Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far the fluff for the great crusade shows it as am empire that conquered its way across the stars. But actually acheiving the domination of 2million worlds in 2 centuries(Horus Heresy artbook) seems highly unlikely.

many seem to forget that the navigators were created during the age of technology, and its therefore highly likely that a significant number of these bloodlines survived through 'old night', even though they had a limited range of localised travel.

When old empy switched on the astronomicon however, every navigator within its range would have likely been able to see it. Given that the lighthouse is located on terra and cant be moved, plus the 20 odd space marine legions in his pocket. It seems much more likely he was able to bring the navigators together on his own terms, and taking into account that many of these isolated human empires were under seige from various enemies. They would have been pretty foolish to turn away the chance to reconnect not only with each other through the astronomicon. But also have old empys space marines to suddenly back them up.

Taking the above into account, it would actually be necessary from a fluff point of view to have about 60-70 percent of the scattered human worlds unite in this manner through their navigators. With the actual conquest of less than willing planets actually being the minority. Therein is the explanation for a 200 year 'crusade'. Not rly of conquest, but basically the scattered humans and their cyclopses seizing an opportunity.
 

·
Bane of Empires
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
The lost human colonies didn't simply submit to Terra (via their navigators) following the big switching on of the Astronomican. In fact in most if not all of the tales and stories we have regarding an Astartes Legion or crusade expedition coming into contact with a lost human colony it doesn't at all seem like:

"Oh right, your the guys who turned on the big beacon in the warp... thats cool we'll join you."

Remember that these worlds reunited with Terra weren't just borrowing the Astronomican, they were wholly submitting to the Emperor and Imperium. Their entire worlds were stripped of all resources and their civilians pressed into the Imperial army. Not a price many would have paid to use the Astronomican beacon.

Of course, out of 2,000,000 worlds, some would have obviously submitted in such a way. But I can't see it happening with a significant number.

I actually imagine that there weren't that many navigators present throughout the galaxy at the end of the Age of Strife, their abilities would have attracted mass amounts of daemons and possessions as the warp storms engulfed the galaxy across the thousands of years of the Age of Strife.

As for the Great Crusade itself, it was a monumental and gargantuan achievement. 2,000,000 worlds in 200 years? Sounds impossible. But it happened. We hear in the HH series that entire Astartes Legions spent months (sometimes over a year) travelling between destinations, if this much time was wasted (even though it was unavoidable) on warp travel then its even more of an achievement considering there were only 20 Legions. Other events during the period also prolonged the crusade, the Council of Nikaea for example. Several Primarchs and contingents of Legions spent months and months travelling to Nikaea and then months and months back to the main hub of their Legion, massive amounts of time were spent throughout such events, shaving ever more time off the 200 year period that brought so many worlds into the Imperial fold. The only conceivable justification I can conjure is that the Imperial Army bore the overwhelming majority of the fighting and conquered the overwhelming majority of the systems and planets compared to the Astartes Legions. But this in itself means that the nearby systems and sectors to Terra would have had to have been conquered and brought into compliance extremley rapidly following the Unification period to muster the manpower and resources needed.

Mind boggling really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Dont forget that in the HH novels (espicialy with the EC I notice) the Legions divided their efforts to help take worlds, somtimes as much as 2 companies of a single 20-30 company Legion will be dispatch to help IG to take a world or system. Like Murder comes to mind. Praticaly 2 Legions showed up in the end, but originaly it was really a company of BA, then 2 Companies of EC to bring that world into compliance. When shit hit the fan alot more was dispatch.

So if the Legions sent 2 companies here, a company their to bolster IG, then it is not that hard to imagine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,624 Posts
Theres also the small intersteller empires that would have been taken over as well. Ultramar was most likly not the only one in the galaxy. Take the capital planet and the rest would join the fold.

There's also something else to consider, how many of those planets were able to sustain life. A legion could have gone to a Star system with with 14 planets and only 1 can support life. All 14 would have been claimed for the Imperium.
 

·
Bane of Empires
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
Dont forget that in the HH novels (espicialy with the EC I notice) the Legions divided their efforts to help take worlds, somtimes as much as 2 companies of a single 20-30 company Legion will be dispatch to help IG to take a world or system. Like Murder comes to mind. Praticaly 2 Legions showed up in the end, but originaly it was really a company of BA, then 2 Companies of EC to bring that world into compliance. When shit hit the fan alot more was dispatch.

So if the Legions sent 2 companies here, a company their to bolster IG, then it is not that hard to imagine.
Oh of course, but each contingent still had to spend months travelling between destinations. Which was my point.

Theres also the small intersteller empires that would have been taken over as well. Ultramar was most likly not the only one in the galaxy. Take the capital planet and the rest would join the fold.
I highly doubt it was that simple. If Washington D.C. was suddenly conquered and occupied by an imperialist and expansionist force do you think the rest of the US would just suddenly topple and comply with the invaders?

There's also something else to consider, how many of those planets were able to sustain life. A legion could have gone to a Star system with with 14 planets and only 1 can support life. All 14 would have been claimed for the Imperium.
Aye thats another minor justification for conquering 2,000,000 worlds in 200 years. But ultimately it still doesn't go far enough to explain how such a feat as the Great Crusade was anywhere near possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
Realise who was leading the Crusade for the first 150 years. The Emperor. Warp travel times would have been drastically less with the source of the astronomicon leading the spear tip.

Another factor that would have decrease warp time during the early crusade was the fact that the warp was still and easy to navigate. The birth of Slaanesh is what dissapated the warp storms in the galaxy and caused the warp to become like an open ocean.

There are several references in the fluff sources that the once easy to navigate warp was becoming harder due to the increased efforts of the Big 4 to disrupt the emperors crusade, which started happening near the end of the GC.

And using the travel time to Nikea as a reference is not accurate. That planet was chosen for its remoteness and distance from main warp routes due to the secretcy of the council.
 

·
Bane of Empires
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
Realise who was leading the Crusade for the first 150 years. The Emperor. Warp travel times would have been drastically less with the source of the astronomicon leading the spear tip.
The Emperor led the crusade up until the Ullanor Crusade, which according to Legion was only 2 years before the outbreak of the Heresy, so try around 200 years rather than 150.

And more significantly the Emperor was not (and indeed is not in M41) the source of the Astronomican, the psykers of the Adeptus Astronomica are. The Emperor guides the beacon but does not power it.

Another factor that would have decrease warp time during the early crusade was the fact that the warp was still and easy to navigate. The birth of Slaanesh is what dissapated the warp storms in the galaxy and caused the warp to become like an open ocean.
The warp didn't become still with the birth of Slaanesh. The warp storms of the Age of Strife may have been blown out and spent, but the warp remained a place of Chaos.

There are several references in the fluff sources that the once easy to navigate warp was becoming harder due to the increased efforts of the Big 4 to disrupt the emperors crusade, which started happening near the end of the GC.
Example?

And using the travel time to Nikea as a reference is not accurate. That planet was chosen for its remoteness and distance from main warp routes due to the secretcy of the council.
It was just an example, but there are countless references among the HH series where journeys were taking months and months to complete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
157 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the idea of the post was to explain that the crusade couldnt have simply built the imperium by conquest alone considering the number of world/systems and the two centuries allowed by the 'official' fluff. To make it more plausible there would have HAD to have been a significant number of human worlds that werent simply conquered on contact, but joined up willingly for one reason or another ie desperation because of an alien aggressor, shortage of resources etc etc. The 'all conquering' crusade simply couldnt have happened across 2million worlds in 2 centuries, even with the legions.
 

·
Grand Lord Munchkin
Joined
·
7,046 Posts
Yeah, warhammer 40k doesn't make sense. What else is new and different? Fact is, warhammer is sci-fi, it isn't suppose to make sense. It's suppose to make you go " that's fucking awesome!" Trying to make sense out of it is pointless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,215 Posts
Well, there were, what, 4700 odd primary fleets and over 60,000 secondary fleets roaming towards the end of the the Great Crusade. A planet every couple-three months and 2 million planets wouldn't be too far out of reach.

Also assuming WH40k follows science as we know it, most of the planets would be clustered along the Galactic habitable zone. So travel times were probably significantly less in the earlier years of the Crusade as the Emperor would probably had made that relatively dense area of real estate a priority.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
There are several references in the fluff sources that the once easy to navigate warp was becoming harder due to the increased efforts of the Big 4 to disrupt the emperors crusade, which started happening near the end of the GC.
Oooh Oooh, I know this one. After Horus turn traitor it was explain that the 4 gods help horus by making travel and communication impossible in the warp. Entire Fleets were stranded, and the Lyaltist could not send word to the Emperor of the Betrayels going on before and after the Itsvaan Massacre.
Perfect Example was in Fulgrim where EC betrayed the IH and crippled their fleet. The IHs tried to send warning of what transpired but could not for the warp went haywire.
Another Example is when Horus was trying to set up the Massacre. He reassure Fulgrim that they had plenty of time due to the Gods interference in the Loyatist Warp Travel. I belive that was Galaxy in Flames.

Anywho.
 

·
Bane of Empires
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
Oooh Oooh, I know this one. After Horus turn traitor it was explain that the 4 gods help horus by making travel and communication impossible in the warp. Entire Fleets were stranded, and the Lyaltist could not send word to the Emperor of the Betrayels going on before and after the Itsvaan Massacre.
Perfect Example was in Fulgrim where EC betrayed the IH and crippled their fleet. The IHs tried to send warning of what transpired but could not for the warp went haywire.
Another Example is when Horus was trying to set up the Massacre. He reassure Fulgrim that they had plenty of time due to the Gods interference in the Loyatist Warp Travel. I belive that was Galaxy in Flames.

Anywho.
They are all irrelavent as they happened at the outbreak of the Heresy rather than throughout the Great Crusade (when Horus was still loyal).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
I think, as the OP suggested, that diplomatic, and fairly rapid, conquests might have been in the majority- at least in the beginning. To allow time for travel when the fleets start to spread out, as well as the time to prosecute a Compliance/Xenocide, then the large numbers of inhabited systems in the area of the galaxy 'near' to Terra must have been swayed to the Emperor's side quickly and fairly painlessly.
Which sort of makes sense; the systems closer to Terra would probably remember it more, maybe even having sporadic communication through Old Night. As these systems join the Imperium, there is a massive influx of troops and materiel which boosts the GC massively, giving it the momentum to push further away from Terra with any chance of success. The diplomats of the Adeptus Terra might have more 'battle honours' than any of the Legiones Astartes!

GFP
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
Well, there were, what, 4700 odd primary fleets and over 60,000 secondary fleets roaming towards the end of the the Great Crusade. A planet every couple-three months and 2 million planets wouldn't be too far out of reach.
These numbers are quite correct, think it was mentioned at Horus Rising that there were many thousand of fleets.
 

·
Bane of Empires
Joined
·
5,131 Posts
Yeah, aint that what was asked? He said the Bad 4 was fukin with the works before the HH. The GC was still going on when Horus first turn traitor. Very soon after it was HH timeframe.
You are right Warlock, I read it wrong. In that case:

@Romolo: Yes, the Chaos Gods were messing around with the warp to disrupt Imperial communication and travel to protect and aid Horus (after he turned traitor) not to disrupt the Great Crusade over the preceeding two centuries. It doesn't mean that the warp was easy, safe and quick to navigate prior to Horus turning traitor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,475 Posts
Another thought just came to me, I remember from Last Chancers when they traveled for a year or 2 straight that many times when a ship comes out of the warp, time had a habit of allowing it to go back in time a few years or ahead hundreds of years. Some trips may last a year but be a few weeks and vice versa. So maybe a small percent of quick expansion could be due to Warp Time fluxes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
The Great Crusade was a time of heros, there were likely many very successful imperial commanders similar to Macharius. He was able to conquer about 1000 worlds in 7 years. In 200 he could have taken 3300 if he kept a constant pace. The Imperium would only need 60 "Machariuses" to conquer 2 million worlds, add the legions, and the Emperor and some planets joining willfully and un-inhabited worlds and 2 million worlds becomes an achievable goal.
 

·
Unforgiven
Joined
·
689 Posts
It doesn't make any sense to me why the Chaos Gods would do anything to interrupt the Great Crusade, what with all the results of it playing into at least 3 of the major powers' porfolios. (Bloodshed, Despair, Change)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
252 Posts
A couple of people have said "Well it's just 40K! It's sci fi! It doesn't need to make sense!"

Well that's no fun, is it? This discussion is all about imagining "how could it be accomplished?"

Given:

2,000,000 worlds conquered in 200 years. That's an average of 10,000 worlds per year for 2 centuries.

Available forces:

20 Space Marine Legions, each of which composed of 1,000 to 10,000 individual marines
60,000 ships
swarms of Imperial Guard

Hm.

First logistical challenge: Manpower. If you have access to only a handful of worlds from which to draw recruits for your armies, you aren't taking the galaxy. No way. Where to get the men?

Second logistical challenge: Supplies to feed your armies. Terra couldn't possibly provide enough food, water and equipment alone.

Third logistical challenge: Ships. You need lots of them to deal with resistance from fleets, planetary defenses, accidents in the warp, maintenance, etc.

Here's how it might be done:

You start with only a handful of worlds near Terra. Your armies are modest, but you would have your highest concentration of Astartes since all of them are on Terra at this point. No primarchs yet, but that's okay. You take the first few worlds nearby. You use diplomacy primarily, relying on precision military strikes only as necessary. You can't afford to level these worlds. You need the people, you need the industry, you need the supplies.

Next, you take your most competent and trusted generals and make them commanders of their own crusade expeditions. Each of your newly acquired worlds follows the same pattern you did... mustering troops, ships, supply, and setting off to the local worlds around it. Meanwhile, you take your initial big fleet and move to a somewhat more distant point and capture it, repeating the process.

The whole thing goes like a nuclear chain reaction, slow at first but rapidly gaining speed, spreading out faster and faster.

Terra --> conquers 5 worlds/systems. Let's say it takes 5 years to do this, including travel time.

Let's also assume it takes 10 years for those systems to get up to speed to send out their own fleets and that production continues from all captured systems at the same average rate. We also assume previously successful fleets continue conquering at the same rate.

Year 1: Terra and Mars Total systems: 1
Year 5: 5 new systems captured. Total systems: 6
Year 10: 5 new systems captured. Total Systems: 11
Year 15: 5 new systems captured. Total Systems: 16
Year 20: 30 new systems captured. Total Systems: 46
Year 25: 65 new systems captured. Total Systems: 111
Year 30: 220 new systems captured. Total Systems: 331
Year 35: 565 new systems captured. Total Systems: 896
Year 40: 1455 new systems captured. Total Systems: 2351
Year 45: 5935 new Systems captured. Total Systems: 8286

Given this progression, it's easy to imagine what those numbers would look like in 30 more steps. It'll also be a lot more than 2,000,000 so we can assume losses from defeats, combat, mishaps, wear & tear, etc.

Along the way, you find your primarchs, you expand your Legionnes Astartes. Space Marines exist for one purpose: To save time and resources. They speed up the process by taking worlds more quickly than the army can alone, and with fewer expenditures of resources and materials. You send them to the most heavily fortified worlds. They crack the nuts that the Guard could, but only at a ridiculously high price. Each Legion controls one or more crusade fleets, but there are still many, many more fleets that operate without Marines - until they need them.

Essentially, the Emperor, even with the primarchs, couldn't possibly personally conquer all those worlds himself. Instead, he focused on the worlds that he could quickly turn into new nexuses for additional expansion, and had the primarchs doing the same thing.

Once the process began, it was self sustaining, needing only supervision and occasional assistance from the Emperor and from the Primarchs with their marines. The galaxy simply conquers itself.

Note: This would not be possible if there weren't already human colonies all over the galaxy with their own existing population centers, industry and agriculture. All that was needed was to bind them to Imperial service. The Xenos were the only real obstacles, but that's what marines are for.

The Emperor retired from the fight because the task was nearly complete, and he simply wasn't needed anymore.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top