Civil wars in 40k

Biggle_Bear

Gang Hero
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Honored Tribesman
Nov 1, 2017
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I saw a YouTube video that described how space marines are supposed to be rare. Like most citizens have never seen one. It’s just that we see them a lot because our games represent the future-deciding battles.

Made me think, is there a way of representing planetary civil wars of the 40k setting that would be interesting and without resorting to using the chaos army lists.

My mind goes to writing an army list that is highly UNDER powered, but messes with the rules of the game. Like one unit could be Rioters, that if attacked lose the other side victory points. Combat units likely have stats below that of regular imperial guardsmen. Leaders are rebel starters that draw more units into the battle. Stuff like that.

But of course, my thoughts aren’t other people’s thoughts and someone might have a better idea. So feel free to tell them below or to direct everyone to where it has already been done.
 
Wouldn’t the simplest way being Guard vs. Guard? One could be traditional Guard, the other could be PDF forces. Guard vs Redemptionists. Guard vs. Arbites. For many of those you could include units of civilian rioters that lose the victory points. Maybe each side gets a “free” unit of rioters they control just to mess with the other side?
 
I think the usual way the Empire handles civil unrest is "send a guard regiment from other world to restore order with absurdly callous violence", so Guard vs. Guard makes sense. Maybe modified Genestealer cults that don't have the Tyranid-specific trappings (or just handwave these things with tech and or psychic powers) to show rioting workers.

If it turns out the reason for the unrest is, like, heresy-heresy, as in "worshipping the ruinous powers and/or Genestealer cults", and not regular heresy like "being unhappy you have nothing to eat because all food gets shipped off world" or "not working 20-hour shifts in the manufactorium until your arms literally fall off because you are treated worse than chattel", they call in bigger and bigger guns until eventually the Space Marines arrive, cause an unholy mess, and in the end the Guard regiments they sent in the first place are all rounded up and killed by the Inquisition.

When you look at the big picture, all those cults in the Empire start making sense, really.
 
I saw a YouTube video that described how space marines are supposed to be rare. Like most citizens have never seen one. It’s just that we see them a lot because our games represent the future-deciding battles.

Made me think, is there a way of representing planetary civil wars of the 40k setting that would be interesting and without resorting to using the chaos army lists.

My mind goes to writing an army list that is highly UNDER powered, but messes with the rules of the game. Like one unit could be Rioters, that if attacked lose the other side victory points. Combat units likely have stats below that of regular imperial guardsmen. Leaders are rebel starters that draw more units into the battle. Stuff like that.

But of course, my thoughts aren’t other people’s thoughts and someone might have a better idea. So feel free to tell them below or to direct everyone to where it has already been done.
I’m not sure I’m understanding the request here.

On the first bit, yeah Space Marines are supposed to be the super elite troops of the imperium. Problem is that GW has then as the go-to unique IP trooper, so they produce way too many chapters, models and scenarios for these super soldiers to be in.

As for civil war… that is Necromunda, it’s all warring factions of civilians.

If you want similar in 40k then the Imperial Guard/Adeptus Militarum would be the place to look and you can use any sculpts you wish to represent whoever.
 
I was particularly thinking of a worker uprising kind of civil war. The planetary governor and army versus mutant slaves and downtrodden normals. But it was just a passing thought that might spark discussion so take it where you like.