The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

17Feb/110

The origins of the Saratogan 58th

Saratoga is an unassuming little world in the galactic southwest of the Segmentum Ultima, between Valedor and Boras Minor. Discovered around the Age of Apostasy, Saratoga was founded, and soon developed a planet-spanning industrial infrastructure.

Saratoga was initially a patriarichal society, like most Imperial worlds. This changed when the planetary governor fell under the influence of Chaos and attempted to secede. Rebel citizens loyal to the Emperor took up arms, and through a long and bloody civil war, expelled the heretics. Most of the armed forces were made up of men at the time, so the rebellion had to draw upon women for support.

Since then, women have been proud to serve in the Saratogan armed forces. Whenever an Imperial Guard regiment is mustered, it is an integrated fighting force of men and women. Women traditionally make up 35-55% of Saratogan forces. Saratoga does not have abundant resources, and so often only has one to three regiments active in service at a time. These regiments are used until worn through, and then either reinforced from new Saratogan recruits, or disbanded. Rarely, a regiment is wiped out. Whenver a regiment is disbanded or destroyed, it's number is retired, and a memorial is built on Saratoga.

Currently, the only active regiment from Saratoga is the 58th. Nicknamed the "Wild Cards" from their adaptability and fighting prowess, they have been in service for approximatley 95 years. Reinforced from Saratoga regularly, they maintain almost constant combat activity, punctuated by short periods of rest and re-training.

The "Wild Cards" have seen action in the Segmentums Solar, Ultima, and Tempestus, most notably during their actions on Julius during the Chasma Spica incident. Currently under the command of Tyrus Cassius McQueen, whose fiery temper and refusal to leave behind trapped Saratogan units has earned him the nickname "The Angriest Angel." McQueen's signature black beret and his height make him an imposing and inspiring figure.

Because of Saratoga's constant supplies of soldiers, planetary population is nowhere near where it could be. To supplement this, Saratoga grows clones in glass artificial wombs. The clones, called "tanks" after the tanks they grow in, are born fully grown, and after about five years of training are ready to fight or enter society. "Tanks can be identified by a small protrusion at the back of the neck, leading "tanks" to be referred to as "nipple-necks." Most "tanks" choose to serve in the Guard, as they are indoctrinated for loyalty during their "education." Guard recruitment rates among "tanks" were at 90% before T.C. McQueen took command of the 58th. A "tank" himself, his inspiring loyalty and tales of heroism has boosted "tank" recruitment to 97%. This has left the civillian population free to expand, and as of c999m41, a new founding of a Saratogan regiment is expected to happen within the next 50 years.

DISCLAIMER: The above fluff was inspired by the television show Space: Above and Beyond by 20th Century Fox Television and Hard Eight Pictures.  No copyright infringement was intended and indeed this is meant as a tribute.  Games Workshop is unaffiliated with either of the above entities, but it would be cool if they were.

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