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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.
I'd go the other way the fluff is the best representation, if space marines on the table top were anywhere near as tough it would seiously unbalance the game.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
I'd go the other way the fluff is the best representation, if space marines on the table top were anywhere near as tough it would seiously unbalance the game.
At this point, the argument transcends fluff and becomes an argument over the nature of 40k itself. But what the hell? Lets continue.

I hold by my belief that the tabletop has the trump card on 2 things: First of all, the tabletop is what came first and is the core of the 40k franchise. The fluff and video games came later. Second and more critically, I used averages. <Lets rate the "overpoweredness" of the series on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most overpowered. If we rate DoW marines "2," tabletop marines as "5," & fluff marines as "10."

The mean average adds up is as follows: (2+5+10)/3 = 17/3 = 5.67

average marine OPness is 5.67. Much closer to the tabletop than the fluff. And it should be pointed out that it is common in many series for the fluff to be much more powerful than the game itself.
 

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Games Workshop has stated that the Space Marines on the table top are balanced so as to be able to be used as an army rather than a small unit of men- that's why the Movie Marines rules were made so you could use a more accurate representation of Astartes in a battle if you so wished.

And actually the fluff came out the same time as the game.
 

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Technically though the fluff would have had to have come first, you can't have Astartes models without first developing what an Astartes is!

And quite clearly, a tabletop game has to be fair and balanced - the background material is a better representation of what Astartes are capable of, rather than their stats on the board.
 

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If you want a realistic representation, then play inquisitor. Simple.

Very boring, tbh, because you turn up with one marine, shout "I WIN.", pack up, and then go home. Every time.
 

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The fluff came out officially at the same time as the rules, in the Rogue Trader (1st edition) rulebook. But the modern fluff is completely different from what it was originally. In the Rogue Trader rulebook, there was no such thing as "chaos daemons", the imperium ruled the galaxy, there was a striking (in hindsight) complete lack of grimdark, and questionably sapient monkeys were a playable race. Since then, the fluff of space marines has evolved from "Highly trained warriors with some physical enhancement and good equipment" to "Badass supermen who can shoot far better than any human, take bolter rounds and live, crush men with their bare hands, and wear tanks". A huge driving factor in that was to sell models, so much so that the fluff eventually became completely disproportionate with the actual rules.

In contrast with the fluff, the rules for space marines have stayed relatively stable. They have been, in my opinion, the base upon which the other armies are balanced. Because of this, the rules for space marines, as i mentioned before, have lost touch completely with the fluff. For this reason, I think it's safe to conclude that the fluff and the rules are completely incomparable. So Platypus5, to answer your question, in the fluff, a crapload of guardsmen. On the table, eh, 4? Depends wildly on the circumstances for both.

I do disagree though that this argument "transcends fluff and becomes an argument over the nature of 40k itself". What is "the nature of 40k"? If it's not fluff, is it rules? Because in my opinion, fluff is just as much a part of the game as rules. Although more people play the game for the game and not the fluff, without the fluff, there would be no game.
 

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That and even in the fluff not every space marine is unbelivable allpowerful and stuff... just the ones that the novels focus on for example
Ragnar Blackmane- space wolves- being groomed to become next greatwolf
Rafen - Blood Angel - Being groomed for leedership by dante
and a hos of other examples that i don't particularly feel like lookin up at the moment those are just my favorite two. the marines in fluff are all so Enormously bad ass that one can take on squads of guardsmen because those are the ones that interest ppl for the most part. the reason fluff seems dis proportionate is because it focuses on ppl who in the tabletop rules are traditionally independant characters and when playing my blood angels out o their new codex mephiston killed and entire squad of guardians on his own. i the nearby ppl engaged with others so i took my lib in. he was hit 2wice. BTW that would've killed other head liby's but mephiston kicks more ass than both njall and tigirius.
BOOYAA :thank_you:
 

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Technically though the fluff would have had to have come first, you can't have Astartes models without first developing what an Astartes is!

And quite clearly, a tabletop game has to be fair and balanced - the background material is a better representation of what Astartes are capable of, rather than their stats on the board.
This holds true for all of 40k, and not just Space Marines.

If the table top were to hold true to fluff, 'Nids would need models that outnumbered their opponents by an insane amount... the same could be said for IG as well as Orks.

When regarding what is "true", the rule should be to hold more to fluff than table top rules. TT has been an needs to be designed with a pretty strict balance in mind, to include playability, cost of models, mechanics, and fun. It's not as much fun nor easy to balance a "True" space marine, nor would it be cost feasible to field the appropriate number of tyranids.
 

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This holds true for all of 40k, and not just Space Marines.

If the table top were to hold true to fluff, 'Nids would need models that outnumbered their opponents by an insane amount... the same could be said for IG as well as Orks.

When regarding what is "true", the rule should be to hold more to fluff than table top rules. TT has been an needs to be designed with a pretty strict balance in mind, to include playability, cost of models, mechanics, and fun. It's not as much fun nor easy to balance a "True" space marine, nor would it be cost feasible to field the appropriate number of tyranids.
This might be an intersting way of working things out, applying fluff directly to table top rules.
Start with the most basic force allowed by the FOC, 1 SM Captain and 2 five man Tactical Squads all with standard equipment.
Going by the fluff, what would an opposing force need to be made up of to stand a chance of beating the SM force?
 

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at range it won't hit as often as a tau fire warrior...
I just wanted to point out that in fact, SMs have better aim than a fire warrior, not only in fluff, but also in the tabletop rules (BS4>BS3) and for sure they are more than likely to splat the little blue man. Better armour save, better hit probability, the same wounding probability, and only slightly less range that can be mitigated with the use of cover? piece of cake! (but they also individually cost more points, for a reason).

The nob in CC is another completely different thing, it would come down to equipment mostly (power weapon? choppa? power claw? power fist?). But that said, nobs are supposed to be really badass in CC, so it's fine by me if some oversized green ape fungus can match my marine in CC, both in fluff or tabletop.

Aaand I also wanted to point out that if you want to go with the tabletop rules to establish SMs individual power, you have to consider that there are several editions of the game, and that in 2nd ed marines (and particularly terminators) were pretty powerful (I didn't play before 2e, so I really can't tell how they were on the beginning).

To answer normtheunsavoury's question, it would depend on the environment. If it was in the open in a straight head to head confrontation, a couple of platoons of guardsmen with a vet unit with plasmas could be enough. If it was in a guerrilla environment, said team could probably take on a whole base (multiple platoons with armoured vehicles, sentinels, etc) by themselves.
 
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