The Vanguard consists of rough folk with few ties to society, so the effects of long interstellar travel in cryosleep and the resulting time dilation doesn't matter to them.
The Vanguard Expeditionary Forces were sent out to claim new worlds beyond the Frontier of the Star Union and its Nexus hyperspace network. When one such expedition arrived at their destination and built the Nexus Portal, they discovered a galactic cataclysm had taken place during their long journey in cryosleep. Now the Vanguard need all their combat and survival skills to prepare for the showdown with the forces that brought down the Union.
The Vanguard can build Troopers and OWL Scouts from the beginning. With the Skirmisher and Specialist Barracks they gain access to the Assault Bike and PUG. For their other Units: Engineers, Gunships, Frigates, Laser Tanks, Battleships, Walkers and the Drone Carrier Research is required.
- OWL - A flying scout drone (Tier I). In Combat it can attack using its Laser Repeater or mark Targets with its Targeting Field ability. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but brings Psionic Resistance.
- Trooper - Core Unit (Tier I), armed with an assault Rifle, which uses the Firearms weapon group. The Trooper can use Overwatch and throw grenades to stagger units and destroy cover. They get a bonus to their aim if shooting from cover.
- Assault Bike - A highly mobile Skirmisher Unit (Tier II), that uses its Laser Array to either damage a single unit and knock it back or Fire on an area in front of it to damage multiple units. The Assault bike has good armour, but is weak against flanking attacks. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but Psionic Resistance. It is also Stagger Resistance making it difficult to shut down.
- PUG - This Specalist Support unit (Tier II) can heal, smoke screen and resupply other Units. It comes equipped with a Blast Laser to defend itself. On the strategic map it also heals its accompanying stack. As a Mechanical Unit it has Arc Weakness, but brings Psionic Resistance.
- Engineer - The Engineer is a Specalist Support unit (Tier II) that can place a turret on the battlefield and calibrate (increase accuracy) and heal mechanical units. It comes equipped with a Shotgun to defend itself. On the strategic map it also heals its accompanying stack. This unit can only be build in cities with the specialist barracks and after the "Engineering Corps" in the Vanguard weapon tech-tree has been researched.
- Gunship - Gunships (Tier II) are the Vanguards air unit, they are specialist units and need the "Air Corps" research to be unlocked. They have a powerful buster missile and a repeating aircraft gun mounted, in combat "evasive maneuvers" helps them to stay out of enemy fire.
- Laser Tank - laser Tanks (Tier III) are elite units and need the elite barracks and the "Tank Corps" research to be unlocked. They are slow on the battlefield but have can deploy a smoke screen to obscure surrounding units and have a repeating laser cannon as well as an overcharged laser beam that deals massive damage even on long range (9 hex, 2 turns cooldown).
- Walker - The Vanguards battle mech, the Walker (Tier III) is an elite unit and needs the elite barracks as well as the "Walker Corps" research to be unlocked. They are slow on the battlefield but have overwatch, a gatling gun and an upgraded strike missile to lock down areas of the battlefield.
- Drone Carrier - The Vanguards inherent Tier IV unit. Drone carriers have a repeating laser and can launch attack, repair and skirmish drones to quickly gain an advantage in numbers on the battlefield. They require the elite barracks and the "Carrier Command" research.