Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Opera, Chaos, etc.

I hope everyone's had a great Memorial Day and made it through the holiday safely enough. My wife and I became ill Sunday night and so spent most of the day feeling sick and pukey. Fortunately we've recovered quickly as we have tickets for the opera today. Yeah... for real. It's a performance of Flora which was the first opera staged in the colonies back in the year 1736. That original performance was in the very same Dock Street Theater in which it will be presented this afternoon in downtown Charleston. This is the first show for the theater after undergoing a three year, $18 million renovation and is supposed to be the highlight of this years Spoleto Festival. I've never been to an opera before but I'm optimistic that I will at least not have to change any diapers for a few hours.

Jumping forward to the 41st millennium, I've been thinking more about my old Chaos Marines and have decided to not redo any of the painting on the army, thus eliminating my ideas of turning them into either Word Bearers or Red Corsairs. As b.smoove pointed out with regards to repainting the armor's piping, it's quite likely that I would become bogged down in that type of detailed work. I like the simpler approach of only having to paint a chapter icon onto each guy and then being done. So the search for the right Renegade Chapter has begun.

When I was originally collecting this army I had planned on making them a DIY chapter called the Crimson Ghosts, and upon returning to them I first thought about going through with that theme. After some time spent practicing the design I realized that painting all those little skull faces like the one below would again be more of an undertaking than I am willing to accept. Plus ten years after initially starting this army I find myself listening to The Misfits with much less frequency than I used to, nor have I ever really fancied having Chaos Lord G. Danzig as my army's general. So, moving on then....

Unsure of where else to turn and bereft of ideas, I began searching through lists of named marine chapters at Lexicanum and came across these guys, the Beasts of Annihilation. There's not a whole lot in the summary about them but it says that their colors are "Blood red with Gold trim" and that their specialty is "Daemonic Possession." Okay, that looks promising. The name strikes me as rather dumb in that special, fourteen-year-old-metal-head sort of way embraced by Games Workshop, but otherwise things look good so far for these guys as my prime contender. I think I could live with my army having a goofy name as there is just too much history in 40k of terribly bad names to let this one detail stop me, right? Apologies to anyone already running their army as BOA or who thought the name sounded badass, by the way, I mean no offense.

The picture above is supposed to illustrate a Beasts of Annihilation Chaos Lord, though unfortunately the chapter symbol can barely be glimpsed. The red appears significantly brighter than that which I painted onto my own Chaos Marines, but I don't think that is too much of problem... just look at how many different shades of Blood Angels there are running around. Considering how minor of a role the Beasts have in the 40k universe, I think armor a few shades darker would be okay. Therefore assuming some latitude in the colors, I think the remaining portion of their background seems appropriate as the entry states that:

"The Beasts of Annihilation is a Chaos Space Marine warband. These warriors are devout followers of the Dark Gods and frequently allow creatures of the warp to inhabit their bodies. As such the Beasts of Annihilation field an unusually large number of Possessed squads."

All of it sounds pretty cool to me and, perhaps more importantly, like something I can apply to the collection that I already have at hand. The description of this warband reminds me of the Word Bearers upon whom my army's style of play was based in the previous edition of their codex. I have enough chaos icons for each of my squads and more than twenty lesser daemons which I believe would do an adequate job of demonstrating their devotion to the Ruinous Powers. And even though I have only one squad of Possessed marines, that should at least satisfy the minimum needed to be true to the background. So barring some pending flash of genius in the next couple of days, I believe I will be the proud commander of a Beasts of Annihilation warband in the near future.

As for the chapter badge, as far as I can tell there's practically nothing to go on officially so I've got pretty much free reign in choosing a design. I have a few ideas but right now I don't know what I want to do. I'd especially love to hear any suggestions anyone might have, otherwise I'm going to mess around a bit and see if anything looks good (i.e., easy) for me to paint onto my marines. Currently I'm considering either coming up with some sort of stylized monster face to use as their symbol, or else giving each guy a unique set of mystical or alchemical symbols and just not having a common chapter marking. I'm worried the latter might make the army look too disunited but it would nonetheless be good freehand practice at least.

Okay, so that's where I'm at with the Chaos army. Time for me to get ready for the opera... wish me luck!


  1. Update - The opera was great! The theater is beautiful and fit the performance perfectly, creating a surprisingly genuine 18th century feeling. Easily one of the most ingenious and artistic stage designs as well. Everything was spot on, the music and costumes lovely, making this perhaps my favorite theater experience to date. Incidentally, I remembered that I have in fact been to one other opera some years ago. It sucked compared to Flora, despite being a big deal production at the Kennedy Center in my hometown of Washington, DC.

  2. Update, again - Also I think the deal with the original Dock Street Theater is that it was the first purpose-built theater in the colonies, for which Flora was its inaugural performance. I have no idea what the actual first opera performance was on this side of the globe.

  3. I think that the name probably sounds cooler in "Warpspeak" or whatever the daemons use among themselves. Maybe the warband took the name after the first few possessions.

  4. That's a really great point, I hadn't considered the fact that many of these warbands of chaos marines probably aren't still running around speaking the Emperor's Gothic. Thanks, you've really helped me a lot, I'm feeling much more open-minded than before.