View Full Version : Guard Recruited from the PDF?

15-01-2007, 08:04

As I've lurked about some of the threads in this section of the forums, I've seen a lot of post make mention that Guardsmen are recruited from the top 10% of their respective planet's PDF. I'm curious to know where this idea comes from. A number of Black Library novels, such as the Gaunt's Ghost series and Fifteen Hours, seems to run country to this.

In the early chapters of Fifteen Hours, it is said that the newly drafted Guardsmen are drawn from farm boys. And in one of the Gaunt's Ghost novels (Ghostmaker?), it is said that a number of the soon-to-be Ghost were in the local militia while others were criminals, woodworkers, and like. It seems like farm boys and local militia hardly constitutes the top 10% of the local PDF.

I hate to say it, but I am only acquainted with the current edition and vaguely remember bits of the previous editions IG codex.

The Bluegrass Gamer

15-01-2007, 08:19
If I remember fifteen hours correctly, Jumeal IV really only had farm boys to send. Being an agri world.
As for gaunts ghosts. . .I'm less sure. its possible the practice varies from world to world. If I was a planetary governer, I wouldn't be packing of my best, most elite units. I'd be sending country bumpkins with lasguns too, because I know I'd never see them again.

15-01-2007, 08:21
Ive heard people say that as well. While Ive heard people say that a Planetry Governor is obliged to tithe 10% of the PDF upon request, Ive never heard anywhere that it has to be the TOP 10%, infact I rmember the only stipulation being they have to be equipped and ready to fight.
I have to say I agree with you along the farm boy lines, who was just unforunate enough to sign up at the wrong time, and finds themselves on the otherside of the Galaxy.

15-01-2007, 10:49
The fluff I've read (was it in the most recent Codex IG? Don't have it to hand) is that some planets recruit from their PDF, and others raise regiments from the populace.

15-01-2007, 11:29
The fact is that tithing varies from world to world and system to system. The tithe grade and aestimare determine the level of tithing that is exacted upon a given governor's fief. This is then extrapolated into whatever resources the Administratum determines is appropriate to the world in question. So some worlds that provide vast quantities of raw materials, or with massive factories churning out warmachines under AdMech franchise may not be tithed for soldiers at all - especially if they already have a limited population. The classic example of this is agriworlds on which continent-sized farms are maintained by just a few thousand inhabitants.

A world with a loyal, centrally-looking imperial commander is likely to provide the very cream of the standing army to any Guard tithe, because the reputation of the world's regiments and the commander's standing in the eyes of the Emperor depend upon it. There is likely to be a culture of honour and competition within the PDF to be worthy of taking part in the next tithe.

A world with a more laissez-faire governor, who does not feel driven to prove himself to the Adeptus Terra, might comply only with the letter of his obligations in terms of numbers and equipment. However, the Adeptus may respond to several such tithes by tightening the requirement and sending overseers from the Commissariat to observe the training and quality of the tithe when it is next due.

In other words, there's no hard and fast rule. In times of intense warfare, the entire PDF of a world or - in the case of small populations - the entire population itself may be taken as tithe! Needs must when the survival of humanity is at stake!


15-01-2007, 12:30
I've never been entirely too sure of the problem here, but there we go. According to the original 'fluff' on the matter each Imperial Commander - who must maintain a PDF as part of their feudal obligation to the Emperor - must make 10% of said PDF annually available for Founding. Whether that tithe is taken is another matter entirely and, indeed, a consideration of the different types of worlds out there shows numerous cases where one might not take up that potential. Reasons include but are not limited to:

Size of the PDF. If the population of a world is so small, either the civilian, military or both, 10% of the population might not be enough for a "regiment" (or regiments).
Nature of the PDF. As precinctomega mentions, some Imperial Commanders take their obligations more seriously than others. A PDF might only be nominal.
Technology. Although not a common image, medieval or primitive worlds might not be the most ideal for Founding. First, a defined PDF may only constitute a small handful of guards (see above), or if levvied from the 'standing armies' of any nations (balkanised or otherwise) of the world, they might be so unfamiliar with Imperial technology and military science (such as it is) that they would be nigh on useless.

Thus, the various examples used above are entirely consistent with an interpretation of the 'fluff'. The statement is, however, that 10% of the PDF shall be made annually available for Founding.


18-01-2007, 11:21
If I may call you up on a point, Kage, the figure quoted was ten percent in each generation, not each year, or whatever is deemed necicary in times of crisis. There's a rather nice bit on it at the front of the 3rd edition Codex (which I can't type in because I'm in the library as my home internet is dead and BT are a shower of ******!)

18-01-2007, 14:21
Fairly sure that the first edition material says "obliged to make 10% of its total armed forces available for recruitment into the Imperial Guard in any year." It's just that generally it doesn't happen every year and, more than not, happens every generation. Ish. <liberally waves hands in typical way for setting up a specific 'feel' to the 'fluff'>


19-01-2007, 05:53
Rogue Trader did not go into recruitment of Imperial Guard.

In Compendium p.144, it does not give a percentage but it does state, "Recruits for the Imperial Guard creams off the elite of the planetary defence forces..."

Second Edition Codex reads, "...each worldis obliged to make 10% of its total military available for recruitment into the Imperial Guard in any year." Made available and actually recruited are two seperate things. (Don't remember where I read top 10%, but I do remember reading it somewhere.)

In an article in White Dwarf, reprinted in Compendium, describing the Necromunda Spiders. An Imperial Guard Regiment made up entirely of the members of a single gang which took control of a space port for a brief time, after the casualties from the fighting, and the execution of the gang leaders, there were still enough members left to form a Regiment. Apparently some Regiments are formed from non-PDF recruits.

Multiple sources and multiple authors cloud this subject.