Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

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My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

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Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Titan Legions

The Collegia Titanica a single word, awesome. Ever heard of all those awesome Titans almost as big as you, extremely cool-looking and filled to the brim with overwhelming firepower, but with unable to afford even a single of them (probably can afford a Warhound if I sell off all my Knights)? Yup, that's the Titans. Bipedal metal giants of walking death that can level entire cities, and protected by thick armor and void shields. They really deserve their title of "god engines".

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Titans are awesome. Yes, they are. Embrace the God-Machines of the Imperium!
They have been serving Makind since before the Age of Strife, having been created during the Dark Age of Technology. The Legios were formed on Mars during the anarchy of Old Night, consisting of the three oldest houses, the Legio Tempestus (these dudes appeared in the awesome novel Titanicus by Dan Abnett!), Legio Mortis (bastard traitors) and Legio Ignatum. Well, they were also rivals that love squabbling with each other like little children - ironic, given their gargantuan sizes.

The Titan Legions first pledged their loyalty to the Imperium when the Emperor came to Mars to unite Terra and the red planet. Thanks to this, the Titans marched alongside Space Marine Legions, the Solar Auxilia and Imperial Army to obliterate all who would stand in the way of the Great Crusade. Like the Knights (I'm getting a sense of deja vu here), as the crusade expanded they came upon other Titan Orders and Forge Worlds, and incoporated them back into the fold of the Imperium, or specifically Martian rule. Only the greatest Forge Worlds possessed their own Titan Orders, though. The lesser Forge Worlds that did not possess the necessary templates, resources or expertise to construct and operate their own Titans had to suck up and flatter Mars in order to receive the those stuff to build their own giant robots. Secretly, I think Mars was robbing them with exorbitant prices similar to Forge World with their resin models...fortunately, the new Adeptus Titanicus game makes it possible for all of us to buy plastic Titans at a smaller scale and play Adeptus Titanicus games! Woohoo! All hail the Omnissiah!

The Titan Orders were eventually united under a single organization, the Collegia Titanica, because the Fabricator-general of Mars got sick of trying to keep track of every individual order. This didn't prevent the different Legios themselves to have varying loyalties to specific Forge Worlds, and continue their own individualistic cultures, doctrines and traditions, hence as we can see in Tempestus, Legio Tempestus and Legio Invicta share different beliefs about the Emperor and the Omnissiah.

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Read Titanicus by Dan Abnett. Seriously, it's an awesome book.
The various Titan Legions varied in strength, with some possessing up to 300 god-engines, while the smallest only had a dozen or so. The Imperator class was the rarest, and the biggest, but the Warhound remained ubiquitous thanks to their (relatively) smaller size. The Warlord were also pretty common, being the standard Battle Titan. There were also Reaver Titans, which apparently was an ancient design, but it costs over half the cost of a Warlord, and it's pretty much affordable in 2,000-point games. But the Warlord still looks cooler. Recently, we have a few new additions to the Titan roster, which includes the artillery-type Nemesis Warbringer Titan, whose caparace mounted volcano cannon or quake cannon can blow holes in enemy lines from hundreds of miles away. Then you have the supermassive Warmaster Titan, who is second in size only to the Imperator Titan, armed with dual plasma destructors that far exceed even the devastating firepower of the Warlord Titan's Sunfury plasma annihilators. In any case, the Titan Legions each had their own particular mix of god-engines they preferred, reflecting their specific battle doctrines. In the Adeptus Titanicus game, you have access to loads of Titan Legion rules and even rules for Knight Household Armies! Thanks to the Defense of Ryza supplement (I believe), you can now create your own Titan Legion, customizing their rules however you want by selecting up to any 2 Legio Traits, any 2 Legio specific wargear or any 2 Stratagems, as long as you have a total of 4 (i.e. 2 Legio Traits, 1 wargear and 1 Stratagem). So whatever battle doctrine you imagine your Legio to have, have at it!

The Titans are broken up into maniples, usually comprising of 5 god-engines, and the princeps is the maniple's leader. Usually, a single maniple is enough to change the tide of war on an entire world, thanks to their apocalyptic firepower. There are many types of maniples, but by and large you would field at least 3 Titans in a single maniple, up to a maximum of 5. Some focus on fielding nothing but Warhounds, some field nothing but Reavers, others encourage a balanced mix (the Axiom Maniple being the most common, fielding 2 Warhounds, a Reaver and a Warlord), or others leaning toward heavier Titans (like the Myrmidon Maniple with 2 Warlords and a Reaver). Each maniple has its favored doctrines (which comes in the form of bonuses in the game). Usually these Titan maniples fight alongside Knight banners, basically lances of subordinate Knight Houses dedicated to battling alongside Titans or allied Knight Houses fielding an entire Court to repay a debt or earn a favor or just because they feel honored to fight alongside these God-machines.

The princeps controls the Titan via a mind impulse unit, linking his mind with that of his metal steed, and having the god-engine become his own flesh and body. The Titan also possesses its own machine spirit, and its personality, such as aggressiveness, impatience and violent urges, can influence the princeps. The preceding princeps who formerly commanded the Titan also lend their personalities to the machine as well. So only the most gifted and strong-willed of men can become princeps controlling their own Titans. Not only that, the damage the Titan suffers rebounds as psycho-stigmatic wounds on the princeps, so no tanking hits the way a Gundam pilot does. Beware if you suffer a critical hit or reactor leak, for this can have repercussions on your Titan as the battle goes on!

The Titan crew also includes the moderati, which is my favorite position, thanks to Moderati Tarses from Titanicus, and who doesn't love firing the devastating weapons mounted on a hulking metal colossus? Plus I don't need to experience the damned psycho-stigmatic feedback. The moderatii man the sensors or the Titan weapons, all working together to locate the enemy before firing upon them. There are also Tech-Priests in the plasma generator room, assisted by servitors to ensure the enginr doesn't blow up. Of course, depending on the size of a Titan, the size of the crew would wary as well, so you can have about 5 dudes manning a Warhound Titan while 12 dudes would be required to run a single Warlord.

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Titan Legions have their own Skitarii maniples escorting them as foot soldiers. Necessary as both meatshields and cannon fodder.
The Titan Legions are not restricted solely to the mighty god-engines. Being established in Forge Worlds, the Titan Legions also have Skitarii, Secutarii and Secularis fighting in their shadow, carrying out the battlefield duties which the Titans are too huge to taking objectives, seizing stuff, capturing data or enemy equipment, etc. There also Forge Worlds, such as the infamous Draconis IV, whose Titan Legion Legio Draconis march to war alongside allied Knight Houses, in this case being House Yato, and to a certain extent House Uesugi and House Takeda, all three originating from the Knight world of Draconis III. The Dark Dragons have their own vassal Knight House, House Kanda, which is a branch of House Yato. The smaller, faster-moving Knights would move forward, preceding the apocalyptic power their larger Titan brethren can bring to bear, and usually take care of enemy vehicles and infantry, allowing the Titans to concentrate on other Titans or other super-heavy enemies. Like the Hierophant. This is also reflected in the rules of Adeptus Titanicus, where you can bring Knight banners to help your Titans out, though I tend to end up playing a full Knight Household Army with a single supporting Titan than the other way round (usually people play Titan Maniples with supporting Knight banners).

And if you want to learn about the split between the Collegia Titanica into Loyalist and Traitor Legions during the Horus Heresy, you can read the novels. I would specifically recommend Mechanicum by Graham McNeill, as it details the treachery of Legio Mortis, the Death-Heads, and the valiant resistance put up by the noble Legio Tempestus as they tried to save the Loyalist factions on Mars from utter destruction...only to fail. They did take out a huge chunk of the bastard Legio Mortis, though, ensuring that the wounded Imperator Titan, Aquila Ignis, didn't escape destruction when Koriel Zeth flooded her Magma City with magma and destroyed the Traitor Titans, their treacherous Skitarii and Dark Mechanicum forces. Can you say awesome? Read that novel now. That's an order.

Also, if you have the chance, play Adeptus Titanicus too. It's an amazing game with awesome models. Since I couldn't afford a Warlord Titan in 28mm scale, I got the smaller version, and I'm happy with him.'s time to buy myself a Warmaster Titan! Oh, and I have a page on my own homebrewed Titan Legion, the Legio Draconis, "The Dark Dragons", if you're interested. Which I doubt, but homebrew stuff is more for personal satisfaction than for other people to ready anyway.

Anyway, click on the links below for the other branches of the Mechanicum: