One of the joys of wargaming is a well-painted army with a compelling character that suggests a story to go with every battle. The problem becomes the need to paint a new army (and buy hundreds of dollars in figures) to try out a new game. I thought to myself, why not create a reasonably ‘vanilla’ force, sort of my own household troops that could work in nearly any universe. The idea was interesting, but I shelved it for several years. When I decided to build a few new armies when Warhammer 40K 3rd Edition came out, I decided to create a ‘force genericus’ which would serve as my own household troops in whatever game we were playing.

The story of how this particular army came into existence is told in the article Designing an Army. This site exists to showcase my mediocre painting skills, to encourage other wargamers, to solicit feedback and to present my army to the world at large. I am one of those annoying storyteller wargamers who develops a 10 page back story for every role-playing character, starship or army I have ever played. This site is merely an outgrowth of my obsessive desire to create fluff for my ‘paper’ armies and personas.

What you won’t find here is content gypped from the Games Workshop site. GW has gobs of cool content and if you want to read the official skinny (and I recommend that you do), go to GW’s homepage and read it. This site will focus on the peculiarities of  one particular regiment (and eventually on its sister armies – the Tau, Chaos Marines and Tyranids I am working on – that will join it here on Starbase 10.

This site will be updated once a month – more or less. This is a hobby, which means I have real life concerns which come first but I will do my best to add new material as time and interest allow.

About Me

Who am I? I doubt most people would care but I am a middle aged grognard who has been wargaming for over 45 years. I began with the venerable Avalon Hill hex and counter games (the real Avalon Hill, back when AH created real historical simulation wargames, not the Hasbro wannabe replacement that turns out Risk knock-offs that wish they could be real wargames) in the mid-1970’s. I discovered D&D, Traveller and tabletop gaming all in quick succession. In the early 1980’s I was (and remain) heavily into 6mm miniatures gaming. Tractics (GHQ), OGRE (Steve Jackson Games) and Space Marine a.k.a. Epic 40K (GW) were special favorites of mine. In college, I began playing Star Fleet Battles (ADB), Warhammer Fantasy and by the time I began grad school, Warhammer 40K. I still play all these games, so I could say that entertainment value for the dollar, I have gotten a lot out of my games collection.

I got married to a very patient woman who tolerates my nerdly obsession with toy soldiers. I have recently embarked on a new career as an attorney, own a home, am a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and still squeeze in the occasional game now and again. Of course, I have given up sleeping but there’s plenty of time for that when I’m dead, isn’t there?

All in all, just your average Joe you meet every day. My friends and neighbors have no idea of the twisted and weird obsession that has dominated my spare time for more than four decades, the bizarre images, the massive armies of tiny soldiers who daily muster ever stronger in my basement, the…ummm…right … but I digress.

I started playing Warhammer 40K in 1987 as a grad student, when the original version of the game (“Rogue Trader”) came to the United States. I kibitzed with other gamers and finally gave in to the inevitable and began collecting my first army. Inspired by the movie Alien, and wanting to be different from the other dozen or so gamers in the Schenectady Wargamers’ Association who had Space Marine armies, I chose Imperial Guards as my first army. I was an occasional player during the “Rogue Trader” era. When 2nd Edition came along, in 1994, I became an enthusiastic player and remain so to this day. The guards have always been my main army although I have since acquired Dark Angels, Chaos Marines, Space Orks, Tyranids and Tau as well. I also have several Warhammer Fantasy armies (full-size Dwarfs, Wood Elves armies and a very small undead army).

About my Imperial Guards

This is the third itineration of my Guards army. The first was built out of the very French Foreign Legion looking Imperial Guard plastics, unlike modern GW plastics, these were sprues of absolutely identical guard riflemen wearing kepis and carrying lasguns that looked a lot like M-1 rifles. I sold that army when I got married, and used the money to acquire the basis of the second version of this army, which was based the rogue trader metal guardsmen. However, I didn’t really like the look and when GW revamped the Guard with newer figures (Cadians, Valhallans, Tallarns, Mordians and Catachans) I was truly torn. I couldn’t decide, I was like a kid in a candy store.

So I decided to leave it up to fate… or more accurately, my wife and I asked her which army she thought I should get. After suggesting I take up a more sensible hobby, like bungee jumping, she looked at the pictures in my White Dwarfs and thought the Valhallans had potential. So, as Yul Brenner said in the ‘Ten Commandments’, “Let it be written, let it be done” and I began collecting Valhallans.

When the 3rd Edition Codex came out, I reorganized my Guard but made no major changes. When the 4th of the Codex came out, I was able to well and truly customize my forces and the 613th Lyubov Rifles took its current shape. Like any good wargaming force, this army is never truly finished but it does have a solid foundation to build on and a good backstory that I can identify with.

More recently, the 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000 and the Imperial Guard Codex have been released. My guard collection has reached such a size that I had to do little to make it 8th edition ready.

I made a Master of Ordnance out of parts from a vehicle accessory sprue I had on hand, the Lt. Varras model I had from the 4th edition boxed set became my Officer of the Fleet and an old seeress model from the Sisters of Sigmar range for Mordhiem became my Astropath. I was also inspired to finally paint the old Nork Dedog that has been living in my bitz box since 2000. I disbanded the Heavy Weapons Platoon and distributed the heavy weapons across three rifle platoons, I organized three special weapons squads and picked up 20 additional troopers on eBay to complete the reorganization.

I also have a full tank company of ten Leman Russ tanks. A recon company consisting a squadron of three hellhound flame tanks, three scratch-built salamander scout tanks, a squadron of three scout sentinels and a squadron of three armored sentinels. The regimental artillery battery consists of two Griffons, and a Basilisk, all painted in winter camouflage. I am in the process of scratch-building a squadron towed Quad Guns, staff cars, and some other auxiliary vehicles.

In addition, I have a supreme command squad, a platoon of storm troopers, a pair of penal squads, an ogryn auxilla (converted out of the Ogres that came with the old ‘Battle Masters’ game). a squad of Chazak rough riders and a squad of Imperial Guard bikers – for that retro 30K touch.

I laid out my collection the other day and realized I don’t own a mere company of guards, I have a full-blown reinforced battalion. Even more frighteningly, this army is 100% painted – freaky, isn’t it?

Future Plans

My future plans for this army include adding some new vehicles (Grav Tanks for use under VDR or to swap out for other game systems, a few additional figs) More winter themed terrain and a few new conversions are also in the cards. I may add an air wing to the regiment. I am already in the process of modelling the battalion aid station.