So for quite some time the seemingly wilful ignorance of some CSM fans has really been bothering me. People who have and are propagating ideas about CSM that aren't correct. It's not a desire to be proven right that makes me want to talk about this - but a desire to open peoples' eyes to the myriad possibilities CSM provide. Possibilities that are often made to seem 'unfluffy' or just plain wrong by members of the online 40k community. These attitudes we ourselves often spread to our fellow gamers and collectors influence them and lead them to limit themselves in their enjoyment of the hobby.
Chaos is nothing if not varied - and I think I'm just going to list a few things that discourage that variety in players' armies. Things people say a lot. And why I think they're wrong:
The "Happy Chaos Family" criticism - So I do see quite a few gamers who seem to have the notion that mixing of warbands and marks in an army is a bad idea. They say it's out of character for CSMs as we know them from the fluff. I disagree! There are so many reasons these alliances can occur. Hired guns, fellow Space Hulk passengers, mutual immediate goals, working under a powerful warlord (Abaddon being the greatest example)... The list goes on. Mixing marks and warbands within an army is not unfluffy, nor is it out of character. CSMs will fight each other as often as they will a common foe. They're not somehow bound by magic to never work in concert. Just look at the Black Crusades! These mixed armies are a great way to incorporate different colour schemes, conversions and entire models into your forces! They can really make an army more fun to build and paint by virtue of variety.
"Cult troops only come from the Cult Legions" - I see this one quite a bit. Despite the fact that fluff does explicitly discuss the existence of these units in warbands beyond their originator Legions, a lot of players can't seem to get past the associations. The obvious exception to this are Rubric marines - who aren't really a Cult group IMO anyway. They have more to do with the Thousand Sons' unique history than Tzeentch and how his minions behave typically. Plague Marines can be created by any Sorcerer or powerful daemon who feels like it and has the knowledge to do so - Death Guard have the most Plague Marines - but they aren't the only ones who have them by a long shot. Berzerkers can be made by a whole host of different processes. World Eaters just knew the best way to do it. Noise Marines? All that sets them apart are sensory augmentations and sonic weaponry. Any half-decent servat of Slaanesh can get that. Don't have to be a son of Fulgrim. Don't shy away from having Cult troops in colours other than those of the Cult Legions - they are not the only guys who can have 'em.
"Night Lords = Raptors" - This one always perplexed me. It really did. Night Lords in 3.5e got the 0-1 restriction removed from Raptors and extra FA slots. That has been construed by many as a sort of requirement for fluffy Night Lords to feature Raptors. This isn't the case. The two were linked because Raptors share a similar mindset to Night Lords. Night lords love to use terror tactics - so do Raptors. That's it. Maybe a lot of Raptors used to be Night Lords - but I'll bet most of them are just assault marines from other Legions/Chapters. Night Lords don't have to use Raptors. Raptors don't have to be Night Lords.
Why don't you guys chip in and try to dispel some misconceptions that annoy you? Encourage your fellow CSM players to stop limiting themselves and embrace the full majesty of Chaos unbound!