The Varangian Guard is an elite group of mercenaries tasked with protecting the leader of the Atlans
leader and his family.
This unit started with 20 soldiers but grew over the years. The first 20 became the cadre that trained all new recruits. They are the elite of the elite, and their training is similar to the Spartans.
The Varangians are taught to create all of their own equipment as part of their training. When time is of the essence, they are issued everything that a soldier will need for the mission. Weapons, armor, uniforms, horses, chariots, etc. Except for communication equipment, they prefer to only use items that they can make or repair themselves.
Most prefer melee weapons, although they also have ranged contingent with bows. They are allowed a preferred personal weapon.
They prefer to use horses and chariots, but if they are stationed where their aren't horses, the local equivalent is used.
They have the normal military command structure, as below.
Varangians use various types of tactics including overwhelming charge, stealth, bullrush, etc.
Their training emphasizes ruthlessness, near-suicidal disregard for personal safety, and following orders fanatically. The first 20 were the only survivors of their training regimen after a trip to Teranik.
As the harsh conditions and dangerous denizens ensure that only the strongest and most ferocious men survive. The mortality rate was close to 80% on their first trip. They are taught to use cruelty as a weapon to terrorize and weaken their opponent.
They don't require any support, but it can be helpful at times. When they are on a quick march, supply drops are arranged for them to meet, thus they don't need to carry as much food and can march faster.
Some of their auxiliary units can be supply, siege core, and various followers.
They upkeep their own basic gear, any specialty gear is upkept by their auxiliary units.
Originally the people that were recruited to the unit were prisoners, criminals, and drafted (shanghaied).