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"I don't understand the appeal of Chaos." Topic

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1,694 hits since 5 Sep 2012
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Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 11:30 a.m. PST

Please, if you're a Chaos fan, don't take this personally or as an attack on your affinity, but I honestly don't understand the appeal of Chaos in the 40K setting. I've always liked the various alien factions, and I understand the concept behind Chaos, I've just never gotten why so many people seem so fired up about it. This question came up in my mind again when I was looking at the new boxed set and the minis therein. The cultists are very nice and will have broad appeal to those who also play post-apoc games, but the Chaos marines and Dreadnought just look silly, in my own completely biased opinion.

Sure, you have demonic possession, an evil cult, corrupted souls, arcane magical rites, heresy against the Emperor, etc. But in the end, it feels like Chaos in action is just Space Marines fighting Space Marines, only one side has more spikey bits. It seems to lack the creativity and originality of the other alien races, although that may just be my perception, and yet there are always those fans who just rave about Chaos like it's the greatest concept ever to hit gaming. I don't get it, and that's not me hatin' or bashing -- I truly just don't get it!

So, Chaos fans, what is it about the concept and execution of Chaos that makes you love it so?


Mako11 Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 11:35 a.m. PST

I'm not a fan of any 40K, or GW products, in general.

However, Spikz and Skullz for some……

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 11:36 a.m. PST

I'm with Mako 11. 6 or a half dozen?

Klebert L Hall Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 11:36 a.m. PST

Kids hate rules?

Ken Portner Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 11:44 a.m. PST

Which flavor of ice cream do you like? Why do you like it?

Same answer as to why some like Chaos while others don't.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 12:01 p.m. PST


coming back into 40K after about a decade or more of not playing it. I always played non-Chaos armies in the past.

Now, I plan to make a chaos army, but I also want to avoit the Chaos Space Marines and such as much as possible. This time around, the primary appeal is the same as a force of post-apocalyptic troops. I want to covnert and model the crap out of them.

Chaos provides a huge variety and range in options ofr conversions and custom builds. This is a little harder to do with other forces and still maintain the recognition of those forces.


Chris B Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 12:22 p.m. PST

Top reasons I like Chaos in the 40K universe:

1. The "war in heaven" inspired metaplot resonates more with me than Space Elves or Space Orks do.
2. I'm a big Michael Moorcock fan.
3. Many of the chaos models are cool looking, IMHO. Don't judge me because I like spikz and skullz.
4. It's fun to play the bad guys sometimes.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 12:35 p.m. PST

I am with Javelin98 on this – I never got it

So – thanks very much for the insights! I find it interesting to see why people like certain armies (for example, while I know many people would never game with them, I do have a fondness for Mexican armies from 1837- 1912)

PJ Parent Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 12:54 p.m. PST

They are a great conversion army – if you want to start sculpting I think buy a chaos army and practice working with green stuff – even a total failure will be fine on a chaos figure.

Thomas Whitten05 Sep 2012 12:56 p.m. PST

I enjoy Chaos because of the cults, much like I enjoy Tyranids for the same reason. But I also like the civil war aspect – brother vs brother – that Chaos Marines invoke as well. As for spikz and skullz, they are the hearts and 'Hello Kitty' of the 40k universe. Just imagine 40k craft fairs, everywhere there would be a heart in real world crafts, one would find a skull.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 1:08 p.m. PST

The other "bad guys" in the 40K universe don't do much for me either.

Dark Eldar are just "bad Eldar" and Tyranids are just more bugs. I have never liked the way that GW Orks(cs) look.

As it is, i'm going for a chaos light army that is more of an early stages, renegade force of humans.


Angel Barracks Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 1:24 p.m. PST

2. I'm a big Michael Moorcock fan.

Me too!

but still not a big fan of 40k chaos…

Farstar Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 1:31 p.m. PST

While 40k is only barely SF, the more recent Chaos forces (as opposed to the mutation festivals of early days) do represent a rarity in SF gaming: an organized force that is not clean and neat. Standard Space Marines break one of the empirical rules of ground forces ("Inspection ready and combat ready are mutually exclusive") while Chaos Marines have, with an exception here and there, given up on the idea of inspections all together and are combat ready 24/7/52/1000.

WarpSpeed05 Sep 2012 1:49 p.m. PST

Orks and Chaos Space Marines probably are the most honest and noble factions.In the grim darkness of the far future there are no good guys.

Little Big Wars Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 1:54 p.m. PST

It's a way to play Space Marines without painting up a bunch of Mary Sues (I'm looking at you Ultramarines!).

Still much prefer the second Third Ed. codex with the Legions to the flavorless mess they turned into in 4th/5th.

goragrad05 Sep 2012 1:56 p.m. PST

WarpSpeed, and that is why I am not into any 40K.

WarpSpeed05 Sep 2012 2:06 p.m. PST

We had a mini tournament of 4500 pts per side.Once Chaos and Imperial space marines were deployed ,a tyranid deployedIt was funny how thousands of years of comraderie comes back ,meltas and plasma pistols washing away petty blood feuds with bug zapping zeal.

Eli Arndt Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 2:13 p.m. PST

"Bugs Traitor Rico…millions of Them"

Dogged05 Sep 2012 2:59 p.m. PST

Well if you're into the background (not necessarily the official one as it may change), chaos marines can be seen as the spearhead of the next step for mankind, beings no more fully human but evolved beyond mere mortality. Taking the whole scheme into account you can even say they are the only hope of mankind against the real threat, which are none other than the Necrons (who are becoming the more scary and hard with time going. Note: Others say corrupted where I said evolved so it's a thing of POV.

The spiky parts are really just about aesthetics; actual design seems to have stepped up from that to semi organic so spiky is no more a description but now you'd say horny. Pun intended, but it really looks like that. The relationship with daemons looks like closer and it shows both in looks and style, and it kind of brings the CSM to their very and true origin as heralds of a new age and first of a new species…

EDIT: also, what Farstar said.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 4:04 p.m. PST

I think the new Chaos marines look great. Very exaggerated and caricature-like, sure, but they have 'character' and give Chaos a much needed revamp in their looks. The Dreadnougt-looking demon engine looks suitably nightmarish.

I know, to each his own, but I'm being tempted by the forces of Chaos, again. Noooooooo! (may the Emperor have mercy on my soul).

WarrenB Inactive Member05 Sep 2012 4:44 p.m. PST

…they are the only hope of mankind against the real threat, which are none other than the Necrons (who are becoming the more scary and hard with time going.

Ha! Kidding, right? They went from mysterious raiders to the implacable undead robot hordes of physical gods. All of 'em so ridonkulously powerful, advanced and influential that "a c'tan did it!" became a mocking response to every event or conspiracy in the fluff.
Now the c'tan are (rightly) neutered, each appearance of the Nightbringer or Deceiver only a tiny 'shard' of the whole entity, and as likely to be an enslaved weapon of a necron faction as it's supreme overlord. The focus is on necron lord personalities now, and for all their nigh-supernatural powers they're a bunch of preening nobs, each trying to carve out it's own piece of the old empire. Bit of a step back from 'ultimate threat'.

Chaos is still the daddy.

Cerberus031105 Sep 2012 5:00 p.m. PST

I always thought it was because Chaos had chocolate chip cookies while the Emperor only allowed sugar cookies.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP05 Sep 2012 7:09 p.m. PST

Sure, you have demonic possession, an evil cult, corrupted souls, arcane magical rites, heresy against the Emperor, etc.

Imperial propaganda.
Or not.

Personal logo MrHarold Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Sep 2012 2:39 a.m. PST

I like chaos for the same reason I like the cthulhu mythos…

AWuuuu06 Sep 2012 3:32 a.m. PST

Did you saw chosen from new starter set ?
thats reason why (but I am not playing 40K anymore, just like the miniatures :>

As to bad guys stigma, well human sacrifice and summoning demons always had bad press to it..

But The Imperium i so evil regime that north Korea, Hitlers Germany and Stalins Russia looks like Disneyland in comparison..

So some sacrificing and summoning don't look that bad in the end..

After all thats Imperials that eradicate all life on the chaos infested planets, not chaos guys eradicating all life on Imperial planets or anything ;D

kreoseus206 Sep 2012 4:55 a.m. PST

Javelin, I dont think you are in the intended target audience. They missed you by a few decades….

Eli Arndt Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 6:19 a.m. PST

In my local store, most of the 40K players are over 21.


Legion 406 Sep 2012 9:08 a.m. PST

Remember, the 40K fluff, orginally was based on Fantasy/WHFB, similar to LoTRs. Until Tau, Necrons and 'nids, all the races basically were from LoTRs/FantasyWHFB. Chaos adds to the mix of forces (and models to sell) and adds the paranormal aspect to the Sci-fi paradigm. I don't play 40K or WHFB, but have a large Epic collection of all 40K armies + others(DRM, CinC, Exodus Wars, Old Crow Slammers, GZG, etc.). I never really liked the 40K fluff/rules, and only generally use some of its concepts for my Epic/6mm Sci-fi Armies. It's a big Universe, so "cherry-pick" to your own tastes. I sometimes look at Chaos(Paranormal) as just another form of Aliens. Very evil aliens, but aliens none the less … Deamons, Deamon Dark Gods, ethereal entities, Possesed humans(both SM and IG, etc.) deamon worshipers, etc., etc. Just another race/force to add to the mix and sell more models (!!!!). And for some, Chaos plays to the Dark Side of our humanity, that is in all of us, some more than others, obviously … Future human soldiers fighting demonic paranormal forecs … just another "alien" force trying to conquer humanity … "Kill'm all and let …" … well … whoever sort'm out … evil grin

Eli Arndt Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 9:28 a.m. PST

Interestingly enough, Necrons are Undead in space and supposedly based loosely on an old design for Chaos Androids.

Their current incarnation is following the style of the tomb Kings army from Warhammer Fantasy.

In 40K chaos does have more of a scifi bent than in fantasy, even though the two are supposedly oddly connected. They definitely have that creeping evil feel that's hiding, out there, waiting and sometimes slips into our own dimension to let lose its evil upon us!


Legion 406 Sep 2012 9:34 a.m. PST

Ooh !!! Scary stuff !! huh? wink

Eli Arndt Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 10:27 a.m. PST

40K isn't alone in this asthetic. Look at a loto f them ore populare video games of tdoay and yesterday – Quake, Doom, Halflife, Gear of War, the list goes on and on with your freaky, demonic-looking, mutating, corrupting armies.


billthecat06 Sep 2012 10:27 a.m. PST

I second what Chris B. said. You won't catch me playing any 40K past second edition (uhg, spit), but the concepts/universe are fantastic… in the original Rogue Trader book, 'chaos' was merley hinted at, but I like all the 'Chaos Warriors in Spaaace' concepts, too. Fun to model, fun to play, all a matter of personal taste.

matgc83 Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 11:15 a.m. PST

Never got the Chaos appeal either. It seems fit for Fantasy, not a Sci-Fi game.

Still, the Hellbrute looks awesome!!

Eli Arndt Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 11:34 a.m. PST


If you love the Hellbrute, then you understand Chaos because that Hellbrute really epitomizes Chaos grin

Not a dig at you, man, just saying, perhaps you are more corrupt than you believe……

Legion 406 Sep 2012 3:49 p.m. PST

And the corruption continues to spread … huh?

matgc83 Inactive Member06 Sep 2012 6:33 p.m. PST

Come on, guys! Is it even possible not to love the hellbrute model??? It is gorgeous! :-P

But this doesn't change the fact that Humans x Deamons is not what one would think of for Sci-Fi fluff…

Eli Arndt Inactive Member07 Sep 2012 8:40 a.m. PST

Works for Doom and Quake :)

Feet up now Inactive Member07 Sep 2012 10:59 a.m. PST

looks like the Great Conspirator has managed to influence this post and has drawn new manlings to the cause through convoluted scheming

Puster Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2012 12:38 p.m. PST

>I honestly don't understand the appeal of Chaos in the 40K setting


finally a like mindset.

I enjoy all of the 40k background, and collect half a dozen armies – but I would not add any chaos miniature into my collection if I would get it for free. None, and I am really not picky in that regard.

That said, I have no problem playing against them, or actually enjoying a well painted army or appreciating some well done conversion by others. I just do not want them. The same goes with Zombies for me, though. Just not my world.

Legion 407 Sep 2012 8:56 p.m. PST

Chaos = Cool = Profits …

Wolfprophet Inactive Member09 Sep 2012 8:59 p.m. PST

And suddenly, I have the urge to do a chaos army….


RenegadeOfficer Inactive Member19 Nov 2012 11:46 a.m. PST

Heroes have their obvious appeals – the power, the nobility, etc. Villains have all of that, plus the flaws that lead them to fall into corruption, selfishness, decadence, and/or anything other than purity.

Those flaws are what make CSM interesting – be it pride, greed, desperation, jealousy, etc

freecloud22 Nov 2012 12:45 a.m. PST

I don't like the skulls, spikes and Space Balrogs but I do like the religious nutters and traitor cultists aspect, so I've built Word Bearers – I think that's one of the things about Chaos – it's a very broad church.

And there is more freedom to model – check out Lost and the Damned, Stalk Tanks etc

When I think of the writing about Chaos I'm always reminded of the Western mediaeval writings about Mongols, casting them as daemons and devils, Chaos marines probably also like teacakes and beer, they just happen to want to kill the lackeys of the Emperor too.

Pedrobear25 Nov 2012 8:48 a.m. PST

Blood for the Blood God!

That's all the reason I need.

jeeves Supporting Member of TMP07 Dec 2012 10:51 p.m. PST

I'm not exactly sure that taste is a purely subjective sense.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Dec 2012 9:12 a.m. PST

it feels like Chaos in action is just Space Marines fighting Space Marines, only one side has more spikey bits.

According to George Carlin, war is pretty much men in different funny hats killing each other. SM and CSM wear different hats.

palaeoemrus Inactive Member11 Dec 2012 9:29 p.m. PST

CHOAS is like totally metal! I think choas is a pretty cool guy, eh kills aleins and doesn't afraid of anything… Etc. I think most people like chaos because you can glue some horns and a tentacle onto your guy and then paint an eyeball on his chest. It's noodley with the bits.

Mostly I just use IG plastics for cheap sci-fi troops and maybe some space marines or sm scouts fpr elites and PA. Those new chaos cultists make pretty good wasteland scum for post apocalypic gaming too.

chromedog20 Dec 2012 4:33 a.m. PST

Most of the guys who play Chaos in my club got into them because of their "evil for the sake of it vibe" (and they were 13 when they started playing).

I was 19 when I started playing – in 1987, and was never really into the whole "rebelling for its own sake" thing – I chose the mystical eldar to play with instead.

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member21 Dec 2012 10:14 a.m. PST

Blood for the Blood God!

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