The Cantican Colonial, also known as the CantiCol, are regiments of the Imperial Guard raised from the Imperial world of Cantica, which is located in the Medina Corridor, in the Medina Sub-sector.
There are three core worlds of the Medina Sub-sector; Cantica, Khopesh and Aridun, along with their various satellite planets. When men first colonised the Medina Worlds long ago during the Dark Age of Technology, Cantica raised the beginnings of the first city-states from the arid plains, with Buraghand being the largest and greatest. This central city-state of Cantica was located along the coastal ridge of the Cantican Gulf, rising into the horizon like a thousand-tiered pyramid. The buildings that made up the vast metropolises of this world were ancient structures of clay, mortared with the crushed sea shells of long-extinct ocean-dwellers. Over the centuries, these cities were eroded by the seething dust storms and relentless suns until new cities were raised over the skeletons of the old. This natural cycle of construction continued over the course of millennia, strata upon strata of ossified structures, growing vertically as it did laterally, forming a mantle of architectural under-ruins, a labyrinth of archaeology that went five kilometres deep.
Cantica was the defensive buttress of the Medina Corridor. Within the sub-sector, Cantica was strategically insignificant, yet the planet served as a lone sentry for the region. Although a little-known Imperial Guard regiment, the Cantican Colonials served as the Medina Corridor's primary troop formation. But like the planets they defended, their heritage was swathed in antiquity. The CantiCol regiments had been raised in the 35th Millennium from the Cantican Loyalists of the Reclamation Wars. They had been one of the few warring dust tribes to aid the Imperium during the Reclamation of Cantica and were thus the only regiment granted the right to defend the entire region. Unified after the Imperial conquest and colonisation of their world, these soldiers had only seen intermittent actions against frontier raiders and minor xenos incursion on the Eastern Fringes of the galaxy after being brought into the Imperial Guard. Nothing in their long and lengthy history had prepared them for an absolute war against the millions-strong legions of Chaos during the Bastion Wars. At the outbreak of hostilities, it was estimated that the regiments of the Cantican Colonial numbered no more than 900,000, including auxiliary support units and non-combat corps. According to an Imperial census, 400,000 Guardsmen were garrisoned thinly across the Medina System alongside indigenous Planetary Defence Force elements.
Cantican regiments operate under the standard and recognisable Imperial Guard command structure laid down by the Departmento Munitorum with some minor local variation in insignia and designation, such as the existence of the unit known as the Cantican Lancers.
The Canticans were known to utilise elite Rough Rider mounted cavalry squadrons known as the Cantican Horse Cavalry. Also called the Cantican Lancers, these Rough Riders were considered fighting men of no small repute. Much like the Kasrkin of Cadia or the Commandos of Kurass, the Lancers were an elite formation whose membership was limited and highly selective. As a poorly equipped force, Cantican Guardsmen were defined by the quality of their men rather than the superiority of their wargear, and the Lancers represented the apogee of this philosophy. Candidates could be drawn from any unit within the Cantican Colonial Regiments and thus selection was egalitarian in a rough, though uncompromising way. The Cantican Lancers are considered a hard bunch and the rank-and-file of the company, not the officers, decide who is permitted to wear the Lancer pin. The regular Cantican Guardsmen lacked the heavy armour prevalent amongst other Imperial Guard formations, and the Lancers bridged the gap between infantry and vehicle. While the primary role of the Cantican light horse was to escort the few precious tanks in the Cantican arsenal as mounted infantry, the Lancers were utilised as shock troops. Wearing chest bandoleers clustered with Fuse Bombs, the Lancers would charge upon their destriers headlong into enemy formations, leaving a trail of explosive Fuse Bombs in their wake.
As a poorly equipped regiment, the CantiCol Guardsmen learned to compensate for equipment shortfalls. The Canticans did not possess many armoured vehicles, but the Cantican infantry squadrons were able to power safely across the battlefield in mostly ancient, obsolete tanks known as Siegfried Siege Tanks and Centaurs. The Siegfried tank was a modified variant of the Land Crawler utility vehicle commonly found by the billions all over the Imperium, while the Centaur is a small armoured utility vehicle of the Imperial Guard that is used in a wide variety of battlefield roles.
The Cantican Colonial standard issue uniform is composed of a brown cavalry jacket and widely-cut grey breeches, tapered around the calves by canvas binding. Cantican Guardsmen also wear distinctive regimental kepi caps with a circular flat top and a foragers bill. A sash worn about the waist denoted seniority in rank.
- Emperor's Mercy (Novel) by Henry Zhou