Initially, our method of moderating the site associated the moderators with the Inquisition. Also, the lore provided for each of the ordos of the Inquisition having a Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes as their chamber militant, with no specific Chapter named for the Ordo Hereticus. So our initial construct was that the Legio was the chamber militant of the Ordo Hereticus. Codex: Witch Hunters later upended that construct when it was revealed that the Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas served as the chamber militant of the Ordo Hereticus. Also, we had been adjusting our methods of moderating, with a style less jackbooted than before. So we revised the lore of the Legio to say that we worked with the Inquisition, but were not part of the Inquisition.
Additional adjustments to the lore of the Legio have taken place over time, but we have always been left with a problematic core: the Legio bears a very strong resemblance to the Ordo Xenos Deathwatch with regard to drawing members from other Chapters and painting our armour black (though the color scheme of the Legio has always been based on the default colors of the website and the old Field Police from the Rogue Trader/1st edition era).
So over the years we have been debating what to do with the Legio.
Here are the elements of our intent with the Legio:
- Provide our members with a way to immerse themselves in the game universe, interacting with other members organizationally.
- Represent the broadest range of (loyalist) Space Marines possible - ideally all Chapters are included.
- Provide a vehicle for board events such as Arena of Death challenges, campaigns, etc.
- Bottom line - the Legio is the "brand" (or mascot) force of the Bolter & Chainsword website.
- Here are some things that are not part of the Legio (and they will not become part):
- Chaos Space Marines - At one time we discussed having some deep cover members of the Legio infiltrating the ranks of the Chaos Space Marines, but we discarded that idea. We've had traitors from the Legio, but that's as far as we'll go.
- Adepta Sororitas, Imperial Guard, etc. - While we allow the full range of the armies of humanity to be discussed at the site, we just can't shoehorn all of the various organizations into a single organization without coming off as silly and fanboyish. The Legio, whatever it is, may work alongside these organizations, but the Legio is about the Adeptus Astartes.
- Special rules - The purpose of the Legio isn't to give anyone nifty rules for an army or ways to indulge our desire for better rules. It's just a lore-based vehicle for participation. The only time we've really had rules was when the Chapter Traits rules were in use. We may consider a basic set of Chapter Tactics, but it's difficult to come up with decent Chapter Tactics when you're talking about a Chapter that draws its members from all Chapters. What we're likely to do is simply provide the lore-based construct and allow members to use whatever rules they want to represent the Legio (e.g., a Space Wolves player might want to use Codex: Space Wolves while a Raptors player might want to use that Chapter's Chapter Tactics). Bloodsaint said it nicely, and I'm paraphrasing, when he said that the Legio wasn't a super costume - it was more like a football jersey that a Space Marine donned.
CURRENT MODEL - SPECIAL CHAPTER
This is the "status quo" option where the Legio is a separate Chapter that draws its members from other Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. Even though this is status quo, though, we can still make adjustments to the lore in order to refine problem areas.
Pros: Provides a basis for members to create Legio armies if they desire (several of us have planned such armies over the years, and it would be really neat to see someone actually complete one). Gives us a hierarchy and logical basis for events such as campaigns and stories (we can use the Legio as one of the protagonists).
Cons: Very strong resemblance to the Deathwatch. The FFG Deathwatch RPG even provides some challenges for the Deathwatch that would be equally applicable to the Legio (i.e., battle-brothers from different Chapters getting along).
Instead of being an organization, the Legio is a place sacred to the Adeptus Astartes and where members of various Chapters might gather to study, train, and exchange ideas. Potential leaders might even be singled out and developed here. The actual organizations at the location would vary over time, each adopting the temporary mantle of "Legio" during their tenure. This might be seen as the United Nations of the Adeptus Astartes, with representatives from the various Chapters. Alternately, it might be a temporary assignment for elements of one or more Chapters, with the various Chapters rotating this duty.
Pros: Most Chapters can easily be represented in either setting. Replicates the real world concept of the Bolter & Chainsword website where players of various Chapters meet to discuss relevant issues and help each other to enjoy the hobby.
Cons: This concept lacks support in the official lore. While there are instances where conclaves of Chapter Masters (or their representatives) from multiple Chapters might meet for a specific purpose (the creation of the Deathwatch, the judgment of the Badab War Chapters, etc.), there isn't strong support for this happening on an ongoing basis. Also, there are many Chapters that are known to be quite insular or aggressive towards other Chapters (e.g., Iron Hands, Minotaurs) and finding a rationale for them to have members of such a body, either the rotating duty concept or the permanent body concept, would be a challenge. There also doesn't appear to be a rationale for a special livery.
This is similar to the war college concept above, but is more like the Feast of Blades where Chapters meet on a periodic basis and rekindle bonds of brotherhood while having friendly competitions (if ramming your sword through the heart of someone else can be considered "friendly"). This doesn't have to be a permanent scheduled event with a fixed set of participants like the Feast of Blades conducted by the Imperial Fists Legion Successors, but might be an ad hoc tradition when multiple Chapters work together.
Pros: Allows for interaction between and among various Chapters.
Cons: Doesn't justify special livery. Instead of this being a permanent construct, is more like a series of gatherings between a variety of participants over the years. This concept also bears a strong resemblance to two different events in the lore - the Feast of Blades (already cited) and the duels between the champions of the Dark Angels and the Space Wolves when those two Chapters interact.
Under this construct, the Legio is the aggregate of all the Space Marine forces (and potentially other organizations) that participate in a major event such as a crusade or the defense against a black crusade.
Pros: Provides the basis for a campaign, arena of death competitions, etc.
Cons: Events such as (black) crusades are limited in terms of both time and participants - there would be limits beyond which adding more Chapters or multiple members from Chapters already included becomes problematic (and silly). Also, this doesn't allow for the justification of the current livery (though the Chapter badge might become a Campaign badge). Also, some fairly momentous events have been developed in the official lore and there is no mention of a "Legio" of this type participating in any, making the development of an appropriate event problematic (we won't shoehorn the Legio into any of the official events).
In this construct, the Legio changes from a permanent organization to an honorary organization composed of all members of the Adeptus Astartes who have been awarded a certain honour (or family of honours). Such honours might be awarded by the parent Chapter, or they might be awarded by Inquisitors (the latter if we want to preserve the concept of the Legio working with the Inquisition). Such honours might also have a basic award or family of awards described in the Codex Astartes, but with variations developed in different Chapters - the concepts of the awardes might be the same, but the form of the awards might vary. Those familiar with the Purple Heart awarded for injuries sustained in combat can equate the Legio as an award to becoming a member of the Order of the Purple Heart after being awarded the Purple Heart (though the criteria for the Legio wouldn't be injury in combat - it would be something else).
Pros: Allows for any Chapter to have members "in the Legio." Also, a Chapter might have any number of members "in the Legio" at one time and over the years - there's no need to come up with a rationale for why Chapter X has four battle-brothers "in the Legio." Creates an opportunity for players to represent forces "of the Legio" with considerable creativity, with various markings/honours indicating that a battle-brother is "in the Legio."
Cons: Doesn't support the need for special livery. Doesn't really support full Legio armies as separate organizations (though all the members of a kill team might conceivably be "in the Legio"). Legio armies would shift to being standard Space Marine armies with certain leaders being "in the Legio."
ADOPT THE DEATHWATCH
Under this option, we would drop the Legio entirely and simply replace it with the Deathwatch as our mascot Chapter. Interestingly enough, a number of members of the Bolter & Chainsword have helped to playtest various FFG Deathwatch RPG products over the years.
Pros: Official organization, heavy support from Games Workshop and Fantasy Flight Games.
Cons: We have no control whatsoever over the Deathwatch. Also, the visual cues of the site's colors, especially our signature red, aren't present with the Deathwatch. The black is there, but we don't really use silver.
So please consider which of these options you prefer and vote accordingly. Most of the options are only conceptual at the moment, so we have plenty of room to make further refinements to whichever one we select.
Feel free to reply and discuss ideas.