Saturday, December 17, 2016

Thoughts on "Traitor Legions"

You may not be aware but I wasn't a huge fan of the last two editions of Codex: Chaos Space Marines. As a result I have viewed the time since 2007 as "The Great Betrayal" where once loyal GW fanboys had their hopes and dreams crushed by an aloof and uncaring God wantabee - in this case Gav Thorpe.

It was therefore with some trepidation that I picked up the new supplement "Traitor Legions". I have spent the last week reading through it, looking at the rules and working out how everything fits together. I've had no previous exposure to Formations, Detachments and Datasheets as back in my day FO was 1-3-6-3-3. So it has been a steep learning curve (thanks to John in Oz for a series of clarifying PMs and a 40 minute phonecall with Hagen) but I now "understand" the system.

My interest in the supplement is in generating armies for each of the 9 Traitor Legions that are fluff based and reflect their unique characteristics.My initial thoughts are that GW has done a very good job and largely achieved this.

For me, it was important to understand the constraints that the Design Studio was working under:

  • Existing Codex
  • 4+ years of evolution since that was released, including a new rules edition
  • Corporate requirement of no entries where off-the-shelf GW models don't exist
  • Points system with nominal value already assigned
GW have built the Traitors Legion formations around the existing Codex:CSM entries and specifically their points' values. Where power or balance issues exist, they have given existing abilities for free/discount and they have introduced new "fluff" derived abilities at little or no points' cost but if certain list design requirements are met.

Therefore while, for instance, I miss out on bikers, terminators or havocs with Sonic Weapons, I can still build an Emperor's Children army that is based on Noise Weapons with parts that reflect the unique nature of the army through "free" Combat Drugs and EC specific Traits, Relics and Objectives.

This more accurately reflects the version of EC emerging from the Horus Heresy books where EC did not solely develop down the Kakophoni line, in that they maintained a culture of blade based martial prowess.

The only stumbling block I've hit in looking at the EC Rapture Battalion is that to have a diverse EC army - with access to drugs for all - I must take two Chaos Lords. This seems a bit silly in that I'm pretty sure that after 10,000 years there would be minimal dissent brooked.

Still that is my only grumble at this stage. From a fluff viewpoint I think GW may have hit a winner.

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