+ inload: Anatomy of the Astartes: Crimson Fists [GuestpostID: Bob Hunk] +

+ inload: Anatomy of the Astartes: Crimson Fists +

+ Refighting Rogue Trader's 'Battle for the Farm' scenario has been on the long-distance auspex scans of Bob Hunk and myself for a number of years; and while the PCRC's gears grind slowly, they grind exceeding fine. Suffice to say that while you may have been following my efforts in re-creating the orks of Luggub's Drop Legion [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+] and watching the scenery get built [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], the heroic greenskins of course need some bullying bad guy space fascists (ho ho ho) to fight. +

+ Cue the inimitable, LED-laden and beautifully-painted Crimson Fists of that selfsame Imperial Commander. This force has itself been a few years in the making, and is a fine demonstration of the same modelling and painting skill that brought the Heresy-era Praetor Letholdus a few moon-cycles back [+noosphericinloadlinkembedded+]. The Crimson Fists are going to be a treat to see on the table play! +

+ Nota bene: In order to tie the actions of the Battle for the Farm into the Alien Wars timeline, there's a bit of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff going on. We toyed with various methods to square the circle, and we're falling back on the good old-fashioned approach of 'narrative foreshadowing'. The concept of a patrol moving in to retrieve something from a position defended by the enemy is fairly generic, so we're relocating the time to M35 and changing a few names to protect the innocent allow us to indulge our need to plant some Easter Eggs (and there may be a little prize if you can spot and identify them all...). So, we'll see the fate of Geo-station Erpes during the Alien Wars; and perhaps return to Rynn's World proper at a future date. +

Hi everyone, Bob Hunk here, creator of Team Fisto and Apologist’s long time friend and gaming rival! Apologist asked if I’d like to do another guest post on his blog, this time talking about my Crimson Fists and their part in the Alien Wars. So of course I said yes!

+ The Crimson Fists Chapter during M35 +

At the dawning of M35, the Crimson Fists were still entirely a fleet-based Chapter, with no home world or dominions to tie them down to a specific sector. Taking on a crusading role similar to the Black Templars or the Imperial Fists before them, they patrolled the marches of Imperial territory, repelling xenos aggression wherever it reared its hideous malformed head.

Although it was over three millennia since the break-up of the Astartes Legions, as a Second Founding chapter the Crimsons Fists still possessed a reasonable amount of functioning ‘relic’ equipment at this  point, especially in comparison with chapters from later foundings. This, combined with the difficulty of maintaining regular supply lines to a roving fleet could lead the Crimson Fists of the era to have an eclectic look to their arms and armour. MkVI and MkVII power armour freely mixed alongside older marks. Similarly, the cutting edge MkIIIc Godwyn-pattern bolter rubbed shoulders with the venerable Umbra-pattern bolter and the Proteus-pattern missile launchers.

Crimson Fists circa M35

+ The Sons of Dorn and the Nova Terra Interregnum +

Like the vast majority of Space Marine chapters at the time, the Crimson Fists adopted a strict policy of non-involvement with the Imperium's internal politicking. If anything, the Crimson Fists took this a step further than some other chapters, barely acknowledging that the schism was taking place at all.This culminated in the widely recounted incident where Algernon Traegus – 16th Master of the Chapter of the Crimson Fists – kept ambassadors from Terra and Constantium politely but firmly waiting for an audience for so many weeks that they were both eventually forced to withdraw before meeting him.

This stance was, of course, in marked contrast to their primogenitors, the Imperial Fists, who openly sided with Ancient Terra. However, when we consider the fact that the Imperial Fists have many feudal domains on the Throne World and in the Solar System, this is hardly surprising. As has been noted elsewhere, the mustering of military resources on the borders of Segmentum Pacificus left some parts of the Imperium’s frontiers woefully under-defended. Seeking to address this shortfall, Chapter Master Traegus split the chapter fleet over a number of sectors in the hope of mounting as many patrols and counter-insurgencies as the resources under his command would allow.

Battle-brethren of the Crimson Fists engage the xenos

+ The 4th Company at Temportus +

One such patrol was the strike cruiser Cerulean Rampart and its attendant escorts, carrying the Crimson Fists 4th company commanded by the stoic veteran Captain Grimstone. They had been assigned to patrol the Compitales sub-sector, which, with it’s coreward shipping lanes was a known haunt of greenskin pirates and other foul xenos reavers.

Traegus' choice of the Compitales sub-sector for the 4th company proved prescient, as within days of their arrival in the region they intercepted a call for aid from the bountiful agri-world of Temportus. Grimstone immediately ordered a response. The jump to Temportus was a short one of only a few tens of light years and the 4th company arrived within weeks of the astropathic distress message having been sent.

On arrival in-system, the Crimson Fists discovered that Temportus was under attack by the forces of Luggub’s Drop-Legion, a filthy band of ork raiders. Making all haste to the beleaguered, agri-world, it didn’t take the Cerulean Rampart and her escorts long to drive off or destroy the unprepared and ramshackle assault ships in orbit. Ordering an immediate combat drop, Captain Grimstone led the bulk of the 4th company to the surface and set about eliminating the orks that he found there. The meagre greenskin forces were spread thinly across the surface of Temportus and could offer little meaningful resistance to the wrath of the Crimson Fists. Seeing no benefit in attacking the capital city – the proto-hive of Stenham – the Orks had instead split into smaller mobs to raid the isolated farmsteads, leaving themselves vulnerable to the fast moving and vengeful Space Marines.

In the aftermath of the battle, Captain Grimstone took stock of the defences of Temportus, and was dismayed by the state of what he found. Used to falling under the protective aegis of Imperial Navy shipping lane patrols, the planet’s PDF forces had been run down into a state that barely met the minimum requirements Imperial Governors were expected to maintain.

Although the Crimson Fists didn’t have entirely the same castellan tendencies as their forebears, Captain Grimstone quickly realised that if change weren’t made the the 4th company would almost certainly be forced to return aid Temportus again and again in the near future. After giving the Imperial Governor – a lugubrious man called Rivens – a suitable dressing down, Grimstone immediately set about personally overseeing a recruitment drive for the PDF.

+ Xenos Cunning +

The orks sprung their trap three days later. Emerging from behind moons and from the sensor-baffling rings of the system's gas giants, the armada of Luggub’s Drop-Legion moved in-system towards Temportus with an alien enthusiasm for battle that only the greenskins can muster. This time it was the Cerulean Rampart’s turn to be easily forced out of position. Realising that their was no time to recover his forces from the surface, Grimstone ordered the strike cruiser to retreat to the system edge and attempt to get word of the ork incursion to the rest of the chapter. As the Drop-Legion began to rain from the sky, Captain Grimstone was at the outlying agri-town of Driffield, overseeing the recruitment and raising of the newly formed ‘Driffield Volunteers’ PDF company.

Recovered fragment of a hastily-produced recruitment poster for the ‘Driffield Volunteers' PDF company
Still in parade ground formation and getting used to their freshly starched uniforms, the Driffield Volunteers were swiftly overwhelmed by the greenskins that they suddenly found swarming through the streets of their town. Their armoured support destroyed, Captain Grimstone and his honour guard had no choice but to fall back on foot, heading overland towards Stenham where the bulk of the 4th company were already coming under siege. Travelling by night, or by day when cover allowed, Captain Grimstone led the Crimson Fists survivors of the Driffield massacre back towards the capital. It was a journey that would take many days, and although they managed to avoid the ork hunter-killer- eater patrols at first, their luck couldn’t hold forever. The Crimson Fists were finally brought to battle by the orks at Geo-Station Erpes...

Lieutenant Griguez matches his blade against the crude weapons of the greenskins

+ To be continued... +

I hope you’ve enjoyed this examination of the Crimson Fists in the Alien Wars setting, and hopefully I’ve also whetted your appetite for our upcoming game, The Battle for Geo-station Erpes. If you’re interested in seeing more Crimson Fists (and Imperial Fists of course) then come and join me on my Instagram or Twitter – if either of those things are your bag! Alternatively, if you’d like to learn a little more about the technomantic rites involved with cramming your models full of LEDs, take a look at my Bolter and Chainsword log for a how-to guide.

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