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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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Default Scout Service length

Exactly how long does a Scout serve as such before turning into a Marine?

I realize this may vary from Chapter to chapter, but is there a general timeline of events?

The reason I ask is due to the established schedule for implantation of Space marine organs which generally has a scout start service about the age of 13-14 and completes around 19-20.

My question is, are there scouts that have received all implantations, black carapace etc..., have the full size and strength of a space marine, and yet still do not wear the armor?

Seems a waste yes?


If not it would seem as scout are composed mainly of teenagers gradually growing stronger and bigger until around the final surgery whereupon they receive their armor.

I'm mostly interested in this from a Black Templar Initiate/neophyte perspective, but any info is helpful.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 04:15 AM
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As you said it varies. And some elect to stay as scouts. Since their armor is lighter and stealthier.


I've heard anything from 100 to 10-20 years. I think it varies depending on progress, as well as willingness to move on. or they would run out of scouts. People with skill in stealth and sabotage probably elect to stay scouts in regular chapters.

However something like the templars probably has a mandatory limit.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 06:57 AM
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Probably like college or university. You gotta work for your graduation, even if it means taking a year or two extra.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 09:29 AM
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Probably like college or university. You gotta work for your graduation, even if it means taking a year or two extra.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 10:15 AM
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I'm mostly interested in this from a Black Templar Initiate/neophyte perspective, but any info is helpful.
I cannot give you that, but I can give you the Space Wolf POV. There they are tested over and over again with a harsher taskmaster as the person that test you, and you migjht have to face up to some really horrid things especially if you loose members of your team or something. As you basically have teenager with a minimum of training running around like Ragnar Blackmane did with his team. And they lost members. The source I harkens back to is the book Space Wolf of Willhelm King.

I guess you can use that as some sort of sourse, even though the BT has a tendency to use the squire-system where an older more seasoned warrior is working closely and mentoring a younger warrior, just remember the BT often doesn't recruit neophytes at the same time from the same planet like the SW so there they are their polar opposites.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ95 View Post
Exactly how long does a Scout serve as such before turning into a Marine?

I realize this may vary from Chapter to chapter, but is there a general timeline of events?

The reason I ask is due to the established schedule for implantation of Space marine organs which generally has a scout start service about the age of 13-14 and completes around 19-20.

My question is, are there scouts that have received all implantations, black carapace etc..., have the full size and strength of a space marine, and yet still do not wear the armor?

Seems a waste yes?


If not it would seem as scout are composed mainly of teenagers gradually growing stronger and bigger until around the final surgery whereupon they receive their armor.

I'm mostly interested in this from a Black Templar Initiate/neophyte perspective, but any info is helpful.
There is very little accounting, and very little corroborative sources on the scout progression system. All chapters have their nuances - the Black Templars mostly so, but others which have a fairly different protocol regarding their "neophytes" include the Space Wolves and the Red Scorpions. And back in the days of the Legions, the concept of "scouts" or recon units being the youngest and least capable is about as ridiculous as it is in todays military.

The general consensus across the chapters is that you can become one when you're deemed ready - whether that's on the basis of your capabilities as assessed by the training staff, or by completing some "Final Ex" which is pass or fail.

In regards to the Black Templars, what information we do have seems to loosely tie in with a Knight and Squire relationship. The Knight (Initiate) teaches the Squire (Neophyte) the ways of being a Knight (Marine). An Initiate is not going to want to recommend someone who is not ready for the honour of donning power armour to be on his record, especially if that person then later fails.

In regards to the Space Wolves, they are not actually scouts - they are given full integration with their armour during the process of turning them into a space marine. When they are deemed qualified space wolves, they are considered blood claws - which are power armoured line infantry, but lack the abilities of a full blown "Grey Hunter". The idea of "scouts" is fulfilled by Wolf Scouts, which are effectively veterans equipped with lighter scout armour, where they use their experience to make them better at moving over difficult terrain than the heavier grey hunters. The difference is with Space Wolves is that packs get reduced in size, and rarely (if ever) get added to other than the addition of wolf guard who guide the younger astartes in the role of a sergeant (although the Space Wolves only nominally have that rank, they don't operate as a Codex sergeant does).

The Red Scorpions Scout/Neophyte system is fairly different, in that instead of being taken in after some feat of valour (like the Space Wolves) or completing some agoge/school (like the Ultramarines), they are simply eligible for being chosen for the chapter if they survive exposure on their first night of birth on their home planet. They are then trained for the Red Scorpions through and through.

They Grey Knights are notable in that they do not have a unit which operates as Scouts or Light Infantry. In game terms, they have a rapid redeployment unit, but mostly, they are deployed as a strike unit, and only when it is known they are needed. They rely on other sources, such as Inquisition units like Tempestus Scions/Schola Progenium Infantry, HUMINT (human intelligence, gained from sources on the ground prior to the strike - typically members of an Inquisitors warband or of his network of sources), or ally with "conventional" marine chapters like the Exorcists or Red Hunters, both who have ties with the Grey Knights and the Inquisition. Long story short, they don't have scouts in the GK.

In regards to the Iron Snakes, they have a "phratry" where "petitioners" are chosen to replace lost members of squads. The petitioners are trained by the full marines, and there's no mention of them operating as scouts per se. The sergeant of the squad selects replacement members from the petitioners.

In 40K, there are numerous accounts of veterans who take to battle in scout armour - sergeant Naaman of the Dark Angels and Telion of the Ultramarines - although they could be particular unique occurences, and are particularly exceptional, especially as they take the role of teacher, rather than entire squads of veterans (like the Wolf Scouts are).

In regards to the Legions, there were no "scouts" as 40K understand it - there is simply marines who are trained in reconnaissance, and join such squads. These squads can either take to battle in full power armour, or can use lighter scout armour, which enables them to get closer to enemy positions without the telltale heat signatures and without sinking into terrain. Unlike 40K Chapters, where the most skilled are taken into the first company, if you have a dedicated job, unless you're something extremely special, you're simply a very, very good person at what you do.

It's unclear as to how one becomes a member of the elite of a Legion, as in joining the Terminator Squads. The extreme higher orders are fairly obvious - find yourself noted by the higher command chain, such as a Primarch or one of the higher Praetors/Legion Champions - and that's difficult considering the size - There are many Legion Captains and Company Commanders, who would be the equal of the a Chapter Master in 40K (maybe with less autonomy), but are virtually personally unknown to the upper echelons (their deeds and names might be known as a result of reports, but not personally). When the smallest legions are the size of 50 of the largest codex chapters, and in excess of 250 chapters for the larger legions, and of those, they have people considered worthy of "guarding" a Primarch, you can quite clearly see that the typical scout>devastator>tactical>assault>veteran/terminator (oversimplified) progression as laid out in the codex is completely different.



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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Very helpful responses...thank you.

I think I'm mixing up scout/neophyte terminology, but you get my gist.

I guess I was under the impression that when a scout was 'physically ready' ...ie he receives the final surgery to receive the Black Carapace around age 18-20....then he was technically a Space Marine.

I guess I see now that while these 20+ year olds are as big as, and as strong as a full grown Astartes, it does not necessarily mean they are full Marines.

(although they could technically fit into the armor under duress)





This opens up another question:

Are scouts/neophytes teenagers?

Originally I believed so thinking that they had to be promoted by age 20, but if that is not the case there is another problem.

What about the issue of a 13 year old Neophyte having received little other than his second heart surgery being placed in the same scouting unit as an eight foot tall 20 year old who can run for days, spit acid, and leap buildings with a single bound.

Both are technically neophytes, but armor or no, there is no comparison between someone one his first organ, and someone having received the nineteenth.

I look forward to your thoughts.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-14, 03:03 PM
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This is something that's not covered in the fluff. It's not something people really care about because... ooh super-evoluntionary giant psychic space locust-dinosaur predators getting shot by gundam wing while vat grown super soldiers created by gandalf the awesome-turned god have a civil war while devilish creatures made of pure emotion from an alternative dimension invade real-space and 10 ft tall walking fungi shoot green lightning at space-elves from a catapult made from a few pieces of two-by-four and a couple of elastic bands, all the while the planet is being destroyed by the bombardments from 20km long battle ships launching warheads which can open miniature black holes, turn all living matter into flammable, explosive gas, and then ignite it in a planet-wide firestorm, before cracking open a city sized hole in the ground to let the molten core of the planet bury everyone in a tide of magma.

Sadly, that's 40K as the writers see it, and few take the effort to properly define scouts.

That said, my views are that;

Someone who has been accepted in the chapter as a trainee is going to go through their version of basic. They are going to be going to classes (these classes might include tutelary engines which automatically impart that knowledge into the mind, or actual study), fitness and combat programs - from a young age (remember - Red Scorpions from day 2 of their existence), proper nutrition (I don't think anabolic steroids are frowned on that much no is injecting testosterone through the eyeball or whatever else they do to bulk up) so that they become the fittest possible.

Consider that the scout is completely unused to war. If you think that someone who has spent 20+ ish hours a day, every day, 7 or more years has been trained in all aspects of warfighting by some of the best soldiers and officers in the entire chapter (veteran sergeants, and the like on the training staff). They will be fitter, faster, more intelligent, better shots, with better equipment than your SEAL Team 6, and more dedicated to their cause.

Then you add in their implants, and you can see how much better they are - the equivalent Schola Progenium Troopers will have been in the Scholam's since they were younger, and they're the guys who call Space Marines to do jobs they can't handle.

A Space Marines ability to spit acid is kind of cool, but the Betchers Gland rarely comes into use - some chapters lose access to it altogether IIRC, and the only mention I can remember of it being used was in Brothers of the Snake, when Priad was bitten by a normally lethal (to human) snake while unarmoured and training on his homeland - this venom was then stored. As well as it being more sensible to wear a helmet at all times, it is simply a reserve weapon should the helmet not be worn/lost and the two are in literal spitting distance of one another, and that the target not be wearing armour.

An Astartes in power armour can make immense feats of strength - in the old Inquisitor specialist game, Space marines in power armour increased their strength by 20% - and considering that they already had strength in the 100's, IIRC, they were very powerful at things like jumping and other feats of strength, more than just combat. I think even the strongest of others was around 60, and bionics to be around 80 or so. I seem to remember one story (I might have been one of Ben Counter's Grey Knights?) where an Astartes sprinted after a vehicle, reaching 60+ ish mph (in power armour).

Outside of that armour, they're still going to be strong - but not massive differences so.

A Scout/Neophyte may or may not be ready to deal with particular tasks. A full blown Waaagh and invasion of Armaggedon is not going to be a good place to test a few 13 year olds in their 4th year of training with the Astartes. Although they're likely exceptional fighters by this stage, they're not exactly going to be much use there. Instead, while at the chapter monastery they may receive an alert that there's an outbreak of fighting or something incredibly inconsequential to the vast scheme of things (due to the scale of 40K, this could be something like an insurgency on a protected world).

This would be perfect opportunity for the young neophytes to gain combat experience within a reasonably safe environment for them. There would obviously be risks, but will teach them similar to a life fire exercise, and how when I was inside, we'd conduct live fire over the heads of those training to deploy and conduct (blank fire) operations and assaults against positions so that we'd know how to react.

While I'm sure that the Astartes would do the same, there's nothing like actually being under fire to know how to react.

It could also be a way of culling the chaff. One who is too stupid to keep his head down is not going to be much use to the chapter. Of course, that doesn't account for luck, but then the Astartes have rarely been about relying on luck, and min-max their chances of success of their operations on the ground anyway.



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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-14, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the viewpoint Vaz, as it ties closely to mine.

I agree that most writers focus on the bigger flashier Astartes, but then again as im in this only for the fluff (I don't play the game) I tend to want to delve deeper.

Where did this warrior come from?

How did he develop?

What was he like before?

I've gotten fascinated with the Black Templars in particular and like you feel that they start their neophytes young, beginning training around 8-9 years old.

This training is both physical as well as ecclesiastical as the Templars do tend to be a bit more fanatical than your average bear.

This process weeds them out so to speak to determine who is fit to begin the series of surgeries around the beginning of puberty.

It was only from there things got blurry. When do Initiates select their 'squires' so to speak?

It is the whole knight/squire thing that leads me to believe that here at least the youngsters are exposed to battle earlier than most for a couple of reasons.

First...being on an eternal crusade the Black Templars don't have a homeworld so to speak, and tend to drag the entire chapterhouse along with them through space Neophytes as a necessity would be drug along with the rest of the crowd.

Second it makes no sense to keep seasoned initiates sidelined for too long during the training process of a neophyte. (however long that may be)

All in all I appreciate the viewpoints.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-09-14, 07:29 PM
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First...being on an eternal crusade the Black Templars don't have a homeworld so to speak, and tend to drag the entire chapterhouse along with them through space Neophytes as a necessity would be drug along with the rest of the crowd.
Simply being on a Battle Barge, or whatever other ships Black Templars use, does not necessarily mean one will be exposed to combat and certainly does not mean one would be expected to seek it out or excel at it. This is important because while many neophytes would be in situations where combat is possible those who have not been fully approved for combat will not be expected (or permitted I would think) to take part.

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Second it makes no sense to keep seasoned initiates sidelined for too long during the training process of a neophyte. (however long that may be).
Just because a Knight has taken on a squire doesn't mean he is expected to be at his squire's side 24/7, or vis-versa. Marines are (at least thematically) deployed for relatively short periods of time and it would be perfectly acceptable for the neophyte to remain behind and be trained/supervised by others during this time.


All that being said, I would expect that Black Templar Marines likely don't get individually involved until the neophyte is very close to physical maturity. I would also think this would be true of most Chapters. Scouts, at least judging by stats, are physically Space Marines.

My guess is the process would look something like this:
Aspirant (1-12, very wide range depending on Chapter): This is the individual who wants to become a Space Marine, they've passed the first test/trial and the bio-screening but don't have any implants. They would be trained at this stage, mostly to prepare them for life in the Chapter.
Neophyte (12-16): They have started to get implants and training and are at various stages along the road to become Space Marines.
Scout (this is the stage that Black Templars call Neophytes) (16-20+, this range is dependent on an individuals ability): The individual is physically a Space Marine and capable of wearing Power Armour. However they have not yet earned their armour (remember that the suit is likely to be a relic, at the very least its a Ferrari not a kid's first car). They get real battlefield experience at this stage and at some point prove themselves worthy of elevation to full Marine status.


Also (horray, massive post), in response to something you said earlier. Most Chapters seem to take recruits in batches and would logically progress them as batches as well, so you wouldn't have partially implanted neophytes expected to perform alongside full scouts.

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