Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"
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.
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...
Monday, April 5, 2021
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 organizers and participants who made this a reality even during Covid-19 circumstances! It was a lot of fun, and it was great to see everyone. I'm so glad I joined the fun, and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. Nonetheless, it is my honor to present to you a battle report for the Janus Campaign!
We were basically waging war on a planet called Janus...apparently, the Warmaster sent a huge detachment of Traitors to invade Janus because of its strategic importance - it is an industrial (hive?) world that manufactures vehicles and ammunition for the Imperium, and Horus Lupercal wishes to seize the resources for himself. To achieve that end, he dispatches Angron of all people, along with the Red Angel's own World Eaters and a large contingent of Iron Warriors led by Perturabo, plus supporting militia. The engimatic Thousand Sons company, following their Magister Ruhak, also end up helping the Traitor cause, and to ensure the annihilation of the Loyalist defenders, Horus also diverted several maniples of Warhound Titans bearing the colors of Legio Audax.
The Lion apparently heard the astropathic distress calls for help and detoured a sizable detachment of his fleet to Janus. Saghuri Khan's Brotherhood from the White Scars too find themselves on Janus, reinforcing a Loyalist Iron Warriors detachment that is led by Warsmith Telecus, who stubbornly stands in defiance of his Traitor brothers under the command of Warsmith Sekor van Ultragos. They are further reinforced by the Tallarn Imperial Army regiment, commanded by Colonel Abdi Al-Bashir. And of course, you have my Imperial Knights from House Yato of Draconis III, lorded by Daimyo Yato Yousuke in his venerable Cerastus Knight Lancer, Yatogami.
Funnily enough, Janus first came under attack by orks from Waaagh! Gorzag, the ambitious warboss smashing his roks into the barren deserts of the Seeryik Wastes Empire, famed for its fuel refineries and promethium wells. There, Saghuri Khan's White Scars raced to meet them on their jetbikes, and after a gruelling battle against scrap vehicles, smoking bikes and heavily armored nobz, they finally slew the savage warboss and purged Janus of all xenos taint.
Meanwhile, Warsmith Telecus was placed in charge of the defense of the Hegemonic Kingdoms of Januslaw, fortifying the bastion and repelling a brual World Eaters assault. The early victories of the Imperium solidified their grip on the heavy artillery complexes in the Hegemonic Kingdoms and offered the citizens of Janus some hope, though the elation wouldn't last long.
Warsmith Telecus then relocated his forces up to the northeast, having learned that his Traitorous brother, Sekor van Ultragos, intend to invade Sar Molitor and gain access to its transportation hubs. Unfortunately, his resistance was crushed brutally by the tactically astute and ruthless van Ultragos, who overran his brethren and dealt a blow to the Loyalists.
To make matters worse, Legio Audax had landed in the Ulanti Conglomerate with overwhelming force, trampling over all resistance and claiming the tank factories for the Traitors. Legio Draconis, who were stationed there, were ambushed and outnumbered vastly by several maniples of Warhound Titans, and despite the best efforts of their allied Knight lances House Yato to valiantly extricate them, the single maniple of three Titans (a Reaver and 2 Warlords) fell to the precisely coordinated plasma barrage from the merciless Warhound Titans. With that, the Loyalist Titans were annihilated off the face of Janus, and Legio Audax ran supreme, losing only three Warhound Titans in exchange for destroying 3 much larger foes. Fortunately, even though they failed to save their Titan allies, the vast majority of Imperial Knights survived, retreating and swearing vengeance on Legion Audax for this disgrace.
Unfortunately, the two major losses marked the start of brewing dissent within the population of Janus. Even in the Hegemonic Kingdoms of Januslaw, firmly held in the hands of Loyalist, whispers of fear and resentment drifted along war-torn cities, with beleaguered citizens wondering if they had made the right choice to stand by the Imperium.
Imperial morale was dealt another blow when the World Eaters boarded and seized the Battleplate Platform above the atmosphere of Janus. Despite the Loyalist Iron Warriors having garrisoned the orbital defense platform, they were swiftly overrun and butchered by the berserk warriors of the XII Legion. With the Battleplate Platform under Traitor control, they were given free reign to rain down lance strikes anywhere on the surface of Janus.
All was not lost, however, for Colonel Abdi Al-Bashir had arrived with an entire regiment of Imperial Army armor, the 236th armored host rolling over the granite rock of the Nor Col Conclaves. While Al-Bashir had come to Janus in order to answer a debt, for the tank regiments of Janus had come to their aid during the defense of Tallarn, he had a more personal reason. His vendetta against the Iron Warriors for despoiling his homeworld had driven him to seek them out for vengeance. However, instead of the IV Legion, the Tallarn armor came across the mysterious Magister, Ruhak, whose Fellowship of Thousand Sons had somehow found their way in Janus. What their purpose was, only the Thousand Sons knew, for they retreated in the face of the relentless armored assault of the Tallarns.
Meanwhile, the Knights of House Yato, having retreated from the Ulanti Conglomerate in the face of fierce firepower from numerous Warhound Titans, attempted to regain their honor by assasulting the Goetian Syndicated States, which were defended by the Iron Warriors that Al-Bashir was looking for. This time, Perturabo himself personally took charge of the IV Legion as he masterfully fortified the sprawling cities of the Goetian Syndicates, erecting bastions and fortresses that were heavily protected by void shields. Buoyed by their victory over the Loyalists among their brethren and believing them to be purged, the Iron Warriors assaulted the Knights with heavy weapons. Fortunately, their ion shields allowed them to deflect most of the anti-tank barrages, and they eventually overran the Iron Warriors, even grievously wounding Perturabo and forcing him to retreat, escorted off by his Iron Havocs - for even his Tyrant Siege Terminators were unable to withstand the incredibly devastating power of the Knights. The gravitor singularity cannon of the Cerastus Knight Atrapos had created two swirling vortexes in the Iron Warriors' line, sucking any unfortunate legionnaire into a black hole, while the sheer volume of firepower from the thermal cannon, battle cannon and Avenger Gatling cannons from a pair of Knights Crusader mowed down the Primarch and his entourage of Tyrant Siege Terminators. Perturabo would play no further part in the campaign, having been evacuated off planet in order to recuperate. The Knights' victory was not without cost, however, for at least six of their venerable machines had been downed in the brutal firefight against the IV Legion's deadly siege weaponry, which included Perturabo's personal super-heavy Tormentor tank that...uh, tormented the stalwart scions of House Yato. With the Iron Warriors in flight and their Primarch mortally injured, the surviving Knights began to gleefully tear down the meticulously crafted bastions, hacking through ceramite and plasteel with their reaper chainswords.
However, the Imperium had stood steadfast and weathered most of the Traitor assault so far. There was more cause for optimism when a fleet of Dark Angels, led by Lion El'Jonson himself. The first thing they did was to assault the Battleplate Platform, in order to deny the Traitors the use of their orbital lance weaponry. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of Silas Estrael and his Stormwing boarders, they were unable to repel the Iron Warriors stationed there, the siege masters of the IV Legion having turned their genius into turning the orbital defense platform into a deadly maze of traps and ambushes. Even though Estrael's boarders fought their way to a bloody stalemate, the Battlefront Platform remained firmly in Traitors' hands.
The Loyalist Iron Warriors, in order to make up for the debacle in the Battleplate Platform, launched an attack on the Ulanti Conglomerate. Teleclus's ambitious schemes would see his battered grand battalion acquire much-needed tanks, but his strategy was thwarted yet again by a ferocious assault from the World Eaters and a single Warhound Titan from Legio Audax. Teleclus's battalion had nothing that could stand up to the immense firepower of a Titan, especially when his tanks were blown up in salvo after salvo of turbo laser destructor fire. The Loyalist Warsmith voxed for reinforcements, but his allies were embroiled in other assaults and couldn't break off to help him. Suffering another bitter setback, Teleclus was forced to withdraw, unable to reclaim any tanks for his grand battalion's use. Ironically enough, the World Eaters couldn't be bothered with the tanks, their infantry recklessly hurling themselves at Teleclus's retreating gunlines, ignoring the risks of getting disintegrated by friendly fire from their allied Warhound Titan.
While a single detachment of Iron Warriors held the Battleplate Platform, the IV Legion had sent a much larger militarized force to invade the Hegemonic Kingdoms of Januslaw, partially as revenge for their bitter defeat at the Goetian Syndicated States, though most of them cared not that their Primarch was slowly recuperating in orbit. Fortunately, Teleclus had foreseen this and had fortified the Hegemonic Kingdoms well, and the Sprakkan Combine stationed there held off the brutal attack, weathering artillery and siege weaponry.
Meanwhile, the Knights of House Yato responded to a distress call from the Seeryik Wastes Empire, sending two lances to investigate. There, the smaller lance found Magister Ruhak conducting a ritual. The Knights were at first badly outmatched by the Thousand Sons' psychic powers, Spartan asssault tank and Sicaran Venator tank destroyer, but when a Cerastus Knight Atrapos blew up from the zealous use of psychic power, he scattered into the Magister and his accompanying Terminators, obliterating them instantly. With only one Questoris Knight and one Armiger Knight Moirax left, the former managed to angle his ion shield and deflect the tremendous anti-tank firepower from the pursuing Sicaran Venator tank destroyer, retreating to safety. The casualties were not without cause, for the beleaguered Knights had successfully halted Ruhak's ritual and put a stop to whatever the engimatic warlock was scheming.
Meanwhile, the bigger lance of Knights encountered two Warhound Titans who had strayed away from their brethren, one of which had taken part in the siege of the Ulanti Conglomerate earlier. Having been sent by the Princeps Senioris of Legio Audax to scout the Wastes Empire after defending the Ulanti Conglomerate, the two Warhound Titans were running reconnaissance before the Knights of House Yato ran into them, almost by accident. Seizing the opportunity to take revenge for the disgrace they suffered earlier at the Ulanti Conglomerate, the lance of Knights ran down the two Warhound Titans and successfully slew them, thus regaining a huge measure of their honor and also taking revenge for Teleclus, having responded to his request for aid too late. It mattered to them not that they outnumbered the scout Titans, for the Emperor only acknowledged results.
For a time, it appeared that the Imperium might prevail, but disaster struck.
The Sprakkan Combine, just only having thrown off the Traitor Iron Warriors' assault earlier, suddenly defected, declaring for the Warmaster. Dissension had reached its peak and the weary defenders were sick of the fighting, or dying for an uncaring Emperor nowhere to be seen. Apalled, Teleclus returned to reclaim the Hegemonic Kindgom for the Imperium, but he found his own skillfully constructed defenses turned against his forces and he was forced to retreat once more, licking his wounds and cursing his misfortune. Meanwhile, the Sprakkan Combine, having defeated the Legiones Astartes not once but twice, began to seriously consider their ambitious schemes of conquering the whole of Janus and unifying the planet under the rule of the Hegemonic Kingdoms.
The Dark Angels had attempted to asault Sar Molitor, only to find the surviving Thousand Sons forces there. The bulk of their infantry had remained in Sar Molitor, having sent their armor to the Seeryik Wastes Empire earlier, and despite a ferocious attack, the Dark Angels were unable to dislodge the stubborn Thousand Sons from their position, their kine barriers and telekinetic might holding strong against the sons of the Lion.
Meanwhile, a large detachment of Imperial Knights was transported to Janus's moon, Cerberus, which had come under assault by the Iron Warriors. While they cleared most of the mortal militia that were used as chaff by the vicious IV Legion, they were unable to repel the Terminator-suited veterans in the void. Despite the majority of the Knights surviving, they were forced to break off the assault, Imperial Command having recalled them to the surface of Janus for one last colossal clash. The strategicians reasoned that the moon was no longer of any strategic importance, and instead prioritized the reclamation of Janus. Though they were loathed to leave the battle unfinished, the Scions of House Yato were zealously loyal to the Emperor and His representatives, and thus they grudgingly left Cerberus in the hands of Traitors and returned to their bulk landers to prepare for a return to Janus. The Traitor Iron Warriors, having suffered colossal casualties after being razed by the Knights and obliterated by the Sprakkan Combine on the surface of the planet earlier, opted to withdraw. Pertuarbo, growing surly at being left out of the fight while he was forced to convalescence, ordered his sons to withdraw, which they bitterly heeded. By now, the only Iron Warriors that remained in the Janus system were Loyalists.
Shortly after that, a blitzkrieg assault by the White Scars broke the lines of World Eaters still massing at the Ulanti Conglomerate. Saghuri Khan, having finally answered Teleclus's repeated requests for assistance, took the head of Gladiator Champion Crucius Pire, driving the XII Legion out of the tank factories and allowing the beleaguered Loyalist Iron Warriors to finally replenish their dwindling supply of tanks. The White Scars then mysteriously pulled out, Saghuri Khan having to fulfill another vow to his wife so that he could get back home to Chogoris in time for Easter...ahem, I mean his Stormseer heard the call of their Primarch and they pulled out quickly before their bewildered allies could so much as thank them, their fleet slipping away unnoticed by both Loyalists and Traitors.
The fate of Janus would all rest on one, single climactic battle in the ruins of the Ulanti Conglomerate, with the Traitors seeking revenge, first the World Eaters for being driven out of the tank factories, Legio Audax en route to the Seeyrik Wastes Empire when they discovered the loss of two of their engines, the Thousand Sons for their own enigmatic reasons, and the traitor militia of the Hegemonic Kingdoms of Januslaw, realizing that they need the tank factories of their Conglomerate were they to solidify their reign over the whole of Janus. The Traitors opted for a massed armor assault, Traitor Secutarii Hoplites escorting three braying Warhound Titans of Legio Audax, and the treacherous Sprakkan tank regiments rolling out en masse to confront the armored might of the Tallarn. The World Eaters, led by Angron, largely chose to stage an orbital assault, with the Red Angel shepherding his sons into drop pod and Kharybdis assault claws. Angron strapped himself into one of these massive drop pods, accompanied by an elite retinue of Terminators. What remained of the Loyalist Iron Warriors had gathered next to the Dark Angels to weather one final storm, having replenished their ranks with a Fellblade. Lion El'Jonson himself took to the field, escorted by a slew of Dreadnoughts, both Loyalist Iron Warrors and Dark Angels.
Unfortunately, the devastating firepower of the Titans and Sprakkan super-heavy tanks was far too much to bear. The Tallarn regiment lost their super-heavy tanks after volleys of plasma and turbo-laser fire obliterated them. Fortunately, the Baneblade, Shadowsword, Leman Russ Vanquishers and Fellblades managed to take down one of the Warhound Titans. But most of the Tallarn tanks lay in smoking ruins, the Iron Warriors and Dark Angels suffering further casualties when drop pods of World Eaters slammed down into their lines, spilling berserk warriors that hacked through everybody they saw. To complicate things, Thousand Sons Terminators teleported into their ranks, attempting to assassinate Lion El'Jonson himself.
Then the Knights of House Yato arrived.
Having deployed from Cerberus after a hasty retreat from the departing Iron Warriors, the bulk lander carrying the Knight suits braved through volleys of anti-air flak, the pilot heroically weaving through shells and las to deposit the precious cargo in Loyalist lines. The ramp slammed down and the Knights poured out, charging at the Warhound Titans in revenge for their defeat earlier at Ulanti Conglomerate, as well as to finish the task that they had started at the Seeryik Wastes Empire prior to their redeployment to Cerberus. In the skies, an Avenger Strike Fighter bearing the colors of Tallarn and a Loyalist Iron Warriors Xiphon inteceptor dueled with a Thousand Sons Fire Raptor.
The first thing the Knights did was to cleanse the area of World Eaters and Traitor Sprakkan Combine, a combination of their ranged weaponry, reaper chainswords and stomps obliterating Red Butchers, berserk legionnaires and mortals alike, relieving the beleaguered tactical squads of the Dark Angels and Iron Warriors. One particulaly brave Sprakkan sergeant attempted to throw a melta bomb on a Knight, and he was rewarded for his insane bravery when the machine's adamantium plates buckled from the intense heat. Unfortunately, his triumph did not last long, for he was stomped into oblivion by the furious pilot. The lance of Knights then slowly turned their fire toward the Warhound Titans, whose void shields flickered before finally collapsing under the volume of high ordnance shots.
However, even with reinforcement from the Knights, the Loyalists were still outgunned and outmatched. This changed when the World Eaters, so caught up in their rage, began murdering Sprakkan guardsmen in a frenzy. Caught entirely by suprise when their erstwhile allies turned on them, the Sprakkan abhumans were massacred. Realizing the World Eaters could no longer distinguish between friends and foe, the horrified Sprakkans began retreating en masse in a disorderly fashion, leaving themselves open to a merciless onslaught from the remaining Loyalists, who were determined to make them pay for their treachery. It was a lesson the Sprakkans learned the hard way, for they now knew that the Warmaster was just as aloof, uncaring and dismissive of their lives as the Emperor. Worse, the insane Traitors were more likely to turn on them and offer them as blood offerings to whatever mad god they worshipped than simply expending their lives to win a war in a cold and methodical fashion.
Concerted shooting by the surviving Tallarn tanks and the Knights wore down the second Warhound Titan before it was finished off by a brave Tallarn commander, his Dracosan speeding forward to shell the staggering engine and finishing it off once and for all. The victory did not come without cost, however, as both Fellblades had been destroyed and the Sprakkan Shadowsword was rolling upward. Meanwhile, Lion El'Jonson slew the Thousand Sons Terminators who sought to assassinate him, pulling his sword out of the praetor's corpse in contempt. With another of their leaders brutally killed again, the surviving Thousand Sons had enough and quit the battlefield, deserting the dwindling number of Traitors on the battlefield. Whatever they had come to Janus to do, they must have realized that they would never be able to realize it now, so they decided to cut their losses. Moreover, they had seen the pointless slaughter of Sprakkan soldiers, and they had grown disillusioned with their allies.
Though two Knights fell, the Cerastus Knight Atrapos opened up a vortex with a shot from his graviton singularity cannon, the miniature black hole enveloping the final Warhound Titan and crushing its bulk into scrap (basically rolled a 6 on the Strength D table).
While the battle raged on, Lion El'Jonson and Angron finally met in the middle of the wrecked city. There, the two brothers clashed, and after an epic duel, the Lion finally laid the Red Angel low, his skill at arms being superior. Just like Peturabo before him, Angron was carried off by his elite Terminators while the heavily wounded Lion El'Jonson hurled curses at him, promising to finish him off the next time they met, be it Terra or anywhere else. Despite their fallen Primarch's rage and their lust for battle, the World Eaters found themselves surrounded by the triumphant Knights of House Yato, Yato Yousuke's venerable Cerastus Knight Lancer having smashed through a building to spear the remaining Shadowsword with his shock lance and flipping it onto its back. Deserted by their allies, both the Sprakkan Combine and Thousand Sons leaving the battlefield in horror and disgust, the World Eaters were forced to into a hasty exit, following the Traitor Iron Warriors' fleet into the warp.
Janus thus remained firmly in Loyalists' hands, the vital industrial world denied to the Warmaster. Horus's ambitions would not be realized here, two of his brothers having suffered grievously in this campaign. The Loyalists had sustained just as horrific, if not worse casualties. Millions lay dead in the rubble, and the number of Knight armor suits of House Yato was further diminished by attrition. The 236th Tallarn was a shadow of its former self, most of its vehicles obliterated and its reserves of super-heavies near empty. The Loyalist Iron Warriors under Teleclus was on the brink of annihilation, and Lion El'Jonson himself had not gotten off lightly. Whole companies of Dark Angel Legionnaires had been wiped out, mingled among the corpses of World Eaters and Thousand Sons. As for the White Scars, none knew of their fate, simply that they had gone to look for their Primarch.
In time, Janus would recover and be restored as a bastion world, its manufactorum once again producing great quantities of tanks, artillery and ammunition for the Imperium. But for many years following the Heresy, the people of Janus would struggle to rebuild. The rogue Sprakkan Combine regiments would be hunted down by the vengeful battalion of Loyalist Iron Warriors who would be permanently garrisoned there, where they would eventually split off from their parent Legion to form a successor Chapter of their own - one that would make heavy use of tanks and armor. The survivors of Janus also owed the Dark Angels, the Tallarns and House Yato a great debt, which they promise to repay later in the form of tanks, armor and even knight suits.
But first, they must cleanse their scar-pitted world of Traitors.