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One of the most common complaints I've heard from people (and which I certainly sympathise with) is the seeming inability to field one of the nine Traitor Legions under the 4th Edition Chaos Codex. After reading numerous posts on the subject, I would guess that the main reason people feel this loss is the lack of special rules to represent their respective Legions on the tabletop. Without delving into a rant too much, I think this is a rather limited view and when people say that the "flavour" of the Traitor Legions is gone, I am inclined to laugh as the means to field any of them are practically giftwrapped in the new Codex. I mean no offense to anyone by saying this and I'm just trying to address what seems to be the greatest failing of the codex and turn it into one of the more glorious successes.
I ask all people interested in Chaos fluff to join with me and help improve this document so that anyone and everyone will benefit from the knowledge.
Just looking at the Index Astartes article on the Alpha Legion, I can summarise the following key traits in their combat doctrine: They believe in attacking, not necessarily swifty, but from multiple directions at once and using misdirection and careful planning to achieve their goals. Every eventuality is accounted for, which is dealt with in the army list construction phase in this case. More importantly, each squad can operate independent of any sort of support if necessary. Additionally, a lot of importance was placed on the officer corps, who were expected to use initiative and creativity to find alternate solutions to problems on the battlefield.
What this translates into: Of course, Chosen will play a role in any Alpha Legion list as a wildcard unit or flanker of some sort. You want to be able to engage the enemy on multiple fronts and force him to dilute his firepower, so fast units like Bikes and Raptors (maybe even both) as well as normal Chaos Space Marine units on Rhinos will be helpful. Very tough or intimidating units like Land Raiders and Defilers can be used as a form of psychological warfare or an attempt to get the enemy to concentrate their fire but they should be viewed as expendable in the scope of the real attack. Deep-striking Terminators also fit into Alpha Legion doctrine as they can provide a method of attack from an unexpected quarter. A Sorcerer is also useful to have, ostensibly for masking the presence of Alpha Legion forces in the region. Cultists are, of course, an important part of an Alpha Legion army but as there are not yet official 4th Edition rules for them, you will have to make do with just the Space Marines for now.
Well, considering that the Black Legion is the basis for Codex: Chaos Space Marines, you could use any conceivable type of unit available. They're generally a very flexible force, though one tactic mentioned in the fluff seems to be the application of pressure on multiple fronts, followed by a teleporting Terminator assault on the position that weakens first. In any case, the Black Legion makes use of all troops.
Mortarion was primarily an infantryman and as such, he placed the most value on the common soldier. As such each soldier was equipped and trained to the highest degree so that they could be both resilient and self-sufficient on the battlefield. The Death Guard use no special tactics or artful tactical maneuvers, they simply pick the ground to fight on and grind down the enemy through attrition. There were few specialised squads, as each Marine was expected to be proficient with both the Bolter and Chainsword, as well as any variety of special and heavy weapons.
What this translates into: Plague Marines, Plague Marines, and more Plague Marines, of course. Not all of the Death Guard have fully given themselves to Nurgle and some have been recently recruited into their ranks, so just as many will have the Mark of Nurgle without actually being Plague Marines. If you take a more liberal interpretation of the fluff (as I often do), it's possible to have these "less favoured" individuals man the heavy weapon emplacements, but fluffwise, a lot of the special equipment and armoured vehicles of the Death Guard have been neglected and allowed to decay. Those that still remain are often daemonically possessed, so if that is your preference then be sure to give those vehicles the necessary upgrade. Terminator squads also feature prominently in the Death Guard, as do Sorcerers of Nurgle. In a throwback to the old rules, you might consider restricting yourself to 0-3 Chaos Space Marine units in Rhinos, precluding yourself from taking Bikes or Raptors though, on the other hand, the Death Guard didn't have many of either.
The Emperor's Children didn't really have a unique Force Organisation at all, for them it was enough to simply be better than everyone else. To this end, each Marine trained unceasingly to be perfect in whatever role they were assigned, whether it was as a driver, gunner, Tactical, or Assault Marine. Since their dedication to Slaanesh, this has only become more and more of a driving force within the Legion to the point where they are willing to accept aid from any source.
What this translates into: Just like the Death Guard and the other Cult Legions, it would be a bit too inflexible to simply have an Emperor's Children army composed of entirely Noise Marines, not to mention the fact that they have been significantly de-powered with the current edition of the codex. What I would do in terms of troops is have the Noise Marines configured as either close combat squads with Doom Sirens or in small units with Sonic Blasters for fire support. The Mark of Slaanesh is generally more points-efficient on normal Chaos Space Marines. Whatever you do, each squad should be configured correctly for its combat role. While this is true of any army, it's doubly important for the fluffiness factor of the Emperor's Children. The typical army will have no Dreadnoughts as these represent an unbearable separation from the world of sensation and experience, but on rare occasions they will have the technology to modify a sarcophagus and connect it to the nerve endings of the damaged Marine within, allowing it to still experience the fires of battle. For fun, consider taking Fabius Bile as your HQ choice, for the purpose of bringing your troops closer to perfection.
The consummate masters of siege warfare, the Iron Warriors place a lot of emphasis on gunfire to do their job, both small arms and large artillery barrages. Technology has never failed them in the past and so they see no reason to deviate from its usage. They don't typically summon Daemons to do their bidding but still have Possessed Marines and Daemon Princes among their ranks, using bound daemon essence to power a variety of cybernetic implants. There is a certain degree of attrition in Iron Warriors tactics, but not to the same degree as the Death Guard.
What this translates into: Almost as straightforward as the Black Legion, the Iron Warriors should be able to use most troop types in a fluffy army. Contrary to what the fluff might dictate, it isn't necessary to have a massive amount of armoured vehicles but suits of Terminator armour and maybe a Vindicator (or two) go a long way towards maintaining the flavour. The ever-present Obliterator is the iconic unit choice in an Iron Warriors army, even if they don't have any special attachment to the Legion. The Obliterator technovirus is indiscriminate in that regard, though various reports indicate that it first appeared among the Iron Warriors or that they engineered it. It's important to note that Sorcerers are not unheard of and they will exploit the arcane magic of the Warp in order to further their own power. Cult Marines are pretty rare and best avoided, though I've seen people convert Plague Marines that are simply Iron Warriors that have been heavily modified with bionics, representing their extraordinary resilience.
The thing that defines the Night Lords above all else is the terror that they inspire. They move quickly, fall upon the foe before they know what is happening and eliminate them with overwhelming force. It is not unheard of for the Night Lords to fight alongside Cult Marines, but they scorn faith in all of its forms, believing only in the acquisition of temporal power.
What this translates into: Depending on how pure you want your army to be and the fluff behind the individual list, it's possible to create a Night Lords army without using any Marks at all. Not even the Mark of Chaos Undivided (I never liked the name Chaos Glory anyway). They have no special association with Raptors, though Raptors are fairly common, but Bikes and Rhinos will also suffice. All in all, the Night Lords want to take the fight to the enemy and cause as much confusion and mayhem as possible. The rarest troop types are probably Possessed Marines, daemons, and Cult Marines.
Out of all the Cult Legions, the Thousand Sons are probably the most straightforward. The majority of the Legion has been turned into Rubric Marines and the only specialised troops are some form of Sorcerer or other. I advocate the use of troops other than Thousand Sons, mainly to represent the experiments and magical creations of the Sorcerers and Daemon Princes following the army. Units like Defilers, Dreadnoughts, Obliterators, and Chaos Spawn work really well in this case. Also, I doubt that the Sorcerers are above hiring mercenaries to supplement their forces, which creates a case for Raptors and Bikers if you wish to include them.
The Word Bearers are most renowned for their relentless advances. The entire composition of the army is based on the vision of the Dark Apostle that is leading it, but their shows of faith and piety are often answered by daemons from the Warp, which are seen as expendable shock troops and shields in the same way that cultists are. Other than that, a Host could be composed of any kind of troops, even omitting heavy armour or close quarter fire support. They also tend to look down upon Marines who devote themselves to any one Chaos God rather than worshipping them all with equal fervour, so while they may fight alongside Cult Marines, they do so in limited numbers.
Invariably a World Eaters army will be composed primarily of Khorne Berzerkers. Of course, now that the Legion is broken down into self-sufficient warbands, each one can be built as its leader sees fit. Invariably, the leaders of such warbands will not necessarily be great leaders but will be the strongest fighter amongst their number. There is little thought to tactics or organisation among the World Eaters anyway, the main point is the spilling of blood. BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!
Space Wolves 13th Company
Lost in the Eye of Terror for untold millennia, the Space Wolves 13th Company has emerged from the Eye of Terror a changed force. Rather than using Codex: Space Marines or Codex: Space Wolves to represent these mysterious pre-Heresy Marines, I present to you the proposed conversion table for the 13th Company in Codex: Chaos Space Marines.
Wolf Lord - Chaos Lord
[Mark of the Wulfen - Daemon Weapon]
Rune Priest - Chaos Sorcerer w/Warptime
Wolf Priest - Chaos Lord w/Mark of Tzeentch
Wulfen Pack - Possessed Marines (Khorne Berzerkers?)
Storm Claws Pack - Chosen
Grey Slayers - Chaos Space Marines
Fenrisian Wolf Pack - Raptors (?)
Storm Claws Biker Pack - Chaos Bikers
13th Company Long Fangs - Chaos Havocs
Of course nothing compares to using the actual list in Codex: Eye of Terror but in places where the list is no longer recognised, accepted, or available, this should suffice to accurately represent the original.
actually background wise it states that all members of the death guard are proper plague marines unless there is a new source of fluff that contradicts that.
Ask not the ruleboys a question for they shall give you three answers each true and terrifying to behold
Most of the sources I've read are pretty ambiguous on the matter, they don't expressly state that all of the Death Guard are true Plague Marines, and I've always assumed that different Marines are affected by Nurgle's plagues to different degrees. If you could give me a reference, that would be great, and I'll correct the list.
I'm a World Eater player, and I think it's great that the Cult List is gone. Khornes fighters are a bit single-minded, but they're not stupid.
"Some scolars mistake the Bloodthirsters lust for battle for the angry childs random destruction." - Liber Chaotica: Khorne .
"Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
I'm thrilled that I will now be able to make Heavy Bolter-marines with Berzerker helmets.
If the World Eaters gav no thought to tactics and strategy then every one of them would be dead by now. Sure they're resilient, but not immortal - yet.
Re: the actual topic;
I think that, under the new rules, the only obvious difference between Alpha Legion and Night Lords are going to be use of Raptors. Both like infiltrating, which is restricted now to Chosen, and both like attacking, which leads to them suddenly seeming very similar. The only point I can make is that Night Lords do use a lot of Raptor packs, which were an oddity pre-Heresy and became a symbol of status after the Legion turned to Chaos - Zso Sahaal gained automatic respect amongst his peers as the captain of an elite Raptor company.
The problem is that the AL's speciality really was always cultists, and no amount of Marines in rhinos or massed CSM can replace that. They were always rabble-rousers and insurgents, which leads to less actual Marines on the battlefield and more fanatical cannon fodder. There was a difference, since Night Lords were about scaring the crap out of the enemy (Raptors had Daemonic Visage for a reason) and Alpha Legion were about "shoot the cultists, not us." So both of them are a little flat-footed now, but Alpha Legion especially.
Aside from using Daemons to represent Cultists, which is highly imaginative and original despite being a little off-target (the Daemons are a little too strong for Cultists and too scarce for meat shields) there's no other option. And the only appreciable distinction between Night Lords and Alpha Legion is the number of jetpacks.
The biggest fluff inconsistency I see is with Thousand Sons. Literally every Legionnaire sans Sorcerers were turned into Rubric Marines, which means there's really no opening for marked CSM squads, except as new recruits - and it's fuzzy if they even need new recruits, since how exactly would they recruit them? It's hard enough to get a Space Marine, but how do you get an ethereal Space Marine bound for eternity to a suit of armour when the very sorcery used to create the Rubric was dastardly enough to give reason for the exile of your most prodigious student? So basically, we can have a core unit of Rubric Marines and, as Niterabbit suggests, Raptor or Biker "auxiliaries" to represent mercenaries. Ironically, the only unfluffy unit in a Thousand Sons army is a Tzeentch-marked Space Marine.
Word Bearers are still quite playable, but majorly underpowered until Codex: Daemons. All you have to do is mass Lesser Daemons and a Greater Daemon. You can use a Sorceror to represent a Dark Apostle, now that the rules for the Accursed Crozius are in the dustheap; saying the corrupted Crozius is now a force weapon and the psychic powers are daemonic gifts is perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, all Marks are go; Word Bearers worshipped Chaos unilaterally, and could conceivably devote to whichever God they wanted.
World Eaters and Death Guard, like Thousand Sons, are implied to consist mainly of Berzerkers and Plague Marines. The destroyer plague did infect all of the Death Guard, so it's safe to say they're all Plague Marines. But frankly, the biggest problem with cult armies is the removal of Ancient Enemies; it undermines them, since to play a cult army like DG or WE you have to take one Mark (or Icon, or whatever) universally, whereas Renegades, Word Bearers and Black Legionnaires can mix and match to greatest efficiency. You'd love your new-fangled World Eater Havocs and Obliterators to have the Icon of Nurgle or Tzeentch, but they have to take that pretty-much-useless-in-context Icon of Khorne. Emperor's Children Obliterators have to take a perfectly uneffective Icon of Slaanesh and hit with I2 power fists.
I've diverged off-topic and started ranting. Err. It's a nice write-up, but it'd be wonderful if the last three Legions were expanded upon, they seem a little dry. Also, cheers for the re-imagining of the Wulfen. Not that it would ever get into any tournament ever, because they're stiff about models these days.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
Spambot kill tally. . .337
But I thinks that everyone is right when they say that AL and NL are the most screwed with the new codex. Players using the other legions can still use almost everything they have and not loose their original looks with a bit of imagination.
As for the Berzerkers and Plague Marines, surely if you were going to field a purely fluffy army this is a choice that you brought upon yourself, and therefore, the fact that the marks don't always benefit the unit is immaterial? I don't think Obliterators can be marked, to the best of my knowledge.
And yes, I will certainly expand the writings on the last three legions. Taking a look at it now, it was a damn inexcusable and lazy job.