Angels and Redeemers
THE IRON SNAKES
The Iron Snakes of Ithaka are an old Chapter, although the origins of the Iron Snakes are difficult to pin down; reportedly a Second Founding chapter, their Legion of origin is unknown. Although they pay respect to Roboute Guilliman, it is uncertain if they are an Ultramarine descendant, particularly as they are a non-Codex chapter.
The Iron Snakes are based around the planet Ithaka, ‘The Cradle of Snakes’ and their Fortress Monastery is located on the fortress moon of Karybdis. The Chapter defends the Reef Stars from all enemies, regularly engaging their ancient foe, the Dark Eldar or Primuls as they are sometimes known in the region.
Ithaka is an ocean world that includes a rare species of giant water snake know as great wyrms or Iron Snakes. They are vast creatures, with hides covered in adamantine hard scales and with jaws big enough to swallow gunships and tanks whole. As part of initiation and training Iron Snakes petitioners must kill a great wyrm with a Sea Lance, a heavy harpoon that they throw from a fleet water skiff. It is a good omen for a petitioner to kill an Iron Snake with a single lance throw.
The Reef Stars
The Iron Snakes appear to have been stationed in the sector of space known as the Reef Stars many thousands of years ago, and charged with its protection as their primary mission. The inhabited worlds of the Reef, while varied in their technological development, each appear to have some form of summoning aid from the Iron Snakes ritualised into their society. The Iron Snakes are a myth or legend to some worlds, an awe-inspiring reality to others. Regardless of how they are viewed, the Snakes of Ithaka take their duty to the Reef Stars as seriously as only Space Marines can, and will go to any lengths possible to protect the sector and its citizenry.
The actions they have fought in the Reef Stars are numerous, as the whole area appears to be under constant threat by Dark Eldar raiding parties. As a result, the Iron Snakes have amassed considerable experience fighting the Dark Eldar, who they (and the people of the Reef Stars) also refer to as the “primuls.” The Iron Snakes also fought a ten year all-out war against a supremely large Ork invasion. The Ork forces, made up of multiple Waaaghs, were so large that it was impossible for the Iron Snakes to defeat them by martial means. However, having managed to secure a relic apparently considered sacred by the Orks, the Iron Snakes were able to draw the Ork forces out of the Reef Stars and into unclaimed/Xenos territory. The remainder of the Orks were expunged, and the Reef Stars were judged greenskin-free for over a thousand years.
When a mission, referred to within the chapter as an ‘undertaking’, is decided upon the Chapter Master announces how many squads he believes are required to ensure its success. All squad-leaders who wish to volunteer their units for the mission then place their tokens into a kylix (a form of drinking cup whose origins lie in ancient Terra). The Chapter Master then decides which squads to assign to the undertaking based upon which tokens he finds in the kylix.
The Iron Snakes appear to rely heavily on squad based tactics, operating rarely in company strength groups. However their most significant divergence is their use of Sea Lances and combat shields in combat. In certain situations, usually when sustained and hard fought close combat is expected, Iron Snakes squads are equipped with combat shields and adamantine tipped Sea Lances for the battle. Standing before the enemy onslaught the Iron Snakes thin their ranks with rapid bolter fire before forming a shield wall, using their lances and combat swords to present a united front to the enemy. Though this method of fighting seems anachronistic it has nonetheless proved effective, particularly against the greenskin menace. Beyond such special circumstances the Chapter appears to follow the Codex, relying on their power armour and bolter to carry most battles.
While the squad is the principal tactical unit of the Chapter, sometimes even less manpower is deployed. In cases of responding to general aid requests from the worlds of the Reef Stars, it is customary to dispatch only one Battle-Brother from the closest squad to investigate. The Brother chosen is often either the newest member of the squad, or a member being considered for the role of successor by the squad-leader; a one-person undertaking is seen as a fitting challenge for such marines. Historically, only one warrior usually suffices in cases of general aid requests, though it is no shame for the individual to request the presence of his fratery-brothers once appraised of the specific situation.
The Iron Snakes are unique in their tactical squads in the fact that all squads are attached with an Apothecary unlike other codex astartes who are assigned one per company.
IRON SNAKES CHARACTERS:
Iron Snakes gain the following benefits +5 Weapon Skill, +5 to any other attribute, and the Army of One Solo Mode ability.
ARMY OF ONE (IRON SNAKES)
Required Rank: 1
Effects: Iron Snakes emphasis on the individual. Most Battles are fought with only a handful of Marines present. That is why Iron Snakes are pretty self suficient. Iron Snakes gain a bonus of +5 to all weapon skill per opponent fighting them (up to +20). That represents the skill the marine has acquired in confusing his opponents by moving through their ranks. It also represents the talent in holding narrow passages or doorways. The Marine is so proficient in fighting Hordes of Enemies that his Parries deflect one additional hit per 3 Successes. This ability lasts for a number of rounds equal to the characters Rank, divided by 2 (rounded up).
Improvements: At Rank 3 the Battle-Brother may not be attacked by more than three man-sized opponents in melee. Hordes suffer a -10 penalty on all melee or ranged attacks into the melee.
At Rank 5 the marine may parry hits by ranged weapons as long as he is using a shield to do so.
At Rank 7 once per combat you can have a number of reactions in a round equal to your AG bonus
CHAPTER DEMEANOR: SELFISH
The emphasis on small unit training and independent action of the Iron Snakes space marines makes them ideal for small scale operations where they may need to fight for extended periods with little or no support. However, it makes interaction and cooperation with other Chapters difficult. Cohesion between the Iron Snakes and more traditional chapters (GM’s discretion) is always considered 1 less.
The Strong are Strongest Alone
The Battle-Brothers of the Adeptus Astartes are the champions of Mankind, but in becoming so they have surrendered much of what makes them human. When extremes of stress and trauma stretch even the prodigious mental and spiritual strength of a Space Marine, those qualities that make him a glorious exemplar of Humanity may turn him into the very opposite.
Level 1 (Contemptuous of Lesser Men): The Battle-Brother comes to regard all outside of the Adeptus Astartes as thankless curs, undeserving of the sacrifices he and his brethren have made in the name of Humanity. All Interaction Skill Tests with non-Adeptus Astartes suffer a -10 penalty.
Level 2 (Distrustful of his Brothers): Continued spiritual trauma causes the Battle-Brother to resent even other Space Marines, who he comes to believe are belittling the deeds of his own Chapter. The Battle-Brother even comes to resent those drawn from his Progenitor Chapter, perceiving slights in all they say and do. All Interaction Skill Tests with any character outside the Battle-Brothers own Kill-Team or his own Chapter are at -10. Individuals of his Progenitor Chapter and not in his Kill-Team are at -20.
Level 3 (The Champion Stands Alone): Eventually, the Battle-Brother comes to believe that he alone can bear the weight of responsibility vested in the Adeptus Astartes by the Emperor of Mankind. He withdraws even from his own Kill-Team, and his temper flares at the slightest provocation. If his counsel is not heeded, he might fly into a rage, and if he is not appointed command of a mission, he considers his skill and his honor gravely insulted. When he is not acting as the Kill-Team’s Leader, its Cohesion is reduced by 2.
Iron Snakes Chapter Advances
Navigation ………………………….. 300 ….. Skill …..
Tactics ……………………………… 400 ….. Skill …..
Duty unto Death…………………….800……..Talent…….WP 45
Combat Master…………………….. 600 ….. Talent ….. WS 30
CHAPTER ATTACK PATTERNS: BREAKING THE WAVE
Action: Free Action
Effects: Concentrated bolter fire breaks the enemy formations apart. Semi-Auto and Full Auto Attacks are "suppressing“, using the usual rules but inflicting an aditional -10 modifier to willpower tests to avoid being pinned. Hordes reduce the number of attacks on their next turn by one and suffer an additional D5 Horde Damage per hit.
Improvements: If the Battle-Brother is Rank 4 or more, the enemies suffer an -20 modifier to Dodge Rolls due to the overlaping fire lanes used by the Marines.
Effects: When two or more battle-brothers, armed with melee weapons, are adjacent to each other and take no more than a half-move action, they gain +10 to Weapon Skill and a further +10 bonus to Parry attempts.
Improvements: If the Battle-brother is Rank 4 or more each member within the support
range can trade their parries with other Battle-Brothers next to him.
CHAPTER DEFENSIVE STANCES: SHIELD-WALL
Standing before the enemy onslaught the Iron Snakes may form a shield wall, using their lances and combat shields to present a united front to the enemy.
Action: Free Action
Effects: When two or more battle-brothers, armed with melee weapons and shields, are within support range and take no more than a half-move action, they gain +10 to Weapon Skill and a further +10 bonus to Parry attempts.
Improvements: If the Battle-brother is Rank 4 or more each member within the support
range gain +20 to Weapon Skill and a further +20 bonus to Parry attempts
The Iron Snakes regularly issue combat shields and sealances (javelin-type fighting spears) to all brothers, enabling them to close up and use phalanx (shield-wall) style tactics. The Iron Snakes sealance a heavy Version of the traditional hunters weapon used by native Ithakans.
Sealance, Melee, 1d10+2R, Pen:4, Unbalanced; Weight: 5kg. May be thrown (range 20)
New Melee Weapon and Shield:
The advanced Version of the traditional Sealance used by Ithacan Hunters is a adamantite-tipped, high-tech Version of the native sealance, designed for use by the Astartes. It can be thrown with a range of 20.
Warlance, Melee, 1d10+6 E Pen 7, Power Field, Unwieldy, Weight 10kg, 15 Requisition (Distinguished).
An adaption of the large shields used in boarding operations, the body shield is essentially a larger and more cumbersome combat shield.While not as advanced as Stom Shields, Body Shields provide adequate protection for Shield Wall tactics. They have the Defensive Quality, Provide 4 Armor to the arm wielding it, the Body and legs. They also reduce the time needed for a Guarded Attack to a Half Action. If used to bash an enemy, the Body Shield does 1d5+1 impact damage but suffers -20 to the attack roll. Due to the size and encumberance of the shield, characters using it can only use pistols in their other hands and suffer a -10 penalty on BS tests, dodge and acrobatics rolls and Weapon Skill tests.
Astartes Body Shield Protection Rating 35, Overload Roll 01-10, Wt 15, Req 25 Distinguished.
Although Iron Snakes are able to train in a number of environments across their homeworld, it is the sea that is most precious to them, to the point where each marine carries a vial of Ithakan seawater with him when on active duty, and with which he anoints the soil of any other planet he steps on.
Waters of the Arctic Wastes: +3 to all Survival rolls
Waters of the Wyrms’ Nest: +2 to Weapon Skill
Waters of the Storm Coast: Add +3 to Command Tests