- "It's like shooting Goblins in a gorge!"
- —Imperial Marksmen saying
Empire Pistoliers are fielded by the armies of the Empire as a form of fast, light reconnaissance cavalry that are equipped with half-plate armor and a brace of pistols to support them in their role as dedicated scouts and skirmishers. Their main duty is to harass the enemy with gunfire and retreat before they could suffer any reprisals. Most pistoliers have a certain affinity when it comes to gun-powder weaponry, with the most talented pistoliers usually hailing from the Imperial Gunnery School, a prestigious institution where they are taught how to handle, maintain, and equip a simple firearm in combat. The rank of a pistolier is mostly reserved for the noble families of the Empire, where young military-minded youths go in order to prepare themselves for the rigors of cavalry warfare within the Knightly Orders of the Empire.[1a]
As such, those young yet spirited nobles may gather their friends and form regiments of Pistoliers of their own. However, it is far more common for these rash nobles to enlist themselves within the prestigious ranks of the Pistolkorps; a military organisation funded and sponsored by the Emperor, the College of Engineers, and several Brotherhoods of Imperial Knights. It is from here that these young nobles learn about proper horsemanship and disciplined warfare from the ranks of the Outriders -- grizzled veterans paid by the Knights to train young nobles in the proper art of war. As such, many Pistoliers would often be fighting in open battlefield for the first time in their lives.[1a]
Due to their luxurious upbringings and hot-headed behavior, they are often disdained by the common soldier as nothing more than flashing flops. However, none could deny that there are still true warriors within the ranks of the Pistolkorps, with tales abound of many young yet spirited Pistoliers jumping into the jaws of the enemy with nothing but courage and their prideful arrogance to keep the enemy at bay. These tales are the sole reason why many young nobles are so interested in becoming a Pistolier. Such fantasies are often indulged by the fathers of these young nobles as a way of tempering their wild bravado into something more dependable and beneficial for their family and the Empire as a whole.[1a]