Monday, October 12, 2009

In the eternal struggle between good and evil…

…evil always has more fun.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my next army project must be no holds barred, wanton-destruction-for-its-own-sake, full on 100% Chaos.  No more fence-straddling, angsty anti-heroes for a while.  Time to take the gloves off and embrace the darkness.

So what does this mean?!  It means I need to choose… and I have some prerequisites:

1)  Evil - no apologies, no soul-searching, no regret.  Kill! Maim! …you get the point.
2)  Well established background – though I enjoy it immensely, I tire of self-fluffing (yeah, I said it).  I want history, dogma, gear and well defined options out-of-the-box.
3)  If I’m going cult, there’s really no way around the fact that 4th ed CSM has the better rules for that purpose. Of course, full agreement amongst the gaming group is a requirement.* 

* I prefer 4th ed CSM for cult traitor marines, simply because of the depth of the rules. However I am one of the apparent few who actually like the 5th ed CSM codex, because I see it for what I believe to be its intended purpose: generic renegades.  That publication covers those generic renegades admirably, and it served me well in this regard.  I never got the sense that the codex was meant to encompass or define the pure cult traitors.  That being said, this will be my first pure cult army.  So I was fortunate enough to escape the sense of betrayal felt by those poor souls who possessed well established Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, etc upon the release of the new codex. 

Here are the chapter options and personal opinion of dogma/tenants:

Word Bearers:  In terms of unadulterated, despicable evil, these monsters are hard to outdo.  The Word Bearers don’t just do the deed… they ruminate over perfecting each nefarious act.  Flawlessness in execution of debauchery and depravity being the ultimate aspiration.  Academic malevolence and fanatical devotion to the ruinous powers… the Word Bearers ooze unrepentant wickedness.    One of the better takes on the ‘Bearers I have read (and the partial inspiration for this thread) is Matthew Farrer’s short story, Snares & Delusions.

World Eaters:  The sharp point of the Chaos spear.  When you want something dead, really dead… accept no substitute.  Vicious and vile, the ‘Eaters are the best amongst equals at storming a target and making it disappear.  Straightforward brutality.  Violence its own reward, but quantity far outstrips quality in the act.  Devotees of Khorne (who else?), the only non Chaos Undivided chapter in the list.

Night Lords:  Undisputed masters of terror.  In contrast to the raw terror of certain death inspired by the World Eaters, fear inspired by the Night Lords is dread of the unknown… of one of any number of atrocities to come.  Stealth, darkness, and horror are the mantra of the ‘Lords. Death from the shadows, their forte.   The ‘Lords do not worship the Ruinous Powers as gods, but this reality makes them no more virtuous.  Unspeakable acts of depravity are their calling card, and are likely the only sign of the Night Lord’s presence a living being will ever encounter.  Though the premise is fantastic, the Night Lords strike me as a niche army, and difficult to represent well.  In addition, I think their hit-and-run tactics could prove challenging in games.

Iron Warriors:  Paranoid in the extreme, merciless, consummate masters of the siege.  Ruthless & coldly efficient, Iron Warriors pour steel rain on ill fated foes with an overwhelming number of large-bore weapons (four Heavy Support choices).  The only Astartes, loyalist or traitor, with the capability to field a Basilisk.  Iron Warrior Possessed are unique in the utilization of bound daemonic energies to power an array of cybernetic enhancements, as opposed to outright mutation.   A lot that is fascinating, but don’t really have the “boogymen” feeling to them.  More of a calculating, mechanical amorality.

This is where I stand at the moment.  I’ve made no decision as of yet, but have definite leanings.  I’ve placed a poll to the right, and would be interested to hear opinions on a preferred army, and the reasoning for that preference.

Death to the false emperor!  


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