Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The Big Push: Mechanicum Ordo Reductor Units

The Mangonel & Petraria Dunecrawlers were just an opportunity to mess around with the Onager chassis, and with its quadrupedal design presenting a halfway house between a fixed emplacement and mobile hull, I thought artillery and anti-aircraft variants would be a good match. For the Matarax, I was inspired by an old piece of Jes Goodwyn art, which seemed to pair well with the Thallax design, and matched with the Thallax & Usurax to form a nice parallel to the Space Marines' Tactical / Assault / Devastator triumvirate.

30K TAGHMATA OMNISSIAH: ORDO REDUCTOR

HEAVY SUPPORT: Matarax Cohort

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Conceived in the mid Great Crusade era, the Matarax were developed to provide additional support to the lumbering hulks of the Ordo Reductor’s colossal siege batteries, built to provide heavy firepower against any opposing force which would seek to exploit the animate weapons’ lack of mobility. Founded upon the successes of the Lorica Thallax, the Matarax sacrifice the thrust units of the Thallax to integrate a series of inertial dampeners, additional targeting arrays and an auxiliary weapon mount to provide a dedicated heavy weaponry platform, outfitted with some of the Ordo Reductor’s most devastating weaponry of it class.

Like many of the Ordo Reductor’s most accomplished works during the Great Crusade, the Matarax was gradually disseminated to myriad sects and factions of the Mechanicum by a variety of means, with a number even reaching the arsenals of the Legiones Astartes. Although some amongst the Techno-orders of the Mechanicum considered the Thallax’ sacrificed manouvreability an unacceptable concession, the sheer destructive potential of these cybernetic tech-thralls ensured Matarax Cohorts endured within the order of battle on both sides of the Heresy.  

Matarax:   WS: 2   BS: 5   S: 5   T: 5   W: 3   I: 2   A: 2   Ld: 8   Sv: 4+

Unit Composition:
* 3 Matarax

Unit Type:
* Infantry

Wargear:
* Lorica Thallax
* Reaper Autocannon
* Maxim bolter
* Close combat weapon
* Frag grenades

Special Rules:
* Bulky
* Stubborn
* Djinn-sight
* Relentless
* Fusillade Attack
* Ardex Machina (note this rule applies only to the Matarax’ Maxima bolters, or the weapons they are exchanged for)

Dedicated Transport:
* A Matarax Cohort unit may take a Triaros Armoured Conveyor as a Dedicated Transport

Options:
* The squad may include:
            - Up to an additional six Matarax
* The entire squad may have:
            - Melta bombs
* Any Matarax may exchange their close combat weapon for a:
            - Heavy chainblade
            - Chainfist
* The Cohort may be upgraded with one of the following augment upgrades:
            - Icarian
            - Destructor
* Any Matarax may exchange their maxima bolter for one of the following:
            - Volkite caliver
            - Graviton gun
            - Galvanic caster
* Any Matarax may exchange their reaper autocannon for one of the following:
            - Volkite culverin
            - Conversion beamer
            - Darkfire Cannon


HEAVY SUPPORT: Mangonel Dunecrawler Battery

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As the Onager Dunecrawler of the Fabricator Generals’ Skitarii Regiments was developed from technoarcheologist Arkhan Land’s original M.U.L.E schematic, so too was the Mangonel artillery of the Ordo Reductor developed from the Skitarii’ Onager, many years into the Great Crusade. With the Onager’s reinforced quadrupedal gait providing a perfect firing platform, the Mangonel was envisaged by the Magos of the Ordo Reductor to serve as potent artillery in terrain that would stymie larger artillery or weapons mounted upon conventional chassis.   

Eschewing heavy armour plating, the Mangonel Dunecrawler’s ungainly construction might seem exposed, but an array of overlapping flare shields protect both the vehicle’s gunner and it’s weapon from counter-battery fire, while providing ample access for reloading as well as cooling for the Mangonel’s powerful central fusion generator. The Mangonel’s early success in field-testing not only lead to its integration into the forces of most Ordo Reductor Covenants, but also laid the groundwork for a series of further modifications to the Onager design, to some consternation from the Skitarius, who held sole patronage of the Onager itself.

Mangonel Dunecrawler:      WS: 3   BS: 4   S: 5   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 11/11/11   I: 2   A: 1   HP: 3

Unit Composition:
* 1-3 Mangonel Dunecrawlers

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Walker)

Wargear:
* Galvanic mortar
* Blessed autosimulacra
* Flare shield (applies to all armour facings, not just Front)

Special Rules:
* Atomantic Shielding
* Crawler

Options:
* Any model may exchange its galvanic mortar for a scoria plasma projector
* Any model may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Smoke launchers
            - Anbaric claw
            - Up to two volkite sentinels

Crawler:
A model with this special rule is never slowed by Difficult Terrain, and automatically passes Dangerous Terrain tests, but may never Run.

Galvanic Mortar:
The Galvanic Mortar most commonly carried by the Mangonel Dunecrawler was developed from the Galvanic-caster technology routinely used by the Secutarii forces of the Titan Legions, using electro-galvanic impellors to launch a variety of projectiles.

Galvanic Mortar:
(Ignis Shot):    Range: 12-60”  Str: 5   AP: 4   Type: Ordnance 1, Barrage, Blind, Large Blast (5”)
(Quake Shells):    Range: 12-60”   Str: 4   AP: 5   Type: Ordnance 1, Barrage, Concussive, Strikedown, Large Blast (5”)
(Melta Charge):    Range: 12-60”   Str: 8   AP: 1   Type: Ordnance 1, Barrage, Armourbane, Wrecker, Blast (3”)

Scoria Plasma Projector:
Similar in design to the patterns of plasma mortar mounted upon the mighty Thanatar Siege-Automata, the Scoria Plasma Projector’s searing plasma blasts have proven particularly effective at driving entrenched foes from their positions.

Scoria Plasma Projector:    Range: 12-48”   Str: 7   AP: 2   Type: Ordnance 2, Barrage, Plasma Wave, Blast (3”)


HEAVY SUPPORT: Petraria Dunecrawler Battery

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The Petraria is a design which built upon the Ordo Reductor’s earlier innovation with the Mangonel Dunecrawler, and is related in the same way as its forebear to the Onager combat walker of the Martian Skitarius. Incensed at the Ordo Reductors’ further modifications to a pattern of vehicle supposed to be the exclusive provenance of his Skitarii Regiments, the Fabricator General demanded the sanction of these ‘Bringers of Blessed Ruin’, with a number of Forge Worlds closely aligned to Mars withdrawing compacts of resupply and mutual exchange. In response, the Magos of the Ordo Reductor offered to release the schematics for the new Petraria Dunecrawler to the Taghmata of every Forge World numbered among the Imperium’s domain, approaching the ruling synods of individual worlds, forcing the Fabricator General to concede rather than appear vulnerable as several Forge Worlds lifted their embargoes.

Whatever faction of the Mechanicum the Petraria is fielded under, it’s primary purpose is defensive, acting as a dedicated anti-aircraft platform, often for slower-moving or immobile constructs. Possessing a plethora of augurs and targeting arrays, the Petraria’s weapons are mounted upon a free-moving spherical turret, configured in a manner to provide almost unlimited fields of fire, with a hardwired thrall brain at its core mono-tasked with clearing the skies of the Omnissiah’s foes.

Petraria Dunecrawler:         WS: 3   BS: 4   S: 5   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 11/11/11   I: 2   A: 1   HP: 3

Unit Composition:
* 1-3 Petraria Dunecrawlers

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Walker)

Wargear:
* Twin-linked sollex pattern heavy lascannon
* Blessed autosimulacra
* Flare shield (applies to all armour facings, not just Front)

Special Rules:
* Atomantic Shielding
* Crawler
* Skyfire
* Interceptor

Options:
* Any model may exchange its twin-linked sollex pattern heavy lascannon for one of the following:
            - Twin-linked cyclothrathe pattern storm laser
            - Twin-linked hellfire plasma carronade
* Any model may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Smoke launchers
            - Anbaric claw
            - Up to two volkite sentinels (these do not benefit from the Skyfire and Interceptor special rules)

Crawler:
A model with this special rule is never slowed by Difficult Terrain, and automatically passes Dangerous Terrain tests, but may never Run.

Cyclothrathe Pattern Storm Laser:
The Cyclothrathe Pattern Storm Laser is one of many esoteric and destructive weapons built by the hands of that Forge World’s sinister priesthood, created as it was to test weapons derived from the ruins of the Xenos empire which had once reigned over the surrounding worlds. It is unknown how the magos of the Ordo Reductor appeased the notoriously isolationist priesthood of the Cyclothrathe Mechanicum to the extent of acquiring this weapon (among others), but the degree to which the Cyclothrathe Taghmata exceeded previous force projection estimates at the outset of the Heresy may attest to the price they paid.

Cyclothrathe Pattern Storm Laser:    Range: 48”   Str: 6   AP: 3   Type: Heavy D3+2, Blind

The Big Push: Mechanicum Explorator Units

Two of these units are references back to some old Rogue-Trader era units: the Hormeas grav-attack is based off this, which I'm pretty sure has been referenced as a Legio Custodes vehicle in the form of the Jocasta Pattern Grav-Attack in recent Forge World lore, but when I was considering how to port the design to 30k, the unusual design of the hull seemed very Mechanicum-esque. The Silphar Ornithopter was inspired by the old Orgus Flyer, which again is mentioned in FW's Books as a Legion flyer, but that gave me some free reign to take a bit more liberty with the design, making it look pretty insectile and giving me a chance to design something very mechanical. The Agrimensor is loosely based off some of the more sinister Mechanicum units presented in Collected Visions, which I paired with a plague-Doctor style mask to create these creepy and clinical floating surveyor units.

30K TAGHMATA OMNISSIAH: EXPLORATOR FORCES

FAST ATTACK: Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack

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Believed to possess shared heritage with the relic Jocasta Pattern grav-craft which served the Emperor’s hosts during the Unification wars, the Hormeas grav-attack was purpose-built at the outset of the Great Crusade to serve with the Mechanicum’s Explorator forces, templated upon the various skimmer-craft used by Martian Magos to cross the blasted wastes of the Red Planet. To overcome the varied and bizarre planetary conditions the Expeditionary Fleets would undoubtedly encounter, the grav-attack was used as a testbed for a variety of poorly-understood and novel technology which would later pave the way for newer engines of war, including a uniquely powerful form of gravitic impellor used to keep the craft aloft even on higher-gravity worlds which would inform the design of Custodes and Astartes skimmer-craft throughout the Great Crusade.

While the Hormeas was initially used by the Mechanicum to survey newly discovered worlds, as understanding of the technology underpinning its design grew, so too did the availability of the craft, with repair and production of the Hormeas becoming less troublesome, and so many craft saw use as scouting vehicles in more actively hostile environments. Originally armed to defend against aggressive fauna, by the Great Crusade’s end, most Hormeas pattern grav-attacks boasted a host of advanced weaponry, with split patronage between dedicated Explorator surveyors and Taghmata Cohorts, the same vehicles carrying Tech-Priests across bountiful, mineral-rich landscapes and corpse-strewn battlefields from one Compliance action to the next.  

Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack:                   BS: 4   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 11/11/11 HP: 2

Unit Composition:
* 1 Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Skimmer, Fast, Transport)

Wargear:
* Turret-mounted darkfire cannon
* Setheno pattern havoc launcher
* Flare shield
* Searchlight
* Two volkite sentinels

Special Rules:
* Deep Strike
* Outflank
* Grav-backwash

Transport Capacity:
* The Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack can transport 6 models, but may not carry models with the Bulky, Very Bulky or Extremely Bulky special rules.

Fire Points:
* None

Access Points:
* Two access hatches, one on each side of the hull.

Options:
* A Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack may exchange its darkfire cannon for an:
            - Accelerator autocannon
* A Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Extra armour
            - Up to two hunter-killer missiles
            - Smoke launchers
            - Blessed autosimulacra
* A Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack that is not a dedicated transport may be equipped with:
- Explorator augary web (if this option is taken, the vehicle’s Transport Capacity to 4 models)

A Hormeas Pattern Grav-Attack may be taken as a dedicated transport option for Tech-Priest Auxilia units numbering no more than 6 models.


FAST ATTACK: Silphar Ornithopter Covenant

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Among the Mechanicum’s myriad hosts, drawn from Forge Worlds the breadth of the Galaxy, there number countless patterns of construct, both of war and industry, whose acclaim and notoriety among the Machine Cult at large has waxed and waned as the tumultuous course of the Great Crusade surged onwards. Designs that achieve widespread adoption owe their success as much to the politics of the Mechanicum as to their own merit, and with the disdain for innovation and hybrid technology held by many within the Machine Cult, it is perhaps surprising how dominant the ‘Silphar’ Ornithopter pattern became among its field in the years before the Heresy.

Instead, the Silphar’s prodigious capabilities are owed to this fusion of technologies, sourced from various other designs of low altitude flyer, be they Stratos-Automata, Servitor-Drones, or piloted Gyrocopters. Bourne aloft by a combination of turbofans, gravitic impellors, maneuvering thrusters and omnidirectional anti-grav vanes, the Silphar was conceived by the minds of Ohmn-Mat Mechanicum to overcome the flaws of conventional fliers and be maneuverable, rugged and portable enough to cater to the needs of any Taghmata mass-deployment.

Piloted by a hardwired tech-thrall, the Silphar’s insectile construction allow it to cling to sheer surfaces even in gale-force conditions, as well as compact down to a volume far smaller than other aircraft in its class. The Silphar was initially manufactured primarily for Explorator divisions, but the Ornithopter’s utility made it increasingly pervasive, especially in defensive or escort roles, be it for colossal Macrotechnia vault-bastions or Autokrator orbital drops.

Silphar Ornithopter:   WS: 3   BS: 4   S: 4   T: 6   W: 2   I: 4   A: 1   Ld: 8   Sv: 3+

Unit Composition:
* 1 Silphar Ornithopter

Unit Type:
* Flying monstrous Creature

Wargear:
* Two multi-lasers
* Infravisor

Special Rules:
* Agile

Options:
* The unit may include:
            - Up to five additional Silphar Ornithopters
* Any model may exchange both multi-lasers for one of the following options:
            - Two phased plasma fusils
            - Two photon thrusters


FAST ATTACK: Agrimensor Cadre

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Agrimensor Surveyor-Thralls are the most numerous sapient human component of the Mechanicum’s Explorator divisions, and maintain significantly greater degrees of conscious freedom than other Thralls among the Mechanicum’s hosts, being primarily tasked with assessing the material value of new worlds encountered by the Great Crusade, from mineral wealth to harvestable biomass. To this end, they are enhanced with an array of auspex and sensor mechanisms, physical probes and sampling tools, as well as variant needler equipment to test native organisms’ resistance to a number of known toxins and chemicals.

Agrimensor Cadres are also deployed with more combat-oriented directives, usually against novel foes to study their physiological limits and methods of war, garnering data which forms the basis of the vast meta-analyses key to many of the Taghmata’s battle doctrines. When the wars of the Horus Heresy ravaged the Imperium, many Agrimensor Cadres were deployed against erstwhile allies on either side of the conflict, pressed into battle as reserve forces or deployed as scouts, all exploratory purpose abandoned in the need for endless troops.    

Agrimensor Surveyor-Thrall:   WS: 3   BS: 3   S: 4   T: 3   W: 1   I: 3   A: 1   Ld: 7   Sv: 4+

Unit Composition:
* 5 Agrimensor Surveyor-Thralls

Unit Type:
* Jump Infantry

Wargear:
* Carapace armour
* Volkite caliver
* Needle pistol
* Close combat weapon

Special Rules:
* Acute Senses
* Night Vision
* Relentless
* Scout

Options:
* The unit may include:
            - Up to ten additional Agrimensor Surveyor-Thralls
* For every five models in the unit, one Agrimensor Surveyor-Thrall may exchange their volkite caliver for one of the following:
            - Phased plasma fusil
            - Rad-cleanser
            - Graviton gun
* One Agrimensor Surveyor-Thrall may be equipped with an augury scanner
* The entire unit may be upgraded to have The Right of Pure Thought

The Big Push: Storm Eagle Variants

These three designs are a collection of ideas I'd had over a significant span of time, with the Storm Eagle hull being a perfect size to allow for significant modifications without making it look cluttered. The Transporter was just a fun idea for a smaller-scale utility vehicle, the perfect size for carrying lone Rhino / Sicaran size vehicles or cargo containers. I liked the look of the prow ball-turret so much I integrated it into a much older idea I'd had, that of a Storm Eagle bomber, which was originally just a standard storm eagle with the passenger compartment used as a bomb bay, but the prow turret with the full-size hull reminded me so much of WW2 era bombers that I swapped out the rear vengeance launcher with a Tarantula turret, to hark back to those images of hulking aircraft speckled with defensive turrets. The Fire Raptor Destroyer is from a canon reference I read about *somewhere*, but have subsequently never been able to find - regardless, 'Destroyer' in this context immediately made me think of an anti-armour variant, and the neutron beam laser from the sicaran venator seemed a great substitute for the twin avenger boltcannon in this regard.

30K LEGIONES ASTARTES: STORM EAGLE VARIANTS

FAST ATTACK: Legion Storm Eagle Transporter

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The Storm Eagle Transporter is the primary support variant of the widespread Storm Eagle Assault Gunship, developed during the mid-era Great Crusade to provide for the mounting transport needs of the Legions’ rapidly expanding arsenal of armoured vehicles. Smaller than most orbital interface transports used to ferry the Legions’ ground vehicles, the Storm Eagle Transporter was nevertheless one of the most numerous transports of its type, owing to its relative ease of production and breadth of deployment roles, although use of the newer Thunderhawk Transporter grew to eclipse the aircraft in the years before the Heresy.

Despite its smaller carrying capacity compared to similarly-purposed vehicles like the Hellcrow Carrier and colossal Argo Drop Ship, capable of lifting only a single Rhino or Sicaran-sized vehicle, the Storm Eagle Transporter was far more agile than its contemporaries and represented a significantly less valuable target than these hulking aircraft. This allowed it to operate in conditions that would ground larger transports, deliver payloads to much smaller or unstable drop-zones, and conduct covert stealth flights when properly equipped, all the while remaining a significantly armed and armoured gunship. These qualities also lead to its widespread use in myriad non-combat roles, with Transporters being used to ferry cargo, recover damaged or spent wargear including the Legions’ various patterns of Drop Pods as well as deploying or redeploying emplaced equipment like Tarantula Sentry Guns.

Storm Eagle Transporter:                   BS: 4   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 12/12/12 HP: 4

Unit Composition:
* 1 Storm Eagle Transporter

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Flyer, Hover, Transport)

Wargear:
* Turret-mounted quad heavy bolter
* Hull-mounted vengeance launcher
* Machine spirit

Special Rules:
* Deep Strike
* Loading Vehicles
* Unloading Vehicles
* Independent Turret Fire

Transport Capacity:
* The Storm Eagle Transporter may carry one Rhino-sized or one Sicaran-sized vehicle. These vehicles may contain passengers.

Fire Points:
* None

Access Points:
* None

Options:
* A Storm Eagle Transporter may exchange its quad heavy bolter for one of the following:
            - Reaper autocannon battery
            - Twin-linked lascannon
* A Storm Eagle Transporter may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Armoured ceramite
            - Searchlight
            - Extra armour


HEAVY SUPPORT: Legion Fire Raptor Destroyer

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Owing its development to the impressive combat record of the original Fire Raptor gunship, the Destroyer was 
among the many vehicle variants produced as part of the Neutron Laser project, integrating powerful Atomantic Arc-Reactors and a Neutron Beam Laser in place of the standard Raptor's Avenger Bolt Cannons and extensive munition stowage. Alongside paired lascannon ball-turrets and an array of high-ordnance missiles, the Neutron Beam Laser modified the Fire Raptor into a dedicated tank hunter, combining hyper-destructive firepower with mobility and speed entirely unattainable to the Legions' vast fleet of anti-armour vehicles.

Favoured by Legions which eschewed armoured ground vehicles in preference for high-speed deployments, the Fire Raptor Destroyer played a significant role in some of the Heresy's fiercest engagements, often fielded to counter large-scale armoured formations which would otherwise threaten lighter infantry forces, although the considerable investment in resources each air-frame represented resulted in increasingly conservative deployments of the dwindling number of Destroyers as the conflict wore on.

Fire Raptor Destroyer:                   BS: 4   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 12/12/12 HP: 4

Unit Composition:
* 1 Fire Raptor Destroyer

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Flyer, Hover)

Wargear:
* Hull-mounted neutron beam laser
* Two turret-mounted twin-linked lascannon
* Four wing-mounted tempest rockets
* Machine spirit
* Extra armour

Special Rules:
* Deep Strike
* Strafing Run
* Independent Turret Fire
* Dangerous Reactor Core

Options:
* A Fire Raptor Destroyer may exchange its four tempest rockets for:
            - Four hellstrike missiles
* A Fire Raptor Destroyer may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Armoured ceramite
            - Searchlight


HEAVY SUPPORT: Legion Balefire-Pattern Storm Eagle Attack Bomber

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One of numerous modifications upon the Storm Eagle Gunship developed as the rigours of the Great Crusade depleted the Legions’ stocks of older, highly specialised aircraft, the Balefire-Pattern Attack Bomber was first field-tested by the Ist Legion against the mountain-citadels of Palehaven in the Golgoth Wastes. Unable to deploy significant field artillery due to the ragged terrain surrounding the citadels, and with the nightmarish silica-storms eternally raging in the planet’s upper atmosphere rendering conventional bombers useless, the Legionaries of the Ist had petitioned the forces of the Ordo Reductor for aid in levelling the inviolate fortresses.

Instead, victory was delivered to them with the first shipments of the Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle, fresh from the forges of Phaeton, whose vector thrusters and vertical take-off capability allowed them to conduct bombing runs on the mountain-citadels between the shrieking silica clouds and their targets below, decimating the first fortress in a single Terran night of continual bombing.

Exchanging the Storm Eagle Gunship’s transport capacity for a capacious munitions bay, in the rear assault ramp’s place the Balefire-pattern mounts a sophisticated targeting array and bomb launch system, capable of swiftly alternating between payload types during flight. Like its predecessor, the Balefire-pattern lacks the speed and full-velocity manoeuvrability of true fighters or bombers, but its heavy armour, range of defensive weapons, and vertical take-off and landing capability allow it to continuously operate in combat theatres that are too high-intensity for conventional bombers to survive, making it perfectly matched for the Legions’ methods of war.

Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle:                   BS: 4   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 12/12/12 HP: 4

Unit Composition:
* 1 Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Flyer, Hover)

Wargear:
* Turret-mounted quad heavy bolter
* Turret-mounted twin-linked heavy bolter
* Four wing-mounted tempest rockets
* Balefire cyclic bomb launcher with tactical bombs
* Machine spirit

Special Rules:
* Deep Strike
* Independent Turret Fire

Options:
* A Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle may exchange its quad heavy bolter for one of the following:
            - Reaper autocannon battery
            - Twin-linked lascannon
* A Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle may exchange its four tempest rockets for:
            - Four hellstrike missiles
* A Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle may take any of the following upgrades:
            - Armoured ceramite
            - Searchlight
            - Extra armour
* A Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle may purchase any of the following additional munition types for its Balefire Cyclic Bomb Launcher:
            - Incendiary bombs
            - Phosphex canisters
            - Seismic charges
            - Siege bombs

Balefire Cyclic Bomb Launcher:
A cyclic launch system combined with an array of augurs and autoloaders enable the Balefire Launcher to vary the launch rate of its payload, as well as switching between several munition types during a single bombing run, a design which favours the use of specialised bombs and resulted in production of a considerable array of different ordnance by the Great Crusade’s end. When a Balefire-pattern Storm Eagle makes a Bombing Run using the Balefire Cyclic Bomb Launcher, the owning player chooses which one of the following profiles to use (note that profiles other than Tactical Bombs must be purchased through the unit’s Options):

Balefire Cyclic Bomb Launcher:
(Tactical Bombs):    Range: -   Str: 6   AP: 4   Type: Bomb 1+D3, Barrage, Blast (3”)
(Incendiary Bombs):    Range: -   Str: 4   AP: 5   Type: Bomb 1+D3, Barrage, Ignores Cover, Large Blast (5”)
(Phosphex Canisters):    Range: -   Str: 5   AP: 2   Type: Bomb 1+D3, Barrage, Blast (3”), Poisoned, Crawling Fire, Lingering Death, Deadly Cargo
(Seismic Charges):    Range: -   Str: 5   AP: 4   Type: Bomb 1+D3, Barrage, Strikedown, Concussive, Blast (3”)
(Siege Bombs):    Range: -   Str: 7   AP: 4   Type: Bomb 1+D3, Barrage, Sunder, Blast (3”)

Monday, 26 February 2018

The Big Push: Solar Auxilia Support Tanks

This is a collection of a few odd designs I'd had kicking around. The Aurelian is my attempt to tie up the origins of the Destroyer Tank Hunter & Thunderer Siege Tank, as their lore referring to them as old, relatively obsolete tanks by 40k makes them pretty suited to the heresy, and the Solar Auxilia artillery Leman Russ hull seemed to match the design of the current models pretty well. The Satyr was pretty much an attempt by me to figure out the biggest gun I could get away with on the Leman Russ chassis, and therefore the Colossus hull seemed a pretty good start. For the Amentum, I new I had to mess around with the new Aurox design as a purpose-built Solar Auxilia hull, and dropping a quad-mortar sticking out of the top hatch with a couple of sponsons seemed like a nice simple modification, without having to mess around with the core design too much.


30K SOLAR AUXILIA: SUPPORT TANKS

HEAVY SUPPORT: Auxilia Aurelian Support Squadron

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Initially entering into wider production for Solar Auxilia forces in the last quarter of the Great Crusade’s two-century span, the Aurelian was derived from the Basilisk and Medusa variants already in service with the Regiments of the Solar Auxilia, which made use of the Solar pattern Leman Russ hull. Primarily fielded within the Tank Detachments of the Solar Auxilia in support of mainline Leman Russ and Malcador squadrons, the Aurelian was deployed to provide specialist firepower in particular theatres of war. For this purpose, the Aurelian is a remarkably flexible tank, featuring a modular frontal weapon mount which can be refitted between engagements, allowing it to function equally well as an infantry fighting vehicle, tank hunter or siege assault vehicle, providing Solar Auxilia Cohorts with an array of specialist support vehicles without the need for an extensive armour pool.

Nameless save for their schematic’s numeric designation, the prototype support tanks were first field-tested upon the world of Melkeji, in the brief but intense ground engagement which ended when Word Bearers’ assault companies obliterated the planet’s nine orbital cities. Wielding firepower comparable to that of a Rapier Carrier within a far swifter and more durable platform, the support tanks were deemed to have performed beyond expectations and were named in honour of the XVIIth Legion’s Primarch, who’s deftly executed plan had swiftly resolved a conflict which might easily have devolved into a grinding war of attrition.

In the years following the Scouring, the Aurelian’s title was gradually erased from Imperial records, with production runs of the tank instead defaulting to their combat designation of Destroyer, Thunderer or Expunger, all association with their former namesake purged from history.

Aurelian Expunger Assault Tank:                   BS: 3   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 13/12/10 HP: 3
Aurelian Thunderer Siege Tank:                   BS: 3   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 13/12/10 HP: 3
Aurelian Destroyer Tank Hunter:                   BS: 3   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 13/12/10 HP: 3

Unit Composition:
* 1 of the following: Aurelian Expunger, Aurelian Thunderer, Aurelian Destroyer

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Tank)

Wargear:
* Search light
* Smoke launchers
* Quad multi-laser (Aurelian Expunger only)
* Demolisher cannon (Aurelian Thunderer only)
* Laser destroyer array (Aurelian Destroyer only)

Special Rules:
* Explorator Adaptation

Options:
* The squadron may include up to two more tanks of the same type for the cost listed in their profile
* Any model may take one of the following:
            - Pintle-mounted heavy bolter
            - Pintle-mounted heavy flamer
            - Pintle-mounted multi-laser


HEAVY SUPPORT: Auxilia Satyr Assault Squadron

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Carrying the heaviest weaponry commonly fielded upon the Leman Russ hull save for the Colossus Bombard, the Satyr is a singularly unsubtle and devastating engine of war, capable of decimating an infantry force with a single barrage. This capacity for destruction does not come without associated risk however, and the Satyr’s exposed autoloader assembly, ravenous munition consumption and limited firing angles ensure it is only ever deployed where target saturation is maximal. In these deployments however, the Satyr is an unrivalled linebreaker when compared to other vehicles of its class, and divisions of the Support Tank have served as the lynchpin for a number of the Great Crusade’s bloodiest battles, with the crews of these vehicles inevitably stained by the bellicose and bloody reputation that has followed the Satyr since the earliest days of the Imperium.

Auxilia Satyr Assault Tank:                   BS: 3   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 13/12/10 HP: 3

Unit Composition:
* 1-3 Auxilia Satyr Assault Tanks

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Tank)

Wargear:
* Hull-mounted twin-linked avenger assault cannon
* Search light
* Smoke launchers

Special Rules:
* Explorator Adaptation
* All Power to Weapons!
* Vulnerable Munitions

Options:
* Any model may exchange their twin-linked avenger bolt cannon for one of the following:
            - Hellstorm missile battery
            - Dual battlecannon
* Any model may take any of the following:
            - Armoured ceramite
            - One hunter-killer missile
            - Dozer blade
            - Extra armour
            - Auxiliary drive

Hellstorm Missile Battery:
While the Satyr’s Hellstorm Missile Battery does not benefit from the range of advanced warhead types available to some vehicle-mounted missile launchers, this fearsome simplicity as a weapon system is the cornerstone to its success, designed to unleash waves of high-ordnance missiles into enemy infantry formations in an unstoppable barrage.

Hellstorm Missile Battery:    Range: 60”   Str: 5   AP: 4   Type: Heavy 4, Pinning, Large Blast (5”)

Vulnerable Munitions:
The Satyr’s sizeable gun carriage leaves the rear autoloader assembly and munition stowage relatively exposed, and should the vehicle be flanked, it risks catastrophic damage from a well-aimed attack. Attacks made against the vehicle’s Rear Armour must re-roll failed Armour Penetration rolls.


HEAVY SUPPORT: Auxilia Amentum Ordnance Battery

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The Amentum Mortar Carrier was one of the earliest modifications upon the initial Saturnyne pattern Aurox chassis fielded by the Solar Auxilia, and owes much of its success to its predecessors’ highly modular design, being a relatively simple retrofit. Replacing the Aurox’s passenger capacity, the Amentum instead uses the transport’s bay to support a ‘Thudd Gun’ Quad-mortar, field artillery long in use with the Solar Auxilia and highly prized for its capacity to support infantry assaults.

Being enclosed within the Amentum’s armour allows these weapons a degree of mobility unavailable to their Rapier-mounted counterparts, as their decreased vulnerability to small-arms fire ensures the Amentum can provide close artillery support without stalling an assault in-progress. The Amentum’s gunnery bay also affords space to carry additional ammunition types, as well as allowing for several sponson configurations for defence in high-intensity theatres, standard loadout for Amentum Batteries assigned to Veletaris Tercios.

Auxilia Amentum Mortar Carrier:                   BS: 3   Armour (Front/Side/Rear): 11/11/10 HP: 3

Unit Composition:
* 1-3 Auxilia Amentum Mortar Carriers

Unit Type:
* Vehicle (Tank)

Wargear:
* Quad mortar (frag shells)
* Extra armour

Special Rules:
* Explorator Adaptation

Options:
* Any model may take a pair of sponsons armed with:
            - Multi-lasers
            - Autocannon
            - Lascannon
* Any model may take one of the following:
            - Pintle-mounted heavy bolter
            - Pintle-mounted heavy flamer
            - Pintle-mounted multi-laserm
* Any model may be given the following ammunition types at the costs shown. All models in the Battery must be identically upgraded:
            - Incendiary shells
            - Shatter shells
            - Splinter shells