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Hey I'm new to the whole space marine chapters and was interested in making/creating my own chapter. Is it possible to make a chapter where a marine has been abandoned by his chapter in a war and goes of on his own making a sort of mercenary type chapter. Thanks z

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There are groups of Space Marines that work as mercenaries for the highest bidder called Renegade Space Marines so it's quite possible for a charismatic leader to gather bunch of deserters/outcasts and turn them into something resembling a chapter (or chaos warband).

Creating whole new chapter from scratch alone - very unlikely. It takes a lot of time and resources to turn a child (yes, recruits are about 10 years old) into a proper candidate with very high mortality rate. Then they have to be implanted with Space Marine special organs, that are in turn created from progenoid glands - each fully formed Marine has two such glands that take 10 years to mature, so in best case he can "father" two new Marines. So unless your hero has stolen a big supply of those and has skills/access to medical support matching those of highly skilled apothecary, there is no real way to create a new chapter from scratch.

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TL;DR:

  • This is an entirely opinion based question and as such all answers you get will be opinion based as well.
  • The 40k universe allows for just about any possibility.
  • Space Wolves recruit at much older ages
  • The Lexicanum or similar websites will be a big help in figuring out details
  • Yes it is possible
  • For further help let me know and we can find a way to chat

So first, the 40k universe allows for just about any possibility you can think of. Even if something was/is to break the known rules of physics and science to be able to happen in the first place, you can just blame it on Chaos and the immaterium.

Into the heart of the matter, sure it is possible. The primary bad guy that my chapter faces is a Space Marine that was, by a bad stroke of luck, abandoned on a planet by my chapter. Eventually he became the planetary king, killed a unit from my Astartes chapter that eventually came to the planet, stole their ship, (skip a few steps here), gathered his own elite band, and now, though he has never aligned with any of the Chaos Gods they call on him in return for knowledge on my chapter's current plans and actions so that he can screw with them in revenge...

I would say that your chapter could be created similarly. Though his band is only about a company strong, he recruits when he can, uses a lot of misdirection, and calls on the dark gods when he needs ships, man power, etc.

Like @Yasskier mentioned creating an entire chapter would be a very time extensive prospect, but under the right conditions, taking your time, planning everything out, and having a lot of stuff go your way... totally possible.

For recruiting, you can recruit at older ages. Space Wolves for example recruit just about anyone they deem to be worthy. Though younger aspirants are more prone to a successful transformation, it is not the only way.

The really hard part about creating your own chapter this way is the resources you need. Battle barges, ammunition, forges, medicae equipment for implantations and etc. Also, if you are recruiting fresh new blood as members getting your hands on a knowledge machine that downloads your chapter's tactics, enemy information, and all the other details that would take years to learn and perfect would be a smart move as well. That is key to getting recruits up to speed quickly.

In addition to that, you need the specialized factions that keep your chapter running. You would need an Apothecary (for all that medicae stuff), TechMarine (to help fix all the broken machinery), astropaths (for communication), navigators (for your fleet), serfs and thralls (to do all the menial tasks so your chapter can just fight), experts to manage your training regimes, and experts to manage your fleet as well (though you could have a fleet based chapter and that would help to solve that issue).

The two hardest parts of the above section I would be worried about are the astropaths and navigators. You can always convince a TechMarine or Chaplain to join your cause and capture slaves for serfs and thralls, but these are special psychics.

Astropaths are found throughout the Imperium like other psychics and brought from their homeworlds by blackships but that is before their training. I would have to say that capturing them and convincing them to join you would be the best course of action here, as well as other psychics.

Navigators (the ones that fly your ship through the warp) on the other hand are a sub-species of human and were all genetically bred. There is also a lot of inbreeding if I remember right. These families were genetically created a long time ago. I checked Lexicanum and I do not see any proof that more are created, and I believe that it is the case that what exists today is pretty much it. My chapter has a bond with a renegade house that provides all of their navigators in exchange for full protection.

Research is going to be your biggest thing here. I know this answer is long, but to create a chapter you might very well need to do this much research and more. I have done extensive research to ensure my chapter "could be" canon and doesn't step on any toes of canon events. I would be willing to give you a hand and at least get you started. Let me know in a comment and we can figure something out.

Either way, good luck and have fun. That is the most important part.

  • Space wolves don't recruit much much elder kids - I never heard about anyone above mid teen years that could pass the training. The only adult passing the transformation that I know of was Luther of Dark Angels but he isn't a real space marine. Also getting navigator and astropath wouldn't be difficult - just capture any ship, there will be at least one each. Otherwise +1 – Yasskier Feb 11 '17 at 5:27
  • True. I more meant that while most recruit at about nine or ten and begin the processes, the space wolves would not start until even after maturation has begun. Thus it is clearly not necessary to recruit "children" for a chapter. I would even say that one could blame recruiting at older ages on a geneseed abnormality. And navigators I'm not so sure. While travelling through the warp if I was a captured navigator I could fly you right to Terra and you would have no clue. Or i could take a wrong turn and get you there after the battle is already lost. Navigators are extremely essential - IMO! – Odin1806 Feb 11 '17 at 20:23
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A chapter is dependent on geneseed to stay viable. One marine only has two progenoids (they each create one set of geneseed). It's not going to work.

Your best example of a rogue marine chapter struggling to maintain itself are the Soul Drinkers. Even with their entire chapter's logistical support, the Soul Drinkers were faced with the extinction of their chapter within a few years if they could not find a way of of controlling and stabilizing their geneseed. Even a few hundred marines don't go a long way if there's now way to bring in new recruits to replace the churn of 40k.

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For loyalist Chapters, it would be difficult seeing how Corax tried something not exactly the same and had an epic fail1.

But on the traitors side, maybe Fabius Bilis2 could be able to do something similar , although he is a little bit more on the "enhancement" of already created marines.


1. You can find a paragrah refering Corax attempts to rebuild the Raven Guard "With this knowledge, around 500 new, war-ready space marines were created in few weeks [...] Thus, the successive implantation's resulted in still operational but deeply-mutated Astartes exhibiting scales, horns, fangs, tails, overgrown muscles and similar features."

2. He was able even to clone some primarchs, although the results were not what he expected

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