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madprophet
02-01-2012, 04:16
I just watched a documentary about a hypothetical German occupation of the UK and the British plans to respond to it.

I also recently finished the Sabbat Worlds short stories and the Gaunt's Ghosts books set on Gereon which deal with pro-Imperial partisans. The model in the Black Library seems to be the French Maquis or the Soviet-aligned partisans in Eastern Europe and Russia.

However, the documentary entitled "Hitler's Britain" (available to watch for free on Hulu) talks about another approach to resistance in the form of the British Auxiliary Forces. The BAF were organized by HM Government in 1940 to function as pro-British partisans in the event of a successful German invasion of the UK.

If an Imperial world was faced with imminent invasion by xenos or chaos forces, might not the local government organize a resistance movement in situ to resist the occupation?

In the case of the British, the local chief constables vetted and recruited young men and women of exceptional ability, specialized skill sets (like demolitions, locksmithing, gunsmithing, etc.) and/or loyalty to the crown. These recruits were then trained by the British Army in unconventional warfare and commando operations. They were provided with weapons, specially constructed underground OPs (operations posts) were built by the Royal Engineers and were stocked with provisions and communications gear. Other operatives were recruited within the Church of England, the Freemasons, the BBC and other bodies to provide points of contact between cells and between the resistance as a whole and the British Army.

This was all the brainchild of one Major-General Sir Colin McVean Gubbins KCMG, DSO, MC who commanded the Special Operations Executive, which had helped start and supply most of the pro-Western partisans on the Continent. He envisioned the BAF as going to ground when the Germans arrived and to remain inactive until ordered to become operational by the British Army or in the event of British surrender to assist an American/Commonwealth counter-invasion of Britain. The BAF would harass the German army of occupation, blow up airfields, train lines, assassinate German officials and British collaborators and generally make life hard for the Germans. Among their targets were some that sound ironic but would fit the 40k meme perfectly - they were. for example, to kill the local chief constable who recruited them since only he knew the names of all the resistance fighters, his silence was too vital to risk by letting him live.

Okay, so to bring this to 40k, a world is threatened with invasion - to prepare for the worst, the Imperial authorities have local Arbites commanders identify and recruit citizens with certain skills and vet them for political reliability and loyalty to the Throne. These 'special action groups' are organized in a cellular fashion with contact between cells maintained by a network of go-betweens recruited from a variety of business and social organizations with few obvious ties to the Administratum. Other go-betweens to liaison with the Imperial Guard are recruited from the Ecclesiarchy and Guild organizations. Cells are trained by the Guard to function as irregulars operating behind enemy lines.

Any thoughts on this as a viable army background?

Adun_Toridas
02-01-2012, 04:43
Like it. I mean, irregular fighting is also valid.

hungryugolino
02-01-2012, 07:49
Gereon resists!

blackcherry
02-01-2012, 12:08
There is potential for it to happen, though the closest parallel I can draw off the top of my head(due to 40ks interest in battles over other types of warfare) is yarricks resistance during the second war of Armageddon. Being 40k, anything is possible so feel free to do it anyway.

Just remember one thing about the real world BAF was nothing more than suicide for most involved and despite plans layed out, most of those organised into squads were untrained for what the BAF wanted them to do. One example comes to mind in that they joined all the greatest minds of England into one group(despite them living all over England) and set them the task of storming the possible Nazi HQ in England and killing Hitler! My point being, it wasn't that well organised and we have romanticised a lot of it with the passing of time.

Actually, that sounds like it will fit in with 40k perfectly...

Griefbringer
02-01-2012, 14:25
If an Imperial world was faced with imminent invasion by xenos or chaos forces, might not the local government organize a resistance movement in situ to resist the occupation?

Running an underground resistance movement against xenos invasion might not always be particularly easy, since the xenos involved might not give an opportunity for a human population to hang around and do as they wish.

On the nastier end of the scale, tyranids tends to consume any civilian population they encounter, so any resistance movement would simply end up being eaten. Partisan warfare by small groups in the already overrun areas might be possible, but hazardous, and vulnerable targets would be few - though certain WD featured a scenario where a surviving party on a tyranid overrun area tried to imbed some item on a digestion pool in order to have it end up on a hiveship.

Necrons also don't have much love for a civilian population, so not much of a chance for a civilian resistance to survive in an overrun area. Their support assets might not provide particularly easy targets, either.

Orks also tend to be rather brutal towards any human civilian population. Lucky ones might find themselves rounded to a slave camp, but running a resistance movement from one would be somewhat challenging (but not impossible, as shown by various examples of such movements on German concentration camps during WWII).

Enigmatic eldar have little interest in trying to rule over human populations. If they decide to cleanse a human colony from one of their maiden worlds, in order to return it to the exodites, they probably have no interest in leaving any human population around. Shorter raids might leave the human population around, but not much time to organise a resistance movement. And their darker kin also tend to raid rather than occupy, thus not providing much in the way of targets.

Tau tend to be the xenos race where an underground resistance would have a possibility, since they tend to leave the population of the conquered worlds intact.


Chaos incursions would probably provide for a multitude of different situations, depending on the composition and the aims of the invading force.

Okuto
02-01-2012, 16:02
Even if you did resist....I think the imperium would just use you and clean you up just incase you were corrupted unless you had something to offer....you know the bulk of those resistance fighters got mindwiped/turned into servitors/killed after the imperium got there...

As a army idea its a great basis and should be fun to build

Though i'd never be a "imperial freedom fighter"...that's kinda a condradiction no?
"I'm fighting for freedom just to have it taken away from me by another power?"
"Oh that's right, a slave gets to choose its master"

I always found "freedom fighters" for the imperium just odd

The Devourer
02-01-2012, 16:42
It's possible but unlikely. If chaos takes over your world you probably want to be as discrete as possible and try to go unnoticed. This style of warfare works in a scenario such as the german invasion of britain but may not work against chaos.

It depends on the type of chaos. If it is a unified and structures organisation like bloodpact it could work but against a crazed horde of cultists supported by daemons it would probably fail. Many chaos have no structure so disrupting them isn't so effective. Assassinating leaders doesn't have much purpose since they will constantly be killing each other anyway.

The difference in aims between the german army and chaos also has a big impact. The germans invaded to control the country. They wanted to control the native population and while they may have been happy to make an example of people they had limitations. Most chaos forces don't car about conquest, they are either there for resources of just to destroy the IoM. They don't care about suppressing the other populations. If the resistance starts to become a major hinderance they will just kill everyone. The nazis may have been good at intimadating people but they have nothing on daemons or night lords. I certainly wouldn't fight back if I knew that a single act would lead to daemons being let loose across the entire city.

The warp also give chaos a weapon against any kind of hidden organisation. You can hide from people and machines but if hiding from magic or daemons is impossible for a groups of poorly equiped civilians.

Griefbringer
02-01-2012, 16:57
Chaos forces might also be rounding civilians around for slavery and/or sacrifices. Or for their personal pleasure in case of followers of Slaanesh.

OTOH enlightened Nurgle worshippers might even decided to bless the conquered population with a variety of interesting infections, so that they could feel the joys of following Papa Nurgle.

Chem-Dog
02-01-2012, 17:08
Short answer is yes. There is every reason to assume that any occupation that allows civillians to live will generate some kind of resistance or partisan movement. Exactly how organised or centralised it is is entirely down to how likely it is to happen, a world far from fighting or significant threat is unlikely to have a solid plan but you can bet any world within spitting distance of a hot-zone will have some kind of plan in action.

The Arbites, however, are unlikely to be the head of it. They are a federal law enforcement body and also quite likely to have been erradicated in the initial invasion. You are much more likely to see command of these groups in the hands of PDF Officers, Local Law Enforcement, the ruling Elite (they aren't all spoiled rich kids with no back-bone) and private citizens making a stand (Veterans of the IG are a good bet if there are any on the world in question) it wouldn't be surprising to see the Ecclesiarchy having a hand in any partisan action either.

Emperors Teeth
02-01-2012, 17:14
Such an idea would be a fabulous setting for a 40k roleplay campaign... starting with characters already in an occupied world and the 'quest' to liberate it from within.

Theocracity
02-01-2012, 17:18
Keep in mind that a lot of the time the Imperium is busy fighting against separatists, renegades, and other human forces that aren't represented in the tabletop. The amount of Chaos or Xenos corruption could be relatively limited, or not exist at all. There's plenty of room for Imperium 'freedom' fighters on worlds that are well short of being full-on Chaos wastelands. Personally I imagine them as particularly Ecchliesiarchy based; after all, the guerilla fighters would essentially be fighting on faith. The Sororitas could be a good source of inspiration when thinking up one of these.

I'd imagine that Cadia has contingency plans set in place if the Black Crusades can't be stopped, including underground resistance fighters. Imperium worlds near the Tau Empire probably are ready for it too. And the new Necron fluff could allow for human resistance - in fact, it would work pretty well with the whole "evil supervillain" vibe they give off now :).

madprophet
02-01-2012, 17:32
Short answer is yes. There is every reason to assume that any occupation that allows civillians to live will generate some kind of resistance or partisan movement. Exactly how organised or centralised it is is entirely down to how likely it is to happen, a world far from fighting or significant threat is unlikely to have a solid plan but you can bet any world within spitting distance of a hot-zone will have some kind of plan in action.
I agree - contingency plans for invasion would be far more common on the Imperial fringe than in the heartland. The US, for example, never developed anything like the BAF since no one considered an Axis invasion of the USA a real possibility after June 1942


The Arbites, however, are unlikely to be the head of it. They are a federal law enforcement body and also quite likely to have been erradicated in the initial invasion.
Absolutely, and the resistance would likely have orders to kill the head arbitrators because they know too much about the resistance infrastructure just like the BAF was ordered to kill the local chief constables.


You are much more likely to see command of these groups in the hands of PDF Officers, Local Law Enforcement, the ruling Elite (they aren't all spoiled rich kids with no back-bone) and private citizens making a stand (Veterans of the IG are a good bet if there are any on the world in question) it wouldn't be surprising to see the Ecclesiarchy having a hand in any partisan action either.
Exactly, the sort of folks who would have been recruited by the Special Security Executive :D



Even if you did [r]esist....I think the imperium would just use you and clean you up just incase you were corrupted unless you had something to offer....you know the bulk of those resistance fighters got mindwiped/turned into servitors/killed after the imperium got there...

Perhaps, but not necessarily - Gereon was rehabilitated and the resistance wasn't lined up and shot. A lot would depend on the level of corruption. If the occupying power was not chaos but xenos, then this isn't even an issue.

While 'Nids leave no survivors and don't occupy worlds, and Necrons usually don't the other Xenos might. Tau routinely try to incorporate humans into their empire. Orks would set themselves up as a crude warrior aristocracy over a human serf population. Eldar would possibly occupy human worlds they did not consider to be Maiden Worlds, at least temporarily, to achieve some eldritch goal or secure access to raw materials. Dark Eldar take slaves back to Comorragh but one could envision a Kabal settling down on a human world as an occupying force both to exploit the locals and to provide some relief from the constant intrigues of Comorragh.


There's plenty of room for Imperium 'freedom' fighters on worlds that are well short of being full-on Chaos wastelands. Personally I imagine them as particularly Ecchliesiarchy based; after all, the guerilla fighters would essentially be fighting on faith. The Sororitas could be a good source of inspiration when thinking up one of these.

True, I was thinking of using ganger figures and assorted IG figures to represent my partisans - I want them to look real ragtag. Adding some priests to them isn't a bad idea either. Sororitas? Maybe but the Sisters seem to fight alone - the Frateris Militia is long gone... unless it isn't :)

Can you still take Sisters as an allied force? In the WD codex, I don't think you can but in the last published WH codex you can...


I'd imagine that Cadia has contingency plans set in place if the Black Crusades can't be stopped, including underground resistance fighters. Imperium worlds near the Tau Empire probably are ready for it too. And the new Necron fluff could allow for human resistance - in fact, it would work pretty well with the whole "evil supervillain" vibe they give off now :).

ooooo! I like that! I am not sure I will make an entire army, but I am definitely looking at some conscript mobs to represent partisans to go with my Valhallanesque army

Polaria
02-01-2012, 17:34
Though i'd never be a "imperial freedom fighter"...that's kinda a condradiction no?
"I'm fighting for freedom just to have it taken away from me by another power?"
"Oh that's right, a slave gets to choose its master"

I always found "freedom fighters" for the imperium just odd

Well, World War II actually saw "freedom fighters" in eastern front. Some of them fought with Hitler against Stalin. Some of them fought with Stalin against Hitler. Only a few were brave enough to fight both Hitler and Stalin... and those didn't really have happy ends.

Theocracity
02-01-2012, 19:10
Dark Eldar take slaves back to Comorragh but one could envision a Kabal settling down on a human world as an occupying force both to exploit the locals and to provide some relief from the constant intrigues of Comorragh.

Heh! I like the idea of a Dark Eldar summer house. Set up a hidden palace, corrupt / dominate the local nobility to provide cover for you, boom! Sounds like a Dark Heresy game waiting to happen :).


Sororitas? Maybe but the Sisters seem to fight alone - the Frateris Militia is long gone...

Maybe. I kind of see the Sisters as your average planet's last line of defense - if the Guard and Space Marines aren't here, and the PDF has been krumped, the most likely place the civilians could turn to for safety would be the convents full of gun-toting nuns :). If they can rally around them and fight back all the better. Even if the convents fall, there could be hidden shrines in the wilderness that could be used as rallying points for resistance fighters.

Due to the recent rules change this idea might be harder to represent on the tabletop, of course :P. Battle Conclaves or Inquisitor Retinues don't really fit the bill. You could ally two different armies together and play doubles, I guess - say a 1000 pt Guard list alongside a 500 pt Sisters list.

Idaan
02-01-2012, 20:24
Well, World War II actually saw "freedom fighters" in eastern front. Some of them fought with Hitler against Stalin. Some of them fought with Stalin against Hitler. Only a few were brave enough to fight both Hitler and Stalin... and those didn't really have happy ends.

Well if you call 400.000 a few:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_Home_Army
+ similar organisations in other Eastern European countries, the Czech one being the most successful. But yeah, they didn't have happy ends. Except for the Yugoslavian communist partisans under Broz-Tito, who managed to throw off the German yoke by themselves, and later stayed largely independent from Stalin because Tito hated his guts.

And because I can afford a patriotic self-bump from time to time, you should look at the organisation of the Polish Home Army. It was very successful and well-designed, including underground education and factories. In fact, ODESSA, the organisation that helped SS members avoid justice, was largely based on the Polish model - they caused so much annoyance to the Germans that at one point they thought "damn, they're clearly doing that right."

madprophet
02-01-2012, 22:06
the Yugoslavian communist partisans under Broz-Tito, who managed to throw off the German yoke by themselves, and later stayed largely independent from Stalin because Tito hated his guts.
True - Tito managed to get Serbs, Croats, Macedonians, Jews and even a few Bosnians to unite and fight off the Nazis and then remain free of Stalin's grip. Really an achievement - and I say this as an avowed anti-communist!


And because I can afford a patriotic self-bump from time to time, you should look at the organisation of the Polish Home Army. It was very successful and well-designed, including underground education and factories.
That's true - Poland had one of the most well-organized resistance movements in Europe. Another well-organized resistance movement was the Jewish partisans operating in eastern Poland, White Russia and the Baltics who had similar infrastructure.

The Polish Nationalists and the Jewish resistance, unfortunately, didn't always get along but they did work together fairly often. The Polish Home Army did help the few survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto get clear after a few hundred Jewish fighters held up 2 German SS divisions for 6 weeks but they didn't support the uprising directly. Some prejudices die hard... but even so, Poland's hands are remarkably clean when compared to the rest of Europe.

One could imagine, on an Imperial world, there being several resistance factions which don't always see eye to eye, sometimes even working at cross-purposes

Yet another well-oiled resistance was in Denmark. The Danish resistance received aid and support from the Danish Crown making it the only resistance movement actively supported by elements of the government under occupation (as opposed to a government in exile) but then, King Christian was too popular to simply remove despite the fact Hitler hated his guts and Christian returned the feelings with interest.:D

Beyond military resistance to the Germans, the resistance inspired passive resistance or non-cooperation among the people. Poland ahas the distinction, along with Denmark, of having contributed almost nothing to the Nazi military in terms of manpower. :angel:

Only 1 Polish collaborationist unit operated in the East (1st Polish Armor), and only a few companies of Polish collaborationists operated in the West (elements of 21 SS Panzergrenadier). The Danes contributed only a few hundred soldiers to the Wehrmacht and SS (SS Legion Danmark).

Compare this to Holland and France where more citizens of those countries served in the German military than in the Allied forces.:mad:

This raises another option, in addition to resistance units, what about collaborationists? The Fluff already mentions human collaborators with the Tau - and there are groups like the Blood Pact which serve in Chaos forces. Wouldn't there be some human renegades who collaborate with Orks or Eldar?


In fact, ODESSA, the organisation that helped SS members avoid justice, was largely based on the Polish model - they caused so much annoyance to the Germans that at one point they thought "damn, they're clearly doing that right."
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I personally much prefer the goals and morals of the Polish Home Army :angel:

spetswalshe
02-01-2012, 22:30
The regular, uniformed Arbites would likely just die in a big old holding action. The spymasters and informants would be the ones organising a resistance post-fall, but they wouldn't likely be walking around in carapace to do it.

I'm working on a diorama right now about a pro-Imperial mob charging a Tau roadblock ('blue scum go home!'). Naturally it's led by a preacher; religion is a lot better at riling people up than reason, and the Imperium has a very strong religious element, especially when it comes to xenos. Most people really won't fall on a sword and orphan their own children just because the new government doesn't speak his language; just look at every real-world invasion, ever. But God is a much bigger deal, and it's a lot easier to justify your own death when you've really got nothing to lose.

madprophet
02-01-2012, 23:42
The regular, uniformed Arbites would likely just die in a big old holding action. The spymasters and informants would be the ones organising a resistance post-fall, but they wouldn't likely be walking around in carapace to do it.
I think you are absolutely right about this point


I'm working on a diorama right now about a pro-Imperial mob charging a Tau roadblock ('blue scum go home!'). Naturally it's led by a preacher; religion is a lot better at riling people up than reason, and the Imperium has a very strong religious element, especially when it comes to xenos.
True... and do we get to see pics???


Most people really won't fall on a sword and orphan their own children just because the new government doesn't speak his language; just look at every real-world invasion, ever. But God is a much bigger deal, and it's a lot easier to justify your own death when you've really got nothing to lose.
Well, a lot of Poles, Danes, Czechs, Russians, Ukrainians, Greeks, Serbs, Frenchmen, Dutchmen, Belgians and Norwegians did exactly that during WWII. A lot of Britishers were ready and willing to do the same if the Germans had landed at Maidenhead. People have shown a great willingness to die resisting an invader, even over generations.

Hells bells, in the USA, after the War Between the States, Confederate partisans operated well into the 1870s and there it was the original government and it DID speak their language! The Indian Wars of 1870-1895 in the US were basically an attempt to offer resistance to an invader (albeit unsuccessful).

With that said, religion still remains the greatest motivator of humans for good or evil bar none - so I agree with your conclusion but not with your assessment of political resistance movements.

Okuto
03-01-2012, 00:23
Well, World War II actually saw "freedom fighters" in eastern front. Some of them fought with Hitler against Stalin. Some of them fought with Stalin against Hitler. Only a few were brave enough to fight both Hitler and Stalin... and those didn't really have happy ends.

Imperial "freedom fighters" would be more like the Werwolf(nazi partisans)....:eek: me thinks....

With the free french/Titos/polish resistance/etc they at least were fighting for a government they'd get to elect and their homes....with the soviet partisans...well you have home and family to fight for....I doubt many faithfully fought for the regime first.....

I could see a world with a rather light Imperium presence/non hellhole world taking up arms...as they may not feel the full iron fist of the Imperium....but something like a hive city....opressed daily by the Imperium...I see the populace either trying to join up with the invader or not really care.....

But still nonetheless a fun army project to do.....no need to paint your guys in similar colors, lots of conversion potential

Griefbringer
03-01-2012, 10:35
And because I can afford a patriotic self-bump from time to time, you should look at the organisation of the Polish Home Army. It was very successful and well-designed, including underground education and factories.

I would also recommend checking their equipment, there are some interesting items used in the Warsaw uprising, including mini-catapults used to lob hand grenades in urban combat, as well as home-made submachineguns and armoured car! And probably a variety of innovatively used explosives.

Beaviz81
03-01-2012, 10:57
It would likely entail guerilla fighting. Tanith First and only tends to guerilla war a lot against the ruinous powers.

Sai-Lauren
03-01-2012, 10:58
That's pretty much one of the roles of the Officio Sabatorum and to an extent guard Special Forces units - either placed ahead of time on threatened worlds, or covertly inserted via blackade runners to carry out attacks themselves and train up local civilians to both carry out such attacks and support a future Imperial relief invasion force. And in a pinch, some of the Officio Assassinorum agents (I'm thinking Callidus and Vanus especially here) and even Marines might form such groups if they can't get to their targets in any other way.

The PDFs might also have some troops trained up for such roles too. And, of course, there's always the chance of survivalist-type groups and even other enemy cultists (think a hidden Stealer cult wouldn't fight against Chaos occupiers any more than they would against the Imperial governors?) who've set up their own hidden camps and supply dumps.

Figures - you could probably get a nice range from various parts of the 40k and WFB lines, plus Mordheim and Necromunda. Arbites and Sororitas would almost certainly fight to the last in a defensive stand, although a few might be sent into hiding with local dignitries or artefacts that can't be removed off world.

Easy E
03-01-2012, 14:06
I'm sure the Inquisition would play a role as well.

Griefbringer
03-01-2012, 15:19
Indeed, any inquisitor present on such a planet would not stand idle when the vile xenos or traitors show up. And many of them have experience in more discreet actions and tracking out covens, which would certainly help with leading a campaign of unconventional warfare against the invaders.

In case of an Imperial reconquest, there would probably be a few shiploads of inquisitors and arbites showing up to look for any xenos-loving collaborators...

Beaviz81
03-01-2012, 16:09
The army you are thinking of fielding sounds like having a nice backstory. You can color it with traitors infiltrating it as well even. The soldiers would likely be a motley crew from various backgrounds. I would suggest you filling the officer-corps at first with war-vets from other wars so you don't have a captain at 15 yo. Loved the book as a kid, but suits badly as no-one wants to give a teenager any responsibility IRL.

What sort of planet is it on? Norway and Denmark are places I'm well familiar with. Guerilla warfare in Norway was more in the forests and mountains, while in Denmark it was more city-based (as Danish forests often consists of little more than line of trees to prevent erosion, also the tallest point in Denmark is a hill). The technology level of the planet?

Harriticus
03-01-2012, 20:09
imo classical "resistance movements" in the WWII style really only work against the Tau Empire or against the Imperium itself (i.e. human rebels). Everybody else just kills everything or isn't interested in occupying.

Theocracity
03-01-2012, 21:03
imo classical "resistance movements" in the WWII style really only work against the Tau Empire or against the Imperium itself (i.e. human rebels). Everybody else just kills everything or isn't interested in occupying.

I find that kind of a black or white view of 40K fiction to be very disappointing. There's a lot of shades of grey, even if you limit yourself to the major factions represented on the tabletop.

A planet in the Imperium could have in-fighting and rebellion amongst its own factions, even if the planet itself is not actively rebelling from the Imperium.

Chaos takes many forms, and even a full scale Chaos assault does not necessarily mean a world is a demonic hellhole. Besides, it's not like the CSM are going to run the factories making fresh bolter shells for them - they need civilians to do their dirty work. The more they can oppress or corrupt them the better, but it may not be worth the effort of extermination just to wipe out pesky resistance fighters.

Craftworld Eldar could take over a planet and have no interest in interfering with its civilians - they could even be keeping them alive for prophetic or utilitarian purposes. They would probably interact with them as little as possible, beyond preventing them from communicating their distress to the Imperium.

Dark Eldar are rather motivated to keep their civilian populations alive, if in chains. Unless they have a summer home they're more likely to be in Commoragh, though. A resistance force there would be...interesting :).

Necron new fluff has them working like evil overlords, and they might certainly be interested in dominating a human world and forcing the civilians into service and fealty to the true lords of the galaxy.

Orks have a history of human collaborators - the governor of Armageddon tried to sell it out to Ghazzie. You could also have eccentric Blood Axe Orks taking over a backwater and making it their own, keepkng the civilians alive if they don't put up enough of a fight to be interesting.

Even Tyranid work. After all, what are Genestealer cults all about?

Sai-Lauren
04-01-2012, 08:15
I find that kind of a black or white view of 40K fiction to be very disappointing. There's a lot of shades of grey, even if you limit yourself to the major factions represented on the tabletop.

A planet in the Imperium could have in-fighting and rebellion amongst its own factions, even if the planet itself is not actively rebelling from the Imperium.

Chaos takes many forms, and even a full scale Chaos assault does not necessarily mean a world is a demonic hellhole. Besides, it's not like the CSM are going to run the factories making fresh bolter shells for them - they need civilians to do their dirty work. The more they can oppress or corrupt them the better, but it may not be worth the effort of extermination just to wipe out pesky resistance fighters.

Craftworld Eldar could take over a planet and have no interest in interfering with its civilians - they could even be keeping them alive for prophetic or utilitarian purposes. They would probably interact with them as little as possible, beyond preventing them from communicating their distress to the Imperium.

Dark Eldar are rather motivated to keep their civilian populations alive, if in chains. Unless they have a summer home they're more likely to be in Commoragh, though. A resistance force there would be...interesting :).

Necron new fluff has them working like evil overlords, and they might certainly be interested in dominating a human world and forcing the civilians into service and fealty to the true lords of the galaxy.

Orks have a history of human collaborators - the governor of Armageddon tried to sell it out to Ghazzie. You could also have eccentric Blood Axe Orks taking over a backwater and making it their own, keepkng the civilians alive if they don't put up enough of a fight to be interesting.

Even Tyranid work. After all, what are Genestealer cults all about?
Agreed, Chaos and Orks would certainly work a population to provide arms, munitions and food for them, Necrons might keep the population alive to try and harvest pariahs, Eldar might keep them alive because their Farseers deem it necessary, and so on.

And even if the invading force's goal is effectively genocide, a resistance group could still hide out for a long time, conducting hit and run raids and hiding where they can't be found - and if you can afford to drop exterminatus-grade weapons on the planet, you do that first and move on, not at the end to exterminate the last remenants, after months of warfare and many deaths on your own side.

Easy E
04-01-2012, 13:31
In Dead Men Walking the Necrons pretty much just ignored civilians unless they attacked the necrons or they went someplace they were no suppose to be.