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Discussion Starter #1
With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight of course ;)

Definitely not Horus that's for sure.

Obviously some primarchs would be bad choices: Angron, Curze, and Mortarion are "broken goods"

Sanguinius seems like an obvious choice...but he and his legion suffer from "secret flaws" with the potential to be exploited by Chaos

Would you pick someone with unshakable loyalty such as Dorn or Guilliman? Do you think other less conventional choices would work?
 

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I would probably have to go with Dorn on this. Sure he is prone to tantrums when someone disagrees with him but he can keep himself professional and he is unshakable in his loyalty to the Emperor and the Imperium.
 

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This is a tough one... depends on if the chaos gods have a part to play.

If not obviously horus was the right choice....

Other wise I would have to say:

1) Magnus has the forward planning and learning ability to over come most foes

2) Russ hes the ultimately loyal general plus he would have the great crusade finished faster.

3) Sanguinus hes the best all rounded of all the primarchs and his brothers seem to respect him therefore would be a better combined leader.

Whilst Dorn and Guilliman are good choices I think the flaws in their personal character (anger and pride/snobbery respectively) would hamper their ability to lead effectively.
 

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No single one, the best course of action in my opinion would be to share the power and therefore minimise risk and potential to be corrupted as well as nullify their capacity to effectively rebel.
Id split it between Dorn,Horus and Sanguinus, and maybe even with Guilliman.
 

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Guilliman.

Aside from his military prowess and suitability as a big picture campaign planner rather than mere battle leader he activly welcomes and takes part in administration. The friction between the civilian council and the military was one of the factors that led to the Heresy. Guilliman would be able to maintain much better relations with them, indeed he'd likely welcome them. His being the largest legion with its own pocket empire and independent supply base, he'd be well equipped to put down any legions who dissented.

He wouldn't just conquer an empire for humanity but build one.
 

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The biggest problem I have with putting Guilliman, Dornor the Lion in charge is that they aren't generally well liked by their brothers. The Warmaster is a position with lots of power in theory but it requires the consent of other individuals. Horus, who was both generally well liked and possibly the most charismatic of the Primarchs, had some problems getting some brothers on board and I can only imagine the struggle Guilliman, the Lion or (god forbid) Dorn would've had.

Specifically Horus is on good relations (relatively speaking) with the Primarchs most likely to be problematic. Mortarion, Angron and Night Haunter all count him as one of their few 'friends' and his relationship with Alpharius, Perturabo and Lorgar is a lot stronger than their relationships with others. I could see several of these Primarchs making a big issue out of Guilliman (Alpharius/Lorgar) or Dorn (Perturabo/Night Haunter) being appointed Warmaster and I don't think they have the ability to sooth those relations over (over even the interest in doing so).

From this perspective Sanguinious is obviously the second-best candidate (since Horus is out). His Legion's flaw could potentially become a big problem though. We saw them come very close to falling on Signus and I think if the gods had actually cared about that they would've be able to complete his fall.

Russ is right out, since he is generally not well liked or respected (Dorn, Guilliman and the Lion can at least claim that) and is far to headstrong to be able to manage relations with his brothers.

Another issue for Guilliman is that his loyalty is iffy. The fact of the matter is that Guilliman abandons the Imperium in its time of greatest need, that's not something I want to see in a potential number 2.

This leads me to think that an out-side-the-box candidate might be the best. Specifically I'll suggest Corax. Corax isn't necessarily well-liked or charismatic but he also isn't disliked and is fairly diplomatic. He doesn't have the raw charisma to win others to his cause (which is actually kind of a plus as it would slow a Heresy down) but he does have a good understanding of the psychology of his brothers and the patience to put it to good use. He and his Legion show no obvious flaw to be exploited by Chaos either.
 

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A new Warmaster would have to be Guillaumin, hands down, as the best overall strategic thinker and someone who lives the greater role the Primarchs and Astares should have than just fighting.

MEQinc, questioning Guillaumin's loyalty is somewhat spurrious given the circumstances... the Astronomican goes out, no one can get in touch with the Emperor, he knows at least two chapters (WB and WEs) are in open rebellion and actively trying to destroy him, and no other seeming loyalist chapter is doing anything more. Given the circumstances, he was doing exactly what his father would want him to do, carry on the Imperium in any way he could.

Regarding the charisma factor among the Primarchs, its obvious from all the HH books describing the pre-Heresy Primarchs relationships that Horus's charisma didn't slake the competitive nature of his brothers, regardless of their personal relationships with him. Alpharius/Omegon still chart their own course despite their history with Horus; Perturabo/Angron/Curze are all broken and accelerate toward their own dooms despite Horus becoming Warmaster; Sanguinius, Russ, Kahn, Corax, Manus, and Vulkan seem to be in full kicking-ass-taking-names mode before the Heresy; Fulgrim, Dorn, the Lion, and Perturabo are all otherwise primadonnas who think it should be them no matter who's selected; Magnus and Lorgar will both do their same thing - Magnus trying to stop the Warmaster being corrupted and Lorgar trying to corrupt him... they're both on their same headtrip for enlightenment.

I'm not a big Ultramarines fan, but Guillaumin is one of the few Primarchs who seems to embody the 'superhuman' mantle given to him without coming across as a whiney little pussy or a five-year-old having a tantrum at times. Papa Smurf is also smart enough strategically to actually see the patterns Lorgar was creating to undermine the Imperium if he was placed at the center of command. The Heresy would still have happened, but it would have been a 2/3 loyalist 1/3 heretics war.
 

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MEQinc, questioning Guillaumin's loyalty is somewhat spurrious given the circumstances... the Astronomican goes out, no one can get in touch with the Emperor, he knows at least two chapters (WB and WEs) are in open rebellion and actively trying to destroy him, and no other seeming loyalist chapter is doing anything more. Given the circumstances, he was doing exactly what his father would want him to do, carry on the Imperium in any way he could.
And yet, placed in the same (or far worse) situation not a single one of his brothers makes that decision. Guilliman alone abandons the Imperium in favour of his own empire (not even the Traitors do this). Guilliman sits down, takes stock and says "Screw you guys, I'm going home". And worse than that, he tries to get his brothers to do the same. He tricks Sanguinious into diverting to his position and tries to convince him to stay. Sanguinious has lost much of his Legion, he's been physically beaten in a way he never thought possible, he's far from home and just as confused as Guilliman (if not more so), but even still he recognizes that his duty is to go to Terra and fight for the Imperium, to die for it if necessary. Other Primarchs repeatedly show themselves to be willing to take risks and make sacrifices (even the greatest sacrifice possible) in order to defend the Emperor and the Imperium. When the cards are down, Guilliman shows himself unwilling to do so. Maybe you can overlook that or think that it wouldn't matter if he was Warmaster but personally I would never, ever chose someone to be in a position of absolute responsibility if I knew they would abandon it if pressed hard enough.

Regarding the charisma factor among the Primarchs, its obvious from all the HH books describing the pre-Heresy Primarchs relationships that Horus's charisma didn't slake the competitive nature of his brothers, regardless of their personal relationships with him.
Actually I recall the opposite. I recall Horus going out of his way to meet with various Primarchs, discuss their concerns with his new position and address those concerns.

Alpharius/Omegon still chart their own course despite their history with Horus; [snip] Sanguinius, Russ, Kahn, Corax, Manus, and Vulkan seem to be in full kicking-ass-taking-names mode before the Heresy; Fulgrim, Dorn, the Lion, and Perturabo are all otherwise primadonnas who think it should be them no matter who's selected; Magnus and Lorgar will both do their same thing - Magnus trying to stop the Warmaster being corrupted and Lorgar trying to corrupt him... they're both on their same headtrip for enlightenment.
All these things continue because Horus takes over. Would they still have happened if someone else was in charge? I don't think they would've.

Perturabo/Angron/Curze are all broken and accelerate toward their own dooms despite Horus becoming Warmaster;
1) Perturabo, Angron and Night Haunter remain fully functional generals long after Ullanor.

2) Horus recognized the best way to utilize Legions like the World Eaters and Night Lords, would Guilliman? By which I don't mean: Can Guilliman recognize the best strategies for them, because of course he could. I mean: Would Guilliman allow those Legions to continue functioning in the manner they are designed to, would he allow them to use the strategies they've come to embrace and depend on? His reaction to their 'excesses' leads me to think he wouldn't. But neither Angron or Night Haunter would be swayed on this, both recognize their roles and both have fully embraced them. Do you think they'd take kindly to goodie-two-shoes Guilliman telling them they're wrong? Horus knows how to make broken pieces work effectively, does Guilliman?

Papa Smurf is also smart enough strategically to actually see the patterns Lorgar was creating to undermine the Imperium if he was placed at the center of command. The Heresy would still have happened, but it would have been a 2/3 loyalist 1/3 heretics war.
What 'patterns' was Lorgar creating? The Chaplains were a recognized and fully instituted part of Imperial policy. The Lodges were a far more covert thing, and I don't believe any existed beyond the Legions that turned, so there'd be no reason to expect Guilliman to be more aware of them. Further, the Heresy as instituted by Lorgar is a war unlike anything Guilliman had ever seen before. He's smart, yes, but is he smart enough to see something that literally no one else (not even the Emperor) saw coming?
 

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Curze. Seriously.

He's paranoid enough to have everything covered, can see the damn future, and is capable of commiting atrocities that even other Astartes and his fellow Primarchs found distasteful. Considering the nature of 40K, and with perfect hindsight knowing what would have been created, I'd have put Curze in charge to put 10,000+ years of fear into the minds of those subjected to his forces violence, and prepared the human race as a whole for the harsh times of the future.

Despite his strong will, it is brittle, and once broken, he could be used; as Emperor, it wouldn't be hard to shore it up and to coach him how best to protect against others, but also to leave that plot hole size chink in his defences for when/if he needed blowing up. The military leader IMHO, should not be the one who is seen as kind and considerate, but one who should be feared by those he faces as well as his subjects. The enforced interaction with others could have cured his neuroses, he could have had a more positive influence on his legion (or the legion's selections at least), and when the silk glove needed to come out, he could pass it on to his other brother Primarchs who were even more greatly loved; Vulkan, Horus, or Sanguinius, say.



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Guilliman would not be a great choice. Just think of the consequences had Guilliman been seduced by the power of being Warmaster, Primarch or not he still is human, and with human frailties, he then could use his power to basically ride roughshot over the Emperor, i would say had Guilliman gone over to Chaos after being seduced, he takes is Ultramarine Legion with him, 60%+ of all Space Marines as well the traditional Legoins that went with Chaos, the Imperium would fall, the Emperor killed and Chaos wins by default.

Think of the book title.

The Guilliman Heresy.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In all fairness though, Unremembered Empire will address in detail the issue of Guilliman's loyalty. I think it's a little premature to say that Guilliman's Imperium Secundus is a dereliction of duty.

Curze. Seriously.
I think you're off your rocker LOL

Think of the book title. The Guilliman Heresy.
Sounds like you're saying Guilliman would've been a more effective arch-traitor than Horus
 

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In all fairness though, Unremembered Empire will address in detail the issue of Guilliman's loyalty. I think it's a little premature to say that Guilliman's Imperium Secundus is a dereliction of duty.

I think you're off your rocker LOL

Sounds like you're saying Guilliman would've been a more effective arch-traitor than Horus
Yes, considering that the Ultramarine Legion was the largest by far it's number eclipsed all other combined, with Guilliman taking 60% of all Available Space Marines over to Chaos, nothing would be able to stop him, and combining the other 9 Traitor Legion, that is the death of the Imperium as we would know it, what would happen is that any non-traitor legion would simply be wiped out, also there would be no break-up of the legions, nor there would be the Codex Astartes, one hell of big difference.

Or on the other hand, you have me thinking of another direction.

Guilliman is deposed as Legion Master of the Ultramarine and the Ultramarine maintain their loyalty to the Emperor.
 

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Yes, considering that the Ultramarine Legion was the largest by far it's number eclipsed all other combined, with Guilliman taking 60% of all Available Space Marines over to Chaos, nothing would be able to stop him, and combining the other 9 Traitor Legion, that is the death of the Imperium as we would know it, what would happen is that any non-traitor legion would simply be wiped out, also there would be no break-up of the legions, nor there would be the Codex Astartes, one hell of big difference.

Or on the other hand, you have me thinking of another direction.

Guilliman is deposed as Legion Master of the Ultramarine and the Ultramarine maintain their loyalty to the Emperor.
Whilst the Ultramarines were the largest legion, they didn't 'eclipse all the others combined'. They had a strength of 250,000. The average Legion size was 100,000. So whilst over twice as strong as a single legion, compared to the overall strength of the legions they're still outmatched by a ratio of 10 to 1.

I'm not sure where you're getting this 60% of all available Space Marine numbers from. Are you perhaps thinking of the Ultramarines position amongst the loyalists during the Scouring or the number of second founding and subsequent chapters formed from their gene-seed?

Besides if Guilliman were to revolt it's very unlikely the 9 Legions that would become the Traitor Legions would join him. He lacked the charisma of Horus and few of the primarchs were his friends. If he had revolted it's likely it would have been just him, perhaps a few others.
 

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I agree with Curze being selected, with the favour and attention of the Emperor he would have been hand molded into a functioning leader. If curze would have received the same amount of attention, training, and love that Horus did he would have been amazing. A Warmaster that could see the future and more importantly could see the exact outcome it was going to take, out of the millions of potential futures. Curze was also not afraid to do what needed to be done, yet he was also one of the legions with the lowest causality rate both of civilians and of astartes.

I believe Curze would have been very effective at directing which legions to which location at the precise time they needed to be there, he would direct the big picture while leaving the minor details up to the primarchs under him.

Furthermore I believe Curze would have hardened the human race, to prepare it for the monstrous future that was inevitably coming.

Curze was not broken, he merely lacked the attention and guidance he so needed in order to actualize his potential. If the Emperor had shown him more attention, trained him, helped him utilize his gifts, Curze would have been unmatched.
 

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I'm not sure where you're getting this 60% of all available Space Marine numbers from.
60% of M.41 Loyalist Chapters derive their geneseed from the Ultramarines. So...not very relevant to the current conversation.

I disagree with Curze. It might work on the short term, but as we saw with Nostromo, as soon as you turn your back people will revert back to whatever they were.

I STILL think Horus is the right choice for Warmaster. He just got along with most of his brothers. And the ones he didn't, they merely were indifferent. I don't think anyone overtly hated him (jealous of his elevation to Warmaster, but not outright hatred).

I would break up the role of Warmaster, though, and give the administrative portion to Guilliman. Maybe give the information gathering to the Alpha Legion (however much they'd be willing to share is another matter...)

I'm on the fence about the Thousand Sons researching the arcane. On one hand, if you keep an eye on them, they could discover a wealth of information. On the other hand, they're probably going to hide whatever they're doing. I don't see it really working unless Magnus buys into overseeing the works of his sons.

In short, I don't think forcing the Warmaster to wear so many hats at once will work. The job is too vast for a single person--or demigod. You'd be better off working with a group of individuals working in concert. Maybe call them the Elevated Nobles of Earth or something. That ought to work.

But if I HAD to pick, I'd still choose Horus, murder Erebus, and purge the Word Bearers.
 

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60% of M.41 Loyalist Chapters derive their geneseed from the Ultramarines. So...not very relevant to the current conversation.

I disagree with Curze. It might work on the short term, but as we saw with Nostromo, as soon as you turn your back people will revert back to whatever they were.

I STILL think Horus is the right choice for Warmaster. He just got along with most of his brothers. And the ones he didn't, they merely were indifferent. I don't think anyone overtly hated him (jealous of his elevation to Warmaster, but not outright hatred).

I would break up the role of Warmaster, though, and give the administrative portion to Guilliman. Maybe give the information gathering to the Alpha Legion (however much they'd be willing to share is another matter...)

I'm on the fence about the Thousand Sons researching the arcane. On one hand, if you keep an eye on them, they could discover a wealth of information. On the other hand, they're probably going to hide whatever they're doing. I don't see it really working unless Magnus buys into overseeing the works of his sons.

In short, I don't think forcing the Warmaster to wear so many hats at once will work. The job is too vast for a single person--or demigod. You'd be better off working with a group of individuals working in concert. Maybe call them the Elevated Nobles of Earth or something. That ought to work.

But if I HAD to pick, I'd still choose Horus, murder Erebus, and purge the Word Bearers.
The reason I believe Curze would have been very effective as warmaster (under the pretense that he received the same favor, and attention that Horus did), was that he would forsee the uprisings and know how to deal with them. Seeing as he would have all 18 legions at his command, he could garrison small amounts of space marines on conquered worlds to prevent uprisings. Also keep in mind that Nostramo was very different from a majority of the worlds in the imperium, it was the epitome of a dystopian world.
 

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, was that he would forsee the uprisings
Curze's foresight wasn't all-seeing. Nor was it 100% accurate. It didn't even seem particularly under his control. It just...happened. Though he did catch wind of the Horus Heresy before hand. It would have been interesting to see what he would have done.

he could garrison small amounts of space marines on conquered worlds to prevent uprisings.
That's sorta one of the reasons why the Iron Warriors turned to Chaos.

Also keep in mind that Nostramo was very different from a majority of the worlds in the imperium, it was the epitome of a dystopian world.
Funny thing, I reckon that's a hit against Curze. Nostramo was, as you said, a dystpoian hell-hole. It's not a place where you give everyone food, water, shelter, and education and everything turns to garden of Eden. You needed a firm, brutal hand to keep things in line.

Precisely what Curze did.

Precisely what 99.99% of the rest of the Imperium did not need.
 

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I think Lion El'Jonson would be the choice :)

He isn't made for socialisation, he sucks at it but at war he's perfect! He basically personifies the Emperor's Judgement and neutrality - his actions are without remorse or conscience but they are the right and the good choice.

Sanguinius would make a great 'next' Emperor (even Horus said it - each Primarch is a different facet of the Emperor but Sanguinius had it all). It also fits with the whole Roman thing with Julius Caesar secretly having epilepsy (spoiler alert? xD). I guess the difference was that Julius didn't have a few hundred thousand warriors under his command with the same disease D:
 

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Abnett does a good evaluation with this in "Know No Fear".

Guilliman I think would absolutely be the right choice, though some good reasons for Horus being picked instead were discussed in that novel. I think it was Horus being a bit more charismatic or something. Everyone loved Horus, remember. The idea of any of them rebelling was unimaginable at the time.
 
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