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I've just read a post by an SM player claiming that they'd never field an army from an existing chapter, unless they were very obscure. What is the obession with making your own chapter, aside from getting a beardy combination of traits? Aren't the backgrounds and playing styles of the existing chapters good enough?
(I'm sorry about the title, for whatever reason DIY won't come out properly)
I originally wanted to play DA, but the chapter symbol was too hard to paint when I started ( and I hate transfers), so I made a DIY chapter. I am so glad I did.
The reason I like a DIY chapter is that it is truly YOURS. Let's face it, the main reason most of us are in this hobby is because we like the freedom of choice and personal expression that building little models affords us. That's why we like our minis with all sorts of independent parts, that we can arrange any way we choose. We like them unpainted so that we can add our own style to their armor, and even with fully poseable models, most of us convert them further still to make them truly unique.
Making your own chapter is just an extension of this. Sure, the new codex allows you some advantages and disadvantages, but many of us played DIY chapters back when they used the same rules as UM ( By the way, I have a zero divergence chapter). The whole idea is truly having an army that's yours from the ground-up; the fluff, the insignia, the color scheme, etc.
Just my opinion
Marion: You're not the man I knew ten years ago.
Indiana: It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
For the last time, there are
NO FEMALE SPACE MARINES!!!!!
Personnally I just don't want to field an army that is fielded by anyone else. Even if its a Tyranid or Tau army or something, I'd try to make its composition a little weird so that there was a better chance it hadn't been seen before.
And about the traits making our chapters beardy, cheesey, or whatever else you want to call it....trust me, that's not what traits are about. The writers of the Codex state that the traits are not meant to make your chapter more powerful, but more characterful. And its true. Trust me, the traits aren't anything to write home about. If anything, the advantages are less striking than the disadvantages that you must include if you want the traits. The disadvantages are much more limiting than the advantages are powerful.
For instance, one trait allows us to give any unit "Furious Assault", but it costs +3 points per model. Not such a deal, as Furious Assault is skill that can be useful, but it is not as strong as say the Blood Angels Death Company or whathaveyou. If anything, the premade chapters are a lot more divergent and a lot stronger. Besides, my stomach turns every time I see another player fielding Blood Angels, Space Wolves, or Black Templars. Those are only 3 chapters out of the 1000 or so supposedly out there. But those 3 chapters probably make up close to 50% of all SM players. Very boring, and playing them is too predictable.
Give me unpredictability, odd force composition, originality, and my own chapter paint job any day over that.
Originally posted by RJSuperfreaky+Feb 12 2005, 15:21--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(RJSuperfreaky @ Feb 12 2005, 15:21)</div><div class='quotemain'>The reason I like a DIY chapter is that it is truly YOURS.[snapback]327282[/snapback][/b]
But you can do that just as much with armies like orks and nids (particularly with customisable Hive Fleets), why aren't they so popular? Or is that down to the pervasiveness (and horribleness) of Space Marines?
<!--QuoteBegin-Houston@Feb 12 2005, 15:48
Personnally I just don't want to field an army that is fielded by anyone else.[snapback]327282[/snapback][/quote]
I take your point about the common chapters, though. It does get a bit repetitive. But still... you've got the less-used chapters, like the Imperial Fists, Iron Hands and so on, so why not use them?
To answer your initial question - no, the existing chapters with their preset special rules aren't good enough for people who like to design their own chapters. We like to put ourselves into our armies, and if I have to follow a colour scheme, force composition, and fluff that has already been set out, I feel too restricted.
I think that RJSuperfreaky hit it on the head: those other, obscure-but-already-made chapters aren't YOURS. So yes, Imperial Fists, Raven Guard, Iron Hands and the other established chapters aren't as well known, but they don't allow the same creativity as a DIY chapter (why DIY? Wouldn't it be DYO - Design your own?).
As model makers, we like to be creative. For some players, being creative simply means building the models themselves. For others, such as myself, RJ, and others like us, we feel the need to flex our creative muscles even further. Designing a whole chapter with its own name, look, fluff, iconography, colour scheme, and style of play/composition of force is too good to pass up. Remember that for some players, fluff is the most important part of this game. I care more about the history, style, and look of my army than I do about how it plays. Therefore, I'm not going to take an established chapter such as Blood Angels. Yes, I know they are a very strong army that would play very well...but that's not what I want, per se. I want a chapter that I can put myself into and get behind, and the only Chapter I where I can do that is my own.
And as for your question as to why people who want to customize their armies don't pick Tyranids or Orks...well, I can tell you that those are two armies that I also tend to field. No doubt Tyranids, Orks, and some other armies allow for some great customization and conversions, but the thing is they don't allow for strong individuals. I once read that one poster thought the reason Space Marines are so popular is because they are the equivalent of superheroes. Everyone likes the idea of strong, heroic individuals. Some people like to field horde armies or regimented forces, but everyone has a little bit of superhero-lovin' in them, and that's the appeal of Space Marines. The Tyranids offer great conversion opportunities, but they have no individuals in their army. SM armies are made up soley of individuals. I've even gone so far as to name all of my 60+ Marines.
That's the long answer; the short one is that I like to field Space Marines for the same reasons you do. They are versatile, cheap, easily customizable, strong, hard, you name it. Also, they are one of the armies that we can identify with most. The Imperium, being made up of humans, will always be the side we initially want to root for (even if they are evil) just because they're our "home team". So, like I said, I want to field SM for most of the reasons you do. I just happen to want to field an original chapter because I want greater freedom in its design and composition.
And you don't have to be as engrossed in fluff and background as Houston to have the desire for originality, either.
Fluff means very little to me. As I frequently mention when discussing 40k, I'm a gamer, not a "hobbyist".
I don't field Marines, but I do use Eldar, and the Craftworlds are synonymous with Chapters in this context.
I field my own unique Craftworld in part because I prefer originality over being constrained to following someone else's idea of a great army. There's also the fact that I feel a greater freedom to work within my abilities with colour schemes and force types of my own choosing. If I was forming a true Biel Tan force, or Space Wolves, or whatever, I would feel some degree of need to do things "right". A Blood Angels force with off-colours, inconsistent markings, badly painted symbols etc... is quite simply going to look bad. My own colour schemes are still limited by my abilities, but at least they are designed with those abilities in mind, and hence the final result is a better one.
When I'm playing modern games, I strive for accuracy within a specific context. Frex, I allowed myself some leeway with an Australian force because I wanted to include a range of equipment slated for introduction, but not yet in service; but beyond that the entire force structure was straight out of Australian doctrinal manuals.
40k, OTOH (for me), opens up a huge range of options. It's fantasy to begin with, and it's widely open ended to boot. It also provides closely structured methods of army design, for those that would like to apply my modern philosophy in the 40k universe. The fact that the game facilitates both widely differing attitudes so easily is one of its strengths.
Originally posted by Houston+Feb 12 2005, 17:18--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Houston @ Feb 12 2005, 17:1</div><div class='quotemain'>those other, obscure-but-already-made chapters aren't YOURS.[snapback]327321[/snapback][/b]
But then I would argue that Space Marines aren't your own creation either. Meh, differences of opinion. And it should probably be DYO, but DIY is more widely recognised.
And I take your point about the heroes; they are very much pushed to be that way, and it is quite an attractive prospect. But again, the flip side of that is that if you want a game based on heroes then collect LOTR or Inquisitor.With you 100% on that score. I worked out the fluff for my LatD army before I painted the first model. My major concern isn't entirely that people aren't choosing the armies that work well, but more that they are making armies out of almost non-existent ideals. For example, there's got to be hundreds of DYO chapters out there that claim to be one of the two "lost" legions.Originally posted by Houston@Feb 12 2005, 17:18
Remember that for some players, fluff is the most important part of this game. I care more about the history, style, and look of my army than I do about how it plays.[snapback]327321[/snapback]
To give an example of what I do: my LatD fluff was originally written in the context of the Eye of Terror campaign; I made sure that its fairly un-noticed rise fitted with the particular kinds of chaos going on at the time, limiting me in the options for its location and thus involvement in the campaign (it was written after EoT so I couldn't say they had a pivotal role but they didn't). And now I've found out from the EoT website that the world I claimed they originated from is still almost entirely under Imperial control. They need to be shifted somewhere that Chaos overran, seeing as they managed to (eventually, after laying siege to the spaceport and being attacked by EC raiders out for slaves and drugs) get offworld. That's how I like my fluff; my own ideas within the context of 40k as a whole, not purely my own schemings that may be out of kilter with the "official" position (an extreme example of this is female marines, which I hear of every so often in custom chapters).True, and I congratulate you on your dedication to your names. The question was in general as well as just those two, but I suppose it can be applied across the board; the only Guard we tend to hear about (novels aside) are officers, the only Tau are either commanders or Ethereals etc., whereas Marines can be anything from a battle-brother up.Originally posted by Houston@Feb 12 2005, 17:18
And as for your question as to why people who want to customize their armies don't pick Tyranids or Orks...well, I can tell you that those are two armies that I also tend to field. No doubt Tyranids, Orks, and some other armies allow for some great customization and conversions, but the thing is they don't allow for strong individuals.[snapback]327321[/snapback]
<!--QuoteBegin-Houston@Feb 12 2005, 17:18
That's the long answer; the short one is that I like to field Space Marines for the same reasons you do.[snapback]327321[/snapback][/quote]
Sorry, but no. I never have collected marines and never will. They just seem too much the easy way out, as it were. I may well be wrong, but that's my perception of almost always 4 value stats and 3+ saves in the same model. Or, as you could say the same about necrons (which I prefer), possibly coz everyone seems to collect marines.
Originally posted by SableWyvern+Feb 12 2005, 17:53--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(SableWyvern @ Feb 12 2005, 17:53)</div><div class='quotemain'>I field my own unique Craftworld in part because I prefer originality over being constrained to following someone else's idea of a great army.[snapback]327332[/snapback][/b]
The main reason I hate marines. Everyone uses them, they are everyone's "great army". But meh.I see your point. But does this mean you'll "graduate" onto mainstream craftworlds when your painting improves? This would also give you the option of the Craftworld lists (I'm assuming Eldar don't have anything like the custom Chapter traits?) to experiement with.Originally posted by SableWyvern@Feb 12 2005, 17:53
There's also the fact that I feel a greater freedom to work within my abilities with colour schemes and force types of my own choosing. If I was forming a true Biel Tan force, or Space Wolves, or whatever, I would feel some degree of need to do things "right".[snapback]327332[/snapback]
<!--QuoteBegin-SableWyvern@Feb 12 2005, 17:53
The fact that the game facilitates both widely differing attitudes so easily is one of its strengths.[snapback]327332[/snapback][/quote]
Very true. Gah, I think I'm just going to have to live with my hatred of marines and not blame anything for it.
i have my own chapter because when i first started i had no idea what a chapter was! i didnt even get a codex until 3 or so years later or a rule book for that matter so i just painted MY space marines how I wanted
"In a large war, the tanks only battle the tanks, its up to the footsloggers to win the war" -me
Xerxes: Actually, I already make some use of the Biel Tan list, and am giving serious consideration to an Iyanden army. In both cases, I'll stick with my own schemes. (Hence the phrase "true Biel Tan", as opposed to my Craftworld using the Biel Tan list.)
While Iyanden are fairly constrained by their list, Biel Tan simply allows me slight variations on what I already do with a Vanilla list, and my Biel Tan won't necessarily have a lot in common with another players'.I've been painting minis on-and-off for over ten years now. I'm an average painter, and though I've definitely improved, I doubt I'll ever be especially good. I enjoy seeing a fully painted army take the table, but I don't paint beause I enjoy painting. As a result, I just don't have the required motivation to ever "graduate" to anything.But does this mean you'll "graduate" onto mainstream craftworlds when your painting improves?
In the hypothectical (ok, and ludicrous) situation where I actually got good, and starting winning Golden Demon awards, I would probably still stick with my own schemes, just because that would give me more freedom to utilise those skills.
Still, if money and time weren't an issue, in this hypothetical scenario I'd probably end up doing an official army as well. The challenge of accurately representing a well known force, and the closer sense of identity that a third party could get when gazing in awe upon such a force, would, I think, provide a different kind of reward for my effort.