Guys, we did it. We made it through three entire rounds of ANAmal.net and I roasting the shit out of space marine legions, both real and (arguably) even realer because they are real in our hearts. Now we’re at part four, and because we’ve been doing these five at a time, that means this is the last one. Or maybe we’ll do another one next week with rankings. I forget what we’ve committed to at this point, beyond just shitting all over five more power-armored fucksquads. The point is, here’s five more.
XVI Legion: The Sons of Horus
ANAmal.net: First of all, mad respect to them for seeing the writing on the wall and ditching the Luna Wolves moniker as soon as possible.
TheChirurgeon: You can tell someone in the Luna Wolves was a little too ambitious for their own good. Horus rolls in and two weeks later Gary, VP Sales is suggesting that Hey, maybe we should call ourselves the Sons of Horus. Just throwing it out there, not trying to make a thing about it, but doesn’t it seem like a better name to you? Yeah, don’t worry–I’ll tell Horus we all agreed on that and it was my idea.
ANAmal.net: I know he was a dumbass, but I will never not be jealous of Horus getting Warmaster as a job title. I aspire to that level of hubris every time my company has a re-org.
TheChirurgeon: ‘Warmaster’ is an all-time great title. But yeah, Horus was kind of an idiot. Though I appreciate that the dude had his work cut out for him, managing 8 of the biggest fuckups in the galaxy against their brothers while each one was hitting peak levels of bullshit. Imagine being like “aw fuck yeah we got the best legion under our command” and then when you get to Earth the Emperor’s Children just fuck off to do a bunch of drugs instead of fighting
ANAmal.net: Horus did get kind of a raw deal, assigning a tenure-track Warmaster to a lecture hall full of freshman dipshits still adjusting to their first taste of freedom was never going to go well.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah the biggest problem for Horus with the whole “turning to Chaos” thing was that it put the primarchs on their bullshit way too hard. I mean, I get that like, Chaos is bad or whatever and that’s a parable for self-control or some shit, but also fuck the Emperor.
ANAmal.net: It might not have worked out so good, what with him getting obliterated and all, but Horus challenging his dad to a fist fight was a total power move.
PATCH NOTES ver 41.5.2: 1 out of 5 insanely dead goobers of a primarch, legion deprecated
XVI Legion Bonus: The Black Legion
ANAmal.net: Tales of the Imperium presents Sons of Horus Gaiden II: Dickhead Army.
TheChirurgeon: Like the Ultramarines, these guys got a lot cooler recently when they were allowed to be more than just “the generic face of the faction.” Getting an ADB novel will do that for ya.
ANAmal.net: Chaos Marines are back to being scary as shit, and the Black Legion re-launch with the new Abbadon, which might legit be the best model in the entire 40k range, is a big part of that.
TheChirurgeon: Whoever Abaddon’s agent is, that guy is earning the shit out of his commission check. Dude took a 12-time loser and turned him into the talk of the Galaxy. Twenty years in and suddenly Abaddon is getting a new model, new rules, a 3-book deal, and top billing as the greatest enemy to the Imperium. Helluva job.
ANAmal.net: It’s fucked up how after all that, they still didn’t give him a title shot on Vigilus, and stuck him on the undercard against Calgar.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah that Vigilus 2 ending was lame as hell. Calgar weezing in the ICU while Abaddon sits on his wrecked spaceship shaking his Talon and yelling “Next time, Gadget!” was just a dumb way to end the arc.
ANAmal.net: Abbadon gets a lot of shit for being 1-12 on Black Crusades, but it’s not like any of his co-conspirators can do any better. They’ve existed in the fluff purely to get stunted on, and they have by far the deadest primarch, just turbo-nuked by the Emperor so hard that he isn’t even in hell. It’s not fair to put that all on Abbadon and let the rest of them skate.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah the rest of the Chaos crew haven’t even sniffed anything as good as “blowing up Cadia and fucking up the whole galaxy so hard the Eldar are finally like ‘shit, I guess we should help these guys out.’” It’s a pretty solid entry into the record books.
ANAmal.net: I dig that the Black Legion is full of double-traitors. They bailed on the Imperium, and then bailed on their original legion once they clocked that the daemon primarchs’ only plan was to host a mindfulness retreat in Space Hell and write haikus about being a loser.
ANAmal.net: Emperor resists / The howling winds of the warp / Christ, what an asshole
TheChirurgeon: The Black Legion, like every other legion, is full of people who are sick of Lorgar’s bullshit.
ANAmal.net: They’re unique in that they’re sick of everyone’s bullshit. Kind of a generalized daddy issues legion, in that they have issues with every dad, not just their own. The entire concept of dads.
FINAL RATING: 5 out of 5 Three-Wolf Moons that we painted over with green paint and a sick eye of Horus and then we painted over that with a black paint and a less-detailed, gold Eye of Horus because black is cool and SHUT UP YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD
XVII Legion: Word Bearers
ANAmal.net: I know we’ve had long discussions about what type of Goth all the legions are, but I’m going to say the Word Bearers are actually the most realistic goths, because their defining quality is getting beat up by their dad for reading occult books instead of playing sports.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah but if like, the occult books were all written by L. Ron Hubbard
ANAmal.net: Yeah, they’re the type that derails every conversation to talk about pagan magick, but it turns out all they know is from one time when they read most of the Space Wikipedia page about Druids.
TheChirurgeon: Answers door to see Erebus standing there in a white shirt and black clip-on tie Hello, brother. Do you have a few minutes to talk about the Warp with Brother Kor Phaeron and me?
ANAmal.net: It really drives home how lame these dopes are that they managed to take “worshipping the devil” and trip over their dicks so bad that it’s not cool anymore.
TheChirurgeon: That’s because they’re so fuckin’ serious about it. Like half the appeal of worshipping the devil is not doing regular religious ceremonies like sitting in church for multiple hours per week or leading a protest in your local school district to ban the Harry Potter books.
ANAmal.net: Hey guys we figured out a new way to worship the Emperor. Ah shit, oh no, we fucked up. If only our immortal all-powerful leader had bothered to tell us about roiling space hell being a bad thing for us to mess with, instead of letting Lorgar fuck around with it like a kid who found his dad’s gun.
TheChirurgeon: In fact, these dudes are tripling down on that shit. The Emperor strolled in ready to build Space Rapture all “no Gods or masters, only man” and they were like “fuck that, everyone start praying to this fucked-up hole in realspace filled with nightmares”
ANAmal.net: Staring into the eye of terror until you get migraines so bad you gotta take a power drill to your own dome is the realest Word Bearers Hours.
TheChirurgeon: The Word Bearers also own the record for having the shittiest primarch with the weakest sauce.
ANAmal.net: Was Lorgar the strongest of all the primarchs? No. But was he a clever tactician? Also no. But was he a messy bitch whomst loved drama? Absolutely yes.
TheChirurgeon: He did manage to get a lot of mileage out of telling Angron that Guilliman had been talking shit behind his back.
ANAmal.net: Oh he’s 100% the Mean Girls primarch, talking shit and spreading gossip is pretty much the only thing Lorgar is good at.
TheChirurgeon: Can we talk about the actual good parts of the Word Bearers? And by “parts” I mean “part” cause I’m talking about the Gal Vorbak. Those boys(?) are rad as hell and they make the regular Chaos Possessed look like just complete ass.
ANAmal.net: Gal Vorbak are cool, I have to respect anyone who’s so sick of listening to Lorgar’s inane ayahuasca rants that they’d go halfsies on their own body with a daemon, just to get him to shut up.
TheChirurgeon: Getting voices in your head to drown out the voice of the dude standing 10 feet away is an incredible power move.
ANAmal.net: Worth it, just to have someone in your head to relate to when your boss starts going off about cyclopean architecture again.
FINAL RATING: 1 out of 5 Weird, giant leather-bound Scientology books filled with page after page of “You are in a Room. There is a chair. Where is the chair?”
XVIII Legion: Salamanders
ANAmal.net: If you took the Blood Angels, culled all their anime sword-havers, and replaced them with flamethrower maniacs, you’d get these guys. They’re pretty cool.
TheChirurgeon: I like that their fluff deal is being the well-adjusted, compassionate dudes who actually give a fuck about regular people. An entire legion whose deal is “not being shitty dumbasses.”
And yet, somehow, we got stuck with the Cop Legion, Furry Legion, Weird Secrets Legion, and Dracula Legion as the main protagonist factions of space marines in 40k.
ANAmal.net: I can empathize, because I honestly forget about these guys existing most of the time. The Etsy legion. No, not the Iron Hands, the other ones, with the $40 scented candles. They all got murdered on Istvaan? Again, not the Iron Hands, the black ones. And not like Raven Guard, I mean the actual dudes.
TheChirurgeon: That’s because they have no idea how to handle the other four Space Marine chapters that didn’t get their own books. Nine marine armies with full books is probably too many, but it’s also hard to tell if like, White Scars don’t sell because they don’t get much support, or if they don’t get much support because they don’t sell.
ANAmal.net: White Scars play like a bigger and louder Ravenwing, and I am ready to die on this hill. But Salamanders are definitely cool, I just can’t think of what the hell they’d do with them, and I guess neither can the writers. Like, all marines can “shoot flamers” or “not die”, you’re not special, and I’m not sure how to make rules out of “Nice to Guardsmen”.
TheChirurgeon: One of my favorite scenes in Helsreach is when Grimaldus gets all pissy because the Salamanders decided to protect the people of Armageddon instead of charging headfirst like a bunch of clowns into the Ork lines. And he just keeps being like “the Orks were right there” cause the whole idea of opting to protect civilians is beyond his ability to even conceive.
ANAmal.net: I guess I do like that the Salamanders are a foil to every single other person in the Imperium being a mondo dickhead.
TheChirurgeon: They had a reasonably cool primarch, I guess.
ANAmal.net: Vulkan is the Michael Jordan of getting murdered.
TheChirurgeon: Was? I have no idea where the current fiction is at with regard to his life/death status.
ANAmal.net: I’m pretty sure I don’t even care, homeboy will come back whenever he regenerates or GW’s bank account is low enough. He won’t get a model though, he’s going to spend his days on Nocturne making shoes for impoverished orphans and never fight anyone.
TheChirurgeon: ADB’s next novel is going to be about how Vulkan making free shoes is destabilizing the economy of Nocturne.
ANAmal.net: Absolutely the least “fuck you, got mine” legion.
FINAL RATING: 4 OUT OF 5 Hand-Crafted Free Range Thunder Hammers crossed with Power Sickles.
XIX Legion: Raven Guard
TheChirurgeon: Diet Night Lords. Supposedly the same great flavor as the other dark, brooding jump pack legion, but you can tell it’s just not as good.
ANAmal.net: Bats are demonstrably cooler than birds, this is Canon.
ANAmal.net: Their fortress monastery is absolutely a laser tag arena, and their chapter master literally slams the door to his bedroom and cries in there for the entire Heresy.
TheChirurgeon: His power is supposedly that he’s invisible, but really it’s just that no one gives a shit about him.
ANAmal.net: I mean, I think Corvus is technically a homeless war vet with PTSD, so everyone pretending he doesn’t exist while still claiming to look up to him fits.
TheChirurgeon: Look at that stupid He-Man-ass haircut. Corax is the dumbest-looking primarch by a country mile.
ANAmal.net: Corax either cuts his own hair or gets his mom to do it for him with that vacuum cleaner attachment that used to be on TV in the 90s.
TheChirurgeon: He cuts it himself, but obviously has no visibility into what it looks like. I strongly suspect he believes he is a vampire and that he won’t have a reflection in mirrors. This is the only plausible explanation for a haircut like that.
ANAmal.net: Corvus is like Morrissey, only he looks like more of a dork, and is slightly less racist. The BadCast described him as Bauhaus goth, and that was literally the description I had for him in the FTaTH notes, but now I’m worried that it makes him sound too cool. Honestly, he’s a loser with a bad haircut: homeboy is high-school-era ANAmal.net goth, if anything.
TheChirurgeon: This dude is definitely giving off the same energy as the kid who watched The Crow two dozen times in high school and then bought a trench coat.
ANAmal.net: Right, like I said, strong ANAmal.net energy.
TheChirurgeon: But no seriously, he’s super-good at sneaking around or something.
ANAmal.net: Can we talk about how the master of deception and subterfuge went to Istvaan and walked beak-first into the biggest trap ever laid? Juked out of his fuckin’ shoes by the combined strategic genius of Lorgar and the Horny Primarch.
TheChirurgeon: Ferrus Manus probably had to fit him with bionic ankles after that shit
ANAmal.net: It turns out that being a superhuman creature of genetic perfection doesn’t protect you from getting crossed up.
TheChirurgeon: Of course not. When the Emperor made a deal with the chaos gods to learn how to make primarchs, one of the secrets they kept from him was how to impart game.
ANAmal.net: I like how they’re supposed to be these high-speed kinetic Operator types, but all they ever come off as is White Scars that take shit way too serious.
TheChirurgeon: Yeah they’re in a real weird space. They clearly want to be The Jump Pack Marines, but Blood Angels already took that, in the same way that White Scars wanna be The Bike Marines, but Dark Angels already took that. So instead they are the uh, stealthy jump pack marines. Ok, buddy.
ANAmal.net: I love to Solid Snake my way into the enemy’s rear echelons, just being insanely sneaky, as I crash-dive from orbit on top of a pillar of flame before my giant glowing claws loudly spark to life. Covert as hell.
FINAL RATING: 2 out of 5 Birdmen getting chumped by Batmen beating them at their own game. Thank god Blood Ravens exist, so we have a bird chapter actually worth playing.
XX Legion: Alpha Legion
ANAmal.net: “For Christ’s sake, not again with this bullshit”, in legion form.
TheChirurgeon: The poster-children for “getting less cool every time someone writes about you.” The first few times stories came out about these dudes, we got some cool shit about how they clowned Guilliman by not giving a fuck about the “honourable” tactics or whatever, like that one general who won the Navy’s war games last year by blowing up his own ships until they changed the rules to make him stop.
ANAmal.net: God willing, the writers will realize that there are massively diminishing returns on their particular type of moustache-twirling villainy, just constantly pulling off stupid capers that make no sense. I can see them smirking from here and I want to rage-puke.
TheChirurgeon: They peaked with the secret twin brother primarch. Then the writers ran out of interesting new shit so now their deal is being so sneaky and secretive they literally can’t do anything else.
ANAmal.net: They’re insufferable nerds. Their battlecry is just “Actually, ” and then they smugly reveal some thousand-fold plan that somehow leaves even the Harlequins wondering what the fuck just went down. It’s not clever anymore, just bad writing, and it’s annoying.
TheChirurgeon: They’ve become so secret business that they’ve just become clowns, literally fighting against each other because they have no idea who is on what level of bullshit.
ANAmal.net: If there’s anything more tedious than the idea that Dark Angels are secretly traitors, it’s that the Alpha Legion are secretly not. These dumbfucks were never loyalists in any real sense, because all they want to do is put stink bombs in the cafeteria and drop cinder blocks off the highway overpass outside of town.
TheChirurgeon: Honestly if you want the Imperium to be shitty and collapse under its own weight, you don’t need to run a secret shadow campaign; you just need to buy some popcorn and a lawn chair and wait a few years. That shit is not going well.
ANAmal.net: At least when the Eldar or Tzeentch pull the “just as planned” card I actually believe it, these guys’ superpower is just taking credit for gravity making things fall, or saying they engineered a cunning plan that causes time to pass.
TheChirurgeon: In addition to their now tired ‘I am Alpharius’ bit (the rules for it are cool, though), these guys also have a terminal case of “Is Their Primarch Actually Dead?” where it might be the case that one or both of Alpharius and/or Omegon is alive. Or something. It’s all incredibly dumb, which sucks because the idea of a primarch actually being twins was cool as hell when they first revealed it.
Like seriously these guys used to be so cool. Look, I drew a chart of their clown progress:
ANAmal.net: I hope they’re both dead. I know the 40k setting is all based around conflicting reports and nothing ever coming to a conclusion, but Alpharius et al rotting in a ditch somewhere, with the rest of them standing around thinking it’s just part of a Snidley-Whiplash-ass scheme that they can’t make heads or tails of, would be too perfect.
TheChirurgeon: The fuckin’ QAnon legion.
ANAmal.net: Legion command structure lookin’ like a multi-level marketing scheme.
TheChirurgeon: That’s how they’re so good at getting local populations to join up. They just airdrop a bunch of pamphlets about how you can make millions working from home with ONE SIMPLE TRICK INQUISITORS HATE and next thing you know, you’re holding an autopistol and a knife and being asked to try and murder that primaris marine over there for the glory of Chaos.
FINAL Rating: 2 out of 5 OR IS IT? Yes, it is. Fuck this Legion and fuck any and all of their shitty dismembered primarchs.
You did it!
So that’s it, we ran out of jokes two updates ago, and out of legions just now. As glad as you might be for this series to be over, I assure you we’re happier. Also it might not be over. We’ll probably be coaxed back into doing more of these by popular(?) demand. Our goal is decidedly not to do every subfaction of every army, but there are probably other angles we could take on the 40k universe. For example, your army: it’s stupid.