The Imperial Guard is the largest and most diverse military organisation that the galaxy has ever seen. Numbering in the billions and equipped with armoured vehicles, artillery and all the other adjuncts of mechanised warfare, the Imperial Guard forms both the hammer and the anvil of the Imperium's might.
The atom-ravaged world of Krieg once defied the rule of Terra, sliding into heresy and sedition in the first half of M40. One city remained loyal to the Emperor, eventually unleashing terrible and forbidden weapons in a desperate attempt to defeat their foes. For over a thousand years, manpower has been Krieg’s tithe to the Imperium; regiments of Death Korps who willingly march into the very worst environments and deploy into the most forlorn attacks, forever seeking to atone for their forbears’ treachery with their own flesh, blood, and bone.
The regiments of Elysia are elite amongst the vast numbers of the Imperial Guard – highly trained and well-equipped, they have made the airborne assault their preferred form of warfare. Deploying via grav-chute directly into enemy territory from Valkyrie and Vendetta transports, the Elysian Drop Troops are trained and equipped to operate without re-supply and bereft of the armoured support.
The Cadian Shock Troop regiments are highly disciplined and have a reputation for being excellent shots. Indeed, a child of Cadia is taught how to strip, reassemble and shoot a lasgun before they can read and write.
The Tallarn are mobile guerrilla fighters, evasive and opportunistic. They are masters of hit-and-run warfare, striking a killing blow at the heart of an enemy formation before returning to their own lines.
The armoured regiments of the Imperial Guard count among their number companies of some of the mightiest war machines available to Mankind: Names such as Baneblade and Shadowsword echo with countless legendary actions, but amongst this roll of honour lie other, even more ancient tanks of unimaginable power.
Where the infantry of the Imperial Guard form an anvil against which the enemies of Man are held, mighty tanks such as the Leman Russ are the hammer beneath which the Alien and Heretic are crushed without mercy. Armoured Regiments are commonly fielded in close support of infantry platoons, where the combined strengths of both unit types are maximised.
The might of an Armoured Company lies in its guns, but the strength of a Battle Cannon or Bombard is nothing without a line of supply. The Adepts of Mars manufacture many support vehicles that are essential to the operation of an Armoured Regiment – Ammunition must be crated and towed to prepared laagers.
Many Tank Commanders will choose to ride in the cupola of their armoured steed when not actively involved in combat, as the interior of an Imperial tank is often cramped and hot – many of the more famous officers of Armoured Regiments across the Imperium continue to command from this exposed position even while in the midst of the most furious engagements.
Any static Imperial position will have its garrison supplemented by a number of pre-fabricated defensive constructions, ranging from pre-fabricated barricades surrounding dug-in anti-aircraft guns or heavy artillery pieces to automated defence guns commonly known as ‘Tarantulas’.
The Armoured companies of the Imperial Guard swiftly become veterans, tempered in a trial by fire. Such experienced crews quickly learn that additional equipment, fuel and ammunition can provide the edge in any engagement, and many tanks are quickly festooned with cargo – extra armour, track links, stowage and ammunition crates are a common sight.