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Thread: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

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    Stick figure on a beach Arnizipal's Avatar
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    Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    I'm new to 40K and reading up on heaps of background and lore.
    Currently going through the Horus Heresy and its consequences, and some questions popped up.

    Since most Space Marine legions that fell the Chaos lost their homeworld and were subsequently driven into the Eye of Terror, where do they find new recruits?
    From what I've read they scavenge equipment and power armour from each other and from fallen loyalists, but where do they find new troops that live up to the high Space Marine standards? And do they even have the right equipment and medication to go through the entire process?
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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    I'm new to 40K and reading up on heaps of background and lore.
    Currently going through the Horus Heresy and its consequences, and some questions popped up.

    Since most Space Marine legions that fell the Chaos lost their homeworld and were subsequently driven into the Eye of Terror, where do they find new recruits?
    From what I've read they scavenge equipment and power armour from each other and from fallen loyalists, but where do they find new troops that live up to the high Space Marine standards? And do they even have the right equipment and medication to go through the entire process?
    It varies. If one of their own fall, their gene-seed is rather brutally harvested and stored before being implanted into suitable candidates... which can range from young enough, worthy cultists, to slaves taken in raids, children of servants, etc. Traitor Asartes also aren't very picky. They'll quite happily fall upon that Ultramarines' corpse, hack it open and tear out the progenoid-glands, before implanting it into a appropriate aspirant, but they'll be 'raised' and wear the haldry of say, the Black Legion.

    Most Chaos Space Marines are also willing to take in traitors from various other renegades. It might look like a squad of say, Iron Warriors, but only seven of the squad are true sons of Perturabo (and possibly only a smaller number are Veterans of the Long War who marched at the orders of Warmaster Horus), of the remaining three, two were culled from the weakling White Scars gene-seed, and are considered "half-breeds" (and will face severe hardship climbing the ranks) and the final member was formerly of the Night Lords, but threw in his lot with these bitter sons of iron after a joint raid ended with him stranded.

    As for the right equipment to extract and cultivate and implant gene-seed... only the largest and most powerful warbands will possess this, but this is how you get joint operations... this small force of Night Lords will invade Vigilius under cover of a meteor storm and silence the Astropathic choir and planetary defence silo before a larger force of the Black Legion arrives in orbit and commences a planetary invasion, on the exchange the Black Legionaries will allow them access to their medicae facilities (whether the Night Lords are providing their own slaves, gene-seed, and whether they get to keep slaves, materials from their mission to silence Vigilius' defences, will be haggled before the task is undertaken).

    And of course, hopefully in the above example, the Black Legion will keep it's word, and/or not "alter the deal... pray we do not alter it any further."
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    Stick figure on a beach Arnizipal's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    So it wouldn't bother Chaos Legions that an Ultramarine-in-all-but-name is serving in an Iron Warriors force?
    Makes them even more chaotic I suppose
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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    So it wouldn't bother Chaos Legions that an Ultramarine-in-all-but-name is serving in an Iron Warriors force?
    Makes them even more chaotic I suppose
    Well it probably bothers his 'battle-brothers' to varying degrees on an individual basis, but hey, you've got someone to volunteer to lead the cultists or first wave of the near-suicidal assault. Also it depends what you define an 'Ultramarine' - certainly gene-seed from Roboute Guilliman's bloodline, but if implanted into the youth born of ship slaves who passed candidate screening, who has never so much as seen the worlds of Ultramar, and been raised and indoctrinated into the culture of Iron Warriors, would he really be an 'Ultramarine'? Certainly, he'll have traits like a patrician cast to his features and lacking the paranoia of Perturabo's pedigree, but that probably just makes his 'comrades' want to scar his good looks... besides, enough bionic-implants will fix that.
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Don't forget that Fabious Bile… he's selling his talents to the highest bidder.
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    Stick figure on a beach Arnizipal's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Lord View Post
    Don't forget that Fabious Bile… he's selling his talents to the highest bidder.
    But he's just one man in a vast galaxy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOMUS View Post
    Nah Arni, it's not your fault you're old and cranky

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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Don't forget about outright traitors, who don't sign up to the Legions proper, but decide to fight on the chaos side under their own leadership. Supposedly whole companies, if not chapters of Space Marines have defected.
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    Stick figure on a beach Arnizipal's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue View Post
    Don't forget about outright traitors, who don't sign up to the Legions proper, but decide to fight on the chaos side under their own leadership. Supposedly whole companies, if not chapters of Space Marines have defected.
    Maybe during the initial uprising. Does this level of defection still happen today?
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    Inquisitor Lord Damocles's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    The Blood Ravens have lost a whole bunch of marines to Chaos - knowingly or otherwise.

    Supposedly the 5th Company fell en masse at some point in M38 when one of their Librarians was turned. Then they had a bunch of their neophytes stolen by the Black Legion during the Aurelia Campaign; and then a significant chunk of the Chapter were led astray when Chapter Master Kyras went full chaos.


    The Crimson Sabres only became the Crimson Slaughter in M41, so Chapter-scale defections aren't unheard of.

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    Commander Rogue's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    Maybe during the initial uprising. Does this level of defection still happen today?
    There are a few stories from a few editions ago where a chapter was "Audited" by the inquisition. Likewise does a gene seed just go "bad" as has happened over time, or was it that they figured out that it was tainted? There is reference of gene seeds going through tests. That is so that space marines don't get tainted geneseeds, not defective geneseeds necessarily. Were they caring about defective geneseeds, than Imperial Fists and subsequent chapters would be able to do more stuff that they are recorded to not do like spit acid, or sleep during transit.

    On a more authoritative note, reading the chaos space marine codex from the 4th edition I think, there is a references where they mentioned the occasional company joining the ranks of CSM. There was reference of one chapter joining CSM, as LD has mentioned. This does not include renegade chapters that leave the dictate of the imperium, only end up to be turned. Likewise marooned, or wayward squads are most definitely susceptible according to that codex as well. Obviously it is harder for a group of space marines to turn with a chaplain in tow.
    Last edited by Rogue; 03-08-2019 at 19:38.
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    Chapter Master Rogue Star's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    Maybe during the initial uprising. Does this level of defection still happen today?
    The Badab War took place between 901.M41 and 913.M41. That's pretty recent.

    It's also been made ironic by the recent opening of the Great Rift and Primarch Reborn, because a lot of the things which led to the Astral Claws turning to Chaos and becoming the infamous Red Corsairs, and led three other Chapters to undertake Penance Crusades, feeling largely unsupported and given increasingly difficult tasks by the Imperium, would be corrected by Guiiliman for a lot of Chapters.
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Arnizipal View Post
    From what I've read they scavenge equipment and power armour from each other and from fallen loyalists, but where do they find new troops that live up to the high Space Marine standards? And do they even have the right equipment and medication to go through the entire process?
    One thing to remember is that there are a lot of different flavors for Chaos, so the answers vary. Other people have talked about Imperial marines going rogue, but it's also true that the old Chaos legions were not as selective in terms of recruits.

    Imperial marines have a long process to make new troops, but the old Legions used a variety of speed-ups and short-cuts (which ultimately didn't work out so well).

    The concept I use for my chaos marines is that they are actually less archaic than Imperial ones, since equipment loss and repair is such a burden.

    So my dreadnoughts and vehicles are all scratch-built and look rather orkish because they're cobbled out of whatever is handy.

    In terms of the marine figures, my Imperial marines are almost all 2nd ed. models, which gives them a nice uniform look. My chaos marines are a mix of chaos and Imperial model parts, which makes them "chaotic" in look, and also shows that they take what they can get.

    In terms of recruiting lore, my guys go with conscripts who get sped-up implants and psycho-surgery to fill them with hate and discipline. Think of the Necromongers from "Chronicles of Riddick," who basically look and act like Chaos Marines. That's straight out of the 2nd ed. Chaos codex in terms of fluff.

    If you're doing rogue Imperial marines, the question of replacements is harder because a company or a few squads wouldn't have any logistics, so they would likely have to join an existing chaos outfit or basically be pirates. A friend of mine is doing a chaos band like this and using predominantly Imperial figures and equipment, albeit with spikes and stuff added here and there.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 05-08-2019 at 14:27.
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    Commander Rogue's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint View Post
    In terms of recruiting lore, my guys go with conscripts who get sped-up implants and psycho-surgery to fill them with hate and discipline. Think of the Necromongers from "Chronicles of Riddick," who basically look and act like Chaos Marines. That's straight out of the 2nd ed. Chaos codex in terms of fluff.
    That's kind of how I see Chaos Marines more or less. Whereas not according to 40K cannon, I tend to see my space marines as you see Kurt Russell in "Soldier." Taken at birth, conditioned to be a soldier until he is of age to be a soldier.
    If you're doing rogue Imperial marines, the question of replacements is harder because a company or a few squads wouldn't have any logistics, so they would likely have to join an existing chaos outfit or basically be pirates. A friend of mine is doing a chaos band like this and using predominantly Imperial figures and equipment, albeit with spikes and stuff added here and there.
    I recall a few imperial marines who are called "Fleet Based Chapter," where they are perpetually on cruse. I suppose that they pick up adolescent boys that fit their standards from one world to the next, because who is going to argue with some 8' tall dude in power armour if they want to take their kid. Training facilities aboard their battle barges I would imagine? (Dark Angles do that on "the Rock" IIRC) I tend to think that a company that has been turned to chaos would basically do the same thing, if they want to go solo. However, I would imagine that linking up with a larger chaos outfit would be the path of lease resistance.

    I have been putting some though on a similar front in that if I ever do another chapter, after my Crimson Fists, I am going to do a home brew chapter that is a renegade chapter. The Story of the Celestial Lyons is what inspired this idea. Given that I really don't like how GW does Chaos storylines and fluff, I am not going to make them a CSM army, but they would be more like a band Space Marine Pirates, or to use your term "Rogue Imperial Marines." That is of course the ones that have gone rogue for the day. I can always switch and have them fight on a more imperial footing if necessary. They are to me what DOW was back in WFB. Just about anyone could have them as allies.
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    Commander Rogue's Avatar
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    Re: Where do Chaos Space Marines find replacements for their fallen troops?

    I just saw a reference on another forum to "The Badab War." Link to a synopsis below:

    https://warhammer40k.fandom.com/wiki/Badab_War

    I believe that this is relevant to our conversation of how Chaos Space Marines recruit.
    Quote Originally Posted by fluffymcfluff View Post
    Warhammer for me is more fun when I can drink, smoke and swear at my dice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar Vaughn View Post
    And dont tell me the rules are "Designed" to work better at certain points values, because the rules are many things but Designed aint one of them...
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