The High Guard was the principle armed forces of the Systems Commonwealth. Serving in this force was a privilege that many young people of all species dream of. At the height of its power, the High Guard had over 100,000 ships.
Before the Magog invasion and the Long Night, the High Guard had not been involved in any major conflicts for over 1000 years. Thus arose a movement to disband the fleet or at least reduce its size significantly. A referendum was narrowly defeated but the Magog invasion halted any further discussion on the matter. After several skirmishes, the Commonwealth signed a treaty with the Magog, ceding them several worlds that became known as the Magog Quarantine Zone. The Nietzscheans regarded this as an act of betrayal for all those who died at the hands of the Magog and began preparations for a full scale revolt.
The High Guard was not prepared to meet the Nietzschean surprise attack and the following war of extermination. Much of the Argosy was destroyed while still in dock and a string of defeats followed. The last stand by the High Guard was at the Battle of Witchhead. Some scattered remnants withdrew to Tarazed and preserved some of the Commonwealth's traditions on this isolated world, while others became the Templars and Knights of Genetic Purity.
Tasks of the High Guard
The High Guard was also strongly involved in representing the Commonwealth in both internal and external affairs, such as first contact and humanitarian missions. Its whole appearance was designed to express the power and glory of the Commonwealth. Thus the Starships were designed to be a sign of strength, dignity and prosperity.
Being a military force, the main assignment of the High Guard was of course to maintain peace (for example by keeping an eye on the Kalderans), secure the borders while also undertaking research expeditions.
For these purposes, the High Guard ships were equipped with highly effective sensor arrays and weapons, being crowned by the Nova Bomb. The fact that actually using the Nova Bomb was not a part of the military doctrine, and that fact not being a secret made the rebellion much easier.
The High Guard is divided in 2 branches:
- Argosy (compare US Navy) mans and supports the High Guard's vast network of ships and Stations. A sub-branch of Argosy are Argosy Special Operations (compare: KSK or Delta Force).
- The Lancer Corps (compare: US Army or US Marines) Provides units for both Ship assignment as well as Planetary Operations.
Through not a separate branch, rather a Reserve or Militia, the Home Guard made up a large percentage of the Commonwealth's Military Forces and were trained as either Lancers or Argosy members.
Officers wishing to attain a Commission in the High Guard had to first serve in a Home Guard Unit before they could be accepted.