Background for my DIY chapter. Comments and criticisms are welcome and requested.
INDEX ASTARTES: THE OMEGA WARDENS
THE SENTINELS OF THE LAST DAYS
The first records possibly indicating the battlefield operations of the Omega Wardens is an inconclusive pict-feed from an Adeptus Mechanicus outpost in the Eastern Fringe, dating back to M38. Despite struggling through significant signal jamming, the pict-feed recorded twelve seconds of a combat engagement where a number of unidentified Astartes, colored in a deep black blue with dark green trim, are seen counter-attacking a group of Eldar who are trying to force their way into the Mechanicus compound.
This pict-feed and a number of other equally ambiguous sources are mere hints at the existence of a relatively new Space Marine Chapter. In truth, the Omega Wardens are the blade in the dark that spares a thousand at dawn. The Chapter is one that specializes in covert operations, intelligence gathering, and shock assault, and they have served the Imperium and the Emperor faithfully for almost three thousand years.
Only the Chapterís highest echelons of command know why the creation of the Omega Wardens was sanctioned, but to those few who know of their existence, they are always a welcome ally. The Omega Wardens have often gone out of their way to assist their fellow Astartes chapters, such as when over half the Chapter tracked a Night Lords fleet and fell upon it just in time to save a Blood Angels battle barge while it was resupplying at a shipyard, or when the Omega Wardens 6th Company raced three-quarters of the way across the galaxy to bring word of invasion to the Raven Guard on Deliverance.
Their interactions with Imperial offices and organizations are extremely limited and often unknown to the Imperial group in question to better hide the Chapterís movements and whereabouts. The only exceptions to this are a number of trusted Inquisitors who routinely exchange vital information with the Omega Wardens. These policies have left many powerful officials unclear as to whether the Omega Wardens even exist, and have even denied the Omega Wardens much needed support, but to the Chapter, the sacrifice is worth the freedom of anonymity.
Whatever the reason for their founding, the Omega Wardens have never seen fit to adhere to the structures laid down by their predecessors. The Chapter consists of eight companies, including one command company and seven battle companies. The command company consists of the Chapterís veterans and command structure, most of which operates out of the enormous battle barge/fortress monastery Herald of the Apocalypse and two strike crusiers. The battle companies, each deployed with two strike cruisers of their own, number almost two hundred members strong and are responsible for most of their own recruitment and outfitting.
The purpose of this unsanctioned deployment is twofold Ė first, the battle companies are largely self-sufficient and can operate on their own for extended periods of time; second, the Chapter can, when it desires, intentionally mislead its enemies or allies about the strength it commits to a particular war zone. Both factors allow the Omega Wardens to strike anywhere across the galaxy and control the flow of information about their movements.
Perhaps most peculiar is the fact that the Omega Wardens possess no traditional battle tanks, even by the elite standards of the Astartes. The Chapterís forges instead turn their efforts to making enormous amounts of jump packs, warbikes, land speeders, and gunships to better facilitate the Chapterís need for mobility. Along this vein, the Chapter has also done away with all suits of tactical dreadnought armor, viewing the hindrance of speed and agility as too great a sacrifice for the sake of individual survivability.
Above all else, the Omega Wardens favor efficiency. If a single bullet or warrior can accomplish what a hundred more might, they would deploy the one. This taste for efficiency has combined with their need for secrecy to create a breed of Astartes that relies on tactics such as assassinations, psychological warfare, and counter-intelligence.
To these ends, the Chapter maintains a large number of snipers, lone operatives, and intelligence networks that work in concert whether they realize it or not. Space Marine squads are not trained or specialized as they are in Codex chapters, but they are instead trained to be mission capable in all battlefield roles, from fire support to close assault to vehicle operation, and regularly rotate in these duties to keep such skills honed. Scouts are trained as such in missions of less significance, and most Scouts see their tours involve insertion into a populace or target organization in advance of an Omega Warden operation.
Yet for all their talent at espionage and shadow games, the Omega Wardens are a force to be reckoned with on the field of battle. Their reliance on speed, mobility, and surprise assault make them almost impossible to out maneuver, and their extensive use of jump packs and bikes allow them to strike like the Emperorís fist when they must. Those forces that have seen them in the field have noted the extreme brutality and murderous efficiency with which the Wardens strike and have learned to fear them for it.
If Omega Warden combat doctrine is lacking in one area, it is that they cannot field armored support or divisions. The Chapterís refusal to use tanks has cost them at times in the past, particularly in city engagements where the reliability of sturdy armored ground transport trumps the awkwardness of flying gunships between buildings. This is seen as an adequate payoff, however, because the Chapter believes that getting tied down in such fights is tantamount to defeat anyway.
A single driving force motivates almost every action of the Omega Wardens Ė they believe that an apocalypse is coming, one that will see the Imperium destroyed if its effects are not mitigated. The Chapter believes that the Emperorís enemies seek to strike simultaneously in order to further their quest for power and destroy much, if not all, of humanity. The Omega Wardens believe themselves to be the first line of defense against such a catastrophe and they relentlessly search for information that could expose it. Many of their combat operations and interactions with other Imperial or Imperium-allied forces are dressed up efforts to acquire new information or to stymie forces they believe to be integral to the apocalypse.
In their investigations and hunts, the Omega Wardens have found their perpetual rival and enemy Ė the Alpha Legion. As far as the Wardens are concerned, the Alpha Legion are not only spreading the seeds that will grow into the end of days, they fully intend to bring it about. The Wardens cannot help but recognize their own inclinations in the traitorsí use of disinformation and covert operations, and the Wardens put enormous effort into hunting the Alpha Legion. In turn, the Alpha Legion is fully aware of the Omega Wardensí quest, and the result has evolved into a shadow war, waged and hidden in the backdrop of the epic conflicts that litter the galaxy. If the Omega Wardens are right about the coming storm, it is perhaps the winner of such a secret campaign that will decide the tempestís outcome.