The Legio Metalica ("Iron Skulls") is one of the oldest and most esteemed Titan Legions within the Collegia Titanica, one of the military arms of the Adeptus Mechanicus. There is very little information in Imperial records about this Titan Legion's founding, though it is believed that it was founded before the Age of the Imperium, during the Age of Strife.
The Iron Skulls are veterans of centuries of conflict, predating even the Unification Wars of Terra and the Great Crusade. The Iron Skulls' home Forge World of Metalica lies within the Ultima Segmentum, situated in one of the most dangerous parts of the galaxy, near the Ork Empire of Charadon. They live in a constant state of readiness as they are always threatened by war.
- The First Scouring of Jardingris (Unknown Date.M30) - The greatest and most portentous battle the Knights of House Vornherr fought in during the Great Crusade, it was on the grave-world of Jardingris, that the House first took to the field of battle under the overall command of Primarch Roboute Guilliman as part of a combined force consisting of twelve full chapters of the Ultramarines, the Legio Metallica Titan Legion, ten cohorts of the Solar Auxilia and scores of Excertus Imperialis line regiments, along with the Conquestor companies of Rogue Trader Kohnwallis. The war against the anti-human revenant organisms of Jardingris was a bitter one indeed, and by its end the necrogenic xenos strain had paid for its crime of existence with its utter extermination. The victory came at the cost of a dozen Titans and a hundred Knights, tens of thousands of human infantry and almost three thousand warriors of the Legiones Astartes.
- The Ruin of Maerdan (008.M31) - This battle of the Horus Heresy saw the Imperial colony world of Maerdan on the edge of the Segmentum Solar become savagely contested between Loyalist and Traitor forces. Loyalist Titans of the Legio Gryphonicus, Legio Metalica, and Legio Destructor clashed with the Traitors of the Legio Mortis, Legio Argentum, and Legio Vulturum. One of the largest Titan battles of the early Heresy era, more than 200 god-engines clashed as Maerdan was ultimately reduced to ruin. Ultimately heavy losses were incurred by both sides and neither combatant was able to claim true victory.
- Second War for Armageddon (941.M41) - The Legio Metalica is most famous for the tragic part it played in the Second War for Armageddon. The Iron Skulls were stationed on that Hive World to protect its vital industry. At the time, Armageddon suffered beneath the rule of its foolish and erratic Overlord, Herman von Strab, who refused to believe warnings of an impending invasion of the largest Ork WAAAGH! seen in centuries. Failing to heed the dire portents, Armageddon was invaded in 941.M41 by the mighty Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka. Ghazghkull smashed through von Strab’s inadequate defences. Desperate, the Overlord commanded the Legio Metalica to perform the impossible task of stemming the massive greenskinned tide of Orks from overrunning the planet. Holding temporary command of the Legion after the death (suspected to be an assassination) of its Grand Master, Princeps Senioris Kurtiz Mannheim reluctantly obeyed the Overlord. By Imperial law he was required to perform his duties, and so Mannheim put on his best dress uniform, told his family goodbye and prepared to sell his life dearly. Unable to betray his oath of loyalty to the Emperor, Mannheim climbed aboard his Titan Steel Hammer and led his battle group to their inevitable destruction. The Legion fought long and hard, and Steel Hammer accounted for the destruction of three Ork Gargants before it was severely damaged. Not going down without a fight, Mannheim ordered his war machine to be taken into the centre of the Ork forces before his Titan’s reactor melted down. When the reactor detonated, a half dozen Gargants were taken out, delivering a powerful message to Ghazghkull that the Collegia Titanica would never rest whilst a single Ork lived to taint Armageddon’s soil. But outnumbered three to one, the Legio Metalica was severely outmatched. The Legion was almost completely wiped out and took no further part in the Armageddon campaign. At the end of the campaign Princeps Senioris Mannheim was posthumously awarded the Emperor’s Star for his bravery and loyalty to the Imperium. The Legion was rebuilt and has since won acclaim in every campaign it has fought in due to its dedication and determination. To date the Legio Metalica 's tally of victories is unsurpassed by that of any other Titan Legion. Mannheim remains a shining example of the dutiful warrior to all in the Imperium.
- Third War for Armageddon (998.M41) - Once again, the Legio Metalica played an important role in the defence of Armageddon from the Orks. In 998.M41, Ghazghkull Thraka returned, leading a second, larger WAAAGH! to smash and subjugate the humans of Armageddon. The famous Commissar Yarrick and many other Imperial heroes who had fought in the previous war fifty-seven years earlier were recalled to defend the Hive World once again. Ork Roks (makeshift asteroid fortresses) made landings in the verdant equatorial jungles of the world and across the continents of Armageddon Primus and Secundus. Many were lost to ground fire or accidents but each one that survived became a bastion for the Orks, a rallying point and a ready-made fortress. As well as their huge gun and missile batteries, the Roks contained giant teleport arrays like those first used by Ghazghkull during his Piscina Campaign. These were employed to teleport down Ork reinforcements, including Gargants and heavy artillery, in an endless stream. Fighting alongside the Legio Ignatum (Fire Wasps), Regiments of Cadian Shock Troops and elements drawn from various Space Marine Chapters, the Legio Metalica was personally led by Commissar Yarrick in the destruction of several of the fortresses.
- 13th Black Crusade (999.M41) - When Abaddon the Despoiler and his Forces of Chaos assaulted the world of Cadia during the 13th Black Crusade in 999.M41, the Legio Metalica was one of the Loyalist Titan Legions of the Collegia Titanica to help in the defence of that beleaguered Imperial Fortress World by providing a battlegroup to assist in holding back the tidal wave of Chaotic fanatics.
- Subjugation of Nicomedua (Unknown Date.M42) - Where the Imperium of Mankind was torn asunder by the opening of the Great Rift, the domains of the Machine God suffered not only from disrupted supply chains and troublesome Warp Storms, but also from a rise of dissension within their own ranks. On Nicodemua, one of Metalica's many tributary worlds, large portions of the Martian Priesthood and Skitarii forces were swayed by the Dark Mechanicum, embracing a new interpretation of the Omnissiah's words known as the Tangential Path. Declared Heretek by its patron Forge World, Nicodemua was promptly assailed by the countless ranks of the Astra Militarum which, while able to force a landing on the rebellious world, was unable to fully purge its corruption. After three Terran years of conflict, the reclamation of Nicomedua had reached a stalemate. Having fortified the lands around the already impressive fortress of Az Khalak, the Hereteks had pressed back several Imperial offensives and the tacticians and Lexmechanics of the Imperial Guard agreed that the expected casualties would number in the millions, rendering the whole campaign nonviable. Petitioning the Legio Metalica for aid, the Imperial commanders were relieved to be reinforced by Battle Group Casus Belli, a force strong enough to break the stalemate and seize Az Khalak within a single solar day. Led by the Imperator-class Titan Casus Belli, the forces of the Legio Metalica marched right into the enemy's trap: sacrificing its best troops and even Az Khalak itself, the Hereteks were able to isolate the Casus Belli from the rest of the battle group while trying to seize it from within. At the same time, the Hereteks were reinforced as their allies from the Legio Fureans landed in Nicodemua's highlands and initiated a potentially devastating counteroffensive. Isolated and led into error by the corrupted bridge-crew of the Casus Belli, several Titans of the Legio Metalica were destroyed until the internecine conflict within the Casus Belli was resolved. With the victory of the Loyalist crew, the Casus Belli’s allegiance was restored. With the addition of its tremendous firepower, the Legio Fureans was quickly vanquished and Nicomedua restored to the true path of the Omnissiah.
Notable Titan Battle Groups
- Legio Metalica "Hades V" Battle Group - This Warlord-class Titan Battle Group was deployed in the defence of Hades Hive during the Second War for Armageddon when Ork Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka invaded Armageddon. The Custodire Pius and Custodire Invidia were armed with support weapons, enabling them to pound their foes from the greatest possible distance. Since their main objective was to keep the Ork Gargants from unleashing shots into the structure of Hades Hive, their weapon loadouts were configured to keep the Gargants at arms length. Custodire Faex, with its shorter-ranged weapons, was prepared to engage the Ork Gargants if any of them managed to survive the long-range wall of fire set up by the other two Titans. This weapons loadout enabled the Battle Group to destroy many Gargants before receiving seriou return fire, but once several Gargants closed in, their superior number of short ranged weapons smashed aside the Battle Group. The Titans of the "Hades V" Battle Group were armed with a large number of weapons that could destroy buildings, ensuring that valuable cover was denied to the Orks and Gargants, who were forced to advance in the open.
- Legio Metalica "Casus Belli" Battle Group - Battle Group Casus Belli was the Legio Metalica’s most sizeable off-world force during the dark days of the Noctis Aeterna. Operating well over demi-legio strength and led by one of the most powerful Titans in service within the Collegia Titanica, the Imperator-class Casus Belli, this battle group was tasked with the reclamation of the Adeptus Mechanicus world of Nicomedua. Compromised of six Warlords, four Reavers, three Warhounds and a pair of Warrior-class Titans, the battle group proved capable of conquering whole worlds but suffered severely during the campaign remembered as the Subjugation of Nicomedua.
- Casus Belli - A venerable Imperator-class Titan, the Casus Belli was the leader of the eponymous battle group deployed by the Legio Metalica to destroy the Hereteks of the world of Nicomedua. The main armament of the Casus Belli was a Plasma Annihilator and a Hellstorm Cannon, although as an Imperator-class Titan it also fielded a main artillery battery -- which included a central Volcano Cannon -- countless self-defence lasers and point defence guns as well as numerous anti-aircraft systems. Through the corruption of some of the Imperator 's command crew, the Casus Belli was at the heart of an elaborate ploy by a secret Dark Mechanicum faction within the Metalican Mechanicum that sought to take control of the Casus Belli and turn it over to the Traitors of the Legio Fureans. Fortunately this plot was thwarted by the heroic sacrifices of Inquisitor Ossissuri Harkas and Magos Dominus Militaris Xaiozanus Xilliarkis Exasas.
- Steel Hammer - The Steel Hammer was an Imperator-class Titan that fought during the Second War for Armageddon and was the war machine of the Legion's acting commander -- Princeps Senioris Kurtiz Mannheim. Steel Hammer accounted for the destruction of three Ork Gargants before it was severely damaged. Not going down without a fight, Mannheim ordered his God-engine to be taken into the centre of the Ork forces before his Titan's reactor melted down. When the reactor detonated, a half-dozen Gargants were taken out, delivering a powerful message to Ghazghkull that the Collegia Titanica would never rest whilst a single Ork lived to taint Armageddon's soil.
- Custodire Faex - A Warlord-class Titan that was a part of the Hades V Battle Group that took part in the valiant defence of Hades Hive during the Second War for Armageddon against several Ork Gargants.
- Custodire Invidia - A Warlord-class Titan that was a part of the Hades V Battle Group that took part in the valiant defence of Hades Hive during the Second War for Armageddon against several Ork Gargants.
- Custodire Pius - A Warlord-class Titan that was a part of the Hades V Battle Group that took part in the valiant defence of Hades Hive during the Second War for Armageddon against several Ork Gargants.
- Indomitable Guardian - A Warlord-class Titan that participated in the Subjugation of Nicomedua as part of Battle Group Casus Belli. During this campaign, the conduct of Indomitable Guardian was nothing short of exemplar, as it heroically saved the outgunned Omnissiah's Temper by interposing itself between its fellow Warlord and the incoming shots that would have destroyed it. Resolute, the Indomitable Guardian and Omnissiah's Temper held the line, even slaying a Chaos Reaver-class Titan before being forced to retreat as the enemy ground support marched onto the battlefield. It would take the arrival of the rest of the battle group for the foe to be defeated.
- Iron Splendour - A Warlord-class Titan deployed to Nicomedua as part of Battle Group Casus Belli, the Iron Splendour was the last Warlord to emerge from the storm-front that had disrupted the battle group's advance. With the Casus Belli again in Loyalist hands, the Iron Splendour played only a secondary role in the final battle against the Legio Fureans.
- Omnissiah's Temper - Omnissiah's Temper was a Warlord Titan deployed as part of Battle Group Casus Belli during the Subjugation of Nicomedua. Targeted by continuous fire from Traitor air support that stripped it of its Void Shields, the Omnissiah's Temper lost one of its shoulder-mounted Apocalypse Missile Launchers under the Quake Cannons of Az Khalak's defence batteries. After the fortress' capitulation, the Casus Belli ordered the entire battle group to press on, leaving Omnissiah's Temper unable to conduct the necessary repairs before it encountered the small force of Chaos Titans of the Legio Fureans that had previously eliminated Will of Iron. With the Casus Belli paralyzed by internal struggles, the Omnissiah's Temper would surely have been destroyed if it hadn't been joined by Indomitable Guardian. Together, both Warlords held their two Chaos counterparts at bay long enough for the rest of the battle group to emerge and tip the balance in the Legio Metalica’s favor. Blackened by fire from head to toe, the Omnissiah's Temper nevertheless survived to march again.
- Phlegmatix - A Warlord-class Titan deployed as part of Battle Group Casus Belli during the Subjugation of Nicomedua. The Phlegmatix was destroyed during the assault on the fortress of Az Khalak.
- Will of Iron - A Warlord-class Titan belonging to Battle Group Casus Belli. Will of Iron was lost shortly after the fall of Az Khalak. Advancing as ordered by Princeps Senioris Ieanola of the Casus Belli, the venerable Warlord was intentionally separated from the rest of the battle group. It was then destroyed by enemy Titans of the Legio Fureans which deployed directly from orbit and caught Will of Iron unsupported and unaware.
- Hammer of Metalica - Hammer of Metalica was a Reaver-class Titan deployed by Battle Group Casus Belli during the attack on the citadel of Az Khalak on Nicomedua. Stalled by enemy Shadowsword super-heavy tanks and fire from Az Khalak's Quake Cannons which stripped it of its Void Shields, Hammer of Metalica was left unprotected when the enemy called in an orbital strike. Hammer of Metalica’s death was so sudden that its Plasma Reactor did not have time to go critical -- instead the proud Reaver was consumed by the fiery energy at its heart as it toppled sideways.
- Labour of Battle - A Reaver-class Titan of Battle Group Casus Belli, the Labour of Battle was destroyed during the Legion's assault on the fortress of Az Khalak on Nicomedua.
- Laodoniz Vanguard - A Reaver-class Titan of Battle Group Casus Belli that participated in the Subjugation of Nicomedua. The guns of the Laodoniz Vanguard were essential in deterring the two Tiger Eyes Warlords from pressing their advantage against the stricken Indomitable Guardian and Omnissiah's Temper.
- Victorious Endeavour - Deployed alongside Hammer of Metalica, Labour of Battle, and Laodoniz Vanguard, Victorious Endeavour was the last Reaver-class Titan allotted to Battle Group Casus Belli.
- Hammer of Nyziroz - A Warrior-class Titan, the Hammer of Nyziroz was part of the second line of Battle Group Casus Belli during its attack on the fortress of Az Khalak. The timely intervention of Hammer of Nyziroz saved the Warlord-class Titan Will of Iron from becoming swarmed by hiding infantry.
- Sabreclaw - Sabreclaw was a Warhound-class Titan deployed by Battle Group Casus Belli during the Subjugation of Nicomedua.
- Steel Wolf - The Steel Wolf was a veteran Warhound-class Titan that served within the Legio Metalica for eight millennia. Designed specifically to clear out subterranean fortifications, the Steel Wolf was equipped with two Inferno Guns, a rare configuration for a Scout Titan. The Steel Wolf was lost on Nicomedua during Battle Group Casus Belli's advance through the Demetrian Plains. Slain by coordinated artillery fire, its demise was not a futile one as the incoming fire allowed the remaining Battlegroup to pinpoint the enemy artillery's position and annihilate it. Princeps Kash and its crew were able to evacuate Steel Wolf prior to the enemy's second volley, but Tech-priest Elaxha and her assistants proved not to be so fortunate.
- Woundwalker - A Warhound-class Titan deployed to Nicomedua, the Woundwalker was tasked with thinning the ranks of the Heretek Skitarii and Renegade infantry who hid in the heavily fortified Demetrian Plains. Equipped with an Inferno Gun and a Vulcan Mega Bolter, the Woundwalker accomplished its task admirably.
- Kurtiz Mannheim - Princeps Senioris of the Legio Metalica and its acting commander during the Second War for Armageddon following the death of its Grand Master. Kurtiz Mannheim had been ordered by the inept Overlord Herman von Strab to perform the impossible task of stemming the massive greenskinned tide of Orks from overrunning the planet. Unable to betray his oath of loyalty to the Emperor, Mannheim climbed aboard his Titan Steel Hammer and led his battle group to their inevitable destruction. After his Titan suffered severe damage, Mannheim ordered his war machine to be taken into the centre of the Ork forces before his Titan's Plasma Reactor melted down. When the reactor detonated, a half dozen Gargants were destroyed, delivering a powerful blow to the Greenskin horde. At the end of the campaign Princeps Senioris Mannheim was posthumously awarded the Emperor's Star for his bravery and loyalty to the Imperium. To this day he remains a shining example of the dutiful warrior to all in the Imperium.
The Legio Metalica's colours are red, black, white and yellow.
The Legio Metalica's badge is a skull wearing a helm. Sometimes it is portrayed as a winged skull with lightning bolts behind it.
- Adeptus Titanicus - The Horus Heresy: Rulebook (Specialty Game), pg. 15
- The Horus Heresy - Book Five: Tempest (Forge World Series) by Alan Bligh, pp. 123-124
- Codex: Eye of Terror (3rd Edition), pg. 16
- Titan Legions (2nd Edition), pp. 14, 52
- Imperator: Wrath of the Omnissiah (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- White Dwarf 180 (US), "Fists of Death: Titans Tactics", pg. 30
- Third War for Armageddon Worldwide Campaign