|White Dwarf 96||Chapter Approved
TELEPATHY - Telepathy 2
Level 2 Psi-points 3
This is a more effective version of the first level telepathy ability. It enables a psyker to establish momentary two-way conatact between himself and another individual within 24". The psyker may both give and receive a brief message of about 10 words.
For example: Psyker - where is the enemy spacecraft? Character - it's behind the hill by the crater.
An exchange of information of this kind would be impossible using a level 1 telepathy ability, of course.
TELEPORT - Teleport 2
Level 2 Psi-points 6
This is a longer-ranged, more powerful version of the first level teleport ability. It allows a psyker to teleport a distance of up to a mile in any direction. This is achieved immediately, the model disappearing and rematerialising all within the psionic part of turn. He is able to teleport through walls, solid objects, etc, so long as the thickness of interposing matter is no more than 1 metre.
|White Dwarf 97||Chapter Approved
The March of Time: Imperial Dating System
The Imperial dating system is based upon the old calendar - the one with which we are all familiar. An Imperial date is therefore a date 'Anno Domini' but it's expressed in rather different terms than those we are used to. The most noticeable difference is the suffix 'M' followed by a number. This is the millennium number: Ml is the first millennium and so on. We are living in 1987 which is the second millennium. In Imperial terms any date between 1001 and 2000 would be suffixed by M2. The current millennium in the WH40k mythos is the forty-first or M41. Incidentally, this suffix is normally emphasised by a full stop (or oblique if you prefer) for clarity.
A typical dating code, such as you will find in the WH40k book and in WD articles, is 0150935/M32. The M32 means we are dealing with a thirty-second millennium date. The other numbers tell us the year and fraction of the year.
0 (check number ) 150 (year fraction number) 935 (year number) M 32 (millennium)
The first digit in the sequence is the dating reference or check number. This check number is necessary due to temporal distortions which affect ships in warp-space as well as worlds which are remote, or isolated, from Earth. It's presence qualifies the accuracy of the date given in each case.
Prefixes 1 to 8 indicate gradually widening 'grey areas' surrounding the origins of a given item of data. Prefix 9 is slightly different. It's used when, for instance, a source reporting from a world that doesn't use Imperial dating, needs to make a reference to that world's history. The historical date would have to carry the prefix 9.
The last three digits are the year within the millennium running from 001-000 (one thousand). For example 0150930/M32 is the year 930 of the thirty second millennium. We would describe this as the year 31930 AD. When referring to a year in general terms, and where it is not necessary to include the year fraction or check number, it is acceptable to write 'year 930/M32'.
For administrative purposes the standard year is divided into 1000 equal segments; 001-000. This is a purely administrative convention and not a part of everyday usage.
The following examples should make this clear.
0333042. M32. Segment 333. Year 42. Millennium 32. Our year 31042
4590640. M41. Segment 590. Our year 40640.
0001987. M41. Segment 1. Our year 40987 and the 'current' year in the WH40k universe.
As the last example explains, the current year in the WH40k
mythos is year 987/M41. The current 'real' real is, of course,
year 987/M2. Because it makes the game easier to write for,
I usually refer dates in the WH40k mythos to the approximate
1987 equivalent at the time of writing. Obviously it is not
possible to coordinate 'game time' and 'real time' absolutely,
but it does add coherency to a campaign structure. Your campaigns
may be developed in the same way, but feel free to be flexible.
If you command a force which must travel through warp space
for six months of game time, it's hardly reasonable to wait
six months before fighting the battle!
Mopping Up: Rulebook Errata
|White Dwarf 98||Chapter Approved: The Origins of the Legiones Astartes|
|White Dwarf 99||Chapter Approved:
|White Dwarf 100||Chapter Approved: Dreadnoughts
|White Dwarf 101||Chapter Approved
|White Dwarf 102||Chapter Approved: Eldar War Walker|
|White Dwarf 103||Chapter Approved: Vehicles|
|White Dwarf 104||Chapter Approved: Imperial Robots (by Mike Brunton, excerpted
from WD 104)
IMPERIAL ROBOTSThe command bunker had been under fire for more than three hours. Each time a shell exploded overhead a fine layer of dust fell from the ceiling and drifted through the bob-map. It interfered with the mechanism, and the picture flickered continuously. Chavez sighed. He had long since decided that the situation was critical. He grinned at the Adeptus Mechanicus technician huddled behind a stack of ammunition boxes.
"Not like the training rituals, is it?"
Another shell burst overhead, and the lights went out. The shoulder light in Chavez's armour came on automatically.
"Damn. That was close." Chavez turned the holo-map on again. The Orks were closer than ever. Eight-to-one odds were the stuff of Chapter history, unless you had to face them.
"Where's our support? Anything?"
The Brother-Sergeant at the commnet terminal shook his head. "Three Dreadnoughts a moment ago, but they stopped transmitting. No telemetry. They're dead, Brother-Captain."
"Time to leave. Up to the ridge. Set the destruct charges, Brother. We leave nothing for those Orks. You..." Chavez pointed at the adept. "You come with me. We'll see what those damn machines can do..."
The technician scrambled to his feet and followed Chavez up the access tunnel. They came out in a small copse at the base of the hill. Four large machines stood just inside the tree-line.
The comninet in Chavez's ear was a constant chatter of reports and casualty lists. Chavez checked his bolter and slapped home afresh magazine. "I don't like using machines to do a Marine's job, but I'm down to less than a demi-company. Get them punched, or programmed or whatever mumbo-jumbo you use. Pray if you must."
"Sir. Lord. Captain. The Rite of Battleprep is a delicate ceremony. I must have time to offer the libations and the sweetmeats. I must cast the runes of Robotics. I must-glmpfff! The adept fell silent as Chavez placed a bolt pistol under his chin.
"You must... understand what is about to happen. Either I will kill you, the Orks will kill you slowly, or your damned Robots will kill the Orks. Am I making sense?"
"Yes." The adept was already working on his precious machines. "Yes."
"Good. Five from now I want those things in supporting positions." Chavez was running up towards the ridge. The Brother-Sergeant followed him. A circle of smoke and dust popped out of the tunnel and rolled across the valley, keeping its shape all the way. The bunker's demolition charges had done their work.
As Chavez reached the ridge the first Robot began the same climb. The explosions rocked the hill and showered earth on the Marine positions, but help was coming...
THE LEGIO CYBERNETICAThe Adeptus Mechanicus is divided into many sub-branches and divisions. Each specialises in one of the myriad areas of the technical arcana. The Legio Cybernetica is one of the oldest parts of the Adeptus Mechanicus. Its records stretch back almost unbroken to the very first days of the Imperium and, it's assumed, to the times before the Imperium. The Legio has a long history, and its members regard themselves as an elite.
The Legio is responsible for the care and construction of all Robots throughout the Imperium. Robots may be used by all kinds of Army and Marine forces, but they are always under the Legio's final control. Indeed, many of the Adepts of the Legio have been killed while taking part in military operations. The Legio continues to serve, aware of its value as a fighting force, even in the face of 90% plus casualties.
The Legio is organised into several thousand cohorts, although only a percentage of these is ever active at any one time. Each cohort is in turn organised into maniples of three, four or five Robots plus a Legion tech-adept. The number of maniples in a cohort varies, but is rarely more than 100. However, a cohort is usually spread across an entire Marine force of several Chapters or a single Army. Battles involving more than 4 or 5 maniples are rare. This is not to say that they have never occurred - during the Horus Heresy in particular large numbers of Robots were committed by both sides in an effort to minimise human casualties until a decisive final battle could be fought.
Each maniple is virtually a self-contained unit. The (typically) four units are managed on the battlefield by a single tech-adept. He has little more to do than give the Robot's their final programs and then monitor their progress. He is, however, also charged with making sure that a damaged Robot (which could be dangerous to its own side) is destroyed as quickly as possible. Each Robot carries a self-destruct system which can be detonated by remote control should its programming fail in some way. Although rarely present on the battlefield (if they can help it) there are also a number of other, lesser tech-adepts who perform all maintenance and repair functions for the maniple. Their services are also highly sought after for other purposes. It is said that a tech-adept of the Legio is worth his weight in spares and can repair virtually any item of Imperial equipment.
Legio cohorts are occasionally attached to campaigning Marine Chapters, such as during Operation Carthage (the Second Pacification of Isstvan V). When the Desert Lions Chapter took the planet's defence forts they were preceded by a complete Legio Cohort of Robots. The Robots had been programmed to advance in an apparently mindless fashion, and proved easy targets for the defenders. However, the Desert Lions used the opportunity to map out the defenders' fire-plans and blind spots. In the Lions' ensuing assault only seven Marines were lost.
All the surviving Robots were inducted into the Chapter as honorary members as a mark of respect.
The Inquisition has also put Cohorts of the Legio to good use. Robots are, by their very natures, utterly incorruptible. Their preprogrammed, non-biological natures make them the perfect troops to use against mutants and other contaminated populations. The terror value of Robots when used against unprepared and underarmed troops has not gone unnoticed by the Inquisition. This, combined with their unflagging loyalty, has made them valued additions to the Inquisition's armoury. Cohorts attached to the Inquisition are usually staffed by technician-Inquisitors rather than Legio Adepts. Robots may be pure and incorruptible; men are not.
This was proven during the Horus Heresy, when many Legio Cohorts rebelled under the leadership of Warmaster Horns. The Cohorts had been placed under the Warmaster's command in preparation for a new crusade. When Horus commanded his forces to move against the Emperor, the Legio Cohorts at his disposal were among those to obey. In the subsequent fighting many more of the Adeptus Mechanicus joined Horus and his rebels, but this did not alter the fact that parts of the Legio had been the first to declare for the Warmaster. Following the defeat of the Heresy and the banishment of the Traitor Legions, the dishonoured Legio Cohorts also fled into the Eye of Terror, where they remain to this day.
Since the defeat of Horus the Legio Cybernetica has pledged itself anew to the Imperium. Its members now take binding oaths of loyalty more terrible than any Marine Chapter oaths. Over the millennia they have regained the respect and admiration of the rest of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Imperial Guard, and the Adeptus Astartes.
Legio maniples require less transport space than standard military units (Robots can be carried in open space without harm), less life support and food (Robots neither eat nor drink) and less battlefield support (Robots usually carry their own heavy weapons). Many Robots use standard armaments, reducing the need for specialised supplies, and can interchange parts with Dreadnoughts. All this makes them extremely popular with practical military commanders.
Some of the older Cybernetica cohorts claim that their Robotic troops date, in part at least, back to the First Crusade of the Imperium and earlier. These claims may have some validity, as Robots are often cannibalised to provide parts for their damaged brethren. Given the lifespans of Imperial technologies when maintained, such claims become reasonable. It is indeed possible that one Robot's leg, or Power Field or cortex has been in almost constant use for more than ten thousand years.
Like a Dreadnought, a Robot is the product of the many advanced technologies which have produced its armoured shell, its artificial muscle and nerve bundles, its cortex, power plant, weapons control systems, equipment interfaces and cortex. The Mechanicus Weapon-shops turn out many Robots to the age-old designs held in the memory banks. Castellan and Crusader pattern Robots, for example, are known to have fought on both sides during the Horns Heresy. The designs have remained virtually unchanged since that time, with perhaps only minor cosmetic variations.
Many Robot components are identical (or nearly so) to Dreadnought parts. This compatibility simplifies many supply and repair problems. Legio cohorts have, for example, been cannibalised out of existence to provide spares for Dreadnought suits! In return Legio Cybernetica adepts have not been averse to dismantling Dreadnought suits - sometimes even killing the pilot in the process - when making battlefield repairs.
What makes a Robot different from an unoccupied Dreadnought suit is its cortex. This is an artificial brain of sorts, which is constructed from artificial proteins and enzymes. This cortex is imprinted with simple maintenance and movement routines - a rudimentary 'mind'. These enable the Robot to obey simple instructions ("Open the Weapon Bay Door, Please... Move Ahead to the Holding Area" etc) when away from the battlefield. These 'firmware' routines (so called because they are 'wired in' software) are often patterned after living creatures, and a Robot may develop a dog-like devotion to its technician-master.
Before a battle the firmware routines are overlaid and replaced by the Robot's combat wetware (ie the software of a protein computer). This new cortex program, which can be changed for every battle, defines, for example, how and when the Robot is to fire its weapons or detonate its self-destruct charges.
Each piece of wetware is held in a small slice of bioplastic, about the same size as a credit card. Many warriors take these from 'dead' robots, believing that them to hold the soul and courage of the robot. When kept in a medicine pouch some of the robot's bravery passes into the warrior; even some Marine Chapters have been known to follow this tradition.
Without its cortex a Robot is as helpless as a bolter without a Marine. It can do nothing other than take whatever punishment is meted out to it. With its cortex fully programmed, however, a Robot can prove itself the equal of many other creatures on the battlefield.
|White Dwarf 105||Chapter Approved: Land Raider (by Rick Priestley, excerpted
from WD 105)
LAND RAIDERFrom the beginning of time, man has believed that the stars control his fate. Through their movements, people have seen future events and intimations of the will of their gods. In the forty-first millennium, billions still watch the sky fearfully, searching for a portent of doom. But in this time, they have reason to fear. From the stars come ships, some to trade, many to wage war. Most feared of all are the ships of the Legiones Astartes, gravid with their cargo of death - the Land Raiders of the Space Marines, bursting upon the unsuspecting, roaring like thunder, burning all before them.
The Space Marines are rightly feared by ordinary folk, for their presence signifies death as surely as the plague bells of Phobos. The images of the Space Marines and the Land Raider Battle Tank are forever meshed in the popular imagination. In some cultures, the vehicles are portrayed as Chariots of Destruction ridden upon the solar winds by the Angels of Death, poised throughout the galaxy, ready to crush the serpent of Chaos.
MAN, MYSTICISM AND MECHANICSMysticism is an important part of everyday life in the Imperium. A twentieth century man might recognise in the Land Raider nothing more than a huge battle tank, a mere engine of war. But the men of the forty-first millennium are wiser. They know that every Land Raider has its own spirit, and its own destiny.
Whether a Land Raider is built in the Martian weapon-shops of the Adeptus Mechanicus or in the armouries of the Space Marines, its purity and spiritual welfare are given as much attention at every stage of construction as its mechanical aspects. A wildcat (or other locally-obtainable predator) is sacrificed within its ceramite framework. Armoured panels are inscribed with runes of protection as they are reverently bolted in place. Components are checked and blessed before assembly. As each Land Raider grinds towards the end of the production line, preparations are made for the Ceremony of Commission.
Land Raiders are delivered to the Space Marines, the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition, the Adeptus Arbites, to certain Rogue Traders and to other, more secret and obscure Imperial bodies. Space Marine Land Raiders are handed over to a Techmarine, or Frater Astrotechnicus to use the proper title. In other cases, it will be accompanied to its new home by an Adeptus Mechanicus Technomat - a human machine programmed with the knowledge required to service his charge. For many technicians, the commission represents the culmination of years of training; learning how to divine the runes of engineering, memorising the liturgy of maintenance, and studying the routine of service.
If a Marine Land Raider should be lost, its Techmarine offer prayers of mourning for its spirit. If a Techmarine is slain, hi Land Raider must be reconsecrated by one of his technical brethren. In the field, this is often done simply by taking ring bearing the vehicle's serial runes from the dead Techmarine, and the full reconsecration takes place later.
THE LAND RAIDER IN BATTLEThe Land Raider is ideally suited to the style of warfare favoured by Space Marines. Like the Marines themselves, the vehicle is capable of fighting in almost any environment. The Land Raider also offers protection and transport for a squad of troops, as well as carrying many of their supplies and backup equipment. On Death Worlds and in other harsh environments, the Land Raider becomes a vital life-support unit as well as a fighting machine.
In battle, the squad normally disembark, leaving the Land Raider and its Techmarine crew to fight independently. Its adaptability allows it to fight in a variety of roles. Where appropriate, a single Land Raider or a small group will be sent forward with troops in order to provide covering fire and support. On other occasions, Land Raiders from several companies are brought together into huge armoured formations, ready to do battle with enemy vehicles or defences.
Brother-Captain Fragman's eyes widened as the machine crested the rise behind the advancing Eldar. Once, it had clearly been a Land Raider, but now it was scarcely recognisable. Its codex-standard camouflage had been painted over with a garish array of stripes, dots and multicoloured lozenges, and gaily coloured bunting was festooned from every point. A huge banner bore the foul and decadent devices of a masque of Eldar Harlequins, and some of their blurred shapes could be seen dancing around the machine as is lumbered forward.
"Heresy!" he howled. "Abomination! Advance, Three Company. and take that vehicle! Honour the battle-gear of the dead it is written! Avenge this insult!"
The four las-cannon began to fire as a hundred Star Leopards broke into a charge. Many died, but they knew they could not all be stopped. The battle might be lost, but the insult would be avenged.
LAND RAIDER CAMO SCHEMESMarines are warriors of a wholly practical devotional order. Whilst their endless liturgies and prayer may appear, to the uninitiated, to be mere superstition, they serve an important and real function. For example, while preserving the accumulated experience of millennia, the doctrinal lore of camouflage schemes is not so dogmatic as to prevent the adoption of appropriate or innovative colours and patterns where appropriate. So, while there are innumerable official or approved colour schemes, there are also many which have been evolved by individual chapters to meet their particular requirements in certain situations.
Some Marine chapters adhere rigidly to the traditional patterns. The chapter of the Red Scorpions not only sticks strictly to the lore of camouflage handed down from their original founding and embodied in the Codex Imperialis, but views any deviance from this practice as tantamount to heresy. This has led to the Red Scorpions actually refusing to fight alongside other Marine chapters on a number of occasions - one of the reasons why they were mostly confined to space lane duties during the Badab War. The Commanders of the Imperial Guard are less stringent about such things than Marines, and will sometimes design their own schemes for a specific campaign.
Wherever they may be serving, Land Raiders may sometimes appear garish in comparison to the camouflage schemes evolved for use in the limited range of combat environments offered by twentieth-century Earth. A Land Raider camouflaged for use in the spectacular cobalt chromate deserts of Galen V, for instance, would be highly conspicuous in a yellow-brown silicone oxide desert beneath Earth's yellow sun. Many schemes show no attempt at camouflage as such, but consist of solid heraldic colours proclaiming the identity of the occupants as surely as the shield of a medieval knight. Indeed, there are some Marine chapters whose tradition actually forbids the use of camouflage on the grounds that "the colours of cowardice" are wholly inappropriate to a true warrior. This attitude, although by no means rare amongst the Legiones Astartes, is not officially recognised and is not embodied within the ancient Codex lmperialis.
Most strange of all are the fully pictorial designs painted onto Land Raiders both by Marines and by the Imperial Guard. These take the form of actual paintings of battle scenes or of famous events in the history of the unit concerned. Although this is a spectacular example of vehicle decoration, machines rarely enter the battle zone wearing such lavish paint schemes.
|White Dwarf 106||Chapter Approved: Craters|