"They seem to have a ghostly nature about them. Their appearance and mannerism is enough to chill a man to the bone. Yet this night has proven to me that the sons of Noctan are among the bravest and most loyal men we have seen in this war."
- — Commissar Yuliov commenting on the Noctan raid on the Ork-infested Archeron Hive
The Noctan Strike Forces are the elite regiments of the Imperial Guard that hail from the world of Noctan. These silent warriors are adept at stealth, cover and concealment, night raids and guerrilla tactics. The night vision of these warriors is exceptional, and their dark skin adds to the elaborate camouflage they don as they assault an enemy position. Skilled at infiltration, many of Noctan's Guardsmen range ahead of the main force, planting explosives and sowing confusion before hundreds of figures pour from the darkness into the foe's midst as part of a cunning ambush.
Third War for Armageddon
During the Third War for Armageddon in 998.M41, the Noctan Strike Forces used their incredible skills at infiltration and night raiding to hinder occupying Ork forces primarily around the captured Acheron Hive wherever possible. When it became clear that Acheron would fall to the Ork advance, Colonel Walde, leading the 29th Noctan Strike Force, ordered three of his companies to infiltrate the hive city. Tasked with leading a guerrilla war against the marauding Orks, the brave men of these companies buried themselves deep within the labyrinthine tunnels of Acheron's undercity to escape detection and organise the human survivors of the Orks' attack into a solid resistance force.
Colonel Walde was able to keep in communication with these companies as every night, squads made their way out of the undercity, past the Ork patrols, to set up portable comm-links that Walde used to co-ordinate attacks on the east face of Acheron. The east face of the hive became Walde's main objective as it had suffered greatly during the Orks' assault and much of the surface was battered and twisted, perfect ground for his Strike Force and extremely difficult for the Orks to defend properly. His most successful action against Acheron has since become a textbook operation for other Noctan officers.
Ordering the companies inside to act in concert with the bulk of the regiment outside the Hive, squads rose up from the undercity at an appointed time, with the aim of targeting known Ork sentry positions and patrol routes. Though the Noctan Strike Forces lacked the sophisticated equipment and training of the much-famed Storm Troopers, their exceptional night vision made them comparable to those elite warriors during night raids and the elimination of a few scattered Orks proved to be no obstacle. With gaps readily apparent in the Orks' perimeter, skilled infiltrators from the regiment outside of the hive city moved in, planting powerful explosives at key points designed to cause as great damage to the main Ork forces positioned within the east face of Acheron.
When the charges were detonated, the whole lower eastern half of Acheron Hive erupted in huge gouts of fire. Though the damage to the actual structure of the hive city was negligible, the terror and confusion of the Orks inside was complete. The entire body of the 29th, 37th and 84th Noctan Strike Forces moved from hidden positions to begin a full-blown assault upon Acheron. Each Guardsman of the regiments was charged not to target the acquisition of territory, but the Orks themselves. As the Noctans swept up the eastern face of the Hive, Ork warbands began to flee, unwilling to face these dark warriors that had suddenly appeared in the midst of a huge explosion.
The true number of kills the Noctans managed to achieve in that one night will probably never be fully reckoned, but the most conservative estimates numbered the enemy slain in the thousands. As the Noctans moved ever higher through the hive, the slaughter ceased as the Orks turned on their attackers and resistance steadily increased. Knowing that a pitched battle would favour the Orks and not his Strike Forces, Colonel Walde ordered his forces to pull back out of Acheron, leaving the Orks to attempt the rebuilding of their shattered mobs. Since this audacious attack, the Noctans continued to conduct numerous raids on a far smaller scale, usually in concert with the companies they still had working in the Acheronian undercity. Colonel Walde submitted many proposals for the retaking of Acheron Hive to the Armageddon High Command and it was clear that any such attempt would see the Noctan Strike Forces leading the initial assaults.
Notable Noctan Strike Forces Regiments
- 29th Noctan Strike Force - The 29th, 37th and 84th Noctan Strike Forces deployed in support of Imperial forces fighting against the Ork hordes on the Hive World of Armageddon in 998.M41 during the Third War for Armageddon. Stationed around the captured Acheron Hive, when it became apparent that the hive city was going to fall to the Ork forces, the 29th Noctan played an instrumental role in infiltrating the hive and leading a guerrilla war against the marauding greenskins. Setting up explosives at key positions throughout the undercity, at the designated time they ignited the explosives, causing massive damage. This provided a key distraction as the entire body of the 29th, 37th and 84th Noctan Strike Forces moved from hidden positions to begin a full blown assault upon Acheron. Confused and disoriented, the Ork warbands fled, unwilling to face the dark intruders that emerged from the huge explosion into their midst. Though they did not recapture the hive, the Noctan Strike Forces were instrumental in achieving a high kill ratio numbering into the thousands.
- 37th Noctan Strike Force
- 84th Noctan Strike Force
Notable Noctan Strike Forces Personnel
- Colonel Walde - Commanding officer of the 29th Noctan Strike Force, this audacious commander played a key role in the infiltration and subsequent guerrilla war conducted by his soldiers in the captured Acheron Hive against the occupying Ork forces. Acting in concert with the Noctan companies inside the hive with the bulk of the regimet outside, the 29th Noctan was able to cause massive damage through a series of carefully placed explosives throughout the undercity. This caused a key distraction, enabling the the entire 29th, 37th and 84th Noctan Strike Forces to launch a successful assault on Acheron. Though they did not recapture the hive, they achieved high kill ratio, which conservative estimate place into the thousands. This most successful action against Acheron has since become a text book operation for other Noctan officers.