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Brother Siccarius
05-08-2008, 06:23
Basically, I've been thinking a lot about the Imperial guard, and realize that for all the 'major's, 'lieutenant's, 'sergeant's and 'colonel's that are thrown around in the fluff, I'm still not sure of either the enlisted or officer ranking structure.
I'm aware of how the rank structure is and works in the current military, but the Imperial Guard always presents something of a mystery.
Basically what I can come up with is:
Officer ranks:
Warmaster (Which may or may not be a title, and not necessarily a rank)
Lord general
General
Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant

Enlisted Ranks:
Sergeant
Trooper

As you can see, my knowledge of Guard enlisted ranks seems a little lacking.

Anyone with more knowledge on the subject able to enlighten a poor misguided imperial citizen?

Nazguire
05-08-2008, 06:27
Basically, I've been thinking a lot about the Imperial guard, and realize that for all the 'major's, 'lieutenant's, 'sergeant's and 'colonel's that are thrown around in the fluff, I'm still not sure of either the enlisted or officer ranking structure.
I'm aware of how the rank structure is and works in the current military, but the Imperial Guard always presents something of a mystery.
Basically what I can come up with is:
Officer ranks:
Warmaster (Which may or may not be a title, and not necessarily a rank)
Lord general
General
Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant

Enlisted Ranks:
Sergeant
Trooper

As you can see, my knowledge of Guard enlisted ranks seems a little lacking.

Anyone with more knowledge on the subject able to enlighten a poor misguided imperial citizen?


Warmaster/Lord Commander Solar/High Uppity Up are titles and semi-ranks placed upon a certain individual during crusades and times of upheaval in the Imperium, and are the guy in charge for the duration of that time period. The High Lords have to approve this, because being the Warmaster isn't exactly a nice thing to be in the Imperium (the stigmata of Warmaster Horus comes attached with it)

Quakerman77
05-08-2008, 06:30
Brigadier might be a seperate rank, if it doesnt mean brigadier general. In Necropolis (Gaunt's Ghosts) there was a brigadier commanding some of the forces defending vervunhive. So maybe there are different general ranks?

Black Antelope
05-08-2008, 08:56
In GG he is offered the Rank of Lt General
There are also Corprals, between Sarg/Pvt, in CC - Corperal Magot, who funtion as the ASL.

There are also different ranks for different divisions - Jurgen is a 'Gunner', there are Corpsmen etc, which appear to be on level with Pvt, but in artilery regimenst and medical cores respectivly.

IMO its:

Officer ranks:
Lord General
Lieutenant General
General
Brigadier
Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant

NCO:
Sergeant
Corperal

Enlisted Ranks:
Trooper (can be Pvt, Gunner, Corpsman...)

Minister
05-08-2008, 10:56
I actually did a fairly extensive list of the command ranks in consultation with others on this forum a while ago. Hang on...



My own attempt at figuring out the ranks would be as follows (NATO codes included for comparative purposes only, OF-11 and OF-12 extrapolated):

OF-12
Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard [1]
Lord Commanders of the Segmentum Majoris [2]
Warmaster [3]
Lord Solar [3]

OF-11
Lord Marshal [4]
Lord General Militant [5]
Lord Militant [5]
Lord General [5]

OF-10
Marshal
Lord Castellan [6]
Governor Militant [6]
High General

OF-9
General
Captain General [7]
Castellan [8]

OF-8
Lieutenant General

OF-7
Major General

OF-6
Brigadier
Commander [9]
High Colonel [10]

OF-5
Colonel

OF-4
Lieutenant Colonel

OF-3
Major

OF-2
Captain

OF-1
Lieutenant
2nd Lieutenant

OF-D
Ensign
Cadet


[1] The Lord Commander militant of the Imperial Guard is primarily a political rank, and is often a High Lord of Terra. He serves as the ceremonial head of the Imperial Guard and advises the High Lords (and particularly the Master of the Administratum) on military matters. He also in theory commands the Imperial Guard forces stationed on Terra, but in practice this task is delegated to a subordinate.

[2] Combined arms rank with supreme military command over one of the five Segmentae Majoris. Almost exclusively a political rank, the competition between the Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy for these positions is fierce. The Lord Commander Militant of the Segmentum Solar has on occasion been a High Lord of Terra.

[3]A Warmaster is supreme commander of an Imperial Crusade in a designated area, and has complete military authority and near complete political authority within this designated area. Such rank is obviously powerful indeed, and thus the High Lords alone may declare a Crusade and appoint its Warmaster (though if the Warmaster should be slain he will be replaced from amongst the command cadre, often by a chosen successor, and the High Lords’ authorization becomes a formality). An officer of the Imperial Guard requires the support of two Imperial Navy admirals, and likewise a Naval officer requires the support of two general officers of the Guard.

At times the title of Warmaster has fallen into disfavour and been replaced, most famously by Lord Solar in the chase of St. Macharius. The exact circumstances of the appointment and the changes in authority granted by this rank, if there are any, are unknown.

[4] Generally used when it is desired to have an officer who clearly outranks other senior officers without invoking the political power of a Warmaster’s appointment.

[5] My thought, is that a Lord Militant is a Munitorium rank (that is to say, an Adept rank of the Munitorium), whilst a Lord General is a pure military rank. A sector would then have both a Lord General and a Lord Militant, but many (most?) would combine the two appointments in the form of a single Lord General Militant. To complicate the matter further, many Lord General Militants (Lord Generals Militant?) would dispense with the purely Munitorium rank in everyday use. This is further complicated by the appointment of those who have up to that point been Guard staff officers to the Munitorium rank as a matter of protocol.

[6] Combines senior general ranking within the Imperial Guard with the Adeptus post of Planetary Commander.

[7] An archaic form of General used exclusively for ceremonial appointments and command of honour guard units.

[8] Holds equivalency to General, with duties specific to an assigned bastion or station.

[9] Commanders are known to exist in the Imperial Guard (indeed Macroth was one before being made a Marshal), and are known to outrank a Colonel (2nd edition rulebook). They are also known to be a fairly junior rank amongst the command cadre (Slaydo promoted Macroth to Marshal as he was the highest ranking command staff officer in the battlezone, in order to inspire the confidence of the troops there engaged). For want of a better option, I’m placing them as equivalent to Brigadier.

[10] High Colonel I am using as a political construct. Commissars cannot promote officers to general ranks, which the Brigadier is considered to be in the Imperium. However, if a task group is cut off from the command cadre a Colonel may be promoted to High Colonel in order to provide a clearer line of command, particularly if the best Colonel is not the most senior one.

Royal Tiger
05-08-2008, 10:56
the imperial guard command structure is basically the same as real life, and probably varies as much as real life, with a few added extras like Warmaster, high solar etc etc

Koryphaus
05-08-2008, 10:57
I believe this link here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Guard_%28Warhammer_40%2C000%29) has everything you want sir.

Credit to Minister for doing more work than me :p

Sojourner
05-08-2008, 11:00
At times the title of Warmaster has fallen into disfavour and been replaced, most famously by Lord Solar in the chase of St. Macharius. The exact circumstances of the appointment and the changes in authority granted by this rank, if there are any, are unknown.

This is wrong. Lord Commander Solar is the officer in charge of Segmentum Solar which Macharius held independently of his role in the Macharian Crusade, even though he almost certainly had all the rights and priveliges of a Warmaster. It wasn't an alternative title. Presumably there are also Lord Commanders Pacificus, Tempestus and so on.

Sai-Lauren
05-08-2008, 12:25
There are also different ranks for different divisions - Jurgen is a 'Gunner', there are Corpsmen etc, which appear to be on level with Pvt, but in artilery regimenst and medical cores respectivly.

There's a lot of specialty derived names for a common soldier.

Fusilier, for example, was an early hand gunner, and the term is still used today.
Gunner - artillery. Bombardier is the corporal equivalent.
Corpsman - usually medical. Also Orderly.
Grenadier - In Napoleonic times, a Grenadier was just that, someone who threw bombs (grenades) at the enemy lines, they were usually 6 foot plus to get the extra leverage to throw them as far as possible.

Also Napoleonic - Chosen Man eventually became Corporal, they were normally spread out through the regular men, rather than combined into one group like Sharpe has.

Paratrooper and Cavalryman - self explanatory.
Sapper - Combat engineer.

You could also conceivably have Scout, Ranger (for troops specialised in woodland combat, not necessarily the US Rangers equivalent), Mountaineer, Seaman and Diver (because the Guard almost certainly have "Regiments" of maritime vessels), and so on.

There's also the company, battalion and regimental ranks - Colour Sergeant (so called because they are members of the colour party which holds their company banner/standard, not because he's a good painter and decorator), Sergeant Major etc and at the top of them all, the Regimental Sergeant Major.

IIRC, there's a pretty good list of the ranks in the Imperial Infantrymans Uplifting Primer.

icegreentea
05-08-2008, 14:33
For enlisted men, the basic framework is basically just Private, Corporal, Sergeant. After that, its just grades of the above ranks. Mostly Sergeants. We know that buck Sergeants command squads of roughly 10 troopers. There has to be some internal division within the squad, thus the need for Corporals, who command the privates in their team. They probably have a corporal or corporal equivalent (something like Specialist) handling areas of higher responsibility/requiring more training, like heavy weapons teams or whatever.

Grades of Sergeants probably exist too. Senior NCOs seem to be missing from Warhammer fluff, but they should logically be there, at least some the more 'professional' regiments (like Cadia). Current theory, borne out by practice and history (see Rome), says that a strong NCO corps is key to any army. That means strong Sergeants backing up newbie platoon commanders and offering advice to other commanders, while acting as someone 'bigger' to gripe to for the rest of the troops without adversely affecting chain of command and morale. Of course, part of that role in the 40k universe is taken by Commissars. Not the same methods, but the same end goal.

In all likelihood, the entire IG has a completely inconsistent set of enlisted rank structure. Which would probably be ok, as long as their officer ranks were sufficiently standardized so you don't have problems with chain of command with two regiments from opposite sides of the Imperium fighting as a unit. If that doesn't work, then their Commissars can duel it out.

Minister
05-08-2008, 23:34
This is wrong. Lord Commander Solar is the officer in charge of Segmentum Solar which Macharius held independently of his role in the Macharian Crusade, even though he almost certainly had all the rights and priveliges of a Warmaster. It wasn't an alternative title. Presumably there are also Lord Commanders Pacificus, Tempestus and so on.

Not quite so.

I reference the 4th edition Codex: Imperial Guard. Last paragraph on page 9 (also mentioned in the Imperial Munitorium Manual, page 10).

Lord Solar is established as an equivalent to Warmaster, and therefore cannot be simply an abbreviation of Lord Commander (of the Segmentum) Solar. The easiest explanation is that Macharius held the rank of Lord Commander Solar prior to mounting what became known as the Macharian Crusade (2nd edition Codex: Imperial Guard, page 31). As a replacement would have to command the forces of the Segmentum Solar, Macharius could not retain this title and thus he was appointed "Lord Solar" rather than "Warmaster". Whether this title was newly created or was previously in use is never indicated, though I seem to recall at least one other Lord Solar being mentioned (I couldn't give a reference, though).

Felwether
06-08-2008, 01:02
A list of the most prevalent ranks in the IG from the Uplifting Primer:

Warmaster
Lord General
General
Marshal
Lieutenant General
Major General
Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel
Major
Captain
Lieutenant
Sergeant
Corporal
Trooper

Of course the IG is such a mind bogglingly vast organisation that there's no way of listing the exact command structure as they'd vary massively from planet to planet, just like ranks vary from country to country today.

Brother Siccarius
06-08-2008, 05:56
Thanks for the input. I'm starting to realize that the structure itself is odd with such a massive officer level range and such a small enlisted and NCO range.

Delicious Soy
06-08-2008, 11:34
Not quite so.

I reference the 4th edition Codex: Imperial Guard. Last paragraph on page 9 (also mentioned in the Imperial Munitorium Manual, page 10).

Lord Solar is established as an equivalent to Warmaster, and therefore cannot be simply an abbreviation of Lord Commander (of the Segmentum) Solar. The easiest explanation is that Macharius held the rank of Lord Commander Solar prior to mounting what became known as the Macharian Crusade (2nd edition Codex: Imperial Guard, page 31). As a replacement would have to command the forces of the Segmentum Solar, Macharius could not retain this title and thus he was appointed "Lord Solar" rather than "Warmaster". Whether this title was newly created or was previously in use is never indicated, though I seem to recall at least one other Lord Solar being mentioned (I couldn't give a reference, though).Given the rather temporary nature of a posting as Warmaster, its equally possible that Mahcarius simply chose to keep his original (and higher) rank for political purposes, implying he would return to the position he held after the crusade. Pretty imprtant considering it was his potential ticket to a High Lord position.

The General
06-08-2008, 19:21
Looking at the Top-heavy structure of the ranks, i was reminde of something i read about Imperial navy ranks in Star Wars once (can't remember where).

If i remember rightly, the emporer was allways creating ever higher ranks for a few reasons:
1. with the possibility of yet further promotion, the prospective Grand moff/ admiral/ whatever, would work to their highest ability to try to achieve that goal

2. the constant bickering and rivalry for higher posts kept generals from uniting and potetially leading an armed coup.

3... okay there is no three. i think there was one, but i can't remember it.

Side note: doesn't the exact title applied to a rank depend on where they come from?

Captain Brown
06-08-2008, 19:55
For those worried about all the senior ranks and relative lack of junior ones. Just remember for the Imperium of Man, the only thing that matters to the Administration is the senior folks (sad, but true).

A little background from the very first Guard Codex (WD 109) remember that the Regiment is formed at the Planetary level and shipped off to fight in a WarZone elsewhere (exceptions of course - like Cadia where many Regiments never leave the planet).

Recruitment for the Imperial Guard creams off the elite of the planetary defence forces, according to a series of quotas set by the Administratum. Using a complex system of probability computations and battle forecasts backed up by the Imperial Tarot, the Administratum issues a requirement for troops, which is passed down to the Imperial Commanders of individual planets. The Imperial Commander can then formulate his population control policy for the next generation around the Administratum's requirement for Imperial Guard troops and his own requirements for labour.

Which means that appointment of the Regiment's Officers is in the hands of the Planetary Governor (Imperial Commander)...which means all sorts of pay-offs and favours can assign numerous officers (on some planets it could even be a way of getting rid of political opponents, after all the Regiment is not coming back). Next the Imperium adds it's own Officers in the case of Commissars and Staff Officers, who will direct the Regiments and ensure their loyalty. Perhaps some incompetents are replaced as the Regiment travels through Warp Space in the belly of their Transport, maybe some of the men in the ranks get promoted.

You get the picture, lots of officers, most in staff positions that would never see the front lines in person. For the vast Galactic Empire that is the Imperium of Man, a single soldier in the field means nothing, and while he might make a heroic sacrifice or perform some deed that wins a battle...in death he will not be missed. While the vast bulk of the fighting is carried out by the faceless troopers of the Guard, to the Imperium and the Administration all that matters is that the 8th Necromundian Regiment was dispatched to Helos Prime. (Which really fits in with the dark background of the game)

In our games really only the sergeant has a meaningful role for the poor enlisted man who carries the load, leading his squad and perhaps being upgraded to be a veteran and gets some gear. Corporals, Lance-Corporals, First Chair Holder or whatever enlisted ranks your Regiment uses is really up to your own imagination...as the universe is a very big place. The enlisted man and some Junior Officers (or Senior Officer if you want to spend the points) are about all you see on the 40K Battlefield. ;)

My two cents,

Captain Brown

Felwether
07-08-2008, 00:32
Also lets not forget that the IG is HUGE.

A reason for there being so many officer ranks could be to do with there being larger battlegroups etc.

Higher ranked officers control larger amounts of troops. A Warmaster could have formations consisting of fleets of ships, Titans, thousands of tanks and millions of troops under his command.

The General
07-08-2008, 00:45
the "never return to your homeworld" stuff is the one thing from the fluff i don't like. anyway, quite a few regiments, according to the big, fat GW Fluff machine (patent Pending) stay on-homeworld for large periods of time (at least thats what the article in WD said).

your right of course. it hadn't occured to me about the scale of the IG.

looking at the ranks on the list, and bearing in mind that GW says that some of them are fully interchangeable... it doesn't actually look like there are enough...:confused:

Felwether
07-08-2008, 00:58
Why not? Although thr IG is massive you have to assume that the vast majority of Guardsmen are just troopers.