Armies of Yesteryear: 40K Mordian Iron Guard

Once again, a look back on my old armies. This time it’s my favorite old Imperial Guard faction: the Mordian Iron Guard.

What really drew me to the Imperial Guard is not really all that unusual: I wanted to field tanks and blow shit up.  I chose the Mordian Iron Guard because they were the chapter that appealed to me most, despite them not having any special characters in the Codex. (Actually, that appealed to me as well, as by the time I started playing Guard, special characters had fallen out of favor.) I never liked the Catachans, found the Rough Riders silly, didn’t really dig the Tallarns or the Cadians. And while I liked the Valhallans, I didn’t want to deal with snowy bases. (An old acquiaintance had a killer Valhallan Ice Warrior army complete with custom sentinels that was really cool, however.)

This army was my main Warhammer 40K army for most of the late 90’s -2003 or so. In choosing my army I decided that I would not field any Abhuman troops like Ratlings and Ogryns. I would use lots of base troops and have as many Commissars as possible to keep order and hopefully lend a little strength to squads in melee. I’d augment the core troops with fire-support and stormtrooper squads, and tanks tanks tanks!

And that’s what I did.

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Starting off in the front is a squad of pre-Kasarkin stormtroopers. These guys came 6 to a box and were all plastic. You had to buy your special weapons and command separately. Behind them is a standard Infantry squad of Mordians led by both a Sergeant and a Lieutenant. Behind them is an anti-tank battery of 3 Lascannon teams. Way in the back is a Basilisk Heavy Support Tank. Over on the right is a Chimera, deploying an Armored Fist Infantry Squad.

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Continuing, my Sentinel squad is in the forefront of this picture. (My sentinels never did anything but get shot and blow up, usually by Turn 2. But they look so cool.) Behind them is another Infantry Squad. Farther back from left to right is a Leman Russ Battle Tank, the Command Squad (more on that later), and a Mortar Battery led by another Commissar. On the right is a Chimera with a Forgeworld twin-linked heavy bolter turret. Better than a multilaser any day of the week, and it looks better too.

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Rounding out the force are the rest: in front, another squad of Stormtroopers. I used to love to Deep Strike with these guys and tie up some enemy units long enough to rain death from above with my artillery. Behind them is a fire-support battery (2 heavy bolters and an autocannon), crewed by Stormtroopers. Behind them is yet another Infantry squad. To the right are three more tanks: a Leman Russ Demolisher, a Hellhound, and in the back, an old Griffon Heavy Mortar. Last but not least a final Infantry squad is on the far right, led by another Commissar.

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I would often deploy an Adeptus Mechanicus tech-priest and some servitors between my tanks, especially those I usually kept stationary, like the Basilisk, Griffon and Demolisher. Sometimes they could save or fix something, and sometimes they couldn’t.

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Close-up of the pre-Kasarkin Stormtroopers armed with Hellguns.

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A Commissar leads an Infantry squad on the flank.

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Close-up of the anti-tank Lascannon battery.

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You can never have too many indirect fire weapons. I love mortars. Nothing better than dropping a couple of templates on some Orks, Gaunts, or Eldar.

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My command squad. The Commander is a converted miniature from the defunct and short-lived game Cell. (Don’t tell GW he’s not “official”.) He towers over everyone else in the army and is almost the size of an Ogryn. (“Methinks I detect the influence of the Warp….”)

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This is my Army Standard. I converted a Brin Milo miniature so that he wasn’t playing the Tanith pipes anymore. Then I used some 3/64mm brass rod to make the pipes. I used Squadron model putty (!) to sculpt the ferrules and the pipe sash and to beef up the bag (this was before I discovered Green Stuff). He was one of my first conversions ever and I still love him.

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Sentinels look bad-ass. Too bad they suck. You may also notice that none of the armor in this army has the slightest bit of mud or dust on it. That’s because it’s Mordian armor, dammit!

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Leman Russ Demolisher.  Boom.

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Leman Russ Battle Tank. I always went for the heavy bolters in the sponsons, as my strategy was shoot as many times as you can as opposed to courting disaster with plasma guns.

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My Basilisk. I think maybe I moved it during a game, once. Most of the time it sat there and angered my opponent. I used a radio from a 1/48th German radio set to represent improved comms.

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Lastly, my Griffon. I loved this tank, and of course, when I finally got this painted, GW came out with a new codex that didn’t include it. Like I said, I love mortars, so I have nothing but good things to say about it. I thought the Griffon tank crew that came with it didn’t look like they would pass Mordian muster, so I used some extra Mordian Lascannon crew members instead.

The problem with playing Imperial Guard, at least at that time, was cost. (Somehow I doubt that’s changed.) Most of these tanks were purchased secondhand. When it came to Infantry, Mordians, like every other chapter, were available in a 10 man squad for $30. The problem was each 10-man squad came with a grenade launcher and a Lascannon. If you wanted to change that, then you needed to buy heavy weapon teams and special weapon troops separately. That got pretty pricey, and left you with extra grenade launchers and Lascannon teams.

I’m still in the market for some plain-old Mordian Infantry with lasguns. I don’t need any heavy weapons or any special weapons, but I sure would like to get more regular joes.

More Armies of Yesteryear soon.

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