The Penal Legions are not armies in their own rights, but are attached to other regiments and armies in battle, and are useful where greater numbers are necessary to win the day. They are considered expendable, as death is the point of serving in a Penal Legion. They are often used to test enemy defences. New troops have their heads shaved and tattooed with unit insignia, and explosive slave-collars are put around their necks. The collars are a disciplinary device rather than a means of turning the troops into human bombs; the blast is directed inwards, killing only the wearer. The collars are controlled by personnel accompanying the force, and are detonated only to restore discipline.
Troops sentenced to the Penal Legions serve for life. Most die in their very first battle, herded into the enemy gunfire and dying by the hundreds. A few, the born killers, somehow beat these merciless odds and survive through numerous battles. In extremely rare cases a penitent might be granted the Emperor's forgiveness in a way other than dying in battle, by performing some incredible act of battlefield valour. These redeemed men then enter the Imperial Guard as regular Guardsmen.
Notable Penal LegionsEdit
- The 13th Penal Legion, known as the Last Chancers
- Savlar Chem-Dogs