"This means little to those who are dead, even less to us who wish to join them."
Vlatiskov, Strelky Sergeant upon being asked about recent victory
|Doctrine||Astartes Assistance Actions, Mechanized Infantry, Urban Warfare, Defensive Warfare|
|Signature Equipment||Vityaz-pattern Power Armor, Rosskan-pattern Lasgun|
|Colors||Grey, White, Dark Green|
|Associated Legion||Fifteenth Legion|
The Rosskan Strelky were the Legionary Auxilia of the Silver Cataphracts, the Fifteenth Space Marine Legion. Unlike their counterparts in the Imperial Army, the Strelky were a uniform outfit with standardized equipment. Initially established to defend Rosskar and surrounding worlds, the Strelky would come to encapsulate Rosskan ruthlessness evident in their harsh culture.
A massive surplus of equipment remained after the unification of the Rosskan worlds into the Imperial Fold. Rosskar, the ice gem of this collection of planets was facing a rising population crisis. Industry intended to deal with the issue was diverted to outfitting the rapidly expanding Silver Cataphracts Legion. To deal with this Alexandri outfitted the many of criminals in his state. However issues arose with a large core of fresh recruits began to mutate the culture of the Strelky. Alexandri realized this was a boon, and not a curse. Here the attitudes of the Strelky would be set. It was no longer a volunteer army, but a sentence.
Drawing forth from the discipline officers of the Silver Cataphracts, a core of Discipline Enforcers was trained. The Cataphracts had little to do while their strength grew, as Alexandri's ambitious plans would leave them retraining for some time anyways. One Marine would train ten officers, who would train ten more officers, until there was thousands of Discipline Enforcers. These men largely had little to do with the actual combat deployments of the Strelky. Instead they would focus primarily on retraining the new formations in a different style. Life was cheap, and it was time to spend it.
Other formations of the Imperial Army would fight alongside the Cataphracts, but more was expected from the Rosskan's least favorite sons. Due to their rigorous training, a fatalistic sense of self combined with utter dread of their superiors would drive them to feats of heroism not often seen in the days of the early Great Crusade. The Strelky would be entrusted of tasks thought impossible for normal humans to surmount. Due to a combination of handpicked leadership on the part of Alexandri, revolutionary tactics, and this diehard attitude would allow the Strelky to garner an infamous reputation as steadfast organization.
If not too disciplined. Despite their willingness to stand tall against uncountable odds, the Strelky normally devolved the moment the laser fire ended. This would lead to raiding, looting, and pillaging on human worlds. On Xenos planets, there didn't even need to be an order given to commit wholesale genocide. The Strelky would be begging for it already. Acts of savagery after combat were encouraged by officers, as a way to let the troops have an outlet for their aggression rather than have to punish it earlier.
Age of KonstantynEdit
Konstantyn was born in 872.M30, becoming administrator-aide to Supreme Commander of the Strelky at age thirteen. When he came to the age of thirty-five, he journeyed the Imperium for twenty years meeting with multiple figures of the Great Crusade. This would lead him to learn of the many Astartes Legions and Imperial Army regiments. He become a Commander of Rosskar twelve years after assuming his rank of Ensign in the Strelky. On the eve of 973.M30, exactly one hundred and one years after his birth, the current Supreme Commander died. Konstantyn immediately assumed command with the full backing of more than half the Strelky and the entirety of the Silver Cataphracts Legion. Never had such a assumption of command been with so much backing.
The new Supreme Commander acted fast to increase his reach across the ranks of the Strelky. He reformed the training systems to be even more taxing in order to produce higher quality soldiers. The system of specialized regiments was put in place at this time as well. Unlike other Imperial Army regiments, Strelky regiments would have dedicated roles. Support, Artillery, Armour, Light Infantry, Heavy Infantry, Mechanized Infantry. His reworking of the entire battle philosophy led to an initial period of unease among the ranks as effectiveness began to decline. Within a decade however, they rose back up to eventually climb much higher than they were before.
On the world of Gelmni I, five Divisions of the Strelky were deployed to soften up the forces of the Human-Xenos Hybrid defenders. Thanks to the efforts of these forces, the Gelmnin abominations were stunned by their ferocity. The Strelky were able to secure several hives with their assault before the Silver Cataphracts even made planetfall. Reinforcements came from the Legion via deep strike, landing directly on the heads of the Gelmin. Panic ensued in the enemy ranks immediately as a result. The planet was placed under the care of several noteworthy commanders from the assaulting formations, who helped build it into a fortress world that would later supply untold amounts of battle ready troops to the Cataphracts.
Famous Formations and MembersEdit
Army Group 22, the "Blistering Fists".
This formation had the distinction of working closely with the Sons of Fire Space Marine Legion. For this reason, they become known as the 'Blistered'. Their Commander Karlimo Tuschev would lead from the frontlines wearing Vityaz patterned power armor. On more than one occasion, he would become burned by his own artillery fire for his love of getting in close as possible with the enemy. The Blistering Fists suffered more casualties than any other Army Group, but due to their connection with the Sons would be the most orderly of all Strelky formations. During the Great Scouring, they would use this intimate knowledge of the 4th Legion to great use.
- Squad, consisting of 15 men, led by a Sergeant
- Section, consisting of 50 men, led by an Ensign
- Platoon, consisting of 200 men, led by a Lieutenant
- Company, consisting of 1,000 men, led by a Captain
- Battalion, consisting of 10,000 men, led by a Major
- Regiment, consisting of 50,000 men, led by a Colonel
- Brigade, consisting of 200,000 men, led by a Brigadier
- Division, consisting of 1,000,000 men, led by a Brigadier General
- Corps, consisting of 5,000,000 men, led by a General
- Army, consisting of 20,000,000 men, led by a Marshal
- Army Group, consisting of 100,000,000 men, led by a Commander of Rosskar
Strategic Command Ranks
Commander of Rosskar
Frontline Command Ranks(Commissioned)
Captain(Senior or Junior)
Lieutenant(Senior or Junior)
Frontline Command Ranks(Non-Commissioned)
Ensign(Senior or Junior)
Towards the end of the Great Crusade, and throughout the Hektor Heresy, the Strelky adopted the concept of specialized regimental structure. Some would be dedicated to fielding tanks crewed by the best men to offer for that role. Others would have engineers, who meditated day and night on explosives, construction, and maintenance. The idea was to create a functioning army with several unique parts that could not operate independent of one another but were stronger as a whole. Rather than having to gather up five regiments to field a multitude of guns, an artillery regiment would have the same amount if not more of batteries.
This was invaluable during the Hektor Heresy, as other Imperial Army formations could not withstand the well organized formations coming to bear against them. A result of the specialization led even equal exchanges of armour or infantry ending up on the Strelky's side. The Cataphracts benefited immensely from the modular regimental system, calling up assistance often for specific actions which required the approach offered by the practice. Light Infantry would be able to scout easily, or skirmish. Engineering companies could build defenses or tear down enemy fortifications in short order.
Vityaz Pattern Power Armor
In Rosskar's past, before Alexandri came to power the Vityaz were a noble elite who ruled with an iron first over the populace of Rosskar. With Alexandri's ascension, the aristocracy was gradually integrated into society at large. The remnants of their influence remain still with suits of their prestigious power armor. Officers in the Strelky can sometimes to be seen wearing these ornate suits into battle, gilded with finery and still as deadly when they were first forged in the Dark Age of Technology. The Tech-Priests of Kyuw have produce replacement parts based on recreations of the basic Vityaz design. This has allowed its continued use in the field perpetually, so long as the suit is never fully lost.
The Strelky used a wide variety of weaponry throughout their existence, owing much to their bloated size greatly beyond any one world's means to sufficiently arm. Much less even a Sector's. Due to equipment shortages, any material that could be seized after a battle usually was immediately jumped upon. Some standardization did exist in the form of the Rosskan-pattern lasgun though. This weapon was designed to be capable of firing powerful bolts, only being able to expend ten shots per magazine charge. Other versions of the weapon were known to have the same output with a bulkier magazine, that could hold up to thirty shots. It was prone to explosion at random times for seemingly no reason, leading for most soldiers to fear. It was dubbed the 'Crackle' by troops for the sound it made upon explosion.
It was believed through concentrated, concerted fire with stronger than normal lasgun bolts the Strelky would be capable through sheer numbers able to take foes comparable to Astartes. This prediction did not always hold true, but it certainly gave them an edge when they were forced to combat actual Space Marines.
The Rosskan Strelky for lack of a better term, is a slave army. It is constituted primarily of prisoners from the various worlds of the Kuzgeta Sector. To bring such a diverse, and dangerous population to heel they are first broken. Long periods of time are spent making sure that 'Batches' of ten Strelky recruits are isolated from the rest of the world. These Batches are finally 'Hatched' when the Discipline Master has determined little remains of the original person in each member of the Batch. If after six months there is no considerable progress made with a Batch towards this goal, it is purged.
Upon a Hatching, the newly formed Strelky are admitted into the harsh atmosphere of their regiment. Here the guiding hand of the Discipline Officers is removed, who had been previously guiding their lives with rigid schedules and rules. Now in this confusing environment, they are faced with apathy at every turn by their fellow comrades. This too is part of the Strelky training, as it slowly erodes at the sense of self even more. Before even their first deployment, the Strelky recruits feel increasingly isolated, and alone, save for their Batchmates. However, after surviving their first battle these Recruits are accepted as Privates. Or, as their comrades will call them, Droogs.
The Droog is the complete Strelky, the final product. The Droog is expected to form the backbone of the regiment, follow orders to the letter, and report on any suspicious activity to Discipline Masters. These men and women are usually what is propagandized about the Strelky, as they are the fatalistic heart that keeps a regiment from retreating even when facing certain death.
Strelky Discipline MasterEdit
Tasked with both overseeing morale and loyalty, the Discipline Masters of the Strelky were drawn up from the Secret Police of Rosskar as well as those sent from Terra. Adept at mind breaking techniques and torture, the Masters used their skills to break down recruits before building them back up again as soldiers. The denial of food was a simple trick for any slight, but all punishments focused upon dehumanizing a subject. They would also be teacher, training them in firearms, accuracy, drills, and squad combat. Any sign of dissent was punished ridiculously, and when one who could not be broken was sensed, ruthlessly executed. The majority of fresh recruits did not have the iron resolve to deny the Discipline Masters, falling victim to their cruel methods like lambs to a butcher.
The Rosskan Strelky is formed from parts of military tradition and penal battalions. It is not a prisoner army, yet is operated akin to one. One may volunteer into the Strelky, but he will not be treated any different from a man sentenced into service. By the necessity of the Strelky, the individual is eliminated to serve the unit. The Strelky are very blunt on average possessing no subtly to themselves. They are largely realists, not falling into optimism or pessimism. Many have become reclusive in personality, introverted save for those few members of the regiment they can regard as friends. Strelky friendships are few and far between, but are usually formed between the most capable veterans. A sense of community is strong in the Strelky however, but these are usually rarely intimate.
The Strelky are expected by their officers to have several hobbies and pursuits. To most, this is training but others have been known to have skills ranging from woodcrafting to poetry. Most in the Strelky become tattoo artists to keep the underground expression of soldiers alive. These men were usually given rations and favors from their fellow soldiers in return for their ink work. To those with the ability and ambition, they normally became tattoo artists.
No soldier, from the lowest Recruit to the highest officer, was allowed to wear battle honors. Alexandri despised the use of medals or ribbons, refusing to allow the Strelky to wear any livery at all. The spartan appearance of the Strelky uniform betrays the sophisticated artistry worn on the skin of every member. Since the tattoos were hidden unless their clothing was taken off, the Primarch either did not care or failed to notice the thriving system of symbols and signs in use by the Strelky to denote achievements and social status.
Hollow Teeth - This pattern is a design of the teeth over the lips, creating a partial skull look. This was to denote Strelky known as "Biters", who would use their nails and mouths in combat.
Barbed Wire - This pattern is lines of barbed wire that cover over the dominant forearm. Each spike along the wire represented a year spent in service in the Strelky.
Five Coins - This pattern is five coins, each with a different head of a Rosskan King, with Alexandri at the top. This is normally placed on the shoulders. It represents the crime of counterfeiting or embezzlement.
A Cracked Crown - This pattern is the standard Rosskan crown broken down the middle. This is usually placed on the chest. It represents discontent with Alexandri's rule, and the Imperium.
Squinting Eyes - This pattern is a pair of eyes that are squinting, as if looking at something far away. This is usually placed on the belly. It expresses a soldier's willingness to engage in sexual activity.
Made in Rosskar - This is text normally placed above the thigh. It expresses the current state of the homeworld. The planet name is normally changed depending upon homeworld.
I Will Not Betray - This text is normally placed on the back. It expresses desire to remain true to religious beliefs.
A Laughing Skull - This pattern is placed at the back of the head always. It expresses the desire to refuse any work not necessary or directly ordered of the soldier.
A Bleeding Knife - This pattern is placed anywhere on the body that is visible while in uniform. It represents that this soldier has murdered another Strelky, and is willing to be hired to murder others. Officers tolerate these soldiers, as they can relied upon to silence other voices in a regiment.
Finger Tattoos - This refers to text placed on the skin facing inward on the digits of a hand. The text is usually acronyms, names of loved ones, or nicknames.
Angel Wings - This pattern is a set of feather wings always placed on the back. These note that this soldier has managed to kill an Astartes single-handedly. Variants include only one wing, noting a soldier took part in killing an Astartes.
Bullets - This pattern is a set of Boltgun Shells or Autogun rounds that are arrayed around the neck. It is a statement by the prisoner that only death will set him free.