|Battle Cry||"I Shall Defend!"|
|Strength||Unknown, Assumed full strength, Pissing off other chapters|
|Specialty||Massive Armored Assaults, Having more tanks than you|
The Aurora Chapter is one of the many successor Chapters of the Ultramarines produced during the Second Founding; they specialize in massed armored assaults, and are reputed to have more Land Raiders and Predators than any other Chapter in the Imperium. They have been involved in a number of campaigns, in recent note the Zeist Campaign against the Tau. Having more tanks than God requires having a sufficient source of parts and ammunition, and so the Aurora Chapter has their home world of Firestorm, which is a Forgeworld so capable it can rival the output of several high profile Mechanicus worlds combined. In effect, the planet can be considered the Chapter's forge, with a large percentage of its output diverted to supplying the Chapter. Since they are technically only supposed to have a thousand marines...who is using the shiny shit? Either they have waaaaay more marines than they should, or they are using serfs to man their cool stuff. Both of which are reasonable. Or their armored crews are considered part of the armory and so their numbers are not limited by the Codex Astartes. Or maybe they have a shit ton of Tech-Marines given their recruiting world is a freaking Forge World (also not limited by the Codex).
According to Forge World's Horus Heresy books, they are likely to be descended from the Ultramarines' 4th Chapter, the "Aurorans". It's noted that even during the Great Crusade, they had five times as many armored vehicles as a typical Chapter in the Legiones Astartes (and keep in mind that this was when the Iron Hands were still at full strength and would also be skewing the numbers).
They are mentioned as having a feud with the Knights of the Raven chapter, after having taken unacceptable losses while fighting alongside them; this was further exacerbated when the Aurora Chapter accused the Knights of the Raven of cultivating superstitious heresy on their own homeworld of Coralax (though this seems absurd since there are so many chapters with feudal/feral backgrounds, that it seems a bit petty that any other chapter would care), when the Knights took insult at the obviously inflammatory remarks, the two chapters came to blows. The issue was only resolved when Marneus Calgar stepped in and quietly mentioned that the Knights of the Raven should go on a penitent crusade, which they did. While this implies that the Aurora Chapter might have been right, one must consider that they also got into a similar fight with the the Emperor's Spears. So maybe the Aurora Chapter are just a bunch of whiny pricks.
Once upon a time, the tread heads lost a beloved Land Raider in the xenos/heretic infested Jericho Reach. The Deathwatch recovered the tank, but found it to be beyond repair; however, knowing the Aurora Chapter had a massive piercing hard-on for their tanks, they decided to do their battle-brothers a solid by taking its main axle and reforging it into a thunder hammer by the name of Remembrance. It was thought that doing this would allow the destroyed machine to avenge its destruction, and every marine that has wielded the weapon in battle swears it strikes with the force of a tank, which is Awesome.
There is also some discrepancy about the chapter's numbers. In 3rd Edition, they were cited as having over a thousand predator tanks alongside the rest of their sizable tank force; however, in 4th edition and later this is scaled back to more Predators and Land Raiders than three chapters combined (the Heresy Era Aurorans had more than five times that of a normal chapter). So, if you take the current disposition of the Ultramarines as an approximation of a "normal chapter", that gives the Aurorans somewhere between 75 and 125 Predators and 30 and 50 Land Raiders.
Despite their predilection for massed tank combat alongside their typical battle contingents, they aren't hinted at being massively divergent from the Codex Astartes, which is normal - the Codex organisation doesn't have listed numbers of vehicle drivers in their armouries; many are assigned as required from the 6th or 7th Tactical Reserves and likely return to their company duties when their vehicle is not selected for a mission. Some individuals may exist permanently attached to the chapter's armoury and come to specialise in armoured operations and are commonly associated with larger or rarer vehicles. The Aurorans may indeed have more of these specialists than any other chapter commensurate to their greater number of vehicles. In the 5th Edition codex, Antaro Chronus was said to have command of fifty brother-marines, though this likely includes both the permanent armoury staff and transitory vehicle operators when they are called to ride to war. Using the three times rule, we can extrapolate that the Aurora Chapter have around 150 vehicle operators in various positions around the companies and from the armoury itself, meaning they may have more tanks than drivers.
Alternatively, (though there is no evidence to support this whatsoever since no other Codex Chapter does this) Their large vehicle pool could be maintained by either having their serfs man the tanks or perhaps using aspirants for it. The Aurorans would no doubt desire aspirants who are talented in armored warfare. If so, this may well be one of the most effective Chapters as they would be capable of leveling Great Crusade level armored support in addition with fielding all of their Space Marines without wasting any crewing vehicles (other than rare ones like Land Raiders). If not, then they are among the most moronic of Chapters as the whole reason Predators and such are used instead of Leman Russ tanks is that the Space Marines are practically walking vehicles anyway and something fast to provide support around the battlefield wherever needed is what the Space Marines most often require. Although given that Aspirants are children, this idea would mean their tanks are being driven by a bunch of boys not old enough to shave. Which is uh...weird even for 40k. Well, weird in that they're not lobotomized child robot-things wired into the machine as living CPUs. So, weird for not being horrific as fuck.
More realistically, since Astartes already generally rely on small elite surgical strikes rather than thundering vehicle formations, having flexible vehicles with small crews that can help fill in the Devastator (and to a lesser extent Tactical) role. In all likelihood, these guys keep many of their vehicles stored as spares and deploy different amounts of them depending on the need and use for them, which is how most chapters operate anyway. Orbital assets, scouts, and fast attack elements would make it a priority to target anti-armor forces (and so would the vehicles themselves), which they kind of already do since small arms tend not to bother Astartes too much, and they tend to have valuable goodies they can't really afford to replace. The problem with this idea (that they're just maintained and packaged out like normal Chapters) is that it nullifies their specialty and so is probably incorrect. Since they have a specialty in armored warfare and using huge numbers of tanks.
04:00- Wake up: The Aurora Chapter awaken, climbing out of their tanks and land raiders. The Chapter Master usually gets a Land Raider with the other leaders, with veterans and specialized marines climbing out of Predators. Standard battle brothers will climb from their Vindicators, while scouts and neophytes worm their way out of the Rhinos. Some women will be seen sneaking out of the fortress-monastery.
04:30- Morning Prayer: The Aurora Chapter pray to the Emperor and the Omnissiah. The image they worship is a giant effigy of the Emperor with a tank cannon on his arm and a HECK ton of bionics.
05:00- Tank Maintenance: The Techmarines and all other battle brothers polish and repair any damaged or slightly dirty tanks they possess. Any Marine who fails in this task must-do chores for the Techmarines for a week.
06:00- Morning Firing Rites: The Aurora Chapter fire tank rounds at cut-outs and remote control combat bikes. The chapter serfs wonder how in the Emprah's name they managed to fit a battle tank into a firing range designed for infantry only.
08:00- Morning Battle Practice: Completing their marksmanship practice, the Aurora Chapter proceeds to use their tanks in combat, simulating battles against the orks, Tyranids, Tau, and Heretics. Yelling "DRIVE ME CLOSER! I WANT TO HIT THEM WITH MY SWORD!" whilst swinging a chainsword at battle servitors is required. Using any other weapon will result in cooking duty for a week.
09:30- Morning Meal: The Aurora Chapter proceed to cook food on their now sizzling hot tank barrels. Special recognition is given to the marine who can eat the fastest and return to his respective tank.
10:00- Tactical indoctrination: The Aurora Chapter return to the fortress monastery to study the subject of tanks. Kursk and Villers-Bretonneux are frequent topics of study, whilst ancient holosims such as "War Thunder", and "Steel Beasts" are used to demonstrate the effectiveness of tanks, and the miniature war-game "Team Yankee" is used by command staff.
12:00- Afternoon Meal: The Aurora Chapter cease their studies to eat a light meal. The chapter serfs are required to cook all hot food with pans made from the melted down metal of enemy tanks.
13:00- Afternoon Battle Practice: The Aurora chapter uses servitors to pilot enemy tanks they managed to purchase off the kleptomaniacs, as they fire on and destroy them to simulate an armored conflict. Driving in neat lines en masse is the standard tactic. The Aurora Chapter always make sure to check their inventory before allowing the Blood Ravens to leave.
15:00- Afternoon Firing Rites: The Aurora Chapter tearfully step out of their tanks in order to hone their skills with small arms. However, their tears prevent them from firing accurately, and almost always miss their targets.
18:00- Evening Firing Rites: The Aurora Chapter get fed up, and open the special gates, allowing Land Raiders onto the firing range. They cheer and laugh as the pathetic cutout targets are destroyed by magnificent rays of lascannon fire. The serfs who aren't busy elsewhere get the answer to how the tanks get onto the firing range.
19:00- Evening Feast: The Aurora Chapter Return to their great hall, where they feast on fine food and drink, happy for another productive day's work. Younger marines look up in awe at the recognition that some of the tank drivers receive in the chapter, inspiring them to do better.
20:00- Evening Prayer: The Aurora Chapter pray and give thanks to the Emperor/Omnissiah for another productive day's work. During this time, the Techmarines will repair any damage to the tanks.
21:00- Tank Construction: Techmarines instruct younger and less experienced marines in tank maintenance, showing them the finer details of the subject by helping them build small models. Many battle brothers take it up as a hobby, in order to better understand armored vehicles and have something to do.
23:00- Free time: The Aurora Chapter pimps out their best Land Raiders and drive into the nearest Adeptas Sororitas convent. Special recognition is given to the marines that manage to get a Sister to accept a ride on their Land Raider.
01:00- Bedtime: Some Sisters are returned from the tank to the convent, and the chapter park their tanks. the Chapter proceeds to go to sleep in their respective tanks.