The Relictors are a chapter of Space Marines that live by the edict that "the ends justify the means". They are a relatively young and arrogant chapter, strong in their belief that it is only they who have the strength of mind to withstand the taints of Chaos and only by using recovered Chaos relics in battle can they defeat the ultimate enemy of mankind.

Despite their ardent faith and loyalty to the Emperor, to most of the Imperium, including other Space Marine Chapters, they are considered heretics. It is only through unshakeable faith in their cause and renewed alliances with other Radical Inquisitors that the Relictors continue their fight.
The Relictors army should appeal to any player considering a standard Codex Space Marine army but is looking for something with a little more edge. The inclusion of unusual wargear, alliances with dark factions of the Inquisition, and all the while treading the edge of heresy and Exterminatus is what makes the Chapter so unique. The Relictors are a perfect fit for the renewed gothic focus in Warhammer.

Because the rules and information on this chapter are spotty at best, what follows is an attempt to create a semi-conclusive source for information, tactics, and modeling for the Relictors chapter. We have tried to avoid repeating what is already printed except where necessary to illustrate the multiple facets of the Relictors army.

First off, we will cover the Relictors chapter as it pertains to rules and articles necessary to field an army on the tabletop. This has become a task unto itself, going back to the chapter's first appearance in the Armageddon campaign of 2001.

Graham McNeill, Scotland born and one time professional architect before joining Games Workshop as a staff writer, was given among his initial tasks the job of writing various army-based stories, including a brief bio of the Relictors chapter, for inclusion into the Armageddon 3 website. The first printed instance of the Relictors chapter was an illustration found in the "Index Astartes: Space Marine Chapters of the Armageddon War" inside US White Dwarf #248. It wasn't until much later just prior to the Eye of Terror campaign that the Relictors received a full Index Astartes article in US WD #280. "Know Thine Enemy", written by Graham McNeill and Andy Hoare, provided the history of the chapter and unique rules for the inclusion of Chaos artifacts including a random daemon weapon and random Chaos standard.

Seven months later a two-page article written by Phil Kelly, "Chaoticians and Cataclysms", was printed in US WD #287 about specific wargear and weapons for Relictors and Radical Inquisitor armies including a new mission scenario. About the same time the Australian edition WD #288 also included a story written by Graham McNeill about the Grey Knights destroying the Relictors fortress monastery. This collectively made it to the UK with the addition of a modeling article in UK WD #295. Finally, the modeling article itself by Guy Haley can be found in the US WD #300 although the fortress monastery incident has yet to make it to the US.

In order to fully play a Relictors army you will need a copy of the current Space Marine Codex, either {US WD #280 and #287} or OZ WD #288 or UK WD #295, as well as the Chaos Space Marine Codex for rules on the random daemon weapon, chaos relics, and mastery tests. The Relictors are a US Grand Tournament approved army list for 2005 using the rules found in US WD's #280 and 287 with the new Space Marine Codex however this excludes the use of the new Space Marine trait system. Since the Relictors closely follow the Codex (more on this later) in their tactical doctrine, the use of any chaos artifacts found in a White Dwarf would in our opinion make up for the lack of any additional traits.

The Relictors are allegedly one of the Praesus Chapters founded during the Age of Apostasy to protect the Eye of Terror. This was a time of tumultuous anarchy and civil war within the Imperium and much of the galaxy was embroiled in massive warp storms that isolated hundreds of systems. Sensing a weakness in the Imperium, Chaos raiders streamed from the Eye of Terror in bloodthirsty crusades and only the Praesus chapters stood in their way. Many records of this time were lost so the actual founding is unknown. We do know they were created sometime during the 36th Millennium (M36) leaving the possibility that they were one of the 21st Founding or Cursed Founding Chapters although it is more likely they were instead a 22nd Founding chapter.

Originally called the Fire Claws, the Relictors were created from geneseed collected from Terra's storage banks reportedly of both the Ultramarines and Dark Angels origin. Their home world was established on the feral planet Torva Minoris in a small system around a blood-red gas giant near the Eye of Terror.

The Relictors acquired their name after many decades of uncovering Chaos relics from the worlds around the Eye and have continued using these found relics in battle even after the Inquistion placed the entire chapter on a penitent crusade for 100 years and kept them from their home world.

The Relictors have a hefty independent streak, eclipsing even the headstrong nature of the Space Wolves. On Armageddon, they answered the call to arms to defend the system, but virtually ignored Commander Dante's orders for reinforcements preferring to investigate Angron’s Monolith in the equatorial jungles, abruptly leaving when they had finished. The same was to happen to Logan Grimnar during the Eye of Terror Campaign when he requested the aide of the Relictors. The Old Wolf in the end washed his hands of any responsibility and left them to their own devices.

Their Fortress Monastery was a Ramilies Class Star Fort in orbit over their home world, until recently, when a strike force of Grey Knights under the influence of a secretly corrupt Inquisitor of the Ordo Malleus destroyed it. Only through an unwavering faith in the Emperor and a belief in their cause are the remaining Relictors forces in operation today.

At the tactical level the Relictors ardently adhere to the Codex Astartes with a standard 10 companies. Differences in their organization only make an appearance at command level, where the higher ranked officials, those proven in combat and purity, are organized into a group known as the Conclave responsible for the decisions of the Chapter regarding doctrine and deployment. This organization will guarantee the purity of the Chapter's leaders and prevent any possible corruption from taking control of the Chapter.

Recent events aside, for the last century, the Relictors have been a space-borne crusading army in a manner similar to the Imperial Fists and Black Templars. Prior to Inquisitorial intervention, all neophytes would have been recruited from the feral world Torva Minoris. However, during the penitent crusade and up to present time, new recruits would have came from wherever the crusade and subsequent quest for Chaos relics took them including the worlds of Armageddon, Cadia, and even prison worlds such as St. Josmane’s Hope in the Cadian sector. This presents the intrepid modeler with all sorts of possibilities and cultures in which to draw upon.

Possibly caused by their proximity to the Eye of Terror or possibly because they are needed to safeguard against the threat of a weak mind, the Relictors are known for their higher than usual reliance upon Librarians. It is through the visions and guidance of these Librarians that the Chapter can continue their crusade.

Even though they are expensive, the Librarian is rarely a bad selection for your army, except possibly when fighting an Inquisitor-Heavy Witch-Hunters Army. The Librarian represents a heavy close combat warrior in his own right with the included force weapon, which also allows the single daemon weapon to be relegated to another character in the army. It is not usually expected that an Assault Veteran Sergeant can hold a sword of daemonic nastiness. However, by keeping the given Force Weapon and taking a random daemon weapon as well, you are guaranteed a Librarian with a serious power weapon and the potential for something much worse.

Although some people have a distinct distaste for Über-Characters, a Librarian does fit with the history of the Relictors army. Those who choose not to use them, usually go for a flexible middle-weight commander, as they provide not only a solid command base for an army, but become a platform with which to easily utilize specific daemonic weapons and equipment such as the Artekus Scourge, without wasting any points buy purchasing redundant wargear. This can be an important consideration especially when taking a large Inquisitorial Retinue.

As for heavier equipment, since the entire chapter was mobilized and sent to Cadia at the time, the effects of the destruction of their fortress monastery are debatable. It can be very easily argued that the Relictors would have been organised into smaller raiding parties. These parties would have consisted mostly of an entire Company or varying parts of several Companies, transported by Strike Cruisers. Indeed, it is reported that a few Strike Cruisers managed to escape the Monastary when the Grey Knights attacked it. Most of the Relictors assets may well have been saved by those few individuals. Regardless, these strike groups would operate like any other force from a likewise Codex chapter. With the size of battles conducted on the tabletop it is doubtful that there would be any discernable difference in our games between a chapter on the edge of annihilation such as the Celestial Lions or the Relictors and one that is not.

There are however many things you can do to make your army composition different and reflect the current state of the Chapter. As Relictors would be recruiting and training brethren as they move forward on their Crusade, or indeed, their run for cover, there would be quite a few Veteran Battle-Brothers found throughout the force which can be represented by the inclusion of several Veterans throughout your squads. You could also limit the number of organizational slots in a particular area to illustrate the army having limited resources in which to draw upon.

One thing that usually distinguishes the Relictors army on the tabletop versus any of the other loyalist Space Marine armies, and something for which we think is practically mandatory, is the inclusion of a daemon weapon. For about 25 points one character in your army may carry a daemon weapon that is either rolled randomly as per US WD #280 or chosen from a list in US WD #287. The random weapon can sometimes, although not always, be too unpredictable for tournament play however it always makes for a fun and characterful addition for any game.

A common favorite is the Artekus Scourge, a daemonic faced flail, which is a cheaper force weapon of sorts and makes for a great character killer. A Veteran Sergeant thus equipped, can quickly and quite unexpectedly turn the tides on any big scary character your opponent has brought along with him. The somewhat simple and single minded tactic for this weapon is to find the biggest character in the opposing army and go after him!

Another personal favorite is the Sword of St. Aquitaine. This weapon allows the controlling player the ability to make the next game turn be played using the Night Fight rules. The trick to using this however is for the first few turns to have a force capable of massive long-range fire support to soften the enemy. Then it is imperative to have the wielding character in assault by turn 2 or 3 at the latest in order to cause a wound and essentially turn off the lights. This allows the remainder of your army to creep up in darkness and assault the enemy with a minimum of return fire. This tactic plays into the Marines tactical attributes of being able to provide decent fire support as well as being effective in assault. Additionally this tactic denies the opponent continued fire support while you close in.

A solid method of transport for the wielder of the Sword such as the Land Raider, jump pack, or tactical dreadnaught armor for a teleport attack, all provide a secure method for quick engagement. Once the character is in combat, foot-slogging troops can stop shooting and advance in relative safety and fast units such as Land Speeders and bikes can speed up the flanks engaging the enemies’ rear lines.

Under the new fourth edition assault rules, a worthwhile option is to entrust a Veteran with Terminator Honors that leads an assault unit with one of the daemon weapons and get his unit into assault as soon as possible. As part of the unit, the Veteran remains un-targetable and allows for more damage to be created by the weapon.

Also found within "Chaoticians and Cataclysms", is the Shard of the Monolith, discovered while the Relictors were in the equatorial jungles of Armageddon. Befitting an artifact recovered from a temple dedicated to Angron, primarch of the World Eaters, the Shard turns your character into a bloodthirsty killer increasing his strength and initiative and is such a worthwhile boost for any commanding character it far outweighs its cost. The combination of the Scourge and the Shard for example, allows your character to usually strike first destroying your opponent. The Shard could be represented by the stone within a Crux Terminatus, incased in a small container on the character’s armor, or modeled to hang from a chain. Unlike Furious Assault, the character with the Shard keeps his strength and initiative bonus throughout the battle.

There is some question as to what happens to a squad that the Shard-bearing character joins, since the Character must always advance if it is possible. The way we have interpreted it is that if the character can assault or advance then so too should the squad he has joined. "Hey Cap? Where are... Oh MAN... Not TOWARDS the Bloodthirster... Geeze, thats the third time this week....." This can be nicely augmented by having the character join a command squad or veteran squad that has the Furious Assault skill to create a truly menacing assault unit. Besides, if your commander is geared for assault like he should be, there is no reason not to!

Also within WD#280 is the option of taking a random Chaos Standard. With the new Space Marine codex this has become rather redundant. By paying for the standard bearer in the new command squad you automatically receive a standard so a questionable item to begin with becomes somewhat pointless unless taken purely for pride.

There are more role-specific wargear available, such as the Grimoire Pandaemonica or Blade of Phaedron when facing a heavily daemonic army, however these are usually too specific for much use unless you know the opponent you are facing ahead of time or prefer to choose wargear based on a specific theme, in this case that of the ultimate daemon hunter.

Exitus Acta Probat
A few pieces of wargear aside the remaining composition of the Relictors army would be very similar to any other Space Marine army. The one exception to this would be the inclusion of a Radical Daemonhunter ally, which is the only ally available to a Relictors army. A very good tactica on Inquisitors produced by Salpyro can be found here. At some point we will cover the Radical Inquisitor in as much detail as Salpyro has done but for now this is a general idea. While not as 'mandatory' as a daemon weapon, a Radical Daemonhunter and two or three Daemonhosts add an authentic and somewhat hell-bent twist to the Relictors army.

The trick with using a Daemonhunter is that concerning the allies rule there is a limitation of available choices. In general, you are only allowed to have a maximum of 1 HQ Choice, 1 Elite, 1 Fast Attack, and 2 Troops Choices allied with your army. Also, in order for an Inquisitor to be designated radical, you may not include any Grey Knights. The only Fast Attack in the Daemonhunter Codex is a unit of Grey Knights, so that's out. Apart from Inquisitorial Stormtroopers as troops, you are left with only a few more options and these all fall under you single Elites or HQ choice.

An Elite Inquisitor is an okay choice for the fluff-minded-yet-points-conscious. A single Inquisitor gives you a shot at some alternate skills and abilities that a Space Marine Army lacks. High Initiative and potentially a second Halo and Force Weapon are about where it stays here, although as Salpyro suggests, occasionally a bodyguard of shooty-plasma-death will suffice nicely.

The HQ Inquisitor Lord is essentially the same as above only better, but more importantly, including it instead of the vanilla Inquisitor opens up your Elite slot. Just about all of the Elites in the Daemonhunter Codex require an Inquisitor or Inquisitor Lord to field so by having the Inquisitor Lord you are free to chose a single unit of either Daemonhosts, Death Cult Assassins, or the Officio Assassinorum Operatives.

Deamonhosts are the scary nightmare of low-armor, low-toughness armies, hellooo Mr. Guardsman! On their own, Daemonhosts are very useful. They strike like Grey Knights, take wounds like Marines - and refuse to die so long as no-one uses a Marine power-fist on them. Sure, they're a little random, but the trick to using them is to hedge your bets. Never deploy one Daemonhost since it usually will not make up the points. When you deep strike them, remember they take up one slot on the organizational chart, so you roll for all of them as one unit, but they can be placed separately. Instead, consider deploying them together ready for an assault. Two or three of them slamming into one unit from a completely different angle often means that unit will be tied up for a very long time. With 4 wounds, and a 1 in 6 chance of healing all the way to the top every turn, and if not healing, doing something really nasty, they should not be overlooked. Their drawbacks are that they are random by nature and although their weapons are high strength, they don't ignore armor saves.

Death Cult Assassins are almost never seen in any of our local battles which make them perfectly worth taking for the surprise factor. A trio of Assassins is fairly cheap, but they are very fragile. If you can keep them out of sight and mind, you will get a massive amount of power weapon attacks into any target you desire. Other Officio Assassinorum Operatives such as the Cullexus or Calidus among others, may not be the best choice for the Relictors player. More often then not, these types of Assassins would be working for the ‘other side’.

Finally, don't let anything limit you when you are going with a Radical Inquisitor and his entourage. They can serve as defacto-command of a Relictors army, in that maybe a Veteran Sergeant and his band are directly under their authority. Or maybe the Inquisitor is a dark figure, moving separately in the shadows, pulling the strings like some sinister puppet master.

The only color reference we have for the grey power armor shows a grey that is darker than normal Codex Grey. Codex has been listed as the 'official' color although the Relictors can benefit from a shade or two darker grey. There are many ways of painting the Relictors but we will present two of them here, debatably the hard and easy way.

The more advanced method is to use a Codex Grey with a slight touch of black mixed in on a black primer undercoat. The trick is in applying a wash. You can use a dish soap wash or you could use a Future Floor Wax wash method (I believe the product is called Klean in the UK). There are plenty of tutorials out there on the subject but essentially a drop of soap or FFW in a small amount of water is mixed with a bit of Chaos Black and maybe a light amount of Chestnut Ink which is then applied over the whole miniature. This wash ensures the 'shading' falls nicely into all the little crevices. When dry, highlight first w/ Codex Grey, then mix in a little Fortress Grey, and then finally mix in a little more Fortress.

Even better is Vallejo’s line of Model Color paints as they have hundreds of shades of grey such as VC867-164 shown above. Finally think about painting weathering and armor chipping on your models as it would be appropriate considering the chapter's lengthy crusade.

For those of us who are either uncultured Australians, or otherwise inept when it comes to the finer art of painting, a simple base coat of Codex Grey over Black looks fine, if you are careful not to get grey into the lines between armor plates. Yes this is the standard color scheme for the 13th Company, but without their wolven-esqe look and their occasional piece of chaos equipment, they look different enough to tell on the Tabletop. Just dry brush them a little with a slightly lighter grey, avoiding a highlight of straight Fortress Grey, as it is just too bright.

The Chapter icon has been described as a grimacing skull seen in profile facing to the left. It is very similar and often confused with the Revilers Chapter, a Raven Guard successor, who happen to also wear grey and display a similar skull motif with a lightening bolt in the background. There are many ways to display this badge but none of them are perfect.
Possibly the best way is by using custom decals which are unfortunately no longer available by a company in the US called Griffon Games. These go on fairly easily and present an accurate depiction of the Chapter icon. Freehand painting is another, much more difficult, option. We would suggest using a pencil to sketch out the design on the shoulder pad and then paint over your sketch in white then adding the details such as the teeth and eye. You could also use white and black paint pens or charcoal pencils if you could find them with enough detail.

Character can be added to the Relictors in many, many ways. An army of relic hunters leads to many possibilities of including found acquisitions or many other shiny things. More so than most Marine armies, if you are creating a Relictors army the bits box is about to become your best friend. Consider the chapter's feral origins when modeling Veterans and other Commanders by possibly incorporating some Space Wolf, Fantasy Marauder, or even, in moderation, Chaos Marine bits. A source of a good book and other bits such as a lantern can be found on the Mordheim accessory sprue. Finally the Chaos Vehicle Spiky Bits Sprue offers a range of large chaos icons that can be used to create Chaos Icon bearers.

As for daemon weapons, there are many options of currently available parts, such as Abaddon's sword arm, but we would suggest creating your own. A few pieces of plastic-card can be whittled down using a dremel or knife forming a new blade to replace any of the normal power weapon blades found in the Space Marine line. A good article on creating plague swords was written by Brother Sinear and can be found here. For the Artekus Scourge, the Fantasy Marauder sprue has excellent flails that could be used as is or have the ends replaced with skulls. Another possibility is a clear sword made in a similar way to the above plague swords but using clear Plexiglas that is whittled down and then flame polished, or lightly hit with a small propane torch. This creates a rough hewn but crystal clear sword.
The general idea when it comes to daemon weapons and standards is the old adage that anything goes. A normal Codex Marine Standard Bearer proudly holding aloft a Rapturous Standard of Slaanesh goes a long way towards your opponent’s bewilderment!

With any army for Warhammer 40,000, there are many more interpretations and variations that are possible than simply what is presented here. This article has been put together to provide a somewhat concise point of departure in the creation, modeling, and tactics of your own personal Relictors army. We hope it has been helpful in some way and wish you all the best on the tabletop of the dark future.
Posted by Urza