We got through a few games this weekend, with both the Salamanders and Marines Errant making an appearance as they try to bust out of their landing zones and force the Mantis Warriors off the industrial moon. The Salamanders had been suffering from their initial landings, with the quick-striking Mantis Warriors harrying them at every turn. The Loyalists had seen their supply dumps pillaged by fast-moving Mantis Warriors strike forces, and now had no choice but try to force their way into enemy territory to extend their perimeter. Unfortunately, the Mantis Warriors were watching and staged a classic ambush as the Salamanders column advanced — straight into the sights of three Vindicators. The Salamanders broke out of the ambush but sustained very heavy losses, before their Captain engaged his counterpart in the Mantis Warriors, and badly wounded him, finally forcing the Secessionists to withdraw. The Marines Errant were having an altogether happier time as they pushed forward out of their landing zones and forced the Mantis Warriors into a fighting withdrawal through a disused refinery complex.
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Second in size and extent only to the Eye of Terror , the Maelstrom is a vast Warp Rift that scars both the physical universe and the fabric of the Immaterium beyond. The Maelstrom covers an area many hundreds of light years across, and its presence in space is marked by a vast, slowly turning gyre comprised of nebulae, dust and stellar material in which countless stars and worlds have long been lost to the Empyrean.
During the Great Crusade, the vast armies of the Emperor of Mankind attempted to penetrate the Maelstrom and cleanse it of the evils that lurked within. Hundreds of warships and thousands of troops were lost in the early campaigns during the Great Crusade era, and with the rest of the galaxy to reconquer, the Emperor declared the region Purgatus. In the years following the Horus Heresy , Primarch Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines Space Marine Legion decided that the inhabitants of the Maelstrom were too great a threat to the shaky stability of the recovering Imperium to ignore, and ordered the surrounding regions reinforced in an effort to contain any attacks that might originate from within.
Over time, the Imperium slowly established several important Imperial outposts within the Maelstrom Zone during the 38th and 39th Millennia. These outposts rose to prominence as flickering beacons of human influence and strength within the region.
The three vital star systems that formed the links in a distant chain that allowed the resources of the Maelstrom Zone to flow into the coffers of the more established Imperial sectors beyond were the star systems of Cygnax, Sagan and Badab. As the situation in the Maelstrom became ever more volatile, this path of Imperial commerce came increasingly under threat. Pict-capture of the Mantis Warriors during the Defence of Cygnax, ca. M41 By the middle of the 41st Millennium, the heavily militarised Hive World of Cygnax located in the star system of the same name was the most populated planet in the northern Maelstrom Zone.
Having long been a lynchpin of Imperial control of the region, Cygnax was a key strategic world, forming a bulwark against aggressors and serving as a safe port for Imperial merchant and naval vessels. In the year M41 disaster struck, when, with the suddenness of an onrushing storm, Cygnax succumbed to corruption from within and attack from without.
The planet rapidly fell into bloody civil war between its Imperial garrison and Death Cult nihilists, backed by the intervention of the dread Chaos Space Marine warband known as The Reborn. Despite the intervention of the Mantis Warriors Space Marine Chapter , which itself had made a home in the nearby Endymion Cluster Sub-sector, the death toll rose exponentially into the millions.
The resulting permanent nuclear winter, radioactive fallout and tectonic upheavals annihilated all life on Cygnax. With the fall of this key world, Imperial control of the northern Maelstrom Zone swiftly crumbled. Without Cygnax, along with other Imperial losses suffered in the region over the previous few centuries, vital military supply chains stretching as far as Bakka and Terra itself were threatened, forcing the Adeptus Terra to act. The Maelstrom Warders M41 Emblem of the Maelstrom Warders In In recognition of their past glorious service to the Imperium, the Astral Claws Chapter was given the high honour of the senior role in commanding the newly formed Maelstrom Warders.
This force was to include the fleet-based Lamenters and Charnel Guard Chapters to patrol the outer regions, and also incorporated the Mantis Warriors who were based in the nearby Endymion Cluster. Once this force was put in place, the Astral Claws Chapter took over an orbital battle station in the strategically vital Badab System , which became their fortress-monastery and base of operations.
After their establishment, a detachment of an Imperial Navy squadron were permanently assigned to the region to conduct search and destroy and convoy protection duties. This naval detachment quickly stabilised the surrounding areas and purged the inner zone of heretical and xenos elements that had plagued them. Soon the wealth of the Maelstrom Zone once again began to flow into the coffers of the Imperium. The greatest operation during these times occurred during the Scourge Campaign from M41, in which the Astral Claws and their allies conducted a series of major combat operations, striking deep into the heart of the Maelstrom in an attempt to take the battle to the foe.
Initially the Space Marines were successful, until the abrupt withdrawal of the Charnel Guard Chapter. This sudden loss effectively ended the campaign. The Astral Claws subsequently petitioned for a replacement Chapter to be reassigned but were denied. Less than two decades later, the Warders suffered a series of setbacks and a high number of casualties amongst some of their allies, causing a rift in relations between the wider Imperium and the Maelstrom Warders during this period.
Soon the Warders became hard pressed by an upsurge of daemonic incursions and corsair attacks, pushing them into an increasingly defensive posture and suspending all operations near the Maelstrom itself. Once again, disaster struck, as a series of Ork raids originating within the Maelstrom struck deep into the Badab Sector during the Battle of Hellsiris. Having led the Astral Claws for the last two centuries, he fell in single combat with the Ork Warboss Vorg Manburna and forcing the Astral Claws to retreat.
Imperial historians now point out that such a man of flawed character should never have been allowed to rise to the command of a Space Marine Chapter. But Lufgt Huron had already proven to be an exceptional warrior as well as a skilled tactician and charismatic leader. This resulted in several fringe worlds that harboured renegade ships in the past being turned into lifeless husks. Rise of a Tyrant M41 In M1, a failed coup attempt on the Hive World of Badab Primaris led to an abortive civil war, and the Astral Claws stepped in and brutally crushed the conflict.
In the aftermath, the elements behind the coup were brought forth to Lufgt Huron for judgement. Mindful of the lesson of Cygnax, the Chapter Master personally took matters into his own hands, swiftly reimposing order once more. Following a unified command structure these forces now followed a standard dictated by Huron. The Chapter was able to conduct a series of lightning raids into outlying areas to harass and destroy heretic and xenos controlled areas. Spurred by this success, Huron had his servants deliver a formal and lengthy petition to Terra, making a detailed case for completely subduing the Maelstrom and the surrounding area, which would greatly benefit the Imperium in the long term.
The Astral Claws Falter During the mid s. Although initially a cause for concern, such matters were not uncommon, particularly those Space Marine Chapters deployed to border areas or on crusade, simply because the Chapter itself might have a temporary need to retain the gene-seed itself to sustain battlefield losses. But as the omission persisted, this signaled to the Mechanicus that there was some darker motive at work.
Repeatedly denied the reinforcements he had requested to aid him and the Maelstrom Warders in carrying out their tasks, in his arrogance and pride, the Tyrant sought to expand his forces into a force equal to a Space Marine Legion of old. Though largely unsuccessful, the Astral Claws eventually stood at around an estimated 3, battle-brothers strong.
In In order to achieve this, the document sets out the case for a massively augmented deployment of Space Marines to the Maelstrom Warders. The Badab Schism These space-based defences encircling the outer and inner spheres of the Badab Sector came to be known as the "Ring of Steel.
The sudden loss of the lifeblood of industry and commerce was keenly felt by the Karthago Sector. For more than eleven centuries the Karthan Lords and Planetary Governors had held the charter to distribute the industrial output of the Maelstrom Zone and guard its passage from the Administratum-controlled supply fortress on Sagan III, and then to the western Segmentum Ultima and beyond.
Isolated by vast distances, the Karthan had long grown fat and decadent, protected by the blood and toil of the more strife-torn realms. War on the Horizon M41 Freed from their inglorious garrison duty, the Astral Claws intervened in the aftermath of the infamous Fourth Quadrant Rebellion , which had troubled the Imperium for many decades.
Under his inspired command, the taskforce ruthlessly eradicated the heavily fortified Lycanthos System of Traitor and Chaos forces in under a year. However, Stibor Lazaerek , Chapter Master of the Fire Hawks, continued to harbour a grudge over the fact that Huron was given overall command despite his seniority as a Chapter Master.
This grudge would fester over the coming years until finally it would bear the fruit of bitterness. M41, a heavy Ork raiding force from the Maelstrom was intercepted and destroyed in a series of battles in the Khirab Sector in the Endymion cluster by a combined force of the Maelstrom Warders. During the battle, Lufgt Huron slew Rakka, the Ork Warboss, in single combat and was hailed as a hero of the people of Endymion.
M41, at the instigation of their Chapter Master, the Black Templars declared a Crusade of Wrath into the Maelstrom, assaulting it from the eastward approach. Meanwhile the Astral Claws, Lamenters and Mantis Warriors launched their own assaults from the southern and north-eastern approaches.
Unfortunately, wider events intervened, once again putting a premature end to the Astral Claws plans, as the Black Templars were called away to aid the beleaguered realm of Ultramar in the wake of the Tyrannic War. Some observers say that it was during this time that Lufgt Huron became corrupted and fell from grace.
Denied his goals he had spent a lifetime fighting for, he had been denied his glory as it was snatched from his hands at the last by those he should call master, finally unhinged him, or maybe he had given in to hubris and false pride. Matters worsened once again, not only within the Maelstrom Zone but the wider Imperium as well, as the threat of Hive Fleet Behemoth left the defences of the Segmentum Ultima in disarray, and wars and rumours of wars as far as the Eye of Terror and the Ghoul Stars threatened to erupt, as well as galaxy-wide revolts and other strange phenomena.
Soon crisis followed crisis, and in the dying years of the s. M41, Lufgt Huron saw the Maelstrom Zone slipping from his grasp and all the victories the Warders had gained began to crumble, and so in an attempt to tighten his grip, he remained unaware that elsewhere events were moving against him.
It would not be long before the brooding Tyrant of Badab would spark into violence, and the Imperium would once again, shed the blood of its own.
M41 The Imperial tithe fleet is fired upon by the Astral Claws ca. No ship survived and more than 20, servants of the Imperium were lost. Within the Karthago Sector, outrage at the incident quickly became widespread, and soon such trade links that had remained between the Maelstrom Zone and the Karthago Sector were abruptly severed or subject to the harshest scrutiny. With the weight of suffering and bloodshed elsewhere, the tangle of claim and counter claim fell on deaf ears.
In addition, Lufgt Huron was the lawful master of a realm permanently on a war footing; a bulwark against the xenos and Chaos, and on the most basic level authorised to defend those domains.
Over the next three years the Karthan Imperial commanders took it upon themselves to send two further punitive expeditions into the Maelstrom Zone but both fleets were lost in unconfirmed circumstances, supposedly never reaching the Badab System. The intervention of the Astral Claws and their allies was suspected.
Unable to enforce their will decisively, the increasingly desperate Karthan lords, near bankrupted by this stage, attempted to circumvent Badab itself, taking the far longer and more perilous route in order to access the lost tithes directly to make up their shortfall. By M41 the agents of the Karthan Imperial commanders began to spread propaganda in both the Segmentum Assizes and the Senatorium Imperialis to any that would listen.
As the local Administratum continued to press the High Lords to intervene directly, the Maelstrom Warders continued to arm themselves for war and conducted sweeps of the Maelstrom Zone in force, while they simultaneously continued to augment their defences within the Badab Sector itself.
The Maelstrom Secession In support of their cause, the document cited both the edict that founded the Maelstrom Warders and the ancient rights and titles of the Adeptus Astartes prerogative in their defence, precedents that both weighed heavily in their favour. These articles also called for a full investigation into the Karthan Sector, asserted the historic and lawful sovereignty of the Space Marine Chapters involved from outside interference by the lower Adepta and stated again their willingness to defend the Maelstrom Zone from any who would threaten it.
As the situation devolved further the Karthans threatened all-out war, but lacked the means to do so alone. To further their goals, the Karthan Satrap sent several direct and open appeals to several Space Marine Chapters with whom they had past dealings with.
The Fire Hawks Chapter was the first to respond to their cause. Badab War Breaking of the Storm M41 Departmento Cartographicae map detailing the Pale Stars At the direct request of the Karthan Satrap, elements of the Fire Hawks Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes were sent to investigate the disappearance of Karthan shipping in the areas to the galactic south of the Golgothan Wastes, which bordered the northern reaches of the Maelstrom Zone.
In the past, the Fire Hawks Chapter had used the vast orbital dockyards of the Karthan capital world of Sidon Ultra for resupply. This monumental arrogance and folly would soon prove disastrous. Departmento Cartographicae map detailing the Endymion Cluster Conducting search and destroy operations in the Golgothan Wastes, Knight-Commander Stibor Lazaerek acquiesced to dispatching several starships into the northern Maelstrom Zone. One such vessel, the Red Harbinger, entered the Endymion Cluster in This ancient region of space was under the stewardship of the Mantis Warriors Chapter, one of the Astartes Chapters that belonged to the alliance of the Maelstrom Warders.
Badab War: Two Fronts
My armies of preference are the footsloggers usually: orks and the Imperial guard, for example. On this occasion, however, the theme of the campaign meant I could start playing around with space marines, while the scale of Kill Team meant avoiding the pressure of committing to a full army. Secondly, it allowed me to experiment with the new contrast paint range. Lovely conversion work here, and fantastic choice of bits really help to get the ancient character of this storied First Founding Chapter across. When it came to chapter choice, the noble Salamanders leapt out at me not just for their rich background, or the fact that they the nearest thing to the good guys of the 41st millennium, but also because of their ancient heritage. In particular, their attitudes towards their armour and weapons let me experiment with something that apologist also does, namely mixing and matching different armour marks on a single marine.
Phase One: Huron and the Malestorm[ edit ] Many years ago, there was an asshole actually quite decent fellow at first called Lugft Huron , who controlled the Astral Claws and a sector called Badab. With the aid of the Lamenters and Mantis Warriors Collectively known as the Maelstrom Warders , he ruled the Maelstrom Zone, named because it contained the warp rift known as the Maelstrom. He had one job, namely making sure whatever came out of that hellhole got booted back into it posthaste, and he did it well. So well that at one point, Huron asked the High Lords of Terra to start a crusade into the Maelstrom. So Huron got mad. After years, the High Lords had enough and set a fleet to take the Tithe, which Huron fired upon, claiming they threatened him.