Armies of the Empire
|Attention, Adept of the LEXICANUM!|
The Empire boasts the most powerful military in the Old World, composed primarily of a standing army of professional infantry regiments. Each Grand Province and City-State of the Empire is responsible for the creation, training, and provision of its own army. These provincial armies are supplemented in wartime by the Empire's various independent military, religious, and magical organizations.
Every Grand Province and city-state of the Empire is expected to recruit and maintain its own standing army for the defense of its lands. These are highly trained professional soldiers trained to fight together in regiments. In times of war, Elector Counts may call for a conscription of able-bodied men to form militia units to bolster their armies.
- Generals of the Empire: These officers are appointed by the Elector Counts and are expected to lead the province's armies in their place. Some are members of the nobility, while others may be promoted to a high position after climbing through the ranks of the soldiery.
- Captains of the Empire: Junior officers that come from various backgrounds, but are generally younger and less experienced than their superiors. Captains often carry the army's Battle Standard onto the field.
- State Troops: These regiments form the backbone of the Empire's armies. They are professional soldiers, but their training and equipment may vary among the provinces. State Troops are typically armed and organized into six types of regiments:
- Halberdiers are the most numerous state troops; each province is required to maintain a standing force of halberdiers.
- Spearmen can be easily equipped and thus are most numerous in places that demand a constant influx of troops.
- Swordsmen are typically the most highly trained of the state's regiments and as such are expert fencers.
- Handgunners sport black powder weapons that can pierce the heaviest of armor.
- Crossbowmen are easier to equip than handgunners and can fire from a longer distance.
- Archers are trained to fight as skirmishers, and are most common among the northern provinces.
- Greatswords: The most elite among the province's standing armies. Greatswords are armed with massive zweihanders and are protected by Dwarf-forged plate armor. They often form the personal bodyguard of their Elector Count.
- Free Company Milita: These militias are levied from local villagers, mercenaries, or brigands in times of dire need. They have little to no formal training and are pressed into service wielding only their own personal (and often makeshift) weapons.
- Huntsmen: The more rural provinces often levy peasants who are skilled in hunting and tracking. These men are at home in the forests and wild places of the Empire and thus make useful scouts for the Elector Count's armies.
The Knightly Orders are independent brotherhoods of warriors recruited from among the Empire's nobility. They adhere to strict codes of chivalry and rigorous martial training. Knightly Orders may be secular in nature, like the Knights Panther, or may devote themselves to a particular god. These orders, such as the Knights of the White Wolf and the Knights of the Blazing Sun, are often known as Templars. An Elector Count may petition a Knightly Order to join him in battle, but ultimately the decision rests with the Grand Master of the order.
- Imperial Knights: The knights of the Empire are an elite force of heavy cavalry to rival any in the Old World. They are equipped with the finest arms and armor in the Empire, and ride to war upon heavily barded warhorses.
- Knights of the Inner Circle: The most skilled and experienced members of a Knightly Order form the Inner Circle. Each of these knights is a paragon of his order and a hero of the Empire.
- Demigryph Knights: Some Knightly Orders maintain a collection of fearsome Demigryphs that carry their warriors into battle. Demigryphs are rare and as such only members of the Inner Circle are considered worthy of riding them.
- Grand Master: To be the Grand Master of a Knightly Order is to be a champion of peerless valor and skill-at-arms. Elector Counts who are less experienced in warfare are often expected to relinquish command of their army to a Grand Master.
- Reiksguard Knights: The personal army and bodyguard of the Emperor, the Reiksguard are templars of Sigmar charged with defending the mortal incarnation of their god. The Reiksguard recruit nobles from every province and are the finest knights in the Empire.
The Pistolkorps is funded by the Emperor and the Imperial College of Engineers, and is sponsored by several Knightly Orders. It recruits nobles too young or inexperienced to join a Knightly Order or command an Elector Count's regiments. Members of the Pistolkorps form units of light cavalry that are trained by their instructors to perform hit-and-run maneuvers on the enemy's flanks.
- Pistoliers: These impetuous young nobles harass the enemy flanks with deadly fire from their pistols. Because of their inexperience and desire for glory, Pistoliers often recklessly throw themselves into harm's way.
- Outriders: Outriders are the commanders and drill instructors of the Pistolkorps. They lead units of Pistoliers into battle, but will occasionally form regiments of their own, wielding multi-barreled repeater handguns gifted to them by their patrons in the Imperial College of Engineers.
Imperial Gunnery School
- Great Cannons: Great Cannons are the mainstay of the Empires artillery, firing massive iron balls that scythe through enemy regiments and monstrous creatures alike.
- Mortars: These stout guns fire explosive shells high into the air to rain down on the foe from above, ripping them apart with shrapnel.
- Helblaster Volley Guns: A creation of the Engineer von Meinkopt, these nine-barrelled contraptions unleash devastating torrents of shot into the enemy ranks. They are, however, notoriously prone to deadly misfires.
- Helstorm Rocket Batterys: Inspired by the fireworks of Cathay, the Imperial Engineers have transformed their technology into a terrifying weapon. Although wildly inaccurate, when a rocket does hit the enemy its explosive force pulverizes dozens of warriors at a time.
Imperial College of Engineers
- Master Engineers: These eccentric inventors often accompany an Elector Count's army to field test their latest creations. In addition, Engineers will often use their knowledge to aid artillery crews in battle, adjusting firing arcs and ensuring the war machines function properly to maximize their lethal payloads.
- Steam Tanks: A technological marvel designed by the genius Leonardo of Miragliano, the Steam Tank is a lumbering monstrosity of armored steel plating and steam-powered guns. Only eight of these machines remain in service today, and each is a priceless artifact lovingly maintained by the Empire's Engineers.
Colleges of Magic
Since the founding of the Colleges of Magic by Magnus the Pious, the Elector Counts have called upon the aid of the eight Orders of wizards in times of war. The Empire's foes all too often employ the powers of fell sorcerers in their ranks, only the wizards of the Colleges have the ability to combat them. Although each Order varies greatly in the Lores of Magic they wield, all of them harness arcane powers that can alter the course of battle.
- Battle Wizards: Each Battle Wizard has spent many years studying one of the eight Winds of Magic. Although they only have the ability to learn one of the eight Lores, every Battle Wizard has the knowledge and skill to employ their magic power with devastating effect.
- Battle Wizard Lords are the most powerful members of their College whose vast knowledge of the arcane makes them invaluable assets on the battlefield. Among these wizards are the Patriarchs of their respective orders.
- Celestial Hurricanum: This altar of the Celestial Order is mounted upon a carriage, and allows the Celestial Wizards to manipulate the Heavens. Powered by an Orb of Sorcery, the Celestial Hurricanum harnesses the Wind of Azyr, allowing the wizards to summon raging storms and call meteors crashing down from the skies.
- Luminark of Hysh: Created by the Light Order, the Luminark of Hysh is an enchanted array of mirrors and focusing lenses mounted upon a horse drawn platform. The Luminark draws upon the Wind of Hysh, focusing its power into a blinding bolt of light that sears through enemys with the power of a solar flare.
The cults of Sigmar and Ulric maintain a strong warrior tradition as befit their gods. The devotees of these cults will often accompany the Empire's armies into battle, where their presence lifts the morale of the faithful.
- Warrior Priests: Men of the priesthood of the Cult of Sigmar (or occasionally Ulric) who defend the souls of the Empire's citizens with both faith and hammer. They are trained to both lead and inspire the soldiers in battle, in addition to tending to their spiritual needs.
- Witch Hunters: Members of the The Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar, who are charged with rooting out and destroying the various unsanctioned wizards, Chaos Sorcerers, and Necromancers, as well as their unholy minions.
- Flagellants: Sigmarite zealots who believe that the world is ending. They carry flails and recklessly charge the enemy without regard for their own lives.
- Arch Lectors: The two lieutenants of the Grand Theogonist, the Arch Lectors are among the most devout of Cult of Sigmar and are inspirational leaders on the battlefield.
- The Arch Lectors (or the Grand Theogonist) often ride to war upon the War Altar of Sigmar, a massive chariot surmounted by a golden effigy of a Griffon wielding a hammer. This holy relic amplifies the power of the rider, allowing him to call upon Sigmar's power to banish creatures of dark magic.
Empire Artillery at the Battle of Blood Hollow
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition), pgs. 34-54
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition), pgs. 32-53