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The strongest impression I've had from both Storm of Iron as well as the CSM codex is that of the midieval castle siegework, with large war engines and massive assault waves through entrenched, hazardous defenses. Certainly their tactics also hail from World War era strategy (just look at the Imperial Guard! maybe it's because 40k originated in the UK...? *gasp*) and Greek/Roman siegework. All the descriptions of huge fortresses being attacked/built using massive artillery batteries and waves of troops simply excites the Dark Ages feel (which is entirely appropriate given the 40k mythos).

As for the IW goals in Chaos, there was an almost subtle reference to their purpose under Chaos when the warsmith addressed Honsou before the breach of the fortress walls. It ocurred to me that the IW joined Horus during the heresy upon considering the raw power of Chaos and its ability to boost even the lowliest mortal to undeniable strength. Before millenia of corruption, the first IW traitors beleived they could harness the power of Chaos to lay seige to all the aliens and enemies of humanity, uniting humanity under the power of the Warp. of course, for this to truly work the Emperor had to turn to Chaos as well, and we all know how THAT turned out :p
 
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