Herman von Strab
"The greatest waste of flesh and bone born in the last five hundred years!"
- – Princeps Prime Kurtiz Mannheim about von Strab
"I surrender and volunteer for treason."
- – Zap Brannigan
"They misunderestimated me."
- – George W. Bush and probably von Strab himself
Herman von Strab, also known as "that fucking twidliot", "treasonous scum" and many other similar heartwarming descriptions, was a member of the imperial nobility of the planet Armageddon, being the maximum authority of the planet as its Overlord (Planetary Governor) around 941.M41. He is infamous in all the galaxy for being one of the most incompetent, egotistical and traitorous individuals to ever come out from humanity, and considering the history of the galaxy, that says a lot. He is particularly known by his actions during the Second and Third Wars of Armageddon against ork warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, being so harmful for the defenders in both conflicts that the term Von Strab is used all around the Imperium as a term for incompetence and selfishness. Calling someone from Armageddon "Von Strab" will probably end up with the caller either shot or brutally mauled. That's how much he's hated by everyone on the planet and everyone involved in both wars.
Rise to power
Herman von Strab was born in the von Strab noble family of Armageddon, with his father occupying the position of Overlord himself. Being one of many brothers in a noble family in the Imperium, he was surrounded by conspiracies, intrafamily killings, and other noble hobbies from a very early age. Perversely, the fact that he was never the sharpest tool in the shed actually worked out well for him, as unlikely as it sounds.
Since Herman was a brutish idiot, his brothers never considered him to be an actual threat, so they ignored little Herman and concentrated on scheming against one another, leaving Herman to act with impunity. This ended horribly for Herman's brothers, as he managed to kill his three elder brothers: the eldest by bomb, which killed 322 other nobles and functionaries; the next by a hit and run driver; and the last elder brother with bolter fire and having the balls to claim that it was a suicide, despite the fact that he was on the crime scene with a smoking bolter. (The authorities decided to sit on their hands, since they were going to be Herman's underlings pretty soon anyways, and familicide in a noble family was as common as wars in the Imperium, so they decided it was best to let it go.) As the single survivor of his brothers, Herman then murdered his father and became the ruler of Armageddon, using the riches of the prosperous planet to live a life of decadence, and basically doing as little work as possible (which was probably a good thing, since everything he touched turned to shit).
The Second War of Armageddon: von Strab repeatedly fucks up
In 941.M41, the planet of Armageddon was subject to one of the biggest ork invasions an imperial planet had ever seen since the days of The Beast. This WAAAAAGH! showed signs of its imminent danger and destructive power very early on, almost years before the invasion in fact. However, von Strab ignored all of the warning signs of this impending danger, which ranged from sightings of hulks getting closer to the system to a statue of the Emperor crying tears of blood. He kept silencing all military personnel that warned him about the potential danger of the xenos, not wanting to inform the Administratum to keep the glory of defeating the orks all for himself. Only when a commissar went against orders and sent a distress call to the wider Imperium, he started recognizing the possible threat, while also banishing Yarrick to the relatively unimportant hive Hades.
The arrival of Thraka himself to the planet proved too much for von Strab's tactical abilities, taking catastrophic casualties, from tens of thousands of PDF troops, to most of the air forces of the planet, to the Iron Skulls Titan Legion. Losing a Titan is a very shameful and career-ending casualty for most officers (even if they lost it in a justified action) so losing a full legion of them in a more or less pointless action against orks was practically a death sentence. This was also happening while Commissar Yarrick was making a name for himself, bravely defending Hive Hades and becoming a hero and a beacon of hope to the defenders, which probably turned von Strab a shade green of envy that could give the orks a run for their teef. In an act of desperation, von Strab scrambled a couple of virus bombs that were hidden in the planet centuries ago against the orks, but in typical von Strab fashion, this ploy failed due to the bad maintenance of this devices. Humiliated, surrounded by orks, and with his authority completely evaporated, von Strab hid himself in his bunker to sulk and waited for the war to be over.
Yet once the warp storms that cut off Armageddon from the rest of the galaxy receded and allowed for reinforcements to arrive, it was the Space Marines of the Blood Angels, Salamanders and Ultramarines who answered the call. Dante took over command, and put the now-relieved overlord of the planet under house arrest (much to the chagrin of von Strab). After imperial reinforcements helped Armageddon's defenders push back the green invaders, von Strab was reportedly MIA after he escaped in a stolen Land Speeder (how he did that remains unknown), which made the imperial authorities think he tried to escape and was killed by orks, a fitting end for him. However, this assumption would be proven wrong years later...
The Third War of Armageddon: From Inept to Traitor
When Thraka came back to Armageddon for a rematch against the Imperial forces (and his husbando Yarrick) Imperial strategists expected to see massive fighting throughout the planet, due to the number of orks of this WAAAGH! dwarfing those brought in during the previous war. And yet, to everyone's surprise, Hive Archeon, one of the planet's biggest and most important hive cities, fell to the orks without a single shot fired.
This shocking event was soon to be proven to be Herman von Strab's return to the planet, as he had allied himself with the orks to reclaim Armageddon as his own. To everyone else it would have been obvious that this ploy was allowed by Ghazghkull because the noble was a useful puppet that would be krumped good after the fight was over, but von Strab genuinely believed the ork to be his ally. Von Strab then publicly announced his return on every channel he could get his hands on, asking everyone to rebel against the Imperium in his name, making sure every single human on the planet and outside of it utterly hated his guts as the single biggest traitor imaginable since the Horus Heresy. This was something so unbelievably stupid, considering EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HUMANITY'S ARMED FORCES had come to defend Armageddon. Since the local nobles were losing power to actual military authorities since the last war, they were willing to work with the orks as well, so von Strab was able to use them to his advantage to introduce the xenos' forces into the hive through secret tunnels.
As the war kept going in the Imperium's favour, internal resistance movements and relief forces started liberating Hive Archeon, the orks began losing ground, and so von Strab began fearing more and more for his life. As described in the novel Annihilation Squad, the court of von Strab had degenerated into debauchery and decadence, and the penal legion unit of the Last Chancers was sent to execute him, something very complicated considering the orks and the few human forces loyal to von Strab kept him safe. He was ultimately slain by Lieutenant Kage of the Last Chancers, who pulled the traitor into a lava pit with him as he (Kage, not von Strab) was in the process of being possessed by a daemon.
On the Tabletop
Von Strab appears as an Ork apocalypse formation in 7th ed's Warzone: Armageddon. All it composed of was a lone Company Commander (Herman himself) and a 9-Nob mob. This makes him somewhat like Cypher: all Guard units now have Hatred against him, and every Guard Unit within 12" MUST charge his unit, so you better hope those Nobz have their klaws. He also counts as a controlled asset for his side, but becomes a controlled asset for the Guard's team if he ever dies. In addition, he can't grab an extra Strategic Asset for being an HQ.
- Diggas - Another group of Humans that ended up working for the Orks.
|Ork Gitz and Bosses|
|From da canon:||The Beast - Boss Snikrot - Boss Zagstruk - Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka |
Grukk Face-Rippa - Mad Dok Grotsnik - Makari - Mek Boss Buzgob
Nazdreg Ug Urdgrub - Old Zogwort - Orkimedes - Tuska Daemon-Killa
Wazdakka Gutsmek - Zhadsnark da Rippa - Zodgrod Wortsnagga
Kaptin Badrukk - Herman von Strab - Ufthak Blackhawk
|From da gamez:||Brikkfist - Gorgutz 'Ead 'Unter - Kaptin Bluddflagg - Grimskull |
Mister Nailbrain - Orkamungus - Spookums - Stupid