Greatswords are elite infantry troops of Imperial armies. They are the bodyguard of Elector Counts and other Empire Generals. Greatswords are named for their great swords (massive two-handed swords) and wear full plate armour.
They are among the finest Imperial warriors available. Unlike the aristocratic members of the knightly orders, a Greatsword is a man plucked from the ranks due to some extraordinary feat of arms and bravery. That being said, an especially heroic Greatsword may be knighted by their Elector. Many men have died attempting to achieve the respected position of Greatsword. On one occasion during the Battle of Blood Ridge, Albrecht Hoefner the last survivor of von Menscher's Black Helms received a promotion after defending his regiment's colours for an entire day against attack from tribesmen and Beastmen.
Their prowess is indicated by their primary weapon and namesake, a massive sword requiring two hands to wield. Charged with protecting the lord who raised them to Greatsword, they form a bodyguard of stubborn, resolute men of the finest character, protected by Dwarf-forged plate armour. The history of the Empire is full of tales of a final stand by the Greatswords of the Empire.
- Dieter Schaeffer leads a unit of Greatswords in red livery with enamelled black plate.
- Hans Vogal was the Sergeant of a Greatsword regiment from Averland, who led a group of survivors from an Imperial army. When he returned home he found his village had been overcome by chaos and joined the Witch Hunter Magnus Gault on his quest to destroy Chaos. In his time he fought against the forces of Tzeentch, Nurgle and Skaven.
- The Carroburg Greatswords fight in the city's own livery of red and white with black lacquered armour, instead of the provincial uniform of Reikland.
- One regiment in Averland is said to have an Ogre in its ranks fighting in oversized half plate with a great sword.
- Wolframs Guard are the personal bodyguard of the Elector Count of Ostermark.
- Ulrich leads a regiment of Pious Greatswords that are foot templars of Morr. They march into battle in red robes and cowls, and their banner depicts the reaper with scythe and hourglass. Ulrich himself wears black robes marking him as an ordained priest of Morr.
- 1: Warhammer: Dark Omen
- 2: Forge of War (novel) by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton
- 3: Condemned by Fire (novel), by Dan Abnett and Ian Edginton
- 4: GW Website, Needs Citation
- 5: Warhammer: Empire, Needs Citation
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition), Needs Citation