Heavy Infantry is a common term for regular soldiers clad in various types of powered armors. They form elite formations of the military forces throughout the Human Space, typically occupying the niche between common infantry and the numerically scarce Enhanced. They offer heavy support for conventional infantry, forming strike teams, heavy weapons squads and so on.
The biggest deployment of heavy infantry in history happened during the War of Purity, especially during the Battle for Noricum-V, where five millions of heavy troopers was deployed to defeat the remnants of the forces of the Dominion of the Pure. After the collapse of the Solar Commonwealth the numbers dwindled due to post-Commonwealth countries no longer capable of maintaining armies of this size. In the age of the Unification Wars and Long War the heavy infantry deployments began growing in numbers again, though never to the old levels. Today there are three main types of heavy infantry, each of them deployed in different numbers and playing different roles on the battlefield. 1. Direct battlefield support for regular military forces. Regular armies are composed typically of various types of infantry (plus vehicles, combat robots etc.). Typically each infantry (or mechanized infantry) division possesses at least few squads of heavy infantry, used either as heavy fire support or stormtroopers. Typically a company to a batallion per division. 2. Combat actions in space. Most 'space marines' are typically a mix of infantry and heavy infantry, with much greater percentage of heavy infantry than in case of ground units. Heavy infantry offers great protection against the vacuum and other environmental threats in space and during the boarding actions. Cruisers typically have from a platoon to a company, while capital ships typically have a batallion, including at least a company of heavy infantry. 3. Elite formations of conventional military. They are typically a mix of heavy infantry with various level of heaviness, offering them maximum firepower and toughness, as expected from an elite formations. Here the heavy infantry units can reach a division (10-20 thousands of soldiers) level.
Heavy infantry by definion uses powered armors. How heavy they actually are depends on the combat role they are supposed to play on the battlefield. There are light and heavy powered armors. The former creates a heavier form of typical infantry soldiers. Two meter-high warriors in armors resistant to most weaponry that doesn't count as anti-armor, with an exoskeleton that allows them to carry heavier loads and a power source that can maintain weaponry that requires more energy. The 'heavier' heavy infantry wears armors that reach three meters in height and essentially change them into walking tanks. Of course, they are can engage tanks only in the shortest distance possible - such powered armors are typically used to fight in urban environment or space, since deploying them in the open terrain is typically a horrible idea. However in constricted environment, such heavy troopers offer powerful short-distance firepower, greatly helping in eradicating dugged-in resistance. Powered armors of elite formations are often heavily customized and decorated. The aesthethics are a quite important thing for them.
Varied. Lighter heavy infantry uses various types of battle rifles and other types of slightly oversized conventional weapons that take advantage of an exoskeleton improving the recoil resistance, and a power source to fuel more energy-hungry guns. Elite formations (and 'space marines' of groups such as Explorer's Guild) tend to also possess a sizeable amount of archeotechs in their arsenal. Heavier heavy infantry typically possess at least one (or more) heavy weapons systems, including some that are typically installed upon combat vehicles or even light tanks (though typically ones more geared towards fighting on the closer distance).
Heavy infantry formations have a long history. First ancestors of such formations were deployed during the late Fourth World War. It wasn't until the Genetic Wars started that the heavy infantry began being deployed en masse, as they were the best counter for the supersoldiers commanded by the genetic warlords. Their numbers steadily grew until the War of Purity. During the first years they were the only potential opponents to transhuman warriors. In most cases this meant that they were slaughtered slightly slower than common infantry. It wasn't until the deployment of the Enhanced that the heavy infantry (now in support role) began taking it current role.
- Overall training Level
- Assumed Veterancy