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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 07:13 PM
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his book was written in a different time, it was written when Space Marines were everything in the books.
I don't know the exact time frame of Brothers of the Snake, but it came out after several (4? 5?) Horus Heresy novels had been released. The first one written by Abnett himself!

I think times had already changed. Unless Brothers of the Snake was a deliberate retro effort.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 07:34 PM
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I don't know the exact time frame of Brothers of the Snake, but it came out after several (4? 5?) Horus Heresy novels had been released. The first one written by Abnett himself!

I think times had already changed. Unless Brothers of the Snake was a deliberate retro effort.
I think it's more a situation where strict adherence to lore and what not kind of got in the way of telling a good story. Damocles Squad was set to kind of swoop in at the last minute and save the day for the entire Chapter after, IIRC, basically there were significantly more Orks on the planet than they anticipated when they launched. Also seem to recall how the Iron Snakes had been forced into a kind of fighting retreat for the time Damocles Squad was in transit. So if I'm not confusing details with another book (it's been about a year since I read Brothers of the Snake and a lot of that was when I was working a very early morning shift, and I'm not exactly a morning person) it's not all that strange. The Orks forced them out of places with more cover and out onto an open plane through sheer numbers and attrition.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 12:13 AM
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I don't know the exact time frame of Brothers of the Snake, but it came out after several (4? 5?) Horus Heresy novels had been released. The first one written by Abnett himself!

I think times had already changed. Unless Brothers of the Snake was a deliberate retro effort.
Yes but the HH doesn't count, the entire premise of that is Legion vs Legion ripping the Imperium apart at the seams.

Brothers of the Snake was about pretty much a single squad. All else was irrelevant so they were able to just be superior to anything else in the Universe with regards to that story, because the focus was on Ultramarines and to showcase their superiority.

I think that I've mistyped my point but I'm too tired to fine tune my post.

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"Bubbles"....?

The Old World just became a fart in the bath.....
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 12:14 AM
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The dialogue of the novel indicates that the Iron Snakes offering heroic battle to the Orks was very much a deliberate attempt. Note the conversation after Seydon and his force have been extracted from the Ork-invaded planet: they're trying to figure out what to do next; the idea that they can't face them their numbers in combat is brought up; and at least one Iron Snake states they should bring in the fleet, then, and annihilate them.

The Iron Snakes knew what they were doing. It's their culture at work, for better or worse.

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Yes but the HH doesn't count, the entire premise of that is Legion vs Legion ripping the Imperium apart at the seams.
I think his point was that the mechanics that informed Black Library novels (what an individual Space Marine, or a squad, or a company, or Chapter, could or could not plausibly do) were more or less consistent at the time... and that Abnett himself was aware of them.

Last edited by Phoebus; 06-25-13 at 12:19 AM.
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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I quite liked Brothers of the Snake, my favourite moment is when the Dreadnought Autolochus "interrogates" a Dark Eldar to find Priad.
How on earth did Priad survive a powerblade to the side of the head? (not that I think it detracted from the story)

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Also the bowling over a CSM with a grenade haunts me.
Actually could someone explain how Damocles blew up the promethium refinery. They gathered all their grenades and explosives and then they...?

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Dan Abnett was motivated to have them not just behave like Homeric-Greek heroes, but to fight as them as well.
It's also worth mentioning that the legendary Homeric age of The Iliad and The Odyssey coincides with the historical Mycenaean age (and thus predates the Greek classical age by ~1,000 years).

IMO, the Mycenaean culture has a rather Middle Eastern flavour (it's almost half-way between Mesopotamia and classical Greece). I thought it was pretty neat to have a chapter based on a less well-known culture.

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I don't know the exact time frame of Brothers of the Snake, but it came out after several (4? 5?) Horus Heresy novels had been released.
Brothers of the Snake came out in June 2007 I believe
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 08:29 AM
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Yes but the HH doesn't count, the entire premise of that is Legion vs Legion ripping the Imperium apart at the seams.
Phoebus nailed the point I was making.

Basically we know roughly how much a SM should be able to do. We have examples from the HH already printed.

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Actually could someone explain how Damocles blew up the promethium refinery.
I'd have to look it up, but didn't they rigged the explosives to the promethium reserves and it exploded?

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Brothers of the Snake came out in June 2007 I believe
The release date doesn't tell the whole story. Mr. Abnett could have started started writing Brothers of the Snake back in the early '00s, way before he even started Horus Rising. Potentially. The timing of the writing matters.

I would assume that Mr. Abnett wrote Horus Rising first, but we don't know that as a fact. At least I don't.
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 09:14 AM
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It's also worth mentioning that the legendary Homeric age of The Iliad and The Odyssey coincides with the historical Mycenaean age (and thus predates the Greek classical age by ~1,000 years).
Yes, but it might surprise readers to know that Abnett was actually staying true to the spirit of Homer's work. Case in point, the 'Iliad' itself is anachronistic in the sense that, beyond the depiction of "heroic combat" between champions (which would have been apropos to the age), it talks about phalanxes where the main battles are concerned.

That shouldn't be surprising, though, considering that Homer probably wrote around the time when hoplite phalanxes started to become prevalent in Greece. His contemporaries and their descendants only continued this trend, by depicting the heroes of the 'Iliad', their battles, etc., in clothing, weapons, armour, etc., out of their own era.

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IMO, the Mycenaean culture has a rather Middle Eastern flavour (it's almost half-way between Mesopotamia and classical Greece). I thought it was pretty neat to have a chapter based on a less well-known culture.
Ehhhh... not so much. Visually speaking, there is a great contrast between the Myceneans and their contemporaries in Asia Minor, modern Palestine, and Egypt. There are similarities in their mode of combat and their systems of government, to be sure, but those similarities extended throughout the Mediterranean during much of the known "B.C." era... even among cultures that had little to do with one another.

If you really want to pigeon-hole them, the Iron Snakes are warriors out of a Mycenaean legend, with bastardized names ranging from 12th century Greece to post-Alexandrian Persia, and fighting in a 40k style that's informed by small unit tactics, classical Greek phalanxes, high technology, and heroic challenges.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 03:17 PM
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I didnt like Brothers of the Snake at all (too childish and heroic for my liking), through it has its cool moments.

Brother Holofurnace in the Salvations Reach GG novel i didnt like too - too unkillable, too smugg and honorable. Eadwin and Saraf on the other hand is the Space Marine that i believe in. Distant from humanity and IG, but not so distant, as not to listen for good tactical decision.

So, i have really big hopes for SMB books about Iron Snakes at Urdesh this winter. The only thing that scares me - that it is written not only by Dan Abnett, but also by his wife Nick Vincent. Through i enjoyed her Gilead cooperation i really was hard-pressed slogging through Nick Vincents short in the Sabbat Worlds Anthology. It was uninteresting and very hard to read.

But i have high hopes anyway
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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I'd have to look it up, but didn't they rigged the explosives to the promethium reserves and it exploded?
Yeah something like that, it had something to do with a drill. I didn't quite get the details while I was reading it.

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The release date doesn't tell the whole story. Mr. Abnett could have started started writing Brothers of the Snake back in the early '00s, way before he even started Horus Rising. Potentially. The timing of the writing matters.
You'd think earlier release date generally means earlier writing date...but as readers, we don't anything for sure

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the 'Iliad' itself is anachronistic in the sense that, beyond the depiction of "heroic combat" between champions (which would have been apropos to the age), it talks about phalanxes where the main battles are concerned.
Well, The Iliad itself was not written in classical times. 800BC falls in the Greek "Dark Age".

...but yes, I doubt Homer had a very accurate idea of the Mycenaean civilisation of 1200BC. He probably pictures warriors of his age. Greeks of 400BC pictured warriors of their age. Medieval paintings of scenes from The Iliad have the Trojans and Achaeans people wearing medieval armour and clothes.

I think the Iron Snakes are a nice combination of Mycenaean, Classical Greek, and Homeric Greek influence. The former two are historical whereas the latter is legendary/mythological

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Ehhhh... not so much. Visually speaking, there is a great contrast between the Myceneans and their contemporaries in Asia Minor, modern Palestine, and Egypt.
There is contrast and similarity (at least in my eyes). There was a lot of cultural exchange going on between the older Middle Eastern cultures and the somewhat younger Mediterranean cultures at that time. Hence why I think theirs some similarity. Perhaps not literally "half-way" though

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If you really want to pigeon-hole them
I don't know what you mean by "pigeon hole". Identifying a 40K authour's sources of inspiration is always fun
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-25-13, 10:35 PM
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I don't know what you mean by "pigeon hole". Identifying a 40K authour's sources of inspiration is always fun
I didn't mean it in a negative way - I apologize for that. I used a poor word, but I'm just referring to what the basic themes of a group are.

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Brother Holofurnace in the Salvations Reach GG novel i didnt like too - too unkillable, too smugg and honorable. Eadwin and Saraf on the other hand is the Space Marine that i believe in. Distant from humanity and IG, but not so distant, as not to listen for good tactical decision.
... All three of them are about the same level of unkillable... as none of them die, do they?

And as for "listening for good tactical decision," Kater asks if their plan is "the usual nonsense". Sar Af responds that it's actually "not useless"... and then basically tells them that his adjustments aren't recommendations.

Ultimately, Sar Af just has a biggest role than Kater or Eadwin. He gets additional exposure to the reader while helping Merrt out with his aiming problems. Other than that, though, the three Space Marines are not that different. They are there to impress the superhuman quality of their kind, while also informing the reader of the seriousness of the operation the Ghosts are going on.

Last edited by Phoebus; 06-25-13 at 10:49 PM.
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