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Themed Army Ideas
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Imperial Navy Drop Troops by Brother Logan
Already, I hear all the Imperial Guard players (especially the ones who really are in the Army) howling in indignation. Well, pipe down, ya apes! This Themed Army Idea aims to bring some respectability to the Imperial Navy (you know, those pampered mama's boys who are kind enough to give you REAL warriors rides to the big fights). 

The sheer size of the Imperium makes it virtually impossible to adequately defend every single world from the dangers of the 41st Millennium. Many planets are left to develop their own militias: these frequently make the troops of the Imperial Guard look like Space Marines in terms of training and equipment. 

To provide some protection and support to all of the planets, the Imperial Navy has detached individual capital ships (usually cruisers or frigates) from the fleet and assigned them to patrol routes throughout the Imperium. 

Inevitably, these patrol ships will encounter hostile forces, whether it be Orks, Chaos Marines, Traitor Guard, Eldar, Tyranids, or a multitude of other threats. In these instances, help might be too far away or simply unavailable, leaving the patrol ship to cope on its own.

Every vessel in the Imperial Navy carries a contingent of troops for internal security and boarding actions, but these troops are usually limited in number and highly specialized for their ship-borne duties. To supply the patrol ships with an effective land-based fighting force, the Imperial Navy developed combat units patterned after the Imperial Guard. Thus, the Imperial Navy Drop Troops were born.

The Imperial Navy Drop Troops are essentially a “typical” Imperial Guard unit with a few limitations and requirements that reflect their status as naval troops. These units are typically assigned to patrolling cruisers and frigates that operate independently of the fleet. Drop Troops provide these ships with a rapid response force that can quickly deal with any minor threats that are encountered. This army uses the rules found in Codex: Imperial Guard with the additions and restrictions outlined below.

An Imperial Navy Drop Troops army uses the following regimental doctrines:

  • Techpriest Enginseers;
  • Storm Trooper Squads;
  • Special Weapons Squads;
  • Heavy Weapon Platoons; and
  • Drop Troops.
See pages 55-56 of Codex: Imperial Guard for details. 

Imperial Navy Drop Troops are lead by a Commander if the detachment is 2000 points or higher or a Lieutenant Commander if the detachment is less than 2000 points. Commanders and Lieutenant Commanders have the same profile as Senior Heroic Officers and Senior Officers, respectively, in Codex: Imperial Guard.

The Command Squad must include a vox-caster for the points listed. Imperial Navy Drop Troops maintain orbital communications with their command ship in addition to the normal usage of the vox-caster on the ground.

In addition, either a Sentinel or a Chimera with the Improved Comms upgrade must be included with the Command Platoon. 

Commissars may be taken per the rules in Codex: Imperial Guard (not even the Imperial Navy is free from the prying eyes of the Imperial Cult!) The Imperial Navy does not use Sanctioned Psykers or Priests on the battlefield.

Ogryns and Ratlings cannot belong to the Imperial Navy Drop Troops.

A minimum of one standard Infantry Platoon and one Armored Fist Squad must be taken for Troop choices (this reflects the versatility of the Imperial Navy Drop Troops). Conscript Infantry Platoons are not used.

Fast Attack
A minimum of one Fast Attack unit must be selected. However, Imperial Navy Drop Troops may not use Rough Riders. Only one Hellhound may be taken, as these are relatively rare in the Imperial Navy (and potentially dangerous to transport aboard ship!). 

Heavy Support
Due to the rarity of tanks within the Imperial Navy and the limited storage capacity aboard ship, a detachment may have no more than one of each type of tank (e.g., an Imperial Navy Drop Troop army may have a Leman Russ and a Basilisk, or a Basilisk and a Demolisher, but not two Demolishers). The Imperial Navy Drop Troops supplement their firepower with Heavy Weapon Platoons. 

Modeling and Painting
Imperial Navy Drop Troops have a standard color scheme of Shadow Grey with Chaos Black accents (boots, belts, pouches, etc.) and Boltgun Metal accents (buttons, medals, weapons, ammunition). Some units have adopted an urban camouflage variant of the standard color scheme that includes Chaos Black or Codex Grey stripes. It is rare for Imperial Navy troops to adopt local camouflage colors and patterns since their combat engagements are geared towards rapid response.

General Tactics
Imperial Navy Drop Troops represent a solid combat unit that is designed to deal with a wide variety of threats. While individual detachments may be tailored to suit a particular foe, the naval doctrine of flexibility always takes precedence. As a result, naval units aren’t nearly as rigid and stoic as their Imperial Guard brethren (hence the mandatory Fast Attack and Armored Fist units). The Drop Troops rely heavily on hammer-and-anvil tactics to quickly smash their foes.

Related Pages
Other Imperial Guard Themed Army Ideas

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© Copyright Brother Logan, November 2000. Used with permission. Revised April 2004. 


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle