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Edsel62

Naming Space Marines

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A minor debate has broken out in our group. One of the character's wants his Devestator Battle-brother to have a nickname ("Havoc") by which his Kill-team comrades call him. However we have a purist faction in our group which states that "Space Marines do not have nicknames." Now I recall in the first of the Horus Heresy novels that at least two of the Astartes characters did have nicknames. Has anyone read any later timeline fluff that mentions whether or not Battle-brothers sometimes use nicknames among themselves?

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There was a marine named Horus who served under Horus the Warmaster in "Horus Rising." He was known as "Little Horus." I'm sure there are other examples.

I don't think Marines commonly give each other the sort of affectionate, jokey nicknames most "normal" humans do, but I guess there's no reason they wouldn't use more convenient versions of thier names. An Ultramarine called Tiberius Belisarius is going to have to accept that fellow marines might call him Bel rather than use his full name over the Vox.

I was watching Generation Kill the other day, and the USMC seems to enjoy giving their units quite macho radio callsigns... "Hitman,"  "Godfather"  "Chaos" etc etc."Havoc" might work as a radio callsign as opposed to a nickname on this basis.

Again, though the USMC recon platoon seemed to have no problem giving derogatory nicknames to officers they disliked, names like "Captain America" for a particularly gung-ho officer. 

I imagine 40k Marines are probably pretty similar. Beware someone who wants to choose their own nickname...    

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...'havoc'?... right up there with Reaper, Destroyer, Portman, The_Kid...    you sure they're playing the right space marine game...?

 

Not that I should protest too hard.  Before the end of our DW game, the players were jokingly refering to the Devistator marine with heavy bolter as 'Puff the Magic Dragon".  Just not in game.

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Edsel62 said:

A minor debate has broken out in our group. One of the character's wants his Devestator Battle-brother to have a nickname ("Havoc") by which his Kill-team comrades call him. However we have a purist faction in our group which states that "Space Marines do not have nicknames." Now I recall in the first of the Horus Heresy novels that at least two of the Astartes characters did have nicknames. Has anyone read any later timeline fluff that mentions whether or not Battle-brothers sometimes use nicknames among themselves?

As the Purist Faction in the game, I was merely suggesting that Space Marines are not "Marines".  They are Adeptus Astartes.  Genetically engineered, mind sculpted, and indoctrinated by their Chapter's Cult.  They are not like you or I.  They are more like Samurai, Templars, and other such zealous and hardcore fanatics from history.

Remember, the setting of the game is the the most extreme environment that Humanity has ever known.  It is a FAR cry from the Great Crusade. 

"Modern" Astartes are much more "warrior monk", as any time not training or fighting is spent in prayer and meditation. 

Astartes during the Great Crusade were more "elite warrior", and were not supposed to have a "Chapter Cult".  In fact, the Warrior Lodges were specifically outlawed by the Emperor, as he did not want to be seen as a god.

I also said that Adeptus Astartes form close botherhoods, and can tease and joke with each other.  However, it is not super jocks in space.  They can, and have, become more "human" at times in the books.  But, they are still Astartes.

I concluded my argument saying that this was OUR game, however, and that if the player wanted to be called by a nickname, then it would not bother me.  We could even have a fema....ah.....um.......he could be called what ever he wanted.

Now, this little bit of business has come up in our group before.  It was a different subject, but the same kind of "discussion" was had.  I don't see anything wrong with being a "purist", especially when the other player(s) in question have ruined the game experience for other players because they like to play smart mouthed anti-authority characters.

I was trying to keep the FEEL of the setting in mind, and help educate a player about the setting.

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 The short story called "Headhunted" is at least one instance where space marines refer to each other by code names and it just happens to be a DW Kill team.  Some of the code names included Watcher and Scholar as I recall.  So I say if you or your players want code names then why the heck not!  Its not only supported by a nice fluffy story but it adds character to the game imo.

Good Hunting and The Emperor Protects!   

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Yes, I brought that stroy up as well.  I really liked it, and thought that the call signs were funny,

I was just trying to help the player understand the setting, and said that Astartes don't really use "nicknames"  Call signs, code words, and the like, but not "Hal" instead of "Halitonus"...or what ever.

Take, for example, Captain Ventris and Sergeant Pasanius.  They went to the same academy together.  They were inducted into the Ultramarines together.  They served in the same Company together.  They were exiled together.  They went through the Eye together.  They were tested by the Grey Knights together.  They were welcomed back into the Ultramarines together.

Out of all of their adventures, they never once used a nickname for each other.  Sure, they were on a first name basis.  But, the never used any other name for each other.

The same thing could be said about Ragnar Blackmane and his mery band.  Tease each other?  Constantly.  Call each other names?  Sometimes.  Use nicknames or "handles"?  Not one time...

That was my point.

Space Marines are not known as "Reaper" or "Havoc"...

However, if this makes the player happy, then I will call hom "Big Daddy", or what ever the player wants.

I'm just happy to play.

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Maybe call him CAEDES - google translate has it meaning

1.CUTTING
2.CUTTING DOWN
3.SLAUGHTERING
4.CARNAGE
5.BLOODSHED
6.ASSASSINATION
7.SLAIN
8.CASUALTY
9.CORPSE
10.HAVOC
11.SLAUGHTER
12.GORE

in latin.

I think it is entirely in character for Marines to acquire nicknames. Vikings had nicknames:-

Onund Tree-Foot
Gudbrund Hump
Ivar Prick
Geirmund Hell-Hide
Thorir Long-Chin
Olvir Child-Sparer
Olaf the Broad
Bork the Stout
Helgi the Lean
Asmund the Beardless
Ketil Thistle
Eirik Ale-Lover
Hallstein Horse
Aud the Deep-Minded
Thorgeir Flask-Back
Thorkel Moon
Geirmund the Shifty
Odd the Orphan-Poet
Thorir Paunch
Ogmund the Evil
Thorarin Foal-Brow
Torfi Bundle
Asgeir the Rash
Thorbjorn Oxen-Might
Hallvard Travel-Hard
Thorodd Poem-Piece
Olaf the Peacock
Bersi the Godless
Thord the Coward
Ketil Flat-Nose
Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye
Thorolf Bladderbald
Thorstein Cod-Biter
Thorolf Twist-Foot
Bolverk Blind-Snout
Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue
Mord Fiddle
Asmund Grey-Bush
Ulf the Unwashed
Orm Wood-Nose
Thorleif Crow
Ketil the Smooth-Tongued
Sigurd Hog-Head
Onund the Handsome
Ogmund Tangle-Hair
Thorkel Braggart
Thorir Snippet
Grim Hairy-Cheek
Ketil Trout
Thorstein Sleet-Nose
Hallbjorn Half-Troll
Gunnstein the Berserk-Killer
Ornulf Fish-Driver
Bjorn Butter-Box
Eilif Eagle
Hroald Backbone
Thorgeir Earth-Long
Bjorn Iron-Side
Killer-Hrapp
Mord the Careless
Thorstein Shiver
Bolli the Elegant
Sarcastic Halli
Hallfred the Troublesome Poet
Thorold Sledgehammer
Eyvind the Proud
Hrolf the Walker
Ragnar Shaggy-Breeches
Thorbjorn Raven
Thorbjorg Pride-of-the-Farm
An Twig-Belly
Geirmund Thunder
Eysteinn Fart
Frodi the Valiant
Erlend the Torpid
An Bow-Bender
Audun the Uninspired
Bard the Peevish
Thorbjorn the Pock-Marked
Thord Horse-Head
Thorfinn Skull-Splitter
Goat-Bjorn
Giant-Bjorn
Asgeir Scatter-Brain
Brand the Generous
Eyvind the Plagiarist
Finn the Squinter
Thord Bellower
Eirik the All-Wise
Filth-Eyjolf
Ulf the Squinter
Thorgeir Thorn-Foot
Strut Harald
Sigtrygg Silk-Beard
Ketil the Lucky Fisher
Einar Fly

And so will any self respecting Space Wolf.

Because of its origins in the oral tradition, Greek Heros in the Illiad are all given epithets like "Man Killing" Hector or "Swift Footed" Achilles. You had Great Ajax and Little Ajax, mighty warriors who fought togeather and were known as the "Aeantes" (plural of Ajax).

(And greeks had a habit of picking up nicknames in general - Plato the philosopher was named Aristocles after his grandfather, but his wrestling coach, Ariston of Argos, dubbed him "Platon", meaning "broad," on account of his robust figure.)

So I think it entirely fitting that Space Marines pick up alternative forms of address, especially if you are going for the epic feel of Norse Sagas or Greek Mythology.

Iacton Qruze the 'half heard' is another one.

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CaptainLoken said:

The same thing could be said about Ragnar Blackmane and his mery band.  Tease each other?  Constantly.  Call each other names?  Sometimes.  Use nicknames or "handles"?  Not one time...

Are you sure about that? I wanna say that at least one of the initiates he trained with had a nickname.

Also, "Blackmane" is a nickname.

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It'd say Marines could get nick-names in a reverse method to the ways the Republic Commandos (from Star Wars: Republic Commando) refer to one another. In that group there's one guy who's a stickler for calling everyone by their proper designation number, whereas everyone else calls one another by their nickname or callsign. For Marines this could work in the opposite way, with everyone else being strict except for one guy.

Honestly though, out of the available Chapters, only the Wolves would fit into that mindset. Templars are too heavy on ritual and whatnot to be bothered, the Ultramarine likely wouldn't, the Blood Angels and Dark Angels don't trike me as the most sociable types, and the Wardens? Well, we don't know enough about them to say.

Furthermore any nickname or callsign is likely to come from an action they have taken, not just 'cause the Marine thinks it's cool if everyone calls him Havoc. I wouldn't have a real problem with it as long as it came about via roleplaying and the actions/events that occured, rather than just chosen out of thin air.

BaronIveagh said:

...'havoc'?... right up there with Reaper, Destroyer, Portman, The_Kid...    you sure they're playing the right space marine game...?

 

That's pretty rich coming from you, especially as your game is full of mythical Female Marines that don't actually exist.

BYE

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Plus I think you are going to have to accept that in a roleplaying game a certain amount of Marines acting like drunken frat boys on an interstellar road trip is inevitable.

Grin an bear it, then edit out the jokes in post production. 

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Hmm, I think there are nicknames and there are nicknames.

I remember deathwatch story I read a while ago. The squad incuded a Marine of the Exorcist chaper (about as anti-psyker as the Black Templars are, if not more and don´t have librarians) and a Librarian among others. The exorcist always kept a close eye on librarian and because that the Raven Guard member of the squad (who was kind of a joker) always called him "watcher". Needless to say that the exorcist wasn´t too fond of his nick^^.

The essence of the story is that you don´t start out with a nickname, and that you, more often then not, can´t choose your nickname if you get one. And let´s be honest, most people who give you a nick do it when you´ve screwed up somewhere or did something funny or strange.

I also obtained a nickname (RL). That was years ago when I had my first experience with alcohol.....right after I vomited it out againenfadado.gif. That´s how the true nicks happen^^.

Just my 2 cents :).

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That's pretty rich coming from you, especially as your game is full of mythical Female Marines that don't actually exist.

BYE

*cough* neither do space marines *cough*

Isn't the point of space marines to be mythic heroes, the stuff of legends? there comes a point when treating the game like it's absolute fact gets rather irritating...bostezo.gif

It's a role playing game, if you want to be so stiff and adamant in what must be a marine, go play the table top, whatever a player or GM wishes to do then so be it... filling posts with personal opinion and bias gets nobody any further and I'm sure the OP doesn't care to terribly much.

As far as i'm concerned what you do in your game for your players resides solely at your discretion, if he wants a nickname then so be it, it's his character, and it's your game... all you'll find here are people who have a strong adamant typecasted perception of space marines, and before anyone takes issue with this post please... please understand there is absolutely nothing wrong with the way you want to run YOUR game, or for that matter how anyone else wants to run THEIRS, before we insult others and discredit their opinion please, for the sake of civility, remember that fluff can, and will, be modified after all it is just fluff, it helps inspire the direction you want your individual game to go in.

The flavor of game I run is probably different than what others play and It would be silly to assume everyone everywhere should view the game as I do, so be it I have absolutely no problem accepting that, as should anyone posting here, the point of a forum is to get thoughtful insight from fellow players to help run your game, and if your having issues with rules or a concept your considering and getting USEFUL suggestions in return, not getting hazed by each and every person who can't except alternate points of view and getting your thread stolen and given a war of sheer opinion in its stead.

Hell if a player of mine wanted to refer to himself as "Brother Willowphanny" so be it, it's his concept, who am I to strangle what he wants not only from his character, but from my game, in fact I encourage creativity, its what I want from my players, after all what fun is it having characters that never change, even if I have two Blood Angles, ultramarines etc... I want them to be completely unique, no cookie cutter crap a three year-old could come up with, if I wanted generic I would play a card game or the TT version where I can read all the novels I want and have my marines how I want them, as a GM you have to put your players first, and your bias second... If you don' t chances are your players wont be all that into it and that brings the whole experience down and nobody has fun, end of point.

Anyways lengua.gif as to your question, that could easily be included in his concept, i.e and perhaps how the other characters view him, just because he wants a nickname doesn't mean his fellow marines have to call him by it, think of when you've met someone for the first time and they insist on a "nickname" do you call them by it... It depends on who your players are and it lets them interact and give their characters more umph, thats really all their is too it, it might not be common in the books but it has happened; However, your characters aren't common marines are they?

 

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ehh my quote didn't really work out all that well... sorry about that, meant to isolate the quote of a quote and get two examples in there, wasn't trying to single anyone out or anything like that just point out stuff that doesn't belong in a post

not used to this particular forum yet... preocupado.gif

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Edsel62 said:

A minor debate has broken out in our group. One of the character's wants his Devestator Battle-brother to have a nickname ("Havoc") by which his Kill-team comrades call him. However we have a purist faction in our group which states that "Space Marines do not have nicknames." Now I recall in the first of the Horus Heresy novels that at least two of the Astartes characters did have nicknames. Has anyone read any later timeline fluff that mentions whether or not Battle-brothers sometimes use nicknames among themselves?

Read new story about DW in anthology 'Heroes of Space Marines'. There all DW SMs have nicknames.

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 In the Deathwatch having callsigns or nick names makes sense, why? Because they come from a bunch of different cultures and backgrounds, nicknames and monikers help create a feeling of belonging and familiarity easing the forging of bonds between people of varying cultural backgrounds, that is why you see that military units often use these, so do sports teams and so on.

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HamHamJ said:

CaptainLoken said:

The same thing could be said about Ragnar Blackmane and his mery band.  Tease each other?  Constantly.  Call each other names?  Sometimes.  Use nicknames or "handles"?  Not one time...

 

Are you sure about that? I wanna say that at least one of the initiates he trained with had a nickname.

Also, "Blackmane" is a nickname.

 

Indeed. In addition to nicknames like "Blackmane" and "Trollbane", one new Blood Claw was a "massive brute everyone just called Troll". Clearly, space wolves sometimes have nicknames.

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There's a simple rule of thumb you can always fall back on as a GM: Does it improve the game for everyone, or at the very least not detract from anyone's enjoyment? If yes, it's fine. If no, leave it out. You'll find this resolves a lot of problems and answers a lot of questions very quickly. ;)

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H.B.M.C. said:

 

That's pretty rich coming from you, especially as your game is full of mythical Female Marines that don't actually exist.

BYE

 

TROLL ALERT!!!

Srsly, stop trying telling people how to play their games. It's getting kinda old...

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I think that the big distinction here is the guy who names himself to be awesome aka "I go by havoc" cause he feel he needs to add cool factor for some reason.  And a name/descriptor that is attached to your character because of past actions or a trait they have.   It's one of the most universal opinions that nicknames you give yourself are lame, where as ones you earn are actually awesome.  My favorite primarch Conrad Kurze even had the "nickname" even though title is more appropriate of "Night Haunter" Nicknames can happen but some self titled thing like "havoc" is just....well lame.

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I always wondered if the G.I. Joe team picked their own nicknames, or if the rest of the team picked it for them.  I lean toward the rest of the team picking them... I can't imagine anyone saying "OK guys, from now on, call me Quick Kick". Or "I'm gonna be Gung-Ho! ...Hey, stop laughing, Gung-Ho is cool!"

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Reeze Calban said:

"Callsigns? Nicknames? This is not the Guard! On my watch you shall be known as BROTHER" 

- Watch Captain Strombard 

Granted, this is just my humble (somewhat educated) opinion ... but you obviously have no idea what it means to be part of a warrior brotherhood.  All armies give their members nicknames, and/or callsigns.  They are assigned by their peers, and/or superiors, based on their aptitudes/actions.  It is a sign of either respect or derision.  They are meant to either spur the individual soldier to even better performance, or to shame them into performing better in order to eliminate their given nickname.  Either way, they are a prompt ... to improve, or to live up to your image.  Both are useful in improving the performance of your battle-brothers.  JMHO.  gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Quite simple, the use of nicknames would vary from Chapter to Chapter.  The culture of their homeworld would come into play as well.

It is quite possible that some members of the team could very well be uncomfortable with nicknames, and their home culture might actually find the concept offensive.

However, take two examples, the Space Wolves, and the Ultramarines.

The Space Wolves seem rather fond of deed names.  Ragnar Blackmane, who earned his name after slaying a blackmane wolf during his blooding.

The Ultramarines use Latin names.  The Romans were quite fond of tacking on names to their full name.  Gaius Julius Octavius inherited the name Ceasar from his uncle when Ceasar died.  He then called himself Ceasar.  He was later declared a god by the Senate, and took on the name Augustus.

I see no reason why the Ultramarines wouldn't do something similar.

Again, take the individual chapter into account.

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Call signs are different from nicknames.  For one, call signs are usually tied to units and billets, not individuals.

For example, in the Marines, each company sized or larger unit has a call sign.  Then there are numbers going with it, corrosponding to positions in the unit.  The CO is 6, XO is 5, 1st Sgt is 8, Gunny is 7.  So if the company call sign is Raven, then the commanding officer's callsign over the radio is Raven 6.  This will be Captain Smith's call sign as long as he is the company's CO.  When he leaves, and Captain Jones takes over the company, he becomes Raven 6.

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