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silence
08-01-2009, 20:41
What I wanted to know was how long to IG serve?

I'm aware that occasionally they get to settle new worlds, or muster out on worlds distant from there home world. But how long do they serve on average beforehand?

Do the guard even sign on for a certain number of years or are they pretty much guard for life?

Iracundus
08-01-2009, 20:49
It is life service. The honor of conquering and settling a world is only given to those Guard regiments that have survived and performed well. How many years of service before they are granted this honor isn't explicitly stated and may well vary depending on its performance.

If it is many years however, it does raise the issue of any women in the regiment being past the reproductive age. Likely additional women settlers have to be shipped in from elsewhere.

Kurisu313
08-01-2009, 21:24
I believe 10 years is the required minimum. It is not life service, but many choose to remain after those 10 years, because war is all they know

Iracundus
08-01-2009, 21:48
Cite that 10 year please.

The IG background has always said regiments never return to their homeworld of origin. They fight until they die or otherwise incapacitated, or until they successfully settle a world.

Burnthem
08-01-2009, 22:00
The survivors of some regiments, such as Cadian Shocktroops etc do return to thier homeworlds after long tours, mainly to aid in the training and recruitment of other regiments IIRC, although i can't quote a source.

As with most questions the answer is - it varies. Some regiments might have a proud tradition in sending surviviors/veterans/everybody back home after a set number of years, others would never expect to return home after they leave. Alot would also depend on the local requirement for troops, any active wars/crusades etc etc.

Iracundus
08-01-2009, 22:06
The survivors of some regiments, such as Cadian Shocktroops etc do return to thier homeworlds after long tours, mainly to aid in the training and recruitment of other regiments IIRC, although i can't quote a source.


Then there is no proof that it is true and not mistaken memory, or your own made up fan fiction.

LexxBomb
08-01-2009, 22:08
2nd edition Guard Codex says they serve 10 years and then may conquer a bew planet.

marv335
08-01-2009, 22:15
15 hours on average ;)

nagash66
08-01-2009, 22:15
Vossies have to serve 10 years then they may select too return home or stay with the regiment, source is the vossie book whose name i cannot remeber will post when i get home.

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
08-01-2009, 22:16
Then there is no proof that it is true and not mistaken memory, or your own made up fan fiction.

Just because he can't cite a specific source doesn't make it automatically false. I certainly remember reading the same thing somewhere, although I couldn't point to a source, either. Also, redundant comment is redundant.

can't_decide
08-01-2009, 22:20
Keep in mind too, if they return home to assist in training and so forth, they are still engaged in the work of the Guard, not on the front lines, but still serving. It all depends. In the book 15 hours, most survive for only fifteen hours, but it also talks about leaving and never coming back, some got discharged after an indeterminate time period and settled elsewhere. While in the Eisenhorn books the remnants of an entire regimant that was sorely beaten (not necessarily lost, but lost a huge number of men) returned to their homeworld dishcharged from the Guard.

Gen.Steiner
08-01-2009, 22:20
Until they die, in the main. Some go to serve Rogue Traders or Inquisitors, others are shifted from Regiment to Regiment as casualties mount and units are amalgamated. Some Guardsmen get to settle worlds that have been brought into the Imperium (again, or for the first time), and others are sent to garrison worlds that may or may not ever see action again. Yet more never see action (amazingly) and so will serve until they grow old and retire.

Effectively, then, your average Guardsman, if he isn't killed, will serve until his usefulness to the Imperial Guard is ended. :)

Dexter099
09-01-2009, 01:12
Then there is no proof that it is true and not mistaken memory, or your own made up fan fiction.

Yes, I remember reading that in many Imperial Guard novels. Just becasue he can't quote doesn't make it false. The fact that so many of us remember seeign it should help prove that it is true.

schoon
09-01-2009, 03:07
The short answer is that it varies from regiment to regiment.

Canon is all over the map on this one with plenty of evidence that Guardsmen in certain regiments can even muster out after a satisfactory length of service. There's also evidence of the "serve till they liberate a world" or "serve unto death."

So pick the one you like for your regiment, justify it with well thought out fluff, and no one can say you're wrong!

Iracundus
09-01-2009, 03:24
Yes, I remember reading that in many Imperial Guard novels. Just becasue he can't quote doesn't make it false. The fact that so many of us remember seeign it should help prove that it is true.

Many people thinking something doesn't make it true in the least. A lot of people could hypothetically claim to have remembered or read somewhere sometime that the world is flat but that doesn't make it true. What you are describing is the result of "Chinese whispers", where people may hear or falsely remember tidbits or distorted bits of information and pass it on, until others start thinking it is true, only for no real evidence to exist or worse for the evidence to show the exact opposite.

"I think I might have heard or read it somewhere sometime but I can't give you a source" is no proof at all.

Would a court or reasonable individual accept as proof of a point someone's statement "I think I might have heard or read somewhere that the person did this but I can't give you a source"? Answer: No



2nd edition Guard Codex says they serve 10 years and then may conquer a bew planet.

A page number would have been useful, but I found I think what you are referring to on p. 8 of the 2nd ed. IG Codex. It says if they survive for more than 10 years (italics mine) then they are usually transferred to an army of conquest.



Canon is all over the map on this one with plenty of evidence that Guardsmen in certain regiments can even muster out after a satisfactory length of service.

Where? Still waiting for a quote from someone on mustering out beyond the normal "conquer your own world". Despite all the people saying it's canon, nobody has been able to come up with a specific precise citation (exact book, and page)

RichBlake
09-01-2009, 03:36
It's froma description of a medal in the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, it says something along the lines of "This medal is awarded to Guardsmen who have chosen to re-enlist after they survive a campaign instead of retiring".

I think that's it anyway, I'm pretty sure the IIUP will have the answer in it somewhere.

Oh also in "Fifteen Hours" it specifically states that Guardsmen know they will never see their homplanet again as once you leave you'll either die or retire on some far away planet you helped conuqer.

Can't get the page numbers as my books aren't with me at the moment and since I've been out of university over christmas I forgot how to use the harvard referncing system ;)

precinctomega
09-01-2009, 09:08
4th Ed Guard codex also indicates that members of the Karnak regiments are expected to return home as a "civilizing influence" on their barbaric homeworld.

I varies from regiment to regiment and world to world. It's tempting to think that a guardsman just fights on and on, but it's not always going to be practical. Guardsmen may be stationed to a permanent garrison, to an army of conquest, ceded settlement rights, repatriated (if convenient), discharged to other Imperial service (such as Inquisition or Frateris Militia) or discharged without settlement rights.

Generally speaking, of course, service is unto death. But that doesn't mean there aren't still hundreds of possible fates awaiting the new guardsman that don't include death-in-service.

R.

ctsteel
09-01-2009, 11:30
There's also a short story in one of the BL compendiums about an Attilan rough rider colonel who is retiring after his period of service has ended. He returns to his homeworld, only to find the place has become barbaric and changed from his youthful memories to the point that he cannot stand it. The end of the story has him returning to the troopship and joining up again to serve out his life, as there is nothing left for him now but making war.

Cambion Daystar
09-01-2009, 11:59
"Only in Death does Duty end..."

DarkMatter2
09-01-2009, 12:13
Would a court or reasonable individual accept as proof of a point someone's statement "I think I might have heard or read somewhere that the person did this but I can't give you a source"? Answer: No


You use what a court would accept as your standard for judging what background to accept or not?

"Iracundus - Proving that Warhammer 40k is Serious Business!"


Reading over the thread, the answer seems to be that there are multiple answers, as is nearly always the case with 40k background, as I do indeed recall the Ctsteel story of the Rough Rider captain returning to his own planet.

Lostanddamned
09-01-2009, 12:17
Although it does not give a period of service, Cain's Last Stand does point to Guard serving a period and then being able to seek employment, the exact quote is as follows



...his household troops came smartly to attention. Having been in action alongside them more than once I knew better than to let the gaudy liery they wore fool me into underestimating them. Most were Imperial Guard veterans...

And just for you Iracundus, as you are seemingly a stickler for referencing, this quote is taken from Chapter Six (Page 104, Paragraph 3, Lines 4-8) of Cain's Last Stand (Sandy Mitchell (pseudonym of Alex Steward)) published by Black Library (ISBN-10: 1-84416-667-8) in 2008. Below is a discussion on reliability (both in universe and out of universe).

However the accuracy of this reference can be called into question, as the Household troops are never stated to be not part of the Imperial Guard as they well may be, due to the fact that the Rogue Trader in question (Orelius of the Lucre Foedus) was operating on behalf of an Ordo Xenos agent (Inquisitor Amberly Vail) and may well have had such troops allocated as a bodyguard. However, it is presumed that the Narrator, as an Imperial Guard Commisar (Commisar Ciaphas Cain - Hero of The Imperium) is likely to have pointed this out, as no such comment is present - it can be presumed that they are indeed soldiers independent of the Imperial Guard, Navy or PDF.

The accuracy of the exact event is likely to be comparatively good, as the anecdote in question is told by the witness and not second hand, and has been read and edited by a member of the Inquisiton, who previously (Page 7, line 13) mentioned the events as being "relatively recent"

Also as this is a Black Library publication and not a direct work of Games Workshop, its status of Canon is question, due to the simple nature of this statement and without any directly conflicting evidence I hope that this will be enough to consider the work relatively canon in this respect.

EDITORS NOTE: This is what you get if you take a simple question far to seriously - someone else will take it more seriously than you, and possibly extract the Michael in the process.

DarkMatter2
09-01-2009, 12:38
I'm afraid we will still need the signed testimony of two witnesses and the Presidential Seal in order for it to be admissible on Warseer.

abasio
09-01-2009, 12:53
"Only in Death does Duty end..."

I thought that was Marines :D

But in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war :skull:

This is all my own random musings by the way nothing I can back any of it up but I wouldn't imagine that many IG survive long enough to find out, those that do get promoted then there is no escaping :p

I just don't see the imperium as an organisation that says "Well done, have a reward" to many people :(

Curufew
09-01-2009, 12:58
The Vossies book Rebel Winter states that the guardsmen are given a choice to return home or stay after 10 years of service. Most Vossies never chose the option to return home as it is seen as a coward's way out.

Page 98, chapter 5

nagash66
09-01-2009, 13:01
Thank you Curufew the name was killing me as i couldnt remeber it, yes as has been stated Rebel Winter states that ALL firstborn vossies must serve 10 years and then ether re-enlist or go home.

SonofUltramar
09-01-2009, 13:12
As before I think it very much depends on the Regiment in question as we know that Armageddon Steel Legion and Elysian Drop Troops have been known to operate on/from their own home planets where some units like Cadians are known to send Regiments to the corners of the galaxy with no chance of returning.

So in short it varies, for my Regiment yes they do after serving for at least 12 years and as it's mine and you can't say it's wrong:p

Jellicoe
09-01-2009, 13:23
In one of the Eisenhorn books (or possibly Ravenor) there is a stroy about an apparent series of cult murders which are actually carried out by former members of the Gudrunite rifles who have been clearly demobilised and are living in civilian life but all have a bit too much extreme PTSD going on to cope. However this clearly indicates a demobilisation process, in this case I think in the aftermath of the Ophidican campaign? So the answer is often for life but certainly not always

Second stringer
09-01-2009, 18:24
The story that you Jellicoe are referring to, is "Missing in action" by Dan Abnett, found from the Eisenhorn omnibus. A really, really nice story by the way. Quite central for the story's plot is that guardsmen had returned to their homes when the war ended - and I think that is sensible too.

From the Eisenhorn omnibus, pg 263 one can find for example the following sentence: ”The guards of the 9th Sameter infantry had come home thirteen years before, …” (In the story the veterans were in their 40's)

I am an old IG player, so I also can recall the "Guardsmen never retire" thingy from the fluff. I myself have always find that a little dumb imho. A regiment garrisons a quiet sector? After a while you have a regiment full of eighty year old guardsmen still listed as a line regiment because they never retire...

Brother_Chaplian Raimo
09-01-2009, 22:51
Many people thinking something doesn't make it true in the least. A lot of people could hypothetically claim to have remembered or read somewhere sometime that the world is flat but that doesn't make it true.

Would a court or reasonable individual accept as proof of a point someone's statement "I think I might have heard or read somewhere that the person did this but I can't give you a source"? Answer: No


If it's not straight from the mouth of Jervis, God forbid we even think it, then. Remember, kids- cannon = official, and official = true!

CELS
09-01-2009, 23:25
The 10 years seem to be pretty standard. I have argued 10 years for some time, though I don't remember where I read it, so I consider my belief confirmed after reading this thread. With the standard caveat that it varies from world to world, because GW would rather not worry too much about giving actual answers to questions like these.

Besides - the idea that all Guardsmen join to fight to the death doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. Granted, I haven't fought in a war, but I imagine that while fighting the rest of your life might seem appealing and romantic when you're talking to the recruiting officer in Ultramar, the appeal probably fades after ten years of bloodshed. In other words, you might get a lot of people to join, but how would the survivors behave after a decade in service? I imagine the chances of desertion and various other criminal acts are rapidly approaching 100% at that point.

olmsted
09-01-2009, 23:25
im in the belief that many guardsmen think they get to go home or conquer a world after 10 years of service. (according to my departmento munitorium issue) i how ever am in the belief that none of them ever get this reward. more often then naught regiments are butchered, nuetered, meat grinded, combined. even with veterans of 10+ years i honestly dont think theres many conqured worlds where the guard that liberated them get to stay long


i now its a quote i only know from Rome Total War but remember: Men tire of merry making, drink, song, and women before they tire of war. or something to that matter

Iracundus
09-01-2009, 23:41
If it's not straight from the mouth of Jervis, God forbid we even think it, then. Remember, kids- cannon = official, and official = true!

Correct, when it comes to a fictional universe, the holder of the intellectual property rights, GW, does determine what is official and therefore true. All else is really fan fiction. A fan can write all he wants about Horus winning the Heresy or Ghaz winning on Armageddon the first time but it wouldn't be what actually happened in the standard 40K universe.

DarkMatter2
10-01-2009, 00:29
That would matter if the holder of the intellectual property rights cared enough to lay out a canon, instead of using every possible opportunity to tear down the notion that there was a canon or official version of events at all.

We all know that is not the case however.

Its not a universe for trekkies and people who want "certain" knowledge about anything.

Iracundus
10-01-2009, 01:00
BL and GW seem to have since backpedaled on that stance of "everything and nothing might be true at the same time"

Quite obviously there ARE some events and facts that are canonically true such as the Horus Heresy results, the Battle of Macragge, the Battles for Armageddon, Marines being created from multiple implants etc... as otherwise nothing on any level can be said about the 40K universe. Marines might be really giant bunnies, bolters may shoot easter eggs, and anyone can say any ludicrous thing and expect it to be as valid as anything else.

DarkMatter2
10-01-2009, 01:06
I agree with your stance to an extent Iracundus.

olmsted
10-01-2009, 01:54
back on topic people

Lord-Gen Bale Chambers
10-01-2009, 03:50
As with everything in the Imperium, it varies.

Some of the Regiments (Cadian 8th for example) with a long and proud history of duty will often return to their homeworld to recruit and replenish losses. I am sure when that happens, some veterans maybe able to retire or move to other positions outside the regiement with the guard on their homeworld such as a recruiting officier or drill sgt. Although in the case of Cadia, recruiting officiers are probably unheard of since everyone fights.

It may also depend on how many conflicts occur in a homeworlds sector. If a planet has already meet their tithe, but are providing another handful of regiments to assist with a battle in a nieghboring system, those regiments may be able to return home afterwards. Or in some cases, such as the Tactica Imperialis: the Later Crusades, only nobles serving in the guard from a planets homeworld were allowed to return home while the rest of the regiment is shipped elsewhere. I believe the character mentioned in that was a family member of the planetary govenor.

RichBlake
10-01-2009, 04:13
Besides - the idea that all Guardsmen join to fight to the death doesn't really make a lot of sense to me. Granted, I haven't fought in a war, but I imagine that while fighting the rest of your life might seem appealing and romantic when you're talking to the recruiting officer in Ultramar, the appeal probably fades after ten years of bloodshed. In other words, you might get a lot of people to join, but how would the survivors behave after a decade in service? I imagine the chances of desertion and various other criminal acts are rapidly approaching 100% at that point.

I disagree. If you're smart enough and good enough to survive 10 years in the Guard you aren't going to do something stupid like desert or commit cirminals acts and then get shot by a Commissar, what a waste.

Also remember how indonctrinated they all are. Wading through the blood of the enemies of the Emperor grants you a place by his right hand in the afterlife and you believe everything happens due to his divine plan.

The ones after 10 years who have survived and haven't been shot are either so fanatical or brainwashed they fail to let the bloodshed get to them (or maybe even enjoy it) or they aren't stupid enough to do something that may get them executed after surviving countless battlefield scenarios.

saitani
10-01-2009, 05:24
Its 10 years just read it in last chancers novel they either go home to their home planet or settle down on a planet they have conquered.

laudarkul
10-01-2009, 07:02
It's 10-20 years IG's time service.
After that a regiment can be disbanded and sent home where his members can enter some households troops/PDF command, or go home or go back in the army.
If the regiment was valuable after the service period they are granted settlement tithes on a world they conquested (what Gaunt and his Tanith regiment want, but Abnet is against).
But 95% of IG just die on the battlefield.

Private Ginger
11-01-2009, 01:55
@ Jellicoe: It's the Sameter Ninth in Eisenhorn.