My Red Scorpions are not my first Space Marine army, nor my second or third... Not even in the single digits even.
I was bored of looking at models that were finished, but didnt want to deal with the Dark Elves, and none of my other Fantasy armies were more inciting, so I made more room on the shelf, and set up my Imperial Fists, and then the Blue/White marines that I cant decide between making my own chapter (Angels of Purity) or just calling the Marines Errant. Once they were up, I pulled out the other marine models I had laying around and set them up as well... Dark Angels, Ultramarines, Black Templars, Silver Skulls, even the severly battle damaged Gatecrashers. In the end, not far from 300 models set up. The sizes of my different forces varies dramaticly, from nearly a full battle company of Imperial Fists, to a single terminator squad of the Black Templars. As I was looking at the shelf starting to groan under so many models, it hit.
I should build a Crusade Force!
I know I was already planning on something along those lines, but when I wrote that, I didnt think to use what I have, I was more interested in justifying buying new models (and what good gamer doesnt do that often?).
So, the first question was "Is everything legal?". Yes... Maybe. The one group that was questionable is the Gatecrashers. That collection is a captain, command squad, and three squads of bolt pistol-chainsword psychos, each with a single meltagun. Legal with the old book, with traits... not so much now, unless I take them as foot assault squads and relocate the meltaguns. But that means I need to buy tac squads, and transports. My other option for them is to move them over to using the Black Templars book. Seeing as I also have Dark Angels in my Crusade, thats not too much of a big deal... Hell, Ive got a squad of BTs too! I can go Crusade with two different books!
The second question was "Should I base this off of existing fluff, or make something up?' I was starting to lay out the basics of making something up, when I pulled out the Black Reach space marines, and was considering tossing them in with the single squad of Ultramarines, but since Ive already got a captain, I didnt have much to do with the BR one... THATS the moment inspiration stuck its tongue in my ear. Im looking at two space marine captains, and I think "Wasnt there a big-ass crusade in the new Space Marine codex? Something with the Ultramarines involved?"
Yes, yes there is. The Zeist campaign was spearheaded by Captain Sicarius, involved around 30 chapters. Know how many are specificly named? Nine. Oh, and I already have models for one of those... So, I have about twenty possibilities to play with, and six forces willing to join in.
So, I can add Sicarius (not a bad looking model) as my over all commander, and cherry pick different chapters to paint units for. One part thats a mix of blessing and curse is that I tried to make each of these a viable force individually, so I have an over abundance of tactical squads (between 16-19, depending on what I decide on the Gatecrashers), and a pair of Scout squads, so I have plenty of troop choices for three or four Force Org charts, but specialists tend to be a bit thinner on the ground. Ill probably have to make up for that over time. (See! Justifying buying new models!)