- "We've run into scorpions the size of battle tanks. Three men died from Eyerot last week and I've sweated enough to fill a lake. Emperor help me, I love this place -- it's just like home!"
- — Captain Rock of the Catachan III "Green Devils," commenting on Varestus Prime
The Catachan Jungle Fighters are the members of the Astra Militarum Militarum Regimentum that has been recruited from the Death World of Catachan. They have the well-deserved reputation of being the deadliest practitioners of jungle warfare in the galaxy.
Their homeworld of Catachan is a jungle Death World, where natural selection ensures only the most deadly flora and fauna survive. Extremely resourceful and uncompromising warriors, the natives of Catachan recruited into the Imperial Guard are deadly melee fighters with their specialised close combat blades or from ambush with their Lascarbines. In jungle terrain they are unsurpassed by nearly any other mortal soldiers in the Imperium, with each Catachan Fighter being worth ten soldiers from any other regiment. The skills learned in the jungles of Catachan are easily adapted to other war zones.
Indeed, Catachans believe that even the most suicidal of military engagements are as nothing compared to spending but a single day in the lethal jungles of their homeworld. This "gung-ho" enthusiasm is often mistaken for bravado by Guardsmen from other regiments. The fact remains, however, that Catachan Jungle Fighters are the most uncomplaining, determined and valorous soldiers of the Astra Militarum, whether assigned to basic garrison duties or a hopeless assault upon an impregnable fortress.
The natives of Catachan are renowned for being both taller and more powerful than normal humans. Due to their heavily developed physiques, Catachans are sometimes referred to as "Baby Ogryns" by other Imperial Guardsmen, although saying this within earshot often results in serious injury.
Catachan is one of the deadliest worlds known to Mankind, and its inhabitants are amongst the hardiest, most dangerous humans in the Imperium. Almost every creature and plant on Catachan is deadly to human life in some way, from the monstrous Catachan Devil to the mind-destroying Brain Leaf and the carnivorous Venus Mantrap. The true diversity of life on Catachan has never been catalogued, though many Adeptus Mechanicus Explorator expeditions have tried and failed.
Because of these creatures and innumerable others, life on Catachan is unimaginably harsh; fifty percent of the planet's human population does not survive infancy, and fifty percent of the remainder does not live past the age of ten solar years.
Those who do reach adulthood are invariably among the toughest, most uncompromising and resourceful warriors in the Imperium, masters of surviving in one of the most inhospitable environments in the galaxy. With little to offer the Imperium but their lives, many Catachans are recruited into the Imperial Guard, their skills such that each one of them is worth a dozen other Guardsmen when fighting in dense jungle.
Catachan itself has little need for a Planetary Defence Force, the world's flora and fauna being sufficiently deadly to thwart almost all invaders without the need for human intervention, and so most Catachan Guardsmen are instead recruited from amongst the population of hunters, skilled trackers, and combatants used to clearing the encroaching jungle and driving off or slaying the beasts that would threaten the small, short-lived human settlements.
Their necessary skill with an assortment of weapons, and the dangers they face keeping their homes safe from predators, mean that they are well-prepared for the dangers of the battlefield. Indeed, a state of almost constant mortal peril has resulted in the Catachan mind-set being one of apparent recklessness and bravado, paradoxically mixed with constant vigilance and almost paranoid caution.
This seeming contradiction can be explained by the simple matter of familiarity -- natives of Catachan are so accustomed to danger that their responses, while appearing foolhardy, are honed by practice and a perpetual, careful awareness of their surroundings. This is compounded by a contempt for the threat of death, born from that familiarity. To a Catachan, the threat of death is a constant thing, and they do not understand the concept of safety or peace.
Catachan Guard regiments are most commonly light infantry, making the most of their legendary talents as scouts and ambushers. However, their daring and aggression have been employed in other ways, with armoured regiments hailing from Catachan in the past.
The Catachan Jungle Fighters take special pride in their officers, who fight side-by-side with their rank and file troops, sharing in their suffering on the battlefield. As a result, discipline within Catachan regiments is maintained through trust and respect won over many years of campaigning, rather than purely through the formal rank structures and unearned authority relied upon by many other regiments.
This has, however, resulted in a reputation for willfulness amongst other regiments and outsiders, particularly figures of authority such as Commissars, who have difficulty earning the trust and deference of Catachan Guardsmen.
The world of Catachan was colonised by humans millennia ago during the Dark Age of Technology, long before the Imperium of Man was established. When the first exploratory probes arrived in its star system, the planet was a deceptive, calm green orb when scrutinized from orbit, but when the first colony ships crash-landed on the jungle planet and the colonists had no way to escape, they discovered themselves to have arrived on one of the harshest and most dangerous planetary ecosystems in the galaxy.
The colonists only barely survived, holed up in their spacecraft against a living, besieging jungle, a battle for survival in which undoubtedly many of them died before they finally managed to learn enough about their new homeworld to survive, if not thrive, beneath its jungle canopies.
In time, their skill at surviving on Catachan came to the notice of the Departmento Munitorum, which realised that the Catachans would make excellent Astra Militarum troops dedicated to service in some of the galaxy's most hostile planetary environments, and the first regiments of the Catachan Jungle Fighters were raised.
Catachan is one of the most notorious Death Worlds in the Imperium, and its planet-wide jungles are lethal beyond reason. Yet despite the exceptionally perilous nature of the Catachan ecosystem, the servants of the Emperor inhabit this vast world in surprising numbers.
Thanks to the brutal environment in which they are raised, Catachans are physically and mentally resilient on a level that much of Humanity simply cannot match. Cunning, resourceful and uncompromising, Catachans must be born survivors simply to reach adulthood. It speaks volumes of the Catachans that they maintain a population capable not only of fighting their own battle for survival, but of sending forces to fight the wider wars of the Imperium as well.
Catachan raises dozens of regiments for the Astra Militarum every standard year, their skills honed to a knife-edge upon the world of their birth. Viewing daily survival upon Catachan as but a microcosm of humanity's wider struggle, the Death World's warriors proudly answer the Emperor's call to arms.
Each regiment raised is exchanged with the Departmento Munitorum for much-needed medical and military supplies. These in turn allow the Catachan settlements to maintain their daily fight for life. This arrangement has stood for thousands of standard years, and though the Catachans bleed more than most for the Imperium of Man, they would have it no other way.
The very factors that shape the Catachans into such exceptional warriors also leave them proud, aggressive and insular. Individuality is prized amongst the Catachan infantry regiments, known as Jungle Fighters, and only a handful of traditions are treated as sacrosanct, such as the wearing of red bandanas that symbolise the blood oath sworn by each newly founded regiment.
The Jungle Fighters are notoriously dismissive of the shiny medals and gaudy attire flaunted by other Militarum Regimentos -- rank and status are displayed through the inking of specific tattoos, or by the winning of famed Catachan weapons such as a four-foot-long Devil's Claw. Pragmatism is key to these grizzled warriors, with a favoured tactic being to lay explosive traps before hunkering down in dense cover. Those enemies not outright blown to shreds are quickly finished off by las-fire and torrents of burning Promethium.
Catachan's armoured regiments are similarly renowned for the destruction they unleash. With their hulking frames, Catachan crewman are able to heft massive shells and magazines into place with ease, allowing their gunners to lay down a near-unending rain of shots. Bedecked with vines, camouflage netting or splatters of concealing mud, Catachan tanks may look out of place on the parade ground, but are invaluable on the battlefield.
Catachan military leaders typically eschew the privileges of authority, instead suffering through every hardship alongside their troops, a great point of pride among the regiments. Many Catachan commanders can claim to have personally saved the lives of half their company. Rather than treat their men as servile underlings, Catachan officers command with crude banter that conceals an underlying mutual respect. Though inarguably effective within Catachan ranks, this style of leadership makes the job of outsiders such as Commissars doubly difficult and often extremely dangerous when they are attached to Catachan regiments.
Third War for Armageddon
During the Third War for Armageddon, when the sheer number of Feral Orks pouring out of the mountains of the Equatorial Jungles became apparent, two full regiments of the infamous Catachan Jungle Fighters were dispatched to Cerbera Base, the legacy of the Second Armageddon War. The citizens of Armageddon had no idea just how many of the aliens had been quietly flourishing in the humid, overgrown belt of dense jungle dividing the sub-continents of Armageddon Prime and Secundus.
Although their numbers were thought to have been kept in check by the native Armageddon Ork Hunters, the presence of Ghazghkull on the planet triggered a massive increase in the Ork presence throughout the jungle, from which they staged their raids on the Imperial settlements around Death Mire and Cerbera Base.
Commissar Yarrick quite rightly assumed that due to the Catachans' upbringing on one of the harshest Death Worlds in the galaxy, they would be more than capable of taking on the Feral Orks in this region, even on their home ground. In fact, many a Catachan fighter described patrolling the steaming, Ork-infested jungles as akin to paid leave. However, the Orks outnumbered the Catachan forces roughly thirty to one, and it was still a hard-fought battle, yet the Jungle Fighters took a heavy toll on the Ork population.
Many times the Orks surrounded the Catachans completely, cutting them off from Cerbera. As a result the Catachans often went for solar weeks without contacting base. Several high-ranking Imperial officers proffered the theory that squads of Catachans had deliberately cut themselves off from their superiors, content in the knowledge that when they were deep in the jungle, they knew exactly what they were doing.
The smell of burning Ork bodies permeating the Equatorial Jungle is testament to the brutal efficiency of the Catachans. Most of the small squadrons of Jungle Fighters were equipped with Heavy Flamers, as not only were they extremely effective in such densely packed terrain, but the only way to properly cleanse the Ork infection from a location is to immolate their corpses until all organic material is destroyed.
Due to the excessively humid atmosphere and heavy water-laden leaves of the native trees, these fires were generally controlled. If an Ork nest was located, however, whole hectares were burnt to the ground. Yarrick himself had authorised these extreme measures in an attempt to rid Armageddon of Ork spores completely.
At night, from Cerbera base, the jungle was lit by hundreds of blazing fires. The screams of dying Greenskins rang out over the howls and hoots of jungle beasts. Most of the troops stationed in Cerbera learned to sleep through this horrendous noise over several painful solar weeks.
In the Catachans, both Yarrick and the Imperium knew they had found the perfect tool for an extremely difficult job. Even assuming that Armageddon is not overrun finally by the aliens, it will be many Terran years before the Ork population is fully culled, let alone wiped out completely.
The initial deployment of the Jungle Fighters soon instigated an intense rivalry between them and the native Armageddon Ork Hunters, but as Feral Orks continued to flood from the mountains and dense jungle, the Ork Hunters soon realised that they needed all the help the Catachans could give them. Due to their lethal effectiveness, but also their disregard for command and independent operations, it has since been proposed that the Catachans fighting in the Equatorial Jungles be stationed at Cerbera indefinitely.
The Spinward Front
There are comparatively few Catachan regiments within the Calixis Sector's Spinward Front. However, for reasons that remain entangled within the bureaucracy of the Departmento Munitorum, a small number of regiments from Catachan found their way into the region, likely due to a planned deployment that never came to fruition, perhaps because the campaign had already concluded by the time the Catachans had arrived.
Whatever the reason, a number of these legendary Death Worlders found themselves redeployed to serve on the Spinward Front. For the most part, these regiments serve in a variety of roles on a variety of worlds; there are few planets in the Periphery Sub-sector requiring the particular talents of Death World veterans, but their skills are nonetheless valuable, particularly as scouts and assault troops.
The daring and gung-ho attitudes of the Catachans have put them at odds with elements of the Spinward Front’s command, and out of tacit mutual consent, Catachan regiments tend to be placed in isolated battlegroups deployed to brutal warzones, where their distrust of authority figures and their tendency towards independence are less of a hindrance.
- Macharian Crusade (392-399.M41) - Large numbers of Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments participated in Lord Solar Macharius' Macharian Crusade to expand Imperial rule into vast new territories on the fringe of the galaxy.
- First Tyrannic War (745.M41) - Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments were deployed across the galaxy during the First Tyrannic War to stop the advance of Hive Fleet Behemoth.
- Assault on Kato (762.M41) - The Catachan MXIV "Unseen Lurkers," led by Colonel "Steel Eye" Black, battle against Orks from the Deathskulls clan on the shadow world on Kator. Dire visibility and exceptionally rough terrain reduce the war to a never-ending string of bloody skirmishes that test the skills of the Catachan infantry to their limits. Neither side is able to gain an advantage until Sentinel teams locate and destroy the Orks' Stompa factory, hidden in the depths of the Widow Valley. The Deathskulls respond by launching an all-out final offensive that threatens to overwhelm Imperial forces with its sheer ferocity. However, the Orks' attack is caught in the jaws of a series of Catachan ambushes, the coolly strategic Colonel Black dissecting and destroying the remaining Ork forces over three solar days of bloodshed.
- Sacking of Colonia (857.M41) - A surprise assault by the Eldar of the Saim-Hann Craftworld threatens to annihilate the Imperial Guard forces of the Mortant VII "Headhunters" during the Sacking of Colonia. The Eldar retreat after a single squad of Catachan Devils, led by the famous Gunnery Sergeant Harker, emerges from concealed positions and Heavy Bolter fire kills the warhost's Autarch.
- WAAAGH! Grax (925.M41) - WAAAGH! Grax descends upon the Ryza System. Imperial Guard regiments are raised from all planets within ten light years, including the worlds of Catachan, Barac, Ulani, and Dulma'lin. To meet the additional tithe requirements, the world of Dulma'lin drafts four-fifths of its total population. Commander Mordrid van Hordric finally defeats the bulk of the Orks, decades later, at the Battle of Desolation Valley.
- Dulma'lin Cleansing (926.M41) - The Cadian II Regiment, under the command of the bombastic Colonel Straken, was the only regiment of the Imperial Guard to survive planetfall on the world of Dulma'lin. Under Straken's orders, the Catachan II fought a year-long guerilla war in the subterranean depths of the planet's caverns, earning a fearsome reputation amongst the Ork tribes. The decisive moment in the campaign came after the Catachan scouts located the centre of the Ork city in a massive underground cavern known as the Mommothian Vault. Straken personally led a hand-picked team of demolitions experts and infiltrated the Greenskin settlement. The humans' presence was detected on the third day of the infiltration by a roving pack of Squig-hounds and in the ensuring firefight Straken accounted for the deaths of at least 30 Orks and a mob of Killa Kans. The colonel was seriously wounded when he dragged the Ork Warlord Killzkar into the path of a stampeding Squiggoth that trampled them both into the cavern's floor. Straken's troops succeeded in destroying the Vault's primary support stacks and carried their colonel's injured body to safety before the entire cavern collapsed and destroyed the Ork city. Imperial reinforcements arrived two days later, led by an arrogant Purbech officer, the High Praetor Osh'preen. The remaining Orks, scattered and now leaderless, were exterminated within a week. Osh'preen's report to the Segmentum Command failed to mention the II Catachan's true involvement in the Cleansing of Dulma'lin, and simply cited Straken's regiment as "uncouth soldiers, little more civilised than the Orks themselves." Osh'preen took full credit for the success of the campaign on the world and was rewarded by being made the new Planetary Governor of Dulma'lin. The men of the Catachan II were immediately redeployed to the Ulant System. Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken was tended to by a team of medicae personnel, and barely clung to life during the journey. He awoke after receiving extensive bionic augmentations to find himself surrounded by the enemy and the II Catachan ready to follow him to yet another victory.
- Ulani Campaign (928.M41) - The Catachan II Regiment assist the Ulani defence battalions in search-and-destroy missions against Ork Kommandoz in the planet's polar mountain range.
- Arandra V (930.M41) - The Catachan XXIV Regiment, the "Waiting Death," destroys WAAAGH! Krakskull on Arandra V, luring the entire Greenskin horde into a booby-trapped ravine with "Baiter Squads."
- Jollov Campaign (932.M41) - Techno Magus Stannum Vir of the Adeptus Mechanicus discovers fragments of an STC database on the Agri-world of Jollov. However, a vanguard tendril of the newly emergent Tyranid Hive Fleet Moloch threatens to consume the world before it can be recovered. At the Tech-priest's behest, a courageous defence of the planet's spaceport ensues. Elements of Catachan, Mordian, Kanak, Molov and Agathon Imperial Guard regiments die in large numbers to buy enough time for the Adeptus Mechanicus to flee with the invaluable technological relic.
- Yaquit 27 Campaign - Battle for Moden's Ridge (938.M41) - Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken personally leads the Catachan II Regiment in the charge at the Battle of Moden's Ridge, exterminating the L'Huraxi invaders despite being outgunned and outnumbered more than ten-to-one.
- Conquest of Atria IV (940.M41) The Conquest of Atria IV is halted when Imperial forces are unable to take the Palace of Hate. With the arrival of the Catachan XXIII Regiment five years later, elite sapper units breach the palace walls within the week.
- Kieldar Rebellion (956.M41) - The Kieldar Rebellion is utterly crushed by the combined forces of the Catachan, Morax, Elysia, Cadian, Aegis, Tallarn, Harakoni, Neocassan, Paragon, Vostroyan, Birmingham, Mordian, Jjojos, Pintax, Athanos, K'phrani, Rassiosan and Bannan Imperial Guard regiments.
- Defence of Catachan (972.M41) - Chaos Lord Ratathrax of the Night Lords Traitor Legion invades Catachan. Sending vast orbital barrages down onto the planet aimed at incinerating vast swathes of the Catachan world-jungle, Ratathrax robs the Catachan Jungle Fighters of their most natural defence before systematically bombing their bastion networks into rubble. Ratathrax makes planetfall to enjoy the butchery first hand. Unfortunately for him, Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken of the illustrious Catachan II Regiment lies in ambush in a quagmire of toxic sludge, waiting for Ratathrax to remove his helmet before successfully ambushing him and throttling him to death with a poisonous barb-root.
- Second Tyrannic War (990-993.M41) - Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments were deployed across the galaxy during the Second Tyrannic War to stop the advance of Hive Fleet Kraken.
- Third Tyrannic War (997.M41-Present) - Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments were deployed across the galaxy during the Third Tyrannic War to stop the advance of Hive Fleet Leviathan.
- Defence of Jorn V (997.M41) - The 12th Army Group, comprised mainly of Catachan and Jornian Imperial Guard forces, continue to hold out against a tendril of Hive Fleet Leviathan. Reinforcements continue to be raised to help combat this dire threat.
- Fortuse III Campaign (997.M41) - Catachan regiments route the Eldar forces of the Alaitoc Craftworld from the Mining World of Fortuse III. Tech-priests are dispatched by the Mechanicus to investigate arcane ruins on that world discovered by Catachan scout teams.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - A large number of Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments were deployed by the Segmentum Solar High Command to aid the Imperial defenders in throwing back the second planetary assault by the Orks of WAAAGH! Ghazghkull against the strategic Hive World of Armageddon.
- Assault on Epsion Octarus (Date Unknown.M41) - The Catachan Jungle Fighters are known to have fought on Epsion Octarus against the Orks of Warlord Grubnak at his Gargant construction site. The Catachans spent 40 days during this campaign amongst the Crotalid-infested swamps making their way towards Grubnak's construction facility. When combat ensued, the Catachans were so ferocious that Grubnuk ordered his Gargants to be painted in the colours of the Catachans, green stripes with red bandanas.
- Cytherian Annexation (5.985.999.M41) - During the Third Sphere Expansion campaign of the T'au Empire, a T'au expeditionary force was assembled and dispatched from the Bork'an Sept and tasked with the annexation and colonisation of the Imperial world of Cytheria. As the T'au expected stiff resistance from the human defenders, the expeditionary forces was well-supplied for what would be a long and difficult campaign. An outlying Imperial world in the Eastern Fringe, Cytheria was a planet defined by its dry, rugged plains and dense alien jungle. Although only sparsely populated, the world was home to a valuable research facility of the Adeptus Mechanicus. As such, Cytheria's defences were reinforced by 7 regiments of the Catachan Jungle Fighters, including 3 standard infantry regiments, 2 veteran light infantry regiments and 2 armoured regiments. The T'au force's landing sites were cleared by Stealth Teams and spearheaded by T'au Battlesuits. Despite this initial success, the T'au soon took heavy casualties. Phase two included the eradication of the Imperial armour, which was highlighted by the destruction of the entire XCVII Catachan Armoured Regiment by T'au Hammerhead "Elimination Groups" on the third solar day of the invasion. As the T'au gained the upper hand, the remaining Catachan units withdrew into the jungles to carry on a protracted guerrilla war against the xenos invaders. During this third phase of the campaign, the T'au Fire Warriors found themselves outclassed in such dense terrain. Sensing a loss of momentum in the campaign, the T'au Ethereals redirected the attack on the Herzen Ridge research and communications zone, which ultimately forced the Catachans to enter open battle. The combat on Herzen Ridge broke the last organised Imperial resistance and Cytheria was largely pacified by the T'au. The transport of the needed materials and personnel for T'au colonisation of the world was soon underway and represented another success in the Third Sphere Expansion. Scattered remnants of the Catachan forces still mount sporadic guerrilla attacks on vulnerable T'au targets, in the hope of eventually receiving Imperial reinforcements. However, regular T'au hunter patrols scour the jungles to eliminate these foolish humans who stubbornly refuse to accept the Greater Good.
- Conquest of Uttu Prime (Date Unknown.M41) - The Necron Overlord of the Tomb World of Gidrim, the Nemesor Zahndrekh, gave an ultimatum to the Imperial defenders of the world of Uttu Prime that provided them with one solar month to withdraw from the planet, as was required by the ancient Necron codes of battle. After the deadline passed, the humans had refused to accept this most generous offer. Instead, whilst the Necron fleet remained in orbit around Uttu Prime's desert moon, 4 regiments of the Catachan Jungle Fighters and three companies of Imperial Fists Space Marines had arrived to reinforce the world's defences. When Zahndrekh finally launched his assault, he did so against a very well-defended target. However, when his courtiers argued against prosecuting the war to completion, the Nemesor simply laughed and sent the interstitial command that set the Necron fleet in motion. Zahndrekh initially ignored Uttu Prime's outlying cities, focussing his assault on Fort Anan, the planetary capital. Zahndrekh's first attack wave included a dozen squadrons of Doom Scythe fighters. They swarmed over Fort Anan's fortifications, their death rays ploughing through bastions, ferrocrete walls and the unfortunate defenders within. To their credit, the humans resisted fiercely. Hydra Flak Tanks and defence lasers scoured the skies, driving or destroying many of the Necron aircraft. Yet every time a Doom Scythe was destroyed another immediately peeled off from the main group to enact vengeance. Before long, Fort Anan was stripped of its aerial defences and the Necron landings began. Transport craft followed in the wake of the first attack. Night Scythes flew low over the wreckage of crashed Necron aircraft and the Imperial bastions. Small arms fire hit the Night Scythes' hulls as their flickering invasion beams delivered Zanhdrekh's assault troops in the heart of the human defences. Phalanx after phalanx of Immortals and Necron Warriors stalked through the ruins, Gauss Weapons blazing as they drove the Catachans back. Here and there, a Catachan officer's orders held the Imperial Guardsmen in line, but when those strong-willed commanders inevitably fell, the Imperial troops went into full retreat. It was when the Necrons reached the Planetary Governor's citadel that the Astartes of the Imperial Fists made their presence known. Thunderhawk gunships began to shred the oncoming Necron Warriors with Heavy Bolter fire and blast the Immortals apart with missile strikes. As the Astartes gunships touched down amongst the ruins of Fort Anan to disgorge the Space Marines into combat, the Necrons shifted to defensive protocols and awaited reinforcements. Unfortunately for the Imperial Fists, from his vantage point in orbit Zahndrekh had marked the approach of the Thunderhawks long before they had made their presence known on the ground. Even as the roar of Bolter-fire echoed through the ruins of the capital city, a shadow fell over the battlefield as the Necron Megalith descended. The Megalith was a massive floating Necron fortress. Green Gauss fire lanced out from its sides, blasting Thunderhawks from the air or crippling them on the ground. As its shadow grew larger, chunks of the Megalith's understructure broke away, and the blocks fell to the ground. Yet this was not wreckage, but Necron Monoliths detaching from their massive mothership's hull. As each made planetfall, it added its own firepower to the barrage assaulting the Imperial Fists. The Space Marines knew that they could not win, but duty and the stubborn tenacity always displayed by the Sons of Dorn led them to double down. Lascannon and Multi-melta fire flickered through the ruins, the beams converging to pierce the Montoliths' Necrodermis hulls. Astartes Assault Squads threw themselves at the Necron phalanxes, Chainswords screaming as they ripped through metallic bodies. But the Megalith was now close enough to the ground to unleash its invasion beams. The Necron teleport beams activated to deliver Doomsday Arks, legions of Necron Immortals, as well as Zahndrekh and his personal guard into the thick of combat. Those Space Marines that survived now withdrew to the Planetary Governor's citadel, but 3 Doomsday Arks converged their Gauss fire on the citadel's large adamantium gate. For a handful of moments it glowed cherry-red then burst into fragments with a crack. As the Imperial Fists fell back deeper into the citadel, Zahndrekh raised his Warscythe in salute to his valiant but doomed foes. Then the Nemesor led his army through the ruined gate and shortly thereafter, Fort Anan had fallen, with every Astartes and Catachan Guardsman dead to the last man. The rest of Uttu Prime would quickly follow and another world would have been added to the territory of the Gidrim Tomb World and the Necron Sautekh Dynasty.
- Cleansing of Koralkal VIII (Date Unknown.M41) - The Catachan XVIII, the "Swamp Rats" under the command of Colonel Gator, fought for seven standard years against a Tyranid infestation on the world of Koralkal VIII. During this campaign, the Swamp Rats were forced to develop a number of unorthodox tactics to combat the Tyranid threat. Teams of highly experienced Tyranid hunters covered their bodies in ichor taken from the xenos they had slain to build up an immunity to the aliens' toxins and also to mask their own scent from the Tyranid bioforms that were hunting them in turn. The Catachans were thus able to lie in ambush, using the pheromone glands cut from the bodies of slain Lictors to lure the bulk of the Tyranid swarms into carefully constructed and heavily trapped fire-zones. After successfully eliminating the Tyranids, the surviving Swamp Rats were required to spend two standard years aboard a decontamination ship to ensure that any infections or toxins they had picked up from contact with the aliens was not spread to a wider Imperial population.
Regimental Combat Doctrine
These tough, resourceful and uncompromising warriors excel at fast-moving, close-quarter firefights, infiltration and sniping. As born survivors, these courageous people have endured growing up on one of the most dangerous and perilous Death Worlds in the galaxy.
In battle, Catachans have a reputation for reckless bravery that borders on the insane, willingly throwing themselves into danger. Their preferred choice of weaponry are Flamers and demolition charges, armaments that can be as deadly to the user as the enemy.
The Catachan regiments also boast some of the best snipers in the Imperial Guard. Catachan marksmen will take up position hours, or even days, before a battle in order to get the best vantage point.
Catachans are experts at utilising booby traps, for in the jungle, even the slightest scratch can prove to be fatal as necrotic bacteria swarm into any open wound and gangrene quickly sets in. Growing up in the harsh environment of a Death World, Catachans take advantage of these harsh conditions by rigging traps from natural materials on the battlefield such as vines and tree branches.
They also use a variety of specially-built devices to create "Devil's Gardens" -- areas where the most innocuous looking mound of leaves or tree root can conceal a Shredder Mine or Plasma Charge. These traps can also take the form of dead falls, spiked pits, snares, Spring Mines and "Toe Poppers" (buried shells set to explode when someone step upon them).
Many new recruits mistakenly believe that the object of mines and traps is to kill or maim the enemy. This, of course, is only their secondary function, as their primary value is in disrupting and slowing an enemy's advance into certain areas. After several encounters with booby traps, most enemies are liable to become demoralised, overly cautious and spread out, leaving them vulnerable to a well-placed ambush.
There are three types of mine commonly employed by the Catachan regiments: Shredders, Spring and Plasma Mines:
- Shredder Mines - Explosive fragmentation charges mounted on an upright plate hurls the blast in a specific direction, creating an expanding cone of destruction filled with white-hot fragments of metal. Shredder Mines are Ideal for covering trails, streams and paths. Common mines of the Shredder type include: Triplex Phall Type XII "Repudiator" auto-mine, Armageddon "Hammerhead" area denial weapon, and the Necromunda Pattern "Widowmaker" anti-personal savager.
- Spring Mines - Spring Mines received this moniker because these devices spring into the air before detonating. Spring Mines are particularly effective against dispersed targets. However, a wary squad leader will advance with a trooper moving ahead on "point" to try to reduce the effectiveness of Spring Mines. Common mines of the Spring type include: Necromunda Pattern "Jumping-snap" anti-personnel leaper, the Gearian Type XIV vertical blast device, and the Martian Type CXI Fragmentation Mine.
- Plasma Charges - Most anti-personnel mines employ blast waves and shrapnel to injure or kill their victims, but a Plasma Charge renders them relatively ineffective against enemies wearing thick personal armour such as Power Armour. Larger Tyranid creatures and armoured walkers are also likely to survive even a close proximity detonation from a Spring or Shredder Mine. Where such opponents are expected, Plasma Charges are most useful. This "fires" a blast of super-heated plasma at whatever triggers it, inflicting hideous and invariably fatal injuries. The greatest drawback to Plasma Charges is their small detonation pattern compared to more conventional munitions. Common types of Plasma Charges include: all standard plasma weapon photonic-hydrogen fuel flasks, the Necromundan "Cyclops" anti-armour blast sphere, and the Golgotha Pattern Mark 90KW Energy Mine.
Circumstances may sometimes preclude the employment of purpose-built munitions for booby traps. However, it is relatively simple to improvise a variety of basic traps from natural materials and commonly available ammunition. Some common examples include:
- Lashing Branch - Locating a springy branch at head, waist or knee height, the twigs along the branch are sharpened to a fine point. The branch is then carefully bent back and a line is used to secure it (the thinner the better), tied off with a slip-knot so that the branch is under tension. The line is then strung as a tripwire below where the branch was originally positioned. When an enemy trips the line, the branch is arranged so that it will lash forward and impale the unfortunate victim.
- Spike Pit (or "Devil's Maw") - A small pit is dug to about knee-deep. The base of it is then lined with sharpened spikes and then further spikes are placed around the edges so they point downwards towards the base of the pit. The pit is then camouflaged using leaves, grasses and whatever else is available. When an enemy steps into the pit, their foot will be impaled by the spikes at the bottom. As they attempt to pull their foot free, the downwards pointing spikes will inflict further injury. A common variant of this is to place dangerous local lifeforms into the bottom of the pit, as this encourages an even faster extrication of the limb and increased chance of injury (aside from whatever bites, stings, etc., the lifeforms can inflict).
- Buried Bullets ("Toe-Poppers") - These consist of a basic Autogun shell, Bolt Round or Shotgun shell buried so that its base is resting on a nail, rock or sharpened spike and the tip of the shell is just below the surface of soft ground. When an enemy steps on the tip of the round, their weight pushes it back onto the striker, triggering the round directly under their foot, causing moderate to severe injuries.
- "As swift as a lash mamba, as sharp as a spineleaf, as stubborn as a wild grox."
- — Colonel Pannent in praise of the Catachan Jungle Fighters
The men and sometimes women who form the regiments of the Catachan Jungle Fighters are tough, resourceful and always uncompromising warriors. They excel at fast-moving, close-quarters fire fights, infiltration and sniper work.
Every Catachan is a born survivor by definition and they have been hardened by life on their deadly homeworld to the very core of their beings. These courageous people have endured for millennia one of the most dangerous and perilous ordeals ever known to Mankind -- simply growing up alive on the planet of their birth.
Catachan is classified as a Death World, and is perhaps the most notorious of all the known Death Worlds in Imperial space. Every native creature is a carnivore and every form of plant life is highly toxic. Catachan is a planet so inimical to human life that every day there plays out as a struggle for survival. With such a hideously high mortality rate, only the toughest members of the Catachan population survive into adulthood. Half of the Catachan population dies before they can walk and another half again perish before they have seen ten standard years pass.
There are no mineral or other strategic assets present on Catachan and its people offer only one true resource of value to the Imperium -- their superb skill as warriors. Catachan warriors readily accept the Imperial Guard's call to arms in the name of the Emperor and in exchange for this regular tithe of troops, their settlements receive much-needed supplies from the Imperium that would otherwise be impossible to obtain on a world with no industrial base.
Common to all the soldiers of the Catachan regiments are their red bandanas, which are a symbol of the blood-oath that every warrior takes when he joins a regiment and a steel-alloy Combat Knife. A well-honed Catachan combat blade is not only a tool and weapon amongst these soldiers, but also a sign of status.
On their homeworld, Catachans maintain strong tribal traditions and structures, and this carries over to the regiments drawn from the Death World. Where a Catachan tribe would elect a headman, a regiment will elect its own captains, sergeants and other ranking officers.
Entire regiments may be drawn from small geographical areas. It is not uncommon for many squads to be made up of men related to each other. Cousin fights alongside cousin, brother alongside brother and quite often all serve under an uncle or, in rare circumstances, a grandfather. These close-knit structures have resulted in levels of trust and teamwork that are virtually unparalleled within the Imperial Guard.
Catachans take great pride in the fact that their officers, all renowned jungle hunters and skilled warriors, share with their fighters every danger and hardship, just as is common amongst the Death World's jungle settlements. As a result, discipline in the Catachan regiments is maintained more through trust and respect than through the simple fact of rank.
The Jungle Fighter regiments tend to be fiercely independent as a result and outsiders, particularly authoritative figures like Commissars, can have great difficulty earning the respect and deference of Catachan troops. Thus, Catachan regiments generally lack Imperial Commissars.
Even these tough and uncompromising officers are unable to assert their authority over Catachan soldiers, who are notoriously disrespectful to any who have not shared the perils of their homeworld; in fact, Commissars are generally deeply resented by these troops, and it is not uncommon for Commissars assigned to Catachan regiments to be "fragged" by their own men. It is common for Ogryns, however, to fight in Catachan regiments.
Catachans have a reputation for reckless bravery that borders on insanity. This is reflected in the dangers that they willingly throw themselves into and their preferred choice of weaponry. Flamers and demolition charges, armaments that can be as dangerous for the user as to its intended target, are commonplace amongst Catachan regiments and the specialists who wield them are well known for their claims that such weapons wouldn't dare to harm a Catachan!
The Catachan regiments also boast some of the best snipers in the Imperial Guard. Catachan marksmen will take up their positions hours or even days before a battle in order to get a better vantage point.
The regimental Colonels and company Captains of the Catachan regiments are usually elected by the rank-and-file. These commanders are often renowned hunters or warriors, the headman of the settlement from which the regiment or company was recruited or perhaps the patriarch of an extended family which has sent many of its men-folk (and sometimes women-folk) to join the ranks.
Discipline is maintained through trust and respect rather than by respect for rank. Catachan warriors have a strong sense of pride in the fact that their officers share with them every danger and hardship.
- Colonel - The commanding officer of an entire Catachan Jungle Fighters Regiment.
- Captain - Officers of the Catachan Jungle Fighters who are subordinate to the regiment's commanding Colonel and are the commanding officers of an entire company.
- Lieutenant - Lieutenants are the officers of the Catachan Jungle Fighters regiments who are given command over each company's platoons and who report to their company's Captain.
- Commissars - The inhabitants of Death Worlds like Catachan are usually fiercely independent souls. Outsiders have difficulty earning their respect, particularly Commissars who tend to "come on all high an' mighty." These Death World warriors are also very unsubtle in demonstrating disapproval and for this reason such regiments suffer a much higher attritional rate amongst their Commissars than those from other, more civilised worlds.
- Catachan Devils - The fearsome Catachan Jungle Fighter regiments include squads of warriors exceptional even by the exacting standards of their birth world. They are seasoned Jungle Fighters who are deadly in close combat, and make use of a versatile array of ranged weaponry for every occasion. In Catachan regiments these elite soldiers are called "Catachan Devils," in reference to their famous kill-knives and the voracious predators of their world whose fierceness they emulate in combat. The Devils' senses are honed to a razor's edge, allowing them to recognise hidden threats in their midst, even enemies who are concealed under cloaking devices. Their particular mission is usually to conduct long-range penetration raids deep behind enemy lines, responsible for bearing the brunt of the enemy's response when battle is finally joined. In other instances Devils are used as expert scouts and specialists, but when deployed in this manner they range ahead of the main Catachan force, engaging would-be ambushers, launching surprise attacks, setting traps and herding enemy forces into the most dangerous of terrain. These elite squads consist of one Veteran Sergeant and between four and nine "Catachan Devil" Guardsmen, and some squads may include a Veteran officer.
- Veteran Assault Teams - Second only to the Catachan Devils themselves, these groups are formed from the bravest and most "Gung Ho" of the regiment's warriors. Assault Teams take the fight directly to the enemy, they bear the brunt of the bloody combat that often occurs in jungle fighting and so are heavily armed with Frag Grenades, Demolition Charges, Flamers, Meltas and Plasma Guns. These fearsome teams consist of a Veteran Sergeant and three to six Catachan Veteran Guardsmen.
- Veteran Snipers - The Catachans recruit their own snipers from amongst their finest marksmen. These snipers will take up a position for hours, even days before a battle just to find the perfect spot in the trees or amongst the roots and will conceal themselves fully before the enemy draws near. Concentrated sniper fire can throw enemy units into complete confusion, as the snipers are almost impossible to spot in the dense jungle canopy of the environments where the Catachans usually serve. Most companies have up to three Veteran Snipers that act autonomously.
- Veteran Infantry Squads - These squads make up the bulk of jungle fighting forces. They are lightly equipped and armoured so that they can move quickly through thick vegetation but still make use of heavy weapons when the situation demands. These squads are composed of one veteran Sergeant or a standard Sergeant and between five and nine Veteran Guardsmen.
- Fire Support Heavy Weapons Squads - Compared to a standard Imperial Guard force, Catachan Heavy Weapons Squads are rare. The weapons' bulk and the weight of their ammunition makes them difficult to transport across a wilderness as unforgiving as the jungle environments where the Catachan Regiments see most of their combat. Nonetheless, the firepower of Heavy Bolters and Autocannons can be decisive in close battles. These squads are composed of one and three Heavy Weapons Teams, each consisting of two Catachan Veteran Guardsmen.
- Ogryn Squads - Some Ogryns are native to Death Worlds, but where they are not, certain Death World regiments will "acquire" squads of them, often without informing their previous commanders. Catachan Veterans find Ogryns have the same values of personal loyalty, physical toughness and determination as they themselves, so Catachans and Ogryns get on famously well.
- Sentinel Squads - Due to the impassable terrain they fight in, Catachan Jungle Fighters use no vehicles other than the hardy Sentinel scout walker. Sentinels are used as roving hunter-killer units, utilising Heavy Flamers and chainsaws to obliterate knots of resistance. These Death World Sentinels are heavily modified, boasting extra armour, camouflage and other innovations. A Catachan Sentinel Squadron consists of between one and three Sentinel walkers.
- Veteran Patrols -Veteran Patrols are formed to make long range penetration raids behind enemy lines. They scout out the terrain and locate the precise positions of the enemy. Before the main forces engage in battle, patrols will set up ambushes and lay booby traps where they can do the most harm. These squads consists of one Veteran Sergeant or standard Sergeant and three to five Catachan Veteran Guardsmen.
- Rough Riders - Catachans have been known to field unique Rough Rider units. These Jungle Fighters ride into war mounted atop one of the mighty giant reptiles native to the Catachan jungle.
- Mortar Heavy Weapons Squads - Mortars are greatly favoured for use in jungle fighting. They have the ability to rain fire down upon the foe while the Mortar crews stay far back among the enshrouding trees. This makes them an invaluable weapon because, unlike Heavy Bolters and Autocannons, Mortars can support the widely spread Catachan Veteran Squads despite the close terrain. Barrages of Mortar fire are also useful for pinning down enemy units and enabling Catachan squads to then outmanoeuvre them. A Mortar Heavy Weapons Squad consists of between one and three Weapons Teams, each made up of two Catachan Veteran Guardsmen.
- "This place is crawling with things that want to eat you. That rifle doesn't put you on top of the food chain. It just gives you a chance to not be at the bottom. Remember that."
- — Visitor's Guide to Catachan, overleaf
The Catachans do not think highly of medals and other military decorations and see them as little more than pretty baubles. They prefer to mark out true achievements by tattoos. Skull motifs are common amongst Catachan veterans who have served -- and survived -- for more than 5 standard years. Dagger symbols are used by those lucky enough to have survived for ten standard years in the Emperor's service.
A highly practical people, Catachans often dull their regimental badges with soot and dirt so as not to reflect light and give away their positions to the enemy, a practice which has often infuriated Imperial Guard officers native to worlds with a more materialistic culture.
Catachan tank crews often adorn their vehicles with non-standard stylised decals, kill-markings and unofficial nicknames in addition to the standard Imperial Guard honours and badges. Catachan Sentinel pilots in particular are known to personalise and modify their walkers to better suit an individual's particular combat style.
Most Catachan warriors eschew the use of the Imperial Guard Flak Armour that they receive as standard issue because they are often deployed in steaming hot tropical jungle terrain. As a result, Catachan Jungle Fighters usually prefer to rely on their own mobility and instincts for protection in such dense, hostile terrain. The use of armour would also leave them at greater risk of dehydration, which in an alien jungle can be as deadly a killer as any living enemy.
As specialists in ambush tactics, the Jungle Fighters also make notable use of demolition charges and improvised explosives, as well as possessing their own sniper cadre. Their preferred heavy and special weapons are the Flamer and Heavy Bolter, while they will make use of jury-rigged traps, Spring Mines, Shredder Mines and Plasma Charges to kill different types of enemy troops and other units in carefully prepared ambushes.
Similarly, the warriors of Catachan do not place much regard in medals, preferring, as noted above, their own system of battle honours: marking their flesh with tattoos. While such markings are unique to individual regiments, campaigns, and soldiers, some uniform elements remain common to virtually all Catachans, such as the red bandannas that evoke the blood-oaths sworn upon each soldier joining the regiment, and a wide variety of steel-alloy knives that are as much marks of status as they are weapons and tools.
Such is the pragmatism of the Catachans that they dull their knives, regimental insignia, and any other metal on their persons with soot and soil to avoid revealing their presence to the enemy with errant reflections.
The average Catachan Guardsman -- if such a thing truly exists -- will be outfitted with the following wargear:
- Mark IV Lascarbine - The standard ranged weapon employed by Catachan troops is the Mark IV Lascarbine. A lighter, cut down version of the Lasgun, the Lascarbine has a lower rate of fire and a shorter range but is easier to carry and aim, and often possesses a folding stock. Lascarbines can be fired using only one hand.
- 4 Charge Packs - Charge Packs are powerful capacitors used almost exclusively by Imperial laser weapons. The potency of a Charge Pack varies depending on the class of the weapon. In all cases, it provides shots equal to the weapon's full clip value and can be recharged to fire the full number of shots once more.
- Catachan Knife - Catachans make use of many close combat weapons collectively called Catachan Knives, including the Catachan Fang, a Combat Knife measuring up to 20 Terran inches of gleaming steel, which is the most common melee weapon in use among these regiments. It is also used for settling disputes between Catachans. Another Combat Knife is called the Night Reaper, which is smaller and blackened, effective for night infiltrations and assassinations. Night Reapers are sometimes poisoned to improve their kill strength, the poisons coming directly from the highly toxic native flora of Catachan. The Devil's Claw, named after the great Catachan Devil predator on Catachan, is the longest such weapon, up to four feet long. It is closer in size to a sword than a Combat Knife and has achieved status among the Orks who call it "Da Cutta." The blade is hollow and half filled with mercury in order to improve swing strength and control, and the design of this weapon has been copied by Catachan regimental officers for use as a Power Weapon.
- Flak Vest - The most common type of armour in the galaxy is Flak Armour, as it is standard issue to the countless millions of Imperial Guardsmen. Many layers of ablative and impact absorbent material go into making each suit, enough to deflect or negate most low-level attacks such as small arms, shrapnel, and proximity blasts. Solid hits from high impact weapons can generally negate it, but given that it is relatively lightweight, cheap to produce, and dependable in most combat situations, many veterans keep using it even when offered better.
- Flak Helmet
- 3 Frag Grenades - Frag Grenade explosives use a combustible charge and special fillers of shrapnel fragments. Imperial frag grenades are roughly the size of a clenched fist and covered with a heavily notched shell, both to increase the shrapnel produced and provide a more secure grip for throwing.
- 2 Smoke Grenades - Smoke Grenade explosives release a dense smoke which only obscures basic eyesight and optical based systems. They do not block detection systems that use heat or other spectral bands outside of normal human eyesight, but are much more widely available and easier to construct.
- Catachan Jungle Fighters Imperial Guard Uniform
- Poor Weather Gear
- Basic Toolkit
- Mess Kit and Water Canteen
- 2 Weeks' Rations
- Stummer - The reverse of the automated alarm device known as a Screamer, Stummers generate sound waves to cancel out ambient sounds and noises made by moving personnel in a small area.
- Grapnel - Grapnels use a small launcher or gas-gun to fire a hooked or magnetic grapnel, connected to the launcher with a coiled 100 metres' length of thin but strong line. Once the grapnel attaches to the desired spot such as a rooftop, a Guardsman can manually climb the line or activate a powered winch. Common sets can hold 150 kilograms, while the best can support 200 kilograms.
- Blanket & Sleep Bag
- Rechargeable Lamp-Pack - Sturdy and reliable, glow-globes illuminate many an Imperial paveway and cathedral. Most portable ones are roughly the size of a clenched fist and can shine strong, yellowish light a dozen or so metres in width, lasting roughly five hours before their power pack needs recharging or replacing.
- Dog Tags
- Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer - A staple piece of gear that Guardsmen are required to have on them at all times—this piece of kit is never to fall into the hands of the enemies of the Imperium. It details everything a Guardsman needs to know: principles and regulations of the Imperial Guard, issued arms, attire, apparatus, and equipment, basic battlefield policy and Imperial Guard organisation and structure, elementary battlefield medical instructions, and a detailed guide on the foes of the Imperium. No Guardsman should ever be found without possession of a copy of the Uplifting Primer -- the punishment is severe.
Notable Catachan Jungle Fighter Regiments
- Catachan II Regiment, "Green Vipers" - The II Catachan are made up of many Catachan Devil Squads. They fought valiantly during the Dulma'lin Cleansing, where Colonel "Iron Hands" Straken was seriously injured, and were subsequently redeployed to assist the Ulani defence battalion. They presumably took part in the Battle of Moden's Ridge, during the Yaquit 27 Campaign, fighting the xenos called the L'Huraxi. The Ogryn Nork Deddog is also known to have served under Colonel Greiss within the II Regiment.
- Catachan III Regiment, "the Green Devils" - The III Catachan was the home regiment of Captain Rock, who commented on the similarities between Varestus Prime and Catachan.
- Catachan IV Regiment - The Catachan IV took part in the Macharian Crusade with varying success. The IV Catachan was wiped out during the invasion of Jucha.
- Catachan V Regiment - The Catachan V took part in the Macharian Crusade with varying success. The 5th met fierce resistance during the Invasion of Jucha.
- Catachan VI Regiment, "the Cobras" - The Catachan VI took part in the Macharian Crusade with varying success. The VI Catachan were notably deployed from the Battlecruiser Opus Dei.
- Catachan IX Regiment - The IX Catachan's exploits are not recorded in current Imperial records.
- Catachan XII Regiment - Led by Colonel Traupman, the Catachan XII took part in the Macharian Crusade and deployed from the Battlecruiser Defiance during the invasion of Jucha. They also fought during the recent 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41. This was Sly Marbo's original regiment before moving to the Catachan II.
- Catachan XIV Regiment - The Catachan XIV participated in the Macharian Crusade and were victorious in their missions.
- Catachan XVII Regiment, "the Screaming Devils" - The Catachan XVII is led by Captain Thorn and includes the famous sniper Dell, who won the Silver Bullet seven standard years in a row. During the re-pacification of the world of Bad Sanctuary, Captain Thorn and his Screaming Devils "lost contact" with their assigned Commissar during a treacherous ravine crossing. The regiment's fighting efficiency has markedly increased since that fateful day.
- Catachan XVIII Regiment, "the Drakebats" - The drakebat is an Ogryn-sized, winged, pseudo-reptile that lurks amongst the upper canopy of the equatorial jungles of Catachan, descending from the treetops to ambush and devour unsuspecting prey. The Catachan XVIII Light Infantry, famed for their swift ambushes and surprise assaults, took on the name of these beasts, as is a common tradition amongst Catachan regiments. The speed at which the drakebat performs its swooping attacks is echoed by the Catachan 18th’s ability to deploy and execute an ambush with minimal time to prepare. An uncommonly large regiment, the Drakebats have been divided up into a number of company-strength groups and spread across the Spinward Front warzone of the Calixis Sector, lending their skills to the hostile wilderness of several worlds. Most recently, the Orks in the fungus jungles on Thrax have been the Drakebats' primary concern, with the Catachans forming part of a task force charged with retaking the world and driving the Orks from it. Before that, they waged war across the dusty plains and frontier towns of Ganf Magna, purging Feral Orks with knife, Lasgun, and Flamer. The regiment's commanding officer is a long-serving soldier in his early sixties, remarkably old for a Catachan, and bearing a wealth of experience that could only have been gained from over forty standard years at the front lines. Colonel Tiho Anders, referred to as "The Old Man" by his men, is a cunning and resourceful leader, still uncomfortable with outside authorities and justifiably proud of his warriors' accomplishments. He is distrustful of his superiors, and has long been vocal of his dislike of what he calls the "witless interference of the Commissariat." This outlook has not endeared him to senior commanders, who only tolerate Anders because of his regiment's skills.
- Catachan XVIII Regiment, "the Swamp Rats" - The Catachan XVIII fought the Tyranids in a seven-year-long campaign on the world of Koralkal VIII under the command of Colonel Gator, during which they covered themselves with the ichor of Lictors to mask their scent. They subsequently spent two standard years in decontamination before they were allowed to return to active duty. They also have a rare Thunderer siege tank as part of their forces. This regiment may have been the second incarnation of the Catachan XVIII Regiment, raised after its former incarnation, "the Drakebats."
- Catachan XIX Regiment, "the Scorpion Fangs" - The XIX Catachan is known to include a Mars Pattern Leman Russ Exterminator, the third tank of the third squadron of the only company supporting the rest of the regiment. It was equipped with a bulldozer blade to aid it in the fighting on Armageddon Secundus during the Third War for Armageddon.
- Catachan XXIII Regiment - The Catachan 23rd were crucial during the conquest of Atria IV, as their elite sapper units were able to breach the Palace of Hate within a week. The Catachan XXIII also fought on an unknown jungle world against the Eldar of an unknown Craftworld.
- Catachan XXIV Regiment, "the Waiting Death" - The "Waiting Death" are known for their almost exclusive and highly successful employment of booby traps. They are known to spend solar days, even weeks, preparing a large area with mines, improvised spike pits, long falls and other deadly traps before their foolhardy "Baiter" squads lure the enemy into the deathtraps awaiting them. Most notable of their achievements was the almost complete destruction of Warlord Krakskull's entire Ork horde with a single massive pit trap. They accomplished this by covering the mile-deep Hellsmouth Gorge on Arandra Five. So perfect was the trap's construction that almost all of the greenskin horde had started to cross the hidden ravine before the fake floor of branches and leaves gave way under their tremendous weight.
- Catachan XXVII Regiment, "the Flaming Devils" - The XXVII Catachan were stationed on the world of Gerran Prime to fight against the Necrons in 962.M41. The campaign went very badly for them and within a year they were almost wiped out. They fought a desperate last stand in a jungle ruin, led by Commissar Von Blacke, though their commander cowardly fled the battle in the first Valkyrie that arrived, and called off any more Valkyries from entering the drop zone, leaving his men to die. However, a maverick Imperial Navy Valkyrie pilot risked his own life to fly into the ruins and rescue any survivors. Although his Valkyrie was badly damaged (almost destroyed, in fact), he managed to rescue Von Blacke and the remaining handful of Flaming Devils survivors. Von Blacke promptly executed the regiment's commander for cowardice. The remaining Flaming Devils were merged with the understrength Katon Dragoons Regiment and Von Blacke was re-assigned.
- Catachan LI Regiment, "the Black Vipers" - The Catachan "Black Vipers" fought on the world of Cytheria after its governor defected to the Tau Empire. Snipers from the regiment eliminated a prominent Tau leader, striking a critical blow to the alien's morale.
- Catachan CXLVI Regiment, "the Red Cobras" - The CXLVI Catachan's exploits are not recorded in current Imperial records.
- Catachan CLXXXIII Regiment - The CLXXXIII Catachan Regiment protected the world of Pandorax from an assault of the Black Legion and other Chaos Space Marines. Led by Colonel "Death" Strike, the regiment successfully managed to survive against the Traitor Marines, using their jungle and city fighting skills to the fullest.
- Catachan CCCXCI Regiment, "the Coiling Cobras" - The CCCXCI Catachan's exploits are not recorded in current Imperial records.
- Catachan MXIV Regiment, "the Unseen Lurkers" - The MXIV "Unseen Lurkers," led by Colonel "Steel Eye" Black, battled Orks from the Death Skulls Ork Clan on the Shadow World of Kato. Sentinel teams from the regiment destroyed the Ork's hidden Stompa factory.
Notable Catachan Jungle Fighters
- Colonel Tiho Anders - The Catachan XVIII Light Infantry Regiment's commanding officer is a long-serving soldier in his early sixties, remarkably old for a Catachan, and bearing a wealth of experience that could only have been gained from over forty standard years at the front lines. Colonel Tiho Anders, referred to as "The Old Man" by his "Drakebats," is a cunning and resourceful leader, still uncomfortable with outside authorities and justifiably proud of his warriors' accomplishments. He is distrustful of his superiors, and has long been vocal of his dislike of what he calls the "witless interference of the Commissariat." This outlook has not endeared him to senior commanders, who only tolerate Anders because of his regiment's skills.
- Colonel "Steel Eye" Black - Colonel Black was the regimental commander of the Catachan MXIV Regiment, the "Unseen Lurkers." Colonel Black and his soldiers battled the Orks of the Death Skulls Clan on the Shadow World of Kato. Sentinel teams from the regiment were able to successfully destroy the Ork's hidden Stompa factory.
- Colonel Gator - Gator was the regimental commander of the Catachan XVIII "Swamprats" of 762-771.M41, leading them for seven years against a Tyranid horde on the world of Koralkal VIII. Teams of highly experienced Tyranid hunters covered their bodies in the ichor of the aliens they had slain, to build up an immunity to the toxins and mask their scent from the Lictors which hunted them. After successfully wiping out the Tyranid swarm, the "Swamprats" had to spend two years on a decontamination ship.
- Colonel Traupman - Traupman is the commander of the Catachan XII Regiment and the famed Sly Marbo's original commanding officer. It is said that only the Colonel knows the truth of Marbo's origins and the tragedy that befell his brothers. Between missions Traupman often acted as Marbo's only source of human contact, as well as awarding him some of his many Stars of Terra.
- Colonel Greiss - Greiss was in command of the Catachan II Regiment when it was involved in the pacification of the world of Balur. The campaign lasted for four standard years and Greiss was severely wounded on several occasions. He is most famous for his association with the Ogryn Nork Deddog. Nork saved Greiss' life several times, including carrying him from Breakback Hill when most of Greiss's body was shattered. Greiss was eventually succeeded as Colonel of the Catachan II by his former subordinate, "Iron Hand" Straken.
- Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken - Regimental commander of the Catachan II, now possesses even more extensive chest and arm bionics following the events during the Cleansing of Dulma'lin. His original nom de guerre predated the Dulma'lin campaign and is derived from his unique Augmetics, which replaced the portions of his body devoured by a Miral Land Shark, which he killed mere moments after the initial attack.
- Colonel "Death" Strike - Colonel Strike was the commander of the CLXXXIII Regiment of the Catachan Jungle Fighters during the Pandorax Incursion. He earned his nickname whilst fighting against enemies in the forests of Burlion VIII. The CLXXXIII was en route to the Maelstrom War Zone during the 13th Black Crusade, when suddenly an engine failure ended up trapping them upon the world of Pythos. If it had not been for the CLXXXIII Regiment and Colonel Strike, Pyrthos would have been lost to the Forces of Chaos.
- Gunnery Sergeant "Stonetooth" Harker - Gunnery Sergeant Harker, nicknamed "Stonetooth" Harker by his comrades within his regiment, is one of the most renowned warriors hailing from Catachan to ever serve in the Imperial Guard. He is so exceptionally resilient that all who have served with him believe that the creature who can kill him simply has not yet come into being. Harker serves in Colonel "Iron Hand" Straken's II Regiment of the Catachan Jungle Fighters, the equally-renowned "Catachan Devils" who have a reputation for getting the job done, whatever the odds against them. Harker is the most senior Sergeant of the regiment, and leads his hand-picked team of veterans with the patience and cunning of the most dangerous of predators. In addition to being his squad's leader, Harker doubles up as the squad's heavy weapon specialist, wielding his trusted Heavy Bolter named Payback as easily as other Guardsmen wield their Lasgun.
- Burk Canten - Growing up in the lethal jungles of Catachan, Burk developed deadly skills with a knife and a dark sense of humour to cope with the perils of life on a death world. In his years as a soldier he has refined both of these talents and become skilled with a plethora of other weapons, including the short-barrelled auto-shotgun that he favours for deep reconnaissance missions. Burk is often called upon by his commanders for his vast experience, and has learned a great deal about military strategy and the Tactica Imperialis from working with them. Burk is quick to crack jokes about the enemy, his squadmates, or the imminent likelihood of annihilation, but he nonetheless avoids slipping into the despair that often plagues those possessed of such dark humour. Burk often acts as a voice of reason and intermediary between the more eccentric members of the Catachan 233rd Jungle Fighters Regiment, offering unexpected solutions to problems within and without.
- Sly Marbo - Sly Marbo is a member of the Catachan II Regiment and is considered the best camouflage expert and sniper in the entire regiment. He has also been referred to as the "one man army" by his commanding officers and fellow Catachans. He often works completely alone in the field, shadowing his regiment's squads as they travel through dense jungles, acting as their sniper support. His character is heavily inspired by the famous fictional character of John Rambo as portrayed by Sylvester Stallone in the 1980's Rambo films (Marbo is an anagram of Rambo, while "Sly" is a nickname for Sylvester, after Sylvester Stallone, the actor who portrayed John Rambo). Little is known of Marbo's past, but it is hinted that he and his nine brothers joined a Catachan regiment that was wiped out -- only Marbo survived, returning to his post with a severed enemy commander's head with a bullet hole between the eyes. Marbo apparently stares vacantly into space in the time between assignments, and few have heard him speak; both attributes unsettle commanders who encounter him, but none can argue with the results of his solo missions or his combat effectiveness.
- Trooper Arden - One of the most famous -- some would say infamous -- fighters to have served in the warzones of the Spinward Front was Trooper Arden of the Catachan CCCI Regiment. Known for favouring his Catachan Knife over the standard issue Lasgun, Arden quickly gained a reputation as a brutal melee fighter. His most notable feat came when he personally slew nearly two dozen Ork warriors in a single hand-to-hand engagement. Arden mysteriously disappeared soon after, during a raid upon an Ork Warboss' base. Rumours abound, however, that since then he has been sighted on numerous battlefields within the Spinward Front.
- Nork Deddog - Nork Deddog is the Ogryn bodyguard of Colonel Greiss, the former commanding officer of the II Catachan Regiment of the Imperial Guard. Nork is a genius by Ogryn standards, and is also the only Ogryn to have ever been assigned directly to serve a Commissar. He was assigned to guard the life of Colonel Greiss, commander of the 2nd Catachan Regiment, and did so faithfully. He was selected by the Schola Progenium due to his ability to write his name ("N is for Nork"), count (to four), and even speak fluently and understand orders without hesitation or difficulty, this being a rare occasion in Ogryn development as the majority of Ogryns would find these tasks very difficult, if not impossible. He was taken out of the normal stream of warfare and underwent artificial mental enhancement (possibly the same process used in the creation of Bone 'Eads) as well as extensive training. He was then assigned to the II Catachan under Colonel Greiss, who trusted Nork with his life and had been saved by his loyal bodyguard and friend on many occasions, notably during the disaster at Breakback Hill, where he pulled an entire damaged Chimera transport vehicle across the battlefield when asked by his commander to retrieve a medi-kit. He then carried his wounded colonel out of battle and to safety whilst being shot at by thousands of enemy troops and seemingly feeling no pain.
The Catachan Jungle Fighters are loosely based upon the real-world United States military during the Vietnam War (1964-1973), particularly the United States Army Special Forces, known colloquially as the "Green Berets."
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pg. 32
- Codex: Catachans (3rd Edition), pp. 3, 4, 6, 16, 22-23
- Codex: Astra Militarum (8th Edition), pp. 20-21, 58
- Codex: Astra Militarum (6th Edition) (Digital Edition), "Regiments of Distinction - Catachan Jungle Fighters"
- Codex: Imperial Guard (5th Edition), pp. 8, 15, 22-23, 25, 38, 60-62
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, Revised), pp. 9, 30
- Codex: Imperial Guard (3rd Edition, 1st Codex), pg. 7
- Codex: Necrons (5th Edition), pp. 15, 21
- Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition)
- Dawn of War II - Retribution (PC Game)
- Deathworld (Novel) by Steve Lyons
- Imperial Armour Volume One - Imperial Guard and Imperial Navy, pp. 51, 76
- Only War: Core Rulebook (RPG), pp. 44-45
- Only War: Eleventh Hour (RPG), pp. 4-5, 7
- Only War: Hammer of the Emperor (RPG), pp. 55
- Pandorax (Novel) by C.Z. Dunn
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (5th Edition), pp. 76, 140, 172-173
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (7th Edition), pg. 40
- White Dwarf 286 (US), "Regiments of the Imperium"
- White Dwarf 239 (US), "Glorious Battles of the Imperial Guard, Part 1 - Catachan Background," pp. 17-19
- White Dwarf 180 (US), "Catachan Jungle Fighters: Imperial Guard," pp. 12-17
- White Dwarf 243 (UK), pg. 9
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Forces Disposition, Imperial Forces: Catachan Jungle Fighters (Archived)
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign - Forces Disposition, Imperial Forces: Armageddon Ork Hunters (Archived)
- Regimental Focus - Catachan