The Nichean Legionnaires (main thread) Aug 11, 2018 21:26:19 GMT -5 Rolling Thunder, Machine Gun Kelly, and 1 more like this
Post by Julian Sharps on Aug 11, 2018 21:26:19 GMT -5
Legio Nichea XXIII (The 23rd Nichean Legionnaires)
"Obedientiam victoriam, victoriam vita."
"Obedientiam victoriam, victoriam vita."
The Warhammer Archive Page
So, it's been a while since I was last active on the IGMB. Ever since the new Necromunda edition came out, I've wanted to start up a new Guard army using them as a light mechanized force. So, with the help of the girls of Clan Ecsher, and eventually the Catachans and the hulks of House Goliath, I present the Nichean Legionnaires.
This thread will serve as a project log where I will post my fluff and link to pictures of the modeling process, as well as army lists and battle reports.
While a corps of elite storm troopers augmenting a vast horde of semi-civilized cannon fodder is hardly original, I do hope that this proves to be an interesting project to follow and complete.
DISCLAIMER: I do not endorse any of the ideas which the Nicheans represent - in fact, I find most of them morally repugnant. I do, however, feel that the Nicheans are perfectly at home in the grimdark 40K universe and I find it interesting to explore what this sort of world might be like.
Nichea is home to a highly stratified society based on genetics - one’s personal genome dictates one’s position in society, which cannot be deviated from. Those with the means hire the services of Geneticians - experts in human genetics and genealogy - to arrange marriages with members of other families, and the elites can even afford to have “impurities” removed from their genome and replaced with favorable traits. The vast majority of Nicheans, considered degenerate by the elite, either toil their entire lives in the hellish factories or the backbreaking fields, or they eke out a meager existence raiding in the wastelands.
Upwards social mobility does not exist except by birthright - indeed, most Nicheans aren’t even considered for membership in the gentry or nobility because of their low social standing - but those with “inferior” genes are frequently sentenced to life in a lower class than their parents shortly after birth, and when they are kept it is usually because they have some genes worth passing on, they correct a gender imbalance, or they may prove useful as a source of spare organs in the event of illness, injury, or misfortune. Punishment for crimes often involves temporary or permanent demotions in status, or surgical removal of reproductive organs. Depending on the severity of the violation, one’s entire bloodline may be punished for an infraction by one of its members.
“Genetic degeneracy” is a crime on Nichea, committed by any person who conceals genetic impurities so as to maintain a higher social station than their genome would ordinarily allow. The guilty party, as well as anyone descended from them are executed, and anyone who knew of the crime and failed to report or resolve it are stripped of their status and reproductive organs and sentenced to spend the rest of their lives in menial service to whomever purchases the rights to their labor.
The elites of Nichea welcome the Imperial Tithe, as it gives the noble houses the opportunity to rid their lands of degenerates, as well as unwanted noble children who become officers. They treat the arrival of the tithe ships as an excuse to round up factory and farm workers, or clear out regions of wasteland for raiders. They are sent to concentration camps where they are trained to fight in the Imperial Guard. The training is grueling, and the weak and stupid quickly perish in the process.
Officially, Nichean Imperial Guard regiments are designated as penal legions, with a substantial abhuman presence. Ogryns are commonly employed as front line shock troops. Occasionally, when there are more nobles than available officer billets, these officer candidates form up elite strike teams to undertake special missions.
The elites of Nichean society are divided into noble houses, each of which controls interests in the hive cities that dot the planet’s surface. While each noble house controls at least one, the complex interactions between houses have resulted in houses owning enclaves in each others’ cities, and sometimes rival houses that share a common ally will vie for dominance.
On Nichea, alliances between noble houses are primarily forged because of genetic compatibility. Noble houses employ geneticians to examine their genealogical records to find the best genetic matches with members of other houses, and it is the desired genetic traits of potential offspring that drive houses to ally with each other so that marriages can be arranged.
Although the law specifies that genetic degeneracy is punishable by purging of the entire bloodline, each of the noble houses contains hereditary traits in their genomes that would qualify as degenerate, but they have been unsuccessful in removing. House Carmine, for example, is plagued with a genetic disposition toward diabetes, while House Evans has secret dungeons deep beneath their cities filled with kinsmen ravaged by dementia. Cystic fibrosis runs rampant throughout House Mendel, and House Benedict resorts to mass cloning to conceal their extensive progeria. The houses are able to conceal these dirty secrets through shrewd politicking, bribery, and genetic engineering to keep these traits recessive. Exposure of these secrets would be a scandal so great that it could result in the purging of multiple houses, due to millennia of intermarriage. Most houses are aware that the others have these traits, and as a result inter-house politics become complex webs of deception and sometimes even violence.
Slavery is an accepted practice on Nichea. In the hives, it is not uncommon for those of higher status to own and trade their lessers, although it is considered distasteful to directly associate with those beneath their immediate inferiors. Among the lower castes, they usually serve as laborers and organ donors, while among the middle, high, and elite castes, slaves are typically servants and tutors. In all castes, slaves that have been sterilized are often kept for sexual purposes, but legally, a master can use and dispose of their slaves any way they see fit. Out in the wasteland, those that are too weak to defend themselves may be taken as slaves by the stronger. Like in the cities, treatment of slaves in the wasteland varies by master, but usually slaves are well-treated - wastelanders care little for caste structure and social status beyond how one contributes to the community, and slavery often takes the form of a verbal contract in which the slave is protected and provided for by their master, in exchange for service to their master for a time, either specified or indefinite.
The Nichean Imperial Guard:
Unlike most regiments raised from Imperial planets, Nichea’s regiments do not represent the best troops that the planet has to offer. Rather, the PDF are an all-volunteer corps of elite shock troops that form the official “core” of the regiment.
Nichean Imperial Guard units are organized into legions of 5,000 shock troops and 45,000 troops levied during the planet’s periodic cullings. Each legion is commanded by a Legate, who has two Prefects who answer to him - one in command of the shock troops and the other the levies. The Prefects hold command over the tribunae, who each command 1,000-man cohorts. Directly beneath the Tribunae are the Centurions, 10 of whom answer to each tribunus. Each centurion commands a 100-man century, including 4 Principale who represent the most junior officers in the legion. The basic maneuver unit is a 10-man maniple led by a Decurion.
Discipline is extremely harsh in Nichean legions. While the shock troops are volunteers and benefit from extensive training and conditioning to help avoid disciplinary problems, the levies have almost none of that, making maimings, beatings by one’s fellows, torture, and executions common remedies in levy cohorts - punishments that the officers have no qualms about ordering as they typically consider levy troops a waste of resources and treat them accordingly.
Basic training for the levy troops is among the most harsh, brutal, and cruel in the Imperium. It is expected that 2/3 of levies will not survive training. When a new cohort is raised, each levy trainee is stripped of all possessions and surgically sterilized to prevent reproduction. They are issued dummy rifles and packs weighted to simulate full field kit, but they are required to spend the first 10 of their 12 weeks in training stark naked, to dehumanize and humiliate them even further.
Every day, the cohort is force-marched out to the training grounds in the wasteland and ruins of Nichea, and made to run barefoot 20 km across the rough and difficult terrain, through searing sunlight, abrasive sandstorms, noxious sewers, and dark, frigid ruins to the drill grounds, where they will receive rations and water if the top sergeant training them is satisfied with their performance. Any trainee who falls behind is left behind - this is to desensitize the trainees to the inevitable deaths of their comrades in battle. If a trainee stops to help a fallen comrade, they will both be flogged upon reaching the drill grounds, but this is the only situation where insubordination is not punished by death.
Upon reaching the drill grounds, the cohort breaks to repast before beginning marksmanship, bayonet and maneuver drills. Weapons are secured tightly and only issued to trainees actively drilling on the grounds. Any trainees that disobey orders while armed are summarily executed by their shock troop jailers. Insubordinate trainees are chained to posts and used as targets for the marksmanship and bayonet drills. Trainees who underperform in the drills are flogged. After six hours of grueling training, the cohort repasts again before they are marched back another 20 km to the barracks, where they repast for the last time before curfew. They get 8 hours of bunk time before reveille, when the entire ordeal is repeated the next day.
One day a week the cohort is granted a day to rest. If the Prefect finds their performance satisfactory, a supply of grain beer may be provided for their consumption. It is generally expected that they will feast, fight, drink, and have sex in order to relieve stress and boost morale. Although their regime is significantly relaxed on these days, their liberty is still heavily restricted and those who break restrictions are punished.
After the end of the 10th week, after the unfit have been culled from the ranks, the Nichean Imperial Guard finally go to the expense of providing the trainees with their uniforms and equipment. The training continues as brutally as before, but a pair of good boots and clothes to protect their flesh from the elements and the chafing of heavy packs are a balm that makes the training more bearable. With fewer insubordinate trainees, the marksmanship and bayonet drills utilize more training dummies than live targets. Specialized equipment training, including vehicle operation, is done in these last two weeks and continues while the legion is underway to its scheduled warzone.
Once the 12th week is completed, the cohort is assigned to a legion and ships out to whatever warzone the Departmento Munitorum assigns it. Casualty rates are alarmingly high - roughly on par with Valhallan and Krieg regiments - although neither of them have an officer corps that demonstrates such callous disdain for the very existence of their rank and file troops.
Abhumans are fairly common in Nichean cohorts - Ogryns in particular feature prominently in levy formations, although their existence has less to do with the environment of the planet itself and more to do with a Mechanicus genetic experiment that had unintended, if mostly benign, consequences.