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Let's analyze the legions.
Yes, lets. But this time, lets try to be a little less biased eh?

Emperors children is more concerned with perfection than getting shit done.
Exactly, perfection in everything they do. Every stroke, perfect, every movement, perfect, every tactic, perfect.
Ultramarines are incapable of thinking out of the box.
Doesn't really mater as their box is absolutely massive and contains almost every possible scenario. They failed to think the impossible, but quickly fixed that mistake once it was revealed to be possible and then went so far as to run simulations against other Loyalists (something no one else did).
Iron warriors and imperial fists worked best against walls
But the Imperial Fists have one of the finest military records of all the Legions (I believe they were second or third in number of conquests). Did that many planets have walls, or are they capable of winning without them? Further, taking fortifications is one of the hardest things to do in a war, the fact that these Legions were really, really good at it shouldn't be held against them.
the luna wolves used tip of the spear tactics.
Horus is explicitly referred to as a a master tactician, yet you believe he used only one tactic?
blood angels were CC specialists with have a serious flaw.
Yeah their flaw is that they're too good at it. Bummer.
Alpha legion avoid direct combat with complicated plans
Wait... complicated plans and avoiding casualties are bad?
Night lords use terror
And therefore have no fixed m.o. The Night Lords will do whatever is necessary to win, they are willing to go so far beyond anything other Marines (even the Wolves) are willing to do.

Then finally the wolves, they do the berserker charge of the world eaters and BA but they seem to have more control over it, they also use pack tactics as evident in the night of the wolves.
1) The Wolves have more control? Who lost it first in the Night of the Wolf? The Wolves are just as likely to lose control as the others. Look at Wolves at the Door, completely unnecessary butchery. The Wolves believe they are more controlled, but they don't show it.
2) Another word for 'pack tactics' is 'unit tactics', every modern military uses this, the Marines are no exception (aside from occasionally the World Eaters). I'll point to the comparison made between Marines and Custodes in First Heretic, in which I believe the 'wimps' of the Word Bearers are compared to wolves.

everyone else either didn't specialize in what it would take to kill an astartes.
What does it take to kill an Astartes?

Or wasn't flexible enough to get the job one.
So the Wolves, whose tactics seem to be 'frontal charge' and 'sneaky charge', are more flexible than the Ultramarines, whose vast tactical doctrine is the basis for the entire Imperium's military in 40k? Or the explicit tactical brilliance of several Primarchs (of which Russ is not one)?
 

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The word bearers are a bunch of wimps who build churches.
Arguably the most dedicated of all the Legions to the Emperor before Monarchia, and, considering that they conquered more planets than any other legion in the space after that, I would hardly call them wimps.

The world eaters tactical book is charge directly at nearest enemy regardless of what happens
They preferred direct assaults yes, and their effectiveness at this was shown in great detail when they fought the Wolves. When it comes to wiping out your opponent to the last man the World Eaters are one of the best. And remind me again what executing a legion entails?

Emperors children is more concerned with perfection than getting shit done.
Ok that is just total BS. They strove for perfection yes, but they did it through application of their skills. They still prided themselves in having a legion that had specialists in a number of fields and could operate with peak efficiency under various circumstances

Ultramarines are incapable of thinking out of the box. Frankly by this time the one guy who considered the possibility of astartes vs astartes combat was disgraced.
Because the idea of it was so alien and down right heretical at the time. I think if they had been put in a position by the Emperor where they had to consider fighting other astartes beforehand, they would have had no problems developing very effective ways to battle other legions. Like they did, y'know, after Calth.

The dark angels I really don't know the lion probably had his own agenda
It has been repeatedly shown now that the Lion has never been anything but loyal to the Emperor and Imperium. Just because he liked to play his cards close doesn't mean he had another agenda. Not to mention their access to exotic tech and weapons the other legions did not have (and therefore probably had no knowledge of their capabilities or how to best defend against these) would most certainly have been an advantage in any conflict.

Death guard did frontal assaults
Among other things. They were generally stuck in some of the worse and most hazardous combat environments, where they actually thrived. And, as shown in Vulkan Lives, some of their chemical weaponry proved very very effective against fellow legions.

Iron warriors and imperial fists worked best against walls
Well, the Fists were also noted as being one of the most successful, and, as the Lion notes, most efficient and best functioning legions around. They wouldn't have been regarded as such if they didn't have a fairly broad skill set, siegecraft and defence merely being chief among them.


the luna wolves used tip of the spear tactics.
Their preferred tactic yes. But they didn't become the most successful legion of the Great Crusade by being totally one dimensional. You are seriously underrating them here.

blood angels were CC specialists with have a serious flaw.
Like the Wolves with their own genetic curse?

Alpha legion avoid direct combat with complicated plans
For the most part. And they were able to get far closer to actually managing to kill a primarch than the Wolves have so far.

Night lords use terror
Yet were capable of engaging in a long campaign against the Dark Angels legion, where the application of terror was not a viable tactic.

Raven guard use stealth.
Stealth and hit and run. Great for sowing confusion amongst enemy ranks. And if the terrain suits smaller engagements, excellent for eliminating enemy forces piecemeal.

salamanders like to burn things
They preferred fire weapons when they fought. They also had a lot of armour, vehicles etc. compared to many other legions. This does not give us any idea with regards to how effective their tactics are against another legion, or even what tactics they actually used.

Iron hands appear to use overwhelming force
Yet capable of adapting and coming up with new strategies, such as when the Eldar turned their own mechanised parts against them during that one campaign. So I see no reason why they couldn't adapt successfully to fighting another legion. Hell, the Isstvan suvivors have shown, especially the Iron Hands, just how resourceful they can be.

White scars use fast attack.
So they liked to use speed when they fought. What's your point? Doesn't detract from their effectiveness.

The 1K sons are psykers whatever their others tactics are I don't know.
The Thousand Sons often used guile, trickery and diplomacy to achieve compliances. But we saw in A Thousand Sons that even outnumbered, taken by surprise, facing some forces specifically made to combat them, as well as the Emperor's personal force, they still managed to give the invading force a serious mauling. Hell, up until that one idiot captain overused his powers and set off the catastrophic chain of events that put them on the retreat, they were actually winning. And they, along with Magnus, still managed to escape. From under the Wolves' noses.


Then finally the wolves, they do the berserker charge of the world eaters and BA but they seem to have more control over it, they also use pack tactics as evident in the night of the wolves.
The Blood Angels never showed any control issues on a large scale before Signus. The breakouts of the Red Thirst were really limited to individual cases before then. So that doesn't really hold. And explain "pack tactics"? Other than the World Eaters who were lost to the nails, pretty much every other legion would have come to their primarch's aid if they thought he was in trouble.

Aside from the DA and maybe alpha legion the wolves were the only ones who could be executioners, everyone else either didn't specialize in what it would take to kill an astartes. Or wasn't flexible enough to get the job one.
Firstly, though it was their preferred tactics listed above, it was by no means the only thing they were capable of. The Emperor made the Space Marines to be the galaxy's greatest fighting force. Capable of fighting under any circumstances against any foe. All your "analysis" does is seriously downplay what all the other legions are capable of in order to make the Wolves seem more special than they were.

Every legion will know as much as any other how to kill a space marine. Seeing as they are all themselves space marines and well aware of what they are capable of. Also, if the Wolves were such specialists, why didn't they totally murder the World Eaters (a legion whos abilities you seem to enjoy underplaying) or why did they have such a hard time against the Thousand Sons, even with the Custodes and Silent Sisterhood backing them.

And quite frankly, calling the Wolves more tactically flexible than the Fists, Emperor's Children, Luna Wolves, Ultramarines etc. is a joke.
 

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The wolves would come to heel after the fighting had stopped. :grin: Also, they had no problems going straight to using ridiculous force - rather than talking and solving differences or even landing and conquering at times. Thinking about that planet they wanted beat so they dropped a massive space station on the enemy base from orbit - with no remorse.

The B.A were berzerkers, same as the world eaters. Both legions would've been next to impossible to reign in after getting their blood up. The World Eaters were known for excessive savagery even then. Also, Sanguinious was too noble and would've used the phrase 'wracked with guilt' in every appearance after in the heresy.

I think the Ultra's, DA and IF were too honourable to fight other legions at first until they realised it was absolutely nescessary. They wouldn't have just got on with it like the wolves did. Although I did like the description of the Ultra's box :)

I think the 1ksons would've been awesome at taking other legions out. Most of them couldn't defend against that amount of psykers (especially after nicea). But the Emp had plans for them - IIRC, he wanted Magnus on the Golden Throne and therefore he wasn't expendable for primarch fighting.

The Night Lords use terror - Marines don't do fear in the way of lesser races so their effectiveness would've been dimished. As shown by the DA handing their ass to them in the end of the (thramas?) crusade

The Iron Warriors couldn't have done it as they were split round the galaxy, guarding/garrisoning....setting up for the heresy.

The Emperors Children could've done it, same as the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus but I think location plays a part - weren't they off at the leading edge of the crusade? (Logistics would've prevented them from taking that role.)

The Salamanders were too nice.

The Iron Hands could've done it, but due to their shit representation in the heresy so far (everyone knows they only charge in blindly and angrily) I don't think they could've pulled it off.

Nobody can find the White Scars.

The Alpha's wouldn't have needed to enact sanctions. The opposing primarch would've just found out that all his marines were Alpharius...
But I don't think 1 vs 1 they would've held up to another primarch in battle and due to narratives having to involve primarch vs primarch they wouldn't have been first choice.

So The Wolves were the legion used as sanction because
Location
Not questioning orders
Stopping once they'd finished
Small legion, so they were more expendable - the wolves losing wouldn't be the same as Rogal Dorn or Roboute's legions losing.
Russ was one of the better primarchs to go 1 vs 1 with another primarch.
 

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The wolves would come to heel after the fighting had stopped. :grin: Also, they had no problems going straight to using ridiculous force - rather than talking and solving differences or even landing and conquering at times. Thinking about that planet they wanted beat so they dropped a massive space station on the enemy base from orbit - with no remorse.
I think if crashing a space station into a planet was the most tactically sound solution, most legions would do it, with the exception of probably the Salamanders and Thousand Sons. Salamanders would be worried about collateral damage, and the Thousand Sons prized potential knowledge and despised needless destruction.

The B.A were berzerkers, same as the world eaters. Both legions would've been next to impossible to reign in after getting their blood up. The World Eaters were known for excessive savagery even then. Also, Sanguinious was too noble and would've used the phrase 'wracked with guilt' in every appearance after in the heresy.
The Blood Angels were known for being brutal in C.C. but they were not even remotely as hard to control as the World Eaters. It is only during Signus where they lose control on any serious scale. There are no horror stories about BA during the GC, and the gene curse couldn't have been very common if only Horus knew about it, and only because Sang confided in him.


I think the Ultra's, DA and IF were too honourable to fight other legions at first until they realised it was absolutely nescessary. They wouldn't have just got on with it like the wolves did. Although I did like the description of the Ultra's box :)
That doesn't say anything about their actual efficiency at fighting other legions. Just their initial willingness to do so.


I think the 1ksons would've been awesome at taking other legions out. Most of them couldn't defend against that amount of psykers (especially after nicea). But the Emp had plans for them - IIRC, he wanted Magnus on the Golden Throne and therefore he wasn't expendable for primarch fighting.
I don't think Magnus would have gone for the role of executioner quite frankly, even if it was offered to him and his legion. His whole outlook was the polar opposite of simply wiping things out.

The Night Lords use terror - Marines don't do fear in the way of lesser races so their effectiveness would've been dimished. As shown by the DA handing their ass to them in the end of the (thramas?) crusade
The 2 legions were pretty much stalemated until the Dark Angels managed to get their hands on that other little nifty device which allowed them to give the Night Lords one of the greatest sneak attacks in galactic history.

The Iron Warriors couldn't have done it as they were split round the galaxy, guarding/garrisoning....setting up for the heresy.
I agree here. They were spread far too wide across the galaxy to be able to be called upon to sanction any other legion within any reasonable timeframe.

The Emperors Children could've done it, same as the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus but I think location plays a part - weren't they off at the leading edge of the crusade? (Logistics would've prevented them from taking that role.)
Both these legions, in terms of ability, could have fulfilled the role IMO. I don't know about where they were in terms of leading the Crusade, but I actually think that there is a good chance that neither Horus or Fulgrim would have been keen on being the Emperor's watchdogs. Both were pretty arrogant, so they'd probably feel like it was a job that was beneath them.

The Salamanders were too nice.
Yeah, probably.:laugh:

The Iron Hands could've done it, but due to their shit representation in the heresy so far (everyone knows they only charge in blindly and angrily) I don't think they could've pulled it off.
Well, that is just poor writing so far. The Isstvan suvivors have shown plenty of strategy and tactical ability. Also, Ferrus was noted as a potential candidate with Guilliman, Lion, Dorn etc. for Warmaster, and Guilliman considered putting the Iron Hands in as the command base for the "shattered" legion presence in Ultramar. He wouldn't have considered that without good reason.

Nobody can find the White Scars.
Haha, actually very true, if Brotherhood of the Storm is anything to go by.

The Alpha's wouldn't have needed to enact sanctions. The opposing primarch would've just found out that all his marines were Alpharius...
But I don't think 1 vs 1 they would've held up to another primarch in battle and due to narratives having to involve primarch vs primarch they wouldn't have been first choice.
Well, the twins have shown the ability to outsmart a number of their brothers, as well as successfully infiltrate a number of legions. As far as legions go with a very high success rate against other legions in terms of achieving their objectives, the AL are probably at the top.

So The Wolves were the legion used as sanction because
Location
Not questioning orders
Stopping once they'd finished
Small legion, so they were more expendable - the wolves losing wouldn't be the same as Rogal Dorn or Roboute's legions losing.
Russ was one of the better primarchs to go 1 vs 1 with another primarch.
I don't get what you mean by location. They were out crusading, like all the other legions.

Also, a number of primarchs, most notably Dorn, would also follow the Emperor's orders without question. Hell, Pollux had Perturabo by the balls, and retreated simply because Dorn said so.

Stopping once they'd finished? Other than the Wolrd Eaters, who sometimes lost control, the legions also stopped fighting when there was no longer any need to. And the Wolves did not always stop. See the encounter between them and the Thousand Sons at Shrike, where the Sons had secured the one large library, but then the Wolves still wanted to destroy it, even though it was no longer a military threat.

And I don't see how smaller numbers would make them a better choice at taking out legions. A numerical disadvantage when fighting warriors who are your equals is never a plus. And the loss of any legion would have been a major blow to the Imperium, whether it was the Wolves or the Ultramarines.

And the last point about Russ is purely opinion. There is nothing to suggest that Russ was more suited to fighting his brothers than any of the others were. Case in point, he lost to Angron, has never managed to best the Lion, and got lucky to beat Magnus, even with the odds stacked in his favour during that fight. I'm not saying Russ is weak or anything, but there is nothing so far to suggest he is so much better than most of his brothers to warrant making that kind of claim about his one-on-one abilities. All the primarchs were very close in terms of combat, that external factors make a HUGE difference IMO. For example, I think a fresh Angron vs fresh Russ will see Angron victorious. But say Angron after he fought Guilliman on Nuceria (assuming Lorgar didn't do the whole turn-him-into-a-giant-monster thing afterwards) vs a fresh Russ and Russ would win.
 

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I meant that as an example of the wolves not bothering with escalation. OTT was the first choice - against other legions, that'd be an advantage. Until the other legions realised and retaliated. IMO, that'd be the best way to take out a legion - a decisive strike to start (Like istvaan)
I think the DA, Ultras and Fists would've been unwilling at first - the wolves had no such compunction.
You're right - Magnus wouldn't have wanted to be executioner. I still think his legion would've been fantastic at it :laugh:

When was Ferrus considered for warmaster? I've completely missed that.
My main thought on the IH was that in the heresy, they aren't represented well - I think it's Angel Exterminatus where it even says that the IH ship in that book fought a NL cruiser and the IH won because they had a raven guard on board who said something along the lines of 'have you ever considered *not* just charging in?'...
I want to see them do something good/cool - to show why the IH are an effective force.

What was the nifty device the DA used for the sneak attack? I read that one a while back and I just thought it was the DA's getting their moment of awesome - sounds like I've missed a bit :)

The Alpha's were very successful legion to legion, but in a primarch fight (which appears to be mandatory for every heresy book with the primarchs in...) I don't think they'd hold out as well. I'm thinking of the older fluff where Guilliaman killed Alpharius - when he caught up to him, he just dropped him. Although now it might've been omegon. Or just an Alpha legionaire. Or maybe Guiliman was Alpharius (twirls mustache)
It'd be a good fight (definitely worth reading) if Al and Om were both there though. If there wasn't a need to have a narrative drawn out primarch fight, they'd have been among the best. Cos a primarch would've just been killed with a shot to the head when he wasn't expecting it. No long drawn out fight, just blam and on to the next job :laugh:

And yes the last point is definitely opinion -IMO Russ's schtick is fighting, the same as Angrons. Guilliman's is being the universes greatest organiser, Vulkans is being unkillable etc. So I think the wolves being executioners means that they can write more Russ vs ? fights to show him off.
Thats why these threads go on for as long as they do - everyone has different thoughts :)

 

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That'd be an awesome thread :laugh:
Which primarch would do what in a bank heist...*shudder.

They don't need schtick, but they've got it.
How many threads on the forums are about pigeonholing/labelling primarchs?
 

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When was Ferrus considered for warmaster? I've completely missed that.
Well, it's mainly based off what Guilliman said to the Lion in The Unremembered Empire. He mentions that Horus didn't care that he beat Dorn, Guilliman or Ferrus (these names he mentions specifically) for the spot, but that he really cared about getting the position above the Lion. I just think he wouldn't specifically have mentioned Ferrus by name if he hadn't merited legitimate consideration for the position.

What was the nifty device the DA used for the sneak attack? I read that one a while back and I just thought it was the DA's getting their moment of awesome - sounds like I've missed a bit :)
They take possession of that weird sentient warp engine thing that made traveling around and navigating much easier than it did for others. I will have to check to see in which story this happens, as I can't exactly recall which one it is right now.

 

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Equipment is the easiest way to give someone an edge over a specific foe. Motivation and psychology have a limited role in creating such an edge, especially between two opponents of such similar motivation and psychology.
History contradicts that assertion many times over. Time and again, we've seen how forces that enjoyed psychological advantages were able to trump enemies with comparable numbers and equipment. Right off the top of my head, one of the most famous examples would be the Spartans prior to Leuctra and Mantinea. Their equipment didn't differ in any significant way from that of other 5th and 4th century Greek hoplites (they actually had smaller swords - que the jokes!). Nor did their phalanx differ from those fielded by other Greek powers (Epaminondas, the first general to inflict meaningful defeats on them, revolutionized the phalanx against them). For the better part of three centuries, though, the Spartans were able to consistently outperform their opponents in large part due to psychology: their mindset was what set them apart from their contemporaries.

Similar examples can be found in the late 17th and early 16th centuries throughout much Europe - when technological parity was common enough. Ostensibly comparable armies were often separated by the mentality, psychology, morale, etc. of their troops: that sense of self-belief, wherein a warrior's belief that they are superior to their opponent translates to superior performance on the battlefield.

And of course the Wolves did not possess any advantage in motivation or psychology over other Marines.
A built in advantage? No, I don't think so either. An advantage that came over time? Perhaps. The Space Wolves certainly express such a mentality and motivation. You can call it self-delusion or genuine confidence, but they are not shy about expressing what they feel their worth and ability is.

By contrast, consider how many times warriors from other Legions expressed disbelief, shock, dismay, and even confusion when confronted by the prospect of fighting other Space Marines. The effect this might have had on their performance may very well have been miniscule. That difference may very well be enough for beings who are able to take advantage of fractions of seconds (see Know No Fear) in combat, though.

I liken the Space Wolves and their purported role to the modern Minotaurs. When you get past the fact that they have the newest equipment the Imperium is fielding, a powerful fleet, and a significant complement of armored vehicles, they really aren't more powerful than a First Founding Chapter - less powerful in at least three cases that I can think of, in fact. It's their motivation and mentality that sets them apart. The Space Wolves may very well have taken horrendous losses in purging one or both of the Missing Legions - perhaps that's why they are fewer in number than they should be. Victory in just the first of those campaigns would have given them invaluable experience and confidence for any subsequent such action.
 

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Well, it's mainly based off what Guilliman said to the Lion in The Unremembered Empire. He mentions that Horus didn't care that he beat Dorn, Guilliman or Ferrus (these names he mentions specifically) for the spot, but that he really cared about getting the position above the Lion. I just think he wouldn't specifically have mentioned Ferrus by name if he hadn't merited legitimate consideration for the position.



They take possession of that weird sentient warp engine thing that made traveling around and navigating much easier than it did for others. I will have to check to see in which story this happens, as I can't exactly recall which one it is right now.



 

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And of course the Wolves did not possess any advantage in motivation or psychology over other Marines. Nor did they possess greater physical prowess, or greater size. ?
Their natural senses have been described as being superior to the ones provided by their helms. It's hard not to say that physically they have the edge over their cousins in some aspects.
 

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Their natural senses have been described as being superior to the ones provided by their helms. It's hard not to say that physically they have the edge over their cousins in some aspects.
And the Thousand Sons had psyker powers.
And the Salamanders had super vision (thanks to McNeil in Angel Exterminatus).
And the Imperial Fists were more resistant to mental degradation (again according to McNeil in the same novel).
The Death Guard have, on a number of occasions, been depicted as being tougher than the average marine.
And so on and so on.

Having slightly superior senses to the other legions hardly makes them more ideal to fight them. So I wouldn't use that as an example of "physical superiority" over other legions that would justify them being picked as Executioners.

I could argue that all the legions with stable geneseed, and who didn't have the risk of turning into mutant werewolf monsters, had the edge over the Wolves in some aspects.

I am personally more inclined to side with Phoebus's views with regards to why the Wolves were chosen. Psychology and motivation, as opposed to any physical reason. A good example of this is during the Siege of Prospero. Ahriman and the Sons actually get the drop on the Wolves during one encounter but, because they hesitate for that split second while considering the fact that they are about to open fire on fellow marines, the Wolves get off the first shots.

A Thousand Sons, Chapter 27, pg. 486

Astartes were at war with one another, and the sheer horror of that fact cost Ahriman a fraction of a second.
It was all the Space Wolves needed.
Though the Thousand Sons had been forewarned, still the Space Wolves fired first.
The Wolves didn't hesitate where the Thousand Sons did (and where most other legions probably would have hesitated as well).
 
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Thats a good point :laugh:
 

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Ignoring the other significant misconceptions for a minute:

Alpha legion avoid direct combat with complicated plans
The Alpha Legion did not avoid direct combat, not at all.

As for the general discussion concerning which Legion was best suited to be the Emperor's executioners, I think the Space Wolves were the only logical choice (If indeed a conscious choice was made).

According to the latest timeline we have access to, the two Lost Legions suffered their "separate tragedies" 12 and 16 years before Alpharius even assumed command of the XXth Legion. This essentially rules the Alpha Legion out of the running as a sanction against two Legions was required prior to Alpharius even being discovered.

Without analysing each Legion in turn, the reasons I would suggest the Space Wolves as the natural choice is primarily because of the "motivation and psychology" angle as advocated by Phoebus (who has argued his case well). Running parallel to that I also think unflinching loyalty was a major factor. Would Sanguinius, Guilliman, Horus or Dorn have conducted a war against another Legion? Perhaps, but they certainly wouldn't have done without question or hesitation, and that's why the Emperor relied on the Wolves above all others in certain respects.
 

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I cannot remember; is there information regarding Alpharius' discovery in the current canon (as in, was it 30years before?) And when I mean current canon, I do not mean a loosely collated bit of information written during the 3rd edition phase (I think even prior to the 3.5e CSM Codex), which has been consistently overwritten and completely ignored several times in the past;

After all, since that was written, we have had a new Primarch added into the mix, the Sons of Horus have changed their colours, and the Emperor's Children have gone from 30 Lord Commanders to 2.



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I cannot remember; is there information regarding Alpharius' discovery in the current canon (as in, was it 30years before?) And when I mean current canon, I do not mean a loosely collated bit of information written during the 3rd edition phase (I think even prior to the 3.5e CSM Codex), which has been consistently overwritten and completely ignored several times in the past;

After all, since that was written, we have had a new Primarch added into the mix, the Sons of Horus have changed their colours, and the Emperor's Children have gone from 30 Lord Commanders to 2.
Horus Heresy: Betrayal has Alpharius assuming command of his Legion in 981.M30 - 24 years prior to Isstvan III.
 

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Why did I not think to check there? Anyhow.

While I'm not suggesting that Horus had any say so in the matter of removing opposing Legions, but Horus had used the Alpha Legion (alongside IH, and Night Lords, both of whom he thought would follow him later on, so were loyal) on the Terentius campaign.

I think Ullanor had already happened? If so how likely was it that the Emperor, by proxy could have had Horus take command of the legion? Horus, henceforth knowing of the SW's capabilities then engineered magnus's and there's Mutually Assured Destruction.



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I think the Night Lords would have been a good choice for executioners, furthermore I have my belief that Konrad Curze was the original executioner and or he was one with Russ.

When the chaos gods were showing Lorgar visions of potential futures, one of them showed the Emperor sending executioners after him. It goes on to say that Curze is the one that rips out his heart and kills him, along with Russ there.

Perhaps Curze was the original executioner, and ties in with what he says "that the Emperor sanctioned what I have done". Perhaps Curze killed/eliminated the first wayward legion under the command of the Emperor, however he may have done so in a unfavorable way (in the eyes of the emperor). Thus the Emperor utilized Russ to take care of the second wayward legion rather than Konrad Curze.
 

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I think the Night Lords would have been a good choice for executioners, furthermore I have my belief that Konrad Curze was the original executioner and or he was one with Russ.

When the chaos gods were showing Lorgar visions of potential futures, one of them showed the Emperor sending executioners after him. It goes on to say that Curze is the one that rips out his heart and kills him, along with Russ there.

Perhaps Curze was the original executioner, and ties in with what he says "that the Emperor sanctioned what I have done". Perhaps Curze killed/eliminated the first wayward legion under the command of the Emperor, however he may have done so in a unfavorable way (in the eyes of the emperor). Thus the Emperor utilized Russ to take care of the second wayward legion rather than Konrad Curze.
And yet moments after the vision Lorgar saw of Curze ripping out his heart, the Changer of Ways showed him visions of Vulcan disemboweling Mortarian due to his vocal support against psykers.

You forget Lux that what Chaos says should be taken with a grain of pepper.
 

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Yes, lets. But this time, lets try to be a little less biased eh?

Exactly, perfection in everything they do. Every stroke, perfect, every movement, perfect, every tactic, perfect. Remember that duel between lucius and loken? Lucius lost because loken sucker punched him.
Doesn't really mater as their box is absolutely massive and contains almost every possible scenario. They failed to think the impossible, but quickly fixed that mistake once it was revealed to be possible and then went so far as to run simulations against other Loyalists (something no one else did).
Clearly they failed, there's tons of times where the ultramarines screwed up on blatantly obvious things because of their arrogance.
But the Imperial Fists have one of the finest military records of all the Legions (I believe they were second or third in number of conquests). Did that many planets have walls, or are they capable of winning without them? Further, taking fortifications is one of the hardest things to do in a war, the fact that these Legions were really, really good at it shouldn't be held against them.
It would seem most planets have some sort of fortress, there's nothing saying a legion would realize having a single fortress is a bad idea, honsou realized this, I don't believe he was the first iron warrior to think this.

Horus is explicitly referred to as a a master tactician, yet you believe he used only one tactic?
Yeah their flaw is that they're too good at it. Bummer.
Aside from isstivan most of his tactics are gambles. Or are done because someone insults him.
Wait... complicated plans and avoiding casualties are bad?
The more complicated the part the worse things get.
And therefore have no fixed m.o. The Night Lords will do whatever is necessary to win, they are willing to go so far beyond anything other Marines (even the Wolves) are willing to do.
True, but they aren't reigned in. They have no control of themselves.
1) The Wolves have more control? Who lost it first in the Night of the Wolf? The Wolves are just as likely to lose control as the others. Look at Wolves at the Door, completely unnecessary butchery. The Wolves believe they are more controlled, but they don't show it.
2) Another word for 'pack tactics' is 'unit tactics', every modern military uses this, the Marines are no exception (aside from occasionally the World Eaters). I'll point to the comparison made between Marines and Custodes in First Heretic, in which I believe the 'wimps' of the Word Bearers are compared to wolves.
The world eaters are described of attacking anyone except for other world eaters when under the nails influence.

I don't recall the wolves doing that, their wulfen is directed towards the enemy.

What does it take to kill an Astartes?
"Dishonorable tactics" Or what the wolves do in prosporo seems to work.
So the Wolves, whose tactics seem to be 'frontal charge' and 'sneaky charge', are more flexible than the Ultramarines, whose vast tactical doctrine is the basis for the entire Imperium's military in 40k? Or the explicit tactical brilliance of several Primarchs (of which Russ is not one)?
Flanking angron while he's distracted by Russ isn't a charge now is it?
Ignoring the other significant misconceptions for a minute:



The Alpha Legion did not avoid direct combat, not at all.

As for the general discussion concerning which Legion was best suited to be the Emperor's executioners, I think the Space Wolves were the only logical choice (If indeed a conscious choice was made).

According to the latest timeline we have access to, the two Lost Legions suffered their "separate tragedies" 12 and 16 years before Alpharius even assumed command of the XXth Legion. This essentially rules the Alpha Legion out of the running as a sanction against two Legions was required prior to Alpharius even being discovered.

Without analysing each Legion in turn, the reasons I would suggest the Space Wolves as the natural choice is primarily because of the "motivation and psychology" angle as advocated by Phoebus (who has argued his case well). Running parallel to that I also think unflinching loyalty was a major factor. Would Sanguinius, Guilliman, Horus or Dorn have conducted a war against another Legion? Perhaps, but they certainly wouldn't have done without question or hesitation, and that's why the Emperor relied on the Wolves above all others in certain respects.
But it wasn't alpharious main tactic, he wanted to prove himself to his brothers, most stuff he did was to prove himself, do you honestly think if he was ordered to kill say gulliman he'd do to in the most efficient way possible? Or would he perform a seriously complex plan that involves impersonating members of the ultramarines and making it obvious what was going to happen before it happened?
 
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