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How to simulate the Codex Astartes?

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dracopticon said:

Sorry if this question is somehow answered in the DW core rulebook, 
but I cant seem to find it. How does one simulate the use of the 
Chapter Demenour for the Ultramarines, during play?

Check out Sun Tzu's Art of War.

Now, apply his philosophies to interacting with others of extremely varying personalities and beliefs.

That's probably a good start.  gui%C3%B1o.gif

-=Brother Praetus=-

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dracopticon said:

Sorry if this question is somehow answered in the DW core rulebook, 
but I cant seem to find it. How does one simulate the use of the 
Chapter Demenour for the Ultramarines, during play?

 

I think the Demeanout itself means that the character is a by-the-book guy, trying to be a role model for others at all times. That is my interpretation of the Ultras. Paragons of virtue and skill. What that entails I leave up to the interpretation of the player. It only has to strike me as (possibly) virtuous in the context of 40K. And yes that might include calling for Exterminatus. In fact not doing so might be considered the opposite of virtue here, depending on context.

 

As for the book itself:

1) It gives the Ultramarine players justification for their tactics, etc. in team debates citing the words of the great Primarch and so on.

2) It gives the GM a handy excuse for unsubtle hints that the kill-team might be about to commit a serious blunder.

3) If you want to, you can give any player consulting it a Tactics(any) bonus. Or if they fail their normal tactic roll and have no clue how to handle a situation best, you might allow them a second test with a suitable modifier (like -30) if they have some to time to spend to leaf through the book for advice. But that's not something I will tell my players. They will have to think of that on their own. 50 xp for the first player who thinks of it. gran_risa.gif

 

Alex

 

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 The Codex isn't likely to be very portable, unless it's electronic.

If it is indeed the complete TO&E for the Asartes and the font of all tactical and strategic knowledge, as written by truly brilliant minds, it's not easily going to slip into a pocket, like The Art of War. We're talking volumes of stuff. I imagine that marines might carry an abridged collection of great quotations from the Codex, but not the entire Codex.

The thing is: It's supposed to be GOOD advice, which means that it either covers a lot of eventualities and has a margin of flexibility built in, or it covers ALL eventualities. Otherwise it's not doing what it's supposed to be doing.

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Siranui said:

 The Codex isn't likely to be very portable, unless it's electronic.

If it is indeed the complete TO&E for the Asartes and the font of all tactical and strategic knowledge, as written by truly brilliant minds, it's not easily going to slip into a pocket, like The Art of War. We're talking volumes of stuff. I imagine that marines might carry an abridged collection of great quotations from the Codex, but not the entire Codex.

The thing is: It's supposed to be GOOD advice, which means that it either covers a lot of eventualities and has a margin of flexibility built in, or it covers ALL eventualities. Otherwise it's not doing what it's supposed to be doing.

 

I think if we talk of the Codex Astartes as a library on Macragge actually. What I am thinking of as the Codex Astartes in man-portable form is a catechism. No electronic books in 40K (in spite of data-slates), it's against the feudal/media-evil theme of it.

 

Alex

 

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I imagine it as a compilation of military anecdotes and tactical treatises. One challenge to using it is the sheer amount of material involved. The Storm Warden's chapter master is rumoured to have memorised it entirely and this is regarded as a seriously impressive feat even for a space marine. I imagine the portable version contains the "core" principles in summary and a SM would be expected to learn and expand upon those from the larger, less portable versions outside of battle.

 

Some real world books of interest for references.

 

Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" as previously mentioned.

suntzusaid.com/

 

Clausewitz's "On War". A classic and far ahead of its time but can be pretty dense at times.

www.clausewitz.com/readings/OnWar1873/TOC.htm

 

Some of the 33 strategies of war might be useful (dispensing with the social manipulation material).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_33_Strategies_of_War

 

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Lexicanum:

"The Codex Astartes is the doctrine of the Space Marine Chapters, governing all aspects of Chapter organization and battlefield tactics. For any given tactical situation, the Codex has hundreds of pages devoted to how it may be met and overcome. The wisdom of thousands of Imperial warriors have contributed to the Codex, and details on everything from unit markings to launching a full-scale planetary assault are contained within its pages."

 

I stand to my interpretation that it's actually a library-sized work. :-)

 

Alex

 

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ak-73 said:

I stand to my interpretation that it's actually a library-sized work. :-)

Doesn't stop there being extensively abridged versions in circulation, carried (for example) by particularly devoted Ultramarines. A compact volume of notable excerpts and fitting proverbs, clad in an armoured cover and mag-locked to a warrior's plate seems like a fine thing for a true Son of Ultramar to carry with him to battle. Indeed, such an item is listed in the armoury chapter.

Of course, such a volume may contain less than 1% of the contents of the actual Codex Astartes, but that doesn't detract from the inspiration or solace such a tome could provide... if anything, I imagine each such abridged volume would be composed of tracts chosen by the warrior themselves for just that purpose, either transcribed and illuminated by servitor, copied out by the warrior themselves as an act of devotion or penance, or passed down to warriors to celebrate their achievements or to chastise them for their failures... or any of a variety of other situations.

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It seems to me, that the core of the work is probably very much The Art of War in form and length, a flexible treatise on the principles of Astartes warfare, written by Guilleman himself. While the full work is a collection that includes all sorts of examinations and discourses written by other commanders over the millenia, all compiled together to make up the larger body of knowledge.

Owing to the fact that it's been 10,000 years since it was written, and that the galaxy is a huuuuge place, I would imagine that the Codex Astartes of each chapter is largely unique. Though I'm also sure some the more famous and genius individuals to contribute will have had their wisdom spread beyond their own Chapter as well, particularly in the case of the other Primarch survivors of the Heresy.

This makes me wonder, do those Chapters that don't follow the Codex still have a copy of it for reference? And if so, does the wisdom of their luminaries find its way in to the collections of other Chapters? For example, will the Imperial Fists, let alone the Salamanders, have accounts from Sigismund after he became High Marshal of the Black Templars?

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

ak-73 said:

 

I stand to my interpretation that it's actually a library-sized work. :-)

 

 

Doesn't stop there being extensively abridged versions in circulation, carried (for example) by particularly devoted Ultramarines. A compact volume of notable excerpts and fitting proverbs, clad in an armoured cover and mag-locked to a warrior's plate seems like a fine thing for a true Son of Ultramar to carry with him to battle. Indeed, such an item is listed in the armoury chapter.

 

That is what I was referring to by cathechism.

 

N0-1_H3r3 said:

Of course, such a volume may contain less than 1% of the contents of the actual Codex Astartes, but that doesn't detract from the inspiration or solace such a tome could provide... if anything, I imagine each such abridged volume would be composed of tracts chosen by the warrior themselves for just that purpose, either transcribed and illuminated by servitor, copied out by the warrior themselves as an act of devotion or penance, or passed down to warriors to celebrate their achievements or to chastise them for their failures... or any of a variety of other situations.

 

And as a Buddhist I can tell you that after a few years it becomes hard to tell whose words you are really reading. So even if the core had been the Art Of War, you'll have a lot of conflicting schools of thought.

 

Alex

 

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I may be just throwing out my thoughts, but every time you see the Codex Atartes mentioned throughout Games Workshop fluff it's never spoken of as being more than one book (at least that's the way it seems to me).  I also thought over the years of reading about how the Ultramarines adhere to this particular way of war, that they follow the great tome as laid out by their primarch.  So if there are different versions, it just seems likely that the Ultramarines would  stick to what Robute Gulliman wrote and possibly other Ultramarine commanders over the millennia.  Again thats just my way of seeing it and I'm sure there are tons of you who will disagree.  I see it as a book, a big f****n book.

 

 

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 I would imagine that the whole Codex Astartes is not one volume, but rather many, essentially the collected writings of Roboute Guillaman and Ultramarine Chapter Masters and great strategists after him.  Most, if not all Ultramarines would have an abridged copy available for their own use, perhaps a summary of the works or something similar.  

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 I'd see a pocket guide of the type a Marine might carry as being some 'collected thoughts and quotations from...' style pocket book. There's certainly no way it could be the 'real' thing and be portable, unless you resort to the afor-mentioned electronic media or microfishe. 

It's simply not possible to fit explicit tactical and strategic advice for every occasion into a single book.

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(Warning! This post may contain sarcasm.)

I've always imagined the Codex Astartes as a single book written by "Robot Girly-Man" himself.

To me it's like a mix of The Art of War, Regulus Benedicti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_Saint_Benedict) and the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook.

Hundreds of pages on every tactical possibility? Not very practical in the field or even for teaching recruits. A vast reference library of essays and in-depth-analysis with contributions from thousands of veterans will most certainly exist in every Chapter-house, but it's not The Codex.

But who am I to say. GW is throwing "book physics" out the window on a regular basis. Take the Grey Knights' Liber Daemonicum for example

"The Liber Daemonicum (aka Libra Daemonicus1) is the Grey Knight Chapter's sacred book of battle rituals. It contains prayers, rituals, litanies, funeral rites, and Chaos lore collected from the Librarium Daemonica, the repository of dangerous knowledge pieced together by the Ordo Malleus over the millennia. Each Grey Knight fights with a copy of the book displayed in a beautifully decorated ceramite case fastened to his breastplate or hanging from a chain around his neck. It contains exactly 666 words." (from Lexicanum)

At first glance it looks like your average mighty tome of lore. Prayers, rituals, hymns, funeral rites and lore on the forces of Chaos! Lots and lots of information. But then you read "...exactly 666 words". WHAT? Thats not a tome! It's a friggin' pamphlet! The Grey Knights are the 42nd millenium version of the Jehova's Witnesses armed with the latest issue of The Watchtower! (no disrespect for any Witnesses reading this intended)

So... If you want your version of the Codex Astartes to house several hundred pages of advice on every single tactical eventuality, complete information of every aspect of the Astartes heraldry and life within a single (non electronic) book that every marine can carry around in a belt-pocket, feel free. It wont break the canon.

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I like sarcasm, as long as it has a purpose. Free-floating sarcasms tend to 
describe bitterness and cynicism. Anyhoo... 

All the recommendations here are excellent, and also the reference to rules 
for a monastic life, as the Adeptus Astartes definetly is interwoven with monastic 
atmosphere. 

I think I'll go with the abbreviated version of the most appliable rules of engagement, 
something of the primer for Imperial Guard, but much more rigorously written and 
explained in the thorough hand of Roboute Guilliman.

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 As well as containing quotes akin to those in the Art of War, I'd also look for inspiration from Machiavelli's work of the same name, the Hagakure, Family Traditions on the Art of War and Go Rin No Sho. All of them truly excellent books, and highly quote-worthy.

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Sorry if this question is somehow answered in the DW core rulebook, 

but I cant seem to find it. How does one simulate the use of the 

Chapter Demenour for the Ultramarines, during play?

Hey there. Sorry to come late to the party, but I just wrote up my own version of the Codex, compiling all of the quotes info I could find on it. I don't pretend to be a military genius, but I do teach military history at Japan's National Defense Academy (it's basically just glorified English teaching, but I have learned a lot in my time there). Anyway, I would love if some of you could check out the following link and let me know what you think. Plus, ideally, edit it to "declassify" more chapters, verses, and remarks. Then, over time, we as community could work it up to proper length...

http://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/The%20Apocrypha%20of%20Skaros

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