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    Default Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Welcome to the Sixth Warhammer 40k fluff thread. Why do we have a fluff thread and a tabletop thread? Well, because, to put it bluntly, arguments about fluff can take up a lot of space. And that makes it hard for people to get critiques on their list. So, if you want to find out how many active necron tomb worlds there are, what color schemes you should consider for your Blood Angel's Successor chapter, or how many problems the Tau empire has, here's the place.

    Just remember, in the Grim Darkness of the future, there is only pointless bickering!

    Previous Threads
    Thread I: Warning: No Fanboys Allowed ()
    Thread II: Heresy Grows From Idleness
    Thread III: Warhammer 40K Fluff Discussion III: You're Emprah? Well I didn't vote for you!
    Thread IV: Warhammer 40K Fluff Discussion IV
    Thread V:Warhammer 40k Fluff Discussion V -WARNING: May Contain Heresy

    Speaking of the Tau, I believe we were currently bickering over how evil the Tau Empire is.
    Last edited by Squark; 2012-09-05 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Original title was too long

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    The new title is fine, but I believe it should have discussion throne at the end. If that's too long, maybe get a new title?
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Yeah I think it might be because it is to long. Might I recommend the title

    They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Edit: To actually talk about fluff though I have a few questions:

    1. How nimble are Space Marines/How much would power armor hamper their nimbleness?
    2. Do they still make music/make movies in the grimdark future of the 41sr millenium?

    I ask this because a friend of mine sculpted his Daemon hammer wielding Grey knights to have them "Hammer Dance" instead of wield actually hammers.
    Last edited by Tychris1; 2011-12-03 at 08:01 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Tychris1 View Post
    Yeah I think it might be because it is to long. Might I recommend the title

    They see me Ward'en, they haten
    Yes

    1. How nimble are Space Marines/How much would power armor hamper their nimbleness?
    Well, DoW II intro suggest quite nimble, actually...

    2. Do they still make music/make movies in the grimdark future of the 41sr millenium?
    Cain series mentions dozens of titles, much of it will be propaganda, though...

    I ask this because a friend of mine sculpted his Daemon hammer wielding Grey knights to have them "Hammer Dance" instead of wield actually hammers.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    1. How nimble are Space Marines/How much would power armor hamper their nimbleness?
    I've heard that SMs are actually incredibly nimble (superhuman and all) and power armour enhances that further, it doesn't hinder them at all.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Tychris1 View Post
    1. How nimble are Space Marines/How much would power armor hamper their nimbleness?
    Power Armour increases their dexterity and ability to jump and move around. That's kind of the point of Astartes Power Armour, rather than the kind that Inquisitors and things wear.

    What they don't have in Power Armour, is fine motor skills. Being as they have big, metal, cement hands. Everything needs to be made bigger for a Marine.
    And, in a recent novel (for the life of me I can't remember which it is), a Marine has to snap off the trigger guard of a looted gun so he can actually put his finger on the trigger.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    'TALK FOR THE TALK THRONE' would fit, if be a little bit of a mouthful.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Tychris1 View Post
    Yeah I think it might be because it is to long. Might I recommend the title

    They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Edit: To actually talk about fluff though I have a few questions:

    1. How nimble are Space Marines/How much would power armor hamper their nimbleness?
    2. Do they still make music/make movies in the grimdark future of the 41sr millenium?

    I ask this because a friend of mine sculpted his Daemon hammer wielding Grey knights to have them "Hammer Dance" instead of wield actually hammers.

    If a few more people would like this one better, I'll change it.

    As far as 2. goes, undoubtedly. They'd most likely have a propaganda spin on them, but, hey, people watch war films today (Which are often sponsored by the military because popular war films boost recruitment). So, just because most media in the 41st millennium has a propaganda component doesn't mean it doesn't have a pop culture element.

    Minor question; How does a power fist work? Is it solely used for punching, or does it also get used for tearing? And how do power weapons in general "work"
    Last edited by Squark; 2011-12-03 at 10:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    2. 'Holodramas' are the movie equivalent. They get a few mentions in the Cain books.
    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo, on Battletech
    The Atlas is also goofy but it has that whole "Stay Puft Marshmallow Man" menacing smile thing going for it. The guy who drew that one up was obviously taken to the Nutcracker when he was a child... and he was screaming in terror the entire time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enterti, Cogidubnus
    Glyphstone, out of all the playground I think you scare me the most...
    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    Glyphstone, you are an evil person :D

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesegear View Post
    Power Armour increases their dexterity and ability to jump and move around. That's kind of the point of Astartes Power Armour, rather than the kind that Inquisitors and things wear.
    In Cain's Last Stand, the Sisters demonstrate increased mobility in power armour as well.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    Minor question; How does a power fist work? Is it solely used for punching, or does it also get used for tearing? And how do power weapons in general "work"
    Power Fists are used to punch and tear - while being oversized compared to ordinary gloves, they still have enough dexterity to grab something and pick it up (so long as you deactivate the Energy Field first, otherwise it's going to all end in tears....)

    Most of the damage is done, however, by the 'aura' of power around the weapon, rather than the weapon itself. An "energy field" surrounds all power weapons, which tears apart anything it comes into contact with - kind of like a light sabre, I suppose, but in this case there's also a big honkin' sword in the middle of it to hack into whatever isn't burned.

    So in effect, the Power Field damages and weakens whatever comes near it, while the Fist itself is used to pull off/smash chunks of weakened material with augmented strength above that or ordinary Power Armour. I don't think there's any real-world comparison to how the energy field works - I can't think of anywhere that gives any kind of handwave explanation for "how" it works, only that "it does".
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    So, somebody in the other thread claimed the Imperium controls 3/4 of the galaxy. I call b***** on that for the simple fact if they controled that much, they couldn't possibly be besieged/menaced by all sides as they would have more resources than everybody else put togheter (blah nids blah those just arrived much later). Plus orks are mentioned as being literally everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    Speaking of the Tau, I believe we were currently bickering over how evil the Tau Empire is.
    Speaking of which, I dare Golemsvoice to point the "several sources" that claim the Tau use mass sterilization. Bonus points if those sources aren't from the faction that regularly exterminatus sterelizes whole planets. From his own side.

    Even if the Tau are "evil" by our standards, they're still goody two-shoes when compared to the Imperium that preaches ignorance, slavery, xenophoby, terror and pain in incomprhessible scales. No wonder Chaos has so much power when the IoM daily feeds it with so much violence, decay and corruption.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    That's really hard to tell... they seem to have at least some worlds in just about every part of the galaxy, but their coverage, so to speak, is really loose, with large holes between Imperial worlds.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by hamishspence View Post
    In Cain's Last Stand, the Sisters demonstrate increased mobility in power armour as well.
    Increased mobility yes, but not to the degree exhibited by the marines - it's why they have the Black Carapace after all.

    Because of this, I'd also argue the lack of fine motor control in power armour - things having to be resized for them doesn't mean things have to be made less sensitive for them, otherwise normal humans would have trouble pulling the triggers of bolters as the pull weight is set too high for them, or Cheesegear's aforementioned marine accidentally crushing the grip and trigger of his looted gun.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Speaking of which, I dare Golemsvoice to point the "several sources" that claim the Tau use mass sterilization. Bonus points if those sources aren't from the faction that regularly exterminatus sterelizes whole planets. From his own side.
    Dawn of War Dark Crusade, and apparently, Deathwatch, the RPG, which I haven't read, but I'll take hamishspence's word on this one. You'll not that the RPGs are considered a good source of 40K information by most of the people in this thread.

    Bonus points, though, for you failing to realize that Exterminatus isn't something the Imperium is doing for fun, but because it's neccessary. Habitable planets are rare as hell, and the Imperium isn't going to sacrifice them just because somebody had a bad day. They are serious about this.

    And again, you claim to love the senseless violence of 40K, but the Imperium exterminating planets is somehow "bad"? Or the Tau are utopian nice guys is cool and ok, while a Space Marine actually talking sense is boring and unneccesary?

    But since we're doing challenges, what about Commander Farsight, who ran away with a sept of Tau? Seems like living in an ideal society wasn't enough for him, and something drove him into exile? Care to explain why somebody that should, as a commander, benefit the most from the caste system of the Tau turn his back on them?

    things having to be resized for them doesn't mean things have to be made less sensitive for them, otherwise normal humans would have trouble pulling the triggers of bolters as the pull weight is set too high for them, or Cheesegear's aforementioned marine accidentally crushing the grip and trigger of his looted gun.
    I think bolters for normal humans are slightly different than what Space Marines carry. Dark Heresy says something to that account.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    I think bolters for normal humans are slightly different than what Space Marines carry. Dark Heresy says something to that account.
    From what I've heard, Deathwatch confirms this, as the bolters available to the players in that game are much more effective than those available in the other settings; In the innitial rulebook, the Bolt Pistol actually does more damage than Dark Heresy's Heavy Bolters, and their combat knives deal more damage than the swords in Dark Heresy and Rogue trader. There is an errata that scales the damage back a bit.
    Last edited by Squark; 2011-12-04 at 04:46 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by deuterio12 View Post
    So, somebody in the other thread claimed the Imperium controls 3/4 of the galaxy. I call b***** on that for the simple fact if they controled that much, they couldn't possibly be besieged/menaced by all sides as they would have more resources than everybody else put togheter (blah nids blah those just arrived much later). Plus orks are mentioned as being literally everywhere.
    It's not that they control 3/4 of the galaxy- it's that they occupy planets across 3/4 of the galaxy.

    However, even within "Imperium territory" only a tiny proportion of systems have Imperium personnel or equipment.

    Even if it's "inhabitable worlds"- they're still likely to be in the minority.

    "Points of light in a sea of darkness" so to speak.
    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    Dawn of War Dark Crusade, and apparently, Deathwatch, the RPG, which I haven't read, but I'll take hamishspence's word on this one. You'll not that the RPGs are considered a good source of 40K information by most of the people in this thread.
    The precise quote from Deathwatch:

    page 352:
    The Sept's humans (referred to by the Tau as "Gue'la") adhere not to the Imperial Creed, but to the Tau ideal of the Greater Good. The Tau teach that the perfect society, one modelled after the Tau themselves, has a place for every creature; with every creature in that place, fulfilling their assigned roles without question, for the good of the Sept as a whole. Imperial religion is prohibited and the Tau Water Caste run education (and re-education) programs that instil an understanding and love of the Greater Good into the sometimes reluctant gue'la minds. Populations are regularly sterilised to prevent population growth outstretching Tau methods of control. Human transgressors against the Greater Good are not publicly executed, as is the Imperial way, for the Tau see no need to publicise the fates of those who oppose them. Instead, such gue'la simply disappear, and it is the way of the Greater Good to convince oneself that they never existed at all.
    Last edited by hamishspence; 2011-12-04 at 05:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Aaaand there you have it. Brainwashing, sterilization, torture, inqusition.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    To summarize the Tau/IoM debate as i see it:
    The tau are 1984-inspired (re: re-education programs ect.) communists (know your place or "disappear") where the IoM are more bad-Colonial age (execute those who don't comply) Nazis (xenopobic and genocidal) with a side order of Paranoia.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    Minor question; How does a power fist work? Is it solely used for punching, or does it also get used for tearing? And how do power weapons in general "work"
    I liked to imagine a powerfist as tool that is used to either pimp slap people or high five them.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky S View Post
    I liked to imagine a powerfist as tool that is used to either pimp slap people or high five them.
    or Bro fistbump
    Last edited by Parra; 2011-12-05 at 03:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    I'm sure the Codex Astartes forbids such things!
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Even without disruption field a powerfist has to be an impressive, if exotic, close combat weapon, considering it essentially works like the hydraulic equipment of modern firefighters.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    I'm sure the Codex Astartes forbids such things!
    Forbids... Or specifically mandates? I suspect it's in big letters when it gets to the Power Fist section. "THOU SHALT FISTBUMP YO' BROS", right beside the famous "Bro's before Ho's" section in the reproduction sermons.
    And that's not even getting into the number of the 666 rituals of the Grey Knights that involve fistbumps, hi-fives, and the most holy and righteous breakdancing* of the Emperor.
    In fact, I suspect the precise circumstance of Fistbumps was the primary split that led to so many chapters altering their versions of the Codex Astartes.



    * Preformed in full power armor, of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thelonius View Post
    Well, strangely enough a faction with Reputation 0 and history of past betrayals proved itself to be rather untrustworthy. My hat is off for the Mothriders.

    Damn, about 29 stats in one swipe. Since I'm clearly the next I'm booby-trapping every inch of the Maze.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    The Imperium's GRIM DARK aspects are mostly just a gloss IMO, given how decentralized it is.

    Same thing for the Tau to a lesser extent, since their bad FTL and no FTL communications, what one sept does, doesn't really have any bearing on what another sept might be doing.

    I think the saying
    "Heaven is high up and the Emperor is far away" bears repeating for both these cases.
    Last edited by Talkkno; 2011-12-05 at 04:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Increased mobility yes, but not to the degree exhibited by the marines - it's why they have the Black Carapace after all.
    She somersaults over a car-sized barricade despite being a mature (biologically 55+, discounting juvanat treatments and the like) woman with no specific acrobatic training.

    Power Armour is awesome, Astartes issue or not.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    I'm sure the Codex Astartes forbids such things!
    Great article from Arcadia Prime on how the Codex is much maligned by the writers, and how it should be a good thing, reproduced here for your pleasure:

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    The Codex Astartes is the holy tome written by Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman. It defines the organization and tactical doctrine of the Adeptus Astartes and is followed by many, if not a majority, of Space Marine Chapters.

    Guilliman is undisputedly one of the greatest military minds in history, rivaling if not surpassing all of the other Primarchs. The Codex Astartes is considered one of Guilliman's most influential works.

    Yet there is a schizophrenia in the 40k universe...

    The Codex Astartes was a work written by one of the greatest strategic minds in the universe, designed to cover every possible situation . . . and yet, one of the most common ways to portray genius in the 40k universe is to have your protagonist not follow it. Or, in the most extreme cases, actively reject it.

    For example, take this guy:



    Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman's own chapter, are the epitome of the Codex Astartes. Yet what distinguishes Captain Ventris as a protagonist?

    Uriel Ventris is a flexible military commander who due to the efforts of his mentor, Captain Idaeus, learned to think outside the confines of the Codex Astartes, the masterpiece of Roboute Guilliman and the manual of war that most Space Marine Chapters base their tactics, strategy and organization upon. [emphasis added]

    Article on Uriel Ventris, from the Warhammer 40k Wiki

    Those who follow the Codex, such as Sergeant Learchus in particular and the rest of the Ultramarines in general, are presented as inflexible and unimaginative.

    The Codex Astartes (hereafter CA) is portrayed like a strait-jacket, and everyone who follows the "textbook" is always outsmarted by someone who doesn't follow it, and therefore thinks "outside the box". But the CA was written by the most brilliant commander of the Adeptus Astartes. I would have to think that someone doesn't get to be called that unless he does think outside the box. The CA should, by definition, discuss tactics that are outside the box. It should praise initiative, imagination and adaptability.

    So who are these "inflexible", "unimaginative" guys who follow the CA?

    Space Marine Captains:

    Space Marine Captains are masters of the battlefield, able to read its ebb and flow as ancient mariners would judge the changing of the sea. It is not enough for a Captain to simply be a skilled fighter in his own right...he must also have a superhuman grasp of strategy and tactics, as well as the will to employ them in the ever-changing arena of warfare.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p54.


    Chapter Masters:

    With the merest glance, a Chapter Master can appraise a warzone, can see every threat and every opportunity presented by the shifting lines of battle and divine how victory can be assured.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p52


    Marneus Calgar:

    Since rising to the rank of Chapter Master, Marneus Calgar has employed his flair for tactics and strategy in campaigns without number.

    Calgar is a proud man, a trait that has earned him more than a fair share of enemies within the Imperium's internecine politics. Yet he also possesses a shrewd self-awareness that prevents pride turning sour and leading him into arrogance.


    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p84.

    Commander Dante:

    "To his fellow Chapter Masters, Dante is an exemplar of the fearlessness, dedication, and strategic genius that speak to the heart of the Space Marines' never-ending mission." [emphasis added]

    Codex: Blood Angels, Matthew Ward, 2009, p53.


    Yet a common theme in the 40k universe is that the protagonist is a radical somehow, in that they go against the grain and rebel against the "rigid doctrine of the CA." Those that follow it are invariably portrayed as unimaginative automatons. The problem is with this line of reasoning is that if all the smart people feel that the CA is a rigid doctrine useful for only the unimaginative, then why is the CA held in such high regard? Why was Guilliman considered a genius, if the best he could do was write a book on doctrine that is only useful when your enemy is an idiot?



    Calgar follows the Codex? Idiot.

    Guilliman believed in rigid structure and hierarchy and had a firm battle doctrine from which his Legion never wavered. He was in the process of documenting the "correct" tactics and operation of a Space Marine force, tried and tested during his long years of command, and suggested that the young Alpha Legion should adopt this "Codex" behavior. However, this attitude was anathema to Alpharius' belief in initiative and adaptability, and a heated debate over tactics and ideology ensued.

    p56, Index Astartes: Alpha Legion, White Dwarf 276.

    Granted, the article is written to present the Alpha Legion in a favorable light (in terms of badassery, not necessarily "goodness"). So, to emphasize Alpharius' awesomeness, you have to make Guilliman look like a rigid stick-in-the-mud. I'm sure that in reality Guilliman valued initiative and adaptability too, and put that in the CA. I mean, if he did put values like initiative and adaptability in the CA, there would have to be a Chapter out there that follows the CA and is well known for its initiative and adaptability, wouldn't there?



    Yup.

    The distaste that people have against the Codex is really distaste against any sort of doctrine at all. In military fiction, whenever one wants to portray a protagonist as superior, one simply states that whatever action the protagonist takes is superior, and then declares that it goes against established doctrine. Everyone knows that doctrine is something written by a bunch of crusty old generals who haven't seen a battlefield in decades.


    But Doctrine is actually a good thing.

    Most readers of military history don't understand doctrine and don't want to, because it has no place in the tales of individual soldiers or great military leaders that they are used to. Indeed, doctrine is often seen as an unnecessary encumbrance that loses battles and gets in the way of exercising creative command. This is ironic, in that one of the prevalent goals behind doctrine is the simplification and streamlining of command, precisely so that commanders can fashion appropriate solutions during battle.
    . . .
    The development of doctrine is the natural imperative of any military trying to rise above the level of being merely an armed mob. It is an essential means by which militaries compensate for the negatives of warfare by building a certain measure of automatic behavior into the organization. Indeed, in the terrible crucible of combat, under the enormous pressures created by mass violence, doctrine is sometimes the only thing that holds forces together and allows them to continue fighting. By setting out a coherent set of tactical goals, units can continue to operate even if the chain of command is disrupted or destroyed.

    Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, Parshall and Tully, 2005, p82-83.


    Combat veterans frequently say that one of two things saved their lives in combat: their training, or the guy next to them. Training is doctrine. The Army has an entire command devoted to it: The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC. Its whole purpose is to train soldiers and develop doctrine, in order to keep US soldiers from getting killed.

    Ultimately having a maverick protagonist who rages against the system and succeeds against overwhelming odds while spitting in the face of established wisdom makes for a good story. In reality, in the chaos of battle, when a commander goes against established doctrine, the result is almost certainly disaster.


    In short, the Codex Astartes really is a good book that has some worthwhile stuff in it. But if you decide to go against the Codex Astartes, you should take a long, hard look in the mirror. If you see this:



    You're probably ok. If you see something else...I'd stick to the Codex.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorg View Post
    Great article from Arcadia Prime on how the Codex is much maligned by the writers, and how it should be a good thing, reproduced here for your pleasure:

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Codex Astartes is the holy tome written by Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman. It defines the organization and tactical doctrine of the Adeptus Astartes and is followed by many, if not a majority, of Space Marine Chapters.

    Guilliman is undisputedly one of the greatest military minds in history, rivaling if not surpassing all of the other Primarchs. The Codex Astartes is considered one of Guilliman's most influential works.

    Yet there is a schizophrenia in the 40k universe...

    The Codex Astartes was a work written by one of the greatest strategic minds in the universe, designed to cover every possible situation . . . and yet, one of the most common ways to portray genius in the 40k universe is to have your protagonist not follow it. Or, in the most extreme cases, actively reject it.

    For example, take this guy:



    Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman's own chapter, are the epitome of the Codex Astartes. Yet what distinguishes Captain Ventris as a protagonist?

    Uriel Ventris is a flexible military commander who due to the efforts of his mentor, Captain Idaeus, learned to think outside the confines of the Codex Astartes, the masterpiece of Roboute Guilliman and the manual of war that most Space Marine Chapters base their tactics, strategy and organization upon. [emphasis added]

    Article on Uriel Ventris, from the Warhammer 40k Wiki

    Those who follow the Codex, such as Sergeant Learchus in particular and the rest of the Ultramarines in general, are presented as inflexible and unimaginative.

    The Codex Astartes (hereafter CA) is portrayed like a strait-jacket, and everyone who follows the "textbook" is always outsmarted by someone who doesn't follow it, and therefore thinks "outside the box". But the CA was written by the most brilliant commander of the Adeptus Astartes. I would have to think that someone doesn't get to be called that unless he does think outside the box. The CA should, by definition, discuss tactics that are outside the box. It should praise initiative, imagination and adaptability.

    So who are these "inflexible", "unimaginative" guys who follow the CA?

    Space Marine Captains:

    Space Marine Captains are masters of the battlefield, able to read its ebb and flow as ancient mariners would judge the changing of the sea. It is not enough for a Captain to simply be a skilled fighter in his own right...he must also have a superhuman grasp of strategy and tactics, as well as the will to employ them in the ever-changing arena of warfare.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p54.


    Chapter Masters:

    With the merest glance, a Chapter Master can appraise a warzone, can see every threat and every opportunity presented by the shifting lines of battle and divine how victory can be assured.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p52


    Marneus Calgar:

    Since rising to the rank of Chapter Master, Marneus Calgar has employed his flair for tactics and strategy in campaigns without number.

    Calgar is a proud man, a trait that has earned him more than a fair share of enemies within the Imperium's internecine politics. Yet he also possesses a shrewd self-awareness that prevents pride turning sour and leading him into arrogance.


    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p84.

    Commander Dante:

    "To his fellow Chapter Masters, Dante is an exemplar of the fearlessness, dedication, and strategic genius that speak to the heart of the Space Marines' never-ending mission." [emphasis added]

    Codex: Blood Angels, Matthew Ward, 2009, p53.


    Yet a common theme in the 40k universe is that the protagonist is a radical somehow, in that they go against the grain and rebel against the "rigid doctrine of the CA." Those that follow it are invariably portrayed as unimaginative automatons. The problem is with this line of reasoning is that if all the smart people feel that the CA is a rigid doctrine useful for only the unimaginative, then why is the CA held in such high regard? Why was Guilliman considered a genius, if the best he could do was write a book on doctrine that is only useful when your enemy is an idiot?



    Calgar follows the Codex? Idiot.

    Guilliman believed in rigid structure and hierarchy and had a firm battle doctrine from which his Legion never wavered. He was in the process of documenting the "correct" tactics and operation of a Space Marine force, tried and tested during his long years of command, and suggested that the young Alpha Legion should adopt this "Codex" behavior. However, this attitude was anathema to Alpharius' belief in initiative and adaptability, and a heated debate over tactics and ideology ensued.

    p56, Index Astartes: Alpha Legion, White Dwarf 276.

    Granted, the article is written to present the Alpha Legion in a favorable light (in terms of badassery, not necessarily "goodness"). So, to emphasize Alpharius' awesomeness, you have to make Guilliman look like a rigid stick-in-the-mud. I'm sure that in reality Guilliman valued initiative and adaptability too, and put that in the CA. I mean, if he did put values like initiative and adaptability in the CA, there would have to be a Chapter out there that follows the CA and is well known for its initiative and adaptability, wouldn't there?



    Yup.

    The distaste that people have against the Codex is really distaste against any sort of doctrine at all. In military fiction, whenever one wants to portray a protagonist as superior, one simply states that whatever action the protagonist takes is superior, and then declares that it goes against established doctrine. Everyone knows that doctrine is something written by a bunch of crusty old generals who haven't seen a battlefield in decades.


    But Doctrine is actually a good thing.

    Most readers of military history don't understand doctrine and don't want to, because it has no place in the tales of individual soldiers or great military leaders that they are used to. Indeed, doctrine is often seen as an unnecessary encumbrance that loses battles and gets in the way of exercising creative command. This is ironic, in that one of the prevalent goals behind doctrine is the simplification and streamlining of command, precisely so that commanders can fashion appropriate solutions during battle.
    . . .
    The development of doctrine is the natural imperative of any military trying to rise above the level of being merely an armed mob. It is an essential means by which militaries compensate for the negatives of warfare by building a certain measure of automatic behavior into the organization. Indeed, in the terrible crucible of combat, under the enormous pressures created by mass violence, doctrine is sometimes the only thing that holds forces together and allows them to continue fighting. By setting out a coherent set of tactical goals, units can continue to operate even if the chain of command is disrupted or destroyed.

    Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, Parshall and Tully, 2005, p82-83.


    Combat veterans frequently say that one of two things saved their lives in combat: their training, or the guy next to them. Training is doctrine. The Army has an entire command devoted to it: The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC. Its whole purpose is to train soldiers and develop doctrine, in order to keep US soldiers from getting killed.

    Ultimately having a maverick protagonist who rages against the system and succeeds against overwhelming odds while spitting in the face of established wisdom makes for a good story. In reality, in the chaos of battle, when a commander goes against established doctrine, the result is almost certainly disaster.


    In short, the Codex Astartes really is a good book that has some worthwhile stuff in it. But if you decide to go against the Codex Astartes, you should take a long, hard look in the mirror. If you see this:



    You're probably ok. If you see something else...I'd stick to the Codex.
    I think it makes a lot of good points, espcially when you consider that, at the end of the day, Guilliman did defeat the Alpharius with... Innovative tactics.

    Most of the non-codex chapters, I think, object more to the organization (specifically being broken up into ~1200 man chapters) suggested in the Codex than the tactics it recommends.

    Also, another question; How many guardsmen make it to retirement? Now, the knee-jerk reaction here is; Not many. But that then begs the question; Where do the next generation's guardsmen come from? Look at Cadia; Every man or woman who reaches adulthood is drafted, according to the Big Book of Rules; "... Cadia is a fortress, first, last and always. The entire population is destined for a military life. The birth rate and recruitment rate are synonymous..." So, logically, a large number of Cadians have to make it back alive after their tour of duty (or perhaps a significant portion of the Cadian army is constantly on duty on Cadia, considering the fact that it is right outside the eye of terror). And many Hive worlds like Valhalla make most of their tithes in man power; Some of that manpower has to come back to sire the next generation of recruits, doesn't it?
    Last edited by Squark; 2011-12-05 at 01:50 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorg View Post
    Great article from Arcadia Prime on how the Codex is much maligned by the writers, and how it should be a good thing, reproduced here for your pleasure:

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Codex Astartes is the holy tome written by Ultramarines Primarch Roboute Guilliman. It defines the organization and tactical doctrine of the Adeptus Astartes and is followed by many, if not a majority, of Space Marine Chapters.

    Guilliman is undisputedly one of the greatest military minds in history, rivaling if not surpassing all of the other Primarchs. The Codex Astartes is considered one of Guilliman's most influential works.

    Yet there is a schizophrenia in the 40k universe...

    The Codex Astartes was a work written by one of the greatest strategic minds in the universe, designed to cover every possible situation . . . and yet, one of the most common ways to portray genius in the 40k universe is to have your protagonist not follow it. Or, in the most extreme cases, actively reject it.

    For example, take this guy:



    Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines. The Ultramarines, Roboute Guilliman's own chapter, are the epitome of the Codex Astartes. Yet what distinguishes Captain Ventris as a protagonist?

    Uriel Ventris is a flexible military commander who due to the efforts of his mentor, Captain Idaeus, learned to think outside the confines of the Codex Astartes, the masterpiece of Roboute Guilliman and the manual of war that most Space Marine Chapters base their tactics, strategy and organization upon. [emphasis added]

    Article on Uriel Ventris, from the Warhammer 40k Wiki

    Those who follow the Codex, such as Sergeant Learchus in particular and the rest of the Ultramarines in general, are presented as inflexible and unimaginative.

    The Codex Astartes (hereafter CA) is portrayed like a strait-jacket, and everyone who follows the "textbook" is always outsmarted by someone who doesn't follow it, and therefore thinks "outside the box". But the CA was written by the most brilliant commander of the Adeptus Astartes. I would have to think that someone doesn't get to be called that unless he does think outside the box. The CA should, by definition, discuss tactics that are outside the box. It should praise initiative, imagination and adaptability.

    So who are these "inflexible", "unimaginative" guys who follow the CA?

    Space Marine Captains:

    Space Marine Captains are masters of the battlefield, able to read its ebb and flow as ancient mariners would judge the changing of the sea. It is not enough for a Captain to simply be a skilled fighter in his own right...he must also have a superhuman grasp of strategy and tactics, as well as the will to employ them in the ever-changing arena of warfare.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p54.


    Chapter Masters:

    With the merest glance, a Chapter Master can appraise a warzone, can see every threat and every opportunity presented by the shifting lines of battle and divine how victory can be assured.

    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p52


    Marneus Calgar:

    Since rising to the rank of Chapter Master, Marneus Calgar has employed his flair for tactics and strategy in campaigns without number.

    Calgar is a proud man, a trait that has earned him more than a fair share of enemies within the Imperium's internecine politics. Yet he also possesses a shrewd self-awareness that prevents pride turning sour and leading him into arrogance.


    Codex: Space Marines, Matthew Ward, 2008, p84.

    Commander Dante:

    "To his fellow Chapter Masters, Dante is an exemplar of the fearlessness, dedication, and strategic genius that speak to the heart of the Space Marines' never-ending mission." [emphasis added]

    Codex: Blood Angels, Matthew Ward, 2009, p53.


    Yet a common theme in the 40k universe is that the protagonist is a radical somehow, in that they go against the grain and rebel against the "rigid doctrine of the CA." Those that follow it are invariably portrayed as unimaginative automatons. The problem is with this line of reasoning is that if all the smart people feel that the CA is a rigid doctrine useful for only the unimaginative, then why is the CA held in such high regard? Why was Guilliman considered a genius, if the best he could do was write a book on doctrine that is only useful when your enemy is an idiot?



    Calgar follows the Codex? Idiot.

    Guilliman believed in rigid structure and hierarchy and had a firm battle doctrine from which his Legion never wavered. He was in the process of documenting the "correct" tactics and operation of a Space Marine force, tried and tested during his long years of command, and suggested that the young Alpha Legion should adopt this "Codex" behavior. However, this attitude was anathema to Alpharius' belief in initiative and adaptability, and a heated debate over tactics and ideology ensued.

    p56, Index Astartes: Alpha Legion, White Dwarf 276.

    Granted, the article is written to present the Alpha Legion in a favorable light (in terms of badassery, not necessarily "goodness"). So, to emphasize Alpharius' awesomeness, you have to make Guilliman look like a rigid stick-in-the-mud. I'm sure that in reality Guilliman valued initiative and adaptability too, and put that in the CA. I mean, if he did put values like initiative and adaptability in the CA, there would have to be a Chapter out there that follows the CA and is well known for its initiative and adaptability, wouldn't there?



    Yup.

    The distaste that people have against the Codex is really distaste against any sort of doctrine at all. In military fiction, whenever one wants to portray a protagonist as superior, one simply states that whatever action the protagonist takes is superior, and then declares that it goes against established doctrine. Everyone knows that doctrine is something written by a bunch of crusty old generals who haven't seen a battlefield in decades.


    But Doctrine is actually a good thing.

    Most readers of military history don't understand doctrine and don't want to, because it has no place in the tales of individual soldiers or great military leaders that they are used to. Indeed, doctrine is often seen as an unnecessary encumbrance that loses battles and gets in the way of exercising creative command. This is ironic, in that one of the prevalent goals behind doctrine is the simplification and streamlining of command, precisely so that commanders can fashion appropriate solutions during battle.
    . . .
    The development of doctrine is the natural imperative of any military trying to rise above the level of being merely an armed mob. It is an essential means by which militaries compensate for the negatives of warfare by building a certain measure of automatic behavior into the organization. Indeed, in the terrible crucible of combat, under the enormous pressures created by mass violence, doctrine is sometimes the only thing that holds forces together and allows them to continue fighting. By setting out a coherent set of tactical goals, units can continue to operate even if the chain of command is disrupted or destroyed.

    Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway, Parshall and Tully, 2005, p82-83.


    Combat veterans frequently say that one of two things saved their lives in combat: their training, or the guy next to them. Training is doctrine. The Army has an entire command devoted to it: The United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, or TRADOC. Its whole purpose is to train soldiers and develop doctrine, in order to keep US soldiers from getting killed.

    Ultimately having a maverick protagonist who rages against the system and succeeds against overwhelming odds while spitting in the face of established wisdom makes for a good story. In reality, in the chaos of battle, when a commander goes against established doctrine, the result is almost certainly disaster.


    In short, the Codex Astartes really is a good book that has some worthwhile stuff in it. But if you decide to go against the Codex Astartes, you should take a long, hard look in the mirror. If you see this:



    You're probably ok. If you see something else...I'd stick to the Codex.

    I think of the Codex Astartes as a book designed to be the "How to be a SPACE MARINE", so as a point to get a new chapter a good start and to help them create their own tactics after they've learned the basics. Also it may prove usefull in furthering understanding between various chapters.

    However GRIMDARK happend to it and someone misinterpreted "Hey little guy this is a good way to get started" into "DO AS IT IS WRITTEN OR PERISH!".
    Last edited by Bouregard; 2011-12-05 at 02:09 PM.
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  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: WORDS FOR THE WORD GOD; DISCUSSIONS FOR THE DISCUS

    Quote Originally Posted by Bouregard View Post
    However GRIMDARK happend to it and someone misinterpreted "Hey little guy this is a good way to get started" into "DO AS IT IS WRITTEN OR PERISH!".
    I agree with you.
    We cannot know what the Codex Astartes says; as a work of fact it simply cannot exist, and as a work of fiction it's a massive undertaking that would require as much genuine research as it would imagination, and GW probably doesn't have the time or inclination to try and publish such a thing.

    We can probably guess, however, that it's not a literal "How To" guide that one has to follow blindly.
    Your enemy is holed up in a fortress? The Codex won't say "Send 200 men to the south to create a diversion and then hit the north with the rest of your army", because that's just too specific to be of any use when one side alone can number in the MILLIONS of soldiers, but it probably WILL offer generalised advice, such as the sort of thing that Sun Tzu did.

    It's not "Send X men to place Y and have them turn left", instead it should be "seek not to trap an opponent with no hope of escape; a cornered enemy is all the more dangerous, instead offer them a way out so that you might take advantage of their flight". See? You can take that rule and apply it to a massive number of situations, both physical and metaphorical.

    The skill of the commander is then based on how best to apply the outlines in the Codex and then filling in the small details with their own intelligence and resources, not working your way down a checklist and hoping for the best.

    So in many ways, it shouldn't actually be possible to think ourside the Codex - as generalisations, you should be able to find an answer for any solution, properly applied.

    Unless what you're doing is deliberately heretical, of course, and even then I'd be surprised if there wasn't some kind of "do whatever it takes to assure victory, the end justifies the means" sort of line in there somewhere that some particularly ballsy commander could try to use as his defence.
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