463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 2

The 463rd Orta fought under Varvarus in the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet by the side of the Luna Wolves. When the Emperor’s Children split off to form their own fleet the 463rd Orta were dispatched with them to provide auxiliary support.

Creze Hakan-Sje is the Corbaci, or commander, of the 463rd Orta. Whilst anyone can now join the Janizars, the upper echelons of the officer class are reserved for those from the Old Families. These were the original families to give up their firstborns, and have continued to do so for the past thousand years. Hakan-Sje was destined for greatness and thrived in the harsh conditions of the Janizars. His family used whatever connections they could to secure Hakan-Sje a favourable position and he proved extremely competent in command. He was sent to the officer college Ajema-Algikje along with another aspiring commander, Vavarus. The two formed a close bond of brotherhood which turned sour when Vavarus was chosen over Hakan-Sje to lead those Janizars sent to Horus’ fleet. IMG_0278

Beside him hovers Tawil, Hakan-Sje’s firstborn. Janizars are not allowed family of any sort, so when it turned out he had an illegitimate son it threatened to end his career. In a show of loyalty to the Janizars, Hakan-Sje had his son lobotomised and turned into a true-Nephilim, a complex biological and mechanical process which almost bankrupted his family. Hakan-Sje claims this fulfils his family’s oath as his firstborn now serves in the 463rd, albeit as his familiar. He carries the Creze ancestral axe, wielded by the family for a hundred years.

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The Orta of the Byzant Janizars are organised into squads, or Cemaati. Their preferred tactic is called a tercio, where they advance in an aggressive column aimed at punching through the enemy’s line and routing them. Life is short in the Cemaati as such tactics usually result in heavy casualties. To ensure they can always fight the Orta are constantly replenished by recruits shipped from the many households who have sworn to provide their firstborns and those who ‘volunteer’ from planets on which the Janizars fight. Each Cemaat is led by a veteran, called a Boluk-Bashi, who has fought and survived at the front line for many years.

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Pictured here is Cemaat Uch-Bir, led by the Boluk-Bashi Gaius Tutku. The son of one of the few noble families from Urartu to survive the Battle of Mount Ararat , Gaius Tutku was handed over to the Janizars after failing the Astartes recruitment program. He survived his first engagement, against the Orks on Chern-VI, and worked his way up to Boluk-Bashi and commanding his own Cemaat. He is a very bitter man who rarely smiles but under him Uch-Bir has gained a fearsome reputation.

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Due to the aggressive combat doctrine favoured by the Janizars, most troopers bear scars and other wounds from their time in the tercioes. A large number have had limbs blown off and so sport bionic replacements, or are forced to wear bionic rebreathers to replace collapsed lungs or facial injuries. This, combined with basic psycho-indoctrination, means that the Janizars have a higher tolerance for pain than a standard soldier of the Imperial Army.

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Each Cemaat is supported by squads armed with heavy weaponry. Their role is to suppress the enemy so the tercioes can advance safely and to take out heavier elements which might threaten the Cemaati. Janizars favour more portable heavy weapons, such as missile launchers rather than static fire bases of lascannons. Thanks to Creze Hakan-Sje’s connections the 463rd is supplied with rare anti-matter warheads that are adept at destroying vehicles.

Pictured here is Cemaat Uch-Iki led by Oda-Bashi Rasha-Fare, a female officer with an expert eye at tank hunting. Traditionally the Byzant Janizars took the firstborn of conquered nobles regardless of gender and the old families still fulfil this ancestral oaths. The requirements of the Great Crusade mean that any person can be accepted into the Janizars and the Orta continue to accept both male and female recruits. IMG_0254

 So I now have the minimum requirements to field the Byzant Janizars as an allied detachment, which I will be doing in a game on Sunday. In the works are: a land speeder squad (sentinels), a unit of arco-flagellants (ogryns) and a squad of grenadiers as my secondary compulsory troops choice.

I’ve enjoyed filling out the fluff a bit more for them. Not a huge amount has been written so I feel I can take some liberties. If games workshop introduce more stuff about them, it would be fairly easy to change these guys to being an entirely homemade militia army.

J

 

463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 1

‘The Byzant Dominate was a small empire in pre-unification Terra situated next to the Achaemenid Empire, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl. Despite being a small empire, it had a formidable army, and waged several successful wars throughout its long existence. These wars won the Byzant Dominate prisoners, young children offered to the empire by defeated monarchs and tyrants as terms for peace. These children were raised by the Byzanters, indoctrinated into their cult and eventually joined the ranks of the emperor’s bodyguard: the Byzant Janizars.

Given the best equipment and training the Dominate could muster, these corps, or Orta, occupied a privileged position in Byzant culture and politics. Over time they had gained a reputation as king makers, famed for naming a new emperor and demanding vast sums from them; if they did not pay then the emperor was killed and a new ‘volunteer’ rose to the purple.

The Byzant Dominate, like the Achaemenid Empire, was incorporated by the Emperor in the early days of Unification. The Byzant emperor, Sul-Tac, was determined to resist the Emperor’s diplomatic envoys, believing him to be safe in his capital fortress, Byzant-Alpha. When the massed ranks of raging Thunder Warriors arrived at the fortress gates, the general of the Byzant Janizars, Madhvian, saw an opportunity for political advancement. He feared the enhanced warriors, whose reputation for the brutal massacre of any opposition preceded them. With the Janizars, Madhvian stormed Sul-Tac’s chambers and killed him along with his family. He then opened the gates of Byzant-Alpha, presented the head of Sul-Tac as a gift, and named the Emperor as the new Byzant emperor.

Upon hearing this, the Emperor accepted their declaration, becoming the ruler of Byzant and thus acquiring the empire without bloodshed. For their treachery against their former ruler though, the Emperor had the Ortas swear an oath of loyalty, that the Emperor was the last and only ruler they would ever follow and fight for. In order to seal this oath, whilst punishing them, the Emperor ordered the Janizars decimated. He also obliterated Madhvian with his psychic might.

The Janizars took their oath to heart, and fought in some of the bloodiest campaigns during Unification. The Janizars were allowed to take the noble children of defeated empires (often those preliminarily rejected from the Astartes project) and raise them in their tradition. With the influx of recruits the Byzant Janizars more than tripled in size, and several new Orta were raised, sent to fight alongside the legions in the great crusade. Thanks to their noble birth and early loyalty, they were attached to some of the more noble expedition fleets, most notably a large contingent fighting with Horus under Lord Commander Varvarus.’

This is the fluff I wrote to give a bit of a back story to the Byzant Janizars. I always liked the idea of the Byzant Janizars after reading a fan-made campaign pack about the Macharian Crusade. In it they were described as one of the Emperor’s household, so I reasoned they were likely to have been in the Great Crusade. Even though some sided with Horus in the books, surely there were some loyalist units as well? In the supplement it said how the Byzant Janizars were one of the few regiments to use a-grav vehicles so I was planning on continuing that theme, with land speeders as sentinels and eventually converting up some skimmer leman russes (note I won’t actually count them as skimmers, I just think it’ll look cool!!!)

Anyway, I eventually worked out the bits I wanted after struggling for a while, especially with regards to the distinctive Janissary hat. I settled on the mix of kits you see below, and am pretty happy with the result. Here is the first test model I made:

Their hats are greenstuffed on and I eventually shaved off the gems on their head and replaced them with aquillas to make them look more futuristic.

I was really happy with how he looked so started converting up the rest of the squad. This is the first militia squad, and needs to be bumped up to 20 men strong. I think the squad as a whole looks quite impressive!

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I also wanted to take advantage of being able to choose your warlord trait in the cults & militia list and being able to increase the AP of a weapon in your army. AP2 rocket launchers should be pretty handy at being able to destroy enemy vehicles. I still need to paint up one more rocket launcher to make the squad legal size.

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Finally I quickly painted up a force commander to use in smaller games so I could use the army as an allied detachment for my Emperor’s Children. He will eventually be the commander of the second militia squad but he works as my HQ for now. IMG_8903His pose is based of the Vostroyan command squad on the old Warhammer 40k Battle Missions book as I loved their static poses observing the battlefield rather than being stuck in the middle of the fighting.

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I have also finished the first of my land speeders which will be count as sentinels. The fluff reason behind this is that their empire was based on the edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl and so skimmer tech proved more useful at being able to patrol their territory than conventional walkers/vehicles. Its armed with an autocannon and I wanted it to look burdened with extra supplies and comms to show their use as logistics support for the infantry as well.

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I’m really happy with how they’re coming along and how they look as a whole. Next on the list is the force commander and finishing these squads off. Then I’m looking forward to playing some games with these guys as an allied detachment. If you guys have any comments or ideas let us know.

Thanks for reading.

J