Him ot Terra, all this IG talk has got me diging out 40K IG books going back to '90 and my folder of Army Lists and found my 40K:RT 1500 pt Assualt Company (base rolls and fleshed out with points), first 8 squads all scored Boltguns w/Shirikin Catapults for Squad Support Weapons. 2 Squads with Bolt Pistols& Swords. allSargents also with Bolt Pistol & Chain Sword and every one with Photon Grenades, Mesh & Flack, Visors & Masks. the Companies only Heavy weapons where mounted on a handfull of Road Wheelers.
Close. If I understand the Codex IG the "typical" (If there truly is such a thing!) Platoon would consist of 3 Infantry squads with 10 men each; 1 heavy weapons squad with 6 men and a Sergeant for a total of seven and a Special weapons squad (Sniper, Flamer or engineer/sapper) with 10 men as well. Lastly would be the command squad with 5-6 men. This would yield anaverage platoon size of approx. 50- 52 men.
Where did you get that from?. From what I am remember of the pre-5th/6th edition codex 1) a heavy weapon squad doesn't have a seperate leader (totalling 6 men), and special weapon squads are also 6 men (though this may have changed for the latest edition, I haven't looked at the codex in a while), and 2) those support squads are attached at Company level, not platoon level. I know they are now part of the infantry platoons in the current codex, but as far as I aware this hasn't been made into an official organisation, just a game mechanic one. This is unlike 3rd through 5th editions 5 squad platoon and company HQ with attached support squads, which was translated into an official organisational structure. The Cadian… can't remember the number, but Kreed's regiment, is broken down in detail and uses exactly this structure. That was a change from 2nd edition, where it was 3 squad platoons, and 3 platoons to a company (with an unspecified number of companies in a regiment, and attachments of support etc being unspecified). Battalions don't seem to be an organisational unit in the Imperial Guard, other than possibly a naming convention for certain regiments, but then their at least partially self contained nature is entirely counter to the Imperial Doctrine of "No single man must be able to command a viable stand alone force".
Of course, as you say, the Guard are meant to be very varied, so this won't be universal.
And according to that chart, at least one Cadian Regiment uses a 3 platoons (of 3 squads each) to a company structure (but then no company level organic support, presumably just attachments from the heavy weapon companies).
My Information comes from the IG 5th edition codex. It in noway requires the mix I presented but it sort of suggests it in the Army points list under the "Troops" section. The 10 man squads ARE the standard that you buy. At a minimum it is 9 guardsmen and a sergeant all armed with Lasgun, close combat weapon and grenades. (The Sergeant has Las pistol and chainsword instead!) Various upgrades can change this of course and platoons are considered a single troop choice. It is at the platoon lvl that I noticed that the structure that I posted would be likely.
The Emperor protects! (The GM does not!)
When a regiment is tithed it is constructed to optimally sized units according to the tactica imperialis, the needs of the campaign and simply what the planet has to offer (feral warriors are best put into bigger units to mob the enemy, heavy infantry fair better in smaller units with armour support etc).
At a very basic level the 3 components of a platoon are the following:
A command squad - 1 NCO and 4 guardsmen
Infantry squads - 1 NCO and 9 guardsmen
Heavy/Special weapon squads - 6 guardsmen
A platoon at an absolute minimum consists of 1 command squad and 2 infantry squads and can add up to 3 more infantry squads, 2 special weapon squads, 5 heavy weapon squads and even a conscript squad (consisting of between 20 and 50 men). This means that a platoon can be anything from 25 to almost 150 guardsmen in strength.
If a regiment survives a campaign (which many simply won't) then it obviously suffer casualties. This reduces many squads to less than full strength. Once the fighting is over or during transit from one warzone to another, regimental command will reorganize the squads back up to full strength. Platoons that may have started off with close to 150 strength may end a campaign with barely a quarter of that.
Finally are the rare occasions when a platoon will be wiped out but for a handful of guardsmen. These grim faced survivors will have employed a range of ingenious and highly unorthodox tactics in order to survive and when recovered are either put into command positions of other squads or formed up into their own Veteran guardsmen squads to better make use of their unique talents.
So short answer - a squad is anything from 5 to 50 men strong depending on the situation and type of regiment it is.
"Only the insane have the strength enough to prosper. Only those who prosper may truly judge what is sane."
That's the thing: I don't think the "Imperial Guard Infantry Platoon" in the current Imperial Guard Codex is actually representative of any official platoon. It is just a way to organise it for game purposes. In "reality" it would represent an infantry platoon with various attached extras: heavy weapons squads and special weapons squads from the company HQ and heavy weapon companies, and possibly a nearby platoon of conscripts (organised as very large squads in the game because their lack of training means they cannot operate properly as independent squads). I haven't seen anything yet which translates this into an "official" organisation for any guard regiment. It just seems to be a a game abstraction. This is different from the previous optimal 55 man platoon (5 squads plus 5 man HQ), as the 4th edition codex actually describes at least one regiment using exactly that structure (with having 6 platoons to a company, and a company HQ with organic support elements). The 2nd edition codex also specified that in "reality" a platoon was 3 ten man squads + platoon HQ, with a company being made up of 3 of them.
Ok above squad level the origonal IG setup from 40K:RT was very Roman Leigon in function and aperance, there was a 10 man Squad lead by a Sergent (a Decade lead by a Decturion) 10 of those made a Company commanded by a Captian (Centuary & Centurion respectivaly), a Capitan could nomnate or was assigined Juinor Officers (Princips) to lead sub units of his company larger than a Squad, minor spechilities where organic to the Squads and major spechlists where atached at Company level. Apx 100 Companies (although 2 or more Companies could constitue an army) made up an Army (apx 10,000 troops like a leigon). Armies had a pool of Veteran Squads (the Vetanari for the Romans) who many tactical conventions where relaxed or suspended so their Squads (/Decades) where what ever size worked best for the Vetrans or however many where availible.
2nd ed/Dark Melenium had a more British Army feel, Codex: Army Lists had the Colonel as an independant character teamed up with other IG Character modles and Imperial Agents Characters as points and tacital needs allowed (or you could give him an Ogron or Veteran Bodyguard, but that tied down a hard hiting squad). each Command Section allowed you to have up to 3 Squads of Regular Troops (Rifle, Close Assualt, Suport Weapon, Penal Leigon or Light Horse) and one Squad of Axualries (Veterans, Ogerons or Ratlings). Vechicles and Arty where dependant on the number of Tech-Preists (max 2) you had
Codex IG changed things a bit, the Colonel got his own HQ Command Squad, or you could take a Capitan with a HQ Command Squad. their where still Platoon level Comand Squads, you couldn't have more Command Sections than Squads and Command & Squad had to be of the same kind of modle (called Regimental type, Squads could be Rifle, Support or Rough Rider if it was a Rough Rider Command), you could have one Auxilaru/Aditional unit per Regemental Squad, you could have up to 3 Regimental squads per Comand section and Auxilary/Adtional Unit (Squad or Vechical, Storm Troopers, Ab's and Vechicals couldn't be Regimental, unless you counted Morter Teams and Griffans the IG lost it's light Arty). I saw so many Armies that where Command HQ, 3 Weapons Squads, then made up of Rough Riders (Commands & Squads) with Ogrens & Leman Russ Tanks as back-up back in the day. When Chapter Aproved came out all IG players went Armor, it was the only way to remain compedtive giver the power creap of later Codexes and army list amendments in White Dwaf, and it was the cheapest way for new IG players to build their armies.
3rd ed went with a modified version of the 2nd ed and they have played with it ever since through Codex Rivisions and New Editions.
The platoon structure was introduced about mid-way through 1st edition (at the time when it changed from the "Imperial Army" to the "Imperial Guard"), It was up to 4 squads per platoon HQ and the squads had to stay within some sort of coherency with each other (Seperation of up to 12" I think, but I can't remember if that was from another squad in the same platoon or from the platoon command squad.
IIRCit was Squad, but you could by pass that with Coms gear, an Officer from higher in the same Chain of Command or a Comissar.