Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Imperial Forestry Service


So my recent 'Exodite field guide' seemed to go over well, especially the mentions of the 'Imperial Forestry Service'. Indeed, way back when I started this blog & I first mentioned them here, they seemed to get a favorable response (as they also do locally). However, aside from Ranger Smith himself and their infamous rhino, they've never been painted. Last night I started to remedy that. I also gave Ranger smith a quick touch up & inking to match the Foresters better. I hope to get the last two painted this evening.

(I had to add a pic of the ol' IFS rhino in even though nothing new has been done to it)

On the table top, they're used as Ordo Hereticus allies (the easy explanation is that they're a guise of the Inquisition). 'Ranger Smith' is the guy with what looks like an LMG. He's used as an elite level Inquisitor with a stormbolter, though if points are tight just a regular bolter. Frag & Krak rounds out his equipment. The other guys are 'Foresters' (Inquisitorial Storm Troopers or warriors in a retinue, again when points are tight). They're anything but a powerhouse unit, rather just a fun little addition to my games.

Fluff-wise, I've never written anything down but when asked, I have a basic outline on them that goes something like this:

The Imperial Forestry Service is often deployed in small teams to newly colonized 'frontier' worlds to assess the local flora for its exploitation via tithes to the Imperium. They tend to be well trained, equipped (note the stowage all over the rhino), and armed as they're basically 'on their own' when traveling into a world's hinterlands. Kinda like an Arbitrator team, just with a heavy 'outdoor survivalist' bent. On a newly claimed world, Forestry Service teams are often the first Imperial operatives rural communities will encounter (and such encounters are frequently hostile).

Their dispatch orders are meted out via the Administratum and as such, mistakes in deployment are not unknown (nor infrequent). IFS teams have been deployed to desert worlds, ice worlds, hive/forge worlds (far from the Imperial 'frontier'). Indeed, gas masks were added to their TO&E after teams were continuously deployed to Necromunda's ash wastes for more than a century due to an Administratum typo. Even if they're sent to a temperate planet, having no landing craft of their own they're at the mercy of the Imperial Navy. So they might be dropped into desert/arctic conditions requiring them to cross continents before finding anything of exploitable value (assuming they survive such crossings).

Or something like that, it varies here and there.

In short, the Imperial Forestry Service was a good idea that's underfunded and generally has been squandered by the Administratum's typically apathetic & monolithic structure (hence the Forestry Service's obscurity).


rogue.trader.voril said...

Smokey says: Only you can prevent Imperial Forestry Service. Light up a lho-stick, and wait for them to show up. When they do, beat them with shovels and douse them with buckets of water. Remember kids Smokey says,"Don't be a fool, or an Imperial tool."

sonsoftaurus said...

Cool idea, love the Rhino.

Perhaps they could have a relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus, who would also be among the first to scope out new worlds. They'd make a good escort for a Genetor, who specializes in more biological sciences.

Loquacious said...

Love the Rhino...very grungy/dirty, which I love.

Da Masta Cheef said...

@RTV: Not sure if I should laugh or applaud that. Either way the snow has melted (and with it your excuses), so when are you gonna try and get out of the house?

@SoT: Thanks! That could work, but mainly was just looking for a simple bit of fluff to follow explain the 'what's with the forest rangers with guns?' question I hear so much.

as an aside, in a recent Dark Heresy game we encountered the Imperial Port Authority. I asked if they had any relation to the ISF and the GM said 'no'. However the port authority npc we spoke to lacked the requisite NYC accent, so the legitimacy of that also very obscure Imperial institution is in question.

@Lo: Thanks! Dirty tanks always look better (which will cause me some consternation when I start to acquire Eldar ones).

rogue.trader.voril said...

@DMC ...Run? Nevermind :D The snow has indeed melted and your reckoning will soon be at hand! Once I get my shipment of Bolter shells from Also trying to get the coat hanger into the Land Raider door... locked the keys in it again...

Mr.Esty said...

These guys are amazing!
I love them. Well done!

Da Masta Cheef said...

@Mr.E: Thanks!