Monday, February 9, 2015

DISCUSSION: Alpha Legion

Image courtesy of ForgeWorld...OK stolen from...

My first two 40K armies are total Boy Scouts. The dark side is calling.

Both Trip and I have been playing 40K for a little over 2 years now, but we (especially me) are pretty well insulated and we pretty much tend to play each other. Our exposure to armies other than the ones shown on these pages are pretty limited. As a rule, we've both gone pretty solidly good guy, Tyranids aside, and they're only bad depending on your perspective.

By 40K standards, the Tau are pretty tame. Grey Knights? They take being holier-than-thou to a whole new level. We haven't really been exposed to much of the dark side. Having read some of the fluff from the CSM codex, I'm really intrigued to start a Chaos army to itch those dark places- in my soul, not...let's pretend I didn't say that.

My problem- I can't really deal with the whole 8th grade metal-head notebook scribbling vibe of the chaos stuff. Look, I like Ronnie James Dio as much as the next guy, but I don't feel the need to put spikes on everything and I just think it's all a little over the top. I could do a 30k traitor legion, but who has the money for Forgeworld, and who has the time to clean that much resin? The solution- Alpha Legion. The most enigmatic of all Legions. Do they even serve Chaos? Who knows? Do they do the whole spiky tentacle arm thing? Depends on who you ask, but for me it's a resounding no. And you can still make them feel just a little evil by going rusty and old like this (killer army there BTW).

I've been strategizing how to go about doing 40K Alpha Legion force for a few weeks now. I even set up a Pinterest page to collect reference. Google is being painfully unhelpful when it comes to the army building though. The basic troops are the easy part- I've bought a regular Space Marine Strike Force which will supply me with the basic troops I need to start, plus a command squad I can convert, a Land Raider and some Jump Marines to turn in to Raptor equivalents.

The snipers and Dreadnought I'll likely sell off to cover the costs of picking up additional units. Not sure about the drop pod. I'd love to have one, but it's not in the standard CSM codex. Will have to look up the rules/size on the Forgeworld one to see if I can/want to proxy that. Anyone know if that's worth pursuing?

I'll definitely need to pick up some Terminators, but there's where the easy non-spikey equivalents kind of run out.  I've heard of people using Centurions as Obliterators/Mutilators, but that's a pricey way to go, and I'm not sure how well they comp size/gear wise. So this is where I go to the people of the internets to help me figure this out.

Part of the real appeal of going CSM happens to be in the wide array of fun units and fluff that come with the demonic stuff. I can't and shouldn't avoid it entirely. I'll probably have to just bite the bullet and go there. I don't mind full going demon. For some reason it's the halfway stuff that bugs me (like the basic CSM troops with the vomiting of skulls, spikes and chains on everything- it's just so cheeseball). Some of the models are a lot of fun- The Helldrake, the Forgefiend (yes, I like the devil chicken), Demon Princes. Good Stuff. Those would be a blast to paint. I don't know that I can or should try to paint them as Alpha Legion though. Is there a Chaos force that would align well in either fluff or color scheme so the two would look good on the table together? Has anyone else created, thought about, or seen a good 40K Alpha force to compare to?

What about psychic stuff?  I really want to have the option to summon demons in. I'm not going to be able to buy a ton of stuff in the foreseeable future. What are the Chaos Demon models I should be picking up as a starting point for summoning?

I'm really looking forward to starting this army. Can't wait to start converting and sculpting hydra scales on to the shoulder pads, etc. It should be a lot of fun. And that freaking Forgeworld Alpha Contemptor is freaking gorgeous. I can't wait. What say you, oh much better-read people of the interwebs?



  1. Deet,
    "What about psychic stuff? I really want to have the option to summon demons in. I'm not going to be able to buy a ton of stuff in the foreseeable future. What are the Chaos Demon models I should be picking up as a starting point for summoning?"

    There are a few scattered rumors flying around about updates to CSM and DAemons this year. (only eldar, tau, SM, CSM, and Daemons haven't been 7th'd yet, with CSM/Daemons top in the list).

    That being said, right now, the pink horror guys are the go to item to summon. That could change if updates occur. I think at this point, I'd pick based on model coolness, more then current rules. (usually a safer bet then going with what is strong en masse)

    1. Yeah, was afraid of that. Nothing against pink and it'd probably look good against the Alpha aqua, but those models...meh

    2. Yeah, was afraid of that. Nothing against pink and it'd probably look good against the Alpha aqua, but those models...meh

  2. that's actually a razorback, not a land raider. I totally get where you're coming from on the aesthetic. I can't get down with the whole "8th grade notebook doodle, spikes and skulls" vibe. it's super cheesy.

    1. Oh, right. Good thing we've got some extra LRs lying around.

  3. I have collected Alpha Legion for about 15 years, since they were dark blue with silver trim and the only green was on the shoulder pad (this is the colour scheme I still use). On the subject of pads, the new Forgeworld pads would be my first purchase before assembling my marines.

    You should probably read the Hunt for Voldorius to get a sense of what an Alpha Legion warband looks like in the 40th millenium, Voldorius is a Daemon Prince and definitely EVIL, though other warbands may vary I guess. Reading the Siege of Vraks books (there is a new version out by the way, or you'll find the old ones on a certain Russian 40K Lib site...) will also give you a great idea of their modus operandi.

    You can make them as spikey or not as you like, they are able to repaint their armour and pass for loyalists (as they do when arriving on Vraks) or they can be full on spikey. Fluff is divided and contradictory as to whether they went into the Eye after the Heresy.

    One thing I wouldn't neglect is cultists or corrupted Imperial Guard. Alpha Legion are well known for using lots of these. There is a Heretics and Renegades list in Imperial Armour 13, and what looks to be a similar list in the updated Siege of Vraks book.

    As for the Daemon Engines, if I had my time again I'd paint them all up in Iron Warriors colours and make them the thralls of a single Dark Mechanicum/Warpsmith. There are rules for such a character in IA13 (along with fluffy 'modified' heretics) or you could use the Warpsmith rules from Codex: CSM. You could think of lots of reasons why such an individual might be hanging around with the Alpha Legion, or indeed any other Chaos force, especially as Alpha Legion are Chaos Undivided as are Iron Warriors.

  4. oh by the way the Forgeworld Dreadclaw drop pods really are very different, they don't 'open' like a SM drop-pod for a start, and are flyers tat can take off and land at will. I'd sell yours and use the money to buy something else (probably not a Dreadclaw as they are expensive and the rules suck!

    1. All useful info! Thanks a lot

    2. knight, droppin' the knowledge on the Alpha Legion! right on.

  5. I always wanted a Brass Scorpion. I would sell my soul and start a Chaos army tomorrow if I had one. I'm pretty much with you on the rest of the 80's Iron Maiden look though.

  6. You could always create your own renegade chapter with its own scheme.... how far they've fallen to chaos is up to you!