Warhammer 40,000: Most Famous Space Marines Chapters

Warhammer 40,000: Most Famous Space Marines Chapters

Warhammer 40,000

Adeptus Astartes. Or, to call them by the "common" name by which many people know them, Space Marines. What exactly are we talking about? It is a type of human warriors (or perhaps it is better to say super humans), genetically and surgically modified to become real war machines. Versatile fighters with enormous potential who fight to defend and expand the Imperium, or the Empire of Humanity, in the dangerous folds of the galaxy in the Warhammer 40,000 sci-fi dark grim universe designed by Games Workshop (and which you can buy at this link).

Ultimately, however, what is a Space Marine? We are talking about an ordinary human being, selected among many for his undoubted warlike and adaptive skills who, from a young age, in addition to very hard training and perhaps more severe mental indoctrination, receives structural improvements to his physique, derived from both '' surgical implantation of additional specialized organs, both from the infusion of altered DNA into one's genetic makeup, aimed at further improving the psycho-physical performance of the individual and, definitely not insignificant, making it fall within a standard, different from time to time in turn, which allows the subject to be able to present some of the primary characteristics of the Chapter to which he belongs. Speaking of Chapters we refer to more or less restricted groups of Adeptus Astartes linked by a common genetic makeup and a common folkloric and faith tradition, simply called Chapter Tradition, which often refers to the indigenous culture of the native world of that particular Chapter. .

Warhammer 40,000: which are the most famous Space Marine Chapters?

The reorganization of the Space Marines into various Chapters dates back to the post-Heresy reform implemented by Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines and author of the Codex Astartes, a tome that would like to give, in general, a guideline for the organization of these groups of enhanced fighters, more versatile (and more controllable) than the original Legions of the Pre Heresy era. Each Chapter of Astartes has a specific Gene Seed which delineates its basic characteristics, and which has been extrapolated directly from the genetic material of the original Primarchs. From this Genetic Seed, during the subsequent Foundations, innumerable Chapters were born, some of which with Chapter Traditions very different from that of the Legion of origin and, in some cases, with considerable variations of the genetic code, which makes every Space Marine part of a unique and unrepeatable warrior brotherhood.

But what are, at least in the common imagination, the most important Chapters of Adeptus Astartes in the Warhammer 40,000 universe? Let's see together some of the most significant and First Foundation ones, that is, derived directly from the original Legions.


In a narrative universe like that of Warhammer 40,000, talking about "good" is really difficult , if not impossible. In all this, the First Foundation Chapter of the Ultramarines, direct descendants of Roboute Guilliman, one of the most important Primarchs, is the one that comes closest to the role of "good guys" even if in a very broad sense. Imagine the organization and modus operandi of the old Roman legions, apply this scheme, together with the legionary iconography to the Astartes model, and you will have a pretty accurate picture of the Ultramarines.

With the their power armor in blue color, their insignia and, above all, their meticulous organization and the marked, to maniacal levels, aptitude for strategy and refined tactics, the Ultramarines are one of the most powerful Chapters, and at the same time both loved and hated by fans of the franchise, that you can try. Following to the letter the dictates written by Guilliman, their enlightened Primarch, in the Codex Astartes, the Ultramarines are the only ones to have not a simple home planet, but a larger set of federated systems, Ultramar, where life is on average better, at "Human" as services and civilization, of all the rest of the Imperium.

Logic, strategy and planning are the basis of their Chapter tradition, making them one of the most versatile armies in the entire franchise, holders also of a deep and well-characterized lore, full of citations to the great empires of real history, and which have also been able to adapt intelligently to the shocking events that occurred in their narrative universe, such as the unexpected alliance with some Aeldari factions after the return of Guilliman and the fall of Cadia.

Space Wolves

If the Ultramarines are discipline and logic, the Space Wolves or Vlka Fenryka, as they like to be called ne l their native language, they are the embodiment of instinct and fighting fury. Originating from Fenris, a deadly planet with a murderous ecosystem, inhabited by tribal peoples with a culture similar to that of the Norse Vikings of terrestrial history, the Space Wolves are lethal warriors devoted to direct, physical, close combat. >

Their capitular organization does not follow the Codex Astarters, but refers in all respects to the tribal traditions of their home planet. In addition, the Space Wolves possess an extremely peculiar (and rather unstable) Gene Seed, known as Canis Helix, which gives its fighters physical and mental traits of bestial origin, often lupine, such as long fangs and hyper developed senses, as well as a unstoppable ferocity in battle.

The Canis Helix, however, is not a stable Gene Seed. Very, too often, the recruits who receive the genetic upgrade run the risk of succumbing to the Wulfen Curse, a condition that reduces them to real beasts, both mentally and physically, most of the time unusable in battle, because they are absolutely uncontrollable. It is known, however, that some Wulfen have still been integrated into the ranks of the Wolves, doing their part very well thanks to their boundless ferocity. A decidedly unconventional Chapter, with its own lore and traditions often in stark contrast to the Imperial Creed, which makes the whole Chapter unpopular with the Inquisition. Until now, however, the Vlka Fenryka have proved to be one of the most loyal armies, always in their own way, of all those who militate under the imperial aegis.

Blood Angels

I Blood Angels are perhaps the most refined and elegant Adeptus Astarters Chapter in the entire Galaxy. Based on Baal, their home planet that saw the growth of Primarch Sanguinius, one of the most devoted Sons of the Emperor, the Blood Angels have sinister and disturbing traditions that, in many ways, refer to Renaissance Italy, therefore with a strong predilection for beauty and sophistication, both as an aesthetic sense and as a modus operandi. Beautiful, resplendent and, in their own way, kind, the Blood Angels have a downside.

Their Primarch Sanguinius, one of the Emperor's most beloved, and who sacrificed himself heroically in the battle against Horus the Betrayer, from his origin he was touched by Chaos, which also gave him some particular mutations: a pair of angelic-shaped wings and a pernicious propensity to easily lose control in certain situations, which he transmitted to the Genetic Seed of the Legion (and later Chapter) that he found himself in command. It therefore happens that the Blood Angels may fall prey to a particular condition, known as Red Thirst, which makes them not only quite uncontrollable but also quite… Thirsty for blood. Literally.

The whole Chapter Tradition is more or less blatantly based not only on the Italian Renaissance but also on vampire folkore, which makes the various initiation rites for new aspirants particularly macabre, but extremely interesting. Astartes, as well as the whole way of operating one of the most powerful and influential Chapters in the Galaxy.

Dark Angels

Imagine a brotherhood of penitent friars. Friars, however, imbued with ethics and customs derived directly from medieval chivalry ethics. Add a little more repentance and pursuit of redemption, and you have a rough idea of ​​what the Dark Angels are.

Sons of Primarch Lion El'Jonson and the feudal world of Caliban, the Dark Angels derive from the pre-Heresy First Legion. Their role during the terrifying civil war that tore the Empire apart because of Horus, however, is still quite obscure. If, on the one hand, we are certain of the fidelity of the Primarch and of many of his troops, it is also true that not the whole Legion immediately sided with the Emperor, a detail that led, among other things, to the complete destruction of their planet. Caliban, of which only a small wandering portion survives, on which stands their monastery fortress, The Rock.

All the Dark Angels' iconography and lore is darker and more oppressive Christian traditions concerning repentance and the search for redemption. But not only! The Chapter has in fact also voted for another very important mission, that is to make a clean sweep of the various alien life forms present on the Space Hulk, immense heaps of wrecks that roam the warp, coming to excel in training landing teams, among which those belonging to the First Chapter Company, the Death Wing, stand out, recognizable by the venerable white-colored Terminator armor.

These are just some of the Chapters of Space Marines present in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Some of the most important and best known. In this article we have done nothing but scratch the surface of this complex world, which is based on the re-elaboration in a science fiction key of the main dictates of fantasy and our medieval history, making it, as far as possible, even more obscure and fascinating. Grim Dark. And an adjective could never have been suitable for an entire narrative universe.

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