“Nuncio Mortis will take the centre, Umbra Mortalis will outflank and drive behind the enemy forces. Secutarii Axiarch Stoiker-77, you will provide close in guard action and prevent boarding attempts”.

Solaria Tannin, Deployment orders for the first battle of Beta Garmon.

Titans do not fight alone. If they did, their effectiveness would drop off significantly. The bigger they are the harder they fall – yet Titans fall with the fury of a sun that explodes from within them.

There are many ways to fell a Titan. Whilst direct action is clearly a Titan Legios preferred way, it carries significant risk to themselves too. An easier way would be to dispatch a combat force small enough to be ignored in general, but strong enough to cause damage. However, even this form of direct action can be outrageously costly, as even an errant Plasma Blast Gun shot can wipe out several armoured vehicles. Smaller combat platforms than armoured units rarely carry the combat capability to do significant damage however.

Nuncio Mortis strides through a ruined Hive.

The answer is infantry then. It seems inconceivable that a Titan as large as a Warlord is more vulnerable to infantry assault than a massed armoured formation, but by virtue of the fact that it is hard to target fast moving disparate infantry squads – they’re easy to outmanoeuvre.

Couple this with specialised assault teams carrying melta charges and boarding equipment makes infantry an absolutely brutal force for taking down Titans.

This is the sole reason Secutarii exist. Taken from the ranks of the Mechanicum Skitariius and trained to operate in the specific battlefield environments that occur around Titans, Secutarii defend the vulnerable points from infantry assault.

Secutarii act as an entirely separate element of the Skitarius. They’re effectively cult-troops. This is why you’ll never see them operating organically with a Skitarii unit. Secutarii are under the direct command of a Titan Legio. Secutarii Axiarchs exist in the chain of command to coordinate the Titans defence and report directly to a Legio Princeps.

Due to their environment, they have specialist wargear that separates them from their Skitariius brothers, namely the Kyropatris field generator. Without this, the Secutarii would be immediately annihilated when the Titans engaged or when large amounts of fire converged on them. Kyropatris field generators work to create a miniature flare shield effect for the Secutarii, however the generators are only effective in massed formation. These, coupled with refractor fields or mag-inverter shields can greatly improve the resilience of the Secutarii against anything other than a direct hit from Titan grade weapons.

Secutarii Axiarchs control the Secutarii forces during the deployment. They are highly skilled leaders and soldiers and have specialist wargear that even includes Titanshard armour, an armour that is comprised of Damaged Titan Plating. Furthermore they provide bonuses to the Secutarii by the involking of certain binaric protocols; these help to improve survivability, make their shooting more efficient or better navigate the field of battle.

Secutarii Axiarch represented in the rules.

Secutarii are split into two combat designations: Hoplites and Peltasts. Each operate in their own distinct functional areas.

Hoplites are the close in defenders of Titans and march alongside or underneath the Titans, mag-inverter shields raised in order to present a significant melee defence perimeter. Their arc lances are suitably strong and able to cause significant damage to vehicles due to their haywire properties. Furthermore, much like the Cerastus Knight Lancer, they have a short ranged shooting ability, focussing a beam of overcharged energy towards infantry and vehicles. It’s haywire effect burns out circuitry of armour.

In game representation of Secutarii Hoplites

Finally, we have Peltasts. These are the ranged weapons specialists that are able to change their ammunition to better suit the mission in hand. One of these is the ability to fire a blind barrage. This ammunition is a combined shell of metallic shards, radiation emitters and incredibly hot burning material. Upon ordered by the Axiarch, the Peltasts fire their blind barrage to shroud the presence of a friendly unit temporarily. Due to the size of Titans, it takes two such units to create a convincing enough shrouding effect to blind enemy weapons and augary scans.

Peltasts are all about ranged weapons. As is reflected in their data sheet.

So, what does my Horus Heresy representation of my “Finis Mundos Maniple” look like? Here is one small Leviathan force organisation list.

Legio Titanicus & Secutarii

Legio Titanicus

Nuncio Mortis (Mars Warlord Battle Titan): arm-mounted Sunfury plasma annihilator; arm-mounted Arioch Titan power claw (Vulcan mega-bolter) 2,825

Allied Mechanicum

Secutarii Axiarch: arc maul (master-crafted); arc pistol 70

19 Secutarii Peltasts: Peltast Alpha (power weapon; refractor field; omnispex); 19 × galvanic-casters (kinetic hammershot rounds) 312

19 Secutarii Hoplites 250

6 Myrmidon Destructors: Myrmidon Lord (Volkite culverin); 5 Myrmidon Destructors; 5 × Volkite culverin 405

Triaros Armoured Conveyor 135

Force Organisation Chart: Leviathan; Traitor

3,997 points

It could be said that the Myrmidons don’t really fit in. That’s right to a degree, but they’re cool as hell – so they’re in the list and providing the Secutarii with some close in anti-Terminator fire.

The army is due to land via Titan drop pod onto the next battlefield in the Terminon Conflict, a Heresy Apocalypse Campaign I’m running in April – real life allowing. I hope that it all works out as planned!