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Crystal Geyser

Red Corsairs or the Black Legion?

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Hey all,

 

I'm GMing a Dark heresy campaign set in the Ultima Segmentum, and I was planning on having a small warband of Chaos Space Marines show up and get involved in the plot. Originally I was planning on having them be Black Legion, but seeing as the Eye of Terror is in the Segmentum Obscurus then it would make more sense to use a group of Red Corsairs from the Maelstrom, which is in the same segmentum? If so, I could then position the campaign roughly thirty years after the Badab War, during the time period when the Red Corsairs were mainly a fragmented force of raiders that was beginning to grow into a much larger fleet. That being said, the Black Legion could easily be off casts from a Black Crusade that reached the Ultima Segmentum due to some warp shenanigans.

 

Which warband do you think makes more sense?

 

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If you're going by the timeline of the FW books then 30 years after the Badab War would be circa 942.M41. As it so happens this coincides with the start of the Second War of Armageddon, something that drew a considerable amount of imperial resources away from other battlezones. As such, an underhanded warband like the Alpha Legion or the Black Legion would fit here nicely, as they would be very willing to exploit this sudden weakness in Imperial defences to their advantage. To me the Red Corsairs are less a true threat and more a constant nuisance, something that would fit well in a Rogue Trader or Deathwatch game but in a DH scenario perhaps something less immediately obvious would serve you better.

 

My two cents would be to go with the Alpha Legion as they are famed for their infiltration tactics and sabotage. A lot of nice investigations can be done there as the acolytes slowly piece together the situation and the slow progression from random cultists or insurgents all the way up to the Traitor Marines themselves could form a good power curve for your encounters as well.

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Thanks for the helpful note about the Armageddon War! Essentially, the Chaos Space Marine warband in the region, regardless of legion, will be looking to acquire an artifact capable of banishing and binding daemons - an artifact that the acolytes themselves are also hunting. Would the Black Legion or the Alpha Legion be more likely to be invested in such an artifact? I was thinking the Red Corsairs might be looking to use it to create a demonically possessed space hulk to add to their fleet, but if the Black Legion were here maybe they'd look at it as a way of using daemonic auxiliaries as reinforcements?

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The Red Corsairs would probably not be as interested in a Daemon artefact than the Black Legion or Alpha Legion. They are after all glorified renegades in essence, still very new to the concept of the Chaos Gods. Hell most Corsairs are described as not even worshipping the Dark Powers.

As for a Space Hulk, now a hulk is a tool for a very specific task, an invasion. Space Hulks suck in fleet actions, they are incredibly slow and unwieldy and almost impossible to use against fast moving enemies. Most Hulks encountered in deep space are simply torpedoed to oblivion by the Navy, to the point where some would call it routine. Which is why they are used in planetary assaults, since a planet is not going to get out of the way.

The Red Corsairs though, would they be willing to commit their precious few forces in an invasion? Its up to you to decide but that seems unlikely to me. In contrast both the Black Legion and Alpha Legion have used hulks in the past, specifically the Alpha Legion even used them against the Blood Ravens in Dawn of War 2 (if you consider the games to be canon).

If the endgame for you is to be a Daemon Hulk, which btw sounds like a great setpiece ala Mass Effect 2 and the Collector Base, I would say either the Black Legion or the Alpha Legion can work. I would still recommend Alpha for the reasons mentioned in the previous post, the PCs could slowly track down the hidden Hulk amid the web of lies and intrigue the Allha Legion would conceal it in.

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Whoever said they only operate there? Chaos forces operate across the length and breadth of the galaxy. Never forget that the Imperium for all its size and grandeur is in essence a collection of islands within the vastness of space. Each Sector is separated from its neighbours by vast expanses of empty space, and even the Imperial Navy barely manages to track even a handful of the potential threats that may lurk there.

 

For established forces like the Chaos Space Marines traveling the distances that lie between them and their targets is child's play, another few years of travel to intersperse the millennia of constant war. If there is something in the Ultima Segmentum that they want then there is nothing that will stop them getting there, least of all the pathetic warriors of the Corpse Emperor!

Edited by SCKoNi

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Give them Alpha Legion. With the XXth you'll have much more freedom and opportunities for plots and storytelling. After all, they don't have to be after Chaos shenanigans. Maybe they're, in some bizzare way, actually helping the Emperor's forces... at least outwardly. Red Corsairs and Black Legion are baddies to the core, so you'll have less plot opportunities with them, I think.

Edited by Xathrodox86

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While my fav Chaos Band is Crimson Slaughter, I agree Alpha Legion makes the most sense.  If you read some of the DW Scenarios that have been printed, they cause ALOT of Mayhem in the Jericho reach due to being experts in impersonating Loyalist Marines, asymmetrical warfare, False Flag Ops, and terrorism/Black Flag Tactics.

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You can always add the Thousand Sons, for that extra tzeentchian goodness. They also love to plot and scheme, and their agenda is usually more complex, than just "Kill, maim, burn!". They're after knowdlege of all kinds, and don't have to necessarrily burn whole worlds to accomplish their goals.

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