+inload: Arcturus +

+ The Arcturus Campaign +

+ The invaders of Arcturus – the orks of the Von Kurtz stars – proved to be a resilient and hardy foe; hardly surprising for a force of greenskins and their assorted mercenaries. The dispirited and demoralised Arcturan PDF were capable of holding actions against the invigorated and aggressive foe, but the counter-attack fell to the supporting Naval fleet and, of course, the Blood Angels Third Company. +

+ Contemporary pict-captures show the force's livery. While broadly similar to the Angels' 41st Millennium heraldry, a number of variations can be drawn out. In fact, given the five millennia difference, it is a mark of the Imperium's jealously conservative nature that the forces appear as similarly as they do. +

+ The era of the Nova Terra Interregnum was a period of intense self-reflection for many Imperial groups and factions, particularly the military. The Blood Angels remained studiedly neutral, and were careful to remove markings that could be interpreted as pro-Terra or in favour of Nova Terra, instead adopting sigils that venerated the Emperor directly, or spoke of their own heritage and history as steadfast, constant defenders of humanity. Of note at this period is the removal of the chest-mounted Aquila – the double-headed eagles that had been borne by the Astartes at large since the Scouring; as it had become a rallying symbol for Terran loyalists. +

+ The chestplate was commonly left blank, though many amongst the Blood Angels retained similar devices, such as the winged skull of the Imperialis (seen here on the combat squad leader's bannertop), or other winged devices, such as precious gems or grails, as on the sergeant's banner. +

+ Keen-eyed observers will also note the archaic uncoloured backpacks. At this period of religious resurgence, it was common for power packs to remain unpainted as a mark of honour to the Machine Spirit of the armour, and to differentiate the human Astartes from their equipment; though this varied hugely from Chapter to Chapter. The Sons of Spectra, for example, painted their power packs in Chapter livery to honour the Spirits as protective penates – a practise that became near-universal after the Moirae Schism. +

+ The Third Company's activity in the Arcturus Campaign lasted two local months (ca. forty-three standard days) until their immediate strategic goals were met – specifically, the systematic destruction of surface gargant factories – at which point the Third were cycled out and limited reserves from the Sixth and Eighth hosts deployed in support of Legio Madoxes, a Titan Legion that had translated in-system. +

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