Friday, 28 September 2012

The Founding of Seventh Company

Hi everybody!  You may have noticed my posting hasn't been quite as frequent as once it was - but I'm happy to say that I've got a number of projects on the go now that I'll be able to share.  My main one is the Sentinels - hopefully all painted up by Monday.  But also I've been doing some work on my 'Mordian'-themed army of Palladian Guardsmen, after being inspired by a book I read recently.  So while I haven't organised the fluff I've been working on or typed it up, I'm going to share a little bit about the company's origins.



First off, quick explanatory note: previously, I've been calling the Imperial Guard army the 1/7th Company.  After digging back a bit through my own fluff, I realised this was a mistake and needed renaming the 122/7th Company.  Anyone not interested in fluff should just accept it and ignore this convoluted explanation, and skip to the next paragraph but the actual reason is:

  • Palladian regiments have 10 battalions
  • Each battalion has 6 companies, numbered sequentially
  • So 1 Battalion has 1-6 Coy, 2 Battalion has 7-12 Coy, and so on
  • If a unit gets wiped out, usually it just gets refounded
  • Unless it's from the First Regiment - they don't refound companies, they create new ones with their own number
  • That means the first company in the First Regiment to be annihilated would be refounded as the 61/1st Coy
  • Because 61 represents the unit's age (1-60 being the original companies - the 'First Foundings', to use a Space Marine analogy)
  • And the 1 represents the units original place in the regiment for admin purposes.  So, you can still tell the 61/1st is in First Battalion, and say the 62/11th would be Second Battalion
  • Since my first Imperial Guard army was the 121/52 Coy (Ninth Battalion), this new army is the next founding, the 122/7 Coy (Second Battalion)
Wow!  So there's a reason to my madness.  Even if the reason is madder than the madness it's justifying.  So, now onto the fluff itself.  I'm going to trim it down a bit, and I appreciate it's a bit wordy (sorry - value-for-money), but just dip in and out of the paragraphs and see if you like anything.
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The colours of 7 Company, Second Batallion, were laid down in M34 upon the founding of the Lutherian Life-Guards Company.  It was upon Admiral Luther’s orders that his Lutherian Guardsmen be used to found a second company.  The first, the Lutherian Guard, would be used as elite shock troops and count as part of Palladia’s tithe to the Imperial Guard.  The second, the Lutherian Life-Guards, would form the core of the P. D. F. and be charged with guarding the Imperial Governor and Palace.  Although the structure of the Palladian Guard and Praetorian regiment have changed, these two companies still exist today as battalions of the Praetorian Guard, as the 1st and 7th Companies respectively.  7 (Pioneer) Company had existed in an unbroken lineage for over 6,700 years.

As the senior company of the Life-Guards Batallion, the majority of 7 Company’s duties have been ceremonial.  For six millenia, the company carried out the thrice-daily Muster of the Guard in front of the Imperial Palace.  The First and Third Platoons guard the personage of the Governor and his family within the palace, and traditionally the post of the First Platoon’s Commander is also that of the Governor’s Chief of Security.  

During the Black Crusade, the company was deployed in combat for the first time when agents of the Ruinous Powers attempted to sieze the Imperial Palace.  In response, all the elements of the Praetorian Guard were deployed in the Palladian captial itself - the first time since the earliest days of Palladia’s history that the regiment has fought together.  Along with several other companies, and almost a third of a million men, 7th Company was wiped out on the steps of the palace itself, approximately M41.999/936.  Due to the nature of the fighting and the ad-hoc ‘combat groups’ that were formed by officers upon their own initiative during lulls in the fighting, no-one is exactly sure as to the date and location of the company’s annihilation and the colours were never recovered, even when the Quadras Imperialis was finally retaken.  Any surviving personnel would have been transferred to the regiments of the officers who happened to be leading them at the battle’s end in the administrative chaos that ensued.

Unusually for such a senior company, the Palladian Senate granted authority to recruit directly from the M42.000 draft, rather than transfer in elite personel from other regiments, due to the severe casualties.  The company was refounded as 122/7 (Pioneer) Company, along with six other Praetorian companies, and thousands of other legionary and auxiliary units.  On St. Elutor’s Day of that year, the Departmento Munitorium published the manning list for 122/7 Coy.

Company Commander .. .. .. .. Capt. Vestigus
Executive Officer .. .. .. ..     Maj. Norbanus
Quartermaster .. .. .. ..     Capt. de la Renotiere (c.A.)

Company Physician          .. .. .. 1/O. Cursor the Elder
Company Paymaster .. .. .. 2/O. Padius
Company Armsman .. .. .. Ch/Sgt. Octavius 
1 Platoon Commander .. .. .. 1st. Lieut. Cincinatus
2 Platoon Commander .. .. .. 2d. Lieut. Laeanus

The formal date of founding was listed as the following day; 000.M42/655, by the conventional Imperial Date.  The company’s officers, all transferred from other regiments, assembled at the batallion headquarters at the Imperial Palace and were briefed by Col. Scipio Edethoria and Maj. Biblius, before being despatched to Perseus to conduct training with the new recruits.  Due to higher instruction, rather than training as a sentinel company, 122/7 was trained as a regular infantry combat pioneer unit in preparation for a specific deployment.  Their duties at the Imperial Palace would be assumed by 124/8 Company, also in training at that time.

During the training period the company was noted for its high discipline rate.  During the six-month course, there were 2 executions, 2 committals to detention, 13 floggings, 19 discharges into penal regiments and 30 into other Legionary regiments.  Only around half of the original intake survived to graduate on the company’s founding parade, 001.M42/135.  This has subsequently been attributed to a poor selection of recruitment areas in the hive, since the inductees were drawn from an arbitrary boundry which crossed several gang boundries, resulting in rival gangers being sent into the same squads.  Despite efforts to instil discipline, instead men were transfered such that, as far as possible, rival gangers were kept in seperate platoons.  A tense, but peaceful rivalry ensued between the two platoons.

After founding, the 122/7 Company was entrained immediately at Perseus and despatched to Prosan, the Cadian training moon where it continued its training with members of the Cadian Shock Troops.  With several extended furloughs for the officers, and duties as part of the training staff for the men, the unit spent a total of eight years training and preparing for its future deployment.  122/7 Company was unexpectedly called into combat when it was ordered to disarm a mutinous platoon from the Catachan XV regiment, whose members had murdered a Commissar after not receiving extra planetary pay.  Despite suffering six killed and three wounded in assaulting the platoon’s hab-block, the 122/7 Company and Capt. Vestigus in particular were commended for their prompt employment of heavy weapons, preventing further loss of life.

After almost a decade of service on Prosan, Capt. Vestigus was promoted to Major and given command of 5 Bn, VIII Pannoniorium c.P and transferred out of the company.  His transfer came as a blow to the morale of the company who had come to respect their commander despite the sometimes tedious nature of their deployment.  His replacement was Brevet-Capt. Lucius Nero, the first officer in the Praetorian Regiment to be commissioned from the ranks in over two hundred years.  His appointment, 988/009.M42, also signalled the end of the company’s time on Prosan as it was recalled, first to Palladia and then to Edethor Luna, where the Third Edethorian War had just concluded.  They were placed under the personal authority of Inquisitor Cytheria, who had requested a unit of the indigenous force several years prior - a request which had led to 122/7 Coy’s unusual deployment and extended training period.

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That's it!  For those who read it, thank you and as a reward please feel free to use/steal this for your own armies.  Questions and comments are more than welcome, I'm sure there are a few continuity errors in there!  And I promise it's back to lots of lovely pictures on Monday for Sentinels :) also, there is another, totally new historical project (if that's not an oxymoron) which is lurking just over the horizon, stay tuned for that in the coming weeks ... and of course I'll be continuing this fluff at the same time; I hope to write and post it a bit at a time, so you can read the whole think in chunks.  Thanks again for stopping by, and until next time ...

The Colonel

8 comments:

  1. bloody heck mate, you do like to get into detail, don't you?
    As with what I've read of yer book, thoroughly enjoyable read. Your dedication to creating a believable military background to your miniatures in this setting is truely astounding sir.

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  2. You sir, have taken what i sought to do with my armies. and blown it into epic proportions, beyond my wildest dreaming. Well done !

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  3. Its so cool that you have this full background mate - even if I did struggle with some of your numbering logic.

    I think bringing the fluff to the table is a great way to immerse youreself into the models rather and experience - a bit like an RPG.

    Cheers for sharing mate.

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  4. Thanks everybody for reading, and for the comments:

    @Dai: I really do. I like the detain but this sort of stuff has to be taken with a bit of suspension of disbelief - there is stuff in there that's not going to quite fit, and I'm sure over the years I've contradicted myself once or twice. But it's not there as a Codex book, it's there so you can get the feel of it, rather than actually reading the thing cover to cover. As it happens, I enjoy writing them so everybody wins! Thanks for the kind words.

    @Impcommander: Thanks very much! Well, I of course have more if you fancy reading it :) email me (colonelscipio@yahoo.co.uk) and I'll send along the rest. Incidentally, I checked out your site and the Background Booklet for your setting is incredible stuff! Still reading through it, looks amazing!

    @Rogue Pom: Exactly so - with all the house rules me and Headologist have, along with our shared attitude, a game of 40K does have a very strong RPG feel to it. It makes the games so much more enjoyable to know they are not just models, but three dimensional characters like in an RPG. And don't worry about the over-complicated numbering system - it was SO over-complicated that it took me a year before I noticed that my old designation was wrong by my own rules, hence the change!

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  5. Ha, awesome! Thoroughly enjoyed that. I think it is very humorous that you had the numbering wrong 'by your own rules', but not surprising -its pretty deep.
    Its perfectly fine to have contradictions here and there in the fluff. I'm sure that the 'actual' Guard book keeping in 40k would be full of mistakes and errors anyway so it makes it more realistic.
    I have read your 'tomb' twice now and flicked through it several other times. It really is top notch.
    "new historical project"...! I cant wait to see what is going to come next from that crazy, hysterical historical mind of yours! :)

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    1. That's a good point - the Imperium isn't the most joined-up or well-administered unit after all! And thanks for the feedback on the book :) glad you enjoyed. Stay tuned, should be coming next week...

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  6. Excellent. I can imagine the Departmento Munitorium issuing numbers to all and sundry by slightly different system depending on the Overseer in charge of numbering military formaitons that decade. And of course, even if a subsequent Overseer even notices the 'mistake' and even rarer, decided to do something about it, the correction would then have to try to follow the misnumbered unit around the warzones of the 41st Millenium.

    I can imagine them rouled back for a bit of R&R, being re-numbered and issued with 600 sets of scuba gear because someone miswrote a number.

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    1. Exactly - that's the stuff! There's a book called K1 - The First Hundred Thousand (about one of the Scottish units in Kitchener's army) which was a big inspiration for me, crammed full of real-life incidents from WW1 just like that. Thenks for the comment!

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