As mentioned on the home page, Danikan regiments are unlike most regiments in the Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum in that they are ‘combined arms’ regiments (for the most part, there are some exceptions). Like a Space Marine Chapter, a Danikan regiment is a coherent force on its own, containing Infantry, Armor, Artillery and various support elements. The 4th fits this mold exactly.
Danikan regiments – specifically the Continental forces which are used for the wars on the world itself, are self contained mini armies for good reason. The main reason Danikans fight with one another is for reasons of political advancement. The Colonel of a regiment will use that force to increase his, or rarely her, personal power by gaining prestige and success. However there is always infighting, bickering and ‘power playing’. If a regiment were to be only armor, and the nearby infantry didn’t want the Colonel to gain too much prestige they might slow a march, retreat when they were required to hold etc. An artillery barrage might be too late, too early or off target resulting in the decimation of a force whose commander threatened the artillery Colonel’s position. Because of this cultural impetus, Danikan regiments began to be homogeneous over time. Artillery units which were organic, could be relied upon, while those which weren’t might not be and so forth. While there was still ‘infighting’ on occasion, an individual regiment was at least largely self sufficient and could rely on its own resources even if other units weren’t as cooperative as might be desired. In addition, the kind of close inter service training that benefits an entire force could be practiced and perfected. Infantry knew how to work with the tanks, and both knew how best to utilize the support of their attached artillery, anti aircraft, reconnaissance units etc.
As forces with all their support elements internal to them, each Danikan regiment is like a small army. They have their own armor, artillery, infantry, mech infantry, AAA, recon units, signal units, logistics and maintenance etc. All of these units train together to operate as a seamless whole. The infantry knows how to spot for the armor. The armor knows how to break apart attacks the infantry cannot handle, or to support them with mobile flanking strikes or blitzkrieg assaults. The artillery knows how to support both, having all the pre-arranged targeting and signalling worked out. Reconnaissance knows how to find targets, the best way to request backup and when they are likely to receive aid etc. In the rear areas, organic maintenance teams repair and refit tanks and APCs, while logistics teams ensure the regiment is fed, clothed, fueled and has sufficient ammunition. For more detail see the TO&E.
But what about ‘Doctrine’? Doctrine is an often ignored element of military analysis and is probably best described by the phrase, “An army fights the way it trains.” A battlefield is a terribly chaotic place. Noisy, confusing, violent and deadly. Training is a way to bring some order out of that chaos. If, for example, an infantry unit wishes to communicate to a nearby tank where to fire – infantry having an easier time spotting targets as they are not confined to an armored box, having pre-arranged signals that the infantry know and that the tankers both know and are clear when to watch for will greatly increase coordination and effect. Without training, trying to ‘create’ such a system in the midst of battle will never be as effective, slowing response time for fire etc. With training, it is not only clear but also practiced, making troops less likely to forget it in the heat of conflict.
In the Imperial Guard, which is incredibly vast – training is handled at the regimental level, but doctrine – the way in which regiments are used in battle – is commonly handled at the divisional or army level. Sadly, this disconnect results in a lot of Astra Militarum doctrine being little more than ‘Throw more men at it’. Good generals, of course, learn the nature of their regiments and try and use them more effectively – but there are a great many poor generals in the Imperial Guard. Too many reach senior rank by virtue of politics, connections and sometimes bloodlines or nepotism rather than by being effective commanders. Indeed, one of the reasons for the regiment being a basic building block of homogenous troops is that a general of limited skill can say – all the infantry regiments go ‘here’ and assault with support of these two armor regiments, after a barrage by the artillery regiment. When dealing with a military so large and hard to manage, it’s an effective means of ensuring some homogeneity of doctrine. However the downside to this is that examples of inter service cooperation, which can be a very important force multiplier, are almost never trained for or practiced. A good example would be the infantry-tank example mentioned above. If the infantry and tankers have never trained together, this kind of cooperation will be much more difficult to achieve and, when a unit moves on to a different portion of the battlefield, must be begun all over again – assuming anyone even bothers at all.
Danikan regiments, as mentioned above – are combined arms units trained to operate seamlessly within the regiment. This gives them impact due to force multiplication of a much larger force as fewer mistakes are made. When properly employed by higher command, Danikan and other similar (and rare) combined arms regiments are usually employed in areas requiring a smaller combined force. When a combined arms regiment is not available, which is most of the time in the Astra Militarum, these duties are handled by smaller combined arms battlegroups assembled ad hoc for the purpose. With the lack of combined arms training this is seldom as effective, but is often all that can be done when a force of this nature is required.