+ inload: Iron Warriors Predator +


The Predator rocked back as though kicked; the tracks quickly settling with a rhythmic clanking as a cloud of dust billowed from every flat surface. The engines' idling grumble kicked into a whine and a metallic tinkling as the tank wheeled away and turned down a side-alley.

The crack of the double-retort echoed and re-echoed weirdly in the confines of the sub-district streets, and Izmir's eyes flickered, darting around; suspicious. Even slaved to his autosenses, the tank felt close and confined; like a loose-knit bag over his eyes.
Izmir and the other two permanent crew were locked into their seats; their armour soft-connected via their backpack ports. The fourth Iron Warrior squatted awkwardly in the little remaining space; his feet braced against the crew's dormant charging backpacks. Jogged around in the heat and the dark, the tank crawled onwards – into danger; towards an uncertain victory.


+ Acerbus, Predator battle tank +

+ Standard order dictates three Astartes to man a Destructor-armament Predator – the commander, who operates the main turret and directs the crew; a primary gunner, who controls the sponsons; and a driver, who is responsible for navigation and mobility. +

+ Unlike the advanced micro-noosphere of other vehicles available to the Legions – such as the dread Land Raider, Sicaran variants or Crotalid assault transports – vehicles based on the rugged Rhino were rugged, practical and built with redundancy and reliability in mind. This was an intentional part of the concept briefs: Astartes tanks were designed to take advantage of the sophistication of the crew's personal equipment – their power armour. With the armoured crew having shielded internal comms, advanced autosenses and numerous other targetting and survival aids, the tank itself could get by with the bare minimum. In case of damage or loss, the vehicle could be quickly repaired or replaced. In the unlikely event of it being captured, the tank would prove impractical to most enemies – if for no other reason than the distorted scale necessary for the post-human crew. +

+ As a result, the Deimos-pattern Predator was a spartan environment, with little thought given to aesthetics or comfort. Nevertheless, some advanced systems were in place. The crew's thrones were designed to integrate with the rear of power armour plate, essentially replacing the need for a backpack while in place. The backpacks could be stored near the rear of the tank for retrieval, and could in turn be plugged-in to recharge. This gives an example of the spare elegance of the design; as the three backpacks could be used in a pinch to substitute for an engine subcompartment – allowing a Predator with catastrophic damage to limp away even if all four engines were destroyed. +

+ This Predator – designated Acerbus – is marked with simple visuals; yellow stripes and an alphanumeric key marking it as tank One Hundred of Muster IX. The alpha symbol following the Muster indicates it being a dedicated infantry support tank, rather than a full part of an armoured cavalry division. +

+ The Iron Warriors were well-supplied with comparatively simple Rhino-based vehicles; as more advanced designs – even those partly created by Perturabo himself – were preferentially deployed to other Legions. The IVth turned this to an advantage, spearheading massed armour deployments and making the most of the lightning-strike capabilities available to an armoured force that required little support and virtually no rest. +

+ This was achieved by integrating a Jardimcy Legionary to the crew; an additional 'spare' Astartes who was – in theory – carried in shuttle groups in Rhino carriers that accompanied the main column; but in practise often forced to cram into the tank alongside the small amount of supplies each Predator carried. The Jardimcy would take over duties for injured or exhausted crew, extending the vehicle's combat capabilities. They were also used to replace casualties in the field; reducing the need for a supply train and allowing the column as a whole to continue driving forward. +

+ The presence of the Imperial Eagle remained common even deep in the Horus Heresy. The reasons for this are many and varied – everything from the IIIrd Legion's conscious mockery of Imperial ideals; the Alpha Legion's misdirection; and simple misunderstandings or the dissemination of misinformation. In the case of Acerbus, the Eagle was maintained in honour of the Imperium – the Iron Warriors felt they were fighting against the tyranny of the Emperor himself, not the institutions the IVth had sweated and bled to build. +

+ Resplendent in Legion livery of gunmetal and black, a large bulldozer blade for rubble clearance has been installed on the Predator. This was an extremely common upgrade; particularly amongst those crewed by siege-orientated dodekatheon members. +

+ A number of gleaming blue lenses are visible here; each of which are available for any member of crew to use via their power armour's 'hood'; the pict-slave's vision being directed, ghostly and green, into the viewer's visual cortex. +

Finally, the Predator Destructor's fearsome standard armament of two 'Godhammer' lascannons and the distinctive quad-firing burst autocannon are visible. These made the tank a versatile terror against everything from heavy infantry to medium-weight battle tanks. In concert with its pack-mates, the Space Marine Predator was a versatile machine capable of bringing down even the god-machines of the Titan Legions – albeit at great cost! +

+ Amongst the Iron Warriors, names were commonly given to Predators following their first successful campaign. On the face of things, this may seem an uncharacteristic indulgence for the fiercely unsentimental IVth Legion, but classification and naming had a ritual significance – almost to the point of obsession – to pre-Compliance Olympia. Such a history was not easily erased; and the cold exterior of most Iron Warriors only imperfectly subsumed a furnace of suppressed creativity and emotion. +

+ Simple geometric and high-contrast yellow and black markings on the turret and top of tanks made the vehicles easily identifiable from the air; helping to minimise 'friendly-fire' accidents. The 'IV' here has been crudely daubed on by hand – perhaps by a literal-minded Iron Warrior – and could not possibly be seen from orbit. +

1 comment:

  1. The grittiness and subtle colors look amazing on your Iron Warriors. I'm thinking about going back over mine with a few dozen dirty layers, adds so much to the look of the tank. Great work


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