View Full Version : Foundation of a Chapter

12-08-2008, 01:06
Hey first thread.

I've been wondering about something for quite a long time: How is an Astartes Chapter actually founded? I know it has to be approved by the High Lords and it takes approximately 55 years to create enough Gene-seed for 1000 marines but what then?

Do they just select recruits from anywhere they want, mature them and then plonk them on a planet (or into a warzone) somewhere?

How does a chapter get its name and how does its heraldry develop?

What about a fortress monastery, arms and armour, fleet assets etc?

Anyway any thoughts and opinions or suggested background reading would be much appreciated.

12-08-2008, 01:37
That is an interesting question, I never really gave it much thought but I think that it would make sense to have an established chapter as something of a mentor. maybe send a company captain to become the chapter master and in that way provide an experienced leader to begin molding the chapter into an established fighting force. As for heraldry, it probably depends on the chapter homeworld, and the chapters fighting style.

12-08-2008, 01:49
usually the chapter master of the time would select a captain, or other marine and entrust them with enough resources to get a chapter going.

i would imagine the new chapter would search for a new base from which to recruit and decide upon their own names. (im sure some uninspired chapter master has picked... the guys in heavy armor for his name) they would most likely operate from a battlebarge as a base of operations until they were able to buy or make their own fortress.

some die out quickly others grow strong and multiply.

12-08-2008, 03:00
that makes sense to me olmsted.

12-08-2008, 03:07
I'd say they'd be granted a homeworld and recruitment systems by the High Lords of Terra, as part of the Founding. EG IIRC, the Flame Falcons were granted the world of Lethe when they were founded (before they fell victim to their geneseed and spontaneously immolated).

12-08-2008, 03:12
usually the chapter master of the time would select a captain, or other marine and entrust them with enough resources to get a chapter going.

I think this is probably the start of it, to be honest I could see at least a single whole company being drawn from the ranks of other Chapters (the first 1st Co) These veterans would be there to train (as well as supplying a much needed core of experience) the new chapter until such time as they are deemed proficient at which time any surviving veterans will return to their Chapter.

Joe Kutz
12-08-2008, 03:20
I don't recall any specific guidelines ever mentioned regarding these issues. Since it is more creative and less rules related, they haven't dealt with the issue. There are a few small bits of fluff that mention new chapters being placed where an old chapter has fallen - sometimes even taking the old colors and what not along the way.

One of the chapters that I created back towards the end of 2nd edition/beginning of 3rd was based on an IG regiment that performed exceptionally well and fought to the last man in defense of something or other (forget the exact object - temple, shrine, forge...). In response, the Lords of Terra awarded the regiment's homeworld with the gift of a new chapter. The first born sons of the fallen soldiers were taken to become Space Marines so that the regiments legacy would live on forever...

The heraldry and colors I used were inspired more along the lines of US Army dress uniforms, and I think I used the Pathfinder badge for their symbol. Figured it fit well with their IG inspired roots.

12-08-2008, 05:25
Thats a pretty interesting backstory kutz, I like it. I created my own chapter at one point, the Imperial Flame chapter, although I was attempting to create one of the lost legions. It was lost in the warp since before the heresy, and that rationalized its being wiped from the records. when it emerged, 10,000 years after being lost, the legion which started at 30,000 strong, numbered 5,000. they suffered their own form of heresy and half the legion fell to chaos. there were 7,000 loyalist survivors and 2,000 of them died in battle over the milleniums.

12-08-2008, 06:00
i have always throught that they would make 100 scouts and send them to warzones across the galaxy to get the exp that they need, and some to be attached to other chapters to fight along side

i am sure i read some were that the mentar legion would train and fight along side new chapters as sort of a marine training wing if you will

i just cant see them making 1000 marines giving them guns and going off you go play nice

12-08-2008, 06:27
thats why they usually send a captain of high regards with them >D

12-08-2008, 07:52
My thoughts (and another of my essays :)):
When the High Lords announce a new founding, it’s highly likely that for each new chapter, they also determine which chapter’s genestock is used, what the new chapter’s names are, their colours and where they’re to be based. New progenoids would be grown from the chosen genestock (an established process which takes 55 years using vat grown servitors). However, a fully formed chapter, complete with armour, weapons, munitions, warships and vehicles cannot just spring into existence a few decades from now, so how is it done?

Firstly, the chapter needs a leader and command staff. In my view, these staff would be chosen by the current chapter master of the progenitor chapter as a reward for bravery – only those officers who have been through the proper lessons in strategy and tactics would even be considered eligible, and it wouldn’t happen for a single heroic event (unless that event was on the scale of one officer killing Abaddon and his entire bodyguard in single combat), it would have to be a long list of accomplishments over decades, if not centuries. They would have to be the best the chapter has to offer, and candidates for being made Chapter Master in their own right, should anything happen to the current incumbent.

Once chosen and vetted by the Chaplains and Librarians to take their role, the new chapter master would be allowed to select a small command staff to accompany him – a chaplain, a senior apothecary and a techmarine, plus some non-combat staff to run the domestic side of the chapter. Again, these chapter officers would be given the chance to take a small staff with them.
Also, the new chapter master would be given the honour of taking his command squad with him, plus a small number of sergeants, marines and scouts from the chapter itself, some chosen by the new master, some “donated” by their current chapter. These marines will eventually serve as the new chapter’s veteran cadre.

Eventually, the new staff will be chosen and be ready to depart – a great ceremony will be held, the major part of which will be rites to appease the weapon and armour spirits of the departing marines equipment, and reconsecrate the marines into their new chapter. At this point, the marines will have their armour repainted to their new chapters colours and iconography, and they will depart the chapters fortress for the final time. However, they will not be allowed to take specialised equipment – such as terminator armour – or chapter relics, with them.

When they reach their new world, the new marines will be effectively on their own. A small fortress monastery compound will be constructed, and the first new recruits taken in. But the new chapter will be listed on the administratum’s books as non-combatant – they are simply unable to take part in any combat whatsoever – they have no ammunition reserves, no defences and would be destroyed very quickly if attacked.
Slowly, the chapters techmarines will arm the chapter, the highest priority will be making ammunition and armour, but eventually, as the chapter grows and new techmarines join the forge, more specialised and work intensive items will be created, transports and tanks, dropships, and finally Tactical Dreadnought Armour, Dreadnought suits and space vessels. The fortress monastery will also grow, defences will be added, the buildings strengthened and armoured, training grounds set up and so on.

(Note: It is also highly likely that the new chapter will have to perform some kind of a quest during their formation – be it being given recruitment rights on a new world, once that world has been returned to the imperium, or capturing and reconsecrating a warship to use as the chapters flagship).

Over the ensuing decades, the chapter will begin to move to a war footing – they may be selected to send a demi or quarto company to a particular campaign, alongside other chapters (likely their own progenitor in the first few instances), or their growing fleet encounters pirates or raiders whilst on patrol. The veteran cadre would be split up to act as sergeants and corporals for the new marines and scouts, allowing them to gain field experience from their older colleagues, which they in turn would pass on to those new recruits who come in behind them – whilst the veterans become the company officers and members of the first company, initially only equipped with power armour, but eventually full suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour – at this point, the chapter will likely be considered fully active by the administratum, if they’re not already.