This was a cover done couple months back for Fantasy Flight Games' Only War: No Surrender. [www.fantasyflightgames.com/edg…
Big shout out to Zoe Robinson and Andrew at FFG for helping to produce this
The brief was pretty straightforward, a guardsman having fought a long, exhausting battle with no end in sight. I thought a more graphic presentation would not only make a more arresting portrait of a guardsman in trouble, but perhaps also put an interesting spin on the usual "GET SUM!" image and hopefully sell that visual narrative of isolation versus courage, a theme I seem to enjoy coming back to with regards to the IG! All this was built around having him stand in the shadow of a Chaos space marine.
Because real men have balls.
IG: Sons and Bitches with standard issue Mars forged Adamantium Balls that have their own force field and whose numbers are fucking Legion, and then they have Catachans who don't wear armor but their abs still give them a 5+ armor save, and can bitch crush a Space Marine in hand-to-hand, Cadians who laugh in Failbadons face, Steel-Legions of Armageddon who turn Orks on their ass and violently ass-fuck them. Kriegers who don't give a damn about losses, Kasrkin who tea-bag Eldar on a daily basis and are what Space Marines WISH they were, and then theirs Rough Riders who ride fucking CYBORG-HORSES into battle and Stab fuckers with Explosive Spears.
Sorry, did you say something about how it was strange that Vampires lost against Necrons while Rambo's better equipped and 20-times more brutal lost offspring didn't?
"While the mighty Space Marines may be the penultimate warriors of Mankind, they are too few and far between to adequately defend a regime as vast as the Imperium of Man, whose populace is comprised of countless trillions of people and whose borders encompass millions of planets and stars. Thus exists the Imperial Guard, the primary fighting force of the Imperium. Whereas the Space Marines are a scalpel which cut their way directly to the heart of their enemy, the Guard is by contrast a cudgel; they make up for the frailty of each individual human soldier by drowning their foes in overwhelming swarms of them. Attrition is the Imperial Guard's greatest weapon, as the basic strategy of any given operation carried out by the Guard is fundamentally the same: hurl men at the enemy until either one side runs out of men, the enemy retreats, or there exists a mountain of mangled corpses so large that the enemy cannot hope to cross it. They are among the most numerous of fighting forces the galaxy has ever seen, and with the average Imperial Guard operation involving hundreds of thousands if not millions of men, casualties tend to be a non-issue. They drown the enemies of Man in vast seas of iron-willed soldiers and unyielding lasgun fire, grind them beneath the treads of enormous tank columns, and pound them into the dirt with a torrential hellfire of devastating artillery, for they are truly the Hammer of the Emperor."
One-on-one, your average-joe guardsman is going to lose to just about anything tougher than an Ork Snotling (fluff-wise, that is; guardsmen are tougher in the crunch for balance reasons). A Space Marine can just punch a Cadian or a Catachan and they'll pretty much just turn into mush. But if that same Space Marine were to have one hundred guardsmen all attacking him at once, chances are they'd eventually bring him down before he could kill all of them. That's the basic idea behind them. While forces like the Space Marines are individually tough enough that they can feasibly use small, highly mobile squads to outfight and outmaneuver their foes, the Guard needs to rely on superior manpower and resources to get the job done. Imagine one thousand soldiers charging into battle, outnumbering their enemy twelve to one, with just roughly three of every twelve actually living long enough to actually kill their enemy. If that isn't awesomely fucking grimdark, then I don't know what is.
I can so picture him saying "Do your worst, heretic scum."
Sure, Guardsmen are no match for Space Marines, let alone Chaos Space Marines, but that doesn't keep them from being badass or brave.
This shadow is so big
Great work, love it so much...
Guardsman: Any chance that you will let me go?
(Head hits the rear bulkhead.)