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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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  • 1 month later...
On 5/29/2022 at 9:13 AM, WrathOfTheLion said:

I like the idea of some forced conscripts impressed into service from the worlds that have been conquered or are in the Eye of Terror.

Lol like the scene from Storm of Iron where the Warsmith's Grand Company and traitor guard contingent force their prisoners to charge at the enemy with dummy rifles so they can calculate enemy firing arcs and waste enemy ammunition.

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4 hours ago, Pirate Empress said:

Lol like the scene from Storm of Iron where the Warsmith's Grand Company and traitor guard contingent force their prisoners to charge at the enemy with dummy rifles so they can calculate enemy firing arcs and waste enemy ammunition.

I can't stand McNeil most of the time, especially his HH Iron Warriors, but this almost makes me want to check this novel out. How prominent are the traitor guard in the book?

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On 7/7/2022 at 5:52 PM, sitnam said:

I can't stand McNeil most of the time, especially his HH Iron Warriors, but this almost makes me want to check this novel out. How prominent are the traitor guard in the book?

Been a while since I read it, they were just there really, I liked the story arc following one of the loyal Guardswomen who was taken as a slave and ends up.... Nah I aint spoiling it, just go read it this very second... 

 

Doe anybody know if she turned up in any other novels??

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I have a suspicion that Traitor guard will be in the new guard book. But it will be its own Sub faction. It's funny people bring up Storm of Iron, love that book I made my own Traitor Guard (which I use as cultists to this very day) that where inspired by what i read in that book 

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1 hour ago, Guzzlrr said:

I have a suspicion that Traitor guard will be in the new guard book. But it will be its own Sub faction. It's funny people bring up Storm of Iron, love that book I made my own Traitor Guard (which I use as cultists to this very day) that where inspired by what i read in that book 

I don't think that'll be the case, but danm GW would be smart if they did. Hell, include some expanded Brood Brothers rules too, for all those GSC players with BB collections 

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This is how I would handle it.

cultists, traitor guard, dark mechanicus all in ‘followers of chaos’ codex

focus it on the guard.

give them LRBT, chimera, and basilisk, then 2 or 3 chaos versions.

a walker similar to the penitent engine.

treat cultists like conscripts.

a unit of 5-10 very low level psykers who can do rituals to deny enemy powers or buff a friendly psyker’s casting.

dark skitarii and tech priests.

boom.

And some sort of unique super heavy/demon engine

 

also I think this will break with the general accepted idea for mutants, but I’d place them into the elites slot.

if they have guns still bad guns bad BS, so like BS5+ WS5+ S3, A3, 2-3 W M7”

then give them something like mutant limb S5 AP-1 D1 

+1 attack for each mutant in the unit.

and cannot fail a morale check.

 

Edited by Inquisitor_Lensoven
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I don't see them as any one thing, and I really like army lists (like the 6th/7th(?) edition Forge World lists) where they could be built and represented in different ways. The diversity of options (ramshackle rebels with awful gear vs. more organized military organizations) was great, but the designed inferiority to "real" guard stuck in my craw. I would prefer the former without the foregone conclusion of the latter. Daemonic elements make sense for some forces, as well, and could very much expand on the diversity of the subfaction.

Edited by Khornestar
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4 hours ago, Khornestar said:

but the designed inferiority to "real" guard stuck in my craw.

Mine too. I kind of get the idea when you compare a random Chaos militia to a war-world regiment like the Krieg or Cadians. But many (most?) of the guard regiments in the lore don't come from war-worlds, and not every Chaos guard force is an untrained militia. I don't mind Loyalists having easier access to heavy firepower, given their more stable supply lines. But the LD differences between AM and R&H was crap imo

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In regards to the complaints about leadership typically being lower than their loyalist counter parts, think of it this way, standard traitor guard don’t have quite the same level of discipline enforced on them because they are followers of chaos, and none of the chaos gods (at least none of the big 4) seem particularly concerned with order, and 2 actually seem to be very much against it. At least one against it, and one that would find it gets in the way.

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10 hours ago, Inquisitor_Lensoven said:

In regards to the complaints about leadership typically being lower than their loyalist counter parts, think of it this way, standard traitor guard don’t have quite the same level of discipline enforced on them because they are followers of chaos, and none of the chaos gods (at least none of the big 4) seem particularly concerned with order, and 2 actually seem to be very much against it. At least one against it, and one that would find it gets in the way.

Whilst the Chaos gods themselves don't wish for order, it doesn't preclude their mortal worshippers from enforcing discipline if they so choose. Traitor Guard should vary as much as actual guard. Some traitors will be Ill discplined, but others might be hardened by religious fervour, brutal enforcers, veteran status, or just plain ol training.

I think the leadership of the warband takes a big part in it. Even between, say, two Iron Warriors I can see a difference. One might not care anything for his mortals discipline, as long as they starve out the enemy guns. Another might take care for disciplined mortals, in order to maximize their effectiveness.

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