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Title: Codex Crusades

Whitehorn - September 14, 2010 10:26 AM (GMT)
Codex Crusades:
All files are works in progress. All feedback welcome! Some will naturally develop faster depending on play-testing availability.

Core (required for most other files):

Iron Hands 0.33
White Scars 0.1

Sisters of Silence 0.1

Imperial Knights 0.2

Old original post below:
Now that I have a little more time to concentrate on this, I'm continuing the development of a self-lead series of rules that sit in the pre-heresy era, notably the early crusades.

I've mentioned this before lightly and had some interest and feedback from a few people here and on my blog. Feedback, ideas, direct help and play-testing are always welcome - in fact I need the help! Mostly though, just talking about it gets the motivation flowing.

Primarily this project is for myself, for my close gamer friends who I get to play against and test the rules with. I would love others to take it up and use, but I know that if I made this only for other people, I could easily lose interest. If Laurie and co feel my ideas could be used for future events - even better!

My hope is to pull in useful extras, such as guides, sculpts and painted miniatures into the eventual releases from the community and contributions. A more detailed introduction can be found here. Some notes on the first release, albeit delayed, can be found here.

Right now I am working on grouping the Iron Hands and Thousand Sons as the first two legions to see army lists for the beta. Watch this space for more information and releases.

I'll redirect my sig to here :lol:

Pacific - September 14, 2010 11:15 AM (GMT)
This sounds like an awesome idea mate.

What kind of format are the rules going to take, and how much detail are you going to go into with them?
Are you just planning on adapting current rules and codecies (tempus fugitives style) and applying points values etc. ?
Or, are you going to go the whole hog, implement elements of other rules systems or previous editions etc.?

Looking at how popular the system is, I've always though that the only thing stopping a proper '2nd edition' renaissance was the fact that there is no differential between the models you are using and those found in a standard 5th edition 40k game. Pre-Heresy (and early crusade) might provide the perfect opportunity for that, giving greater detail in variety of weapons and wargear, which will also focus and suit the smaller number of models normally found in an extensively converted force.

I played a game with a mate before I moved abroad.. and boy was it a different experience, and fun! A marine throwing a grenade in through a building window, people running around on fire, and a razorback turret blowing off and landing on someone! Makes me realise what we are now missing in an effort to speed up the game and therefore get more models on the table..

(Sorry for blabbering on a bit! :unsure: )

Whitehorn - September 14, 2010 11:42 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Pacific @ Sep 14 2010, 11:15 AM)
What kind of format are the rules going to take, and how much detail are you going to go into with them?

Are you just planning on adapting current rules and codecies (tempus fugitives style) and applying points values etc. ?
Or, are you going to go the whole hog, implement elements of other rules systems or previous editions etc.?

As far as possible, I'll make each release fully 'stand-alone' from each other but they will have to be modular in the sense that you will always need a Warhammer 40,000 rulebook and Codex to use them with. Any and all rules that exist in a Codex or the rulebook will be referenced by name, with no duplication of the rule - you will have to look up the provided page. Obviously I cannot and will not copy GW books, this is a 'plug-in' extra to their game.

That said, there's going to be a lot of new rules, names, and in some cases very similar rules or weaponry used that share wording/numbers. That's unavoidable.

I intend (see the links provided) to provide 3 levels of integration with 40k, each offering a different complexity of new rules. A quick summary would be:


Alpha level Crusades is almost a complete custom set of rules. This includes changes to the 40k core rules, new missions and extra options for the armies.

Beta level Crusades is a middle ground between custom codex and rules conversion. It includes additions to the rules, rather than modifying or rewriting them.

Gamma level Crusades is the lightest version, simply a plug-in codex to play within 40k, fully requiring existing marine codices for reference and army construction.

For now, I am concentrating on doing a BETA of BETA ;)

Michaelangelos - September 14, 2010 05:31 PM (GMT)
hey nice that you have re started your codex crusades

i hope my post and comment ressurect it :D

Michaelangelos - September 14, 2010 06:29 PM (GMT)
so is this a redo of your old codex or have you continued?

Whitehorn - September 14, 2010 06:36 PM (GMT)
I answered you in your PM.

I'm continuing the development

Michaelangelos - September 14, 2010 06:39 PM (GMT)

i think you should list campaigns from early great crusade

Whitehorn - September 14, 2010 06:53 PM (GMT)
The 'fluff' is taking a backseat to the rules but I would like to include as much background information as possible and where relevant to the context.

Whitehorn - September 15, 2010 12:08 PM (GMT)
Some insight into my intentions:

I am providing army lists and units that fit in the Crusades era. In some cases this involves adapting the core stuff we see in existing 40k books, but also removing some and adding a lot of new. Most importantly: I wish to make an accurate portrayal of what was used in this period and hopefully a strong interpretation of everything else we read about.

I don't want to take the effort to provide a list of Yes/No choices though, this is a fun opportunity to give the armies a lot of flavour and new material, rather than just restrictions.

As a creative sort, I'd never steer away from trying to tweak or improve everything that could perhaps use a change. There's a lot of ideas in my head - many will need feedback, naysaying and testing before a final craft is settled upon.

The latest few codex books (since DA?) for 40k have steered towards a form of adding a bit of flavour to your force through the choice of character(s) present. I do like the idea, but am not sure whether it would fit with what I am doing.

For example, the Codex: Space Marines was written to be a solid, but not extensive list of options. You can suitably field a selection of chapters by picking a relevant character or push your force into something a little different, such as all bikes through bike captains.

These little, concise, options are great for a limited book, but I'm not here to deliver a Swiss army knife. I aim to provide the whole toolbox - potentially 18 legions worth of army lists (and then some). There's no need to be so 'compact' when you actually need to expand each and every list to give them the flavour and character they deserve.

To this end, there's going to be a lot in each list to keep them interesting and distinct. However, I also want to fiddle with the core. Looking back to first edition as some inspiration, there was a lot more to an army list than a slotted force organisation chart. There was more to a game than taking down the easiest few kill points. For me, theme and character mean more. This stuff is supposed to be fun!

Pacific - September 15, 2010 01:53 PM (GMT)
I really think this is a good idea you've got here.. I was working on a 40k 'X' edition a while back with some friends, it never came to fruition (rule making is a hell of a lot of work!), but I think there is definitely the potential to pick and choose some of the better parts of previous games, or even different gaming systems!

You have to remember that 40k has been streamlined as much as possible to ensure that as many models as possible can be on the table at once. I once read a sarcastic comment about marines soon coming on bases which fit 5 marines on (ala the epic system but for 28mm), that are removed with a failed armour save. Of course this will never happen (I hope!), but the fact remains that many small details (and things which I think add tremendously to the narrative and atmosphere of a game - more detailed damage tables, grenades, a fuller combat system) have all had to be sacrificed to speed up play and to entice an increasingly younger audience.

I think in creating your own rules you have a chance to move away from all that. Greater customization of your forces (to suit a more bespoke and characterful force), as well as a far greater depth in what the models can actually do on the tabletop. Of course, it's going to be a great deal of work and you will have to actually decide how deep the rabbit hole goes :)

BigJim from the 'Galaxy in Flames' blog has created a 5th edition variation on the old 'killteam' rules, called 'killzone'. With only a little bit of work these could be adapted to a full 40k size battle - obviously some are kill-team specific (adding stats and wargear etc.) but some of the general rule changes (grenade throwing, a 'charge reaction' ability to fire before you are assaulted) I think are things the game sorely lacks at the moment.

Galaxy in Flames killzone rules

The fact that they have been snapped up so enthusiastically by so many (and I think are even going to be the basis for tournaments next year) shows there is definitely a need amongst a lot of gamers for a version of 40k with more depth to it.

If you wanted some help mate with ways to add to the core system and add some more depth, please let me know. I've been playing the game since the tale end of RT and have put a great deal of thought into it over the years so I've got lots of suggestions :)

Overall I'm pretty excited about this project of yours, who knows it could be the beginnings of Warhammer 30,000?

Whitehorn - September 15, 2010 02:05 PM (GMT)
Well that's a very positive post Pacific, thank you :)

Right now, as stated above, I'm working on the beta level. This is a 'plug-in' for the current 5th edition 40k ruleset. It's a lot easier for me to balance, get feedback and make accessible to people. If all goes to plan, I'll gradually step up the extra rules into core changes.

I am with you on the potential depth of new rules. Our little hobby is a lot more about the unique look to individual models and characters. We are intentionally changing how the normal 40k models look, rather than simply buying 10x as many to enact grand historic battles. I want to keep the game flow as fast as it currently is, but any extra complication can always be compensated with fewer models.

The Thousand Sons are a great legion to begin with as they are so damned unique...

Mortarion - September 15, 2010 03:30 PM (GMT)
I'm half working on a a "Codex - Hands of the Emperor" when I get spare time basically covering Custodes and Sisters of Silence based from the TF campaign packs but fleshing them out to be full army lists with some fluff and more characters. So I dont know if you would want but I would liek to help with your codex too( if you need an extra brain/pair of hands on the job).

I agree that 40k is becoming too streamlined and alot of nice things are disappearing, I for one am not a fan of the new combat system.

I've gotta run but I'll come back and make a more cmoprehensive post later when I get home.

Whitehorn - September 15, 2010 03:46 PM (GMT)
I have no current intention of covering those, so a collaboration would be good if they can be integrated somehow.

I am initially working on:

Core marine rules
Thousand Sons
Iron Hands
Robot Cohorts

For each of these:
Removal of non pre-heresy weapons, units, abilities.
Addition of pre-Heresy organisation, weapons
Legion-specific abilities, characters and units
New special rules
New rules

Vinnie - September 15, 2010 04:32 PM (GMT)
Hey dude, I don't really know you that well, but in the times I have met you you seem to me like a really methodical, thorough guy, so with you helming this little project I think it could be something really progressive in a hobby that as you so rightly observe is being 'streamlined for a younger audience'.

The introduction of the Codex Astartes at the end of the Heresy was, to me, kind of the final nail in the coffin of the individualism attributed to the legions. The idea of the Primarchs doing entirely their own thing for nigh on 200 years really intrigues me.

I did start a similar thing with my White Scars, drawing up different units and special rules for really characterful and individual armies. I took a lot of my lead from the TF packs, and so I had a couple of 'plug-in' type units, as you put them. Things like assault marines on custom bikes. Fairly specialist and very hard hitting, so they're restricted to one unit per army etc.

With you now floating the idea of this whole Legio-centric re-shuffle I would love to be involved in some way. Obviously if this is your baby I'll understand if you're apprehensive to let others mess it up :P, but I think something like this could be really distinctive for the forum, especially if any of the guys here on TGC want to do some early crusade themed events/battles, which I very much do!

Anyhoo, two legions I would love to have input in would be the White Scars obviously, but also the Alpha Legion, because they operate unlike any other legion, and would be really interesting to explore. But yeah, either way, this is a really ace thing your on to, so good luck with it :P

Whitehorn - September 16, 2010 08:24 AM (GMT)
Thanks Vinnie. I will welcome all offers of help, but please don't think I am simply saying that and then ignoring you. There's a bit of a (uh oh) system of how I'd like things to work.

I'm leading the project for the time being, as it's my motivation and money being used to get it done. Everyone is free to contribute in any way. All credit will be given, all opinions and ideas heard.

I am ignoring existing custom rules for the moment - relying on official texts and my own ideas until I have a core system in place. After this I will look at other custom rules to see if I can include any ideas from them. I want to do it from my own mettle first to see just how different my approach and interpretation ends up, rather than adapting someone else's work.

With this mindset, I wish to finish an alpha of 1.0 without reaching out. I need a solid piece of material put together for everyone to see where I am heading, to comment on, and to help shape further. At this stage I will be actively seeking feedback, ideas, playtesting and hopefully the two legions will stand as a sort of template for you all to submit ideas for further legions.

Cloud Runner - September 16, 2010 12:40 PM (GMT)
Hmm, this seems to be shaping into an interesting little project that could go hand in hand with what Shroud was talking about on Sunday.

More than happy to throw my hat in to help out as well, once things start progressing with your initial version.

If there's a 'bagsy' list, can I 'bagsy' Dark Angels and assist with others too?

With a resource like this forum, I'm sure you could farm out certain areas to different groups and then have an overall editing/publishing head on too?

Until later :)

Whitehorn - September 16, 2010 01:42 PM (GMT)
That's the intention Cloud. I haven't read all the books and certainly don't recall everything I have read, so will be relying on the masses for tidbits and accuracy of information :)

Vinnie - September 16, 2010 03:50 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Whitehorn @ Sep 16 2010, 08:24 AM)
I wish to finish an alpha of 1.0 without reaching out. I need a solid piece of material put together for everyone to see where I am heading, to comment on, and to help shape further.

That makes complete sense. I suppose there has to be a rules system before there are special rules :P I look forward to seeing the first incarnation of this, and until then I shall suppress my itching fingers!

This is a really cool idea, and I think it's something a lot of PH players wished they had the ability to do. Just to reiterate, I'm fully behind you on this, and will be ready and willing when the time comes :D

Can't wait!

Magos Explorator - September 16, 2010 05:48 PM (GMT)
Following my imminent move overseas, I'm keen to get involved in the gaming side of the hobby again (and hopefully have more time for painting and modelling than I have recently!) and I'd like to contribute to a project like this, too, if I am able. Yours are a safe pair of hands for something like this to be in, Whitehorn, so I look forward to reading, and hopefully playing, with the stuff you come up with.

(And hopefully I'll get around to some more of those posts I've been modelling for on mywargame, too!

Whitehorn - September 17, 2010 03:57 PM (GMT)
You're making my head swell and I haven't even released anything yet :D

I wonder how much the Iron Hands players will hate me when they see what I've done.

The first official play test will be Wed 22nd, Iron hands vs Thousand Sons (battle games of course). I hope to have the first preview after this.

lord_caldera - September 18, 2010 03:22 AM (GMT)
This sounds like a great idea Whitehorn! As much as I like the Tempus Fugitives rules they did leave a few of the legions hanging with too few or uninspired rules/options. I would love to be a part of this when it gets off the ground.

Whitehorn - September 18, 2010 07:29 AM (GMT)
I'm probably spending more time getting to grips with Adobe Indesign than writing content at the moment.

I managed to add a horrible drop shadow that doesn't want to bugger off now!

Before I tease any actual content, here's a quick glance at a piece of the art my good friend Paul has worked on for the project:

user posted image

Yes, I've adopted a landscape orientation for the book. Be damned!

Magos Explorator - September 18, 2010 10:22 AM (GMT)
Landscape's (in my opinion) easier for computer viewing, so I think that's probably a good idea.

Whitehorn - September 21, 2010 07:32 PM (GMT)
So many powers!

This is turning into being a truely Tzeenchian Mr. Potatoe Head.

user posted image

ahriman - September 21, 2010 10:44 PM (GMT)
Can we have a more zoomed in copy please, or a link to the file or aren't you able to do that yet?

Whitehorn - September 22, 2010 09:13 AM (GMT)
It wouldn't be a teaser then :)

Playtesting tonight, should have a better preview soon.

Whitehorn - September 23, 2010 02:30 PM (GMT)
Play test 01 complete.

A bit of a rushed pairing of lists, approx 1200 points with minimum troops and one of every new units (or there about).

Unfortunately, I didn't really consider the effectiveness of one vs the other. Ben (King Fluff) had a foot slogging anti-infantry force and I took a mech/dread army. Suffice to say, he struggled to take on vehicles with my naff list!

However, lots of ideas were raised and I scribbled down a ton of notes!

Iron Hands may be a bit too meaty in conjunction with transports. The cost is hard to test with just yet.

Thousand Sons were almost Eldar-like in their application, but lack a solid answer to vehicles, especially in close combat.

These both will be addressed for the next play test. Ben's going to write his own all comer list to give us a proper run through my rules.

Sadly I need to remove 'Disks' from the armoury, since I mis-interpreted them as classic discs to be ridden :P

ahriman - September 23, 2010 04:27 PM (GMT)
I think A Thousand Sons does mention disks that the Marines stand on, at least that's how I interpreted it. I myself have converted up a disk riding unit which will count as bikers and think they're a very fluffy thing to add to the thousand sons, even if in the book it appeared like the disks where more like landspeeder type vehicles.

Whitehorn - September 23, 2010 05:52 PM (GMT)
I'm glad you've said that.

The more HH books I read, the more I feel that how we have seen Chaos legions (at least the 4 powers) for the past 20 years are so much more Space Marine than Chaos now.

Simple things like Nurgle's sacred number being 7, but the Death Guard had 7 grand companies. Who gave who the number?

Discs were traditionally mechanical, but more recently the 'seeker' rubbish has arrived, with them being daemons. What's wrong with grav chute boards and who's to say the Thousand Sons didn't produce them, long before turning to chaos?


ahriman - September 23, 2010 10:41 PM (GMT)
I'm not that up to date on Egyptian themes and stuff to know whether disks where a prominent thing in their culture, like maybe they thought of the sun as a disk, not sure, but I like them riding these disks, the screamer thing I agree is odd as well as the Death Guard and the number 7 (or maybe they're clues about everything having been planned in advance and it was all inevitable) but the idea of them riding personnel disks, whether mechanical like you say or lifted by their own magical prowess as mine are modelled, is really cool and something that should be kept in, at least in my humble non biased opinion ;)

Whitehorn - September 23, 2010 10:58 PM (GMT)
Magic you say? Perhaps it can be a trait of the Raptora to ride disks, since they revel in Telekensis.

Whitehorn - September 29, 2010 08:14 AM (GMT)
Some ins and outs of the project so far:

Iron Hands
Despite the implication that Terminator suits became rarer and revered post-Isstvan (simply because so many were destroyed), I am offering the option for tactical squads to take a sergeant in Terminator armour. I just think it's lovely flavour for the legion which could well have been in use before Isstvan anyway. It's also useful for anyone wanting to adapt the Codex for any era Iron Hands.

Since Tactical squads are the most 'flexible' marines, they alone get this option. There's a nice bonus thrown in when taken, it's not just an expensive leader to allocate Ap3 shots to. However, characters in Terminator armour can essentially break the rules and emulate this bonus to any squad they join. Iron Hands are machine-like and relentless in their advance.

HQ Dreadnoughts are in. I've purposely avoided a Bjorn clone entirely, with a new selection of different options, abilities and bonuses if you take a Dreadnought Warleader.

Iron Fathers are in, along side Iron Captains. Most HQ infantry characters can be taken in different tiers - not unlike 1st/2nd edition army books.

Generic characters are very flexible to the extent that you should be able to recreate real characters. Certainly for Thousand Sons, you can carve your own Master of a Fellowship from the tools available.

Iron Hands work a little similar to Death Guard overall, but with a bigger toolbox and more vehicle and Mechanicum affinity.

Apothecaries are going oldschool...

Bjorn - September 29, 2010 02:54 PM (GMT)
This all looks very interesting Whitehorn! I very much like what you have written.
I must confess that i am not a fan of the opinion that states that the Iron Hands in the post-Isstvan era have limited access to tactical dreadnought armour, mainly because of their very strong ties to the adeptus mechanicus, though this would be no problem in a great crusade era army list.
And that brings me to my next question: is this codex going to cover the great crusade, horus heresy and scouring era or are you going to focus just on pre-heresy era just like you first said you would?

PS: I don't know why but i have a nagging doubt about the apothecaries going oldschoo <_< .l

Whitehorn - September 29, 2010 03:01 PM (GMT)
Old School = Rogue Trader in this case. I'm bringing them back to a more common feature/option in marine armies.

0-3 Apothecaries may be purchased per command squad in your army.
They do not count against your HQ allowance.

A model with this rule never grants kill points to enemies when killed.

Confers a 5+ Feel No Pain save to the Apothecary and any squad he joins, while not engaged in combat.

Bjorn - September 29, 2010 03:22 PM (GMT)
Hmm, these are stuff i never knew as i was as yet unborn at the time it was released, but it seems quite good to me.

Cloud Runner - September 29, 2010 04:23 PM (GMT)
Gotta be honest Horn, I'm not sure about the Inconsequential rule there.

The loss of gene-seed would still have been felt during the Crusade and more so in the Heresy and beyond.

I see the idea behind it (no easy kill points for opponents) though I think they're functioning similar to IG priests etc.

Perhaps, instead of including them as independant characters (with all the pro's & con's that brings) make them a unit upgrade, similar to the IG advisors rules.

Gives you the bonus you want, but removes the kill point problem.

And maybe give a 6" radius on the Narthecium rule, so long as both the apothecary and the target unit are not in CC.

What do ya think?

Whitehorn - September 29, 2010 09:53 PM (GMT)
I'll give that some thought. Inconsequential is a new USR, mostly put in the book for the likes of Remembrancers, but Apocs were given it to save the kill point on a single, weak model. I like your ideas, I just didn't want people to abuse FNP auras.

Having squad upgrades, granted 0-3 per command squad gives a nice nodal-synergy to the command structure too. I'll put thought into that and see where else it can lead.

Kinne - October 4, 2010 01:44 PM (GMT)
Actually, having them as ICs wouldn't be a far cry from the step that GW took with the Blood Angels book. They could function much like Sanguinary Priests, giving regular FNP to all friendlies within 6". Their IC status helps to balance out their benefit. Personally, I never used to take command squads with vanilla marines, so I can't make a fair comparison between the command squad apothecary giving FNP to the squad but not being an IC, and the Sanguinary Priests with the 6" bubble but getting singled out in combat. It would even provide a points cost to base off of, though you might want to go a little cheaper, since they won't have Furious Charge as well.

Bjorn - October 7, 2010 10:33 AM (GMT)
Whitehorn, i've PM you the complete list i've compiled with quotes and explanations/clarifications regarding the organization of the X Legio, as you requested.

I hope it will help you with your effort in buiding the Codex Crusades.


Whitehorn - October 7, 2010 11:08 AM (GMT)
Thanks Bjorn, been very busy work work and sorting out a new car the past few days, I'll catch up soon.

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