The Imperial Guard (also known as the Astra Militarum) is the primary fighting force of the Imperium's military. They are composed of unaugmented humans, unlike the Space Marines, with many planets being home to various specialized regiments. Compared to most Xenos and Chaos threats, an individual guardsmen is quite weak; however, the Guard's strength lies in its numbers, using overwhelming firepower and vehicular support to suppress the enemy into submission.
The Imperial Guard was originally intended to only serve as auxillaries to the Space Marines during the Great Crusade, as their arms were generally inferior and were less likely to survive direct combat. But after the Horus Heresy and the breakup of the Space Marine Legions, the Imperial Guard grew to fill in the gaps. Armed with weaker lasrifles and flak armor, an average guardsman isn't expected to last long, especially under the guidance of incompetent or uncaring officers; particularly if the company's Commissar feels the need to discipline troops through executions.
Guardsmen get very little respect, as they've earned the dubious nickname of "flashlight guys" or "living flashlights" due to the relative ineffectiveness of their lasguns and their ultimate expendability. In most episodes they appear as generic pawns that get brutally murdered or otherwise abused by both the enemies of mankind and their own superiors. They get a more in-depth depiction in the episodes of BRO TRIP 40,000.
Well-Known Regiments Edit
- Cadian Shock Troops - from the fortress world of Cadia, a strategic planet that blocks Chaos forces from leaving the Eye of Terror. Cadians will often be veterans of many conflicts and sent around the Imperium to assist elsewhere. Most generic regiments planetary defense forces are equipped similarly to Cadians, but often lack the intense training or experience.
- Armageddon Steel Legion - a heavily mechanized regiment from the Industrial world of Armageddon, they have fought three massive and consecutive land wars on their home planet.
- Death Korps of Krieg - a regiment of vat-grown soldiers from the Death world of Krieg; as punishment for a previous rebellion, every citizen must serve as expendable troops. They are particularily effective in trench and siege warfare, and their primary strategy is to throw as many men as they can at an objective.
- Catachan Jungle Fighters - bush fighters from the Death world of Catachan, they are formidable in close combat and ambushes, having grown up on a planet where absolutely everything will kill you. They appear in Episode 1 of BRO TRIP 40,000. Corvus Corax complains that the only reason that the Catachan Jungle Fighters' talents are wasted on the Imperial Guard and not the Space Marines is bureaucratic politics, as well as the ridiculousness of them only fighting half-naked and with minimal supplies. Nonetheless they are very effective at their jobs, particularly the legend known as Sly Marbo.