With the launch of 9th edition 40k, my plans to raise my own Astra Militarum Regiment have advanced.
As well as creating a force I can play some games with, I also want to explore the narrative element by drawing on my history with the game, some of my other projects and interests, and build the regiment up as I go.
First how is a regiment raised? Well most of the fluff suggests that each regiment is raised from the Planetary Defence Force (PDF) of a planet as part of a tithe. I’m interested in the concepts of real world micronations and wargame imagi-nations and have been developing my own over the last couple of years. Some micronations (the simulationist and less serious ones) have been known to use wargames armies as part of their ‘defence forces’, and my own subscribes to what I call the ‘Wells Convention’ i.e. all wars shall be fought as little wars (a lot less bloody apart from the occasional modelling accident!).
In terms of units and organisation, the Guard have always been reasonably consistent in that the platoon is the basic unit, only varying from edition to edition with regards to the specifics.
The first Imperial Guard list was presented in White Dwarf #109 (updated in the 1989 Compendium) and gives the Codex Exercitus composition of a platoon as a command section and up to four squads (tactical, assault, support, or any mix of the three). Each platoon is commanded by a captain or lieutenant and you may take 0-1 captain and 1-3 lieutenants in your army. The squad limits are 4-12 tactical, 0-2 support, and 0-4 assault squads.
The next list that arrived was contained in the 2nd Edition box set and allowed 3 squads per command section with the same types as before, although you could also take a veteran squad as well. This was the list I first used to create my Imperial Guard back in 1994-5.
Then came the first Imperial Guard Codex. Say goodbye to tactical, support, and assault squads, and hello to squads and heavy weapon squads. Each command squad now enabled three ‘regimental’ units plus three additional squads:
The 3rd edition IG codex brought us the structure that we are used to today:
For my regiment I’ll be following this structure to an extent, with the heavy weapon squads coming under the control of the company command section, and each platoon containing four infantry squads. Four squads can be made easily from two boxes of Cadians plus four boxes of push-fit Cadians, plus the command squad box contains four special weapons (plasma, flamer, melta, and grenade launcher) with nice rank marking (lance corporal?) type detail on the shoulder pad.
The first edition of Space Marine (Epic) also had a Guard regimental structure that mirrored the Compendium, but introduced battalions above the company level. Each battalion command was represented by a Leman Russ, with the regimental commander getting a Baneblade.
I remember reading an article about army building by Nigel Stillman in White Dwarf that said that he always started a new army with a standard bearer, and this is something that I plan to do here. I’ve already prepared the banner, and have completed the standard bearer build so I think that this will be the first model I paint.