Although the Rangers were the first to go through the Manirak Rift, they exhibited little staying power in toe-to-toe combat. To address this problem, the regular infantry forces were re-equipped with heavy armor and thus the Guardians have emerged as Riftforge's heavy infantry.
In addition to the heavy armor, the Guardians receive extensive training in close combat situations. Some of them focus on fighting with a shield and sword, while others favor a two-handed weapon such as a halberd.
The Guardians' main role is to pin down the main column of the enemy. Quite often, they're tasked with saving lightly armored units from being overrun by enemy forces.
Pinning down the enemy by itself is a short-term solution. It gives the commander some room to maneuver and time to re-group. Winning the battle is another matter.
This inability to rout the enemy quickly has prompted several Guardian commanders to ask their elite Guardians to mount captured beasts and charge the enemy's flank. This elite heavy cavalry (known simply as Chargers) has proven highly effective and has been subsequently adopted by most Guardian commanders.