+ inload: Origin of an Empire: The Divided Mechanicus +

+ Origin of an Empire: A Divided Mechanicus +

For all their precious logica and supposed rationality, in my experience, the followers of the Machine seem wilfully capable of twisting their orders to suit them. 
Keep your friends close; and your enemies closer, as the proverb has it. What then, are we to make of the symbiotic dominions of the Emperor and Machine God?

Extract from All Human History – Inquisitrix Barbari Kills, Ordo Xenos

Neomechanicus Adherent Enginseer:
note diagnostic chequers.

+ An Overview of the Adeptus Mechanicus +

Since the Treaty of Mars; or Treaty of Olympus Mons, to give it its Martian title, the Mechanicum – and later the Adeptus Mechanicus – has been an empire within an empire, loyal to the Emperor as a symbol of the Machine God. Operating with a degree of independence from Imperial worlds, the Forge Worlds and their denizens have enjoyed relative autonomy from the Tithe for five millennia; instead being oathbound to supply Imperial forces – Navy, Guard and Astartes – with weapons, armour and supplies.

Even within the Adeptus Mechanicus, individual Forge Worlds – of which there are several hundred thousand, scattered across the galaxy – are sovereign realms, typically under an Archmagos Prime (their equivalent of an Imperial Governor). For much the same reasons as the worlds of the Imperium must look primarily to their own protection (cf. Inquisitrix Kills' earlier notes on Origin of an Empire: Nova Terran Interregnum), the individual Forge Worlds are left to their own devices. Mars insists only upon the submission of Holy Data to the Martian Altar Mechanicus. This comes in many forms; from physical screeds which must be transcribed, to recovered second-generation STC documents, to the physical remains of great Magi, whose mnemo-patterns are inloaded to the Altar.

The popular image of a Forge World is of a world-spanning factory; with great spills of drifting waste, and a dead, desert climate of chemical sands – and such a scene is common; not least amongst the pre-eminent Forge World Mars. However, Forge Worlds are nearly as diverse as any planet on which humanity has settled – both Imperial and the barbarous beyond-worlds.

2nd Regiment of Skitarii: Braun VI designate

+ Internal divisions +

Like any large empire or group, the Adeptus Mechanicus is full of behind-the-scenes factionalism. Most famously, this led to the division that split the Mechanicum during the events of the Horus Rebellion [...]
Now-lost technology: [Unknown designate]
[+Appendnote: Prior to the Inquisition's adoption of the resurgent Ministorum's preferred term in late M35, the Horus Heresy was referred to by many terms – a perhaps inevitable result of the idea being surpressed for so long. The decision of the Ecclesiarchy to promulgate a mythologised and highly redacted version of events as part of the official Imperial Cult cemented the term in its religious nomenclature. My learned predecessor, Barbari Kills, can perhaps be seen chafing at a resurgent Ecclesiarchy at the time of writing.][+Auth: Unfortunus Veck+].
[...]and the subsequent refounding of the faction as the 'tamed' Adeptus Mechanicus, now officially a pillar of the greater Imperium, and guaranteed both responsibilities and rights as part of the High Lords of Terra. Since then, many factions have come and gone.

Officially, the split between the Nova Terra Interregnum did not affect the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the various Forgeworlds continued to supply the local worlds to which they were indentured. Nevertheless, individual Archmagi obeyed blockade instructions between Nova Terra and Ancient Terra, and the movement of materiel. Thus in practice, if not in spirit, the Adeptus Mechanicus became divided during the Nova Terra Interregnum.


+ Domains of the Adeptus Mechanicus +

The splits in the Mechanicus, being spiritually driven and more diverse in concept, meant schismatic Forge Worlds were spread broadly across the galaxy, rather than being concentrated in a single Segmentum.

Foremost amongst the principal factions were:
  • Adeptus Mechanicus – sometimes referred to as the 'Adeptus Mechanicus Maior'; this was the largest, most influential and most conservative faction, continuing to serve the greater Imperium under Ancient Terra, and to have a seat on the High Lords. 
  • Neomechanicus – Also known as the Adeptus Mechanicus Minor, the preferred title was 'United Neomechanicus forces of Segmentum Pacificus', but it quickly became known simple as the Neomechanicus. This group was supposedly formed as a self-policing independent group of Forge Worlds within the seceding Segmentum Pacificus, in order to ensure compliance with Martian edicts during the crisis. In essence, it was a puppet state, though the Neomechanicus was forced to make a number of difficult compromises and harbour certain individuals that meant a gradual drift away from Martian rule began almost immediately. Outwardly staunchly loyal to Mars, the Neomechanicus' main distinguishing feature from their parent was their strict application of the wording of the Treaty of Olympus Mons, which means that the Archmagi of their Forge Worlds – with varying degrees of eagerness and reluctance – continued to supply the worlds of the Nova Terran Imperium. 
  • Praximal Adherents – A small group of Forge Worlds, principally in the Segmentum Solar, rallied around the Forge World Praximal to defend its right to recognise itself as truly independent. In essence, the Praximal Adherents promoted secession not just from the Imperium, but from the broader Imperium itself. That such rebellion was tolerated for so long was a mark both of how stretched Imperial resources were at this time, and the unwillingness of the High Lords to officially recognise – and thus legitimise – a second powerful group of Secessionists. 
  • Martian Suprematists – Inspired by the charismatic Prophetech Hos Chu of Vacuna, a number of Forge Worlds openly declared their support for the Ur-council, on the condition that Cult Mechanicus philosophies and laws would be recognised as official across the Nova Terran Imperium. While this was not fully successful, the Suprematists did manage to have Temples to the Machine God erected across many Imperial worlds, much to the disgust of the Adeptus Ministorum. 
  • Moirae Schismatics – The most famous group of the period, the Schismatics are fully deserving of an account of their own, which can be found later in this volume. [+noosphericinloadlink inactive+] 
  • Ancient Mechanicum of Triplex – Later to be stereotyped as independently-minded, the magi of the frontiers Forge World of Triplex-Phall were amongst the most devout and religiously-minded of all members of the Mechanicus at this point, their society all but indistinguishable from a shrineworld. Many influential Magi from Forge Worlds including Druent, Xibalba and Suzo No Otoko, expressed political sympathy for this divisive regime.
Coven of Praximal Adherents

+ The Adeptus Mechanicus during the Nova Terra Interregnum +

The Nova Terra Interregnum was a time of resurgent Imperial ambition, but the Mechanicus was at its most inward-looking during this period; with co-operation becoming ever more strained, discoveries jealously hidden, and the Prime Archmagi of many worlds forbidding exloading or inloading material from off-world, for fear of sedition, rebellion or worse. As a result, the fruits of research, always few and far between, ground almost completely to a halt across the broader Imperium.

With the physical aspect of the machine – and its concomitant cultural association with duty to the Imperium – losing its appeal for many individual Magi, many turned more to more esoteric or mystical personal researches. Attendance at Cult Mechanicus meetings swelled across the galaxy as the faithful turned from their temporal research to the metaphysical search for the Machine God.
Shrine-servitors – mobile automatons bearing priestly relics and capable of automated blessing, became commonplace during this period as a result of the paucity of trained machine-clerics. [model by j.vandamnit].
Perhaps coincidentally, perhaps in cultural sympathy, the denizens of the Forge Worlds became closely aligned with the broader Imperium in this increased religiosity. With the Emperor officially recognised as the God-Emperor, expressions of faith were already on the rise across the human galaxy as a whole; and for the Forge Worlds, this came to be expressed in a ever-more heightened ritualism.

Long-standing questions regarding the nature of the Emperor, the morality of the Adeptus system and the very meaning of existence were examined from every conceivable angle; and led to many full-scale wars and conflicts. From one angle, this caused stagnation and a rolling-back of understanding not seen since the fell events of the Horus Rebellion. Those crumbs of knowledge re-gathered in the centuries since were sequestered away once more, hidden in datavaults as demands for processing power turned from the physical to the spiritual. As Forge Worlds fell, or Magi were deposed, the knowledge or license to manufacture once-popular weapon systems, such as the Astartes' Sicaran and Sabre tanks, were lost or forbidden.

Conversely, the period also saw huge advancements in metaphysics, machine ethics and cultural understanding between the Twin Imperium and the Empire of Mars. Previously restricted material flooded onto the galactic stage as the Nova Terran Army (and later, in direct response, certain regiments of the Greater Imperial Guard) began to field Rhino transports and Land Raider battle tanks once again.

It is to the Sophist-priests of the Mechanicus that many Imperial archeaohistorians have attributed the continued co-existence and alliance of the Imperium and Mechanicum; their hard-won understanding and knowledge easing rising tensions, and allowing both Imperial Commanders and their Archmagos Prime counterparts greater understanding of one another and the oppression of their respective vulgar masses.


+ Role of the Adeptus Mechanicus during the Alien Wars +

Limited local refusal or personal political statements aside, on a broad scale, adepts of the Mechanicus continued to supply their Imperial charges, regardless of their sympathies to Constantium or Nova Terra. Their own forces swelled as the now-defunct Collegia Iconoclastis gathered religiously-minded forces and led them in holy wars against 'incompatible' Forge Worlds; resulting in the loss of irreplacable knowledge.

Missionary force of Zelb
These forces were to prove essential, as many Forge Worlds were to find themselves under increased threat from xenos sources, primarily owing to the Imperial withdrawal from previously-patrolled routes. The War of Kontol Oltdell saw the triple Forge Worlds of Glim all but destroyed by a combined host of Eldar. Barathrum was besieged by orks; and even Ryza was beset by an upsurge in Ymgarli activity.

Fortunately for the Mechanicus, and the human galaxy as a whole, the spirits of the devout Magi of the time were roused in defence of their empire. Divided as they were, all factions of the Mechanicus stood firmly against the xeno.


Aspirant Techmarine of the Iron Souls Chapter Astartes
Particular note should be made of the Astartes' relationship with the Adeptus Mechanicus at this time. While many Chapters – including luminaries like the Imperial Fists, and almost all the Iron Hands' successors – continued to send aspirant techmarines on a pilgrimage to Mars for their training, other Chapter Masters broke with long-standing tradition in order to avoid appearing to favour the Greater Imperium of the High Lords of Terra. 

Instead, their aspirants were variously apprenticed to existing Techmarines (often grudgingly, owing to the Techmarine's split vows), sent to nearby primary Forge Worlds in lieu of Mars (the Ultramarines pragmatically requested their local Forge Worlds to be sanctified by various Mechanicus factions in order to mollify all sides, then extended an invitation to their successor Chapters to send aspirants for training there), or even inducted through the Chapter cult; resulting in the peculiar creation in some Chapters (such as the Desert Lions) of a generation of techmarines with no official qualification; instead reliant entirely on jury-rigging the famously resilient STC-derived wargear systems. Such actions resulted in warfare between 'heretek' Chapters and the Adeptus Mechanicus on more than one occasion.


+ Post Script +

Understanding the nature of the God-Emperor is as vital to the survival of humanity as a whole, as is oxygen, water or succour to its individual subjects.

I remain, at your service; Inquisitrix Barbari Kills.

+ inload: Battle for Geostation Erpes +

+ Alien Wars: Battle for Geostation Erpes +

+ A Warhammer 40,000 8th edition battle report (with apologies to Rogue Trader) +

+ The preamble for this scenario, and a copy of the mission itself, can be found here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +


+ Apologist's Orks: Luggub's Drop Legion +

"Iss quiet." murmured Thrugg, slowing his pace and brushing aside the scrub with the blade of his choppa. "Almost... too quiet."

The ork beside him, Urglab, brightened up. "Too right, boss!" he said eagerly, ratcheting his shoota and firing a burst off into the woods. Thrugg closed his eyes and sighed as the squad leader, Splatta, cuffed Urglab soundly round the ear.

Splatta drew alongside Thrugg. "Wot izzit, boss? Reckon yer can smell oomies?" Thrugg nodded. The two orks remained kneeling in the scrubby cover for a moment in silence, before Splatta looked down and ran his thumb along his blade, testing the edge. "Might be da ones we burned last time we were 'ere, don'cha fink?"

"Nah," Thrugg shook his head distractedly. "We ate dem, remember?" For a moment he paused, brow furrowed, before continuing slowly, 'Sides, dere's sumfing... diff'rent about dis oomie smell..."


+ Bob Hunk's Crimson Fists: 4th Co. Strike Force Cerulean Rampart   +

Brother Gomez tapped two fingers to the Chapter symbol on his pauldron as Grimstone passed by on his patrol of the farm perimeter. The Captain returned his salute distractedly. Damn greenskins, he thought. The Astartes were no stranger to hardship, but the hero of Fell Reach and the Antares Wars found grubbing around on a backwater agri-world frustrating – doubly so when the inhabitants had revealed they had neglected their orbital defences for months; and even the Crimson Fists had been forced into hiding.

Still, they were alive, and ahead of the main ork force. If they could avoid interdiction by roving ork patrols, the Fists would be back in Driffield Urb within hours; and they could begin a counter-insurgency to uproot and throw back the orks.

Grimstone's jaw tensed as he heard a brief rattle of small arms nearby...


+ Theatre of war +

+ Temportus system; Driffield sub-urban Region; Geo-station Erpes +

Geo-station Erpes – top right of this pict-capture – is an example of a basic agri-world climate monitoring station.
Little more than a collection of sensors to the north-east of a small farm, the Geo-Station was destroyed along with the farm and its inhabitants within days of the ork invasion. The burned-out ruin of the farm  acted as a temporary barracks for a platoon of orks for a few days before they moved on, having stripped the nearby orchards of provender. 

A few days later, retreating Crimson Fist forces paused in order to attempt to use the Geo-Station for communion with the local town. As night fell, the Crimson Fists settled down for a brief respite. Unfortunately for them, an ork patrol had been sent back to investigate raised electromagnetic levels from the Geo-Station...


+ Deployment +

Grimstone's Marine are dug in behind thick bocage. The two sentries (marked with muzzle flashes) are front and centre, and Grimstone accompanies the squad on the east. The two lieutenants are with the second squad, opposite the rad-apple orchard.

Using a split deployment, the orks use the orchard and low scrub to cover their cautious approach, leaving a central gap. Thrugg is on the western flank, leading two small squads towards the farm through the orchard.


+ Turn 1 +

Crimson FIsts (CF): A sentry picks out the approaching greenskins through the trees. With the Crimson Fists' Chapter Tactics making cover useless, a single bolt explodes a luckless ork.

Luggub's Drop Legion (LDL): Thrugg urges his troops forward, directly towards the farm. While cover won't help, being out of line of sight will!

LDL: Second-in-command Hruk opts for a more cautious approach, finding the sweet spot within the orks' range, but outside of the marines' rapid fire. Trading shots, the orks clip one of the Astartes, sending blood spattering. Cursing, the marine resumes his place in the line.

+ Victory points total +
CF: -1
LDL: 1

+ Turn 2 +

CF: With time pressing, the Fists on the western flank break cover and move into the orchard, relying on their spirits of their battlegear to protect them.

CF: Rapid fire! Deadly boltgun fire cuts down one mob of orks. The nob is killed cleanly; the alarm remains unraised.

LDL: It's now or never for the orks. Urged on by Thrugg, the remaining mob decides chopping is the better part of valour and flanks the marines.

LDL: The mob and Thrugg charge the Crimson Fists' squad simultaneously, forcing the group to split to defend themselves. Unfortunately, this leaves them in range for the Lieutenants to both heroically intervene.
Apologist's note: D'oh! I thought I was being ded kunnin here, but clever positioning of the lieutenants rendered my trick moot. 

LDL: A fierce axe attack brings Brother Gabron to his knees, and Splatta administers the coup de grace, ending this hero's tale. Retribution is swift; and the orks (including their squad leader) are quickly finished off by his squadmates and the marine officers.

"'Ere, can't we talk about dis?"
LDL: Even Thrugg is no match for three bio-engineered star knights. His blows land, but fail to find purchase in the ancient Mark IV armour.

CF: The response is swift; Thrugg is bludgeoned into unconsciousness.

+ Victory points total +
CF: 3
LDL: 2

+ Turn 3 +

CF: Their way clear, lieutenant Griguez dutifully orders his men to sprint for the northern border. The other lieutenant accompanies them, but ducks eastward slightly, so lend his embattled brothers fire support from his auto-bolter.

CF: Knowing time is against them, Grimstone orders his men to break cover and advance on the orks.

LDL: Wortoof's squad knocks another marine sprawling, but the bloodsoaked Astartes gets back up with a grunt.

LDL: The ork firepower is just not enough; the remaining orks hesitate between advancing and staying put.

CF: Before the decision can be made, combined fire from Grimstone's squad and the distant lieutenant combine to wipe out Wartoof's mob...

LDL: ... except for Wortoof himself. The nervous old ork grabs his communicator and raises the alarm – disastrously for Hruk, who now has no chance of regaining his loot.
Bob Hunk's note: The Alarm roll by Apologist means that I've only got two turns to get the Crimson Fists off the northern table edge...
+ Victory points total +
CF: 3

LDL: -3

+ Turn 4 +

LGL: It's do or die now. The orks have to hold as many Crimson Fists back as they can, to trap them on the battlefield before the reinforcement arrive and end the mission.

CF: Firepower from the Crimson Fists kills Wortoof and Hruk's mob, but leaves the canny ork alive. Grimstone charges, his power fist energising...

CF: ...and before Hruk knows what's hit him, he's crumpled in a broken heap, leaving the field entirely to the Crimson Fists.
Apologist's note: The mission doesn't end when the orks are wiped out; as the Fists still need to make their escape. This added some tension, as the late breakout meant that the squad would have to make two good advance rolls to get off the board. It was a clever ploy by Bob Hunk to charge Hruk, as it gave him a crucial extra burst of speed.
+ Victory points total +
CF: 5

LDL: -3

+ Turn 5 +

CF: Aside from the groans of dying orks, the field was silent. But victory could still elude Grimstone and his men. Urging them forward, all the remaining Crimson Fists sprinted for the safety of the northern border.

CF: The lieutenant looks back before exiting the field, shepherding his men as he goes. Six Crimson Fists Astartes are secure.

+ Victory points total +
CF: 11

LDL: -3

+ Turn 6 +

CF: Injured, stumbling, some of the the squad cannot keep up with their brethren. Bitterly, the Captain is forced to continue his retreat as engines rumble ominously in the distance. Just one precious Astartes from the squad makes it off the field before the night erupts into explosion from horizon to horizon with battlecannon shells and mass-driver cannonfire falling all about.

CF: With Command Points to spare, Bob Hunk nervously rolls for his Captain's advance...  and scores a natural six – the only result that would get him off the board to fight another day!

LDL: With just two marines off the board this turn, the remainder are quickly butchered by the overwhelming  force of the full ork army.

+ Victory points total +
CF: 9

LDL: 2

+ Result +

Crimson Fists victory!

The brave survivors live to fight another day.
Falling back to Driffield Urbs, Grimstone and the six survivors vow vengeance on the orks.


+ Conclusion +

+  A fantastic game; we really enjoyed ourselves! Bob Hunk and I discussed the scenario afterwards, and agreed that it was a little unbalanced in favour of the marines – but that was clear from the start. When playing games like this, think of them as scenes in a film. It creates a bit of distance and stops you getting too involved in events! Such an approach works best with small-scale skirmish games, as there's (typically) not as much time invested in the game, so you can roll with the punches while your spirits are still high. If you do want a closer, more competitive experience, Bob Hunk suggested the following:

  • Using Tactical marines rather than Primaris
  • Removing the Lieutenants
+ A variant that occurred to me on the way home would be to use Nob rules for all the orks (with Thrugg as a Warboss). The stat changes for Primaris make Nobz a more credible threat at the numbers faced. Basically super-orks to face super-marines! +

+ A spectacle and an ongoing narrative +

+ For games like this, it's all about enjoying playing setpieces that bring up unexpected tension – will Thrugg survive? Will the Captain escape? – and might lead to something else. Bob Hunk and I are pretty fired up for a sequel to this game; and perhaps we'll go for a larger, evenly-pointed contest at some point. If we do, that will be informed by the events of this game – perhaps it'll give Bob Hunk some ideas for a Warlord trait, or maybe I'll be able to model a banner with some Crimson Fists trophies front and centre. It's stuff like this that makes your army yours; and really gives them a history that develops with you – it ain't all about winning! +

+ In any case, here the result was rather irrelevant compared with the spectacle of the game. Playing this scenario with a good friend, using lovingly-built modern iterations of the classic forces, on a fully modelled board that was made specifically for the game, has been a long time in preparation – and worth every minute, I think! +

+ Strike Force Cerulean Rampart will (hopefully) return in: The Battle of Jadeberry Hill +

+ inload: Alien Wars Mission: Battle for Geostation Erpes +

+ The Battle for Geostation Erpes +

Orks assault the sorry remnants of Jadeberry Meadows Farm, defended by battered members of Crimson Fists 4th Company.
+ As covered in Bob Hunk's guestinload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], we're playing a version of Rogue Trader's Battle for the Farm, reimagined in the Alien Wars setting. I've drafted up the following mission that you're more than welcome to try out. +

You should be able to click on this to embiggen it; but if it doesn't work, let me know in the comments.

+ Designer's notes +

+ What edition is this for? +
This an 8th edition update. GW made rules available for a 6th/7th edition updated of the original scenario, and the original one works fine for 1st/2nd ed.; I thought we'd try the latest version. +

+ Competitive or friendly? + 
+ This is very much a playtest mission, so if you find it hilariously unbalanced and unenjoyable one way or the other, I've added some suggestions for variation. However, I would encourage you to try it out, imbalances and all, as a different sort of gaming experience. You might try the historical gaming approach of taking it in turns to command the different forces, to see if you can improve on your gaming partner's approach. +

Given the simplicity of the forces, you might try it out as an introductory mission. It's very firmly in the narrative gaming camp. The original version is fairly infamous for being very one-sided – check out Realm of Zhu's article on this [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] – and later editions of the game have made marines tougher and ork shooting worse. +

+ I've stuck with the original forces (twenty-one orks taking on sixteen marines), but I've tried to give the Marines more of a reason to hoof it across the board fairly early on, while making the loss of each one a really serious problem for the marines – both -1VP for their side, and +1VP for the orks. I hope this adds a sense of how precious the individual Marines are in the modern background, and helps to give the Crimson Fist player a few more strategic choices than 'hunker down and murder everything at range.' +

+ Forces are a bit vague +
+ No, you're a bit vague! +

+ Silliness aside, yes; they are. I've deliberately left the marines' exact equipment (and numbers) unstated, so feel free to mix and match weapons, or use whatever models you have. While we're trying it with Intercessors, you might find Tactical Marines give a closer game, if that's what you're after. +

+ For added balance (and to give the orks some teeth), you might try Thrugg as a Warboss. I've left him as a Nob, as I think that better fits the original background – he's very much just a platoon-level boss. +

+ Similarly, the exact numbers of Marines is vague. You might try using minimum (or even understrength) squads to provide more of a challenge. +

+ Let me know what you think – and if you've got a mission of your own, why not share it? +

+ inload: Anatomy of Empire II: The Nova Terran Imperium +

+ Anatomy of Empire II: The Nova Terran Imperium +

+ Principal domains of Nova Terra +

+ Segmentum Pacficus +

After decades of discontent with the machinations of the Adeptus Munitorum and Ministorum, the majority of the systems in this Segmentum declared for Nova Terra over the course of some thirty years. 
  • Constantium/Nova Terra  The seat of the Ur-Council; Constantium has long been known as Nova Terra owing to its influence across the galaxy. The term became official during the Declaration of Secession. It is a large, beautiful and well-connected world, massively well-defended both politically and militarily. The system enjoys protection from attack by peculiarities in the nearby warp that prevent the rapid approach of voidcraft.
  • Chalcedon  Seat of the Patriarch of the Reformed Ophelian Church, Chalcedon became a major Shrineworld and site of pilgrimage during this period. Previously dotted with palaces, the Mendicant Order saw these fall into carefully-organised ruin.
  • Galatat  A primary Forge World, Galatat was tacitly endorsed and supported by Mars, who sought to brace and bridge both rival Imperial forces without favour. 
  • Port Thrace  As the naval forces of the Nova Terran Imperium strengthened and increased in number, the civilised world of Port Thrace was pressed into service to lessen the load on the ancient naval seat of Hydraphur.
  • Barbaras  Seat both of the Nova Terran Army's High Command, and of the Ancient and Proper Inquisitorial Palace.
  • Trimundi  A bustling hiveworld on the contested border of the Segmentum, Trimundi was brought near to ruin several times during the later period of open warfare.
Galatian Armoured and Super-heavy Armoured Companies for the Nova Terran Army.

+ Segmentum Obscurus +

  • Khios  On the borders of the Laanah Rifts, this world churns out sturdy and reliable Regiments for the Nova Terrans.
  • Avignor  Stronghold and Forgeworld of Archmagos Veneratos Zion.
  • Jin Gi  One of the many fiercely independent frontier worlds that joined the Nova Terran Imperium after the Secession; seeing the Nova Terrans, rightly or wrongly, as more malleable to compromise than that of Ancient Terra.

+ Ultima Segmentum +

Throngsman of the Ymir League
  • Formund  Nova Terran stronghold; site of the iconoclastic Truth movement.
  • Vacuna  Fortress world and birthplace of Hos Chu.
  • Tellaria  Infamous as the principal proponent of the Xenos Accords, which aimed to non-humans inducted into the Army of the Nova Terrans.
  • Ymir League  Many amongst the abhumans of the coreworlds had ties to Nova Terran interests, or felt oathbound to throw in their lot with the secessionists. The Ymir League was the most famous of the large Leagues to declare.
  • Dargon  A minor squat stronghold, Dargon was to have a terrible fate.

+ Segmentum Tempestus +

  • Salvation-Gamma  The shrineworld of Salvation-Gamma is seen by many Old Imperials as the southernmost reach of the Nova Terra Ur-Council; a bastion of faith in a faithless empire.

+ Segmentum Solar +

  • Sarmatia   Home of the Lesser Imperial Synopticon.
  • Moirae  Forge World; seat of the Moirae Schismatics.


+ Forces loyal to Nova Terra +

+ Nova Terran Army +

7th Division NVA; wearing desert fatigues for combat on Ryll
The Nova Terran Army, usually shortened to the NTA, was the pride of the Ur-Council. An elite force somewhat equivalent to the Tempestus Scions or Naval Armsmen, it formed a corps of highly motivated and well-equipped professional soldiery able to respond quickly to threats or uprisings. Circumventing the ancient split of Navy and Guard, the Nova Terran Army remained officially separated from Naval forces by becoming the militant wing of the Munitorum; which accounts for their unusual naming practices.

Separated from the Guard, the Nova Terran Army were showered with support, equipment and materiel by the Nova Terran Munitorum. As a result, many Divisios were able to resurrect the pre-Crusade use of the Rhino as transport, in addition to a limited number of Predator cavalry tanks.

Most of the Army's members were ex-guard or PDF volunteers and religiously motivated, favouring the hardline doctrines of the Reformed Ophelian Church, which emphasised self-reliance and clear thinking. The Army was as effective a propaganda tool as a military force; becoming a by-word for reliability. Looting – then commonplace amongst Guard regiments – was heavily punished, and the solider encouraged to be 'Clene in thort, werde and dede.

Initially intended as a meritocratic organisation where proficiency, rather than social standing, determined rank and progress, the Nova Terran Army inevitably failed to fully realise this ideal. However, the zeitgeist of Nova Terra did mean that a number of low-born volunteers achieved high acclaim. 

The Nova Terran Army earned a number of derogatory names from their Ancient Imperial counterparts. The  'Neevees', 'Firstfalls' and 'Rotten Army' being amongst the more publishable.

+ Notable Divisions +
  • 1st Division 'Proficients' – a double strength division, the Proficients held the line at Ghaud and scattered the Eldar of Shi-Rei.
  • 5th Division – The first to fight the forces of the Ancient Imperium, captured members had their hands removed ritually before being returned. In response, the regiment adopted a practise of tattooing their hands to show camaraderie with their fellows and contempt for their enemy.
  • 17th Division 'Coldcurs' – The most decorated armoured divison of the Nova Terran Army, this Divisio boasted an entire company of Predator-pattern battle tanks, fresh from the forges of Galatat.

+ Nova Terran Guard +

While the NVA was intended as a long-term replacement for the PDF and Imperial Guard, logistics meant that they were only ever a figurehead force, numbering barely 500,000 across the entire corps. The bulk of existing Imperial structure remained, meaning that the extant Guard regiments and PDF of nearly quarter of a million worlds remained active.

+ Notable Regiments +
    Free-soldiers of the Hydraphur 707th
    • Chirosian Cavalry – In truth, a group of small, rival bodyguard forces conglomerated into a single regiment, the Chirosian Cavalry were part of the laity of the world. They fought bravely against Eldar pirate forces on a number of theatres, becoming something of a specialist anti-Eldar force.
    • Verghast 41st Armour – Led the Nine-Hundred Mile march against the ork gargants of Charadon. 
    • Hydraphur 707th – The Primary port for the Segmentum's forces, the world also produced a number of highly-motivated Imperial Guard regiments in support of the submerged Cities of Int on Prama XI, against Hrud assaults.
    • 2nd Alban Rifles – Suffered catastrophic damage during campaigns against the K'thark homeworlds and were subsequently cycled out in favour of a regiment of jungle warfare specialists.
    • Barbaran Hammers – Decked out in ritual armour and subject to limited genhancement, the Hammers were the Honour Guard for the Ur-Council. 
    • Tekarn Iron Fists – Supplementing their training with an unusual form of unarmed combat, the Iron Fists were surprisingly effective during urban warfare against the orks of the Braccian Theatre.
    • Guizho Armoured – Notable for their distinctive headwear and layered raingear; essential for this agri-world's cycle of torrential rains and blistering sunshine.
    • Jakart Light Rifles – An entirely infantry force, the Light Rifles proved highly effective against the Kroot invasion of Cessida.
    • Adobe 1st PDF – Suffered notable recruitment issues; requiring the Commissars to begin the draft no less than three times to ensure a sufficient quality was produced.
    • Vega Rams – An abhuman regiment ceded from the Ymir League
    • Praximundi Honoured – One of the many Feral World regiments drafted following a successful series of religious Missions.
    • Los Grabia 888th – The forcibly conscripted hivegangs that made up the 888th were noted to be amongst the most obedient forces from this world; rumours of loboindoctrination are rife.
    • Jangtze Siao – Heavy infantry, notable for their Dark Age polearm/lasrifle weapons.
    • Sinopian 94th

    + Frateris Constantium +

    The principal military force of the Nova Terran branch of the Adeptus Ministorum, the Frateris Constantium formed a mirror to the Nova Terran Army. Both were precociously well armed and equipped by their Adeptus backers, but where the NTA attracted the more puritanical, the Frateris Templar were swelled by those who sought ritual and reliability in a world of swiftly-changing fortunes. 
    [+appendnote+: A number of ancient texts indicate that the organisation of the Frateris Constantium was the direct inspiration for the later Frateris Templar, under the infamous Eccleisarchs of later Millennia – +authorident: Unfortunus Veck+ +

    + Notable Militant Orders +
    • Order of the Emperor's Arm – The militant branch of a emergent cult declared non-heretical by the Nova Terran Ministorum, the Order of the Emperor's Arm was vastly wealthy, and was able to equip the men and women under its command with power armour and boltguns as standard.
    • Ancient Order of the Free Thinkers – Dedicated to the concept of the Imperial Truth, the Free Thinkers were amongst the most hidebound and ritualistic of the Militant Orders; launching several religious wars against regions within the sector. 
    • Order of the Chalice – Established by order of the Nova Terran Ministorum, the Order of the Chalice was famous for its policing of the Nova Terran Army, much to the NTA and Munitorum's opprobium.
    • Order of Disgust – Decked in lustrous green plate, the Ordo Fastidium were instrumental in launching counter-campaigns against a number of xeno invasions. So-named for their fanatical hatred of non-humans and abhumans.

    + Tempestus Scions (Nova Terran) +

    Being doctrinally separated from the Imperial military, small forces of the Tempestus Scions declared for Nova Terra; regarding it as the Emperor's true vision. Regiments in the region adopted the silver flashes on their uniform to mark them as part of the younger Imperium. However, their loyalty remained to the Scions above all; and there are a number of recorded instances when opposing Scion forces retired rather than engage their comrades.

    + Neomechanicus forces +

    Identifying as the 'United Neomechanicus forces of Segmentum Pacificus', the Adeptus Mechanicus remained politically aloof from the split in the Imperium; regarding its role as simply to supply equipment and materiel to the Imperium's fighting forces, as laid out in the Treaty of Olympus Mons (The Treaty of Mars) five thousand years previously. That they were not supplying arms to both sides of a tense codl war was of little practical interest.

    Avignan Balisterai
    This belies the Adeptus Mechanicus' political insights and nous, and in practise, the highest echelons of the Mechanicus were split between those keen to exploit the rift, and those who sought to close it – the broad schools of the Mechascendants and the Concilatori. [See Anatomy of Empire VII and IX, later in this datascreed.] As a result, only those forces explicitly ceded to the Ur-Council are considered below.
    • Legio Caudax  – Defenders of Avignor
    • Avignan Skitarii – Twelve full regiments were assigned in support of Caudax.


    + Principal Astartes domains and forces of Segmentum Pacificus +

    Silver Star 

    As across the rest of the Imperium, the Astartes of this Segmentum were deliberately reticent to intervene in Imperial politics, and so the following are not to be considered sympathetic to the Nova Terran Cause except explicitly stated. Where active, they ignored pickets and borders established by the rival Imperial forces. Mostly, but not always, they were allowed to pass as non-combatants...

    • Iron Knights Chapter Astartes Entire – Studiedly neutral; the Iron Knights cut off contact entirely, and launched a dual xenocidal campaign against the Eldar Craftworlds of Yme-Loc and Kaelor.
    • White Consuls Chapter Astartes Entire – The twin Chapter Masters of the White Consuls determined to restrict their forces to purely defensive warfare during this period; protecting shipping lanes for supply shuttles within the Segementum. This brought the Chapter into conflict with both Terran and Nova Terran forces.
    • Crimson Fists Company-strength Strike Force
    • Void Revenants Chapter Astartes Entire– Still rebuilding after the events of the Mag Karan Assaults, the remnants of the Void Revenants played a limited role in the Alien Wars. 
    • Night Reapers Chapter Astartes Entire – For the early part of the Interregnum, the Night Reapers were engaged in executing simultaneous xenocidal campaigns against the hellgrammite species and ork pirates within the Laanath Rifts, a border region on the North-west of Segmentum Pacificus. The withdrawing forces were attacked by Terran forces assaulting the Shrineworld of Salvation-Gamma, and the Chapter subsequently declared for Nova Terra.
    • Silver Guard Chapter Astartes Entire – notable for their actions in the Janii Theatre War, and the prosecution of the first ork empire of Kalverna.
    • Dark Sons Chapter Astartes Entire – Their homeworld sat on the northern fringes of the Segmentum, and was instrumental in defending Khios against punitive forces of the Greater Imperium.
    • Silver Star Chapter Astartes Entire – [REDACTED]
    • Chapter Castellan Chapter Astartes Entire – The 8th Founding, during which this Chapter was established, was within living memory for many of its members. Declaring for Nova Terra, the Chapter was all but wiped-out by the Halo Brethren and the Imperial Fists within the early years of the war. Their homeworld, Banish, was subsequently claimed by the Inquisition, and the Chapter exiled to the Eastern Imperium on a Penitent Crusade.
    • Red Templars Company-strength Strike Force – Initially declaring for Ancient Terra, a change of leadership saw the Red Templars execute a shift in allegiance, leaving them open to declarations of heresy from the Terran Inquisition. This prompted the Second War of Trimundi.

    + Do you have a force you'd like added, or do you fancy having a go at painting a member of these forces (because let's face it, this page would look a lot nicer with some pictures to illustrate)? Let me know in the comments. +