463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 3

With the first week of my project to finish the Byzant Janizars over, I have re-based a number of units and updated the paint scheme on my lascannon support squad. If you want to catch up on what I have written previously about my 30k cults & militia army based on the Byzant Janizars, see part 1 and part 2.

In celebration of completing week one, I have written more fluff on the Byzant Janizar’s actions in the early years of the Horus Heresy, culminating in the war for the Xyphos sub-sector (a campaign we are planning to run once we are allowed to game again).

At the end of the Great Crusade, Byzant Janizar units were scattered throughout the galaxy. Whilst a number of units were actively deployed in expeditionary fleets (most notably in the 63rd and 216th), the majority were garrisoned on newly compliant worlds. The Janizar’s status as one of the Old One Hundred afforded them governship of these worlds and the promise of a life of luxury. This all changed when news spread of Horus’ betrayal. Remembering their final oath to the Emperor, the Ortas gathered once more under the command of Creze Hakan-Sje with the goal of making the traitors pay.

The 216th Expeditionary Fleet was desperate for manpower after the 77th Ultramarine company were summond back to their Chapter. Lord Marshall Horatio Octavian II, commander of the expeditionary fleet, welcomed the influx of Byzant Janizars and immediately took the force on a harrassing campaign against the traitor supply lines.

Recognising that his forces were drastically outmatched on a man to man basis compared to astartes, Horatio and Hakan-Sje agreed that heavy firepower was their only way to even the odds. To that end they re-organised the Byzant Janizars so each infantry Cemaat was supported by a heavy weapon Cemaat. These two squads were expected to work seemlessly, with the infantry Cemaat suppressing the enemy long enough for the support Cemaat to maneuvre to a position where they could bring their heavy weapons to bear. This re-organisation effectively doubled the size of the Orta and taxed their supply chain, but it was remarkably successful in practice.

Lascannon support Cemaati became increasingly popular in the face of the massed astartes armour that was common during the Horus Heresy. The weapon crews usually chose to overcharge their weapons, unleashing a blistering las-beam that was more powerful than the standard shot. Thanks to the deadly nature of warfare during this time these crews would often only get one shot off before the enemy was on them and they figured it was better to make that shot count and ignore the stress overcharging took on the guns.

Exemplary Byzant Janizar campaigns during the Shadow Crusade

007.M31 – On the world of Phendamar, the 463rd Orta co-operated with a Raven Guard execution force in eliminating the traitor Imperial Army high command based there. Janizar recon teams led a masterful hit-and-run campaign on various outposts to draw the enemy into carefully laid Raven Guard ambushes. Few mortal forces could have matched the XIX Legion’s speed and maneuverability, but the Janizar’s abundance of skimmers and experience fighting in the Mediterranean Dust Bowl during the Unification Wars worked in their favour and the two forces formed an exceptional team.

007.M31 – Drogar IV had an abundance of promethium and as such was a vital link in the traitor’s supply chain. Facing a garrisoned Iron Warriors company, the Byzant Janizars underwent a four month campaign to dismantle their defences and destroy the promethium fields. The destruction of the planet’s capital refinery was so massive it could be seen from space and the debris could upset the planet’s climate for a generation. Although several companies of Byzant Janizars died in this action, it was one of countless battles that ultimately tipped the scales in the loyalists’ favour by bleeding the traitors’ supplies and slowing their advance on Terra.

008.M31 – Vicious fighting on Mernt tested the 463rd when they encountered a re-suppling Emperor’s Children armoured spearhead. For seven days the city of Merntagra burned as the two forces traded blows. Leman russes and skuttle-pattern skimmers duelled against predators and land raiders in the cramped manufactora whilst infantry forces slaughtered each other in fierce building-to-building firefights. Despite suffering extremely heavy casualties, the Byzant Janizars used the terrain to their advantage and destroyed the traitor forces, freeing Mernt from its dark compliance and ensuring all its resources were re-directed to the loyalists.

009.M31 – Badly mauled from three years of fighting behind traitor lines, the 463rd and the rest of the 216th Expeditionary Fleet regroup in the Xyphos sub-sector to re-supply and re-build. This proves fortuitous for the loyalists when a massive traitor fleet arrives to the north-west of the sub-sector intent on laying waste to the whole sub-sector. War had come to Xyphos, and the Byzant Janizars were ready to stand in its defence.

I had fun photographing my units with more scenic backgrounds and expanding on their fluff. By next Sunday I am hoping to finish off the army’s skimmers – come back then for more fluff and pictures of the Janizars!

Jamie

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