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  1. #1
    Senior Member Sancraer's Avatar
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    Mercenary Marines

    I have been told that before chaos evil marines were simply known as renegade marines. This has inspired me to convert my DIY chapter the "Hidden Shadows" to mercenary marines. Just have some questions.

    1. Can/do mercenary marines already exist (or if not mercenary, then chapters who are not in favour with the Imperium but still fight for it)? Examples would be good.
    2. How would they get their supplies (imagining fake ID at forgeworlds...)? I was thinking they would perhaps scavenge battlefields but I would have thought Imperial technology had a safeguard against this.
    3. Would it make it more/less/equally viable if they were led by a renegade inquisitor?
    4. Would you imagine them having a fortress-monastery? If yes then a hidden one or one on a massive ship?
    5. Similar to 2., how would they recruit?
    6. How many of them max realistically could there be? Would they be able to sustain a mechanised force? Numbers essentially.

    Thanks for your help.


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  3. #2
    Son of LO Marius the Possessed's Avatar
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    1. None that fight for the Imperium. Any Chapter that isn't all for the Emperor simply because he's the Emperor is declared Excommunicatus Traitorus and hunted by everyone else. Maybe the Tau might be able to hire some renegade Marines, but Marines are very proud individuals, it's highly unlikely they'd fight for anyone who isn't another Marine.
    2. Raiding and scavenging, like the Chaos and other renegade Marines. Mostly hitting convoys, poorly defended worlds, as they don't have the infrastructure in place to replace the heavy losses or repair/rebuild vehicles like the Traitor Legions (which are far larger and better established) or Loyalist Marines can when attacking a heavily defended target like a forge world.
    3. They wouldn't be mercenaries if the Inquisitor was renegade, they'd just be renegades. Like Marines, Inquisitors follow their own agendas, and don't really freelance their services; they're above that.
    4. If they had a fortress-monastery, it would either be a mobile one like the Imperial Fists or other fleet-based Chapters, or it would be in an area that is normally inaccessable to the Imperium; ie a warp storm or the Eye of Terror. If it was easy to access, the Imperium would simply stomp any renegade flat.
    5. Same way that most fleet-based Chapters or renegades would, they'd take viable candidates from the planets/convoys they raid.
    6. If they were an entire Chapter, 1000. But that's really big, would be hard to support and would be a huge priority for the Imperium to destroy. More likely they'd be between one to three companies, or even smaller, maybe even only 30 to 50 Marines flying around in an escort ship. As for a mechanised force, difficult to say, they'd need a Techmarine or some form of Mechanicus support.

    Personally, I'd have the Hidden Shadows get decimated in a conflict, say with an Ork Waaagh!, that leaves only 60 battle-brothers, a Brother-Captain and a few support staff (Techmarine, Apothecary, maybe a Librarian but no Chaplain) alive. They were largely destroyed because the Imperium saw them as a lost cause and withdrew supporting Imperial Guard regiments, so the Hidden Shadows decide that will renounce the Imperium for betraying them, but not it's people. They steal a Mechanicus armament ship and use it as their base, flying around a sector and helping various populations to fend off enemies (say, the remnants of the Ork Waaagh! that destroyed them). Afterwards, they demand supplies from those they saved, and develop a reputation like the A-Team: planets in trouble ask them for help and offer supplies and recruits in return.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Sancraer's Avatar
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    Firstly thanks for answering.
    Thanks for focussing my thoughts on how they become renegade, I'd got a sort of idea but that's made it a lot easier.

    I really like Inquisitors fluff and would like to use one in apocalypse. Is it viable that she stumbles across them and is going to declare them heretical for not being dead (essentially), before she realises the personal power that being on good terms with a group of marines such as this could give her. I'm guessing that marines aren't supposed to barter help in return for supplies and their relationship with the Inquisitor could be what makes the Imperium turn a blind eye to this. Thoughts?

    Oh and have some rep for helpful answers.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Stradius's Avatar
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    Indeed. Note that the Imperium isn't going to simply write off a Marine Chapter under normal circumstances, nor are most marines unlikely to retreat if the Imperial Guard High Command makes the decision to fall back. This means that the Marines didn't retreat because of excessive pride (giving them double reason to go rogue: Humans should be dying for them unconditionally), or because their Chapter Homeworld was in front of the intended defensive line, or a combination of the two. Note, however, that the second isn't likely to cause them to go rogue without at least some of the first. The Scythes of the Emperor lost their homeworld to the Tyranids with very little Imperial support, as well as the majority of their chapter. However, due to some political maneuvering on the part of their Chapter Master with the Inquisition and Adeptus Mechanicus, they're now rebuilding and loyal, although still very weak.

    The Inquisitor won't declare them heretics for not being dead, but she would if she finds out about the AdMech ship... but if it isn't a particularly large one, she will probably consider "overlooking" it in exchange for strikes against her own targets... or political enemies.
    "The sergeant major asked me what my job is. I told him it's to do what I am told. He gave me a medal. I like the Imperial Guard."
    "Innocentia Probat Nihil"

  6. #5
    Senior Member SkyDog's Avatar
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    I'm going to disagree with Marius a little bit.
    1. Yes, in marny forms and varying degrees. Also, yes, renegade chapters can/do remain loyal (claim to remain loyal) to the Imperium and the Emperor despite their official renegade status.
    Here's a few canon examples of this in various forms and degrees.
    The Flesh Tearers. An officailly loyal chapter that's come close to being declared renegade many times for being a little bit too... RIP'N'TARE!
    The next step down the line is the Knights of Blood. This chapter did get declared renegade for being a bit too RIP'N'TARE! Despite being declared renegade they still claim to be loyal and even came to defend their parent chapter when the Blood Angels were about to get double teamed by the daemon hordes of Ka'Bandha and hive fleet Leviathan.
    The next step down the line takes us from loyal renegades to grey area renegades.
    I bring you the Relictors. The =][= didn't approve of the steps they were taking to fight the forces of Chaos, claiming they were on the road to damnation and had commited HERESY. They have sinse cheesed it to the eye of terror and may or may not still be loyal.
    Next we have two examples in one, the Astral Claws come Red Corsairs After the Badab war they became pirates/mercenarys and although they clearly were not loyal to the imperium the chapter as a whole had not turned to Chaos. However, their chapter master and a few others had sworn themselves to the dark gods and as they bolstered their numbers with other renegade/chaos marines, over time they whent full on Chaos!
    And ofcourse, the final step in the line is full on Chaos Space Marines.

    2. They could get what they need in a few ways. As Marius said, Raiding and scavenging, like the Chaos and other renegade Marines. Also, the Imperium is a fudal empire, on many smaller, out of the way, worlds they could just show up and requisition supplies. They couldn't pull that off on a forge world of anything that could be conssidered a centre of power but anything else and that would be a viable option. The massive bureaucracy of the Imperium can and does lose whole planets through mis-filed paper work, they don't realy have what you might call an effective infomation distribution system. When the "Angels of Death" show up on your door asking for supplies, you arn't to know any better and you arn't going to ask many questions.
    Also, your idea of making them mercenarys offers a solution right there, coming to a supply and arms agreement with some imperial planet or faction for the marines services. Brokering a deal with a rogue trader for use of the chapter in his personal army. Ect ect ect...

    3. It,s perfectly viable. Inquisitors can and do stab each other in the back all the time. Devisions between different factions of the =][= run deep. Radical inquisitors vs Puritan inquisitors. Thorian vs Monodomonant inquisitors. Puritan Monodomonant vs Radical Monodomonant..... It's endless! But the best thing about it (for your fluff anyway) is that most of them are bat-shit fanatics. In most cases both sides of the devision are 100% loyal, 100% dediacted and 100% certan they are right and the otherside are wrong/misguided/HERETICS. It would be easy for an inquisitor to fall foul of internal =][= politics and get declared renegade. If she were allied with a Space Marine chapter at the time and were in the middle of some super secret mission to stop some sort of horrible evil eating the Imperium they could stick by her side through loyalty and bonds of honour and for the sake of the mission. Thus... A 100% loyal chapter declared renegade and forced to resort to mercenary actions to pay the bills for the sake of the mission.

    4. The locations of some chapter planets are hidden while others are well-known, if their Fortress-monastery was well hidden then they could stay put, if it was know then it would be best if they.... [No forwarding address given.] If they were a fleet-based chapter the chapter flagship would serve as a mobile fortress-monastery. Assuming they did have a ground based fortress-monastery they could either move into their flagship and use that as a base of operations of set up a new one in some hidden location.

    5. If they have a hidden chapter planet then they could just recruit as normal, if they were forced to go on the move then they'd just do what other crusader chapters do. Drawing new recruits from the depthts of hive worlds is the generaly the most practical way to do it. They'd just go to an out of the way world with a few hive citys on it, send a recruitment (Read: Press gang) team down to the under-hives and round up a thousand of so hive scum. They should be able to get a dozen or so worthy asparints from every thousand. It's exactly the same as the supplies issue, the "Angels of Death" show up at a planet and inform the local big-wig that they're sending a squad down to the under-hive to round up a few hive scum, no one minds, no one cares about some filthy hive scum and no one is going to question an Astartes over somthing so trivial.

    6. It mostly depends on two things. One, how violently were they declared renegade? The =][= doesn't usally inform you of their descision to declare you renegade with a strongly worded letter, the first you'll hear about it is the sound of weapons fire! If they only managed to limp away with 200/300 marines left alive then they'll stay under powered for a looong time. The rebuilding process will be slow.
    Two, how codex complyant were they to start off? If they gave Rowboat Girlyman the finger Black Templars style then their numbers could be anywhere. If they were loyal to the codex then their numbers wouldn't be more than 1300/1400 to start off with.
    As for being able to sustain a mechanised force? That goes back to condition one, how violently were they declared renegade? Chapters maintain their wargear with maticules care and attention. Vheicles and armour serving in the chapter today could be relics thousands of years old. If they got away with most of their gear intact then they shouldn't have to much trouble maintaining and feilding it. (See part 2^) However, if they lost most of it then it would take forever to replace it. A lot of a chapters more complicated wargear can only be produced by a forge world, only the AdMech have the know how and they don't realy share their secrets. Things like plasma technology, land raiders, predators and a lot more arn't somthing you can just requisition from a back woods planet. Their only option (loyalist option) would be to slowly rebuild their armoury with captured and restored gear taken from other renegade/chaos forces.
    In the 41st millenium there is no such thing as paranoia, the universe realy is out to get you!

  7. #6
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    The main problem here is actually that marines would have to do something seriously wrong to be considered renegades. There are fluff examples (Steel Cobras) of nominally loyal chapters being declared really super naughty, but they still have to do something pretty massively wrong (in the aforementioned case, worshipping a tribal snake god from their recruiting world instead of the Emperor). Marines are pretty much above conventional forms of authority. Disobeying orders, massacring civilians, eating corpses, even killing other Imperial forces who get in their way, these are all pretty standard behaviours and can generally be overlooked. A marine chapter does not answer to anyone else, they can pretty much fight a war however they want as long as they win. The only allegations which carry any serious weight in regard to them are actively working against Imperial interests (siding with aliens or traitors against Imperial forces, for example) or severe religious deviance (refusing to venerate the Emperor in any way at all or actively desecrating the Imperial faith). Even then, if it can be demonstrated that they acted in good faith (the Lamenters for example) they stand a pretty good chance of being shown mercy.

    Exterminating a marine chapter is extremely difficult without the help of other marine chapters. Noone wants to do it unless they're pretty sure they can, and then it's usually a devastating blow which cripples the chapter. Escaping with 200 marines would extremely good going. Heck, the Corsairs managed that after turning their homeworld into an impenetrable fortress and tricking numerous other chapters into fighting alongside them. Consider that the best case scenario.
    Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; August 3rd, 2011 at 05:45.

  8. #7
    Senior Member SkyDog's Avatar
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    Mantis makes a realy good point, a Marine chapter gets a lot of ley-way, usally when a chapter gets declared renegade they've realy crossed a line. My example, The Knights of Blood, only got declared renegade after 1000 years of excessive RIP'N'TARE!
    Well... They might still be loyal but these guys are total dicks!

    I'm guessing that you don't want to write your chapter as total dicks so making them bad enough to get declared renegade could be a problem.

    If you want you could have them declare themselves renegade?

    Here's my idea. Your inquisitor had just finished purging a heretical cult and was going through their effects for anything extra heretical. She found a book, a verry heretical book! This book contained many dark secrets of the ruinous powers that a faithful servant of the Emperor could put to good use.
    Ofcourse.... There's devision, radicals claim that the secrets of the text should be put to use in the serviice of the God-Emperor while the puritans claim that such a heretical text could only lead them astray.
    There's a lot of back and forth and neither side it going to budge so your inquisitor figures "actions speak louder than words." She declares she will take the book and put it to the test, she will attempt to exploit one of the secrets she has learned from the book and screw over the plans and works of the dark gods.

    "My faith is pure and my will is strong. I shal show you the merit of my plan, if I return successful I shal be vindicated, if I return in failure then you will know I have been led astray and I shall welcome my purification."

    She goes on her merry way, requests the aid of a marine chapter to help her in her mission and they set off to kick the dark gods in the balls!
    There is much high adventure and much shared tradgerty. Together they fight their way through hell and high water and in the end she is vindicated!
    A great victory is achieved, a billion billion souls are saved and the ruinous powers took a power armoured boot squarley in the balls!

    The problem is, while she's out there getting shit done, the hard asses back at the =][= have continued rallying support against her. They claim that she's fell to all kinds of heresy and with her not being there to defend her position and show them that she's actuley getting results. The are able to gain popular support and have her declared a traitor and heretic!

    Then ofcourse comes the moment of truth. An =][= strike force shows up and demands the chapter hand her over for her heresy. They read off a looong list of charges and spell it out is black and white "Hand her over, b1tch gonna' burn!"
    They've been together for years at this point, through thick and thin and bled together on a thousand battlefields. They ofcoures, give the =][= strike force the finger and tell them where to shove their warrent!

    Bam! Just like that, without even knowing what they were getting into they just declared themselves heretics.

    Getting an =][= warrent to declare a Space Marine chapter renegade is one thing but getting a warrent to declare anyone else heretic and hunt them down is another matter. Hell, they hand them out as free prizes on boxes of cerial!
    A renegade inquisitor is a verry dangerous thing, and such warrent would ofcourse be worded in such a way as to give the hunters pretty much free reigh. Probably somthing along the lines of "She and any that support or defend her are traitors and heretics! All such obsticles are to be eliminated and any imperial resources deemed nessacery may be rquesitioned for the task."

    There you have it. The decree has already been issued and they walked right into it.
    In the 41st millenium there is no such thing as paranoia, the universe realy is out to get you!

  9. #8
    God's nutcase Xerxes's Avatar
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    I'll stick my oar in more fully later, but just to correct a recurring misconception about Inquisitors...

    Quote Originally Posted by SkyDog View Post
    But the best thing about it (for your fluff anyway) is that most of them are bat-shit fanatics.
    From the Inquisitor rulebook:

    The Inquisition does not need unfeeling machines, it needs reasoning men who have the courage to enforce their convictions.
    "Reasoning men" is not a description of "bat-shit fanatics". They may have strong beliefs, but they are reasoned and well-defended. They do not foam at the mouth much, if at all.

    Sorry, just something to bear in mind. Will be back with a proper critique later.

  10. #9
    Senior Member SkyDog's Avatar
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    "Reasoning men" is not a description of "bat-shit fanatics". They may have strong beliefs, but they are reasoned and well-defended. They do not foam at the mouth much, if at all.
    I don't want it to sound like I think they're all cut from the same cloth but....

    But, "bat-shit fanatics" is a fair description of a lot of them!

    Their defenition of "reason" is verry much the 40k standard of reason. Not to be confused with anything remotley sane or restrained.

    A few examples of this- The purging of Armegeddon. The people and soilders of Armegeddon had fought long and hard and the day was won, problem was that they had seen things that the =][= thought they shouldn't have seen.

    Their first thought was ofcourse to just kill them all.... But, in their "reason" they came to the conclusion that just slaughtering a couple billion of the Emperors loyal subjects due the the potential of herecy was a bit excessive. So, they settled on the far more "reasonable" course of just mind-wiping and steralizing them all and shiping them of to slave labour camps for the rest of their lives so they might continue to serve the Imperium in some way.

    Unfortunatley.... Some of the people of Armegeddon didn't realy appreciate their "reasoning" so tryed to run for it. Many escaped to several near by worlds and the =][= thought the most "reasonable" solution to this was to mind-wipe and steralize the entire population of these planets too.

    In the Space Wolves codex there is a story about how a conbination of the Space Wolves and an =][= task force led by a radical inquisitor were getting their asses kicked by some heretics and their sommoned daemon hordes. In a last ditch effot to turn the tide the radical inquisitor preformed a rituel to turn the daemons against the heretics, allowing the Space Wolves to win the battle.
    No sooner had the dust settled than had some puritan factions of the =][= screamed herecy and demanded the inquisitors head! It was only because the Space Wolves had his back and helped him escape that he got out alive.

    Seriously, the Imperial Inquisition is intentionally portrayed as a Nazi SS/Spanish Inquisition/Orwellian organisation. Intentionally.

    Y'know, it's part of the whole GrimDark thing....

    And pretty much every bit of canon fluff written about them includes the kind of things I've mentioned above.
    In the 41st millenium there is no such thing as paranoia, the universe realy is out to get you!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sancraer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies.
    I like the idea Skydog, but if public support has rallied about declaring her traitor, woudn't she have a VERY powerful force (the might of the Imperium) coming after her and the marines?
    Either the marines would have to declare themselves renegade over a smaller event, or as they are running away they suffer severe casualties but a couple of ships including a captain and some command (perhaps the chapter master or the chief librarian, not both) manage to warp-jump. However they have to do it so quickly that the warp manages to play one of its tricks and they end up on the other side of the galaxy (the Inquisition have no idea where they've gone).
    They become mercenaries to get the supplies they need, whilst the Inquisitor uses a trick from the book to conceal their fleet whenever Imperials come to check them out. They then continue to fight for the Emperor, to gather evidence that they are not heretical.

    Might have to throw in them doing something a bit bad whilst testing the book (perhaps one thing in it blows up something or something) which is what swings them out of inquisitorial favour, but they woudn't have to be complete dicks.

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