By Nordok 7 Comments
Heavy cruisers are designed with maximum hull strength and shield capacity in mind. At full power, a heavy cruiser's shield can absorb roughly 50,000 megatons of attacks before failure, with their hull capable of absorbing roughly 25,000 megatons beyond this before the ship is destroyed (this varies based on the location of the damage). They can absorb far more punishment than any other conventional Imperium vessel, but are somewhat slow and not particularly maneuverable. They possess numerous turbolaser emplacements, capable of bringing to bear approximately 30,000 megatons of offensive power in a full broadside, as well as 20,000 and 10,000 megatons in a full forward or aft barrage, respectively. This makes them ideal for attacking other capital ships and bombarding planetary targets, but they have difficulty countering fighter class ships. Additionally, each heavy cruiser boasts twin forward-mounted devastator cannons, each capable of bringing to bear 50,000 megatons of energy per shot. The first cannon is typically used to shatter the shields of an opposing capital ship, and the second to completely destroy it. These cannons require several minutes to cool down between shots. Heavy cruisers can carry both fighters and ground troops.
Smaller and sleeker than heavy cruisers, light cruisers sacrifice firepower and durability for speed and versatility. Their shield can absorb roughly 20,000 megatons of damage before failure, with the hull able to absorb about 12,000 megatons beyond this before destruction (again, depending on the location of the damage). They contain both laser and turbolaser batteries, allowing them to engage both capital ships and fighters effectively. A full broadside by a light cruiser can unleash roughly 15,000 megatons of offensive energy, as well as 8,000 megatons forward and 5,000 megatons aft. Like the heavy cruisers, they can carry both fighters and troops, but not nearly as many.
Strikers are the personal fighter-class craft of the Imperium. They are capable of either manual control or autopilot (under which they either execute pre-programmed battle tactics or are controlled by a nearby capital ship), and are designed specifically for ship-to-ship combat, either engaging other fighters or strafing enemy vessels with their twin, front-mounted plasma cannons. They are lightly armored and unshielded, and the Imperium generally considers them entirely expendable, thinking nothing of sacrificing them in droves to achieve victory.
Annihilators serve as both bombardiers and drop-ships, as necessity dictates. Though slower than Strikers, and boasting only one comparatively unimpressive laser cannon, they are much better-armored, capable of absorbing more damage than their fighter counterparts. They have sufficient cargo capacity to deliver a payload of explosive ordinance or a single brigade of troopers to a target, and can magnetically attach themselves to the hull of a capital ship, allowing the troops to cut an entrance an engage in boarding tactics.
Fleet security legionaries are built to approximately the same statistics as their infantry counterparts, but have frames specifically designed to operate in zero-gravity and high-pressure vacuums, allowing them to operate both within and without their ships with equal functionality. Their armor is also equipped with a low-power jet that affords them some maneuverability in open space, and their feet can magnetize, allowing them to adhere to any metallic surface in zero-gravity.
The rank-and-file units of the Imperium, legionary units are 6’, 500 lb. robotic soldiers that vaguely resemble humanoid skeletons. Their powerfully built and heavily reinforced frames (generally constructed of stainless steel or the equivalent) are capable of exerting 5 tons of force and shrugging off any ordinance not calibrated for heavy armor penetration. Their vision extends into the infrared spectrum, and they are capable of calculating a staggering number of targeting variables, making their attacks uncannily accurate. They are typically equipped with plasma rifles and gravmaces. Their AI is versatile: in addition to executing conventional battlefield maneuvers, they can also be programmed to operate vehicles, suppress unrest, and for a variety of guard duties.
Identical in height but weighing roughly twice that of a Legionary unit, Centurions are twice as strong, capable of exerting ten tons of force, and much more durable, constructed of materials of a similar molecular structure to titanium. Their AI's are also more advanced, and they are generally used to command bodies of Legionary troops, or as mid-range infantry forces.
The Adamantine Legion
Commander: Zedracus the Inevitable
The heavy infantry of the Imperium, each robotic soldier of the Adamantine Legion can exert up to 10 tons of force. Though their AI is identical to that of the conventional infantry units, they typically carry heavier weaponry, such as anti-matter mini-cannons. Every member of this unit has been fully encased in adamantium armor, and receives full EMP shielding, making them incredibly difficult to stop. Due to the comparative rarity of adamatium, however, their numbers are limited, and they are usually only deployed against the most stalwart of opposition.
The Deathborn Legion
These soldiers resemble (at least at first glace) Centurians. However, each mechanical body has been designed to contain and draw power from a living soul. How these souls are harvested and fused with their new, mechanical bodies is one of the most closely-guarded secrets of the Imperium. The souls have retained an aspect of their former sentience, but have been thoroughly corrupted, now feeling only a deep loathing of the living and an unbreakable loyalty to the goals of the Imperium. They are some of the most effective soldiers in this dread force, possessing the precision, durability, and tirelessness of machines and the intuition and adaptability of living minds. What makes them most fearsome, however, are their unique weapons, which envelope their foes in bolts of pure necromantic energy, steadily drawing the life energy of their targets into the containment tanks of their weapons, which causes said targets to weaken and eventually die. To what purpose this energy is later used remains unknown.
Nordok's elite robotic troops, each Reaper is practically an army unto itself. Any attack incapable of leveling a fortified bunker has little hope of doing any noticeable damage to one of these robotic behemoths. At 100' tall and weighing in at over 50 tons, Reapers are bristling with the most advanced weaponry the Imperium can equip them with: anti-matter cannons, maser beams, surface-to-air missiles, flame-launchers, and ion disrupters are all standard issue. Their servo-motors are capable of exerting 10,000 tons of force. Jet propulsion units in their feet make them capable of atmospheric and space flight. They have redundant CPUs located in both their heads and torsos, meaning that both must be destroyed in order for a unit to be fully incapacitated. Though Reapers may occasionally be deployed en masse, they are more commonly used to bolster forces of more conventional troops.
An ogre-like species that Nordok has infected with a specialized form of ursine lycanthropy, Grizzlons' tremendous strength, vitality, and ferocity make them ideal guards and shock troops, and for any number of situations that don't require much subtlety or finesse. Their thick hide and body fur allows them to shrug off all but the highest-caliber personal ordinance, and each is roughly as strong as an adult male African elephant. Their teeth and claws can rend substances up to the hardness of stainless steel. They are capable of proficiently using all manner of weaponry, but prefer the "messier" types: heavy weapons of both the melee and ranged variety. They will utilize armor in heavy combat, but generally prefer to wear as little as possible; most do not like the idea of prey being able to outrun them.
Occasionally, a Grizzlon has an unusual reaction to the lycanthropy, and becomes a mutated horror that is all but mindless. These are typically used as berserkers, as they make little distinction about whom or what they tear apart.
These reptilian humanoids hail from a jungle world. Though they have achieved a high level of technological development, their culture still places great value and emphasis on tracking and hunting. Their civilization is largely subterranean; living in advanced metropolis underground allows them to keep the surface of their planet as pristine wilderness where they can continue to practice and refine their predatory skills.
They generally fill the role of commandos and rangers for the Imperium. They are stronger and faster than humans, their scales provide them with a degree of natural armor (which they often enhance with actual armor), and their fangs and claws make for formidable melee weapons. Their senses of smell, sight, and hearing are preternatural. They heal much faster and more completely than humans, and are even capable of eventually regrowing lost body parts, but this process is not so fast that it would make much difference in the course of a battle; it does, however, mean that a Sauroid who survives a battle will very likely recover and come looking for payback. Occasionally, a Sauroid is born with a mutation that gives it a breath weapon: fire and electricity are the most common, but other forms are not unheard of. They are perfectly comfortable using advanced weaponry, and though their civilization did not develop their own form of interstellar travel, they have taken to it without difficulty in the service of the Imperium.
Commander: Kallak the Eviscitor
Ephemeran technology had only advanced to the point of the European Medieval period at the time of Ephemera's conquest by the Imperium. As a result, Ephermerans were wholly unfamiliar with high-tech weaponry, but had a achieved a notable mastery in close quarters melee combat. Playing upon this strength, Ephemerans who volunteered or were "reconditioned" for service were equipped with advanced versions of weaponry they were already familiar with: plasma swords, vibroblades, gravmaces, and the like. They are also equipped with Arcanium armor, which, combined with their inherent resistance to magic, makes them all but immune to any form of sorcerous attack. Because of this, they are generally used as specialized strike forces when the Imperium faces arcane-wielding opponents.
Commander: the Necrommander
These soldiers are exactly what their name implies: reanimated special forces operatives. They retain the training and capacity for thought that they possessed while living, but are now utterly subservient to the will of their creator. Their unliving status makes them ideal commandos: they are completely silent, require no rest or sustenance of any kind, and their lack of a pulse or musculature give them the steadiest aim imaginable. They utilize the same weaponry as Nordok's conventional infantry, but their armor is light, more suited to covert missions than to heavy combat.
Veritable mobile fortresses, their heavy armor and devastating artillery make them ideal for leveling buildings and engaging other heavy combat vehicles. They are capable of reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour, are equipped with numerous anti-matter cannon emplacements, can each carry a full platoon of troops, and are frequently used as mobile command platforms.
Not all of Nordok's servants are of a technological nature. The Shadow Brethren are powerful sorcerers and mystics, each specializing in a specific school of magic. As they only ever appear shrouded in their thick cloaks, what manner of creatures they are (or if they are even living beings) is subject to speculation.