The Emperor’s Sword: Light Cavalry

Today, we return to this series once again…

Making up a further three of every sixteen legions (equal in number to the heavy infantry, and one for every three light infantry legions), and again not counting the specialists built off their platform, are the light infantry legions – swift-moving scouts, raiders, flankers, and skirmishers.

The personal equipment of a light cavalryman greatly resembles that of the light infantry legionary; their armor is merely another variant of the N45 Garrex, the N45v Hasédár cavalry armor. In addition to the standard features, the N45v Hasédár includes electromechanical “saddle clamps” (to hold you to the vehicle), superior inertial compensation, and plug-in vehicle interface hardware (for C3I, HUD functionality, and life-support longevity). They even are outfitted with the same weapons as the light infantry legionary, including not only the sidearms but also the IL-15i Battlesystem – since it is often useful to be able to fight “dismounted”.

The vehicles of the light infantry are stubby-winged ground-effect “chariots”, or “skimmers”, which can sustain a hover of a few to a few dozen meters off the ground – in terrain-following mode –, turn and flip on a dime thanks to high-speed gyros and auxiliary propulsion taps, all while being propelled at up to several hundred miles per hour by a bimodal (to enable their use in vacuum) thermal rocket/ramjet. A “hot soup” micro-fission reactor powers this and other vehicle systems. The single pilot rides the vehicle in a semi-prone position, protected by a non-fully-sealed enclosed forward/flanking armored canopy; to save mass and increase flexibility, the pilot is required to wear their own environmental armor, as described above.

(A jettisonable anti-radiation fairing can be mounted on top of the canopy to permit the ready deployment of such chariots by Flapjack­-class dropship.)

Vehicle sensors and communication equipment include all the usual standbys, including the active systems, T-ray snoopers, and full ECM suite used by the heavy infantry, again powered by the platform’s greater reactor capacity.


A typical chariot loadout includes three target-linked heavy mass drivers (for’ard, and on each wingtip), an underslung heavy sluggun/micromissile launcher, and full-coverage point-defense/automated-return-fire lasers and autocannon. A small undermounted cargo bay aft can be used to contain additional supplies/ammunition, or be replaced with a fuel pod, for greater endurance, a medevac pod, or a minelaying pod; above it, a swarm hive contains close-air support supplies of eyeballs, shrikes, gremlins, and balefire – which, as for the heavy legionary, constitute expendable recon assets, counter-swarm swarms, anti-machinery swarms, and anti-personnel/area-denial carbon-devourer swarms.


The light cavalry legionary is usually accompanied, as his counterparts, by AI combat drones, usually a mixed set of the WML-7 Skycat and its bigger brother, the WMH-17 Skyorca, depending on mission parameters.

When fighting dismounted, the chariot itself software-reconfigures to act as an autonomous AI combat drone for the legionary.


The light cavalry  can be transported by the G5-TT Corveé tactical transport, with the appropriate module, but on the battlefield – and often also to the battlefield, it’s simplest just to let them transport themselves…

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  1. Pingback: Trope-a-Day: Standard Sci-Fi Army | The Eldraeverse

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