Imperial Guard Themed Army Ideas
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.
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.
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
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
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"
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.
Imperial Guard Themed Army Ideas
Posted June 2010. Photos
copyright 2010 by Games Workshop.