StructureEditThe Imperial Guard is organised into largely autonomous regiments. These regiments are raised by the worlds of the Imperium that have been classified as fit for such a purpose. These regiments can be sent anywhere in the world, potentially serving in designated combat-zones for years at a time. Whilst individual regiments are commanded by their own officers, when regiments are combined together to form a battlegroup, overall command is often placed with a general staff specifically created for the purpose by the Administratum.
The Imperial Guard's regiments include all manner of infantry, cavalry - mechanised and mounted alike - artillery, and war engines. Each particular regiment is normally uniform in organisation inside itself, and often seem to specialise in one particular form of war. For instance, light infantry (Such as the Harakoni Warhawks) regiments can barely demonstrate any motorised transport and certainly possess no weapons that are not man-portable- in contrast, an artillery regiment contains little else. This ensures that the Imperial Guard are at their strongest when multiple regiments are massed together, and is itself another deliberate stricture to ensure that another large-scale rebellion by a military commander is difficult to organise.
The backbone of the Imperial Guard, infantry squads consist of a Sergeant, a Corporal and eight Guardsmen. As with the countless millions of Guardsmen within the Imperial Guard, infantry squads from different regiments can vary greatly with each other in tactics, training, equipment and other areas- about the only piece of gear universally common to almost every one of them is the ubiquitous Autogun. Besides their rifle, the most common load-out for the typical infantry squad includes Carapace Armour, a close combat weapon (Usually a combat knife), up to three Grenades and a personal Comm-Bead to allow communication with the rest of the Platoon. Often a Guardsman will be given a Vox-Caster (Essentially a battlefield radio) for better communication with other units, while another will carry a squad support weapon (Such as a Grenade Launcher or Meltagun). Complusory for all squads is a Gunner armed with a Heavy Stubber for fire support, and a Designated Marksman.
Guardsmen are usually grouped in Platoons of 30 men (Although the number varies per regiment, for example platoons in the Death Korps of Krieg contain 50 men) who are carried into battle by three Chimera transports where they will divide into three Infantry Squads. In combat, each infantry squad is further divided into two five-man fire teams (Lead by the Sergeant and the Corporal), which allows the squad to divide if necessary and affords it greater flexibility in combat, particularly Urban Warfare. To keep the firepower of the fireteams balanced, the Gunner and Radio-Operator will join the Sergeant's squad whilst the Designated Marksman and Weapon Specialist will join the Corporal.
Heavy weapons squads are given responsibility for their regiment's heaviest weapons and bolster the main battle line by providing close fire support. A heavy weapon squad is made up of three heavy weapons teams, each of which is composed of a gunner and loader, for six Guardsmen and three heavy weapons. These squads are further classified under one of three roles:
- Fire Support Squads: Armed with Heavy Bolters or Autocannons, these squads can suppress enemy infantry and neutralize light vehicles
- Anti-Tank Support Squads: Armed with Missile Launchers and these squads are principally used to kill enemy armour or similar high-priority targets.
- Mortar Support Squads: Armed with medium-range Mortars, these squads are primarily used for long-range suppression or harassing fire
Armoured Fist Squads are essentially mechanised infantry and an Armoured Fist unit is one which goes into battle mounted in Chimera Transports and form the bulk of fully mechanised regiments. Their equipment is often the same as other squads but have superior speed and tactical flexibility compared to their footslogging counterparts. They also tend to have a higher attrition rate as they are most often used against targets for which their armoured transport is vital to success. It is quite common for individual Armoured Fist squads to be attached to non-mechanised infantry regiments to provide additional fast-moving support.
Every Imperial Guardsman is issued an Autogun upon his entry into the Guard and it is with this weapon that he is expected to become most proficient. In addition to his weapon, he is also issued with a great many other items of kit and he is expected to look after everything with which he is issued, for such items are considered the property of the Administratum from the moment they are handed over to the Guardsman to the moment they are taken from his dead body. When an citizen joins the Imperial Guard, he makes a solemn commitment to honour the Emperor and His servants. This oath also extends to the kit he is issued with and improper care and maintenance or use of this kit is a punishable offence. Imperial Guard are known for being able to recite the laws by heart, for they know all too well that not only must a Guardsman be able to kill the enemy, he must also be able to survive long enough to do so. He must be able to sleep, eat, dig trenches, survive poison gas and chemical attacks, administer field first aid, find his way to the battle and fight at the end of it all with weapons and armour that allow him to win it. Every Guardman is equipped with:
- A standard issue Autogun with variable scope, bayonet, cleaning kit and four magazines of ammunition
- A standard issue Autopistol with cleaning kit and two magazines of ammunition
- A standard issue set of Carapace armour- typically, uniforms are made from hard-wearing fabrics (designed to resist hostile environments and prove hardy in the field) under rigid plates
- Combat knife, usually the last line of defense for a Guardsmen when his ammunition has run out
- Three grenades, usually two Frag Grenades and one Krak Grenade
- Rebreather Gas Mask, a simple breathing mask that covers the nose and mouth or entire face
- A Comm-bead is a short range communication device worn in the ear, good for communication out to about one kilometre and used to communicate with the rest of the platoon on their designated frequency
- A Rechargeable Lamp-Pack, sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing.
- Other gear, including Poor Weather Gear, Rucksack, Entrenching tool, 2 weeks' Rations, Mess Kit with canteen, Basic toolkit, Grooming kit and Dog tags
- A copy of the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer