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Bruva I am hit!
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I have no idea if a thread as broad as this has been made here yet, but whatever. What are your favorite battles, campaigns, crusades, etc. and why? You don't have to limit yourself to just one, and they can come from anywhere - Black Library novels, IA books, Codices, etc.

I have two, both from IA:

First is the Siege of Vraks, for a number of reasons. First is that it showcases the total might of Chaos outside of a Black Crusade - Chaos Space Marine warbands, Chaos Titans, Daemon hordes including the most powerful of Khorne and Nurgle's servants, renegade militias and mutants...and together, they give the Imperium hell, even if they don't win. Second is that it shows just how costly the war against Chaos will be to the Imperium; millions of guardsmen dead, hundreds of Space Marines, Titan Princeps, and at least 4 Inquisitors dead, and all to have achieved a pyrrhic victory; Vraks Prime is quarantined by the Inquisition, tainted and completely destroyed by war. Thirdly and most critically, the Siege of Vraks shows how heresy begets heresy, and what started as a rebellion by a renegade Cardinal became a war of apocalyptic proportions.

Second is the Badab War. I enjoy the Badab War due to the large number of different Space Marine chapters involved - and when I say different, I mean different. You get chapter personalities like the Fire Angels, who are devout believers of the Imperial Cult and work closely with the Ecclesiarchy, the Minotaurs, belligerent fellows who seem to be the High Lords of Terra's personal chapter and who direct and receive quite some vitriol from the Ultramarines and their successors, I dare say, and the Carcharodons, who...just the Carcharodons.

It also gives insight into the Space Marine psyche - in particular, how bonds of honor can lead chapters into rebellion, or how animosity can arise between chapters due to matters of honor. Sure, things like that aren't exactly unheard of, what with the Lion and the Wolf and all, but you don't hear about things like the Star Phantoms' ire against the Carcharodons, or indeed the Ultras-and-sons' beef against chapters like the Minotaurs. The Badab War sheds light on many lesser-known chapters and makes each distinct, and that's really what inspires me to write fluff for Space Marines: there's some 1,000 chapters within the Imperium, and each and every one is unique in its own way.

What about yours? Are there any battles or campaigns that are so awesome you could gush about them all day? Let me know what you think!
 

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Not a battle, per se, but the fight between the survivors of the Samater 9th against Eisenhorn's crew and the Adeptus Arbites. A real tragedy in the truest sense.

I also like the Badab War. It's also a tragedy of sorts (mostly due to Huron's hubris). Huron was fighting for the Imperium the best way his genius mind could conceive. It was a truly slippery slope to becoming a traitor. And it wasn't entirely his fault.
 

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The Babdab War is my favorite too.

Unlike many it has some depth and pathos to it, it's not a black and white war where a chaos addled warlord seceding from the Imperium or an Ork Waaagh!!! rolls into the system.

It was a tragic, wasteful war that shouldn't and arguably didn't have to happen. Huron started off with the best intentions, he was a brilliant and charismatic leader and he wanted to best serve the Emperor and protect the Imperium. Both sides were to blame. His pride and stubbornness and poor Imperial bureaucracy managed to reduce a prosperous sector and four loyal chapters to ruin.

He wanted an augmented Space Marine presence to permanently pacify the Sector, which under his rule had never been more prosperous or safe. Imperial authorities disagreed and his petition to Terra was dismissed. In protest he suspended the Imperial tithe, citing the rights of the Astartes to protect the Imperium by an means necessary and the precedent of Ultramar.

When matters escalated Huron sent another petition to Terra, with legal precedent again on his said. Whilst he went through the proper chancels, the neighboring trade lords of the Karthan Sector unilaterally launched an invasion of the Babdab Sector, aided by the Flame Falcons, who had a grudge against the Astral Claws.

Open warfare between Astartes chapters brought the attention of Imperial authorities and the Inquisition who demanded the unconditional surrender of the Astral Claws and their allies. The demand was rejected due to the fact it would leave the Malestrom Sector defenseless. The Inquisitions next step was to declare the Warden chapters traitors and assemble a task force. The rest is history.

It's a tragic war that didn't have to happen, the Astral Claws were a loyal chapter who became the victims of Imperial bureaucracy. Even during the Babdab War the Astral CLaws still maintained they fought for the Emperor.
 

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Even during the Babdab War the Astral CLaws still maintained they fought for the Emperor.
Only half way through. Then they declared the Emperor a false idol and killed/forced all the priests to switch allegiance to Huron. Though, if I recall correctly (it's been a while), he eventually killed them in the end, anyway.

Still, if the Flame Falcons decided not to be butts and use the excuse to attack the Astral Claws, I think it would have been okay.
 

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The Fall of Damnos:
You get a good sense of Necron motivations. Also, anytime the Ultramarines turn tail is a good battle.

The Scouring of Rubikon:
One of the few instances that sees both Vect and Rakarth fighting together. It sees the utter destruction of a prosperous Tau world. It lastly taught the Tau a very important lesson.

Battle of Sabien:
A battle that nearly saw the self destruction of the Blood Angels. Were it not for one free-thinking Space Marine and the appearance of a Lord of Change, the IX Legion Astartes would have torn itself apart in civil war.
 
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