Armageddon Steel Legion

“Heroes of Armageddon! You have withstood the evil savagery of the Orks, and they have left nothing for you to fear. So raise high the black banners of vengeance—now is our time.”
–Commissar Yarrick during the Third War for Armageddon

Regiments of the Imperial Guard vary widely from one world to the next. Civilization, training, and technology levels are wildly varied from one culture to the next within the Imperium, resulting in forces mounted on horseback and carrying spears next to elite troops bearing advanced grav-chutes deploying from Valkyrie Assault Carriers. Within these parameters, large formations of mechanised infantry are very uncommon within the Imperial Guard.
The reason for this rarity is because the resources required to equip and maintain vast numbers of armoured vehicles are difficult to acquire, even for such personages as Imperial Commanders and Planetary Governors. Typically, gathering so many war machines also requires a pact or agreement with the Adeptus Mechanicus, for it is the Tech- Priests and Enginseers of Mars who ensure that these vehicles can operate (and be repaired should they suffer damage) in the heat of battle.
The most well-known and renowned of the rare few mechanised infantry regiments in the Imperium are those founded upon the Hive World of Armageddon. Whilst some Imperial Guard formations rely upon horses or other such conventional steeds, the Steel Legions of Armageddon ride into battle as mounted infantry within the hulls of their trusted Chimera Armoured Transports. The high numbers of Chimeras amongst the Steel Legion regiments is due to the highly industrialised nature of their home world.
Armageddon is one of the foremost manufacturing planets for Chimeras and produces vast numbers of this vehicle for use across the Imperium of Man. So great is Armageddon’s output of Chimeras that an extremely high proportion of regiments raised from that world are mechanised infantry. These highly mobile forces are skilled at rapidly redeploying convoys of vehicles to engage the enemy. Often, the Steel Legion’s vehicles simply overrun the enemy’s front lines, allowing the infantry to dismount and sweep the area clear of aggressors.
The world of Armageddon consists of huge ash wastes choked with toxic pollutants and corrosive chemicals. Some regions of the planet consist of jungles and oceans, but the pervasive effects of industrial pollution are inescapable outside of the world’s great hive cities. Teeming with humanity, Armageddon’s hives are not simply manufacturing centres—they are also packed with the crowded workers and overseers necessary to keep the massive industrial complex running. These conditions give rise to a seemingly endless series of savage gang wars that erupt regularly amongst the underclasses on Armageddon. Many recruits into the Steel Legions are taken directly from veterans of these brutal struggles for dominance of the underhive, as only the fiercest and most implacable gangers manage to survive and even thrive upon the carnage. The gangs of Armageddon are sometimes conscripted en masse into the Steel Legions, and it is said that most of these gangs require little to no additional training to be effective soldiers. In fact, some squads that were formerly gangers excel at inventive and cunning small-unit tactics on the battlefield.

The Third War for Armageddon (998.M41)

More than fifty years after the second war for Armageddon, Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka launched a new onslaught against the planet. This time, Ghazghkull had made alliances with other notable Orks, such as the fierce Nazdreg Ug
Urdgrub and the diabolically clever Mekboy, Orkimedes. An enormous Ork fleet soon arrived in the sector, smashing into the heroic but hideously outnumbered ships comprising Battlefleet Armageddon of the Imperial Navy. While the Ork fleet arrived in the Armageddon system, Commissar Yarrick had taken command of the Imperial forces on Armageddon itself and hastily organised a plan to prepare for the coming invasion. The Imperium was not without its defenders—Titan Legions, Space Marines, and the Sisters of Battle reinforced Armageddon’s existing defences alongside the forces of the Imperial Guard. Ork Roks (hollowed-out asteroids with crude steering mechanisms) smashed into Armageddon’s surface and disgorged massive hordes of Orks. Meanwhile, alien forces and heavy equipment—including many Ork Gargants and other massive war machines—arrived directly on the planet via the Orks’ “tellyporta” technology. After the initial assault, the Third War for Armageddon bogged down into a large number of individual clashes between the Orks and the Imperials. Frustrated by the growing stalemate result of the war, Ghazghull left the planet to seek other, greater battles, closely pursued by Commissar Yarrick. Battles still rage upon the surface of Armageddon, with no end in sight.

GEAR AND TRAINING

So toxic are the ash wastes of Armageddon that a man breathing its air freely would feel his lungs begin to melt and rot away. It is for this reason that the Armageddon Steel Legions are heavily protected against toxic and polluted environments. Each Steel Legion soldier wears a protective trenchcoat, gloves, and a visor to keep his exposure to the corrosive atmosphere at a minimum. Possibly the most iconic piece of gear for the Steel Legion is the rebreather unit carried by every trooper. These units are capable of filtering out the worst effects of any airborne poisons and are the primary reason that many Steel Legion Guardsman have survived doing battle upon the ash wastes. Senior officers have rebreathers that are often shaped into a mask similar to that of a grinning skull. The Guardsmen of the Steel Legion are not the only things protected from venomous environments.
Throughout the Steel Legions, all vehicles are fully enclosed and possess airtight seals to ward passengers from the foul and acidic atmosphere encountered by convoys traversing the ash wastes. The Steel Legion takes special care to protect their mighty banners, each one hung with trophies of honour and no small amount of Ork kill markers. These banners are coated with highly resistant materials in an attempt to preserve them from the wastelands’ acidic decay. The troopers of the Armageddon Steel Legion are particularly skilled in the arts of mechanised infantry and have a special expertise at battling Orks. In addition, Guardsman from Armageddon make fine assault troops for fighting urban and hive environments as well as heavy industrial zones, chemical sumps, and other such toxic regions. Their equipment and experience with such acrid environments make them invaluable for trudging through all sorts of polluted or otherwise noxious wastelands, from underhives filled with the toxic residue of ancient atomic generators to ruin-filled swamps rife with hallucinogenic flora, quicksand, and near-invisible pockets of lethal gas.

The Armageddon Steel Legion in the Spinward Front

So far, Lord Marshal Ghanzorik has deployed Armageddon Steel Legion regiments into only a handful of warzones in the Spinward Front. These regiments have mustered at Cyclopea to assist with the tithe preparations there to muster new Imperial Guard forces, and from there they were sent to the Departmento Munitorum Depot on Ganf Magna to assist with operations against the feral Ork tribes plaguing that world. The Armageddon Steel Legion regiments operating on Ganf Magna recently received an unexpected benefit.
Due to a bureaucratic error somewhere in the byzantine organisation of the Departmento Munitorum, a large number of Deathstrike missile launchers were mistakenly routed to the Steel Legion mustering areas on Ganf Magna. The Guardsmen from Armageddon have embraced this addition to their nominal strength and are relishing the opportunity to use such devastating weapons.

ARMAGEDDON STEEL LEGION 808TH

The Armageddon Steel Legion 808th is known for its aggressive and hard-charging officers, whose leadership style has earned the regiment a considerable reputation for trying unusual—and often quite risky—manoeuvres to
approach the enemy by surprise or at great speed. This regiment first attracted attention when it became engaged in a bitter and violent battle against a group of Orks on Ganf Magna. Despite the primitive weapons and equipment of the local Ork mobs, they won several victories over the 808th through surprisingly cunning use of terrain, stranding the regiment’s transport vehicles in a series of narrow passes and overwhelming the soldiers within with their characteristic brutality. The 808th recovered from their losses and proved more successful in later engagements, swearing to avenge themselves upon the Greenskins by seeing every Ork expunged from Ganf Magna—only to be redeployed shortly thereafter, their tempers still unquenched in the black blood of the Orks.
The 808th recently saw action in a bizarre engagement on the planet of Sisk. Originally meant as a training exercise, a Steel Legion convoy of Chimeras was on patrol in the outer fringes of the northern continent when they encountered a band of rogue psykers and mutants led by a hulking figure in spiked power armour. The battle that followed was nightmarish— dramatic seismic upheavals rendered many of the Chimeras useless, and the Steel Legion was forced to dismount. The Armageddon troopers fought through the enemy’s psychic projections, crossing trenches of living fire and enduring assaults by ambulatory slime. The mutants and the warband’s commander inflicted severe casualties on the Steel Legion, but the regiments’ ability to withstand toxic environments enabled them to survive the onslaught and press on to claim a pyrrhic victory. Few other Guardsmen could have accomplished such a feat, and the banner of the 808th received a blessing from Sisk’s high cleric in honour of their bravery.


Regiment Rules

Characters belonging to the 808th Armageddon Steel Legion receive the following advantages.
Characteristic Modifiers: +3 Agility, +3 Fellowship.
Starting Skills: Common Lore (Imperium), Deceive, Forbidden Lore (Orks), Linguistics (Low Gothic), Operate (Surface)
Staring Talents: Hatred (Orks), Heightened Senses (Hearing) or Paranoia or Unremarkable, Rapid Reload, Resistance (Fear)
Surefooted: Armageddon is a cramped urban wasteland frequently ravaged by war, and its people have grown accustomed to moving efficiently through the wreckage of broken buildings and shattered streets. Rubble does not count as Difficult Terrain for Armageddon Steel Legion characters, and when Running or Charging through a such terrain, they take no penalty to Agility Tests to keep their feet.
Unused to the Open: The people of Armageddon spend their lives in the shadows of massive spires and the confines of a place filled with structures and human habitation. Though this makes them experts at moving in the labyrinth of a hive, it often leaves them disoriented when in the open or in other divergent environments. While outside of an enclosed or artificial environment (such as a hive city, starship, or similar place), they suffer a –20 penalty to Navigate (Surface) Tests.
Wounds: Characters from this regiment begin play with –1 starting Wounds.
Standard Regimental Kit: 1 M36 lasgun and four charge packs per Player Character, 1 knife per Player Character, 1 toxic-environment trenchcoat per Player Character, 1 Armageddon rebreather per Player Character, three frag grenades per Player Character, three krak grenades, uniform per Player Character, 1 set of field gear (rucksack, mess kit and water canteen, blanket and sleep bag, set of basic tools, rechargeable lamp pack, grooming kit, set of ident tags, Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer, 4 weeks’ rations) per Player Character, and a single Chimera Armoured Fighting Vehicle per Squad.
Favoured Weapons: Grenade launcher, missile launcher.

Equipment of the 808th Armageddon Steel Legion Regiment

The Armageddon Steel Legion uniform consists of a chemically-treated toxic-resistant trenchcoat, usually worn buckled along the chest, a helmet with special straps and lockplates for the Armageddon-pattern rebreather that every soldier is issued. Additionally, soldiers of the Steel Legion wear thick, toxic-resistant gloves and boots, a basic set of trousers and an undershirt. Unusually, the fabric and condition of these uniforms are quite standard, thanks to the standard resources of their highly industrialised home world.
Toxic-Resistant Trenchcoat
Each Guardsman of the Armageddon Steel Legions is equipped with a toxic-resistant trenchcoat, boots, and gloves. The specially-treated gear protects a Guardsmen from the most polluted or chemically toxic environments. A character protected by a toxic-resistant trenchcoat gains the Resistance (Poisons) Talent and reduces all Damage that he would suffer from the effects of the Toxic Quality by 2 (to a minimum of 1).
Armageddon-pattern Rebreather
Designed to keep the wearer alive in even the most noxious atmosphere, the rebreather consists of a mask (often shaped like a skull for senior officers) connected by hose to a small air supply. A character wearing an Armageddon-pattern rebreather is immune to the effects of gases and issues of air quality, and can even survive underwater at limited depths. The air canister lasts for two full hours before requiring replacement.

Creating the 808th Armageddon Steel Legion Regiment

The rules for the 808th Armageddon Steel Legion Regiment were created using the Regiment Creation Rules in the Only War Core Rulebook and this volume. The following options were selected:
Home World: Hive World, but with the Accustomed to Crowds and Hivebound Traits replaced with the unique Surefooted and Unused to the Open Traits described in the Regiment Rules.
Commanding Officer: Maverick
Regiment Type: Mechanised Infantry
Doctrines: Favoured Foe (Orks)
Total Cost: 11 points

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