[40K] Every Day That You Feed Me With Hate, I Grow Stronger

This is all your fault, Militant.

Allow me to explain. Some time ago I had the opportunity to pick up a small Battlefleet Gothic force, mostly painted in classic Chaos red-and-metal. I took the reliable imagery to one Kakapo, M. for analysis, had it confirmed as a perfectly cromulent starter fleet, and bit the bullet.

Ships, of course, need names. Said Kakapo, M. likes to name his Eldar vessels after Nightwish songs, because of who he is as a person, and I respect that. I am also a sucker for a musical reference, but I wanted a different band – one that captured the nature of Chaos like no other.


  • Kaisarion: Traitor Legion battle barge (Despoiler or Retaliator (not sure!) with Chaos Space Marine crew)
  • Deus Culpa: Styx class heavy cruiser
  • Mantra Mori: Styx class heavy cruiser
  • Chaos Eternus: Acheron class heavy cruiser
  • Infestissamum: Slaughter class cruiser (daemonship)
  • Cirice: Murder class cruiser
  • Ghuleh: Murder class cruiser
  • Emeritus Squadron: Infidel class escorts

The Chaos Eternus is canon-locked (goodness knows how my rabble got their hands on it, perhaps Abaddon’s boys left the keys in the ignition), but everything else is keyed to source. I need to add up the fleet roster, but I think a battlegroup of Murder/Murder/Styx plus the Infidels will work fine for small engagements, swapping in the Acheron and adding the battle barge as my command ship for larger ones where the presence of Warmaster Nihil is justified.

The only issue, of course, is that these aren’t very… VIII Legion. There’s a wallowing in Chaos here that isn’t commensurate with the Night Lords, for all that I’m big on “Chaos believes in them”. And this is what led me to reconsider my prior allegiances – the Legion I actually collected during the golden age (2002-2007) when the majority of my 40K-playing took place. Only with new models.

As I confront the experience of Legion Wobble head on, I am reflecting on those glorious years. The Eye of Terror and Medusa V were the proving ground for the Fifth Host, and what I remember most keenly from each was:

– Lord Beltane being taken out by friendly fire from my Black Legion “allies” (in an exploding Rhino incident) on planet Lelithar, shortly before the Salamanders knocked me from my dominant perch in the summer league standings and thus saved the world

– Lord Ba’althamor, his successor, ending up stepped on by a Wraithlord of Ulthwé during an attempt to, basically, daemon bomb the entire planet

So. We can see that they haven’t had the best time. I have a couple of names and a story beat kicking around from the abortive “Eighth for Eighth” project. Tar Zahaan still sounds good for a Chaos Lord, perhaps a Black Legion defector who was sent to take over the warband and got religion instead. In keeping with my taste for “ironic” cringe-inducing references, I might call the Dark Apostle Zadok (the Priest). Scale the army down from full Host to Chapter, in accordance with the New Lore, and we’re starting to cook with gas here.

If we were wrong, all those centuries ago, then explain the Imperium, with its cults and its creeds and its relics. The Emperor never understood the truth, and now it torments him in his entombed “triumph”. Bereave humanity of its gods, and it will elevate a man to take their place…

Zadok, Dark Apostle of the Veiled Eye

9 thoughts on “[40K] Every Day That You Feed Me With Hate, I Grow Stronger

  1. Those are some good ship names there.

    From what I know of that particular band, I don’t feel them being notably chaotic in particular. Maybe the revolving lineup? I am curious why you say “one that captured the nature of Chaos like no other”?


    1. I should have said Chaos for a given value of Chaos. Chaos as religious institution, as tempting way out of an often baffling and oppressive society – that’s what I’m drawing on here. They suit the Word Bearers down to the ground.


  2. The ships could easily be just part of the warband that your lord has pulled together, and while they carry legionnaires on some or all of the ships, the ships themselfs could be run by allied heretics (when not being told what to do by marines) and haven’t been repainted yet. Maybe?

    I’m just thinking of old Honsou from Storm of Iron, and the host he eventually pulled together to have a crack at Ultramar. Demons and renegades and whoever else he could persuade or beat into submission, led by him and his Iron Warriors. And they wouldn’t have used just Iron Warrior ships to travel on.

    To my mind, a given chaos marine warband isn’t that large a force in 40k, and, like the loyalists, they need support from other groups to provide numbers when it comes to large scale actions, such as fleet actions and sieges.


    1. Oh, the only actual Traitor Legion ship will be the grand cruiser, either way. It’s mostly about the kind of warband on offer. Night Lords seem much less given to doggy Latinate forms in general, and more toward slightly overwrought gothery. I could just go through the Locked Tomb books looking for epithets – “Tenebrous Overlord” and “Umbral Sovereign” seem a reasonable start…


      1. Cool. I’ve not come across the Locked Tomb books before, but those names sound suitable for Night Lords, and on the right side of overwrought. :-D

        If I remember right, I have one cruiser and a squadron of escorts in Iron Warrior colours, and everything else (that has paint, at any rate) is more generic black, red, and purple chaos colours. I’m also pretty sure I added a spare imperial ram to the nose of one ship, and dubbed it the Resplendent Penetrator, cos Slaanesh.

        Last time I touched that fleet, I sawed apart the nose of a ship, and wired it back together, gaping open, with the intent of adding greenstuff teeth and gribble, in an imitation of a Nurgle demonship someone somewhere converted. Never did get round to doing the greenstuff work though.

        There’s been rumbling among my locals about playing BFG. That conversion might actually get finished.


  3. I guess you could almost say that to make this peg fit into that hole you would need a… square hammer…

    I WAS going to suggest that naming the fleet itself something along the lines of “Ghost Force” might help bridge the gap and give a little more of a Night Lord ring to it, but then I remembered what that ‘band’ is actually like and realised that it really does paint one into a corner with Traitor Legion choice because it’s such a natural dovetail with the Word Bearers. Using it for another legion would be like using Tool names for a Chaos fleet or army that’s *not* Tzeentch aligned. Or like not using Tarja-era Nightwish names for an Eldar fleet.

    Then I was going to point out that the obvious solution to Legion Wobble is to just invoke the law of What It’s Like, but it seems I’ve been beaten to it. I will however add that the dichotomy of the warband might not be quite as egregious as first apparent. Maybe after the beatings they seem to have taken on Medusa V, the Word Bearers were left leaderless, a body without a head. Maybe after being whittled away by time to just a handful of 5-man *COMBAT SQUADS* the Night Lords were in need of whatever heavy firepower and transportation they could get. Sometimes beggars can’t be choosers, especially in the Long War. Maybe the two contingents need each other.

    Maybe the Night Lords see the Word Bearers as useful tools, pawns whose pathetic faith makes them easy to manipulate, and cynically play their spirituality like a fiddle to keep them in line. Maybe the Word Bearers see the Night Lords as a pet project, a band of blind heathens and lost souls secretly craving the unholy grace of Chaos, and consider it their duty as missionaries of the Dark Gods to bring The Word to them. Maybe each side believes the other one will see the light and come into the fold given enough time. Maybe one side is right, maybe neither are.

    Maybe they’re united by something far more temporal. Maybe there’s a powerful enemy they have in common, and they’ve pooled their forces to better their chances of long-term survival. Maybe they’re both pursuing revenge on the same Space Marine chapter/Sorroritas Order/Inquisitor/Whatever. Maybe they’ve both heard word of a powerful artefact and are questing for it together, with plans to double-cross the other and take it for themselves when the time comes.

    Maybe maybe maybe…

    One thing is for sure though, I don’t *just* give my Eldar ships musical references, they’re just the most coherently themed music shoutouts (nobody show Jonathan my Wizards in Warhammer..) :P


  4. I see what you did there. I’ve also seen your elf wizzos. I do read your blog, honest!
    I think for the time being the plan is to paint a whole mess of Chaos blokes on similar looking bases and stop trying to impose arbitrary rules on myself for the sake of tidiness. This is obviously inimical to my nature and a greater struggle than one might anticipate, but if I end up with a kind of Red vs. Blue *thing* going on I might be able to live with it. That Dark Vengeance kit is always going to scratch my brain though, as are many of the Chaos rule sets encouraging Me, the Player to go hard on one Legion. It’s actually an argument in favour of the Gavdex: there’s nothing prescriptive in there beyond the appalling internal balance, and that doesn’t tell you that what colour you paint your Spiky Space Marines matters, as long as the Sorcerer has the Lash of Submission…


    1. Yes, but what the blog doesn’t say is that it’s not just the Elf wizzos (mostly because the non-Elf ones aren’t painted yet)…

      The more I think about it the more a Red vs. Blue setup makes sense, probably because it’s exactly what GW did themselves for the Chaos Space Marine Battleforces with their quota of Knorne Bezerkers (OK yes the second one was technically Red vs. Black, but its close enough visually). Really all this would be doing is swapping out the bright red component for a darker one.

      It may also have inadvertently solved a similar problem I have for a longer-term project… If I can get over my own hangups about armies with disunited colour schemes…


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