PDA

View Full Version : Penal Legions



Autarch
19-07-2005, 14:35
Has anyone ever created and/or played a Penal Legion army in 40K?

Are they basically Imperial Guard troops that look like criminals, or do they have specialised rules or other little tweaks?

I converted a Necromundan ganger into a 'Penal Legionnaire' a long time ago, but without any real idea of what one was.

Does anyone have any details, fluff related or otherwise that details this kind of army on the 40K battlefield. Is it worth creating, even if just for varieties sake?

Thoughts?

Shas'o'Fior
19-07-2005, 14:44
the kill team novels are related to this topic, I guess use conscript rules?

Vberg
19-07-2005, 14:58
Im sure their was a penal army list in the Chapter Approved section of WD many moons ago. I dont recall the exact issue, sorry.

stompy
19-07-2005, 17:57
The Savlar Chem Dogs are a penal legion, their rules can be found near the back of the imperial guard codex.

Penal legion troopers stats are the same as regular guardsmen, though conscripts could also be used to represent them. Other than that, just use whichever doctrines you think would suit a penal legion- the ones that spring to my mind are chem-inhalers, hardened fighters, and possibly veterans.

Azrael
19-07-2005, 18:32
I would also put in tanks from other regiments, throw in a catchan sentinel and a cadian basilisk to show them stealing, and of course colonel schaffer.

Brandir
19-07-2005, 18:48
I use the old penal troopers models for a platoon in my IG army - the ones with the exploding clooars. In WH40K version one there were rules (in the compendium) for penal troopers. If they failed a morale check one simply blew one collar and they could then re-roll. There were also rules for suicide bombers - but I doubt that GW would even sell such a model in these times (and I probably wouldn't get away with selling such an item on ebay either!).

For fluff I use vet sgt non-penal models and the command section is made up of Adeptus Arbites models.

Helicon_One
19-07-2005, 22:33
The demolition charge rules make a reasonable proxy for human bombs (just remove the model completely rather than replacing it with a lasgun trooper), if you and your group aren't too squeamish about the concept.

Tim

Brandir
19-07-2005, 22:40
I'm not squeemish at all. I just think that the club would get a bad name and banned from where we game if someone was found to be using 'human bombers'. The historical wargaming club here in my town has already been banned from using the local college for it's annual show - apparently wargaming shows glorify violence.

Azrael
19-07-2005, 22:43
that seems odd, I know in Canada, but I could be wrong that would be an infringement of civil liberties.

Eversor
19-07-2005, 22:59
I would also put in tanks from other regiments, throw in a catchan sentinel and a cadian basilisk to show them stealing, and of course colonel schaffer.
:chrome: You do know that penal batallions consist of "Imperial Guard and planetary defence force troops who have committed capital crimes, and had their sentences commuted to life service"? (Compendium, page 148)

They're not civilian criminals, and having them stealing tanks and gear is a pretty ludicrous idea.

EDIT:

For fluff I use vet sgt non-penal models and the command section is made up of Adeptus Arbites models.
If you want to follow the "fluff" you would have no sergeants at all. And certainly no Arbitrators. They have nothing to do with penal batallions; they're a regular part of the Imperial Guard. The Arbites control civil inter-planetary law, the Guard regulates itself.

Brandir
19-07-2005, 23:08
... If you want to follow the "fluff" you would have no sergeants at all. And certainly no Arbitrators. They have nothing to do with penal batallions; they're a regular part of the Imperial Guard. The Arbites control civil inter-planetary law, the Guard regulates itself.

Following my own fluff, not GW. I should have been more explicit! Sorry.

Azrael
20-07-2005, 03:18
exactly, I could see a penal army consisting of rogue soldiers criminals and thieves, instead of coloniel schaffer leading the squad he is there captive.

Eversor
20-07-2005, 08:34
exactly, I could see a penal army consisting of rogue soldiers criminals and thieves, instead of coloniel schaffer leading the squad he is there captive.
:chrome: And then you wouldn't have a penal batallion. You would have a renegade regiment/company/whatever.

Completely different thing.

Inquis. Jaeger
20-07-2005, 10:09
Savlar Chem-Dogs aren't a penal battalion at all. Penal divisions are basically cannon-fodder consisting of Guardsmen who have been found guilty at court martial and sentenced to service in the penal battalions until they die. That's it.

Savlar Chem-Dogs are proper Imperial Guard regiments drawn from the criminal underclass of the pollution-infested hole that is Savlar. Penal Battalions wouldn't 'steal' or 'gain' extra requisitioned supplies, as after each battle, they'd be locked down and have their weapons etc taken off them again.

In a penal battalion, only the infantry is made up of convicts. Each squad has a Provost-Sergeant with better equipment and explosive-collar detonators, and all the heavy-weapons/armour/sentinels are so on are manned by ordinary Military Police troopers.

They're completely different to both the Savlar Chem-Dogs and Schaffer's Last Chancers.

Autarch
20-07-2005, 12:34
Thanks for the information guys, I'll try and check out the stuff you recommended looking at. :)

I guess when I thought of a penal army I was thinking of condemned criminals rather than IG. The picture I had was of hardened, bitter men with collars to keep them in check (rigged with stun or explosive devices), only basic weapons and minimal armour. They would literally be used as Dirty Dozen types on suicide missions or cannon fodder.

Of course, on a personal gaming standpoint it would be nice to give them special rules to represent them. Perhaps you can have a special character who is a complete psychopath (I remember reading about one in the fluff where he was the last one standing and screaming!) who's a little bit tougher, or perhaps write in some rules so they become more stealthy (fitting for sneak thieves or burglar types)...those kind of things.

Obviously they'd have to be constructed so they didn't unbalance the game, but I don't think they are too outlandish. Has anyone else got any more ideas or thoughts on this?

Talkie Toaster
20-07-2005, 13:32
That was basically the idea behind the Last Chancers, if you can get hold of a copy of the 3rd ed IG codex it has rules for the unit consisting of 12 different last chancers each with special rules, rather than the build-your-own in the current codex.

Inq. Veltane
20-07-2005, 15:38
Of course, on a personal gaming standpoint it would be nice to give them special rules to represent them. Perhaps you can have a special character who is a complete psychopath (I remember reading about one in the fluff where he was the last one standing and screaming!) who's a little bit tougher, or perhaps write in some rules so they become more stealthy (fitting for sneak thieves or burglar types)...those kind of things.

Obviously they'd have to be constructed so they didn't unbalance the game, but I don't think they are too outlandish. Has anyone else got any more ideas or thoughts on this?

Thats what Doctrines are for. More stealthy? Sounds like infiltrate... Better at fighting? Sounds like Hardened Fighters... etc Individuals who are better than the masses are veteran sergeants or if you want them to be a little tougher (remember these guys are still only human) then an allied Inquisitor provides a suitable option. That way the army is characterful and legal; giving characters all sorts of unique rules is just a pain and almost always unbalanced even with the best intentions.

Azrael
20-07-2005, 15:44
I dont know, I like doing that, lets you expand, and use your fluff in a real way.

Mystic Skink
08-12-2005, 06:56
:chrome:
They're not civilian criminals, and having them stealing tanks and gear is a pretty ludicrous idea.

You do realise that in the real world, forces like the US army have a culture of theft. Equipement, is stolen all the time. Rip the faceplate with the serial# off, forge a few backdated maintinace forms with 'faceplate missing' for the serial number and its yours. Property books in most units are open to interpretation.

And yes, I've seen entire vehicles flat out disappear.

Given the level of 'who knows how many units of IG we have, much less what their exact equipment levels are' that is going on in the Imperium, I don't find the idea to be a streatch at all.

CassiusDraconis
08-12-2005, 07:43
Ok, don't have the rules handy, but don't Commisars still shoot a fleeing guardsmen to get a re-roll on leadership? If this is still the case I would use this to "count as" my penal legion and model little collars onto the miniatures. (I'm thinking Catachans in bright orange or black and white striped fatigues.) If the thought of bomb collars is too distateful to your fellow gamers then just say they are a suped up version of those collars for dogs that give a little shock when they bark or try to get past the "invisible fence" line. I think that's more efficient anyway, the Commisar can retrieve the collar and have it ready for the next "recruit". ;)

TWB
09-12-2005, 04:25
Ahem . . . I'll point you in the direction of This (http://www.warseer.com/forums/showpost.php?p=353706&postcount=68) as it might be of some use.

Kensai X
09-12-2005, 04:38
Hmm can someone explain to me the difference from the Last Chancers and most Penal Legions???

I can see the differences of the Savlar Chem Dogs and the Penal Legions, but get a bit more confused when involving the groups above...

Also wouldn't it be possible to impress standard criminals into a conscription army and just have extra commissars to support them... I though that was the whole idea of the Doctrine: Conscripts that they were ordinary peopel untrained in combat thrown into a cannon fodder position. (The conscipts doctrine doesn't give off the feel of a veteran army full of hard-bitten soldiers meant to live the rest of their lives fighting the enemies of the Imperium)

Mikari
12-12-2005, 21:02
Last chancers are given suicidal missions where if they live or die it doesn't matter. If they do EXTREMELY well they may have a chance (like 0.00001% chance) of getting let free. They're small elite squads rather than full legions.

Penal legions are in place of prisons. Anyone who isn't killed for their crimes is put in a penal legion and told to fight till they die. If they try to run away the collard they wear explodes battle royale style. Death is their only way out..

so basicly.

Chances = small elite soldiers
Penal = scum army.

boogle
12-12-2005, 21:03
however in 13th Legion, there is roughly a legion of them to start with