|Founding||21st Founding (Initial)|
|Successors of||Classified (A few fragmented records describe their gene-seed as "Chimeric", which means they are likely descended from multiple Chapters)|
|Chapter Master||Asterion Moloc|
|Specialty||Killing Space Marines, being the High Lords' personal army.|
|Colours||Bronze with a little red.|
If you are looking for the bull-headed beastmen from Greek mythology, see Minotaur.
Out with the old...
The Minotaurs were a Chapter of Space Marines and massive dicks. They were formed in the Cursed Founding as psychopathic berzerkers and were possibly World Eaters successors, and first appeared in White Dwarf as one of the playable Chapters for the Chapter Approved Cursed founding article where they were also mentioned to have beaten the shit out of the Lamenters during the Badab War, because they've always been assholes... And then they disappeared. Their color scheme was also fucking atrocious.
...and in with the new
They later appeared in Imperial Armour Volume 12 where they fought against the Necrons, specifically the Maynarkh Dynasty and had their lore (and thankfully colour scheme) overhauled. They now like to dress in like ancient Greeks and their Chapter Master, one Asterion Moloc, appears to have pilfered the prop department from 300 for his outfit. They no longer maintain the "psychopathic berzerkers' flavour (while still liking melee combat they are now capable of following battle plans) and instead are very pragmatic, letting a good chunk of the Imperial Navy fight and die before they stepped in to give themselves a better chance against the Necrons (what assholes). However, they also act as the High Lords' attack dogs now, since they have vast stores of incredibly rare wargear (including shittons of Tartaros-pattern Terminator armour, Mk8 power armor, loads of Dreadnoughts, their very own Storm Eagle variant and at least one Adeptus Custodes halberd), and the Minotaurs only act on orders from the High Lords themselves, telling anyone in their way to piss off. Oh, and their Administratum records are sealed so tight that not even Inquisitors can easily break them. Which implies something about them (gee, wonder what?) has at least some Inquisitors worried. They are essentially the Greek Blood Ravens, but with fewer psykers and they'll wipe you out to the last man before they swipe your gear.
One of their Brother-Captains insulted Marneus Calgar right in front of an Ultramarines descendant, and the chapter later tore the Inceptors chapter apart and stole all their stuff, pissing off all the other Ultramarines successors. They also may or may not have shot down a Grey Knight strike cruiser in order to take down a renegade Chapter they were supposed to destroy together.
Needless to say, /tg/ thinks they're pretty cool (and they are still massive dicks).
While the Minotaurs are strict followers of the Codex Astartes, they're almost never seen as small groups or even individual companies. Every time they're deployed its always been at full Chapter strength. They fight in only one war zone at a time with the entire chapter fighting together. This makes them essentially a massive fucking beatstick that the High Lords call upon when shit hits the fan. They also have an unusual preference for killing other Space Marines, which made them feel right at home during the Badab War. Given their fancy new gear, their borderline omnicidal tendencies, and always operating as a full chapter, it would seem that the job of the "Emperor's Executioners" no longer falls upon the Space Wolves.
Unlike most Chapters, the Minotaurs appear to be able to replenish their numbers at an accelerated rate, to the point that they could recover from losses in a fraction of the time it would take other Chapters a century or two to fully recover from. Imperial observers during the Antigonis campaign theorized that this may have something to do with the heavy use of hypnotherapy and neuro-cerebral therapy used in the training of neophytes and frequently "refreshed" with the help of Apothecaries in the Chapter. This has proven to have some unpleasant side-effects- the Minotaurs are highly xenophobic and paranoid, even by the high standards of the Imperium.
There's also a good chance that they recruit from Terra itself thanks to their connections with the High Lords, giving them a massive recruit pool, as the Imperial Fists are also able to replenish losses equally fast thanks to having billions of potential candidates. This is mostly due to the Imperial Fists building recruitment posts on every world they rescue from invasion. Even then they request permission first as Dorn said he "...want recruits, not vassals". The Black Templars also do this and benefit greatly from this method. And since the Minotaurs gene-seed tithes are locked away nice and tight, no one is sure who their progenitors are. Given their tendencies to absolutely annihilate whatever is in their way it's certainly possible for them be successors to the World Eaters, but what little we do know about their gene-seed hints at them being derived from a multitude of Chapters. This would certainly make sense considering their connections with the High Lords, but it doesn't make much sense since they are pretty much free of any mutations. It could be argued that the Minotaurs are actually descended from Iron Warriors gene seed; their chapter tactics are the same as the Iron Warriors Legiones Astartes rules, both are known for their ferocity in assault and disregard for casualties and of course there is the whole underlying Greek theme.
With the coming of 8th Edition, the Minotaurs aren't doing so well. When the Death Guard directly besieged their Fortress-Monastery, they poisoned their gene stocks beyond repair, so as of now they're racing towards Terra to repair their gene-seed. While they're currently out of the fight, hopefully their trip to Terra will cause some revelations on their origins.
Aside from the hideous old ketchup-and-mustard motherfuckers and the Greek muggers, there are also a pair of Chapters called the Brass Minotaurs and White Minotaurs. There isn't much fluff on them.
When the first Minotaurs were introduced as one of the Cursed Founding chapters, for +10 points per model, or +20 per dreadnought (on top of the regular costs) you could give your entire army Fearless and +1 Attack though they had to move towards and assault the nearest enemy they could (even if they had no chance of hurting it) and had to sweep advance, but nobody did it because painting them WAS A FUCKING NIGHTMARE. Both because they had the most annoying colour scheme (worse than the quarter ones like the Howling Griffons) and because their colours made them look fucking ugly.
With the updates they got their own Chapter Tactics. Minotaurs Chapter Tactics models don't take morale checks from shooting attacks, and can re-roll failed pinning tests. In addition they have crusader USR, and +1 to charge distance when in the enemy deployment zone. Overall one of the worst Chapter Tactics. Crusader certainly is nice to have, but ATSKNF makes re-rolling pinning and no morale checks from shooting pretty redundant. If you're gonna play Minotaurs you're gonna have to bring Moloc, who is a fucking monster in CC while gaining a VP per character executed in a challenge and giving your guys Prefered Enemy (Space Marines). So if you didn't get the memo, Minotaurs are meant to be run with Moloc as your Warlord against other Space Marine armies. If a friend of yours is running a really annoying Space Marine army, especially if he has Smashfucker, sic these guys on him and watch him cry.
How 8th Edition treated Forge World chapters is an issue of intense debate. Sure, you can choose whatever tactic you want, but it still feels like an afterthought on the part of Games Workshop. That aside, Moloc and Aiakos came out of the update relatively unscathed, still being hard nuts to crack and very lethal overall, but with loss of initiative and extreme price hike Aiakos is dubiously overpriced, and Moloc has lost the main thing he was taken for - the godsent army-wide Preferred enemy: Space Marines. Instead he can "do the wolfen" now. Ivanus, however, has lost all of his utility and is just an overpriced Chaplain with attacks and wounds of a captain. No more range and no extra attack for two specialist weapons. ROC pattern Storm Eagle still rocks though.