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Thread: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    A Crusade:

    Some years ago, I decided that I would create a coherent structure of background and in-universe reality in which to place my armies and games of Warhammer 40,000. I ummed and ahhed and eventually settled on placing my forces in the Eastern Fringe, that most nebulous and shifting of the God-Emperor's domains. I picked the Eastern Fringe because it has all of the Imperium's foes present - and it is also home to the Ultramarines, and like many people here, I have an Ultramarines army. In fact I have two, my original 2nd Edition army that I began 40K with and my like-for-like update of it for 4th/5th using starter box marines and a few extras.

    Anyway, the next thing that happened was I began to create the then Rigel Sector, which over the course of the millenia and events like the First Tyrannic War, has been renamed the Paridon Sector. Now, in the opening years of the 42nd Millenium, the wheels set in motion centuries ago after the defeat of the Damocles Crusade have reached the stage where a new Crusade against the Tau and other associated Xenos has begun. This crusade is the Amalthean Crusade, and it looks a bit like this:

    Forces of the Imperium:

    Space Marine Chapters:
    • Righteous Fists Strike Group Priam. 400 Marines from 1st Veteran, 2nd and 3rd Battle, 7th Assault and 8th Devastator Reserve; 10th Scout Companies under Chapter Master Priam. The Battle Barge Righteous Wrath, the strike cruisers Righteous Might and Righteous Glory. Nine escorts. Overall command of Space Marine assets rests with Master Priam.
    • Lamenters: 289 Marines, comprising the whole Chapter, under Acting Chapter Master Florentine. The Battle Barge Penitance, three escorts.
    • Black Templars Crusade, under Marshal Zwingli. 270 Marines, the Battle Barge Unending Fury, four escorts.
    • Space Wolves 9th Great Company, under Harald Hardrada. The strike cruiser Wrath of Harald, two escorts.
    • Ultramarines Strike Force Proteus. 175 Marines from 1st Veteran, 2nd Battle, 6th Assault Reserve and 10th Scout Companies under Captain Proteus of 2nd Company. The strike cruiser Guillman's Sword, two escorts.


    Ecclesiarchical Forces:
    • Adepta Sororitas Order Militant of the Pure Blood: 700 Sororitas under Canoness Omolena.
    • Frateris Militia 'Crusade of Truth': 4500 redemptionists and militia.

    Both the militias and the Sororitas are transported by the Ecclesiarchy-sponsored Rogue Trader fleet Bringer of the Emperor's Light under Rogue Trader Priest-Captain Yuri Venxal.

    The Imperial Guard:
    Crusade Command (Reserve) under Lord Marshal Steiner.
    Three Crusade Groups each of:
    Three Front Groups each of:
    Three Fronts each of:
    Three Army Groups each of:
    Three Armies each of:
    Three Corps each of:
    Three Divisions each of:
    Three Brigades each of:
    Two Regiments each of:
    Two Battalions each of:
    Three to Five Companies each of:
    Three to Five Platoons each of:
    Three to Five Squads each of:
    Ten Guardsmen. Phew!
    Or, in other words, each Crusade Group consists of 39,366 regiments, and there are three such Groups for a rough total of around 118,098 Regiments in the Crusade. All of these Regiments are drawn from just one Sector - the Paridon Sector.

    A Quick Note on Logistics:
    Each Bulk Transport can carry up to 162 Regiments, or an Army. There are 729 such transports in the Crusade. Each Crusade Group contains 243 Bulk Transports, not including the transports required to supply all these troops - or the transports to supply the supply vessels!

    The Imperial Navy:
    Fighting Fleets:
    Almost all of Battlefleet PARIDON is involved; with over 2,000 warships of varying size and class dedicated to the Amalthean Crusade. These are split into four groups of around 500 vessels each as follows:

    First Fleet (with Crusade Command). Crusade reserve fleet. CO Grand Admiral Kasimirov.
    Second Fleet (with First Crusade Group). CO Grand Admiral Martina.
    Third Fleet (with Second Group). CO Grand Admiral Pattin.
    Fourth Fleet (with Third Group). CO Grand Admiral Hanniker.

    Each Fleet and Imperial Guard Group is collectively known as a Fleet Group, and named after their commanding Admiral. E.g. Fleet Group Hanniker.

    The majority of the IN vessels involved are split into small packets to protect the vitally important transport fleets that are the lifeblood of the Crusade.

    Transport Vessels:
    Huge numbers of transports and armed merchantmen of all sizes are present, and form the vast majority of personnel and vehicles in the Crusade. They fall under the joint command of the Imperial Navy and Departmento Munitorum; and their representatives meet daily with Lord Marshal Steiner, who has overall command of the entire Crusade. Notable elements include three Rogue Trader fleets (one with each Fleet Group), a 'Q-Group' of heavily armed and armoured transport class vessels dedicated to anti-piracy operations, and the presence of several warp-capable space stations used to form secure lines of supply back to the Paridon Sector.

    The Adeptus Mechanicus:
    The entirety of theTitan Legion Astra Argentum, together with ten Tech-Guard Legions and an Ordinatus Battlegroup have all been donated to the Crusade. They are moved from battlezone to battlezone as required. Transport is provided by the Mechanicus themselves, as they trust no-one else with their holy God-Machines. Exact and precise data is currently not availiable.

    The Holy Ordos:
    Elements and operatives of all three Ordos are present within the Crusade, although no-one knows exactly how many there are, or what their agendas are. Lord Marshal Steiner is aware of the most powerful Conclave; the Amalthean Conclave, which has representatives of all three Ordos on it. It is rumoured that there are also several Assassins spread throughout the Crusade but this information is extremely highly classified and not even the Lord Marshal's intelligence operatives know.

    The Adeptus Arbites, Adeptus Terra, Departmento Munitorum, Ecclesiarchy etc:
    In the wake of the Crusade's conquering armies comes the consolidation. Tens of thousands of Arbites, hundreds of thousands of Munitorum and Adminstratum scribes and drones, millions of labourers and billions of colonists: all travel in the wake of victory and will stamp the Imperium's mark on the Tau once and for all... or so it is hoped.

    The Enemy:

    The primary enemy throughout the duration of this Crusade is the Tau. The recent events around the Cadian Gate drew the Imperium's attention away from the small and apparently insignificant Xenos race in the Eastern Fringe - to great cost. Many worlds of great importance fell to the Tau in what is known as the Third Sphere Expansion. Taros, an important mining world, is just one example. Agri-worlds, promethium-rich ice worlds, mineral-encrusted deserts, strategically important death worlds, vast Adminstratum data-cities - all these and more fell to the Tau. Now the Imperium is coming to reclaim them, and push the Tau back into their original enclave. It will not be an easy fight; the Tau and their auxiliaries are ready for the inevitable counter-thrust, and darker enemies lurk within the dark reaches of space.

    The Xenos:
    The Tau Fire Caste and Air Caste present the largest single threat and the main enemy of the Crusade. Exact data is hard to come by, but it is expected that each system will be heavily defended and Crusade Command plans for the worst case scenario in every case.

    Reports have been filtering in of Tyranid encounters with picket vessels and some battles with Tau fleets. Ordo Xenos intelligence extrapolations suggest that it is a splinter fleet from Behemoth. Crusade elements have been detached to monitor and destroy as necessary.
    Eldar pirates from the Craftworld known as 'Phoenix' have been reported as mounting raids on Imperial border worlds and Tau Septs; as yet no direct confrontation has been made with the Crusade.

    Eldar pirates have also been reported as raiding worlds on both sides of the Imperial-Tau border, apparently to take prisoners and cause maximum destruction to lightly defended, or defenceless, settlements.

    Ork tribes near the zone of operations for Front Group Martina are behaving in a manner that suggests an imminent Waagh! Deathwatch units are in position to monitor and report.

    A forward Tau military staging base on an apparently dead world has gone completely silent and the last report from Crusade Intelligence read simply "They are killing everyone" with no encryption. Analysts are at a loss to explain this event. Pessimists on the Lord Marshal's staff darkly suggest it could be the fault of the dreaded Necrontyr.

    Finally, as if these threats weren't enough, Ordo Malleus and Hereticus intelligence reports that a large number of Chaos renegades and Legionnaires are present in 'Empty Sectors' around the border zone, in particular the Karaboudjani Kataphrakt pirate force led by a renegade Inquisitor and joined by a Heretic priest; and it appears that deep-striking elements of the 13th Black Crusade have ended up in the same area. It is likely that the two are linked; one analysis suggests that the rogue Inquisitor has brought the Legions to her in order to create her own fiefdom. Certainly comms-chatter has become more coherent of late, and the overall commander of traitor warbands appears to be known as She Who Is or alternatively The Lady.

    What All This Means:

    First of all, I hope you enjoyed the read! All it's really about is providing my games of Battlefleet Gothic, Epic 40K, 40K, Inquisitor and Dark Heresy with a story and structure. You'll note I've actually started the crusade in the opening decade of the 42nd Millenium - I like to move things on. Where you lot come in is in providing comments, criticism, and gentle pointers on things you think I have wrong (or right). I also wanted to show people it's not as hard as you think to construct a coherent background for your games, regardless of actual campaign or not.

    Plus it gives me a great excuse to collect a shedload of 40K armies!

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    Chapter Master Idaan's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I'd say the Crusade fleet wouldn't be drawn entirely from one sector: it would lead to depletion of that sector's military power, ready to be exploited. Indeed, with the Angevin Crusade in Dark Heresy, we had examples of ships being drawn from as far afield as Gothic Sector and Segmentum Solar. I'd say that with the Crusade (usually) being planned several years in advance, there's enough time to raise a fleet from surplus and reserve ships from all across the Segmentum, especially from the more peaceful ones, preventing the weakening of any single Sector Fleet.
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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Ah, a good point. So the fleet would be from all over Ultima Segmentum then. That said, I have drastically revised the size of Sector Fleets up from the 50-75 ships noted in BFG...!

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    Librarian Jo-Jo's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I have done a similiar thing to you, as in I have built a story were most of my armies and games can fit into (40k, BFG and Inquisitor), And I find it fun.

    Anyway may I quickly ask why you have chosen to name it the Amalthean Crusade?
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    Chapter Master Clockwork-Knight's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I also don't believe that the Imperium would call the Necrons by their old name, the Necrontyr, but that's a rather minor nitpick.

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    Chapter Master Still Standing's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I like it, however there are only 88,573,500 Guardsmen involved in the crusade. Maybe you need a few regiments of Krieg to bolster your numbers!
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    Chapter Master Chem-Dog's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen.Steiner View Post
    >The whole post<
    Fantastic stuff. Actually helps me quite a bit as I'm struggling to populate my own little corner of Apostasy era Eastern Fringe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Idaan View Post
    I'd say the Crusade fleet wouldn't be drawn entirely from one sector:
    The crusade that's in the offing at the start of the Eisenhorn trilogy does seem to draw all of it's naval craft from a single fleet, so depending on the overall size of a fleet, you could expect a majority of, if not all, naval vessels (at least) to belong to a single fleet. Initially at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockwork-Knight View Post
    I also don't believe that the Imperium would call the Necrons by their old name, the Necrontyr, but that's a rather minor nitpick.
    High Command might well do, just because the common grunt doesn't know what they are called doesn't mean a Warmaster/Lord Solar or any other high echelon individuals wouldn't.
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    Chapter Master Still Standing's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I doubt the Imperium would even know they used to be called Necrontyr, unless they had spoken to a Necron Lord, an Eldar, or maybe even an Ork of some description. Actually, it makes sense that they had spoken to at least a Eldar prisoner of them.
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    Chapter Master Clockwork-Knight's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Calling the Necrons by their old name is improbable, because not even the eldar call them like that in their legends, so that name wouldn't be known anyway. Also, nobody (except the old star-eels) calls the Orks Krorks, so calling the in living-metal-clad undying slaves of the star-eels by the old name of their species when they were sickly and short-lived mortals just doesn't make it feel right, as it would give the imperials out-of-charactere knowledge.

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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Clockwork-Knight View Post
    I also don't believe that the Imperium would call the Necrons by their old name, the Necrontyr, but that's a rather minor nitpick.
    Quote Originally Posted by Still Standing View Post
    I doubt the Imperium would even know they used to be called Necrontyr, unless they had spoken to a Necron Lord, an Eldar, or maybe even an Ork of some description. Actually, it makes sense that they had spoken to at least a Eldar prisoner of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Clockwork-Knight View Post
    Calling the Necrons by their old name is improbable, because not even the eldar call them like that in their legends, so that name wouldn't be known anyway. Also, nobody (except the old star-eels) calls the Orks Krorks, so calling the in living-metal-clad undying slaves of the star-eels by the old name of their species when they were sickly and short-lived mortals just doesn't make it feel right, as it would give the imperials out-of-charactere knowledge.
    The Adeptus Mechanicus Explorators and Ordo Xenos are very good at translating the old texts that they have access to. High Command is well aware of the Necron threat, and also that they were originally known as the Necrontyr. What they are unsure of is the relationship between the Necrontyr and the Necrons - speculation currently favours the idea that the living gods referred to in the tomb-texts are the Necrontyr, and the robotic warrior slaves are the Necrons. Most common soldiery are totally oblivious to the existence of the Necrons at all; High Command most commonly refers to them as Threat: Classified: 'N'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jo-Jo View Post
    Anyway may I quickly ask why you have chosen to name it the Amalthean Crusade?
    Certainly. It is so called after the martyr Saint Amalthea, who died in the fighting around the Damocles Gulf.

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Standing View Post
    I like it, however there are only 88,573,500 Guardsmen involved in the crusade. Maybe you need a few regiments of Krieg to bolster your numbers!
    It's actually closer to 90 million once you factor in all the HQ units, the bodyguard regiments, penal legions, training elements, medical units and so on and so forth. But yes, it's a lot smaller than previous incarnations of itself!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chem-Dog View Post
    The crusade that's in the offing at the start of the Eisenhorn trilogy does seem to draw all of it's naval craft from a single fleet, so depending on the overall size of a fleet, you could expect a majority of, if not all, naval vessels (at least) to belong to a single fleet. Initially at least.
    I actually think, on reflection, that the most I can justify is inflating the IN massively and drawing the majority of the fleet from Battlefleet PARIDON; reserve and second-line vessels from Battlefleet ULTIMA are also present in a combat capacity.

  11. #11

    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Criticisms first: Now, I know these numbers are the way they are because you're trying to make it 'realistic,' based on numbers deployed in WW2/etc... but this is overkill, even for the Imperium.

    That's about 9 million guardsmen per Tau world, and even ignoring the fact that you'll be attacking on 1-3 fronts instead of hitting every planet simultaneously, it would be optimistic to think there are much more than that many Tau civilians on any of those worlds except maybe the 20 Sept capitals.

    2000 warships is 10 times the number that shattered Behemoth at Macragge, and the Tau are not nearly as worthy a foe.

    And this is before you even factor in the space marines, sororitas, mechanicum, and inquisitorial forces represented, including a titan legion (with how many warmachines? Hundreds?).

    Since the Tau are xenos scum, you'll be fighting a war of annihilation, not subjugation. This is unlike World War 2. You're not gonna be garrisoning hostile or unruly population centers, you're killing everything blue and then moving on, so you don't need as many troops.


    Of course, the beautiful thing about 40k is you can do pretty much whatever you want with it, and I'll admit I've often wished GW's numbers were more realistic. So, on to my constructive advice!

    I would estimate there are 200.8 billion Tau, with an average of 10 billion on each of their 20 major Sept capitals and an average on 10 million on their other ~80 colonies and outposts. You can toggle the numbers up or down depending on the particular planet, of course. The different castes wouldn't be represented equally, they would probably be in this proportion: Earth>Air>Water>Fire>Ethereal. Probably no more than 1-2% would be Fire Caste, which would still give them a force that outnumbers you 20-50,000 men to 1 (assuming my calculations aren't horribly off), and each of their guys has an equipment advantage over yours.

    Then factor in their auxiliaries--the Vespid homeworld probably has a population similar to an Imperial hive world (ie 100+ billion) but that will be largely unarmed drones, due to the particular difficulties of manufacturing specialized weapons for them.

    There are probably also 10+ Kroot worlds, with a total of another 100 billion able-bodied potential soldiers (I'm giving a generous number assuming the Kroot reproduce more prodigiously/frequently than the Tau).

    Also, in case you hadn't already done the research, you're probably looking at at least:
    20+ Coalitions (or Shan'al), each representing the combined military elements of all castes in a particular theater, including:
    2-4 Commands (or Uash'O), each representing the combined military elements of a particular caste, including:
    an unknown number of Battles (or Kavaal), each of:
    an unknown number of Contingents (or Tio'ves), each of:
    3-6 Cadres (or Kau'ui), each of approximate strength equal to an IG company and inclusive of up to 6 Firewarrior teams and accompanying battle/stealthsuits, tanks, and pathfinders. Alternatively an Air Caste Cadre typically has 2 Mantas, 4 Tiger Sharks, and 10 Barracudas.
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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    I know exactly what you mean, but still - I have too many troops but the Tau Empire still outnumbers me?

    Thank you for the estimates regarding the Tau, it's something I need to do some work on myself. I am assisting the Empire by giving them new allies and new units (see link in my sig) which is in itself a bit of a long-term project. Currently I have expanded the Nicassar, Varingr, and Demiurg, as well as updating the Gue'vesa'la unit type. I would like to expand and improve the Kroot and Vespid as well, to some extent, although that depends on my being able to hunt down the WD Kroot Mercenary list.

    I would like to note at this juncture that the Crusade's aim is not to crush the Tau, as it is far too small a force for that unless they decide to virus-bomb every Tau world, rather it is to push them back from the 3rd Sphere worlds. So, hopefully, the advantage that the Tau have in terms of numbers of troops availiable over a short area of space will be minimal - and the Imperial Navy should be able to regularly best the Kor'Vattra and thus keep reinforcements from getting through. But we'll have to see how the BFG games go for that.

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    Chapter Master Still Standing's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen.Steiner View Post
    I would like to note at this juncture that the Crusade's aim is not to crush the Tau, as it is far too small a force for that unless they decide to virus-bomb every Tau world, rather it is to push them back from the 3rd Sphere worlds.
    What is wrong with Virus Bombing all their worlds? They are clearly irreparable corrupted!
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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    We want to use them afterwards.

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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Standing View Post
    What is wrong with Virus Bombing all their worlds? They are clearly irreparable corrupted!
    Why? Kill the Tau. World is cleansed for colonisation.

    Incidentally, GW needs to add more detailed stuff like this to their campaign stories, rather than focusing how how hard a named special character hit another well known opponent. Less wrestling, more combat theatre.
    Last edited by Sephiroth; 22-08-2011 at 09:04.
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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Exactly. Although it's boring, logistics and the study of it produces victories. Rommel was beaten at 2nd El Alamein because Monty had a better logistics chain, and the failure of the US to successfully interrupt the Ho Chi Minh trail had serious repercussions in Vietnam.

    Expect more logistics soon!

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    Chapter Master Chem-Dog's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Firaxin View Post
    overkill, even for the Imperium.
    No such thing.
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    Chapter Master Gen.Steiner's Avatar
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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Right then, a thought on logistics and fleet protection. Ignoring the Astartes and Mechanicus, and focusing entirely on the Departmento Munitorum, Merchant Captains and the Imperial Navy; with the military task of transporting and supplying one Crusade Group of 243 Bulk Transports, each carrying an Imperial Guard Army.

    First we must quantify our assets.

    There are 243 Bulk Transports organised further into three Front Groups of 81 Transports, each subdivided again into three Fronts of 27 transports, then into three Army Groups of 9 transports.

    For our purpose, we shall assume that an Army Group is capable of conquering a world, and that a Front is assigned to each target system. This means that a Crusade Group can assault the following:

    Front Group A - Systems A1, A2, with a Reserve Front
    Front Group B - Systems B1, B2, with a Reserve Front
    Front Group C - Systems C1, C2, with a Reserve Front

    Each Crusade Group has 500 naval vessels of varying size, from Battleships to Cobra Destroyers. Dividing the force evenly gives us 167 ships per Front Group.

    This provides us with a ratio of 1:2 Bulk Transports to Naval Vessels.

    However, we now have to keep those Bulk Transports fuelled and fed. So let us assume that each Bulk Transport can provide its crew and passengers with enough food to eat and water to drink from its own resources - a hydroponics deck and water recycling will mean that this shouldn't be impossible.

    But what about fuel? And the troops on board need transports to carry promethium for their vehicles, and spare kit, and weapons, and so on and so forth. So let us say that for each BT we need two fleet tenders - one for promethium and one for ammo etc. This suddenly increases the number of transports from 243 to 729, and changes the ratio of transports to navy vessels to 1.5:1. Eep!

    So, the question is this:

    With three transports to every two naval vessels, and your fleet needing to both protect the transports and provide combat 'edge' to the Crusade as well as reconnoiter and dissuade pirates and raiders from attacking your lines of supply... what vessels are best suited? What mix of ships would YOU recommend to the High Lords of Terra?

    You MUST select at least three battleships per Crusade Group.

    EDIT:

    A note on models:

    Forgeworld provides:
    Armed freighters, Q-Ships and Escort Carriers for convoy protection duties - these vessels fall under the purview of the Imperial Navy. The first lot are transports and the other two are Navy combat arm (and included in the 500 ships per Crusade Group).
    They also sell bulk transports for fuel and troops, as well as orbital waystations, defence platforms and the Ramilles Class Starfort that will be the base for Crusade Command.

    Games Workshop provides:
    The Imperial Navy (duh) as well as system ships (small transports - included in Rogue Trader fleets and as ancilliaries to the Bulk Transports) and Rogue Trader vessels.

    So - discuss!

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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    This looks like great fun! If you ever want to put a photo gallery together I will pledge some troops!

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    Re: The Amalthean Crusade - My Mad Scheme

    Quote Originally Posted by Still Standing View Post
    What is wrong with Virus Bombing all their worlds? They are clearly irreparable corrupted!
    Hey, wow, calm your pants there, now that's a bit harsh! Since when was Tau, Humans (WOOP for the gue'la), Kroot, Vespid and other races working together for a brighter future 'irreparably corrupted'!? :O Anyway, you wouldn't get close enough to virus bomb our planets on any major Sept.

    Liking the fluff here though, sounds like it could be an exciting campaign, and could be the basis of a lot of fun short stories.
    Have a look at:
    - The Story of Jokob'Ya
    -Lt Bradford's epic RP tale of bravery, intrigue and adventure: Incident at Outpost XXXI
    -Vulkan454's awesome Blog (containing a battle against my Tau): Vulcan454 Raptor Blog
    -The humble thread that caught the eye of writers across Warseer, and blossomed into greatness... mob16151's It's Going Down... on Arcadia IV., and its legacy, Harvest of Martyrs by Okuto.

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