Releasing the entire line of Astartes buggy vehicles, but they will be split between the leigon threads for each individual variant, including a page in the 'Armies of the Machine God' thread for the stolen Martian redesign. As for this vehicle, it is the Barrage, the progenitor design all others derive from. So without further ado,
Berserkers of Uran 'Barrage' Light Assault Vehicle
A heavy and formidable light assault vehicle, the Barrage is a creation of the VIIth Legion as a successor to the Angel Hunting squads of Uran. A Squat vehicle that lies low on it's suspension the Barrage has considerable armour plating on both the front and sides of the vehicle, with the a double thermic combustor powering it. The back of the vehicle is a flatbed with a mounting for a single heavy weapon, in the case of the Berserkers this is an autocannon. With a protective metal shield, spare ammunition case slots and a targeting link the gunner is well provisioned to take on any threats they come up against. In this configuration the Barrage is used as both a scout vehicle as well as a harassment unit against enemy formations, funnelling any forces into the main charge of the Berserker front lines.
Dating back to the early days of Raktra's reign, light vehicles were a must for the people of Uran, whether for scouting tunnel systems or to provide a ferocious flanking and anti-air platform during the Angelic purges.
The original buggies were retrofitted by prison gangs using a mix of mining scout vehicles and prison guard patrol vehicles, fitted with all manner of scavenged equipment and weapons. This usually meant mounting auspexes, armour plating or a heavy rivet gun or riot cannon as it's main armament. These ramshackle vehicles proved useful, being able to rapidly scout and flank rival gangs. Though they mainly saw use as an ambush weapon, able to tear gang hideouts to shreds and disappear in seconds.
Their first major test would be during the first assault of the Angels on the surface of Uran. Presenting a massed force before the Angel's mountains the mismatched army stood proud as they set to tear the monsters from the sky. After bloody hours of fighting Raktra withdrew with the remains of his forces, both himself and his remnant troops alive, but bloodied badly at the hands of the beasts. While they had lost the battle, but would certainly not lose the war.
During the infighting and subsequent expansion of the White Devil's domain the Primarch saw too it that all his forces were armed and armoured in the best Uran manufacturing could produce, and this stood true for the progenitor of the Barrage. Increasing armour, providing proper, standardised weaponry the 'Angel-Bane' as it became known, it became hunter, capable of blowing their feathered enemies from the sky.
As is written in whatever remains of the Uran's history books, the second assault against the Angels quickly proved Raktra's dominance. As the bloody 4 days that followed saw every last Angel hunted from the surface of Uran and their race reduced to trophies looted and attached to the Angel-Bane teams that scoured the surrounding mountains and plains to make sure they were relegated to history.
In the interim between the Angel purge and the final version produced by the Legion's Techmarines, Raktra claimed his rightful place amongst the Imperium, and sought to create a legion in his own image. Shunning the Shepards of Eden and their ideals as part of his moulding of the new legion was incorporating designs and tactics he has used on Uran, one of which was turning the old Angel-Bane into a light assault vehicle worthy of his new superhuman troops.
With heavy plating, thunderous old-tech engines and vicious weaponry combined, the resulting redesign proved itself to be a monster of the making only Uran could produce. Speeding to the flanks of enemy formations they were used to harass and direct an enemy into the main Berserker assault. Laying down withering barrages of autocannon fire they quickly decimated infantry formations, destroying just enough of the enemy to provoke a counter-attack before retreating. It was this hit-and-run style and the hails of autocannon fire that inspired it's name, and once given, every Berserker who has used them since can agree that 'Barrage' is the only word for it.
922.M30 - The Red Sand Disgrace
Sometime later during the Great Crusade, there was an incident that almost saw the Berserkers at the throats of the Mechanicus. During a diplomatic visit by the Mechanicus to Uran the envoy, Arch-Magos Kalik-Phi120, and his associates were given tours of various hive manufactorum and the newly founded Berserker facilities. During the tours of the Berserker facilities a group of Mechanicus from the Sigma-Cant Covenant that were part of the entourage, lead by Sollix Basilir disappeared for a time. At the end of the proceedings Arch-Magos Kalik and his associates departed back to Mars and the connections and promises made with the VIIth Legion seemed to form the foundation of a future relationship.
It was later discovered by the Legion's Techmarines that Sollix Basilir and his Covenant had the audacity to break into their armouries cogitators and databanks. Hungry for knowledge they had scoured several legionary archives, taking a significant amount of data on several projects including the Barrage. This slight was considered so heinous that it was passed up the hierarchy, landing at the feet of Overlord Nychus. Enraged, he allowed direct challenges to be levelled by several of the Legion's champions at Sollix and his cohort, to face his accusers and die with honour, all of which were ignored. In response to the accusation and evidence provided the Martian envoy and several of the ruling Magos Superioris of Mars promised that Sollix would be punished accordingly, stripped of his titles and shamed for his transgressions. It was already clear however that these were mere platitudes to soothe the Berserkers rage, and that their plans were likely already spreading through Mars.
Within several decades the Mechanicus had produced and manufactured a simplified and inferior light vehicle with design specifications clearly torn from the Berserker's own. Seeing their own heritage and work paraded amongst the other legions as cheap copies, this was brought to the attention of Raktra himself, who ordered the Arch-Magos of his Hooded Guillotine to his chambers to help find a resolution. Little is known of the meeting that occurred between the two, but several hours later, after the sounds of berserk fury from within calmed down, and the Arch-Magos made a hasty exit, change swiftly following him. Within several years the production of the now named “Ajax” scout vehicle was reduced to a fraction of it's original output. By Martian standards this still allowed multiple legions to be equipped with small numbers of the plagiarised design, but seemed to appease the slight done to the VIIth as it was never mentioned again. To those who know the legion however, would not be surprised to learn that Martian-Berserker relations soured to the point of non-existence following the incident, with most legionaries openly dismissing the Mechanicus as nothing more than scavengers and thieves from then on.
To upgrade the Angel-Bane design to Legiones Astartes standards would require a lot of time and resources, but allowed the spirit of the Legion to carry on from it's new roots of Uran. The chassis and armour were upgraded with more advanced materials such as adamantium and ceramite, the engine taken from the Rhino STC proved potent and the weaponry swapped from stubbers and las weaponry to armour-piercing autocannons. While the overall design is a stocky, squat four-wheeled layout the engine provides more than enough power, allowing it to rely on speed and support the role of a harassment tool. With 2 seats for the driver and navigator/secondary gunner, a reinforced plastek wind-shield, and a flatbed section in the rear housing the heavy weapon mount and spare ammunition the crew are well supplied and reasonably protected. Overall the heavier armour is offset by the engine's sheer size, allowing it to be fast and well protected, while it does lack in the weaponry department a little even a single autocannon with various round and a good gunner is a formidable opponent that shouldn't be overlooked.
The main weapon for the Barrage is a singular turret mounted autocannon, placed on the rear of the vehicle. The weapon itself is mounted on an articulated arm attached to the floor of the vehicle, allowing it to be moved and accurately fired in almost every direction. The weapon mounting has two ammunition storage units on either side, allowing a gunner to have more or different ammunition at the ready for a variety of targets and a quicker reload time. The front of the gun mount also has a personal shield for the gunner, this is usually cut out in the shape of the Angels once fought on Uran, or decorated with various symbols and designs imitating them. Also integrated is a external lead system, allowing the marine gunner to interface the weapon with his own auto-senses and targeting algorithms for a marked increase in accuracy, especially against aerial targets.
The autocannon itself is a single-barreled version of the Reaper autocannon normally mounted on terminator armour. The design itself is very compact, especially when reduced to a single-barrel configuration, and as proved during testing, it has a very high rate of fire, which is where the vehicles name 'Barrage' originated from. The combination of a high rate-of-fire along with the heavy ammunition used means that the weapon does have some nasty recoil, which partially necessitated the articulated mount to be installed.
To allow for the main role as a harassing unit to be fulfilled, a gunner is provided with a variety of ammunition types, with armour-piercing and high-explosive rounds being the mainstay due to their potency against infantry. Various other ammunition types can be requisitioned such as Halo rounds with thermobaric payloads or flakk rounds for anti-air targets.
A secondary weapon can be mounted for the passenger, this usually consists of a storm bolter, melta, or flame weapon on a small articulated mount that can be locked in place for stowage. A few spare magazines or canisters can be stored on the passenger side to allow the secondary armament to remain operational for longer.
The control systems for the vehicle are relatively simple like most other vehicles, with a steering system, small vehicular auspex and vox system fulfilling the basic needs of the vehicle. The auspex and vox system are somewhat interlinked using a cogitator to link the local area data network and any outside data such as the planetary vox network. This provide a small screen between the driver and passenger with everything they need. Unit positions and enemy movements as well as the Barrage's data providing a clear display of the battlefield, allowing the Berserkers to react appropriately to new orders or take advantage of enemies.
With the allowance of integration between the gunner and the autocannon mount, one thing that has been remarked upon is the weapons machine spirit, in particular it's propensity to favour aerial targets over land based ones. It has been found through various campaigns that when Barrage gunners engage with air units the weapon seems to act far more aggressively, as if eager to cut down anything with wings. While it has been said that this could be a 'learned' response from the gunners impressing upon the weapon's machine spirit, it is not entirely certain why they seem to favour them over other targets.
The armour used in the Barrage consists of a mixture of materials, with the skeleton of the vehicle being made up from adamantium, while the outer armour is layered ceramite. Despite the heavy nature of ceramite, especially when added in layers the engine more than compensates for the extra weight. This allows for a marked increase in protection for the crew, with several reinforced sections around the driver and passenger sides as well as a set of optional inserts for the bed at the back. The insets use pegs to allow ceramite plates to be slid into place around the outer edge, giving the gunner more protection and making it harder for an enemy to get onto the rear platform.
Smoke launchers are also present in two mounts, one facing forwards while the other is mounted on the turret shield, with two canisters per launcher. Launched individually a single smoke grenade can cover a large area, allowing the vehicle to break line of sight with an enemy and flank them or withdraw.
The Barrage can be upgraded in some minor ways to expand it's utility and capability on the battlefield, the first of these is simply adding footholds. Footholds and arm-bars can be added to the vehicle to allow Berserkers to hold onto the side of the vehicle while it moves. This allows a small squad to be transported and dropped off, perfect for getting reconnaissance and flanking units into place quickly and easily.
In true VIIth Legion style a ram can also be added to the front of the vehicle, consisting of two angled slabs of adamantium they hook onto the frame of the Barrage and can be used to plough through enemy formations or defences. Some in the legion have taken to modifying the rams, setting rows of chain-teeth into the adamantium plates. Needless to say this ends up causing a considerable mess and damage to any infantry unfortunate enough to be run down by the vehicle.
For more utility several loading racks and mounts can be added to the outer armour, which can be loaded with all manner of ammunition, explosives, supplies or fuel. This has also allowed for the Berserkers to use a long-running tactic, going back to the days of hunting angels during the purge. Two mounts on the rear of the vehicle are designed to hold large drums full of promethium, with a small panel on the back that, when opened, allows the fuel to spill out behind the vehicle as it's moving. By leaving trails of promethium over the battlefield a single Barrage can ignite the fuel and cut off or corral an enemy with the resulting fire wall. This is commonly know as 'Letting the Angels breathe' amongst Barrage crews, hearkening back to the ethereal flames spewed out by the beasts that plagued Uran for so long.
Type: Scout Vehicle, Light Assault Vehicle
Vehicle Name: Barrage
World of Origin: Uran
Known Patterns: N/A
Crew: 1 Driver, 1 Gunner, 1 Navigator
Powerplant: Twin MkV Thermic Combustor Reactors
Weight: 7 tonnes
On Road: 136km/h (85mph)
Off Road: 96km/h (60mph)
Main Armament: Syrtis Pattern Autocannon
Secondary Armament: Storm Bolter (Optional)
Main Ammunition: 90 HE rounds, 160 AP Rounds
Secondary Ammunition: 400 rounds
Due to the nature of the Red Sands Disgrace, there are derivatives of the Barrage in the Imperial arsenal, they fall under the umbrella of the Martian redesigned Ajax prototype.
Wiki Entry: https://botl.fandom.com/wiki/Barrage
Edited by Darkcommander, 02 June 2019 - 09:53 PM.