How to create a Space Marine Chapter

This is a subtle art.

So as you might suspect it’s something that gamers tend to screw up in dramatic fashion. There are many steps that one needs to consider when undertaking this sort of monumental endeavor; not the least of which being the name of your Chapter. One of the most common mistakes that gamers make is to think up a name first. In truth this is one of the Last things you should be considering before taking into account things like Lineage, Combat Tactics, Theme, and Colors. So what is the first thing you need to consider? What primary trait should you be taking into account before you name your Chapter “The Green Devils” and start making up shit to fill in the missing parts?


The first thing you should consider is your Chapter Lineage. This is easily the most important factor and will influence every other aspect of your Space Marine army. The reason why this is an afterthought for most gamers is simple… they want to be unique. The idea of creating something that is derived from existing canon can make gamers feel like they are not the pretty little snowflakes that they feel they need to be. This is a strange but well known part of nerd culture that I won’t get into now, however the point remains the same… gamers have a strong impulse to be unique.

Having worked in a Games Workshop for years I was forced to listen to scores of gamers explaining to me just how awesome their own created chapter is compared to every other. However, when asked what Founding Legion was the source of their geneseed most would either shrug or explain how it was a mysterious mystery. Which was really just another way of saying, ‘I haven’t put that much thought into it.’ I’ve always liked to refer to these types of Chapters as Bastard Marines. So as I said before, this is an important decision that will shape your chapter. Do not make it lightly but at the same time do not ignore it. Examine the traits, Primarch, and themes of the Founding Chapters and make your choice according to those details.

This guy actually called his Chapter "The Genocidals"... Hitler is not one of the Primarchs...

This guy actually called his Chapter “The Genocidals”… Hitler is not one of the Primarchs…

Now it’s safe to assume that you have done this properly and chosen a Founding Legion to be the progenitor of your Chapter. If you fucked this up somehow… just stop reading. Now that this is completed you can move on to the theme of your Space Marines!

Theme & Tactics

Once again, this is something that must be taken into account when creating a Space Marine Chapter. Why? Because it will help to form everything else that will complete your new chapter. Do you think that the Space Wolves first chose their name and then just randomly decided to have a debilitating Furry fetish? No. Their name was derived of what was known, or what would be known, as defining features of either their chapter or their Primarch. And yes yes, I know that the original Founding Chapters were created before their Primarchs were found, but in some of these cases the Chapters names were changed due to these qualities. Also the Emperor see’s all, so of course he named these Chapters with knowledge of their primarchs and the traits of their geneseed.

Remember though that theme is not another word for Fetish. As much as Games Workshop loves the idea that every Space Marine Chapter has to fill every spare space on their armor with the symbol or theme of the army, does not mean that you should do the same. If you want your army to be themed around Chaplains for instance, and you plan to make all your characters Chaplains, this does not mean that you should give every single Sergent, Terminator, and Dreadnought a Crosius. I say this because I once tried to do exactly that myself and half way through the conversion realized how fucking stupid it was.

Theme will line up side by side with Combat Tactics no matter how hard you try to separate the two ideas. In truth this is where it gets hard to build your own Chapter into something you feel is cool while at the same time trying to keep the actual tabletop composition competitive. No one wants to build an army of nothing Assault Marines then go and name their Chapter the Death Gophers.

Shadow Legion... Um, there are no Legions anymore bro.

Shadow Legion… Um, there are no Legions anymore bro.

This one, at first glance, isn’t a terrible idea. The gamer who created the Chapter explains their founding Chapter with some rationalization in terms of army composition, and also explains that the Chapter is a “Fast n’ Light” fighting force that specializes in stealth combat. He even goes so far as to say that he intends to add silencers to his bolters in order to really sell this theme. Have you noticed the issues with this yet? Firstly, there is nothing stealthy about a ten foot tall superhuman wearing the equivalent of a Ford Taurus for armor flying through the sky on jet engines. Also, I know it’s the 41st millennium and all but how exactly does one go about silencing a weapon who’s ammunition detonates upon impact? Lastly, white and neon green was a uniform option that was turned down by the Navy Seals a few years back… so yea, maybe you should mute those colors a tad.


Don’t get too excited… most gamers fuck this up too due to their Snowflake Syndrome as stated in the above comments. Let me say this now so that we can move forward: “There is nothing wrong with a color scheme that is similar to an existing Space Marine Chapter.” Too often people will stray so far away from primary colors when painting their Marines for fear of unwanted association with Chapters that do not conform to the image they have constructed. We all have Chapters we hate for no apparent reason and having similar colors to someone like… hmm, say… Blood Angels can be a terrible thing in the eye of gamers.

With that said… no, there are no “rules” for choosing a color scheme for your Space Marines. They are not “required” to resemble their progenitors in any obvious way. However, just like with Fashion, a little common sense and consideration goes a long way. Painting them your favorite color and simply adding highlights is no different than tossing on that old Metallica t-shirt with the mustard stain on it and heading off to a Wedding. It’s not just a question of color choices but also a question of lineage. For instance…

The Bright Blades Chapter... Apparently added too much bleach to their laundry.

The Bright Blades Chapter… Apparently added too much bleach to their laundry.

No, no, no, no, no… When reading the fluff of this particular Chapter we find out that the Bright Blades are apparently a Second Founding Chapter of the Ultramarines. This is a terrible choice considering the canon surrounding their founders. The Chapter that created the Codex, the Chapter the most recognizable color scheme, the Chapter that has easily the most stringent regulations for the creations of new Chapters… approves the Klu Klux Marines?

Hive Wardens... Looks like someone left a... ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

Hive Wardens… Looks like someone left a… ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

Here is another great example of bad colors choices. Bland green with a random red helmet makes a for an utterly boring army. Just stop and take a moment to imagine this army on the table painted in this off green and black… Dull, am I right? In this case there were no references to the Founding lineage of this Chapter, but considering the obvious fiction associated with these Marines I would be forced to assume their geneseed comes from Ultramarines. Which just makes this all that much worse. Remember that Space Marine armor is as much a form of Heraldry as it is a way of telling your battle brothers apart from the Chaos scum they are fighting.


Now that you have considered everything else it is time to consider a name for your chapter. This is where you DO get to let your Snowflake Syndrome shine freely as you cannot go off and call them Blood Angels or Iron Hands. This, however, does not mean that you should completely ignore the name of your Founding Chapter. Some of the best names are little more than simple rebranding of a founding. Prime examples include: Sons of Guilliman, Angels Encarmine, or Brazen Claws.

Desert Hunters. I would tease this gamer mercilessly about his Chapters love of hunting cakes and pies.

Desert Hunters. I would tease this gamer mercilessly about his Chapters love of hunting cakes and pies.

Firstly, try to avoid regional or climate related names for your Marines. Why? Let me ask you this first before I answer: “What makes these marines more suitable for Desert combat?” All marines have micro-climate control within their armor. It allows them to fight on any type of world and even within the vacuum of space. So how are the Desert Hunters any more suited than say, the Black Templars or Relictors? This was a name that was clearly thought up before considering the Theme of the army.

Another good tip is to try to avoid having a dual descriptor name for your space marines when not using the color scheme as an identifier. This isn’t always true, but it does tend to be a failing point for many gamer made Chapters. For instance: Black Templars are a good example of this being used correctly. The name Templars on it’s own is a good name for a Chapter and works on many levels with the canon of WarHammer 40K. Screaming Templars on the other hand completely ruins the name as a whole because it’s too much information and the two descriptors have nothing to do with eachother. Howling Griffons as another similar example is a name where both words are linked to a singular idea. A single descriptor name for your Chapter can say everything you need to say and be cool enough to grab your opponents attention without spoon feeding them too much information.

The Instigators... a Chapter that I must assume is excellent when it comes to Shit Talk.

The Instigators… a Chapter that I must assume is excellent when it comes to Shit Talk.

Here’s a good example of a one word name that tells you all you need to know about a Chapter. It may not be the best image to associate with Space Marines, but it’s clear and perhaps indicates an aggressive theme, even if it does make me giggle a bit.

Lastly, try to avoid specific topics or ideas that do not work with the 40K canon:

Legion/Legio: There are no more Legions, hence the need for Space Marine Chapters.

Chess: You’d be surprised how many gamers will name their Chapter something like the Avenging Rooks or the Storm Bishops. Chess does not exist in the 41st Millennium.

Made Up: Don’t make up words. Just don’t. You sound like a Klingon Cosplayer.

Over used: One sure way to make your Chapter blend into the background is to choose and overused name for your Chapter. Words like Angels, Emperor’s, Fire, Death, Dark, Imperial, or Sons are all seen far too often already in the 40K canon.

There you go!

Now you are ready to begin creating your own Space Marine Chapter and have the knowledge to do it the right way.

You’re welcome.


117 thoughts on “How to create a Space Marine Chapter

    • “Here’s a good example of a one word name that tells you all you need to know about a Chapter … it’s clear and perhaps indicates an aggressive theme …” – Regarding The Instigators Chapter

      There ya go. I only had to copy and paste that from the actual blog post.

      In truth there are more bad examples out there than there are really good examples, and even more middle of the road “safe” examples. Since this is primarily a blog post meant to entertain, and at one point even goes so far as to be self deprecating when speaking about my own failed marine chapter, focusing on the failures makes for a more entertaining read. In my opinion.

      With that said, our egos as Jaded Gamers makes me feel like this post was ‘on brand’ for our usual product. Sorry that you didn’t enjoy it. Next time I’ll be sure to post something with an even tone and conscious effort to avoid negativity. 🙂

  1. Very nice article..this is the first time I have come across your sight and I like what I have seen so far. As for the post; this is a task I have been struggling with for a long time… I have gone over the background for my chapter over and over again. I have found a color scheme I like, but the fluff has been an ever evolving pain in the ass. So I for one appreciate the negative examples (in a rather humorous light) is good to see. Great take on not what to do… there is plenty of advice on what to do. I plan on following your blog from now on!

  2. I don’t understand what is wrong with the Bright Blades. Admittedly, having white guns and white cloaks in addition to white armour seems to indicate a slight lack of imagination, but whatever floats your boat. I’m going to name my chapter, ‘Smashy Smashy Eggman’ and paint them cream and lemon chiffon. Nuts to you, sir.

    • I still call them the KluKluxMarines. 🙂 The honest problem comes in the way of color choice for heraldry, which is typically chosen of primary colors in bright shades. When bright colors are not chosen and neutral colors are instead used, they are then typically chosen for function over aesthetics. A few examples being Pre-Heresy Death Guard in grey or Iron Hands in black. White with Gold being two neutral colors are neither functional or particularly striking. Had this person gone the other way with Gold armor and white trim, I would have less of a problem with it. At worst his Librarian would look like the Pope. 🙂

      Cream and Lemon would be AWESOME!

      • Oh ok, I get what you’re saying about neutral colours and probably wouldn’t choose gold piping. But you can put eye catching contrast in with extreme shading. Look at well painted White Scars. A lot of their armour is actually black.

  3. Is the name Wolves of hades ok ? I made it and they are kinda based off the space wolves. The colours are base – white, trim – black and detail – gold

    • I think it works just fine. Just keep in mind that “Hades” refers to the cultural Greek underworld/hell, a concept that would either be forgotten or rejected by Space Marines. The only other references to in the 41st millennium that I can recall is the Chaos Hades-class Heavy Cruiser from Gothic. So it does exist and could be used, but depends on how you are using in for your chapter. Are they meant to be Wolves of Hell? or Wolves of the Underworld?

      • Hmm. Honestly must disagree with you here. While the specific term ‘Hades’ might not have a lot of representation, the Warhammer 40k universe, especially the Imperium, constantly draws on classical mythologies for inspiration. A few examples: the gryphon was originally part of Greek mythology that has found its way into Roman and Medieval myth and symbolism. The name ‘Fenris’ is ripped straight from norse mythology. Cataphractii armor is reminiscient of Roman Cataphracts, heavily armored mounted soldiers. The Imperium of Man draws heavily upon Greco-Roman and Medieval symbolism, terminology, organization, and ideals.

  4. Hey guys, I know it’s been awhile since anyone’s posted on this but I got into 40k awhile ago and was wondering if a chapter called ‘Crimson Pheonix’ sounds cool? Picture them with their armor black and their chest Aquila painted red, with some silver details. sound cool or no?

    • Progenitor Chapter?
      Theme and tactics?

      Remember, these are the most important first steps. However…

      The colors work very well, as we have seen with Death Company and such, so you are good on that front. As for the name I am not sure that “Crimson Phoenix” works so well. The problem lies in the idea that the name is singular in nature, referencing a solitary creature. The majority of the 40K universe sees Space Marine chapter names used as a plural. Ex: Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Ultramarines… and so on. Secondly, painting the chest Aquila in red makes it seem like it is in fact the Phoenix in question, which is somewhat conflicting with the imagery of the existing Imperium. Keeping in mind that Fulgrim was once referred to as The Phoenician… which may not be a great association.

      I would consider an adjustment to the name along the lines of “Order of the Crimson Aquila” Or simply, “Crimson Phoenix Marines” if you are really attached to the Phoenix idea. Other good additions might be: “Sons of the…” “Brotherhood of the…” and so on.

      Hope that helps!

  5. Is The Blood Hands a good name for my chapter based on the Blood Angels and the Iron Hands colour is Silver Red and Black.

    • The first issue is that Space Marine chapters don’t mix their geneseed. Partly because the knowledge of their creation is long gone and partly because I don’t even think it’s possible in the fiction to do so. The second issue is something I mentioned in the naming section of this post: Avoid overused names. Blood is one of the ones I mention to avoid. Thirdly, Blood Hands is really close to Crimson Fists, so you may want to rethink the name a bit.

      Hope this helps!

  6. I’ve thought of a new name for my chapter is Hammerites ok? Thinking of basing them around the Inquisition making my chapter Demon hunters for the Inquisition using only power hammers hence the name Hammerites colour scheme white red and yellow.

    • As said in the post: Don’t use made up words or names. Just don’t.
      If you call your Chapter the Hammerites get ready to have your opponents refer to them as the Hemorrhoids instead.
      Besides, there is already and Inquisitorial, Daemon Hunter, Space Marine chapter in the game. I bet if you try real hard you’ll know who I am talking about. 😉

      • If I can’t make up words or mix up chapter names how am I supposed to make a name for my chapter? And the Inquisition have the Grey Knight The Red Hunters The Exocist and The Death Spectres

  7. Wolves of hades is a made up name and it’s mixing up with the space wolves but you said it’s ok to Jeremy to use that name for his chapter it’s like calling my chapter Brothers of Steel

  8. After listening to the latest episode and rereading this article (first read it when you originally wrote it and put it up) I am going to use your recipe to come up with a SM chapter, I will post results here and expect a good firm critiquing from you.

    I’m thinking the lineage of these guys is going to come from Captain Morgan and as such they will all be standing on rocks…how am I doing? 😛

  9. I know this post is rather old but I’ve been working on my own chapter for a while and I think I’ve come up with something, though I’m not sure on the name yet though.
    They are a successor chapter of the Iron Hands.
    Specializing in artillery and scouts.
    Their armour is mainly bronze with the pauldrons, greaves and (maybe) gauntlets black and yellow stripes, like those warning stripes on steps and things.
    I have absolutely no clue what to call the chapter though, possibly something to do with bronze? Brothers of Bronze?
    What do you think?

    • You are on the right track. The Iron Hands is a good chapter to start from. As for the color scheme you have chosen, remember that the Iron Warriors have basically the same thing right now… and trust me, those two chapters do not get along.

      Otherwise, the name itself is fine. Staying focused on the metal component of your theme is great. However I would try out some other ideals and see if you like something else better.

      • Thanks for the feedback! I actually forgot about the Iron Warriors tbh.
        I might tone back on the stripes, maybe just have it on vehicles, while troops have silver where I previously mentioned the stripes being, this would also make them more metallic so that’s something.

      • i thought the imperial fists didn’t get along with them. Iron hands don’t get along with emperor’s children.

  10. I called my chapter the Dead Rabbits (a name I stole from a movie but thought was really cool, so screw it) and their colour scheme is a deep burgundy with dark blue and dark green highlights. On paper this probably sounds really stupid, but I love the finished result and feel of them. They’ve got a really dull and dark look which I think suits their speciality of defensive fighting and digging in. They use a lot of heavy weapons, devastators and favour artillery tanks, forgoing assault specialised marines completely.

    No idea for an icon for them though. While I love the name I can’t see any icon possibly related to rabbits that could be cool. Maybe a skinned rabbit pelt or something? Any suggestions?


      • I like the name, besides, there’s plenty of canon chapters like Space Sharks and Mantis Warriors, Minotaurs, etc so rabbits aren’t really that far out there. I’m not sure where those chapters descended from in the canon, but if they’re allowed to exist then why not rabbits? I also toyed with using rats, as they’re another animal that lives in burrows and inspires the same kind of understated aesthetic that I prefer to something like ‘Dead Dragons’ or wolves or whatever.

        Also, how’d you guys like the colour scheme I posted before? It’s kinda off-garish, but I think it really suits their theme. Took a while for my eyes to get used to it, but now I honestly couldn’t think of a scheme that I like better on the marine armour.

        Thanks for your input by the way.

  11. I named mine the Flaming Fists,who are a 10th founding chapter of the Imperial Fists. They have black base colour with flames on the greaves, hands-to-elbows and shoulder plates. They have a golden trim. They specialize in sieges and have no assault marines. They have a large number of Terminator squads and tanks. Their chapter icon is the imperial fists one except with flames rising around it.

  12. I like you to see if my panned chapter is okay or not

    The Chapters name is Black Knights
    Created as a Standing Force
    From an unknown founding date
    derived of the Ultramarines geneseed
    with the stock as Pure

    The chapters hero is known as a Xylian Viestox who slayed a demon prince of chaos
    Its a codex chapter except for a defining trait that it is in over strength.
    Has Close Ties to Adepta Sororitas and Adeptus Mechanicus
    Specializes in Shock and Awe tactics and Lightning strikes
    and the chapter houses a number of rare weaponry and is notable for having battle brothers equipped with mark 8 armors rather than the widespread mark 7’s and is seen to have beastial companions

    their Home world is designated as Black Reach (don’t know if its already existing though)
    a feral jungle world and is ruled directly by the chapter itself. and its PDF also trained by the chapter.

    the chapter has quite the taste for blood in any chaos aligned group most notable of it is the alpha legion.

    here the image…

    • Black reach already exists but everything else sounds great to me nice work and it’s hard for me to think up lore for my chapter ideas

      • ahaha! tahnks ill try to search for it 😀 … maybe if that Black reach is not a owned chapter planet i can adapt it somehow?? is that possible? XD

      • I just read that it is a vacant world, a hive world taht is saved by the ultramarines chapter and is not far from maccragge either.. no chapter owns it as of now 😀

      • it was used in the table top game named assault on black reach, captain cato sicarus ultramarines 2nd company vs waaaggghh zanzag , imperial victory 😀

    • You have a lot in here that’s kinda strange, but not totally unworkable.

      The name Black Knights could cause confusion as Black Knights are already part of the Raven Wing lore and unit options in the game. Outside of that your chapter basically does… well, just about everything. Daemon Slaying, Sister loving, Mechanicus buds, hard hitting, rare weapons, mark 8 armor, animal friends, AND a taste for blood for a hated rival legion.

      It’s good to recognize the difference between building a Chapter theme and making the biggest-bestest chapter around. I would recommend slimming down your theme and instead focusing on one or two aspects that you think really shine.

      The colors are good, but lack any real contrast as you have one very dark primary color and two neutral colors on the model. I’d recommend adding some more color to the model.
      Lastly, with regards to the color… is it just me or are your Black Knights blue?

      • Oh, i see.. yeah they are actually uhh.. Abyss Blue of some sort it was written as Necron blue, though the color is just to emphasize that it is a Ultramarine successor just a darker one more uncommon one (may you suggest some color mix taht i can make up to maybe let this chapter be a little dull? im open to suggestions), i actually want to stick with the black knight idea but if its quite in conflict maybe ill cook up another name on it, say Void Knights or Abyssal Conquerors or something. and if i were to choose maybe ill just save up the mechanicus ties along with the rare weaponries and newest armor (close ties means close support and getting the best of the best first. though this chapter dont revere the omnissiah much), the pets can go out the bag and the sisters can keep their flames, i also will maybe prefer the shock and awe tactics (because i love hearing the word) lightning attacks may be a good mix to the “knights” name but an awe striking and fear rending Space marine chapter maybe more remembered if its striking and using a more awesome and spectacular destruction in the field of enemies (though i think for so far of what i had read it is not that effective to the damn tyranids or necrons but hell who cares this marines kick ass) what other things can i slim up to make this a valid chapter?? to your eyes (newbie here by the way just started 4 months ago in the Space Marine concept after playing WH40K Dawn Of War Series)

      • My best advice is to keep it slim and trim. The ideas you are using work, and can be expanded on, but I usually like to let me games help build the Chapter out. Play 10 games with them and see who you face the most. Build a story out of that instead of trying to front-load the whole background of the chapter at it’s creation. I would personally change the name and colors. The name because of the existing associations. The colors because, as mentioned in the post, Space Marine armor is supposed to be a form of Heraldry. There are a few chapters in the game with all black armor, but they are primarily founding chapters that never changed their colors. Keep in mind that the Dark Angels were originally in black armor, before switching to that cool forest green. Does the game really need another black armored legion?

        Hope that helps!

      • Slim and Trim, got it.. 😀 10 games huh, i think it kinda hard for me to do that the game is not actually that popular in my part of the world i’m in living in Asia, Philippines to be more specific.. so the 10 games are more like impossible task of hercules just 2 task minused out. the color huh.. well ill try to come out with a more flashy color or something about the size of it (maybe ill try out gold, white and blue?), ill post it here again if you allow me to, to know what you think of the chapter and ill cook up another name out of it, the one without conflicts with the existing cannon.

  13. Great article! I very much enjoyed.
    I’ve just come back to the hobby after a 15 year hiatus.
    I played Dark Angels, but after seeing the disparaging difference in the models I painted when I was in high school and what I can do now, I have commenced on a great repaint.

    Started out as a Angels of Ansolution scheme but now I am moving a bit past that idea. Buddy suggested making my own chapter so
    Finding this blog post was a great find as i was pretty damn stuck and wanted to avoid every Mary Sue pitfall you listed up there.

    I don’t think I am any closer to sorting it out yet, but I know what to avoid.

    Thanks kindly. Keep it up.

    Also: yay! New hobby blog to read!

  14. So I’ve had this idea for a ‘chapter’ for a while, but I’m not too sure I can pull it off fluff-wise. Mind lending me your opinion?

    The ‘chapters’ name is “Caliban’s Forsaken” and basically they’re Dark Angels who went “Well, fuck you too.” when Luther was corrupted by the Forces of Chaos and left the planet.

    They’re gene-stock is mostly pure, with one mutation ( don’t know which one makes more sense, the Catalepsean Node or Sus-an Membrane. Might be more logical with the Progenoids though… ) which causes the memories and personalities of the previous marine to be (forcibly) carried over to the new carrier. While it can be succesful, it more often then not drives the recipient completly insane, ranging from entering a vegative state to going full bezerk on those standing close to him.

    Colour scheme: black (as the original Dark Angels) with Moot Green (might go for something lighter)

    Their themes are siege warfare and close-quarter combat. Since they didn’t undergo the changes of the Codex Astartes, they have a vastly different setup. The main three parts are High Command, Assault Section and Siege Section. They’re favorite close combat weaponry are (lightning) claws.

    As for teh fluff:
    After they fled Caliban, they crash-landed on a fuedal world they named “Xivanthia”. Feeling betrayed by their former leaders and the Imperium as a whole, they decided to build up a base of operations near their crash site. Shortly thereafter, the senior members decided that they were betrayed and left for dead by the Imperium and as such would no longer seek to contact it. Instead they decided to build their own little haven of hope and security right there on Xivanthia. (which naturally makes them on not so good terms with said Imperium)

    Not going to go in full detail here, but they subjugate the locals, earn their trust, teamed up with Tau (not sure how, my friend is playing Tau and will work out this part, since I don’t know jack about Tau) and cleansed the entire planet to make it safe.

    After this point, I still have to work on the story.

    So, thoughts so far?

    • I suppose I should add that I was planning on using red instead of green first, but was told I’d better not by a few friends.

    • There are a few core problems with this concept that needs to be addressed before I can comment on the main idea you are trying to get across with your chapter… the first, and biggest in my mind, is the timeline. If your group left Caliban at the time of Luther’s rebellion then that means they are over 10,000 years old. They crash land on a planet with no facilities to make more Space Marines, no technology they can use to repair their armor, weapons, or vehicles and is cut off from the Imperium with no support. They’d all be wearing Heresy era armor as well, which isn’t exactly a deal breaker, but it leaves them in a fairly bad position. Also, the current Dark Angels are vigorous in hunting down and destroying any evidence of their chapters own heresy so it’s hard to believe that they’d allow a 1000 or so marines alive who fled during this time. Or for that matter, not have found and destroyed them in the last 10,000 years. With a name like Caliban’s Forsaken it’s a good chance that the Dark Angels would have figured out something was up…

      The mutation is fine, but it really doesn’t serve much purpose. However, since there is no connection to memory within a geneseed you’d have to say the memories were a psychic imprint, which does kinda rule it out as a mutation. I’d give that whole idea a second look.

      Colors are good for a Dark Angels chapter, so that’s fine there.
      Tactics are fine and fit well enough with the Dark Angels.
      Teaming up with the Tau is not impossible, and could be seen happening, however Space Marines from this era would be very standoffish to any Xenos. With a Chapter this small and disconnected from the Imperium the way they are, it would almost make more sense for the Tau to conquer them and fold them into their ranks as transhuman Gue’vesa.

      Hope this helps!

      • Well hey there!

        First of all, thanks for answering and trying to help me out. I’m going to warn you now before you read the rest of this post, but I’m quite attached to this idea. Beware the snobbism and the fanboy-ism.

        For the facilities, couldn’t they have stolen them when they fled Caliban? They must have had some equipment on site, and as far as I know the Legions already had Apothecaries and Techmarines attached to them.

        For the armour, yes, most of their armour would be pre-Heresy or Heresy era armour, but since recent times, they’ve been having skirmishes with Imperium aligned SM chapters and looting their armour as much as they can. It’s part of the history I haven’t really put on paper yet, suppose I should have said that.

        For the name, Caliban’s Forsaken is the name they really only call themselves. To the locals they’re known as the Royal Xivanthian Army, which consists not only of them, but also of Imperial Guard- and Sister of Battle-esque (by lack of female IG models) troops. They also aren’t really a 1000 man strong, since they were counting 578 man when they left and lost another 200-250 when they crashlanded. Count in the SM lost while securing a base of operations, and they would have been only around 200-220 man strong at that time.

        As for the mutation, is it really not possible? The Omophogea can transfer memories from eaten flesh to the SM eating them and the Catalepsean Node can, when overused, cause hallucinations. Wouldn’t it be possible for them to mutate that they copy memories at all?

        As for the Dark Angel hunts, see aforementioned name and the fact that they mainly hunt Heresy era DA who just kind of pop out of the warp. I don’t think they’d be looking for someone as a CF marine, who really just went of the radar before Luther went completly batshit insane.

        As for the Tau part, I thought he said they’d be separated from the Tau Empire as well, being disillusioned with the hypocrisy of the Greater Good and whatnot. But I don’t really know anything about this, and like I said, it’s my friends army to write fluff for. Not that tips aren’t appreciated.

        Thanks again for trying to help me out!
        Sorry if this post comes of as stubborn, because, in all honesty, I really am.


      • If you didn’t want feedback, why ask? 😉 LOL

        I get being married to a concept, but honestly I feel like what you are describing is more of a chaos space marines army instead of a Space Marines army. If they are fighting other loyal chapters and salvaging armor it also means that they are on the radar of the Imperium, which doesn’t take kindly to turncoats. They sound more like traitors at this point than actual Space Marines.

        Either way, good luck with your concept 🙂
        Do what makes you happy.

  15. I would like to make a loyalist space marine chapter that are remnants of the luna wolves but because of the blight their primarch has made they are always trying to stomp out the forces of chaos, specifically the black legion, whenever they show their head. They have also changed their colors to dull grey and white and the tactics that they favor are assault marines jump in and pin the enemy until their devastator marines have their heavy bolters set up, jump out and let the devastators take the ones still standing out with their scouts looking for any weaknesses in the enemies defense with regular space marines for back up in case things get out of hand. I haven’t thought of a name for them but I was thinking of The Redeemers because of their tireless acts to redeem their chapter after the horus heresy. Over the years their gene-seed has mutated so that their skin has become thicker almost stone like in appearance and making them more aggressive in nature. Because they are remnants of a traitor space marine chapter they are kept in secret and work closely with they grey knights and inquisition and any who know of their existence is either killed or inducted into the grey knights or the chapter itself. any space marine that is inducted into the remnant chapter has to go through an experimental surgery to remove the space marines original gene-seed and is replaced with the remnant chapters gene-seed. However this process can be lethal with it only having a 33% success rate.

    • Ok… so… before I get started I want you to know that I am not trying to simply shit on your idea. However, with that said, none of this can really work. Your tactics are fine and your desire to have them work with the Inquisition can work, but you need to change a LOT before you can move forward. Firstly, there is already a chapter in the canon known as the Redeemers. Luckily, almost nothing is known about them so that could ideally be a starting point. Having the chapter be remnants of the Luna Wolves simply doesn’t work. Any marines Loyal to the Emperor were massacred on Istvan IV with only one known Marine surviving, meaning that there could not be enough left in order to create a new chapter. If the Inquisition knew this, or knew that their geneseed had mutated, they would be wiped out without so much as a chance to explain themselves since that’s what the Inquisition does. As for the mutation, you are kinda putting yourself in a weird spot. What made their geneseed mutate when the Black Legions geneseed has not? It doesn’t really make much sense. It would make more sense for this chapters to be from a Cursed Founding considering the way you are describing it. Removing a Marines geneseed is lethal 100% of the time. Lastly, the colors are bland and don’t really work within the step laid out in the above article. I would recommend that you rethink this whole idea and start over.

  16. If it’s alright to be discussing custom chapter concepts, I’d like to throw in as well. The inspiration was that I was looking to adapt an RP character I had played into a 40K equivalent. From there I thought of what chapter progenitor fit closest to them and decided that Blood Angels fit the mark pretty well. Still working out a lot of details, so lot of this is just general concept crap.

    The chapter in question I’m thinking of calling the Phoenix Knights. As the name implies, my concept for them is based on the romanticized idea of medieval knights being very noble and heroic, a crusading force that seek glory through battle in ‘defense of the Imperial citizenry. They attempt to utilize the Red Thirst as a fire to fuel their fervor in combat, but also to temper it so as not to succumb to their baser urges and maintain their connections to humanity, however loose they may be. Following their iconography, they prefer to utilize flamers and meltaguns as special weaponry as well as keeping to the general BA preference for close-quarters combat. Was also thinking that a unique point would be that their Death Cult has a ritual belief that Sanguinius will return one day in some new form. Primarily fleet-based, as I feel it fits the idea of them being crusaders. Their armor heraldry is primarily white with red shoulder badges with black trim. Have something of a working battlecry – “Our hearts are fire – they burn evermore!”

    Any and all input would be appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    • I like the direction you are doing with this and you are hitting all the high points. However, I have to mention that they sound more like Salamanders than Blood Angels, everything other than the rage fits more with them. Immortal primarch reborn in fire… flamers and meltas, ect… I think the idea can work, but I might change their belief that Bird-Primarch will be reborn into a belief that the Emperor will be reborn like the Star Child he is if you stick with Blood Angels being their progenitor chapter. As for the colors, if fire is the theme you might stand out more with White, yellow, orange, and black trim instead of Red. Remember that White Scars are pretty much exactly the color scheme you are proposing.

      You’re going in the right direction! Keep working on it.

  17. I recently started getting into the miniatures bit of the series and I decided I’d go and make my own Chapter as well… Granted it sorta became a Renegade Chapter, but still. Fortunately the most I’ve done with them is do the colors for a 3-pack of the Snap-fit models, so I’m not too late, hopefully.

    Name: Wayward Sons (Formerly Sons of Valor) (Yeah I know, you advised against Sons as part of the name, but I thought it would be a really fun name for a chapter. Also, Kansas FTW)
    Progenitors: White Scars (Not my favorite Chapter, Salamanders FTW, but the die doth decree, so that’s what I’m gonna do)
    Founded: 39th Millennium

    Homeworld: Temperate Feral World of Sigmus Phobos in the Segmentum Pacificus, But main force now remains in-fleet for reasons of teh fluff. (I’ll explain further down) Classified as an Abandoned Sector due to the Night of a Thousand Rebellions. Rule of planet is Stewardship system.

    Imperial Exodus Cause: Not gonna lie, I decided to go with a 2-pronged route and said that they didn’t really mind the Eldar and saw the Imperium as a festering wound on the Emperor’s plans for humanity.

    Geneseed: Pure

    Flaw: Chapter Cult/Pride in the Colors. (Teh fluff, again.)

    Chapter Legend: Chapter Master Briares Titanus, known by some as The Scourge of Chaos, had been the leader of a massive Chaos-culling campaign during the early 41st Millennium, but was unfortunately pulled into a Warp Rift during a counter-ambush by a Khornic Chaos Fleet in 439 M41. Most of the Chapter had been influenced by his concerns over the stagnant state of the Imperium, leading to their disillusionment, and many of the older members of the Chapter believe that he will one day find a way out of the Warp and will return to lead the Chapter to greatness. Before his disappearance the Chapter’s colors were more akin to their progenitors at Bone White with Sunburst Yellow, but in honor of his memory, they replaced their colors with a Iyuden Darksun main color and a Liche Purple for accents (the Liche Purple due to the rumor that his eyes had begun to turn a deep purple from his constant conflict with creatures of The Warp before he went MIA and Iyuden Darksun to remind them that while they have not followed the will of the Emperor in death through the Imperium, their actions now are done with the intent of following his example first and foremost. Their view of The Emperor has also since then become enlightened due to the rediscovery of a 30th Millennium manuscript detailing The Emperor’s hatred of religions and his attempts at a secular state, putting them at odds with The Inquisition and the Sororitas.
    Here’s a link :

    Doctrine/Operating Procedure: Sound of Engines with a Savior Complex (Think a Biker Gang that protects a town from unwelcome guests.)

    System Deficit: Lacks Librarians (regretful distrust of psykers) and Terminator Armor (Don’t care for the lessened mobility.)

    Special Equipment: Can depend on the company; the 5th Company is famed for usage of Eldar tech (nicknamed the Fairy Chasers for a reason) and the 3rd Company is feared for usage of Chaos Sonic Blasters (let’s just say that The Emperor’s Children were not happy when they found out there weapons had been stolen right before an engagement with the Sons, leading to the nickname the Song Stealers)

    Strength: 7 Companies Strong; Veteran, 3 Battle and 3 Auxillary w/ Standing Fleet of 4 Battlecruisers + 1 salvaged Emperor-Class Battleship (weapons are offline, essentially acting as barracks for the 1st and 4th-6th Companies. 7th Company–Gatekeeper Company– hold the fort on Sigmus Phobos and are highly venerated by the Chapter for keeping the Homeworld safe.

    Modus Operandi: Fight for the Emperor, even if not for the Imperium, and promote peace to as much as they can (Not really that feasible, but it’s the thought that counts.)

    Allies: Farseer Suraleyn Undominael of Craftworld Rhae-Tyvaris (Friend’s homebrew Eldar Craftworld), Rogue Inquisitor Gabrael Belonarus (Source of news from the Imperium, unbeknownst to the Inquisition), Respected and equally respective of Salamanders despite lack of contact (If encountered will call for a ceasefire and commune for a short time.

    Enemies: The Inquisition and Sororitas as mentioned before, Tyrannids, Chaos–in particular Slaanesh and Khorne–really hate their guts, Orks, Tau are afraid of them strangely and will attack them out of skittish fear. Dark Eldar are lukewarm but are more than happy to help them enter the light. Necrons… refer to The Cold War for further details.

    Symbol of Heraldry: …Actually I have no idea what I want to use for the symbol. Any suggestions?

    • Well… you’ve basically decided what you are doing to do with your chapter already. What I have to say would mean little since you kinda ignore the parts of the article you don’t like 😛 It’s a serious case of Snow Flake Syndrome, but all in all it’s not bad. I could point out all the details that don’t really work for Space Marines, but again… you’ve kinda already gone the distance on your Chapter.

      Carry on, Wayward Son of the Emperor.

      • I would personally ditch the idea of using alien weapons/allies. If these guys are really still supporting the Emperor as a rebel Chapter they would still follow the edicts he laid out and would have little idea of the Emperors true nature at the time of the Heresy.
        The Chapter deciding that the Imperium is a cancer and has lost it’s way is fine, but the idea that they have gone Renegade carries a LOT of issues that you need to address. Firstly is the Inquisition and their active stance… it’s not common for whole Chapters to go missing. What I mean is that this wouldn’t simple put them “at odds” with the Inquisition, it would mean that their new primary enemy IS the Inquisition. Meaning their only real purpose is now Survival. The Chaos legions can hide in the warp… your Chapter has no such refuge. You can’t fight a war on two fronts and being sandwiched somewhere between the Tyranids and the Imperial War Machine is a death sentence for the entire Chapter. Was their departure a public statement of defiance or a quiet exodus? BOTH present issues as that is not how a Space Marines chapter tends to act unless they are traitors.
        The second problem is that their progenitor chapter is loyal. Think about the lengths that the Dark Angels have gone in order to hide that damning part past, going so far as to hunt down an purge any remnant of that secret disgrace. The White Scars would be no different in this situation and may even be targeted by the Inquisition themselves due to this dishonor.
        Their Homeworld would be gone by now. The Imperium has purged worlds for less in the past.
        Their flaw doesn’t make sense considering that they left the Imperium. If anything it sounds more like the Lodges which lead to the Heresy.

      • Okay, so:
        -Ditch the Eldar
        -Focus on Survival Against the Inquisition (Let’s make it a Public Act? Also, I’m thinking maybe hybrid Altruistic Downfall with Emperor’s Light, with the Altruism and the fallout with the Inquisition leading to their Excommunicate Traitoris, and then coming to the idea of The Emperor’s Light?)
        -Change to a Traitor Legion Progenitor (Any Recommendations? I’m unfamiliar with any but the Emperor’s Children and the Word Bearers.)
        -In regards to the Homeworld, I figured that The Night of a Thousand Rebellions would have nullified that concern, but whatever.
        -Change Founding to Older Founding than 39th Millennium
        -Pretty much make them fly solo (although could it be possible to have a Homebrew Imp. Guard Regiment as buddies? Rebellious Regiment? Anything?)
        -Change Chapter Flaw to something else (I’m thinking either keep Pride in the Colors or changing to Acute Paranoia)

        I think that covers everything.
        Also, any suggestions for a Heraldric symbol? Boots of Hermes, Wings and a Halo, anything?

      • On a side note, it only just occurred to me that I’m essentially creating a variation on the Knights of Blood. Maybe they could be allies?

      • Question: Why aren’t you just creating a Chaos Marine Chapter? Everything you are referring to feels like this chapter should be a Night Lords or Alpha Legion offshoot.

        The Knights of Blood were declared traitors because of their brutal tactics and for attacking Imperial forces. Basically they acted more like Chaos Marines instead of Space Marines, due in large part the the well known geneseed mutation that the Blood Angels strive to overcome, which is a stark difference from a Chapter who would choose to leave the Imperium.

        As for the Symbol: It’s up to you. The White Scars is the red thunderbolt with a yellow bar. A variation of that would be cool.

        Side Note: I just noticed the mention of distrust toward librarians. That doesn’t work at all with a White Scars progenitor chapter as they venerate the librarians as Stormseers and have since the formation of their legion.


        But in all seriousness, I do appreciate the feedback. I’m really new to Warhammer 40K on a whole; I mean, yeah I played Space Marine and I’ve been combing the Lexicanum, but yeah I’m still a total newb in the world of Teh Fluff.

      • Would there be a formal location where I could post my ideas for a Chaos/Renegade Warband? Cause I will admit I had an idea for a Space Wolves or Wolf Brothers divergent chapter using mammoths or sabertooths or something like that.

      • Side note: I just figured out why my Chapter seemed to be related to something in the back of my mind, I was taking subconscious queues (sans the Xenos bits and some of the other fluff) from the Soul Drinkers! A Chapter declared Excommunicate Traitoris with a hatred for The Ruinous Powers, a view of the Imperium as traitorous to the Emperor’s will, and desperately on the ropes, it makes so much sense now!

        Okay, so now that that’s out of the way, onto my next chapter…

  18. My chapter is the Abyssal Angels. Yes angels is overused, but it fits. Their lineage is that of the Blood Angels and they have armour painted dark ocean blue with a dark grey trimming. No one wears helmets except the death company, for the tribes they are recruited from believe a man should be able to hold his breathe if he is to be a warrior of the seas.

    Their lore is they specialise in undersea combat, something that is mentioned but never talked about in most 40k Lore.

    Their tactics are based around an agile, mobile force to quickly surround and destroy the enemy. Drop pods, rhinos, and bikes are the delivery of choice for the marines.

    Their biggest problem comes from the Death Company. These are the only men clad in helmets, taken quietly from their parent squads and stripped of markings. This way no one may bring shame upon himself and his former squad. Those who are taken are also listed as MIA, as theit belief is the soul of one who succumbs to the rage is with the emperor, and the vessel is left behind.

    • I have got to be totally honest on this one. This idea is really bad.
      If they are made for “undersea combat” then they would ALL need to wear helmets. Not for breathing but because their suits need to remain pressurized while underwater, at least that’s how I understand. In the HH novel Fulgrim Space Marines fight on the waterworld of Laeren and require helmets. Plus, Space Marines without helmets are stupid.

      Regardless of all that it’s still a silly idea since there is no need for a Chapter to be any better at fighting underwater than another Chapter. If their preferred battle tactics include Drop Pods, Rhinos, and bikes… this makes even less sense.

      The colors are fine, but aren’t gonna look great on the table. And don’t use “Angels” even if it does fit with your idea.

      My advice is to rethink this idea completely.

      • “If their preferred battle tactics include Drop Pods, Rhinos, and bikes… this makes even less sense.” You are right on this one, I should have clarified. On land these are their preferred tactics. As for why they fight in the undersea, I disagree with you that it is silly, Allow me make a counter point to you:

        Chapters are often specialized. Example is every chapter can siege but the Imperial Fists are picked first and foremost. Night assaults to the Raven Guard, Space wolves on Ice Worlds, etc. This is also true with using the Guard as reference. The Catachans could fight on Valhalla, and Valhallans on Catachan, but ultimately each is better in the world in which their regiment was raised. It would make sense for a Chapter that’s home world was primarily Aquatic to specialize in fighting underwater, since they would have doing it likely since childhood.

        Although I did do a retake on the no-helmets thing. Pressurization is important underwater, You’re right and it completely slipped my mind as I wrote the lore for them.

        Recommendations for alternatives to angels?

        P.S. sorry for typo’s, i’m on mobile here.

      • You are correct to a point. Especially when referring to Catachans and Valhallans being out of place outside their respective worlds. However, it is important to recognize the difference between unarmored humans fighting in extreme climates and IG Regiments that have wildly different tactics and styles. Valhallans using armored vehicles and Catachans using light recon infantry. When you genetically modify either group to super human levels and put them into climate controlled suits of armor… suddenly their home planet means little with regards to where they fight.
        Also, don’t confuse the founding legions tactics with in association with their homeworlds to that of the upbringing and personality of their Primarchs. The Raven Guard choose to fight at night because Corax preferred that and felt that it was best. The Imperial Fist focused on siege defense due in major part to the preference of Rogal Dorn and the fact that their homeworld is technically Holy Terra, making the defense of the Golden Throne their primary concern. It would make sense for a Chapter that was founded out of the Imperial Fists to share their battle tactics and the personality of their Primarch… however, there’s a reason that there are no “Water” Space Marines, it’s the same reason why there are no “Space” Space Marines… because they are all Space Marines and Water Marines and Desert Marines and Ice Marines. They are build for every possible environment so focusing on one is pointless. Sure, MAYBE they are marginally better at fighting under water than another chapter due to having slightly more experience, but probably not to a large enough extent for it to be the driving force behind their legion.

        This is exactly why I say to avoid using environmental, regional, or climate based ideas to define your Chapter.

        As for the name… if you are married to “Abyssal” as the first part of the idea and want something similar to “Angels” maybe consider “Abyssal Guardians” or “Abyssal Spirits” or “Abyssal Hosts” … but yea, Abyssal Angels is a strange sort of contradiction.

        Good luck!

  19. Good article, I have made my own custom chapter and like so many others I have broken a couple of your rules. My chapter are called The Repentant Sons who are descendants of the Word Bearers legion. The whole chapter was believed lost to warp storms before the heresy flowered and only reappeared several decades later. Using ties with the growing Ecclesiarchy they were able to integrate themselves (and cover up their origins) into the new Imperium. They prefer long ranged combat as opposed to traditional close combat tactics of the Word Bearers. They use the traditional colour scheme of granite grey armour with back shoulder pads with gold trim. I can already the arguments about using Word Bearers but I reason their faith in the Emperor trumps their faith in Lorgar.

  20. Hey!
    Well, first of all, i like both the article and and your tone. The first one in particular is, in my opinion, exhaustive on all the important aspects of creating a space marine chapter.
    Secondly, i wanted your opinion on the color scheme for my space marine chapter. It’s not a “special snowflake” at all (actually i wanted to do White Scars at first, i like everything about them, but i don’t like their color scheme at all). I decided to do a successor chapter of the White Scars, a “young” one (23rd founding or even more…), cast away in some far away sector to hunt down xeno races and small group of heretics before they can actually become a threat for the Imperium.
    Therefore, i made a little research on the color schemes of White Scars’ successor chapters and tried to pull out a color scheme i like with the colors i like. I was hoping that you could give me your point of view about which color scheme is better and why.
    These are the results:

  21. Hahahaha! “Utterly unoffensive safe color choices”! I love it XD
    Yeah i know about the white, i will think about it. Thanks anyway for the tempestive answer.
    And by the way, i totally agree with you about the part of the “mysterious mystery” rant. I mean, there are 18 chapters with uniquely (or at least rare) traits and attribute you can choose from. 9 if you want to specifically create a space marine or chaos space marine, how the heck can you not make up your mind?
    Anyway, thank you again for the help.

  22. Hi, you may well have already done this, but have you considered doing a similar article for other armies such as Imperial Guards, Tyranids etc?

  23. I’m making one called the hellbenders Due to the harsh world that they are based they live in a dome thing under the water there color scheme is partially oxidized brass due to the water with some green highlights the tactics are continues damned to the enemy’s front lines like water hitting the coast. what do you think?

      • A hellbender is an animal and I was going to make the armor brass and then use nihilakh oxide so make it seem as if it had aged.

      • Gotcha! I did not know that a Hellbender was a type of Salamander.
        So lets unpack this idea.
        Firstly, you need to sort out which chapter is the progenitor of your Chapter. Salamanders seems like the obvious choice, but that’s up to you.
        Second, Marine armor is made of Ceramite and is painted in various colors. The idea of Marines letting their sacred armor fade and oxidize doesn’t make sense unless they’re Chaos. Where are the chapter servitors and techs? They are a vital part of any chapter since Marine armor is in constant need of repair and replacement after battle. Remember that in the article I mention that Marine colors are forms of Heraldry and are normally very important to the Chapter. Also, Marines spend very very little time on their homeworld after becoming Space Marines instead spending almost all their time on other worlds or aboard their Battle Barges. Sorry mate, but your armor idea just doesn’t work.
        Third, your tactic is just an idea that is more suited for Imperial Guard than Marines. It doesn’t explain their unit choices or how they are any different from the next Marine Chapter. Remember, Marines are the elite of the Imperium. Even the most patient siege-focused Legions were blunt hammers that would drive their enemies into the dirt.
        Lastly, the name doesn’t work. You are going to constantly find yourself explaining it to people and even then it’s not very intimidating for the Chapter.

        Hope that helps.

  24. about the name I live in a part Missouri where hellbenders (Ozark Hellbenders) are common so most people know what they are, and that thing about the armor and how they would treat it better makes sense, about the progenitor chapter I was thinking about the salamanders but I thought that the iron hands would make more sense because of the amount of technological resources it would take to live underwater and maintain that building And vehicles and dreadnoughts are something that I would take some resources too.
    And thank you for all the help.

  25. Hi, if this is still active I’d like your opinion on a couple of chapter ideas I had.

    The first takes its lineage from the White Scars via the Storm Lords, which results in their theme and tactics revolving around speed based units and lightning strikes. This would mainly involve bikes, but in a more diluted amount compared to the White Scars. The colour scheme was partially inspired by the Storm Lords colour scheme, although it is a simplified style in comparison.

    The name I came up for them in the end was the Tempests, building on the Storm Lords, it seemed to make sense to have them being Storm based. Fluff wise I was thinking they would most likely take after their progenitors, being quite competitive when it came to battles, and would take particular pleasure in hunting orks as the Storm Lords seems to.

    The second idea is a bit of a weird one I’ll admit. I wanted to make an army using Grey Knight units, but from what I can tell, they didn’t found any other chapters, so I was thinking I might be able to make a chapter that also focused on Demon Hunting? Not sure how that would work lore wise though.

    I was thinking if it would make sense for this chapter to have it’s lineage from the Black Templar. I figured they came across as quite zealous and crusadey, so perhaps they would form a chapter focused on demon hunting. This would also influence the theme and tactics, primarily using elite close combat units during combat. The colour scheme is vary similar to the Black Templar, though with more emphasis on the use of white.

    For the name I was thinking of keeping the whole knightly theme going with something like Righteous Blades. Let me know what you think!

    • With 8th coming around soon I suspect this post will see lots of traffic again. 🙂

      I’ll address the second concept right away by saying that if you want to play Grey Knights, just play Grey Knights. Space Marines generally don’t specialize in fighting Daemons.

      As for the first, it’s a strong concept. Colors are nice as well. The only issues I see is the name. The plural of “Tempest” just doesn’t sound right when referring to Marines. Like… Is each Marine a Tempest? You would also be very similar to the Tempest Guard and Warriors Tempest, two Canon Space Marine Chapters. As someone who had a similar chapter concept my advice would be not to be afraid of using “Storm” as you are coming from the Storm Lords. Maybe something like Storm Heralds or Scions of the Storm. Why did they break off? How are they different from the Storm Lords?

      These are good questions to ask.
      Good luck!

      • Ah ok, I quite lile Storm Heralds so I think I’ll go with that. If I’m honest, I hadn’t considered why they broke off from the storm Lords, perhaps that could build on the competitive nature aspect. They might have left to have an opportunity to essentially compete against their parent chapter. They’d spend a lot of their time trying to one up the Storm Lords.

  26. The Purifiers are a subchapter of the Imperial Fists, they have pearl white marbled armor with gold highlights and black on their fists and gun. Sergeants have red helmets. The Purifiers believe in purity, and thus are zealous in their pursuit of purifying the taint of chaos.

  27. I thought I may leave a chapter idea hear as well for some feedback.
    I have played around with some ideas for chapters for a while now. Most of the time something Ravenguard related, but since I just can’t make a stealthbased chapter work in my head (7 foot tall transhumans in half a tonne of power armour just aren’t subtle, as you mentioned) and I was reading about the Blood Angels lately, I came up with something else.
    The vampire-influence of the Blood Angels really appeals to me, but the whole nobility-schtick not so much. So I thought about creating a chapter that cranks the vampirism and mysticism up and generally is much darker.
    They basicly try to find every shred of knowledge that could help them to find a cure for the Black Rage. They would be a secluded and enigmatic chapter, keeping mostly to themselves. They look for ancient archives and libraries around the Imperium, usually lending worlds that have those a hand in combat in exchange for access to these archives and libraries. They also like to hunt down Eldar to get information regarding the Black Library from them. A place they heard legends about and now want access to. However they don’t try to ally with these Eldar they straight-up kidnap them and try to press answers out of them via torture.
    Since space marines can absorp knowledge and memories from enemies via consumption, they have not as much of a problem with the Red Thirst. They even deliberatly drink the blood of enemies (and sometimes even allies, if they’re unfortunate enough to appear to know something important and their disappearence can be blamed away from the chapter) to gain knowledge. Basicly they are a mixture of warrior-monks, monk-scholars and vampires. They have exceptional knowledge on how to battle eldar and will often lend this expertise to the inquisition, especially to inquisitors that might be able to offer some knowledge in return. They also teamed up with expedition fleets of the Mechanicus on several occasions in hope to gain access to any old archives that might be unearthed.
    Being very introvert and zealous in their pursuit of a cure for the Black Rage and showing not much of the nobility nor the restraint to the Red Thirst as the Blood Angels, they of course are rather suspicious chapter, both to their parent-chapter and some parts of the inquisition.
    They use mostly the same tactics as the Blood Angels, with a huge emphasis on aerial or droppod insertion.
    Their colours would be black, red and silver.

    • Here is a prime example of what makes an interesting story vs what makes a good chapter. If this were a short story focusing on a secretive and divergent company within the Blood Angels chapter I would be more interested. However, a whole chapter that acts and thinks in this manner sound more like a chaos legion. As a whole I can’t pick your idea apart too much since it falls apart when you take specific components out of the concept… Blood drinking and thirst for knowledge…ect…

      You should remember that Space Marines are, above all else, a military force. Moving from one engagement zone to another again and again with little to no respite leaving even less time for monk-esque contemplation. Mixing in the Red-Thirst means that anyone affected would lose any focus required for study in the quantity you are expressing.

      My recommendation is to play Blood Angels. Name your characters and build their backstories to match this idea you have. It’s much easier to swallow the idea that 100 marines are this way as opposed to the idea that a whole chapter has fallen this far from what they were built to be.

      Hope this helps!

  28. Hello, I thought I might leave my ideas for a chapter here for critical review.

    So the name of my chapter is “Void Spectres”. They are a Raven Guard successor. Their armour is black with silver trimmings and their chapter symbol is a skull with an axe and a sword crossed behind it.
    They do not follow the codex astartes, especially considering their chapter structure. They only have eight companies that are in turn 120 marines strong. They have a veteran company and a scout company and six mostly self sufficient battle companies. These companies can be split up into three strike forces 40 marines strong. Since they usually assign two frigates and a strike cruiser to each of these companies that means that each company can be active in three different war zones without much of a problem. Their companies are modelled to be mostly self sufficient thus they have more or less permanently assigned Apothecaries, Techmarines, Chaplains and Librarians. Scouts are always assigned to companies for their final tests and to support the company. Once the scout has proven worthy and a spot in a company squad is open he will get inducted right into the company he is assigned to. The progression form Devastator to Assault to Tactical of a Marine happens within the company. The exception here is the veteran company that draws its members from the Tactical squads of the battle companies. The veteran company often fights on it’s own, although they sometimes second veteran squads to companies about to go on especially hard missions, especially if the use of terminator armour might be necessary or tactically advisable in order to avoid unnecessary casualties.
    The Chapter is specialised in deepstrike decapitation and sabotage. They take as much time as the circumstances allow for reconnaissance and to get as close to their designated targets as possible without being detected. They will target priority targets like commanders, heavy weaponry, supply stocks, generators and leave the mopping up of the enemy forces, the full on assaults and defensive warfare to the Imperial Guard. They mostly use droppods and gunships for fast deployment and extraction and rely mostly on gunships for close support. Because of that they field more gunships than the average chapter. However they barely ever use any tanks and heavy ground vehicles. Terminator armour is also rarely used by them, pretty much only in boarding actions and against especially tough opponents, in which case they teleport them as close to that target as possible, using the Terminators as heavy shock assault troops. Dreadnoughts see the same use as Terminators, just even more rarely. They avoid frontal assaults and defensive warfare wherever they can since they see that as the Guards job, they are scalpel not the hammer or shield after all. Often they will break gridlocks the Guard finds themselves in with these quick and brutal deepstrikes.
    They come from a planet covered in thick, dark and foggy forests inhabited by a vicious megafauna and scores of hardy hunter and raider tribes. The culture of these tribes has influenced their doctrines and culture to a large extend. Their doctrine is derived from the stalking and raiding tactics used by the tribes on the fauna and on each other. Just like the tribes they are also headhunters. They take the heads from the enemies commanders and champions, keeping them as trophies. Each company displays their trophy-heads in front of their halls in the fortress monastry, constantly competing with the other companies as to who will mount the most impressing heads. While their chaplains mostly act as judges of honour and keepers of the Chapters traditions and the discipline, they share their spiritual duties with the Librarians. The Librarians have some of the roles the shamans of the tribes have. They are sought by the Battle Brothers for their wisdom and knowledge and they try to divinate the will of the emperor in rituals similar to those of the shamans of the tribes. The Void Spectres look like savages, their bodies and faces tattooed with honour marks they earn in battle by the approval of the chaplains and their armour decorated by both the same honour marks, they also tattoo on their bodies, as well as chains made from small bones taken from enemies they deemed worthy to take a personal trophy from.
    This hunter and raider culture also compels them to seek and hunt down the most vicious foes they can find, be it chaos champions, ork warlords, eldar, hive tyrants or especially notable and dangerous heretics and traitors. This tendency and their fast and precise tactics have earned them the attention of the Inquisition, especially the Ordo Xenos who regulary seek them out for assistance with hunting down Xenos, whenever Deathwatch Killteams are not avaiable at the moment. They also often contribute warriors to the Deathwatch, seizing the opportunity to hunt and kill some of the most dangerous threats to the Imperium.
    However the Ecchlesiarchy and more traditional Space Marine chapters regard them with suspicion and sometimes outright disdain for their savage believes and traditions as well as their codex deviancy. Because of that they only rarely work with the Ecchlesiarchy or most other chapters.
    Their relation with the Imperial Guard is a cold one. They mostly just appear and inform the high command of a theatre of war of what they are going to do and how the Guard will best act once they disrupted the enemy in order to push their new advantage, only to then leave and go to work. After their work is done they usually leave just as quickly as they came, not seeking any battle laurels and honours by lesser men than their chaplains. Becaus of that the Imperial Guard mostly views them as arrogant and cold, even though they can not deny their results.
    They like to play their savage looks to their advantage in combat, often miming the beserk savage the enemy expect them to be, only to draw them into carefully laid ambushes. It often falls to their Assault Squads to do that and maneuver their enemies into the death-zones prepared by their Devastators, while their Tactical Squads either flank the drawn out enemy or engage the now unprotected high value target, if that was the goal of the ruse. Despite their savage looks and practices they fight coldy calculating and are masters of small unit, guerilla and ambush tactics.

  29. Some critic tot he article:

    Lineage: If u dont like any oft he loyal chapters, it can be unknown or maybe is censored by inquisition. Maybe even traitor gene stock. There are some chapters that are rumored about it. And the fact to add rumorst o your own chapter isnt a bad idea.
    Mine (the „Serpent Brotherhood“) are created from Alpha Legion stock, but is liste das Salamander heritage to avoid problems with the Inquisition.

    Tactics: Space marines dont use camo, but if u want a stealthy chapter it could be with an increased use of scouts. And silencer dont just silence (in this case doesnt matter) but also hides muzzle flash and buys more time in situations. Marines arent ninjas but even tanks can be stealthy and hide. So marines can also use a more spec ops kind of tactic.

    Color sheme: Many successor chapters give not much indication about their originating chapter. Some have similar colors or icons. Others give no such clue. And some oft he GW chapters have a boring look. And some are fallen in bleach like white scars, just that they had nose bleed staining their white armour.

    Names: Some made up names make sense when they refer to a hero or a world, sector or origin (like the Sons or Orar). But ist right, some names are a bitt o crazy but those are often not fluff chapters, those are often „just for fun“ And Legion in the name is fine. Why else would GW make a Mentor Legion. There are no used Names that are too often, as there are thousand of chapters and If there is a game with 3 Chapters starting with „Sons of…“ ist either awkward or fun. But why not, might happen just as the blood drinkers, blood raven and blood angels might meet one day.

  30. Hello! I have been rather split upon 2 little chapters I have created, but looking back on them after reading this review I was hoping you could give me some insight into whether my chapters are steaming piles of garbage or not. I have decided to use my first chapter, the “Marines Angelika.” Most of their history and creation has been lost to them, so they are in a constant quest to find out about their past. Their first chapter master sacrificed himself to find out that their genesire is the lion. I know that sounds lazy on my part, but I’ve actually written up all of their history/details, I planned on building up a story (and hopefully a campaign) with them that slowly reveals more. They have a base colour of a deep green, with the shoulder insets and trim being a warm yellow. Their insignia is a warm red, and their Aquila and a few other trims are gold. They are fleet based and heavily understrength due to the attrition rate they take in their quest to find out about themselves. (about 7 companies)

  31. Greetings, I am working on a chapter but first I need a way to make a chapter symbol for them. Could you give me any tips?

  32. Hi
    I am new to 40k and wanted to build my own chapter
    I named them shadow Crusaders
    Now i see naming them first is wrong in your eyes
    But to me the name sets the rest up for me
    They will be a spin off fron the black Templars
    But thays as far as i have gotten

  33. Hello! I’ve been struggling with a few different chapter concepts for my space marines, cause I’m quite indecisive. I currently have 2 fleshed out designs and then 1 “in the works” design.
    My first chapter are the Wardens of Orostovka. Orostovka is their home world, thus the incorporation into the name of the chapter. Their colour scheme (what I actually used to paint a test marine) is Death Guard Green that’s been washed twice with a darker green wash, Mephiston red for the shoulder insets and backpacks, and then the heads are Administratum Grey. They’re progenitor is Rogal Dorn, but I wanted to made them a cursed founding chapter. They’re flaw would be that they are all smarter than normal, but under intense stress they would suffer massive migraines and possibly internal hemorrhaging that would be fatal. Their Apothecarium has been hard at work and found a plant on the planet of Orostovka that can be derived into a serum that can stop the migraines for a little while, long enough for the marines to be removed from the problem situation. They favour armoured assaults and are slightly under strength due to their flawed nature. Their heraldry is two crossed keys, which I did in screaming skull.
    My second chapter is the Bears of Issen. I am Swedish, so I kinda wanted to make a space wolves successor without the whole space wolve geneseed problem. They are also descended from Rogal Dorn (I like the guy) and their colour scheme is a base armour of white, that’s been tinted light navy blue with a wash then drybrushed with a greyish white to simulate the “snow.” Their shoulder insets are thunderhawk blue and all the fine details are done in Liberator Gold. The chapter was originally the (word for blue in Latin) Lions, but their homeworld reshaped the chapter a bit. They have Russian and Nordic letters on their armour and favour melee and air assaults. Their heraldry is a light brown bear (I used the GW primaries space wolf shoulderpads).
    My next and final chapter would be named the Marines Penitent. They’d have a colour scheme similar to the Emperor’s Spears and their heraldry would be something bronze. Very soon after their founding their home world was shattered by a chaos invasion and only 70 battle brother survived. They made their escape, but got lost in the warp (half a year space time, about 200 years warp time) and once they returned they had 60 battle brothers left. They believed the Emperor was punishing them for a misdeed and now are ever penitent to atone for their sins.
    Phew! That was long. I will accept any form of criticism, even if it’s a total dismissal of my chapter. I just want to have (a) better homebrew chapter(s)! Cheers!

    • We both love Dorn, so we have that in common! All 3 chapters have potential and could make for some fun role play while you are enjoying a game of 40K. Here are my comments for the 3:
      Wardens of Orostovka: Overall the concept is solid. The dark color scheme works as they remind me of Black Templars. The chapter flaw is all flavor, but I would avoid telling my opponents about as I would expect some jokes and jibs about “And they shall know no Fear… but can pass out from stress.” Which… on the battlefield is a certainty. Makes the chapter feel flawed in a way that is almost contrary to their nature as Space Marines.

      Bears of Issen: Solid chapter. Colors are cool and would be nice on the table. Your concept resembles the Black Templars again, which is good. I would suggest fleshing out their relationship to their progenitor chapter a bit more, otherwise people are just going to assume that you are playing Space Wolves or White Scars.

      Marines Penitent: This one is a bit of a strange one for me. I really don’t like the idea of marines without a homeworld or with massively reduced numbers. Personally, I always feel like after the first game I lost I would consider my chapter wiped out entirely. But, I am more of a role player when I build chapters. Remember that without a place to create more marines, cultivate geneseed, or even repair and upkeep armor and weapons, a Space Marine chapter is basically dead. Which leads me to my overall comments on the 3 chapters you have here:

      You have some interesting ideas. What I would say is to really consider your progenitor Chapter and Primarch a bit more. Imperial Fists are from Terra. They, and their sub chapters, tend to have an intense connection to the Emperor of Mankind and projecting the Human race. Think about how these traits carried over into your Chapters, or how they have diverted and lead to a separate Chapter being created. Do they consider the Emperor a religious deity more like the Black Templars or a Benevolent ruler like the Imperial Fists?

      Hope that helps.

      • Thank you for the fast response! That definitely helps me out. So for the Wardens, I can restructure them just a bit. Chapter flaw is all flavour, but I actually had it so that it could be a campaign goal. I planned on playing with a friend and the plants that save the marines would be objectives for the marines. But I can change their mentality a bit to favour the original fist ideas, so the Wardens would just consider the Emperor as benevolent ruler/father and wouldn’t really like the Imperial Cult. The Bears of Issen (considering I have painted runes on my test model) would be more Black Templarish in the retrospect of they absolutely love the emperor and revere him a an all powerful deity, and are basically religious crusaders. For the sake of flavour they will worship him not at churches or cathedrals but instead they would offer up sacrifices and their religious buildings would resemble ancient Nordic/Russian. I can drop the Marines Penitent, as I think two chapters is good enough. Any last bits of criticism before I go in? Again, thank you!

  34. Honestly i have 2 chapters that i asked people about but they just told me thier ideas were bad, no pointers on how to fix it, one the Redmarines they are red, chapter tactics are artillery and devastators followed by a blitz of tacticals and assault marines to clear up stragglers, honestly i can only think of imperial fists as a founding but the Redmarines have red skin so idk how to explain it the other chapter, imperial smiths is a mix of iron hands and smiths, they use more techmarines (known as master smiths) devastators and more big gun units, the smiths colorscheme is gun metal grey with orange glow from the joints and crevices from thier armor, (excluding poldrons) i had a 3rd one of lycanic space wolves but i lost interest in having a “furry” set of marines

    • Hi Matthew,
      You don’t provide a ton of info but for the most part you are on the right track. I would say to read the article again and start from scratch, then if you are still unsure of the ideas are on target then ask a question. For the most part I hate the name Redmarines 🙂 Otherwise, it’s all good.

      • Well… I was thinking of a new idea for the Redmarines, and being i kinda got stuck with thier name (besides, ultramarines are named after the color ultramarine, meaning beyond the sea or something) the redmarines now have a huge love of heavy bolters and autocannons, including a relic which rolls under the rules of a storm bolter,
        Another chapter i wanted to build was the bloodpaws, they were before i knew mutch lore, they are the bloodpaws, a sucessor to the space wolves, however they are all anthropamorphic wolves, yeah i know its a bad idea, ive been told a billion times and gave up on them, and later found thier files and wanted to retry, thier lore is they undwent the canix helix and instead of becoming wulfen they were given fur, snouts ears and tails, honestly if i just shouldnt do it i understand, thier colorscheme is black with red (red on torsos, arms legs ect black on elbows, poldrons, and the powerpack bulbs,

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