Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
I was flipping through a copy of Warp Storm (of BFG) and noticed a little blurb on page 51, in the SM section. It said that as a SM is too valuable to use as simple ship crew, human serfs from the Chapter's home planet or enclave are used. I was curious if it would be fluff-viable to say that, after a large battle involving large numbers from obscure SM Chapters, the serfs' Chapters were decimated, and, in absence of any other solution, the humans were placed under the dominion of a planetary governor or Inquisitor, and amalgamated into a regiment or act as a seperate detatchment, represented by IG. These servants of the Marines are reputedly better armed and trained, indoctrinated into the Chapter's ideology. They would be brave and well-equipped- useful commodities, hmm? I was thinking as I read about BFG that a regiment based on Naval boarding parties, perhaps disenfranchised from a destroyed ship, would be interesting as a background, and this sort of follows along th esame lines. Besides, these particular crew could represent a number of doctrines depending on the Chapter they served. The bottom line: would it be acceptable to use these serfs as an army based off IG?
Feedback would be awesome; if this is not OK with the fluff, I'd like an explanation, rather than a good flaming.
I think the answer on that may be no. Serfs are aspirants who were unable to go through the final process needed to become a full fledged battle-brother. So think scouts without access to carapace armour or bolt weapons. You'd be looking at gaurdsmen who, statwise, are S, WS, BS, and T 4 and LD 8...
Take my love, take my land, take me to where I cannot stand; I don't care I'm still free, you can't take the sky from me.
"The difference between gods and daemons largely depends upon where one is standing at the time."- Lorgar
Member of the Fluff Masters Clan
Everything I've read seems to suggest that aspirants who didn't make the cut are either killed by whatever task they fail or turned into servitors. That they call them "serfs" seems to suggest the crews are drawn from the planet's populace rather than the ranks of failed recruits, so in that respect I'd say you'd probably get away with having an IG regiment based on them. Might be a fun thing to do as well, but to make them a boarding party type outfit you'd have to think about organisation and doctrines and stuff; things like close order drill, which troops they use to clear and which to sweep, and a lack of any ordnance weapons, stuff like that.
the Space Wolf Fleet crew are thralls who failed to make the grade to a Space Marine, Ultramarines Auxilia is esstenially a highly drilled and trained PDF which is roughly equivalent to Imperial Guard Stormtroopers, and are recruited from the populace and are not exclusively made up from failed Space Marine Asprirants, ie it varies from Chapter to Chapter
Serfs are sometimes, but only sometimes, recruits who failed to become Marines and instead have been made to serve them. However, serfs can also be ordinary people from the Marineâ€™s home planet who have been trained since infancy/born to the position; such serfs consider it a great honour to serve a Chapter of Space Marines, and they have been known to fight side by side with their Marine masters when the need arose. Especially the Space Wolves and the Ultramarines are known for using or having used in the past serfs as troops, but almost all serfs will fight to defend the location theyâ€™re stationed at. Only rarely will they actually go offensive, except to pilot Thunderhawks and other attack aircrafts, and sometimes also to participate in ramming/boarding missions if no other troops are available.
Marines seem rather unwilling to risk losing their serfs, though, probably because it takes a long time to train a serf and to ensure their unquestioning loyalty to the Chapter. The serfs get closer to the Marines than any other human beings, and serve them when theyâ€™re most vulnerable, such as when injured. Having an agent of the Ruinous Powers in such a position could do massive damage to a Chapter, and the Marines are very dependent on their serfs, so losing a lot of them at once and having to replace them could severely cripple a Chapter.
I would say it would be entirely fluffy to use serfs (represented by Imperial Guardsmen) as support for a limited number of Marines, since this has happened in the past. More unlikely is it that a large group of serfs would accept the command of an IG commander or Inquisitor unless ordered by the Marines (highly unlikely) or for some reason being cut off from the Marines and intending to fight their way back/avenge them (if the Marines are all dead.)
I donâ€™t think the serfs would leave a Fortress Monastery unless strictly necessary, but one could imagine a lot of serfs having survived the destruction of a Marine Battle Barge and being stranded on the surface of an alien planet; if no Marines were around, these serfs would likely join up with whatever Imperial forces they could find in the area, and attempt to return to their Chapter; if impossible (because the Chapter has been destroyed) they would then probably follow their new commander instead, and you would have your army of serfs.
"Girls are nice and cuddly on the outside, and freaky on the inside." ~ Lost Nemesis.
Here's the thing:
Space Marine chapter is decimated, as you said. You know what the serfs are going to do?
Nothing much, because they'd be as dead as the rest of the chapter. Undying loyalty. As in, literally, I-will-throw-my-weak-human-body-in-front-of-you-to-protect-your-armoured-torso undying loyalty. The serfs either die before the Marines do, as the Marines do, or they kill themselves afterwards from the shame of it all. They're honour-bound to serve the Chapter. If the Chapter dies, they do.
Of course, nothing's stopping you from using them as the servants of a still-functional Chapter that just isn't using them at the moment.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
In light of your responses, I decided to modify my fluff a bit. Right after I posted this, I was thinking something along the lines of Grephaun's idea might be a little more sensible. I admit there were some oversights in my first post, but in any story, there is always a roughdraft, right? I think in Warp Storm, it did say a few failed aspirants made it into the crews of the SM craft, implying that a few of these did survive; however, I suspect that the vast majority of the crews were made up of normal beings infused into the Chapter's organization. Perhaps in some rare instance where a large SM ship with not many SMs due to casualties and many of these regular-joes got seperated from the main fleet, long ago, perhaps after a major battle in the Age of Apostasy, and crashed onto a planet. The Marines, being sterile, would eventually die out, and the regular humans, assuming there were women among the serfs, would be able to habitate the planet, assuming they cound a way to function without their vaunted masters. Later, they might be found by an Imperial party, who would find an independent, Emperor-worshipping group- no need for executions. The Imperials might give them things they had been lacking (tanks, ammo, other supplies) in return for their fealty. Thus, the traditions, combat doctrine, and ideology of a space-faring lot of Marine 'squires' would be preserved, while allowing me to make an IG regiment out of them. Sound reasonable?
Problem there is that the Imperium is brutal; if they didn't kill themselves out of shame, they'd probably be packed off to a penal colony for cowardice in the face of the enemy or something similar - there's a beautiful example of this in the Ork Codex, where after Nazdreg is beaten off a world, the liberated slaves that he had were send to a penal world for allowing themselves to be captured.Originally Posted by Imperialis_Dominatus
I'd stick with the idea of them being serfs to an existing marine chapter. That way it irons out any sort of creases you might have.