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Rouge Trader (1987) era Sisters of Battle = Space Marines?

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BaronIveagh said:

The limitation has to do with the round.  Unless your explosive is something way beyond even what 40k seems capable of (as by and large thier explosives seem comparable to todays, with the exception of things like vortex grenades and krack)  like a micro nuke or anti-matter rounds, the explosion has to happen first, and then the armor penitraition.  If it works the other way, it'd have to be much, much bigger then .75. 

 

You can already, with nothing better than 1920-technology, make an 7,62 mm (.30 cal) armor-piercing explosive round. Sure, the explosion isn't big, but its enough to cause a world of hurt to flesh anyway. You really can't compare what modern special issue ammunition is capable of with 40K bolter-technology anyway for several reasons:

- Modern world has pretty much stoppped developing and producing high-explosive rounds of less than  20mm cailber because they are forbidden under Geneva conventions. Thus we have very limited knowledge of what could be developed if boatloads of money was thrown at it first.

- Bolt is not a bullet. It is a rocket. Thus the outer and inner ballistic properties dealing with how it must be constructed and what it can do are very different. Of those modern world had even less experience than of small-caliber explosive rounds since gyrojet weapons remain just a curiosity and no large scale development of them has been done in recent years.

- 40K explosives may, on the surface, look like modern ones but they are not. No way. Chemical research of the modern day moves much too fast to think that Dark Age of Science people used stuff like RDX. Hell, even by modern standards RDX is an outdated explosive (developed in 19th century) and it is widespread mostly because it is a nice compromise between effectivity, density, stability and production costs. RDX certainly pales in comparison to stuff like Octanitrocubane or DDF which are 50% more powerfull. It would probably be a very poor candidate for small-caliber explosive rounds if such thing ever received enough funding to be properly developed.

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Polaria said:

BaronIveagh said:

The limitation has to do with the round.  Unless your explosive is something way beyond even what 40k seems capable of (as by and large thier explosives seem comparable to todays, with the exception of things like vortex grenades and krack)  like a micro nuke or anti-matter rounds, the explosion has to happen first, and then the armor penitraition.  If it works the other way, it'd have to be much, much bigger then .75. 

 

You can already, with nothing better than 1920-technology, make an 7,62 mm (.30 cal) armor-piercing explosive round. Sure, the explosion isn't big, but its enough to cause a world of hurt to flesh anyway. You really can't compare what modern special issue ammunition is capable of with 40K bolter-technology anyway for several reasons:

- Modern world has pretty much stoppped developing and producing high-explosive rounds of less than  20mm cailber because they are forbidden under Geneva conventions. Thus we have very limited knowledge of what could be developed if boatloads of money was thrown at it first.

- Bolt is not a bullet. It is a rocket. Thus the outer and inner ballistic properties dealing with how it must be constructed and what it can do are very different. Of those modern world had even less experience than of small-caliber explosive rounds since gyrojet weapons remain just a curiosity and no large scale development of them has been done in recent years.

 

Polaria said:

- 40K explosives may, on the surface, look like modern ones but they are not. No way. Chemical research of the modern day moves much too fast to think that Dark Age of Science people used stuff like RDX. Hell, even by modern standards RDX is an outdated explosive (developed in 19th century) and it is widespread mostly because it is a nice compromise between effectivity, density, stability and production costs. RDX certainly pales in comparison to stuff like Octanitrocubane or DDF which are 50% more powerfull. It would probably be a very poor candidate for small-caliber explosive rounds if such thing ever received enough funding to be properly developed.

 

We know the size of the charge compared in scale to a human being, and it's AOE, approx.  The IG demo charge is comparable in physical size and area of effect to a WWII satchel charge.  If explosives were the much more powerful, then the charge would be grenade sized and more aero dynamic to allow for the weapon to be thrown more easily. 

That and the Steel Legion with their RPG-7s don't help.

As I said before, other then implosive devices, plus things like vortex grenades and melta bombs.  Hell, most of the weaponry in 40k is possible with modern technology if we had a suitable small power supply.  Or, make better with modern technology, with things such as autoloaders in tanks and field artillery.  Most of what IG fields if it doesn't involves lasers and plasma is functionally WWII and interwar equipment. 

Things we consider cutting edge now, like smart bullets, for them are hyper rare relics of the dark age of technology. 

On gyrojets: why in the name of the God Emperor would you use a technology with less stopping power, poor accuracy, and high unreliability to elite assualt troops? 

Secondly: Adding something like dep uranium or tungsten would needlessly reduce range and stopping power in a gyrojet round.  It is, after all, a rocket and not a conventional munition.  Adding uranium to a missile decreases performance (Unless it's an ICBM).  This is why most man portable AP missiles use shaped charges rather then a solid AP core.  Yes, you can make them bigger, but you're getting into things that have to be vehicle mounted.  Additionaly, bolters have tremendously thick barrels, which would be unnessicary with gyrojet technology. 

 

 

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Okay, you're surpassing my gear-headedness.  No, sorry, that was me going second time around that post. gui%C3%B1o.gif

I was never very impressed with the options when dealing with how to represent bolters.  They either required a redesign as a "gun" (which amusingly brought them into the realm of where I believe they are in the 'fluff' now in terms of weight), or just redesignation and some general hand-waving as to why they were so heavy.  Thus, for want of a better option at the time (I haven't subsequently looked at the topic), I just made them into a shaped charge.  This meant that they cut through power armour sufficient enough to wound a Marine, which made sense since Marines use them against other Marines.  It also made chunky salsa of unarmoured targets, or really made their life a misery in general.

Heh, worked for me.  Then again, I've subsequently gone back to "lasers" instead of "blasters" (though Eldar lasers are more efficient, of course) so the shaped charge explanation might need revising again.  In short, take with a pinch of salt.

Kage

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@Baron

Bolts are described by each and every source as being "self-propelled shells". They might or might not be gyrojets (as in stabilizing gyroscopically or not), but they are rockets. You can ask why, but it won't change the fluff.

As for explosives. There is Billions upon billions Imperial Guardsmen. Of course they use the cheap, easy-to-use mass produced explosives and weapons. There is only a mere million or so Astartes. Their weapons and ammunition are the pinnacle of lost technology, ancient relics or ancient, more scientific times. Based on Imperial Guard you really can't make any assumptions on what Astartes stuff can do. They are simply thousands of years apart in terms of development and technological evolution. This has been established by the fluff million times over.

Instead of thinking a Bolter as a "gun", you really need to think of it as a small-caliber, automatic rocket launcher.

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So lemme get this straight, you're basing your judgement of the level of Imperium weapons technology on the size of the blast templates and what the models are holding?

Must I really point out what's wrong with this idea?

Also, the mighty Abrams tanks still uses human loaders, as well as the artillery pieces fielded by more than a few modern armies (Canadian Forces to name one). So, so much for WW2 era technology. They even think they're faster than an autoloader, and provide benefits like it being impossible for a jam, and no need for a complicated mechanism to facilitate what kinda of shells are being loaded

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Blood Pact said:

So lemme get this straight, you're basing your judgement of the level of Imperium weapons technology on the size of the blast templates and what the models are holding?

Must I really point out what's wrong with this idea?

Also, the mighty Abrams tanks still uses human loaders, as well as the artillery pieces fielded by more than a few modern armies (Canadian Forces to name one). So, so much for WW2 era technology. They even think they're faster than an autoloader, and provide benefits like it being impossible for a jam, and no need for a complicated mechanism to facilitate what kinda of shells are being loaded

 

The Abrams started development almost 40 years ago, before autoloaders were reliable.  Rumor has it that the 'A3' will include an autoloader similar to that used in the Leclerc.  The Leopard 2 favorted by the Canadian's for it's improved survivability over the M1 does not fit an autoloader due to the unusual arraingment of it's ammo storage making one nearly impossible.

 

The Canadian army still uses human loaders because the Canadian arm's most numerous artillery gun is the C3 Close Support Gun, also known as the 105mm M2A1 Howitzer.  Admittedly, this is a gun to put your faith in, but it does not disprove my point, as most of them were made between 42 and 43.  The Canadian's only have about 40 other guns, a mix of French 105mm LG1 and US made 155mm M777 that were purchased from England, compared with more then 100 of the old style 105. 

 

And I was using the novels combined with the template, since the two more or less match.  And, I hate to say it, but what's on the mini is about as canon as you're going to get.  Since it's physically and functionally identical, the odds are good that it's probably very, very similar in other respects. 

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BaronIveagh said:

Blood Pact said:

 

So lemme get this straight, you're basing your judgement of the level of Imperium weapons technology on the size of the blast templates and what the models are holding?

Must I really point out what's wrong with this idea?

Also, the mighty Abrams tanks still uses human loaders, as well as the artillery pieces fielded by more than a few modern armies (Canadian Forces to name one). So, so much for WW2 era technology. They even think they're faster than an autoloader, and provide benefits like it being impossible for a jam, and no need for a complicated mechanism to facilitate what kinda of shells are being loaded

 

 

 

The Abrams started development almost 40 years ago, before autoloaders were reliable.  Rumor has it that the 'A3' will include an autoloader similar to that used in the Leclerc.  The Leopard 2 favorted by the Canadian's for it's improved survivability over the M1 does not fit an autoloader due to the unusual arraingment of it's ammo storage making one nearly impossible.

 

The Canadian army still uses human loaders because the Canadian arm's most numerous artillery gun is the C3 Close Support Gun, also known as the 105mm M2A1 Howitzer.  Admittedly, this is a gun to put your faith in, but it does not disprove my point, as most of them were made between 42 and 43.  The Canadian's only have about 40 other guns, a mix of French 105mm LG1 and US made 155mm M777 that were purchased from England, compared with more then 100 of the old style 105. 

 

And I was using the novels combined with the template, since the two more or less match.  And, I hate to say it, but what's on the mini is about as canon as you're going to get.  Since it's physically and functionally identical, the odds are good that it's probably very, very similar in other respects. 

What about the US Army's Triple 7?

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Hand loaded.

And an excellent piece of equipment too, from what I've been told. If anything undebatably good could be said to have come out of the war in Afghanistan, the large number of much needed acquisitions by the Canadian Forces is one of them. Hell, before we picked up the new Leopard 2A6M's (which even surpass the Abrams, whoo hoo!) we were still using the old modified Leopard 1's, so it's really given us the chance to get ahold of a lot of modern heavy equipment, without it taking so long that it's obsolete by the time we get it.

It's kinda embarassing when you consider that we were pretty much the first ones to use innovative stuff like rails and digital camo.

But I digress...

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

And as Polaria said, the Imperial Guard is a monstrously huge armed force, the Imerium really does need to equip them on the relative cheap. Manpower is the one resource that it's never going to run out of, making it the smart, albeit inhumane, choice.

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Blood Pact said:

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

 

That's what I've been trying to convey all along. The whole setting has been designed with the question of "How do we want things to look like in mind?" and some remotely plausible explanations have been made up. What's the point of aiming for realism under such circumstances? Why not do just the same in one's own interpretations.

 

 

Anyway, as for the thread topic itself, one should ask one's self if one wants SoBs who are quality-wise good enough to police the SM or only quantity-wise. In the latter case not too much has to be changed. In the former case, one should decide in what form SoB's should be buffed. Genetics? Cyberware? Equipment? Training?

It could even be something so simple as ammunition tailor-made to home in on SM power armour and be particularly Armour Piercing against it. I Am sure you can make up some rationale for that. Kinda like a double shot weapon, with the first shot breaking the ceramic plating and the second shot triggered almost simultaneously providing the actual piercing bullet.

Or special grenades. Or or or...

 

 

Alex

 

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Blood Pact said:

Hand loaded.

And an excellent piece of equipment too, from what I've been told. If anything undebatably good could be said to have come out of the war in Afghanistan, the large number of much needed acquisitions by the Canadian Forces is one of them. Hell, before we picked up the new Leopard 2A6M's (which even surpass the Abrams, whoo hoo!) we were still using the old modified Leopard 1's, so it's really given us the chance to get ahold of a lot of modern heavy equipment, without it taking so long that it's obsolete by the time we get it.

It's kinda embarassing when you consider that we were pretty much the first ones to use innovative stuff like rails and digital camo.

But I digress...

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

And as Polaria said, the Imperial Guard is a monstrously huge armed force, the Imerium really does need to equip them on the relative cheap. Manpower is the one resource that it's never going to run out of, making it the smart, albeit inhumane, choice.

Blood Pact said:

Hand loaded.

And an excellent piece of equipment too, from what I've been told. If anything undebatably good could be said to have come out of the war in Afghanistan, the large number of much needed acquisitions by the Canadian Forces is one of them. Hell, before we picked up the new Leopard 2A6M's (which even surpass the Abrams, whoo hoo!) we were still using the old modified Leopard 1's, so it's really given us the chance to get ahold of a lot of modern heavy equipment, without it taking so long that it's obsolete by the time we get it.

It's kinda embarassing when you consider that we were pretty much the first ones to use innovative stuff like rails and digital camo.

But I digress...

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

And as Polaria said, the Imperial Guard is a monstrously huge armed force, the Imerium really does need to equip them on the relative cheap. Manpower is the one resource that it's never going to run out of, making it the smart, albeit inhumane, choice.

I documented its use during a FTX rotation at Grafenwehr, Germany in 2009. I even saw it in Afghanistan when I was there. The overall point is, however, that you cannot judge the weapons of the 41st Millenium by using today's weapons as an example. Primarily because it is a sci fi setting and the miniatures are designed to be artistic and interesting and fun. Some familiarity must be used and then some exageration. Then you have to take the fluff into account. Dark Age of technology, forbidden science and tech. The guard use such low grade weapons overall for theses reasons. One) Number. There are billions of guard, and in general you want all thier gear compatible. Two) Technology is a sacred, worshipped concept and only so many people know how to construct, preserve or even use certain items and the Imperium is not keen on training everyone in these skills. Three) Some technology is lost. Dont believe this can happen? Go take 10,000 workers with wooden hammers and crappy rope into the deserts of egypt and build a pyramid.

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ak-73 said:

Blood Pact said:

 

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

 

 

 

That's what I've been trying to convey all along. The whole setting has been designed with the question of "How do we want things to look like in mind?" and some remotely plausible explanations have been made up. What's the point of aiming for realism under such circumstances? Why not do just the same in one's own interpretations.

 

 

Anyway, as for the thread topic itself, one should ask one's self if one wants SoBs who are quality-wise good enough to police the SM or only quantity-wise. In the latter case not too much has to be changed. In the former case, one should decide in what form SoB's should be buffed. Genetics? Cyberware? Equipment? Training?

It could even be something so simple as ammunition tailor-made to home in on SM power armour and be particularly Armour Piercing against it. I Am sure you can make up some rationale for that. Kinda like a double shot weapon, with the first shot breaking the ceramic plating and the second shot triggered almost simultaneously providing the actual piercing bullet.

Or special grenades. Or or or...

 

 

Alex

 

Even in the games as they are (being RT, DH, Ascension and DW) there is nothing preventing a SoB from being as tough as a marine. Considering a SoB from DH would be Rank 9 and be on the same level as a Rank 1 Space Marine. That said SoB probably has 3 advances in WS, BS, S, T and so forth putting her at 35+2D10 stat wise. Sure she doesnt have Unnatural Strength or Unnatural Toughness, but with the proper cyberware from RT she can have the subdermal armour, bionic heart and cranial armour giving her more or less a +1 or 2 TB which is averaging out to be about a TB of 5 or 6, so 2 or 3 points lower than a space marine.

There are cybernetics they can get to have unnatural strength.

Armed with a bolter and power armour and they are essentially the same as a space marine, but probably have more skills.

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Peacekeeper_b said:

 

What about the US Army's Triple 7?

 

The M777 is designed to be air transportable.  It's main selling point is it's comparably light weight and ability to use advanced munitions. This is part of the US's over all tendency toward a military that can, ir required, be almost entirely air mobile.  As far as self propelled guns go, the US still uses the Paladin which has been around since the 60's. 

 

For the ultimate outgrowth of this, at one point there was something called Project Hot Eagle which was basically the idea of putting US Marines in pods.  This has since been canned, thankfully.

 

And apologies, the M777 was originally from England, so my statement about it's origins was incorrect. 

 

 

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Peacekeeper_b said:

 

Even in the games as they are (being RT, DH, Ascension and DW) there is nothing preventing a SoB from being as tough as a marine. Considering a SoB from DH would be Rank 9 and be on the same level as a Rank 1 Space Marine. That said SoB probably has 3 advances in WS, BS, S, T and so forth putting her at 35+2D10 stat wise. Sure she doesnt have Unnatural Strength or Unnatural Toughness, but with the proper cyberware from RT she can have the subdermal armour, bionic heart and cranial armour giving her more or less a +1 or 2 TB which is averaging out to be about a TB of 5 or 6, so 2 or 3 points lower than a space marine.

There are cybernetics they can get to have unnatural strength.

Armed with a bolter and power armour and they are essentially the same as a space marine, but probably have more skills.

Ascended allows for unnatural strength, etc.

 

Rank 9 Death Cult assassin can buy unnatural agility x 2, exp 13,000

Vindicare assassin gets unnatural agility at rank 9 (13000 exp), unnatural toughness at rank 11 (21000 exp), unnatural strength at rank 12 (25000 exp), and unnatural speed at rank 16 (45000 exp)
 

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Just so you guys know I'm not totally pulling this info out of my arse:  I graduated H.S. in 1987 and bought the original rules they day they hit the shelf in my local game store.  And in 1990 I had the chance to actually interview Rick Priestley on this very subject.  I can produce pictures of my visit to GW if need be.

I've told this story before, but for those who haven't read it, it should be new and insightful.

First, you have to understand that it was the 80's and early 90's.  Gaming was an underground subculture populated by a handful of nerds and geeks who couldn't get laid.  Needless to say (?) it was about as close to 100% male as any underground subculture could get.  I'd been to gaming conventions that had hundreds of people, none of them girls.  NONE.  You were lucky if you had enough nerds in the same town to support a game store; which, in the beginning, usually consisted of one or two racks in a store that otherwise sold plastic models and ladie's crafting supplies.

Secondly, you have to understand that back then WH40k consisted of the main rules, the Book of the Astronomicon and the Compendium, which was a compilation of WD articles.  That was it.  They didn't even have proper army lists. The catalog for the entire 40k line of figures was about 8-10 pages long...maybe.  So, the short answer is:

YES, they originally intended for there to be female Astartes Chapters.  Have they ever officially existed?  No.

The problem was they only had 2 or 3 (?) female Space Marine figures and they were U-G-L-Y, even for the standards of the time.  The sculptors couldn't figure out how to make them look feminine and be in powered armor at the same time.  Literally, that was the reason why in 1990 there was no "Sister Sin" miniature.  The sculptors couldn't do justice to the iconic artwork in the rules.  The other reason, was because it was a new line, they had to focus on what was going to sell.   It's a business after all, and as previously noted above, had a very small and exclusive customer demographic.  It was thought that male gamers simply would not want to field a female army, especially when the miniatures looked like East German female weightlifters in drag.

So the project was shelved.  Now remember, at the time there was no "fluff" per se, no Black Library novels and if you've read the original WH40k:RT you'd quickly realize the designers had NO IDEA that this game would be a huge IP 25 years later.  They'd hoped for a successful one-off game that lasted maybe a 5 year run.  The only game that lasted much longer than that (commercially) was Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.  That's why the game 'History' and 'canon' is incongruous, porous and so very very evolving.

By the time they got the sculpting technology, skill and financial ability to afford to produce a female army, the game fluff had evolved into a place where they were forced to introduce new fluff to explain females in Power Armor and female Astartes were no longer a viable, reasonable or practical option due to existing official background material.  So they made up the whole Vandire Heresy bit.

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Maxim C. Gatling excellent info.

But in the end, intent and final content are different things. Luke Skywalker was originally Luke Starkiller and his fatehr Anakyn Starkiller was side by side with him in the early draftsof Star Wars Episode IV where the had to face two Death Stars.

Well that didnt occur that way in the end.

So maybe they were going to have female Space Marines at first, but because of real world issues (sculpts, fan basis, sales) the idea was dropped or shelved for later and when later came otehr issues got in the way (fluff came out saying no female Space Marines).

I am pleased with the current state of the 40K universe. It works well IMHO. I am soglad they removed themselves from the silliness of the RT days.

Though I do appreciate referneces and homages to the past.

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I, personally, like the way it came out and feel female Space Marines are utmost Heresy which should be purged by flame.  demonio.gif

But I thought it was an interesting historical side-note.  As to my new post, I'm not really advocating the inclusion of Lady Marines, just playing Devil's Advocate and offering a pseudo-canon way of including them.

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Not to mention, that again this is the future, they could have solid rocket fuel that works just fine in a vacuum, assuming it's even solid. Hell, we might have something like that now for all I know.

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ItsUncertainWho said:

BaronIveagh said:

 

You know, there's one thing that I've always wondered about: if bolters are rocket propelled, how do they fire in vaccum?

 

 

The same way rocket engines propel a space ship?

 

Space ships use two tanks of liquid to propel them: one fuel, one oxygen.  Rocket ammo uses a solid rocket because it's fired in an oxygen containing atmosphere and can burn.

 

Bullets can be fire in space as the metal cartridge contains enough oxygen to fire the charge. 

 

Thge problem is chemistry: for something to burn it must oxidize.  (stars burning is a misnomer carried over from when we thought that they were immense fires commanded by the gods.)  They could operate on a pressurized gas principle, but they would be next to useless anyplace there is gravity and, again you're packing a whole lot of stuff into a .75 bullet. 

Further, I'll point to the Ultramarines movie trailer and note that: they have no contrail, they have muzzle flash and recoil, the distinctive sound of a bullet being fired, and from the bits of armor we see peeling back from hits, astartes armor is not as thick as it shows in the old diagram. 

 

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There is such a thing as Solid Rocket Fuel. Most, if not all, solid rocket fuel has it's own oxygen built in to the mix so as it burns it oxidizes and becomes an unstoppable reaction that can't be put out until it burns itself out. 

or

The Emperor says it does. gran_risa.gif

 

As to the movie, adding contrails wold be a huge amount of work, drastically increase the production and rendering time and be a huge drain on the studio to include. That and they probably don't care. 

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ak-73 said:

Blood Pact said:

 

Models, like artwork and fiction, are made to be gool and aesthetically pleasing. Just because the Steel Legion looks like its using an RPG-7, doesn't mean the weapon is only that effective (though with the way the Russians have been modernizing them...).

 

 

 

That's what I've been trying to convey all along. The whole setting has been designed with the question of "How do we want things to look like in mind?" and some remotely plausible explanations have been made up. What's the point of aiming for realism under such circumstances? Why not do just the same in one's own interpretations.

 

 

Anyway, as for the thread topic itself, one should ask one's self if one wants SoBs who are quality-wise good enough to police the SM or only quantity-wise. In the latter case not too much has to be changed. In the former case, one should decide in what form SoB's should be buffed. Genetics? Cyberware? Equipment? Training?

It could even be something so simple as ammunition tailor-made to home in on SM power armour and be particularly Armour Piercing against it. I Am sure you can make up some rationale for that. Kinda like a double shot weapon, with the first shot breaking the ceramic plating and the second shot triggered almost simultaneously providing the actual piercing bullet.

Or special grenades. Or or or...

 

 

Alex

 

Why do they have to be superior to police the Space Marines? City police aren't superior to the population, no genetic enhancements, no special homing weapons. MP's aren't superior to armed services personnel. They are successful because 1) They may move freely through the populace armed and organized (No one would raise an eye brow to a Law Enforcement individual carrying a weapon around, while a criminal would be noticed. 2) They are trained and organized specifically to deal with law breakers - often working with numbers.

So in the DW universe, they would send a squad of SoB's to take in a single Space Marine and there is a good chance the OTHER Space Marines would help them.

"Brother Gacey, I can't help but notice you are carrying your Storm Bolter around the citadel? Rough day?"

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Maxim C. Gatling said:

Just so you guys know I'm not totally pulling this info out of my arse:  I graduated H.S. in 1987 and bought the original rules they day they hit the shelf in my local game store.  And in 1990 I had the chance to actually interview Rick Priestley on this very subject.  I can produce pictures of my visit to GW if need be.

I've told this story before, but for those who haven't read it, it should be new and insightful.

First, you have to understand that it was the 80's and early 90's.  Gaming was an underground subculture populated by a handful of nerds and geeks who couldn't get laid.  Needless to say (?) it was about as close to 100% male as any underground subculture could get.  I'd been to gaming conventions that had hundreds of people, none of them girls.  NONE.  You were lucky if you had enough nerds in the same town to support a game store; which, in the beginning, usually consisted of one or two racks in a store that otherwise sold plastic models and ladie's crafting supplies.

Secondly, you have to understand that back then WH40k consisted of the main rules, the Book of the Astronomicon and the Compendium, which was a compilation of WD articles.  That was it.  They didn't even have proper army lists. The catalog for the entire 40k line of figures was about 8-10 pages long...maybe.  So, the short answer is:

YES, they originally intended for there to be female Astartes Chapters.  Have they ever officially existed?  No.

The problem was they only had 2 or 3 (?) female Space Marine figures and they were U-G-L-Y, even for the standards of the time.  The sculptors couldn't figure out how to make them look feminine and be in powered armor at the same time.  Literally, that was the reason why in 1990 there was no "Sister Sin" miniature.  The sculptors couldn't do justice to the iconic artwork in the rules.  The other reason, was because it was a new line, they had to focus on what was going to sell.   It's a business after all, and as previously noted above, had a very small and exclusive customer demographic.  It was thought that male gamers simply would not want to field a female army, especially when the miniatures looked like East German female weightlifters in drag.

So the project was shelved.  Now remember, at the time there was no "fluff" per se, no Black Library novels and if you've read the original WH40k:RT you'd quickly realize the designers had NO IDEA that this game would be a huge IP 25 years later.  They'd hoped for a successful one-off game that lasted maybe a 5 year run.  The only game that lasted much longer than that (commercially) was Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.  That's why the game 'History' and 'canon' is incongruous, porous and so very very evolving.

By the time they got the sculpting technology, skill and financial ability to afford to produce a female army, the game fluff had evolved into a place where they were forced to introduce new fluff to explain females in Power Armor and female Astartes were no longer a viable, reasonable or practical option due to existing official background material.  So they made up the whole Vandire Heresy bit.

See I still disagree - I don't think they intended female Space Marines - I think they intended Big Armoured / Armed Space Nuns to go around and spank bad Space Marines.

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For what it's worth ... here's my take on it.  When the Sororitas was first formed, they were intended to police the Ministorum ... for Heresy, Insurrection, and the same things that led to the whole Age of Apostasty.  I believe this because ... they were (by dint of our current understanding of their exceptional abilities [read: faith abilities]) exceptionally well-suited to ensure that no recurrence of Vandire's tyranny occurred again.  It was only after the fact that the Lords of Terra recognized the potential the Sisters represented ... and attached them to the Ordo Hereticus.  Just my humble opinion.  happy.gif

That said, I don't believe they were ever intended to police the Astartes.  If I am working on faulty information, then I apologize ... as I am relatively new to the 40K universe.  But that is my take, base on my current knowledge.

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Sister Cat said:

For what it's worth ... here's my take on it.  When the Sororitas was first formed, they were intended to police the Ministorum ... for Heresy, Insurrection, and the same things that led to the whole Age of Apostasty.  I believe this because ... they were (by dint of our current understanding of their exceptional abilities [read: faith abilities]) exceptionally well-suited to ensure that no recurrence of Vandire's tyranny occurred again.  It was only after the fact that the Lords of Terra recognized the potential the Sisters represented ... and attached them to the Ordo Hereticus.  Just my humble opinion.  happy.gif

That said, I don't believe they were ever intended to police the Astartes.  If I am working on faulty information, then I apologize ... as I am relatively new to the 40K universe.  But that is my take, base on my current knowledge.

Sister, this is Old, old, old School being quoted here - 1987. In the original version of the game (Rogue Trader, Warhammer 40,000 - not the RPG), Space Marines were convicts that were enhanced and dropped on the field of battle and the Soritas policed them. This has since substantially changed - like from the first version called just "Warhammer 40,000" on.

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