So, Severus gave me a homework assignment, write a brief blog about power armour and which legions can use the individual marks. This is going to be really basic, and more to be used as help for which legions should be equipped with the different possible Mks.
MkI – Thunder Power Armor
Available to Legions: None
The less said about this armour, the better. It isn’t really power armour. Yes, it was what helped the Emperor reunite the clans of Terra. Once the Emperor unified the Terran solar system, he moved on to bigger and better things. However, the design was not suitable for the great crusade. Towards the end of the Age of Strife, the MKII armor was designed. The MKI is not suitable for any legion, and I don’t even know where one would be ably to buy them.
MkII – Crusade Power Armour
Available to Legions: All
And here is where the fun begins. The MKII armour was meant for the crusade, as the name implies. This was the first real power armour available to the legions. Depending on the time frame you were aiming for when building your Legion, This would be one of the more common Mks that should be fielded in your army. Every legion can take them and fit in with the story.
MkIII – Iron Power Armour
Available to Legions: All
This next Mk looks like an actual progression took place when designing the armour. It’s a little sleeker looking, but still bears a lot of resemblance to the MkII armour. Again this armour was available to all legions, and would be pretty common in pre-heresy Legions.
MkIV – Maximus Power Armour
Available to Legions: All (Traitor Legions had a higher concentration)
At the height of the great crusade, the Adeptus Mechanicus of Mars introduced this new armour to the Legions. The old MkII’s were wearing out, and while some Legions repaired and maintained the old armour, new armour was slowly being delivered to legions on the front line. It should not be a surprise the Horus would want the latest and greatest armour for the Legions in the think of the crusade, most of which became traitors.
MkV – Heresy Power Armour
Available to Legions: Mostly Loyalist, but a lot still made it into the traitors.
With supply lines cut, and relying on themselves to design and upkeep their own armour, Legions came up with what is the MkV. The layered the armour and it was held together with studs, hence the giant studded shoulder pads. Even the traitors did get ahold of this armour, in fact, the imperium is distrustful Space Marines who don the MkV power armour. (My poor Carcharodons)
MkVI – Corvus Power Armour
Available to Legions: Loyalist* (High Concentration in Raven Guard)
Ah, old Beakie. I actually try to use this armour as much as possible in my Carcharodons (and the MKV). This was supposed to be the MkV, but the outbreak of the Horus Heresy delayed it’s introduction. The shape of the helmet was due to all of the new sensors added to the helmet. It was named after the Raven Guard’s Primarch, which also explains why it is so common with that Legion.
MKVII – Aquilla Power Armour
Available to Legions: Select Loyalists (Ultramarine, White Scars, ask the primarch)
This mark was delevoped during the final stages of the Horus Heresy, and had parts that were interchangeable with the MkVI. In fact, as Horus brought the war to Mars, those working on this Mk were brought to Terra to complete their work. Only select loyalist were able to get this Mk due to where the war was being fought. To be true, only those fighting in defense of Terra would have any of these.
MKVIII – Errant Power Armour
Available to Legions: None during the Horus Heresy
This is the latest and greatest of the power armour. Created after the Horus Heresy, none of the legions would use this. In fast, even in 40K, it is an uncommon Mk to see. More common than MkII and MkIII, but still very rare.
*Alpha Legion could use almost all Marks of armor. But anything past the MkIV would be extremely limited. You can make the argument/story that those few soldiers infiltrated a loyalist legion, killed a few guys, and rejoined the legion. Again, that would be extremely rare.