Thursday, November 27, 2008

It begins

So it begins... I guess I'll kick this off with some 40k, which is likely to be the most common thing here. I present... my burgeoning Imperial Guard army, for Warhammer 40000, the Yukoni 23rd Line Infantry. Yes, they're thinly veiled World War 1-era Canadians. Only in space. With laser guns. Go me.

Here's some selected pictures of the progress thus far.

The prototype trooper so far, before paint:

And after paint:

And here's his squadmates, the men of the 23rd Line Infantry, 5th Battalion, Dog Company, Red Platoon, A Squad.

And just in case you enjoy big walls of text, here's the fluff (that's background fiction material to those uninitiated in the arcane sub-language of the Warhammer nerd) for the Yukoni. As a side note, to provide some context, the universe this is set in takes place in the year 40,999, and humanity has spread across the entire galaxy and diversified, though it is ruled by the monolithic Imperium of Man. The Praetorians are a thinly veiled version of Redcoats in Space, specifically British infantry from the Boer and Zulu Wars. Because I like science-fiction and nationalism, I made a thinly veiled version of Canada in Space. It seemed natural.

Regiments of Renown: The Yukoni Line Infantry

Originally settled in late M40 by long-reaching Praetorian colonists, the Yukoni system is now the capital of a confederation of colony worlds joined by a common heritage known as the Dominion of Yukoni. Many of these worlds remain as a harsh frontier, and the demands of life on the edge of the galaxy have produced a people that are independent, resourceful and prime candidates for inclusion in the Imperial Guard.

The regiments of the Yukoni trace their lineage back to the PDF formations that were instrumental in expanding and protecting the colonies from innumerable xeno and heretical threats. Eventually, after the suppression a Chaos-infested rebellion from thirteen of the newly founded colonies, the martial prowess of the PDF regiments were noticed by Segmentum Command and the first Imperial Guard regiments were raised from Yukoni, largely made up of veteran PDF troopers and officers.

By now, the Dominion of Yukoni is a collection of systems and colonies ruled from Yukoni Prime and independent from Praetoria in all but ceremony. The Governor-General is in name a regent for the lords of Praetoria but an Imperial sub-sector governor in practice. Despite this, the Yukoni still point to their Praetorian heritage with pride, and good relations still exist between the two states.

Recruitment & Training
Where the Praetorian Guard are recruited from crime-toughened hive gangers the Yukoni are frontiersmen, hunters and survivalists who have carved a prosperous home from the wilds at the edge of the galaxy. Although many of the Yukoni military traditions and training have their roots in Praetoria, the intervening centuries have evolved those into something uniquely Yukoni.

Like most planets in the Imperium, the Yukoni have conscription to fill their ranks and tithes. In addition, many troopers are volunteers, following patriotism or family tradition into the Imperial Guard. Officers and NCOs are frequently promoted from the PDF into active service. Once recruited, the Yukoni regiments are trained in the variety of environments available in the colonies, and are extensively drilled in company- and battallion-level tactics. Company commanders in particular are expected to be intelligent leaders, capable of initiative and rapid decision-making.

A notable habit of the Yukoni regiments is their focus on continued learning and adaptation. Actions are examined in depth by officers and NCOs, lessons extracted and doctrinal adjustment made and forwarded to the Yukoni War College for further examination. One of the unofficial mottoes of the Yukoni regiments is "Never stop training". Indeed, many regimental commanders regard battle as opportunities for further training, and new recruits frequently find their "on the job training" consists of trench raids, long-range patrols and close quarters fighting.

Battle Style
Like the Praetorians, the Yukoni regiments rely on their infantry to win the day. However, where the rigid and draconian discipline of the Praetorian Guard requires stiff and ponderous tactics, the frontier-born Yukoni have developed a reputation as hard-nosed shock troops. This reputation has been proven repeatedly in the closing days of M41 in battles like the Evacuation of Toors, the Battle of Governorston Heights and the sack of Fort Ilghur.

The Yukoni prefer to practice a combined-arms approach to warfare, adding cavalry, armour and abhuman support to a solid core of infantry. The varied planets of the Yukoni division are home to a sizable population of Ogryns who are recruited into the two Abhuman Support Battalions and distributed in squad- and platoon-level strengths to support line infantry regiments. Additionally, the Yukoni have several Rough Rider regiments, including the Imperial Yukoni Dragoons and Lord-General Brock's Horse, that they field as lancers and dragoons for light support of the infantry, or as massed formations for rapid assaults and disruption of enemy positions in preparation for infantry advance.

Armour is relatively rare among the Yukoni, not having access to the heavy manufactora necessary for building large formations of tanks. The single Yukoni Heavy Armour Regiment is distributed across their warzones, and the two Light Armour Regiments consist of Sentinels, Salamanders and light wheeled vehicles of local manufacture. Artillery support generally takes the form of static emplacements, with self-propelled guns like Basilisks and Griffons being the most common form of Yukoni armour.

Infantry regiments are broken down into Heavy, Light, Line and Support with Line being by far the most common. Heavy Infantry Regiments are mechanized formations, equipped with Chimeras. Light Infantry regiments, like the infamous Yukoni Special Mountain Corps and the secretive Yukoni Pathfinders, are primarily elite recon and special operations regiments. Support Regiments can be anything from rear-echelon non-combat formations to heavy weapon regiments.

Line Regiments, making up over 80% of the Yukoni infantry forces, are the most well-known of the Yukoni. Each regiment usually recruits principally from a single system or group of colonies and is broken down into six battalions which are numbered 1 through 6. The first five battalions are the main combat force, while the sixth is a paper battalion that contains additional support staff, training officers and NCOs and any in-training inductees. The core of a Line Infantry battalion are its five Infantry Companies, lettered A through E. Each of these companies are commanded by a Major, or a junior Colonel in rare cases, and are broken down into five Infantry Platoons, denoted by colour (Red, Green, Blue, Orange and Black) and further divided into a command squad and five lettered infantry squads. In addition to the Infantry Platoons, the Command Platoon contains a number of heavy weapon support squads, especially man-portable field mortars.

After the lettered companies are the two Flank Companies, the Light Company and Grenadiers. Grenadiers are the elite of a battalion, and are equipped and trained in imitation of Storm Troopers. Light Companies, on the other hand, are somewhat confusingly named, as they are mechanized and armoured recon, made up entirely of what would in other regiments be called Armoured Fist squads and replacing heavy weapon support squads with Sentinel squadrons. Light Companies are expected to be the best and brightest of a battalion, and command of one is considered by many a logical progression to higher positions.

Finally, there is the Battalion Command Company. Most of the strength of this company is the battalion's non-combatant support staff, but will also contain the battalion commanding officer, a colonel or more commonly a brigadier, and his command platoon, as well as any battle-hardened veterans the CO has promoted to his "life company".

Despite, or perhaps because of, their fierce performance on the battlefield, their reputation as storm troops and their frontier upbringing, the Yukoni regiments are frequently plagued by discipline problems, and commissars are a common sight in the regiments. Most battalion and regimental commanding officers try to ensure a ration of one commissar to every platoon commander, although many hard-liner commissars tend to die heroically on the battlefield with disturbing frequency. Those political officers who serve long-term with the Yukoni depending on winning their respect on the field and remaining impartial and even-handed, for the Yukoni loathe arbitrary authority.

Appearance & Uniform
Almost all Yukoni equipment is of local manufacture. In contrast to the sharp and distinctive uniforms of the Praetorians, Yukoni battle dress is almost universally a drab khaki or dark green, with camouflage being rare outside of Light Infantry Regiments. They typically go into battle prepared for a lengthy time in the field, wearing packs and webbing.

Their body armour consists of plate covering the torso, made of steel layered over flak armour, with heavy pauldrons of the same construction and the local wide-rimmed MkI Broadiny helmet. NCOs are issued with and permitted to wear field caps while peaked caps are reserved for officers and commissars, though some officers.

Weapons & Equipment
The main weapon of the Yukoni Infantry is the M40 Rosch MkIII lasrifle, a longer, heavier weapon than the ubiquitous Kantrael short-pattern weapon that trades the Kantrael's high rate of fire for better stopping power and ease of manufacture in the Yukoni forges. The Rosch is capable of utilizing any regulation Munitorum power clip, with the twenty-shot Yukoni variant being the most commonly issued. The Rosch lasrifle mounts a twelve-inch knife-form bayonet.

In addition to rifle and bayonet, Line Infantry Guardsmen are commonly issued with frag grenades and trench spikes when close quarters fighting is expected; most of them are never returned to battalion quartermasters and end up supplementing every Guardsman's personal and trophy weapons.

Most officers and NCOs are issued with personal side-arms, usually the long-barreled M39 Weblong pattern, though many Yukoni throughout the ranks supplement their principal weaponry with personal or trophy solid-slug sidearms.

Beyond the standard Yukoni equipment, squads are most commonly issued with a meltagun, which are in plentiful supply from the Subdury Aleph Forge World where they are manufactured for a nearby Astartes Chapter, for close-range support against tanks and fixed positions. Slightly less common are flamers and grenade launchers, with the latter more commonly seen in Grenadier and Heavy Infantry squads, and the former in Light Line Infantry squads.

Heavy weapons are relatively rare among Line Infantry squads, usually reserved for support weapon squads. When they are issued, usually no more than one or two to a platoon, it is the standard Munitorum issued rocket launcher or autocannon. The Yukoni also make widespread use of light field mortars.

Notable Regiment Members and Actions

One of the most famous Yukoni Regiments is the 23rd (Brock's Own) Line Infantry. They have a proud history stretching back to the 33rd Yukoni PDF who fought beside the ancient hero General-Militant Brock in defense of the Yukoni heartlands against the rebellious colonies, and it their own Sergeant MacDonnell who carried Brock's colours up Governorston Heights and fell beside the great general.

More recently, all five battalions of the 23rd were part of the First Yukoni Expedition Force at the taking of Fort Ilghur, fighting alongside and earning the praise of the Astartes in the storming of the once-impregnable fortress. A particular hero of the campaign was then-Captain Michael Brown, in command of the Fifth Battalion's Light Company, who was at the forefront of the fight for the East Breach and the taking of the Olympus Bastion, as well as several other actions prior to the beginning of the seige. Gravely wounded in the final hours of the siege, Brown was subsequently awarded the Medallion Crimson, promoted to Major and given command of the hard-fighting 5th Battalion D "Dog" Company.

The Yukoni Pathfinders and Special Mountain Corps are the two most famous of the Yukoni Light Infantry Regiments. The Pathfinders are principally airborne troops, and have fought in several planetary and urban assaults well ahead of the main forces, carrying out sabotage, beachhead assaults and other desperate missions behind enemy lines. The infamous Special Mountain Corps, on the other hand, are elite commandos frequently tasked with ultra-long-range reconnaissance, kidnapping, guerrilla warfare and assassination. They also have a standing agreement with several Inquisitors operating in the area to second squads or whole battalions when asked. Some of the Mountaineers have even survived to tell absolutely nothing of these desperate missions.

The two Ogryns regiments, the 1st Abhuman Support and the Imperial Yukoni Abhumans, enjoy a level of respect uncommon among the armed services of the Imperium. Both regiments have been present at nearly all of the most famous Yukoni victories, and the clannish Ogryns they recruit from are accustomed to living and working alongside Yukoni settlers and pioneers across the Dominion.


  1. I am sorry but your big block of text was way too long for me to read. My apologies.

    However, those pics of your little guys turned out really well, I didn't know you'd painted some yet, and they look really good! <3

  2. Also, I cannot figure out how to follow your blog because you don't have a convenient link like I do. You should change that.

  3. There is a piece of bad gramer in the last sentence about the peaked caps.

    Also I suppose this has an army list attached to it. You don't have early access do you?

    What no Russes? No Forgeworld do dads, just lots of grunts with mealtas backed up by mortar after mortar. Do you have to use FW rules now for the Griffon? Do you have one of the old models?

    I always liked the mortar, plus the grenade launcher as it has superior range. Can you have two special weapons per squad if you have no heavy? I should probably check, I own the IG codex. In some future time when everything is perfect maybe I'll do some rebel guard.

    I'm good at killing guard, bad news for you!


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