- "Men, we are the first, last and often only line of defence the Imperium has against what is out there. You and that fine piece of Imperial weaponry you hold in your hands is all that is keeping humanity alive. Most of you will probably not live to see your second year in the Guard and most of you will probably never see your homeworlds again, but I can guarantee you that when you do fall, with a prayer to the most high and mighty God-Emperor on your lips, you will have earned the right to call yourself a man!"
- — Staff Sergeant Vermak, 12th Cadian Shock Regiment
The Astra Militarum commonly known as Imperial Guard, is the largest fighting force of the Imperium of Man. It is comprised of countless billions of men and women -- hundreds of thousands of different regiments, supported by a vast array of light and heavy armoured vehicles that provide the Guard's primary offensive punch. They are usually the first Imperial force to respond to a threat if a planet's Planetary Defence Force (PDF) fails to suppress it. They also garrison major locations of strategic or cultural interest to the Imperium and are often found in defensive roles. The Imperial Guard is often referred to as the "Sledgehammer of the Emperor"; the sheer amount of force that the Imperial Guard can bring to bear on the enemy is devastating, but is not as direct or as precise as their Space Marine allies, who are described as the "Scalpel of the Emperor." There is no universal uniform or regimental command hierarchy in the Imperial Guard, although it is compulsory for every regiment to have at least one Commissar to maintain the discipline and morale of the men while watching for any signs of corruption or taint in the ranks. However, it is worth noting that a number of worlds copy the uniform used by the regiments of the Cadian Shock Troops, who are viewed as being the most effective of the Imperial Guard's infantry units. The main tactic of the Imperial Guard is to overwhelm the enemy with their endless numbers, while at the same time hammer them into submission with devastating artillery and crush them with powerful main battle tanks. By the time the God Emperor was first killed, the Imperium of Man, along with the Imperial Guard, had finally decided to join forces with the Alliance of Nations to go against the Axis of Empires. But during the Second Multiverse War, the Imperial Guard, like it's Space Marine counterparts, become just as equally split between Loyalist and Imperialist regiments, some of these regiments includes the
The Imperial Guard is the largest and most diverse military organisation that the galaxy has ever known. Numbering in the billions and equipped with innumerable tanks and super-heavy war machines, the Imperial Guard serves as both the hammer and the anvil of the Imperium of Man. The Imperial Guard is not a swift and precise military tool like the Space Marines. Instead, it is used to bludgeon a foe into oblivion in bloody wars of attrition that can last for Terran months, years or even decades in many cases. Although a single Imperial Guardsman can never be the equal of even the most raw and unblooded Astartes, there are thousands of men in each regiment and it is in the sheer size of its forces that the true strength of the Imperial Guard lies. An Imperial Guard regiment is mostly uniform in its force composition. Infantry regiments contain no heavy artillery, whilst armoured regiments contain no infantrymen. As a result of this policy, regiments are required to work together in combined arms formations known as battle groups or task forces. This order of battle dates back to the days immediately following the end of the Horus Heresy in the 31st Millennium, when the High Lords of Terra decreed that Imperial Guard regiments should be separate yet interdependent. This was done so that no faction of the Imperial Guard would ever be able to rebel against the Imperium with such devastating effect as the combined arms regiments of the Imperial Army who had joined the Forces of Chaos and supported the traitorous Warmaster Horus.
The Tactica Imperium sets down the basic template around which all Imperial Guard regiments are to be organised. Each is divided into companies, some with as few as 3, others with as many as 20. Companies are further divided into between 3 and 6 platoons and these platoons each consist of between 2 and 6 10-man squads led by a command squad whose commanding officer is a lieutenant. Terms and naming conventions may vary from regiment to regiment, and while the regimental commnading officer is normally accorded the rank and title of Colonel, the military and planetary culture from which he is drawn may use a different title for the same rank, ranging from "Knight Commander" to "Chief Hetman." This structure is maintained in all the different types of Imperial Guard regiments. In an armoured regiment the individual Guardsmen form tank crews, with each tank taking the place of an infantry squad as the basic unit. These tanks are then formed into squadrons, led by an officer's command tank, and further organised into armoured companies, a number of which make up the entire armoured regiment. In an armoured regiment that consists of super-heavy tanks, each individual tank is treated as being equivalent to an infantry platoon, meaning that such an elite regiment will only number 9 to 12 super-heavy tanks, in addition to its numerous and uncounted supply and services vehicles.
When a combined arms battle group is required, units are drafted from all of the regiments available by a senior officer, such as a colonel or a captain. These formations can vary in size, from company level units of 100 or so men and 5 or 6 armoured vehicles, to a force almost as large as a full regiment. Some battle groups are a balanced mix of infantry and vehicles. Many, however, are specialised for different tactical challenges. A battle group might consist of Chimera-mounted infantry and self-propelled artillery assigned to support a lightning-fast armoured breakthrough, or it may be an entire company of Sentinel combat walkers aiding a light infantry force in a desperate fight in a thick jungle.
Just as regiments provide individual units for the smaller tactical level battle groups, so entire regiments are often drawn together to form massive strategic-level forces called army groups. These forces are led by high-ranking commanders such as generals and high marshals and can consist of any number of regiments, from as few as 2 to as many as several hundred in the largest, sector-wide Imperial campaigns. The method by which Imperial forces make it to a new war zone are often haphazard, with many thousands of troops from dozens of different regiments sent to a stellar region or star system under assault once the Imperial bureucracy raises the alarm. Such are the vagaries of travel through the Warp, to say nothing of the difficulties of communication posed by the sheer size of the Imperium, that it is only because so many regiments are depatched that a sufficient number of forces arrives in time to be of any use at all in a specific campaign. It is quite common for thousands of Imperial Guardsmen to be lost in Warp Storms during transit, to be attacked by human or xenos pirates or diverted to an entirely different conflict as the need arises. As such, a high-ranking commander cannot depend on receiving the assets he requested to achieve victory in a given war zone and he will have to improvise a new battle plan based on the forces that actually wind up ultimately being at his disposal. That this usually proves more possible than not is a testament to the versatility of Imperial combat doctrine, but even more weight should be given to the sheer amounts of manpower and materiel that the Imperial Guard can bring to bear. With enough perseverance, even an improper tool can be used to reap results -- particularly if a commander is unconcerned with how many of his tools he is willing to lose in the process. Once an Imperial Guard army group has been assembled where it needs to be, it operates on the same basic principles as a battle group, but on a far larger and more complex scale. Entire regiments of tanks advance under the covering fire of 100 Basilisk self-propelled artillery pieces, supported by human waves of infantrymen. While an Imperial Guard battle group is capable of taking a single tactical objective, an army group can be used to conquer and hold an entire world or even star system, and few enemies of the Imperium are capable of mustering a force that can withstand its sheer momentum.
List of Known Regiments within the Imperial Guard Edit
during the First Multiverse War, the Imperial Guard was unified and fought for the Alliance of Nations, however, when the Second Multiverse War started, which includes the start of the gruesome Imperium War, the civil war that tore the Imperium of Man apart following the start of the Second War, the Imperial Guard become split between Loyalist (those who continue to fight for the Alliance) and Imperialists (those who decided to fight for the Imperialist Alliance). The following list is all the known Imperial Guard Regiments for both the Loyalists and Imperialists