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I've been considering picking up 40k as a hobby for the last month now. A little over a week ago I took the plunge and signed up for Games Workshop Academy. For those who don't know, it's four two hour classes meeting once a week. In the first session they teach you how to assemble the figures, the second they teach you painting, the third they teach you how to build an army and on the fourth they teach you how to play the game. The problem is, the next set of classes doesn't start until the week of Aug 17 and I'm chomping at the bit to get started. I bought a starter paint set and the "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures" book which I have already read cover to cover. I don't have any figures yet, though. I'm waiting for the class to start to pick up my first box.
I've been scouring the various forums, wikis, and other sites for the last week for information. The wikis seem good for 40k "history," and the forums seem to be good for practical stuff. I've also read through a good portion of the core rulebook and the CSM codex. However, a lot of articles and forum posts are chock full of 40k jargon and things that I just don't have any frame of reference for. I need some practical advice for building an army put in layman's terms.
I picked Chaos Marines because they seem pretty straightforward, and versatile (plus I love the idea of playing an evil army). When I researched the various Chapters and Chaos Gods, I liked both Slaanesh and Tzeentch. I also enjoy the look and backstory of the Thousand Sons (I have an idea for an offshoot Chapter of Thousand Sons, but I'm waiting to get a little more familiar with the game to really implement it).
So, I think I want to start my army out with a unit of Thousand Sons, and I have an idea of where to go from there, but since I know so little about the game I don't know if I'm making good choices. I know you need at least two Troops and an HQ to start. I already know I want Thousand Sons, so there's one. I figured for my second troop I should just go with the straight Chaos Marines unit. My HQ is really the toughest decision. I figured maybe one of the Chaos Marine Sorcerers, since I want my home made chapter to be a Thousand Sons offshoot. I saw also that one of the Terminator Lords has the option to be a sorcerer.
Edit: Would it also be possible to use the Space Marine Terminator Librarian in a CSM army? Is it possible to use ANY Space Marine figure in a CSM army?
Are these good starting choices? Any advice available is welcome.
P.S. I know there is a separate section for Fluff, but I'm going to post my short back story here. I'd like to know if this could fit well into the 40k mythos without having my Chapter contradict or effect existing lore.Canus Galeo Novellus was a relatively unknown but up-and-coming Codicer of the Thousand Sons and member of the Cult of the Raptora; loyal yes to the Emperor, but even more loyal to his Primarch, Magnus the Red. After the siege of Prospero, he lost faith in the Imperium of Man, and followed Magnus into worship of Tzeentch. When Magnus ascended to Daemonhood and Ahzek Ahriman took over as leader, Canus was given command of a small unit of soldiers. He threw himself wholeheartedly into his work and behind his new commander. But, after the Rubric of Ahriman turned his soldiers into mindless automatons, distrust grew in Canus’ heart. How could Ahriman do this? These new “Rubric Marines” were not the way of Tzeentch; they were unchanging, and held no ambition. The mutations the Rubric halted were a gift, not a disease to be “cured.” When Magnus not only refused to destroy Ahriman and his cabal, but also disbanded the Cult structure of the Legion, Canus contemplated leaving the Thousand Sons. But where would he go?
One night, a vision came to him in his sleep. He was in golden Terminator armor, accented with blood red. He was Primarch of his own Legion. He saw himself in turn destroying the Space Wolves, defeating Ahriman, then defeating Magnus and ascending to Daemonhood, before finally overtaking Terra, killing the Emperor, and becoming Emperor of a new Imperium: the Imperium of Chaos.
Canus left the Sons with his unit, and over the next several thousand years he was able to recruit more to his side from existing Chaos Chapters, as well as Renegade Chapters. He called his Chapter the Gilded Horde and took to worshiping Slaanesh alongside Tzeentch. He conquered a Feral World, which is not a world at all, but a small moon orbiting a large Gas Giant. There he built his own Library, around which a small city began to grow.
Before long, Ahriman discovered Canus and his twice-traitorous chapter and attacked the Gilded Horde’s home. After the dust cleared, only 10 of the Horde remained, including Canus himself, and the Library was reduced to cinders. Currently Canus is rebuilding his army and his Library from the ashes of the old. Since his loss he has been attempting to create his own gene-seed with little success.
Last edited by Gilded Horde; July 28th, 2010 at 17:29. Reason: Adding a question
Welcome to Chaos!
HQ is a must, and the Chaos Terminator Lord model is a good choice. You *could* use the Space Marine Terminator Librarian, but you would need to do a little bit of conversion work to remove all vestiges of his "loyal-to-the-Emperor" iconography. Either that or go down the line of Red Corsairs....but I digress.
Thousand Sons (1k Sons) are a nice choice, and their ammunition is very good at killing the enemy, but you should try to cobble together an army list which is known as a "take all comers" list. This basically means that you try to cover as many bases as possible: some heavy support weapons to deal with enemy tanks/lighter vehicles, some assault units to be able to put up a good fight against the enemy assaulters, and some good solid core troops units to lay down some hurt both through shooting and through combat, giving them some transports as well to help keep them alive a bit longer!
You are just starting out though, so a Chaos Terminator Sorcerer or Lord, a 1k Sons unit and a CSM unit would get you nicely under way, giving you the required HQ + 2 Troops. That would be enough to give you around 600pts+ depending on how you used the upgrades on the CSM unit, what way you equipped the HQ unit and what psychic power the Aspiring Sorcerer received. A small skirmish battle is quite feasible with these units, and is probably the best way to get used to using your army before adding any more units to it.
A Chaos Marine Army is reasonably straightforward to use, but you can make it a really nasty one by your choice of upgrades and the way you make your army's units work cohesively. For example: the AP value of the 1k Sons' boltguns is a scary proposition for your opponent's army, as only Terminator armour or artificer armour is not bypassed by it. You therefore want to get one of his units close to your 1k Sons so that they can rapid fire that unit to death. A Sorcerer HQ with the Mark of Slaanesh and the Lash of Submission could very easily help you to do this. It's this kind of "working together" which will become apparent to you the more you read your Codex, which is why I often advise new players to read, re-read and re-read their Codex. It's only after you've *really* read through it that things start to jump out at you; the "well, if I did *this*, then I could get *that* to happen but I would need *this* unit...." situation.
Hopefully I haven't rambled on too long, and that some of this was of use to you.
"Tau Commandment #226: Participants who use Velocity Trackers in the Tau Clay Pigeon Tournament will be disqualified"
Chaos (Emperor's Children in my case) was my first, and still pretty much my only real army in 40k. You are correct about that a CSM army can be as straightforward as you want, but there is also unlimited conversion potential (more so than most other armies) to make awesome personal minis.
Sounds like you're on the right track...I don't have the how to paint Citadel miniatures book, but the how to paint tanks one is good.
Make sure you get a rhino for your rubrics, as they're very slow, and need to get in bolter range or onto an objective.
From the background you have created it sounds like you wouldn't have very many rubric marines though...your character only brought along his unit, and lost the vast majority of that in the most recent battle. I believe the only rubric marines are those of the thousand sons, and any tzeentch-devoted renegades would just be regular chaos marines (probably ridiculously mutated, as tzeentch is into that kind of stuff)
On using the loyalist space marine range in a CSM army, it's fairly common to use SM stuff as a basis for something, but it requires a degree of conversion that make it look suitably chaos-y. How difficult that is to make convincing depends on what you're trying to do. I don't have any experience with the SM termie librarian, so I can't really give advice on it.
Welcome to the hobby! I just have a few things to add to the excellent responses above.
As stated there, a terminator librarian can be used but the iconography would be a little difficult to remove as he is a metal model. If you want a terminator model, I personally like the lord found here. However, another great option is to use a Daemon Prince with Mark of Tzeentch (for psychic goodness and a 4+ invulnerable save) or with Mark of Slaanesh (for Lash of Submission). An opponent is usually pretty intimidated by a Daemon Prince and at the very least it will draw a LOT of fire away from the rest of your army. They also have an amazing new model coming out on August 7th that you can probably pre-order through your local hobby center.
For your troops, a squad of 1k Sons and a squad of Chaos Space Marines will work very well. I recommend getting a Rhino for each squad and putting two meltaguns in your Chaos Space Marines unit. On the Chaos Space Marines squad, you can also give them an icon of Tzeentch or icon of Slaanesh. The icon of Tzeentch will make them more resilient to heavy weapons fire and specialist assault squads, but for fewer points, icon of Slaanesh gives them an edge in close combat. If you give them that, I would recommend also getting a champion and giving him a power weapon. Couple with the meltas, this will make them effective at both shooting and close combat.
Also, for your fluff, it sounds pretty good except that you should probably have more remnants than that, since there would be no way for him to recruit more Rubric Marines unless he turned some more of them from the Thousand Sons.
I hope this helps!
Thanks so much for the great responses. Seems I've made some good decisions thus far.
Now that I have a general idea of what I'm working towards, I'll definitely dive deeper into the Codex and pick out powers and such. Can weaponry, icons, etc be changed once you pick them out the first time?
The Terminator Sorcerer that Subsocial mentioned was the one I was looking at. I noticed the Demon Prince is a little more powerful and certainly looks badass, but I don't like the fact that he has no ranged weaponry. Is there a way to remedy this? Also, having a DP doesn't really fit w/ my fluff at this point (the Terminator was going to be my character, Canus), however I don't want my fluff to get in the way of building a good army, so I can always rewrite it. Maybe the DP liked what Canus was doing and joined up to help him rebuild. Canus could be the Aspiring Sorcerer fig.
Also, I realize from my fluff that there would only be one unit of 1k Sons. Would it be beneficial to get more than that eventually?
Here are my choices so far for the Terminator Sorcerer. Thoughts?
Mark of Tzeentch
Ranged: Bolt Pistol
Melee: Bedlam Staff
Gift of Chaos
Total: 206 pts
Last edited by Gilded Horde; July 30th, 2010 at 00:59. Reason: Double posted, used double post to post something else.
ok first, you seem to be using a 3E codex, you need to get the 4e codex. the differences in the codex are extreme sometimes not in good ways. we lost a lot of customization
the sorcerer on term armor is a hard choice to make work. the term armor means he can not ride with any troops which means he is either deep striking onto the table, meaning you lose his valuable powers till he comes in, or he walks across the table with a big target of special weapons on him. if you really want the sorcerer run him with wings and he can fit in the rhino with your 1ksons and be very mobile to get where you want him to. Warptime is almost a must
The DP is a more effective HQ, and with wings you can run him up the field using rhino's as cover. you can give him a psychic shooting power to alleviate his lack of shooting.
3E really? Dang... ok... Well, I guess I'll have to scratch my work and start over. I know I have the 5E core rulebook....
So if this issue with the Terminator Sorcerer is speed, wouldn't giving him wings alleviate that concern? What else about it would be "a hard choice to make work"? Additionally, if I did give him wings, would I have to model him as such?
I'll admit, though, my attachment to the TS as opposed to the DP is mostly aesthetic in nature.
Last edited by Gilded Horde; July 29th, 2010 at 19:58.
Check the GW site, and look at the CSM 'Army Essentials' section. That'll show you the correct cover for the current 'dex, so make sure you get that one. The 3e book is great for fluff, though, so if you got it on the cheap, it's not a total waste.
As for your plans, keep in mind a couple things. Redundancy is the key to many strategies. I say this, because as you expand your army (your starting plans are fine, as mentioned), you may want to get at least one more squad of Thousand Sons. If you run one of something important (with the exception of HQs perhaps), it will die fast, and leave you struggling.
Second thing - relating to fluff - a unit of troops isn't necessarily a squad in game terms. While there aren't a ton of Space Marines (or our Chaos-y counterparts) out in the universe, each leader would more than likely have quite a few by his side (a handful of squads, at least). Feel free to re-write the fluff so Canus has a few more TS's.
Wow... lost a lot of customization is right.
I see now that in 4E a Terminator Sorcerer can't have Terminator Armor and wings. Seems I have to go with a Demon Prince.
So here he is:
-Mark of Tzeentch
-Bolt of Change
Total: 195 pts
Now my troops:
6 Regular Marines
2 w/ meltaguns
1 Aspiring Champion
1 Icon Bearer w/ Mark of Slaanesh
Total: 240 pts
8 Regular 1k Sons
1 w/ Personal Icon
1 Aspiring Sorcerer
-Gift of Chaos
Total: 270 pts
Grand Total: 705 pts
Thoughts? Suggestions? Changes?
Last edited by Gilded Horde; July 30th, 2010 at 01:01. Reason: Fixed my crappy math