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I always like to create a bit of background story for my armies in 40k, and I think everyone should have a go at this as it really adds an extra level of depth to the hobby.This is the fluff ive created for my IG army (currently under construction models-wise). Ive added a little bit on the end about how im modeling them and the restrictions ive set myself in building the force up. Ive based the force loosly around the British army Gurkhas and the Indian British army as I wanted to create a force which bucks the trend of being ethnically European.
The Indus IV Gurkha Rifles
Indus IV is an agri-world on the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy. It has a single large continent which contains vast areas of fertile river plains and jagged mountains and several small island chains. Its principle exports are grain, spices and textiles. Narcotics production also exists in isolated areas despite continued efforts by the Imperial authorities to stamp it out.
The planet was rediscovered by the Imperial forces from the planet Sculfleet [this fluff is, in part, a collaborative effort with a fellow IG player who has an army based around the British Empire] in M38, although local legends hint that the planet may has originally been discovered during the Great Crusade; the story of an ancient god who lived beyond the sun and decended from the heavens riding a giant two-headed eagle and promised to return one day to lead the people of Inuds IV to glory has been passed down the generations from time imemorial. When imperial forces arrived the majority of the population flocked to the cause, beliving the time of the eagle-god was at hand, but a powerful minority of the ruling caste resisted, triggering a massive 10 year civil war. It was in this conflict that the Indus IV Gurkha Rifles were born.
After Indus IV was brought into the Imperial fold it established trade links with neighbouring Sculfleet, and many of the ruling merchant families of Sculfleet established trading posts on Indus. It is not uncommon for the second sons of Sculfleet merchants to enter the Indus officer corps, and such leaders can be identified by a significantly lighter skin tone than the soldiers they lead.
Soldiers from Indus IV are famed for their unswerving loyalty to the Emperor, coupled with a stubborn determination to never give up, no matter the odds. It is often said (privately of course) that the Gurkhas have no need of commisars as the commisar is more likely to retreat before an officer of Indus IV does. This may well be true; during the battle to conquer the planet Kar Duniash the XVIth Gurkha regiment refused to join the general retreat from the battle of the Gorgar Mountains and held out for 6 weeks without support before being relieved by Space Marines of the Angels Errant chapter.
The Indus IV Gurkha regiments are a capable fighting force in most situations but it is in mountain warfare that they really come into their own. Due to this speciality they have relatively few chimera transports as these tanks often struggle in very rugged terrain and are easily ambused in mountain passes. Instead, they tend to rely more heavily on Valkyrie assault carriers which allow for more rapid deployment and resupply. In fact, the regiments of Indus IV are one of the few Imperial Guard forces to maintain their own Valkyries rather than loaning them from the Imperial Navy. Each company usually maintains at least two, but fully airborne companies are not uncommon. They do, however, maintain companies of tanks and artillery to pound fortified positions before sending in the troops to mop up the survivors.
Modelling and restrictions
In order to make this army stand out I use British paratrooper heads in berets made by Westwind Productions on cadian bodies (I would highly recommend this company, they produce a good range of alternative 28mm heads which are compatible with the Imperial Guard range). I paint their skin in a fairly dark tone using a mix of tallarn flesh and scorched brown, with a little snakebite leather to make them look more ethnically Indian/Nepalese. Infantry platoons have black berets and veterans have burgundy ones. On the bases i use coarse dark brown gravel with the odd patch of grass and bit of lichen to create that 'mountain wilderness' look,
I dont use Chimeras in the army (I know a lot of Guard players will think im nuts for imposing such a restriction, but it fits the fluff and besides, i have tyranids as my 'competition' army). I do however, always take a couple of Valkyries to shuttle squads (veterans usually) around the table and provide fire support, and i back them up with the occasional tank.
Ive had some very positive feedback from players at my local gaming club and Id be interested to know what people on the forum think.