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Disclaimer: While I've been on LO for a decent bit of time I'm still not completely familiar with what goes where and exactly what constitutes an appropriate post in this forum, so if this is wrong please forgive and do accordingly. Thank you.
So, as the title states I'm stuck in a rut. I'll briefly explain my beginnings so this hopefully makes more sense.
The mid to late 90s is when I first got into 40k and my friend who got me into the game, being a CSM player, naturally got me into Space Marines. Not knowing much about the lore, history, fluff of the hundreds of different chapters I started with Ultramarines. Time passed and I became more aware of the different chapters, yet I stuck with Ultramarines. I looked at different chapter stories and became particularly interested in Space Wolves, Salamanders (Before Vulkan), and Blood Angels. Then the 4th edition 'Dex came out and I absolutely had to make my own chapter, something I had been yearning for.
I began working on my own chapter. They were a second founding chapter based off the Ultramarines and had a samurai/1500 Feudal Japan feel to them. I loved the idea so much I ran with it and re-built my army. A few different scheme changes (Where I currently am) and so far I have a handful of models painted, many more soaking in simple green, and some on my modelling table. I'm still having some trouble working out details on the armor of my marines (I'd love to get some input, but I don't know if that's appropriate in this forum), but I think all is going well.
Here is where the wrench in the spokes hit. Past couple days I've been wandering the internet looking at army pictures, samurai armor, samurai armies, and various other sources of inspiration. I logged onto Bell of Lost Souls and noticed there was some news on the Space Wolves, so I began to investigate. The new Space Wolf rumors led me to downloading a copy of the 3rd edition Space Wolf codex, which then led to some decent amount of research on their history and organization. So here's what I'm thinking. The Space Wolf history is relatively detailed, but it's just vague enough to allow me to do my own thing while still adhering to the general Space Wolf 'dex. Of course I can't exactly go off on my own and make a new chapter master, use deep striking and such but "culturally" I think I can tweak a Space Wolf army to be my own.
I'm thinking I could mesh the Nordic/Viking background the Wolves have with a Feudal Japan theme. Weapons, dress, tactics. The only problem I, as a perfectionist and historian, would have would be explaining how a tribe of ruthless, ravenous, and feral Vikings (Space Wolves) adopted the society of another that was more than halfway across the globe. The easiest way would be long exposure over a long period of time (Thank you Evolution!).
So this is where I'm sitting, torn between having a nearly flavorless DIY chapter (So ironic that having the option to create my own army off my own theme STILL has no clear indication of personal touch, aside from the scheme and history) and a very richly flavored Space Wolf Great Company (Which might seem too farfetched for most to accept with open arms).
Not knowing a great deal about how to play Space Wolves, would some experienced players mind shedding some light? I like to assault, I like to support my assaulting units with lots of gunfire (Bolters over Lascannons). I also like Dreadnoughts, I love Land Raiders, I like Tactical Marines, I love Assault Marines. I dislike Land Speeders, Bikes, Whirlwinds, and Razorbacks. I like Terminators, love Sternguards. I love Chaplains, dislike Librarians. I think that's a pretty good bio of what I like!
Now I'm aware there's still a great bit of time between now and the Space Wolf codex so it might be hard to determine anything. But considering how I like to play and what I like and the fact that it's extremely unlikely that the Space Wolf structure will change much at all, I think suggestions based on the current 5th edition codex will still be accurate.
Thank you for taking the time to read, and an even greater thanks to those who contribute to helping me advance my army in any way possible.
Last edited by Kenmichi; June 15th, 2009 at 06:03.
Successor chapters are shaped, not only by their founders, but also the planet they make their home. You want a Samurai feel, but still have the Wolf heritage? That's easy
The population of the planet Samurani are an honourable, restrained people who due to their proximity to the Eye of Terror are trained from a very young age to fight the enemies of mankind. They've a long and glorious history, and were considered to be a prime recruitment planet for a new Ultramarine successor chapter.
On Founding Day, when the people of Samurani waited to greet their new overlords and protectors, they got one hell of shock because unfortunately, the Imperium's immense bureaucracy doesn't always get things right. Instead of the gleaming ranks of the Emperor's finest, the Thunderhawks were full of savage berzerkers!
At first there was a serious cultural clash which on several occasions almost erupted into civil war, but as time moves on and more and more of the indiginous population were recruited into the chapter the Sons of Russ have learned to harness their rage rather than let it overcome them. The turning point came during the latest Black Crusade, where Abaddon's forces fell upon the planet only to be defeated by a planet united against a common enemy. Both sides learned the value of the others perspective, and a new Samurani was born that day.
Only when in battle will they let their hatred and anger come forth, to lose control off the battlefield is considered to be a weakness of spirit and is usually followed by weeks of penance under the direction of the Chaplains. The newly-created scouts of the chapter are usually hot-tempered due to the influence of Russ' gene material, but swiftly learn to suppress it and can only progress into the Chapter after they have gone through the Ritual of Serenity where the elders of the chapter insult a youngbloods lineage, skills and faith in the Emperor. Lose your cool, and you lose your head. Stay calm, and the black carapce is yours!
Feel free to steal as much or as little of this as you like
Nice little fluff note there Reality =)
Indeed, making your own fluff is one of the best parts to 40k, because you can throw together a few ideas with a lot of very random stuff and you've got the history to a new chapter!
Reality's idea is pretty cool and if it wasnt for the immense amount of fluff to my own DIY chapter, i'd steal some.
The universe is diverse, wild and random. These key features give Space Marines (or any race for that matter) the chance to become divergent from the norm while still staying to the same rules and regulations.
Just remember WYSIWYG when it comes to modeling these 9foot tall samurai superhumans =)
Reality, your RPG plot writing shines right through that brief little history. I consider myself to be a writer of types with a good imagination and strong sense of creativity, but for me to write something like that in a quick period of time would be difficult. I guess I'm just not used to how the 40k universe works in terms of fluff. Your story has really opened my eyes to the formation and recruiting of Marines, I had always looked at it differently. Literally through the test-tube creation of a new Marine with some modifications to an older gene. Thank you Realitycheque, no matter which army I go with now I have a perfect way to start the history!
My orange and black marines will become space wolves when they come out. Because a marine is a marine is a marine.
Hooray for custom chapters. We get to play with any rules we want~ As long as its a marine lol.
Fluff is mostly fast and loose in a lot of respects. There are a few things you can't do (have your Sorceror kill a Chaos God, make a Chapter of female Marines (NO!!), try to suggest the Emperor is really an Eldar), a few things you shouldn't do (Chapter Master is the Emperor's best mate, IG regiment made up of reprogrammed Necrons, wounded Archon winds up on a Craftworld, renounces his evil ways and becomes their Autarch), but aside from that it's fair game. Especially when it comes to something as simple as the colour schemes and iconography you choose to use for your army. My Grey Knights are black because the idea of painting 40 models metallic grey makes my brain haemorrage; fluff-wise, they're black because half of their Crusade was swallowed by a Warp Storm and they're in mourning for their lost brothers.
The biggest problem I can see with your fluff writing is that the Space Wolves only ever had one known successor Chapter, the Wolf Brothers, and they were disbanded because they all kept turning into werewolves. Even then there's nothing to say that more weren't created; the WBs were the only KNOWN successor Chapter, which, like with so much else in 40k, can easily be taken to mean that there were more but the records were lost in the big old piles of paperwork and largely forgotten about. If you don't like that, you don't necessarily need to make them SW successors in order to use the SW codex for them; my Marines are as vanilla as they come, but I've used the Dark Angels and Blood Angels rules to represent them a few times.
Myself, I'd make them a sort of freelancing-type Chapter, loyal to Humankind rather than to any one master, who threw out the Codex Astartes because they found it didn't allow them to get into close combat, which is where they like to be as it's the only way to fight with honour. They're a fleet-based Chapter who fly around the galaxy offering their aid to the highest Imperial bidder, but aren't above stepping in to kick some arse and save some souls just because it's the right thing to do. Obviously if you're a bit more creative you might want to move away from sealing ideas from Kurasawa films and Tenchu, but you get the basic gist.
I guess I'm having a bit of an identity crisis with my DIY chapter. I sorta feel like my chapter isn't going anywhere which is why I'm looking to the Wolves for a change. I love the animal pelt iconography but I don't want to blatantly adopt that to my own army, though it could fit with a samurai theme. Maybe emplore some Chaos Warrior cloaks on a bunch of my models, slip in some green stuffed pelts. I'm still not sure!