|This article is about the Space Marine Chapter; for the other uses, see Minotaur (disambiguation).|
- 1 History
- 2 Organisation
- 3 Combat Doctrine
- 4 Gene-Seed
- 5 Noted Elements of the Minotaurs
- 6 Images
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Notes
- 9 See also
- 10 Sources
The Minotaurs are a relatively mysterious Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes, as they are principally notable for the fact that, beyond the last thousand years, most records of them appear to have been locked away under seals so tight even members of the Inquisition find them difficult to open. In addition, other records appear to have been lost or mislaid. The matter is made even more complex by the existence of conflicting historical records relating Minotaurs Astartes chapter. These records have lead to uncertainty on if the "Minotaurs" who appeared in M32, M36, and M41 are the same chapter or multiple chapters who have shared the same name. Finally, the chapter is rumored to possess some form of direct tie to the High Lords of Terra themselves that circumvents other forms of Imperial bureaucracy completely, a rumour that has given the Ordo Hereticus some cause for concern.[1b]
A chapter listed as the Minotaurs was recorded in action as early as M32, in the suppression of the Solar Rebellion, notably working along side other Astartes chapters. However, other records state that the Minotaurs were not founded until the 'Cursed' 21st Founding in M36. Their recorded actions between M36 and M38 lead to the Minotaurs being known as berserkers. While noted for quick responses to calls upon them for aid, they were also known for ignoring command-trees and battle-plans completely and simply engaging the enemy unto their destruction. This reputation for being unreliable allies resulted in the Minotaurs being shunned by the main body of Imperial forces. This suited the Minotaurs fine, and sometime in M38, they simply disappeared from Imperial records.[1b]
The Minotaurs unexpectedly reappeared at the beginning of M41, during the Macharian Heresy. The Departmento Munitorum noted discrepancies in the behavior, structure, and appearance of the Minotaurs, compared to their records since the Cursed Founding. In a change from their previous disposition, they operated in concert with larger Imperial battle-plans, much like their reported actions in M32, although still preferring to keep to themselves. While they attempted to remain aloof from Imperial observers, no-one was able to miss the fact that they were a fully-armed and equipped Chapter who deployed a dozen Strike Cruisers during the campaign - a notable (and curious) amount of resources for a supposedly long-missing, minor Chapter. Some observers have noted that the Minotaurs respond immediately and slavishly to directives issued by the High Lords of Terra themselves, and have linked this apparent unquestioning behavior with their large amounts of high quality war materiel. However, this speculation cannot be proved.[1b]
The Minotaurs of M41, whilst appearing more at home within the bounds of the Imperium and seemingly enjoying the patronage of the High Lords, have still managed to acquire an unsavoury reputation amongst some of their fellow Adeptus Astartes, The Ultramarines and their allied Successor Chapters in particular have refused to fight alongside the Minotaurs as a result of both the Euxcine Incident (in which Minotaurs almost completely eradicated the Inceptors chapter and took several of their relics and their flagship for their own armoury), which some saw as an over-reaction, as well as their public insulting of Marneus Calgar and the provocation given to the Genesis Chapter during the fourteenth siege of Antagonis.[1b]
The Minotaurs entered the Badab War, at the request of Legate Inquisitor Frain on the side of the loyalist Imperial forces as part of the wave of reinforcements that arrived in the Maelstrom Zone in 907.M41. The Minotaurs committed their entire chapter-strength to the campaign, and operated as a largely-independent raiding and harassment force for much of it. They achieved fame for their cold-blooded and merciless attacks on the Secessionists, and were considered the pre-eminent close-combat and shock-assault troops in the war until the arrival of the Carcharodons. Their most lauded achievement during the war was their complete defeat and forced surrender of the Lamenters Secessionist Chapter, which took the form of a 17 hour battle made up of vicious boarding-actions and close-quarter battles. While victorious, this battle did result in significant casualties for the Minotaurs and they spent most of the rest of the war on interdiction duties in the space-lanes, as well as carrying out punitive actions against previously rebel worlds. They were present at the end of the war in some small capacity due to their expertise in siegecraft, and at the war's end departed with several vessels of the Lamenters' fleet as prizes.[1b]
In the closing decade of M41, the Minotaurs were extremely active, with forces of unknown strength aiding in the early stages of the retaking of Rynn's World and harrowing the excommunicated Night Reapers Chapter alongside the Red Templars and Grey Knights[3b]. Almost immediately after the conclusion of the campaign against the Night Reapers, the entire Chapter was deployed in the Orphean War. Despite their efforts, the Orpheus Sector was formally disbanded and the Minotaurs were charged with purging it with the aid of the former Battlefleet Orpheus.[3a]
Sometime after the formation of the Great Rift, much of the Minotaurs Gene-seed stock was supposedly tainted by a Death Guard invasion. They thus begun a quest to reach Terra and pure gene-stock lest the Chapter waste away. The Minotaurs were amongst the first to receive the Primaris programme assets and were the first Space Marines who were deployed on Terra after the start of Indomitus Crusade, not only to cleanse it of the Chaos Cults and other rebels that remained there after the massive Daemonic Incursion[13a], but also to replenish and recover their gene-seed stocks.[13b] The Minotaurs arrived in a full Chapter strength (including the Daedelos Krata).[13c]
Later it was revealed that the Minotaurs had been used to bring the Hexarchy members out into the open.[13d] When the coup was suppressed and all of the rebel 'Lords' were killed by Assassins, the Minotaurs briefly battled the Sisters of Silence and Custodes, who were protecting the High Lord and Master of the Assassinorum. However, they ultimately obeyed the decision of one of the loyalist High Lords - Violeta Roskavler, Master of the Administratum - and departed from Terra.[13e]
- M32 — Noted to have taken part in the counter-attack against the Solar Rebellion, despite the fact that this pre-dates their believed founding by several millennia.
- M36 — Founded as part of the 'Cursed' 21st Founding.[1b]
- M38 — Disappeared from Imperial Records.[1b]
- c.053.M41 to 077.M41 — Reappeared and joined the suppression of the Macharian Heresy; the Euxcine Incident took place at some point during this time.[1b]
- 760.M41 — The Defence of Hermetica.[1b]
- pre-907.M41 — Combated Orkz from the Octarian Empire, during this time they insulted the Genesis Chapter.
- 907-912.M41 — The Badab War.[1b]
- 913.M41 — The Minotaurs Chapter leaves the Maelstrom Zone.[1b]
- 989.M41-992.M41 — Reclaiming Rynn's World from Ork menace.
- 989-992.M41 — Harrowing of the Night Reapers, culminating in the Perun Cross Incident.[3b]
- Pre-992.M41 — Defense of the Black Gates of Hive Vitria. Battled against the Genestealer Cult of the Dreaming Deeps.
- Pre-992.M41 — The Bifrost Uprising.[3b]
- 992-995.M41 — The Orphean War.[3a]
- 0266999.M41 — Charged with the Exterminatus of the worlds of the Orpheus Sector by decree of the High Lords of Terra.[3a]
- Unknown Date.M42 — The 7th Plague Company of the Death Guard launches an attack on the Minotaurs Fortress-Monastery, and while defeated they nonetheless are able to taint the Chapter's gene-seed. The Minotaurs begin a desperate quest for survival to reach Terra and access purified gene-seed.
- Unknown Date.M42 — taking a part in the Hexarchy rebellion on Terra.[13d]
- Unknown Date.M42 — During the Indomitus Crusade, as part of Task Force Faustus III and Task Force Faustus IV, deployed recapture the void docks over Bosphori Deo from the Thousand Sons.
- Unknown Date.M42 - Nachmund Rift War
The Minotaurs appear to have no particularly distinctive organisational facets on the surface, and are only really notable for two somewhat unusual factors. The first is that they seem to prefer to operate in Chapter-strength whenever possible and do not appear to engage in small-scale campaigns. The second is that they are supremely well-equipped and seem able to replace losses of both material and personnel with little difficulty.[1b]
Because of this, the numbers of Minotaurs are estimated to be almost always around full-strength. They do not seem to have any difficulty in recruiting initiates, and appear to have an indoctrination and conversion process that is remarkably swift. Imperial observers during the Antigonis campaign noted that the transition from neophyte to Scout to full Marine in the Chapter was remarkably fast, and also highlighted the heavy use of hypno-indoctrination and neuro-cerebral surgery involved, as well as the monitoring and 'refreshing' of these techniques in full Marines by the Apothecaries of the Chapter. These methods have lead to rumors that their chapter master, as possibly other members, are engrammatically-enforced personalities and memories.[1b]
From a purely technical point of view, the Minotaurs are superbly equipped with Space Marine arms and armour. Their armoury includes extensive stocks of Mk VIII and void-modified Mk III Power Armour, with sufficient access to Terminator Armour to equip the majority of their First Company, including the rare Tartaros and Arkonak patterns. In addition to large stockpiles of Vindicators and Predators, they are able to field squadrons of Storm Eagle Gunships and Spartan Assault Tanks.[3b] Due to their tradition of taking relic wargear from Astartes chapters they have defeated, many of the relics in their armoury were taken from other chapters.[1b]
The Minotaurs are able to field an unusual number of Contemptor Pattern Dreadnoughts, with at least ten active during the Orphean War. These are addressed Hecaton, a word of Terran origin thought to mean "giant", "legion", or "a monster enslaved". While Space Marines are typically reverent towards Dreadnoughts, the Hecaton are treated with cold indifference.[3b]
The Minotaurs who disappeared in M38 were known as barely restrained berzerkers in battle, forgoing any combat methods that did not include melee or hand to hand. They were known to respond quickly to any distress calls from embattled Imperial worlds. Upon reaching a combat zone, the chapter would throw themselves full force into the fight with little care for reconnaissance, intel, strategy, or causalities. Once satisfied, they would immediately withdraw all forces and leave. Other Imperial commanders noted that the chapter was often as much of a hinderance as help, as they refused to coordinate with any other Imperial forces.[1b]
After the Minotaurs' reappearance in early M41, their combat doctrines apparently changed as much as their appearance. The Minotaurs showing a far greater willingness to work with the greater Imperial military structures, where as before they ignored them entirely. While still known for being merciless and relentless in combat, the Minotaurs no longer become uncontrolled berzerkers. The Minotaurs now display a preference for deploying in as few divisions as possible (full chapter strength if possible), which allows them to excel at siegecraft, attrition warfare, and combating monstrous enemies with sheer weight of numbers if need be. Unlike previously, the Minotaurs now rely heavily on tactics and battlefield data, with their Chapter Master: Asterion Moloc often reviewing and analyzing combat data aboard their flagship. A key tactic of the Minotaurs is to engage in attrition warfare in a confined area, willing to suffer any loss as long as they achieve victory. Since their reappearance, the Minotaurs no longer are shown to respond to just any distress calls. Instead they have been shown to only respond quickly and without question to missions issued by the High Lords, of which involve combating other Astartes, seemingly to prove themselves against fellow Astartes chapters.[3b] The Minotaurs are also noted to be so strict with their security protocols that it borders on paranoia, being distrustful of even many other Imperial servants, however with the Imperial Fists they have displayed outright hostility and violence.[13a]
Fragmentary records of the Minotaurs founded during the Cursed Founding of M36 indicate that their gene-seed was chimeric[3b]. While they avoided the genetic mutation that occurred in other Chapters from the same Founding, they quickly achieved an unsavoury reputation being uncontrolled berserkers. However, whether this is the same chapter as is currently recorded under the Minotaur name is highly uncertain, as records of a Minotaurs chapter predates the Cursed Founding. The current Minotaurs show no tendencies for becoming wild berzerkers, instead being far more controlled and strategic, as well as being known as brooding, malign, and obsessed with their defenses and security protocols to the point of paranoia.[1b]
Noted Elements of the Minotaurs
- Daedelos Krata — Heavy Assault Carrier/Relic-Ship[1b]
- Daughter of Tempests — Battle Barge. Claimed from the Lamenters. Destroyed in the Amarah Void Battle[3a]
- Fidelitas Lambda — Battle Barge. Destroyed in the Amarah Void Battle[3a]
- Fidelitas Omicron - Battle Barge
- Bronze Catechist - Strike Cruiser.[1a]
- Dakor Rex — Land Raider Phobos. Destroyed in the Siege of Isin.[1b]
- Scylia — MkIIIc Damocles Command Rhino. Lost in action in the New Vassburg Hive Counter-Assault.[3a]
- Taratus — Spartan Assault Tank.[3a]
- Glory of Krata — Razorback. Destroyed in the Blood Purge of Crixos.
- Asterion Moloc — Chapter Master.[1c]
- Ivanus Enkomi — Reclusiarch.[1c]
- Zelaos — Terminator Brevet-Captain.[1b]
- Thoul — Captain.
- Ulrech — Captain
- Hamath Kraatos — Vigilator-Sergeant of the 9th Company.[3b]
- Geryon — Veteran Sergeant and later Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought. Severely wounded in the Amarah Void Battle.[3a]
- Aiakos — Hecaton, Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought.[3b]
- Morbus — Hecaton, Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought.[3b]
- Palaemon — Hecaton, Contemptor Pattern Dreadnought. Presumed killed in the Amarah Void Battle.[3b]
- Ephesios — Dreadnought[1d]
- Zojek — Battle-Brother[13f]
Vehicles and Technology
While the Imperial Armour campaign books describe the Minotaurs as using siege / attrition tactics, having a brooding/malign/paranoid demeanor; the 8th Edition Codex: Deathwatch states that they are masters of shock assault, have a "bombastic" demeanor, and revel in the spectacle of war.[1b]
In the 8th Edition Codex: Deathwatch, while a Minotaur is listed as leading one of the kill team, the heraldry displayed for the killteam is incorrect. The heraldry displayed is the iconography and colors of the Taurans, with the exception of the bull's head being the red of the Minotaurs. It should be noted that both chapters' heraldry appear correctly later in the codex.
Eadwine Brown, a playtester for the Badab War campaign, is the creator of the current incarnation of the Minotaurs chapter. He has also publicly stated that they are of Iron Warriors geneseed, with the indications of this in their lore being their chapter's specialization in siege and attrition warfare, as well as their demeanor. While the "chimeric" Minotaurs are a different chapter entirely.
- 1: Imperial Armour Volume Ten - The Badab War - Part Two
- 2: Warhammer 40,000 Compendium, pg. 33
- 3: Imperial Armour Volume Twelve - The Fall of Orpheus
- 4: Forge World (last accessed 19 January 2015)
- 5: Imperial Armour II - Ork, Eldar and Dark Eldar Vehicles for Warhammer 40,000, pg. 31
- 6: Planetstrike, pg. 56
- 7: Imperial Armour Volume Thirteen - War Machines of the Lost and the Damned, pg. 21
- 8: White Dwarf 17 (2014), pgs. 23–40
- 9: Deathwatch: Honour the Chapter, pg. 135
- 10: Codex: Death Guard (8th Edition), pg. 23
- 11: Codex: Deathwatch (8th Edition), pgs. 15 & 21
- 12: White Dwarf November 2019, pg. 50
- 13: Watchers of the Throne: The Regent's Shadow (Novel)
- 14: Codex: Adeptus Custodes (8th Edition), pg. 31 - 'Envoys of the Omnissiah'
- 15: Codex: Space Marines (9th Edition), pg.73
- 16: War Zone Nachmund: Rift War, pg. 30