Sons of Aeon

Building a Space Marine Chapter for Beginners

Creating your own Space Marine Chapter

February9

Hello World!

What follows is my journal about creating my own Space Marine Chapter :)

But first a little bit of background…

I am a novice player, painter, modeller – pretty much novice everything. Although I have been aware of Warhammer 40k and Games Workshop for a long time (Like 20 years!!!!) I have never got into the hobby. My experience only went as far as a couple of copies of HeroQuest! (Ok I have a bit more experience than that but after any sizeable break from a hobby I think it’s ok to feel rusty!)

Last year though I decided to give it a try, I was tired of video games and wanted a hobby that would be more rewarding than 10 or 20 hours in front of the screen; I thought it was about time to have a go at Warhammer 40K – I’m glad I did.

In the last couple of months I started to learn the basics of the 5th edition rulebook, and pulled together a Tyranid Army that I have enjoyed modeling, painting and playing. Ok it’s not amazingly painted, but it looks pretty good on the table top.

But…

This year I wanted to set myself a new challenge. I’m going to create and build my own chapter of space marines, complete with a back-story and characters and maybe even some stories etc (and I’m going to blog about it here, for anyone that might be remotely interested).

Why Space Marines?

There is no getting away from the fact that Space Marines are cool ;) – they have cool kit and a really rich back-story that makes them an ideal challenge for someone new to the hobby. They have a nice balance of coolness and simplicity (to paint etc) and I feel the other armies are either too difficult for me to get into at the moment (i.e. Demons) or a bit too difficult to be really creative with (i.e. Necrons). So Space Marines it is!

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Setting Some Objectives

You’ve got to start somewhere so setting some objectives of what you would like to see in your chapter seems like a good place to start. Here are mine:

  1. I would like to be able to use any of the Space Marine Codex’s – there are so many cool variants of rules and army lists I would like to see if I can create a chapter that would allow me to be flexible. I’m not suggesting fielding one army and picking the best bits from each codex, but rather building up a range of miniatures that would allow me to field interesting and different army combinations (i.e. Deathwing with a Belial type Character from the Dark Angels Codex, or a Biker Company with a Kor’sarro Khan type Character from the latest space marines Codex). You could do this anyway but I would like to create a back-story (Fluff) that would allow for this kind of flexibility. This will be tricky and will require thought about the whole Geneseed Issue.
  2. Easy to Paint! – I’m never going to be a great painter, and the thought of a complex colour scheme that takes hours per model makes my blood run cold! nope I would like to see this army completed at some point in my lifetime so choosing a colour scheme  that’s easy to paint on both vehicles and characters is an absolute must.
  3. Characters with Names – having played Tyranids for a bit I have longed for an army with more character, and I believe that actually naming some of the key players in my chapter could go some way in building the overall character and uniqueness of the story.
  4. Timeline – I would like the back-story of my chapter to thread through the time line of the 40k universe without stomping all over it, I mean what ever I come up with should be in some way credible and not take a giant dump on anyone else’s story.
  5. Home world – because every chapter needs one!
  6. A Purpose – I would like to give the chapter a role in the 40k universe over and above kicking ass! Why were they formed, what is their purpose!
  7. Relationships – How will they interact with other chapters or armies of the imperium (Guard, Navy or Inquisition) I confess I don’t know a lot about the ‘politics’ in 40k but here’s my chance to delve in!
  8. Approach to Warfare – Will they be close combat specialists, or rely heavily on technology or have a more flexible approach (whatever gets the job done!) again to see how these decisions can make a difference you only have to look at the ultramarines in comparison to the space wolves – both space marines sure but very different in their feel and play.
  9. A Twist – every good story needs one
  10. Details, Details, Details – What are the little details that will help set this chapter apart from the myriad of others out there and give me a rich open canvas to let my mind wander (which is all this is really about) but when is it too much detail :)
  11. Balance – The story of the chapter must respect the incredible back-story and armies that are already there, they are not going to save the galaxy single handedly but hey they could help!

  12. A Chapter Name – As you can probably tell from the title of this blog i think i have already come up with that :)

So that’s some objectives, there may well be more that appear further down the road but I feel it’s a good start.

A Couple of Good links to other articles on the subject:

Designing a Space Marine Chapter

Space Marine Chapter Building

From here on I’m going to have a stab at building my own chapter to the guidelines set above. – If you have any thing you don’t mind adding to the conversation please feel free to post a comment :)

Til next time…

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posted under Planning
2 Comments to

“Creating your own Space Marine Chapter”

  1. On February 10th, 2009 at 2:45 pm Outlining the Chapter Backstory (fluff) | Sons of Aeon Says:

    [...] back-story for the Sons of Aeon. Specifically i hope to cover the following points from the ‘Setting Some Objectives‘ [...]

  2. On August 4th, 2009 at 2:42 pm sam longden Says:

    hi im sam and ive been playing space marines for a while after starting with tau. i originally did blood angels after i saw them on gamesworkshop website. im now starting my own chapter with very little painting involved because, to put it simply, painting is the boring part for me. and im struggling for a name and was wondering if you could give any tips or pointers to help set me goin. i already have a colour scheme but i now need a name.
    thanks

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