Now in practical terms, what we're actually looking at for the initial composition of the Kill-Team is the following:
You've already met the Hammer of Dorn, acting in the role of the squad's "heavy" close combat specialist. The characterization for this chap is breathtaking, inflexible arrogance - in keeping with how we read the background fluff for his chapter of origin. If you're unaware, the Hammers of Dorn - despite being an Imperial Fists successor chapter - take the Codex Astartes very, very seriously. So much so, that they pointedly believe they're actually *better* at living by and implementing its precepts than even the Ultramarines (whose Primarch wrote the dang thing) - a fact they're often quite keen to point out to the latter. They thus might be thought of as attempting to out-'Spiritual Liege' even the mighty Spiritual Lieges themselves.
In terms of the squad's overall characterization, then, the Hammer of Dorn will form something of an internal antagonist. His 'stickler for discipline/Codex-compliance'-ness will bring him into conflict with the more pragmatic and 'reasonable' members of the Kill-Team (and particularly those who come from demonstrably less-enthused-about-the-Codex chapters); while his arrogance and pride combined with his inflexibility will annoy just about everybody. As an example of this - with his ocular augmetics etc, he's actually theoretically kitted out for ranged combat (in-line with the Hammers of Dorn's own emphasis upon devastators and ranged firepower) ... but, as a matter of honour, he's absolutely INSISTED upon taking the hammer-wielding close combat squad-role (at least somewhat because there's a bloody great hammer involved - and because he believes such a position is the best place to 'prove' himself and the strict adherence to the Codex which he strives for to be superior to the rest of the squad).
Basically, when we came up with this guy, we sort of thought to ourselves about how we could incorporate the overall feel of Matt Ward's 5th Ed Space Marines Codex Ultramarines ... except in a perhaps less 'mary-sue'ish way and for actual narrative purpose and effect.
The idea is that he'll conflict most markedly with one of the squad's ranged/heavy weapons specialists - an Ultramarine. At every opportunity, the Hammer of Dorn will be quite eager to show him up, seize upon any (alleged) infractions of the Codex Astartes, etc. [the Ultramarine may well have himself been a close combat specialist prior to his Secondment to the Deathwatch; but has let the Hammer of Dorn take the role in order to avoid pointless conflict (and as a subtle demonstration that Ultramarines are, in fact, equally good at */everything/* ... including adhering to the Codex's thoughts about setting aside pride in favour of results)]. For this specialist, we're thinking a heavy bolter as a SAW type thing. An overall eyerolling demeanor towards the Hammer, which occasionallly boils over into taking his bait.
The third member of the squad tied thematically to this Codex skirmishing is the Space Wolf. The inspiration for this came as the result of a vignette we'd been talking about wherein the Hammer of Dorn and the Ultramarine are having a heated dispute about some doctrinal point covered in the Codex Astartes. They're getting quite vitriolic about it, and neither side is making any especial headway. At which point, the Wolf calmly & casually leans in and proffers his own, inarguably correct and properly cited/quoted rendering of the matter at hand. Both parties (as well as bystanders) look at the Wolf stunned. He reacts semi-surprised/nonchalantly, with something like "What ... just because I don't consider the Codex to be good guidance for my actions, doesn't mean I haven't read it".
This provided a springboard for deeper discussion about the Wolf's characterization - and what we came up with was a (surprisingly?) well-read Marine who bellies his insightfulness with a sarcastic demeanor about the occasionally-less-than-admirable antics of his squadmates. He'll be modelled with either a gourd or a full-on beer keg (from the Bretonnian Peasants kit) ... and the frequent rejoinder "this is why I drink". The Wolf may find himself operating away from the rest of the squad from time to time, as befits his temperament.
We're as-yet undecided as to what weapon-loadout and squad role to give him. Obvious possibilities include a special weapon operator, or one of the Wolves' more traditional overt assault specializations.
Another character who's been long part of the musings on this subject is the Black Templar. The initial idea for him is a sort of Patrick Stewart-esque figure - calm, rational, even 'reasonable'. And thus rather severely at-odds with what is conventionally connotated by 'Black Templar'. He'll be several centuries old (perhaps enough time for him to have started to develop the above aforementioned character traits) - and someone who's basically been put into voluntary exile by the Templars due to the fact that he's insufficiently OTT zealous, but also too senior (in terms of years, exploits and overall veterancy) to simply ignore. So he's now on a fairly permanent Deathwatch secondment - where his relative 'openmindedness' may potentially be turned into something other than a jarring liability. The Wolf and he share an amicable relationship (albeit with occasional overtones of a friendly sort of rivalry), not least because amongst the squaddies, the Wolf is one of hte few to take him fully seriously (coz insightful).
Squadwise, he'll provide the group's 'lightning speedster' finesse-fighter close combat role, equipped with two powerswords for dual-duel-wielding. This will also offer room for an additional subversion - in that observers may talk him down due to his obvious age, only to react with shock when it turns out that he's preternaturally quick when smoothly sliding into hand-to-hand mode, with all the speed and hackiness of a filleting-blender (blurred blades etc.).
Characterwise, he'll fit into an 'elder guidance' role - he's been offered the command of kill teams before, and turned it down because he's quite happy doing what he's doing without being encumbered with the 'chains of command' while still being listened to as a respected and knowledgeable elder. His 'reasonability' will also avail him given the nature of my Inquisitorial warband that he'll be working with (which, after all, involves a rather pronounced psyker and Sanctioned Xenos) and the campaign at large. It's also an invocation of a classic 40k inversion originally cited in the Inquisitor design notes - that of certain Imperial servants starting off dogmatic and hidebound, and steadily becoming more open-minded with age.
Now, for squad leader at this stage we've penciled in a Raptor. The idea is to have one of the canon Reasonable Marines in charge because i) this suggests a Deathwatch squad that's actually operating in the manner of a proper Special Forces unit with appropriate tactical acumen; and ii) because we therefore wind up with a squad-leader personality who can be appropriately face-palming as to the antics of some of his squad. Then, because he's a half-decent commander, actually employing htem in a manner which plays ot hteir respective strengths in pursuit of getting the job done (so, for instance, using the rather impressively hammered Hammer of Dorn as a Distraction Carnifex while other parts of the squad engage in flanking maneuvers etc.). Because that's the iii) Reasonable thing to do.
Overall, he's a pragmatist ('combat pragmatist'?) - but rather than just be bemused by the assortment of
In terms of outfitting and equipment, the two options which immediately suggested themselves were either i) the classic Stalker-pattern boltgun for a sniper-role (Which would most definitely fit with the Raptors' habitual modus operandi - and would allow for a more 'hang-back' commander role at the potential cost of performing two slightly contradictory roles simultaneously in terms of the rquirements of battlefield positioning); or ii) a more traditional 'squad leader' outfitting of a pistol of some description and a more deadly close combat weapon.
That brings us up to the initial complement of five. (and, incidentally, well beyond our dwindling stock of Tarteros terminator legs til the next order comes in :S )
But, being the inveterate enthusiastic folk that we are ... a few more possibilities almost immediately began to suggest themselves.
The most fleshed out of these at this stage is probably a Marine Malevolent. The characterization on these guys as a chapter .. well .. they're not very nice. Where other chapters like the Salamanders or the Space Wolves seem to have an actively overt 'humanitarianism' to much of what they do, while other chapters exercise a *bit* of an indifference to concepts like 'collateral damage' or 'civilian casualties' in pursuit of hte overall greater good ... the Marines Malevolent are, instead, almost Internet-Nietzscheans in terms of their callous disregard for (or active inimicability towards) 'mere' humans and other 'lesser' considerations. They also have quite a bit of an "ourselves first" attitude towards things like battlefield salvage and other areas where a certain entitlement can shine through. As a result of which, they're roundly disliked by a surprising depth and breadth of the Imperium's armed forces (think Imperial Guard straight-up refusing to fight alongside them [probably a healthy decision long-term], outright stealing from the Adeptus Mechanicus and winding up with the latter refusing to resupply them ... and even the famously all-around chill, calm good-guy Tu'Shan of the Salamanders striking one of their captains about the head after they decided to bombard an Imperial refugee camp with Whirlwinds during the Third War for Armageddon).
So naturally, one of their number will fit well into this squad's rank of misfits
In terms of interrelationships with others, he'll pretty much be offside with everyone except the Hammer of Dorn. Both the Wolf and the Templar are too beneficient of personality to have any tolerance for the Marine Malevolent's posturing-ubermensch-misanthropy outbursts; while the Ultramarine and the Raptor aren't exactly enamoured of his gung-ho attitude of shooting a large-caliber weapon first and shouting insults later. The Hammer of Dorn, due to a certain compatibility of temperament (and the fact everybody else isn't exactly wild about him either), will form the "brains" [relatively speaking] of their two-man tag-team; and there may be a general idea of deploying the pair of them far away from sensitiive areas so they can cause havoc and/or bumble their way to a potentially useful contribution *without* getting in the way of the rest of the squad.
Now in terms of outfitting ... considering the Marines Malevolent's famous disregard for both bystanders and collateral damage, something big and blasty was called for. Preferably with lots of shrapnel potential, and the probability that it shouldn't be used in a confined space. Something like the frag-cannon, perhaps
It can make a loud noise, be completely unsubtle, and provides the setup for a joke along hte lines of "You shouldn't fire that in an enclosed environment or where you might harm civilians" .. "Don't worry - after I fire it, this won't *be* an enclosed environment ... and there won't be any civilians to worry about".
Also, given the fact taht the Marines Malevolent appear to be chronically undersupplied, and almost rather insecure about this (to the point of engaging in Blood Ravens-like kleptomania), we thought it might be an interesting idea to have this particular Marine rather chronically *over-equipped* - both to represent the fact he's been arguably pilfering from the local Deathwatch Armoury (as an almost subconscious habit ... being used to operating with so little, the fact he now has so much to choose from means he's taking *much* of it), as well as to exercise his insecurity about usually being underequipped in his prior-service. So, additional weapons and the like are probably a good idea.
Now, other Chapters which we might include aren't exactly set in stone yet. There's still quite a variety of shoulderpads on the Deathwatch frame we haven't touched, and much background to pour over.
An obvious narrative include would be a Salamander, whom the Marine Malevolent has decided he's going to have a feud with. This would also offer another opportunity for a 'humane'/reasonable character capable of interrelating with the actual-humans who may be running around. Potential equipment there might include one of the Heresy-era thunder hammers I have sitting around (which look rather artificer, if you ask me); or the standard 'hot' weapon of a (heavy) flamer or (multi-)melta.
Another concept we (briefly) discussed, was suggestion of a Raven Guard as something of a narrative foil for the Raptor - being aggrieved that a Marine from a Second Founding chapter is in charge, rather than the First Founding equivalent in himself.
Thumbing through the 40k Wiki, the Star Phantoms also caught my eye - particularly their longrunning emnity with the Eldar (who are, of course, rather significant to both my Inquisitor's warband and the overarching campaign), and morose disposition.
The idea of an Iron Hand (potentially equipped with the Necron Phase Blade) additionally sprang to mind - except with the notion of having him as a potential 'traitor' down the track, due to the whispers of his sword (who says Necron weapons can't work in a manner similar to Daemon weapons for the rihgt ears ... or maybe he's just crazy) and the exultant doctrine of "THE FLESH IS WEAK" ringing in his ears as he confronts the machine-man Necron threat. Could be interesting.
A White Scar (not on a bike) would provide a potential vector for a very different background, as well as visually distinct stylings of weaponry (scimitars versus straight-swords etc.); while also perhaps continuing the Eldar-emnity.
There's also, it occurs, a number of spaces in the additional four slots left for a ten-man kill-team for specialists beyond the simple rubrics of 'close combat' versus 'ranged' and 'light', 'medium', or 'heavy'.
We could, for instance, assemble a Techmarine (which might be quite handy given all the Xenos tech that's going to be turning up due to hte campaign adversaries and the radical nature of my Ordo Xenos Inquisitor); or an Apothecary (perhaps a Red Scorpion who's scorning and disdainful as to the (alleged im)purity of everybody else's geneseed in his erstwhile squad); maybe even a Librarian.
Lots of choices! Not nearly enough Tarteroi Legs!
Let us know what you think in the comments