Welcome to another Jstove original:
Brothers and sisters of the Chaos faithful, Codex Space Marines is the most back-ass-wards faithful to the fluff rendition of the most long suffering Chaos Legions since the Lost and the Damned books first introduced our beloved traitors.
Now, here’s the thing- If you’re Black Legion or Death Guard, we’re not talking to you- Your home has always been the core codex. Black Legionnaires have always been the vanilla posterboy of chaos, and Nurgle frankly hasn’t needed help since 3rd edition. As a god, he has always performed consistently and given us strong units, and on the fantasy side, he’s even dominated the magic phase. The plague marine only seems to get better with age, and if you’re a son of Mortarion, you ought to be perfectly happy with where you’re at- You’re literally the only legion who can say that codex is working for you, just hop on a motorcycle and grab a black mace, you filthy bastards.
Of course, now we get to the other legions- Thousand Sons have been mediocre for a long time, but at least they’re there. My boys in the 3rd legion have at least got our noise marines, and Angron has his boys with the red rabbit ears. Granted, none of the other 3 cult legions are as nice on the table as Death Guard is, but the point is, they’re actually there if you want to try… And that counts for something. Maybe. Kind of. Just go with it.
The guys who are really out in the cold are the undivided legions that aren’t Black Legion. These guys get regularly and royally screwed. Iron Warriors had a brief moment in the sun with the Chapter Approved article and the 3.5 dex, but that was more about cheese than loyalty to Perturabo. The fact of the matter is, none of the poor undivided guys have ever had a character deeper than a FOC slot switch. You could make an argument that Iron Warriors came back in 6e with all the Heavy support options available, but let’s be reasonable- A CSM6 Iron Warriors list is just dinobot and obliterator spam and a token warpsmith. There’s nothing Iron Within or even Iron Without about it.
At least, until now.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose this to you- how we can fix the old book looking back at the old chapter tactics in the old Space Marine Codex as they are traitor primarch traits.
Not all of them, but enough for us to actually build counts as armies, GOOD COUNTS AS ARMIES, where we can actually take a Legion list.
Between Forgeworld 40k legal units that have been with us since the Great Crusade, like the Contemptors and the Storm Eagles, we actually have a deep enough pool of rules with SM6 to actually run a Legion list similar to the Horus Heresy one, and its working overtime for the under-represented undivided legions.
WRONG! ALPHA LEGION!
Raven Guard chapter tactics are perfect for the Alpha boys, because every unit in the army gains Scout.
Now, I’m sure that doesn’t sound too enticing on the surface, but keep in mind that anything that has Scout also gains Outflank.
You also have Stealth on everything in First turn.
So basically, what we have here is a sneaky marine army that is hiding in the bushes on turn 1, and then half the army shows up on random table edges on turn 2.
Guys, that’s amazing. That’s the quintessential tactical handbook of the Alpha Legion, strike from many angles at once. Corax is actually Alpharius. Those chapter tactics are the best representation of 20th Legion style warfare ever put in the game. You actually get to have multiple heads of the hydra striking.
WRONG! IRON WARRIORS!
This one is more obvious. Everyone gets FNP 6+, because the flesh is weak and all iron warriors love robot parts.
Keep in mind that bionics are really big with Iron Warriors in the Long War, its canon that they’re paranoid cynics who don’t give a damn about the chaos cult, and every time the warp mutates them, they cut the mutated part off and replace it with bionics. They don’t like having tentacles or any of that garbage. Getting a free FNP roll for having a wooden leg suits them just fine, just like it suits the Iron Hands.
Of course, the perk package also includes bonuses for vehicles and techmarines, which are just dandy for the Iron Warriors, who would love to have a crack at a vanilla space marine armory anyways. Sure, we didn’t have the latest models of Land Raider back then, but look at all the cool dreadnoughts with siege weapons and forgeworld options for predator variants that open up. An Iron Hands counts as is the closest you can get to going pure Legion, and there’s not a dinobot in sight!
WRONG! EMPEROR’S CHILDREN!
This one is probably my favorite because the fit is absolutely seamless. The Black Templar traits aren’t Black Templar at all, they’re pre-heresy Emperor’s Children. Look at the Horus Heresy book and compare them side by side.
-Every BT is a crusader and has Ada Will. In HH, every 3rd Legion member is a crusader. Whole army is crusaders. Done.
-BT characters get perks for being in challenges. In HH, 3rd legion had to accept/issue challenges. This is a nice bit, because rather than forcing you into it, you actually WANT to be there. The BT trait is just an improvement on the existing EC trait.
-BT can’t have librarians because they hate witches. Fun fact- The 3rd legion didn’t have a librarium either, psykers were screened out during neophyte selection, the 3rd legion apothecarion classed the psyker gene as an undesirable mutation. All the Slanneshi sorcerers are post-heresy.
The Black Templars traits are a carbon copy of the Emperor’s Children traits from the HH book. Everyone’s a crusader, they want to be in a challenge, no witches. That’s literally the 3rd legion in a nutshell.
Well, first we take our CSM6 codex, and we put it on the shelf.
Then, we take the cultists, the dinobots, and all the other wacky stuff from CSM6, and put it on the shelf. Sorry Maulerfiend, I really do like you… But I can play original legion rules!
What do we have left? What we always wanted all along. Good old fashioned marines. Original legionnaires, the guys who have had our backs for 10 thousand years.
So here’s how we make it work. We crack open our old SM6 codex, and we ignore everything that came out after the great crusade- Stormravens, stormguppies, new centurion things… You’re all out. No loss there, the cents look derpy anyways. We also lose some land raider variants too, but hey, go with it.
Next, we add in all the toys that forgeworld gave us to fill in the holes- dreadnoughts, predator variants, storm eagles… Voila, an original 40k legal transplant of the HH legion lists, in current game format. Everything we always wanted is there, and the only thing we lost was all the models we never wanted anyways. All we had to do was kick Abaddon out of the house and leave a few of the newer toys at home, and you’re practically using your Heresy army in 40k and vice versa.
Oh and by the way, forgeworld is working on doing rule conversions for the Legion heavy tanks to apocalypse, so we’ll have those too. Nothing is left behind. We can still be traitor legions, especially the much maligned undivided ones, we can still have all the toys we wanted to keep, all we have to do is pick up Codex: Chaos Space Marines 2.