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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Its noted in Extermination that the Alpha Legion were able to crusade alongside the Iron Hands and the Dark Angels without any of the problems which appeared when they fought alongside other Legions such as the Ultramarines, the Imperial Fists and even the complete nutters in the Night Lords?

Regarding the last of those named Legions, what did the Alpha Legion do that even Night Haunter criticized them, considering his own Legions tactics and practices? I really hope that this question is answered at some point?

Going back to the original question, this got me thinking. The Dark Angels like secrets so maybe they recognised kindred spirits in the Alpha Legion in their secret practices. I'm not sure about the Dark Angel's preferred tactics as FW haven't "done" them yet. Maybe something about their tactics worked well with the Alpha Legion's. I hope this is answered too. Maybe the Lion was pragmatic and would use any tool to get the job done?

The Iron Hands are a tougher thing to try to compare with the Alpha Legion? The Iron Hands weren't particularly secretive, their battlefield modus operandi is completely different and they don't share any particular love of technology, forging of weapons or armour. Why did they operate so well with the Alpha Legion?

My theory is that their preferred tactics of armoured warfare, line breaking attacks,high intensity warfare worked well to hold the enemy in place while the Alpha Legion would strike the enemy in the flanks and rear, shattering their forces. I certainly don't see any other reason why the 2 Legions would work well together?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The iron hands are full of secrets. The tec grave yards of their world are full of things banned or censured by the imperium.

It is touched upon slightly in Vengeful Spirit.
I've not read that book yet, thanks for the info, I'm intrigued. :) Maybe that's the reason then :)
 

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The Alpha Legion is a legion of pragmatists. They are unsentimental, resourceful, and will do whatever is necessary to complete there missions- this jives well with the modus operandi of both the Dark Angels (who also have a reputation for being calculating and aloof) and the Iron Hands (who probably considered them to be less "weak" or "flawed" than the other legions)
 

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I agree with Daxxglax in that it's likely a personality issue.

The Iron Hands are pragmatic to the extreme. They don't care for glory, accolades or showy displays. They're concerned solely with getting the job done, then moving on to the next task. They're organic machines, the purest expression of the concept of the Astartes as living weapons.

The Ultramarines by contrast, whilst pragmatic and believers in good preparation etc are also concerned with higher ideals like honour, nobility, doing the 'right thing'. These beliefs can overide their pragmatism. They have a very set view of the way things should be done, and are very prideful in that view.
 

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Conversely, the Iron Hands are also governed by their emotions, but they see it as a failing of the flesh, especially since Istvaan and the death of Ferrus.

In Shadowforge Corax mentions that Guilleman wasn't the perfect tactician but rather that he learned from errors. For whatever reason, Guilleman didn't recognise the purposes of the Alpha Legions secrecy and MO. AFB, so cannot check, but maybe AL didn"t teach Guilleman like the others.

The complete antithesis of siegecraft is infiltration, which can completely invalidate the need for defences. The Imperial Truth shows how 'easy' it was to evade IF defences by custodes, and the AL bypass the RG and UM's protections. That is possibly one reason for IF's distaste, but also dorns inability to use such an offensively minded unit. Similar examples are used in the Gulf War IRL where generals didn't utilise SF units to their full potential, using thek like line troops, rather than the roles they were trained for.

The Dark Angels, well we know they enjoy a good few secrets.



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It's weird seeing an entire theme condensed to "they like secrets", and then using it as a basis of association between two legions.

So far as we can tell (mind you, I haven't read Extermination yet), about the only meaningful "secrets" the Dark Angels have as of three years into the Horus Heresy don't have anything to do with the legion at large, but with the Lion. He has kept secret the reason why he sent Luther home (makes some sense, given the context of the situation), and he has kept secret at least one big item (the location of the sentient warp engine from The Lion) at the command of the Emperor.

What is more accurate, is that the Dark Angels have maintained the Calibanite Order's culture and system of initiation into higher ranks and positions of responsibility. That system is based on promoting people not just on the basis of their deeds, but apparently their trustworthiness as well.

The Alpha Legion might not care at all for ritual, tradition, etc. I think they would appreciate, however, the purpose behind the ritual and traditions of the First Legion. I don't think they would necessarily see the Dark Angels as "kindred spirits", but they would appreciate their pragmatism, discretion, etc.

And, in all honesty, I think the Lion - who was insular and kept his cards close to his hand - and the twin primarchs would have appreciated one another. Perhaps their relationship would not be based on genuine friendship, but I believe they would share respect of each other's capabilities

On the other hand, I find it very interesting/bizarre that a legion as focused on obvious strengths and direct approaches as the Iron Hands would get along well with as covert, subtle, and indirect a force as the Alpha Legion. Frankly, while Guilliman and Alpharius not getting along was a given based on the old background, I assumed Ferrus Manus would abhor Alpharius and what he stood for.
 

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The exact quote from Extermination is, "Furthermore, the XXth Legion is also known to have successful campaigned beside both the Dark Angels and the Iron hands without incident (perhaps surprisingly) on multiple occasions before the outbreak of the war of the Horus Heresy..."

Parentheses were not mine. So it was expected they wouldn't get along, but somehow it managed to work out. I'm not sure about the Dark Angels, but I can imagine the Alpha Legion letting the Iron Hands do what they do best, while they themselves played a more supportive role. Let both Legions work to their strengths without butting heads.
~~~~~~~~~~~

The hilarious thing is that in the second book of the series, Massacre, in the Iron Hands portion of it, it says "The long term results of these joint endeavours would be mixed for [the Iron Hands], lead to close and last allegiances in some cases....and lingering resentment and malcontent bordering on internecine strife in others, as with the Alpha Legion."

Sorta at odds with each other. I'm guessing that this internecine strife just fizzled out without becoming an "incident".
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Alpha Legion is a legion of pragmatists. They are unsentimental, resourceful, and will do whatever is necessary to complete there missions- this jives well with the modus operandi of both the Dark Angels (who also have a reputation for being calculating and aloof) and the Iron Hands (who probably considered them to be less "weak" or "flawed" than the other legions)
I agree with Daxxglax in that it's likely a personality issue.

The Iron Hands are pragmatic to the extreme. They don't care for glory, accolades or showy displays. They're concerned solely with getting the job done, then moving on to the next task. They're organic machines, the purest expression of the concept of the Astartes as living weapons.

The Ultramarines by contrast, whilst pragmatic and believers in good preparation etc are also concerned with higher ideals like honour, nobility, doing the 'right thing'. These beliefs can overide their pragmatism. They have a very set view of the way things should be done, and are very prideful in that view.
I think daxxglax and Rems hit it on the head with the Iron Hands seeing the Alpha Legion as less flawed/weak thing and them being pragmatists. Also it says in Massacre that Ferrus Manus "took the Iron Hands to pieces and rebuilt them to be the Legion he wanted. Maybe he sees a kindred spirit in Alpharius/Omegon who has built the Alpha Legion to be precisely what he wants them to be and equally as pragmatic.

It's weird seeing an entire theme condensed to "they like secrets", and then using it as a basis of association between two legions.

So far as we can tell (mind you, I haven't read Extermination yet), about the only meaningful "secrets" the Dark Angels have as of three years into the Horus Heresy don't have anything to do with the legion at large, but with the Lion. He has kept secret the reason why he sent Luther home (makes some sense, given the context of the situation), and he has kept secret at least one big item (the location of the sentient warp engine from The Lion) at the command of the Emperor.

What is more accurate, is that the Dark Angels have maintained the Calibanite Order's culture and system of initiation into higher ranks and positions of responsibility. That system is based on promoting people not just on the basis of their deeds, but apparently their trustworthiness as well.

The Alpha Legion might not care at all for ritual, tradition, etc. I think they would appreciate, however, the purpose behind the ritual and traditions of the First Legion. I don't think they would necessarily see the Dark Angels as "kindred spirits", but they would appreciate their pragmatism, discretion, etc.

And, in all honesty, I think the Lion - who was insular and kept his cards close to his hand - and the twin primarchs would have appreciated one another. Perhaps their relationship would not be based on genuine friendship, but I believe they would share respect of each other's capabilities

On the other hand, I find it very interesting/bizarre that a legion as focused on obvious strengths and direct approaches as the Iron Hands would get along well with as covert, subtle, and indirect a force as the Alpha Legion. Frankly, while Guilliman and Alpharius not getting along was a given based on the old background, I assumed Ferrus Manus would abhor Alpharius and what he stood for.
I understand what you're saying but I still think that the pragmatic approach of the Iron Hands is what enables them to work with the Alpha Legion along with my original idea that their MO's compliment each other in that the Iron Hands would be the anvil and the Alpha Legion the hammer.

There's nothing I can find in Massacre or any of the novels that says Ferrus Manus frowns upon the indirect approach even though his own Legion doesn't use it. Maybe he is simply clever and pragmatic enough to realise that even though he doesn't want to use it, it has it's place in the annals of warfare strategy and therefore doesn't mind that the Alpha Legion uses it. After all there is nothing to state he didn't get along with Corax and equally nothing to state he frowned upon the Raven Guard's style of guerilla warfare, surprise attacks etc.

It's also possible that the 3 legions were prepared to use xenos or otherwise frowned upon technology? After all I don't think there is anything the Alpha Legion wouldn't use, the Dark Angels use the sentient warp drive and the Iron Hands probably had weird and wonderful things from the technology graveyard around Medusa.
 

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One shouldn't forget that the Alpha Legion sailed 170 years without their Primarchs, so their thing for secrets weren't perhaps as strong prior to that and they could perhaps have operated much easier with the Dark Angels and Iron Hands! :)
 

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Extermination really expanded my perception of the Alpha Legion, I would recommend anyone reading it if they can get their hands on it. :)

Regarding the last of those named Legions, what did the Alpha Legion do that even Night Haunter criticized them, considering his own Legions tactics and practices? I really hope that this question is answered at some point?
Extermination claims that Night Haunter condemned the Alpha Legion as "hiding their true sins in a shroud of lies". To be honest, it seems more like an observation to me. He may have disapproved of the Alpha Legion's way of war, but what he said of them is probably accurate.

One shouldn't forget that the Alpha Legion sailed 170 years without their Primarchs, so their thing for secrets weren't perhaps as strong prior to that and they could perhaps have operated much easier with the Dark Angels and Iron Hands! :)
Unless, of course, the rumours that they were the 'Ghost Legion' throughout the Great Crusade are true.
 

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Extermination really expanded my perception of the Alpha Legion, I would recommend anyone reading it if they can get their hands on it. :)

Extermination claims that Night Haunter condemned the Alpha Legion as "hiding their true sins in a shroud of lies". To be honest, it seems more like an observation to me. He may have disapproved of the Alpha Legion's way of war, but what he said of them is probably accurate.

Unless, of course, the rumours that they were the 'Ghost Legion' throughout the Great Crusade are true.
Indeed, but as with all other Alpha Legion-sources, we never will find out! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The exact quote from Extermination is, "Furthermore, the XXth Legion is also known to have successful campaigned beside both the Dark Angels and the Iron hands without incident (perhaps surprisingly) on multiple occasions before the outbreak of the war of the Horus Heresy..."

Separateness were not mine. So it was expected they wouldn't get along, but somehow it managed to work out. I'm not sure about the Dark Angels, but I can imagine the Alpha Legion letting the Iron Hands do what they do best, while they themselves played a more supportive role. Let both Legions work to their strengths without butting heads.
~~~~~~~~~~~

The hilarious thing is that in the second book of the series, Massacre, in the Iron Hands portion of it, it says "The long term results of these joint endeavours would be mixed for [the Iron Hands], lead to close and last allegiances in some cases....and lingering resentment and malcontent bordering on internecine strife in others, as with the Alpha Legion."

Sorta at odds with each other. I'm guessing that this internecine strife just fizzled out without becoming an "incident".
Well spotted, obviously another fluff oversight :) +rep
 

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There is a glimpse of the Dark Angels tactics in the "Angels of Darkness" novel. Throwing away the conspiracy theories, it seemed like the Dark Angels relies on maneuvering and to some extents going about the most perfect way of winning a battle. The battle that was referred to was one where they were luring the orcs into a city populated by civilians. This way they could avoid casualties and basically destroy the orcs force entirely.

Guilliman opposed the Alpha Legion because in one of their campaigns they essentially used time to destroy a fortress piece meal. In this scenario the Alpha Legion was also trying to find the perfect means to avoid casualties while destroying the enemy.

As far as the differences between the Dark Angels and Iron Hands, the Iron Hands used a combination of mechanization and brute force to achieve their objectives. For the most part the Dark Angels used different combinations of tactics. They also had their own use of elite forces.
 

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To be honest, I find any link between the Alpha Legion's and Dark Angel's or Iron Hand's methods of war quite tenuous at best, and certainly not a satisfactory explanation for why the First or Tenth Legion never quarrelled with the Alpha Legion. Nor do I think it is something so simple as 'because they're [Alpharius & The Lion] both secretive'.

However, I don't think there has to be a particular reason or similarity between the Alpha Legion and another Legion for them to campaign alongside one another successfully. Only that the context of the campaign did not necessitate hostile confrontation between Alpharius and the other Primarch(s), and that the other Primarch(s) didn't maintain lofty (narrow-minded?) ideals or codes of honour - such as Dorn.
 

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However, I don't think there has to be a particular reason or similarity between the Alpha Legion and another Legion for them to campaign alongside one another successfully. Only that the context of the campaign did not necessitate hostile confrontation between Alpharius and the other Primarch(s), and that the other Primarch(s) didn't maintain lofty (narrow-minded?) ideals or codes of honour - such as Dorn.
On the surface I think thats true. Though there seems to be differences between legions who take over their planets fast and move on like the Ultramarines and Luna Wolves.

I always look back at the scenario between Curze and Dorn and I wonder if Dorn really thought that the code was something that was something so fundamental. I'd like to think that the reason why he was able to convince the Emperor that Curze was crazy was simply because he was and not necessarily because he was executing traitors.

Going back to the Dark Angels, I did think it was curious that he was not mentioned very much by other primarchs throughout the series despite have a great record. I wonder if part of the reason the primarchs like Alpharius, Lion, and Manus were able to get along was simply because they had introverted personalities. Not sure about Manus, but I had the impersonation that when he first met Fulgrim, it was differences between similarities that got both of them in their competition.
 
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