|Titans are awesome. Yes, they are. Embrace the God-Machines of the Imperium!|
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.
|Read Titanicus by Dan Abnett. Seriously, it's an awesome book.|
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.
|Titan Legions have their own Skitarii maniples escorting them as foot soldiers. Necessary as both meatshields and cannon fodder.|
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.
Anyway, click on the links below for the other branches of the Mechanicum: