The long strange trip
Huscarles is one of the many names given to the private troops maintained by many of the Imperial nobles. Since they are privately funded by the noble from their own pocket, they vary widely in number, training, and equipment.
The private household forces of the many nobles of the Imperium are known as huscarles. These can take any form the noble fancies, and generally range from a couple of bodyguards or the crew of an armed yacht to a battalion or more of battledress-equipped jump infantry backed by a grav tank platoon. Huscarle forces are chosen for personal loyalty and tend to be elite troops, maintained at the noble’s own expense. They are tailored to the job at hand. A noble who does a considerable amount of traveling might have no combat troops except a small bodyguard, but maintain three escort vessels plus his own armed yacht. Another, perhaps on a vulnerable frontier world, might maintain an entire grav cavalry brigade and a couple of infantry divisions. Still another might have nothing more than an intelligence staff and a pistol-armed bodyguard.