"Do not strike until you are ready to crush the enemy utterly, and then attack without mercy, destroy every vestige of resistance, leave no one to work against you."
- —The Tactica Imperium
An Armoured Fist, also called an Armoured Fist Squad, is a unit of the Astra Militarum comprised of standard infantry troops who have been mounted on Chimera armoured personnel carriers to create mechanised infantry. The Chimera is the Imperial Guard's most commonly used armoured troop carrier. These ubiquitous vehicles are extremely durable and practical, capable of mounting an array of support weapons. From within the armoured confines of a Chimera, an embarked Infantry Squad can utilise the hull-mounted Lasgun array to unleash a lethal fusillade of shots into the foe, protected from all but the most destructive of reprisals.
Squads of troopers mounted in Chimeras are sometimes referred to as Armoured Fist units. These squads lend speed and tactical flexibility to the often slow and rigid ranks of the Astra Militarum. An Astra Militarum infantry regiment does not typically include any mechanised troops, it being difficult for most Planetary Governors to obtain and maintain the vehicles needed for such formations. Because of this, it is quite common for commanders to attach individual Armoured Fist Squads from fully mechanised regiments in order to provide fast-moving armoured transport.
Armoured Fist Squads are able to respond quickly to emergent threats or forge ahead of the main Imperial advance and seize vital objectives until reinforcements arrive. Enemy positions are quickly overrun, the heavy weaponry of Chimeras spitting a stream of death into the packed ranks of the foe. Infantry Squads then charge down the steel ramps at the vehicles' rear and despatch survivors at point blank range. Armoured Fist squads have a reputation for "getting the job done" and are in high demand by Astra Militarum infantry commanders. The armoured protection of a Chimera is vital for a successful assault, and so they are typically deployed against the most heavily defended of enemy positions. It is therefore no surprise that Armoured Fist Squads suffer even higher casualty rates than standard infantry formations.
Chimeras are the ubiquitous workhorses of the Astra Militarum and can be fitted with a range of equipment to increase their battlefield effectiveness. All Chimeras are equipped with Smoke Launchers that can produce an obscuring shroud of chaff at a moment's notice. Some of the transports are also fitted with heavy-duty Dozer Blades to clear a path through ruin and rubble for heavier battle tanks. With Auspex arrays and communication Voxes, Chimeras also act as mobile bases of operations from which Astra Militarum officers can marshal their forces. In addition, various offensive armaments can be fitted to a Chimera's hull, making it a versatile front-line armoured vehicle.
Over the millennia, the Chimera has been pressed into service in a variety of different forms, proving its reliability and worth time and again. It is a highly versatile vehicle capable of operation in the most hostile environments. Its tracks are capable of traversing almost any surface, and its amphibious design allows it to move through dense swamps, deep marshes and even rivers. Many an enemy army has been destroyed because its general thought his flanks protected by such obstructions, only to find ranks of Imperial Guardsmen -- supported by the fearsome anti-personnel weaponry of their Chimera transports -- disgorging into the very heart of his forces.
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 42, 115
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Chimeras," "Dedicated Transports - Chimera"