View Full Version : Night Lords and Terminators

17-09-2007, 06:50
Lately I was thinking about the Night Lords and their usage of Terminators, from purely a fluff perspective. After thinking it over, I came up with this conclusion:

Night Lords would not utilize Terminators. They do not fit the style of fighting and objectives the Night Lords aspire to.

Here are the points I came up with for my conclusion:

1) Night Lords operate on the goal of terror. They fight to terrorize the victim populace and make a sport of killing, rather than any real military objective. Reading through supporting fluff via Index Astartes, it states that although during the Great Crusade the Night Lords fought to capture and hold objectives militarily, it also states that after throwing their lot in with the Ruinous Powers, they began to fight not for military gain, but for the sole purpose of murder and destruction.

2) The Night Lords do not fight conventional military forces if they have a choice. Existing fluff once again states that Night Lords would rather fight the weak and defenseless over trained military forces in conventional action. They hold no concepts of honor or ideas of martial creed due to their origins as convicted criminals.

3) Night Lords utilize clandestine style actions to hunt and sport the victim populace. Infiltration, sneaking, hit-and-run, sabotage, assassinations, all are a means not to work up to a larger military objective, but simply once again, to terrorize a victim population.

4) Night Lords favor mobility over more static warfare. In the old codex, it stated that Night Lords extensively use Bikers and Raptors in hit-and-run actions to harry the enemy. They preferred to hit an enemy multiple times to kill them rather than rely on a single powerful attack.

Those reasons lead me to believe that fluff wise, Terminators just don't fit the MO of the Night Lords. We look at what a suit of Tactical Dreadnought armor is, and we know it is a exoskeleton operated, heavy, bulky suit designed for bludgeoning it's way through heavy fire, close combat, and ship boarding operations. We also know from the rules alone that Terminator suits cannot Infiltrate, nor did they benefit from the "Stealth Adept" rule from the old Chaos Codex. As such, Terminators to me just don't fit the style of fighting the Night Lords adhere to. They are slow, which defeats the purpose of mobility, bulky and probably loud, defeating the purposes of infiltration and stealth, and although they can teleport into action, they are simply unsuited to the highly mobile, stealthy warfare that Night Lords fight.

Now, I also thought about this for the Alpha Legion, because on the outside they also fight similarly to the Night Lords.

However, the biggest notable difference between the Night Lords and Alpha Legion, is that while the Night Lords use their clandestine style warfare to effect Psychological effect on the enemy, the Alpha Legion uses such tactics to effect a military victory. Stealth, infiltration, sabotage, assassination, are all as well utilized by the Alpha Legion, but unlike the Night Lords, the Alpha Legion uses such tactics to amount to an eventual, decisive victory where the Alpha Legion crushes the enemy fully. Alpharius built his Legion to be able to fight a campaign using all manner of forces, including spies and traitors amongst the enemy, and coordinating a campaign with such skill and caliber unmatched amongst the legions.

As such, the Alpha Legion would make sense to employ Terminators. Terminators would act as the pinion for Alpha Legion assaults, where after attacking the enemy from all sides, teleporting Terminators would completely make sense as the final nail in the coffin of the enemy. In this case, Terminators are an effective pinion for a final attack coordinated by the Alpha Legion after weeks or months of clandestine operations intended to weaken the enemy's fighting ability.

I know this is a long post, but I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to disagree as well as putting in your own thoughts about this conclusion.

17-09-2007, 07:13
What would be more frightful for us today than to have blurred footage of massive hulking armoured suits covered in terror markings teleporting into, say, the US Congress and utterly slaughtering everyone who stand in their way? Watch as they march contemptously through the weapons fire of terrified human troops to butcher them with brutal guns which blow people apart and close combat weapons which tear them to meaty shreds?

The footage would be absolutely everywhere you looked across the world, much like images of planes crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 - on TV, the internet, newspapers etc. Except a lot more graphic, and a lot more terrifying.

There's also a tendency to think that terror raids are all the Night Lords do (much like the belief that siege warfare is all the Iron Warriors do). It's not necessarily accurate. They fight conventional battles too.

PS: The Alpha Legion's Primarch was Alpharius.

17-09-2007, 07:19
Jeeze, big typo on my part about Alpharius. :eek:

As far as my belief about the Night Lords and fighting for terror, I simply go by what the fluff leads me to think. My opinion is that since that Night Lords recruited criminals, murderers, and low lives to begin with, I personally doubt that military action, martial ability, and fighting for objectives would be high on the priority list of an average Night Lords marine, let alone commander. Though, I see what you mean. The Legions/Chapters aren't totally typeset into the "role" that the fluff intended for them.

17-09-2007, 07:20
well .. they do teleport attack however.... that will fit the bill for having termie armour does it ?

17-09-2007, 07:26
They still USE Terminators, they have a picture of one in the BGB. They generally serve as heavy shock troops to attack positions that may be too hard to the Raptors to break by themselves.

also, what is more terrifying than a terminator in terms of infantry?

They may not use them as much as other legions, but they still use them.

17-09-2007, 11:24
Also, Night Lords Terminator models were displayed as part of the GW studio Chaos army during 2nd and early 3rd editions.

17-09-2007, 12:00
also I'm sure the commanders and similar higher-ups in the legion would be using terminator armour, simply because:
a) it is their right to have it as the senior ranks
b) it helps keep them alive longer (threats from within and without)
c) they don't do the front line terror assaults, they command from the rear
d) it is a visual means of inflicting terror on a populace when the commander in term armour does finally appear for torture sessions etc

so even if units of termies aren't often used, the suits they have would be used

17-09-2007, 13:12
They hold no concepts of honor or ideas of martial creed due to their origins as convicted criminals.

See, while I'm aware of the point your raising here, and indeed the fault would lie largely with the Night Lords' IA article writer, why should the fact they recruited from criminals have much more than a minimal effect on the Night Lords?

I mean, Space Marines take their recruits from feral world savages, and it's entirely possible that these youths will have murdered their enemies, scalped them, eaten their flesh to gain their courage, taken their souls to own their souls, taken the women of the other tribe as trophies od war, and all manner of barbaric things.

The idea of the Space Marine training is to take that ruthlessness, aggression, etc, which is already and focus it into a weapon against the enemies of mankind through discipline honour/brotherhood.

I fail to see why that the Night Lords aspirants were criminals would make them somehow "worse" than any other Legions/Chapters. I mean, Space Marine hopefuls are normally selected between the age of 10-12! What did the child do, have 70 counts of murder to the first degree, 24 counts of rape, 43 counts of drug-trafficking before he hit eleven? :p :rolleyes:

If anything, these kids would have came from a nightworld, a conctrete and steel jungle were the strong took what they want, and everything was lawless - which isn't really much different than most of the current Chapters.

17-09-2007, 13:18
I can imagine though with the Chaos Legions, and certainly with the Renegade Chapters that Terminator Armour is very rare, and only exclusive to lords and the veteran elites.

As for the Night Lords - terminators don't fit within their tactical ethos, but like all elite fighting forces they can adapt their tactics to any situation so terminators would be useful for sieges and conventional firefights.

Seph - I agree with your point about the Night Lords recruiting policy, as didn't the Lunar Wolves recruit from the hive gangs of Cthonia?

17-09-2007, 15:55
For the purpose of terrifying and murdering, I think terminator armour fits the bill perfectly. And you can't get any more mobile than teleporting in from orbit.

While the night lords may not utilise large amounts of termis, I think they should certainly have some

17-09-2007, 19:37
The Night Lords have Termies, they use them in teleporting assualts and as shock troops. The myth of the Night Lords as the Chaos White Scars are a myth. Sure we use a lot of raptors, but we have plenty of heavy support too. The defining part of the Night Lords for me is there cynicism twords the Chaos Gods.

Plus most of the Night Lords are veterans of the Long War, they are nto cowardly or ill-trainied as in the OP. If anything they come from a tough lawless hive world so they should be better then most other marines.

17-09-2007, 21:43
I probably shouldn't have stated that they DON'T use Terminators. I need to revise my statement.

they are nto cowardly or ill-trainied as in the OP

That I never claimed once. I simply stated that a trained fighting force simply isn't their first target. Being Space Marines alone qualifies them to be more than a match for any military force anyhow. It's just that on the priorities list, I see them targetting innocent and helpless victims over military targets.

My choosing of the point about Night Lords' origins as criminals was not to downplay the fighting ability of the Night Lords...rather I see it as part of Night Haunter's ideals for his Legion, and how he himself saw himself a vigilante doing the Emperor's dirty work during the Great Crusade as he did growing up on Nostramo Quintus, and molded his Legion in his own image, that of one that did the Emperor's dirty work.

I'd also like to raise the difference of a savage barbarian, and a criminal. Barbarians are raised in situation where the concept of civilization and society are at a bare minimum or nonexistant, and what they learn to do, or trained by tribal warriors, are done so for the purposes of survival and advancing their clan/tribe. Whereas a criminal is often raised in the arms of society and civilization, although the quality and social standing of said people can differ. Although many criminals do commit their deeds out of survival, there are many others...the psychopaths, the serial murderers, and such that commit their actions just because they know they can. As far as I know, that is the criminal mentality that Night Haunter seemed to encourage and cultivate amongst his legion, and I'm sure that a lot of those recruited into the legion are the said psychopaths and serial killers that prowled his home world for victims and such. Except now, their killing was sanctioned and "ok" in regards to the Great Crusade.

However, my intention was never to downplay the fighting ability of the Night Lords, and I apologize if I did since the Night Lords are one of my favorite traitor legions. I simply wanted to convey the idea that although more than capable of fighting against a trained fighting force, they wouldn't take to fighting them in stand up combat like the other Marine Legions would have.

18-09-2007, 00:05
I would say they would play up the idea of the invulnerability of terminators as a terror in itself.

What hope do you have against such horrors that even the planets tankbusting PDF cant crack their shells? You are doomed, and the slow march of the terminators only heralds your coming oblivion as inevitable as the march of time.

18-09-2007, 17:44
It may not fit with their preferred method of fighting but i assure you i'm sure they have them. I can't imagine a legion saying "Thanks but no thanks" to terminators