View Full Version : Chapter Serfs

14-11-2007, 22:21
Greetings Warseers, ==Me== here.

I've been agonizing over what sort of Guard army I want to do in a small 1k pts or less type capacity, just something to divert some energy too when I get bored with Marines and soon-to-be Orks. Looking through the Codex and reading up on the IG, lots of ideas have been buzzing about, but one in particular has stuck.

All chapters have large amounts of serfs under their control, providing food, tidying, crewing the fleets, etc. Would it be feasible for a chapter to use some serfs in a military role? I'm thinking of a small auxiliary force primarily for defending the homeworld and any fortresses/recruitment keeps and occasionally used in support of the chapter in battle, mainly to boltser weak points and hold objectives.

==My== chapter is based on a medieval-ish world, so I was going to use Rough Riders (mounted knights), Warrior Weapons, and Carapace Armor. I have no clue on what else to use (no Sanctioned Psykers, Preachers, Techpriests, or Abhumans). I figure it would be a fun modelling project combining IG plastics with Bretonnian bitz to make an army that mixes high-tech with low-tech.

Would that work?

14-11-2007, 22:45
You mean something like the Maccrage PDF fighting alongside the Ultramarines?

14-11-2007, 22:54
Yes it would definitely work. In Space Marine Chapters, pretty much everything beyond administration and military operations is handled by the Chapter's vast legion of serfs.

The stuff serfs usually would do:
Tightening bolts
Crawling around in plasma tubes
Make planetfall with Marneus, Cassius, and Tigurius, wearing red shirts.

Interesting stuff that serfs would do:
Defend Space Vessels
Defend homeworlds
Defend Chapter keeps
Defend ... ehm, yeah... that's pretty much it - Defend stuff. It doesn't really make for an ideal 40k army since it's quite difficult to justify them actually attacking someone. Putting a rifle in the hands of a failed recruit is probably a chapter's last resort when it comes to protecting its assets.

That having been said, making a "clean" LatD army could work to represent a garrison of serfs commanded by some mid-rank marines.

You mean something like the Maccrage PDF fighting alongside the Ultramarines?
The Macragge Planetary Defence Force is nothing like the serfs that the Ultramarines have available. First of all, the PDF has a relatively "even" level of combat prowess, while Chapter Serfs vary from the combat ability of a Scout to a person in a vegetative state. Some recruits are driven mad by their Marine training, so either they end up Servitors or they are mind-scrubbed, given a mop and placed in a corner somewhere, while others proceed with their training perfectly but fail to develop some late-stage organ and thus are not fit to become marines but can still wrestle a bull and take out a tank with a set of rusty keys.

The PDF is a standing military force (as opposed to being servants), under the control of the Imperial Commander of their planet (I'm not sure if Lord Macragge comes with this title, but it's quite possible - placing the entire Ultramar PDF-power under the command of the Ultramarines) meant for protection of Imperial Assets in case of invasion. The Chapter's force of Serfs has no obligations other than to the Chapter, and an individual serf might be straight from a feral world and don't know squat about the Imperium.

I'm not sure what I'm actually trying to say anymore... but I guess it's "No, it wouldn't be like the PDF fighting alongside the Ultramarines. Serfs do not work that way."

14-11-2007, 23:28
You could take a look here (http://warseer.com/forums/40k-background/20804-capabilities-and-equipment-of-marine-chapter-serf-militia.html).

If the Chapter serfs ever engage in combat, they would be lightly equipped.
Some commonality of equipment with the Marines.

Maybe carapace armour, maybe just flak.

Shotguns, sniper rifles, flamers, missile launchers, maybe one or two other weapons.

Few if any vehicles.

15-11-2007, 00:16
Ok, so I'm not totally crazy, that's good to know ;)

Now, considering ==My== chapter is a DA successor and one of the Unforgiven, the serfs could also have duties involving gathering information, scouting enemy positions, and blending in with the human populace. Obviously only the most loyal and dedicated could do such a thing, always monitored by the chapter as well.

What I really want is a characterful and fun Guard army with =][= allies that can tie in with ==My== chapter. Armed in a way that reflects the culture of their homeworld but is also up to snuff with their contemporaries in the IG.

15-11-2007, 00:30
it would be like anti-codex, but since its DA i guess that could give you an excuse that they require the informants and whatever.
it seems logical to me and id totally do it

15-11-2007, 00:55
If you want to use Guard and Marines then use an =][= codex and fluff it up that the Chapter is understrength due to losses or it is a brand new founding that hasn't built up it's forces yet so it gets to play with a Human Army until they are up to scratch. They could be raised from a homeplanet or even be clones grown on some giant space vessel

15-11-2007, 06:00
There was some fluff in an old WD (I forget which one) that detailed the initiation processes of the Space Wolves. The gist of it was that the Wolves reject quite a lot of initiates in personality-related tests that have nothing to do with acceptance of Marine training/treatment, and indeed that occur before any such treatment begins. As a result the Space Wolves have quite a lot of serfs who are all still of sound mind and body and have skill as warriors.

The article went on to say that in addition to their usual servile roles, the serfs serve as Fenris' PDF. So yes, it's doable from a fluff standpoint.