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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just listened to Raven's Flight

over all it was very entertaining and I thought there was some interesting information such as: apparently, in Corax's estimation only Horus or Sanguinius had a chance of beating Angron in single combat

but what I found even more interesting was when Corax said he came to Istvaan with 80,000 warriors

I could have sworn I read somewhere that the Word Bearers were the second largest legion with 100,000 warriors

what the heck?
 

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The Emperor Protects
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The average Legions numbers were around the 80,000 mark, with some like the Word Bearers and Ultramarines being 100,000 and 250,000 respectively. Whereas some like the Thousand Sons and Emperors Children only numbered around 10,000. But the legions numbers are highly inconsistent throughout the heresy series and the authors themselves have said they kind of just make it up as they go.
 

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The Emperor Protects
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No, don't think theres ever been any indication they were smaller than average. Thousand Sons, Emperors Children and Salamanders were significantly understrength, and the Space Wolves were apparently not full strength either, but not as small as the aforementioned legions. But the rest of them were all pretty much a standard 80,000, apart from the Ultramarines and Word Bearers obviously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, don't think theres ever been any indication they were smaller than average. Thousand Sons, Emperors Children and Salamanders were significantly understrength, and the Space Wolves were apparently not full strength either, but not as small as the aforementioned legions. But the rest of them were all pretty much a standard 80,000, apart from the Ultramarines and Word Bearers obviously.
I read in another thread (about the Burning of Prospero as I recall) that the SW were one of the larger legions before the Heresy, or maybe the poster simply meant the SW were much more numerous compared to the 10k strong Thousand Sons
 

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There have been several thread already covering the topic of the size of legions, and i think the conclusion reached was that:

Ultramarines : 250,000
Word Bearers : 110,000 - 150,000
15 of the legions: 80,000 - 100,000
Salamanders : 30,000 - 50,000
TS and EC : 10,000 -20,000

but most of it is still up for speculation
 

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Unhinged Hobo
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There have been several thread already covering the topic of the size of legions, and i think the conclusion reached was that:

Ultramarines : 250,000
Word Bearers : 110,000 - 150,000
15 of the legions: 80,000 - 100,000
Salamanders : 30,000 - 50,000
TS and EC : 10,000 -20,000

but most of it is still up for speculation

That's 20 legions. I thought the reason the UM were so big was because they had absorbed the marines of the missing 2.
 

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That's 20 legions. I thought the reason the UM were so big was because they had absorbed the marines of the missing 2.
No, the author has stated it's just a couple of soldiers joking around.

If I'd known people would really believe it was a hint, rather than several soldiers joking, I'd never have written it. I genuinely had no idea people would take it as fact. Most of the other HH references to the Lost Legions (especially in Prospero Burns) are spoken with an air of truth. In The First Heretic, in that scene, it's blatantly just some soldiers even admitting they know it's just a rumour.
http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/index.php?showtopic=219161&st=25

It's post 30 if you are interested.
 

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The Word Barers numbered 100,000 40 years before Issvan 5, its reasonable to assume that they would have grown in the 40 years. It also sais that at 80,000 the raven guard are one of the smallest legions at the time.
 

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No, the author has stated it's just a couple of soldiers joking around.
Yes, ADB did actually.

And no, I don't really think its reasonable to think the Word Bearers increased that much if even a little bit over 100,000.

The thing with the legions is that they are very exclusive military organizations. Pretty much at this time, most legions are only recruiting from their planets. For many reasons. One for brotherhood and keeping the tradition of the legion from changing. And many of these traditions which you can also call culture run very deep within the legion.

Because of this, you rarely see legions growing. Especially since they have probably recruited as much as they could to keep their legion number's losses in line.

Its also a problem of many of the legions. Think about it like this. Horus should have a loooot more number than he has with all that time it took to command his legion and start recruiting to the end of the crusade. And he's hardly that big. At least we know two legions are bigger than his.

Then you have the Ultramarines who own several planets to recruit their marines on.

Lastly, the biggest problem I think you have with the Astartes not really promoting growth is the fact that when they conquer in the name of the Emperor and his stupid Imperium that they don't give a shit. They keep their traditions, kick some ass, put a governor in and tell him that if he fucks around he's probably going to get the shit slapped out of him when they return. Then they leave and just don't give a shit about perhaps promoting their culture and legion strength to those planets.
 

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Bane of Empires
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The Word Barers numbered 100,000 40 years before Issvan 5, its reasonable to assume that they would have grown in the 40 years.
Thats debatable. Especially considering the Word Bearers post-Monarchia actually tallied up the greatest number of compliances of any Legion. Which inevitably means they took part in much more warfare, inevitably resulting in a higher casualty rate than they were used to pre-Monarchia. I guess it all depends on how fast they we were able to replenish their numbers, and it should be noted that they would only recruit from Colchis (especially following the Second Purge of the Brotherhood).

EDIT: Aurelian confirms that the Word Bearers increased in size in the 40 years following Monarchia.
 

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Craw-Daddy
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I concur with the last two posts.

I think you can go as far in saying the lack of strength of the traitor legions was the reason why it was essential for them to rapidly destroy the defences on Terra as well as kill the Emperor. They needed the strength of the Daemon Legions trying to get through the Golden Throne.

The traitors simply could not put the numbers up after they had purged their legions.
 

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Hmm

To be honest, you should take all numbers with a grain of salt. For example...

According to Raven's flight (which I personally wouldn't consider canon, but let's humor the thought that it is), Corax left Istvaan V with approximately 5k marines. This number was apparently so small he had to "experiment" in order to rebuild his legion.

According to Prospero Burns, basically the entire Space Wolves legion participated in the assault on Prospero. After the battle the Space Wolves numbered around 4,5-5k. Yet there is no fluff stating that the Space Wolves legion was virtually destroyed at Prospero. As a matter of fact, not too long thereafter the legion managed to fight the entire Alpha Legion to a stand still.

To take this even further... It seems many legions kept their forces together, not too far from their Primarchs (World Eaters, Emperor's Children, Sons of Horus, Death Guard, Thousand Sons etc etc). By "not too far" I mean within close enough proximity to gather more or less the entirety of the legion when needed to.

Now, if you were to send a legion to take out the Thousand Sons, would you choose a legion that's ca 10-20k(?) strong (Space Wolves) or would you send a legion that is, let's say, three times as big? I guess what I'm trying to say is that it makes little sense that the specialized Astartes killer legion is one third or one fourth the size of many of the other legions. Are the Space Wolves really that good? Is one Space Wolf worth 3 or 4 "regular" marines?

For the fluff to make any sense there can't be too big descrepancies in legion size, except where this is specifically indicated. It just doesn't make any sense (at least to me) if 20k of legion Y can defeat 50k of legion X.

My suggestion is to make up your own estimation and when the numbers in the books don't add up, consider them a typo. :grin:
 

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Craw-Daddy
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Raven's Flight is more accurate actually. Graham was more in that 15,000 type category. But they have officially made 100,000 the point to strive for. Given, there are only two legions that have exceeded or met that. But they are basically almost all 100,000.

The way you can deal with the 15,000 Space Wolves in A Thousand Sons is to think of it as the spear tip of the force. The Rest of the Legion basically purging the rest of the planet. But yes. I would imagine the Wolves would probably have a decent amount in their legion to be a "Military Threat" to Horus.
 
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