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This one occurred to me whilst thinking about the nice new Ironclads and how they could be used to the best cinematic style. Feedback welcome (apologies for the long fluff but I was on a roll)!
IRONCLAD "IRON HAMMER" SIEGE BREAKER ATTACK Points: 100 + Models
Amongst the least explored region of the Ghoul Stars, the Xenos Fortress world of Vandris
III had stood for ages unknown. It had been missed by the Great Crusade, being as yet
unchallenged when the treachery of Horus took the attention of the Legions elsewhere. It
was a planet surrounded by worlds held by Orks, yet somehow it did not fall to the
predations of the greenskins.
In 843.M41, the Imperial Fists came to Vandris III. The continued existence of the Xenos
stronghold was abhorrent to them, and they immediately set about dismantling their
defences. The unparalleled siege craft of the Imperial Fists allowed them to quickly
overwhelm a foe more used to dealing with the brute force of Orks. However even the
Imperial Fists found themselves at a loss to bring down the last fastness of the enemy - the
Fortress-Capital of Vandris III. It featured a series of ablative interlocking walls with a
unique system that allowed any damaged section of the fortress to be immediately
withdrawn into the fortress and replaced by a fresh one, rendering bombardment useless.
Each attempt to breach the fortress via ground assault, while initially successful, was
eventually repelled by the seemingly endless supply of combat robots the Xenos deployed
outside the walls, meaning that the Astartes were throwing away lives for little gain - they
could not replace their losses as easily as the Xenos. The citadel boasted impressive AA fire
and was well shielded against orbital attacks. Even Drop Pods were rendered useless by a
strong array of jammers they sent any attempts at a Drop Pod insertion well of course, or
misdirected them into intense AA fire. The Chapter's Techmarines could find no way to
counter the interference - and no Captain was willing to throw lives away by sending the drop
pods in blind!
The conquest had ground to a stalemate, the problem the Marines facing that the damage
made by the big guns could not be exploited before it was repaired, as the enemy defences
had rendered most of the marine's lightning assault strategies useless, but the Imperial
Fists would not be beaten. Every tactic, trick and weapon at their disposal was tried, but the
enemy stronghold remained. Eventually, Captain Garrimund of the 4th Company devised a
The next day, as dawn broke over the last fastness of Vandris III, diversionary attacks
began around the fortress, separating the deployment of enemy forces. Big guns cracked
and brought down sections of the wall, though they were replaced as quickly as ever.
On the south side of the fortress, a line breaker squadron of Imperial Fists Vindicators raced
across no man's land. The Xenos War Constructs were already streaming forth from the
breach, ready to repel an attack from the Imperial lines. Pausing for a mere moment to
synchronise their targeting data, the Vindicators unleashed a simultaneous blast that
cracked and blew chunks from two adjacent sets of armour. Even as the blast was still
clearing and sound still reverberated across the ground, an a roar could still be heard above
it, and another series of impacts hit the blast site, disturbing the settling smoke and
throwing up more a cloud dust from the loose rubble.
From the smoke emerged three of the Imperial Fists' Ironclad Dreadnoughts. Brother Argus
was bathing scores of enemy robots in fire from his heavy flamers while tearing them apart
with sweeps of his close combat weapon and chainfist, buying time for Brothers Pamander
and Lothul charged at the breach in the enemy defences, making past the first layer of
ablative armour destroyed by the Vindicators before the gap could close. Heedless of the
enemy fire, they smashed the workings of the fortress walls apart with their seismic
hammers and blast them with meltaguns and hunter-killer missiles, stopping the
undamaged wall sections from moving into place. Even as Argus was taken down by the
enemy numbers, Pamander and Lothul had created the opening the Imperial Fists needed,
and they charged further into the fortification, clearing tunnels and blocking the enemy
reinforcements from deploying.
An armoured column of Imperial Fists transports was already arriving at the blast site, their
troops deploying next to the Drop Pods used by the Dreadnoughts, which had had their
sensors and guidance systems stripped out and reworked, homing in on and adjusting their
course at the last possible moment to land in the explosion created by the Vindicators'
combined blast - a landing beacon immune to the Xenos jamming.
The last fastness of Vandris III, which had stood for over ten thousand years, fell to the
Imperial Fists in six hours.
2-5 Ironclad Dreadnoughts in Drop Pods
Into The Breach: All of the Ironclad Dreadnoughts start the game in Reserve in Drop
Pods. Once they become available (whether via the Drop Pod Assault, or rolled for as
normal), do not deploy them immediately - use the following method instead:
During the following shooting phase, after any weapon is fired that uses either the Massive
Blast marker (7"), Apocalyptic Blast (10") marker, Hellstorm template, or Apocalyptic Barrage
template, the formation may arrive.
All Drop Pods in the formation need to be placed so that the centre of the Drop Pod is within
the area hit by the blast marker, but they will not scatter. Following this, the Ironclads will
disembark (as they usually would during a movement phase), and from then on will act as
normal, and can shoot during the ongoing shooting phase.
Out of Smoke and the Fire: Due to the massive cloud of dust and debris kicked up by
the concurrent weapon and Drop Pod impacts, all models (friend or foe) in the affected area
can claim a 4+ cover save from the point the formation's Drop Pods arrive until the end of
the following game turn.
The formation can be deployed following any qualifying shooting attack during the turn they
arrive from reserves, but if they are not deployed by the end of that turn, the owning player
must instead make 1 roll on the Deep Strike Mishap table for the entire formation at the
beginning of their next player turn.
Thoughts? I think it's quite a cool idea, but I don't think it's game killing or overpowered by any stretch. I think 100 points is more than enough to pay for a gimmicky deployment and a double-edged cover save - maybe it's even even too much! If anyone can think of any tweaks or any additional rules to add please post them!