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Themed Army Ideas
Other Space Marine Themed Army Ideas

The Bright Lords   by Nathan Bartels
The army that follows is intended to represent the author’s DIY Space Marine Chapter, and uses the rules from the 6th Edition Codex: Space Marines and the 5th edition Codex: Space Wolves.  The Chapter is represented on tabletop as an allied force of both armies, to represent certain aspects of a Bright Lords force not adequately covered by either codex on its own.  All Codex: Space Marine entries use the Imperial Fists chapter tactics.

A relatively young Space Marine chapter whose origins date back to the 23rd “Sentinel” Founding, the Bright Lords are a fleet-based chapter who rove at or beyond the fringes of Imperial-controlled space, in accord with their founding oaths and the humanistic dictates of their Chapter Cult.

Believing that the Emperor was a mortal who became divine after death due to his heroism and righteousness, the Bright Lords also believe that by extension, Astartes and mortal men can become similar, angelic beings called Elohim, cultivating this inherent spark of Emperor-nature through valorous deeds.  To this end, they fight selflessly to safeguard the Imperial populace first and foremost, and frequently choose to fight in space so that their enemies never come within striking distance of an inhabited planet.

The Bright Lords’ fleet based nature has seen them become skilled at boarding actions, and their combat doctrine is heavily dictated by an emphasis on strong logistics and versatility. They espouse a well-rounded combat style that seeks to break the enemy’s strength with heavy firepower, then rout any survivors with a countercharge of chainsword and bayonet.

As a younger, less-well-connected Chapter operating at the fringes of Imperial space, they have suffered frequent supply issues throughout their history, and thus either lack or outright eschew many of the rarer, more arcane, or highly specialized STC technologies available to other Imperial forces.  They also have a more limited motor pool than most other Chapters, as tanks are of little use in space.

Wargear Restrictions
Bright Lords can’t take graviton weapons, thunder hammers, or conversion beamers. Lightning claws are extremely rare, and should instead be modeled as “Storm Sabers”: a fancy chainblade with a power-weapon field generator built in.

Terminator armor is also exceptionally rare; ideally, treat it as a one-per-list item when it comes to equipping your HQ choices.  For units from the Space Wolves list, Thunderwolf Mounts, Fenrisian Wolves, and Mark of the Wulfen may not be taken.

Optional Homebrew: With your opponent’s permission, any storm bolter may be exchanged for a twin-linked boltgun at no cost.

The Bright Lords may take all conventional non-special-character Space Marine HQ choices, but a Chapter Master is discouraged, as their present-day Chapter Master is a Contemptor-pattern Dreadnought. (Bjorn the Fell-Handed might be a suitable proxy).

From the Space Wolves codex, the only permissible HQ unit is a Wolf Guard Battle Leader:  this represents a Knight-Lieutenant, an intermediate Bright Lords officer rank subordinate to Captains.  Knight-Lieutenants may not take Terminator Armor.

Optional Homebrew: With your opponent’s permission, the Bright Lords may take an Emperor’s Champion as an HQ choice.

Torchbearers, the Chapter’s veteran First Company boarding specialists, may be represented by Sternguard or Wolf Guard squads equipped primarily with storm bolters.  If using Wolf Guard, they may not take Terminator Armor or special characters, and should limit melee weapon upgrades to one or two per squad.  Storm shields (to represent boarding shields) are a fluffy, if expensive, option.

A single regular squad of Sternguard (with specialist ammo or combi-weapons) may be taken to represent a squad of Silverhands, the Chapter’s journeyman tech-specialist Marines.

Dreadnoughts and Venerable Dreadnoughts are a fluffy and highly-encouraged choice, as the Bright Lords rely on their ability to bring heavy firepower and armor to areas where regular vehicles cannot go, such as the interiors of enemy starships.  Ironclad Dreadnoughts are allowed but discouraged, as they are considered overspecialized.

Only one unit of Terminators may be taken, and they may not be equipped as Assault Terminators.  The Bright Lords have extremely few suits of Terminator armor available, and wish to keep their Dawnguard Terminators as versatile as possible. 

Vanguard Veterans (or similarly, jump pack/biker Wolf Guard) are allowed, but are somewhat discouraged – they are atypical of the Bright Lords fighting style.

Legion of the Damned, Iron Priests, Wolf Scouts, and Lone Wolves may not be taken.  Nor may Centurions: the Bright Lords do not use them whatsoever.

Bright Lords may take Scout and Tactical Squads as normal.  From the Space Wolves list, only Grey Hunters may be taken; between their extra kit, double special weapons, and Counterattack rule, they are used to represent boarding squads.

A Bright Lords list may include Rhinos, Razorbacks, and Drop Pods.  If more than two Razorback transports are taken in total, any further Razorbacks beyond the first two should be considered to take up Fast Attack slots.  Land Speeder Storms are not permitted.

Fast Attack
Land Speeders are rare machines to begin with, and rarer still amongst the Bright Lords; only one unit of them may be taken.  A Land Speeder Tempest may be represented using the rules for a Stormtalon Gunship equipped with Typhoon launchers, but this should still be counted as a Land Speeder for the sake of the 0-1 restriction.

From the Space Wolf codex, Land Speeders are the only permitted Fast Attack option. Bright Lords do not use Scout Biker Squads.

Heavy Support
Bright Lords may not take Stalker tanks, while Hunter tanks and Land Raiders each have 0-1 restrictions.  Devastators and Long Fangs may be taken, with Long Fangs representing more veteran squads.  Land Raider Crusaders/Redeemers and Centurion Devastators are disallowed.  Storm Raven gunships are allowed on a 0-1 basis.

Optional Homebrew: With your opponent’s permission, Bright Lords Devastator Squads may purchase special weapons instead of heavy weapons.

Modeling and Painting
The Bright Lords are easily represented by the regular Space Marine miniature lines, with a pinch of Chaos Marine bitz thrown into the mix (excess spikes and blasphemous symbols filed off, of course) to represent older, improvised, or scavenged wargear.  

Mark II, Mark III, and Crusader–style helmets are favored, while fancier MKIV power armor is rare, and Corvus helmets are disfavored altogether. Feel free to mix and match parts from lots of different armor patterns to convey their “whatever-we-can-get-our-hands-on” nature.

On vehicles, the use of multilaser bitz to swap out for and “count as” heavy bolters is encouraged: the Bright Lords like the symbolism of weaponized light, and they especially like the fact that vehicle-mounted lasweapons have effectively infinite ammo.  Similar “close enough” counts-as gun swaps can help convey the chapter’s tendency to improvise and scavenge – just be sure to make clear to your opponent what represents what.

The Bright Lords color scheme is a Chaos Black base with gold trim.  Goblin Green is used to paint the soft armor sections and face grilles of helmets, while bright Scorpion Green is used for eye lenses and power weapons.  Dark Angels Green is used for the cowling of weapons and as a minor accent color, with Boltgun Metal, Chainmail, and Mithral Silver used to pick out mechanical components in different shades.

If you fancy yourself a skilled freehand painter or know the black magic of printing custom decals, the chapter symbol is a lit candle surrounded by a radiant halo.

General Tactics
The Bright Lords lean toward a fairly conventional "sit back and shoot" style of play.  Use heavy firepower to smash up the enemy's transports and fast-movers; (storm)bolter spam to grind down their rank-and-file; then throw units with Counterattack (Or Dreadnoughts) in the way of any survivors that look like they'll still manage to get into close combat. 

The Bright Lords list is fairly infantry-centric; Tac Marines, Veterans, and Devastators should be forming a very significant portion of your firebase.  Go cheap on HQ choices and avoid "death stars" so that you have more points to spread around and thoroughly bolster your ranks; that way you don't force yourself to count too hard on any one unit.

Push aggressively for objectives with your "Torchbearers" (Wolf Guard) and "Boarding Squads" (Grey Hunters), knowing that their extra gear and special rules makes them much nastier than normal to assault off of their perch. 

If you find yourself losing momentum, surprise the enemy with a charging Dreadnought or plop a death-or-glory unit in their back field via Drop Pod; either method is a great way to sow some chaos and distraction, and tends to attract a disproportionate amount of heat away from the rest of your forces.


Related Pages
Other Space Marine Themed Army Ideas

Posted March 2016. Used with permission.


Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle