BATTLE TACTICS OF THE 157th GRAND BATTALION
As befits a warband of the IVth Legion, the 157th are well versed in the arts of siege warfare, and most of their tactics justly revolve around the principles of preparation, coordination, and overwhelming firepower. By which is meant that all actions are meticulously prepared for beforehand, carefully planned and executed by major forces acting in concert with each other, and backed by the maximum supporting fire possible. Even in field engagements, there is a propensity to carry out actions in the same way, operating in a manner that some more aggressive Chaos Lords would deem slow and cautious, rarely launching an offensive unless it is a prepared set-piece one, and avoiding rapid, headlong and ad-hoc movements across the battlefield if it can be avoided. Artillery support is plentiful, from legion vehicles such as Basilisks and Whirlwinds, and from vassal Thorakata siege units. The enemy lines are first blanketed in high explosive and pinned in place by waves of expendable Janissary infantry, to adsorb hostile ammo and to identify points of resistance via which units take which casualty rates. Only then will the Iron Warriors themselves move covered by yet more supporting fire from vehicles and Rapier platforms, falling like a blow from a thunder hammer onto the chosen points of the frontline, smashing their way through with brutal force and efficiency. Breacher-fitted Tactical squads and Terminator veterans lead the way, with Iron Havocs and Assault Raptors following up. Dreadnought Talons are directed towards anything even those forces cannot reduce to rubble or scraps.
Smoke and artillery fire filled the air all across the city. The surviving guardsmen huddled behind whatever cover the bombed-out shell of the building offered as las-fire whipped around them. None of them could say with any certainty what the structure's original purpose had been, and right none of them frankly cared, occupied as they were by the massive force of Chaotic infantry confronting them. Although armed only as light troops, with simply a lasgun and little body armour, they were nonetheless attempting to storm the city block as if they were space marines, despite the artillery lashing them. Max swore as yet another line came screaming at them, seemingly begging to be cut down, yet in their desperation their fire felled yet more of his shrinking garrison. Suddenly the wordless yells of the foe cut off. Although the crack of las-fire and the boom of impacting shells raged unabated, the sudden lack of that sound made for an eery 'lack' of noise. "Where have they gone?" wondered a corporal as he rose to survey the battle field, before his upper body shattered under the impact of a bolt round. Several guardsmen began to whimper as they realised what was suddenly coming for them. New shapes moves through the ash-haze, hulking figures clad in ancient dull-coloured plate, combi-bolters spitting fire, blasting men away with the inhuman accuracy of consummate killers, and behind them rose the silhouette of some monstrous mechanical beast, roaring forwards at the now shaking humans grimly clinging to their positions.
The Grand Battalions armored tactics are based around their role of breaching enemy defensive line and positions, as well as countering enemy tanks, and as such they prefer the 'push' of heavy tanks rather that the 'thrust' of lighter vehicles. Land Raiders, backed up by Vindicator assault guns, are the primary vehicles employed by the warband. Specialist formations of rarer tanks preserved by their bonded Dark Mechanicus support the standard Armour Centuries as needed. These include a Heavy Assault Company (Fellblades, Mastodons and Spartans), a Counter-Armour Wing (Tank destroyers and Lascannon Havocs), and a Special Armour Group (Sicarans and Proteus).
The heavy elements of the Counter-Armor Wing were sitting behind the concealed berms and firing pits, waiting for the lead echelons of the loyalist tanks. At the center of the line was the formations flagship, the ancient Cerberus Black Lantern. On either flank were the squadrons of Sicaran Venators. The supporting Predator tanks fell back though the ambush zone, drawing nearly a full battalion's worth of Imperial Leman Russ tanks after them. The loyalists, flushed with perceived victory, hurried across the arid landscape after, ahrdly daring to believe that they had bested a force of traitor Astartes. The Sentinel walkers, probing ahead of the tank elements, were the first to realise their depths of the danger they were in, even as precise lascannon blasts began picking them off. Black Lantern's massive tri-linked Neutron Laser Projector adjusted onto the foremost Leman Russ and fired, obliterating the battle tank in a shocking display of overkill. The Venators opened up with their own armaments, a rolling cannonade of dense laser fire tearing into the enemy at ranges in which they could not hope to escape from.
Edited by Majorbookworm, 13 August 2015 - 01:25 PM.