A Story of Guard Heroism

I wanted to briefly share a short tale of heroics from a staple Guardsman.  This tale actually occurred in my very first game of Warhammer 40,000 more than a decade ago.  At the time, during my middle school years, I was still using what was known locally as “the cows of death,” that ugly camouflage scheme of white, black, and orange (check the “Restoring the Guard” page for some examples).  At the local gaming club there was a basement where several people gathered.  This was before even 4th edition came out, so naturally we were using the 3rd edition rules.  My army consisted of a command squad, two small infantry platoons and my pride and joy, my Leman Russ Exterminator.

I was defending against Orks, and had set up my infantry platoons across the front lines with some cover.  On the far right flank I had placed a regular infantry squad with a missile launcher.  On the first turn of the game it fired its missile launcher at a battlewagon full of Nobz on the far side of the battlefield.  The missile hit the side armor, destroyed the vehicle, and the wreck flipped on the Nobz who were trying to escape the wreckage.  Out of the explosion and wreck mishap only two Nobz survived.

But the most heroic part of the battle was yet to come.  In the Orks’ first turn they unleashed a stream of Grot shooting at that same squad with the missile launcher, and killed all but a single Guardsman holding a lasgun.  This single Guardsman proceeded to pass every Morale and Last Man Standing check until he died; for the three turns after his squad was obliterated, he shot and killed a single Grot every turn, and when they finally charged him he killed a further in close combat before being dragged down by their weak attacks.

Every player at the event came over to watch the combat, having heard about the Guardsman’s Last Man Standing tests.  I was told I should paint a medal on his chest for future games.  I never did, but I always showed him off to friends and family, and when I decided to re-do my Guard’s paint scheme he was the model on which I chose to perfect the scheme, and use as the example when painting other Valhallan models.

Do you have any tales of bravery from the basic ranks of your army?

4 responses to “A Story of Guard Heroism

  1. I once heard rumors of a Cantican Colonial who, having been cut off from friendly units, survived for a week amongst the crumbled walls on the city rooftops, harassing the Chaos onslaught. As the Chaos forces began their final massive advance, this lone Colonial met his end leaping down from a rooftop and driving his blade into faceplate of the lead tank commander.

    He was soon after liquefied by surrounding enemy las fire, but forward scouts of his regiment witnessed this and passed the heroic story through their ranks.

    The validity of the scouts’ claim remains contested. However, with so many thousand soldiers listed as KIA or simply MIA, the actions of one lone Colonial is impossible to verify.

  2. There have been quite a few games that my Guardsmen have shown me the meaning of courage, but one that sticks in my mind for at least badassery is this:

    Team game, me and Dark Angels against a Tyranid swarm. The Hive Tyrant and its pack of Guards move up to contest a central objective. My mechanized vets peal out and unload, the captain screaming “Bring it Down!” at the top of his lungs. Plasma and melta fire managed to eliminate the Guard completely and bring the Tyrant down to 1 wound.

    Next turn the Tyrant charged, and my Guardsmen managed to hold out without taking a single wound! Then my space marine allies joined the fray. The beast took out three marines, and then the so-called saviors of humanity whiffed with their CC attacks.

    My seargent growled and jumped on top of the hive-beast, felling it with his chainsword. He snarled over at the space marines who could only look at their shoes and blush.

    My sergeant proceeded to survive through all manner of retaliatory fire, bravely running for the objective. It was only an invisible Lictor that finally finished him off.

  3. A friend of mine was playing a one on one battle against a dark eldar army. Both armies were quite powerful, but he showed me pictures of the Guardsmen who stood their ground. It was pretty badass. The city was filled with both Guardsmen and Dark Eldar, and he took a few pictures of the slaughter pens, one area was where there was a pile up of both armies’ casualties.
    To make this short, his best unit, a Sentinel with a squad of Guardsmen, flanked to his enemy’s left, catching them off guard. They killed several in his three turns, forcing them to fall back, or face even more horrendous losses.
    Although they were honored for heroics, they were killed during his initial against their last stand alamo position. And that was that.

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