The Helghan 'Black Guard' is the name given to the elite Imperial Guard regiments that hail from the post-nuclear Death World of Helghan, located in the Uhulis Sector in the Segmentum Tempestus. Helghan was the site of long and brutal war against a large force of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion over 2,300 standard years ago in the 39th Millennium. This Imperial world was once a vibrant and industrious Hive World but met a grim and terrible fate when it was bombarded with nucleonic weapons followed by four-hundred years of grinding warfare to purge the presence of deeply entrenched heretical Chaos Cults. After centuries of nuclear destruction and bitter trench warfare, Helghan was reduced to a scorched, radioactive husk composed of blasted wastelands of choking ash and mud, forcing its surviving people to retreat into underground arcologies in order to survive the toxic planetary environment. For many generations afterwards, the people of Helghan have become a highly independent, self-sustaining and hardy stock. Having developed highly sophisticated hazardous gear and unique patterns of weapons, the elite Black Guard regiments willingly fight in some of the most brutal and deadliest warzones in the galaxy. It is from the first Planetary Defence Force volunteers that Helghan raised their first elite 'Black Guard' Shock Troop Regiments. Over several centuries, these elite forces have evolved into highly effective siege specialist regiments who willing seek out opportunities to display their iron discipline and self-sacrifice in combat. Black Guards Shock Troops excel at wars of attrition and defensive combat in particular.
Age of Exploration
First discovered by Terran explorers in M21 in the Uhulis Sector, Helghan was the first of many human-settled worlds that were colonised. However, the history after Helghan's discovery and colonisation at this point is unknown. Warp Storms isolated the planet while still in its sociological infancy, and it was left to develop on its own for the next 9,000 Terran years.
Coming of The Great Crusade
It was only during the middle years of the Great Crusade when the Empire of Mankind finally reached Helghan. By this time, the planet had become a thriving Hive World with it's vast cities and resources. The Imperial Expeditionary Fleet engaged upon the business of enforcing Imperial Compliance and extending the Imperial aegis to the world of Helghan. After brief, but tense negotiations with the Hive World's leaders, Helghan was brought bloodlessly into the Imperium of Man.
- Barnardi Prime System Uprising (Unknown.M36) - An uprising in the Barnardi Prime System is put down by the Helghan 042nd Regiment.
- Defence of Geratomro (389.M41) - In 389.M41, this once-loyal Industrial World was the theatre of the Geratomran Reconquest, a brief but savage military campaign which saw the forces of the Imperium narrowly avoid a full-fledged daemonic incursion. The 009th Helghan Shock Troopers Regiment was sent to help in the defence of Geratormran.
- Purge of the Contqual Sub-sector (812.M41) - The citizens of the Contqual Sub-sector lived a decadent and carefree existence, believing they had created a paradise free from the ugliness found throughout much of the rest of the Imperium of Man. The taint of the Contqual Sub-sector began late in the year 812.M41 when the Contqual High Governor fell easy prey to the corruption of the Chaos God of Pleasure, Slaanesh. Within a single month the entire Sub-sector seethed with the corruption of Chaos. The task of cleansing the taint of such heresy was given to Clan Raukaan of the stalwart Iron Hands Space Marine Chapter. The Iron Hands were further augmented by Imperial Navy support, a Battlegroup of the Legio Astorum and multiple regiments of the Imperial Guard, which included two battalions from the 32nd Harakoni Warhawks and three battalions from the 084th Helghan Black Guards.
- The Kieldar Rebellion (956.M41) - The Kieldar Rebellion is utterly crushed by the combined forces of the Helghan, Persepolis Janissaries, Cadian, Morax, Loriar, Elysia, Catachan, Aegis, Tallarn, Harkoni, Neocassan, Paragon, Vostroyan, Birmingham, Mordian, Jjojos, Pintax, Athanos, K'phrani, Rassiosan and Bannan Imperial Guard regiments.
- The Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - The Helghan Black Guards sends 4 regiments in support of the Imperial defence against the Greenskin tide. The Imperial forces only saved the beleaguered planet through their sheer stubbornness during its defence and the onset of the Season of Fire, which made military operations nearly impossible for both sides.
- Fall of Medusa V (999.M41) - The Imperial Mining World of Medusa V, located in the Ultima Segmentum, was devoured by a massive Warp Storm in 999.M41. Fortunately, the military forces of the Imperium of Man were able to evacuate the entire surviving civilian population of the planet before it was consumed. Before completing this evacuation, the world became the centre of a large military conflict between eight of the Milky Way Galaxy's major powers for control of the world, each for its own reasons in a campaign later known to Imperial savants as the Fall of Medusa V. Multiple Helghan Black Guard regiments, which included the 009th, 424th, and 582nd, answered the call to arms, and fought in the Medusa V campaign.
Helghan regiments operate under the standard and recognisable Imperial Guard command structure laid down by the Departmento Munitorum, with some minor local variation in insignia and designation.
- Lord General
- Lieutenant General
- Major General
- Brigadier General
- Lieutenant Colonel
- First Lieutenant
- Second Lieutenant
- Sergeant Major
- First Sergeant
- Gunnery Sergeant (Gunny)
Regimental Recruitment & Training
- "Victory needs no explanation, defeat allows none."
- — Commissar Cadriel Gillick speaking to new Black Guard Troops
At the height of the Great Crusade, following Helghan's successful Imperial Compliance, the Departmento Munitorum set down a standard compulsory conscription for all male and female youths to serve a mandatory term within the Auxilia Imperialis. Raised from birth in the warrior caste, citizens of Helghan who were now Imperial citizens were taught that their citizenship conferred no rights, only responsibilities. Since that bygone age, this tradition of compulsory service is still proudly maintained by the people of Helghan. Most Imperial citizens of Helghan are unorthodox in their service to the Emperor, but will do their duty. However, the dregs of Helghan society are often not so willing to do their compulsory service and have to be periodically rounded up by local Adeptus Arbites law enforcers. They are then forced, usually at gunpoint, to perform their civic duty or face a life term in one of their manufactorum prison performing hard labour. Often, clannish practices from hive gang cultures or other such traditions predominate in their thinking when serving in the name of the Imperium of Man.
Imperial Guard recruits are organised into largely autonomous Regiments on Helghan. These are composed of troops recruited at the same time, commanded by their own officers and supported by their own non-combat personnel. Once recruits undergo their training and eventually become full-fledged troopers of the Helghan Black Guard, they are part of a well-oiled machine - a highly trained elite core of Imperial Guard units. These units are particularly skilled in the arts of deploying mechanised infantry. In addition, Guardsman from Helghan make fine assault troops for fighting in urban and hive city environments as well as heavily industrialised zones, chemical sumps, and other such toxic regions. Their equipment and experience with such acrid environments make them invaluable for trudging through all sorts of polluted or otherwise noxious wastelands - from underhives filled with the toxic residue of ancient atomic generators, to ruin-filled swamps rife with hallucinogenic flora, quicksand, and near-invisible pockets of lethal gas.
Regimental Combat Doctrine
- "I'd give my life if that's what's asked. Now hustle up! One two! One two!"
- — Sergeant Dwayne Hicks replying back to his Troopers
The Helghan Black Guard use a commence battle with a sustained artillery bombardment, utilizing every weapon at their disposal. The basis of this is a complex fire plan in which every weapon is directed with utmost care at the optimum target, for maximum effect. Where possible, the Black Guard will coordinate with Titan Legions to add to their own considerable firepower. This emphasis on artillery and mechanized warfare means that Black Guard forces often fare best in siege warfare and armored advances on enemy territory.
Where possible, field fortifications will be used. Black Guard doctrine includes extensive use of fortifications to occupy the maximum number of opponents while using the absolute minimum number of troops. This in turn keeps the bulk of the Black Guards troopers fresh and available for assaults, and allows them to achieve superiority elsewhere.
When an Black Guards' force launches a planetary assault, they begin with an intense orbital bombardment (be it nuclear, plasma, viral or chemical) which could pressure the enemy into surrender without a single Black Guard trooper having to land on the surface.
However, stronger, well-defended worlds are unlikely to surrender so readily. If the planetary bombardment is indecisive, a landing force will be launched from the Black Guards' fleet. The first wave of atmospheric fighters, gunships, and bomber craft will saturate landing zones and launch raids on enemy bases and supply lines. All efforts are made to demoralize and weaken the enemy to the point of destruction before any troops are landed. Sometimes, however, this hammer-blow approach is unsuitable and instead the Black Guard will resort to covert insertion of select Black Guard on-world to scout and secure a landing zone in a surprise assault, preferably while also eliminating as much of the enemy's defensive capability as possible.
Once the first wave has caused sufficient damage to enemy defenses (or secured a suitable landing area), a second wave is launched. This consists of construction craft, heavy transports and bulk freighters, carrying supplies, prefabricated fortifications, heavy machinery and construction personnel to the surface.
Upon landing, the second wave will compound the damage caused by the orbital bombardment and bomber attacks with a secondary artillery barrage, scattering any enemy forces trying to mount a defensive effort in the area. The larger transport and freighter ships land first, their crews immediately disembarking and beginning the construction of walled trenches, bunkers, living quarters and artillery positions, the latter of which are then filled by the massive weapons brought in by the artillery ships. Selected Black Guards with incredible logistic skills will direct this complex and dangerous operation. By the time the third wave is launched, the landing zones will be a dense midden of fully-stocked fortifications.
The third wave is made up entirely of troop transports and orbit-to-ground drop pods. The troops deployed will consist of several thousand Helghan Black Guards. Having occupied the newly-built ground fortifications, the commanders will proceed to plan out the destruction of the remaining enemy forces. Over a period of time ranging from months to mere hours, this Black Guards' incursion will then engage in a series of lightning-fast strikes, armored advances and carefully-laid sieges, until no enemy resistance remains.
Siege warfare follows a very simple but effective set of general tactics. When a breach has been forced in the enemy defences it will initially be probed by veterans and infiltrated, then the gap will be pried open with firepower until a storming force can be unleashed. These storming forces are based around fast-moving heavy armor which can move instantly from relentless barrage to lightning-fast advance. Breaches are then widened until the defenses are shattered. For the key moments in battle when a position absolutely must be taken.
In combat, Black Guards are adept at both ballistic warfare and close-range melee bloodshed, and use a mixture of the two to slaughter opponents in vast numbers. The typical Black Guard troopers is armed with a lasgun, plasma gun or other such ranged weapon, as well as a close-combat knife.
The Helghan Black Guard regiments are well-equipped and represent some of the highest standards of wargear and supply of any standing Imperial Guard formation. With procurement fulfilled by manufactora on Helghan itself as well as a number of Forge Worlds and industrial facilities in the attendant sectors feeding their output directly. This wide net of production also means that a considerable variety of weapon systems, patterns of vehicles and other heavy equipment can be found at the Helghan regiment's disposal.
- M34 Martok Pattern Lasrifle - Standard Lasrifle used by the Imperial Guard's regiments of Helghan Shock Troops and the regiments raised from many other worlds that use Black Guard wargear and martial traditions as a model for their own.
- 6 Lasgun Charge Packs - Charge packs are powerful batteries used almost exclusively by Imperial laser weapons. The charge pack varies depending on the class of the weapon. In all cases, it provides shots equal to the weapon's full clip value.
- Autopistol - Small but effective, Autopistols are a favourite amongst many military veterans as a supplement for their standard Lasgun. They have a faster rate of fire than many Laspistols and can put down most targets in a single burst of shells.
- 2 Autopistol Clips - These clips contain the metal-jacketed ballistic rounds used by an Autopistol.
- Combat Knife - A Combat Knife is a one-handed melee weapon, serving as the ubiquitous back-up weapon for warriors all across the Imperium, be they lowly hive scum or the elite soldiers of a Planetary Governor.
- Flak Armour - The most common type of armour used by Imperial Guard forces is Flak Armour, and it is standard-issue combat gear to the countless millions of Imperial Guardsmen who fight on the Emperor's behalf across the galaxy. Many layers of ablative and impact absorbent material go into making each suit, enough to deflect or negate most low-level attacks such as small arms, shrapnel, and proximity blasts. Solid hits from high impact weapons can generally negate it, but given that it is relatively lightweight, cheap to produce, and dependable in most combat situations, many veterans keep using it even when offered something better.
- Monoscope - Though it can be used to project a beam of light, the monoscope is primarily intended as a visual uploader. Panning left and right as the Black Guard goes about the prosecution of war, each monoscope can be tapped into by any Black Guard who wishes to see what his subordinate is witnessing.
- The Helghan Tri-dome Helmet/ Face Mask - This is a variant pattern helmet/ face mask used when Helghan Black Guard must fight on a world whose atmosphere or regions are inimical to the human respiratory tract. This pattern's visor lenses help to prevent glare and blindness from the elements. When fitted with a fully compatible Mark IX or Mark XIc Rebreather, it provides an excellent defence against most commonly-encountered toxic gases and pollutants as well as allowing the soldier to operate in airless environments for limited periods. It has also proven useful against biological plague weapons.
- Helghan Imperial Guard Uniform - As a heavily militarised world, Helghan's manufactora are able to mass produce and equip its Guardsmen quickly and efficiently. Typically, Helghan Shock Troops' uniforms are made from hard-wearing fabrics designed to resist hostile environments and prove hardy in the field, and are the result of centuries of tradition. The Helghan uniform consists of a thickly woven pair of trousers, sometimes fitted with pockets for Lasgun charge packs or personal rations. Over this, a sturdy tunic shirt and uniform jacket is worn in the regimental colours. Helghan regiments march to war in appearance of darker colors on their uniform and equipment.
- Helghan Pattern "Helgast" Carapace Armour - The Helghan Pattern "Helgast" Carapace Armour is the standard body armour of the Helghan Black Guard Shock Troopers' elite.
- Micro-Bead - A micro-bead or comm-bead is a short range communication device worn in the ear, good for communication out to about one kilometre (depending on weather conditions and intervening terrain). Each fits discretely in the ear, with better crafted models nearly undetectable upon casual inspection.
- Weather Gear
- Entrenching Tool
- Basic Toolkit -
- Mess Kit & Water Canteen
- 2 weeks' Rations
- Blanket & Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp-Pack - Sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing.
- Grooming Kit -
- Dog Tags -
- Infantryman's Uplifting Primer - A standard-issue Imperial text that covers a vast variety of topics, this book is possessed by all members of the Imperial Guard as part of their standard-issue equipment. The Primer is a basic guide that details everything a Guardsman needs to know: principles and regulations of the Imperial Guard, issued arms, attire, apparatus, and equipment, basic battlefield policy and Imperial Guard organisation and structure, elementary battlefield medical instructions, and a detailed guide on the foes of the Imperium. No Guardsman should ever be found without possession of a copy of the Uplifting Primer for the punishment is severe.
Black Guard units prefer to use Meltaguns and Miniguns as heavy weapons, but also have access to Mortars, Heavy Stubbers, Lascannons, Tesla Cannons, and Heavy Incinerators. As with most Imperial Guardsmen, the Black Guard infantry's standard-issue individual weapon is the Lasgun and many also carry an additional Laspistol. The multi-purpose Combat Knife carried by all members of the Black Guard is a bayonet but also a field tool.
- Tesla Cannon - Named for an ancient Terran scientist, the Tesla Cannon is a commonly favoured special weapon utilised exclusively by the Helghan Black Guard's heavy support squads. Utlising in-built miniaturised permacapacitors and powered by electron charge packs, these shoulder-mounted energy weapon are able to fire powerful blasts of electricity. Discharging with a loud crack, they fire deadly blue-white electric bolts of energy which can disintegrate a person's body to ash or overload a war machine's datacortex in seconds. Able to fire at great distances, these deadly weapons are used to lay down fire to cover advancing troops, or strafe enemy-held positions. But in actuality, the primary function of these cannons are to destroy light vehicles and buildings.
- Heavy Incinerator - An uncommon squad support weapon utilised exclusively amongst Helghan Shock Troops infantry squads, the Heavy Incinerator is a rare and deadly weapon that launches the lethal substance known as phosphex - a rare, corrosive and toxic incendiary compound - at extremely long distances with relatively deadly accuracy. When fired, these weapons lob flammable balls of eerie white-green flame at the target in an arc pattern. The gelid flame of these 'projectiles' ignites metal and eats relentlessly into living tissue, and cannot be extinguished short of exposure to vacuum.
- Helghan CZ53 Minigun - The Helghan CZ53 Minigun is a common special weapon utilised exclusively by the Helghan Shock Troop heavy support squads. These automatic, self-loading cannons fire high velocity hails of solid shells at a great distance. They are used to lay down a burst of suppressive fire to cover advancing troops, or strafe enemy-held positions. They lack the heavy punch of a Lascannon, but can fire more shots and are less prone to overheating, though the need to carry large amounts of ammunition is a distinct disadvantage.
- Helghan CZ57 Minigun - A common special weapon utilised exclusively by all Helghan Troopers and Shook Troop infantry and support squads, the Helghan CZ57 Avenger Minigun is a unique version of the standard minigun. In comparison, it deals slightly more damage per shot than the regular counterpart. This is further augmented by a vastly greater rate of fire. Additionally, the weapons spread is reduced to just over half of that of the normal minigun, giving it better accuracy over longer distances. However, the standard minigun holds twice as much ammunition in a belt than the Helghan CZ57 Avenger.
Notable Black Guard Regiments
- 001st Helghan Shock Troopers Regiment -
- 009th Helghan Shock Troopers Regiment -
- 042nd Helghan Black Guard Regiment -
- 084th Helghan Black Guard Regiment -
- 104th Helghan Black Guard Regiment - The Helghan 104th fought in the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- 243rd Helghan Black Guard Regiment - The Helghan 243rd fought in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade.
- 424th Helghan Black Guard Regiment -
- 582nd Helghan Black Guard Regiment -
Notable Guardsmen of the Helghan Black Guard
- Lord General Bishop Conos -
- Lady General Selena Vasquez -
- General Karross Rexus -
- Colonel Lucian Wilhelm -
- Colonel Corvinus Xristo -
- Major Marcus Kravan -
- Captain Victor Von Goering -
- First Lieutenant Apone Trasius -
- Commissar Aroha Nye -
- Commissar Cadriel Gillick -
- Sergeant Major Tabrannus Reece -
- Gunnery Sergeant Eldridge Birt Hudson -
- Sergeant Dwayne Hicks -
The Black Guards are similar to the Death Korps of Krieg in the appearance of their uniform and equipment, but they make use of darker colors. Uniform cut and design is almost consistent throughout the entire Black Guard but colours can vary from regiment to regiment and the officer ranks tend to have slightly more ornate uniforms than the rank and file. The officers commonly wear black uniforms with gold trim as a mark of their rank. Flak-vest and other pieces of armour have gold as a matter of tradition and heavily decorated suits of Carapace armor.
The Helghan Black Guard Insiginia is a black coloured trim on the crest. A black skull is centered within the crest, on a field of white.
Upon enlistment, Helghan Black Guard squads are issued a unique three-digit squad number. Command squads are issued a two-digit number with a central skull motif. Numbers beginning with one or two zeroes are normally reserved for Storm Troopers' squads or special veteran squads formed from survivors of other squads.
By the Helghan Black Guard
- "To the last man!! To the last round!"
- — Lady General Selena Vasquez, to her Troopers of the 084th Helghan Black Guards during the Purge of the Contqual Sub-Sector, 812.M41
- "This death, this death is ours. We choose it. We deny you your victory!"
- — Captain Victor Von Goering during a last stand endeavour to defend Hive Tempestora as it fell during the Third War of Armageddon
- "First one to retreat will be whipped!"
- — Commissar Aroha Nye, threatening her unit if they show any cowardice
- "Where's the bloody tanks?!!"
- — Unknown Helghan trooper
Feel free to add your own
About the Helghan Black Guard
Feel free to add your own
- "If there's one thing I really love about guardsmen it's that no matter how hard they think they are they're still reduced to a bloody pulp when I shoot 'em with a bolt gun."
- —Dolfdir of the Crusaders Once Crossed