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Craw-Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished reading Brotherhood of the Storm and wow, is Chris Wright a damn good addition to the Heresy. I shouldn't be surprised as Battle of the Fang, was one of my favorites.

However, one of the interesting things of the book was the fact that the White Scars seemed to be lacking in some areas of tactic. Mind you, I hope to get more details on their fighting style later, however, as we know, some of the legions fought in a one dimensional arena. However, their were some components of their legion that really absorbed elements of the Luna Wolves, in fact in some parts, I sensed that they critiqued their own legions fighting style and even Primarch.

This isn't the first legion in the series to have adopted or admired and trained alongside the Luna Wolves. There has also been admiration of the Ultramarines, but not as much. And as a matter of fact, the Luna Wolves hands down had the best military record of any of the legions.

So the question that is put down is how these two extremely accomplished legions differ in terms of tactics and success. At least in what I have seen, it seemed that the Luna Wolves were more reliant in quick movement, and more diverse in the different types of infantry in city warfare. The Ultramarines seemed a bit different in unit type, in which there was more diversity in terms of tanks, skirmishing, fast, heavy, and infantry. I think part of this view comes the current set up of their armies in the 40k realm. But looking at the battles, especially the first battle in Horus Rising, I just sensed the combination of the deep striking of many combinations of infantry units, which in each also had a vast difference of weapon styles. Looking at ultramarines, they tended to have a more uniform look.


Analyzing the Codex in Year 40,000
I don't want to sound like I'm being to skeptical of certain characters in Brotherhood of the Storm, because I absolutely thought each one was very cool. However, I will say, the White Scars that were more prone to the Khan style of fighting seemed a bit irrational in certain aspects. Firstly, the use of speeders seemed to me a problematic thing to have in warfare in which their key aspect is to sink deep into the enemy. If you read it you see how one of the main characters is easily taken off his speeder and it explodes. I'm also pretty sure it had heavy bolters. See to me, that is pretty expensive equipment to treat so recklessly. If you read the book you also see how they have problems with keeping their supply lines informed. Anyhow, it does bring up the fact that the codex seems to actually be a great tool for 40k. At first, it seemed that it was simply rhetoric and the blue smurf poster boys. However, having another key character in there with his company basically show that the main character approached the battle in a wrong light, kind of shows an element that many legions had which is that they were too one dimensional and perhaps even flawed.


Heresy Battling and Future Novels May Explain the Need for Gulliman's Codex

We have seen how the Ultramarines were able to defeat their foes through impossible odds. This is actually an interesting concept because it explains the need later. However, it seems important to me that the Heresy show this a little more. I still need a bit to catch up to in the Heresy, however, though this was a small read I definitely think it explains a lot about the legions and certain problems they may have which could make them suffer later on.

This brings a new concept which is the Codex vs the infamous Horus' tactics. I think it is imperative that we see Horus' legion and perhaps other traitor legions show more havoc. Until now, we have actually seen a bit too much success for the allies. Istvaan survivor owning nubes and so forth. As far as I'm concern, this doesn't really show that need for the Imperium to change its tactics in the future.


Discussion

I would like to hear more about how people view the Luna Wolves vs the Ultramarines during the Heresy as well as the current look of the Black Legion vs the Ultramarines. Even compare the past and present. There seems to be much success between the two, even though they are different. And even there, what really makes them different?
 

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Somewhat on topic but I wasn't a fan of Wraight's Scars. I don't think it did the legion as much justice as one would think a book dedicated to them might do.

They had an advisor brought in to teach them how to be Astartes essentially.

There were barely any scenes that described how they fought and those few descriptions were lacking and mostly consisting of generic bolter fire and vague accounts of fancy swordplay (even the fight between Khan and Magnus wasn't imaginative enough for me).

And while I do think it was a very interesting concept, I just could not stomach the thought of a recruit, pre and post transformation, wishing he could join another legion rather than the one he was accepted into. Just the idea that you can become superhuman and become one of the Emperor's angels of death would have overwhelmed anyone I think.

I think the coolest and most unique description of them was in Abnett's Little Horus.

edit- I just noticed you were referring to his BoS title. I haven't read that one but I imagine it can't be that different than Scars in terms of his depiction of them.
 

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Cruel Commissar
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And while I do think it was a very interesting concept, I just could not stomach the thought of a recruit, pre and post transformation, wishing he could join another legion rather than the one he was accepted into. Just the idea that you can become superhuman and become one of the Emperor's angels of death would have overwhelmed anyone I think.
I have always thought of that as wishful thinking on the part of the legion or chapter that the character wants to join. Its sort of like telling a Navy SEAL the Delta Force is best.
 

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I would rate the Ultramarines as a more capable military force than the Luna Wolves.

The Luna Wolves may have had the most conquests in the Great Crusade, but they had the advantage of the peerless generalship of Horus and a differing approach to the Great Crusade than the Ultramarines. The Luna Wolves were the roving spear tip, smashing one enemy then moving on to the next, leaving the Imperial Army to garrison the freshly conquered world. The Ultramarines by contrast were careful to preserve as much of the conquered world's industry and society as possible, and then hung around to better integrate it into the Imperium. They took the time to govern and build on what they conquered. It's no surprise they racked up less victories.

The most victories is not the best criteria by which to judge the more effective legion however. The Luna Wolves whilst not as constrained as the White Scars or Death Guard certainly had a narrower tactical application that the Ultramarines. The Luna Wolves focused on decisive shock assaults designed to decapitate the enemy legionship and smash the enemy in one shattering blow. They were the ultimate shock troops. By contrast the Ultramarines stressed flexibility and discipline, able to react to and overcome any scenario thrown at them. That's the core concept of the Codex Astartes, what to do when faced with x. Given that focus on flexibility, backed by the necessary discipline to utilize it you have a force that is able to withstand the luna Wolves preferred tactics. We've seen this demonstrated on Calth.

In such a situation it then comes down to who has the better grasp of overall tactics and strategy or the capability for attrition. The Ultramarines come out top here, with an officer cadre focused on self improvement and a ethos of discipline and flexibility as well as actively taking things that worked from other legions. In attrition they have a far greater pool of manpower and equipment to draw upon.

Telling to is their respective behaviour in the absence of their Primarchs. Horus is laid low and the Luna Wolves fall apart, turning to base mysticism and superstition, whilst the legion and its expeditionary fleet is paralyzed by indecision. In the absence and presumed death of Guilliman during the battle for Calth the Ultramarines simply get on with it.
 

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Bane of Empires
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In regards to the necessity of the Codex: An inherent problem with many of the Legions during the Great Crusade was that their respective Primarchs were given total command of thousands of post-human warriors capable of devastating entire systems when many themselves had unstable psyches, shaky morals or coming from cultures who viewed war (and indeed almost everything) in a very different manner to how the Emperor did. It seems that many only spent minimal time with the Emperor or on Terra assimilating themselves with Imperial ideals (the most prominent examples perhaps being Angron and Alpharius). This just, in my opinion, highlights the gamble that the Emperor was taking, and how little time he had to achieve his goals.

Many Legions were probably unsustainable in the long-term - whether a result of their methods of war-making, their philosophies, or their leadership. There needed to be a universal code by which the Space Marines had to abide. In fact, I believe the Codex Astartes to be one of the most (if not the most) significant element in the survival of the Imperium since the Heresy.

I would rate the Ultramarines as a more capable military force than the Luna Wolves.
I agree with you. In fact I would go as far as to suggest several Legions were more capable military forces than the Luna Wolves.
 

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Craw-Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree with you. In fact I would go as far as to suggest several Legions were more capable military forces than the Luna Wolves.
In what sense would you say they are more capable? I think thats an interesting sense to bring up actually. I think Rems is right in some sense of the word. Though, sometimes you can't argue with success. I think when Rems brings up the concept that the Luna Wolves let the Imperial Guard essentially take over once they were done, it brings the question on whether or not thats what should have happened. One could argue that the Primarchs had no duty to spread their influence so strong on conquered worlds, and on the other hand, perhaps a legion must install fear in the newly conquered people for sometime. It would be interesting if the Ultramarines did what the Words Bearers did to some extent.

I am troubled by the fact we don't hear much of the Luna Wolves/Son's of Horus. I wonder at this point of the crusade, unlike other legions, the Luna Wolves have essentially been destroyed in many aspects of the word. First, they suffered many casualties between Istvaans and haven't really embraced Chaos in the sense that Abaddon(In the future) or the Death Guard, Emperor's Children, and World Eaters have or will do. Not only that, but the Alpha Legion gave them manipulated/warped gene seed. As such, it brings the question of how functioning the current Luna Wolves are in the series. To me, some of these facts could go well in ADB's new series, in that the Luna Wolves become a pathetic traitor legion, which is explained due to not having a good gene seed template anymore, and the fact that they continuously need to recruit and gain control of gene seed.
 

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Craw-Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Somewhat on topic but I wasn't a fan of Wraight's Scars. I don't think it did the legion as much justice as one would think a book dedicated to them might do.

They had an advisor brought in to teach them how to be Astartes essentially.

There were barely any scenes that described how they fought and those few descriptions were lacking and mostly consisting of generic bolter fire and vague accounts of fancy swordplay (even the fight between Khan and Magnus wasn't imaginative enough for me).

And while I do think it was a very interesting concept, I just could not stomach the thought of a recruit, pre and post transformation, wishing he could join another legion rather than the one he was accepted into. Just the idea that you can become superhuman and become one of the Emperor's angels of death would have overwhelmed anyone I think.

I think the coolest and most unique description of them was in Abnett's Little Horus.


edit- I just noticed you were referring to his BoS title. I haven't read that one but I imagine it can't be that different than Scars in terms of his depiction of them.
I'm about to read the new Scars novel. Though I liked the portrayal of the Scars fighting style in BoS. At this point of the Heresy I try to make sense of the "badness" of many legions. I have been sorely disappointed, especially when its your own legion. However, a few things that need to be shown are the facts that the traitor legions almost defeated the loyalists despite purging their own legions. The codex was created to make the astartes more effective. And because of that, I think its fair to show weaknesses in many of the legions. But I'm frankly tired of the survivors of Istvaan bullshit.

I also think its interesting how the Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and Wolves of Fenris have been able to keep certain elements of their legions tactics in place. The dedication of codexes really testifies to that.

I will say one thing though. The battle tactics of the Scars aren't really what I expected at all. I thought their tactics would have been more on the line of hit and run. Instead it seemed more of hit and drive your force in as hard as you can. Not sure if I like or dislike it, I'm just accepting it as of now. Unlike the Raven Guard, they can't simply jump into cover, and as such would probably suffer from retreating. As CotE mentioned, there is a lack of Imperial necessity in many of the legions.
 

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I think when Rems brings up the concept that the Luna Wolves let the Imperial Guard essentially take over once they were done, it brings the question on whether or not thats what should have happened. One could argue that the Primarchs had no duty to spread their influence so strong on conquered worlds, and on the other hand, perhaps a legion must install fear in the newly conquered people for sometime. It would be interesting if the Ultramarines did what the Words Bearers did to some extent.
The Ultramarine model of achieving compliance is the ideal, not the smash and move on of more 'direct' legions. Look at the worlds the Ultramarines left behind; enlightened and productive beacons of Imperial Truth. The 500 worlds of Ultramar existed as an example to the rest of the Imperium. There's no question the Ultramarine way was the 'best' way, if by best you mean most beneficial to the functioning and stability of the Imperium.

It's a method most legions were unsuited to however, both in application and temperament. It's also possible it's not what the Emperor, or the Imperium initially needed for the Crusade however, when momentum was all important.


I am troubled by the fact we don't hear much of the Luna Wolves/Son's of Horus. I wonder at this point of the crusade, unlike other legions, the Luna Wolves have essentially been destroyed in many aspects of the word. First, they suffered many casualties between Istvaans and haven't really embraced Chaos in the sense that Abaddon(In the future) or the Death Guard, Emperor's Children, and World Eaters have or will do. Not only that, but the Alpha Legion gave them manipulated/warped gene seed. As such, it brings the question of how functioning the current Luna Wolves are in the series. To me, some of these facts could go well in ADB's new series, in that the Luna Wolves become a pathetic traitor legion, which is explained due to not having a good gene seed template anymore, and the fact that they continuously need to recruit and gain control of gene seed.
I highly doubt the Sons of Horus are a broken legion at this stage of the heresy. Remember that the legion went on a recruiting binge prior to Isstvann, in preparation for the heresy. They were overstrength and the casualties sustained so far are no where near crippling. Certainly not when you have the direct patronage and pull of the warmaster to replenish your ranks and materiel. The Sons of Horus have a glut of equipment; they're the prime legion, the warmasters favoured. The goods of the mechanicum pass through their hands first. It's the Son's along with the Alpha Legion who have stockpiles of the bane ammunition, the forges of Mars are in traitor hands.
 

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Craw-Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm holding my judgement about the Ultramarines. I think their battle strategy was pretty ideal so far in the Heresy. But to me it doesn't warrant enough to say it was better than Horus'.

Ultramar on the other hand has always been described as highly developed and close enough to warrant its own empire. In that respect, it was possible and easier to collect compared to collecting several different cultural and developmental aspects of other legion's.
 

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Well, both HH series and Horus Heresy Book have consistently said The First, Luna Wolves and Ultramarines are the best 3. In areas of compliance numbers, exploit achievements and records of victory, they are simply peerless(although I appropriate Alpha Legion almost on par in area of competence and strategical ingenuity).

But I think Ultramarine is the best of the best. They are not merely Imperialistic conquerors, faceless subjugators. They are ultimate embodiment of noble ideal of Great Crusade and tenets of Imperial Truth. So many Legions and Armies are willfully, intentionally or unwittingly forsake true meaning of Great Crusade, or simply did not care about meanings or concepts at all. But Ultramarines are not. They have, and they only, stayed true, pure, undiluted. They clearly adhere and utterly dedicated in most pure and concrete ideal of Imperium. They strive to be moral paragons, true hosts of Emperors' Angel, practitioners of Imperial Truth. And to the less degree, most of other Loyalist Legions have remained true. They are indeed noble and they are even more dedicated than Ultramarines in their respective prominent aspects(such as Iron Hands' logic, Salamanders' mercy and Raven Guard's liberty).

But Ultramarines are versatile ultimate, and have all of merits of other Legions and much more than sum of parts, in both zones of military and ideal. This is fundamental reason why I so love Ultramarines and so vehemently hate Traitor Legions. Most of them are simply raving, incorrigible psychopaths and twisted, evil monsters/robots of various form.
 

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Craw-Daddy
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, both HH series and Horus Heresy Book have consistently said The First, Luna Wolves and Ultramarines are the best 3. In areas of compliance numbers, exploit achievements and records of victory, they are simply peerless(although I appropriate Alpha Legion almost on par in area of competence and strategical ingenuity).

But I think Ultramarine is the best of the best. They are not merely Imperialistic conquerors, faceless subjugators. They are ultimate embodiment of noble ideal of Great Crusade and tenets of Imperial Truth. So many Legions and Armies are willfully, intentionally or unwittingly forsake true meaning of Great Crusade, or simply did not care about meanings or concepts at all. But Ultramarines are not. They have, and they only, stayed true, pure, undiluted. They clearly adhere and utterly dedicated in most pure and concrete ideal of Imperium. They strive to be moral paragons, true hosts of Emperors' Angel, practitioners of Imperial Truth. And to the less degree, most of other Loyalist Legions have remained true. They are indeed noble and they are even more dedicated than Ultramarines in their respective prominent aspects(such as Iron Hands' logic, Salamanders' mercy and Raven Guard's liberty).

But Ultramarines are versatile ultimate, and have all of merits of other Legions and much more than sum of parts, in both zones of military and ideal. This is fundamental reason why I so love Ultramarines and so vehemently hate Traitor Legions. Most of them are simply raving, incorrigible psychopaths and twisted, evil monsters/robots of various form.
I'm not sure I would call the Ultramarines worlds as more compliant persae simply because the Ultramarines had a special psychological technique to make people understand that the Imperial Truth was their ultimate desires. If they were, I would say that is more because of proximity that they had with one another, and the sophistication they already had.

As such, I think when Rems says that they were more compliant than the Luna Wolves, I'm a bit skeptical. Firstly, we are stating this because Horus became traitor. We don't know what would happen to Ultramar if Guilliman had betrayed the Emperor. In fact, maybe because they were well off as an empire on their own they would have more incentive for betrayal than the Luna Wolves.
 
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