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RevenantBob

Lore Fluff - What goes on?

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That's arguable, because there is, while the details may vary, a general idea or consensus on how things work, usually based on existing canon material and the official GW codices.

 

Given reactions I've witnessed across several forums, I'd rather say there are several consensuses, depending on the vocal majority and what sort of (mis-)information they've been spreading.

 

We all know (I hope), that the material is conflicting when it comes to a lot of details, yet depending on where you look, people propagate a specific interpretation as "The One Truth", either because it's the one they like most, or because it's the only one they know. Word of mouth then leads to it catching on. Unfortunately, the Lexicanum wiki is a major culprit here, as it is often referenced as a source even though much of its content is biased due to how the individual editors chose to incorporate the material.

 

And then, of course, there is the common ground propagated in the official material, though I'd say it is far smaller than a lot of people seem to believe.

 

In my opinion, the worst case is when one of these "community consensuses" actively ignores the contents of the original codex material. Even though those writings are no more "right" than any other product, it's always sad to see when its existence is not even acknowledged. And from what I've seen over the years, a large number of fans is woefully unaware of what their favourite army's codex says. Just take the many discussions about Chapter size, for example.

 

I'd disagree, because going by pure mechanics, a Bolter is inferior in killing power to two lasguns. There's no lore that really supports this. The bolter is pretty much unilaterally portrayed as being much massively superior, which makes sense given that... well, it fires 20mm armour-piercing explosive shells and the lasgun is a laser weapon that can barely blow off limbs...

 

Any weapon is inferior in killing power to two lesser weapons, if said lesser weapon is already sufficient to do the job. You can only kill something dead, but not "deader".

 

The chance to actually achieve this result on a normal human target would be 50% with a lasgun, 66.6% with a bolter. If you say that two 50% chances are better than one 66.6% chance ... I'd say that is arguable and very situational. And, of course, we are also ignoring the boltgun's much better penetration that would in many cases negate an Armour Save.

 

"Laser weapons emit a beam of focused light. The short duration high energy beam produces such a rapid temperature change on the target's surface that it vapourises in a small explosion."

-- 3E core rulebook

 
Where's the lore that says lasguns are so crappy? From what I can tell, this is just one of the aforementioned "community consensuses" born from their performance on the tabletop earning them the "flashlight" moniker. And, of course, some of the licensed works where the Guard plays the role of antagonists or extras.
 

The "a platoon's worth of lasguns can kill a Space Marine" is going by mechanics, btw. The chance for a lasgun shot to kill a Marine is 1/18 (1/2 to hit, 1/3 to wound, 1/3 to get past armour), which means a platoon of 20 men is pretty likely to kill a single Marine with massed lasgun fire by game rules. Fluffwise, the lasgun has pretty much always been portrayed as significantly weaker than it is in mechanics.

 

"To Hit" rolls have nothing to do with a weapon's killing power. Armour Save and Toughness Save -- that's it. It should be noted that the result corresponds nicely to both the Codex Angels of Death as well as lasguns in the d100 Inquisitor rules (2d6, must roll above 10).

 

"Against most small arms, the armour reduces the chance of injury by between 50-85%, and it provides some form of protection against all except the most powerful weapons encountered on the battlefields of the 41st millennium."

- 2E C:AoD, Space Marine Power Armour

 

The 85% end of the spectrum arguably refers to lasguns, easily the most common small arm in the Imperial arsenal.

 

I don't see this supposed discrepancy between mechanics and fluff portrayal.

Edited by Lynata

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The "a platoon's worth of lasguns can kill a Space Marine" is going by mechanics, btw. The chance for a lasgun shot to kill a Marine is 1/18

 

18 Guardsmen to reliably drop a Space Marine? That feels about right to me...

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That's arguable, because there is, while the details may vary, a general idea or consensus on how things work, usually based on existing canon material and the official GW codices.

 

Given reactions I've witnessed across several forums, I'd rather say there are several consensuses, depending on the vocal majority and what sort of (mis-)information they've been spreading.

 

We all know (I hope), that the material is conflicting when it comes to a lot of details, yet depending on where you look, people propagate a specific interpretation as "The One Truth", either because it's the one they like most, or because it's the only one they know. Word of mouth then leads to it catching on. Unfortunately, the Lexicanum wiki is a major culprit here, as it is often referenced as a source even though much of its content is biased due to how the individual editors chose to incorporate the material.

 

And then, of course, there is the common ground propagated in the official material, though I'd say it is far smaller than a lot of people seem to believe.

 

In my opinion, the worst case is when one of these "community consensuses" actively ignores the contents of the original codex material. Even though those writings are no more "right" than any other product, it's always sad to see when its existence is not even acknowledged. And from what I've seen over the years, a large number of fans is woefully unaware of what their favourite army's codex says. Just take the many discussions about Chapter size, for example.

 

Oh, yes, I get you here. There are misconceptions, and at no point did I claim there's just one consensus.

 

It really grinds my gears to see people complaining about Khorne having been twisted by GW and that he used to be honourable "in the old fluff", when there's literally no fluff to support those claims, for example.

 

But there's a general consensus, even if the details vary. You know, on things like "Space Marines are exclusively male". The fact that power armour isn't tissue paper that can be penetrated easily by lasguns also tends to be included here.

 

Any weapon is inferior in killing power to two lesser weapons, if said lesser weapon is already sufficient to do the job. You can only kill something dead, but not "deader".

 

The chance to actually achieve this result on a normal human target would be 50% with a lasgun, 66.6% with a bolter. If you say that two 50% chances are better than one 66.6% chance ... I'd say that is arguable and very situational. And, of course, we are also ignoring the boltgun's much better penetration that would in many cases negate an Armour Save.

 

"Laser weapons emit a beam of focused light. The short duration high energy beam produces such a rapid temperature change on the target's surface that it vapourises in a small explosion."

-- 3E core rulebook

 
Where's the lore that says lasguns are so crappy? From what I can tell, this is just one of the aforementioned "community consensuses" born from their performance on the tabletop earning them the "flashlight" moniker. And, of course, some of the licensed works where the Guard plays the role of antagonists or extras.

 

This is from the 7E Codex: 

Laser weapons are easy to produce and maintain, assuring they are amongst the most common weapons in the galaxy. Las-weapons do not fire a projectile or slug, but instead project a brief, high-energy pulse. This beam can range greatly in strength, depending on the size of the las-weapon and the rating of its power source. The largest of the las-weapons – such as the lancestrike batteries employed upon spacecraft of the Imperial Navy – produce beams that can sear away entire hab-blocks, leaving only smoking craters hundreds of feet deep. On average, however, las-weapons are much smaller. Even the humble laspistol, within close range and with no atmospheric diffusion of shot, has the power to blast away a foe’s face on contact, with the beam penetrating the skull and burning a hole through the brain, causing immediate death.

A las-pulse will shear through flesh producing a cauterised hole surrounded by blister-burns. When first striking flesh, a las-pulse will cause a flash-burn effect upon impact, as the heat of the discharge causes the immediate surface area of the target to be vaporised. This can, to the untrained eye, take on the same wound aspects as those produced by high density explosives, but there are major differences when it comes to field dressing las-wounds. While the brief exploding flash of initial contact is highly visible, it is rarely the major concern of aid givers. It is typically the continuing projection of the las-beam boring into the body that causes the most extensive damage – the beam will puncture through any internal organs and is capable of severing limbs.

 

In perfect conditions, at close range, a laspistol has enough energy to blow apart a skull.

 

A lasgun, under ideal conditions and with a good shot, is capable of burning through unarmoured flesh and taking off limbs. It's better than a modern ballistic weapon, but not by much (a 12.7mm bullet can take off limbs quite easily). Given the average power of 40k infantry weapons (that fire 20mm armour-piercing explosive shells, monomolecular discs, golf-ball sized slugs, beams that literally tear you apart to your constituent molecules, and so on) that's pretty low-tier.

 

Against most small arms, the armour reduces the chance of injury by between 50-85%, and it provides some form of protection against all except the most powerful weapons encountered on the battlefields of the 41st millennium."

- 2E C:AoD, Space Marine Power Armour

 

Except, purely by mechanics, 85% is kind of overstating it. 

 

A lasgun has a 33(.333...)% chance of penetrating armour, and a 66(.666...)% chance of not. That's a discrepancy of about 20%. If you factor in the To Wound roll needed, the chance becomes 11% to successfully penetrate both the Marine's armour and his fabulous abs to cause damage. Even a 4% deviation is pretty hefty.

 

And that 11% chance is not to penetrate. It's an 11% chance to instantly kill the Marine. See where I'm going with this? The game mechanics are simplified abstractions that are influenced by the need for game balance.

 

Additionally, for example the autocannon (AP4) has exactly the same chance of getting past the armour save on a Marine as a lasgun, despite being a massively superior weapon.

 

So I'll stand by my statement that game mechanics aren't a good source of judging these things, because A) they're simplified abstractions, and B) there is a need to maintain game balance.

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I personnaly see a lasgun as unable to kill a guy in power armour when you shoot on it but it can do damage when you hit places vulnerable (soft armour, joints, eye lense, etc.)

 

 

The same is true for medieval full plate vs Swords, and that's a little bit my comparison for power armour. A sword had 0% chance of wounding a guy in full plate, except if you wen't where there is no full plate.

 

In my vision, this is the same for a space marine.

 

Except, as in anything, that if you can just proceed to shot 75 times in the same place with your lasgun, maybe the heat and repetitive assault will break it (like 100 swords hit at the same place will one day scratch deeply the armour).

 

In my opinion, having 20 guardsman shooting on a space marine will come up with touching him by chance (or one of them is very good) in a lesser armoured place (joints, eye-lense, etc.).

 

 

Anyway, as I already said, if I was the Emperor at the time of heresy, I wouldn't invest so much in power armour, bolters and genetically enhancing my soldiers for they to be as poor as they are on the TT while a few more regular joe will do the same job. 

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But there's a general consensus, even if the details vary. You know, on things like "Space Marines are exclusively male". The fact that power armour isn't tissue paper that can be penetrated easily by lasguns also tends to be included here.

 

True -- but then again, I don't think anybody has been suggesting otherwise. ~15% certainly isn't "easily", but a lot of fans seem to jump between two extremes of "complete immunity" and "tissue paper armour" as if the in-between wouldn't exist, and in fact is what the books are saying.

 

A lasgun, under ideal conditions and with a good shot, is capable of burning through unarmoured flesh and taking off limbs. It's better than a modern ballistic weapon, but not by much (a 12.7mm bullet can take off limbs quite easily). Given the average power of 40k infantry weapons (that fire 20mm armour-piercing explosive shells, monomolecular discs, golf-ball sized slugs, beams that literally tear you apart to your constituent molecules, and so on) that's pretty low-tier.

 

The 7E quote seems to align nicely with what has been published before. Again, it doesn't actually matter if it's low-tiered compared to other more destructive weapons when it is still enough to do the job.

 

But to put this into context, perhaps people are also overstating the protective qualities of powered armour? I've already cited the injury prevention rate as stated in codex fluff, but the very same source also stated that the plating in Marine PA is "up to an inch thick". Up to an inch, or 2.5 cm, at its thickest point. This is remarkable as a lot of fans seem to look at Space Marines and automatically assume that they're clad in, like, 10cm of armour, when it's quite a bit thinner, simply because Marines themselves are rather buff, as well as the additional gadgets hidden between the armour and the Marine's body.

 

As such, it seems that lasguns would apparently not be able to penetrate the thickest spot (likely the chestplate's center), at least not with a single shot, but there are sufficient weak points on the armour that we get to the numbers provided by the fluff and the tabletop stats. The helmet, the lower arms, thighs, abdomen, shoulder line of the chest plate, ...

 

Except, purely by mechanics, 85% is kind of overstating it.  [...] Even a 4% deviation is pretty hefty.

 

I really can't agree here. A mere 4% deviation is nothing I'd use as justification to completely dismiss either the background (are you now saying that Marines are even easier to injure than the tabletop suggests?), or the TT, especially when these are the most solid numbers we ever had on the subject. I mean, what else would you use?

 

Also keep in mind that, in Inquisitor, the injury chance is 16.6% (2d6, must roll over 10). As such, I'd say the 15% in the fluff is a nice middle ground between the only two mechanical stats we ever got from GW (11% in the TT, <->17% in Inquisitor).

 

And that 11% chance is not to penetrate. It's an 11% chance to instantly kill the Marine. See where I'm going with this? The game mechanics are simplified abstractions that are influenced by the need for game balance.

 

The "instakill" is your interpretation. Not only does an attack in the tabletop represent more than just a single shot, you can also justify a death by previously incurred injuries where a Marine's Toughness Save has preserved their combat readiness. Aside from a few units with multiple Wounds, the TT does not know the condition of "injured", but that doesn't mean you should dismiss it entirely when looking at it in an attempt to analyse it on a realistic basis.

 

This is the abstraction you mention, but it has nothing to do with "game balance", but rather with keeping things simple. And again: you don't balance lasgun stats against Marine armour. You balance the point costs of Guardsmen and Space Marines. There is no reason to assume that "balancing" would lead to a distorted weapon treatment in the tabletop, especially when the background of the game is a result and byproduct of it, rather than the other way around.

 

On a sidenote, I actually prefer to consider that a lot of the Marines dropped in the TT to be merely incapacitated and thus "salvageable", though this depends on what actually dropped them. In the end, a unit out of action is quite simply a unit out of action, regardless of whether you consider them killed, or if they just got a lasblast in the helm that had their right eye pop.

 

Additionally, for example the autocannon (AP4) has exactly the same chance of getting past the armour save on a Marine as a lasgun, despite being a massively superior weapon.

 

The superiority is represented by its massively increased Strength, and the fact that it has a higher firing rate giving you multiple chances to penetrate the armour. A single shot has roughly as much trouble penetrating the armour, but if it gets through, it wreaks havoc on the fleshy bits inside.

 

 

 

Anyway, as I already said, if I was the Emperor at the time of heresy, I wouldn't invest so much in power armour, bolters and genetically enhancing my soldiers for they to be as poor as they are on the TT while a few more regular joe will do the same job. 

 

You would if you have limited transportation, or when you're facing a situation where you can deploy only a limited number of troops due to restrictions of the environment or the strategic situation.

 

Really, by your argument the US could just disband the Marine Corps. The National Guard is much cheaper in upkeep! ;)

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I personnaly see a lasgun as unable to kill a guy in power armour when you shoot on it but it can do damage when you hit places vulnerable (soft armour, joints, eye lense, etc.)

 

Yeah, that's how I picture it, too. Lasguns would rarely perforate power armour, in my opinion (only in the case of a 'golden shot', as tank crews call it when a shot hits at just the right angle to penetrate armor that would normally deflect it); instead Guardsmen rely on volume of shots to eventually connect with vulnerable areas.

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Isn't that what the ~15% chance represents? What else should it be? ;)

 

That being said, the same result can of course also be achieved by fewer people with better marksmanship. Or by using a lasgun with more stopping power, such as the Triplex-pattern (which, in Inquisitor, can go up to 2d6+5). Or by using a lasgun that has a higher rate of fire, such as the Necromunda-pattern. And so on.

Though these would be edge-cases that are more likely to involve special individuals rather than your average Guardsman.

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Really, by your argument the US could just disband the Marine Corps. The National Guard is much cheaper in upkeep!  ;)

 

 

 

There is a question of mandate. National Guard has the job of protecting homeland, while the marinecorps and US army can attack and defend.

 

National Guard and US Marine Corps would better compare with PDF/Imperial Guard than Space Marines/Imperial Guard.

 

 

But I don't live in USA, so I'm not sure of what I affirm there. But if both are doing the same excat thing, the efficiency of one is barely better than the other, and one of those is much more costy, yeah, I would disband one.

 

 

 

Isn't that what the ~15% chance represents? What else should it be?  ;)

 

Maybe, I must admit at this level that this is a question of interpretation. Getting to this 15% needs some maths that I don't necessarily agree with.

 

A knight in full plate armour with gambeson and chain where plate don't cover, wouldn't be wounded 15% of the time, I think, it would need a very lucky shot (and in my opinion, 15% is more than lucky) or someone very trained and entirely focussed on it. 

 

In the end, we could rationalise that everyday random guy that doesn't know a thing about power armour hasn't 15% chance, while veteran and other player characters could have it because they target a little more.

 

But I consider myself talented in sword combat and i must tell you that there isn't anything close to 15% of my hit that could connect with gabs and vulnerabilities in medieval plates. And my assomption is that a Power Armour is the equivalent (and even more) of the Medieval Plate Armour in modern warfare (I actually says that this is the carapace amour's role, while the power plate is kind of the next step...)

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There is a question of mandate. National Guard has the job of protecting homeland, while the marinecorps and US army can attack and defend.

 

True, but if, as you say, individual performance isn't that important, this could easily be changed with some legislation. ;)

 

But no, transportation and logistics are a huge issue in modern warfare. Logistics in particular make up a large part of modern armies, so that the more troops you send, the more transportation you not only need for them, but for all the supplies and support they need.

 

http://www.almc.army.mil/alog/issues/novdec03/logistics_of_invasion.htm

 

Granted, in 40k this is somewhat alleviated by Guard armies partially "living off the land" via looting and pillaging, and the lasgun being capable of recharging its ammo at generators, but each regiment still needs at least some projectile ammunition (especially tank units), not to mention spare parts and medical goods. All of this results in a so-called "Loss of Strength Gradient", which is a military theory that basically states that a nation's ability to project its military power weakens the further away the operating zone is from the homeland.

 

You can witness the developments right now on our own world, as Russia and China are slowly beginning to transform their militaries to adapt to changing geopolitical climate. The old armies of the PRC and the Warshaw Pact were based on defending the homeland against capitalist incursion, as well as (in case of the Soviets) slowly waltzing across the continent towards the west with thousands upon thousands of tanks. The world has changed, though, and the old doctrine is no longer valid. Now, it's all about force projection far away from the home country in order to enforce the nation's interests, which is made difficult by there being large bodies of water between the nations involved -- quite similar to the Imperium of Man, really.

 

To take China, for example, you can see they've got their eyes set on Taiwan, but they'd have trouble deploying their massive army. For this reason, the PLA has come up with a clever plan to have future civilian cargo ships and megaferries be convertible to military transports.

 

Anyways, it all boils down to this: Yes, obviously any invasion can theoretically be won by simply throwing and endless wave of bodies against the problem until it disappears. This has actually happened in 40k multiple times (Chenkov anyone?), but that doesn't change that you first need a way to deploy these bodies. And that's not even where it stops. Even if you have sufficient ships to transport everyone, it is simply impossible to deploy them simultaneously, as two men will obviously occupy twice as much space on the ground as a single soldier who is twice as good.

 

I'm sure you are familiar with the Spartan legend of Thermopylae, and how a severely outnumbered force managed to carry the day simply by holding a small pass the enemy could not attack with all their strength? And these men were not Space Marines, they simply had superior deployment.

 

Which is another thing that factors into Space Marine victories, by the way. It's almost depressing how often people just tend to focus on a Space Marine's superior strength and toughness, when their single most significant advantage is the deployment speed. Space Marines usually win their battles not by taking on the enemy's main force head on (sometimes they try, but in GW's fluff this regularly results in massacred Marines), but rather by assaulting weak points and making sure the enemy cannot actually throw everything they have at them.

This is not only much harder to do with Imperial Guardsmen (the Storm Troopers are the best attempt at doing so); the slow pace of IG deployment usually means the enemy is already well aware and waiting, possibly even setting a trap.

 

This difference has also been mentioned again and again by Games Workshop, but it tends to get swept under the rug in favour of the unkillable supersoldier simplification, and the Imperial Guard being relegated to the role of a purely auxiliary defensive force (so, actually what the PDF is supposed to be) just because Marines cannot be everywhere at once.

 

Yet what the original material tells us is this:

 

"The Space Marines are the Imperium's elite fighting troops, a core of highly mobile shock troops trained to fight on land and in space. On the battlefield they are expected to take part in the most dangerous and important attacks, to hold their positions no matter how hopeless their situation. Space Marines are entrusted with all sorts of perilous missions, such as lightning raids behind enemy lines, infiltration attacks to capture vital positions, and tunnel fights in enemy held cities. They also undertake long voyages of planetary exploration and conquest on behalf of the Imperium, earmarking planets which are too well defended so that they can be attacked later with the support of the Imperial Guard."

-- Epic 40k Forces of the Imperium & d100 Inquisitor

 

"Often, a small force of Space Marines is enough to turn back an alien invasion - so long as there are some other human forces left to support them. However, the Space Marine Chapters are not large: an entire Chapter may be able to field only a thousand warriors or thereabouts. Often a conflict will be simply too large, the enemy too powerful, too numerous, or too well entrenched for local forces, ships, or Space Marines to defeat. In such a case mobility counts for very little. In conflicts such as this, the really huge invasions, the wars that spread across whole star systems and decades of warp space, only the grinding steamroller of the Imperial Guard can hope to crush the foe."

-- 2E C:IG

 

Honestly, it all adds up, if you don't simply regard the Space Marines as "Guardsmen +1".

Both armies have a very specific use, and the Imperium's most glorious victories are won when you have both forces supporting each other, as their tactics and assets complement each other nicely. The Space Marines are, in effect, a force multiplier for the Imperial Guard; their raids and manoeuvres exploiting an enemy's weakness in a way that will save countless lives among the supporting forces of the Guard, as the IG doctrine results in slower advances which directly increases the amount of casualties, which in turn affects a regiment's ability to participate in the next battle.

 

But I consider myself talented in sword combat and i must tell you that there isn't anything close to 15% of my hit that could connect with gabs and vulnerabilities in medieval plates. And my assomption is that a Power Armour is the equivalent (and even more) of the Medieval Plate Armour in modern warfare (I actually says that this is the carapace amour's role, while the power plate is kind of the next step...)

 

Ah, but swordfighting is based on sweeps, not thrusts. When armoured knights faced each other on foot, I assume most would choose a mace or a pickaxe to down their opponent. Swords were something to cut down peasant rabble with.

 

Either way, the common infantry weapon in late medieval times - the equivalent to the lasgun, if you will - was not the sword, but the pike. And this weapon was quite effective at dealing with armoured knights. Which is part of why the latter eventually went out of fashion, together with the advent of crossbows, blackpowder weapons and sweeping social changes.

Edited by Lynata

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This difference has also been mentioned again and again by Games Workshop, but it tends to get swept under the rug in favour of the unkillable supersoldier simplification, and the Imperial Guard being relegated to the role of a purely auxiliary defensive force (so, actually what the PDF is supposed to be) just because Marines cannot be everywhere at once.

 

 

Agreed, that's not what I mean.

 

 

The Space Marines are, in effect, a force multiplier for the Imperial Guard; their raids and manoeuvres exploiting an enemy's weakness in a way that will save countless lives among the supporting forces of the Guard, as the IG doctrine results in slower advances which directly increases the amount of casualties, which in turn affects a regiment's ability to participate in the next battle.

 

 

I completely agree with you, but I dare to interpret (and we come back to interpretation haha) 40k as yes, not super evolved compared to 21st century, but hey...we've got super good shocktroops at the moment. We've got specialised soldiers that can do exactly just what was told of the space marines. Then what the Space Marine can offer more? Being super soldiers, super fast, super strong, super tough and super all.

 

Otherwise, it will be less costly to just train more storm troopers, elysian drop troops, Jantine Janissaries and such. 

 

I agree with deployment (1 man still take 1 place), and such. But even then, you could have cheaper way of doing what space marine does, if it's just a question of deployment speed. And then, we could argue that space marines may be not that awesome (this would very well fit with the inefficient themes of 40k), but I don't interpret the universe that way. I see more the Imperium as a waste of potential (it could be MUUUUUCH better), but still being very good at what it does, otherwise it wouldn't have survived. This imply, to me, that guard forces have elite and shock troops (and not just in the form of Storm Troopers, which are just the best of the best) that can do lightning raids, at least as much as is done today.

 

 

 

Ah, but swordfighting is based on sweeps, not thrusts. When armoured knights faced each other on foot, I assume most would choose a mace or a pickaxe to down their opponent. Swords were something to cut down peasant rabble with.

 

Last words of a dead man! Sweeping with a sword against another sword wearer is calling death to fall on you. I'll thrust you in the face if you sweep towards me, unless you're at very short range.

 

A sword was indeed meant as a cutting weapon to kill light infantry, and indeed, a sword was a rare weapon (compared to pike).

 

 

 

 

And this weapon was quite effective at dealing with armoured knights. Which is part of why the latter eventually went out of fashion, together with the advent of crossbows, blackpowder weapons and sweeping social changes.

 

Actually, there were not many good weapons against plate armour. Even crossbow weren't that good and deflected more often than not. The rare very good weapons against plate armour where warhammer and other kind of maces. But these were lacking handling, reach, and were easy to handle for an armoured knight.

 

There were many techniques to thrust with a sword (especially longsword or greatsword) in the gaps of an armour and these kept partially range, quillon protection. 

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Then what the Space Marine can offer more? Being super soldiers, super fast, super strong, super tough and super all. Otherwise, it will be less costly to just train more storm troopers, elysian drop troops, Jantine Janissaries and such. I agree with deployment (1 man still take 1 place), and such. But even then, you could have cheaper way of doing what space marine does, if it's just a question of deployment speed. 

 

Well, they're not "super all", but yeah, it's not just a question of deployment speed. Even if you go by tabletop stats, a Space Marine is quite a bit more survivable than a Storm Trooper. Not just because they get a better Armour Save and have a better chance against most small arms, but also because they're better at actually fighting back, thus eliminating hostiles who in the following seconds might cause their deaths.

 

Generally said, if you've got a single square meter to fill in an assault, wouldn't you still use the very best infantry you have available? Even when it's just "better" rather than "omgsoincrediblysuperior"? The Space Marines' advantage isn't that they are incredibly strong, not even that they're incredibly tough, but rather that they have an edge in almost anything. An edge that can still get negated or may even prove entirely worthless, but also an edge that most of the time is just enough to turn the tide of battle.

 

This is also represented by the majority of implants and the gadgets in their armour -- how often do you think comes "spitting acid" in handy? Or the waste recycler? The majority of their advantages is incredibly situational, but that's just what they are. Throw them at something, and they'll get that "+1" from somewhere.

 

And then, we could argue that space marines may be not that awesome (this would very well fit with the inefficient themes of 40k), but I don't interpret the universe that way.

 

Oh, that's true, I unashamedly admit that my interpretation favours a grittier Imperium, where the existence of forces such as the Space Marines and Battle Sisters is partially based on sheer tradition outweighing rational thought. The Astartes in particular are a heavily degraded remnant of a golden age, shackled by decrees born out of mistrust that bind them to a role of semi-independent auxiliaries compared to their former glory as conquering legions, beset by genetic and spiritual corruption that results in implant failure or outright treason with ever-increasing frequency.

Though I should add that this continuously worsening condition is not something I made up, but that was actually printed in White Dwarf.

 

There were many techniques to thrust with a sword (especially longsword or greatsword) in the gaps of an armour and these kept partially range, quillon protection. 

 

I was under the impression that greatswords in particular were more for slashing. Didn't they usually have a blunt blade, even, with the damage based on smashing rather than cutting? I think the so-called "Doppelsöldners" also tended to be used against formations wielding polearms (with the intent of destroying the enemy's weapons), less so armoured knights.

 

Still, I stand by my point that polearms were sufficiently effective, at least more than what I'd expect from a sword!

 

Edited by Lynata

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Generally said, if you've got a single square meter to fill in an assault, wouldn't you still use the very best infantry you have available?

 

Agreed, the logic of your argument isn't contestable in my opinion. But there is the fact that we speak about the Imperium, which as so much ressources that they will have more than 1 square metre if they wish too. 

 

 

 

Though I should add that this continuously worsening condition is not something I made up, but that was actually printed in White Dwarf.

 

I use this equation too, I can see how they are not so great as they were. I see them more as killing machine now than the paladins they were supposed to be before (but even then,..it was a failure, look at the traitor legions and even some of the loyalist...). 

 

But not that much that Space Marines aren't still the very best and much more awesome than storm troopers.

 

 

 

but also because they're better at actually fighting back, thus eliminating hostiles who in the following seconds might cause their deaths.

 

That is important indeed, but storm troopers kinda have the same fighting back training (good BS, technically a good WS too, etc.), and highly trained normal men can too (look at the veterans, the catachans, etc.). I think Space Marines most be mainly a lot more durable than what they are on the battlefield (walking tanks, instead of just harder to kill than storm troopers). Should they be immune to heavy weaponry and rocket launchers? No. But for them to fill a role superior than what the Storm Troopers can already do, I think they must be mainly immune to small arms and battlefield problems.

 

But in the end, I think we see it the same way but the scale of their superiority.

 

 

 

I was under the impression that greatswords in particular were more for slashing. Didn't they usually have a blunt blade, even, with the damage based on smashing rather than cutting? I think the so-called "Doppelsöldners" also tended to be used against formations wielding polearms (with the intent of destroying the enemy's weapons), less so armoured knights.

 

Still, I stand by my point that polearms were sufficiently effective, at least more than what I'd expect from a sword!

 

 

You're not completely wrong; swords aren't very good against armour. But that's the same for axes, pole arms, and such. BUT, yeah, polearms, axes are better against armour because of the sheer impact they give. But still, I saw many guys getting hit repeatedly at full strenght on their helm with a hallberd and not feeling it. You see the armour slightly buckling at each impact, but you would need dozens of them to actually get through, and this is taking into account that the guy hit the exact same place over and over. 

 

But swords (and even greatswords) were very nimble in comparison to what is told of them. I sometime use a sword as tall as me (1M75) and it flows very fast around me, and since it's a training sword, it is a lot heavier than the real one for safety (blunt blades are thicker and made to resist more combat than a real one, since a real one isn't supposed to get hit as many time as should be a training sword). 

 

Greatsword were made to give more agility to swordsman in the end/after medieval times because armours weren't good enough against the guns. So armour slowed soldiers when they had to get cover fast, while a greatsword user had a lot of protection because of his sword and was still very fast to get into cover when gun began shooting.

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But there is the fact that we speak about the Imperium, which as so much ressources that they will have more than 1 square metre if they wish too. 

 

If that were true, the Third War for Armageddon would have long been over. ;)

 

Though it's not even just the transportation, which in itself is already a major issue .. both in terms of available starships as well as travel times (the average response time for an Imperial Guard regiment is about two months, the Space Marines can get there in a fraction of the time). It also depends on the battlefield. That enemy base you want to deepstrike will only be so big. That breach in the wall will only be so wide. Same as that corridor you want to storm.

 

To use the Thermopylae example again, perhaps the Persians would have won if, instead of bringing 200.000 slave troops, they would have brought only 20.000 elite warriors, more than three times the number of the defending Spartans.

 

That is important indeed, but storm troopers kinda have the same fighting back training (good BS, technically a good WS too, etc.), and highly trained normal men can too (look at the veterans, the catachans, etc.). I think Space Marines must be mainly a lot more durable than what they are on the battlefield (walking tanks, instead of just harder to kill than storm troopers).

 

Why, though? Space Marines have better armour and more resilient bodies, that already makes them notably superior to Storm Troopers simply by being somewhat more durable. Every shot that doesn't drop a Marine will allow him to shoot back and remove an opponent from the equation. You don't need Marines to be immune to small arms for them to be this useful - not to mention that codex fluff explicitly contradicts that.

 

Put bluntly: why exactly do you feel Marines have to be that tough? If it's just a preferred narrative as you like to see the Legiones Astartes more as superheroes, fine, that's one thing. But if you insist that otherwise they wouldn't be of use, I think I have sufficiently rebutted that argument with the above.

 

Not to mention that to make the Space Marines that tough feels as if it would tug on the "balance" that exists between the various forces in the Imperium. The Marines would have far fewer casualties and lost battles (especially when facing mere PDF), the Sororitas couldn't fulfil their role as GW-certified nigh-equals (curiously, a lot of people don't like to hear this, yet it's part of the official background as well) and hunters of rogue Chapters, and Inquisitors wouldn't be able to operate side by side with them as they do in the Deathwatch.

 

Sometimes, it doesn't matter how much better something is -- only that it is, in fact, better. Especially in situations where you can only deploy in limited numbers, which not only happens to be true in 40k from multiple angles (transportation, mobilisation speed, environmental conditions, supplies), but plays right into the strengths of the Space Marines' preferred post-Heresy tactics, as their enemies often suffer from the very same limitations.

 

Superior mobility leads to surgical strikes at weak points, with an enemy who cannot bring their full force to bear against the attackers both because reinforcements may be hours away as well as because you can only put so many defenders in a room.

 

That is why the Space Marines are the scalpel. If you want the hammer - brute force - then you've gotta call in the Guard.*

 

(* disclaimer: okay, Space Marines as shock troops are all about brute force as well, but they apply it on a far smaller, more personal scale rather than strategically as the Guard does with its wave tactics and artillery barrages)

 

 

But in the end, I think we see it the same way but the scale of their superiority.

 

I guess so. ;)

 

And I believe this is probably just because we grew up on different books, or because of meta preferences (for example, I generally dislike superheroes and prefer a more gritty take on things) affecting what we like about the setting, and thus how we interpret certain things.

Edited by Lynata

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Not to mention that to make the Space Marines that tough feels as if it would tug on the "balance" that exists between the various forces in the Imperium. The Marines would have far fewer casualties and lost battles (especially when facing mere PDF), the Sororitas couldn't fulfil their role as GW-certified nigh-equals (curiously, a lot of people don't like to hear this, yet it's part of the official background as well) and hunters of rogue Chapters, and Inquisitors wouldn't be able to operate side by side with them as they do in the Deathwatch.

 

But even in my interpretation, an Inquisitor in power armour (or with a forcefield), can still defeat them with a power sword. It's also the case in DH, where thay are very strong (to my liking). 

 

Remember, also, that Space Marines are a million only. That's what stop them from tugging the "balance" between the various forces in the imperium. I've got billions of Imperial Guard troops, yet 1 million of Space Marine. It's not even an army in modern day standard, forget about the Imperium.

 

 

 

If that were true, the Third War for Armageddon would have long been over.  ;)

 

Nope, because the same argument is true (or even more true) to orks. 

 

 

 

Imperial Guard regiment is about two months, the Space Marines can get there in a fraction of the time). It also depends on the battlefield. That enemy base you want to deepstrike will only be so big. That breach in the wall will only be so wide. Same as that corridor you want to storm.

 

Warp travel isn't faster for Space Marines, for what I know. And a trained imperial guard regiment, already assembled (not a founding one), would not take two months to assemble at all. Unless you consider IG to be inferior to soldiers of the second world war, mustering troop for another operation wasn't that long.

 

Yeah, Space Marines are faster on the battlefield (faster vehiciles, more tactical flexibility because they operate in small numbers, etc.), but Storm Troopers and Elysian drop troops would also be.

 

 

 

Sometimes, it doesn't matter how much better something is -- only that it is, in fact, better. Especially in situations where you can only deploy in limited numbers, which not only happens to be true in 40k from multiple angles (transportation, mobilisation speed, environmental conditions, supplies), but plays right into the strengths of the Space Marines' preferred post-Heresy tactics, as their enemies often suffer from the very same limitations.

 

True. But in an imperium where sending thousands upon thousands of guardsmen bothers no one, I don't see why I would put 3 times the same budget for something that won't give 3 times the result.

 

I consider that, for creating the space marines (about all that is said in the background, in their equipment, etc.), training and equipping them is clearly in a ratio of 100 hundred marines fore 10 000 guardsmen. If they're not worth at least a thousand, maybe more, guardsmen, why would I pot so much ressources on them?

 

It would be cheaper to train more storm troopers, to better equip said storm-troopers or the enhance them bionically and you would have fewer losses (remember that many people don't get to become space marines, this is spoiled soldiers). 

 

 

 

Superior mobility leads to surgical strikes at weak points, with an enemy who cannot bring their full force to bear against the attackers both because reinforcements may be hours away as well as because you can only put so many defenders in a room.

 

But that mobility, Elysian Drop Troops have it with grav-chute and Valkyries. Storm troopers too, and possibily many other units of the Imperial Guard. 

 

I agree to all you say about Space Marines.

 

I still don't consider Space Marines worth it when you can have a large number of the same perks with cheaper troops doing the samething (maybe needing more men, but still cheaper).

 

 

 

 

That enemy base you want to deepstrike will only be so big. That breach in the wall will only be so wide. Same as that corridor you want to storm.

 

Not convinced. If I have the choince between 10 marines like you describe them, or 10 regular IG, okay. But if I've got an imperial guard regiment or 30 marines like you describe them, I'll go with the regiment.

I'll have combined arms and I'll make a bigger breach in the wall and send in all my guys that will do the same job, for cheaper.

 

 

 

I don't say that Space Marines aren't better. I say that for all the work they represent is ridiculous if the difference between tabletop Space Marines and Table Top Guardsmen is really what is at stake. Because even real life special forces are way stronger than Space Marines on the tabletop. I know that you defend that Inquisitor's Space Marines were better than Table Top, maybe they would fit with my opinion, I don't know.

 

 

 

 

And I believe this is probably just because we grew up on different books, or because of meta preferences (for example, I generally dislike superheroes and prefer a more gritty take on things) affecting what we like about the setting, and thus how we interpret certain things.

 

I don't like super heroes (well, I do like those that are not flawless). But I think the 41st millenium is full enough of things that make it grittier to build super soldiers that aren't immune to small arm fires while nowadays we're coming close to things that can. 

 

Krak missile, meltagun, autocanon, lascanon, krak grenades, plasma rifles, sniper rifles, chainswords are all things that can fast make damage to a space marine. It won't take many ennemy soldiers to put one down.

 

In a DH game 1, I had 3 lvl 1 player taht took an entier squad of space marines with regular weaponry. Admitted, I was friggin' unlucky on my dices rolls and they were very lucky on their own part, but they did. 

 

Space Marines are hard if you approach them with shotgun, lasrifle and such, but that's what I'm hoping to see with regular weaponry. Give me real gun then, and this won't be the same.

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Remember, also, that Space Marines are a million only. That's what stop them from tugging the "balance" between the various forces in the imperium.

 

There's fewer Battle Sisters than Space Marines, fewer Temple Assassins, fewer Inquisitors, and probably fewer Storm Troopers as well, though.

 

Nope, because the same argument is true (or even more true) to orks.

 

But the Imperium has more troops in the galaxy than the Orks have on Armageddon. If transportation and deployment were non-issues, they'd just zerg-rush them away.

 

 

Warp travel isn't faster for Space Marines, for what I know. And a trained imperial guard regiment, already assembled (not a founding one), would not take two months to assemble at all. Unless you consider IG to be inferior to soldiers of the second world war, mustering troop for another operation wasn't that long.

 

Yeah, Space Marines are faster on the battlefield (faster vehiciles, more tactical flexibility because they operate in small numbers, etc.), but Storm Troopers and Elysian drop troops would also be.

 

Space Marine ships, at least according to codex fluff, actually are faster than Navy Troop Transports. Not to mention that many of their strike forces are already mobilised and patrolling when a distress call comes in. Not so for the Imperial Guard -- its regiments tend to be raised on an as-needed basis, and the ones already active only become available once their campaign has concluded.

 

"Imperial Guard armies are amassed to take part in specific wars or campaigns and are usually recruited as close to the fighting as possible. Ten thousand light years can be traversed within 10-40 days by warp-capable spacecraft. By the time ships have been moved into position, munitions collected and troops assembled, the response time over this distance is in the order of between 30 and 120 days, typically about 75 days. This is the standard response time for the raising of Imperial Guard armies, though for prolonged conflicts troops may be brought in from much further away.
 
It is the speed of space travel that has shaped the way in which the Imperial Guard operates. The distribution of the fleet and settled human worlds is such that armies can be assembled only slowly. This process is too slow to guarantee the safety of any individual world at any moment. Fortunately, the Imperium has other forces which can react more rapidly, such as the fleets and the Space Marine Chapters."
 
"The first forces able to respond to a distress signal are usually spacecraft of the nearest fleet. Imperial ships can drive away attacking craft or support friendly ground forces. However, ships can do little to aid desperate ground troops. If the distress signal reaches a nearby Space Marine Chapter fortress, a force of Space Marines can be sent as quickly as naval vessels. All Space Marine Chapters have their own fleets consisting of some of the fastest ships in the Imperium. Often a small force of Space Marines is enough to turn back an alien invasion, so long as there are some other human forces left to support them.
 
However, the Space Marine Chapters are not large: an entire Chapter may be able to field only a thousand warriors or thereabouts. Often, a conflict will be simply too large, the enemy too powerful, too numerous, or too well entrenched for local forces, ships, or Space Marines to defeat. In such a case mobility counts for very little. In conflicts such as these, the really huge invasions, the wars that spread across whole star systems and decades of warp space, only the grinding steamroller of the Imperial Guard can hope to crush the foe."
-- 2E C:IG
 

As for Storm Troopers and Elysians, the former aren't nearly as numerous as Marines (they are attached to Imperial Guard Army Groups on the basis of individual squads), whereas the latter lack the Astartes' tactical flexibility, and their gear + training is far from that of the Storm Troopers, not to mention the Space Marines.

 

In my opinion, you're still focusing on what gets paraded as the Space Marines' most prominent advantages: strength and resilience. Yet what is at least as important is their ability to change their formations on the fly depending on what is needed on the ground. A Storm Trooper is just a Storm Trooper. A Tactical Marine can deploy as shock infantry, fire support, sniper, drop troop, or even in a friggin' tank. It's the whole reason they go through all those different roles over their career!

 

True. But in an imperium where sending thousands upon thousands of guardsmen bothers no one, I don't see why I would put 3 times the same budget for something that won't give 3 times the result.

 

I consider that, for creating the space marines (about all that is said in the background, in their equipment, etc.), training and equipping them is clearly in a ratio of 100 hundred marines fore 10 000 guardsmen. If they're not worth at least a thousand, maybe more, guardsmen, why would I pot so much ressources on them?

 

It would be cheaper to train more storm troopers, to better equip said storm-troopers or the enhance them bionically and you would have fewer losses (remember that many people don't get to become space marines, this is spoiled soldiers). 

 

Apart from the Imperium doing a lot of crazy things simply based on tradition (why would you build cathedrals as large as the Empire State Building? do you think anybody ponders if it really makes people 100x as faithful?), I would say it sounds like you greatly overestimate the actual cost of what it makes to create a Marine as opposed to a Guardsman.

 

It's more expensive to make a Battle Sister, considering they take longer to make (18 years compared to 6) and have a much higher casualty rate whilst sporting similar equipment. Space Marines are a bargain compared to them -- by your logic, that'd mean Battle Sisters should be better warriors than Space Marines. It doesn't work out.

 

Keep in mind that just like you can't guarantee successful Space Marine recruits, you also can't guarantee Storm Trooper recruitment. This isn't just taking an average GI and tossing him better equipment -- we're talking of people who have been drilled to become killers since they were kids, and only the best of them are even considered for selection.

 

Could the Imperium produce more Storm Troopers? Sure, if they'd drop a number of limitations that restrict entry into the Schola Progenium and expand their capacities. Of course, at the same time, the Imperium could also produce more Space Marines, seeing as the Chapters have similarly optional restrictions in place. Either way, I fail to see why Storm Troopers should be cheaper to make if you give them the same gear, not to mention that the Imperium may well be incapable of producing powered armour and bolt weaponry on such a vastly increased level.

 

Your theory is based on the assumption that they could just scale up production of anything, when we're talking about a nation that has forgotten how to build grav tanks, and where plasma weapons can only be manufactured on a small fraction of the Forge Worlds. And even the ones they still build kind of suck, given that people regularly blow themselves up with 'em.

 

 

Last but not least, there are the famous words of Rogal Dorn: "Give me a hundred Space Marines, or a thousand other troops". ;)

 

I still don't consider Space Marines worth it when you can have a large number of the same perks with cheaper troops doing the samething (maybe needing more men, but still cheaper).

 

If you are that convinced that transportation and environmental limitations play such a little role for the outcome of a battle, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree.

 

And power armour + boltguns don't make up a "large number" of their perks. Like I said, you are focusing too much on their raw power. They've got more than a dozen other implants that all play a small but potentially crucial role in giving them their edge -- and how would you replicate their resilience?

 

You don't have to be immune to small arms fire to be "useful". Even if you only drop after three or four shots instead of after the first or second, that buys you important time to kill more enemies, thus making it easier for those that come after you. And sometimes, that's the only way to win a battle.

 

Again: Thermopylae. We have real world examples for this!

 

In a DH game 1, I had 3 lvl 1 player taht took an entier squad of space marines with regular weaponry. Admitted, I was friggin' unlucky on my dices rolls and they were very lucky on their own part, but they did. 

 

Now I'm curious. What regular weapons were those, exactly? 18 damage reduction is nothing to scoff at.

 

Or did they just keep on rolling Righteous Fury? Because if so, that's a pretty bad argument to make. Righteous Fury makes even a blunt rock dangerous for a fully armoured Space Marine, which is why I keep criticising this mechanic as way too unrealistic for my taste.

Edited by Lynata

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If the distress signal reaches a nearby Space Marine Chapter fortress, a force of Space Marines can be sent as quickly as naval vessels. All Space Marine Chapters have their own fleets consisting of some of the fastest ships in the Imperium. Often a small force of Space Marines is enough to turn back an alien invasion, so long as there are some other human forces left to support them.

 

That support my claim.

 

Space Marine vaissels are not faster in warp travel. In real space, maybe. But the difference in deployment will be days, or hours (which, on a battlefield, is a lot, I agree).

 

 

 

 

This is the standard response time for the raising of Imperial Guard armies, though for prolonged conflicts troops may be brought in from much further away.

 

For raising armies. I know that the Imperium likes ad-hoc formation, but still in my argument against TT Space Marines, once an army is raised, it's just warp travel time. Ditch so weak space marines and have IG standing armies waiting for deployment and you'll get troops faster than is actually the case. These are just choices.

 

 

 

 

As for Storm Troopers and Elysians, the former aren't nearly as numerous as Marines (they are attached to Imperial Guard Army Groups on the basis of individual squads), whereas the latter lack the Astartes' tactical flexibility, and their gear + training is far from that of the Storm Troopers, not to mention the Space Marines.

 

In my opinion, you're still focusing on what gets paraded as the Space Marines' most prominent advantages: strength and resilience. Yet what is at least as important is their ability to change their formations on the fly depending on what is needed on the ground. A Storm Trooper is just a Storm Trooper. A Tactical Marine can deploy as shock infantry, fire support, sniper, drop troop, or even in a friggin' tank. It's the whole reason they go through all those different roles over their career!

 

All you describe are choices, not limits. 

 

I agree, in the Imperium, it works that way.

 

What I say is that I don't think the Imperium would work that way if Space Marines were lesser than what DH describes because it would be cheaper to deploy regiment of storm trooper, to equip them with heavy weapon and tanks and such. The differences are not because marines are marines, they are a choice made by people in high places in the Imperium. But if I were those people and Space Marine s*cked as the TT represents, I wouldn't bother having Space Marines. 

 

Because tactical flexibiliy and good training can be done by normal human. Yes, it will be lesser than the Space Marines, I never argued against that. Even TT Space Marines are still stronger than stormtroopers, I agree with that. But honestly, for the diffrence on the TT between storm troopers and Marines, I take only storm troopers, I'll field more of them for only a part of the price.

 

 

But the Imperium has more troops in the galaxy than the Orks have on Armageddon. If transportation and deployment were non-issues, they'd just zerg-rush them away.

 

 

Maybe I wasn't clear.

 

Yeah, it takes two year from one side of the galaxy. And troops are still occupied everywhere in the galaxy. But the argument of you've got the choice by dropping 10 men, do you take marine or regular joes isn't a valid argument. Imperial Guard will have transports for 10 000 guys while Astartes will lend you only a squad. I take 10 000 guys.

 

It is sure that if there is a mission where I can only send 10 guys (the basis of your argument), I'll take whatever is the best. But as the Imperium, I would try to have better soldiers in general than a few, limited in usage and presence, super soldiers that are finally not that good.

 

 

 

Now I'm curious. What regular weapons were those, exactly? 18 damage reduction is nothing to scoff at.

 

 

18 damage reduction is in the chest. Yeah, chest is getting hit a lot of times, but not always.

 

Bolt pistols with good hit, audaciously placed krak grenades, demo charges. Basic stuff that you will see many guardsmen/militia having with them that would spoil the day of even DH Space Marines.

 

 

 
Or did they just keep on rolling Righteous Fury? Because if so, that's a pretty bad argument to make.

 

Yep, there are righteous fury in that. And no, it's not a bad argument. Always depends on the way you interpret players'action.

 

I would not permit a rock to pierce marine armour, since there are no weaknesses on it that a big rock can go through. Remember also that in DH 1 an improvised weapon was a primitive weapon, so the marine armour gave 16 to 20 armour reduction, + 8 toughness. Getting through 24-28 armour points with a rock (doing what, 1D10-2+ SB...so generally 1D10+1), good luck. Yon won't be a threat to a space marine in power armour.

 

 A bullet can touch the eyelense and get through. Close to a chance out of 10 to wound Space Marines is more than good enough. Righteous Fury is pretty valid as critical hit, in my opinion.

 

 

 

 

Always nice to argue with you, BTW.

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That support my claim. Space Marine vaissels are not faster in warp travel. In real space, maybe. But the difference in deployment will be days, or hours (which, on a battlefield, is a lot, I agree).

 

If the difference in deployment would not be significant, the source would not explicitly raise it as a major concern.

 

Without question the Imperial Guard "wastes" a lot of time with assembly, taking on supplies, moving into position, etc -- two months, a whopping 200% of the time it'd take if they were able to jump immediately! But I don't think it would be as easy as you say to just cut this process short and transform the entire Imperial Guard into a standing army. You would expend massive resources for nothing if you'd just raise regiments that don't end up actually doing anything.

 

The Imperium may have the manpower (at least in many places), but with the problems it has keeping even existing formations running, I would foresee catastrophic consequences to an order to shift such a significant portion of the worlds' industrial potential to warfare permanently. Suddenly, Forge Worlds that were responsible to equip one or two regiments a month would see themselves faced with procurement requests from armies all over the sector and beyond.

 

The Imperium isn't the USA in WW2 -- from how I understand it to function, it already operates on the brink of ruin.

 

Ditch so weak space marines and have IG standing armies waiting for deployment and you'll get troops faster than is actually the case. These are just choices.

 

Given how codex background explicitly points out how the Imperial Guard has more fighting power than the Space Marines, are you effectively saying the codex is wrong?

 

Space Marines aren't "weak". They just aren't as ridiculously godlike-overpowered as you apparently want them to be -- at least in Games Workshop's version of the setting.

 

Either way, the Imperium is what it is. Let's assume for a moment that increasing the number of Guard regiments would actually be as easy as you say -- yes, apparently, as per GW's original material, that could make the Marines redundant.

But that's not how it works. For one, because we are not in control of the setting, and secondly, because the Imperium - neither the Guard nor the Space Marines - isn't run based on efficiency. And I think that was intentional by the writers. Grimdark and all that.

 

In codex fluff, the Space Marines still get their genetically enhanced asses handed to them with certain regularity. Even by PDF, sometimes. Personally, I like it that way, because it makes the Marines rely not just on their "hurrdurr +1 strength", but also the vast array of less obvious benefits they roll around with, from their mobility to their flexibility to their experience. Not to mention that I consider godlike superheroes rather boring; vulnerability is what ultimately lets you sweat for the hero's survival. But of course, this part is merely personal preference.

 

What I say is that I don't think the Imperium would work that way if Space Marines were lesser than what DH describes because it would be cheaper to deploy regiment of storm trooper, to equip them with heavy weapon and tanks and such. The differences are not because marines are marines, they are a choice made by people in high places in the Imperium. But if I were those people and Space Marine s*cked as the TT represents, I wouldn't bother having Space Marines. 

 

Because tactical flexibiliy and good training can be done by normal human. Yes, it will be lesser than the Space Marines, I never argued against that. Even TT Space Marines are still stronger than stormtroopers, I agree with that. But honestly, for the diffrence on the TT between storm troopers and Marines, I take only storm troopers, I'll field more of them for only a part of the price.

 

Space Marines don't suck in the TT. They are a rather successful army -- and Storm Troopers are 85% the price of Tactical Marines (12 pts vs 14 in 6E, not sure whether or not their prices changed again in 7th).

 

Your argument effectively boils down to quantity always beating quality, completely dismissing the logistical nightmare you're conjuring, as well as various real life historical precedents for quality beating quantity. We could ask the same question about Storm Troopers -- why does the Imperium bother with them? Just keep throwing Guardsmen at the enemy. Or even better, let's not use Guardsmen, but PDF conscripts. The cheapest option there is.

 

Also, I'm curious as to why you'd draw the line at "Space Marines as in DH". Why is it that suddenly here they become valuable enough? Wouldn't that hypothetical endless wave of Guardsmen still beat them at some point?

 

Your current position seems intent on making Space Marines as a whole look completely irrelevant, regardless of how strong you picture them.

 

Yeah, it takes two year from one side of the galaxy. And troops are still occupied everywhere in the galaxy. But the argument of you've got the choice by dropping 10 men, do you take marine or regular joes isn't a valid argument. Imperial Guard will have transports for 10 000 guys while Astartes will lend you only a squad. I take 10 000 guys.

 

Except that these 10.000 guys take 3x as long to get there, and the Astartes usually show up with ~1.5 companies.

 

"Unless their mission is very unusual, every Ultramarines battle force will be based around at least one battle company. Sometimes it will be supported by detachments from other companies. Some members of the Veteran 1st company and the Scouts of the 10th company will often be attached to the battle company, as will a number of battle brothers from the 6th and 7th Tactical companies operating the supporting vehicles."

-- WD #300

 

This is also reflected in the "this is how the Chapter looks at M41something" sheet in various sources, or at least the ones that tell you which company is engaged where at the time.

 

That "single squad" BS is a Black Library phantasm with the sole intention of making Marines look even more badass than they do by default.

 

But yeah, as the codex fluff states, sometimes those 10.000 guys really are the better option, because the enemy is too strong for the Space Marines to handle. Doesn't mean that rapid reaction forces, just like in real life, don't have a critical role to play by themselves. We wouldn't bother with stuff like the KSK, Delta Force, SAS if we could just throw grunts at a problem until it goes away. ;)

 

It is sure that if there is a mission where I can only send 10 guys (the basis of your argument), I'll take whatever is the best. But as the Imperium, I would try to have better soldiers in general than a few, limited in usage and presence, super soldiers that are finally not that good.

 

The Imperium already tried that with Storm Troopers. But let's assume you are the Imperium -- how exactly would you raise these superior troops, keeping the economy, social conditions and technological status of M41 in mind?

 

I would not permit a rock to pierce marine armour, since there are no weaknesses on it that a big rock can go through. Remember also that in DH 1 an improvised weapon was a primitive weapon, so the marine armour gave 16 to 20 armour reduction, + 8 toughness. Getting through 24-28 armour points with a rock (doing what, 1D10-2+ SB...so generally 1D10+1), good luck. Yon won't be a threat to a space marine in power armour.

 

You can roll Righteous Fury multiple times in a row, so if you accept RF as realistic (if it's supposed to represent a "critical hit", what's the span on the d10?), it is just a question of how many attempts you need. On the other hand, if you go by a weapon's "natural" profile to determine whether or not a weapon is a threat for a Space Marine, any Astartes would be 100% immune to lasguns, and if they increase their TB by just a single point, they become entirely immune to bolt weapons as well.

 

Why do you think FFG boosted their weapon damage for Deathwatch, as opposed to the profiles they already had in DH1? ;)

 

Also, I'd not consider bolt weaponry "regular" for level 1 characters.. Thought you were referring to las- or autoguns now!

Edited by Lynata

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Given how codex background explicitly points out how the Imperial Guard has more fighting power than the Space Marines, are you effectively saying the codex is wrong?

 

I never said the contrary. It is even the basis of my argument.

 

 

 

Your argument effectively boils down to quantity always beating quality, completely dismissing the logistical nightmare you're conjuring, as well as various real life historical precedents for quality beating quantity. We could ask the same question about Storm Troopers -- why does the Imperium bother with them? Just keep throwing Guardsmen at the enemy. Or even better, let's not use Guardsmen, but PDF conscripts. The cheapest option there is.

 

No, my argument boils down as Space Marines VS regular human Special Forces aren't worth what they cost if they are not at least as strong as in DH. Sorry, I tought that this point of my argumentation was clear since it's not our first crossing of words on that topic!

 

 

 

 

Your current position seems intent on making Space Marines as a whole look completely irrelevant, regardless of how strong you picture them.

 

No. My position says: if Space Marines aren't as strong as in Dark Heresy (or other portrayals that fit), they aren't worth the effort of making them.

 

It's a question of proportions. For all the work, investment, time and infrastructures needed to make a Space Marine, if they aren't close to DH equivalent, they aren't worth doing. 

 

I consider special forces very important. They do not do the same job as regular troops, as you pointed out (and I also did a lot of time). But for what Space Marines "costs" to create, if they don't even give a greater difference than between storm troopers on the TT and Space Marines on the TT, no, they aren't worth it.

 

It's cheaper training, equipping and sending storm troopers, which are also elite forces. Yes, thay are inferior, but for the great difference in cost, they are worth it. I don't know how we say it in English, but in french we have something that could be translated as "Better cost/quality comparison".

 

And in the end, at great scale, that's this "better cost/quality" that makes your army stronger.

 

 

 

 

Also, I'd not consider bolt weaponry "regular" for level 1 characters.. Thought you were referring to las- or autoguns now!

 

One of my characters was a Sister of Battle, so this helped a lot indeed. On the other hand, the more you advance in game terms, the better are the weapons accessible to you, so I always consider bolt weapon as very good "regular" weapons. At least, for Inquisitorial agents.

 

 

 

ou can roll Righteous Fury multiple times in a row, so if you accept RF as realistic (if it's supposed to represent a "critical hit", what's the span on the d10?), it is just a question of how many attempts you need

 

No. Because as you said clearly a lot of times, Space Marines are so strong and capable of fighting back that you won't have the possibility of doing many attemps. Especially not with a rock.

 

This is a statistical irrelevance since it won't happen. And if it happen, it will be so rare as an occasion, that this won't be much more stupid than any other things we can see in the game (succeeding a 1% chance of doing a test, and such).

 

 

 

. On the other hand, if you go by a weapon's "natural" profile to determine whether or not a weapon is a threat for a Space Marine, any Astartes would be 100% immune to lasguns, and if they increase their TB by just a single point, they become entirely immune to bolt weapons as well.

 

We actually speak of realism and interpretation of the rules (my righteous fury's take as a ciritical hit is one of such interpretations), but then if I go the other, a medieval plate should at least give 8 primitive armour points, since it is impossible to pierce with a sword.

 

I like it at 5-6, where higher damage rolls represents hitting in the weak spots, and a righteous fury would even be hitting in the weak spot of the armour AND the flesh underneath.

 

But in the same logic, a Space Marine power armour is correct at negating most of the lasgun fire, except very rare shots that would pierce a light places.

 

 

 

The Imperium already tried that with Storm Troopers. But let's assume you are the Imperium -- how exactly would you raise these superior troops, keeping the economy, social conditions and technological status of M41 in mind?

 

 

Training troops harder doesn't cost you more time nor food (or maybe a little), but never the cost that it is for having space marines. Augment the training regimen of regular troops to make them better. Equip more regiments with carapace armour and hellgun (which are still easier to acquire than power armours) and you could get a good in between.

 

More special soldiers, but weaker than Space Marines, are still easier to maintain, train, and replace. 

 

 

 

This is also reflected in the "this is how the Chapter looks at M41something" sheet in various sources, or at least the ones that tell you which company is engaged where at the time.

 

That "single squad" BS is a Black Library phantasm with the sole intention of making Marines look even more badass than they do by default.

 

 

You brought the argument about having one place to fill, do you fill it with a better soldier or not. I answered you that yes, I prefer a better soldier. But this is rarely happen that an imperial commander has the choice of sending only 100 troops in a mission. He has the choice to sends what he's got on hand, with their normal deployment functions.

 

I was not implying that space marines deploy random dudes alone.

 

 

 

Astartes would be 100% immune to lasguns, and if they increase their TB by just a single point, they become entirely immune to bolt weapons as well.

 

Well, having one in a tenth chance of triggering rigtehous fury (in the actual rules), I don't think that's so bad. 

 

Many guard soldiers will drop the marine anyways, which makes still pretty easy for a space marine to die.

 

As for the bolter; nope. If you enhance one point higher in the chest, they will be immune. But 1D10+5 Pen 4 is 1D10+9 against a space marine. If you hit him in the leg or head, you can have up to 3 damage. So you've one chance out of three of wounding the marine. With many bolts touching the marine, a group of ennemy troops using bolter will wear down the marine fast enough. And we didn't take into account that a third of these hits will be righteous fury that will be painful for the Space Marines. 

 

If autocanon fire on the table top can be shrugged by a power armour, then I hope that bolters that are way weaker won't drop a space marine fast.

 

But hey, the table top game is much more abstract than the roleplaying game, so it is ure that this hard to find a comon ground between them.

 

 

 

In the end, my point is:

 

If Space Marines are weaker as what they are presented to be in DH (or as weak as they are on the table top), considering all the time, effort and ressources needed to create them, no, they are not worth the investment. For a fraction of these ressources, you could still have more Storm Troopers or specialist forces of the guard, that could do the work of Special Forces well. 

 

Unless we're so marine centric that we consider that very well trained men, well equipped, can't do (even with great pain), what Marine can do.

 

 

On my part, I see marines in DH worth their investment. They are powerfull, resilient, tactically adaptable, but will still get down with a lot of weapon accessible in the 41st millenium, not making them these unbeatable heroes you don't like.

 

 

In my take of the 40k universe, Space Marines are shock troop, nearly-immune to the small arms the galaxy has to offer, but will get killed fast enough if they only rely on their durability on a battlefield because massed fire will get through, special weapons will get through, and so on. 

Edited by InquisitorAlexel

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No, my argument boils down as Space Marines VS regular human Special Forces aren't worth what they cost if they are not at least as strong as in DH. 

 

Okay, but then you're just shifting numbers, not the issue itself. Like I said, why is the DH level acceptable, but the GW level not? When either is going to get overrun by sheer numbers (I guess this is common ground), why are you setting the "threshold" for efficient use here?

 

If we, for a brief moment, assume your take on critical hits, any Imperial Guard regiment will still beat the crap out of the Marines in an open encounter (excepting the "bottleneck" situations I mentioned earlier in defense of GW Marines), which ultimately means they are redundant either way.

 

It's cheaper training, equipping and sending storm troopers, which are also elite forces. Yes, thay are inferior, but for the great difference in cost, they are worth it. [...] Training troops harder doesn't cost you more time nor food (or maybe a little), but never the cost that it is for having space marines. Augment the training regimen of regular troops to make them better. Equip more regiments with carapace armour and hellgun (which are still easier to acquire than power armours) and you could get a good in between.

 

How can you be so sure of this? That "little" more time and food that it "maybe" takes to create a Storm Trooper actually means more years than it takes to forge a Space Marine, except that the latter has a nigh-guaranteed yield -- any aspirant who survives the implantation is almost sure to survive the rest of their training as well, whereas the vast majority of Schola Progenium cadets are filtered out into the civilian branches of the Imperium because they did not turn out to meet the extremely high requirements for military service. And then there are the cripples and casualties resulting from live fire exercises, survival drill in hazardous environment, and disciplinary measures.

 

You make it sound as if Storm Troopers were just Guardsmen with better training, when the "reality" of the setting is that they have more military drill than a newly minted Astartes. I recommend the Militarum Tempestus Codex -- it's probably the best studio source so far on just how extreme Schola Progenium training is.

 

tl;dr: You say that more elite human troops would be cheaper than Space Marines, to which I say "citation needed".

 

 

And then, let's see how Storm Troopers and Marines actually compare on the tabletop (hoping I didn't mess up the math):

 

A Space Marine's greater engagement range will allow him to open fire at 24", firing with a 66% chance to hit. 50% of the shots will penetrate. Of those that penetrate the Storm Trooper's carapace, 66% will put them down immediately.

 

The Storm Trooper will be able to return fire at 18", firing with a 66% chance to hit as well. The hellgun will always penetrate the power armour, but their chance to incapacitate the Marine is 50%.

 

Assuming not all Space Marines were killed by the Troopers' return fire, they may continue to close in and be able to attack twice at range 12" (Rapid Fire). The Storm Troopers will be able to attack twice (Rapid Fire as well) only if they close to 9" .. by which point they are threatened by the Space Marines charging into melee, where the Astartes would have an even greater advantage (Initiative 4, 66% to hit, 50% to penetrate, 50% to wound vs Initiative 3, 50% to hit, 33% to penetrate, 33% to wound).

 

You could, of course, issue boltguns and power armour to the Storm Troopers as well (though this would not work in favour of your argument about muster cost), but whilst bolters would increase the to-wound chance from 33% to 50%, it would also mean that their enemies now get an armour save as well.

 

And this is before we touch upon morale, both the difference in Leadership as well as the Marines having And They Shall Know No Fear.

 

You brought the argument about having one place to fill, do you fill it with a better soldier or not. I answered you that yes, I prefer a better soldier. But this is rarely happen that an imperial commander has the choice of sending only 100 troops in a mission. He has the choice to sends what he's got on hand, with their normal deployment functions.

 

Yet this actually works in favour of GW Marines, because they will be on hand way faster than the Imperial Guard.

 

But I think you also misunderstood in regards to the numerical limitations: Like I said earlier, it's not just the transportation that is a problem here, but rather problems that arise in the midst of a battle. When you blow a hole into the enemy's fortress, for example, only so many troops can pass through simultaneously, creating a bottleneck. So even if you send 10.000 men, only the aforementioned hundred will actually be able to enter the complex and face the opponent. And obviously, a hundred Space Marines will still be better than a hundred Storm Troopers, even if you somehow managed to move 10.000 Storm Troopers into the warzone.

 

Similar situations can arise by crossing a bridge, sweeping urban ruins, passing a mountain, and so on. In short: pretty much the stuff the Space Marines excel in, as it was stated in Games Workshop's material.

 

Furthermore, the larger an army is, the slower it will move, and the easier it will be to spot, giving the enemy time to react and prepare.

 

So, no, Space Marines are not always the best army. Like you said (again common ground here), they'd get slaughtered in a head-on confrontation. But they are the best at what they do. They cannot exist without the teeming masses of the Imperial Guard to support them, and the Imperial Guard would face much tougher battles and far more losses if it weren't for the Space Marines creating and exploiting tactical opportunities. They complement each other nicely, and by removing one of these components, you threaten the survival of the other.

 

It's almost like someone has planned it to work that way! *coughPostHorusHereyReformscoughCodexAstartescough* ;)

 

No. Because as you said clearly a lot of times, Space Marines are so strong and capable of fighting back that you won't have the possibility of doing many attemps. Especially not with a rock.

This is a statistical irrelevance since it won't happen. And if it happen, it will be so rare as an occasion, that this won't be much more stupid than any other things we can see in the game (succeeding a 1% chance of doing a test, and such).

 

It's not a statistical irrelevance. All you need is to roll two Righteous Fury in a row, which I've seen happen several times just in player parties -- groups a lot smaller than, say, a military formation or a mass of crazed, rioting peasants. After that, getting the last 4 points of damage on a d10 isn't really that hard.

 

And that is with DH1 rules. In DH2, the Space Marine loses a Wound after just one Righteous Fury. One out of every ten attempts. Like you said yourself: that's not so bad.

 

It's not that I assume such encounters would actually happen with any regularity, but rather that I simply don't agree that if they happen, they should actually play out this way. To me, Righteous Fury is a mechanic way too fantastic to represent any kind of realism. That in the RAW, mook NPCs don't actually get to use it only stresses this point further.

 

If autocanon fire on the table top can be shrugged by a power armour, then I hope that bolters that are way weaker won't drop a space marine fast.

 

Autocannons still drop a Space Marine faster than a boltgun. S7 means they kill on a roll of 2+ compared to the 4+ of a bolter.

 

Unless we're so marine centric that we consider that very well trained men, well equipped, can't do (even with great pain), what Marine can do.

 

But that's the point -- they can't, not with the same certainty. Many times, human troops may not need the various bonuses the Astartes bring to the table, but many times more, they do. And this is where critical operations fall apart. Where strategically important bridges are not held. Where the foothold cannot be established. Where the walls of the enemy stand firm.

 

Sometimes, you just need a +1. Else the Imperial Guard would suffice and nobody would bother with Storm Troopers. Space Marines are the +1 to the Storm Troopers, so they're always the better choice if you absolutely must take an objective.

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How can you be so sure of this? That "little" more time and food that it "maybe" takes to create a Storm Trooper actually means more years than it takes to forge a Space Marine, except that the latter has a nigh-guaranteed yield -- any aspirant who survives the implantation is almost sure to survive the rest of their training as well, whereas the vast majority of Schola Progenium cadets are filtered out into the civilian branches of the Imperium because they did not turn out to meet the extremely high requirements for military service. And then there are the cripples and casualties resulting from live fire exercises, survival drill in hazardous environment, and disciplinary measures.

 

Because training a special ops soldiers nowadays doesn't take nearly as long as forging an Astartes. Going on the assumption that human nowadays are not superior individuals to what is in 40k, we can get extremely good soldiers for a training that is not nearly as long, do not require surgery that is super costy, and doesn't require equipment that would be also super costy. (On the other hand, I know veryt well that paying a lot for a power armour is a good thing since it enhances the chances that the guy wearing it do not die, so saving all the training and stuff around it).

 

 

 

 

You make it sound as if Storm Troopers were just Guardsmen with better training, when the "reality" of the setting is that they have more military drill than a newly minted Astartes. I recommend the Militarum Tempestus Codex -- it's probably the best studio source so far on just how extreme Schola Progenium training is.

 

That's a question of interpretation. I agree with you, Storm Troopers get a **** load of training. Which is still cheaper than making space marines. 

 

 

 

But I think you also misunderstood in regards to the numerical limitations: Like I said earlier, it's not just the transportation that is a problem here, but rather problems that arise in the midst of a battle. When you blow a hole into the enemy's fortress, for example, only so many troops can pass through simultaneously, creating a bottleneck. So even if you send 10.000 men, only the aforementioned hundred will actually be able to enter the complex and face the opponent. And obviously, a hundred Space Marines will still be better than a hundred Storm Troopers, even if you somehow managed to move 10.000 Storm Troopers into the warzone.

 

I agreed with that argument 2 or 3 times already. 

 

The point is, you won't have only one breach in your thousands of battlefield. You won't have enough space marines to exploit them. So in the end, you end up investing much ressources in soldiers that are not worth it, when you could have much more shock troops with good gear and sufficient training, that could take all these breaches and invest them.

 

But yeah, I agreed many times about the fact that when you're limited, you take what's best.

 

 

 

So, no, Space Marines are not always the best army. Like you said (again common ground here), they'd get slaughtered in a head-on confrontation. But they are the best at what they do. They cannot exist without the teeming masses of the Imperial Guard to support them, and the Imperial Guard would face much tougher battles and far more losses if it weren't for the Space Marines creating and exploiting tactical opportunities. They complement each other nicely, and by removing one of these components, you threaten the survival of the other.

 

 

Agreed indeed. Only the fact that there is 1 million marines in the Entier Galaxy is a **** disadvantage to stop them making all the job by themselves.

 

 

 

 

It's not a statistical irrelevance. All you need is to roll two Righteous Fury in a row, which I've seen happen several times just in player parties -- groups a lot smaller than, say, a military formation or a mass of crazed, rioting peasants. After that, getting the last 4 points of damage on a d10 isn't really that hard.

 

Well... let's say an engagement at 100 hundred metres; +0 to touch. Basic guardsman, in single shot, will touch 50 percent of time (aim + single shot). Then, you must get a 10 on a 10 sized dice. We're already at 5% this happen.

 

Then you must confirm said righteous fury, which will happen another 50% of the time, which makes you at 2.5%. And then, you must roll another 10 confirm it, making 0,25% of time this happen.

 

 

Quarter of a percent with as lasgun (we're not speaking of a rock, which will do even less damage) isn't very much.

 

It gives you, on 100 gardsman facing 10 space marines, one guy in every fourth round, that will do sufficient damages to maybe drop a marine.

 

 

With rocks, damages are lesser, and the guys are more vulnerable. Space Marines won't get mobbed if they move intelligently and will burst fire, killing the mob faster than the mob will be able to hit. Remembers that even while mobbing, they won't be more than what...6-8 guys hitting him? With 0,25% chance arriving.

 

Maybe I'm wrong with my maths (it's not at all impossible), but when I did statistics classes, this was considered as a statistical incoherence. Unless I'm wrong with my maths and this is not 0,25% chance.

 

 

 

 

 

It's not that I assume such encounters would actually happen with any regularity, but rather that I simply don't agree that if they happen, they should actually play out this way. To me, Righteous Fury is a mechanic way too fantastic to represent any kind of realism. That in the RAW, mook NPCs don't actually get to use it only stresses this point further.

 

 That, I must agree. I think in DH2 righteous fury can be done by everyone, though. But I always hoseruled that anyone could do righteous fury, anyways. So that is sure that is a modification I made that change the argumentation a little.

 

 

 

But that's the point -- they can't, not with the same certainty. Many times, human troops may not need the various bonuses the Astartes bring to the table, but many times more, they do. And this is where critical operations fall apart. Where strategically important bridges are not held. Where the foothold cannot be established. Where the walls of the enemy stand firm.

 

Sometimes, you just need a +1. Else the Imperial Guard would suffice and nobody would bother with Storm Troopers. Space Marines are the +1 to the Storm Troopers, so they're alwaysthe better choice if you absolutely must take an objective.

 

Still, I agree with that. 

 

Space Marines on the table top are still not worth their investment. In the end, equip storm troopers with power armours, it will still be cheaper.

 

 

 

Autocannons still drop a Space Marine faster than a boltgun. S7 means they kill on a roll of 2+ compared to the 4+ of a bolter.

 

Yes. But on the table top, the Space Marine survives the autocanon way better thant in the RPG.

 

So small arms fire is soaked easily by marines, while all the other weapons (those I would use against super soldiers) are way stronger against them. A marine won't survive many autocanon hit in the RPG, while on the table top, it will 2 times out of three (with rounds that represents more seconds of battle than an RPG rounds).

 

 

 

 

And then, let's see how Storm Troopers and Marines actually compare on the tabletop (hoping I didn't mess up the math):

 

 

Your maths seems allright. 

 

It is sure that space marines are good. I never said the contrary. I just say that for what they bring, they're "too costy" to train.

 

 

 

tl;dr: You say that more elite human troops would be cheaper than Space Marines, to which I say "citation needed".

 

 

I can give you no citation. We actually never did Space Marines in real life and the Imperium being a semi-communist organisation, we do not have hard currencies giving a stat on which to base this argument, eitherway.

 

But if space marines are not costier (???) to train than elite normal men troops, then why limiting them 1 000 000? 

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Because training a special ops soldiers nowadays doesn't take nearly as long as forging an Astartes.

 

Then I'd argue you won't actually end up with a Storm Trooper, but maybe a Veteran Guardsman, as far as the TT stats are concerned. It must pay off somewhere to have about four times as much training, right?

 

You might say the difference in Ld wouldn't matter, but I think morale is a huge concern when fighting a superior or more numerical opponent, which is why Space Marines were engineered with this improvement in mind, too.

And that is before we get to the Storm Troopers' special rules, of course.

 

The point is, you won't have only one breach in your thousands of battlefield. You won't have enough space marines to exploit them.

 

That doesn't seem to reflect the battles as we are told in the codices, though. There are quite a lot of "unassailable fortresses". One could argue that these descriptions have been fashioned just to make Marines more important, but in the end, this is what the setting ended up with -- so if you argue against the Marines' part in the setting, you'd have to counter this part as well.

 

Space Marines won't get mobbed if they move intelligently and will burst fire, killing the mob faster than the mob will be able to hit.

 

There have been a lot of occurrences in various sources where Marines did get mobbed. In the end, it's just a question of numbers and how frenzied the mob is. Especially considering as Marines tend to favour short range engagements and close combat, moving themselves closer to the threat.

 

I think in DH2 righteous fury can be done by everyone, though.

 

Nah, you're probably thinking of OW or RT where they changed it around, but in DH2 it's back to "player characters and major NPCs" only.

 

 

I can give you no citation. We actually never did Space Marines in real life and the Imperium being a semi-communist organisation, we do not have hard currencies giving a stat on which to base this argument, eitherway.

 

But if space marines are not costier (???) to train than elite normal men troops, then why limiting them 1 000 000? 

 

Two words: Horus Heresy. ;)

 

And that's not even just a speculation on my part:

 

"The Second Founding of the Space Marines was decreed seven years after the death of Horus. The existing Space Marine Legions were broken up and refounded as smaller, more flexible formations. Where the old Legions were unlimited in size, the new formations were fixed at approximately one thousand fighting warriors. This corresponded to the existing unit called the Chapter, and in future the Chapter was recognised as the standard autonomous Space Marine formation. No longer would one man have power over a force as powerful as a Space Marine Legion."

-- Index Astartes : The Codex Astartes

 

Granted, this is more about the size of the individual Space Marine group rather than the total of one million -- but then again, why do we assume that such a limit actually exists? They've made more Space Marines in the past, they will continue to make more in the future. It's just that at 999.M41, there are about a million Space Marines in the galaxy. And considering that every single Chapter represents a formidable investment - not in genetically enhanced infantry, but rather their starships which as per BFG take decades to centuries to build (per vessel!) - it makes sense that they wouldn't just churn them out.

 

The technology to make Marines likewise becomes less and less available and reliable. That doesn't make them more costly to build per se (just like it still costs the same amount of resources to build a Titan, even though fewer Forge Worlds are capable of doing so), it just makes it continuously more difficult to find a place capable of launching such a project. And then probably cut its supply of Imperial Guard materiel until they're done with the Marine order.

 

They probably have become somewhat more expensive in that they now suffer a higher rate of implantation failures, wasting a lot of time with initiates who never become Space Marines, but that's still a far cry from all the progena who don't become Storm Troopers. Most Chapters probably suffer greater losses from self-imposed ritualistic requirements, such as the Salamanders not taking anyone who isn't a capable blacksmith.

 

"Although a Chapter's Apothecaries and surgeons are able to perform the necessary implant operations, they do not necessarily understand the exact functioning of each organ. The processes involved are incredibly ancient. Procedures are handed down from generation to generation, becoming increasingly ritualised and misinterpreted. For these reasons, the efficiency of each organ differs from Chapter to Chapter, depending on the condition of that Chapter's gene-seeds and the degree of debasement of its surgical procedures." 
- WD #247 

 

The 21st Founding in particular, described as "the largest since the Second Founding" (so you do have the High Lords bulk-ordering Space Marines sometimes) seems to have been a rather bad experience for the IoM, considering that every single one of the resulting Chapters suffered genetical corruption, hence it became known as the Cursed Founding.

 

Lastly you have the political considerations, such as a certain scepticism towards making more Marines when some of the existing ones are quite the troublemaker, especially when at least one of the High Lords is rather close to a certain religious institution that has been at odds with the Adeptus Astartes for millennia. Or that they'd need a homeworld, so someone somewhere would have to give up at least one planet.

 

Many of these problems could be worked around, for example by dissolving the Space Marine Chapters as autonomous fighting formations and integrate them with the Imperial Navy, so that you wouldn't need to set aside thousands of rare starships just to taxi them, but rather use them as actual marine infantry of existing Navy units.

But this is a matter of tradition, and the Imperium simply looks the way it does because a lot of its people believe it wouldn't work otherwise as a result of its unique history.

 

"The history of the Imperium since the Heresy is not a continuous story. There have been periods of rebellion and anarchy, times when the balance of power has suddenly changed and history has been quite literally rewritten. Many of the subsequent foundings of Space Marines belong to these troubled times, making it almost impossible to be certain when some Chapters were created or even how many Chapters have been created at all. It is believed that there are approximately a thousand in existence today, scattered throughout the galaxy. Of these,  more than half are descended from the Ultramarines, either directly or through one of the Primogenitor Chapters of the Second Founding."

-- Index Astartes : The Codex Astartes

 

It is also of note that it is considerably more difficult to make a new Chapter geneseed, than to make a single new Space Marine from existing genetic material. This, combined with the artificial limitation of 1,000 warriors per Chapter, makes the creation of new Chapters an even more significant undertaking, without actually changing the cost of post-founding Marines:

 

"A new Chapter cannot be founded overnight. A single suitable gene-seed must be selected for each zygote. Zygotes are then grown in culture and implanted into human test-slaves. These slaves must be biologically compatible and free from mutation. Test-slaves spend their entire lives bound in static experimental capsules. Although conscious, they are completely immobile, serving as little more than mediums within which the various zygotes can develop. From the original slave come two progenoids, which are implanted into two more slaves, from which come four progenoids and so on. It takes about 55 years of constant reproduction to produce 1,000 healthy sets of organs. These must be officially sanctioned by the Master of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and then the High Lords of Terra speaking for the Emperor. Only the Emperor can give permission for the creation of a new Chapter."

-- Index Astartes : Rites of Initiation

Edited by Lynata

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Add to that that some chapters are under strenght due to heavy lossess, and some chapters don't stick to the 1.000 marines level cap, such as the Black Templars estimated at total of 3000+ SM devided amongst their "crusade fleets" and the Exorsists ahving (at least) two scout companies.

Edited by Robin Graves

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That doesn't seem to reflect the battles as we are told in the codices, though. There are quite a lot of "unassailable fortresses". One could argue that these descriptions have been fashioned just to make Marines more important, but in the end, this is what the setting ended up with -- so if you argue against the Marines' part in the setting, you'd have to counter this part as well.

 

You misinterpret my position.

 

My position is not about the place space marine plays in the Imperium. I think it's fondamental. 

 

My position is: for all the work this represents, I really doupt that they are as weak as TT represents.

 

 

Nah, you're probably thinking of OW or RT where they changed it around, but in DH2 it's back to "player characters and major NPCs" only.

 

 

Probably, then. I still use it that way, but that's a personnal choice.

 

 

 

They probably have become somewhat more expensive in that they now suffer a higher rate of implantation failures, wasting a lot of time with initiates who never become Space Marines, but that's still a far cry from all the progena who don't become Storm Troopers. Most Chapters probably suffer greater losses from self-imposed ritualistic requirements, such as the Salamanders not taking anyone who isn't a capable blacksmith.

 

 

Honestly, this one is hard to take for me. Do you have numbers about that? Because we do very competent special forces nowadays and I'm sure, on the level of the Imperium, we would have far more special forces that are comparable to storm troopers (unless we consider that people nowadays are inferior to what they will be in 38 000 years), that 1 000 000. 

Do you have any sentance or number that says that Storm Troopers are inferior in numbers to Astartes? (Because you said so a few times if I remeber well)

 

 

 

Then I'd argue you won't actually end up with a Storm Trooper, but maybe a Veteran Guardsman, as far as the TT stats are concerned. It must pay off somewhere to have about four times as much training, right?

 

You might say the difference in Ld wouldn't matter, but I think morale is a huge concern when fighting a superior or more numerical opponent, which is why Space Marines were engineered with this improvement in mind, too.

And that is before we get to the Storm Troopers' special rules, of course.

 

Depends on the source. If we can cite 40k V1, then we can cite 40k V4 where veterans had the same stats as storm troopers, except gear. 

 

 

But in the end, I hate the TT game and stopped playing it since I found every stats silly and the battle being more about randomness than strategy (and not because I lost, I actually won something like 85% of the games I played). I've got a 6000 points Imperial Guard army buried in a box that I don't touch anymore.

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You misinterpret my position.

My position is not about the place space marine plays in the Imperium. I think it's fondamental. 

My position is: for all the work this represents, I really doupt that they are as weak as TT represents.

 

Now you've misunderstood mine -- with "this is what the setting ended up with" I didn't refer to the Imperium, but rather how the authors of the codices and other studio material described the nature of the battles of the 41st millennium .. anything from how strong fortress walls are, to what sort of weapons are used to defend a planet against invaders.

 

Although the value of Space Marines is ultimately tied to the Imperium as well; you cannot separate the two as if the Marines would not play a significant role in terms of how they are hyped by propaganda and revered by the populace, or that the remaining Loyalists could turn into an unwelcome threat if their relationship to the High Lords should sour, which ultimately affects political situations such as "do we actually want to keep them?".

 

It's not just a question of cost. The Sororitas are not cost-efficient either, yet nobody would dream about disbanding them because of the role they play in the Imperium. And they are more expensive to "make" than the Space Marines.

 

Honestly, this one is hard to take for me. Do you have numbers about that? Because we do very competent special forces nowadays and I'm sure, on the level of the Imperium, we would have far more special forces that are comparable to storm troopers (unless we consider that people nowadays are inferior to what they will be in 38 000 years), that 1 000 000. 

Do you have any sentance or number that says that Storm Troopers are inferior in numbers to Astartes? (Because you said so a few times if I remeber well)

 

Actually, I'm not sure it is still the case that Storm Troopers are fewer than Space Marines -- this used to be so until 6th edition, as before the Storm Troopers were just a single regiment with 10,000 troops, but the new Codex Militarum Tempestus lists several regiments (the Greek alphabet has 24 characters, and each character now seems to have several regiments assigned to it).

 

However, what seems clear is that the Imperium cannot easily expand on these existing formations, and may indeed be forced to scale them down in the future, due to losing the capability to reliably mindwipe Schola Progenium orphans:

 

"At some point, every cadet is strapped down to an iron chair known as the Correction Throne. Needles are then inserted through the rear of the cadet's skull, and their heads are flooded with dirus, a neurochemical fluid that cleanses their synapses, wiping away old memories and paving the way for new information. It is an unfortunate, and little discussed fact that the Imperium possesses ever-dwindling stocks of dirus, and it is increasingly being diluted with more dubious substances."

-- 6E C:MT

 

This is one of the main differences between 40k Storm Troopers and modern day special forces. They aren't just ordinary soldiers with great training, they're literally mindwiped living weapons whose entire existence revolves around duty and service, who have been condition since childhood into following orders no matter their nature, and who spend their entire lives either fighting or training. By comparison, even contemporary special forces - who had ordinary childhoods, may have wives/husbands and children, and go to the bar to drink with their brothers-in-arms - are quite a bit less dedicated.

 

And yeah, I would say that people nowadays are actually inferior to what they'd be in 40k -- not because they lack the potential, but because our modern lifestyle results in the average man and woman being rather pampered by luxury or neglect, ultimately lowering the number of potential recruits who might qualify for special forces, and thus lowering the overall requirements as well (after all, if you had more recruits, you could just raise the bar further to make sure you actually do get the best of the best, right?).

 

Sure, many people in 40k live rather horrible lives, pulling 20 hour shifts in some Manufactorum and look like walking skeletons ... but those aren't the ones you find in the Schola Progenium. Unlike the mature contemporary soldiers, progena are trained from childhood, which will have considerable effect on how they are shaped both spiritually as well as physically. An army of kids subjected to stringent nutritional control and military drill is bound to make for excellent killers later on.

 

But in the end, I hate the TT game and stopped playing it since I found every stats silly and the battle being more about randomness than strategy (and not because I lost, I actually won something like 85% of the games I played).

 

I hear ya. I've always thought that Epic 40k actually is the better system of the two.

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