While the mighty Space Marines may be the penultimate warriors of Mankind, they are too few and far between to adequately defend a regime as vast as the Imperium of Man, whose populace is comprised of countless trillions of people and whose borders encompass millions of planets and stars. Thus exists the Imperial Guard, the primary fighting force of the Imperium. Whereas the Space Marines are a scalpel which cut their way directly to the heart of their enemy, the Guard is by contrast a cudgel; they make up for the frailty of each individual human soldier by drowning their foes in overwhelming swarms of them. Attrition is the Imperial Guard's greatest weapon, as the basic strategy of any given operation carried out by the Guard is fundamentally the same: hurl men at the enemy until either one side runs out of men, the enemy retreats, or there exists a mountain of mangled corpses so high that the enemy cannot hope to cross it. They are among the most numerous of fighting forces the galaxy has ever seen, and with the average Imperial Guard operation involving hundreds of thousands if not millions of men, casualties tend to be a non-issue. They drown the enemies of Man in vast seas of iron-willed soldiers and unyielding lasgun fire, grind them beneath the treads of enormous tank columns, and pound them into the dirt with a torrential hellfire of devastating artillery, for they are truly the Hammer of the Emperor.