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The Reiksguard form an elite core of highly trained, expensively-equipped troops who are loyal to the Emperor in person, and alongside the mighty Knights of the Blazing Sun and Knights of the White Wolf, are among his best troops. In battle they usually form up in the centre around the Emperor himself.
They accompany the Emperor on all occasions in war and peace, forming his personal bodyguard on campaign and battlefield and in the course of his diplomatic tours throughout the Empire, and they have sworn to give their lives to protect the Emperor. In times of war, they take the field along with the Emperor, forming an elite unit at the core of the Imperial armies. They are also responsible for the security of all palaces and castles belonging to the Imperial family.
The Reiksguard are divided into a mounted arm known as the Reiksguard Knights, or the Imperial Cavalry, and an infantry arm, the Imperial Foot.
Although the infantry arm lacks the glamorous image of their cavalry counterparts, they are nonetheless a crack fighting force. They are based near the Emperor's palace and can be seen parading through the streets, escorting the Emperor on state occasions, and patrolling the city walls.
Reiksguard are recruited from all over the Empire from amongst the sons of knights and nobility. The ranks of the Reiksguard are open to all young men of noble birth regardless of where they live within the Empire. The sons of Elector Counts as well as members of the Imperial Family often join the Reiksguard. New Reiskguard are inducted yearly at an annual event in Altdorf during the Spring festivals at the conclussion of the Emperors tournament. [3a]
The leader of the Reiksguard is titled the Captain of the Reiksguard. He is a powerful figure in the Empire, ranked as one of the personal bodyguards of the Emperor on state occasions, and chief of the Emperor's war masters. It is traditional for the Captain of the Reiksguard to also serve as the Reiksmarshal, a military commander second only in authority to the Emperor himself.
Individual squadrons of Reiksguard Knights are commanded by noblemen, and are generally recruited from their home provinces. A commission in the Reiksguard is regarded as a fine and fitting occupation for the younger sons of the Empire's noble houses, and many of them take this as an opportunity to outshine their elder brothers, who command the armies and militias of their home provinces. There is a great rivalry between the cavalry squadrons of various nobles.
The elite of the Reiksguard were part of the Reiksguard Inner Circle.
The Reiksguard wear magnificent gilded armour, highly polished to a mirror-like finish, garlanded with scarlet sashes and emblazoned with the device of the Reiksguard. Their helms are adorned with tall feathered red and white crests of the ruling Emperor, or extravagant crests elaborated of the family crest of the squadron’s commander, varying widely from squadron to squadron. All ranks carry shields emblazoned with a skull and the initials of the current Emperor. The knights carry tall lances with pennants decorated with crowns, and ride fierce and prancing stallions. It is common and popular to sport mottoes painted on armour (either the knight’s armour or shield, or the steed’s barding). Examples of such mottoes include Malleus ("hammer"), Sigmar, Desporandum, Victorium and Mortis, amongst many others.
The Reiksguard flag bears the national emblem on one side and the Emperor’s emblem and the Sigmarite legend on the other.
- Kurt Helborg, current Reiksmarshal and Captain of the Reiksguard. He is one of Emperor Karl Franz's most trusted military commanders, and is reputed to be the finest swordsman in the Empire. As Reiksmarshal, he is the overall commander of the Emperor's forces, second only to the Emperor himself. He has commanded many armies in battle, and is one of the most experienced generals in the Old World.
Weapons and Equipment
The Reiksguard foot regiments are protected by shields and ornate but heavy steel full armour resplendent with plumes and ribbons and kept polished to a mirror-like finish. They are armed with heavy swords, halberds or great two-handed swords.
- 3rd Edition: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armour, Shield, may have Double-Handed Weapons, Flail, Halberd, Magic Instrument, Magic Standard. [2a]
- 4th Edition: Heavy Armour, Shield, Sword. [1a]
- 4th Edition: Heavy Armour, Lance, Shield, Sword and ride a Barded Warhorse, may have a Magic Standard. [1a]
In 3rd Edition they are called Reiksgard. [2a]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (4th Edition)
- 1a: Regiments, pg. 60-61
- 2: Warhammer Armies (3rd Edition)
- 2a: The Empire, pg. 57
- 3: Uniforms & Heraldry of The Empire
- 3a: The Reiksguard, pg. 58-59
- The Enemy Within, pg. 27
- Warhammer Armies: The Empire (7th Edition), pg. 41
- Reiksguard (Novel) (2009) by Richard Williams, Needs Citation