EDITORIAL: It’s So Fluffy I’m Gonna Die. Part IV of V: Fluffing the Fluff
a guest series by Douglas Hildebrand
Sometimes the hardest part is knowing when to stop. But that’s not today!
Sometimes the hardest part is knowing when to stop. But that’s not today!
The previous fluff article introduced the Lizard Marines (I still use that name because I haven’t thought of anything that resonates….suggestions welcome). I identified some issues with the initial impression that people had with the force and set out to correct them.
I looked at the models and thought that they looked way too savage to stay within the Space Marine Codex. Not that Space Marines are a bunch of wussies, but they are all about discipline and order. This force looked like they were the polar opposite to the average Space Marine. They looked more like a blood thirsty Khorne force. So with some additional changes they were converted to Khorne.
Since we are talking about fluff here I needed to bring the storyline into the Khorne arena. PFFT, no problem. I took the original story and finished it. Here is how the rest of the story goes:
The Tech Priests would learn the magnitude of all the oversights they made. In the priests’ haste to make the planets habitable, enslave the populace, explore the fascinating civilizations, and carve their niche in Empirical history by creating the ultimate expendable army, they did not thoroughly explore the system or listen to the inhabitants. The main reason for the expedition was to define the warp disturbances. This mission was abandoned as they threw themselves headlong in the perceived opportunities. As aspirations of power and glory can cause a fall to the powers of chaos, it can also allow one to become a pawn in the aspirations of another. The “High Chieftain from the Celestial Pond” wasn’t a primitive legend conjured by savages, it was real. The Daemon Prince Kraq Roq has been traveling between the realms to build a coalition of tribes on both planets.
When the Imperial Ambassadors and Tech Priests began arriving, Kraq Roq knew his force was not ready to battle a full contingent of a Space Marine Expeditionary Force that could be called; he had to wait for opportunity. Kraq Roq built upon the Tech Priests’ aspirations, unspoken contempt for being sent to a back water planet, and weak minds. Kraq Roq was able to whisper encouragement into the hearts and minds of these men to make them believe in the “opportunities”.
The Tech Priests saw how willing the Saurians were to cooperate with Operation Cold One and considered it an ecclesiastic miracle inspired by the benevolence and divine will of the Emperor; and thus confirming the righteousness of their actions. This further solidified their resolve and they redoubled their efforts and broadened the scope of their endeavors. The Saurians were willing to cooperate because the High Chieftan would rip off their limbs if they didn’t do as ordered. The irony of the Emperor’s Tech Priests building an army for Kraq Roq’s use delighted him beyond comprehension.Advertisement
Seizing control of the force was all too simple. The priests handed the force to him complete with a small armada of Imperial ships that were converted over from escort and cargo vessels from the initial expeditionary force. Kraq Roq and his loyal followers revealed themselves just before planet fall on Frampton IV. The High Chieftain had arrived and commanded his forces to spill the blood of their enemies in the name of blood god. The Saurian physiology was completely incompatible with the space marine adaptation to their bodies and the Khornate energies exuded by Kraq Roq pushed them well past the breaking point. Planet fall was a vicious and gruesome sight – blood flowed in rivers through the streets. What wasn’t rendered limb from limb was taken as food for the return trip to Saurian I and II.
Let the Holy Season begin…
Initially, I had left some points open for conjecture to lend a bit of mystique to the force. Not always good in the gaming community where vagaries tend to incite trolls. I answered some, but not all the questions, when I added the Khorne aspect. The story summary is that Tech Priests with delusions of grandeur were duped by the forces of Chaos. A common theme in 40K, so I believe I have a force that fits in the overall genre of 40K.
Making the force more defined and less open for interpretation was the next step. I wanted to add enough Khorne look and feel to make it plausible. There was also the ability to tie the Khorne axes in with the Lizard man axes.
With the decision to change to Khorne I swapped out some banner icons and added individuals with chain axes and/or mutations to each unit to get the feel. I took each unit that I had and pulled approximately half the models and inserted the new models. This doubled my force. I liked that. I liked that a lot.
I wanted to add Terminators with power weapons (Kroxinators). I kept it down to power weapons juiced up by their backpacks and didn’t add in any of the more exotic weapon choices. I wanted them to stay as basic as possible to stay with the theme:
Land Raider (Daemonic Possession is essentially having the brain the size of a walnut, so it doesn’t feel the pain for a while):
Defiler with extra CCWs. The arms came from Dollar Store toys – I invested a whole two dollars into the conversion bitz:
Yet another Daemon Prince if I want (I just wanted to do the model):
Slaan Mage Priest with familiar, jump pack, and lash of submission (you know you would submit to a tongue of that magnitude):
Coming soon are heavy weapons teams, Raptors (temple guard), and working on some ideas for a Vindicator, Spawn, and Obliterators… (most ideas for the Obliterators aren’t working, so suggestions are welcome):
I did away with the concept of vehicles for the troops to ride in. Based on the look of the models and the overall concept of Khorne I couldn’t envision the troops patiently waiting to dismount from a vehicle to assault the enemy (lunch). The shooting phase for the troops is essentially the run phase — it fits the look and demeanor of the force (and works well tactically).
Now the force started as standard marines and was converted over to Khorne by changing some icons and adding three to four chainaxes, mutations, and Khorne armor to each troop unit (units of eight – units of sixteen got twice as many). You can use the initial base and switch it over to most marine forces out there. You just need to add enough of the appropriate iconography to get the appropriate look and feel to be an overriding theme throughout the force. For this set of models I believe the savage rout is probably best. Though knowing the number of lawyers (real and imaginary) who play the game, I believe a plausible storyline could be written for any marine codex.
Much of the Khorne stuff was acquired at bitz trading or my bitz box. You can buy boxes of the Lizard Men and Marines and do a bitz bash, but that gets expensive. I like trading for the marine parts I need (and sometimes I “traded cash” for a few bitz). I try to represent the codex I plan on using, so I try to use the parts and pieces associated with that force.
Any constructive criticism is welcome on the storyline or models. You are welcome to use the idea as well. I would be thrilled to meet another Chaos Lizard Marine player one day.