|Successors of||Dark Angels (suspected)|
|Strength||Post-Badab War: Around 400|
|Specialty||First strike assaults, collateral damage|
|Allegiance||Imperium of Man|
|Colours||Ash-white with black trim|
"Totally unsuitable for tactical close support of other Imperial units."
The Star Phantoms are a Chapter whose many victories remain unsung because of its own penchant for secrecy and isolationism. Apparently part of the Sentinel Founding early in the 38th millenium, the Chapter was founded to shore up the defenses of the Imperium in many vulnerable parts of its vast domain.
Their heritage is unknown however; though the Adeptus Terra supposedly has evidence that they are descendants of the Dark Angels, but that first founding chapter denies all links to the Star Phantoms because
of course they do THE DARK ANGELS TELL THE TRUTH ALL THE TIME, while the Star Phantoms themselves take any suggestion of being descended from the Dark Angels as cause for grievous offense, so if there ever was a connection between them, it obviously resulted in some acrimonious split. Further evidence of their origins also comes from the fact that their skull-in-hourglass iconography is the same as the First Legion's "Dreadwing" before the legions were broken down into chapters. Furthermore, the Star Phantoms fought alongside the Flesh Tearers WAY back in M31, so either the canon is broken or there is secrecy and misdirection afoot, or the warp threw some of them back to before they were founded.
There is some evidence that the Dark Angels didn't start hunting The Fallen FIGHTING THE TRAITOR LEGIONS until after the Second Founding, having met at a grand conclave and agreed to the collective sins of the chapter. If the Star Phantoms got pissy and defensive about their heritage and elected to follow the new Codex out of spite, it was probably then.
Initially based in the Mausoleum world of Haakoneth, the Chapter became fleet-based by necessity upon the destruction of the planet in 120.M40 by a Hrud invasion, and since that time had been grimly plying the space lanes of Segmentum Obscurus. The Chapter was counted as one of those who participated in the Macharian Crusade, and was also one of the Chapters that brought back order to the worlds conquered in the crusade when the Macharian Heresy erupted after the Lord Solar's death, coming to blows with the Marines Malevolent, of all people.
They got themselves involved in the Badab War in M41, having been brought into the war via the Inquisition and they committed their full Chapter strength to the war effort. Some suspect they got involved due to some grudge held against the Astral Claws which the Inquisition leveraged against them. But when approached about the subject they remained tight lipped on the matter. By the time they entered the war it was nearly at its close anyway, but the Astral Claws were rooted in their Palace of Thorns and it would be a tough fight to dig them out. The Star Phantoms got stuck right in and got shit done, being the ones to break the orbital defences around the Astral Claws homeworld and laying siege to Lugft Huron's Fortress of Thorns and defeating him, though costing themselves most of the chapter in the process.
For this the High Lords of Terra awarded them lordship over the Astral Claws former domains, so they set their damaged battle barge down on the ice world of Jahga to serve as their new fortress monastery.
Despite the chapter's losses, they are still dedicated to battling xenos throughout the galaxy. Most recently, they have dispatched several battle companies to Segmentum Tempestus to confront Hive Fleet Leviathan. They have used their knowledge of rapid deployment tactics and breaking up alien conspiracies to shatter the lictor seeding and assassin broods used by Leviathan and forced the hive fleet to evolve the dimachaeron. The 5th Company is also out crusading with the Black Templars and Libators against some orks.
some NO evidence points towards descent from the Dark Angels, the Star Phantoms are NOT counted amongst the Unforgiven (OR ARE THEY?) and so broadly conform to the standards laid down in the Codex Astartes.
Despite this, they have displayed a marked preference for first strike tactics, exemplified by drop pod assaults. The Chapter also seemed to prefer long-ranged bombardment using heavy weaponry over the chaos of melee combat, though it is capable of the latter when it is tactically expedient to do so. For the battle-brothers of the Chapter no one mode of combat holds more glory than the other; all that matters is that their enemy is disposed of. Basically, they are supersoldiers instead of genetically engineered warrior dudes. If more Space Marines had their mentality of "just fucking kill the bastards", the Imperium would have already won the Eternal War. Especially when a Marine's incredible precision and reflexes are taken into account; absolutely perfect for heavy weapons and if your enemy does manage to close with you...well, you're a motherfucking Space Marine, so they'll wish they'd stayed the Hell away from you. Though, they are team-killing fucktards and the Adeptus Astartes doesn't need any more dumbasses who shoot their own allies to kill the enemies on the other side.
Instead of having two Devastator Squads per Battle Company as per Codex norm, the Star Phantoms have three, though in the wake of the Ultima Founding this may no longer be the contentious issue that it once was, since battle companies are now considerably more flexible with their distribution of manpower, and can have as many as four Fire Support squads.
The Star Phantoms have gained a reputation for being indiscriminate in their use of the firepower at their disposal, inflicting massive collateral damage; hilariously even inflicting friendly fire casualties on the Marines Malevolent (itself a Chapter considered the benchmark for dickish behaviour) at Thoth. However the Star Phantoms are not regarded as particularly aggressive or free spirited; instead, they are pretty much emo marines (like the Mortifactors), with an unhealthy obsession with death, where they regard the dead with more respect than they do the living. Because of this, they also have a tendency to throw entire companies, or even their whole chapter, at threats, regardless of projected casualties. This results in the chapter being near-permanently under-strength. This, in turn, fuels the need for more Devastators, the first designation that newly promoted scouts gain upon receiving power armour. Though, this also means that they send sufficient forces to win where anyone else would lose. So, it's more that the Star Phantoms are willing to take the losses to defeat the enemy than twiddle their thumbs or plink away with a sharp stick like most other Chapters would out of some inane fear of death. These badasses live up to the Emperor's declaration that "...They Shall Know No Fear."
The Chapter's armoury maintains an abundance of Plasma and Melta-based weaponry, and indeed it is a mark of honour among the Chapter's leaders to go into battle using a combi-plasma or combi-melta wrought by the Chapter's Techmarines. The chapter also maintains a higher-than-average number of drop craft and speeders for rapid insertion. In addition, if the chapter really is made of the fabled Dreadwing, then they could have truly horrifying artifact weapons at their disposal.
Relationship with the Imperium
The Star Phantoms adhere to a philosophy that honours the dead and celebrates martyrdom, usually in preference to the living. As a result, they tend to be quiet and taciturn at best, and massive team-killing fucktards at worst, caring little for the lives of their allies in a fight. They cannot rely upon Imperial Guard reinforcements, having been condemned by Lord Commander Solar Macharius himself for going a bit too far. They get along with other marines so poorly that they are seldom asked to give to the Deathwatch. Like the Lamenters, they take their status as pariahs primarily by focusing on protecting quiet areas of the galaxy from hostile aliens. The Ordo Xenos does make use of them outside of Deathwatch service due to their knowledge of alien doings and all branches of the Inquisition use them from time to time when they need a marine force who is willing to kill anyone, even allies or innocents.
The space marines, in general, are a specialized spearhead in Imperial armies. The marines, after being broken into chapters following the Codex, lack the numbers to hold ground and launch massive campaigns. They need to rely on the Astra Militarium for these services instead. However, the Star Phamtoms have such a poor relationship with the Guard that they cannot rely on Guard aid and, therefore, cannot engage in that form of warfare. They must make small, decisive actions against small xenos targets or participate in massive campaigns such as the Badab conflict. In either event, they have to use the FUKHUEG numbers of marines the chapter is known for in order to make any effect.
Their enemies just fucking die, though, so it must be working for them pretty damn well.
Omedon Tiresias: the only known chapter master of the Star Phantoms, who was in command during the Death of Haakoneth in 101.M40. Very little has been written about him, save for a brief mention in IA10 which states how he ordered the evacuation of as many of the Chapter Relics as they could manage and flee from the Hrud Onslaught.
Not everyone in the Chapter actually followed the order and some remained on planet to fight an unwinnable battle (Which probably says more about Space Marine stubbornness rather than Tiresias' ability to command) Tiresias was left with only a bit more than a third of his entire chapter with which to rebuild, and unfortunately he was struck blind by a Time-Eddy as it passed through his ship.
That's about all we know for sure about him; Blindness isn't a huge drawback in an Imperium which gives out augmetic eyes to Imperial Guardsmen. But the fact is he's more than likely dead, since the death of the Chapter's homeworld happened nearly 1800 years ago, not to mention the well-known accelerated aging effect that Hrud have on their enemies. Dante is well established as the oldest "active" Space Marine who's not a Dreadnought, so even if he's somehow still alive, it's likely that the Chapter has just replaced him by the time of the Badab War.
Zhrukhal Androcles: Captain of the 9th Company, the Devastator Reserve. Also known as the "Siegebreaker". As a lowly sergeant his squad achieved 58 tank kills in a single day's worth of fighting during the Gallitzin Succession. Later, during the Battle for Orsha, he commandeered a renegade Leviathan and used it to turn the tide of battle.
As a Captain he was given command of one of the Strike Groups assigned to assault the Palace of Thorns during the Badab War. Androcles came face to face with Lugft Huron himself during the engagement, having been struck down by Huron who then decided in a typically BBEG fashion that it would be a good idea to stand over the fallen captain and gloat. As his last, dying action, Androcles managed to fire off a melta blast into Huron's relic Lightning Claw at point blank range, which detonated it and tore a large chunk out of the Tyrant's body, essentially signalling the end of the Badab War.
Also, his name roughly translates to "Dude-Guy" and shares a name with the Greek hero who pulled a thorn from a lion's paw. Get it, because...
04:00- Repairs Complete: The repairs on the fortress monastery from damage due to the previous day's "training" is complete.
05:00- Wake Up: The Star Phantoms awaken. In their rush to wake up, they will accidentally knock several chapter serfs unconscious.
06:00- Morning Prayer: The Star Phantoms pray to the Emperor. Any marine who prays to cause less collateral damage is interred in a Dreadnought.
07:00- Morning Firing Rites: The Star Phantoms fire upon wooden cutouts that resemble anything from Eldar to Imperial Guardsman. The fact that they use anything from Heavy Bolters to Deathstrike Missle launchers causes damage to their firing range. They also accidentally cause severe damage to the serfs chambers, sending screaming men and women running for cover.
09:00- Morning Battle Practice: The serfs receive respite when the Star Phantoms move onward to their practice fields. They set up friendly and enemy army formations, and practice attacking the enemy formations. Bonus points are given to the battle brother who causes the most friendly casualties.
11:00- Afternoon Meal: The Star Phantoms return from their practice to eat food. Chapter serfs leap for cover at the end of the meal as the Star Phantoms inadvertently send utensils and plates flying as they attempt to drop them off at the kitchen for washing.
12:00- Tactical Indoctrination: The Star Phantoms study dangerous maneuvers that allow one to get into battle faster. Deepstriking right alongside friendly forces or firing high explosive rounds at engaged enemy melee infantry are among the most studied tactics. They also make fun of and draw silly mustaches on Lord Solar Macharius' face because he was rude to them.
14:00- Afternoon Battle Practice- The Star Phantoms practice Urban Warfare in the monastery grounds with non lethal weapons. Serfs flee as space marines chuck each other through walls and destroy large portions of the floor tile and great hall. Special servitors work rapidly to ensure the fortress monastery is prepared for tomorrow's practice.
17:00-Evening Firing Rites: the Star Phantoms practice sniper training. The newly repaired walls are unable to hold back the powerful sniper bolts. Serfs dive for cover as .75 caliber sniper rounds explode through the wall.
18:00- Evening Battle Practice: The Star Phantoms practice Hunter and Whirlwind combat. Nearby cities sound raid alarm sirens, and terrified civilians flee to underground bunkers, as Star Phantom ordinance destroys entire buildings.
19:00- Evening Meal: The Star Phantoms eat a grand feast. Some battle brothers play knife games, which will occasionally result in the death of a serf. The serf is then made into a servitor.
20:00- Evening Prayer: The Star Phantoms pray to the Emperor. Some of the battle brothers will secretly pray for forgiveness for their wrongs. Any battle brother caught praying for forgiveness will be sent to the Marines Malevolent for a "gratitude" check.
21:00- Bedtime: The Star Phantoms retire for the evening. On the way to bed, they accidentally knock into chapter serfs. The serfs from earlier in the day who had been knocked unconscious finally come to, and are ordered to begin evening work duties.
- First, their chapter tactic allows them to reroll reserve rolls of 1 for anything that deep strikes, and also they get a one-use ability where all weapons in the army become twin-linked for one (game!) turn. So pretty much these guys are the SURPRISE FUCKERS who turn up and blow your shit up in one go.
- Also, to represent the Star Phantoms particular lust for firepower, their one special character allows you to take Devastators as Elites choices as well as Heavy, allowing you a total of SIX devastator squads in a CAD to BLOW THE FUCKERS AWAY, though this function has little use in an environment with Formations (in particular, the Gladius Strike Force). You also have to pay points for this ability whether you use it or not. Also, as of 913.M41, he's dead as dicks.
- As of 8th edition, FW has not given them chapter tactics to keep in line with the new edition's codex. They are probably best served with Salamanders tactics for their re-rolls at this time. Which is hilariously ironic given their extreme differences in temperament and value of human life.
- With 8.5 codex release, the Long Range Marksmen and Master Artisans traits are the most likely replacements, although you could make a case for having Indominable.