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Discussion Starter #1
I am having a really hard time figuring out exactly how many soldiers does one space marine equal? Can they face down a whole fireteam, a whole platoon, a whole battalion? They are depicted one way in the fluff, another way in the video games, and yet another way in the tabletop.

My personal idea is that even among space marines, combat skill varies a lot between individual marines: That would help reconcile the video of a single howling banshee pwning a marine with the fact that 1000 ultramarines dealt a huge blow to a hive fleet of millions.
 

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Semi-Famous 40k Intellect
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Its quite natural that the skill/experience of an individual SM varies. Those who have just ascended from scout rank, will have drastically different skill sets from those SM who have been fighting for 300-500 years. You grow through experience. same as always.

as for how many opponents a SM can take on, it varies greatly here too. There are too many variable. what kind of weaponry does the opponent have? what is their strength? how fast can they move? am i aware of their presence? explosives or guns? fists or blades?

there is no real concrete answer.

CP
 

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yep. i also think it depends on the type of combat. its stated alot in very different books that the value of superior armor strength armor valor training is magnified closer to the ememies... also depends on the enemies... the average marine squad would be hard pressed by a squad of banshies but then again a pair of average marines would be able to defeat or hold off a squad of guardians at close to melee range...
 

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Here's the thing about Space Marines, you don't want to use them as frontline troops. Toss one into an a flat plain against a platoon of infantry and the sheer volume of fire will overwhelm him.

Put him in a building or a battleship with corridors where overwhelming amounts of fire can not be brought to bear (both in volume and potency--you can't be casually firing las cannon shots when you can make a hole and decompress the entire cargo bay, for example) and a single space marine could easily tackle a platoon or company of regular soldiers, 5 or so at a time, of course.

Space Marines have a lot of combat potency packed into each one. Place them into a situation where only a small amount of men can fight at a time and they'll come out on top. Hence why they're generally used as shock troops.
 

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in the book Tratior General, the ghosts talk about how usually several platoons, even regiments of guard will retreat and wait for support (be it superheavies or marines) when encountering traitor marines, and in First and Only the arrival of one traitor marine holds up the advance of several regiments,
its safe to assume marines are capable of goin toe-to-toe with at least one infantry squad at a time if not a whole platoon depending on the marine
 

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Bane of Empires
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Its also the psychological effect that Astartes bring to the battlefield. Men know the Astartes as the Emperor's Angels, wrought by His own hand and the eternal protectors of Mankind. They are mythological giants who bestride the stars.

If they are truly aware that a Chaos Astartes is present (even just a single one), it would have a profound psychological effect on the Imperials.
 

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Added to which the fighting style of the marine in question will vary, as will his approach.

Blood Angels will want to close as quickly as possible, Raven guard will want to remain unseen, Iron warriors are generally a firepower unit, and ultramarines are an all round unit etc.

Though they are all the same on tabletop and screen, taking this from a fluff perspective is a whole new story.



So to answer your question... I don`t know. :p
 

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Add to that the fact that a SM is a self sufficient unit, not only is he physically superior but he also mentally and strategically far more aware than any Guardsman. A Space Marine lives for war, it's what they were designed for. A Guardsman on the other hand probably doesn't want to be there, he's a grunt who does as he's told and does his best not to win but to stay alive.
A Guard can be frightened, a Space Marine can't.
A Space Marine is up to eight feet tall, a mass of hardened bone and enhanced muscle that can move faster and react quicker than a normal human, they hold near mythological status within the Imperium.
In fluff terms at least I would say that a single Space Marine could do a whole heap of damage to whatever he sets his sights on.
 

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Terminators can take on thousands and win. 3 Deathwing terminators and 1 deathwing librarian in terminator armor liberated an entire planet that had been enslaved to xenos.

Marines individually, not really sure.
 

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Even on the table top terminators kick alot of ass. k 30 or so genestealers and a particularly nasty IC that i can't remember face off against one squad of 5 nilla terminators. they nids get 5 attacks a peice and the IC gets 6 all of em rending.... total they had 48 attacks 6 of em rending. 3 terminators survived to kill 6 of the stealers...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Perhaps a good test would be the following 2 questions:

1. In melee, can said marine beat an nob?

2. In ranged, can said marine beat a Tau fire warrior?
 

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Consider this:

Take one single marine, unarmed and unarmoured, and put him in a fighting pit.

Keeping adding human men to the fighting pit, equally armed and armoured.

IMO Space Marine continues to fight and win, endlessly, untill his body dies from lack of nutrition - and considering SM physiology, it's a long time.

SM's are so much better than human warriors in every way that the tabletop doesn't really do it justice. Then again, an SM army would be unplayable if it id - mainly because the 20 or so tactical marines and hell knows what else you would deploy would wipe out bazillions of whatever your enemy pours out, other than CSM, etc.


Thinking about it logically:

A basic SM is likely to be a far better shot than even the most experience, skillful, and lucky human sniper, with any weapon.

A basic SM (not even a particularly hard one) is going to be orders of magnitude tougher, stronger, faster, and more skillful in unarmed combat than even the most badass human martial artist.

With a close combat weapon, the above applies.

A SM is profficient, if not a master, in the use of every weapon that a humanoid of the imperium will encounter in an armoury. If they are not a total master, and they don't prefer it, you can bet that they still practice with it anyway - they just practice MORE with the weapons that they DO prefer.

Space marine armour and weaponry is (if you are a reader/player of Dark Heresy, this should be especially apparent) relatively better than human equipment in the same way their physiques are. A space marine boltgun, for example, is WAY more badass than a boltgun carried by some random human knobber. The same applies to astartes pwer armour - all SM equipment is about as good as it gets.

I havn't even started on the physiology yet, as it would go on for ages. With regard to that, let's just say that they aren't fucking about. Muscularly, they don't really compare. With no enhancement (from powered armour, and such), they are described as being easily able to punch the head clean off a man's shoulders. It wouldn't surprise me if they could quite easily kick through brick walls and such, without armour. At least, the literature from the "inquisitor" game depicts them that way, and this is certainly the only game other than DH that scales the marine power/ability to what it should be: One SM can basically take out entire parties of other characters without even taking much damage. Including inquisitors, psykers, bodyguards, servitors, blah blah - someone brings a marine to an inquisitor match and the complaints start rolling out, mainly because the player without the marine gonna lose.

Why he gonna lose?

'cus, among other things, the marine knows exactly where all of the other players are from turn 1: He has an auspex. If they are immune to the detection from that, he has supernaturally good hearing, so knows where you are. If you are silent, as soon as you come into visual range (which, for him, is the full length of whatever game board you are using, considering not many people have a 20ft game board to mess with, to make that untrue), he sees you (this fucker does not fail tests). He has no fear. His armour takes nukes with joy. He heals, per turn, more damage than most characters not packing a multi-melta can deal. Without any weapons, his strength bonus deals, on average rolls, more damage than a human wielded power weapon (his fists are death, basically). To a human, his boltgun is a nuke. One shot = DEAD. Forget this 40k S4 ap5 bullshit. Bolter in a game of "true" power scale = WIN. Oh yeah, he does OCCASSIONALLY miss, but he just fired, like, 4 shots from his bolter. So with a hit rate, at lowest, of like 75%, you just got hit. You're dead. If you got into CC with him, well... that's nice for you... he adds his power-weapon-magnitude strength bonus to his... power weapon attack... Yeah, if you weren't dead before, you certainly are now. He didn't even bother dirtying his sword - he just headbutted you and caved in your face, while mumbling something about the Emperor's wrath. You're an assassin, you say? So you were silent, immune to detection, and slipped by unseen... to poison him with some ridiculously useless and expensive weapon... ok... Shame he's immune to that, too. Funnily enough, he also has rules stating that he can then bite you as an attack, and deliver the poison his body was subjected to BACK into you, instead. Nice. Fucked by your own plan. If that weren't cool enough, one of his attacks is being able to spit acid. FUCK your armour, sunshine. He has a knife too, somewhere, I think. If he bothered to take grenades, it's worth pointing out that after a small calculation considering his strength bonus, he can throw a grenade a distance over 100inches, quite easily. Got a big game board, have you? 'cus your character that is not a marine is struggling to ge their 'nade further than 20 inches. Imagine what the guy does with his knife, should he decide to throw it. So, you can't run, because he's way faster. You can't fight him, because you're gonna die. Hide? Well, that's fine... untill he casually walks through the reinforced wall right next to you, robocop style, and pops your head like a zit, between his thumb and index finger. Strength of like 250% + power armour = wall fail.

The only character harder/more ridiculous than the space marine is an officio assassinorum assassin. If the marine can take, say, at least 5 other characters without breaking a sweat, then the "official" assassin can take at least 2 or 3 marines without crying about it. Their rules were off the hook, and, frankly, taking quite a large amount of piss.

I would definitely believe that in the right circumstances, a marine would hold off hundreds of humans.
 

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Grand Lord Munchkin
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I must play this game you speak of. If they have rules in it for a space wolf I will go mother fucking ape shit crazy. If not..... Ape shit will do just fine. I laughed for the entire read, btw. Lol epic win.
 

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The rules for inquisitor are free from the GW website, I think.

Dark Heresy rules are not free, but the game is awesome. However, a person may NOT play as a space marine in DH - they are simply encountered, with huge irregularity.
 

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at range it won't hit as often as a tau fire warrior but the marine can wade through the fire from them like it was water firing the whole way if the Fwarrior isn't dead by the time the marine gets into assault range he is fucked now... and btw thas like 18" for a BA with jump pack in a turn then we plant a chainsword in your skull. or better yet Chainfist!!!! everyone has to admit nothing is better than a chainfist. that is a fist the sizie of a friggin soulgrinders head with a big ass powerfield just like other power weapons with brass knuckles that are also a friggin chainsaw! yeah don't bother u dead
 

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It really breaks down to three things imo.

1. Physical Abilities. (compared to Guardsman)

Space Marines are stronger, smarter, and tougher. Because of their enhancements, they are able to survive trauma that would cripple or kill an ordinary human.

2. Equipment.

Powered Armor only magnifies #1. While effective in mass volleys, a Las Gun will never be as effective 1v1 as a Bolter / Bolt Pistol. While Guardsman can be equipped with Bolt weapons, they are standard issue for Space Marines.

Space Marines also tend to have better Hand to Hand weapons, not to mention being able to kill regular humans using only their bare hands.

3. Experience

Space Marines are, in essence, immortal. Many of the stories we read talk about Astartes that have 100+ years of combat experience behind them.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I personally believe that the "truest" depiction is what is shown in the tabletop game. After all, that is where 40k originated. DoW and fluff also have a say, but the lack of OPness in DoW and its abundence in the fluff, in my opinion, cancel each other out.
 
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