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AGC
10-04-2008, 16:49
Having seen yet another "the numbers don't make sense" thread, I was about to post my calculations on the ammo requirements for a thousand marines to kill a billion tyranids, when I thought of something much more important.


The thing is the numbers used to work. Back in the old days the 40K milky way was vast and almost empty, with tiny human habitations clinging to life amongst the void. The comparison was always with dark age europe, with human worlds being like towns and villages separated by swamps and dark forests. There were always the Hive worlds, but these were few and concentrated in the galactic core. (Compare with Rome and Byzantium)

Most worlds only had a few scattered settlements and these were often primitive and constantly being raided by Orks. In such circumstances a chapter of marines very definitely is a significant force. Back in the days of space hulk, thirty thousand tyranids was considered an extreme threat. One worth destroying a technology laden hulk over. It was all wonderfully evocative stuff and the creators of it should be proud.

However at some point GW dropped the ball and started talking of "billions" of tyranids. Not just a handful of infilitrating genestealers, slowly corrupting from within, but dozens of Hive fleets, each containing "countless" millions of organisms, a number which could only grow as the hive gorged on the planets in it's way...


Which obviously renders one million marines scattered over a million worlds rather mute.

I often think of sending GW this:-http://www.tarquinbooks.com/default.asp?id=679

Personally I wish they'd go back to the old stuff. Reduce the tyranid numbers accordingly and make the 40K universe work again.


I'm sorry for clogging the boards with this personal reflection but I thought it important that in the midst of the numbers debate, what originally made 40K special wasn't forgotton.

AGC

Chaplain of Chaos
10-04-2008, 17:06
I like it the way it is, and I still think the numbers work okay (Considering this is Science Fantasy and has no need to bow to the requirements of realism).

I for one think it was neccesary to scale up the confrontations, this is a galaxy not just a few connected solar systems. A galaxy wide conflict is massive and the numbers should represent it.

Philip S
10-04-2008, 17:15
It all depends on your interpretation, I tend to think of marines are special forces, but higher special forces than all the other special forces in the 40K galaxy: Uber special forces as it were. Used only when no one else can do it and time limited.

This means in the reality of 40K, marines are storming command bunkers on worlds and bridges on ships when no one ease can do it. When done they are gone.

Most likely anti-Chaos marines, and anti-alien - it's about the only reason to keep them hanging about. Terminators are good vs Nids in hulks, but even then, I think marines a highly mission orientated and do not dwell of killing Nids.

The are all about speed.

Philip

Moostikal The Confused
10-04-2008, 17:37
Yup, i liked it when everything was so spread out it was months to travel between 'neighbouring systems'. Galaxy wide to me didn't mean every habitable planet was, just those you could jump to. With vast tracts of space unreachable due to time constraints or dangerous warp travel.

This was part of the 'grim future', if a planet was lost it took years for the news to spread, not because of a clunking administration system loosing the data but because no one went there very often and when they did they were then lost themselves or it took ages to get to somewhere they could pass the word on to.
A civilisation failing because of reliance on the stc system that rendered them technolgically dumb. That was becoming extinct because by the time an attack was known about the chances were it was already too late if the local forces were overwhelmed. That was near hopeless because they had lost there guiding light (Teh Empererz!!!1!12) and anyone who didn't believe were decried as heretic and killed.

That was a grim future. the one we have now with its abundance of floaty skulls with guns on and billions of gribblies trying to eat/kill/rape/all three(gotta love them dark eldar) us all. And the biggest problem being the lack of organisation? Eh? Not that grim really.

battle captain corpus
11-04-2008, 08:17
As much of a keen follower as I am of 2nd Edt,...sigh displacer fields..., I do feel that even GW had to move on in reflection. I adore the "new" Nids fluff etc. I look at it as the Nids becoming an increasingly larger threat over more and more time.
Yes, timeline wise this doesnt quite fit but ~in my mind~ it does. I agree there are some weird juxtapositions now, and in the "grim" administrative future there is only paperwork, but on the whole I'm more of a fluff fan now than I ever was back then.
Background work has evolved extensively, sometimes becoming a little too deep meaning we cant alwasy flesh it out ourselves but in the grand scheme of things it's only got better I feel. :)

BaronDG
11-04-2008, 13:26
It is also the clear tendency if you look at the eldar. The craftworlds used to count a few thousand and now they are big as planets.

MagrukWikkid
11-04-2008, 15:15
But the background is much more evocative now. Thinking bigger has meant that the Great Crusade was something special, and Macharius' achievements are super-herioc. It gives everything a sense of scale.

Back in the ol' days, the background was pretty much "well, we're screwed" and I for one could never believe in planatary wars on the scale of Epic as happening in the fiction - it was all too skirmish based.

As it stands now, I can believe that whole worlds can die, that Exterminatus can be considered and that the God machines could be feasable.

I think the fiction is in better shape than it has ever been. And I've been reading this stuff since Rogue Trader crept onto the scene...

Kage2020
12-04-2008, 03:25
Yup, i liked it when everything was so spread out it was months to travel between 'neighbouring systems'.
From WD139/140, that was never the case. ;) There are a number of disconnects between specific statements and publications of the 40k universe and... Well, it seems increasingly up to the individuals to figure out what to do with that. I know for sure that some of the most recent 'fluff' has finally turned me off to the latest meanderings/writings of GW...

But to each his or her own.

Kage

starlight
12-04-2008, 03:38
Do also bear in mind that the Imperial view isn't always *right*, besides being drenched in propaganda, so it may not be what we think of as *accurate*.;)

GW is on record as saying that everything they print is correct...sort of. ;)

Perception and context are everything. :)

Burning Star IV
12-04-2008, 06:24
I only hopped on at 3rd edition, but one of the things which initially attracted me to the fluff was the ridiculously high numbers. "Millions of worlds? Just in the Imperium? Must be a typo." Then I realized that it wasn't a typo, and that some battles consisted of hundreds of thousands, or millions, of guardsmen fighting tens of millions of tyranids/orks and I fell in love with the fluff we have now.

starlight
12-04-2008, 06:34
Not so far out...


World War One casualties: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/FWWcasualties.htm

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-04-2008, 07:14
So it stands to reason that everything in 40k should, realistically, be more numerous. Except those cursed Nids. And Necrons, who knows (that's the literal line in the fluff) how many of those things there are? Plus with the Dragon on Mars... does it really matter?


GW is on record as saying that everything they print is correct...sort of. ;)

Wasn't that BL's stance (ass-covering as I prefer to call it) that everything was canon, but in GW's super-special case, alone amongst all the universes I've seen, canon doesn't necessarily mean true? So, in essence, all sins are forgiven and authors can say that Space Marines are really hamsters running on wheels to power a fur-suit that shoot green lasers from their navels and it could have the same credibility as what's in a Codex. :wtf:

Makes you really value that over random fanfic, doesn't it? :rolleyes:

Sorry, this is my personal axe and I refuse to stop grinding it. :p

starlight
12-04-2008, 07:16
Well *I'm* not going to be the one to tell you to stop...;)

Imperialis_Dominatus
12-04-2008, 07:24
Well *I'm* not going to be the one to tell you to stop...;)

I should hope not! :evilgrin:

*remembers tales of starlight's power*

Er... in that I would be very unhappy if you took my axe and/or grinding stone from me. *whimper*

Damage,Inc.
12-04-2008, 08:20
Well, I always loved the older fluff, but one thing has constantly annoyed me. It is fine to say that many owrlds have fallen from the originaly high tech that founded them, but it seems now days if a world is not a hive or a forge world, then it is a feral world full of mideval knights and peasants.

The occiasional planet that has fallen into barbarism is fine, but it is made to seem that most of the galaxy has forgotten basics of 20th century living. This is a science fiction game, if people want swords and sorcery then go play warhammer. I for one was brought into the hooby by pictures of bad men with big guns back in the day when Marines were T3.

Backwater worlds can still be so without being bararians. I think that GW needs to make the feel of the fluff sort of Dark Age in Space not by just rewriting the dark ages. I guess I just miss some of the sci-fi and am a little turned off at so much of the Conan stuff.

Chaplain of Chaos
13-04-2008, 01:23
That was a grim future. the one we have now with its abundance of floaty skulls with guns on and billions of gribblies trying to eat/kill/rape/all three(gotta love them dark eldar) us all. And the biggest problem being the lack of organisation? Eh? Not that grim really.


Um.. you try living in that society and tell me it ain't grim. When entire families can get murdered and forgotten because nobody really cared to file the paperwork.. or if they did it just won't get to anyone that would give a damn in the first place? Sounds bad enough to me.

I'm not that turned off by the canon either, as much as other people might grind axes till the blade is gone I think that overall considering the plethora of bad sci fi writers out there the BL has done a good job of keeping things pretty much loyal to codex canon.

I mean it only makes sense that fluff marines can do all the amazing things they can do...

If you think about other novels the feets made by regular humans are just as spectacular. (I mean imagine a single damn hobbit walking all the way to mordor and dropping a ring in a magic volcano all the while hunted by 9 souless sorcerors with rings of power, or any other heroic story.) Heroes do amazing things, I think people gripe far to much about how marines are portrayed in books. I mean the book is about them!

Also (at least in the Dark Heresy books) It does say that planets excist in all varieties, Imperial Worlds exist that aren't just massive Hive Worlds. I mean they get mentioned alot in many BL books. I can think of numerous worlds in the Eisenhorn books that were advanced Imperial worlds that weren't Hives. Gudrun.. I think was the name of one.

Most peoples little problems with fluff usually just happen because they enjoy paying attention to things that annoy them without looking for more information.

I like complaining as much as the next person but seriously..

Damage,Inc.
13-04-2008, 05:57
I think that the main difference between the old era players and the new era players is mostly one of fluff. Sure the base idea is similar, and it's jsut as grim and gritty now as it used to be. But there was something about the older fluff that just captured our imaginations at that point in time, and did something that the newer fluff doesn't. This is a point that can be argued endlessly, just like the question of what are better- blondes or red heads. In the end, we love them both but that doesn't mean we won't try to put hair dye in her shampoo from time to time... ;)

Chaplain of Chaos
13-04-2008, 06:03
Well then I guess one can't argue about what is "Better"

I was pulled in by the modern incarnation of 40k, the 3rd edition to 4th edition fluff. I was pulled in by the million worlds and the vast scale. Yes I even like the plethora of skull motifs and flying scraps of paper. The rising menace of the Red Harvest and the massive Hive Fleets.


Yet I can see how older players from the RT era could feel that 40k has lost that aura, or feel that drew them in in the first place.

Yet I remember the rogue trader era though I was very young at the time. I have to say that it repelled me rather than drew me in. The space dwarves and zoats and the general feel just had no appeal.

I look back at that era and just think "well that was silly, thankfully it's evolved since then"

(Don't bite my head of, it's what I feel. just my personal aesthetic no comment on you oldsters taste!)

Damage,Inc.
13-04-2008, 07:28
I posted the reply to this sort of comment somewhere else already but to recap- for me, there was so much more to it than the silly things. I pretty much ignored Squats, although I did enjoy the idea of decendants from minig conglomorates, forgotten about millenia ago, evolving into their own empire that was very proud and self-sustaining. They tolerated trading with the Imperium, but did not tolerate the religous connections to everything nor the Imperial agents like Inquisitors poking about in their internal affairs. Sure the models sucked, and most of the fluff blew, but there were glimmers in there, seeds for players to expand upon themselves.

Newer players seem to only see the silly side of GW without digging deeper into it. While having space sharks might not have been the best idea, having all those plot hooks and storylines that could be randomly generated made the games much more personal that just "pick and play" or tournament style. It wasn't just "My r0X0r Khorne team kills, blah!" it was, "holy ****, this task is given to you and it needs to get done against all odds or the world will end, can you do it?"

2nd Edition was just as silly, the yellow and red phase of GW, what I loving called the "Happy Days" since all the models were super bright colors and had smiling faces. Yes we have c ome a long way to a more serious approach, but I don't think that seriousness was totally lacking in RT.

What caught me on to RT way back in the day were some of the little fiction pieces they put out. The very first story, about marines landing on a planet and searching for the lost populace after Orks had ravaged them years before, only to find them hideously mutated by exporsure to solar radiation and thus "saving" them bny destroying them...

The 'Battle at the Farm' where a fatigued column of survivors escaping through enemy lines after suffering a gigantic and unexpected defeat, stopping only to rest and hide as Ork patrols ppillage the countryside. Unknown to these marines however, their resting place was also where an Ork boss hid a collection of loot and was coming back, intent to recover it at all costs. These were great little storys that put the fate of your band of warriors in your hands. It was your handful of soldiers against the universe, noot the millions clashing with millions that started way back with Epic.

There are days when I would like to play a game that involved maybe 10-20 models, using a deep storyline to drive the action. These are the games that RT inspired. Of course the system wasn't something you could have a tournament playing, but for friendly games to kill a rainy afternoon, dreaming of distant planets to be explored and aliens to be subjugated, the game was fine.

Chaplain of Chaos
13-04-2008, 22:24
I understand, and I would by no means say that RT didn't have anything to draw in players... it obviously did considering how many people wish for those days. Yet when you talk about tournament play and "roxor khorne teams" thats not how.

I play 40k for the story, for the mythos that is built around it. In that vein I usually don't play games to 6 rounds, I make campaigns and build reasons for why the conflict is happening.

It makes me a huge nerd, but my army leaders always have names and backstory and fights for me are always to the death. So I understand that part of where you are coming from.

AGC
14-04-2008, 19:13
AGGGGGHHHHHH!!

I spent so long writing a post that Warseer logged me out and I lost it all!

That's half an hour of work down the drain.


To quickly recap:-

I agreed with Damage,Inc. about that story where they killed everyone, unacceptable mutation as I recall, they were all blind. (I think I read it on critical hit.)

Then I did the calculation and it turns out that 1000 marines with bolters can take down 1,000,000 tyranids in eight minutes twenty seconds. Assuming a .50 calibre shell wighing 50 grammes on a one shot one kill basis (Unlikely I know but I was being intentionally generous.) Even multiplying the numbers by a factor of ten and you still get a reasonable number. It's nowhere near as insane as I expected it to be.

The problem with the numbers comes when marines are expected to fight humans (I had a great line about all the traitor marines getting lost in a Hive car park.) one marine per planet really does seem to few if they're expected to put down revolts. (Why bother when you can use ships from orbit?)

Then I said that a small elite rapid reaction force for the outer worlds made sense, especially given how dangerous interstellar travel is.

Then I went on to criticise the background for Medusa V campaign in which they said the Inquisiton screened everyone who was transported from Medusa III (Several Hives worth) and I questioned how many Inquisitors it would take and how long.

Then I hit preview post and screamed.

From now on I must remember to do a "copy".

Chaplain of Chaos
14-04-2008, 19:19
1 marine per planet is fine... because the large majority of Imperial planets don't need marines on them. Usually the Planetary PDF can handle inssurections just fine.

Their are chapters of marines all over the galaxy, some of them mobile some of them not.

I am stating here that their are plenty enough marines to serve their purpose admirably all over Imperial space.

On the Medusa V situation it's not like a full Inquisitor did all the screening, I'm sure uncounted Interrogators and Acolytes assisted in the prossessing.

BaronDG
14-04-2008, 19:46
The really silly thing is when they deploy at squad strength on 100 different worlds...

Ork uprising? Well, sargeant Bob can do that as his 12 a'clock and then crush the tyranids in sector D during the afternoon...

Chaplain of Chaos
14-04-2008, 19:54
They would just send diffrent Companies to handle those diffrent situations... Or diffrent Chapters..

Damage,Inc.
14-04-2008, 20:03
Then I hit preview post and screamed.

From now on I must remember to do a "copy".

I've had those days.

AGC
14-04-2008, 20:14
Firstly lets try and keep the numbers debates to the already dozens of threads about it.

But the Medusa V example is insane. We're talking hundreds of thousands of interrogators needed (and their equipment) to achieve it in a reasonable time frame. Given the limitations on interstellar transport just how did they all get there? (Yes I know there probably were a a couple of inquisitors kicking around anyway but for that workload you're going to need a lot more.) Screening a couple of billion people should not be easy. If it is then all the background about chaos cultists falls down.


But anyway back to the point of the thread.

It's not that the older fiction felt small and now it's epic. If anything the reverse. The point is that in the older stuff the universe feels big, really big. The sense of isolation is because the distances are so large. A thousand marines is about the only size of military force that can cross the distances involved.

Now seemingly millions of Imperial Guard can just hop around wherever they like. The effect of this is to render the marines to a "Why bother?" state. If you can chuck an entire guard regiment at a planet at will, it makes no sense to turn an entire world over to producing just 1000 marines. Far better to have it produce 200,000,000 men.

The only reason for not doing so would be if you couln't shift those 200,000,000 men around, and in the early fiction, you couldn't.

slaanghoul
15-04-2008, 11:52
Um.. you try living in that society and tell me it ain't grim. When entire families can get murdered and forgotten because nobody really cared to file the paperwork.. or if they did it just won't get to anyone that would give a damn in the first place? Sounds bad enough to me.

I'm not that turned off by the canon either, as much as other people might grind axes till the blade is gone I think that overall considering the plethora of bad sci fi writers out there the BL has done a good job of keeping things pretty much loyal to codex canon.

I mean it only makes sense that fluff marines can do all the amazing things they can do...

If you think about other novels the feets made by regular humans are just as spectacular. (I mean imagine a single damn hobbit walking all the way to mordor and dropping a ring in a magic volcano all the while hunted by 9 souless sorcerors with rings of power, or any other heroic story.) Heroes do amazing things, I think people gripe far to much about how marines are portrayed in books. I mean the book is about them!

Also (at least in the Dark Heresy books) It does say that planets excist in all varieties, Imperial Worlds exist that aren't just massive Hive Worlds. I mean they get mentioned alot in many BL books. I can think of numerous worlds in the Eisenhorn books that were advanced Imperial worlds that weren't Hives. Gudrun.. I think was the name of one.

Most peoples little problems with fluff usually just happen because they enjoy paying attention to things that annoy them without looking for more information.

I like complaining as much as the next person but seriously..
----------


Your example of a hobbit destroyed the evil empire is possible because the author explain the story how the little dude did it. Now a fluff that stated that 1 chapter can control a planet .. is just that. No explaination except that they are spacemarines. One good example somebody mention of Abbadon and 70 chaos Term. Teleport into a hive city and killed all the population in 3 days.


I know spacemarines are very powerful and all that but the fluff is just too BS. A bolter is not a missile that can destroyed a city block with one round. When I picture SM in wars, I see them as guys running around shooting and killing things in a super hero way(like Batman type). SM hit their enemy with bolter rounds like how rambo would and rip enemy heads off like Conna n in battle. But some fluff make them sound like .. . . one marine land in a city like NY and start shooting his bolters and each round would blows up buildings after buildings. With fluff like this, one SM is more powerful than a Bloodthirster!

If there was a movie of how 100 space marines can kill a hive city with out using WMD type weapon, but just pure hth and their assault guns .. . . it would be like one marine runs around the city with his unlimited bolter rounds and each round is an explosive = to a scud missile or something that nature. His hand flamers would shoots out fire that is about 5 miles long so he can burn about 20 cities block with just one burst and unlimited fuel. Is
SM as powerful as that? They are not, their equipment is not as powerful as that.

blackcherry
15-04-2008, 13:01
well, i hate to disagree with you at all, but 70 termies probably could kill an entire city (if we are a bit generous with things and assume that the local PDF were a bit naff-which considering the source is 'true'). Remember a termie is a mix of batman and superman, in that he could take out a building by just running through the ground level destroying (with his bare hands if necessary- but he probably had a powerfist/chainfist to back him up) the supports. Since this is biased to chaos as well, they could probably survive the building collapsing around them too...

Also remember that their are power/gas lines that run through most cities-destroy a major line and how much damage/deaths would that cause?

And last but not least remember this-rule of cool dude! if it sounds cool the in 40k its probably possible. Want a guardsman to take down a marine in combat- in the fluff i could happen(hell- a sniper takes out a dread using just his basic lasgun or 'long las' if the gaunts ghosts books are to be believed- why- coz its cool!

Chaplain of Chaos
15-04-2008, 16:08
A bolter is not a missile that can destroyed a city block with one round.

This is an overexaggeration that I will dismiss as you obviously didn't mean it to be taken seriously, I've never seen fluff meant to be taken as canon be this overblown. Those little situations you mention are meant to be read in a situation where it's up to you to imagine the heroic situation that would allow for it.

GW can't write a three part epic for every story of space marine heroism and daring do that exists.

I just don't understand what your saying. I can easily imagine 1 full chapter cabable of controlling a planet. If it's a compliant planet they don't even need to use SM's to control it they have serfs and a planetary governer.

If it's a planet recently brought to compliance then Space Marines in orbiting strike cruisers can hit almost any where in small tactical squads to quell uprisings and what not. It's possible, remember this is Science Fantasy. This is all besides the point that an entire chapter would have a huge support network of regular Infantry support as well as vehicle patrol craft, Scouts and regular humans.

GW Space Marine fluff is perfectly fine. The small little blurbs you read in codex's or articles is meant to be just that, a glimpse at a result not the suitably heroic actions that lead up to it.


But some fluff make them sound like .. . . one marine land in a city like NY and start shooting his bolters and each round would blows up buildings after buildings. With fluff like this, one SM is more powerful than a Bloodthirster!

Also another overexageration, I've never read anything like this in non fanfiction canon material.