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I've been brainstorming a lot recently.
As most of LO should know by now, I don't collect an army. I've attempted, and failed, at several armies, including (but not necessarily limited to) Imperial Guard, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Necrons, Space Marines, and Tau.
It's my "curse," as I used to say, to be very indecisive when it comes to this game. I adore the game, even so much as to wave my hand at the price (in most cases), but I can't ever seem to settle with a single army. My prerequisites have always been the same, however:
- Must be semi-unique
- Preferably must be the only one in a given area to collect it
- Must be fluffy
- Must have some semblance of winning
These factors are an awful lot more difficult than you might think, and they constantly put me in front of a wall that I always have trouble getting over.
So, I come to you, the Chaos masters, because I've thought about starting Chaos - a very versatile army list - more than several times over the past year or two.
What are my reasons for wanting to start Chaos? My main reason is that nobody, that I am aware of, plays them in the area I live in. I don't think many of them (especially in my circle of friends) have ever even seen a Chaos army on the table. My second reason is that they, when done correctly, can provide an incredibly versatile and ever-changing army to play, as they have the most options out of nearly every single army in the game, which is a huge plus to me.
My main prerequisites are as follows:
- Must be Chaosy
- Must be fluffy
- Must be less mainstream than your average army
- Must be generally competitive
I'm going to take the time to explain all, or at least some, of this. First up is "must be Chaosy." This one is pretty much self-explanatory. Why would someone choose Chaos over Space Marines? Daemons. Daemonic Gifts. Units that the loyalists don't get access to. Sorcerors. Marks. I want them included, otherwise there's no point, to me, in collecting them.
The fluffy part is one of the harder parts, and rests mainly on my own shoulders. I want to design an army that is fun to play, but that I can, if I wanted to, write a detailed story about. I don't have to have everything laid out for me right at the beginning, just a general idea for my to collect my army around. I'm talking a theme here, of course, and it's always been the thing that escapes my mind.
The "less mainstream" part has also always been a toughie, simply because so many people play all of the armies, it's difficult to come up with a "new" idea that can also be fun to play with, and that one is able to win with. I want something people don't see every time they play a Chaos list (i.e., "look, it's another Lord with Dark Blade, Furious Charge, and D. Strength.. oh my!"), but not something so radically different it isn't fun to play with. Difficult, yes, I know, but I want it.
The generally competitive part is probably the easiest. I've spent so much time armyless, and on these very boards, that I am confident I can make a semi-competitive army list within the space of ten minutes, and it will be able to win. I've done it before, and I do it over and over. Most of my posted army lists get comments merely of preference, and they never really have any solid, game-breaking advice, because I simply make too many army lists. Sad, isn't it? I want that to start ending, and my playing to start beginning.
So, with that, I turn to the Chaos experts of LO. I need help. Suggestions are always helpful, hey?
As a side note - I've attempted, slightly seriously, to play with Mech Tau (didn't like their style) and assault-based Space Marines (Raven Guard, didn't like them much either), so I'd prefer it if things were slightly different to those too.
Thank you in advance, and I hope one of you can help this poor guy who can't make a decision for himself. =P
That... is an extremely tough bill to fill. But it's true what they say. Everyone evenutally turns to the Dark Side. Must be the cookies.
Sounds to me like you want Black Legion. Now, I know - everyone says that Black Legion are just the Ultramarines of Chaos. But they're really not. In fact, Black Legion can possibly be the most diverse of all Legions, and it seems that hardly anyone ever plays them. The emphasis is always on Cults, or Alpha Legion, around here. But Black Legion has a lot of potential to do just about anything you could want, and each army is unique.
First, however, I think you should work on your fluff before the army list. I'm not saying you need to have all fluff written out, but you should at least have some guide line as to what you wanted to do. For instance, when creating my (final) army, I decided I wanted an elite team that had the task of moping up the survivors of an orbital bombardment, or ordnance shelling attack. You ever see the movies where a city is being bombed, and suddenly the shells stop, and when the survivors pop their heads up and go "Is it over?", then a bunch of enemy soldiers come storming in? That was my goal. It wasn't a fully fleshed out idea, but it was enough to tell me where to go - Alpha Legion, since I wanted the Infiltration to simulate the forward deployment during the shelling attacks.
But, anyways, 'nough about my army. This is supposed to be about you.
Once you have at least the core idea of your fluff, then you can decide where you want to take it. From there, you can decide what Legion fits you best, and what kinds of units you want to simulate your idea. All Legions are competitive, though some are easier to play than others. Fluff for Chaos is pretty simple, so long as you have an active imagination. Just about anything goes, really.
However, just don't get into the mentality of "A Chaos army is just another Chaos army." In reality, when you pick up the Chaos Codex, you suddenly have nine armies to choose from, all very unique in their style of play. It's only a fool that treats every Chaos army like the next.
Chaos is limited by one aspect:
The person using it.
Depending on using it, Chaos is the most original, the strongest and the most unique army available.
You could have an entire army with Fantasy Battle Chaos Warrior cloaks instead of backpacks. An army with no marines in at all. You could do a preheresy loyalist army - limiting yourself to technology from the Chaos tree, with 20 man squads. Legions of daemons. 2 monstrous HQs.
Chaos by it's nature is infinite. And with our codexes, the combination on the battle field almost mirror that.
So Nemesis, old pal old buddy, you feel up to it?
Once you go chaos the voices in your head wont leave you alone.
In the rule book, on page 5, it says:
"The most important rule about playing games of Warhammer 40K is to have fun!"
Well, grats on starting chaos..
Don't get too hung up on being unique though, because it sounds to me like it's just your area. In general, I have to say chaos comes right after the smurfs in terms of overall player count. There will probably come a time when someone else plays chaos as well, and knowing fate, they'll probably play the same legion as you as well.
But it's easy to see why, it's one of the toughest, most flexible armies around.
Firstly, when you say you want to write fluff, how much control do you want to have? If you want to write a whole chapter, then your fine.. no problems.
However, I think it's actually more fun to stick with the existing legions, and tailor them to your needs. Why? It makes your fluff a lot more character based.. You already know roughly where the legion comes from, what it's beliefs are, how it differs from the others etc.. all you have to do is make up an interesting cast of villainous despicable psychopaths to populate it.
Still, some legions are harder to write fluff for than others.. the World Eaters and Emperor's Children, for example, are probably the most inhuman, and have the least personality. It's hard to write fluff from the point of view of a guy who is constantly spazzing out from sensory overload. While the death guard, night lords, alpha legion and so forth have a lot of exploration you could do.
My advice would be to a good hard look at the books of chaos and pick the armies you just like the theme/colour scheme/appearance of the most. Don't worry about unit selections or any of that rubbish yet.. Pick an army you're going to want to invest time and energy in, and the chances are it can be made to conform to your other requirements.
First of all, thank you to all who have replied.
Black Legion has crossed my mind, and they do seem to be slightly underpopulated in the world, but I'm not really very keen on them for but one reason - their colour scheme. I'm not a huge fan of black/gold... in fact, I've been doing my best to stay away from black as of late, simply because too many armies are black, it seems, and I'm not just talking about Chaos. I've seen a fair few black SM, IG, Tau, etc. armies that just take the fun out of having a black army for yourself. It's one of the most popular colours, I think.
However, one army that has caught my eye, discounting the Legions for a moment, was the Red Corsairs. This would, first, give me a wide range of painting and conversion opportunities, as I'd be taking full advantage of the fact that they would include castoffs or runaways from the loyalist chapters. Second, it would give me all of the availability from the Chaos list that Black Legion would (or nearly, pending on fluff) due to being a simple Undivided army.
I'm not positive yet, but that is definitely one of the possibilities from a non-Legion standpoint. As for the Legions, I've always been attracted to, in order: Night Lords, Word Bearers, Thousand Sons, Iron Warriors, and Death Guard.
Yes, that is a list of five different Legions, and I am very well aware of that. It's one of my problems, to be honest.
I love the Night Lords' Primarch fluff - the Night Haunter. He just screams "Batman with attitude" to me, and I love that. The whole "end justifies the means" and the black and white view of the word "justice" - you are either on our side, or you're dead - just makes me enjoy the fluff to the Night Haunter. In fact, I've had some fluff written for a semi-Loyalist chapter of Night Lords who have their own self-proclaimed "Night Haunter," in the memory of their own lost Primarch. I'll see if I can dig it up, for those of you who haven't read it before.
For Word Bearers, I love their fluff, as well. A song by Kamelot, "March of Mephisto," is one of the big reasons I like them so much, as it makes me think of a horde of Marines and Daemons marching menacingly towards their foes. I like the idea of a Dark Apostle - and converting one - and I like the prospect of many, many Daemons in my army list.
Thousand Sons, Iron Warriors, and Death Guard all come next, and it's mostly because of their abilities. I love the archaicness of the Sons, the heavy support of the Warriors, and the resilience of the Guard, but I can't think of the best of fluff for them. So, for these purposes, I suppose we can just drop them, except for maybe the Thousand Sons, for the picture next to their Book of Chaos has always inspired me, as well as the metallic sounding voice of the Sorceror in the original DoW demo... I've always imagined my character for them talking like that.
My problem seems to be a lack of decisive action. I can come up with fluff that I like, an army list I like, and a colour scheme I like about three different armies, and be unable to choose.
However, I'd like to hear some opinions/criticism/suggestions on the few armies/Legions that I've listed thus far to see if you all can inspire me at all. I'll go find a link to that Night Lords fluff, if it's still around, although I'm not sure I'll be keeping it, as they were a tad too "loyalist" sounding for my tastes. They wouldn't have worked with Daemons, I don't think.
edit: Here you all are. Again, I'm not sure if I want to go about with loyalist Night Lords here, but this is just an example of the fluff I've made for them:
The Legacy of the Night Haunter
OK, I've been a Death Guard player since I was 12..but I gotta say go with Night Lords (Nurgle forgive me). They're IMO one of the fluffiest armies you could ever see and they have a playstyle reminiscent of the dark eldar...but tougher. it also gives you the oppurtunity to model your chaos lord as batman, is that not enough to convince you?
Good post...good ideas too.
Lost Nemesis: You probably already know this, but I'll say it anyways; you don't have to stick with the traditional colors of B.L. As a recent convert to the B.L. army (and away from D.G.), I've been using a color scheme that revolves around rusted armor and muted tones of red & blue. But really, you could pick any ole color you like. As for the Red Corsairs, if you decide go this route, then they would also (I believe) fall under the B.L. rules. To use my army again for a moment, I've been toying with the idea of a B.L. army that is constantly replenishing its members with new recruits- both from the Loyalists and other chaos armies. This allows me to have some fairly unique model conversions and paint jobs. Most of my army is painted in a very similar scheme using the colors I mentioned above, but I have a few uniquely painted squads as well that include:
1- A unit of Dark Angels that have fallen to the dark side. I wanted them to look as though their corruption to Chaos was relatively recent, and so they still have all of the typical appearance of Space Marines, except that I've marked out the Loyalist symbols and added those icons of Chaos. You can still see the old Loyalist symbols on the models underneath the chaos ones, and this adds to the fluff that they are recent converts.
2- A unit of Berzerkers that have lost their taste for blood carnage and have since become basic chaos marines. This took a decent amount of fluff in order to justify how and why zerkers would leave the Blood God, but I'll leave this for another time. As for the models, I used the typical zerker bits. In order to show that they were no longer zerkers, I cut off most of the tall antenna like pieces off of their helmets and made it look as though they were broken in the heat of battle. I also have covered up their Marks of Khorne with flesh-rags made from greenstuff. Most of the time, these types of conversions look best when you leave a little of the old model's characteristics in place. This gives the model history and tells of their conversion to the dark side (in the case of the Dark Angels) or to the B.L. (in case of the zerkers).
For me, it is perfectly ok to mix and match in these ways, because Chaos is, well...Chaos. Things that don't work for other armies tend to find a way of working in Chaos. Having Loyalist converts allows you to use different paint schemes in your army. I would, however, recommend that you find a way to still include a general theme to your army. It really helps with its appearance.
Last edited by Rabbit; January 7th, 2007 at 00:42.
Spambot kill tally. . .337
Wanted to run this by you all:
A small strike force of them, in particular, led by two men - a fallen Librarian and a fallen Captain. They hate eachother. Their strike force strikes for a specific cause - besides the average Red Corsair deal of hitting enemy supply lines, they also hit with the intent to capture.
Think Dark Eldar, with a CSM twist. They capture anyone they can - in part for the pleasure of killing them, in part for servants, and in part for new converts, in the form of Fabius Bile's methods as well as in some way forcing a conversion out of regular ol' Space Marines.
Thoughts? It will be a mixed force of Astral Claws veterans as well as converts from more recent chapters, such as Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Ultra Marines, Black Templars, etc. etc.
Cool. Very very cool.
To me legions working inside imperial space are much much more interesting.
Additionally, the fluff you suggests give you legitimate reasons to use Alpha Legion, Night Lord, Black legion and many other rule sets too, depending upon your mood, nature of battle and colour of underwear.