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#1
Old 06-12-2015, 11:35 AM
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How would our military stack up against the Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard?

I've been reading Dan Abnett's excellent Warhammer books and it made me wonder how our level of technology would do vs. an equal force of Imperial Guard. I know a few have power swords and whatnot, but mostly they're just humans with guns, like us.
#2
Old 06-12-2015, 11:52 AM
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I would have to give it to the Imperial Guard. The M36 lasgun is such a vastly superior weapon. Fully charged it can fire 10,000 times at a rate of 220 round per minute. It is capable of piercing space marine armour. It should probably be effective against lightly armour vehicles. The power packs can be overcharged as a grenade that could easily damage or destroy a modern tank.

The Imperial Guard don't really have a particular weakness to exploit. They have extremely high morale. They are familiar with combined arms. They have robust logistics. Perhaps their only flaw is that they are quite used to dying en masse and this has probably infilitrated their doctrine so they might be a little reckless.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 06-12-2015 at 11:53 AM.
#3
Old 06-12-2015, 11:53 AM
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I love the 40K universe and Dan Abnett in particular. Gaunt's Ghosts is fantastic.

With the technology that is available to them they should be unstoppable. But the idea of a combined arms army seems to have been lost! The Imperium is always willing to throw a few hundred thousand lives away instead of asking for armor support, or orbital bombardment, or artillery, or aircraft, or...

The power sword idea is one of my favorite things about the 40K universe, but in reality it's kind of silly. Ask the Japanese how well the Bonsai Charge worked in WWII. I'll take a gun over a sword any day.
#4
Old 06-12-2015, 11:58 AM
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#5
Old 06-12-2015, 12:01 PM
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They haven't lost the idea of combined arms. The standard Imperial Guard regiment order of battle has armour and artillery support. One reason it may not seem so prevalent is because they number in the hundreds of millions and massive losses are practically expected because of the nature of the enemy.

(note I have not read any of the books)
#6
Old 06-12-2015, 01:09 PM
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One baneblade could probably conquer a small country, considering it can stand toe to toe with anything the xenos can throw at it.
#7
Old 06-12-2015, 01:19 PM
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How are the Imp Guard fixed for anti-air? Cuz I dont remember seeing any on the field any of the times I played against them.
#8
Old 06-12-2015, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
How are the Imp Guard fixed for anti-air? Cuz I dont remember seeing any on the field any of the times I played against them.
I imagine that's mainly because 40K aircraft can be shot down by infantry in a pinch, but their dedicated AA units seem decent enough, as far as I can tell:
http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Hydra
#9
Old 06-12-2015, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Yeah, man. Those trees were just a breeze to mow down.

Now I have a vision of hordes of Japanese charging with little trimming scissors and misting bottles!

Anyway, from reading the Gaunt's Ghosts novels there rarely seemed to be real combined arms. They didn't have any integral artillery, armor, AA. Their only anti-armor were glorified LAWs (the Tank Fether). Maybe the Ghosts are a specialized Regiment that doesn't have all that.

I haven't read any of the published weapon specs or TO&E. Just the Abnett books. And in those the las rifles are not getting anywhere near 10,000 shots from a clip. He specifically talks about shooting at low power to conserve ammunition.

And they definitely can't pierce space marine armor. In Traitor General they get into a fight with 5 Traitor Marines and it's the power sword that makes the difference.
#10
Old 06-12-2015, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telperion View Post
One baneblade could probably conquer a small country, considering it can stand toe to toe with anything the xenos can throw at it.
Honestly, ELEVEN BARRELS OF HELL or not, those kinds of superheavy tanks would actually be the weakest link, and by all rights should be in the WH40K universe if there was such a thing as the squared cube law in its physics. There's just no way a vehicle that huge and heavy could operate for any length of time, or move without trashing the place. The early fluff said it was the size of a housing block, then it was retconned and reduced to a mere cathedral. In video games they look to be about the size of 4 regular battle tanks arrayed 2-by-2, and that's still hilariously impractical.

For that matter, the Leman Russ is a pretty crap tank design - much too high profile, good luck getting into a hull-down position. But of course, that's par for the course seeing as it is based on WW1-era tank designs, with sponsons and cupolas up to here.

Beyond that, I agree with Kelevra there, the IG of Gaunt's Ghosts seems to operate sort of like the Soviet army did at the dawn of WW2 : large pre-planned artillery barrages before an infantry-only offensive, reinforcements and armour support to be requested very high up the chain of command... IIRC the first book even has the infantry-only force attacking on one side, while a 100% tank column does another thing. Granted, that was sort of a deliberate setup to get Gaunt killed, but still. Inflexible and inefficient.
Again, that's all owing to the fact that the IG is largely based on the British army of WW1, with a side order of USSR.
#11
Old 06-12-2015, 02:22 PM
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All of that being said, I still have fond memories of choice games of Space Marine (that's proto-Epic for you lot wot should get off me lawn) where I managed to annihilate entire armies of orks in a couple of turns, just on the back of my artillery. All of the artillery. Basilisks, manticores, siege mortars, thud guns, mole mortars, heavy bombers, leviathans, cruise missile launchers, you name it - if it comes with an arty template, I'll take 10. No, make that 20.

So I guess what I'm saying is : if the operational objective is to capture a pockmarked wasteland of charred slag and finely powderized rubble, I'm your go-to guy.

Last edited by Kobal2; 06-12-2015 at 02:24 PM.
#12
Old 06-12-2015, 02:53 PM
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BTW I did wonder whether to put this in the Cafe or Games, so if a Mod feels it would work better there feel free to move it. I've seen a little of the tabletop game, but am by no means an expert.
#13
Old 06-12-2015, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelevra View Post

Now I have a vision of hordes of Japanese charging with little trimming scissors and misting bottles!

Anyway, from reading the Gaunt's Ghosts novels there rarely seemed to be real combined arms. They didn't have any integral artillery, armor, AA. Their only anti-armor were glorified LAWs (the Tank Fether). Maybe the Ghosts are a specialized Regiment that doesn't have all that.

I haven't read any of the published weapon specs or TO&E. Just the Abnett books. And in those the las rifles are not getting anywhere near 10,000 shots from a clip. He specifically talks about shooting at low power to conserve ammunition.

And they definitely can't pierce space marine armor. In Traitor General they get into a fight with 5 Traitor Marines and it's the power sword that makes the difference.
I think I made an error in the 10,000 number. I think that is the number of shots before the weapon needs to be replaced entirely (completely burnt out). Effective magazine size (since it isn't actually bullets) I think ranges from 50-150 before a recharge is needed, and I think that it is affected by the power of the shot.

Lasrifles can definitely pierce space marine armour. It just isn't easy, it is more or less a lucky shot to a weak point. The main point being, that a lasrifle against a modern army should be able to be somewhat effective up to lightly armoured vehicles. Modern infantry armour I don't think would last against lasrifle fire very well. And I'm just looking at the stock, most common lasrifle (I said M36 above, but I meant M35). That's ignoring all the exotic weapons.

All in all, I don't see any chance for a modern military force. Although it certainly wouldn't be bloodless for the Imperial Guard. Unlike say against Space Marines which would just wipe anything we have off the field in no time in the name of the Emperor.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 06-12-2015 at 03:08 PM.
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