Imperial tank commanders are the bravest and boldest tank commanders in the galaxy. So unconcerned are they with their own safety, so disdainful are they of the enemy’s might that they stand tall from their tank’s turret, never thinking to close the hatch and cower inside.
Conversely, the enemies of the Imperium are universally cowardly and craven wretches, more likely to hide behind thick walls and in deep trenches than face the righteous might of the Emperor’s armies in open battle.
During your service in the armies of the Astra Militarum, you may well be called upon to drive the enemy from his hiding place and assault a fortification. Supported by the armoured might of a tank division and the fury of an artillery company, this will not be difficult.
Your officers are well versed in siege warfare and briefed on all the tactics necessary to prosecute a flawless siege. Follow their orders and they will lead you to victory.
Contrary to section 1, Siege warfare is a grueling and bloody affair. It is highly likely casualty rates will be at omega level or above.You will lose many men. Luckily, the Emperor has seen to it that we have plenty of those.
The following is the correct procedure for conducting a siege and should be followed at all times:
Surround the enemy fortification
Ensure the enemy fortress is fully encircled. The enemy must not be allowed to break out and escape the Emperor’s justice. If you have enough men, have them stand shoulder-to-shoulder to form a cordon around the structure. This will make them easy targets for grenades and other area effect ordnance, but the psychological effect this halo of courage and steel will have upon the foe will more than make up for a few additional casualties.
Probe the defences
Finding weak points in an enemy position can be tricky from a distance. Instead, gather your fastest runners and have them get up close to the enemy structures for a proper look. This approach has the added bonus of uncovering any minefields, electro-snares, razor-pits or other traps that might have otherwise hampered your assault. Remember, troopers do not need their weapons to look for weak spots. Be sure to strip them of all equipment before sending them out.
Exhaust their ammunition
Once surrounded and besieged, the enemy will have limited supplies and ammunition. Every shot fired at you during this time will be one shot not fired during the final assault. Of course, your own supplies may be limited too. One way to keep potential ration use down is to consider sending some of the more insubordinate troops on early assaults against suspected weak points. This will force the enemy to use up their ammunition, and have the added bonus of further damaging enemy morale by showing them how fearless our men are.
Hammer their position
Artillery units are an essential element* of a successful siege. Have your attached artillery units unleash their weapons upon the fortification. This barrage should be constant and unceasing.
Note that while some officers** have expressed concern that this tactic means their men are unable to sleep during long sieges, this is in fact good news! During a siege you can place all troopers on 24-hour shifts without the need for stims. Officers will, of course, be issued with Munitorum-approved auditory suppressors.
Seek a gap in their defences
Before launching your final assault, it is imperative that you identify the weakest point in the enemy defence. If you have done your job properly, either the artillery barrage or one of your preliminary assaults will have uncovered such a section on which to focus your assault. If not, repeat the earlier stages until one is located, or you run out of men and ammunition.
Launch the final assault
Muster your forces and launch a glorious final attack. Victory is at hand.
Caution: we do not recommend that you personally lead the first direct attack on the enemy fortress (commonly known as the “Forlorn Hope”). If it is unsuccessful, you will be slain and thus unable to rally the force for another, more successful attack. Instead, when it becomes clear that your assault will be successful, you should vox ahead and order the regiment to hold while you take your rightful place at the head of the formation. Remember to find a suitable enemy corpse upon which to place your victorious boot.
May the Emperor guide you in your endeavors.
Thought for the day:
“Success is commemorated; failure merely remembered.”
*If your force has not been assigned a detachment of artillery, you will need to use your standard support units. Mortars and missile launchers can, in some situations, suffice. Be aware that under these circumstances, your casualty rates will be higher than projected. Plan accordingly.
**Offending individuals summarily punished by their regimental commissars for improper application of empathy.