- "I don’t give a damn if they say they can last a hundred years behind their walls. I’ll give them a week and then we’ll ask them again if they want to surrender."
- —Colonel Hanna Skarborovicha
The 203rd Combined Siege Regiment, nicknamed Skarborovicha's Knights after their current commander, is an elite regiment of siege troops made up of the remnants of the 203rd Valhallan Mechanized Infantry, 47th Death Korp Grenadiers, 63rd Steel Legion Mechanized, and the 454th Cadian Shock Troops following their horrific losses during the battle of Hive Onyxburg. While serving in the final half of the Taiga Campaign, the Combined Regiment—which was later designated as the 203rd Combined due to its large Valhallan-based officer corps—served a crucial role during the siege of the fortress Hive of Darwinall.
Following their action on the Taiga Worlds Campaign, the 203rd would go on to serve with distinction during the Siege of Hephastion and Dalmores in the Hephastion Campaign and later retaking the Hive of Stradiff during the Siege of Stradiff. They would later be assigned to the 1253rd Astra Militarum Siege Army after several years serving in Battle Zone Perseus on Medusa V.
203rd Valhallan Mechanized Infantry
The 203rd Valhallan Mechanized Infantry was raised on 990.M41 on their homeworld of Valhalla and differed significantly from their comrades in arms in that they were well-equipped for armored and mobile warfare. Under the command of Colonel Arshavin Yurievich, they were assigned to the Taiga Worlds Campaign where it was believed Valhallan skill in cold weather and their training in mechanized warfare would prove useful. The 203rd was part of the second wave of troops to make planetfall on the core world of Taiga and assisted in capturing Hive Onyxburg from traitor PDF elements.
They later formed the rearguard during the Iron Warriors counter-attack, digging in and forming a staunch line of defense to cover the retreat of the 454th Cadian and 63rd Steel Legion regiments that suffered severe casualties during the early stages of the Siege of Onyxburg. Over the course of the next several months and cut off from the main part of the battlegroup due to a severe electrical blizzard, the 203rd Valhallan—which formed the front line alongside the elite 47th Death Korp Grenadiers—was heavily bled in its attempts to fight back numerous assaults. The regiment was reduced to approximately one third of its initial strength and the chain of command broken by the time reinforcements arrived after the blizzards lifted.
The Siege of Onyxburg would continue for another several days before the Iron Warriors abandoned their assault in light of the arrival of fresh Imperial Battalions. Under the authority of Warmaster Sagel, the remnants of the 203rd Combined—then under the command of Lieutenant Hanna Skarborovicha—were reformed with what was left of other heavily damaged regiments in Onyxburg.
47th Death Korps Grenadiers
The 47th Death Korps Grenadiers possessed a long and storied history prior to their deployment during the Taiga Worlds Campaign and, collectively, had more experience than most of the other Astra Militarum regiments in the battlegroup. Mustered on 810.M41, the 47th Death Korps Grenadiers were assigned to the 88th Imperial Guard Siege Army and were among the first troops to arrive on Vraks Prime during the infamous Siege of Vraks.
Following the pyrrhic Imperial victory on Vraks, the 47th Death Korps Grenadiers were replenished, reassigned, and spent the next century on nearly two dozen campaigns on as many systems. The grenadiers earned a reputation as the first troopers in and that last ones out, their ferocity rivaling many of their more well-known companions in the Militarum Tempestus. By the time they were finally reassigned to the Taiga Worlds Campaign in 990.M41, the regiment was under the command of a stoic and stern Colonel Rüdiger Heerwagen.
The 47th, alongside several other regiments of storm troopers and grenadiers, were some of the first elements to make planetfall on Taiga and were assigned the task of making the initial assault on Onyxburg. The Death Korps Grenadiers were successful in pushing the majority of the traitor PDF garrison out of the upper hive and into the lower sections by the time Imperial reinforcements arrived to secure the capture of the city.
When the Iron Warriors began the first waves of their retaliatory counter-attack, the 47th worked with the 203rd Valhallan Mechanized to form a staunch line of defense for the 454th Cadian and 63rd Steel Legion to reform behind. Colonel Yurievich of the 203rd had managed to push out a request for immediate reinforcements just before a massive electrical blizzard cut off all communication. Rallying what regiments and loyal PDF and militia they could in Onyxburg, Yurievich and Heerwagen entrenched their forces.
The Siege of Onyxburg lasted several months in which the 47th suffered heavy casualties that included Colonel Heerwagen and much of his senior command. Reduced to nearly a quarter strength by the time Imperial reinforcements arrived, too far from Krieg to be replenished by native troops, and in the interest of time the remainder of the 47th was disbanded and folded into a new Combined regiment under Colonel Hanna Skarborovicha.
63rd Steel Legion Mechanized Infantry
The 63rd Steel Legion Mechanized was raised in 938.M41 and was assigned to an off-world battlegroup several years prior to the starting actions of the Second War for Armageddon. They were later recalled to defend their homeworld but were held in a reinforcement limbo following the formation of a massive warp storm around the Armageddon system. When the warp storm finally cleared, the 63rd was among the Imperial reserves that landed in the defense of Hive Acheron—reporting directly to and under the command of the Blood Angels’ Chapter Master Dante. The regiment worked very closely with their Salamanders allies in pushing the orks southward and out of Hive Acheron.
With units of the Adeptus Astartes taking the brunt of the Ork counter offensive, the 63rd utilized their Chimeras and mobility to strike at the Ork flanks further breaking the Xenos morale and pushing them further towards the continent’s equatorial jungle. The main parts of the war came to a close by 943.M41, but the 63rd remained in Armegeddon Secundus for the next two decades and assisted in eliminating the what Orks were left following Gazghkull’s departure from the planet.
By 990.M41 and at the start of the Taiga Worlds Campaign, the 63rd was under the command of an aggressive Colonel Wilfried Kellner who was ordered to assist the 454th Cadian in securing a perimeter around Hive Onyxburg. When the Iron Warriors staged their attack on the city, Colonel Kellner was slow to order his forces to fall back and only commanded his troops to retreat after the death of his Cadian peer, Colonel Hermesiel Tekios. Rallying the demoralized Cadians, Kellner utilized his Chimeras to save as many troopers as he could. The Steel Legion troops, adept at handling vehicles and salvaging vehicles, adapted their mechanical kills to construct make-shift artillery pieces in the defense of the Hive and were quick to pick up the necessary trench tactics for survive the brutal winter.
Imperial reinforcements arrived after several months and the 63rd was severaly under manned and down to only a handful of platoons, no vehicles, and whatever makeshift artillery pieces they had managed to throw together. Colonel Kellner was lost after the first month defending the trenches with his troops against a cultist attack leaving Lieutenant Waibel in command. After the reformation of the regiment, Waibel served newly promoted Colonel Skarborovicha in a critical advisory role and acted in helping transform her tactics to incorporate armor alongside her artillery.
454th Cadian Shock Troops
The 454th Cadian Shock Troop Regiment was mustered on 987.M41 and served primarily as interior guard for the fortress of Kasr Myrak before eventually being deployed as part of the Imperial battlegroup assembled for the Taiga Worlds Campaign. As some of the fresher troops and almost strictly infantry, the 454th were deployed in the third wave of Imperial forces to make planetfall on Taiga. They were partnered with the 63rd Steel Legion Mechanized regiment and were tasked with securing the a perimeter around the outskirts of Hive Onyxburg, however—in the process of beginning their entrenchment—the 454th alongside the 63rd came under a massive Iron Warriors assault.
While Colonel Hermesiel Tekios managed to rally his men into what defensive positions were available, the 454th’s lack of armor and heavy support proved too difficult an obstacle to overcome. After several hours of continuous fighting and now within striking distance of the Iron Warriors’ vindicators, the 454th was forced to make a hasty retreat—troopers climbing atop the roofs of the 63rd’s Chimeras. Colonel Tekios managed to vox a warning to his fellow commanders closer to the hive city as his last act of valor before subsequently being blasted apart with a vindicator shell. His death put Major Alrian Beromeon in charge of organizing the regiment after they had fallen behind the bulwark established by their Death Korps and Valhallan comrades.
The Shock Troops learned to quickly adapt to both their new trenches as well as the below freezing temperatures, conditions the Cadians were neither used to nor trained for. The attrition rate for the 454th was documented the worst among the four regiments during the Siege of Onyxburg and, when Imperial Forces finally arrived, only several platoons of the original regiment were left. Colonel Beromeon relinquished his command of the 454th, returning to his former rank of Major, following Warmaster Sagel’s orders to combine the remainder of the four regiments at Onyxburg into a single fighting force.
Reformation and Regimental Founding
The close of the Siege of Onyxburg and the Imperial forces that came to the relief of the regiments that had been stranded there allowed the remnants to tally what forces remained. What remained of the 47th Grenadiers was under the command of a Captain Marcus Hochmeister and the 203rd Valhallan reported to Captain Hanna Skarborovicha; the Valhallan and Death Korps made up the majority of what was left in the city.
The 63rd and 454th had been hit the hardest, large chunks of their regiments had been killed during the initial counterattack and many of them struggled with the cold weather as soon as the fight turned into one of attrition. Much of what was left of the Cadians and Steel Legions were under the commander of Major Alrian Beromeon who, despite being good at maintaining morale, was not a particularly good tactician. In technicality, he was the highest ranking Guard officer left when the siege had been broken.
Despite Alrian being above rank to Hanna, many of the remaining officers, battlefield commissioned officers, and non-coms turned to the Valhallan woman as their leader because of her tenaciousness mentality and natural tactical talent. Hanna had managed to keep the Imperial forces together during the siege and kept their morale steady, if not always elevated, during the blizzards.
After a few days of counting their losses and receiving any replacements Guard available to bolster their numbers, Warmaster Amron Sagel deemed all four remaining regiments too unfit to operate as separate entities. As a result, he reformed the regiments and refounded it as the 203rd Combined utilizing the Valhallan Mechanized number since the greater majority of officers in the new regiment were Valhallan. He later promoted Hanna to Colonel, due to her battlefield performance with Major Bromeon acting as one of her advisors, a role which he willingly accepted.
Taiga Worlds Campaign
Following their subsequent resupply, the newly reformed 203rd Combined was ordered to move on the traitor held Hive city of Darwinall supported by the 656th Mordian Iron Guard and 663rd Death Korps Siege Regiment. The 203rd initially formed the rear line, but were eventually moved to the front due to their adept skill accurately zeroing in large caliber guns and delivering concentrated artillery strikes. Working in tandem with the artillery of the 663rd, the 203rd and their make-shift towed Earthshakers managed to assist in punching a hole in the enemy’s outer defence, flooding the gap with friendly infantry from the 656th.
The initial breach allowed elements of the remaining two regiments to move forward, taking up new positions in those that had been recently abandoned by the traitor defenders. This put them within striking distance of the outer walls of the fortress hive and in position to attack the traitors’ main positions directly. The ferrocrete walls that surrounded the hive proved to be a difficult obstacles for the three regiments to overcome without direct heavy armor or air support, of which most had been diverted to tip the balance of the stalemated Battle of Dierang Forest. As such, the regimental commanders were forced to utilize creative tactics in order to breach the enemy’s defences.
Combat engineers of the 203rd, who had grown adept at constructing field-made demolition charges, worked with engineers of the 663rd Death Korps and elite mobile infantry of the 656th Mordian to wage a subterranean war in order to collapse a section of the city walls. With well-established supply lines connecting them back to Army Headquarters, their comrades on the surface initiated a two week long bombardment as a distraction from the underground operations below.
A section of Hive Darwinall’s southeastern wall collapsed several days after the combat engineer units had placed their charges. In anticipation of the breach, the 656th Iron Guard—supported by ranks of infantry from the 663rd and 203rd—formed up to enter the breach. Resistance from traitor forces was predictably staunch as the most fanatical and elite of the Chaos forces had been placed at the forefront. The combined forces of the three regiments punched through the enemy frontline after a 33 hours of continuous fighting and successfully routed or eliminated any further resistance. The capture of Hive Darwinall and the capitulation of Chaos military command at Hive Brask marked the successful end of the Taiga Worlds Campaign.
The Hephastion Campaign was the first major military deployment for the 203rd Combined after being fully reinforced and appropriately equipped. A number of the makeshift siege guns built during the Taiga Worlds Campaign were outfitted with proper gun carriages and appropriate transports were assigned to crews. The regiment was also broken down into four role-specific battalions and the officer corps reformed to account for the necessary changes, although many of the officers from the previous campaign kept their earned ranks.
The campaign was launched on 024994.M41 following a declaration of independence by Hephastion Prime’s system governor from the Imperium. Utilizing fear and propaganda to convince the populations of Hephastion Prime and Hephastion Tertius that they could not rely on the Imperium to protect them, Ultima Segmentum being too vast and war-torn for the forces of the Emperor to always defend, the governor convinced his subjects that it would be left to them to arm and defend themselves against their enemies. The Astra Militarum commander of Hephastion Secundus quickly ordered martial law, utilizing his troops to ensure the armouries of the planet remained out of the hands of the system governor’s now traitor forces.
The staunch loyalty of the military forces and population of Hephastion Secundus worked significantly in favor for the Imperial forces arriving in the system by effectively splitting Hephastion’s military forces into two separate entities. The garrison on Hephastion Tertius was significantly smaller and had been plagued by division between those who remained loyal to the Imperium and those who called for independence. The 943rd Astra Militarum Strike Force was split into two main forces of which the mobile drop infantry and mechanized regiments struck Tertius first.
Siege of Stradiff
Medusa V Campaign
Recruitment and Training
Unlike other regiments of the Astra Militarum and as a direct result of the nature of their creation, the 203rd Combined is required to receive what troops provided to them by the Departmento Munitorum and train them as its officers see fit. The men and women used to replenish the 203rd’s ranks since it’s creation in 994.M41 come from a plethora of planets which sometimes includes their original homeworlds. These new recruits are often sorted out immediately after arrival and arranged in units based on their prior experiences to determine which branch of the regiment for which they are best suited. Often times, they develop skills based on those they train under which perpetuates the ongoing mix of cultures and mentalities.
Officers of the 203rd Combined are often drawn from the rank and file as opposed to other regiments with reliances on aristocratic military traditions. Men and women receive their promotions through demonstrations of skill and and leadership with those selected during basic training undergoing further courses in order to hone their skills. Atypical of the standard Astra Militarum mentality, the majority of officers of the 203rd are expected to fight on the front lines with the only exceptions being commanders at the regimental level.
The Siege of Onyxburg forced the four regiments that would eventually become the 203rd Combined, two mechanized and two shock troop regiments, to severely alter their normal tactics. The reforged 203rd Combined—taking their experience from seven months of staunch defense—had become experts at trench warfare, improvised anti-armor, and zeroing in accurate artillery strikes from their salvaged Earthshaker cannons. The later siege of Hive Darwinall allowed the 203rd Combined to demonstrate their ability to go on the offensive; the 203rd launched waves of fresh infantry reinforcements led by elite troops under the cover of continuous heavy weapon and artillery fire. Below them, skilled combat engineers drilled deep beneath enemy trench lines using tunnels to collapse defenses. The 203rd Combined was registered as a siege regiment with the Departmento Munitorum during the latter half of 994.M41 following the recapture of Hive Darwinall and had become characterized for its adept capability in the art of siege warfare.
Under the command of Colonel Skarborovicha, however, the 203rd began experimenting with its tactics during the opening maneuvers of the Hephastion Campaign. The regiment was reinforced to full strength following their action on Taiga and during the initial skirmishes on the Daralax plains of Hephastion Prime, the regiment utilized its mechanized and armored 4th Battalion to outflank opponents to great effect. Hephastion set the stage for the combined mobile armored and heavy artillery tactics that has since defined Colonel Skarborovicha’s unique strategy—tactics that would later be used during the Siege of Stradiff and in the battlezones of the Medusa V Campaign
While the 203rd has a mixture of differing types of wargear and equipment, a handful of items have become universally issued to new recruits as the regiment has been reinforced over the past several years. These items include a greatcoat, lasgun, six las-packs, a set of flak armor, a combat knife, a number of empty sandbags, a respirator, a set of frag and krak grenades, an entrenching tool, a basic tool kit, poor weather gear, rechargeable lamp pack, mess kit, water canteen, blanket, sleeping bag, two weeks of rations, dog tags, and a copy of the Imperial Infantryman’s Uplifting Primer.
Despite the establishment of a uniform kit, a number of the 203rd’s veteran troopers maintain mementos in their gear to signify their homeworlds; these can be things such as Cadian issue helmets or Death Korp respirators. Soldier’s desires to remain connected to their places of origin has also led to an interesting tradition of lasgun inheritance. As a result, the 203rd Combined possesses varying patterns of lasguns which includes the Lucius No. 98, Voss Pattern, Triplex Phall M-35 Galaxy, and the Kantrael M36.
The 203rd primarily uses hot-shot volleyguns and meltaguns as their preferred special weapons for its squads, but also utilizes flamers, plasma guns, and grenade launchers in specific applications. Heavy weapons vary greatly for the regiment and are often selected based on specific combat situations, often adapting as needed. The most common heavy weapons utilized by the 203rd include autocannons and mole launchers as well as a number of light and field artillery pieces.
The 203rd Combined, as a dedicated siege regiment, is larger than most Astra Militarum regiments numbering approximately 4,200 strong. It also possesses a unique organization by dividing its forces into divisions based on battlefield roles. In its initial re-founding, former members of the 454th Cadian formed the bulk of the 1st Battalion—having adopted a defensive strategy during the Siege of Onyxburg and rebranding themselves as line infantry. The remaining men and women of the 47th Grenadiers formed the elite 2nd Battalion. The leftovers of the 203rd Valhallan and 63rd Steel Legion were split between the remaining two; soldiers that had salvaged Earthshakers from wrecked Basilisks were assigned to the newly formed artillery battalion and the remaining engineers and vehicle crew into a singular armored battalion.
1st Battalion consists of the regiment’s basic infantry and makes up the largest element of the 203rd Combined numbering 2,400 strong split across eight companies. Many of the men and women of the 1st Battalion can trace their roots back to the Imperial worlds of Cadia and Valhalla; during the Siege of Onyxburg many of these soldiers became adept at the art of defensive and trench warfare—even so far as being recognized by their Death Korps comrades for their skill. Each company of the 1st Battalion is further divided into five platoons consisting of five ten-man infantry squads led by a lieutenant and their retinue.
The 203rd’s 2nd Battalion is made up of the regiment’s most elite infantry, primarily former Kasrkins of the 454th Cadian and Grenadiers of the 47th Death Korps. 2nd Battalion possesses 900 grenadiers split into three elite companies. Particularly skilled at firing on the move and possessing superior morale, the grenadier companies of the 203rd are often tasked with leading their line infantry brethren in advances—leading the charge with blazing automatic fire from their hot-shot lasguns. Hot-shot volleyguns and meltaguns are common sights in grenadier squads.
The regiment maintains one company of dedicated combat engineers numbering 200 strong and falling under the jurisdiction of the elite 2nd Battalion. Specializing in sapping and subterranean warfare, combat engineers have the responsibility of breaking through enemy defenses and countering any enemy tunneling attempts. Despite being a dedicated company, units from the 1st Combat Engineers are often assigned into five-man or ten-man squads to support their fellow Grenadier and Line Infantry comrades when necessary. Standard equipment for the engineers differs greatly from the regular infantry and includes weapons such as shotguns, demolition charges, and mole launchers.
3rd Battalion, which consists entirely of the regiment’s artillery and numbering 300 strong, plays a significant role in the 203rd’s battle tactics. It is separated into two field artillery companies and four heavy artillery companies. Light artillery companies consist of four towed light artillery pieces which include heavy mortars and quad launchers whereas heavy artillery companies are armed with towed variants of the iconic Earthshakers and Medusa siege guns. Centaurs and Trojans serve as transports and ammunition carriers, vital for the Battalion’s ongoing operations. A single Chimera with upgraded communication relays acts as the Battalion’s overall command vehicle.
The 203rd Combined’s 4th Battalion consists of all the regiment’s heavy armored elements and is broken down into four companies; two standard armor companies, one dedicated breakthrough armor company, and one heavy armor company. It is the second-smallest Battalion at 400 men and women, but is often considered one of the most crucial when the regiment goes on the offensive. The 1st Breakthrough Company is equipped strictly with Demolishers, whereas it’s 1st and 2nd Armored brethern utilize the standard Battle Tank and Vanquisher. The 1st Heavy Armored Company is considered the newest addition to the regiment and consists of only four tanks; three Macharius Heavy Tanks commanded by a single Macharius Vanquisher.
| 1st Battalion|
“Line Infantry Corps”
|1st Line Infantry||Raina Ilyinishna|
|2nd Line Infantry||Karl Heimsoth|
|3rd Line Infantry||Carina Ketterer|
|4th Line Infantry||Viktoria Savelievna|
|5th Line Infantry||Oleg Pavlovich|
|6th Line Infantry||Olivia Doyle|
|7th Line Infantry||Vladan Stanislavovich|
|8th Line Infantry||Aleksandr Romanov|
| 2nd Battalion|
|1st Grenadiers||Antonia Hetzberg|
|2nd Grenadiers||Anna Boulanger|
|3rd Grenadiers||Vladamir Rostislavich|
|1st Combat Engineers||Nymphadora Valierevna|
| 3rd Battalion|
|1st Field Artillery||Alex Cook|
|2nd Field Artillery||Marina Yanovna|
|1st Heavy Artillery||Aleksandra Vasilievna|
|2nd Heavy Artillery||Angelika Denisovna|
|3rd Heavy Artillery||Matthias Hammerl|
|4th Heavy Artillery||Anton Maximovich|
| 4th Battalion|
|1st Breakthrough Armored||Eric Stahl|
|1st Armored||Philip Keppler|
|2nd Armored||Veronika Yurieva|
|1st Heavy Armored||Emily Havenstein|
- Colonel Hanna Skarborovicha - Current commanding officer.
- Captain Nymphadora Valierevna - Commander of the 1st Combat Engineers.
- Captain Emily Havenstein - Commander of the 1st Heavy Armored Company.