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TCFKA the Red Ravens - The StormCrows the "Villta Veiðin"


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#76
Ulrik_Ironfist

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The Chapter history you wrote, is acceptable. The StormCrows' relationship with their Primarch is well-written and detailed. I have questions about the following, though:

The 12th Chapter would rejoin their legion during the Horus Heresy, Serving Corax as shock troops and raiders.

Did the Chapter arrive before or after Alpha Legion infiltrators sabotaged the Raven Guard gene-seed supplies? Will the StormCrows suffer the same gene-seed instability as most Raven Guard successors? Or will they be like the Carcharodons Astra, unaffected because their Chapter was absent during the Alpha Legion infiltration?

 

I'm going to say after, since it would take time for them to train a militia to serve in their absence and they may not have been welcomed back as readily before the gene-seed corruption. Which might lead you to ask how willing the StormCrows would be to share their untainted gene-seed with their progenitors, and the answer to that is very.

 

The 12th Chapter of the XIXth legion are a proud lot. For them they wish to be immortalized in song and story, but their glory is also the Legion's glory, their shame is the legion's shame. They are proud, and thus also proud to be members of the XIXth. For them to be asked to give of themselves to Corax, is the greatest honor, it is the acceptance of them back into the fold. To be asked to contribute their untainted gene-seed back to the legion to assist them in overcoming the wrong done by the traitors would seem to them a bitter irony. It both means that their brothers have been wronged, but that they are the answer, where they once were the problem.

 

It would be a complex relationship, but ultimately, they gave their oath, their blood, for the Legion during the Unification wars and the Early days of the Great crusade, they are as much Raven Guard as any other.

 

Corax would accept his wayward sons back into the fold, not quite with open arms, but in dire need of them. They also served as a much needed infusion of hardened reinforcements. Having dealt with the traitors, chaos cults, and various dissidents during their long march to Deliverance (they took a circuitous route, chasing the XIXth from their new homeworlds in the Segmentum Tempestus, to  the various campaigns before Istvaan III, and ultimately back to Deliverance). Upon reuniting with the XIXth legion, the 12th Chapter would be resupplied with new armor, and would also take on the role as Corax's heavy assault force. They were elite force made up of veterans, and were expert warriors and had become extremely competent and professional soldiers. They would make extensive use of Cataphractii terminator suits, and their MkIV armor, as well as siege tanks and Contemptor dreadnoughts, using the direct assaults as cover the Veteran Tactical Squads would infiltrate the enemy defenses and sabotage their command and control, assassinate leaders and wreak havoc on supply lines, lending greater effectiveness to the frontal assaults, and allowing sieges to be easily broken.

 

Such tactics are still the primary focus of the StormCrows Chapter to this day. Though hard won experience has taught the men of the 12th to focus more on stealth. The 12th Chapter still maintains their armory of heresy era weapons, basalisk gun carriages and malcador heavy tanks still occupy the Chapter's motor pool, though due to Munitorum constraints, such assets can only be deployed by the Chapter Militia.

 

The Chapter Militia is a several regiment strong contingent of Troops, wholly under the authority of the StormCrows. They guard the Fortress Monastery, and they accompany company strike forces, providing fire support and armored support for the strike forces, as well as acting as the Quick Reaction Force, to assist the Astartes when a situation becomes mired. The Chapter Militia's stormtroopers fly in with their Valkyrie Transports and Vulture Gunships to assist their astartes masters creating openings for them to turn the tides or escape to regroup. This has been an arrangement which dates back to the Great Crusade when the StormCrows first found the worlds that would become their recruiting grounds.

 

Since their exile During the Great Crusade, great stresses placed on the members of the 12th would cause them to manifest several different conditions. There is an Increased rate of incidence of the condition known alternatively as either Ash Blindness or the Sable Brand (It described the same condition where an overly stressed astartes flies into a suicidal rage, killing until no enemies remain or the warrior is slain. The Terran Born Astartes Knew it as Ash Blindness, while the Deliverance Born astartes would call it the Sable Brand). Once a warrior has manifested the condition, they are more likely to relapse, and so they would be called the Berserkir and grouped into a company which would eventually become the first company the Einherjar. The other condition which would manifest is an increased incidence of psykers. Entire squads of marines would begin to manifest powers, becoming immensely strong, or a single marine would smite beasts to death with their mind. Some others would, in despair, call to the ancestors asking for protection and deliverance from their foes, only to be surrounded by spectral warriors who would tear their tormentors asunder, in an explosion of psychic force.

 

Over the Millennia, this has resulted in a large librarius of highly skilled and competent psykers. The Skalds are the most numerous, while the Scribes are the most revered. Once a skald has learned enough of the histories, and aged to a point where his wisdom outweighs his ability, does he become a scribe. The Scribes are the curators of the histories, and the vast reliquaries within the Rookery. Only the Eldest scribes know the entirety of what the StormCrows keep hidden, vast caches of Archaeotech weapons, as well as massive armories of Volkite weapons, enough to equip the battle lines of every Battle company. Many more treasures lay buried in those vaults...


Edited by Ulrik_Ironfist, 10 July 2020 - 06:14 AM.

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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#77
Ekim_Trub

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Loving this Chapter, and look forward to seeing more from you.

One problem you may have with their origin story, is one I encountered while working on my Sable Hawks (who have a similar origins), is that Corax never recalled any of the exiled fleets, even after the Dropsite Massacre. There does seem to be some suggestion that not all the nomad-predation fleets were a result of exilement, but instead they were sent out as pioneer/hunting forces. That is the route I plan on taking, so might be worth considering also?

(Oh, and I am a little bit jealous that you managed to translate roughly the same origins idea into word better than I ever could. 🙈🤣)


"We are nothing, just shadows.
We do not need credit, nor glory.
We serve. That is all."


#78
Ulrik_Ironfist

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Loving this Chapter, and look forward to seeing more from you.

Thanks. I'm having a lot of fun with it. I love world building.

 

 

One problem you may have with their origin story, is one I encountered while working on my Sable Hawks (who have a similar origins), is that Corax never recalled any of the exiled fleets, even after the Dropsite Massacre. There does seem to be some suggestion that not all the nomad-predation fleets were a result of exilement, but instead they were sent out as pioneer/hunting forces. That is the route I plan on taking, so might be worth considering also?

My idea is that Corax sent them away because they had difficulty adapting to his ideas about how to treat a conquered enemy. They didn't return because Corax recalled them, they returned because they had learned what Corax wanted them to, and they had heard what happened to their brothers, and returned of their own volition. Corax accepted them back, but they were not sought out. It was intended to be more of a soft exile, more of a "go wander and contemplate my lessons" rather than a "We'll kill you if you show your faces".

 

 

(Oh, and I am a little bit jealous that you managed to translate roughly the same origins idea into word better than I ever could. )

Thanks. I'm just used to writing, I took a lot of philosophy and history courses in college.

 

 



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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#79
Ekim_Trub

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I had played with the idea of coming back "because we heard the bad nees and want to help", but don't know how to do it without stepping on official lore. Would seem strange that Corax had extra forces that are not mentioned in the lore or deployed alongside the Legion.

You seem to have navigated that issue though.


"We are nothing, just shadows.
We do not need credit, nor glory.
We serve. That is all."


#80
Ulrik_Ironfist

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I had played with the idea of coming back "because we heard the bad nees and want to help", but don't know how to do it without stepping on official lore. Would seem strange that Corax had extra forces that are not mentioned in the lore or deployed alongside the Legion.

I kind of envisioned that they would function semi-autonomously. Basically Corax could ask them to take on missions and they would do so, but that they would also just act on their own initiative to ensure that the rest of the legion wouldn't have a hard time. Basically they just kind of faded in with the greater forces of the legion, and didn't really stand out.

 

 

You seem to have navigated that issue though.

I didn't really see it as an issue. Since there's a lot of leeway, in the lore.


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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#81
Ulrik_Ironfist

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I'm really having a lot of fun thinking about my Horus Heresy expansion of my army, and trying to envision how to make this feel like a heresy era force survived into the 41st millennia. Maybe not most of the individuals, but the methods, attitudes, and beliefs, handed down from one generation of Astartes to the Next, and make it seem like time hasn't changed them.

 

I would love for them to not be rigid adherents to the Codex Astartes, like maybe they kept their legion size squads, and organize their companies into battalions (a first, "battle" battalion, and a second "reserve" battalion), or just outright say that they're on crusade, and that they may expand beyond the scope of what the Codex Astartes allows. I would love them to feel like they are a Heresy era Legion Chapter, of three or four battalions each made up of four companies, each made up of four platoons, and each of those made up of four legion squads. But I feel like I'm constrained by the fluff of the codex astartes.



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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#82
gripschi

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Maybe this Help you a bit:

https://warhammer40k...ncipia_Belicosa

This "Codex" was the Foundation of the Old Legions, called the Organization "Terran Pattern".

I work atm with this Organisation too. Your's maybe too?

Its still a Old Chapter, they could still poses this Book. The New Codex Guidelines we're accepted but never truly implemt. They still Stick to there Old but proven Organization.

Edited by gripschi, 21 July 2020 - 08:39 AM.


#83
KBA

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But I feel like I'm constrained by the fluff of the codex astartes.


That’s the real trick, having the cool things we want for our chapters make sense and be plausible in the context of the established paracosm. To quote Octavulge, divergence from the Codex should happen if it needs to and because it had to. And when it does happen in non-first-founding chapters, the more divergent they are, they more they should suffer for it in the eyes of the Imperium, and the more it will strain relationships. Tough nut to crack!
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#84
Bjorn Firewalker

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I would love them to feel like they are a Heresy era Legion Chapter, of three or four battalions each made up of four companies, each made up of four platoons, and each of those made up of four legion squads. But I feel like I'm constrained by the fluff of the codex astartes.


You can justify the StormCrows keeping a Great Crusade era organization due to experience, i.e., the use of pre-Heresy organization and tactics allowed the Chapter to triumph in post-Heresy campaigns; isolation, i.e., the Chapter spent the Scouring fighting in areas where Warp travel and astropathic communications are uncertain, meaning they didn't receive a copy of the Codex Astartes until after Fulgrim slit Guilliman's throat in approx. M32, making it near-impossible to verify whether or not the Lord Regent actually ordered them to "Limit the Chapter according to the restrictions outlined in the Codex"; and semantic shenanigans, e.g., the fact a crusading Chapter may recruit above Codex-mandated limits in anticipation of heavy casualties (a loophole the Black Templars reportedly took advantage of, to have 6000 Marines instead of 1000), and the fact Techmarines and other support personnel aren't included in the count (one my own Iron-hearted Angels took advantage of to have 1800 Marines, as they have a large fleet, many flyers, and many tanks, all of which must be crewed).
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#85
Ulrik_Ironfist

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Maybe this Help you a bit:

https://warhammer40k...ncipia_Belicosa

This "Codex" was the Foundation of the Old Legions, called the Organization "Terran Pattern".

I work atm with this Organisation too. Your's maybe too?

Its still a Old Chapter, they could still poses this Book. The New Codex Guidelines we're accepted but never truly implemt. They still Stick to there Old but proven Organization.

That was very helpful. I think I will go with old legion organization.

 

 

 

But I feel like I'm constrained by the fluff of the codex astartes.


That’s the real trick, having the cool things we want for our chapters make sense and be plausible in the context of the established paracosm. To quote Octavulge, divergence from the Codex should happen if it needs to and because it had to. And when it does happen in non-first-founding chapters, the more divergent they are, they more they should suffer for it in the eyes of the Imperium, and the more it will strain relationships. Tough nut to crack!

 

Indeed. I think that my established lore works well, since they lost contact with the imperium after the end of the heresy period until m35, it would make sense that they would have continued to use the organization that had served them well for so long.

 

 

 

I would love them to feel like they are a Heresy era Legion Chapter, of three or four battalions each made up of four companies, each made up of four platoons, and each of those made up of four legion squads. But I feel like I'm constrained by the fluff of the codex astartes.


You can justify the StormCrows keeping a Great Crusade era organization due to experience, i.e., the use of pre-Heresy organization and tactics allowed the Chapter to triumph in post-Heresy campaigns; isolation, i.e., the Chapter spent the Scouring fighting in areas where Warp travel and astropathic communications are uncertain, meaning they didn't receive a copy of the Codex Astartes until after Fulgrim slit Guilliman's throat in approx. M32, making it near-impossible to verify whether or not the Lord Regent actually ordered them to "Limit the Chapter according to the restrictions outlined in the Codex"; and semantic shenanigans, e.g., the fact a crusading Chapter may recruit above Codex-mandated limits in anticipation of heavy casualties (a loophole the Black Templars reportedly took advantage of, to have 6000 Marines instead of 1000), and the fact Techmarines and other support personnel aren't included in the count (one my own Iron-hearted Angels took advantage of to have 1800 Marines, as they have a large fleet, many flyers, and many tanks, all of which must be crewed).

 

I like that explanation. I've already begun reorganizing my fluff. I'll have them "adapt" the codex to suit their needs. Adopting the color code for their battalions numbered 1-10, with 5 main line battalions, with another 5 reserve battalions. However below that they would keep the company structure, with 3 platoons, and a company body guard squad. But in the interests of remaining tactically flexible, they always deploy a task force, drawing from one or more battalions, and almost always ensuring that forces from the 4th battalion are included to act as quick response forces. Their Chapter militia would also serve as reinforcement, since they would be deploying a very sizeable force of astartes. Hard won experience showing them that the legion structure gave them vast resources to ensure victory. The adoption of the Primaris Marines would bring them back to Heresy era manning, seeing them fully manned to their full 5,000 strong number (10 battalions of 5x100 man Companies). They also view Kayvaan Shrike as a Delegatus of the legion, the master of the XIXth in Corax's stead. As such Shrike may lead them in battle and use them as necessary. The Administratum cannot do a full accounting of their number, as they are never all in one place at the same time, and since they are constantly running deployments to major warzones across the imperium, a census of their full number is impossible. Only the Storm Crows know their full number, and it is close to 5,000 astartes under arms.

 



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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#86
Ulrik_Ironfist

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The Great scouring saw many events occur. During this time contact with the 12th Chapter was lost. They were a sizeable force, They were rumored to have established a base of operations somewhere in the segmentum tempestus, but that was not confirmed until m35 when the StormCrows eventually reestablished contact. They had continued the great scouring, in secret, rooting out chaos cults and engaging traitor warbands.

 

They had kept much of their legion heraldry. They tended to show up in warzones, unannounced, and strike with exceptional speed and ferocity, leaving bodies in their wake, and then disappearing as if by magic. They were rumored to be ghosts of fallen legionnaires, as the sightings of them said that Astartes, clad in ancient heresy era armor, would appear, in great numbers, destroy the enemy and leave. It would later be revealed that the storm crows were these lost legionnaires.

 

Due to being out of contact with the Imperium for so long, they did not know of the Codex Astartes, nor of its widespread adoption, and the limit's placed upon the numbers of Astartes allocated to a given chapter. The StormCrows had been waging war using the old Principa Bellicosa for 5 millennia, and had seen much success where other Codex compliant chapters had seen defeat.

 

During the Heresy, the Stormcrows would eschew the use of the tactical formation, instead focusing on the recon squads and assault squads as their principal battlelines. The flexibility of the recon squad both in recon armor and in power armor served them well in making rapid assaults from concealed positions. Using their stealth to infiltrate unseen, they would scout ahead, and prepare positions to call in an orbital assault. This orbital assault favored deathstorm drop pods to sew confusion among enemy ranks, and dreadnought drop pods carrying the wrath of the legion in the form of leviathan dreadnoughts.

 

Units of shadow killers, men afflicted with the Ash blindness, were formed into platoons one assigned to each company to be used as needed. These shadow killers excel at rapid assaults, favoring jump packs to give them the mobility. Among these shadow killers are the moritats, who serve the same function to this day which they served in the days of the Horus Heresy, sometimes a solitary killer is needed to accomplish an objective, such as eliminating an enemy commander.

 

When the StormCrows did finally learn of the Codex Astartes, they simply adopted many of the superficial elements. The Battalions were divided into two categories. Battle Battalions, and Reserve battalions. Each of the five companies would adopt the color assigned to the respective company by the codex. A Battle Battalion would adopt the colors of the battle companies for it's five companies, while reserve battalions would adopt the colors of the reserve companies. Every task force would include a battle battalion and a reserve battalion. And only four such task forces would be deployed at a given time, that way a full chapter's worth of marines would always be standing guard over their fortress monastery, so that the prying eyes of the inquisition would never see their true numbers.


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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#87
Bjorn Firewalker

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Do the Battle and Reserve Battalions switch roles regularly? For example, Thunder Battalion is deployed as the Battle Battalion for the X Campaign, while Lightning Battalion serves as the Reserve Battalion while it remains on the Chapter planet, recruiting and training new Marines to replace those who were casualties during Lightning's previous campaign; when Thunder Battalion returns to the Chapter planet, it becomes the Reserve Battalion, while Lightning Battalion is deployed to fight the Y Campaign as the Battle Battalion.
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#88
Ulrik_Ironfist

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Do the Battle and Reserve Battalions switch roles regularly?

No. Each task force is comprised of one Battle battalion and one Reserve Battalion. Essentially I took the codex astartes chapter, grouped it into two units, and called it a task force. Each task force is essentially a codex compliant chapter.

 

The Battle battalion is broken down into constituent companies, each specializing in a particular style of combat. The First company of every battle battalion are the Berserkir, or what the XIXth legion would have called Shadow Killers. They're the elite shock troops, vanguard veterans, terminators, and the like who specialize in hard hitting frontal assaults, preferring flamers and melta to burn out defenders and destroy fortifications. The second Company is the raider company, specializing in fast hit and run tactics and assassination. The third company is the special reconnaissance company, specializing in observation and  strategic strikes. the fourth company is the quick reaction force, specializing in rapid response and quick orbital deployment. The Fifth Company are the Combat engineers, they excel at building hasty fortifications and demolition.

 

The Reserve Battalions provide reserve specialist troops for instance, there's two battle line companies which provides extra Tactical squads or intercessors, while the assault company provides extra close support troops like inceptors, incursors, rievers, and assault marines. The Fire Support Company provides fire support specialists, like devastators, aggressors, eliminators, suppressors, and the like. Then there's the recon company, which provides scouts (heresy era recon squads in power armor also fall here) as well as infiltrators.

 

Each Task force, which they refer to as a Hunt (The idea is similar to the modern RCT/BCT/MEU concept of a self contained fighting force with all the assets needed to support combat operations), not only contains a Battle Battalion and a reserve battalion, but an air wing comprised of gunships, transports, and fighters, and an armor battalion to facilitate infantry support during open combat operations, to be deployed when enemy armor is to be expected.

 

Each company breaks down into three platoons, each headed by a lieutenant (so rather than the codex compliant two lieutenants per company), of three squads each. The battalion Commanders have discretion on how to organize each company, but typically they will have a two rifle platoons, a weapons platoon, with a cadre of around ten men, forming the Company Headquarters. This headquarters usually comprises a master of signals, the Captain, his bodyguard, the lieutenants, and any moritats which might be assigned to the company. If there are no moritats, then company veterans are generally the remainder. Each company typically numbers around 100 men, some more some less.

 

So for matters of security, one such "Hunt" will stay at the Rookery (the StormCrows fortress monastery) to keep vigil. This duty will rotate from one "Hunt" to another. Sometimes, only one or two Hunts will have "Gone a Viking" (how they say deployed, from the ancient Norse term for raiding and trading) leaving three or four Hunts to guard the Rookery. This means that during such times they will see an uptick in training, and vigilance against the forces of the Inquisition who might be trying to get a census of their numbers. Even though the galaxy is in constant turmoil, they do not always have leads on where chaos might be, and sometimes it is necessary to consult with the scribes for insight. Also, all the Hunts will gather at the Rookery for the Alþingi to handle matters of honor, justice, or select new leaders.

 

The full accounting of the Chapter's fighting strength is difficult to say, but they are around 5,000 astartes strong, not including their Reclusiam, Librarius, Tech Cult, Air Wings, fleets, or motor pool. All in all, their total fighting force is closer to 10,000 total men including their support personnel. This does not include their several regiments strong Chapter militia, and the Valkyrja bodyguard units which serve each Captain.

 

Their adherence to the legion structure gives them a distinct advantage in numbers and tactical flexibility than the typical codex compliant chapter, though they do pay lip service to the codex by their use of the color coding, and organization of their task force groupings. Since they have not yet faced censure by the Lord Commander for their wanton deviation from the Codex, they take that as tacit approval of their actions.


Edited by Ulrik_Ironfist, 27 July 2020 - 03:11 PM.


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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#89
Grey Hunter Ydalir

Grey Hunter Ydalir

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I know I'm not a great example of doing this myself, but it's kind of hard to scroll through all the pages in the thread to reply to things, or find out what's currently in or out of the draft.

 

I know you have a link here but updating the first post of the thread is the easiest way to keep people appraised. I almost replied to old content a couple of times because I forgot what page I was on, getting engrossed in the discussion and then wanting to add my two cents, like I almost jumped on the 'taking adults' and fenris discussions at the start like a dog with a bone but realized I was too early in the venture before reading further.

 

I like the ideas you've got, though I can't add much else beyond echoing what Bjorn has had to say so far. I'll admit I'm very time poor at best, so having a concise place to gather it all together helps me (and others) help you.

 

That said, I like the idea of Nordic themed raven guard and I'd definitely like to see more.


The Octaguide.
The Thousand Marine Myth.

On the scale mismatch of bolts and bolters by Coldfyre

Commissar Molotov's Castigators - Essential reading for IA Creation.

"...I have seen the birth of this world and I have seen its death. I walked with the first men and I shared a beer with the last. For me everyone is both old and young at the same time as a million lifetimes pass before my eyes and humanity is like the grains of sand in the desert, each breath to me a sigh in the vast never-ending vacumn of space."
-Silver Phoenix


#90
Ulrik_Ironfist

Ulrik_Ironfist

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I like the ideas you've got, though I can't add much else beyond echoing what Bjorn has had to say so far. I'll admit I'm very time poor at best, so having a concise place to gather it all together helps me (and others) help you.

 

I'm doing my best to keep the link up to date with what's currently in the draft. I guess I can do an Omnibus post with the whole article and see what I may have said was in that I forgot. I'll do something like that here in a bit as this is still very much a living project as of right now. I't constantly growing.

 

 

That said, I like the idea of Nordic themed raven guard and I'd definitely like to see more.

Thanks, I'm having a ton of fun with it myself. It also kind of helps to keep me in the mood, since I'm listening to Tyr on loop and binging Vikings. I'm really on a kick right now.
 

 


  • Grey Hunter Ydalir likes this

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Quantity has a quality all it's own... 
No OPLAN ever survives initial contact... 
You, you, and you, panic. The rest of you, come with me...
The StormCrows WIP, De Villta Veiðin, Ordo Arcanum and Ordo Explorator Fanfiction

#91
Ulrik_Ironfist

Ulrik_Ironfist

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So Here's the Omnibus post of everything I have about my chapter:

 

Real Life Inspiration:

  • I really like Scandanavian history and Norse mythology, particularly the Viking Age. 

  • I needed a good way to Use Space Wolves bits in a Raven Guard Army

  • The grey for the color scheme came from a mix of sources. I’m drawing inspiration from the Heresy Space Wolves scheme of Grey and Red, but the grey and how I want it to look is supposed to look like black armor stained grey with ash. This is a nod to the name Ascomanni, an old Germanic word for the Viking Raiders, lit. “Ashmen”.

  • Ravens are a common motif and occurrence in Norse Mythology. Odin had a pair of Ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who reported on the state of the world every night to Odin.

  • Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory or mind) are associated with Odin, who is a god of Knowledge, but Odin is also a Psychopomp, a harvester of the dead, and is associated with several hosts of the dead.

  • One of those hosts is the Wild Hunt, in some traditions they were heralds of catastrophe, and were said to steal souls to join their ranks as they passed. 

  • I’m really miffed that GW steered way too hard into the Wolfy stuff with Space Wolves, rather than fleshing them out as Space Vikings..

Chapter Information:

    Warcry:             “Til Veiða!” (For the Hunt!)

    Founding:             Second? (Officially the 12th Chapter of the XIXth)

    Successors of:         Raven Guard

    Successor Chapters:        None

    Number:            XIX (Originally)

    Primarch:            Corvus Corax

    Chapter Master:        Unknown (Former Loremaster)

    Homeworld:            None (Fleet-Based Chapter)

    Fortress-Monastery:        The Rookery

    Allegiance:            Imperium of Man

    Colours:            Grey and Red


Overview:

The StormCrows Space Marine Chapter is nominally a successor chapter of the Raven Guard. In reality they are descendants of Terran-born Astartes that were exiled by Corvus Corax, due to their slow acceptance of his teachings. Unlike other exiles, they did not resist Corax’s doctrine and teachings, rather they were simply slow to adopt them, as they had excelled as Shock Troops and Siegebreakers, but the more subtle approach of guerilla and raiding tactics were hard for battle hardened troops to adopt. Corax would send a cadre of trusted advisors to teach these Astartes the new way. The Exiles would color their Raven Badge red, an ancient terran mark signifying something which needed correction, and they saw themselves as a failure to meet their Primarch’s expectations.


With this mark in place they would set out on an extended campaign throughout the outer reaches of the burgeoning Imperium. As they fought without adequate resupply, they very quickly adopted the new ways Corax had espoused. They not only adopted these new ways, but adapted them, making them deadly efficient raiders and scouts. Without resupply they were also forced to adapt new methods. Many of their power armor suits would become irreparably damaged, leading the suits to be scavenged for parts. This would lead to an abundance of recon armored scouts. Further setting them apart, was the grey hue their armor took on as a result of layers of ash from the burnt worlds they had left behind in their wake. Many of their number succumbed to ash blindness, what the XIX Legion would call the Sable Brand, and would become furious berserkers. One such legionnaire would return from the front lines, his grey stained armor now splattered with the red of blood and gore. From then on, all ash blind legionnaires would color their arms red, setting them apart. The StormCrows had no resources to dedicate to curing the Ash Blindness, so rather than shun it, they embraced it, venerating those who came back from the brink as honored veterans. It was almost seen as a rite of passage among the men.


Then came the Horus Heresy. The Red Raven’s involvement in the Horus Heresy was largely peripheral. Their largest contribution was serving as a sort of Personal Guard for the Ultramarines Primarch. They were listed as blackshields, as they were not recognized as belonging to any legion, but their loyalty was proven to be above reproach. After the Horus Heresy, the StormCrows would fade into obscurity, until around M35, when they were discovered hunting and eradicating Chaos cults, burning entire worlds, if necessary, to expunge the taint of Chaos. Having been around since the Great Crusade, and present during the introduction of the Codex Astartes, they had all the appearances of a second founding chapter. Their physical appearance, the pale skin and black hair marked them as Raven Guard Successors, and so no one questioned them when they claimed to be a Second Founding Successor of the XIX Legion.


Their infiltration techniques have been honed so well that they, more so than their progenitors, seem to materialize from the shadows to strike, before fading away. They are masterful raiders and scouts, and excel at small unit tactics. They played a very small role in the wars for Armageddon, as well as assisting the defense of Cadia during several of the Black Crusades.


Though the StormCrows are a very successful Chapter, it’s members are both Superb warriors individually, and excellent soldiers, they are not always victorious. They have suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Chaos hordes, they have failed to eradicate Ork infestations, and have been handily routed by skittering swarms of Tyranids. Though extremely proficient raiders, that is also their downfall. They do not do well in extended campaigns, unless they have support. They are at their best when working alongside other chapters, like the Ultramarines, Imperial Fists, or Space Wolves or Imperial forces such as the Imperial Guard. With the other chapters leading the charge, the StormCrows can sneak into the enemy’s rear areas and ambush retreating forces, destroy supply lines, or seize vital locations, such as doors to a grand fortress. 


Origins:

Originally the Raven Guard drew the bulk of their recruits from the Asiatic Dustfields, but not all. The 12th Chapter of the Raven Guard were drawn from the Scandanavian Reaches (Modern day Iceland, Faroe Islands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark Netherlands, The Baltic States, and Northern Russia west of the Urals), ancestral grounds of the feared Viking Rievers of the early Age of Terra, and continued to be a breeding ground for hardened peoples ever since through into the beginning of the Age of Strife.

 

The 12th Chapter, The StormCrows (so named for their resemblence to the frequent and furious tempests which wracked their Terran homelands), was among the number of the XIXth legion that pacified the Asiatic Dustfields during the unification wars, and continued to serve faithfully. They were a harsh group, never willing to shy from a fight or a challenge. They were consummate warriors, always seeking to prove themselves. Moreover they were group minded, and knew that to survive was to trust their brethren, and so the 12th Chapter gained the reputation for being fearsome and unbreakable. Every fallen brother would increase their wrath, every attack would strengthen their defense. They excelled as shock troops under Warmaster Horus, specializing in raiding tactics and finding weaknesses.

 

Once Corax was found, and began purging the legion of Terran-born astartes, the 12th Chapter had to prove itself. They were too heavy handed, against the defeated, for Corax's liking, their brutal efficiency lacked Corax's vision of justice. Corax would not exile them immediately, as the 12th Chapter would show that it wished to conform with Corax. So Corax would give a cadre of his close companions, Deliverance-born astartes who had helped liberate the moon, to aid them in embracing the vision of Corax. The 12th would be exiled, with the caveat that they would be welcomed back to the fold if they showed that they had fully embraced Corax's justice. It was this shame that caused them to color their Insignia red, marking themselves as dead to the legion, until they could return.

 

The campaign they embarked upon during the great crusade to prove themselves worthy of the raven lord, would see them change drastically. It was not their methods in war which gave Corax pause, it was how they viewed the defeated. The 12th Chapter, Would soften their harsh view, beginning to treat the liberated not with suspicion, but welcome them. One of the regions they liberated would go on to become their recruiting grounds, the Skaði Cluster. It was also this campaign which would see them gain the name Öskumenn or "Ash men", and earn them their enduring reputation. The tyrants which ruled the cluster did so with a bloody hand. Slavery and mass executions were common, The people lived in fear and then came the armor clad ghosts. They tore through the defenses, burning their way through the capital, killing all who would terrorize the people. The Öskumenn gave arms to the liberated, and encouraged them to fight for their freedom.

 

The Deliverence born astartes would deem the StormCrows ready to return, but the StormCrows felt differently. They felt that merely liberating these worlds was not enough. They needed to see to it that these people would remain free, and began to train their militia. Some of this militia would follow the StormCrows to the stars and fight beside them in the latter days of the great crusade and through the Horus Heresy. Legends would arise, as the StormCrows had made their home in the cluster, about the ghostly, ashen-armored, men who fought beneath the raven banner sweeping through and punishing the wicked overlords. These legends would also tell that those who dared to look upon the cavalcade would be swept up to join them.

 

The 12th Chapter would rejoin their legion during the Horus Heresy, Serving Corax as shock troops and raiders. Their Red Badge and Ash-Stained armor serving to distinguish them from their sable armored kin. They would split from the legion once more during the second founding, going off to parts unknown to hunt the traitors and the infuence of chaos wherever it might be found.

 

They would not resurface until mid M35, When the Ordo Malleus encountered them exterminating a Chaos cult and the Daemons it had summoned. The StormCrows had been on the world already for some time, waging a shadow war for the world's very soul. Suddenly millennia old rumors and sightings of grey glad space marines bearing the symbol of a blood red raven made sense. After the world was cleansed, the Inquisition questioned the Astartes. They were asked their founding and name. The StormCrows had knowledge of the various foundings, and they answered that they were a second founding chapter, the StormCrows. Only they would know their true nature as the 12th Chapter of the vaunted XIXth Legion...

 

To this day, they see themselves as sons of Corax, before any other division. It is a secret which they only share with the current chapter master of the Raven Guard Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, they are Væringjar ("Sworn Men") sworn to be Corax's talons, and to serve his sons, as they had sworn to defend the Imperium to Lord Commander Guilliman himself, upon The ArchTraitor Horus's vile betrayal.

The 12th Chapter of the XIXth legion is a proud lot. For them they wish to be immortalized in song and story, but their glory is also the Legion's glory, their shame is the legion's shame. They are proud, and thus also proud to be members of the XIXth. For them to be asked to give of themselves to Corax, is the greatest honor, it is the acceptance of them back into the fold. To be asked to contribute their untainted gene-seed back to the legion to assist them in overcoming the wrong done by the traitors would seem to them a bitter irony. It both means that their brothers have been wronged, but that they are the answer, where they once were the problem.

 

It would be a complex relationship, but ultimately, they gave their oath, their blood, for the Legion during the Unification wars and the Early days of the Great crusade, they are as much Raven Guard as any other.

 

Corax would accept his wayward sons back into the fold, not quite with open arms, but in dire need of them. They also served as a much needed infusion of hardened reinforcements. Having dealt with the traitors, chaos cults, and various dissidents during their long march to Deliverance (they took a circuitous route, chasing the XIXth from their new homeworlds in the Segmentum Tempestus, to  the various campaigns before Istvaan III, and ultimately back to Deliverance). Upon reuniting with the XIXth legion, the 12th Chapter would be resupplied with new armor, and would also take on the role as Corax's heavy assault force. They were elite force made up of veterans, and were expert warriors and had become extremely competent and professional soldiers. They would make extensive use of Cataphractii terminator suits, and their MkIV armor, as well as siege tanks and Contemptor dreadnoughts, using the direct assaults as cover the Veteran Tactical Squads would infiltrate the enemy defenses and sabotage their command and control, assassinate leaders and wreak havoc on supply lines, lending greater effectiveness to the frontal assaults, and allowing sieges to be easily broken.

 

Such tactics are still the primary focus of the StormCrows Chapter to this day. Though hard won experience has taught the men of the 12th to focus more on stealth. The 12th Chapter still maintains their armory of heresy era weapons, basalisk gun carriages and malcador heavy tanks still occupy the Chapter's motor pool, though due to Munitorum constraints, such assets can only be deployed by the Chapter Militia.

 

The Chapter Militia is a several regiment strong contingent of Troops, wholly under the authority of the StormCrows. They guard the Fortress Monastery, and they accompany company strike forces, providing fire support and armored support for the strike forces, as well as acting as the Quick Reaction Force, to assist the Astartes when a situation becomes mired. The Chapter Militia's stormtroopers fly in with their Valkyrie Transports and Vulture Gunships to assist their astartes masters creating openings for them to turn the tides or escape to regroup. This has been an arrangement which dates back to the Great Crusade when the StormCrows first found the worlds that would become their recruiting grounds.

 

Since their exile During the Great Crusade, great stresses placed on the members of the 12th would cause them to manifest several different conditions. There is an Increased rate of incidence of the condition known alternatively as either Ash Blindness or the Sable Brand (It described the same condition where an overly stressed astartes flies into a suicidal rage, killing until no enemies remain or the warrior is slain. The Terran Born Astartes Knew it as Ash Blindness, while the Deliverance Born astartes would call it the Sable Brand). Once a warrior has manifested the condition, they are more likely to relapse, and so they would be called the Berserkir and grouped into a company which would eventually become the first company the Einherjar. The other condition which would manifest is an increased incidence of psykers. Entire squads of marines would begin to manifest powers, becoming immensely strong, or a single marine would smite beasts to death with their mind. Some others would, in despair, call to the ancestors asking for protection and deliverance from their foes, only to be surrounded by spectral warriors who would tear their tormentors asunder, in an explosion of psychic force.

 

Over the Millennia, this has resulted in a large librarius of highly skilled and competent psykers. The Skalds are the most numerous, while the Scribes are the most revered. Once a skald has learned enough of the histories, and aged to a point where his wisdom outweighs his ability, does he become a scribe. The Scribes are the curators of the histories, and the vast reliquaries within the Rookery. Only the Eldest scribes know the entirety of what the StormCrows keep hidden, vast caches of Archaeotech weapons, as well as massive armories of Volkite weapons, enough to equip the battle lines of every Battle company. Many more treasures lay buried in those vaults.

Chapter Attitudes:



Chapter Beliefs:

The StormCrows see themselves as preservers of knowledge and defenders of Humanity. They do not view themselves as better than ordinary humans. They remember that their purpose was to unite humanity under the auspices of the Imperium and the Emperor of Mankind. The StormCrows are not typically verbose, unless they are recounting deeds of courage. They will often speak highly of the Imperial Guard, an institution they see as a bastion of true Human courage. Unlike many Space Marines they prefer to keep records of their involvement sparse. They do not seek recognition for their deeds, though they often receive it, especially from other astartes chapters. In their Fortress Monastery they keep meticulous records of their campaigns, and these are shared with the Adeptus Administratum.


They hold to the Imperial Truth, though they are very secretive about this. The Scribes of Librarius are the Keepers of the Secret Histories. The Skalds of the Librarius are the speakers of the histories, and are largely responsible for the indoctrination of aspirants. Due to the Chapter’s lax recruitment, psykers are a common inclusion, and as such the StormCrows have an abnormally large librarius. It is not uncommon to see psyker sergeants, or to see the position of Captain filled by a member of the Librarius. The Current Chapter Master vacated the position of Loremaster, what most chapters would call Chief Librarian, to take Command of the Chapter. He is the eldest of the Astartes, one of the few outside the vaunted Second Company that has been with the Chapter since the Horus Heresy.


The chapter has long been recruiting from a cluster of worlds which has contributed a large amount of folklore surrounding them. Much of this folklore treats them as heralds of ruin and misfortune. Though some of the lore around them treats them as punishers of the wicked. When Chaos cults threatened their favored recruiting grounds, the StormCrows reacted swiftly to eliminate them.  


Another thing which sets the StormCrows apart, is their death rituals. After the Gene-Seed is collected from a fallen brother, the bodies are cremated. The ashes of the fallen warriors are then collected and used to make a pigment. This pigment is applied to each warrior’s armor, a coating which is never removed. This ashen woad gives them their ghostly grey appearance, and also grants the armor an absorbent quality, which diffuses auspex scans making them harder to detect. An older warrior can always be identified through the hue of his armor. The more grey the armor has become the more battles he has seen, and the more brothers he has lost. This pigment is also applied to vehicles, and also serves as a way for the fallen to be carried into battle so that they might see vengeance for their deaths.


Chapter Doctrine:

The StormCrows are expert raiders and siege breakers. They adapted their strategies to employ stealth to infiltrate enemy fortifications and to cause havoc and disarray in the enemy’s rear lines, while heavy assault elements smash into the fortifications and attempt to breach from the front. 


The Chapter was generally under strength except for the scout company, which was always flush with new recruits. Strangely, this meant that scouts were often found making up the bulk of battleline squads in the Battle Companies. This would be the case until the Primaris Marines were introduced. 


The Chapter does not make extensive use of Chaplains. The StormCrows have a Reclusiam, though it is underdeveloped in comparison to other Astartes Chapters. There is a Reclusiarch, and the reclusiam seconds a single chaplain, and only a few novices, to each Company. The Chaplains assigned to the reserve companies are present strictly for training duties, as the Reserve Companies are used as training cadres, as the new astartes progress through their training. Even though the Reclusiam is almost vestigial, it is not uncommon to see a Company Chaplain leading close support elements, leading a spearhead of troops to break through a fortified position. 


++++Imperial Observers have noted that the chapter is ruthless and efficient. They seem to act as one mind. Individual units operating under their own initiative, given total tactical autonomy, while simultaneously seamlessly acting as part of a larger force. It is paradoxical. The strength of the Adeptus Astartes is that a solitary Astartes is easily more than a match for ten or more guardsmen, yet these astartes fight using squad tactics as disciplined as any Tempestus Scion. It is frightening to think what this chapter could accomplish if they fought as one cohesive force, rather than follow the example of their Progenitors, the Raven Guard.++++


The first company is made up of hardened veterans which excel as the Chapter’s shock troops. They are often seen at the very front of the advance. The First company typically eschews ranged combat, though Sternguard squads are a common sight, wielding heavy flamers and combi-flamers as their standard wargear. Sternguard veterans are employed in small teams to clear trenches and structures, mopping up remaining enemies that survived the initial assault by the Vanguard Veterans and Terminator assault squads. 


The StormCrows are known to suffer from a condition that they refer to as Ash Blindness. The Deliverance born Astartes called it the Sable brand. Regardless of the name, it is a condition which causes the afflicted to be overcome in a suicidal frenzy attacking all enemies until there are none left standing or the afflicted is slain. Surviving the frenzy is seen as a rite of passage into the First Company. Only those full astartes marked by the sable brand may pass into the ranks of the Einherjar, and walk the corridors of the First Company Barracks, known as Valhalla


The StormCrows also use replacement terms for common Codex astartes positions. The Chapter master is known as the Veiðimaður, literally “the Huntmaster”, while the Chief Librarian is known as the Fræðimaður, literally “the Loremaster”. The Reclusiarch is known as the Eiðmeistari, literally “the Oathmaster”. 


The StormCrows are nominally a Codex Compliant Chapter. They Follow the Codex organizational structure, of 10 companies comprising 10 squads of 10 Astartes. Where the Chapter deviates from the Codex, is in their Firstborn battleline Squads, they subdivided the squad into two teams of 4 revolving around a Heavy Bolter. As part of a maneuver warfare strategy, a fireteam of four men would be expected to take a position, set up the heavy bolter, while providing suppressing fire for the next fireteam to advance. Ancient Combat manuals discovered by the Chapter’s Techpriests and Recorded by the Librarius would call this a “Bounding Overwatch”. Much of the Chapter’s combat doctrine has been influenced by these ancient tomes of battle, so called “Field Manuals”. Many of such texts were transcribed during the Great Crusade, when the StormCrows faced advanced Human Civilizations. These volumes were also passed to the Chapter’s recruiting Fortress world, making them an extremely efficient military force.


The StormCrows have made one unique modification to their armor, the use of blue lenses in their helmets. The icy glow of these lenses has served to enhance their image as ghostly warriors over the millennia, and the chapter has fueled this speculation through rumor.


Each task force is comprised of one Battle battalion and one Reserve Battalion. Essentially each task force is essentially a codex compliant chapter.

The Battle battalion is broken down into constituent companies, each specializing in a particular style of combat. The First company of every battle battalion are the Berserkir, or what the XIXth legion would have called Shadow Killers. They're the elite shock troops, vanguard veterans, terminators, and the like who specialize in hard hitting frontal assaults, preferring flamers and melta to burn out defenders and destroy fortifications. The second Company is the raider company, specializing in fast hit and run tactics and assassination. The third company is the special reconnaissance company, specializing in observation and  strategic strikes. the fourth company is the quick reaction force, specializing in rapid response and quick orbital deployment. The Fifth Company are the Combat engineers, they excel at building hasty fortifications and demolition.

The Reserve Battalions provide reserve specialist troops for instance, there's two battle line companies which provides extra Tactical squads or intercessors, while the assault company provides extra close support troops like inceptors, incursors, rievers, and assault marines. The Fire Support Company provides fire support specialists, like devastators, aggressors, eliminators, suppressors, and the like. Then there's the recon company, which provides scouts (heresy era recon squads in power armor also fall here) as well as infiltrators.

 

Each Task force, which they refer to as a Hunt (The idea is similar to the modern RCT/BCT/MEU concept of a self contained fighting force with all the assets needed to support combat operations), not only contains a Battle Battalion and a reserve battalion, but an air wing comprised of gunships, transports, and fighters, and an armor battalion to facilitate infantry support during open combat operations, to be deployed when enemy armor is to be expected.

Each company breaks down into three platoons, each headed by a lieutenant (so rather than the codex compliant two lieutenants per company), of three squads each. The battalion Commanders have discretion on how to organize each company, but typically they will have two rifle platoons, a weapons platoon, with a cadre of around ten men, forming the Company Headquarters. This headquarters usually comprises a master of signals, the Captain, his bodyguard, the lieutenants, and any moritats which might be assigned to the company. If there are no moritats, then company veterans are generally the remainder. Each company typically numbers around 100 men, some more some less.

So for matters of security, one such "Hunt" will stay at the Rookery (the StormCrows fortress monastery) to keep vigil. This duty will rotate from one "Hunt" to another. Sometimes, only one or two Hunts will have "Gone a Viking" (how they say deployed, from the ancient Norse term for raiding and trading) leaving three or four Hunts to guard the Rookery. This means that during such times they will see an uptick in training, and vigilance against the forces of the Inquisition who might be trying to get a census of their numbers. Even though the galaxy is in constant turmoil, they do not always have leads on where chaos might be, and sometimes it is necessary to consult with the scribes for insight. Also, all the Hunts will gather at the Rookery for the Alþingi to handle matters of honor, justice, or select new leaders.

The full accounting of the Chapter's fighting strength is difficult to say, but they are around 5,000 astartes strong, not including their Reclusiam, Librarius, Tech Cult, Air Wings, fleets, or motor pool. All in all, their total fighting force is closer to 10,000 total men including their support personnel. This does not include their several regiments strong Chapter militia, and the Valkyrja bodyguard units which serve each Captain.

Their adherence to the legion structure gives them a distinct advantage in numbers and tactical flexibility than the typical codex compliant chapter, though they do pay lip service to the codex by their use of the color coding, and organization of their task force groupings. Since they have not yet faced censure by the Lord Commander for their wanton deviation from the Codex, they take that as tacit approval of their actions.

Each Company is specialized for a particular type of combat:


1st Company - Shock Troops (Berserkir)

The FIrst Company excels at breaking stalemates, and capturing or demolishing fortifications. They make prolific use of close range weaponry. Their vanguard veterans use jump packs to close the distance and get into melee with defenders. While their Sternguard use flamer and melta weapons to burn out defenders, and their Terminators provide an unbreakable spearhead, with their relic Cataphractii Suits and lightning claws.

2nd Company- Raiders/Asymmetric Warfare

The Second Company excels as a raiding force. Using stealth they penetrate enemy lines and defenses and sow chaos among the enemy, by disrupting their ability to communicate and supply reinforcements. Their infiltration tactics allow them to close with the enemy. They prefer to pass without a trace, using melee to eliminate threats silently, or making use of snipers to eliminate key command and control points. They make heavy use of Phobos armored units, and intercessors with the auto bolt rifles, as they value both volume of fire and accuracy to eliminate threats.

3rd Company - Special Reconnaissance

This Company excels at standing off at range and observing enemy positions. Their typical weapons selection sees them prefer longer ranged weapons. Their intercessors typically carry either standard or stalker pattern Bolt Rifles. As their primary objective is not to engage but to observe, they tend to eschew the use of short ranged heavy infantry like Aggressors or Inceptors. Instead preferring the use of suppressors and bikers. They tend to use the Autocannon variant of the Invictor, as a longer range support scout unit..

4th Company - Air Assault/Quick Reaction Force

This Company makes heavy use of lightning fast strikes, often deploying from Aircraft and Drop Pods.This Company is the least changed from the days of the Horus Heresy, being the only non-primaris or mixed Battle Company. They Utilize Tactical Squads as their primary battleline, while deploying Assault squads  their close support, and devastator squads as their fire support. They also serve as custodians of the Chapter’s Leviathan and Contemptor Dreadnoughts, which they frequently deploy in support of their operations. They are descended from the Seeker Cadres of the old 12th Chapter of the XIXth legion.

5th Company - Combat Engineers/Demolitions

This Company makes heavy use of devastator squads, and heavy weapon tactical squads, while they make extensive use of Inceptors. They are experts at building hasty defenses, as well as destroying things from range. They typically tote heavy melta or plasma weaponry, as those are their most destructive tools. Redemptors are their preferred dreadnought, as it can carry advanced plasma weaponry and is an incredibly sturdy weapons platform.


The Era Indomitus:

WIth the lead up and launch of the Indomitus Crusade, the StormCrows received some much needed support from the Imperium. This came in the form of the new Primaris Marines. Ever practical, the StormCrows leaped at the chance to reinforce their numbers. This opportunity came when it was announced that Guilliman had returned. Task Group Væringjar (a Task Group centered around the Second Battle Company) was dispatched to Macragge to take up their ancient mantle as protectors of the Lord Commander. The rest of the Chapter would follow soon after. It was from here that the StormCrows would finally be brought to full strength. 


After Marneus Calgar crossed the Rubicon Primaris, many StormCrows Battle Company members would elect to do the same. Even with enormous casualties from the crossing, the Chapter has come up to full strength. 


Not all companies elected to make the crossing. The old ways and old equipment suited the First Company well, though as the Crusade continued, and many Primaris marines being blooded, a number of Intercessor squads have begun to find their way into the first company. 


The StormCrows make extensive use of Primaris Vanguard squads, which are uniquely suited to their style of warfare. The Chapter would gain notoriety, appearing unnoticed, striking hard and fading into the shadows. Their role in the indomitus crusade is not widely known, and the chapter was only spoken of in whispers. They have served on numerous battlefields.


  


Loyalties:

The StormCrows are loyal to the Humanity and the Emperor, in that order. Their fist commands from the Emperor himself upon departing on the Great Crusade were to defend humanity. As a result, the StormCrows have been known to work with, or use, Xenos to counter an existential threat to the Imperium.


On one occasion, The Second Company conspired with Eldar from Saim-Hann to bomb a world with Orks, to counter a tyranid swarm, after which the StormCrows and Eldar would cooperate to exterminate the Orks, and go their separate ways. This was to mutual benefit, as the Craftworld was threatened, as was a vital Imperial Forgeworld. The brief alliance ended amicably, as neither side had anything to gain by fighting each other at the time.


On another occasion, The StormCrows allied with members of the T’au to eradicate a Chaos Enclave, which threatened to overwhelm the T’au, and then further threaten a number of Imperial Agri-worlds. This alliance would end in bloodshed and a victory for the Ravens, as the duplicitous Ethereal was secretly attempting to turn the human citizens against the Imperium.


The StormCrows have a deep seated distrust of the Ecclesiarchy and the Inquisition. The StormCrows have actively hindered Inquisition efforts. On one occasion the StormCrows destroyed an Exterminatus Fleet. The Fleet was an Ordo Xenos fleet, they had knowledge that the world had been harboring an exodite Eldar enclave. To further make matters more heretical, there had been intermarriage, and the entire world had been deemed unclean. The StormCrows had just finished driving off a dark eldar raiding party, as well as purging a chaos cult before it could take root, thus saving the planet. When the imperial citizens asked why, the StormCrows Captain responded with a curt reply, “Half-human is still human.” The Inquisition fleet was reported to never have arrived, and lost in the warp. The agri-world was spared the attention of a larger xenos threat, and was spared exterminatus. 


The Hive world in their own recruiting cluster has served as one of these incidents. It is a common source of trouble for the StormCrows. As the resources procured through the various on and offworld mining concerns based on the Hive world support their Forge World and the Fortress World. The Hive World often attempts to keep more than their share as a display of wealth to the rest of the cluster, which only serves to increase the resentment of the Nobility there. The StormCrows will frequently make a display of their authority, which has led more than one Planetary governor, over the millennia, to cry foul and contact the Inquisition, to protect them from these “Renegade Astartes”. There is usually little trouble when the StormCrows are requested to provide evidence of their rights there. When overzealous Inquisitors, eager to make a name for themselves, do not bother to investigate, those inquisitorial fleets are often never heard from again. 


The StormCrows have run afoul of the Ecclesiarchy on several occasions. One such incident had the StormCrows rooting out a Genestealer Cult, while the Adeptus Sororitas were hunting chaos cultists on the same world. The Zealotry or the Sororitas made tracking the movements of the Genestealer cult very difficult, as they became careful not to expose themselves, while simultaneously causing the Chaos Cultists to become a threat to the Raven’s mission. The Genestealer Cult was the larger threat, as the Chaos cult consisted of a mere handful of followers and a single psyker. The StormCrows view the religious zeal and fervor of the Ecclesiarchy as an affront to the Emperor’s ideals for humanity. This Religious zeal ended up causing a full blown chaos incursion on the world in question. Daemons and Traitor Astartes began to pour through a rift, created as the cultists entreated the ruinous powers of Slaanesh to take them. When the Sororitas found the Psyker, he was in the final moments of sacrificing himself for the passing of a greater daemon. The massive burst of psychic energy drew the attention of a nearby splinter fleet, the same one that the genestealer cult had been anticipating, and before long there was a full tyranid invasion on top of the Imperial forces. The Sororitas contacted the StormCrows forces to assist, but the Ravens had begun to evacuate civilians to their fleet. Determined to save what humans that remained untainted. These civilians would be inducted into the Chapter as serfs and aspirants. The Ravens would put in a call for the Inquisition to investigate, as per protocol, before promptly reducing the world to cinders.


Recruiting Practices:

The StormCrows are a fleet based chapter. They recruit from worlds all over the Imperium. They have several worlds which they prefer. Their primary region for recruitment is the Donorian sector, specifically a desolate planetary star cluster called Skaði. The people from these harsh worlds are hearty and strong. They are primarily descended from ancient scandanavian colonists, and much of the traditional folklore and culture is preserved there. In all there are some 20 planets in the cluster, of which only about 10 are habitable, three of which are agri worlds supporting a forge world, a fortress world, and a Hive World. The other four planets are feral worlds, and incredibly harsh. These are fertile recruiting grounds as the Fortress World is known for training its soldiers from the age of six. This makes them prime recruits as by the time they are twelve years of age they have already had more training than most Imperial Guardsmen.


The Chapter’s current recruiting grounds were discovered during the Horus Heresy. The Feral worlds were shamanistic cultures, and the Dark Gods of chaos were known, and their worship was discouraged, and those who were caught doing so were frequently exiled for their practices. Then the StormCrows came. They sought out Chaos, destroyed it. Many hunters saw hulking warriors in garish purple and gold abetting the dark ones, only for equally hulking wraiths to appear from the shadows and brutally dispatch them. These wraiths with their glowing blue eyes, and ghostly grey on black armor would set the camps to the torch, burning everything living within the confines of the unhallowed ground. Stories of these Ösku Mann, or men of ash, led the village shamans to believe that the gods had sent the Villta Veiðin to punish them. The Wild Hunt was upon them to punish the wicked among them. 


Once per year, on the final eve of the Harvest festivals the young men of the Village go out to face the Villta Veiðin. This trial is known as the “Hunter’s Rite”, and it is supposed to be a test to see if the young men have the skills needed to join the hunters for the coming winter, for surely if they can hunt ghosts they can hunt anything. As the StormCrows never interact directly with the villages, the young men are free to make up whatever stories they wish upon their return to the village. What is certain is that these young hunters are actually the hunted. Only those who show no fear of the StormCrows and actually dare to fight back, are deemed worthy by the chapter. Invariably the worthy are cornered, half starved and exhausted, but still show defiance. The recruiters always ask though the ghostly voice filters “Are you not afraid, young hunter?” The young hunters invariably attempt to resist, but their exhausted bodies can do nothing. “You are caught. You were our prey, you may yet become the hunter, Will you give yourself to the Hunt?” There is no chance of refusal…

   

The StormCrows also have a practice of taking in orphans from war zones, particularly those who display a will to survive and fight. 


Fortress Monastery:

Due to their haphazard, and opportunistic, recruiting policy, the StormCrows would need a large fortress monastery. Their Fortress Monastery is built upon an asteroid. They call it the Rookery. This massive fortress has been refitted by the Mechanicus to become a ship capable of void travel and even short trips through the warp, though the Rookery has not moved from the Skaði cluster in over three thousand years.


What is most remarkable about the Fortress is how varied the terrain the training grounds can be. From training in vacuum on the surface, to city and jungle fighting inside the asteroid. Any terrain can be replicated. In the very central core of the asteroid, lies a small manufactorum that produces war material for the chapter. Studding the exterior of the Asteroid, are docks for the numerous battle barges the Chapter operates. Troops, and supplies move from the fortress to the barges, and recruits are transferred from the barges to be inducted in the Fortress Monastery. It was truly a massive undertaking to construct, but it has served the Chapter well since its construction 5 thousand years ago.

 

 

I realize that this is a huge wall of text, but if there's anything that you can think of that I missed that I had though of including, please let me know and reference the post I had it in, so I can include it. I hope this gives you all a place to start from.



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#92
Grey Hunter Ydalir

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I realize that this is a huge wall of text

 

 

It is! A great bastion of words that would make Rogal Dorn proud. But it's good to have it all condensed in one spot. I'd advise changing the first post to the same, or adding it so that anyone brand new to the thread can be quickly brought up to date, if you haven't already.

 

I'll break down the Overview as I can see it and provide constructive criticism for things I notice as being problematic to my mind.

 

 

 

In reality they are descendants of Terran-born Astartes that were exiled by Corvus Corax, due to their slow acceptance of his teachings

 

 

Is there evidence of Corax exiling any of his sons, Terran or not? I only ask as, again, so far as I was aware the Legion stayed whole under Corax, with the Terran marines being mostly wiped out under Horus' command of a fortress assault, the "Battle of Gate 42" during the Great Crusade. Something Corax never forgave Horus for, to put it lightly. The Terran born marines more willing to follow Horus' orders due to them having been part of the original forces attached to the Luna Wolves, being more bloodthirsty in general as well as being members of Erebus' lodges. Inadvertently purging the Raven Guard of most of the potentially traitor marines on the upside, but on the downside making them one of the smallest legions, who never recovered numerically.

 

I suppose you could have them as a group attached to another task force at the outskirts of the Imperium, unable to return to their Legion or Terra during the Heresy for 'reasons', having them show up later, though it does throw into question their loyalties quite dramatically, being both Terran born as well as what some would point to convenient timing of their return. This would make for interesting tension for your chapter though.

 

 

As they fought without adequate resupply, they very quickly adopted the new ways Corax had espoused.

 

 

So how did they fight on their original campaign, refuse to adopt their gene-fathers reform, before all of a sudden deciding that his way was best? I know you say it's due to resupply issues but it still seems a bit flip-floppy to me. Yes necessity drives all but perhaps describe their losses and that same necessity and how it affected them, forcing them to change as much as opening their eyes to adapting themselves. You have to remember, this was hard for the Terran remnants of the legion who were directly under Corax, to say nothing of a group of marines who were away from his eyes and teachings.

 

 

Further setting them apart, was the grey hue their armor took on as a result of layers of ash from the burnt worlds they had left behind in their wake.

 

 

So, their armour never gets cleaned? Never has any basic maintenance done on it? The machine spirits imperial technology are infamously fickle if not cared for properly and to me this simply seems like a lack of maintenance. Ash also doesn't stick like you seem to imply, it can stain fabric but even on people it gets washed off without too much trouble. It can be washed off with rain, mud, gore, blasts of air, impact, anything that a marine would encounter in his daily grind.

 

Now if you had said their cloaks and field coverings (field camo kits for what I'd assume Astartes must use, considering how big of a silhouette they posses, as well as hiding something painted in stark black and white which stands out like a sore thumb, they are Raven Guard after all) would eventually get stained, I'd say that works. The grey stain could be likened to their psychological transformation, perhaps viscerally represented by their berserkers, who straddle the line between their older, bloodthirsty Terran nature and their loyal adoption of Corax' teachings.

 

 

Many of their number succumbed to ash blindness, what the XIX Legion would call the Sable Brand, and would become furious berserkers. One such legionnaire would return from the front lines, his grey stained armor now splattered with the red of blood and gore. From then on, all ash blind legionnaires would color their arms red, setting them apart. The StormCrows had no resources to dedicate to curing the Ash Blindness, so rather than shun it, they embraced it, venerating those who came back from the brink as honored veterans. It was almost seen as a rite of passage among the men.

 

 

So, what is this Ash Blindness? How does it affect the genetically superior Astartes, for whom even toxic, acidic and even vacuum environments don't cause damage to their eyes? How come it hasn't affected any other legion or chapter who have burned plenty of worlds in their wake, the World Eaters for example, or even the Death Guard for their deployments to atmospherically harsh combat zones?

 

I think it might be better to twist it as a minor genetic abnormality within the Terran-RG gene-stock that they've been forced to work with for so long. Perhaps inadequate long term storage for their gene-seed given their fairly remote posting and lack of routine supply?

 

 


Their largest contribution was serving as a sort of Personal Guard for the Ultramarines Primarch.

 

 

This screams a little too much of wedging your guys into established history. As it stands it's a fairly well documented time, given the novels, as well as the Primarch having not only his own Ultramarine personal guard, for a good while he also had a pack of Space Wolves as an honour guard. It just seems a bit too on the nose.

 

If you wanted to keep it, I'd advise perhaps them performing the same function for diplomatic messages or demands from the Primarch when sending his own boys in blue might seem a little too strong or on the nose, while still projecting the strength implied from the Legions Astartes.

 
 
 
Also put a space between Storm and Crows, seeing it jammed together looks strange when reading it multiple times in a paragraph.

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The Octaguide.
The Thousand Marine Myth.

On the scale mismatch of bolts and bolters by Coldfyre

Commissar Molotov's Castigators - Essential reading for IA Creation.

"...I have seen the birth of this world and I have seen its death. I walked with the first men and I shared a beer with the last. For me everyone is both old and young at the same time as a million lifetimes pass before my eyes and humanity is like the grains of sand in the desert, each breath to me a sigh in the vast never-ending vacumn of space."
-Silver Phoenix


#93
Ulrik_Ironfist

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I realize that this is a huge wall of text

 

 

It is! A great bastion of words that would make Rogal Dorn proud. But it's good to have it all condensed in one spot. I'd advise changing the first post to the same, or adding it so that anyone brand new to the thread can be quickly brought up to date, if you haven't already.

Thanks. I'm needing some help in making it all consistent. I update the document which I linked to in the first post, whenever I come up with changes, based on how discussion shapes the direction.

 

 


I'll break down the Overview as I can see it and provide constructive criticism for things I notice as being problematic to my mind.

I do appreciate you taking the time to do that.
 

Is there evidence of Corax exiling any of his sons, Terran or not? I only ask as, again, so far as I was aware the Legion stayed whole under Corax, with the Terran marines being mostly wiped out under Horus' command of a fortress assault, the "Battle of Gate 42" during the Great Crusade. Something Corax never forgave Horus for, to put it lightly. The Terran born marines more willing to follow Horus' orders due to them having been part of the original forces attached to the Luna Wolves, being more bloodthirsty in general as well as being members of Erebus' lodges. Inadvertently purging the Raven Guard of most of the potentially traitor marines on the upside, but on the downside making them one of the smallest legions, who never recovered numerically.

 

I suppose you could have them as a group attached to another task force at the outskirts of the Imperium, unable to return to their Legion or Terra during the Heresy for 'reasons', having them show up later, though it does throw into question their loyalties quite dramatically, being both Terran born as well as what some would point to convenient timing of their return. This would make for interesting tension for your chapter though.

There is evidence, I can't remember where I read it, but I do know that Corax purged much of his legion of the Terran-Born influence. He saw the oppressive brutality of the Terran-born astartes as being akin to the slavers of Lyceas (Deliverance before it was renamed). That included exiling forces which did not adopt his ways, basically sending them out to serve as "nomadic predation fleets" (some say this is the origin for the Carcharodons Astra).

 

 


So how did they fight on their original campaign, refuse to adopt their gene-fathers reform, before all of a sudden deciding that his way was best? I know you say it's due to resupply issues but it still seems a bit flip-floppy to me. Yes necessity drives all but perhaps describe their losses and that same necessity and how it affected them, forcing them to change as much as opening their eyes to adapting themselves. You have to remember, this was hard for the Terran remnants of the legion who were directly under Corax, to say nothing of a group of marines who were away from his eyes and teachings.

Originally they focused on speed, surprise, and violence. They didn't care if the enemy saw them, if they were fast enough to overwhelm defenses and deny the enemy an opportunity to prepare. Their speed and brutality was their defense against detection, rather than stealth and guile. They did use stealth to get into position, and wait for opportune moments to strike, but they didn't seek to remain hidden one the attack was launched, they just hit hard. I conceived of them as expert raiders. In the aftermath of a raid, it's obvious that someone was there doing something.

 

What forced them to change, and adapt to become more subtle was that they needed allies. Showing up and destroying everything doesn't earn you allies, it simply makes things worse for local populations. So they adapted from raiders to become more like rangers. Focusing more on recon, adapting their strike forces to counter a situation rather than simply brute forcing the situation. They began to utilize force multiplication factors (snipers, combined arms tactics, recon elements) to target their raids to vital enemy weaknesses. Basically they learned that because of resupply issues, they needed to do more with less, and out of necessity they began to fall back on hunting techniques they used as tribesman rather than their warrior skills.

 

I hope that clears it up a bit more. Basically it's the difference between US Army Rangers and US Army Special Forces or the British Commandos and the SAS. The difference is that they adapted their tactics to serve them well in longer term insurgency rather than short term pitched battles.

 

 


So, their armour never gets cleaned? Never has any basic maintenance done on it? The machine spirits imperial technology are infamously fickle if not cared for properly and to me this simply seems like a lack of maintenance. Ash also doesn't stick like you seem to imply, it can stain fabric but even on people it gets washed off without too much trouble. It can be washed off with rain, mud, gore, blasts of air, impact, anything that a marine would encounter in his daily grind.

So Yes they do maintain their armor. The matte finish on their armor seems to me to be porous. Like the paint used on modern military vehicles, it would hold onto stains more readily without washing. Even in rain isn't enough to completely clean that off, you can still see the stains from dirt and mud on military paint. Now, when you also consider that I talk about them using the ashes of their fallen comrades cremated remains as part of a pigment to stain their armor it makes more sense. Furthermore, early on in the Great Crusade and even to an extent now, Raven Guard are shown to be a very dark grey color. The ashes of burning worlds would definitely highlight that, and when you also consider that I said as much elsewhere, they earned the name "Ashmen" for this terrifying visual. The Ashen Woad pigment is not removed during maintenance. It is never deliberately removed, because it is their way of carrying their fallen brothers into battle with them. That's not to say that it doesn't come off, or that they won't replace a damaged armor panel. It's also similar to how a sniper doesn't wash a ghillie suit.

 

 


Now if you had said their cloaks and field coverings (field camo kits for what I'd assume Astartes must use, considering how big of a silhouette they posses, as well as hiding something painted in stark black and white which stands out like a sore thumb, they are Raven Guard after all) would eventually get stained, I'd say that works. The grey stain could be likened to their psychological transformation, perhaps viscerally represented by their berserkers, who straddle the line between their older, bloodthirsty Terran nature and their loyal adoption of Corax' teachings.

That all is addressed. For one, they aren't stark black and white. Their colors are dark grey and red. That dark grey comes from an applied war paint, and their armor is supposed to be a flat black undercoat with that grey pigment on top. Their Chapter badge is red. They do use camo cloaks, but grey is also a very hard to distinguish color in nature which has made it very effective camouflage for centuries (Confederate Soldiers were notoriously hard to find in the civil war due to the grey, the Wehrmacht and Finnish Army both wore grey uniforms during WW2 and it was quite effective) However it would be worth noting that the Storm Crows would make use of camo cloaks and smocks over their armor to blend in with environments which are not shaded (like deserts). The Veteran Companies (yes companies, they retain the old legion structure) are marked out by the use of red helmets and red arms with grey chapter badges and silver pauldron trim, as well as the use of fur pelts of various predatory animals (such as wolves, bears, and cougars). I'll get into the reason veteran companies are so different in a moment.

 

 


So, what is this Ash Blindness? How does it affect the genetically superior Astartes, for whom even toxic, acidic and even vacuum environments don't cause damage to their eyes? How come it hasn't affected any other legion or chapter who have burned plenty of worlds in their wake, the World Eaters for example, or even the Death Guard for their deployments to atmospherically harsh combat zones?

 

I think it might be better to twist it as a minor genetic abnormality within the Terran-RG gene-stock that they've been forced to work with for so long. Perhaps inadequate long term storage for their gene-seed given their fairly remote posting and lack of routine supply?

Ash Blindness is a condition that was also called the Sable Brand by deliverance born astartes. It is a gene-seed defect. Under extreme stress (extreme even for an astartes) some of them might snap and fly into a suicidal frenzy killing, until killed or until they run out of enemies. It's not literal blindness. It's like the expression "seeing red" to denote extreme anger. They become "blind" to all but their rage. The Legion Moritat was born of Corax's "Shadow Killers" who were warriors who had succumbed to this condition.

 

Your suggestion is redundant, since this is something which I pulled explicitly from Horus Heresy Lore.

 

 


This screams a little too much of wedging your guys into established history. As it stands it's a fairly well documented time, given the novels, as well as the Primarch having not only his own Ultramarine personal guard, for a good while he also had a pack of Space Wolves as an honour guard. It just seems a bit too on the nose.

 

If you wanted to keep it, I'd advise perhaps them performing the same function for diplomatic messages or demands from the Primarch when sending his own boys in blue might seem a little too strong or on the nose, while still projecting the strength implied from the Legions Astartes.

 

Right. This is actually something I had meant to address and had overlooked. I had meant to remove that.

 

I hope that answers most of your questions, in a satisfactory way.
 


Edited by Ulrik_Ironfist, 10 August 2020 - 09:35 PM.

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#94
Grey Hunter Ydalir

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Well, consider me educated.

 

Yep, I am satisfied and it's looking good overall, honestly.

 

 

There is evidence, I can't remember where I read it, but I do know that Corax purged much of his legion of the Terran-Born influence. He saw the oppressive brutality of the Terran-born astartes as being akin to the slavers of Lyceas (Deliverance before it was renamed). That included exiling forces which did not adopt his ways, basically sending them out to serve as "nomadic predation fleets" (some say this is the origin for the Carcharodons Astra).

 

 

Ok that seems solid, though perhaps link that for the reader somehow? There's something about flat out stating something that has been alluded to in other source material that throws me off when reading it.

 

 

I hope that clears it up a bit more. Basically it's the difference between US Army Rangers and US Army Special Forces or the British Commandos and the SAS. The difference is that they adapted their tactics to serve them well in longer term insurgency rather than short term pitched battles

 

Ok, I understood the change in tactics through necessity for survival and I understand the difference between the various tiers of special forces. My point is more to the entrenched nature and mindset of Astartes which is famous and infamous in equal measure for their implacable nature, which can count doubly so for some of the Terran born original Astartes. I'm more questioning the process of the change in mindset.

 

More so, describe for us as readers a moment of change or clarity for those in command of the chapter.

 

 

So Yes they do maintain their armor. The matte finish on their armor seems to me to be porous. Like the paint used on modern military vehicles, it would hold onto stains more readily without washing. Even in rain isn't enough to completely clean that off, you can still see the stains from dirt and mud on military paint. Now, when you also consider that I talk about them using the ashes of their fallen comrades cremated remains as part of a pigment to stain their armor it makes more sense. Furthermore, early on in the Great Crusade and even to an extent now, Raven Guard are shown to be a very dark grey color. The ashes of burning worlds would definitely highlight that, and when you also consider that I said as much elsewhere, they earned the name "Ashmen" for this terrifying visual. The Ashen Woad pigment is not removed during maintenance. It is never deliberately removed, because it is their way of carrying their fallen brothers into battle with them. That's not to say that it doesn't come off, or that they won't replace a damaged armor panel. It's also similar to how a sniper doesn't wash a ghillie suit.

 

 

 

 

That makes sense. I totally didn't even clock your common sense thought of military paints. I think I've been so conditioned by GW artwork and some model representations of high shine or almost glossy Astartes paintwork that I automatically assigned that to your chapter as well.

 

 

 

 

Your suggestion is redundant, since this is something which I pulled explicitly from Horus Heresy Lore.

 

 

Fair enough, I must have missed that myself so my bad. That said, perhaps having a better explanation for anyone who hasn't read that particular piece of lore (as I must not have, though I swear....) so that even people unfamiliar with some finer points of the background can get a good understanding.

 

This actually counts for everything. It's not necessarily lowering the level of the writing, but making anything that could be missed or misinterpreted accessible to the reader.

 

Think of Star Trek technobabble. It can sound convincing, especially to a layman, but it never loses the audience in hyper specific terminology to the point that they have to pick up a physics book to understand what the characters are talking about. 

 

 

I think looking back, I definitely missed a couple of points and misconstrued some of what you were saying, that's my bad, I think my grasp on the fluff isn't as 'current' as it used to be. That said, there's an old phrase "if one person says it, five people are thinking it" and while it mostly applies to customer service industries, it also applies to written content too. I don't say this to pass the buck for my own mistakes back to the author, they're on me, I'm saying it because sometimes it can help to take a step back and perhaps see if there's a better way to illustrate your point or the information you're trying to get across.

 

I hope that all makes sense, insomnia has been getting to me the last week so I feel like I'm going to pieces a little in my ability to be makie sense of what I'm trying to get across, it all feels a bit fragmented. So hopefully, hopefully I came across coherently!


The Octaguide.
The Thousand Marine Myth.

On the scale mismatch of bolts and bolters by Coldfyre

Commissar Molotov's Castigators - Essential reading for IA Creation.

"...I have seen the birth of this world and I have seen its death. I walked with the first men and I shared a beer with the last. For me everyone is both old and young at the same time as a million lifetimes pass before my eyes and humanity is like the grains of sand in the desert, each breath to me a sigh in the vast never-ending vacumn of space."
-Silver Phoenix


#95
Ulrik_Ironfist

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Well, consider me educated.

 

Yep, I am satisfied and it's looking good overall, honestly.

 

I hope I didn't come across as snarky. That's not at all what I intended, but thank you. I'm trying very hard to keep things consistent, both internally and within the framework of the lore.

 

 

Ok that seems solid, though perhaps link that for the reader somehow? There's something about flat out stating something that has been alluded to in other source material that throws me off when reading it.

I get that. I've been trying to find where I read it so that it's not as much of an issue.

 

 


Ok, I understood the change in tactics through necessity for survival and I understand the difference between the various tiers of special forces. My point is more to the entrenched nature and mindset of Astartes which is famous and infamous in equal measure for their implacable nature, which can count doubly so for some of the Terran born original Astartes. I'm more questioning the process of the change in mindset.

 

More so, describe for us as readers a moment of change or clarity for those in command of the chapter.

Ah, I see what you mean. I hadn't yet written about the particular instance that had caused the light to flip. Perhaps something like this:

 

The Storm Crows were masterful raiders, they would strike without warning, and annihilate enemy forces before they could raise a warning. THis had worked well for them in their campaigns during the Great Crusade under the Warmaster Horus, and they had seen no reason to change. One campaign in particular would tax their abilities and see them need to enlist the aid of local resistance forces, and alter their tactics and attitudes towards the local populace. They were perplexed at the tenacity of the besieged city, and the defenders were never where the Storm Crows expected them to be, rather than be the established attackers, the locals had been raiding their own supply lines, and disrupting their efforts, because they did not wish to trade one set of oppressors for another. The populations of conquered territories had been treated as always, with suspicion and and iron fist. Due to the need for local resistance fighters the attitudes of the Storm Crows softened, as they sought to establish dialogue with the locals to protect their supply lines. Once this attitude had softened the Storm Crows found that they were no longer fighting both the city defenders and the local resistance, but they were now united in their goal to cast off the city's yoke of tyranny. It made the entire campaign easier, and the 12th chapter began to find that the locals knew the lay of the land better, and could find ways into the cities so that the Storm Crows could do what they did best, raid, sabotage, and assassinate.

 

They saw Corax's and their own tactics used against them by a third party. They couldn't understand why these people would fight their liberators, until someone said, "Hey, what if we just trust these people to a point like Corax said?" and it worked out well for them. And so they adopted the old Strategic Air Command saying, "Trust but verify" ("cognoscere nisi habeat fiduciam" in high gothic(latin)) .

 

 

 


That makes sense. I totally didn't even clock your common sense thought of military paints. I think I've been so conditioned by GW artwork and some model representations of high shine or almost glossy Astartes paintwork that I automatically assigned that to your chapter as well.

Yeah, I tend to think a bit more realistically in terms of my marines. One of the primary benefits of a matte paint is that color matching and blending and clearcoat are less necessary, and that makes maintenance easy. There's also the old military adage, "If it shined it dies" and I have to think that the Raven Guard of anyone would see the wisdom in not being shiny. I also tend to like dark matte tones so I tend to like to paint that.

 

 


Fair enough, I must have missed that myself so my bad. That said, perhaps having a better explanation for anyone who hasn't read that particular piece of lore (as I must not have, though I swear....) so that even people unfamiliar with some finer points of the background can get a good understanding.

 

This actually counts for everything. It's not necessarily lowering the level of the writing, but making anything that could be missed or misinterpreted accessible to the reader.

 

Think of Star Trek technobabble. It can sound convincing, especially to a layman, but it never loses the audience in hyper specific terminology to the point that they have to pick up a physics book to understand what the characters are talking about.

Sure, that makes sense. I've added explanations for what it is in the areas which mention it, since there's no wikia article for me to link to.

 

 


I think looking back, I definitely missed a couple of points and misconstrued some of what you were saying, that's my bad, I think my grasp on the fluff isn't as 'current' as it used to be. That said, there's an old phrase "if one person says it, five people are thinking it" and while it mostly applies to customer service industries, it also applies to written content too. I don't say this to pass the buck for my own mistakes back to the author, they're on me, I'm saying it because sometimes it can help to take a step back and perhaps see if there's a better way to illustrate your point or the information you're trying to get across.

 

I hope that all makes sense, insomnia has been getting to me the last week so I feel like I'm going to pieces a little in my ability to be makie sense of what I'm trying to get across, it all feels a bit fragmented. So hopefully, hopefully I came across coherently!

Yeah, I get that. That's unfortunately something that's all to familiar to me. You're doing fine in making sense, and I understand that all too well.
 

 


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#96
Grey Hunter Ydalir

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I hope I didn't come across as snarky. That's not at all what I intended, but thank you. I'm trying very hard to keep things consistent, both internally and within the framework of the lore.

 

 

Mate, you don't at all. Pragmatic and factual but not snarky, the fact that people can't tell the difference these days and are very reactionary to anything that isn't sugar coated is the real issue at hand. You're fine, I appreciate the candor to be honest.

 

 

Ah, I see what you mean. I hadn't yet written about the particular instance that had caused the light to flip. Perhaps something like this:

 

 

Great, from what I read (admittedly skim read, apologies) it's solid.

 

 

 

Yeah, I tend to think a bit more realistically in terms of my marines. One of the primary benefits of a matte paint is that color matching and blending and clearcoat are less necessary, and that makes maintenance easy. There's also the old military adage, "If it shined it dies" and I have to think that the Raven Guard of anyone would see the wisdom in not being shiny. I also tend to like dark matte tones so I tend to like to paint that.

 

 

 

Totally, I get that. I try to take a more realistic bent with my chapters as well. Practically speaking, they should never shine, they should not be in bright colours, have massively obvious ranking and unit markings and when not caught up in a moment where your disbelief is suspended due to good writing and all the 40k tropes fitting together as they should, it can be irritating.

 


 

 

Yeah, I get that. That's unfortunately something that's all to familiar to me. You're doing fine in making sense, and I understand that all too well.

 

 

 

 

Well, glad to know that I'm not going totally crackers yet. It's hard to be functional when your does what it wants, and brings up all the things you'd rather not see or hear ever again. Everything else just becomes so fractured. But we do what we can and soldier on, right? Activity is therapy, so the Gym is my therapy as is this. It's great to be able to bend your mind to a pursuit that both makes you think but at the same time isn't tied to an event or person. I'm not trying to be maudlin, but I want to clearly get across that I'm not necessarily trying to tear your work down either, providing critique (even when wrong! teehee.gif) is something that I enjoy the process of. I hope I didn't come across too blunt or critical myself, as I've been accused of being overly harsh or blunt in the past and I was a little concerned I'd done that here too. Text is sometimes a bit too much of a blank slate to interpret.


The Octaguide.
The Thousand Marine Myth.

On the scale mismatch of bolts and bolters by Coldfyre

Commissar Molotov's Castigators - Essential reading for IA Creation.

"...I have seen the birth of this world and I have seen its death. I walked with the first men and I shared a beer with the last. For me everyone is both old and young at the same time as a million lifetimes pass before my eyes and humanity is like the grains of sand in the desert, each breath to me a sigh in the vast never-ending vacumn of space."
-Silver Phoenix


#97
Ulrik_Ironfist

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So I figured I'd give a breakdown on the Order of Battle. The Storm Crows have followed a very traditional military rank structure since the days of the Great Crusade, as they often served with Solar Auxilia and Imperial Militia it helped for them to have parity with those forces. Unlike many Legions they used a rank structure which was in common use during the better parts of M2-M4 of the Age of Terra. Rather than Sergeants and Veteran Sergeants, the Chapter uses Sergeant and Master Sergeant. Sergeants lead squads, while they have an appointed Corporal for when the squad must split into two units. A Master Sergeant is directly over two or more sergeants. The support squads are overseen by the Company First Sergeant who is the senior most Master Sergeant (I do not  have this represented by my actual minis on the tabletop as there isn't a good way to represent it). Outside of the Veteran Company rank is represented thusly:

 

Silver Skull Emblem:                                  Corporal

Silver Skull w/ White helm:                         Sergeant

Silver Skull w/ White helm and red stripe:  Master Sergeant

Gold Skull Emblem:                                    Sergeant Major

 

Gold Skull w/ Red Helm and white stripe:   Lieutenant

Gold Skull w/ White Helm:                          Captain

Gold Skull w/ White Helm and red stripe:   Major

 

Gold Helm:                                                 Colonel

 

In the Veteran Company, the Helmets are all red, Save for the lieutenants who bear the white stripe and Captains who bear the White Helm and Gold skull. Each veteran is equivalent to a sergeant in terms of authority, while Veteran Sergeants bear the authority of a Master Sergeant. Upon being accepted into a Veteran Company, the Marine is promoted to the rank of sergeant, unless they had already attained that rank. This gives a veteran the authority to take command of astartes in the field, though this is rare since the veteran companies are generally deployed as a stand alone force.

 

Each Task Group or Hunt is broken down into a Battle battalion (Each one numbered 1-5) and a Reserve battalion (Numbered 6-10). Each Battalion is broken down into 5 companies each consisting of 100 Astartes. The makeup of these companies varies from hunt to hunt, but generally they are organized along the same lines. Since the Era Indomitus started, some hunts have been made up almost entirely of Primaris marines (either because they were adopted in or firstborn who crossed the rubicon primaris) While others are mixed, and others still entirely made up of Firstborn astartes. Hunt Væringjar is one such mixed force, with most of their firstborn astartes having settled into the Reserve battalion's specialist roles (as they would have during the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy). The reserve battalion is not a training formation, but rather serves as a specialist force which supplies the Hunt with dedicated specialists when needed.
 

Hunt Væringjar: Colonel

 

Battle Battalion (1st Battalion): Major, Sergeant Major

  1. Veteran Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  2. Raider Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  3. Commando Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  4. Drop Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  5. Sapper Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant

 

Reserve Battalion (6th Battalion)

  1. Tactical Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - Master Sergeant
  2. Tactical Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  3. Assault Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  4. Support Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - First Sergeant
  5. Recon Company - Captain
    1. Platoon - Lieutenant
    2. Platoon - Lieutenant
    3. Platoon - Lieutenant
    4. Support Squad - Master Sergeant

As you can see much of the legion structure is retained, with each company being made up of three platoons and a support squad. The Support Squad is generally made up of fire support units as close support and battleline squads are generally interchangeable. A platoon can in some cases be over-strength and contain four squads rather than three, this is unusual, but it does happen. In many cases one platoon of a raider or commando company will be over-strength but this is generally the only time it occurs. In at least one case the commando company is entirely over-strength owing to the fact that they see extensive combat and require the extra bodies.

 

After the induction of the Primaris Marines It would be accurate to estimate the Storm Crows full number around 5,000 combat ready astartes not counting pilots, vehicle crew, the librarius and reclusiam. Each company has at least a scribe and skald as well as a chaplain and techmarine (forgemaster) assigned and there are full armor compliments assigned to each Hunt, relic tanks and dreadnoughts, as well as aircraft, old and new. Each hunt has a full brigade of air support  and a full battalion of tanks, as well as enough ground transports for all the Squads that require it (generally only the veteran, tactical, and recon companies). This Would suggest that the fighting strength of the Storm Crows is closer to 10,000 personnel.



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#98
Bjorn Firewalker

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5000 Marines seems excessive for a Codex Chapter. (Before you mention the 6000 Black Templars, remember they're fleet-based, are fighting an endless crusade and suffer endless casualties as a direct consequence, and recruit from multiple planets by necessity; these traits make it difficult for the Ordo Astartes to monitor the Chapter's activities, or accurately count the number of Templars on active duty.) 2000 is probably manageable, so long as the Chapter is creative with how it counts Marines, e.g., purposefully omitting the crew of the tanks, flyers, and starships transporting the Marines to distant battlefields.
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

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Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#99
Ulrik_Ironfist

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5000 Marines seems excessive for a Codex Chapter. (Before you mention the 6000 Black Templars, remember they're fleet-based, are fighting an endless crusade and suffer endless casualties as a direct consequence, and recruit from multiple planets by necessity; these traits make it difficult for the Ordo Astartes to monitor the Chapter's activities, or accurately count the number of Templars on active duty.) 2000 is probably manageable, so long as the Chapter is creative with how it counts Marines, e.g., purposefully omitting the crew of the tanks, flyers, and starships transporting the Marines to distant battlefields.

I'm purposefully ignoring the codex limitation. Since they lost contact with the imperium during the great scouring, and didn't reestablish contact until M35 some 5,000 years later, they wouldn't have adopted the codex astartes at the same time as everyone else. This would mean that they continued on as a legion chapter recruiting from their new worlds and sending out "Nomadic Predation Fleets" to continue scouring traitors from the materium. Only upon reestablishing contact with the Imperium in M35, would they have learned of the Codex Astartes, and by then they would have seen fit to adopt its organization only superficially (Their task groupings of 10 companies), and stuck to the legion structure that had served them so well for the past 5,000 years. In the same way that the Templars avoid being monitored by the Ordo Astartes, so too would the Storm Crows. At the time that contact had been reestablished, they would have had fewer than 3,000 astartes due to attrition, without adequate resupply. The Indomitus Crusade would see them brought back up to full strength, though the Ordo Astartes would not have an accurate count for that. They are only nominally a codex chapter, as they adhere to aspects of it, but deviate from it significantly in terms of their organization and number.

 

Edit: I should note that just because the Estimate could be as high as 5,000 there is no exact number, though there are sealed records which tally a total of 10 battalions of five companies each, as it was during the Great Crusade, The Horus Heresy, and the Great Scouring. These battalions may have been lost, destroyed or otherwise on crusade. Total fighting force of the chapter including vehicle crews and the various auxilia, would indicate a total personnel of 5,000, with 2,000-3,000 of those being battle brothers. With the Cicatrix Meledictum creating problems it is entirely possible that entire hunts may have been lost in the dark imperium.


Edited by Ulrik_Ironfist, 24 August 2020 - 01:04 AM.


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#100
Ulrik_Ironfist

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So upon further reading on the Legion chapter, I may have miscalculated some things. It seems that nominally a Chapter is composed of only 2 battalions of infantry. Now apparently chapters could vary in size, depending upon a few things like how many astartes constituted a squad (tactical squads could be anywhere from 10-20 men), and I suppose that the five companies per battalion rule might have been violated as well.

 

If the chapter had ten companies per battalion instead of the typical five, because they recruited constantly, that could account for them having over 2000 marines. If they adopted the "standard" legion battalion of five companies that would give them 4 battalions of 500 astartes each, nominally.

 

Keeping the standard legion structure, a Tactical or Assault company would easily have 200 marines, and using the Codex structure of having 2 reserve Tactical companies and 1 reserve Assault company, easily puts the count to 600 marines, so the reserve battalions would easily be 800 strong at full capacity. Treating Tactical Marines and Intercessors the same, intercessor squads would also easily number 20 men meaning that one chapter grouping of 10 companies would easily number over 1000.

 

A standard battle company could be from 132 marines (the way I envision them) to 200 marines, so on the low end each grouping of two battalions (assuming there are only 4 battalions) would be 1460 astartes before considering the armor battalion and the aviation battalion attached to each two infantry battalions. Assuming a vehicle squadron is the smallest unit, and assuming 4 squadrons per platoon, that's another 60 marines per armor platoon (assuming a crew of 5 per vehicle), for another 200 astartes per company plus command staff. Five armor companies each that's another 1000 astartes. Aircraft would vary but assuming a crew of 3 a battalion would be another 540 astartes.

 

Each task force would be roughly 3000 astartes not including detachments from the librarius, reclusiam, and techmarines. Two such groupings would be 6000 astartes, but only 2920 of which are infantry.

 

I think that would be acceptable as a crusading chapter who recruits almost constantly to keep from falling below viable numbers. Each battalion would be led by a Kommandant and each battalion would be the Codex chapter grouping of 10 infantry companies. Each Hunt would essentially be set up like a US Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) with an infantry battalion, an armor battalion, and an aviation battalion. This is an easily deployable force.

 

I don't want them to be totally codex compliant because that feels boring to me, and abiding by the old legion structure feels like it would be unique.


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