Originally Posted by Brother Lucian
Corax found a super fast method during the Horus Heresy, but it ended rather badly due to Alpha Legion interference which was never discovered.
And pre-heresy the Astartes process was still a LOT faster than present time. One of the changes during the Second Founding, was that the newly created chapters would use a far more slower and stable method. As the accelerated process used by the legions was prowen to be far too unstable and fingered to be a cause in their betrayal.
You have it the wrong way round.
The Heresy occured, attrition went up, rate of recruitment, and short cuts were made to get people battle ready.
Where once you had mighty, honourable great crusade marines, you were now left with bitter, hollow marines who were but a shadow of what they could have been.
Zerachiel, as far as I'm aware, that fluff is considered retconned entirely, useful only as taster fluff to the Horus Heresy background information laid out in the FW productions, which outright refute such information provided within them as lies and contradict at other times.
The need for Space Marines was coming to an end. The Emperor had no need to perfect it. With the Great Crusade theoretically complete, and everyone converted to the Imperial Truth, and with the belief of the Chaos Gods wiped out, what need was there for Iconoclasts like the Word Bearers? What Cities needed destroying by the IVth? Or letting slip the World Eaters? Or the Night Lords? Horus' own legion would have proved useless. The Lion, Russ, Sanguinius, very little were they needed for; arguments could be made for Sanguinius re Imperium Secundus, but honestly Imperium Secundus needed a Warrior-Emperor and avenging angel figurehead; that was he; Imperium Primus needed no such thing. The Thousand Sons would have had to have been killed at some time, as they continued to practise Warp Magic, and the veneration of the Emperor as a god would have been dangerous, so that is 8 legions at least wiped out. The Khan hated the yoke of the Imperium, but his legion could have been relatively peaceable, but he'd have "rebelled" and fled eventually, so that's 9.
What does that leave us with?
Emperor's Children; maybe, they were reasonably cultural, keep
Raven Guard; no, these would have been nixed
Ultramarines; notable for administration and being relatively peaceable with a geneseed noted as a calming influence, keep
Salamanders; champions of humanity; keep
Iron Hands; nopenopenope
Alpha Legion; who the fuck knows? Whether they wanted to kill them or not they'd stay. To save the trouble, I'd say keep them
Imperial Fists; Praetorians, but warrior minded (as opposed to the 4th necessity as soldiers, but following Pertys lead, architects at heart initially), keep
Death Guard/Dusk Raiders; nope
So there you have it; out of the possible ones who would have a place in the new Imperium post Great Crusade, you'd have 4, maybe 5 legions worth keeping, and not necessarily expanding. The only reason I could see to keep them would be to a) power the Golden Throne with their psykers, b) get into the webway and fuck shit up.
After then? Who knows; he didn't foresee the Heresy, but that's Chaos and funky shit, but with his astronomicon, it's questionable whether he even knew of the intergalactic threat of the nids and any potential need to have the legions around for those purposes.
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