Verghast did not possess a unified Planetary Defence Force, but instead each of the Hive Cities raised their own armed force. These forces could operate individually or could combine with those of the other cities when circumstance required. Additionally, when the Imperial Guard required Verghast to found a regiment, the soldiers of the Vervun Primary were exempt from drafting; due to their sterling service in the "Trade War" of 679.M41, the Primary was given permanent garrison duty. Soldiers of the Vervun Primary therefore found themselves with a lifetime vocation.[Needs Citation]
The Vervun Primary consisted of 500,000 soldiers, plus another 70,000 auxiliaries (including wall-gunners). Their chief day-to-day role was to man the walls, forts and gatehouses of Vervunhive, but they also possessed the ability to launch assaults beyond the city thanks to organic armoured formations. Their uniforms were blue in colouration, with relatively conventional battle fatigues augmented by jackboots, a double-breasted greatcoat, leather equipment harness and a spiked helmet. Auto Weapons were standard issue.[1a] Officer dress uniforms were white in colouration.[1b]
The Vervun Primary also had the distinction of possessing its own Commissariat. The Vervunhive Primary Commissariat (VHPC) was empowered with all the usual rights of the Imperial Guard Commissariat, and was also rumoured to be used by the ruling mercantile nobility of Vervunhive as a form of secret police force. Its head was a full Imperial Guard Commissar, assigned to the role of watching over both the Vervun Primary and the VHPC. The last holder of this position was Commissar Pius Kowle.[1c] The VHPC was theoretically subordinate to the Guard's 'parent' Commissariat and had fewer powers over regular Guardsmen, but jurisdiction concerns would nevertheless arise during the Defence of Vervunhive.[1d]
The senior officer of the Vervun Primary had the power to enforce martial law and dethrone the civil ruler of the Hive as leader, under section 45jk of the Act of Entitlement. The Vervun Primary had a rigid command structure, which did not place emphasis on personal initiative. This proved to be a source of early casualties during the Zoican attack of 769.M41[1e], but the Primary eventually proved able to adapt to the varying threats it came to face. Individual Vervun Primary soldiers would go on to show considerable talents, particularly those that became members of the Scratch Companies.
The Vervun Primary was decimated during the Defence of Vervunhive, and effectively ceased to exist at the end of the campaign. When the city was razed, several of the survivors joined one of the various Imperial Guard regiments that had fought in the campaign, under the Act of Consolation.[1f]
- Marshal Gnide — Strategic Commander, Chief Military Officer.
- Marshal Edric Croe — Gnide's successor.
- Vice Marshal Heskith Anko — Chief-of-Staff.
- General Vegolain — Commander of the First Primary Armoured, an armoured formation consisting of 300 Leman Russ Battle Tank.
- Colonel Modile — Overall Wall Forces Commander.
- Major 'Gak' Ormon — Commander of the 'Spoilers', an elite infantry regiment dedicated to defending the Spoil region of Vervunhive.
- Major Jun Racine — Commander, Veyveyr Gate.
- Major Rodyin — Commander, Hass East Fort.
- Captain Letro Cargin — Commander, Sondar Gate.
- Captain Ban Daur — Commander, Hass West Fort.
- Captain Olin Fencer — Commander, Outhab Southwest.
- Commissar Tarrian
- 1: Necropolis (Novel) by Dan Abnett