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Name: The Condemned (Formerly: The Emperor's Hands)
Gene-seed: Imperial Fists
Symbol: A spade pointed cross encircled by a serpent
Color Scheme: Dark Blue with silver highlights
Battle Cry: Emperor take our fallen!
Chapter Master: None
Master of Execution: Liam
Master Librarian: Kai
Background: The Emperor's Hands were fully commissioned as a chapter in the Emperor's service in early .M42. Brutally successful in their initial combat actions, the chapter quickly gained a reputation as a punishing ground force most particularly adept at advancing by cover and fire of their vehicles.
The chapter met its match little more than a century after its founding in the form of a splinter of hive fleet Kraken. Upon receiving an inquisition distress signal from a nearby Xenos world, the full force of the chapter mobilized against the substantial force of Tyranids ravaging the nearby Tau world.
While the battle initially went well, The Emperor's Hands quickly found themselves too hard pressed for success under their usual methods. Pushing forward to shock and break the enemy lines worked poorly on the mass of Tyranid bioforms they faced, and within days of landing the chapter had taken heinous losses including, sadly, the chapters leader and honor guard.
Re-evaluating their tactics, and under the temporary command of the first company's commander Liam, the chapter's marines pulled back from the advancing swarm, eventually linking up with the remainder of the Tau forces on planet. Though neither side was particularly trusting, both had a stake in the victory and joined into lightning hit and run raids, attempting to pull the bulk of the Tyranid forces away from the pinned inquisition force.
First Captain Liam led the rescue mission himself, arguably the chapter's finest hour as they swooped in on Thunderhawk Gunships, striking the skies clean before landing, evacuating what remained of four full regiments of inducted guardsmen along with a Trio of Inquisitors of the Ordos Mallius, Hereticus, and Xenos.
What such a unique group was looking for was never asked or explained, save for that they had not, and did not expect to find it. All were glad to be saved from the Xenos clutches, the inquisitors swearing a boon to the emerging chapter from their organization.
The good cheer was short lived however. Upon returning to their erstwhile allies, Inquisitor Kerrik of the Ordo Xenos, a particularly staunch purist demanded an explanation. When the marine's explanation did not suffice, he demanded that they purge the Xenos filth they had been working with.
The situation was tense, with the inducted and inquisition troops edging towards their triggers. Yet in an act of wisdom, First Captain Liam reminded Kerrik of his boon.
Through weeks of fighting and the daring rescue attempt, the Emperor's Hands had been devastated. Barely two of every three true marines that had started the campaign still lived, the scout company killed nearly to a man and most of the chapter's vehicle assets were damaged beyond repair. So rather than ask for something the Puritan inquisitor would never grant, he merely asked they they be declared excommunicate.
In return, the Emperor would have his corpses. The newly renamed condemned would no longer recruit or add to the chapter in any way. They would merely fight until the last of them fell, a slow execution for their crime, but one that would allow them to serve the Emperor one final time.
With Karrik's assent, the newly renamed chapter assisted in transporting much of the planet's population into orbit, before at last conducting Exterminatus upon the world, denying it to the splinter fleet and dealing it a telling blow.
Since then, the chapter had simply moved from engagement zone to engagement zone wherever they believe they can assist the Imperium's interests be it working alongside their tenuous Tau allies to battle the remains of the splinter fleet, or smashing headlong into an Orc Waagh or a Heritic incursion. Alongside them stand the two remaining inquisitors and their inducted troops, choosing to fulfill their debt to the chapter by assisting wherever possible in this final crusade.
Doctrine: The Condemned have varied their tactics significantly since their fall. Each death takes a massive toll on the chapter, and a single poorly executed battle could lead to crippling losses and the end of their legacy.
With this in mind, The Condemned rarely commit themselves without proper intelligence and study of their target. Furthermore, they rarely commit against any sizable force on their own, instead nibbling at the fringes and harassing larger foes while a more substantial force of Tau or Imperial Guard deliver the heavy blows. That said due to their Excommunicate status, they can expect no backup from imperial troops than their own, and are often the subject of fear from Tau forces that do not know their history.
Keeping in mind all of this, the chapter now tends towards high mobility strikes. Due to their lack of ground based vehicles this almost always takes the form of Assault Marines, Deep Striking, or Drop Pods. A typical ground engagement with The Condemned consists of a handful of dreadnoughts landing via drop pod along with elite sternguard or veteran units. These units establish a drop perimeter, drawing enemies in while additional pods and Deep Strikers surround the foes, crushing them utterly.
The chapter will rarely if ever deploy for full scale ground battles unless air superiority is impossible, and has specifically modified many of its Thunderhawk gunships with tethers to collect recently landed drop pods and the troops within them, for transport back to the strike cruisers for another deployment.
The chapter's scouts, decimated in the battle against they Tyranids have been largely delegated to vehicular duty aboard the chapter's Land speeders, with only a handful of troopers still in active service as true scouts.
Beyond its infantry tactics, the Chapter makes heavy use of Dreadnought forces, particularly Iron Clads. 'Gifted' with a large quantity of Dreadnought armor at their founding, The Condemned more than any other chapter will fight tooth and nail for an intact brother's body to inter him in the sarcophagus.
Lastly, The Condemned field nearly three dozen thunder fire cannons. Usually dropping them onto the field some distance away from any engagement and using them to harass units attempting to counter-attack a space marine strike force, barrage static enemy positions, or as bait for a hit and run strike.
Organization: Even after their fall, the chapter still follows codex standard for its heraldry and organization, save that it is understrength, its tenth company effectively does not exist, and the addition of the 'Master of Execution.'
To be certain that their vow is kept to the letter, any battle the chapter engages in requires the presence of the current master of Execution. The master is on site to record the name and circumstances of death of each felled marine, recovering the body if at all possible. It is notable that the chapter will not leave a theater of engagement without proof of death of a missing marine.
((Still sort of obviously a work in progress. Just getting opinions, looking for errors.))
I think your fluff is good. Your Marines are interesting as they are fallen from grace. I think that the way they are all dedicated to doing what they do even though their chapter is dying makes them more original. You could have more details about where they find new ammon, supplies, ship parts etc as the Imprium won't resupply them anymore. Though you have them dated in .M42. This is one thousand years after 40K is roughly set.
Thanks for the feedback. Right from the get go you've given me some things to ponder over as I hadn't even begun to consider the logistics of ammunition and repair parts.
I assume the vast majority of their supplies lines are managed just off of stockpiles and scavenging, including the uprooting of their fortress and all the equipment therein. May very well lead to a shortage of specialty ammunition such as with the sternguard and the like however.
It is notable that the fluff in some ways is designed to account for my favoritism towards more exotic weapons (Plasma, melta etc.) with such weapons being more common as the ratio of exotic weapons to regular troops begins to go down =.=;
Also, the chapter is designed as a 'turn of the millenium' chapter. The thirteenth black crusade takes place in the last year of .M41, and there is documented fluff (Commisar Cain for example) that extends into .M42. I think.
Turn of the millienium is fun. There is lots of fluff about that I don't know. It does also give you scope to mess about as that period is mainly unwritten.
The suppiles they get could come from unsavoury sources in occasions of dire need. They do hang with the Tay from time to time. It is possible the Tau might resupply them in the hopes of getting them to join their empire, however unlikely that is. Or just make the Marines dependent on them.
Last edited by Leech; July 6th, 2009 at 21:36.
I liked it. Reminds me of my home grown chapter somewhat.
I really like the background. Accepting the fate of excommunication from an ungrateful Inquisitor and then slowly dying is a cool idea. Making sure all their comrades are pronounced dead is a nice touch.
However-not too keen on the doctrine to be honest. If a chapter is excommunicated then they will have a hard time replenishing their supplies so may struggle to maintain all those Thunderhawks and drop-pods. Its unlikely Imperial Guard would fight alongside them willingly as well.
As well as that how were they 'gifted' with lots of dreadnought armour?
I know a lot of that probably reads as being over-crtitical but the doctrine part reflects how you play (I guess with the mention of Iron Clads and thunderfire cannons) but a way of toning down the inpression of having a load of armour may help. Something like the Chapter have 6 or 7 remaining Dreadnoughts which bravely fight from the front each time epitomising the Chapters fate-if one dies then the chapter suffers a irreplacable loss considering how important they are-but they do it anyway serving the Emperor.
And The Chapter were forced to over-rely on Thunderfire Cannons due to a lack of armour instead of just saying they have many.
Just a thought or two. And again really like the background so have some rep for that.
Currently play: 4000+ of Black Legion
This is probably one of the most orginal ideas that I have ever read fluff wise for a chapter and is very well done. I like it very much, do not know about the color scheme, would have to see it though. Rep added.
The only problem that I see is what was that Inquisitor doing on that Xeno world anyways. If only to try and save it from the tyranids, then why was he there? Why would the radical Inqy want to save a planet of aliens, spending human lives if he hated them so much. You should have something like the Tau answered the distress call from the Inqy a few days earlier, and the marines worked with them out of necessity to complete their mission. Yada, yada. It just does not add up to me.
I see resupply as an issue. But it does not mention anything about them losing there homeworld resources, just that they are excommunicated.
There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, learning from failure. ~Colin Powell
Started a blog.
Yay! More commentary and rep!
Memnoch, First off, you are correct in that much of their doctrinal choices are meant to reflect the way I plan to play the army. I do love the suggestion that they overrely on Thunderfire cannons, and with your okay I will probably switch it out to something more along that lines.
For the dreadnoughts, I'm likewise going to be changing around the fluff on the dreadnought armor because I didn't like it much either. Specifically the intent isn't really to say that they were given anymore armor than most chapters at their founding, just that while most chapters might be given thirty suits and fill them over millenia, losing some along the way, The Condemned were given thirty suits and have them all active pretty much at once.
It also doesn't help that most chapters might have twenty dreadnoughts over ten companies, The Condemned have thirty over six.
For the imperial guard, they are inducted "By the authority of the immortal Emperor of mankind." I pretty much view it as the guard will go where they are told, with varying degrees of enthusiasm among the troops as a whole.
Fosner, Thanks for the feedback! I've got a completed marine sitting on my table now, but sadly my camera is completely out of batteries. When I get home tomorrow though you will see the glory!
I've left the Inquisitors mission intentionally vauge, save that it was something of intrest to all three orders of the inquisition. I might add a little bit of speculation in keeping with typical Games Workshop products. Personally I envision it as some sort of powerful buried Warp artifact, perhaps a remnant of the old ones.
I've two friends who are playing the imperials and tau forces respectively, so perhaps when they do their writeups. Hehe.
As for resupply, The Condemned dumped pretty much all manufacturing equipment and supplies they could from their homeworld onto the ships before abandoning it. They are worse off than any normal space born chapter, and as suggested below, they do tend to take aid from the Tau forces, or from imperial worlds that they assist.
Anywho, all for now. I'm going to do an update in the next few days with pictures and to fix up the thunderfire and dread problems.
Always a pleasure when I stumble upon good fluff like this
Love the "on the run" theme you've got going. Since tech marines seem to be in prominence maybe your Chapter could be getting covert assistance from the Adeptus Mechanicus i.e like weapons/supplies in exchange for helping them recover lost artifacts?
My award winning Orky tale
Though somewhere at the back of my mind that sounds vaugley like one of the Soul Drinkers novels.......or did I imagine that?
@Caros, no problem happy to be of help
Last edited by Memnoch; July 9th, 2009 at 11:53.
Currently play: 4000+ of Black Legion