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Autarkis02

Size of Planetary Engagements

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I was thinking about the massive scale of wars in Only War, and was trying to figure out how many regiments would be active at any one time.

 

My initial thinking was several dozen, but that just doesn't seem to add up.  From the wiki, a regiment is basically between a few dozen, and some as large as 10,000 men. 

 

In perspective, the Battle of the Bulge started out with 80k men, and got to almost 700k in reinforcements on the American side alone.  That'd be a total of 70 regiments that are all of the max size.  And that's not a whole campaign.

 

Has anybody else run into this?  It strikes me to conquer a planet that has more on it than just a few outhouses you'd need a large number of men, but it just seems a little silly to have thousands of regiments, although that might be what I wind up having. 

 

Anybody else noticed it?  If so, how big are you planetary invasion campaigns? 

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Well, consider that given the specialized nature of regiments (line infantry, light infantry, armored, etc) a single functional army is going to be composed to multiple regiments from even a single world. The old (2nd ed) Imperial Guard Codex talks about regiments for a single war being gathered from multiple worlds within a 10,000 light year radius from the target planet. The 5th ed core book describes the early stages of an planetary invasion involving 18 regiments with Navy support being committed just to secure a beachhead. 

 

Also, strategically, even massive Imperial Guard engagements seem to be fairly focused... targeting a planetary capital or the core of a rebellion or invasion. Once someone in command announces "mission accomplished" for a planetary invasion there probably remains decades, perhaps generations, of mopping up actions to be done.

 

So, how big as planetary invasion campaigns? According to my weak google-fu, in WWII the Allies committed about 70 million soldiers. The US Army alone had over 100 divisions of infantry, with a division being comparable to a 40k regiment (I think). That's probably a fair scale for Imperial Guard planetary invasions.

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Regiments are rather 'small' parts of modern military forces.

 

Here's a rough organization chart:

 

Squad: 6-15 men

Platoon: 3-5 squads

Company: 3-5 Platoons

Battalion: 3-5 Companies

Regiment (also called a brigade): 3-5 Battalions

Division: 3-5 Regiments

Corps: 2-5 Divisions

Army: 2-5 Corps

Army Group: 2-5 armies

 

Just about anything worth invading is going to take several corps. The 2003 invasion of Iraq had roughly 6 divisions (so around 24 regiments).  Compare to the German invasion of the Soviet Union: something like 200 divisions, so around 600 regiments.

 

--------------

 

Part of the reason that Imperial guard regiments are written the way they are is due to the regiments of the British army traditionally recruiting from specific regions, rather than the the regiments being filled out of the total pool of available trained personnel.

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A good place to look for this information is the Forge world books.

 

The siege of Vraks army group consisted of roughly 10 siege regiments, a battle fleet, an Astartes company, several line infantry regiments, several support groups, several armored divisions, and at least 5 artillery regiments.

 

The majority of this battle took place on a small section of the planet.

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Also note that 'regiment' varies wildly with type in size - 'siege regiments' can be bloody huge, with several tens of thousands each. I tend to treat 'regiment' as 'division' as well to avoid trampling on the fluff whilst still making sense.

 

The trick is also to occasionally throw in references to 'army' levels.

 

The scale tends towards WWII - which, as you say, is a shame, it should be bigger.

The second war for armageddon, for example, used purely the Armageddon Steel Legion (it was the third war which drew in guard units from everywhere) and according to the board game, featured:

 

7 Tank Divisions (~ 21 tank regiments)

7 Rough Rider brigades (7 cavalry regiments)

1 Assault Corps (9 Hunter-Killer Regiments)

20 Imperial Guard Armies (~ 540 mechanised infantry regiments)

5 Hive Defence Forces - roughly an 'army' in fighting power (~135 Infantry Regiments)

 

So, ignoring the Astartes, Titan Legio and assorted irregulars like border defence and hive gangs, you're looking at somewhere in the region of 700 regiments of imperial guard. From one planet's own forces.

 

 

Of course, a lot of planets aren't populated to anywhere near contemporary earth. But many are far, far more densely populated. Equally, a world like Cadia may only have 850 Million people (not much more than USA + Canada + Western Europe) but we are told that 90% of them are trained to at least first-line reservist standard, giving a mobilizeable pool of over 750 million soldiers....

 

Occupying important worlds that don't want you there will require hundreds of millions of soldiers.

 

 

Rules of thumb on troop density:

If fighting WWII style wars (which sadly the Guard is usually shown as doing!), troop density used to be worked out at one soldier per 27500 square metres. Which means (in a more useful measure), a platoon for a square kilometre of warzone, or a three-platoon company for 9 square kilometres of warzone.

 

40k has never really been consistant in the leap from company to regiment, but that means that a region 100km by 100km would expect 1,000 such companies of soldiers deployed there (~100,000 men) for a 'hot' warzone or active insurgency if forces are supposed to be 'at strength'.

 

Napoleonic-style mass infantry are a good measure for footslogging orks, and supposedly work off a density of 250 square metres per soldier, suggesting the Klanz would be throwing a green tide of 4,000 boyz to 'control' a square kilometre, and that a major 100km square warzone might expect to see 40 million greenskins assaulting it!

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Going purely by Codex fluff, regimental sizes differ heavily and depend both on the world a formation is raised on as well as the type of the regiment. The 5E Guard 'dex attempts to exemplify this diversity by giving a Vostroyan tank regiment's size as 1.500 soldiers for the lower scale, and a Valhallan infantry regiment with 120.000 for the upper range. This drastic difference is a result of the Adeptus Munitorum's attempt to standardise the handling of the Imperium's military forces and make it easier for commanders to gauge the fighting strength of units they are to manage on a strategic level, but with whose exact capabilities they are utterly unfamiliar. Thus, tank regiments will almost always be much smaller than infantry regiments, and a Cadian infantry formation will be smaller than one from Savlar. Equipment (a planet's "tech level"), physical capabilities (genetic peculiarities), existing training and discipline (PDF vets? conscripts? rookie volunteers? criminals?) are all factors that determine the amount of personnel the Munitorum will tithe from a single planet to raise a new regiment.

If I remember correctly, 5.000 was mentioned to be as a sort of standard for IG regiments, whereas the Storm Trooper regiment was said to be "unusually large" with 10.000 men (although the Storm Trooper Rgt. is not calculated via the above "formula" as it #1 recruits differently and #2 only deploys in squads or companies, but never as a whole).

 

As for how many regiments are involved in an average campaign of the Imperial forces, I think it may help to keep in mind that wars and battles in 40k are fought with different goals and motivations than today, and with different considerations in mind. Most importantly, the Imperium very rarely fights other nations on equal ground:

  • Most rediscovered human colonies seem to be backwater worlds that have regressed into a feral or feudal state and whose small populations and bands of warriors pose little challenge against troops equipped with laser weaponry and armoured vehicles - that is, if a full-scale invasion is necessary at all, and the infiltrators of the Orders Sabine did not manage to stage a coup using local assets.
  • Conversely, the more civilised worlds would likely either realise that attempts at resisting an ongoing Imperial war effort would be futile/suicidal, or their culture is structured in a way that allows targeting centers of civilisation and government, occupying capital cities and taking key leaders hostage, which in turn greatly limits the scope of a planetary campaign. Should forced conquest be necessary, I would imagine that most planets could be calmed after a brief demonstration of power and certain concessions, such as allowing existing leaders to maintain their station, or promising leadership to influential local personae who have so far lacked allies to grasp for power. The Imperium does not care for how exactly a planet is governed, after all, only that it pays its due tithe and respects Imperial law.
  • Lastly, there are the wars against Mankind's sworn enemies, the various alien species, or human colonies irrevocably undermined by the corrupting influence of the Ruinous Powers. Here, the Imperium will see no need to hold back, and unlike past conflicts in our real world history any war will not revolve around conquest or domination but sheer extinction. There will be no attempts at occupation and pacification, just a planetwide campaign involving liberal use of orbital bombardment, airstrikes and chemical or biological warfare. Ground forces will be necessary only insofar as they are required to lay siege to individual enemy strongholds and mop-up any survivors that could still be around after the Navy has reduced a civilisation's cities to smouldering ruins.

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Most importantly, the Imperium very rarely fights other nations on equal ground:
  • Most rediscovered human colonies seem to be backwater worlds that have regressed into a feral or feudal state and whose small populations and bands of warriors pose little challenge against troops equipped with laser weaponry and armoured vehicles - that is, if a full-scale invasion is necessary at all, and the infiltrators of the Orders Sabine did not manage to stage a coup using local assets.
  • Conversely, the more civilised worlds would likely either realise that attempts at resisting an ongoing Imperial war effort would be futile/suicidal, or their culture is structured in a way that allows targeting centers of civilisation and government, occupying capital cities and taking key leaders hostage, which in turn greatly limits the scope of a planetary campaign. Should forced conquest be necessary, I would imagine that most planets could be calmed after a brief demonstration of power and certain concessions, such as allowing existing leaders to maintain their station, or promising leadership to influential local personae who have so far lacked allies to grasp for power. The Imperium does not care for how exactly a planet is governed, after all, only that it pays its due tithe and respects Imperial law.
  • Lastly, there are the wars against Mankind's sworn enemies, the various alien species, or human colonies irrevocably undermined by the corrupting influence of the Ruinous Powers. Here, the Imperium will see no need to hold back, and unlike past conflicts in our real world history any war will not revolve around conquest or domination but sheer extinction. There will be no attempts at occupation and pacification, just a planetwide campaign involving liberal use of orbital bombardment, airstrikes and chemical or biological warfare. Ground forces will be necessary only insofar as they are required to lay siege to individual enemy strongholds and mop-up any survivors that could still be around after the Navy has reduced a civilisation's cities to smouldering ruins.

 

 

There are plenty of examples where that's not the case, though; the imperium does attempt to sieze and hold ground against organised imperial guard equivalents without just buchering the population out of hand (it kills a lot of them but not everyone)  - the Stigmartus Worlds (Deathwatch) and the Severian Dominate (Only War) are prime examples, but so are the Blood Pact (Sabbat Crusades) and any number of large-scale crusades or civil wars where a planet hasn't surrendered (At least a couple of Ciaphas Cain novellas, hence the reference to the 'Occupation Code') and/or is being sponsored behind the scenes by someone else, like the Tau (Fire Caste). The 'ongoing occupation' also pops up in quite a few, like Tranch (Dark Heresy).

 

Equally, even wars where weapons of mass destruction get employed liberally can take forever to resolve; Vraks took over a decade of meat-grinders whilst Vraks (admittedly without outside forces) supposedly took centuries.

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Well, individual incidents must not necessarily change much about the bigger picture. But as I said, I'm operating on core GW sources; it would not be surprising at all if some licensed sources would depict a very different interpretation of the wars fought by the Imperial military. That is simply how this franchise operates. And if this includes the RPG books you listed, then of course my suggestion in the previous post should be discarded for the sake of staying compatible to the source material, provided the players all agree on its representation of the setting. I just thought I'd jump in and suggest a reason for why GW's own books portray war in the way that has been criticised.  ;)

 

On a sidenote: In its White Dwarf article, the Blood Pact has been described as an odd exception to the underarmed raving mad lunatics the Guard is used to when it comes to fighting Chaos cults. That is what makes them so much more dangerous.

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The late-3rd/early 4th Ed. 40K Codex: Armageddon had a 'partial' listing of Imperial forces committed to the 3rd War For Armageddon; it was a full page of tiny type listing a bewildering number of regiments, companies and battalions- Imperial Guard, Space Marine and support specialists.

 

The same source also depicts a scene where the landing of a massive Ork Rok, whose antigravity thrusters cause a whole column of Baneblade tanks to blow away like leaves in a strong wind. Upon seeing this, Commissar Yarrik dryly comments "Now we have something to fight...".

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The list was also reprinted in the 6E rulebook, together with the force disposition chart for the 13th Black Crusade. Both engagements are pretty much the biggest battles the Imperium is facing in the entirety of M41, if not an even greater scope.

 

Imperial Force Dispositions: 3rd War of Armageddon

Imperial Force Dispositions: 13th Black Crusade

 

I think it is safe to say that at least in those cases, millions of troops were involved - though this should not surprise much, given the importance of their locations and the extreme size of the invading Ork/Chaos forces.

 

And as a special treat, two charts which I think even fewer people are familiar with:

 

Imperial Force Dispositions: 3rd War of Armageddon, post Season of Fire (closing days of M41)

Ork Force Dispositions: 3rd War of Armageddon

 

Codex Planetstrike (which also has a rich selection of historical records) had an introductory section which I think exemplifies nicely the brutal firepower unleashed in a full-scale invasion, and what effect this has on the defending forces. Together with the limited transportation space of the invading fleet, the sheer inability to defend any spot of planetside terrain except for a few well-shielded holdouts from such brutal bombardment may well play a role in often keeping the size of whatever armies end up actually clashing with each other somewhat negligible, compared to what we would otherwise think of when considering population numbers. And, of course, there are the Space Marines, who often work in conjunction with the Imperial Guard when it comes to the taking of heavily fortified planets. Another poster once described them as a force multiplier, which I think is an apt description of their role and capabilities.

 

"Planetary invasions are urgent, swift and terrible affairs, characterised by deafening noise, bone-shattering explosions and the stench of death. Thousands of reckless and battle-hungry warriors plunge downward upon trails of flame and vapour like vengeful angels, pouring from the drop-craft and low-orbiting spaceships that darken the skies above. Megatonnes of ordnance hammer down around these skyborne warriors, their detonation so devastating that the skies themselves seem afire; red, black and blinding white like the fires of hell. Pillars of ghostly light probe the skies, their colonnades all but transforming the battlefield into some vast and surreal shrine to the gods of war. Their touch is certain death to any invader caught in their beams, and red-hot debris rains from the skies as batteries of anti-aircraft guns take their toll.
 
Below the chaotic skies lies a war-torn landscape chewed up and spat out by the incessant bombardments that precede invasion. The surreal mudscape is punctuated only by the ruined shells of once-proud buildings and by inviolable strongholds that jut like tombstones from the tortured earth. The comparison is apt, for the doomed soldiers who defend these bastions of order from the storm of violence that threatens to consume them will emerge as corpses or not at all."
 
Or, to end with an Imperial general's quote (which may well serve as a good description for the army groups that are formed from multiple regiments to tackle a large campaign):
 
"I have at my command an entire battle group of the Imperial Guard. Fifty regiments, including specialized drop troops, stealthers, mechanized formations, armored companies, combat engineers and mobile artillery. Over half a million fighting men and thirty thousand tanks and artillery pieces are mine to command. Emperor show mercy to the fool that stands against me, for I shall not."
- Warmaster Demetrius at the outset of the Salonika Crusade, M38 (5E C:IG)
 
 
(again, though, it should be noted that these are just the descriptions and numbers the core GW material is operating with - licensed and outsourced material such as novels, Forgeworld army books or this RPG may well pursue a different vision of warfare in the 42nd millennium. it is left to the players to make their choice)
Edited by Lynata

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One way to scale such conflicts might be to look at some very broad brush figures on WW2. 

 

If one assumes that:-

 

  • The world population was around 2.3 billion in WW2,

 

  • and that the total number of combatants in WW2 stood at around 65-75 million or so (These figures for number of combatants aren't scientific, they're based on this yahoo answers post, so make of that what you will) 

 

Then you can probably say that for every billion in a planet's population, you'd be looking at around 35 million total combatants on both sides in a WW2 scale conflict. Meaning that if you were a Imperial Guard Lord Militant looking to conquer a hostile planet, you'd need about 15-20 million guardsmen per billion of the local population, assuming the population were an equiv-tech level human society.

 

This means that conquering a hive world like Scintilla in the Calixis Sector (population 25 billion) would require at least 375 million guardsmen, and probably more like 500 million to be on the safe side. Assuming roughly 5000 guardsmen per regiment, that's 100,000 regiments.

 

Taking a subsector-scale conflict (like the Spinward Front campaign), the numbers become even more impressive. Let's create a subsector, the Carnid Subsector. it has the following worlds within it:

  • 2 hive worlds, each with a population of 15 billion
  •  8 imperial worlds with an average population of 1 billion each
  • 5 frontier/agri/forge worlds with reduced populations of 20 million each

 

The total population of the subsector would then be in the region of 38.1 billion. This means you'd need at least 571.5 million guardsmen, around 114,300 regiments.

 

Scaling up further, a sector wide conflict, assuming at least six subsectors of the same size as our theoretical Carnid subsector, would require 3,429,000,000 guardsmen, broken into 685,800 regiments.

 

Now I think there's a flaw with this approach: it assumes a WW2 scale war raging simultaneously across every planet in the whole sector. Logically, this can't be true. Wars will start at the edge of a sector, moving across it in a "front line" that shifts as the war progresses. This means that a sector could theoretically be taken with a far smaller force.

 

Plus, the Imperium thinks on a different timescale to modern militaries. They are happy to kill an opponent with a cheese grater as opposed to a guillotine: grinding his forces slowly to pieces in grim attritional warfare. Look at the siege of Vraks: The Imperium could have conquered the planet with a vast army in a relatively short space of time: instead they chose to stretch the campaign out over a few decades with a smaller military force.

 

Precisely how one would go about calculating the number of guardsmen calculated to conquer a planet probably varies according to all sorts of ancient and arcane formulae;  this is the sort of thing that would probably keep Munitorum scribes and tacticae staff officers entertained for years.

 

I reckon that, properly managed, you could conquer a subsector with perhaps twice as many Imperial Guardsmen as you'd need to conquer its most populous planet in a WW2 style engagement. So to return to our Carnid Subsector, this means about 6 hundred million guardsmen split into about 120,000 regiments.

 

Of course, if one has extensive Naval assets (and they're not off engaging the enemy's fleet assets rather than supporting the guard) you could reduce this number substantially. And if you've got Astartes support, you could drop the numbers even further.  

Edited by Lightbringer

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I really don't think you can use any kind of real world reference when considering Wh40k warfare. Not when you have single space marine chapters allegedly conquering entire worlds in a single night.

 

Most importantly is the flavour the GM wants. And whatever that is can be supported by typical wh40k stereotypes/IG assets. Do you want massed tank battles? Go with a WWII desert or steppe campaign and let the tanks burn. Do you want grinding city fights? Go with a Stalingrad campaign and stack the bodies. Do you want air battles? Go with a battle of britain campaign etc....

 

If you really want some GW/FFG examples, there are indeed the published campaigns. Perhaps most informative are the Imperial Armour books as they describe different scenario's, from raids to outright planetary conquests. Another good source would be the deathwatch books depicting the Jericho sector and the crusade to conquer it. The Achilus Crusade fielded a strength of 5 billion Imperial Guards at the outset. Most of the original troops have fallen over the years but crusade strength has increased to 30 billion Guardsmen. Six billion are front line troops with the remainder mostly engaged in combat support, internal security, occupation duties, reserves, lines of communication and rear echelon roles.

 

And that is a low but steady effort by the Calixus sector yet enough to prevent Hax from raising/deploying additional troops to simply crush the Dominate rebellion without calling the entire sector to arms.....

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I really don't think you can use any kind of real world reference when considering Wh40k warfare. Not when you have single space marine chapters allegedly conquering entire worlds in a single night.

... which is silly and absurd to the point where I don't know if I should just laugh scornfully and walk away from the entire line in disgust.

Not even 1000 power-armoured Mary-Sues can conquer an entire world in a single night, unless by that they mean they have defeated the monarch and now the rest will fall without effort. It's simply another matter of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.

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To be fair, when I see things like that, I tend to picture said "world" as either underpopulated with only a few major cities, allowing the Spess Mehrenes to hit important targets and bring the place back into line right away, or it's a jam-packed hive world that's a constant horrifying mess, in which case "conquering it" means they slaughtered whatever villains they could find, maybe blasted a few spires from orbit, and just let the rest flee into the underhive where they will likely be eaten by a grue. Or picked up later by the newly-restored PDF.

 

Either that or the planet has a ridiculously long day/night cycle. Or an extremely successful campaign lasting a week or two became Chapter mythology/got exaggerated beyond all recognition so the masses could feel safe in the knowledge that the Emperor's Angels of Death can bring such swift retribution to the xeno and the heretic. And so on and so forth...

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The whole "sci fi writers have no sense of scale" thing is kind of what I'm getting at in trying to codify a few of these things in my head. While Ranoncles is right that you could theretically have a planetary invasion conducted by anywhere from a single Astartes squad upwards, as Tenebrae says, that doesn't feel right. Presenting a setting in which 5-1000 guys in power armour conquer a world of billions overnight gives readers/players cognitive dissonance, causing them to regard the setting as having jumped the shark. According to the recent HH Forgeworld books (by the ever excellent Alan Bligh, who imho DOES have a nuanced sense of scale), even Astartes Legions didn't conquer worlds overnight.

 

That said, I think an Astartes chapter CAN conquer a world of billions, but it wouldn't normally be overnight: it would be a longer, more drawn out process, possibly lasting months. Weeks of scouting targets, an initial "shock and awe" fleet action campaign destroying orbital defences, then several weeks of hundreds of constant commando-style raids on key locations (void shield generators, defence laser control bunkers, command bunkers, key civil and miltary buildings etc), then planetary bombardment at leisure from orbiting Astartes fleet assets of major collections of materiel and manpower, followed by larger actions against any surviving military forces.

 

The problem with an Astartes conquest campaign is that it doesn't really allow for control of the majority of the planet in the aftermath of their invasion: 1,000 soldiers no matter how superhuman can't police a 10 billion plus population world and stop it dissolving into anarchy. That's not really what the Astartes are for: they're killers not a garrison force. Iraq and Afghanistan are examples of how the "peace" after a major campaign is often more difficult than the war: that's where the Guard come in.   

 

EDIT: What Spinner said. Sorry, posted without reading your post!

Edited by Lightbringer

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The problem with an Astartes conquest campaign is that it doesn't really allow for control of the majority of the planet in the aftermath of their invasion: 1,000 soldiers no matter how superhuman can't police a 10 billion plus population world and stop it dissolving into anarchy. That's not really what the Astartes are for: they're killers not a garrison force. Iraq and Afghanistan are examples of how the "peace" after a major campaign is often more difficult than the war: that's where the Guard come in.  

 

The beakies are good for a lightning raid that kills the leader of the opposition (I guess). But for keeping an area under control or rooting out insurgents for years or any of those things... the Guard's where it's at.

That's jobs where number of boots on the ground counts for more than who's wearing them.

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I've always thought the scale of 40k was way off there should be far more troop involved.  Most definitely a case of poor scaling.  And a lot of good points have been made above by everyone.

 

Maybe it's simply not possible to transport that many men at once.  All though you would need millions to conquer a sector may be the navy can only carry so many men.  and since the enemy can only do the same the wars are limited in scale by the amount of men you can transport. 

 

 

This would mean that defending a world is much easier since a defender could have millions of troops already deployed, you would need orbital suprmacy to have any hope of taking a world.

 

This would also make astartes that much more powerfull since they are fully capable of taking on much vaster numbers.

 

One more point, facing the imperium (not just the space marines) would be terrifying.  Maybe it doesn't take that much to just crush the enemies spirit.  After all you don't have to kill the entire army if you can just make the give up.  This wouldn't work against equally zealous opponents like chaos or xenos obviously.

Edited by ieatdeadpeople2

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In terms of carrying millions of men at once, when you look at ships like the universe class mass conveyer, you can see that with a handful of these, you CAN transport that many to a battlefront, albeit over multiple trips. Plus consider that for every ship in the Imperial Navy there are at least 9 merchant fleet vessels, so potentially hundreds of transports are available for major crusades.

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Where do we think the Arbites fit into all this?  Not to mention the eclisiarchy and the inquisition. Sure the intial pacification might fall to the gaurd mopping up what the marines didn't have time to bother with after shattering the comand structure and supply lines as ell as the enemy moral.  

 

Aftr the actual armd forces oposing the gaurd have been crushd surely those other elements mentioned above must play a role as well, allowing some of the gaurd to move on.

 

I assume the eclisiarchy could help pacify by providing help to the masses of refugees created by the imperial attack or some thing.  The arbites could provide some initial stability while the inquisition crates a new power structure to rule the planet and establish its own PDF.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by ieatdeadpeople2

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Maybe it's simply not possible to transport that many men at once.  All though you would need millions to conquer a sector may be the navy can only carry so many men.  and since the enemy can only do the same the wars are limited in scale by the amount of men you can transport. [...]

 

Exactly - making air supremacy all the more important as part of the invasion by simply bombing major points of resistance away wherever possible, forcing the enemy to pull back their forces into the few defensible areas protected against such an onslaught to prepare for the siege ... that is, if the world even has any of those defensible areas, ofc.

 

All reflected in the Codex quotes I posted above. The Third Armageddon War is also a good source of inspiration for adherents to this school of thought / interpretation of 40k warfare.

 

Where do we think the Arbites fit into all this?  Not to mention the eclisiarchy and the inquisition. Sure the intial pacification might fall to the gaurd mopping up what the marines didn't have time to bother with after shattering the comand structure and supply lines as ell as the enemy moral.  

 

Aftr the actual armd forces oposing the gaurd have been crushd surely those other elements mentioned above must play a role as well, allowing some of the gaurd to move on.

 

I assume the eclisiarchy could help pacify by providing help to the masses of refugees created by the imperial attack or some thing.  The arbites could provide some initial stability while the inquisition crates a new power structure to rule the planet and establish its own PDF.

 

Thoughts?

 

In the IG Codices, it is mentioned that veteran regiments may gain the right to garrison a conquered world, essentially providing both a corps of loyal settlers and - in case of its officers - the new planetary nobility - but also peacekeeping forces that can keep the locals under guard. Thus I'd assume that in many campaigns, some regiments may stay back and permanently remain on the world. The troops will eventually turn into civilians discharged from military duty and the entire regiment disbanded, but until that time comes they would form the core of the new PDF. The newly appointed Imperial Governor also has a duty to raise further units of PDF from the locals, and they will likely make attempts to establish public order by creating a body of law enforcers.

 

The Arbites would arrive at some point, too, but their focus is on watching the government and protect Imperial interests, not enforcing the governor's decrees, and a single precinct force is certainly insufficient to quell any major rebellions. I'm sure they might help out from time to time if there's trouble in the capital, but on the grand scale of things the Arbites would not play much of a role compared to the governor's own forces.

 

The Ecclesiarchy would be there right from the beginning, both with Confessors accompanying (by Imperial edict) every single regiment of the Guard, as well as Missionaries attempting to spread the Imperial Creed and instill a sense of loyalty into the populace, establishing the usual virtues of obedience towards their betters, hatred towards the mutants, et cetera. Some Imperial Crusades may also be accompanied by large numbers of Frateris Militia, who could remain planetbound to enforce Ecclesiarchal law, conduct purges against heretical native cults, etc. In some few cases, the planet in question may be lucky enough to have a Mission of the Orders Hospitaller provide aid to war refugees, but the Imperial Creed is a warrior cult based on "strength through sacrifice", so the priesthood is not very likely to focus on charity. Really, I think it's more like the medieval crusades rather than modern military endeavours.

 

Lastly, the Inquisition ... wouldn't have anything to do with such things, as Inquisitors are very few in number and have more important things to focus on. Unless, of course, there is something special about this planet that is of interest to individual Inquisitors, such as special technology or an abnormally high amount of psykers.

 

Needless to say, my last post's disclaimer also applies to this one, though. There is no "true" or "false" in 40k when it comes to details such as these, so pick what you like most.

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In terms of carrying millions of men at once, when you look at ships like the universe class mass conveyer, you can see that with a handful of these, you CAN transport that many to a battlefront, albeit over multiple trips. Plus consider that for every ship in the Imperial Navy there are at least 9 merchant fleet vessels, so potentially hundreds of transports are available for major crusades.

 

I just looked at the carrying capacity of those and I totally agree with you on this one lightbringer.  The imperium is mos def capable of bring in millions of men and thousand of military machines to bear in a crusade.  

 

 

 

Maybe it's simply not possible to transport that many men at once.  All though you would need millions to conquer a sector may be the navy can only carry so many men.  and since the enemy can only do the same the wars are limited in scale by the amount of men you can transport. [...]

 

Exactly - making air supremacy all the more important as part of the invasion by simply bombing major points of resistance away wherever possible, forcing the enemy to pull back their forces into the few defensible areas protected against such an onslaught to prepare for the siege ... that is, if the world even has any of those defensible areas, ofc.

 

All reflected in the Codex quotes I posted above. The Third Armageddon War is also a good source of inspiration for adherents to this school of thought / interpretation of 40k warfare.

 

 

 

Lastly, the Inquisition ... wouldn't have anything to do with such things, as Inquisitors are very few in number and have more important things to focus on. Unless, of course, there is something special about this planet that is of interest to individual Inquisitors, such as special technology or an abnormally high amount of psykers.

 

Needless to say, my last post's disclaimer also applies to this one, though. There is no "true" or "false" in 40k when it comes to details such as these, so pick what you like most.

 

 

I disagree on 2 points, all though orbital supremacy would be vital to quickly conquering a planet the imperium is actually quite capable of landing enough men to take a planet.  The nromandy landings only involved 150000 allied troops vs 10000 german.

 

The key to winnning most wars is concentration of force.  Avoid the enemy where you are weak and attack where you are strong.

 

Secondly I think the inquisition would actually play a much more major role then Lynata predicts.  

The inquisition also covers seccession and rebellion in it's m.o. I see them as sort of a CIA mixed with a medival holy inquisition.

 

The inqisition fosters pro imperial sentments before the gaurd ven gets there and then puts imperial sympathists in positions of power to secure the power base they have to.  Like how the CIA shipped weapons and provided training to the taliban or the vietcong.

 

The gaurd and the navy need an intelligence wing and there's never any sort of gaurd intelligence or naval inteligence mentioned in the fluff.  The inquisition is the only organization trained and equipped for this.  I figure theres some inquisitors who devout their carers to just helping to establish imperial control probably ex gaurdsmen or navy personnel who got ascended. Most likely this falls under the purview of Ordo Hereticus being the most numerous.

 

Even xeno purges would need an Ordo Xenos supervisor who could provide advice to the generals based on proscribed info only an inquisitor cold have access to.

 

In the Gaunts Ghost books you always see inquisitors integrated into the command structure.

 

 

Also I agree it is up to your own personal tastes but its fun to discuss it with others it helps to point out flaws in your own vision and look at 40k in a different way then you did previously.

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I really don't think you can use any kind of real world reference when considering Wh40k warfare. Not when you have single space marine chapters allegedly conquering entire worlds in a single night.

... which is silly and absurd to the point where I don't know if I should just laugh scornfully and walk away from the entire line in disgust.

Not even 1000 power-armoured Mary-Sues can conquer an entire world in a single night, unless by that they mean they have defeated the monarch and now the rest will fall without effort. It's simply another matter of Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale.

 

 

I love portraying the Astartes like this, they rock and actually I disagree a space marine chapter totally could crush a planet overnight.  May be not conquer it.  But shatter its armed forces why not?  They don't sleep, their walking tanks armed with machine guns that shoot grenades, and they know no fear.  May be everyone just surrendered as soon as they saw them in action.

 

Plus as I think it has been said before it could be a case of imperial propaganda.  Or it happened so long ago the story has just been exaggerated.

 

But I prefer to think that it happened exactly as it is portrayed.

Edited by ieatdeadpeople2

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But that's the table top game, they have to make it balanced.

 

Did you ever read the Movie space Marine stats from white dwarf 300?

 

That's what I would say would be a much more accurate representation of the space marines in reality.

 

It takes over 20 years to train a single one of them, it makes no sense that they would be comparable to the table top.

 

The FFG games are much closer to the truth.

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...leaving aside the contradictions of

That's what I would say would be a much more accurate representation of the space marines in reality.

let's run with

The FFG games are much closer to the truth.

Have you read up on only war? Their "mounted" category of weapons?

Yeah, my money are still on the IG.

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