Iron Hands

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Iron Hands
Iron Hands Livery.jpg
Battle Cry The Flesh Is Weak!
Number X
Founding First Founding
Successors of N/A
Successor Chapters Brazen Claws, Iron Lords, Red Talons, Sons of Medusa, Steel Confessors
Chapter Master Kardan Stronos/The Great Clan Council
Primarch Ferrus Manus
Homeworld Medusa
Strength 1000 Marines
Specialty Bionics and mechanized warfare
Allegiance Imperium
Colours Black and White

The Iron Hands were the X Legion of the Space Marines during the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy. Their Primarch was Ferrus Manus.


An Iron Hands Space Marine.

The Iron Hands are, like most of their fellow chapters who originated from the first founding, completely bat shit crazy. The chapter worships their ancient Father who got a bad case of worms and ended up with silver metal-coated hands (sounds a bit like the 18th century method of using mercury to cure Syphilis) and subsequently now believe that flesh is weak and as a result the marines try to copy their Primarch and replace their body parts with machinery and cybernetic implants (right down to emotion inhibitors post-Heresy), which Ferrus himself was actually against, believing that they should trust in the strength of their flesh rather than attempting to improve upon the Emperor's work. This is all part of an undoubtedly Freudian complex brought about by the loss of their primarch during the Drop Site Massacre on Isstvan V. Of course, the chapter decided to blame everyone, especially the legion whose primarch shortened Ferrus Manus by a head at neck level.

In spite of all this weirdness and being part of the First Founding, the Iron Hands remain one of the most forgettable Chapters among Games Workshop and the fandom at large. Seriously, even /tg/ forgets about them half the time. The only chapter who has it worse are the Raven Guard, barring Kyvvan Shrike. To add self mutilation and cybernetic enhancement (insult) to injury, those who do remember them often get confused with the Iron Warriors, and these people are worse than heretics because at least a Heretic knows the difference between "corn" and "Khorne", but the term Iron seems to confuse many. Leading to much fuck'tardery comments like "Iron Within, Iron Without", these people are total bell-ends and deserve to be scorned (Or would that be, sKhorned?). With the publication of the Horus Heresy books the powers that be have finally begun to remember that the Iron Hands were one of the original Space Marine Legions, but aside from their Primarch in resin courtesy of Forge World they're still years away from getting a named character. But Iron Hands don't care they are too busy kicking arse, taking names and getting shit done. That said, they really are the Emperor's Tin Men in every sense of the word. Now they've got their own codex supplement (providing the world at large with a certain slightly competitive character, looks like the Sons of the Gorgon are finally getting some attention.

Also, they're totally crazy post-apocalyptic Texan British Italians in space. Yes, this is canon.


The chapter itself is ruled by the Great Clan Council, composed up of 10 seats, each representing one of the ten clans (the Iron Hand equivalent of a company). The clans themselves are all highly autonomous and are nomadic, travelling across Medusa in mobile fortresses. Each clan nominates a warrior to represent them at the Great Clan Council and together, the ten warriors get into all sorts of debates and political shenanigans. The logic behind this is that with no central leadership role, the chapter cannot be lead astray like so many others have. This immediately makes the Iron Hands smarter then the rest of the fucking Warhammer 40,000 universe because they're smart enough to realise that having everyone led by a de facto dictator was a pretty retarded idea. Then again, they also believe that replacing their dicks with drills is the best fucking idea in the world, so I suppose your mileage may vary. (And the fact that /tg/ considers this sort of setup as fucking ridiculous based on where the suggestion comes from, so again, your mileage may vary.)

That said, they do have a kinda chapter master. When something major happens that affects the whole chapter, the council elects one of their members best suited for their current state. For example, if they're fighting orks the one who has the most experience fighting them will lead the chapter, and once done he will sit down. Making him more of a Chapter President really with checks and balances, the chapter master checks the council from getting caught up in red tape and the council makes sure he doesn't lead the chapter astray.

Organisation and doctrine wise, the chapter follows the basic idea of the Codex Astartes, while changing all the bits they don't like or cannot follow due to the heavy losses/destruction of equipment at Isstvan V (yup 10,000 years later and the Departmento Mmunitorum has not yet resupplied them, fucking REMF's). Each company is called a "Clan" and there isn't a specific company for Scouts; instead each Clan recruits their own Neophytes. Once the recruit is indoctrinated, his left hand is replaced with a cybernetic replacement. As an Iron Hand serves his Chapter he gets more and more augmented: appendages, limbs, organs; the whole shebang until the Marine is little more than a brain in a shell. There are also rumours that dead warriors are instead replaced with automatons rather then new Neophytes. Because of their extensive augmentation the Iron Hands are amongst the strongest Space Marines: strong enough to dual-wield weapons that regular Space Marines would need both hands for like the Multi-Melta. Due to the destruction of equipment at the Drop Site Massacre, the chapter lacks in Terminator armour. However veterans are often given suits of Terminator armour and placed in charge of leading squads of Tactical Marines, who see the suits giant pauldrons as inspirational. Additionally, Dreadnought chassis are highly revered and sought after pieces of equipment, and being entombed within a Dreadnought is the considered the best fate possible for an Iron Hands Marine. Finally, due to their shared love of machines the Iron Hands and Adeptus Mechanicus are pretty much bros 4 lyfe, with much Bromance and fist bumping. 01110100011011110111010001100001011011000110110001111001- Mhu Rho 6

The Iron Hands are the most gritty of the First Founders. You could even call it... True Grit.

In combat they are utterly unforgiving and relentless, hate Daemons and the warp with a rare and intense hatred and utterly despise heresy and cowardice. During one particular campaign involving the rebellion of an entire sub-sector, the Iron Hands got in and fucked shit up so bad that they executed a third of the sub-sector's entire population. That is not killed. Executed. As in the ones they did not kill in battle, and those who surrendered and begged for mercy. Despite this they are seen as a wholesome and pious chapter, unlike some others that murder everything within sight regardless of whose side they're on or level refugee camps because there are hostiles within the perimeter. Either way, don't piss them off lest you fuel their murderboner; and whilst on the subject of boners, it is believed they hate Slaanesh with the intense hatred of a billion Æonic Orbs because she's the Prince of Excess and the Iron Hands believe THE FLESH IS WEAK (the previously-mentioned one-third-of-a-subsector-getting-blammed was because of Slaaneshi orgies and daemons). This could mean they are more apt at fighting the minions of She Who Thirsts, but there is, as all things Iron Hands related, not much to elaborate on this except they are getting shit done.


Good news is they got a much needed bone in 6th edition. Robin Cruddace realized how stupid it was for a chapter with close ties to the Ad-mech to not have a lot of gear; they're now loaded with tanks, aircraft, and dreadnoughts. Their variation of Chapter Tactics gives all marines 6+ FNP (which is a great bonus that will save a few marines here and there, but is nothing something to be built around), all of their characters and vehicles get It Will Not Die, and Techmarines/Masters of the Forge get +1 to Blessings of the Omnissiah. The strength in this particular set of Chapter Tactics is that basically every single model benefits from it, allowing you to play a wider selection of builds while still playing to its strengths.

...and now they get their own supplement. Interesting, it would seem GW is dealing with not knowing what to do with them by portraying the Chapter as full of contradictions, such as despite the clans being autonomous they do act like Codex companies. Apparently the Codex Astartes was simply "more logical" than the admittedly terrible idea of telling Guilliman and Dorn to go fuck themselves.

Also, they almost completely forgot about the Contqual purging. Codex: Marines skips most of the campaign right to the final battle on the Shardenus hub, and Supplement: Raukaan skips it entirely in favor of the suspiciously similar "Gaudinian Heresy". There's also a story in there about a certain Iron Father deciding that machines are better than men and then getting brainwashed and mutated by a Keeper of Secrets. It's also deeply suspicious that for a Chapter which must absolutely revere their Apothecaries, potentially folding them into their Techmarines like Space Wolves and Blood Angels do with their Chaplains, since they'd be the ones in charge of installing new cybernetics, their fluff consistently yammers on about their Techmarines and just doesn't discuss their Apothecaries at any great length.

Crunch-wise, it's not so crap. The new wargear all works very neatly (especially Chain of the Gorgon), the Warlord Traits are okay, Masters of the Forge get to grab 3 Techies for their retinue (and everyone else gets 2), and all dreads get to be Elites or HS. This means that the Iron Hands get to be much killier, if Chapter Master Smashfucker has anything to say about it.

Daily Rituals[edit]

A rare Iron Hands Terminator showing why metal is superior and why THE FLESH IS WEAK.

While each Clan Company has its own rituals and traditions, the following should be considered an outline of the Iron Hands daily routines:

04:00-Morning Prayer: The Iron Hands of the Clan Company are awoken from their power stations and reconfigure their Power Options for best performance, ready for the Iron Father to lead them in sermon which is completely told in Binary.
05:00-Morning Firing Rites: The Iron Hands engage in fire practice.
07:00-Battle Practice: The Iron Hands gather for practice in the cages. Often the Iron Hands end up repairing the damage they inflicted on the practice servitor themselves. On more than a few occasions Chapter serfs have been unable to tell the difference between a battle-brother and a servitor.
11:00-Morning Maintenance Rituals: The Iron Hands polish and repair their wargear and augmetics.
13:00-Midday Meal: A light meal is prepared by the Chapter serfs and occasionally accidentally given to a Servitor - lol oops.
13:30-Tactical Indoctrination-The Clan-Commander gathers the Iron Hands for a tactical sermon on potential enemies, pointing out the vulnerable weak flesh to fire bolters at.
14:30-Land-Behemoth Maintenance: The Clan Company assists in repairs to the Land-Behemoth which serves as the Clan's mobile fortress-monastery. Mostly because by this point the vessel has taken on too much ash and soot from Medusa's volcanoes to continue moving. Raising questions about whether this means machines are weaker than flesh earns a battle-brother one hundred days of penitential duties.
16:00-Evening Firing Rites: Having gotten the Land Engine working again, the Clan Company assembles for evening firing practice. Again, they will often repair any damage they inflict on the practice servitor.
18:00-Evening Prayer: The Iron Hands gather for the Iron Father to preach to them. Areas frequently covered include the sinfulness of still having your own kidneys, why washing machines are superior to many humans and mortification of pathetic, weak flesh by poking yourself repeatedly in the eye.
20:00-Evening Meal: A feast is prepared by the Chapter serfs. Overcooking or undercooking the food will result in the serf being banished to the Enginerarium decks (trust us, for people born on a half-frozen planet, nothing is worse than the heat of the Enginerarium decks of a Land-Behemoth). Cooking the food just right will see the serf rewarded with being made a cooking servitor.
21:00-Evening Maintenance Rituals: The Iron Hands spend the rest of their day overseeing maintenance of their wargear and augmetics with adjustable Spanners, Watchmakers and ratchet Screwdrivers. Many magnetic heads are lost on the Marines Armour in very hard to reach places, Rare Earth Magnets are banned.
00:00-Rest Period: The Iron Hands retire to their power stations for the evening where they configure themselves to low power mode

Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes
First Founding: Blood Angels - Dark Angels - Imperial Fists - Iron Hands - Raven Guard
Salamanders - Space Wolves - Ultramarines - White Scars
Second Founding: Angels of Absolution - Angels Encarmine - Angels of Redemption - Angels of Vengeance
Angels Sanguine - Angels Vermillion - Aurora Chapter - Black Guard - Black Templars - Blood Drinkers
Crimson Fists - Doom Eagles - Excoriators - Iron Snakes - Flesh Tearers - Genesis Chapter
Mortifactors - Novamarines - Red Talons - Raptors - Soul Drinkers - Storm Lords - Wolf Brothers
Fourth to Eighth Founding: Marines Malevolent - Howling Griffons
Eighth Founding: Mantis Warriors
Tenth Founding: Astral Claws
Thirteenth Founding: Death Spectres - Exorcists
Twenty-First Founding: Black Dragons - Fire Hawks - Flame Falcons - Lamenters - Minotaurs - Sons of Antaeus
Twenty-Second Founding: Fire Claws/Relictors
Twenty-Third Founding: Marines Errant - Star Phantoms
Twenty-Fourth Founding: Celestial Lions - Disciples of Caliban
Twenty-Fifth Founding: Angels of Vigilance - Fire Angels
Twenty-Sixth Founding: Mentors
Unknown Founding: Astral Knights - Blood Ravens - Celebrants - Consecrators - Fire Lords - Guardians of the Covenant
Hammers of Dorn - Invaders - Knights of Blood - Rainbow Warriors - Red Scorpions - Sable Swords
Scythes of the Emperor - Sons of Guilliman - Space Sharks - Silver Skulls - Storm Wardens - Valedictors
Vorpal Swords
Chambers Millitant: Deathwatch - Grey Knights
Astartes Praeses: Black Consuls - Excoriators - Fire Claws/Relictors - Night Watch - Subjugators - Viper Legion - White Consuls