My two cents though also late in the debate: Another poster described the modern US army soldier and their training allowing to disassemble reassemble and cobble together their weapons if necessary. There is no reason to believe a guardsman could not do this. It says somewhere in the books that a weapon proficiency talent also gives the character basic knowledge of how to maintain their weapon. (I can't remember where at this point.) This would allow the character to field strip and reassemble their weapon without a problem (Disassembling an M-16 or AK is not difficult in the real world.). This would logically allow a savvy guardsman to swap like for like parts in his weapon. (Though I still wouldn't tell the Tech priest!) That being said, The modern US army is not a Gunsmith any more than an IG guardsman is so if his weapon his heavily damaged, (Say by taking a round in the receiver casing!) he is not going to be able to fix it by swapping parts! He will need an armourer to repair something like that or if on the battlefield, just pick up his dead buddy's weapon! This is the same as for the IG trooper giving his weapon to an Artificer IMHO. I also agree with the poster who pointed out that a "standard" Lasgun (Particularly the ones from BC) is a very effective weapon against almost any other "Troop" level adversary. As to the Logistics: There is a scene in the game Mass effect 2 that very effectively explains this issue; When Shepherd rescues Tali she questions him as to why the quarians cannot go into full scale war with the Geth. (Given their success on this world.). Her own bodyguard explains to her that "What she has seen to date have been small unit actions that were relatively short in duration. In a full blown war supply lines get stretched thin and things get..messy"! This is one of the best reasons for issuing the Lasgun to basic infantry rather than anything else! Bear in mind that when the SM's deploy in an area they are normally acting in concert with a Strike cruiser (At least!) whose whole purpose is to support and supply the Astartes while they are "on mission". The Imperial navy basically just drops off IG regiments and then moves on to it's other mission requirements. Their resupply being up to the Munitorium to arrange (Often Imperfectly!) In extended campaigns or siege type scenarios this makes the Lasgun the ideal weapon as it never "truly" runs out of ammo! Your Unit will typically have enough Solar charging units (Or some equivalent) that you will be fully reloaded the day after the battle regardless of your supply condition! (Food might be a problem eventually but not ammo!)
The Emperor protects! (The GM does not!)
Another interesting aspect of this to bring up is the general 'grand stategy' of the Imperium.
They subscribe to a Grand Strategy of constant expansion. Yes, they are on the defensive, but they defend through aggressive expansion and doing their utmost to keep the battle on enemy ground, while defending every world they can to their utmost. To them losing a world is rarely an option (hence why the most effective strategy against the 'nids is something to get Kryptmann declared a radical and practically declared a renegade by the Ordos even as he's a hero to the masses). In a lot of ways they are like Imperial Rome in this, to them losing a world (Province/sector/etc) is NEVER an option…
Hence they need as many troops under arms in the most efficient way they can manage. Thus. Lasguns with massive Armored support.
Comparitively, if they went for a more 'defense in depth' Grand Strategy, then smaller better armed armies could be an option. As then you don't worry about expanding, you let the enemy overextend themselves, gather an overwhelming army in one place, then smash them before moving back in on your lost territory. Admittedly, against 'nids this isn't an option, ever, because a world lost to them is a world lost forever. And arguably isn't a good one against Orks or Chaos either, for similar reasons, though not quite as drastic of ones as the 'nids, there's at least a chance to get Ork and Chaos worlds back into good, Emperor Fearing Imperial hands.
Yes, they have elements of Defense in Depth via Space Marine chapters, but they aren't enough, and Defense in Depth isn't a good option for the Imperium.
Or indeed do. Rites of Maintenance are standard training - there's a quote in the Guard Codex that "any Cadian who can't field-strip a lasgun by the age of nine was born on the wrong planet!".
I concur. The thing to remember is that much as we mock the humble guardsmen, they're actually really, really good compared to contemporary earth military. Flak armour is lightweight and has a realistic chance of stopping lasfire, autogun fire, devourer worms, sluggas and shootas, blades, claws, mortar and frag grenade shrapnel and heavy stubber (gpmg) rounds. This is seriously good stuff in modern terms, and since 99.999% of guardsmen are fighting either other human soldiers, tyranids or orks, they're equipped to a realistic level for the job they're being asked to do.
Similarly, tell a current army quartermaster that you have an assault rifle capable of pulling sixty shots from each mag and being reloaded from a standard generator and he may spontaenously offer you his daughter(s) in marriage.
The problem is simply that (a) most races in the wargame are the 'incredibly scary alien horror of dooooooooom', and (b) the 'core' army is the space marines - meaning that the tactical marine, not the guardsman, is used as the ready reckoner of good/bad quality troops.
Having seen the Rites Of Battle rules for the orbital barrage bomb, oh hell yes. A Krak missile within 500m of the impact point and a frag missile out to a kilometre, if I remember correctly. I believe the appropriate phrase is "suck it, treadheads"…
Our lot were significantly less respectful of their opponents. One of their more…creative…yet unpleasant innovations was rigging up pipes to allow them to dump the contents of the SGC's septic tank through the startgate onto a particularly unimpressed System Lord's mothership…
"For the love of the throne, what's the matter?"
"Holding this thing really hurts!"
"Of course it does, you've got an extra finger compared to the blueies, haven't you? Did you consider taking the trigger guard off?"
Face Eater said:
That said, it'd be interesting to see trying to get odds and ends out of the munitorium be a key talent - it'd go some way to making Fel important, even for the non commander types - I could see Scrounge (Fel) as a skill one uses to get kit above and beyond standard issue…
I would presume that a galaxywide average would have the IG facing other humans 50% of the time, Orks 25% of the time, 'nids 20% of the time. And everything else the Galaxy could throw at them (From Chaos Marines to Daemons to Eldar to minor Xenos races like the Tau or Kroot) the remaining time.
That said, it might skew a bit more towards Orks, like… Humans 40 percent and orks 35%… Nids might also skew lower, I only went 20 because of how prevelant they are on the Western Fringe. So they might be in the 10-15% range, with the 'change' of that going into Humans and Orks.
Obviously this is going to vary based on Segmentum and sector. The Guardsmen in the Western Galactic Fringe is probably a LOT more likely to be up against 'Nids than other humans. While one near the Eye of Terror is almost certainly facing a lot more Renegade humans and scarier chaos stuff