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post #31 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-24-15, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by forkmaster View Post
The Emperors Children lost 20,000 during the virus-bombings. (HH: Betrayal, P. 109).

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'quarter to a third were marked for death'
I'm quoting Rems who got his quote from one of the HH supplements (he doesn't say which)

Horus Heresy Book One states that they had 110,000 legionaries at the latter stages of the crusade.
One third of 110,000 is 36,300. So possibly it's that many. But hey, it could have been a quarter, so who knows?

What's 16,000 between friends, eh?

Last edited by Kharn The Complainer; 08-24-15 at 05:29 PM.
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post #32 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 08:20 AM
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The Space Marine recruitment process is heavily-laden with Plot Armour.

Consider the fact that the M41 Blood Angels are able to maintain the same manpower as the Ultramarines on a nearly constant basis. The Ultramarines should obviously be able to maintain 1,000 battle-brothers (and change); they have nine (if I recall correctly) star systems to recruit from. The Blood Angels, on the other hand, recruit from a single irradiated wasteland of a planet, populated by tribes of appropriately irradiated hunter-gatherers who apparently haven't managed any macro-scale communities, industrial infrastructure, etc., since the Imperium found them.

With that in mind, consider the fact that, back in M31, the Blood Angels Legion (not Chapter) relied on that same planet as its recruiting ground. Sure, Forge World dealt out some serious common sense by making it official that the Legiones Astartes relied on several recruiting worlds, protectorates, etc., for increasing/maintaining their manpower. Still, the Blood Angels must have relied on Baal to provide manpower for more than a 1,000-Space Marine Chapter. There's no way it was just this symbolic headquarters-in-name-only that was only expected to contribute a minimum of recruits.

Hence why I've long advocated the idea that the "Only a few people are ever able to become Space Marines" bit really comes down to many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes having lost a lot of the Space Marine creation how-to (something that is actually stated outright in the original Index Astartes articles) and/or them making it artificially difficult on themselves.

Meaning, how hard is it to imagine that a cult of superhuman warriors who believe they bear the genes of the demigod sons of the master of the galaxy would needlessly create a incredibly deadly initiation process? Think about it: it sure seems more special when a thousand guys (or whatever) have to die before ONE of them can become a Space Marine, right? Human beings in the Warhammer 40k universe are divorced from reality to begin with, if the fluff quotes from the rulebooks are a valid guide to their thought process and culture. Space Marines are on a whole different level from event that.

The Blood Angels are, in my humble opinion, proof positive of the fact that you don't need a stellar specimen to make a Space Marine. Again, they recruit from irradiated, emaciated wretches whose saving grace is a strong warrior culture and incredible survival skills. Despite the awful effects their planet has on their stature, the gene-seed transforms them into handsome demigod giant vampire warriors. They certainly don't seem to be any weaker than their cousins from other Chapters.

Nor do I think your recruit needs to have incredible mental fortitude or courage. At the end of the day, I'm willing to bet that it's the indoctrination, brainwashing, hypnotic and chemical conditioning, etc., that produces the "And They Shall Know No Fear" mindset. The Adeptus Astartes probably like their candidates to have the patience of a saint and the guts of Sir Galahad to begin with, but, again, I think that's just them fluffing themselves.

Look, at the end of the day, the only thing that probably matters is "genetic purity"... and by this I mean a sufficient absence of mutation and everything more or less in working condition. Feral Worlds probably work so well because the recruiting pool isn't needlessly narrowed down by the sort of hive world pollution that makes most die of five different flavors of premature organ failure. Even then, however, we know that people from some really messed environments are able to pass the sniff test.

To bring this back to the topic... the manpower of the Legions by the time the Siege of Terra kicks off is completely dependent on what the editors and the authors decide is best. The processes that have been described, alluded to, or simply implied make it eminently feasible for the Legions to maintain and even rebuild their manpower post-Isstvan III or Isstvan V*. If the authors want depleted Loyalists and/or Traitors come the 11th hour, though, they'll spell it out just like that.

Hell, don't forget: when "Savage Weapons", The Lion, Prince of Crows, and The Unremembered Empire were written, one of the Big Deals was that the Dark Angels were, like, the one Loyalist Legion still in full strength**. Fast forward to the intro blurb for Gav Thorpe's new Dark Angels Heresy novel, however, and it looks like the First Legion has taken serious losses.

Such is life!

* The Shattered Legions are probably the exception to this because the bottom line is gene-seed availability.

** The White Scars took a beating in Scars; the Space Wolves suffered terribly in Prospero; the Imperial Fists lost the better part of a third of their legion when their Retribution Fleet barely managed to escape back to Terra; the Blood Angels were mauled in Signus; the Iron Hands were one of the Shattered Legions; perhaps a third of the Ultramarines survived Calth; the Salamanders and the Raven Guard were both annihilated almost to extinction.
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post #33 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoebus View Post
Fast forward to the intro blurb for Gav Thorpe's new Dark Angels Heresy novel, however, and it looks like the First Legion has taken serious losses.
Which blurb is this?

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the Blood Angels were mauled in Signus
Despite the losses at Signus, Sanguinius says in one of the novels, or perhaps one of the audios, that he escaped Signus with the vast majority of his legion intact. Actually looking at it, the Blood Angels are quite possible the strongest legion at the current time in the Heresy. Their numbers equalling several other combined. No wonder their impact on the Siege of Terra is so large.(In before another novel which dicks them hard in some way).
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post #34 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 09:03 AM
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I could very well be overstating the state of the Blood Angels Legion following the events of Fear to Tread. As for the blurb in question? I genuinely can't find it right now. I thought it was in Gav Thorpe's website, but I can't seem to locate it. I'll try again tomorrow!

EDIT: I'm almost positive the blurb in question was on Gav Thorpe's old website. The link to it redirects to his new one, which doesn't have the post in question.

Last edited by Phoebus; 08-28-15 at 09:19 AM.
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post #35 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 09:46 AM
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Also remember that the Astartes creation process was a LOT faster during the great crusade, would take about a year to convert a human into a combat capable astartes. But the quick progress was deemed to be a strong risk of creating unstable warriors and cited as a leading factor for the corruption of the traitor legions. And so the astartes creation became a lenghty, drawn out process to check for purity and issues, whereas all they previously was worried about was to get them finished asap and sent to the frontlines.

So it fit nicely with a much smaller force of astartes to support, as the longer creation process simply cannot support the needs of a legion.

Last edited by Brother Lucian; 08-28-15 at 09:49 AM.
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post #36 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Phoebus View Post
Hence why I've long advocated the idea that the "Only a few people are ever able to become Space Marines" bit really comes down to many Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes having lost a lot of the Space Marine creation how-to (something that is actually stated outright in the original Index Astartes articles) and/or them making it artificially difficult on themselves.
I'd buy that if it was something they did only periodically. But they are recruiting constantly, so I can't see how they would lose the tech or knowledge regarding the transformation process. We"re talking about beings with enhanced eidetic memories and the most advanced tech the Imperium possesses. It's not like they'd just forget it all. And if something broke they would move mountains to fix/replace it.

It's worth remembering just how old those IA articles are, and how far the fluff has advanced since then.
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post #37 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 10:56 AM
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In many chapters the astartes creation process has become heavilly ritualized and embellished over the span of time since the horus heresy. Things slowly changing and getting warped, contributing to create chapter specific variants of the process. And combined with the technical stagnation and mythologizing of the knowledge, it is no wonder that it has become so fragmented. Many chapters losing organs as their processes became increasingly flawed and warped.

Then consider what happens when you get a founding from a chapter that is founded from chapter founded from their parent legion. A tale changes as its retold and repeated enough number of times, eventually becomming completely unecognizable from its original incarnation.
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post #38 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-28-15, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Khorne's Fist View Post
I'd buy that if it was something they did only periodically. But they are recruiting constantly, so I can't see how they would lose the tech or knowledge regarding the transformation process. We"re talking about beings with enhanced eidetic memories and the most advanced tech the Imperium possesses. It's not like they'd just forget it all. And if something broke they would move mountains to fix/replace it.

It's worth remembering just how old those IA articles are, and how far the fluff has advanced since then.
The loss and/or corruption of knowledge has never ceased being a theme of the Warhammer 40k setting. 10,000 years is too long a window for superstition and ignorance to not take their toll - especially in a setting where technology often depends on ritual versus actual comprehension of what is being done. This is applicable to Apothecaries every bit as it is to Techmarines, historians, cartographers, etc.

Last edited by Phoebus; 08-28-15 at 04:42 PM.
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post #39 of 39 (permalink) Old 08-29-15, 07:22 AM
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Which blurb is this?



Despite the losses at Signus, Sanguinius says in one of the novels, or perhaps one of the audios, that he escaped Signus with the vast majority of his legion intact. Actually looking at it, the Blood Angels are quite possible the strongest legion at the current time in the Heresy. Their numbers equalling several other combined. No wonder their impact on the Siege of Terra is so large.(In before another novel which dicks them hard in some way).
I think it's TUE you are referring to where Guilliman asks how many he's brought and he replies the whole Legion. The only number of losses I got from FTT is around 500 Blood Angels which the Bloodthirster slaughtered. I would imagine Guilliman and Sanguinius are the only Legions with over 100,000 Legionariers still.
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