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?