Monday, 21 October 2013

Who Are The Palladian Guard: The Soldiers

My last fluff update was an overview of the current situation on and around Palladia.  Now, we're going to go a bit more into detail with the lives of the ordinary Palladian soldiers.  A lot of the fluff focuses on the commanders and heroes, so this will give you a better idea of what it's like to be a PBI in the Palladian Guard.

Beginnings

Palladians are recruited from hives.  The vast majority end up in the PDF - they do a short training program, then go back to work in manufactories.  They then get mobilised in the event of a major conflict, and are known as the Auxiliary Regiments.  The Imperial Guard proper, ie what counts as part of the tithe, are the minority of volunteers who join the Legionary Regiments.

To put it bluntly, Palladians are all gangers.  The hive-worlds themselves are not dissimilar to Necromunda.  A bit less anarchic perhaps, but still lethal.  Palladian 'training' is less about teaching skills than instilling discipline - the gangers already know how to fight, the Imperium just teaches them to point the guns in the right direction.

Training

Training is brutally harsh.  From the first day recruits are subject to full military law, most of which is centred around uniform regulations and drill.  Minor infringements are met with extra duties (reporting to the Duty Officer on the hour, every hour, in full kit, for three days is a common punishment).  Repeat offenders are flogged or beaten.  For the more rebelious and insubordinate, repeat malingerers will find themselves in a penal battalion or hazardous mining unit.  Answering back, striking an officer or running away is an immediate death penalty - usually on the spot, and often with the sergeant-instructor's bare hands.

Discipline in the Palladian Guard in one song, based on Rudyard Kipling's Poem Danny Deever

On Operations

For those that survive the hellish six months, they emerge into a (comparitively) lax atmosphere.  Their officers are generally canny enough to know how to treat their soldiers - violent gang fighters who have been through soul-bendingly harsh training, where mental imbalances are fairly common.  Soldiers are kept at arms length with a great degree of freedom off-duty, of course leading to a few 'incidents', generally involving alcohol.  But the Palladian Guard's attitude is, if no-one from the Imperial Guard was hurt then it's okay.  Looting and pillaging, and worse, are effectively condoned.

On the Battlefield

The Palladian Guard fight in much the same way as they did in the hives.  Infantry doctrine effectively revolves around manoeuvering platoons into position so that they can get into the viscious close-in firefights to which they are accustomed.  The more intelligent and loyal troops find themselves in the Armoured or Artillery arms, and it is this fusing of an elite, intelligent professional minority supporting a rabid mass of bloodthirsty cuthroats which makes the Palladians so successfull in war.

That's all for now folks, hopefully a bit more of a realistic picture of life in the ranks.  I'm on a bit of a rampage, toning down all the in-world style of my fluff to make it more accessible, so there may well be more of this to come.  Until next time...

Ed

4 comments:

  1. Loved this. And I think the two tier fluff works as well. Lots of GW stuff has 'call out boxes' with 'in world' pieces in. The inside back cover of the old iggy codex is a marvelous example of this.
    I'm trying to write D4 up as sort of military history; I suspect that it's a little more in the style of Hastings and Beevor than FW, but that would be because that's what I've read more of, although FW's IA books are definitely the inspiration.

    I think that what "we*" have to do is be consistent in our output; If there's a particular style (or mix of styles) that we regularly use, then we ought to stick with it. Even if that means using a different style or format every time.

    * Bloggers

    And I love that photo !

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    1. Thanks - me and Kieran have been talking at length about this recently, what's the best way to write it. To be honest a whole policy change is good as it gives me an excuse to go back and have another look at it all - keeps it fresh.

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  2. Bloody love it! This is a brilliant post, just enough detail and leaves you wanting more. I've always favoured a mix of the two stages, information like this for a introduction and explain what the chapters about. Then the colour text to get more of a feel of the chapter and for the serious fluff addict. Think you've got both spot on. After I stopped crying in the corner I've managed to rewrite a good chunk of the Mawdryn stuff and shall be uploading it soon. And seconded on the photo, bloody beautiful

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    1. Ah, middle ground - always the sensible option. I might go for a mix too - main docs in 'real life', with one or two in-universe documents or slips of paper for flavour. Just leave some telescript comm papers around from Segmentum Command to immerse yourself.

      Dropbox, dropbox, dropbox! Never loose a doc again...

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