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Themed Army Ideas
Other Imperial Guard Themed Army Ideas

Abhuman Regiments  by Kenton Kilgore
Abhumans (short for “abnormal humans”) are the descendants of humans isolated from the rest of the Imperium for millennia, who developed more-or-less stable mutations that have been passed down through many generations. Ogryns and Ratlings are the best known abhumans, but they are not the only ones. The Imperial Guard wastes no source of soldiers, no matter how repulsive they may appear: this Themed Army Idea can be used as a template for force of abhumans, led by their human masters and supported by auxiliary forces. 

Mutation runs rife within the Imperium, but it usually only strikes individuals here and there, necessitating their exposure, capture, and execution. Sometimes a pattern of mutations afflicts an entire population, with the added horror that such deviances are passed along to the mutants’ offspring. In many cases, these groups—invariably inbred and loathsome in appearance—are exterminated by the Inquisition so as to prevent them  from increasing in number or, worse, fouling the gene pools of normal human populations. 
Sometimes, though, circumstances may compel the Inquisition to spare the offending abhumans, pressing them into service as menial laborers, laboratory test subjects, or cannon fodder for the Imperial Guard. 

Most abhumans are assembled into special units and supplement “normal” Imperial Guard regiments; the more monstrous abhumans are considered even less valuable than the Penal Legion Squads, and are often given the task of clearing mindfields or conducting clearly suicidal charges to delay or distract enemies. With the increasing threats to the Imperium from Chaos Marines, Orks, Tyranids, and the Tau, it is becoming more and more common for whole regiments to be raised from abhuman worlds and sent into battle. 

Ogryns serve in the Imperial Guard because they are too stupid to do anything but what they are told; Ratlings see the Imperial Guard as a means to filling their bellies and indulging their larcenous tendencies. Most other abhumans, their intellects falling somewhere on the spectrum between the dim Ogryns and the cunning Ratlings, are easily compelled to serve out of sense of guilt and shame: constantly harangued by their “normal” human overseers that they are aberrant filth only a few steps above animals, they do whatever is demanded of them to atone for the sin of being born. 

Being genetic deviants, abhumans require the sternest of command. Only Lord Commissars are pure enough in mind and faith to lead these bestial mutants.

An abhuman regiment uses only Ogryn or Ratling squads.

Abhumans are not valuable enough to receive more than rudimentary gear, nor are they able to comprehend complex organizational structures. Abhuman squads are counted as Penal Legion troops; no other Troop units may be used.

Fast Attack
Certain abhumans are cursed with extra limbs that allow them to move more quickly than their two-legged comrades. They are organized into the equivalent of Rough Rider Squads. No other Fast Attack units may be used in an Abhuman Regiment.

Heavy Support
Because basic abhuman troops cannot be trusted with heavy weaponry, they are supported—from a healthy distance—by human troops crewing Ordnance Batteries. No other Heavy Support units may be used.

Modeling and Painting
Obviously, standard Imperial Guard figures of the appropriate types can be used for Lord Commissars, Ratlings, and Ogryns. If you desire a more feral look for your Ogryns, you could use the Leadbelcher figures from the Ogre Kingdoms line of Warhammer fantasy miniatures. 

I recommend using Warhammer Ungor figures, from the Beasts of Chaos line, for the abhuman equivalent of Penal Legion Squads. Back in the Bad Old Days of Rogue Trader, aka First Edition 40K, Beastmen could be included in an Imperial Guard army; Ungor figures are plastic and relatively inexpensive, and will superbly portray the character of this army. You will need to find plastic lasguns or similar firearms to replace the hand-to-hand weapons the Ungor models come with, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. 

Lose the shields, give them guns, and these Ungors will make fine Troops

In a similar vein, use Beastmen Centigor figures as proxied Rough Riders. An abhuman army can have quite a variety of figures, so use a uniform color scheme, perhaps with a common symbol or regimental numbers, to unite them all. 

Tell me these wouldn't make some kick-ass "Rough Riders"

General Tactics
An abhuman regiment is low on the heavy weapons that most Imperial Guard forces rely on, so using it will be a challenge. Take plenty of Ordnance Batteries and pound the enemy, then move up Troop units to grab objectives while Ogryns and “Rough Riders” counterattack against units that threaten your “Penal Legion” abhumans.

Related Pages
Other Imperial Guard Themed Army Ideas

Posted June 2010. Photos copyright 2010 by Games Workshop.


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