Space Marine Themed Army Ideas
The Black Talons
concept by Matthew Stewart
what a Space Marine's job description is, right? Travel to distant, exotic
worlds, meet new and dangerous aliens, and kill them. Whether "bug-hunting"
in Tyranid-infested jungles, cleaning out space hulks held by the forces
of Chaos, or exterminating whole hordes of Orks, Space Marines do one thing
and do it very well.
Back in the
bad old days of Rogue Trader, Marines were expected to do more than show
up and smack down bad guys. Marines enforced Imperial law, explored alien
worlds, guarded key installations, and so on. As 40K progressed, Games
Workshop's writers assigned these duties to other Imperial units such as
the Guard, the Inquisition, and the Adeptus Arbites.
Stewart e-mailed me a few months ago asking for some help with his
army, his initial description of what he ultimately wanted his army to
become reminded me of the expanded roles the Space Marines held under the
Rogue Trader rules. Here then, are
the Black Talons, privateers for the
Talons are a Blood Angel successor Chapter formed immediately after the
Horus Heresy. Initially, they were instructed to hunt down daemons and
Traitor Legions (especially the Sons of Horus) in vengeance for their Primarch's
death. Over the millennia, their mission has changed. Now, sanctioned by
the High Lords of Terra, their fleet roams the outer fringes of the galaxy,
raiding alien ships and settlements and confiscating riches for the Imperium.
Chapter Master of the Black Talons is Thoran Bonecleaver, who fights with
a chainsword in each hand, and whose motto is: "Forget shooting the heretics--tear
them apart!" He is assisted by Aywania Shadowgale, a female Librarian,
who is armed with a force sword and a chainsword. In addition to fighting,
Aywania meticulously logs each battle fought and each item (including its
properties and estimated value) seized.
The Black Talons retain the Blood
Angel's lust for close combat, preferring to strike quickly, destroy the
enemy, and retreat with the spoils. Upon their induction into the Chapter,
every Black Talon swears an oath upon the memory of Sanguinus, their Primarch,
to scrupulously turn over every piece of booty they seize to the Imperial
Treasury agents that travel with them. The punishment for a Black Talon
keeping so much as single Imperial credit for themselves is to be slowly
torn to pieces on a rack. In the 10,000 years since the Horus Heresy, not
one Black Talon has ever suffered this fate.
Talons use the rules found in Codex: Blood Angels. While
most of the Black Talons' raids are against other ships, they also attack
planetside targets, necessitating the use of Bikes, Attack Bikes, Speeders,
and tanks. Therefore, the Black Talons have no additional restrictions
(beyond those imposed by their mission and those found in Codex:
Blood Angels) on the types and numbers of units they may use.
Modeling and Painting
Originally, the Black Talons wore
red armor with black gauntlets, but over time, their color scheme has changed
to Chaos Black on all armor pieces except the leg greaves (the shinpads)
and shoulder plates, which are Mithril Silver (with appropriate Blood Angel
markings). Eyelenses are Blood Red.
Against most armies, Black Talons are always the attackers. If playing
against Dark Eldar, the Black Talons will be the attackers on a d6 roll
of 1-3; if playing against Necrons or Armored Company, the Black Talons
will (like all other armies) automatically be the defenders.
are most in their element when attacking other ships. If you decide to
play Black Talons, it would be well worth your time to design missions
and rules for fighting aboard ships. For example, a scenario could call
for the Black Talons to seize the bridge of an enemy warship. Instead of
laying out a typical battlefield, you would lay out the interior of the
enemy ship (perhaps using the floor pieces from GW's Space Hulk game).
a ship would force you to rethink how you conduct a typical 40K battle.
Are the ship's corridors large enough (and strong enough) to accommodate
vehicles? Do the Black Talons have to follow the layout, or can they tear
their way through the ship with powerfists? What happens if someone fires
a lascannon and misses--is there a chance the shot could go through the
outer hull and cause massive decompression aboard the ship?
you could also incorporate Battlefleet Gothic into your games: Black Talons
will tear through the crew of most ships--if they can catch them first!
Wise ship captains would use every ounce of maneuverability and firepower
at their disposal to keep the privateers from boarding them....
Space Marine Themed Army Ideas
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© Copyright Kenton
Kilgore, November 2000.