Sunday, 16 February 2014

The Future of the Imperial Guard - 2014 Hopes

So the codex is due soon and I for one am excited. The current codex is almost fine for playing currently in my opinion, but there are lots that can be improved, one big thing in particular. What is that you ask? One word: Variety!

Variety? The guard is full of units, options and selections, how is variety a problem? Well hopefully this picture sums it up:

How it was and Should be

The thing I value the most about the Imperial Guard is the sheer variety that comes with each and every soldier. From Catachan to some animal skin wearing clubmen the guard have the options to use anything they can imagine as a force of humans under a banner. But this is sadly only the case from a modelling perspective. 

So to the point. It seems that GW has lost interest in promoting the huge opportunities for making the army, well, not Cadian. For a start the other night I found myself looking at the old imperial codices and what they had to offer. Here is my favourite page of any codex I have ever read:

See what I mean? Even though none of these regiments, with few exceptions wherever released as a model, they at least had a huge emphasis throughout the book. The model section had regiments all displayed on scenic boards rife with conversions and ideas for making your guard truly unique and so forth. The book is a great read and gives so much insight into the imperial guard that you wont see anywhere else. Also notice the different Rough Riders, the classified units and Tank riders. There is one Regiment in there that made me laugh, the regiment who captures "Eldar specimen for study". The image above is what I hope to see in the future for the Imperial Guard. Unrealistic I know, but I can hope.

How it is

But all of this has been lost since then. It seems Cadians are the only regiment left.

From a company perspective, it makes a bit of sense, but from the hobby perspective this saddens me greatly. The loss of the collectors edition guard really dawned this on me, along with the current codex not containing doctrines for example. The lack of conversion praise and ideas hurts as well. Its so bad that many new players don’t even know the Guard have anything not coming from Cadia.

Why si this the case? Well for a start its easier to make an army list now and it also means no regiment is better or worse than the other. But that leaves us with little inspiration to do more with our armies. Combine that with the GW ban on anything non GW (halting conversions that where once praised) and we are left with an army, which looks the same as the one down the road (except the colour difference). 


The new codex is coming soon (apparently) and I have high hopes for the option to customize your force to suit well anything you fancy. Something like chapter tactics will be greatly accepted! Or if the codex had "Vanilla" forces then a supplement with rules for creating your own regiment would be amazing. A few box sets with different heads and torsos would do much to add to variety and bring an age where guard armies not only could look different but behave differently on the field. 

The biggest reason I don’t buy from GW is simply because it costs far more than its worth to do something full of character or unique with their current set up. Thankfully 3rd Party models make this problem easy. But that doesn’t solve the issue of the younger, newer players who cant do this (due to playing at a GW where this is not allowed, or due to not having the ability to find and purchase from these companies) so most of the fan base is stuck with Cadians or Catachans. The lucky ones have Forge World Variants or the old collectors models but I find these are few and far between.


The biggest fear I have is that the guard ALL. BECOME. CAAAAADIAN. 

Yes that’s right. Far fetched I know but every step taken with the guard seems to be about forcing everyone into the Cadian ranks. To top it off it concerns me that chances are there will be many people who simply wont notice as most people only ever had Cadians now days any way.

Resist the Trend!

So lets hope that GW expands its regiment selection, if not by models but at least by fluff and rules. Even if they make a company rule that guard players can use 3rd party heads it would be amazing. Cadians have the unrivalled ability to suit most heads and look drastically different! 

Imagine if fielding your Steel Legion meant something in the game, or if being Tallarn had an effect and the list goes on. Even if they give the job to Forge World (who do some cool army lists) I would be happy. 

Seeing these models for the first time many years ago is what drove me to make my Guard unique.

If they fail to add to their range, or worse take away what they have got, then they are just handing business to other companies who make some amazing heroic scale models. 

Of course this is based on nothing but my opinion. Lets just hope we don’t end up with a Cadian Codex and Catachan supplement only!

I really encourage anybody wanting to do the Imperial Guard to shop around, look for a theme that interests you and start converting. You may not even have to convert! Wether it’s Samurai Guardsmen, American Indian Guardsmen, Lizardmen Guardsmen, Cyborgs, Romans and anything else you can imagine! The possibilities are endless and that’s what playing as the Imperial Guard is really about. 

If you have an idea for a guard regiment but stuck on where to find bits and pieces, let me know. I'll help you find minis and advise you on scale etc to the best of my knowledge (my wallet gets around in the hobby industry). Just remember a head swap is all it takes to make those Cadian Clones stand out. 

Some random conversions from Google: 


  1. I couldn't agree more and while the current codex is a solid competitive codex, it is very middle of the road. I would love a flavorful codex that brought back different regiment options and tactics/drawbacks. I think this may be likely. We will see, Space Marines got it by Tyranids did not get Hive Fleet Strains, so IG could get it or it may not.

    Now for models, I would doubt that anyhting more than the current Catachan/Cadian plastics will be done. Maybe one more plastic squad kit. Other than that I think they are going to rely on FW to produce different models, they already have DKK, Elysians, and Tallarn. With FW being available(supposedly) on GWs main site, the access to them will be easier and give players and option to expand or diversify their armies beyond Catachan/Cadian. Will be interesting to see.

    Good Luck with the blog, best advice is to just stick with it and post what you like posting about, not what people want to see. You can tell when its something you care about and not something you feel you have to talk about. :)

    1. Cheers, Nice to know im on the right track :)

      As for the future, like you I have my doubts. But until FW gets more accessible I don't see it having a big impact on Imperial Guard players. If they happened to be featured in the Imperial Guard codex (model wise) then we may very well see a growth in the armies from there.

      I think the best we can hope for is the Space Marine treatment, but like you said, the Tyranids didnt get that luxury. So I guess we wait and see, maybe they will do something like they had done with the Vostroyans if we are lucky.

      Yet again cheers, I also enjoy reading your blog so keep that up also. :)

  2. I have been tooling around with some of the ideas you have posted, and in fact have indeed talked to you about the one that has stuck: Samurai Guard, so, like you, I hope to the god emperor that they bring back some of the old codex stuff.

    1. Ahhh awesome, I remember :) and boy do I agree. It would make me one happy commander haha. Also have you seen this?

      Its a good guide to make some. You'll have to give me pics when you are done! Would be so cool to see.