It is a strictly average conflict all told. Not the best (If there is one) but its not as stupidity-laden as Taros or (the following) Kastorel-Novem fiasco (which perhaps makes Taros look competent.)
Anyhow, here we go! This inset will cover the background leading up to the war, and the preparations. The war itself begins next time, and is far longer lasting (and comprehensive.)
Since Imperial ARmour volume 3, it has always been our intention to cover siege warfare in the 41st Millenium...
After the small-scale actions of Imperial Armour volume 4, we decided that htis book would involve war on an entirely different scale, a massive conflict in which millions die over the course of a war that lasts decades. Here is the type of war that I always imagined the Imperium fought, and was so often depicted in the artwork; thousands of men marching to battle amidst massed taks and artillery. It is war prosecuted by the uncaring hand of the Imperium's bureacracy, endlessly grinding on.
Forge world is addicted to WW1 and WW2 trecnh warfare stuff. GRIMDARK! Interesting as it pretty much sets the scale for the next series of analysis. That said, its hardly the most 'epic' 40K can get - the Deathwatch RPG does better all around than Vraks does.
This book also contains an army list for siege regiments. Again this is a specialised Imperial Guard list, much like the Armoured Company or Drop troops.
Not every regiment from Krieg is a siege regiment (although none are Drop troops.
Siege warfare regiments are specialists like a number of other kinds of regiments. Also, Krieg doesn't do paratroop stuff.
Segmentum: Obscurus Sector: Scarus Sub-sector: Kerak
System Vraks. four planets (Prime, Secundus, Tertius and Uryx). One inhabited (Vraks Prime.)
Summary: Vraks is a Departmento Munitorum armoury world. A vast storage facility for supplies and equipment for use by newly raised Imperial Guard regiments and as emergency war reserves.
Armoury worlds defined. Presumably this isnt the sole armoury world in the Segmentum, since as I recall they have armoury worlds set up at segmentum navla bases as well, for example.
Note that the conflict is taking place in the Scarus sector.
Size Equatorial distance - 6300 miles
Population is 8 million (human and abhuman)
Rotation speed: 1100 mph.
Orbit: Mean orbital distance 172 million kms from the star
Mean surface temperature: 11C
Vraks stats. May or may not become useful. 55% of the planet's surface is covered by shallow, sulphur rich seas.
Economy: None. All import and export is regulated by Departmento Munitorum officials.
Society: As an Adminstratum facility, Vraks' society is organised with the same hierarchy as the Daeptus Adminstratum on Terra.
The millions of labour corp indentured workers are guarded by Departmento Munitorum garrison troops. Vraks' also has its own planetary defence force militia, organised from within the work force.
There is a substantial Ogryn population amgongst the labour corps.
There is a transitory population of pilgrims, visiting the shrine of St Leonis, ranging from approximately 1 million to 5 million. Exact figures are unknown.
Imperial Guard regiments arrive for arming and equipping before being transported to their next destination. Barracks are provided at the star port.
More on Vraks' role as an armoury world, as well as the organization and purpose of its populace.
Curiously, it also has a rather significant transient population from off-world, giving us a rather interesting indicator how extensive off world travel amy be (even if its just for religious purposes.)
Principle Imports: Muntions, Arms and weapons of all types. foodstuff. Fuel Manufactured goods.
food supply: All food is supplied from off-world. Huge reserves of rations are stockpiled on Vraks, and a proportion of those are designated for use by the native work force.
The kinds of stuff Vraks stockpiles.
Located in Segmentum Obscurus, to the galactic north-west of the Eye of Terror, Vraks' importance lies in its strategic position as part of hte Imperium's defenses against attacskf rom the Eye of Terror.
Vraks forms part of a network of Armoury worlds across Segmentum Obscurus used to stockpile arms and munitions for the Imperial Guard forces that would be needed in the event of a major incursion from the Eye of Terror.
Forge worlds across the Imperium produce huge amounts of munitions, and these are often shipped to Armoury worlds, and placed into mothball storage until the Departmento Munitorum administrators require them. Where they are then removed frrom storage, until being shipped in huge quantities to the required warzone or Imperial Guard regiment.
Vraks' location means it can quickly supply Imperial Guard forces committed to defend worlds close to the Eye of Terror, especially in the Scarus sector. As such it forms a strategically important link in the chain of the Imperium's defences against major Chaos incursions (such as a Black Crusade.)
Location of Vraks and its particular importance as a defnece against the Eye, as well as more on th epurpose of armouy worlds in general.
A supply base was established to stockpile materiel used for future expeditions around the rim of the Eye of Terror.
As the supply base grew in size the stockpiles needed protecting, and thus Vraks' uses as an Armoury world began in earnest. A fortress was built to protect the stockpiles from raiding pirates or aliens. A star port facility was constructed to allow easy acess for freighters and transport vessels.
Great underground bunkers and hangars were constructed for the arms, ammunition, fuel, uniforms, etc, ,flowing onto the planet to be stored.
OVer thousands of years Vraks has grown into a huge armoury. The spaceport has been expanded to service the largest Imeprial landing craft, capable of ferrying huge shipments of arms, vechiles, and munitions to the bulk carriers waiting in orbit.
The historical evolution of Vraks prior ot its rebellion. Curiously as we'll learn, the defences do not include much in the way of space based assets or aeriel forces.
Within the Departmento Munitorum it is now believed that Vraks is an impregnable fortress. Its walls are protected from orbital bombardment by void shield generators. It has an extensive curtain wall protecting it from direct assault. It is surrounded by a large network of defence laser batteries, making an assault from orbit suicidal for any star ship. These lasers can also be used against ground targets, and all approaches to the Citadel are covered by interlocking fields of fire. Three defence rings run for miles out into the wastes. These protect the storage bunkers from raiders and include trenches, defence lines, bunkers and strong points as well as pre-prepared artillery positions. The defence lines are further protected by lines of razorwire, tank raps and thousands of minefields.
In the event of a major attack, the Citadel's large garrison protects the citadel itself, whislt the planetary defence force militia, raised from the labour corps and given only basic training, are expected to man the static defence lines.
Vraks has void shields for defence sa well as a huge number of defence lasers that can double as ground and air/space based defenses. It is never clearly stated whether the defence lasers are all of one kind, or multiple kinds. Also the defince lines extend for "miles.
The astropathic communications node on Vraks, where astropathic messages were gathred from across Scarus sector, checked, encrypted, and re-routed by the cadre of astropaths... had stopped working.
Itwould take the Master of the Departmento Munitorum many months to hear news of the disaster that had beset his Armoury world.
Vraks seems to be a semi-important FTL comm node in and around the Eye as well as its role as an armoury world. Even despite the warning by the loss of the astropath comms, it took months before the head of the Munitorum found out.
At 366804M.41 Cardinal-Astral Borja died. He was a very old man. He was old beyond the comprehension of most mere mortals. His body had been kept alive for over four hundred years by the arcane arts of the Adeptus Mechanicus Biologis, with daily blood transfusions and the application of rare and expensive chemicals.
Bells tolled across the sub-sectors under his rule - although the old man had not left his Ecclesiastical palace on the CArdnial World of San Artorus for the past two hundred years.
Ecclesairch needed some pretty extensive stuff to live 400 years, which suggests for whatever reason living to that age does not seem to be common (possibly why for 200 fo those years he was in one place.)
Xaphan was enthroned in his new rank as the Cardinal-Astral Scarus on San Artorus...
He would conduct a grand tour of his new diocese (for he had never seen the places he must now rule), and this pilgrimage would take in the many shrines and cathedrals of the Scarus sector. At each location he would preach the Imperial Creed and see that all was beign doen to protect the souls of the billions now under his charge.
Xaphan seemed to be responsible for the whole Xaphan sector, which as I've mentioned before owuld seem to confirm the approximate size of a Diocese (hundreds of worlds, which is about what ocmprises your average sector) Then again this isnt hard and fast since there are some inconsistencies (and then again there are more insane numbers, eg "billions of hive worlds" in the Imperium as per Heart of Rage.)
Also implication that the combined population of the Scarus sector numbered in teh "billions" Probably more than single or double digit, since most civilised or Hive worlds will be that alone (nevermind triple digit)
Page 8 -
The pilgrimage would take five years, and along with CArdinal Xaphan would travel his full entourage. A thousand preachers, deacons, chatelaines, servants and menials, along with a personal bodyguard of the Adeptus Sororitas. These warriors were a gift from the Order of the Argent shroud, to celebrate Xaphan's entrhonement.
It is worth notinh the Cardinal had a "bodyguard" of Sororitas.. we might assume there are at least a couple or aunit (4-5 troops) if not an entire squad. This suggests hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Sororitas potentially, scattered across the Sectors.
The Cardinal's arrival had been like a spark that had ignited the fires of faith across the Scarus sector.
With a leader to unite the any cults of the Imperial Creed, Xaphan's pilgrimage oculd become a war of faith across the Sector.
Again suggestion that the Cardinal's diocese spanned only the Scarus sector.
The Cardinal's pligrimage should visit the shrine and take up residence in the palace attached to the Basilica. The Palace already belonged to the Caridanl as part of the estates that accompanied his position.
The Ecclesiarchy, predictbly, has territory belonging to his position (which no doubt explains much of the politicking in the Ministorum)
The [Vraks] system itself was a highly sensitive location, and only those ships with permission could enter the system.
And yet it has a sizeable transient population. Whose bright idea was that?
Vraks would be the seat of the Cardinal's power in the Scarus sector until he was reay to resume his pilgrimage and begin his holy war.
The sisters of the Order of the Argent Shroud took up residence in the small priory attached to the Basilica of St Leonis and formed an honour guard to the revered saint's remains and relics.
Again Sector = diocese it seems, and the mention again of the Sisters of Battle honour guard.
On Vraks there were millions of indentured workers, poro souls dressed in ragged overalls, chained together and under constant guard.
Again mention of "millions" of indentured workers on Vraks.
The sniper--assasin had been lying in wait for his chance for many days.
Its a vindicaire but for some reason they never come out and say it here. He is perhaps one of the most inept Vindicaire assassins ever. I wonder where the Forgeworld forces find these guys - the Assasinorum bargain bin (Slightly used, missing some parts! GREAT DEAL!)
.. [Assassin] climbed to the highest tower above the basilicia - from where he could see most of the Citadel grounds...
And on a narrow ledge, camouflaged by his stealth suit, the sniper patiently waited his chance to strike.
stealth suit and high advantage point, again.. Vindicaire.
The heavy penetrator round punched clean through a decorative pillar before hitting the Cardinal. In a bright flash of energy Xaphan fell backwards, but his rosarious-mounted refractor field had saved his life.
penetrative ability of Vindicaire rifle and penetrator ammo. Should have used shield breakers though. Interesting that the Cadinal had access to a rosarius too (but it makes sense - unlike the Vindicaire not preparing for this or having shield breaker ammo.)
His [the Assassins'] mask compensated for th enear darkness...
More vindicaire gear
It was the last thing he saw as the Exitus rifle fired from the hip hit him through teh chest.
Firing blind ogver his shoulder two guards fell bleeding.
The sniper's weapon is described (here) as an Exitus rifle. The most dead giveaway that its Vindicaire. Also an indication of the sniper's marksmanship skills and reflexes.
Rolling across the corridor he found another sealed doorway, and blasted away the hinges..
Exitus pistol can blow away hinges. Suggests a fairly high powered round.
The Arbites precinct house was soon besieged by an angry mob, and would hold out for several weeks before being evnetually overrun.
Arbites always seem to last out for several weeks when this stuff happens. I think the same was true on Taros.
It took a long time for the news of the Vraks uprising to be confirmed and then for it ot reach the ears of the Officio of the Master of the Departmento Munitorum for Segmentum Obscurus. Even then the Officio was unable to act without first contacting the Administratum on Terra. Months of inactivity passed as the bureacracy at the heart of the Imperium slowly processed the new information.
Again months pass before some become aware of what happens on Vraks. at least at the highest levels of the bureacracy anyhow.
Whilst a small world with just eight million souls was of little consequences when compared to the great crusades and the Tyranic Wars now raging on the Eastern Fringes, it was Vraks' strategic position in the Departmento's logistical chain that made its loss so important. Who knew what future damage would be caused if Imperial Guard regiments in the Scarus sector, and further afield, found themselves running short on the munitions and equipment they needed to fight their own battles.
Vrak's strategic position in the Munitorum's logisitcal chain made its loss important, and it was feared that that loss might have indescribable damage to Guard regiments in the Scarus sector (or beyond) if they were short of supply.
Actually they panicked a bit, thinking that the loss of Vraks would lead toa weakening of the Sector's defenses and leading to Chaos forces leaping to attack in a moment of weakness, thereby losing more worlds, attracting more Chaos troops, etc. leading up to a potential new black crusade. Such is Munitorum thinking.
This tends to suggest that there is at least one (major) armoury world per sector, possibly in addition to the ones at Segmentum naval bases. Given how most things in the Imperium go, the stockpiling goes from Segmentum to Sector to sub-sector to some degree as well (Same with guard troops and garrisoning, for example.)
The Order to retake Vraks was issued ot the Imperial Guard high command of Segmentum Obscurus, situated on Cadia.
POLITICS! Also, it seems that the IG have their own segmentum level HQs like the Navy and other branches of the Adeptus Terra, although they do not seem to correspond to the naval bases as a rule (EG the Segmentum fortress is on Cypra Mundi in Segmentum OBscurus.)
Any battle for Vraks would be a huge undertaking. Vraks was a world designed to withstand attack. Its defences had been constantly improved upon since ancient times. Vraks was a bastion world, impervious to direct assault - it had never fallen.
I wonder if this is by adminsitratum/munitorum thinking or actual miltary thinking?
Some commanders even argued that the entire scheme was folly, teh sheer wastage of men and mateirals would mean other systems would fall; Vraks was gone, and the Departmento should turn its attention to avoiding such a disaster in the future, not planning a hopeless campaign to recover a situation brought about by their own lack of foresight and judgement. The stockpiles of Vraks were lost. Why not write them off and concnetrate on increasing production across the Segmentum to replace them
The sceptical voices on the war council held little sway ove rthe High Commander and his staff. The order to retake Vraks had come dirctly from Terra, under the seal of the Prefect of the Master of the Admiistratum's office - a high rankign servant of a High Lord of Terra could not be ignored. Failure to act was likely to be met with swift retribution from the Inquisition.
Note that some argued that the planet should be written off because "the sheer wastage of men and mateirals would mean other systems would fall" and that the loss should be compensated for by "increasing production across the segmentum" for replacement. This gives us an idea of just how important the stockpiles on Vraks were (potentially equivalent to the output of thousands, perhaps millions of worlds.)
But as we see, politics again shafts the Imperium military. The Munitorum/Adminsitratum want their world back, so the damn military is expected to get it back.
It was the council's job to decide how to conduct the war. The first option considered was the obvious one, a swift direct assault. This would involve an attack from orbit by a powerful Imperial Navy fleet, spearheaded by a forcee of the Adeptus Astartes.
Note this key fact. They did NOT opt right away for WW1 style trench warfare.
Since its first constrruction it had always been known that the Citadel and star port on Vraks would be vulnerable to an orbital assault. The defences had been deisgned to repulse just such an attack. Batteries of planetary defencee lasers ringed them, maybe as many as a hundred operational guns. There was enough firepower on the surface of Vraks to fight an entire fleet in low orbit. The Imperial Navy's battleship sand cruisers were hugely powerful starships, but no ship can fight a planet. With batteries buried deep to withstand orbital bombardment, the ships would be at a massive disadvantage in a straight fight. to land troops the ships would need to approach in low orbit and they would be vulenrable as they manoeuvred into position to launc their landing ships. The landing ships themselves would be targeted, and a single hit from a defence laser would tear a landing craft apart. Below the defence lasers was a network of high and low altitude anti-aircraft defences that could engage any craft that got through. The conclusion drawn from the Logis' calculations was that the risk of a direct attack was too great. The probability was high that a planetary assault would be repulsed with great loss. Troops that did reach the surface would not do so in sufficient numbers to capture the citadel. Even the mighty Space Marines would not attempt such an attack. No Chapter Master was foolhardy enough to risk the destruction of his valuable battle barges and worse still, his battle brothers, for the slim chance of victory. If they pursued this plan they would do it without the aid of the Space Marines and would be walking into a disaster. The fastest and most obvious solution was discarded.
What follows is the reasoning why option one (above) was not pursued. Note the estimated number of defence lasers.
Also "high alittude" air defences suggests at least some defences capable of reaching in excess of 10,000 ft (deinifion of high altitude on Earth I believe)
Atlernatively, a long term strategy could be taken. some suggested that they use the Imperial Navy to blockade the system, isolate it from reinfrocements, then, over the course of, say, the next hundred years, launch repeated raids against the planet. Land small, well-equipped forces and strike hard at the defenders, in parrticular target the planetary defence batteries. WEar the defenders down, battery by battery. Perhaps after a hundred years of isolation and raiding, the defences would have been so thinned out a direct assault would be possible. Again the logis calculations were not encouraging. Such a plan might work if executed over a period of five hundred years.
Again, note that with option two they did not consider trench warfare or attrition warfare. Politcs quashed this one however (the munitorum wouldn't wait 500 years, they wanted it NOW.)
I wonder if it owuld have been possible to do a compromise... use raiding forces and blockading to weaken the planet and strip some of its defences in one area, then go with the direct assault (like with Taros)
The third option considered in detail was to plan and execute a siege on a massive scale. Land an army big enough to sustain the siege over the years required to pulverise the defenses. Remorselessly and mercilessly grind the defenders down. If they could turn the recapture of Vraks into a war of attrition then, with the vastly superior resourcees available to them, they must eventually win. If the Departmento Munitorum was willing to match the defenders casualties at a rate of two to one, then how long, and how many men would it take to recapture the planet?
The human-computer logis began their calculations. Taking everything into consideration, replacement rates, supply requirements, the vagaries of warp travel times, the known stockpiles of arms on Vraks, the manpowera vailable to the defenders, they estimated it would take twelve standard Terran years, including preparation time, until Vraks was back under the Emperor's rule.
It perhaps stands as a possible indicator of just how massive the defenses of VRaks must be if the most viable option is siege warfare. Then agian, they didnt consider any other options so this is also a bit silly. I mean, considering how ultimately destructive a decade+ long trench war is, preserving assets wasn't much of a concern. They could have just been plastering the defences from the get go (if not orbital bombardment, then carpet bombing from air attacks, indiscriminate damage or no. Hell once the defenses were surpressed send in the conventional assault from orbit.)
But politics, stupdiity, some combination of factors or whatever lead inevitably to attritional trench warfare. So thats what we get. I still say it says something they didnt leap on this option right away, though, contriance or not.
88th Imperial Guard (Krieg) Siege army - OOB
1st line Korps
3rd, 6th, 15th, 19th Krieg Siege Regiment
12th Line Korps:
143rd, 149th, 150th, 158th Krieg Siege Regiments
30th Line Korps
261st, 262nd, 263rd, 269th Kriege Siege Regiment
34th line Korps
291st, 308th, 309th, 310th Krieg Siege Regiments
8th Assault korps
7th, 11th, 14th Krieg Tank regiment
179th Krieg Siege regiment
231st Siege artillery regiment
11th Assault Korps
61st and 66th Krieg Tank regiment
10st Krieg siege regiment
40th Siege artillery regiment.
19th Bombardment korps
3rd, 4th, 8th Siege artillery regiments
21st bombardment korps:
19th, 22nd, 23rd Siege Artillery regiments.
Independnet artillery companies:
4th, 6th, 8th, 27th, 31st, 33rd 224th 226th, 227th, 230th artillery companies
61st, 67th, 70th, 71st heavy mortar companies.
All the men for the new siege army would be supplied from the planet of Krieg. Krieg was a world already in the highest tithe band for supplying manpower to the Imperial guard. only a few worlds in the entire Imperium produced more men for the Emperor's service.
Given some of the tithing levels annually from the 5th edition codex, this really says something. The scale of the war and casualties over the decade or so (nevermind the wounded and the intial forces deployeD) tend to corroborate this (millions of troops just for this one conflict, nevermind resupply or krieg troops deployed elswhere.)
Known as the Death Korps, the men of Krieg were grim warriors who had developed their particular doctrines of warfare during the planet's bloody five hundred year civil war.
Translation: They know and like trench warfare better than anyone else.
During the Krieg civil war, the loyalists had attempted to destroy the rebels using atomic purging. the planet had been wrecked as the mushroom clouds of ancient and forbidden weaponry erupted over Krieg.
atomics are "ancient and forbidden weaponry", because if you really want to kill a planet nothing beats a cyclonic warhead or virus bombing (no radioactive fallouet!)
This fact highlights what grim fanatical bastard the Krieg are, as well as their penchant for using WMDs of any kind at the drop of a hat.
For long periods the civil war had been a stalemate, but it meant that for fifteen generations the fighting men of Krieg were raised and trained into a tradition of attritional trench warfare. When it came to these bloody and slow battles (eg : attritional trench warfare), the Death Korps of Krieg excelled. Unlike other Imperial Guard regiments, the moral character of the men of Krieg, forged by the civil war, was one of selfless sacrifice. They could withstand the horrific psychological damage caused by prolonged wars of attrition. In the past other regiments had cracked under the strain of such campaigns and mutinied. The Death Korps would never break, they would fight on, regardless of their losses. They knew no other way.
This must be stressed: The Krieg specialize in trench warfare. They're perfectly suited to it, far more than other regiments are. It may be expected that other regiments MAY be employed in that style (especially if under the command of a Krieger) but this particular doctrine is indicated to not be a generalist philosophy but that of a specialization, much like drop troops or mechanized forces (like the Steel Legion or Elysians.) This fits perfectly with the oft-stated fact that the Tactica Imperialis defines Guard doctrine in no specific terms - it encompasses many different doctines that are left up to individual commanders to decide from (for good or ill.)
Planning to overwhelm the defence lines, destroy the planetary defence batteries, and eventually storm and capture the citadel and star poart was reduced to a mathematical forumla. Everything in the 88th Siege army was an expendable resources. how many men to dig a trench and how many shovels? How many men would be needed to capture a hundred metres of ground, or storm a strongpoint? how many guns to pulverise an enemy trench line? How many tows, crews, shells, replacement barrels, ration packs, water supplies? The lists were endless. List upon list was compiled, all of it pre-calculated. Before a single guardsmen had been assigned to a regiment, or a single weapon manufactured, the 88th Siege army existed on thousands of data-salbs as lists.
Logical and assholish about it. That's the Krieg!
Within the Death Korps regiments the men were not named, just numbered, so they could quickly be tallied-up and counted off the lists. The regiments would be ordered into battle already knwoing how many would be expected to die. By meticulous logis calculations the 88th Siege army could precisely predict the outcome of each battle. What was to be gained, and for how many losses. The lives of Krieg guardsmen were no more important than the daily fuel consumption rates or the expenditure of artillery shells. The formulae would decide where battles would be fought, and by how many. It also assured them ultimate victory in twelve standard Terran years.
And I thought Death worlds and Hive Worlds were hellholes. Of course this sounds like Munitourm type military thinking, all mathematical and precise. The reality (as Vraks shows) is that this plan, like many others, falls apart on contact with the enemy (especially Chaos.) Which leads to results both sad, predictable and hilariously failtastic.
The Cardinal issued instructions that Vraks should be turned into a slaughterhouse.
The labourers were soon put back to work, improving the defence lines, moving minefields or laying new ones and rolling out miles of razor-wire. Artillery crews practicsed ranging shots and pre-sighted their guns.
Naturally, the defenders on Vraks decide to make their defences even more killtastic. And since they have oodles of military equipment and machines to work with, that probably means they can do quite a bit (more tanks, gun emplacements, artillery, etc.) Already you can tell this is going to be a good idea.
Although no exact figures were available, it was estimated that Vraks population was eight million souls, and all of these now had to be considered as traitors and probable manpower for the heretic Cardinal's army. It would be made up of various quality of troops, ranigng fromwell-trained, well equipped and fanatically loyal, to an undisciplined mob.
- exact army figures for the Vraks rebels wasn't known, but they assumed all 8 million were probable manpower and traitors. Much like with Taros we see that intel proves to be a weak point in Imperial planning for this war. Won't be the last time either. Still, I am a bit impressed by their ability to speculate.
Vraks' best troops would be the Disciples of Xaphan.
After the Disciples of Xaphan there was the garrison auxilia. Due to its location and strategic importance Vraks had been guarded by a huge force of garrison auxilia. These were broadly equivlalent to a planetary defence force, the Imperium's second line of military forces behind its Imperial Guard reigments. The auxilia did not have the training or equipment of a regular Imperial guard regiment, but access to Vraks' stores would have rectified any equipment shortages and given the garrison access to vast amounts of heavy equipment, Leman Russes, Chimeras and Basilisks.
..tbut the garrison's fighting strength had been built around a backbone of veteran Imperial Guardsmen and officers drawn from disbanded regiments that could not be rebuilt.
Breakdown of the potential enemy forces facing the Vraks invasion force.
The Departmento Munitorum labour corps on Vraks was large and included many Ogryns. The labour corps were indentured workers doing routine work such as constructing and repairing roads, pouring ferrocrete bunkers to strengthen defence lines, digging and blasting out new underground storehouses, and transporting goods to and from the star port.
Labour corps defined, sort of.
Many of the labourers had already been given some basic military training. As well as workign, the labour corps aslo supplied manpower for Vraks' militia. In the event of an attack the planet's garrison was not large neough to man the defence lines, instead this would be the job of the militia.
although only rudimentary training was given, Vraks' militia was a massive force. One in four labourers either volunteered or were conscripted into the militia. Lacking any sort of heavy weapons, artillery or vehicles they were a third line force, but, again, their lack of equipment could be quickly rectified and once armed from the stores and with additional training, they would be capable troops whilst holding static defensive positions.
Labour corps seems to double as military forces. Which will be the case in the actual fighting, even if they're poor quality troops (not that that has stopped Chaos before...)
The fourth source of manpower for the Cardinal's army was the itinerant pilgrims and the Departmento Munitorum's own workforce of administrators and bureacrats.
Many [piglrims] volunteered for the frateris militia in the belief they were defending the shrine of St Leonis against heretic forces...
A force even worse than the labour corps. I almost always forget them.
Added to the renegade's ranks were the dangeorusly insane or psychopathic, as well as individuals who had shown signs of developing psychic powers. Dangerously unprotected psykers were easy prey to warp entities, and there were several hundred such individuals in Vraks' deepest dungeons awaiting transportation to Terra on the next Inquisitorial Balck Ship to arrive.
- there were several hundred psykers on Vraks awiating the Black Ships and these were released/unleashed on the Imperium's forces in defense of Vraks. Things just keep getting better for the Imperium, don't they? Just wait until part two.
These [Krieg] would be amongst the best Imeprial Guard regiments available to the Imperium. The men of Krieg were loyal, dutiful and superbly disciplined. They would fight with an almost inhuman disregard for the cost, seeing death in battle as their ultimate goal, sacrificing themselves to the Emperor.
The 88th Siege army's morale could not be doubted, that was the very reason they had been chosen in the first place.
"best avaialble" to who? In alot of sources you tend to see that ascribed to the Cadians or the Elysians or similar high end forces. But the Krieg? Something tells me they're the 'best' in the sense of 'fights in the way that makes a Departmento Munitourm clerk jizz himself.' Then again, considering their view on some equipment, maybe not.
For this campaign most of the regiments would be siege regiments, ,equipped for a long static war, with a special reliance on artillery. The artillery lay at the center of the plan for besieging Vraks, it would be a gunner's war frfom the start.
Siege regiments again, are a specialist force, rather thatn what every Imperium infantry brigade is trained to do. Some are trained to even worse standards (napoleonic era tactics., or worse).
Each regiment would comprise of its own atrillery companies, with weaponry ranging from small mortars used on the frontline, to medium artillery of hheavy mortars and quad launchers. There would be heavy artillery in the form of medusa siege guns and Earthshaker cannons - the work-horse of the 88th Siege army, to the heaviest guns of all, the mighty Bombards. To augment each regiment's own artillery, the 88th Siege army's commanders could also turn to a variety of independant artillery companies and regiments, including heavy siege artillery regiments, which would be positioned to strengthne the artillery available for attacks.
Siege regiments defined, especially in the artillrey department. Very gun happy. On the other hand, this makes them rather resource/material heavy, and dependent grealty on supply lines (much the way mechanised or armoured forces would be.) so one can see why they would be considered specialist.
Other regiments would be equipped as more mobile armoured regiments, but for a siege campaign these would be used as breakthrough and exploitation forces, ,and would not expect to be spending long periods manning the lines. The tanks would be used to support infantry attacks, there would be no mass tank battles and the plan intended to stifle the enemies' chance for mobile warfare. Still, Leman Russes, Baneblades and Gorgons would have their part to play in assaulting the enemy.
Even though we dont see it very much on Vraks, in theory some of the Krieg forces had mobility on their side. (It won't amount to much though, as we see in Volume 2.) Just thought I'd mention it though.
All of them had been raised in Krieg's underground hive cities, where they had become used to overcrowded conditions and breathing recycled oxygen. They had trained for battle on their planet's surface, amongst the bitter cold of a nculear winter...
They braved the rad-zones...
Krieger training conditions.
They were now entering the crucible of battle, most regiments for the first time - even though they bore regimental numbers with a long tradition and history, these were reconstituted regiments brought up to strength with many new recruits.
Krieg seems to follow the pattenr of recruimtnet and regimental nubmering that hte Vostryoans do - regiments continuing long time traditions, but under many new faces. AS we'll see, they get steady reinforcement from Krieg directly (rather than forces being raised from nearby worlds and thrown into Vraks en masse. Which probably would have been as bloody, but not nearly as drawn out.)
The battlefield itself would encompass almost the whole of the Van Meersland Wastes, five thousand square kilometres of barren emptiness..[
It was almost featureless, but it was terrain the enemy already knew well. The Departmento Munitorum had supplied maps for the Krieg officers, but many contained no featuresof note. The enemy knew where the high ground was, where to position his guns with the best fields of fire. All of this intuitive understanding of the battlefield would have to be learned by the attackers as the campaign progressed.
Scope of our uber-trench warfare conflict to come. Again, lack of intel proves to be an ongoing problem (Yet again.) This becomes a Forge World trademark for the Guard, trust me.
The standard issue Mark IX helmet is made of plasteel, has an adjustable cradle for fit around the head, flares to allow a good fit for the gasmask and is ventilated via the top spine. This ventilation has an internal filter to keep out chemical or biological agents. THere are many variants of the standard mark IX helmet issued to specialists and officers
The shoulder pads are of plasteel construction and buckle to teh greatcoat.
No other (solid) armor than helmet and shoulder pads? fuck. I imagine the greatcoats are armoured as hinted in other books and codexes. Maybe they have inserts like the uplifting manual suggests, or they have that "stiffening on impact" material from the munitorum manual. The rest of this book (or the others) has failed to provide any substantiating detail in this regard.
The great coat provides limited protection, but is also heavily chemically impregnated against chemical and biological attack...
The greatcoat is completely waterproof and very warm, useful when deployed to colder climates.
The Guardsman's trousers are constructed of the same hardwearing material as the coat. Leg-bindings are used to hold the trousers close to the legs and limit the worst effects of muddy conditions.
Boots are standard issue low marching boots with hob-nailed soles for grip. As part of their kit, guardsmen carry an anti-vesicant dubbing which is rubbed into the boots to seal them against chemical attacks.
When fully equipped, a Krieg guardsman is completely sealed against a contaminated enviroment by the layers of his uniform and his respirator unit.
Well, at least they give them some sort of NBC and enviromental protection. And they will need it.
The Guardsman's main weapon is his Lucius pattern, no. 98 lasgun. This wepaon is standard issue to Krieg regiments, and stockpiled in vast numbers in Krieg's armouries. It takes a standard power pack unit, operating in the 21 megathule range. This is a higher charge than many of the more common lasgun patterns, and causes the pwoerpack to drain more rapidly than in other lasguns. The powerpack is good for 25 shots. This lasgun is a single shot weapon, and the weapon's internal fast-discharge generator is placed under extra stress by the larger charrge, reducing its recharge rate and slowing the weapon's rate of fire whilst increasing maintenance time. This is compensated for by teh charge's increased impact upon hitting the target.
The weapon's barrel includes additional heatsink rings to dissiapte the heat of the barrel, which infamously gets very hot during sustained firing. The lasgun also includes a bayonet lug and a basic back sight.
They also get one frag grenade. This lasgun for the most part seems to be less assault rifle or battle rifle and something more along the lines of the lasgun version of the M1 Garand (semi-automatic, very powerful shot, less ammo.) The megathule value is essentially useless but perhaps refers to the energy capacity (21 megajoules) Since a normal powerpack is betwene 40-60 shots and if we assume the Krieg powerpack is comparable we might figure that the rifle is more than 1.5x more powerful but less than 2.5x more powerful than a "standard" lasgun, at the cost of a lsower rate of fire and making it more unwieldy.
The tradeoff in rate of fire for increased punch says alot about the nature of the weapon as well. I would gather from the context that they achieve it through modifying the weapon so that the discharge capacitor can 'hold' a larger quantity of energy drawn off the power pack, which translates into a more powerful discharge, and creates the cooling/maintenance problems (the gun is handling a larger quantity of energy than it normally does.), the reduced number of shots (although the 21 Megahule pack might suggest it uses a different powerpack than the 19 Megathule. Perhaps it carries more energy total? That might mean the shots are even more powerful than I suggested if so.) The slow refire may seem odd, but it points to limitations in the rate at which powerpacks discharge - it's not enough to just store a given quantity of energy - the rate at which they release that energy to the capacitor matters and will dictate rate of fire. So if you increase the output but the rate of discharge from the capacitor remains the same, the rate of fire will drop because the gun must 'charge' longer between shots.
This also makes the Krieg lasguns basically a 'bolt action' laser or Garand analogue, for all intents and purposes.
If we assume "thule" is "joule" that means the powerpack is 21 MJ, which over 25 shots would be bout 840 kj per shot (or a about as powerful as a stick of dynamite.) but like all "thule" based analysis its purely conjectural and should not reflect a concrete measurement.
Also note the extra heat sink rings and the back sight (no scope like device or anything like other lasguns.) This suggests at least some models of lasguns work on heat sinks or radiators (which cannot be very large or radiate much heat, though.) That says lasguns as a rule are quite highly efficient, since noone cooks from the cooling effects (unlike with plasma weapons.)
This does show us that lasguns can vary in design from regiment to regiment and world to world, depending on doctrine, training, and what they're used for.
All Krieg soldiers carry a 45cm long sword-bayonet. This heavy bladed, razor-sharp knife is the Guardmsan's only close combat wepaon, and bayonet drill is practised frrom a very young age. All Krieg Guardsmen are highly proficient with the bayonet, so much so that some commanders have remarked that hte bayonet seems to be the regiment's main weapon..
The Bayonet charge remains a preferred tactic of Krieg commanders.
It wouldn't be trench warfare if the Krieg didn't have a hardon for bayonet charges with something nearly as long as a sword.
All Krieg guardsmen are issued with their distinctive respirator units. The respirator comprises of three elements; the gasmask, the hose, and the respirator regular unit, which is worn on the chest.
The regulator unit is easily a Krieg guardsman's most complex piece of eqipment. IT contains partticle filters, a battery powered fan which draws air into the regulator, through the filters and then forces it up the breathing pipe. The advantage of this being that the breathing apparatus works via 'positive pressure', blowing clean air into the gasmask. Should the system be compromised, tehn the constant flow will force air out of any hole, and not draw it in, thus helping prevent toxic particles entering the system.
As well as particle filters, the regulator also samples the air for toxic agents, and will automatically introduce antidote chemicals into the air supply to be inhaled by the soldier. The regulator's satchel also contains a water flask which feeds into the gasmask. The water supply is supplemented by soluble stimulants and nutrient tablets, which allow the guardsmen to operte beyond normal physical norms.
The respirator unit has no oxygen suppply, so oxygen must be present for the soldier to breathe. The exteroir display pane allows officers to see how hwell the regulator is functioning and other guardsmen to see how toxic the atmosphere is.
Krieg respirators. SEems to be one of their more sophisticated bits of gear.
[/quote]The entire regulator unit is carried inside a leather satchel, which buckles onto the webbing's shoulder straps.
The heavy exterior hose actually surrounds and protects two narrower pipes: an air pipe and a water pipe. The hose screws into the end of the gasmask via the breather valve. This brass fixture contains an additional filter and a non-return valve, so the air flow is one way. The breather valve allows expelled air to escape via small holes on the inside of the brass ring.
The gasmask consists of a bag, a screw attacment for the breather valve and eye pieces. The eye pieces have a double layer of toughened glass and are treated with an anti-fogging compound.
More on the Krieg gas mask.