My IG collection started by accident in 2000. At that time, I had just started 40k, and had built about 1500pts worth of Eldar when a good friend of mine sold me 2 boxes of Rogue Trader-era plastic guardsmen (72 models, at that time in mint condition on sprues), around 50 assorted unpainted metal models (Valhallan, Tallarn, RT-era Commissars and officers), a partially-built Leman Russ and a partially-built Hellhound. It was an awesome deal, and a great start into my second-favorite 40k faction.
The very first commander of my first IG army, 3rd Company of the 6th Schutzen regiment (I created my own fluff, and the army is loosely based on 1940-period Germans), was a model that looked awesome in pics and that I found off ebay - Colonel Schaeffer. I named him Captain Schaeffer (no relation to the famous Colonel), and painted him in the standard field grey of the army, and he was off leading the 6th in countless battles in the Balau Sector.
As my IG collection grew, I had less and less points available for the HQ unit (Schaeffer’s squad was not cheap). Eventually, when the IG codex and plastic models were released, I had to make a drastic change in the way the HQ works.
Captain Schaeffer was eventually promoted and transferred to found a new mechanized infantry regiment (the 6th Panzergrenadier, which I still use today). His beloved 3rd Company was expanded to include at least 4 platoons of infantry, plus support elements. In that iteration of the army, the Company extensively used fire and movement tactics to attack and move forwards to seize objectives, as opposed to the pell-mell headlong charges of Captain Schaeffer. Thus, the force had 2 distinct elements of roughly the same size – static fire support, and fluid assault.
What a force like this needs is solid leadership. Enter Captain von Hunerbein, sole officer survivor of the ill-fated 33rd Schutzen. Von Hunerbein, whose courage is beyond reproach, understands the value of steady solid leadership. And that was his primary role on the battlefield.
As bearer of the Brandenburg Knight’s Cross with Diamonds and Oak Leaves Honorifica Imperialis, von Hunerbein’s Leadership 9 and Iron Discipline, along with the bold Company Standard held aloft by Sergeant Bukholz, helped ensure that his troops fight on courageously no matter the odds.
The Captain’s Company Command squad would typically start the battle providing leadership to the line and anti-tank fire support platoons, but positioned so that he can support the eventual advance into the enemy. As the Company’s attack builds momentum, the assault platoons would advance with tanks, and von Hunerbein would move forward in the center of the attack, urging his men on to glory, with the proud
banner flying. Brandenburg
Captain von Hunerbein was represented by the excellent Commissar Gaunt model, painted in standard 6th Schutzen color, and he was to remain in command of the company for a number of years.
In the meantime, I had started my very first armored company at around 2003, commanded by Commissar von Lannes. Riding atop his Vanquisher, his inspirational leadership and marksman crew saw 7th Panzer through many a battle. The current commander of 4th Company, 7th Panzer is Captain Jaabs, whose young track record aboard his Vanquisher is fairly impressive.
Sometime in 2011, I discovered that my Commissar with powerfist can only be legally used as a Lord Commissar. So entered Lord Commissar Fleiss, supporting von Hunerbein for many a battle and campaign. By this time, the fire and movement tactics of the 6th was running very reliably, typically with 2 assault platoons (each with a Commissar), and an anti-tank platoon (deployed near Company HQ), supported by tanks, and sometimes with artillery and heavy weapons teams.
I started the AirCav project back in 2009 (when Valkyries first became plastic, and when they were still only skimmers unless you were playing in an Apoc battle). And naturally, there can be no other character to command the force other than Colonel Straken himself. Because of his prescense, my AirCav army is called Air Mobile Detachment, II Catachan. The original command squad had the Colonel, 2 flamers, standard bearer, 2 bodyguards, a medic, an Astropath and a Priest with eviscerator and shotgun, riding Valkyrie 02. With the current codex, his squad is reduced to himself, 3 plasma gunners, a medic and a new Missionary, riding in Vendetta 03. Also, with the new codex, the AirCav is getting a new 2iC in the form of Major Winters - kitbashed from various plastic bits and is almost done being painted. The standard bearer is transferred to Winters' 2iC squad, and a Master of Ordnance is attached.
Third Company, 6th Shutzen is now under the command of Captain Brigitte Vogelsang. She started her service with the 6th under von Hunerbein, commanding the company's anti-tank platoon. Her company carries on the traditions laid down by her predecessors, albeit with some minor differences reflecting the incremental changes brought on by changes in the prevailing situation, as well as changes in available equipment. For the first time ever, a platoon of conscripts thicken the ranks of the 6th, the ones in 3rd Company designated as 4th platoon, but effectively under the command of 1st (Assault) Platoon. The company also benefits from the services of a Commissar and 2 Missionary Priests, strengthening the will of the men. Also, the Imperial Navy's 7352nd Strike Wing is always close at hand to lend close air support.