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Legio Metalica

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Targetdrone.gif This article is about the Titan Legion known as the Iron Skulls; for the Space Marine Chapter, see Iron Skulls.
Colour Scheme Legion Info Symbol
Name: Legio Metalica
Alternative name: Iron Skulls
Affiliation: Imperium (loyalist) / Khorne (traitor)
Founded: Pre-Great Crusade
Forge World: Metalica
Colours: Red with grey striping[14c][14c]
Strength: 159 Titans (pre-Heresy)[14b]

The Legio Metalica (also known as the Iron Skulls[4]) is a Titan Legion with a glorious legacy dating back to before the founding of the Imperium. During the Horus Heresy, at least part of the Legion turned to Chaos.[8]


The Legion's homeworld of Metalica[4] lies in one of the most dangerous parts of the galaxy, an area infested with Orks and constantly threatened by war. The Iron Skulls were veterans of centuries of warfare even before the Great Crusade and re-unification with Terra. To date the Legio Metalica's tally of victories is unsurpassed by any other Titan Legion.[1]

In war, the Legio Metalica is noted to favour ordered tactical plans, despairing of those it fought alongside that displayed impetuous behaviour. They were unusually diplomatic in comparison to the more aloof Mechanicum, operating a contingent whose role involve integrating it with allied forces. They endlessly seek to perfect their acumen of war, which in some campaigns leads to their allies becoming frustrated by their unwillingness to share tactical developments unless deemed necessary, and even then only in cases when the commander was deemed competent enough to understand it.[14a]

The Iron Skulls favour heavier models of Titans such as the Warlord, and are known to modify their loud hailers of their engines to amplify sound. This style even extends to the Skitarii support units that work alongside the Legio, which emit their own cacophony in battle.[14b]


Known as the most ancient of their kind, the Legio was founded during the Age of Strife and stood as protectors of Metalica. During this time, they fended off some 32 separate invasions by a number of Xenos. By the time of Metalica's rediscovery by the Imperium, the Legio had taken part in the conquest of a dozen neighbouring systems. Initial contact was made by the 1159th Expeditionary Fleet, which clashed with the Legio due to the arrogant nature of its commander. After a resumption of peace talks wherein Metalica was proven uncorrupted and abiding by righteous STC-based technology, the Iron Skulls pledged themselves to Mars and earned great fame during the Great Crusade. By the time of the Horus Heresy, they had a reputation matching that of the Triad Ferrum Morgulus in many ways.[14a]

Loyalist Branch

Great Crusade

During the Great Crusade, the Legio Metalica took part in the compliance of the Saraninent Conglomerate.[14d] Other conquests of note was the campaign on Jardingris where they fought alongside Roboute Guilliman, and the razing of the Archaist Strongholds. The strength of the Legio was increased even further when Metalica formed a concord with Kolossi and its Knights of House Raven.[14a]

Horus Heresy

By the start of the Horus Heresy, the Legio Metalica operated some 159 Titans, including several super-heavy types alongside an extensive number of Warlords.[14b]

During the Heresy, Metalica ultimately remained loyal to the Imperium, but a major schism saw a traitor branch form. These traitors were aided by the treacherous Legio Vulturum and did much to damage the loyalist Legio Metalica's reputation.[14a]

The Loyalists of Metalica fought against 3 Traitor Titan Legions in the Ruin of Maerdan.[10] Loyalists also clashed with the Legio Pallidus Mors, who accused the Iron Skulls of being Traitors and claimed that the Metalicans attempted to sway them against the Emperor. The loyalists of Metalica denied this and it is said they reacted with violence, and the grudge remains even after it was revealed the supposed traitors were fallen Iron Skulls corrupted by the Legio Vulturum.[14a]

Second War for Armageddon

The Legio was stationed on Armageddon during the Second War for Armageddon. It was commanded by Princeps Prime Kurtiz Mannheim and based at Hive Infernus.[18a][18b]

When Ghazghkull's hordes swarmed through Armageddon's Equatorial Jungle into Armageddon Secundus, the Legio was one of the Imperial forces closest to the xenos advance. Under the orders of Herman von Strab, he marched his Titans into the biggest Ork formation he could find.[18b] Although they inflicted heavy casualties on the xenos, his legion was quickly cut down by the huge numbers of Gargants employed by the Orks.[18c][18d] Mannheim's own Titan, Steel Hammer, managed to destroy three gargants before its main reactor was damaged. Mannheim marched his titan into the centre of the Ork horde and allowed his reactor to overload. The legion was all but annihilated that day, though Mannheim's final sacrifice wiped out thousands of the attacking Orks.[18d]

Third War for Armageddon

During the Third War for Armageddon, Metalica contributed a Demi-Legio to defend Armageddon.[11]

Commissar Sebastian Yarrick ordered the Legio to contest the Hemlock River alongside the Titans of the Legio Ignatum and Legio Invigilata, Cadian Shock Troopers and the Salamanders Chapter.[12] Another group of Metalica was assigned to defend Hive Tartarus, where they fought against a Gargant mob lead by Warlord Morfang.[13]

Charadon Campaign

During the Charadon Campaign, the Legio Metalica fought in the defence of their Forge World, which was threatened by the forces of Chaos which included Dark Mechanicum Legio Morbidus.[15b]

Other Battles

Traitor Branch

The traitor branch of the Legio Metalica at least initially formed during the Horus Heresy due to the machinations of the Legio Vulturum.[14a]

Battle of Cruciatus Primus

Sometime before the Battle of Cruciatus Primus, a number of the Iron Skulls joined with the forces of Chaos, giving themselves to the Chaos God Khorne. They then attempted to corrupt the Legio Pallidus Mor, believing them susceptible to corruption, though the attempt failed. Records of this section of the Iron Skulls were then struck from all Imperial Records, though the Pallidus Mor never forgot the event, nor the insult.[8]

The Doom of Katara

After a successful Khornite Chaos Cultist uprising in the island hive city of Creontiades on the forgeworld Katara, several Chaos-corrupted engines of the Iron Skulls were deployed to reinforce the cultists in preparation to march on the other two hive cities: Deicoon and Therimachus. The legion's forces included several Banelord-, Ravager-, and Feral-class Chaos Titans. At least some of the Banelords had assimilated their crew into themselves.[8]

The Imperium responded by deploying a combined force of the Legio Solaria (Imperial Hunters) and demi-Legio Pallidus Mor. The Imperial forces split between the two remaining hive cities, with the Imperial Hunters defending Therimachus, and the Pallidus Mor (reinforced by Reavers and Warhounds of the Imperial Hunters) defending Deicoon. The Iron Skulls first engaged the Imperial Titans on a massive bridge over the Kazani Strait, between Creontiades and the mainland. The Iron Skulls began to overwhelm their opponents and push them back across the bridge. In response, the Imperial Titans fired upon the bridge and destroyed it, knocking several of the Iron Skull's Titans into the sea below, and stranding the the rest of the Iron Skulls on the island. The next day, the cultists performed a ritual which summoned a brass bridge to allow their forces to cross the sea.[8]

The Iron Skulls then marched upon Deicoon, where another cultist uprising had begun within the city. The Imperium's Titans had been docked within the city for rearmament and repairs. The cultists within the city managed to capture the Imperial Titan's crew members, intending to corrupt them and add their engines to their forces. Most of the Iron Skulls then bypassed the city and marched upon Therimachus, though a few remained at Deicoon. The detachment sent to Therimachus engaged the main force of the Imperial Hunters. Despite fierce fighting and suffering losses, the Iron Skulls overwhelmed and destroyed the entire Imperial Titan force, with one Banelord personally ripping the head off of the Imperial Hunter's lead Warlord Titan Augustus Secutor.[8]

The Iron Skulls were then ambushed in Deicoon, as the Pallidus Mor and remainder of the Imperial Hunters had escaped uncorrupted and returned to their Titans. The Iron Skulls at Deicoon were eradicated. The remaining Iron Skulls at Therimacus attempted to defend the Hive city as the Imperial forces approached and began destroying the city to prevent another ritual from being completed. The Imperials managed to successfully level the city, though their lead Titan, the Warlord-class Gloria Vastator, was destroyed (though the crew managed to eject). The fierce fighting reduced the Iron Skulls' forces down to a single Banelord.[8]

The final engagement occurred when the Imperial deployed a final Warlord Titan, the Ferrum Salvator, that had been in storage in orbit above the planet (it had been heavily damaged in a battle prior to deployment to Katara). The Iron Skulls' Banelord recognized the Imperial's plan to reactivate the Warlord and attempted to engage it before it could join the fight. It was held back long enough for the Imperial Warlord to activate just before contact. Engaging at point-blank range, the Banelord used its Doom Fist to crush the Imperial's Volcano Cannon, but the Imperial Titan impaled the Iron Skull with a Quake Cannon and fired. This destroyed the Banelord and the last of the Iron Skulls on the planet.[8]

13th Black Crusade

In the 13th Black Crusade of 999.M41, Legio Metalica's traitor branch attacked the Penal World of Vorga Torq, laying waste to almost the entire planet.[16][17]


Emperor Class

Warmaster Class

Warlord Class

Reaver Class





See also