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Closet Dictator
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Good afternoon Heretics, Oldman with too much time on his hands here and I would like to know how YOU view spacemarines? The fluff on the astartes is wide and varied depending on the author, the setting, time of day etc so I would prefare no quotes from sources but just your opinion on what you think an astartes looks like, do you like them super tall and hulking or just scaled up lean mean killing machines, do like them as disfunctional phycos on a leash or pure cunning killers with humanity at their core, let us know...

Personally I like my spacemarines tall but not too tall, I like to see the connection to the humans they came from, physique wise, I like them to be scaled up versions of gymnasts, like the dudes that do the rings very large upper body arms shoulders with narrow waists to keep em nimble (marines are meant to be twinkle toed) and slightly pea headed, I have always imagined that to fit the extra organs and musculature that marines would be slightly out of preportion with the head looking a little small on the big shoulders. I have always imagined marines having quite deep slightly digitized sounding voices like people with gigantism (and because of dawn of war game).

Personality wise I like my marines to come across as pure killers, I would imagine marines to come across as quite cold individuals, with smiles that do not reach their eyes. I would imagine ordinary people would feel very uncomfortable in their presence but also compelled by them like a rat in the gaze of a king cobra. I would also imagine them to be very particular and precise in their movements and not to chatty when in the company of regular people unless required literally treating social interaction like a mission and acting accordingly.

Well that my take for the basics, what is your take?
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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Hmm I believe that marines are quite broad, maybe overly so. I think they are suppose to look like over scaled humans and may have some things out of proportion, such as facial features. I heard them being described like this in horus rising.

As for their personalities I think they are arrogant to a certain point due to them believing that they are superior to humans, this is not always the case due to certain astartes such as loken, argal tal and torgaddon. I think they are just like humans because they can still feel emotion.
 

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Since they are essentially "super soldiers", I'd see them as possessing two characteristics of psychopathy: boldness (lack of fear, tolerance of danger, etc.), meanness (lacking empathy, disdain of emotional attachment, etc.). However, I wouldn't see them as psychos because I'd see them with enough self control to not be impulsive.

As far as physical stature, I like the gymnast theory that Oldman stated.
 

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In my head I humanize all of my factions a bit. The fluff I've dreamed up for a future CSM project involves a loyalist chapter with a strong connection to their home world/system siding with their people against the Imperium after their home world is condemned for trading with xenos. I'm also on the cusp of starting an Ork project with them being smarter and a little less warlike than the simplistic 40k fluff given to them. I imagine a barbarian race living on a mountainous, desert and jungle environment and typically warring with their neighbours but not necessarily always at war with all of them. Their major ambition is to build something that will take them into space, though many of them believe such a thing isn't possible and only the planet they live on truly exists.

I prefer to think of SM as a little smaller than the lore indicates
 

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That's hard to answer. Physical appearance depends very much on the Chapter/Legion of the SM in question.

I picture most Space Marines at least a head taller than the biggest **** Sapiens around today, with most of them being taller than that. In one of the Heresy books it is mentioned (IIRC) that their facial features are overly broad/squashed due to the increased size. Which makes them harder to distinguish for the average human.
 

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Big, Brawne, Brutes with a human intelligence. They are basically drugged up Knights, or Samurai if you will, using the modern weapons of war to achieve their ends. Simple as that.
 

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I'm a little taken back at what people perceive marines to be. Maybe I'm a little off my rocker?

Physically...I think we can all mostly agree with what they are physically.

Mentally, I'm a bit shocked. Everyone so far has described so very...human.

They're not. Not in my mind. Their personalities and motivations have been narrowed down to honor, duty, and loyalty to the Emperor, their Primarch, and their brothers (in that order).

I'm painting broad strokes here (and clearly not all marines feel this way), but I don't think most marines should actually have a rather low emotional intelligence.

They're taken from dangerous worlds where the drive to survive supersedes the finer points of civilization. Not only that, they are taken as *children*. Even if they lived in better circumstances, biologically they're not ready to really understand other people.

Then they're indoctrinated by chemical, psychic, and hypnotic means to fight, listen to orders, and praise the Emperor. And additionally whatever quirks their Chapters holds.

The rest of their time is spent training to fight, recovering from fights, or ultimately fighting.

It's not like marines don't like dealing with humans, they simply do not know how to interact with humans. I think ADB is probably the closest to depicting the inhuman-ness of the Astartes in The Emperor's Gift and Helsreach.

An Astartes is probably closer to an advanced combat servitor than a human in terms of how they think.

Space Marines aren't simply humans with extra organs and super strength. They are other. They are post-human.
 

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They are just consumable biomass for the ever growing Hive Fleet.



They are human super soldiers with the human bit taken away. I'd say human Nids, just feel what they are meant to feel and do what they are meant to do; Fight fearlessly against enemies of the Emperor.
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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They are just consumable biomass for the ever growing Hive Fleet.



They are human super soldiers with the human bit taken away. I'd say human Nids, just feel what they are meant to feel and do what they are meant to do; Fight fearlessly against enemies of the Emperor.
I heard that they taste like chicken.
 

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It's not like marines don't like dealing with humans, they simply do not know how to interact with humans. I think ADB is probably the closest to depicting the inhuman-ness of the Astartes in The Emperor's Gift and Helsreach.
Agreed.

Their utter lack of comprehension of some of the thoughts/feelings/actions regular humans take is what sets them apart. In some sense they are warrior children.

On the opposite spectrum of this is someone like Loken, who i like to believe was unique but a portrayal of what an average 30k had the potential to be after considerable time. Something moulded more to understand the different strains of humanity due to the teachings of their Primarchs as well as from actions unifying humanity in the Great Crusade.
 

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Well, it's pretty much been explicitly stated that 30K Marines were much more human than the 40K versions. In 30K, Astartes are humans; warriors, emotionally impaired, insanely brave - but, ultimately, part of the species they fight for. In 40K, Astartes are on a spectrum between those 30K Space Knights and the other extreme, the sapient combat servitors. They still have individual personalities, but to varying extents those aren't necessarily human personalities.

From most to least human, I'd rank the major Chapters as so:
Space Wolves
Salamanders
Blood Angels
White Scars
Ultramarines
Raven Guard
Dark Angels
Imperial Fists
Black Templar
Grey Knights
Iron Hands
 

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@hailene

Complete agreement.

It would be one thing to take adult men who are already soldiers and enhance them. it's quite another to take children, children who have grown up on some of the worst worlds of the Imperium, and subject them to a life of constant war in conjunction with extreme mental conditioning.

Space Marines are not people. They're sapient, organic weapons. What emotions they have are focused around duty and loyalty to the Emperor, Chapter, Imperium and hatred for its enemies.

There are of course exceptions. The Ultrarmarines for example, by virtue of recruiting from a civilized populous in a structured way are likely more 'human'. That said I imagine the culture of the training barracks are much more like a psudeo-Spartan society focused around duty, obedience, loyalty, honour etc to the exclusion of all else. They may think more like humans but not have the same feelings as it were.

At anyrate 40k astartes are certainly more inhuman than 30k. 30k astartes seem like man made better, his abilities enhanced. 40k astartes seem more like mad re-made, the natural development process perverted into something no longer human.
 

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The Ultrarmarines for example, by virtue of recruiting from a civilized populous in a structured way are likely more 'human'.
Interesting point you bring up about the Ultramarines. There may be something more than simply culture. From The Unremembered Empire:

"John read the legionary’s ambition more closely, and saw it for what it really was – a kind of nobility. Sergeant Zyrol wanted honour. He wanted promotion. He wanted the transverse broom-crest of a centurion. To earn that, he knew he had to be just like his primarch: open and honest, compassionate, caring, serious, truthful, firm, effective. This was not an act. This was his belief model. It was in his gene-code."

It's literally in their genes to act the way they do.
 

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A human is a human in much the same way as a dog is a dog. My analogy would be a Space Marine is to a civilian as a military-trained German Shepherd is to a house-trained Yorkshire Terrier. Both share similar general features, but differ greatly in personality, instincts, disposition, and physical dimensions. This is my .02 on the matter.
 

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According to the descriptions of various associated novels, especially in the Marine-centered ones, Astartes are definitely human. Even several of the most brutal and 'inhuman' chapters, such as deamon-hunting Gray Knights, have quite distinct personalities and wide variety of humane emotions. Even though their past memories are wiped out utterly and personality is redacted radically during ruthless, almost cruel training process, they retain some of the inalienable humanity. Most marines are NOT some kind of simple killer Iron-man robots or glorified combat servitors(except current Iron Hands, of course. I cannot find better description about them; ironically their conducts are polar opposite of ardent wish of their primogenitor. And sadly, in this degraded era, significant portion of Astartes Chapters are exactly like them), nor warmongering, cold-blooded psychopaths.

And to speak more 'humanistic' variants of of Astartes(such as Space Wolves, Salamander, Ultramarines etc.), I personally think they are all humanistic in similar degree, not certain chapter more and certain chapter less. In truth, boundaries are often blurred. For example, Ultramarines and Salamander are essentially equally humanistic, merely different from their unique propensity and basic methodology; also some Ultramarines are even more cheerful and boisterous than most Space Wolves, whereas several of Wolves are even more solemn and laconic in their behavior than most Imperial Fists, actually.

Yes, Astartes are first and foremost warriors, the super soldiers and protectors of humankind. In fact, unlike much-regressed 40k, 30k era humanity thought Astartes are merely heavily augmented transhumans, and in some cases, even inhuman and/or raving monsters, fighting machines. Their fundamental existential purpose is war. Their primary specialty and focus is war. But I think they are many things besides beings of organic weapons and they indeed could do many things.

They are not only mightier, faster, tougher than normal humans(so-called 'mortals') but also generally smarter, incredibly strong-willed, more judicious and level-headed than most mortals. As proved in numerous examples and occasions, they can be virtually everything with proper training; architect, administrator, planetary governor, scholar-librarian, artist, technologist, engineer and many more. Then again, they excel most mortals in the respective realms. Oh yes, as poor Guilliman has always thought, they have tremendous raw potential as leaders of humanity. Indeed, emperor himself doesn't want to make Astartes as inhuman killing machines; their is a good reason he purged Thunder Warriors after finishing The Unity.

And lastly, I will assert each and every Astartes are delivering heroes of humanity, who exceed the most wildest dreams of humankind; without them, this already bleak galaxy will undeniably become much, much grimmer and darker place...
 

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Agreed.

To accurately portray the inhuman mentality of a Space Marine would be very difficult, not to mention create an unappealing novel. ADB gets the closest I think; his Black Templars have a suitable level of bewilderment and disdain about humans. Even that is a pale shadow of what they should be however.

On the plus side recently the novels have made great strides in portraying the astartes as properly trans-human at least physically and mentally. we're seeing in the works of Abnett, ADB and others just how different these gene-forged trans-humans are. Think of the internal monologue of the Ultramarines Captain on the orbital in the opening of Know No Fear.
 

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Agreed.

To accurately portray the inhuman mentality of a Space Marine would be very difficult, not to mention create an unappealing novel. ADB gets the closest I think; his Black Templars have a suitable level of bewilderment and disdain about humans. Even that is a pale shadow of what they should be however.

On the plus side recently the novels have made great strides in portraying the astartes as properly trans-human at least physically and mentally. we're seeing in the works of Abnett, ADB and others just how different these gene-forged trans-humans are. Think of the internal monologue of the Ultramarines Captain on the orbital in the opening of Know No Fear.
As a great fan of Warhammer 40k universe, I have collected all of obtainable BL novels. And my greatest, almost obsessive interest among them is no other than HH series. However in the majority of cases, I cannot feel Astartes arel that different from normal human.

Unquestionably there are some distinctive traits common in Astartes, which separate them form mortals. However I think most of loyalist Astartes are quite likable, heroic and above all sympathizable, and although a firm believer of Imperium's ideal, I could even empathize some of traitor Astartesㅡmaybe that is the intention of BL authors, of course.

As you already said, particular authors and/or recent books tend to catch quite well posthuman mental structure and peculiar characteristics of Astartes, but at least from my perspective, most of them more or less close enough to human, not some organic killing machine wearing human mask or something like that.

Indeed, their mentality are certainly different from mortals, but I think most of them are not sufficiently 'inhuman'.

p.s But I would also like to see completely 'alien' version of Astartes...
 

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The original fluff of them being stone cold psychopaths not fit or too dangerous to mingle with normal humans was the best version. That makes what we see of the WE and NLs preHeresy the closest to what they should be like.

ADB did a great job in Helsreach of depicting the almost autistic disconnect between SMs and normal humans. They have no room for pity, empathy, concern for anything for anybody beyond the achievement of the mission.

Physically they should be 8 or 9 feet tall and very thick muscled. Big, blocky, powerful. The fact that they are so fast and nimble is meant to be juxtaposed with this apparent bulk.

If anything, the new Ogryns would be much closer to the size they should be in reality.
 
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