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How do you envision Traitor Guard?


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So this topic has been rolling in my head for a while, and I’m a big R&H fan. The idea of hordes of mortals fighting separate from, alongside, and subservient too the Legions have held my fancy. One thing that excites me about R&H is the stupendous amount of backgrounds a warband could have.

 

Obviously we have cultists, though I feel like not enough has been done to distinguish cultists from traitor guardsman in the past. In my mind, cultists can be an insidious threat to topple the Imperium, but I also see cultists as being the more religious followers of the war bands.

 

Which leads us to Traitor Guard. Oftentimes they get thrown in there with cultists, but not a ton is done to distinguish them. Rabble level human stat lines, with perhaps a few weapons differences. Some lore breaks this mold pretty well: the infamous Blood Pact, the battle hardened Vraksians, the Scourge from Cadian Honour, etc. But I don’t feel we really get that without just producing the Astra Militarum in modern 40k

 

Proxying AM is fine, but whilst I feel that cultists and TG should be distinct, so should AM and TG. TG shouldn’t necessarily have the esoteric resources of Chaos, as I feel that fits Cultists better. But they should have elements the AM don’t get. Heavier access to Psykers, more mutants, etc. I think the latest Knights update really helped differentiate the loyalists from traitors, and I’d like to see this without just making TG cultists rabble in flak armor.

 

Furthermore, what place should God alignment and Legion allegiance play with Traitor Guard. As I said, I feel esoteric stuff should fit more into the cultist side, but it wouldn’t be chaos without someway of aligning to a god if you do choose. The Vraks stuff did a good job showing what R&H dedicated to Khorne and Nurgle would be like, but those are kind of easy. Khorne is in one way a war god, and what suits nurgle better then WMD wielding gas-masked troops

 

Militarized Slaanesh could be a fun idea to play around with, with drug addled shock troops and pompous, sadistic officers.

 

Tzeentch is a bit trickier, as his whole niche is probably the most removed from standard military procedure. Then again, that makes professional Tzeentch mortals so interesting to me. Perhaps they could be subtle, the type of traitor regiment that infiltrates Imperial lines and sows confusion. Perhaps they could revel in psychic mastery and mutation, various warp beasts and witches surrounded by tanks and artillery. Then again, witches and warp beasts for better into the cultist thing.

 

Just food for thought. The upcoming Cultista and Traitor Guard have really stoked my interests

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I'd do the following to distinguish Cultists and Traitor Guard:

 

Cultists:

  • Cultists are low value fodder, but have higher unit caps
  • could possibly deep strike to represent suddenly appearing from loyalist crowds, tunnels etc
  • low Ld, need support units to keep them in line
  • not affected by army-wide rules

Traitor Guard:

  • Traitor Guard are the base troop choice. Basically a 1:1 for Guard squads
  • can take full rifle or full pistol/CCW loadout, no mix and match
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I'd say that's reasonable and also mostly in line with existing R&H rules.

 

But I've never understood giving cultists or mutant rabble weak morale/Ld. They're always shown in the fluff to fight as crazy fanatics to the death, doing swarming banzai charges even against space marines. To me they should have poor shooting and melee, (assault 1-2, 18" S3 D1/ ccw) but be otherwise unhinged meatbags strong in big numbers, with thematic bonuses depending in the god they follow (or not).

 

Proper traitor militia it's another story, and those should be chaosy versions of IG regiments, more self-aware and ready to flee if things go wrong unless there are enforcers around (traitor commissars, CSM)

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I'd say that's reasonable and also mostly in line with existing R&H rules.

 

But I've never understood giving cultists or mutant rabble weak morale/Ld. They're always shown in the fluff to fight as crazy fanatics to the death, doing swarming banzai charges even against space marines. To me they should have poor shooting and melee, (assault 1-2, 18" S3 D1/ ccw) but be otherwise unhinged meatbags strong in big numbers, with thematic bonuses depending in the god they follow (or not).

 

Proper traitor militia it's another story, and those should be chaosy versions of IG regiments, more self-aware and ready to flee if things go wrong unless there are enforcers around (traitor commissars, CSM)

Yeah cultists should be ninda naff with the killing output, but make up for it with pure numbers (units of 30?) and make them fearless or something like that, TG just do Guard stuff with a bit of chaos flavour.

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There are some great comments here!

 

I think both the 3rd Edition Eye of Terror Traitor Guard list as well as the 7th Edition Vraks Chaos Militia list did a pretty good job of capturing the sheer variety of Traitor Guard out there.

 

I still love my Traitor Guard, but the 8th Edition and the 9th Edition Chaos Militia lists are much more bland by comparison.

 

My own bunch of Traitor Guard, the Nostroman 9th, aren't particularly motivated by any worship of Chaos (except for those lunatics in 7th Squad who worship Khorne). Instead they are a mercenary force with a deep historical hatred of the Empire. So they are most definitely professional soldiers.

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I think the best representation has to be the vraksian renegades and heretics. You have the elite devoted to chaos core, the militia trained by alpha legionnaires, the conscripted masses, the willing cultits. Then you have the mutant and abhuman elements. The 7th edition book for them was so fluffy and fun.

I think the new cultist models feel very much like born and raised in the eye of terror. The new killteam guys though are how i see traitor guard.

A bit rag tag, using melee and ranged. I'll be proxy building a traitor guard command squad in place of the new cultist models and be using gellerpox, beastmen and volkite cultist for the accursed guys.

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Posted (edited)

R&H was simply a fantastic army list, it's a shame to see it go.

 

I like the aesthetic they went with for the new Cultists, but I could see your point with them looking "home grown". I'm actually not a huge fan of the melee for the Traitor Guard, and I hope the squad can be kitted out mostly ranged. Leave the charging rabble to the cultists (unless your a Khornate)

Edited by sitnam
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For me something like this:

 

Cultists & mutans - horde part of the army. Should have trash WS/BS (they are not trained soldiers afterall) so I'd be even happy with 5+/5+ but dirt cheap so 4ppm. Should have bonuses for litanies to work on them (+1 for example, or a reroll) to emphasize how faith susceptible they are to demagogues and apostles. Should be able to take mark that make them a bit better for 1ppm. The regular +1T for MoN, +1 WS and attack for MoK and so on.

 

Renegade guard - guardsman statline and weapons options. Can take marks for the same effects as on cultists. Should have a different set of orders than imperial guard and less to choose from. I want everything here so artillery, tanks and specialists. 

 

My ideal army? 1/2 army is cutlists/renegade guard/mutant rabble, 1/4 is daemons and 1/4 is the leadership part of the army so Iron Warriors space marines with the heavy weapons. I do hope the new book will let me use a lot of the LatD part of the book without getting destroyed each game.

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As far as the low Ld goes, as long as you aren't viewing the losses to morale as strictly running away, it makes sense. Instead of them running away when failing morale tests, they are really just going into a berserk rage and wind up getting killed by the enemy because they aren't fighting smart- they leave wide open weaknesses because they are trying to just bash their enemy's skull in and the concept of defense goes out the window. 

 

My thoughts on an army would be to have the traitor guard fairly close to regular IG, maybe with a few weapons changes (I like the swapping for pistol and ccw idea), to represent the hardened, dedicated Chaos foot soldiers that are depicted like the Blood Pact, Sons of Sek, Vraksians, etc... The cultists are then the equivalent of conscripts- a larger model unit with inferior stats that is useful in swarming enemies/objectives. 

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