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View Full Version : Why aren't chaos marines more chaosy?



Lost Egg
06-12-2016, 08:16
So these guys have been kicking around in the eye for 10,000 years...why have almost all of them just had a costume change and a personality adjustment? Why don't they all look like the Gal Vorbak from FW (https://www.forgeworld.co.uk/en-GB/Word-Bearers-Legion-Gal-Vorbak), after all these guys got twisted up after just 40 or so years.

Obviously, due to nature of their patrons, some should be more warped than others. Thousand Sons look good as they are, after all they are just armoured husks. But, what about the rest?

The Black Shield
06-12-2016, 08:33
Well the Gal Vorbak were the first Possessed Marines. They gave themselves to the demons that coexisted in their bodies. Time in the Eye of Terror/Warp, does not flow the same as it does in normal reality. For some in the Eye of Terror only a few years have passed since Terra others centuries and some it has been more than 10,000 years. In the case of the minis I would say that GW expects people to do as they wish to make their armies as chaosy as they want or not.

Voss
06-12-2016, 16:48
So these guys have been kicking around in the eye for 10,000 years...why have almost all of them just had a costume change and a personality adjustment? Why don't they all look like the Gal Vorbak from FW (https://www.forgeworld.co.uk/en-GB/Word-Bearers-Legion-Gal-Vorbak), after all these guys got twisted up after just 40 or so years.

Obviously, due to nature of their patrons, some should be more warped than others. Thousand Sons look good as they are, after all they are just armoured husks. But, what about the rest?

Interesting. In a lot of cases, I think they look too 'chaosy.'

But I think it's one of those things that depend very much on the legion. Alpha Legion (and several of the more modern traitors) don't spend any time at all in the Eye. Night Lords aren't chaos worshippers at all (traitors and nasty people, but not chaos worshippers), and arguably neither are the Thousand Sons (and they also have the Rubric).

Of the other legions, I suspect the ones most likely to be heavily mutated are the fanatics (Word Bearers) and the idiots (Black Legion), the latter of whom had a really desperate tendency to utilize possession for a long time. Death Guard are also a fairly high possibility of mutation just for the weirdness that comes from Nurgle's various diseases.

For the iron warriors, emperor's children, and world eaters, actual devotion and chaos worship seems sort of incidental. Their patrons are just generally satisfied with a high incidence of slaughter and/or loud noises.

Inquisitor Engel
06-12-2016, 16:55
So these guys have been kicking around in the eye for 10,000 years

That's just the thing - Not all of them have. Some legions recruit actively, either through absorbing other random traitor space marines, our through a gross perversion of the gene-seed implantation process.

Some warbands have only seen as little as 150 years pass. Some may not have perceived any time to pass for them at all.

Lost Egg
06-12-2016, 19:16
True all.

I suppose my idea of chaos marines was that they had let a little bit of chaos into their souls and then with its foot in the door the influence of chaos would creep further and further in all the while their outward appearance reflecting their growing corruption. I also like the idea that as a chaos marine gets injured they mutate to repair and so as the injuries mount up they grow more twisted. I'm not talking full spawn just 'improved' as the essence of chaos takes hold.

Lars Porsenna
07-12-2016, 18:22
I think it also depends on how much "attention" he CSM gets from the Chaos gods or powers. Recall that mutation is a "gift" from Chaos. So a CSM that either doesn't directly worship the powers of Chaos (such as NL, AL or IW to a lesser extent) may not draw the favor of a Chaos power, while more limited exposure may not cause the mutuations to happen to begin with. Also IW tend to reject mutations as a rule, preferring to lop off the offending limb and replace it with bionics instead, IIRC, so that legion would show a fairly small number of mutations, if none at all (my IW army has no mutated figures, and no posessed for that matter)...

Damon.

Wulfkard
07-12-2016, 18:34
I would go a little further and say those that have accepted chaos have become either spawn or demons. Raptors, warpsmiths, and helldrakes are pretty chaos. Plus some chapter have been drawn to chaos by betrayal or deeds but, still feel loyalty to the emperor. Building black dragon army with that concept using cypher in my army. They are censured by the inquisition because of their mutations but, feel even more loyalty to the emperor because of it. Where the Night Lords and others have gone all in.

Voss
07-12-2016, 21:24
Raptors actually present an annoying fluff/game problem. Night Lords are very raptor heavy, but are explicitly NOT chaos worshippers. Not only have they not gone all in, they don't even have any interest in what is on the table.
They like killing and causing terror, but they're also almost unique in the 40k setting in that they actually have interest in what the current codex just calls 'material gain.' They're cynics in a universe of faith.

Lord Damocles
09-12-2016, 16:45
Raptors actually present an annoying fluff/game problem. Night Lords are very raptor heavy, but are explicitly NOT chaos worshippers. Not only have they not gone all in, they don't even have any interest in what is on the table.
Night Lords do have Daemon Princes, Possessed, Daemon engines/weapons etc., have been depicted with Marks, demonic gifts, make use of daemons etc.

They might not worship the Chaos gods, but they're still balls deep in Chaos.

The Black Shield
09-12-2016, 17:17
For the Night Lords it all depends on the warband whether they are Chaos worshipers or not.

Lost Egg
09-12-2016, 17:55
I could see that being the case with some of the other legions too. There should be less cohesion with chaos marines compared to their vanilla cousins.

Lars Porsenna
09-12-2016, 20:20
Depends on the warband, individual, etc. In the novels, specifically Lord of Night & the Night Lords trilogy we have seen both individuals snared in Chaos as well as individuals that were possessed, etc. And even warbands that may not be Chaos worshippers per se, still use it as a tool. So there is plenty of justification in the background to have "chaossy" Night Lords...

Damon.

Memnos
09-12-2016, 21:08
Oh, Chaos -has- mutated some marines really horribly. Like the Legion of the Damned. ;)

The Black Shield
09-12-2016, 21:11
Legion of the Damned are not Chaos Marines.

Voss
10-12-2016, 04:43
Depends on the warband, individual, etc. In the novels, specifically Lord of Night & the Night Lords trilogy we have seen both individuals snared in Chaos as well as individuals that were possessed, etc. And even warbands that may not be Chaos worshippers per se, still use it as a tool. So there is plenty of justification in the background to have "chaossy" Night Lords...

They seem to be moving away from it again. Traitor Legions is pretty happy to tell players no marks and anything that has a mark can't be taken. Which stomps on Princes, if not possessed.
It wouldn't be the first time GW has retconned a legions relationship with the Chaos Gods. Particularly the Night Lords, who were Khornate originally in Slaves to Darkness. (See the comments on their shoulder pads on p.167)

nagash66
10-12-2016, 09:47
I would say the majority of marines left in the legions are not original legionaries, especially true for the likes of black legion and world eaters, but less so for thousand sons and death guard.

Simple fact is casualties would not allow for it, sure the top brass and the occasional war-band, but most of them are dead, or in some cases ( Night Lords) dying out legion wide. New blood, fresh blood should be the norm in most of the chaos legions ( even if 'fresh blood' here is still old old marines).

this is supported in books like the night lords trilogy, talon of horus, the iron warrior novels, etc.

Imperialis_Dominatus
15-12-2016, 01:52
They seem to be moving away from it again. Traitor Legions is pretty happy to tell players no marks and anything that has a mark can't be taken. Which stomps on Princes, if not possessed.

Princes are implicitly allowed in Night Lord forces, as they take a "Daemon of..." rule instead of a Mark, and models with the "Daemon of..." rule are allowed to generate all powers from their God's discipline in the fourth bullet point under Night Lords Special Rules. Which makes one wonder how they became a Daemon Prince of X if they never would have taken Mark of X.

Rogue Star
15-12-2016, 11:08
For the Night Lords it all depends on the warband whether they are Chaos worshipers or not.

Well you don't have to worship Chaos to see the benefit of a crustacean-like claw which can pop Power Armour like a Catachan Barking Toad... Night Lords just consider it more a transaction; they'll murder this planet of Imperial civilians for them, and the Dark Gods keep that sweet warp-stuff flowing.

Shards of Basalt
17-12-2016, 12:11
They seem to be moving away from it again. Traitor Legions is pretty happy to tell players no marks and anything that has a mark can't be taken. Which stomps on Princes, if not possessed.
It wouldn't be the first time GW has retconned a legions relationship with the Chaos Gods. Particularly the Night Lords, who were Khornate originally in Slaves to Darkness. (See the comments on their shoulder pads on p.167) Traitor Legions offers specialised lists that reward warbands for remaining true to their Legion roots rather than trying to cover every contingency.
It's a bit like saying a force of Blood Angels can't be corrupted by Chaos because their Codex doesn't have rules for it.

malisteen
19-12-2016, 15:19
Whether a given warband worships chaos or not shouldn't make any difference. In the 40k setting, the gods are real, their influence is real, the warp is real. None of that is psychosomatic. Refusing to worship the dark gods shouldn't protect chaos marines from the mutating effects of warp exposure any more than refusing to believe in the power of nuclear energy would protect you from the dangers of radiation exposure in the real world.

Lost Egg
20-12-2016, 06:34
True, plus any mutations may well be more likely to be random without patronage of a particular god.

totgeboren
20-12-2016, 08:58
I like to imagine mutation is rather rare.
For example, in the WB IA article, it says that "The Word Bearers do not display a particular tendency towards mutation, though those who are gifted with such blessings of Chaos are much favoured amongst their Host."

And these are guys who go all-in in their exposure to warp energy and Chaos worship. For those who not engage in chaos worship, or in general avoid direct contact with warp-related stuff I would imagine mutation is even less common. Though in some legions (the BL in particular) mutations seem to be more common.

As I see it, the Chosen from the starter set are supposed to represent Crimson Slaughter veterans, and these are guys who are all semi-possessed to start with. That they look rather odd is part of their lore.
But that doesn't mean all Chaos marines are mutated.

Sure, background from 3ed is old. However, it is still canon until retconned, and most of the CSM range was made with that background in mind (since most of the models are from 3ed).

Fangschrecken
21-12-2016, 02:24
I'm not sure if there's any material to back this up, but I think I've read that space marines are genetically more resistant to mutation than normal humans.

The Black Shield
21-12-2016, 02:30
Yes, there is plenty of material to back that up.

Borg451
06-01-2017, 11:03
Interesting. In a lot of cases, I think they look too 'chaosy.'



This, They should be touched mainly in mind, and lesser so in body. Chaotic motives are scary, more than mutations and the like.

malisteen
06-01-2017, 11:37
Mutation is a matter of exposure, not belief. It's like radiation sickness, you can't "pray the rads away". If you take refuge in the bowels of Cherynobyl, whether or not you choose to 'worship' radiation won't save you from its very real effects.

That said, the effects of warp exposure can be resisted, to an extent, but doing so is an incredible mental and physical drain, usually fatal. Pretty much only the one Grey Knight guy has managed protracted warp exposure without ill effects. On the other hand, embracing it generally makes the subject stronger, enhancing their most pronounced physical and mental traits, in a way that the subject becomes more overtly who they are, embodies outwardly how they see themselves, blending metaphorical and literal description.

Yes, it can go wrong, become twisted, or be hijacked to reflect how gods or daemons or others see the subject more than how they see themselves, particularly for those without clear or honest self images, or with self-images clouded by doubt or self loathing, or who leave an especially powerful psychic impression in the minds of others (such as, say, an entire galactic civilization that views you as monstrous bogey men, influencing the warp to mold you into exactly that). But for those who are strong, embracing the influence of the warp is a process of becoming your truest self, not losing sight of it. Those with vision and insight manifest a third eye. Those who are ruthless and predatory manifest razor teeth and heightened, wolf-like senses. An Alpha Legion cell that view themselves as identical and interchangeable might physically change to more closely resemble each other, or might mentally develop a psychic link or even shared gestalt consciousness.

Even inanimate objects are subject to this influence. The warp reacts to the psychic impressions of a weapon held by the user and their victims causing it to grow claws and teeth, or of a suit of armor causing it to grow horns and bony plates. Minor spirits, too weak to attempt to force themselves on a conscious mind, are drawn to those lingering emotions possess and infest the items, lending them a cruel sapience that seeks out more of the emotions that drew them to the wargear in the first place. These become an endless source of troublesome gremlins to those who try to keep them out of the machinery, but for those who embrace and use and master them, they are a valuable tool, enhancing the offensive or defensive properties of the wargear in question, and passively drawing on warp energy to 're-grow' systems that would otherwise require skilled maintenance and supply chains to repair, resources that most traitor forces have difficulty obtaining.


None of that requires or even cares about whether those subjected to these effects willingly worship the chaos gods. As powerful warp entities the gods have some influence over the process, can choose to invest particular 'blessings' on their favored servants, up to and including returning them from death itself, but warp exposure and the change it brings, is all but inevitable regardless. And not only are Chaos Marines unable to fully resist it, they shouldn't even want to, as embracing this change brings supernatural strength and energy otherwise unavailable. Resources that they need to have any hope of opposing an imperium that dwarfs the non-supernatural resources of the traitor legions dozens if not hundreds or even thousands of times over.

Lost Egg
07-01-2017, 06:21
@Borg - But then expose to the warp ensures their outward appearance reflects their inner state.

@Malisteen - Great explanation, you've obviously been a scholar of the warp for some time (quickly sends a message to the Inquisition) :D

The Black Shield
07-01-2017, 06:27
And there are always exceptions, i.e. Ibram Gaunt and others, nothing is ever clear cut.

malisteen
08-01-2017, 15:41
Longwinded fluff discussions aside, I personally agree that I would like to see more new chaos marines done in the dark vengeance style, with trim, horns, and claws that look like they were organically grown out of the armor rather than deliberately added as decoration, more staring eyes, cables that look like intestines, and leering daemonic faces - especially on more elite or veteran units, those who you would expect to have had longer exposure to the warp, like characters, chosen, terminators, & cult units (apart from the rubicae, which I think look good as they are now, as halting mutation was the entire point of the rubric).

Sadly, I don't anticipate such any time soon. Maybe it's greedy to ask for more after the big tzeentch release, but honestly, I'm still just sort of flabbergasted that GW couldn't be bothered to update Abaddon's model for the Fall of Cadia. I mean, I had saved us$60 to buy the overpriced-but-glorious Abaddon model I had assumed we were getting... I'm also bitter that the book apparently has no new rules for chaos. I mean, sure we just got the legions book, but still.

Anyway, the units that most need new models are:

Abaddon (seriously, wtf, this is his moment GW)
Chaos Lord/Sorcerer (modular/multipart to create bike characters and the like)
Chaos Terminator Lord/Sorcerer
Chaos Chosen (the only unit on this list that I feel we have any chance of seeing)
- All done in the highly daemonic style of the Dark Vengeance chosen and lord

Chaos Marines
Chaos bikes
Chaos Havocs
- All done in a more subdued version of the Dark Vengeance style. Jagged irregular trim w/ some teeth, some horns * claws but fewer smaller, helmets beginning to twist into cruel masks, but no leering daemonic faces emerging from beneath the armor, etc. Basically in the same style as the raptor kit, just without the lightning bolts.

Something like that would visually establish the corrupting influence of the warp, with more veteran units / those with longer warp exposure, showing more corruption, to the point of having an outright supernatural appearance.


I understand that look isn't to everyone's tastes, but I think it would be better to give the faction a more distinct visual style. And for those who want just the archaic legion look without all that warp corruption, that look is well covered by the 30k line, increasingly available in affordable plastic box sets without even having to bother with FW orders. Making 40k chaos kits look like that would be redundant, even if you don't feel, as I do, that they would thematically undercut the power and influence of Chaos.

Kiro
09-01-2017, 00:56
In a lot of cases, I think they look too 'chaosy.'

I agree. I've thought for a while now that horns/spikes etc should be toned down in favour of older armour marks and weapon patterns.

Lost Egg
09-01-2017, 06:35
As Malisteen says, that look is covered by the heresy line. Its easy to swop in some of the 30k plastic with chaos kits.

malisteen
09-01-2017, 10:51
Yes, I agree with lost egg agreeing with me. More chaotic 40k chaos marine kits is the way to go. Give the faction a strong, distinctive look. Those who want archaic looks instead can just use 30k models.

Plus doubling down on older/worse weaponry (plasma instead of grav, auto instead of assault, combi instead of storm, nothing instead of storm shields, artificer armor, razorbacks, crusaders, drop pods, assault bikes, land speeders, etc) as CSMs defining thing is just choosing to suck deliberately. Having more antique gear was a neat defining feature back when antique meant better, back when the Imperium in 40k still had the theme of a civilization in a dark age, not understanding their own technology, forgetting more than they learned with time, so that older stuff was overall stronger than the new. But that hasn't been true for three editions or more, now the Imperium is portrayed as a wonderland of technological innovation constantly churning out completely new and more powerful designs. The way things are now, a Traitor armoury unchanged since the heresy would be like trying to fight a modern war with swords and crossbows.

The CSM faction needs more NEW stuff of their own, new transports, weapons, armor, etc. Stuff that loyalists don't get, which means it can't just be heresy era kit. And that means more warp spawned chaos stuff. More (and more widely fieldable) bale and hades and ecto and soulreaper, more daemonic weapons and armors, more daemon engines (so long as they're not yet more AV12 walkers, the faction has too many of those already), more CHAOS stuff for the CHAOS marines, that the loyalists don't just get to have better versions of.

And it needs to be actually good. Like, the thousand sons were a good start conceptually, adding new flamer and cannon weapons, but the flamers are hideously overpriced on an already overpriced unit, and you can't even field one of the cannons until you've bulked up a squad to like 300 points, so it doesn't really pan out.


Then again, I thought Obliterators were something loyalists would never get, and now they have better oblits than we do. Same with possessed, but then wulfen happened. Same with skullcrushers, and now not only to space wolves have better versions, we don't have any at all. humbug.

Kiro
09-01-2017, 22:54
Mutation is a matter of exposure, not belief. It's like radiation sickness, you can't "pray the rads away". If you take refuge in the bowels of Cherynobyl, whether or not you choose to 'worship' radiation won't save you from its very real effects.

That said, the effects of warp exposure can be resisted, to an extent, but doing so is an incredible mental and physical drain, usually fatal. Pretty much only the one Grey Knight guy has managed protracted warp exposure without ill effects. On the other hand, embracing it generally makes the subject stronger, enhancing their most pronounced physical and mental traits, in a way that the subject becomes more overtly who they are, embodies outwardly how they see themselves, blending metaphorical and literal description.

Living Thousand Sons are something of an oddity in this regard. Physically, they seem to be pretty mutation free (irony), unless they choose to worship and serve Tzeentch. Probably all due to the Rubric though, as one character says it cured them, but did not grant them immunity to mutation.



Chaos Terminator Lord/Sorcerer

I don't think the current model is that bad. He just needs an update with more bits, as however you style him he tends to look Black Legion/Khornate.

malisteen
10-01-2017, 01:21
Those who have been subjected to the rubric are a special case. All the warp energy that would normally go into mutation instead seems to go into enhancing their sorcery, but those without the psychic prowess to handle it were utterly destroyed.

Lost Egg
10-01-2017, 06:55
@Malisteen - Plus chaos marines used to be able to field cultists, beastmen and demons. In 2nd ed they had the biggest codex with the most options...kinda chaotic you might say. It would be cool to see more options...I think I'd like to see more possessed why can't there be different types that mirror the different chaos marines so normal possessed for power armoured guys, bigger ones for terms, winged ones for raptors that kinda thing. Why not have possessed who were loyalists captured and possessed against their will by multiple demons. Chaos looks a lot less random/chaotic and a lot more standard than it used too.

malisteen
10-01-2017, 14:31
As with the new weapon upgrades, I think the recent thousand sons release shows some movement in the right direction on that front as well, with the introduction of tzeentchian beastmen as a unit option. As with the soulreapers and flamers and such, there's room to criticize the mechanical implementation, the points costs and in game effects and such, but the general direction towards more weird chaos stuff, beastmen, etc, is welcome as far as I'm concerned.

insectum7
20-01-2017, 17:29
Traitor Legions offers specialised lists that reward warbands for remaining true to their Legion roots rather than trying to cover every contingency.


I fully agree with the above statement. Traitor Legions definitely doesn't prevent someone from making a Night Lords warband with followers of a particular chaos god, marks, mutations and all. It's just that such a force would not be able to take advantage of particular Formations.



@Malisteen - Plus chaos marines used to be able to field cultists, beastmen and demons. In 2nd ed they had the biggest codex with the most options...kinda chaotic you might say. It would be cool to see more options...I think I'd like to see more possessed why can't there be different types that mirror the different chaos marines so normal possessed for power armoured guys, bigger ones for terms, winged ones for raptors that kinda thing. Why not have possessed who were loyalists captured and possessed against their will by multiple demons. Chaos looks a lot less random/chaotic and a lot more standard than it used too.

I have to point out that even the 2nd Ed book was split up into a couple different army lists though. You still had to build a force with allies to get all those options you speak of.

These days you can still get Cultists, Beastmen (Tzangors), CSMs, Posessed, Spawn and Daemons (and Daemon Engines) onto the table if you want. It just takes a couple books to do it. . .

Lost Egg
21-01-2017, 05:47
I have to point out that even the 2nd Ed book was split up into a couple different army lists though. You still had to build a force with allies to get all those options you speak of.

These days you can still get Cultists, Beastmen (Tzangors), CSMs, Posessed, Spawn and Daemons (and Daemon Engines) onto the table if you want. It just takes a couple books to do it. . .

Yep thats true you could have up to 25% of your points as allies. But then all those models were available. Beastmen/Tzangors have only just returned but there are a few more daemon engines now days as well.

I guess the big advantage of the 2nd ed book was you got 3 varied army lists in one book instead of having to buy multiple books like now.