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I recently saw a thread on another forum discussing the likelihood of Eldar getting a marine-like traits system; the author noted that this seems unlikely, because GW won't want to give the impression that there are very many craftworlds compared to the number of imperial armies out there. That got me to thinking about the number of marine chapters, and it seems like the 1000-chapter figure doesn't really fit the universe as GW describes it.
First of all, numbers. There are roughly a million settled worlds in the Imperium, each of which is supposed to field a defense force for its own protection and also provide a detachment to the overall Imperial Guard organization. Let's say that each has a million soldiers under arms - conservative, given the militarized nature of the Imperium and the existence of entire garrison worlds (Cadia, anyone). After all, the US alone fielded more than that in WWII, but let's just assume. That's a trillion troops - a million space marines is practically unnoticeable by comparison.
In addition, not all of those soldiers are always behaving themselves - the marines often have to put down heresies and rebellions. If only one in 10,000 worlds are in rebellion at any given time, and you go with the "give me 100 space marines, or 1000 other troops" thing, a full ten thousand chapters would have to be devoted full-time just to equal the rebel troops, not including transit time between worlds, etc. Of course, the IG does a lot of this fighting itself, but the marines are also busy fighting all of the various Xeno races, countering black crusades, transiting the warp, and gallavanting around on their own business as well (Dark Angels.. ahem.) In the galaxy, there are more Orks than humans, 11 traitor legions, a host of craftworlds, the fledgling Tau empire, and some pretty hefty hive fleets - 1000 chapters isn't enough to even leave a smear mark, let alone form mankind's first and greatest line of defense.
Also, in practical terms - I bet a lot more than 1000 people have decided to make up their own chapters.. =)
Pointless speculation, but it's interesting to see how even a seemingly large number of chapters breaks down in the truly vast setting GW's come up with.
the SM are only brought in when a rebellion is treating to go out of hand, smaller incursions are ignored for them as they have more important things to do.
But most likely, you might be right on the number of chapters, there also a lot of chapters which have been declared exterminatus but are still fighting, like the Relictors or the cursed foundings.
and actually, it's 9 traitor legions, the other are chapters.
Yeah theres a story in WD about IG taking care of "its own problem". Im pretty sure Ultramarines have more then 1000 SM since they take on hive fleets by themselves. I've never agreed with that since some chapters have upto nine companies, which means when they send a force to the battle its one company plus another for reserves and replacements... and I think the salamanders and blood angels sent more then 100 guys to Armageedon.
remember fluff wise Space Marines are about 100 times better than they are in the Tabletop game. A single marine would probably have no trouble decimating an entire brood (squad, whatever tyranids group themselves in) of gaunts.Originally posted by 311@Jan 11 2005, 18:55
Yeah theres a story in WD about IG taking care of "its own problem". Im pretty sure Ultramarines have more then 1000 SM since they take on hive fleets by themselves. I've never agreed with that since some chapters have upto nine companies, which means when they send a force to the battle its one company plus another for reserves and replacements... and I think the salamanders and blood angels sent more then 100 guys to Armageedon.[snapback]299773[/snapback]
True. However Tyranids don't attack with 3 squads of termagaunts either..its like as far as you can see. Not to mention lictors and that can take on a space marine tac squad (5).Originally posted by Knape97@Jan 11 2005, 13:13
remember fluff wise Space Marines are about 100 times better than they are in the Tabletop game. A single marine would probably have no trouble decimating an entire brood (squad, whatever tyranids group themselves in) of gaunts.[snapback]299783[/snapback]
True, but he's quoting GW's own fluff and simply doing the numbers. Each space marine would have to be pretty much capable of quelling a planetary rebellion on his own in order for marines to truly be the "first line of defense" with their limited numbers.
Now, if each marine was a Primarch--that's a different story. Every one of those guys DID subjugate the planet he landed on.
Purge all the heretics,
Kill the alien scum,
Suffer not the unclean to live,
And have a beer when you're done.
this is an interesting topic.
I agree with you that each chapter has more than 1000 SM. because if they sent one compangie to an invading tyranid fleet. they would simply be lost. the SM would be overrun en massacred. so I think a chapter has about 5000 space marines that would be an normal guess.
DonÂ´t mess with the dicegod
Not only are they incredibly tough individually but they are also led by the most able commanders in the imperium, no tabletop army that I know of is led by a five hundred year old guy who has been playing since he was 10... :)
Add to that that they can pretty much choose their battles and go for the "throat" of the enemy, attacking headquarters, important leaders, vital facilities etc, and it starts to make a little more sense.
Still there is only one marine per imperial world, and it has been stated in the fluff that they are pretty few...
Also, if they go against a hive fleet alone they ARE annihilated! It happened to both the Scythes of the Emperor and the Lamenters. The Ultramarines suffered heavy casualties and only made it because of the support from fleets and the Macragge PDF. (I'm guessing about the PDF, but there were guardsmen there and who else would it be?)
GW wouldn't care SM is their trademark so 1 sm could take 10 hivefleets if they would write it
ill agree that there are over 1000 marines to a chapter, but not 5000. discount all the losses and constant need to rebuild one or two of the main battle companies and you figure that at best they are about 1200 marines at the most. but count the losses and they are at about 900-1000 marines strong.Originally posted by dead_raider@Jan 11 2005, 13:53
this is an interesting topic.
I agree with you that each chapter has more than 1000 SM. because if they sent one compangie to an invading tyranid fleet. they would simply be lost. the SM would be overrun en massacred. so I think a chapter has about 5000 space marines that would be an normal guess.[snapback]299808[/snapback]
but then again look at the space wolves, chapters originating from rogal dorns legion, and black templer. space wolves have twelve companies(13 if you count the lost company), templer have many crusades(lasts source i saw said they numbered around 10000 marines, but i really doubt that), dorns marines dont even adhere to the codex and easily have more than 1000 marines to a chapter.
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