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"Regiments of hardened warriors, formed of lesser nobles and veteran soldiers elevated to higher status from the ranks of the Kossars, the Tzar Guard are formidable, durable melee troops. Originally, they were instituted to serve as the Tzar’s personal retinue, and while he would invariably travel with a large warband of Tzar Guard at his back, almost every army of Kislev now boasts a regiment or two of these hardened warriors. This is because every Boyar and Marshal needs a steady core to their army – veteran warriors able to act as the bulwark of the Kislevite battle line."

—Description of the elite Tzar Guard of Kislev in Total War: Warhammer III.[4]
C1B55667-325F-47E2-9199-83886C32B093

Portrait of a Tzar Guard as depicted in Total War: Warhammer III.

The Bokha Palace in the city of Kislev, capital of the nation of the same name, is guarded by Tzarina Katarin Bokha's most loyal and heavily-armed Kossars. These soldiers, the Bokha Palace Guard, Kreml Guard or Tzar Guard[4], play a vital part in the Ice Queen's plans to expand the standing army with cavalry, and to gradually phase out Ungol law in Kislev.[1a][2]

Role[]

"For the sake of all Kislev, the Tzarina permits her personal bodyguards to fight alongside the common man."

—The Tzar Guard.[4]
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A Tzar Guard armed with a great weapon as depicted in Total War: Warhammer III.

The post of Palace Guard was created during the reign of the paranoid Tzar Igor the Terrible, feeling that he needed to be kept safe night and day from possible assailants.[2] Through the years the Guards were used to guard not only the royal family of Kislev, but also the greatest amongst the military commanders at times of war.[3]

Wielding the mighty berdiche, a large two-handed heavy-bladed axe, these heavily-armoured warriors strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Kreml Guards receive plenty of training to wield their fearsome two-handed axes and are armoured appropriately with armour from mail up to heavy brigandine. Many Kislev generals use these men as shock troops softening up enemy formations.[3]

The Kreml Guard are veterans of hundreds of battles against the northern tribes, having faced and vanquished not only Marauder Chieftains but also the occasionally encountered Warriors of Chaos and monsters from the wilderness.[3] They are hand picked from the ranks of Kislev's foot soldiers in a similar way to the selection of the members of the Gryphon Legion.[2]

The Palace Guard conducts weekly parades through the city. Recent parades have featured small units of mercenary cavalry from the Empire and Tilea marching alongside the Kossars. Katarin hopes these cavalrymen will come to be accepted as part of the Palace Guard and will eventually be replaced by Winged Lancers. If one rota of Winged Lancers accepts the honour of serving in the Palace Guard, then others will surely follow.[1a]

The Palace Guard is also a recruitment pool for Katarin's secret police, the Chekist. Ungols who serve in the Palace Guard are watched closely. The most trusted are enticed with rewards to train with the Chekists and return to their home villages as "legal advisors". Their mission usually involves persuading village elders to "modernise" outdated Ungol laws. Gospodar Chekist are occasionally recruited from the Palace Guard as well, but not as frequently, or deliberately, as Ungols.[1a][3]

Kislev's regular Kossars are becoming resentful of the Palace Guard, having watched them receive additional wages and perks even as their own wages are lowered.[1a][3]

Notable Tzar Guards[]

  • Dazh's Hearth Blades - These Palace Guardsmen are devout followers of Dazh, the Kislevite god of fire and the sun who imbues their swords with magical flames.[4]

Miniatures[]

Sources[]

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Career Compendium (RPG)
    • 1a: pg. 120
  • 2: Citadel Journal 15
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition: Kislev - The Claws of the Great Bear (RPG)
  • 4: Total War: Warhammer III

Gallery[]

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