Monday, June 11, 2012

The Carcharodons

The Carcharodons, also known as the Carcharodons Astra or Space Sharks, fought on the Loyalist side of the Babab War. Little is known about their history before that.  The source of their gene-seed is unknown, and they appear to have no established fortress monastery. Their fleets prowl the areas outside of the Imperium, destroying threats to humanity before they become aggressive. The Carcharodons are also noted as being highly religious, decorating their armor with devotional items and prayer scripts and carefully sparing Imperial Churches and members of the Ministorum from their otherwise savage attacks.

The Carcharodons operate almost exclusively as a rapid strike force, attacking with overwhelming force and destroying the enemy utterly without getting caught in a protracted engagement. Though the Carcharodons include marines of all disciplines, all Carcharodons are eager to reach close-combat. Even their Devastators carry an assortment of chainswords and bayonets.  The Carcharodons are described as being calm and quiet before battle, before erupting into furious assault immediately when needed.

During the Badab War, the Carcharodons were first deployed to break the resistance of the Mantis Warriors, whose guerrilla tactics were defeating more conventional Astartes forces. The Carcharodons descended on the civilian populace traditionally defended by the Mantis Warriors, slaughtering them until the Mantis Warriors were forced to expose themselves. Once brought to open battle, the Mantis Warriors were quickly defeated by the Carcharodons.

The Carcharodons were then deployed in the assault on Badab Primaris. They took the invasion to the level of total war, slaughtering their way to the geothermal plasma units that powered the hive cities and overloading them. This caused massive tectonic upheaval and resulted in the rapid destruction of the entire planet. Unfortunately, the Carcharodons had not informed the other Loyalists of their plans. Many Marines on both sides were killed as they fled the dying planet. In particular, the Star Phantoms, who were engaged in a siege of the Palace of Thorns, took heavy losses and bear a strong grudge against the Carcharodons.

After the war was over, the Carcharodons descended on the traditional lands of the Mantis Warriors, now held by the Fire Hawks, and harvested a generation of young males suitable for gene-seed implantation. Having collected the means to replenish their losses, the Carcharodons left the galactic plane to continue prowling the void.

Tyberos, the Red Wake

Tyberos commanded the Carcharodons during the Badab War, though it is unclear if he is the Chapter Master of just the ranking Captain of the Carcharodon forces present. Tyberos has the standard Captain profile, with an extra attack for his paired weapons, and can be accompanied by either an Honor Guard or Command Squad. He wears Terminator Armor, including a Teleport Homer, and carries paired special weapons, Hunger and Slake, which count as a lightning claw and chainfist. All combined, this makes Tyberos a decent assault combatant against both infantry and vehicles, though his lack of an Iron Halo is troubling.

In addition, an army including Tyberos replaces Combat Tactics with Furious Charge. In addition, once an affected squad wins a round of close-combat, they are subject to Rage. While this is all handy, I know from my Blood Angels that Tactical Marines with Furious Charge don’t do much in assault. To help with this problem, any Marine in the army can exchange their bolter with a close-combat weapon. Also, a single squad of lightning claw armed Assault Terminators can be taken as a Troops choice. Finally, Tyberos gains Preferred Enemy when he becomes subject to Rage. Taken together, this makes a Carcharodon army the best assault army you can field with Codex: Space Marines.

The Carcharodons can field a nasty assault army, particularly with a large Troop squad of Assault Terminators led by Tyberos. However, it will still have trouble matching Space Wolves in assault and will have to rely on extra firepower to even the odds.

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