View Full Version : Number of IG Regiments

05-09-2005, 13:10
Just something that occurred to me that I thought I would get other people's opinions on.

We know that IG regiments (names and numbers) are recycled, retired and then refounded, but how many regiments from any given world would normally be in active service?

I know this is going to very massively between worlds with worlds like armageddon supporting far more regiments than catachan so I'm going to split this question into three categories: worlds like Catachan (small populations and industrial output), civilised worlds like Macragge (yes, i know it's a marine world, it's just a good example of the type of world i'm thinking about), and hive worlds like Necromunda and Armageddon (huge populations and industrial output.

Basically, would you ever see the 200th Necromundan take to the field or is it more likely that regiments max out nearer to the 50 mark. If anyone has fluff references that would be great.


05-09-2005, 16:12
Well, the Valhallans in the Cain novels are something like the 500 and something'th (being the sum of the regiment numbers of the two regiments his regiment was formed out of), and Cain is supposed to have checked with the administratum whether there was an existing regiment that was already carrying that number - possibly meaning there's regiments with higher numbers.

I'd say that low population worlds (for example, Tanith before it got burned) would have at most low double figures (so say 1-10).
Medium population - mid to high double figures (up to 90 or there abouts) - IMO planets like Tallarn and Catachan, and probably Terra as well - even though it's a hive world, most of it's population is going to be involved with the administratum or servicing it, or the religious aspects of terra, leaving very little to recruit from, would be here,
High population over a hundred (say Macragge PDFs, proto-hive worlds like Hydraphur (although as it's primarily naval it may not raise too many regiments itself) and military worlds like Cadia or Mordia).
Hive worlds might have multiple hundreds listed as active, although some are likely to have not be reported lost, retired or otherwise out of commission yet, and others might just be constantly being recruited for.

05-09-2005, 18:38
For Hive wordsm regimental numbers going as far up as 500 is IMHO not uncommon. The numbers would be even higher for the PDF of these planets whose population goes up into dowens of billions.

Even civilised worlds could have IG regiment numbers as high as a hundred IG regiments.

Inq. Veltane
05-09-2005, 20:43
If we assume that all regiments are 10,000 men strong (there are larger exceptions but thats at the top end of 'normal') and then consider a world with say 5 billion people (a smallish civilised world) then its pretty obvious that shipping 500 regiments is very 'doable'. In normal circumstances you might only expect maybe 100 or 200 regiments from such a world to be 'active' but if the subsector was under attack then raising even a thousand regiments from a 5 billion world would not be difficult...and some worlds have a 100 billion...

05-09-2005, 23:26
As far as regiments go, they're usually no more than 5,000 men strong, even infantry heavy regiments.

06-09-2005, 01:59
The 40K definition of a regiment is a rather flexible thing; depending on your source, Imperial Guard regiments may be true to modern regimental sizes or up to the size of a division. Note, for instance, that the IG codex shows half of the Cadian 8th on p.10, and indicates that the number present is nearly 4,000 men. Presumably, then, the full regiment is nearly 8,000 men. Considering that IG platoons may number anywhere from 25 to 55 men, one could easily see IG formations having a remarkable variety in size while using the same general force organization.

06-09-2005, 06:47
It is stated in an old WD that regiments are from 2000-6000 men + supporting personel, vehicle crews .....

06-09-2005, 14:19
Definitely, the time when regiments could be as large as several hundreds of thousands of people is now long gone and the size of regiments has been streamlined to roughly 5,000 people, for the better.

04-10-2005, 03:00
Basically, would you ever see the 200th Necromundan take to the field or is it more likely that regiments max out nearer to the 50 mark. If anyone has fluff references that would be great.


I'm sure its possible to see the necromundan 200th take the field. remember that some regiments are just continually recruited for while others are just retired or amalgamated with other units and the numbers arn't always re-used. and this has been going on for 40000 years. a hive worlk like necromunda with a population of some 400 billion could raise 500 hundred regiments in a single founding if the war was big enough. by the end of the M41 we must be on the the necromundan 10000th or there abouts

04-10-2005, 11:53
Possibly, but I was under the impression that numbers were generally re-used after the regiment gets disbanded to stop it spiralling out of control.

Commissar Vaughn
04-10-2005, 12:55
i would say they numbers do get reused , but the administratum aint very good at keeping track. a regiment might be lost, presumed destoryed, its number given to a new regiment , and then be found , resulting in multiple regiments having the same number, presumably they would be formed in to one rgt.
during the 1st world war how many regiments was say, britain alone, capable of deploying at its height? and consider that each regment consists of up to around 10 batallions, with between 800-1000 men in each. even a small popultaion is capable of deploying larger forces than most of the 40k fluff ive seen would suggest.

in the codex they say the imperial guard is measured in its billions, i would think that googols is more likely. and therefore potentially large numbers of regiments from each planet

04-10-2005, 13:29
Possibly, but I was under the impression that numbers were generally re-used after the regiment gets disbanded to stop it spiralling out of control.

A hive-world could still easily reach 10000 regiments. If we assume that a regiment takes roughly 10000 men (well, humans), combining front and supply, 10000 regiments will result in roughly 100 million mobilized troopers. For a hive world with 100 billion population that is just one promille of the total population, and even for a total population of just 10 billion (130% of the current earth population) they make up only 1%. Societies in REAL need, eg. the Soviets in WWII, are known to have mobilized up to 1/6th of their population in the fighting arm (Germany was at roughly 1/8th). This means that a single major hive world has a potential of some 1.500.000 (yep, 1.5 million) regiments if really pressed. Even if we subtract whats needed for internal control and immediate self defense we get sufficient bodies so that training, equipment and especially transport will be the limiting factor, not population.

05-10-2005, 11:08
Indeed, Axel makes an excellent point, which can be sumed up in the following maxim "the cheapest commidity of the Imperium is human life", which clearly explains the horrendous casualty rates in most conflicts, because there is basically no end to the numbers of bodies the IG can throw at an enemy.
Which incidently would make for excellent Stalingrad style last ditch defense, with green troopers picking up the guns of their fallen comrades.

05-10-2005, 18:37
The planet that I made for my IG force ended up with several thousand regiments. It has a population of 4.7 billion with 2.15% in the military. Which gave me about 101,050,000 troops. With my regiment size of about 4300, I got 23,257 regiments; 19,768 PDF and 3,489 IG. The IG one is a little higher than average as I had my planet take the top 15% of the PDF for service as the IG, not the normal 10%. If the planet went for all out war with 1/6th or even 1/4th in the military, you could end up with super huge numbers.

05-10-2005, 18:55
Which of course is why the focus really should be less on the overdone Space Marines and more on the Imperial Guard that bear the brunt of the fighting and launch the invasions.

Of course with such massive numbers even per planet one has to wonder how the Imperium ever loses a planet to anything less than a fullscale Ork or Tyranid invasion (both of these being more like mobile ecosystems). I suppose one has to invoke the morale and mobility issues of the PDF and IG, and perhaps the command structure's rigidity or vulnerability to assassination.

05-10-2005, 18:58
There really needs to be a larger division than the regiment if we're going into ridiculously high numbers.

Perhaps one could say that all regiments that go offworld are generally "xx Regt, I (Expeditionary) Corps" or something, where the numbers start from the beginning for II Corps, III Corps and so on, which are PDF except in unusual circumstances.

05-10-2005, 19:10
The regiments in the Taros campaign were organized into corps, but not divisions.

05-10-2005, 19:34
And again, we run into problems. How do we go about rationalising Imperial ground forces between PDF and Imperial Guard formations? It's clear that some Imperial Guard deployments are inconceivably vast - perhaps billions of soldiers in a single massive action. As the roughly Earth-like structures that the GW fluff parallels are totally inadequate to define such numbers, a fair bit of re-tooling is required. Personally, I boost the Army Group to a potentially vast size, containing as many as a hundred field Armies. Beyond this, you have the Crusade, the defining element in Imperial grand strategy. Having two Crusades operating anywhere near each other is highly improbable and would strongly indicate some cataclysmic socio-defensive event in progress.

05-10-2005, 19:40
Not all Crusades are created equal. You have vast ones like Macharius's reconquests and presumably the oft talked about Sabbat Crusade. On the other hand, there are much smaller and more half hearted ones like the Damocles Crusade which only had a few regiments as ground forces.

Captain Brown
05-10-2005, 20:06
I will chip in my two cents on this question by referring to the annals of hallowed antiquity...dusting off the old copy of White Dwarf 109 where they introduced the first Imperial Guard list after the short version in Rogue Trader: (to avoid any copy write infringements I will not post the entire article only the salient points and a summary of what is written)

First on the size of the Guard -
No one man knows the true size of the Imperial Guard, and only the huge Codex Exercitus, maintained on Terra by the highest ranks of the Administratum, contains the necessary data for such a calculation. There are some guesses and rumours - some say that if the whole of the Imperial Guard were paraded shoulder-to-shoulder they would cover the entire planetary surfaces of such-and-such a system, or stretch from Terra to such-and-such a star. The only thing known for certain is that the Imperial Guard is unimaginably vast.

On regiment size -
Brusilov knows what he is talking about when he quoted 2,000 to 6,000 soldiers and support elements in a Regiment.

On numbering of regiments -
Regiments are identified by the name of their home world, and the number of the Regiment during that particular raising. Why the 8th Cadian has a history spanning back centuries, even though no individual soldier could live that long. When a Regiment is raised it inherits all the victories and defeats of its predecessors. (Author's note: There certainly could be two 8th Cadians serving at the same time, although I would assume that the administration tries to avoid this, but it does conveniently explain how they can fight on so many gaming tables on any given night)

To explain some of the idiosyncrasies within the numbering system -
Because of the lack of ongoing recruitment, it is common for Regiments to become severely depleted, and it is thought that a great many Imperial Guard Regiments are currently at less than half their founding strength. In some cases, such as the 22/4 Valeria, two or more Regiments serving on a world may be combined to form a new Regiment, which is given the name of the base world if its parent Regiments came from different home worlds.

Captain Brown