The Draconian Armored Defense Force is an Imperial Guard regiment from the Knight world of Draconis III. It has a long history, because prior to Draconis III's discovery by the Imperium of Mankind in the 35th Millennium, Draconis III was arife with civil strife. The Knightly houses of Draconis III had long since divided themselves into feudal domains and often warred with each other in order to expand their territory. This was all put to a stop by the genius shogun Yato Yasutaka, who united all the Knightly Warlords, also known as Daimyos, under a single regime. Well, you can read the rest of the history under the House Yato and the Knightly Houses of Draconis III post. As a recap, the Draconian Armored Defense Force grew out of the ancient tank armies that accompanied the Imperial Knights and Titans as the various Daimyo waged war against each other. Prior to the armored column of tanks, the various houses relied on infantry, foot soldiers known as ashigaru, and Rough Riders to trasverse the agricultural world, but these infantry were rendered obsolete by the armored might of the Imperial Knights. As such, the greatest houses ensured that even the most common soldier was assigned a tank. While an individual tank was unable to destroy a Knight, a whole column of tanks firing in concert would be able to bring them down. As such, tanks were valued far more than infantry in Draconis III. Furthermore, this reduced the massive loss of life, the deaths of countless foot soldiers meaningless as they did nothing to damage a Knight.
As such, the precursor to the Draconian Armored Defense Force largely consisted of tanks and aerial companies. The few infantry who survived were later organized to form an elite core of infantry, the Kamikaze Troopers, storm troopers who were the equivalent of the Cadian Kasrkins and the Death Korps of Krieg Grenadiers. They often function as elite drop troops, grav-chuting out of gunships such as Vendettas to strike at key installations and high-value targets. This enabled even a small elite squad to assassinate a single, isolated Knight, when the opportunity arose.
When the Adeptus Mechanicus arrived and occupied Draonis IV as their new Forge World, the Draconian Armored Defense Force underwent modernization, with the Tech-priests eagerly replacing the ancient tanks with the superior Leman Russ variants. The old helicopters were also dismantled in favor of Vendetta and Valkyrie assault carriers, and the organization and structure of the army were significantly altered. The army was renamed the Draconian Armored Defense Force, with both the Planetary Defense Force and the mandatory tithed Imperial Guard regiment proudly bearing the same name. To further modernize and improve the new military, the Shogun Yato Yoshinobu updated the military doctrines, dissolved the old structure and appointed new leaders. One of his choices, General Iwakura Iemitsu, then embarked on a learning journey throughout the Imperium. He traveled to Cadia and invited old, retired Cadian officers to train the new, fledging army of Draconis IV, as well as combined teachings from the Elysian Drop Troops for the Kamikaze Troopers.
The Iwakura mission was successful, and the Cadian officers who agreed to train the army helped organize the Armored Defense Force into an armored regiment not unlike the armored regiments of the revered Cadian Shock Troops. Their uniform, too, was modeled after the Cadians, but they chose black and gold as their colors as a display of loyalty to House Yato. The Kasrkins also helped trained the Kamikaze Troopers, who along with Elysian Drop Troops manuals, managed to achieve a well-balanced elite strikeforce that can attack from both land and air. They often work in conjunction with the tanks, being the precise hammer to the Leman Russ tanks' armored anvil.
Furthermore, one advantage the Draconian Armored Defense Force had was their access to technology. Due to their close proximity to the Forge World Draconis IV, they often had priority to the latest and most advanced tanks, weapons and gadgets the Tech-priests of Draconis IV churned out. This meant that they had an unnaturally high number of tanks in their regiment, much more so than most Imperial Guard regiments, enough to allow them to be a completely armored regiment. In addition, they were given exotic weapons such as the newly improved MKIV hot-shot lasguns and hot-shot volley guns for better punch and increased damage. The Adeptus Mechanicus in Draconis IV generously gave away tanks and weapons, for they had their own superior tanks such as the Onager Dunecrawler, and more lethal weapons such as radium carbines, arc rifles and plasma calivers, that they kept to themselves.
The Kamikaze Troopers still receive superior equipment to most Imperial Guard regiments. Their masks, designed by the Adeptus Mechanicus, filters out toxic gases and allows them to survive in all but the most hazardous of conditions. In addition, their goggles have targeting auspexes not unlike those found in Skitarii Rangers', allowing them to have superior aim and accuracy. This, with improved carapace armor, allows them to operate in the void, in Space Hulks and other hostile environments. To this end, even their Taurox Prime APCs are able to trasverse any sort of terrain, be it vacuum environments in derelict space hulks or deadly swamps. Delivering them to the battleground, the heavily armored Kamikaze Troopers then unload their lethal weaponry into any xenos foes brave enough to face them.
The Draconian Armored Defense Force uses a variety of Leman Russ tanks. The most common is the Leman Russ Punisher variant, which allows the regiment to deliver volleys of punishing rounds into the foes. Thanks to their long history of fighting Titans and Imperial Knights, the Leman Russ Vanquisher, and the ubiquitous Leman Russ Battle Tank are also used very regularly, both often equipped with lascannons for that anti-armor punch. In addition to these, the Leman Russ Executioner is also a common sight among the Armored Defense Force as the Forge World Draconis IV often churns out plasma weapons and tanks with the Executioner plasma cannon at an alarming rate, in their attempt to emulate the Forge World Ryza. These four variants are the most regularly used tanks in the Draconian Armored Defense Force, and when used in a mix, they can be a very potent combination against any time of foe, be it blobs of Chaos cultists, teeming hordes of Tyranids or Traitor Terminators, not to mentioned heavily armored vehicles.
|A typical Draconian Armored Convoy will consist of a single Super-heavy tank escorted by an armored company - such as this Stormsword being escorted by an Emperor's Fist Armored Company.|
In time, the Draconian Armored Defense Force has been forged as one of the most efficient fighting forces in the Imperium of Mankind, often relying on sheer number of tanks, the precision of elite storm troopers, and aerial superiority provided by gunships, to crush the many foes that plague the galaxy.
|A more bird's eye view of an Emperor's Fist Armored Company escorting the Super-heavy Element of the Draconian Armored Battle Group|