The Drookian Fenguard are the regiments of the Astra Militarum that hail from the Imperial world of Drook VI, a harsh, bog-covered and perpetually mist-shrouded swamp planet located in the far north of the galaxy's Segmentum Obscurus.
These unorthodox regiments are notable for their abilities in scouting, stealth and infiltration and for unleashing quick, deadly assaults upon their foes.
The general populace govern themselves by their own laws as there is only a token Imperial presence within the handful of cities located on the planet. Every generation, a new regiment is forcibly conscripted into the Imperial Guard by means of press gangs, and shipped for service across the galaxy.
Drook VI's warring clans exist at the very precipice of survival, constantly waging war in the foggy moors and fens of their harsh world, raiding and pillaging each other's ancestral territories, and looting everything that is not nailed down so that they can carry away their ill-gotten goods on the hairy riding mounts known as rekhorns.
Rekhorns are shaggy, skinny creatures resembling three-eyed mooses with curving horns, well adapted to their swampy world due to their wide feet and ability to swim.
The Drookians live by a martial code and for the honour of their clan names. They are distrustful of outsiders and utterly relentless in war.
Commissars assigned to Drookian regiments soon discover that in order to control these unruly and roguish Guardsmen, it is necessary to callously exploit their hatred towards foreigners.
This is accomplished by helping the Drookians identify an Imperial enemy as a clan enemy, and if the situation warrants it, inform them that the honour of the ancestors of their regiments has been grievously insulted.
Regimental Combat Doctrine
The Drookian Fenguard regiments of the Astra Militarum are predominantly light infantry, although there are a number of light cavalry squadrons present amongst them, known for their scouting and infiltration abilities.
Drookian Fenguard regiments are often deployed to worlds with harsh environments or noxious warzones, where their natural abilities and skills can best be put to use. The most violent and skilled soldiers within a Drookian regiment are hand-selected to be used for scouting, guerrilla warfare, infiltration and sabotage.
The Fenguard regiments also utilise special mounted cavalry units known as Rough Riders which use the same tactics as the Drookian foot soldiers; quick and silent infiltration, and if the situation is favourable, a deadly assault. But unlike other, more disciplined and iron-willed Rough Rider regiments, such as the Death Korps of Krieg's Death Riders, the Drookian Fenguard cavalry are not known for their resolve when faced with a superior enemy.
Instead of standing their ground and facing their foes, the Drookians disperse their forces rather than risk an untenable confrontation that does not favour them coming out on top. For this reason, there has been a high percentage of desertion in Drookian units in the past. Therefore, attacks against a formidable foe are never attempted unless the regiment is augmented by a substantial number of Commissars to help "motivate" them.
The Drookian Fenguard's uniform appearance is non-standard and very haphazard. The Guardsmen of the Fenguard Regiments wear the traditional clothing of their homeworld.
These items consists of a tartan -- a traditional Drookian woolen cloth woven in one of several patterns of plaid, (denoting a particular clan), draped across the chest and over one shoulder, and a kilt -- a knee-length skirt of pleated tartan cloth, traditionally worn by men as part of traditional Drookian dress.
The Drookians primarily wear Flak Armour which consists of layers of ablative and impact absorbent material sewn directly into their uniform. The Drookian Fenguard rarely makes use of unit markings lower than company level, thus maintaining a fluid organization appropriate to their status as light infantry.
Drookians tend to be slow to put their faith in anyone other than themselves and their comrades, and they chafe at the expectations and strictures of more civilised Imperial society.
Drookians believe that, above all else, one must honour their clan and its name. Any affront or slight to their clan's honour is severely punished.
Notable Drookian Fenguard Regiments
- 53rd Drookian Fenguard - The 53rd Drookian was one of the Astra Militarum regiments assigned to the defence of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41.
- 72nd Drookian Fenguard - In 448.M41, the 72nd Drookian took part in the Imperial campaign against the Secessionist forces known as the Canis Hegemony. Their most famous engagement occurred on the world of Aelian VII, during the Battle of Traitor's Moss, when the 72nd ambushed and destroyed a much larger Secessionist force. This occurred during the seventeenth year of the Imperial campaign against the Canis Hegemony. The Imperial Navy had become entangled in a protracted engagement against corsairs and dealers from Valo Opaline, leaving the Imperial Guard forces deployed on the ground in the region without vital support. Desperate to break the deadlock, the Imperial High Command was at a loss on how to best continue the campaign, until they received help from an unexpected quarter. Led by their commander, Colonel Woortan, the 72nd Drookian Fenguard was reconnoitering the world of Aelian VII, preparing the way for the Imperial offensive in the Aelian System. The failure of the Imperial fleet to destroy the corsairs had led to the suspension of the Imperial offensive, effectively isolating the 72nd Drookian from the main body of the Imperial Crusade. This forced the Fenguard to rely on their own survival skills, which unfortunately could not have come at a more inopportune moment, as the XII Army of the Canis Hegemony chose to move on Aelian VII. Instead of engaging the enemy, Colonel Woortan bided his time, gathering valuable intelligence on enemy force dispositions before moving to attack. He devised an audacious plan to draw the entirety of the enemy forces towards Aelian VII. The Imperials proved able to draw the enemy onto the marshy zones that surrounded the low plains by the plateau, enabling the Drookians to utilise their superior abilities on such terrain, and effectively pinning the enemy forces until the reinforcements of the Imperial Crusade arrived. During the Battle of Traitor's Moss, fewer than 900 Fenguards crushed a force of more than 20,000 Secessionists. The 72nd Drookian was granted a Right of Conquest to the continent on Aelian VII as reward for their monumental victory.
- 83rd Drookian Fenguard - In 999.M41, the 83rd Drookian Fenguard was one of several regiments that were involved in the defense of Cadia and its surrounding systems against the Forces of Chaos, commanded by Abaddon the Despoiler and his 13th Black Crusade.
- Cadia Stands (Novel) by Justin D. Hill, Part III, Ch. 9
- White Dwarf 286 (UK), "Regiments of the Imperial Guard," pg. 86
- Games Workshop Spain - Drookian Fenguard (Defunct)