This is a question that repeatedly beats around in my head once every couple of months.
Not in the sense of how to make my force more dangerous on the table top, but more in how to make them as fluffy as possible.
I started this army during the later stages of 4th Edition.
Originally using the 4th Ed. Space Marine Codex and the, now extinct, Trait system.
With the release of Codex: Dark Angels & the Blood Angels PDF and also the musings of one Jervis Johnson on his ideas on how Codex’s were going to be written in the future.
Made me think to pre-empt future updates and write my own codex for the Luna Wolves, based on the DA codex with bits and pieces from the 4th ed. Marine Codex mixed in for fluff based reasoning.
The result of this can be found here: http://www.freewebs.com/yvraith/
However once Games Workshop released Codex: Chaos Space Marines, I shifted to using that instead, along the lines that it allowed me to use a more diverse range of the Pre-heresy legions in one force, also for some of the inherent weapon & vehicle restrictions e.g. No assault cannons etc.
Giving the marine squads, “Icon of Chaos Glory” for Luna Wolves &“Icon of Slaanesh” to Emperor’s Children, to represent their high standards of training etc, seemed to fit nicely too.
The diversity that was available for Terminators was fantastic and fitted my thoughts on how they would be equipped. (Initiative 5 Terminators with Lighting Claws is still very scary to an opponent!)
Upgrading the whole unit to Champions when fielded as the Justaerin was a nice touch as well.
One of the only things I didn’t like was the randomness of Chaos Dreadnoughts and found that I didn’t use them all that often because of it.
Also the inability to take scouts and Land Speeders I felt, was a drawback as well.
Then 5th edition dawned on us, the changes in wound allocation really hurt the Icon bearing squads and my interest in Codex: CSM waned with the release of Codex: Space Marines, which was met with much curiosity (from me).
Although some of the newer additions, were definitely not suited to a Pre-Heresy force. The return of some old Wargear (Conversion beamers anyone), some of them could be easily explained within a force based around this time. Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans for example are easy to explain. (Vanguard Vets as Catulan Reavers. J)
However I now rarely field any terminators at all, I don’t have room on my FOC, due to my current lean towards Dreadnoughts & Sternguard in Drops Pods, and my dislike of Terminators with Power Fists or only TH & SS or Pairs of Lighting Claws, it just doesn’t seem flexible enough to represent the more elite styling of Justaerin Terminator squads as one example.
I personally dislike taking the Marine Special Characters as “counts as”, it just seems a convenient way to make your army more “beardy/cheesy”, preferring to take standard commanders/Chapter Masters instead. Although some of them do fit certain armies, taking Lysander to represent Perturabo as one example.
I’m yet to read/purchase Codex: Space Wolves but some of the reports from the codex are interesting, e.g. standard equipment for Grey Hunters and “Counter Attack” seem to be fluffy for Luna Wolves, but I’m not sure about the rest of the Codex fitting my thoughts on how the Legion would fight. Until I get my hands on a copy I guess I’ll never know.