I had alot of mixed results about it. There's alot of good stuff in there (as I see it) but there's some also real goofy shit. McNeill seems to like self-referencing (or adapting) modern stuff alot more as well as alot of earlier fluff (alot of this is adapted/modified from the 1st/second editions tuff, sepcially the Wargear/Battle Manual and 2nd edition IG codex books and whatnot.) Which is not a bad thing, because that tends to be the more sophisticated period from a technical standpoint, and one of my favorites. That said, McNeill does seem to want to impose his "own" viewpoints on 40K tech into continuity, which can cause annoying inconsistencies (in much the same vein as his screwing up Ttian scalings.) That said, I consider the contributions to be largely worthwhile, and the inconsistencies/problems minor.
That little rant done, onto the techie stuff:
The beginning chapters deal more with the raising/equipping of Guard regiments than with actual technical details, but it does have som ethings of interest (if not repeated from elsewhere.)
- we see a drawing of the Munitorum officials holding/offering up shells to the Guardsmen. Each shell looks to (roughly) be around 80-160 mm in diameter, but that's just conjecture. Its also a drawing, so its acccuracy can be considered questionable. We see basilisks in the background, so we might guess those are basilisk shells, but I wouldn't bet on it. I still thought it might be interesting to note nonetheless.
- The Departmento Munitorum holds three seats among the High Lords of Terra: the Lord Commander Militant, the Lord Commander of the Estate Imperium, and The Master of the Administratum.
This is interesting, as it implies those seats are virtually sacrosanct, which would seem to contradict the earlier edition "Codex Imperialis", which indicates that only the "Master of the Administratum" is certain - the others must compete among a number of other officials to hold office (nine positions are "sacrosanct", 3 more can vary.) This may suggest that at some point iether more seats/officials were added as permanant posts to the High Lords, or all such potential seats that formerly competed were given a formal status.
The Ecclesiarchy holds some worlds, just as the AdMech, Space Marines, and even the Guard do (Garrison worlds.) One assumes that these refer to the Cardinal Worlds/Shrine worlds. All such worlds, of course, are rare compared to the vast majority held by Imperial Commanders, though it is implied that the Guard hold many more worlds than the other groups combined. Which amkes sense, given their role in ground operations - any world not ruled by one of the other organizations or by a Imperial Commander would have to be held by the Guard naturally.The Ministorum governs some Imperial worlds, while others are ruled by the tech priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Of these wrolds, we shall not trouble ourselves, for their methods of accounting and logistical mechanics are arcane and byzantine.
Such worlds are in the minority and thus the majority of Imperial worlds must look to the Departmento Munitorum for their defense and safety. The Garrison worlds of the Imperial Guard and those under the jurisdiction of Imperial Commanders are where we shall confine our researchads and revelations in this publication.
- the document uses the Cadian 91st as the "standard example" of how the Munitorum and Guard interact. Thus anything we see being referencecd in this documen t we can assume a Cadian regiment possesses. As a rule, since we know Cadians are often emulated by other regiments (in equipment and design if not in doctrines and training), we could likely infer that they probably do represent as close to a "stnadard" in the Imperium as such could exist (which again explains why the Cadians were chosen.) The fact that the Guardsmen in the Uplifting Primer resemble Cadians reinforces this idea.
- the basic (if somewhat simplified) agreement that holds between the Imperium/High Lords and their vassals - they provide the "tithe" and in turn the Imperium provides assistance in times of crisis.These local forces are generally codified as Planetary Defence Forces (PDF) and must be maintained at a level of readiness where they can withstand the attack of even a very powerful enemy force until reinforcements can arrive. However, the promise of reinforcements comes at the price known as a "tithe."
We can infer that PDF size, by the need to withstand "attack from very powerful enemies" does imply something on the order of many millions of troops (if not tens of millions) for defense, possibly more in the cases of some worlds (Ilike Hive Worlds) or smaller in other cases (Agri worlds.)
Description of the tithing process. The process of merely determining Tithes requires countless billions of Munitorum personnel, setting a lower limit on their own membership. (Like the Guard's stated numbers, we can assume it is grossly consevative.)It is the Departmento Munitorum's task to collect a tithe from every world in the Imperium and it is the duty of evey Imperial Commander to provide it in a timely fashion. This tithe can be taken in the form of men or materiel, depending on the planet in question. The methods of assessment are fair and just, though they require the willing services of thosuands of scribes and accounting servitors to adjudge the wealth of an entire world. Many factors must be taken into account, including the wealth and resources of the world, as well as the likelihood of attack in the foreseeable future.
"Regular" tithing of troops generally draws from the standing PDF force of a world. This makes alot of sense, as it simplifies the needs of the Guard to train troops, and can in many cases provide them with a core of wel-trained, experienced and blooded soldiers (blooded in battles on their own world), particularily since they tend to take the best troops of a given world for the Guard.When a tithe is taken in men under arms, soldiers will be recruited in much the same way as they are for the PDF and sometimes entire regiments will be riased from the ranks of the PDF itself. In addition ot the regular tithes, the Departmento Munitorum can also demand that the Imperial Commander raise regiments to meet a specific threat or answer a call for aid from a neighboring system or planet.
By contrast, the "specific" regiments raised from a world (in addition to the regular tithe) usually seem to come from the populace itself, given some sources, although others (and as mentioend later) as well as logic dictate that unless the situation is dire, they probably just skim off a bit more from the local PDFs and let the local commanders worry about recruiting and retraining fresh troops. When the Guard conscripts directly from the civilian populace, however, we can conclude that it is in such a situation where they are prone to be less well trained (and probably equipped, due to the logistics and probable numbers) than their "tithed" or PDF-tapped counterparts. This also probably means they are more prone to being cannon fodder than others (save Penal legions and likely most feral/feudal worlds.) This may be offset by the fact that most conscription seems to take criminal/gang types (particularily on Hive Worlds) and in most cases these individuals are probably just as dangerous (if not moreos) than your average militiaman (and of course, there's also the fact that on some hives, there is little differecne between being a ganger and PDF..)
Further description of how the Munitorum operates, ,and how regiments are raised, deployed in times of war. It is a very reactive system, and somewhat cumbersome at times as distance increases, ,but given the circumstances the Imperium must work under, its probably the best they can manage. And, for defensive purposes, it probably works for the most part, sincee noone can realistically hope to outnumber the Guard in the long term, save perhaps the Necrons...the Departmento Munitorum is organised at the sector and sub-sector level. Each level of organization has enough autonomy to respond to local problems, normally acting to supporrt Imperial regiments from worlds close to a crisis point in an increasing radius as required. This level of response will escalate to meet the level of the threat. Should the PDF of a world prove inadequate to repel invaders, the sub-sector comand of the Departtmento Munitorum will deploy its standing Imperial Guard regiments to augment and/or avenge the local forces. If more forces are needed then the sub-sector command will raise additional troops, initially from nearby worlds and then from other, more distant worlds in the sub-sector. As the commitment of troops grows, sector command of the Departmento Munitorum will become more involved and reinforcements will be drawn from more and more worlds. The effect is that the harder an enemy strikes the Imperium, the greater the response will be.
The mention of "standing regiments" is interesting, but it makes a certain amount of sense, since a threat could strike at any time and a "rapid response force" (by Imperium standardS) would speed up the response process. One may imagine that until called on such troops are used for garrison or security purposes elswhere, where they are on hand in case of need.
Lastly - its worth noting on the next page is a chart that the Departmento Munitorum does apparently have levels at the Segmentum and planetary levels as well. a little note at the bottom says "Cadian Sector Deparrtmento Munitorum structure ends at Segmentum Obscuras level". This may be due to the parrt Cadia plays in the Eye of Terror, which grants it certain unique
- when "dozens" of regiments are raised, the general staff of the Departmento Munitorum will assign a "higher level of command", This command group is generally formed from the best of the officers in the tithed regiments (either by performancee or family connections, as the case may be.) Once chosen, such indviiduals receive additional training to suit them to their tasks (commanding armies.) The titles of such leaders at the highest levels are a "Lord General Militant" or "Lord Commander Militant", though other titles can also be in use for such a position. Regardless of title, there is usually only one such person in command at any given time in a sector.
The next step up is Warmaster. Generally assigned for only the biggest crusades (like the Sabbat Worlds Crusade), the Departmento Munitorum is forbidden from assigning the title without the approval of the High Lords of Terra, due to the insane power that a Warmaster (naturally) wields (said to be "second only to t he Emperor himself.) - the Warmaster has "carte blanche" to do what must be done to achieve his tasks. There is only one Warmaster at any time, regardless (And some question the merit of its usage in the "modern' Imperium.)
Some individuals chosen as "Warmaster" may also go by the "Synonymous title" of "Lord Solar".
The "dozens of regiments" implies the scope of an "Army" in the Imperium. There are of course, countless individula "armies"
The rest of it we largely now, save the bit about "Lord General" - generally we can expect there to be thousands/tens of thousands of such individuals in the Imperium at any one time, each commanding millions/tens of millions of troops, if not billions.
PS: (I've gotten a fair chunk of the book already written up, so there's no need for anyone else to bother doing so, but I of course can't stop you if you want to contribute your own opinions, ,as a few others have before already. I also intend to go over stuff already covered, so those who contributed those bits, like the ammo counts for lasguns, will forgive me.)