Armageddon is an Imperial Hive World located 10,000 light years to the galactic northeast of Terra in the Segmentum Solar and was the site of several of the greatest conflicts ever fought by the Imperium of Man, including the First War for Armageddon against Chaos, and the Second and Third Wars for Armageddon against the massive Ork WAAAGH! of the Warlord Ghazghkull Thraka. The world of Armageddon is the fourth in its star system of ten planets and is the industrial hub of both the Armageddon Sub-sector and the greater region of the surrounding Armageddon Sector. Many worlds within a several light-year radius of Armageddon rely on it for its large industrial output.
Thousands of standard years of intense industrial activity has reduced the surface of Armageddon to barren wastelands and polluted oceans; humans can only survive within the artificial environment of the world's hive cities (the massive arcology-like structures that stand several kilometres tall) and Imperial military facilities. Food must be imported from off-planet, and clean air and water are precious commodities. Due to the inhospitable environmental conditions that exist outside of the planet's hive cities, almost all regiments of the Astra Militarum's Armageddon Steel Legion are trained as mechanised infantry who operate from the relative safety of their vehicles.
During the 13th Black Crusade of 999.M41, the Fortress World of Cadia was destroyed. With a good portion of the network of Necron-built Cadian Pylons that had long prevented the Eye of Terror from naturally expanding into the Cadian Gate lost with the fall of Cadia to the forces of Abaddon the Despoiler, that ancient Warp rift began to slowly expand across the galaxy, opening the Despoiler's coveted Crimson Path to Terra and birthing the Great Rift. This great tear in reality, known also as the Cicatrix Maledictum in High Gothic, was a galaxy-wide Warp Storm that has rent the galaxy in half, spreading from the Eye of Terror to the Hadex Anomaly on the Eastern Fringe.
Through the influx of the massive Warp energies unleashed at the Great Rift's birth, Armageddon has been transformed into a hellscape. Daemon armies dedicated to the service of Khorne and Tzeentch swept across battlefields no longer chained to the laws of reality. Luckily for the Imperial forces remaining on the world in the wake of the Third War for Armageddon (including twenty-five regiments of Astra Militarum and elements of nine Adeptus Astartes Chapters) and their Greenskin opponents (a variety of unknown klanz), the daemon legions were just as content to battle amongst themselves as to hunt down and eradicate the mortal survivors. Imperial reinforcements, led by elements of nine Astartes Chapters with the Salamanders in overall command, recently succeeded in halting a daemonic ritual that would have brought Angron, the Primarch of the World Eaters, back to the world that had defied him during the First War for Armageddon.
The origins of this industrial Hive World have been lost to modern Imperial scholars. But in truth, the story of this vitally important Imperial world actually harkens back some ten millennia earlier, to the closing years of the Great Crusade, during the great campaign known as the Ullanor Crusade.
A vast Imperial assault was launched against Ullanor Prime, the seat of the Ork Empire of the Overlord Urrlak Urruk, the largest such Greenskin empire ever encountered in Mankind's history to that time. The Crusade included the deployment of 100,000 Astartes from the Luna Wolves, White Scars and Ultramarines Legions, 8,000,000 Imperial Army troops, 100 Titans of the Legio Mortis and 600 starships of the Imperialis Armada and their support personnel. The Ullanor Crusade marked the high point of the Great Crusade's vast effort to reunite the scattered colony worlds of humanity under the rule of the Emperor in the wake of the Age of Strife. Led by the superlative strategic mind of the Luna Wolves Legion's commander, the Primarch Horus Lupercal, the massive Ork Overlord was defeated and the Greenskin forces scattered.
Following this monumental victory, a great Imperial triumph, remembered as the Triumph of Ullanor, was held for the participating forces. It was there that the Emperor of Mankind announced that He would no longer be leading the Great Crusade and intended to return to Terra. In His place to command the vast forces of Mankind he left the Primarch Horus. Horus was granted the new;y-created rank of Imperial Warmaster and assumed command authority over all of his fellow Primarchs and every Expeditionary Fleet of the Great Crusade, sowing the seeds of dissension, pride and wounded feelings that would eventually fester and erupt into all-out civil war during the Horus Heresy.
War of the Beast
Nearly 1,500 standard years later, in 544.M32, a massive Ork WAAAGH! led by a mysterious Warlord known only as The Beast rampaged across the Imperium, growing in size until it became the greatest Greenskin invasion that the galaxy had known to that date, eclipsing even the one defeated by Horus upon Ullanor Prime at the height of the Great Crusade. The Beast centred his empire upon the long-forgotten world of Ullanor Prime, which by that time had become heavily urbanised by the industrious Greenskins, who covered nearly the entire planet in surprisingly well-organised settlements. The seat of The Beast's empire was the Ork capital city of Gorkogrod, built within a massive temple-Gargant on the exact location where the Emperor and the Primarchs had gathered during the Triumph of Ullanor over a millennia earlier. It was The Beast's intent to use Ullanor Prime as the template to perfect the Ork's Attack Moon concept. Converting the entire planet into a mobile battlestation capable of teleporting itself through the multidimensional realm known only as "subspace," The Beast intended to use Ullanor Prime to destroy Terra itself, eliminating the home of the species that had long been the greatest enemy of the Greenskins.
After the world of Ullanor Prime was identified as the original home of The Beast and his massive WAAAGH!, Vulkan, the immortal Perpetual and long-missing Primarch of the Salamanders Legion, led the First Invasion of Ullanor. Together, the Astartes Chapters of Rogal Dorn's lineage who comprised the Terra defence initiative known as the "Last Wall" invaded The Beast's capital world, focusing upon the capital city of Gorkogrod. At the battle's conclusion, Vulkan charged into The Beast's massive temple-Gargant, intent on facing the Ork Warlord alone. During their confrontation, Vulkan destroyed the temple-Gargant in a massive explosion, which seemed to obliterate both Vulkan and The Beast. This shattered the cohesion of The Beast's Greenskins, whose resistance collapsed in the wake of the defeat of their powerful Warlord. However, unknown to the Imperial forces, the Greenskin presence secretly endured on Ullanor Prime.
A Second Invasion of Ullanor was eventually launched by the Imperium which included several battered Adeptus Astartes Chapters, the newly created Deathwatch, several Astra Militarum regiments, Frateris Templar, Skitarii and Legio Cybernetica cohorts, several Imperial Knight Houses, Inquisitorial Storm Troopers, a small cohort of the Sisters of Silence and a Warlord and Warhound Titan. During the second attack on the city of Gorkogrod, an elite assassination force comprised of several Astartes and other supporting Imperial forces discovered that there were in fact six "Beasts" -- each a "Prime-Ork," a Beast in their own right, and a commander of their own Greenskin "Legion," in mockery of the Emperor and His Primarchs and the ancient Space Marine Legions. When Koorland, the Lord Commander of the Imperium and the sole surviving member of the original Imperial Fists Chapter was killed, the Imperial forces were forced to flee with their fallen commander's body and withdraw from Ullanor.
Not long after this defeat, Maximus Thane, the Chapter Master of the Fists Exemplar, led the final desperate Imperial campaign of the War of the Beast during the Third Invasion of Ullanor. The Imperial forces unleashed redirected asteroids as weapons of mass destruction to devastate the Ork-held planet. With the help of the Sisters of Silence and a captured Ork Weirdboy, the null effect of the anti-psyker Silent Sisters joined with the Weirdboy's powers and created a reverse-WAAAGH! effect that utterly devastated the Greenskin hordes of The Beast. During this final confrontation, The Beast was slain.
After the War of the Beast concluded, Maximus Thane assumed command over the Imperial Fists. He was elected the new Lord Commander of the Imperium by the Senatorum Imperialis and ordered the Adeptus Mechanicus to enact an Exterminatus upon Ullanor Prime to erase its memory from history and prevent a new Beast from ever arising. However, the Adeptus Mechanicus was reluctant to carry out the order, as its Tech-priests knew that Ullanor was rich with unclaimed alien technology that had nearly brought the Imperium to its knees.
For the servants of the Machine God, the acquisition of knowledge superseded all other considerations. Coveting Ullanor Prime and its xenos secrets for himself, Fabricator-General Kubik instead acted in direct contravention of the Lord Commander's orders. By reverse-engineering Ork "telyporta" technology that had been used to move the Ork Attack Moons through "subspace" during the recent conflict, the Adeptus Mechanicus was able to secretly teleport the entire world of Ullanor Prime through the Warp to a new location on the edge of the Segmentum Solar. The uninhabited star system where Ullanor was moved had already been marked for colonisation by the Imperium.
The Fabricator-General reported back to the High Lords of Terra that the Ork World had been cast into the heart of the nearest blue supergiant star -- Ullanor was no more. The Fabricator-General then set out to have Ullanor Prime stripped to its core of useful xenos technology. No trace of the Orkish presence upon the world would be left to reveal the truth of the Mechanicus' deception if the planet was later explored or settled by the Imperium.
Within only a few standard centuries, the world once known as Ullanor became a prime location for human settlement due to its virgin status and strategic location in the Segmentum Solar. Once colonised, Ullanor eventually came to be known by a new name, one that would echo down the millennia and become a pivotal point of contention between the Greenskin races and Mankind -- Armageddon.
There are three main landmasses on Armageddon. Most human life is located on the main continent, which is split into two parts, Armageddon Prime and Armageddon Secundus, separated by the thick band of jungle known simply as the Equatorial Jungle. They each had their roles in the Wars for Armageddon but the majority of the fighting took place on the main continent. Most of the information presented here on Armageddon's geography will be limited to that provided by the areas given over to the fighting during the Third War for Armageddon. The bulk of the sub-continents of Armageddon Prime and Secundus are covered in ash wastes, the aftereffects of many millennia of industrial pollution. Several hive cities house the planet's human population and the industry of Armageddon; these include Tempestora, Death Mire and Volcanus on Armageddon Prime and Infernus, Hades, Acheron, Helsreach and Tartarus on Armageddon Secundus.
To the north of Armageddon Prime and Secondus are the Fire Wastes, which are home to the mining and resource gathering industries that support the hive cities' factories. This is an extremely arid region, which has been strip-mined far beyond the point that it can maintain any living ecosystem.
To the south of the main continent lies the ice-covered Deadlands. The polluted ice here is melted and heavily purified to provide a source of drinking water to the inhabitants of the Armageddon hive cities.
The Fire Wastes
The Fire Wastes are located in the far north of Armageddon, where one would expect a cold region of the polar north, possibly indicating that it is not in fact the furthest northerly region on the planet and perhaps it is a region that crosses the equator of the world instead. Regardless of its position, it is the location of many of the ore mines that supply the main settled Armageddon regions with resources in order to create the industry and weapons the world needs to survive.
The vast Sreya Rock Mountains cover most of the northern region of the Fire Wastes. They are burning, volcanic mountains where not a breath of air stirs. It is from here that the River Hesperos springs, which is dammed by the Quaalaback Spur Hydro-Electric Dam which provides power to the Fire Wastes' mining operations. The dam also splits the river into two. There is a pass through the Sreya Rock range, named the Koonanga Creek Canyon, which used to be a fast-flowing river but has since dried up and turned into a hot desert-like pass whose heat and other hazards can kill even the best prepared travelers.
The Black Lung Tar Pits are another region of inhospitable terrain, although these pits have been mined for thousands of years and the ore is used in the industrial processes of the main Armageddon continent.
Another river is the Serestus River which goes around the Black Lung Tar Pits and past the Serestus River Refinery and the Serestus River Mineral Storage Facility and exits into the Boiling Sea via the B'taani Bay Penal Colony.
The sea itself also contains the Aderbein Oil Platform, vital for the functioning of the weapons manufacturers on the mainland. The main port is named the Fire Harbour and is home to hundreds of miles of docks and rigging equipment, designed to transport the minerals excavated and refined in the Fire Wastes to Armageddon.
There is also another ore mine off of the main Fire Wastes map area, far to the east. There used to be an undersea pipeline just off of the map to the west, but that has since been destroyed when the other end of the pipeline was captured by the Orks.
The small frozen continent called the Deadlands is split into two areas, the Deadlands proper and the Netheria Peninsula. The entire continent is far enough to the south that it is completely covered by ice and as such is used primarily as a water creation and purification site. It was attacked with unexpectedly heavy forces by the Orks.
The Deadlands are the westernmost of the two regions on the continent. It contains one of the two main water processing plants, and this is broken down into the St. Capilene Water Processing Plant and the minor Phaedra River Water Processing Plant. The water is then pumped through overland pipes to the Lemaire Channel Water Pumping Station which stores and then pumps water through the undersea pipes to both Hive Helsreach and Hive Tartarus. There is also the Dante's Canyon Oil Drilling Station which supplies oil to the south of main Armageddon continent. The Valdez Gamma Oil Platform also provides oil and is located off the north east coast of the Deadlands. Another oil producing site is the Yarrick Point Oil Drilling Station, located far to the west. Finally, there is the Zebra Ice Station Defense Fortress which protects the entire region from orbital attacks and provides a vital bastion of strength to the defenders of the region.
There are two Ork Rok landing sites as well as an Ork submersible shipyard located to the north. These produce the huge Gigatankers that the Orks used to assault the hive cities on the south coast of Armageddon's main continent.
The Netheria Peninsula is located far to the east of the main Deadlands region and contains the other major water producing site. It has four processing plants, named the Eagle River Water Processing Plant as it is situated on the polluted Eagle River, the Maigaard Rock Water Production Plant, the Resolute Bay Water Processing Plant, which technically purifies the water produced by the Maigaard Rock, and the Laertes Valley Water Processing Plant, which is situated in the Laertes River Valley. These feed into the Netheria Peninsula Water Pumping Station through overland pipes and then this water continues on using undersea pipelines to the main continent of Armageddon. There is also the Valdez Omega Oil Platform which provides oil to Armageddon, as well as the McCready Cape Research Facility which contains many captured Orks, sent there to be studied by Adeptus Mechanicus Tech-priests.
To the north is Orkwik Airfield, a haven for Ork fighters in the south. Also, the S.S. Icerok is located close to Orkwik, a giant iceberg housing thousands of Orks that requires an engine big enough to move it across the ocean to assault Armageddon. There is also one Ork Rok Dropsite to the west.
Finally, there is the Imperial Emplacement OC-1867 "Armageddon Annie" gun battery emplacement, which when coupled with Emplacement SSB-1776 "Lethal Lucy" near Hive Helsreach, serves to defend the south against orbital bombardments which could destroy the undersea pipelines. It also forms a bastion of defensive power, enough to hold the Orks back long enough for Imperial reinforcements to arrive.
Armageddon Prime is the western half of the main Armageddon continent, joined to Armageddon Secundus through the Equatorial Jungle. It has three large hive cities including Hive Tempestora, Hive Death Mire and Hive Volcanus, with the possibility of a fourth, long destroyed hive city in the Plains of Anthrand, which may possibly have been Hive Anthrand or Hive Blackfire.
The Hive Volcanus region is on the far western edge of Armageddon Prime. Its two most obvious features are the gigantic mountain ranges to the south and the many islands to the west. The Volcanus Mountains and Volcanus Ridge cover most of the southern half of the area and atop the largest mountain is the Volcanus Mountain Space Defence Fortress, which was overrun by Orks from the Rok dropsite to the east. The easiest path through the mountains is the Mannheim Gap, named after the Iron Skulls Titan Legion Princeps Kurtiz Mannheim, a hero of the Second War for Armageddon.
Hive Volcanus itself occupies the central area of Armageddon Prime with its motorway leading to the Vulcan Bridge. In the west, on a number of the islands, is the Volcanus Archipelago Offshore Defences which patrol the rivers and waterways leading up to Volcanus Hive, also the Nemesis Island Penal Facility is located nearby, holding the worst criminals from the hives of Armageddon Prime.
The main feature of Hive Tempestora is the docks and pipelines from the Fire Wastes. There is also an Ork submersible graveyard, from which the Orks launched their attack on Tempestora and subsequently overran it. Also to the north is some Ash Wastelands created form the waste from the Tempestora East Factory Complex, the Morpheus Factory Complex and Khatrin Water Purification Plant, on the Morpehus River. There is one Ork Rok Dropsite located to the Southeast. Finally, the Morpheon Line of Imperial defenses faces inwards in order to contain the Orks within the hive and eventually launch an Imperial attack on Tempestora with the intention of taking it back.
Hive Death Mire
Hive Death Mire is in the northern-central area of the region, and the most prominent features are the Equatorial Jungle in the southwest, the Hecate Mountains in the north and Death Ridge in the south, where the Orks can link with the Feral Orks from the Equatorial Jungle and launch assaults on the actual hive. There are two Ork Rok drop sites far to the west, the Phlegthon Bridge also to the west and River Insane tunnel in the centre of the region as well as a motorway running throughout. In the Hecate Mountains is the Eyes of the Emperor Observatory, watching over a vast area of Armageddon Prime for Ork troop movements, and which provides vital intelligence to Imperial forces. It was critical in the destruction of the Blackfire Tribe by observing Ork mobilisation in the Plains of Anthrand. Mire Anchorage is now one of the only deep water areas available for the gigantic Gigatankers to arrive with the loss of the Hive Helsreach ports and the heavy fighting around the Diabolus Cove, although it is badly infested by Orks. It is defended by the Storm Lords Space Marines Chapter and the Armageddon Ork Hunters. Finally, the vast Tempestor Victorum Line guards a large area from the Hecate Mountains to the Equatorial Jungle to protect the south and west flanks of Hive Death Mire. It takes its name from the two groups of Titans stationed there, Legio Tempestor and Legio Victorum, which have both pounded the Orks with unrelenting fire from the many bunkers and siege positions.
Armageddon Secundus is the eastern half of the main Armageddon continent, joined to Armageddon Prime by the Equatorial Jungle. It has five large Hives including Hive Helsreach, Hive Infernus and Hades Hive, Hive Acheron and Hive Tartarus, although Hades Hive was destroyed in an orbital bombardment near the beginning of the Third War for Armageddon.
Hive Helsreach is dominated by the Hive itself as well as the Balboa Mountains to the east, overlooking Grendel's Lock, a huge dock which has been mostly overrun by the Orks. Further to the southeast is the Valdez Alpha Offshore Oil Platform, providing vital resources to the factories of Armageddon. To the south is the Valhaskan Arteries which pump water from the Deadlands into the southern hives. The Ironside Shipyards are also on the south coast where ships are built and repaired, but they were quickly overrun by the Orks. There is one Ork Rok Dropsite as well as Hels Highway and the Batraxian Barrier with the gigantic weapons battery called Lethal Lucy. Also, part of the Hemlock Cordon is located to the northeast, containing many Imperial forces after the fall of Hive Acheron. Also, to the northwest is the Stygies Bridge, crossing the River Stygies.
The Hive Infernus region is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Pallidus Mountains and the Diablo Mountains, with Ork Mountain located at the peak of the Diablo Mountains. Hive Infernus is located at the centre of the region and is linked with the motorway and Stygies Bridge to the Hive Helsreach area. The Diablos Forge Complex, located to the east of the hive, saw the first action with the Orks and was the site of a battle between the Orks and the Titan Legio Crucius. Six Titans and eight Ork Gargents were destroyed, but in the process the battle practically destroyed the entire Forge Complex. Diabolus Cove has become the centre of Ork fighting to prevent resources from reaching the hive and as such many Gigatankers have been destroyed in the process. The Equatorial Jungle to the east is met by a large area of Ash Wastes from the nearby factories and is very close to the Krynnan Canal which allows ships to move between the Boiling Sea and Tempest Ocean without having to sail all around the western end of the main Armageddon landmass. To the south is the Infernus South Forge Complex which produces many Chimeras and a vast amount of ordnance for the defenders of Hive Infernus. The Stygian Bulwark is located to the east of the Infernus South Forge Complex and is there to protect it from the Orks hiding in the Pallidus Mountains, with huge areas of fortifications and bombardment points spread along its length.
Hades Hive is a blasted area, the entire hive city itself destroyed early on in the Third War for Armageddon by an orbital bombardment of asteroids in vengeance for the hive's victory over the Orks in the Second War for Armageddon, where Hades Hive was the lynch pin in defeating the Orks by holding up so many that their offensive stalled. To the southwest is the Diablo Mountains and Ork Mountain, to the east is the Eumendies Bridge that links to the main motorway and passes the Averneas Forge Complex, which produces vast amounts of vehicles and ordnance for the war effort. It was partially destroyed when shards broke off from the Ork asteroids when they bombarded the hive city. The Ork Rok Dropsite is located close to the motorway in the south and the majority of the area is covered in Ash Wastes from the nearby industry. In the northwest the Yarricks Hope Harbour is a centre of Imperial resistance but was largely destroyed, however, small attack craft can be launched from there to defend the pipelines across the Boiling Sea.
Hive Acheron is far to the east of Armageddon Secundus, but is covered in vast areas of Ash Wastes from the Acheron East and West factories and the Euminidies Munitorum Factory Complex, with motorways leading to Hades Hive and Hive Tartarus. There are two Ork Rok Dropsites with the Acheron Hive in between both. To the south, the Hemlock River Tunnel runs under the Hemlock River and to the north was the Von Strab Memorial Arch, recently changed to the image of Herman von Strab throughout the whole arch. To the southwest is the Hemlock Cordon where escapees from Hive Acheron have set up their fortifications. The Hive has fallen to the Orks, but only through the treachery of Herman von Strab when he handed control over to them.
Hive Tartarus is in the southeast of Armageddon Secundus and the hive itself is at the centre, surrounded and besieged constantly with little hope of survival. The Tartarus West Factory, Hemlock Factory Complex and Skelitus Factory Complex contribute to the Ash Wastes to the east and one Ork Rok overlooks the entire area to the northeast. There is one motor way north to Hive Acheron and one pipeline south to the Deadlands to bring fresh water to the hive city. The Hemlock Cordon is also partially in this area, where survivors from Hive Acheron have gathered. Clain's Stronghold was formed when units of defenders marched to Hive Infernus but were quickly stopped by an Ork force and forced to build defenses in the area which are now constantly pounded by Ork artillery.
The Equatorial Jungle
The Equatorial Jungle is the region between Armageddon Secundus and Armageddon Prime and consists mainly of large forested areas. It is bridged by a long, straight motorway and leads to the Minos Bridge, which crosses the Minos River into Armageddon Secundus. The motorway also passes through Cerbera Base, the home of the unit of the Imperial Guard known as the Armageddon Ork Hunters, from which they launch their assaults on the Feral Orks within the jungle. These Orks were left over after the first Ork invasion during the Second War for Armageddon and have reverted to a feral state.
There is also the ruins of the Wolf Outpost which was destroyed by its base commander activating the self-destruct mechanism when it was overrun by Orks. It flattened the surrounding forty miles of jungle but also killed every single attacking Ork. To the north is Plateau Greenskin, the home to the largest concentration of Feral Orks. Due to its high position and difficult access routes, it has yet to be fully cleared of Greenskins. To the south of this plateau is an uninhabited region surrounding an ancient artifact of unknown origin, although it looks Necron in design. Anyone who goes near the object is driven insane and returns as a gibbering husk of their former self.
Far to the south is Angron's Monolith, a Chaotic artefact that has diseased the surrounding area with its emanations of Warp power and is now off-limits. Somehow it has resisted all attempts at its destruction. It appears to be linked to the Warp, and may serve as a Warp portal for daemon assaults on realspace but its true purpose is unknown. Finally, to the far southeast are the Plague Marshes where other warbands of Feral Orks thrive. Unfortunately, hundreds of Imperial Guardsmen died of plague and disease caused by the giant insects that inhabit the area, preventing effective sweeps of the marshes even though each Guardsman serving in the area is given special antiviral drugs and antibiotics to counteract the pathogens.
Phoenix Island is a large mining area similar to the Fire Wastes, in that it has a mine, refinery and storage facilities. It has two large docks as well as a spaceport used to house Space Marine Thunderbolts and Imperial Navy Furies. The main mine is known as the Nadala Gorge Ore Mine and is vital for the operation of Armageddon. Ancient machinery works in toxic conditions as the mine has been in operation for thousands of years. The ore is then shipped to the Valkyrie Bay Refinery which produces the chemicals and materials required for continuing the war on Armageddon. These are then shipped in turn to the Phoenix Island Mineral Storage Facility in the southeast of the island. The items are then shipped on to either the Jabiru Quay docks or the Ibis Reef Harbour for shipping to the rest of Armageddon.
The spaceport present on Phoenix Island is named Victorinius and is home to many of the Imperial Navy's Thunderbolt and Fury fighter squadrons as well as serving as an Imperial stronghold against the Ork forces. To the northeast is the Heliopolis Bridge, a vital connection to the north and the Fire Wastes region. Unfortunately, Ork Roks landed directly in the path of this bridge and blockaded it, preventing Imperial land forces from accessing the island, completely cutting it off from reinforcement by land.
Three major wars have been fought on and around Armageddon, including:
First War for Armageddon
The First War for Armageddon is perhaps the least well-known of the conflicts fought on the world, and probably for good reason. Chaos Cultists worshiping the Chaos God Khorne broke out in rebellion against the world's Imperial government during a Warp storm. Soon, a great Space Hulk appeared over the planet, containing none other than Angron, the Daemon Prince of Khorne who had once been the Primarch of the World Eaters Traitor Legion.
The daemonic legions and Chaos Cultists quickly pushed the Imperial defenders back in an orgy of bloodshed, until help arrived in the form of the Space Wolves and the Grey Knights Space Marines. With the Space Wolves bolstering the planetary defences, the Grey Knights fought through to the center of the daemonic horde, eventually banishing Angron and his army from the material world back to Warpspace, leaving the cultists to be crushed by the Imperial counterattack.
But one final tragedy was to strike the planet. In order to preserve the secret of the Daemon Primarch's existence, the entire population of Armageddon, as well as all the surviving soldiers, was rounded up, sterilized, and sentenced by the Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition to Imperial Adeptus Arbites work camps for the rest of their lives while a new population was brought to re-settle the planet. Logan Grimnar, the Great Wolf (Chapter Master) of the Space Wolves, has never forgiven the Inquisition for carrying out such a betrayal of the men and women who fought for their world against the hordes of Chaos.
Second War for Armageddon
The second invasion of Armageddon was a massive force of Orks that arrived in 941.M41 led by the mighty Warboss Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka. The Imperial planetary governor, Overlord Herman von Strab, was completely unprepared for the attack, and his own pride and incompetence only made matters worse. Eventually, the defense of the planet was taken over by Commander Dante of the Blood Angels Space Marines. During the war, an Imperial Commissar named Yarrick, who had been exiled by Von Strab to Hades Hive, led a heroic defense of that hive city that eventually distracted Ghazghkull, infuriating him enough to send more and more Ork forces against Hades Hive. The battle escalated to such proportions that Ghazghkull considered the fight a matter of personal pride, and took command of the forces of Hades himself, blinding him to the other battles on the world. Although the hive city eventually fell, the distraction gave the Imperial forces enough time to mount a counterattack that finally broke the back of the Ork invasion force. Commissar Yarrick survived, and would clash with Ghazghkull again. Von Strab escaped from his jailers, and the Orks would come once more...
In 1992, Games Workshop released Battle for Armageddon, a board game detailing the events of the Second Armageddon War. Also the events of this war formed the main background for the Warhammer 40,000 second edition box set.
Third War for Armageddon
Fifty-seven standard years to the day after his first attempt to conquer Armageddon, Ghazghkull Thraka led a second Ork WAAAGH! against the planet in 998.M41, unleashing the Third War for Armageddon. Commissar Yarrick and many of the heroes who had fought in defence of the planet before were called to battle again. The conflict ultimately ended in a stalemate, with neither side able to take full control of the world, though the cost in lives and treasure was immense. Armageddon will need many decades, if not centuries, to recover from the war.
In 2000, Games Workshop held a worldwide campaign for Warhammer 40,000, Epic 40,000, and Battlefleet Gothic, where the results of battles played by hobbyists could be sent in to the company from all over the world. Each country or region corresponded to a sector of the planet (for example, Great Britain represented Hive Infernus, while the area around Helsreach Hive was fought over in the United States). A Codex was also released for the campaign, which included army lists for the Armageddon Steel Legion, Ork Speed Freeks, the Black Templars and Salamanders Space Marine Chapters and Planetary Defence Forces (based on the Imperial Guard army list).
Although the Third War for Armageddon has ended (with the Imperium winning a narrow victory), fighting still continues on the planet. Ghazghkull has left the planet, pursued by Commissar Yarrick's Imperial Guard forces, accompanied by High Marshal Helbrecht with a full Black Templars Crusade at his back. The Orks have come to regard Armageddon as a kind of Valhalla, where they can always come to find a good fight, and the Imperium must still send more troops to battle to keep the planet in Imperial hands.
After the Great Rift
For much of the 41st Millennium Armageddon had been a battleground. First invaded by the servants of Chaos, it was later the site of a massive war between the Ork hordes of Ghazghkull Thraka and the Imperium. Although the infamous Greenskin leader left at the end of the Third War for Armageddon to establish what he called the "Great WAAAGH!", the onslaught continued. Not even the great Warp Storms unleashed by the birth of the Great Rift in 999.M41 could halt the fighting, but they did change its nature. During the period of the Noctis Aeterna, reinforcements were cut off for both sides, and those en route to the system were swept into oblivion. Those combatants who remained on Armageddon were forced to face not just each other, but oncoming waves of daemons. At times, so desperate were the defenders that Ork and humans fought alongside each other against the greater threat. Such temporary ceasefires never lasted long.
By the time the beacon of the Astronomican burned bright once more and easy travel through the Immaterium was possible, an Imperial relief force arrived to find the landscape of Armageddon greatly changed. At the height of the Warp Storms, the daemonic forces of Tzeentch and Khorne had battled each other as part of their eternal competition in the Great Game. The Orks and Imperial defenders sought cover as titanic Greater Daemons duelled for supremacy. Fully half the planet was reshaped into a hellish landscape reminiscent of many Daemon Worlds – a nightmare born of the Warp merged with the ruins of a war-torn Hive World. The Imperial reinforcements, led by elements of nine Space Marine Chapters with the Salamanders in overall command, succeeded in halting a daemonic ritual that would have brought Angron, the Primarch of the World Eaters, back to the world that had defied him during the First War for Armageddon.
- Codex Adeptus Astartes - Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 19, 34, 43, 45, 49, 106-107
- Codex: Armageddon (3rd Edition), pp. 13-32
- Codex: Black Templars (4th Edition), pp. 20-21
- Codex: Chaos Space Marines (3rd Edition, 2nd Codex), pg. 8
- Codex: Grey Knights (5th Edition), pg. 13
- Codex Heretic Astartes - Chaos Space Marines (8th Edition), pp. 15, 109
- Codex: Orks (4th Edition), pg. 25
- Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pp. 20-22
- Epic Armageddon Rulebook, pg. 61
- Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse (6th Edition), pp. 307-308
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (8th Edition), pp. 44, 48, 52, 56, 70, 73, 151, 167
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (6th Edition), pp. 176, 193
- Warhammer 40,000: Rulebook (4th Edition) , pg. 34
- White Dwarf 278 (US), "Codicium Imperialis: The First War for Armageddon," by Graham McNeill and Andy Hoare
- White Dwarf 151 (UK), "The Chaos Wars: The First Battle for Armageddon," by Jervis Johnson
- Annihilation Squad (Novel) by Gav Thorpe
- Helsreach (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
- Last Chancers (Novel Series) by Gav Thorpe
- The Emperor's Gift (Novel) by Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Chapters 19-22
- The Beheading (Novel) by Guy Haley, Chapters 5-6 (The Beast Arises Book 12)
- Third War for Armageddon Wordwide Campaign Map