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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
 

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You are certainly fast to take it for gospel and absolute truth what is presented about the alpha legion, a legion known for half truths, lies and misdirection. I see it as a clear case of propanganda to make them appear like the invincible hydra they aspire to be, that never can be defeated.

The alpha legion certainly lives for the sake of their labyrinthine plots. Intentionally making it convoluted because they can, if not outright addicted to it. Like the story of alpharius and his legion attacking a world, not in the standard manner of astartes, but using every sneaky trick in the book because they could. Even if it took longer time and far less efficient. That is what I see as their weakness, they simply cant stop from scheming and turning everything into a plot or conspiracy where clean and consise communication could have finished it in half the time, maybe even less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Not everything pumped out by BL/GW/FW about the AL is meant to be viewed with the 'they're all lies. inquisitor kravin, edward snowden, did 9/11 happen??? etc.' bit.

The purpose of these books is to reveal each of the legions in depth. Everything listed in my previous post was written by an outside source and based on facts, and theories. The same with the descriptions of the other legions albeit with less information and a lot more theories.
 

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You are certainly fast to take it for gospel and absolute truth what is presented about the alpha legion, a legion known for half truths, lies and misdirection. I see it as a clear case of propanganda to make them appear like the invincible hydra they aspire to be, that never can be defeated
I agree the Alpha Legion probably brain washed a few people and used them in a ingenius Propoganda campaign against the Imperium. I also agree they have technology they stole from their fellow Legions; how else can you explain some of the advanced weapons the forces of Choas possess in the current Millenia of the Imperium.

However I tink their numbers, and their strength, are a miscalculated, or intentionally flawed, misinformation. With it's History, and practices, I doubt the Alpha Legion could do all that they are proported to be capable of.
 

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Not everything pumped out by BL/GW/FW about the AL is meant to be viewed with the 'they're all lies. inquisitor kravin, edward snowden, did 9/11 happen??? etc.' bit.

The purpose of these books is to reveal each of the legions in depth. Everything listed in my previous post was written by an outside source and based on facts, and theories. The same with the descriptions of the other legions albeit with less information and a lot more theories.

No, but taking the Isstvan trilogy in context, it is written as an Imperial document which is written after the Horus Heresy. Throughout all of the book, the language suggests this. So there is a lot of merit to the claim that "You can't believe everything you read" about the Alpha Legion. Given that the fluff bit is written as an imperial historical document, it is entirely believable that some of it is lies put these with the purpose of inflating the image of the Alpha Legion and what it is capable if to scare the Imperials.

All that being said, if we believe most of what is in Extermination, the Alpha Legion do come across as one of, if not the most, powerful legion.

Then again, if we knew everything about the Alpha Legion, then perhaps they would lose their mystique and become another bland Legion who were a little bit sneaky. Perhaps we need to be kept guessing about the power and scope of the Alpha Legion to sustain the mystery that surrounds them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No, but taking the Isstvan trilogy in context, it is written as an Imperial document which is written after the Horus Heresy. Throughout all of the book, the language suggests this. So there is a lot of merit to the claim that "You can't believe everything you read" about the Alpha Legion. Given that the fluff bit is written as an imperial historical document, it is entirely believable that some of it is lies put these with the purpose of inflating the image of the Alpha Legion and what it is capable if to scare the Imperials.

All that being said, if we believe most of what is in Extermination, the Alpha Legion do come across as one of, if not the most, powerful legion.

Then again, if we knew everything about the Alpha Legion, then perhaps they would lose their mystique and become another bland Legion who were a little bit sneaky. Perhaps we need to be kept guessing about the power and scope of the Alpha Legion to sustain the mystery that surrounds them?
It's written as a journal/eye-witness account. It probably hasn't been seen by more than a handful of people.

It is not a document the AL would have had access to or even known about. Again, it's simply giving the readers sorely needed pre-GW information about each of the legions.
 

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I, for once, agree with Malus. The books are slightly doctored, but these are not propaganda pieces. These are observational reports, or BDA's for want of another term. These are assessments and insights into what the Alpha Legion are portrayed as, with recurse to their flaws (such as near inability to work with). The wording comes across as honest - and to change all that to simply make it be another AL propaganda piece when no other article on a legion does so would be doing an immense disservice to making the AL one of the most interesting legions to read about - for example, there's no mention of Omegon expressly that I can remember. Omegon is a complete secret if you've not read the novels, I think.

Seriously - even with "Legion" regularly cited as being one of the best books in the HH series, the AL still didn't striike a chord with me until now.



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I loved the Alpha Legion's portrayal in Extermination, but I don't think it made them out to be invincible or unbeatable. Personally, I see that perception coming from some poor portrayals in the Heresy series (eg. Deliverance Lost). Perhaps there has been too much of an exaggeration of their infiltration abilities (seemingly appearing anywhere and everywhere) and too little focus on their flaws (or at least other traits) - such as their zealousness to emulate the glory of the older Legions by any means possible and the resulting souring of relationships between Alpharius and many of his brothers. But also, too little focus on their actual abilities as a front-line fighting force - most of their wars were still fought by significant Legion forces on the ground, not just by infiltration.

In retrospect, I would have liked the Alpha Legion to not have been involved in Deliverance Lost at all. Instead, a post-Legion novel where the scale of the Alpha Legion's preparations in those years after the murder of Namatjira and before the Drop Site Massacre were touched upon and just how valuable the Alpha Legion were to Horus's rebellion in the opening phases - expanding on the short story Liar's Due. Leading up to Alpharius moving against Jaghatai Khan. That would have been my choice of novel which could have followed up Legion sufficiently, and directly linked into Scars. Oh well.
 

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I don't care if the Alpha Legion is portrayed as being superior. Whether we like it or not, the Legiones Astartes are not all equal. That has become more and more obvious with the release of the Horus Heresy novels and the Forge World books. Think about it objectively:

1. The Iron Warriors are portrayed as specialists whose relationship with their increasingly volatile primarch is complicated at best.
2. Once reunited with the Night Haunter, the Night Lords swiftly became a legion of murderers and rapists who generally didn't trust one another.
3. The Flaw forced the Blood Angels to become specialists as well. It also ensured that their tactics and strategies could never be flawless: a certain percentage of their force was increasingly susceptible to losing control.
4. The Iron Hands were a very capable legion, but they were ultimately an overt and blunt instrument geared toward overt and blunt modes of war.
5. The World Eaters were lobotomized berserkers.
6. The Death Guard were specialists in perhaps the most counter-productive mode of war in the 31st millennium.
7. The Word Bearers were numerous, well-equipped, and extremely motivated, and nothing indicates that they were sub-standard in any mode of war. Ultimately, though, they don't strive for the same level of synergy and cohesion that has become the hallmark of the Alpha Legion.

So, right off the bat, that's seven legions that possess flaws that put them a peg below the Alpha Legion, or lack the merits of the XX, or simply pursue a mode of war that ensures they'll take more losses than they'll dish out. The serious debate, in my humble opinion, only starts when we start comparing the Alpha Legion to the other remaining ten legions. Even then, though, I think we can objectively see how even some of the great legions with great primarchs simply don't strive for the synergy that is the Alpha Legion's hallmark, and all but one approach covert warfare as an afterthought - if at all!

My short list for legions that could go toe-to-toe with the Alpha Legion are the Dark Angels (because it's implied that they are one of the few legions that doesn't specialize, and are capable of performing any mission set), the Thousand Sons (because they are game-changers in their own way), and the Ultramarines (maybe; because they, too, have excellent synergy and cooperation). I would add the Sons of Horus to that list, but I honestly think they would only best or match the XX where Horus was. I don't think the average company of the XVI would be prepared to deal with the twists within twists within twists that the Alpha Legion do so well.
 

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Perhaps we need to be kept guessing about the power and scope of the Alpha Legion to sustain the mystery that surrounds them?
My short list for legions
With all due respect Phoebus your list is compelled of mostly Traitor Legions that would eventually go turncoat. We could easily saw that the Alpha Legion may have been the best of the best but it really comes down to a matter of perspective. If I said the Dark Angels have a inflated reputation based on the fact of their Fraternity/Discretion then we could probably make the conclusion that historical facts about them are just as corrupted and flawed as the Alpha Legion.

It really comes down to the "point-of-view of the writer." If the writers wrote the document from a perspective of awe and reverence then naturally he will inflate the documents of history to spell out a Legion that was neigh untouchable. However if he was a realist, a fact seeker, he may have written the document from the perspective of someone simply recording history; and may have taken a more cynic's approach.

Therefore while I agree with both you and Darkblade, I cannot help but think this is simply just coming down to who wrote history.
 

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Uhm, my short list is two loyalists and one traitor that wouldn't have rebelled if not for the machinations of others... :wink:

Beyond that, the point of view is of a writer from the Imperial perspective, following the events being described. Your points would thus be apropos if the writer said that the Alpha Legion sucks and the Imperial Fists are way better than them (or whatever)... but that's not what is being proposed. The Imperial perspective is basically being very humble, however, and acknowledging that Alpharius was very clever, calculating, and forward-thinking in coming up with a scheme for his legion that went beyond the standard "Legiones Astartes" model.
 

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It would also seem that the Alpha Legion had two distinct advantages over the rest of the legions in defining themselves as an organization. First, Alpharius/Omegon were the last two Primarchs discovered and even then had little mentoring/contact with the Emperor... they had more time to develop on their own without being pounded into the Imperialist mold of empire-building as the highest achievement for the Astartes. Second is they're the only Legion who's Primarch(s) wasn't tied naturally to a home base/planet reference, except perhaps Angron, that required them to naturally follow an empire-building developmental path.

Guilliman exhorts his Astartes to reach beyond their warrior roles in recognition that one day they're going to move beyond into something more. Well, the Alpha Legion seems to take that from the other end, saying they're more than warriors, but can perform in that manner to compliment/enhance their enhanced intelligence.
 

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I would be interested in what people think the Alpha Legion's flaws and weaknesses were/are?
 

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No chain of command, everyone does their own thing, their own schemes. The alpha legion is just a legion in the barest sense of the word, a loose collected grouping of warbands with their own agenda.

They turn everything into an elaborate scheme, where a direct approach might have been better and getting it done faster. They are litteraly addicted to the spy business. Just like the nightlords and their fearmongering, the nighties only shows themselves to give the death blow to a world quavering in the throes of fear. Same for the alpha legion after theyve run their elaborate schemes to destabilize a world.
 

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In some ways, their strengths are their weakness. What made them so effective as a legion - their insular nature, their covert tactics, etc. - has also led to them not being trusted by many of their brothers, no?

Also, to play Devi's Advocate against my earlier points, take some of the Alpha Legion's strengths with a grain of salt. Much like the Night Lords' terror tactics don't really have an effect against the Legiones Astartes, it's safe to assume that some of the covert stuff Alpharius' sons will try won't have an effect against beings with eidetic memories and highly enhanced minds. Furthermore, no amount of built-in redundancy will help you if you're getting squashed on the battlefield. That is, I don't care if Cell Gamma is ready to step in for every other Cell on Planet X in the event of their destruction when the (e.g.) Dark Angels have control of the orbit and are bombarding everything to oblivion.
 

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No chain of command, everyone does their own thing, their own schemes. The alpha legion is just a legion in the barest sense of the word, a loose collected grouping of warbands with their own agenda.
That may be more specifically the case post-Heresy. After all, Extermination notes that one of the contradictions of the Alpha Legion is their simultaneous ability to completely devolve authority and decentralise command whilst also all working in absolute unity (hence them being referred to as The Unbroken Chain).

In some ways, their strengths are their weakness. What made them so effective as a legion - their insular nature, their covert tactics, etc. - has also led to them not being trusted by many of their brothers, no?

Also, to play Devi's Advocate against my earlier points, take some of the Alpha Legion's strengths with a grain of salt. Much like the Night Lords' terror tactics don't really have an effect against the Legiones Astartes, it's safe to assume that some of the covert stuff Alpharius' sons will try won't have an effect against beings with eidetic memories and highly enhanced minds. Furthermore, no amount of built-in redundancy will help you if you're getting squashed on the battlefield. That is, I don't care if Cell Gamma is ready to step in for every other Cell on Planet X in the event of their destruction when the (e.g.) Dark Angels have control of the orbit and are bombarding everything to oblivion.
Yep, I would agree with you there P.
 

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well as deliverance lost has any "significance" whatsoever, there seems to be no issue infiltrating the RG even not when considering cc styles there did not seem to be an issue.
I feel it a bit strange that they are good at everything, close combat (DL), infiltration (DL), void war (scars), I do not see how one can combine this bandwith with that level of speciality, in principle the product of both is somewhat constant
 

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What is the name of this book, and what series is it from? I have been wanting to read any and all books that detail specific legions in particular.

Could anyone recommend a few books that match what I am looking for? The forgeworld books match this?
 
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