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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Greetings everyone,

I've had a search of the forums and indeed the internet and there doesn't seem to be a current and up to date discussion on the subject of Legion sizes.

We know the Ultramarines were the largest with 250,000, but how big were the other legions in comparison? How much do we know from the books and other fluff? What sources can we provide?

I'll edit this thread so we can see the progress made in the discussion.

I Dark Angels - 150,000 (estimated)
II
III Emperor's Children - 110,000 (60,000 post Isstvan)
IV Iron Warriors - 100,000+ (Above Average Legion size)
V White Scars - 100,000 (Average Legion size)
VI Space Wolves - 100,000 (Average Legion size)
VII Imperial Fists - 100 - 150,000 (estimated)
VIII Night Lords - 90,000 - 120,000 (pre dropsite massacre)
IX Blood Angels - 120,000 (pre Signus)
X Iron Hands - 113,000 (38,000 estimated, post dropsite massacre), 100 Capital Ships (33 estimated, post dropsite massacre)
XI
XII World Eaters - 150,000 (112,500 post Isstvan), 60+ Capital Ships
XIII Ultramarines - 250,000 (150,000 post Calth)
XIV Death Guard - 95,000 (63,000 post Isstvan), 70 Capital Ships, 210+ Escort and Assault Craft
XV Thousand Sons - 10,000 (1,000 post Prospero)
XVI Sons of Horus - 130-170,000 (70-110,000 post Isstvan), 100+ Capital Ships, 300+ Small Cruisers and Escorts
XVII Word Bearers - 140,000+ (rumoured to be close to rivalling the Ultramarines in numbers, 50,000 amassed at Calth)
XVIII Salamanders - 89,000 (7-8,000 post dropsite massacre)
XIX Raven Guard - 80,000 (3,000 post dropsite massacre)
XX Alpha Legion -100,000 (Average Legion size)
 

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End of the Heresy Legions were more or less at their largest.

The Word Bearers were the second largest at ~150,000. The average Legion size sat around 90-100,000.

The Emperor's Children, Space Wolves, and Thousand Sons were noticeably smaller. The Emperor's Children and Space Wolves probably numbered from 40-60,000.

The Thousand Sons closer to 10,000.

We know the Raven Guard numbered 80,000.

I don't recall off hand any particularly large or small Legions outside these.
 

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imagine trying to paint the whole smurf legion with those numbers.
salamanders were also smaller due to heavy losses
 

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The new Heresy supplement provides some hard figures.

In the period leading up to Isstvan III the Sons of Horus had been on a secret recruiting drive and had built themselves up to 130,000- 170,000 strong.

Post Isstvan III, after the campaign, purging their ranks and fighting the loyalists they had 70,000 to 110,000 thousand marines, 'with considerable evidence that the latter figure is the more accurate'.

The World Eaters were 150,000 strong in the lead up to Isstvan, in the 'higher mid levels comparative to its contemporaries'. 3/4 were at Isstvan, a full third of which were betrayed and purged. That leaves 112,500 traitors left. How many of those died fighting the loyalists is not clear.

The Emperor's Children pre Isstvan had 110,000. A 'quartre to a third were marked for death'. The losses incurred by the traitors were then heavy. It's estimated they lost 50,000 in total (loyalist and traitor) at Isstvan, leaving 60,000.

The Death Guard had 95,000 pre Isstvan. A third of these were killed as loyalists in the betrayal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think there's strong evidence for a guestimation, in recent books, that the Dark Angels and Imperial Fists were both 150,000 strong.

The Blood Angels are confirmed as being 120,000 strong.

Not sure about any other legions.
 

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I don't recall off hand any particularly large or small Legions outside these.
The Salamanders were noted as being a smaller Legion as well (pre-Heresy).

There are some topics in the FAQ which the OP might be interested in. Aside from that, the Forge World supplement introduces some interesting figures as Rems points out.
 

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Yup.

The one thing that struck me was the comments on the Intended Size of the Legions in that book; consider how powerful the Legions already were; For all intents and purposes "cleansed" and relocated the Galaxy.

And the same for a Chapter of Marines; destroy a city, send a squad, a planet, a company, a culture, a chapter etc etc; the Death Guards significance with the Number 7 had begun already; and the intention was to have 7 Great Companies of 70,000 Marines; 490,000 Astartes. As you can see they barely made a 1/5th of that.

Hence; multiply the figures we already have, and you can see how big they might have been; 400,000 Raven Guard, 1.25m Ultramarines, 600k Blood Angels.

What possible reason could the Emp have had to enable his general to aim to go for such a huge amount of soldiers? At an average of 100,000 in each legion so far, that is 500,000 by the DG intended figure; he would have gone for 10million Astartes, when 2 million did his own Galaxy.



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From what I remember, the Sons of Horus was one of Horus' few uncommitted forces when news broke to him of the impending arrival of Loyalist reinforcements. Leading to his ill fated gambit. The sons however got badly mauled during the Scouring when the other traitor legions fell upon them, until Abbadon shook them out of their despair and reorganized them to fight back and establish supremacy. So they would be relatively untouched post battle for Terra Id say.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
One thing I would like to know people's thoughts on is the strength of the Iron Hands legion, post Isstvan. I remember reading that Ferrus Manus rushed to get there and only took his elite companies with him. Is that right?
 

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Yes, they only took their Veterans. I haven't seen any numbers anywhere for this, but I imagine it to be around 20,000 - 30,000 warriors. Any more would seem at odds with just taking the veterans, any less would seem to few to be battlefield effective against ~300,000 Traitors.
 

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Angel Exterminatus gives a good picture of what which happened to the Iron Hands legion. Starting to fragment into individual clan companies as so much of their upper tier command had been destroyed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Updated the statistics with the Average Legion size for those that we have no concrete figures on.

I've heard a lot of theories that the Space Wolves and Salamanders were smaller than average Legions, but are there any sources for this?

Thanks for all the comments so far :)
 

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Yup.
What possible reason could the Emp have had to enable his general to aim to go for such a huge amount of soldiers? At an average of 100,000 in each legion so far, that is 500,000 by the DG intended figure; he would have gone for 10million Astartes, when 2 million did his own Galaxy.
Here goes my rationalization in answer to your question...

The only reason that comes to mind is the Emperor having knowledge of both the Tyranid and Necron threats and trying to factor in what it would take to fight both of them successfully. That the Emperor knew about the Void Dragon is well established fluff, so it's no great leap to say he also understood that the Necrons were buried out there in the galaxy and would one day awake.

In Horus Rising there's also the planet where we meet the Emperor's Children, who have to fight off what sure sounds like a Nid colony that lost their C&C member to the Interex some time ago. It also sounds like Ciphias Cain goes to an ice world that had an entire Hive Mind buried beneath the ice for over 7,000 years. I'm making both these points to say it's likely the Emperor had knowledge of, or suspected, that the Milky Way would play smorgasboard to an alien eating machine one day.

The Great Crusade didn't seem to have a lot of problems whipping up on the remnants of the Eldar, the Orks, and what minor xenos species were out there while reuniting the lost human planets. On the other hand, the Nids or the Necrons, by themselves much less at the same time, pose threats that could take down the entire Imperium. If I was the Emperor, I'd want to load for the bears coming after the GC.
 
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