The Wolf class Warhound scout titan Leander is the 121st titan created for the Legio Ruber, built in 936.M41. It is the amongst the youngest of both its legion and the Collegia Titanicus as a whole.
|Vehicle Name:||Leander||Main Armaments:||Solemne type 3 plasma blastgun (right arm),
Solemne Mk VIII vulcan megabolter (left arm)
|Class:||Mars Pattern XXI Warhound Scout Titan, Solemne variant III||Traverse:||100 degrees horizontal
-40 to +30 degrees elevation
|Class Designation:||0550-4332-982-WH||Main Ammunition:||Supplied from main reactor (Type 3)
2 x 2,521 rounds (Mk VIII)
|Forge World of Origin:||Solemne V||Secondary Armament:||2x Polonia M38 Mod IIc multi-laser (chin mounted)|
|Powerplant:||2x Type XIV plasma reactor||Traverse:||50 degrees horizontal
-30 to +20 degrees elevation
|Weight:||409 tonnes||Secondary Ammunition:||Supplied by main reactor feed|
|Height (at rest):||14m||Head:||195-275mm|
|Ground Clearance:||6.5m||Forward hull:||320-375 mm|
|Max Speed - on road||64 KPH||Reactors:||75-250mm|
|Max Speed - off road:||48 KPH||Weapons:||105-145 mm|
|Transport Capacity:||N/A||Legs:||135-190 mm, additional 150mm spaced armour to protect external motive components|
|Access Points:||3||Void Shields:||2x Type 42 Void projectors|
Much of the Titan-class materiel produced on the Solemne forge worlds is developments of Mars pattern technology, with the first alterations to the designs arising from the distrust of the Moriae Schism.
While often externally similar, the internal assemblies have often been subject to major or minor redesign, leading to very low parts commonality. The variants have since been sanctioned by the greater Adeptus Mechanicus, but the designs' shady history means few other forge worlds, even within the Carthax sector, also produce these patterns.
The designation of any individual design as either a entire new pattern or simply a variant is not entirely consistent, and seems to ride on the arrogance of the techpriests that originally took it upon themselves to modify the template.
Solemne Type 3 Plasma BlastgunEdit
|Barrels:||Twin parallel magnetic accelerator assemblies|
|Accelerator length:||5.20 m|
|Muzzle velocity:||Variable. 18,750 m/s to 75,100 m/s|
|Rate of Fire:||30 rpm (Maximum), 5 rpm (Sustained)|
|Ammunition capacity:||Supplied from main reactor, varies.|
The Solemne Type 3 is a hypervelocity plasma projector with variable yield.
At minimum output, the destructive effect is approximately comparable to a standard demolition charge or 120mm HE battle cannon shell, although with a slightly more defined casualty radius (due to a lack of inherent fragmentation shrapnel).
The conventional maximum yield, combining the output of both accelerators, is significantly higher, capable of reducing the front armour of almost any Imperial tank to slag or incinerating entire squads of armoured troops.
However, past this point, the Type 3 is capable of generating a plasma pulse dense enough to undergo a partial fusion transition, producing blast yields of between 10 and 100 tonnes Fyceline equivalent, sufficient to level multiple city blocks with a single shot. While the quantity of plasma for these shots is significantly less than in normal operation and has yields very low by nuclear standards, further up-scaling has proven impossible. The accelerator assemblies cannot produce a larger magnetic locus at the required flux density, with all attempts to contain larger quantities of plasma near the fusion threshold resulting in an explosive, although non-nuclear, failure of the Type 3.
Due to excessive heat production, massive power demands from the main reactor, very high maintenance requirements and massive collateral damage, the Type 3's fusion pulses are used only in rare cases.
Rate of fire is dictated by firing mode. The Type 3 can fire each accelerator separately at up to 15 rpm for short periods, but maximum conventional yield cannot be sustained at more than five shots per minute due to heat build up. For nuclear level discharges, doctrine mandates that the system be allowed to cool for several minutes both before and after firing.
Toroidal electromagnetic fields are induced in the discharged plasma, providing both the radial pressure for the pulse to maintain its density, and interacting with the ionised hypervelocity shock front to produce a separation. These techniques provide the gaseous projectile with a lifetime of only 64 milliseconds before disintegrating, but as the projectiles have no inherent integrity, this magnetic field is vital for the effective range of the Type 3.
The high level of air ionisation caused by the Type 3 means that discharges are almost invariably accompanied by electrical arcing in the projectile's wake, but in certain atmospheric conditions, contiguous lightning arcs are not unknown.
The distinctive discharge sound of the Type 3 has four main elements that are easily sequentially distinguished - a rising whine as the weapon energises, a pinching report when the weapon discharges, a thunderclap as the air deionises after hypersonic dissociation, and a rolling echo when the vacuum of displaced air in the target zone collapses - and a fifth which occurs during the entire firing sequence - a general crackle of electrical charge as the weapon body arcs into the surrounding air.
Solemne Mk VIII Vulcan MegabolterEdit
|Cartridge:||30x175 mm multi-fused rocket-boosted HEAP round|
|Barrels:||Twin rotary 5 barrel assemblies|
|Barrel length:||3.55 m|
|Muzzle velocity:||1,280 m/s at muzzle; peak projectile velocity of 1,625 m/s is attained at approximately 23 metres from the muzzle|
|Rate of Fire:||Variable. 310 - 4,020 rpm|
|Ammunition capacity:||2 x 2,521 rounds (Weapon mounted magazine)|
The Solemne Mk VIII's most notable variation from the Mars Pattern on which it is based is the rechambering and lengthening of the rotary barrel assemblies. This leads to the Solemne pattern instead feeding a much larger cartridge from the rear of its helical magazines.
The change to the cartridge and barrel allows the Solemne pattern a considerably higher muzzle velocity and far greater accuracy. Direct-hit armour piercing capacity at 500 metres exceeds 150mm of conventional steel armour and, in combination with micro-cogitator warhead fuses and the 30x175mm round's 6 to 8 metre airburst lethality radius, the effective range against point targets is in excess of three kilometres.
The main cost of this improvement is a reduction of almost two thirds in the Vulcan's ammunition capacity. At maximum rate of fire, the Solemne pattern has ammunition for around 75 seconds of continuous fire. In order to reduce frequency of rearming and permit longer engagements, Legio doctrine is to restrict the weapon's rate and duration of fire under most circumstances.
The Mk VIII, as opposed to the earlier Mks VI and VII, incorporates precision gearing which allows the Vulcan to adjust its rate of fire from between 300 to 4,020 rpm, and fire exact bursts of any number of rounds (potentially even single rounds versus point targets) in order to reduce the frequency of reloads. Additional care is advised for defensive assignments, where opportunities may be infrequent or entirely unavailable.
The Solemne pattern has also had to abandon the optional double-ended feed system of the Mars pattern, and therefore cannot return spent casings to the magazine. While of little direct concern to the Titan, ejecting 30x175mm casings can present a possible hazard to allied infantry in close support.
Since the Mk V, Solemne pattern Vulcan megabolters have returned to the weapon mounted magazine standard to the Mars Pattern, as attempts to supply the weapon from a magazine in the torso found the link-less feed to be prone to jams and impractical to armour to the degree required.
It is still standard practice for Solemne titans to carry ammunition reserves in a torso magazine, but having no direct feed, resupplying the weapon mounted magazines is a time-consuming process that cannot practically be carried out under combat conditions.
Polonia M38 Mod IIc multi-lasersEdit
|Weight:||185.2 kg each|
|Projectile:||1315 nm laser radiation|
|Barrels:||Rotary 4-barrel assembly|
|Barrel length:||1.52 m|
|Muzzle velocity:||299,792,458 m/s|
|Rate of Fire:||Switchable. 240 or 480 rpm|
|Ammunition capacity:||Supplied by main reactor feed.|
In keeping with the common practice across many titan legions, Legio Ruber titans are often equipped with light defensive weaponry to engage targets where use of the primary weapons would be inefficient.
Since Magos Yelden's tenure as Master of the Solemne titan forges, the standard selection for these secondary weapons has been the multi-laser class, chosen for the potential to engage infantry and light vehicle targets at moderate range, without any need for separate on-board ammunition supplies.
Most Variant III Warhounds in the Legio use paired Polonia M38 Mod IIc multi-lasers. The M38 series is based on gaseous iodine; while more maintenance intensive than a solid-state system, the fluid medium improves heat transfer during sustained fire. The Mod IIc has enlarged heat-sinks that further capitalise on this property, although at the cost of being considerably heavier than most vehicle mounted multi-lasers.
As a scout unit with no prestige or battle experience, Leander was originally considered to be an almost demeaning assignment by many of the Principes of Solemne's millennia old battle titans. Few envied its equally new Princeps, Helane Rogen, her command.
Early battles seemed to confirm these prejudices, with the titan's machine spirit displaying a rebellious attitude that made its performance mediocre at best - an unfavourable reputation quickly spread between the other Princeps of the legion, leading many to vocally considering it an unreliable ally in battle.
A number of combat repairs somehow remedied the affront to the Titan's machine spirit, transforming the war machine into an entirely different beast. No longer rebelling against its crew, the Titan's sentience instead turned its full fury upon the enemy, proving utterly tenacious and so fast as to be almost prescient.
While once considered amongst the least of the Legion's history, Leander would in 964.M41 single-handedly destroy the traitor Reaver Titan Hellespont, after the opening barrage from the traitor engine all but destroyed the Warhound's sister titan, Galatea.
Nonetheless, the now-single Warhound was retired from major combat operations, as Collegia Solemne doctrine demands that Wolf class Warhounds are deployed in pairs. During this time, the titan was primarily assigned to defending Mechanicus convoys and outposts away from the main front, with occasional short assignments to substitute for injured Wolf classes. While very capable in a defensive role, reports from the time note that Princeps Rogen displayed a tendency for "proactive target acquisition" - often diverting to engage enemy forces which were unlikely to pose any threat to her main objective.
This assignment lasted until 972.M41, when Leander's Legio Ruber battlegroup was deployed to Tarrag IV to assist against an Ork Waagh that was threatening the sub-sector Inquisitorial fortress.
The Battle of RissenEdit
The Battle of Rissen took place in on the outskirts of the city of Rissen on Tarrag IV.
Taking advantage of the early morning twilight and the rocky terrain to the east of the city, an unknown Ork Warboss in the area had positioned a large flanking force in position to ambush and assault the city - at the time held by Imperial rear-guard forces, accompanied by Inquisitor Vrystock of the Ordos Xenos.
The Ork force was one of the most mechanised seen during the conflict, including two "Stompas" and (according to some reports) as many as twenty Ork "Dredds". The mobile warbuggies and "trukks" quickly pushed through the Imperial force's modest defences and into the city streets, harassing forces deeper into the district, including the Crassus-class transport Inquisitor Vrystock was using as a mobile command base.
Approximately seventeen minutes into the battle, Leander, diverted from its nearby assignment as a convoy escort, arrived in response to the distress calls of the outnumbered force. The titan quickly secured the area around Inquisitor Vrystok's command vehicle; this had a two-fold effect, increasing both the morale and co-ordination of the surviving Imperial forces. Most of these remaining forces were quickly rallied, allowing them (with the significant increase in firepower) to launch a major counter-attack against the Ork vanguard.
Despite this success, very few of the Imperial force's original armoured vehicles remained operable. With relatively little firepower other than Leander capable of engaging the heavier Ork vehicles, Princeps Rogen co-ordinated with Inquisitor Vrystock to use the surviving Imperial forces, Leander's agility and the Orks' battle-hungry nature to draw one of the Ork Stompas into the bulk of the Ork armoured forces on the fringes of the city. Engaging the enemy super-heavy with a fusing pulse from Leander's plasma blastgun, the Stompa's looted reactor detonated sympathetically, damaging or destroying a significant portion of the Ork force.
As this had overheated her blastgun, Leander retreated into the city, using her manoeuvrability to outflank the pursuit of the remaining Ork Stompa and engage its weaker rear armour. The defeat of the second superheavy lead most of the remaining Ork forces to break and flee the battle, with the remainder quickly cleaned up by the regrouped Imperial force.
While a third of the forces in the Battle of Rissen were killed or heavily wounded, and over half of the heavy materiel requiring extensive repair, it is nonetheless considered to be the battle that started the turn of the conflict.
After Rissen, and service with the InquisitionEdit
While highly grateful for Leander's intervention, Inquisitor Vrystok made it a mission to see the Titan returned to the front lines of the war.
Taking a diplomatic strategy, he circumvented Legio Ruber's doctrine by specifically and repeatedly demanding Princeps Rogen's support on several major fronts of the war - all of which would later be considered considerable victories.
Word of this success spread, leading many of the other Inquisitors involved in the war to also demand the support of the increasingly famous titan. By the close of the conflict, Princeps Helane Rogen had been involved in many of the war's most critical and celebrated victories, cementing the name and reputation of her and Leander with the Carthaxian Inquisition.
This trend has continued. The Inquisition of Carthax (and on occasions, beyond) still continue to request the support of Helane and Leander on the basis of sheer reputation. In more recent years, the Legio Ruber formed a specialist support crew for the Titan's frequent Inquisition assignments - an act that some suggest shows they are coming to consider their ties to the Inquisition as something of an honour.
Princeps Rogen has also refused to be separated from Leander, having since turned down promotion to command of a full Battle Titan on two occasions.