||The Flesh Is Weak!
||Red Talons, Brazen Claws, Sons of Medusa, Steel Confessors
||Kardan Stronos/The Great Clan Council
||Bionics and mechanized warfare
||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 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, which even Ferrus himself thought was obsessive (he also feared them becoming like that, and believed that they should trust in the strength of their flesh). This is all part of an undoubtedly Freudian complex brought about by
penises a deep-seated Oedipus Complex the loss of their primarch during the Drop Site Massacre on Isstvan V. Of course, the chapter decided to blame everyone except the legion whose primarch made Ferrus Manus considerably shorter. WE BLAME EVERY--FUCKING--ONE! But a special place is reserved for the Traitors and the two Legions who lost heart and failed to carry the assault to the Traitors and broke and ran. WEAK!
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. The fandom remembers the Raven Guard, the Iron Hands don't even get that consolation prize. 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 we're still years away from getting a named characters They're about to get their fucking primarch in resin courtesy of Forge World let alone a unique army Legiones Astartes (Iron Hands) bitch. 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.
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
and Dreadnoughts nevermind a single Clan can have more Dreadnoughts than most Chapters; this means that neither of these are common in Iron Hand forces (seriously that was like 10,000 years ago, WTF have they been doing all this time? Even the Crimson Fucking Fists got their shit together faster than these guys. Whereas the Salamanders went to Istvaan and took their shit back.). 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, those few 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 (Which you would think this would mean they would have a ton of special gear like Terminator Armor but no)
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 they're getting a much needed bone in 6th edition. Robin Cruddace realized how stupid for a chapter with close ties to Ad-mech not having a lot of gear is, they're now loaded with tanks, aircraft and Dreadnoughts. Their variation of Chapter Tactics gives all marines 6+ FNP (which is more of a forlorn hope in most cases but better then nothing), all of their characters and vehicles get It Will Not Die, and Techmarines/Masters of the Forge get +1 to Blessings of the Omnissiah.
...and now they get their own supplement. Interesting, it would seem it's is playing with the whole "GW doesn't know what to do with them" as portraying the Chapter full of contradictions. Such as despite the clans being autonomous they do act like Codex companies.
Also, it forgot about Contqual purging (granted telling it after having a book about it and a mention in last edition's codex would be redundant).
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.
Crunch-wise, it's not so crap. The new wargear all works very neatly (Especially Chains 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 they Iron Hands get to be much killier, if Chapter Master Smashfucker has anything to say about it.
 Daily Rituals
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 mobility. 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 and watch a couple of DVD's and download a torrent, after spending an hour trying to find the right codec, all this whilst half their brain sleeps.
- On Tuesdays they all have to report to the Mechanicum Chamber for a "Special" Blessing from an Iron Father, - This is called "Patching" and then it all gets "Rolled out" by Serfer's before Logging off which involves the Latrines? Without this ritual the Adepts and Techpriests start freaking out and talking a lot about vulnerabilities and Fire Sales?