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TheRoadWarrior
24-10-2008, 21:26
Ok, i'm talking about the Penal Legions like the 13th Penal Legion. More like "Ow, you peice of scum, heres some drugs and go attack that big fortress all by yourself so we don't waste the better troopers" kinda legion.

Any info?

TrooperTino
24-10-2008, 21:43
sounds like savlar chem dogs to me. not much info to them really, what you said covers all I know about them...

Last chancers is a good source for penal legion/regiment info

Aurellis
24-10-2008, 21:52
The Savlar Chem Dogs

As opposed to the regiments I've already covered, the Chem Dogs have real individuality potential. These guys are the scum of the universe and care nothing for the Imperial cause... All they care about is themselves. There is an article in Chapter Approved '03 on making these guys but I think it looks a bit expensive so here's my view on making them:
Use Catachans and Cadians, and Necromunda minis are also great... You an vary the three as you wish because the conversion work will make them look alike. You will need to get hold of a lot of cool-looking Chaos Terminator heads with the rebreathers. They are perfect for the Chem Dogs. For variety, Catachan heads can also be used.
To make the big 'rags' on their shoulders use bits of Green Stuff. These can vary in size and appearance and don't need to be straight. Make littel 'tears' and 'holes' in these.
Get hold of a bunch of different Necromunda backpacks for your Chem Dogs.
For the breating tubes, use green stuff, or even guitar strings!
Paint your Chem Dogs a gritty brown colour. The 'rags' on their shoulders should be a sickly yellow and they breathing tubes can be red or metallic.

Here's some information off Librarium for you

TheRoadWarrior
24-10-2008, 21:52
yeah, but there more like prisnoer spec ops, i meant more like cannon fooder.

Aurellis
24-10-2008, 21:54
yeah, but there more like prisnoer spec ops, i meant more like cannon fooder.

You could just make your own Penal Legion up. It wouldn't be too hard to invent their history, fluff, heraldry and colour scheme

Clockwork-Knight
24-10-2008, 22:18
In some White Dwarf-magazines, there was once an article about different guard regiments. One was about slaves sent from rich and powerful worlds to be used as cannon-fodder, who live miserably, and die miserably, be it in the slave pits, or on the battlefield. Absolutely expendable, especially meant to protect the more valuable guard regiments.
But that was more than eight years ago.

TheRoadWarrior
24-10-2008, 22:36
I see. Well, there life could be worse.

DapperAnarchist
24-10-2008, 23:41
Sure... They could... Uhmmm... Have no legs?

Penal Legions give you the chance to use all sorts of interesting parts - mutants, beastmen, gangers, that sort of thing. They contain the slaves, the dregs, the filth, those who the Imperium wants dead but isn't bothered pulling the trigger themselves... so they may as well get someone else to do it for them.

TheRoadWarrior
25-10-2008, 00:30
didn't they have sucide bombers hyped up on drugs?

DapperAnarchist
25-10-2008, 01:28
Yup. The Drug was Frenzon - the bombers would charge screaming, claw and bite, then explode.

Luthor
25-10-2008, 02:32
Somewhere I have a White Dwarf that has some stories about Colonel Schaffer and his Last Chancers if thats what you mean. I'm sure I could dig it up if you really wanted to know.

Basically when you commit a crime they tell you you can die in shame by execution, or redeem yourself in the Emperor's eyes and die in battle for the benefit of the Imperium. Either way you die, well all except Colonel Schaffer because he just seems to survive everytime.

As for where to find info about them, check the IG codex or the Armageddon Codex, I think that has some info in it also.

mattschuur
25-10-2008, 04:24
I was on a team for the Adepticon tourney a while back where we took Penal Legion guard. Basically we made up a story that the Inquisition would have Inquisitorial "Guards and Officers" overseeing the legion. Hence our Command platoons were painted Red and Black. We also decided that like the 13th Legion, not all the Penal troops would be wiped out in the first battle they fought in. So we made the Infantry platoons be "Veteran" Legion members who "Scrapped" together a kit of armor and heavy weapons. Our new bloods, the new "recruits" were represented by Conscript Platoons, a big mass of bodies that we threw straight ahead at the enemy.

As far as background info, i only know of the Last Chancers and the armageddon regiment that was penal legion soldiers. Not sure what you are seeking though.

matt schuur

Rhaivaen
25-10-2008, 05:41
in the red "Compendium"book, there used to be the first Imp.Guard rules, and they contained amongst others, Ogryns, Ratlings, Beastmen, and Penal; Legion, which had explosive collars, and if they failed a morale check the tech adept or commisar? (assigned to that section) would just blow one of their heads of and they would then stay in place (this was i believe from remote controlled detonators)

Shangrila
25-10-2008, 06:59
Think the Dirty dozen but A whole lot of them, and i believe they can loot from the dead/enemy(fluff wise).

TrooperTino
25-10-2008, 10:45
+++Penal Legions+++

"The Penal Legions are made up from the scum of civilisation, the heretical, criminal element that is active on every planet across the galaxy. It is the Adeptus Arbites who deal with these lawless souls, and the best way is to send them to the Penal Legions."



There are those who serve the Emperor unwillingly. Those that are disloyal and rebellious. Those that are willing to spread anarchy and disenssion through the ranks of the Imperials. These men and woman are rounded up by the Emperors police force.

The Adeptus Arbites, and shuffled off into dank dark cells never to be heard from again. Those that are lucky enough, the toughest of criminals are inducted into an oraganisation like none-other. The Legions Penatante, or the Penal Legion as it is more commonly known. The Penal Legions ranks are swelled with the undevout. Mass-murderers, rebellious PDF, thieves, rapists, and hijackers all form the Penal Legions for their sins.

The Penal Legion is not an army in its own right, but is useful where greater numbers are necessary to win the day. New troops have their heads shaved and tattooed with unit insignia, and explosive slave-collars are put around their necks. The collars are a disciplianary device rather than a means of turning the troops into Human Bombs. The Penal Legions are part of a regular fighting force of the Imperial Guard, and a commander who regards Penal troops merely as cannon-fodder and uses them wastefully is liable to end up in a Penal Legion himself.


"There are those who undervalue the Penal Battalions. But they should consider this: should a man who has wronged the Emperor be allowed to wrong him further? For each man executed is a man who can no longer serve, and to fail in service to the Emperor is the greatest of sins"

-Leman Russ, Meditations on Imperial Command, Book XXI


This Penal Legion....Legion 999 was formed from the scum in the Segmentum Solar. Men, women and beasts (unusual, yes...), prisoners all, during the Dark Founding, were gathered, and rather graciously granted a trip among the stars with Crusading Marine Chapters. Many agreed, and adventure and terror would be kinship to them all.......



Demitri lowered his rifle, 'damned his foolishness on Armageddon, running from the Orks was folly. And whats worse was surviving the Commissars Bolt Blast to the back. If one thing was certain the Emperors devinity was involved'.

He had been placed among the thieves and cut-throats, to serve out the rest of his miserable life among the legions of Penal warriors. He was better than that. Or so he thought. Large of stature, Demitri had been a Heavy weapons trooper with F Company 3rd Platoon 9th Armageddon Army.

Demitri clutched the Las-rifle. 'So small' he thought. Nothing like the Heavy Bolter he used to tote. A noise followed him out of past thoughts, a clanging from the claxon above his head. This had been a damned upset. Everything had run smoothly for 7 months. Up until now. Now the ship was being boarded, but by what? Screams were heard on decks above, getting louder. The fighting had begun. Arbitrator Malux clutched his Bolter and beltched out commnads. 'Ah right ya lads, its been quite a pinic fer you so far. Lets give these pirates, these scallywags a whipping they've never had. Lets send em back to da ships they've come from' Demitri looked at the young Arbite and grinned. ' Just a boy' he thought 'but devout'. The noises grew louder, and seemed a bit discerning, growling? With that the Arbite released the blast doors, they heaved open under the pressure of steam, smoke and fire. 'What a mess....' Dimitri was cut short. 'CHARGE!! ya rabble...its into the mouth of Hell for ya!! ' With that the Penal Squad lunged forward. Smoke filled the room and nothing could be seen. Dimitri grasped his weapon tight.

Aboard the Obsidian tooth, Chapter Master Kabal felt an emptiness in his bowels. The adepts voice was monotone on the PA. 'Penal Ship 305- mark Alpha registered Segmentum Solar overrun.'

TheRoadWarrior
25-10-2008, 12:20
oohhh, thats nice, thank you.

ChaosTicket
25-10-2008, 17:58
The Savler Chem-Dogs are the Dirty-Dozen like guard. They can loot and in fact do, even their 'comrades'. The Last Chancers are the most directly related to the Dirty Dozen.

The Penal Legions are essentially suicide squads. They are not even given Guard issue equipment. They mostly just get lasguns, and combat drugs are common. If criminals aren't executed, or turned into servitors, then maybe they can redeem themselves in death to the Emperor.

darker4308
26-10-2008, 06:55
In 2nd i think there was ref to penal legions as in actual convicts sent to the front. I recall they had the ability to suicide bomb ... as in they would lock h2h and then pop. This was 2nd though....

spetswalshe
26-10-2008, 13:39
Expendable, ill-equipped, completely untrusted by the officer corps...

So, just like regular Guard, then?

TheRoadWarrior
26-10-2008, 13:51
Well, fom what i hear, no.

The Penal Legions are the bullet fooder for the Guard. They are sent in so that they don't have to waste so many good troops. When the Penal Legion finally is withdrawn, or is complatey destoryed, then they send in the Normal
Guard.

Adra
26-10-2008, 15:18
In an imperium of a million worlds there are plenty of possibilites. Penal legion specifics could be very different from one another. Chem-dogs seem to use drugs to push them into battle and to fight harder, but you wouldnt call them suicide squads. Equaly you can have the crazed mad men drugged to the eyes with bombs on their necks who just run at the enemy. And then you have more Last Chancers style forces who seem more sedate and proffesional. Unltimatly they are all their to die but there are differences in how the commander uses them. im sure you could justify super elite penal legions who are super religious and amazinly well trained and fight in utter silence seeking a Glorious Doom.....

surprize
26-10-2008, 21:03
From WH40K compendium (All this fluff and rules come from a VERY old book and are for the 1st edition WH40K [rogue trader]: Enjoy!!!

"Penal Battalions:
The penal battalions are drawn from Imperial Guard and planetary defence force troops who have committed capital crimes, and had their sentances commuted to life service. There are a great many capital crimes, so the supply of potential troops for the penal battalions is never-ending.

New troops have their heads shaved and tattooed with the unit insignia, and explosive slave collars are put around their necks. The collars are a disiplinary device rather than a menas of turning the troops into human bombs - the blast is directed inwards, and will have little effect on anyone standing even a few feet away. The collars are controlled by the Adeptus Mechanicus personnel accompanying the force, and are detonated sparingly, when disapline bneeds to be enforced without destroying the troops morale.

Penal Battalions are part of the regular fighting force of the Imperial Guard, and a commander who regards the penal battalion troops merely as cannon fodder and used them wastefully is liable to end up in a penal battalion himself."

"Human Bombs:
The troops sentanced to service in the penal battalions are there for life, and muist live under a tremendous burden of guilt; for not only have they committed crimes, but in so doing they have betrayed the emporer.

However, the emporer in his mercy has ordained that Penal Battalion troops should have the opportunity to repent and atone for their crimes - hence, the human bombs.

Any penal legion trooper may volunteer for service as a human bomb. In addition to his normal equipment, he is fitted with an explosive harness. The momment he dons the harness, he is absolved by the emporor and the burden of his guilt is lifted. He also has a chance of freedom, for some of the harnesses are rigged not to explode - if he survives the battle, he is absolved and free."

RULES:
Penal Battalion
A platppm of penal battalion troops consists of up t four penal battalion squads, plus a normal command squad. It is subject to all the normal rules for platoon and squad coherancy. A force containing Penal Batalion troops must also contain at least one Adeptus Mechanicus to detonate their explosive collars. Penal Battalion troops can only follow specific orders [you were only allowed to; i) move towards an enemy and fire, ii) charge an enemy or iii) take and hold a position]. all the Penal Battalion squads in the force must be organised into a single platoon.

Human bombs
Human bombs operate as individual figures, and are not subject to unit coherancy rules, A force containing Human Bombs must also contain at least one Adeptus Mechanicus to detonate the bomb harnesses. They can only follow specific orders.

Collar Detonators:
When an imperial guard force includes penal battalion troops, all members of the Adeptus Mechanicus accompanying the force have collar detonators.

Any Adeptus Mechanicus can detonate any of the collars worn by penal battalion troops within his line of sight. If an Adeptus Mechanicus sees a Penal Battalion squad retreating or routing, he will detonate one of the collars. Each adeptus Mechanicus may detonate one collar per turn, in the rallying phase. The sight of a comrade's head being blown off will make the troops realise the error of their ways, and they will automatically rally next turn.

Bomb Harness
Each human bomb is equipped with a bomb harness. Any Adeptus Mechanicus may detonate any or all human bombs within his line of sight during his turn - either a signle bomb, or all of them - but may make no other action that turn. The player rolls a D6 for each bomb which has been detonated - on a roll of a 1, the bombis found to be a dud and doesn't explode, while on a roll of 2 or more is explodes normally.

Each bomb explodes with a 1 1/2" blast radius (large blast) at strength 3. In addition, it throws o9ut d6 subsidiary blasts. Each subsidiary blast flies out d6" in a randomly determined direction (roll a D12 for direction, using the clock face template with the model's front facing as 12 o'clock [pre-scatter dice!!!] and explode with the same effect as a frag grenade (s3, damage 1, 4" blast).

If a human bomb us caught in an explosion of any sort he will immediately detonate - even if his bomb-harness has already found to be a dud.

Human bombs whose harnesses are found to be duds immediately attempt to leave the battlefield by the safest route, but until they actually exit th tbale they are still vulnerable to accidental explosion."

"Army List:
0-4 Penal battalion squads. 10 penitents 70pts per squad.
Equip: Explosive collar, flak armour, lasgun.

0-4 Human bombs. 5pts each.
Equip: Explosive harness, flak armour.

0-D6 Adeptus Mechanicus - 20pt with power axe & laspistol - in addition a mandatory transport was required"

NB: A standard guard squad was 200pt, stats same as today (except 4" move) Equip: knife, flak armour, photo visor, frag grenades. Sarg: las pistol & chain sword, 7 lasguns, 1 lascannon [shoulder mounted!!], 1 grenade launcher
For reference a marine squad with a missile launcher and a flamer and same stats as today was 250pts. - and people say guard have it tough now!!!

TheRoadWarrior
26-10-2008, 21:09
*drops jaw*

200 points for that?

it costs less than that for some uced up Guard squads.

Argastes
26-10-2008, 21:23
*drops jaw*

200 points for that?

it costs less than that for some uced up Guard squads.

Points values were much different back in RT and 2nd Edition. They were generally a good bit higher, especially for basic troops. This is because the intended game scale under those rules was quite a bit smaller; it was intended as a skirmish game with generally no more than a few squads on each side. When the transition was made from 2nd to 3rd Edition, GW drastically decreased points costs of many units (often more or less halving them) in order to facilitate bigger games. A basic tactical marine, for instance, was 30 points in 2nd Edition but has been ~15 points ever since 3rd Edition came out.


EDIT: Here's what 2nd Edition Codex Imperialis says about Penal Troops:

"In a desperate universe, justice is often harsh and instant, with little consideration given to misfits and miscreants. In the struggle for survival there is no room for individuals who transgress the rigid structures of society. Such people face servitude for life in the Penal Legions. The Legions are home to the killers and psychopaths, the fraudsters and cheats, and to the insane and fanatical. Pick-pockets and petty thieves rub shoulders with brutal murderers, cackling madmen, and religious zealots. Into the Penal Legions pours the human refuse of the galaxy. Amongst them can be found mutants judged too dangerous to remain at liberty: Beastmen with their twisted half-animal bodies, muto-gene carriers, and genetic anarchists. The Penal Legions provide a massive and expendable source of manpower for the Imperial armies. Thrown into desperate battles to hold back surprise offensives, or cast against fortifications to test the enemy's strength, the Penal troops are disposable and they know it. Most die in their first battle, driven like cattle in the heart of the fighting. The toughest, the most dangerous, the born killers, somehow survive. For every hundred pathetic miscreants that die whimpering under the enemy guns, one mad killer emerges triumphant, screaming his insane anger."

Curiously, the had the exact same statline as an IG regular, and no special rules. Also curiously, they apparently included thieves and murderers and other mundane criminals, implying that such people are dealt with by the Imperial justice system, even though the same book elsewhere said that Imperial law is unconcerned with such crimes and that each Imperial planetary governor is responsible for dealing with such things on his planet as he pleases.

TheRoadWarrior
26-10-2008, 21:35
i see. that explains a lot.

Allen
27-10-2008, 09:09
Well, you have to remember that Penal Legions or Penal Regiments are part of the Imperial Guard...and basically if you have an interesting and creative idea about your IG Regiments you can do it.

A regiment with crude powered exo-suits? You can do it.
A regiment composed of elite drop-troops? You can do it.
A regiment of ill-equipped hordes of vat-grown slaves? You can do it.

If you want to stick to the old Rogue Trader era view of the Penal Legions you can do it...just use few normal Guardsmen to represent the veteran die-hards of the Legion and then fill your army chart with conscript units like there's no tomorrow.
If you want to stick to the more "professional" view of the Penal Legions like the 13th or the Savlar Chem Dogs just do it, and use the normal Guard list.
If you want to create a brand new Penal Legion where the hardest criminals and the die-hard condemned Guardsmen are pressed into service...well, you can even create a grenadiers/stormtroopers-based Guard army. Why they're armed with hellguns? Well, those are not hellguns, are normal lasguns with custom-modified energy packs. Carapace armour? Probably those folks added some "borrowed" ceramite plates on their standard flak armour. High BS? Come on, they're not normal criminals and ex-guardsmen...they're the worst of the worst.

With the Guard, as long there's a solid and coherent backbone of personal and/or official fluff, you can do whatever you want.

ChaosTicket
27-10-2008, 14:07
the Sevlar Chem-Dogs technically aren't a penal legion.

Penal legions are organised based on whoever is on the prison planet, and used as disposable soldiers. The Chem-Dogs became a Imperial Guard regiments because their prison-planet Savlar was closed down, but all the prisoners were organised into regiments with second-hand Guard Issue equipment and sent to fight on Armageddon during the 3rd war.
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I don't like that people think the guard are sent out in droves with little or no equipment. Most people stopped doing that after WW1 in real life. The Imperial Guard are based on modern military with advanced equipment, training, etc. Although some are too barbaric to recieve much training, but make up with previous experience in fighting, like Hive-Gangers or the Kanak Skull-takers.

Allen
27-10-2008, 14:34
the Sevlar Chem-Dogs technically aren't a penal legion.

Penal legions are organised based on whoever is on the prison planet, and used as disposable soldiers. The Chem-Dogs became a Imperial Guard regiments because their prison-planet Savlar was closed down, but all the prisoners were organised into regiments with second-hand Guard Issue equipment and sent to fight on Armageddon during the 3rd war


Well, every Penal Legion receives the status of Imperial Guard Regiment when it's founded.

Savlar AFAIK was not "closed": I don't think you can "close" what is basically a planet-wide prison with ease. Some of the criminals on Savlar volunteered as Penal Legionnaires because Judge Callistar (the high-ranking Arbites who ruled the Prison-World) promised that after Armageddon the raised regiments were not supposed to return to Savlar, they were instead to be placed in the Munitiorum list to be shipped into other warzones.

They volunteered because according to fluff the life of a guardsman sucks royally, but being a prisoner on Savlar is far, far worse. AFAIK there are still Savlar regiments raised on that planet on a regular basis, like in every other world of the Imperium subject to the Imperial Thite System. They received second hand equipment just because the world that raise some regiments is supposed to equip them with the help of the Munitiorum (acquiring weapons and armours like Cadia from Kantrael or manifacturing it like Vostroya)...and being a Regiment raised in a Penal Colony does grants you a lot of new shiny stuff, I think.




I don't like that people think the guard are sent out in droves with little or no equipment. Most people stopped doing that after WW1 in real life. The Imperial Guard are based on modern military with advanced equipment, training, etc. Although some are too barbaric to recieve much training, but make up with previous experience in fighting, like Hive-Gangers or the Kanak Skull-takers.


I agree completely. Fluffwise the Guard is (for modern standards, at least) a superbely trained force. It's not underequipped and not ill-trained...there are notable exceptions, of course, but AFAIK even a newly formed regiment of IG receive more and better training (first on their planet, then on the transport ships en route to their warzone) than most modern special operations groups.

Clockwork-Knight
27-10-2008, 14:34
No, the Imperial Guard is based on everything that existed in real history, be they napoleonic wars, roman legions, wild savage hordes, and more recent armies of the early 20th century.
That's why pure-female amazon hordes, roman gladiator-wannabes, aztec eagle warrior-schmocks, pseudo-japanese-samurais, scottish-barbarians can all be mounted alongside Armageddonian troopers, Cadian Grenadiers, Valhallan Ice Warriors and Rambo-clones (Catachans).
All these ridicoulus barbaric armies can be read in the first 3rd edition Guard Codex.

Wolflord Havoc
27-10-2008, 17:00
In Answer to the original OP.

Penal legions are akin to those units that made up the Russian ‘Shock Armies’ of WW2 (I naively thought at one point that these units were made up of the ‘best’ Russian Units LOL) which were made up of Politically undesirable units and units made up of prisoners which would be ordered to attack a German Position with out regard to losses and with out such things as Artillery support or better equipment. Once the ‘Shock Army’ had attacked a German position heavier units (Tank and Guard infantry Brigades) would follow on and be able to carry the assault due to (it was hoped) the weakened/tired enemy and depleted ready ammo stocks, located mine fields, defensive strong points etc.

Some times these ‘Penal units’ would be used to carry out diversion attacks, or be used to delay an enemy attack (allowing more valuable units to escape or indeed be repositioned to counter said attack).

In the Human Worlds of the Imperium there would be no shortage of ‘suitable’ citizens who could be given the bare minimum equipment and thrown at an enemy with out regard to losses. Some times these would be prisoners or even just members of an undesirable part of a given society pressed into a penal like rgt. Perhaps there has not been time to train them – other than ‘this is how you reload ‘his’ las rifle after he is killed’ style training.

I guess using the current codex you could use the Chem. Inhalers rule to represent the reluctance of a Penal trooper to retreat (knowing it is certain death if they do – only possible death if they stay in the fight?).

Perhaps the Penal Regiment is made up of repentant citizens who want to atone by dying for their Emperor.

The Vraxian Renegade list (From Imperial Armor 5) could be used to represent a penal legion of less reliable troops and use the Demo charge rules to represent Penitent suicide bombers?

Just some ideas to throw into the mix!!

ChaosTicket
27-10-2008, 17:47
No, the Imperial Guard is based on everything that existed in real history, be they napoleonic wars, roman legions, wild savage hordes, and more recent armies of the early 20th century.
That's why pure-female amazon hordes, roman gladiator-wannabes, aztec eagle warrior-schmocks, pseudo-japanese-samurais, scottish-barbarians can all be mounted alongside Armageddonian troopers, Cadian Grenadiers, Valhallan Ice Warriors and Rambo-clones (Catachans).
All these ridicoulus barbaric armies can be read in the first 3rd edition Guard Codex.

Yes, and they all still have Flak armor, las weapons, special and heavy weapons, etc. All the forces are useful, as said because they have previous fighting experience to make up for training. Living on Feral, Knight, and Warrior worlds tends to make strong recruits, a reason why Astartes choose from their natives so much.

All the different forces still have mostly the same equipment, even if not made of the same things. the Vostroyan First-born regiments look very much like Prussia/Russian soldiers late 19th-early 20th century, but they still have Promethium flamethrowers, Lasrifles, bolt weapons, etc.
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I was wrong about the Chem-dogs, I forgot it was that their planet was turned into a prison world after it's resources ran out.
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I've seen several lists of Imperial forces in Warzones and Penal Legion are always seperated from the Imperial Guard Regiments/Companies. The Savlar Chem-Dogs and the Savlar Cavalry were with the Imperial Guard.

Clockwork-Knight
27-10-2008, 18:52
All have lasguns, but not all have flak armor (that's noted to be a game abstract). Especially barbarians, who only have tribal paintings upon their skin to protect them (and which causes 90& of them to die in their very first battle offworld). Not everyone does have heavy weapons either. The more primitive the regiments' planet is, the less they are given valuable equipment, and are then used the same way as penal legions. Cannon-fodder.
Until the arrival of the Tyranids, the Imperium could afford to use their troops in wasteful manners, after all.

Maidel
27-10-2008, 20:41
Can I ask if any of that has any backing in fluff or if you are just putting your own point across as you see it? Cos from what I know, none of that is true.

Firstly, all imperial guard are armed exactly the same. Flak armour, las gun. HOWEVER there are a few extremely rare examples (As shown in the previous imperial guard codex) of guard drawn from certain worlds where arming them in this way would be detrimental to their fighting ability.

EG - some (And I stress some, not all) feral worlds keep their own 'armour' and hand weapons. For the majority they would be re-equiped and retrained on the very long flight from their home planet to the combat zone. The ones that do keep their own armour ARE NOT CANNON FODDER. They are left with it because they are better with it than re-training.

The imperial guard does not 'collect' cannon fodder. IF a planet produced troops that were not suitable for anything other than cannon fodder they would bother flying a billion tonnes of imperial star ship half way across a segment just to pick up meat shields.


The more primitive the regiments' planet is, the less they are given valuable equipment, and are then used the same way as penal legions. Cannon-fodder.

Wrong, the fluff that was posted above, although old, is still correct and even penal legions are NOT USED AS CANNON FODDER.


Until the arrival of the Tyranids, the Imperium could afford to use their troops in wasteful manners, after all.

100% wrong. The imperium may well have a massive man power advantage over other races, but their problem is focusing it on one place. ITs no good having 4 billion humans with lasguns, if there is no ships to transport them.

Often planets are forced to defend themselves with what little pdf troops they have. The imperial guard only turn up long after if the battle is still going. (And then the marines if still necessary, followed by exterminatus if all else fails).

Never do they get to a point where the troops are used wastefully.

Now there are a few examples of commanders using troops wastefully, THESE ARE NOT THE NORM. They are very bad commanders who LOSE their battles (Herman von Strab, the inept Overlord of Armageddon immediatley springs to mind...)

DapperAnarchist
27-10-2008, 21:19
"local" Penal Legions might be used as cannon fodder - that is, PDF forces formed from local convicts, watched by the Enforcers and Arbites.

Maidel
27-10-2008, 21:51
"local" Penal Legions might be used as cannon fodder - that is, PDF forces formed from local convicts, watched by the Enforcers and Arbites.

Penal Battalions are part of the regular fighting force of the Imperial Guard, and a commander who regards the penal battalion troops merely as cannon fodder and used them wastefully is liable to end up in a penal battalion himself....


IF you want to make a distinction between 'penal battalions' which are offical units of imperial guard criminals who are treated as normal soliders in war time, and the local scum rounded up and driven at the enemy, then you might be right.

Otherwise, you are wrong :p

Argastes
27-10-2008, 22:08
Wrong, the fluff that was posted above, although old, is still correct and even penal legions are NOT USED AS CANNON FODDER.


IF you want to make a distinction between 'penal battalions' which are offical units of imperial guard criminals who are treated as normal soliders in war time, and the local scum rounded up and driven at the enemy, then you might be right.

Otherwise, you are wrong.

You should read the thread more carefully before telling other people how wrong they are. Yes, the RT fluff that was posted earlier in this thread said that Penal troops are not used as cannon fodder. But if you read the thread thoroughly, you will note that there is also some 2nd Edition fluff posted earlier (by myself, in fact), which says that Penal troops ARE used as cannon fodder. So the fluff is conflicting on this point, some sources say they are used as cannon fodder and some sources say they're not. It's not like you have the uncontested facts on your side and anyone who disagrees is doing so baselessly and wrongly.

Maidel
27-10-2008, 22:22
Interresting, however the fluff which you posted (which i do appologise i missed entirely), does appear to describe a different sort of penal troops.

From the two fluff sources there are 'penal battalions' who are ex-guards men on whatever charge they can be got on, and 'penal legions' who are any old scum.

However, and i know that fluff is never out of date just because its old, but I would submitt to you that the fluff you posted is now incorrect. The reason why I say this that as far as im aware the use of mutants and beastmen is now retconned and the imperium no longer make use of them, and exterminate them instead.

Even if we do include the rest of the bit you posted (just editting out the two sentances relating to mutants and beastmen) we are still left with two distinct types of penal troops.

Trained guardsmen and, any old rabble. Now i did say in my previous post that they would indeed possibly make use of the local scum as 'cannon fodder' however, they arent going to go to the extreme of transporting these miscreants all over the galaxy.

AND I CAN ALWAYS USE CAPS, i dont mean it in a 'shut up your wrong' way, just as a way of adding emphasis. I realise thats not the generally recognised intepretation, but habits die hard.

DapperAnarchist
27-10-2008, 22:24
... That is EXACTLY what I said. Thats why I said "local", "PDF" and "formed from local convicts, watched by the Enforcers and Arbites."

Whats more, the Chapter Approved article for the Last Chancers said the 13th Penal Legion is used to soften up enemy positions in preparation for attacks by regular forces, the Last Chancers being formed from the very very good ones who survive dozens of these suicide attacks. That sounds like cannon fodder to me... There is also a short story in Let The Galaxy Burn which features a penal legion being used, effectively, to absorb enemy attacks.

Maidel
27-10-2008, 22:33
That is EXACTLY what I said. Thats why I said "local", "PDF" and "formed from local convicts, watched by the Enforcers and Arbites."

Thats why i said 'if thats what you mean, then you are right....' :D


Whats more, the Chapter Approved article for the Last Chancers said the 13th Penal Legion is used to soften up enemy positions in preparation for attacks by regular forces,

That doesnt mean cannon fodder. Tanks can be used to soften up enemy positions, but tanks arent cannon fodder. Modern day para-regiments are ofen dropped into position to soften up the enemy before the nomal troops roll in, and they CERTAINLY arent cannon fodder.

There is a distinct difference between 'less valued' and 'cannon fodder'. IF you have a strategic hill to take, that must be taken, but you know the first regiment in is likely to take horrible casualties, send the penal battalion in first.

that doesnt make them cannon fodder. Cannon fodder would be 'charge over that open ground towards the enemy with one loaded gun between 10 and when the one with the gun dies, someone else pick it up.'

Gretchin are ork cannon fodder, termagaunts are tyranid cannon fodder, litterally bodies to take the shots that could do more harm to more important troops.

DapperAnarchist
27-10-2008, 23:09
... I don't see the difference between "less valued" or "sacrifice piece" and "cannon fodder"... Tanks/artillery/airstrikes are used for softening up because they can't be damaged. Penal Legions because it doesn't matter if they are.

Maidel
27-10-2008, 23:17
Im struggling to put it into words.

What I think the gist is, is that penal battalions arent 'throw-away' troops, they are as valid member of the guard as any other unit.

HOWEVER

When a suicide mission is absolutely necessary, the penal battalion will be chosen. IF there was no penal battalion then a normal unit of guard would be sent on the mission.

I think the joke 'every mission is a suicide mission' applies to cannon fodder troops, whereas that certainly doesnt apply to penal battalions.

DapperAnarchist
28-10-2008, 00:39
really? cos thats the first thing I think of with the Last Chancers - the only ones to come through most of the missions are Schaeffer and Kage - Kage just to annoy Schaeffer. Forgiveness for the penal legions/battalions comes only in death, as it can be given only by the emperor.

Allen
28-10-2008, 09:11
really? cos thats the first thing I think of with the Last Chancers - the only ones to come through most of the missions are Schaeffer and Kage - Kage just to annoy Schaeffer. Forgiveness for the penal legions/battalions comes only in death, as it can be given only by the emperor.


Well, that happens just because Schaeffer chose the first missions of his Legion with a precise purpose: killing as many convicts as possible. That's the objective of the 13th Penal Legion: creating a sort of "survival of the fittest" environment where droves after droves of soldiers are killed, just to dig out the best of the best.

That, I'm sorry, is completely different from your statements about "cannon fodders". When a commander send a cannon-fodder-unit to soften a position the objective of the action is soften up the enemy position...killing your cannon-fodder-troops is just a byproduct.
When you send a cannon-fodder-unit against an enemy position with the objective of slaughter the highest number of your own soldier possible, it's the softening up of the enemy position that is a byproduct...and the creation of an effective killing field to let the crème survive is the primary objective.


I hope you can see the difference.

andyg2006
28-10-2008, 09:44
I'd heard that there are some current unofficial "official GW lists" (i.e. on the web and sanctioned by GW, but not published in a book) which has rules for stuff like meat-shields / suicide bombers (it might be some sort of a 'Genestealer Cult' or regular 'Cultist' list?). If so, you could easily transfer their rules into loyal Guard units like criminal regiments, etc.

DapperAnarchist
28-10-2008, 13:11
Yet that still makes the 13th Legion "throw-away". The chaff is thrown away to find the grain, but the vast majority are still throw-away.

Allen
28-10-2008, 14:05
Yet that still makes the 13th Legion "throw-away". The chaff is thrown away to find the grain, but the vast majority are still throw-away.

Sources?
The Savlar Chem Dogs Regiments are the only other referenced Penal Legions in GW background, and they are not "throw away" regiments. They were supplied with normal IG equipment (sometimes used and/or outdated) and they were trained to a good level: they alone stopped Orks infiltration in several underhive sections of many Hives.

Their lives were considered expendable and their warzone were the worst of the worst, but they were still trained, supported and equipped to a decent degree. A "throw away" penal legion probably would be sent in the underhive without support, butchered, and then replaced with a more trained regiment that can exploit the highlighted weaknesses of the enemy. That was not the case during Armageddon.

SpinyNorman
28-10-2008, 17:32
Think of penal troops as firewood. If you feel a bit chilly you burn some firewood (expend some troops), but you don't set all of it on fire in a huge bonfire, you use it at an appropriate rate as its a resource, not necessarily an expensive one but you don't always know when you can get more.

Of course when your freezing to death you torch all the firewood then start burning the furniture (the rest of the Guard) :)

Running through resources at too fast a rate without a proper reason is what gets Generals into trouble not just losses.

TheRoadWarrior
28-10-2008, 21:48
Well, theres one logic agisnt that.

sometimes you just can't force all out attack, after all-out attack. I think during WW1 Parts of the French Army muntyied, and the generals never orded another mass attack.

Argastes
28-10-2008, 22:17
Interresting, however the fluff which you posted (which i do appologise i missed entirely), does appear to describe a different sort of penal troops.

From the two fluff sources there are 'penal battalions' who are ex-guards men on whatever charge they can be got on, and 'penal legions' who are any old scum.

However, and i know that fluff is never out of date just because its old, but I would submitt to you that the fluff you posted is now incorrect. The reason why I say this that as far as im aware the use of mutants and beastmen is now retconned and the imperium no longer make use of them, and exterminate them instead.

Even if we do include the rest of the bit you posted (just editting out the two sentances relating to mutants and beastmen) we are still left with two distinct types of penal troops.

Trained guardsmen and, any old rabble. Now i did say in my previous post that they would indeed possibly make use of the local scum as 'cannon fodder' however, they arent going to go to the extreme of transporting these miscreants all over the galaxy.

Yes, I would actually agree that a distinction should be made between penal units formed from Guardsmen who have been found guilty of some crime, and penal units formed from criminals who were never a part of the IG. I would consider it entirely possible that the penal units you are talking about from RT, and the penal units I am talking about from 2nd Edition, are entirely different formations.

However, I disagree that the fluff I cited should be considered incorrect now. For one thing, it is by no means clear that the IG doesn't use beastmen anymore. The fluff GW publishes doesn't mention them anymore, but that doesn't mean they're not still in there somewhere; the focus has just shifted away from them. Remember that GW's stated policy on conflicts like this is that new fluff doesn't overrule old fluff even where they contradict, so in fact there is no "retconning" here; the old fluff showing beastmen in the IG is just as valid as the newer fluff showing no beastmen.

For another thing, even if the policy towards beastmen is one of extermination, might not impressment into the penal legions be one of the methods used for extermination? The fluff I cited does make it clear that they are "herded like cattle" into combat and are often used in a way that results in their total destruction (like being driven against enemy positions just to test their strength).


That doesnt mean cannon fodder. Tanks can be used to soften up enemy positions, but tanks arent cannon fodder. Modern day para-regiments are ofen dropped into position to soften up the enemy before the nomal troops roll in, and they CERTAINLY arent cannon fodder.

There is a distinct difference between 'less valued' and 'cannon fodder'. IF you have a strategic hill to take, that must be taken, but you know the first regiment in is likely to take horrible casualties, send the penal battalion in first.

The way in which modern-day tanks and airborne troops are used to "soften up" enemy positions (if you could even call it that... I think it would actually be rather misleading) is quite different from the way in which penal units are described as being used to soften up enemy positions.




I think the real problem here is simply that terms like "cannon fodder" are imprecise and vague terms, subject to various degrees of meaning and so forth, and different people are going to have different understandings of what they mean. Maidel, you clearly think that troops can't be called "cannon fodder" unless, as you said, their sole purpose is to attract enemy fire away from more valuable troops (or something similar, such as forcing the enemy to expend more ammunition). On the other hand, DapperAnarchist apparently has a somewhat more inclusive definition, and views "cannon fodder" as meaning any troops that are thrown into an extremely dangerous situation with the expectation that they will take great casualties, regardless of the reason it's being done. Neither of these definitions is really right or wrong; they are both valid, because the very term "cannon fodder" does not have some strictly and narrowly defined meaning. I think it's a bit silly for us to try and argue over exactly what an inherently imprecise term like "cannon fodder" really means.


Their lives were considered expendable and their warzone were the worst of the worst, but they were still trained, supported and equipped to a decent degree. A "throw away" penal legion probably would be sent in the underhive without support, butchered, and then replaced with a more trained regiment that can exploit the highlighted weaknesses of the enemy. That was not the case during Armageddon.

Again, depends on your definition of the phrase "throw away". It's not like "throw away" has some clear, precise agreed-upon meaning in the study of military science. One could argue that if the troops are considered expendable and used in situations where it was possible that they might sustain such casualties that the unit would be effectively destroyed, then their unit could be called "throw away" regardless of the degree to which it was trained, supported, and equipped. It simply depends on what you understand "throw away" to mean, and on that point, there are going to be legitimate differences between people. What is "throw away" to you might not be "throw away" to the next guy, or vice-versa, and neither of your personal definitions trumps the other's.

Maidel
28-10-2008, 23:01
I would consider it entirely possible that the penal units you are talking about from RT, and the penal units I am talking about from 2nd Edition, are entirely different formations.

Yey :D


However, I disagree that the fluff I cited should be considered incorrect now. For one thing, it is by no means clear that the IG doesn't use beastmen anymore.

Ill try and find it, 50+ books to trawl through tho :p. Admitedly as there is a lot of history and the time line isnt exactly constant its posible that at one point they did use them, and now they dont. Which would make both statements true (hell, depending on how you look at it it could imply that they didnt use to use them, and now they do, as I said, the time line isnt all that constant.)



(if you could even call it that... I think it would actually be rather misleading)

On a side note, could you explain that briefly? I dont understand your meaning.



I think the real problem here is simply that terms like "cannon fodder" are imprecise and vague terms, subject to various degrees of meaning and so forth,

100% true - I use it in the litteral sense - food for guns - Cannon Fodder. Anyone using it differently will of course have a different defintion.

Argastes
29-10-2008, 01:50
On a side note, could you explain that briefly? I dont understand your meaning.

Well, generally speaking, tanks are not really used to "soften up" an enemy position before an attack--instead, tanks form a part of the attack itself. Tanks are direct-fire weapons, which generally means that if they're shooting, the main part of the engagement is already underway. Artillery and air power may be used to "soften up" an enemy before an engagement, but when the tanks start firing, the "softening up" stage is over. Arguably, the distinction breaks down at the small-scale end of the tactical spectrum--for instance, you might say that a tank is "softening up" the position of an enemy platoon in a treeline if it fires into the trees before the friendly infantry conduct their assault. But at that level, I think the phrase "soften up" is being used in a way that makes it synonymous with simply "provide supporting fire", so it really becomes rather meaningless and is nothing more than an imprecise use of language.

As for paratroopers, their typical role is to be inserted into an area that couldn't be reached by an overland advance (at least not as easily), and then carrying out whatever mission they're there to carry out. This mission may degrade the enemy's ability to fight elsewhere (for instance, by disrupting enemy movement or communications behind what the US military calls the Forward Edge of Battle Area) or it may facilitate the arrival of other forces by securing certain areas or locations, but neither of those things are really what "softening up" means in the normal sense; "softening up" is not just any military activity that weakens the enemy, it's a particular type of activity. So neither tanks nor airborne troops can really be said to be used to "soften up" the enemy in advance of an attack.


100% true - I use it in the litteral sense - food for guns - Cannon Fodder. Anyone using it differently will of course have a different defintion.

Yeah, but the problem here is that even if you try to take the phrase in it's "literal" sense--food for guns--it's NOT actually a literal phrase; it's a figurative phrase, which is quite the opposite. Obviously the guns don't actually eat the soldiers; they don't put them in their mouths and swallow them! So even taken literally, it's still a metaphor, and the meaning of that metaphor is still not well-defined. So you can't claim that the particular meaning you are using is the meaning that arises from a literal interpretation, and that other meanings can only arise from non-literal interpretations. Even in the literal sense of "food for guns", it's meaning doesn't necessarily have to be the meaning you used. It could simply be a reference to the supposed expendability of the troops in question, or the fact that they are expected to suffer severe casualties (both of which are, I think, legitimate literal interpretations of the metaphorical statement that they're to be "food for the guns"), without saying anything else about what they are or aren't expected to accomplish on the battlefield. They could have a quite clearly defined, and important, objective and still be legitimately said to be "food for the guns" (therefore, cannon fodder) if they are expected to take terrible casualties as they accomplish that objective.

Maidel
29-10-2008, 09:50
haha, i'm not arguing over this cos you are probably right. I do find it humerous though that you are telling me I can't use the phrase "cannon fodder" litterally as it's a metaphorical phrase, yet on the other hand you are telling me I'm using anothr metaphorical phrase "softing up" wrong.

As I said, I'm not disagreeing with your reasoning, just taken out of context that's quite an amusing situation.

Allen
29-10-2008, 11:19
However, I disagree that the fluff I cited should be considered incorrect now. For one thing, it is by no means clear that the IG doesn't use beastmen anymore

Well, that's not correct. The Imperial Infantrymen's Uplifting Primer is a recent in-universe reference and pretty clearly states that the only ab-humans utilized in the IG regiments are Ratlings and Ogryns. You can throw sanctioned psykers into the ab-human count (they're a human sub-species after all) but the in-universe perception of them is of "normal" human beings with barley tolerated supernatural powers.

The Primer is an in-universe source: it's to be intended by all means a Munitiorum publication dedicated to the IG...so, it's accurate and reliable. No beastmen or mutants in the Guard.


The fluff GW publishes doesn't mention them anymore, but that doesn't mean they're not still in there somewhere; the focus has just shifted away from them. Remember that GW's stated policy on conflicts like this is that new fluff doesn't overrule old fluff even where they contradict, so in fact there is no "retconning" here; the old fluff showing beastmen in the IG is just as valid as the newer fluff showing no beastmen

I don't have my IG Codex around at the moment, but I seem to recall a small fluff box that describe a faded olo-something in a ruined palace, where you can see Luna Wolves' Marines and archaic-looking imperial soldiers. It's written that "back in the days" the Imperial Army used a lot of strange technologies like hover-tanks and some unstable human strains like beastmen, but the Guard presently does not use them...It's all in my cerebral memory banks, however, and they're not reliable as a direct quote from the Codex. The flesh is weak, after all.



I think the real problem here is simply that terms like "cannon fodder" are imprecise and vague terms, subject to various degrees of meaning and so forth, and different people are going to have different understandings of what they mean

So better stop using it and argunig about its meaning.
Everyone in the thread used "cannon fodder" and/or "meat shields" to imply that the Penal Legions are formations sent in the battlefield with the precise task of being killed to the last man in order to:

a) gain assolution from the Emperor
b) gain some tactical advantage in the form of mapping minefields, gun enplacements, soften up positions and whatnot

That's the basic concept and that's what me and other people are contesting...the concept itself, not the words used to describe it. Official GW fluff clearly states that the only two named Penal Legions are not used in this way (except for the assolution part). I don't know if somewhere there's a small text box of three sentences where some unnamed Penal Legion is sent to a warzone with little training and support just to map a minefield...I don't have such an enciclopedic knowledge of WH40K fluff. But AFAIK the main modern, actual fluff bits I can find and remember about Penal Legions describe something different.

Argastes
29-10-2008, 12:58
haha, i'm not arguing over this cos you are probably right. I do find it humerous though that you are telling me I can't use the phrase "cannon fodder" litterally as it's a metaphorical phrase, yet on the other hand you are telling me I'm using anothr metaphorical phrase "softing up" wrong.

As I said, I'm not disagreeing with your reasoning, just taken out of context that's quite an amusing situation.

Hah, yes, that's a good point, "softening up" isn't a precise phrase either. But I'm not necessarily telling you that you're using it wrong, just that you're not using it in the normal military sense of preliminary attacks or bombardment upon a position or force that is to be the target of a later main attack, with the purpose of weakening it in advance of the main attack. I shouldn't have said "misleading" earlier, sorry about that.


Well, that's not correct. The Imperial Infantrymen's Uplifting Primer is a recent in-universe reference and pretty clearly states that the only ab-humans utilized in the IG regiments are Ratlings and Ogryns. You can throw sanctioned psykers into the ab-human count (they're a human sub-species after all) but the in-universe perception of them is of "normal" human beings with barley tolerated supernatural powers.

The Primer is an in-universe source: it's to be intended by all means a Munitiorum publication dedicated to the IG...so, it's accurate and reliable. No beastmen or mutants in the Guard.

For one thing, I would consider it quite plausible that the Primer would say that ratlings and ogryns are the only abhumans used in the Guard even if the Guard was in fact also fielding penal legions, of the type described in the CI, that included other types of mutants (beastmen included). I think it's a bit humorous that you claim that because it's an in-universe Imperial publication, it must be accurate and reliable.... as if the Imperium was always honest and informative towards it's own people! Correct me if I'm wrong but, but isn't the primer actually absolutely overflowing with all sorts of misinformation that the Munitorum feeds to the Guardsmen? Isn't it just as much a propaganda booklet as it is a training manual?

More to the point, though, is the fact that GW has told us that old fluff is still just as valid as new fluff, even where there is a contradiction. New fluff does not invalidate or replace old fluff. The old fluff telling us that there are Beastmen in some Guard units is just as "accurate" as the new fluff telling us that there are none; the new fluff isn't necessarily more correct by virtue of being newer. Reconciling them is up to the individual players. So you may choose to believe that the IG doesn't use Beastmen, which is fine, but you cannot say that it's "incorrect" on the basis of recent sources. GW has made it clear that those recent sources do not necessarily overrule contradictory older sources.


I don't have my IG Codex around at the moment, but I seem to recall a small fluff box that describe a faded olo-something in a ruined palace, where you can see Luna Wolves' Marines and archaic-looking imperial soldiers. It's written that "back in the days" the Imperial Army used a lot of strange technologies like hover-tanks and some unstable human strains like beastmen, but the Guard presently does not use them...It's all in my cerebral memory banks, however, and they're not reliable as a direct quote from the Codex. The flesh is weak, after all.

But the old fluff telling us that the IG uses Beastmen is not talking about "back in the day", or about the time of the Heresy; it's talking about 'now', the setting's present day, the late 41st millennium. It's in the 2nd Edition CI and other sources discussing contemporary IG forces. So we can't just dismiss that fluff by saying that it was talking about the distant past, and using Beastmen is something they don't do anymore.

Clockwork-Knight
29-10-2008, 13:06
This old "fluff" with the Beastmen was also about the grand Imperial Army, not the Imperial Guard. So yes, we can dismiss it because it's been retconned by Games Workshop itself, when they brought out 2nd edition Warhammer.

Allen
29-10-2008, 15:00
For one thing, I would consider it quite plausible that the Primer would say that ratlings and ogryns are the only abhumans used in the Guard even if the Guard was in fact also fielding penal legions, of the type described in the CI, that included other types of mutants (beastmen included).

Why, if I may?


I think it's a bit humorous that you claim that because it's an in-universe Imperial publication, it must be accurate and reliable.... as if the Imperium was always honest and informative towards it's own people! Correct me if I'm wrong but, but isn't the primer actually absolutely overflowing with all sorts of misinformation that the Munitorum feeds to the Guardsmen? Isn't it just as much a propaganda booklet as it is a training manual?

I'm sorry but yes, I have to correct you because you're wrong.
The Primer is riddled with propaganda when speaking about the enemy. When presenting the procedures, rules of conduct, force composition and other things is deadly accurate...it's a manual that explain to the soldier the basics of being a Guardsmen, after all. Just to bring up an example, it clearly states that if a Sanctioned Psyker attached to the unit is seen wandering around without the mandatory two Guardsmen watching over him any soldiers have to shot him down.

That does not sound as "propaganda" to me. It's not propaganda even when the ab-human auxiliary forces are described in detail, with plenty of "does not fear them" and "they're as loyal as you in their faith to the Emperor": every human sub-species that does not fall into a specific accepted categorization is a mutant...and we all know the over-quoted "Kill the mutant, the heretic, the xeno" line.




More to the point, though, is the fact that GW has told us that old fluff is still just as valid as new fluff, even where there is a contradiction. New fluff does not invalidate or replace old fluff. The old fluff telling us that there are Beastmen in some Guard units is just as "accurate" as the new fluff telling us that there are none

Actually, no. Following your logic old fluff telling us that Leman Russ is a normal Imperial Army general is as valid as new fluff that tell us Leman Russ is the Primarch of the Space Wolves. Old fluff is valid as long as new fluff does not invalidate it: old fluff say there are beastmen in the Imperial Army (not Guard), new fluff say that there was some mutants in the Imperial Army, but there are not in the Imperial Guard.
That erase every doubt for me. No beastmen in the Guard.


I fear that the thread is spiraling down in a pretty arid debate about semantics, if I may dare to say so.

Argastes
29-10-2008, 15:04
This old "fluff" with the Beastmen was also about the grand Imperial Army, not the Imperial Guard. So yes, we can dismiss it because it's been retconned by Games Workshop itself, when they brought out 2nd edition Warhammer.

No, the fluff I'm talking about is from 2nd Edition Warhammer 40,000. It's the fluff I posted earlier in this thread, about beastmen being used in Penal units. You can find it in the Imperial Guard section of the 2nd Edition Codex Imperialis. So no, we can't dismiss it on the grounds that you offer.

And anyhow, as I have already pointed out a couple of times now, GW has told us that just because some item of fluff is contradicted by fluff from more recent editions, it is NOT invalidated. When you have two pieces of contradictory fluff, their age is irrelevant in evaluating which of them is "more correct".



EDIT:


Why, if I may?

Because the dangerous mutants (beastmen included) who are used in the Penal legions are not expected to have any contact with normal Guardsmen--in fact, I would consider it plausible that the higher-ups would deliberately prevent contact between regular units and the type of rabble that gets thrown together to form Penal units. It's certainly not beyond the realm of plausibility that they wouldn't want their men working and fighting alongside beastmen and other types of mutants that have been deemed too dangerous to be allowed to exist (remember, if the Imperium didn't deem them too dangerous to be allowed to exist, they wouldn't be in the Penal legions to begin with). By contrast, Ratlings and Ogryns seem to be included in regular IG units, and regular human Guardsmen are expected to work and fight alongside them as a matter of course. I don't think it's too hard to understand why the Primer would describe the "acceptable" human mutations that Guardsmen will come into contact with, while making no mention of the "unacceptable" human mutations that the Guardsmen are not supposed to come into contact with, that their commanders might actually want to keep them separated from and ignorant of, and that their government is actively trying to exterminate.


I'm sorry but yes, I have to correct you because you're wrong.
The Primer is riddled with propaganda when speaking about the enemy. When presenting the procedures, rules of conduct, force composition and other things is deadly accurate...just to bring up an example, it clearly states that if a Sanctioned Psyker attached to the unit is seen wandering around without the mandatory two Guardsmen watching over him any soldiers have to shot him down.

That does not sound as "propaganda" to me. It's not propaganda even when the ab-human auxiliary forces are described in detail, with plenty of "does not fear them" and "they're as loyal as you in their faith to the Emperor": every human sub-species that does not fall into a specific accepted categorization is a mutant...and we all know the over-quoted "Kill the mutant, the heretic, the xeno" line.

I am quite skeptical of your claim that on points of IG doctrine and organization, the Primer is an all-inclusive and 100% accurate guide. I think that if we gave the Primer a really thorough combing-through, and compared it's contents to all the other IG fluff that has been written over the years, we would find that there is plenty it doesn't mention. It may be deadly accurate on those points of procedure/conduct/etc. that the basic Guardsmen is supposed to know (it wouldn't be much good as a training manual otherwise!) but that certainly does not mean that it includes EVERY piece of information about the IG's organization and practices. The accuracy of the information it does include is no indication of it's comprehensiveness.

Basically, you are trying to claim that evidence of absence equals absence of evidence. I think any intelligent person knows that this is untrue.


Actually, no. Following your logic old fluff telling us that Leman Russ is a normal Imperial Army general is as valid as new fluff that tell us Leman Russ is the Primarch of the Space Wolves. Old fluff is valid as long as new fluff does not invalidate it: old fluff say there are beastmen in the Imperial Army (not Guard), new fluff say that there was some mutants in the Imperial Army, but there are not in the Imperial Guard.
That erase every doubt for me. No beastmen in the Guard.

That's fine, you can make up whatever standards of validity you want in order to erase your doubts. I'm just repeating what GW has said. They didn't say, "Old fluff is just as valid as new fluff unless there's a contradiction, in which case the new fluff wins". They just said, "Old fluff is just as valid as new fluff". And yes, you're quite right: By that logic, the old fluff about Russ being a human general is just as valid as the newer fluff about Russ being a Primarch. As unpalatable as that may seem to you, that is the conclusion that we must reach if we accept what GW has told us about the validity of old fluff. If you are attempting to claim that the unpalatability of conclusions like that must negate what GW has said about the validity of the old fluff, then I am afraid you are committing the logical called 'appeal to consequence'.

Of course you are free to refuse to accept what GW has told us about the canonicity of old fluff, or to modify their statements with your own tacked-on qualifiers, as you have done above. And then, I must admit, there is nothing to stop you from dismissing the 2nd Edition fluff's statement that beastmen are included in IG penal units.


I fear that the thread is spiraling down in a pretty arid debate about semantics, if I may dare to say so.

I think that's more or less inevitable when you get into a debate about the validity of different pieces of fluff relative to each other. You may think semantics are petty (as do most people who don't understand their significance), but the fact of the matter is that meaningful discussion is impossible without a discussion over semantics, unless by good luck all the participants in the discussion are already in complete agreement over the meaning of every term that will be used. Needless to say, this rarely happens.

Allen
29-10-2008, 16:27
Because the dangerous mutants (beastmen included) who are used in the Penal legions are not expected to have any contact with normal Guardsmen--in fact, I would consider it plausible that the higher-ups would deliberately prevent contact between regular units and the type of rabble that gets thrown together to form Penal units. It's certainly not beyond the realm of plausibility that they wouldn't want their men working and fighting alongside beastmen and other types of mutants that have been deemed too dangerous to be allowed to exist (remember, if the Imperium didn't deem them too dangerous to be allowed to exist, they wouldn't be in the Penal legions to begin with)

So, correct me if I've misunderstood your statements: any current fluff that speaks about Penal Legions does not speak of beastmen, and define clearly the kind of ab-humans allowed in the Guard. Old fluff say that in the Imperial Army there were beastmen. You suppose that the absence of beastmen in new IG and Penal Legion fluff represent the fact that commanders does not want to show to their soldiers "friendly" mutants and to represent the fact that Penal Legions are not supposed to work in close contact with normal IG units.

That's a big guess, indeed.

Just to add a couple of GW-stated-facts to the bundle: Penal Legions actually work alongside other Imperial units...especially Guard units. Every Penal Legion is a Guard Regiment, and some Penal Regiments served in the wars for Armageddon and in the defence of Cadia during several Black Crusades...just to point out two major examples were countless normal Guardsmen fought alongside penal legionnaires.

In the Armageddon wars, if I remember correctly, a sergeant of one of the Savlar Penal Regiments was even awarded with a medal.



By contrast, Ratlings and Ogryns seem to be included in regular IG units, and regular human Guardsmen are expected to work and fight alongside them as a matter of course. I don't think it's too hard to understand why the Primer would describe the "acceptable" human mutations that Guardsmen will come into contact with, while making no mention of the "unacceptable" human mutations that the Guardsmen are not supposed to come into contact with, that their commanders might actually want to keep them separated from and ignorant of, and that their government is actively trying to exterminate

That's quite interesting, but everything still is based on you personal assumption that the "unacceptable" mutants are actually employed in the Guard, and their existence is kept secret. Keywords, I think, are "your personal assumption".




I am quite skeptical of your claim that on points of IG doctrine and organization, the Primer is an all-inclusive and 100% accurate guide. I think that if we gave the Primer a really thorough combing-through, and compared it's contents to all the other IG fluff that has been written over the years, we would find that there is plenty it doesn't mention. It may be deadly accurate on those points of procedure/conduct/etc. that the basic Guardsmen is supposed to know (it wouldn't be much good as a training manual otherwise!) but that certainly does not mean that it includes EVERY piece of information about the IG's organization and practices

Of course it does not contain every information about the Guard structure.
In fact I pointed out (well, actually I suggested, but this time I'll use a more direct approach to avoid misunderstanding) that one of the "essential" and "basic" things the Primer contain is the discrimination between potential enemies and friends...and, of course, the discrimination of those friends that can became potential enemies.

The first case can be seen in the description of the ab-humans that could be attached to IG forces: the Primer recognize they're mutant, but they are from specially stable, faithful and accepted mutant breds. Being genetically stable, accepted and faithful, however does not suffice: the Primer clearly exort the soldier to "not fear" them, even if they're mutants. If some mutant is not in the description it have to be shot: the whole "hate the mutant" chapter is exactly about that.

The second case can be seen in the description of the psykers: they have to be treated carefully and shot if their behaviour is odd and/or if they're not with their bodyguards.





That's fine, you can make up whatever standards of validity you want in order to erase your doubts.

That's not really the point of what I said, and it's quite clear I think. Let's not transform the thread in an arid showroom of who's better in warping the posts.



I'm just repeating what GW has said. They didn't say, "Old fluff is just as valid as new fluff unless there's a contradiction, in which case the new fluff wins". They just said, "Old fluff is just as valid as new fluff". And yes, you're quite right: By that logic, the old fluff about Russ being a human general is just as valid as the newer fluff about Russ being a Primarch. As unpalatable as that may seem to you, that is the conclusion that we must reach if we accept what GW has told us about the validity of old fluff. If you are attempting to claim that the unpalatability of conclusions like that must negate what GW has said about the validity of the old fluff, then I am afraid you are committing the logical called 'appeal to consequence'



I think that's more or less inevitable when you get into a debate about the validity of different pieces of fluff relative to each other. You may think semantics are petty (as do most people who don't understand their significance), but the fact of the matter is that meaningful discussion is impossible without a discussion over semantics, unless by good luck all the participants in the discussion are already in complete agreement over the meaning of every term that will be used. Needless to say, this rarely happens.

Well, that's interesting, but I really fail to see how that could be useful in this thread. In a debate competition, maybe. As a starting point for a small article about logic, well, that could be good. But in a background forum dedicated to WH40K? Where people ask for clarifications and summaries about a setting they don't know or know schematically?

I really fail to see the usefulness of such communicative approaches in this specific setting.



Of course you are free to refuse to accept what GW has told us about the canonicity of old fluff, or to modify their statements with your own tacked-on qualifiers, as you have done above. And then, I must admit, there is nothing to stop you from dismissing the 2nd Edition fluff's statement that beastmen are included in IG penal units

Maybe my short-term memory is failing me, but I really don't remember any solid evidence that can support what will be forever remembered in Warseer as the beastmen affaire.

Maidel
29-10-2008, 20:22
One question.

Can I have a link to where GW have stated the 'everything is canon' bit.

I just want to be able to post a link to it any time someone says old fluff isnt valid anymore.

Argastes
29-10-2008, 23:10
So, correct me if I've misunderstood your statements: any current fluff that speaks about Penal Legions does not speak of beastmen, and define clearly the kind of ab-humans allowed in the Guard. Old fluff say that in the Imperial Army there were beastmen. You suppose that the absence of beastmen in new IG and Penal Legion fluff represent the fact that commanders does not want to show to their soldiers "friendly" mutants and to represent the fact that Penal Legions are not supposed to work in close contact with normal IG units.

That's a big guess, indeed.

That was one possible explanation that I offered in response to your query as to why I find it plausible that the the Primer doesn't mention beastmen despite their presence in some penal units. I'm not claiming it is necessarily the case, it was only conjecture. And no, I'm not talking about any fluff that has to with "the Imperial Army". I'm talking about fluff that deals with the Imperial GUARD in the 41st millennium. I have been quite clear on this point, and specifically reiterated it at least once before in this thread, so I'm not sure why you are still talking about "the Imperial Army". Let me be perfectly clear on this one more time:

2nd Edition fluff says that the Imperial GUARD's penal units, as of the 41st millennium, contain beastmen and other dangerous mutants.

That fluff is not invalidated, in a general sense (i.e., for everyone, objectively or universally) by the fact that more recent fluff doesn't mention them. You can decide to interpret their absence in recent fluff to mean that they aren't used; that is fine, that is a perfectly valid personal interpretation of an apparent discrepancy between the old and new fluff. And it's up to the individual fans to decide how they will interpret such discrepancies; I believe that's the point of GW's "old fluff is just as valid as new fluff" statement. It allows for discrepancies to be interpreted differently by individual fans, rather than the most recent publication always being the correct one. What you can't (correctly) claim is that since the new fluff doesn't mention beastmen in penal units, they have been retconned out of existence by GW and anyone who believes they are still there is believing in something "invalid".


Just to add a couple of GW-stated-facts to the bundle: Penal Legions actually work alongside other Imperial units...especially Guard units. Every Penal Legion is a Guard Regiment, and some Penal Regiments served in the wars for Armageddon and in the defence of Cadia during several Black Crusades...just to point out two major examples were countless normal Guardsmen fought alongside penal legionnaires.

In the Armageddon wars, if I remember correctly, a sergeant of one of the Savlar Penal Regiments was even awarded with a medal.

As Maidel and I discussed earlier in the thread, those penal regiments--the Savlar Chem Dogs and others like them--seem to be distinct from the type of penal units discussed in the Codex Imperialis, so I don't think any of this is meaningful.


That's quite interesting, but everything still is based on you personal assumption that the "unacceptable" mutants are actually employed in the Guard, and their existence is kept secret. Keywords, I think, are "your personal assumption".

Excuse me. Where are you getting this "personal assumption" nonsense from? It is not at all my "personal assumption" that the unacceptable mutants (beastmen, etc.) are employed in the Imperial Guard; that is something that is clearly stated in the Codex Imperialis, which was written by Rick Priestley and Andy Chambers, and published by Games Workshop. You can find it in plain, clear, black-and-white print on page 30 of that publication. And I have already explained this fact multiple times in this thread, including quoting the relevant passage word-for-word. So either you failed to read the thread before posting, or you are deliberately ignoring this fact in order to make comments about alleged "personal assumptions".

As for their being kept secret, as I said above, that is one explanation for the fact that the Uplifting Primer doesn't mention them, but I am not necessarily claiming it is the correct one, so that is not an "assumption" either. I don't know why it doesn't mention them. But the fact that it doesn't mention them is not proof that they have been retconned out of existence.


Of course it does not contain every information about the Guard structure. In fact I pointed out (well, actually I suggested, but this time I'll use a more direct approach to avoid misunderstanding) that one of the "essential" and "basic" things the Primer contain is the discrimination between potential enemies and friends...and, of course, the discrimination of those friends that can became potential enemies.

The first case can be seen in the description of the ab-humans that could be attached to IG forces: the Primer recognize they're mutant, but they are from specially stable, faithful and accepted mutant breds. Being genetically stable, accepted and faithful, however does not suffice: the Primer clearly exort the soldier to "not fear" them, even if they're mutants. If some mutant is not in the description it have to be shot: the whole "hate the mutant" chapter is exactly about that.

The second case can be seen in the description of the psykers: they have to be treated carefully and shot if their behaviour is odd and/or if they're not with their bodyguards.

I'd have to get my hands on a copy and look through it to see what it does and doesn't cover. The fact remains, it's failure to mention dangerous mutants in penal units doesn't prove that they have been retconned out of existence, no matter how much you might wish it had.


That's not really the point of what I said, and it's quite clear I think. Let's not transform the thread in an arid showroom of who's better in warping the posts.

Yes, that is exactly what you did: You tried to take your own personal standard for evaluating the validity of fluff, and claim that it is the generally correct standard. Your exact words were: "Old fluff is valid as long as new fluff does not invalidate it." GW has never said that; that is your own, personally invented standard. What GW has said is that anything with the words "Warhammer 40,000" on it is as valid as anything else bearing the same label, irrespective of publication date. So yes, by saying what you said about new fluff being able to invalidate old fluff, you were indeed making up your own personal standards of validity.


Well, that's interesting, but I really fail to see how that could be useful in this thread. In a debate competition, maybe. As a starting point for a small article about logic, well, that could be good. But in a background forum dedicated to WH40K? Where people ask for clarifications and summaries about a setting they don't know or know schematically?

I really fail to see the usefulness of such communicative approaches in this specific setting.

I beg your pardon, but everything I said was directly relevant to something you said. You suggested that the old fluff must be invalidated by the new fluff because otherwise there would be valid old fluff stating that Leman Russ was a human general instead of a Primarch; and since that is indeed an appeal to consequence and therefore logically fallacious, I pointed it out. Logical fallacy is just as fallacious in a casual chit-chat about 40K fluff as it is in a serious debate; the fact that this isn't a "debate competition" doesn't give you a free pass to make fallacious arguments and not be called out on it. I don't know who told you that logical fallacies are only a bad thing in a debate competition, but that's just not true.

As for what I said about the value of semantics... You complained that the conversation was becoming overly semantical, and I pointed out that semantical wrangling is actually an important part of any discussion; you can't have a meaningful discussion if people are going into it with different understandings of what the same words mean. What's the problem there?


Maybe my short-term memory is failing me, but I really don't remember any solid evidence that can support what will be forever remembered in Warseer as the beastmen affaire.

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by this, but if you are asking for solid evidence that supports the idea of Beastman in the Imperial Guard's penal units, I have already provided such evidence; see above.

Maidel
29-10-2008, 23:21
As Maidel and I discussed earlier in the thread, those penal regiments--the Savlar Chem Dogs and others like them--seem to be distinct from the type of penal units discussed in the Codex Imperialis, so I don't think any of this is meaningful.

I think the distinction is penal LEGIONS and penal BATTALIONS (the latter being criminal imperial guard, the former being all the rest)


I'd have to get my hands on a copy and look through it to see what it does and doesn't cover. The fact remains, it's failure to mention dangerous mutants in penal units doesn't prove that they have been retconned out of existence, no matter how much you might wish it had.

Isnt this the perfect opertunity for the 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.'


I'm not sure what exactly you mean by this, but if you are asking for solid evidence that supports the idea of Beastman in the Imperial Guard's penal units, I have already provided such evidence; see above.

I think the best way of thinking about it if you are not happy with beastmen in the current imperial army is to consider 'older' fluff to be talking about historical events and the new fluff talking about M41 999.

Not saying this is the fact, just its a better way of thinking about it if you arent comfortable with it another way.

Argastes
29-10-2008, 23:40
Isnt this the perfect opertunity for the 'absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.'

I already used that one in my previous post (#57), so I decided to pass it up this time around. ;)

As for GW's statement about the validity of old fluff, unfortunately I can't recall the name of the gent who said it (I actually asked the same question in another thread fairly recently, and got an answer, but now I can't remember it!). But I believe he was a high-up BL employee responding to query about what to believe in the case of contradicting fluff. Hopefully someone who knows will chime in.

Maidel
29-10-2008, 23:50
I already used that one in my previous post (#57), so I decided to pass it up this time around. ;)

NO!

It should be said at absolutely every opertunity until people understand it! :evilgrin:

DapperAnarchist
30-10-2008, 01:34
I believe it was Mr. Gascoigne who made that statement... Being a fiction universe, which contains within an aspect which is generated from the dreams and desires of the population, and that influences the "real" world... Anything thing can be true.

Though... I think we may simply have a different opinion of what constitutes cannon fodder. For me, its simply the least valued troops in any operation - especially if they are less valued than the enemies troops when it comes to "we didn't move them... but we still won, cos they lost more men/expended more resources than we did, weighted for importance".

Maidel
30-10-2008, 10:53
aye fair enough, in this instance agree to disagree until someone can write a universal definition for 'cannon fodder'.