To commence my return from break (March 11, 4 days early), my primary goal is to finish an army.  I’ve been playing this game for a long time, and I haven't successfully accomplished this task, ever.  I am not talking about “living armies” that you just keep adding to forever; I mean getting to 1750/1850 (your local flavor may vary) with a cohesive list, all painted decently with no proxies or stand ins of any sort.  To execute this goal I have opted to use Space Marines.  This should come to no surprise to anyone, they are affordable (relatively), almost everyone has some lying around, and they require fewer bodies than every other army. 

To that end I decided to resurrect one of my many failed army attempts of the past with the Minotaurs chapter.  However, after learning that Forgeworld plans to use them for their next book, I am changing their name to the Absolvers: a chapter that is very near the top of the list on the Lexicanum’s list of loyalist chapters, but has absolutely no fluff.  Most of their fluff will remain the same as I developed for the Minotaurs.  They will have close ties to the Inquistion, use questionable practices on recruits, and be good at beating other GMO humans to death with their fists.  I will outline the list in a later article.  For now, the discussion is restricted to fluff and overall design choices.

The Absolvers, owing to their original heritage, have to be one of the greco chapters.  Roman naming, and numeric system will not be seen here.  Their symbols will be a stylized torch with a white flame on a red background.  This should be within the realm of freehand I can paint, and is a non-commital and abstract symbol.  Originally I was going to use a hammer, but discarded that idea after some deliberation.  Additionally, they will still wear bronze armor.  The reason for this is twofold: first, I have already started painting them, and second, to rebel against the seeming belief that if your armor is a metallic color near bronze, you must have minotaur in your name.
The Absolvers are a chapter with close ties to the Ordo Xenos of the inquisition.  They use programmed psycho-indoctrination and neuro-cerebral surgery to rapidly train recruits, excel in battles of attrition, and have plentiful resources of both armor and weapons (similar to the Minotaurs). They crank out marines like it is going out of style, and as a corollary have no scout company.  In keeping with my penchant for my favorite mini game (killing the necromancer in Fantasy [CI: This was always my Necromancer, and was a source of endless frustration as my Undead army crumbled to dust]), I like to kill HQ's, so this will be incorporated into the chapters fluff and play a role in list selection.

For the execution of my chosen chapter and fluff I have opted to use the Space Wolves codex.  This codex is much maligned for being the power marine player’s codex of choice.  I agree with that assessment, but it doesn't have to be.  In this case, the codex was selected to represent a bunch of marines with an abundance of equipment (Long Fangs and Grey Hunters) while simultaneously playing to the lack of training (Bloodclaws).  The horde of HQ slots also helps with the presentation that a few tough veterans of the “meatgrinder” type early chapter path are still kicking to lead the multitudes of untested brothers into combat.  In my next article I will discuss my actual list, and my reasons behind what I took.