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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
They were already large and well-established Legion during the Unification Wars.

They were running an sector-size interstellar empire, aka Inwit Cluster. Also they Terra and Solar Domain.

They possessed one of the largest and most powerful fleet in the galaxy entire.

They were one of the most enthusiastic Crusaders--it is said to be only Ultramarines and Word Bearers zeal was anything comparable. Moreover, they routinely mass-drafted from conquered population and garrison worlds. Sometimes, they impressed all of the promising youth and in many cases, they comprised entire companies or households of the Legion.

Their gene-seed is pure and stable, if not the most high quality.

Most of all, unlike their mortal rivals and foes(in other words, Iron Warriors), they are cautious at sacrifice and put their utmost efforts to minimize casualties.

Still, their size never exceeded 100,000 in whole duration of Crusade and at the eve of the Heresy, there are only around 98,500 Imperial Fists are presented.

If Alphas are stupendously big for the youngest latecomer, Fists are just mind bogglingly small for their history, force, role and indeed, repute and Emperor's favor showered on them.
 

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I think their habit of routinely getting wiped out, is what keeps their numbers small.
Not that I'm disagreeing but where is the source for them getting wiped out?
 

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Not that I'm disagreeing but where is the source for them getting wiped out?
The battle of Phall in Crimson Fist and the garrison that gets massacred by the Iron Wariors at the start of Angel Exterminatus both come to mind.

When Dorn learned the fate of the retribution fleet he recalled the portion of his legion that he had sent out to link up with them. However the Iron Warriors fleet ambushed the Imperial Fists, but the Fists managed to gain the upper hand until they received the order to return to Terra. Even though they had the upper hand, and falling back would inflict horrendous casualties on their own fleet, the Fists fell back (and were likely all the worse for it.)

Now because Dorn consolidated his legion on Terra, any elements that had been on other worlds, which were ultimately targeted by the traitor legions, had no support and were eventually overwhelmed.


Its not so much that the Fists have a propansity for being slaughtered, just that given how they are set up during the Heresy, any that are seen outside of Terra generally don't stand much of a chance.
 

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The battle of Phall in Crimson Fist and the garrison that gets massacred by the Iron Wariors at the start of Angel Exterminatus both come to mind.

When Dorn learned the fate of the retribution fleet he recalled the portion of his legion that he had sent out to link up with them. However the Iron Warriors fleet ambushed the Imperial Fists, but the Fists managed to gain the upper hand until they received the order to return to Terra. Even though they had the upper hand, and falling back would inflict horrendous casualties on their own fleet, the Fists fell back (and were likely all the worse for it.)

Now because Dorn consolidated his legion on Terra, any elements that had been on other worlds, which were ultimately targeted by the traitor legions, had no support and were eventually overwhelmed.


Its not so much that the Fists have a propansity for being slaughtered, just that given how they are set up during the Heresy, any that are seen outside of Terra generally don't stand much of a chance.
I meant that the OP pointed out that their strength stood at around 98000 marines at the eve of the heresy which is small considering the stability of their geneseed and the other factors the OP mentioned.

Out of interest what were the IF casualties at Phall? Does Crimson Fist or any of the other books thrown any light on them?
 
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