. 10187343?

Flags of our Fathers - PR is a *****

Full Metal Jacket - another classic

Green Zone -

Hurt Locker -

Hot Shots 1/2 - come on, just for the laughs

Inglorious Basterds

Operation Kingodm - Find the infidels

One Bridge too far - screw up from high up

Platoon - again a classic

Police Academy - i dare you to make a Cadet Academy pun session

Predator 1 - mud IS a guardsmens best friend

Rambo - pick any of the four movies, all can be used

Stalingrad - gruesome city warfare, hopeles situation

Terminator - Rise of the Necrons

.. and i didn't even knew a few of the other movies mentioned in this threat. time to go shoppin'!

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Here's a few that I found good and which I thought that I would mention again

Cross of Iron - good Imperial infantry action

Last Batallion - cut of behind enemy lines but holding on

Paths of Glory - for a look at how the Imperial Guard might operate

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9th Company: Russian film about afganistan, comperable to Platoon or FMJ for the USSR, I cannot recommend this one enough (it's on Netflix)

Fight Dirty: Michael Cain movie about WWII, dangerous mission with untrustworthy mercs to destroy a fuel depot hundreds of miles behind enemy lines in north africa.

The Warriors: not military per se, but they are based off a Greek army cut off, far from home. Conider them a broken pdf on a hive world under occupation though…

Last of the Mohicans (movie, the iriquois are light infantry, the redcoats are more pig-headed-die-in-droves types)

Band of Brothers (miniseries)

Bad Company 1&2 (video game, no plan survives contact with the enemy)

Platoon (movie, chain of command broken, divided, and incompetent above squad level)

Tears of the Sun (Storm troopers, chain of command distant but useful)

Aliens (movie, genestealers where copy pasta of this)

Hamburger Hill (movie, the madness of war)

The Patriot (movie, light infantry who fight a superior numbered foe)

Deathwatch (movie on netflix, not related to the rpg, ww1 piece that is a very easy analogue to fighting on a chaos world)

What to do when the guard fights itself over friendly fire or simply not liking one another?

 Ciaphas Cain book… two I think.  When two under strength regiments of Valhallans are combined and there are several deaths in a mess hall riot.  Of course his handling of it needs to be read to be believed ^_^  good stuff.

Also represented in the Gaunt's Ghosts with the Tanith 1st and the Volpone "Bluebloods" (books one, two and four if memory serves)

 

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Panzer 88 (The crew of a King Tiger go up against a supernatural entity in Russia during WWII), when and if it is released in the movie theaters.

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The below are the movies I'll be using for inspiration

Dog Soldiers
Kelly's Heroes
The Guns of Navarone
The Dirty Dozen
The Thin Red Line
Tigerland
Platoon
Bravo Two Zero
Full Metal Jacket

The Lighthorsemen
'Breaker' Morant 
Gallipoli 
Kokoda 
The Charge of the Light Brigade

Memphis Belle 
Hornblower
U-571

Red Dawn
Tomorrow, When the War Began

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While not the greatest movie ever made Battle: Los Angeles would make a pretty good source of inspiration for a game where the PCs squad is having to face down an invading force of relatively unknown xenos.

Just don't get it confused with Battle FOR Los Angeles which is incredibly horrible. Especially when you realize that one of their "Weapons" is just a nerf gun they spraypainted chrome.

pearldrum1 likes this

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Though I wouldn't exactly call them movies…

I am going to be using the general military activites of the "White Base" from the "Mobile Suit Gundam" anime as the general guide for the encounters of my group's regiment. Except there won't be any giant robots with angsty teenage boys piloting them, maybe a few titans in the major battles though.

3 major battles, several stealth/recon/sabotage missions, decoy missions, base defense, escort missions, amushes, etc.

Everything you could want in a major war.

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A bridge too far, showing how planetary assaults and aerial assaults can be a tricky business (though I think by imperial terms that would have been regarded as a victory!)

Zulu: Showing how dicipline and a bayonet with some guts behind it can sometimes overcome terrible odds!

Zulu Dawn: Showing how dicipline and a bayonet with some guts behind are useless when you run out of ammo and your officers are idiots….

Longest day: again another good one showing the dangers of planetary assaults and how to perform a largely successful one or if you were going to incorperate sea landings

Dieppe: I'm pretty sure there was a film made about Dieppe of this name in the 1960's in the uk and if memory serves it was pretty good, I'm sure the canadians have made a newer more impressive version since, a good one to look at as if you can find it simply because it has what happens when it all goes wrong.

Oh What a Loverly War: actually the most impressive film I've seen about WW1, it gives you a really good feel of what being a soldier would have been like (i.e. horrifying) and who doesn't like a musical!  Mostly based on real events albeit with a spin on them to make them more surreal (and yes I mean that, WW1 was a weird war by anyones standard!).

Enemy at the gates: I feel more the experience of hastily raised PDF troopers in response to a chaos invasion myself then guardsmen but how you interpret it is up to you of course.

Land and Freedom: an excelent film about the Spanish Civil War, to me it suggests an interesting campaign where people play as a scratch company fighting rebels mainly consisting of the local PDF.  The imperium could be represented by the soviet union (as there are bits in the fluff where they drip feed what they regard as doomed and unimportant planets equipment in part to allow them to get anything of value out (like the soviet union did with the spanish gold)) also the way they send advisors and so on would work.  Or it could be regarded as an internal matter (which the imperium often doesn't care about, worlds in the 40k universe can often have long running wars with no one being a rebel against the imperium…….) and so the imperial navy is just cordening off the planet with maybe a rogue trader trading with both sides, selling the loyalists equipment at exorbitant prices to get any resources he can out of them while giving equipment to the rebels as if they win he gets beneficial trade rights?  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5904180592045722602 in its entirety

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I have a few movies and some documentaries set in Afghanistan:

A very underrated movie imho that needs more mentioning is Pork Chop Hill (www.youtube.com/watch - Not the best quality but a good scene nonetheless).

The Thin Red Line - I'm very surprised this was not mentioned yet.

. A great movie I think most should see.

We Were Soldiers Once and Young - Another great Vietnam movie not mentioned.

,

The Battle for Marjah - The whole HBO documentary can be found on Youtube. Follows a US Marine rifle company deployed behind enemy lines - www.youtube.com/watch

There is also the Ross Kemp series about his time in Afghanistan with British soldiers - www.youtube.com/watch

Not to mention all of the combat footage posted on youtube about the fighting in Afghanistan.

British troops involved in a dawn assault on Taliban positions (2 parts) - Part 1

and part 2

 

 

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Zakalwe said:

 

 

And seconded Enemy At The Gates. Especially the less personal dehumanised aspects of the first half.

Not the whole movie, but a good war scene: Battle for Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back.

 

 

Enemy at the Gates. I would us as an intro for the characters they are pushed forward in the assault a las gun and 2 las packs for every two people the bit. The Commissar (NPC or PC) at there back with a heavy weapons team(or squad) with heavy bolters or autocannons. After the others have moved on the Commissar gets flanked. Dooring the coerce of the battle they all meet up and complete the final objective together. Earning the respect of the commissar, and securing there friendship for the foreseeable future. The next battle is some time in the future and they have all the gear they shuld start with.

 
With the Battle for Hoth I see the PCs as Imperial soldiers cuz that's what they are. But with a little change to the script they could be defending a research base from the forces of chaos.
 

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I'm a big fan of "Kelly's Heroes" (I can still remember, as a child, the scene of the panzer's turret, and I looking in awe), so I'm designing a light-hearted adventure inspired by the movie: "CALLIDUS' HEROES"! :-) I'm writing the details right now… :-D And yes, it will NOT BE canon. But I can'r resist the marvelous silliness of "going to steal the gold of the chaotics", and the moving image of young privates frenetically chipping off the chaos star from the gold ingots. It's an idea so stupid I find it irresistible.

 

Ciaps!

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I love the idea of Battle: LA being on the list. It would fit in perfectly for any urban environment game where the PCs are under constant attack by an outside xenos force, where search and rescue, sabotage and tactical retreat are the only options against a vastly superior alien force.

 

I know it might be hard to pull off, but what about Battleship?

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I didn't read the whole thread, but Stalingrad from 1993 is a fantastic film if you want the real Grimdark.

 

Yeah, that's a good one.  I agree with the people who mention The Longest Day as you get a good mix of different types of units and the things that can happen to guys in them. 

 

Another pair heavy on Grimdark are The Bunker (2001) and, if you can find it, The Keep (1983)

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The Hills Have Eyes 2 definitely. Squad of light infantry guardsmen with Int and Per score of 22, armed with autoguns are taken one after one by the bunch of pickaxe-wielding sneaky mutants.

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