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Bringer of the Apocalypse
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Lucifer Blacks... look at the trouble one Black gave Grammaticus in "Legion" (I see them as Navy SEALS)... Whereas the Kasrkin, though elite, are more like a well-trained SWAT team.
 

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id go lucifer blacks by a margin, but someone correct me if i am wrong, but weren't they few and far between?
 

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I would say the lucifer blacks; they were decimated during unification and later became a highly sought after group for their skills. Kasrkin, though the elite troops of Cadia, have generally not been noted as individuals who are sought after by high ranking officials as bodyguards.
 

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Although I'd still say that the Blacks are the more elite, Kasrkin are the elite special forces of a culture based around War and fighting for survival since they are 10 years old and conscripted to join Whiteshield platoons.

Out of all the non-Astartes troops in the Imperium, Cadian troops are among the most likely to ever face Chaos Space Marines; I'd even consider that there would be Astartes like the Iron Snakes, or some of the other Praeses chapters who'd be dedicated to advancing the training regimes of the elite troops. It would be an entirely new meaning of Hell week. Hell month? Hell year? Quarterly hell weeks from every year? Pseudo-Astartes training for example? We don't have much information on Astartes training; what little bits we have indicate Scouts only happens post implantation. Some chapters like the Red Scorpions train from "birth"; while these have likely been fed 'roids and ultimo-growth shakes, they'll still have been too young to receive implants; some chapters could apply this to training regular troops at the extreme level. Anyone can teach the basics, such as how to fire and point a rifle, but look at how the White Scar corrects' Merrt's shooting in the last Gaunts Ghosts novel. While that was quite a big error, an Astartes should be able to easily identify or show a new technique to a SF sniper.

Indeed, I'd say that certain regiments, like Cadians, Elysians, and possibly even veteran Tanith Firsts are equivalent to SEALs.



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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Lucifer Blacks... look at the trouble one Black gave Grammaticus in "Legion" (I see them as Navy SEALS)... Whereas the Kasrkin, though elite, are more like a well-trained SWAT team.
...more like the Kasrkin are "average" Navy SEALs and Lucifer Blacks are members of SEAL Team Six or Delta Force
 

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Deathwing Commissar
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Saying a Kasrkin is like a "SEAL" both oversells and undersells them.

A Kasrkin, on the other hand, is trained from youth to be an elite infantryman (or tanker, etc., depending on the Regiment). Being an infantryman is not the same as being a SEAL, or a Special Forces Soldier (of the US variety). There are some common skills sets, to be sure (and the special operators are almost always better at these), but they are not the same end-product. Special operators specialize in surgical, small-unit missions. Infantrymen operate as part of larger units. A Kasrkin might belong to a fireteam at the lowest common denominator, but he's always going to be part of a squad, a platoon, a company, a regiment, etc. He's going to be part of a larger element whose bread and butter is large scale, conventional warfare.

As such, comparing a Kasrkin to a SEAL doesn't work. A Kasrkin is best compared to an Imperial Guardsman, as they share the same equipment, largely the same types of battlefields, and mostly the same tactics. The Kasrkin is simply better by virtue of his upbringing. He is thus best compared to a "lesser" infantryman from our real world as well.

The best thing to compare a Kasrkin to, in my opinion, is a more meritocratic Spartan - one who understands that his enemies aren't simply other Greeks or neighboring "barbarians" in a competition for real estate and resources... but the worst nightmares he can imagine, which are totally dedicated to the corruption and/or eradication of Humanity. He would still be an infantryman, but his aim, willpower, fitness, etc., would be at a much greater level. In all honesty, it would probably be a level that isn't fairly represented in this game.

Would that make them better than a real world SEAL? One could ague that a society that isn't worried about maintaining safety standards in its training and physical supplements, rewards only success, and is geared toward total warfare would create physical specimens that could very well rival or exceed the special operators of our real world. Heck, Kasrkin could also very well rival or exceed them in skill with firearms, melee/hand-to-hand combat, survival skills, etc. After all, it's what they do ALL THE TIME.

But would they have the same mentality, the same freedom to think creatively, the same encouragement to demonstrate outside-the-box initiative? Are they provided with the skills and training to be a viable small-scale surgical force against a strategic objective? That's not so easy a question to answer (in my humble opinion).

All that having been said, are Kasrkin comparable to the Lucifer Blacks? My gut feeling answer is no. What I read of the Lucifer Blacks led me to think of them as the sort of unit one might form from the best of the Kasrkin. Then again, perhaps the Lucifer Blacks were that incredible precisely because they were formed from the most hardened survivors of their original unit. Perhaps most of the original regiment (or whatever they were) weren't nearly of the same caliber, but the survivors would only accept that level of excellence... and because they didn't have to maintain large numbers any more, they could afford to be that selective and brutal in their regimen?
 

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Depends how you determine SEALs today. Look at their actions in Afghanistan; Sure they get involved in the takedown of OBL later on on, but when they're out there, they're attached to regular infantry units, and use their superior training and fitness for the most part to play Hunter-Killer. Indeed, many people involved in Neptune Spear stated that any Seal Team could have made it; it's just that the "All-Stars" were chosen simply because it was of that high importance. There was the deal with the Helo going down, but again, the 160th SOAR are likely to have a good 20-30 Nighthawk pilots who could've landed that bird in the exact same manner. While it sounds "good" that they sent the best of the best, and indeed, it's what they train for, it was nothing more difficult really than something I'd imagine many other units would be capable of. Sure, it might not have been as quick, or as clean, and international issues with Pakistan would have escalated had a company of Marines just made their way into the compound and killed "the walker" while blowing up half the neighbourhood, but Team-6, SFOD-D, SAS, SBS, Pathfinders, Green Berets, Brigade Patrol Troop, could have done the same job.

While it's unlikely the guard would ever be used in a Counter-Insurgency, the Kasrkin could operate as fluently in that environment. The truth is, there's Kasrkin have no role in a conventional military operation. They might have the additional training and fitness, but they're up against aliens and mutant super/subhuman s and daemons, not regular old joe.

There is a similar sort of training regimen to what you mentioned at Coronado; they are told "this is your foe, he's another human being, not a 2inch square on a wooden post 300 yards away, can you shoot it and kill it, and leave it, and not bother about their children, wives, parents, brothers, or sisters?". Breaking down that 1 years training into 10+ years of psycho and sociological conditioning that anything essentially not within your unit is a potential threat, and quite likely half of them too are at risk of turning should leave a similar affect on the Kasrkin.

We don't have as much information on the Blacks, but we do know that they are the survivors; whether that means they are the best is up for debate, but essentially, to misquote something I heard once "only the survivors can learn the lessons of the dead".

What I noticed about the SEAL's however was that mentality like you said; hell I was able to talk stock markets with 6 foot 6 former College Football player and discuss the ethics of what was happening over in Burma with a Water Polo player. Even in the Brigade Patrol Troop, that doesn't happen. They're clever guys, who know what they're doing, but I can't have a reasoned debate with them over whether the Tamil Tigers are right or wrong.

The fact that the CSM has 3 degrees under his belt, and a string of letters after his name to make the queen envious you wouldn't think to to look at him; then again you wouldn't expect him to say "Oh, I'm a Marine either", but I can't chat with him about serious stuff.

Does that make him any less effective? He's not your Andy McNab or Phil Campion who grew up feral, basically, and then went in the only place that would really tolerate them, he was a middle class bloke, who left school at 18 after fuckign up his A Levels. Now, he's one of the most capable men on the planet.

The big thing I think Cadian Kasrkin have over the Scholam Progenium is that the Cadians can experience some form of life among themselves and other people, whereas the Stormtroopers basic trainign is more akin to Agent 47's.



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A Kasrkin, on the other hand, is trained from youth to be an elite infantryman (or tanker, etc., depending on the Regiment).
Aren't the Kasrkin the Cadian's equivalent to a Storm trooper? What you seem to be talking about are just the regular Shock Troopers, while the Kasrkin are an even more elite and highly trained unit (I would be very surprised to see one driving a tank). To that extent I think it would be fair(ish) to compare them to modern special forces, as Storm Troopers and thus Kasrkin are the closest thing the Guard have to that. Though it is doubtful that they would be given the same freedom for outside-the-box thinking given the Imperium's general dislike for that.
 

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Depends how you determine SEALs today. Look at their actions in Afghanistan; Sure they get involved in the takedown of OBL later on on, but when they're out there, they're attached to regular infantry units, and use their superior training and fitness for the most part to play Hunter-Killer.
No offense, but I stand by my point. ODAs, Rangers, and SEALs might use conventional infantry to support their operations, but we're still talking about them providing security cordons, fire support, etc., versus an infantry squad becoming an organic part of the team in question.

Indeed, many people involved in Neptune Spear stated that any Seal Team could have made it; it's just that the "All-Stars" were chosen simply because it was of that high importance.
Yes, any SEAL team. Not any conventional infantry squad, however well-trained. That's not a knock on them; it's just not their doctrine. Hence my comparisons, above. Kaskrin are, by and large, shock infantry. They're elite, to be sure, and almost certainly trained to a level that would blow our minds; but they're still trained for an infantry mission.

EDIT: I don't meant to say a conventional unit could not have done this. Obviously this isn't the case. A unit of sufficient size and with sufficient support could have taken down OBL and kicked the crap out of that city's security forces before taking off. But, like you said, the powers that be prefer special operators for their ability to execute such taskings with (theoretically speaking) greater precision, discretion, and speed.

While it's unlikely the guard would ever be used in a Counter-Insurgency, the Kasrkin could operate as fluently in that environment. The truth is, there's Kasrkin have no role in a conventional military operation. They might have the additional training and fitness, but they're up against aliens and mutant super/subhuman s and daemons, not regular old joe.
Any really good conventional military unit could be involved in COIN and deliver good results - that's what we've been seeing for the last couple of years. And again, when I say "conventional", I don't mean "dealing with conventional enemies". I'm talking about conventional tactics, conventional weapons, etc. The enemies the Kasrkin fight are anything but conventional, I agree with you on that. The way they fight those enemies, though, is entirely conventional: they deploy in regiments, companies, platoons, etc., and take them on via shock tactics. It's not as if their bread and butter is sabotaging Chaos temples behind enemy lines, assassinating Blood Pact Etogaurs, providing long range reconnaissance, or training friendly populations within enemy territory to resist the Ruinous Powers.

I'll grant you that there is precedent for some ostensibly conventional (if somewhat irregular) units like the Ghosts to engage in special operations, but again... that's not their bread and butter.

We don't have as much information on the Blacks, but we do know that they are the survivors; whether that means they are the best is up for debate, but essentially, to misquote something I heard once "only the survivors can learn the lessons of the dead".
Misquoted or not, it sounds about right. :)

The big thing I think Cadian Kasrkin have over the Scholam Progenium is that the Cadians can experience some form of life among themselves and other people, whereas the Stormtroopers basic trainign is more akin to Agent 47's.
Depends on how you view their lifestyle, I suppose. I've never read any of the Cadian novels, but I always assumed it was Spartan Agoge meets Hitler Youth meets fanatical religious indoctrination meets steroids meets never-ending combat and survival training (but not brainless, lowest common denominator stuff).

My personal opinion is that you wouldn't really be able to have a meaningful conversation with them about the broader topics in life any more than you would with a Spartan "peer" or a North Korean infantryman. It might be fascinating to hear what they have to say about their military history, their heroes and legends, etc., but I'm guessing that's the ceiling.

Can Kasrkin match Stormtroopers? Codex: Eye of Terror states that their training is "more than a match" of that given to the Stormtroopers. That's good enough for me, really. Are Stormtroopers more or less open-minded and/or creative than Kasrkin? I have no idea. I haven't really seen even Stormtroopers fighting for Inquisitors depicted in a way that makes me think of them as the classic "commando" or special operator. They, too, strike me more as the unyielding and unstoppable (in theory, at least) shock troop. I suspect that the true "special operators" of the Imperium are the members of the Officio Assassinorum, Officio Sabatorum, and actual Inquisitorial operatives.

But that's just my take! :)
 

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A very good question, they seem to ahve been on par with the "Thunder Warriors" during the Age of Strife. Sadly since GW won't go back in time as far as models/armies/ornovels we may never know. However I'd have to go with the Lucifer Blacks on the sole basis of that they could tangle with Astartes; and were bodyguards for the most elite upper-class Terrans before the Horus Heresy.
 

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Want to say neither actually bro. Combat Veterans, pure and simple. Why waste all that time and resources brainwashing elite fighters when conflict will do it for them. If you fight in enough battles for your life and see enough bloodshed it changes your perspective on reality.

War, the Imperiums best weapon.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Whether Kasrkins would be able to demonstrate high levels of "out-of-the-box" thinking...

Really depends on what type of "out-of-the-box" thinking we're talking about. Are we simply talking about free choice of tactics to achieve an objective, creative ways to surprise the enemy? I don't think these sorts of out-of-the-box thinking would necessarily conflict with Imperial values. Unless the Kasrikin are proposing to fight Chaos with Chaos, or to ally with one xenos faction against another, I think they should have free reign to employ less conventional tactics if they get the job done. I don't know why command would want to handcuff them.
 

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Deathwing Commissar
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It comes down to what job the Kasrkin have as elite shock-troop infantry. Their objectives will be infantry objectives. Open-minded or not, there are only so many ways to skin that sort of cat. By contrast, a special operator is generally tasked with more covert and specialized objectives.

What does that mean in terms of one's perspective and thought process as related to their job? A Kasrkin platoon would excel at seizing or defending objectives, terrain, etc. They would be great at direct combat versus any number of different foes (depending on the situation, context, etc.). I have no doubt that they could be very creative in terms of how they deployed their troops and their heavy weapons, or how they went about planning an ambush, or how to best tackle a specific objective or type of opponent. But would a Kasrkin lieutenant and his platoon sergeant also do a great job of planning and executing a covert insertion behind enemy lines in order to kidnap or assassinate an enemy officer, or rescue an important Imperial agent? I'm not so sure about that.

Mind you, I'm not saying that a Kasrkin could never be a special operator. I'm just saying that Kasrkin squads specifically, and Cadian Shock Troops in general, train for conventional combat (albeit against often very bizarre and nightmarish opponents). If the Imperium and Cadia suddenly made it a priority for them to train up a Cadian Special Operations Regiment, I'm sure the end product would be absolutely stunning. For right now, though, their priority appears to be cranking out the cream of the crop of front-line troops.

EDIT: Incidentally, I don't think it's a coincidence that both GW and BL have showcased almost all military fighting forces - to include the Stormtroopers - as conventional-style infantry (albeit of a very high quality where they and some other formations are concerned). I think that's part and parcel of an Imperium that is paranoid to the point where they would loathe covertness on the part of their subordinates. The last thing the High Lords would want, I think, is for a general officer or a planetary commander to have his own assassins, saboteurs, spies, etc. That's why they have the Officio Assassinorum and Sabatorum, and the Holy Ordos of the Inquisition.
 

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Want to say neither actually bro. Combat Veterans, pure and simple. Why waste all that time and resources brainwashing elite fighters when conflict will do it for them. If you fight in enough battles for your life and see enough bloodshed it changes your perspective on reality.

War, the Imperiums best weapon.
Have you read a BL book, or any GW fluff whatsoever?



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just thought id point out that stormtroopers in 40k are special ops, its in their job description. To not only spearhead assaults, but also drop behind enemy positions and recon or wreck things same as SEALs or MARSOC does.
"...missions beyond the capabilities of the rank-and-file Guardsman. Deep strike assaults, reconnaissance, infiltration, sabotage, and airborne insertion are just a few of the special missions with which Storm Troopers are regularly tasked"
i know its pulled from a wiki but its also been echoed in BL and other sources. have to go to class now. :( AVE imperatoR!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
just thought id point out that stormtroopers in 40k are special ops, its in their job description. To not only spearhead assaults, but also drop behind enemy positions and recon or wreck things same as SEALs or MARSOC does. "...missions beyond the capabilities of the rank-and-file Guardsman. Deep strike assaults, reconnaissance, infiltration, sabotage, and airborne insertion are just a few of the special missions with which Storm Troopers are regularly tasked"
Kasrkin are Cadia's version of Imperial stormtroopers so I think the same would apply to them.

I don't really buy the proposition that Kasrkin are just really good conventional infantrymen
 

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Deathwing Commissar
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Doofyoofy is spot on regarding that description (it's word for word from the Codex), and thus I stand completely corrected on that count.

I'm not sure about the Kasrkin. In Codex: Eye of Terror, it is stated that the training of the Kasrkin is based on the Schola Progenium model and they are meant to match Imperial Stormtroopers in terms of their quality/standard. On the other hand, the Codex also states that the Kasrkin as assigned to Shock Troop Regiments. Is that to bolster their pre-existing line forces? Or is it to serve as shock troops that are also special operations capable? I don't know.
 
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