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So I'm having trouble picking out a Chapter to base my DIY folks on. I haven't been doing Warhammer 40K for very long, and have never actually played a game (I live in Southeastern Kentucky, where things like gaming shops and tabletop wargaming make heads explode), but I have been reading a lot of fluff and recently got back into the hobby after I found my misplaced Space Marine force.
Originally I had planned on doing an Ultramarines successor (Less rules is less confusion for poor newbies), but I started reading a lot more into the other Chapters, I fell in love with the Salamanders. I had planned on my DIY Chapter to be heavy into the use of fire to purify their enemies, branding themselves with victory marks, and I've always been a big fan of large hammers...so Salamanders seemed like the way to go. Plus they seem like "good guys" of the Space Marines, relating frequently to the masses of Mankind (As opposed to Chapters like the Marines Malevolent, infamous for their Whirlwhind barrage into civilians during the Third War for Armageddon), which also appealed to me. I'm not good at playing a villain sort.
But I've also always been a fan of Genghis Khan and the Mongolian hordes of yestercentury, and I've recently started reading about the White Scars. I like the idea of bikes and land speeders zipping around the battlefield, hitting the enemy on every side and staying on the move to keep them from mounting a united offensive. Plus I really like the Bike and Attack Bike models (Not so much the land speeders), so the more of them the merrier.
The obvious problem with this is that the two armies are vastly different in concept and use. The Salamanders are all about heavy weaponry, letting their big guns do their dirty work for them, and hanging back out of close combat while they scorch their foes to ashes. Whereas the White Scars are constantly on the move, lacking the Devastator-like firepower of the Salamanders, but sporting enough multimeltas, meltaguns, and the like to give enemy armor a headache. The problem was compounded when I was reading up on the changes of 4th edition to the Chapters; the Salamanders are now no worse in close combat than any other Marines (Same Initiative, no more being slow in consolidation or advances), while the White Scars lost their "Hit and Run" ability that I really liked. I imagined a squad of bikers charging in with power lances, hitting the enemy up with I 5 attacks, then piling on through them to prevent their lances from becoming a hazard to them in extended assaults.
If I had ever actually played a game and knew what tactics I lean more to (Dug-in firepower vs high mobility), the choice would be simple. Unfortunately I have no battle experience, so I'm stuck thinking about this from fluff alone. I was hoping I could tell you guys what I would like in an army, and maybe you could make suggestions accordingly, or even perhaps find some way I could combine the ideas without sacrificing much in the way of fluff.
I do like the idea of burning my enemies, no doubt about it. Plasma guns, melta weapons, flamers, all of them are great for purging the enemies of the Imperium. I would also like for my Marines to be something of a "good guy" Chapter; not to the extent of picking up a little girl's teddybear in the midst of battle, but moreso to the extent of not being willing to sacrifice innocent lives needlessly, or to put them in danger. Something similar to the way Genghis Khan seemed to run things, from what I've read about him; if you're with me, I'll love you as my brother. Stand against me, and I shall crush you with the full weight of my fury. I have a rough copy of fluff for the Chapter as it stands (Based on Salamanders' geneseed and traits), but it could be altered since obviously it's a rough draft.
I've drawn up 1500 and 2500 points lists for both, which I could show if asked (I don't think it's necessary here). Basically the first (Sallies) list has a lot of multimeltas, plasma cannons, flamers, Thunder Hammers, and a big ol' Vindicator. Several heavy support choices, only one fast attack choice (Eye to Eye disadvantage) of 3 land speeders. The second list (White Scars), on the other hand, has almost every single troop mounted on a bike or Attack Bike. In the 2500 pt list there are no less than 31 bike models, divided into 6 units (One of which is led by my Commander), all of which have the Expert Rider skill (What difficult terrain?). The Chaplain is in charge of a 10 man Assault Squad. Then the rest is a lonely land raider and a pair of Land Speeder Typhoons. The second list also contains a lot of flame-based weaponry, with bikers sporting plasma guns, multi-meltas, meltaguns, and meltabombs. The Assault Squad has two plasma pistols in it, as well as meltabombs. So both could satisfy my desire to purify the enemy with hot, scorching flame.
Coincidentally, when I got the idea to maybe try a White Scars successor DIY, I had a nice idea for my Commander model. Have him on a bike riding up a piece of debris scenery like a ramp, with a force glaive/spear stabbing an enemy through the chest. I thought it would look pretty cool, but the idea is way out of my league right now as I am by no means a painter nor modeller of any skill. Also, the easy answer to my question would be "just collect both", but sadly it's not an option. I'm still in college, and as many of you will probably know, my cash funds are tight. Plus I recently acquired a girlfriend (Controls my currentl HQ slot) and those units tend to be very expensive. So, I really need to pick one army and go with it.
Another concern that came to mind was if I have to fight in a City Fight sort of scenario. White Scars, I am guessing from what I know of them so far, do not look like they would do well in an enclosed environment like that. Flesh Over Steel prevents them from taking more than 1 HS choice (Probably a Vindicator), while their bikes would be almost useless without their ability to zoom around. Troops wouldn't be a problem, but escorting vehicles would be, as each one takes up a Fast Attack spot (Also limiting the number of Assault Squads, the other unit which would be good in enclosed fighting). White Scars don't have Dreadnoughts (Although I suppose their successor potentially could). How would a White Scars-type army handle that kind of fighting?
Do you think you guys can help me out? I'm really strugging with this, and could use some outside input as I find it hard to see when I'm in the middle of the storm, so to speak. I know my info is really vague, but I'm hoping you guys (Or gals!) can offer me some helpful advice in the matter, regardless of the form it takes. I'm eager to have my own fieldable force, painted and modelled (Undoubtedly poorly), and perhaps someday actually play a game. Until then, I'll content myself with writing fluff drawing up army lists.
Thanks again for any help you can offer, and for reading down this far.
Also, as a side note, are there any White Scars fluff-based sites I could check out? I haven't found any, despite my constantly Googlings, and I always end up at either the GW WS site, or finding a small mentioning of them that doesn't really give any detail. Wikipedia was good, as was the Index Astartes article, but I'm craving any and all info I can get, even with their successors.
i had been thinking of making a White Scare army right before the new codex came out. i bought a coupla models, mostly tac squads and had them ready to make into White Scars, when BLAMMO! they got nerfed.:wacko: so then i just made a diy successor with the traits for assault marines able to be elites. now my fast attack slots are all LST's with ACs and my elites are all assault squads. you could put bikes as your fast attack slots and take assault marines as elites as i have done. sorry i forget which traits i took as i don't have any of my dexs with me. hope i helped.
my suggestion is to combine the traits you like in a custum chapter using appriate traits; id' say 'be swift as the wind' and 'cleanse and purify' but take 'aspire to glory' as your major disadvantage as from what you've said this would have the least limiting effect on what you are wanting to do.
then try making a list thats fairly 50/50: ie bikes as troops backed up be tac sqds with two plas/ melta/ flamer weapons and your choice of hvy/ fast/ elite etc.
then call your newly created chapter some thing like 'lightening drakes' or 'white dragons' and leave the question of which chapter they are successors of open.
maybe combine the 'white scars' lightening symbol with the 'salamanders' symbol in your chapter livery... may i also suggest white power armer, black shoulder plates and a green helmet.
make up some fluff (founded on a volcanic planet of waring, t-rex riding raiders etc) basicly taking the things you like from each chapters fluff and filling in the gaps.
however if you really want to use a first founding chapter and you've narrowed it down to these two (good two by the way) i'd say go with the salamanders; as 'flesh over steel' is a real pain where as 'eye to eye' is fairly easy to live with.
hope some of this has helped and please let us know what you decide to go with.
In this casse its easier to make DIY chgapter as you can choose how to limit yourself.
Personnaly I think you should go with the bikes, you don't see a Bike army everyday.
Also, just so you know, I fit 32 Bikes and 4 LSTs in 1700 pts.
Course, everyone else thinks it sucks because I didn't waste pts for a PowerFisted sergeant in every single one of my squads.
If ya need anything, just holler!
Buddy i have the same prob i fell in love with the white scars and salamnders to, but i decided to go salamanders just to piss off my friend cause he doesnt like em, he dont like the whole impereium for that matter.
To do the bidding of the god of decay death and corruption is to be rid of all things that makes you weak only in return for the control of your soul!
Age: Haha, can't believe someone else was in the exact same position I'm in; the armies are kind of totally different in their combat doctrines, so it's kind of odd for someone to be considering the two of them. Salamanders seem to be getting a lot of well-deserved attention lately from gamers, so I might do White Scars just because they are indeed pretty rare. One of the first steps to winning a battle (Or so I've read) is doing something your opponent doesn't expect.
606: That's kind of what I was considering, although with Aspire to Glory I would dearly miss my Iron Halo (4+ Invuln save for my Captain is almost a must-have, everything else I wouldn't miss). I might just leave it at Be Swift as the Wind, take Die On Your Feet (Or whatever that trait is, don't have my book with me), then just stack up on plasma, melta, and flamer weaponry. The fluff is close to what I have now (Chapter is based on Ardor and its planet Caldor. Chapter was made to replace another Chapter which was thought to be lost in Warp space, and the natives of the planet had assisted the Marines in fighting back an Ork Waaagh!, so it was deemed a worthy successor. Last major battle of the Waaagh!, the largest volcano on the planet, home to the fiery god Magmar, erupted and wiped out the remaining Orks entrenched in the valley. This is where the Chapter's extreme respect for the power of fire came from), so adding and adjusting wouldn't be difficult. Plus dinosaurs being ridden as cavalry is awesome, plain and simple. And thanks for the compliment on my choice of Chapters. I'll play around with names and colors (White Drakes sounds better between the two), and I definitely will keep the geneseed source a secret as I'm not sure I'd want to commit to either. Just let people make their own assumptions on whatever would make them more happy.
Mike: I don't think I have a power fist in any of my squads (Maybe in my tank-hunting elite bikes), as I imagine it would be pretty hard to drive a bike when one of your hands is the size of a tire. But I imagine a model on a bike with a power fist pointing forward would look really awesome. It seems to be the consensus on a lot of forums I have read that bike armies aren't something you see every day, so right away people are going to be at a slight disadvantage in that they won't know right away what to expect. Plus it's always good to be a little unique, and combining Salamanders and White Scars is definitely pretty unique.
So what do you guys think of my idea as a whole? A fast-moving, fire-based Chapter? I figure that the fire weaponry should still allow me to handle infantry and vehicles equally well, with some heavy bolters and assault cannons thrown in for good measure. For "fluff" purposes, I can say they're using "Inferno" bolter rounds. For traits I'm looking at either 1) Be Swift as the Wind, Cleanse and Purify/Aspire to Glory, Die On Your Feet, or 2) Be Swift as the Wind/Die on Your Feet. As I said, Aspire to Glory would be an easy choice for me save for the Iron Halo, which I would hate to lose.
Well, I'm just wondering how it was you only got 31 bikes into 2500pts, I only used 1700 and I got 32.....6 of which are Attack Bikes.
11 Models with Melta Bombs.
The list is HERE ( SM Bike Army (FLUFF!!!)) in case your intersted.
Well, in total I had:
31 bikes (Attack and normal)
10 Assault Marines w/ Veteran Sergeant
1 Chaplain w/ Jetpack
1 Master w/ Bike
2 Land Speeder Typhoons
Plus various equipment like Iron Halo, power weapons, terminator honors, meltabombs, meltaguns, plasma pistols, Skilled Rider for every bike. I don't have the list with me (At a friend's house trying out Axis&Allies), but I will post it tomorrow when I get back home.
A bike/cleanse and purify army isnt going to complement each other very well. Your marines are still going to slogging behind the bikes and get left behind. You might want to consider drop-podding the tactical squads, so they get close enough to use the meltaguns and flamers before being shot at or charged. Also, if you're using elite bikes with Furious Assault, you probably dont need the assault marines quite so much.
Take life seriously, its lethal.