Monday, 28 September 2009

Branches of the Ground Forces of Praetoria

The Regiments of Foot
The bulk of the Praetorian military is made up of regiments of line infantry, the average fighting men of Praetoria. Each Regiment has it’s own history and traditions many of which span back over centuries and even millennia, however with some notable exceptions they are organised very similarly. The majority consist of two identical battalions and a regimental command staff under a Colonel, each battalion has it’s own command staff under a Major and eight identical lettered companies A-to-H which on paper will consist of 110 officers and men.

The Life Guards
The Life Guards are the elite heavy infantry of Praetoria, trained to a higher standard then the regular trooper and better equipped with ornate carapace armour and plentiful support weaponry. Each of the principle hives in theory maintains a single regiment, though the actual size of these regiments varies immensely from only a few hundred, to several thousand men. They perform ceremonial duties, act as guards for the upper levels of the hives but are also potent combat troops with companies often being attached either to specific individuals or commanders as well as other formations.

The Cavalry Corps
The Cavalry Corps is perhaps the most prestigious branch of the Praetorian military, and probably the only branch where any reasonable hope of commission as an officer still requires both noble birth and wealth, blue blood runs strongly here still. Many of the Regiments within the Corps are organised along the same lines, three Squadrons each of three Troops of horsemen. Most, regardless of title are armed with the Hunting Lance first and foremost as a devastating weapon of there, primary role as shock assault troops. There are a wide variety of different uniforms and many different customs and traditions, for few Praetorian regiments of can claim to have annals that go as far back those of many of the Cavalry regiments.

The Armoured Cavalry Corps
The Armoured Cavalry Corps maintains the ethos and traditions of the Cavalry Corps, even if rather then flesh their steeds are of adamantium. The majority of Armoured Cavalry Regiments consist of a Command Squadron that contains the majority of the regiments support vehicles and three Squadrons each of three Troops of tanks, often mostly of the Conqueror Pattern. Unlike many tank formations in the Imperium many Praetorian regiments favour this vehicle over other patterns of the venerable Leman Russ design, as what it lacks in robustness it makes up in speed, an excellent cavalry tank.

The Super Heavy Armoured Corps
The Super Heavy Armoured Corps is responsible for the largest armoured vehicles in the Praetorian arsenal. This of course includes the likes of well-known vehicles like the Baneblade and Shadowsword, but more commonly includes the likes of the Malcador, heavy and often ancient tank designs that have long ceased to see regular service on other worlds of the Imperium. Vehicles from the Super heavy Armoured Corps are attached to other formations as and when required, though seldom serving together in anything larger then Troop sized formations.

The Artillery Corps
Batteries from the Artillery Corps provide and crew many of the heavy infantry support weapons such as Gatling Bolters and Lascannon, field guns such as the Thudd Guns and Heavy Mortars and even some light anti-aircraft weapons to infantry formations. In the case of infantry support weapons especially it is quite common for attachments to individual infantry regiments, battalions and even companies to become effectively permanent especially when on campaign.

The Heavy Artillery Corps
The Heavy Artillery Corps is responsible for the majority of Praetoria’s larger artillery pieces, both mechanised and towed. This includes vehicles such as the Griffon Mortar, Hydra Flak Tank, Basilisk’s and Medusa’s and towed artillery such as the Earthshaker Cannon. Typically several batteries from the same company or regiment will serve together attached to a larger formation, though it is not uncommon for individual batteries to be attached to smaller formations on an almost permanent basis.

The Siege Artillery Corps
The Siege Artillery Corps crews and maintains the largest artillery pieces in Praetoria’s military arsenal as well as the most specialist, most commonly this includes the likes of the Manticore, Colossus and Bombard, however alongside these more common pieces are venerable Super Heavy Artillery pieces and even the rare Deathstrike Missile Launcher. Elements from the Siege Artillery Corps are seldom deployed in larger then Battery sized formations, and often on a temporary attachment as many of their weapons and vehicles are of a specialised nature and are often in high demand.

The Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers is probably the smallest combat branch of the Praetorian military, by the common soldier at least they are also probably the most respected. Whether that is by the infantryman sheltering in freshly built bunker, the tanker hurtling through a cleared mine field, artillery man laying his gun from a prepared position or cavalryman watering his horse with fresh clean water, all owe their thanks to the Corps of Engineers. Engineer Companies are attached to every formation large and small both at the leading edge of an assault armed and on the rear echelons of the lines.

The Wall Artillery Corps
The Wall Artillery Corps maintains and mans the defences of Praetoria’s Hive cities; this includes a wide variety of weaponry from light mortars, to anti-aircraft mounts, large caliber earthshaker batteries and even macro cannon and defence lasers. Some larger hives even maintain dedicated defensive infantry regiments as part of the Wall Artillery Corps.

Those who serve in the Wall Artillery are the only fighting men of Praetoria who by the traditions of the world are never called upon to muster for service in the Imperial Guard. This has lead too many within the rest of the Praetorian military to regard them as second rate soldiers, or worse, and is a source of much inter-unit rivalry.


Col. Corbane said...

Excellent read mate, I'm loving your expansion of the Praetorian background.

I really must do something like this on the Corbanian system.

Jimbo said...

This is great reading Col.G, but couldn't your time be better spent finishing your GT list!

Col.Gravis said...

Thankyou ;)

I'm aiming to write some 'vague' material like this to fill in several gaps, nothing too specific so as to invalidate or conflict with other peoples material where possible.

Hehe Jimbo, so true, but even I draw the line at watching paint dry ;)

Cpt.Harris said...

I like this article - It gives me an idea of how many men I still need to buy to build finish my first company!

Laurence 'The Beard' Williams said...

An absolutely brilliant collection of histories here, its good to see a modeller who puts as much creativity into his backstories as his modelling.

I have some suggestions though. Basically in order to cover all branches of the British army, would it be possible to include different branches of the Praetorian military for the Highland Regiments as well as the rifles. Possible backstories could be that the Highlanders hail from one of the less-industrialised areas of Praetoria and maintain traditions from their feral ancestors, and that the Rifle regiments wear green rather than red and use light infantry tactis as opposed to the 'Form rank and give fire' philosophy of the other Praetorian regiments?

Just a thought mind. Keep up the good work :D

Col.Gravis said...

Thanks Cpt.Harris and Laurence.

Laurence, regarding the Highlanders, I did mull this over. I wanted to leave the article quite vague, so as not to say 'this is how it is'. On that note I'd say that Highlanders would be classed as one of the Regiments of Foot. However they would be one of those regiments which is a 'notable exception' with a different organisation, and of course different uniform, history and traditions.

The same could apply to a more dedicated Light Infantry regiment if desired. Another route for such a Regiment could be taken as a unit raised by a specific commander, such as many Volunteer Horse Regiments raised around the Zulu war from Natal.