“For every battle honor won a thousand heroes die – alone, unsung, and unremembered.”
-Catechism of the Imperial Guard
Last night while I was falling asleep I thought about my post regarding the Unsung, and realized that the original post, to which it referred, had been on Facebook, not on this website. So, here’s the bit on my Imperial Guard unit – the Unsung.
I have always loved the Guard, to way back in the old Rogue Trader days. The idea of a mass of guys who weren’t superhuman like Space Marines having to go up against crazy alien stuff like Eldar and Orks and Chaos, generally armed with substandard (in game terms) lasguns, a few heavy weapons, and morale that was low enough that failing morale checks was actually possible, intrigued me. When GW revamped the Guard and turned it into a tank army with a few guys who might occasionally get out of their APC to shoot something, I was very disappointed. I didn’t want a mechanized Guard army – I wanted a big mass of guys on foot, with maybe a vehicle or two for support.
(ASIDE: Dear GW – putting out a whole line of artillery vehicles for the Guard was stupid. Artillery belongs well behind the lines. If you wanted to do stuff that wasn’t tanks, you should have gone for assault guns and SPGs)
I also very much loved the abhumans. I had a whole bunch of Beastmen that I had painted up for my old Guard unit. These had disappeared, along with Squats, Medics, Jetbikes, Thudd Guns, Rapiers, Tarantulas, Commissar Cadet Squads, Robots, and Roughriders with lasguns. I missed them.
So when I decided to put together a Guard unit again, just to have something to paint, I decided I wanted to add in as many elements as possible. The unit was for friendly gaming only (I don’t do tourneys because while the vast majority of people are nice, there is inevitably the one who thinks that taunting and trash talking for the entire game gives some sort of “psychological edge”, and I don’t really feel like having my convention experience marred by murder charges) so I figured I could proxy models as I liked, so long as I was clear with my opponent about what they were.
Thus – the Unsung were born.
The Unsung started out as an Imperial Guard Abhuman company. They happened to be doing a tour in the Squat worlds when the Tyranids showed up*. The unit got busted up, managed to reform with a bunch of other rag-end refugees, and would have been obliterated along with everyone else had they not been snagged by a mysterious Rogue Trader vessel. Now they have been claimed as part of the Rogue Trader’s entourage and essentially do what the Rogue Trader tells them to do (I have a figure in mind for the Rogue Trader if I can ever figure out how to include it). They travel from world to world, obviously looking for something, but are pretty much kept in the dark about their shadowy master’s true goals.
Because of the nature of what they do, who they do it for, and where they do it, they have adopted the name “The Unsung” They wear no unit badges, bear no unit designations, carry no flags. They all know that they will die alone – probably outside the light of the Emperor’s grace.
I want the unit to have a very mixed look, and to use a lot of the old GW models. Tactical squads will generally be human, heavy- and special weapons squads will be squats. I’ll eventually fill in the abhuman contingent with ratlings and ogryn, and I have what I think will be an absolutely awesome mixed bag of old GW models to use as a conscript unit. I have plans for a Stormtrooper unit made up of Commissar Cadets, a Veteran unit made up of Beastmen (led by an Imperial Priest modeled from a Warhammer flagellent!), and a few other odds and ends as well.
For now, at the 1,000 point mark, the unit doesn’t have quite the feel that I hope it will have as it gets bigger (the conscript squad will certainly change that, and it should be coming at the 1,500 point level), but I think it is coming out well.
*The somewhat tongue-in-cheek GW explanation for why Squats don’t show up anymore is that the Tyranids came along and ate them all.