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why is it that, according to fluff from wikipedia, the iron hands use of dreadnoughts and terminators is rare, as they have few suits and machines left after the drop site massacre.
why is it then that their rules make it seem like they have a ton of such things around?
Wiki can be wrong you know....
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Ummm..... Its not, its true that the Iron Hands did get beat at the DP massacre but it was the veterans and yes there were terminators in there but they werent all killed. Ferrus took the fastes ships so the bigger ones carrying most of the armor and troops couldnt make it in time. And they have close ties with the Addeptus Mechanus(sp)
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Wiki is wrong this time, Iron hands have access too tons of bionics and dreadnoughts. Read their index astartes article and the novel Iron Hands. Also take a look at their chapter traits in the SM Codex.
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As an Iron Hands player, I can tell you that fluff and rules don't always line up. Hey, they are only human.
While the Iron Hands did lose a lot of valuable resources on Istvann, the other Legions lost more. Yet the Salamanders are noted for having a large number of Terminator suits and the Raven Guard are not noted for having limited resources any more. It seems illogical that a Chapter with such close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus would still have shortages in this kind of equipment at this point in time.
The IA article (which I consider more "canon" than other sources) does not indicate that they have fewer suits of TDA or Dreads than other Chapters. True, it says they are rare and precious - this is not unusual when describing these items since they cannot be mass-produced (typically, a Chapter will only have enough TDA to equip a single Company).
The reason why the Iron Hands do not field large numbers of Terminator squads is not because the armour is rare, but how it is destributed.
TDA is often gifted to remarkable squad leaders and characters. Remember that the Iron Hands do not follow the Codex organization. They have 10 Clan Companies (similar to Battle Companies) and no reserve Companies. This will spread these suits fairly thin throughout the Chapter. It is possible for a Clan Company or two to have enough suits to equip one small squad as well as their veterans - but this is rare.
Unfortunately, the Iron Hands novel perpetuates the myth that the Iron Hands are still reeling from their comparatively light losses during the Heresy. This just adds to the confusion.
Er, also note that the DP massacre was 10 thousand years ago and due to the Iron Hands affinity for technology (and they are probably chums with the adeptus mechanicus) they have probably built up a far large collection of such rare items than other chapters.