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#1 venkelos



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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:30 AM

How important might this concept be to the Space Marines? These supermen use some of the best, and the rarest equipment that the Imperium can make, and the Imperium is often illustrated as having limitless space, people, and resources, but still a crippling inability to create many things in mass quantities. Certainly the most important thing for a Space Marine squad to retrieve is fallen Battle Brothers' gene-seed, which the Apothecary does, assuming you have one, and not sure, if you don't, but what about the rest of the gear? I never see the Space Marines hauling their dead over a shoulder, to do whatever it is they do with the bodies of their lost, or even just pulling empty power armor, but in a world with so much "respect the machine, and will protect you", if you loose guys, and DON'T bring at least their gear back, that seems a bit of an insult to it, the BB's home Chapter, and the TPs. Do they grab and go, or have some other force sneak in later, and rummage through the dead?

What about Chaos gear? One could argue it's old and tainted, but components are often rare in 40k. Could they use it? Would victorious Chaos claim Loyalist suits, to ucorrupt, use, and strip for parts, or leave it?

In the end, the main question is, I guess, how much value do the Space Marines REALLY put into their gear?

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#2 herichimo



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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:44 PM

Really complicated subject I'd like to discuss in depth, but I won't have time until monday (got a 35 hour/2.5 day shifts coming). I'll get around to this again when I'm done with this weeks hours.

#3 Lynata



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Posted 05 April 2013 - 08:47 AM


I would assume it depends on two factors:
- exact circumstances
- the sources you go by
The latter is GW's usual carte blanche that would declare any answer to your question viable, whereas the former would refer to the nature of the mission, the result of the battle, and how much time the troops have to scour the battlefield for recovery ops. The Space Marines' lightning strike tactics are an important aspect of their background, so spending too much time surveying the battlefield might not seem fitting.
Perhaps the wargear is important, but for the most parts still deemed replacable. Meaning, the outside world might lump Marine gear all in one category of importance, but within a Chapter there are "degrees of replaceability" influencing the effort made to their recovery.
Given that Space Marines are based on RL feudal knights, and how valuable platemail armour was in medieval times, how did that work? Do we have sources on that subject?
I have read about some Chapters going through considerable pain to recover their equipment, although that particular instance refers to Rhino APCs rather than "smaller" gear such as armour and weapons.
"Should a Rhino ever be lost in battle it is an occasion of great mourning for those entrusted with its care, and furious battles have been fought to reclaim the burned-out carcass of a Rhino simply to lay its spirit to rest. After the Battle of Naeuysk Gorge, fourteen Rhinos of the Imperial Fists had to be abandoned when traitor Space Marines from the Night Lords Legion ambushed the advancing column as it crossed the only bridge across the gorge. […] The following morning a daring mission involving an airborne assault across the gorge pushed back the Night Lords from the hills on the opposite side and allowed the Imperial Fists to bring up salvage units to start the recovery of their shattered vehicles and the bodies of their comrades. The battle in the hills raged for over thirty hours, with Imperial Fists' casualties amounting to almost 85% as they fought to give their Techmarines enough time to retrieve the fallen Rhinos. Many of the recovered vehicles were subsequently repaired and sent back into action, their battle spirits eager to avenge the ignominy of their earlier defeat."
- WD #269
Note the mention of salvage units. Perhaps another use for Chapter Serfs, too?
As far as Chaos looting stuff from loyalist Chapters is concerned, I did read about them doing this a lot, and in fact this being their primary means of restocking their depleted armouries. Given that they no longer have the support of the Adeptus Mechanicus, or a Chapter Homeworld with a proper Forge, they'd need to rely on looting Imperial armouries or doing shady (and likely fairly rip-off) deals with the independent "Dark Mechanicus". Some of the larger warbands might have re-established a modicum of production capabilities on conquered worlds using slave labour, although the chief limitation is the likely lack of technical knowledge.
Loyalists looting Chaos gear, on the other hand? Tricky. Might depend on the Chapter, but I would assume there's a high chance it would be deemed irrevocably tainted and destroyed.

#4 ranoncles



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Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:53 PM


As usual, the answer is whatever you want it to be. It wouldn´t be hard to argue this both ways.


Typical space marine missions tend to be surgical strikes. This prevents thorough field stripping of your own dead beyond a hasty removal of gene-seed.


GW fluff (Imperial Armour, novels and especially the Deathwatch books) suggest however that newly inducted space marines are not given brand new gear but are given ‘hand me downs’ instead….Armour and weapons proudly worn by previous generations of their chapter and which ‘may have served his chapter for millennia before him’ (page 160, DW core book and the pages on power armour history and astartes weapons).


As space marines hardly ever retire and usually end their careers by being killed in nasty combat, it thus stands to reason that their war gear is indeed recovered, repaired, cleaned and then re-issued.

#5 Hrathen



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Posted 09 April 2013 - 04:08 AM

Space Marines and all there gear should be treated as Holy and Ancient.  In a world where entire planets are often sacrificed for the Imperial War effort, The Holy wargear of fallen battle brothers can not always be recovered.  However if anything I think space marines would be far more likely to at least want to recover the bodies (and all their equipment) from their fallen brothers.  Not only the gene seed, but the entire body would likely be recovered if possible.  There is a great piece of art showing a Grey Knight funeral (it was in the old daemonhunter codex, but it shouldn't be to hard to find)

That being said, my interpretation at least of space marines is that they are only the cutting edge of their military force.  It is likely that a Space Marine Chapter with only 1,000 marines, they might leave the actual, often,  scouring of the battlefield to allies or support staff.

Putting an end to this distructive conflict and bringing order to the galaxy.

#6 Nikollo



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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:11 PM

The recovery of the dead and their gear is sometimes imperative for a Chapter. Some are not exactly on good terms with the Mechanicum, or their positioning has become prohibitive to consistent resupply due to the shifting of imperial trade routes or the decline of a forge world, so the recovery of even basic wargear is necessary for the maintenance of the gear of the survivors.

In the case of the Salamanders Chapter, it serves a religious function. The Salamanders consider a marine's power armour to be a part of their soul, and when a battle-brother dies he, and his armour, are cremated in the lava of Mount Deathfyre on Nocturne. Being of the original founding Legions, and the mechanically-minded nature of the Chapter and its good relationship with the Martian Priesthood, the Salamanders are constantly in good supply of wargear, and the loss of a suit of power armour in the act of cremation does nothing to dent their resources. This is so ingrained in the Chapter's culture that they are revolted by the idea of using the armour of their dead comerades, either in full or in parts (this, however, does not extend to terminator armour, as those suits are relics passed down through the ages that are near-impossible to reproduce).

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