PLAYTEST: Imperial Guard Human Bombs

I was ecstatic when I saw that Penal Legion Troopers made their way back into the latest version of the Imperial Guard codex. I love Penal Battalions not only for their awesome fluff, but, also because they allow for an almost endless number of "penal" jokes.

But I was disappointed that Human Bombs didn't make an appearance. The veterans out there will remember them from the Rogue Trader days when they appeared in the "Warhammer 40,000 Compendium" (circa 1989).

Here's an updated version. If you manage to playtest a game with one, please email and let me know how it went.

The troops sentenced to service in the Penal Battalions are there for life, and must live under a tremendous burden of guilt; for not only have they committed crimes, but in doing so they have betrayed the Emperor. However, the Emperor in his mercy has ordained that Penal Battalion troops should have the opportunity to repent and atone for their crimes -- hence, the Human Bombs.

Any Penal Legion trooper may volunteer for service as a Human Bomb. In addition to his normal equipment, he is fitted with an explosive harness. The moment he dons the harness, he is absolved by the Emperor and the burden of his guilt is lifted. He also has a chance for freedom. for some of the harnesses are rigged not to explode -- if he survives the battle, he is absolved and free.

A Human Bomb is an upgrade for a Penal Legion Troopers squad. One Penal Legionnaire may be equipped with a Human Bomb Harness for 15 points. The Human Bomb gains the Activation special rule.

You may attempt to active a Human Bomb at the beginning of any of your Movement phases by rolling a D6. On a 1, the harness is a dud and the Penal Legionnaire is absolved (i.e., nothing happens). On a 2+, the bomb harness activates. The Human Bomb immediately gains the Independent Character, Human Bomb, Fearless, Fleet and Rage special rules.

Note: The Human Bomb is still considered part of the Penal Legion Troopers unit for the purposes of Kill Points, but cannot claim or contest objectives.

Human Bomb: Once activated, a Human Bomb generally runs straight toward the nearest enemy and detonates. If a Human Bomb assaults (or is assaulted by) an enemy unit, he will detonate. This detonation happens after the defenders react, but before any attacks are made. Place the large blast marker so that it is touching the Human Bomb (the marker does not scatter). Any model touched by the marker takes a S8 hit with an AP of 2. The Human Bomb is removed as a casualty.

"There are those who undervalue the Penal Battalions. But they should consider this: should a man who has wronged the Emperor be allowed to wrong him further? For each man executed is a man who can no longer serve, and to fail in service to the Emperor is the greatest of sins."
-- Leman Russ, Meditations on Imperial Command, Book XXI

>> Thanks for reading and your comments are most welcome! If you want to contact me directly, feel free to email me at -- I just love the email!


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