|Doctrine||Mountain warfare and light infantry tactics|
|Signature Equipment||Sniper rifles, climbing equipment, skis|
|Associated Legion||Tenth Legion|
The Crusaders pacified Ardito in 831.M30, responding to a call for assistance by bogged-down Imperial Army forces. Although the natives were few in number, they had doggedly defended their rugged world against the merely human soldiers of the Imperium. But when the Emperor's sons themselves descended upon Ardito, the matter ceased to be in doubt and the mountain-dwellers submitted. In 878.M30, Thomas Gaudin visited Ardito while en-route from Terra to Sturmundrang. Observing the excellence of the new recruits and immediately seeing how the skills of these men would complement his own Legion, Gaudin requested that half of Ardito's tithed regiments be attached to the Crusaders as auxilia.
Due to the difficult terrain of their homeworld, the Highwatch make no use of wheeled vehicles. Even their logistical trains are limited to man- and mule-hauling. This makes their regiments infantry-heavy, with special- and heavy-weapons teams called on to make up for the lack of vehicle-mounted firepower. The cream of the Highwatch regiments were issued with VTOL aircraft.
Most Highwatch regiments deploy as light infantry, carrying out scouting and infiltration missions. When operating in the Expedition Fleets of the Crusaders, they were often assigned flanking roles, required to hold the line in terrain unsuitable for armoured warfare. The intensity of Highwatch training tended to make these soldiers good candidates for airborne and stormtrooper units, and it was not uncommon to find the men of Ardito serving as specialists or instructors in other Imperial Army forces.
The Highwatch makes heavy use of sniper rifles, often infiltrating into positions that their enemies might think blocked by terrain. Ardito soldiers are all proficient skiers and their ability to conduct "marches" over snow-covered terrain has occasionally proven decisive.
Located in the Segmentum Solar, Ardito has often defied Imperial classification. Although technically not a Death World in that the flora and fauna are not inimical to human life, it is still an extremely hostile environment. Much of Ardito suffers from a thin atmosphere, high level of geological activity, and thin soils. Those who grow up on this savage world must be hardy just to keep drawing breath, and the Highwatch are recruited from the toughest of their breed.
Culture on Ardito is, like its people, frugal and durable. Communal singing is popular, but instruments are rare. A tradition of poetry persists despite widespread illiteracy. Offworld ethnographers have occasionally braved Ardito to record the best of the poems of their century. The best collection is generally considered to be Marcus Hasser's Selected Works of the Ardito poets, published in 624.M36 after a lifetime of work.
- Maggiore Ratko Caracci, b. 869.M30, d. 955.M30. Although Caracci's combat record is not outstanding, he played an important role in developing the Imperium's armies. A stand-out instructor in Ardito's airborne warfare programme, he was headhunted to spearhead the Ciban Chasseurs' efforts at developing their own airmobile demi-brigades. Caracci's extravagant dress sense and love of good living would earn him quite a name on Ciban IV, although it took him several years to adapt to the more independent-minded sensibilities of Ciban's women.