Oops, I'm getting off topic...
Anyway, in an indirect way, the conversation made me miss my Chaos, and then I started thinking about different formations and rules that they could do for CSM. Each chapter/cult/warband could have special formation blocks that grant special rules appropiate to their fluff.
I did a similar post in November of 2013 when the last Space Marine codex came out with the new chapter tactics. So most of what's here is copied from that post and slightly added to below. I'm not putting much into this, just killing some time in the wee hours on a night shift and avoiding the work I should be doing...
These are just a few underdeveloped ideas that I thought up just for fun.
When I say "Block" it refers to the minimum core units needed to make the formation (I don't know what GW calls them in the books), such as 1 HQ, 2 CSM units, a dedicated transport, etc.
ALPHA LEGION: They are described as being "disciplined almost to a fault" and as insurrectionists who sow deceit and chaos by infiltrating societies.
Block: A block unit might include a minimum of 2 cultist squads to show they've been recruiting by "sowing deceit." This would grant them bonuses, such as:
Disciplined to a Fault: The core units are Stubborn.
Insurrectionists: Up to three of these units can deploy as Infiltrators/Outflank.
BLACK LEGION: These are the once proud warriors of the Warmaster Horus himself. Of course,the character Abbadon mostly has this covered if you field him.
Block: Units that resemble Space Marines, such as a lot of CSM units, maybe 1 or 2 Dreadnoughts from the olden days, and at least 1 Chosen squad.
Black Crusader: All these units get Hatred vs. Space Marines.
The Warmaster's Chosen: Veteran Chosen units and Dreadnoughts may pick a bonus trait from these: Infiltrators, Scouts, Tank Hunters, or Prefered Enemy.
IRON WARRIORS: Masters of the siege and builders of war machines.
Block: The block must contain 2-3 Warpsmiths. These don't count against any HQ requirements or limits. It also included Forge Fiends and/or Mauler Fiends, and it'd be nice to see some corrupted servitors.
Let the Seige Begin: All units get the Tank Hunter special rule and may reroll Penetration against buildings.
Masters of the Machine: All Warpsmith's get +1 bonus to their repair rolls.
NIGHT LORDS: Masters of terror and terrorist actions, they stalk the darkness as predators in search of prey.
Block: A Lord or Sorcerer with a jump pack, as well as having as many Raptors as CSMs.
Lord of Terror: Your HQ/Warlord has the Lord of Terror Trait, thus causes Fear. Raptors already cause Fear too.
The Hunt: Raptor units (along with the HQ if he's attached) may deploy as either Infiltrators or Scouts. They also start the game with Shrouded until they move, and have Stealth thereafter.
WORD BEARERS: The most fanatical of all Legions in their dedication to the worship of the Chaos Powers.
Block: The core block must include 2-3 Dark Apostles (that don't count against you for HQs) and an equal number of cultists.
Shepherds of the Faithful: The number of cultists that these Shepherds lead is never-ending. Every time a cultist unit is completely destroyed or routed off the board, place it in reserves. An identical replacement unit comes in on a normal reserve roll.
Dark Crusaders: All Word Bearers in the block unit have the Crusader special rule.
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In my original post I didn't include the god-specific legions, such as the Thousand Sons, Death Guard, World Eaters, and Emperor's Children. I figured they had marks so they didn't need other chapter rules. But, brainstorming right now, a few possible Formations might be...
Thousand Sons: Obviously a Block would include Thousand Sons and be led by a Sorcerer HQ. Having this Formation might unlock some new bonus spells for any of them to use, like a big sand storm or something. And to go along with the Egyptian theme, I'd like to field some fantasy mummies as cultist/zombie-type units (but that's just me).
Death Guard: Would of course include Plague Marines, and I'd like to have access to zombies without having Typhus there all the time. I could see giving some units (say some ragged Spawn) a disease that they can infect the enemy with, like a Soul Fire effect that lasts after the fight until it burns itself out.
Emperor's Children: An HQ with the mark, along with Noise Marines minimum. Their persuit of perfection might give their dedicated CSM +1 to WS or BS (like the aspect warriors get in the new Eldar blocks).
World Eaters: Berzerkers required. Taking the whole formation might give them Fleet on their charges or Crusader, as well as Adamantium Will.
Red Corsairs: I'm a fan of the Red Corsairs and especially of Huron Blackheart. He would lead a Block, which would include some Fast Attack units, like Bikers. His Warlord Trait is to make Infiltrators. I'd also like to see some kind of sabotage rule or something, something "piratey", like causing a vehicle to fail on a roll of 1 the first time it moves or something. There's got to be a way to work in a pirate theme there somehow...
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Okay, I guess I should get back to more constructive crap around here. If you have any other ideas, please comment!