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Naming you Guard
Old 04 Mar 2008, 01:42   #1 (permalink)
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Default Naming you Guard

Naming your Guard
Naming your guard force can always be a big challenge to the greenest recruit and hardest veteran alike. Coming up with a name that embodies the nature of your force, suits the guard and Warhammer 40,000 in general, but yet isn't too cheesy is a tough problem. Hopefully in this short article I can provide some tips to help you come up with names for your proud Imperial Guard Forces.

Imperial Guard Naming Conventions

Most Imperial Guard regiments are named after the world they were raised on, with a number signifying their specific regiment. For example, in the case of the Cadian 8th you immediately know that this regiment is from Cadia, and is regiment number 8. The regiment number can either prepend the world or come after it, it is seen both ways in Games Workshop texts (As in "Cadian 8th" v. "8th Cadian"). Something to consider is the decals that come in the Guardsmen Box- if you can use their decals to put the regiment number on your men's shoulders, it'll make your life a heck of a lot easier.

However, there is no need to assign a regiment number if you don't wish to (though it would make markings a lot easier). Most regiments besides their home world and number have a nickname of some sorts, such as "Death Korps of Krieg" or "Harakoni Warhawks". Many people give their Guard forces a nickname, though it isn't strictly necessary.

Coming up with names

Other Languages

The first things to consider when thinking of a name is play style, homeworld, and inspiration. Most guard armies have some sort of inspiration or theme behind them. If this theme is a specific historical army or country, you can often find interesting names by using words from other languages, specifically the language of whatever army or country your army is based on. An easy way to do this is to use various translation tools, like Google's Language Tools, linked here. If you have a German themed army, for example, (Death Korps anyone?), try some different English words translated into German. Things like "War", "Death", "Force", "Army", and the like are all good.

Some common languages are German/Danish/Dutch for World War One or World War Two inspired armies, Russian for various Russian Style armies, or Latin for guard-sounding words (High Gothic is very similar to Latin).

Names from Today

Finding names for planets can be difficult, but an easy way to do this is through the old "spin the globe" trick- just get a globe, or better, a large atlas, and spin it or drop it open. Close your eyes and put your finger down somewhere- wherever it lands, brainstorm a few names based on that place. No matter how silly it seems, try to think of a few different variations- you might just hit something. Don't have a globe? Get Google Earth and give the world a good spin by clicking in one corner and dragging quickly to the other, letting go as you do so- then just close your eyes and click to stop it.

Names from History

Another good way to find names for various planets can be to look at the names of different nations or tribes from History. A favorite of mine is the various greek polis (city-states) of the ancient world- after you get past Athens and Sparta, there are literally dozens of polis that get little to no mention but have large back stories and make great names- places like Corinth, Pylos, Thebes, or Syracuse. Simply opening a historical map and dropping your finger can lead to inspiration for a new guard regiment.

Other Sources

Other common places to look can be favorite books, movies, or video games. A change of a name from one universe by adding or subtracting letters can make a good sounding home world. Another way to use these sorts of names are through Anagrams- take one word and re-arrange the letters into something new.

Tips for the Best Results

The most important thing is to write down everything you think of, no matter how silly. When you are simply brainstorming names, it doesn't matter if you are going to throw out that idea immediately, just write it down and consider it, see where it leads you. You never know what thing might lead to the next until you have the most amazing name in your gaming group.

Hope you find this helpful.
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Old 04 Mar 2008, 01:46   #2 (permalink)
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Nice... We shall throw it into the tactica when nessesary if thats okay with you?
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Old 04 Mar 2008, 02:00   #3 (permalink)
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Of course!
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Old 04 Mar 2008, 02:59   #4 (permalink)
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tag ;D
"Men are basically smart or dumb and lazy or ambitious. The dumb and ambitious ones are dangerous and I get rid of them. The dumb and lazy ones I give mundane duties. The smart ambitious ones I put on my staff. The smart and lazy ones I make my commanders.
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Old 04 Mar 2008, 04:32   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Naming you Guard

Nice. I'll throw in an example.

I came up with my planet's name in a similar way. I wanted a regiment from a volcanic world, and came up with the name Hellania, based on Mount St Hellans. As an added touch I added a nick name too, the "Lavadogs". I added doctrines from there.

You did a good job GeekyGator. I hope it helps the would be generals out there. Too bad it was a month or so too late for me to be able to use it :
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