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Imperial Guard Squad

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The squad is the most basic fighting unit of the Imperial Guard.

Types of Imperial Guard Squads

Infantry Squad

Two infantry squads of Cadian Shock Troopers.

The backbone of the Imperial Guard, infantry squads typically consists of a Sergeant and nine Guardsmen. However, as with the countless billions of Guardsmen within the Imperial Guard, infantry squads from different regiments can vary greatly between 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 Lasgun.[1a] Besides the Lasgun the most common load-out for the typical infantry squad includes Flak Armour, some type of Close Combat Weapon and Frag Grenades for each Guardsman. Often a Guardsman will be given a Vox-caster for better communication with other units, while another will carry a squad support weapon, such as a Sniper Rifle, Flamer, Grenade Launcher, Plasma Gun or Meltagun. In some infantry squads two of the Guardsmen will form a heavy weapons teams.[1e]

In some regiments each infantry squad is further divided into two five-man fire teams, which allows the squad to divide if necessary and affords it greater flexibility in combat. An Assistant Squad Leader (normally a Corporal or other non-commissioned officer) is usually detailed to take command if the leader is killed or incapacitated, or leads the second fire-team if the squad splits into two.[2]

Heavy Weapons Squad

Heavy Weapon Squad Guardsmen operating a Lascannon

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:[1b]

  • 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 Lascannons or Missile Launchers, these squads are principally used to kill enemy armour or similar high-priority targets.
  • Mortar Support Squads: Armed with Mortars, these squads are primarily used for long-range suppression or harassing fire.

Their other equipment includes personal gear such as Flak armour, a Close Combat Weapon, Lasgun and Frag Grenades.[1e]

Special Weapons Squad

Many regiments maintain six-man squads of specialists armed and trained in a variety of roles, categorized under the catch-all term of special weapons squads. Some are sniper squads, working in three two-man teams of sniper and spotter with the former armed with Sniper Rifles for taking out enemy commanders. Others are combat engineer teams, meant to clear trenches and destroy enemy fortifications with Demolition Charges, Flamers, Plasma Guns, Meltaguns and Grenade Launchers. These squads will often be attached to other platoons to provide them with their expertise.[1b]

Armoured Fist Squad

A common name used to refer to mechanised infantry, an Armoured Fist squad goes into battle mounted in a Chimera and forms the bulk of fully mechanised regiments. Their equipment is often the same as other squads but the addition of an armoured transport gives them 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 Chimera 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.[1c]

Veteran Squad

These special squads of Hardened Veterans are not so much a formal unit type as they are the result of attrition. Often the only survivors of their parent company or even regiment, they are usually attached to other, newly-formed regiments in order to pass on their hard-won skills to the new recruits. They are given greater freedom of operation than other squads and access to a wider array of equipment as well, along with whatever they can loot from the battlefield or otherwise "borrow" from other friendly units.[1d] Compared to normal infantry squads they tend to carry a greater number of squad support weapon including grenade launchers, flamers, sniper rifles, plasma guns, meltaguns and even a Heavy Flamer. Some are organised as grenadiers and wear carapace armour for additional protection, while others operate as forward sentries and equip themselves with camo-cloaks and snare mines. Still others specialise in demolition and carry a disturbing amount of explosives in the form of melta bombs and demolition charges.[1e]

Command Squad

Command squads form the headquarters unit for many larger Imperial Guard fighting formations.

Sources