Lady Guardsmen and 4 Other Great Things in Codex AM

The latest Astra Militarum Codex is here and let me tell you – this ain’t your grandpappy’s IG book!

The new codex is upon us and I want to go over just a few of the gems that made me smile as I flipped through it. Now AM ringers like StableAbe and Goatboy will go over the minutiae of every last point cost but I want to step back and appreciate the big picture.

Lady Guardsmen

We’ve known they exist in the fluff and they showed up in THQ’s Space Marine.  3rd party outfits sell Female 28mm heads and they make great conversions in an AM army.  But at last GW has commissioned some female artwork of Astra Militarum Guardsmen.  No silly boob-plates or metal bikinis. These ladies are ready to take it to the enemies of the Emperor with grit.   This isn’t even the best pic of female guardsmen in the codex!


Yes it’s true – there is now a pretty solid close combat unit for the AM. The Crusaders now have the Astra Militarum keyword, their standard Stormshields, Powerswords and can use Acts of Faith.  Not too shabby.

So Many New Regiments

This is the book for conversion fans.  Finally we get to see some old chestnuts like the Savlar Chem-dogs get “official” conversions and artwork. They also threw in a bunch of easy conversions using Warhammer Fantasy, Skitarii and Genestealer Cult minis.  Maybe next time they will get doctrines as well.


Move Over Nork – Generic Ogryn BodyGuards

Yes it’s true – you too can now requisition an Ogryn bodyguard to protect your squishy AM officer.  These are quite well costed and give your important issuers of commands that extra oomph to last through the game.  Even more strangely – you can assign them to protect IG Tank Commanders!


This one has a lot of interesting uses.  Think about it…  It might even be too good.

~ Soldiers – dismissed!

  • zeno666

    Those models look really old.

    • Hagwert

      The Cadians do look a little long in the tooth next to the newer models . I think their sprue may date back as far as 2003!!!!

      • bobrunnicles

        2003? That’s nothing compared to the plastic Catachans….that I have a whole army of 🙂

        • Rainthezangoose

          One of my first purchases in 40k was the old 20 model boxset for Cadians. Cost £12? The exact same sprues they use to day, they really need updating.

          • TenDM

            I wish they’d bring back those twenty packs. I had tons of Catachans thanks to them.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Likewise brother lol! I have a whole army of the metal catachan…

      • Carey_Mahoney

        Even earlier than that. I think it’s ’98 or ’99.

        • Coltcabunny

          Nope. The plastic Cadians came out with the Eye of Terror codex in 2003. The plastic Catachans came out first in 1999

    • luke-vdv

      How exactly? They look completely fine.

      • zeno666

        The Cadians look like giant babies.
        Their hands are huge and they stand as tall as a space marine.

        • luke-vdv

          That’s just the aesthetic. The style. I’ve never seen them as being supposed to 100% perfectly reflecting human proportions.

          • zeno666

            They are humans you know?

          • luke-vdv

            Yeah, but that doesn’t stop things from having an artistic style. The Simpsons are supposed to be human yet they are yellow and have four fingers because it is the style. Bad example? lol yes, but I can’t think of another off the top of my head right now.

          • zeno666

            Hehe sure. But that style doesn’t fit very well with the rest of the line 🙂

        • af

          Disagreed, the Cadians look fine. I have a bunch of them next to the current Genestealer Hybrids — the ones with human hands, of course — and they look perfectly fine next to each other.

  • Hagwert

    I get the feeling a lot of AM players will be making use of the new Esher sprues to to get some female Guard onto the tabletop.

    • memitchell

      Perhaps. But, I think those new Eschers will be closer to 32mm. And, very varied in weapons and attitudes.

    • lunahula .

      I have 2 sprues of the plastic cadians, one sprue of five of the easy fit cadians and let me tell you… they aren’t worth the trouble, waiting for whatever wonders Necromunda brings or a kickstarter for alternative models.

      It’s not just the look of the old Plastic Cadians, it’s that the arms don’t fit together particularly well and sub assembly? Forget about it.

  • Commissar Molotov

    A little sad they left my Praetorians out of the listed regiments, but as others have noted the Mordian rules will work fine.

    • euansmith

      I’m looking for some rules to use with my Mordians, though? 😉

      • Commissar Molotov

        I gotta see how my old 2nd ed “mixed bag” of IG regiments is gonna work…keeping track of all those doctrines might be a pain!

        • Watcherzero

          To have different regiments doctrines you need to put them in different detachments and those within a detachment need to share the same regiment keyword. So you could either pick three regiments and have a detachment for each or field several different uniforms under one regiment keyword. Auxillaries are now free to join regiment detachments without taking away battleforged (except Tempestus has to be pure) but don’t benefit from the doctrine. Weird loophole in rules at moment though is Tempestus, for the real one they have to be pure Scions but you can create a fan regiment and assign them the same doctrine and then take other units without breaking battleforged.

          • Commissar Molotov

            Thanks – I’ve got a goodly sized force of Praetorians, including heavy weapons teams, and a goodly sized force of Catachans (also including heavy weapons teams) but my other troops are less uniform – a squad of Mordians, a squad of Valhallans (with a metric TON of Valhallan heavy weapons squads), a squad of old-school Cadians and then the usual 2nd ed smattering of ratlings, Attilan Rough Riders and Ogryns. Sounds like shoehorning them all into a list is gonna require some serious rules contortions!

    • Severius_Tolluck

      I said the same thing too for my friend, I figured they most likely would use nearly the exact same rules.

      • Commissar Molotov

        They’re both snooty, stubborn, stick-in-the-mud regiments, eh? 😉

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Pretty much, guess the main difference is choice of earl grey, vs folgers.

    • TenDM

      Hopefully that’s just a lead-up to Mordians getting their own book. Sort of like how Codex Space Marines doesn’t mention the Blood Angels much. We’ve heard that 8th will see more sub-faction specific rules. I mean it’s probably not the case, but we can dream.

  • marxlives

    Lady guardsmen….female guardsmen. Anyway, glade that GW acknowledges women in the military that don’t need to exist in sex segregated units. Its about 15 years late as far as female models mixed in the male models in miniature wargames but better late than never. Don’t think anyone is going to do taper ticker parades down the street and kiss any nurses at random.

    • Heinz Fiction

      Well, Eldar have this since a long time…

    • I get the impression that this is GW’s way of canonizing their current models as genderless. Take a Cadian, make his eyes a little darker and his lips a little redder and bam, Female Guardsmen.

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured
        • Frostasche

          But is that not exactly, what they did in the artwork? They put lipstick on, a little eye shade, and cleaned the face (removing shadows and stubbles also). Nothing more to create an artwork of a female guardsman.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            What art school did you go to? That’s no shoop of some existing AM book art. That’s new art. They’ve always gone for a stark, severe character design with Cadians, so rather than giving us a dolled-up Khadoran reject for Valhalla/Vostroya, a Martinez clone for Catachan, or a Hijabi with a Stubber for Tallarn, they went for lean, tired, and low-key done with Abbadon’s crap.

          • Frostasche

            The only distinctive female in the artwork is, that she is wearing heavy make-up, and the round face made by not adding shadows to the face. If this is the way GW goes, the unpainted Cadian models are actually genderless.

            I actually don’t see what my education, or the regiment designs have to do with that.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            I think you’re missing a lot of detail. There are plenty of cast shadows in that illustration, even on her face. Her nose is less pronounced and her skintone looks a little less weather-bitten than other Guardsmen, and there’s a distinct lack of noticeable scars or recovering injuries. Also, one man’s heavy makeup is another’s dramatic hard shadow.

            A paint job is less of an indicator of gender than the way a model is sculpted, and nearly all of the Cadian sculpts have a masculine design, from the modeling of their faces to the thickness of their limbs. At a minimum, you’d need heads with lighter/rounder jaw structure to pull off a female Guardsmen, if not lighter arm/leg sculpts, and maybe a few new torsos.

            I questioned your education because I couldn’t see an argument based on any recognisable expertise regarding composition, basic anatomy, or artistic process. So, to answer your question, No, they did not just slap some makeup on and clean the character’s face.

          • Frostasche

            Everything you mention in the first paragraph can be condensed as cleaning the face. Skin-tone less weather-bitten, no scars, nose less pronounced (because the shadows are toned down). I was not really trying to say, that they washed the face with water and soap, but that they removed all impurities.

            And a hard shadow on the lips is an really odd place.

            You are talking about basic anatomy and composition in the artwork, but the only examples you bring are no scars and cleaner skin? Maybe you should stop worrying about the education of others.

            For the details on the models, their armor is not really form fitting, so i don’t see your point. A movie example for a little tighter armor:
            Two women, two men, how would you make the differences, you see here, translate in miniatures, so you could actually see it? If you stay realistic, you would not see a big difference, but people expect the exagerated in miniatures, even though they are making fun of boob plates.
            For the jaw line, alot of the cadian minis have their jaw hidden. The straps of the helmet go over it, so this is also not the defining part.
            And for the limbs, is not already the only argument against the miniatures, that the limbs are too big, without looking at the gender?

            I was only agreeing with WellspokenMan, that the grade of gender differences, you see in the artwork, translates to the models as just how you paint the miniature. I never said, if i would prefer more exagerated details or not.

      • Muninwing

        i mean, it’s a little more than that… i’m surprised nobody has made new torsos that have a slight bit of waist curve and slight bit of front padding…

        but then again i’m really surprised that GW doesn’t make conversion kits for a ton of things that would increase sales. having IG be mix-and-match between head, torso, and legs would allow a ton of regiments in plastic.

        • Frostasche

          Changing the waist, would also mean, changing the legs also, as the new torso would not fit into them.
          With the boxes, they are already making with female and male soldiers, the only difference is, that one torso has breasts, the other not. On the tabletop a slight bit of waist curve and a slight bit of front padding is not really recognizable, so just more production cost for GW with no gain. For single characters, it may work, but in a hord of of guardsman noone will see the difference.

          • Muninwing

            nah, you could easily fit the bottom of a new torso and the placement of the arms to the other parts in a test model, and sculpt around that.

            and it’s easily recognizable, even from a bit of a distance. every conversion i’ve seen on the table has immediately gotten attention. and in particular, with the male-dominated game that it is, the majority of the female potential players (that are turned off by 40k’s lack of placement for them) that have been around have immediately noticed them too.

            i agree that it’s probably not cost-effective for GW to retool the whole kit, but if they are redoing the kit at some point anyway, it would be easy to include. what’s more, it is a definite market, and a way to expand player-base. so it is a short-term-loss-long-term-gain sort of strategy.

            what’s more, with a properly-made alternate torso, it would be easy to run off “upgrade sprues” for IG that had them.

            really, the IG has gotten so little attention over the years that they are massively behind in the customizability and variance that other armies have.

          • Muninwing

            what would actually be best is if the new IG kits were multipart, or variant, in order to allow for greater representation of the supported ranges.

            if the kit had
            – furry hat
            – helmet
            – rebreather head
            – cap head
            – bandana/bare head
            – greatcoat waist
            – flack armor waist
            – dress uniform waist
            – tank top waist
            – jodhpur legs
            – cargo pant legs

            10 of each, billed as a kit that can make 10 of any one regiment (but in reality could make 20 total… the kit would be limited by the legs, which is not unlike what they do with SM kits), it would be an amazing expansion and support of the currently-existing line.

            then, add the “Guard Upgrade” kit, with female waists, epaulets, dress cords, heirloom weapons, variant greatcoats, female bare heads, pith helmets, and alternate vehicle upgrades.

            boom. every IG legion you could imagine. mix and match. every army would be different, but still obvious. and conversions like Vostroyans piloting sentinels suddenly are not onerous anymore.

    • Tox

      Look back to the Rogue Trader days. There were female miniatures in that Imperial Army/Imperial Guard range.

    • Gorsameth

      The Commisar Cain books involve a mixed Valhallen regiment.

  • david

    I agree the Cadians, who survived, do need updating.
    Since Cadia was lost, they need new uniforms and equipment.
    I’ve converted and I’m doing some conversions for a few vehicles they could use.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured


    • luke-vdv

      No thanks on the uniform side of things. That’s my favourite thing about them.

  • Reddog

    No mention of the female Catachan with grenade launcher or female Commissar model that GW put out years ago?

    • DJ860

      Not to mention the female models in the Last Chancers although I guess all these examples do is highlight how few of them there are.

  • DoctorBored

    Lady guardsmen and another mention of the Adepta Sororitas. We’re getting closer, ladies and gents.

  • skeletay

    I want male battle sisters

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Female Guard have always been part of the background, but its good to see some artwork, and such, pushing them to the fore. I do wonder could GW do one of a couple of things when it comes to updating infantry kits? Could they:
    – Recut the Cadian and/or Catachan sprue to include female head (and torso for Catachans).
    – Produce a female upgrade sprue to sell through direct sale.
    – Go the whole hog and do a kits that is a female centric regiment.

    I would certain like any of those options, heck I’d prefer it over the mythical “Greatcoat” themed kti, that everyone clamours for. As someone else has pointed out; I’m sure the esher heads will be in much demand…

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Wych bodies also come in handy, but the Escher sculpts will probably have better proportions.

    • Son_of_Corax_XIX

      GW is scared of coming across sexist.
      Look at how hyper sexed the males are looking like chiseled Adonis’s, imagine what heroic stereotype most people would pick/want for female guard?

      • Muninwing

        what the lowest common denominator wants is not the worry — you just give them something that isn’t that, but fits the actual bill.

        GW is not scared of coming across sexist, or they would have more than two supported options for even partially female armies.

    • dinodoc

      GW should hire this person:

  • piglette

    Krieg or bust.

  • Shenordak

    There might be a cost issue with those conversions…you get exactly one of those longcoat legs with each cadian command squad.

  • Mr.Gold

    Imperium players take a patrol detachment of guard (commander/commissiar + 20 conscripts ish) to then be allowed to access their stratagems (per a recent FAQ – Death Guard V1.0) then use “Take Cover” and other similar stratagems on all your important units as it doesn’t require any keywords… (also the conscripts will provide a nice bubble wrap). also I believe there is a relic for Guard Officers to allow you roll 5+ each time your opponant uses a command point to regain 1CP.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    I like the inclusion of Crusaders and generic Ogryn bodyguards.

  • Nyyppä

    So, Cadians with lipstick = Cadian girl corps.

    “Did you just assume my gender?”

  • shmabadu

    I have female guardsmen but I never get to use them as they always seem to get pregnant right when I’m about to deploy them.

  • Chet Atkinson

    Would have liked to see a new minis range rather than the more expensive and faff of converting. Think I’ll give them a miss this time round

  • Chet Atkinson

    Are those guys ‘CAT-ATCHCAN’ or ‘CAT-A-CHAN’?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured


    • Muninwing

      ca- (cat -t)
      -ta- (Yalta -Yal)
      -chan (like Jackie)

  • Leics Fox

    Yeah well I am not a skilled converter; so how’s it looking for me building my Armageddon-style guard army?

    • Paul Raymond

      Get the metal Steel Legion models and saw. Welcome to hell. I’ve managed to saw off the other arm of the sergeant and fit alternate arms for a special weapon or other pistols and melee weapons. The rocket launcher can also be cut off the shoulder and a special weapon put in the now open hand. You can put the guy carrying the spare rocket behind anything on a tripod. I’ve cut the barrels off the grenade launcher and fitted the barrel of a flamer and any rifle can become a sniper rifle with a little superglue. They even look pretty nice if you take your time. Eventually, you will be an awesome converter.

  • Mike Tbone Green

    been wishing that GW would make more female models for their games. it just makes sense to have men and women fight

  • Jay Mort

    Per the US Army in the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (report date November 15, 1992, published in book form by Brassey’s in 1993):
    ‘The top, most physically fit, 20% of females have equivalent physical ability to the bottom, least physically fit, 20% of males,’ and, “The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.”

    Hmmmm…… I wonder why the Imperium can’t seem to beat it’s enemies?

    • TenDM

      And the Catachan and Cadian women could crush your head with their bare hands. It’s a fantasy world, it’s allowed to be interesting no matter what the early 90’s finest speculation says.

      • Muninwing

        normal humans are S/T2. the trained guard, with their endless deployment and constant drilling, are up to 3.

        that includes the women.

  • TenDM

    I love that the female Guardsmen have the same flack jacket. It makes it so much easier when you only have to change the head. Not sold on the Crusaders though. It doesn’t seem very Imperial Guard-ey.

    • piglette

      There are so many regiments, theoretically anything is Guard-ey. With millions of planets you’ll eventually have a regiment who wear neon loin clothes, powdered wigs, and giant cone hats.

      • TenDM

        I dunno. Yeah, they could be pretty much anything and we’ve seen far weirder regiments, but nothing about Crusaders really seems to fit for me. I would have put them in as part of the Inquisition by the sound of it.

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        Like the Tanith 1st & Only, after the Siege of Verghast?

  • Fredddy

    My grandpappys IG codex of 3rd ed actually had some 50 artworks of various guard regiments, with females among them. They even had the Necromundan Spiders, a regiment made of Van Saar ganger figures.

  • af

    I like that we all agree they are really the Imperial Guard and, hence, guardsmen. May the silly name of Astra Militarum never prevail!