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hey all u SM players out there, I've got a kind of big question about space marine fleet-based chapters. Now I know that there are a good number of chapters that have no homeworld, but simply a fleet that either migrates around or stays put in orbit around some feral or ruined world. What I dont know, is what does this chapter do about its fortress monastery? I figured that it would be spread out between the battle barges and different sections of the ships served different components. I know enough about strike cruisers to know that they have room for thunderhawks, fighter-wing hangers, drop pods, guns and cells, and not much else, so they would be rather pathetic substitutions for a fortress monastery, but I know battle barges in themselves can hold the majority of a chapter, and still have space leftover for other necessary components. I want to know your opinions, as I've been interested in fleet based armies for a while, although not totally understood them.
I've always been under the impression that the Battle Barge holds the Fortress Monastery. Plus they could establish them wherever they recruited from. The Black Templar have occupied and unoccupied monasteries all over the place that they come back and check up on from time to time. For small chapters without a home and a smaller fleet, the fortress monastery is the biggest ship, or in the biggest ship, or the ship that holds the most significance, I suppose.
Just my two cents.
Tekore (gotta start saving those cents for a Vindicator!)
Tekore is pretty much correct - the majority of Fleet-based chapters house their important administrative stuff on their Battle Barge usually. In fact, some chapter fleets may have two or three Battle Barges so in this case their "Fortress Monastery" would probably be whichever ship is the biggest or the first that was created during the founding. Each time a Chapter Master is chosen, he could choose to occupy the previous command ship or choose a different one. Of course, many Chapters also have ships that are much, much bigger than the rest of the fleet that they could use as their Fortress Monastery. The Imperial Fists, for example, are based on a massive mobile fortress called the Phalanx which serves as their main base and has docks for the rest of the fleet. The same goes for the Dark Angels - the Tower of Angels is quite literally a Fortress Monastery on a big piece of rock that was fitted with Warp engines.
A Battle Barge is, as mentioned, quite sufficient, but those amongst the Astartes who wants some more bling to their bang go and get a Star Fort, like the Phalanx, or clean out and commandeer a very small Space Hulk. Which is hard enough to start with.
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The Dark Angels' Fortress-Monastery is literally a chunk of rock blasted free from the ruins of Caliban...hollowed out and converted into a massive space-faring base of operations...if that's what you're asking about...
Furthermore, they don't have a "home planet" for recruiting per se, but instead draw recruits from a number of worlds in the sector. I think this kinda happened after the "Plains World" incident?
Also, the Flesh Tearers ENTIRE chapter is based on the battle barge Victus, or was it Invictus. Due to their severely depleted numbers, they were able to, with a little modification, accommodate the entire chapter (actually, about four or so companies) inside.
I'll add in citations later if you want
I was looking at Star forts, and they seem to be pretty damn big, so I'd suspect they could hold a lot of marines and novices and such. Also, I'm more concerned with The Exorcists, as it says that they are fleet based, but only operate two battle barges and three strike cruisers, and with over 13 companies worth of marines, they must have something bigger to accomodate them? Do any of you guys know how many marines a Ramilles Class Star Fort can hold?
A Space Marine Fleet does not only consist of Battle Barges and Strike Cruisers. Frigates can also carry and deploy Marine assets, especially in smaller missions. Logically, they will also have forgeships, fuel tankers, mining ships, etc. since SM chapters are not likely to pull supplies from the Munitorium.
When you think about your standard 40k battle with maybe 30-50 marines, a Strike Cruiser would be overkill as it has a planetary bombardment cannon and full support for an entire company.
So, it would still be easy for a chapter to be fleet-based even with only one BB. There is also Battlefleet Gothic fluff that shows us that chapter BBs and SCs are not all the same pattern. The one we see in the materials the most is just the most popular and currently produced.
Some chapters might have an old Grand Cruiser, Battleship, any manner of fort, etc. So don't limit yourself when it comes to planning your backstory.
My other musings on the topic <here> (SM Ship/Fleet Complement)
Last edited by RecklessFable; September 14th, 2007 at 16:25. Reason: added link
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Furthering RecklessFable's comment about the strike cruiser normally seen being the most common, you can say the exact same thing for the battlebarge. The black templars are a great example of how battlebarges can be different. (The templars have retrofitted and made additions to the high marshals battlebarge so many times in the chapters ten thousand year history that it is now capable of holding well over five crusader companies with support.)
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Its important to remember the scale of these things as well. A battle barge is ridiculously massive. Given that a given chapter amounts to 1000 members, plus scouts, support personel and equipment, thats not too terribly hard to fit into a ship roughly the size of the manhattan island (and thats a cruiser, not a battle barge).
Most fleet chapters though seem to carry with them the stigma of not being as easy to keep the Eccelesiarchy's eye on, and with the exception of the Imperial Fists and Dark Angels (who don't really wander the cosmos too much), fleet chapters tend to be pretty divergant from codex.
Soul Drinkers (renegade), Flesh Tears (cannibalism?), Black Templars (how many marines do you have again...?), etc.
My own Reconcilers have a huge fleet of ships (The 'Cathedral Carrier' which is essentially a refurbished hulk, 2 battleships, 6 cruisers, 2 mechanicus 'factory ships', light cruisers, escorts, etc ... its a joint Ordo Hereticus situation so technically most of that is =][= related), but its mostly for firepower (and an Inquisitor Lord's prestige) and not so much for housing.
I'd urge you to put as much thought into your main ships as someone else would into their homeworlds.
makes sense. Would any of you be able to give me an overview of what class of ships are rather common (or even permissable for Space Marines to use at all)? I'm really delving deep here, and since I've exhausted most knowledge mines about the chapter itself, I'm now forced to investigate other obscure areas like the fleet itself and what it comprises of. Theres not much about the Exorcists to be known. They are rather secretive like the Grey Knights, but even more so from a fluff perspective. Thanks for all of you guys' help thus far, I greatly appreciate it.