GW Grognard: What’s in a Name

Hey everyone! Adam here, from TFG Radio, for another week of musings for the Musing God!

I’ve been at this a long time. I have played just about every army that Games Workshop has created. I have had various versions of certain armies through the ages with different degrees of success. I memorized so much, in terms of stats and rules, that I very often get them confused with the current edition that we are playing. I try to throw a virus grenade from second edition, while trying to roll a leadership test so I could shoot at a squad farther away*. Even with all this, the last thing I need to remember are the new names for some of the forces in 40K.

I would do what he says

It’s such a pain sometimes. I remember an army’s name for like twenty years, and now Games Workshop wants us to change it to a new one. The Imperial guard will always be the Imperial Guard, to me. Even typing Astra Militarum, as well as saying it, seems more of a chore. It doesn’t really roll off the tongue for me. Could be my latin blood interfering with the pronounciation, who knows. All I know is that it bugs me when I have to say Astra Militarum because newer players may not know about the name, Imperial Guard. Although a cursory scan of the internet will show them, it doesn’t really convey the idea of the Imperial Guard. This is probably the renaming that bugs me the most.

You know this is what you think of when this army is named

I will mention the Eldar, briefly**. Just like in the actual game mechanics of 40K, the Eldar got the most names added. At last count I believe they had over 50 new names added to their lofty heritage. Asuryani, Aeldari, Ynnari, Anhrathe, Druhkari, Nimbarri, Colanni, Dasani, Leilani, Faetani, and Giovani*** are just some of the hundreds of names changes given to this one race of beings. This can be very confusing at times, especially when trying to figure out what faction a person’s army actually belongs to. There have been many times where corrections had to be made to an army list because the writer didn’t even know how to figure out his own army. If Games Workshop had just stuck to the easy to remember names, then we wouldn’t have this problem. Unfortuately we can’t.

Ok, I get it, there are very good reason why the names were changes. I won’t get into the legal battles that occurred previously that necessitated theses changes. I’m just old and set in my ways. I will always call them by the names I used from the distant past. You can call them whatever you want. You’re just wrong.

That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and names you like, or miss, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!

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*These were actual rules in previous editions

**Not really

***5 of these are actual Eldar names


About Adam

Adam, aka Latin Gandalf, has been gaming since the early eighties and has played 40K since Rogue Trader (among a number of other games). He listens to more podcasts than any healthy person should and is currently the host for TFG Radio. He also is judges for LVO and head judges other major 40K Grand Tournaments.

6 Responses to “GW Grognard: What’s in a Name”

  1. Faitherun
    Faitherun December 8, 2018 5:00 am #

    I had a very similar conversation recently. IG will always be IG to me. I was one if the first DE players, and this Drew Carey stuff isnt flying….

    I feel like there are the “proper” names now, and the “real” names.

    • Avatar
      WestRider December 8, 2018 7:44 pm #

      The other problem with the IG re-name is that there are now two Factions that abbreviate to “AM”, since the Adeptus Mechanicus were re-introduced to the game at about the same time.

  2. Avatar
    KRQuinn December 8, 2018 5:24 pm #

    I cannot agree more. Bought WD #3 new off the shelf back when it was all D&D stuff….yeah I’m old but can still play..and paint..I’ll be the old tall guy at LVO playing Custodes. Unless I’m on a winning streak on the craps table…lot more money there than the LVO for rolling dice.

    I don’t even understand ‘Astra Militarem’ as a business you have a legal name. So as a 3rd party guy can’t I name all of my stuff ‘Imperial Guard’ heads, weapons, etc? Not sure I understand the strategic move and I did well enough in this stuff to retire at 55. I’m a Grognard.

    • Avatar
      WestRider December 8, 2018 7:53 pm #

      IIRC, the big thing with Imperial Guard is that there’s another major SF property (Star Wars) with an organization called the Imperial Guard that pre-dates GW’s use of the term, and that’s now owned by Disney, who are notorious for very aggressively defending their IP.

      • Avatar
        Lord Toranaga December 9, 2018 8:49 am #

        I doubt that, the term Imperial Guard has been used throughout history to denote an elite corps of devoted household soldiers who protect an emperor or king. Every major empire had one, examples are:
        Imperial Roman Praetorian Guard
        Immortals of Persia,
        Jannisarries of the Ottoman Empire
        Imperial Guard of the Russian Tsar,
        Napoleon’s Imperial Guard
        Japanese Imperial Guard,
        Household Guard of the British Commonwealth
        Like the term ‘Space Marine,’ it’s not a term any company can copyright easily, and that’s why GW is force feeding us this silly pseudo-Latin. In the propaganda-laden context of 40k, calling the regular army of the Imperium the ‘Imperial Guard’ seems much more ‘dignified’ than AM, so I for one won’t stop using it 😉

        • Avatar
          WestRider December 9, 2018 5:47 pm #

          I don’t know if i was a necessary change, but that’s what I recall seeing at the time. Do note that Trademarks are somewhat context-specific, which means that the presence of historical examples doesn’t interfere with trademarking something for, say, SciFi purposes. The issue with the Space Marine trademark was that all uses of it have been in a SciFi context.

          And even if it wasn’t legally valid, Disney are way more capable of winning a war of frivolous lawsuit attrition than GW are.

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