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We've got a warhammer 30k campaign coming up and I drew the word bearers. Not necessarily my first choice of army, but hey I at least get to include Chaos Space Marines in my army. However I don't know much about the word bearers fluff, not to mention what codex would be proper to play them out of. Any help you can offer?Thanks.
Ah, Word Bearers, my favourite Traitor Legion. This Lexicanum site, Word Bearers - Lexicanum, will have all the historical fluff about the 17th Legion, both pre-Heresy and post-Heresy. As for battlefield tactics, they prefer steady advances, refusing to retreat even when it means they will be completely wiped out. They use daemons as shock troops, and cultists as cannon fodder. Their armies are led by corrupted Chaplains known as Dark Apostles, and the warbands are known as Hosts.
When decided what codex, here are the options (and the fluff choices):
Chaos Codex: Lots of basic CSM with Icons of Chaos Glory (they worship Chaos Undivided, so no God-specifics (ie Plague Marines)). The Icons of Chaos Glory also help the fluff, as the rerolling Morale tests will reduce the chance of having to fall back. For elites, look to use Chosen, Possessed, or Terminators (all are good and fluffy), while heavy support is Havoc squads and vehicles, preferably daemonicly-possessed ones. The HQ should be a Chaos Lord with power weapon (convert a SM Chaplain if you can), and no sorcerers. Daemons are also very fluffy to use.
*if you use this codex, they are post-corruption, and should have red armour
Space Marines Codex: Again, lots of Tactical squads, and the army should have no librarians and should be led by a Chaplain. Sternguard and Terminators are good additions, as are Land Raiders and Predators and Dreadnoughts. Don't use Land Raider Crusaders or Redeemers, and no Land Speeder Storms, Thunderfire cannons, Whirlwinds or Razorbacks.
*if you use this codex, they are pre-corruption, and should have granite grey armour
Hope all of this helps, have fun!
Marius, I think you missed the part where he said "pre-heresy" =p.
If you're allowed to use it I would go for the blood angels codex. They have a ridiculous amount of similarities to the word bearers, even moreso pre-heresy. Zealot-like fanaticism and lust for battle. Pre-heresy they used a lot of infantry (mostly geared towards close up fighting) with support from terminators to take the brunt of heavy fire. They also used a core of dreadnoughts(again outfitted for close combat/assault weapons) and havocs(devastators) to support their infantry forces. I would take a chaplain as your HQ and the blood angels have a great amount of blood/battle related psyker powers which work perfectly for the word bearers. Their propaganda spewing HQs would whip their forces into a frenzy (red thirst?) and then unleash them upon the enemy once they were so far gone as to hardly feel pain or know when to stop fighting.
Good luck to you.
While pre-Heresy? I thought the Word Bearers were the least violent Legion (except possibly Thousand Sons). They put such a high value on Emperor-worship and temple-building that they neglected combat. The Emperor finally told them to knock it off and go kill people, so they quit worshiping the Emperor and started worshiping daemons.Originally Posted by paregoric_HAL
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Don't forget, too, that the Emperor's censure was early-ish during the Crusade, and so their (secret) turn to Chaos preceded the Heresy (and as we all know they were the true catalyst for it). In light of this, I think it would make sense to use C:CSM - just stay away from things that are too overtly chaos (daemons, etc.). That's my two credits.