The 1st Bespin Brigadiers, formally known as the Bespin 1st Enforcer Battalion, are an Imperial Guard Regiment hailing from the small Eastern Fringe Bespin Sector. An elite force, the Bespin Brigadiers have been around since halfway through the Great Crusade, and were split between their allegiance to Horus and the Emperor as the Horus Heresy took place. Since then, they have remained completely and utterly loyal to the Emperor and the Imperium, and serve a role as front-line shock troops in the Imperium's vast military forces. Having served in countless campaigns over the millennia, they have fought and served with a distinction unknown in other Imperial Guard Regiments. This particular regiment is the Bespin 1st Enforcer Battalion, the foremost of all Regiments under the title "Bespin Brigadiers"; however, they simply go by their standard namesake.
The Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy
The Bespin Brigadiers trace their origins to Terra, when the Emperor began his Great Crusade to unify the human-worlds separated during the Age of Strife. Created from the Emperor's original infantry forces when he sought to bring all of Terra under his control and leash, the Bespin Brigadiers, originally known as the 131st Imperial Dragoons at the time, were used as the core of the Emperor's front-line massed infantry forces in support of his Legiones Astartes, which although large in number could not hope to match the innumerable Imperial Army in terms of man-power and sheer force. The 131st were automatically attached to the Imperial Fists Space Marine Legion as they followed the Emperor about on his Great Crusade. The 131st Imperial Dragoons were instrumental in helping bring numerous systems under control, and they were highly honored by the Emperor as an effective flagship unit.
The 131st Imperial Dragoons were increasingly important as the Great Crusade went on. Easily becoming one of the largest Imperial Army detachments ever to be assigned to any Expedition Fleet, the name of the 131st Imperial Dragoons became synonymous with the names of the Imperial Fists and the Imperial Army in general, as they were usually attached to Rogal Dorn as one of his favored Imperial Army Regiments. Dorn even went so far as to compliment the Dragoons, calling them "the finest mortals ever to serve under my command." Numerous commendations from other Imperial Army commanders and Mortarion of the Death Guard after serving on campaign with him only made the pride of the 131st grow immensely. Campaigns with other Legions such as the Sons of Horus and the Ultramarines increased the respect and experience of the unit, and the 131st was known to all as one of the finest Imperial Army units known to man.
Alas, the 131st Imperial Dragoons came to an almost obliterated status after arriving on campaign in a new foreign system, which would be part of the Bespin Sector. The planet of Hrone, a world locked in perpetual snow and basically a giant ice-box, was rich in underground minerals and numerous feral warriors who might be trained for use in the Imperial Army or as Legiones Astartes recruits. However, the presence of numerous xenos who were in control of the area prevented it's immediate colonization. Being sent in to remove the infestation from Hrone and it's neighboring planets in the specific system, the 131st was split into several detachments, each of them with a varying size of Space Marines from the Blood Angels, and sent to each planet, all of which were varying ecosystems with dangerous xenos and deadly flora. The environments proved to be most unfavorable ones, and within but a year almost seventy percent of the entire Regiment had been killed in combat or from adverse weather conditions and indigenous life-forms. The xenos in the system proved to be most resistant to the 131st, as was evidenced by their continued major offensives with advanced technology.
With their near annihilation at the hands of nothing but advanced xenos, the 131st was withdrawn whilst the Blood Angels were sent in force, crushing the xenos infestation which had been so resistant to the distinguished Imperial Dragoons. Afterwards, the 131st was permanently garrisoned in the Bespin Sector as a home-sector Regiment, which would grow in later millennia into a size-able military force in the Imperial Guard. Taking the time replenish their numbers and train and recruit new soldiers, the 131st was sitting on it's ass in a most in-oppurtune time as the Horus Heresy broke out.
As the Warmaster Horus and eight other Primarchs, noteworthy amongst them Mortarion, broke away from the Imperium along with numerous millions of soldiers, the 131st Imperial Dragoons were still nursing their wounds. However, an order from Rogal Dorn changed that, and half of the regiment's forces were re-deployed to Terra as an augment to defensive forces. Meanwhile, the remainder of the Imperial Dragoons were assigned to the Bespin Sector's various planets, and rightly so; the arrival of a sizable force of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion would prove to be costly for the 131st, who held their ground with a charismatic zeal. Meanwhile, the 131st's forces that were sent to Terra arrived without delay, and were placed as direct front-line defensive forces in case of an attack on Terra, which at the time was inconceivable. They were placed as both a front-line unit along as a reserve to re-deploy to any area in need of aid for fear of being overrun by possible Traitor forces.
Meanwhile, the 131st was automatically under attack at Bespin Sector for the duration of the Terran Siege. Continual attacks in force by Word Bearers proceeded to wear down the defenses of many 131st Dragoon positions across the sector, and coupled with the attacks of Traitor soldiers who had sided with Horus served to decimate many Dragoon forces as they struggled to keep a solid footing on their numerous planets. However, the timely arrival of a Blood Angels force and an Imperial Army unit kept the Word Bearers at bay whilst the Siege of Terra continued unknown to them. As the Terran 131st segment fought with a fanatical zeal to hold the massive Imperial Palace, the Bespin 131st segment fought with a fanatical zeal to hold their new home system, which had already seen much blood-shed for their unit throughout the Great Crusade.
The Word Bearers fought viciously, as did their Traitor Army forces. All across the Bespin Sector, war raged and corpses piled up high into the sky. As the Blood Angels force with the 131st dwindled, several planets and systems were evacuated completely to regroup Imperial forces, virus-bombed in an attempt to contain and decimate the enemy offensive across the sector. When the Emperor teleported to the Warmaster's battle-barge with his many Astartes, Sanguinius and Rogal Dorn, the 131st Imperial Dragoons served to fill many positions left empty by the Imperial Fists and Blood Angels, as well as the White Scars. This task was not accomplished easily, and it left a terrible toll on the numbers of the 131st. Meanwhile, the 131st Dragoons in the Bespin Sector had finally repelled the Word Bearers and their forces at great cost of their numbers, and were now even a smaller force than before they had originally entered the Bespin Sector. Their numbers now dangerously low, the 131st Imperial Dragoons were all-recalled as the Siege of Terra ended and the Traitor Legions were repelled with their Army forces to the Eye of Terror. Now functioning with a medium-sized, veteran force of a little over several dozen thousand, the 131st was re-named as the 1st Bespin Brigadiers whilst they were re-built, from which all other Bespin Brigadier regiments would spring from.
The Black Crusades
The 1st Bespin Brigadiers are basically a universally armed Infantry Regiment. They are centered heavily around the use of foot-slogging infantry who will fight for and with whatever the situation demands of them. Organized into company units who strength is around a hundred men, every single trooper is identical right down to their equipment which is denoted by their rank classification, which fits into three branches; Enlisted, Officer, and Command. In this, it could be said that the Bespin Brigadiers do not follow the typical standard Imperial Guard Hierarchy, since they include many extra ranks and are organized differently on a medium level scale. Infantry Companies are further divided into platoon units, which are comprised of twenty men led by an officer and usually a senior enlisted member. From these platoons, four squads of five are formed; these are the smallest units and take the place of small number fire-teams. As stated, all of these squad/fire-teams are universal, carry the same equipment, and are all identical down to the letter. Generally, there are ten companies in an Infantry Battalion, which number around a thousand men. Three to five Infantry Battalions form an Infantry Brigade, and two Infantry Brigades form an Infantry Division. From there, eight to ten Infantry Divisions will form a Regimental Corp, where numerous Corps from there will serve to form Regimental Corps. The Bespin Brigadiers are truly massive even by Imperial Guard standards, as is evidenced by their numerous Regimental Corps in theaters across the Imperium who serve with various Army Groups all over the universe.
- High Command Ranks
- Regimental Officer Ranks
- 1st Lieutenant
- 2nd Lieutenant
- Enlisted NCO Ranks
- Command Sergeant Major (CSM)
- Sergeant Major (SGM)
- First Sergeant (1SG)
- Master Sergeant (MSG)
- Sergeant First Class (SFC)
- Staff Sergeant (SSG)
- Enlisted Guardsmen Ranks
- Specialist (SPC)
- Corporal (CPL)
- Lance Corporal (Lance CPL)
- Private First Class (PFC)
- Private (PVT)
- The 21st Infantry Company from the 1st Bespin Brigadiers is notable only in the fact that it is the flag company for Captain Johnathan Redfield's Battalion unit, which shares the same designation as the Regiment's official name. Comprised of about a hundred men, this unit has had a trillion faces, concerning the amount of causalities it has sustained over the several hundred years it has been in service to the Imperium and the Bespin Brigadiers. This unit is commanded by Captain Redfield with superb skill, and it has often been seen as the face of the Bespin Brigadiers, as a tribute to the legacy the Regiment as a whole upholds in honor of their Imperial Army fore-fathers, the 131st Imperial Dragoons. Much like every other Infantry Company in the Regiment, the 21st Infantry Company are a standard pattern company, complete with a small number of half-tracks and minimal mortar support. This unit is commonly referred to as "Redfield's Renegades", so called in honor of their leader, Captain Redfield. This unit is notable in having served with the portion of the 131st Imperial Dragoons who served on Terra millennia ago.
Other Bespin Brigadier Regiments
- The 82nd Bespin Brigadiers are another Bespin Brigadiers Regiment. Established sometime in M.35, they took part in several major campaigns before finally be used to fight in a massive campaign against several Ork Empires who had decided to invade Imperial territory on the Eastern Fringe. Primarily the first forces to go in as an initial assault force, they sustained massive causalities and a 60% death rate for each planet they attacked. Being an Infantry-oriented regiment, much like the 1st Bespin Brigadiers, they were no match for the crude, albeit effective armor of the organized Ork armies, who made mince meat of the 82nd Bespin Brigadiers' lightly armed infantry divisions. Halfway through the campaign, the 82nd was formally withdrawn, citing lack of numbers and replacements as the reason to withdraw and re-fit. They never had the chance; all remaining 82nd forces were integrated into the 1st Bespin Brigadiers and became a subsidiary Regimental Corp that retained their regiment name. Since then, this Regimental Corp has been disbanded; it was completely annihilated during an attack by Tau forces on the Bespin Sector in M.38.
- The 31st Bespin Brigadiers were attached to the 1st Bespin Brigadiers for an extremely long time; almost two millenniums. Comprised of an extremely large amount of RAHT-1s, they were responsible for the light armor assaults that backed up the 1st Bespin Brigadiers on many of their pro-longed infantry campaigns against various xenos and chaos forces. As time went on, the 31st Bespin Brigadiers became increasingly affiliated with all sorts of Leman Russ tanks; notable amongst them the Exterminator-classes, which were already slightly common in a few Bespin Brigadier regiments. This Regiment was finally detached from the 1st Bespin Brigadiers in M.34, where it was annihilated shortly afterward when engaging a large scale genestealer infestation in the Yeros system. What remained of the Regiment was completely destroyed when a wide-scale Exterminatus order was placed, destroying almost every planet in the system.
Tactical Doctrine and Preferred Equipment
As stated, the 1st Bespin Brigadiers are basically an Infantry Regiment that is equipped for pro-longed fights with large numbers of enemy-personnel, as well as short fights with vehicular opposition, although that is usually avoided for the most part. Often, Bespin Brigadiers are deployed in division strength, where their massive numbers and training can be put to good use in concert. Often, they are deployed on both sides of an enemy force, to maximize firing power on both sides of the enemy line. Troopers in the Bespin Brigadiers often make use of standard assault tactics, and are more oriented for pro-longed wars rather than blitzkrieg lightning raids and short, agile raiding tactics. They are armed to an extent with standard infantry weapons and few anti-vehicle weapons, and will fight and duke it out viciously until pushed back by enemy forces. They make little use of any type of vehicles, although there are several vehicles which they use extensively, such as the low-tech, easy to manufacture RAHT-1, or Regimental Assault Half-Track One. These vehicles, which use both wheels and treads, allow for up to twenty troops to ride in passenger positions, and are usually armed with a lascannon, pintle-mounted storm bolter, or slug-throwing heavy stubber, with the last being the most common. These are most common vehicles in the Regiment besides the occasional tank, which is usually supplied by the local PDF force if they have any armored vehicles available to them. Being an infantry regiment created to hunt enemy infantry, the Bespin Brigadiers also utilize a medium-sized amount of Leman Russ Exterminators as the exception to their not using most armored vehicles. Surpassing all of these vehicles, however, is the extremely unique RATW-1, or Regimental Assault Transport Walker-One. About 46 meters tall, less than the size of a Reaver Battle Titan, these massive walkers act as transports and assault carriages for major campaigns and serve a variety of combat roles. They can carry up to a hundred troops at a time, or one or two half-tracks and fifty soldiers. These walkers are typically armed with two lascannons and several anti-personnel autocannons, which can sometimes be substituted by storm bolters and heavy stubbers. They are generally armed with adamantium plating in most areas, but have several major weaknesses, such as a thin adamantium underbelly and a weak neck joint which connects the cockpit to the main hull of the walker.
In combat, Bespin Brigadiers are exceedingly effective at medium to close range combat. When in training, marksmanship and close-range-combat (CQC) are stressed, along with the teaching of martial arts and other combat-oriented subjects. There have been numerous reports of Bespin Brigadiers taking down two or three Traitor Guardsmen before finally being brought down in close-range-combat, and Bespin Brigadiers have repeatedly had better marks in gun related categories and marksmanship. This is a tribute to the superiority of the Bespin Brigadiers in combat, although it does not include their average marks in specialized roles such as piloting vehicles and sabotage. Again concerning tactics, the Bespin Brigadiers use the standard infantry rule of engagement rulebook; standard deployment patterns, combat field tactics, etc.
Bespin Brigadiers make use of a wide variety of equipment, but do not care for the use of any specialized role weapons. The only exceptions are Specialists, who are small in number and only carry anti-vehicle ordnance; snipers are almost non-existent in the Regiment, and those that are snipers certainly were not issued weapons that might be used by snipers. Generally, the Bespin Brigadiers use a wide variety of projectile weapons; mainly, they center around the use of old-fashioned slug-throwers, specifically assault rifles. Although this means that it necessitates having to carry around magazines full of bullets and limits movement, the individual trooper, much like in any other Regiment, is not valued highly, and assault rifles, plus ammunition, are easy to replace and manufacture. Currently, the Assault Rifle in favor with the Regiment is the RAR-1, a typical slug-thrower with iron sights and receiver where the magazine is inserted. A hardy weapon, the Regimental Assault Rifle-1 can withstand most forms of adverse weather, and can also withstand abuse on the front fields of battle. It can't fire as fast as an autogun, but it's 7.62mm slugs packed into a twenty-five round magazine more than make up for it. The weapon also boasts an under-carriage grenade launcher which is fitted to fire krak grenades; this can be attached and re-attached.. This weapon serves as one of two primary weapons for the Bespin Brigadiers, with the other weapon being a carbon-copy of the Mk4 Catachan Lascarbine. Both are equal in terms of their numbers being in service, and are equally loved on the front for their ruggedness and effectiveness. Overall, these weapons help to signify the Bespin Brigadier's emphasis on being able to tackle mainly enemy personnel. The RAR-1 also comes in a lasweapon version.
For sidearms, the Bespin Brigadiers also make use of another stylized slug-thrower sidearm, this one being the RSA-1, or Regimental Sidearm-1. A small, tough slug-thrower, this is the standard sidearm/pistol weapon for the Bespin Brigadiers, and is readily available to all soldiers due to it's being easy to produce. The RSA-1 is also available in a carbine format, and comes with an attachable/extend able stock, as well as a two piece barrel and attachable hand grip, with the stock and hand grip being able to be attached via rail mountings. The RSA-1 has a laser sight attached to it by default for use in night combat and urban combat, and with these various modifications has proven itself to be quite a useful weapon. Also in use as a sidearms is the standard laspistol, which is favored by both officers and enlisted. There are several variants in service with the Bespin Brigadiers. For close melee weapons, the Regiment prefers bladed weapons, such as elongated powered combat machetes and powered combat daggers. These have proven to be vital for the Bespin Brigadiers, since they are essentially an anti-personnel stylized Regiment. Officers often carry chain-weapons instead of standard machetes.
Uniforms are fairly similar across all three rank classes. Enlisted wear standard Bespin Military Fatigues, or BMFs, as their standard clothing. BMFs are usually worn with the sleeves rolled up, and are covered in a multitude of pockets, holsters, and other assorted stuff. Depending on the environment, different camouflage schemes may be used, such as urban or desert schemes. Officers have access to more specialized camouflage schemes to augment their visual status. On top of BMFs, enlisted and officers wear Bespin Combat Armor, which is essentially made up of composite or metal materials with some electronic features. Unlike Bespin Military Fatigues, which feature specialized schemes for officers and higher ranked officials, Bespin Combat Armor is universally carbon grey or a standard specified camouflage scheme, and is the same across the board for all ranks. High Command staff wear specialized dress uniforms, or wear BMFs and Bespin Combat Armor if in the field to minimize the chance of being identified as someone of importance if it is necessary to travel to the front. However, this is usually not required and for the most part High Command staff stay inside Imperial Citadels or Bases, or even onboard Imperial Navy fleet ships.
- Colonel Ulran Fraciko is the current commander of the 1st Bespin Brigadiers. A direct descendant of the original 131st Imperial Dragoons commander who fought in the Great Crusade, Ulran is the culmination of a long, distinguished line of Imperial officers who have served with loyalty and effectiveness. A cautious tactician, Ulran is a very quiet, reserved figure, and has often been seen leading from the back inside a command tent instead of the front. Not the ideal officer, he is still a very sound strategist and has ensured his regiment's overall survival throughout the years through the use of his tactical skill. Ulran has never been one for words, and there are rumors that he was abused as a child. Still, he is a commanding figure of authority in the Bespin Brigadiers, although he is not the most known or loved figure in the Regiment. Ulran is a good friend of Captain Redfield, one of his most trusted subordinates. It should be noted that Ulran is highly susceptible to short bouts of anger and is prone to short temper tantrums.
- Captain Johnathan Redfield is one of the most respected figures in the 1st Bespin Brigadiers. A veteran of several campaigns and near-death experiences, Major Redfield has consistently been seen on the front lines rallying his troops to victory when defeat seems imminent. An immanent figure on the battle-field, he commands respect and love from all enlisted men, and can be considered as the face of the command staff which governs the Regiment. Redfield is not an original Bespin Sector resident like most officers, but rather a Terran native transferred to the unit to help out with tactical deployment in the field and during war-time. Redfield has numerous scars to atest to his experience, one of which he gained from a failed fight with an Iron Warrior, where he was saved only by an Imperial Fist at the last moment before nearly losing his head from a chain-sword. Johnathan is the front-running leader and executive officer of the 1st Bespin Brigadiers' 21st Infantry Company, and leads his unit with skill. Although the rank of Captain is an unusually low rank for a Regimental XO position, Redfield has proven he can handle the role.