Creating Space Marine Chapters-Richard Galvez

August 23, 2018 | Author: Worm of Nilus | Category: Sergeant, Corporal, Armed Conflict, Leisure
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Descripción: The Warhammer 40,000 universe is one rich in history and character. The most popular armies are the various...


DIY CHAPTERS Creating Your Own Space Marine Chapter for Warhammer 40,000 By Richard Galvez

The Warhammer 40,000 universe is one rich in history and character. The most popular armies are the various Chapters of the Space Marines. Games Workshop has published seven army lists for various Chapters, and the Index Astartes articles that appear regularly in White Dwarf magazine provide background on the Space Marines in general, and new Chapters in particular. There are reputed to be over 1,000 Chapters of Space Marines, though, and many players enjoy making up their own Chapter. It is very easy to use one of the official Chapters, but there is an immense gratification gratification from creating your own Chapter. You will be able to identify more closely with a Do-ItYourself (DIY) Chapter. Chapter. What follows is my advice on creating a DIY Chapter of Space Marines. This work is not mine alone, it is the result of much time spent on-line looking at other DIY Chapters; and it is a consolidation of the advice given by various members of the Bolter & Chainsword Space Marine Discussion Group (where I am known as Brother Tyler). I could not have done this without without the dedicated work of others. others. Hopefully this helps helps those  players of the WH40K WH40K game who are are new to the game, game, or who have never never labored long and hard over the creation creation of  a new Chapter. There are two major aspects aspects of Chapter creation. creation. They are the Background (known affectionately as “fluff”) and the Rules and Army List. Chapter creation creation isn’t necessarily necessarily a step-by-step step-by-step process. Background information information might have an impact on the rules and army list, list, and vice versa. Additionally, we will will look at Making Your Chapter Unique and Hints & Things to Avoid in creating your Chapter. METHODS OF CHAPTER CREATION

There are three basic methods you can use in the creation of your Chapter. The first method is simply to use one of the existing army lists. This method is the easiest, and ensures that you will  be able to use your your Chapter in officially officially sanctioned sanctioned tournaments. All you have to do is create the background material, color scheme and markings, markings, and create any special characters that you want. For example, if you really like the Blood Angels army list, but want to paint your army a different color, you could create a DIY Chapter  virtually identical to the Blood Angels. When using this method, keep in mind that any special characters or special wargear that may only be used by the original Chapter won’t be usable in your DIY Chapter. So your Blood Angels-based DIY Chapter can’t use Mephiston, Dante, etc. The second method is to use one of the existing army lists as a template, making changes where appropriate. A good example of this method is the Flesh Tearers army list which appeared in a recent White Dwarf Index Astartes article. The game designers used the the Blood Angels as a template, template, modifying here and there. there. The resulting Flesh Flesh Tearers rules were obviously based on the Blood Angels, but distinct from them. them. If you play in an officially sanctioned tournament, you will have to play based on the original (i.e. official) army list instead of your DIY rules. The third method is to create an army list and rules from the ground up. You can combine elements of different army lists, or create rules and organization unique to your Chapter. This method is by far the most time-consuming and difficult. The end result, though, will will be worth the effort. You won’t be able to use this Chapter Chapter in officially sanctioned tournaments, though, unless the army it creates can be duplicated by using one of the official Chapters. Included in this article is an example of a DIY Chapter created using the methods and principles discussed. To keep it simple, I have chosen to use the second method, that of taking an existing army list and subtly altering it. The primary method I am using to distinguish my Chapter from others will be in its history and appearance. For  inspiration, I have taken the model of the British Commandos and U.S.M.C. Raiders of WWII as my guide. Regardless of the method you choose, a vital issue is game balance. The rules and army army list you come come up with should be balanced so that your army is not overpowered. This will be covered in greater depth later in the section titled Balancing Your Army.


Use the format of the Index Astartes articles as your guide. There are reputed to be a thousand Space Marine Chapters, each with its own unique uniform and heraldry.  None can be sure of the exact number of Chapters as new ones are founded over time and as old Chapters die die or  amalgamate. Many are extraordinarily ancient and can trace their Founding Founding to the very dawn of the Imperium, ten thousand years past.

- From From the the Wa Warh rham amme merr 40 000 000 Rule Rulebo book  ok  Origin Come up with a history for your your Chapter. Consider the following: following: •

Why your Chapter was created (to stem a growing threat from Eldar Raiders, to replace a Chapter lost in the Warp, etc.) When your Chapter was created. created. While many Chapters know know which Founding they are from, from, some do not. In this case, when do the earliest known records of your Chapter date back to? principally operates. Do they patrol near the Cadian Gate? Do they face the the Where your Chapter principally encroachment of one of the Tyranid Tyranid Hive Fleets? Much of this can be based on the armies armies fielded by your  opponents. If several of the players have Chaos armies, perhaps your Chapter is based near the Eye of Terror, the Maelstrom, or one of the smaller areas of Warp overlap with the material universe. Who the key players in your Chapter’s creation were. Perhaps yours is a very young Chapter and the original Chapter Master is still alive. alive. Perhaps the Inquisition Inquisition had a hand hand in creating your Chapter. Also, Who does your  Chapter share a significant relationship relationship with? The Space Wolves and Dark Angels, for example, share an enmity which results in a special rule. Is there any organization that your Chapter shares a significant hatred hatred of, or friendship for? These special relationships relationships may or may not have resulting resulting special rules. Even if they don’t, they add character to your Chapter. What are some of the major engagements your Chapter has participated participated in. Perhaps they have faced Hive Fleet Behemoth, or assisted in the Third War for Armageddon.

Following the Fourth Quadrant Rebellion which ended in 780.M41, Imperial forces in the quadrant had been reduced below acceptable readiness levels. When the Emperor’s Tarot revealed revealed the potential for an Ork  Waaagh! within a century, a new Chapter of Space Marines was created. In the centuries since its inception, the Chapter has successfully put down the Waaagh! foreseen by the Emperor’s Tarot, as well as several other Ork incursions. incursions. Lately, the Chapter has participated participated in actions against Hive Fleet Kraken. The original Chapter Master, Colonel Evans, fell in battle slaying the Ork Warlord known as the Arch-Dictator  of Na ruk. Colonel Colonel Merrit Merritt, t, who who is the the current current Cha Cha ter Master Master,, succeede succeeded d him.

KNOWN (OR SUSPECTED) FOUNDING DATES Aside from the First Founding, only three other foundings have their dates in the records.

The Second Founding occurred in M31. The Thirteenth (Dark) Founding is believed to have occurred sometime between M34 and M35. The Twenty-First (Cursed) Founding Founding occurred in late M35 or early M36.

Homeworld The type of planet your Chapter comes from will give you ideas for its character. You will get some sense of a cultural identity for your Chapter based on the culture of its homeworld. For example, a Chapter based on a planet whose culture is similar to Feudal Japan would incorporate incorporate some interesting features. Even if you don’t have a distinct culture in mind, the type of world (i.e. Hive World, Death World, etc.) will have some impact on your  Chapter. For example, Chapters based on Forge Worlds might have access to more technology, while while those based on Feudal Worlds might have a more knightly feel to them.

Most Chapters have their fortress-monastery on a planet, recruiting primarily from the inhabitants of that planet. Some, however, are fleet-based. fleet-based. The Dark Angels, for example, inhabit the Rock, while the Black Templars Templars rove the galaxy aboard their ships. Both of these Chapters recruit from a great many worlds, which is reflected reflected in the cultural diversity of the Space Marines within within the Chapter. Consider how the Chapter fits into the culture of its homeworld and how the society has influenced your Chapter. The Space Wolves, for example, remain remain within the confines of the Fang, and are viewed as the messengers of the gods by the natives of their homeworld of Fenris. The Salamanders, meanwhile, live and work among the inhabitants of Nocturne when not gathered for war. When the Chapter was created, it was decided that the fourth planet in the Aeron system, the death world known as Lorelei’s Hope, would be the ideal base. Noted for its vicious predators and oppressive environment, Lorelei’s Lorelei’s Hope provided a suitable training area. Additionally, Lorelei’s Lorelei’s Hope was home to a hardy people, with an Imperial Guard Regiment that neared the Catachans in its ferocity ferocity and skill. The new Chapter would have an appropriate recruiting population. Lorelei’s Hope is a jungle world, broken up by swamps and mountains. The inhabitants eke out an existence in the cities they have constructed constructed in the mountainsides and the rare clearings in the vast jungles. jungles. The technological level is as standard for the Imperium, but the harshness of life there focuses everyone on survival. Hunting is the primary lifestyle, with with food also being harvested from the few digestible plants that grow there. Despite the rigors of life on Lorelei’s Hope, or perhaps because of it, the people share in frequent festivals. The Space Marines of the Chapter inhabit a mighty fortress monastery in the Southern Reaches, but maintain a strong presence within the cities by sending a squad to each. This duty is rotated annually between the Reserve Companies. These Marines serve as recruiters and as training cadres to the Imperial Guard Guard Regiment. The inhabitants of Lorelei’s Hope take pride in displaying displaying the trophies of the hunt. This tradition has remained with the Space Marines, who display trophies trophies of battle. Also, the clan system prevalent on the  planet has created created an elaborate system system of tattooing. tattooing. The Space Marines Marines have also continued continued this tradition, tradition, adapting it to facial tattoos as marks of loyalty and honor.

Combat Doctrine What is the style of combat preferred by your Chapter? In a nutshell, is it oriented towards shooting, assault, or a mix of the two styles? Generally speaking, the special rules for your Chapter should contribute contribute advantageously to the preferred style of combat. The majority of the published army lists (Black Templars, Templars, Blood Angels, Flesh Tearers, Space Wolves) are geared towards assault-oriented assault-oriented armies. armies. Notice how each has advantages in the assault,  but all have different different rules for this. The Stubborn/Intractable Stubborn/Intractable rules, meanwhile, give give the Dark Angels Angels a more shooting-oriented nature. Those Chapters that follow the Codex Astartes Astartes tend to be a mix of the two styles, tactically flexible. It is possible, though, to have a Chapter that is geared towards a mix of the styles while having special rules for each style. The Salamanders, for example, example, have special rules which balance their shooting and assaulting nature, balancing them into the mixed category.

More than anything, the combat doctrine you decide upon will be affected by the army list and rules you create for  your Chapter.

Although deviating somewhat from the Codex Astartes, Astartes, the Chapter maintains tactical tactical flexibility. It prefers neither shooting nor assaulting, switching between between the two as the situation dictates. That said, the bolter is especially revered amongst the brothers of the Chapter and few go to battle equipped with pistols.

Organization How closely does your Chapter follow the Codex Astartes Astartes in its organization? Most Chapters follow the Codex closely, some fanatically fanatically so. A great many, however, deviate in some way. A very rare few will will completely disregard the Codex Astartes, having a significantly significantly different organization. The Ultramarines are a Codex Chapter, following the dictates of the Codex Astartes very closely. closely. In their organization, the Dark Angels follow the Codex closely except with regard to the Deathwing and the Ravenwing. The Space Wolves, however, are radically radically different in their organization, ignoring the Codex Astartes in favor of their Primarch, Leman Russ.

Codex Organization appeared in a recent White Dwarf magazine Index Astartes article.

Owing to the strong presence of the Imperial Guard Regiment on Lorelei’s Hope, the Chapter has adopted a rank structure which, while close to the Codex Astartes, Astartes, is somewhat different in its terminology. Each squad is led by a Sergeant, who is assisted by a Corporal. Each Company is led by a Captain, who is assisted by a Lieutenant and a First Sergeant. Additionally, the four Battle Companies Companies are organized into the First Battalion Battalion while the four Reserve Companies are organized into the Second Battalion. Battalion. Each Battalion is led by a Major, who is assisted by a Captain and a Sergeant Major, and a Command squad rounding out the Battalion Staff. Finally, the First Company is led by the Chapter Master, or Colonel. Colonel. He is assisted by a Captain and the Chapter Sergeant Major. Major. The Chapter’s Companies Companies follow standard Codex Codex Astartes organization. organization. The primary variation is in the Command Elements.

“There is less than one Space Marine for each world of the Imperium. Nevertheless they are number enough for  the task at hand.” - Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook  Beliefs The beliefs of your Chapter will be based on several things. Primary among these is the culture from which your  Chapter recruits. The Mortifactors, Mortifactors, for example, recruit recruit from tribes of headhunters. The belief system of the parent parent culture has carried over into the Chapter. Another factor affecting your Chapter’s beliefs beliefs is the gene-seed from which it was created. If your Chapter knows from whom it descends, it might incorporate incorporate a similar belief system. Some Chapters, however, do not know from whom their gene-seed gene-seed originated. In these cases, the belief system  probably wouldn’t carry over (so you could have a Chapter Chapter created with with the gene-seed of the Space Wolves, Wolves, but they would have some other explanation for their canines and the Wulfen). The beliefs you give your Chapter might affect such things as Combat Doctrine, Chapter Markings, etc.

Owing to its recent inception and the unknown parentage of its gene-seed, the Chapter follows the Ecclesiarchy in its religious practices. Gene-Seed What Chapter’s gene-seed was used in the creation of your Chapter? Some Chapters, like the Ultramarines Ultramarines and Imperial Fists, have very pure gene-seed; while others, like the Blood Angels and Space Wolves, have significant mutations. Every Chapter is required to send a tithe of its gene-seed to the Adeptus Mechanicus for monitoring and for use in restoring the Chapter to full combat strength or creating new Chapters. When the Emperor decides that a new Chapter of Space Marines is to be created, the Adeptus Mechanicus finds a pure gene-seed for each zygote, implanting a human test-slave with each of the organs, then harvesting the resulting progenoids for further  duplication. While it is general practice to take only pure zygotes from one Chapter’s store of gene-seed, it is

 possible that the the Adeptus Mechanicus Mechanicus might use impure impure gene-seed, and that that they might use zygotes from different Chapters. Also remember that the gene-seed isn’t used only from the First Founding Founding Legions, the gene-seed from Successor Chapters might be used. It should be noted, however, that the Adeptus Mechanicus is inclined to use the gene-seed of the Ultramarines and their Successors much more often than from other Legions/Chapters. An important consideration is the effect of gene-seed. Some Chapters have special rules derived from mutations mutations in their gene-seed. There are also special rules that are not related to gene-seed, but come from training and beliefs beliefs or  the Chapter. The Space Wolves, for example, have a mutation in the gene-seed that causes their canines to continue growing as they age. This is a mutation which would probably carry over into any Successor Chapters created created using their gene-seed. The Space Wolves also have have the True Grit special special rule, which is the result of of training. This would not necessarily carry over into any Successor Chapters. That said, there is no reason that you can’t create special rules based on training or an attitude, or as the result of a new gene-seed mutation. Unknown to the Chapter, it was founded using the gene-seed of the Silver Skulls.

THE DARK FOUNDING  Not all the foundings foundings of Space Marine Chapters Chapters are recorded in exact exact detail. However, the Adeptus Terra maintains a single bank of original gene-seed from every single Chapter ever created since the Horus Heresy. There is one notable notable exception: the Thirteenth Thirteenth Founding, also known as the Dark Dark Founding. No-one knows how many Chapters were created by the Dark Founding or what became of them. Perhaps the secret lies in some deep vault in the record office of the Adeptus Terra. Maybe the Space Marines of the Dark Founding are still out there somewhere, waiting to return to the world that created them.


From White Dwarf magazine Index Astartes Codex Astartes

Battlecry Come up with something intimidating to the enemies of Mankind, and appropriate to your Chapter’s character and history.

“Only in Death does Duty End!”


The key to creating a DIY Chapter that is acceptable to other players will be in balancing the rules and army list. If  your Chapter seems over-powerful to other players, it is likely that they won’t allow you to use the rules you have labored so long to create. If, however, you have created a Chapter with balanced rules, you are much more likely to  be allowed to play play them. A note, it is is better to create create a Chapter with a distinct distinct character, but slightly weaker weaker rules. The Flesh Tearers, for example, are often perceived perceived as being weaker than the Blood Angels. They have a distinct character, but the rules for them have distinct weaknesses. When you create your Chapter, if you are unsure about the balanced playability of your rules, it is better to err on the side of weakness. You won’t seem beardy and other   players will enjoy the opportunity opportunity to play against a unique Chapter. What follows is a description of ways you can balance the rules for your army list. They will be inter-related, so where changes in some of the following will give your Chapter advantages, changes in others will balance this with disadvantages. Special Rules You might want to add special rules in order to give your Chapter character, to give them advantages, or to balance out advantages with disadvantages. It is important to remember that special rules don’t have point values, they are an inherent part of your army. As such, special rules must be suitably countered, either by other special rules or by

changing the variables below. below. Special rules should always always mesh well with the the character of your Chapter. Chapter. Look  closely at the special rules of other Chapters and consider how they are balanced. Any special rule you add to your  Chapter should be similarly balanced. BLOOD ANGELS SUCCESSOR CHAPTERS The Blood Angels Chapter was originally part of a much larger Legion during the Second Founding. Just as it is itself an offshoot of an older institution, so too has Blood Angels gene-seed been used to create several Successor Chapters.

These Successor Chapters were were created before the discovery of the Blood Angels’ flaw. The most widely known are [the Chapters Angels Vermillion, Angels Sanguine, Angels Encarmine, Blood Drinkers, and the Flesh Tearers], but doubtless there are many others in dark and far-flung corners of the galaxy, each trying to  battle the legacy that is the Red Thirst. - From Codex Blood Angels Changing Point Values Reducing the point value for specific items of wargear, weapons, units, etc. will reflect that they are more common or more easily accessible to your Chapter, while increasing increasing point values will reflect that they are less common. A key to changing point values is to consider the effect of the altered availability on the combat effectiveness of your  Chapter. The larger the effect, effect, the higher the points change should should be. A good example of this is found in the Salamanders army list. Due to the self-reliant nature of the Chapter, many individual individual items (Artificer Armour, Armour, Master-Crafting, Master-Crafting, etc.) are more readily available and, therefore, cheaper. Restricting Items/Units Those items which have an unbalancing effect on your army, or which are not in keeping with the character of your  Chapter should either be removed from the army list, or limited to a maximum number per army. army. Units are often limited in number to counter special rules that are advantageous to the Chapter. For example, the Flesh Tearers may take no more than one standard or Furioso dreadnought per army.

You might also limit the number of Marines in a unit if it has the potential to dominate a game. The Space Wolves Wolf Guard, for example, are limited to one per squad and no more than twenty per army. Changing Rules/Abilities You might change a character’s or unit’s rules in order to be consistent with the character you have envisioned for  your Chapter. The most ready example is is the various Librarian Psyker Psyker powers available to to each Chapter. It is important to keep in mind that you must preserve balance when doing this. If a changed rule or ability is stronger or  weaker than standard, the point value should be adjusted accordingly. If, however, the changed rule or ability is close to the original in effect and potency, you should be able to preserve the standard point cost. Changing Upgrade Options Often you will want to change the weapons upgrade options available to your characters or units. These changes should be in keeping with the character of your Chapter. You can either take away options available to Codex Chapters, or you can add options. For example, Salamanders Salamanders Chaplains, as Priests of the Promethean Cult, Cult, may exchange their Crozius Arcanum for a Thunder Hammer. Hammer. If you give your units options that are not normally allowed, closely examine the effect of the option on combat performance and assign point values accordingly. Modifying the Force Organization Chart You might decide that the standard Force Organization Chart doesn’t properly reflect the nature of your Chapter. There are two ways you can change this. this. The first is to change the slots slots which specific units units take on the chart. A good example of this can be found in the Codex: Codex: Craftworld Eldar. Eldar. The second way is to do something something similar to the Space Wolves, in which the Force Organization Chart is completely replaced with a different sort of  organization. There must be a good rationale for your your changes, and you should have balanced changes. changes.

Requiring Upgrades You might require squads or characters to take specific upgrades as standard in order to meet the characteristics of  the Chapter. An example of this is how Dark Angels HQ characters automatically automatically have Terminator Honours. Perhaps you envision your Chapter being oriented as a mechanized force. To effect this, you might require that all Command, Veteran, Tactical, and Devastator squads take a Transport. New Items Perhaps your Chapter has access to units or items of equipment not used by other Chapters. A key factor in creating new units or items will be in analyzing how they affect game play, and assigning appropriate point values. The Vehicle Design Rules allow you to work out vehicles quite easily. For items of equipment, look at official Chapters and see how new items are used and valued. valued. An example of a new unit is the Veteran Veteran Assault squad used by Blood Blood Angels armies.

TRUE GRIT – as Codex: Space Wolves. This ability only applies to HQ characters, Command Command squads, Veteran squads, and Tactical squads. If not already allowed by Codex: Space Marines, these squads will be allowed to equip all members with close combat weapons for +1 pt each. Veteran squads are not allowed to use bolt  pistols. This special rule was included to represent the Chapter’s Chapter’s extreme reliance on the bolter. This rule is an advantage, so I will have to balance it with other changes. VETERAN ASSAULT SQUADS – as Codex: Blood Angels. This unit is a balanced advantage, not requiring much (if any) to counter it. JUMP PACKS: Assault squads and Veteran Assault squads MUST take take Jump Packs. This is a rule to balance the True Grit special rule. LIMITED RESOURCES RESOURCES – as the Flesh Tearers, although this will be expanded to include Land Speeder  squadrons and the Land Speeder variants. This rule is a disadvantage, balancing the True Grit special rule. Since I am trying to remain close to the Codex Astartes, I have chosen not to include any other major changes. MAKING YOUR CHAPTER UNIQUE

In addition to changing the factors above, there are a number of simple things you can do in order to give your  Chapter individuality individuality and character. These don’t always have have to result in different rules or point values. These, however, go a long way towards creating a personality for your Chapter. Themes Giving your Chapter a theme is the most significant way you can contribute to individual character. character. A theme might  be as simple as as a specific racial racial stock, mode of dress, or decoration decoration on armour; armour; or as complex as as intricate cultural cultural influences. Dark Angels veterans, for instance, often wear robes and daggers; meanwhile, meanwhile, the Space Wolves have a complex Viking theme which is reflected in their names, weapons, weapons, and ornaments. You could use the theme to convert design motifs into armor, paint facial tattoos, display trophies of war, etc.

The immediate impact of a theme is the visual presentation of your army on the tabletop. Perhaps you want to use the Space Wolves rules, but want to replace the Viking theme with a Celtic theme, complete with tartans, skean duibh, etc. Perhaps you want your Codex Chapter to have an Ancient Greek theme, complete with with crested helmets, spears, etc. Simple uses of themes are to paint or sculpt symbols particularly important important to your Chapter onto clothing and armor. If you look at the cover to Codex: Space Marines, for example, several of the Crimson Fists Space Marines have their Chapter Badge stylized on their armor.

A theme might also carry over into the names of characters and units. The Black Templars, for instance, are organized into Crusades instead of Companies, and are led by Marshals instead of Captains (Commanders). (Commanders). The Dark Angels don’t have a First Company, they have the Deathwing; and the names of Dark Angels characters come from the Biblical and Apocryphal Angels. In the above example of a Greek-based Chapter, your characters might have names like Hektor, Diomedes, and Heracles. The theme should be consistent with the culture of the homeworld you select. If the culture of the Chapter’s homeworld is firmly based in medieval France, your Chapter won’t seem right if you have armor based on the Aztecs. Overall, a strong theme is a very easy way of giving your Chapter a distinct personality without necessarily necessarily requiring modifications to army lists or rules. This Chapter is being themed off of a standard Space Marine army list, with a 20 th Century influence. As such, the only distinction will be in the facial tattoos and rank insignia. Sergeants and Corporals will be indicated indicated by scarlet chevrons (in the British, inverted, inverted, style) – two for Corporals and three for Sergeants. First Sergeants will will  be similar to to Sergeants, with with the addition of a scarlet diamond diamond above the chevrons. chevrons. Sergeants Major Major will be like like First Sergeants, replacing replacing the diamond with a star. The Chapter Sergeant Major will will surround the star with a wreath. Lieutenants will be indicated indicated by a vertical silver silver bar. Captains will be indicated indicated by two vertical silver  silver   bars. Majors will be indicated by a wide vertical vertical silver bar. The Colonel will will have a large large double-headed silver  silver  eagle. All rank insignia will will be displayed on the right shoulder shoulder pad. First Sergeants Sergeants and Lieutenants are leaders. leaders. Sergeants major and Captains are Commanders. Commanders. The Majors, Chapter Sergeant Sergeant Major, and Colonel are Force Commanders. Aside from the facial tattoos, there will be a wide variety of racial stock in the Chapter, leaning towards darker  skinned Marines. Lastly, the use of helmet studs to indicate length of service is not part of the Chapter. Instead, a Marine will have a scarlet star painted on his lower left leg for every 10 years of service, and a silver star for every 50 years. Chapter Name A strong name gives an immediate character to your Chapter. Most players try to keep the name consistent with  both the theme and combat style of their Chapter. Chapter. Remember, though, though, that your Successor Successor Chapter name doesn’t have to incorporate elements of the parent Chapter’s name, especially if the source of the gene-seed is unknown to your Chapter. Below is a list of words commonly commonly found in Space Marine Marine Chapter names. This list is provided provided as a source of inspiration, don’t feel constrained to limit yourself to these words.

Owing to the Commando/Raider influence, and taking into account the homeworld, I have chosen the name “Lorelei Raiders” for my DIY Chapter’s name. name. Strictly as a matter of fluff, I have decided that the Marines of  the Chapter commonly refer to the Chapter as “The Regiment”.

Angels Black Blood Brazen Brothers Celestial Champions Crimson Crusaders Dark Death Destroyers Devourers Devils Doom Dragons Eagles Emperor’s Fists Falcons Fire

COMMON WORDS USED IN SPACE MARINE CHAPTER NAMES Griffons Rampagers Guard Red Hawks Silver  Imperial Sons Inferno Space Iron Storm Jaguars Talons Knights Tearers Lions Templars Lords Thunder  Panthers Ultima Paladins Ultimate Mailed Ultra Marauders Vengeance Millenial Valesictors Night War  Nightmare Warriors Omega White Obsidian Wolves Questors Zephyr 

From White Dwarf magazine Chapter Approved It’s All in the Name Chapter Badge The Chapter Badge should reflect the name, character, character, or style of the Chapter. Keep in mind that if you don’t use something for which there is a decal or shoulder pad already made, you are going to have to paint your badge. The more intricate the badge, the more difficult this will be, especially especially if you plan on collecting a large army. Also consider that wings, blood drops, and skulls are very common motifs in existing Chapter Badges. Badges. If you want a more unique Chapter Badge, avoid using these items. A good Chapter Badge should be simple and bold, easy to identify and easy to paint.

I have based my Chapter’s Badge off of that belonging to the historical Marine Raiders. Mine is a large scarlet diamond with a silver star in the middle. Overlapping the bottom is a banner with the motto “Non Nobis” on it. The motto translates to “Not for Us”.

Color Scheme A good color scheme goes a long way towards making your army stand out when placed on the tabletop. Simple color schemes employ a single dominant color with the chest designs being in a contrasting color. More complex schemes have different sides or sections painted in different colors, colors, or have various decorations. Whether or not your Chapter adheres to the heraldry prescribed by the Codex Astartes (see 2 nd edition Codex Ultramarines) will also impact the color scheme you use. Most Codex Chapters indicate company affiliation affiliation by color coding the trim on the shoulder pads, with different helmet helmet colors and decorations indicating veterans and sergeants. Some Chapters indicate company affiliation affiliation on kneepads or the chest designs. If you don’t want to use Codex markings, come up with your own scheme. Additionally, you might not want to have your specialist characters characters (Librarians, Chaplains, Chaplains, Apothecaries, Techmarines) Techmarines) follow the standard Codex color schemes. schemes. If you are unsure of how your color scheme will work, here is a link to the Space Marine Color Coder: http://www. nt/colorkeep.htmll

Keeping with the Commando/Raider Commando/Raider theme, I have selected black as the primary color. The chest designs and other details will will be picked out in silver. I will actually highlight highlight the black to a charcoal gray. Company affiliation will be indicated indicated by painting the company number on the right knee. Squad affiliation will be indicated by painting the number on the right shoulder pad (in the case of Corporals and Sergeants, the number  will be in the space above the chevrons). Both numbers will be in Arabic numerals (1, 2, etc.) and will be  painted in scarlet, scarlet, except for the the officers in the company, who will have it painted in silver. silver. Battalion staff will have the battalion number painted on the knee as a Roman numeral (I, II). Veterans will be indicated by having white helmets, as is standard for the Codex Astartes. Characters Many players enjoy creating characters for their Chapters. Chapters. It is important to note the difference between normal normal characters and special characters. characters. The majority of characters will be standard for their type, not having any special rules. They will be distinct in in that they have their own personality, personality, history, etc. Special Characters, Characters, however, stand out from the crowd. They have special rules and aren’t aren’t normal for their type. type. Normal characters can always always be used in games and tournaments without the opposing player objecting. objecting. Special characters, however, however, can only be played if  you and your opponent both agree; and they probably won’t be allowed in tournaments. Keep the number of special characters to a minimum, especially since since you won’t use them often. When creating Special Characters, be careful to preserve balance in point value.

The only special character I will create for my Chapter will be the Chapter Master, Master, Colonel Merritt. His only special rules will be that he is Stubborn (as for the Dark Angels); and can use the True Grit rule with his Storm Bolter. Since I am going to use the Terminator Captain to represent him, I will equip him with a MasterCrafted Storm Bolter, Power Power Sword, Terminator Terminator Armour, Melta Bombs, and Purity Seals. Seals. I will only be able to use him if my army is at least least 2,000 points. I will also give him some background and a special banner. Additionally, I will give some of the other characters names and backgrounds.

About the example DIY Chapter: I made this Chapter up as I went along, just as a demonstration of how to incorporate the principles outlined in this article. After coming up with these ideas, I’ll sit down and flesh them out, looking for any rough spots that need fixing. Next, I’ll let some some other players take a look at them. them. They might see things that I have have missed, and will help in balancing the rules for the Chapter. Maybe they won’t like the Chapter Name, or perhaps my  background material goes against some some bit of fluff published by Games Games Workshop. After I fix any any rough spots, I should have a fairly decent DIY Chapter. I’ll probably come up with more background information, information, too, just to flesh out the fluff. My Chapter doesn’t have a lot of special rules, but it has the personality I want for it. While primarily black, my Chapter will not have the same appearance on the tabletop as the Black Templars. The only problem will be the use of the the close combat weapons in tournaments. tournaments. I can bypass this by modeling my miniatures to have bayonets instead of chainswords, giving them a feel similar to the old Rogue Trader era Space Marines. The last thing I’ll do is write up the rules and army list. The format for this will depend on the complexity of  my final rules. If the rules and list are very simple and close to one of the published Chapters, I will write it up as an Index Astartes article with the rules and army list in the back, like the Flesh Tearers. If, however, the rules are very complex, I’ll write them up as a min-Codex similar to the Dark Angels, etc. Players with web sites often write up their Chapter’s rules there, allowing a great many players to see them.


Here are some things you can do to get ideas for your DIY Chapter.

There are a great number of DIY DIY Chapters on the web. You can always take a good look at them and and see how their creators have tried to balance the rules and army lists. Many of these creators also welcome e-mail or  comments, so you might find out why they did certain things. A great many of these Chapters have intricate histories and personalities, with extensive conversion work and painstaking effort put into painting them up as the creator envisioned. Use the published Chapters as a guide. Taking the Codex: Space Marines army list as your base, compare each of the other army lists and see how the game designers have balanced the new rules for each Chapter. If you can get your hands on the WH40K Timeline which appeared in an issue of White Dwarf magazine, you will find a wealth of ideas for founding dates, important engagements, etc. Once you have come up with an army army list and rules, let others take take a look at it and give you feedback. Members of the various discussion groups are always willing to help, and they tend to be brutally honest. This is a good thing because that really cool special rule you came up with might seem very unbalancing to other players. Unbalanced (i.e. overpowered) armies armies rarely get the nod from opponents. One of these discussion groups is the Bolter & Chainsword, which is dedicated dedicated to Space Marines of every kind. The address is If you would like ideas for Chapter names, Foundings, etc. there are any number of on-line collections of  Chapters. Two of these are the Liber Astartes and Captain Sterns Index Astartes. Astartes. http://www. r/liber/Index.html ml http://www. r/stern/index It is important to remember that creating your own Chapter isn’t isn’t always easy. Take your time and be prepared to go back and revise work you’ve done. Your best bet is to complete the rules before you start collecting and  painting miniatures. miniatures. Often, it isn’t necessary to come up with a radically different organization or special rules in order to make a satisfyingly unique Chapter. You can give your Chapter an individual background, name, and appearance, yet use Codex rules and still have a distinct DIY Chapter. If you decide to take a Chapter that Games Workshop has created, but not given much history or rules to, feel free. Be prepared, though, for the possibility that GW might eventually come come out with rules for “your” Chapter. If they don’t use your rules, you you might feel frustrated. frustrated. Of course, you could always change the name name of your  Chapter or make some other minor changes and continue to play with your rules.

Then there are things you should avoid in the creation of your Chapter. These aren’t necessarily hard and fast rules. Following these little bits of advice, though, will help in getting your Chapter accepted by other players. Remember, it is just a game. game. You can do what you want. •

Try not to make a Chapter with the same name as another player in your area. Actually, this isn’t that big a  problem as you can can cooperate with the the other player and and use a different different battle company, company, etc. Sometimes, though,  players are a little little territorial territorial with their DIY Chapters. This also goes for for highly popular DIY Chapters Chapters on the web. The 2nd and 11th Legions have been expunged from the Imperial Records. If you claim that your Chapter Chapter is one of these Legions, expect to be met with skepticism. The Second Founding Chapters have been listed in the Apocrypha of Davio (see the back of Codex: Space Marines). If your Chapter is not one of those listed, you will be met with skepticism when telling others that yours is a Second Founding Chapter. If your Chapter hates the Tyranids, don’t use the standard “hit on 3+, reciprocated” special rule that other  Chapters (Dark Angels, Space Wolves) Wolves) have. The Tyranids are incapable of hate and won’t be able to reciprocate. Find some other way way to incorporate this hatred into into balanced rules.

THE CURSED FOUNDING The Twenty First Founding was the largest since the Second Second Founding. It took place sometime immediately immediately  before the Age of of Apostasy, a time time of civil war which divided divided and almost destroyed destroyed the Imperium. Imperium. The new Chapters were dogged by bad luck right from the start. Several disappeared mysteriously mysteriously whilst in action or  in warp space.

Every surviving Chapter of the founding is affected by spontaneous genetic mutation mutation of its gene-seed. As a result the Chapters have gradually dwindled in size as their inability to raise and induct recruits means that  battle casualties cannot be replaced. replaced. Worse still, some Chapters have developed genetic genetic idiosyncrasies, mutations which strain the tolerance of the Inquisition Inquisition and threaten the Chapters survival. Few Chapters have suffered as ignominious an end as the Flame Falcons whose spontaneous and extreme physical corruption turned them into a race no longer human or sane. The Chapter was declared Excommunicate Excommunicate and driven from its home world of Lethe by the Grey Knights. -

From White Dwarf magazine Index Astartes Codex Astartes

Lastly, keep the following in mind. •

 No matter how much time and and effort you put into into your Chapter, no matter how intricate intricate and balanced balanced the history and rules, long odds are that Games Workshop isn’t going to publish official rules for them based on your work. If the armies your Chapter’s rules create can’t be duplicated (including special rules) using the rules found in one of the published army lists, you won’t be able to use them in officially sanctioned tournaments. You should have a back-up army list to use for tournaments or be prepared to play by Codex: Space Marines rules.

Hopefully the information presented in this article will assist you in creating a Space Marines Chapter which you enjoy playing and find find full of character. character. Good luck!

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