Warhammer 40,000/Chapter Approved/Cursed Founding

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Oldfags may remember way back in the darkness of the 3rd edition, when geedubs were in arguably their most Awesome period, they regularly released rules in White Dwarf under the articles of Chapter Approved.

This was good because it was a forerunner to the more modern-day codex supplements, in that whole new armylists were made available for players to try out new ways to play and it was greatly appreciated by the player base and there were several annual collections of Chapter approved rulesets with variant rules using codices, eventually getting phased out as White Dwarf and GW became more commercially focused. Granted it took the later evil fat cats at GW ten years to figure out how to please people and try it again, though now they charge full codex prices for add-ons (ie: 2 pages of rules) when they used to release them for the cost of a White Dwarf.

But fear not, this article shall attempt to relive the good old days by reviving an old concept. Since "technically" the rules are still functional in a 7th edition environment in the same way that the old Codex: Eye of Terror still fuctions. Even though the editions have passed them by and will never be acceptable in tournament play.

One such "chapter approved release was for Space Marine Chapters from the 21st Founding, which was a variation of the traditional codex list introducing a couple of new units and new rules introducing quirks to make the army more unique.

Why play with 3rd Edition rules in a 7th Edition environment?[edit]

  • The Space Marines codex has been updated into the 7th edition, bringing more to the cursed founding army than existed for them at the time, and since the chapter approved list was vague enough by simply "referring to the codex" it is still playable today as the list has grown along with the editions. But still loses more than it gains.
  • For the Lulz, really there is no other explanation, since they aren't legal any more.
  • From the outset, it plays like a mono-god Chaos Space Marine list, with marines that are susceptible to routing and sweeping advances, but counters with rules very similar to chaos marks.

"Official" Rules[edit]

Redrafted from the trial 2004 list. Updated for 7th edition by adding in what would now be considered compulsory items in the latest Space Marine codex. The points are largely unchanged, otherwise it becomes too much of a homebrew.


The list is heavily restricted and may only take certain units, losing much of their access to codex wargear and rules.

  • Unless otherwise noted, all units lose And they Shall Know No Fear.
  • The army may not take Drop Pods or Razorbacks as Dedicated Transport options.
  • Due to psychic power changes, Cursed Librarians do not get access to the Smite power, but due to specific wording get access to Howl of the Cursed in its place, which (as a Nova power) causes Morale checks to all enemy units within 6".

Army List[edit]


  • Chapters from the Cursed Founding primary detachments may not take any Imperial forces as allied detachments.
  • If take as an allied detachment, they may not take units of Cursed Knights or Abominations

Chapter Traits[edit]

Like a Chapter Tactic, except you have to pay for it... and you already lost And They Shall Know No Fear. Don't worry so much, since you draw units straight out of the codex they still get Chapter Tactics. Also, following suggestions in the 6th Ed Space Marine Codex, if you're not certain of a chapter's heritage, just use Ultramarines, or whichever seems most appropriate/fluffy.

This also makes sense, since the cursed foundings were made from pre-existing chapters in an attempt to "solve" their genetic problems (unfortunately just adding more problems instead). So the most appropriate seeming chapter tactic has been suggested (in brackets) following each trait, but you are entitled to choose your own.

  • Black Dragons (Salamanders chapter tactic) - Your Abomination squads and Assault Squads must be upgraded with Ossific Blades, giving their close combat attacks the Rending USR for 5pts per model.
    • The Salamanders tactic while is the most fluffy, also synergises appropriately enough. Since your units will be up close most of the time to gain the benefit of their bone-blades, giving them twin-linked flamers and master-crafted rending melee characters works nicely for an in-your-face playing style.
  • Minotaurs (Minotaurs chapter tactic, funnily enough) - For 10 pts PER MODEL (20 for dreadnought) IN THE ENTIRE ARMY each model gets +1 attack and Fearless USR, in addition they must assault if able to do so.
    • Even though this chapter is already covered by Forge World it is hinted in the fluff that it's either not the same incarnation of the chapter, or that something happened to them later to make them mellow out which is why their own Chapter tactic works just as well is it can represent their earlier version of the chapter before becoming the lapdogs of the High Lords of Terra, especially with having Crusader and +1 charge distances built in, they can act very much like a Khorne berserker army, though this army will get massive expensive.
  • Legion of the Damned (Fire Hawks chapter tactic) - For 5pts per model (10 for dreadnoughts & vehicles) each model gets a 6+ invulnerable save and the Deep Strike rule.
    • Even though the Legion already exists, there is no way to make an army out of them other than this, and it's still balanced enough since it's comparable to the mark of Tzeentch in a chaos space marine army... but with more added.
      • Unless you wanna run the new Digital Codex: Legion Of The Damned version. Ignore Cover offensively with 3+ invun defensively? Yes please!
    • The Fire Hawks tactics is obvious, since they're probably the same chapter, but also benefits from the +1 to flame weapons following deep striking, unfortunately the 7th edition changes don't provide much other benefit due to scoring in other FOC slots.
  • Lamenters (use Codex: Blood Angels as the base) - for 3pts per model (8 for dreadnought) anyone who wishes to assault one of your units must first pass a leadership test. (Fearless units are immune).
    • This is a very minor trait but with possibly awesome consequences.
    • Using Codex: Blood Angels as the base works, since they only really get the possibility of the Red Thirst, while the restrictions of the list still limits which units can be taken from that codex.
  • Flame Falcons (unknown descent) - 3pts per model, your marines always count as occupying cover. Gaining a 5+ cover save in the open and all associated benefits if charged. Though affected models may not embark upon transport vehicles.
    • Using the Salamanders chapter tactic is suggested, if only due to the associations with fire.
  • Sons of Antaeus (unknown descent) - 5pts per model (10 pts for HQ models), every model with this trait gain +1 toughness.
    • Obviously, this is comparable to the mark of Nurgle, except using codex marines as a base instead of chaos. But this makes the army potentially amazing, since you get things the chaos codex doesn't; like TH/SS terminators, or command squads with apothecaries, and space marine librarians not forced to take cult powers.
    • These guys suggest that they are an Ultramarine successor, if only due to their greek/roman theme.
    • Due to their Mechanicus Background, Iron Hands Chapter Tactics would work as well (and synergize better)

New Units[edit]

Cursed Knights[edit]

Points Cost - 140

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Unit Type Composition
Cursed Knight 4 4 4 4 1 4 2 9 3+ Infantry 5 Cursed Knights
Cursed Knight Champion 4 4 4 4 1 4 3 9 3+ Infantry (Character)

Special Rules

  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Chapter Tactics (See Codex: Space Marines)
  • Genetic Corruption - Cursed Knights do not purchase a Chapter Trait as they do not share the same genetic gift and flaws as their brethren. Instead they are subject to a far worse and more unpredictable curse.
    • After the armies are deployed, but before the first turn, roll a D6.
    • 1 Berserk Rage: Make an armour save for each model in the unit, removing those who fail. The remaining models have +1 strength for the duration of the game.
    • 2-5 Stable Mutation: Each model in the unit gains +1 Strength and Initiative.
    • 6 Created a Monster: Each model in the unit gains +1 Strength, Initiative and Attack for the duration of the game, however after the battle each member will die, counting as slain for the purposes of kill point.


  • Bolter or Close Combat Weapon
  • Bolt pistol.
  • Power Armour.
  • Frag grenades.
  • Krak grenades.


  • You can add up to five Cursed Knights to the squad for 28 pts each.
  • One Cursed Knight may be upgraded to a Cursed Knight Champion for 10pts.
  • The Cursed Knight Champion may choose equipment from the Melee Weapons and Ranged Weapons lists in the space marine armoury.
  • One Cursed Knight may exchange their bolter for one of the following:
    • flamer (+6 pts.)
    • meltagun (+10 pts.)
    • plasma gun(+6 pts.)
  • One other Cursed Knight may exchange their bolter for one of the following:
    • Heavy Bolter (+5 pts.)
    • Missile Launcher (+10 pts.)
    • Lascannon (+15pts.)
  • The squad may take a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport.


Points Cost - 85

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Unit Type Composition
Abomination 4 4 4 4 1 4 2 8 3+ Infantry 5 Abominations

Special Rules

  • Fearless
  • Chapter Tactics (See Codex: Space Marines)
  • Death Spasm
    • Each time an abomination rolls a 6 to-hit in close combat, they must make an additional attack, and continue adding attacks until no more 6's appear. If any of these additional attacks roll a 1 after any modifiers, that attack is instead resolved against the unit itself


  • Bolter or Close Combat Weapon
  • Bolt pistol.
  • Power Armour.
  • Frag grenades.
  • Krak grenades.


  • You can add up to five Abominations to the squad for 17 pts each.
  • The points cost for Chapter Trait must be included on top of the unit cost.
  • The squad may take a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport.


Above is the old list "as written" and so can be used without messing with the original rules too much.

Howeve, their time has long since passed, and using them will inevitably require obtaining your opponent's permission and keep the game casual. So why not go the whole nine yards and invent your own?

Use this space is you want to introduce your own Cursed Founding Chapters, or new unique units or characters. Or even have any suggestions for modifying the balance of the old rules, because they can get damned expensive.