Brilliant. So so brilliant *tears*. Both are utopian, idealist, transhumanist Legions...so similar yet so different. Blood Angels are lovely, Raven Guard are even more so.
You have somehow managed to consistently outdone yourself. Again, you proved former masterworks are mere preludes of future glory.
Congratulations to you for (semi) conclusion of this magnificent project. This pivotal significance cannot be understated.
Blood Angels can easily fitted in Star Trek, while Raven Guard...well, they are basically an entire organization fleshed out form transhumanist, technocratic sci-fi!
As I have always expected, I have gotten a strong, compelling impression that that Raven Guard are definitely the most powerful, versatile and above all, intelligent Legion. They seem positively overpowered - and to speak candidly, I greatly appreciate it. Strength in knowledge, technology and stratagem. Indeed, Scientia potentia est
And I cannot help to ask: how could they have suffered major defeats, setbacks and catastrophes, in spite of all those might, knowledge and intelligence they have accomplished?
I wish to present some questions. I hope after re-reading the entire AH I could formulate a bit more comprehensive list of questions.
1. Could you elaborate about the Pact of Tau? I would like to know its origin of name, location, power scope, politics, policy, society and religion. You also implied it does have technological advantage over the Imperium.
And how far advanced Raven Guard and Mechanicum compared to the Pact and other major xeno polities(Eldars, Necrons, etc...)?
I also hope to apprehend a little more concrete and comprehensive picture of LDLB equivalent of the Webway War, the Schism of Mars and the Damocles Crusade Would you elucidate and enlighten me about incipiency, progress and ultimate consequences?
Finally, did LDLB Dark Mechanicum have less presence and fewer sympathizerss on Mars compared to canon? Or had they enjoyed same overwhelming advantages on number, technology, firepower and general quality over loyalists, but arrival of 30,000 Raven Guard utterly screwed their relative superiority and doomed rebellion to fail?
2. I noticed that RG doctrine is primarily composed of "stealth, covert operations, precision attack at high speed" variant and "massed, overwhelming mechanical assaults" variant, though technological supremacy and ingenuity, out-of-box thinking theme is always presented, as well as putting emphasis on supply and communication disruption. It seems that at least until Siege of Terra and Mars, they typically relied on former, not dissimilar from their canon self, but after the Betrayal and subsequent Siege of Terra, especially counter operations against Salamanders and later Dark Angels, they have become to fully recognize importance of massive firepower, superheavy prowess and static defense in particular circumstances - is it correct?
In addition, do RG specialization include aerowarfare and precision bombardment? Those "titan-grade weaponry" mean super heavy vehicles, artillery, aircraft, and other more exotic, esoteric arsenals?
I have also noted that average number of Raven Guard squad is the smallest of Legions. Is there any reason behind such singular formation makeup? Do they operate in similar ways to modern fireteam?
And it seems BA specialization includes void, aerial and defense warfare as well as melee assault. Canonically, Ninth Legion are specialized at "high intensity warfare, strategic decapitation strikes, planetary interdiction campaign, multi-vector and sub-orbital attack", and while I'm sure that same could readily be applied on LDLB BA, I wish to ask you if is there anything to add, delete, edit or correct from the list.
3. So if the Nineteenth are essentially a part of Mechanicum, ideologically similar and even sharing technology each other, is there any notable technological difference between both organizations? And why Raven Guard do deliberately slow down pace of progress? If they consider they are no longer "human" in precise sense and humanity is indeed subjective, why they concern so much regarding so-called "uncontrolled growth"?
Also, does LDLB Mechanicum still utilize servitors and other unethical abominations? Has it ceased to be an affront to humanity and redeemed to ascend as true transhumanistic science institution? What exactly is modern Mechanicum's ideological foundation laid down by Prince Zinc himself? Are its members still called as tech-"priests"?
In addition, are LDLB 'machine spirits' true artificial intelligence? (well, at least some sort of)
4. Why fifteen
exemplars, not eighteen or twenty? Does Sanguinius deem the likes of Lorgar, Dorn and Peturabo being "exemplars" while accusing Konrad "inspiring monsters"?
5. Why Sanguinius and Angron were estranged after the Betrayal? And how Sanguinius and his Angels regard the Aeldari and its kin? I suspect similar stance to the Thousand Sons, but could not be completely sure.
6. What separate Owls, Hawks, and Pelicans from other Divisions? Are they SPC corps or unique in certain other ways?
Do Raven Guard have Techmarine Order, or every
Legionary being a trained Techmarine, like the Dark Angels? What is Warden's mandate? Are cause of Moritati an innate genetic flaw, just same as canon RG?
Finally, "the portion of the dedicated armored and air forces of the Legion that operates multi-Astarte machinery" - is this sentence referring a Legion-wide specialist formation operating titan-grade superweapons, doomsday devices and other strategic assets of the Nineteenth? What is the fotmation's name?
Besides, Raven Guard's command structure seems...well, quite efficient, flexible and technocratic. As always, you caught a Legion's nature and ethos perfectly in its org chart.
7. How proficient are the Nineteenth with the Webway? Do they still research and use it? How many tally victories they have accomplished, both in offense and defense(I suspect second only to the Emperors Children and possibly to Ultramarines - a far cry from the Raven's canonical obscurity). Finally, what are "heavy and irrecoverable losses" suffered the Legion at Parocheus?
8. So many, if not most, of LDLB xenos are human-compatible in criteria of Blood Angels? If xenos or human polity are resistant, or even outright hostile, to their efforts of diplomacy and inclusion, how they react? Is there any First Contact Protocol and suchlike? According to their IA, Angels sincerely believe that it is possible to reason with monstrous species...so are they attempting to co-opt Dark Eldars, Cythor Fiends, Cryptos, Barghesi, Khrave, Hrud, Lacrymole, Slaugth, Yu'Vath Fra'al and other diverse menagerie of xenos horribilis
whose sole raison d'etre is to oppress, prosecute, torture, slaughter, butcher, devour and consume humanity and every other sentient race of the universe?
Hell, in fact, majority
of xenos could be classified into xenos horribilis
category. Galaxy of Warhammer is grimdark to ludicrous degree that even remotely "reasonable" species is consigned to be a precious minority, and considering everything, it is no surprise that vast majority of Imperial citizen are extreme xenophobes, even without ideological indoctrination, since the human species is constantly menaced and besieged, and those besiegers are monsters in purest sense both in body and in mind. And it is one of few, but crucial, justifications canon Imperium has; it enables and entitles the Imperium to claim its right of continued existence as an necessary evil, despite of everything.
Still, I don't think LDLB BA would be that
naive. While goodness is an attribute frequently (unfortunately enough) associated with niceness or stupidity, that is far from the norm, even more so to the Astartes. So above "monstrous" terms limited to appearance, instead of mind or spirit, I suppose?
It brings up another intruiging question: I wonder in LDLB galaxy, proportion of "reasonable", human-compatible xenos is higher than canon milky way. When I read FW rulebooks, complete absence of even a single xenos could be reasoned with was rather preeminent, even Eldar Craftworlds went berserk and torching down innocent human worlds out of sheer spite, though BL novels provide a scant few exceptions, most notably Kinebrach. In LDLB, it seems the Crusade had been encountered plenty of reasonable, highly civilized species and a number of Legions strive to save or spare them.
9. Where Corax is gone? What was his intended destination? Somewhere vicinity to Horus and his ilk, perhaps?
Besides, is the LDLB warp an infinite multiverse in itself? I wonder how cosmology of LDLB verse is structured, and why insurmountable odds are stacked against to this
Imperium. Is taint of Chaos encompassing not only the Milky Way, but also other galaxies and universes
10. Are humanity the only race in the galaxy utilizing technology to enhance, improve and augment themselves, both physically and intellectually? Also, do Blood Angels seek to augment themselves in comparable way to Final Shore?
And how far Raven Guard augment themselves compared to Mechanicum adepts and technologist traitor Legions?
Furthermore, how many pre-Betrayal RG have remained? Has any of the Nineteenth vanquished death and archived technological immortality and/or singularity?
Finally, is there any Legion besides Raven Guard using technology to enhance and augment their own mind, intelligence and cognitive abilities?
11. Crusade era RG number - 130k - is much higher than canon - 83k -. What is the causes? Is it due to Raven Guard having far more extensive infrastructure and recruitment base while taking less casualties than the canon counterpart? Or are there other, more esoteric reasons? And how nomadic, fleet-based Blood Angels, whose gene seed is canonically among the most unstable, second only to Thousand Sons, have expanded their ranks more than twice while Raven Guard are stagnated in 135k despite of their vast technological foundation and infrastructure?
In addition, could it be epitomized that Night Lords have the most corrupted gene seed amongst Imperial Legions, while the Space Wolves and Thousand Sons' are the most deviant(also languished in the lowest spectrum of bonding success rate among loyalist Legions), and the Raven Guard's are the most unstable?
12. I found that RG 'exemplary battles' section of the Long War section are all reiterated from previous IAs. Is it intentional, to provide references and highlight each significant battle? And what is difference between canon Parocheus and Barans wars and LDLB equivalents?
13. What is name of the Raven Guard flagship, a part of the Triumvirate? Is it a veritable mobile moon and/or space station rivaling grandeur of Phalanx and Pride of the Emperor? Or is it more akin to compact but extremely potent relic of Golden Age of Technology like Dark Sovereign or Mirabilis? Finally, what was the Tuchulcha's ultimate fate? Captured? Destroyed? Managed to escape yet agian?
14. What is principal doctrinal and ideological difference between Raven Guard, Alpha Legion and Night Lords regarding war and other military affairs?
I also imagine LDLB RG, AL and NL would practice information and electronic warfare with utmost efficiency(or electronic warfare is a plenipotentiary of RG, other two Legions are inclined to disrupt of command communication via sabotage and misinformation rather than technology); do they, or any other Legiones Astartes, utilize nanite and memetics in war?
15. Where are Blood Angels recruiting? From the Pact of Tau and other independent polities, I conjecture? Do Raven Guard have Legion domains and recruitment grounds other than the Kiavahr-Lycaeus system?
16. Do Raven Guard physiology, psychology and mentality deviate significantly from other "unaugmented" Astartes? Are their average strength, endurance, intelligence and overall performance measurably better than normal Astartes?
17. According to Emperor's Children IA, "some say that we limit post-induction hypno-conditioning and neural implants because of cowardice." Those 'some' indicates Raven Guard, perhaps?
18. In secular, rationalist Imperium of LDLB, what is sobriquet of the Legiones Astartes? With both Angels turn traitor, I think 'Angels of Death' would never be their epithet.
19. Could you elaborate government structure and system of LDLB Imperium? With continuation of Great Crusade and reforms and overhauling implemented by Malcador and various Primarchs, I very much doubt Administratum and other mind-numbingly byzantine, excessively complicated and utterly inefficient bureaucratic monstrosity would even exist.
20. Does "current(i.e. 40k)" Imperium make extensive use of Corax's experimental Gellar Field?
21. Among the 'numerous victories' the Raven Guard had won after disaster of Medusa, which are the most notable ones?
22. Was Kiavahr Ascendancy Cult a Tzeentchian scheme? How the Cult managed to grow so powerful to storm the Ravenspire? How many Raven Guard garrisoned Kiavahr, and how many of them had fallen and corrupted?
23. Do Raven Guard deign to even use weapons as primitive as bolters? I wouldn't be surprised if standard armament of every Nineteenth legionary is volkite, graviton and quantum weaponry.
24. Why the Guilliman disliked feared Corax and in turn, Corax deemed Gulliman and Magus as potential tyrants? Had Corax reconciled with Horus, Gulliman and Magnus after the Betrayal?
25. What is difference between Raven Guard simulations and Ultramarines simulations? Do other Legions also run tactical/strategic simulations?
26. Hadn't sabotage on Jaghatai's prized armor conducted after
arrival of Death Guard and Space Wolves, instead of during the first Siege of Terrra?
27. "On Mars, even as Captain Verano Ebb killed the traitorous Fabricator-General at the cost of his own life, Dark Mechanicum elements used the opportunity to flee the planet and join the traitor fleet, bolstering Lorgar's forces; Mars was secured, but the loyalists on it were stranded."
How could Dark Mechanicum have succeed to run, despite of arrival of Death Guard, sally of Terran fleet and shattering of traitor blockade of Terra? At the same token, why loyalists on Mars had failed to extricate to Terra in spite of of loyalist supremacy of space adamantly maintained until arrival of traitor reinforcements. And even as the second half of traitor did pour into Sol system, there should have been enough time to withdraw before the Second Fleet making its way to Mars. And how many traitor Astartes landed on Mars? Had Second Fleet made any attempt to reclaim Mars, or retrieve isolated pockets traitors at the very least?
28. What had Raven Guard fleet been doing from beginning to end of battle for Sol? I haven't seen any reference on them during the both sieges. Or the Nineteenth fleet was tiny and weak back then and could make little difference?
29. Corax rushed to finish the matter of the Webway between raids
. Do this sentence mean Chaos had harassed Imperial Webway to stymie its sealing or Corax himself had raided traitors in his spare times?
30. Why Blood Angels gene seed had deteriorated over time? Is the Ninth's functional immortality related with their ossmodula defect in some way?
31. What is ultimate goal and ideal of the Raven Guard, Emperors Children and Lunar Wolves?
32. What is ultimate goal and ideal of the Blood Angels?
33. Last but not least, why Corax sealed Imperial Webway, instead of the Emperor? And how could a major C'tan shard, supreme anathema of Immaterum have been corrupted by the Chaos?
3. Interesting. Could you elaborate more about friendship between Fulgrim and Corax? And why Gulliman feared and distrusted Corax? Has Warmaster's attitude regarding Prince of Zinc changed?
4. And where are Angrandir's soul residing?
6. Fulgrim states: The psychic aura was greater than Fulgrim had ever felt around one who was not his father - and even the Emperor rarely let his power show as strongly as this seeming demigod did.
So I assumed Lorgar's psychic might would more or less rival to non-serious, fettered Emperor.
8. For what strategic reasons, could you more elaborate on? Particularly brilliant offensive strategies, perhaps?
12. Is same criteria applied to vehicles/aircraft comparison? Also, do Ultramarines and Thousand Sons have immense number of void outposts and watch stations? And is it safe to assume that while both UM and DG boast colossal fleets, the former is focusing on defense and the latter is geared for offense?
13. Indeed, canonically the Dark Angels and White Scars specialties include void warfare. So their doctrine and practice, both on the surface and in the void, are similar to their respective canon self?
19. How modern Kiavahr, Mars, Cthonia and Chemos looks like, from both inside and outside? How gargantuan are Ravenspire, Fusor, Fang and other Legion Fortress Monasteries? Do the Legion homeworlds and Forge Worlds have beanstalks, orbital rings and other similar megastructures? It seems that Kiavahr and its moon definitely possess more than one of such engineering marvels.
Does Imperium have any Dyson Sphere or megastructure of similar scale?
21. So how exactly War of the Beast had proceeded? You said War of the Beast in LDLB was largely a fringe brushfire, and the Beast was weaker than canon. But...canon Beast surprise-assaulted a woefully unprepared, disarmed, demilitarized, complacent, peacefully squabbling, cheerfully backstabbing
Imperium; Imperial forces were composed of pitiful thousands of Astartes and a feeble navy...and still it ultimately failed to archive initial objective.
In sharp contrast to its canon self, LDLB Beast managed to repel the Great Crusade MK II
, heap defeat upon defeat to multiple offensive-oriented Legions and fought to standstill against ALL of the Imperial Legion combined(well, to be fair, admittedly elements of each IL, not the Legions entire) and only vanquished through Blood Angels' intervention. IIRC, Ullanor Crusade was prosecuted by "mere" a hundred thousand Legionaries and two millions of Armymen, and that was a total, unadulterated success. And I hold serious doubt that initial Imperial plunge into the Beast's territory, comprised of elements primarily drawn from five offensive Legions, would be a weaker force than those assembled to celebrate Ullanor Triumph.
Is LDLB Beast truly lesser than canon one? And for that matter, I also would like to ask whether LDLB Beast comprised of one
22. Even Alpha Legion, Raven Guard and Night Lords do?
24. How the Imperial Legions, especially Raven Guard and Thousand Sons, are interacting with Necron? I conjecture relationship between both parties would be...reasonably interesting. BTW, do the Thousand Sons still maintain its three Orders?
25. That is...an interesting theory to say the least. If true, I would be sorely disappointed to those "fans".
BTW, while I really hate canon 40k Imperium (and that is one of many reasons why I play only 30k, as well as I'm practically in love with your AH), I have never thought Eldar or post-5th Necron's causes are any more sympathetic than 40k Imperium...frankly, they have less justification than the Imperium. They do not hold moral high ground whatsoever, and I think is Eldar is one of the most vile and despicable races in fiction.
26. So fall of Cadia is a predestined fate? Or could it be defied and averted like any other such "fate"? And why support and evacuation were impossible till the planet itself pacified?
27. Far cry from canon "unworthy, abominable vermin race in dire need to be exterminated" treatment indeed. Then again, sadly, canon Imperial humans are little better than insects. On the contrary, LDLB humanity are masters of their fate, captains of their soul
Besides, I can easily comprehend why LDLB Necrons see themselves in humanity.
29. So humanity hide an extremely potent wild card in their collective sleeves...If they are fully awakened and use their faculties in utmost efficiency, resultant ramifications would be no less than colossal.
33. Understood. Could you elaborate fleet composition and void warfare doctrine of the Ultramarines, Death Guard, Raven Guard and Luna Wolves respectively?
According to IA, fleets of the Raven Guard are mostly composed of small, compact and versatile ship. Fast and technologically superior, for sure, but rather fragile and suffer distinct disadvantages in terms of firepower, armor, durability, endurance, reliability and overall perfomance.
For instance, both canon Alpha Legion and Ultramarines possessed many number of ships, but both Legions hadn't been considered to have a strong fleet, since their fleets are largely comprised of frigate and strike cruisers.
In terms of overall tonnage and firepower, both Legions are firmly placed in thr middle.
On the contrary, while the Death Guard had few ships, most of these vessals are heavy line ships, and fleet strength of the Fourteenth was deemed considerable.
So I have to wonder - how the Nineteenth managed to achieve such ascendancy in naval power?
And why the Grey Knights have the weakest(or the fewest? Those are not necessarily same) fleet among the Imperial Legions?
P.S. Would you mind If I ask to you check my #59