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Maese Mateo

Female Missionaries?

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RogalDorn said:

George Mann's quote however if  it was correct there would be no contradiction ever in the novels.

That would be the ideal situation, yeah - obviously some things slip through the editors' fingers (as George mentioned), but what I consider noteworthy in that quote is that GW/BL does not even try to attempt enforcing any conformity between the novels - which, imho, automatically disqualifies them as reliable sources, seeing that one book can easily be contradicted by the next, and none trumps the other.

That the books may not even adhere to the studio material (even when they are clearly supposed to, as you correctly pointed out) only makes it worse - but on the other hand it doesn't even matter that much, as you can't really nominate one novel over the other.

Another interesting aspect of that quote, however, is that novels are supposed to be written in accordance to the existing studio material - they are not meant to rewrite it. Meaning: If a licensee writer comes up with something that contradicts, say, stuff in a Codex, then this just means he made a mistake, not that the Codex is suddenly outdated. I'm sure nobody here wants multilaser marines, for example.

Now, I don't mean to "bash" BL or FFG or its authors - on the contrary, I like lots of books released by both companies, and will continue to buy them (if amazon lets me *shakefist*). I'm merely advocating the preservation of a single official setting that comes with certain facts that should remain unviolated.
If a player wants to change something for his own game, great! I just think I'm not alone in wishing for a solid basis to expand upon. And said basis needs a clear canon policy. Judging from the citations, it seems to exist - they just don't like to talk about it. Which is somewhat understandable, but sadly leads to many unnecessary debates amongst the fans trying to sort out contradicting information.

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Och and here i was going to try all philosophical.

Without a true canon (everything is equal), you cant have noncanon. Or rather, if everything is correct, then everything is incorrect at the same time.

Extending the without light, there is no shadow train of thought.

But Lynata sums it up so nicely. If everything is equal, you can play DW and let your Terminator doa  backflip. Because an equally correct canon book says so.

Heck we could have RTs starting with cruisers and a chapter of Space Marines at their beck and call. Rogue Trader even says so. (Im pretty sure it was in some small fluff part).

Space Marines would be drug induced berserkers and warrior monks at the same time. Depending on which rulebook you hold in your hands. RT or 3rd ed+.

 

 

But why must canon of different levels exist? Because you could not retcon anything, if there is no primary cnanon source/timeline. If everything is true at the same time, it would not be a retcon, but a different interpretation.

Counting the number of retcon threats (ok bad pun) i have seen since 3rd ed, im pretty sure people agree there is a higher GW only level of canon. Ok and CS Goto, he pretty much assured that BL stuff is never as canon as GW stuff, unless actively pulled back into a codex/rulebook by GW. Well there is one good thing about CS Goto. No writer can claim that his stuff is as valid as the GW stuff since him for sure :).

 

BTW. A personal thing, i remember the movie marines. DW plays more like that than the actual Space Marine codex. Considering the name, i think the glove fits. DW is a book based on the propaganda material of 40k, and not the hard facts. Which isnt bad. Everybody wants to be as cool as John McClane at some point.

 

I hope between the rambling you are able to find the information i wanted to get across.

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I think the gender specific exceptions have been noted, and the question answered.  In regards to canocial content in general, this has always been a nerdcore issue - 40k is a living universe of fiction within a very specific setting.  The specifics of the setting however are vague, both from the views of charaters portrayed within the fiction and the authors that write it - and the reason why material is selected to be published.

Stuff is going to change, be removed or added and it's not always going to jive..

and any of the concerns about canocial content - has no place at your private roleplay sessions, because your session is not canon.  So enjoy your game and get on with it, rule 0.

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Citizen Philip said:

and any of the concerns about canocial content - has no place at your private roleplay sessions, because your session is not canon.  So enjoy your game and get on with it, rule 0.

Actually it has.

Is the session within the boundary of the 40k universe or not.

Or rather is it a: "This could have happened in 40k?" (Very easy due to the size of the universe), or is this is "Well fun story, but it wasnt 40k."

 

Its really a nerd thing. But RPG is a hobby for nerds anyway. Putting the canon stamp on something just makes it cooler somehow. Regardless of its objective need. But the subjective feeling is what its all about.

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Add to that that much canon is written to support table top battles with units between platoon and company strength. In these fights the personnal weapons of the troops dominate the battlefield, even if these weapons will only represent a small fraction of the fire power availiable to a 'realistic' military unit. Even a WW II German infantry division had about 65% of its firepower concentrated in its artillery. In reality, the majority of the canon is meant to support mere skirmishes of small units. This results in quite improbable scenarios, where companies conquer cities and regiments take planets. Now, if this city were a small space port with one landing dock and if the planet would just have this space port and a few mines as inhabited objects I'd buy it, but if we start thinking 'realistically' (always within the confines of Imperial logic, however unlogical that can be) units of that size will be far too small to have a noticable effect on any serious war. Take the defences of a Hive World. It has literally billions of inhabitants, of which a certain part will not be availiable for mobilisation (underhivers, scum, mutants, etc.....of course all perfect for penal battalions), but that would still leave enough manpower to mobilise millions. Considering the USSR mobilised about 30,000,000 of its citizens out of a population of 200,000,000, imagine what an Imperial Hive would do if faced with a fight for its bare existence. Stalingrad, but then at least tenfold. Even a full Chapter of Space Marines made up according to the Canonical rules would only form a small part of such a battle. If we use the admittedly flawed rules of BFK, 1,000 marines represent 5,000 strength, with a very high power and morale. Admittedly a very powerful force (more so because it can easily be concentrated and is a razor sharp cutting edge for the Imperial forces), but comparable to an Imperial Guard corps of 50,000, that will have vast amounts of artillery and armour at its disposal. And, most importantly, of which a Hive City can turn out scores without making a real dent in its population or its industrial capability. A canonical defence of the planetary defence of the Polar forts of Macragge based on a company of Adeptus Astartes each starts really to rock that suspension of disbelief. Not forgetting of course that the quality and fighting power of troops is one thing (the good old force multipliers of well trained and equipped troops), but quantity has a quality of its own, and becomes vital if you just wish to be somewhere. To cover ground (and cities even more so), you need numbers, not just quality.

                                 Friedrich van Riebeeck, Navigator Primus, Heart of the Void

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van Riebeeck said:

Add to that that much canon is written to support table top battles with units between platoon and company strength.
It depends on what facts you are looking at, I guess, as there is always more than one way to describe something.

And in the end, novels are written with a hero's PoV and are thus even less reliable than "neutral" TT stuff that has been made up to support a game with a uniform ruleset where everyone has a chance at winning. Just look at how easy Space Marines die in a novel where they are the enemy, compared to nigh-invulnerability in most stories where they are the heroes. All further modified by the individual author's perception.

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Lynata said:

 

And in the end, novels are written with a hero's PoV and are thus even less reliable than "neutral" TT stuff that has been made up to support a game with a uniform ruleset where everyone has a chance at winning. Just look at how easy Space Marines die in a novel where they are the enemy, compared to nigh-invulnerability in most stories where they are the heroes. All further modified by the individual author's perception.

Basically the best examples are CSM vs SM fights. One side looks like a fresh penal legion from the IG, the other like ubergods of wrath. Considering both sides are pretty much well balanced, heck its the only fights awhich could be truly balanced, as long as the CSM dont bring in daemons.

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Oh yes, movies where Traitor Marines with thousands of years of experience just drop like flies, using tactics a one day recruit of the Imperial Guard would allready consider foolish. Very hard to take those seriously. As with most novels, the point of view of the heroes will quite clearly determine their power.

But my post was mostly meant as criticism on the 'canonical' material from army source books, about as official as it comes. All quite nice to support the typical tabletop battle, but lacking the internal consistency needed to be directly translated in a believable background for RP games. At least, if you have a critical GM and players, who are more then willing to accept psykers and anti-grav machines (as these fit in the internal logic), but will really start to wonder what happens if an Imperial Hive of tens of millions can only spare tens of thousands to defend itself from certain annihilation. The laws of physics might differ, but man will remain man.

                                                                  FvR

 

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Very much true.

But most popular Scifi (tabletop) that actually puts numbers onto planetery battles screws up those numbers. Battletech, as good as it is, is just another bad offender.

Tabletop games write fluff that supports their game. Which often enough are something of platoon to company level. At the same time planets are at a believable scale.

It just about never adds up.

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Quite right. Take the ships of the Adeptus Astartes. A massive battle barge, kilometres long and manned by tens of thousands of auxilia, serfs and servitors, but only able to deploy three companies. Yes, a full 300 men. Now call me slightly cynical, but that seems rather hard to believe. Not even the Imperium is so inefficient and even considering all the extra logistical support needed for power armour, dreadnaughts and other space marine extras (and the voracious appetite of astartes) they should have space to burn in those ships.

Canon is nice as a handhold, and should be followed if possible, but when it gets downright silly it is something to work around.

                                                                                                    FvR

 

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van Riebeeck said:

Quite right. Take the ships of the Adeptus Astartes. A massive battle barge, kilometres long and manned by tens of thousands of auxilia, serfs and servitors, but only able to deploy three companies. Yes, a full 300 men. Now call me slightly cynical, but that seems rather hard to believe. Not even the Imperium is so inefficient and even considering all the extra logistical support needed for power armour, dreadnaughts and other space marine extras (and the voracious appetite of astartes) they should have space to burn in those ships.

Canon is nice as a handhold, and should be followed if possible, but when it gets downright silly it is something to work around.

                                                                                                    FvR

 

To be honest, that's always struck me as being far more a matter of division of force - it's not a matter of capability, but of considered design. A Strike Cruiser is intended as a transport and support vessel for a Battle Company (plus all accompanying support assets) not because that's all it can physically carry, but because that's all you really want to put on a ship that size. You could easily fit several Chapters of Marines on a Strike Cruiser... but if that Strike Cruiser was destroyed, the losses would be catastrophic. Standard Imperial Navy doctrine, you'd send three line cruisers against that to have a near-certain chance of success.

A Battle Barge is similar - larger, tougher and better-armed than a Strike Cruiser, three companies is still all that you should be safely transporting on board, simply to avoid an "all my eggs in one basket" situation.

Also remembering that it's extraordinarily rare for a Space Marine chapter to operate as a single fighting force, having a force of disproportionately potent armed transports that can be split across the Chapter's forces allows companies and equivalently-sized task forces to be sent across the galaxy with considerable dedicated orbital support and a mobile base of operations (containing things like extensive training facilities to keep the Battle-Brothers in fighting condition, armouries to maintain wargear and manufacture ammunition, garages for accompanying vehicles, and the storage needed to support both armoury and vehicle pool, plus voidcraft like Thunderhawks, the crew and passengers for long periods of time). Even with all that, you're still left with plenty of room for a modest Reclusiam for the Company to gather together in prayer and to house the company's relics, a Librarium vault, a large and sophisticated Strategium for the command staff to plan campaigns, and then for each and every Battle-Brother to have personal quarters and a separate arming chamber complete with a dedicated staff of serfs and servitors to help him maintain his gear and don his armour.

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A division of force is one thing, deploying a battlebarge with say 200,000 man staff (or the equivalent of auxilia, serfs and servitors) to be able to deploy 300 Astartes seems a non optimal use of resources, to say the least. Admitted, Space Marines are highly valuable soldiers, each one of them treasured and only committed to battle with the best support the Imperium can give, but the relationship becomes topsyturvy here. I fully agree that each Adeptus Astartes assault ship (the battlebarges and strike cruisers) will have all the fittings of a small monastery to tend optimally to the battle brothers, but 300 men do not ask for much space, not even if they are 7 feet tall.

Because 300 men is a very small unit. Massive in tabletop battles and supported by tons and tons of canon (in support of those tabletop battles), but not a force that can conquer worlds. Space Marines might be the perfect heavy infantry, supported by an air mobility second to none that can even deploy light and some heavy armour, but for real warfare, they just do not have the numbers to be more then a perfect reserve in the hands of an army or army group commander. I believe Voronesh once made the fitting comparison with a German Tiger battalion in WW II. Now, they are more mobile then Tigers and lack that focus on heavy armour, but the comparison is apt. A very hard hitting elite, used as 'firefighters' to save the day here and clinch the battle there. With the real advantage that in their small size, they pack an enormous punch, so you can concentrate massive fighting power at the Schwerpunkt. But, still just a small unit. You can cover very little ground with 300 men. Especially if you deploy them in drop pods, making them no more then foot mobile and only armed with personnal and heavy weapons, without any armour or artillery to speak off. And those two weapons are the systems that decide real warfare, armour dominating the manoeuvre, artillery doing the killing.

So yes, the Imperium might deploy just 300 Astartes in each battlebarge. But if they do not use those vast ships to transport a whopping bit of auxilia or Imperial Guard at the same time, it is a hidious example of the mismanagement of resources. And official scenarios where a few companies of Astartes are enough to conquer a planet are just written for the tabletop game, as that really strains the suspension of disbelief over the breaking point if you start to think about it. Even a full chapter....how much frontline could you man with 1000 Astartes? Perhaps 5 kilometres, 10 if you strain them and really would like seeing them overrun. The Tobruk perimeter on itself was allready 45 kilometres long.

No, rather use the Space Marines as Knight Templars of old. The defence of Malta in 1565 is a good example, where the Knights Hospitaller formed the hard core of a far larger force that defeated the Ottomans. The defence of St.Elmo is a story of real valour unmatched by any fantasy. Perfectly adaptable to the heroics and fanaticism of WH40K.

 

                                                                                            FvR

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van Riebeeck said:

And official scenarios where a few companies of Astartes are enough to conquer a planet are just written for the tabletop game, as that really strains the suspension of disbelief over the breaking point if you start to think about it. Even a full chapter....how much frontline could you man with 1000 Astartes?

I would say that such write-ups simply do not mention the far larger forces that would be necessary for a full-scale occupation. In spite what a lot of fans think, Space Marines are not suitable of performing that function - this is why the Imperial Guard, which does not bear the name "The Emperor's Hammer" for no reason, exists. The Astartes are "firefighters", usually sent in to augment traditional military forces, or fight where they could not (against an enemy that is crippled by the very same circumstances), or using their superior deployment speed to go in before an opponent has time to prepare. They enable the Guard to perform their tasks with much fewer losses and in shorter time, be it by establishing a stable beachhead or breaking through an enemy line that would have otherwise cost thousands of ordinary men to breach.

In short, I very much agree about what you wrote regarding the Knights Templar of old. And I think the Marines are already intended to perform exactly such function. It's just that the usual hype may evoke the wrong ideas, and that one sometimes needs to read "between the lines" to spot the unpopular limitations that are often only hinted at in Marine books.

For what it's worth, I also don't buy that 1.000 Battle Sisters from the Order of the Bloody Rose liberated 100 worlds all on their own, though no other forces were mentioned in that piece of fluff. At times, common sense and consistency may dictate that the reader just has to guess the missing parts that were considered "unnecessary" by the author.

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Lynata said:

At times, common sense and consistency may dictate that the reader just has to guess the missing parts that were considered "unnecessary" by the author.

 

 

I love this.

The 100 Space Marines won the day and breached the enemy defensive line to gain a full 1000 kilometres of ground. But the author forgot to mention the 250.000 Imperial Guardsmen committed to exploit said breach and make the actual advance possible.

Another good idea is how the Soviets did most operations. Send in the breakthrough tanks, and then let the faster T-34s swarm the enemy hinterlands.

The Space Marines are the best fighting force in the universe, if your battlefield is really small. The well known "weak spot" or lynchpin. But without proper support, they are unable to deal with a larger warzone. Well anything bigger than their organizational level and they are in serious trouble.

A Company of Marines can truly be a fearsome fighting force. If they only have to push through a few hundred well entrenched enemies and open a breach. But they cant exploit it themselves.

A full Space Marine Chapter might be able to exploit the breach for a short time, but without Guard Divisions to hold the gap and the bulge, they will be simply be cut off from supplies and be crushed piecemeal by artillery and air strikes.

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Seems we all quite agree here. Part of the fun of WH40k is the plethora of different forces and their interaction, both versus Xenos and traitors and with each other. The interesting 'checks and balances', with the Navy having no ground troops, the Imperial Guard no ships, the Adeptus Mechanicus controlling the God-Machines and the Adeptus Astartes limited numbers, small chapters and highly advanced but still restrained ships that are not supposed to be optimalised for ship versus ship combat. And of course all the rest, with Arbites, Sisters of Battle, Inquisitors all having their own small but independent forces..not forgetting the PDF's, that might vary from a few miserably equipped militia units in a poor agrarian colony to army groups rivalling the Imperial Guard in its equipment in rich Forge Worlds. Nice, and it offers so many opportunities for great RP, intrigue and epic warfare.

                                                                                FvR

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