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Closet Dictator
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Dear Hetetics, I do not know if this has been covered before (probably) but I was thinking about spacemarine numbers, not chapter size but throughout the Imperium. There are approx 1000 chapters each with 1000 marines in the vast majority of them so that gives us 1000000 marines. Ok so we have established Oldman can do basic math, but during the Great Crusade we had 18 Legions generally with 100k astartes give or take with the exception of the Word Bearers and the Ultramarines whom were quite large, so in general terms at peak strenght the Imperium had just over 2000000 astartes.

So post Heresy the present Imperium has 50% less marines that it should, do you think this is an oversight on the fluff writters or the ingrained fear of the Imperium that a huge amount of may revolt again, and thus keeping marine numbers down empowers the Lords of Terra even at the detriment of humanity, with the Imperium beset on all sides surely an extra million marines would be handy!

Your thoughts please, Oldman xoxox
 

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War, attrition, resources, enemy plotting and lost technology prevents the Imperium from doing so. They are just able to barely keep the status quo.
 

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As seen in Deliverance Lost, it is quite difficult to mass produce marines. Then as seen in Battle of the Fang, any plan to mass produce marines, ends in chaos intervention. There have been attempts to make more marines, they just have not worked out. The number of marines pre-heresy was so high only because the Emperor was there to create them.
 

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the chapters where reformed from legions due to fear of further revolts. Also, as malus pointed out tech loss and pure attrition could be a decisive factor. This said, the 1000k numeber is plausible "number wise" but fluff wise is just too small. I'd say that a reasonable number to justify any canon space marine involvemnt (not to mention the casualty rate) should be around the 5 millions, imo. The galaxy is damn large, you know...
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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I think the number of marines has always seemed small. The tech loss may or may not make sense. I recall there was mention somewhere that the marines mass produced for the great crusade may not have been as high quality add they should have. Some suspicion therefore falls on how that allows chaos to influence them, or not. And of course this was during the emperor's reign.

Also if my recollection is correct, the imperial guard didn't exist in the same way. The entire structure of the legions was very different, the legions also included the navy and maybe the human warriors.

The infrastructure wasn't there for the same military machine. The forge worlds didn't all exist. The interstellar recruiting structures weren't so developed.
 

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I think the numbers are kept deliberately low for fear of them turning against the Imperium.

Look at the Astral Claws. They held back their geneseed tithes for, what, 150? 160 years? They blossom into a mini-legion of 4000+ marines. All the while doing their duty to protect the Imperium from the Maelstrom. Not only did he defend his fiefdom, but he also engaged in campaigns against nearby Xenos empires (which I can only assume would involve Astartes losses).

There's only a million Space Marines because the High Lords only want a million Space Marines.
 

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Outside of the ability to biologically produce more Space Marines, I'd question the Imperiums economic ability to support a doubling of the Astartes chapters. Every Chapter of a thousand marines has, relatively, their own fleet of ships, their own manufactorum production for weapons/vehicles/servitors/ammo/etc. Then you run into the retainers and servitors adn all the materials they require to field the Chapter and it just balloons.

I get the Imperium is a big place with a lot of resources, but I think it would take a thousand years or more for the current Imperium to change their macro-production to double the number of Astartes chapters and all that implies.
 

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I doubt it. The pro's of having more Astartes outweighs the potential of them turning traitor by a billion to one.
Imperium gets along, mostly, with the the Imperial Navy and Imperial Guard. The Space Marines are there only as a last resort when all else fails.

When the risk of your final weapon outweighs their benefit...
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As another piece of evidence suggesting the Imperium could field more marines...

As a direct response to Hive Leviathan (which only really appeared at the END of 997.M41, so just barely a couple years beyond the "current" time), "dozens" of Space Marine Chapters have been founded.

That's an impressive amount! In just a couple years, they increased the number of Chapters 2.5-9%. That's nothing to scoff at.
 

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During the Heresy there was no way 100,000 Astartes per legion at all.

Thousand Sons had maybe 1,500 at most.

Emperors Children had roughly 5,000.

All the other Legions had around 25,000-80,000 Marines IIRC.

Word Bearers had 150,000.

Ultramarines had 200,000, but it is rumored they are that large due to the other two Legions with missing Primarchs absorbing into the ultras.

By my math....

1,636,500 SMs max during the Heresy.

This is not using lower numbers of 20,000 for some legions, just the higher 80,000.

Not that big of a jump for Loyalist Marines alone in 40K.
 

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Thousand Sons had maybe 1,500 at most.
What? No. Way off.

Thousand Sons had 10,000 in their Legion (per Thousand Sons) and keep in mind the book was written when the legions were "smaller" than nowadays.

Word Bearers had OVER 150,000. The Forgeworld book Massacre states that they may have rivaled the Ultramarines in size. It also states that the WBs had well over 150,000. Somewhere between 200,000-300,000 is possible, though probably closer to 220.

Ultramarines also have 250,000.

The Emperor's Children had 110,000 as of Istvaan III.

Nightlords records are less clear and the Forgeworld book states their strength anywhere between 90,000 and 120,000.

World Eaters were 150,000 strong.

Death Guard had 95,000.

Blood Angels 120,000.

Iron Hands had 113,00

Raven Guard had 80,000.

Total number of Marines were probably closer to 2.3-2.5 million Pre-heresy.
 

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As others have said the galaxy is a large place, and there are hundreds upon thousands of Astartes Chapters that we have never heard about; especially on the fringes of Imperium controlled space. There may well be 5 million Astartes, more or less even.

However I feel that the contributing factor is not necessarily the decline/loss in technology, nor the working of the Codex in the day-to-day operations of the Chapters. It is sufficiently human weakness, the lack of proper manpower(and glands) to create Astartes in the first place. How many Initiates die in the process of Recruitment and training? How many are lost while Implantation occurs, or withint he first few weaks of being an Astarte due to complications? It is not unheard of, but yet never really looked at by the writers.

That being said I think theyn need to really put an effort to ramping up Astarte production. Especially as the Nids and Necrons become more and more of a dangerous threat to humanities existence the Astartes will need to be more powerful, and have more a presence on the battlefield to counter-act these powerful foes.
 

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What? No. Way off.

Thousand Sons had 10,000 in their Legion (per Thousand Sons) and keep in mind the book was written when the legions were "smaller" than nowadays.

Word Bearers had OVER 150,000. The Forgeworld book Massacre states that they may have rivaled the Ultramarines in size. It also states that the WBs had well over 150,000. Somewhere between 200,000-300,000 is possible, though probably closer to 220.

Ultramarines also have 250,000.

The Emperor's Children had 110,000 as of Istvaan III.

Nightlords records are less clear and the Forgeworld book states their strength anywhere between 90,000 and 120,000.

World Eaters were 150,000 strong.

Death Guard had 95,000.

Blood Angels 120,000.

Iron Hands had 113,00

Raven Guard had 80,000.

Total number of Marines were probably closer to 2.3-2.5 million Pre-heresy.
Wait what!? I remember in the novel it stated around 1500 and then less than 1000 by the end.

Emperors Children were 10,000 at most in Fulgrim Novel, and thats why they seek perfection due to small numbers.

I will go through my novels again, but pretty sure many novels contradict what your putting out in numbers.


Edit. I see my mistake, I am looking at numbers of different time events. Example, Raven Gaurd had 80,000 but was down to 4,000-6,000 during the Heresy. Same for Thousand Sons that seemed to been 10,000 strong. Fulgrim Legion was very small initially as well, but during the Great Crusade it was bolstered alot before the Heresy. I was 50,000 off for WBs and Ultras as WBs had a smaller Legion Size before the Heresy.

My mistake. But the fact remains, depending on the time line, a Legion can be anywhere from 10,000 to 150,000 in size lol.
 

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My mistake. But the fact remains, depending on the time line, a Legion can be anywhere from 10,000 to 150,000 in size lol.
A single Legion was 10,000 (and this will probably be revised upwards once we get the Forge World book for the Thousand Sons). (Not disagreeing with you, since they are, up to this point, definitely 10,000, but I think saying a Legion is 10,000-150,000 is a bit misleading.)

The smallest outside of the Thousand Sons was 80,000. The "average" was probably closer to 120,000 with the outliers of the Word Bearers (200,000+, potentially considerably more) and the Ultramarines (some 250,000).

The World Eaters were described as "higher-mid" with 150,000 men.
 

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Imperium gets along, mostly, with the the Imperial Navy and Imperial Guard. The Space Marines are there only as a last resort when all else fails.

When the risk of your final weapon outweighs their benefit...
That used to be the case during the Great Crusade but in 40K they are called upon 10x more due to the massive number of new threats compared to that bygone era.
 

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As two metres tall said, more astartes would mean higher production requirements as forgeworlds would struggle to uphold the necessary quota for every individual chapter. I imagine Astartes' armory, weapons, power armors and everything are much more expensive and harder to produce compared to galaxy wide standard weapons and so on. It would simply take a great toll on Imperium's expenses.

Besides, Astartes in 40k are not what they used to be during the Great Crusade. Their power dropped, each individual astartes is said to be barely a shadow of horusy heresy era astartes. Simply put, present Imperium is ruled by many much more powerful organizations than the chapters, such as the Inquisition, Ministorum, Astra Militarum and so on.

Where Imperium once was ruled by Emperor himself, Primarchs and the legions, today's imperium is ruled mostly by non-Astartes. I cannot imagine High Lords of Terra wasting resources on Astartes unless it's critically required, as provided by hailene's example.

In short, Astartes today are still venerated as Primarch's sons and being closest to the Emperor, but they have lost the power and influence they once had. Thus, making investment in them, a highly risky and nonprofitable affair.
 

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I've never really understood marine numbers. Yes, they're basically 700 pound, ageless killing machines with centuries of experience, in some cases, but theres only a million of them. On a galactic scale, a million would seem damn useless. So, yeah, more wouldn't hurt, but like everyone said, they're damn expensive. Also, you'd need a hell of a lot more to really see the kind of profits you would want. No, if the imperium wants to survive, they need more of EVERYTHING. They need more guard, more ships, more tanks, more of everything and they need to make it more efficiently. Shouldn't be that hard on the last point; when you need to say a prayer and lather holy oils over every bolt that goes into a titan, I can't imagine it speeds up the production process.
 

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Not really. Astartes are recruited from best warriors on their world. Such individuals would be obviously very rare, as only a handful of them manages to survive the brutal training regime and requirements every chapter upholds.

Add the implants failure and more, some can't become Astartes simply because their body won't accept the implants. That's more wasted bodies.

I imagine finding more STC would help greatly, as such technological constructs would be beneficial to all aspects of imperium. Albeit I assume they would destroy any High AI machines, since it's a tech-heresy now.

I'd start by expanding border a little more to claim more resources and start outfiting guards with better equipment
 

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That used to be the case during the Great Crusade but in 40K they are called upon 10x more due to the massive number of new threats compared to that bygone era.
That's why the High Lords have ramped up Space Marine Foundings recently. The Tyranid codex is a bit light on context, but the Imperium has founded dozens of Chapters to combat the Tyranids in the last 250 years (conservative) to 2 years, depending on how you read the quote.

They know things are a brewin' and they're ramping up the Chapters to match.

a million would seem damn useless
Sometimes throwing a 100 marines at a problem works out better than using 100 million guardsmen. You know, when precision is required over brute force.

Different tools for different jobs. You wouldn't waste 10,000 marines on a static 500 year war like Krieg's civil war.
 

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That's why the High Lords have ramped up Space Marine Foundings recently. The Tyranid codex is a bit light on context, but the Imperium has founded dozens of Chapters to combat the Tyranids in the last 250 years (conservative) to 2 years, depending on how you read the quote.

They know things are a brewin' and they're ramping up the Chapters to match.
I think the OP was referring to new gene seed made entirely rather than dragged up from vaults deep within Terra for the purpose of forming new chapters.
 
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