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Bane of Empires
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Still, a crazy revelation. They were already the second largest at 150,000. Now we have potentially 200k+? Craziness.
Even more so when you consider the Word Bearers conquered more worlds than even the Luna Wolves in the last few decades of the Great Crusade - likely meaning their casualty rates would have been consistently high.
 

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Considering how quick the Legions could pacify a planet or system in mass assaults it was possibly due to the fact that they could split up much further, while they were able to get more charismatic planetary leaders within their ranks with which to provode the infrastructure following invasion meaning less need to "oversee".

Also, they possibly had extra help from Daemonic forces to increase their Thralldom or mind control on populace, the routines established aiding them even after Astartes have left.



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Discussion Starter #45
Interesting points from everyone! So thanks for that :)

I'm expanding the information for the legions to include fleet sizes. I've edited the legions that have been mentioned in the Horus Heresy forgeworld books and would appreciate any information anyone else might have :)
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thanks, Ddraig :) With the Horus Heresy books and especially the Forgeworld books, we're finally getting accurate numbers for a lot of the legions too :D
 

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Even more so when you consider the Word Bearers conquered more worlds than even the Luna Wolves in the last few decades of the Great Crusade - likely meaning their casualty rates would have been consistently high.
Probably incredibly so. Massacre states that they began to recruit from every world they conquered. That is a huge recruitment base to draw upon!

Makes you wonder what they did differently than the other legions to conquer so much, so fast.
A couple ideas: They were probably willing to spend men like no tomorrow to conquer as much territory as they could. Remember, they weren't taking worlds for the Emperor anymore, but rather setting up a base of power for the eventual civil war. The more planets they could subvert ahead of time, the better off they would be.

A maybe the Chaos gods were helping them find worlds or navigate their fleets to new worlds. We know that during the war Chaos helped the Traitors and hindered the Loyalists, so it's reasonable to believe that the Chaos gods would help the WBs before the heresy as well.

Considering how quick the Legions could pacify a planet or system in mass assaults it was possibly due to the fact that they could split up much further
Probably not. Massacre says the Word Bearers favored grouping their men together and launching overwhelming assaults.
 

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Deathwing Commissar
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I think Hailene hit on a very important point when he brought up navigation. Interstellar travel is always described as an uncertain and perilous proposition, but that's a function of the Warp. If the Ruinous Powers "paved the roads" for their favorite Legion, the Word Bearers would be able to get from conquest to conquest in minimal time.

Something else: 'The First Heretic' shows the Word Bearers annihilating the first world they are to bring under Compliance after Lorgar has settled on his path. Given the technology available to the expeditionary fleets, turning a planet into a wasteland and/or basically committing genocide is an easier proposition than conquering it and imposing a stable government.

Would the Word Bearers need a ton of planets to reach their great numbers? There's obviously a degree of "author's prerogative" at play when the recruitment numbers come into play, but even a former Death World like Caliban was able to pump out 4,000+ Space Marines every two years under an optimal program. This means that the Word Bearers wouldn't have needed a huge number of functioning conquered planets to bulk up their numbers. If 'Massacre' says that's what happened, though, then that's well and good. :)
 

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Bane of Empires
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Another interesting point is that according to Imperial records (presumably pre-Heresy) the Word Bearers officially held "garrison oversight and tithing rights" on at least 57 worlds (including Colchis).
 

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Even though I agree with the assessments made of Crusade era legion sizes and numbers of fleets, I think GW have under-estimated the numbers since the beginning.

300,000,000,000 potential star systems in the galaxy is a staggeringly large number, not just big, but bloody hell i have a headache trying to visualise it big.

Two million Space Marines just get swallowed up in the vast expanses of space. That's one space marine conquering 150,000 star systems each, at the rate of 1 per day for 410 years, and that's with zero travel time.

I know that the Crusade didn't cover the entire galaxy (world's are still being conquered in 40k), even a tenth of it would mean 15,000 star systems per marine.
 

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Probably not. Massacre says the Word Bearers favored grouping their men together and launching overwhelming assaults.
That's the reasonable battle tactic; but that's a tactic, as opposed to strategy. Compare the Viking "strategy" to "tactics"; in battle, they formed shield walls or they formed "Boar's Tusks", which worked like a lance through armour. Yet they ranged far and wide, ending up in the Greek court as mercenary guards and North America and the Azores.

I'll have to dig out the exact quote, however, I can't quite see it; is there a page number?



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300,000,000,000 potential star systems in the galaxy is a staggeringly large number, not just big, but bloody hell i have a headache trying to visualise it big.
The Imperium of man is not interested in conquering every system. Just ones of note and/or ones with alien presences.

Though apparently the Great Crusade didn't kill every alien it ran across. I was re-reading Fulgrim last night and there was talk of making the Laerans into a "protectorate" since the war was estimated too costly and too time consuming to be worthwhile.

Most solar systems have nothing of note and so are left empty and ignored.

I'll have to dig out the exact quote, however, I can't quite see it; is there a page number?
No problem. Page 142. Second and third paragraphs.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
It wasn't just the Space Marines conquering the galaxy either. They just spearheaded the Great Crusade. You musn't forget the billions of ordinary human soldiers.
 

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Two million Space Marines just get swallowed up in the vast expanses of space. That's one space marine conquering 150,000 star systems each, at the rate of 1 per day for 410 years, and that's with zero travel time.
This is true, but keep in mind though that not all those 300 billion are inhabitable. Therefore if you cut down the amount of systems that can be colonized or inhabited by technological/natural means were only really looking at Millions of systems; if that at all.

Plus keep in mind all the systems the Imperium never covered........imagine an inter-galaxy war if you will. It is an entertaining thought, but unrealistic even for our modern concept of science and the world around us.
 

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Indeed. It's safe to assume that the Imperium had means by which to detect inhabitable worlds from interstellar distances. This would have obviously reduced the number of systems they needed to visit.

A number of sources also make mention of Imperial space being surrounded by regions of "wild space", which is generally a "no-man's land".
 

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Yes, not all 300bn are in the Imperium, nor covered in the Great Crusade, i.e Macharius and Saint Sabbat brought areas under control far nearer 40k than 30k.

As i mentioned, even 10% of the galaxy (an unrealistic figure seeing the maps in Heresy books cross from one side of the galaxy to the other) being covered the Great Crusade leaves 15,000 star systems per marine.

Assuming explorator fleets and survey fleets (often mentioned in lore) rule out another 90%, that's 1,500 per marine, but keep in mind that's still 3 billion star systems that need to be surveyed.

Assuming the Imperial Army, Rogue Trader and Mechanicum fleets conquer another 90% that leaves 300 million star systems conquered by Space Marines.

Cut down the figures any more to fit a few thousand Marine led expedition fleets and the impact of the legions is 0.01% of the Great Crusade, which leaves them fairly inconsequential and not the pivotal and essential forces they are.

The thing is, mankind breeds like rats, and the size of the Imperium, mankind conquered space, with hive planets and what have you allows for huge numbers so theoretically, within a few generations you could breed legion sizes of 1 million + each no problems.

2 million marines on a galactic scale is minuscule, hell even on a scale comparable to today its nothing, 2 million is roughly one of Hitlers Army Groups, destroyed and disappeared in a few weeks in World War Two on the Eastern Front.
 

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Hundreds of millions of star systems? Let's not get carried away here. Hasn't the Imperium always consisted of "only" one million worlds?
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Hundreds of millions of star systems? Let's not get carried away here. Hasn't the Imperium always consisted of "only" one million worlds?
Exactly what I thought. The Imperium may span the entire galaxy, but it consists of only 1 million inhabited systems in the galaxy. That's half a system per space marine :D

Anyhow, this thread has just been posted http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=130449

So can we bring the discussion back on topic now please? :)
 
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