With Games Workshop being historically tight-lipped about its future plans, it’s hard to speculate exactly what the Warhammer 40,000 (paid link) developers have in mind for the brave but expendable soldiers of the Imperial Guard, now formally known as the Astra Militarum (paid link).
What’s shockingly apparent however is that most of the venerable metal Imperial Guard regiments have recently become unavailable on the Games Workshop web store. This includes long-standing product lines such as the Tallarn Desert Raiders, Valhallan Ice Warriors and Vostroyan Firstborn, as well as Gaunt’s Ghosts and Colonel Schaeffer’s Last Chancers.
This purge also includes the smartly dressed Mordian Iron Guard, of which we (currently) own exactly one single squad, which you’ll find pictured on this page. We wish we could say we painted these dapper Imperial soldiers ourselves. We also wish we had acquired more of them when their entire army went up on eBay about 10 years ago. But when the dust settled and the final bids were tallied, we only won a single painstakingly painted squad.
There is hope, albeit slim, for Mordian reinforcements though. When we heard the line was being discontinued at Games Workshop, we ordered two additional squads (unpainted) through a third-party vendor on the Walmart website, of all places. So when these new recruits arrive, and if we ever get skilled enough to match the paint job on our eBay Mordians, the original squad might get some battle brothers. That’s a big IF though. We are easily distracted.
In the meantime, we’re guessing that Games Workshop has big plans for the Astra Militarum and that updated plastic Guardsmen will eventually be replacing their recently departed metal predecessors. Whether these will be new versions of the original regiments or something else entirely remains to be seen.
Based on the feedback Imperial Guard fans are getting from GW customer service however, it sounds like most of the metal guardsman lines have been discontinued for the foreseeable future, if not forever. (Of course, there’s always eBay.)
If this is indeed the swan song for metal guardsmen, then we can only say “You will be fondly remembered, tiny meat shields of the Imperium. May your eventual replacements on the GW web store hold the line as long as you did.”