With a new book on the horizon let’s review some important facts about Chaos Space Marines.
Chaos Space Marines are about to get a new updated Codex and a host of new rules in Vigilus Ablaze. What all the new updates coming it pays to be up to speed on C:SM and some of the facts and secrets behind them. So with out further ado, here are some important facts you should know about the spikiest faction in 40K.
4. Chaos Space Marines Are The Good Guys
Despite what the cowardly followers of the Corpse God might have you think, Chaos Space Marines are not the enemy of mankind, nor are they traitors. It was in fact the fault of the Emperor who betrayed his loyal sons and humanity as a whole. Did he not after all, conspire with the powers of the warp to create the Primarchs, while at the same time condemning the study and use of the warp? Did he not lie to his children again and again? Horus, was shown a vision of what would happen if the Emperor was not stopped, and did that vision not come to pass? The Emperor is a tyrannical ruler, by his own admission, one who seeks to dominate and control humanity. Chaos is the only hope hope for a free humanity, free to choose its own path, in this blighted galaxy. Do not believe the words of those enslaved by this “Master of Mankind”, the Space Marines who follow Chaos fight for mankind and freedom.
3. There How Many Chaos Space Marines? A LOT!
About a month ago I need some digging into the size of the various Space Marine, Chaos and Imperial, and here is what I found. Exact numbers are impossible to come by we do have some vague idea of how many Marines were in the Original Traitor Legions. A Legion was once stated to contain 100,000 Space Marines, that number however seems to be more an average or ideal than a real number. Looking at various sources, we can see that the Nine Traitor Legions seem to have had between 925,000 and 1,190,000 Marines (with the Thousand Sons and Alpha Legion having a vast range of possible sizes) at the start of the Heresy. This number includes a large number of Marines who remained loyal and either defected or were purged. Betrayal, for instance, states that the loyal members of the Sons of Horus, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children, and Death Guard killed at Isstvan III numbered about 100,000, with the Sons of Horus losing some 60,000 total, loyalist and traitor in the battle. This would suggest that Isstvan III alone cost the Traitor Legions 10% of their number.
Even if we assume that no other members of the Nine Traitor Legions remained loyal, which we know is untrue, that puts CSM forces post Isstvan III at somewhere around 800,00-1,000,000. Now we have no idea at all how many CSMs survived the Heresy, or how many have died or fallen since then. It’s mentioned in A Thousand Sons that only 1,000 of the Thousand Sons survived the attack on Prospero (Not the first time they’ve been reduced to that size). This would mean only a 10th of the Legion survived the HH if we take 10,000 as their Pre-Heresy number. If we take the sometimes quoted 85,000 pre-Heresy number that would be only around 1% survived. Even if the other Traitor Legions fared better, it still seems unlikely they got by with more than half their starting numbers intact. It’s possible that as few as 100,000 or less survived. I’ve heard people say that some sources talk about there being several million C:SM at the end of the Heresy, thanks to rampant recruitment experimental production methods but have been unable to find any sources to back this up.
Overall I find it unlikely that the Traitors are more numerous after 10,000 of attrition and losing a war. At least one source mentioned that before the 13th Black Crusade the Black Legion was 10x the size of the Word Bearers, yet we don’t know how large the Word Bearers are in M41. This could put that Black Legion anywhere form a few thousand to “normal” legion size of 100,000, to a million strong (if we assume the Word Bearers are at full 100,000 pre-Heresy strength even now.) Also, if the Black Legion was a million strong and ALL the other Legion were are pre-Heresy size this would argue for a maximum of 2,000,000 CSM (not counting odds and ends). After I wrote my original article some people did point out additional sources which I’ve taken into account now. Codex: Death Guards states that a Sepsis Cohort is about 700 Plague Marines. In total the Death Guard have 7 Plague Companies, made up of 7 Sepsis Cohorts each. Simple math says the Death Guard, under this organization number 34,300, or about a third of their Pre-heresy size, and the Death Guard are supposed to be the most intact of the Legions.
The Thousand Son’s Codex meanwhile describes a typical Thrallband as being made up for 64 Marines. If we assume that 9 Thrallbands make up a Sect, and 9 Sects make up a Cult, of which we know there are 9, that gives us 46,656 Thousand Son’s, an impressive come back for a Legion once reduce to a mere 1000, but still constant with some of the give Pre-Heresy numbers. Lastly in the novel Devastation of Baal, the Blood Angels Chief Librarian Mephiston is given a vision of the Chaos Force besetting the Imperial. He describes seeing hundreds of thousands of Chaos Space Marines pouring out of the Eye of Terror. While this may not be the total of all the C:SM forces in the Galaxy, the 13th Black Crusade was the focal point of the Chaos forces at the time, and Mephiston described all 9 traitor legions working together there. Of course we know that the old Legion Forces have been joined by many new renegades and traitors over the years. We just have no idea how many they could be, though many have been absorbed into the existing Legions, especially the Black. I still think that the bulk of the C:SM forces are Legion based, not renegades. After taking all the new information into account I still stand by saying that There is a maximum of about 2,000,000 active C:SM and a more likely number of around 1,000,000. Those I’ve seen other numbers thrown about, I’ve seen no textual evidence to support them.
2. Abaddon Was Winning All Along!
Old Abaddon used to have a pretty bad rap. Over the course of 13th Black Crusades he was met with nothing but failure after failure. Heck back in 2003, you would have been forgiven for thinking that even his 13th and largest was an abject failure. However what even his closest confidant and most loyal players did not know until recently was that he was actually winning the whole time! From his earliest Crusades, Abaddon was secretly carrying his own agenda, destroying rivals, gather artifacts and blasting apart Necron Pylons. What on the surface appeared to be loses were in fact total victories. And no, before you ask, this is not simply a case of his excellent PR team spinning events in a positive light, he doesn’t pay us that well! (I mean look, I could spin defeats into victories if I wanted too, but thats not what is happening here, not at all). So stop with all the Failbaddon stuff, he hates that, stop it, (Please don’t) because the Despoiler is back with a vengeance, and no matter what happens on Vigilus in a few days, it will be a victory for Abaddon and exactly what he was planning all along!
1. BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!!!
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!!!!!
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