This is quite long so I have different subjects marked. Thank you for any input!
I haven't posted here in some time but I would like input from the rest of you nerds. As I had previously stated, I have....a LOT of Astartes. I have the Wolves, I have White Scars, Heresy Era Death Guard, Black Templar, Deathwing, and Grey Knights. One might think I would have absolutely no reason in the world to start another force of the Emperor's finest. Of course, you would be wrong and if you did not see that coming I question your perceptive faculties.
I, of course, don't mean that I shall go out and buy a whole slew of models. That would be wasteful and I am probably lying. I do have a lot of unbuilt and used Marines that I could use for this new force. Strip some down, assemble others....bada bing! More warriors for the Eternal Crusade! Besides, I already have two tactical squads, a dreadnought, and a full assault terminator squad build and painted. They had the working title of "Resplendent Marines" on account of their deep purple, gold trim, and metallic armour of the veterans. I now have ideas for the actual fluff and a real world influence. The ancient Persians, specifically of the Achæmenid Empire, shall provide influence and flavour.
While trying to find a real world influence I came across many but none really grabbed me by the cojones that the Empire of Xerxes, Daríus, and Cyrus. Can you dig it, suckers? A part of the reason is that, although they are awesome, Greco-Roman Marines are freaking everywhere! I get it, the West is enamoured by our philosophical, academic, warrior, pedarast friends of the Mediterranean Sea.
There are so many empires and cultures out there, especially in the geographic region spanning Egypt, east to India, and north to include Turkey that scholars call The Sandbox. There were the Sumerians and all the empires that took over, the Assyrians, the Akkadians, Sarecens, Seljuk Turks, Ottoman Turks, Hebrews, Phoenicians, and a whole bunch of groovy and significantly less groovy fellas whose name you read in the Bible (found in both NIV and King James, I am sure). I have always loved the Persians and the multitude of empires that called themselves that too. The Achæmenid is really the definitive one though. Greco-Persian Wars? Achæmenid Empire, Thermopylæ was a part of that (the 300 battle where the giant guy used magicians, ninjas, and goatmen to fight an ancient George Washington/William Wallcae). They were the empire that Alexander conquered in between not having sex with Rosario Dawson. So they were kind of important and didn't have as much of a boring decline like "We are still totally a glorious empire" Rome did.
Military and Game Similarities
On to the application to 40k. The military of the Achæmenids was based on a decimal system. Ten warriors made a dathaba, ten dathaba made a sataba, ten sataba made a hazarabam. Ten of those made the 10,000 strong haivarabam but I do not need to use that. This organization was actually quite rare and not seen in Asia until the great Temyuchin organized the Mongol hordes to do whatever the hell they wanted because they were the Mongols and you don't say no to them. Anyway, this organization can only mean one thing. Guilleman was Iranian. It also means I can straight lift this and apply it to my crusading space warriors.
Another nice bit is how my philosophy of Space Marines are to be used. The basic idea is this. I have my strong centre with my shooty bits. I have dakka preds, and rifleman dreads, I have sternguard, and tacticals. A bunch of shooting. How do I stop the charge of Thunderwolves? I stick some badass shieldbearers right there in the front. The first real badass unit of 5th Ed. is still awesome: Assault Terminators. For a more mobile attack unit I have a Space Marine command squad on bikes. They are fast, can be equipped with range and close combat and they have FNP. So I have a primarily shooty force with a strong defensive centre and mobile hunters.
Here is the Achæmenid philosophy. The most common weapon issued is the bow and they were quite adept. So we have the majority of our force with bows raining hatred down on the enemy. How do we stop they enemy from doing the killy thing to these fellas? The have the strong centre of ranged warriors protected by a unit they called the Sparabara or shield bearers who employed a shield wall. The shock troopers were the cavalry and later empires and militaries had quite the cav in the form of the heavily armoured and heavily armed Cataphrats. These Cataphrats would carry bows, lances, swords, and axes. So ranged and close combat.
Do you see the similarities I do?
Also too...the units were also distinguished by colours. Chiefly purple, blue, and yellow. If you recall I am using purple as my main colour and the Space Marines do enjoy clear colour coded delineation.
The Name and Heroes
I was wondering for quite some time what I could call my force. Obviously the work in progress title of Resplendent Marines wouldn't work. I could use the usual naming convention and call them the Emperor's Boot to the Ass or the Repellent Marines (assuming they had an aversion to hygiene and eventually fell to Nurgle). Then I figured that if I am going Achæmenid Empire I might as well use them. Besides, it would provide a nice change of pace from the falsicus latinium the Imperium loves. I could call them the Achæmenids but...yawn. Also, hard for opponents to say. If there is one thing I learned running an RPG it is to not get too cute with names. If I repeatedly made my opponents face The Achæmenids I know eventually somebody would approach and ask to play a game against my "Ass-aches".
I figure the best thing would be a name that is easy and still referenced them. Speaking with a friend we decided Immortal Brethren or the Immortal Brotherhood was good. Sufficiently Marine and still Persian as we all know about the 10000 Immortals. Of course, the only people who talk about the 10000 Immortals was Herodotus and people who read Herodotus. It was likely a misreading of Anûšiya for Anauša or Companions for Immortals. Taking a cue from Space Wolves who have the private name of Vlka Fenryka for themselves I could have the name of Anûšiya Anauša for my force and have others refer to them as the Immortal Brethren. I also have a host of names for my leaders and such. I already mentioned Cyrus, Daríus, and Xerxes but there is also Achæmenides and Hydarnes. Given that, while my force is specific to the Achæmenid Empire, who would call me for calling their home star system Eranshar or having the chapter master be named Tabir Ibn Husayn or having an Elam pattern bolter? Hell, I'm going to have one of squad leaders named Kasparian and a Librarian Kardashian...try and stop me!
The end of this....
Alright, so I have written quite a bit and I hope you read it all and if not then I hope my sectioning off bits was helpful to read some of it. What are your thoughts and are there any suggestions on what to do and how? Also, any great Persian in history I could name a character after? Thanks for any input.