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I'm sorry but I think Tyriks is contributing to the discussion. The OP, or indeed anybody else could look at the title of the thread, read your theory for why they are small and walk away thinking they are probably small. However, when they then read Tyriks posts, they can doubt yours and see it's not so clear cut.

Busy at the moment, but for the record I don't agree with you. I think they are likely an average sized legion.
 

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Busy at the moment, but for the record I don't agree with you. I think they are likely an average sized legion.
That's interesting. I can't wait to see your support.

What sort of sources do we have for pre-heresy White Scars, anyway? Scars, the IA, some of the codices (which basically mention them defending Terra with Dorn). Is that all?
 

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Look, I'm not trying to halt or ruin the conversation or anything. I'm sorry if it is coming across that way. I just enjoy discussing things like this.
I'll try to keep this short since I first wrote a rambling post.

If you want to discuss, then discuss. If you don't like my theory, then present your own theory. If you don't feel like you have enough information to form an entire theory, bring up some points to support another theory.

I'll work with it. I'm not interested in my initial opinion being right. That's worthless. I want to get closer to the truth. If you can bring me the right evidence, I will switch my opinion.

Hence my eagerness to see Angel of Blood's evidence.
 

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I'll try to keep this short since I first wrote a rambling post.

If you want to discuss, then discuss. If you don't like my theory, then present your own theory. If you don't feel like you have enough information to form an entire theory, bring up some points to support another theory.

I'll work with it. I'm not interested in my initial opinion being right. That's worthless. I want to get closer to the truth. If you can bring me the right evidence, I will switch my opinion.

Hence my eagerness to see Angel of Blood's evidence.
This reasoning I take some issue with. Pointing out an absence of evidence is still evidence. I don't think people need to take a side to contribute to a discussion. That mentality just discourages people from participating.
 

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This reasoning I take some issue with. Pointing out an absence of evidence is still evidence. I don't think people need to take a side to contribute to a discussion. That mentality just discourages people from participating.
Before I go any further, what do you mean exactly by the absence of evidence?

I have a couple of ideas where you are going with that, but I rather know exactly what you are thinking first before I go further.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 · (Edited)
I think the dark angels sit roughly 105k. Reasons, not over 150 k as not more than word bearers but per dark angels books that deal with caliban in heresy point out they were producing large numbers of marines.

I would place white scars 70-80. As not listed or thought of as in 5 larger legion in any novel so far, also not listed in smaller 5 legions , so somewhere in between. A low in between due to so far only havering terrans and recruiting solely from chogris. That said someone mentioned only tribesman, I being recruited, I would add that I believe the interpretation of city folk being included in tribesman is true due to the khans desires to unite the world.
Also in Damocles crusade book with korsarro I believe there is a reference of only 1 line though that states one of the white scars is from a city/mountainous area. Perhaps someone else can tell me if I'm right.
Now every Legion is bigger than paltry 80k. Raven Guard are 80k+ and Forge World confirmed that they are the smallest Legion. Also, Dark Angels are the first Legion ever broke the 200k barrier and during the heresy, they were bigger and stronger than "any other period".

In fact, during the heresy, they were the largest and strongest loyalist Legion along with the Ultramarines. And just like similarly-sized Alpha Legion, they operated across the entire galaxy. So 105k estimation is utter bullshit.


Not quite. The Space Wolves had recruiting issues, too. From Scars, "The Wolves numbers had never been among the highest, a feature exacerbated by their aggressive drive to limit recruitment to Fenris..."

So one of the reasons the Wolves were among the smaller legions is because they limited themselves to Fenris.

We know that other Legions could recruit exclusively from their homeworld and maintain their numbers:

The Night Lords being one. Talos tells us in Blood Reaver, "The Legion had taken immense casualties in the Great Crusade...most of these were Terran...but all our reinforcements came from our homeworld, Nostramo."

We know from Massacre the Night Lords were a mid-sized Legion, somewhere between 90,000 to 120,000, so building a reasonably sized Legion from a single planet is feasible.

And, indeed, many hundreds of thousands of recruits were drawn from Terra before and during the early parts of the Great Crusade. Then again Terra is a hive world teeming with people...Fenris and Chogoris are not.
You are full of shit and you have deliberately omitted and twisted a certain information as you saw fit to further your own augment. What you have done is epitome of cherry picking.
If you have ever read Massacre, then you should have found this particular paragraph:

"Estimates of the strength of the Legion therefore vary wildly. Some put their numbers at a little over 90,000 Astartes, others at 120,000. The Legion was known to have been recruiting from subjugated worlds throughout the latter part of the Great Crusade, in some cases stealing away the youth of entire star systems as the base from which to winnow suitable Aspirants. The use of rapid psycho-conditioning and accelerated gene-seed implantation was also known to be widely practiced by the Night Lords, further supporting suggestions that their numbers were at least on par with many of the more numerous Space Marine Legions. It is also likely that a number of Night Lords elements were not at the Istvaan System, but were engaged in other self-selected actions in the unconquered corners of the galaxy at that time."

So the Night Lords had by no means recruited from a single planet, nor they were a mid-sized Legion. And like I said, now the White Scars have an interstellar empire as tributary and private fiefdom. I will present evidence through direct like.

http://www.lounge.belloflostsouls.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=16656&d=1449339639

See? Their recruitment base has to be more than sufficient to sustain and expand a large Legion.

Finally, Extermination states as below:

"Furthermore, whereas substantially sized Legions such as those of Leman Russ of the Space Wolves, Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands, and Horus and his Luna Wolves refused to split their forces at the behest of minor -- and merely human -- theatre commanders."

It means Space Wolves were at least as sizable as the Iron Hands and it firmly designates them as mid-sized Legion.

And they have to be. Because now Thousand Sons are bigger than the Raven Guard and would doubtlessly have more than 85k Astartes strength at the very least.

Scars and Index Astartes might say the Fifth Legion had only recruited from the tribesmen of Chogoris. Talos could say his Legion had solely recruited from the Nostramo as he likes. Authors of Betrayal and Scars can assert the Space Wolves are small Legion as they want.

But the truth is, like I said, these can, and will, be changed at anytime anywhere gods of Forge World wishes, sooner or later.

And I have provided evidence verifying the premise.
 

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So 105k estimation is utter bullshit.
Give the attitude a rest @Rotundus, @doofyoofy clearly stated that is/was what he believes. Its not as though he stated it like fact, and you did title this thread asking people what they thought.


You are full of shit and you have deliberately omitted and twisted a certain information as you saw fit to further your own augment. What you have done is epitome of cherry picking.
If you have ever read Massacre, then you should have found this particular paragraph:
That contains a single sentence stating they did not recruit solely from Nostromo after a certain point in the Great Crusade.

Why your trying to make yourself out like such an asshole is beyond me, but its starting to get annoying. @Tyriks and @hailene don't agree but they are able to remain relatively civil; theres no excuse for you not to either.
 

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So the Night Lords had by no means recruited from a single planet
It makes sense that the Night Lords later recruited from their empire when Nostramo ceased to exist during the later part of the Great Crusade.

nor they were a mid-sized Legion.
90,000-120,000 puts them at mid-sized Legion. Heck, you wrote about that in your second post in the thread:

Also, as fare as I know, "fairly average" Legion size means 100,000 to 130,000. And above 150,000 is deemed as "mid-high" range, whilst 80,000 to 100,000 is definitely below average to the smallest.
See? Their recruitment base has to be more than sufficient to sustain and expand a large Legion.
It states the Kolarane Cluster as a tributary for the White Scars, but we know nothing of what they are receiving nor the quantity of it.

In Scars it does mention that the ship-ratings were mostly Terrans "though some from other worlds mingled among them." That could be a possible answer. Though there is still room for some doubt either way.

"Furthermore, whereas substantially sized Legions such as those of Leman Russ of the Space Wolves, Ferrus Manus of the Iron Hands, and Horus and his Luna Wolves refused to split their forces at the behest of minor -- and merely human -- theatre commanders."
The quote you're using has a wider context. It's speaking primarily about the early Great Crusade as humanity was first leaving Terra. At that stage, the Luna Wolves grew rapidly as the Emperor had just taken Luna and the Luna Wolves were given the "greater part of the output of the moon's gene-forges" as stated in Betrayal.

Of the Iron Hands we know less, but Massacre does state that their recruitment pool on Terra was "relatively wide spread" and that they drew recruits across all of Terra. This could mean they were substantially large.

Of the Space Wolves we know even less.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Someone with the new Forgeworld book Retribution could tell us what the numbers ultimately roll out to. It has the Dark Angels and White Scar armies in it.

And they have to be. Because now Thousand Sons are bigger than the Raven Guard and would doubtlessly have more than 85k Astartes strength at the very least.
Whoa, when did the Thousand Sons get that big? Thousand Sons had them pitched at 10,000. Which book caused them to explode?
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Give the attitude a rest @Rotundus, @doofyoofy clearly stated that is/was what he believes. Its not as though he stated it like fact, and you did title this thread asking people what they thought.



That contains a single sentence stating they did not recruit solely from Nostromo after a certain point in the Great Crusade.

Why your trying to make yourself out like such an asshole is beyond me, but its starting to get annoying. @Tyriks and @hailene don't agree but they are able to remain relatively civil; theres no excuse for you not to either.
I'm sorry. I had lost my mind(bad things happened when I posted the comment) and confounded this forum with more...aggressive, free-for-all ones.

Relly sorry to doofyoofy and hailene. I sincerely apologize to them and cease this discussion, lest incident like this might be occurred again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 · (Edited)
Some quick answers:

90,000-120,000 puts them at mid-sized Legion. Heck, you wrote about that in your second post in the thread:
No, what I mean is, Night Lords are large Legion and 90,000 to 120,000 estimation is false, or inaccurate at the very least. Think case of the the Word Bearers and, to the lesser extant, the Alpha Legion.

Someone with the new Forgeworld book Retribution could tell us what the numbers ultimately roll out to. It has the Dark Angels and White Scar armies in it.
I have already read book Retribution, but it does not contain any Legion fluff at all, unless if you deem army introduction and RoW and some cool quotes as proper Legion entry. You are aware of Book 8 will likely feature Signus Prime and Thramas Crusade, right? We have to wait at least 12 months to get Legion background of the Angels, including their respective number.

Whoa, when did the Thousand Sons get that big? Thousand Sons had them pitched at 10,000. Which book caused them to explode?
Black Library authors. Including ADB, in other forums. I'm not able to find the post right now, because the original thread was posted years ago, but they unequivocally stated information from the Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns is "obsoleted" and "will be revised". According the Golding, even though Prospero Burns released during 2011, it was actually completed at the same time when the Thousand Sons was published.

Furthermore, like I said, Extermination explicitly states the Raven Guard, not the Thousand Sons, are the smallest Legion prior Heresy. Not "one of the smallest" or such, but simple plain smallest.
 

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No, what I mean is, Night Lords are large Legion and 90,000 to 120,000 estimation is false, or inaccurate at the very least. Think case of the the Word Bearers and, to the lesser extant, the Alpha Legion.
They are? Where do we get a more accurate estimation on their numbers?

I have already read book Retribution, but it does not contain any Legion fluff at al
What? That sucks. Boo!

Furthermore, like I said, Extermination explicitly states Raven Guard are the smallest Legion prior Heresy. Not "one of the smallest" or such, but plain smallest.
This is a tiny bit of wiggle room. And by tiny, I mean absolutely tiny.

The exact quote says that the "Battle of the Gate Forty-Two had left the Raven Guard as the smallest of the Legions..."

Which doesn't necessarily mean that they still the smallest of the Legions.

But we're given some numbers and post Battle of the Gate Forty-Two they're ~80,000

As of Isstavan V they sent almost 80,000, left 1000 at home, and there's a few other detachments elsewhere. So they're probably in the neighborhood of like 81,000 to 83,000.

Yeah, still probably the smallest.

Interesting. Just gotta wait another year, I guess...

I'm actually getting a bit frustrated at how close all the Legions are to in strength.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 · (Edited)
They are? Where do we get a more accurate estimation on their numbers?
From here:

"Estimates of the strength of the Legion therefore vary wildly. Some put their numbers at a little over 90,000 Astartes, others at 120,000. The Legion was known to have been recruiting from subjugated worlds throughout the latter part of the Great Crusade, in some cases stealing away the youth of entire star systems as the base from which to winnow suitable Aspirants. The use of rapid psycho-conditioning and accelerated gene-seed implantation was also known to be widely practiced by the Night Lords, further supporting suggestions that their numbers were at least on par with many of the more numerous Space Marine Legions. It is also likely that a number of Night Lords elements were not at the Istvaan System, but were engaged in other self-selected actions in the unconquered corners of the galaxy at that time."

What? That sucks. Boo!
Yes, it definitely sucks. However it is still more than worthy to read. I recommend this particular book as strongly as any other FW books.

This is a tiny bit of wiggle room. And by tiny, I mean absolutely tiny.

The exact quote says that the "Battle of the Gate Forty-Two had left the Raven Guard as the smallest of the Legions..."

Which doesn't necessarily mean that they still the smallest of the Legions.

But we're given some numbers and post Battle of the Gate Forty-Two they're ~80,000

As of Isstavan V they sent almost 80,000, left 1000 at home, and there's a few other detachments elsewhere. So they're probably in the neighborhood of like 81,000 to 83,000.

Yeah, still probably the smallest.
In fact, one of the largest detachment of the Raven Guard, the Ashen Claws, are exceptionally strong and numerous. They have more than a dozen capital ships and single-handily scoured entire Nostramo Sector prior the Great Scouring sweeps out the traitors. They thoroughly ravaged and despoiled an entire sector and massacred ~10,000 Night Lords. This indicate their force is thousands-strong at the very least.

Interesting. Just gotta wait another year, I guess...
Another year? AFAIK, Inferno will be released before Christmas, and if we are lucky, we can expect summer vacation, even.

I'm actually getting a bit frustrated at how close all the Legions are to in strength.
What? Numerical disparity and variation between the Legions is no less than immense and that is one of the most crucial factor during the Crusade, the Heresy and the beyond. Where did you get the idea of "how close all the Legions are to in strength"?
 

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further supporting suggestions that their numbers were at least on par with many of the more numerous Space Marine Legions. It is also likely that a number of Night Lords elements were not at the Istvaan System, but were engaged in other self-selected actions in the unconquered corners of the galaxy at that time."
My reading of this quote seems to mean that the author meant the higher end estimates are more likely true. I think the ~120,000 is taking into consideration their accelerated geneseed programs.

And ~120,000 is nothing to scoff at. It's smaller than the Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, Ultramarines, and World Eaters, but is equal to or larger than everyone else we know about.

Where did you get the idea of "how close all the Legions are to in strength"?
Most Legions are hanging around 100k, +/- 20k.

Before we had the bottom being 10k (Thousand Sons) and all the smaller Legions could fit the niche of 40-60k. Ultramarines were the largest at 250k, but we always knew the Ultramarines were the biggest (and for good reason).

Now the gap has narrowed from 10-250k to 80k-250k.

If we assumed that the Space Wolves were one of the smaller Legions, that'd put them at maybe...90k, which isn't all that far off from the "medium" sized Legions that are chilling around 100-110k.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 · (Edited)
My reading of this quote seems to mean that the author meant the higher end estimates are more likely true. I think the ~120,000 is taking into consideration their accelerated geneseed programs.

And ~120,000 is nothing to scoff at. It's smaller than the Iron Warriors, Word Bearers, Ultramarines, and World Eaters, but is equal to or larger than everyone else we know about.

Most Legions are hanging around 100k, +/- 20k.

Before we had the bottom being 10k (Thousand Sons) and all the smaller Legions could fit the niche of 40-60k. Ultramarines were the largest at 250k, but we always knew the Ultramarines were the biggest (and for good reason).
We don't know or even grasp about size of five Legions whatsoever. All we have gotten is some vague hints and ambiguous tidbits. In addition, Alpha Legion is almost certainly exceed 120,000. So currently five Legions out of thirteen, not one or two, are definitely larger than ~120,000.

If we assumed that the Space Wolves were one of the smaller Legions, that'd put them at maybe...90k, which isn't all that far off from the "medium" sized Legions that are chilling around 100-110k.
Damn, I could have not found ADB's comments on the 2013 articles yet. But this speculation will surely help: http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/317317-thousand-sons-company-organisation/

So it would be not surprising at all if the Thousand Sons are comprised of nine Fellowship-Chapters which contain ~10k marines each.
 

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I thought that they have mentioned, numerous times throughout the years, that the some of the smaller/smallest legions were the Salamanders (certainly after the Drop Site Massacre), Space Wolves, Thousand Sons, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists (certainly after the Heresy/Scouring), White Scars, and the Alpha Legion.

Most of those chapters tend to; only recruit from a single (or a select few) world(s), or have mutations in their gene-seed.

While at the same time The more average-ish size legions were the World Eaters, Night Lords, Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, Death Guard.

While some of the larger legions were the Ultramarines, Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Word Bearers.

Lexicanum
 

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We don't know or even grasp about size of five Legions whatsoever.
We can do some decent guess work with what information we have.

The Imperial Fists rarely broke 100k marines (which means more often than not they were below 100k), but they were not considered "small". So we get the bottom limit of of a "not small" Legion somewhere in the neighborhood of 97k or so. The Fists had an estimated 98k marines when they were recalled to Terra.

Yet the Salamanders were described as "one of the smallest" Legions at 89,000.

That's a gap of less than 10% between "not small" and "one of the smallest"

The Iron Hands were 113,000 strong at the outbreak of the heresy. They're considered a "mid-tier" Legion...yet the Salamanders, as noted earlier as one of the smallest Legions, has just ~20% fewer men.

That's what I'm getting at. The difference between the smallest and the mid tier Legions is relatively small. It's not good or bad...inherently. It's a choice the authors made. I personally liked it when certain Legions that had definite reasons to be smaller (like the Space Wolves) were significantly smaller.

Just a matter of personal taste on my part.

n addition, Alpha Legion is almost certainly exceed 120,000.
I personally don't buy the Alpha Legion being super large. The type of people they're looking for...going back to what Sindermann said in Horus Rising--physical superiority can be bred or engineered into a people (only look at the sons of Baal--scrawny rad-wasted youths turning into supermen), but the way someone thinks is not something you can be entirely taught. I think the Alpha Legion look for some very specific sorts of people that are probably less common. Combine with the usual issues with geneseed compatibility...

Maybe the Alpha Legion made up for this stringent demand by spreading their webs extra wide. We all know how much the Alpha Legion relied on human agents. I'm sure they had good accessibility to recruits across huge swathes of the galaxy.

No, what really makes me think they're smaller than that is the PoV of the author for the Forge World books. It's an Imperial author writing post-scouring. The Alpha Legion are notorious for crazy force multipliers. They might appear to have more men than they actually do (or it just feels like they do). Or they have ways of routing their men through the galaxy through little known paths through the immaterium.

But I'm open to the possibility of a large Alpha Legion. And, honestly, unless we have one of their Primarches think their actual numbers in a narrative thought, we'll probably never actually know the real number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 · (Edited)
We can do some decent guess work with what information we have.

The Imperial Fists rarely broke 100k marines (which means more often than not they were below 100k), but they were not considered "small". So we get the bottom limit of of a "not small" Legion somewhere in the neighborhood of 97k or so. The Fists had an estimated 98k marines when they were recalled to Terra.

Yet the Salamanders were described as "one of the smallest" Legions at 89,000.

That's a gap of less than 10% between "not small" and "one of the smallest"

The Iron Hands were 113,000 strong at the outbreak of the heresy. They're considered a "mid-tier" Legion...yet the Salamanders, as noted earlier as one of the smallest Legions, has just ~20% fewer men.

That's what I'm getting at. The difference between the smallest and the mid tier Legions is relatively small. It's not good or bad...inherently. It's a choice the authors made. I personally liked it when certain Legions that had definite reasons to be smaller (like the Space Wolves) were significantly smaller.

Just a matter of personal taste on my part.



I personally don't buy the Alpha Legion being super large. The type of people they're looking for...going back to what Sindermann said in Horus Rising--physical superiority can be bred or engineered into a people (only look at the sons of Baal--scrawny rad-wasted youths turning into supermen), but the way someone thinks is not something you can be entirely taught. I think the Alpha Legion look for some very specific sorts of people that are probably less common. Combine with the usual issues with geneseed compatibility...

Maybe the Alpha Legion made up for this stringent demand by spreading their webs extra wide. We all know how much the Alpha Legion relied on human agents. I'm sure they had good accessibility to recruits across huge swathes of the galaxy.

No, what really makes me think they're smaller than that is the PoV of the author for the Forge World books. It's an Imperial author writing post-scouring. The Alpha Legion are notorious for crazy force multipliers. They might appear to have more men than they actually do (or it just feels like they do). Or they have ways of routing their men through the galaxy through little known paths through the immaterium.

But I'm open to the possibility of a large Alpha Legion. And, honestly, unless we have one of their Primarches think their actual numbers in a narrative thought, we'll probably never actually know the real number.
I agree with your opinion mostly. But according to Retribution, Blood Angels gene-seed is exceptional, even more so than the Space Wolves or the Salamanders(mind you, this quote is not derived from the Legion fluff in the slightest, but come from four pages of Legion rules and introduction):

"The Blood Angels, of all the warriors of the Legiones Astartes, evidenced perhaps the greatest degree of transformation of their flesh from their human origins to the Space Marines they would become. This transformation's effects were even more pronounced and more fundamental than that of the Space Wolves or the Salamanders, both of which featured unique stigmata of their own. The aggressive over-writing of the aspirant's gene-helix by the blood of the Primarch was capable of transfiguring the rad-scarred and twisted inhabitants of Baal to create "perfected" warriors, living icons of the physical ideal of the Legiones Astartes, each one an echo of their Primarch, called "the Angel," Sanguinius in his fearsome glory. There was a price however for this power, and the process of transformation was a more arcane, elaborate and painful one than that endured by any other Legion. Even with the direct infusion of its Primarch's own blood to stabilise the process, the rate of fatalities among aspirants was frighteningly high. There were also those who argued that the mental scars suffered by those who survived the change were just as deep, instilling a sense of cause and purpose that manifested as unflinching, unreasoning fanaticism bordering on madness, a certainty which could in mere moments turn to insane fury when that purpose was challenged."

So I have two questions;
Their gene seed, and gene seed-originated traits make Blood Angels physically superior than any other Astartes? In other words, are they martial paragons as many Imperial commentators and scholars claim to be?

And why the Imperial Fists are so small for such eminent Legion?

They had all necessary prerequisite to grow into a truly huge Legion - they had large recruitment base, extremely aggressive recruitment policy rivaled only by the Ultramarines or the Word Bearers, intelligent and cerebral methodology of warfare entailing relatively low attrition rate, and fairly stable and resilient gene seed. Most of all, they were favored sons and held recruitment rights of entire Sol System. But they were accounted for scant 98,356 Astartes at the onset of the Heresy and rarely ever exceed 100k number. It is doubtful they had even breached 100k barrier.

All in all, the Seventh Legion's (in)famous numerical paltry defies comprehension.
 

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Their gene seed, and gene seed-originated traits make Blood Angels physically superior than any other Astartes? In other words, are they martial paragons as many Imperial commentators and scholars claim to be?
I have no idea. I don't know enough about the Blood Angels and perfection is a really tricky thing. Something perfect in one situation is useless or even disadvantageous in another.

And why the Imperial Fists are so small for such eminent Legion?
Their entry in the Forgeworld book says they are willing to fight to the death for victory. "In attack they would pay any price in their own blood to secure victory."

The Imperial Fists would build fortresses and bases where they conquered, but they "never linger, but were always moving on, invading uncompliant domains and pushing the frontiers...Massed shock assaults, using the full array of weaponry with the Legion, typied the VIIth's approach to war."

After finding Rogal Dorn they "fought on the burning edge of the Great Crusade. Relentlessly they pushed from war zone to war zone...They drove ever on, without pause or respite...They existed to serve in war and die for [the Imperium's] survival."

So the Imperial Fists were always on the war footing, always willing to fight, and preferred mass assaults.

They also got the rough jobs in the Great Crusade as they were used to "reinforce flagging campaigns, to hold crumbling fronts and break deadlocked sieges."

The Imperial Fists was like a bonfire devouring recruits as fuel to build the Imperium.
 
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