Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Recruiting Issues.

The Departmento Munitorium, in response to 4* General Zukhov’s demands for a larger army has sent Comptroller Bellormus to Devos IV with a mandate from Spinward Command to raise four new regiments for the Imperial Guard.  These are to be the core of 72 Army Group’s 38 Korps. 

Approximately 90% of the Devos IV PDF now calls itself the People’s Libertine Army and is in open rebellion against the Imperium of Man.  Those small fractions that are left professing loyalty are considered suspect by the Ordo Hereticus and thus cannot be used as a cadre to form new units around[1].  Comptroller Bellormus’ first stop is to the poor mining communities of Hulin (NW continental Acer) where he has successfully raised his first regiment.  As the majority of the recruits are culturally Drookian, the Departmento has been able to draw on the Drookian military heritage and the Hulin Rifles look like a Fen Guard regiment.  The rest of the units raised from Acre are not likely to have such a strong identity. 

Further enhancing the lure of the Imperial Guard for the population of Devos IV, the Marquis of Hakysake’s son is now a subaltern in the Hulin Rifles.  

Comptroller Bellormus now has a delicate balance to maintain; the whole point of the Devos IV campaign is to preserve food production for the Cadian Gate (where 99% of exports go).  With two large continents, one is about to be ravaged by war; he does not really wish to jeopardise food production from the other by stripping all of the available manpower to fight a war which will halve food production for (potentially) decades.   

The intention at the outset is that 38 Korps will be five Divisions of three regiments.  Comptroller Bellormus estimates a wartime establishment of 120.000 for 38 Korps, roughly in line with 17Korps and 18 Korps.   At full establishment there could be half a million fighting men[2] here by the end of the year.  

The various Departmento Labour and Construction Corps either en route or already brought to Devos IV and deployed in support of the military operation will reach 650,000 by the end of the year.   The war effort is already drawing heavily on the capacity within the Acer economy; there is not much headroom left and there is a greater requirement to service the war and also to ‘take up the slack’ when it comes to food production.  The Comptroller’s office is revising its estimates; the Labour and Construction Corps are not big enough to support the size of enterprise that 4* Zhukov has been given license for.  

4* Gen Zhukov is responsible to the Offico Tacticae for the conduct of the war.  It is this office, with direction from Klestor Subsector Command (Lord General Militant Potemkin) that has allowed the expansion of 72AG to three combat Corps.  After his campaign of petitioning every desk between his own the Lord General’s,  Zhukov will be held to account on the presumption that he has three combat Corps at his disposal.

Comptoller Bellormus is responsible to the Office of the Imperial Bursary, also a part of the Departmento Munitorium and equal to the Officio Tacticae, for the expenditure of resources in a prudent fashion.  He has arrived on the planet to discover a Lady Inquisitrix of the Ordo Hereticus already present.  Mirroring his instructions from the Departmento, her interpretation of His Divine Majesty’s will is that the conflict shall not jeopardise the flow of food from Devos IV to the Cadian Gate.  

Militarily, the 72AG should win, they will soon have a 3:1 advantage, this will only rise as 72AGs casualties are replaced and the PLA’s are not.  Additionally, Comptroller Bellormus’ labour corps will soon have their supply apparatus in place ensuring that every tank, Valkyrie, las gun, spoon, sock or button lost is replaced, warp currents allowing, from stock.  Whereas the PLA, stockpiled as they are, have a finite amount of material to draw upon.   Ultimately, this stretches to men as well, but ‘wasting’ resources will see Divisional and Corps Commanders sacrificed[3] in an attempt to preserve Gen Zhukov’s position.  But even he is aware that the largess of the Departmento will in this instance be heavily influenced by the Ordo Hereticus’ opinion of the progress of the war. 

As a clear army reserve (it doesn’t even exist yet), 38 Corps already has one Division nominated from the Klestor high readiness reserve; this airmobile elite is en route and is anticipated to be used only to achieve final victory.  The other four Divisions are to be drawn from the population of Devos IV.  

The issue here is that regardless of Adminstratum data, Comptroller Bellormus has found Devos IV has a population of just under 8 Millions.  Discounting women, children, the old, the young and so on leaves 2 Millions from which to draw the new units main strength.   This is the arithmetic that has informed Klestor Sub Sector’s Office of the Imperial Bursary in setting the additional tithe in manpower – about 5% should place no strain at all on Devos IV and be easy for Comptroller Bellormus to achieve.

But half of this population are on the continent which is in rebellion.  And a significant portion of the population (8%) are nomadic grox herders.  Even if they could be tracked down and held accountable for conscription into the new regiments, these pastoral workers are not easily replaceable[4]; this would seriously impact the flow of beef to the Cadian Gate.  Conversely, the other major export, compressed freeze dried protein from the seas, is also niche skilled and labour intensive.  Additionally, the trawler farms that service this requirement are themselves serviced by almost all of the rest of the Devos IV economy.  

After collecting all he can from the Drookian Diaspora, Imperialist Zealots and willing volunteers, Comptroller Bellormus is still going to be lucky to achieve the manpower for half of one Division.  This shortage of manpower will matter; the PLA may only be 100,000 strong, however, they are defending their homeworld against invaders from outer space, Danny Bloodcoat has spent the last ten years improving the planetary defence network for just this type of war, the PLA will have the support of the local population, the Imperial Guard are likely to suffer from sabotage, subversion, espionage and at best, an indifferent population as they advance through Benq.   

The beachhead at Randstad is just that; the Port and its archipelio are well sited as a trans-oceanic port of entry.  But the area enjoys no significant resources of its own.   And every day that 72 AG keeps 17 Korps from moving inland (due to lack of available support) is another day that the PLA have to prepare.

[1] The Ordo Hereticus are well aware that those torn asunder are the bitterest of foes (and thus one of their best weapons).  However, they are anxious that true believers are used, to further their own ends, the persecution of witches and heretics.  They are not on Devos IV to encourage general internecine warfare.
[2] This would include the Imperial Navy’s deployed atmospheric superiority command.
[3] ie either by sacking (leading to court martial), or putting them in such a position as to make a glorious end (or be found wanting) their only choice.  Zhukov is quite experienced at this.
[4] Whilst shipping factory workers from one world to another is always possible, transhipment of pastoral workers like Grox herders invariably takes a generation or three to settle down; the animals, planetary cycles, weather, grazing and so on are all variables that have to be compensated for.


  1. yakes- wouldn't want to be in Comptroller Bellormus shoes.
    Danny Bloodcoat sounds like an interesting character too.
    Will we hear of Marquis of Hakysake’s son in the Hulin Rifles again?

    I love the depth of this, particularly with who is responsible for what and is answerable to which department.
    It is a very interesting 'world'.

  2. Ditto above, you've nailed down some incredible fluff here. Can't wait to see how it pans out (on that subject, tomorrow I should be (finally) fighting my long overdue battle against the Bloodcoats ...)

  3. Thank you, gentlemen. Lt Hakysake will almost certainly re-appear. And I'm looking forward to seeing the Palladians advance into continental Benq :)

    I think that between FW, Mr Abnett and GW itself, there is enough to inform an exposition like this. I like to think that I'm just 'filling in the gaps' in a consitant (with the canon, contrdictory 'tho it sometimes is) way. The next couple of Fridays have a little of the military organisation filled out.