PRESENTED BY ANDY CHAMBERS
( CURSED FOUNDING )
Greetings Citizens, and welcome to Chapter Approved. Scriveners Hoare, McNeill & Kelly have searched deep into the darkest corners of the Librarium to find more information on the mysterious chapters of the Cursed Founding. Now you can field whole armies of these cursed Space Marines or use them as allies to your Codex: Space Marine Armies with these trial rules.
Back in White Dwarf 260, Index Astartes: The Cursed Founding provided a glimpse into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the inception of the ill-fated 21st Founding. There's been a fair amount of speculation regarding fielding those chapters known to be of the Cursed Founding, notably the Legion of the Damned, and also the Black Dragons. Rather than produce a new list that would set out all there is to know about these mysterious chapters, I came up with a set of rules that would allow Space Marines players to use a Cursed Founding Chapter (or indeed a Dark Founding Chapter- there's little difference in game terms) of their own devising, but to give a few examples of named chapters they can use if they wish.
The Legion of the Damned is one such chapter, and the Apparitions special rule is used to define them. Of course, if you want to invent your own Cursed Founding Chapter and apply this 'Chapter Trait' to them, then be my guest. These rules are intended to encourage that sort of creativity, and the last thing I want to do is set out exactly how you should use and represent a force that is ultimately enigmatic and unknowable: that would spoil all the fun!
These rules have been designed to work in two ways. Firstly, you can use them to field an army of Cursed Founding Space Marines. This force will be smaller than a normal Space Marines army, being composed of troops with all manner of expensive upgrades and outlandish special abilities, but it will be limited in other respects. Where a 'Codex' Space Marines army has a wide range of options and tactics open to it, you may well find that your Cursed Founding force will have to rely on its special abilities to win the day, and this is part of the challenge of fielding the force.
The second way is to include Cursed Founding squads as allies in your Space Marines force. Any 'Codex' chapter may use these rules, ie, any chapter that is drawn entirely from Codex: Space Marines, with no modifications or variants.
These rules should be considered 'trial rules' at present, and you will need to check with your opponent that it's OK to use them. If you have any comments or questions regarding these rules then the best place to put them is on the Games Workshop community web forum, or you can write to Chapter Approved at the normal address.
IN WARHAMMER 40,000
If Cursed Founding Space Marines are to be fielded alone, the army should be chosen from the following list of units:
* Due to the Cursed Founding Chapters' lack of resources,
these units may not be
+ Rules, options and points values for these units can be found in Codex: Space Marines.
Ill-fated: Such is the ill fortune of the Cursed Founding Chapters that when fate works against them on the field of battle, all manner of tragedies may overtake them. Unless otherwise noted, Cursed Founding Space Marines do not benefit from the 'And They Shall Know No Fear' special rule. Furthermore, they may never deploy using the 'Drop Pods' special rule.
Outcasts: Armies consisting entirely of Cursed Founding Space Marines may occasionally fight in support of Imperial authorities, but will never be joined or aided in their missions by Imperium forces. The army may not make use of Heroes of the Imperium forces, Grey Knights, Deathwatch, Assassins or any other allies.
Psychic Power - Howl of the Cursed: This psychic power is available to Cursed Founding Librarians and may be used once per battle upon a successful Psychic test. Every enemy squad with at least one model within 12" (line of sight is not required) of the Librarian must make a Morale check or fall back according to the normal morale rules. Units who ignore Morale checks are immune to this power. This power is used instead of shooting. Howl of the Cursed may not be used if the Librarian is engaged in an assault or is falling back. This power replaces the Space Marine Librarian's Smite power, at no additional points cost.
None can tell the number of Cursed Founding Chapters in existence, as all record of their creation has been expunged from Imperial archives. Those that have been witnessed in battle appear to possess distinct abilities and mutations.
When choosing your Cursed Founding Chapter you must decide on its overall character, and apply one of the traits listed below. These traits represent the side effects imposed upon the chapter during its inception, and often prove a curse and a blessing in equal measures. Note that all Cursed Founding Space Marines in the force must be upgraded in this way, as must all Cursed Founding vehicles if a points value is given for them.
One of the many zygotes neophytes are implanted with is the Ossmodula. This small organ has a complex function within the body of a Space Marine. It monitors and secretes hormones affecting epiphiseal fusion and ossification of the skeleton while at the same time, engineered hormones encourage the forming bones to absorb ceramic based chemicals administered in the Marines diet. Two years following implantation, the long-bones will have strengthened considerably and there will have been a general increase in the size of the recipients skeleton. Extreme ossification of the chest cavity caused by growth of ribs forming a solid mass of inter-laced bone plates provides a Space Marine with an armoured layer to protect his secondary heart and lungs.
But the Ossmodula zygote of the Black Dragons functions in an abnormal way causing the growth of bony crests on the head, and blade-like protuberances from the forearm and elbow. Like the Death Company of the Blood Angels, warriors inflicted with such abnormal developments are formed into a separate fighting unit. Known as the Dragon Claws, they sharpen these additional protrusions to a killing edge, and sheath them in adamantium to turn them into deadly close combat weapons. This strains the tolerance of the Inquisition and there are many recorded instances of other Space Marines Chapters (notably the Dark Angels and Marines Malevolent) refusing to fight alongside them.
It is even rumoured that the Black Dragon Apothecaries deliberately encourage such growths, even going so far as to knowingly implant aberrant zygotes into some initiates. This is exceptionally dangerous, and the practice is forbidden by Imperial edict, but old traditions die hard as the ferocity of the Dragon Claws is much valued by the Chapter Masters.
Each Chapter is required to send 5% of its genetic material to the Adeptus Mechanicus on Mars. This tithe serves two purposes: enabling the Adeptus Mechanicus to monitor the health of each Space Marine chapter, and store gene-seed with a view to founding new chapters. The Adeptus Mechanicus has on several occasions threatened the Black Dragons with military action unless it compiles with this decree and even when the Chapter has submitted genetic data, its veracity has often been considered suspect as each sample provided has passed the most stringent genetic purity checks without fail. Without being able to prove anything, many Adepts believe that the Black Dragons submit genetic material culled from other sources. How this can be possible is unknown and the Adeptus Mechanicus is eager to fully investigate the medical practices within the Black Dragons.
Ossific Blades: The Black Dragons are a chapter who push the Inquisition to the limits of tolerance. Although they have fought alongside Imperial forces in conflicts as recent as the Third War for Armageddon, they rarely remain part of a standing force for long. Their heads and forearms sport bony crests and these obvious physical mutations make long-term cooperation with other Imperial bodies impossible.
The Dragon Claws squads of the Black Dragons are the most mutated members of the chapter, sporting an array of lethal sharpened blades covering their heads and forearms. Any close combat attack that rolls 6 to hit will inflict an automatic wound with no Armour save possible.
Points: +5 per model (Assault Squads only).
The Minotaurs are a chapter that operate largely within the structure of the Imperial war machine, although the Inquisition and the Ecclesiarchy have on numerous occasions attempted to investigate them. The Minotaurs, like all other Space Marines chapters are an autonomous organisation, and will therefore only answer a call to arms on their own terms. On many occasions, the Minotaurs have responded to a besieged world`s picas for aid faster than other forces, engaging the enemy in a massive frontal assault and then withdrawing when other chapters would consolidate their position in order to meet a counter-attack. It has been stated by several Imperial commanders that the Minotaurs are an unreliable and unpredictable force that they would prefer to avoid altogether in preference to more tactically balanced, if less assault-orientated allies.
The Minotaurs' most famous action, and the only one for which they have been officially recognised, was their assault on the Lamenters` fleet during the Badab Uprising. The Lamenters, thought also to be a 21st Founding Chapter, had sided with the rebel Astral Claws in the uprising, and the Minotaurs vented their full fury on their wayward km in a series of savage boarding actions that severely depleted the Lamenters' numbers and forced their eventual surrender.
Berserkers: Some Cursed Founding Space Marines, such as the
Minotaurs Chapter, are entirely consumed by a xenophobic hatred that
far surpasses the righteous fury of a normal Space Marine.
Berserkers must move towards, and assault, the nearest enemy if they are able to do so (including vehicles or creatures they cannot hurt).
If victorious in an assault they must Sweeping Advance unless any models are equipped with Terminator armour or they won due to 'moral high ground'.
Points: +10 per model; +20 per Dreadnought.
The Legion of the Damned is a legend amongst the Adeptus Astartes. Appearing as ghostly apparitions to aid beleaguered Space Marines, this mysterious force has intervened in desperate battles on numerous occasions. The legionnaires reportedly wear power armour painted black and adorned with symbols of death, skeletons writhing in the flames of purgatory being a dominant theme. Eyewitnesses report the visible areas of the Space Marines` flesh are in a state of decay, lending the legionnaires a horrific, charnel aspect.
The examination of starship debris recovered in the Maran sub-sector suggests a link between the Legion of the Damned and the fate of the Fire Hawks Chapter. The Fire Hawks were declared Lost in the Warp in 983.M41, twenty years after the entire chapter set out for Crows World on a counter-invasion mission against the Eldar. The Inquisition are unsurprisingly keen to discover if the Legion of the Damned and the Fire Hawks are in fact one and the same chapter, and if so, how they gained their mysterious and deadly abilities.
Apparitions: The Legion of the Damned always deploy using the Deep Strike scenario special rule, except they do so before the game begins. The normal deployment order for the mission being played is used, with the exception that Legion of the Damned sguads may be set up anywhere on the battlefield, other than the opponent's deployment zone, (although they may scatter into it). Note that even the ghostly vehicles of the legion enter play in this manner, appearing as silent apparitions ferrying their charges to war.
In any mission that uses the Reserves and/or Deep Strike scenario special rule, all Legion of the Damned models Deep Strike when they become available; they do not enter play from table edges.
In addition, these Space Marines receive a 6+ Invulnerable save due to their insubstantial nature. Their vehicles and Dreadnoughts receive a 6+ Invulnerable save against enemy shooting, taken before Armour Penetration rolls are made.
Points: +5 points per model; +10 for vehicles and Dreadnoughts.
It has been speculated by some Imperial scholars that the inception of the Lamenters was an attempt to utilise the Sanguinius strain of gene-seed, breeding out the deficiencies known to mar that otherwise superior DNA. If such an experiment did in fact take place then its primary objectives seem to have been achieved, in that the Lamenters adhere to a strictly `Codex` formation and the chapter does not field any Death Company. However, the Lamenters appear to have suffered from the most appalling twists of ill fortune and tragedy, and are undoubtedly stricken with a morose curse that is reflected in the bleeding heart and teardrop emblems adorning their power armour.
Two major incidents in the Lamenters history illustrate their continued bad luck. In the last decade of the ninth century of the 41st Millennium, the Lamenters made the mistake of siding with the renegade Astral Claws Chapter in the Badab Uprising. It was later found that it was not any notion of rebellion against the Impenum that brought about the Chapter`s involvement in the uprising. Rather, they viewed the Imperial attack on the Astral Claws, who the Lamenters had crusaded alongside during the Serpentine Straits Wars, as a challenge to the sovereignty and independence of the whole Adeptus Astartes. In short, the Lamenters allowed their pride to dictate their actions, and those actions were ill considered in the extreme.
Following the Lamenters` involvement in the Badab Uprising, they were investigated and eventually granted the Emperor s forgiveness subject to a one hundred year long penitent crusade. The chapters ill luck followed them however, as that crusade led them straight into the jaws of Hive Fleet Kraken. Today, barely three companies of the Lamenters are at large in the galaxy, and it would seem their curse of sorrow and ill fortune follows them still.
Aura of Doom: The aura of tragedy surrounding the Lamenters is a palpable thing, projected in waves before them and forcing their enemies back. Any enemy wishing to assault a Lamenters unit must pass a Leadership test in order to do so. If the test is failed the unit may choose an alternative target for the charge. Units which automatically pass Morale checks do not test.
Points: +3 per model; +8 per Dreadnought.
Next to nothing is known of the Flame Falcons Chapter, for they were declared Excommunicate within a century of their inception. Initial combat trials involving the chapter were a resounding success, and they were put on active service on the Southern Rim, based on their new homeworld of Lethe. Their first engagements, with Orks and Eldar pirates promised a great future for the chapter, as they were observed to be hardy and courageous, even for Space Marines.
It was at the battle of Raffenburg's World that things began to go awry for the Flame Falcons. At the height of the battle, their largest engagement at that point, the first company were observed to spontaneously immolate at the height of the fiercest fighting against the rebel forces. Fearing witchcraft, the chapter`s commander reinforced the front line and sent for an Inquisitor who was accompanying the Imperial army. When it was reported by the reinforcing Space Marines that the members of the first company were not dead, but were in fact fighting with renewed savagery covered in flames to which they themselves were immune, the commander declared it a miracle, a gift sent from the Emperor.
The Inquisitor had a different opinion. Knowing that he could not assault the Flame Falcons immediately, he bided his time, witnessing the remainder of the chapter undergo the same change as the first company.
Upon the successful completion of the campaign, the Flame Falcons returned to Lethe in celebrant mood convinced, as they were, that their unique ability was a manifestation of the Emperor`s grace. Soon after, the Grey Knights, at the Inquisition`s behest assaulted Lethe, ruthlessly destroying the cursed chapter. It is thought that a small number of Flame Falcons escaped that day, but of their fate, nothing whatsoever is known.
Immolation: The Brothers of the Flame Falcons Chapter are cursed with a terrible mutation that causes their bodies to become wreathed in flame. The Inquisition is particularly uncompromising in punishing these mutants wherever it encounters them.
The flames surrounding these Cursed Founding Space Marines render them difficult to target. As a result, they always receive a 5+ cover save from enemy shooting, and always count as occupying cover if they are charged by an enemy whilst in the open. However, their units may never take transport vehicles or be passengers in any other type of vehicle.
Points: +3 per model.
The Sons of Antaeus are only officially recorded in one source: the chronicles of the Third Inter-Guild War of the Inca Sector of 850.M41 to 901.M41. The chapter is listed as having answered the pleas of the Guild Fathers for aid against pirate forces sponsored by business rivals, and according to the records acquitted themselves courageously before departing.
Since that time, a force matching their grey and black livery has been sighted by a number of chapters in the Ultima Segmentum. and these accounts have always made specific mention of the size and apparent hardiness of these mysterious Adeptus Astartes. They arc reportedly capable of surviving hits from weapons that would slaughter another Space Marine.
One such eyewitness account, submitted by Captain Rakman of the Subjugators Chapter, records an incident in which his force found itself under attack by the Eldar of the Void Dragons pirate fleet. Surrounded and under heavy fire by the pirates' ultra-rapid anti-grav vehicles. Rakman states that a force bearing the livery of the Sons of Antaeus appeared unexpectedly and attacked the enemy vehicles from behind. Forced to redeploy, the Eldar suddenly found themselves faced with the prospect of having to make a breakout. The Eldar Falcons and Wave Serpents made straight for the Sons of Antaeus, judging them the lesser of the two Space Marine forces. The incredulous Captain Rakman gives an amazing account of the Sons of Antaeus' stand in the face of a storm of Eldar firepower, against which the mysterious Space Marines stood seemingly impervious. The Subjugators were able to press their attack on the enemy rear as the Sons of Antaeus held the Eldar in place, and the pirates were destroyed in short order, caught between the immovable anvil of the Sons, and the irresistible hammer of the Subjugators.
Augmented Skeleton: During the inception of the Sons of Antaeus Chapter, its creators extensively modified the gene-seed in order to create Space Marines of exceptional durability and toughness. How they achieved this is unknown, whether their skeletal structure was enhanced with some artificial substance, or whether a more esoteric procedure was used. Less sympathetic observers point out that the chapter appears every bit as resilient as the Death Guard Traitor Legion.
Every model in the chapter has +1 Toughness added to its profile. Cursed Founding Space Marines (including bikers) with Augmented Skeleton still suffer an 'instant death' result from a Strength 8 or more weapon.
Points: +5 per Space Marine; +10 per model with more than 1 Wound.
The Cursed Founding Chapters rarely fight within the conventional military structure of the Imperium, as many of them are far too mutated for other forces to accept as anything akin to human. They will on occasion however, choose to fight alongside their former brothers, relieving beleaguered garrisons, aiding an encircled force and generally appearing where and when they are least expected. On these occasions, a commander may have no knowledge as to who the mysterious Space Marines were, as they will often disappear as inexplicably as they arrived.
Force Selection: Cursed Founding Space Marines may be chosen as allies for other Space Marines Chapters. Simply choose an army list entry from the Cursed Founding force selection box and apply a Cursed Founding Chapter Trait to it (all Cursed Founding allies must share the same Chapter Trait). Cursed Knights and Abominations are not available as allies. The squad remains in the same force organisation category. Before you choose any Cursed Founding allies you must first have filled the compulsory force selection choices from your main army. For example, in a Cleanse mission you must choose 1 HQ and 2 Troops from your main army before choosing any Cursed Founding allies. In addition, you may not have more units of Cursed Founding allies than you have Troops units in your main army. In the previous example, you would be able to take two units of allies.
Unseen Allies: When taken as allies, all Cursed Founding units start the game in reserve, even in games where the Reserves special rule is not in use. In games where Reserves are not used, the allies will enter play from the player's table edge in the turn they become available, or from a randomly determined table edge if the army does not have a table edge. The exception to this is Cursed Founding Space Marines with the Apparitions special rule, who always Deep Strike when held in reserve.
Just as Cursed Founding allies may join an army unexpectedly, they have on occasion been known to vanish in the same fashion. In the case of the Legion of the Damned, the legionnaires have been observed to literally fade away to nothing, and in the cases of other chapters the mysterious allies have simply disengaged for no obvious reason.
At the beginning of the Space Marines turn, before any units are moved, roll a D6 for each Cursed Founding squad and vehicle in play. On a roll of '1' the unit must move 2D6" towards the nearest table edge, and will be removed from play if any models in the unit leave the table. Note that this is not a fall back move, so the squad may not be crossfired, and a regroup test is not required the next turn. The squad may fire, but will count as having moved.
These individuals are Space Marines who appear to have escaped their chapter's curse. They are strong, tall and proud in form and yet this veneer of perfection hides a curse often more extreme than that affecting their Brethren.
Number/Squad: The Squad consists of 5-10 Cursed Knights.
Weapons: Bolter, or bolt pistol and close combat weapon.
Options: One Cursed Knight may have one of the following: heavy bolter at +5 pts; missile launcher at +10 pts: lascannon at +15 pts. In addition, one Cursed Knight may be armed with one of the following: flamer at +6 pts: meltagun at +10 pts: plasma gun at +6 pts.
The entire squad may be given frag grenades at an additional cost of +1 pt per mode and krak grenades at an additional cost of +2 pts per model.
Character: One Cursed Knight can be upgraded to a Cursed Knight Champion at an additional cost of +12 pts.
Transport: The entire squad may be mounted in a Rhino at an additional cost of +50 pts.
'And They Shall Know No Fear': The Cursed Knights exist under a heavy weight of sadness and desperation, but despite this, they are above all Space Marines, and therefore servants of the Emperor. As such they are subject to the 'And They Shall Know No Fear' special rule, as described in Codex: Space Marines.
Genetic Corruption: Cursed Knights do not purchase a Chapter Trait, as they do not share the same genetic gifts and flaws as their brethren. Instead, they are subject to a far worse, and more unpredictable curse. To represent this, at the start of the battle, after both sides have set up but before the first turn takes place, roll a D6 and consult the table to the right.
Those Brethren suffering the worst extremes of the chapter's curse are often segregated from the main body of Space Marines. These Space Marines may be physically mutated and driven beyond the point of insanity, and the heat of battle will cause the curse to manifest itself in a horrific display of savagery and violence. They are frequently fielded together in squads where, should they fall prey to their self-destructive curse, they will at least take some of their enemy with them.
Number/squad: 5-10 Abominations.
Weapons: Bolters, or bolt pistol and close combat weapon.
Options: The points cost for the Chapter trait is added to an Abominatin's basic cost.
Transport: The entire squad may be mounted in a Rhino at an additional cost of +50 pts.
Death Spasm: Each time an Abomination rolls a '6' to hit in close combat you must make an additional attack. You must keep rolling until no more 6's appear. However, if the result of any of these extra attacks is a 1 then the Space Marine undergoes an uncontrolled and potentially fatal mutation, changing form and strangling all those nearby with rapidly mutating protoplasmic appendages. For every one of the extra close combat hits that roll 1 to hit, the attack will be inflicted against the Abomination's squad instead of the enemy.
Fearless: So crazed are Abominations that they give no consideration whatsoever for their own safety on the battlefield. Abominations are Fearless, and therefore are assumed to automatically pass any Morale and Pinning tests they are required to make.