"And it's over the hive-ports and it's over the skies
Come, brave men of Weyland, for the Throne of Terra fight,
You'll fight upon Adrantis and at Persepoly,
Enlist, ye men of Weyland, and come follow me!" —Traditional Weylander recruiting song
The Weyland Trench Fighters are the Imperial Guard regiments hailing from the planet Weyland, located in Ultima Segmentum close to the Ghoul Stars. Weyland is a harsh world, covered in toxic chlorine mists and corrosive seas of Spiritus Salis. Were it not for the rich deposits of metals and promethium the planet harbours, such a world may have gone completely uninhabited. Consequently the richness of Weyland in natural resources means that much of the planet is devoted to heavy industry and production of the war machines that sustain the Imperial Guard. However, despite the obvious difficulties in settling such a world, many of the hives that house the population are overcrowded, and those on the surface are vulnerable to the harsh Spiritus Salis storms that ravage the planet. As a result, there is little regard for human life, and millions of guardsmen are subsequently conscripted into the Imperial Guard. These guardsmen are harsh and unyielding, masters of close combat and warfare in close quarters. Enduring years on end in the trenches, their grit and unyielding determination have been key to many victories in Imperial campaigns.
The Weyland Trench Fighters hail from an unusual planet. Where many worlds claimed by the Imperium are (or were) similar at least superficially to Terra, Weyland is a world with an atmosphere rich in chlorine. Thick chlorine mists roll over the planet's surface, covering the planet in a toxic green colour. The seas of Weyland are rich in Spiritus Salis, which precipitates from the skies in burning rainstorms. Even the lifeforms of Weyland are toxic, for they incorporate the poisonous chemicals of their world into their bodily processes, making the farming of xeno biomass for food impossible.
Such an inhospitable planet easily could have been looked over by the Imperium, as indeed many have. However, as a result of the processes that formed in such an alien world, Weyland is a planet unusually rich in materials useful for the maintenance of the Imperial war machine: heavy metals such as titanium, selenium and chromium to produce tanks and artillery, rare earth metals that the arcane relics of the Mechanius are built from and the all-important promethium by which the Imperium is powered. Thus, Weyland became heavily built up over the years, eventually becoming classified as an Industrial World. Neither a Hive World nor a Forge World, Weyland is home to billions of men and women who toil in the great foundries of the Adeptus Mechanicus, producing artillery and other machines of war for the Imperium's unending conflicts.
The majority of the population lives in a complex network of arcologies completely sealed to the outside world. Yet life is not comfortable in these sealed hives: the vast population being little more than slaves to the Adeptus Mechanicus and the more conventional branches of the Adeptus Terra, most face little more than a life of drudgery before dying in an industrial accident, of which service in the Imperial Guard is the only respite.
The overcrowded hives of Weyland are prime recruiting grounds for millions of Guardsmen every year. These do not only include ragged hive gangers, but also ordinary men and women, both conscripted and volunteered. Like typical hive worlds suffering from overpopulation, the third and any succeeding born child is conscripted into the Imperial Guard upon adulthood. Every family with more than three children must donate their younger sons and daughters to the Imperial Guard, and as noted above, these are bolstered by gangers who spent much of their lives in bloody block wars with neighbouring hives, and enthusiastic volunteers who enlisted out of a sense of duty to the Emperor and the Golden Throne.
Nevertheless, not all of these recruits are equal; the children of nobility, from lofty spire-lords to lowly Ecorium squires often find themselves forming the officer class of the Trench Fighters, while the commoners from the rack farmers to factory workers to hive gangers form the brunt of the ranks. As a result of this imbalance, the officers hold little regard for the lives of their troops. Indeed, they often view human life as cheap and their soldiers as cannon fodder that only exist to wear down their enemies in wars of attrition. This is reinforced by typical Eugenicist views held by the Imperial nobles that make up the staff, which hold that they are superior human beings and the commoners whom they command are inferior and must be "purified" in battle, where the weak die and the strong survive.
Sex and Gender
Owing to Weyland's severe overpopulation, there is little difference in gender when it comes to recruitment. Indeed, in many years large amounts of women are conscripted to prevent overpopulation. However, this is often followed by long periods where men are predominantly recruited to 'replenish' the population.
Colours and Livery
The Weylander battle flag consists of four quarters of red and blue: the Red represents the blood of martyrs, while blue represents faith. These quarters are emblazoned with the two symbols of Weyland: the Lion Rampant, the symbol of courage, and the Hammer of St Thor, which symbolises the use of force to protect the faith. Added to this are laurel leaves, the motto of the Weyland Trench Fighters and the regiment number.
Regimental Doctrine and Organisation
As their name suggests, the Weyland Trench Fighters are a siege regiment which excels in trench warfare. Like the more famous Death Korps of Krieg, a battleground with a Weyland presence is one criss-crossed with trenches, razor wire and bunkers. Enemy advances are immediately halted by the unending roar of autocannons from Weyland machine gun nests, and should they ever survive Weyland fire, they would rapidly find themselves torn apart by their trench knives, clubs and even improvised weapons such as sharpened spades. On the offensive, artillery manufactured in the planet's hive-foundries blast apart the landscape in a series of great creeping barrages, which are soon followed by infiltrators and the rest of the Imperial Guard. With overwhelming resources and manpower, the Weylanders eventually grind their enemies down through sheer attrition.
Due to the logistical difficulties of organising such numbers, regiments seldom tend to exceed 1000 troops. Typically, these regiments are organised into 10 companies: eight Trench companies which comprise standard guardsmen, a Light company which infiltrates the enemy trenches and gathers reconnaissance data in patrols, and a Sapper company that is responsible for constructing entrenchments and sapping the enemy lines.
New recruits find themselves in the harsh environment of the planet's surface, building trenches and dugouts deep enough to survive the storms of Spiritus Salis. They are trained to become desensitised to the horrors around them, and to cultivate a sense of fortitude and stubbornness that will enable them to survive and even thrive in the trenches.
- Type 544 Lasgun: Constructed with the extremely resilient Adamantium-XIII rather than standard ceramites and plasteel to resist corrosion from Spiritus Salis and Chlorine. Often nicknamed the "Lasbrick" by troops, it is famous for its near indestructibility.
- Mk. 77 Laspistol "Lucky Seventy-Seven": Constructed with Adamantium-XIII like the Type 544. Issued to officers and specialist troops.
- Constantinus mk. 77 Shotgun: Often carried by Grenadiers and other hardened veterans.